WhyWeWork BrianVee
WhyWeWork BrianVee

Episode 35 · 1 year ago

#35 Chris Dyer - CEO PeopleG2 Speaker Author Consultant - BrianVee Whywework

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Chris Dyer 

Keynote Speaker, Consultant, Bestselling Author, CEO, Remote Work Leader and Advocate.  

Book on Amazon:  

1. The Power of Company Culture: How any business can build a culture that improves productivity, performance and profits - https://a.co/bopwDs0 

2. Remote Work (2021 - https://www.koganpage.com/) Chris’ Profile linkedin.com/in/chrisdyer7  

Websites 

peopleg2.com/background-checks/employment-screening.html (Company Website)  

chrispdyer.com (Blog)  

peopleG2.com (Company Website) 

Phone 800-630-2880 (Work)  

Email chrispdyer7@gmail.com  

Twitter 

peopleG2 

chrisdyer7  

About 

Chris Dyer is passionate about helping leaders reach their full potential. As an expert at driving workplace performance through company culture, Chris has been featured by leading media outlets such as the BBC, NBC, and Forbes. He is also a frequent leadership speaker at conferences all over the globe and was recently named to Inc.’s list of 10 Leadership Speakers That Can Help Transform Your Company Culture.  

Chris is the author of the best-selling book, The Power of Company Culture, which was released in 2018. He is also the Founder and CEO of PeopleG2, a background check provider that has appeared on the Inc. 5000 list of the Fastest Growing Companies four times. A passionate talent management enthusiast, Chris is the host of TalentTalk, a business podcast with over 3.65 million downloads that features interviews with top executives about their strategies for hiring and promoting talent.  

Chris strongly believes in community involvement, and he is active with a number of organizations. Additionally, he runs two book clubs for Senior Level and HR Professionals in Southern California. In his free time, Chris enjoys traveling with his wife and kids, and playing live music with his band. He resides in Orange Country, California.

Welcome to why we work, with your host, Brian V, as he speaks to people like you from all over the world, as we together dive deeper into our motivations, struggles, joys, seemingly missteps, hopes, warnings and advice which will be an encouragement to us all to get up, get going and keep on working. Working is tough, but working is good. Now here's your host to why we work, Brian V. I'm Brian V, and this is why we're working. Today, I'll be speaking with Chris Dyer. He is a keynote speaker. He is an author and CEO OF PEOPLE G two. He has made it his mission to help leaders lead well, and we're going to learn today about how culture in leadership is a driving force of being successful and leading well. Also, I want to tap into how good leadership and companies go into the community and lead by example. Let's have a listen to Chris Dyer. I'm Brian V in the this is why we work. In today, as I just mentioned in the introduction, I have the great pleasure speaking to Chris Dire. Good day, find Sir hi. Thank you for having me. Thank you for being here. I know you are a busy man. I've seen your schedule, I've seen the things that you're doing on Linkedin and you have a lot of things going for you. Would you be able to give our guests a little introduction? Just tell us a little bit about what you're doing at the moment? Yeah, I'll try not to talk for too long. I like to be busy. That's probably the easiest way to understand me. But what does that mean? Well, I am a student and absolutely fascinated about culture, remote work leadership, and so I do a lot of consulting for companies and helping with that. I've written a book called the power of company culture. I'm writing a new book right now about remote work, because my my organizations tend to be a hundred percent remote and I am a serial entrepreneur, so I have lots of different businesses and love to sort of what we're selling and what we're doing is a little bit irrelevant. I love the how do I help my people? How do I help my customers? How do we be the best version of our self? And I we sort of tinkering that almost like I I sort of allude to maybe a coupastry chef right like how do you add a little bit more butter, a little bit more flower, a little bit less, little more water. How do you make the right perfect thing? And that's my role as a leader, as the CEO or inside of organizations, to help them figure out what's that perfect mixture to help them have the best outcomes. Chris, I think back to my grade four teacher, who I have this card to this day. That said Brian, and this is not to you, Brian, you talk, you talk too much in class, and then now I find myself behind a microphone. Right. Can you think back of a time where, maybe when you were a child, that maybe you know, there was a little tunnel into a possible light of you doing the very thing that you're doing now? Yeah, there might be a couple things. The first one is I always had a lemonade stand sold the magazines, I mean the you know, the wrapping paper, whatever contest or thing was going on it at school. I was doing it and I was trying to be number one and I had a lemonade stand because I wanted to go buy candy at the liquor store that I wasn't supposed to go out and I'd ride...

...my bike there with my mom wasn't looking. I mean like, so how do I was very like, how do I get what I want? And I can go get it myself. I don't have to, you know, like wait for my parents to give me a quarter. Silly things like I remember the best time was when company came over and it the reason for that was when they left you could open up the couch cushions and there was always changing and then I could go buy candy or gum or whatever I wanted, or garbage Pail, kid cards or whatever. It was right the liquor store. So I think that part of it was always there. You know. The other part was I always wanted to understand people too, and so as a kid I really didn't have very many friends that were my own age. They they frustrated me, they annoyed me, they were I couldn't get. I didn't get it. But adults I loved right, because they could talk to them, they could teach me things. There was this thing going on. It wasn't until I got to high school that suddenly then I had a lot of friends because I could now have a conversation with I can understand what they were going through, right, and so there was that like me trying to understand people, but if I couldn't understand them, then it was a frustration and as a child you don't have the tools in the ability to how do you catapult that or leap over that? Right? But definitely think those two things really fit into that little glimpse of what was going to come right. That's very interesting. You mentioned the lemonade stand. What was your some that may have been, but your first job that you received and may have been the lemonades. Definitely yeah, but lemonade Stan and I was doing that early. I don't know how I started my first one of maybe my parents or maybe a neighbor kid or someone else. You see them model that behavior and then I probably did it once just for fun and realized wow, people will give me money for a really crappy product just because I'm cute and I lived on a very busy street, so it was very lucrative. So, besides the lemonade stand and kind of shaking your company for their change, did you continue and entrepreneurial types of things, or did you land your first job and your local grocery store or something? I think I you know, I followed a lot so, I think very early the beginning, jobs at Thousan five hund sixteen more things that I could I could do that I wanted to do. So I was an umpire and baseball, I worked in the pizza place, I was a buzz boy to country club. They were things that I could do or had access to do, and they were for the purpose of having gas money and money to go on dates and things like that. Right, they were. They were not purpose driven. And then a little bit later my jobs became very purpose driven. Like I really enjoyed this. I was a coach, Waterpool coach, soccer coach, some coach, and it did those things because I loved doing that. I Love Coaching, I Love Sports, I love those things. But that wasn't necessarily I was like, ever seen that Ven Diagram? It's like what, what are you good at? What do you like to do, and then what will people actually pay you to do? Right, and it wasn't it. It took me a long time to learn that lesson because I after coaching, I then went into jobs that were paid me a lot more money, but we're not the thing that I really wanted to fulfilling. Right made it made a lot of money, but I wasn't necessarily happy, and so it wasn't until I actually eleven happened and I watched those planes flying into the towers that I it was like someone had released me from a magic spell. Someone had cast a spell on me and said go do work that pays you a lot but that you don't like. You know, and I mean if you would have asked me at twenty two, here's a hundred thousand dollars to go clean out PORTA potties. Cool, that's a hundred grand. I'll do anything for a hundred ran. You know how shiny do with that Porta potty. I'll do it.

And it wasn't until eleven happen and I went, Oh, I'm not doing anything I care about. My work is not in any way connected to what I loved, what I like. It was all because it made me the money that I wanted to make to go do other things that I liked, and I then had to immediately quit my jobs. And so by November first I had started my first company and was finally a real entrepreneur making row money. Did you, in after high school, go into college or university with an idea of these same sorts of in this same path of doing business or finance or entrepreneurial courses. Yeah, the funny thing is I've my major was business, but I hated my business classes. They were so, I don't know, theory based and debits and credits and equilibrium points and supplying to man. I was just like this is not my jams and so I may not have been emotionally or intellectually ready to go down that path. I may needed a little bit more time to grow up and mature. I mean, this is probably not something I should admit, but I never read a book in high school and I had, you know, like a three point six seven GPA or whatever. I never read a book. Well, I'll help you there. I don't think I read one, but surely my GPA wasn't that high. But I was really good at copying my friends notes, finding out what I needed to do, talk to the teacher. I mean I was into learning, but I wasn't so much into reading books. And it wasn't until later I got to college and Went Oh, you'd like it got really hard real quick and I had to change my ways and figure out new ways to learn. And how can I read these books and take the information, so to kind of like relearn. And so for me the business classes were not fun, but I took a criminal justice class that was the most fascinating thing I've ever seen and it was really sociology based, and so this really does tie into what I'm doing now. It was all about why do people do what they do? Why is there more crime when there's a full moon, right because there's more light and they can see into the cars? Like what are these things that are happening in the world that cause people to do different things? And so that kind of started me down that path and I thought, well, Colonel Justice, do have to go be a cop? Now? Do I have to go in the FBI? And so I kind of fluttered around that and actually the first, you know, the job that I had right before I started my own company was in background checks. I was sort of doing something adjacent to what that Major was, but I was really more fascinated about people and culture and leadership and all that. I just hadn't quite grown up enough to start kind of really thinking about that in a more mature way. was there someone in your family that had this? I think it's, you know, to understand people, more heart, a desire for people. I interviewed someone the other day and he was more analytical and just love the math and then he realized late in his career he was missing the heart and, you know, understanding and loving and taking care of the people, opposed to just go numbers. was there someone that you look to or even just read a book on about getting to the heart? Yeah, I mean I had a lot of great examples in my life. I guess that I was a person who preferred adults and so I was lucky to have a lot of adults that I was learning from. variances. Yeah, but my grandfather was a very successful businessperson and he he had a lot of talented engineering and the company that he had, he had to be very talented in that way for a long time. But ultimately what made him a success in the long term and all the different types of companies that he had over his life, he was a success because he was a generous person. He was nice, he was loving, he was he did things for people that were so overthetop generous and would help people. He the man always paid for dinner.

Even later on in life. I remember he said to me I tried to pay for dinner and you've been paying from me my whole life. And he and he said no, I'm going to pay and I'm like, you've paid. I mean so many time he said he said, I'm going to pay because I can one day. One day, if I can, then you can pay. And that that generosity, right. It just people, great people, hard working people, smart people that he needed to make his business a success, gravitated to him, stayed with him right through thick and thin because of he was such a generous person. And so it's that kind of of role model, that kind of thing. And yet he took risks. Yes, he got into businesses he had no business getting into and he but he found good people to help him do that. And then, in turn, I'm not kidding you, the man would meet someone in the airport at lax he maybe sit on next to him on a plane and come to find out they had no idea where they were going to stay. This is before cell phones, is back in the day with rotary phones, right, and he would invite them over. He had a guesthouse on his property. Who has a guesthouse on the property because they have that many people stay with him and I complete stranger would come and stay the night. Anybody would help them figure out what where they were going to go in the hotel or how to get ahold of their family or what are like that. You wouldn't even people don't even want their friends to stay the night of their house. Right. So it's that kind of like generosity that I try to remind myself of whenever I can, when anything when it relates to my people. That's one it's we here in the news all of the bad things that are going on, and I would hope that there would be more people like your grandfather and you know what you're trying to do as well, because those are the things that make life interesting, more worthwhile and it gives us a hope for the people that were we're serving in business right right. So, as you went made that transition from in November first after September eleven, was that a difficult transition, from going for the desire of just the money, regardless of the job, to the passion and letting the money follow its way? Was that a heart transition? was that the only thing that was hard was I had no money. Everything else was awesome. I loved it I was finally working for myself. I was doing something. So for me, you know, nothing was losing money. Yeah, I was, I was. I was not making a salary. I had very little money. I had, you know, we had did the absolute minimum so I could like pay my mortgage. You know, you eat top Rahman for a few months. But I loved working for myself and I love being able to decide what I was going to do and what I how I was going to work and if I wanted to work eighteen hours that day, it was for me right, it was for what I was trying to do, not for some. I would do those eighteen hour days and be mad at my other company or my other jobs because I was getting a salary. Didn't matter. I mean I I was driven by the goals and the performance, but I didn't get anything else out of it other than my own personal satisfaction. And that's great and that's nice, but it's a whole other thing when you're going to get the benefits of that hard work. So that that part was great. What I don't want to gloss over is what you said in that realization. It's September eleven and other people have these realizations in life, and I think I had one when my mom passed away in February, and that's why I'm doing this podcast and the what I want listeners to do is not to have to go through some devastating event to realize what you're saying about having the passion for what you do rather than just following the dollar and doing anything this. This is what we would want people to avoid. Unfortunately, people will deal with discomfort for as...

...long as it's not too overwhelming. Right, discomfort has to get to the point that you can no longer tolerate it and you will either make a change oi'll just stop trying. And we certainly seen people who just stop trying and they're living a very sad and and and and, you know, sort of fruitless life. is a going to the motions. But everyone reaches that point where they just have had too much, when discomfort is as out of level you could no longer keep it at bay and you have to make that choice. And I wish people would just be like, I just graduated college, let me think about let me create a vision board and decide exactly what I want to do. And that's just not how it works. Right most people you're doing something because you needed to or because it made sense right then, or it paid the bills or whatever, and you you'll suddenly find yourself some point in your life, right when you have to decide, is the discomfort too much for me? I'm either just gonna give up or I'm going to go do something different and and that's a choice we all have to make. For you, it was the loss of your mom right for me it was this huge terrorist event to get me to realize that I wasn't happy that. You life's too short. For other people it's they lose their job, maybe the economy, you know, there's a recession or something. There's some event right with a discomfort just becomes too much and an ideal world we would do this work when things are okay, but it just doesn't happen that way. It's yeah, it's unfortunate. Would like listeners to really consider what it is that they're doing and hoping that this is what they want to be doing, opposed to just falling in line and doing this because that happened to be their first step, and to come back, to come back to what there may be their passion is, or one of their talents are. So how did you start to begin to gain traction in your new line of work at that time? Well, I mean it's lucky that I the company I started was basically a competitive company, the one I've been working for before, and when people heard that I started my own I had, you know, people knocking on my door wanted to work with me, and so that got us our initial boost. After that I had to get really clever and figure out ways to how do you markt on from on? Nothing right, I have a few pennies from marketing. How can I make that work and how can I do that? So get some really clever and cool things. In the beginning that worked and over time then we had to modify and change and again change and then eventually higher sales team and all kind of evolved and morphed over time. But you know, what you do when it's just you, or you and one other person, you know, is totally different than what you do when you have a team of thirty five people. So you just have to do the best thing that you can think about, be willing to take chances and try and experiment and, you know, Ab test and I and figure out what makes sense. But I will say that about nine times out of ten, when I was doing the right thing, when I made the right decision, no matter what anybody else told me, I knew it was the right decision. I could feel it. I was confident that I was, that this was going to be the right thing, and I would have people tell me, what do you do in that? Can't do that, this is crazy. No, no, no, that's not the rules. It's not how you do things. And you know, Oh, people, people love you and want to protect you. So if you want good advice, don't ask your friends and don't ask your family, because they will always be cautious with you because they don't want to see you get hurt. They don't want you. Didn't up living on their couch. You know, you need to ask savvy business people if you what your idea is good about, because I don't care that if they give if you do the wrong thing, you're not on their couch. They're not you know, they're not suddenly taking care...

...of you. And I had to learn that lesson pretty early on to stop asking people I cared about, who cared about me, for advice. At that time when you first started, even in that tunnel. Did you see yourself writing the book that you wrote in Two thousand and eighty? Oh No, no, no, yeah, absolutely not. So it took another, you know, big event are the giant recession, the heart attack of two thousand and nine, for me to say, okay, my company needs to change, we need to radically change our culture. What we did before will not work going forward and if we're going to survive this, not only survive, we're going to come out of this stronger, we got to change our culture. Cool. What is the right culture? What does that mean? What are you supposed to do? And so that set me on this path of reading every Ding book I could find on the topic. Could you storry, Chris? Can you culture? The idea of culture? We know it in in the world, but we're talking about business culture. Could you define that before you talk more about yeah, so, company culture is the combination of the easily seen ideals like vision, statements and values, but it's combined with the harder to see norms, behaviors, languages, beliefs and systems. So let me sit simpler. How do you get things done right? What are the things that's expected of everybody inside the organization? How do you act? What do you do? Does your organization require everyone where a suit and tie? Are you jeans in Hawaiian shirt? So you work in a trader Joe's, right, hey, what's the what is the norm for your company? And then what is how do you actually get something done? So if yours, if you show up and is supposed to do your job, is there a way that you're supposed to get that done? For people that know who trader Joe's is, that a grocery store. The way they get things done is with a smile in their face and they have a conversation with our customers and they're talking to them and they love them and they like it's this whole thing. Right, you go to Amazon and it's like high pressure. It's like it's a totally different situation. You know it and what you're doing. So what is the norms now, there isn't any exact there isn't like you should do this one thing and that's the right thing. It's just definding what it is for your company. And so so, before you wrote the book and you get into that, did you what were you finding? was the lack or the void in the companies? Was it the lack of an identity, the understanding of a culture and their need to define that. So my favorite thing when someone calls me and they say, Hey, Chris, we really need to help with our culture. Can you come in and consult with us? And I sure he's cool, no problem, sit down and I say so, tell me about your culture. Everyone loves to work here. I have an open door policy. They we love our product or service. Okay, cool, cool, cool. That's not culture. You know that right. No, no, no, no, Oh, you have an open door policy. Okay. So how many times is people open up your door? Well, you know, right. So I say, well, how does you know? What is it? What are the things that are expected of people here? Tell me what that is and then I'll go talk to some other people away from that person. What's expected of you here? All right, what does that look like? If someone doesn't last what didn't? What things didn't they do? Well, right, and so you'll find that that some people don't do well in the high pressure situation or some companies are very family, very family orient to the everyone knows each other's business, right, everyone's talking, and some people don't like that either. Right. So people make to be over the top. Yeah, right, it's a different fit for different people. And then you know what's the system? What's the believe me, you look at lean like to it, it is lean or six sigma, the scrum? What are the rules of the game on how we get things one is that clearly defined? And you will find that in most companies it's not. A couple people know, maybe the boss...

...knows, maybe the CEO knows. Right, they know what that it looks like, but they're not sharing it. So I realized that most people have a pretty bad culture. There are some good companies that do good things like mission statements, value statements. They have a certain you know, minimum required amount of it on their website. Right, we know what this is, we know what we sell and and you can pretty much pick out what the norms are and you can figure out what how to get things done. But what I wanted to know was what are the greatest cultures do? What makes them great? And it wasn't in doing I think, I don't know, three four hundred interviews like we're doing here now. I did them with leaders, talking to leaders privately on phone calls, that to get them to tell me things that maybe they wouldn't share publicly, and reading. I can't even tell you how many books, I mean it's over over for a hundred, you know, book, a book and a book, right. You made up for high school exactly. But I got super I mean I had nothing else to do because we weren't selling anything. I mean with a two thousand and nine was terrible, and so I could spend hours and hours a day reading stuff and figuring it out and it became this is so one of my strengths. If you've ever done the strengths finders from Gallup, and if you and your listeners, having a highly suggested go do it, it's like twenty bucks. You get. Your strengths really help you understand what you do well, and my number one is ideation. And what ideation means is I'm really good at seeing a thousand ideas, getting a thousand bits of data and I can pick out for you the one or two things that are important. So you say, Hey, Chris, we want to go sell these fifty things, I'm like Nana, just this one, this lollipop in this ice cream cone. That's what's going to sell. The rest of it, forget about these. Two are popular these two may have the best profit margin. I can help you quickly make that decision. So I was able to add of everything I read and all the interviews. I did realize that there are seven pillars, are seven things that companies do really, really well if there are a great culture, and in turn it helped other companies. So I realized there were certain parts right. There were like certain pillars that like we do those will really well. You know, listening. We do listening really well. We listen to our clients, we listen to our employees. We listening was pretty good. Transparency, we sucked at that, you know, positivity. We did we were not being we did not have a positive leadership process and place. It was the things we needed to add. So it really helped us figure out how to do that network so well that then, to answer your question about writing the book, some publisher came along one day and said Hey, Chris, we want you to write a book and I laughed and said, you know, like I can't write right, like I'm not, I'm I'm a Talker, and they were like no, we really want to write a book, and so I'm like sure. So one of the other things, the reason that I wrote the book. And the reason I became a key note speaker and the reason a lot of things happened in my life was I read a book by Shaunda rhymes called the year of Yes, and she talked about saying yes to everything for an entire year because she had been saying no her whole life. Two things great. She's a great writer and she's very talented, and she did that was fine. Their career part was fine, but everything else in her life she was totally unhappy with because she would say no to everything. And so I began to say yes to everything. So I said Yes to writing a book, even though I don't know you know the first thing about writing a book. And I started saying Yes to, you know, speaking and really large groups of people and and saying yet I spoke in Guatemala and I spoke in Amsterdam and I spoke in Japan. People invited me to go speak to places and I said yes. Instead of saying, you know, Guatemala, there's plays of Guatama are Prett dangerous, I'm like yes, I'll go, and I was there. A...

...volcano one off and we almost died, like, you know, like these crazy things happen. But out of all those experiences I met these people that have done so much for me that I could never repay because I went there and I had this experience with them. So that we be the other thing for people is to find ways to say yes. The trick is yes and or yes, but not now right. Well, even not now, it's like. So there's a really cool improv exercise. So if you ever do Improv, you have to say yes to keep the Improv going. HMM. And so you go up and if you see several people like on the stage doing an improvisational skitch, I'll come up and say, hey, how's it going Tom I see you have a dog there. Obviously there's no dog there. Right, this is all imaginary. Yes, I just got him the other day. So yes, he said. That's you have to keep the thing going by saying yes. And so it's a really fun way to get people to learn how to say yes. But I typically find in business they need this yes and our yes, but training, because immediately they are afraid. Well, what happens if someone asked me for a raise? They yes, yes, but you need to do these ten things. Yes, and you know, we need to get the CEO's approval right or whatever. You can turn that into a really good, constructive thing without it being yet you want more money, sure, here you go, have it for free. No, it's yes, but you have to do these. Here's the very clear way on how you earn a raise. Right, hit your sales quota, get do this, whatever that those things are. And if you can answer that question, if you can't give people clear measurement, culiar Kpis on how they can meet meet that goal, they're never going to stick around, they're never going to beat yeah, this is this is not Jim Carrey, and was it God Almighty, just yes right to everything. Right. It's not granting wishes. You're not just saying yeah, this is yes, but here's how you do it. Yes, and I mean I even had someone one time at a conference I would speak. I was like five, six thousand people in a room and someone goes up and says, I don't know about this yes thing and they're arguing with me and I said ask me anything and I can say yes. And I said fine, can we can we start a company selling meth? I said yes and everyone laughed and when, when it died down, I said, but we have to go change the law first. Right, I didn't say no to them, right, and no one's going to say no, we're not going to. You know, I'm not going to change the law by I could say yes, by still saving myself. And it's this saying yes to everything that just seems somehow open up doors, allows people have better conversations with me. Allow I can have a client ask me for something. They'll come hey, can I I need a major discount. Yes, I can do that, but can you help me understand why you're asking for a major discount? Well, we got this really big, big contract and this Oh yeah, really big, and so now I can understand what's happening and I actually find opportunities to help them. Well, in this really big contract, what is your client asking You for? Oh, they need drug testing to did you know we do drug tests? Oh, and so I find new opportunities, right, instead of saying Nope, can't do that week. NOPE, that's our price. You agree, that's our contract. Right. So it's just a really cool way of thinking about it. It seems like it fits in line with what your grandfather tee you. Yeah, just just being available, being there for for the people that you're working with and working for. So thank you for the idea of culture. I know you have a lot of community involvement. How does how would you recommend companies being more actively, being more active in the community with this culture building that they're doing, hopefully a positive culture. So do you mean like getting involved in causes or things to help the community at large? Is that what you mean? Yeah, it will even just as a question. Is the responsibility of a company to be more active in their local community? Yeah, that definitely is a part of the culture and can help...

...you. A lot of the people that work for you want to make a difference and so you know, maybe what you sell and what you do doesn't make much of a different and if you sell number two yellow pencils right, you're probably not impacting the world in some monumental great way. That's okay. You provide a great product. You have people need these pencils to draw and to sketch things and to take terrible tests in school, and you know your product has a purpose, but maybe you're not necessarily helping the community, right, and so that will be a disconnect for your people. I suggested organizations do one of two things. Either the company, especially if you're a very have a specific location. Let's just say you're making these pencils and they're all in, like, you know, Scranton, Pennsylvania. Right, this is one place. So you should think about getting involved in the community in some way that you can help the community, so they can tie you to the community and get you visibility in the community. So maybe you guys volunteer to at Soup Kitchens or maybe you support a particular charity to help people get back to whatever it is. Right. If that doesn't work, or maybe you're you have people that are spread across the country. Maybe you don't have that local identity or you have several locations, then the second thing you should think about doing is to give people time off or give them a set amount of money. So tell every employee you have ten hours a year or three hours of among whatever, the number doesn't matter, community service and we're paying you and you can go and volunteer wherever you think it's important. That's a great idea. I never heard of that and there's a lot of companies that do that and so and then come back and share right. So then they haven't come back and share what they did and where they did and why they did and what was the outcome. And so you're getting like all this community involvement. You're spreading your people out into all these different places, into charities they care about. They're important to them, right. And then you it's okay if one person wants to pick something that's religious and another person wants to go pick something that's not. As a company it's harder to say we're going to go and support the SOANDSO Church of whatever, because not e when your organization may agree with that. But if you let people individually go do what they want to do, then that's okay because it's just it's their time and and and I find one of the two strategies can really really be powerful and impactful. But again, you need to talk about the winds cod and come back and what was the experience and what was the outcome and what were the wins and and how did that make you feel? And that can add a lot to the culture because you have your purpose, you have the reason why your company exists. You also needed somehow tie that and get that kind of ingrained into the community as well. Yeah, that would be interesting to be in that conference call some of those experiences that people are having outside of the community, and you're not doing it just to be out in the community to make a company better. Like you, bring your heart with you and share that out there. Chris, you transitioned in two thousand and nine because of what was going on. How is the transition now? How is that going for you in two thousand and twenty without, say, covid so, in two thousand and nine we decided we had to Reado our culture and so we started that process. It wasn't like a magic wand and everything was different, you know, but we began that process of experimenting with what worked and implementing things. But one of the things that I did in July first a few thousand and nine, want to send everybody home and we went remote, fully remote, for one reason only, and that was to save money so I didn't have to lay people off. I did not start remote work for any you...

...know, culture reason or cool whatever it was. Was All to save money and to save jobs. It was all for money and what I learned along the way, though, was that remote work was way better and it for us. It was a huge cultural boost and it became a part of our identity. We worked better, we worked faster, we removed all of the Yuckiness, all the stuff we didn't like about coming into an office. Traffic and people burning my popcorn in the microwave and, you know, not cleaning up after themselves in the toilet and like are in the kitchen, are all that the could know what people are annoying. Right, humans suck. And so we limit all, right, of the thermostats, too high or too low. Go home and work, you can have the thermostat whatever you want. You Want To you want to pee all over the toilet, not clean it up, go right ahead, right, it's your toilet and enjoy. You mentioned Scranton. You know, the office comes to mind. Yeah, you, of course, exactly. So there's a great reason why. Yeah. And so now with covid and entering this pandemic, for us we were already remote, we already had all the tools, we already know how to work and in fact it became a great opportunity for us to share what we knew. I did something like in the first thirty days, I think I did sixty conference calls with different companies. It did little trainings and route you know, free little things to help people like what are the what are the top or the ten things they had to be doing right now to like fit, how to just to get there, you know, head head around remote work, because there's people that thought they would never be remote. I mean, can you imagine bank teller's being remote? Like suddenly, people in banks who said that would be the job that would never be remote, they found themselves at home right and so how do you what do you need to do and how does that need to work? And so we were able to share and help people with that. I mean we were that. That particular business is a background check company, and so we saw a huge drop right when people are hiring less. It was a big drop and for us we did a lot of the things that we did back in two thousand and nine, which was we are spending more on sales and marketing, we are going after companies who are growing. There are companies who are hiring right now. There are companies who are growing. Not everyone is struggling. I don't people know this, but construction and companies and pull repair and anything to do with home improvement, those people are out of their minds busy because everyone went home and went, you know what, I got not nounced to do. Can go on vacation, honey, let's Reado the pool. And so those companies construction, come they're out of their minds busy. That cannot hire enough people. And so it's a pivot share. It's a shift of your mind right to say well, this company is doing last five, but who's doing more and let's go find them. Yeah, I think there's lots of again, the news will say, Oh, the world is falling and no one has work, and someone who's out of work says, Oh, look, they're telling me I can't find work, so I'll just sit here and watch TV a little longer. That's that's very interesting. How you went from culture, building the culture and then living, you know, being remote, and then this is the new norm. Or what is there a misnomer people are not getting, because I read a few articles where people, you know, it's a debate. Can Discontinue? Can people continue to work remote, or is their disadvantage? Can you speak to back in the culture, the idea of company culture and remote and how that is just as fluid or not sure in a brick and mortar versus being remote there's a few things from first, if you're making wine, you have to be in the vineyard, right for making an airplane, you have to be in the assembly line. Mean there are jobs that will need to be working together and those things we need to happen. And for everybody else, I think remote work is far better and and I'll tell you why. So the first thing is, you know, people often have this misnomer about you know, are they working? And and and you...

...have to be together to collaborate and trust and all of this right. So remote work really is aligned with how millennials and Gen z how they want to work. So are you younger generation which so twent by I think something like eighty or ninety percent of the workforce or some crazy number. Seventy five percent of the workforce by two thousand and twenty five will be millennials. So how they want to work is I want to work when I want to work, I want flexibility, I want to know what I want to know clearly what my job is and that you're going to invest in me and how do I move up the ladder and, like you know, all these things that are culture based. They want these things. So my we had a guy, Dr Aaron Lee, from Walden University come in and do his he was doing his dissertation on remote work and he came in and studied our company for a year. Actually completely forgot that. I gave him permission to talk to people and they who are you? Who? Came back at your later and said Hey, Chris, it's me, I have results. I'm like, I'm sorry, what? Who? Oh, yeah, Oh, I forgot about that. And he's like, yeah, I've been talking to your people for a year, and I was like okay, cool. What do you find out? And what he found out was that in traditional work, we think that a personal satisfaction is the most important thing that people want. This it's very it's about their what happens to them, okay. And what we found out was that in remote work that is the least important thing and the most important thing is work life balance. So what does work life balance? That is I have the autonomy to decide when and where and how I do my work. I have the ability to turn that fawcet on or off based on what's happening in my life, okay, and I have the ability to do these great things. I'm not, you know, being put in this tiny little box, goest it in this cubicle, ghost it over there and you have to do this one thing and that's it. So remote work allows for all of this. Now the warning I'll give people? There's, well, two warnings. First, remote work right now for most people, is not normal remote work. My people never had to deal with their kids being home from school. Normally remote work is this incredible amount of deep concentration time, uninterrupted, no one around, you can get so much work done and it's awesome. And then when you get on the phone and you collaborate with your team and you got the phone and you go get a ton of work done right and there's no these distractions. Right now everyone's distracted. We have so we have a single people living alone who are overworking right now. We have a kid, families with kids who are having to work in Split Shifts. They can't work continuously. We have multigenerational families who don't have enough bandwidth, equipment, computers, hot hubs, little hot spots or things like that that they need to be successful. So we're having to send them that right. And then you have the the the two spouse household with no kids that are love and life and they're living like the dream right now. They the only ones are kind of happy, because they don't they're they're having what is normal remote work right. And so remember when we go back and we send the kids back to school and your people go back to work. Here's my final warning. Is that people are going to realize that they didn't need the commute, they didn't need to get dressed up every day, they didn't need to travel on a plane to go be in front of a client every single time, that the new norm will be these zoom calls or these collaborative calls online are perfectly fine and that we can get a lot of work done. And so companies are going to tell their people to come back and their employees are going to go, oh, this sucks, and managers are going to look at productivity and go, Whoo, we're not doing as well. What the heck is happening? Why are we so slow? And they're either going to...

...say, you know what, let's go back to remote or let's do some sort of hybrid version of this to right, so we'll collaborate on Mondays, will do our team meetings together on Mondays, do all this stuff together and then you guys can work wherever you want after that. Or we're not going to have an assigned desk. We're going to have fifty deaths in this thing. You come and bring your laptop. You if you want to work inside the office today because you need to me do some things. Cool, you work wherever you want to work and you can take that computer home and go work when you want to work there. And so they like the whole thing is going to change pretty rapidly and if you're not preparing for that as a business owner, if you don't have those contingency plans figured out on how you're going to do that, you're missing out and you're going to be in trouble. And if you're not thinking about how you could take advantage of this right your people are already far more productive right now than they were pre pandemic. They're going to be even better when they don't have their kids and their spouses and their grandparents all hanging all over them all day and in this when the dust settles. This is where your new book comes in, right, does it not? Yep, to help refine these companies even more in can give them a better idea what is the title of it again? It's called remote work and the publisher's cogin page. It should be out next year. And this is what my co writer and I are predicting that a lot of companies are going to bring their people back and they're going to have this oh crap a moment after a few months and they're going to say, okay, let's do this for real. How do we do it? And there will all our book, Our our our instruction manual, our Bible, whatever you want to call it on how to actually have a remote company, will be there for them to help them. It's interesting because maybe I can't articulate it well, but I think what people thought about the millennials is all look, they just want to live that way and it's so different than what we're used to and know we can't have. But what you're saying with the work life balance of what they want, it actually is going to make people more productive and what they were bringing is value to your company. We just couldn't, not everyone we but a lot of people couldn't see that for what it could possibly be in there. Yeah, I mean you can get people will get more done if they can do it at the time is when they can be the most productive and you have to be okay with that as a company. Right that maybe I can't meet with Tom or or John or whoever sally at three to twenty three, between two. So between two and four PM we don't really have any meeting schedule because we have a lot of typically be pre pandemic. A lot of parents, I want to go pick up their kids and they got to get him home and they got to get him a snack and I got to get him settled and they go do their homework and then about four o'clock they can come back online. They might work until six or seven and that that's perfectly fine right, as long as they get the output. We know what the output should be and they get that done. I had people that will start work at six before their kids wake up. There were from six to seven thirty or so. Then they get their kids up, they get him off to school and they come back by nine thirty their back on the cloth and so they kind of have this mixed schedule because that allows them to still be there for their children, to be a part of their kids lives, and those times are getting them ready for school. Or getting them back from school and still work. That is not possible if you require someone to be at your work or pace the business by a certain time and they have a long commute and then they have it, I got drive home, and so they're completely disconnected and unhappy because are missing out on this quality time with their kids. And then even the other added is if you have remote work and you have people and other time zones that are working different times and then they're free to do it. You know they have all that ability to work when it's convenient for them and there are things you have to do differently. It's not easy. You know it can take you a little it's a little bit more planning, a little bit more work on how do we meet effectively and correctly and in based on different time zones and working a synchronously...

...and all of this right. It's not easy. There's a while writing the book because there's some real specific things you need to do, but it's very possible and the output is you have better productivity, you have higher performance, you have better people and you have people that will work harder for you and have typic have said time and time again there's study after study. They will take less money because it to work remote, to not have the headache of traffic and to have to get dressed up and miss time with their kids and all of this stuff. Right, they will take less money and you, as the business owner, can hire people in cheaper markets. Right. So if you need a head of marketing in Los Angeles, you're going to pay minimum for a great one quarter million. You might pay three fifty you want to go hire that same awesome person has the same credentials. Can Be the same awesome job for you in inserts any town in middle part of the CANYAH, way cheaper. Right. So if we never remote, you now can take advantage of different talent pools and different strategies if you're willing to let people work wherever. That's interviewed someone Jimmy J on through Linkedin and he has bottleneck virtual assistants. So he's taking some of the things that bottle necker company and outsourcing it to other people. Yep, for you know, saving a lot of money. So, Chris, what what is you know, besides covid what is a typical day look like for you as a speaker and author in the CEO? And you're also you have a podcast as well. So what is it typical, maybe a week look like? Lately, especially during this time, I have never been more busy in my life because there have been so many organizations that need to help with remote work and realize I need help with her culture. Excuse me. So I've been doing a lot more engagements around that. My company has needed my leadership now more than ever, and so I've been doing, you know, a lot with my people and then, you know, I I have a lot of there's a lot of remote startups that have asked me to come and be advisors and to help them out, and so doing some of that work and that's been really fun and cool because there's so many amazing ideas around solutions and technologies and services that could really help people be more effective from remote. So the simple answer is my every day is different and that's why how I like it and that's what keeps me going, as I love being in different meetings and and having literally no routine, and then I'm grasping just to try to get my to do list done, because that's fun and exciting for me and I like new challenges, I like talking New People, I like solving you know, interesting challenges that are brought to me and finding opportunities to help people or to help businesses, whatever it may be. What is the biggest challenge that you face or what is the biggest difficulty that you have in the work that you do? HMM, biggest challenge probably my I'm always trying to be more effective in my time management skills. I want to be you know, I think I could be critical of myself if I feel like I wasted thirty minutes somewhere on something I shouldn't have and and I really, if you look at the amount of hours that I work in a week, I really shouldn't be. I you know, need to let give myself some grace. There are, you know, but I I will try to keep because I try to pack in so much that I'm trying to be really good about that and I'm always preaching that to my people and to the people that I work with that, you know, meetings don't go over at the time you have a thirty minute meeting, you do not go over thirty minutes. Right. You need to be really, really strict and tight about this. Is the worst thing you can do, especially in a remote environment, is to start just, you know, spilling over into people's time. And so how do I be more effective as a leader?...

By being more effective with my own you know, if you've ever heard this term, that chefs have my own meas and plass right. I need to have everything in the right or in the right place so I can be really affective. That's great, Chris. Now you have me worried about your time. So, Chris, understanding work what, as you said, work life balance? I don't want to ask the question what brings you the greatest satisfaction, but how do you find your work life balance? So, if you look at work life balance from the definition I gave earlier, which is I get to do the work when I want to do the work right, that I have that balance and then I can turn that Fawcet on or off. I have that and that's great. What I don't want people to think work life balance is is that I work from eight am to five PM and then when I'm done, I don't ever work and I don't look at a work email and I don't that's all crap and most people don't do it, unless you have a job where you you you do clock in and clock out and you don't do anything now, and that's okay. If that you have that and clarity, great for the rest of us. Work life balance does not mean that I can't look at my email at nine o'clock at night, because I will go to Home Depot at thirty in the afternoon if I need to go get a part, and I don't feel guilty that I'm not working at thirty because then at nine, when I feel I'll just get tired. Right, I'll just be like you know it, right now I am not do my best work, I'm not focused, I'm going to go do something else. I'M gonna go walk the dog, will go to Home Depot, I'll go grocery shopping and then I'll come back at I'll work and then at nine o'clock at night I might be doing my when I do feel creative and I do feel like I'm ready to do that thing, then I'll do it then. And so it's not about restricting yourself into these tiny little pockets. Right. It's about doing the work when it's the right time and then turn that again at the a faucet. When is a faucet on? When is it off, and knowing when to do that. Very good, Chris. In for my listeners who may not be working getting into the workforce, or they may have a job that they dislike, as you did when you were just after September eleventh, to just prior what advice would you give to them into being a productive work member, employee and enjoying their work in their journey? Well, if you don't like your job, you needed to figure out why. Is it because you have a bad boss? Is it because you don't like the work that you're doing? Is it you know, you know, if you ask me to do like accounting all day, you would be killing my soul, like, I'm just not that's not my jam. Okay, and other people love accounting and like that. That's what they would love to do. That's great, but if you're not doing work that makes you happy, well, that's another problem, right. And if you're not happy at work and you're not happy at home and maybe you're just not happy, maybe we need to deal with that problem. Maybe you have a another issue right that's around the mental health component. And so you need to figure out what what? What is of those three possible things? What's really going on? I can't help you with with the other part. You need to go see a therapist or talk to someone and deal with that. If you think it. Maybe you're just unhappy in general, but if you're unhappy with the kind of work you're doing, then I think you need to invest into getting training and at your education or finding mentors and finding ways to expand your the works that you can eventually maybe go find a new job that will help you. You can elevate, you can kind of graduate. So keep the job you have, pay the bills, but find a way to get yourself what you need to eventually improve that situation. You know, there are times we have a mortgage, we've got kids and we may have to do a job we don't like, but because we got to put food on the table. But doesn't mean you can't be working towards a goal a little bit at a time. If you have a bad boss, this is red alert time. You need to be doing everything you can to get another job as soon as possible, because that person is killing you. That person is a cancer and...

...you need to not put up with a terrible boss any longer than you have to. I don't suggest you quitting if you don't have the financial means to quit, but you need to be doing everything you can, even looking applying for jobs on your phone while you're working. You can get away with it, doing whatever you can do to get out of that job, because I'll tell you the few times that I've had really bad bosses and I finally left like the world just opened up. It was like the colors got brighter and it was like an elephant had been stepping on my chest, you know, and I didn't realize how bad it was until I got away from it. So I would say if you got a bad boss, get you got to get that fixed quick yeah, those are all great pieces of advice. Chris. Is there anything else you'd like to add? I have a couple more simple questions for you. But how can people reach you and if you would like to add anything else, just off the top of you. So I'm about to launch a remote leadership course. So if you are someone who is a leader and has to lead people remotely, whether that's temporarily or long term, I have an entire course or about to launch. So if you want more information, find me on Chris trecom. If you want to connect with me on Linkedin, happy to have you do that or on any other social platform you can find me. Or if you're interested in background checks or drug testing and things like that, you can find me at people GTWOCOM and you. So, however people want to connect, I'm happy to do so. Looking forward to your book that's coming out to that's dire dye are and Chris. A couple more simple questions. How do you rest? What do you do to you when you're you know, I guess that's a work balance, work life balance, but when you're not doing specifically your your work. Yeah, what are things that you enjoy doing too? I cook or I travel. I feel like I'm resting even though I'm not resting. So the actual act of sitting there and doing nothing is doesn't is actually not resting for me. I maybe physically resting or not mentally resting. For me it's cooking or it's travels. I like to learn new things, get new experiences, meet New People. The pandemic is killing US extroverts, slowly but surely. But you know, like for me, I get energy around being around people, so that that actually helps me recenter by being an environment where I can be an extrovert and be my allowed and annoying self. So, Chris, thinking back of the lemonade stand shaking your company for some change and thinking about how your grandfather has influenced you and helped you along the way and starting your own business, how can you say to encourage others that work has helped you through your life or as help shape your character? I think the people that I have met in the people that I have sought out and the people that I was the fortunate enough to be born into into the family right have had the biggest impact into what you're asking me. Right, my work and itself. I think we're all choices and what direction I went to or didn't go to, but really feel like it's the people that shaped me. And we hear those silly things like, you know, the be around five successful people and if you're the six you'll be successful to or you're the sum of the people around you and all of that. There's some wisdom to that. I don't know if I totally agree with the extremes of that, but you know, you need to find good people, smart people, people you trust, people that inspire you, people that will push you and tell you the truth and won't sugarcoat things. And I mentioned early on, don't ask for advice, business advice from your friends and family, because will always give you the least risky version because they care about you. Right. You need to get people sugar coated. Yeah, they'll people that will push you, and I mean I have people that will flat out me and nasty sometimes, but don't tell me the truth. I'll go to them for the truth, you know. So you got to go find those people. If if you've had enough, right, if you've hit your level of discomfort. Chris Diyre, one final...

...question. Why do you work? I I love that joy, I think, in what and seeing people succeed. I love the that idea that, you know, somebody who never worked in this industry, who never was a leader, they'd never, you know, thought they would ever lead a team, that they suddenly like I can mentor them and help them and get them to that point where they can do a great job and they can do something they never thought was going to be possible. So I think that's sort of the coach in me. You know that I really loved coaching because I could help someone who never thought they could, you know, swim forty laps in an inner race, or whatever like, because they just need to learn the techniques and to learn things they didn't know and they could end up being great at it. and seeing other people succeed in that way, I think, has really, really been a part of what makes me happy, Chris dire thank you very much, kind sir, and I look forward to your book coming out and the one that you have now, the power of company culture, and I appreciate your time. Thank you so much for having me on the show, Brian. Thank you for listening to this episode of why we work with Brian v be sure to subscribe, follow and share with others so they too can be encouraged into their work. I hope that you have yourself a productive, be a joyful day in your work.

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