Wendy Hanson 0:24
Welcome, everybody. Welcome to the BetterManager podcast. So great to have you here. As you know, we talk about leadership all the time. And there are so many different challenges with leaders these days, and how teams are so different. And today, we have a different perspective, I love us to be able to learn from people who have been doing it out in the field. So I'm going to introduce our guests today, Danny Hadas, He's the number one best selling author, leadership coach, former adviser to the world's most iconic brands, since 2008. His work has impacted millions of people across 500 plus companies worldwide, including Disney, BMW, and AT and T as the founder of E motivation project, Danny coaches, business owners and organizational leaders to be minimalist leaders, which empowers them to double their team's performance without doubling their effort. Well, I think we could all use that right now. So welcome, Danny, it's great to have you on the show.
Danny Hadas 1:30
Great to be here. Thanks for having me.
Wendy Hanson 1:32
Yes, I knew you before and saw you in all these capacities. And you were amazing. So I'm glad that we've reconnected so that you're able to share your wisdom and what you're up to these days.
Danny Hadas 1:44
Me too. Thanks for the opportunity.
Wendy Hanson 1:46
So Danny, what do you see as some of the major leadership challenges right now, as we frame this conversation today?
Danny Hadas 1:55
Yeah, you know, and it's it's so interesting, because I think leadership challenges today are in the spotlight more than they've ever been, because of the great resignation. People are leaving workplaces left and right. And leaders are left wondering why. But you know, many of the things that is that today's challenges is the same challenge that existed before. But now we're all under the microscope. We're really all in a microscope. So challenge number one is that leaders have been taught that they've got to remove obstacles for their team. That in itself is not a problem. But the way we go about it is the problem. You know that it can tell you everything I'm talking about? So when have you ever worked with anyone who feels like to remove their team's obstacles? They've got to go solve all their problems for them?
Wendy Hanson 2:43
Oh, yes. And they need to get to be a very bad habit that they can't drop. Let me go fix that for you. Right. And
Danny Hadas 2:49
so So you already know, it's bad habit. So what happens, but that bad habit, they've got to fix all the problems. So what happens to their own workload?
Wendy Hanson 2:58
They never get anything done, because they never get
Danny Hadas 3:00
it done. Like never get it done. They're frustrated? Yes. And they're frustrated, and they actually start to resent their team. And So challenge number one is leaders have been taught to remove obstacles from their team. And the way to go about it is, oh, you have a question. Let me go run it up the chain for you, oh, you can't do this. We'll fix that for you. Oh, you don't know how, let me go do it. Instead, I'll just do it myself. And there is no, that's not actually leadership that's actually doing things for other people. That's more certain. It's more like servitude than leadership. And real leadership requires that we empower people. But so that's challenge number one. That's challenge number one. Challenge number two, is we have this fear of micromanaging people. So instead of having someone do something, you know, and challenge number one, we remove obstacles for them. We do it ourselves. But, you know, if we if we want someone to do something, say, Well, I don't want to I want to be seen as a micromanager. So you know what that looks like. And Wendy, let me know if this sounds familiar. You bring someone off the team, you explain their role, and then you set them off to go do it. Yeah. Right.
Wendy Hanson 4:02
Sometimes you send them off to go do it. They're not clear on what it is. And then they come back in three or four weeks, and they were totally on the wrong road.
Danny Hadas 4:10
Well, and you've personally experienced that night was in the Yes, I remember he walked Yes, exactly. So so we don't want to micromanage people. And so yeah, we explained what they have to do and then we send them off his head when you have questions. Come check in with me. And then they never check in with me never check in with you and so all you can do is sit on your hands wandering. They actually know what they're supposed to be doing. I have no idea I told him they could check in with me but they're not checking with me. So what's going on? And I call that set it and forget it leadership you know when I was growing up, I I watched the infamous commercials about the Ronk rotisserie oven. And the host always said just set it and forget it and the thing is a lot of us lead that way. When did we set it and forget hey, here's your role. I'm not gonna micromanage you go off and do it but then there's no check in there's no active met method of making sure people know what they're supposed to be doing, that they don't have questions that they're actually doing what they ought to be doing. So set and forget, it's another major challenge, because
Wendy Hanson 5:08
we're so afraid of micromanaging. And if I'm a manager, and I report to you, Danny, and I think that the way that you presented this project to me that I should know what I'm doing, I'm not going to ask you questions, because I don't, they might, you might think I don't know what I'm doing, rather than the manager when rather than the leader taking, like, Let's check back in a week when you've just drafted something out so that we're on the right path. And then lets, you know, we do a lot of work with content, you know, for our coaches to share with folks. And that's a big thing is how to delegate the right way and be able to make that work.
Danny Hadas 5:46
Well, that that actually brings me to what I call challenge number three, which is knowing how to hold people accountable while empowering them. And really what I mean by that, Wendy is I don't know that, as leaders, a lot of us do complete work. So you kind of mentioned that just before you kind of referenced it. You've talked about circling back with them timeframe. So if I assign you something and say, Hey, go get this done. I might say, well, when when can you have it done? And you might tell me. And that's where we leave things off. We leave things off by assigning a deadline. And that's it. But there's something missing from that communication. There's something missing. And what's missing is, how will I know when you've actually done what you said you would do? And what ends up happening is, you know, when do you sign me something I say, I'll get it done in a week. A week goes by I haven't done it. I didn't send you an email saying I didn't do it two weeks later, like, Hey, what did you get that thing done that I asked you about two weeks ago? Now? Oh, shoot, and now everyone's running around trying to figure it out? What's missing from leadership today? What's been missing for a long time? We don't do complete work, which is to say, hey, so here's the thing I need you to do. When do you think you'd actually do it? Oh, you can do it in a week. Great. How will I know it's done? Oh, well, I'll email you. I'll call you I'll text you. I'll slack you I'll Microsoft Teams, you whatever it is. Okay. So at this time, at this day, you will let me know that this thing is done. Yes, yes. Now you have a complete agreement. And now as the leader, I can actually put something on my calendar and say did when II check in with me when she said she wouldn't she doesn't I can circle back, but otherwise just kind of left up in the air. And I think as managers as leaders, there are so many things we leave up in the air, waiting to see if it got done. We're waiting to see if it got done. We're not actively checking in to see, did this get done? And instead of its minimum leadership, right? So minimum leadership means that I've let someone else tell me what is going to be done. And then I have them telling me when it's done, instead of me checking in on them. Yeah. So that's, that's how you make that happen. But instead, what we've got when and I think you probably see this a lot with your your clients is there's no accountability. There's no buy when there's no How will you let me know, as leaves things up in the air?
Wendy Hanson 7:53
Right. And that that's the minimalist work on the part of the individual that's doing it, they're not doing their their job. So minimalist leadership really needs to make sure that they're bringing all these pieces together and putting the responsibility on someone else instead of taking it all in. Yes. And just think I think we just saved about five hours in a week. When I really keep track of it that way. I think that was just a good time saver also. Yeah, median time.
Danny Hadas 8:28
Good. Good. And so that's I want to talk about empowerment real quick. So what that is, so let's just break it down from that one example, we talked about just there, Wendy, assigning someone a piece of work. So often as leaders, we actually say, well do this thing I needed done by x. Time. Well, right there, there's no empowerment, you're just deciding something. So the smallest way to empower someone is actually give them an opportunity to tell you when they can have something done by and why would you do that? You do that? Because now it's created by the person who's been assigned the task. They're actually thinking inside their mind. Okay, when can I get this done? With everything I've got going on? When can I actually put a structure in place to achieve this thing by this date? That's empowerment, you're making them think for themselves? That's empowerment. And then when you say, how will you let me know it's complete? That's also empowerment. Now they're thinking, oh, what structure? What management structure you can't see me? I'm Eric quoting, what management structure Am I putting in place for myself? So that my supervisor, my manager, my leader knows this thing is complete. Again, that's another form of empowerment. And then the last thing, the last thing is to let somebody know, hey, the moment you realize you can't get something done. When you said you could, the moment you have a question, let me know. That's also a power but you've given them an outlet to now be perfect.
Wendy Hanson 9:44
And there may be those times that then you can remove some barriers or you can give them some extra support, rather than as you alluded to before, at the last moment, when you're about to need whatever they were creating. There's a fire drill because it isn't there. Yeah,
Danny Hadas 10:00
yeah, yeah. So So anyway, let's talk about that removing obstacles for their team. So that we can do this a number of ways, because this is, you know, we're just have a conversation, but how do you how do you coach people to remove obstacles for their team? What do you say?
Wendy Hanson 10:13
So if I'm working with someone on a project, like I'm working on a content project right now, a program that we're developing, so an obstacle may be that the person doesn't have somebody with the writing skills to write an extended learning program. So it's like, let me let me give you some additional resources that you can check in and use. So an obstacle was that they just can't do the whole thing. But they don't know where the support mechanisms are. So that's one thing I would do. That's something I did today.
Danny Hadas 10:43
Yeah, you gave them additional resources. Cool. So the way I had a little most leadership, and again, the entire intention of minimalist leadership is to actually develop your team to be a team of leaders instead of a team of doers. So let's say it was the same situation and you were the person trying to get the content you didn't know where to go, the first question I'd ask is, okay, so you don't know where to go? Where do you think you should go? Walk me through your thoughts there? What just think out loud with me? Where do you think he's going? And actually let them think through? Because so often, we've trained our people to stop at the question. Well, I have a question. Let me go ask my manager, I'm gonna ask my supervisor. And then we as managers, and supervisors can be really great and resourceful. We give them the answer. But you spent a lifetime
Wendy Hanson 11:25
using your coaching skills, because that's the best thing to do is to start, you know, what is it that you need to do asking what questions that people will think? And then they'll say, Oh, that's a good question. You know, that means you really gotten them to think,
Danny Hadas 11:40
exactly. And so when I coached by my clients to remove obstacles for their teammates, always turn it back on them. Hey, so this isn't going as well as you'd like it to or you don't know how to do this thing? What do you cocci? What do you see to do about that, and then as the, as the managers, the supervisor is playing the role of coach in that circumstance, you get to keep them here, like the bumper rails on a bowling alley, you make sure they don't go off into the gutter. That's it. That's it. But otherwise, you let them solve their own problems. Because if you don't, they will never develop in their own leadership. And they'll always be a doer. And they'll never be a leader, which gives you makes you stuck being a gopher, right? And we start with
Wendy Hanson 12:17
a person to fish. And they'll fish for a lifetime. Give him a fish, and they'll have dinner.
Danny Hadas 12:22
Exactly, exactly. That's the same same concept. So those are the those are the challenges I see with leadership is how to remove obstacles, the set it and forget it mentality, because we're afraid of micromanaging. And this which, you know, this notion of autonomy without guidance, go ahead. And do you think I'm not going to check in with you and then a lack of complete work? You know, not talking about, well, how will I know this thing is complete, and you tell me when it will be done? So those are the challenges I see.
Wendy Hanson 12:49
Yeah, that makes so much sense. Now, Danny, you are leading a multimillion dollar consulting projects for some of the those recognizable brands I talked about earlier, before you went out on your own. Why didn't you go out to do your own thing, that you had a pretty good gig there, what made you go on your own,
Danny Hadas 13:08
I had a great gig there. I had a great gig there. But honestly, Wendy, my life was about work. And I worked anyway, you know, 60 hours was a real was a real treat. But as usually 70 out, you know, 70 hours plus, and it was driving me nuts. But the other thing, besides the lifestyle was the impact, the impact. And so while I have tremendous respect, and gratitude for all the opportunities, I had to serve those, you know, recognizable brands, often I find, and you know, this is not an indictment of consulting. But this is a truth for me that I found to be true. The promises we make are not kept completely, which is really to say that promises aren't kept. So we'll promise to deliver X. And we'll get really, really close, in fact, do all the work you would take to deliver X, but X is never achieved. And whether it was a piece of software, or a process transformation or people transformation, we never actually could go all the way and realize the promise that we made in terms of transforming organizations way of working or transforming their results or transforming their standing in the marketplace. And that got really tired. I wanted to be part of something where I can make a promise to someone say hey, by working with me, you will achieve whatever it is you want to achieve and then actually having that happen. That's that's important to me. And now and that's a dream for me making other people's dreams come true. And that is what I get to do now do my own thing and that's really why I started my own thing when you so I could follow my dream was just to make other people's dreams come true. And keep my promises about that.
Wendy Hanson 14:50
It's so much more satisfying to win you know, you can get to the end of that line that race that project and no yes, it has made a difference. Which in very big organizations, yes is it gets very wishy washy toward the end. And then it goes on so long that things change and the goals change. So that is that is very heart centered, to be able to know that you're being able to change somebody's life. Yes. How do you make those dreams come true with the innovation project? How did you why did you call it the motivation project? Tell me about the etiology of that. Yeah,
Danny Hadas 15:29
it's a made up word. And it's a combination of the words innovation and emotions. And what I say motivation stands for innovation, powered by emotions. And so the work I do is coaching, I coach, business owners, business leaders on how to relate to their teams. And what I like where I stand is that people power profit, it's not three words, it's a noun. It's a sentence rather noun, people, power verb, profit noun, people power, profit, people power performance, people power, your profit. And so a lot of times, I've worked with people who know that deep down, but they're so focused on results, they're so focused on the bottom line, and you forget, who's responsible for producing that bottom line, but it's always going to be your people. And so the work I do is to really get into an organization or get into a team, and elevate the relationship between the people doing the work and the people leading the work. And it always starts the question, well, how do you want your team to feel working with you working at this company working on this team? And very often, the answer is very different from how they actually feel. And so how I make people's dreams come true is I take how they want people to feel, I take how they actually feel today, and I create actions with the person I'm coaching to bridge the gap. It works like clockwork.
Wendy Hanson 17:01
And I'm sure some people asking how do you want your people to feel may feel like a very foreign question. Yeah. So that I commend you for starting that way. Because business is business is all about the people, you can't do things unless you have a wonderful group of people that know what they're doing, that are engaged and feel like they're making a difference, just like you feel like you're making a difference now with the folks that you, you coach and can really change turn the business around, how what's the what's the average size of the companies you work with, then
Danny Hadas 17:37
I work with companies that have at least 10 employees and at least $5,000 in revenue. But I've worked with companies that are over 50 employees, and over 6 million in revenue. And so that's, that's what I do. Now. That's what I mean, by small business, I used to work in the biggest businesses in the world. And I no longer do that. And, you know, I loved that. I loved that work. And it's just not what I do any any longer. I also will, from time to time work for work with teams and larger organizations that are, you know, 10 plus people and more. But primarily, my work is focused on businesses, with teams of 10, to 50, revenues of 5000. And up, that's primarily where I work today. And the reason is, I find and I know you got a lot of listeners in Silicon Valley and whatnot. But I find that small businesses, there's so much less red tape. And I have to deal with HR and have to deal with all these different decision makers, you get to deal with the people running the business. And so your path influence is much shorter, much quicker and much more effective. It's what I found. And so for that reason, for me, it's really a great way to to make the difference amount to make, and I can almost guarantee my results every time. It's pretty wonderful.
Wendy Hanson 18:49
That's awesome. Yes, yes. Can you share a couple of examples of you know, when you use your coaching and how it has helped a leader with their, with their company with their team? What are some examples that people could relate to? Because in this case, I would assert it doesn't really matter what size the company is, you can take this as somebody that has a department or somebody then has a number of teams. So for those in big companies listening to this, you can still use your techniques, your opportunities for coaching, just in any size company.
Danny Hadas 19:22
Absolutely. And I can't thank you for saying that because I can't stress that and agree more. All of this was developed while working with Fortune 50 fortune 100 brands, and now I've applied it to small business. So it was developed during my 11 year career as a big for management consultant. And now I'm just using it for small business. But my favorite example is a story about a woman named Bridget Pritchard. Bridget owns and operates a counseling business up in Ohio called lamplight counseling services. And when I met Bridget, her revenues were between 506 $100,000 and she had 22 people on our team. Now the number one thing that Bridget was dealing with was growth. Revenue wasn't growing? And she didn't know why. So we we did what I call a situation audit, which to me is the most effective form of employee engagement survey because what I do is I find out from the employees, what's working, what's not working? What would you do if you're running the company? What would you focus on? Is Bridget, someone who you would follow as a leader? Is she someone you like to work with? How does she make you feel? How do you feel working for lamplight? And what we found out is that her employees didn't actually feel like they knew her. Some of them had had never even met her. They hadn't even met her. And that's only 22 people on the team. And so I asked, Bridgette, you know, how, how do you engage with your people? And she said, Well, I send a newsletter every month, and I got a 50% open rate. Okay, so we worked on that. And so with Bridget, we installed minimalist leadership practices, and those four practices that we installed, were one on one meetings, because everyone in your team needs personal tension, they crave it and they need it to grow. Then we installed Yeah, we've stopped team meetings. Because not only in addition to personal attention, everyone on your team wants to feel like they're part of something larger than themselves. And they want to feel a sense of progress in that community. And team meetings have the power to deliver that went on effectively. And then we also had, you know the situation on it, which was the first minimal leadership practice, she can't address what you don't know. And then, of course, everything, these three, those three, minimal stewardship practices are part of my very first minimal leadership practice, which is mindset. And the mindset, of course, is people power profit. And so by coaching her to behave this way, and doing things that really demonstrate that you're leading with your people, this is what we were able to do. In November, Bridget, send me an email, she says, Danny, my counseling business hit seven figures this year, I tripled my take home pay, I have more free time than I've ever had, I moved both of my physical locations into bigger and nicer locations, I'm opening a third location. And I have so much free time, I spent all this time with my family and I have so much free time on my hands. I'm starting a second business, minimalist leadership, maximum results. That is what it looks like. And I say, minimum leadership practices that I teach are so effective, they can literally double your team's performance that doubling your effort. And Bridgette is the poster child for that. And so I'm very grateful for all the work she did. I mean, she showed up, she really showed up during the coaching. And it
Wendy Hanson 22:23
shows. Yeah, that's such an interesting story. It's especially because it was a counseling, therapy practice, that not connecting with your people is it's a really important piece. A lot of what you're talking about, we cover at BetterManager to through the Google project oxygen, we based our 360 or self survey on that, which is all about being a good coach, having team meetings, having one on ones the best practice is to have a one on one every week. And when we've said that to some managers, they're like, we have one every six months. Well, that just doesn't do it. And and now that we're all working remotely, or at least hybrid, it's more important than ever. So I think all of the practices that you've talked about have to get turned up even more if managers haven't realized it.
Danny Hadas 23:14
Yeah, and the one thing about that when these I've had a lot of clients say, Well, I currently with my team, my people once a week, and my team is growing that I don't have a time. And so while I definitely respect the advice and counsel to meet with people once a week, sometimes I find it better and when I recommend people meet with their their team, once a month. And for that's because if you're not, if you're not working together on the same, block size is irrelevant, working together once a month on your goals on what's working, what's not working really allows things to matriculate change over a 30 day period. A lot of people complain over the course the week, nothing's changing. It feels like we're not meeting about anything. It's I've given people a little more time to make things happen. Because one of the tenants of the 30 meeting every 30 days that I talk about, is that you ended with this question, what do you want to accomplish between now and the next time we meet? And of course that can happen on a weekly basis. But over the course of 30 days, those goals become a bit Meteor and a bit more involved. But yeah, I mean, one on one meetings are crucial to employee engagement, to loyalty to progress to experience and definitely have all my clients but those are
Wendy Hanson 24:27
Yes, and I agree that companies need to figure out what their cadence is, that's gonna work, you know, and some once a week is way too much and, and so they might do every two weeks or they might do monthly, but that piece of having people feel part of the success of a company and the community you can't do that if you don't reach out and and hear from people, you know, how can i What's what's going on? I always use the example that if I didn't know that you had a young baby and you were coming into work and like getting on Zoom then your eyes would have closed, I might make an assumption that something was wrong, you know that you weren't happy at work. And meanwhile, your baby was keeping you up all night. And that's why your eyes were half closed. And, and if I had no idea what was going on, or all of a sudden you had an absence, you know that you were going to be gone for a week, and there was no explanation. I don't know you're caring for an elderly parent. So when we've talked about those kinds of things with with folks, they're like, Well, that's very personal, you know? Well, to have to be a manager and do it right. You need to be somewhat personal, you need to know we asked like, Do you know the names of your co workers of your team members, immediate family, or somebody that they're connected with? And if you don't know that, it really can, you know, you're you're missing part of the picture.
Danny Hadas 25:48
Couldn't agree more. I think that and I think this is one of the one of the things is bubbling up at the great resignation is people are treated as workers not treated as people. And no one's be treated as a worker, everyone wants to be known as who they are, they have an identity, they have things they're proud of, they have things they care about outside of work. And when we can integrate that in a responsible way, it can actually make the working experience far richer, and far more fulfilling, because we can you know, when you start to develop a sense of community, and it you can't, you can't have community if you don't know about your people. Right, and it's going beyond goes beyond what you're really good at. Building Excel worksheets, are you really good at working with clients? You're really good at project plans? It's, that's not that's very surface information about someone that you're working with? I always have my clients find out from their employees, what are their dreams? What do they want to accomplish in their lives? What do they want to be? And that opens the door for so many things. And I really feel like like you said, it's so important to get to know the people we work with, if we're a leader beyond the work we're doing. Because that's, that's what makes you set stand out from being just the workplace to be in community and people will leave the workplace, it's much harder to want to leave a community that you feel part of very easily the workplace. Right?
Wendy Hanson 27:11
We know that old expression that people leave managers, not companies. So if you're not connected with your manager, yeah, it's and somebody else gives you a better deal, which is the great resignation, what's happening around around the world right now. You're going to, you're going to really miss out. So Danny, if Pete folks are listening, give me like three of the top points that you want them to walk away with? What are they going to take away from this that we want to leave them with these thoughts?
Danny Hadas 27:42
I want people listening to leave with these thoughts first. If you're a leader or manager, how can you use minimalist leadership practices to really make your team more effective, while freeing you up? And so the first question you need to ask yourself, that's what's not going as well as I'd like it to as a leader, what's not going as well as I'd like it to, to? I want them to leave with? What are you getting out of your one on ones today? What are you learning? What do you know? And what's happening between the one on one and the next one on one? As the answer is not much? Probably not doing it right. Now, and the third thing is, when was the last time you found out from your team in an anonymous way? What's working about your role your experience here with the company with this team with me? And what's not working? And what would you do about that? Why am I the kind of leader you'd like to follow? When was the last time you anonymously found that out from everyone in your team? And if the answer is well, we have employee engagement surveys. Well, I'm gonna talk about employee engagement surveys, and I'm talking about those questions. And what can you do to ask them don't assume that everyone loves working with you because you're the manager, the leader, find out and then find out what you can do to really become the leader that people want you to be or that they rather they need you to be. So I think those three things
Wendy Hanson 29:09
Yeah, that's great. So Danny, if people want to engage with you learn more about this project. What's the best way for them to find you?
Danny Hadas 29:20
The websites that I have for my business EmovationProject.com
Wendy Hanson 29:27
We'll have them in show notes.
Danny Hadas 29:34
Wendy Hanson 29:48
They can check you out. Well, it has been so nice to reconnect and learn what you're up to and that you took all the lessons from these bigger companies and you made it minimalist so that people know these are the things Is that our most important that I do? And if I do these, wow, people oriented, my business will get better. But I focus on my people. So thank you, Danny, so much for being with me today and sharing your wisdom.
Danny Hadas 30:12
Well, thank you for having me. It was great to be here.
Wendy Hanson 30:15
Thank you everybody. You'll have the information in the show notes and look forward to seeing you again soon.