HireMyVA Podcast

HireMyVA Podcast 48- How vulnerable should I be?

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Dave Braun
00:00:00
Welcome everyone, to the HireMyVA Team and Business Building podcast, where we help you to reclaim your freedom through hiring and thriving with Virtual assistants without breaking the bank. Without breaking your bank. And I’m Dave Braun, I’m here with my partner, my best buddy, Larry Broughton. Larry, how are you this evening?

Larry Broughton
00:00:19
Things are going swimmingly here this evening. Thank you. It’s good to see you, David. How are you?

Dave Braun
00:00:26
Yeah. I’m doing fantastic. Just after this one, Sharon and I are gonna have a great enjoyable Sunday evening, really exciting, cooking omelets and just hanging out together.

Larry Broughton
00:00:38
Cooking omelets? Awesome.

Dave Braun
00:00:41
Oh yeah, we do good ones. Well, speaking of cooking, let’s do a little bit of cooking on this podcast here. Are you ready?

Larry Broughton
00:00:49
All right. Good. Cooking with gas. Let’s hear it.

Dave Braun
00:00:52
All right. So we’ve got a question about how much do we share our fears and stuff, but I think there’s a recent fly flashpoint that came out this week in our email. That’s something that, one of your great books that you put together to give people like a quick tip, inspiration in multiple areas, but it’s a great book and that this flashpoint talks about fear a little bit. And really it’s related to this question, is of how much of my fears and issues, do I share with my team as the leader? In other words, how vulnerable should I be with my team? And Larry, is it all right if I just read that flashpoint real quick, it won’t take long.

Larry Broughton
00:01:38
That’s probably the best way to start this. Starts with a quote, folks. So let’s start there.

Dave Braun
00:01:44
Yeah. Here’s the quote from Robert L. Stevenson. He says—

Larry Broughton
00:01:48
Louis. Robert Louis Stevenson. That’s the L. But yes.

Dave Braun
00:01:52
Oh, okay.

Larry Broughton
00:01:54
That Robert L. Stevenson.

Dave Braun
00:01:55
Oh yeah, he is before my time, I guess

Larry Broughton
00:01:59
Go ahead.

Dave Braun
00:02:00
All right. Well, Robert Stevenson says, keep your fears to yourself, but share your inspiration with others. And—

Larry Broughton
00:02:09
I object!

Dave Braun
00:02:10
That’s right. We object. So here’s what the flashpoint says, it says, quoting someone and then disagreeing with them is not something done often, but there are times when it’s needed. Part of being a great leader is leading by example. Forging through obstacles by determined actions, thoughts, and willpower. And when we admit our fears and continue succeeding in spite of them, that exemplifies great leadership because then we’re teaching others to do the same and sending the message that no matter what our fears are, we won’t let them control us. Instead, we will use them for the greater good. So while it’s good to share our inspiration, true inspiration comes from sharing our fears and our courage to succeed through them. Now, here it is again. So while it’s good to share our inspiration, true inspiration comes from sharing our fears and our courage to succeed through them. Now we end the flashpoint with a question, what fears on your journey are you going to share that will inspire others? And so this is related — the question is how much do we really share with our team about the fee years on our journey?

Larry Broughton
00:03:21
Well, Dave. Let me jump in here. If you don’t mind. I think, first of all, this is kind of a paradigm shift from old school management to when there was definitely a hierarchy in organizations. And there are some people who have always led from the point, like, don’t let any of your subordinates see any of your weaknesses. You know, you’ve always gotta be strong. You’re always putting on a strong face. There’s some truth to that. But the leadership that I’ve seen, that’s been most effective in my life, both in the military and in the business community is when we are relatable, the people that we are leading, that are in our charge. Now, granted, just because you’re afraid or you’re fearful doesn’t mean that you, as a good lead leader become paralyzed. There’s a big difference.

Dave Braun
00:04:25
Right.

Larry Broughton
00:04:28
But oftentimes we’ve learned, we are most inspired by people who say, yeah, I’ve been in the same boat that you’re in right now. I’ve been afraid or I’ve gone through a divorce or I’ve had a bankruptcy, my business has failed, but here’s what I did to move through that. You know, I think it’s pretty old school. Like, keep your fears to yourself. Now, he may not have been absolutely literal about that. However, I do know people who’s like, never show your weaknesses. It’s like, that’s a hard way to live.

Dave Braun
00:05:00
Never let them see you sweat, right? That’s another—

Larry Broughton
00:05:02
Never let them see the cold national marketing campaign.

Dave Braun
00:05:05
Was that for deodorant or something?

Larry Broughton
00:05:07
It was deodorant, yes, or antiperspirant. So it’s a little bit of a paradigm shift. The most effective transformational leaders that I have seen now in life, who really inspire their team members to fight through the difficult times are those that are willing to show a little bit of vulnerability. So the question then is how vulnerable do you get?

Dave Braun
00:05:32
Yeah.

Larry Broughton
00:05:32
Right. That’s really the question in today’s age. Like we’re recording this in 2021. I do believe that team member, employees, whatever term you use in your organization, this is gonna shock you. Are you ready? They know you’re human.

Dave Braun
00:05:52
Really?

Larry Broughton
00:05:53
Shocking. Right? Well, I still hear this though. People say, oh, what you’ve done is so unattainable. I can’t relate to you. We’re so different. No, we’re all the same. We really are. Shocking that might be. But how vulnerable do you get? We can give some examples, but I would just say this to start the conversation off Dave. There will be some people in your business environment that’s close to you that you’re gonna be more vulnerable, more transparent with than the people that are further out in the organization. So that doesn’t mean, if your marriage is just now crashing down and you found out that your significant other or your spouse is cheating on you, you don’t do go to a company, state of the company address, and express your vulnerability there. That’s not appropriate but if you have a business partner and it’s gonna impact your performance and you’re going behind closed doors. Yeah, maybe that’s something that you share there. You don’t go to a business development meeting with a potential new client and break down crying because your spouse just cheated on you. That’s probably not appropriate.

Dave Braun
00:07:04
Right.

Larry Broughton
00:07:06
Right. So, that’s my preamble. Long preamble. What are your thoughts on this?

Dave Braun
00:07:13
Yeah, I think you’re right. You’re breaking it down into depending upon the circle of people that you’re talking to. Right? You know, within your company, it might be your board of advisors or it could be your business partner. It could even be your most trusted admin or a couple of folks that have been on your team through thick and thin, that have stayed with you for years. And so the more vulnerable you are with them will not necessarily show weakness, it’ll show strength. And chances are, they will understand and wanna help you go through this stuff, whatever it is, and will maybe give you some suggestions on how to do it. And you never know, they may say, oh, you know, well, my friend over this other company just went through that, and here’s what they did.

Dave Braun
00:08:04
So they could give you some ideas and stuff. But like you said, is if there are some folks in your team that you’re not that close to, you wanna be very careful because you don’t want them to lose confidence in the company or you. And so I think in those cases, you can go ahead and share certain things, but I think you’ve gotta have some kind of a plan in your mind going forward. It’s like, Hey guys, it sucks right now for whatever reason, but here are all the steps that we’re gonna be taken to get us out of that.

Larry Broughton
00:08:42
Yeah. Well, a lot of that has to do with context. I think that’s where we’re going on this. Right? And since this is HireMyVA, yes, we want you to gain and capture more freedom in your life. Really, this is based on building a team and business though. And so one of the things besides that are like, a tragedy that might happen in someone’s personal life that they bring to work. Sometimes there’s like mistakes. Sometimes the best thing that we can do to train our team members, to build loyalty, to us, to have more empathy for the consumer is for us or our client is to say, Hey, you know what, I’ve been there too. I’ve made mistakes too. And here’s the mistake that I made. How are we gonna learn from that? It’s the whole being relatable and the personal experience of overcoming it. Dave, you are in the corporate arena for a while and you’re running your great website design business. You might have an example or two, or you wanna share with us from either of those experiences.

Dave Braun
00:09:44
Yeah. There’s one particular experience. We’ve had a client with an e-commerce site, for example, and we have a particular process, but you know, it wasn’t as clear in my mind on how to execute it. And I did not keep the client bounded within that process as well as I should have. And so I was like, I admit it to the team and said, here’s where I fell short. You know, do you guys have any ideas on how do we get this back on track. And so, it’s like, I recognize where things went wrong and it’s like, here’s the plan for the future, but guys let’s get together. How do we get this back on track? And so that helps them feel like they’re invested in the business. They see a vulnerable side of me. They know that when they screw up, they can come to me as well and hopefully get some advice. So it really has built—you know, we don’t want to mess up in our businesses, but at least if that happens, we can use it to build a little bit more team cohesion.

Larry Broughton
01:10:53
Yeah. That’s a good one.

Dave Braun
01:10:56
There is—

Larry Broughton
01:10:57
What you’re doing here is teaching us a lesson in there. But also, I think it builds cohesion, but it also gives other of your team members a sense of ownership that you’re not just coming in and dictating how things must be done. You said, Hey, what are we doing—My daughter’s calling me.

Dave Braun
01:11:20
Oh, Go for it, answer it. We’ll pause it.

Larry Broughton
01:11:24
All right. Hold on.

Dave Braun
01:11:27
All right. Well hopefully this is cut out, but if not, that’s what happens in life with the kids they call you and Larry, you know, our family—

Larry Broughton
01:11:39
I take the calls from my kids. Sorry. That’s one of my non-negotiables. I’m sorry.

Dave Braun
01:11:43
Yeah, I agree. So if you guys listen to this, we apologize, but too bad.

Larry Broughton
01:11:49
Yeah. Yeah.

Dave Braun
01:11:51
All right. So we were talking about some of the examples, like from my corporate world about when leaders— well, when I’ve been vulnerable and when other leaders have, and there’s another example, I think we were talking about in the pre-show about, I remember being in a quarterly review and the CEO, that like, the first slide that said, here’s our outlook for the next quarter. And it was a video of fog streaming across the street. And he is like, we have no idea what’s coming forward. And I was like, that didn’t instill any confidence for sure. But I can’t remember if, you know how much they talked about, well, here are the plans. But you know, if that is the case, if you don’t know where you’re going forward, you at least should come to your team with a plan and say, here’s what I’m thinking, guys. This is what’s going on in the business, in the industry. How do we make sure that we get clarity or what do you guys feel is the best thing that we should do moving forward?

Larry Broughton
01:12:58
Yeah. That’s good.

Dave Braun
01:12:59
And we talked about, there are times when that kind of a statement, we don’t know where we’re going, kind of makes sense given we’re just kind of coming out of the pandemic. Right?

Larry Broughton
01:13:11
But?

Dave Braun
01:13:13
But I mean, there still has to be some thoughts about, well, what are we gonna do? What opportunities are because no matter how bad it gets there are always opportunities, right? There’s always—

Larry Broughton
01:13:22
For sure! Well, our team members can see through, like if the industry is crashing down around you or the economy is crashing down around you, your team members gonna be scratching their head if you come in and insult Pollyanna then it’s all sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows. So I do think it’s the responsibility of us as business owners, CEOs, and entrepreneurs, to state the reality. But you don’t just say, Hey, business really sucks right now, okay, meeting dismissed. No, or you’re all dismissed.

Dave Braun
01:13:57
Yeah. Why are you telling them to do that? It’s like, you guys better find another job.

Larry Broughton
01:14:01
Right. So what you have to do though is then say, here’s what the plan is or, Hey, let’s brainstorm this together so that we are all on the same page, but that’s scary to do. It’s scary to do it sometimes. There’s nothing wrong with saying that.

Dave Braun
01:14:15
Yeah. And one of the things that I think that I found out watching you over the years being vulnerable is when you are being vulnerable with people, it’s not where you’re coming down to their level. When you’re vulnerable, you’re bringing them up to your level, I think. You know and that’s always a good thing to do with your team.

Larry Broughton
01:14:40
I think it is. But the key here is I don’t just share tragedies in my life just for the sake of sharing them. There’s appropriate time and context. It’s in the process of telling the story. And like any good storyteller, there’s an emotional arc in it. What’s the moral to this? Why am I sharing this with you? You know I just walk into a meeting with our team members to talk about how both my parents died within 48 hours of each other. Like where are we going with this? You know.

Dave Braun
01:15:17
Yeah.

Larry Broughton
01:15:18
So there’s gotta be context.

Dave Braun
01:15:22
Yeah. And it was interesting. That’s an interesting example. I remember when our cat died not too long ago, I told the team that, it’s like, yeah, you know, that is affecting me a little bit. So that they understood, but they knew that it was only a temporary thing. And the context, Larry, is that we on our team meetings being Virtual and everything, I’ll take the cat and show the cat or the cat would walk across my desk. So we’d see each other’s animals. So that was a good context because they knew—

Larry Broughton
01:16:00
That’s absolutely right.

Dave Braun
01:16:01
Yeah. So, I like your point about keeping it to where you understand the context. Yeah. And what the cool thing is, guess what? If you have something going on in your business or your life and you don’t know whether or not to share it. And of course, I’m assuming you’re part of our community, ask the question in the community. Get some advice.

Larry Broughton
01:16:24
That’s a good point.

Dave Braun
01:16:26
All right. Well, anything else sir, on this?

Larry Broughton
01:16:28
Just remind people that the flashpoint that we mentioned today is part of this book that Dave and I put together seven years ago now. Is that right?

Dave Braun
01:16:37
Yes.

Larry Broughton
01:16:39
But there is a flashpoint. That’s about 130 words, one for each day of the year. And we give you an opportunity to read this thing. We, encourage people to make it part of their morning routine, about 130 words and read it in just a couple of minutes. And then it asks what are your thoughts on today’s flashpoint. And then we ask you to actually articulate or write down what are your intentions and action steps for the day and what you’re grateful for in your life. So, it’s a really quick part of people’s morning routine. It’s a bestseller. You can go to store.yoogozi.com If you wanna pick one up there or you can go to Amazon if you wanna overnight it from your Amazon Prime account. But we’ve had large organizations, both nonprofit institutes, as well as Fortune 50 Companies who’ve used this book as part of their morning standup meeting. It’s a great book.

Dave Braun
01:17:37
It is. If we do say, so ourselves.

Larry Broughton
01:17:40
Yeah. If we do say, so ourselves. So David, thank you. This was the first project that Dave and I worked on together professionally. Dave, this never would’ve gotten across the finish line if you did not jump in and said, Hey, let me help you.

Dave Braun
01:17:51
Well, it was an honor. It was fun. And I’m still going through those almost every day now, seven years later. Because they’re timeless. They really are.

Larry Broughton
01:17:59
Yep.

Dave Braun
01:18:00
All right folks. Well, Larry let’s bring this to a close, and folks, thanks for joining us, being here with us, and helping us tackle this tough subject today. And the reason why we bring these up and have this podcast is because we believe that building a team is the way to reclaim your freedom. That’s why we’re doing this and we wanna help you guys. So we want you to help us now a little bit. So we’d love you to do three things right now. Number one, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already done so. And number two, give us a rating. And then number three, go to Hiremyva.com for more information on our course and community and other products and services that we got. And so remember, even if you don’t have any experience, you’ll learn how to prepare for hire and thrive with Virtual Assistants. Larry and I have helped a lot of folks and we’d love to help you too. So just go to Hiremyva.com for more information.

Larry Broughton
01:18:53
That’s right. And do yourself a favor. Do the world a favor. Go do something significant today. All right. God bless you. God hold you. God keep you. All right, my friends. Go get ’em. We’ll see you later.

Dave Braun
01:19:06
Bye. Everybody.

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