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‎Eyes Up Mindset Podcast – Help Other People Win

February 21, 2023

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Podcast Transcript

Jamie Wagner:

Welcome back to another episode of the Eyes Up Mindset podcast. I am your host, Jamie Wagner. Always great to be with you all. I’ve been excited to get these episodes to you guys as there’s been little delays and stuff in, in the rollout of some of these things. I just had, I’ve had a couple in the same weeks and not in those intermittent weeks. And so gotten to have a lot of great conversations with a lot of really cool people recently. And the episode today is maybe top of that list. This episode is a conversation with Jay Scott, founder and CEO of 120VC, which is, uh, a company about transformative leadership, um, transformational leadership. Uh, we’ve talked on this program about transactional versus transformational and what that means to be a transformational leader. And I think he talks about this idea of just helping people win, get them to their win.

Jamie Wagner:

And that can be a tremendously powerful tool for you as the leader, as we want to get to the expected and desired result. We, that’s the goal for all of us. How do we help other people do that? That actually helps us do that. Jay was, is an amazing conversationalist. I had such a good time getting to know him and connect with him, but he’s got a ton of real world experience that helps guide this whole process, right? He was a, a Navy rescue swimmer, which is an unbelievable thing. We didn’t even talk about that, really, because there’s so much good stuff about leading businesses, leading organizations, uh, with 120VC helped these massive transformational projects at places like DirecTV, trader Joe’s, so many pitchers and just incredible real world experience. Beyond that, he has a marketing company called Brick and Matter. He has, uh, an outdoor lifestyle company called Next Jump Outfitters.

Jamie Wagner:

He does a lot of things and has a ton of experience that help us understand what it means to lead. And I think that the, the secret in all of this isn’t about ideas or structures or processes that we have in place. Yes, we have to move towards getting things done. We have to be action oriented, but that comes from maximizing our people through amazing relationships. Like I said, I was pumped up to have this conversation. I’m really excited to bring it to you because this challenged me to grow and get better. I know it will for you as well. Jay Scott, here we go. I’m now joined by Jay Scott, founder, c e o. You do a lot of stuff, man, as I, as I dug into this, I love it. But got a couple businesses, 120VC, um, bamCo you, we were just talking about this, and then your, your most recent venture. Next Jump Outfitters. Like I said, you do a lot. Here’s my question. First of all, welcome to the podcast. Thanks for joining me,

Jason Scott:

<laugh>. Hey, Jamie, I’m so stoked to be here with you on Eyes Up Mindset. I, here’s the thing. My team was like, Hey, you should do this podcast Eyes Up Mindset. And I was like, I know nothing about it, but the name says yes. Just say yes. Yeah.

Jamie Wagner:

So, so it, that’s a really cool thing. I know a name means a lot. I was a teacher for 10 years and knowing a kid’s name, being able to see them and speak to them face to face and understand who they are. And then as a coach, how many times I just at Coach Wrestling, I coach track and field, I coach football, I coach baseball. Like, I kind of went through the gamut, how many different times I set eyes up for posture, eyes up for position, eyes up for all these other things. And then it just has a lot of different meanings for us as a business, as a, you know, like, what, what’s mindset about, you know? And so I think about that, and that actually leads me to my first question because I think when I was thinking about starting the business, starting the podcast, what, what, and, you know, with my former business partner, what are we doing here? And it’s, it’s, why do we want to do this? What’s the solution? What, what’s the problem that needs solving in this? So I, I struggle with this que like a lot because my why is I wanna help people, and yet helping people isn’t always a lucrative venture, right? There’s, there can be ways to do that. So I, I’m asking you why, and specifically around 120VC, where you guys are helping people transition to huge organizational change, transformational leadership change. Why, why is that motivating for you to do?

Jason Scott:

I love that question. Um, so first I just wanna address you. You said that, you know, helping people isn’t always lucrative. It is if you’re solving a problem that they think that they have. And when I, I started 120VC, I, I recognized that people really struggled to get the things done that they wanted to get done. And, and I just, I didn’t. So there’s nothing magical about it. Like I, I’m just very mission focused. It has nothing to do with why I joined the military. It has everything, all the reasons to do with why I was successful in the military. I just, I love nothing more than helping other people win. And, and it’s funny because when I started the business, I didn’t see that. I just was like, Hey, there’s all these large projects in these large organizations. I’m really good at getting these large projects done.

Jason Scott:

I think I can teach other people to do it. I, I, I was 27 and so ignorant, and my hubris is, was the giant fail beneath my wing, frankly. Like, I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but I said, you know what? I can start a company and, and I can help people get the stuff done that they need to get done, especially the large projects. Well over time, what I realized was when I take over a project where a team was struggling, and that was a lot of my early projects when I started the company, they’d bring me in on a project that had already been going on for some time that was struggling. And dude, people were stressed. They were angry. They were mean, like, mean, like mean to me, the new guy coming in, they didn’t trust me. There was, there was no trust.

Jason Scott:

I mean, it was like, it was like Game of Thrones. No lying. Game of Thrones wasn’t even a thing back then. But like now, <laugh> it was like Game of Thrones. And I’d, I’d have to earn their trust. And like, I, I remember in the early days, I’d tell people, listen, trust me, we we’re gonna slow down to go fast, right? Like, I’m here to help you. You know, like, and that was really what I was there to do. Like, just help them win. It’s not, I’m the project manager, but it’s not my project. Like, I’m gonna go away, right? Yeah. And so I, I remember working with them to take them from this team that was like Game of Thrones, like just, you know, needed eyes in the back of their head to like, succeeding. And it changed. Like now they’re succeeding. And, you know, nobody’s asking anybody assigned to a global project to do anything easy, right?

Jason Scott:

So there’s stress, but it’s like, but they’re winning. And suddenly this is was the interesting thing. There was camaraderie that wasn’t there before. Like, no, people no longer felt compelled to try to protect themselves by stabbing other people in the back. Like, and so I, I realized, hey, you know what? Companies don’t need to have these team building events. Like, and, and moreover, we have to ask this question, why do you need to have a team building event? The answer is always because their teams aren’t getting the necessary and expected results, and they’re just gutted. They feel terrible, right? They don’t like each other. They’re struggling to work with each other. So let’s have a team building event. Here’s the thing. Everybody knows that it’s, it’s bss the rah rah, but you know what? You wanna improve your team members’, uh, uh, happiness quotient, right?

Jason Scott:

You wanna improve their morale, help ’em get the necessary and expected outcomes. Winning teams are winning. They’re stoked, they’re high fiving each other all the time. And more importantly, they’re not stressed about losing their job, dude. Their economic prosperity is assured. And so the thing that started getting me up in the morning years ago, which is why I, I transitioned more into leadership than any specific, like project management or Scrum or DevOps, any specific discipline. It’s more like, you know, helping leadership. The key performance indicator of a leader is that we enable our stakeholders to define and deliver the necessary and expected results. When they’re successful, we’re successful. So, dude, there’s nothing more exciting to me than helping other people succeed. And fundamentally, human beings wanna be successful. So I am solving a problem that everybody thinks that they have

Jamie Wagner:

And can be relatively lucrative. You know what I mean? <laugh>, I mean, right? There’s, there is, there’s an opportunity to value add for everyone, right? And I, I think that’s the thing that I’ve been stuck on for years, right? It’s not zero sum. Here, I can help and we can get at the same time, I can give and get together. There’s a ton of, you have

Jason Scott:

To, you have to, like, if you’re, if you’re not running a profitable business, you’re not gonna be able to help people for very long, right? I, I have an interesting story. Uh, when I, I, I was out of the Navy probably like a year, and I was working at Universal Music, and I had, I was at the right place at the right time, and I had been working really hard for that first year. And so I got my first manager position. Um, and so I, I show up on the first day, and I’m basically the manager of all of it for universal music and video distribution. And I show up and I, I say good morning to my new boss. I go to my office and I have an assistant, there’s like this tall dude named Tim there, and he introduces himself as my assistant.

Jason Scott:

And I was in my mind like, what is happening? Like, what do I, what am I gonna do with an assistant? Like, it was a shock. And so I, I said, you know, I, I pretended like, I wasn’t surprised. I pretended like I, I knew all this was happening, and I went into my office and I sat down for like 50 minutes and I was like, what am I gonna do with this guy <laugh>? I need somebody to manage my calendar, right? Like, and so I thought, okay, I’ve gotta get, you know, I’ve gotta build this, this it support system for this national division that’s got offices in all the major cities across the country that has have all this technology, but they don’t have any support. It breaks and it’s broken and it’s hard. And so I thought, you know, he’s here with me in the home office.

Jason Scott:

I’ll teach him how to be like a technician and he can service all the, the, the PCs and the laptops in the home office. And, and, and I asked him, and he said, cool. So I, you know, I kind of start teaching him how to do this. And one day after probably like a month and a half, I come into the office and he’s so excited. And he was, he’s was this really big dude. He was like, six five, and I’m not <laugh>. I’m like, you know, I’m like five 11. Did you see the air quotes? Yeah.

Jamie Wagner:

Five, 10 and three quarters. That’s what I, that’s what I tell everybody.

Jason Scott:

Yeah, that’s probably more accurate for me too. So he’s like six five and he’s excited, like this puppy, he’s like, and he can’t wait to tell me. He’s like, dude, Jay, Nancy Dean, which is one of the old schoolers there, right? Like, not the highest in positional authority, but just knows where everything knows how everything works, and you just kind of want to do anything for Nancy Dean. And he goes, dude, she called me. Her keyboard was broken, she couldn’t work. And I went in the closet. We didn’t have any extra keyboards. You know what I did? I gave her my keyboard.

Jason Scott:

He was so excited that he solved the problem. And I started laughing, and he didn’t, he didn’t understand why I was laughing. He didn’t see anything funny. And I said, okay, dude. I was like, so did you order another keyboard? He said, yeah. I was like, when’s it gonna be here? He was like, two days from now. I was like, okay, see you then. <laugh>, <laugh>. Like, it was immediately obvious to me that like he had solved the problem, but now he can’t solve any more problems, right? Yeah. So it goes back to businesses making money. The purpose of business isn’t to make money, just like the purpose of, of life isn’t to make red blood cells, but we can’t survive without them. There’s gotta be the sequel Librium, right? So it’s, it’s, you know, if you’re giving right, it, it’s gotta be reciprocated so you can keep giving.

Jamie Wagner:

Yeah. So it’s sustainable. I, that, that leads me to a question that I’ve been thinking about, because in what I do, it’s a lot of ways, it’s, it’s provide it coaches, leaders, this idea of how to reach your people on a mental sort of plane, right? In a, in a mental capacity mindset. How do we think about what we do so that it impacts what we do? And I, and I struggle with this because I think what you said, go slow to go fast, slow down. It takes time. It takes energy that maybe we didn’t understand was gonna be required of us at some point. We, we come, you know, a lot of people get into these habits of patterns of life, and it just, it’s self-sustaining. It’s, we just kind of check out, this is how it’s going. This is what I’m doing. How do you move beyond in your position, going from providing advice to people and giving them thoughts about how to do something to providing them actionable tools to get to results?

Jason Scott:

Oh my God, you asked so many things in there. Sorry. So

Jamie Wagner:

I do that. I have a tendency to do that. I apologize.

Jason Scott:

So I, I think let’s address first that, that that effort that you talk about that goes into helping others be successful, that I think that that effort is what I would call developing a connection. Um, people aren’t just gonna trust you if you say, trust me, people aren’t gonna trust you, even if you’re famous and have notoriety and say, trust me. Especially when it comes to helping them be successful in life, which is what coaches are and leaders are supposed to do, right? And so, and more importantly, how can I help you if I don’t know you? So it’s just like anything new, I have to become familiar with it, right? I have to get to know the person and, and therefore, I have to go beyond what we consider professional. Now, I don’t mean be inappropriate or unprofessional, but I need to get get to know you, Janie, the human.

Jason Scott:

Like, what’s going on with you? And by the way, what’s going on with you? Your performance at work has only a fraction to do with your performance at work, right? Like, you’re at work 33% of your time, you’re not at work 66% of your time. Like, what’s going on with Janie? And here’s the thing, I can’t ask that of you clinically, right? I have to ask that truly, curiously, like a minute ago you asked me a question about like, my why, and I almost, and I, I didn’t wanna throw your show off, but I was like, I’ll tell you, if you tell me, like I for sure sincerely wanted to know your why. Yeah. And I hope I get an opportunity to hear the why before we wrap up today. Maybe not call, but like, you being a good leader and a being a good coach, I think starts with connection.

Jason Scott:

Truly caring, you know, like about the mission, caring about the humans. You don’t even have to particularly like somebody to care about their success Yeah. And to want to help them. And so I, you know, first, like, know that it’s not about the processes and tools, it’s not about the techniques, it’s not about all that stuff that you read about in forms and Forbes and Ink Magazine. It’s truly about getting to know the human being, what’s what’s going on in their worlds, getting them to feel comfortable opening up. And the way that I do that is, I, I experience share. You said we give advice, I give very little advice. Sure. And I, and I learn this thank to, due to entrepreneur organization. I’m a member of eo, entrepreneur Organ Organization, and we meet once a month and we, we, we share experiences as opposed to giving advice.

Jason Scott:

And so, you know, when, when, when I’m meeting with clients, getting to know them, you know, they’ll share with me what’s going on. And as they’re sharing, I interrupt and I ask questions like, okay, so here’s what I think I hear you saying. And if the answer is yes, well, they know that I’m aligning with them, that I’m listening to them, that I’m paying attention and humans like that. Like I’m giving the gift of my time, even if they’re paying for it. But I’m, I’m actually listening. And so they know that I’m listening. So sometimes then they’ll share something with me that might be vulnerable, you know? And it’s like, it’s usually in the beginning, like it’s kind of a little drop. So I’ll think of a time in my history where I made that mistake, or where I was in that situation, and I totally messed it up. And I’ll, and I won’t hijack the conversation, but I’ll tell like a quick two minute story it Right. Saying like, oh my God, I remember the first time I was faced with that and I totally blew it. Yeah. And now like, oh my God, he’s real. Like, you know, he’s sharing with me that he makes mistakes and they feel more, they feel more willing to share and be more vulnerable with me. So it’s, it’s definitely like this back and forth and like a journey, this connection with the other humans.

Jamie Wagner:

I love it. I, something that longtime listeners will have heard many times before is loose connections, create strong bonds. You said you don’t even have to like someone to care about them. That’s what I mean when I say loose connections, create strong bonds. Like, oh, we have a shared experiential thing that we can talk about together. And now I just like, I don’t wanna ha, I don’t wanna see you hurt. Yeah. I don’t wanna see another human hurt again in the same way. That’s it, right? Like, that is leadership. And what, what do we as leaders, do we remove some of the barriers to hurt? Like, that’s the hope is that we can create a path or help them see a path or help them problem solve, troubleshoot, whatever it might be, so that the path has less. And if it does, if it does, if it is painful, we can stand beside them.

Jamie Wagner:

You know? I like the one thing I’m, I’m learning, I’m a young parent. I have a three-year-old and a one-year-old, uh, I’m learning is like, I don’t have to fix it. I don’t have to solve it. I can just stand beside them and they’re gonna get better. They’re gonna actually gonna feel more from that than me trying to solve the situation. And I should know this. I’ve done this as a coach and as a teacher in my whole adult life. And yet here I am as a dad going, oh, I, I got it. I’m good. You know,

Jason Scott:

It’s interesting. There’s, you just said you should know this. And there’s, we have two brains, right? We have a rational brain, the neocortex, and then there’s our limbic system, which is where we have all our feeling and makes all our decisions. So I, I think it’s kind of funny because we are wired, it’s our nature, not our nurture to retreat from pain, right? Like Brene Brown says, blame is the discharging of dysfunction and pain, and Right. So if it’s their fault, I don’t have to feel bad. Same with our loved ones. Like if they feel bad, we want to fix it. ’cause we don’t, here’s the thing that might seem selfless, when in fact it’s truly selfish. Like they’re in pain and because they’re in pain, I’m in pain, so I need to fix it. But here’s the thing, those little beings, you’re one and your three-year-old, and this is what you mean by, you know this, they don’t know what you’re saying, they don’t know what you’re doing, but when you stand beside them, they feel what you’re doing.

Jason Scott:

And that’s relatable, right? Yet for us, the parent that just, I mean, I’m just, based on what you said, you and I are very, like, I can’t, I did, I was a rescue swimmer in the Navy. I used to go into combat zones to pull people out. I am cool and common, all situations. My wife likes to laugh at how hysterical I get when something is wrong with my kids. Like, I can’t, I can’t take it. Like, I, I don’t care. Like I gotta, I gotta fix it. Yeah. Fever over 101, I’m losing my mind.

Jamie Wagner:

Well, I, like, I just think about, I mean, now we’re in a little different context, but I, I listen to a lot of like re-parenting sort of podcasts and just like, what, what is in there? What is my wiring look like that causes me to lose my mind, you know? And not like yelling or mad or anything. Like, I just, I, I want to fix it. I want to change the current situation so that we can move to the next situation, right? So that we’re out of this discomfort place. And I talk, I, like, I talk all the time about manage discomfort, grow into discomfort, learn from discomfort, love, dis, all that stuff. Like, and then I’m 12 seconds of my daughter being frustrated and I’m like, okay, we gotta move on. We gotta move on. We gotta move on <laugh>.

Jason Scott:

Totally.

Jamie Wagner:

Anyway, you talked about experiential, like basis for leadership rather than advice. And you asked me my why. I, I’ve just talked to a million athletes that are like, if I knew this when I was 16, if I understood this when I was 15, if I understood this when I was 22 and I got to be around a group of people in my c collegiate athletic experience, that showed me what it meant to understand performance differently. You know, like, and I was like, here are all the experiences. And then I got to go and apply some of that as a coach, and then learn and grow and see it. And I’m like, man, what could we do if we gave people these tools? We pushed them down lower and lower and lower, younger and younger and younger. What would performance look like if, if we were able to, to manage some of those emotional stressors in a completely different way

Jason Scott:

Beyond athletics?

Jamie Wagner:

A little while. Yeah. Right? Yeah. Yeah. <laugh> No kidding. And like, and, and in athletics, right? And for coaches, I, I mean, I had a friend asked me the other day, what would you do differently if you were a head coach now, right? Because I, I’m, I’m out of coaching. I, I coach coaches mostly is what I do now. And like coaches and leaders, what would you do differently if you’re a head coach now? I’m like, probably everything <laugh> Pro, like, almost, almost all of it I would do differently. So I, looking back, and you are now in a, in a situation where you’re launching kind of a new project, and I don’t know how old next Jump is, and it’s with your wife, which is probably and my two kids. And your two kids, which is its own interesting challenge. What have you learned from some of those failures? Gimme some experience that now you say, I’m doing it a little bit differently this time around, because this is what I know.

Jason Scott:

So that’s a, that is actually a really interesting question. It’s gonna cause me to act think because the, the model for 120VC, the culture that I’ve built, right? In fact, my next book is gonna be start with culture in Mind, whether it be a business, a product, or a team. Um, like essentially Brick and Matter is all. So 120VC operates all of the companies. So Brick and Matter, our marketing company has no employees, they’re all employees of 120VC. Next Jump has no employees. They’re all employees of 120VC. So they’re, they’re all a part of this culture. However, we do have these separate brands. And so, and that’s simply because, like if I was, if I was to tell my management consulting or my leadership clients that 120VC is now also building Overland Rigs, that would be confusing to them.

Jason Scott:

But also, you know, the people that build Overland rigs grow up and live in a different culture than the people that are managing projects in the Fortune 1000 and have these corporate jobs, right? And then the, you know, the marketing community also very different like artistic. And so the big experiment was, you know, we’ve got this great culture where, you know, we put humanity first and we keep the eye on building winning teams the outcomes, right? And this is a balance because, you know, a lot of times people are like, oh, humanity first. So that means it’s okay if I don’t work hard. No, <laugh>, it means we have to get the outcomes, otherwise we’re not winning just like we have to generate profitability, or we’re not winning, but we’re gonna do it in a way that recognizes we’re humans. Like you’re having a bad day, lemme give you a hug, right?

Jason Scott:

Oh, you’re, you’re stressed out right now, which means you’re, you’ve gone into flight or fight or flight, your limbic system is shut down. Like, we’re not robots, you know what I mean? We care for each other. We look out for each other. We’re, we’re a high performing team. And so all I did was take the one, and I’m joking by, all I did, all I did was take the 120VC model and apply it to a marketing company and, and then figure out that subject matter and how to address it. Just like we’ve done with our projects, all of our projects are different. They have different subject matter. So we work different subject matter experts with Next Jump. Okay? The big difference with Next Jump is my wife, who also works with me at 120 and at BAMCo. But I wanna be clear, um, she was my wife long before she worked there.

Jason Scott:

I’m not that guy. <laugh>, uh, she ended up joining the business when my kids went back to school full-time. And, and so we co-founded Next Jump, right? Which is about, and help eliminating 50% of what it takes for people to get outdoors because we live that lifestyle. And I wanted to teach my kids like, Hey, you can get a job if you want a job, but getting a job is not the only way to make money. And they love, you know, overlanding, they love boating, they love the adventure, right? So I brought them into the business also. And so with that, then also looking at that whole mechanic culture where in most of the, those shops where they’re working on cars and they’re working on engines, it’s like this power culture, like the, the, the, the biggest smartest person with the coolest tools wins, right?

Jason Scott:

The, and it’s kind of gruff and they haze each other all the time. They tease each other all the time. They’re always putting people down. And here’s the thing, like, I grew up that way. I was in the military, I know what that feels like, and I don’t like it, right? And so, you know, on the onset, I’m offering these people that work in those environments to get out of the Game of Thrones and come and do the thing that they love in this culture where we lift people up, we don’t put them down, we lift them up. <laugh>, we’re not criticizing everything that everybody does. Like, we are not always saying, oh, well you did it this way, here’s how I’d one up you. Right? And so, you know, I I would say the biggest thing that I, I, I already knew, but learned, I wanna be clear, I’m not one of those people that I’m like, well, I already knew this.

Jason Scott:

I know that culture is super important and it’s tricky. And Peter Drucker had it, right? Like, culture eats strategy for lunch. But I didn’t realize that, like, how hard it would be to really lift up that culture from the vendors, right? Trying to develop relationships with product vendors, people that are selling products, distributors, finding like mechanics, you know, that, that, you know, that don’t just naturally wanna put people down, right? And so, you know, and, and in balancing my family who’s grown up with me, Jay Scott, the servant leader, I was once a boss, okay? But my kids didn’t know me then. And my wife kind of met me when I was on my servant leader like sort of journey. So, you know, it’s been, it’s been kind of rough being the leader. And so I guess it, it was unexpectedly rough and it’s great and I’m committed.

Jason Scott:

Um, but so I, you know, I, I think the biggest thing that I’ve learned is no, no matter how much I, I think I can handle it, no matter how I think, like, I’ve got this culture thing down. Every new culture that I enter into, I’m gonna have to learn how to navigate. They’re not gonna learn how to navigate me. They’re not gonna learn how to navigate me. I, I’m the leader. I’m the coach. I’m there for them. I’m gonna have to learn how to navigate them. And when I’m, and bridging cultures is just, it’s really hard. <laugh>, I feel like, I feel like the people at Next jump are a little intimidated. And I don’t know if they’ll hear this or not, but I, I, in all honesty, I would say it to them, I feel like they’re a little intimidated by the people at 120VC because they, you know, they’re just seemingly polished.

Jason Scott:

There’s these preconceptions that they have, you know, the people in that world have of the corporate world and the people in the corporate world kind of have of that world. And the, the thing that they all have in common is trusting me. Sure. And that, that, again, I thought that would be no problem. No, that’s been really, they trust me, but it’s not been easy, like, bringing them together. It’s almost like they avoid each other. When I did it at Bamco, same thing. Uh, Andrew operated, like, he was like a different company. And my team at 120 operated like they were a different company. And I, I had to have so many conversations like, what you guys, you guys, you’re a team. You’re like one team, you know, head of talent, Erin, would be like, well, is this higher for Brick and Matter? Is it for 120?

Jason Scott:

I’m like, everybody’s a 120VC employee. Like, everybody there, it’s 120. Right? Like, it’s not different. And so all of the, all of, there’s the second you introduce a new thing, no matter how clear, at least for me, I was super clear on how these things would work together. And in that they would just work the same. Like, we’re not gonna do anything different. We’re gonna follow all of our existing processes and procedures and cultural norms at bamCo that we did at 120VC. And then if we come up with something that doesn’t fit any of that, we’ll come up with nothing new. Same at Next jump. Getting my team to see that was just a, a lot of leadership. Like, yeah, hey, this is not different. Hey, we’re gonna do it exactly the way that we do it at 120.

Jason Scott:

Do you see any reason why we shouldn’t? Right? Yeah. And so I think the biggest lesson, or the biggest realization for me that I would share is even though we as leaders might be doing what we do over and over and over again, anytime we put two groups, no matter how the same we see them, they’re gonna struggle to come together as a team. And they’re gonna struggle to see the similarities. They’re, they’re gonna fixate on the differences. And it’s my job as a leader to help us focus on the similarities. And over time we’ll sort out the differences.

Jamie Wagner:

Uh, there’s so much in there, right? We just had, I mean, I’m just like drinking from a fire hose right now. ’cause I have a, a ton of thoughts about this. You talk about bridging cultures. I, I think about anybody that comes into a new position of leadership, existing culture, you are coming from a different place with a different mindset, a different kind of, that is an incredibly challenging, exciting opportunity. And yet you can’t just pigeonhole what you brought you, you said, I had to learn about their culture, understand their culture, and then develop trust from me. Like they have to trust me. But you can’t build that trust unless you are understanding who they are and what their needs are and what things they want met. Like, so in each unique and individual culture, you can’t jump from one place to the next place, to the next place with a cookie cutter. And that like, that’s so cliche. I understand, but it’s cliche because it’s true. You can’t just bring what you had and did and be like, okay, this is gonna work here. You can have an outline. You can have a plan. But even what you just said, like one, you know, no plan meets first contact with, you know, like sustains first contact with the enemy, right? Like, yeah, it’s gonna get, so what’s the question here? I don’t really know. I’m just thinking out loud because there’s so much in that. Like, how do you do,

Jason Scott:

How do you do it? It’s the answer. The answer is patience and empathy.

Jason Scott:

Patience and empathy. So I, I, so next jump, right? Like mechanic culture, uh, wrenching culture, off-road culture, right? Like, and I love all that. Yeah. Meaning all the stuff, but not that culture. Like I grew up in that culture. I had that in the Navy, so I totally get it. And so now I’ve invited them in and I’ve said, we’re gonna be different. And so, but, and so what happens is when they act a habit, I have to not get frustrated. I have to remind myself, I asked for this. Yeah. I knew what I was getting into this. I understand what’s going on with this human being. They’re not trying to be, they, uh, rude, they’re just acting how they’ve always acted. And what I’m asking them to do is act differently. Who’s asking for more? Me? Them? Oh,

Jamie Wagner:

No

Jason Scott:

Question. I’m asking for way more. Yeah, yeah. Like way more, Hey, I know you said you want this, but uh, in order to have it, you have to not, you know, like tease me to a different person front. You can’t tease me in front of customers. Oh my God, that happened, uh, <laugh> and I, I literally had to go and like, take a weekend to like check myself. ’cause I was like, that was not in his mind

Jamie Wagner:

Over the line.

Jason Scott:

Over the line, right? And, and so I was like, all right, how do I, how do I navigate this? And so it’s, it’s this back and forth. Like, so I’m like, look, hey, can we talk? Okay, listen, I understand. Lemme tell you. I understand. And again, I can exper I’m really lucky that I come from a really bad neighborhood and you know, like Gangland neighborhood, Los Angeles. And so I, I can, I have experience shares, I could share how I understand it. And then I’m, I can say, and I need your commitment to, to change, to evolve, because that’s, that’s not the culture that I think we want to co-create here.

Jamie Wagner:

That is my question. Like, this is, I think a lot of us, because like, I want to speak to people’s hearts. I want to talk to who they are deep down, not the person that they’re bringing to the show. You know, like not the person that they’re, they’re not the habit facing.

Jason Scott:

Yeah. That’s not them. That’s just a habit. Exactly. Yeah,

Jamie Wagner:

Exactly. And so how do you speak to the broken person that has had to protect themselves, that, ’cause that’s the thing we’re seeing, right? We’re seeing this protecting person. We’re not seeing the true person,

Jason Scott:

Ideally. Yeah.

Jamie Wagner:

I mean, yeah, so,

Jason Scott:

So I, I do, so one of my big things that, that i, I talk a lot about is, is accountability. Um, it’s one of the things that I get called a lot about. Like, you know, I’ll, I’ll have clients call me up and they’ll say, you know, I’m not getting the, you know, my project management’s broken, my agile’s broken. Like my, the people in my organization on my teams, they’re just not accountable. And I always know what they’re really trying to tell me. And that’s that their team members aren’t getting the necessary and expected results, right? And so they, they wanna talk about holding people accountable. And I’m like, so pause, because first of all, holding people accountable is not an outcome. It’s not an outcome like getting the necessary and expected results. That’s what you really want. Like, do you really wanna hold people accountable? No, nobody wants to do that. Like, you know, like, never have I ever seen on a list of gratitude sweet ti on hot day, uh, handmade corn dogs. And I held somebody accountable today, right? Like, never have I ever seen <laugh> a list of gratitudes, right? Wait. And when people say, they say, so angrily, you’ll,

Jamie Wagner:

You will have it the opposite way. Somebody will write on a list of gratitude. Like if they’re really on the journey towards growth, towards getting to their best performance. Somebody corrected me today and I needed to see it. And that was important. You know, like, so I wanna draw that out for people. It is never fun for the leader to give the feedback that is hard to hear. Well is sometimes really great for the person to hear it.

Jason Scott:

It also sounds like in the, in the example that you’re giving, they didn’t do accountability. What I consider backwards, our concept of accountability is we hold them accountable, which is after a breakdown, after the thing went wrong, after the thing, that we’re a hundred percent responsible for at least 50% responsible for not getting wrong or not getting right. Right? Because it’s a shared goal that we both need to be successful. And that’s our vision of accountability. So then now we’re gonna hold them accountable. No, leadership is helping people get accountable, right? And then stay accountable. And to me, there’s, there’s four steps to that that I talk about. So in a nutshell, there’s, there’s, there’s a language of accountability. You’ve gotta listen for it. If I say, if I say, Jamie, can you get this to me by Tuesday? And you say, I’ll try. Oh my God, 20 year old Jay would’ve been like in the bag.

Jason Scott:

I’ll take, I’ll try. <laugh>, I’ll try is not a commitment. All try is not a commitment. People are gonna try to lose weight. You’re not making a commitment to yourself, right? Like all the people that are gonna try for their New Year’s resolutions, it’s not a commitment. Right? I will. And then be disciplined about it, right? So if somebody gives me an all try, I go for the no. ’cause good leadership isn’t about control. It’s about predictable results. And so if you’re like, eh, I’ll try. And I’m like, so no. You’re like, what do you mean? I, I said, yes. I’m like, no, I heard. No. Tell me. Why’d you, why’d you say, I’ll try? As opposed to yes. And you’re like, well, I’ve got all this. And I’ll be like, you know what? Let me check with Jake. Right? I’ll give you to somebody else.

Jason Scott:

Right? I, you know, like, I’m not gonna try to talk you into it like I used to. So you gotta listen for the language of accountability and non accountability. Next thing, recognize patterns, right? So pe you’ve got a human being in your organization that is consistently committing and not delivering. Okay? We, it’s so funny. Do you remember? Seriously, Jamie, remember the very first time you signed up for something, you had a manager be like, dude, can you do this? And you were like, yeah, that’s totally me. And I’m, I’m excited about it. And they were like, do you know what you need to do? And you were like, yeah, yeah. And you went and you worked really hard for three days and you came back and you dropped it on their desk, and they looked at you and they were like, this is, dude, this isn’t what I asked for. How did you feel? One word. How did you feel? Oh,

Jamie Wagner:

Embarrassed. Probably. I mean,

Jason Scott:

Embarrassed. Terrible, right? Shame. Yeah. But here’s, here’s what managers generally experience when an unexpected result gets dropped on their desk. Judgment. Oh, this person’s a slacker. This person’s not working. They’re not committed. They don’t care. No, if it wasn’t true for you, it’s not true for them. One of the coolest things about my career has been uncovering universal treason. Dude, I’ve asked that question to audience of 3000 people, and I just have ’em popcorn it out, right? It’s always, it’s never a positive thing. It’s always embarrassed, humiliated, frustrated, right? Like, human beings fundamentally wanna be successful. Like, I’ve proven it. You just tell me one, prove it one like tiny bit more, right? And so what we have to recognize as managers is that frustration, that judgment comes from the baby inside of us. We wanna blame. ’cause if it’s their fault, like, you know, like we don’t have to feel bad because this, this frustrates our success.

Jason Scott:

Also, we’ve lost three days and we didn’t get the thing that both of us need the shared goal, right? So what I, what I do is I, I work with them to get a new commitment. I don’t just ask, do you know what you need to do? I active listening. I’m gonna tell, I’m gonna ask you, do me a favor and talk me through how you’re gonna do this, right? And I’m gonna work with you to develop your own solution, which I call your own roadmap to a shared goal. That’s me investing in you. I, I’m not gonna tell you how to do it, but I’m gonna challenge, if I don’t think what you’re suggesting will work, I’m gonna tell you I don’t understand. Can I, you know, have you thought of this? Have you done this? Right? So when you come to a solution that I feel I feel good about, you feel good about, this is what setting somebody up for success looks like.

Jason Scott:

I’m gonna give you a high five. I’m gonna send you on your way. And if I’m doing that, and still you’re not hitting your targets, hitting your targets, hitting your targets, you know, after two or three times, I’m gonna recognize a pattern. And in the meeting, I’m gonna, I’m gonna get another commitment from you. And then I’m gonna, outside of the meeting, come to you and say, listen, can we talk? Like, I’ve, I’ve noticed a pattern. I know, I know you, like everybody else wants to be successful, and yet this keeps happening. Can you help me understand what’s missing? Is it, is it a support system? Is it an incentive? Is it a policy or procedure? Is it training? Is it a skill? It a skill, right? Is it training? Is it a skill? Right? And here’s the thing. I I, the vast majority of people I help do not work for me.

Jason Scott:

Like, I’m not the one that hires them. I don’t sign their paychecks. I will go to bat for them. Like, I’m gonna, I’m gonna eliminate all of the potential obstacles. Now, here’s the hardest part. I can do all of that. I can take them on a journey, but they’ve gotta carry their own bags. This is probably the most important part. So after I’ve done all that, I’ve done everything that I possibly can. If they’re still not, like, if they’re still not meeting their commitments, and there’s still these breakdowns, they either don’t have the aptitude or the attitude to be successful. And I need to recognize that. I’ve been in that situation where I was like, I just, I signed up for something where I can’t be successful, but here’s the biggest thing that’s more on me than it is on them. Because when somebody takes a job, they think they can be successful.

Jason Scott:

But I’m the person hiring them. I’m supposed to know, even if I don’t know, I’m supposed to know that’s on me. So I’m gonna deal with them in humanely, but I’m gonna say, Hey, look, this isn’t working for either one of us. You can’t be happy we’re having these conversations. I see you working, I see you working as hard as you possibly can. And ultimately, there are these things that we need done and they’re not getting done. And so like, how, how can I help you find a new position in this organization? How can I help you find a position outside of this organization? But we, I don’t, I don’t think it’s healthy for either one of us to keep pretending like, this model is working and I don’t know what else to do. Right? So, yeah,

Jamie Wagner:

I just, I think what you talked about, it’s a, it’s a process of feedback. It’s a process of accountability that I, I always talk about this and I don’t know how to do it. And people ask this question a lot. I’m really grateful that you shared that because I think there is a ton in here that I’m even gonna use, right? I’m gonna steal this stuff straight up because I wanna normalize feedback. I wanna normalize accountability. I wanna normalize. Because what that does is we have constant information, constant data points. And I, I talk about this all the time. Emotion is a data point for you. It’s a data

Jason Scott:

Point. Totally. Yeah.

Jamie Wagner:

Like emotion tells you something. So I’m feeling something. What am I feeling like as an athlete? I’m feeling nervous, I’m feeling stressed, I’m feeling anxious, I’m feeling fearful. Why did you not prepare well enough? Do you not, okay, your opponent is good. That’s, that’s telling you something. Okay, use that information. Now you have to go and compete at a higher level. That’s great. Like, that’s an awesome challenge, right? But when we normalize feedback, we’re getting more data about what we can do together, right? We’ve, we find out who and what is gonna be successful for both of us towards that shared vision that you’ve spoken to. I love, you know, creating a, a roadmap together for a shared goal that you have some ownership in. Well, if I’m checking in pretty regularly, I also own, like, you see that I care, we’re

Jason Scott:

Dude, leadership and teamwork are, are look exactly the same. Yeah. Unless you’re not engaging in the process, helping them architect their own roadmap. And then it’s kind of like, well, that’s on you, but that’s an abrogation of responsibility. That’s not,

Jamie Wagner:

It’s not leadership. Leadership that’s management. Right?

Jason Scott:

Like, you figure it out. Oh, oh my God. Uh,

Jamie Wagner:

I, it’s so good.

Jason Scott:

I, I do want them to figure it out, but I’m gonna help ’em. So circling all the way back, you asked the question like, how, how do you, when somebody is, is struggling, when, you know, like emotionally, they’re, they’re, they’re, they didn’t, they weren’t cared for. They, they’re break. They’re coming to the situation with a lot of baggage. Here’s the thing, I’m gonna do the exact same thing for somebody that’s not coming to the situation with a baggage. I’m gonna, I’m gonna work through what I just described to you in respect to creating, helping people get accountable, fostering a culture of accountability. And, and I’m gonna go the mile. Like I care about how they feel. I, I care about the situation that they’ve come from. And they have to be the ones that take the opportunity that are capable of seizing the opportunity. They have to be able to carry their own bags.

Jason Scott:

And here’s the reason why you think that’s me saying, oh, well, there’s a line. If you can’t carry your own bags, you’re out. It is not emotionally healthy for them. It is not a healthy situation for me to ask them to continue when there is an obstacle that I can’t help them overcome. Right? Yeah. Like that. This is why the vast majority of people that wash out of seal training harm themselves. Yeah. Because they, they, they wouldn’t quit the, it’s a culture of like, if you quit, you suck in, in real life. Like, no, asking somebody to stay in a situation that isn’t healthy for them isn’t leadership either.

Jamie Wagner:

Ugh, man.

Jason Scott:

And by the way, the leader has to be the one often to make the decision. It’s the hardest decision. But expecting your team member to make the hard decision to leave, to go into the unknown, asking ’em to feel good about it, asking ’em not to be upset about it. No. That’s, if they can’t, if they can’t carry their own bags, we have to, with humanity, help them find a place where they can be successful.

Jamie Wagner:

It’s patience and empathy, right? Patience means they’re carrying their own bag. They might not know how much it weighs. They might not know how much it’s gonna cost. They might not know the sacrifice that they have to take. So you have to give them time to get up to speed on all that. Empathy is, I, I see you, I feel what you’re feeling. And I trust that. I trust that you’re a human that wants the same things that I want. I how many times you’ve said we want to be successful. We, when we come with that initial sort of like, generous interpretation of people, I mean, we just, we, we start from a place where we can both be successful. I, I dunno, I just, I’m so passionate about all the things that you’re talking about because it, it makes so much intuitive sense. And yet it’s not how we do it. It’s not, you talked about in mechanics culture and wrenching culture in sports, culture in, right. Leadership,

Jason Scott:

Culture, culture’s very similar. Yeah.

Jamie Wagner:

Like, we’re going, we’re gonna grind on each other. We’re gonna be hard on each other. We’re gonna say things that aren’t very nice because you didn’t produce or whatever it is. It’s like, no, they didn’t want to fail. Like nobody wants to show up and be the weak link. Right? And so, I, I just think it comes back to relationship. I mean, we talk about it all the time, right? Leadership and coaching, a relationship business. You gotta develop relationships. But it’s not, this is not lip service. This is, this is everything, right? <laugh>, I mean, it is the thing that we have to do. And it talk, it speaks to the culture piece that we were talking about before. It speaks to having that empathy and seeing people as people. And I, it’s just,

Jason Scott:

It’s so Are you your listeners? Yeah. I wanna, I wanna bookmark that you just said it’s not lip service. Like, because it’s not, however, it starts out as lip service. Yeah. I, I walk the talk today. I’m 50. Um, when I started preaching everything that I’m sharing with you, I was not walking the talk, you know, so I don’t wanna discourage people, but I I How did that change?

Jason Scott:

How did it change? Applying reps. Applying reps. Coaching. Coaching. Ask, like reflecting, watching the game film, bro. Yeah. Like sitting down at the end of the day and being like, was I my, was I the leader I wanted to be in every meeting. And when I wasn’t, I’m like, okay, what, what triggered me? What did I do? How could I be better? And so I don’t, I don’t wanna discourage people from, from using it as lip service, but no know and be critical of yourself. And no, you’re not living up to it when you first start preaching it. But apparently our brains are wired to actually respond positively to fake it until you make it. Yeah. So make a commitment to it. Start preaching it. Start talking it. You know, I heard once, and I can relate from my own experience, that when somebody’s teaching, two people are learning.

Jason Scott:

Yeah. Right? So when, when you get out there and you’re, you’re really committed to it, like, check in with yourself in a month and a half because here’s, I guarantee you’re not walking it. But then when you reflect on it and you realize you’re not walking it, don’t beat yourself up. Just like, ask yourself, what can I learn? Right? So back to, you know, using a sports analogy. Like I I say watch the game film at the end of every day. Take time to reflect on where, where you showed up the way that you wanted to show up. But if you, if you can’t take time to watch the game film at the end of every day, at least at the end of the week or, or at the end of the month, right? But you have to stop and critically reflect on your performance Yeah. Before you’re gonna be able to help anybody improve their performance.

Jamie Wagner:

Yeah. No, it’s so good. I appreciate that insight. I appreciate you calling back to that because it is so, so vital. And how do we do it? How do we do it? We reflect. We reflect, we are aware, and then we, we tweak. And I, like you said, preach it, say it out loud. Because guess what I like as a teacher, as a coach, as a podcaster, as somebody that talks about self-improvement, about getting better, about being a better leader, being a better coach. You know what I have to do every single time I stand in front of a group, I have to be that version of me that I’m trying to commit to being in. So like, it’s, it’s its own level of accountability. I’ve said it out loud now. I can’t be a hypocrite, <laugh>, I have to do the

Jason Scott:

Work. It’s great. It, it’s, it helps you stay accountable, right? Like you’ve set your own bar. It’s public. Yeah. It’s helpful. Yeah. So making a public commitment is actually helpful to us accomplishing our goals or being the human that we wanna be.

Jamie Wagner:

Well, I wanna honor your time. I appreciate this opportunity. Connect. I’m on fire about it. ’cause I think there’s so much good stuff in here. Your people are lucky. They’re able to, to feel seen and to feel heard and to be in a place where, where their leader cares about them. That is not always the case. I hope that people listening today found something here where it’s like, I can do that. I can do that. That’s the thing I can do also to make my people better today. I appreciate you joining me. Thank you so much. Where can we, is there anything we can do to reach out, support, find, follow? I don’t know. You got a lot of stuff going on. What, what can we do? Like,

Jason Scott:

Um, I connect with me on LinkedIn. That’s where like the vast majority of what’s going at 120VC gets published. Um, or follow next Jump Outfitters if you’re into the outdoor overland boating lifestyle on

Jamie Wagner:

Instagram. Awesome. Thank you so much. I appreciate your time. Right on Jamie. Thank you.

Jamie Wagner:

Thanks again to Jay. Take a deep breath. There’s a lot in there. His energy is awesome. It’s exciting to connect with people that I think similarly and then bring that kind of passion. I know that many of you out there tune in for that exact reason, because I’m passionate. John is passionate. Our guests are passionate. That’s what we’re about. And we’re about finding ways to tune in to ourselves, watch the game film and reflect, like Jay said, on what we need to do to get better. The people that listen and read and reflect and engage in these sort of activities. We’re doing the critical work. Not always, we fail regularly, but the takeaways I have, there’re many. The takeaway I have from this is everyone wants to be successful. Let’s help other people win and understand that when it doesn’t go well, it’s not on purpose.

Jamie Wagner:

So how do we build systems that move towards getting the desired results, the expected result, so that everyone can be successful? Well, I love that piece in the middle there about accountability and not having it be accountability after the fact. Jay called it backwards accountability, providing support and feedback throughout the process, listening for the language. He talked about maybe being a No, I think so. Being a no, no, we, we will give it to someone else because that’s kind, right. Not necessarily undermining someone or thinking that they can’t do it, but looking for patterns, getting commitments, and then seeing the pattern of behavior and then helping design with the person, with the stakeholder, with the people that we’re leading, getting to a roadmap that they feel confident and comfortable in so that they can, to our shared goal. I just, I just think that that framework in and of itself can be so, so dramatic in transforming places from that Game of Thrones, stab in the back culture to noticing and recognizing people’s humanity while having an eye towards the result that we’re looking for.

Jamie Wagner:

Many times in this podcast, we’ve talked about process over results, process over results, but we’re ignorant if we ignore the fact that a result allows us to keep doing the work. Jay talked about this. Also, we had this conversation. If we’re not producing the results that we want, the necessary and expected result, we can’t continue to serve people. We can’t continue to give them the, the humanity that we’re trying to give them because the business, the organization, the program, the structure falls apart by its lack of outcomes. Yes, put people in positions to be successful, but when they’re not, we the leader have to step in and do something about it. Not after the fact, but hopefully we’re doing that throughout and before the process.

Jamie Wagner:

I know that asking people to change, just like we talked about, is really hard. What’s harder asking you to do this thing, get through the result, or to change your behavior? It’s absolutely the change in behavior here. Eyes Up mindset is about supporting those changes to give actionable tools, resources that keep us fired up, that give us energy, will desire to keep moving towards our best self. Jay did that for us today. He did it for me. I hope he did it for you. Thank you all for joining me, for joining the conversation. Continue to check in. Continue to check in with the people in your life that you are leading, to make sure that you guys are on that shared roadmap and that people have the tools they need to get to the results that they want and love ’em through it. Give them grace and compassion. Grow ’em and support ’em. Check in with us. Check out the Facebook page. Check out our website is up mindset.com. If you just want to connect with me, email is up mindset@gmail.com. So excited to bring this to you and that you guys continue to support and grow with us and as always, live eyes up.