Episode 323:

When things are going well in our agencies and our personal lives, it’s easy to relax into the comfort of that success. One of the risks of that comfort is missing the signs that trouble is brewing below the surface. There’s a difference between living in fear and anticipating challenges. No one is suggesting we live a life of paranoia where we’re constantly waiting for things to fall apart, but a vigilant approach to life and business can help us steer clear of troubled waters before we’re knee-deep in them.

Author Len Herstein started as a consultant in consumer-packaged goods marketing before life took an expected turn that led to him becoming a police officer at age 45. Though these worlds seem vastly different on the surface the through-line he discovered was one about the risks and dangers of complacency.

In this episode of Build a Better Agency, Len and I take a deep dive into complacency: how it’s defined, the damage it can do, and why agency owners are among the most susceptible to its dangers. We discuss tangible tactics for creating awareness in your agency, the importance of transparency, and how to successfully self-assess your own complacency. It’s a big conversation about an important topic meant to inspire you to be vigilant.

A big thank you to our podcast’s presenting sponsor, White Label IQ. They’re an amazing resource for agencies who want to outsource their design, dev, or PPC work at wholesale prices. Check out their special offer (10 free hours!) for podcast listeners here.

Fight Complacency

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • Where complacency comes from and why it is so dangerous.
  • Why agency owners are among the most susceptible to complacency.
  • Why you need to “articulate your why”
  • The opposite of complacency
  • The dangers of having a lack of engagement
  • What it means to get off the “X”
  • The need to be transparent
  • How to brief and debrief successfully
  • 3 questions to self-assess complacency
“Complacency kills. It kills businesses. It kills brands. It kills personal relationships.” @lenherstein Click To Tweet “Complacency is when you become so over-confident and self-satisfied that you become unaware of potential or real threats.” @lenherstein Click To Tweet “The reason that complacency is so dangerous is that it’s born out of success.” @lenherstein Click To Tweet “The results of complacency feel like they’ve come out of nowhere but the reality is they’ve been growing and festering and building in the background until they become something that we can’t ignore anymore.” @lenherstein Click To Tweet “Agencies and agency owners are probably among the most susceptible to complacency.” @lenherstein Click To Tweet “The name of the game here is being prepared and building in the processes that make it seamless for you.” @lenherstein Click To Tweet “You need to understand why you do what you do that goes beyond making money.” @lenherstein Click To Tweet

Ways to Contact Len Herstein:

Additional Resources:

Speaker 1:

If you’re going to take the risk of running an agency, shouldn’t you get the benefits too? Welcome to Agency Management Institute’s Build a Better Agency podcast presented by White Label IQ. Tune in every week for insights on how small to midsize agencies are surviving and thriving in today’s market. We’ll show you how to make more money and keep more of what you make. We want to help you build an agency that is sustainable, scalable and, if you want down the road, sellable. With 25 plus years of experience, as both an agency owner and agency consultant, please welcome your host, Drew McLellan.

Drew McLellan:

Hey, everybody Drew McLellan here from Agency Management Institute. Welcome back to another episode of Build a Better Agency. I am excited. I know, I think I say that every time I have a guest and honestly that’s because I am excited to have them. We just really luck out and have great guests. But I have to tell you, this is a guest I’ve really been looking forward to talking to because when I read his book, it kind of haunted me like not in a creepy ghost sort of way. But there were things that he said that just chased me around. So I’m anxious to share his wisdom and his book and his thinking with you. So before I tell you about our guest, I want to remind you that the 2021 Agency Edge Research Report is out.

So as you know, we partner with Audience Audit and Susan Byer every year, we’ve done it since 2014, to do primary research where we talk to agency clients about something specific. So the 2021 report is out. You can go to agencymanagementinstitute.com and under the resources tab, you’ll see Agency Edge Research series, and you can download the 2021 executive summary and read about the research and what we found out about clients, it was fascinating. And actually you heard some things for the first time that we’ve never heard in the research before, so well worth your time to download that.

All right, let me tell you about our guest. So Len Herstein, really interesting guy, comes from our world marketing, branding and then decided to become a cop. And so the combination of his experiences led him to write a book called Be Vigilant. And it’s all of about this combination of his experiences, both in the business world and on the street as a patrol cop about the importance of being vigilant and what that means and what complacency means and what it means in business.

And he just said some really interesting things in the book about how we are most complacent, and most at risk at the things that we’re best at and we’re most successful at it, lots of little tidbits like that, and then some great stories. But really got me thinking about my business and about your business and how we have to figure out how to be vigilant and what that means.

So without further ado, I want to get Len in here and start picking his brain because he has some really, really interesting ideas about business and how we can continue to build on the success we have as opposed to allowing that success to erode. So let’s get to it Len, welcome to the podcast. I am super excited to have you here.

Len Herstein:

Thanks Drew. I am really excited to be here. I’ve been looking for forward to this.

Drew McLellan:

So I told you when we talked before scheduling this conversation, your book has haunted me since I read it, in a really good way. And it just got me thinking about all of the ways that I have and could get kind of lazy and complacent. And, like now, it’s like in the back of my head and I’m doing things I’m thinking, “Oh, that’s a spot.” So I will tell you, A, it was a great read, which I told you I really enjoyed the read, but B, it is stuck in my brain. So I really enjoyed it.

Len Herstein:

Yeah. I don’t know if I should say sorry or you’re welcome, but yeah.

Drew McLellan:

No, maybe a little bit of both, but yeah. Yeah, mostly you’re welcome. So tell the listeners how you came to have this expertise is pretty unique and it’s certainly part of what makes this the book so fun to read. So give everybody a sense of your background and how you came to write the book.

Len Herstein:

Yeah, absolutely. So my background was originally in consumer package goods marketing. So actually I started in consulting. I used to work for a company called Anderson Consulting, which is now Accenture.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

I made a move over to consumer package goods marketing. I worked for Nabisco and Coca-Cola and Campbell Soup. Spent a lot of time on the client side, right.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

And running all elements of brands. I went to a lot of conferences and then I decided that I couldn’t find any conferences that I actually wanted to go to anymore. So I created my own and I created Brand Manage Camp.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

Which has been running annually since 2003.

Drew McLellan:

Yep.

Len Herstein:

And so I was doing that and that was my life. When I was 45 years old, I started thinking I really would like to start doing more volunteer work and get involved in the community.

And this opportunity came up to become a reserve Sheriff’s deputy with my local Sheriff’s office. Sounds small, but our Sheriff’s office is huge, it’s a big law enforcement agency and I never really wanted to be a cop. It wasn’t something that I grew up wanting to do, but this spoke to me. So I went through a full academy. I went through 440 hours of field training and I became a Certified Peace Officer in the state of Colorado and became a police officer.

I went into it thinking that this was going to be completely different than anything I had ever done before, which it was, but what surprised me was I started learning things right away that looking through my previous lenses, I started seeing the applicability back to my business life and my personal life. And the core thing that really stuck with me from day one was this concept that complacency kills.

And it’s something that we talk about a lot in law enforcement, but I started thinking, you know what? Complacency kills businesses, it kills brands, it kills personal relationships.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

And I became obsessed with understanding what complacency is, why it’s so dangerous, what brings it on and started looking for what you do in law enforcement every day to help identify and fight it. And how can I apply that back? What can we learn from that and apply it back to business? And that’s where the book came from. The book is really me taking the lessons that I learned as a 45 year old guy getting into law enforcement, that I immediately saw, here’s how I can help brands and businesses and people.

Drew McLellan:

So, let’s talk a little bit about this idea of complacency. Where does it come from and why is it so dangerous? I mean, when we say it, everyone goes, “Oh yeah, I don’t want to be complacent.” Right.

Len Herstein:

Right.

Drew McLellan:

But you talking about complacency actually kills literally and figuratively takes it to a whole different level. So let’s talk a little bit about that.

Len Herstein:

Yeah. It’s a great question. I mean, listen, complacency in my mind has become this throw away filler word that we use. People listening to this will start hearing it in the day to day, they’ll see it on TV and people talk about it in the context of current events and sporting events and business and whatever. And usually it’s a throwaway word where people just say, “Hey, let’s not get complacent.” Right. Or someone points out, they’re getting complacent over there or people are starting to get complacent. Right. And then they move on and nobody ever talks about what is it and how do you avoid it? Right. So complacency to me is not laziness, it’s not just carelessness. Complacency is when you become so overconfident and self-satisfied that you become unaware of potential or real threats.

Right. And so that’s why it’s so dangerous. The reason why complacency is so dangerous is because it’s born out of success. We become over confident because of past success. Right. And when we start feeling that, when we start feeling that smugness almost right.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

That’s when complacency can grow and complacency, sometimes the results of complacency feel like they’ve come out of nowhere, but the reality is they’ve growing and festering and, building in the background until they become something that we can’t ignore anymore. And usually it’s a little bit late in the game for that.

Drew McLellan:

Part of how I would translate that is the more successful I am, the more likely I am that I have areas of complacency that I am not paying attention to.

Len Herstein:

Yeah. It’s just human nature, it’s not an indictment of anybody. Right.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

The human nature is we’re built to become comfortable. That’s where we want to be. That’s where we want to live, and success helps us do that. Right. Success helps us feel comfortable in the things we’re doing. The reality is like you said, that is when we become most vulnerable, that is when we become most susceptible to the detriments of complacency. And where that comes from a lot of times is from outside threats that we don’t see coming.

Drew McLellan:

And I was thinking about that this morning, that agency life is so frenetic and everything is changing so fast that when we get to a moment of calm, we’re so relieved. It’s just like, “Oh, finally, I’m not up till two in the morning. I’m not worried about payroll.” I’m not whatever I was worried about. And so you can totally see how you let down your guard in that moment, because you’re just so relieved to have the peace and quiet of a normal day, a non-crisis day that you could see how it would be so easy just to sink into that and not make sure your back’s against the wall.

Len Herstein:

Yeah.

Drew McLellan:

And people listening, just ignore the dogs. It’s the holiday time. There’s a lot of UPS people here at the house. So they’re just going to walk along.

Len Herstein:

Like we say, it’s our normal desire to have those quiet and restful times. Right.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

And as I was preparing for this talk, I was thinking about agencies and agency owners and, I think they’re even, they’re probably among the most susceptible to complacency, because think about it this way. In order to become an agency owner, it means you had to have been successful at what you do. Right.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

You’re a great creative, you’re a great relationship builder, you’re a great director of creativity. Right.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

And so you’ve now hung your own shingle. Right. And so that level of success inherently can make you become complacent. Right. Because you can become over confident.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

Right. But now you’re entering a world. And, I think, as talking before this, most agency owners can identify with this, that you’re entering a world where you’re now a business owner and there’s different challenges. Right.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

I think it was Marshall Goldsmith, who said, he has a book, “What got you here won’t get you there.”

Drew McLellan:

Absolutely. Right.

Len Herstein:

Right.

Drew McLellan:

Absolutely. Right.

Len Herstein:

That’s a lot of it. Right. What got you to be the success level that you are to become an agency owner doesn’t necessarily make you a great agency runner.

Drew McLellan:

Right. Well, or it got you to an agency of 20 people, but it won’t get you to an agency of 40 people. Right. So give us an example on the business side of what complacent looks like. Because again, I think you’re right. I think it becomes this throwaway word that we think of in such a generic way. So give us something concrete to sort of go, “Oh, okay. Yeah, I do that.”

Len Herstein:

Yeah. Listen, there is the easy examples of Blockbuster Video. Right. Becoming so over confident in what they were doing, that they didn’t see the threat of what Netflix could bring or a Netflix type company could bring.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

There’s the stories of all the brick and mortar retailers who have been shown the door by Amazon.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

Right. And there’s a laundry list. Right. Whether it be Sears or Circuit City or Borders or whatever it is.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

Right. So, there’s those examples. There’s also, an example I’m talking about right now is this idea of what people are calling the great resignation. Right. So people talk about the great resignation and people giving up their jobs or leaving jobs that they don’t enjoy to go pursue other things because of the environment that there is now.

People are talking about that as if it’s a COVID thing.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

But the reality is that it’s not a COVID thing. COVID may have-

Drew McLellan:

Heightened it.

Len Herstein:

… accelerated it. Right.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

But this is something that was born out of complacency leading up to this. Right.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

So what’s that complacency? The complacency is, for a long time, a lot of these employers who are experiencing the problems of the great resignation, were in a position of power.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

Right. And a lot of times, one of the things I talk about in the book is the ability to articulate your why. It’s something that is very ingrained. If you talk to any law enforcement officer, they will understand, they’ll talk about those words, articulate your why, articulate your why. And it really boils down to being able to explain why you’re doing everything in the context of your greater purpose.

Right. And what it is. When that answer is because either because I said so, or because I can, those are terrible answers and that’s what happened. Right. That’s what happened with a lot of employer, employee relationships, they underpaid, they overworked, they want everybody to be in the office all the time.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

For no other reason that they can articulate other than because I said so, and because you have.

Drew McLellan:

Or I like it better that way. Yeah.

Len Herstein:

Right. Or this is the way we’ve always done it.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

Right. So that complacency has now come back. Right.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

So that was the threat that people failed to see is what happens if the balance of power shifts?

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

What are people going to do? Are people going to stay with us or are they only staying with us right now because they have to?

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

Right. And whether that’s an employee relationship or a customer relationship or a vendor relationship, or, in a political sense, a constituent relationship, any relationship where people are staying with you because they have to, if I’m staying with my cell phone company, because I can’t afford to change fee.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

Right, that they’re charging me for no other reason other than they can. Well, the first time someone offers me the ability to move without charging me a fee or paying my fee for me, I’m gone.

Drew McLellan:

Right. Absolutely.

Len Herstein:

I saw that.

Drew McLellan:

Right. Yeah. So true. In the book you talk about the opposite of complacency and I think this is an interesting dichotomy. The opposite of complacency is not fear base, it’s not paranoia.

Len Herstein:

No.

Drew McLellan:

It really is about this idea of vigilance. And so talk a little bit about the fork in the road there.

Len Herstein:

Sure.

Drew McLellan:

And how business of owners can sometimes take the wrong fork.

Len Herstein:

Yeah, absolutely. I think, when I talk about complacency with people, sometimes they get a little uncomfortable because the assumption is that, especially when I’m talking about it from my perspective, the assumption is that the opposite, like you said, is paranoia.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

Right. And so that’s a terrible feeling. Nobody wants to be paranoid.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

And nobody wants to feel like they’re afraid all the time. And the way I explain it is, to me, the opposite of complacency is not paranoia, it’s vigilance. And that’s why the book is called, Be Vigilant. Right.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

It’s not about be paranoid. Although there have been books about being paranoid and talk about, right. But to me, the difference is this paranoia is fear based. Paranoia is based in this fear of the unknown.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

And it’s very unsettling and it’s a high energy place to live and its exhausting, right. Because you’re always looking around the corner and behind you and all that stuff. Vigilance is based in awareness. Right. And so vigilance is based in building the processes and the tools that allow you to remain aware of your surroundings and use your resources to remain aware of those surroundings without draining you of your energy.

And that’s really what it’s all about. And so I think that helps people become more comfortable with this idea, is the fact that it’s not about being afraid all the time, but it’s about being in the moment. And that’s what the book is. The book delivers as you know, 10 different tools that you can use right away.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

That help you remain aware and help you fight those blind spots and not get surprised.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah. So one of the the takeaways I think from the book for me was that vigilance is also a shared responsibility. So as in many cases, agencies are owned by one person and that the mantle of command weighs very heavy on their shoulders. They have all of their day to day work. They have to run the business, they have all the finance stuff to worry about. And so the idea of this always being on alert, always being aware. On top of everything else, I think a lot of agents owners go, “You got to be kidding me.” But it is something that you actually can weave through, at least the leadership team level of your organization. Right?

Len Herstein:

Yeah. I mean, what I talk about in the book is, you want to drive that all the way down to your feet on the street, you know what I mean?

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

There’s top down complacency that happens, but there’s also bottom up complacency and where that comes from is a lack of engagement. And especially in an agency environment again, where you have a leader who built this out of their own blood, sweat, and tears. Right.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

And come up, sometimes it’s hard to let go. Sometimes it’s hard to allow people to have autonomy.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

To give them discretion. So this is a big part, and this is something I learned from law enforcement. I work patrol, so I’m out there driving around in a car, taking calls, but also doing proactive policing. Right.

And I have a lot of discretion in my job.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

So when I come across something, especially if it’s a misdemeanor or something, there are a lot of different directions. I can go anywhere from a warning to a citation, or a summons to, taking someone to jail.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

Having that autonomy and that discretion forces me to think.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

It forces me to process information. When you don’t allow your employees to have that, they don’t have to think. And when they don’t have to think they don’t remain engaged.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

And that hurts you in two ways. Number one is you don’t have engaged employees. So they’re more likely to churn and leave. The other thing is that you don’t have engaged employees, so they’re likely to be unaware, or unwilling to pay attention to the potential threats they’re seeing at their level that you can’t see at your level.

Drew McLellan:

Right. Absolutely. Right. They’re seeing it from a whole different lens.

Len Herstein:

Exactly.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

Exactly. And I equate it to if you walk into a Home Depot or a Lowe’s or something like that, do you have people that are stocking the shelves that also want to help you? Or is their job to stock the shelves and that’s what they get judged on and they don’t get any benefit out of helping you? And so you sit there by yourself for a long time.

Drew McLellan:

Right. Wandering around trying to find something. Yeah.

Len Herstein:

Right. So you find somebody that’ll give you some info. Well, that’s not my aisle. I can’t.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

I’m this aisle, I’m not that aisle. Right. A lot of times people are like, “well, that employee’s not a good employee.”

Well, no, that employee has been taught that it’s not their job. Their job is to do their thing and that’s what they get rewarded on, and that’s what they get, judged on. And these other things don’t apply to them. And when you have a relationship like that, and especially in an agency thing, it’s like, you’re the creative, that’s what you do. You don’t interact with the client, right.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

You listen to your brand strategist or whatever. Right. You can get sucked into that little world where you don’t see the other things going on.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

And so that’s a big deal. That’s a big deal that if you’re the type of person that can’t let go, that can’t bring other people into the fold, that can’t delegate and give people, not just delegate because delegate to me is like, “Here do this.”

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

But it’s about giving people this sense of ownership in the process. It makes them better employees and it makes you more likely to hear about things before they become issues.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah. Because I think as a business owner, as an agency owner, we have lots of blind spots. When I teach AE group camps and when I’m talking to the AEs, I’m like, “I know you think your boss knows everything you do all day, but they have no idea because they’re busy doing their thing and they’re running around like chickens with their head cut off, putting out their to-do list and they’re putting out their fires. And so they may walk by you seven times, but they have no idea how you actually spend your day. So you need to help them understand how you do that.”

But to your point, that lack of visibility, which is impossible I think to get past, also means that there’s a bunch of stuff I don’t know that has the potential. If I heard it, I might go, “Oh, that’s a clue.” Maybe my employee’s too junior to go that’s a clue.

Len Herstein:

Right.

Drew McLellan:

But if I heard what they see and feel I might go, “Oh, okay. That is telling me that this client is unhappy and we need to go talk to them or whatever.” Because I have a different lens to look at that data.

Len Herstein:

Yeah, absolutely. And that’s also why I think one of the big problems and why success breeds complacency is that a lot of times when we’re being successful, we don’t ask questions.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

Right. So a lot of times, one of the things that I talk a lot about in a book is this idea of debriefing.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

And the concept is that a lot of times if you ask people in business, do you do debriefs? People will say yes. But the reality is what you’re doing is you’re debriefing only when something goes wrong.

Drew McLellan:

And not that often, frankly.

Len Herstein:

Yeah.

Drew McLellan:

Let’s be honest.

Len Herstein:

It’s how do we figure out who messed up here?

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

And how do we assign blame and make sure this doesn’t happen again, we just lost this account. What happened there?

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

Whose fault is that? Right? But when we win an account, do we sit down and talk about why we won it? How we won it?

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

What happened? Right. If we have a micro success, we have a campaign that does well, we have something that has driven sales for a customer of ours, or whatever the metric was that determines success. Do we then regularly and systematically bring everybody together to say, let’s talk about this. Let’s talk about what just happened. Let’s talk about the success. Let’s talk about why it was successful. Let’s talk about how it could have been more successful. Let’s talk about the things that went right. The things that went right by accident. The things that went right even though we did wrong things, right. And that’s where you find these little micro failures and these micro failures are the window to future macro failures.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah. Right. It’s the first crack, right. That you could either catch as a crack or it’s not until it breaks completely.

Len Herstein:

Yeah.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

And when you do that, when everybody in the organization understands that we are going to debrief every mission or project or whatever you want to call it. Right. Regardless of outcome, whether it’s successful or it’s a failure, there’s a double effect. Number one is you get the benefits of that debrief. Right.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

And I talk in the book about how to do those well, because it’s easy to do them poorly as well and not get those benefits. But you get to the benefits. The second thing that you get out of that is the built-in awareness that people have because they know they’re going to have to answer questions later.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

Because we’re going to talk about this. Right. We’re going to talk about what went right what went wrong. People may pay more attention when you pay more-

Drew McLellan:

For sure. Right, it’s in the back of their head. I’m going to have to answer this question later, so I better pay attention.

Len Herstein:

Right.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

Well, attention is awareness.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

Right.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

And that’s the battle and complacency to begin with. So by having that process in place, it’s almost a, self-fulfilling prophecy that you’re going to learn from it because people know that they’re going to have to answer those questions.

Drew McLellan:

If you actually do them.

Len Herstein:

Exactly.

Drew McLellan:

Right. Saying you’re going to do them and actually doing them are two different things.

Len Herstein:

Absolutely.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

It’s the same thing with briefing. So I talk about briefing too. And we don’t call them briefs in the business world, we might call them status meetings, or weekly updates, or one-on-ones right. But the question is how often do those get canceled? Right. Because something more important up.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

Right. And that’s a whole other discussion, but that’s all in the book too about how to do briefing well.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah, so let’s take a quick brief, because I want to actually go back and talk a little bit about some of the other sort of tactics that you have in the book. Because I want people to have some tools on the back half of the interview. I want them to have some tools that they can apply right away. But let’s take a quick break and then we’ll come back and dig into those.

I’m really sorry to interrupt the show because I know that you are into it, but I promise we’ll get right back to it. But I couldn’t miss this opportunity to tell you about a workshop that we’re teaching, the Build and Nurture your Agency Sales Funnel. This is a workshop that I teach with Steven Wesner and it is the next step after you read our book, Sell With Authority.

And this is all about building a new business machine that works every day to attract right fit clients, right to your front door. This workshop is a little different than some of our workshops. This is much more a hands on workshop. There’s a lot of homework that you’re are going to actually do in the workshop because we want you to leave the two days with a completed marketing and sales plan. I’m talking tactics, I’m talking timetable, I’m talking, who’s going to do what at your agency. You are going to leave with it, built out and ready to implement the very next week. And we know that if we taught you how to do it, but we didn’t make you do it in the workshop, by the time you got back to the office and all the craziness that waits for you there, it would never get done. So that’s why we built this workshop this way.

And it’s been very well received. And in fact, it’s backed by popular demand. This workshop is January 20th and 21st in Orlando, Florida on beautiful Disney property. If you are ready to kick off the new year, being serious about [Biz Tab 00:26:52] and really separating out prospects who aren’t that good for you, or aren’t going to be profitable for the ones that are going to love you, stay with you and help you make money, come to the workshop, let us show you how.

All right. Let’s get back to the show. All right, we are back and we are talking about vigilance and one of the things I loved about the book was that you mix and match your stories. The content’s really good from a business perspective, but it’s also great story telling. Which, as you know, many business books are not, but I love how you mix and match business examples and some of your law enforcement examples. Because I think, in a lot of ways for me anyway, reading it out of the context of my day to day world and thinking about how police officers protect each other’s back or whatever the example was, help me see it differently. And then I could then go, “Oh, oh, I see how I’m not doing that at work too.”

Len Herstein:

Right.

Drew McLellan:

So that made it a much more layered read, I think.

Len Herstein:

Oh, I love hearing that. Thank you.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah. So one of the things you talk about that really stuck with me was this idea of getting off of the X. So talk to us a little bit about that concept, both from a law enforcement perspective, but a business perspective and help us understand how we can apply that right away.

Len Herstein:

Yeah, absolutely. So when I talk about getting off the X, it’s something that I learned in law enforcement. We talk about it all the time. If you envision a big red X, a cartoon X on the ground and you’re standing on it, if you’re a cartoon character, that’s not the safest place for you to stand. Right.

Drew McLellan:

Right. The anvil is coming. Right.

Len Herstein:

Exactly.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

Exactly. So you want to get off that X and we do that. So for us in law enforcement, it’s a lot about movement.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

But what that all comes from is this military concept called the OODA loop. Okay. So it’s O-O-D-A, OODA. It sounds like Gouda, but it’s spelled O-O-D-A, and it stands for observe, orient, decide and act. And it was born from an understanding of how fighter pilots could be more successful in their battles in the air. And it was about understanding how the brain makes decisions. And there’s two elements, so this is a linear process that we have, right? It’s we observe something, we orient ourselves, we decide, and we act. And there’s two ways you could win the OODA loop. And the OODA loop is something to win.

You can either get through it faster than your competition. So you get to action faster, or you can slow your competition down. When I talk about getting off the X it’s about the ladder, it’s about giving the information in a way to your competitive set or whoever’s out there so that it forces them to break their OODA loop. Because what happens is when you are going through your observe, oriented, decide and act, if you all of a sudden get new information, the brain has to go back.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

The brain has to go back to the beginning, right. And it has to re-observe, re-orient, re-decide, re-act, and it happens very quickly for us. But the way I explain it, a lot of times is in terms of sports, if you’re a football fan, whether it’s English football or American football, doesn’t matter, someone has the ball and they’re running down the field towards a goal, right?

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

If they’re running straight down the field and you are a defensive person on the other side of the field, you don’t have to be a mathematical genius to figure out very quickly, what speed and what angle you need to run at to intercept that person. Right?

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

Once they start moving and shaking, and zigzagging, and spinning, every time they do that, you’ve decided where you’re going, based on where they were going before, and then they change.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

And now you are falling down. You’re falling over yourself because now you have to go back and reorient. And that’s what getting off the X is about. It’s about being strategically unpredictable. And that’s an uncomfortable place to be sometimes, right? I’m not talking about being, willy nilly unpredictable, like crazy.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

Like nobody knows ever what you’re going to do, but it’s about being strategically unpredictable. And that is something that I think gets retail clients in trouble all the time. Right. They get so tied to their schedule of offers and discounts and all the things that they become incredibly predictable.

I talk in the book about how I’m a big Eddie Bauer fan. I like Eddie Bauer clothing, but at this point in time I rarely buy anything for less than 60% off. And the minimum would be 50% off.

Drew McLellan:

Right. Yeah. They’ve trained you. Right.

Len Herstein:

They’ve trained me. Right. Not only have they trained me, but they’ve trained their employees.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

And they’ve trained their competition, and they’ve trained their vendors, and they’ve trained everybody to know exactly what they’re going to do at all times, which makes it very difficult to succeed. It makes you very vulnerable to competition and vulnerable to the threats of just, what I do now, which is I don’t buy anything at full price ever. Right.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

So that’s what getting off the X is all about. And really there’s a lot of different ways that you can do it. And I talk about that in the book. But one of the easiest ways that you can do it is this idea of self disruption. Is this idea of disrupting yourself before someone else does. And it involves an awareness, right? And this is all based in awareness. It’s about what vows and awareness of where your disruptions could come from. Right. And if you can understand where your disruptions could come from, and you take control and you get in the driver’s seat, and you disrupt yourself, you put yourself in that position where you are, breaking everybody’s OODA loop.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

And I think a great example of this is Netflix. I talk about Blockbuster. Everybody would talk about Netflix in the context of how it beat Blockbuster, which is an interesting story. It’s a great story. B.

Ut to me the more interesting story about Netflix is what they did afterwards. Right.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

So not only did they take the video rental business and move it to mail. Right. That was their big thing. Right. They would send you discs.

Drew McLellan:

That’s right, yeah.

Len Herstein:

And you would send them back, remember, right. But then they made the move to streaming.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

Right. And that was a huge move that they self disrupted. They didn’t stop there. They made the move to creating their own content.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

Right. Which now everybody then had to get in line and follow. Right.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

Everybody’s doing it, making their own content. And now they’ve gotten into gaming. They’re creating games and ways to utilize their own content to keep people engaged with their system even longer. They keep moving. Every time they move, their competition has to move with them.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

Reaction is slower than action. And so that’s what the game is all about in terms of getting off the X.

Drew McLellan:

And from your perspective, how do I find that line between getting off the X and as you say, that frenetic, just changing to change?

Len Herstein:

Yeah. I think it all comes back to that idea of where are you likely to get disrupted?

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

Right. So, say you’re an agency that only does packaging right, or something like that.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

But that’s all you do. Right. But then you start seeing that, well, gosh, the disruption is coming from this conglomeration of agencies. And, as an independent agency, what I’m seeing is a lot of bigger agencies are getting together and becoming a one stop shop for everything. Right. So that’s a disruption that’s coming down the road.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

So, how do I get beyond my area, right, to build above and self disrupt. Right. And not be that person standing on the X waiting for that Vil. Right.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

And getting ahead of the game.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

So again, it’s not about being crazy and so unpredictable that nobody knows what you’re doing. I’m actually in Las Vegas right now, as we were talking about, and I play poker. One of the interesting things about poker is when you have someone who is new to the game and they get pocket aces, right. Probably, it is the best starting hand that you can have in a game of poker.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

They get very committed to it. Right. And they play it one way and they wait, and wait, wait for it. And then they go and they play it that way a hundred percent of the time.

Drew McLellan:

Sure.

Len Herstein:

Well, that makes you vulnerable to anybody who understands and is paying attention because they know if you’re betting big, you have pocket aces.

So you know what? I can come in with four or five of diamonds, and I can either lose a small amount to you or win a big amount because I know you’re going to be tied to those aces.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

The best poker players play their aces like they’re nothing 30% of the time say, right. And so they keep you on your toes. You never really know what they’re holding.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

But they’re not so crazy that they’re out of control or anything like that.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

And that’s what you want. That’s what you want to be. You want to be someone that is hard to read, but not hard to enjoy.

Drew McLellan:

Well, and even being willing to take some risks and to temporarily lose for a bigger gain. All of those are ways to disrupt that we have the latitude to do as business owners, but often times it doesn’t even occur to us, or we don’t have the courage to do it.

Len Herstein:

Yeah. It’s hard. It’s hard to take losses. Right.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

But as we’d always say in innovation, when I was working on the client side is, if you’re going to fail, fail fast and fail cheap.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

It’s not, don’t fail because that’s not really an option in life. You’re going to fail.

Drew McLellan:

But especially in, again, especially in agency life, as quickly as things change there, there’s no way we can stay current and lead the pack or lead trends, if we’re not willing to drop the ball now then.

Len Herstein:

Yeah. And take some risks.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

You got to take some risks. Right. And it’s hard sometimes it’s hard. I think one of the things that I talk about in the book is this, and we’ve talked about already, is just need to be transparent.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

Right. Well, transparency is tough. Right? Transparency is risky sometimes because you’re pulling away the curtain you’re giving people a view. A great example is this company called Buffer, have you heard of Buffer?

Drew McLellan:

Yep.

Len Herstein:

Okay. So they’re in the social media game, they create tools to help with social media. I think back in 2013 or something they made to move towards salary, transparency. So if you go to Buffer’s website, you can find, by name, everybody who works there, and what they make, what they’re paid.

Okay. There is no hiding it. Right. So if you want to talk about, you have problems in your industry of pay gap problems, gender, or race or whatever it is.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

The first thing you need to do is hold yourself accountable and put out there that our goal is to eliminate those pay gaps. And then the second thing is to be transparent as to how you get there. Right. That’s risky. I mean, can you imagine the meetings that we’re going on there, like, whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a minute. Hold on.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah. You want to do a what? Right. Yeah.

Len Herstein:

Not only just internally, you want everybody in the world to know exactly, you want the people who are buying our product to know what we’re paying our people and how much they’re making?

Drew McLellan:

Or in today’s environment, you want to tell every other business owner who wants to poach your employees, what they make?

Len Herstein:

Right.

Drew McLellan:

So I can come to you and go, “Hey, I know you make 75 grand. For 89 you could come on over to my place.” Right.

Len Herstein:

Right. And those are the fears. Right. But what happened? what happened is their ability to attract talent went up.

Drew McLellan:

Yep.

Len Herstein:

And their ability to retain talent went up.

Drew McLellan:

Well, and probably they had to do some hard soul searching to go, you know what? We do have some pay gaps, or we aren’t paying women the same way we’re paying men, or whatever their issue was. They probably had to look at their truth and adjust it to be what they wanted it to be.

Len Herstein:

Exactly.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

Exactly. And they’re also transparent about the fact that they still haven’t closed that gap for a lot of different reasons.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

But they continue to work towards it. Right. And so the ability for them to say, “Hey, we’re not there yet. We’re still struggling with this.” Also builds trust. Right. It builds trust [crosstalk 00:39:30].

Drew McLellan:

Absolutely. So let’s talk, no pun intended, briefly about briefing and debriefing, because this is a place where agencies should be doing this. At agencies, it really is a measure twice, cut one sort of world. We get going so fast and we don’t brief the team. And then we wonder why we’re over budget or took too long. Well, because people didn’t know. And then on the debrief side, I think your point is a really good one that we tend to debrief when something imploded.

Len Herstein:

Right.

Drew McLellan:

But we don’t debrief just to figure out boy, this new way that we did something actually worked a whole lot better. So talk about some best practices around, as we wrap this up. That to me is a really tangible thing that everybody can take and implement. So talk a little bit about best practices for briefing and debriefing.

Len Herstein:

Yeah. So we’ll talk about briefing first. So this is something that I never really picked up on again until I got into law enforcement. Before every shift we do a briefing for people of a right age, you might remember Hill Street Blues or whatever, it’s like be careful out there. Right.

Drew McLellan:

That’s right. Yep.

Len Herstein:

Yep. So that’s a real thing, we do that. Right. We do that every shift, but what we do is we incorporate some things that make it more likely to be useful. Right. So when we do a briefing, we keep it short. Right.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

So we keep it short, we do it every time, right. Unless it’s a really, really crazy situation where you have to get out on the road because something is happening, we will always do a briefing.

Right. We have specific purpose in mind, which is to make sure people across the team are aware of all the things we need to know. We might do a little debrief from the day before of something that happened, right. Or we might talk about out some new information that’s come out, or we might talk about something that is a concern in a certain district or something like that.

But the purpose of it is to keep everybody informed so that we’re working together as a team. The other thing that we always incorporate in is a little bit of training. So every time we’ll have someone who’s responsible for a short training and we keep them to just a few minutes and just something so that we’re constantly learning and we’re constantly getting exposed to new things. I think the problems that we have when we do what we would consider briefings in the business world is a lot of time times we make them one-on-ones. Right.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

So we don’t get the benefit of the team environment. We don’t get the benefit of hearing what’s going on with everybody else. And we remain siloed. Right. It’s all about me justifying what I did this past week. Right.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

I’ve got to justify to my boss what I did this past week.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

And my boss is telling me what they expect of me in the next week. And that’s not a briefing that’s something different, right?

Drew McLellan:

Yeah. And again, you’re not saying the one-on-ones are bad. You’re just saying that we only have one perspective in that case, we need both.

Len Herstein:

Yeah.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

No, the one-on-ones serve a different purpose.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

But if the true purpose of the briefing is to keep everybody informed, keep everybody on task, keep everybody moving towards the greater goal.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

As a team. Right. And so to do that successfully, you want to do it as a team, if you can, right.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

You want to do it, keep it short. Right. A lot of times we have this default where, because Outlook or whatever defaults to a half hour, an hour, we make half hour, hour meetings. They don’t have to-

Drew McLellan:

They always grow to fill that time. Right.

Len Herstein:

Of course.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

They’re always going to expand to that time. Right.

Drew McLellan:

Right. So there’s no reason why it can’t be 15 minutes or 20 minutes.

Len Herstein:

Right.

Drew McLellan:

Make it something odd, right, 17 minutes. Right.

Len Herstein:

Yeah. And then you’re more likely to stick to it and make sure. So you want to make them short, you want to make team based. You also want to make them regular. You want to make sure that they hold the status that they should hold. Right.

We talked about this earlier. How many times do you have like a weekly status meeting on Monday morning that gets canceled because something else came up?

Drew McLellan:

Absolutely. All the time. Yeah.

Len Herstein:

Your boss’s boss has a question that nobody can answer and it came down and everybody, It’s all hands on deck. We got to answer this question.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

Turns out that question, nobody even cared about to begin with because it got misinterpreted and people went around. But everybody, and how many times do we cancel these meetings? When we cancel these meetings, the signal we’re sending is that they’re not important.

Drew McLellan:

Right. Absolutely.

Len Herstein:

Right. And when we cancel them, it becomes easier to cancel the next one. And when we’re doing that what we’re losing is that awareness. We’re losing that ability for people to bring up issues that may affect other people.

And that’s a big problem. So in the book, I think I thought about five or six things that make for better briefings.

Drew McLellan:

Yep.

Len Herstein:

That’s a few of them that are easy to do.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

On the debrief side there’s a few different ones, right. So one of the most important things, two of the most important things you can do right now in terms of debriefs is number one, make them regular. Right. And make sure people understand we’re going to do them regardless. So number two is make them regardless of outcome success or failure. Right.

So regular, regardless of outcome. And I think the most difficult thing for people to do in debriefs is leave your titles at the door. You don’t want to have you walking into the debrief, you leading the debrief with all of your observations and everybody sitting there nodding their heads or whatever. It’s not about that. The most valuable eyes sometimes in those debriefs are the newest eyes, are the intern, or the new account manager.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

Or whatever. And so when we do debriefs in law enforcement we get in a room, it doesn’t matter if you’re a captain or a deputy or whatever you are, we go around the room like that and we talk about the good or the bad.

Drew McLellan:

Well, and I think those two points, we are always going to do them ,and the listeners are thinking, how do I carve the time out for that? Who pays for it? How do we bill our time? As opposed to that 15 minutes may yield two hours of more productive work down the road. Right?

Len Herstein:

Absolutely.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

Not only will it yield more productive work, but it’ll also make you more aware of potential threats and you will keep more business. You will earn more or business.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

All of the things that come along. We all know how devastating it is when you lose a big account. Right. And those big accounts don’t get, usually, usually they don’t get lost overnight. They get lost over time.

Drew McLellan:

Right. So had we talked about it and I identified some issues where that happens we could shore up lots of different accounts earlier on.

Len Herstein:

Absolutely.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

Or grow more business within the current accounts.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

Or whatever it is. Right.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

Don’t leave doors open for competition to come in.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah. So true. And you know what? when you talk about it, it sounds so simple.

Len Herstein:

Yeah.

Drew McLellan:

Right. And simple concept, yeah, simple to do in the crazy busy day of an agency. Different. I mean, I’m not saying what you’re suggesting is easy. It’s simple. It’s simple, but it’s not easy.

Len Herstein:

Yeah. No, I think you’re exactly right. That’s a very astute point. It is. It’s easy to say, and it’s easy to do once you do it, but it’s not easy to build in.

Drew McLellan:

To develop the habit.

Len Herstein:

Yeah, and that’s what the book is about. Right. It is the same thing in law enforcement. It’s easy to say to be vigilant, but I got to tell you when you’ve done your 10,000th traffic stop of your career, walking up and not being too comfortable, requires conscious thinking. Right.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

It’s super easy to fall in, even when it’s life and death.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

Right. It’s super easy to fall into that. And that’s why the name of the game here is being prepared and building in the processes that make it seamless for you, that make it effort effortless.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

Right. So it’s not about, how do I remain threat aware every day? It’s how do I build in the processes within my organization, within my team, so that everybody has a responsibility as it relates to threat awareness, that then become a no brainer. Right.

Drew McLellan:

Right, because it’s part of process. Yeah.

Len Herstein:

It’s just what you do. Yeah.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

[crosstalk 00:47:55] habit and we build you talk about habit.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah. So one of the things in the book that again, just keeps rattling around in the back of my head is, and I think this would be a great place to wrap up at the conversation. So you make the point. And I don’t remember if you say it for verbatim this way, but here was my takeaway, which was the place where you are most successful is where you’re at risk of being the most complacent.

So the thing that makes you the most money, or is what makes you different than all the other agencies or whatever it is, that’s where you’re most likely to take your eye off the ball and to not be vigilant. So my question for you is, are there a couple questions, or a couple things I should think about, like if I identify the most successful thing that my business does.

Len Herstein:

Yeah.

Drew McLellan:

How can I self assess my complacency? How can I identify where I might be missing something, or putting myself at risk or again, not being as vigilant as I need to be.

Len Herstein:

Yeah. So listen, the book is filled with things that you can do, but there are, like you’re asking for some questions that you can ask yourself that will give you a hint as to whether you’re being complacent.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

Right. So one question that you’d ask yourself right off the bat is, have I enjoyed a lot of success recently? And if the answer is yes, then the logical next step is there are places where I am probably, that I need to be more introspective on, that I need to look at deeper. Right?

Drew McLellan:

Yep.

Len Herstein:

So one of the things I talk about with people is if I ask you who your competitors are, and you can rattle off two or three right away, and these are your competitors, this is who your strategic plan against, this is who you work into all of your things.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

That’s a good indication that you’re being complacent because you’re not thinking about, I call that the road runner effect, Wiley Coyote was obsessed with the Road Runner, right.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

The dangers that befell Wiley Coyote were never from the Road Runner, they were always from the things that he never saw coming.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

Right. And so that’s a good question for yourself. A second question that you can ask yourself is can I articulate the why? Why are we doing this? Why am I having this meeting with this client? Why did we make this pricing decision? Why are we billing this way? Why are we staffing this way? If I can’t answer those questions in a way that factors up to a bigger purpose, right? And this is something that I talk about in the book, people have mission statements, they have vision statements. You need a purpose statement.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

You need to understand why you do what you do that goes beyond making money. Right. Making money is not the thing.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

Why do you do what you do and what do you here in this world to accomplish? And everything that you do needs to be able to be articulated within that why. If you can’t answer the why.

Drew McLellan:

It has to ladder up to that.

Len Herstein:

Yeah.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

And if you can’t answer the why, and if the why is because we’ve always done it, or because I said so, or because I can, then you’ve got a complacency problem because nobody’s forced you to answer that why, but they will, right.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

And I think the third thing that you can ask yourself is, am I measuring the right things, right? Am I relying on measurements that are vanity matrix.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

Things that make us feel good?

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

Or am I looking at the true, am I able to distill it down to the true metrics that actually matter? And that can awaken us to potential dangers before they become problems. Right.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Len Herstein:

And that’s where I think a lot of times also when we’re successful, we get lost in the vanity metrics. I think is that Eric Reeves who came out with that term, these things that make us feel good. If it’s a website, how many views did we get? None of that matters.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Len Herstein:

Right. It’s the real goals that matter. And so making sure that your metrics, if your metrics are right and you can answer your why and you have threat awareness and you understand where your success is coming from, those are three really good questions that you can start with to make sure you’re not being complacent.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah. Great questions, and every one of them leads down a rabbit hole of questions and insights that give you some answers that are worthy of some contemplation, I think. Yeah.

Len Herstein:

Absolutely. Yeah.

Drew McLellan:

This, again, this was a great conversation and I cannot tell you, I read a lot of books, and I get sent a lot of books, and I cannot tell you how much I genuinely enjoyed the book. And, like I said, on the front end of our conversation, it has been chasing me around and kicking me in the rear end of a little bit. And as I do strategic, you and I are recording this the week of Thanksgiving. So as I step into my own strategic planning for 2022, the book really has me thinking differently about my business. So thank you personally, thank you very much.

But for my listeners who are going to learn from our conversation and, hopefully all quickly go and grab the book, it’s a business changer. So thank you.

Len Herstein:

Yeah. Well, thank you. I appreciate it. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I’m glad you’re finding it useful and music to me. I love it.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah. All right guys. So Len, if people want to track you down, if they want to follow your work and all of that, what’s the best way for them to find you?

Len Herstein:

Yeah. So first of all, as I know we’ve mentioned, it’s called Be Vigilant Strategies to see Improved Performance and Safeguard Success, get it on Amazon Barnes and Noble, or wherever you buy books. All the information about me in the book, you can find at Lenherstein.com, L-E-N, H-E-R-S-T-E-I-N.com. And I encourage everybody out there to just reach out and connect with me on LinkedIn, Lynn Herstein. I love when people want to just reach out and connect there. That’s a big place. That’s where I spend most of my social media time, is there.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah. And for those of you that are coming to the Build a Better Agency Summit in May, Len’s going to be there as a speaker as well. So if you want to meet him in person, or you want to really dig in and learn more from him, make sure you’re at the summit, because he will be there with us. So I’m super excited to have you join us there as, so thanks again for doing that too. So this has been been great. Thank you.

Len Herstein:

Yeah. No, I’m really excited coming up.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah. It’s going to be great, and I’m super pumped to introduce folks to you and to your thinking. So this has been lovely. Thank you very much for making the time.

Len Herstein:

Yeah. Thank you Drew. I really appreciate it. I really enjoyed it.

Drew McLellan:

All right guys, this wraps up another episode of Build a Better Agency. Len gave you a lot to think about, and really we just scratched the surface. I highly encourage you to grab the book to read it and I would read it with a notepad, or be ready to write in the book if you’re still reading real books or whatever, but it is going to get you thinking and it’s going to stick with you. So I’m giving you that warning, but also I think it’s just such a great time of year for you to be thinking about some of these things as you march into the new year with a new plan and a new strategy. So grab the book and grab a ticket to the summit, if you haven’t already done that. So you can meet Len in person.

So huge thanks to our friends at white Label IQ, as you know, they are the presenting sponsor of the podcast. So whitelabeliq.com/ami will get you some free hours on your first project. They do white label design DEV and PPC, and really save the cookies of many an AMI agency by being their great partner.

So I’m always grateful to them. And of course, I am super grateful for you too. I know how busy you are, and that you keep coming back every week and listening and engaging with our guests and being open to learning from them and thinking about your business differently is just, it’s a gift and I do not take it for granted. So thank you very much for your presence and I’ll be back next week too. You know how to track me down. [email protected], really wish I had thought about that URL before I bought it. But anyway, longest URL known to man, but you know how to track me down and I’ll be back next week with another guest. In the meantime, have a great week and take good care of yourself and we’ll talk next week. Thanks for listening.

Speaker 4:

That’s all for this episode of AMI’s Build a Better Agency podcast. Be sure to visit agencymanagementinstitute.com to learn more about our workshops, online courses, and other ways we serve small to mid-sized agencies. Don’t forget to subscribe today so you don’t miss an episode.