Episode 208:

I’m a big believer in love. Sure — romantic love or the love you have for your family is awesome but that’s not what I am talking about. I am talking about loving the people on your team and your clients. It’s amazing the level of connectivity you can create when you lead with love. It may seem odd, but I think love is especially important in the workplace. Agencies lead with love towards their employees and clients will likely keep those employees and clients and enjoy the fruits of those relationships for many years.

That’s why I knew I’d love Steve Farber’s new book Love is Just Damn Good Business. Steve has decades of experience as a leadership trainer and expert, he’s an internationally sought out speaker and best-selling author. (He was my guest on episode #46 and we mentioned love a few times there too!)

In episode #208 of Build a Better Agency, Steve and I talk about the impact of love on a business’ ROI, employee retention and employer satisfaction. This is one of my favorite conversations I’ve had, and if you only listen to one episode of the podcast, I hope it’s this one.

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: https://www.whitelabeliq.com/ami/

What You Will Learn in this Episode:

  • Why Steve’s message is so important in today’s world
  • The benefits of building a work environment based on love
  • Building love and relationships with clients
  • How to demonstrate love to employees
  • The powerful message of being fully present with people
  • What empathy really looks like in action
  • Showing love and kindness in the most difficult times
  • Serving your employees by being a “strong frame”

The Golden Nuggets:

“Do what you love in the service of people who love what you do.” - @stevefarber Click To Tweet “I'm looking for brilliance in an agency. I'm looking for creativity. I'm looking for them to solve my problems. I'm also looking for a relationship.” - @stevefarber Click To Tweet “Empathy is my ability to really understand how people feel deeply enough where it’s almost like we’re sharing feelings.” - @stevefarber Click To Tweet “Your presence simply means that you're with them. You know them, you know who they are as human beings. That's a way of showing somebody very clearly that you love them. “ - @stevefarber Click To Tweet “Love is really creating a place where people can feel safe because they know what the expectations are.” - @stevefarber Click To Tweet

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Announcer:

It doesn’t matter what kind of an agency you run, traditional, digital, media buying, web dev, PR, whatever your focus, you still need to run a profitable business. The Build a Better Agency Podcast, presented by White Label IQ will show you how to make more money and keep more of what you make. Let us help you build an agency that is sustainable, scalable, and if you want down the road, sellable. Bringing his 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. Welcome to another episode of build a better agency. I’m so glad you’re back. If there is only one episode of this podcast you ever listened to, I am glad it’s this one. I hope you come back, but if not, I feel good about leaving you at this one. I have to confess to you that I am a huge believer in love. I don’t mean romantic love, I don’t mean love for my daughter, although I’m all about those two. I’m talking about love in business. I think it has a place in our agencies.

I think that it actually is our super power. I think it’s one of the ways that we can create a workplace and our relationship with our clients that is different than what everybody else out there is promising or doing. It has nothing to do with our subject matter expertise. It has nothing to do with our deliverables, but I think it is a part of the humanity of how we come together as team and how we serve clients. I am a big believer in love. I honestly believe that sort of leading with love is one of the reasons why I have the staff tenure that I have, because I really do genuinely love the people that I work with, and I make sure they know that.

I also believe it’s one of the reasons why, you know my agency’s about to be 25 years old, and we still have some clients that have been with us from almost the beginning, that have been with us for over 20 years. I absolutely believe it’s because we love them and because we make sure that they know that we actually genuinely care about them and their work. This whole idea of love and business, I know it feels sometimes a little squishy, I know sometimes it feels a little weird, but I am a fan. I am a big fan, which is one of the reasons why I have always been a big fan of Steve Farber.

Steve Farber wrote, what I believe, is the best without a question business book that I have ever read, which is called The Radical Leap. That book came out in about 2004, I think, 2004, 2005. I read it, and I read it saying, yes, this is validating how I show up as a leader, how I choose to be. It felt great because I hadn’t really read a lot of books that made it sound like what I was doing was smart. If anything, I’d read books said, don’t get too close to your employees. Don’t let them see how you’re feeling, and I was doing the opposite of that.

As a young business leader, I wasn’t really sure what I was doing, and Steve’s book, Radical Leap, just validated everything that I believe to be true about business. Early on in the podcast, I think it was episode, hang on, I got to look, 46. Yep, episode 46. Steve was on the podcast and we talked about this idea of radical leap and really leading with love. The book’s a business parable and I so connected with it. Then I found out from Steve that he was writing another book, and his new book is called Love is Just Damn Good Business. It’s sort of what I think of as the companion to Radical Leap.

Radical Leap was inspirational for me. For me, it was validating, but for a lot of people, it was inspirational, that they could bring that emotion of love into the business place in a really, obviously healthy and safe way, but certainly in a way that actually impacted the relationships they had with their team and with their clients. Love is Just Damn Good Business is sort of the companion piece, in that it takes the business parable that gets you fired up about doing it, and the new book shows you how to do it. It’s basically a book that lists examples and how to sort of tutorials about how to really weave the idea of love into your business dealings at all levels.

The book just came out in early September, and as soon as I found out, I got to read an advanced copy. As soon as I read it, I was like, okay, Steve, you got to come back on the show. We need to talk about this topic some more. Steve has graciously agreed to come back on the show and to talk to us a little bit more about, not only why love is good business, but also, how we can infuse it into our business in ways that really matter. Matter, not only to the people, but to the bottom line and all of the reasons why we might want to do that.

I can’t wait to introduce you to him if you haven’t heard his earlier episode, or to reintroduce him and the concept of love inside your agency. Let’s get right to it. All right, without any further ado, Steve, welcome to the podcast. Thanks for coming back.

Steve Farber:

Thanks drew. It’s great to be back with you. It’s been too long.

Drew McLellan:

It has been too long. I spent a few years since you were last on the show, and clearly you’ve been busy thanks to the book. I’m sure it’s kept you busy, getting that all done and sharing it with the world.

Steve Farber:

Yep. That’s occupying virtually every moment of conscious awareness nowadays.

Drew McLellan:

What made you decide, as a part of the body of your work, that Love is Just Damn Good Business needed to be written?

Steve Farber:

Yeah. Thank you. For the uninitiated among your listeners, my first three books, The Radical Leap, The Radical Edge, and Greater Than Yourself, were all parables. So, they’re written in the form of a story. There’s a lot of great ideas in there, but I’d never actually written a book that is more on the traditional, here’s how you do it kind of category. What’s happened over the years, the first edition of Leap came out in 2004. This work-

Drew McLellan:

Wow.

Steve Farber:

I know it’s crazy. This work has been out there for 15 [crosstalk 00:06:34]. That’s really my point.

Drew McLellan:

That’s right.

Steve Farber:

We’re very, very old. It’s been out there for a while, which means that a lot of people, because fortunately, a lot of people read that book and still read that book. The ideas have been field tested for a long time now. Lots of companies that have woven the ideas into the fabric of their company and made a part of the way they do business and lots of individual leaders that have, even if their company hasn’t done anything like that, they do in the way that they lead their teams and they have lots of stories to tell.

I wanted to lay this inside out in a way that yes, I hope it’s inspirational, but also, to really give people very tangible, concrete ideas to put into play and to provide lots and lots of examples from individuals and companies that are doing that very thing.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah. When I read it, and as I said in the intro, it’s still today, and I get asked all the time, what is my favorite business book? What do I think is the business book that has had the most impact on me professionally? And I always say Radical Leap, as you know, because I try and tag you whenever I do that so that you know I’m still out spreading the good word. But when I was reading the new book, what I was thinking is, is Radical Leap made me want to be a different kind and a better leader, and this book shows me how. I think it’s a great companion.

Steve Farber:

Oh, good. I’m glad to hear you say that, because when you write books or write anything for public consumption, there’s this leap of faith, no pun intended, that you make between what you think is valuable and will resonate with people and what actually does. It’s a mighty, frightening thing. For somebody like yourself, who’s been a practitioner of this stuff for so long, it’s really encouraging to hear you say that.

But the other thing too, Drew, that I’ve done here, which is pretty obvious, given the title of the book, is that I’ve made that part of the title of the book, right? So, you’ve got The Radical Leap, which stands for love, energy, audacity, and proof, but it doesn’t say that on the cover. You’ve got The Radical Edge, which is taking The Radical Leap a little bit deeper, but it doesn’t say love on the cover. You’ve got greater than yourself, which is about raising other people up, a very significant act of mentorship is one way of looking at it, which has completely inactive love, but it doesn’t say that on the cover.

Now I come up with a book that’s called Love is Just Damn Good Business. It’s like, okay, I just felt like it was time to put that front and center, and by doing that, I expect there’s going to be two different reactions to that book. One is the knee-jerk reaction for some people is going to be the classic proverbial eye roll, oh boy. A California, touchy, feely hoo-ha crap. The other response is going to be, wow, that is true. What is that all about? Just the title is true, so what is that all about? My hope is that, that by being so forthright about it out front, it’s like beating the bushes a little bit and finding the people that are already there, but either haven’t given themselves permission to really act on that impulse or instinct that they already have, that love is just good business, and also for the people who are kind of the kindred spirits that have already been very overtly and boldly acting in that way.

That’s been my experience. So far it’s, I mean, I’m sure there are both reactions out there, and everything in between, but it’s really rewarding to me when … I just test the title out on people. It’s like, now I just got a new book, just wrote a new book. Yeah, what’s it called? I lean in and I say, it’s called, Love is Just Damn Good Business, and then I’ve watched the response. Most of the time it’s, well, I hear a lot of, that’s a great title, which is rewarding, gratifying, but the other one is, wow, yeah, that is true. Then there are going to be some people that go, “Oh, really? So, what do you mean by that?” Then I know that one’s going to take a little more work.

Drew McLellan:

Right. I have to walk them through some of the chapters. Right?

Steve Farber:

Yeah.

Drew McLellan:

Well, I also think the timing of the book is politically, culturally society-wise, especially here in the States, I just sort of feel like we’ve been taking it on the chin lately. The idea that we’re going to celebrate loving people in an environment where people are, if anything, being more reserved and more sort of holding themselves back, I think the timing is good too. I think it reminds everybody that, quite honestly, I think love has always been a big part of business and successful businesses.

I think, in today’s world, where people are fighting to find good people, and if they can find them, fighting to keep them. The same thing with customers, customers have so many choices, wouldn’t it be interesting and different if the reason why your employees and your customers stayed with you was simply because they felt loved and they loved you in return?

Steve Farber:

Yeah. I think, in the great … First of all, yes, there’s really nothing new here. I mean, I didn’t invent love by.

Drew McLellan:

Well, that, it would have been impressive.

Steve Farber:

That’s a hell of a brand accomplishment. But I also am not the first person to talk about this. I mean, I’m informed by my own mentors, Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner. In their leadership practices, they have a practice called encouraging the heart, and then they talk about the love connection between … They don’t use that word, that phrase, but the love connection between leader and constituent, and of course, Tim Sanders wrote Love is the Killer App before The Radical Leap ever came out.

The conversation has been going on for a while, but I think you’re right, there’s something different in the air. I think maybe part of it is driven by, we live in such a polarized confrontational world, it seems right, particularly as it revolves around the political discourse, if discourse is the right word. But then, in our companies, in our agencies, in our businesses, we create our own culture. By definition, that culture is the proverbial melting pot because in … You got people that work for you, I’m sure that is not true everywhere, and I could argue that it should be, but we have people from all political persuasions, ethnic backgrounds, gender identification.

We have diversity right in our hands in our business. We have an opportunity there to unify people around doing great work and helping each other to succeed and fulfilling each other’s hopes, dreams, and aspirations. What a great opportunity to think about our work as both kind of an Oasis in a world that seems so devoid of those very things, but also, as an example, to set as an example of what’s possible to everybody else. I think we consider ourselves to be business people, air quotes, and that’s it, at our own peril really, and we limit our own possibility.

Instead, to think, well, how can I really create a culture, an environment that people love working in and not just because it’s a nice thing, and not just because it’ll set a shiny example for the rest of the world, but also because if I might be so presumptuous as to quote myself, it’s just damn good business. If I can do that, if I can create that kind of culture in my business, then that is more likely to, even just on its own, just naturally translate into services and products and projects and everything else that we do for our clients is going to turn into an experience that our clients are going to love.

When they love what we do for them, that’s where the money comes from. This is a business case. It’s not simply an aspirational thing, it’s a business case. You and I have seen it over and over again for decades now. Really, that companies that figure this out and agencies that figure this out and small entrepreneurial ventures that figure this out and Fortune 100 companies that get it, experience the tremendous benefit of having created it.

Drew McLellan:

Well, and I think the other side of that too is, one of the privileges we have as either owners or leaders, which is pretty much who’s listening to us now is, we get to decide that work environment that … The reason I started my agency 25 years ago is because I work for a guy that I thought was mean and a jerk, and I didn’t want to work for him anymore, and I wanted to create an environment that I wanted to be in.

I wanted to be in an environment where love was a core value and that it was okay to talk about … It was appropriate for me to care about my employees beyond their output. Because that was the environment I wanted to be in. I think the other part of this is, and I want to get into the ROI of this pretty quickly, because right now, if anyone’s eye-rolling, I want to put their eyes back where they belong, but I do think part of it is, we have a privilege as, certainly as an agency owner. In many cases, if you sit at the leadership table, alongside the owner, to influence the kind of work environment that we have for ourselves, and who wouldn’t want to work in an environment where people were lifted up and celebrated, and where love was a currency that was freely dolled out?

Steve Farber:

Yeah, that’s right. So, what’s the ROI then? Well, what’s interesting … Well, first of all, we can define ROI a couple of different ways in the book. One is the obvious, which is return on investment. But the other is, I called it reciprocity on investment. If I invest love in, for example, my clients, they’re going to reciprocate. The mantra here, and the book is also structured around this as three parts, do what you love in the service of people who love what you do. Do what you love is your personal heart, connection to the work. In the service of people is the context for it. You’re not just doing what you love, you’re using that to serve people to give love to them in a way that really has an impact on their lives.

What do you do when that happens? They love you in return. Do what you love and the service of people who love what you do. When you have clients that raise their hand and say, “I love what you guys do for me,” they’re not going anywhere. The same is true internally. If you have employees and associates that say, “I love working here,” even if they get an offer for $10 more down the street or whatever it is, they’re not likely to uproot themselves and go, unless it’s some really significant opportunity that they really should pursue anything, honestly. It’s really about the return. It really is about the return. As you know, I’m a business guy, and I don’t use the word love lightly.

To be clear, we’re not talking about love here as a sentiment, or just kind of a soft, squishy feeling. It’s really a practice and a discipline. The question that we need to answer is, first of all, the question you’re posing, is it worth it? And if it is worth it, how do we do it? I wish I could trout out a whole bunch of studies that show a direct causal connection between increase of love in the work environment and the bottom line. I think studies like that, they are starting to happen. We’re involved in some of our own research on this.

But I don’t think we have to do that either, because we’re already measuring a lot of this stuff. We’re measuring, for example, engagement. Why do we think employee engagement is a good thing? Because there’s been a huge correlation between a highly engaged workforce and results. Whether those results are profitability or productivity or whatever metrics we use. There is a huge correlation, and it’s one that I address quite a bit in the book actually with a little variation on the theme called net promoter score, right? That’s a measurement.

Net promoter score basically asks the question, on a scale of one to 10, how likely are you to recommend us to friends or family? Well, if I give you a 10, what am I saying? Saying, I love you. I love this place.

Drew McLellan:

I love you like in the, we just met in the last few weeks and I can’t stop talking about you, to the point that I’m annoying my friends [crosstalk 00:19:59].

Steve Farber:

Right, exactly.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Steve Farber:

Yeah. I love you, and the shouting from the roof tops kind of loving you. Of course, what’s interesting about net promoter score is, it’s not like on a scale of one to 10, there’s a gradation, and if they only give you a five, well, that’s pretty good, but it could be better. It’s like, no, man, five is not good. It’s got to be nine or 10. That’d be love. It’s a love metric. In fact, I think it was, I can’t remember his name, but a while back at Intuit, they wrote a blog post about their company and their culture. They actually called the net promoter score, the love metric. Why is that important? Because people that rate you a 10 on net promoter score, again, you get all the results that you want.

They stay with you longer, they talk about you more, they spend more money, they’re more loyal to your brand, all that stuff. That’s a pretty good measure of love. It’s just not the way that we typically think about it. Because we’re conditioned to believe that this is … It’s just to kumbaya. It’s a nice to have, but it’s not a must have. Yeah, would I really like to like going to work? Well, sure I would, but is it necessarily? Really? As long as I’m paying people and they do their job, it’s really not necessary, and I think that is wrong.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah. Well, especially in today’s hiring environment. They can get a job anywhere. To your point, they can probably get a job, especially in the agency world, we are not known to be the top payers in our world. If an employee wants to make more money, they’re going to go corporate side or they’re going to go, whatever. There has to be another reason why they stay.

Steve Farber:

Yeah, exactly. I think that’s true everywhere. Even in traditionally higher paid environments.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah, somebody can always pay them more.

Steve Farber:

Sure. Actually, that’s the interesting Achilles heel of that whole, I’ll just pay them more to keep them here, strategy, because if that’s all it is, it’s just totally commoditized. If I’m here because you’re paying me a lot of money, then the next person that pays me a lot of money, I’m out of here. But that’s not to say the money’s not important, certainly it is, but if it’s also, you pay me well, and I freaking love this work and we’re doing really amazing things, and I can’t wait to see my colleagues on Monday. In fact, I hang out with them over the weekend, that’s a hard thing to break apart when somebody else is trying to recruit that person.

Drew McLellan:

I think it goes for clients too. We just came out of the field on some research that we did talking to over a thousand clients about how and why they hire agencies. I think for many agencies they believe, and I think clients and prospects push on them to make them think this, that it’s about price. You know what? Price was at the bottom of the list, 16% of the thousand people we talked to said it was a major factor in how they picked their agency. It just isn’t why somebody chooses us, and it certainly isn’t why they choose to stay with us.

Steve Farber:

Yeah. I’m not surprised by that at all. I mean, particularly in professional services like you guys are in, and if you look at the classic marketing agency, or PR agency, or … If I’m hunting around just for who’s going to be the cheapest, that’s not why I’m looking for an agency. I’m looking for brilliance, I’m looking for creativity, I’m looking for them to solve my problems, and I’m also looking for a relationship. I want to trust them. The only time that the money is a factor is simply if I can’t afford you. I want you really bad, but I can’t afford you. We all deal with that.

The idea that love is somehow an option is … It seems nuts to me, honestly. It seems kind of insane. Because the bottom line is, my clients are going to love me for a number of reasons. Certainly, not the least of which is I got great results for them, but there’s also, there is that relationship element to it. Do I get the sense that they really care about me? Am I just … What came out to the top of the list in your research?

Drew McLellan:

Well, it was two things. It was subject matter expertise. So, I want somebody who’s a specialist. I don’t want a generalist, I want a specialist, but the other one was that the agency shows up caring about my business as much as I do, which I would argue is a way we demonstrate that we love somebody is when we care about what they care about. Right?

Steve Farber:

Absolutely. Absolutely. Oh yeah. I wrote about this in Love is Just Damn Good Business and I also illustrated it in The Radical Leap. If you compare it to romantic love just for a second, and obviously there are significant differences.

Drew McLellan:

Right, we are not recommending that.

Steve Farber:

We don’t need to.

Drew McLellan:

No.

Steve Farber:

I hope we don’t need to enumerate the differences, but what’s similar is, when you’re first getting to know somebody and you’re really interested and fascinated with them and you’re dating for the first time or whatever, you know it’s there because you’re interested in everything about them. You want to know everything that they’re interested in, and you want to know their story, you want to know what they’re trying to do in their future, you want to know their likes and dislikes. It’s just kind of a natural thing.

That’s, in business, if you really love your customer, that’s what you’d be doing. You’d be saying, who are these people and what challenges are they facing, and how can I use my amazing expertise and our amazing expertise to help them solve for problems that they don’t even know they have, because they don’t have our perspective? That’s what you do when you really love somebody.

Drew McLellan:

Boy, the average tenure of a CMO is about two years. If I really care about this person, what I really am asking about is, how do I make sure that they not only get to keep their job, but they get a raise or a promotion or a bonus or whatever. How do I help them reap the benefits of this relationship? Yeah, I think you’re right.

Steve Farber:

But here’s the thing, Drew. Everything that we’re talking about here for the last couple of minutes, there’s nothing new in that, right? There’s nothing new in that. Theoretically, intellectually, we’ve known this forever. We’ve talked about, so this falls into the category of relationship selling, consultative selling. Man, we were talking about this stuff when I was at the Tom Peter’s company in the mid ’90s. What’s different, I believe is that, by not calling it what it really is, which is love for the people that we’re serving, we limit ourselves.

For example, if you bring your agency together and you say, okay, we need to … I think it’s time for us to do a little better with our clients. Let’s have a little brainstorming session on, how can we improve our client service, how can we improve our customer service? That’s a great question. I think that’s a good question to ask anybody is, do you have that discussion? Do you ever have that discussion, or you just assume things are fine the way they are? All right, so you ask that question, how can we improve our service? You’re going to get an answer, and you’ll get some good answers.

But if you ask the question a little bit differently, as in, how are we going to show our clients that we love them? You get a different quality answer. You get a different level of engagement that comes out of that. What that does is it actually shows why we have, or what the big misconception is around this whole love thing, right? At work love, that people are walking around saying, I love you, man, and everything’s fine all the time. You just stop the action, have a big group hug in the hallway, and nobody ever argues.

You say, oh, you don’t want to do that. That’s fine. I love you, so I’m not going to make you do that.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Steve Farber:

It’s exactly the opposite of that. Because when you asked the question, how are we going to show our clients that we love them? What we’ve done there is we’ve raised the bar. Raised it. We haven’t lowered it. If we really love our clients and love this firm and we’re committed to both, and we’re committed to each other, paradoxically, our tolerance for subpar performance goes down. Because we love this place too much. If you’re slacking off, I’m going to call you on it. If I think there’s a better way to do things, I’m going to offer, because I want this place to be better. Not because I’m trying to blow up my own ego, but because, hey man, we said we love these people. This thing that we’re doing here does not show them that. Can I give you an example?

Drew McLellan:

Yeah, that’d be great.

Steve Farber:

Okay, so it’s not an agency example, but highly translatable, I think. I’ve been talking about these guys a lot lately, and I love them. I will tell you right out of the gate. I wrote about them in the book. It’s a company called Trailer Bridge in Jacksonville, Florida. They’re a shipping logistics company. Let’s take a business that is not sexy by anybody’s determination. They ship stuff mostly from mainland USA, to Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. Well, Mitch Luciano, who’s the CEO, and their backstory is amazing. I won’t go into all that now. But one of the things, when Mitch took over as CEO, after the company emerged from bankruptcy, after they’d blown through four CEOs in three years, after their customer said, the only reason we do business with you is because of price, because otherwise we wouldn’t tolerate this crap from you, he began to ask this question, how do we show our clients?

Obviously, our clients don’t love us right now. They don’t even like us. So, how do we show our clients that we love them? Let’s start with that. They looked at their policies, and they had a longstanding policy that they would not ship a container unless it was at least 75% full. If you’re shipping something to Puerto Rico, a car, maybe, and you tell your family in Puerto Rico, the cars arriving on such and such a date, and then I, Trailer Bridge was not able to fill that container to an amount that satisfies our business model, then I tell you, you’re just going to have to wait because we’re going to lose money.

The question is, if we loved our customers, what will we do? We’d ship. We would ship.

Drew McLellan:

We would help them honor their promises.

Steve Farber:

That’s right. We would ship, no matter what. Now fast forward, and there’s, by the way, hundreds of examples of what they’ve done in answering the question, what does love look like or what should it look like in the way we do business? Now they’ve been voted number one and number two best place to work in Jacksonville. Their revenue in the last few years have exceeded the previous 25 years of the company combined, winning all kinds of customer awards. Their customers love them now. By the way, they always sail. That’s the thing, we sail. We always sail, period, case closed, and they always … Now, sail, they rarely sail under 100% full. They’re always full now, because people know they can rely on them, etc.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah. Well, what’s interesting about that is, it certainly makes business decision-making a little more clear, right? I mean, if the criteria is, does this honor the fact that we love our customers or our clients or our employees or not? Again, it doesn’t mean you have to give it away for free, it doesn’t mean that you don’t run a good business, it doesn’t mean that you’re not profitable, it doesn’t mean that you give everyone raises whether they’ve run them or not any of those things, but it does give you a lens that removes a lot of the fog.

Steve Farber:

It does. I think what we’d need to be prepared for, anybody who’s really going to strive to put this into practice, is that, we tend to dismiss love as a soft thing. You will find, very quickly, that it is anything but soft. It is freaking hard. It is really hard, because for example, I want to show my clients that I love them, want to show my employees that I love them. Well, what happens when those two smack up against each other and I have to compromise one for the other? One is not going to feel that way because I have to make a decision in a different way.

Creating an environment that my employees love working in doesn’t mean that they’re going to be happy with every decision I make. But it does mean that perhaps that they’ll know why I made that decision. It’s the transparency stuff, right? I mean, all of this comes into play here involving giving people more of an opportunity to make their own decisions and they have input into how we do business and to acknowledge them for great work. Again, it’s leadership 101 in one sense, but it is so … The way that we tend to practice it in general, it’s like it’s some phenomenally advanced course, because we just don’t do it very often. I think by raising-

Drew McLellan:

Or we do it episodically, like when it serves us, we do it. Right?

Steve Farber:

Great point, great point.

Drew McLellan:

All right. I want to take a break. When we come back, what I want to talk about is the how. We’ve been talking about the clients, but you and I both know that if this doesn’t start inside the organization, if you don’t demonstrate to your employees and your team that you love them, there’s no way they’re going to turn around and love on our clients.

Steve Farber:

Right, exactly.

Drew McLellan:

When we come back from break, I want to talk about, because one of my favorite chapters of the book talks about how we as owners and leaders can serve our team better. I want to dig into that as soon as we get back, so we’ll be right back.

Thanks for tuning in to Build a Better Agency. I just want to take a quick second and remind you that throughout the year, AMI offers workshops for agency owners, agency leaders, and account executives. If you head over to the AMI website and you check out under the training tab, you’re going to find a calendar of all of the workshops we offer throughout the year. We cover quite a wide variety of topics, everything from BizDev to creating a content machine for your agency, to making sure that you are running your business based on the best financial metrics and dashboards that you can.

We also have a workshop on agency owner management hacks, all the best practices that agency owners are using to run their businesses well and profitably. Of course, you’re always going to find our account executive bootcamp and our advanced AE bootcamp. Go ahead and check it out on the website, and hopefully one of those will meet a need for you and your agency and we’ll see you soon. Let’s get back to the episode.

All right, welcome back. We are chatting with Steve Farber, and we were talking about how love is good business. Before the break, we were kind of talking about the ROI of this and how it can transform a business and the business results. But now I want to flip the telescope as it were, and because I really believe, and I’ve certainly seen in my own experience that if we don’t practice this love, this love thing, if we don’t practice this in terms of our own leadership inside of our organizations, and we don’t demonstrate and really model that coming from love place, then our employees can’t do it. They don’t feel safe doing it. They aren’t encouraged to do it.

If their bucket is half empty, they can’t go fill somebody else’s bucket. Let’s talk a little bit about that. Because you broke it out, I thought in, I think it’s chapter eight, you broke it out in all of these different ways that we can serve our team. Let’s just kind of dissect some of those. Let’s start with serving them with your presence.

Steve Farber:

Yeah. Let me just back up one second, because I really want to put the exclamation mark at the end of that sentence. Here’s the whole thinking in a nutshell, we want our clients to love what we do for them. The only way to really do that in a meaningful and sustainable way over time is to create a culture that people love working in. I can’t create that culture as a leader in my agency or in any business, unless I love it, them, this business, myself first. It’s a continuum. It’s not just, okay, idiot, go out there and figure out a way to show our clients that we love them.

Drew McLellan:

Right. Well, and it also is, if the team does not treat each other with love, so it’s not just me, the boss, loving on my people, it also has to be them taking care of each other out of love. It has to be sort of a 360 thing so we can set the example, but the reality is they ultimately make … There’s more of them than there are of us. They ultimately become the fabric of the culture. We have to weave it in for them and with them.

Steve Farber:

We do. And a huge, a huge part of that is through our own example. With your presence, it was the question that you asked, so this idea, this falls under the category of, in the service of people. You’re doing what you love in the service of people, and we’re talking specifically internally with your team. The first thing is, let’s be clear that this is not kind of a transactional list of things to tick off the box and say, if I do these things in this order, in this way, these people will know that I love them, or even worse, these people will get the impression that I love them, even though I don’t.

It really starts with … There’s a deeper question here, which is, what do I love about them? What do I love about the people that work for me? I may not love them, as in take them home to dinner, but what do I love about them? Do I love their contribution? Do I love their brilliance? Do I love their collaborative nature? Or do I love the dedication they have to clients? Start with that. It’s got to be real, right? You’re cultivating it in your chest as it were. Then your presence simply means that you’re with them, you know them, you know who they are as human beings. That’s a way of showing somebody very clearly that you love them.

Because that’s the way you are with people that you love, you’re present, which means you’re interested in them, you know their stories, when somebody comes into your office, you actually look at them. It’s a natural concept.

Drew McLellan:

It’s a novel concept.

Steve Farber:

It’s a novel concept. You’re not multitasking. So, Mitch, the aforementioned, Mitch Luciano, from Trailer Bridge, one of the things that he demonstrated when he was turning that company around, he said, people come and knock on his door in his office and say, “Hey, Mitch, you got 30 seconds? He told me, “I knew it wasn’t going to be 30 seconds.”

Drew McLellan:

Right, of course.

Steve Farber:

Nobody stops in for 30 seconds. He said, but my answer was always, yes. He’d turn off his computer, he’d turn his chair around and sit and talk with that person, no matter how long it took. Did he invest time in that? Yes. But nowhere near as much time as he would have invested in all the problems that would have happened by virtue of his ignoring people, right?

Drew McLellan:

Right. Or the time he would have spent looking for new people, because everybody kept leaving.

Steve Farber:

Time and money.

Drew McLellan:

Right.

Steve Farber:

By the way, Trailer Bridge spends virtually no money on recruiting anymore, because their own employees are the best recruiters. That’s what I mean by presence. Especially today, where we’re all so consistently, constantly distracted by the device in our hand, and … I’ve given this lecture to my kids. I say kids. I mean, technically they’re kids, but the youngest is 24, right? Six kids, youngest is 24, our oldest is 42, so I’ve got a whole bunch of millennials, and I’ve had this lecture with them for years. When we go out to dinner together, the rule is no phone at the table, period. When you start picking up the check, you can text all you want. But in the meantime, no phones.

But the lecture part of it is this, hey kids, in this day and age, when you’re whole generation, and those of us who are older than you and still succumb to it, is so focused on the device and feeling like somebody just texted me so I have to text them back. The person who’s not even here, maybe 2000 miles away is more important than you, who’s sitting right across the table from me. If you live in a time where that’s prevalent, that kind of behavior is prevalent, one thing will always be true, everybody will always respond to your ability to be present. The more rare that becomes, if you can culture that ability in yourself, you have a tremendous advantage in the opportunities that you’ll have because of the kind of relationships that you create.

If you can just put that phone down and be present with whomever it is that you’re sitting with, whether it’s family or friends, that is a very powerful signal that everybody notices, and the same is true for all of us at work. The same is absolutely true for leaders. Because think about what that says, Drew. I’m running an agency, I got a million projects going on, people that I’m responsible for, the financial pressures are running this place, and then you, who worked for me, come up and say, “Hey, can you give me a minute? I just have a question for you,” and I stop everything and I give you my full presence, my full attention, what does that say?

It says that right now, in this moment, you are the most important human being on the planet and everything else will wait, and that’s a powerful way to show love.

Drew McLellan:

It sounds so simple and it’s so hard to do, right? Because it’s always like you’re late to a meeting or you’re … Whatever it is, but to actually do that and to make sure that you’re doing that with everybody on the team, even the people that you don’t necessarily have to interact with on a regular basis.

Steve Farber:

Yes, I get it. Again, I’m a realist, a bit of an idealist, but I’m not naïve, and I do live in the real world. Let’s take a real world approach to that. If you can stop in that moment to giving them full out undivided attention for 30 seconds, and then say, “I hear you, and I want to hear more, and I’ve got six meetings that I have to be at, can you please find me at the end of the day today?”

Drew McLellan:

Right, or let’s schedule coffee, or let’s whatever.

Steve Farber:

Or let’s schedule a coffee, and then this is the punchline, do it right. As opposed to, yeah, let’s just talk about this later, and then it evaporates into the ether, and now the person’s thinking, oh, he just blew me off again. It doesn’t always have to be right now in this moment, stop everything, but you can always stop for five seconds. You can always stop for 10 seconds, because even that is a powerful signal, and then set it up for a later time. The good news in that is we always have that. It takes no budget. It takes no training, really. I mean, just a little conscious awareness, but it’s something that we all have right now. We already have it. Just use it.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah. The next item in the chapter sort of goes right hand in hand with that, which is [crosstalk 00:44:45], serving them with empathy. Part of the giving them your presence is acknowledging that whatever’s going on, whatever they’re worried about, whatever they are struggling with matters.

Steve Farber:

Yeah, exactly. Again, this is all about authenticity, right? It’s not about, what can I demonstrate to show something? Because it’s going to get a response.

Drew McLellan:

What can I do to make it look like I care?

Steve Farber:

Exactly. I can appear to be present. I could stare at you and nod my head while you’re talking and not hear a freaking word you said. Right. Yeah, empathy follows presence, because if I’m really present with you and I’m really listening, I’m listening, not only to your words, but I’m listening to, this is going to sound a little new agey, and I don’t mean it to me, but I’m listening to who you are. I’m listening to try to understand your point of view, your challenges, and empathy is really my ability to really understand how people feel deeply enough to almost … It’s almost like we’re sharing their feelings, right? I may not feel the same way, but I can feel how you feel. It’s like, I feel your pain. Those are words; I’m talking about the actual ability to feel somebody’s pain.

Then it ties back into the, how well do I know people, questions, so what challenges of theirs. Do I really understand? I’ll give you an example of this. My friend, Brian Stevens, who when I met Brian, he was the president of Marco’s Pizza, which is one of the fastest growing food franchises in the world. Brian, he since retired from Marco’s and he’s doing some pretty cool consulting stuff with franchisees. He’s a brilliant franchise strategy guy and branding guy. He came out of Yum brands. You know when you go to Taco, you see Taco Bell and Pizza Hut co-branded?

Drew McLellan:

Yep.

Steve Farber:

That’s Brian. That’s Brian Stevens. That was his brainchild back in the day. When he first started in the industry as a young guy, I think he was in his 20s, so this was 40 years ago. He just turned 60, this is 40 years ago or so, he was given … He finally got a management job at Ponderosa. He was given his first management job at Ponderosa Store 319 in Gary, Indiana, which was the worst store in the chain. That’s how they were known. They said, okay, smart-ass, see what you can do with this.

Drew McLellan:

We’ll give you a management job.

Steve Farber:

You want a management job, here’s your management job. He got there, and you can imagine, if you think about what you have to do to turn the place around and you go in and you look around and you see people are showing up late for work all the time, their uniforms are dirty, people aren’t filling out their paperwork the way they’re supposed to, and you can think of the knee-jerk reaction to that. What do you do? You tell people, show up for work on time or you’re fired.

Drew McLellan:

Right, shape up.

Steve Farber:

Shape up, wash your damn uniform, fill out your paperwork. Here’s what Brian did. He took his time, when he first got there, to get to know his employees. The question he asked, which is really a brilliant question, and so simple is why? Why are so many people so late all the time here? Here’s what he found out. So, this was a lower income area, so a lot of his employees did not have cars. So, they either had to walk to work or take public transportation, which was notoriously unreliable in that area. So, what did he do to? Well, now he understands their … He feels their pain, right? He understands where this is coming from. Empathy is not just to say, oh, I understand. Just figure it out. Just figure it.

Drew McLellan:

Because you need to be here on time.

Steve Farber:

I understand you can’t afford a car, but you still need to be on time. Okay? That’s not what he did. What do you think he did? He got in his car and he picked them up. He collected them and brought them to work. Why were their uniforms dirty? Well, similar root cause. They didn’t have money. So, many of them didn’t have washers and dryers at home. What do you think he did? He washed their clothes. He had a washer and dryer. He collected the uniforms, he washed their clothes. Then, why weren’t people filling out their paperwork properly? Because a lot of them had trouble reading and writing.

He set up what he called a safe zone, a break room at the Ponderosa Steakhouse number 319. They would tutor, he and his management team would tutor people with their … They’d help them with their schoolwork, give them a place to talk about what their challenges were. He started going to their family weddings and family funerals and became part of the family. At times, he even personally lent them money for important things that they had to do. It’s such deep empathy, but again, not as oh, I understand. It’s like, let me show you how much I love you. Now that I understand what you’re going through, let me show you that I really do love you. In one year, in one year, these guys went from, as they called it, worst to first. From worst to first in the chain.

And Brian was promoted to some regional position, was the fastest Ascension of anybody ever at that time, and especially at that age. Today, you still hear some people today, every now and then, he’ll get a call from somebody saying, “Oh, man, that changed my life. Now I went on to … I have this career and I moved across the country and I’m doing … That’s empathy. That’s love. It’s also, if I may, just damn good business. Worst to first.

Drew McLellan:

That’s how he got promoted.

Steve Farber:

Yeah.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah. Well, and all of that comes from a place of kindness, which I think … When I was reading the part where you’re talking about serving them with kind words, I was thinking about, I think a lot of that is about people just don’t take the time. They don’t stop and actually verbalize. A lot of times we’re thinking it, or we don’t even notice it, but we rarely take the time to stop and say, and use our, as we said to our children, use our words to tell somebody that they’re awesome, or they’re doing a great job, or we appreciate them, or whatever it is.

Steve Farber:

Yeah. So, it’s serving them, showing that you love them with kind words. It’s where this discussion usually starts. It’s inherently problematic in some ways, because it’s easy to think that what that means is, all I’ve got to do is walk around and say, I love you, man. I love you. Just say nice things to you and everything will be fine. Now, this is one of many ways, but kind words in the form of, and I wrote about this in The Radical Leap, and listen, I am certainly not the only person that’s ever said this. There’s a whole greeting card industry around this.

But basically, just sitting down and writing a note of thanks or recognition, and giving it to somebody, a handwritten note, especially in this digital age, to write a handwritten note and give it to somebody that on your team that you appreciate, it’s a very significant act, because it’s very concrete, it’s very tangible. Again, you’re demonstrating that you took a couple of minutes out of your busy day to think about nobody except them. You put the right words together, you write it out, you hand it to them. It even as your DNA on it for God’s sake.

Then that is something that many people will keep for the rest of their life. But then there’s also kind words in what seemed to be unkind situations. I can fire you with love and kindness. I can reprimand you with great kindness. We get angry, we get upset. None of us is perfect. This isn’t about perfection. But if I’m really pissed at somebody that didn’t perform the way they were supposed to do, or there was some ridiculous conflict that happened in the office and I’m just pissed off that I have to deal with it, it’s really easy for me to just become roaring out of my cave and burn up the villagers with my hot fiery breath.

Drew McLellan:

Right. I’ve been wanting to talk to you about that by the way.

Steve Farber:

Yeah, I know. Listen, I keep mints nearby. But it’s instead of just take a deep breath and say, okay, how can I say this in a way that’s going to be helpful to them and helpful for us, and say it with … Be kind. It’s a combination of kindness and high standards. Those two things are really, really important side by side.

Drew McLellan:

Well, I think it’s easy be kind when things are going awesome. I mean, it’s easy, when somebody stayed late or busted a hump, or won a new piece of business, it’s easy for you to praise them. I think it’s difficult to be kind when times are not good or when somebody, to your point, has messed up, or cost you a client, or made a huge mistake, and I think that’s when the true leadership comes in, is that, even in those moments, I can’t … It’s like our kids, right? I mean, sometimes you’re so mad you want to strangle your kid or boot them out on the street, but you don’t.

You love them well, even through their worst behavioral choices, and I’m not suggesting our employees are children, but I think that sort of, I’m going to love you in good times and bad is what love really is, right? It’s not situational.

Steve Farber:

In this moment, I may not genuinely feel that I love you, but I can still be kind to you with my words. Also, again, I want to be clear, I’m not suggesting that we need to be perfect and everything, and that’s what this is about, to be some kind of a saint in every scenario. Sometimes we lose it. I’m not speaking hypothetically on that. I’ve had that experience, let’s just say more than once myself. But there’s another set of kind words that can help make up for that, I’m sorry. Not that we should be over-reliant on that because if all you’re doing is walking around apologizing all the time, that’s a sign that something else is wrong, but those are kind words to follow up on unkind words.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah. One of the, and we’re not going to get through them all, I want people to read the book, but one of my favorites ways to serve them out of this chapter was what you call serving them by being a strong frame. Let’s wrap up our conversation by you talking a little bit about what that means, because I think that was a really great way to, no pun intended, to frame up how to be an extreme leader and to deal with love. Talk a little bit about what that means.

Steve Farber:

It’s really about setting up the right kind of culture. There’s this frame or this or this container that we have a certain set of expectations and ground rules and values that we stand for. Love is not saying to people, it is saying, be yourself and express yourself and be creative, and you don’t have to assume some kind of persona in order to survive here. It is about being authentic and being yourself. But also, there are standards and expectations that we have in our culture that are values-based, and we need to be really clear on what those are.

This ties in also with the shared values element of things, but it’s really creating a place where people can feel safe because they know what the expectations are, and not expecting people to figure things out. If I say, these are the things that are really important to us around here, these are the values that we stand for, and if you can’t operate under those circumstances, this may not be the right place for you. Again, I’ll go back to Mitch at Trailer Bridge one more time. When he started turning the company around and looking at, what are the things that we’re doing the way that we operate that are getting in the way of people trusting each other, loving each other, working together?

What he saw very clearly was that there were, that in history, there were people hoarding information, is the way he described it. They would never want to share what they knew because they felt that their advantage came from knowing more than the next person. Now, if I love you, I’m going to tell you what I know, because I want to see you succeed. So, he had very Frank conversations with a lot of people in that organization. Some people said, the work, a few people that said, I can’t do business that way, that I worked hard for this knowledge and for this information and this is my job and this is my silo, and I’m not going to do what you’re asking me to do. I’m not going to share that with anybody.

He said, well, we’ll miss you. He didn’t really mean … He didn’t miss them. There were people that were the wrong people for that. Now, so what does that do? That creates a frame in that place where it’s very clear that what’s expected around here is that we share information with each other. If I can’t do that, I’m in the wrong place. Does that make sense?

Drew McLellan:

Yeah, it does. Well, in the book you talk about a dance instructor and teaching somebody who’s going to lead a partner in a dance, how to create a frame that gives the person confidence that they can stay within that frame, but then there’s still part of the dance duo. They can do whatever they want inside the frame. But as long as they stay inside the frame, they are a part of this couple on the dance floor.

Steve Farber:

Yeah, that’s right.

Drew McLellan:

For me, it spoke to, we can’t say we’re a leader and then not lead. We can’t profess to be the owner and then be passive aggressive in our leadership style. We have to define, here are the rules of engagement here. Here’s how we do the work we do. Here’s how we treat each other. Here’s, as you say, here’s the culture, here’s the values. Then, here’s where I think a lot of agency owners stumble is, you’ve got somebody who’s a super high performer, but they don’t stay in the frame.

Steve Farber:

Yeah.

Drew McLellan:

Now, this is when love gets hurt, because if I love the whole and I really believe in those values and all of that, I have to say to that high performer, look, I’ll stay late and I will teach you this dance, but if you can’t learn the dance, you can’t stay.

Steve Farber:

Yeah, that’s right.

Drew McLellan:

I think that’s tough.

Steve Farber:

This has become really prevalent now in technology companies, because you’ve got a real rockstar engineer writing world-class code, but just an unmitigated ass and sucking the life out of the place. Leadership turns a blind eye because this person is so talented. What they’re not understanding is they’re not measuring the impact that this person is having on everybody else. That’s a really hard thing to do. They have somebody that, in one way, is so incredibly talented, but their downside is a really big downside. Yeah, dancing in that frame is to be clear, again, clear about the expectations.

In this place, your talent to write code is absolutely critical and we’ll value that forever, and this is the impact … This is what you’re doing and the impact that you’re having on the rest of the team. Can we change that? If we can’t change that, the dance is over for you, because we’re a dance, I’m really beating the hell out of this dance metaphor.

Drew McLellan:

You really are.

Steve Farber:

We’re a dance troupe, right? This isn’t a two person dance. Otherwise, I’d be-

Drew McLellan:

This is river dance with [crosstalk 01:01:42] the same thing.

Steve Farber:

This is river dance. We’ve got to be in sync here, all of us. If you’re twirling around while we’re all stomping our feet, that’s probably not going to work. I think we beat that metaphor to death. Anyway, yes, which requires … It’s tough. That’s tough love. There is such a thing as tough love. That is an example of what we talked about earlier, where love for an individual could smack up against love of an organization, and you’ve got to make the tough choice, and very few people will make that tough choice on the side of the organization and the rest of the team.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah. It is one of the most significant differences between agency owners, where their agencies are super, profitable and successful, and agency owners that are struggling is, if they will tolerate B and C players, they’re probably running a B or C shop. You have to be willing to make those sacrifices, if you-

Steve Farber:

Yes, but the challenging thing, Drew, the challenge thing is that this is … What we’re talking about here is B or C player wrapped in the packaging of an A player.

Drew McLellan:

Right, because parts of them are A player. Yeah, right. Absolutely. Yeah, this stuff is not easy.

Steve Farber:

That’s the main takeaway we like people to have.

Drew McLellan:

That’s right.

Steve Farber:

There is no way to do this, of course, but is sure as fun to talk about. No, actually, it’s not easy, and it’s also not … It’s not the proverbial rocket science either. It’s a simple thing to begin doing. If we can begin and stay persistent with it, we get better at it. It’s like anything else. We get better. This takes trial and error. So, be willing to experiment. Be willing to, so I thought people were going to love that and they thought I was an idiot. Okay, cool. Lesson learned. What did you learn from that? Share your experience and learn from it and move on.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah. As you know, because we’ve done it many times, I could talk about this stuff with you for hours, but at some point, these people have to get back to work or get off the treadmill. They’re probably dying by now. As always, A, I so believe in what you teach and what you talk about. It certainly has influenced me professionally for years, as you know. But I’m really grateful that you took the time to be on the show. I know that you are in the midst of pushing and promoting the book right now, and so I know you have a lot of bigger fish to fry, so it’s great to have you on the show.

Steve Farber:

Well, thank you. I’m very grateful as always. Yes, we could talk about this for hours, but that doesn’t mean that people will listen to us forever.

Drew McLellan:

That’s right. They’re like, okay, guys, wrap this up. I think one of the things you’ve done around all the books is really create a community of people of like-minded people, or people who want to get better at this, who understand it intellectually, but maybe they haven’t tried it yet, or people who are proficient at it. If folks want to learn more about that community, if they want to connect with you in a tighter way, what is the best way for them to do that?

Steve Farber:

Yeah. So if you can remember the name, Steve Farber, you can find me pretty much anywhere, because LinkedIn, Steve Farber, Twitter, Steve Farber, Instagram, Steve Farber, Facebook, Steve Farber. Then, of course, stevefarber.com, which is the place that I would invite people to spend a little bit of time, so you can … There’s lots of videos and the blog lives there. We’ve got a really great digital learning experience now, is that what we call it nowadays? Then we have a couple of live events in San Diego. I’d love for you to come there. But my promise is that, if you reach out to me through the website or wherever, my promise is that I will respond.

It might take me a little time, but I will reply. I know it sounds pathetic, but that’s how I make friends nowadays. Actually, that’s how you and I met come to think of it.

Drew McLellan:

Many, many years ago, [crosstalk 01:05:42] a conference. Yep.

Steve Farber:

Absolutely. That’s how to do it, stevefarber.com.

Drew McLellan:

Awesome. Thanks, Steve. This has been fun as always. All right, guys, that wraps up another episode of Build a Better Agency. I hope you are as fired up about this topic as I am. I hope that Steve and I gave you some really tangible ways to start thinking about how you can use love inside your agency with your employees, with your clients, and to not shy away from it, to not use weasel words around it, but just to love on people well, and to let them feel your gratitude and your appreciation, but also, because you love them, to hold them to standards that bring out the best in them.

That’s really the message that, when you do this well, when you really use and leverage how you feel about your team and your clients, what it does is it brings out the best in all of us, and it also makes it a much better working environment relationship. Lots of good takeaways in this episode. I hope you took copious notes. I hope it got your brain cooking. I’d love to hear some of the ways that you’re going to implement some of this, so feel free to shoot me an email. Let me know. I, of course, will be back next week with another guest to get you thinking.

In the meantime, you can always reach me at [email protected]e.com. This is a great time to remind you. Remember, we give away great stuff from our guests every week. So, if you go to agencymanagementinstitute.com/podcastgiveaway, you can sign up for the giveaways, and we have a bunch of Steve’s book to give away. Head over there, sign up. If you’ve already signed up, don’t worry about it, you’re already in the drawing, but if you haven’t done that yet, now it’d be a great time because I have a big stack of Steve’s books that I’m really anxious to give out to folks because I want to spread the love. That’s my goal. I’ll see you next week.

Thanks for spending some time with us. Visit our website to learn about our workshops, owner peer groups, and download our salary and benefits survey. Be sure you also sign up for our free podcast giveaways at agencymanagementinstitute.com/podcastgiveaway.