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May 3, 2022

163. Don't Build a Company! Build a Community on a Mission with Jerry Macnamara

There is a market shift underway, and you can see it in the Great Resignation right now. 4.3 MILLION workers voluntarily quit their jobs in August. The Edelman report cites 61% of people job searching are looking for a purpose. Employees will no longer tolerate the drudgery of mundane, uninspired days. If you think you’re building a company, you’re dead wrong. You should be building a community on a mission.


There is a market shift underway, and you can see it in the Great Resignation right now. 4.3 MILLION workers voluntarily quit their jobs in August. The Edelman report cites 61% of people job searching are looking for a purpose. Employees will no longer tolerate the drudgery of mundane, uninspired days. If you think you’re building a company, you’re dead wrong. You should be building a community on a mission. 

 

ABOUT JERRY

Jerry Macnamara has run 5 businesses in 5 industries both B2B and B2C. His companies have shown up on the Franchise 500, Inc 500 and Best Places to Work. 

He's now on a mission to positively impact 5MM people in 5 years by helping CEOs create compelling companies that outperform...and still make it home for dinner.

 

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Transcript

That you can do both because I've done it throughout my whole career to create a compelling company that outperforms, still make it home for dinner to love your people. And I just believe that, man, if your people feel clear about what it is that's expected of them, they are challenged in the work that they're doing, that they feel cared about, and they're comfortable that they have the tools and resources to succeed, then, boy, you're going to be a really fun place to be every single day.

 

All right. Welcome, everybody. Hope you are doing awesome. I'm super stoked today to have Jerry Mcnamara with us talking about a simple idea. Don't build a company, build a community on a mission. Thanks so much for joining us today, Jerry.

 

Wade. I am so happy to be here. And happy New Year. I can't believe it's. 2022 already.

 

Absolutely, man. Thank you so much. So Jerry has run five businesses in five industries, both B to B business to business and B to C business to customer. His companies have shown up on the Franchise 500, Ink 500, and Best Places to Work. He's now on a mission to positively impact 5 million people in five years by helping cos create compelling companies that outperform and still make it home for dinner. So, Jerry, would you just share a little bit about maybe your background and what got you so passionate about being able to help CEOs have this balance of being able to perform at an extremely high level and yet still have that ability to be home and be present for family? Yeah, absolutely.

 

Because I think the greatest rip off in life, Wade, is success without fulfillment. And so as I really look at the course of my career, I've always been the senior leader inside businesses. And so if I didn't like it, I just changed it. And that changed for me one time when I was brought in to run a company. I loved the business we were in. I love the impact that we were making. I loved the role that I had. But there was a disadvantage in our approach and our values between the owner who brought me in and my role as the CEO. And that's really the first time where I said, wow, there's people that go home every day not loving the work that they're doing. And I just thought, man, that has to be an awful thing. And so I have been so passionate that you can do both because I've done it throughout my whole career to create a compelling company that outperforms still make it home for dinner to love your people. And I just believe that, man, if your people feel clear about what it is that is expected of them, they are challenged in the work that they're doing, that they feel cared about, and they're comfortable that they have the tools and resources to succeed, then, boy, you're going to be a really fun place to be every single day.

 

And so that's my goal. I want to help CEOs positively impact the world, 5 million people over the next five years. That's just getting started. And I'm going to do that through our senior leaders because they have the ability to make the biggest impact for me.

 

That's awesome. One of the things that my mother had taught me over the years, I'm really blessed father is an entrepreneur, mother is a thinker, brilliant woman. Always had me looking at spirituality, philosophy, psychology, different things like that. And at times when I would get frustrated with the system, the bigger companies I've worked for some large companies. I was raised Catholic. I've just been in different large organizations or even just looking at US government. What do you like? What don't you like? And one of the things she also reminded me of is if you can rather than just rebel against the organization, which is so easy, if you can connect with and see, okay, what is it that's missing? And if you go with the premise that most people are trying to do awesome things, most people are trying to be nice. Most people want to pay their bills, want to work hard, want to support their family, that sort of stuff. If you can help fix or heal what's missing, you can have a lot of skill and a lot of leverage pretty quickly. It sounds like that's part of what you're looking to do, to tap into what's there rather than some sort of revolution to say, okay, we're going to rebel to say, okay, how do we work with the energy that's already there?

 

Would you share a little bit about that?

 

Absolutely. So I think about this. I have never met anyone, Wade, who shows up to work and says, you know what? I really want to suck today. And at the end of the day, there are a lot of people that are not very effective inside their organizations. It's not their fault. It's us. As the senior leaders, we haven't created that clarity and that challenge and that care and that comfort for them. Yeah, absolutely. It's that whole internal locus of control that you're talking about. Right. I can either be EOR and look at the organization and say, Whoa is made, or I can be Buzz Lightyear and take the ultimate ownership. It's one of our action principles inside our company and say, what is it that I can do differently to make an impact and to positively create an outcome for me? I'll give you an example, and you talk about your mother and the impact that she had on you. I'm lucky I get to take both of my kids. I have a nine year old and a five year old that I take to school every day. And we talk about things like, what are you grateful for today?

 

And I make them today because it's a little cold here in Florida, Brooklyn was grateful for a car so that we didn't have to walk to school. And Briggs was grateful for a tree because he likes to climb on them. He's a nature lover. The second thing that we talk about is that you can't always control your circumstance, but you can always control your attitude and your approach. And so it's all of that mindset that they're going to have a great day, and you bring the same thing inside of organizations. You build in that internal locus of control that I make an impact on the world. The world does not impact me. And so the clearer you get as a leader of how you're going to show up for your people, the more impact that you can make, and that you'll get to that positive place of fulfillment not only for yourself, but for everyone around you.

 

That's so important. One of the things that I find that people have either blocks with or objections with or not so much objections. It's just sort of they have a hard time latching on is it goes right back to the same thing. Oh, we'll see. Jerry, you're successful now or you're CEO. So you get to do these things or you have your own company. It's the usual thing of, well, you get to because instead of no, because I did such and such. Now I get to how would you speak to first, the CEO of the company that says, you know what? Gosh, you don't understand here I've got all these numbers I've got to hit and all these requirements. So, yeah, I'd love to get home on time for dinner for my family, but I can't I've got these numbers. So first, what would you say to that person about that? And then second, what are they probably missing out on if their kids are growing up and their spouse? Maybe it could be a husband, it could be a wife, whatever it might be, but that they're missing out and they're thinking, well, I'll get there someday.

 

Well, someday will never come because it's always tomorrow. As I look at it in my work with CEOs and entrepreneurs, the first thing that we start looking at is what do you want the business to do for you? And that's a very different mindset. In fact, I just spoke with someone last week and they were like, I've never thought about it that way. And I said, well, here's what my experience is. We're always told as entrepreneurs that you're constantly grinding, you're constantly giving, you're constantly under stress. And my answer is, it doesn't have to be that way. Do not buy into that mindset. So let's get really clear on where you want to go. So let's get really clear on your personal vision. The company has a vision, but you have a personal vision what your personal values are. And then all we're doing is once we have that North Star we just start aligning our actions to it. So if you don't do that way, my experience is that you start to resent your business over time. And success without fulfillment is the greatest ripoff of life. And so I just start with, what is it that you want the business to do for you?

 

And then we start aligning our actions. And again, it all has to get done. You don't have to do all the doing. And so that's one of the biggest mindset blocks is we don't delegate. We recognize the things that need to get done. But, oh, my gosh, it's going to cost me some money. I worked with a lawyer at one point in time who was making about half a million dollars. And I said to him, what if you brought in a junior lawyer to take some of your caseload and do some of the work? It would cost you about 100 grand. Because his frustration was that he wasn't getting home to see his kids, and most nights he wasn't even being able to tuck them in. I said, what is the cost of that? Does your lifestyle change anymore if you're making 400 grand versus 500 grand? The answer was no. Sometimes we just have to think about the ways in which we've been programmed. Right? You were raised Catholic. I was raised Catholic, too. If it doesn't hurt, it doesn't count. And so I think we're taught the same thing as an entrepreneur grind.

 

Keep the stress, keep pushing. But the reality of it is more and now are the words of the devil. We keep on getting bought into this idea that I need more and I need more of it now. And the reality of it is not everyone wants that. And so the whole premise of your show is the three day weekend. If that's what you want, design your life to go do that. And most people never open up their mind to say that that's even a possibility. And my answer is it is. And I've shared with you the story. In October 2020, my wife and I sold our house in the middle of a pandemic. Some people thought we were crazy. Some people still think we're crazy. We probably still are crazy. But it was the right time. Our kids were in virtual school, and we went and traveled the country. We visited 54 places across the United States. What a beautiful country we live in. And people said, I wish I could do that. And my answer to all of them was, you can. You just have to design your life to it now. Here's the outcome of that.

 

Wade. I grew my business by 40%. While we were on the road, my wife got a promotion to become a VP of sales for a pharmaceutical company. And so when people say, you can't have it all, I disagree. You just have to bring conscious intention to the life that you want. To live in the life that you want to lead or else you will blow like a leaf in the wind and constantly be disappointed.

 

Yeah, I think there's so much to that. I once had a person tell me you cannot have everything you want, but almost anything you want you can have. So the idea of saying, okay, no, you're not going to have maybe the big house, the big car. Like I saw a post once by a person said billionaires. There's five things you can do. You choose three of them. But sorry, they didn't say billionaires. They said entrepreneurs. And I said, well, hold on. No, that's wrong. I know that's wrong because I'm an entrepreneur and I have those things. But if a person wants to be a billionaire entrepreneur, I don't know the answer to that. It might be to be a billionaire entrepreneur. And even then, there's people JK Rowling, she's a billionaire. I think, like you said, there's so much we have of assumptions of what it has to be. And just by definition, if we never believe it's possible, we're never even going to take the actions. And so instead of saying it's not possible, the more accurate thing would be to say, I've never tried that. Well, that's a very different situation. And to your point about the $400,000 lifestyle versus the $500,000 lifestyle, you might be familiar with this study.

 

And as with most of us, I always forget exactly. It was a Harvard study. It must have been a Harvard study, right. That gives you credibility. It was Harvard, not Podunk University, but the idea that once people hit $70,000 of income in the US, that above that fulfillment levels did not by self report, their report of how happy they were didn't go up. And it's not to say stop at 70,000 because you can do maybe other things with the money and help other people. So that's great. But it was the concept of if you're looking for more fulfillment from going from 70 to 80 to 100 to 150, I can tell you I've made different levels and I've even went up and then gone down at times. But for me, the constant has been time with our family and we've been blessed. My wife's from Peru to live back and forth from Peru and to give our kids that. And it's funny, even after doing that, we didn't travel during the pandemic because we're like, well, that's going to be really tough. And I'm thinking, wait, you lived back and forth from Peru on and off.

 

But it's funny how either mindset gets you or even sometimes just the circumstances. And we had some other variables. Someone was on the basketball team and he'd have missed out on basketball. So sure, it was somewhere between choice. But even as somebody who's done it, the more accurate answer would have been like, oh, this will be really hard. Okay. And that's something that as I watch my son grow up. He loves playing basketball. But gosh, when he was way younger, he said, I think I want to have career date. And I'd never sort of bothered him about what his answers were. Just let him show what he wants. I think I'd like to be an NBA pro. And this like he was like five or six or something and maybe seven, I think, because he's already done some basketball. And I said, okay, well, tell me something. You and I have talked about what the people in the NBA do, and I always use Ray Allen as an example, and he shoots 1000 shots a day. I said, your age, maybe it should be a hundred at least or something. I said, Are you doing that?

 

He SaaS no. I said, well then may I help you with something? Might it be more accurate to say you wish you were going to be in the MBA? Because I don't want to tell you that you want to be in the NBA and then just nod my head while you're not doing what it takes and then be surprised when you don't get there. And then, by the way, that's a perfectly cool place to be to say, I really don't want to do the work and it'd be great if I had a Bajillion dollars, whatever that is. But I don't want to do the work. But even that, I find, is more empowering. And I watch him. He's now a sophomore in high school and he's enjoyed the journey and he works at the game, but he doesn't over stress and he's having fun with it. I'm watching other kids that are better basketball players than him and some of them are not having fun. So I think there's that choice element. How do you get a person to embrace that? And how have you found that people can kind of without being disrespectful to the voices around them?

 

Because we can tune out the media and this and that. And I think there's an easier part, or at least for some people. But the harder part is the people right around us, our family or our peers or our better friends. How can somebody kind of tune out, especially even as a CEO, if they've got people around them that are their superior, saying, you need to be doing such and such? How can a person do that and still hold their center and still be able to execute effectively?

 

Right. So what is right for me may not be right for anyone else. So you have to recognize that I think the most important thing that you can do as a CEO, as a person, as a leader, is to get really clear on where I want to go in life and my values, which are really my operating system. It's the guardrails that I stay on the road and feel good about the actions that I'm taking. And I call it noise, Wade. So when I have those things where people are chirping and they have things to say, it's not that I don't hear them, but if it doesn't fit into here's where I'm going and here are the guardrails, it's just noise. It sits out here. But it doesn't impact the work that I'm doing, because as long as I am comfortable with my attitude, my approach, my vision, my values, and I'm aligned in my actions that I know I am on the path to fulfillment. Once I start listening to people and them telling me what I should be doing, then I'm living other people's dreams and other people's lives. And that's not right for me.

 

And if you want a really sincere way to get disillusioned really fast, start living other people's dreams. And so that's why I always start with I have a model that I've used in accelerating businesses, and the foundation of it is your vision, your values and your resources. That's the start of every business. And we talked a little bit about you shouldn't be building a company in this environment. You should be building a community on a mission. But the most important thing I'm going to talk about that here in a second. But the most important thing starts with your own mindset. If you are not clear with what you want to get out of the world and the work that you're willing to do to put into it, because I'm sure you've experienced this, too. The most successful people I know take action differently. And the only way you can do that is if you're clear about where you want to go and how you want to get there. And so start there, and then all the rest of it becomes noise that also sustains you when it goes wrong. You have grit, you have resilience because you have a strong tie back to where you are going.

 

And that's when you have those hollow moments that circle you back to your vision and your values.

 

Thank you. Yeah. And I think so much of this is clarity and clarity, I guess because there are so many workshops done on vision and mission in the late 80s and 90s that it's almost been marginalized.

 

Okay.

 

It's no longer important. As if at some point it just stops being important. Like if eating well, doing exercise and getting sleep, because we talked about okay, now we've talked about it. They're no longer important. Now what are you seeing that's going on the marketplace right now that CEOs should be paying retention to.

 

Yeah, absolutely. So it's funny because I just wrote about this in my newsletter that I put out impossible. I don't care whether you use vision. I don't care whether you use Mission big, hairy, audacious goal. I don't care what it is. Right. You just need a North Star that you put out there to say, here is where we are going as a company. So that we can operationalize it, make decisions, put the resources on the opportunities and head in that direction because we're going to change course a million times. I just think that if imagine this. I say to you, Wade, I want you to come join my company. It's going to be a great adventure. We're going to have a hell of a time. And I take you to the beach because you know why? I love the beach. I want my toes in the water and I want it to be warm and you love to snowboard. And your idea of an adventure is we're going to the mountains, we're going to Colorado Rockies. Someone's going to be pissed when we get there and we're at the beach because you're going to say, I thought I was going on a bit this big adventure.

 

My idea of adventure is this. And so the lack of clarity to say here's where we're going, here's the impact that we're going to go make creates a disjoint in satisfaction of what it is that we're doing. And so I'm a big believer we have the great resignation going on right now. I think you're going to see it continued to balloon as people get their post holiday reflections, get some bonuses. I think you're going to see it swell in late January and February and people are going to move on. You look back at stats, more than 4 million people voluntarily left their job in August, September, October and November. It's amazing, right? And so why does that happen? It's because COVID gave us a reflection point to say, why am I doing this? Doing what is my purpose? What is my impact? And when you look at the Edelman report, 61% of people are looking for purpose in their work, right? You look at the predictive index who says over the next twelve months, 70% of people are looking for new positions because their manager is not creating the clarity for them in their work.

 

Right. And so, again, leadership issues. Every company has the potential to be great. It's the leader that unlocks that potential or it shackles us to mediocrity. That's the reality of it. And so what should we be doing? I should be really clear on the adventure that we're going on. I should be really clear about the values that we celebrate in this company and the ones that we toss aside and say, you are not part of our tribe, our clan. And then you invite people in on the mission. And when you have shared values, when you have a shared vision for the world, then we're on this mission together. Think about the most iconic brands that are out there, right? Harley Davidson, Nike, Tesla, Disney, all of those people. I mean, people stand hours in line Apple for the new product launch, right. They are part of the community. Part of their identity is wrapped up into that. I ride a Harley Davidson, right. If you still want to be part of the HarleyDavidson community, you don't go up the street two years later and get a Honda because your HarleyDavidson friends, they don't let you ride if you have a Honda.

 

And so it's this whole thing that I think you're right. It has been diluted over time and again. I don't care how you do it, but you need to operationalize some North Star of where we're going so everyone can say, here's the handle. I'm grabbing onto that business. I'll give you a great example. One of my clients is a real estate developer in Denver, and they do full service, everything from acquisition to land entitlement to architecture to building it and actual disposition. Very hard to understand his business, even for me, hard to understand his business. There was no handle on his business. And they made the decision this year that they were going to build a greener Colorado. I know exactly what that means. They are building sustainable, energy efficient homes in that marketplace. And it becomes very easy to understand what their businesses and how they're going to make decisions. It has brought people into their business because people said, I identify with building a greener Colorado. I want to work for you. It has brought investors in. It has brought publicity in, and it's simply because they started to operationalize of here's who we are, here's what we care about.

 

And if you're on the same page with us, come along, come along for the journey. We're going to have tons of fun doing it. It sure beats being an opportunistic real estate developer who's just in it to try and build and make money. Totally transformed.

 

Yeah. I think that's something that people I can tell you. You're familiar with this idea that just when you try to be everything, all people, it just becomes so difficult for anybody to latch on you because who are you? And it really is like, and people joke about this, but it's like if you meet somebody in your dating, who are you? Who do you want me to be? And people joke about that. It's like, well, but dude, then I don't know who the heck you are. When you talk about employees seeking purpose and work. I know I've seen at times people I've worked with where at times that the employee doesn't really know what they're looking for, but they know they're looking for something different. There's something more. There's a discontent. And if it were old school or even the mid Eighties and say, suck it up and just deal with that kind of a thing, because you're being soft, you're being weak. And so definitely in the what's now called the toxic masculinity or toxic masculine way of doing things, it'd be like, okay, Jerry, just deal with it and don't be a Wade.

 

And yet in the long run, of course, these are the things that lead to employee turnover. High employee turnover, which also just is not a fluffy thing at all. It's very costly to have to retrain people to do the same things. How can a CEO start to create a community? Like, what does that look like? What are the elements of that? And how do you start getting people if they don't have this big? Because I think hopefully people listing just latched on to yes. If you say, I'm going to put a man on the moon, I'm going to make it greener Colorado, it's like, okay, but you might say, well, I don't know, we run a paper company. It doesn't sound as good again. Even then, how does the person even if let's say they don't have control, let's say you're the CEO and you don't have control of the company mission. So the company mission is being dictated or pronounced by somebody else. But you're trying to engage the people around you with that. And you note that, okay, gosh, people aren't really connected. How can you get people connected? And how do you start building a community just from wherever you are?

 

So communication is at the heart of it, right? And so you have to communicate, communicate, communicate. Values can't be just words that are sitting on the wall. It's how we operationalize them. It's what we celebrate. It's what we don't tolerate. And the first time you let that slide by then you become solace as a company. Right. And so we have to be super disciplined to address the first time, every time when we are making decisions that are not in concert with our stated vision and our values. Otherwise, you become untrustworthy. And people start to say, Wade's full of sh. I don't want to be here anymore. Right. And so it is not unusual as a young person or someone making their way through to not know exactly what impact they want to make. Right. And so I look at that and say, it's up to the leader to help them start to create clarity in their approach, what's expected of them, how they feel good about their work and carve a path that is super important to help them grow and develop as a person. Let them try lots of different things. Give them that challenge piece, give them lots of different challenges that exposes them to different parts of the organization.

 

Because when I look at compelling companies, there are three ways that you can become a compelling company. Someone either identifies with the vision of the company, and I'm Super jazzed up about building a greener Colorado. The second part is they can feel really great about when they leave every day, the values of the company and how it made them feel. And the third piece is I can be really jazzed up about the role. I love sales, and I really particularly love software sales. And I'm inside a SaaS company doing that. I love what I'm doing. The magic is if we've done a great job hiring and we've been really clear about what it is that we're doing, what we need, and how we operate as a company, then we invite the trifecta inside the business that aligns with all three of those things. And that's how you unlock the magic of a company that just becomes unstoppable. We just aren't clear enough on our vision, our values, and the roles inside our company. And we become tired, man. We accept people. I call them tens. We're looking for tens inside organizations. They match up on all facets of the business.

 

We accept the six s and seven s, but they're the people that make it drudgery to come into work. They're the sad SaaS where you're like, they're good enough, but it's like, good enough to stay bad enough to get out of here. Right. And so if we can be really clear about, again, creating a compelling company, caring for our people, exposing them, creating a career path for them, that exposes them to lots of different things, I think you're on your way to creating a more compelling company. Thank you.

 

Yeah, I think so much of that is clarity, knowing what you're about. And when you talk about a six versus a ten, obviously we're not talking about how hot they are. We're talking about how well they fit with the company. And one of the things that whenever I'm doing recruiting with people or coaching them and recruiting to say, look, to me, a person's got to be an A player, and otherwise, admittedly, sometimes I might have to hire somebody for a role. But number one, I want them to be an eight player, that they're either a nine or a ten and or that they're aspirational. They want to be a nine or a ten. I can handle a six. That's working their way towards being a ten or a nine or even a seven. They're just like, okay, I'll next be a seven and I'll be an eight. It doesn't have to be a rush, but they're on their way up. To me, a lot of it's about their aspiration. How can you tell if somebody is just, I'm a six and I'm just going to be a six forever versus, okay, I'm open. I'm willing to buy into what you're doing.

 

And so I'm coachable growth oriented, all the different things that 20 years ago we said, yeah, those are important. But the world wasn't changing as quickly that today are now really critical to whether or not you'll be able to have that person be an asset to the company versus liability, let's say in three years, five years, yes.

 

So the last ring of my business acceleration model is learning. Curiosity and learning allows companies to solve problems differently, to innovabuzz, and to go forward and win the marketplace. So I like to ask questions like, what's the last book that you read? What's the last pursuit that you had that you were interested in and what did you do about it? Right as we were coming back out of COVID and people were interviewing, one of the questions that I had people ask is so how did you spend your time when you were at home during Kobet? I wanted to know whether people were binge watching Netflix or if they were reading a book or watching a documentary or pursuing some path to knowledge that made them more desirable to have inside the company. And so I am constantly looking for people who are growth minded. How do I get better? I can look over my shoulder. I have whatever, twelve books going right at any given time. Because if you're trying to solve today's problems with information from ten years ago, you're sunk. When I look at the ability to run five different businesses, five different industries, B to B to C, I have not been the technical expert in any business that I've run, end of story.

 

I have been intellectually curious to go figure that business out. And I had technical people around me to help me figure it out. I'm the people leader at the heart of what it is that we do as leaders. We are people leaders. We are not doing the doing. We do some of the doing, but we are the conductors of resources at the front. We are the ones that are communicating. Here's where we're going. Let's go take that mountain. Don't worry about that mountain. And we help people unlock the very best version of themselves.

 

That's awesome. So question for you. For the CEO that wants to take their first step, what's that first step look like? To start moving in that direction without sounding like the CEO that just came back from another workshop with another thing that's going to fall away in two weeks. And sometimes that goes into perhaps people taking on too much too quickly. What's a reasonable ask that a CEO, let's say, could say of their team to say, okay, hey, we're going to do X in the next 30 days, 90 days, whatever it is, where can they start so that it's likely to that something's going to stick as opposed to the thing that we're all too familiar with. We're going to take it all on and three weeks later we're on to the next thing.

 

Amen change management is an art for sure. And so again, what game are you playing? Am I playing a short term game? You talked about numbers before and needing to hit numbers. It's not that I'm not metrics driven. I very am data driven and metrics driven. But at the end of the day the game that I'm playing is the infinite game. And so when I look at all of those things, when I'm playing the infinite game, I don't need a rush to put something in place over the next 30 days because I do need to get mine share. I do need to get people wrapped around it because the way in which we've been operating is different than the way in which we will be operating. And so the best and easiest way to do that is start having conversations with your people. Hey, what do you think about our business? Is this a business that you're really proud of? Do you think our people love going home? And when their spouse says, hey, Wade, how was your day? Did they say, I love my job? My CEO is really smart. I have the tools and resources that I need to succeed.

 

And God, we are winning. And I'm having so much fun. That's the environment. That's one of the things that I aspire to. I want every single one of the employees for the CEOs that I serve. I want them to be able to go home and say to their spouse, exactly, that. I love my job, I love what I'm doing, I love my CEO. They create such clarity, and I have what I need, and I know I'm winning. That person's, a better husband, wife, all of those things. Right? And so in my mind, you have to start having conversations to say, let's be real about the business that we've built today and what is it that we can do to change it and we don't have to do it overnight. Let's just start having conversations. Let's be real in our approach. I will share with you a story. I had a great conversation with a guy. Jason Perry runs a fast growing It business, and he went to an industry event with one of his vendors. And he was just struck by how much those people loved the company that they worked for. And he said, after 19 years, I looked up and I said, I am not proud of the business that I have built.

 

And he decided and it started with him with a mission statement. Here is the business that we are going to go build, and we are going to become relentless in it. And he started to then galvanize people around it, and it took him some time to put it into place. But he now has a fast growing company that is the best places to work, something that he loves being in. Zero turnover in three years. Zero turnover in three years. And so is it worth the effort? Absolutely it is. But there's a guy who looked up after 19 years and he said, Jerry, I'm telling you, I was not proud of the business that I had built when I looked at this company. And man, those people just love the company that they were at. And he said, I decided to change it. And I love that story.

 

That's great. So if you don't mind sharing for people, share a little bit about your experience of being able to perform at a high level and be home for dinner on time. What difference that's made in your life or if you've always had that how you compare that to people that don't have that because I think a lot of people miss out on the narrative. They hear the sound bite and the sound bite. The sound bite almost feels like you're checking a box for someone else to like you or to put on Facebook or Instagram to say, hey, see, I'm a good dad, right? But there's a deeper part to it that you and I both know that is no, I don't care if it ever makes social media. It's actually far more fulfilling. And I've never seen to this day, well, maybe once or twice, 90 something percent plus 95%, 98% of any athlete, musician, top level performer in the world. What's most important family. It's always that whether they're making billions, millions, what's that difference? How does that feel for somebody in case maybe somebody is in the middle of this and they're wondering, well, am I maybe missing out?

 

Could I be having more happen? And am I just settling when I'm going to regret this? In ten years that I was settling when my kids are out of the house, what's the difference? How does that feel?

 

So I'm a big believer. You have to live your life on your terms. And so what is right for me, which is being home for dinner and enjoying my wife and enjoying my kids, that's what's right for me. And I can't tell anyone else what's right for them. But I will tell you the greatest joy that I have is being a dad and being a husband and being present. My wife and I both have demanding positions. Right. And so it does take some time to get yourself up and out and to be in the moment with our kids. But I'll always revert to my wife. She's so amazing woman. I was being honored as an ultimate CEO, and we had run a business that went from 7 million to 30 million. To say that that wasn't stressful and that wasn't hard. That was hard. I still made it every day to pick my daughter up on time. I never once lapse rate. She said to me that day, she said, you know, your business can never love you back like your family will.

 

Wow.

 

She is great at re grounding me on the things that are truly important. And not that we had lost our way, but it is easy to start serving the business instead of saying, here's, let's make sure we serve our family first. And it's something that has stuck with me. And it's something that I say to the CEOs that I work with. Your business will never love you back. It cannot love you back the way your friends, your families can love you back. And for me, that's why I do what I do. Right? Money is just the output of how much value you create in the marketplace, you end up with money in your pocket when you die. You probably worked too hard.

 

Yeah, I love that. It just makes me think because I was joking with my kids. That was it. Cats in the Cradle and Silver Spoon, the song by Harry Chapman. And actually, when we're playing Monopoly, and I say, when are you coming by to see me coming to one of my properties? So as they're rolling, I'll sing that song. But there's no song that says, oh, I missed out on work. There's no song that's like, oh, damn it, I wish I had worked harder. I wish I put in 50 hours instead of 40 this week. I wish I skipped. Like, there are no songs. There's a reason for that.

 

No.

 

In the overall scheme of things, it's not as important.

 

I always believe, to begin with, the end in mind, I am not going to be 78 years old regretting that I didn't work as hard at work. I will regret that I didn't show up for the play or I wasn't there for the gymnastics meet, or I wasn't there for whatever it is. Those are the things that will stick with you. Those are the things that will kick your ass. You want to talk about regret? Those are the things that you will regret. Regret. People have asked me before, like the fear of failure. So one of the questions you asked me is, how do you get started? A lot of people don't start because they're afraid of failure. And you know what my answer is, Wayne? I am way more afraid to be 78 years old laying on a hospital Gurney thinking to myself, I had all these opportunities to make an impact. I saw these chances. And you know what? I had a fear of failure that scares the sh out of me. That is true failure because I look and say, if things don't go right and I look at my career, God, no one has gotten more wrong than me.

 

And that's because I am so determined to succeed that I am willing to fail. And for me, failure is just learning. Now, I know that that doesn't work. Okay, how do we iterate. How do we continue to move the science experiment forward? Because that's how business is. It's the allocation of resources on opportunities. And it's a big hypothesis to say, if I do this, I think I'm going to get this end result. And I think so many people sit around and think, all of us senior leaders have it all figured out. We don't. We sit around and we make up and we say, I think if I do this, we're going to get this end result. And that's the reality of how businesses operate. And so being able to have really smart people around you to help you make those decisions, those are critical. But that's what I think about. I don't worry about fear of failure. I'd rather take action and learn.

 

Awesome. Wow. So much in this. So I've got some kind of quick lightning roundish questions.

 

Love it.

 

If you could give your target audience one skill, what would that be?

 

Confidence and their leadership ability.

 

Awesome. What's the costliest? Business mistake you've ever, Wade, and what did you learn?

 

Oh, Jesus, I've made so many mistakes. Wade, ask me the next one. Let me think on that one.

 

Sure. What's the best business decision you ever made and how did you execute it?

 

I married my wife.

 

Awesome. What's your best tip to help people get more results in less time?

 

Get really clear about what you want to get out of life.

 

What's one thing that most entrepreneurs do that you find unnecessary.

 

Stress?

 

Love that. Wow. Definitely. What's the first thing you believe every entrepreneur should delegable or CEO?

 

Any administrative task. I tell people all the time, start with your email inbox because that is everyone else's priorities and not yours. And so that is the scariest one that people fight me on. But once they do it, it's like, oh my God, that's amazing. I can actually work on the priorities of the business.

 

Awesome. What have you dropped from your business or your life that's been the most liberating other people's expectations. What are you most excited about in your work right now?

 

Positively impacting 5 million people over the next five years? I am so damn passionate about that way because it does not. Adam Grant talks about this and he's so wrong. His goal is to make work suck less. And that just comes from such a negative place that work has a negative connotation. We spend more time at work than we do anything else. If you are not in a compelling place where you believe in your CEO, where you believe in your senior leader, go find another place. And my goal is to help senior leaders and CEOs create those places where amazing people end up. Because we are so clear about what it is that we're offering and we're building this community on a mission where people just go, I would take no paycheck to show up here and do what I do every day. That's when I know we're winning. When people feel so inspired, that's awesome.

 

What are you most excited about in your personal life right now?

 

Watching my kids grow up at nine and five. They are amazing little human beings. The stuff that they say. Last night I was with Briggs and we were praying before we went to sleep and we were praying for one of our clients. And he remembered last month that we were praying for another client's mother who was not well. And he prayed for her too. And I just thought, God, it's amazing how they remember things even at five last month. Let's make sure we include Mr. Bill's mother too. And so they are just so fun.

 

That's awesome. All right, so I've got a final question. But before we go back to costly, costly choosing and what did you learn?

 

Man, I literally have made so many weight. Some people are ashamed to say that they make mistakes. As a senior leader, I believe ego is the enemy. I've Wade more mistakes than any person I can possibly count.

 

Or maybe the theme what's the theme of the most costly? Maybe that's a better question.

 

Okay. That's probably a good one. Being so excited about opportunities, which is a common theme for entrepreneurs and visionary entrepreneurs in particular, that we get super excited and we start to chase the shiny object, which then just creates a loss of traction in our business. It's one of the things I talk about all the time. One of my favorite things is a Fox chasing two rabbits, catches none. And so a reminder for myself, being a high learner, that I can get so enthused by the learning that I forget to do the doing. And so I know a lot of that I have not ever used or put into action. But at the end of the day, it's served me pretty well. But it certainly has created a lot of friction for me, too, because I'm willing to continue to learn instead of taking action at times at home.

 

What's going to be good for the business or what's just a nice hobby is really interesting, especially, as you said, if you love learning, it's like, dude, teach me anything.

 

Go be a professor. Don't become an entrepreneur.

 

That's another possibility. Yeah. All right. So where can people connect with you and learn more about your work?

 

So the best place to connect with me is@provenchaos.com a couple of opportunities there really to get some value. You can sign up for our newsletter. I send that out every Saturday at 08:00 A.m., because I know that's when busy entrepreneurs have a little bit of time to sip their coffee and do some learning, because I've been in that seat. And then another really good place for people in your community is we do office hours every Thursday from two to 03:00 Eastern time. It's an opportunity for senior leaders and entrepreneurs to come and have some community to share stories, to get some feedback on some of the challenges that they're having that maybe they can't bring inside their own organization. And so I've been doing that since December of 2019. I actually just looked back. It was December 4 was the first time, and it's been 110 weeks that we've been running that straight. So it's been a pretty fun community to come and learn.

 

That is very cool. Jerry, thank you so much for sharing your insights with us. There's so much I've gotten from this. And if you're listening, one of the things I just encourage you go deeper. When we have guests on and they're offering you their help, they're not trying to suck into some like evil funnel and get your credit card number.

 

That's right.

 

They really want to help you. I think I do a pretty good job of bringing on guests that they are successful, they are abundant and they're sharing what they have and there's nothing wrong with being on your way up, but for me I really want to have those people that are living these things and so I do the best research I can to make sure that people are doing that and Jerry is definitely one of those people and I know vetted from a couple of different angle points, Alex Sanfilippo different people you and I both know. So thank you so much for coming out and any final words you'd like to leave the audience with?

 

You know what, I'm just so grateful to be here and as I've said before, I've gotten my teeth bashed in over my career and so if I can save some people from getting their teeth bashed in, that's part of what I want to do because we are always better together and never forget that.

 

Absolutely. Thank you again for joining us, Jerry, and for everybody, as always, I look forward to helping you help more people and make more money and less time doing what you do best so you can better enjoy your family, your friends and your life. Thanks for listening.

 

Jerry Macnamara Profile Photo

Jerry Macnamara

CEO/Entrepreneur/Speaker

For twenty-five years, Jerry's fearlessly positive approach to business led to massive success. He's run five companies in five industries in both B2B and B2C and made the Franchise 500, Inc 500, and Best Places to Work. He's been recognized as a 40
under 40 and an Ultimate CEO. Jerry runs Proven Chaos - a company driven to help CEOs create compelling companies that outperform...and still make it home for dinner.

Jerry's mission: To positively impact 5MM people in 5 years through better business.