Have you been wondering how to strengthen your car wash team and your leadership opportunities for your employees? Are you making the time and space to get to know your employees better so that you can foster community within your team and open up leadership opportunities? Listen in to this outstanding discussion between host JT Thomson and leadership and team building expert Jamey Gadoury to hear lots of practical tips about ways to both strengthen the relationships within your team and also facilitate opportunities for leadership growth within the team so that your team members become better leaders.
“And to me, that’s a key piece, certainly for anyone who’s going to rise as a leader in the organization, but also anyone that you want to develop in your team. The owner has got this real responsibility to build relational bridges with them, and then start to understand them as a person. And that’s where mentorship can really happen, is when I’m starting to see things through your eyes. It’s kind of slowing down, right? So much of what we do in business… we’re on this rapid pace. There’s lots going on; we’re knocking targets out! We’re moving, moving, moving! And the leader has got this obligation to, from time to time, kind of slow things down, almost like pushing pause.”
Don’t miss out on this episode where JT and Jamey talk about how team and leadership development can really strengthen your car wash business!
Want to get in touch with Jamey? Visit his website, OutsideConsulting.com, or email him directly at [email protected].
A Little More about Jamey Gadoury
Jamey is an executive coach, leadership consultant, veteran, family man, and Jesus-follower. He has spent a career in the study and application of leadership, personality, and relationships. Jamey grew up near Boston, graduated West Point, and once instructed at the Army’s Ranger School. He also led in combat in both Afghanistan and Iraq. For nearly 20 years, he lived in a lot of places. He and his bride have now settled in the Phoenix area, where Amy grew up.
Interested in the episode but don’t have time to listen right now? See the full interview below!
Welcome to Scaling Car Washes. I’m your host, JT Thompson. I built my first car wash in 2002. And since then I’ve been involved at every level of the carwash ownership experience. I’ve built and sold my own car washes, and as a Sonny’s distributor, I’ve helped other owners build and operate their car washes. Along the way, I’ve been a multi-unit restaurant owner with 23 units in five states. We’ll talk to experts in the carwash industry and related industries that can share insight information that will help you build, scale, and ultimately exit your multi-unit carwash platform.
Well, hey, everybody, welcome to Scaling Car Washes podcast. I’m your host, JT Thompson. I am here with Jamey Gadoury. Jamey is a just an all around great patriot, just an amazing guy. He is my executive coach, so I’ve gotten to know him. And he’s got a lot of really good insight on life and on dealing with people. He’s got a strong military background, so I’m going to let him kind of go into that in a second. But we’re going to today talk about team development. We talk about people really being the crux of our success, and really building that team. And as you’re scaling your business, the team is just the most fundamental part of what we can do. We can all go build car washes, but how you run them and how you operate them and how you build a team… To do that is really critical! So today, we’ve got Jamey. Jamey, welcome.
Why don’t you give us just a little bit of your background. I know you’ve got a an incredible background. So I’d like to have you share that with people.
Yeah, sure thing. I grew up in the Boston area, the youngest of three boys. My parents, Vick and Bev, raised us in one of the suburbs of Boston, Burlington, Massachusetts. Not far from — you talked about patriotism — not far from Lexington Concord. And so all of that kind of history of the US was was very close kind of to my upbringing, and with that, I just developed a sense of wanting to serve. I’m a Christian, a believer, and I really want to just serve other people. And when I looked at like, the military is like, man, that that’s a hard place, right? To live out, to take care of people, to kind of live what you believe. And I want to do that. And my brother, and then my cousin, got me interested in West Point. I ended up going there, graduated. Not too long after that, I went to the 101st Airborne Division, which is there in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Great, great history there. And after 9/11 happened, we got set up for rapid deployment, and ended up over in Afghanistan in January of 2001. I spent about six months over there at the time.
So you’re there right after 9/11?
Yeah, so within a few months after, so it was his kind of the Special Ops Rangers and the Marines, and we backfilled the Marines and kind of set up perimeters. And then Operation Anaconda happened. We took part in that, flying in where the Soviets had had a lot of failure, we went in with some, some good success. And just yeah… That was kind of the kickoff, in a lot of ways to what’s obviously been a very long and protracted conflict in the war on terror. After that, I spent some time as a ranger instructor down in Florida, final phase of Ranger School, where I’d gone through as a student prior to that. And then I ended up out in Colorado, which is just beautiful country, but I was stationed out there, deployed to Iraq out of there during the surge of ’06 / ’07. And then after that, it was it was kind of time to get out. I ended up linking up with a group of veterans who had started a company in Central Texas. So my wife and I, we moved our family there, and we spent really just about five and a half great years after all the deployments, the military, all that kind of comes with that… And just some very great family time and worked with this incredible team, group called the Praevius Group, led by Nate Self and some others. And I just got to, I don’t know, in some ways, detox from the military time, and kind of re-assess. I learned a lot about myself, and just how to kind of move forward. I learned really, from on the job training, the kind of work that I do now in terms of executive coaching, and just working with leader teams. Then I’m a little bit of a nerd at heart, JT, so I wanted to go back to back to school. I had the GI Bill sitting there, essentially 36 months benefit. And so was looking at things to do; we were praying about that. I ended up back on the East Coast, not far from where I grew up, and I went back to school. I actually got a degree in counseling, just in the field of psychology. We’ll probably talk a bit on that later. And then eventually, as we looked at what’s next, we’ve been moving all over the country. We’ve been doing all these different things for you know, 15 or 20 years. And you know, my wife’s real close to her family, so we said, you know what? We need to move back, get her back to the network, and so we’re here in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Arizona, and we’ve got three three kids here. and we’re putting down some roots.
Scottfield is a great place to raise a family. It’s a beautiful area; we’re excited to move back, back out here… whenever we can get our house built! But listen, you know, so your background… you’ve been through a lot of stuff. You know, in the military, it is all about the team that you’re with. So talk a little bit about maybe some of the parallels that you’ve seen in the past, you know, from your military experience, and how that’s ported over to building the right team, and what you’ve seen from teamwork in the corporate environment.
Yeah, absolutely. I think what we’ve seen a lot in just working with leaders in both public and private sectors, and then kind of looking back to my time in the military, what I really was equipped with was I grew up, if we can use that term, kind of as a young adult, in an environment that was really fixated on leadership, and how do we grow teams? How do we lead well in really some of the most austere and hardest conditions, right? Whether it’s training for combat, or whether it’s combat. And so there’s all these assumptions that come with that. And you talk about culture; it really is almost like this pickle juice that just seeps into us, as young adults in the military as cadets, and then as young officers, and there’s a right way to do things. And sometimes there’s more than one right way. But ways that we think about leadership… The Psychology Department at West Point is called the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership, right? That’s part of it, that’s the focal point! Growing up in that environment gave me a lot of pictures of what right looks like, and I absolutely won’t make claims that I’ve always done it, right? And always succeeded… But it’s always moving towards that, right? You know, fall down, scrape your knees, maybe fail in some points, but always moving towards kind of those ideals of leadership. So it gave me that environment. It also gave the academic; I did major in psychology there. And then, you know, like I said, in terms of graduate studies, kind of the same field, so learning about it from the very, if you will, science side of it. And just how do humans behave? How do we… what makes us tick, what makes us explode? All of those things really got that academic side. And then it gave me this practical experience, where, like I said, I had successes; I had failures; I had to do it myself. I had to work through what does it mean to make high risk decisions? What does it mean to make decisions that impact people’s livelihoods? Things like that have really… If you think about what goes on in the business world, in many ways, it’s this… almost sacred responsibility that you have, right? As you drive for profit, as you grow a business, you’re also giving people if you will, bread, right? You’re providing for people in their families. And that’s a big responsibility.
And I think a lot of people in our industry take that responsibility very seriously. So,at LUV Car Wash, we acquire car washes, and I always talk to the owners, and a common thread there is they really want to take care of their people, and they want them to be able to have a good career. And that’s actually one of the draws of… that I think when people are looking to kind of finally exit, is they do see that they’ve kind of hit a ceiling and their capital… Their ability to capitalize, you know, the growth has kind of hit a wall. So, giving their people, their key people, a really solid career opportunity is a big deal. So, I think, you know, it is a sacred responsibility. I think that’s a great point. And I think people do take that very seriously. And that’s one of the reasons why I like team development. A lot of these guys — and myself included, I started with one wash, I opened it up, and I had some people that were with me from the very beginning. And you know, ironically, I sold… So I opened my first express car wash, back in 2005, I had this young kid named Jeremy. And Jeremy, you know, soaking wet, he probably weighed 120 pounds. And he was like, you know, five, eight. Just, you know, long kind of hair, he was in high school, just a good kid. And, you know, I ended up selling that business about seven or eight years later to Mr. Carwash. Well, today Jamie is still with Mr. Carwash, and he’s doing extremely well. Like that kid has just nailed it. I say he’s a kid; he’s, you know, in his 30s now! I haven’t seen him in a couple years. But anyway, that’s what you really want for your people. But, you know, you start them out at a, you know… In our business, you will start with typically one or two locations, and you have a couple people that you’re trying to mentor and that you really like. They’re very loyal. How do you… So, from your perspective, if I’m an owner, what are some things that I can do to try to build up my team? How do I build from within because you don’t always want to hire from the outside, but you want to give people the opportunity inside. Talk a little bit about how, as an owner, I can do that. How can I build my team better from the inside?
Yeah, it’s a great question. I think it goes really to the heart of even what leadership is, and good leadership, right? And it’s the sense of relationships. Building relationships, understanding our people. And again, it’s not something I’ve always… I know a lot about it, but it’s not something I’ve always been the best at… Because it requires this vulnerability, confidence in yourself, and then really entering someone else’s world, right? So you think about, you know, that young man from your first car wash, and it’s like you over time probably just got to know him: What makes him tick, what’s he interested in? What are his aspirations? And to me, that’s a key piece, certainly for anyone who’s going to rise as a leader in the organization, but anyone that you want to develop in your team. The owner has got just this real responsibility to build relational bridges with them, and then start to understand them as a person. And that’s where mentorship can really happen, is when I’m starting to see things through your eyes. It’s kind of slowing down, right? So much of what we do in business; we’re on this rapid pace. We were just talking about that, you know, just before the call, right? There’s lots going on; we’re knocking targets out! We’re moving, moving, moving! And the leader has got this obligation to, from time to time, kind of slow things down, almost like pushing pause, creating some space to say, “Hey, we’re going to stop the busyness for a second! I just want to know about you! What have you thought about your career? Where do you want to go? What do you aspire to do? What’s important to you in life? How can I help you do that as a leader?” And those conversations take time, they take a lot. It’s like chewing a good steak, right, versus throwing down a quick fast food meal as we’re moving to do the next thing. And it really requires the leader saying it’s okay to kind of stop the crazy for 30 minutes, right? 20 minutes, 15? Sometimes, in the moment, it’s going to be five minutes! “Hey, come on over to the side! I’ve got a couple of questions for you. Hey, how are things going? Let me enter your world for a second.”
And I think yeah, that’s a great point. Asking the questions, getting to know that person, and slowing down. I mean, I like the… You know, you mentioned hitting the pause. And I’m highly guilty of just full speed ahead; just going at 100 miles an hour, right? I mean, it’s the ADD. It’s, you know, just, I’ve got a goal; I’m set on it. And sometimes I don’t enjoy the journey, right? I’m so focused on getting to the end, you know? I’m competitive, so I want to know what that final score is. But, you know, I do think people feel that. You know, so as a good leader, having the people knowing that… You know, the cliché people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care, right? I mean, that’s really where it starts. So I think your point about just getting to know them — asking some questions, really trying to understand what their goals are. And then once you understand that, then I think… I can see where you’re going with it, which is, you know, trying to get the foundation of, you know, how do you direct that person? And to do that you really have to know a little bit more about them.
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.
So as we kind of dig into that, and unpack that even a little bit more… So, now that I’m kind of getting to know, and I’m seeing some… You know, and everybody has different motivations, but a lot of the guys are… It’s pretty fundamental, right? They want to provide for their family or provide for themselves. Some of them are just, you know, young guys or young women. I want to see more women get into leadership roles in our business; I think that’s an area that we’re missing. You know, that’s something that as owners and leaders we need to really be more aware of… But I do think trying to, you know, understand kind of the teams and the strengths and weaknesses, and then being able to allow people to focus on their strengths as opposed to their weaknesses. Tell me, what are your thoughts on that. How do you do that?
Yeah. And I think what comes next, as you’ve kind of created some of that space and starting to mentor, it’s a bit two way. One is you’re increasing that young person’s awareness of themselves, right, and where they’re going, and encouraging this ability to start charting a developmental path. And honestly, for some folks, it may be the first time they’ve really sat and thought seriously about that in that slower thinking, slower space, right? And then some of it’s the same thing as the owner sharing some stories of where they were at, at a particular time; things that maybe… I’m a big believer in and just the power of stories to communicate truth and to help help shape and mentor people and say, “Let me share a story of when I was kind of starting off,” As you do very well, JT, telling the stories of when you were, you know, at your first car wash, or some other businesses that you’ve run. I think it’s transmitting that. And then the practical aspect is giving them the opportunity and kind of creating almost like a sandbox, where they can, they can try. And fail. Right? And I absolutely believe failure is part of growing as a leader. Sometimes we don’t want to see that because hey, if I did it myself, it would’ve worked the first time. But if I want that young leader to grow, or that young team member to grow, it’s like let me give them some responsibility, some bumpers to work within, and then say, “Hey, go and have a stab at it!” And when they fall down again, not come over and kind of beat them up over it, but pick them up, say, “Hey, dust it off! What did we learn from it?” And keep moving forward. This idea of failing fast, I think is an important one. I’m forgetting the authors of it, of a book called Fail Fast, Fail Often. The concept is great, right? Get out there, try something, learn from it. And then keep doing that! I think owners have an opportunity to set those conditions for their people to say, you know, I’m not going to give you the the existential risk first off and ask you to go tackle that, but let me give you some things that… You know what? I’m okay endorsing some missed marks there, just so that you can grow, and you can be of more value to the business, and, frankly, to yourself, later on.
How does… You know, so, as some of these folks that we’re trying to bring up and mentor up and, you know, give more responsibility to… Managing people and leading people… Because you’ve got several aspects of leadership, right? I mean, it’s not just the people side, but they also have to take, you know, responsibility for success and failure of a, you know, in our world is a carwash. It’s, you know, it’s not life or death! It’s not like, you know, Afghanistan. But it is… it’s important, right? This is people’s livelihood. So they, you know, we want to kind of give them as much, but not too much, right? And so talk a little bit about, as you seen, and I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of this in the in the military… Where you’ve got somebody kind of for the first time leading people or managing people, any tips there on some things that they can do to create some respect and just buy in from the people that they’re…? Because when you’re a peer first with somebody, and then, all of the sudden, the boss moves you up, right? That’s a tough position for a lot of guys, right? It’s kind of tough to break that mold. And some people just do it naturally. And they’re kind of born. But some people are a little bit more, I don’t want to say, timid… But that, you know, it’s a little tougher transition. Any insight on that, that you can give some coaching?
Yeah. And I’d probably start with that — of acknowledging and being clear with that young leader that this is hard, right? This is hard for anybody to do. And this is a gap that you’ve got to jump over, a leap that you’ve got to make. And often in the military, they’ll actually move you around, right? If you’re promoted from within peers, they’ll assign you somewhere else, right, so that you’re not with the same people that you kind of grew up with, because it is so difficult to do, right? And it is a bit of hit or miss, so I think acknowledging that. And obviously, it’s probably much more difficult to do that in the car wash industry, right? Because sometimes you’re just… That’s it, this is what I’ve got, or you just don’t have those options as much.
It’s a good point, too, though, you know, because the whole premise of this podcast is scaling car washes, right? So we’re trying to go from 1, 2, or 3 to 6, 7, 8, 9, or 10. So maybe an opportunity there would be to take somebody young, put them into a brand new wash, and give them an opportunity there where they’re kind of… It’s a clean slate, and they can kind of prove themselves without a little bit of the jockeying for that position. So that’s actually a good takeaway.
I would start there, if you can, if you can! And if not, I think it’s again, letting them know that it might be a little bit messy at first, and that you’re going to endorse it. And from time to time, it’s pulling a person aside, and saying, “Hey, how’s it going?” And there’s this blend that they’ve got to achieve right between, I want to include you as team members; I’ve already got relationships with you, but those were set up as parallel, you know, peer relationships. And now it’s: I’ve got authority and responsibility as well. And so, it’s being able to walk through that and say, “Look, I want your input. I want to empower you guys. I want to lead the team. But at the end of the day, I’ve got to make those final decisions.” Right? And, absolutely… Most folks — there’s some folks, like you said, that just comes naturally to you, they’re going to walk right into it. But most folks, there will be a little bit of fits and starts, right? And on one day, like, “Oh, man, I’m so glad I put them in that position. It’s great! They’re knocking it out!” And the next day: “Oh, my gosh, look what happened!” You know what I mean?
I knew I shouldn’t have put them there! I knew that was a mistake!
And being deliberate about completing the circuit or the loop, right? Because what you want to do… And this is true in development in general, right? You’ve got kind of this mindset that happens at the beginning. You kind of set the parameters. You have this conversation, and they go and do the thing. Then there should be time for reflection. “Okay, how’s it going? What went well, this last week? Tell me what were some of the highs and lows.”
That’s work, too! That’s a great point! That feedback loop… That’s one of the things I think, is missed so much in management and leadership. And I’m guilty of it, too. Listen, I’m sitting there thinking I need to take some notes on this! But the time that you take to really sit back and reflect, I think, is extremely valuable, but it’s often overlooked. And so people don’t get the benefit of that. So that’s a… I think that’s another great nugget here is to just be very proactive, very deliberate, in terms of that feedback and closing the loop. So, that’s really good advice.
JT, I think your listeners are used to doing this in some realms, right? When you go out, and you’re doing some new business, you know that there’s going to be a tax on certain things, right? You know, there’s going to be a cost of doing business. There’s going to be… You have ways of kind of arranging the costs as you look at your models. Then you’ve got to do the same thing here in leader development, right? You know how to do this; it’s just a matter of applying it, and saying when I put a person into a new leadership position, there’s going to be a cost to that, right? It’s going to be a time cost… It’s an investment. And it’s my time as much as it is theirs…. Me as the leader. And I’ve got to know that I’m putting a little bit extra in, and I’m carving out some of those times to say, how do I help them complete the feedback loops? And how do I take that time? What we want to do, we just want to… In the military, we call it fire and forget, right? It’s like fire it, and moving on! You can’t do that! Right? Generally… Again, you’ll get it from time to time, it’s just this amazing person takes off; they are fire and forget. The vast majority of the time, as a leader, I know there’s going to be an additional cost to moving them into that position. And that investment will pay off! It’s going to pay off for me, for the person, for the business.
So you know, it’s interesting, because you’re talking about investment. And I think that’s a great point. You know, we talk about developing car washes, right? And when we’re out developing, we’re doing the the land acquisition, the entitlements, the building, the investment, and the, you know, the building equipment and site work and all that stuff. But we’re also, you know, today’s interview is really about team development, right? So, it’s the same concept, just in a different and equally important aspect of our business, which is the investment in our people. Let me kind of level up just a little bit. So we’ve been talking more on the individual level. So as we’re kind of talking about kind of building the overall team, gelling the team, and how they get to work together… because it’s not just about the individuals. I think, especially in restaurants, they say the greatest indicator of success is going to be the general manager of the store, right? You can take a great general manager, put him in a horrible store, and give him enough time, and he’s going to do the right things. Over time, that store will… It might not be profitable, because maybe there’s headwinds that are far greater, but it will turn around. It will do a lot better. And you could put… The inverse of that’s correct, too. You can take a great store, put a horrible manager in, and that thing will drop south really quick! Car washing is not quite as complicated as the restaurant business, but it’s the same concept. I think the people do matter. So, on the individual level, that makes a difference. But how do you build… So as I’m trying to build a team, right? Because, you know, it’s not just, you know, the individuals… How do you get them to work together? And it’s got to be more than just the once a year off site team building… We’re going to go do, you know, paintball, or whatever. And a lot of people think they’ve checked that box. And that’s team building. And that should do it. Talk a little bit more about how do you actually build a team? What’s the investment there? How do you kind of gauge the success to that over time?
Yeah. And I think one of the challenges is that because we aren’t maybe as expert in that side of it, right? Or we don’t do it as often… It’s just… it’s like any other skill. I was reading book on hiring managers the other day, and it talked about how when you don’t do something often, the first time you do it, it’s always gonna feel rusty and just hard. Right? And I think this sense of team building is that and so we, like anything else, we go to maybe what we know or what seems easy, maybe it is the, you know, the the once a year thing, which I think can be good, right? I think there are a variety of ways to get after gelling the team building some cohesion together. Actually, in preparation for this, I was thinking about before we deployed to Iraq, our commander… And you can imagine like all of the the myriad of tasks that you have when you’re taking a unit and moving overseas, and going into combat; there’s an endless list of tasks. And he said, “Timeout! Part of our process to this… We’re going to take all the key leaders from the battalion and we’re going to go whitewater rafting.” And in some senses like, oh my goodness, like that’s a waste of… There’s so much more that needs to be done. Right? But because that was a priority, we’re going to go do something together, and kind of trust that in this very different set of things than what we usually do, we’re going to continue to develop and work on some of those relationships. So it can be can be that. It can be the big event, the off site, things like that. It’s also the daily grind. And so much of it is a daily grind, and finding ways to I’d say first help each of the team members see one another as humans, right? And going back to the same thing in mentoring… These are people, each of whom has a different set of motivators, of drivers, of things that they’re looking for, of personality quirks, or great parts of their personality… And allowing them to see each other as humans versus just Jamey, the person that does that thing in the machine, right? Which is what we tend to do; we tend to look at the the input / output aspects of people. But remembering, hey, each of us is someone with drivers. So I think, again, creating some whitespace, and there are various ways to do this… Maybe it’s, you know, like the brown bag lunches. Sometimes it’s, you know, kind of how you start the day of just getting to know people more.
What’s a brown bag lunch? What do you mean?
So kind of like taking a lunch break. Everybody brings their brings their lunch, and then you you have maybe a discussion topic. “Hey, we’re just going to sit, and I’m going to ask a question about, hey, where do you want to be a year from now?” Or, “hey, let’s watch this, this video maybe a TED talk or a fun event. We’re going to discuss it, right? And just talk about things like how do we make our team better? Or what’s important to each person? Or what’s our culture like? Or who has some crazy ideas of how to make our business more efficient, right?” And kind of powering down and empowering everybody on the team to contribute? Even just carving out that maybe 30 minutes for lunch and saying, “Hey, maybe I’m going to teach you something about the business!” So many people that are coming in as team members, maybe even even just some basic things like finances, how do you how do you manage finances? How do you get better training? How do you think about having a career versus just having a job? Things like that? And then I think it’s in the awareness in the daily grind that there will be opportunities to help the team function better ,to kind of build those bridges, those connections, those relationships. I think all of that can kind of work in terms of of gelling a good team.
Yeah. You mentioned the word cohesion. And I think that’s a strong word, right? I mean, I think, you know, you’ve got to trust people have your back, right? You’d mentioned on a call that we have recently where one of your superior officers had mentioned, “People just get out of bed and make a decision to do the wrong thing!” So most people have the right motivation; sometimes it’s how they get there or whatever. And I think trying to be more empathetic, or trying to understand the people that you’re working with better will help all that. And I think as you build cohesion in some of these non kind of daily grind activities gives a chance for people to kind of get to know the people on their team a little bit better, what makes them tick, how they think about something. And so, as you’re bringing that up, I was thinking… and I don’t have an example for this, but I can see how like, maybe going through something and then having people to share their ideas on it. All of the sudden, you get a better understanding of them. It could be, you know, simple… as simple as a TED talk, or really anything. Just the more you understand the people that you’re with, and get really to know them, I think that’s where that cohesion, and that tightness in that culture is really built. And a lot of times we think, you know, culture is just around… We’ve put a mission, vision, value statement together. And those things are highly important. I do think that they’re there for a reason. But you can’t just hang your hat on that either, right? There’s got to be… it’s got to be a little bit deeper, and how do you live those? And how do you… when you’re building the team, those have got to weave into what they’re doing. Any insight on how to do that?
Yeah. And I love that. I think it’s a bit of a cliché in terms of like, you have the vision, mission, values statement, and it ends up just on a wall or maybe in a drawer, and then just… It’s the whole thing of, you know, many consultants… they’ll say, “Let me go ask everyone if they know what the mission is!” And they can’t replicate it. And now it’s, again, almost a cliché, but so much of it, I think, is… First even as you’re drafting those, or updating those, it’s involving the people in your process, right? Helping them to have a voice in it: what are we really about here? What is it really like to to work here? What are the things that we hold true in terms of core values, and kind of that involvement. And I’m a fan of Pat Lencioni, who has done a lot of work in this space and has kind of this organizational health model. But but he makes a differentiation, and says sometimes we’re listing things as our core values. But they’re actually aspirational values, right? We’re not really there yet, which is fine. Let’s just be honest about where we’re at.
Yeah, I can’t remember, I recently somebody was saying, they can’t be something that you’re not. You can’t fundamentally have a value that is not you, right? And so you really have to be self aware, introspective, as a group, and really try to understand kind of what makes you tick, what makes you strong. And that becomes kind of the culture. I know you do a lot of leadership stuff. So tell me when you get people together; talk about a little bit about some things that you do that maybe somebody else… Because I like this to be a very practical and pragmatic podcast, where people can take some nuggets, and, you know, use them. And listening to this, they should be able to go in and take just a couple things away that would make them better, or help them in their scaling of their business. So what are some practical things that you do when you do some of your leadership groups?
Yeah, and one of the things and I’m going to look at research, I’ve got a ebook on my website called The CEO’s Guide to Cohesive Leader Teams. And it’s… this is basically the process that I use when I work with leader teams. And I think it’s: First, step one is set expectations and create space, right? And that’s a bit of what we’ve already talked about. You’ve got to, you got to create some whitespace. And then you got to let the team know like, look, I want us to get better. I want us to become more cohesive as a team, and so we’re going to invest a little bit of time in that. The next thing I think, is you equip each of the individuals. And there’s all sorts of ways. I use assessments because it provides a single source of truth, everything that we can kind of measure off of. You could do the same thing as an owner and say: Hey, I’ve got some questions that I think would be interesting. I’ve got a framework maybe that I learned in my own experiences. Let me put that out to each of my team members, right? And ask them to answer this list of questions or take this assessment.
So I’m going to stop right there. So you said an assessment. So give what’s a practical assessment… So if I’m an owner, and I want to start using some assessment. What’s a good, easy one that I can go and sign up for or buy or use? I mean, I know there’s several of them out there. But what are some that you like?
So I use the Hogan Assessments. And I use a package that has three different assessments. One is day to day personality. One is, when everything stressful, how might I derail us… so kind of worst day personality, and then the other is Drivers and Motivators, which I think if you only did one, that would be the one to grab, because we do vary because some of us are coming in, “Man, I just want to help people.” Some of us are like, “Man, I just want to make money.” Some of us, “I just want to have fun!” Right? We all have different reasons that we’re showing up at work. Some of us all of those. And so I love the Hogan. It’s MVPI; it’s Motives, Values, Preferences Inventory. That would be one. There’s some things out there,
What’s the cost of that?
That cost me… Just that one, it costs about $55 to run and then kind of the costs on top of that in terms of coaching and things. Yeah. So it’s not crazy. And if you do the whole package, it’s like around $150 or $160. Something like that.
And I know… And I think you help people with that as well. So you can… Some of that, like I’ve done that a couple times on the Hogan as you know, and man, trying to kind of decipher through it and translate some of that might take a little bit of work. But you know, I think you can look at it and at least get some some ideas. So Hogan is one of them. I’ve used Caliper in the past.
I’ve had a client that used that, and they ran me through it, too. I like that one. I think that’s maybe a little bit more behind… I think you’ve got to go through their company, and they’ve got a process. I think it’s a good assessment. I like Caliper.
And then PI, I think, is the one that we were using at Mod Wash?
I think it’s called PI.
Yep. Yes. Something like that. So, there’s several of them out there. So people, so these are some tools, if somebody you know, just said, “Gosh, I want to start trying to better understand or at least assess the team and try to understand…”
That gives you a little bit to try.
There’s some open source ones, too, JT… Some free ones out there. If you kind of look up some of the factors of say, like the Myers Briggs, and there are some different versions out there. I think like 16 personalities is one of them. And to me, the important thing is…
I’ve got 16 personalities!
Yeah, me, too!
It depends on what day you talk to me!
Some of them show up all in one day, right? Oh, my goodness. So true. But I think what’s important is that you do something, right? And each assessment has its pros and cons, and its costs, and all of this, but just do something. Find something, pick it, and have everybody run through it.
Does that freak people out? Like, “hey, I want to take this personality test!” Like, “Whoa, wait a minute!”
Yeah. JT, great point! There’s often this kind of hesitancy because it’s…
Yeah, trying to get in my head!
It’s often a mix of apprehension and curiosity, right? Because it’s like, well, what’s it say? And so I think there is… You’ve got to know your workforce. Right? And sometimes… I had this happen with a client, they said, “Hey, everybody’s going to take this assessment.” And everyone balked. It was like the union got together and said, We ain’t doing it!”
Like a walk out! Like the vaccine mandates!
Well, that went over well, right? So, you’ve got to know your workforce. And that’s where I think you can get creative as an owner, and if everybody doesn’t want to do an assessment, then you say, “Hey, you know what, I’m just gonna write up a list of questions that I think are meaningful, and that would help us all kind of see each other on the same page.” And you can put that out, right? And the folks… your listeners have got experience. They’ve got life experience; they know the things that are important. They create some of their own whitespace. They could come up with something, right? And you send it out to everybody, and then see what you get.
Okay, so I think I cut you off, so I apologize… Your were talking about the book that you that use, The CEO’s…
Guide to Cohesive Leader Teams.
Yeah, right. So what are some other points from that book that you are…?
Yeah, and it’s just a short e-book. So it’s set expectations, create space, then equip the individuals. And that’s with either an assessment or some sort of framework to help everybody do some reflection. That’s really what we’re getting after is some self reflection. And then it’s to equip the team, and the way that I do that… It is often an off site event. We’re going to take a half day, a day, a day and a half… it just depends on the organization and kind of the commitments. And I think the leader can do that as well. Maybe it’s a quarter day, maybe it’s over lunch, things like that. But you say, “Now we’re going to bring it all together.” So everybody’s gone through either this assessment or this framework or answered these questions. And now we’re just going to compare and contrast, right? And we’re going to talk about it. We’re going to tell some stories to help us get to understand one another, again, as humans, and maybe about some shared experiences… One of the things I do, drawing from Pat Lencioni’s The Advantage, is almost with every group that I walk through this process with , I will take the leaders and just say, “Hey, here’s a few questions!” Where did you grow up? How many siblings did you have? Where were you kind of in that order? And then what was an interesting or difficult challenge that you had growing up? And it’s really interesting, because everybody can come to the table with that, and they can either get really just basic, or they can go really deep. And what I’ve seen is, there’s often this kind of commonality of shared… whether it’s shared suffering, or overcoming adversity… Things like that. We start to… “But, man, I never knew that about you! I never knew that was something that that you wrestled with!” Or that that’s what drives you now. And so you have some conversations around that, where you’re deliberately… Again, pushing pause, creating an opportunity for us to hear from one another and to listen, and then you build off that. And that’s step four is to maintain and replicate. And that’s where some of the the daily repetitions, if you will, of this comes in, of continuing to build those bridges, to have more cohesion, to have more glue that kind of holds us together. And I look at it as grease in the gears of the business that’s going to smooth over some of our friction points. I think that it’s so easy to get back into the day to day task accomplishment, that maybe we go and we have an off site like this, or we have a lunch like this, and have a good discussion. And then all of a sudden, before we knew it, it’s a month and a half later, and we never followed up. So, to me, follow up is key on this again. Even if you’re just taking taken 30 minutes or 15 minutes as a group. Hey, reflections from last week: how’s that helping? And how are things going? Jamey, you and Sara, you get together and talk about your strengths and weaknesses, and what you learned, and come back to the group with something. There’s different ways to do this, but allowing there to be this kind of multiple touchpoints over a period of time, that continue to orient us back towards the human being behind the role is really what we’re getting after with that sense of cohesion.
Yeah, I can see how that is probably the strongest glue. Once you really know who you’re with and understand them. That’s really good, good insight. Well, listen, Jamie, this has really been fascinating. I know, this is what you do for a living! So you know, obviously, this is something you’re super passionate about! Maybe just give people a little bit of background on your company and what you do, and then how they can reach you if they have any questions. And I always encourage people: Hey, listen, you know, you should always reach out to these guys! Get a lot of free advice! So you know, just, I think from the perspective of these owners and operators who are really trying to do the right thing, and they’re trying to grow their business, and trying to grow the team… You can’t grow the business without growing the team. And so tell the folks just a little bit more about you and then how they can get ahold of you.
Absolutely. So probably the easiest way, and they can kind of do a little more, if you will, kicking the tires, is just my website, outsiderconsulting.com. And just to see a bit about me and about my background. I’ve got some blog articles on there as well; you can see a little bit in terms of how I think about the business. There’s a contact form on there. Or you can just shoot me an email it at [email protected] That’s kind of the simplest way. I am really blessed to have kind of a network of colleagues as well that are in this space, which I think is one of the key aspects here of being able to then kind of reach out beyond and just see others who are kind of thinking in both diverse but also similar ways in terms of values and whatnot. And I’d say kind of through me, you can reach out to that network as well as time goes on. But the website is probably the quickest way. I’m on LinkedIn; you can easily find me there as well.
Well, hey man, thank you so much for taking time out of your day. I know you’ve got a busy schedule this week. My name is JT Thompson. I’m your host. This is Jamie Goudreau, with Outsider Consulting. Did I get that right?
Gadoury. Close enough !I do distant relatives called Goudreau. So…
I was just testing you! So anyway, well, thank you so much, Jamie. I really appreciate your time today, and I enjoyed all the the insights you gave us. Come back to listen to Scaling Car Washes Podcast. I’m JT Thompson. I’m your host. Take care, everybody. Thanks for listening to today’s episode of the Scaling Car Washes Podcast. Please subscribe to stay current with all of our episodes coming up. Thanks, and I’m JT Thompson your host.