In this episode of ‘Status Go’, we dive into the power of company culture and the how behind the dream. Our guest, Joel Russell founder of eimagine, shares valuable insights on creating an engaging culture and unlocking the potential of your team.
- Discover how eimagine leverages personalized videos to welcome new hires and instill a growth mindset from day one.
- Learn about the importance of getting outside of your comfort zone, embracing failure, and continuously learning to drive success.
- Explore the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) and how it streamlines operations, sets goals, and measures results.
- Uncover the secrets to managing cash flow and navigating financial constraints when winning big projects.
- Find out how to make a positive impact in your community and create a culture that prioritizes growth, learning, and employee well-being.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur, business leader, or aspiring professional, don’t miss this powerful episode that will inspire you to exceed your potential and build a culture of excellence.
About Joel Russell
Joel Russell’s journey began as a dedicated soccer player, where he had the privilege of competing at the collegiate level for renowned institutions like Indiana University and Stanford University. With a strong foundation as a teammate and leader, he soon discovered his true passion centered around building people and processes. In 1998, Joel founded eimagine technology group – a business, community, and personal improvement company that uses technology and IT solutions as a tool to help companies create business value and facilitate change and advancement. The guiding principles of eimagine is the perspective of IC3: Individual, Client, Community, and Company. This holistic approach ensures every decision made aligns with creating a positive and lasting impact. As a long-term thinker and lifelong learner, Joel is deeply committed to making decisions that shape a better tomorrow. In addition to Joel’s role as the Founder/CEO of eimagine, he also serves as the Head Coach of the Cathedral High School boys soccer team.
[00:00:00]: Intro and Welcome to Joel Russell
[00:01:53]: Joel’s Journey to eimagine
[00:04:38]: eimagine Turns 25
[00:05:09]: Culture from the Start
[00:07:34]: All Dressed Up – A Tux and Tennies
[00:08:29]: Culture at eimagine
[00:10:22]: A Welcome to Each New Hire
[00:12:36]: Joel’s Son, Alex and a Passion for Community
[00:16:37]: Does Culture Drive Customer Value?
[00:19:35]: IC3 – The Secret Sauce
[00:23:27]: Transparency as a Part of Culture
[00:25:14]: Mentors and EOS
[00:30:11]: Actions for Tomorrow
Joel Russell [00:00:00]:
Just be transparent with the staff. They know that as a company, you have their best interest in mind. At the end of the day, it’s not a dollars and cents drives everything. That’s not true because that’s too short term thinking. If I’m long term greedy on things, I may have to get through a valley to get to a peak. And if I’m not willing to go through the valley, I may not get to the peak. You.
Voice Over – Ben Miller [00:00:27]:
Technology is transforming how we think, how we lead, and how we win from InterVision. This is Status Go, the show helping IT leaders move beyond the status quo, master their craft and propel their IT vision.
Jeff Ton [00:00:44]:
Before we get into our episode today, I have a favor to ask of you. If you enjoy the Status Go podcast, whether you are a frequent listener or this is your first time joining us, tell a friend, send them a link, or post on social media. Let others know about us. We appreciate it.
We, as leaders, talk a lot about culture. We want to create a culture that engages our teams, that shines through to our customers and clients and enables us to achieve our goals and our vision. But how do we do it? How do we create that kind of culture? In this installment of Status Go, we’re going to explore just that…the how behind the dream. This is your host, Jeff Ton. Today’s guest is Joel Russell. Joel is the founder and CEO of eimagine, a full-service It consulting firm headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, but with a national reach.
Joel, welcome to Status. Go.
Joel Russell [00:01:49]:
Thank you, Jeff. I am super excited to be here. I really appreciate you inviting me on.
Jeff Ton [00:01:53]:
Hey, before we dive into culture and explore the culture there at eimagine, I’d love for you to share a little bit about your background, kind of the days before eimagine.
Joel Russell [00:02:05]:
Yeah. No, I appreciate that. It’s a great question. Before eimagine, I have to roll back the tape kind of far here. So, I left Stanford University in 1994 and took a job out in investment banking in New York City. Had I read the newspaper, I would have realized that Kidder Peabody, the firm I was joining, wasn’t really doing very well at the time. But of course, I didn’t read the paper back then and really didn’t know anything about investment banking. It was just a job that I don’t know if I lucked into networked my way into, but worked my way into.
But I did investment banking in New York, and the thing I really loved about Kidder Peabody is they really stress their training program and their investment in people. They would joke, Joe Lash, our managing director at the time, best and brightest, we’ll bring them in, and we’ll train them to be investment bankers. You don’t have to know accounting and banking. We’ll teach it to you. And that’s probably how I got the job because I didn’t know accounting or banking. So I did that.
And then I went to work for a company in Chicago. It’s now InRule, but the guys that founded it used to own a company called Calypso. And I think I was employee number four or five back in the day. There was an entrepreneur there that I really learned from named Loren Goodman. Probably the best technologist that I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. Loren is really the brains behind InRule right now, in my opinion. And the thing I learned from Loren is really just about entrepreneurship. The guy did everything. If you were struggling, he’d come over, he’d spit out code in 30 minutes, and it’d take me a week to figure out what he did. I mean, he was just amazing.
And then, from there, I moved to Indy. My now wife, then girlfriend, was kind of like, hey, are you coming to Indy? She was in dental school here in Indiana. And so, I moved down here and took a job with a local consulting company. And really, the thing I gleaned from that was the importance of learning. I had always been on the delivery side. And I remember talking to the owner about, “hey, if I move, can I open up an office for the company in a different city that I moved to?” And he said, not if you haven’t done sales. And at the time, I was like, Wait, what? But after 25, 26, 27 years later, I think that was good advice from him.
And so, really, having left college, I had a couple of different jobs. And then eimagine…I think I started when I…let’s see, I started it in 97. I was turning 20. I was 25 at the time, so I’m 50 now. So, there’s my 25 years. And so, I had a couple of jobs, a couple of things along the way, and then started my own thing and really, thankfully, have not looked back since.
Jeff Ton [00:04:38]:
That is outstanding. And I know that you’re celebrating an anniversary this summer. eimagine turns 25. So, congrats on 25 years. That is amazing.
Joel Russell [00:04:50]:
Thank you. Yeah, it’s really surreal to think back to, wow, I’ve been doing this for 25 years. We’ve had some of our employees that have been with us. I think Scott’s 22nd anniversary is coming up in the next couple of weeks, so it’s hard to believe, but, I mean, I was half my age.
Jeff Ton [00:05:09]:
Yeah, that is pretty wild when you think about it. Well, take us back. What led you to create eimagine? Was the focus on culture from day one, or did that come later?
Joel Russell [00:05:24]:
Yeah, no, it’s something to think about. Jeff, I’m glad you asked. I mean, when I think about me and growing up, both of my parents were college chemistry professors. I can’t tell you how many chem lectures I had to sit through, how many chem labs I had to sit in, and it was crazy. But I was always around a college environment, a learning environment where they were challenging their students to learn and get better. And chemistry in itself is a challenging subject, let alone taking it from either one of my two parents.
So, I think I had that in my DNA of this ability to…this learning environment. And then, if you couple that a long time ago, I used to be a good soccer player, and I say a long time ago, that was a long time ago, but I had the pleasure of playing for some great coaches. I played at IU for two years for coach Jerry Yeagley. Then I transferred and played at Stanford. My last two years there, I played in a World Cup. So, I just got blessed with being around good coaches and good teams.
And so when I thought to myself, hey, I’m 24, getting ready to turn 25. I want to start my own company. What do I want to focus on? Well, to me, it was easy. I wanted to focus on something where you challenged people to get better and to learn. And then I thought, well, I like teams, so how do I create a company where I build teams of really good people? Kind of whatever we do, I don’t know if it really mattered. It was, how do I build a company where I’m a collector of good people? I challenge them to get better. I created an environment for them to learn.
At the time, consulting was I don’t know if it was a fad, but at the time, consulting was kind of the thing. I remember the Dilbert commercial or the T-shirt. I had something about, you know, “I’m not unemployed, I’m a consultant.” Right. I mean, there was so I wanted to start a company that focused on people, that focused on growing people, and then that blurped into…grew into our culture. And so, I don’t necessarily say the primary focus was culture. I think the primary focus was creating an environment where I attract and retain really smart people that want to learn and get better.
Jeff Ton [00:07:34]:
Well, as we start this conversation into culture, I wish I could share with our listeners a picture of you the last time that we saw each other face to face. We were both attending the Mira Awards, a black-tie gala that celebrates the best in tech. And Joel was decked out in a tux, wearing tennis shoes.
Joel Russell [00:07:57]:
Yeah, to me they were nice.
Jeff Ton [00:08:02]:
They were nice shoes. They were nice tennis shoes. But to me, that says fun and not taking things so seriously, right?
Joel Russell [00:08:10]:
Yeah. You got to enjoy life, right? Life’s about…you get one of them, right? Let’s have fun with it. And I just thought to myself, one, I’ve got really bad knees. So walking around in work shoes all day, I’m like, I’m going to throw these on. And I thought I looked good, and if someone looked down at my feet and didn’t like it, that’s kind of their problem.
Jeff Ton [00:08:29]:
Well, hey, you rocked it, let me tell you. Well, as I mentioned at the outset, eimagine has this award-winning culture. You’ve been listed in Best Places to Work for nine years running. You were at the Mira Awards because you were nominated for one of those awards. So how would you describe the culture, and how did it come to be?
Joel Russell [00:08:56]:
Yeah, when I think about our culture, I just got off the phone with part of our engagement of new employees is after, and today was a little bit different. It was their first day. Normally, it’s about day 30. I’ve got an engagement meeting with new folks that hire or that start with the eimagine. But if we roll back a little bit further, when somebody gets hired at eimagine, they get a video from me. Everyone checks their text. I shoot about a 1-minute video in that I talk about two things or two mindsets I think you need to have at eimagine to be really good at your job. The first one is getting outside your comfort zone and learning new things. Again, we’re a consulting company. Right. You got to put more into your headspace. Right. You got to keep putting more in there. And then the second one is having a willingness to fail. And I think part of the learning process is screwing up and failing and then fixing it and making it better the second or third time through.
And so I think if those are our two tenets to our culture of a willingness to learn and grow and a willingness to fail and say, you know, what if I make a mistake, that’s life, right? What do I learn from it, and how do I improve upon that? So those are our two tent poles, and then we’re trying to say, okay, how do we handle the ups and downs, the peaks and the valleys and whatnot? But those are two great spots to start as far as our culture. And so, when I think about our culture and I think about what we’re trying to grow, it really starts with those two things. I guess I’ll just leave it at that. Those are the two places.
Jeff Ton [00:10:22]:
Well, if I remember right from our conversation a couple of weeks ago, the video that you text to the employees is a custom video for that employee. It’s not some canned video that you just share, right?
Joel Russell [00:10:36]:
Yeah. No, and I’ve shot them at airports. I’ve shot them on my back porch. I shot them at…I’m also the Cathedral boys soccer coach, so go Irish. But I’ve shot them out at practice because they sneak up on you, right? “Oh, Jeff’s. Starting today. Well, I didn’t shoot a video yet.” And so no, it’s a custom video, and I say custom. It’s personalized. If you were starting with eimagine today, I would say, “Jeff, I want to welcome you to eimagine.” It’s the first thing I say is…I welcome the employee to eimagine. I use their name intentionally, and I end it a certain way. And then there’s know based on who they are and the role and whatnot that I have. But it’s a unique video to them. It comes to their cell phone from my cell phone. Here’s my number. Welcome to eimagine. If you can embrace again these two tenents of willingness to grow and learn and willingness to fail. We’ve got a great team around you. You’re going to do great things with us if those are your two guiding North Stars, so to speak.
And so I think it’s a great first thing. I don’t know how it started. A couple of years ago, it started, and now I get them in ways I mean, I shot four of them today, and I’m trying to get them out before people start. I’ve been on vacation, and so it’s been a little hectic, but those are kind of the neat things that give me energy inside the business. Those are the things I like to do. And so, yeah, it’s something that we’ve done the last few years, and I think all of our employees but one have always responded. We had one employee, and I won’t say who it is, but she did not respond. So then I thought, well, crap, did I send it to the wrong person? I had to follow up in a nice way of, “hey, did you get that text I sent you?” Kind of a deal. But it’s something we’ve done, and I don’t know if it’s unique, but it’s unique to us.
Jeff Ton [00:12:20]:
I think it’s a great idea. And I’m thinking maybe that young lady that received that text was thinking like, who’s Joel Russell?
Joel Russell [00:12:29]:
I’d be honest. I don’t know how many texts the person gets exactly. And then who. Right? Yeah.
Jeff Ton [00:12:36]:
Well, also a part of your culture is that you really strive for high employee engagement. What are some of the things that you all do together to build that engagement? I know you’re involved in civic projects. Talk to us a little bit about those types of things that you get involved with.
Joel Russell [00:12:59]:
Yeah, so my oldest son is diabetic. He was diagnosed on June 15, 2000. And would that be 2005? And I always joke because every diabetic parent knows the exact date their child was diagnosed with diabetes. Alex’s is June 15. And so, I’ve got to be a little careful because that really hit home for me. And I’ll be honest, Jeff, I struggled for a number of years with Alex’s diagnosis. A good friend of mine just retired last week, so enjoy retirement. Father Bob and I have spent a lot of time unpacking that and helping me work through that. So, I have to be careful that we don’t just get involved in what’s near and dear to my heart. But the thing that it really taught me, if I think outside of Alex and outside of the impact it has on our family and how we change things, is everyone else has their own thing, right? Yours might be breast cancer. Your son may be autistic. Your daughter may have this…your wife…maybe your mom.
And so, what hit home to me is we have a concept at eimagine called an IC3. An IC3 is an acronym for individual, then company, then client, and then community. And really our focus is we start in that inner circle of that individual. If I’m creating a better version of Jeff inside of that circle, then you expand the core, you expand the inside, which then bubbles out to the company, which all of a sudden, now eimagine is now bigger and better. And then that impacts our customers. We’re creating greater value. We can impact more customers. And then that final piece that I think too often gets missed is the impact on the community. We all have to leave the world a little bit better than we found it, or at least I think we all should leave the world a little bit better than we found it.
And so for us, what are we doing to impact that community and making it a little bit better outside of what we call home at work? Now, the wrinkle there is with COVID and our ability to hire across the country, now our communities have gotten bigger. So how are we still making a positive impact in more places? We’re less concentrated than we were, but I still believe, at the end of the day, I can remember, I would literally go into business meetings, even sales calls. When Alex was first diagnosed, the place that I took him to would not give him any shots. And so, I had to go two to four times a day based on his blood sugar. And I would always say, if my phone rings and it’s this number, I will pick up. And no one ever said, “Oh, Joel, that’s not important.” But you remember that those things come before work. That’s what moves the needle in people’s lives, right? Are your family happy? Your wife, your spouse, your parents? And so, to me, it’s just a reminder. And I actually keep a picture of Alex on my desk of his diagnosis of it’s not just about work. What are we doing to make that picture not be there anymore, right?
Jeff Ton [00:15:55]:
Yeah. It’s about keeping things in the right perspective and the right priority.
Joel, I want to pause right there. We’re going to pause for a word from InterVision. InterVision, as you know, is the sponsor of the Status Go podcast.
Voice Over – Ben Miller [00:16:15]:
Unlock the Power of More. With InterVision Systems, we provide the cutting-edge technology and expert guidance you need to take your business to the next level. Don’t settle for less. Choose InterVision Systems and discover what’s possible. Contact us now to learn more.
Jeff Ton [00:16:37]:
And if you do want to learn more, visit Intervision.com. There are lots of resources there for you to dig into and learn more about the services that InterVision offers.
Today we’re talking with Joel Russell. Joel is the founder of eimagine, and we’re focusing on culture. We all want that positive culture, that engaging culture. And eimagine has won awards for their culture. And so, we’re talking about the how behind that. And Joel, what I want to do right now is shift just a little bit. We’ve been talking about the culture and what it’s like. How does that drive value for your customers? How does the culture translate?
Joel Russell [00:17:24]:
That’s a great question that really gets asked quite a bit of, to the customer, who cares? At the end of the day, are you driving value for me, and what your product or service is? And my response to that is I think that really good people, again, if we’re a collection of good people at eimagine, good people want challenges in life. They want the hard question. They want the hard problem. They don’t want to show up at work and have the big red easy button, hit the button, mail in their 8 hours or 10 hours or whatever it is and go home. They want challenges. They want juicy things that they can dive into and create value for customers.
And so if we can create an environment where, again, our people have that ability to say…I’m learning new things, and I have a willingness to fail…and I put a group of those together on a project team, for example, and we give them a challenge. There’s something at the state that needs fixed. It’s broken. Here’s the impact we could have of how many thousands of Hoosiers if we make this system better, that’s the challenge. Smart people want challenges. And so you put them together and all of a sudden now they start going after it, and they start getting excited, and they start making a change and out, they screwed that up and they come back and they fix it and they make it better.
I think that’s where you start to see the merging or the Venn diagram of where culture and where client value intersect. And for me, it’s putting those people together. It’s saying, here’s some process. So now that we’ve done all these things, what process and metrics are we going to measure to then give back to the customer to talk about the value that we’ve been creating? Because at the end of the day, software projects take a while. And a while may be three months, it may be two years from start to finish.
And let’s in the two-year example. I can’t tell a customer, “Jeff, trust me, two years from today, you’re going to love me. But don’t worry, if you don’t, you might get fired.” No, I have to show value along the way. So again, with process and metrics that we can give back to the customer about that, you put those good people with that engaging culture together, you challenge them with that, and then you back away and say, let magic happen. I think that’s that intersection well, and.
Jeff Ton [00:19:35]:
I love how your acronym, your IC3, really builds. It starts with the individual, and goes to the company. We’re just talking now about the value that you drive for your client. And as you do that, you’re driving value in the community in the broader sense. At the same time, we’ve painted this big rosy picture of eimagine for 25 years, but my guess is you even mentioned the peaks and valleys, that you’ve been maybe some tough times. What are some of those inflection points, and how were you able to fall back on your culture to get through those?
Joel Russell [00:20:16]:
Yeah, I think every business goes through what we call inflection points. As a company that moved from a staffing business, we evolved into a project-based delivery business. Projects are different in how you build a customer. And a lot of times, you can’t build a customer until there’s a project milestone, till you deliver something. Right. The customer is just not going to pay you along the way. They want to see I’m building a fence. Did you put the foundation in? Okay, I’ll pay you for the foundation, right?
Jeff Ton [00:20:43]:
Joel Russell [00:20:45]:
The challenge there is, well, employees want that paycheck every two weeks, right? Dog gone it, come on, guys. But the beauty of that is so as you grow, you’re like, oh, we won this big project. The first thing I’m thinking of is, can we fund that from a cash flow perspective? Great that we won the project, great that we can drive value to a state agency, a commercial account, a federal account, whatever it might be.
But at the end of the day, there’s constraints that happen on the business. There’s things that the business needs to have for you to be able to grow, and to do that. And so, as I look back at that, I think partnering with the right kind of bank that can help you through those tough times or those points where you win the big project, maybe you add 20 new people, you have your first deliverable three months into the project. You’ve just covered three months of payroll for 20 people. That’s not cheap.
And so having the right partners, looking at your business and looking at it very objectively, not just I’m 5’ 9”, I am not a tall person. I could say, Well, I’m taller than my kids; therefore I’m tall. No, let’s look at how you’re doing business-wise, very objectively, almost negatively, really, to say, if this could go wrong, what would we do? How do we plan for those things? And then when it does go wrong, hey, we’ve seen this once, now let’s see it a second time and be better at it.
And so I think part of the culture part is if we’re growing and learning and failing, well, then sometimes the business fails too. And the idea there is just be transparent with the staff, with your employees. Right. I think too often if you hide bad news from people or if you withhold information and then later, well, we really didn’t do well there and therefore it impacted this. If you’re just upfront about stuff and really transparent with how well we’re doing, we really try and do that with some of our metrics. And we have a quarterly all-hands meeting where we walk through a lot of different things of the health of the business, the good, the bad, the ugly.
I think that’s where you can rely on your culture. They know that as a company, you have their best interest in mind, not just the company’s bottom line. And we’ve made a lot of choices, maybe not a lot, but we’ve made some significant choices over the years that negatively impacted the company’s health to support our employees. Because, at the time, it was the right call. Right. At the end of the day, it’s not a dollars and cents drives everything. That’s not true because that’s too short-term thinking. If I’m long-term greedy on things, I may have to get through a valley to get to a peak. And if I’m not willing to go through the valley, I may not get to the peak.
Jeff Ton [00:23:27]:
Well, yes, you talked about how you can fall back on your culture during that time, but that transparency actually is part of your culture.
Joel Russell [00:23:39]:
Jeff Ton [00:23:39]:
Right. That builds that right. You get people, you become transparent with your team all of a sudden. Not all of a sudden, but over time they’re willing to go the extra mile for you because you’ve been straightforward with them.
Joel Russell [00:23:56]:
Yeah, I mean, I remember going back to a Tim Roberts’s sales training class where him telling me or teaching me if you ask someone for help, nine times out of ten people are going to say, “Jeff, how can I help you?” Yeah, right. And so, I talk about being collaborative, being transparent, having a shared vision. We do that with our employees. If we can do that as we’re building our culture and doing our tent poles, but having those collaboration, transparency and shared vision, they’re on board, they know where we’re going, they know risks that we’re doing. Do they know all of our risks? You don’t have to go through every little detail, but be collaborative with them. Share the news, the good, the bad, the ugly. Right. But here’s where we’re going. Here’s what’s going to happen when we get there. This is what it’s going to look like, feel like, be like as a company.
I think those are the times that as we’ve had valleys, and we’ve had valleys in the 25 years. We’ve had some dark times, right? Yeah. But I think that’s where it really showed the importance of having culture. When everything’s great and the money’s flowing in, it’s easy to, ah, Jeff wants this, that throw Jeff some money, let’s do it. Right, that’s easy. But it’s when it’s not there, how do you divvy that up? And how do I ask you to come into work knowing I’m not going to pay you anymore, but I really need a lot more out of out of you to get here. How does that work?
Jeff Ton [00:25:14]:
Yeah, well, you end up with this culture that everybody is pitching in for the team. Right. And some of that comes from that transparency.
As we were talking, one of the things I love about doing this podcast, Joel, is themes kind of emerge during some of these conversations. And one of them that has risen over the last, I’d say, over the last month or so is EOS, the entrepreneurial operating system. It’s come up several times, and I’m a big fan of Gino Wickman’s work, his books Traction and Rocket Fuel, and some of the other ones. So how did you discover EOS, and how has that shaped eimagine?
Joel Russell [00:26:00]:
Yeah, no, I think you’re right. And EOS, I believe, has been purchased by Firefly Group, which is here locally here in Indianapolis.
Jeff Ton [00:26:06]:
Yeah, that’s correct. Yeah, thanks for calling that out.
Joel Russell [00:26:09]:
Yep. I think from a local perspective we’re hearing and seeing it. Know Brian Brenner who was the owner of First Person Advisors, I think it’s now NFP. And then Steve Walker at Walker Information. I was in a group with Brian. I knew Steve just from a networking or relationship. I was introduced to Steve. Both of them were planting seeds in my head about, hey, there’s a thing in Chicago called Strategic Coach. And I think imagine, and you are at the point where maybe you might want to consider Coach.
And I fought it for a little bit, and I ended up doing it a little bit after both of them recommended it to me. And then almost the first or second quarterly session at Coach, everyone’s like, hey, so all right, raise your hand if you’re on EOS. Raise your hand, and you’re like, what’s that EOS? You mean DOS? Is that what we’re talking about? That’s old. And Gino, I believe, was an early customer or client of Strategic Coach and Dan Sullivan and came out of being coached by them, so to speak. And then started up obviously EOS and wrote Traction and has done very well.
And so that’s how I was kind of exposed to it. The other thing I’ve learned through 25 years is rarely ever have I had a problem that somebody else hasn’t dealt with. I am not the first one to land my foot on mars to say, wow, this is cool. No one else has done this. I guess I’ll be the first one in the room and so find good people that you can network. And I was blessed to work with Brian for a long time and know him and then Steve only a couple of times, actually, I spent some time with Steve, but both of them put me indirectly onto EOS.
And for us, I think, what it’s done. And it’s one of those where I started to imagine they talk about a coach, the four freedoms, but to get freedom from things, I don’t like constraints, I like to innovate. I like my personal freedom, my wife jokes. I’m a rule breaker, not a rule follower. Just to tell him left. He’s going to go right, just despite you. But one of the things I’ve realized is, despite having, I think, a good culture and all these things that we’ve talked about, you have to have process in how you do what you do. And I’m not a process person per se, right? That’s not my unique ability.
So by implementing EOS, it’s given the company and me a process for how to run the business. It’s a process to how to set goals. It’s a process to say, over the next 90 days, we’re going to have a rock that’s going to transform the business in this way. All right, we got 90 days to work it. Did it work? Do we get the results we wanted? If we did, great. If we didn’t, why not? What’s the next rock? And so it gives you a pattern of communication. It gives you a pattern of metrics or suggested metrics to look at, but it’s really a way to run your business. So it’s not all up in my head, because that’s one of the scariest places for anyone to be, including me, but it’s more of a way to run your business, and then it’s easy to share it.
There’s books out there, there’s classes out there. Everyone in our company can pull it up and say, oh, what’s a rock, what’s a metric, what tool are we going to be on? And it makes from a communication perspective, the other thing I’ve really learned is that if people don’t know where they’re going, they’re nervous, they get scared to not. I’m working for this company. I don’t know what our growth plan is. I don’t know what we want to be in five. Like, that doesn’t work in today’s world. Right. Not only do they want to know where you’re going, they also want to say, well, how are we making our community better? How are you growing me as an individual? Where can I go? There’s lots of things that you need to do. And EOS takes a lot of that away or gives a lot of that to the employees by giving them a framework. This is how we’re going to run our business, this is how we’re going to communicate. Here’s the cadence of our communication. It just takes a lot of those things and simplifies it. It makes it easy.
Jeff Ton [00:30:11]:
Well, big proponent, I think that’s man, several things that jumped out of me from that story is, first of all, having mentors like Brian and Steve, I think is fantastic for anybody. Whether you’re a business owner or whether you’re an individual contributor within a business, having mentors and coaches is vitally important.
And for our listeners, if you’re not familiar with EOS, a rock simplified without going into the story is a quarterly goal. And you set those at the company level, and then you cascade them through the company.
Now, Joel, you remember from our prep meeting I warned you that we are all about action here on Status Go.
So, what are one or two things our listeners should go do tomorrow because they listen to our conversation today?
Joel Russell [00:31:09]:
Well, I would say this, Lee Brower was my first coach at Strategic Coach, and he was a huge advocate of getting in motion, be in motion. And if I think about what would be one thing I would want for the listeners to take away and to steal from Nike, go for it. You get one life. You live with all your good decisions. Unfortunately, you got to live with all your bad decisions too, but you still only get one life. And if anything, the last two to three years in this global pandemic has taught us, take it by the reins and go for it. I would say there’s no reason to look back at your life and regret something that I wish I would have done this. I wish I would have started that company. I wish I would have quit my job and done this or applied for that promotion that I didn’t I would say, have the courage to go for it, get in motion. And it’s so much easier to tweak where you’re going if you’re already moving and just get yourself in motion towards a direction that you want to go. And you know what? You’re going to make changes along the way, but it’s to get in motion and to really go for things. I mean, I can’t encourage people enough. Young, old, doesn’t matter what age you’re at. We just had our first employee retire, and I’m so excited for her that she’s retired. And it’s not, oh, you get to stay home and do nothing. My question to her was, now, what do you get to do and do? What are you going to go do? I would say to your point, it’s action, it’s motion, but just go for it.
Jeff Ton [00:32:34]:
I love that. Get started. Quit waiting for something outside to happen to influence you. Make it happen. Make it happen.
Joel, thank you so much for carving out time to talk to us today. I know you are in the midst of this celebration of 25 years and the planning that goes into that, and I appreciate your time and appreciate the conversation.
Joel Russell [00:32:58]:
Thank you very much. Jeff, I really appreciate it to our listeners.
Jeff Ton [00:33:01]:
If you have a question or want to learn more, visit intervision.com. The show notes will provide links and contact information. This is Jeff Ton for Joel Russell; thank you very much for listening.
Voice Over – Ben Miller [00:33:16]:
You’ve been listening to the Status Go podcast. You can subscribe on iTunes or get more information at intervision.com. If you’d like to contribute to the conversation, find InterVision on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. Thank you for listening. Until next time!
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