Status Go: Ep. 205 – Navigating the Aftermath of a Layoff

In this episode of Status Go, the topic of RIFs and layoffs in the tech industry is discussed. The guest, Karin Hurt, the CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders, shares her insights on how leaders can help their teams cope with the changes, especially those who survived the layoffs and are now being asked to do more with less. She emphasizes the importance of one-on-one communication, owning the U.G.L.Y, and where we are losing and missing the “yes.” Karin also gives advice on how to coach your team and what to do before a layoff.

For those who have lost their jobs due to a RIF, Karin offers a message of hope and suggests ways to stay positive and keep moving forward. Host, Jeff Ton, offers a free copy of his book to the first dozen people who reach out to him on LinkedIn about their experience with layoffs in the tech industry. Throughout the episode, Karin shares her career journey and provides actionable advice to help leaders navigate these challenging times.

Episode Reference Links:

About Karin Hurt

Karin Hurt helps human-centered leaders find clarity in uncertainty, drive innovation, and achieve breakthrough results. She’s the founder and CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders, an international leadership development and training firm known for practical tools and leadership development programs that stick.

She’s the award-winning author of four books including Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers, and Customer Advocates and Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results-Without Losing Your Soul and a hosts the popular Asking for a Friend Vlog on LinkedIn. A former Verizon Wireless executive , Karin was named to Inc. Magazine’s list of great leadership speakers.

Karin and her husband and business partner, David Dye, are committed to their philanthropic initiative, Winning Wells – building clean water wells for the people of Cambodia.

Episode Highlights:

00:44 – Introduction, Welcome and Free Offer

03:12 – Guest, Karin Hurt’s career journey

06:43 – Message for those who lost their job due to a RIF

11:14 – Doing more with less – message to leaders

15:31 – Communication – It’s a one-on-one mission

18:00 – Own the U.G.L.Y.

23:04 – L – Where are we losing?

24:25 – Y – Where are we missing the “yes”?

26:47 – How to coach your team

32:05 – What to do BEFORE a lay-off

34:39 – Actions to take tomorrow

37:00 – Where to find Karin

38:53 – Thank you and close

Episode Transcript:

Jeff Ton  00:44

Today on Status Go, we’re going to talk about something we have not covered in the past 200 plus episodes, RIFs, reductions in force, layoffs, right sizing. We call it many things. No matter what we call it, it doesn’t change the fact that people are losing their jobs. It seems like every day there is news of another layoff in the tech sector. While tech jobs in tech enabled companies have been spared for the most part, there have been layoffs there too.

Our focus in this episode is on those of you who have survived the layoff and are now being asked to carry the load. However, if you’ve been impacted and lost your job, our guest today shares some insights for you as well. We here at Status Go will take it a step further and say, if you have been impacted by the layoffs in the tech industry, connect with me on LinkedIn and let me know. I’m easy to find. I’m JTonIndy. Jeffrey S Ton, you can find me on LinkedIn. If you are among the first dozen to reach out, I will send you a copy of my book “Amplify Your Job Search” free of charge.

Jeff Ton  02:04

In this episode, you will hear me talk about a friend of mine who is one of the survivors of a layoff. They are a leader of a team that is being called upon to do more with less. I went in search of some advice. I found today’s guest Karin hurt. Karin is the CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders, a leadership development company focused on human centric leadership. She is also a best-selling author, an acclaimed speaker, and has been named to the Women to Watch in Innovation list.

Well, Karin, I would love to welcome you to Status Go. I’m excited about our conversation today.

Karin Hurt  02:44

Absolutely. My pleasure. Thank you so much for having me.

Jeff Ton  02:48

Karin, as you and I were talking, I found you on the internet and I loved the story that is on your website. I want to dig into that, but before that, I would love to understand a little bit about your background and your journey. What inspired you to be doing the work that you’re doing today.

Karin Hurt  03:12

I run a company with my husband called Let’s Grow Leaders. We’ve been doing this for about a decade now. Now this is going to make me sound very old once I say…and then prior to that I spent two decades at Verizon. Now that adds to 30…and that wasn’t even my first job.

What got me so inspired, though, as I was at Verizon, the first decade was [in] human resources, leadership development, organizational development. I know we’re going to talk about leading through layoffs later in this podcast. Sadly, I’m an expert in doing that through so many downsizings during my time at Verizon. And then after a decade in HR, I spent time leading large operations teams. I led a 2200-person sales team, a 10,000-person customer service organization.

And then my final role there, I was in charge of what we call our strategic partnership channel, which is all the outsourced call centers that take customer calls. I was finding that as I was going in and out of these contact centers, who are trying to operate with very low margins, and not being able to take people off the phones to do coaching like you would normally be able to do. I was finding that I needed to really simplify frontline leadership, like how do you get really practical? How do you build trust and connection? When you have very limited time? How do you have a coaching conversation? What do you do to make your meetings effective when you can’t waste any time? And as I was doing that, and how you do that in a human centered way?

As I was doing that, I started writing this blog, just really for the leaders of these contact centers because due to co-employment [law], I couldn’t actually go in and train their frontline leaders, but they could read an external blog. And so that was really the intent. Well, what I did not expect was that there are a lot of people in the world who really want practical tools and techniques for human centered leaders.

And so, the blog really took off, I started getting this international following, and I was getting phone calls. Can you be our keynote speaker? When are you writing your book? Can teach my organizations to do this? No, no, no, I have like this executive job that I’m trying to do. I can’t. But you know, then one of the one of these contact center VPs, who I was working with said, “Look, I’m the member of I’m on the board at the International Customer Service Association. We need a keynote speaker, just come and be our keynote speaker.

I was like, “Well, that’ll be that could be fun, right? But I have to go on first.” Which I had no idea what that meant. I was really asking to be the best at their conference. But because I’m busy the rest of the day, I have to get in and out. I went in, I gave this speech. And then as I’m exiting the stage, the guy who’s going to speak after to me, says, “Hey, when are you leaving Verizon?”

I said, “Oh, my gosh, did I say that from the stage? Because I was super nervous.”

And he says, “No, but you are clearly meant to do this.” And then he handed me his card. And said, “I’m the president of National Speakers Association, if you want help, call me.” And so, then I went home. And I thought, all right, the universe is trying to tell me something, right? Yeah. And I thought about it. And I gave Verizon four months’ notice and left and started, Let’s Grow Leaders.

Jeff Ton  06:43

I want to dig into our topic for the day. And it’s a topic that can be pretty sensitive. You mentioned it, as you were talking about your time at Verizon. I spent a lot of time at a global technology company that was best known for the RCA brand. And it was the same kind of thing that you talked about on your website…it almost seemed like you were doing monthly or at least quarterly layoffs. Trying to deal with that. With what’s going on, and especially in the technology space, which is where I spend a lot of my time, there’s been a lot of high-profile layoffs, 10s of 1000s from across the country.

Before we get into the how do you manage what’s left, the people that are left? When you think about your work and the people that you interact with? What message do you have for those who just got laid off?

Karin Hurt  07:51

The main message I will have is, own your strengths. It is because this is what is happening in the tech industry it’s not about…it’s likely not about you, right? When you’re talking about layoffs across an entire industry and across in this level of depth in your company, it’s easy to say, “Well, why did they select me?” And you know, “Why am I the one that is going?” If you have had a long track record of success, don’t let it shake your confidence.

That is the first thing because a lot of the time these things happen fast. And having been on the backside of these, there’s a lot of reasons that different things happen in different ways. And I wouldn’t overanalyze the why me factor. [Instead], ask like “is there something to learn? Say, “hey, next time I would do something different.” 100% do that. But own your strengths, know what you’re good at. Because if you go out to look for another job, and your confidence is shaken, that is going to hurt your ability to get a new role.

The other thing is that there are so many people tell me their stories of in hindsight that their layoff was the very best thing that could ever happen to them. I can’t tell you how many times, I could write a whole book just to share people stories about this felt like a tragedy at the time. And as it turned out, there’s some good. So, using this time to ask yourself, what do I really want and taking a moment and get thinking about that. Because your skill sets are very likely highly transferable, and what feels like the obvious next step may not be the thing that brings you the most joy or satisfaction, right? And so part of why this could be a blessing is that you look and say what is it I really want right now.

The other is not being afraid to use your use your network and get really personal about that. You’re not hiding. Use job boards, build connections, message people on LinkedIn, talk to them, invite a phone conversation.

And the other thing I will suggest, which I know works, because I just did this with a guy. He was older. I mean, he was in his early 60s. And I had worked with him, back in my Verizon days, but he wasn’t a Verizon, he was at one of these call centers. And he calls me because my phone number is on the site, right? And he’s like, “Karin, I’m like, gosh, I got laid off. And I’m 60 years old, like, am I screwed? Right? You know, who’s gonna hire me?” And I said, “Well, what is your, let’s talk about it.” We went through, like, what are his real strengths? What is his expertise that no 27-year-old person is going to have? What really like, what have all of those years taught? And then I said, “Okay, go write three articles on LinkedIn. Because you don’t have to start a blog and build a whole website, go write three articles that really nail your expertise. And then as you’re applying for jobs, send the link to the article.” Three months later, he’s like, “I got a job. It’s my dream job.” And he’s like, “that worked!” But he needed a way to articulate [his expertise] and you’re never going to be able to do that just on your resume.

Jeff Ton  11:14

Right. Right. You can’t tell the story. Yeah. Yeah. I love that advice! So many people today that are going through that, I think they can use the power of their network. I love the idea about, think about what your strengths are, think about what your expertise is in. And then, write that down. Put that out there for people to see.

What I really want to talk about today is the other side of the coin. With all these layoffs in tech, a company that that I know, did a bunch of layoffs. And a friend of mine is a leader in that company. I started hearing them say things like, “we need to do more with less,” “we need to, we need to, we’re going to be a smaller team, a smaller division, we need to figure out how to get it all done.” And so, it just didn’t sit right with me. Because I’ve been in that position as well. And I’ve been guilty of saying the same damn thing. Right? That, oh, we have to do more with less. Because you have to perform. And you start getting nervous that hey, if you’re not performing, you might be next on the list and all those different kinds of things, right? I started my search (and this is before ChatGPT came out). And so, I was Googling a lot of things. And I came across a blog post that you wrote, Karin, and it’s titled, “After the Layoff – How to Support Your Team When It Just Got Smaller.”

I thought that was such a great post. That’s why I reached out to you to be on the on the program today. When you think about someone in a leadership role, might be a small team [or it] might be a large team, but they’ve had to go through the painful process of laying off part of their team. What’s your overall message to them? How do you how do you get them to say, gosh, where do we go from here? How do we how do we move forward?

Karin Hurt  13:34

The first thing I would say is get real with your own emotions and get whatever support network you need, (that is not your team) to help you. You know, if you, because there was this big thing on LinkedIn, and it was ridiculous, where there was a guy, he was like a CEO, and he had little tears on. He’s like, “Oh, poor me. This is so hard on me.” No, like, no. Yeah, of course, and I’m not saying don’t show up human. And you can say this is hard. But if you make it about you than you are [not leading], it’s not about you, right, it’s about it’s about helping your team get through it.

I’m not saying you don’t need help, get a therapist, talk to your spouse, do whatever, talk to your best friend, do whatever you need to process your feelings, but process them because if you are just coming in with all this stress, and it is bleeding onto your team, they’re going to feel that.

So that’s the first place that I would start and then I would say do whatever you can to help the people that are laid off in their job search. I found that for me, that was a very…so the reason I went through so many layoffs at Verizon is because for many years I was on the landline side of the business so people were disconnecting their home phones. I don’t have a home phone anymore. Right? Right. So, you can imagine it the peak of while everybody is transitioning over to the wireless side how many layoffs they were doing…So I would say, you know, that’s a another piece of it. But so, I found that I found real peace by helping people. And, using my network…this person is really good, this layoff had nothing to do with them. And I really did help them land in many circumstances. I’m sure I didn’t help them all. But I did help as many people as possible. And then I felt like I was doing the right thing as a human centered leader.

Jeff Ton  15:31

Human centered leader. I know you and David, focus on this in your work. And I think that’s, that’s an important point, especially when you’re talking about getting in touch with your own emotions and processing your own emotions, as you’re going through a layoff. You can’t walk into some of these conversations and be raw right there. You do have to do that. But how do you coach a leader who may not be in touch with their emotions at that level? How do you coach them? How do you help them understand how to do that?

Karin Hurt  16:16

One of the things I always talk about is, in any communication, what is it you want the person to think, feel, or do as a result of your message? And that prevents you from saying things like, “Oh, this is stressing me out? I have no idea where we’re going to get all this work done.” I think it you because what do I want my team to feel confident in the future that there’s hope for the future? Right? I want to, I want them to feel supported. And I want them to do I want them to focus on these priorities. So, you know, like, I think if you can grasp that in your communication, and before you before you send an email, before you launch a meeting, you stop and you ask yourself those questions. I think that’s the shortcut to doing that. Well, the other thing is, you’re going to have to do mass communications, depending on the level of your role. But most of the work, the most important work you’re doing is one person, one human being at a time, and being sensitive to what each person needs on the team.

Jeff Ton  18:00

Karin, I want to get back to our conversation. And one of the one of the reasons that I reached out to you originally was to hear your thoughts on this concept of doing more with less. Can you help us understand how you guide people through that question?

Karin Hurt  18:25

One of our clients just went through a major layoff. And we’re doing like a long-term leadership development live online program with him. He calls and says, “So we have this layoff. And we’re being asked to do more with less…and that doesn’t sit right. So, what should we do?” And I said, “Well, what we should do is not do what we have planned for our next session. And instead, we’re going to do (and I mentioned this in the article), is this “own the ugly process” Yeah. So, we’re going to talk about…Okay, so what is, what are some things that he’s like, “Well, we’ve still have these programs. So we’re not doing more and we, but we do have less, and but we but we’ve got to be more efficient at the way we’re doing this.” And so, I said, Okay, so with regard to this thing…I’m trying not to say what company it is…but with regard to this important strategic priority that still has to get done with less people. What are we underestimating? And you know, and so it’s U.G.L.Y.

  • U – Under estimating
  • G – what’s got to Go elsewhere
  • L – Where are we Losing
  • Y – Where are we missing the Yes

So, what are we underestimating about this? Well, maybe we’re under estimating other resources that we could pull into, maybe we’re under you know, so you can underestimate good things, or you can underestimate bad things. You could also underestimate the competition that’s just about to swoop in. Right?

But the most important one of that is the G, what’s got to go in this context. What do we need to stop doing? Yeah, and you know, because if you have doubt, if you’ve gone from a team of 30 people to 15 people, you can’t possibly do all the things that you are going to do. Right? So what are the most of, we call them MITs, what are the most important strategic priorities that you have got to nail? And what are the things that can go off. I learned that concept of the MIT from a boss that I had once called Maureen, her name was Maureen. She said…she came to me when I first joined the position, she handed me a scorecard of 27 things. And she said, “Okay, Karin, here’s your scorecard. There are 27 items on them. What are you going to fail at?” And I said, I’m not going to fail at anything, Maureen. But she’s like…

Jeff Ton  20:42

For our listeners, Karin just crossed her arms.

Karin Hurt  20:47

She said, so she said, let’s be real. You can’t possibly accomplish all 27 of these things in the same way. So, I want you and I to be perfectly aligned, which, if you’re going to drop a ball, which is the ball that’s okay to drop, and which are the things that matter so much that our strategic priorities that you’ve got to win.

And I have thought, I was pretty young when I heard that. And it really, it’s the same thing during a layoff. Like okay, oh, sure. Yeah, our boss is still saying we need to do all these things. But what, when I look back a year from now and say, what did we accomplish? Which are the ones that are really going to matter? And then we talk about these most important things at four levels, what is most important strategically, what’s important from an initiative? What are the initiatives? Maybe you’ve got four initiatives that are going get you to that most important thing, but maybe only two really matter, then what are the activities? Okay, what are the activities that could go? And then what are the daily behaviors that you’re sure will consistently do that?

And, you know, one of the things that usually can go is the number of meetings that you’re having? I have another CEO that I’m working with. And he asked, “What is going on?” I said, well, one of the things that I’m noticing is that I’ve talked to some of your people, and they said, “You know, I’ve got 10 meetings, and some of them, I have nothing to say.” And if you have zero to say, in a meeting, maybe the reason you’re meeting that meeting is to take notes or to hear about something else, to be informed, then that meaning could be an email, at least for you, you know, and so to think about any meeting and saying, is this the very best use of that person’s time? Now, and sometimes the very best use of that person’s time is they need to be trained in something or it’s important for me, but do I really think that this is the most important thing that we could be doing with that hour? And if not, then is there another way to get them in the information? So, I mean, I think that’s really it. And the main, the biggest mistake, I think, I mean, when you say we got to do more with less, you immediately put every..tick everybody off and put them on the defensive.

Jeff Ton  23:04

Right, right. Right. Right. I love that the “ugly” moniker or acronym, because it especially technology, folks, we love, we love a great acronym. Right? We talk in acronyms all the time. So, U, what are we under estimating? G, what’s got to go? L, Where are we losing? Can you explain where are we losing?

Karin Hurt  23:34

Yeah, so I use the where are we losing in a variety of ways? One is where are we? It could be where are we losing to the competition? Could be where are we losing talent? It could be? Where are we like, if you look at your performance, a lot of times, you know, people don’t break down their performance well enough to know where they’re really losing. So maybe our aggregate performance looks fantastic. But we don’t sell anything. Maybe if you’re in sales in the month of August or December. Well, you’re losing in August and December, right? Or, you know, so it’s really breaking it down and saying are weird is our performance, not where it used to be? And is has something shifted in the industry that you’re you were winning, but now you’re losing. And so that’s, that’s one way to think about that. And then my favorite is where are we missing the Yes,

Jeff Ton  24:25

yeah, I was going to ask about the Y, where are we missing the Yes.

Karin Hurt  24:29

That is where is there a completely different way to do something that you haven’t thought of? So, in chapter six of our book, Courageous Cultures, I tell a story of a massive turnaround from our Verizon, from my Verizon days, where at that point in time, Verizon was not allowed to sell the iPhone. And I was leading a large retail sales team in the Verizon wireless stores. And so these, these salespeople were completely demoralized and you know, if salespeople think they can’t sell, they can’t sell, you’ve got a massive problem. Where we were missing the Yes, as it turned out, was to not try to sell the, the flip phones that we had, but instead to retail customers, but to sell to small business customers. And we did have the Blackberry. And back then small, small businesses were terrified of the iPhone because of security reasons. They didn’t, they didn’t trust it yet. So, they really were buying the Blackberry, they just weren’t buying it from us. They were buying it from Sprint because Sprint had better small business plans.

I got my entire sales team focused on forgetting about your retail customers. I mean, if they come in, sell them a phone, but instead, let’s go look for small business customers. And let’s bring people over from Sprint. And we built a whole strategy around that, we became, we won the President’s Award for Customer Growth that year. And it was because we got so good at, we had missed, everybody else was missing the yes of the small business sale. So it’s those kinds of opportunities. You know, I was talking to a friend last night, and she’s doing a lot of blogging, and she doesn’t do the kind of blogging that I do. She’s doing it for, like businesses that just need very basic information like writing for a bank or, and I said, “Well, are you using a ChatGPT? Right, because that could save you a heck of a lot of time and saying don’t just take it from but you know, I can’t write my blog using that, because it’s very personal with stories and those kinds of things. But for Five Ways to Ask for a Better Interest Rate on Your Loan. Yeah, right. And, and she’s like, so that’s where are we missing the Yes, because she can probably save a lot of time just using that.

Jeff Ton  26:47

We had somebody on the podcast that was called “A view from the other side of the desk.” It was a sales professional. And in the course of the conversation, he mentioned, he uses ChatGPT to find out what questions he should be asking when he walks into a client’s office. What are some of the key questions I should be asking about this industry or, or this particular problem. And he kind of also flipped it on its head a little bit and said, I would love for my clients and prospects to use ChatGPT to find out what questions they should be asking me.

Right, because so many times I don’t get asked this question or that question. And, and so yeah, I think there’s lots of ways we can, we can use that technology, and still be human centric leaders, because of which I know is your very focus of what you all are doing there at your organization.

As you as you think about the leader of this team, that has just, for probably no fault of their own, so to speak, has had to do a layoff. And they, they are looking at your process of UGLY, I will always remember that, fail strategically, and that goes back to your what are the 27 things you know, you can’t do and look for help outside your team? What things can that leader also be showing, telling, coaching their team that’s feeling this pressure on how they should behave, how they should react to this.

Karin Hurt  28:45

The one thing I would add there is re-recruit your A players, because you’re really high performing players, A. are going to be the most valuable to your competition, too. And, let them know how valued they are. You know, I know this is not an easy time. I really appreciate this, this effort that you’re putting in. You are such an important part of our group. And if there’s, if you see runway like and I see additional up and I know we’re downsizing, but this is not forever. And here’s where I could see you going in the organization, here’s the opportunities and making somebody feel as valued as you actually believe that they are and because a lot of times when we’re stressed, we forget that part. And the, usually you’re really high performers are not visibly needy. And so, we are, we turn all of our attention to the visibly needy ones that are complaining about how much work they have. And meanwhile we’ve got this workhorse who’s just doing it and getting it done. And also going out on LinkedIn looking for a job.

And so, I think that’s one thing, and then I would say. The other is helping every single person prioritize their work and really knowing, like, where’s the gauge of how much they’ve got going on and letting them helping them let some things go. I was talking to, it was an interesting conversation where I was talking to a woman, and she’s like, I’m working 80 hours a week. Now I happen to also, I work deeply in that organization. I know, her boss. And I said, so how many hours do you think is reasonable for somebody on your team to work? So, without having disclosed, you know, like disclosing the conversation I had? And he’s like, Well, I mean, in, in this period of really, really crazy turbulent time. I mean, maybe 60. Every now and then. And I said, and so there is a miss expectation, right? And you know, and I said, Well, what if somebody on your team was working 80? He’s like, that’s completely unsustainable. No way, we shouldn’t do that. So, to really check in and say, do you really know what your people are doing?

And then, the other thing I would say is, do everything you can to prevent false urgency. During times of uncertainty and change, there’s a lot of things like this, you’re doing this, and now it’s this, and I need this right away. Not everything is urgent. And the more you can really make a plan and say, “This is the plan” and stay as much as to the plan. And if you have to shift courses, be very transparent about that. I know I said, this was the most important thing. And this just happened. So, I’m going to ask you to back off on this, your work is not wasted. We’re coming back to it (if that’s true), or if the work is wasted. Thank you so much for your effort. We learned a lot. We’re not going to do this right now. But be transparent. And then, so that people feel that they are being scaffolded and guided and aren’t like in a you know that like they’re not like on a raft going down rapids, and you don’t know what you’re doing. And you got no paddle either. Right. That’s part of it as well. Yeah…

Jeff Ton  32:05

There’s a famous name for that creek, and we won’t, we won’t use it. Well, I wanted to ask you, so are there things that our leaders out there should be doing today? Even if, even if they’re not faced with a layoff today. Are there things that they should be putting in place either in their own leadership style, their own selves, or their teams, that would…not make it easier when it happens, but set them up for success when it happens?

Karin Hurt  32:46

Well, you know, I think one of the things, and I think about this on our team all the time, is, do you have good processes that other? Do you have other people like? Do you have people who if they walked out the door it for any reason? They’re the only ones that can do things that they can do? You know, and so I think that’s part of it. Have you cross-trained people? Are people, you know, do? Are there systems and ways you do things? Or are you really reliant on any single individual? And that’s for any reason, not just a layoff. But if they were to get sick, or if they were to choose to get to another job, and I find I, we’re not 100% there yet I have, we’ve got critical people in our team that are critical people on our team, right. So I’m saying that is wise. And sometimes I recognize that’s not always as easy as it sounds. But I would say that’s the first part.

And then I would say also building that trust and connection, and not having all communication flow through you. One of the things that happens in, I’m seeing happening more and more in a remote environment is that the leader becomes so central to all the communication, and it’s the people wait to talk with one another until they get on that Zoom meeting with their boss. And where is it in an office environment, people are more likely to run into another the cafeteria to work on collaborative things. And so, to be very deliberate in nurturing that sideways, because that way, if some if catastrophe strikes, whether it’s a layoff or something else happens, it’s not like everything you have to do it all. It’s the team has deep trust in each other. They’re collaborating and you’ve already got that muscle memory about how to do that.

Jeff Ton  34:39

Yeah, yeah. That’s, that’s great advice. And you’ve shared a lot of insights with us today. And here on Status Go, we are all about action and I love to leave our listeners with a real specific Call-to-Action. So, what are one or two things that our listeners can go do tomorrow, because they listened to our conversation today?

Karin Hurt  35:09

Yeah. So Well, the first one is more philosophical, but it’s one that you can, if you really think about it, it will guide your whole day, which is “be the leader you want your boss to be.” And so, you know, a lot of times when people complain about their boss, they, I’m like, Well, then don’t do that. Do something better, right? And if every one of us asked that question, we would have a better world. So that’s the first thing.

And then I would say the other one is to be really clear about your MIT’s. What is most important, make sure that you not only know what they are for you, but that every member of their team understands their most important thing. And one of the ways we, a very simple way we teach that, if some is, you know, just with your one on one, ask your ask your person in your one on one, what’s the most important thing you accomplished last week in terms of results and relationships? What’s the most important thing you’re working on this week in terms of results and relationships? And what support do I need [to provide]?

And if you’re having that conversation with everyone consistently, first of all, it’s very likely they’re working on things that you don’t think are their most important thing, where they are spending too much time working on something that is a low priority, and they’re doing it super, super well. I mean, David, and I run this business together, we’re married. And we have to do this all the time. Because I’ll say, hey, I need data about this. And then I’m like, well, where’s the data? And he’s like, Well, I’ve got 18 pivot tables, and then No, no, no, like, ballpark, are we plus 50? On this thing? Right? You know? Yeah. So, I mean, I think a lot of times, that’s where you can save time is that sometimes people good, if good is good enough, then you don’t need great for some things.

Jeff Ton  37:00

Make sure your team knows that I love those two actions, be the leader you want your boss to be. And the MIT’s the most important tasks, the most important things. So, before we say goodbye, I want to make sure that our listeners know where to find you. And I know you’ve written what, four books now I think, and you, you guys do a podcast or at least David does. I assume you have a hand in that as well. I love the name of the podcast, though Leadership Without Losing Your Soul. Sometimes that’s hard to do. I love that. So where can we find you? And what’s the best way to get in touch?

Karin Hurt  37:43

Yeah, so Let’s Grow Leaders. Let’s grow is our website. And you can find David’s podcast, he does that. Well, it’s all him Without Losing Your Soul. And then on LinkedIn, I’m Karin with an “I” k a r i n hurt and I run a show called “Asking for a Friend” on LinkedIn. We do have a number of books. Our latest is called “Courageous Cultures, How to Build Teams of Micro Innovators, Problem Solvers and Customer Advocates. And we have a new book coming out next year, called “Powerful Phrases for Dealing with Conflict at Work.” Excellent. I came back then.

Jeff Ton  38:24

Yeah, absolutely. So your program “Asking for a Friend”, is that a blog, a LinkedIn live?

Karin Hurt  38:32

It’s a blog. It’s video. And sometimes I interview other people, sometimes it’s just me. And so like, I just did one from the Eiffel Tower. That was kind of fun. So

Jeff Ton  38:46

what a cool spot to do it.

Karin Hurt  38:48

Right before they started dumping the trash in front of it. Oh, the week before?

Jeff Ton  38:53

Well, that’s good. That’s good. Well, Karin, I really want to thank you. You know, I reached out blindly, we didn’t know each other. And I asked you to be on this show. And you, you jumped on it immediately. And I really appreciate that, as a host of this program. Thank you for carving out time to talk with our listeners today. I really appreciate it!

Karin Hurt  39:15

I’m just so glad that you asked. And it was a really fun conversation, something I’m really passionate about. So, thank you,

Jeff Ton  39:22

And that comes through. Thank you very much. For our listeners. If you want to learn more, be sure to visit If you want to go directly to the podcast that’s The show notes will provide links and contact information and we’ll be sure in link to Karin’s website as well as to their books. This is Jeff ton for Karin hurt. Thank you very much for listening.

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