When was the last time you gave vague instructions? Was there a miscommunication? Or perhaps you were the one to receive vague instructions. How did it make you feel?
In this episode, host Tim Reitsma and Casey Jacox—author of “WIN the RELATIONSHIP, Not the DEAL”, leadership coach and consultant to high performing teams—unpack the power of setting clear expectations. Casey shares with us his TED framework and gives practical insights.
- Casey teaches what’s called a boomerang mindset: if we throw enough boomerangs of service (serving others), the boomerang is going to come back to you. [4:09]
- Leadership is influence. Leadership is not a title. [5:13]
Building a better world of work means clarity, inspiration, and purpose.Casey Jacox
- Expectations are vital. It provides clarity for what’s going to happen. There’s also something that’s called agreements. People can set expectations, but if we don’t create agreements, then there’s usually a gap. [9:38]
- When we provide clarity and slow down a little bit, we can all go faster. From a leadership perspective, from a producer perspective, or any role in the company. [13:26]
When we set expectations, it removes the lack of clarity and communication. It removes any unsaid, unfelt, unneeded, unnecessary drama.Casey Jacox
- As a leader, if you’re using vulnerability to understand where your gaps are in setting expectations, you’re setting an example to others and all of a sudden that starts filtrating throughout the organization. [21:00]
- Sometimes, as leaders, we get going too fast and we don’t realize what’s important. We know what’s important to us, but maybe it’s not as important to our teams. [23:17]
- Silence is your friend. [25:55]
- A lot of times leaders also fall into the “smartest in the room syndrome”, where they love talking. They love telling the team all the answers. [27:06]
The best leaders ask great questions.Casey Jacox
- TED is a framework that’s not just for business, it’s for life. It stands for: Tell me, Explain, Describe. [28:11]
- Go to your team, your leader, and ask them, “Tell me two things I can do a better job of setting expectations to make our culture better.” And be okay with what they’re going to tell you. [32:40]
- When you put a number in front of the question you’re going to ask, it makes the brain give a data. [34:42]
Meet Our Guest
With more than 20 years of business experience, Casey’s leadership helps companies emphasize building relationships and not just transactional business deals. He’s a father, a husband, a coach, a podcaster, a speaker, and a business leader who is the same person in and out of work.
While at Kforce, Casey was the number one sales rep nationwide for ten years before moving into the President of Client Strategy and partnerships. In that role, Casey played a crucial role in driving a sales transformation and providing executive-level support for large customers.
In March 2019, Casey left Kforce as the firm’s all-time leading salesperson in the nearly 60-year company history to begin writing his debut non-fiction book, “WIN the RELATIONSHIP – Not the DEAL.”
Casey is now the founder of Winning The Relationship, LLC, a consulting firm providing keynote speaking, workshop development, sales leadership, and executive coaching. Additionally, Casey is the host of The Quarterback DadCast, a podcast that offers stories, advice, and wisdom for fathers looking to improve their leadership skills and emotional intelligence.
Humility + Vulnerability + Curiosity = LEADERSHIPCasey Jacox
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- Connect with Casey on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram
- Checkout Casey’s website, podcast, and book: WIN the RELATIONSHIP, not the DEAL
Related articles and podcasts:
- About the People Managing People podcast
- 5 Ways To Give More Effective Feedback
- Top 20 Leadership Podcasts To Help You Become A Better Leader
- Relationships: Why We Need Them And Why They Are So Hard
- Prioritizing Conversations & Connections Will Build A Better World Of Work
- Company Culture: Why It Matters And How To Improve Your Own
Read the Transcript:
We’re trying out transcribing our podcasts using a software program. Please forgive any typos as the bot isn’t correct 100% of the time.
Casey Jacox: I think leadership is influence. Leadership is not a title. I think leadership is, I can sum it up in an equation. Humility, plus vulnerability plus curiosity equals leadership.
Tim Reitsma: Welcome to the People Managing People podcast. We're on a mission to build a better world of work and to help you create happy, healthy, and productive workplaces. I'm your host, Tim Reitsma!
When was the last time you gave vague instructions? Was there a miscommunication? Or perhaps you received vague instructions? How did you feel about that?
I know for me, when clear expectations aren't set, I can feel frustrated, but also excited. I get excited with the creative freedom, but if there's something that I'm missing and it comes up at the end of a project or a task, Oh boy, I can feel frustrated and even confused.
Casey Jacox, author of "WIN the RELATIONSHIP, not the DEAL", leadership coach and consultant to high performing teams unpacks the power of setting clear expectations.
He shares with us his simple TED framework and gives practical insights through great story. I hope I clearly set your expectations in this intro for an amazing podcast. Stay tuned for a fun conversation with Casey.
Casey, welcome to the People Managing People podcast. We met virtually, randomly a few weeks, or a couple months ago now through our hosting site, Buzzsprout and I think developed and are developing a great friendship and relationship out of this.
So thanks so much for joining me.
Casey Jacox: No, I'm honored to be here, Tim and I'm not gonna say randomly, I'm gonna say serendipitously. It happened for a reason.
Tim Reitsma: Yes, definitely. And you're gracious enough to host me on your podcast, The Quarterback DadCast. And so for those who are listening, you gotta check out Casey and his show. It's a phenomenal show as well as, you know, we're gonna talk a little bit about your book, specifically around setting expectations.
And the book is called "WIN the RELATIONSHIP, not the DEAL". I was telling Casey, I think it's probably, or it is, not even probably. It is one of the best reads I've done this year, and I've read a ton of books. It is straightforward, no nonsense. It is a guide for not just sales, but also how to live your life, how to lead, how to be a good human.
And so, yeah. Thanks again for coming on we're gonna be talking about, as leaders, we need to set expectations. But before we get into it, tell us a little bit about yourself, a little bit about what you're up to.
Casey Jacox: For one I'm blushing. I know people can't see me, but I'm like, I can't believe, like, it just, there's a sign behind me that says, "Believe". That's from the great Ted Lasso.
There's also a sign that says, "Be a goldfish", which is having a short memory when things don't go right, flush it, you know, and the word believe is something I'm really passionate about because it's a great way to start the day. I know, I believe what I do matters. It gives me strength, it gives me positivity, it gives me clarity, it gets my mind right.
It gives me confidence to, to do anything I wanna do because I know I, I'm doing it from a heart of service of help. I wanna help. I wanna be curious. And so, I guess the quick introduction, 25 year corporate guy, business development sales leadership, executive leadership, left in March of 2019.
Cleared my mind, left on great terms with Kforce, a staffing consulting company in the United States, and knew I wanted to write a book, knew I wanted to start a podcast. And the next thing I know I did that. And then a year later, coaching found me. And I did not like raise my hand and say, I wanna be a business and leadership coach and a growth coach.
And I just, I coached my kids. I coached sports, you know, former college athlete. I've been in coaching environments, but I'm not like a quote, unquote, I didn't go to like, coaching school and now I'm coaching multiple industries from wealth management to marketing, to sales, to golf, the golfing industry.
TaylorMade's a customer of mine. And it's so fun because I'm not making it up. I teach what's called boomerang mindset, meaning if we throw enough boomerangs of service, serving others, the boomerang's gonna come back to you. You do it right. And it's definitely different than having a corporate job where, you know, things got done for you and now I'm everything. From the custodian services to the front desk, to compensation, to AR, AP, and, but to have an impact on people's lives to see, to share my own experience, my own failure.
That helps, hopefully shorten the learning curve from other people is an amazing feeling and that's what really jacks me up every day to, to go serve and meet and connect with people around the world.
Tim Reitsma: I love it. Thanks for that. And I love to hear your passion for what you do and for your craft.
And for those who are listening, you know, we will definitely be putting in the show notes, head to peoplemanagingpeople.com, and we'll have all the links to reach out to Casey.
But before we get going, like we're gonna talk about, as leaders, we need to set expectations. But I've always loved to ask guests, two questions. First question, what does it mean to be a leader?
Casey Jacox: I think leadership is influence. Leadership is not a title. I think leadership is, I can sum it up in an equation. Humility, plus vulnerability plus curiosity equals leadership.
Tim Reitsma: I love that.
Casey Jacox: Yeah. So humility plus vulnerability plus curiosity equals leadership. I think the best leaders I've ever been around are so crystal clear with those three characteristics.
Tim Reitsma: Yeah. I couldn't agree more. I think that's one of the reasons why we get along so well is, you know, we share the same core values, some of the values, curiosity being one of them.
Vulnerability is, you know, I think is something we need to lean into. I think we, we often put up that facade, and everything's okay, you know, whereas, well, if it's not okay, let's just own it. And not try to power through. And the humility, right? We don't know all the right answers. Let's go ask for help. Let's go ask for support.
Admit your failures. Admit when you're wrong. It's powerful and makes us human.
Casey Jacox: Yeah, a hundred percent. And I think it keeps us in this growth mindset. It keeps us, because when we learn something and you give space to realize that we're all flawed, even the people in the world, whether you're a, you know, right wing for the Canucks or a center for the Kraken or, what it is. They all have gaps.
No one's perfect. And the sooner you just embrace that, life becomes a lot easier.
Tim Reitsma: Yeah. These three little words, "I don't know". But then follow it up with, But I'll figure it out or I'll seek some answers. I'll seek advice. Right? If you just stop with, I don't know, there's more to it, then we need to be pushing more into the, Well, I'll help you figure it out.
Which then leads into the curiosity piece, which then leads into the vulnerability piece. It all ties together. I love that.
The second question I always ask people, didn't actually ask you this or prep you for this before, before we hit record. Our purpose here at People Managing People is to build a better world of work.
When you hear that phrase, build a better world of work, what comes to mind?
Casey Jacox: Build a better world of work to me means clarity. It means inspiration. It means purpose. It means no matter what role you have inside an organization, a leader is helping provide that belief or that meaning around, Hey, without this job we're in trouble.
And I think it's, when leaders can, no matter what role it is, you know, I think about, I used to make a big deal about a person at the front desk and I was in corporate, like, you're the face. Like when someone walks in our office, their first expectation they have is you. They might end up meeting with me or another leader in our company, but how you show up, how you make 'em feel is gonna set the tone for how their experience is with us.
Just like, whether it's a coffee shop or it's, you know, a flight, no matter what it is. So I think for me, building a better world, leaders, if you create that clarity, if you create that purpose and meaning for every single job, I mean, your culture's gonna be dialed, I believe.
Tim Reitsma: Yeah. It reminds me of a story once of, I think it was a podcast years ago, and they were talking about a story about a janitor at a school.
Well, why aren't you more than just a janitor at school? And the person said, Well, but I'm the janitor of the school. I need to keep this place clean and safe for students. That's what I need to do every single day. And that to me was, it was just like an aha moment. You know, it's not this striving for this corporate leadership job.
And some people strive for that, and that's awesome. But every job matters and finding purpose in that job where, you know, if the garbage cans overflow, it's not gonna be safe. If the washrooms are dirty, it's not gonna be safe. I need to keep these kids safe. And I love that. I just love that, that purpose-filled role.
And when we do this, in our organizations every job matters, we will have a better world of work. We're then dream people as humans with purpose rather than just numbers on a spreadsheet. I love it.
And I think it ties nicely in with our topic today about setting expectations. And I don't know, when I hear that word "expectation", I, it almost kind of sends me back a little bit of, I don't know, there's just some negative connotation with that word. So I don't know why that comes up for me.
I'm not sure if it comes up for you, if you've heard that before. If you're listening and saying, Okay, expectations, how do I set expectations in a way that is, is meaningful, that drives performance? Well, let's start here. Why do we need to set expectations?
Casey Jacox: I think that expectations are vital. In my opinion there, that's what helped me win people because they always knew where they stood internally or externally. And it provides clarity for what's gonna happen. I think there's also something that's called agreements. So people can set expectations, but if we don't create agreements, then there's usually a gap, right?
And so, I think about, I think we were joking before we decided to record, but you know, recently I was on a, an airline. I'm not gonna name them, but long flight. And the pilots, surprisingly this, and I love this airline. They did not say one thing to us, which I thought was kind of odd, go across the entire country.
We land early and I'm a gold with this airline, and I don't even shop. I just book flights with 'em because I know I usually get good service. I got the nice special orange tag, that means my bag's gonna come out early. All these things. I get that, Hey, if you book with us, you're gonna give us the frequent flyer, blah, blah, blah, whatever.
And all of a sudden, this one bad expectation unraveled this, all these emotions that were somewhere inside me. So we have a flight. We land 35 minutes early, set on tarmac. Really not a lot of communication. We start, we stop, we start, we stop, we start, we stop. If the pilots would've said in the very beginning, Hey, we're gonna get in early.
And there's a good chance because of airport construction, we might be delayed getting to the gate. My expectations are set. I know what's coming, versus not talking doesn't help anybody, right? And so now, then I go to my bag and now I'm in a different part of our local airport in Seattle, where it's even further away than I usually have to go to get my bag. And I wait another 40 minutes. So a 35 minute early, which I was in a great mood to now I'm almost two hours post.
Now I'm late. Now I'm like, irritated, frustrated. I'm like, What? And to me, all that could be solved with just a little communication and expectations up front from the airline. That people don't slow down to think about the importance of the experience of customers have or clients have. Now, maybe that story is resonating people internally.
Tim I shared with you early in my career, I had a leader who said, who wanted me to, at the time we, I was servicing two different industries. And his idea was, I want you to go all in on one. And at the time I was like, Well, I'm diversified both, my business is mixed. So if one dips, we're gonna be okay. My current boss at the time said, Casey, it's right that, you know, I agree with you.
We'll keep going down that path. And then his boss says, No, I want Casey to go all in on this one set of customers. And I was maybe a little bit immature at the time, but I was like, No, that doesn't make sense. And again, expectations weren't clear. They weren't set from the leader, the high up leader to my boss down to me, there was a gap in communication.
So instead of, and my boss at the time would just keep telling me what I wanted to hear cause he didn't know how to deal with difficult conversations. And so instead, the VP flies in, Hey, Casey got a second? And he takes me in the conference room. He goes, Hey, you're gonna be working today to transition this account with these two people in your office.
And it's theirs going forward and we need you to support it. I'm like, what? Like what? Where, how does that, like, how'd that happen? Because like my boss told me that it wasn't gonna happen like that for, and so like now I'm in like defense mode. I'm in like, what the f mode, you know, not in a, I'm in a fixed mindset versus if it would've just been clearly communicated to me.
I might not have liked it, but to be surprised, to be caught off guard, so now I'm gonna waste a day emotionally, cuz I'm not my best version of me. And again, leaders, we have complete control over that. So if you're gonna make a difficult decision, if you're gonna have to, you know, do something for the business that maybe the sales team, whatever role he or she might not see, set expectations. Provide clarity on the why, not just because dad said so.
Go to your room, right? I think when we provide clarity and slow down a little bit, we all can go faster. From a leadership perspective, from a producer perspective, any role in those companies. So anyway, hope those couple stories at least gave some thoughts on my passion around expectation management.
Tim Reitsma: Well, it resonates so much with me. And I'm guilty of it in my career, of saying to my team, Hey we're gonna pivot. We're gonna go left. My team has, you know, early on in my career went, Okay, that doesn't make sense. Or why are you restructuring the team? Or why are we doing things like this?
Well, pause and clearly communicate, Okay, this is what's happening, this is why we need to do it, people still might not understand or be on board, but we gotta give all that information.
A story just pops in. I was talking with a friend recently who's, you know, their company set their performance goals their financial goals for the year. And it's now their fourth quarter, headed into the fourth quarter. And the leadership team said, Well, actually, if we strive for this revenue goal, the current goal, we're not gonna be able to fund the bonus program.
So we need to increase the revenue goal. So what do they do? They increase revenue goal three months before the end of the year. And that was it. No communication. You can imagine the uproar of people. It's like you're just moving the target. Well, the CEO did actually send out great communication, received some good coaching, from my understanding I'm, you know, sort of removed from the story, but sent out great communication and the team, well, some people just didn't like it.
They understood it. They understood that, Hey, if we have a revenue target of let's say a hundred dollars, we can't fund the bonus program. It's just simple as that. Things have changed throughout the year and now we're coming down to the wire. We want to fund the bonus program, but we believe that we can hit this revenue target and here's the plan in order to achieve the revenue target.
So setting that expectation, if you just did a hard stop of like, Hey, we're gonna increase from a $100 to $200. Everyone's good. But hey, we're gonna increase. Here's the why and here's also the plan. Here's the how. So that kinda leads me into that next question. Casey, I'd love to hear your perspective on, you know, that, how do we set expectations?
You know, it's easy to say, we need to set expectations. Why? Like your pilot story, love it, right? You're fired up. You're like, Oh, I'm gonna be home early. You ended up not being home early or wherever you're gonna go, cause there's no communication. So how do we do it? Like, why do we still, why are we still talking about this?
Many years into business and we still struggle with, with setting expectations.
Casey Jacox: I think people get going way too fast. I think complacency is a silent killer, and so we get bad habits that form. But as I think about, I've like wired my brain to think this way. So chapter one, I talk about in my book is just the power of the golden rule.
Treat people the way we wanna be treated. Right? It was really important when we were five, six years old, but when we get into these corporate jobs, it's okay to be an a-hole to people. We can say certain things. We can just do this, do that. I'm the boss, they should respect me. In the end, that's not how it works.
And so for me, setting expectations is just slowing down to Asher. So, okay how would I wanna be communicated in this? How would I want my boss to share if my comp plan changed? How would I want me for my mental health to know that, hey, if I'm excited about taking on a new role, or if maybe I'm managing, you know, two accounts that have $300 million in revenue, but now I'm gonna get asked to record to go over two new accounts, but it's $15 million in revenue.
Is my ego down the way? Is there clarity why? Or is it say, Hey, you know, Tim, we're gonna move you over to these new accounts because one, you're our best sales person, b) you're our best leader, c) we believe in you more than anybody. And if there's anybody in the company that's gonna go take this next level, it's you.
And we believe in you. Right? Now I have, oh, okay, my ego is filled. I have clarity, my confidence is up. Versus just, okay, you're off these two accounts, you're gonna go to there. And we get going so fast because of, you know, I got notifications on my earrings, my nose ring, my eye ring, my tennis shoe lace, my tongue and my shoe, my underwear, and they're all connected to wifi. And I'll, I'm just buzzing nonstop where I'm going versus slow down.
You know, that's why I wrote a chapter about listening, like, but when we set expectations, it just removes the lack of clarity and communication. It removes any unsaid, unfelt, unneeded, unnecessary drama that we don't need. I think if we really look back on challenges you had relationships internally and externally, a lot of it comes down to expectations.
Tim Reitsma: Absolutely. Yeah. I've said it a few times on podcasts, and I'm a firm believer in this, is when we don't communicate clearly, if we just communicate that expectation or the goal or the outcome, and that's it. We as humans make up our own narrative.
We fill in the gaps. Casey, I know you're on a $300 million count. We're gonna just move you to a $15 million count. Well, what's gonna go through your head, right? You suck. Am I gonna get fired? Hey Casey, can you make sure all your paperwork is up to date, all your CRM stuff is up to date, and make sure it's done by the end of day tomorrow, and then make sure you stop in my office. But bring your laptop.
It's like, Oh, uh-oh. What's going on? Right? But instead it's like, Hey, bring your laptop because you know we've got a new one for you. And this one, your old one's, you know, is about to, you know, we wanna make sure you've got the best equipment out there and performing well.
Cause I understand your computer's not performing well. And so that's why we just wanna make sure everything is up to date and stacked up to clock. It's just setting that expectation. It's a, Hey, we're gonna change a sales goal. Oh, by the way, I'm going on vacation, so good luck. Right? If we don't fill in the gaps, we're gonna make up our own narrative.
And that's part of setting expectation.
Casey Jacox: Exactly. I think you, yeah, you nailed it. Where, if we just slow down a little bit and, and realize as leaders, what is our goal? Like truly what's our goal? Is our goal to have people that come to work frustrated and mad at us? And is our goal that we want to be in jobs where we're just constantly babysitting? Not being really sarcastic.
No. Our job is, cuz when it's done right and done well and everything's communicated clearly, people have clarity in their job. They have, they're excited about what they're doing. Your job as a leader is the easiest job on the planet. The plane's flying itself.
Tim Reitsma: Yeah, just think of, you know, if somebody's listening and wondering why they're struggling with their team or their team's not listening to them and, you know, I can't diagnose it over a podcast, but have you set clear expectations?
What's the language you're using around that? Casey, I expect you to perform so we can hit our sales goal. Is that setting expectation? No. How else would you say that, Casey?
Casey Jacox: You made me think of something quick, France, that like, think about it you're listening now and there's leaders like, Shoot, I'm not doing any of this stuff.
Back to the equation, vulnerability. What a powerful gift. You can go back to your team and say, Hey, I heard a couple ball guys on a podcast and sorry Tim, airy outro buddy,
Tim Reitsma: I got a little bit of fuzz up there still come on, but.
Casey Jacox: I got none. And we said, Hey, as I was rethinking about the last quarter team, I don't know how well I've done a good job of setting expectations for you.
Tell me two areas I could do a better job of setting expectations to make you and the team excited about coming to work today. And then to shut up and see what they say. And then once you get one thing, maybe we'll say, Great, tell me more about that. Right?
Because as you, as a leader, if you're using vulnerability to understand maybe where your gaps are in setting expectations, you're gonna give them, maybe you're, if you're a VP to your managing director level two, whatever, you're gonna give them tools and say, Wow, my leader, he or she just showed vulnerability, showed humility that he or she doesn't have all the answers. They're really diagnosing how we can do a better job of setting expectations, asking questions.
Maybe I could do the same thing with my team. And all of a sudden that starts filtrating throughout the organization and people are really buying in to these characteristics that what I am clear as day, I know that, I know they work cause I've seen it for 46 years of life on earth or in sports, in volunteer organizations and business and marriages.
My marriage, if my wife knows where I am at all times, life's pretty good. If I don't show up for three days, where the hell have you been? Oh, I was doing this, doing that. Well, hey, thanks for letting me know.
Tim Reitsma: Yeah, we do it in our personal lives, with our partners, with our kids. You know, even this morning, or every morning, you know, I go for a walk. Kids are going, Well, where are you going? Well, I'm gonna go for a walk, and then I gotta sit down and prep for a podcast. Okay, so you can't walk me to school today.
Like, not today. I've got something. Okay. If I just left out the door, I know I'm gonna get a text and going, Well, where did you go? You know, the kids are asking for you. So why wouldn't we do that in the workplace? Why wouldn't we say, you know, Hey, I'm taking off this afternoon, versus just unplugging. Even if you've got no work hours or you're fully remote, you just, you work whenever, wherever.
Setting that expectation, but also as a leader is clearly communicating what is important to be set. Like, Hey, I expect you to be at your desk for three hours at a time. Then you're allowed to stand and then you're, no, don't go to that level. And you know, I expect everyone to check in every single day, cause I know we're fully remote, where work whenever, wherever. Just drop me a Slack, even if I'm sleeping, I just, you know, wanna know that you're safe and you're up and at it and I trust you and let's get work done. It's as simple as that.
Casey Jacox: I think too, it made me think of something Tim.
I think when we slow down to maybe ask our team what's important to 'em from an expectation management perspective, I'm not saying you, you're gonna give every decision. You know, we're not, we want rainbows and ponies and we wanna coddle everybody. But sometimes as leaders we get going too fast and we don't realize what's important.
We know what's important to us, but maybe it's not as important to our teams. Or, and maybe if there's something that's, you know, you didn't even think of cuz you were going too fast, we slow down, we understand like, Hah, now all of a sudden you've given us maybe a set of employees clarity that you didn't know was there and you didn't know it was there.
But because of you just slowed down to ask them maybe one or two additional questions, made sure they understand for this, you know, this set of employees that is, that expectation was clear for them all of a sudden that maybe that increases productivity, it reduces employee churn, you get new results you didn't even think was possible.
Just by putting a little attention to these words we're talking about today.
Tim Reitsma: Yeah. I'm curious, again, how many people are listening and if you're a leader leading maybe an HR team or you're leading a group of people, or maybe you're an individual contributing, you've had a leader say this to you. You know, I'm gonna give a silly example.
Oh, thanks for the presentation. Wish it was in the corporate template, not just a generic template. And then walk away, like, how passive is that? I'm guilty of it. I think, you know, my wife, my partner may or may not have accused me of that quite recently. It's like, quit being passive, just give it to me straight.
And which means set the expectation. And, yeah.
Casey Jacox: I was gonna say, we don't, I think sometimes, you know, sarcasm coming. We think that like, you're a mind reader and you're inside my brain. But you knew I was thinking about that. No, I didn't. I did not know what you're thinking about because you didn't tell me.
And if I was a mind reader, I'd be guessing people's weight at the fair. Like, I don't know what you're thinking unless you tell me what you're thinking. And you have A players, B players, C players and companies. Right? And so if the A players, some sometimes don't slow down to kind of bring the people up the ladder, you're part of the problem.
Tim Reitsma: And so often we forget, and I have forgotten. You're onboarding somebody. We just recorded a podcast about onboarding recently, and you're onboarding somebody and you miss out the details. And then you send this person off into the wild to get their work done. And you know, maybe in the context of sales you read their sales report and it's just rubbish.
Well, might have worked at their old organization, but it doesn't work for you. So then you call them in and say, Well this isn't very good. Well, how am I supposed to know? Like, I can't read your mind. But as, as a contributor, it's, you know, if that continues on for three months or even three weeks or, you know, time and time again, maybe there's a performance problem or something else.
But, you know, take a pause and I think that's a big theme that I get from you, Casey, is take that pause, you know, slow down.
Casey Jacox: I say silence, silence is your friend. So I'll give you one, one of the tips I teach sales people, well, it's also actually been for leadership too, but on Zoom. So sometimes, you know, I can't build relationships on a Zoom or remote role.
It's impossible. Okay, that's a story you're telling yourself. That's a victim mindset. Or we tell ourselves, Someone's gonna create relationships via virtually. Why not me, right? Now we're at least speaking truth into the potential day. So back to silence. If I tap my finger three times on my hand or my leg, the person on Zoom or teams or any other virtually is not gonna see it.
They're not gonna hear it. So if we want to ask a great question to develop a new relationship, to have a new, a great conversation to impact somebody that gets thrown away by keep talking. So ask a question. Tap your arm three times. And don't speak until those three taps are done. It might feel like an eternity cuz you're used to talking as fast as an auctioneer.
But when we slow down to say, Okay, tell me about how I've done a good job of setting expectations, Mr., Mrs. T. 1001, 1002, 1003. Let it set in. Because a lot of times I think leaders are late in expectations, they also fall into what I call smartest in the room syndrome, where they love talking. They love telling the team all the answers and tell.
That's the wrong way to do it. The best leaders ask great questions. Even when someone wants to get help, they'll say, Great. Hey, good question. Tell me what you think. Hey, take a guess. I, we believe we hired you for a reason. Come on, let's think to us together, create the space. Right? At least they wanna, you know, try.
But if we as leaders are sitting up on top of our pedestal and just, you know, conducting the band without letting 'em ask questions throughout the performance, we're not letting 'em approve.
Tim Reitsma: Slow down. Allow space for questions. Ask powerful questions, ask good questions. I just recorded a podcast with phenomenal leadership coach.
And we talked about powerful questions. Tell me more. I know that's something that, that you and I have talked about as well is the acronym used, TED acronym? Why, why don't you share that with us a minute? And cuz I think it's powerful and it's also used with setting expectations.
Casey Jacox: TED is gold. I learned TED from a gentleman by the name of John Kaplan, who was a client of mine in my corporate world. And he does his company does great work for teams, but I'm sure he learned it from someone else. But it's, TED is a framework that's not just for business, it's for life. And it stands for: Tell me, Explain, Describe.
And the way that usually this sticks, I'll kind of, for the parents out there listening, I think if I, if this hopefully will resonate with you. So if your son or daughter comes home from school and you say, Hey bud, how was school? Good. What'd you do? Not much. Did you have fun? Yep. Well, what do you do? Nothing.
I mean, those are all bad questions. Right? And so if I ask bad questions, why should I expect good results, just like in business and life and anything. Hey, Ryder, that's my son's name. Ryder you, keep telling me about Geometry or Algebra. You don't like it. Tell me one reason that would make it better.
Describe a time where you laughed with your buddies today. If you could do anything besides school today, explain what that would look like. And once you get something you, you say, Oh, wow, tell me more about that. Tim, the number of times I've said, Tell me more about that. I've yet to have someone say, Casey, go after yourself.
I don't wanna tell you more about that. I'm done talking. Every time and now hopefully I didn't just jinx myself, but every time they keep talking, because we're making it about them. Now you have to have genuine interest. You can't just like, tell me more about that and be Noy or God tell Mr. Roboto. But if you have a genuine interest in people and you're curious and TED takes practice.
It might sound easy, but I would be willing to bet, people will say, Can you tell me more about that? No, I didn't say "can you". Tell me or explain or describe and practice on your family. And then when you use that with your teams, whether it's if you're a sales leader, sales, whether you're customer facing, whether you're internally, whether you're about to build relationships internally, TED is such a great way to get to the truth and get real meat on the table about what we're gonna be talking about.
And it's funny, I have clients that I'm implementing that and teaching that and because I know it works.
Tim Reitsma: It's such a powerful framework. And I just think it from an expectation setting, it's I had a leader once who, Tim, tell me about the systems you've implemented. I was leading sales operations at a tech company.
And we implemented new ERP systems, ERM system, and I was co-leading the implementation. So it described what we did and all the new processes, and the leader said, That sounds great. Scrap it and you're gonna do it my way. And then walked away. And I was like, Okay, I guess, I guess this isn't gonna go well and the expectations weren't set. My response, I wish, I would have mentioned, like.
Casey Jacox: I hope that person's unemployed.
Tim Reitsma: I don't know. I ended up leaving the organization, but it struck me and I think a good response would've been on my part, would've been, Tell me more about that. Versus, Oh no, we're not gonna do it your way.
We're gonna keep doing it our way. Which, you know, then led into a whole other, that's a whole other conversation for another day, but tell me more about that. Okay. Describe that a little bit.
Casey Jacox: Yeah. How about, tell me two things I could have done differently? They would've made a better outcome for you.
Tim Reitsma: Yeah. And so if we set expectations of just do it my way, and maybe you have a leader like that, or maybe you as a leader, you know, if you've said that, hopefully you're squirming in your seat. You're not setting expectations. If anything, you might be creating this culture of fear and maybe quiet quitters. You're creating a place of stagnant growth versus that growth mindset.
So set that expectations, Hey, I'm coming in as a new leader. Maybe you started a new role. You've got current systems, we are now going to be changing systems. And here's the reasons why. Here's what's currently working, but here's what's not working well. And here's the massive opportunity we have if we change some of our processes in order to grow.
Now the expectation set. Now you can start asking questions, Well, what do you love about our current system? What are some of the flaws? Now you're slowing down and asking the good questions versus just jumping in with two feet of going like, No, you're gonna do it my way. Setting expectations, man, it's so powerful.
So Casey, as we look to wrap up, aside from, you know, I like to ask my guests, you know, what's one thing that they can do today around this topic? And aside from picking up your book and reading it, what is one thing that they can do to practice, like practically practice setting expectations?
Casey Jacox: I think I kind of an maybe answered that already, but I'll mention again. I think it's important if this is resonating with you. Go to your, whether it's your husband, your wife, your kids, your team, your leader, and just ask them and be okay with the answers. Say, Tell me two things I can do a better job of setting expectations to make our culture better.
I think simple as that. And be okay with what they're gonna tell you. And once you understand that, and you're self aware to take maybe some coaching or some feedback that we're not perfect. And the sooner that you embrace that we're all replaceable, it's such a freeing feeling in any job you have.
And don't mean that negative, I just mean that, you know, like, most people aren't gonna leave a company and they're gonna go outta business in the next minute, right? So to practice it, just ask the question and use the TED framework and find out what they say. And then, like Tim talked earlier, used the phrase, Tell me more.
And then, you know, if it's something that's important to you, maybe you make this a part of your one-on-one with your boss or your team, your up level, down level, and you say, Hey, tell me how I'm doing with setting expectations. It's a goal of mine. I'm committing to get better at it.
Tell me, have you seen an a change in my behavior the way I show up? Keep diving in on it.
Tim Reitsma: It's powerful, Casey. It takes practice and it takes that vulnerability to ask the questions. It's easy to give a framework and say, Okay, here's a framework. Go at it. But I love how you followed up with right back to what we've talked about at the beginning about being a leader, and it's that formula which includes vulnerability. In order to be better leaders and better contributors is vulnerability.
Tell me how I can do better. I want to grow in this, tell me something. If we don't ask and be prepared for the feedback, you know, and a good buddy of mine said, feedback is a gift. You know, some gifts, we accept. Some gifts, we just wanna return to the store. Get a gift receipt and return to the store.
It's a gift. And what we do with that gift is just as important as asking for that feedback. Sorry, you're gonna say something?
Casey Jacox: I was gonna say, what I've found too, that I've, I got taught this and I now, I teach a lot of my clients I work with is, when you put a number in front of the question you're gonna ask, I don't know why, I'm not a neuroscience doctor, but like, it makes the brain give a data. So if I said, Hey Tim, how's your day? Great. Hey Tim, tell me one thing about your day that makes you happy today. Now you go into story, versus, I can't give you the one word answer. I mean, that's a great to me that I practice the stuff I'm telling that we're talking about, that I practice this stuff every day.
And you, you said the word practice, which is one of my favorite words and one of the most underused words and skills that no one does. And we expect our kids to go to practice band, practice theater, practice sports, but we get in our jobs, we just wing it. And we wonder why you don't have success.
Tim Reitsma: It's practice. And practice means you're gonna fail. I mean, you played college football, right? You had to practice. If you didn't practice, you wouldn't have played college football. Your son, you're mentioning to me that he's plays golf and on the high school team. Takes practice and, you know, my little five year old is learning piano.
She's gotta practice. Some days she loves it. Some days she hates it. But she's gotta practice. And as leaders, we gotta practice our craft. And how do you get better is, well, you asked for feedback. I mean, that's a whole big conversation that we could get into, but it all ties in with setting expectations.
So Casey, thanks for joining me today. It's a true honor, true pleasure to have you on. For those who are listening, let us know how we can get ahold of you. What's the best way to reach you?
Casey Jacox: The best way is I think LinkedIn. I'm very active on LinkedIn. You know, all people can also go to my website, which is just caseyjacox.com.
All the links are, you know, /book or /podcast or /coaching. They can learn a lot about me. There's some testimonials of people who've already worked with me. There's some speaking examples, if people find that intriguing as well. But I love to connect. I'm super curious. Most LinkedIn connections I do accept.
My only advice is put a little note into the thing, don't just say connect, tell me why. Right? I'm much more intrigued to connect. And actually, long story short let's go back to what you said in the beginning. So Tim said, we randomly, I said we serendipitously connect. So Tim's podcast, the podcast we're on everybody, People Managing People, was the first podcast that I selected the monetization feature of Buzzsprout.
Shout out to Buzzsprout. Hope you guys appreciate the love we're giving you today. And I was like, Oh this guy sounds pretty cool. Oh, this podcast sounds like something I like to learn more about.
And that's how it happens. So I think, I dunno, I think that was kinda a cool way that how you started and how we're gonna end it just by, and it took curiosity on both of our sides.
Tim Reitsma: Curiosity to dive in and get to know each other's business. And there's obviously some alignment there,
and again, for those who are listening, pick up a copy of Casey's book: WIN the RELATIONSHIP, not the DEAL. We will put the links in the show notes.
And as always, I'm always looking to get better at my craft as a podcast host, as well as looking for new topics and things that you want to hear. So if you have feedback for me, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Always love to hear and read your emails and I respond to everything. Also, you can connect with me on LinkedIn. And again, if you do love what you hear, please like and subscribe to the podcast and share it out.
And with that, thanks again, Casey, for coming on and thanks to those who are listening.