August 31st, 2021
With Sam Silverstein, founder of The Accountability Institute and the Certified Accountability Advisor. Sam is the author of eleven books including I Am Accountable, Non-Negotiable, No More Excuses, Making Accountable Decisions, No Matter What, and The Success Model. Join us for this conversation on why organizational or business failures are a failure in accountability, why accountability is actually about having a “relationships-first” approach, and why accountability is the highest form of leadership. You’ll hear about how accountability became Sam’s personal mission, what accountability really is (you don’t want to miss this), and how an accountability problem shows up in your personal life or business. You’ll hear Sam describe the difference between tactical commitments and relational commitments and what it takes to build accountability. Sam shares the relationship between accountability and productivity and how implementing accountability throughout a business or organization relates to its bottom line. You’ll also hear about why some companies thrive, and some fail, how certain companies attract the best, retain the best and stomp the competition. Sam also shares some valuable insights on what to do differently when you notice that something is not working in your business or organization.
As an Accountability & Leadership Keynote Speaker, Sam is on a mission to empower people to live accountable lives, transform the way they do business, and to thrive at extraordinary levels. By challenging leaders to shift priorities, cultivate an organizational culture, and inspire both individuals and teams to take ownership in fresh and results-producing ways – he is helping companies dramatically increase productivity, profitability, and growth. Global Gurus has named Sam Silverstein as one of the World’s Top Organizational Culture Professionals. As a former executive and owner, Sam successfully sold one of his businesses to a Fortune 500 company.
Today, Sam writes, speaks, and consults with organizations around the globe to think differently, work with renewed purpose, and achieve record-breaking results. He works with entrepreneurs, multi-national companies, corporations, and government agencies to drive increased accountability, engagement, and productivity.
Biggest takeaways (or quotes) you don’t want to miss:
- “Accountability is not a way of doing, it’s a way of thinking.”
- “If something’s not working, stop and look at what is my way of thinking that’s delivering? Change the way you think, you’ll change what you do, you’ll get a better result.”
Check out these highlights:
- 5:54 “We can’t realistically say that we are great at everything, because that’s not the case.”
- 11:50 Why Sam believes that everything that we’ve been taught about accountability is wrong.
- 33:44 “You should never spend 50% of your time on the tactics of business.”
- 37:33 Values in business, why they are needed and why it’s important to have them across all your organizations.
How to get in touch with Sam:
On social media:
Find out more about Sam by visiting his website here.
Imperfect Show Notes
We are happy to offer these imperfect show notes to make this podcast more accessible to those who are hearing impaired or those who prefer reading over listening. While we would love to offer more polished show notes, we are currently offering an automated transcription (which likely includes errors, but hopefully will still deliver great value), below.
GGGB Intro 0:00
Here’s what you get on today’s episode of Guts, Grit & Great Business™.
Sam Silverstein 0:04
Making Money is fine. It’s not your purpose. Breathing is something that we have to do to live. But breathing is not our purpose. We need money to put food on the table clothes, our kids, you know, take care of our health, but it’s not our purpose. And so until we were able to differentiate between that and see people not as a means to an end, but as an opportunity to serve, we’ll never build the kind of business we could build, because we’re never going to build the kind of relationships we could build. And it’s only when we build these deep, accountable relationships that that people will trust us to serve them at the deepest level that people will trust us enough to refer us. And so that’s where the magic happens.
GGGB Intro 0:56
The adventure of entrepreneurship and building a life and business you love, preferably at the same time is not for the faint of heart. That’s why Heather Pearce Campbell is bringing you a dose of guts, grit and great business stories that will inspire and motivate you to create what you want in your business and life. Welcome to the Guts, Grit & Great Business™ podcast, where endurance is required. Now, here’s your host, The Legal Website Warrior®, Heather Pearce Campbell.
Heather Pearce Campbell 1:29
Al righty, welcome. I am Heather Pearce Campbell, The Legal Website Warrior®. I’m an attorney and legal coach based here in Seattle, Washington working with entrepreneurs around the world. Welcome to another episode of Guts, Grit & Great Business™. I’m so excited to have our guests. Sam Silverstein here with us today. Welcome Sam.
Sam Silverstein 1:55
Heather Pearce Campbell, you are amazing. And I’m thrilled to be here with you today. We’re gonna have a great conversation.
Heather Pearce Campbell 2:05
This is gonna be fun. It’s it’s a great topic. I really love what you’re up to. I know you’ve got some really interesting things in the works. And so I’m super excited to share this conversation. For those of you that don’t know Sam, Sam Silverstein is an accountability and leadership keynote speaker. He is on a mission to empower people to live accountable lives transform the way they do business, and to thrive at extraordinary levels. by challenging leaders to shift priorities, cultivate an organizational culture and inspire both individuals and teams to take ownership and fresh and results producing ways. He is helping companies dramatically increase productivity, profitability and growth global gurus has named Sam as one of the world’s top organizational culture professionals. Sam is the founder of the accountability Institute and the certified accountability advisor. He is the author of 11 books, including am accountable, non negotiable, no more excuses, making accountable decisions, no matter what and the success model. As a former executive and owner, Sam successfully sold one of his businesses to a fortune 500 company. Today, Sam writes, speaks and consults with organizations around the globe to think differently, work with renewed purpose and achieve record breaking results. He works with entrepreneurs, multinational companies, corporations and government agencies to drive increased accountability, engagement, and productivity. So Sam, there’s a lot going on here. I feel like we could have a conversation that lasts a lot longer than our allotted time. But I’m so grateful and especially knowing what’s going on in your life right now. I’m so grateful that you’re here and joining us.
Sam Silverstein 3:56
Well, thank you, it really is an honor to be here. So I’m looking forward to where we end up in our conversation and being able to help your listeners be able to put something out there. That’s a value that makes a difference for them in their lives, the lives of their people in their business, their family, their community. So we’re gonna wrap it up today.
Heather Pearce Campbell 4:14
Oh, I know, we will. And I know it will be of tremendous value. So we were chatting a little bit before we got started about your experience. You’re obviously phenomenal speaker, you’re you know, you’ve gotten some amazing accolades and acknowledgement for the work that you’re doing with organizations, businesses around the world, and really changing company cultures changing individuals in the way that they relate to and think about accountability. Talk to us, I want to first ask you about this like super niche that you have, right, this niche or niche of accountability. How did that become the thing for you?
Sam Silverstein 4:54
Well, it’s kind of interesting because my background is in business. I was in business I was in two family businesses, I was in business with my parents, I was in business with my, my in laws. And I had about two positive experiences. But, you know, with a background, my undergraduate degrees in Accounting and Finance, I have an MBA all this business background, when I started speaking, I was talking about everything, you know, I had a sales programmatic creative marketing program, I had a personal development program, I had a creating a meaningful relationship program. And so while I was so busy doing it all because I had had experience, really, I wasn’t focused. And not only was I not focused, and did that, and it did hurt my business because of that. It also kept others from being able to refer me because they didn’t know what to refer me for. They didn’t know what I was really great at. And, you know, come on, we can’t, we can’t realistically say we’re great at everything, because that’s not the case. So it was in that moment, that I listened to a speaker. His name is Joe Callaway. He’s a good friend, but just an amazing speaker. And he gave a seminal speech and the, the thought from that speech was pick a lane, pick a lane. And that’s when I had to stop and really pick a lane. And when I looked at what I was about, what, what I taught when I spoke about what was at the very core, that just was it who I was my purpose, then I realized it came down to accountability. And so that’s when I put the blinders on. And when I put the blinders on, everything changed, because now looking at everything through that lens, I was hyper focused, and super productive. And that’s when things started to just blow up in a real positive way.
Heather Pearce Campbell 6:47
There’s several things that you just said, that I really love, and that I think people relate to. One is this idea that we can have a lot of interest and have a lot of strengths. And you know, we may not be the best at all of them. But a lot of people are really well rounded. And they come by that through lots of experience and exposure to different things in their lives. And if you are trying to become an expert and known for something, you do have to pick a lane, it’s you know, even to this point of people didn’t know how to refer you. Right? It’s like you have to choose the hook, you have to decide, what is it that’s really going to hook people and that you can hang your hat on and and get very focused. I’m still curious why it was accountability. How did you connect the dots to decide that accountability was the thing for you?
Sam Silverstein 7:45
So I spent considerable time thinking about what I had been doing what I was teaching what meant something to me. And through this process, I realized that the foundational way of thinking is one that’s that’s forged in accountability. So what’s important in in business, oh, well, trust is important. Well, yeah, well, trust is built on a foundation of accountability. What else is important in business? Well, great leadership is important. Oh, well guess what? Accountability is the highest form of leadership. What else is important in business? Well, we need a creative team, we want innovation in our organization. Well, guess what that flows from an organization that has a culture that prioritizes and inspires accountability. You tell me what you want to what you want, what positive attributes you want to have in your life as a parent, as a spouse, as a child, as a community leader, as a business owner, and I’m going to show you how that goes back to accountability. And I came by that realization or at that point, and Alright, Heather, we’re just putting this out there. Here’s the thing. It wasn’t until the blinders went on. And I started going down this road for several years. Then I realized how on target I was, I thought I was on target, but I didn’t understand it. Until I was several years down the road. I believe that this particular topic is, is yes, I have 11 books. I’m in the process of writing the 12th book I have, I have concepts for three or four more books to follow. I’m you know, I’m possessed with this. We’ve we created our accountability Institute. We are teaching and helping people become certified accountability advisors, all of this. I don’t own any of this. It was given to me I’m a steward of it. And it’s my responsibility to take care of the message, deliver the message and help people incorporate it in their lives individually and organizationally. And So how did I come to that discovery? Well, part of it, I was supposed to part of it. It just naturally formed. And I’ve been running with it ever since and discovering more literally every day in my life ever since. So it’s what I’m supposed to be doing. It connects to my unique purpose, it connects to my mission. And this is where I am.
Heather Pearce Campbell 10:25
Well, I can I can hear that, yes, I can hear it. And the way that you speak about the topic, you, you know, when someone is living their purpose, when they talk about something, the way that you just did. Talk to me about what people miss, identify as their problem. Because I suspect that there’s a lot of people that have an accountability problem, but they’re labeling it something else. And whether it’s a problem in their individual life, whether it’s a problem in their organization, or their small business. Talk to me about what happens where the breakdowns are, but it’s actually an accountability problem. See,
Sam Silverstein 11:06
I love this, this, I can tell you right now, we’re not even halfway in. And this is going to be one of my all time favorite conversations, because we didn’t chat about this. And I see where you’re going. And this is powerful. So the challenge, why do we have problems with accountability, we know we have problems with accountability is this society as a world. And so the reason we have a problem with accountability is because we don’t get it if if we understood it, and we could step it out, we wouldn’t have the problem. So let’s just accept that we have a problem. It’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with that. Now, the question is, how do we go about fixing it? So the reality is, is that everything we’ve been taught about accountability is wrong. Accountability is not a way of doing, accountability as a way of thinking, we have been taught that getting stuff done makes you accountable, do it, take the trash out, get the report done, make your 50 sales calls, check it off the list. Yes. And then you are accountable. No, you’re not none of that makes you accountable. All of that makes you responsible, because you’re responsible for things but you’re accountable to people. Accountability always involves people. It involves a relationship between people, when I work with an organization helping them build this, whether it’s a six person organization, or is 60,000 people in the organization, a global organization, if they have challenges, personal challenges, relationship challenges, I know they have an accountability problem. If they have an accountability problem. I know they have relationship problems. So accountability is keeping your commitments to people. The commitments, though are not tactical commitments, tactical commitments, I’ll meet you at four o’clock, I’ll have the report done by five o’clock on Friday, let’s have lunch Monday at noon. Those are all tactical commitments, they’re spoken, they’re agreed to. And we execute on those tactical commitments, deliver productivity, productivity is important in an organization, productivity goes to profitability, relational commitments, that that I’m talking about. And there are 10, relational commitments all connect people. So it’s a commitment to live the values, a commitment to stand by you, when all hell breaks loose a commitment to discover your potential and lead you to be your best. It’s those types of commitments that leaders don’t have to speak about. They make them in them in their heart, in their mind and their soul. And they keep them and in doing so it’s those relational commitments that build accountability. Now, when you build accountability, because of relational commitments, accountable people will also yield a greater level of productivity because other I would rather die than let you down. So relational commitments, yield accountability, an increase in accountability will increase your productivity will increase your bottom line, tactical or transactional commitments go towards productivity, but have no impact on accountability. To Was that too much to throw out there on the table to digest?
Heather Pearce Campbell 14:36
You know, it is a lot to digest. But I, for me, the big takeaway, and I was hoping you would get there is that accountability is about fundamentally building relationships. Right? And doing that thinking, yes, and doing that in the right way that supports the goals supports the productivity of the individual For the organization, it’s the concept that, you know, together even when I was reading recently, some articles on relational lawyering, this idea that, together, we win together, even even when we have, you know, quote, unquote, an adversary. On the other side, if we can have a relational approach to that, we are much more likely to be creative in an outcome. That actually, is something that we want is something that maybe even we both want, because we’ve stepped away from this other approach. And so I think, you know, accountability, boiling down to a mindset around how we build relationships, makes it really an easy, like, not easy concept to consume. But to understand where it fits. Yeah, it’s really easy to understand it’s not easy to step out. I don’t know, no.
Sam Silverstein 15:56
So here’s the thing. Since accountable. See, I said, accountability is not a way of doing accountability is a way of thinking specifically, it’s how we think about people. What action follows belief, when we believe that accountability is about relationships, and people than we act differently, we treat people differently, we commit to them differently, we get a different result. I know you’re an amazing attorney, I know the kind of work that you do. If you were to take me on as a client, the question becomes, and I’m not gonna put you on the spot. But you know, why do you want me as a client? Why do you want me as a client? And so if you want me as a client, because you’re trying to sell something? Well, you know, I could probably build 10 hours a year with salmon X number of dollars, and, you know, I’m buying my kids new swing set, or whatever the heck, you know, we’re attaching that money to, or do you want me as a client, because, you know, I, I know, same, you’re into some pretty amazing stuff, I want to help you be more successful, I want to see you thrive, I want to protect you. So you don’t lose anything along the way. If you’re looking to serve me to deliver value to me, then that’s a different relationship. And at the end of the day, you’re gonna make the money. Now, here’s the thing. Our purpose is what brings us joy in the service of others. I help clients step this out individually. And organizationally. Our purpose is what brings us joy in the service of others. I never said anything about money. I never said anything about physical tangible goals, like, I want to drive a Corvette, I wanted five bedroom home, I want to a house on the on the shore, those are all great things, we can want those, but they’re never going to be your purpose of making money is fine. It’s not your purpose. Breathing is something that we have to do to live, but breathing is not our purpose, we need money to put food on the table, clothe our kids, you know, take care of our health, but it’s not our purpose. And so until we were able to differentiate between that and see people not as a means to an end, but as an opportunity to serve, we’ll never build the kind of business we could build, because we’re never going to build the kind of relationships we can build. And it’s only when we build these deep, accountable relationships that that people will trust us to serve them at the deepest level that people will trust us enough to refer us. And so that’s where the magic happens. You got me fired up, Heather.
Heather Pearce Campbell 18:36
Well, I love it. And I love it when people get fired up. And you know, in my mind, I’m thinking that, you know, the examples, you see it in the news there, you know, and I’m on LinkedIn, I connect a lot on LinkedIn, I really enjoy following leaders that talk about company culture, organizational culture, management, and particularly those that are really primed to be thinking about how to create a company environment. That’s a win win win, right, a win for the company, a win for the employees and a win for clients, obviously, clients or customers. But I still think so many companies missed the mark. They they see employees as cogs in the wheel, right, they’ve got this machine they need to run. What are some of the telltale signs because you’re you’re the one that gets to be inside some of these companies when breakdowns are happening, right? Yeah.
Sam Silverstein 19:32
Why do they see him that way? Right. Why Yeah, why do they what what do you think why do they see them that way?
Heather Pearce Campbell 19:42
You know, I don’t know I’m very much a people person. And I you know, the way that I’ve built each of my businesses has been totally relational. I like I’m the person who should not be doing the interviewing because I would just want to hire everyone, right and i Really just have a heart like that. But, you know, yes, we have to make hard decisions. Yes, it needs to be good for our business. But, you know, I think there is an old school mindset or mentality that you can’t have it all, you can’t create a business that is really, you know, provides for employees and the way that you want to, and I couldn’t be wrong. But I do see kind of a newer mentality emerging among younger business leaders and people who are really outspoken spoken on this topic, versus those who really bought into this idea that, you know, business is a machine, it’s about numbers, it’s about reports. It’s about, you know, the bottom line at the end of every day, and I just feel very differently about it. But you’re the expert. So you tell us why companies, you know why there are companies that are that way,
Sam Silverstein 20:50
If you if you have two horses connected to a plow, and you want them to pull that plow across the field, and you only need to do it one time, but you need to do it as fast as humanly possible. What do you do? You have two horses connected to the plow, what do you do to get them to go across that field as fast as possible? You beat the crap out. Now sad is that is that you take a whip, you hit them, they take off, they are going to pull that plow across the field. And that’s what you’ve done. And so at the end of the day, you were amazing, your numbers are incredible. And if that’s what you want, in a business, you want your numbers incredible, at the end of the day, beat the crap out of your people, go in there, yell at them, scream at them, put the fear in them. Go in there and hold them accountable. But that’s short term. That’s that’s just today, this isn’t who wants to. Horses don’t want to work in that environment. People don’t want to work in that environment.
Heather Pearce Campbell 21:53
Now, my sister on this point, my sister who did not grow up in sales, she now is a phenomenal, she’s in sales. She’s phenomenal at it, but she’s really outspoken in a way that brings me a lot of joy, because I’ve watched her evolve, but she is in a sales position for a medical device company that has, you know, hardcore numbers to meet and sales quotas, and, you know, 1000s of representatives around the, around the country, and they get together and have these team meetings and she had a new manager come in that was assigned to her department, and lambaste some people in her group right over quotas, and it was in a public setting. She was so upset that in the middle of that meeting, she was like, Look, you treat people like this again, I will not show up, I will not come to these things. This is not what I’m here to do. And, and she I was so proud of her. But she had a really difficult conversation in the middle of that meeting in front of people. And do you know that he’s never done that again, he called her Afterwards, he wanted to figure it out, he apologized. He’s totally changed the approach in those meetings. But somewhere I think he got taught, you’ve got to put the fear of God in people to get him to perform.
Sam Silverstein 23:15
Alright, so what type of interview are we having right now? What type of call is this? I know this sounds like a trick question.
Heather Pearce Campbell 23:21
But I do feel tricked.
Sam Silverstein 23:25
I mean, let’s say I come to your office, as you’re the attorney and I’m coming for your services. What kind of meeting is that?
Heather Pearce Campbell 23:33
For me? I the initial call is just an introductory call. It’s okay.
Sam Silverstein 23:38
What is it for a lot of leaders in a lot of businesses when they when they talk to their people? It’s business. And how many times have we heard a leader say this isn’t personal. It’s right. It’s business. Now, guess what? Every interaction between two human beings is personal. Yeah. You and I are having a personal conversation right now. Are we talking about business? Sure. We are we talking about your business and my business? Yes. Are we talking about the intersection of those two business? Yes. But in this time, I’m thinking oh, you know, we’ve talked before but here we are, we’re having another conversation. I’m in love with you. I mean, you know, from the standpoint you’re an amazing human being. I’m, I’m I love the way you think I love the conversation. I want to know you more I want to know how I can serve you better. This is an I feel that coming from you. And I’m like yes. These are the kinds of relationships I want in my world. Okay. Now, if, if I came to you with a legal issue, okay. We forged this friendship, this this bond, you’re going to bust your chops for me. And not only that, I want to go man, I need to find Heather some more clients because I want hurt. I just want to free To succeed, I want her and her husband to have this amazing life. I want their children to thrive. If I introduced her to three of my friends that could use your services, it, this is what I’m talking about. And so going back to what you said before, when I said why do leaders see it that way? They don’t think they can have it all. That’s just I know, you don’t think that they think that it’s wrong thinking, yeah, it’s coming. It’s a scarcity mindset rather than an abundance mindset.
Heather Pearce Campbell 25:25
Yes. So the scarcity mindset piece, because even I grew up raised by an entrepreneur, I’ve observed business since I was a kid. And they’re really you notice it when you intersect with somebody who believes that business is a zero sum game, versus there’s enough pie to go around? Everybody can have a it’s, it’s very different way of being in business and doing business and leading your business and connecting with customers. It’s just entirely different. It’s real simple. How many attorneys are there in the United States? Too many? I don’t know the number was, what can we agree on? Lots? lots, lots. Okay. Are there some bad ones out there? Certainly good. Are there some good ones really good ones out there? There’s some phenomenal ones. Yeah. Are there a lot of phenomenal ones out there? Right.
Sam Silverstein 26:24
Yeah, there’s a ton of phenomenal attorneys. Look, Heather, I don’t care how good you are. You don’t have the exclusivity on on being really good. There’s a ton of really good ones out there. You know, I’ve coached all my kids in sports and whatnot. And you see these parents, you know, they think Johnny or Susie, whatever is going to get the scholarship because they’re amazing soccer player. And maybe they do end up getting a scholarship to a small college in the middle of nowhere. Not because they aren’t really, really, really good, but there’s just a ton of them. There’s a ton of really good kids at soccer. There’s a ton of really smart kids. I one of my children, we went for a tour at Harvard, actually. And the gentleman from Harvard says we could fill our class nine times with the same quality freshmen class, which means there’s an abundance to pick from. So why do some companies outperform other companies? Is it because some companies can’t, that there aren’t enough good people to go around? No, we’ve already just proven there’s an abundance of great talent. So why do some companies thrive and others don’t, is because the companies that thrive have leaders that value their people? Remember I said accountability is a way of thinking, valuing people is a way of thinking they value their people, they want their people to work in an amazing environment, a culture they want their people to, they want their people to know that they are respected, that they are cared for that they are important. And, and the success of those people is of prime importance to that leader. And so they have now created a workplace culture that attracts the best retains the best and stomps the competition, not because they got lucky and got a few good people and there aren’t enough to go around. Now. They built the type of organization that attracts those people and keeps those people and if your organization in doing that you will be left behind.
Heather Pearce Campbell 28:35
Okay, let’s pause briefly to hear from today’s sponsor. Today’s sponsor is Turnkey Podcast. Now I have a quick story about the guys behind the Turnkey podcast because last year, I launched this podcast, I had not considered having a podcast before intersecting with Doug Sandler and Strickland Bonner. We met at an event in San Diego right before COVID hit. And of course these guys are podcast experts. They are both podcasters and hosts of multiple podcasts including the wildly popular nice guys on business podcast. They have created and produced over 1000 episodes of their own podcast interview interviewing hundreds of guests from well known celebrities to everyday working heroes. Their show has been downloaded nearly 4 million times and shared millions of times in over 175 countries. Turnkey podcast productions leadership team are thought leaders in the podcast space and they want to help you launch your podcast build community grow your influence and monetize your show to Duggan Stricker, the perfect pair to bring you professional award winning service to help you put your best foot forward. So again, back to the A time in San Diego when I crossed paths with these guys. Of course, they said to me, You need a podcast at the time I thought I do. And then I thought about it. And I thought, you’re right, I do. So with their guidance, I joined their program, the ultimate podcast Launch Formula. I went from not even thinking about having a podcast, to not only thinking about it, but literally having one launched in about four weeks. If you think that’s not possible for you, let me tell you it is I am mom to two busy wild children at home. This was in the middle of COVID. So my kids were out of school, I had no childcare, no nannies, nothing in place. And I’m also behind the scenes running two separate businesses. So if I can do it, you can do it. And with these guys help it you will find that it is so streamlined, it is so easy, they cut out all of the unnecessary stuff that you can skip, they help you go from A to Z, and do it very quickly. So be sure to check them out at turnkey podcast.com. If you are an expert, an online educator, a coach, a consultant, a speaker and author and you know that you need your own podcast, be sure to jump over check them out again at turnkey podcast.com. The ultimate podcast launch formula is right there on their homepage, and it will show you that you are the expert in your podcast. We’ll prove it. Okay. And now back to today’s fabulous guest. This point I feel like is so relevant right now at you know, we’ve been What 1617? How long has it been 398 months during COVID. lifetime. But it’s so fascinating, because you see, I mean, you can drive around certain communities and see like, Oh, you know, signs up. And I’ve seen numerous of them not in Seattle outside of Seattle. But you know, we haven’t reopened doors because we can’t find help. And you know, signs like this where as they’re, I don’t know, if you’re connected, I’ll just put his name out here because anybody listening to this podcast should also be following him. A gentleman named Dan price on LinkedIn who is CEO of gravity payments, which is based here in Seattle, and he got a lot of press years ago, because he took a huge pay cut, put everybody on a $70,000 starting salary. And he’s really outspoken in the marketplace about how you take care of employees. And I have followed his company closely during COVID in part because I want I have wanted to see, you know, how he handles COVID as a small business owner, you know, trying to keep business alive. And he supports hundreds and maybe 1000s of small businesses right through his work. And so they’ve worked really hard to create Win Win wins, and, and it can be done it he is living proof. And his company is living proof that when other companies are failing and saying that they can’t do X, and they can’t do why he’s doing x and y and creating a huge success out of it.
Sam Silverstein 33:33
Exactly, the challenge is is that so many leaders are? Well, first of all, they were trained by bad leaders, so they have bad habits. Second of all, they’re focused on the tactics of the business. And so I’m here to tell you that you should never spend more than 50% of your time on the tactics of the business. You should be spending at least 50% of your time on the spirit of the business, the culture of the business. I did an interview once with Drayton McLane, Jr, Drayton McLane Jr, took a family food distribution business that was doing two and a half million. And when I spoke to him, he had sold it to Walmart and was doing in excess of 2 billion, you know, so he went from two and a half million to in excess of 2 billion. And he said, Sam, the number one, the number one responsibility of the CEO is to protect and defend the culture. What type of culture do you think is created when the leader that culture is willing to dial back their salary to make sure that everyone else has a respectable salary that they can live their life? It’s like the restaurant in San Francisco don’t remember the name. They they eliminated tipping, no tipping. They put fair prices on all their food. All their employees are salaried employees. They have 401 plans, they have paid vacation, they have health care. They’re treated like real employees. Do you think in the restaurant business They’re having trouble finding people to work there. No way. And then you have the Burger King, just this past week, I saw that all their employees left one day, they just all up and quit because they didn’t like the way they were treated. accountability is not a way of doing accountability is a way of thinking. And specifically, it’s how you think about your people. It’s like the leader that told me I have 32 headaches, and each one has a first name. That’s a way of thinking, it’s like the leader the night before, I’m supposed to speak to 500 people in middle management and his organization, leaned across the dinner table and said, Sam, you spoken for us before, you know our group, the group tomorrow that you’re speaking to, no one has graduated from college, just keep it simple and share three good points. And it’ll be a great program. That’s a way of thinking, that way of thinking is saying just because it because you don’t have a college degree, you have a ceiling, that is not the way of thinking that a leader or anyone should have accountability isn’t a way of doing it’s a way of thinking. And if you don’t have the right way of thinking, you’re not going to build the right organization.
Heather Pearce Campbell 36:14
I’m so curious about how you get into places like this that are experiencing turmoil, or you know, even a small business that so far has done it wrong. How, what does it take to flip that kind of? I’m just gonna call it stinking thinking, right? How is it just a ton of work? What does it take to get somebody to come around.
Sam Silverstein 36:37
Most of the companies that that are really crappy,
Heather Pearce Campbell 36:41
They’re not hiring you.
Sam Silverstein 36:42
They’re not hiring me. It’s not gonna happen. And that’s what and the reason they’re really crappy is they don’t get it. You see, they don’t, they don’t even know what they don’t know, they don’t even realize they have a problem. I was speaking with someone in an organization that had 250 locations on a global footprint. And I was, it was down to me and one other person. And I started asking them some questions about their values. And I said, Well, one of the things is when we’re done working together, leadership at all 250 organizations will be living your values uniformly the same way. And then she said, everyone’s going to live the values the same way that can that can happen. I said, Yeah. She says, I don’t believe that. They didn’t hire me. Because they didn’t believe that. Well, if you don’t believe it, it’s not going to happen. Come on. And if you allow someone to save the organization that’s living the values differently at this location than another location, are those really your values? And if they’re not your values, but you’re putting them on your website? Isn’t that tantamount to being a liar? If you say they’re your values, but you don’t require them? You don’t require all of us in this organization to live them? Doesn’t that make you a liar? And then the next question is, who the heck wants to do business with a liar?
Heather Pearce Campbell 37:59
Right? Well, it’s like a parent, dude, do what I say not what I do. Right? Exactly. Exactly. What guy? How does that parenting work? Does not work at all. I want to know, I want to know where you step that out with with your little one, right? Anybody ever tried that?
Sam Silverstein 38:17
Yeah. And when there’s a pay a payoff on that there is no such thing as a payoff on that? No, that’s a way of thinking, yeah, action follows belief. If something’s not working in an organization, do not try to change what you’re doing. Because you’ll only get a short term benefit, you’ll always go back to the way you’ve always done it. If something’s not working, stop and look at what is my way of thinking that’s delivering this way of doing this creating this less than desirable result, change the way you think you’ll change what you do, you’ll get a better result.
Heather Pearce Campbell 38:55
Well, and I assume, and maybe I’m wrong, but I assume that the, the way that you implement this work might be different with a really large organization than if you know, then you’re working if you’re working with an entrepreneur or a small business, is the is the process that you teach the same?
Sam Silverstein 39:13
Yes, absolutely. Everything is the same. Nothing, nothing changes, whether you have six people or 60,000 people, the only thing that changes is how do we communicate with everyone? How do we reach everyone? How do we model this with everyone? How do we ensure that this is being lived by everyone how to and so it’s scalability? Is it easier to change the direction of a speedboat than an oil tanker? Of course it is. But is it possible to change the direction of an oil tanker? Of course it is. It’s just, you know, you, you have to have you have to have more patience, you have to have more time. You have to plan a little bit more. You don’t just start to pull up to the dock and decide you want to change direction because you’re gonna take the dock out.
Heather Pearce Campbell 39:56
Right, right. So Sarah, something’s examples like when you’re working with smaller businesses or even entrepreneurs, what does that work look like? How are you helping these folks understand this idea of, and I love what you said, spending 50% of your time on this spirit of your business, like the fact that your business has, you know, this spirit outside like, and I think it’s really true, it gets back to this, this, this reality that company culture, even in a small business really takes on a feel of its own. And whether you want that, you know, hopefully done right, I think it can really go wrong, especially if you haven’t laid the foundation well for this or talk to us about. And, you know, in your own words, you can define how this process goes, but getting the wrong people inside of our business.
Sam Silverstein 40:51
So it’s, we’ll see, you’ve just summed it all up right there, you get this. I mean, look, when do you create your culture, you create your culture, when the idea of your organization is born in your mind? What is it that you believe? What do you value those values define your culture. And you said, well, it’s just me, take the time, put it in writing, there’s a whole process for doing this, you know, and Matter of fact, for your listeners, we’re going to give them a free values worksheets that they can use either individually or organizationally. This is critical define what the heck that culture is, because one, it will help you step it out on a consistent basis to as you start to scale your business, when you’re bringing people in, you hire people that can live the values, you hire people that are a great fit for the culture. If you hire people with a great skill set, but don’t fit the culture, then you don’t have that culture. So you need to do this at the very onset. And then you got to stick to it. You know, this is something that just never, it just can never vary,
Heather Pearce Campbell 42:00
Right? Well, and I suspect that we’re small businesses get it wrong, based on my experiences, they hire for a specific need or a gap or, like based on immediacy, right. And rather than looking at the bigger picture, which I think can really quickly get them headed in the wrong direction. So when you and I love First of all, that you’re that one of the gifts that you’re giving is this values worksheet, because whether you’re doing it as a solo entrepreneur, you know, creating a practice or a business based around your expertise, whether you’re growing a small business, it’s so important to know this and the earlier you are in your journey, that like the amount of heartache it could save you right, I just get the sense of like, it really could keep you from going down the wrong path.
Sam Silverstein 42:48
Right. And it’s more than just having a list of words, there’s, there is an art form to this, we have led organizations of different sizes. Through this process. We’ve led organizations and government entities literally around the world through this process. If you don’t do it, right, you’re gonna have some great values. If you do it right, you’ll have a great set of values. And it’s a great set that creates a great culture. So it’s really important that it’s stepped out properly.
Heather Pearce Campbell 43:21
Well, I love that the distinguishing between just great values and a great set of values. Talk to us about the magic of the set. And I assume it’s done. Like if you follow your worksheet, it’s done in a very specific way. And you’re looking in all the right areas,
Sam Silverstein 43:46
But Heather, what’s integrity? If I said, Okay, let’s take 60 seconds, right now you write down your definition of integrity, I’ll write down mine, I bet a million dollars, it’s your definition is different from mine. Now, I’m not saying they might be very similar, they might connect overlap, they, but they will not be the same. Your words will be different from my words, and the values or the how, and in any business,
Heather Pearce Campbell 44:11
How it’s expressed. How does it show?
Sam Silverstein 44:14
How are you going to step it out? Yeah, you know, in the what, why? And how a business? The What is your purpose? The Why is or the what is your mission, the Why is your purpose, the how you do your business are your values and so the wording for those values is important, then a great set of values connects to four specific areas. And if you don’t, in this, the in the entirety of the set, deal with connect to all four areas, it won’t be a great set. There’s foundational values that talk about the character of the organization. There’s relational values that that define not relationships, internal in the organization and external to the organization. There’s Professional values that talk about what professionalism is here, what excellence is here. And there’s community values, how we connect to and serve the community that we’re a part of all those have to be covered if you’re going to have a great set. But when you have a great set, you know, basically, what you’ve done is you’ve made every decision you ever need to make as a business. The facts just haven’t presented themselves yet. And so when you’re faced with a challenge, all you have to do is connect back to your values, you have a great set of values, you’ll make a great decision every time.
Heather Pearce Campbell 45:33
Well, and I think the other benefit of doing some of this foundational work is that when you are building your team, when you’re making new decisions, when you’re really doing anything to further your business growth, you can look at it through that framework of values. And does this fit is this in alignment with what I have said is, you know, is the values of discovering new hire
Sam Silverstein 45:55
People that that have shown evidence in their past that those values are present, that means your interview questions need to be built around that, and you fire people that aren’t living the values and you hire slow, you fire fast, because if you let someone stay in your organization, is not living the values. They’re not your values.
Heather Pearce Campbell 46:18
Oh, my goodness, I feel like we could go miles deep into this conversation. So Sam,
Sam Silverstein 46:24
we’ll just let’s we’ll take it out another four or five hours, and we’ll get it covered?
Heather Pearce Campbell 46:29
Well, there’s create a master class,
Sam Silverstein 46:33 There we go, we could do that. It would be good. It would be good. Nothing. There’s a creative idea like it right? You see, we have already connected on our values. We’ve connected through the values, because your values I can I already know your values, and my values align. And so we connect to the values once we connect to the values, then, man just look out no telling what can happen. And that’s the way it is in an organization. People believe different things, that’s okay. Well, you can go to church, the synagogue, the mosque, I don’t care, you sit down, look to your right, look to your left, those people believe different things. But you can agree on a set of values. And when people come together and agree on a set of values, they start working together, they care for each other, they have each other’s backs, they build deeper, more meaningful relationships. And then guess what accountability magically shows up?
Heather Pearce Campbell 47:49
I love that. Well, there’s I just feel like there’s so much for people to explore within this topic and this new framework of accountability that they may not have seen in that light before. So I love your approach to this topic. I love it sounds like and I want to get to what’s coming next for you, because you’ve really developed, I know a really wide and deep set of resources on this topic, and you’re taking it to the world in a much bigger way. Do you want to share with us for a minute about what’s coming next for you and your work?
Sam Silverstein 48:03
Well, Heather, thanks for asking that question. I appreciate that. We’ve actually founded the accountability Institute, and the accountability Institute is an organization that’s going to be offering the certified accountability advisor. And what we’re doing is we’re working with exact people who are or are working to become one of the executive, coaches, consultants. People that that work with other individuals, leadership teams and organizations, people that are speaking or consulting, and bring them up to speed on what this is all about. So help them become a certified accountability adviser providing them with all the tools sets, the programming the resources, facilitation guides, workbooks, websites, marketing tools, so that they can take this message out and work with organizations on a global basis, to build accountability into the culture into their people into their community. Remember, I told you that I don’t own this message, I believe that I’m a steward of the message. And as a steward of something, one of the things that is part of being a steward is you have to provide for its future of future even when you won’t be there. And so the whole purpose of the accountability Institute is to make sure that this message lives on that this message is spread out because my mission is to build a more accountable world. And to do that I need other people who want to get on board and be a part of it.
Heather Pearce Campbell 49:28
Well, and that’s it’s a big mission, and I love it. And I can see that the whole purpose of your mission is to write have results in the world. And when I think about a lot of pathways for coaches and consultants who who want that they want to create results, and yet, one of the biggest frustrations in that industry is working with clients working with folks working with businesses or organizations where you’re not getting results. You’re not getting Write a changed outcome.
Sam Silverstein 50:02
And that’s, that’s what accountability ends up producing. So if if a, if a consultant or an executive coach wants to get better results with what they’re teaching, when they build it on top of this foundation of accountability that we can prepare them to teach, they’re going to get better results for their clients. And their clients are going to get better results inside their organization. And so it’s Yeah, it’s going to help these coaches, get better results with their clients, attract new clients, extend the relationships with their clients, be able to go deeper with their clients. And this is this is the bedrock, everything that they’re trying to build in that organization is going to sit on top of this. And if you build something on sand is there’s no way that it’s going to stand. So this is this is important.
Heather Pearce Campbell 50:50
Yeah, well, and it just sounds like an amazing set of resources that people can plug into as a way to, you know, further the work that they’re doing. And you’re right, when when you get results for your clients, it changes your client’s business, and it changes your business because the only way we get referrals, is because we’re getting results for our clients. Right. That’s the only way. Exactly. Yeah. Well, Sam, I really love your topic. I love your passion for this topic. I’m so excited for what is ahead and really look forward to supporting that path. For folks that want to connect with you. Where would you like them to find you either online at your website, if you spend time on social media, I’d like to hear about that. And we can obviously share all of these links in our show notes. So if you’re still listening, you’re welcome to connect with Sam through his links at our show notes page, legalwebsitewarrior.com/podcast. So Sam, where are you online?
Sam Silverstein 51:50
On social media, LinkedIn, pretty much everything is seems Silverstein? LinkedIn seems Silverstein? If you’re on clubhouse, Sam Silverstein, YouTube, there’s my I have maybe 500 videos up there on YouTube under Sam Silverstein. Yeah, and it’s Sam silverstein.com is the website. If you want that values worksheet, it’s free. Just go to values worksheet.com. And it’ll take you through to download it. And if you are either thinking about or you are an executive coach or consultant, and you, you want to learn more about your business and learn more about the accountability Institute, then go to coaching blind spot.com. And there’s a quick 11 question quiz at coaching blind spot.com, that’ll show you maybe a blind spot that you have in your business, because we like to serve value first. And then it’ll provide you information or show you how to get more information on the certified accountability advisor.
Heather Pearce Campbell 52:49
That’s amazing. And yeah, if you’re listening, be sure to check out those links, we’ll share them in the show notes. And Sam just so we don’t make a mistake, I think it might be executive coaching blind spot, spot calm just in case somebody is going directly to the link,
Sam Silverstein 53:01
Both links to the same place. So good to know I love that. See, you’ve done your homework. I appreciate that.
Heather Pearce Campbell 53:11
I just want to make sure that if people are trying to go right over to the link, they’ve got it and I had something different down. So I’m glad we clarified that. Sam, I’m so grateful to know you. I’m so happy that we’re connected. What what final words do you have for our listeners? What takeaways action steps final thing do you want them to be thinking about?
Sam Silverstein 53:31
If you’re trying to build a better business, if you’re trying to build a better family, if you want to be part of a better community, or world, we have to do our part. And however you define better, it’s going to flow from a way of thinking not a way of doing and I would like to encourage everyone that’s listening to approach accountability as a way of thinking see that it’s based on valuing people and look to adopt go get that values worksheet, put it in play. Live those values, step it out, let me know how they’re working for you. I’m working to build a more accountable world. I want you to join me in that process.
Heather Pearce Campbell 54:20
Thank you, Sam. I’m so grateful for this conversation. I look forward to connecting again soon. Thank you.
GGGB Outro 54:31
Thank you for joining us today on the Guts, Grit & Great Business™ podcast. We hope that we’ve added a little fuel to your tank, some coffee to your cup and pep in your step to keep you moving forward in your own great adventures. For key takeaways, links to any resources mentioned in today’s show and more, see the show notes which can be found at legalwebsitewarrior.com/podcast. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast and if you enjoyed today’s conversation, please give us some stars and a review on Apple podcast, Spotify or wherever you get your podcast so others will find us, too. Keep up the great work you are doing in the world and we’ll see you next week.