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Over the last 4 decades, The Great Game of Business has built a community of businesses that are committed to a better life for themselves and for their employees. People often tell us The Great Game of Business sounds wonderful, but they want to know if it really works. Will it work in a retail business, a Fortune 500 company, a union shop, or a nonprofit? The answer is a simple, yes. Any organization whose performance can be measured with financial statements can play The Great Game of Business. From one guy working in his basement to multinational corporations, The Game will work anywhere, provided you want it to work.

Show Highlights Include:

  • The ancient business “secret” first discovered in 1494 responsible for the success of every business (8:19)
  • The sneaky “forecast trick” which gamifies business for your teammates and unlocks another level of commitment from them (9:10)
  • 3 keys for a great incentive program which ensures your team gets more bonuses (without paying out any unearned bonuses) (14:05)
  • How to build a rockstar team of efficient and dependable leaders by asking them a few questions (21:19)
  • The “Co-Invest Method” for scaling your business to unprecedented success alongside your best leaders in your company (27:02)
  • Why reading this book protects your wallet and sanity whenever negative news cycles rear their ugly heads ( 36:38)

If you’d like to connect with Steve and become a Great Game practitioner, check out their website at https://www.greatgame.com

And you can get free goodies that will transform your business and life by going to https://www.greatgame.com/steve

To connect with Duane, Dave, or one of our show guests head over to https://buildernuggets.com and join our active community of like-minded builders and remodelers.

Read Full Transcript

Why does business get to be an elite sport for the select view, keeping everybody else in the dark and outta the money.

Welcome to builder nuggets hosted by Dwayne Johns and Dave young. Hey, our mission is simple. Build freedom, Where a couple of entrepreneurs turned business coaches who have dedicated ourselves to helping our builder remodel. Our clients create the most rewarding businesses in the industry. My cohost Dwayne has been a successful builder and remodeler for over 30 years. He's seen the highs and the lows from the beginning though. Dwayne has been on a quest to find a better way to run a contracting business in 2016, he found that better way. That's how I met Dave, a lifelong entrepreneur and visionary who measures his success by the success of those around him. He reached out one day with a formula on how to transform my business. And the rest is history. Since then, we've teamed up to help hundreds of contractors like you build better businesses and better lives. And now we've decided to open up our network and share our secrets so we can start moving the needle with you. It's collaboration over competition. Each Week we bring together industry peers and experts who share their stories so that we can all build freedom together.

(01:11): Our guest today is vice president of the great game of business. He coauthored get in the game, creating rapid financial results and lasting cultural change, as well as the update of the number one best seller. The great game of business known for his engaging in irreverent style. He's a top rated sought after speaker and coach on open book management strategy and execution leadership and employee engagement. His audiences range from Harvard university to the department of defense and he is a regular at ink magazine's Inc 5,000 conference. He has served on the board of the national center for employee ownership and the ownership culture initiative. He is an award-winning artist and lives in Springfield, Missouri with his trophy wife, Joanne and their three above average children. It's my pleasure to welcome Steve Baker's today's show. Welcome Steve. Thank you, Dwayne and Dave. I appreciate it. It's great to be here. Yeah, thanks for coming. And, uh, as we were talking a little bit earlier, I got introduced to you guys from Brian. I think it was Brian Underhill from, at, at the international builder show in Orlando. Um, we hit it off and said, Hey, let's, uh, continue the conversation. He introduced me to you. And it'll be great to have everybody get to know a little bit more about you. What's kind of new and exciting in your life.

(02:18): Well, um, one thing is, uh, and the intro reminded me, I need to update it. We're recent empty nesters. And so that is, uh, is creating all kinds of new possibilities. If you know what I mean at the same time, my wife, Joanne and I are kind of like going, okay, let's get that summer vacation totally lined out so we can get the kids back. And you know what I mean? It's like this weird Battle. I know exactly what you mean. I'm sending my youngest son is going off the college here in the fall. So now we are empty nesters, you know? And we're like, you know, the cool thing is for the first time and like 20 years, we really don't have to have a plan this week. I know, you know, so totally get it way to rub it in guys. There you go. Yeah. We're it in something to aspire, something to aspire to. Right. You'll there Dave? Yeah.

(03:01): So Steve, I was first I have to say going back, you know, I was first introduced to the great game of business. I wanna say it was probably like eight years ago. I was, uh, pretty involved with a Vista group here in Charlotte. Sure. One of the, yeah, one of the best things I've, I've done probably three or four years, either someone came out maybe spoke about it, but was, was introduced to it and very intrigued by it. But you know, honestly never really took the deep dive to fully get it. And that kinda, you know, reignited it after talking with, with Brian and then you, so why don't you just kind of give us your, give us the elevator pitch. I mean, let everybody know real quick. What, what is the great game business all about? Yeah, it's kind of a weird, kind of silly sounding name back in 1983, Jack stack, our founder and CEO and 12 other managers bought a dying division of international harvester. So, but they were gonna lose their jobs, right? 119 people in Springfield, Missouri who are the best in the world at remanufacturing engines and engine components, they were gonna lose it. How could you be the best in the world and still lose it all? A Jack couldn't reconcile that. So he said, what if we went out and tried to get a loan and buy our jobs, he was able to secure. If you can believe this, an uh, 8.9 million loan against a hundred grand down. So 89 to one debt to equity, he was turned down 54 times cuz it's a terrible loan, right? And as he will tell you, when you meet him some day, you say, well, we just had to find a terrible bank.

(04:18): Well, along the way, as he, uh, went through this Odyssey to get financing and save jobs, he realized that he had all the metrics of manufacturing success, none of the financial success metrics. So he said, I'm looking at the wrong scorecard. He realized he needed to learn their language. And that is the secret behind the great game of business. Cause when they got the loan and saved the jobs, everybody in the plant said, yay, we got the loan, we saved the jobs. Now give me the tools and get the hell outta my way. In other words, let's do exactly what we did before. And Jack's like, no, the one thing I've learned is that it isn't the stuff we make. It isn't the services we provide. The company is actually the product. And so I'm gonna teach you business and that's when everybody goes, no, oh my God, don't make me an accountant. And the great game of business was the analogy he came up with. Cuz great technicians of any kind. I don't care if you build homes, if you write code, if you are a heart surgeon, great technicians resist learning about the numbers because that's not what they trained for. It's not what they're good at. And all Jack wanted to do in those early days in the eighties, you know, nobody was sharing numbers with their employees, right? Jack was actually teaching the financials, the literally the financial outcomes of their daily actions and decisions. And they started behaving differently. And so when ink and Forbes and uh, wall street journal would come to Springfield to just see what this ick was doing, they'd be like, wait a minute. You're just trivializing business by making it a game. He said, no, and this is my favorite quote of all of his books.

(05:48): He said, I wasn't trying to trivialize it. I was trying to demystify it. Cause why does business get to be an elite sport for the select view, keeping everybody else in the dark and out of the money. So essentially guys, what Jack created by accident by trying to save some jobs was a way to, to generate wealth and create sustainable business by teaching people business. So they call him the father of open book management. It's a bit of a misnomer cuz you know, one of your, uh, elements on your periodic chart is transparency. You guys know this transparency is essential, but it's absolutely worthless without education. So that's what the great game of business is. It's about teaching people, the business that they create every day and asking to partake in it, then get a little stake in the outcome And it's for everybody in the business, right? I mean it's for the, the CEO, the owner it's for the manager, it could be for an employee. Um, absolutely. And that's what I really like about is the concept of getting everybody kind of engaged and, and understanding, cuz that is a disconnect at times, without a doubt, you know, you can have individual, you know, something that is a problem that's really only faced or understood by a business owner. And then you're trying to relay that to an employee. Who's got a totally different set of struggles and things that he's dealing with and you know, how do you, how do you bring all that together?

(07:03): Dwayne? You're exactly right. See the thing is, is it's leaders of businesses and owners of businesses. And I think all the listeners out there are probably like going ha if they only knew what I knew or if they only worried about what I worry about what we aim at different goals, right. And we speak a different language. So if we could get together a little bit, everything that our employees want and our trades too, if we could help them understand what winning really looked like, wouldn't that be better? Couldn't we all win better together. I think it's been proven many times over since well, 83. What is that? Nearly 40 years. Uh, you know, we've been able to prove it out in every industry on the planet. The question is, I think you said it best. Dwayne is, you know, there's people who get it and people who don't get it. So if you trust and respect your, your team, why wouldn't you teach? 'em just a little bit about the business and it doesn't have to be every item, open book management isn't about just full on open kimono, every number here's a chart of accounts in my checkbook. You know, it's what it is is every number's represented. Not every number's detailed. I don't share salary information. It's divisive. Right. That's just not what we teach. So what I really want to do is I want to, I want to do this is why I'm passionate about it guys is that, uh, 17 years ago when I started here completely by accident, what I didn't realize is what I'd be learning was the secret to the whole thing. I mean, it doesn't matter. It, it really doesn't matter what you're in because we all use the same financials. And they've been around since 1494. I mean, come on. Why didn't anyone get the secret? Well, probably cuz I went to art school. Right?

(08:38): Do you feel like transparency really unites the mission? Like without, without it people don't understand the why behind you're doing it. Oh, partly. I do believe that partly. Yeah. A lot of companies though will come out every quarter or every month and they'll say, um, Hey, so here's what's happened. Uh, last month we didn't quite hit our numbers. Uh, you know, supply chains busted over here. We can't get materials and man we're over on overtime and everything. So, uh, we didn't make a profit. And so there's no bonus. You guys suck. Let's get back to work. Well, that's reporting. What I wanna do is we actually ask people to forecast the numbers and it takes time. But when you start to teach a very simplified income statement and ask people to take line item ownership. So if I've got people, uh, let's say a crew that's internal. It works for me. And they work with subs. I'd be actually asking them to forecast. You know, what do you think drywall's gonna be this month based on everything, you know, you know, I'm not gonna, you know, terrorize you, I'm not gonna shoot you. If you're off on the number, your job isn't to predict the future, your job is to influence it. And so when they start to see that their stake in the outcome is actually affected by what happens on the job every day. Wow. It is really interesting to see how people go. I didn't think it mattered.

(09:52): That's where the gamification starts too is, you know, what is your prediction? What is your, what is your guess? And it's not, you know, it's not a game because there's actual skill that goes into it. But it's, it's that it's, that it's value the valuing of the opinion. You need the transparency to share the facts and you need it from both ways because you, you have employees who don't wanna share facts with, with management because they don't, there's, there's a lack of trust and they, and they wanna be able to control things, especially sales people hate giving out projections if they're gonna be bonused on it and have to dial, dial it back in. So yeah, there's a lot of cool gamification dynamics going on here, but probably, you know, the core, some core fundamentals that you guys focus on every single time when you're coaching, what, what are some of those fundamentals, you know, transparency, you talked about Underneath that umbrella of transparency, let's talk about, you know, what, if we actually all understood what winning looked like. So I may tell you your KPIs. In fact, there are so many great business operating systems out there that basically bring it down to, I'm gonna tell you how many units to do. And for you guys, maybe it's squares of roofing or it's, uh, uh, yards of concrete cord or something and I'm just throwing these out, right? Sure. I'm I'm not a,

(11:05): Any metric on your scorecard. Yeah, Yeah. In our world. So our company is, uh, is 10 different companies, uh, nine of which remanufacture engines and engine components, just like in the old days. Well, those guys know exactly how many engines to get down the line. How many, uh, cylinder heads to get machined. And I mean, all they know all that stuff. I don't know any of it. And nor do I need to, the key is what does it mean financially for the business? Cuz what I want someone to do is to be able to say, um, I think I can increase our margin by doing this. Um, I just got back from a conference last week where I heard people talking about how they had bought, uh, materials. One guy was in the, in the, in the business of making magnetic, uh, fixtures, like every piece of food that you guys eat. If it's been processed in any way, has gone through some super magnet. Did you know that like it pulls out all of the little fragments of, of uh, of, of metal and, and things that get into it while it's being processed. Right? So it's like a final thing. I'm like, that's a thing that's he goes, yeah, it's a huge thing. He bought two years worth of inventory, went out and took a loan out, right? Low interest cuz he was thinking strategically and his team was like, well wait a minute. What, what about us? You know, and all, and he had to sit down and teach him. This is why, well now he's got competitors buying magnets at a huge inflated margin, you know, because he saw the future of supply chain. What if you took that thing where someone thought and acted and felt a little bit more like an owner every single day.

(12:31): So you asked about components and, and elements of this. What if we all knew what the critical number was at the center of the game? So that would be the goal post. What defines winning maybe right now it is um, getting through a punch list, making sure that we have the fewest punch list items possible. So quality first, no rework if possible or, or limit it. You see what I'm getting at? It's like, we've got to get this one done so we can move to the next one. We only have so much labor available and then maybe someone else is gonna say, well it's totally supply chain. So let's make sure we re very efficient, no waste or scrap. These are all things that your listeners are talking about every single day, but they're doing it with steam coming out of their ears and a red face. Cause they're like, don't they see it? Like I see it. So the critical number, what, what defines winning and then that can be in the middle. Uh, and we look at each area of the business and say, well, what is the direct line of sight to that? So that's the education process in a game. It would be understanding the rules, no and teach the rules of business. The second part would be accountability. That's keeping score. Right? So instead of just beating people over the head with KPIs, we would've looked at the KPIs and the financial associated number as well. Cuz we just think numbers are stories about people, right? So what's happening out there is it runs to home Depot. That's driving you crazy. Let's quantify it. Tell me how much that's worth, how many's normal. Let's talk to remodelers advantage or someone, you know, an industry group that knows these metrics.

(13:51): How do we really stack up? And then when you actually put the numbers to it, you go, wow, we could create a little bonus program around that. And then finally, so if we know what the goal is, we know the rules of the game. We follow the action and keep score. The final one is what's in it for me. And I'm telling you, these are the three parts of a great incentive program team based self-funding gain share. In other words, it, it you'd never pay a bonus. You never earned, but we're all going the same direction, right? It's team based. So we're much more likely to get there. And then finally the stake in the outcome, uh, additionally is gain share rather than profit share, which infers. Okay. At break, even if we make a dollar, we share a dollar, don't do it. You may not be around next year, invest in the business first. What do you need to make sure we'll be here next year and the year after it's about sustainability because your people, all the research still says, even though we're in this market where you can't get talent, they do wanna know what, you know, what do you pay and what are the benefits? Uh, they do wanna know, is there a career path or something like that, but they wanna know, will this stick, will it be around? If I decide to really invest, I'm gonna pause there. Am I answering your question?

(14:58): Yeah. And, and I'm gonna summarize it. Like the, some of the words that I wrote down here for those four steps, it's the vision, the process accountability and the reward. And if you're, and if you're focusing on those things, those were just words that resonated with me. When you were talking both having a unified goal, we, you know, we, we talk with builders. Like you gotta have a mission because that's what you're setting your magnet around. That's what you're gonna use to attract people. That's what your marketing message is gonna come from your core values. Like this is, this is how you set your polarity. And then people wanna have confidence that you have a system and structure and process in place. Be able to meet that goal. And that there's a spot for them to have impact. And if they follow it and everybody is accountable to each other and supportive to each other, that system will run well, the mission will be achieved. And there's a reward at the end of that. And when Dwayne and I talk about reward and this is we've used that word because when we're working with companies, we're talking about how do we help? We wanna build the world's most rewarding contracting businesses that that's that's and rewarding. It can mean for the client. It can mean for the project manager. It could mean the, the market partner or the architect that's working with you. How do you make it rewarding? And you, if you're missing any of those top three things, it's not going to be rewarding. You're not gonna attract the right people. You're not going to have a system that's scalable and deliverable. That's gonna create opportunity for other people. And then you, if you don't have that, there's no way people are gonna be accountable to each other and to the system, if it's broken. So you were, that was so clear how you laid it out and it, and it just keyed the words that we use for some of that stuff. And really, really helped to clarify that. So totally hear where you're coming from.

(16:40): I love what you just said because you hit all the stakeholders, I think except one. And that was, um, I think you hit, uh, the, the builder, the, the business owner, uh, the people who work there, the trades. How about the homeowner too? Yeah, the client. Yeah, Because you're building better communities and this is where it all happens, guys. It isn't gonna be the government. It won't be education. Those institutions are so busted. We have to fix it. We're the new teachers. So where are people gonna learn about money? It won't be at home. I guarantee it. We didn't teach it to our kids in school. How do you get the, um, a carpenter, so to speak? You know, a guy that's just kind of into his zone. He does his thing every day. He's, he's a carpenter because he doesn't wanna be as a business owner per se. How, how does he get engaged in this conversation and get excited or fired up over some of these things that we're talking about? You know, I'm just trying to look for an example of how you guys run this through the, through the great of business, to where everybody on that team truly can be engaged in and say, Hey, yeah, I wanna be a part of this. So we're trying to appeal to a higher level of thinking Dwayne. And the thing is you're right. Everybody's a carpenter at some point in their life, right. They get good at something and it's like, everything else can just clap. You know, just let me do what I do, baby. Let the painter paint, they Love what they do. They're in there. They're making something, they're building something and all those other things in the business or not driving 'em outta their mind.

(17:58): Let, let the, so Now we wanna pull 'em in and talk to them about those things. I guess that, I guess that's my question, you know, they're is there Do 'em out? Do you, how do you get 'em out that mindset? Well, one is, first of all, we gotta understand that nobody likes change, but a wet baby, right? it's like, this is it. Here's my comfort zone. I wanna stay right here. But how did we get there? Well, we broke out of our comfort zone a little bit and grew a little bit growing pains. Right? Well, the next level is to learn business and it's outside of everybody's comfort zone. So what I, we like to do is say, this is the one place where we will treat you like an adult. We will not hide bad news from you. We will not hide good news from you. We will, you know, we basically teach you how hard it is to make money, which is a big one, right? We will support you in knowing that life isn't fair. Life is hard, but here is a place you can consistently win. Cuz we'll make it win together. We'll make that win happen. And so that's a promise, right? That's sort of like, okay, what it's sort of like your values or your mission or your vision. It's a promise that everybody's like going give it six weeks. I bet we don't go anywhere with that. Let's just get back to work. Right? Cuz everybody's been basically they've been taught that business is bad. Money is the root of all evil, you know, profit is a four letter word. It's actually not. I counted it at six letters. I'm telling you I was that guy. And I'm just look, I was raised in an asses and elbows environment, right. Dad would be like, let's go, you know, little, your little kid, he's in heavy equipment. Saturdays you'd go out to the lot.

(19:27): And between the Bobcats and the cranes, you'd be pulling weeds. He goes, I just wanna see your asses and elbows. You guys ever hear that phrase? Oh yeah. Okay. So imagine that work ethic. You go in at 15, my first job was a dishwasher and I'm asses and elbows. And then everybody in the back of house pulls me aside. They go slow down baker don't you need no, you know, you get paid by the hour. I just couldn't understand their math. I mean, I got it, but I was like, this is not the place for me. And everywhere I went, there was just another thing. So how do you engage someone who's like, and I, and Dwayne, I hope I'm getting there. I'm going around the block, but stay with me. So imagine as I started to get real jobs right after college, you know, cuz when you get an art degree and you're good with people, you get a job in sales that's life . And so every job I had was with small family owned manufacturing companies. And what they would do is if I said, Hey, um, we're getting married or Hey, uh, we wanna buy a house or, or, you know, cars broke down or Joanne's pregnant again or whatever it would be. Uh, how do I get more money? And they'd say sell more. And so all my decisions were based on just selling more and I didn't have transparency. I could see down to the gross margin line. And there's a ton of activity that happens below that line. Had I known what was really happening? I would've made totally different decisions, but instead I of, you know, working with people I could make margin on what was I after bed bath and beyond Walmart, Sams, Costco, everybody. Who's the basically the worst partner for a small business. And you see how we were misaligned, man, I come to SRC and all of a sudden it's like, Hey, let us show you what we're trying to accomplish.

(20:58): And then we want to tap you a little bit. Of course I was resistant at first. I'm an artist at heart. You know, that's what my training is. And I've got years and years, let me, let me set up a, a re network for you. Let me do all my amazing stuff. And they're like, well, hold on a second. Let's look at this first. And man, I'm telling you, it was like the curtains were pulled back. And for that carpenter now I'm coming full circle here for that carpenter. All I wanna do is I wanna ask, Hey, these are, this is our mission. These are our values. What do you value? What is your mission? What if we just asked? Because people support what they help create and what if that carpenter said, you know what? My dad was a carpenter and I know he was just broken by the time he was 55, I gotta figure out how to elevate. Well, you know what? If we can grow this business, would you be interested in becoming a leader? You're already kind of a leader anyway, you're an influencer for sure. What if we could grow this division? I mean that's one way, right? Is to show a path. Yeah. The other one is what if I said, Hey, in the next 90 days and I think you guys are really familiar with EOS, right? Yes. So, you know, rocks or anyone listening, it's EOS, it's scaling up. It's uh, emo it's Covey 90 day rocks. Everybody knows what, if you could say let's create a self-funding team based mini game. I'm just gonna call it. That's what we call a, the, you know, our 90 day improvement programs. We just wanna work on one thing and maybe it's scrap waste. Rework runs to home Depot. I'm just pulling out the low hanging fruit.

(22:20): You guys go after all the time with your clients. I'm sure, man, all of a sudden, it's not your game. It's our game. And it's like, yeah, you're right. We're better than that. Once you bring the marketplace to your people, I think that's where it really turned on for me was I didn't know what was really happening. I didn't know how business work. I didn't know that it was harder to make money than I thought. Cause I thought all my bosses were rich. You know, they drove big town cars and they, you know, went to The Bahamas and all this kind. So I made up all the stories in my head cuz it was just a vacuum. So what happens? Yeah. We don't inform our people. Someone else will. And it's usually the internet movies, TV and the guy at the bar who just got laid off. Wanna level up, connect with us to share your stories, ideas, challenges, and successes. The builder nuggets community is built on your experiences. It takes less than a minute to connect with us@buildernuggets.com, Facebook or Instagram Want access to the resources that can take you and your team to the next level. One call could change everything.

(23:22): Yeah. And what a great way to find, you know, maybe even hidden gems and rock stars on your team. I mean, yeah. There'll be the people that maybe, you know what they get it, all this, but they're still just, they're just gonna do their job. You know, they're gonna be good people, good employees, but you will likely find the people that man, you've just given them an opportunity to you've elevated them to where they can really show their skillset, their desire to do more, want more You gave 'em opportunity. That's pretty powerful. Yeah. To play the game. Right. Right. And it's not, look, we we'll take all comers, but not everyone is gonna get it. Right. You might even lose somebody. And right now nobody wants to lose anybody. But if somebody says, I don't want transparency because guess what? It works both ways. Right. When they turn the lights on the roaches run it's like, wait a minute. I was pretty comfortable. And I was taking some, uh, two by fours and screws home with me or whatever. When you have to take line item ownership of these things, some things pop out on the other hand though, as you said, I think people rise. They're like, Hey, wait a minute. What's going on? You mean, I can, I can do this. I can leave this thing or I can try something new just knowing that we are better together. We're gonna do it better together. Yeah. If we can, you know, again, keep up that two way conversation. Uh, and I just use that conversation analogy as a way that that money's flowing, right. It's activity equals value. And you know, how is that working? Um, we just have a lot of leaks in our boats. Right. Typically. So who's closest to the number who's closest to the leak. Well, it's the people doing the work. They just didn't know before

(24:50): Asking them is key. I, I love that. You know, that's the, why do you do it? What do you want to do with it is an interesting one because the reason you work for a company is probably because there's more security or there's more opportunity. There's certainly more horsepower than doing it yourself. And I think a lot, a lot of times people aren't asked, like don't realize how much resource that company has. And for you to ask that employee, Hey, what could you do with all of this stuff? We have all of this. Mm-hmm come and take advantage of it. And we often look at that with some of the systems that we work with. And we're when we're talking to builders about it, they, they want to know, Hey, what's this going to do for me? Like somebody would say, what, what is this job going to do for me? Flipping that and saying, what could I do with this job? What could we do together? We're gonna partner up with you to build a career for you here on a path. What are your goals and where do you want to go? Because there's the company goals. And then there's the individual goals. And if the company is helping the stakeholder play a game of their own or have a result, a win of their own, that's pretty amazing. And you're supporting those, those meaningful things. And that's where people feel valued and that's where they stay.

(25:57): And it can happen in a short time, more likely in a longer time. But I love it when the lights come on in somebody's eyes and they're like, wait a minute. Well, I, I can do that or I could try this. And the thing is, is that again, the folks listening, I hope that that everybody's kind of going, wait a minute. I, I like what he said before about the company as the product. So what if it, wasn't just, we're building a great, uh, home builder business. What if that was open enough to what if it, I mean, I'm just gonna make something up. What if an employee said, Hey, we've built several homes in this neighborhood. I noticed that all of them come back home with dry cleaning bags. I'm just totally, this is just coming to my mind right now. What if they said we could get a sprinter van and I could run, we could do a concierge service or we could run. And the only reason that comes to mind is that I've that before where somebody started a business running other people's errands and I'm going well, what would you, I'm just asking you guys, would you let an employee? Would you fund them and say, Hey, if you can run it like this and you know, da, da, would you go ahead and let, 'em start a business under your umbrella, do it every time

(27:00): We encourage it. And, and, and we do, it's, it's funny that, you know, we don't do it with dry cleaning, but we do that. The, the companies that we're coaching, part of the reason the project managers come to them is because they use the platform to create additional opportunities. And we're coaching. You know, we had Andrew, Andrew and Evelyn from Toronto on the, on the show and they're opening now something like their fourth and their plans for their fifth office. And they're doing it through elevating project managers where they're growing, somebody's coming up through the system, making themselves undeniable within the platform. And now they have the confidence to go co-invest with them and open an additional office. And that's a very different story than a project manager. Who's being commoditized and measured by very different metrics than somebody who is being measured by. Well, tell let's, let's take a look at the reviews.

(27:48): Let's take a look at the impact that you're having. What are the things that you're doing in the community, all those other things that you said are yeah. Important and align with the, the mission and the, and the values when those things are happening and you're creating opportunity, very different results. Yeah. You know, I hate to ever carve out and say in our industry, but I think there is, it's definitely prevalent in the construction industry is there's this, there's this fear of, of business owners that, well, you know, I'm gonna, I'm gonna train this project manager or lead guide and he's gonna run off and start his own business. Yes. Um, well, why not encourage him to start that own business, but you're a part of it. Why wouldn't you wanna elevate that person to be able to do that? Do you wanna really be operating the top, performing dead end in your, in your area, in your market? Cause that's really what you're doing is yes. Is if you, if you're the dead end, if there isn't something more, that's, that's a limiting factor and you will, you will train your future competitors. And some of that'll happen anyway, you can't, you can't control It. You can't do them all. But the best leaders, their job is to create opportunity, meaningful opportunity. So, and I think if you were to take the time to teach, educate your, your entire team around the business and what it takes to properly run a business, probably a good chance, a good handful of those people that thought about it might say, no, no, starting a business. Isn't for me, I'll, , I'll just try to make, I help make this one better. You know, would

(29:13): You see that the top line is, is a dollar and the bottom line is 5 cents or whatever yours is listeners. Right? it's like, why get up in the morning? I mean, oh my God. But here's the funny thing is I love how you guys picked that up because I held up two fingers. It's like the number two reason that people go. I, I don't think this is for me. Right. And it doesn't matter what industry, the first one is, what if they find out how much money we make they'll want more. And so I always go, well, I want more right now. So all your people must want more right now. So that's out of the way. Number two is, uh, what if I train 'em up, make 'em smart and they leave. And the answer to that is twofold. Number one is what if they're stupid and they stay what are they exactly. And the second part of it is today, you cannot afford to not be the employer of choice. You need to. I like the way, the way that you brought in magnetism, gravity, like we're pulling people in because we're so cool. Who else in your industry, anybody's industry in your area is gonna treat people like you're gonna treat them, where do they get those opportunities? Nobody, because they don't have the guts. They don't have the courage to really do what you're gonna be doing. So that I think it's a superpower really Well. And I think we've had, you know, we've had Conner lo car from ITR economics. He was on last year. Actually. I just recorded with him a while back. His episode will be coming out shortly kind of an update on things in the economy. But yeah, you know, it's, without a doubt, the single biggest battle, all of us in business are gonna face over the next decade is gonna be labor, you know, and finding and retaining the right people. So what a tremendous opportunity to bring something like, you know, the great game of business, that concept to your team of including them, educating them on how the business runs, how they can be a part of making the business better. I'm just, yeah. Huge

(31:03): Opportunity. Let me, uh, let me say first, I'm so glad you have an ITR on, they're a partner, a long time partner of ours. And, uh, we subscribe to them because they're, so what are they? 98%, right? that's like, I, I'm not even that right. In my own home. I, I have someone that tells me that. And what I'm gonna tell you right now is that, um, looking at the data is one thing that most people aren't doing, they're just picking up the hammer or the tool bell, as you say, and they're going out there. So look at the market on talent. Uh, and I think ITR will probably support this. We're already starting to see signs that, uh, there will be layoffs at these big tech companies, which will throw panic into the economy right now. That's not to say I'm not making a prediction, but what I am saying is this. If you treat people better, if you educate them and become a stickier workplace, right. A place where people wanna work, it's better now when there's a drought of talent and it's even better during the next recession, let's say 25, 26, when you can go pick up excellent talent at a bargain, because that PM or that, you know, carpenter or whomever, they just laid 'em off. Or they closed down because they weren't sustainable. Right. Look at the positive side, but it's not just being a Pollyanna. It's saying, how can I leverage it and be a cold-hearted warm-blooded capitalist. , One of the things you guys talk about on there. It resonates with us is elevating those around you, but more than just any one or two members on your team, it's everybody that's associated with your business and you call 'em practitioners. Mm-hmm, go into that a little bit further.

(32:37): Well, um, I'll tell you what practitioners to us means. Any business that is running the great game of business as its operating system. In other words, they're teaching people, you know, how business works, they're, uh, hudling forecasting and holding one another accountable and they're sharing a stake in the outcome. So a practitioner to me would be anyone, you know, uh, actively using the practices practitioner inside businesses. Some folks call like at SRC, we call one another associates. We happen to be employee owners. Um, I mean, there's a whole host of different names, uh, ranging from that to, uh, partners to, um, oh gosh, I just heard another one the other day. That was cool. Oh, there's a company in Dallas called Ventura, an accounting firm. They call themselves vent. Reinos. I mean, it's just, I don't care what you call yourselves, but, but go for it to us. A practitioner is a company that fully embraces this system and improves the business as they improve lives of their people. What are the, um, what are the ways that you work with other companies or how do you, how do organizations learn more about this? What's the best way to get involved. If somebody wants to dig deeper and start investigating how to put, how to become a practitioner themselves.

(33:46): So great game.com is our website. And of course, that'll tell you the, the origin story and, and, uh, you know, the global impact and of course, lots of case studies and that sort of thing, a great way to begin would be to, um, like I know everybody listening is listening because they don't have time, uh, to sit down and read your written podcast. Right. so could I share the audio book of Jack's original book, the great game of business for free as listeners of your podcast? So, absolutely, absolutely. Write down this guys. It's, uh, uh, great game.com/steve that's me. And when you go there, you'll get not only the audio book, it's all free, um, of Jack's original book telling the story about international harvester and how they went from, you know, uh, 119 people to 2000, you know, from 16 million in sales to, uh, right now we're 780 million in sales. Uh, we've spun off 69 companies since 1983. It's crazy, right? That's regular blue collar folks in the Ozarks creating value. That's amazing. And, uh, when they go to great game.com/steve, there's also some other goodies, including a mini game workbook that I just, I just mentioned, you know, what, if we wanted to do a little mini game on, uh, uh, runs to home Depot or scrap or rework, uh, it walks you through the whole process and that's free as well. So that'd be a great way to get started. And we, you know, I'd like to invite everybody to come to, uh, to Springfield. Anytime, of course, we have some structured workshops, you can see it on the website, but we also have an annual conference for the last 30 years. And uh, this year will be our 30th anniversary and people from all over the world converge.

(35:21): And they just like, I know for a fact we have a a hundred speakers, 40 breakout sessions. We've got, uh, Patty McCord from Netflix keying. We've got, uh, Ann Rhode from Southwest and jet blue. These are people who are open book practitioners. And the thing is, you don't hear me, I'll host it, but, um, you don't hear me lecturing. It's it's you guys, right? It's practitioners telling their stories, they're sharing their best practices. They're celebrating what they've been able to create. And, and the, you know, also sharing the tough times and how'd you get through 'em. So it's really powerful stuff. And again, uh, great game.com for the general information and great game.com/steve for the goodies. Steve, when is that event? It is, uh, September, uh, seventh through ninth. It's the week after labor day. Uh, and it's in Kansas city, Missouri this year. So it's easy to get to, Do you have a, a book, a business book or a, it doesn't even have to be a business book, but a favorite book or something like that that resonates with the, and that, that you've got a lot of value from and an influencer or a mentor or somebody you feel like, Hey, that, that leader really got it. Right. I will tell you, and you're talking about something I didn't write. Is that correct?

(36:32): oh yeah. If you wrote it and, and it's your favorite thing and you're your biggest influencer? Yeah, that's, Uh, I, I would tell you, there's a book that I read, um, and I've read, and this is not a boast. It is just to keep up with our clients. You gotta consume a lot, you know how this is, right? Mm-hmm last year, my total count of listening and reading was 93 books. Wow. There is a lot of crap out there guys. So my favorite of the year was, uh, Morgan, Hazel, uh, who wrote a book called the psychology of money. And I don't know how I stumbled into it, but he's got a great philosophy of how to look at money and how to talk to people about money. And just, it's not about open book management at all. It's just about how to figure out what is meaningful to you. What's enough. What is contentment look like? And, you know, not freaking out every time the news cycle fires up again. It's really cool. Awesome mentor. You know, it's, it's hard for me not to say, well, it's Jack stack cuz you know, I'm, I've been around him long enough where I've just gone. He's really influenced and changed my life. No doubt about it. And he would deny it and say, you did it yourself, you know, by being a part of the thing. But you know, I gotta be honest that, um, Jim Collins has always been a big influence on me because even though he's not a business guy, um, he's been able to take case studies and data and really kind of dig down in and see, you know, Hey, look at how much he influences all the stuff we like, you know, the right people in the right seats and BHAGs and all this sort of thing. I just love the fact that he's never taken the stance of I'm a guru listened to me and he's just keeping, he's doing the research, you know, clinic. So I like how he, uh, he keeps it real and it's, uh, it's very, he stays in his zone, which is, I can only report to you what hap happens in business now. He's not telling us what to do, if that makes sense.

(38:18): Yeah. It's his findings that he's happy to share with you so that you can draw your own conclusions and he tells in, in a way that's quite relatable. Right? Exactly. Uh, so it makes it easy. It doesn't feel like you're being, uh, He's better than most academics. Yeah. It's great. He lets you absorb it at your own at your own pace. Um, do you ever find yourself or did you, you know, you, you mentioned that you've got, you're an empty nester now you've raised three kids. And how did open book management trickle into your home? Because I, I find this happening in my own home where I'm learning things about EOS or communication things, you know, when you're dealing with people, you gotta remember sometimes your own family, they're people too. Right. I find myself applying some of these things at home. So I'm, I'm really interested. You've been really deep in this. Did you find the same thing happening and how did it work? So first of all, no one's ever asked me that. And thank you for asking, because this has been bottled up in me for a long time. And the first thing is, um, you have to understand is that, uh, your spouse is not your employee. Yeah.

(39:20): Is hilarious. Yeah. Uh, the second part is, is that the, the, the structure still works beautifully. Um, so we've always been super transparent with our kids, not just about, um, you know, you don't wanna scare him to death, right. But you also don't want 'em to go out of a protective bubble and find out the world is gonna eat him alive. But transparent also about having the courage to talk about the cautionary tales, uh, you know, in your family and in your world, because I could have very start difficult conversations with them now, cuz I started when they were younger. Does that make sense? But my favorite one is, um, this one always like if I try to ramrod something, ah, you know that it never worked, but people support what they help create. One of our trademark kind of phrases, man. It works everywhere at home, uh, at school, in business. Why don't we ask, why don't we just ask people and it's so different than you think it is. Every answer is different than you think it is. Yeah. That's, that's cool. My wife, you know, different way of saying it, but people support what they create. Terry Lynn says, uh, all the time, if you want buyin, you need to have way in and asking and being transparent and allowing people, the freedom to mess up, uh, in a com in a comfortable spot to come and talk about it. And it's amazing when you just look at it from that, from that standpoint of being human, how much of it intersects and, and you you're probably, I mean with teenagers, you're not taking the money quite out of the occasion cuz you know, they're not your employee and all that sort of thing. There's a different relationship there. But uh, you mentioned, you know, the psychology of money. I'm interested to learn how that dynamic works now with the, with the family, cuz that's, that's often a complexity in business and in family too. So

(41:05): You just nailed it, man. You nailed it exactly how it is in business. They're just, and please understand. I'm not saying that your people are children. What I'm saying is they've been treated like children, right? So they're acting like teenagers right now. They don't really know and they don't care and they don't want to. I mean, I'm not saying that people are apathetic, but you get my point of without education and opportunity. How do you expect them to act? Because what do we do with teenagers? We either latch on real tight and that goes awry or we let 'em completely go. And that goes awry a there's something in between, which is I'm gonna teach you the, the, the situation and the consequences. So you have freedom and responsibility and then some people are gonna take that. Some are gonna need a little more coaching, some less and some are gonna need more education, some less you get my point. So it is very much like family, but I always hesitate. You guys get it though. I think you can help me make sure I stay out of the hole of saying, well, they're teenagers, they're children. They're not, but what if you treat 'em like adults and give 'em the opportunity to make, as you said, mistakes, that takes courage And that's how people grow, right? That's how they, we talked about this before they elevate each other. This is how you create opportunity. This is how they create opportunity for you through their, through their successes as well. And it's that circle of talked about the circle of accountability, but the, the, the circle of opportunity as well. And I, I think probably one of the fundamental differences is that, you know, your vested interest in your children is different than your vested interest in your company. Some very, very similar things, but it's hard for a parent from an ego standpoint, not to have that reflection of self when they're looking at how their child is turning out and for business owners too, that that happens as well. So it doesn't matter what level it is. They're just slight, slight tweaks, but you've got, you guys have really nailed the fundamentals with the, the transparency and the trust and the communication and the things that you're, you're talking about. The one last ad that I would would put on there is that, um, isn't it funny how, at least I can remember myself, we tend to listen to someone other than our parents anyway. Yeah. So the opportunity for people to learn and really do something is actually better at work.

(43:13): Different dynamics, different dynamics, but same fundamental thieve man. Thanks for joining us. This has been some really good stuff. We definitely, uh, connected some, some pretty common levels here as we do with a lot of our folks. I mean, I've gotta ask you even outside of business and stuff like that. What's exciting. What's what's coming up for you over the next six months to a year. Well, I mentioned it to you, uh, briefly on the family side. Um, we, uh, we are able to take a, uh, vacation down to Florida in a nice house and all the kids, this will be the first time we were. I think that we're all gonna be there together and no one else, right? So it's gonna be, uh, us, the three kids and what they call their CI IGOs. So on the personal side, I can't wait till that happens, even though, you know, it's, it's only gonna be a week on the business side. I was just telling Dwayne Dave that, uh, I just came from our, um, we do three days of, uh, of semi-annual, uh, high involvement planning twice a year. And I'm just hearing what's happening in our businesses and everything you hear in the media right now. And I realize people will listen to this later, but right now it is truly is becoming a panic economy. All of our forecasts are well over plan. I mean, there's so many opportunities out there, guys. We just have to meter what we hear. Look for the real data, listen to people like Dave and Dwayne and ITR economics, and man make your decisions, stick to the plan and execute. So I'm, I'm super excited about what's happening for business next few years, it's gonna be, let's grow baby. Let's grow This stuff works. So go check it out. You've got the website link everyone and, uh, mark those dates on the calendar September 7th to ninth and go learn more about this stuff. So thanks, uh, for sharing this time with us. Well, Dave, thank you, Dwayne. Thanks so much. Um, looking forward to getting to know you all better and if we can be of any help, we're always around.

Hey, thanks for listening, Dwayne and I love hearing from you. Your stories are inspiring and your challenges can be overcome. Got a cool tip idea for a show problem that you haven't been able to solve, or maybe just struggling to figure out what you need next and where to get it. We can help hit us up@buildernuggets.com and start building freedom.

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