Episode 28

#028 - Questions From the Internet

Published on: 15th February, 2021

Today we're taking a bit of a break and answering "Questions From the Internet". We have been collecting a list of questions that have been sent to us, we have read on the internet somewhere, or came up in conversations over the past few weeks.

  • What are book recommendations that will help you grow your career?
  • What is the #1 behavior required to be a successful leader?
  • What do I do if I get feedback and don't agree with it?

Thanks for joining us today and don't forget to hit the subscribe button or reach out at [email protected].


Robert Greiner 0:05

We are in the top 60 management podcasts in Singapore on iTunes, on Apple podcasts.

Igor Geyfman 0:12

We're basically the Elan Musk of Singapore.

Charles Knight 0:16

That's so weird.

Robert Greiner 0:18


Charles Knight 0:18

That's a weird.

Robert Greiner 0:19

That's weird,

Charles Knight 0:21

man. Yeah, I can't.

Igor Geyfman 0:22

It's an amazing country. I'm I'm really looking forward to go and meet my new audience.

Robert Greiner 0:27

There you go. Let's get that vaccine and and we will

Charles Knight 0:30

We'll do live podcast episodes in Singapore whenever we go get vaccinated.

Robert Greiner 0:34

Yeah, man. You see those people that go to conferences? They have the whole backpack? Mobile podcast setup.

Charles Knight 0:40

That can be us.

Robert Greiner 0:41

That will be us. Yeah. Love it. Who's gonna carry everything, though. Is that me?

Charles Knight 0:47

Now we'll hire somebody like to

Igor Geyfman 0:48

We'll outsource it. We

talked about this.

We'll get Amelia? We'll get Charles's girls.

Robert Greiner 0:57

That's right. Yeah, I get like little ducklings behind us.

Charles Knight 1:00

They wouldn't follow us. My kids would just run off and do whatever they want. So we probably lose everything.

Robert Greiner 1:06

That's okay. Hey, sent the question of the day and though is how much money did you make or lose in GameStop? Today,

Igor Geyfman 1:15

I have some serious FOMO. Robert, and I'm going to be real. I texted you last night, about a position that I held in GameStop that I sold. One of the things that I regularly do is I buy stock in companies that our clients of our company, Charles knows this GameStop for a while. Was was a partner.

Robert Greiner 1:37

Yeah, we have some publications with them. Some, like public Yeah.

Igor Geyfman 1:44

lot of my old positions, mid:

Robert Greiner 2:03

Over 500

Igor Geyfman 2:04

It went over 500 and that briefly I'm going to tell you that hurt my feelings, that bed definitely hurt my feelings. There's no reason for me to liquidate that position. I could have held forever. It was just like housecleaning sort of thing that I was doing with Robin Hood. Not very popular today, by the way.

Robert Greiner 2:23

Yeah. So you You missed out. You have major major FOMO you aimo actually whilst out.

Igor Geyfman 2:32

Another friend of mine said it was I wasn't FOMO as a FU that I I frigged up. And I was like, Alright, fair

Charles Knight 2:39

I'm not sad for you, Igor. I'm not sad for you.

Igor Geyfman 2:42

You're not sad for me?

Charles Knight 2:43

No, that's what you get for just playing around dude. And not having an actual strategy.

Robert Greiner 2:48

There's probably a point where by getting out of GameStop and reallocating funds into something that had a growth trajectory, a reasonable growth trajectory was a good idea. So it actually at the time.

Igor Geyfman 2:59

Yeah, at the time, it was like a sound decision.

Yeah, I

basically looked at the portfolio looked at all the things that I felt you could go short on, like over the next five years, and got out. And I still actually stand by that decision. I still think that in five years, a short perspective on GameStop is probably not wrong.

Robert Greiner 3:18

Sure. So the interesting news of the day, there's two things going on here. One is, there's a collection of online digital retail investors who all got together and someone or a group of people said, hey, these are the most heavily shorted stocks in the stock market. I bet if we all pile in here in a coordinated way, and just don't sell, the price will go up, that will kill the margin requirements of these really large investing investment companies. And the brokerage that they go through will make them cover. So they're borrowing shares, they got money. And if their debt or margin is over levered out of whack, based on some percentage of their account balance, they have to buy those shares back in order to cut in order to get rid of that debt. And then that's going to jack the price up even further. And that's what happened. These retail investors were serving the market found an anomaly and made a bet on that anomaly. That's just what everybody else does. So I think that's an amoral action that I don't think anyone who's being evil there. And the interesting thing is they really exploited these large firms that take on way too much risk, way too much risk. And now, today, the big news is, as you guys have seen, all of these brokerage firms halted trading on the stocks, AMC GameStop Blackberry, because there was these three things going on there. And so all you could do is close a position you couldn't buy, which means you can bid the price back up, and GameStop fell hundreds of dollars. And so that's I'll be really interested to see if that's legal. I don't think that was something that obviously this is a black swan event, but I do There's not really a precedent for there's a precedent for halting trading, but not like we will restrict what you can do and can't do in our platform. And I think it was the clearinghouses behind the brokerages not actually the brokerages themselves.

Charles Knight 5:12

Well, they just stopped trading on those three stocks, not everything else.

Robert Greiner 5:16

Yeah, what they said was, we are restricting what you can do with these three stocks, you can only close your position, you can only sell, you can't buy more. I'm not sure that's legal. There are levers in place to just halt trading. If things are getting out of whack, and everyone can take a breath, you can shut it down for the day, whatever. It seems like that would have been an appropriate response, but that they're getting out of control.

Igor Geyfman 5:39

That's at the exchange level. That's not at the platform.

Robert Greiner 5:42

Yeah, the entire stock halted.

Igor Geyfman 5:45

That's right. And that seems like fairly fair for right. Just

Robert Greiner 5:49

Things have gone crazy. You gotta get everyone like take a beat.

Yeah, sure.

Charles Knight 5:53

But I could see why they did not want

to do that. If it's just isolated to three stocks, then yeah, the

Robert Greiner 5:58

You can hault stock, you don't have to have everything. But the weird thing is they restricted you to where you could only move the stock down. They couldn't, rise anymore.

Charles Knight 6:07

Oh, I

see. I see. I see.

Robert Greiner 6:08


almost like manipulation. The only action people can take force, the price and the direction that you as a large investor would want it to go. And then you see reports of those stocks are not showing up when you can search results and stuff like that. So senators are getting involved. Mark Cuban tweeted about it. This is gonna be really interesting to see what plays out.

Igor Geyfman 6:29

It's a black swan event, because AOC and Ted Cruz agreed on Twitter about this issue. And I don't know if that's ever happened in the political lives of those two particular individuals. That's right, you know, something big and weird is going on. When you have two folks like that both saying the same thing. It's pretty amazing.

Robert Greiner 6:53

Yeah. So that's hot news of the day. And on that note, we've wrapped up our perma v series, we're about to go into another one, which will be really cool. I'm very excited about that. We will have an episode about it soon. But today, we have some questions, basically a segment that will call questions from the internet, where over the course of doing this podcast, either with questions that are sent to us conversations that we've had, between other people at work or things that we've seen online. And so we have for today that we wanted to cover and maybe we'll just go round robin, I'll read the question. We can all answer it now. It'll be a nice little reset episode. We'll have another one next week on goal setting, going into February, cuz the year will be 10% over. And so we're gonna do a little bit of a check in there, like we promised before. And then we'll hit the new series, which will be fun. So does that sound good, y'all? Let's do it. Alright, cool. And I got to pull the questions up here real quick.

Igor Geyfman 7:49

Now I think Charles and I haven't seen these questions.

I posted them in slack.

Oh, you did, I didn't read them.

Charles Knight 7:54

Okay. Yeah, I just pulled them up. And so no, I don't know if I have good answers for these. But

Igor Geyfman 8:00

this is going to be Igor's hot,

Robert Greiner 8:01

hottest. uptakes

hottest of takes. Yeah, perfect. That's cool. All right. So do you want them one at a time?

Charles Knight 8:07

Yeah, let's do one at a time.

Robert Greiner 8:09

Okay, here we go. So, question number one, what are three books everyone must read to help them succeed in their career. So regardless of what profession, you're in, what field you're in, you have a job, you have a career, you have some kind of aspirations and growth, ideas about where you want to go next. What are some books that will help you get to that end goal? So you can give one or a list of three? So our listeners will get somewhere between three and nine recommendations?

Charles Knight 8:39

Yeah, I'm gonna Oh, no, that's fine. I'll give a specific recommendation. I'll go I had an initial reaction when I heard the question.

Igor Geyfman 8:48

Yeah, yeah, let's do it.

Charles Knight 8:50

The first thing that popped into my head, as I read it was a book that is very old. I didn't have a specific book recommendation in mind, but I will give one in a moment. But I remember was probably early days of the farnam Street blog, which is something that I've been reading for years. I've even taken some of their workshops, and they're phenomenal.

Robert Greiner 9:16

Yeah, they're great.

Charles Knight 9:17

and they talked about the importance of reading books that have stood the test of time, because if they've stood the test of time, there's very likely to be elements of truth within it. And that's why it has stood the test of time.

Robert Greiner 9:33

And timeless wisdom.

Charles Knight 9:35

timeless wisdom. Yeah. And so it's, it is so hard to keep up with the latest and greatest best selling business books. And although those are interesting, oftentimes, they are variations on a theme of something that has been written about decades, maybe even centuries ago. And there's goodness in that but there's also Goodness and going back to the original source material, if there's such thing as original source material, but just going way back and reading, and that and my specific recommendation would be something like Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, who was a Roman Emperor.

Robert Greiner:

He's like the father of stoicism.

Charles Knight:

He considered a

te diary that a Roman Emperor:

Robert Greiner:

So there's a book called the obstacles the way by Ryan Holiday, I've read that one. And I think he modernizes and narrates the, the stoicism idea and what Marcus Aurelius as a primary source of inspiration drawn from or reference, would you have you read that book?

Charles Knight:

I have not read the book. I subscribe to the daily stoic.

That's Ryn Holiday's newsletter.

Robert Greiner:

Okay, yeah. So that so you have an idea that would you recommend if if someone was interested in what you said, because at first she said, old book, and I was thinking, maybe I'm interested. And then you said Marcus Aurelius. I'm like, okay, I've heard of him. And then it's a terrible book. And I was thinking, Oh, man, I don't know if I want to trudge through that. And then the way, the way that you framed it, though, I was thinking, Man, the idea to get in the head of us some mega successful leader. Just way, way back in the day, it was interesting to me, would you recommend someone go down, but hey, try out the obstacles away, it's an easier entry point into this idea. And if you like it, you can go to the source material, or you saying, hey, you should just check out meditations because of that angle that you talked about before.

Charles Knight:

You could go either way. I think if you're curious about stoicism, starting with a modern overview, like the obstacle is the way is a great way to build a mental model for what is stoicism, because a lot of people have this misconception that stoics are they like emotion? Right? stoic is stone faced, in the face of anything good or bad? That's just not true. Well, that's a misunderstanding of the stoic philosophy. And I think we talked about diving deep into stoicism at some point on the podcast. So I won't go into it now. But if you're curious, yes, check out a modern day equivalent, but then yeah, read the source material. But if you feel curious about getting into the minds, in the mind of a Roman Emperor, and you're okay with reading, reading it in that way, it's a diary. It's not full chapters, there's not, you know, flour with flowery language in it. It's just these little tidbits, some of which won't make any sense. Some of which are will hit you deeply. And it and if you're okay with reading it over time, like going back to it, you can go straight to that and read it as a, I'm going to open it up, I'll read a page or two, and I'll put it down. I'll come back to it next week. It's that sort of thing. So you could do either one.

Robert Greiner:


Yeah, that's a great recommendation. And I do want to do a series with y'all around some stoicism, practices, hacks, ideas, whatever and how they might apply to your work life, your professional life. Because I do think it's not about suppressing or not feeling emotion. It's about what you choose to how you choose to interpret it, and how, what behaviors you choose to engage in as a result of inputs. And that's just highly useful skill.

Charles Knight:

Yeah, just recognizing what you can control and what you can't and then responding accordingly. I'll give you my second book recommendation. And that's all I got. The second thing that popped into my head was a fiction book, some sort of fiction book. That is pure joy to read. Probably the fiction books that I like the most are sci fi, I guess, I would say, and Ender's Game stands out to me as a great book to recommend.

Igor Geyfman:

Yeah, yes.

Robert Greiner:


Charles Knight:

Don't watch the movie. It's it doesn't do it justice. Movies don't do Yeah, yeah. I agree. Ender's Game. Yeah, I think I you know, I know this is about succeeding in your career. I am Absolutely think reading old books to get to truths and reading fiction, to stimulate creative thinking and to get you out of your current worldview is incredibly important to your career. So that's why I go with those two.

Robert Greiner:

And I'm a little bit slow on the uptake. You didn't so much recommend two books, specific books, as you did read an old book, read a sci fi book for fun. Read an old book for some greater truths. Read a sci fi book for fun.

Charles Knight:

Yeah, as an example, which one? Yeah, yeah. As an example, to meditations and Ender's Game,

Robert Greiner:

you would

make this a meta question with a meta answer. I like it.

Charles Knight:


sorry. It was the first thing that popped up.

Robert Greiner:

That's great. That's so good. Because then it's how I don't really like sci fi. You could read Game of Thrones. You could read whatever. Go read a fiction book and

take a beat.

Charles Knight:

Lord of the Rings. I mean, I would go there if you want something fantasy related. Yeah.

Robert Greiner:

Love it.

That was unexpected, man. Thank you. I like it. Igor, you want to go? You want some more time? Yeah. Let's go between one and three.

Igor Geyfman:

Yeah, I'm gonna give three and one of them is more, I'm going to call it a collection.

Robert Greiner:

Okay, no more than seven.

Igor Geyfman:

And actually, one of them is a specific book, and then the two others are options

Robert Greiner:

We'll allow it.

Charles Knight:

Yeah, I know one book, you're gonna recommend Igor. But go ahead.

Igor Geyfman:

Oh, good.

We'll see. We'll see if you know what it is. So the first collection of books that I recommend, and you can choose one, right? You can choose one of these books, you don't have to read all of them. It is the Judeo Christian Bible, the Quran, or the Bhagavad Gita, one of those, even if you're not religious, or don't adhere to the specific religion that book is related to. And in fact, let's say you grew up in the Judeo Christian faith, you should read one, the other two books, the Quran, or the Bhagavad Gita.

Charles Knight:

What about the Tao de Ching? Good old Lao Tzu?

Igor Geyfman:

Yeah, you can definitely read the analytics of Confucius, if you want to get a little bit more of that flavor. There's also some Buddhist works that I think Charles is much more familiar with than I would be that you can read. But to me, any of those old religious texts that are 1000s of years old.

Robert Greiner:

So I think I understood the surface level of the why behind your recommendation. If you take the Quran, for instance, that's Islam, we work with several practicing Muslims in our day to day and going through reading some of that some of that text in the Quran, for instance, would create some shared empathy, a shared understanding, which is something we've talked about before, we're really missing today. Because if we both look at Facebook, I don't know what's on your feed, you don't know what's on my feed. But they're the these old texts that people think are really important and valuable. You can you have now a more shared understanding. Are you getting at that too?

Igor Geyfman:

After I give you all three books, I'm going to put a bow on it and tell you why.

Robert Greiner:

Let's do it.

Charles Knight:

I think you're just copying me, man. Those are old books.

Igor Geyfman:

They're definitely old books.

Robert Greiner:

one's heady, as young as I like,

Igor Geyfman:

I'm copying you on the second one to Charles, because it's also a collection of fiction. And I would suggest to read any and most works of William Shakespeare. If you're an English speaker, and you want to read fiction, and I'll tell you the reason why in a bit, you can definitely do way worse than William Shakespeare. Alright, so any of the works of William Shakespeare and like I said, if you've already read, let's say Romeo and Juliet, that's a pretty common text and schools in the US read it again, because you will read it in a different way, or read something else read Athelo or whatever else. Alright, so second one. And then the third one. I think it's more recent, the most recent recommendation, I would read Machiavelli's the prince. So those are the three collections are books, an old religious text, the works of William Shakespeare, and Machiavelli's the prince.

Robert Greiner:

And so now tie a bow on it, man.

Igor Geyfman:


right, now, here's

Robert Greiner:

how they all relate.

Igor Geyfman:

Here's the bow, the secret to success in life. And I think leadership specifically, is understanding people, understanding their motivations, understanding their reactions, understanding the human condition, the drama, and reading those works, exposes you to tried and true expressions of all those things. All those works are really about the human condition. And the more you understand the underlying principles of those works, you know, not the specific story of St. Michael's slew the devil or whatever that is, right. Like the underlying feeling and emotion behind those things, the better equipped you will be to have meaningful and positive relationships with people understand where Different types of people are coming from, I think this is what you were getting to Robert, expanding your understanding of others, and just having better outcomes. So that's my big bow, the better. You can understand people, the more successful you'll be. And these books have really stood the test of time, and I think are additive. And the prince is specifically created to understand people from a leadership perspective.

Charles Knight:

I really like that, Igor, I think you said more nicely what I was maybe trying to say with my answers to the books, the written word is incredible. There was nothing like the written word, to transport us out of our day to day lot, whatever that is, into a completely different world into the minds of other people. And there's a lot of kindness and doing that in terms of empathy, and understanding and compassion and all that other good stuff, the modern day equivalent, by the way, of the prince, Robert Greene's 48 Laws of Power. So if you don't want to read something old, you can read that. And I think there's a lot of similarities between those two,

Igor Geyfman:

completely agree you can very much trace the 48 Laws of Power back to Machiavelli's work. Machiavelli gets a bad rap. There's even an adjective that people use, oh, that's a Machiavellian plan. But Machiavelli really gets a bad rap. And he does write some things that people might find questionable. But at the end of the day, it's human nature. It's part of the human condition. And just because it makes you feel uneasy doesn't make it any less true or powerful.

Robert Greiner:

I heard a quote once too, which is if you're waiting around for someone to teach you something that is perfect, and you have no objections with you're going to be waiting for a really long time. So you're not like, there there are things to learn from these books that have been suggested. And if you read them, and you like something, take it if you don't leave it. So Charlie Munger method, so cool. Okay, great. Y'all got really heady with this, like mine are not as, as deep

Charles Knight:

Igor, I forgot to mention, I thought you were gonna recommend the man product book that you recommend to all people interested?

Robert Greiner:

Marty Kagan.

Charles Knight:

Yeah, Marty Kagan,

Igor Geyfman:

all those things are mechanics. And I would recommend them to specific people for a specific reason. But this question was so broad, that I was like, What if I, like literally, what book would I recommend to anyone, and inspired has a small club of people that I've recommended, so that's why, but if you're a product person, or work in application development, definitely go and read Marty Kagan's inspired and he recently released another book, sequel follow up called Empowered. So read both of those.

Robert Greiner:

Cool, thank you. Thanks for that. Alright, so I gave a little bit of thought around this. I'm going to leave it on a bit of a leadership theme. So book number one,

Charles Knight:

Sperry on brand for you, Robert. Yeah,

Robert Greiner:

yeah. So the art of leadership, small things done well by Michael Lop. He is a sort of Silicon Valley executive has a blog called rands and repose. His sort of nickname is rands, which is funny because being from Texas, we're a little bit like unplugged from that world and actually met Michael Lop at reinvent in Las Vegas, and he just walked by me and I said, hey, you're Michael Lop, nice to meet you. I'm Robert. And he's No one calls me Michael. I was gonna kind of took me a minute. And I was like, Yeah, sorry, I learned about I was introduced to you by your first book, so called managing humans, I think was his first book. But anyway, really good writer. What Michael Lop does in his book is he talks about his career trajectory of manager, director, Vice President, like, roughly speaking, so it's split into three chunks. And it goes through the lessons he's learned, with some really good analogies. And that's probably why I gravitate towards him so much as like he really operates on it, like a an analogy level. And it's good advice. It's really great. It's aligned with how the three of us view the world. So it's a really solid book. And if you're a individual contributor, looking to be a manager, it's got something for you. At the next level, if you're a manager, trying to be a director, it's got something for you at the next level. Same with Vice President, or as you lead directors, that kind of thing. And so a really good book, highly recommend it. So that's one second is the effective manager by Mark horseman. This is the book that basically outlines the manager tools guidance, which we've referenced on the podcast before. I really admire Mark is one of those, I would want to be like him when I grew up kind of things. Really great advice. There's hyper practical. So we recommend you do this. We recommend you say these words very into that sort of timeless guidance. These are people who have been in the trenches before have led people before I've made the mistakes before and you get their wisdom around leadership and manage other humans distill down in a way that's practicable. Yeah, they've

Igor Geyfman:

Mark and Mike are great. Yeah. So awesome. Awesome dudes and great book.

Robert Greiner:

Yeah, definitely. And so very practical. If I could attribute one resource to my career growth, it would be manager tools and their guidance. Yeah. Okay, cool. That's number two. And then number three, the dichotomy of leadership by Jocko Willick, so balancing the challenges of Extreme Ownership to lead and win. Jocko has a book called Extreme Ownership, which is great, I like dichotomy of leadership better, because it really goes into the balance of how do you be assertive and humble? Right? Like you have to be those things in your life. You can't just go completely in one direction. And this kind of shows you how to balance those things, how to think about them. The thing about Jocko, which I think resonates with you, too, Igor is like he comes from a Navy SEALs background from war, he was in Ramadi, and that all boils down to human nature, as well. So it's he learned these things in the heat, the fires of battle, compiled, how to lead other people based on like human nature and how they're wired, and then spins it into something that's practical for your career as a leader in a business setting. So you don't have to be into war to benefit from this book.

Igor Geyfman:

The stakes are high, right? Even these hedge funds we talked about earlier. Yeah, they're gonna lose a couple billion dollars here and there. But this is people losing their lives are on the line if you don't get leadership, right and Jacko's position.

Robert Greiner:

Yeah. And we talked about this before, to one of my greatest fears in life is to my 60, someone comes up to me, and I'm at the grocery store, probably still wearing a mask at that time, for whatever reason, and oh, hey, you're Robert, do you remember, I was on your team 30 years ago, and I really hated working for you. You're such a jerk. Yeah, I went home every day, and complained to my spouse about you. And I couldn't wait to get off your team like that would that's like a huge fear of mine. And so I think these equipping yourself, if you're going to step into a leadership position, you got to equip yourself with the tools, it's okay to make mistakes. But you got to try to move forward in, in the skills that you bring to bear as a leader over time.

Charles Knight:

I don't know if I've ever thought about that. Robert, I've certainly thought about, Hey, I don't want my kids to stop me in a grocery store. It's like, man, I couldn't wait to get out of your house, Dad. You sucked as a Dad. I thought about things like that before. But yeah, I've never thought about that. From a team member standpoint.

Robert Greiner:

Six people on this planet were maybe eight that I would say that to today, if I ran into them.

Charles Knight:

Yeah. I'm looking at the questions over here. This is, this might be a good segue to the next question. I don't know if you want to go there. Do you want to keep talking about books?

Robert Greiner:

Yeah. So if you like the idea of stoicism as a leader, if the things that Charles and Igor outlined? If you look at dichotomy leadership, there's two kind of dichotomies that Jocko points out 11 and 12. so humble, not passive, and focused, but detached, I think are two really powerful pieces of advice for leaders and how to conduct yourself. There's my tie in to ya'all super heady, interesting, ancient recommendations that made me look like a dummy. So there we go.

Charles Knight:

Thank you for that. But Robert, your book recommendations are probably way more relevant, practical, pragmatic. So the question, so yes, you answered the question correctly.

I agree.

Igor and I. Yeah, we're, yeah.

Igor Geyfman:

Yeah. Don't listen to us. Most of the listeners who just listened to this podcast are not going to read our recommendations. But they've already written down the three books that you recommended, and they're probably like on their audible buying them right now.

Robert Greiner:

We have no affiliate links. So enjoy. Alright, y'all ready for question number two? I think we only have time for one more. Yeah. Yes. So what is the most important thing a leader can do? at any level? So if you can only do one thing, recommend one thing using that really broadly? What is the most important what's first among equals? If everything else went away? What would you keep the only one,

I'll go first.

And I fear ours are the same. So I'm going to probably have to think of another one.

Igor Geyfman:

There's something very tactical that are you asking like a tactical thing, or just conceptual thing.

Robert Greiner:

It doesn't matter.

whatever you want.

Igor Geyfman:

I'll give you both and they're related, trusted relationships with your team. And the tactical part of that is one on ones with your team.

Robert Greiner:

You stole mine.

Unknown Speaker:

Now you have to come up with something else.

Robert Greiner:

Dang it. Okay,

Charles Knight:

I'll go next. Robert,

Robert Greiner:


fully agree by the way that's, that's that's the one.

Charles Knight:

I like that I think it's the trusted relationships piece resonates. I believe that as a leader, even if you are just leading one other person, you know, you've just got out of independent individual contributor and you're maybe leading a small team or something like that. As soon as you make that leap, I think the most important thing a leader can do is to work on themselves. And the practical tactical advice could be go to therapy, I think everybody could benefit from going to therapy, whether you believe you have an issue that warrants it or not. It could also be things like daily journaling, what went well, what didn't go, how am I feeling today? What happened today that I'm proud of what happened today that I would change? What did I learn from some of the bad things that happen to that sort of introspection, self reflection, is what I mean by work on yourself. Because if you don't, you will inevitably harm the people that you lead. And as soon as you assume any leadership, responsibility, in any small way, you are now responsible for the well being of those people that you lead. And so often, even well intended people I see, create harm to others, because they have these blind spots that can only be uncovered through introspection. And that could be solo. But it could also be facilitated with something like a like therapy or a coach. That's fine, too, if you don't want to go therapy, but I think that is the most important thing a leader can do. Because otherwise, you can do a lot of harm to a lot of people for a very long time. And be and be like Robert, what he fears. 60 years later, people coming up to you saying, I hate your guts, and you have no clue. I had no clue that I was doing that. And so, introspection, self reflection, work on yourself, and make sure you're taking care of the people that you're responsible for, as a leader.

Robert Greiner:

Yeah, and go ahead.

Igor Geyfman:

Robert, the six people

that are in your mind are very likely people that have not done with Charles's suggesting had not identified and resolved their trauma, and then inflicted that trauma upon you as a coping mechanism or something else. That's and if they had taken Charles's advice, they would have been much less likely to pass it on.

Robert Greiner:

And then I would walk up to them in the store and say, Hey, it was really great working for you all those years ago. That's that could be the difference. So Igor, you bring up a really good point, too, especially in this time of disconnectedness. If you have those deposits in the bank account, that in the emotional bank account, you can be in a given interaction situation, and say something incorrectly, or maybe a little bit too directly, or the other person you're talking to is having a rough day, and they don't hear you, and you get the benefit of the doubt. So your team, your directs that people that you work with, you're greasing the skids, if you do that sort of focus on building trusted relationships that benefit the doubt thing is huge. Over time, as you're executing as you're delivering, as you're in the trenches together. And then Charles Yeah, your point around, Hey, you got to work on yourself. So you don't inflict your dysfunction on other people. However, that manifests itself. So yeah, two really great ones, I probably don't even have to go now. I will anyway, yeah. So I think, you know, since Igor stole mine, and Charles brought it all home, I do think this skill of delegation is one that as a leader, at even at the very sort of lowest levels of leadership, if you can start to hone and master that skill, there's really no limit to where your career can go. And that's because one, you're freeing up yourself to take on more and more responsibility. So if you can get 20% off your plate, that's 20% capacity, you have to go in and tackle what's next. And two that helps grow the people around you. So your team gets better as well. And maybe a third one, which not a lot of people count or care about, but definitely should count it is that's a financially sound thing to do for the organization. If the people that if you can hand something off, and as a manager will stipulate that you're probably making more than the people that report to you, the same work is getting done for a cheaper price. And that's always a good thing. And so it's really the act, the art of delegation, you could check out the situational leadership model, if you're interested in a sort of a practical framework for how to go about doing that. But that's a really great way to grow your career at any level.

Igor Geyfman:

Robert, I

have a perspective on delegations. Let me know if you disagree with this, I think of delegation as one side of a coin. And the other side of the coin is coaching. When you delegate I feel like for the delegation to be effective, obviously, you have some things like the situational leadership model and so on. But coaching and delegation go hand in hand. And so if you delegate you have to also know how to and to what degree to coach people

Robert Greiner:

Yeah, and there's cousins. Right. So delegation is giving way your responsibilities. assigning tasks is something that maybe you just do as a manager, right? So there are things that the people on your team need to do, you can assign them, that's not what I'm talking about here, I'm talking about giving away part of your role. And if something is small to you, and that's probably the best way to do it, hand off the things that are small and that you have on lockdown, that are maybe not your your top three things, that's going to be big to whoever you give it to. And so there's definitely a level of support of coaching, feedback, all things that are in that book, I'm recommended earlier, the effective manager that will really help you do that effectively, because you don't want to overload the people that report to you by giving them way too much to handle and then no support to get out of the deep end. And so I definitely agree that you have to provide adequate support and autonomy as the balance there to effectively delegate. Yeah.

Charles Knight:

And I love that situational leadership model, because it factors that in, I think part of it is like what's the willingness and ability of the person that you're delegating to take on what you want. It's so powerful. And before I learned about that model, I didn't like the word delegation, like I always had some sort of negative reaction to that, because it felt too much, I'm going to stop doing this, toss it over the wall to somebody else. And forget about it sort of thing. I've been thinking more recently about how you delegate because you're trying to scale yourself. You're trying to gain leverage so that you can have a larger impact and your team and your organization and the community or whatever. And for me thinking about that as Hey, how can I scale, what I'm doing helped me to remember that I have a responsibility to coach and enable others to do it, as opposed to just tossing it over the wall and letting them flounder. Because I think that's where people get in trouble with delegation is they miss out on that coaching piece and working with them to come up with a plan to take on what you are wanting them to. so highly recommend this situational leadership model? We could talk a long time about that.

Robert Greiner:

We'll add it to the list. I think that's a good one to cover. And especially to make practical and talk through to have a little modern take on and stuff. Yep. Okay, cool. I know we're over. I could do another question. If y'all want, we can wrap it up here and do the other two next time.

Charles Knight:

Which which question would you go with? That'll determine whether or not I

Igor Geyfman:

Just say what question which one.

Robert Greiner:

Which one do you want to three or four?

Charles Knight:

I missed it. I moved away from the Slack channel.

So I could have pulled back up again.

Robert Greiner:

Incorrect feedback or the professional weakness.

Which one?

Charles Knight:

Oh, on either of those that makes me feel bad thinking about those.

Igor Geyfman:

You want to feel good question.

Robert Greiner:

Feel good question. I don't know if it's a feel good question. But it's not about your weaknesses specifically. So question three is how do I handle feedback on my performance review? That is incorrect or that I don't agree with? This was from Chora. And I would not think here, it's a if someone comes and gives you feedback. If you have written feedback, formal feedback on a review, you look at it, it's Hey, you missed the mark. You're missing some context here. That's not my fault. That's Igor's fault. Whatever goes through your head, it's a you missed. There's a swing and a miss this is wrong. I don't agree. That's what just played in your head. What is the advice that you would give to this person at any level, individual contributor, all the way up to executive and what what did you when you got the feedback? You just had your internal reaction? Charles go,

what do you do?

Charles Knight:

Oh, you've already processed your internal reaction?

Robert Greiner:

no, you're just hearing the conversation. You're just been given the feedback. You have to respond now. How do you respond?

Charles Knight:

Yeah, okay. Okay. Yeah, let's do this quick. Because I am late for a meeting. I, my advice would be sleep on it like that. Just Just say, Okay, thank you for the feedback. I need some time to reflect and think about this. Can I get back to you in the future? Because in that situation, the way you teed it up, nothing you say will be productive, because there's too much emotional charge. And that speak from experience? Yeah, the best thing is just to get some distance, and get perspective and talking to somebody you trust, maybe a mentor or co worker or a peer or somebody, that is the best thing you need. You need space and perspective before you come back with a response.

Robert Greiner:

Good. I have a thing. 24 hour rule. And nothing we do at work is like life and death. And so when I had lunch, like internally triggered for one reason or another, I try to just buy myself, like 24 hours. And I think we mentioned before, people are usually pretty accommodating. Hey, I need a day. I'll get back to you tomorrow. Yeah. Charles, I love your advice, man. Good Igor. What do you think you're on the


Igor Geyfman:

So you take that advice, you write it down. If it's already written down, then half the job is done for you, or the feedback rather. And then you go into a Deep Dive, logical refutation of all the reasons why you don't agree.

Robert Greiner:

No, no, no.

Igor Geyfman:

and and that and then you photocopy it, or take a picture of it and text it to whoever gave it to you put it on Twitter, put it on Instagram, do a reading of it on Tick Tock.

Robert Greiner:

post that 60 seconds or less. Okay,

Igor Geyfman:

yeah. And that's it, you'll feel a lot better, you will have very logically and effectively reformed all the time.

Robert Greiner:

Okay, so root beer. So I think maybe what he was saying is don't do what he just said, it's a horrible idea. Don't fight it. Your recommendation, in shorter words is what not to do, which is don't try to refute it. Don't try to logic out your way out of it. Yep. The political capital, you would burn in doing that. Even if you could convince the other people around you that gave you the feedback that they're wrong, is not worth the battle, you're still worse off, you're worse off either way.

Igor Geyfman:

Even if you're right, even if you're speaking the truth, even if you have all the receipts to prove it. Don't.

Robert Greiner:

Yep. So I will fully agree with both of you, I accepted the opposite of what he said. But I think we've been clear about that. Say thank you take a beat. And the other thing I would add to that, is you have an opportunity, now you've been given this feedback, people are gonna look for there's confirmation bias, people are gonna look at you for that thing. And so if it's, hey, you interrupt too much in meetings, if it's, hey, don't speak up enough in meetings, meetings are now your stage, your performance stage, to show that, that you have made progress towards the feedback. So say thank you have a little bit of a conversation later about, Hey, thanks for the feedback. Again, I'm working on these three things in that area. And if it's completely wrong, like you're ahead of the game, because you're going to easily be able to demonstrate growth in that area, because there was no growth needed to begin with. And so use the opportunity, people are looking at you for those things, they just told you what they're looking at, use it as a way to as a stage as a performance to demonstrate growth. Because sometimes you just haven't had a chance to demonstrate something people are looking at you, there'll be a good way to, to show that you're bought in to show that you appreciate feedback to show that you're coachable and to show that you have upside potential and growth. So even if it's wrong, it's still in your best interest to say thank you and push on it and be vocal about have conversations about hey, here's my growth areas. Here's what I'm trying to get better on. And then in six months, check in three months check in Hey, I've really been working hard on this. What do you think, have I gotten better? And I think you'll find some pretty good traction there.

Igor Geyfman:

And over the next five years, you'll have a lot of opportunities to undermine and destroy the person that gave you that.

Robert Greiner:

Yeah, he goes in full Machiavellian mode now

Igor Geyfman:

Bid time,

folks, this time. Don't let them know you're upset.

Robert Greiner:

Alright, I'm cutting it off for now.

Charles Knight:

It's time to shut it down.

Robert Greiner:

Shut it down. Hey, guys.

Igor Geyfman:

Welcome back to the show.

Robert Greiner:

It's been a really long week. And I know we had to squeeze this one in. And so I appreciate y'all. It was great to see you. And we'll talk soon.

Igor Geyfman:

Thanks y'all.

Charles Knight:

Bright spot on my day. Thank you all.

Robert Greiner:

Bye. That's it for today. Thanks for joining and don't forget to follow us on Twitter @wannagrabcoffee or drop us a line at [email protected]

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About the Podcast

Wanna Grab Coffee?
Join us for weekly discussions about careers, leadership, and balancing work and life.
A podcast about all of the topics we discuss during our mid-day coffee breaks. We bring you stories, thoughts, and ideas around life as a professional, leadership concepts, and work/life balance. We view career and leadership development as a practice that spans decades and we are excited to go on this journey with you.