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The Science of Execution – Content and Frequency

by | Sep 9, 2021

Alright. Welcome to the Seth Campbell Podcast. This show is to equip you with real world tactics to improve your leadership skills, build your wealth and cause you to leave a multi generational impact on your world. My name is Seth Campbell, and I’m excited to speak to you today. I’m going to continue our conversation.

We are in episode nine. I’m going to continue where I left off on episode eight, which was called The Science of Execution. So episode nine is going to be The Science of Execution part two, and we’re going to jump into accountability. So this will be about the accountability cadence. And I got to tell you, this is a very frequent challenge that leaders face.

And by the way, remember our definition of leadership is it pretty much applies to everybody because we all have influence. We all have people that we influence, that we lead, whether it is as a parent, as a significant other to somebody. Somewhere around people are watching us. People are influenced by us, so we must learn leadership skills. That’s why these lessons apply to everything.

And you will find that the accountability cadence in the Science of Execution part Two absolutely applies to every part of your life, including parenting and all those other ones. By now you probably learned that I’m a visual person and I like to speak in visual. So now a lot of people are going to hear this podcast on Apple Podcast or Spotify or Google, all the different podcast networks that we’re on. And I would encourage you to take adequate notes and I’m going to speak in some drawing today is not going to be too complicated.

Don’t worry about that.

And if you do want to see some visuals, we do record this actually, and you will be able to watch it. All you need to do is go to our Facebook group, which is actually currently titled Mind Bending Leadership. That will be changed to Seth Campbell Podcast soon and just find this on there and we will be able to connect you with the video and you’ll be able to see this. So now let’s jump into the Science of Execution part two. Here’s the visual I want you to draw.

I want you to imagine two dials. Think about the old stereo knob is my current stereo has it where you turn up the knob or the old TV sets channels one through ten. A lot of people don’t know what I’m talking about when I say that, but you turn the knob and you turn up the volume or you turn down the volume, you turn up the music, the intensity, you turn it down. So I need to picture these two dials these two knobs so to speak. And one of them is called content, and the other one is called frequency.

And one of the greatest leadership lessons I’ve learned is how and when to control those two dials. And when do I turn up the content. When do I turn it down? When do I turn up the frequency? When do I turn it down?

This becomes one of the crucial arts of execution at a very high level and let’s jump into it. And let’s just cover some of the real basic scenarios and then give some maybe examples of how this might show up in your world and what you’ll find as a leader, you might be challenged right now with man, I’m really struggling to know what to say to people, when to say it. Some of my people are slipping out of performance. I want to avoid those conversations or I want to run to those conversations.

I’m not really sure what to do and walk through where we tend to fall off track at different levels of an organization because what you will find and we talk about this often here is that every organization, every team, every group, every family goes through cycles. And if you go back to the business world, you’ll see the startup stage, then you’ll see some friction. When there’s some success. We grew so fast, a lot of things start to get complicated, and we are tripping over ourselves and there’s still a little bit entrepreneurial, a little bit making deals and inconsistent.

Then you’ll see that’s where a lot of companies get stuck.

They can push through that like we talked about on last week’s episode eight on Science of Execution. We talked about the three roles that the visionary, the operator and the processor. When they bring in a processor to the head of the table, not to the head of the table, but sitting at the big table. Not all the processors just do processing, and nobody really has to say. But this lead processor style person that does have a say in the company that is empowered, that is at the executive level or leadership level.

What have you the big table in the room when those three personalities are sitting at that table, then you tend to see a company to go to the next stage, which they start installing systems. They start having rules, they start having budgets, they start having approval system drives the early stage people a bit crazy because it does feel bureaucratic and it is bureaucratic. And then that company can continue going through different stages. They could stay there and do very well. They could actually become too bureaucratic and too much red tape, which we’ve seen.

We’ve seen government go there before and then things just don’t move. Companies, teams, groups, nonprofits, families go through stages. And during different stages and people’s different levels of employment. You’ll interact with this accountability cadence where one size doesn’t fit all. And if you felt that way, I can’t seem to find, like, our accountability cadence or doesn’t seem to work or the one I use seems to wear off or get stale or stop being effective.

Take a breath. That’s normal. That’s supposed to happen. There is not a single accountability cadence that is appropriate for all size companies everywhere. And this is the stuff that man, I wish somebody would have taught me earlier in my career, which is why we have The Seth Campbell podcast.

This is from real world lessons and learning. So let’s talk about I’m going to give you three very basic stages of these two dials, content and frequency. And remember, there’s going to be a lot of variations in here. But these are the big three. And they talked through what’s appropriate, what’s inappropriate.

And then for those of you who have the opportunity of being on video with us, you’ll be able to see this for everybody else listening, you’ll be able to follow along. So this first stage, we’re going to call this member two dials content and frequency. The content dial is high, so it’s high content and the frequency is low. By the way, those you don’t want to violate when content is high, frequency must be low. And let’s explain that.

So high content, that means a lot of content. That means in the business world, you’re very detailed. I’ve heard this great analogy. I believe it was from four disciplines of execution, which is an incredible subject matter. If you ever want to take that.

And they talked about these two score boards. Right. And there’s the regular score board, like a sports game where you can see right up on the screen how much content is on the main score board of a sports game. It’s actually not that much like the home team has this many points the way team has this many points, there’s this much time on the clock. And we’re in this quarter of this period, that’s about it.

That’s a very good score board. And then there’s something that they coined the phrase, I believe it’s called the coaches scoreboard, which then if you went and looked at the coaches scoreboard or clipboard or computer, now you see a ton of stats on there. There would be a lot of content. There would be like and that’s the stuff that we hear the color commentator say, this person has this many sacks, this many yards this many runs or this many hits or this is their batting average in this against left handed pictures right handed in pictures, this very detailed amount of content, which one is more important?

They’re both important.

However, the purpose of the main score board is I can look at it in about 3 seconds to know if I’m winning or losing. Do your people need that? Yes. Yes. What if we turn that off?

And all we had was coaches scoreboards. How long would you keep watching that game? If all you had was that clipboard, how long would you watch the game as a fan? How interested would you be as a player? How interest would you be?

At some point your eyes would just gravitate towards am I winning or losing am I winner losing. What if that wasn’t even on there? Well, it was hard to find. Would it take you 14 screens to get to am I winning or losing? Then you’d be out.

Your performance would degrade. And this is what happens in organizations if they try to match high content with high frequency. In other words, I have tons of data to look at, and that’s what I look at every single day or all the time. Like all I have access to is an enormous amount of data. This happens when organizations like I talked about the stages when they go too far.

Where the processor at the head process at the table may have created those coaches scoreboard. And you have a ton of spreadsheets. You have a ton of just raw data, which is all super valuable. But, yeah, that’s all you’ve seen. And I see that happen in our world.

I’ve seen that happen in the companies I’ve been involved with. Inevitably, the spreadsheet person takes over, and it’s really cool at the beginning. But then that’s all we have in performance. Agree. And that is because somebody has violated this.

They have created high content, tons of content and high frequency. That’s what I operate off of daily. You can’t do that. It’s always when content is high frequency must be low content, high frequency, low.

Now there are some roles that will need to look at tons of data on a daily basis. That is going to be very role specific. It’s rare. It actually is rare. I know some people out there know the high processor must be able to look at all that data every day.

Trust me, they don’t have to look at all that data every day. The project they’re working on, I guarantee you, there is an 80 20 rule there’s of the data matters most to what they need to achieve that day. And they could just look at that. So remember, high content? How’s my frequency?

So if my team is under performing right now or something in my life is under performing, am I actually looking at too much data every day? Have I lost track of the one number, the big metric that moves all metrics? Or do I remember what that is? But all of our meetings involves talking about everything else than what you’re doing is you’re violating you’re. Bringing high content into a higher frequency can’t do that.

So whenever you go to deeper content, so that would be like financials. That would be detailed trends. That would be strategic stuff. That would be analysis. That would be the research, the deeper things.

Looking at a lot of stuff. Save those for, like, monthly go through the deeper profit and loss statement. Monthly. Yeah. You might need to look at some of the weekly.

How are the deeper strategy? The deeper trends? Monthly quarterly annually. High content, low frequency. Probably some of you out there relating to this right now.

Oh, my gosh. We have let our spreadsheets get out of control. Maybe you haven’t. You just need to look at them less. Maybe you need to just save those for the monthly meeting or the quarterly analysis or once a year.

Deep dive. That’s fine. Nothing wrong with content. Nothing wrong. A lot of data.

But you will not cause productivity by looking at it every day you’ll get lost. So now let’s turn the dials a little bit. For those of you who have the video, you’ll see my graphics actually make the little dials turn. You’re welcome. And for those of you listening on the podcast, here’s what I did is I went medium medium.

So I turn the dials. Now we’re turning the content down to medium and we’re going to go medium frequency. This is a really good place to be. This is actually one of the more skipped one. Believe it or not, you would think that this one is the most common.

It’s not usually. So let’s look at it this way. Frequency when we say medium frequency, we’re talking weekly. What do we usually see? Organizations do weekly.

They either don’t talk about anything or they try to do high content too much, or they try to do low content, which would be just talking about leading indicators. So let’s have a quick Sidebar on what is a leading indicator. So leading indicator is the activity that must be done to achieve your goal. For example, if we were talking about weight loss, a leading indicator for the nutrition. If we’re taking out weight loss, then let’s say I’m going to analyze and I set goals around my nutrition and my exercise.

A leading indicator on nutrition is going to be counting my calories. It’s going to be tracking my food, is the activity I do early in the process. And then a real time indicator is going to be maybe my total caloric ins and outs. It might be my weight and then my lag indicator. So it’s leading real time lag beginning, middle end, leading real time lag.

My lag indicator. My ending indicator might be either my weight or my body fat percentage, depending on kind of what that fitness goal was or running the marathon under X number of minutes. That could be actually my lag measure. That’s my goal and my real time indicator could be getting into a certain body weight or body fat, etc. Etc.

So now on content. When we’re on medium content, medium frequency, I’m going to look at the beginning of middle. I’m gonna look at my lead indicators and my real time indicators. So if we’re in sales, my leading indicators, what are leading indicators for sales? That’s going to be like calls, contacts, maybe appointments.

It’s going to be the lead generation, the prospecting. And if I’m setting appointments, it may actually be signatures, depending on how that sales process works and where I’m at, maybe I get an order signed yet. The product hasn’t been delivered, haven’t paid for it. It’s not done yet, or I have the work order done, or they have hired me to install the flooring that I haven’t done it yet. That could be a real time indicator like I have the signature.

So leading indicators are going to be prospecting calls, contacts, lead generation, appointment set. Real time indicators are going to either be like the appointment set or the signature is gotten. It’s going to be right there. And then lag indicators are going to be it’s done. And I got the closing.

I got the sale. Whatever. Now on medium content. Actually, this is weekly, medium content, medium frequency. We do not want to talk about closing.

We do not want to talk about income. We do not want to talk about lag indicators. We don’t want to talk about results. We don’t want to talk about the weight or our runtime or our body fat weekly. We want to look at the leading indicators in the real time indicators.

How many calls? How many appointments? How many calories in out this last week? How many exercise minutes, whatever it may be, we’re going to look at leading indicators in real time indicators only. And the problem is when organizations grow, they just creep in.

We should also look at this. We should also look at this. Why don’t we add this to the weekly meeting? Let’s also look at this. And before you know it, they actually broken the rule and they’ve dialed content high medium frequency.

It will kill your productivity. It will kill your ability to hold people accountable. And why is that? It’s because when you’re holding me accountable and you give me the opportunity to talk about everything, I’m going to talk about everything and I’m going to accomplish nothing.

I’m going to find a way out of the number that I really am embarrassed about. Our need to hit not become a bad person. It’s just human nature. And I’m going to gravitate towards one I’m okay with. And is it possible if you give me five different numbers to talk about that?

Three of those 5 may not actually cause me to hit my goal. Is that possible? Sure it is. I’ll probably talk about one of those three. However, if weekly, I’m talking about two numbers that are inescapable for me hitting my goal.

You’re probably keeping me on track. You’re probably doing me a favor. You’re probably holding me accountable. Achievable and focused on what’s going to cause me to really break through, especially if I’m stuck. Don’t let me talk about any other number.

But those two numbers, I didn’t have enough appointments. I didn’t get enough signatures. Don’t let me talk about something else because I need your coaching, your support, your consulting. I need you to me help me have a breakthrough with that and not talk about anything else to me. How important, how urgent, how on fire.

It appears so medium content is a leading indicator and a real time indicator. And we’re going to do that weekly. And then the final big picture zone is when we continue the dials and we lower the content all the way down and we really increase the frequency to daily. So this is going to be high frequency. So I’m probably having a conversation daily.

So if I was going to talk to somebody daily, I’ve got to narrow down really low content, and we’re just going to talk about lead indicators. How many points you get today? How many calls you make today? Tell me about yesterday. Whenever that if it’s at the end of the day, tell me what happened at the beginning of the day, what happened yesterday and in just one caviar, I did all.

Let’s set up a separate meeting to talk about all the other stuff. I really need your advice on this. I really need to make a decision, but okay, that’s cool. Set up a separate meeting. I’m a big fan of this meeting already has its content defined.

If you want to add content, just set up another meeting. By the way, another meeting might be as soon as we I’ve done that before to people like, we’re going to hang up this call and then call me right back. And I know that’s weird. And I am weird, but it is like keeping the purity of the content of what we were supposed to talk about for that meeting. This meeting is only to talk about how many dials you made.

Means only to talk about how many contacts you make. Means only to talk about how any appointments you made. You need another answer or talk about something else. Cool. Step.

Another meaning, which literally could be as soon as we hang up from this, we’ll call right. The back content of this day is pure. And can you realize how inescapable it is to this conversation is only about how many calories you ate yesterday. Are your food log? Nothing else.

I don’t feel okay. Cool. Let’s up another conversation about that. Let’s go through item by item. And let’s do that.

Now, if there is such a thing as a higher frequency, that might be an hourly check in. This is if people are really sliding off. So now you can start to see how you change these dials. So, for example, somebody is crushing their numbers. They’re so reliable, they’re always hitting it.

They’re having no issues at all. I’m a fan of lower frequency if there is self managed, self motivated and achieving results. And I’m more sounding board. Okay, cool. We’re going to lower the frequency to weekly, to biweekly.

So once a month, heck, once a quarter, I had one of my boss alone time. I go, I have one text message and the guy every quarter a text message because I was crushing goals so much and he knew I’d reach out to him if I need him. So it was fine, really low frequency. But when we had that once a quarter text message, and then every six months, we had a meeting where I put together a million slides. It was so much content.

I don’t even know if you paid attention, but that was necessary to the strategy and all that. So now if somebody is starting to slide, then I’m like, okay, cool. Let’s check in a week every week now and here’s what we’re going to look at. We’re going to look at your contact. We’re going to look at your appointments and your signatures every single week.

And I’m going to go real detailed. I’m going to go name by name. I’m going to get so specific that there can be no hiding. So when we look at your phone calls, I don’t want to see a number. I don’t want to see twelve calls.

Irapport want to see Mary Smith, John Doe. And I’m going to literally ask you five or six questions about Mary Smith. What did she say? What was her challenge? What was your response to that?

Tell me something I don’t know about Mary. That might be cool. You don’t know. So maybe you didn’t build raport. Let me coach you on how to do that.

You didn’t connect. What is the solution you had to her challenge? Okay, that seems pretty surface. It doesn’t sound like that’s really the solution.

Let me coach you on that. Okay. When is the next appointment? Oh, you didn’t set a next appointment. We always set it next appointment before we finish this appointment.

So now go back and work on that and I’ll talk to you next week and we’ll go name my name. So you see how I do that now, if the person is still not succeeding, I’m probably. Okay, cool. I’m coming in closer. I’m increasing the frequency.

Let’s talk every morning and here’s all we’re going to talk about is your conversations that day. I actually not going to want to know about your appointments. I want know about your conversations on the phone or want to know about your appointment sett ing, whatever the very lead indicator is. But I had a closing today or I had this. I got to say.

Okay, that’s cool. That’s not what this meeting is about this meeting about your conversation. Your lead indicators. That’s it. And we’re in and out and I’m going to go detail.

I’m going to hear name by name. I think it’s the same name you said yesterday. So that’s actually not a new conversation, is it? No, it’s not. Okay.

Cool. So what’s your goal in today for new conversations? Alright. Three. Okay.

Cool. I’ll talk to you tomorrow. Next day. Hey, what are the three names? How did it go?

Tell me something about them. What was their challenge? What was this? What was that? Was that?

Do you see how that goes? Now the person starts to get back on track. They’ve had their breakthrough. They got unstuck from where they were stuck then. Alright, I’ll lower the frequency.

You know what? You’re on track. How you’re feeling? Good. Feel like we need this conversation every day or you feel like you’re on track.

I really like it. But you know what? I’m cool without it. Alright. You can reach out for your help.

Cool. Let’s just talk once a week and here’s what we’re going to go through. We’re going to just go through these calls and we’re going to go through the signatures and we’ll deep dive on some of them as we go. Maybe not every single one at that point. But when we do, then I’m going to increase.

I’m going to increase frequency and lower content. And that is this cadence. And you just play with these two dials. As a leader, increase content, lower frequency, increase frequency, lower content, and be so dialed in. You will help your people break through.

They will love you for it. You will be able to lead people more effectively in the moment about what matters most of them. So that is the science of execution. Part two, the cadence of accountability, the two dials content and frequency. And as you control those, you’re going to make a massive difference for the people you lead and continue to help them leave a legacy

With that, I love you. I thank you for listening and tune in next week as we continue our leadership journey together.

Thank You For Listening To The Seth Campbell Podcast, Episode 9: The Science of Execution Part 2

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