63. Tri Cities Influencer Podcast featuring Joe Estey

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Paul Casey:

Get your priorities done near the beginning of your day. Research says that between 10:00 and 12:00 is typically the most creative time of the day for most people.

Speaker 2:

Raising the water level of leadership in the Tri-Cities of Eastern Washington, it's the Tri-Cities Influencer Podcast. Welcome to the TCI Podcast, where local leadership and self-leadership expert, Paul Casey, interviews local CEOs, entrepreneurs, and non-profit executives to hear how they lead themselves and their teams so we can all benefit from their wisdom and experience. Here's your host, Paul Casey, of Growing Forward Services, coaching and equipping individuals and teams to spark breakthrough success.

Paul Casey:

It's a great day to grow forward. Thanks for joining me for today's episode with Joe Estey. Joe is a performance improvement specialist at Lucas Engineering. And a funny thing about Joe is he got into video games at a later age. Joe, tell us about that.

Joe Estey:

Well, I was traveling on the road quite a bit to see clients out of the state, and my grandsons wanted to stay in touch with me and FaceTime wasn't cutting it. And so we wanted to do more interactive things, not just talk to each other. And so they convinced me, through a birthday present, to get an Xbox One. And then when I was in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, for the first time I logged online at the age of, well, I think I was going on 60 then, for the first time ever to play video games. So my experience wasn't Atari. It was mainly a pinball machines and bowling alleys. I had never, though my son had done it a lot, played video games. So I got a late start in life, but I will tell you I'm a threat when it comes to certain games. And here's what I found out I think is most interesting is by building connections with my grandkids, I started creating greater connections cognitively in my head about things I hadn't experienced.

Paul Casey:

Ooh. A win win.

Joe Estey:

I was a win-win, all the way around.

Paul Casey:

Well, we're going to dive in after checking in with our Tri-City influencer sponsor. It's easy to delay answering uncomfortable questions like what happens to my assets and my loved ones when I die? So it's no surprise that nearly 50% of Americans don't have a will and even fewer have an estate plan. Many disabled clients worry that they don't have enough assets to set up an estate plan, but there are important options available to ensure that you have a voice in your medical and financial decision-making. Even if your health takes a turn for the worst. Estate planning gives you a voice when your health deteriorates or after you're gone. Maren, Miller Bam, Attorney at Law, is currently providing free consultations. To find out more about estate planning or to book an appointment, call Maren at 206-485-4066 or visit Salus, that's S-A-L-U-S dash law dot com today.

Paul Casey:

Thank you for your support of leadership development in the Tri-Cities. So, Joe, so our Tri-City influencers can get to know you, take us through a couple of the career highlights that led you to where you are today.

Joe Estey:

Oh. Okay. Well, first of all, I've always been interested in training and seeing people improve. So even though I was a bus boy years ago at a local restaurant here in the Tri-Cities, I worked my way up in about eight months to the captain of the floor, which meant I was responsible for training waitstaff and bussers in the performance of their duties so they could maximize their tips. And so profit was the motive. The better they did at their job, the more they made. And so it didn't take a whole lot of convincing to teach them some tips about how to better perform at the table-side. And then from that, I became a flambeist, a sommelier. I spent some time in the culinary world. Met an individual who was starting a construction company to solely focus on restoring property after disasters. And since I had, as a flambeist, played` with fire by the table side, it made sense for me to try and put some of those fires out after they had occurred in people's homes.

Joe Estey:

And so then I stayed in that world for about three years and learned how to restore oil paintings, restore cars, restore grand pianos, absolve a variety of physical issues people had with their property after the disaster. And I met a gentleman who then put me on the track to human performance improvement years ago from Westinghouse Electric Corporation. We worked at a local radiological site where they were producing a material for reactors and for nuclear weapons at the time. And I began a journey on, not focusing so much on how to restore property that had been damaged, but how, as a manager, you can restore people back to wholeness after an error or after an event. And that's where I started pursuing really why things happen, the reason behind the why that we normally assume, meaning the obvious usually isn't the answer. We have to do a deeper dive into that. And so for the past, I'd say a three decades, I spent most of my time on human performance improvement, which is the reduction of events through the proper management of error.

Paul Casey:

Wow. The flambeist.

Joe Estey:

Yeah. That was a blast.

Paul Casey:

That's my new word for [crosstalk 00:05:24].

Joe Estey:

A flambeist.

Paul Casey:

I love that. I also love that you're in the training field, even in your first jobs. So, I mean, and I've heard this before, too, that there were signs of your passion, even as a child or a youth. Jim, sounds like it's been a pattern for you all the way through.

Joe Estey:

Oh. I think so. I think I probably have two passions that drive every decision and action I make even today vocationally. And one is is that I'm fascinated with the way people learn. And secondly, I'm fascinated with the way things are made. And so I have yet to meet a person in a boring job though I've met many bored people in their jobs.

Joe Estey:

Unfortunately. And there isn't anything, I don't think, I haven't found fascinating about the most rudimentary work people do. I mean, there's always something behind the scenes that's fascinating about how they accomplish their tasks. And I think that's the real passion I have for understanding why people do the things they do when they do them.

Paul Casey:

That's so cool. And we met probably 10 years ago, I think, and that passion was evident then. It seems like the fire is still lit. Even today we got to go through a... You trained me in human performance improvement just a couple of years ago. And...

Joe Estey:

And you were a great student. Just want to put that out there.

Paul Casey:

Thank you. Add more tools to the tool belt. Right?

Joe Estey:

There you go.

Paul Casey:

So I can also, because we share that same love of developing people and trying to figure out what makes them tick and how we can get them to the next level. And I love that you're very niched in that there are accidents that happen, there are incidents that happen. How can we prevent those from happening again?

Joe Estey:

Yeah. I think, that's the real element. There are companies, and I think we live through those times right now, there are organizations that keep trying the same thing over and over and hoping for a different result. And it's not working.

Paul Casey:

It's call insanity.

Joe Estey:

Yeah. That's exactly right. And before it had a name, it was the way we managed things because we didn't know better. And so what happened is is we would think that by putting a plan in place that if it's failing is because people aren't working the plan. Well, it could be the plans is not a very good plan. You know? There's a saying that every system is perfectly designed to get you the results you're getting. If you don't like the results you're getting, you might want to look at your system and don't blame the people who are using it.

Joe Estey:

Because every system has a hole in it that requires the user to fill it. And so whether you're writing a great way of doing work in a procedure, or you're designing a great system in a control room, you left a hole somewhere, because you knew the answer when you were designing it. And people didn't even know what the question was when they're using it. And so there's always going to be a maze they're walking through. You saw the start and finish. They're just in the middle of the maze. And so when you have an event, it's easy after an accident to say, "Well. Here's what you should have been doing and could have been doing." That's because you started at the end of the maze. You already know the answer. What you need to do is put yourself into the shoes of the people doing the work at the time, and what made it locally rational for them to make the decisions they were making?

Joe Estey:

It's called the local rationality principle. It wasn't an error. Because if it was an error, they wouldn't be doing it. It had to make sense to them. Otherwise they would have stopped doing what they were doing. And so if you try to tell people what makes sense afterwards, that doesn't guarantee sense it's going to be made later in the future. So we try to help companies develop solutions for the real reason why things happen rather than the easier solutions that cause more problems.

Paul Casey:

The band-aids.

Joe Estey:

The band-aids. Band-aids that you can't... And you'll never know what the real problem is.

Paul Casey:

Yep. Yep. Good stuff. Good stuff. So I know you had your own business for a while and because we're friends and you jumped to this opportunity to be at Lucas. And so you were at a crossroads at some point, and you decided to make that jump. So maybe you could share a little bit about making that jump, but also our listeners, when they're at a crossroads of a big decision, career decision usually, what counsel would you give them? But start with your decision.

Joe Estey:

Oh. I appreciate the question. Actually for almost two decades, I ran my own consultancy and training and that meant that I was on the road and I was doing all the work. I was direct marketing. I was lining up the next contract. I was managing things and I was spending, three days a year with CPAs to manage my money and figure out how much I'm going to pay in debt. And that's not what I got into the business for. So I realized, probably after 19 years of doing that, I loved my vocation and calling. I didn't like the administration behind it. There was no drive in me to really go out and look for the new contract. There was no drive in me to manage my income, manage my finances, manage the way money is spent and invested. People are better at that than me.

Joe Estey:

And it takes a while for a person to say, you may be a business owner, but you are not good at anything, but what you do. And what you do is the good or service you offer. But the business behind the business is equally important, the enterprise. Well, I wasn't managing the enterprise and I realize that it. It wasn't bad. I never had a bad year. I always had great years. And every year was better than the last one. But I knew that I was being weighed down by the business rather than being in love with the vocation. And so I met a guy named Ken Lucas who had a similar consultancy, wider in scope, deeper in nature, and we teamed together on a couple of projects and he said he would carry the freight. If I carry the weight of the work. Meaning, he would basically broker my work with the people that needed it while he attended to the administrative things, and his staff.

Paul Casey:

Sweet.

Joe Estey:

It has been a sweet marriage. It really has been. It's been ideal.

Paul Casey:

Right because as a business owner, you have to work on the business, which was sucking the life out of you and you just wanted to stay in the business. And so you found a great marriage of those two things.

Joe Estey:

And I think one thing that I didn't see an unintended positive consequence was he helped push me without being too pushy towards setting new goals. You know, I was pretty satisfied with the level of income I was getting. A year would go by and I'd look back and say, "It could have been better, but it certainly wasn't bad." And I think there's a comfort level people rest at. If you're a student and you're happy with a B, you may not try to get an A, and I was a B student and I may have been a C student, but I was pretty satisfied with it. There was no prompting to do better because I was pretty comfortable. But now that you have this team are trying to support, you have to also do well for them and see, and it took the focus off of just doing well for me and my family to doing well for them and their family, which changed our whole relationship.

Paul Casey:

So if a listener is at that crossroads, maybe one of the crossroads is when you realize you're just sort of coasting. You need to be stretched. That might be a reason to jump to something new that's going to stretch you. Are there any other tips that you'd give?

Joe Estey:

No. That's an excellent one. And I would say some people, there's an old saying of boys, remember very early in my life, and when I remember it, I tried to reflect on how to get out of it. And that is the certainty of misery for a lot of folks is better than the misery of uncertainty.

Paul Casey:

The devil you know is better than the one you don't...] What is it?

Joe Estey:

So right now it may not be great, but you're too afraid to take a leap because it may be worse. Well, the truth is it may be better. I'm a firm believer that risk always carries with it greater rewards, but also a greater opportunities to fail. But if you don't have that, your foot is on the brake the entire time, because you're afraid of making a mistake so you don't take your foot off the brake and therefore you're not going anywhere. There's a reason why there's a gas pedal. And if you're all gas and no brake, you're in trouble. And if you're all brake and no gas, you're in trouble. And so I think through life, we kind of navigate through the brakes and gas pedals and to try and figure out how to get somewhere positively.

Paul Casey:

Boy, that's so good. My wife and I are watching The Amazing Race. We've gone back to the original. So I think e've hit season 11 now.

Joe Estey:

It's a binge season.

Paul Casey:

They're racing. They're on a boat somewhere in like Vietnam or somewhere. And they're like, wait, we picked the worst boat because the other boats are passing them. All of a sudden you see the boat master pull up the anchor. Having the foot on the brake pedal is not going to get you a success.

Joe Estey:

No. You can't. And I think you have to take... And you don't want to be all gas no brake, which means you want to take measured calculable steps. And you know, you've always got to have that plan and I know you preach and profess that a great deal and practice it, but you want things to be deliberate in nature. You want intention too behind every action.

Paul Casey:

Yes. Yes. Well, Joe, leaders have to keep growing or else they become irrelevant. So how have you matured as a leader in recent years in your craft?

Joe Estey:

You know, I think probably the greatest lesson I have learned through practice in the field and observations in different industries is most leaders get what's wrong wrong. They see something and they believe it's a matter of attitude and behavior driven by motivation in their folks, rather than a lack of ability and confidence. We're going into a time of change now where it's just the turning of the new year. We're in 2021. As a result, we're going to put new policies in place, new procedures in place, new practices in place. And people will unfortunately say, "Well, you know, people are bound to resist change. And so we have to do something to motivate them towards it." It's usually not a lack of motivation that's the issue. Right now people are very confident and competent in what they're doing. They've been doing what they've been doing for a long time.

Joe Estey:

When you start talking about changing any element of their work, you are shaking their confidence and their competency. It isn't that they don't want to change and improve because human beings are born to improve. We were born to learn. We were born to be different than we are today. We are not resistors of change. We're resistors of change in the things we no longer care about. Now see we don't want to put effort into something we don't see a benefit returned. And if we have a hobby, we get better at it by changing. You have a business, you get better at it by changing because the word change actually just means improvement. We were born to change. However, when you see somebody resist it, it may not be a lack of motivation. It's usually based on a lack of ability. They know how to do what they're doing now. Give them greater ability to do it, and motivation will take care of itself.

Paul Casey:

And you would try to have managers who are running into some resistance with their people try to sort that out. Isn't motivation [crosstalk 00:16:12].

Joe Estey:

Exactly. That's the number one question you have to ask, is this really a motivational issue? And I'm going to tell you right now research shows it usually isn't. The real issue is it's a lack of ability or changing capability. You did something to their process that they were comfortable with. You implemented a checklist, changed the way you answer the phone, changed the way you handle money, whatever that is, well, they were competent, which meant they were confident. And now you're shaking up their competency, which is bound to affect their confidence. So naturally they're going to resist it until you make them more able to do it.

Paul Casey:

Yeah. Raises their anxiety. Yeah.

Joe Estey:

Oh. Yeah.

Paul Casey:

This tool that I share at my change seminar, the change puzzle and the six elements that you have to have in order to have change. And one of them is, if you don't feel like you can do it, you see what the outcome is. It's anxiety [crosstalk 00:17:00]

Joe Estey:

There you go.

Paul Casey:

... people on the ground. So you've got to then pour into training or hold their hand for a little bit. [crosstalk 00:17:07]

Joe Estey:

That's a huge lesson and you hit it right on the head, Paul. Because if you think about all the seminars and workshops that managers take to learn how to motivate their people when things are changing or they're dealing with difficult times, it's not a motivational issue. They are motivated. They got out of bed. They put on their shoes. They went to work. They somehow were motivated. They just may not have been as able as they needed to be.

Paul Casey:

Good stuff. Well, before we head into our next question on Joe and his to-do list, let's shout out to our sponsor. Located in the Parkway, you'll find motivation, new friends, and your new coworking space at Fuse. Whether you're a student, just starting out, or a seasoned professional, come discover all the reasons to love co-working at Fuse. Come co-work at Fuse for free on Fridays in February. Enjoy free coffee or tea, wifi, printing, conference rooms, and more, and bring a friend. Fuse is where individuals and small teams come together in a thoughtfully designed resource rich environment to get work done and grow their ideas. Comprised of professionals from varying disciplines and backgrounds, fuse is built for hardworking, fun loving humans. Learn more about us st Fuse S-P-C dot com or stop by 723 The Park Way in Richland, Washington.

Paul Casey:

So, Joe, most of our to-do lists are greater than the time we have to do them. So how do you triage your own tasks? How do you focus on what's most important?

Joe Estey:

Yeah. That, once again, a great question. I think, the first list that Jerry Korum from Korum Motors over on the west side of the state taught me was that a to-do list is a list of priorities, but a never to-do list is a list of values. And you got to have a never do this list first. And so for me, the list I look at and reflect every end of the year going into the first year are the things I will not do that year.

Joe Estey:

The commitments I will make not to fall into some kind of temptation to wander down a path where it would be easier to say yes right now than to say no, but the no is going to reap greater rewards. So that kind of drives my to-do list. And Jerry Korum said that when he started his car dealership, he didn't like a single thing car salesman did, hated every one of them. And so he took a piece of paper and he said, "I'm going to list everything I don't want to do when I'm a car salesman." And his dad, Mel Korum, who ran the dealership really encouraged him to get into the business, but Jerry wanted nothing to do with it. And he created that I will never do this list. And that's the one that meant the most to him throughout the years. So for me, that's the one that drives my to-do list are the things I avoid.

Paul Casey:

Wow. That's so good. It reminds me like being at the beach and you've got the little sifter and you put the sand through it and there's some rocks and other things that get caught. That's the not to do list [crosstalk 00:20:00].

Joe Estey:

Oh. That's a good one.

Paul Casey:

... all the things that slip through are what we want to build the sand castle with.

Joe Estey:

Oh. That is a good analogy. I like that. That's right. And I think if you don't have your, I'll never do this list, no matter what you put on your to-do list, it may get circumvented along the way.

Paul Casey:

Sure. Sure. Especially if you're a yes person and a lot of us are yes persons. I'm a recovering yes person myself. You know, would you do this? You're so good at this. Or, well, that's another opportunity, your eyes get really wide, and then you say yes, and you're thinking, "Oh. That doesn't go with my values. Or why am I being resentful?"

Joe Estey:

Exactly. Well, I think to bolt onto that, Jerry said his greatest example is that was one of the things he put on his list years ago as a business owner was he would never get a line of credit against any car on his parking lot. Because he always wanted to be able to help a single mom out who showed up with two kids in the rain to get a car that would just get her to work. And he didn't want that paper owned by a bank to determine how much he could sell it for.

Joe Estey:

He wanted complete freedom and making those financial decisions. Now he started that over four decades ago and he practiced that every day. And when somebody would come in and say, "You know, Jerry, you could go twice as fast if you just get a loan on your vehicles." And he would say, "I have a not to-do list. And I may not be as big as I could be. I may not take the risk to get the rewards, but I'll be guaranteed the rewards that I'm taking or that I'm receiving because of the things I may not to do list." And to this day he is credit free and cash rich.

Paul Casey:

Wow. That's value centered leadership right there. Well, you probably believe, like I do, that Leadership is relationships. So, Joe, you're one of the best. I've been to your seminars and you're really great at connecting with an audience. You're great at developing relationships between the speaking gigs, the training gigs. How do you intentionally develop relationships?

Joe Estey:

Oh. I think be interested in people. I mean really. Again, I said it earlier, I am driven by a passion to understand how people do the work they do. There isn't anything they do that I already know before I watch them. So that they're kind of like a work of art in progress when I see them doing their work. I don't understand why they make the choices they make, take the actions they take, but they do. And so I am... I think most leaders are more interested in ensuring that people find them interesting, as Jim Collins once said.

Joe Estey:

And they spend a lot of time when they meet the new people in their organization, or they walk around the facility, or go out to see what folks are doing talking about their philosophy and what they're into and how they got to where they're at. And most people, to be honest with you, aren't interested. They want to know that the leader is interested in them before they ever find the leader interesting to them. And so when somebody walks into a classroom or somebody walks into an office or a maintenance shop where I'm doing an observation, I want to know that person. Because they have something in their head that I don't know. And I can't learn it unless they're willing to share it.

Paul Casey:

So good. Be having a curious posture and wanting to be interested, not interesting.

Joe Estey:

Oh yeah.

Paul Casey:

That's a really good takeaway. Well, self-care is also essential for mental health and top performance, especially now in the land of COVID. So what recharges your batteries, or maybe there are some things you don't practice what you preach. You also would tell other people, especially our listeners, what do you got to do for self care?

Joe Estey:

I think, first of all, you have to have a routine, but you also have to be spontaneous. My wife has taught me that. I've been married to the same gal I met back in high school. We graduated a year after she would've graduated, and I mean, we got married a year after she would've graduated and I was 20 years old with a first kid. And that teaches you a lot about having to be entertaining and how to entertain yourself. And so we've been married 43 years now. And I find out that her desire to have things planned along with my desire to be spontaneous are not mutually exclusive. That she can have all the structure she needs and I can have all the spontaneity I need as long as we do it together, because then we enjoy each other's company.

Joe Estey:

And I also spend at least an hour a day reading. So I read about four books a month to five books a month. And I have, since I was about 22 years of age, and it was a habit I developed early on and I have an insatiable desire to read, and that was cultivated, not through school, but through just being, as you said earlier, curious and interested in the world around me. And so I think that usually helps me stay connected. And then those moments of spontaneity of just doing things off the cuff keep me more interested in other things I don't know about yet.

Paul Casey:

Wow. So four books a month times 12 times 40 years...

Joe Estey:

Well, if you go to my website at Lucas O-P-T dot com, you'll see a resource library list.

Paul Casey:

I love that list.

Joe Estey:

Oh. Yeah. Was about 42 pages long, and those books are not books I heard about. Those are books that I've read. And they wouldn't be on that list if I didn't believe they had a good wealth of knowledge.

Paul Casey:

... takeaway value to it

Joe Estey:

Yeah.

Paul Casey:

What a golden... People ask me all the time. What books do you recommend? Your list is probably the primo, top of the line list because it's 42 pages and you've got them in categories and you've got a little summary, what you're going to get out of this book. So we'll put that in the show notes for others so they can link to that.

Joe Estey:

I appreciate that.

Paul Casey:

Good stuff. But you know, I got to take that quick, a quick exit ramp with you. So give me the top books. Give me a few of them that you're just like all potential leaders or current leaders, you got to read these three or four.

Joe Estey:

Okay. Well, first every book you've written. You have to say that right now, because one of them they're digestible.

Paul Casey:

Here's five dollars.

Joe Estey:

The truth is they're digestible. You've taken, kind of like a Covey and others do it, you've taken a principle and tied some practices to it. And if you have problems with priority management or, you know, how to resolve conflict and your [inaudible 00:26:16] isn't that topic, you don't have to fish through 300 pages to figure it out. You can get right there [crosstalk 00:26:20].

Paul Casey:

... and it could [crosstalk 00:26:21].

Joe Estey:

... a lot smaller, a lot easier. But I would say, there are so many that are coming out. I think if you are into problem solving and understanding the nature of your problems, a great one by Dan Heath of the famous Heath brothers who wrote Made to Stick and Switch How to Change Things When Change is Hard. Dan's own book, Upstream How to Solve Problems Before You Even Have Them, a terrific book on how business leaders need to fix things upstream so people downstream don't have problems. It's where you fix the problem that determines if you're going to have problems.

Joe Estey:

Another one is Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek. And I think, from a neurological perspective he gives you the scientific chemistry reasons why people do what they do, but it's tied to some great analogies in the book, and stories about leaders really understanding what their role is in empathy and in perspective, understanding why people do the things they do. For my own vocational background, I mean, one of the best books, and it's going to be the most boring sounding book you've ever heard in your life.

Joe Estey:

But it's 110 year historical reflection on why we treat workers the way we treat them today, and it's called The Foundation of Safety Science by Sidney Dekker. Now nobody's going to pick that up at Barnes and Noble, Foundations of safety science. It does not sound exciting, but it is an exciting walk through about the way we treated people in 1910, which led to the way we treated them in 1930, and it's not so much about safety. It's more about work management. You know, why do we treat people the way we treat them? Why do we believe quote unquote they are as dumb as they are when we count on them at times being as brilliant as they could be. You can't treat people like a cook and then expect them to be chefs. If you want a chef, you better treat them like a chef and you better tell them that the day they walk in. So those are just three of them.

Paul Casey:

Yeah. Those are good. Those are good. Upstream, Leaders Eat Last, and that long title one.

Joe Estey:

Oh. The Foundation of Safety Science by Sidney Dekker. Terrific book.

Paul Casey:

Good stuff. Well, what's your process for continuous improvement in organization? So if you are a consultant for an organization and they said, "Joe, we really want to have a culture of continuous improvement." What kind of processes would you lead them through to just say we want this as part of our culture.

Joe Estey:

That's a great one. Number one, figure out where your problems are. Don't waste time solving problems you don't have, and there are a lot of companies who do. They have an inkling or an itch to fix a problem because they have a solution in their back pocket. It's the newest webinar they went to or the newest seminar they went to. And so they'll bring in things like Lean, Agile, Scrum. You don't have any of those problems. And so what you want to do is spend some time doing two things, analyzing the characteristics of the issues you're actually dealing with, and I mean, the characteristics, not the number of them, like the number of times, you didn't finish a job, number of dissatisfied customers. You want to analyze the cause behind those and then analyze what you've done to correct those problems. And what you'll find out is the majority of time your view of human error is an error because you believe people are choosing to make mistakes. No one chooses to make a mistake.

Joe Estey:

Errors are unintentional by definition. Telling somebody what they should have done after they did it is not going to keep them from doing it the next time around because there was a reason they did it this time. So the very nature of error is that it's involuntary. They couldn't keep from making a mistake. If they could and they decided otherwise, they call that a violation. Knowing you were doing something wrong, and knowing it was wrong to do is not the same as making an honest mistake. So a lot of the actions businesses put in place to reduce the likelihood of error later on, aren't going to work because they're usually motivational in nature. We'll tell them to be more aware. We'll tell them stories about the last time somebody did it and how they should avoid it. We'll do apology tours with employees, stand up, and tell everybody what you did wrong, and how you regret it now.

Joe Estey:

And none of that works and yet businesses keep using it. So I would study, what are your real issues? What are the corrective actions you have historically put in place? Which of those really viewed error as involuntary or carried the misconception that it was a matter of choice when it wasn't. And so what kinds of things can you put in place to reduce the opportunity for error? You see in every event there are two things present, the opportunity and the action. You either want to eliminate the action and leave the opportunity in place, or get rid of the opportunity. And you don't have to worry about somebody's action. And. that's the way I would advise businesses to conduct their business.

Paul Casey:

That's good. Take the eclair out of the refrigerator if you're trying to lose weight.

Joe Estey:

There you go. That's exactly right. Eliminate the queues, and then you don't have to worry about the response.

Paul Casey:

Love it. Well, Joe, finally, what advice would you give to new leaders just emerging in their organization or anyone who wants to keep growing and gaining more influence?

Joe Estey:

Again, great question. First of all, and this has come to me very late in life, and I wish I would have had it earlier in life because it would have served me well. And that is be curious and interested in the way you're doing business and examine it on a regular basis. Don't rely on the results and outcomes to convince you that you're doing well. It could be a matter of luck. And when crisis shows up, it probably shows you that you weren't as quote unquote lucky as you thought. So be curious and interested in the way we get things done and never allow consequence to be your guide. You see, too many businesses allow consequences to be their teacher. Well, when consequence is your teacher it's too late to get the lesson. Now if you go out there every day and you talk to people about what they're doing and how it's going and what's happening, and you realize, man, we had put some things in place that just don't make sense.

Joe Estey:

You know, there's one consultant who in Europe ask people in organizations what's the craziest thing this company asks you to do on a regular basis? And they always think that he's a shill for company, so they don't answer. But when he gains their trust, they'll say the way we fill out our time cards or the way we have to do this before we do that makes no sense to anybody, but the guy who came up with it. And so they eliminate that. And they eliminate it before they have a consequence. So that's the goal. Be consequence free by being curious.

Paul Casey:

Good stuff. Well, Joe, how can our listeners best connect with you?

Joe Estey:

Well, the best way is always through email at... I'm sure you'll put that on the site. I know you. But J-S-D at Lucas Inc dot com or go into the website at Lucas O-P-T, that's for organizational performance teams, dot com and then get a hold of me there. I'm always glad to talk to new people.

Paul Casey:

Well, thanks again for all you do to make the Tri-Cities a great place and keep leading well.

Joe Estey:

Oh. I appreciate it, Paul. You too. Appreciate it.

Paul Casey:

Let me wrap up our podcast today with a leadership resource to recommend. We talked a lot about books today with Joe, and if you just want the cliff notes version of some great books out there, I would encourage you to go to blinkist dot com B-L-I-N-K-I-S-T blinkist.com. They have a free trial. What it does is it curates the big thoughts of the personal growth and leadership books so that you get some quick takeaways without reading the whole book. So if you say like I'm too busy to read. You're not too busy to read these little summaries on blinkist.com.

Paul Casey:

Again, this is Paul Casey. I want to thank my guest, Joe Estey from Lucas Engineering for being here today on the Tri-City Influencer Podcast. And we want to thank our TCI sponsor and invite you to support them. We appreciate you making this possible so that we can collaborate to help inspire leaders in our community. Finally, one more leadership tidbit for the road to help you make a difference in your circle of influence. So best marketing for any of us is to always get better. Never stop improving. Until next time, [inaudible 00:34:40] throw it forward.

Speaker 2:

Thank you to our listeners for tuning into today's show. Paul Casey is on a mission to add value to leaders by providing practical tools and strategies that reduce stress in their lives and on their teams so that they can enjoy life and leadership and experience their key desired results. If you'd like more help from Paul in your leadership development, connect with him at growing forward at Paul Casey dot org for a consultation that can help you move past your current challenges and create a strategy for growing your life or your team forward. Paul would also like to help you restore your sanity to your crazy schedule and getting your priorities done everyday by offering you his free control my calendar checklist. Go to W-W dot take back my calendar dot com for that productivity tool or open a text message to seven two zero zero zero and type the word growing.

Paul Casey:

Tri-Cities influencer podcast was recorded at Fuse SPC by Bill Wagner of Safe Strategies.

67 episodes