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Tom Fletcher

25 Podcast Episodes

Latest 18 Jul 2021 | Updated Daily

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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11. Zoe Sugg, Tom Fletcher & Giovanna Fletcher

The Secret's Out

Im so happy to be back with season 2 of The Secret’s Out! Kicking off this new series, I’m joined by my girlfriend. Author and content creator Zoe Sugg, host of Happy Mum, Happy Baby podcast, Giovanna Fletcher and her husband, McFly’s Tom Fletcher! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

1hr 6mins

15 Jul 2021

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Tom Fletcher on Pivoting to Digital Diplomacy

The Pivot Point Podcast

Digital technology has transformed the way countries interact with each other at a state-to-state level. In this episode, Eliot Wilson talks to former diplomat Tom Fletcher, author of The Naked Diplomat, about his time as ambassador to Lebanon, when he transformed the embassy's media output, the new ways in which diplomacy is being practised and how politicians and public servants will have to adapt to new technology on an evolving basis.


10 Jun 2021

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5. YAY for Tom Fletcher

Meet Me At The Hub Grass

Ever wish you could just grab a Starbucks, walk over to the hub grass and watch the world in the Magic Kingdom pass by? Now you can!  This week we return to normality as Sophie returns! Tune in as we discuss the Shang-Chi and the Seven Rings Trailer, the new Disney Look guidelines, and even more details surrounding the Disney Magic at Sea around the UK and much more! Follow us on Insta @meetmeatthehubgrass, @sophiebrothertn & @saraahhm__  Also follow our small shops on Insta @signsbysophieb and @magicbymcknight


25 Apr 2021

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66. Growing Forward Podcast featuring Tom Fletcher

Tri-Cities Influencer Podcast with Paul Casey

Paul Casey: Now, what are the 20% of targets that will let you 80% of results if you were to focus a disproportionate amount of time on those 20% tasks? 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 Tom Fletcher. Tom is the assistant manager for the waste treatment plant, and Tom does everything with gusto. So Tom, what's unusual about that? Tom Fletcher: So I often get teased by the wife and many family members that I'm either 100% in or 100% out. And when I came into and I was walking through the house at night and that's no different, walking through the house at night and missed the step. I have tiled floor; you know if you're on the tile you're safe. Well, guess what? My foot stepped on the opposite side of the wall and smashed my face right into the wall, blood going down. Paul Casey: Oh, no, no. Tom Fletcher: The wife comes out and laughs at me and says, "What are you doing? Don't you put your hands out in front of you?" I said, "No, I was walking." So I do everything with 100% in or 100% out. Paul Casey: And that's why we're interviewing you today, Tom. Well, we'll dive in after checking in with our Tri-City Influencer sponsor. Paul Casey: 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-law.com today. Thank you for your support of leadership development in the Tri-Cities. Paul Casey: Well, Tom, great that you are here. I'm doing a little bit of coaching for your organization and got to meet you through that process. And just our brief conversation made me want to interview you, because I think we're kindred spirits on the whole leadership stuff. And so, let's let our listeners get to know you. So what are some career highlights that have led you to where you are today? Tom Fletcher: So I got master's and bachelor's in civil engineering from WSU, go cougs, grew up in a family of construction businesses. So I've been in the field since I was little but knew that that wasn't my career path. So I went to work for the US Army Corps of Engineers, and in 2006 decided I would make a change and actually transferred to DOE. And from there it's been a whirl, and I think I've held seven positions in the last- Paul Casey: Wow. Tom Fletcher: ... 11, 12, 13 years. Was the deputy manager of regional operations, and just about three years ago was asked to come back and bring the waste treatment plant online. Right now we're headed towards 2023 for the first creation of glass. So got a lot of work to do, but that's where we're headed. Paul Casey: Awesome. And why do you love what you do? Tom Fletcher: A couple of different things. One of the things that I love doing is to give back to the great nation. It's my way of giving back, working for the federal service. But it's also, I get to have fun doing it. And there's something about building a $16 billion facility that you don't often get an opportunity to go do. And the magnitude, the challenges, all of those are rewarding and fun at the same time. Paul Casey: Yeah, I was just doing that last week. No, just kidding. You're right, that is a rare opportunity to be able to put on your resume. Well, staying in one strength zone at work multiplies your influence, you probably believe that as well. So how do you add the most value to your organization and to the teams that you get to lead? Tom Fletcher: So one of the things that I've done a lot through my career is really building the team. Putting the right people in the right seat of the school bus is critical in delivering of a project. You don't put the kid that trips everybody in the front seat, you put them towards the back. So when I build up a team, it starts with building a clear vision, delivering that clear vision, building a critical mass within the team, supporting that clear vision, and then delivering on results. And as long as you can bring those three together, the sky's the limit. And I've created my career based on basically those three premises of clear vision, building the critical mass within the team to support that vision and then going and delivering on our word. And that's how I pretty much came to where I've been at this point in time. Paul Casey: Where did you learn that, Tom? Did it come from resources? Did you have a mentor maybe that taught you that? Or did you come up with that on your own? Tom Fletcher: So a couple of different things. One, I do a lot of reading. I grew up in a family, as I said, that we were taught early that nothing in life is given and everything is earned, or is given or deserved and everything is earned. So, that started off at an early age. I've been working in the field of construction since I was probably 10 or 12 years old with my dad and family members, two of the family businesses. So, that was the starting of it. But a lot of it comes down to mentors and coaches. I've had a lot of mentors and coaches. I'm lucky to have my brother who built businesses on supporting building businesses and supporting people grow. So having a brutal, honest voice that I get to bounce things off of that comes free when he normally charges a lot is excellent as well. Paul Casey: Well, on the flip side, leaders have to be self-aware of their weaknesses. So what is your favorite "Way to sabotage yourself?" Tom Fletcher: So one of the things that I want to touch on here, and this is really about defeating the lesser self. I have a philosophy, and this is built around my brother and my brother's concept as well. You have a heroic self, and you have a lesser self, and the lesser self is that little person on your shoulder, always sitting there telling you to rationalize things away, removing accountability. And I've spent a lot of time making sure I recognize who that is and what it is, and it's me. So the lesser self is just another side of me. And understanding what that means to me and what his triggers are, usually starts with words like, it can be done tomorrow, or there's a future day for that. Tom Fletcher: But for me, it's, being an A type personality, active listening. It's always that little guy saying, jump in there. You know we are going to tell you. And not actually letting the other people provide their perspective, the teammates that truly are the ones that are delivering the mission and truly often have the best answers. Getting all of that information on the table before you're making the decision has been critical and probably my weakest aspect, but it's been something I've worked hard on over the past 10 years. Paul Casey: You mentioned about rationalizing, and I think our brains do have the unlimited capacity to rationalize. If you had an employee who was a "rationalizer," we've probably all been there in our lives, what advice would you give them? Tom Fletcher: Know oneself. A lot of us have someday syndrome. Someday we'll start that, tomorrow's a good day, and that never stops. It's, someday we'll do that. Just over 18 months ago, I was challenged, and again, by my brother, to get back in shape. I'd let business take over for seven plus years and my body got out of shape. And now 18 months later, I'm 60 pounds lighter and in the best shape I've- Paul Casey: Wow. Tom Fletcher: ... physically been in my life, because some day is now today. And it's taking that accountability, again, 100% in or 100% out. And I have watched many statistics, and I'm a huge tracker and I watched my cholesterol keep growing, I watched my shoes get further and further away. And I took no action until I took that challenge. And once the challenge happened, it's been 530 days since I've missed a workout. Paul Casey: Wow, fantastic. Tom Fletcher: But it's about knowing yourself and knowing those weaknesses. And then once you go in, just make it a part of your day, make it a part of you. Paul Casey: Yeah. You can't dabble in it, you've got to fully commit, all in. Well, you mentioned about active listening, which is one of the best leadership skills you could probably have. How do you remind yourself to actively listen? Because you are a driver and you said you're type A, go, go, go, but you've learned along the way. You said that before you make a decision, you've got to listen. How do you remind yourself of that? Tom Fletcher: I think part of it comes to educating your team. And it's two pieces. One, educating the team that you need to know the bottom line upfront. So as a leader, I make sure my team knows, give me the bottom line and then provide me the details. I'll listen to the details, but if you start with the details and I don't know where I'm ending at or what the punchline is, man, that takes me a long time. So I've taught my team ... and this is true throughout life. If you look at the different types of personalities ... I've done a lot of reading and training on personality types. If you start with the bottom line, provide the analytical data and the facts that support it and then provide the connection from an emotional standpoint of how it makes us feel or how it improves us, you cover the entire suite in that order. Tom Fletcher: And the amount of patience people have or normally have is in that order, if you look at it from a personality type. So that is a way to communicate and something that I've learned works very effectively, both vertically, horizontally and down. If you communicate in that style, because you grab that bottom line up front, you gather the facts for those analytical thinkers and then those that are emotional based, they really want to understand what's in it for me. And if you connect that at the end, they'll stay there the longest, because they're really there about the emotional piece and they don't want to cut you off because they want to make you feel that good. Paul Casey: I love that. And I heard that's an acronym. Bottom line up front is BLUF, right? Tom Fletcher: Yeah. Paul Casey: So you got to call your bluff. Tom Fletcher: Yup. Paul Casey: And I love that you hit each one of the personality styles with that approach. Sounds like that'd be a good email too. Tom Fletcher: It is. Paul Casey: Just hit it up because some people want to read the first paragraph anyways, but then those that are going to hang with you need some of that other information. Tom Fletcher: Absolutely. Paul Casey: Yeah, it's great for vision casting. So Tri-City Influencer listeners, bottom line up front, then the analytical info, and then the emotional why, and you'll probably catch everybody. Well, rarely do we achieve our highest potential by ourselves. So Tom, who keeps you accountable and energized to getting your professional and personal goals accomplished? Tom Fletcher: So as you guys probably can tell, my energy level is high all the time. Again, I'm 100% in when I go in and that's just me as a person, my personality type. But I will tell you, I have a beautiful wife and two beautiful daughters that support me unconditionally, whether it's in my career, at home, whatever craziness I try to get them into. And a lot of time it's at the expense of personal time with them, because again, I got high energy, high expectation on my career side, the house as well. But in addition to the family, I have a whole host of mentors. I've been lucky enough that many of my mentors started off as paid mentors and the relationship and friendships, which I can't stress enough the importance of relationship and friendship that I've built with those people over time. Tom Fletcher: Now I can pick up the phone without the paycheck that goes along with it and have that conversation about, hey, what do you think about this? Or what do you think about that? I have my brother, which is another awesome resource for me, and the team that my brother works with. And so, it's been a great, I'll say, interaction. But at the bottom line, for me, it really comes down to making sure that we as a human or organizations, only our organisms, only have a couple of things that we can control entirely within ourselves. One is our integrity ... for me, these are my two large ones, my integrity and my word. And I will protect those at all costs, and those drive my behavior. So if I've committed to something and it takes me 24 hours or 48 hours straight of work, I'm going to meet my deliverable. Tom Fletcher: But that's just me, and that's something that I think it comes down to. You got to know what your value is, what your commitment style is. But one of the things I would tell you is, make the commitment publicly. Nothing makes it more important than putting a date on a piece of paper or putting a date in Facebook or putting a date in something that's public. When you're going to get questioned by those people that are out there that says, did you do it? And you don't want to say, no. That's a bad answer as a leader. No is not the right answer. Paul Casey: Yeah. I heard the other day, you're 78% more likely to accomplish your goals if you declare it out loud. I mean, that is some great odds. Tom Fletcher: Yeah. Paul Casey: So publicly share that with somebody or put it out there on social media. And you don't want to have that egg on your face. Tom Fletcher: No. Paul Casey: You want to get that done. I love how you said you've almost turned your mentors into friends over the years. And I think we all need people that we can hit up for advice, or as a sounding board along the way. I call them the A team. Accountability, teamwork, encouragement, asking for help and motivation, that's your A team. We've got to have those people in our life. And that's so cool you got so many that you could turn to. You mentioned your family, and before we turned on the recording, you talked about it blurs your style, work-life integration. Talk a little bit more about that. Tom Fletcher: Yeah. So I'm a person that I work and live one life. I don't have a work life; I don't have a home ... they blur together. I'm lucky that my wife is willing to let me do this because I'm not sure ... I don't know if I could do it any other way. So I often go to work a little later in the morning because I want to spend some time at home with the kids in the morning, get them off to school. I've had the ability throughout my career to be able to pretty much meet every one of their games. But on the flip side of that, work doesn't stop when I left the office. So I don't have a 9:00 to 5:00 job. I could, but that's not my style. I respond to emails throughout the entirety of the day. Tom Fletcher: I work throughout the entirety of the day, whether I'm home when it's a Saturday and Sunday. If one of my teammates have emailed me or sent me a note, it doesn't stop me from jumping on the phone. I do try to hold a couple hours each evening dear to my family. But from a big picture, it's really just one life. And tried and we talked a lot about work-life balance, and you think about that in a scale, you always are giving up on one or the other. Paul Casey: Right. Tom Fletcher: And with integration, some days, some weeks, it's going to be higher on the work side and some weeks it's going to be higher on the family side. And that work-life balance, or that work-life integration, it'll all level out at the end. And you're not trying to truly give one thing for another. And often it creates, like I said, two different lives, a work life and a home life. I just, I don't do it. Paul Casey: My wife calls me the blur, I just sort of fly. So when you say it blurs together, I totally get that. So replenishment has to be important too, to stay at this high level of capacity that you have. What do you do to manage stress? Tom Fletcher: This is a weird one for me, because most people think I'm not human in this case, because I really don't get stressed. I probably have one of the highest stress jobs, I've had one of the highest stress jobs that you could possibly have. I've went through major litigations, multiple major litigations, I've went through very emotional events from a workforce standpoint, but I really don't have stress. I mean, I do the best I physically can do and at the end of the day I know I've done the best I physically can do, and that's good. I mean, to take home energy or negativity or to even have it at work, that doesn't have a positive outcome or event that's caused by it, why? So I don't do things that don't add value. And if it's all in, all out, stress is one of those all outs for me. I can't figure out the value of it, other than, we all have it in the background. I mean, yeah, it's there, but I don't really feel it. Paul Casey: Sure. Tom Fletcher: But again, it's that work-life integration that I think is part of the reason I don't have that field, because it really does flow. It doesn't come in as one giant peak. And yeah, I get 50 deliverables a week that weren't planned, on a Monday, that disrupt my whole week. And I could be stressed over, or I could just go and say, okay, how's the best way to tackle them and prioritize the order, and just go crank down the list. Paul Casey: Right. Yeah. And stress is just stress. And I think what you're talking about is your response to it. And you're not viewing it negatively, you're viewing it as like, man, this is just an energy giver for me. Tom Fletcher: It really is. It's not really a planisher, it's really just, hey, I got to go tackle the projects or the action in front of me. Paul Casey: Yeah. If we continue to view stress negatively, that's when we get to burn out. So if you can have a positive view of stress, you won't get there. Love that. Well, before we enter our next question on hiring and people development with Tom, a shout out to our sponsor. Paul Casey: 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 coworking at Fuse. Come co-work at Fuse for free on Fridays in February. Enjoy free coffee or tea, Wi-Fi, 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 at fusespc.com or stop by 723, The Parkway in Richland, Washington. Paul Casey: So Tom, hiring and people development is crucial for leadership. If you could clone the ideal employee for your organization, what traits would that person have? Tom Fletcher: A growth mindset. And that is one that wants to learn, doesn't believe a failure is a failure and really believes it's an opportunity. We have a motto in my organization and something that I've lived by failure today is an opportunity for success tomorrow as long as we learn from it. Is driven and is a self-starter. I can teach, we can teach anybody a skill. It's really hard to teach somebody something that, in most cases, all three of those are contained within. And if you think about some of the great growth mindset people, or some of the great fixed mindset people on the opposite spectrum that just truly believe everything, great growth mindset would be Michael Jordan, right? Paul Casey: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Tom Fletcher: There's always a way to get better. Paul Casey: Yep. Tom Fletcher: And I can see the tennis player's name that throws his racket. Paul Casey: McEnroe. Tom Fletcher: McEnroe. Great fixed mindset. There's nothing that I did wrong, it's everybody else's fault. It's that guy in the stadium that made him sneeze, right? Paul Casey: That's right. Tom Fletcher: So that mindset, and it's been proven, and that's just something that's been shown, that if you have that growth mindset where your mind is about, okay, how do I fix that or how do I get better? I can try to get you there, but that's probably the biggest thing for me. And then driven and self-starter, because the sky's the limit, no matter what level of the organization you're going. And if you have those three, you can learn the rest. Paul Casey: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Say that quote again about ... what you said was, "Failure today is an opportunity for success tomorrow." Is that the quote? Tom Fletcher: Yeah. Failure today is an opportunity for success tomorrow, as long as you learn from it. Paul Casey: As long as you learn from it. Great words, TC Influencers. We love the self-starter thing too. I've been really reflecting on that. What separates a leader from a follower or at least an influencer is that initiative. That self-starter. If you're looking for a potential leader in your organization, look for those that kick it in gear on their own without any prodding from anybody else. Well, I've had emerging leaders tell me that they want to grow in thinking strategically, Tom. So what tips would you give on how to look at that big picture, that vision for greater long-term impact? How can people get better at that? Tom Fletcher: So, know where you want to go. If you're looking three months out, four months out, six months out, you're going to fail to start with. Most of us, and I've had the opportunity and my wife's business is now what, five years in the making. And we started her business, knowing that we had a five to seven-year plan before we thought she'd become truly profitable. I mean, that's just something you got to know. You got to know that you're in, especially with a business, if you're building a business, you're in up to five to seven years before you're going to be a truly profitable business. Or that amount of cash that needs to go in to support building the business actually starts coming out in the positive terms. And if you can't see that end point of where you want to be and you think today's going to be cash day, I challenge you to think longer. You got to know and be real with yourself, that long-term vision there. The only thing I would tell you is, don't get stuck on the starting gates. Perfection is the enemy of good enough. Paul Casey: Yes. Tom Fletcher: I tell my team all the time, we know where our destination is and a destination is a point on the journey, so that's one of our goals along where we're ultimately headed. But we're going to leave the starting line, not knowing exactly how to get there. And through metrics and measurement, we're going to self-correct or mitigate risk, another way to look at it, through time, such that we're going to leave. And we may take two or three jogs, but at the end of the point, end of the time, we're going to make it to our destination. And guess what? We don't get to stop there, because the day we stop is the day we start going backwards in life. Paul Casey: Yes. Tom Fletcher: Because somebody else did not stop. Paul Casey: That's right. Tom Fletcher: So it really is about taking that long-term vision, knowing that destination three, five, seven years in advance. Now, you can have some intermediate steps along, those goals, and you need to track metrics to measure those goals. Paul Casey: Yes. Tom Fletcher: Right? What's measured is delivered and what's not is forgotten, for lack of better words. Paul Casey: Yeah. Tom Fletcher: So I would just challenge you to think big. Don't have pride and rigidity. Too many people write a plan and say, this is where I'm going to go. Well, guess what? 27 things happened between here and where you thought you were going to go that you need to be adapt and flexible too. And if you're willing to be adaptable and flexible, the sky's the limit. And I'll give you an example from my wife's business. My wife creates cake toppers. When the pandemic hit, how many cake toppers do you think were coming into our business, which just turned profitable this year? Tom Fletcher: Her business just turned profitable this year. Not many. We went from over a couple of five to $600 a day to less than $50 a day. So we quickly looked at the potential and we landed this year with the largest year of the year, because we started developing face masks and stuff to support the pandemic that we're currently in. You have to be flexible; you have to be willing to grab that next product line. Yes, did it cost money? Absolutely. But at the end of the day, in all these major changes is opportunity and you just got to be willing to grab it. Isn't that scary? Paul Casey: Yeah. Well, quick shout out to your wife's business. Do you have a website that we can- Tom Fletcher: She's actually on Etsy, Christy's Custom Vinyl. Paul Casey: Okay. Tom Fletcher: Is her shop, but she does a lot of cake toppers and cake wedding products. Paul Casey: Fantastic. Well, that reminds me of Seth Godin's book, Poke the Box, where he just says, "Put something into play, ship it." He kept saying. And then you can iterate off that later. But as adults, we get more and more reserved and we get risk averse and we don't put it into play because we think it has to be perfect. But like you said, we got to be flexible. If we're rigid with it, we're in trouble. Also, like how you said, think bigger. We sometimes set goals that just by the normal course of things were just going to get done. I always tell employees, stretch, put a stretch goal down, think a little bit bigger. If you shoot for the moon, you're going to end up at the stars. Tom Fletcher: Yeah. Paul Casey: So that's at the macro level, let's go to micro level. What small acts of leadership, Tom, if done daily, make a positive difference in the lives of people and their teams? Tom Fletcher: Communication, communication, communication, and just keep hitting repeat. And I think the other piece of that is positive reward recognition where it's deserved. And I make that very clear, if you say thank you to everyone, thank you means nothing. So you need to make sure, as a leader, especially if you're the top leader or at the top of your organization, that your thank yous are visible, but also reserved for those areas that truly are those A performances. If all your C performers are getting the same thank you that your A performers are [crosstalk 00:25:51], you have just trivialized your A performers. Paul Casey: Yup. Tom Fletcher: And it's okay that the C performer does an A job and gets that credit when it's done. But you have to give credit where credit is due, and it has to be in a razor manner that is truly rewarding and meaningful. The other thing I would tell you is, make sure you know how your employees want to be recognized. Paul Casey: Yes. Tom Fletcher: If you take a very strong introvert and you go put them up ... bring them up in front of a stage and deliver them a grand award, they are going to want to sink as far down into their seat as they physically could. So, recognize people how they want to be recognized. That would be my other one. Paul Casey: Do you think that goes to performance reviews too, Tom? Like, rating? You can't give everybody the exceeds, exceeds performance review, right? Do you think it also plays out there too? Tom Fletcher: My biggest pet peeve in life, rating everybody equal. And I'm not trying to put a differentiation, but when you look at an array of people, we have a bell curve distribution, no matter what anybody tells me. There are people on the lower end, there's people on the high end and the masses in the middle. And so when you look at it, we have that distribution as you look at the vast majority of organizations. There are a few that skew one way or the other, depending on their structure and depending on how they style. But we have to be brutally honest with our teammates in order to help them grow. If we're not, we're giving them a disservice and we're doing ourselves a disservice because we're allowing subpar products to be the standard. So you have to be able to have the hard conversations to truly push the team, to give them their feedback. I don't ever wait. Yeah, we have feedback twice a year, plus end of your performance. That's nonsense. When you see something that they can improve on, give them the feedback. Paul Casey: Yeah. Tom Fletcher: And as long as you start with what we talked about earlier about the growth mindset, they want that feedback. Paul Casey: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Tom Fletcher: They want to know, how do they improve? Very rarely do I go ... I mean, I do have presentations all the time and it doesn't matter whose ... if they're willing to give me feedback, I'm asking for it. Paul Casey: Oh yeah. Tom Fletcher: Because it could be something small or just a small tweak that truly makes a difference and I make a better connection to the audience I'm talking about, so. Paul Casey: Yeah, real-time feedback is so crucial. Like you said, the once, twice a year kind of thing, it's doing your people a disservice because they can course correct if we give it to them sooner than to wait for the once-a-year thing and then it's, oh, surprise. Tom Fletcher: And you have disempowered employees when you do that. Paul Casey: Indeed. Indeed. And I like how you said that it's the motive behind that, it's the high performers. If you just pull everybody up to this rating that everybody gets, it really de-motivates the high performers. If one of our Tri-City Influencer listeners asked you two to three books or resources they must read in order to grow their leadership skills, where would you point them? Tom Fletcher: So I have a whole library of books. Paul Casey: Yes. Tom Fletcher: But if I was to put a couple on the list, I think, and I've talked about this a little bit, growth and fixed mindset. Mindset by Carol Dweck is an excellent book, it really talks about the growth of fixed mindset and gives great examples. And then Good to Great by Jim Collins. Another great book where you talk about getting the flywheel, the 5,000-pound flywheel going. And once it gets going ... it's really hard to get started, kind of the same idea of a business thinking long-term. But once that thing creates rotational mass and starts moving, it takes a little energy to make it keep going faster. But as soon as you don't put energy into it, it is slowing down and therefore you're going the wrong direction and somebody's passing you. So I think those are probably the two great books. But honestly, anything that you want to gain knowledge in, just read. Tom Fletcher: I tried to read 30 to 50 pages the other day. I tried to make that part of my day, reading 30 or 50 pages a day. And it doesn't matter what it's in. I mean, it really doesn't, as long as it's in an area of improvement you want to go after. I read a lot of books that some would go, what, why is that? But it's just leadership styles. Whether it's a book on autobiography for Amazon, Jeff Bezos or any of those. They each have nuggets in them. And are you going to read the whole book and you get something out of the whole book? No. But there's nuggets in every book that you can learn from. One thing I will say is, find a way to actually know how to go back and find that information in your book. Paul Casey: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Tom Fletcher: If you don't have a good way of tabbing or a good way of note taking or highlighting or whatever works for you, categorizing, to actually go back and recall and reflect on those words, six, 12, 18 months later, you hurt yourself a little bit when you're reading books. I always write mine; I highlight those critical ones and then I write on the edge of the book itself on the margin, my note that I want to capture or the thought I want to come back to. But just find a way that works for you. Paul Casey: That's a great method. I read 46 books last year on leadership, personal growth. That's why I think we're like-minded in that. And yeah, I try to highlight, and then I go back and journal through. So I get really three reads on a book and then it imprints in my brain a little bit more than just reading it and then it's gone. So Tri-Cities Influencer listeners, whether that's a seminar or a conference you go to, when you get to go back to conferences, or whether it's any kind of resource or even meeting with your mentor, take good notes because you want to capture that stuff. And put something into play within 72 hours, share it with somebody, write it, do something, or we start to lose it, and then all that professional growth opportunity slips away. Well, finally, Tom, what advice would you give to new leaders or anyone who wants to keep growing and gaining more influence? Tom Fletcher: Be true to yourself. I think you've heard me say this multiple times. I'm the same person at home as I am at work. As soon as we try to divide ourselves or make ourselves have different personalities, you're not going to be true to yourself. So many people try to fit in a box because there's a paycheck or a pay increase that goes along with it. But if it's not the right spot for you, don't take it. Money is just an object, it's not what defines us. And be true to yourself in that process. Keep moving forward, no matter what is in front of you. Yes, you're going to get knocked backwards in life and in business and in developing or growing. But no matter what adversities, challenge, you keep moving forward. That'd be my main thing. It takes determination, grit, and just pure brute force at times to overcome those challenges. Tom Fletcher: So I would just say, keep going. You talked a minute ago about documentation, one of the things I work hard about is documented approach. So whatever we do, whether it's a process at the business at home or a process at work, I try to document it such that I'm improving on it. So rather than trying to relive, okay, how do I go do that? Well, I've got a documented approach. I go back to my piece of paper. That's what we did last time. Let's see, what do we do this time? Was it better or worse? And keep iterating on that. And that approach just keeps getting better and better through time, the more times you use it. Paul Casey: Yeah. Anything we're doing is worth evaluating for sure. And so, yes, be yourself, Tri-Cities Influencer listeners. It's the best way to have executive presence if you're trying to go for that goal, because you're not trying to fake it, you are trying to be your unique self. Well, Tom, how can our listeners get in touch with you if they wanted to follow up? Tom Fletcher: Yeah. This is the part that I ... I'm probably the worst at social media in the world. Social media and I are like evil enemies. But I am on LinkedIn and Facebook. If you do send me a note, I do look at those and will respond. Just don't expect it overnight. Paul Casey: Because the driver is on his path, achieving great things. Tom Fletcher: I look at them every couple of days. They pop up. What really gets me is those little stupid bubbles that have numbers in them that drive me absolutely crazy as a human. Paul Casey: Well, thanks again for all you do to make the Tri-Cities a great place and keep leading well. Let me wrap up our podcast today with a leadership resource to recommend, the book I'm in the middle of right now called the 12 Week Year, by Brian Moran. The 12 Week Year. It's trying to help you get more done in 12 weeks than other people do in 12 months. So if you're a productivity junkie like I am, you're going to like this book because it's giving yourself tighter deadlines than just your annual goals. Those annual goals seem so far off and we just procrastinate saying, hey, I got time. And then November and December come, and all of a sudden, we've got some pressure to ramp up. But by breaking your year into 12-week years, you're going to have that little bit of pressure to get things done more often. Paul Casey: Again, this is Paul Casey. I want to thank my guest, Tom Fletcher, from the waste treatment plant for being here today on the Tri-Cities Influencer Podcast. And we want to thank our TCI sponsor and invite you to support them. We appreciate you making this possible so 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, it's from Zig Ziglar. He says, "Outstanding people have one thing in common, an absolute sense of mission." Till next time, KGF, keep growing 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 growingforwardatpaulcasey.org for a consultation that could help you move past your current challenges and create the strategy for growing your life or your team or group. Paul would also like to help you restore your sanity to your crazy schedule and getting your priorities done every day by offering you his free control my calendar checklist. Go to ww.takebackmycalendar.com for that productivity tool, or open a text message to 72000 and type the word grow. Paul Casey: The Tri-Cities Influencer Podcast was recorded at Fuse SPC by Bill Wagner of Safe Strategies.


17 Mar 2021

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