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Business Problem Solving with Daniel Hammond

George Grombacher May 11, 2023

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Business Problem Solving with Daniel Hammond

LifeBlood: We talked about business problem solving, how to identify and remove bottlenecks in a company, how to uncover blind spots and move past them, and how to empower others, with Daniel Hammond, entrepreneur, speaker, writer, and Managing Partner of Customer Driven Leadership.    

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You can learn more about Daniel at CustomerDrivenLeaders.co and LinkedIn.

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Our Guests

George Grombacher

Daniel Hammond

Episode Transcript

eorge grombacher 0:02
Well I’m left with is George G and the time is right welcome today’s guest strung a powerful Daniel Hammond. Daniel, how you ready to do this?

Daniel Hammond 0:08

george grombacher 0:09
All right, let’s go. Daniel is the managing partner of customer driven leadership. He’s an entrepreneur speaker, a philanthropist and a veteran, the United States Army. Daniel, thanks for your service. excited to have you on. Tell us a little about your personal lives more about your work and why you do what you do.

Daniel Hammond 0:28
antastic Thanks, George. So I’m married to Karolina Matrice, who’s an amazing wife, mother and entrepreneur. We have two amazing kids. They’re adults, Alex and Maria Gabriella, my wife and I love to travel hike. I have a passion for board gaming and scuba diving. And besides my partnership and customer driven leadership, I also own ethereal Rodin cyber consulting, which delivers cyber exercises which are kind of fire drills for networks gives leadership teams an opportunity to think through being hacked, without actually being hacked. I published three collaborative books in the last 12 months, I was the lead author on both customer driven leadership legacy edition, which is how to win with entrepreneurial servant leadership responsiveness to client data, and constant creativity, as well as kind of the How To Guide for CDL customer driven leadership implementation guide book. I also was part of a collaborative work for out of a community I’m with called VIP 100 dot club called Success Secrets of disruptors. My chapter was let’s get uncomfortable, where I challenge people to continually grow. And I think strong growth makes us a bit uncomfortable. So I’m a certified member with Maxwell leadership, a 10x Ambition client at strategic coach, I volunteer at my church, currently acting as the international mission, lead and bass player at our contemporary service. I also lived five and a half years in Honduras, helping my wife with her textile export company teaching scuba diving. And I also ran a top tier physical security company for a while. An anecdote that might be interesting to your audience is I’ve been blessed to work with cabinet level officials in four countries in four completely different job roles. That

george grombacher 2:34
so many questions how, you know, we all have the same 24 hours in a day kind of a thing is is what I say that, what what, what kind of goes through your mind.

Daniel Hammond 2:48
Daniel’s all over the place. And in some ways I enjoy that I really I’m the guy that runs toward fires, and I love I love to come where entrepreneurs are having challenges. I was an interrogation instructor, and I like to interrogate their problems down to solvable small issues. And so I do that in a variety of ways, through consulting, and through customer driven leadership, which is an operating system for organizations that really help the leaders of that organization grow that organization, by empowering their people being responsive to what their customers are thinking and feeling and taking care. Really, I think a lot of entrepreneurs are running around solving the problems of their organizations. And that’s really not the best use of their time. If you empower your people and trust your team, they’ll solve the problems before they ever get up to your level. And that’s what customer driven leadership isn’t does.

george grombacher 4:01
When you are interrogating problems down to solvable parts, increments. How does that how does that normally is it that people are telling? We’re telling ourselves stories about the problem making it so much bigger? What it is? Is there a common thread?

Daniel Hammond 4:22
Yeah, I think a lot of it is we have blind spots, and everybody has them, including me, including me. And, you know, when somebody takes the time to ask you, tell me what’s going on? Why is this a problem? And you start thinking about it in new ways. And really, whether you’re interrogating war criminals and trying to figure out first of all, how can they help you and then be how can you get to the most important information that they have? You’re looking for how things all connect together. And that’s what I do. Uh, you know, I get there’s entrepreneurs where I say, just walk me through your entire process. And I just ask them questions. Well, what if this happens? And how would you handle it if a customer, you know, had had a problem? In this particular space? did the same thing with cyber in my cyber stuff? Right? It’s, it’s asking them, you know, what have you done to prepare for a cyber attack? Right? And, you know, if you had to pay a ransom, would you consider paying ransom? And then I like to ask them questions like, so you wouldn’t pay $1 To save everybody’s job and to protect your clients data? Right. And so those challenging questions, right, a lot of people just go, I’d never pay ransom. Well, they haven’t really thought through it. Right? Would would you really let the business die? Or would you make a strategic decision in the moment?

george grombacher 5:55
The difference between war criminals and entrepreneurs?

Daniel Hammond 6:00
Well, yeah, I think my experience with war criminals are, you know, they live in their own blind spots, right. And they’re making decisions based on what they think is best for them, and potentially their countries. And I think entrepreneurs do that as well. I think it’s super important to be clear in your values. And I would like to hope that entrepreneurs do that better than war criminals. Great question. My way. Oh, thanks. I grade people for their questioning, right.

george grombacher 6:37
I think there’s so much value in in having a good question and trying to try to get to the heart of of the problem. And you’re not, perhaps with war criminal, you’re Were you ever manipulative? Or it obviously, you’re not doing that with clients, but you’re trying to get them to the desired solution?

Daniel Hammond 6:59
Yeah. I fortunately, was, you know, everything I did was Geneva compliant, and why wild deception is authorized within the framework of what’s legal and right. Didn’t didn’t need to do that. Really, in fact, I would say that, when you care about people, and you’re building common ground with them, and that’s what you need to do to get somebody really cooperative with you, you know, being honest, is the best approach, and especially given where I was, you know, where I was people lived in fear of saying the wrong thing to the wrong person, their entire life. And so, you know, a more fear based approach, where you kind of build on anxieties, you know, is wasn’t a good wasn’t a good strategy. I saw that right away, and really got to the point where, you know, I had a reputation of being honest and trustworthy, when I told them I would, you know, escalate something that they were concerned about, I did, things got changed, and I got a reputation such that when I walked into the prison camp, you know, people I didn’t know what like, wave to me. And these are prisoners. Right. And that was humbling. But I think it also shows that if you truly care about people, you can find the common ground with them. And I, you know, I do the same thing. When I work with entrepreneurs, it’s not about the services I have to offer. It’s how can I best serve you? And that really is, you know, and sometimes it’s not the place where they think it is, you know, sometimes, you know, I would say, what I like about customer driven leadership is, when you are leading the organization, you’re always making the best decisions that you given the information you have, but you you have blind spots, and you have things that you’re unaware of deep within your organization. But with customer driven leadership, it brings all of the good ideas and the visibility across the organization to you as a leader, so that you’re making better decisions with less blind spots, and they’re helping you I mean, if you ask somebody, Hey, do this task for me, you’re not giving them the freedom to innovate and find out whereas if you tell them, I need to accomplish this, you know, and then you have the power to do that. You can be more innovative. And there’s just been times in like in the military where I’ve been told to do a task that was less effective than the way that I could have accomplished the mission had I been given the freedom and sometimes I may have colored out outside the lines a little bit at the risk of serious repercussions, right.

george grombacher 9:54
Like that. That makes a lot of sense. Making sure that that everything is based on what our object Active is through our values. And that we are confident enough that we have, that we’re confident in ourselves and our ego as as the entrepreneur or the CEO, and confident in our people to give them the autonomy to complete the task in whichever way they see fit.

Daniel Hammond 10:19
Yeah, and within within a, a guided framework, right, that’s the thing, right. So that’s the other thing customer driven leadership is, is you tell them where the lines are, so that they can color within the lines, and know when to escalate things, when it exceeds the authority you’ve granted them. It’s a Genius system, I didn’t create it. My partner is an organizational psychologist, Ted Anders. And, you know, my ability has always been I can look at a system and I can tell you where he’ll break and where it’s weak. And I saw his system. And I thought, holy cow, I can see how I can gum it up for a month. But after a month, you take a snapshot of the entire organization. And it says, Here is the problem that you have right now. And so, you know, whatever I did to gum it up in less than 30 days, it’s they’re going to have a map to this is what needs to be solved.

george grombacher 11:14
Well, that that sounds incredible, especially if we’re not if we’re underachieving. And we’re just, you know, pull our hair out trying to figure out where the bottlenecks are or how it is being gummed up. So how does it? I guess that sounds great. sounds almost too good to be true.

Daniel Hammond 11:33
Yeah, yeah, it does make it challenging. I think, if you think of the other operating systems that are out there for organizations, a lot of them have a framework where they invite you if you’re the right type of business, to fit within their framework to come into their framework. And their framework will manage things according to their systems. Whereas we go into the organization and say, how do all of the teams within your organization’s serve each other for the good of the customer, and then we empower all of those connections? By asking those questions like Team A, you serve Team B, go to Team B and ask them, what’s the one thing I can do better to help you do your job better? And then we create a metric around that it’s never touchy feely stuff, but it has to be pre negotiated. It can’t be, you know, Team B, saying, Well, I want you to be 10 times more, more effective, you know, it’s got to be something unless the CMA is really scraping the barrel. You know, that’s, that’s not very likely. But they negotiated and it will, I can give you 20%, better, okay, well, what does that look like? And so, we create, we create what we call care about that measure these connections. And so what that does is you’re incentivized, you’re given some sort of reward in an entrepreneurial organization, money is a usually a good motivator. I mean, think about it this way. If I’m telling my people, here’s my organization today, and here’s where I want it to be in the future. If you help me get there, I will share the rewards of that journey with you. Right, it makes them advocates, and passionate about helping you be successful. And would you rather go into battle, knowing you’re the best warrior in the world? Or would you rather go into the battle? Knowing every soldier understands the mission and wants to help you deliver? on what’s critical?

george grombacher 13:36
Yeah, certainly, I think that the more skin in the game, for lack of a better term, you can inspire or give to the folks that are working with you, your employees, the more success you’re gonna have.

Daniel Hammond 13:48
Absolutely. And that’s, and that’s what we do we quantify that we create the system that allows them to see, hey, by, by putting in a little more work or thinking things through about how can I do things better? Great question that I like to ask people is, if you weren’t told how to do your job, how would you do it? How would you accomplish the things that need to be accomplished here? And again, you know, if they don’t have the systems in place, we can help them get the systems in place, if they don’t have good what we call high performing teamwork, which really, you know, the difference between a group a team and a high performing team is a group is there to do a task. A team is there understanding their roles and responsibilities, and a high performing team is specialized. And they know, you know, for example, you know, unlike most people, Daniel wants all the problems of the organization to flow toward him, because that’s where I love to solve problems. That’s, you know, most people don’t want problems. I hate to run out of problems. So, you know, yeah.

george grombacher 14:52
What do you talk about the care about or cares about? Is that is that prioritizing

Daniel Hammond 15:00
Yep, there. So yes, there are we have three types of care about, there’s team to team care about, which we call community care about. And it’s, they’re not KPIs, but they should impact your key performance indicators. And it might be, you know, can I get 20% more effective from Team A to Team B delivering widgets, or whatever it is? The second one is sorry, that’s Customer Care abouts community care about our internal to the team, where now you and I are on the same team. George, how can I give you feedback, where where I see that you’re not delivering the way the team needs you to deliver. And basically, we let it’s a randomized, anonymous survey, where we can give feedback to each other. So as the team becomes responsible, how do we hold each each other accountable. So for example, you could say, Daniel, when you don’t greet a customer that walks into the, the facility, you’re not living out our value of such and such, okay, I get a hit for that. It, it reduces my score, and I have something to work on. Now. I know somebody cares about that within my team, and I’m not doing it with enough, you know, and so it hurts the team. So now, I have the choice, do I want to get on board and be a better team member? Or do I not. And then the third who care about is really, the leadership. So in the we have an inverted hierarchy, so basically flips the organization, and you’re evaluated by the people you serve. So a team leader, makes a commitment to the team to do things in certain ways. And then they’re held accountable by the team. Did you were you there in this way that you said you would be so that I can do my job and serve the customer?

george grombacher 16:58
I love it. Tools, and that you would walk through the facility and have the prisoners wave? Hey, Daniel, I think is evidence that that you approached it in a very, very honest way, and that you delivered on the things that you said that you were going to do. So you actually develop trust with people that who would have ever thought you could develop trust with. And then you’re, you’re also providing surveys to the employees of an organization to allow them to give their honest feedback and assessment because you probably can’t have the same kinds of interactions with each employee. How?

Daniel Hammond 17:40
Yeah, so what what this does is, it’s a system where every month you’re taking snapshots, and that feedback is flowing up, right. So even if you don’t see it, a couple of ways you’ll become aware of it. One is the leadership will get called out for not supporting, or a team will have a low score. And then what happens is, you look at the map of the entire organization, and you say where is the lowest? Where are we improving the least? Or potentially, we start on a five point scale, zero to 10. But basically, we’re using 2.5 as the starting point. And so that we know, did it get worse, because that’s not what we want, right? But even if let’s say there’s, everybody gets a 10, across the organization, somebody’s got a 7.5. If that’s your lowest score, you go into them and say, as a leadership team, how can we help you? How can we bring the problem solving of the entire organization to help you and empower you to grow with us?

george grombacher 18:42
Got it. I love it. Well, Daniel, thank you so much for coming on. Where can people learn more about you? How can they take advantage of your work with customer driven leadership? With the cybersecurity where can they find your books? Give us everything?

Daniel Hammond 18:58
Sure. So books are on Amazon in whatever country you’re watching in. We’d love feedback from anybody who, who takes the time to read the book. We also are at customer driven leadership.co. And if you know I would invite people to book a book a call and just ask me your questions. Tell me where you are. I’d love to see if I can provide some value for you in a in a you know, 2030 minute call. You know, and then LinkedIn is the best place to kind of find me and check in on what I’m doing at you’ll find me at deck if you if you Google Daniel Hammond customer driven leadership, but it’s Daniel dot L dot Hammond I think.

george grombacher 19:46
Excellent. Well,

Daniel Hammond 19:49
yeah, sorry, I’m not too active on Twitter, but I’m gonna disrupt this disrupter for good on Twitter.

george grombacher 19:54
Okay, love it. Well, if you enjoyed as much as I did show Daniel your appreciation and share today. share with a friend who also appreciates good ideas go to customer driven leadership dot CEO. Check out the great resources and schedule a time to chat figure out if they can help you get further along the road and find those blind spots and just find find a successor looking for pickup Daniel’s books at Amazon. I’ll list that in the notes of the show and LinkedIn and Twitter as well. Thanks again, Daniel. Thank you, George. And until next time, remember, do your part by doing your best

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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