Success Podcast Post

Leadership Standard Operating Procedures with Edward Tyson

George Grombacher June 15, 2022

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Leadership Standard Operating Procedures with Edward Tyson

LifeBlood: We talked about how to develop leadership standard operating procedures, the value of systems and processes when growing a successful and sustainable company, and how to get started with Edward Tyson, speaker, best-selling author, veteran of the United States Marines, and Chief Architect of Leadership SOPs.  

Listen to learn why repetition is essential for creating trust!

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Our Guests

George Grombacher

Edward Tyson

Episode Transcript

george grombacher 0:00
Come on left with this is George G and the time is right welcome today’s guest strong and powerful Edward Tyson. Ed, are you ready to do this?

Unknown Speaker 0:18
I’m ready, sir. All right, let’s

george grombacher 0:19
go. It is a speaker. He’s his best selling author, coach and consultant. He is the CEO of per synergy consulting. He’s the chief architect of leadership SOPs. He is a veteran of the United States Marines. Thank you for your service, sir. You’re welcome. And he is the author of from experts to executive mastering the SOPs of leading edge I’m excited to have you on tell us a little about your personal life smart about your work and why you do what you do.

Unknown Speaker 0:49
Well, you got it. Well, first off, thanks so much for having me, George excited to be here today. So today, I live in sunny San Clemente, California, by the sea with my wife and the youngest of my two sons, one of them is an adult now. But I didn’t grow up here I grew up in central Pennsylvania, I studied philosophy at the Penn State University went then to grad school for Organizational Development at Temple University. And about 10 years ago, I was VP of strategy for a company helped two former employers merge made myself available to the industry in the process started a boutique consulting firm focused on strategic transformation. And really at first focus mainly on strategy development, organizational design, and just a little bit on the side of this executive coaching stuff. Only I fell in love with it, but found that I was really lacking in terms of having codified my own platform and methodology. And so if I loved it, and if I wanted to succeed at the lowest largest margin, highest volume part of my business, boy, I was gonna really need to get better at it. And that level of thinking is what yielded the leadership SOPs. And obviously, the book you spoke about earlier from expert to executive which basically introduced the world to the concept of leadership SOPs.

george grombacher 2:21
Nice. And how did the military fit in?

Edward Tyson 2:24
Well, you know, you don’t get to a leadership concept called the leadership SOPs without a little experience in the military and the healthcare. And I have both so both love acronyms both have a lot of key jargon, that’s hard to remember. So I am well bought in two acronyms, but ones that can be helpful mnemonic devices, I think they can also be a barrier to communication if we don’t use them, right. So we’ve got to define them and use them appropriately. And most importantly, use them to remember something key and important that we’re looking to replicate all the time. Yeah. So certainly SOP standard operating procedure. I think that that is synonymous with with with the military. And you tell me, but I think it’s probably essential that the military has pretty clear standard operating procedures because of everything that y’all are doing from bringing in new members to training and obviously, then the whole going into combat thing. Absolutely. Absolutely. And for us really with the leadership SOPs, we’re trying to say two things. We’re not just trying to say build standard operating procedures for leading and we are and we don’t tell you which ones to build precisely, but we do tell you that they should be aimed at three things, which also spell out SOP, and that’s how to structure operate and perfect, powerful communities of effort.

george grombacher 3:54
What do you say powerful communities of effort? What does that mean?

Unknown Speaker 3:58
Well, what we really focus on is if you peel back the onion on leadership and look for something at its core, you’ll really find that it’s, you know, not a solitary mission is for doing things with people, right? When we embrace an objective we cannot achieve alone, we discover what it means to lead or at least what problem we’re trying to solve. When we lead which is hey, I’d like to do X, but I cannot do it alone. I require a community of effort and one that meets three criteria. First one is it’s got to be willing, if the community of effort that you’re building is not willing than you coercing not leading and it has to be capable. You can’t just simply inspire a group of people or influence them to action. They have to be capable of the action that is required. And lastly, it needs to be sustainable. So you need willing, capable and sustainable. And the reason for sustainability is obvious. If you’re not sustainable and how you’ve structured operated and perfected your community of effort, they’re not going to remain willing or capable for long, you’re going to march them right off a cliff.

george grombacher 5:16
No doubt that we can all look back on different experiences that we’ve had when one of those things, if not all of them was absent, if you’re trying to drag along or coerce somebody that’s gonna be short lived. And when the people that you really are trying to put in a position to be on your team, they’re just not able to do it, they’re not capable, that’s not going to work. And obviously, if we drive people too hard, then they’ll burn out and just, it’d be a nightmare. So I appreciate all those that that makes a ton of sense. So structuring, operating and perfecting what is tell us about the structuring part?

Unknown Speaker 5:51
Sure, well, first off, a lot of people when they think of that terminology right away, they are thinking about, ah, an org structure of specific org chart. But we’re really referring to the broader organizational design, which starts at articulating the scope of the community of effort you’re developing. And hey, look, I warned you in advance about acronyms and mnemonic devices. scope for us is an acronym, which is a lot like mission, vision values, only broader and more powerful. So it’s strategy, culture, objectives, purpose, and ecosystem. So, you know, if you think about mission, vision, values, purpose, your equivalent to mission objective, if you’re thinking broad enough, is equivalent to your vision, although we encourage you to also get tactical and bring that vision forward. And then lastly, culture or cultural objectives, kind of balanced those business objectives. And that gives you the values component. But what I always like to say is scope rather than mission vision values, focusing on those core items, scope starts all the way back at your ecosystem, understanding what’s going on, that’s giving rise to the need for the community of effort. And it pulls through those mission, vision values, components and results in your strategies or your themes for basically, resourcing and taking action towards your objectives. Nice.

george grombacher 7:23
I appreciate that. All right, and then the operating piece.

Unknown Speaker 7:28
Well operating, we tried to break that down into the SOPs, you might build to engage your community of effort. So you can think of a synonym for structure as being design your community of effort for operate, it’s engaging it as it’s been designed. So for us, we pull out three things that we call pace. So that would be planning, accountability and stakeholder engagement. So planning is everything from taking that strategy, turning it in to a tactically and timed plan, turning that tactically timed plan into a budget. So when are we going to hit both the expense side and the revenue side of the actions we’re taking, but then also pulling those planning things through to our actual accountability mechanisms? So how are we assigning work setting expectations for monitoring, performance management, et cetera? And then lastly, that stakeholder engagement, so pace for us spelled P A S, E, but we do refer to it as setting the pace spelled differently, of course, in that sense, and that stakeholder engagement? And really, how are we identifying all those stakeholders in our ecosystem and developing mechanisms for building the trust we need before we need it. So oftentimes, we get very tactical and who we’re running into and engaging in a corporate environment. And what we leave out is the strategic relationship building. And so then we’re left in a in a jam trying to negotiate, let’s just give an example of accountability, where I’ve got a project that I’m leading, and I’m talking to another leader now suddenly about their employees participation on this project. And yet we have not established the trust necessary for a very difficult conversation about my helping to manage that peers employee. So that’s the kind of thing that we’re trying to encourage as SOPs that do that understand those stakeholders, engage them early and strategically to build that kind of trust and also gain from the intelligence and information you might get from talking to stakeholders all around the organization and outside of

george grombacher 9:44
it. Nice before we get to perfection, how long did it take you to to put all this together?

Unknown Speaker 9:51
Something like 25 years,

george grombacher 9:53
give or take? Well,

Unknown Speaker 9:56
it it was an interesting journey. that maybe maybe it’s good. We’re leaving perfect for last because it’s it’s about a constant evolution towards perfection. So, look, I’m an old vice president of process improvement. So when I first said about trying to be a better coach, I thought, how can I improve my process? My big idea was to think about leadership as a process and all that implies. Hence, I got to the leadership SOPs, then my clients said, okay, great, I totally buy that, that makes a ton of sense. What SOPs should I create? And that’s when I had to then come up with the structure operate perfect. And then I thought, once again, you know, hey, now we’re aimed at the right places, let’s talk about some ways you could get better in there. And people said, again, especially the high level experts that I’m working with, say, okay, what are the pieces of the puzzle for each one of these things. And then I had to go through a whole nother cycle of development, which resulted in kind of a 24 dimensions that lay underneath structure operate, and perfect. So it did take quite a bit of time was not a straightforward process, nor one that I originally set out to do. It’s just as I was trying to help my clients, they kept asking for more, they kept asking more of me. And I would say start to finish, the process took me about four years to really codify the entire model

george grombacher 11:29
doesn’t surprise me a bit, I have immense respect and mild appreciated somewhat personal appreciation for what it takes to, to have a big idea, and then all the work that it takes into actually distilling what the final what the finished product is. So I appreciate very much all the work that you’ve gone through. And I also know that that we don’t want to let perfect be the enemy of good. So you could have probably spent 10 years on it. But if you never turned it into the world and kick the thing around, and you know, just put it into practice.

Unknown Speaker 12:03
That’s a great point. And it’s also, you know, it returns us does a couple of things for us, it also returns us back to perfect, and that is it is perfect, not perfect. So we are always trying to pursue perfection, never under the guise that we will achieve perfection. And there’s for so many reasons, not the least of which you, every member of your team, your entire organization, all of the consumers of whatever product or service, your organization is delivering your competitors all are in motion over time. So even if we somehow got it right, in the next breath, the world has shifted on us. And it’s going to require us to shift as well. So there’s really no such thing as being perfect, there is just this journey of perfection. And for us that consists, you know, really wholly of the following items. It’s your own personal development. It’s you developing others as individuals, so individual development, ie coaching, it’s team development, how am I developing my teams, as teams, as an organism unto themselves? Which should have their own development plan? And then how am I developing the larger organization or driving change across that organization?

george grombacher 13:31
Mice, that makes all sense of the world. So how do you how was this received? I imagine some people are like, Great, let’s do it. And other people like, oh, my gosh, how do I even start eating this this elephant?

Unknown Speaker 13:48
Well, yes, some that you’re absolutely right. Some people, they don’t need any help, they get the concept. They’re like, Hey, this is really close to what I’m already doing. And it just adds to their vocabulary way of talking about leadership way of differentiating themselves as the leader, and others. You know, frankly, and I talked about this a little bit in the introduction of the book, you know, you almost end up in an argument with them about No, this is the work of leading, and they’re looking back and going I don’t have time for this because I got this other job. And, you know, my pushback is, well, yes, you do have a job, and it’s as a leader. And oftentimes the reason I’m sitting in front of these people is because they’re not doing it. So I have been asked to come in and help right not always, sometimes a leader themselves has come to me, but frequently, it’s the organization saying, look, we’ve got a high level global expert here who is now in charge of a few 1000 people, and they simply don’t know what their job is anymore. Their job has changed so dramatically, that they can’t even recognize it anymore, and they’re certainly not doing it and so what They think is taking up all their time. That’s not what should be taking up all their time. And that can only be cured by digging way down deep to the why. Why are we leading? What is your WHY at work should you be leading, and either replacing your previous y with a lie that includes leadership, a ye that includes cultivating powerful communities of effort that are willing, capable and sustainable, or at least joining it to it. Because if you don’t do one of those two things, you’re simply never going to fulfill the promise to the organization ever going to fulfill the purpose of leading you won’t be in the process of leading, you’d be in the process of just simply doing the team’s work.

george grombacher 15:47
Yeah, love it. You’ve already given us a bunch, but the people are ready for that difference making tip, what do you have for them?

Unknown Speaker 15:56
Absolutely. Well, you know, I think that what I would say is, it’s all about exploring, clarifying, transforming and mastering. And that’s really our transformation model. And what we would say is explore just one or two areas under the structure operate perfect, no more than that, at first, clarify the new process, transform through experimentation, and then master through SOPs, building, not just your own personal feel and Proficiency through the repetition. But that’s essentially like calling plays on the on the sports field. Right? What it’s going to do also is build predictability, trust and collaboration on the team. So a lot of leaders don’t like the idea of repetition. It turns out, though, it is absolutely key to teamwork, because that’s how we first understand how do we move? How do we think how do we act as a team? Can I rely on you I learn that by repeating things over and over again with you. And many, the more cycles you can give me the more trust we can build together, the more I’m absolutely sure that not only are you going to do what you say you’re going to do when the world doesn’t cooperate, you’re going to figure out a way to do it anyway. And that’s the power of repetition. And that’s why leaders need to embrace these SOPs, not the not the least of which is that it’s going to drive their own personal brand and make it easier for them to share their leadership with somebody else because it makes it tangible and easy to talk about.

george grombacher 17:39
Well, I think that is great stuff that definitely gets Come on. I totally agree with everything you just said repetition is so key for you personally, as an individual, for your brand for your team for everybody that you’re trying to build one of those communities of effort with, and it just drives everything so awesome. Thank you so much for coming out. And where can people learn more about you? How can they engage and where where can they get a copy of from experts to executive?

Unknown Speaker 18:07
Well, I’ll start with the last question first. And that is certainly you can find the book on you can get in touch with me at ED dot Tyson at leadership or simply check out leadership got a lot of information on there can also reach out find follow and engage with me on LinkedIn at Ed dash Tyson dash SOPs or find me on Twitter at Ed Tyson SOPs

george grombacher 18:36
slept. If you enjoyed as much as I did, show your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas pick up a copy of from experts to executive at Amazon, wherever you buy your books, go to leadership And check out all the great resources that Ed’s working on and has put together and then find them on LinkedIn and Twitter as well. I’ll list all those in the notes of the show. Thanks, good Ed.

Unknown Speaker 19:01
What a great time. Thank you, George.

george grombacher 19:03
And until next time, keep fighting the good fight. We’re all in this together.

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