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Episode 15

On creating situations where everybody can lead

Guest

Tim Whitmire

Founder of CXN Advisory

Episode Notes

In this special podcast series—Voices of OKRs on Dreams with Deadlines—Jenny Herald interviews Tim Whitmire. Tim is the founder of CXN Advisory, where he coaches executives on strategy, goal setting, alignment and execution. He is the co-founder of F3 Nation and co-author, with David Redding, of Freed To Lead: F3 and the Unshackling of the Modern-day Warrior. F3 is a network of free, peer-led workouts for men in the United States and has grown to more than 30 states and 2,000+ scheduled workouts a week through volunteer efforts. F3 participants apply a distinctive lexicon of terms during their workouts. How do these F3 concepts relate to OKRs? Find out in today’s episode.

The Full Transcript:

Tim Whitmire (00:00:00): Yeah, this is where this is where I depart from OKR orthodoxy, and I become the heretic in the congregation. But yeah, I, a lot of times I work with clients who, and I I've got no problem with having outcome driven objectives, but very often I encounter people who want to make their key results. The things that are levering up to those objectives, the things that you're going to track to tell you whether you're on track to achieving your objective very dependent on outside forces. And so I really, a lot of my clients, I really encourage them to focus on what, what is within your control. So the example I often use is you're trying to bring in a new product leader for the company. So you say, okay, I want my objective is have the new product leader in the seat by May 1st. And I'm going to put out, you know, I'm going to contact the recruiter by February 28th, I'm going to collect 10 resumes and do 10 phone interviews by the middle of March. And I'm going to have people in for final round interviews by the beginning of April. And I'm going to make an offer on April 3rd and have that person in the seat on, on May 1st. Well, that's all great until you put that offer out on April 3rd. And then that person turns around and gets a raise at their current job, or, you know, basically decides not to come and take your job. And now you don't have anybody. You, you hit all your key results, but you don't have anybody in the seat on May 1st through no fault of your own.

Jenny Herald (00:01:30): Hi and welcome to Dreams with Deadlines, a podcast where you'll hear real stories of trials and victories in business. I'm Jenny Herald, Chief Product Officer of Gtmhub. Gtmhub is the world's most powerful platform for objectives and key results or OKRs. In concept, OKRs are easy to understand, but challenging to execute until now. Check us out at gtmhub.com to learn more.

Jenny Herald (00:02:00): Tim Whitmire is the founder of CXN Advisory, where he coaches executives on strategy, goal setting, alignment and execution. He is the co-founder of F3 Nation and co-author, with David Redding, of Freed to Lead: F3 and the Unshackling of the Modern-day Warrior. F3 is a network of free, peer-led workouts for men in the United States and has grown to more than 30 states and 2,000+ scheduled workouts a week through volunteer efforts. F3 participants apply a distinctive lexicon of terms during their workouts. How do these F3 concepts relate to OKRs? Find out in today’s episode. Hey Tim. Thank you so much for joining us today on Dreams with Deadlines. I'm actually really excited about this conversation.

Tim Whitmire (00:02:50): Well, I appreciate it. I appreciate you having me. Thank you, Jenny.

Jenny Herald (00:02:53): I guess we should start with a little bit about yourself. So maybe we start with like, who's Tim and how did you get to where you are today? Because there are going to be listeners and they might not have heard of CXN Advisory. And I think they should get to know who you are.

Tim Whitmire (00:03:08): Yeah, I thank you. I appreciate that. I'm about to turn 50 years old next month. And I've had a, a, a varied career. I spent about 15 years at the start of my career as a journalist, almost all with the Associated Press. I was a reporter in Rhode Island and New York city and Lexington, Kentucky before I moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, 20 years ago, and spent a few years with the AP as the Head of the Bureau here, then went to work actually in, in roles for several different kinds of financial services firms, including a couple of investment banks. And it was during that period that I founded a national, what became a national network of, of free workout groups for mountain called F3 nation. And that was almost 10 years ago now. We'll Be celebrating its 10th anniversary on January 1st, 2021. Did that, and then have been in, in several other roles before I ended up in starting my current firm, which is really advisory services for folks who are looking to activate leadership and goal setting and execution and alignment at either startups or kind of high growth companies.

Jenny Herald (00:04:10): What made you decide to found and start CXN Advisory?

Tim Whitmire (00:04:16): I think it was sort of a natural evolution of, of a lot of the stuff I've done starting really starting with after three and what we did there. And I spent several years trying to figure out what the right platform was to put into action some of the leadership principles I learned by virtue of the F3 experience, my partnership with Dave Redding, who I'm sure we'll talk about a little bit. And so I initially started trying to do some of that stuff through F3 and that wasn't really the right platform for it, but I kept having people come to me or ending up in situations. And you know, this is sort of life telling you what to do, where people were were either coming to me or I was going to them with advice on how to kind of organize things, how to, how to get something off the ground, how to optimize for execution or alignment among leadership. And after about the third or fourth instance of that I kind of had to look at myself and say, you know, you're to some extent being called to do this. So this is not, not even so much called, this is just, this is what you're naturally good at. And now you've just got to find a way to to put that out in the market and make it accessible to folks.

Jenny Herald (00:05:23): What a lovely way to kind of step into a new role. Like, I feel like that is such a rare thing.

Tim Whitmire (00:05:31): Well, well, yeah, no, there's, there's a little, you know, obviously there's a little bit of privilege involved in that and I've had the flexibility to do that over the years and that's been, you know, certainly a lot of support from my wife, but also, you know, being, being fortunate and other things. So it's a, it's obviously a blessing to be able to kind of get out there and then ultimately try to find what it is you do in the best way that you can serve people.

Jenny Herald (00:05:55): Right? So you're, you wrote a book with Dread and OBT, which we'll talk a lot about during the course of this episode. Cause I think it's, it's important because you kind of set up the stage that what you do now is highly influenced by your experience with F3. So the book is Freed to Lead: F3 and the Unshackling of the Modern-day Warrior, which is quite a title. And even the cover itself, I was like, that is an impactful cover. For those who haven't read the book who are listening, let's talk about what F3 actually means. And then the mission, which is when I read your book largely tethered to the definition of a really crisp definition of that mission statement and what you all were about to do, what you call the task. Can you briefly go over in a nutshell what F3 is and what that mission statement is for the men who wake up in the gloomy part of the day dragging themselves out of bed basically is what it says in the book to to sometimes spew some Merlot is what you put in the book, but let's talk, let's talk a little bit about all this F3 and the jargon. I think it's amazing. And I think we'll, we'll talk about OKR is along with it, cause there's a lot of corollary I think. So let's go there.

Tim Whitmire (00:07:20): Yeah. So look, and I know you've got a military background, so you'll, you'll relate to some of this some of the aspects of, of what we ended up doing. So I, you know, F3 sprang from the fact that a friend of mine and I found a way to get ourselves in shape and stay in shape that was more effective than anything either of us had encountered previously. And this was back in kind of 2008, 2009. And we'd fallen in with a group of other guys who were working out every Saturday morning at a park called Freedom Park here in Charlotte. And they would just, you show up at seven o'clock on Saturday morning, which felt ungodly early to me at the time. I think I had a one, a two year old, a six year old and an eight year old at that point.

Tim Whitmire (00:08:04): And so it was, you know, getting out of bed early on a Saturday morning. It was a sacrifice because usually Saturdays were the day that I slept in and my wife got up early with the kids and then she slept in on Sunday morning. So if I got up early to go work out on Saturday morning, that meant I would also have to get up early to with the kids on, on Sunday morning. So, but you start, we started going out there and just a group of guys working out in the park, no gym equipment, nothing like that, just use them, you know, basically the jungle gym at the park for pull-ups and, and and doing pushups in the parking lot and running up a hill and running down a hill. And it was very simple and yet very effective because you put yourself in close contact with a group of other men and all of a sudden you're activated in all these ways to get better.

Tim Whitmire (00:08:51): You want to show up every Saturday morning, you want to see guys that you're becoming friends with and you want to get better within the group. And what I quickly discovered was I would push myself far harder to catch van Stillman who was just ahead of me on the hill and to eventually try to pass him than I ever would in the gym, by myself or even with a personal trainer. And Dave kind of found the same thing when he came in shortly after I did. And after about a year and a half of this, and I've lost probably 40 pounds and I'm in "the best shape of my adult life," you kind of look around and you're like, "Oh, wait a minute." I've got all these friends and you know this, and I'm going, you know, I show up every week and I'm starting to work out during the week so I can get better at the main workout on Saturday.

Tim Whitmire (00:09:37): And you're like, Oh wow, this has really made a difference in, in my life. And what happened was Dave and I kind of looked at each other in the winter of 2010 and said, this is really cool. We want this to get out to more guys. And the story of F3 was really figuring out how to bottle, what we had at that Freedom Park workout and take it out and, and basically, you know, sort of scale scale the organization. And so we started with one workout at a middle school here in Charlotte called Alexander Graham Middle School on January 1st, 2011 and thought we were getting kind of three guys out there to start it's new year's morning. Don't expect much. Most guys are probably still in bed and we had 35 guys show up. It just kind of took off from there. And that was the challenge logistically.

Tim Whitmire (00:10:23): And that probably the relevance to some of the OKR discussion is you suddenly find yourself in the middle of a high growth organization. And there's an imperative to scale the organization. You've got all these guys who are showing up and they're telling their friends and they want to show up. And now the workout's getting too big. And we got to find, where do we go plant a new workout and how do we go plant a new workout? And how do we create more leaders? Because Dave and I are not capable of leading every single workout. So just to quickly give people a snapshot of what this looks like in action, it's, you know, on a typical morning, weekdays usually kind of 05:30 in the morning ing any kind of public space, and it can be a mall parking lot. It can be a public school, it can be on a church campus or wherever.

Tim Whitmire (00:11:09): You will have guys show up, you know, kind of optimally about 15 to 25 guys show up for a workout at 05:30 and a different one will lead every time. You'll show up and you might not necessarily know who's going to lead the workout. And it's usually 45 minutes on the weekdays. And the whole point is it's equipment free and you know, you're outdoors. And one guy is in charge and it's usually kind of all bodyweight style exercises. And it's basically one guy leads. We call them the Q and your job is to follow the Q and do whatever he does and do what he tells you to do. And there's a rule of, if you can't do it yourself, you don't ask other people to do it. So it's not some guy with a clipboard standing there telling you to do pushups in the mud. It's another guy who's willing to do that himself. The other kind of unspoken rule is that nobody's ever left behind. So whatever shape you show up, and we're gonna, we're going to keep you with us the whole time. And we're gonna start together and we're gonna finish together. And that's proved to be a really effective model for drawing guys in.

Jenny Herald (00:12:13): Yeah. So kind of to tie all of this together to the F3 title itself starts with right fitness: magnet, right fellowship. That's just the glue. And then faith that, that dynamite like that's, that's what at least I've read in the book. So you started to touch base on some of the corollaries and for those who haven't read the book, we're going to touch on some concepts here. Probably explain it a little bit. And then maybe how this translates into OKRs. Cause I think when people read the OKR, any kind of OKR literature in theory, all of this sounds really great and the principles themselves are quite simple, right? You have these objectives, you have these key results. Ideally you want teams to be working together toward a common goal. You want to check in with each other frequently. That's what you would do to show up 0530 in the morning, you know, on top of a hill, ready to do some mountain climbers.

Jenny Herald (00:13:08): There are some similarities here, which I didn't kind of anticipate when Iread your book. So I want to run through some of these concepts cause I think they would translate. And I think it'll give some leaders who are listening or practitioners of OKRs, some ideas of how to improve, if not solidify, some of what magic happened with F3's success, I think, and then how this might look in an organization. So the first is this idea of the near maximum daily effort. When I read that, just those four words, I was like, wait a second. Like if everyone sincerely went for near maximum daily effort, what would that be in reference to their goal? So let's start there. How, how did you get to near maximum daily effort? I think it's very important that those words were chosen because it really impacted me when I read it. So let's go with that. Yeah.

Tim Whitmire (00:14:06): I, I, that really, for me, that, that comes from the realization that if you put, you know, as opposed to, if I step out the door by myself at 0530 and I go run my typical five mile loop I may or may not have gotten a good night's sleep. I may or may not be feeling particularly excited about the weather or just being out there on the road myself. And so I may or may not give a, you know, near maximum daily effort and odds are a lot of mornings. It may be a near, a near minimum daily effort. But put me in a group of other men where I have certain expectations of myself and I know kind of where I place within the group, I'm going to push myself to stay with that group. And the funny thing is that, you know, even though the group might be tailored to sort of a moderate level or something like that, the reality is that the guy next to me is doing exactly the same thing.

Tim Whitmire (00:15:01): And without even having to communicate it, we both push each other to and whoever's Q-ing the workout, you know, is out front and he's pushing the pace and we all push each other without even having to talk about it. And without even having to say it, because face it, we humans are naturally kind of competitive beings. And so putting, putting you in that group workout effort, that group dynamic effort where you don't know what to expect and you actually can't really, the other thing is you can't really sort of pace out your effort. You can't, you know, sort of meet out, you know, I'm gonna, I'm going to give this my chair and I'll save a little bit for end. Cause you don't know what's coming next, almost forces you into basically a near maximum daily effort. So there are a lot of guys, you know, like I, we love the the whole Matrix then from, from 20 years ago, Keanu Reeves.

Tim Whitmire (00:15:49): And so there's a whole, you know, have you taken the daily red pill yet today? There's a whole thing of that within, within F3. And so again, they start thinking of like, and the other, the term I came up with very early on was, you know, you're making a daily down "painment" on the day instead of a down payment, a down "painment" because you know, I'm going to go get my, take my pain early. I'm going to get it over with, and then I'm going to kind of be able to look forward to the rest of the day because I know I've already done what I need to do that day.

Jenny Herald (00:16:17): I think, I think then if people approached, OKRs with that kind of mentality, right. I mean, that would be truly transformative, just like you would see in your physical self, you know, you would be flexing in front of your car on the way home. And you're like, well, wow, what in the world? And if every day you kind of looked at your day or your week and you're like, well, wow, look, look at what we've done. I'm pretty sure that'd feel amazing. Right?

Tim Whitmire (00:16:47): Absolutely. Absolutely. And that's, you know, I, when I talk to people about OKRs, it's often in a very similar tone to what, the way that I talk about the F3 workout, right? Like I've one of the reasons F3 works the way it does is we carve out a space in the day. Most of us are adult men. Most of us have kids and families and responsibilities. We carve out this space at the beginning of the day and we say, we're gonna, we're going to privilege the workout by, by getting up this early, we're gonna, we're going to ensure that we can get it done. Because if we say we're going to do the workout five o'clock, we all know that a million things are going to come up during the day. And now I'm going to need to go pick up my kids here.

Tim Whitmire (00:17:23): And now I won't make the workout. So if you set the workout for 05:30 in the morning, you've said, I'm going to, I'm going to do it. And I'm going to carve out this time on the day that is for this thing that is important to me. And same thing with, with OKRs, you know, you're going to walk in, or you're going to these days, sit down at your, in your home office and you're going to have 25 emails at the top of your inbox. So they're going to be brush fires that you're going to have to put out that day. And it is very easy to get sucked down that rabbit hole and never do anything but fight brush fires all day. And, but the OKRs are sitting there as these are the objectives that I've said, I'm going to privilege with my effort this month or this quarter or this year, or however you're setting them whatever the cadence is. And I'm going to carve out time for my day. And I'm going to put near daily maximum effort into these particular things for the next month or quarter or whatever. And that's how we're going to get these things done, amid all the usual stuff that I've got to do.

Jenny Herald (00:18:16): I, I love this idea of privilege like that, that phrase of privilege my day. It is something we well, at least at Gtmhub, we get to choose on our own and kind of negotiate obviously with our managers and our leaders of what we're going to go do and how we're going to attack it, but this idea of front-loading it and making it—that priority. That's pretty awesome. Yeah. Okay. So another concept in the book, Sad Clown Syndrome, which when I read that, I was like, Hmm, like how could, is there a corollary in the business world? And I personally have felt this when I was kind of quote unquote, trying to climb the corporate ladder and, you know, get advancement in my career. It's this, you clock in you clock out. And no, even though you have all of this going for you, there's that thing that's missing and you feel weird about it. And when I read, you know, what the underlying issue was among all these men, and there are three things we'll talk through with this syndrome that I wanted to just kind of pick your brain on it's this. Let's start with POGO-40. Like, what is that? And well, let's start with actually Sad Cloud Syndrome. What is that? So that the listeners will understand what that means.

Tim Whitmire (00:19:30): So the, the references to, I think it was either the pilot or one of the very first episodes of the Sopranos and Tony's in there having a session with Dr. Melfi and he talks about, you know, I feel like a sad clown. I'm happy on the outside and I'm crying on the inside. And it, you know, for, for the typical F3 guy that looks like I'm showing up at work and I'm a Hail fellow well met. And I might be, you know, in the pew on Sundays at church and I might be serving on in this capacity that I'm basically checking all the boxes. I look like a fully functioning member of society, but the reality is I'm, I'm dead inside. I'm on a paycheck treadmill. And I don't have any particular purpose to my life and you know what, this is a classic, you know, kind of mid-life crisis type syndrome. Guy wakes up and he's 43 years old and there's no meaning or purpose to his life. And he, you know, the stereotype was go buy a red sports car and drive off with a young thing or something like that. That's, that's sort of your basic outline of Sad Clown Syndrome.

Jenny Herald (00:20:33): And so if we can go through like the aspects, because you referenced the bowling ball like that, it's, it's like this bowling ball and you need to knock stuff out to, you know, get to the pins at the end, there are three holes and you give them a name. The first is POGO-40. Let's talk about POGO-40. And what does that mean? Because I think the three things line up super well for me and trying to get a team really energized and individuals even catalyzed to go do something right. Which is what we're trying to do with, okay, this is getting them to move. So let's start with the POGO-40.

Tim Whitmire (00:21:08): Yeah. So that was, that was Dave's term cause. And, and readers of the the Gtmhub blog will who read it. We recently posted one that I wrote about this problem, which is kind of Dave used to keep these fat pants in the back of his closet and Dave's my F3 co-founder. And he was a guy who would pogo up and down 40 pounds at a time. He would gain 40 pounds, lose 40 pounds you know, sort of insane workout and diet regimen. I'm going to be super focused. I'm going to drop 'em I'm going to get there. And invariably, and this was sort of over the course of the decade before he and I met and we started F3, but he probably had gone up and down four or five times, and he's super focused. He's super disciplined, but the minute he would get to whatever his target was, he'd be like, all right, that's it, I'm done.

Tim Whitmire (00:21:57): I've made my goal. Now it's time to go go hit the you know, the Krispy Kreme and slack off on the working out. And all of a sudden he'd be up 40 pounds again. And the fat pants would come out of the back of a closet and come back on and then start climbing the mountain again. And the lesson that now the irony is that in my case, it had been more sort of a five pounds, every six months kind of thing. And that was how I had gotten my 40 and my 40 wasn't coming off. It was just sort of sitting there on me when, when I kind of encountered this, this mode of working out. But I, you know, I was doing the same thing. It was just sort of the steady progression. And I was a guy, even though I was running marathons, I kept gaining weight.

Tim Whitmire (00:22:36): And it was because I was completely undisciplined about my eating and I I'd sort of look at my time at the end of another marathon, I'd be like, Oh, I got 10, 10 minutes slower. Wonder why that is. Hmm. Maybe I need to change something. Nah, I'll just keep doing what I'm doing. And that's, we're sort of creatures of habit that way. And, and the thing that F3 did and that, you know, sort of the myth that it dispelled, particularly for Dave, was that there was no plateau. You were not going to get to a position of perfect fitness at some point—that it was a daily battle. You were going to have to commit to fighting every day. And then the lesson from that was if you're going to have to get up and do this every day, might as well have some friends there to do it with might as well be excited about getting up, because you're going to see these guys that you've become buddies with because you work out and suffer together.

Tim Whitmire (00:23:22): And so that's that, that second hole. And I believe we call it The Sifter. Yeah. And so that's really, you know, who are the sticky guys who are the ones who show up every morning at the workout? Well, those guys become kind of your running buddies or your workout buddies. And that's just, you know, you're finding a group of friends who replaced the fact that most of us as adult males are not particularly good about forming friendships. We, we were good about it. We were natural at it as children and adolescents, but something about getting out into the adult working world. And I, I say all this, I apply it to men. I think it applies to some extent to women where I saw it most active in my life was in the F3 movement. And they have to be movement was very focused on activating men.

Tim Whitmire (00:24:05): So I think, you know, a lot of these same things apply to women, but I'm going to talk about them in the F3 context because that's where we experienced it. But the whole point about F3 was all of a sudden, you have these guys who are sad clowns. They are not in good shape. They don't have any particular purpose and they don't have close friends. Like they remember having back in high school and college. They have guys that their wives or girlfriends kind of make mandates for them with, they have, you know, guys who they know from the sidelines at the soccer games, but they don't feel particularly close to. Now, all of a sudden you got this group of guys that you're working out with every morning and you guys are suffering together. And again, I'll, I'll pivot back to, to the, your, your experience in the military, Jenny, is suffering together in close quarters, does something to people. It brings them together in a way that, you know, just the guy who's in the cubicle down the hall from you, you don't feel that same connection to, and so that F3 had this natural ability to kind of pull people together and form bonds between guys that were much tighter than anything that, that we had experienced in our adult lives.

Jenny Herald (00:25:08): Right, I'm kind of, so you touched on the third one then, which is the Reacher, I mean, which is finding that, I mean, ultimately all three of these things that we are discussing here to overcome Sad Clown Syndrome involve consistency. You just show up and do what your body needs to go do, find yourself your buddies or your tribe, or your group that needs to go attack this thing, which in this case started with, with fitness. And then the third is, you know, finding beyond that, then what your real purpose is, what it sounds like in life. I mean, like, you know, ultimately each man kind of found through this group, through this movement, their real purpose, they, they got that Reacher moment. Yeah.

Tim Whitmire (00:25:55): So The Reacher was just a lot of these are Dave's terms. And so I got to give him credit for almost all of this stuff, but he loved to read those Jack Reacher books. And I can't even remember the name of the author, but the basic premise is that this guy kind of goes from town to town. And every, you know, he's a sort of lone wolf who shows up and he's got some sort of military background and it is sort of a modern day gloss on the classic Western, you know, stranger comes into town and cleans up the bad guys and solves all the problems. And then there's, you know, a woman that he kind of falls in love with, but he really can't stay because he's a free bird and he's got to go. And guys love that stuff. They love that mythology.

Tim Whitmire (00:26:36): And there's a reason why, you know, you see it in the Westerns and then you see it in modern day versions. And the, the whole point that came to was, well now actually that's all a fantasy. And what you're here to do is to be, you know, a husband, a father, maybe if you're lucky and a leader in your community, and you've got to find the purpose to do that. And one of the things about F3 that we were really clear on from the beginning was, we're not here to tell you what your purpose ought to be, but we're going to get you in shape. We're going to solve that problem, that physical fitness problem that's been in the back of your mind. That's been bothering you every time you look in the mirror, try to look down at your toes and can't see them or whatever we're going to solve your friend problem for you.

Tim Whitmire (00:27:19): And then our theory and what we've discovered to be true after the fact, and then sort of reverse engineered from that was once you have those things in place, you're going to want to go do something. You're going to, you're going to have purpose. You're going to discover a purpose in yourself. You're going to want to make the world a better place. Because again, our theory being that we're not all just in this for ourselves, and we're not all just in this necessarily for the survival of ourselves and our immediate family, we're, we all are sort of called to some sort of higher purpose, whether that be faith driven and faith was the term that we use to describe this, which is simply a belief in something outside yourself. Many of our members are motivated by Christian faith, but that doesn't really matter to us, whether it's, you know, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, whatever, or even if it's, you know, a humanist faith in the future of the planet and the environment or that sort of thing.

Tim Whitmire (00:28:10): But the idea was, we're going to bring you together with a group of other men who are similarly driven and you're going to find your group within them. And we want you to hook up with them and go, go do great things. And that's really, you know, if there's anything that I'm, I'm most proud of with what I've seen in F3 is the number of guys who take the energy that they derive from that setup. And just go do amazing things, you know, start, start work outs at homeless shelters or addiction rehab centers go out into the community and try to connect with you know, troubled adolescence mission trips, et cetera, guys, who have decided to run for public office, so on and so forth. So there's been a lot of, and the, the inside F3 term is for that as H.I.M., Or which stands for High Impact Man. And the idea that being that we're really just trying to create high impact men and send them out into the world to make it a better place.

Jenny Herald (00:29:04): Along with these high impact men. Like I had never actually heard of this story before, until I read your book where you discuss like how F3 had taken learnings from different places where they could, and then adapted that when and where necessary to the organization in how it was run, whether it be military, but there's this one thing that really struck me, the starfish and the spider, this idea of the Apache Indian. So I want to pause here because I think I would be amazed if there would be an organization that really took OKRs to heart and ended up seeing something like what happened with the starfish and the spider. So can we briefly touch base here on what that is, where it came from and how does this apply? Cause I, I think it's super meaningful. I really was. I was like kind of blown away when I read through it. I read it twice, actually, that part of the story

Tim Whitmire (00:30:06): Yeah. So that's, and if you go, if you're going to buy the book on Amazon, I, for a long time that that book, the starfish and the spider was, you know, they would sort of give you frequently bought with this item and you would see those Starfish and the Spider books. So hopefully it's still still there, but if not, there's a book that was published in the early 2000s. So almost 20 years ago now kind of at the crest of that first wave of internet and Silicon Valley madness. And it really, it looks at how the effectiveness of what are called starfish organizations or leaderless organizations. And just kind of, you know, the, the metaphor is that if you cut off the arms of a spy of a starfish, sorry, each of those arms not only will grow back themselves, but they severed arm will become its own starfish.

Tim Whitmire (00:30:54): And the contrast is to a spider and a spider organization is if you cut off the head of a spider, the whole spider dies. And, and so the ability of starfish organizations to create really powerful leadership paradigms lies in the ability that it, or in the fact that almost everybody is considered a leader within a starfish organization. And so we intentionally Dave and I had both read this book. I honestly do not remember even who recommended it to us, but we both happen to read it around the time we were starting F3. And we recognized that that was what was going on at the workout that we had had met at this Freedom Park workout, because, and I'll go back. The guy who started that workout was guy named Jeff Guillebeau, and he didn't particularly want to grow the workout. So he didn't end up becoming part of F3, but he did something in the fall of 2008, about three or four weeks after I had started showing up, maybe, maybe even more than that, maybe six weeks, but I've been going out there for about six Saturdays and Jeff turned to me and he said, "Hey, why don't you lead next Saturday?"

Tim Whitmire (00:31:59): And I was like, man, I can barely do a pull up. I can't keep up with you guys in any of these things. But as I alluded to earlier, I was heavy, but I was a runner. I was running a lot of marathons in those days and, and have continued to, and that was something those guys didn't really do. They weren't really runners. They were doing a lot of kind of bodyweight stuff and strength stuff. And so that next Saturday I went out there and I was like, okay, we're going to go on some Hills. And I ran them out of the park, down a Greenway and into this street called Hillside, which is what a related hillside. And we ran hills for the entire hour and they hated it. And I of course love it. But like after that day, like I now an equity stake in the workout, right.

Tim Whitmire (00:32:41): Jeff had made me an owner in the workout in some way. And I had brought a piece of myself to that workout, kind of put my stamp on it. And that was my thing. And there were other guys who came in after me who were better runners than I was, and that was fine, but that experience and then he did the same thing when Dave came in and Dave had all this David was an army ranger and served for 15 years in the Army. Dave had all these, you know, military PT background that he could bring to the, to the way he led the workout. That became very important in F3. And so when Dave led, he, he brought that piece of it and that, that was the ultimate starfish, right? And so the rule became in F3. If you've been coming for four or five weeks, somebody is gonna turn to you and say, Hey, it's your turn to Q.

Tim Whitmire (00:33:31): And that's, that's kind of the sweat equity that everybody puts into it. You are expected to lead the work out at some point. Nobody gets away with just showing up and being at the back of the pack all the time and being a free rider. We need you up front leading. And once you've had that experience of leading of, of standing there at 05:30 in the morning, and you got 18 guys looking at you saying, all right, lead us. And you're like I don't know what to do. That's, that's a transformative experience for a lot of people. And they, they find something in themselves. Some of them turn out to be great workout leaders. Some of them turn out to be not so great workout leaders, but they've got some other skill they can bring to bear within F3 or by rallying other men to some other cause. And so that really that watching that work in F3 has made me a profound believer in, you know, organizations really need to create situations where everybody can have an opportunity to lead.

Jenny Herald (00:34:25): I couldn't agree more like something that when, when I had read your description in the book of how that influenced F3, and I thought about our organization, Gtmhub, I can see how without even knowing it, we were following some of that principle. For example, every week, every Friday our engineering team presents what they had built. I did this previously with a different company. We had done the same kind of thing where someone led the conversation, the discussion about what they had contributed on behalf of the team and the kind of transformation I have seen with our product and engineering teams that go through this exercise. At first, they were scared. You know, they, they were like, can you hear me? Because it's all, you know, remote. It's like, Hey, can everyone see my screen? And then, you know, and then the, the nervousness of, okay, I have no idea what I'm going to say.

Jenny Herald (00:35:20): And, and then someone had to kind of coax them to just, you know, share what you did. Let's start there. It was truly transformative. And now we're seeing a lot more confidence in the team and a lot more willingness, honestly, to step up and say, this is what I think needs to happen. This is what I think would make this better. And it, it's kind of sparked within our organization a freedom to speak up, which I don't know if we had that prior to kind of this forcing function, we had to say, everyone's going to share what they had done. You know, let's see what, let's see what we've done. And, and let's get excited about what we have to look forward to when we release, you know, kind of in the same way someone is standing in front of everyone. And they're like, okay, we're going to do burpees. And half of the group is like I have no idea what a burpee is and how does that guy know what a burpee looks like? They're going to demonstrate that, Oh my God, how many of those are we going to do? And then everyone gets super pumped that they're doing burpees all of a sudden, and they, they know what that is. You know, it's, it's really cool.

Tim Whitmire (00:36:22): Well, I mean, look having your on what this is like the, you know, probably the eighth or 10th episode of the podcast you've been doing and, and having listened to some of the earlier episodes. I know this is something you took on. I mean, you are the Q of the podcast effort, right?

Jenny Herald (00:36:38): I am, I am the lead on this.

Tim Whitmire (00:36:40): Yeah. And there is, there is a self-taught aspect of it. I mean, one of the five core principles of F3 is that, you know workouts are led in a rotating fashion by members of the workout with no prior training or certification required, right. That's one of our rules and nobody's going to stand there with a clipboard and, you know, check off, Oh, he did ten burpees, but he's not do them himself. And everybody's self-taught and everybody has an, and so that, you know, you presumably I'm going to assume that you were not ordered to do this and are doing it under duress, you at some point, put your hand up and said, Hey, I'm going to, I'm going to be the one who's going to do this. I'm going to find a new voice and a new outlet for the knowledge that we want to share with the OKR community. And you're figuring this out as you go, and you've got some people following you and that's, that is an empowering thing for all of us. And it makes the organization stronger.

Jenny Herald (00:37:30): Absolutely. And so kind of by extension of that, I think if everyone, you know, had had the ability to carve out their space and to lead in the way that they think that they can and, and deliver what they think would bring that value, we would have a lot less, I think, sad clowns walking around an office. But I think, I mean, I really do think so. Yeah. I wanted to touch on something that I don't know if it necessarily has a corollary, but I'm curious if you think so the CSAUP, completely stupid and utterly pointless bit, because I got there and I was like, okay, I'm tracking, I'm tracking. Wait. We're going to do completely stupid and utterly pointless stuff now, or what is called the CSAUP. Let's go there. Can you talk a little bit about the genesis of that? And then like, is there a corollary?

Tim Whitmire (00:38:19): I think that, I think there is. So I look that that's actually one of the few of these terms that, that I can take credit for. Cause that was that was sort of my thing that I brought to the table as most of the stuff is, is Dave's, but so that was know, one of that is an F3 term. It's CSAUP, an acronym for completely stupid and utterly pointless. The whole idea is working out together as nice. And that's great, but eventually, you know, you get guys in a certain shape and they want to go sort of prove it or compete somewhere. And so there's sort of an F3 tradition of going and doing, you know, what to, you know, normal people look like completely stupid and utterly pointless things like running a 200 mile you know, overnight relay race, where everybody gets into vans and runs all through the Blue Ridge mountains or doing a GORUCK challenge where you get, you know, a special forces cadre to come in.

Tim Whitmire (00:39:13): And everybody puts on backpacks that have 30 pounds in them. And they get run around town for 12 or 24 hours and basically treated like they're in in Hell Week at SEAL school. And so at the end of it, you get a patch that says you're, you're tough. So again, no, you know, why would you want to do that? It sounds really completely stupid and utterly pointless. And the irony of course, is that there's a huge point to it. You, you do hard things together and it brings people together and it brings out leadership and causes people to dig deep and, and all, all of the positive aspects that you might think come from that. And I you know, I have not, I'm trying to think of I'd have to think of some clients where I've seen this.

Tim Whitmire (00:39:58): I mean, the, the classic example of this would be in John Doerr's Measure What Matters book, where he talks about some of the really extreme, you know, I think there's a story in there about YouTube setting a goal of, you know, whatever, a hundred billion views in one year or whatever this is when they were ramping in 2012. And basically all of Google has to get behind this and push this. And you get an entire organization pushing toward the sort of insane goal and an insane objective that at the beginning of the year, everybody says, there's no way we can ever reach it. And then they do. Or even if you fall short, yet you realize incredible benefits from that coordinated effort. And, and you're, you're basically talking about a CSAUP in the corporate or OKR setting is an entire organization aligning behind an agreed upon goal. And they all share that vision. It's, it's the classic kind of, you know, vision casting and total alignment around. We are going to do this come hell or high water, even though it seems impossible. So yeah, I, I absolutely see a, see a parallel there.

Jenny Herald (00:41:05): Now that you explain it this way, I do too. I think when I first read it, I was like, okay, how do we get from rucksack runs to achievement in the workplace? But yeah, a lot of times, you know, when I look at my OKRs or even the one that you had mentioned that actually was an OKR, if you listen to a previous episode, Dreams with Deadlines needed to be born. And that was my OKR. And I remember thinking to myself when I was talking to er, my CEO and our leadership team about this, I was like I have no podcast experience. Where are we going to get these people? Who is going to support me in this effort? How do we market this? You know, like just a lot of questions came up and we did it anyway. And here we are, you know, nine, ten episodes in, and you're Tim you're part of a series where we get to listen to OKR coaches and experts in the field across the entire world. And that's super exciting to me and that would not have happened if I didn't have a completely stupid and utterly pointless moment where we looked at it and we were like, we're aligning behind this. This is, we just got to do it. And let's just go.

Tim Whitmire (00:42:13): Look, I see this with clients all the time. You know, there there's, you, you get in. And I wrote about this on the, on the blog of, you know, this disjuncture between, okay, am I setting objectives that allow me to run the business or to change the business. Your CSAUP objectives are really usually about changing the business, but it's changing the business while we keep running the business. We're not going to stop the business and retool it completely. We're not going to shut down the assembly line, which, you know, take it offline for two months, retool it completely and start again. No, you got to keep running the business while you change the business. That in an objective world probably is completely stupid and utterly pointless. But that is the challenge that leaders are called to. There's a...Dave tells a story all the time. I guess they give, you know, at some point in his, some examination that they gave him an in Ranger qualification or something like that, he, you know, he was asked, given an impossible mission, you know, go take, take this hill, which comes first, the men or the mission. And usually the students kind of agonize and some of them will come up with a, well, the mission comes first because, you know, blah, blah, blah. And some will say, no, you gotta save your men or whatever. And the answer is always both.

Tim Whitmire (00:43:22): That's the call that, that is the challenge to leaders is it's not mission, it's not men first. It's you got to do both. And it might be impossible to do both, but your challenge is to figure out a way to do it. And that's, you know, frequently what I, you know, am involved in kind of trying to get through to leadership teams when I'm working with them on OKRs, yeah, that looks really hard. That looks impossible, but got to find a way to do it because we have to change the business while we also run the business.

Jenny Herald (00:43:50): How do you get it to that? You know, when, so let's say that the leadership team, and we're going to transition a little bit more into OKRs here. Cause I think that's, that's a valuable discussion point to have, you know, I like calling it, keeping the lights on. And you also, like you said, you need to keep advancing the business. I like calling that, you know, creating that moat, if you will, around your proverbial business, right? How do you get people on board with this? Cause that's, that's the challenge of leadership is like perhaps, you know, they've clearly identified the market threats. They've figured out what would be the differentiator to help the organization succeed. They know that they need to make these big investments so that they can make that advancement the business, but they keep, they got to keep the lights on.

Jenny Herald (00:44:33): How do you get everyone to sign up for that deal? Because when you're talking about F3, which we've talked about, people are signing up because fitness that's their hook, right? I want to lose the weight. I show up to work, I'm getting paid and you might be on the spectrum of, this is a job. This is a career or for some, this is a calling, but the calling group is going to be very, very small. And so being able to tap into that with your organization and get them bought in is an incredible challenge because they need to be able to track where the leader's tracking. Right. I see where you're going, boss. How do you get them to align? Cause it's, this is the buzzword. Everybody wants it, but it seems so difficult. And that's why they hire, you know, coaches like you use to help them strategically and tactically figure out that, that, that plan of attack, if you will, if we're going to go with, you know, military jargon, how foundationally though, do you create or start create that mind shift?

Tim Whitmire (00:45:28): Yeah. So look, my personal and I I've been called in and asked to help with situations where you've already got OKRs in place. And a lot of times I, I, those are not my favorite situations because I, my preference in this is to be able to come in and work from the start with kind of the top leadership team and try to build that alignment from day one, because if you don't have that and you don't have agreement around what the key objectives are, you're, you're never going to get where you are and I've walked into situations where you already running OKRs and people have already tuned out because they don't feel like the OKR is aligned with what they think they need to be doing in their particular silo of the, of the business. And that's essentially a recipe for failure. You can try and engineer around that, but ultimately if you can't get everybody on the same page and in sync around the objectives, then you're, you're, you're never going to ultimately succeed.

Tim Whitmire (00:46:25): And so I really, I like to start with you're the top leadership team and God help us. Cause here we go with another metaphor, but this is sort of the organizing metaphor for my practice. But I rode crew back when I was in college. And so I really lean on a lot, this metaphor of setting the boat. And when you're in a crew crew boat and you're rowing sweep, which is what everybody, every person has one oar the balance in the boat is the most important thing to whether the boat moves efficiently through the water. And if you can't get everybody sliding their seat forward together, putting their oar the water at the same time and pulling with roughly the same level of effort, the boat will not set in the water. The boat will tip from side to side, which as you might imagine, drastically influences the ability to move forward through the water.

Tim Whitmire (00:47:11): If you're constantly tipping back and forth, and people are slamming their oars against the water. And there's a little, 120 pound dude or girl who sits in the front of the boat called the coxswain, which is what my, my business name refers to. And that is the person who's responsible for steering the boat and, and coaching the oarsmen in the boat and trying to get them to row in sync together. And so my goal is always to come in and work with an executive team, the people who are sitting in that boat and get them rowing together. And the way you do that is you get them. And OKRs are really efficient for this. And you get them, agreed on what the objectives are and you get them enthusiastic behind those objectives. And then you get them agreeing that, you know, we're going to row together toward this goal.

Tim Whitmire (00:47:56): And we're going to work in cadence, the key results and the metrics and the data that you track are all what go into getting them rowing together and in cadence. And my goal as the coxswain is not to actually be on an oar, but to sit there and kind of steer them and correct them, maybe coach a little bit from that seat, but get that boat moving in a balanced and set fashion. And so for me, philosophically, if I can't start with that top group, I'm probably wasting my time. If I got to come in and work with people at the lower levels and the upper levels are disagreed about what the objectives are going to be, then we're probably not, you know, that's not necessarily a good use of their or my time. The other thing I was saying, you, you referenced this earlier of like how many people are there because it's their calling and how many people are there because it's a paycheck.

Tim Whitmire (00:48:43): The other term, the other sense in which I talk about setting the boat is once you get that cadence established and you get that rhythm of goal setting and execution going. Now, somebody who's sitting outside of that boat, which is usually the head coach of the team is out in the coaches launch, in an optimal situation. That's the CEO right there. The CEO's not in the boat. The CEO is almost sitting outside the boat—can tell who should be in what seat of the boat. And maybe there are some people who shouldn't even be in the boat because they're not aligned to the rest of the team. They're not pulling in the same. And the metaphor is always, you know, you're not pulling in the same direction as everybody else. And so that's, that's the other fascinating thing. I had one company I worked at and we had a guy come in as the Chief Product Officer about midway through my tenure there.

Tim Whitmire (00:49:30): And this guy just got it. He'd worked at IBM. He worked in several other environments where he just, he he'd run successful OKR programs. He knew what we were trying to do. He had a vision for what we needed to do with the product. And he came in and I was like, you're my stroke seat. You're the guy I want in the front seat of the boat, setting the cadence for all the rest of the oarsmen to follow. And I leaned incredibly heavily on him. He was perfect in that role and different people play different roles in that within an organization, some people are, are your cadence keepers. Some people are just going to put their head down and row as hard as they possibly can toward a goal. Once you define the goal for them, you want those people in the middle of the boat. And some people are just good to have in the boat. They're not especially strong, they wouldn't necessarily celebrate cadence. And those you put in the back of the boat. That was me when I was a college oarsman. But, but that's and that's the other part of setting the boat is once you can get an established rhythm going around OKRs, then you have that ability to look at the boat and see, yeah, this is working really well. Or maybe this person doesn't need to be in there.

Jenny Herald (00:50:35): So again, it's, it's really about consistency. Well, firstly, and then establishing that very clear, real purpose that everyone can agree to and then just letting it...then having some guidance along the way as the team's going. Yeah. And that, yeah. Oh my goodness. Like this book, I mean, when I seriously F3, like now I can understand seriously the journey that you went through and why people would start asking you questions to say, Hey, I'd like some advice on this or Hey, can you help me with that? Or, Hey, I think maybe you should consider this, that or the other. And then people would respond favorably to that because what, what you all were doing with the movement and what movements we need to see in industry, especially now, I think there are a lot of corollaries between the two. So one question that I thought would be really interesting to talk about is outcomes versus outputs, right? Because OKRs, they say, are supposed to be about measuring outcomes or like, what do you expect to happen? But you have an interesting take on that in particular that you need to be able to take into account external factors. Can we talk about this for a little bit? And if you don't mind, let's talk through an example. I think you had a really good one about hiring a senior leader in an organization. So let's start there.

Tim Whitmire (00:51:52): Yeah. This is where, this is where I depart from OKR orthodoxy and I become the the heretic in the congregation. But yeah, I, I, a lot of times I work with clients who, and I I've got no problem with having outcome driven objectives, but very often I encounter people who want to make their key results. The things that are levering up to those objectives, the things that you're going to track to tell you whether you're on track to achieving your objective very dependent on outside forces. And so I really, a lot of my clients, I really encourage them to focus on what, what is within your control. So the example I often use is you're trying to bring in a new product leader for the company. So you say, okay, I want, my objective is have the new product leader in the seat by May 1st.

Tim Whitmire (00:52:37): And I'm going to put out, you know, I'm going to contact the recruiters by February 28th, I'm going to collect 10 resumes and do 10 phone interviews by the middle of March. And I'm going to have people in for final round interviews by the beginning of April. And I'm going to make an offer on April 3rd and have that person in the seat on, on May 1st, well, that's all great until you put that offer out on April 3rd. And then that person turns around and gets her raised at their current job, or, you know, basically decides not to come and take your job. And now you don't have anybody. You, you hit all your key results, but you don't have anybody in the seat on May 1st through no fault of your own because of the dynamics of the job market or who that person was or, or whatever that is.

Tim Whitmire (00:53:22): And so what I really, and that goes any number of other key results that I see people focused on. And, and what I really try to tell them is that's all what I call. I put it under the grab bag of contingency. You, you have very little control over the rest of the world around you and, and 2020 has been maybe the best example of of the fact that we have very little control over what goes on around us and that outside events will impact us in ways we can't anticipate. And so what I want you to do for your key results is really focus on what are the things that are under your control. So whenever this new Chief Product Officer shows up, what have you done that's a key result that will prepare this person to be maximally impactful when they hit that seat, whether it's May 1st, June 1st or September 1st. So I really, I, that's just one thing where I really feel like too often, we go down a path. I alluded to this earlier, we go down a path and we hit a roadblock. And all of a sudden we're not able to get where we thought we were. Well, that's not the case because we're all smart people. And we all know how to navigate around and get to where we eventually want to go, but I want to leave room for that navigation. And for that contingency.

Jenny Herald (00:54:36): So, I don't think you're saying, you know, create a bunch of task oriented key results, but rather how close can you get to the actual outcome, which really means taking additional time to think through what is that change? And then how close can we proxy without being, having a bunch of lagging indicators? Because that's tough, but you know, a lot of proxy indicators, if possible on whether or not we succeeded or failed.

Tim Whitmire (00:55:01): And that, that piece, the, the, the, the experimentation that it's sometimes takes to get to what are those indicators that are telling us, whether we're really on track to success, that's the part. And you often find people are really impatient with that process. And it's, you know, a lot of times the conversation is, Hey, we need to figure out what the baseline is for one or two quarters before we can even start figuring out how do we raise the baseline, because we don't even know what our baseline for success is, right? How many, how many outgoing calls do we need to have in a week to get to five demos? You know, whatever, whatever that ends up being. So I, I absolutely agree.

Jenny Herald (00:55:37): But how practically would you advise a client that's in that situation where they're like this clearly what we want to achieve? We don't have metrics for that. We're not even tracking this, so we don't even know what the baseline is. How do we start.

Tim Whitmire (00:55:50): That to me, that's where that's the place where technology comes in, right? And then the great problem in this industry is too many people see technology as a sub, you know, as the whole solution. And what you heard me arguing almost throughout this whole podcast is actually these are people driven issues, but that's the place where technology really comes in and can save the day. So if you're, you know, you're running a CRM or any other sort of cloud based or SaaS platform, you are collecting data that is relevant to these kinds of questions. Now, do you know where that data is? Do you know how to read that data? Do you know how to interpret that data? A. Most companies of any size or scale need somebody on their staff who is competent with those issues and can pull that together. And then secondly, and this is not to toot Gtmhub's horn, but, you know, obviously there is Gtmhub for this of like, how are you going to knit these various data sources together and pull in, usually through API connections, to a single source of truth about, about what is actually going on in terms of what you're tracking and that willingness to experiment and say, okay, we're going to track this for a couple quarters, see what it tells us, see whether there's correlation and in turn, maybe causation between, you know, this key result and the outcome we're trying to achieve, but you, you've got to have that ability because again, data sits out in most companies in scattered applications and with different people around the organization.

Tim Whitmire (00:57:23): And if you're going to do OKRs really effectively, everybody needs to be able to look and see in one place, have that sort of single source of truth. So that to me is the most effective place where technology can come in and really knit the whole effort together.

Jenny Herald (00:57:38): Yeah. Thanks for that, Tim. I think all of that, it all seems really sensible. And we're gonna start to wrap this up and I have some quick fire type questions if, if you're cool with those. So, let's start with the first one. What do you appreciate most about your team at CXN? Let's let's start there.

Tim Whitmire (00:57:55): Yeah. I mean, I, for me, it's the people I get to work with every day. I'm working with a range of people who are, you know I advise the head coach of a local youth sports team on kind of a pro bono basis. I've got startup folks who are very early in their journey. I've got some folks who are CEOs of more mature companies who have trusted me and let let me into their lives and their businesses to try to help them. And so it's really, it's the opportunity to be of service to those people that, that I love the most.

Jenny Herald (00:58:24): What would you say is your greatest dream now, as you had a dream at some point to be fit and then get other men to be like men, you know, and through fitness what do you, what's your greatest dream now and its associated deadline, if you have one.

Tim Whitmire (00:58:40): I would actually, I, I, I, I'm glad you appreciate the book as much as you do. I want to write another book within the next 10 years that really has to do with a lot of this stuff we've been talking to about goal setting and OKRs and alignment in the corporate setting and, and have that be influential in the, in the business community.

Jenny Herald (00:59:00): Very cool. What's your idea of the perfect company to work with? You started to allude to the leadership team, but can you kind of give shape to like the ideal company candidate?

Tim Whitmire (00:59:13): Yeah, I think it's, it's your, it's a business that is extremely purpose and goal focused, right? Mission, mission driven, clear on what it wants to be. And basically has a lot of those starfish elements committed to letting folks lead in their own way and find their own way to lead them. So I would, you know, a well run purpose-driven starfish, you know, company is kind of my, my ideal.

Jenny Herald (00:59:42): What would you say is your proudest experience so far with a client in terms of OKR adoption or the evolution of their program?

Tim Whitmire (00:59:54): But I had a client about, I had, I'd given him a metaphor for thinking about something it's maybe six or eight months ago. And I was on a call with him a couple of weeks ago and he basically repeated my same metaphor back to me. I'm not sure he even remembered me telling it to him the first time, but you know that under the old rule, if you have to tell somebody something seven times before they hear it, I think I told him this once and he brought it back to me like six or seven months later. And I was like, that's awesome. You, you, you heard me, you you, you absorbed it enough that you're, you're going out and sharing it with other people. And that's, that's pretty cool.

Jenny Herald (01:00:27): What's top of mind for you these days?

Tim Whitmire (01:00:30): For me, it's really, I, I do, I do kind of a lot of different work where I see and help people write kind of job descriptions. And one of the things I see over and over again, the companies want is this desire to become much more data-driven you know, there's sort of this general concept out there in the ether of Oh, big data and we need to do something about it and we need to be data-driven. And the reality is that most companies, a lot of companies have a lot of data, but don't do anything effective with it. And it just sort of sits there and maybe it gets used by some people in a limited way, but they all want to become data-driven in their decision-making. And my biggest goal right now is to sort of help a lot of those companies leverage that data, A, to understand that kind of a key results level.

Tim Whitmire (01:01:20): How are you achieving the things that you're achieving? Because a lot of times people achieve things, not for the reasons that they think they achieve them. And I think the data, it, when effectively used data can give you real insight into, Oh, we increased sales, not because of those three things that we thought were doing, but because of these three things, and to me, that ability to zero in on the data, you know, the measuring of what actually matters versus what people think matters has hugely transformative potential. But I think we're only just scratching the surface of that. And I think we have a very, almost simplistic conception of what that means. So I really want to help companies dig in on how to, how to extract that data, use it to drive effective OKRs, and then ultimately use that in the, in the highest service of the people who run the organization. So not data for data's sake, not data just for efficiency sake, but data for running the best possible purpose driven organization.

Jenny Herald (01:02:19): I mean, I couldn't agree more obviously, and I want a great way to end the episode. Thank you again so much, Tim, for your time today, it was a joy and I appreciate you being with us on Dreams with Deadlines. Thank you.

Jenny Herald (01:02:40): Well, that's it for this episode of Dreams with Deadlines. Thanks for listening. If you liked today's episode, please subscribe and share. Show notes can be found on gtmhub.com/radio. If you want to learn more about our product and services, head out to gtmhub.com. If you have questions that you'd like answered on the show, shoot us an email at [email protected] Tune in next time!

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