In this episode of the Peak Performance Leadership podcast, host Scott McCarthy sits down with Drew Lawrence to discuss leadership during times of crisis, specifically focusing on remote work and effective communication strategies. Drew, a seasoned leader with experience in leading teams through challenging situations, shares his valuable insights on navigating the uncertainties that come with crises, including a unique perspective on the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2021. In this blog post, we will explore the key takeaways from this insightful conversation.
Drew Lawrence is a highly accomplished leader who has dedicated his career to developing revenue strategies for early and growth stage companies. He is the founder of Flashover Strategies, a consulting firm that helps businesses optimize their go-to-market and revenue strategies. Drew’s experience leading a team during the Russian invasion of Ukraine provides a valuable backdrop for his insights into leadership and crisis management.
- 04:09 Preparation and activation of plan during crisis.
- 06:15 Unique factors enabled teams to collaborate globally.
- 10:04 Supporting team, delivering for clients during crisis.
- 11:34 Training, teamwork, empathy, compassion – supporting Ukraine team.
- 17:37 Leaders must consider their team’s perspective.
- 19:03 Creating environments for open communication, considering individual experiences.
- 23:20 Frontline voices often overlooked in crisis situations.
- 27:50 Promoting trust and transparency in remote work.
- 31:19 Ensure clear communication, consistency, and accountability.
- 35:21 Timeless principles and embracing technology for success.
- 37:34 Started Flashover Strategies, consulting early growth stage companies’ go-to-market and revenue strategies. Find on LinkedIn, website coming soon.
If you want to learn more about Drew and his resources be sure to check out his resources:
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The following is an AI generated transcript which should be used for reference purposes only. It has not been verified or edited to reflect what was actually said in the podcast episode.
Scott McCarthy [00:00:01]:
Drew brother, welcome to the show, man.
Drew Lawrence [00:00:04]:
It’s great to be here, Scott. Good to see you, buddy.
Scott McCarthy [00:00:06]:
Yeah. Alright. Let’s let’s let’s let’s go dive into this topic because this is you got a bit of a crazy story, brother, to talk about.
Drew Lawrence [00:00:15]:
I mean, it’s it’s I think it’s a fun story. Learned a lot. That’s for sure.
Scott McCarthy [00:00:20]:
I bet you did learn a lot. So let let’s set the scene for the audience. Like, couple years ago, Minor thing happened. Russia just decides to invade Ukraine, and A couple changes occurred. Now most people, like, daily lives most people, I would are Probably argue that your daily lives weren’t necessarily truly affected, but, like, not yours. Yours was despite being
Drew Lawrence [00:00:52]:
out here. Yeah. I mean and professionally, it was certainly not to the level of a lot of people that were and are still on the ground over there and living with it every day. But, you know, we went to bed on February 23rd, woke up 2021, woke up on February 24th, and 75 70% of our company found themselves in a war zone, In an active war zone with air raid sirens going off, going down to bomb shelters, not knowing if Their home was gonna be overrun within 72 hours, which was at the time a lot of what the talk track and and what the speculation and and media coverage at the time seemed to indicate, was that Moscow’s goal was to move on Kyiv and and be there within 3, 4 days.
Scott McCarthy [00:01:38]:
Which actually was what they were trying to do. There was this whole convoy that stretched, like, Literally. I think 20 or 50 kilometers long that got stuck. That’s another conversation for a different podcast. But let’s let’s run through that. Like, what was what was what was the the sense in the company when you guys woke up the next day to realize that, like, hey. Like, Three quarters of our war zone, and we don’t even know if they’re alive right now.
Drew Lawrence [00:02:07]:
Well, so that was the first thought was definitely, Can we get a hold of him? Can we get, what I call from my fire fire service days, an accountability check? Can we get a personal accountability report and know that everybody’s okay? Call it a par. And this is this wasn’t something that came out of the blue. You know, this was something that you would see in the reports of troops messing on the border of military exercises. So as an executive team, and as specific leaders within the organization who had people within the reporting hierarchy that were based in Ukraine, there was a lot of preparation that that went into the event of if this happened, what would we do? The basically, the the plan you never wanna have to use, but you always wanna make sure you have as a leader, in case something goes wrong. In this case, it it went very wrong, and so what we did was we activated the plan. And I wish I could tell you that everything was smooth and a 100%, but as you know, the best laid plans don’t necessarily go to waste, but never go a 100% according To how that plan was scripted out. And that was the experience that we had. So really in the 1st 24 hours, it was crack open the plan and we’re step 1.
Drew Lawrence [00:03:17]:
Set up the communication center, kinda set up a basic control at our headquarters office here in Denver. Have members of the executive team fly into town, and arrange to have that 24 hour communications channel with our teammates in Ukraine So that when they did have cell service, when they did have Internet connectivity, we were able to to get through and connect and work with them through those 1st critical 72 hours Of just establishing, are you okay? Forget the work piece. Are you okay? Are you safe? Is your family safe? With obviously safety in a relative term in an active war zone.
Scott McCarthy [00:03:55]:
So you guys set up what I would refer to as an op center, an operation center. You guys set set one of those up for your company. Like, how did that even come to be in the 1st place? Because that’s not something you hear often on city street.
Drew Lawrence [00:04:13]:
So that’s interesting for me. Yeah. I think there are a couple unique factors that that just kinda came together to to facilitate that. The first is, you know, the company itself, it was it was only a year and a half, a little actually less than a year old as the new company. The company had been a three way private equity merger situation, and so there was still a lot of everyone getting to know each other. Teams all across the globe, not just in Ukraine, but also the United States as part of planning for what may be to We had explored where would we be able to stand up additional teams to ensure that our customers and clients didn’t see a a negative impact on on their service within reason. And and to that point, everyone was fantastic knowing and understanding the situation that our team was in and people asked and and the concern and the genuine Compassion and empathy, was one of those bright lights that you know that they’re still good in the world because so many of the customers were concerned about Our teammates who they worked with on a daily basis. But because we had this diverse, dispersed remote work environment, we knew that in a in a crisis type situation, you can’t replicate face to face communications Being in the room and having to your point that ops center set up.
Drew Lawrence [00:05:32]:
And so the plan had always been that if Negative things were to happen and Russia invades Ukraine. We’ll we’ll stand up this operation center. We didn’t stand it up in the 1st 24 hours it was in the middle of the week, and we didn’t want people in the air flying until we had a sense of what was happening. And once we were able to get that initial accountability heading into that 1st weekend, it was great. Everyone spend take time on the weekend, get in here, and then Monday morning, we’re gonna be operational 247 all in the same room Versus different standing open meetings and things like that with various communication channels. In terms of Where did that come from? This is another one of those factors. You have this coincidence of a three way merger that has a lot of team in Ukraine right as Russia launches an invasion. I was fortunate enough that in the past life, I had the privilege of leading a crew of firefighters and was in the fire service, for about eight and a half years.
Drew Lawrence [00:06:27]:
And through that training, as you know from your military training, an emergency scene or a a mission has a very similar profile in terms of how you train, how you prepare, how you execute And so for me, it was a little bit of second nature and going back to some old training that I had to think through, okay, what do we need to have? I was, At the time, fortunate to not be in a position where someone specifically within my reporting structure was impacted or in on the ground in Ukraine. And that enabled me, to play more of a liaison role across my teammates who did have teammates on the ground, who they were Trying to get in touch with, establish if they were safe, etcetera. And that enabled me to leverage, you know, my past experiences and say, okay, let’s not forget the HDMI cables and the extension cords and who let’s make sure we’ve got food coming in and, hey, let’s make sure we have a backup communications channel and Let me research different ways that we might be able to transact and and pay our teammates there while other people are actually The things day to day and minute by minute that were happening.
Scott McCarthy [00:07:33]:
That sounds pretty, actually, Pretty intense. And that not something that I would think people would think that this average company would go and Do for people. Now interested to hear, you know, what was the what was the goal for the ops center that you guys had set up? Like, obviously, it was to reach out And to check-in on your people and stuff. But, like, outside of that, what was what was the goal for it? What would what were you guys trying to achieve?
Drew Lawrence [00:08:02]:
The the initial and primary objective was be there to support the team in whatever way we could. In some same cases, this had was helping to facilitate Teammates in Germany driving to Poland to get to Ukrainian border to drop off needed supplies. In some cases, this was, I don’t have access to this account. Can you process my funds through this different account? This was right at the height of their freezing banks and money is not transacting, but People were trying to get to the grocery store, trying to buy and stock up, in the 48, 70 2, 96 hours, after the initial, you know, invasion and and missiles and bombs started falling, and so it was a matter of first and foremost, What do you need? How can we help to make sure you stay safe? And the second part of that was we also had a a duty to our clients and our customers who Had mission critical tasks that they had put us responsible for for their business, so we had to make sure we continue to deliver for them. While understanding, we have teammates that are unavailable right now. This was not a expectation of you continue to work. It was let’s all be in the room, make sure our team is safe. And by all being together, we can coordinate who’s gonna cover For our teammates to ensure that our customers and clients still receive the service that they need to operate their business.
Scott McCarthy [00:09:21]:
Got it. Yeah. Definitely a a ball or 2 in the air for sure and a and a couple things that coordinate from time to time, it sounded like. It was.
Drew Lawrence [00:09:32]:
I was just gonna jump in and say, you know, what I think what I thought was what struck me in hindsight and and obviously in the moment is is, you know, from your experiences, You you are relying on your training, your teammates, and and you are doing what needs to be done to achieve the objective. In this case, Get in touch with our team. Are they okay? Are we doing everything we can to help them? And are we able to continue delivering without negative impacts for our customers and clients? And you don’t always in that moment reflect on the chaos or the balls in the air. You’re just executing against what you know you need to get done. But After afterwards, debriefing multiple times, because obviously the situation is still ongoing over there. But, you know, every time you go through that debrief and try to reflect and learn from it, one of the things that struck me every step of the way Was just the empathy and compassion that existed on a human level, for people caring about other people, people that never met, people that they may have never interacted with online in a teams or Slack based environment as teammates. And for, like I said, our customers who reached out proactively to check on the teammates of ours that they interface with on a regular basis. And part of what, you know, my accountability was having the privilege of leading the sales organization was to ensure That the sales team continued to do their job and continue to advance their deals and continue to close deals knowing that that was revenue That was gonna be needed to continue to support our team in Ukraine.
Drew Lawrence [00:11:08]:
So everybody had a role in the company’s situation On an individual level to make sure that they were there for their teammates. And in my team’s case, that was a lot of them showing up and making sure that their d sales deals and Working with their clients was able to continue to progress to continue to support our teammates in Ukraine.
Scott McCarthy [00:11:29]:
Sounds like a bit of like a rallying cry.
Drew Lawrence [00:11:33]:
It it was definitely a rallying cry, but at the same time, a massive clearly, war is a distraction. War war is a horrible thing. But with the to your point earlier, you know, not a lot of people have this experience. It’s one that I I wish I didn’t have because I wish I didn’t have teammates that were stuck in a war zone, ever. I wish there weren’t people stuck in war zones, but the reality is that’s a fact of life. And then the question is, so what are you gonna do with that situation? And what was really impressive to me, was to see how different members of the team stepped up in different ways outside of anything to do with work. Just on a human level of wanting to support one another And then bringing that mindset to their professional work environment and understanding that doing their job to the best of their ability Is exactly what they needed to be doing to help support the team and not allowing that to be a distraction, Because it can be really easy in that situation to feel helpless. We’re sitting in the comfort of of our homes with Steady connectivity, and plenty of food and the ability to go outside and go to the restaurant, and you’re on a Zoom call with a teammate And all of a sudden, they say, hey.
Drew Lawrence [00:12:49]:
I’ve gotta go to the bomb shelter, talk later. Clicked and they disappear. And you’re sitting there wondering, oh, man. I hope they’re okay. 10 minutes later, they hop back on the call from a hot spot in a bomb shelter. And and you’re looking at them and say, well, hold on. What are you doing? Are you okay? Like, don’t be on this call. But work for our team in Ukraine gave them a sense of normalcy for those that were able to and wanted to.
Drew Lawrence [00:13:14]:
They said it was, hey. This is the only part of my routine I have anymore. I can’t go to the store. I can’t take my kids to school. And so being able to at least have this interaction is me doing my part Right now to support my team and support my my countrymen and women as we’re going through this crazy time.
Scott McCarthy [00:13:34]:
That’s a wild story. I just can’t imagine being on a call and say having someone say, I gotta run because, you know, bombs are coming in. Only to have them show back up 10 minutes later in some kind of bunker. I’ve been in bunkers myself personally, and this is, like, the last thing I would be thinking about, It it’s dialing back in.
Drew Lawrence [00:13:55]:
And it was it was inspiring. Be I’ll tell you one thing. It it certainly Had me out those were days that I wasn’t griping about my job. I the the privilege I felt of being able to Sit in this office and and and not worry about that and frankly roll my eyes about maybe having to go to my next meeting sometimes. Meanwhile, I have I have teammates who are whose life is under threat saying, no, I wanna keep working. And and that says something about the team and the Culture and and the leadership that I was privileged to work with and learn from throughout my entire time there, from from our CEO to my to my teammates on the executive team and through our extended leadership team and managers that really put the people first Knowing that by putting our people first in war, outside of war, doing that as a general rule of thumb, You’re gonna end up with a strong team that is performing well. And we were fortunate that that helped carry us through that time.
Scott McCarthy [00:14:55]:
Yeah. Those are some that’s in crucial keywords there. Drew, I’d like to change yours just slightly, and I’d like to talk about more The psychological plane now, on on your team members. Now you said that you didn’t have anyone who reported directly to you Affected by this, I e, living in Ukraine, but still, that’s a lot of stress, on everyone. You know, how did you guys manage? How did you cope with, taking care of your people who weren’t on that side of of the of the equation per se, but Still at the same time recognizing that you did have people over there that were in harm’s way.
Drew Lawrence [00:15:35]:
Yeah. I think the the one of the big things to keep in mind as leaders in that Situation is that, your team does not have the experiences or the responsibility or accountability that you do That have resulted in you being the position that you’re in. And so it’s really important as leaders to take off the potential blinders you have and Try to look at the situation from the shoes of your individual contributor, your frontline worker, whoever that might be, And understand that their perception dramatically influences their reality. I hate the phrase perception is reality, But we can’t deny the fact that it certainly dramatically influences your sense of reality. And so a key thing for for all of us, on the leadership side was to make sure that we created space to talk and check-in and ask and invite our teammates To share their experiences. We had a number of team wide meetings where where employee a team wide, company wide, subgroups, You know, just making sure you’re creating that environment because, again, we didn’t have an office where everyone was gathering. You know, the executive team was together with a few other teammates, But by and large was a fully remote organization. And so creating that space intentionally takes on new meaning When it’s a Zoom room and a calendar invite, not people standing around in the kitchen talking.
Drew Lawrence [00:17:01]:
And so we wanted to make sure that we created those environments Public, private, anonymous, not, you know, not anonymous, so that folks felt comfortable surfacing what was on their mind. You know, I would start every meeting with my team with everyone checking in. How are you doing? I had a few teammates that were actually based out of Germany That had more extensive experience working in more personal relationships with some of those teammates in Ukraine. And they were impacted differently Then folks on my team here in the US who had never interacted with one of the Ukrainian teammates directly, but saw them on company meetings or they were on email threads or worked on projects Together. And so not everyone’s gonna react similarly to to that type of situation. And as leaders, It’s important that we really adopt, a servant leader’s mindset and understand how it’s impacting those individuals. Reacted very differently, than members of the team that had never had that experience or or hadn’t been exposed To war or combat or air raid sirens. Those that had kids reacted differently than those that didn’t because they they, My myself included.
Drew Lawrence [00:18:13]:
It was a little bit of I couldn’t imagine having my son and daughter in that environment. What would I do? And we had teammates with young kids in that environment. And so the biggest takeaway is create this space and make the Time to have the conversation and take a genuine concern in the answer, and make sure that you’re hearing, and listening And putting that into action in terms of how you maybe then share your next update. There was one example that comes to mind where, as you know from our interactions, I’m pretty direct individual. I try to be mindful with my words. However, in in times of high stress or when I’m in execute execute Cute mode. Sometimes my my tone and my word choice isn’t always there and I’m operating with best intent, but we just gotta kinda go with it. One of my teammates fortunately called me on that and said, hey, when when you said it that way and I don’t even remember what it was that I said, but the the tone in which I said it Was perceived as dismissive.
Drew Lawrence [00:19:14]:
And I certainly didn’t mean it as dismissive, but I needed to know that that’s how that person heard it so that the next time I can ensure that they didn’t take that perception away again, I asked a teammate of mine, hey, did you hear it this way? That interest said, no. Not at all. I heard it this way, in another way, which is exactly how I intended it. Well, guess what? That’s because that person’s a lot more similar to them to me Then this other individual. And so the key thing as leaders in that time of crisis is to know that it’s not one size fits all because everyone responds to acute stress differently, and you can establish patterns and frameworks to help address it. But do not ever assume that person a is gonna respond the same way as person b, f, s, or c, because that will put you in a bad position.
Scott McCarthy [00:20:01]:
Man, so many truth bombs in there. So many great nuggets. But I really liked how you guys set up Different forms of communication for people to be able to come out and and ex and Talk about that situation, express themselves, whether that be anonymously, maybe that is non anonymously. However, I think that’s crucial because not everyone communicates in the same way, just as you said with your personal story about being, You know, being perceived as being dismissive. By the way, I have that occasional problem as well, which I still work on to this day. Yep. Right?
Drew Lawrence [00:20:43]:
The journey will never end for either one of us.
Scott McCarthy [00:20:45]:
Right. Exactly. Right? It’s just it it it is common in us a types. Right? But it the important thing is the The crucial thing is is to understand, that people communicate in different ways, and we can’t just use one form of communication, Especially in a time of crisis to ensure that the message is being passed. But as you clearly and Eloquently highlighted. The ability for messages to be passed up as well and enable people in the
Drew Lawrence [00:21:18]:
whole age. Part that Oftentimes gets gets lost or, is not necessarily lost, but overlooked in a crisis situation. And I’m very fortunate that, To leverage the the time and training I had in the fire service, to understand that sometimes the most important information I’m gonna get Is is coming from the person, that is Frontline’s individual contributor and and making sure that I can hear them however they need to be heard. Sometimes in in the fire service that’s on the radio and you make sure no one else is talking. In a professional environment, that can be a face to face video call. It can be face To face in an office if you have that opportunity. But other people in, say, this type of high stress situation that might drive a lot of emotion for folks May not feel comfortable showing that type of emotion to their manager or boss or peers for fear of judgment or whatever it might be. And no matter how strong of a culture you strive to create, a key point of and and required element of any strong culture Is ensuring that the team feels the ability to speak what’s on their mind in a productive and effective way.
Drew Lawrence [00:22:32]:
And so for others, that’s I need to take this in a little bit, and I’ll process it in writing. And I’ll I’ll send you a note, you know, or I’ll have a chat with you. Because if we get on a call and you hear my tone of voice, I’m gonna get self conscious that I’m emotional about this. And Making sure that you’re able to, as leaders and managers, understand the value that each voice has on your team regardless of how that voice is Heard. Whether it be loudly, softly, immediately, a few minutes, hours, days later, in writing or not, there’s value in all of it that informs how we can be better leaders and what we can do to better serve our teams.
Scott McCarthy [00:23:15]:
So many amazing nuggets in there. Yeah. I don’t even need to, add to that. But what I’d like to do is make another little slight change in course here. Obviously, still keeping with the theme crisis and all this stuff, but you highlighted multiple times that you’re leading a fully remote team. Now a lot of leaders out there are struggling in the best of times. Keep their teams motivated, keep them on point, Keep the cohesion going. How do you even go about doing that when when you got, you know, 3 quarters your workforce in a War zone, and you got, like, active crisis.
Scott McCarthy [00:23:54]:
You got a off center stood up. You have all these different things going on that is obviously not part of the normal day to day. And so many leaders out there right now are just struggling with the normal day to day with remote teams.
Drew Lawrence [00:24:09]:
Yeah. I think, you know, I was talking to a buddy of mine about this the other day, and the question of in the office, hybrid, remote. I think it’s safe to say remote’s here to stay. You’re seeing teams move more towards hybrid environments in some cases. And I do believe there are certain roles and functions where Maybe that opportunity for remote is not as as present and in some cases can’t be. You know, we came to know each other, through through connections in the medical field, and that’s one that certainly isn’t an option to always be remote on. But for those of us that that have that ability, it definitely came with a new set of challenges once COVID hit and created this new normal. I was one of those people that when COVID happened, I was like, okay.
Drew Lawrence [00:24:53]:
How many days do we get back in The office. Like, I was the first one in, last one out. I wanna high five everyone on my way in in the morning when they walk in and see me standing there, and my ability to really feed off the energy of the team, I attribute to a huge part of my professional success, over the over my career. And so when remote happened, it was and then it became clear it wasn’t going away, and then it became clear, oh, there’s a lot of benefits to this. Every spotlight’s gonna cast a shadow. And so there while there’s a lot of benefits, what are the unintended consequences that come with that? Accountability, motivation, communication Are 3 that come to mind of in a remote environment present a new set of challenges than you had in an office. In an office, I look over and see you setting up your fantasy lineup for 3 hours on a Thursday morning heading into a big football weekend. And I can say, hey.
Drew Lawrence [00:25:48]:
What’s going on over there? But in a remote environment, you’re operating in a complete blind trust. And that doesn’t mean negative trust in any way, but There’s not a trust but verify component, like looking over and just seeing somebody. And so Part of driving that in that remote culture is to set the proper expectations with your team as a leader. I like to use an acronym called CAT, Clear communication, mutual accountability, maximum transparency. And in a remote culture, If you can communicate effectively with maximum transparency, which is not complete transparency, there are certain things that in a in a setting you can’t share with certain people and that’s okay. But I’m a big believer that you should share as much as you can to create and foster trust. And by doing that, by communicating that clearly and by being very clear on what the Goals are for the individual and the team and how each individual’s contributions impact to that team, Then that gives you the environment to drive that motivation in that alignment even in a remote setting.
Scott McCarthy [00:26:53]:
Yeah. There’s so many awesome and So many amazing true poems in there, and I appreciate the acronym there, Cat. That’s that’s a definitely good one, and and I I subscribed to the all those ideologies. Now communication Is deemed to be the most crucial aspect during a crisis. Right? So when when we do, when I was Preparing to go to Afghanistan, and we’re doing instant management training, I e, taking over something that happens, whether or not be a roadside bomb or Getting in contact or what have you. It was always about clear communication, clear calm communication so that, one, you can pass orders So you’re soldiers, but 2, you can pass, information upwards so that you can get the support that you need. Now one of the Things I hear often from leaders in talking remote spaces, oh, there’s always communication issues. There’s communication issues.
Scott McCarthy [00:27:53]:
It’s not the same as face to face, Blah blah blah blah blah. These problems, excuses, what have you. Now so you guys have were combined. You’re, one, Having the the difficulties of remote communications, but, 2, you’re actively communicating through Crisis. So what are some actual things that leaders at their can employ for their remote teams to ensure that They’re communicating effectively.
Drew Lawrence [00:28:23]:
Well, I think I break that down into into 2 different buckets. There’s communicating effectively day to day And then communicating effectively in the crisis, which certainly changes that a little bit. From a day to day standpoint, it’s what’s the common foundation of language Between you and your team that everyone understands what that means. Great example of this is I would start team meetings, and go around, do check ins, and we’d use a red, yellow, green kinda stoplight methodology, pretty common in in the mindfulness space and, and working in different check ins and stand ups. And in that in that process, everyone on the team knew that green meant I’m in a good spot. I’m well rested. I’m here. I’m present.
Drew Lawrence [00:29:05]:
I’m ready to go. What’s going on? Let’s go get it. Yellow, hey. I’m a little distracted. Red, I’m not I’m I’m not feeling well. I’m super stressed out, Kinda pegged. Everyone understood what that meant. And so when you have that shared language across time zones, across cultures, It’s even more important to make sure that what you think is shared language is truly shared language.
Drew Lawrence [00:29:27]:
And as a leader, that is, hey, what does this mean to you? What do you think that means? Did you hear it this way? Nope? Okay. Let me make sure that I’m as the leader communicating in a way That what my intention is is what you hear. Sometimes that’s tonality. Other times that’s exact phrasing. Other times that is what are you putting in writing, and and what is the way that that is consistent across the spectrum of different communication channels, different time lines. You know, for example, with folks spread around the world, not everyone could make every meeting. We didn’t expect people to work in the middle of the night, And so you’d catch up by watching a recording of a meeting that you missed, which means you don’t have the ability to real time participate in that conversation. So by having that shared vocabulary going into it and that shared understanding of the goals and that clear accountability for who is accountable and responsible for the different tasks project or whatever the activity might be that helped to short circuit any disconnects or helped to avoid any short circuits and disconnects And what is meant by that? In a crisis, you truncate it.
Drew Lawrence [00:30:35]:
There’s a great acronym, KISS. Keep it simple, stupid. Silly. You know, I don’t wanna call anybody stupid, so we’ll go with keep it simple, silly. But, you know, the PISS acronym in a time of crisis is Only give me the critical needed information right now, because other things are gonna back up and things are changing so quickly. And so we would simplify things, as opposed to having a meeting and have everyone trying to get on to that meeting and communicate, how much we do asynchronously? How much can we automate and generate automated reports so that we’re not taking time asking the questions? We’re able to look at a dashboard and get the answer. And so anything in times of crisis that you can do to streamline and simplify your communications Process is essential. And some people might say, well, Drew, wouldn’t you wanna do that all the time? Why wouldn’t you always wanna have that simplified streamline comms? You do.
Drew Lawrence [00:31:31]:
However, you don’t want to, in times that aren’t high stress crisis situations, You still wanna keep them personable. You still wanna keep it, friendly and not familial per se in a professional setting, But because you’re not all in the room, take that moment and say, hey. What’s up? How are you? Oh, this is this is something that’s happening or this is how I’m This really bothered me when I heard that so and so didn’t check-in today. Are they okay? And you wanna make sure you create that time. If I’m on a on a emergency crisis center check-in call, we’re not having niceties. It is go, no go, yes, red, yellow, green, Done next. And then you come back and say, alright. How’s everybody doing? Everybody okay? I think that’s the biggest difference between crisis columns and non crisis columns is in crisis columns, you wanna make sure you pair it down and simplify it to the essential key information and nothing else.
Scott McCarthy [00:32:34]:
Yeah. I really like it because especially in times of crisis, you know, time is such a, such commodity. Time is a huge commodity all the time. But, but the reality is that in time, crisis is so So crucial. But what what I often talk about is, like, people talk about remote work and stuff like this. I’m Still, the principles are principles. Open communications, it’s just that the webcam and the computer screen It’s just the medium in which it gets it done. Like, is it exactly the same as face to face? No.
Scott McCarthy [00:33:13]:
But neither was the telephone, yet we’re all comfortable with Having phone calls, it’s just the medium. It’s just the tool.
Drew Lawrence [00:33:19]:
Exactly. And how it’s done? The principles are timeless, And and that’s what makes them the principles that we know we can all lean on. To your point, you mentioning the the phone call and and, you know, no think about this transition from phone to text. It’s just an evolution that we’ve had to adopt to as leaders, and those of you know, those that adopt to it, those that embrace it, Those are the ones that continue to thrive and grow. And with any sort of change right now, you know, everyone’s talking about AI and and LLM and generative AI, and is that gonna, make certain jobs not important, or is that gonna create The dearth of jobs in certain segments. Different but similar to when the automobile was invented, when telephone was invented, when Internet was invented, when the Internet hit mass consumption, when search engines became a thing, when Wikipedia became a thing for students writing term papers, and so instead of looking at that as, oh, it’s so much harder to motivate my team in a remote setting or hold my team accountable in the remote setting, I I think it’s incumbent upon us as leaders to look in the mirror and say, what opportunities are we missing here? Because there is a lot of good that this does Create, we just have to adjust our process to embrace what is gonna be better for our people and our team and ultimately result in a better outcome for our business.
Scott McCarthy [00:34:46]:
Bam. What a way to begin to wrap up this, episode. Dropping bombs like that. Drew, man, we could talk forever as we know, because we have in the past talked forever. But before I do wrap up the show, I got a couple last questions for you. Certainly. 1st being a question I asked all the guys here at Peak Performance Solutions Podcast, and that is toward new true Lawrence. What makes a great leader?
Drew Lawrence [00:35:14]:
Putting their people first, Scott. It’s that simple for me.
Scott McCarthy [00:35:18]:
Kind of the theme of the show. And then finally, I know you’re just kicking off your own little company, your own business. Why don’t you, feel free to give that a shameless plug and tell people where they Fine. You and Richard.
Drew Lawrence [00:35:32]:
Certainly. Thanks, Scott. So I recently started up a company called Flashover Strategies, where I’m helping early and growth stage companies With their go to market and revenue strategy and tactics, both in a consulting infractional role depending on the needs and and helping those early companies Find the right path, not just from a process, but also from a people and team standpoint to create an environment to foster that explosive growth On the revenue side that every company is chasing. Easiest way to find me is actually gonna be on LinkedIn. You can just find Drew Lawrence from Flashover Strategies. To to your point of just kicking this thing off, I will have an, a website up here in the next, the next couple of weeks, but I’ve been fortunate enough to already get to work with some clients and didn’t wanna Didn’t wanna put the cart before the horse, so got after it, with those, and and we’ll be getting my website up shortly. But in the meantime, LinkedIn is the best way to find
Scott McCarthy [00:36:22]:
And for you listeners, easy as always, the links are in the show notes, so check it out. Drew, my friend again, thanks for taking time, to talk to us about this Just ever incredible story, about leading, through a crisis when you got 3 quarters of your company In a active force, so still blows my
Drew Lawrence [00:36:42]:
mind. Well, Scott, I I appreciate your time and your friendship as always, and looking forward to our next conversation. Thanks again.