IN THIS EPISODE:
Finding a competent advisor is easy. However, if you want to find the best person to really make a difference in any area, it is important to ask one question: “Who is the person that has been in your situation 14 times before?”. That’s what we call a 14X advisor.
We also discuss the Billionaire mindset – and consider if a Billionaire with no financial limitations was in your situation, what adviser would they choose and why.
Finally, we talk about the importance of getting the right fit with an adviser so you can become clearer, stronger and more inspired.
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Please note that this episode was transcribed using an AI application and may not be 100% grammatically correct – but it will still allow you to scan the episode for key content.
Brad Giles 02:41
In terms of today’s subject, which is something that I think we’re both pretty passionate about why finding the best advisors will help you quadruple your IQ. Yeah, and
Kevin Lawrence 02:58
it’s you know, it’s a logical thing that to get the best advisor you can, but we often find that when people are in the middle of figuring things out, they actually normally try to figure it out, versus tapping the shoulder of a master. It’s there’s this instinct that many people have is to do it yourself DIY, there’s all these phrases for it. And we’re kind of reinforcing or going against that natural instinct to figure it out on your own, to try and flip the instinct to maybe making your default, who is the most masterful, masterful person that we could ask in these more high stakes or, or, or more challenging situations. So instead of the default, let’s get down to it and figure it out? default getting to how do we tap into a real Master, because then will more likely more quickly make a better decision or better move?
Brad Giles 03:55
So you’ve got a phrase that you use for this? Kevin? We’ve certainly spoken about this on the podcast before. But tell us about that phrase and how you came to develop that phrase or, or to coined that phrase.
Kevin Lawrence 04:11
I call it 14x advisors, or I call them 14 x’s. And the idea behind it is instead of and we’ll just take I mean, I’ve seen too many situations where my clients got bad advice, like really bad, good intentioned people, but really bad advice in many, many areas, but you know, I think particularly of some legal advice that one of my clients got, and you know, there was a brother in law who was a lawyer. And so he went but his brother in law was like a generalist lawyer with like three years experience. And it’s not nothing against three years experience, but three years experience isn’t the same as 33 years of experience. And three years of generalist experience is not the same as three years of specialists. experience, which is not even a fair comparison to 33 years of specialist experience, and this was an HR matter about long term employee and some bad things that happened and they had to clean it up. And in the end, it all worked out, but it went down the wrong road, because the brother in law with three years of generalist experience, gave him some advice, but there was a few thing few key things he didn’t know. And it just made a complete mess. Yeah. And, and so from that point, it was interesting back in the day, and you know, I got no racetrack on the mind. Not surprisingly, but there’s another guy that I met at the track that I was going with, who was a specialist, a HR matters lawyer, that’s what he did, you know, and so I ended up connecting him with that lawyer who cleaned up the situation and got it handled properly. So yeah, that was just the 14x advisor, and we think about it, you know, if we’re gonna go and climb Mount Kilimanjaro, or mount or Mount Everest, you know, I got a buddy who’s done a bunch of hiking, and I’m not gonna I wouldn’t ask him to do the person that it’s summited Everest. Kilimanjaro. 17 times.
Brad Giles 06:14
Kevin Lawrence 06:14
Right. And, if you’re gonna fly, we’re talking about pilots on the weekend, if you’re going to fly in horrible weather, you don’t want the pilot that’s got 500 hours of experience, or 200, you want the pilot who’s got 1000, 5000, 10,000 hours of experience as an example. You know, it, we know this in everything. So the key is, is we want to give people a shot. But let’s let them learn and make their you know, cut their teeth and make the mistakes you want. So the rule of thumb is, have they been there and done that 14 times before successfully? And not theoretically, that’s what we’re looking for masterful experience.
Brad Giles 06:58
Yeah. And it really speaks to the title or did clarify the title will help you quadruple your IQ. So what we’re really saying there is, you can get advisors that are at a competent level. But when you’re looking for an advisor, in any field, you really should be saying, Who is the person that is the 14x. To use your phrase is the person who’s been there, done that. And they’re, they’re not only experienced, but they’re masterful, they are able to see it with absolute clarity, all of the situations, and they can draw on multiple points of experience. Well, when we did it with that organization, or person, that’s what happened. And when we did it with this one, that’s what happened. So write lots and lots and lots of competence to help you to be able to make the best decisions. And I guess to get the return on input, or effort or investment in these houses, is enormous. If you get the right one, the difference can be multiplied so much.
Kevin Lawrence 08:16
Yeah, and that’s the most important so for example, I shared with you recently I’m learning to drive this new race car. Yeah. And it’s called a radical which is, is it’s like you know, a couple steps down from like a Formula One card not as fast. And though it’s it’s the same kind of a design but it’s not opening wheels so that when you’re racing, you’re less likely to catch wheels, because oh yeah, wheel cars are dangerous to race. Because if you catch a wheel, it’s bad. So but say underneath, it’s all very same very, very fast. And I’m learning how to drive them. A couple of my buddies already know how to drive them and I’ve only done sports car racing before so it’s a different takes as these cars have a lot of downforce, it’s a different driving technique. So I go out, do some practice, do as fast as I can. And I’m still you know, at least six seconds off the pace and in racing, that’s a lot. So there’s this young guy at the track and I think I mentioned them on a previous podcast young guy at the track who has won you know the world go karting championship or that it’s called Super NATS in Las Vegas. It’s, you know, it’s basically the fastest racers from all of North America. He’s one that he’s competed in delights in India, his name’s Zack, awesome, awesome guy. So I had him out in my car with me because I know I need to pick up these six seconds. And then I talked about the getting humbled, humbled because on our first time I drove my car, I spun it this first time with him. I think I spun it and then I wouldn’t start again. And which is obviously that’s no not fun to do in a racetrack. But as I’m driving it, I’m having proud and I said to him, so why did I spend it was Oh, you stayed on the brakes too long. He had this simple, you know, five words that full and then he just described one thing. So of all All the things that I was probably doing wrong, he picked one skill only. And that one skill would open the door to all six seconds, he figured out the one thing.
Brad Giles 10:09
Kevin Lawrence 10:10
yeah. And, and so you got to be a master to be able to see it and break it down like that. And then secondly, you know, later on, he took me for a ride in my car so I could feel what it feels like at the limit and what the car does. So that’s like shadowing a master or, you know, really seeing what they do, which again, is absolutely mind blowing. The funny thing is, he’s never driven one of these cars before. Never been on a race track before. He’s never been on this track yet. But he has, he’s a master of driving all kinds of different cars on all kinds of different tracks. And he, you know, he figured it out real fast. But the point of it is, is that I didn’t get the direction from my buddies who are good, because they may not. They know, they can drive fast. Yeah. But they don’t have the experience of different people and different tracks and different cars to be able to, and they maybe they would have found it. But I found the guy who guaranteed would so not only gave me that piece of advice. Plus, then he gave me the experience of what mastery looks and feels like, Yeah, I got it. And I went up, and I’ve already picked up I went out, I went out two times, yeah, two times. And I picked up three of the six seconds. So I’ve already closed half the gap, after, you know, four sessions with him learning. And then on my own without even being him being there, I’ve already closed half the gap, until I wiped out again, spin again. As I was chasing my buddies down, I spun again. And I broke something. And then I got humbled again, Brad, it was awesome. Because my car wouldn’t start. Suppose with these cars, when you wipe out and spin, you’ve got to step on the clutch, otherwise, it breaks the starter. Okay, which I did. So I got to be stranded in the middle of the track. And then the truck had to come out and told me all the way in again. So, you know, got to work with Masters, but got to be very, very humbled. So the point of it is, you know, we’re very fortunate to have access to those masters. And I said, Hey, can you help me? Yeah. And that’s really what it comes down to? You know, and sure there’s a cost. But based on the benefit, it’s kind of being willing to who’s the best? Hey, can you help me? But let’s make sure that there are 14 XOR? before you ask for that.
Brad Giles 12:26
Yeah, yeah. I had a similar yet different experience. lately. We, I was working with a team. And unfortunately, one of the companies that they work with one of the suppliers, let’s say who were vital. We’re going into administration, they were going under, and we had an early warning to this. And this was going to have a material impact on the business. We’re going to cost a lot of money to this particular organization. And so we sat down with the leadership team, and we went on to a call pretty much immediately with a lawyer. We didn’t that team didn’t use that lawyer normally. And they were gaming, all of the questions that we need to ask the lawyer beforehand. And I just said, Look how experienced we don’t know this lawyer, how experienced is this lawyer in this situation? Have they handled company collapses from this perspective? Yes, for and the team was like, we haven’t really thought about that. And what the driver behind that was this 14x concept because I’m thinking, well, who we may be we’ve engaged but we’ve got to ensure that we’ve got the best so we can ensure the best outcome anyway. Then we went on to the call and the CEO, it was one of the first questions. Hi, lawyer, how you going? Tell us about your experience before, like, what have you done in this room? And the lawyer responded by saying, Okay, well, I dealt with this collapse and that collapse and this and this and this, and clearly established themselves as an expert, pretty much immediately be and everyone in the room got a great sense of comfort around that which was fantastic. Because then they were that they just jumped in straightaway and trusted everything that the lawyer say right, so Yeah, perfect. Yeah. Depend that’s how it should be done. It’s
Kevin Lawrence 14:41
just it’s confirming up front and we have a saying in the West. It’s no it’s not their first rodeo. Yeah, right that they’ve been there before and everyone wants to pretend and I I’d even encourage you like that, like you know, using a bit of the top grading methodology. You know, dig in and pressure test a little bit. Ask a few facts. What was your role? In that case? You were the lead partner? Or were you the researcher? I mean, you would ask it respectfully that might not that’s not a respectful way to do it. But, but really like, let’s find out, it’s like, you know, if someone’s telling you the winning, you know, about their winning race car experience, you’ll confirm they were the driver. Yeah. Right. and confirm there was other cars in the race. who wasn’t, there wasn’t a free, I’m exaggerating, but it’s just, you want to validate and also because then you’re also setting them up to win because they don’t want to have an unhappy client and the end the best people probably well, so that’s, that’s the idea of the of those 14 axes. And, you know, it kind of takes us to the first point we’ve listed here is, you know, you really want to instantly when you’ve got something of high value you’re trying to figure out, not you know, how do I tie my shoes? But who should be the first question, and that’s something Jim Collins has beat into our heads, your first question, so who question and then the second is, who is the best, so who and best and, you know, one of my clients calls that the, you know, the billionaire mindset. You know, when you look at stuff from being a billionaire, you’re automatically gonna think who because you know, you can’t do it alone, because you got too much going on, most likely, if you made the money. And then, and you can afford the best. So of course, you’re only going to look for the best for that. So that’s the first thing is, you know, Who is it? Who can help. And let’s just make sure that they are the absolute best. Yes, I got a one client here in Vancouver. And I’m grateful that when he reached out to someone and asked for someone to help in terms of coaching to scale their company, that was his exact approach, he asked for the best. And this person said, for what he was looking for that I was, which is very flattering, and he nicely reminds me that once in a while, that’s not doesn’t hurt to hear that. But that was his that’s his strategy. I’ve worked with him on a lot of things. And his thing is, and when we’re looking for advisors, is always who is the absolute best we can find in North America, because that’s where they are. Heroes pick up the phone and call anyone. Yeah, and ask them for their help. And he’s happy to pay for it. And somebody said to me, and we talked about is, you know, the reality is, the best doesn’t cost that much more. Yeah, sometimes it doesn’t cost more, and whatever it is sometimes doesn’t cost that much more. But if you have an important enough project or decision, the cost will more than wash out by getting the best advice you can get.
Brad Giles 17:33
And the best advice that you can get matters because it’s the nuances in these sort of situations where you need an advisor, that can make a huge difference when amplified. So it could be they could a standard, or a competent advisor could give you standard or competent advice. But it goes without saying that a 14x advisor is going to give you more nuanced considered experience backed advice, that will give you a better chance of having either a significant chance of success or a higher return on that investment. And that I London billionaire mindset. I mean, it really says if money wasn’t an option, what would I do? If Yeah, I needed to get the best advice, what would I do, and they don’t, they don’t get to be a billionaire by Penny pinching. So it’s not about spending, you know, if you’re a $1 million company, and you say, let’s go to the Big Four, and we’ll get them to, you know, spend $950,000 with them this year, we will, that’s not obviously going to work, we’re kind of looking beyond that. It’s gonna be within your budget to a degree, but getting the best that you possibly can, within that budget.
Kevin Lawrence 19:07
Getting the smartest person you can afford, it’s no different than when you’re hiring people on your team. You want to hire the most competent people you can the best people you can for what you’re offering. But we just got to take it really seriously with advisors. And you know, interestingly, and we’ll talk about this a little bit later, but it’s, you know, the fit is important. So, you know, the billionaire mindset I often bring that up with clients and it’s about whether it’s work in your company for yourself, often around your health and your mental performance, and your life. You know, getting the best darn people you can and I look at our most successful clients, and in all areas work self and life. They’re looking for the best darn help they can get so that they can have a great life and be healthy and thrive at work. So surround yourself with the best. It’s so who is the right person and then get the best and then reach out to them. And, you know, this takes us to number two, where you know, those of you that might be Penny pinchers, and saving money is a good thing. You just got to save it the right areas, but because cheap help turns out to be very expensive, right, cheap help, if they don’t know. And again, we’re not talking about something that’s inconsequential. We’re talking about important decisions. But if they don’t have the experience, or the quality or the, you know, the reputation because of weird things that they do, or whatever it happens to be, but, you know, I think cheap health is expensive, because they can, they can guide you to make the wrong decisions. And smart hope doesn’t normally cost that much more. But the kicker, many masters will help for free. Mm hmm. And this is something that very few people leverage. But again, CEOs, I work with a do leverage, what they will do is they will pick up the phone, and they will call another CEO. Yeah. And they’ll reach out whether it’s their network, or their networks network, or it’s just cold. They will literally say, here’s a person, let’s pick up the phone, and let’s talk to them. And I want to ask them, because I know they went through the same thing. Do you know how many times people will we’ll work with them? All the time CEO call CEO Yeah, see, oh, call co Head of Marketing calls, head of marketing for one brand calls a head of marketing for another, even when their competitors. Yeah, like the amount of collaboration, that’s fun, I’m not going to give the industry or the trade secrets. But the mana collaboration, I have seen shocks me. The big thing that I’ve noticed, though, is most people won’t pick up the phone and ask or send an email and ask, yeah, but many, many people that have been so we’re working on a project recently, and we’re working on structure and organization. And, you know, the CEO and, and, and the equivalent of the CEO weren’t really clear on it. What was right, they just reached out to five people a couple through their network, like I don’t want keys, I connected them with one, and then the through their network. And they just went and talked to five other people. And then it just, it validated what they were feeling, boom, now they could have hired a consultant, that’s another option. But they just called people in the businesses and they got some amazing direction. So you can get it, you can get great help. But don’t forget to call basically, your peers. And that’s the value of networking. That’s the part that that for people that aren’t able to do conferences, right now that’s missing is when you’re in a conference, you can meet those people. And you could have a beverage or a meal or a chat. And then you’d be able to dig in ask some of that stuff and have a relationship. So now you just got to, you know, reach out, but that’s it. You know, who’s the master, who’s someone who’s been through this, that’s a peer you can reach out to
Brad Giles 22:49
so cheap help is expensive. I want to give you a quick example of that I know a person and they selling their property investment property, just a unit thing. Markets really hot, really hot. You know, there are 150 people lining up to rent a house type of hot. Wow, you know, we’re seeing that you know, in several cities around the world, depending where you are, but this person is selling their property. And, and they’re complaining to me about how the property isn’t selling the like, it’s been on for this amount of time and it’s not selling and I’m like, well, we’ll What have you done and they started at this price and they’ve dropped it and they’ve dropped it a bit more based on you know, that I guess the agents advice and it’s not selling and they get a couple of people through but it’s not selling and I’m like, okay, so and then I go on to the listing and I have a look at it, I look at the agent. And the first thing that strikes me is the agent doesn’t have a photo on the listing of themselves a headshot. Okay, that’s a bit strange. So then I click on there and I look and they don’t have any reviews. Okay. And then I look a bit further and, and then The email address is kind of the equivalent of a Gmail account. Okay.
Kevin Lawrence 24:24
credibility is dropping by the click. Finance is dropping by the
Brad Giles 24:30
Yeah. Go to the website is just atrocious. Like it’s like it was made 20 years ago and they Okay, and then the kicker, I go to LinkedIn and I put their name in and the person is a school teacher at the local school as well. And, yeah, so. So you want to know if you
Kevin Lawrence 24:52
were looking for a tutor for your children. That person might have been a great choice. Yeah. But as a real estate agent, when all real estate agents are paid equally, Mm hmm. And they pick the school teacher who doesn’t understand marketing and makes themselves look like an amateur.
Brad Giles 25:12
Yeah. And so cheap help is expensive. Now, all I can guess is that the person got a they got a cheaper price. They got it. You know, it was
Kevin Lawrence 25:24
a family member or friend or something I don’t I buy or they didn’t
Brad Giles 25:31
look it, it D legitimizes the complaints about why the property isn’t selling. But you know what, like, the great retort to that is cheap help is expensive.
Kevin Lawrence 25:45
Yes. And why if you mean, the thing is, it doesn’t cost you more to go to a different agent, even if you did get a slight discount. Yeah, yeah. That’s a great example bread. Yeah. So cheap public exam. And also, we’ll go into the third one, the only 14 answers only people that have been there, done that got the T shirt, right. And that’s because that experience that we all know how hard it is to learn by experience. It’s expensive, it’s painful. And I was talking on the weekend with a friend of mine who’s looking at an investment. And he was telling me, well, this investment, I know, it sounds like an interesting investment opportunity. But I just asked a couple questions. The guy running it, this investment, who’s gonna run the company? How many times has he done this kind of transaction before? Zero. Okay. And it’s transactions in other countries. The second thing is, how many times has he done businesses in those other two countries? I think it was one. And then I said, there’s a couple other questions that I asked. But this was the first guys Oh, and how many times have you done transactions of this size? Zero. So it was a new business, big transactions, new countries, like it’s you know, and just from an investment perspective, right, you when you invest, you invest in the people that are running the investment, but this is the guys first try. So not an advisor, just from an investment. Yeah, I know, from a bit of experience, that’s a good way to lose some money, unfortunately. But it’s the same principles Been there, done that got the T shirt, that’s what you’re looking for. And, you know, the thing is, is that they’ve done it in a similar space or a space with similar dynamics. So for example, if it’s the lawyer laws are different in different countries, right. And maybe they’ve been that kind of contract, but it’s on a contract between two companies in the same country. But if this one is, you know, a contract between Canada and Australia, and they’ve never done that kind of international law, again, that could be a potential glitch, so outside of there, so 14 extra on the deal, and even the market and the environment, all of those things, you know, been there done that is, is worth it. So we’ve got that we talked about how it’s just kind of like top grading. Anything want to add on that, Brad, before we go to number four?
Brad Giles 28:07
Well, the top grading principles very specifically that we want to highlight at this point, is when we’re top grading, when we’re using that methodology, it’s someone who is in the top 10% of candidates that are available at the price that you’re offering, right at the price that you’re paying. And it’s the same with advisors. You could have 10, advisors, all of them are charging the same amount. And one of those will be better than the other ones. Yeah, that’s kind of obvious. But who is the one of those that is going to be the 14x? Or who is the one that’s going to make the biggest difference with you? And this really, I guess, segues into number four? Because the third point to that is that Who is the one of those that’s going to fit like a glove, right? Who is the one that is going to feel like when you’re working with them, they’re really complimenting you. They’re helping and they’re hurting you. They’re really challenging your beliefs. And you think without that additional brain experience, perspective, belief set, I wouldn’t be able to make the right decisions or as considered decisions, perhaps it’s so important that this person will fit like a glove. You know, when I work with people, I’ve got this simple phrase that I say, if we were role playing Kevin, I would say, we’re going to work together before we’re engaged, we’re going to work together to try to figure out is it worth working together, and let’s keep doing that until it doesn’t make sense for us. Not to Work together.
Kevin Lawrence 30:01
Yeah, and I do something similar. I tell people when I’m talking to Mr. A whole firm does is it fit is critical. And I say that we need to be able to debate like brothers or sisters, or brothers and sisters. And and and work through issues and come out feel strong give each other a hug at the end. Like it’s, it’s critical. And I was talking about this with Zack my racing coach. And you know, and we’re talking about another guy that runs a kart racing team, Craig, and we’re talking about the fit between a race driver and her race engineer, the race engineer sets up all the car and makes all the little adjustments. And what we talked about is, you know, there’s been situations where a driver will have a not quite technically as good engineer, but could get better results. Yeah, because that engineer and a driver can communicate, it’s like, they can finish each other’s sentences. And the driver says something, you and he might not explain it, right. But the engineer knows exactly what that means. Yeah. And so they got this symbiotic relationship where it works, where you could have technically a better engineer, but the driver Ninja, they just they, they greet each other like sandpaper, and it just doesn’t produce the same result. So you know, that’s an that’s narrow, but in business, you look at advisors, or people that you work with. You just if you feel it. Yeah, right does do you feel the fit and what that is in a Lego, you said, there is no help and hurt, you know, they, they you get the advice in the in a way where it sticks, and it works for you. And then you’re able to go do it. Because technically giving you the right advice is very different than you being able to hear it and receive it in a way where you can act on it. Yeah, that fit. And that’s why even with clients, where they give a little bit of test, like I test giving people some feedback and coaching him in my style, and see how it works. Yeah. And because I have a certain approach and assert I am not the right coach for everyone, nor are you there’s a certain style certain approach certain beliefs. And, and it works really well for some people and not for others. And you got to test or get a sense of that.
Brad Giles 32:19
Imagine if a lawyer wouldn’t challenge you. Imagine if a lawyer, you engaged a lawyer, a type of advisor and imagine if that lawyer said to you, I definitely recommend that you don’t do that. And you You didn’t listen or imagine to reverse that. If they didn’t say that. Or imagine if a lawyer would challenge you and would never say to you, I don’t recommend that you do that they would just nod their head and smile and sort of agree with you. That is not a good advisor.
Kevin Lawrence 32:54
No. Or if they had like a weird Australian accent. They could like drive you insane. I’m joking. I like the Australian accent. But the point like for example, like the lawyer that I work with Darcy, he’s an awesome guy. Great, great to work with. Darcy talks faster than I talk. And I love it. Because the conversations move, and we figure stuff out and what I know is, is that when I have a conversation, we figure stuff out and I come away better than after a conversation and that’s a great measure for fit, you come away feeling better than like you’ve taken a notch up. But with Darcy he talks really fast if I had a lawyer who was equally as capable as Darcy but talked slow and like it would I listened to audio books at one and a half speed or one in three quarters speed I like so forget the technical capability forget the emotional wavelength. Even the speed of his speech actually makes it different for fit with me. Because I like the fast paced and direct right and again so there’s everyone’s got different variables what they need to work well with someone. The key is, you know, when you’ve got a great fit, and you know, when someone that you work with drives you bonkers, yeah. And you got to cut a bit a slack ribbon, nobody’s perfect, but generally, it should be a good fit and you should feel energized. And like you made solid progress whenever you talk to that person.
Brad Giles 34:29
Yeah. Because the initial concept is that they will quadruple your IQ. So if you’re stuck, if you’re that they may be incredibly intelligent, you’re incredibly annoying, right? So if you’re stuck and have a blockage around any of those things, where it’s not a good fit, then they’re not going to quadruple your IP, your
Kevin Lawrence 34:54
Oh cuz you’re not even gonna call them or if you do, you’re not going to listen or if you do listen to You might not get it. Or if you do get it, you might feel less compelled to do it. Like, yeah, it’s just at the end of the day, you deserve the best, it’s okay to have the best. And if a visor isn’t delivering what you need, you can ask for something different. That’s okay. You should. And if they can’t deliver it, it’s perfectly acceptable to move on. Right? And we’ll talk about that. You know, we’ll talk about that a little bit later on about doing that. But yeah, it’s, it’s super important. The fit is almost everything. That’s why I recommend you’ll have a few conversations, right? Don’t just pick, especially if it’s an ongoing thing or a project interview. And you’ll have a sense, confirm the data is the 14x. And then the feeling is the fit. So kind of different formats. You can have advisors, informal, formal, and we’ll talk about advisory boards. Informal is just people that you brainstorm stuff by I’ve got a guy that you and I both know, in the Middle East Ed, Ed, and I had a brainstorm. And he had a question. And we and we had a brainstorm By the way, he ended up sharing some stuff with me that we’ll talk about in a future show about other ways structure of companies is changing. And some leading edge companies, it was awesome. Awesome. So we ended up we always have these brainstorms when we both kind of, you know, come up with better ideas, so at night chat on a regular basis, and stuff comes up, just like you and I do and I’ve got a whole suite of people that I always brainstorm with. But then there’s formal advisors, those are people you hire, maybe you have the one retainer, maybe it’s a coach, or someone who does strap planning with you, or an HR consultant or lawyer, or you know, someone who helps you raise money or someone who knows, right, there’s all the formal. And those would be like formal one on one people that you work with on projects are ongoing. And then there’s, you know, advisory boards, which we’ll talk about a little bit, but it’s, they show up in May, and all are good and formals a great thing to do. Formal, you need those. And then and then advisory boards that we’ll we’ll dig into a bit more quite broad.
Brad Giles 37:04
But the principle applies across the establishment of these groups, informal, formal and advisory boards. There was a scathing article in the business news of the Australian Business newspaper called the Financial Review. I think it was this weekend, certainly maybe last weekend for listeners, but certainly recently, and they were just saying that everyone on boards, Asterix, not every single person, many people on boards are there just about governance and protecting their own seat. And they’re not they’re not challenging the CEOs to do the CEOs job. So it’s this cozy little club, where everyone is just trying to do their own thing. And that all they’re trying to do is protect their seat at the board table. Right. So there’s no healthy debate. And there’s no challenging, and and
Kevin Lawrence 38:08
your board is changing that is more like a vanity exercise than a value added exercise.
Brad Giles 38:15
Yeah. And they were naming names. And it was Yeah, it was interesting. But the point is, are those people 14x advisors to usual froze again, those are those board members, because in listed companies, it’s the same as well, you’ve got to have a higher quality team that’s going to challenge you that’s got deep experience, and they fit like a glove.
Kevin Lawrence 38:44
Yeah, and sometimes if your board isn’t adding a lot of value or challenging you It could be the CEOs responsibility or even the chairman’s responsibility to help set the right agendas are conversations, because the board has a governance role to kind of protect the company on behalf of the shareholders. Yeah, the CEO needs some help with some stuff. So we’re, I’ve seen CEOs leverage, whether it’s boards or advisory boards, you know, the CEO sometimes will come with some challenges. You know, one CEO I work with, wanted a board, he set up a governance board in a family business that didn’t need a governance board advisory board would have been fine. But he wanted a governance boards where he felt more accountable. And he also recruited some of the best people he could I mean, this was a retail tech startup. And they were hiring. They were recruiting people from Amazon and Alibaba like they wanted the best. So they had tech people and then some traditional retail people from massive retailers like then they hired a firm to help them find the best directors they could. But the CEO would bring problems to the board. Like, hey board, I need help so, but he took the responsibility to get the value from the board in his mind. We’re paying for this. Yeah, we’re both time and money. But he would take really challenging thing where some CEOs just want to get into board meeting and get out without too much pain. That’s a, that’s a different dynamic and, and maybe that’s relevant for them. But if you’re really to get the value from that border advisor, it takes time and preparation to really think about how can they help. And for the people we know that have the they get the greatest values from those boards or advisory boards, they put a lot of time into thinking about it. You know, they have additional meetings with board members to help them move stuff I had.
Brad Giles 40:38
Yeah. And it still comes back to 14x. Like, you’ve got, yeah, yeah, this applies. If it’s a mentor relationship, if it’s a coach advisor relationship, if it’s formal board, if it’s an advisory board, governance board, whatever it is, we need to it could even be a an external HR consultant, as you said, but yeah, the principle applies across all of these. But then also, as you grow, your needs might change. When you are a startup, when you are a $1 million business, maybe the things that you need, then may be different when you’re a 10, or a $100 million business, maybe.
Kevin Lawrence 41:29
You’re so nice
Brad Giles 41:30
sometimes, Brad, what possibly they may be
Kevin Lawrence 41:33
quite possibly for sure.
Brad Giles 41:35
Yeah, that’s, that’s a fair comment.
Kevin Lawrence 41:40
If you’re scaling up, and you’re getting into your first million as a startup, which is awesome. Um, you advice from somewhere, the billion dollar company may not be helpful, because your reality is so starkly different. I mean, there could be conversations that are valuable. But, you know, you might get people surround yourself with people that have got to, you know, 10, or 20, or 30 million. You know, but once you’re doing 30 million, someone that’s only ever been to 30 can have value, but someone who’s done 300, you need someone who’s done 300 conceptually, you know, got a company to work with right now. And they’re doing, you know, a few 100 million and doing very well. But we’re talking about adding additional board members. And ideally, they’re well beyond a billion in a similar dynamic business. Right? Well, I’m talking about revenues, right, that they’re well beyond, because that’s kind of a next point, because there’s different thinking to get to that point. And again, in this case, it’s multi, you know, multi country, multi location in countries and over a billion just to just be ahead, because there’s, it’s like, at that height of the climb up the mountain, you see a no different things than you do at lower altitudes. And it’s not rocket science, that the hard part is, is that we can sometimes get comfortable, right? comfortable with the people that are helping us that help us to get to 10 million or 20 million conceptually. And, and to then go and say thank you, and go and, you know, find people that are 100 or 200 million, it’s totally understandable and reasonable if you’re respectful about it, and the people would understand, but some people, I think, just hold on a bit too long, or don’t even think about it, they don’t even think about adding on some people and finding ways to gracefully think people where they’ve done a move to the next thing. But
Brad Giles 43:43
But if you were to select a role, let’s say for example, and we’ve I know that we’ve spoken about this before, if you were to select a role, let’s say a head of HR or a sales manager, something like that, and that person has been the has done that role in a big multinational. Okay. It’s it doesn’t own that’s not your only criteria. Okay? Yeah, no, if they don’t get seduced by the large companies, it’s a horrible trap to fall into. Instead, for sure, he does say they’ve worked for 10 companies at or slightly above the size that you are now. So they could have a lot of deep in depth experience. So always saying is that would still be that could still potentially qualify them. Because if you took that to the extreme and said, Yeah, that was a $500 million company. We’re a $5 million company. The dynamics could be so different that you could be doing yourself a disservice.
Kevin Lawrence 44:52
Yeah. Let me clarify what I was saying this case is they wanted someone that had been in multi countries, but you know, someone who was a director In a multinational is not the same as the decision maker and a company that has operated and you know, a $10 billion company operating system often doesn’t translate through to where you’re at. So it’s very dangerous that you just look at people because they’re part of a big company, you need to know was what was their role? Are they strategic? Or were they just executing what they were told? There’s so many various I’m, I’m very careful with people when we’re looking at whether it’s executives that we hire or advisors to be careful not to become what I call brand blind. Oh, they were they were at Apple, they must be amazing, right? Or they, you know, you’ve got to go through and really see is their actual relevance, the decisions that are made on a day to day basis consistent with what you need them to be good at. Yeah, yeah, that’s very important. Yeah. The main thing, though, is that they should make you uncomfortable, they should be and again, I go back to the simple thing of this race coach, he’s like a championship racecar driver, I’m, I do it for fun and recreation, and for No, for good times, to my friends, multiple steps ahead, you know, and thing is, is don’t go to the convenient person next door, find someone who’s outstanding, and is gonna help you master it and probably make you fairly uncomfortable. That’s, that’s, you know, and in a way where you like it. So you got it, you gotta, you gotta keep growing to keep growing, right? And you need different thoughts, different people to take you to different levels. And I’ll, you know, kind of finished my thoughts here with, you know, conversation with Ed, who both you and I know, and you’re we’re having, and he’s always on a different wavelength. But I’m having this conversation, I’ve been thinking a lot about company structures. And there’s always this battle between centralized corporate and autonomous, small units. And as we started talking, had this conversation with Ed, and he, he has this idea in my head, which we’ll explore further, and I’m just like, I love this. I’m out. He’s sending me case studies and lots of other things. I want to learn about this and understand it. Because it totally opens up my mind keeps me fresh and thinking. And in his case, he’s already done the research because he’s studying these people, that would be our equivalent of 14 exercise, they move in and out already in a very, very different way. Anyway, interesting stuff. So should we do a quick summary here? Brad?
Brad Giles 47:18
in a that’s so the overall principle is that we want you to consider finding the best advisors so you can quadruple your IQ. Okay, so first of all, we want to adopt the Jim Collins philosophy, which is first who always the question you should ask is first, who? And he says then what, but we’re intersecting this billionaire mindset. So if you ask foo, foo? Or who if you asked who first, don’t ask foo, he’s in China, and it will be take a long time to get back to you ask her first, okay, with a billionaire mindset. Okay, they would be saying, What can I who can I get was the best possible person to solve this problem, because I don’t have any time. And I have all the money that I need.
Kevin Lawrence 48:15
Cheap help is expensive. You know, the best help usually doesn’t cost that much more like minimal, sometimes it doesn’t cost at all. And sometimes it could be the same cost. You just have to dig and find someone who’s got more relevant experience for you. And then remember, many masters, those being your peers will help you for free gladly. It’s kind of the favor system, another CEO or CEO or CFO will gladly bend their ear for you. It’s just often bending and you’re leaning into your network and asking, or asking for people that could help or just pick up the phone or send an email directly to someone that you think would be relevant. If got to look beyond the competence. The competence is,
Brad Giles 48:58
I’ve got this certificate, I did the course you’ve got to look beyond that. And think if I surrounded myself with these 14 x’s, everyone who in every facet who’s been there done that, who are highly capable on many levels, it can change the game.
Kevin Lawrence 49:17
Yep. And then it fits critical. And that’s more of a field thing of the 14 axes of data. The fit is of appeal. And at the end of the day after you work with them on something do you come away feeling clearer, more confident, energized somehow you’re up a couple notches and you’re we’ve gotten great value for that time you have spent with them.
Brad Giles 49:38
And this doesn’t just apply to your lawyer your accountant, your HR advisor, your leadership team coaches, Kevin and I do or advisor This also applies to mentors, informal mentors or informal advisors, formal boards governance board advisory board Thinking about all of these facets
Kevin Lawrence 50:03
and then finding a you got to upgrade as you grow and it got to keep growing and keep growing that means that you know these people that help you at one stage you’ll need different people and sometimes you might just need different perspectives. So that be willing and on the lookout always for excellent people that can help you. Be gracious and thank those that have helped you. But then be open to finding someone new and or different so that you don’t get stale or your thinking doesn’t get stale. So thanks for listening guys. This is this has been a great conversation. We were looking forward to the show. This has been the growth whispers podcast with Brad Giles, my good friend down there in Perth, Australia. And I’m Kevin Lawrence. For the video version go to the growth whispers comm on YouTube, or just go to the growth whisperer sorry on YouTube. And then evolution partners.com.au is where you can find out more and reach out to Brad if he can assist you. And for myself and my firm Lawrence and co.com. Have an awesome week. See you next week.