In the Leader's Chair: A Q&A

Season 3 Episode 32

In the Leader's Chair: A Q&A with Ryan Eaton (Part 1)

Season 3 Episode 32


ILP- Ryan Eaton Q & A

Welcome to the Insurance Leadership Podcast, the podcast designed to bring you perspectives and principles from leaders in the life and health insurance industry. We trust you will enjoy today's episode.

Casey Combest: Everyone, welcome to the Insurance Leadership Podcast, it's gotta be weird hearing somebody else say that.

Ryan Eaton: It is, but it feels good being on this side of the table. I like it.

Casey Combest: Awesome. Well, I am your guest cohost for today, Casey Combest. I get the privilege of recording these episodes every month with Ryan, the amazing host. So Ryan, thank you for letting us turn the tables around.

Ryan Eaton: Man I appreciate it, I'm fired up and you've done such a good job for us all these years and recording the podcast, it's fun to be able to do a show together today.

Casey Combest: Absolutely. Well, thank you for the privilege of getting the interview. I feel like it's appropriate for us to start here because this is the insurance leadership podcast, but what is leadership to you, Ryan?

Ryan Eaton: Leadership is influence to me, that's kind of how I look at it the ability to influence your team or your family in a positive direction, help people grow to be the best version of themselves, at the end of the day, I think is if you use as a leader, if you use that influence correctly, it should pull everyone to a higher level. And so that's kind for me personally, that's what I try to do, whether it's with my family, whether it's with our business, my team try to pull everyone influence them in a way that helps them reach their goals, their dreams, their visions, while also aligning that from a corporate standpoint, so we can all grow together and reach our common purpose.

Casey Combest: Yeah. And having known you over the last few years, I know that that's true. What you just said and it's so neat to see you implement those things. I feel like it's helpful always to know the background of a host, especially if you're a longtime listener. So give our listeners, what's the background of your experience with leadership?

Ryan Eaton: Well, I guess, I've been in the insurance business for 20 years now, crazy enough, Casey. I got my license when I was 18, went to Mississippi State, majored in insurance, financial planning, did a few little leadership roles in college, kind of type of stuff, but when I got out, it was all about leading myself. And with insurance sales, I've always had that kind of self disciplined personality, grit and grind, and how can I make more calls today? How can I get up earlier? How can I go see more people? How can I knock on more doors? And so that self leadership was never really an issue for me. What I didn't realize was how my thoughts, my opinions, my goals were different, then when I got some people on my team, we're different from them. And the same things that motivated me did not motivate them. We all have different motivations and none of them are right or wrong, but it was one of those things I had to learn as a leader, how do I find their motivation to adjust my leadership style? So that was probably the biggest adjustment for me when it came to leadership and kind of helping everyone get on the same page. Then also, if you're have a leader over top of you still, how do I get? They're goals, their dreams, their visions, how do I make them mine for the company? And then how do I also motivate those below me where they're not just coming to do a daily job, but they're coming to pursue their passions at the same time and getting all those to align. So that was probably my toughest challenge kind of starting out. I had two or three people underneath me and then it went to, had 10 or 12 people and now, probably manage a team of about 30 to 40 underneath me at this point. So always something new, always something different but but I love it, and it's fun when you can kind of pull everyone together and you really get everyone going on the same page and they're all inspired, that's magic happens at that point.

Casey Combest: Absolutely. And I have a small team, so I have a little experience of what that you're talking about, but it's so funny. I remember the first time I realized like my team, isn't motivated by the same thing. It's kind of shocking, a little bit. Why don't y'all love this? Why aren't we in the same person? Which makes the team so helpful. We'll talk about that a little later in the episode. So for you, Ryan, like, you've got a new team member. How do you determine what motivates them? Are there personality profiles you do? Are there questions you ask? What are some of the tools in the toolkit?

Ryan Eaton: Yeah, now that's great. So whenever we bring someone on we do the disk profile. We do the different Enneagram type stuff at time with people as well. We obviously go through our hiring process. We go through all the different things there to kind of see if they'll fit our niche. I got a lady who to me, I can do an interview, but she's better than me. So I believe in delegation and so I let her do that. And then I come in to make sure that I feel like this person will be a fit for the team as well. But making sure someone fits on your team is crucial. But then once they're on the team, we get kind of a list of responsibilities that we go back and say, Hey, here's our responsibilities for you being on this team. Here's what our expectations are, but here's also what you can expect of us. And so we make sure we lay that out from the get go. And if they don't want to sign it. They don't work here anymore, right? Like, but it's one of those things that we don't say it from a threatening standpoint, we say it from a, hey, these are all the character traits that we're looking for in somebody. Here's also the character traits that you can expect in us as the leaders, and we want to make sure that we have almost like our Bible that we go off of to where, hey, this is one of the traits that we said we expect of you or that you could expect of us. If I'm not living up to this or you're not living up to this, one of us has to adjust. And we agree on that on the front and it makes it much better. But then, once we kind of do that, we try to meet with people quarterly or annually and just kind of say what their goals are, what their desires are, what's maybe they like, what they don't like, so we can make sure we're always kind of constantly working on that balance. And because people change, things change, companies change, etc. So having that all together is what we found kind of helps us make sure that we got everyone kind of moving in that same direction.

Casey Combest: Yeah. And for your team, have you seen when you're clear on the expectations? Did that adds a layer of stability for them?

Ryan Eaton: Oh, 100%. You know, we start off each year, we call it our broker summit. It's really our internal team meeting where we kind of get everyone on the same page. Here's what we're shooting for this year. This is why we're shooting for this. Here's the steps that we're going to take on our side to try to be able to help you reach your goals. Here's the steps that we're going to take as a team to hit these goals. If you communicate that clearly, it's great. But if you don't, I mean, you don't know where you're going. What are you aiming at? Right? You're going to find that people start veering off, you're going to lose people off your team, you have good people that end up leaving because there's no clear direction. And so for us, that communication is clear. And then, having obviously you can have supplemental meetings to that as well, departments or sales teams or admin team meetings to make sure you're constantly hitting those goals, hitting those, the vision for where you're wanting to go, if you're not constantly reiterating that repeat repeat repeat. You can have problems and people forget them. I joke about it, laugh about it, but we had our team meeting and we went over everything at the beginning of the year, here's where our goals were, here's what we're trying to hit from a sales standpoint, here's the new systems process we're trying to put into play, and we repeat them at every single meeting. First slide of our meeting, we hit it every single sales meeting on a monthly basis. And fourth meeting, we didn't have the slide there, asked everybody what the goal was. One person knew it. It was like, what are we doing? It's kind of what I was doing. But I think it shows that you've got to have that communication. It's got to be clear and it's got to be consistent.

Casey Combest: And that quote, I think I've heard you say, Andy Stanley, a quote of vision leaks. And so you have to continue to teach that vision.

Ryan Eaton: Constantly. Constantly. I agree.

Casey Combest: Well, Ryan, you've had the privilege of getting to see the insurance business change over your career. As it relates to leadership, how have you stayed adaptable in your leadership style?

Ryan Eaton: I think you have to understand that every business changes, leadership styles change, people change I mean, think about it. 15 years ago. The word TikTok was not around, Instagram was not around, Facebook was probably just getting around. That whole environment's changed. AI, what even a thing 15 years ago. If you talk about AI years ago, people probably thought about the movie iRobot with Will Smith, right?

Casey Combest: Sure, sure.

Ryan Eaton: You're kind of getting into that type stuff.

Casey Combest: Which as you learn more about it, you might still think that.

Ryan Eaton: That's it, you could still live that way, yeah. So, things change. We have to understand that from the very get go. I think that's one of those things where you have to have a pulse on your team. And if you're present, if you're there. If you know what's going on, if you're talking with your people, if you're chatting with them in the break rooms, if you're meeting with them and everything, you're going to learn more about them, and you're going to learn more about what their goals are and their desires so that you can be more adaptable from a team standpoint, from an insurance standpoint, I look at it. Man, stuff's changing every single day. Systems are getting better, policies are coming out, new ways for enrollment, new ways for processing, new ways to underwrite. That's going to change. You have to know that's going to change. And from a leadership standpoint, there's basic stuff that like It's always going to be there, right? Treat others the way you want to be treated, right? That's not changing. Everyone realizes that. Everyone knows that. Be someone your team can trust. It's not going to change, right? Be the same person in the office you are at home. Things like that are consistent. But from a leadership standpoint, there's different ways that we're going to communicate. There's different ways that we're going to build relationships. There's different ways that we're going to do other things like that. So you have to be adaptable at some things while also keeping your core in place. And for us, that's been one of those things that we try to do on a consistent basis and we pull our people to say, Hey, what do you like? What do you dislike? Our leadership team gets together and we meet, Hey, what's working, what's not working, what problems are we having consistently over and over and what can we do? Not, Oh, they need to change, but what can we do to help make this different for our team? And if it still doesn't change, maybe we got to look at that individual as well see if there's something we can do from that standpoint.

Casey Combest: That's great, Ryan. That's great. Let's get real practical.

Ryan Eaton: Okay.

Casey Combest: As we're talking about leadership, so much of being a good leader is being able to communicate effectively. What are some of the skills that you've built around that? And how do you communicate with your team?

Ryan Eaton: Communication as a leader is probably the number one thing, we've already kind of talked a little bit about kind of how you've got to communicate your goals and your visions to your team. But, and when I say communicate and be able to speak, I'm not talking about necessarily being a public speaker, although that could be part of it as well. But you have to speak with intentionality, with clarity to your team where they know what the race is, right? Hey, we're going to go play a game. What game? Basketball? Football? Tennis? Things can vary, everyone's got different opinions so, communication, I think it's one of those things that people need to hear you communicate often, with clarity and it needs to be concise. And if you kind of hit those three things, I think it's easy for people to be able to run that race at that point, if they have a clear vision, if it's concise and you're consistently kind of that repetition we talked about earlier, you're kind of getting that communication out there I think, all those are big thing with communication and our insurance business, from a sales side, if we can't communicate to that policy holder, the value of the product and how it fits their needs, their desires, their wants, we're probably not going to be in the insurance business long, at least on the sales side. From a claim standpoint or customer service, when you got people calling in with a problem and you can't communicate that clearly to them, how it works or how you can fix this or how we're going to take away that burden they're dealing with it, they're not going to be in there very soon, so you have to make sure everyone understands clarity on your team, and the importance of communication and so for us, that's something that we try to focus on, we try to make sure we build it, we try to make sure our marketing materials, our communication through social media. Everything is clear and concise and simple at the end of the day that KISS principle of keep it simple, stupid, it works across all boards. Warren Buffett's even one of the ones out there who says he does not do any investment that can't be written down on a one page piece of paper that a fourth grader could not read and understand. And so I think that's now, derivatives and all that, you might not understand the words, but the basic concept, if you can't get it through, don't do it. And so that's kind of how he does it, so I really believe in the communication side from that standpoint and clarity with that.

Casey Combest: Yeah, I think this next question is kind of a cousin of what we just talked about, but I've seen your team. I know that they're engaged in their work. They care about what they do. They love you guys. They love each other. They love the work. How do you keep them engaged like that, Ryan? In 30 seconds or less?

Ryan Eaton: Yeah, building a great team. It takes your team knowing you, and it takes your team knowing each other. And to me, we do stuff we've got different people on our team who do a great job at this, and they take a lot of the load off of me on this. They plan monthly birthday meetings, and so we have a birthday team function where everyone gets together once a month. Now granted, our people in Colorado or Missouri, they can't make all that, we have to do different things well, we may be sending them a gift card for something or different things, hey go take your wife out or different things like that to kind of build some of that as much as we can, but for all the people in Jackson, we get together on a monthly basis. We eat, we celebrate whoever's birthday was that month. We get together, we talk, we laugh, we break bread, that's important and we also have different things we do on a quarterly basis where if we hit our sales goals, we break last year's record or we're beating something or we hit some new marker. We all get together and we do something fun. We took a few years ago with skeet shooting. Now my team Casey is about 75 to 80 percent female, and 20 percent to 25 percent male. Most of the males are outside of the office. So when I say I took, we went skeet shooting. I took 95 percent of a lady's ski trip and you would think, what woman wants to go ski trip? We had the best time in the world. I got more thank you's and compliments about that team event, but we're out there, we're shooting skeet, we're playing cornhole, we're doing all these different things and it builds that unity and builds that trust and everybody starts to know each other a little bit better and then everyone kind of sees, Hey, so and so might be a little more detail oriented, a little more uptight when they're at work, but they're really fun outside of the office. And so you can see other layers of a person when you're not in a intense, not intense, but a high expectation environment. And so that's why those type things are very important to me. So I love them, I think that builds team unity. I think showing your people you care at the end of the day and knowing that, hey, if Sally needs a little extra time for lunch today because she needs to go see her son's player, she needs to be in a little bit later. Things like that. If you scratch some people's back, they're going to scratch yours. And I think that's where some people want to be eight to five, no margins. And oh, your clock time was 30 seconds off. That's terrible culture to me. And I get from an HR standpoint, I got HR directors probably right now hating who hear this, but I think if you can build that flexibility. You're going to build an environment that's more flexible for creativity, for focus when they're there, they're going to be happier. It's a lot of things that that type of environment ends up building and that builds great teams. And so that's my opinion.

Casey Combest: That's right.

Ryan Eaton: In 30 seconds, right?

Casey Combest: Yeah, you did great, you did great. It was a challenge, that's right. Well, I think one of the words its become a little more common place in leadership for the last 20 years, but certainly wasn't, say, 50 years ago it's the word empathy and I think that's what you're talking about in some ways. Is that right?

Ryan Eaton: Yeah, we got a lady on our team. I'm not always the best at empathy. I think empathy requires a lot of listening. I'm not always the best listener. I want to go ahead and listen. Oh, I know that answer to that. Let's fix the problem now, right? And so, I'm working on that, but I have a lady on our team who she probably spends 40 percent of her day talking with people, and 50 percent of that time is work related. 50 percent is listening to what their problems are and what they got going on. But I'll tell you this, she makes more people feel loved at the office, probably, than they do outside of the office. And to me, that type of empathy shown builds great teams, right? When they can come to the office and know that they have people caring for them, that people care about their son who's sick, their mother who's going through cancer treatment, their brother who just died, or whatever the case, and you're showing up at the funerals, you're showing up at the visitations, you're listening to them and actually hearing their problem, not shunning them off that is crucial, for me I struggle sometimes in that area, just in all fairness. I try to do a good job at that, but sometimes my schedule is so lined up from 8 to 5, I may have 13 meetings in a day, my phone's rung 25 times while I'm in a meeting, that my mind starts racing and I see myself getting pulled off. If you could take time to slow down, not overbook your schedule, and just be there for your people when they need you, that type of empathy, And that type flexibility with them, man, you're going to run through walls for you.

Casey Combest: That's right.

Ryan Eaton: And so I'm very thankful that I have someone on my team who can supplement my lack in that area to be able to help be there for all the different people and their needs and I am working on it, but it's been a great thing to have and if you can have someone, maybe you can't fill those shoes a hundred percent, or you're trying and just don't have it for this person on my team, she's a lady. She's probably 55, somewhere in that ballpark. She can say things with certain ladies that I just can't say. And she can listen and give suggestions that might not be appropriate even for me to give suggestions on. So you might not be able to give that type of empathy to every single person or you could cross some lines that you don't need to cross. So I would say knowing the structure of your team and finding someone who can have that empathy, have that wisdom, have that common sense, and have that love to be able to show empathy that still keeps you inside your HR thresholds is crucial. So to me, it's been one of the biggest blessings I've had in my role.

Casey Combest: It feels like the great leaders that I've known over the years, they do have that self awareness that you're talking about to see their deficits. Was that something early on in your leadership career that you were very self aware? Or is that a skill that you've developed over time?

Ryan Eaton: I love to learn, to read, and to me, it's one of those things, I've read a lot of books that kind of came in to say, hey strength finders, other things like that, where you know your strengths, I know where my strengths are, I also know where some of my weaknesses are because of some of those, I had to take a sit back and do a little analysis, like, Oh man, I'm bad at a lot of stuff, I'm not good at this and this. I know details I'm not good at. I know sitting still for a long time and really giving my full attention to something, unless I'm just gung ho passionate about it, I'm not going to be the best person. You need to, as a leader, you need to know where you're strong and where you're weak and supplement those areas. I was very fortunate to have different people at the company who were able to get on our team, who could supplement me, and now that we've grown to a spot that I can go and find people and we have the resources and the revenue and the other things to be able to say, Hey, I need this. Perfect example, you. No one at our office was great to be able to help with podcasts and recordings and the video equipment, etc. To me, it's like, I know you, I know you got a great skill set at this. I can take my time from what I'm really valuable at and try to learn this, which I could do okay, but I'm not going to be great at it unless I devoted a whole lot of energy, I'd rather keep with what I'm great at and find someone who I can bring in to be able to help supplement our weakness in this area. And man, you've knocked it out of the park, but find that maybe it's for your sales team, maybe you don't have a lot of sales ability and you can find someone who can supplement you there, maybe it's someone who, for me, I'm not the most detailed person in the world. I understand filings, I understand regulatory, I understand some of that, but I got someone on my team who loves that type of stuff way better than I do, and they're really good at it. Find those people around you and fill that gap in, I think as a leader, you do have to be self aware though, and sometimes we don't like to talk about our negatives. We don't like to talk about what we're not good at. Who does? But sometimes, get alone by yourself and sit there and, hey, this is my strength, this is what brings me energy and that's one of the biggest things Craig Groeschel talks about is, find what brings you energy and find what drains you. What drains you is typically going to be your weakness. What brings you energy is typically going to be your strength.

Casey Combest: Absolutely.

Ryan Eaton: Write out that list and say, okay, who can do these? If this energized me, this is what I'm passionate about, this is what I'm creative on, this is what I'm fired up about, I can take care of this and not be drained. But these type of things that are sucking life out of me, who is good at this and likes this type of stuff that I can give these type of responsibilities to? And so that's a big thing hit me probably about four or five years ago, I heard and it was like, it was, a light bulb went off you know those moments, just like this is good stuff and so that really helped me.

Casey Combest: And when you heard that, what were some of the shifts you began to make?

Ryan Eaton: Oh man, well, I kind of knew it, but. Meetings long meetings. They drain me.

Casey Combest: You don't like long meetings? Are you kidding me?

Ryan Eaton: Yeah. Yeah Casey, come on. I got a job for you. So, it's one of those things long meetings where we're sitting down and really hashing out details, not my strong suit the regulatory stuff, not my strong suit. The sitting there and listening to systems and programming, which I know we need, and it's so valuable. But sitting here and talking about the different types of code and everything else, you've lost me 13 seconds in, and I know that I need to find someone who can strengthen me in that area. So I did, I found different people we've hired some technology people on our team that can do more stuff with our programming team. Submit the problems, the tickets, different things along those lines you just got to know, what those weaknesses are, you can film, you've got to be intentional about it.

Casey Combest: Absolutely. Thanks for being vulnerable and sharing that with us, right? So let's shift gears a little bit. New leaders, maybe they've moved into leadership for the first time or they're getting a little further along in their career. I think the surprise I see on so many people's face are the thousands of tiny decisions you have to make as a leader every day. And you just didn't realize that, when you have that

Ryan Eaton: I thought it's just more pay.

Casey Combest: That's right. Right. Yeah. There's little decisions and they just stack up and I think there's some fatigue involved with that over time and for you, what are some either tools that you've developed or things that you've learned to help you make better decisions and navigate that never ending to do list of decisions that you have to make?

Ryan Eaton: And well said, first thing I would say, leaders have to be learners, period. If you're leading, you got to be able to learn, you got to be able to kind of, you got to read, you got to study, you got to listen to podcasts, you got to always be trying to improve yourself so that you can help improve others, and if you're not putting stuff into yourself you will drain out in leading others. Leading people will suck energy out of you at times. Sometimes it's the most fulfilling thing in the world, and other times it's something that can be extremely draining, so if you're not putting back into yourself, you're going to be depleted and then you're not going to be a resource for anybody. I would say read books, listen to podcasts, study the life of great leaders. To me, the best leader of all times is my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. What he did on earth and bringing up 12 guys who were rough, and pulling them into where they all had impacting lives and for a common goal, that is a perfect example of leadership. Studying different great leaders over time, presidents from the past or people who've led great companies, reading their biographies, things like that will really help you. Don't think you're going to know it all as an early leader. To you and I still this day, we don't know it all, we're going to be learning stuff, the guys who are 20 years, our seniors still learning stuff, different things are happening all the time, different problems are popping about. And so with that, I would say constantly learn, constantly develop yourself and realize that as a leader and all those decisions, it can at the end of the day, sometimes I know that another thing kind of learned from that draining type thing, I don't need meetings after three o'clock. Because for me, I've given so much my day starts at 445 to five o'clock each morning. It's energy is different things along those lines, my meeting start from eight to 12, I try to stack it up heavy, knock out stuff after lunch, I can leave time for kids type things or other things that pop up in the afternoon or less pulling activities from a mental standpoint. So with that, I would say know when you're strongest, know when your high energy time is during the day, and different people are different, some are I'll work from 8 o'clock at night till 12 o'clock at night, knock it all out. Know your time frame, know your time slot, when you need to prioritize certain things. But when you're depleted, don't make important decisions.

Casey Combest: That's a great advice. Yeah. Well, let's go back to decision making a little bit I feel like there's so much to unpack there. Let's just say you walk in monday morning, there's a big decision just laid on you. What are sort of the questions you begin to ask as you navigate that sometimes treacherous waters, a big decision.

Ryan Eaton: Every decision is going to be different, right? But the first thing I always ask myself is what's the right thing to do? I think that's a question that everyone's got to ask themselves when they're making decisions is, what's the right thing? What's an action I can take? Or what's a decision I can make that I will not be ashamed of 30 minutes from now, right? So looking at that's the right thing to do, asking yourself, hey, this decision, this problem, right? There's decisions, there's problems, there's, oh, it's a great decision, do you want this colored shirt or do you want this, that's it, right? That's not a tough decision, the thought process is so different on that, but if it's decisions about your team, if it's decisions about revenue for your organizations, if it's a decision that's going to hurt or break somebody or build them up, you have to take a step back and look, what's the right thing to do here? Did someone make a mistake? Can we help them improve from that mistake? Did someone take an action that ended up costing us revenue? Is there a disciplinary thing, because we've already talked about this, or is there something they need to be able to learn so this doesn't happen again? And then handling that and approaching it in a way that brings life to the situation, instead of you idiot. Why did you do that? Right? Like I will never say you idiot. I'll never cuss at someone I'll never do one of those type things to demote diminish It makes someone feel inferior. I think that's really bad. I mean, I know i've kind of moved off a little bit from decisions, but this is all you have to make sure that you're building your team up, if they're continuing to make the problem over and over again, and they're not listening that's you got to take some action at that point. And it is what it is. But at the same time, you want to make sure that you're making decisions where you can look back and if your son, your daughter, your pastor, your mentor was standing in that room with you, they'll say, He handled that well, he had facts for his decisions, he had reasons for why he did this, everyone may not agree with those decisions, and that's going to happen too as a leader, most people are not going to like every decision you make and if you are it's usually fluff decisions, if everyone gets cookies today, or we have an ice cream parlor or something, they're really not true decisions and so, just understand that people aren't going to like every decision you make. I guess, the advice or topics I can give on that.

Casey Combest: And I feel like for me, I've seen, especially new employees, they're going to make some kind of boneheaded revenue costing this mistake in that first year, but your response to them and you said this earlier, but if you respond appropriately to them and edify them, they will run through that wall for you.

Ryan Eaton: That's right. That's exactly right.

Casey Combest: You can build them up through that learning experience.

Ryan Eaton: I had an employee I saw handle a situation with an agent, she made a comment. It was not rude, not mean, but it was like, hmm, that would put that agent on guard, I could see how that, and I held back, I didn't correct her after that, I saw her make the same type comment, not to an agent, but about an agent when they weren't around, and I was like, ooh, I got to address this and so I brought them off and I said, look your track record here is absolutely amazing, you're one of the most knowledgeable people on our team, you've been with our company for 20 years, but I do want to show you one thing that I think can help empower you and make you even better at what you do. This comment comes from somewhere. And that comment, I don't think I've heard it twice. So it's something that's kind of bothered you either in the past or something that you believe. Let me show you how we can adjust this thought process and I think it will help bring more value and maybe even adjust something in your own self so that you can create more value for them so this is not an issue in the future and so, trying to build them up to correct them and show them and train them and guide them, that's what we're called to do. And those are the type of decisions they're not always fun and sometimes, yeah, I still get butterflies at times with different decisions. I had to correct someone a few months ago who was 20 years my senior, and it was something that my son, who's 17, should know better than and it's like, why do I have to, in your mind, you're thinking, why am I having to deal with this? Like they should know this, but at the same time, for whatever reason it was an issue. We have to address it, and you will get nervous at times you will have to say things to people sometimes that you wish you didn't have to, but that's leadership. It's not just the more pay, less work, it's decision fix this help this, and you're called to bring people higher. And at the end of the day, that's how your decisions should be focused.

Casey Combest: That's right and going back to your previous example, the female employee who said those two things, I mean, how different is that than, you idiot, what were you thinking? Now she is, she can tell that you're bought in, you're in her corner, you're wanting her to grow, that's such a different model.

Ryan Eaton: We're meshing. She ended up leaving that meeting, she was teared up and she looked at me and she said, I just want to thank you for your leadership. I thank you for thanking me and helping me with this. And she actually had realized that in herself, but she left and it was a great thing. So we can be this, or I can go the other route with the stick and we can be clashing. And then I can have someone who every time I say in the break room, I may smile and say, hey, and have completely forgotten about it they're sitting there like, that jerk, right? Like, it's how do we build that culture? How do we build that environment? How do we, again, pull everyone higher with the same global mission?

Casey Combest: And does it come back to in some form or fashion, trust?

Ryan Eaton: Oh yeah, trust. You've got to have trust. I mean, they got to know who you are and I think I might even said it earlier, but you have to be the person you are at the office. You need to be that same person away from the office, don't be two or three different people. I mean that's, who's going to trust that, right? Like if your wife was one way around you in a different way when she wasn't around you. I mean, I feel like people, when they're working with me, they're going to get a pretty consistent ride. Are there days, highs and lows? Yes. But at the same time, it's hard to build trust with someone who's not, pretty much consistent in how they make their decisions, how they make their thought processes, and you need to have that base and that's where I talked about at the beginning, the expectations that we give our employees and they can expect from us. That's got to align with how you are all the time. And if you have that trust is crucial, and it will build relationships and man, at the end of the day, I got a team that will run through walls for me, they are amazing, but that also comes because they know they can trust me, and I'll run through walls for them as well.

Casey Combest: Well, Ryan, I want to stop you right there and we're going to pick up and make this a two part episode. So we'll have a part two that will follow up soon. You guys please stay tuned for part two of this wonderful episode with Ryan Eaton.

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