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March 20, 2023

EXPERIENCE 107 | Drew Yancey - On Peer Advisory, Leading Performance (because it can’t be managed), and Building a Next Level Enterprises.

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Drew Yancey is the President and COO of Incite Performance Group in Fort Collins, and the LoCo Facilitator for a pair of Next Level chapters. He’s also the author of a new book, his third, with co-author Larry Linne - “Leading Performance, Because It Can’t Be Managed.” In this episode, we unfold principles from this book with a theme of helping leaders guide their teams toward the work style and environment in which they can thrive.

Drew has been on our podcast once before. This time, he went into more detail about his early business journey with his father, Greg Yancey and Yancey’s Food Services. He also describes the various engagements with, and appreciation for, peer advisory organizations he’s had over the years. He shares his critiques on each, as well as why he chose to join the team of facilitators at LoCo Think Tank.

Drew is an amazing servant to the Northern Colorado business community, and we’re so glad to have him supporting so many next level business leaders.

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Music By: A Brother's Fountain


Drew Yancy is the president and c o o of Insight performance Group in Fort Collins and the local facilitator for a pair of local Next Level chapters. This is Drew's second time on the podcast, and the first was with his father, Greg Yancy. That episode was focused on the Yancy's food service business journey, which Drew played a large part in. Drew is also the author of a new book, his Third, with co-author Larry Lenny. Leading performance because it can't be managed. In this episode, drew shares more about his journey and his why as he navigated his early career and the time after exiting the Yancy family businesses, and especially about his various engagements with an appreciation for peer advisory. Drew has been involved with numerous industry specific and industry diverse peer advisory organizations and share some of the pluses and minuses of each and more about his why in joining the team of local facilitators in Northern Colorado, we also unfold principles from his new book with a theme of helping leaders help their team find the work style and environment in which they can thrive. Drew is an amazing servant to the Northern Colorado business community, and we're so glad to have him supporting so many next level business leaders. And he's an awesome person, so tune in and get to know better. One of my favorite people, /drew Yancy. back to The Loco Experience Podcast. My guest today is Drew Yancy and Drew's a second time guest. He is the. Facilitator for two of our local Next Level chapters. He's also the president of Insight Performance Group and a two-time author, one transforming Enterprise at the intersection of evangelism, capitalism, and practical Theology. And the second that just came out, leading performance because it can't be managed. So Drew, great to have you here. Thanks for doing all the good things, Kurt. Thanks so much for having me. I, I already know there's many listeners who think that you completely made up the title for that first book, so well, I'm sure we'll circle back to that more accurately. What is that first title? Do you remember it? I, I, you asked me and I had to remember. Uh, so it's Transforming Enterprise with a question mark. Hmm. Um, American Evangelicalism, capitalism. and the challenge of practical theology. Yeah. And this was a, uh, byproduct of my PhD dissertation. Oh, it was a book you had to write. Uh, yeah. As, as, as had most of the content already. We've gone through the process, well know it. Um, writing a dissertation is not the same as writing a book. You have to do a lot of editing typically to make it book ready. Yeah. But the core was there. So you have a, for real PhD. I is that like you never asked me real to call you doctor, like No. Um, and if you do call me Dr. Drew in particular, I will be offended. So you have just as much talent as Dr. Drew, I promise you. maybe more. Oh man. And we're off and we're going. This is all live here baby. This is, uh, this is what I fully expected. Well, um, drew of course is drinking bubble water cuz he is got like responsible things to do after this. But yes. Uh, I'll keep our listeners, uh, entertained with my mezcal sipping in the background. Um, so Drew, we're gonna talk about a bunch of stuff you were on with your father, Greg. Hmm. Um, for I think episode eight or something like that. Oh, that was a privilege a long time ago. And long and we really focused on, on the journey of the Yancy Foods and that business and the exit and things. Yeah. And kind of left a big hole in, you know, telling the community who Drew Yancy is and what he's up to. And why in the world would he want to be a facilitator with low-code think tank. So can we start there? Yeah. Um, and, and as I think about this, Kurt, it's perfect that to the degree that anyone cares about the question you just asked anyone else, at least, um, that we did start with that foundation because it's, it's impossible for me to tell you anything about who I am, um, or to say anything about why I'm so passionate about Loco and these next level groups without understanding where I came from. And as, as you know, we were discussing in that first podcast, um, as a fourth generation, Uh, business owner. You know, my story started well before I was born. Right. Uh, and, and we, we talked about that. So, uh, I'll just encourage people to go back to the old days and, and try to track down that episode if they want to learn more about that history. Fair. Well, and, and I guess, tell me about, I guess, your heart for community. I mean, I know you love business. I know you love Yeah. Um, just enterprise, you love people. Like, you've got this interesting mix of, of faith and business that's kind of woven through your whole career. Yeah. Wa was that a, a faith, uh, kind of a question. I, I remember when you called me you were like, I think I might wanna do this, you know? Yeah. I, I would say that, um, community is one of my personal core values for sure. And that it, um, it stems from partly. My convictions around faith and, and my faith and spiritual journey. Absolutely. Um, you were asking about Next Level and involvement with Loco Think Tank, and, you know, for those that might not know the, uh, the definition there, uh, yeah, we might wanna define that. Yeah. Within, within Next Level or within Loco, uh, this, this group emerged, uh, several years ago. Right. Where, uh, how, how do you, uh, how do you often talk about it? Too big. Oh, uh, too small to be big and too big to be small. There you go. Yeah. Yeah. And, and this really was a reflection, uh, in my experience of some trend lines within the Northern Colorado business community that have been transpiring over the last decade at least. We are getting larger, more sophisticated, more established businesses in a variety of different industries. You know, when, when. Our business was at its, um, moment in time. Uh, there, there were maybe on one hand I could count, uh, the, the types of entrepreneurs. Yeah. The other business owners. Owners eight, eight to nine figure kind of revenue companies. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, exactly. And um, and now, you know, it seems like you and I every day are running into, uh, relatively new people of the community that have just built amazing businesses. Yeah, yeah. And we both meet a lot of people that, you know, brought their. Successful business here. Sometimes out of Denver, sometimes out of another state or something. Yeah. And then they just really took off here. Yeah. And became a part of the community and, and found the kind of employees that they're looking for. Yeah. And the kind of innovation community. Yeah. So it has been super exciting for, for me, you know, my banking career was gone before it really started. Yeah. The sauce was really poured on, but it really feels vibrant right now. Yeah. Well what you just said is, is, is interesting because, um, that's a large part of why I feel so strongly about, um, giving back to the Northern Colorado business community, cuz. because our family's story was a, was almost the opposite in that, you know, we were a, a food distribution business, uh, a logistics company, and, um, most of our clientele, most of our customer base was outside of Northern Colorado. Right. Right. By the time that we got to be, you know, our, our large size by probably the early to mid nineties, it, it made more sense financially and operationally for us to move our, our, our business from northern Colorado to Denver. Hmm. The I 70 i 25 corridor. Right. We till the day that we ended up selling our business, we never moved outta Northern Colorado. Yeah. And that was for a very specific purpose. We, uh, really valued the business community here. And, and so, you know, well in the community of your employees and stuff Oh, absolutely. As I remember it. Like they were so important for your family Yeah. In integral part kind of. Yeah. Yeah. And that, that feeds into. You know, everything that I am privileged to be a part of with Next Level, uh, chapters and, and working with these business owners is, you know, a lot of ways I, I want them to experience what, what we experience as a family and, um, and I hope, you know, their experience is, is that much bigger. Right. Right. Um, can we, uh, kind of define next level a little bit or is that something I should set the stage a little bit more? Sure, go ahead. But, you know, next level is really the next, uh, level size of what we've been doing at local Think tank. Going back to 2014, we're gonna turn nine next this month, next week. And about five years in, several of our members had grown enough, so they weren't really with their peers anymore, they were at that next level. And so, uh, we started a Next Level chapter, found some other larger operators, and then, uh, in what, April, two years ago? Mm-hmm. We started next level two. Mm-hmm. And so along the way, you took over the next level one chapter, got bored, wanna do some more work, and said we should start another one. You weren't bored. I was so excited by it. I said, let's do another. That's fair. That's actually more accurate. Yes. And so now we have two chapters strong of 11 or 12 members. Yep. And, uh, been maxed out now for over a year. Yeah. In terms of capacity, we are referral only. Um, if a seat opens up, uh, it gets filled really quickly. That doesn't mean I won't call on you. Uh, if I know you're already pretty cool. That's, but, but we get a lot of names and then it's been a lot of, lot of fun. So, um, and how does you've been involved with other peer advisory organizations Yeah. Along the career journey. Yeah. How would you differentiate, like what we're doing here with Loco against maybe some of the other models you've seen? Similarities and, and differences if you can. Yeah. Um, it's a question that. I get asked relatively frequently, especially if I'm interviewing a potential new candidate for, for next level. Um, I am a, uh, self-described, full disclosure peer group junkie. Okay. What I mean by that is I is going back to the beginnings of my own career, uh, where I was involved in, um, a industry peer group, okay. All the way to today. Um, there has never been a point of time in my career where I haven't been involved in Hmm. And or leading, um, a peer group, right, of one shape or form. And there's, you know, in, in my experience there. There's no one right or wrong way to do a peer group. Um, there's probably some productive and unproductive ways. Yeah, yeah. But, but it's really about fit. Yeah. And, um, you know, the two basic types that are out there, uh, we could differentiate along the lines of are they an industry specific group or a non-industry group. Fair. Um, I've spent the majority of my career in, in the advising space, um, working with a variety of different industries. Right. And in the distribution space, in the insurance space with insight. Yep. And, uh, I spent several years in corporate strategy consulting, working with, with Fortune, uh, 500 s and, you know, on any given week we were working with a financial services firm or a, a manufacturer or a tech company or, you know, name your industry so, um, in, in my field of specialty, which is innovation strategy, having diverse points of view hmm, is absolutely critical to driving new value. So, on the one hand, I look at multiple industry groups, um, like we have at Next Level and see tremendous value. But as I often tell our next level members, um, it's not an either or. Mm-hmm. because when I was running, um, a, a food distribution company, there were certain things about our operation Yeah. That were very specific to those are the folks just understood. Yes. Yeah. Yeah. So, so I was also involved across, uh, the country. We were actually, uh, part of launching, uh, the first of its kind, uh, an association for our industry that offered a training and development for, and peer groups for, um, a lot of these businesses that were our peers. Yeah. Cool. I didn't know about that part of the story, really. Yeah. Yeah. Um, and so from a, from a diversity standpoint, it's really about that, that clarity that sometimes come with fresh eyes. Uh, yeah. Yeah. Um, there was a study done a couple years ago, uh, that was asking a question around h how much knowledge is, is is almost too much knowledge about a problem to inhibit outside the box thinking. Okay. So this group of researchers got three different groups together of, of people, uh, warehouse workers, carpenters, and recreational roller bladers. Okay. Always wondered about that third group. Uh, you know, I'd just love to see them. Yeah. How do you find them? How do you find them? What do they look like? So anyways, they gave each group the same task. Number one, come up with ways to improve the safety equipment in your own field. Okay. There is a common problem among all three of these groups. Yeah. That safety equipment for their field was not. Readily worn and used because it was uncomfortable. Right. We ran into this problem all the time with our warehouse workers in food distribution. Mm. Um, all this safety equipment that inhibited their, their flow of work. Yeah. Um, they also assigned each group a second task, come up with ideas for ways to improve the safety equipment of one of the other randomly assigned groups. Okay. They pulled together all the responses and they had a panel of experts in each of these fields. Again, who sits on a panel of expertise in rollerblading safety equipment. I don't know, but it exists. Yeah. And these experts ranked the, the recommendations. Okay. Every single group was categorically better at coming up with ideas. on one of the other groups. Right. And, and the, the researchers theorize that what we have going on here is, um, that, that each group knew just enough about the other group to identify with the problem, but they didn't suffer from what we call the, the curse of knowledge Yeah. Right. That, that whole idea of, well, I can't do it this way because that's not how we do it in this industry. Yeah. Yeah. Or that's not how we did it in the past. So, you know, whether we're talking about a peer group or whether we're just talking about problem solving Right. In everyday getting out of a bad habit. Yeah. Or whatever. In, in everyday work environments, you want to have a balance. Um, and no surprise that there's just this truckload of research and data that that suggests and shows that more diverse teams. produce tend to produce more innovative outcomes. Yeah. Yeah. So I want to get back, I'm gonna jump in the time machine a little bit because we did focus so much on the Yancy Company journey. I want to learn about Young Drew, where you're always just like a business nerd. Uh, like as a, as a teen or as a elementary school student. Were you outgoing? Were you studious? Were you in the chorus, in the band Uh, what was your, what was your character? We didn't really have to think to delve into. I think you got one out of three right there, Uh, I was not in the band. Uh, I was not particularly outgoing. Very studious. Yeah. Yeah. Um, growing up in a family business, you know, inherently I. I was immersed in business and I look back on it and am so appreciative of the way that I was immersed. Yeah. Starting, starting at the ground floor and sweeping, I think is Yes. Uh, I, my dad and I shared with you some stories in that first podcast. Um, uh, so that shaped my, my appreciation for and understanding of the value of, um, approaching business and growth. Mm-hmm. uh, in the right way. Uh, but I also grew up not just in a multi-generational family business, but a, a multi-generational, uh, family of faith. Yeah. And so, Uh, the, the Christian faith, the Christian community, um, you know what I would consider deep questions of life. Yeah. Yeah. Um, why are we here? Like Al Yeah. Yeah. We're, we can talk about that later. We're also a part of, of my experience and, um, that's why I eventually, uh, you know, studied philosophy of religion as my undergrad. Yeah. I, I have a graduate degree in theology and my PhDs in, in religion, so, um, and in between did you get some business studies as well? I did. Or was that all on the job? Both. Um. I did get my MBA when I, uh, returned to my family business full-time. Okay. Precisely because I didn't have that foundation. Mm. Um, with a business undergrad and, um, yeah. You know, an MBA is, is helpful in building a foundation. Um, it's helpful in honing in an expertise, but devoid of, you know, real life experience, uh, no degree is, is going to be a bulk value Fair. So it was, it was both the training in the business, in the business world and then in the classroom. And the start of your, like business career was really kind of coming back to the family business after your MBA in kind of a place where they were positioning to sell or thinking about selling. What was that? Can you, can you describe that setting and how you guys. how you were involved in that and how, how do you learn? Yeah. Yeah. We came back, or I came back, um, right after graduate school. Um, my wife and I had, uh, gotten engaged. We had met, well, I was in graduate school and the original plan was, We were gonna go right into, um, uh, a, a, a doctorate program. Oh, wow. And my, my dream for many years, uh, was to go and get my doctorate, uh, at Oxford. Oh. Um, Oxford is, uh, a place, uh, renowned for many things, one of which is, um, the study of theology. Yeah. Um, and I had a, a unique opportunity to study there as an undergrad, uh, in an exchange program. And that was, that was a dream. If I was gonna pursue doctoral studies in, in the field of theology and religion, I would, I would go to Oxford. So I actually, um, had applied and, and had gotten an initial acceptance. And then it was kind of one of those moments in life where the second we got engaged, um, you know, my belief is God just sort of moved in our life to say, Not now. Not yet. Um, not yet. This is a good time to come back to the family business, which I eventually, I knew I would eventually do. Yeah. So we came back and, um, it's set in motion. I would, that's how I would describe it occur. Um, uh, a five to six year process where we began to really explore what is the best, uh, pathway for our business to get to that, uh, use upon your next level of growth. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And, uh, that did result eventually in us, um, uh, partnering, selling, uh, a large portion of our business. Yeah. Was one of the options on the table, like Drew's gonna take it over and keep growing it kind of thing? Yeah, certainly. Uh, I think that was definitely, um, the frame of, of mind and not just myself, uh, but I have um, uh, an amazing, uh, sibling one sibling a sister Gwen. Okay. We grew up in the family business together and, and she was deeply involved in the business as well, remarkably skilled and gifted in, um, uh, in the business. And, and we were both, uh, you know, certainly open to that. Yeah. Um, but, but it was also the case that. at that time, uh, this was, this was a large business. Yeah. And, uh, large low margin. Yeah. And you know, it, it, it, um, we knew that the pathway to growth was, was going to have to look different mm-hmm. uh, than what got us to that point. Yeah. Have to have that location done at two 70 and That's right. Whatever, 70 i 25, something like that. And just wouldn't be the business that you wanted. So you navigated this kind of series, found a partner in US Foods. They acquired a good person, uh, different company that, not uss, that was eventually, uh, acquired by US Food. Oh, I see. So you merged with or whatever Yep. With a different company that then was acquired by US Foods. Okay. Exactly. I had my recollection wrong on that. But then there was a shame on spinoff on you for not knowing your whole journey of the food distribution industry. But you ran a, you ran a spinoff Yeah. From that? Yeah. It was a unique situation. We had carved out, uh, a piece of the business that we wanted to retain. And so what ended up happening is my dad transitioned as the branch president for this company that had acquired us. And then I took over, um, a piece that, that we had, that we wanted to keep and basically had an opportunity to, to sort of restart. Oh, okay. And it was, it was a really unique opportunity. Uh, I think we went into this a little bit. Um, in, in the original or the first podcast, it was, uh, it turned into a very, uh, Crisis ridden situation. Oh yeah. And there's not a, a a a week that I don't draw from that experience. Oh, there was government shutdowns and stuff involved. Yes. We're loo looming into that, uh, lens. Right now we are. It's, well just put it on the calendar every year. Every year. Debts ceiling debt, ceiling debt, ceiling, you know, and it's not like there aren't, uh, you know, human lives on the other end somewhere that are, that are, uh, depending on decisions to be made. Yeah. Yeah. Uh, I was one of them. Fair enough. And how did you. Come to, cause I remember you went to Chicago for a while Yeah. Or something. And, and served with a kind of a boutique consultancy. And then how did you connect with Insight? Yeah. And what was, was that an established organization that hired you in? Yeah. What was, tell me about that story. Little bit. Um, couple of, you know, twists and turns as every career journey has. Um, so, uh, the business that we carved out, um, I ran that for about five years and it started off at a high, uh, entire revenue was shut off overnight by the US government as a contractor. And so for a couple of years there we were in this period of rebuilding the business. Okay. And, um, by God's grace and incredible team and mentors that I had in my life, um, we, we ended it, um, two and a half times more profitable than when we began. Oh. So we ended up, um, uh, Selling off that piece of the, of, of the business. And then I took some time off, uh, finished up, um, my PhD. Okay. And, uh, what, that was at Oxford then, or did you go back to No, I ended up, uh, I, I, I, uh, stayed in the uk Okay. Uh, went to a program in the uk, university of Birmingham. Um, but my topic had shifted. Mm-hmm. And, um, I was now really interested in the intersection of, uh, religious ethics and business ethics. Mm mm Primarily because of my lived experience. Yeah. And, um, let's linger here for a while. Like Let's take some lessons from, from that. Like what, what are the big pillars of, of that? connection between capitalism and evangelism, if you will. Yeah, I wouldn't necessarily say evangelism, uh, or Christianity. Christianity, religion. That's probably better in general. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Oh man. So many things we could go here with. Uh, I mean, I'm sure you wrote a whole PhD or dissertation about it, but Yeah, I mean, I guess in, in general broad strokes, like first thing I would say is how does the Christian ethic conform the, the capitalistic ethic even? Yeah. The first thing we would, you know, I would want to challenge is this assumption that, that most people, um, probably have in their minds, even if they've never thought about it, that we're talking about two very different worlds, right? Religion and business and in a lot of ways, um, uh, that is an assumption that has been centuries in the making, uh, certain trend lines that have taken place over the last couple of hundred years where we've seen this gradual, um, what we might call secularization Mm. Sure. In the Western world in particular. Um, but if, if we were to reframe the practice of religion as ultimately the practice of certain values, then I think we'd see that in a lot of ways. Um, the way that capitalism functions today actually has some religious undertones to it. Um, in things like, uh, how much time and energy and sacrifice a lot of us spend in our work. Sure. Um, the degree to which we attach our personal identities to our work. Mm-hmm. Going up a bit, rising up to thinking it at a social level. Um, business, uh, holds a lot of sway and power and influence and, um, the pursuit and desire of money is something that holds a, a lot of grip on. Hmm. A lot of people, my, myself, for sure. We all need money in some fashion. Yeah. Yeah. And like if we all were pastors who would donate to the church Yeah. You know, or whatever. Right. We have to do things that add value to one another. Yeah. And, um, you know, I'm someone who, uh, if, if you press me for a, you know, a, a short answer, I'm gonna resist giving you one on, uh, you know, is capitalism good or bad? Yeah. You know, is, are Christianity and capitalism aligned or are they not? I don't think those are an questions that are, um, Possible to be answered in, in a headline. But I would say this, um, uh, capitalism is an incredible idea and it has produced, uh, an undeniable benefit to, um, the global human experience. Yeah. Living standards Exactly. Globally for sure. Yeah. But, uh, and, and one of the things I explore in, in, in my book is, um, is asking the question, uh, are there excesses? Yeah. Are there ways in which the good of capitalism has been overdone? And I, you know, I'm, I'm of the opinion that, um, pretty easy to look around the world and see where Yeah. Um, that can be the case. And so what does that mean? Well, that means that, uh, particularly for people that are leading. businesses and, um, entrepreneurs, uh, they hold, uh, potential value to our world. Mm. In remarkable ways. It it's a high calling that has an enormous responsibility. Yeah. Yeah. And it's a lonely place. That's part of why members sign up for these think tank chapters is That's right. A lot of times, well, most all of us want to do. Right. But wanting to do right by your, your household, your spouse, your family is a significant burden and wanting to do right by. Yourself, your spouse, your household, and the 87 employees that you have that work for you. Yeah. Yeah. You know, and the significant leader that's been with you for six years, but has really gone off the rails in terms of their performance lately. You know, what is the right thing there? Yeah. Are you doing right by that relationship? Are you a steward for your business and have to protect that business interest? Yeah. A lot of ethics in business across the board. Absolutely. Yeah. And, and that loneliness component is huge. You see that all the time in people you talk to. Right. And, and that's a big part of why Loco exists. Um, you know, I, I've, I've come to experience and see, uh, just having worked with such a range of different companies and leaders, uh, small startups, one or two person operations all the way Yeah. To boards of Fortune fifties, um, in, in the C-suite of Fortune fifties. there is a universal threat of loneliness in positions of leadership. Yeah. And it's something that, um, I, I applaud as a society I think we're a little bit more conscious of and, um, you know, wanting to make sure that every leader is equipped to handle that. Yeah. I think that's one thing that the, the culture of Northern Colorado blesses us with is kind of a general. and maybe there's other places that have a similar culture, but we want the other people to all succeed too. Yeah. You know, yes, we want to get ours and, and find success and get our customers and stuff, and we want that for everybody that tries hard and delivers a good service and a good product. Kurt, I see this play out every single day in our chapters and you know, you and I have been talking recently a around this critical mass that the next level community is, is, yeah. Is reaching and, you know, um, by midpoint this year, we'll, we'll probably have close to 40 different next level business owners and the, the amount of collaboration and um, and synergies and just willingness to work with each other that I see in that group. Is really unique. Well, and being able to reign some of that experience and talent down within the smaller Absolutely. Members and, and you know, some of the key leaders within those organizations that some of whom won't be there for long, they'll be leading some other organization sometimes down the road or whatever. Yeah, yeah. It's a great fountain to, so let's actually, since we kind of delved into your. your other book, Uh, I guess we we're still in kind of the, we, we went back to England for the PhD and stuff. So I hate to lose that trail necessarily. And we were gonna talk about what Insight really does. Yeah. Yeah. And who, who you serve and Yeah. And what that crew is all about. So yeah, let's go back there. So Insight Performance Group, uh, is a really unique organization that, um, I, uh, I joined, uh, about four years ago and, um, now have, have the privilege of, of serving as president. Uh, we're at the end of the day, we're a team that helps organizations and leaders work on their business so they can thrive. And the whole idea is, especially for growth oriented firms, and, and for me, the common thread throughout my career, uh, whether it's in my own businesses that I've run or now spending the majority of my time advising high growth organizations, is how do you scale successfully? Mm-hmm. And, um, every, every stage of growth brings with it certain challenges, um, that make that next stage of growth harder to obtain, but particularly for what I'll call, you know, sort of the lower end of, of the middle market. Yeah. Yeah. As businesses start to mature into the middle market, this is an area that becomes really challenging. How do I, as a leader, as an entrepreneur, pull myself out of the day-to-day, uh, enough that I can spend. the time needed working on the business. Mm-hmm. Um, so we, we have a range of, of coaching and tools and resources and advisors, um, that help companies do that. So it's kind of a collective of advisors. Yep. I suppose doing things under the common brand. At one time you were kind of focused on the insurance industry, but that doesn't sound like that's so necessarily, we're still primarily, I would say that is our core. Okay. Um, it, it is expanded within that, uh, that group quite a bit. Okay. Uh, but, um, you know, we, we have really grown outside of, of that vertical as well, and, and now have a range of, of, of industries that we serve. That's cool. Congratulations on that. Thank you. And are you delivering. Kind of custom products and stuff, or are you kind of ki like local think tank is kind of exploratory addressing issues as they come? Yeah. But do you have like the insight performance toolkit or Yeah, yeah. Whatever. Yeah. At the end of the day, you know, one of the things we tell our team all the time is, is we're an intellectual property business. Mm. Right? So, uh, one way to think about it is people will pay us for advice, but the way that we actually prefer to think about it is you're paying us for results at the end of the day. And so, um, we will stop at nothing to help you get those results. And one of those strategies is, is developing a, a, a core set of tools and resources that address, um, core needs that we know exist within common within your industry, whatever. Yep. Yep. But then in, in an. In another sense, every client is unique. And so every plan that we would put in place with a client and execute Sure. Is customized. Yeah. It's not like do it our way, but here's a framework that we've found a lot of success. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Uh, a little bit of both, I would say. Yep. Interesting. Um, and how do you find enough time to manage these two chapters of, of local think tank? Cuz you also. You go and talk from stages at conferences and stuff, is that in as part of your insight role? Yep. Yeah. Times? Yeah. Okay. My, my role at Insight encompasses, uh, certainly an internal team leadership management, uh, component. We are an incredibly, uh, um, I mean, this is a team where, um, you know, we're, we are always trying to hire and find new talent that just continues to raise the bar of the caliber of our team and our, our ceo, our, our, uh, the co-author in the book, Larry Lenny. Yeah. That's been part of, um, his, his DNA from day one. So, um, so, you know, like with, with, uh, a lot of people listening, I'm sure, uh, wear multiple hats. Yeah. And, um, it starts with, uh, really for me clarity around, uh, what. Is most important in life and how can I make sure my priorities and my values are in place? Yeah. To achieve the desired outcomes, uh, whether we're talking about a job or, um, Leading a family. Uh, and yeah, uh, that's really for me, where it starts is, um, you know, along with my wife, uh, Anna, uh, you know, we are just so blessed to live in a, in a community that, um, keeps us, uh, really grounded and yeah. And engaged. Well, and you got, we'll talk more about family later, but you got a fresh foster child in your world this year. Yeah. We, we just felt like, you know, raising three young kids was, uh, it was just getting too, too easy, boring, too easy. Two next level chapters, an insight thing. And so let's throw in, uh, uh, uh, an infant, uh, foster child to the system. One of the, I, I'm pretty visual in the way that I imagine things sometimes, and I hadn't really thought of you as a spout before, but in a way like Insight Performance Group is collecting all this knowledge by working with all these middle market companies that are generally a notch or two notches bigger than the next level. Chapter members around here. Yeah. And then you've got that collection spout so you can just kind of pour into some of that knowledge or, or innovation, here's what some of the things that are working in these other businesses. Yep. How's that work for you? You know? Yeah, absolutely. And I think that's where, at this point in my career, you know, I, I've, I've looked back, uh, and I'm at a point where I, I can look back and appreciate more than anything, the variety. Um, you know, I don't know that anyone would, at the outset of, of a career choose, uh, what seems like all these eclectic different paths. Yeah. Um, but it has in through a lot of trial and error. And, and, and a lot of times for me, it's, um, making mistakes and learning what doesn't work. Yeah. Um, have been able to, to, to see a, a certain vista that it sort of extends out across industries, across company sizes. And, and as you and I know, I mean, at the end of the day, um, leading a business is about leading people. Yeah. Yeah. And empowering people. Well, that seems like a good transition to leading performance because it can't be managed. Yeah. Um, I was just sharing with you that I was about a chapter and a half into your book when my messenger bag got stolen here about six weeks ago before Christmas. And, uh, so I never finished it, but like, I, I think the title in some ways says it All right. Leading performance, because it can't be managed, you can't really manage people into success very well. Yeah, you're exactly right. This title is very specifically chosen as I hope most book titles are um, because it, it, it smacks us in the face, hopefully with this paradigm shift that Larry and I argue, um, has been underway now for a while. So, so one of the, the biggest mistakes I see leaders making is. Expressing very genuine frustration around how difficult it is to hire and retain and develop talent. Yeah. Um, and, and chalking all that up to covid, right. So Or or to kids these days. Exactly. Yeah. Or whatever. Meanwhile, they're not working at all on trying to understand what the experience of working for that company or enterprise and that role is. Yeah. Yeah. Um, what we're seeing today manifested is really, I think, the result of a very complex set of trends that certainly were accelerated coming out of Covid, but they were there well before for sure. And, and the basic idea of the book is, Um, how as a business leader, whether you're a business owner or you're leading a large team, uh, in a Fortune 500 or you're a startup Yeah. Um, uh, autonomy is, is one of the most critical success factors Yeah. For developing people. Yeah. And leading people. But it's a success factor that fundamentally challenges how most people grew up being led and approaching leadership. Yeah. Yeah. Which means that you have to get it right. Well, you have to soft play them into it too. In the case of some people. Yeah. Like I've definitely, I'm a. Delegate an autonomy kind of guy with my staff and stuff. You know, Alma's, uh, boss left about a week after she was hired and I was like, I don't really know how to do the newsletter, but it goes out in two weeks, you know, Yeah. So, but Roy left great notes. Yeah. And sometimes some people are very uncomfortable with that, you know? Yeah. And that's probably because it's too loose, you know, not enough direction and stuff sometimes, but, but on the other hand, some people really thrive within that. Yeah. Oh, he's let me own my whole job, you know? Yeah, yeah. So, so even what you're saying right there, um, you know, I hear comments like that all the time and that's why we eventually just, Larry and I said, we, we just have to write about this. Yeah. Because it's, it's, these are sets of challenges, um, that we are dealing with every day in our advising work, and we're seeing play out across industries and um, you know, oftentimes they start as pain points for a business owner around. Um, look, people just keep demanding more flexibility in where they work in, in how they work in, um, this hybrid work world. And, um, I, I don't know how to, how to lead these, these people. And, um, and, and so I think if we take a step back and think about, look, in general choice and freedom are things that I think most of us really value. Yeah. Whether we're a business owner or we're on the other end, we just started off on our careers. Right. You know, in general, I think it's fair to say we're a society that values choice and freedom. So having choice and freedom in your work can be a really powerful growth. Uh, factor meaning, uh, you know, we, we have a range of of studies that, that, that, that, that show that to the degree that the right amount of choice and freedom are given to a person in their work, they're gonna be more engaged. Um, they're gonna new ideas cuz they're gonna be more innovative, they're gonna be more creative. Um, but you heard me say to the degree that there's the right amount Yeah. So what is that? Is it, is it just up to chance? Is it just random? Yeah. Or is there an actual structure and way to think about it and, and what we outline in the book is a way to think about optimizing this difficult balance at times between, on the one hand, giving people more autonomy, but on the other precisely because of that autonomy, that choice and freedom in how they do their work. They need. That much more clarity about what's expected of them. Mm-hmm. is that, is your process kind of custom? Like, do, is it a one size fits all on finding the guardrails, if you will, on that? Or do you have a little different, do different people deserve an expected different approach to that amount of choice and freedom they have? Yeah. Um, and direction? It's a good question. I think every person's different. Uh, so in one sense, there needs to be an allowance for what's the best fit for this person. However, um, human beings are also predictably different. Right. And so there are some universals. Mm-hmm. And, and here's, here's what I, I believe, Kurt, I don't care what position you're in, um, how experienced you are, what field you're in, what degrees you have or don't have, what training and experience you have, and. We all want to show up to a workplace where three things are true. Number one, um, we're doing things that we enjoy. Number two, we're doing things that we're good at. And number three, we're doing things that we know are contributing value. Hmm. Yeah. The old way of what has been called in in other parlance and, and even other recent books that have come out, the, the command and control environment mm-hmm. of sort of traditional management styles. Um, they don't put a focus on those three things. Yeah, yeah. Right. If those three things happen, okay, great. But what I'm really. Uh, concerned about as a manager, what are the results? Is I, I wouldn't even say that as a manager under a traditional approach, it's, um, it's, oh, yeah. Obedience. Did they follow the process Exactly. Crocker limb correctly? Yeah. Yeah. So what that does is it actually puts an, um, an emphasis in the wrong place, which is on activity. Hm mm-hmm. are, are my people doing the, the, the right things? Yeah. Are you turning the crank when I'm paying you? Yep. Yep. Just make sure you turn that crank. Yeah. Right. Yeah. And, um, where those three elements really flourish is when we have an environment that shifts the emphasis away from activities towards outcomes. Yeah. Um, here's what I'm responsible to achieve in my role. Yeah. Here's the values we have as an organization. um, go and accomplish these things. Yeah. Drew, yeah. Or Kurt in the way that you see best fit. And I am here as your leader to coach you. Yeah. Yeah. We're gonna, we're gonna regularly be in dialogue about progress. You're making challenges, you're running into, we've got a quantifiable set of metrics that are guiding us to say, regardless of what you are or are not doing, regardless of where you're working and when you're showing up to work, um, these are the things that we're measuring success on. Yeah. Yeah. Um, and we're gonna stay in regular communication about that. I just had the, uh, walk back to the office, Alman and I had appointments together this afternoon, and I was checking in with her. Um, and it, it's so spot on because Deb, as you know, has done our, our billing and collections and different things, onboarding for a long time and, and she had heart surgery mm-hmm. two weeks ago or something. And she's recovering well. She's in rehab. Wait to get back to work. Um, and we had just done our, this price change on most of our memberships and trying to switch from credit card billing to ach. I think we had 27 out of 103 members that had finished their thing when Deb went in for surgery. And it was like, well Alma, we're gonna have to shift some of your time to, to like working on this project cuz you're better suited than me. Yeah. By far to figure out our Stripe billing and collection these ACH setups and, and you know, it, she was just expressing how she spent so much time, you know, figuring out clips for the podcast and, and different things that she's always kind of has to think and going through these one at a time and Okay, is this one checked off is, it was just easy, you know, and, and it was something that she found joy in having, you know, stretches of time that were just kind of. Easy. She's good at it because she's super organized. She probably will improve upon Deb's process by the time she's back. And it mattered. Yeah. You know, it was super important for us to Yeah. Collect our dues. You know, so we just had that conversation and, and uh, I can see even just from that little microcosm how significant it was. Sure, sure. Excuse me. So, um, I guess any other major observations from the book or I've got, looks like about five copies here. If you want a copy of Drew's book, um, just come by here. I'll give the first three copies a away to the people if they say, I heard you on the podcast. Love it. Can I get Drew's book? Love it. Or you can write me on LinkedIn or Yes. Or Instagram or something too. Love it. So, uh, can I find that anywhere? Um, yeah, you can. It's on Amazon. We've got an audio book. Uh, a fellow Next Level member. Oh, uh, Jonna. uh, helped, uh, her and her, her husband and her team helped put together the audio book. Okay. Did you read it yourself or Larry? No. Larry read it. Larry read it. Okay. Larry's got a great, okay, good. Uh, audio voice because it's super lame when authors don't read their book, or at least That's right. One of the authors, so, yeah. Yeah, that's good. Uh, yeah. I, I would say ultimately what this is, is a field guide to help any person who's in a leadership role know how to balance these tensions we're talking about. It's a path forward, and it's a, it's, you know, the most exciting thing about the book as, as Larry and I have been doing quite a bit of speaking on it recently, is, um, that the path towards clarity is pretty simple. Hmm. Uh, we lay out, uh, what we call, uh, uh, a performance objective framework. Hmm. A way to take any person in any position and in basically three steps, give that person. Clarity about what's expected of them, and then a pathway. For autonomy. I love it. In terms of how they can achieve those results. Oh, that's great. Are they at an island then, once they get that autonomy? In what sense? Uh, you know, once you have autonomy on, yeah, hey, I can, my results are mine. Then do you check in again? Did this, does it get reset kind of from time to time? Because people grow. That's one of the reasons it's so important that businesses keep growing, is you gotta give your awesome people something to grow into. So this is one of the major differences with, um, you know, we're simplifying concepts, right? As, as, as we always do in right in, in, in business. But, um, one of the. The major failures of traditional approaches to management is it was a static Yeah. Once a year, maybe. Right. Twice a year. This is the job description. This is what you're hired to do. Yeah. And you've got your annual performance review. Right. And you know, if it's, if you need it, it's out there. There are countless studies that have shown just how, not just unproductive, but damaging that system can be. Um, now I'm, I'm not against any, you shouldn't have job description performance Yeah. I'm not against job descriptions or animal performance reviews, if that's all that you have. They're relatively worthless. Mm-hmm. So we need to shift from a static environment to a dynamic environment. Where, to your question, um, there are regular checkpoints built in so that you as a leader, have clarity as to how a person is, is, is tracking. Hmm. You know, and if I've got 10, 15 direct reports, um, I need that to be fairly efficient. Right. And I need a system that enables me to kind of get that spot. You can't have 12 different dashboards for 12 different people. Right, right. Um, and then for the, the person being led, uh, this is a way for you to now have, uh, a whole different lens into your boss. Mm. This ultimately your boss is responsible to help you achieve the outcomes that you have agreed upon, uh, in, in collaboration with him or her. You want to achieve. I like it. So it's, it's really ultimately kind of looking for that win-win, win. Yep. Absolutely. Like, how can I make this role, this function that our company needs? into a role that, that you find a lot of value Yes. And a, and a direction that's gonna take you to your next place. Yep. Hopefully with this organization. Yep. Maybe not. Yep. Uh, probably don't say it that overtly, but that's part of the truth sometimes, right? It's, it's a big reason why this paradigm shift. Um, you know, I, I tell business owners all the time, um, you resist this shift at your own per because Yeah. There are now more options available than perhaps ever before in recent memory for great people to find great jobs. Yeah. Oh, it's so easy. So if they're not finding it at your company, they're likely gonna find it somewhere else. I was, uh, I've had a number of members, especially because that's why I hear the story or whatever, where, where they've got a key employee that gives six months notice, you know, and the, and the, and the owner is like, celebrates their departure because they're going onto this amazing new opportunity that. was made available by some of the growth that they did with and for their company, and Yeah. Yeah. That looks good on, but you know who it really impacts the other employees Yeah. That are still there. And they're like, oh yeah. You know, Bob didn't get crazy when Susan Yeah. Said she was leaving. He asked her to stay for an extra month, so here's her replacement could get hired. And she wanted to because she cares about the organization. Yeah. And, and I would say, you know, that's gonna happen. Um, but with this framework and, and this path that we lay out, one of the things that we have found is that, um, it actually, um, puts an emphasis on, uh, retaining and developing talent with challenging, aspirational, meaningful goals. Right? Yeah. Yeah. That's part of the performance objective framework is part of my job as your boss is to, is to challenge you, show you and challenge you. Yes. Yes. And so if we can do that well, Then, uh, we tend to have, yeah. People that are more engaged in their work challenge me giving me more responsibilities. Yeah. And increase my pay regularly. Yeah. And I'm pretty happy. Yeah. Why would I look? So you're not a jerk. Yeah. Yeah. Cool. Because ultimately people leave bad bosses, uh, as much as not, but if you're, one of the reasons that you can be a good boss is by being in tune with what your people actually want. That's right. So, yep. And, and that's very difficult to do in a once a year, For sure. Annual quote unquote performance review for sure. Um, I'm ready for a short break. Do you mind if we do that? So one of the things I wanted to brush on before we leave, kind of innovation and leading performance and things like that, uh, we did an exercise last year where we talked about like adjacent revenues and different things mm-hmm. and it was really part of scaling and, and picking low hanging fruit a little bit as a business. Can you recap that little Yeah. Diddy a little bit? Yeah. Because it was actually quite impactful and it, and it, honestly, it had a lot to do with the way we, uh, operated Loco in 2022. Yeah. And, and our, our growth this year. Yeah. Well, um, you know, in some ways it's, it's kind of a parallel discussion too. We were just talking about this massive paradigm shift within, um, leadership, away from a traditional way of thinking about it, whatever, to a new way. And similarly in the world of, uh, business strategy. Yeah. Which I have spent, um, all of my career in a variety of different ways, um, on strategy. Yeah. It's, it's an area that, that I, I, I really love and have a passion around. Um, so in traditional business strategy, you have to pick a, a growth path, right? And, and there's basically, you know, one Yeah. You wanna be the low price leader Exactly. Or something. Yep. Or a niche player or some hybrid of those two. Okay. Um, over the last, I would say decade and then substantially coming out of Covid. One of the things that, um, now a lot of, uh, small to medium size enterprises have recognized that large conglomerates have known for a long time mm-hmm. Is the value of optionality, the value of multiple revenue stream. Mm-hmm. mm-hmm. multiple revenue streams. Right. And the number of vertically integrated businesses that I've met over the last 10 years is, yeah. Crazy different. Yeah. So, so the question becomes, Okay. If I've got this core business, and yes, I want to continue to, to, to fine tune this core revenue that I'm generating. Yeah. I, I'm not gonna use deliver the RI widget at the right price. Yeah. I'm not gonna, I'm not gonna neglect it. I'm not gonna move away from it. Uh, I'm gonna continue to keep it strong. What else is there? Mm-hmm. Um, that can be an incredibly challenging question to answer, and it helps to have, uh, a framework to, to, to think about your options. And one of those, uh, options is what we call an adjacency. Yeah, an adjacency. If you think about, uh, you know, this is really easy to, to draw as, as you've seen me do several times in, in a two by two. But, um, if you just think about your core business today, and you've got two different variables. You've got your client base, Your customer base, your products and services. Um, so we call that basically where you play. Okay. Okay. Yep. Your existing sandbox, what segments are you in? Okay. And then the other set of variables is, uh, how you win, where you play. So these are your assets? Yeah. Your unique, uh, your special sauce. Yeah. Your resources. Yeah. So for any business, they're gonna have, uh, a current set of markets, clients, customers, um, and assets. Uh, an adjacency is pivoting either one of those. Hmm. So that you're not venturing into brand new territory necessarily, but you're pivoting just enough to capture something that might be right alongside your core business. Yeah. Yeah. So two different ways you could easily do this or think about it. offer what you currently offer to your core customer to someone else. Right. Is there someone else out there that I'm not currently serving that I could take what I currently offer to my core customer? Right. Right. The other way to think about it is, what else does your core customer need that you're not offering? Right. Right. So, and maybe your assets can even do some of those things. That's right. Yeah. So, so at the most simplistic level, that's the way to, to start thinking about growth strategy. Yeah. Yeah. And once you identify a couple of different paths, then you can start, uh, thinking through, okay, how would I act in those areas? Mm-hmm. one of the keys, uh, for understanding what makes, um, growing an adjacency. Fundamentally different than growing your core business is the power of experimentation. Hmm. So if you think about it, it makes sense, right? In our core business, we're primarily dealing with known variables. Sure. The name of the game. In your core business, if you're an established manufacturing company and you, you manufacture, um, office desks. Okay? Right? Um, and, and you own that space and you're good at it, and Yeah. You got 27% market share, whatever. Yeah. And it's profitable the name of the game. And growing that, that core business specifically is incremental improve. Sure. Right. And that's doable because most of the environment is dealing with known variables to you. Yeah. Yeah. That's how you got to be really good with that. Yeah. Pick up more new customers that are distributing your desks or whatever than you lose and, you know, get your prices a little, find your sourcing a little bit more margin. Yeah. Yep. Now, um, an adjacency is different. We are now talking about relatively unknown areas. Yeah. And we are not going to be able to make decisions in the same way necessarily. So is an adjacency initially? Potentially, yes. But for some businesses it's. Lack of exploring and adjacency that ultimately killed them. Yeah, yeah. You know, the history of capitalism is, is littered with these types of stories. Probably none more famous than Kodak, who had the original digital imaging technology in their own r and d department. Right. And precisely because they perceived that rightfully, by the way, as a threat, as a threat to their core business, they killed it. Yep. And what they didn't think through was number one, um, who, who else out there would potentially develop this and deploy it against us. Mm-hmm. And number two, could we take this and pivot into an adjacency that. Turn this into an opportunity could have been far more lucrative. Yeah. Right. So when I was, uh, in my, uh, corporate strategy days working with the firm, you mentioned this really unique firm out of, uh, based outta Chicago, um, we specialized in innovation strategy. So a large Fortune 500 would hire us and our team with the idea that they want to disrupt themselves before someone else does. Yeah. Yeah. Um, so experimentation is, is absolutely critical because in an adjacency you are having to run a series of, of experiments Yeah. Yeah. That are structured properly and controlled for downside risk. Now the thing to realize the insight there is that's the, um, when done well, that is actually the cheapest and safest way. To explore adjacency. Right. Well, I was just thinking to myself about a couple of examples. Uh, our other next level facilitator, Kim O'Neil with Encompass Technologies, you know, they were a beverage distribution company, logistics company, effectively early on. Yep. And then they just kept adding layers and layers. So it's all the way to the end, end retail. Yep. The producers of wines and beers now use their software. It's got financial tools, billing tools, all these things. And most of their growth was really from expanding a little bit at a time point into adjacent markets. Good point. Or the other thing I thought of was, uh, uh, pumping sewer water when there wasn't any frack water to pump. That's right. Uh, with Emily's company. Yeah, that's right. Uh, and we talked about that. I was like, man, you must need a lot of those pumps. It was like, no, not one. It's at 200 psi that sewer water moves really fast. So, yeah. Anyway, uh, and there's. Lot of other examples, so. Well, thanks for, for sharing that. I know we've got a deadline. You got a foster kid to pick up, so let's, that's right. Let's jump into the closing segment. Shall we? We shall, uh, faith, um, one of the things I was, was thinking about is, do you have a, a longing to. or maybe you are using your PhD in religion and kind of your training and capitalism meets Christianity stuff. Yeah. Um, are you already using that or do you have a longing to shepherd a church someday or be a professor at university? Like Yeah. All those things. Yeah. So I've, um, you know, for the better part of my career, I've, I've kind of had, uh, both feet planted in, in two different worlds. And, and I've come to really, uh, embrace that as, as such a blessing from, from God. So one foot is, you know, my day job is, uh, in a variety of different ways as we've discussed in the business world. Um, but I also have a foot, uh, really firmly planted in, in, um, Uh, theology and the study and the pursuit of, of, of faith. And that expresses itself in, uh, teaching that I do. Uh, I, I, I've been an adjunct, a professor of theology, and then I, um, teach a variety of, of different courses. Mm-hmm. uh, and also, and you're on the board with the Denver Institute there, right? Yep, yep. In involved with, with many organizations and also, um, churches and starting with my, my local church here in, in Northern Colorado. And, um, I have come to see the intersection of these two worlds as a really fascinating and valuable place that nourish, uh, kind of both sides. Mm. Yeah, for sure. You know, uh, never getting too immersed in business that I. neglect to remember that at the end of the day, businesses, people, and people are values. Yeah. And also never getting so immersed in the theoretical and conceptual landscape of academic theology or ministry leadership. Yeah. That I forget that, uh, people have real practical needs. Mm-hmm. And they need to wake up and go to work every day. Yeah. And love their families and do all the things that we as human beings need to Yeah. Recover from earthquakes and there you go. All those things. Right? Yeah. Yeah. Um, what do you think about the, the faith environment today? There's a a, a lot of, if you read the Twitter or anything like that, there's a lot of, uh, you know, like some somebody posted the other day. Why are people getting all freaked out about the Grammy's thing? Do people actually think Satan is real? And, uh, comments, the faith environment. Uh, you know, obviously it's a very broad idea. Yeah. Um, I would say it this way. Um, I think we're feeling the pains as a society of asking and trying to answer really important and valuable questions through entirely the wrong mediums. um, you mean 244 characters that I shot isn't going to, uh, get to the bottom of what, what is the meaning of life? Right, exactly. And, and, and it's, it's that and so much more, right? At the end of the day to have a meaningful conversation with another human being. Around, um, what matters. Mm. Um, requires a certain environment and commitment. Yeah. Um, and openness and trust and transparency and, you know, all these things that are really difficult to, uh, accomplish in the world in which we live. And, you know, if we look back at the life and teachings of, of, of Jesus, uh, someone that, you know, I've committed my life to and, and try to follow, uh, day in and day out, uh, however imperfectly I do that, um, this is someone who spent a lot of time wandering, uh, mostly rural and poor communities. Yeah. Having conversations, truly conversations with everyday people where, um, Primarily he's asking questions Right, right. Yeah. Like that's fascinating. Just like me, I like to think of myself as a lot like Jesus when we're in this podcast. Okay. Jesus with Kel. Oh, you know what, uh, you, you said it not, I didn't really say that either. we'll edit that. I'm sure we'll edit that portion out if you're not already struck dead by a lightning bolt. By, by the end, by that only if I'm still alive. Let's edit this part out. Well, no, I think that's actually very thoughtful and, and I think, you know, only a very relatively small proportion of the, of the, of the country, for example, really takes the time to examine those questions. Yeah. You know, almost you're a one percenter at least, or a half of a one percenter in terms of the amount of time you've spent studying. But I'm probably a one percenter because I, you know, thought about it for a while, came to, came to faith in, you know, my late twenties or whatever, did some study and did some things and. I don't know how to say it, but if it's surprising to me how many people don't decide to take on that question. Hmm. And, and investigate it, I guess. Hmm hmm. And why do you think that is? Hmm. I think one major reason is time. Hmm. Yeah. And, uh, what I would say is a misperception of time. Uh, we see studies all the time Right. That, that come out, uh, of, of Nordic countries primarily, uh, where there's this correlation between quality of life and people's happiness and, um, uh, what, what we might say is a more balanced Yeah, yeah. Approach to how we spend our time. It, it's very difficult to reflect on and think about the deep things of life. you don't have time to reflect on Yeah. And think about the new things of life, And that doesn't mean you're, I mean, some of those people that don't have time have, you know, six figure jobs and, you know, boats and two houses. and a Corvette. Yeah. In the garage. Yeah. You know, it's a matter of making time sometimes as well, but Yeah, there isn't space. Yeah. Yeah. And, and the other thing to go along with that, another major variable is, um, I would say, um, it's part of, I, I, I think one of the excesses of capital is Yeah, the freedom kind of thing. God's gonna put handcuffs on me and he doesn't want me to buy a Corvette. Well, and maybe and maybe. uh, there's a, there's a very, uh, um, notable intellectual, David Brooks, a columnist with the New York Times, who, who I highly respect and regard. He, he talks about, and, and we actually, uh, talk about this in our next level groups quite a bit, right? Our, our purpose statement and next level is, is to catalyze holistic growth for ourselves, our companies, and our communities to always be better. Hmm. Um, holistic growth means we don't just pay attention to what David Brooks calls the, uh, resume virtues. Yeah. All those things that any one of us, especially entrepreneurs are, are going to have to be and want to be focused on. But if we're only focused on those to the neglect of what we would call the. What David Brooks calls the eulogy virtues, These are the things that people are saying about us, hopefully when we're gone. Yeah. Yeah. And uh, you know, he has many wonderful books, but if you were to only read one, uh, listeners read the Second Mountain. Okay. And the whole idea of the Second Mountain came out a couple years ago is, um, this insight he had in talking to a lot of successful people, uh, who were not happy. Yeah. And a, a, a common, uh, theme he found in their lives is they thought the resume virtue was the mountain to climb. Yeah. And so they spent so much of their life accumulating wealth and for a lot of people running people over in the process, only to discover that that's only the first mountain and the more significant one is the second mountain. Yeah. And it's the harder one to climb. And that's really an answer to the question of not what have I achieved? It's an answer to the question of what type of person am I? Yeah. Well, I applaud your willingness to get a, a, a chapter around that kind of notion of, of holistic and it's, it's so in line with locus values that kudos on that. Well, uh, it's, it's easy to do, so to speak when you're surrounded by the types of business owners that we have Yeah. In these groups and the value systems that drive them. Yeah. No, and, and I, you know, as a, I dunno about disclaimer, a local think tank isn't a religious organization and we're probably less than half identifying Christians, I suspect. I don't know. But you know, our. my faith values are within the fabric of how we do things. Hmm. You know, and, and I think that's, you know, hopefully people will recognize you by how you treat them, not what you say about God. Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. Um, I wanted to talk about family a little bit. Uh, you've got, uh, three youngsters, um, and then a new foster kid. What, what are the ages of your, your littles these days? Yeah. My, my amazing wife, uh, Anna and I are blessed with, um, three biological kids. I've got, uh, my oldest daughter, Emery. Uh, I've got a middle daughter, Allegra, and then, uh, my youngest, uh, son, uh, biological son is Kempton. And what's the age range on those cases? Um, 11 to six. Okay. Okay. Yep. So we're in the throes of it and, um, uh, just are surrounded by amazing community, a lot of which is my family. Right. Uh, my wife's family here in Colorado and, and. You know, we really get the, the benefit of, of lots of cousins, lots of uncles and aunts and grandmas grandparents and whatever. Grand, everything. Yeah. And then, um, we were in the process of, um, seeking to adopt a, a, a sweet little boy that we've been fostering now for, um, almost a year. Wow, okay. Yeah, it's exciting. Yeah. Uh, and so he's like a year old. He was just a baby baby virtually when you got him. Yep. He's, uh, coming up on 16, 17 months. Um, okay. And we got him when he was, uh, seven months. And what's his name? Uh, I, I won't share it just because Oh, that's fair. Uh, I know how widely distributed this podcast is. huge. Many listeners. And you know, Kurt, um, well it's an active conversation with the, the state and adopt and stuff like that, so that's, yeah. In all seriousness, there is an element of that, but, um, would you share a one word description for this young boy? Oh, my word. If I could only choose one? Yeah. He's only 16 months, so it's probably tough, but. I mean, the, the, a word that immediately comes to mind is amazing. Yeah. And the second word would be, well, why is he amazing? Uh, resilient. Yeah. And this is a, a, a young kid, like many kids in our community, and it's so easy to overlook. Right, Kurt? Yeah. You're involved with, with an amazing organization, realities for Children and or Matthew's House. Sorry? Both. Both, both. I'm a ambassador for both. That's right. Yeah. Um, I was just meeting with Craig the other day and like talking about the scope of neglect and abuse. Yes. Uh, it's like doubled in five years. It's, it's, or four years. It's unbelievable. And you and I have talked about this. I mean, there's. You know, one of the things we're gonna be, um, unveiling and, and developing this year within this next level community is a way for us to take our collective weight as a business community and make an impact. Um, yeah, yeah. Uh, exponentially and in, you know, a range of, of issues that we know matter to our community. Yeah. We've got a couple of, uh, interesting ideas that, uh, might be worth talking about offline for that also. Also, yeah. That come to mind. Awesome. Um, and then last thing on the family I wanted to talk about a little bit. I, I wore my pink shirt today, uh, as a kind of a cancer awareness thing, and we, we lost a, a member of the Loco Think Tank family here about a month ago in Emily Kincaid. And, uh, Um, you know, it's been pretty impactful. I, I had lunch with Pete last week and, and we were just talking about things in life and perspective when, when somebody's so young and so vibrant is taken from us. And, uh, can you give some perspective on that in, in the context of peer advisory as family that you choose a little bit and stuff. Um, how was that, how was that to lead the group through that? Yeah. Um, uh, and just be in communication with us. It, it, uh, one of those experiences in, in life that, um, you never expect and you never want to go through. But, um, also shows, um, if I can use the word beauty, uh, that you would never otherwise see. Mm-hmm. um, yeah. And, uh, we are still very much as a next level community, um, as a chapter in the, in the midst of processing this Yeah. Yeah. Um, because part of what made this situation so stunning is the timeline. Yeah. You know, I, I sat down with Emily in one of our regular one-on-ones, um, you know, now just over 60 days ago. Yeah. And she just shared with me in passing, Hey, I've got this, uh, medical procedure. Uh, I'm, I'm actually really excited cuz the doctor's, you know, I've had some pain and yeah, I've had some pain. I thought it was food related. And um, so I'm going in tomorrow and I said, okay. Yeah. Great. We'll be thinking of you and. You know, neither one of us thought anything else. Yeah. Until I got an email from her, um, that following Monday and stage four cancer. Yeah. And here we are, you and I 60 days later. Yeah. Talking about, um, her having left this earth. Yeah. And, uh, so I can't think of, and, and you heard me say this to our group, uh, when we were, um, meeting for the first time after her passing, I can't think of someone, uh, who embodies at such an incredibly young age, this whole idea of having both resume and eulogy verses Right. And that's what, that's what made Emily so remarkable is, um, that she was able to achieve so much. in the right way at such a young age. Yeah, it is really incredible actually. Um, so cheers, Emily. Um, cheers. Emily, we will remember you forever. Yeah. Yep. Um, who wants to talk about politics? not me. Drew says, I don't know why I didn't grab the tissues and bring them to before I knew I was gonna bring them. Well, maybe we just better skip the politics part. Um, well, we got the State of the Union address tonight. Um, what, what do you, what, what would you say the state of our union is? Oh my word. Uh, on, on a national stage. Well, I'm kind of shocked that we haven't seen a more significant recession or something by now with all these interest rates and things like that. And, you know, now the jobs report comes out. We're hiring like drunken sailors still, and the fed's like, dammit, I'm trying to. Soft land, this economy? Like what's, what's going on? Like, is it just kind of the after effects of all that money printing is still just slushing around? Or do we just not have to worry about recessions anymore? you know, um, you, you won't hear me say much about politics because I, I'm, I'm deeply in a Baptist, in my, in my approach to, uh, the, the political realm. I, at the end of the day, like I have so much respect, truly for a good sound, values driven political leaders and, and values driven, meaning whether they share my sense of the Christian faith Yeah. Or not, whether they're raging atheists or Buddhist. It's, you know, people that can lead well effectively in the political realm. They're rare and not be corrupted by the Absolutely. Absolutely. They're rare and, and so I, I honor and respect them. Um, but at the same time, I, I've just seen. Other avenues of addressing important issues as being far more effective and productive, um, to put too much stock in the political avenue. Fair. All that to say, back to your question, here's the challenge, Kurt. Um, history is our guide. Yeah. I'm a big believer in that for sure. Uh, history isn't a great guide in times that are relatively unprecedented Right. We, we don't know. Yeah. We don't know a lot of what the after effects the prota, uh, perhaps unintended consequences are of these decisions that, you know, I, I think in general, I'm someone that I call myself a rational optimist. Kay Every situation has a little bit of good and bad, and, and it might vary in the percentage breakdown. I can always choose to focus on the good. Yeah. So even in times, uh, like this, uh, you know, I wanna, I wanna focus on the good and I, I do think that we've got, um, you know, uh, some really bright minds that are at the front lines, um, making tough decisions. Yeah. That doesn't mean it's gonna be the right decision. Do you think that the kind of this, the World Economic Forum just kind of wrapped up and you know, historically has had kind of a positive light about, oh, it's these extra smart people that are trying to guide the world into a, a new, more responsible, more sustainable future. And now, like with Twitter being a mayhem land again and stuff like that, there's a lot of contrary opinions that are like, if your local candidate is a World Economic Forum graduate, don't vote for them. And yeah. And, and run into their car if you can, or whatever. Yeah. Like what do you think about that dynamic? I, I think in, in general, generalizations don't get us very far. And so, um, uh, you know, interestingly, I guess as power develops and corrupts other power will develop to offset it. Yeah. And, and I, I don't know at the heart of it is, is, is Davos sort of this like elite, pure community, pure group community? Totally. Right, right, right. We just, we just haven't been invited here. Right. It'll come, you may, I don't think I ever will you'll be my plus one. They'll go listen to some of my past podcasts. Yeah. Check him twice on the gun check. So all that to say, I, I think that, um, there could be a lot of good reasons why someone would go to that and probably a lot of. You know, subpar reasons. Um, but, uh, it seems like extra frat boy, like, like the bad frat house. Yeah. Yeah. Except it's a really nice fire house. It's a, well, it's super nice, but they, they get kind of rapy sometimes and stuff. I, no comment. I'm not even, IM not gonna take that. I'm not even sure that's a word. So, um, I'm sure it is. Yeah. You know what I meant, right? All right. Anyway, um, do you have a local experience to share? We always share a crazy experience. Now, we didn't have this segment at the end of our show last time, um, but it's a crazier, unusual experience from your lifetime that you're willing to share with our audience. The craziest, if you're willing. But, uh, do you have any crazy experiences in that, uh, kind of, uh, young Christian, studious. Uh, business geek nerd kind of guy. You've got some bad stories, I'll tell you. Um, oh wow. Your wife told me that you do have a dark streak somewhere, Well, I will, I will. Uh, cuz you said you're, you're kind of an image, uh, visual person. Okay? Yeah. Yeah. So I want you to imagine, okay. Young drew all right. In his, uh, early college years, okay? Um, man, this, this next couple of sentences is going to going go so against my core, but I'm doing this for you, Kurt. Okay? I like it. Um, I want you to imagine young drew, uh, completely naked, Ooh, ankle deep in a freezing, fast flowing river in Japan. Oh. Alongside other freezing and naked males, okay. Um, that are scrambling to try to find. My glasses Were you in the hot springs nearby or something at the, so I, uh, one of the things that, that, um, it truly has been an enormous blessing in my life and a huge value is, uh, travel. Yeah. I've been to over 45 countries and counting. Cool. And that started at a really young age. And, and you know what a privilege, like most people don't. Get that opportunity. And it's something that, um, you know, I I, I do like to say the vast majority of those are not the five star glitz and glamor Yeah. Places on the earth. I have been to some of the poorest places in the globe, um, admits those travels. Uh, but all that to say, this was a particular trip. I had an opportunity to go to Japan. Um, right before my freshman year of college. Um, I was heavily involved and still am in a, in a ministry called Young Life. Oh sure. And, um, the Northern Colorado Director of, of Young Life at the time, a spiritual mentor in my life, had asked me and a couple of friends to go with him to help launch, uh, backcountry ministry, a backcountry program. Okay. At this partner organization in Japan. So, I mean, we got to experience some really incredible things. Did, did some, uh, intense backpacking. And, um, on this part, it was towards the end of the trip, we were sort of like you. Uh, carefree and, and you had bonded already. Bonded and, and ready to, to head home in a couple of days. And I had contacts at the time. I had LASIK now, but at the time I had contacts and over the course of this trip, my eyes had really dried out. Mm-hmm. So my contacts just were worthless. I was wearing glasses. Sure. And you don't have a backup pair of glasses in Japan, nor can you just go to the local Walgreens. Right, right. And get the, you know, a prescription. Um, so my friend had the idea of, all right, to celebrate this amazing trip, we're gonna go into this river that was near our base camp and we're all gonna do a dive, do a little polar plunge, actually. Yes. Yeah. It was polar, for sure. because the second I went under, I froze and my glasses came off. because the river was so flat. Yeah. Yeah. So I'm up and I can't see a thing and you know, all of a sudden people see what's going on and they, they start looking for my glasses. And I, and I, I tell everyone, like, don't even worry about, there's no way we're gonna find these. And one guy by the grace of God, literally is just kind of like feeling around, pulls his hand out and he's got my eyeglasses in his hand and they were not stepped on, they were just nothing. That's crazy. So. Well that's a pretty crazy experience. That was an adventure, adventurous trip. Were these, uh, other. English speaking white kids that were part of this. It was a mix. It was part partly our group, uh, that we had brought over. Um, okay. And then, um, what I'm sure are still to this day, very scarred, uh, well, they probably don't get much whiter than you local Japanese complexity. Uh, local Japanese, uh, teenagers at the time. That's pretty funny though. You know, who, uh, probably have perceptions of Americans, uh, now because of our people are crazy like that Drew Guy So you're have it. You're awesome. Well, thanks for all of your awesome service to Northern Colorado, to your clients, to the foster care system and this young man that's, uh, gonna grow up in your household and be blessed by that. Um, any parting words for our listeners? Uh, go by the book Leading performance, uh, Amazon. Great. Thank you. And, um, if you are a listener and you are not involved in. in logo think tank. Um, I hope you get involved, and unless you're lame, then you can just, like, well let Kurt decide that Um, we don't just take everybody, but yes. But, uh, this is an amazing group. And Kurt, uh, you probably, maybe you're not, maybe you're not sick of hearing me say. I am so privileged to be a part of this community and these next level groups and it is one of my highest callings. And, um, uh, uh, it all started with an idea. Yeah. That, uh, you know, this, this strange banker Kurt Baer had And look what it is now. I'm so, what a privilege. I'm honored and blessed all the time to work with so many people that are so much smarter than me. Well, I'd like to meet them too someday. Okay, Thanks, drew. You're awesome.