The Future of Work Devices

My kids don’t want computers. They want iPads. They want screens they can touch and comfortably hold six inches away from their faces. They are more comfortable doing homework on an iPhone than a computer. My oldest son even wrote a paper using dictation on his phone and then corrected it with the phone keyboard. The tools our kids use to get work done won’t be laptops and desktops.

I’ve been noticing a lot of criticisms about the new iPad. Tech YouTubers are mostly united in the conclusion that it ‘s the best hardware and speed ever, but that it fails at being a computer replacement because computer workflows don’t work. I think that’s the point.

The iPad is meant to be the “computer” of choice for the generation of people whose first “computer” was a phone. People who feel uncomfortable sitting down at a traditional machine with windows and unnecessary steps to get done what they want to get done. In the same way that employment is changing with the Gig Economy, remote work, the devices, and workflows used to get things done are going to change. We are going to have a generation of people who are post- computer.

This is important for business leaders for two reasons.

First, you are going to have to rethink your business systems, tools, processes) and most importantly, your attitude about devices to optimize for, attract, and keep the next generation of workers. This goes beyond devices and expends into software and services as well. You are going to have to disassociate a phone, texting, etc. from shouting off or being unprofessional. You are going to need to embrace and learn this new style of work and he a champion of it.

Second, the products, services, and solutions you are developing and selling need to be thought about through the lens of mobile-first. Your customers will not be stationary. They won’t be in one place physically or digitally for too long. Your solutions and products need to help them where they are and also move with them to where they are going.

By the way, this post was handwritten using an app called Nebo, exported to text, edited in Grammarly in a browser, and then lines added and posted wherever you are seeing it now.

Reset. Refocus.

When I first started my company, I was motivated by the idea that no matter what, we were going to make Envoy a great place to work. I would always say, “The job may not be the best job you’ve ever had, but this will be the best place you have ever worked.”

Almost 5 years has gone by, and my original ambition is still true. However, the bumps and bruises which come with starting and running a company have distracted me from the execution. I have lost focus. I have let culture slip. I have not been as intentional as I know I should be.

I try not to beat myself up over my failures. That sits in the same box as complaining…self-centered, unproductive, and toxic. Instead, I recognize failures as another part of the personal growth process. I focus on what I can do going forward. The wonderful part about life is that we are free to change directions at any moment. You can decide today…right now…to take action that will change your future.

It won’t be easy because change is never easy. But just because it isn’t easy, doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

I have a lot of work to do to become the leader I set out to become. I would even say I have some back tracking to do. As my pastor said last Sunday, “You don’t know the exact moment you’re lost. You discover you’re lost long after you became lost.” I would say this is true for me as well.

This is my public promise to myself…an accountability message for future me. I know what to do. Now, I need to go and do it.

Oh…and this time, stay focused so you don’t have to do this again.

The Right Way To Ask

Hey Everyone!

I just published my latest podcast called “The Right Way To Ask For Something” on my Anchor page.

Take 10 minutes and listen, but if you don’t have time, here are the 3 points I cover:

  1. Know what you want.
  2. Ask for more than what you need.
  3. Put the problem on their plate to solve.

I break it down with more detail and a couple of examples on the show, so be sure to listen in if you want to learn more.

 

Build A No Hiding Culture

Startup Business People Working on Laptop

Accountability can be one of the hardest things to get right when running a company. While there are number of reasons why I started a company, the root of it all is that I am an ambitious person who wants to accomplish and succeed. It was put there in me, and I can’t shake it.

Being ambitious can put you on an island. Not everyone is wired the same way. And as much as I am ambitious, I also care for people. I want to treat them well.

When it comes to accountability, I fight this battle in my head. Do I push, or do I create room to grow? I think it can be both.

One solution to this problem is to only surround myself with ambitious people. People who want something for themselves see opportunity in executing on company goals because doing so will get them closer to their goals.

Another is I can either inspire ambition and feed it by setting a target and holding people accountable for hitting the targets. Both options are viable. The second option opens up more doors, especially with the workforce trends in the marketplace where there is very jaded and uninspired generation of people becoming the largest segment fo the workforce.

I have to create a culture where people can’t hide. This is probably one of the biggest mistakes I have made in running my company. I assume that everyone is wired like me. The reality is they will think things are important that I care nothing about and ignore the things I think are important. It’s not deliberate. It’s just because they are wired differently.

In order to have accountability, I have to do 2 things.

First, I have to teach what’s important.

Second, I have to follow up to make sure those things are being executed on.

The more important, the more often they need to be followed up on.

Because in order to execute on a vision and dream, my company culture must have accountability. I have to set the expectation. I have to make it clear that when the expectation is not met, it is NOT OK. This can be uncomfortable for people, especially if they are hiding. But this is how to keep people from being able to hide.

The questions I need to be constantly asking, answering, and executing on are as these:

  1. How to I push people to grow without hurting their spirit/positivity/etc.
  2. How do I teach people to be ambitious, and should I only hire ambitious people?
  3. What is really important to me and to the company?
  4. What do I need to follow up on more deliberately?
  5. Who do I need to talk to because their lack of ambition is hurting their future at my company?

I can’t afford to have a culture where people can hide. I can’t have a culture that is brought down by unambitious team members. I can’t have a team of people who do not know what is important. In order to execute on this, I need to set clear expectations of what is acceptable and unacceptable (including having ambition). I need to decide on what I want to follow up on, and then relentlessly follow up on it.

Today did not go as planned…

I started a company because I wanted to great a great place for people to work.

I wanted to people to be free to organize their schedules, be the family members, parents, etc. they needed to be.

This has freed my team to show up for friends who needed them. Work from home when a kid was sick or a contractor is coming to their house. Pursue hobbies and whatever else.

The only thing I ask for in return is that they put everything they have professionally into their jobs.

I chose to work from home today because no one was going to the in the office. With all my kids at school, it was going to be a good opportunity to work in a different environment, uninterrupted, and get some of the creative and thinking work done that I have been unable to get done.

Then, my youngest got sick first thing this morning. Enter distraction, and my day getting thrown off course.

It would be easy to grow frustrated over this, but the reality is being available for times like this is the literal reason I wanted to work for myself and run my company the way that I do.

I am grateful, and today I was able to reconnect to the freedom and the environment I provide for my team because I benefited from it myself.

So while today was not what I hoped it would be, it is still a major win.

Gratefulness vs. Desiring More

Scott sitting on coach writing goals

There has been a life long battle in my head between these ideas.

I desire more. Not in a negative way. I just always feel it can be better. I want to do better. I want more.

Then and the same time, I feel guilty that I am being ungrateful.

So for a long time I starved my dreams. I didn’t allow myself to push towards these things in my life that I want to accomplish. I would only take the incredible amount of action I needed to take to accomplish a goal when I was at risk of losing something I already have.

I would only take the incredible amount of action I needed to take to accomplish a goal when I was at risk of losing something I already have.

As a result, I cheated myself in the areas of focus and effort when progress in my life was happening outside of my control.

I have been challenged by several friends and mentors in my life. They saw this trend in my performance long before I recognized it. They would call it “fear of dreaming.” They would tell me, “Scott, you are great when you back is against the wall. You need to figure out how to channel that same level of execution when circumstances are on your side.”

The root cause of this issue has finally come to a head. Discontent and the fear of seeming ungrateful for my life have been at war in my subconscious. This has kept me in a place where I am great and protecting, but slow in achieving.

A daily practice has changed this for me. Starting in October of 2017, I started a daily practice to journal my gratitude and my goals every morning and every night. This forced me to allow what I am grateful for and what I desire to exist side by side. It’s connected me to goals and dreams I have buried in my mind. And it’s forced me to come face to face with reality.

Discontent, or really a strong desire of progress, is not at odds with gratitude. They exist in the same space. In fact, they fuel each other. I don’t need to feel guilty about wanting what I want in life anymore than I should tolerate negativity around what I have.

My dreams, goals, desires, and appetite to make things better than they are have been placed in me. I was created with these desires, and burying them will only push me into a dark place.

I hope this idea encourages you if you have ever felt guilty about pursuing your dreams. You’re free to be grateful and desire more in the same space. It’s ok. In fact, it’s the way you were created.

What are you doing to prepare for increasing skilled labor rates?

I am bullish on this topic which, is why I talk about it so much.

Maintenance repair rates are increasing and will continue to do so exponentially over the next 3-5 years.

  1. Repair contractors point to finding qualified people as the number 1 obstacle to running their businesses.
  2. They have to pay people more to attract them to their companies.
  3. As this problem increases…and it will for a period of at least 3-5 years…smaller repair contractors who aren’t able to command higher rates and pay hire wages are going to go out of business.
  4. This decreases the supply of contractors and increases demand…and rates…even higher.

Why am I telling you this?

Because the maintenance industry is too reactive. Because this reality is going to cause problems for those who don’t see it coming. And…because it’s going to affect your job as a facilities manager. It’s going to affect the skills you need in order to be effective. And…it’s going to affect the partners you choose to work with.

And you will need partners who act as an extension of your company instead of like a vendor.

You need partners to…

  • Compile new information daily so you aren’t blindsided by a setback.
  • Collect and analyze repair data. How will you find the root problems…the operational and personnel problems…that are leading to your maintenance issues.
  • Negotiate on your behalf…and I’m talking about more than pricing. You will have to negotiate to get your jobs scheduled first. You will have to negotiate to get someone to take you on as a customer. You will have negotiate on payment terms.
  • Look out for your best interests. When vendors believe they can get away with something, they will. What are you going to do when someone is overcharging, but they are your only option to get the work done immediately? Meanwhile, there are 4 other jobs under the same situation.

You have to start changing your mindset. You have to start looking down the road. Don’t wait. Stop reacting. Because if you don’t change, someone will come along who will.

The Life Skill of Persuasion

I put new training program in place a Envoy centered around persuasion. I believe this skill will bring the most impact to our organization because our success and failures lie in our ability to convince people to do what we need them to do for our customers–and then get them to actually do it.

The most biggest idea to understand when it comes to persuasion is: No matter what you do, you are in sales. You have to get over this. In order to succeed in life, you will have to convince others to believe in what you believe in or do what needs to be done.

How else will you…

  • convince a co-worker to help you on a project?
  • get a vendor to finish something on time?
  • keep your relationship healthy by making sure your partner stays sold on you?
  • get people around you have a positive attitude?
  • inspire people to follow your leadership and vision?
  • sell your product or service?
  • keep customers happy after they decide to buy?

What I am teaching my team, and the idea I am selling to you is you have to embrace and get comfortable with learning and practicing persuasion.

–Scott Reyes

Dealing With Change

I spent an hour this morning writing a letter to a friend who is starting his first  business venture. One of the topics I wrote about is change. I have received 2 very wise pieces of advice on dealing with change in my life. They have saved me from unnecessary stress, so I passed them along.

The first piece of advice is to make important decisions in advance. You must anticipate the best case and the worst case. What will you do? When you make the decision ahead of time, you can respond with a decision you have already made with logic. When you don’t make the decision ahead of time, you will react to the circumstance with emotion. Take time to think about what you will do if you lose a specific employee, or your kid gets in trouble, or you get an opportunity for a deal that is highly profitable but outside of your core business. Responding is better than reacting.

The second piece of advice is change is inevitable. You must both expect it and cause it. You will never prevent it. I wake up everyday and acknowledge the truth that something is likely going to blindside me. This allows me to work through change–hopefully with a decision I have made in advance. I also pay attention to what is changing and work to change in preparation. So when the change shows up, I am not angry about it. I can accept it, and respond. I can focus on what I can control which is enough to be able to navigate the change.

Leading Through Change

I sent this out for a customer email newsletter today, and I wanted to share it here too.


I hope this letter brings you some encouragement and perspective as you lead your teams.

I read a post from a guy named Ron Edmondson the other day that really struck me by how spot on it was. You can read it yourself here: http://ronedmondson.com/2017/10/7-tensions-you-can-expect-in-fast-growth.html

Ron is talking about fast growth in his post, but the same tensions come up any time our organizations are changing.

Change is inevitable. And it doesn’t even matter if it’s change we are driving, or change that that is happening around us. There is one major issue change will introduce every time if we do not lead well. That problem is negativity.

Change goes hand-in-hand with the unknown. And because we are human beings, our tendency is to fill in what we don’t know with negativity. We let fear take over and we can’t see around the gap. And when negativity creeps in, it spreads fast.

I remember reading somewhere that overcoming negative energy requires 10 times the amount in positive energy. I am not sure how scientific this is, but I still love the visualization. It begs us to ask the question, “How do we protect our teams from negativity to begin with?”

Here are my ideas.

Over-communicate. If we tend to fill in what we don’t know with negativity, we need to communicate what the gaps are. Tell your team when you don’t know, and let them know it’s ok to not know. We are human beings who have been created with an incredible ability to figure things out. It also helps to communicate that change brings about change, so everyone should be ready to adapt.

Assume the best. We should always assume the best and encourage our teams to do the same. If we fill in gaps with the benefit of the doubt, especially when it comes to each other, we protect ourselves from unnecessary tension and frustration. We shouldn’t put on rose-colored glasses and pretend everything is perfect either…just don’t assume the negative when we really don’t know.

No gossiping. We define gossip as voicing frustrations to people who cannot solve the problem. When we complain to a peer we, are not actually working to solve the problem. We are only spreading negativity. We have an open door policy at Envoy. If one of our team members is frustrated, we want them to come to us or go to their boss. We want to hear them out. We want them to be able to vent. We want to fix the underlying problem. And doing this keeps the conversation focused on what can be done to improve the situation.

Understand what you cannot control. There is something freeing about being able to see a problem, to acknowledge that something just stinks, but still have the positivity, perspective, and peace of mind to know that we are in control of our decisions. Stephen Covey says this in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:

“Our behavior is a function of our decisions, not our conditions.”

When we are in control of ourselves, when we are responding and not reacting, our outlook and ability to succeed under extraordinary circumstances is high.

Rest. There is only so much effective work we can do. Sometimes we have to dig deep and just get stuff done. And sometimes, we need to recognize we are too exhausted to be effective, and rest. We are more important than our work, and we have to take care of ourselves.

If you didn’t read the post I linked to earlier, you should. It will help you realize you are not alone in dealing with the tensions of growth and change.