S6 Ep. 6 — Tim Kight: CEO of Focus 3

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This is a podcast episode titled, S6 Ep. 6 — Tim Kight: CEO of Focus 3. The summary for this episode is: <p>On today's show, Tim Kight, CEO of Focus 3, stops by Fast Frontiers to talk to host Tim Schigel about growth mindsets, characteristics of people with fortitude, and all about his framework, E+R=O.</p><p><br></p><p>Key takeaways:</p><ul><li>[01:51&nbsp;-&nbsp;04:23] Mistakes are feedback, and a sign of innovating</li><li>[04:28&nbsp;-&nbsp;06:23] Silicon Valley and failing fast, an opportunity to try again with greater insight</li><li>[06:23&nbsp;-&nbsp;08:19] Defining leadership, understanding cause and effect, and coaching for success</li><li>[08:53&nbsp;-&nbsp;13:50] The role of deep practice and Tim's E + R = O framework</li><li>[13:51&nbsp;-&nbsp;16:20] Developing clarity and seeing better by asking 5 questions</li><li>[16:41&nbsp;-&nbsp;18:08] Blame, Complain, Defend</li><li>[18:10&nbsp;-&nbsp;21:47] Growth mindsets and commitment</li><li>[21:50&nbsp;-&nbsp;23:14] Characteristics of the compelled</li><li>[23:16&nbsp;-&nbsp;25:42] Teaching E + R = O to employees and producing better outcomes</li><li>[25:45&nbsp;-&nbsp;26:16] ERO is not just about work</li><li>[26:18&nbsp;-&nbsp;30:58] Understanding how finding the compelled and those with a similar ERO mindset relates to HR and recruiting</li><li>[31:03&nbsp;-&nbsp;34:00] Recognizing the journey you're on and navigating uncharted territories</li></ul>
Mistakes are feedback, and a sign of innovating
02:32 MIN
Silicon Valley and failing fast, an opportunity to try again with greater insight
01:55 MIN
Defining leadership, understanding cause and effect, and coaching for success
01:55 MIN
The role of deep practice and Tim's E + R = O framework
04:57 MIN
Developing clarity and seeing better by asking 5 questions
02:28 MIN
Blame, Complain, Defend
01:27 MIN
Growth mindsets and commitment
03:37 MIN
Characteristics of the compelled
01:23 MIN
Teaching E + R = O to employees and producing better outcomes
02:26 MIN
ERO is not just about work
00:31 MIN
Understanding how finding the compelled and those with a similar ERO mindset relates to HR and recruiting
04:40 MIN
Recognizing the journey you're on and navigating uncharted territories
02:56 MIN
Next episode
00:37 MIN

Tim Schigel: Welcome to Fast Frontiers. I'm your host, Tim Schigel, managing partner of Refinery Ventures. In this episode, we're talking with Tim Kight, founder and CEO of Focus 3, a firm that teaches elite training systems to develop leaders, strengths and culture, and empower people all over the world. Tim's been working with firms like EY globally for 30 years and many other large fast growing companies, as well as various sports teams and leagues, including recently his work with USC football. In this episode, we're going to dive into the role of deep practice and something that Tim Kight calls his E + R= O Framework, which is events plus your response to them equals the outcomes. You can't control the events and the outcomes, but you can control your response, and people who develop elite performance learn how to develop disciplined response to those events. We find this very important to high growth companies, and the biggest limiting factor to high growth companies ends up being the people and the culture. The leaders define the behaviors that define the culture, which ultimately produce results, and that is the biggest theme, and so what I hope you take away from this. Please enjoy my conversation with Tim Kight. Welcome, Tim Kight. It is such a pleasure to have you on Fast Frontiers. I've been waiting for this moment for a long time.

Tim Kight: Hey Tim, it's awesome. You told me about your podcast and invited me to be a guest, and now we're doing it. It's a great moment.

Tim Schigel: Some people may say, " What does a leadership coach guy who does coaching for companies and sports teams, et cetera, et cetera, have to do with innovation?" Excellent question, I would say, and we're going to explore that a little bit. Your system in particular, which I find fascinating and well thought out and time tested. The first, I think it's funny to start with a story. When you think about sources of innovation and a story that came out about the Ohio State drum major, was it last year? That fell, made a mistake and fell, and he attributed what he learned from that to you. So how can mistakes end up being a source of innovation?

Tim Kight: One of the things that we believe deeply is that mistakes are feedback. If you're trying new things, if you're trying to, one, take an existing skill to a new standard or you're experimenting and innovating, trying to go new place has not gone before, you don't understand what it's like yet because you haven't done it with skill until you try it the first time or you try the new standard. So mistakes are going to be made. They will be. In fact, if you're not making mistakes, you're not innovating. You're not at the edge of the current standard. So I've long taught, Tim, that mistakes are feedback and that if you embrace them that way, three things happen. Number one, it humbles you. Number two, it hones your skill. Number three, it makes you hungry to get better. I would encourage listeners to this podcast remember those things. This is interesting, and I think the drum major story is great because there's enormous pressure if you're a drum major, particularly for the Ohio State marching band, to maintain an image. We avoid mistakes because of ego. We don't like how mistakes make us look. We don't like how mistakes make us feel, and so people avoid it. Now, I say this. You can get better or protect your ego. You can't do both. I'll put it in, you can innovate or protect your ego, you can't do both. So if you push, if you push and then you make a mistake, awesome. Feedback. Keeps me humble, hones my skill and makes me hungry to get better. So that was a great story. He had been taught, I taught E + R= O, which we'll get into, to the drum majors. He took it to heart and he used it and said, " Great opportunity to learn and get better and make an adjustment and not be ego driven." It was a great story.

Tim Schigel: Wow. So we'll get into this E + R= O and explain that in a little bit. But what struck me about that, that I hadn't thought of, this word mistake, because startup culture, Silicon Valley, they talk about failing fast. It's failure, failure, failure, failure. It's that word failure. Is there a difference even between mistake and failure? Are they the same thing? Maybe they're the same thing.

Tim Kight: People play around, Tim, with words. I think you could make a case where you define them the same way. I think you could make a case where a mistake is smaller and a failure is larger. But either way, you've missed the mark. You wanted to do something and you didn't do it or you did it ineffectively. Whether it's big and it's a failure or it's smaller, it's a mistake, either way, you've missed the mark. The great question is what did you learn from that? That's the great question. I think that's why the companies that are in the startup field, the companies are in the hyper growth arena, fail fast, fail forward, fail frequently. I think there's three of them. Fail fast, fail forward, fail frequently. Again, only if you're going to learn from them. Here's another way to think about mistakes or even failure. It's an opportunity to go again with greater insight.

Tim Schigel: Yeah, mistakes, you're right, it sort of helps broaden the possibilities. It's not just outright failure. It doesn't have to be a complete face plant. It doesn't have to be the whole system comes down. It doesn't have to be the company fails. It could be that the company failed at launching a product or failed to sell to customers less than a hundred dollars, whatever it is.

Tim Kight: I was thinking the exact same track you were. A company failure versus our launch was a failure, or the product innovation, that the upgrade was a failure, or we failed to make numbers that quarter. Depends on what context you use it in. Because we're tying leadership and mistakes and failure. I'm a huge believer that elite leaders are experts at cause and effect. One of the things that I've taught for a long time, and you and I talked before we got on this podcast about the difference between teaching and coaching. I would say I'm a leadership teacher first and a leadership coach second. We don't start with coaching. We start with what is leadership? What's it look like? What are the standards? What do elite leaders actually do and do well? We establish that first. One of the things that I've seen every elite leader do is they're experts at cause and effect. That is to say, whenever they see a number or they see an output or they see an outcome, they always ask, " Where did that come from? How did we do that? What was it that produced that outcome? So if we produced something fantastic, let's understand why. So the effect was, we wanted 10, we got 12, we exceeded by 20%. Why did we do that? How do we do that? Let's replicate it." Or, " I wanted 10 when I got seven, I missed by 30%. Why did I miss my 30%? What was missing? What did we do we shouldn't have done? What did we not do we should have done?" They're experts at cause and effect. They don't complain about the result. They explore the cause. Way too many people in positions of leadership today, they set a goal, they track performance against the goal, they find it varies, and they get mad and go yell at somebody. Well, looking for red on a spreadsheet and getting mad isn't leadership. It's a county with a bad attitude. That's not leadership. Leaders are curious. They're experts at cause and effect. So if I'm trying to do something, as a company, as a team, and we fail, we make a mistake, why? That's the heartbeat of innovation. What's behind that? Culture, behavior, decisions, technology, process efficiency. Why do we not get the number that we got? Why did we get the number that we wanted? That's how leaders think. Does that make sense, Tim?

Tim Schigel: Absolutely. That's what I like about your approach. You just differentiate between teaching and coaching. So many coaches I've seen or used and interacted a lot in the venture business with folks who do coaching, and that seems more like psychology versus teaching. What you're saying is there are some fundamental truths, there are some ways that people communicate, et cetera, and lead that are knowable and objective.

Tim Kight: Yes.

Tim Schigel: If you know what they are, you can become more aware and get better at it. I think we talked early on, I really loved, is it Daniel Coyle's book, Talent Code?

Tim Kight: Dan Coyle. Yep.

Tim Schigel: He talks about deep practice and the role of deep practice. He mentions I think John Wooden from UCLA, who you were able to interact with and observe when you were in school. That resonated with me as a guitar player, because I'm trying to get a desired outcome. I'm trying to play a solo, and I got to practice and learn how to do things wrong and do it over and over again, and it's slow or it's messy, and I make mistakes and everything else, until it comes off in a fluid way. What it seems we need as leaders and managers is more of those tools to understand how to do the practice. When do we have opportunities to practice? So before we riff more on that, we probably need to back up a little bit and explain your E + R= O, so that we have a little bit more of a framework. So why don't you share with us what it is and how you came up with it.

Tim Kight: So I've observed over the years that the number one driver of results in an organization is behavior, that strategy is critically important, technology is critically important. Obviously, finance, funding is critically important, operational efficiency. Those things are all critically important. You have to have strategy, process, technology. You got to have all that. But all those things require disciplined behavior in order to be executed well. And there's been a huge gap in understanding the role of behavior in business growth and performance. To make it simple, Tim, I ask the question, " What happens if you have an A- plus strategy and B- minus behavior? What happens if you have an A- plus process, B- minus behavior, A- plus technology that's not adopted or it's used poorly, or great funding but people can't execute behaviorally?" So I awakened to that decades ago, and then I stumbled across this equation. I didn't invent the equation, but I've leveraged it, of E + R= O, which is event plus response equals outcome, E + R= O. It's a heuristic. It's a paradigm. It's a template to look at any situation in life, business, home, driving your car, flying, any place. ERO. Events happen. You choose a response and your response produces the outcome. You do not control events. You don't control outcomes. You earn them by the quality of your response. And you think about it every single day. People make decisions, how to respond to outcomes they're pursuing and events they're experiencing, and the outcomes that they get are determined by the responses that they choose. What happens is, people, for whatever reason, often default to blaming the event or complaining about the event or allowing the constraints in the E, and there's always constraints. Sometimes people will misunderstand what I'm saying. No, no, there's lots of constraints, and we get events that cause... there's difficulty and adversity and challenges and problems. Well, those are all Es. What exceptional people do is they understand the event and then they say, " Okay, given that E and given that O that I want, what are my options for how to respond? What can I do to move this thing forward?" For example, a mistake, an error we're talking about before, is an E happened. I chose an R and the O was not the O that I wanted. So I go back, " Okay, how do I improve my R?" If your R isn't working, don't blame the E. Choose a better R. So I've been working with ERO in businesses, athletic teams, for well over 30 years. And it's so fundamental to effectiveness in life, and it's deceptively powerful in its simplicity, and it literally applies every place. At this point, hundreds of thousands of people around the world have received R factor. We call it the R factor. They're training from us. Now, link that to innovation into leadership. Here's an interesting phenomenon. The way you respond is driven by how clearly you see. Clarity of vision drives quality of response. But we don't see clearly, Tim, and innovation is when you look at a situation and you say, " Hold on a second. I want to see more. I want to see differently. Everyone sees it the same way. I bet there's stuff in there that no one is seeing that maybe we can see." So ERO plays in innovation big time. And there's a micro application and there's a macro application. ERO is a fantastic innovation tool. So I'll stop there, but that's the snapshot.

Tim Schigel: How you interpret how much awareness you have of the situation. You're right, there's so many things from an innovation perspective where the answer was there in front of millions of people all the time, but people just didn't see it. So what are some ways people can develop that clarity and do a better job seeing?

Tim Kight: Yep. So number one is, press pause and think. Press pause and look at the situation. And we all have what are called frames, focus frames, and we look at things through a frame. The frames that we have are typically things that get our attention rather than things that deserve our attention. And we have biases. Everybody I'm sure listening to this podcast is aware of all the lists of cognitive biases that people have, and people have written about it. There's books about it. Daniel Kahneman's done a great job in his book, Thinking, Fast and Slow. We love practical tools. Here's five questions, Tim, to ask yourself when you look at a situation, and this is the heartbeat of innovation. Question number one, " How do I currently see the situation?" Question number two, " What do I not see that I need to see?" Question three, " What do I see but I'm discounting?" Question four, " What am I pretending not to see?" And question five, " How do others see it in a way that I don't?" So those five questions get you outside your frame. Whenever I teach this in a workshop, I tell people, " I guarantee you there's really important things right now outside your focus frame that you either don't see or you see but you're discounting, or you're pretending not to see. You got to stop, slow down, get outside your frame, and see the thing with a greater degree of clarity." So those five questions are unbelievably powerful when it comes to innovation, creativity, finding solutions. I said, " Don't get limited by a locked focus frame."

Tim Schigel: Sometimes it's the mistake that triggers, is the catalyst to cause you to reframe, right?

Tim Kight: Yeah.

Tim Schigel: And to say, " Wait a minute. Maybe I was making a bad assumption or confirmation bias," or what have you.

Tim Kight: Correct. Oftentimes what happens is, this is my point about a mistake is an opportunity to go again with greater insight, meaning that I thought I saw, and so I chose my response. We did this. This was the plan. In the midst of the plan and the outcome we produced, we discovered, " Wait a second, there's stuff we didn't see. Now we do."

Tim Schigel: I sometimes refer to that as peripheral vision as well. Sometimes people are locked into their business goal, their business objective, their function, their bonus structure, and there's all this other feedback happening, but it's outside the peripheral vision and they're missing it.

Tim Kight: Yep. It's individual. It's team. It's business unit. It's whole enterprise. The O that you get is determined by the R that you choose, always. It's cause and effect. If you want a better O, choose a better R. We have a big... we call it no, BCD, and BCD stands for blame, complain, defend.

Tim Schigel: Love that.

Tim Kight: The human and then this. This is the enemy of innovation. BCD damages everything it touches. It damages culture. It damages decision making. It damages thinking. It damages relationships. It damages innovation and growth. Don't blame, don't complain, don't defend. And when something happens that's problematic or difficult or whatever, of course it's painful or it's confusing. Of course it's challenging. That's the nature of those kind of things. Don't make it worse by BCD.

Tim Schigel: Like you said, it's like a toxic sludge going through an organization.

Tim Kight: Well, we've taught it for a long time, but the last two years has given us new language. BCD's a pandemic.

Tim Schigel: Yes.

Tim Kight: And there is no vaccine for it. Better social distance from it, because BCD is social. People don't do it by themselves. They recruit others into it, and it's again the enemy of innovation. So if we're not getting what we want, it's not BC. Let's go figure it out. Don't get furious, get curious. It's cause and effect. Let's go look at this thing.

Tim Schigel: So staying on that and staying with the R, your response, a lot of what you do and what you did originally related to elite performance and elite performance in athletics, elite performance in business. For me, if you're a entrepreneur and you're raising venture money, at least if you're going to raise it from us anyway, you're doing it because not just because you're creating a quote, unquote, good business. You don't need venture money for that. You raise venture money if you have the potential to be the market leader or define a new category of innovation. By definition, if you're going to do that, if you're really going to change the world, your performance has to be elite. You're not going to get there by executing halfway. So I see many parallels between that from an athletic standpoint and startup. Can you go a little bit deeper in what it takes to have that elite performance?

Tim Kight: So you just intuited the obvious physics of it. An average R will produce an average O, and a good R produces a good O. But an exceptional, an elite R, produces an elite O. In a organization, there's four levels of engagement, Tim, four ways people go about what they do. There's four categories of people. There's the cynical, there's the compliant, there's the committed, and there's the compelled. The cynical, the compliant, the committed, the compelled, four levels of engagement, four kinds of people. In large organizations we see all four categories on a regular basis. Just briefly, the cynical of course are the people who are very negative. Those are your energy vampires. I call those people who have quit but haven't left, and they're very social. Then there's the compliant, just do enough to get along, and they're very susceptible to the gravitational pull of the cynical. By the way, they cynical are verbal. They're very loud, not always in front of the bosses but at the water cooler, in the locker room, behind the scenes. But then the next level is the committed, which are your solid people. They come to work on time, they do their job every day. They're committed. They're good solid workers. But then there's the compelled, and here's some differences between the committed and the compelled. The compelled are also verbal. In fact, the compelled are trying to pull people up, whereas the cynics are trying to pull people down. The compelled are not satisfied with their current level of skill. They have a positive hunger to get better.

Tim Schigel: The growth mindset.

Tim Kight: A huge growth mindset. We call it a get better mindset. So the committed are good but they settle for where they are. Now, here's a really interesting thing. This growth mindset, get better mindset, the compelled recognize this truth, " I can build skill beyond my talent." They are looking for that extra. They're looking for that, " Hey, what's not being seen that can be seen? What's not being done that can be done? What's a new, better to do it?" So the compelled, and there's this energy that they bring. Then here's a big, big deal. They love change. The committed aren't necessarily, they'll do it, they'll commit to the change, but they're not agents of it. They're not energizers for it. Whereas the compelled, they're all about it. They understand that change is uncomfortable, and here's a big deal. They embrace productive discomfort.

Tim Schigel: Well, along those lines, I'm thinking back to our word" mistakes." It seems like the compelled are open to mistakes because they're going to learn.

Tim Kight: Absolutely.

Tim Schigel: Whereas the committed are probably trying to minimize mistakes.

Tim Kight: Correct, yes.

Tim Schigel: They don't want to look bad, affecting ego or what have you.

Tim Kight: So here are the characteristics of the compelled. Number one, relentless focus and effort. By the way, this is another, this is what the elite do differently than the mere good, relentless focus and effort. I mean every single word of that. They're relentless in what they give their attention to, focus, and relentless in doing what needs to be done. I mean, relentless. Number two, they embrace productive discomfort. Number three, they use mistakes as feedback. Number four, they defeat fear. Number five, they're coachable. So we see those in elite athletes. We see those elite entrepreneurs. We see those in elite team leaders and supervisors, that that's what distinguishes them, and it's powerful. Relentless in focus and effort, embracing productive discomfort, using mistakes as feedback, defeating fear, and being coachable. I can tell you as some, I've been in this business for a long time, there are not very many people who fit that description of what I just said. The other thing about that list of those five characteristics, if one of them is missing, it damages the other four. That's a system of characteristics.

Tim Schigel: So we're big fans of OKRs, objectives and key results, and we help our companies implement that if they don't know how. It occurs to me that the outcomes could end up being the same or shared, but there could be more organizations could do to plan for or anticipate the ease. Have you seen that?

Tim Kight: Oh, that's the heartbeat of what we do. We call those predictable events. In fact, we have a whole predictable event worksheet. We ask people to sit down and identifying the pattern of recurring, predictable events that they experience in their job. Roughly, two- thirds to three- quarters of all the events people get are predictable. Here's what we do to start that training. The first thing we talk about is predictable ease on the highway. When you drive your car, what kind of events you're going to... and the one we use is someone tailgate you, that which everybody's experienced. Well, how do most people respond to someone tailgating them? What do most people do?

Tim Schigel: Slam on the brakes.

Tim Kight: Get upset, maybe-

Tim Schigel: Hand gestures.

Tim Kight: Hand gestures, exactly. Brandish their firearm, whatever they happen to do. Well, the reality is that's a default, below the line, ineffective, dangerous reaction. And if they use the system we teach, they press pause, see the situation for what it is, get their mind right, which is an emotional management and emotional intelligence skill, then step up and do what needs to be done, not how they felt. Because it's not a difficult R. It's difficult to do because we've given ourselves emotional freedom to do the wrong thing. Examine the situation, look at your side view mirror, signal, move over, let them go. Safe, emotionally even, risk is managed, stress has gone down. So we actually have our clients map the events that they get in their business unit and then what Rs work and what Rs don't. It's amazing, Tim, to see what happens when a group of people actually see the pattern of events that they get and the pattern of responses they engage in and which responses work, which responses don't. This is a really curious thing. Everyone who goes through R factor training comes back to us and says, " I took this home with me and shared it with my family."

Tim Schigel: Wow.

Tim Kight: Because ERO is not just about work. It's also about how do I respond to the events at home? How about this, the events you get in the evening at your house? Those are predictable, and if you're using OKRs or using some kind of KPI methodology, whether OKRs or something else, everyone's responsible for a goal that they have to produce in order for their team to produce their goal or output in order to align with the company's output. And ERO is the individual piece of that, and it's just very practical.

Tim Schigel: One of the reasons I think this is so important and important for startups and entrepreneurs to understand, is that once you get past the seed stage and you've proven some product market fit and you're experiencing some market traction, the biggest constraint to growth is people, right? How fast, how well you can recruit, how fast you can onboard those people and get them on the same page to what your culture is and what behaviors are required to continue to perform and to grow. Without a system, it can just turn into chaos. It's already chaos. Usually high growth is usually managed chaos to begin with. So people need some sort of foundation to turn to. What extra stresses do you see that you would anticipate companies going through that can anticipate or plan for?

Tim Kight: So let me go back to people performance, E + R= O, growth, jobs, recruiting, et cetera. This is something that I wish every business would do with great discipline. Every single job has what I call an R factor profile, meaning that whatever job you're trying to hire for, that job is responsible for producing certain outcomes. That job will experience identifiable events, and that job, there's Rs, responses, attitudes, and behaviors. That job has to have the person, the job, in order to produce great outcomes given the events they're going to get. The vast majority of that is all identifiable.

Tim Schigel: Yes.

Tim Kight: So every single job, every single job has an E + R= O profile that can be mapped. You need to hire for that, but you can't hire for it if you're not clear about it. So what I would tell at any stage of business growth, make sure you have good E + R= O profile for the jobs that you're hiring for. Then when you interview people, talk to them about, interview them with these behavior based situational questions. Let them know exactly what it is this job's responsible for, what events they're going to get, what outcomes they're responsible for, how that ties to the business unit goals, how that ties to overall goals, and then what kind of attitude and behavior we know works and doesn't work in that job, and then you interview for that. So I want to make sure that in your and my conversation, that that's crystal clear. Because here's the other thing, particularly when it comes to technology companies, and we believe this, I believe this with all my heart, no amount of technical competence can overcome a behavior skill gap. I ask people all the time, " You ever work with somebody who was technically sound and a pain in the butt to work with?" What's really funny and sad is when I ask that in a business setting, that everyone looks at the same guy.

Tim Schigel: "We know who it is."

Tim Kight: Yeah. So here's one of our rules, and that is that job skills, technical skills, rise no higher than behavior skills. And I ask this. I give keynotes, Tim, all the time, and there'll be a group of four- or 500 executives, and I have a slide comes up and says, " Job skills, behavior skills." I said, " What skillset do you hire for," and they go, " Job skills." " What skillset do you fire for?" " Behavior." " What do you train the most in?" " Technical job skills." " What causes all your problems?" " Behavior." What are we doing? So I really think that we need to innovate when it comes to the way we hire, the way we train. You can call it E Q. People call it different things. Our toolbox has its own unique things that we think are most relevant, but we've got to do a better job in our businesses, particularly early stage. Let's get the culture and get the behavioral standards right. Let's hire people aligned with those, and let's train them. Let's coach them in the behavioral skills and the technical skills that they need. I think that will address some of the constraints that when we're particularly were clear about what we're hiring for and what kind of technical and behavioral competency works best to execute this growth plan we have, I think that's a superior way to go. Not easy, by the way.

Tim Schigel: Not easy. And I know you talk about this. It seems like, and especially as a leader or a founder, is to recognize that we're all on a journey, and as the leader and the CEO, you're on a journey as well. If you think you've got all this figured out, then you're going to have a day of reckoning at some point. How have you seen that concept of being on a journey and recognizing that in others to help leaders manage people, manage an organization?

Tim Kight: You're touching all my hot buttons here, my friend. One of my definitions of leadership, as a leader, is someone going on a journey and taking people with them. I think there's a massive difference between inviting somebody to have a job versus go on a journey. I paint the picture of, you graduate from MBA school someplace, whatever, and you got a couple job offers, and you go to interview number one and they offer you a job. " Here's the salary. Here's the role. Here's your blah, blah, blah, blah, blah." You go into company number two and they say, " Hey, here's the journey we're on. We're trying to accomplish this. We're trying to accomplish that. We're trying to change this. We want to make this difference to the marketplace. This isn't being done. We think we can do it. There's mountains to be climbed. There's valleys to be crossed. There's storms to be weathered."

Tim Schigel: Yeah, unexpected obstacles.

Tim Kight: Absolutely. And if it's uncharted territory, " We don't know what the path is. We're going to have to cut the path through that, and we think you can help us on this journey. Oh, by the way, you're on a journey. We'd like to help you on yours, and we think you could help us on ours." Let's say that the sellers are the same. "Do you want a job or di you want be on a journey?" But check this out, Tim. You can't take somebody in a journey you're not on. One of my great pain points is I see a lot of leaders, or so- called leader, they're not on a journey, they're just doing a job. They got nothing to invite people on.

Tim Schigel: Wow.

Tim Kight: I'm a huge believer, but if it's not happening in you, it's not going to happen through you. Also, here's another thing, and I don't think I've used this term with you or not, leadership network. One of the great challenges for entrepreneurs of these hyper growth companies, these startups, who have this enormous vision, they are in the leadership development business. This is not about the singular heroine or hero. This is about building a leadership team, a network of leaders, who are compelled people, who are all on a journey, not just the one person with the vision and the passion, and come together as a network. Leadership in an organization is the result of a network, not the result of one person.

Tim Schigel: You've seen that with so the NFL coaches and all these great coaches who came from another great coach who trained them and brought them up and developed them as leaders, and it just continues to spread.

Tim Kight: Yep.

Tim Schigel: As a matter of fact, I think any entrepreneurship courses at universities, if somebody asked me about, " What do you think about entrepreneurship program at the university," I said this is what they should do. They should just have people lead other people. Just manage teams. You don't need any other skills, because what you do as an entrepreneur, that's what you do. You recruit, attract, and align, equip people for that journey and that growth. They usually have the skills, but it's understanding how to develop them as leaders to create that multiplier effect for yourself.

Tim Kight: Yeah. Then as the enterprise grows, as they get into the stages of growth, it becomes harder and harder to create leaders, and there's this tendency to hire for a technical rather than behavioral, cultural, and leadership competencies. That's why the CEO's got to pay attention to the leadership network, particularly as it grows. Early on we're all close to the fire. These early stage companies, we're small, we're all know each other. The alignment is not that difficult, but it's physics, right? As an enterprise grows in scale, it's harder and harder to create and sustain alignment. Obviously, that's been looked at and talked about and studied for a long time, and it's because it's true.

Tim Schigel: Absolutely.

Tim Kight: It's true.

Tim Schigel: Well, this terrific conversation around leadership and innovation. Tim, what can listeners know more about you and about your organization if they want to get in touch with you?

Tim Kight: Well, the most important thing is I've got four grandchildren. That's the most important thing. Our website is Focus3.com and that's the number three. Then I'm on Twitter @ TimothyKight, K- I- G- H- T, and same thing on LinkedIn. Some people connect with us through LinkedIn. Some connect with us through Twitter. The website's a great place to go. We're doing a whole bunch of cool things with the website, a lot of really fun things coming up. We're going to be launching a newsletter, a direct to email newsletter, which will be three times a week. Monday will be a video for me called Two Minutes with TK, which I did all 2019. We're going to come back to it. Then Wednesday and Friday will be written newsletters that will continue the theme of that week that we launched. So that's coming up. So go to the website, Focus3. com or link up through Twitter or LinkedIn. That's probably the best way to stay in touch with us.

Tim Schigel: Awesome. Well thanks, Coach. Thanks for sharing your time and wisdom.

Tim Kight: Absolutely. Thank you, my friend.

Tim Schigel: Join us next week when we bring you my conversation with James Norman, the serial entrepreneur wearing many hats. He's currently the CEO of Pilotly, partner at Transparent Collective, and general partner at Black Ops Venture Fund. Thanks for listening to Fast Frontiers. If you like our show and want to know more, check out our website, FastFrontiers. com. If you've enjoyed this episode, please share it with others and leave us a review on your favorite podcast platform. The Fast Frontiers Podcast is brought to you by Refinery Ventures. Our producer is Abby Fittes, audio engineering by Astronomic Audio, and our podcast platform is casted.


On today's show, Tim Kight, CEO of Focus 3, stops by Fast Frontiers to talk to host Tim Schigel about growth mindsets, characteristics of people with fortitude, and all about his framework, E+R=O.