Cameron Herold, COO Alliance – How to Find Your Perfect Second-in-Command

Rankings.io helps elite personal injury law firms dominate first page rankings.

Cameron Herold is the Founder of

COO Alliance

, a leadership training and peer support group specializing in the development of second-in-commands. Prior to founding COO Alliance, Cameron was the COO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, growing the company from $2 million to $106 million in six years. He is also a keynote speaker, the author of several highly regarded business books, and the host of the

Second-in-Command

podcast.



What’s in This Episode:

Who is

Cameron Herold

How personal injury law firms can leverage Cameron’s free PR tactics

Cameron talks about how he helped Bader Scott Injury Lawyers build awareness and drive social proof in the press

How PR impacts SEO results

When does your law firm need to hire a COO or second-in-command?

Cameron’s top tips on how to find your second-in-command

Cameron gives his insights into the interview process and how to know if someone is the right fit

The best interviews and episodes from Cameron’s podcast,

Second-in-Command

Cameron shares his top two business book recommendations

Should you join a mastermind group?


This transcript was created using an automated transcription service and may contain errors.

Episode 33:

Prologue

Welcome to

The Rankings Podcast

where we feature top founders, entrepreneurs and elite personal injury attorneys and share their inspiring stories. Now let’s get started with the show.

Chris Dreyer

Chris Dreyer here, CEO and Founder of Rankings.io. You’re listening to

The Rankings Podcast

where I feature top business owners, entrepreneurs and elite personal injury attorneys. Speaking of top business entrepreneurs, I have Cameron Herold on the show today, Cameron was the COO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, growing it from $2 million to 100 and $6 million in six years, is the author of a number of highly regarded business books including

Double Double

,

Meetings Suck

,

Vivid Vision

,

The Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs

, and his most recent,

Free PR: How to Get Chased By The Press Without Hiring a PR Firm

. In addition to being a prolific writer Cameron is also the founder of COO Alliance, a leadership training and peer support group that specializes in the development of second hand commands. Cameron, welcome to the show.

Cameron Herold

Hey, Chris, thanks for having me. Appreciate it.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah, I’m super excited to have you. And I’m just gonna jump right in. So I would love to talk about free PR. Do you think that free PR is right for any business, even personal injury law firms? Can you use your tactics? Can they use your tactics to generate free PR?

Cameron Herold

Is what was funny, I was actually just speaking with their personal injury law firm today about some of the concepts and free PR Yes, it can absolutely be used for a few reasons. One, you can establish the brand of the business. Second, it can help establish the brand of the leader or the leadership team of the business. Third, PR can be used to recruit, you know, to help, you know recruit people into a business. There’s lots of ways that it can actually be utilized. Like at the end of the day. What people have to remember is landing a story about your company is kind of like putting a log on a fire. It just sits there. You have to actually light the log on fire for it to do anything. So you need to take the price that you get, put it on your Facebook page, put it on your LinkedIn page, share it on your Twitter profile, email it to your list, send it to your suppliers, ask your employees to put it on their social profiles, you know, those are all ways that you can kind of light the log on fire. I mean, if you pour gas on the log, it’ll really flame up so it’s kind of driving traffic so that people see it more you know, emailing it up to your list, etc.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah, so so it kind of turns into a flywheel. It’s it’s got all these moving components. Exactly. is you know, one of the things

Cameron Herold

you deal with the flywheel in case people don’t know what it is, that’s the Jim Collins term from good to great that when you find that one key thing that the more effort you put into it, the more that it just propels itself, right. So PR when we built 1-800-GOT-JUNK? as an example. The more press that we landed, the more press that we kept landing. You know, every time we landed another article that helped us land more articles and we ended up landing 5200 stories about a company six years.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah, that’s that’s incredible. You know, one question I read your book and I had a question about some of these traditional services, these paid services. Is there still a place for like Cision and Newswire? Are these paid blasts? Or are they generally a waste?

Cameron Herold

I like Cision. And, and Muckrock has places to go and actually generate the contact information and the phone numbers for the actual journalists, so I know who to call. But I don’t really love the press releases and news wires as much now I’ll still do a press release, you know, run it out there on the wire, pick up six or seven different media hits that nobody really notices, but then I’ll share those on my social media platforms. I’ll put those on my press page on my website that drives SEO linkbacks. So as long as you amplify it, then it can make sense but if you simply think that, you know, running that new story, people are gonna be the path you’re no it won’t. Like even when we were on Oprah. nobody really cared. I mean, the phone rang for a couple days, then it was over. But the fact that I can speak But being on Oprah for 17 years, has made a huge difference.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah, that’s incredible that shows your expertise, you know, that’s a social proof that you can use forever. Right? So putting you on the spot here, and I know you gave me some, you know some examples of how they could use it. But But let’s take let’s take an actual hypothetical firm. Let’s take a Seattle personal injury law firm that specializes in car accidents. What might be a few angles this firm could take for free PR.

Cameron Herold

I’ll go less than hypothetical. I coach a company out of Atlanta, Georgia called Bader Scott and Seth Bader is the CEO. I’ve been coaching them this year, and that actually their COO as in the COO Alliance. So I can speak to them as a great personal injury law firm and, and what they’re doing well, what they’re doing is they’re building brand awareness around the CEO right there. They’re around South they’re building his kind of persona in the marketplace. And they’re getting they’re getting press around this fast growing Hispanic go into business. They’re getting press around the fact that they’re a culture based company. They’re getting press around the overcoming obstacles and the trials and tribulations of the entrepreneur. And all of those articles, then, you know, drive that social proof.

Chris Dreyer

So I’m gonna, I’m going to give you a quick, funny story here. I’m not sure exactly how I got in touch with Seth. But I had Seth on the podcast, and I think it was because I saw him using some of these tactics. And I know Luis, and their phone firms exploded, and I’m not sure I can’t place it, but I’m sure it might have been some of the, the free PR strategies,

Cameron Herold

probably was I mentioned a few clients that are actually in your industry. I had a client out of Rochester and Buffalo, William Mattar, so if you know what it is, if you’re getting an accident, there you are. There’s William Mattar. Something though, is big in the personal injury space, and I’ve got an One, George Sink from South Carolina, that’s pretty big in that personal injury space as well. But I coach George and his team.

Chris Dreyer

That’s awesome. You know, I would say personal injury marketing. It’s, it’s it’s so saturated, so competitive, especially in the SEO space, how large those costs can be for just link building link acquisition. So that was kind of the next, you know, thing that I wanted to talk about was, you know, a lot of individuals talk about just the awareness component of PR, but from a Google search standpoint, you know, how does PR impact and SEO strategy

Cameron Herold

is huge? Actually, in fact, I had an SEO firm take a look at one of my websites. They looked at my COO Alliance website recently. No, actually, it was at my Cameron Herold. It was at my main Cameron Herold website they looked at and they were really blown away by how high my SEO backlinks were. And then all of a sudden, they realized it was because of all the press that I’d received, but they’re like, dude, you’ve got Forbes magazine, Fortune Magazine, magazine, Wall Street Journal, like legit links linking to you. I’m like, that’s all the press. I got. It’s no big deal. said, Yeah, you’re really, really highly rated in that. So I was actually screwing up a lot of the other areas of SEO. I didn’t have the meta tags, right. I didn’t have the page descriptions, correct. All the basic stuff. I was doing poorly, but because my press was so high, my SEO rating was really good.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah, I would say that you’re an SEO agencies dream client, because most of the time, it’s, it’s the opposite. Maybe they have an optimized site, but maybe they just don’t have backlinks. So I’m sure that once those title tags adjusted, probably just skyrocketed.

Cameron Herold

We got those being done this week, all that all the tags are being worked on right now.

Chris Dreyer

Awesome. Awesome. let’s shift gears over to the second in commands. So when would it make sense to hire a COO? You know, what size is a law firm need to be to be considering this?

Cameron Herold

It’s a great question. So the first thing I would tell any COO is that, you know, do you have an executive assistant? Right? If you don’t have an assistant, you are one and for a lot of COOs of personal injury law firms, they got lots of lawyers and other people around, but they didn’t necessarily get a lot of the administrative off their plate. So if you can get a lot of that busy work off your plate, then that can be really powerful. So I would start there first, then afterwards, I would look at bringing second commanded. I’m also a little bit careful about putting a title on a second command, you want the title to match the actual roles and responsibilities, the output persons responsible for the kind of oversight within the business that they actually have, and the compensation you’re paying them. So as an example, for the head of operations, it could be a COO, but it can also be a VP of operations or a general manager or an operations manager. You know, it’s like the head of finance could be a director of finance or a controller or VP of finance or a CFO, you know, the head of marketing could be a marketing manager or a director of marketing or VP of marketing or a CMO. So be very careful with putting big titles in place because the people end up thinking They’re worth more than they are they end up doing comparisons against others as well, that can get very expensive.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah, that’s probably the first thing that they do is they probably take those C suite titles in there and see what they should be paid.

Cameron Herold

Yeah. I had somebody recently and they said, Well, I don’t really care what the title is they can have whatever title they want. I’m like, that is a very, very expensive decision you just made. Right. It’s funny that recently, I’m so manic about titles and picking them carefully that the one that’s really been bothering me in the last 18 months is the chief revenue officer title. Well, do you know where the CRO title came from? It’s because every other vertical in the business, had a C level finance, had CFO marketing and cmo operations had COO, the head of sales was always the vice president of sales. They wanted to C level title too. So we became the chief revenue officer. Right? So your VP of Sales just got a C level title, and now you’re paying them 30% more.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah, I’d never thought of it like that. And then I would say the thing that I find sometimes Sometimes you hear this in EOS, where you don’t need titles, you know, you got this accountability chart, but then when the titles not descriptive, it’s like, it’s not immediately clear what their responsibilities are. Well, I’ve talked

Cameron Herold

to Gino Wickman and Mark Winters about this with EOS tracks. And that traction is really good until you get to 50 employees. Once you get past 50 employees in your company, you need to start using kind of the tools from scaling up, burn harnesses work. The problem with EOS Traction is, yeah, you don’t need titles when there’s only 40 to 50 people running around because everybody knows everybody. But when you get to 100 and you’ve got people walking around the company, you don’t even know who they are. Titles all of a sudden carry a much bigger weight. And with the external world titles are important because it starts to place you on equal footing with the companies that you’re trying to do business with. So I kind of disagree with them on that one that the titles are important, but you need to pick them in a very, very specific way. You know, the term integrator doesn’t mean anything to people in the outside world. It does if you’re in the US world, but to the head of a bank if you’re out there trying to raise money. You’re the COO or you’re the integrator, which one’s gonna get funded? Probably the, you know, the COO.

Chris Dreyer

And it’s true and Ivan thought from a tactical standpoint, well, maybe there are. If someone’s interested in doing business with me, should I put you know, integrator in there? Because then maybe those individuals that are doing traction may place value into that into having a business framework that this business runs off a framework. But

Cameron Herold

yeah, that that can work. And especially when you get something like traction, that’s such a well used well understood system. It’s like I think there’s a couple of groups now that have done a good job with branding their systems. One is Strategic Coach with Dan Sullivan. And then the other is is Traction, you know, if you start to brand yourself using some of their, you know, like a level 10 meeting or an integrator that’s very traction, right, or a Colby profile or unique ability or free days is very, you know, Strategic Coach. Using some of that terminology can definitely help with the affiliation of others within that network. But it means nothing to the people in the outside world, which are much, much bigger than we think. You know, most people, most people have never heard of Traction. And even though Traction is massive 99% of companies still have no idea what it is.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah that makes sense. That makes sense.

Cameron Herold

They’ve done a good job inside of the YPO in Vistage and EO and, you know, Genius Network, they’ve done a good job at infiltrating the mastermind communities, the agency space. Yeah, but the vast majority of businesses don’t know of those tools yet. It’s why they’re horribly average as well. Most businesses are horribly average.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah, that makes sense. So, so throw in kind of a big softball question here, you know, so, what are some tips a law firm law firm owner can apply to find their second in command?

Cameron Herold

Cool. Well, the first one is being very, very clear on what you’re looking for. Right? So if you’re really clear on what you’re looking for, then you’ll have a chance of finding it like when I when we used to You know, duck hunting, my grandfather would take a second we go to this certain area, I’m like, why are we always here? He’s like, well, the wind is coming in from here. And I know the ducks are coming in from this area. And I’m like, how do you know that? Because I’ve been hunting in this area for seven years. Like, I know, I know what I’m looking for, and I know where to find them. So, when you’re looking for a COO, you’ve got to be very clear on what you’re looking for. What are the core projects or initiatives this person has to get done in the next 12 months? Right? Where do people like that hang out? What are the core behavioral traits they have as a leader right now? Right? Where do those people hang out? What’s your company culture look and feel like and Can you can you go and attract and then I try get executive search firms to try to poach those people for me. Because no a player is ever out looking for a job. A players are not out looking for job they’re not on indeed, you’re on Craigslist and on an industry job boards, they’re doing their job, they’re cranking already, and you’ve got to poach them away from an average or good company into a great company.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah, that’s why there’s always a red flag for those The sales positions, you know, with a sales recruiter, I mean, if it’s, if they’re the top dog, they’re making that that big commission, they’re going to be hard to recruit. So, you know, one of the things that you said was finding, you know, the behavioral type of personality traits, is there a particular particular personality assessment that you’re kind of leaning towards? Is it disk? Is it, you know, predictive, or

Cameron Herold

I don’t use the personality profiles as much probably as I should in the interview process. While I sit down though and think about on a, on a job by job basis, what’s the profile of the person look like on that job? So as an example, there’s no salesperson who will ever make it through an HR screening process. HR hate salespeople sit, the best salespeople make it up on the fly, they shoot from the hip, they’re problem solvers. They’re Cowboys, they’re winging it, you know, but HR wants somebody who’s very process oriented, very detail oriented. You know, they follow the procedures, there’s no procedures and sales, there’s no script. And so like, you got to be able to hustle and think on your feet and women, right? And you got to be able to be high energy well, HR people, so there’s the profile that you’re looking for has to match the job itself. And then you can use personality profiles to find those kinds of people. But each different personality profile shows different things. Like the Colby profile just shows you how you start something. Right, which is great, but it doesn’t doesn’t show you the whole package. So I think you have to build in maybe some use of profile. I like personality profiles after I’ve hired people to show me how to work better with them. But I don’t really like them as part of the decision making process in the interview.

Chris Dreyer

That makes sense. So you know, we use disk but we’re doing it after they’re hired. And then we just we append their their numbers, their letters, so we can understand how they like to be communicated so we can communicate with them on our better level.

Cameron Herold

on disc. I’m a 98 D and a 74. I I’m on Colby. I’m a I’m a nine quick start up a 4393. Like I’m running 1000 miles an hour. I’m not even sure I can see that far in advance, but I’m going. But so as long as but that doesn’t say if I’m going to be good for the job or not. The way I can know if I’m good for the job is what needs to get done. Have I done that before? And then do I fit with the people? If I can do it before and I’ve done it before I can do it with the people. Then here’s how I operate. Here’s the operating manual of Cameron. Right, here’s how I act here. So I think here’s how I walk and talk. Now here’s how to work well with me. And then tell me about you so I can figure out how to work well with you.

Chris Dreyer

So So when you’re looking for these second command, it’s more about is it more about finding the areas that kind of complement the CEO? I would imagine. I would imagine if you had two DIs, there would probably be a lot of a lot of chaos occurring.

Cameron Herold

If you have the two DIs, or if you have two people that are very, very entrepreneurial or two people like, or two people that really are great in marketing and sales and operations, but they both suck at engineering and finance, that’s not a fit either. So what I try to do is I think of the CEO and the COO as a real yin and yang partnership. And I try to think about what are all the things the CEO is great at? What are all the things the CEO sucks at? What are all the things the CEO loves doing? What are all the things the CEO hates doing? What are all the things that give the CEO energy? What are all the things that drain the CEO of energy? And then I try to find a CEO who’s really great at and loves doing all this stuff. The CEO sucks that in is not good at. I try to find somebody who’s a great cultural fit with a CEO. And then I try to find someone who the trust factor is so high that on day one, the CEO will give the COO access to everything. So I had somebody read Recently say, well, it takes about three months after you hire someone to know if they’re the right fit. I said that’s because you suck at interviewing. If you’re really, really good at interviewing, you’ll know everything about the person before you hire them. You know, in marriage, you date a person, you date them for a long time you get engaged to them, you get to know them for a long time. You travel with them, you get to know them for a long time. And then you get married, so you can know everything about them before the wedding day. Well, and the interview process doesn’t have to take years but you have to go through all of those steps. Go for breakfast, lunch and dinner with them two different places each. Have your team go for broccoli, have your team do a group interview, have your team do a situational interview on your team, do behavioral interview, do reference checks, use torque, like really get to know this person. But most companies won’t do that. Like I like them. Give me shows you like them. Can I do what we’re hiring them to do? Do they fit? And do you like them?

Chris Dreyer

And say that radical candor, that radical transparency just just aligned? So so you segni there’s a segue naturally, to Vivid Vision. Does it start after you find this person? Is that the first thing? Hey, here’s the vision. Go execute on it.

Cameron Herold

No, the first thing I do in the job interview process, when I get the resume is I don’t read the resume. It clicks on auto reply box, and it says, Thanks for your resume. Please read this vivid vision of our company that describes what our company looks like, looks like and feels like three years in the future. And read this article of us in the media that came out recently. And then if you like what both of these say feels like a fit for you send me a three minute video with why you feel like you’re a great fit to work in the company. So I don’t even want to look at the resume until I get a video from them and I don’t want them to send me a video until they’ve read the Vivid Vision.

Chris Dreyer

So that fast fills a ton. So those that are just rocket firing off your resumes.

Cameron Herold

Yeah, I recently I had about 220 job resume sorry for sales. Sorry, 130 resumes For a salesperson I was hiring but 10 day period. I only got nine videos. Yeah. 130 I had one person was like, Fuck you. I’m not sending a video. Okay, Miss you delete.

Yeah, like your

Chris Dreyer

Thank you Now I only have nine to go through.

Cameron Herold

And I didn’t look at the 130 resumes and we looked at the nine resumes that match the nine videos. In fact, I didn’t look at the nine resumes because four the videos were kind of crappy. One of the guys was like, Oh, I’m working from a home office and sorry about the background. The background was like clothes piled everywhere and kids shoot all over the place. I’m like, this is a home office job. Like, you’re always gonna have that backdrop. I don’t want you. So, so really, I only looked at five resumes and five videos. And all of those five people had already seen the vivid vision. One of the guys couldn’t stop talking about the vivid vision in his resume. I’m like, you’re a guy I want to spend time with. I know that you know where I’m going. I know that you like the vision of where we’re going. I kind of like the way you look and feel you Now let’s find out if you’ve done the stuff that I need you to do.

Chris Dreyer

And it seems like he got energy from hearing, reading the vision.

Cameron Herold

So he now knows going into the first interview how much he wants the job. I’m not going to show him the vision after I hire him. I need to know if he’s got the twinkle in his eyes before I do an interview.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah, that makes sense. Because you would hate to go through that. That tedious process of all these interviews and you find out Oh, your visions different than mine.

Cameron Herold

But what I actually had a guy that I did an interview with, who came in and goes, Yeah, I read your vivid vision. But here’s a bunch of things I think you need to be doing and like, none of those ideas are lined up with where I’m going. None of them. They were completely counter to where I was going. So they were all good ideas, but not where I’m driving the company. I don’t want to create an online university. I don’t want to create a you want me to do an online community of coos for only like $200 a year. I’m like, I don’t want to have 10,000 members in a small like a cell what I’m building right

Chris Dreyer

Right. So let’s talk about the

Second-in-Command

podcast. You know, what are a few episodes that come to mind just a few of your favorites that our listeners can tune into?

Cameron Herold

A few episodes? Well, first off that so the reason that I even started the

Second-in-Command

podcast was, I was thinking about, you know, if you asked my mom, what was it like when you raised your family, my mom would have a very true story of what it was like to grow up to grow the kids. And then she and my dad were together for you know, all the 35 years until my mom passed away. If you asked my dad, how did he raise his family? He did have a very true story too. It’d be very different. Right? But they’d be very true. Well, I realized when I was listening to Brian get interviewed on some podcasts, that he’s a really true story of how we grew wanting to under God job. Well, I had a very different perspective. Both very true perspectives. But mine was very operationalized and systemized and people and culture stuff in Brian’s was more vision and bigger picture. Both again, very true. So what I wanted to do was to find out kind of the rest of the story. So that was the reason for starting the

Second-in-Command

podcast. And if I think about some of the great episodes that we’ve done, we have the second in command for Shopify. Harley Finkelstein was it was a great guest that we had on we have the the second command for one of our competitors College Hunks Hauling Junk was a great one with the Cleveland Indians. Bumble, the dating app I really love that was a really great one. Bulletproof Coffee. Another great brand. We have the Khan Academy, which I’m obsessed with is this this online training program for kids. Let’s see poshmark orange theory with a bunch of really great ones.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah, that’s incredible. And then also so most of our personally most of our listeners are personal personal injury attorneys. So it was Lewis Scott. Luis Scott’s to you guys need to tune into that.

Cameron Herold

Yep. From Bader Scott.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah, incredible. Cameron. So let’s shift over to personal develop We’ve already talked covered a ton of you know, developing your your tentative business development. But what are there any business books that year that you recommend currently?

Cameron Herold

Well, you mentioned

Traction

, which I think is a really great one for people to read the two that I’ve really been recommending over the last year. The first one is called

The Hard Thing About Hard Things

by Ben Horowitz. It’s all about being a wartime CEO of not wartime during the war, but war time of during hard times. is was all around, you know, the crash of the.com era and the global financial crisis and really building companies through these really tough, you know, when the NASDAQ crashed by 78%, what’s to do to your company, and how do you build really great specific lessons on leadership from that? And then the second one that I really got a lot out of, and I’m surprised I’ve read a lot of books on Apple was one called

Insanely Simple

. And it was all about the systems on the simplicity that they used inside of Apple, to really, really keep the company operating lean. And to keep the off the company kind of operating at a simple fashion that I think we can really learn from other businesses as well that I think we often kind of maybe underestimate how strong of a business leader, Steve Jobs really was.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah, those, I’ll definitely have to link those up. Those are two great recommendations. I’ve read the hard thing about the hard things from saying that properly. But I haven’t read the Apple book. So we’ll, we’ll have to check those out. What about mentors and influences? You’re at this different stage of the game, right? You’ve had these experiences with 1800-GOT-JUNK?, you’ve you know, you have the COO Alliance and you’re at these this different trajectory trajectory. Today, who are some of your mentors and influences?

Cameron Herold

Well, one is I’m a member of four different mastermind groups. So I pay every year to be in the Genius Network. I pay $25,000 a year to be a member the Genius Network for nine years I’ve paid to go to the main TED conference, I go to the main five day TED conference. That’s 10,000 a year. I’ve gone to five years in a row of Mastermind Talks. I’ve gone to three years in a row with Baby Bathwater. I’ve started going to War Room. I have been seven years a member of Strategic Coach working with Dan Sullivan’s like, I’ve invested a lot in my personal growth. And I just feel like anytime I work on as an example of the Genius Network, every year that I invest 25,000, I pull at least a quarter million dollars worth of value out of that, whether it’s ways to grow my company or business relationships or you know, ideas on how to scale my business. I think it’s a real 10 x return constantly. So I spend a lot of time plus it drives my energy level up. You know, when I’m in a room with 65 to 300 other CEOs for two to three days. I come out vibing with this new energy that I bring back into my customers, my suppliers, my my employees and myself.

Chris Dreyer

Get it that simple credible, I always find that when I’m with these other like minded individuals too, it’s different because you know, you’ve got maybe your local group that your friends and they’re all they have different passions, but when you, when you get together with these like minded individuals, that’s where it really starts to kindle. You know the energy and the ideas and the visions and all that type of thing.

Cameron Herold

And I also find it’s really important to do, you know, one Industry Association so years ago, I was a part of a guy that you would probably even know you know the name, Arnie Malham. Arnie used to run a group called CJ Advertising. He ran an advertising agency that focused on personal injury lawyers. So he had, you know, about 120 personal injury lawyers, he did all the advertising for us. So I think that group of personal injury lawyers all learned a lot from the other personal injury lawyers that were part of CJ Advertising. But they were so inside of their industry that they often missed the point or they missed other opportunities. So I think it was really important to be a member of that and to be a member of YPO and To be a member of Genius Network and so I think you want to be involved in one Industry Association, and one or two associations outside of your organization. So an example you know, Bader Scott with Seth Bader and Luis Scott that run Bader Scott. They’re members of YPO they’re members of some industry trade groups and and they’ve got Luis is a member of the COO Alliance. So they’re pulling ideas from these different places. And then I call it ideas how exactly you take, you know, an idea of a trade group and idea from COO Alliance and those merged together and can really help scale the company.

Chris Dreyer

I think it’s a great piece of advice. The other thing I’ve just found from myself is I went from like a peer group type mastermind to a one on one coach and it just seemed like I lost a lot of those those other ideas because I was only getting the it was all about me and I didn’t get immersed in those other individuals lives and what they were doing that solve problems.

Cameron Herold

Yeah, I think so. You’re bringing up something I want to speak just briefly about coaching. I’ve been coaching real company with, you know, typically 50 to 500 employees for 13 years, the world is littered with coaches. There’s different types of coaches. And I think one end of the spectrum is pure coaching, which is using the Socratic method of asking a lot of questions to get the person to understand for themselves what they ought to do. And at the other end of the spectrum is consulting, it’s when you hire someone to do it for you. I’m kind of in the middle as more of a mentor, where I’m not going to do the work for you, but I can tell you exactly what to do. Nor am I going to ask you 12 questions to get you to figure it out when you just want the shortcut. And I think often what entrepreneurs want is a mentor. And often what leaders need is a coach or a product like someone’s coaching protege kind of model. So I think you have to look for the way you pick a coach or a mentor is to decide what are the five core areas I want to get better at in my business this year. And and what kind of a person would help me get there. Do I want the shortcuts? Do I want the cheat sheets? Do I want the systems? Do I want somebody to work? Put me through worksheets, you know, I had one client, he’s like, I want more worksheets from you. I’m like, shit, I didn’t know that. I had somebody else who’s like, I need more accountability. You know, I had another guy, he’s like, I don’t want accountability. I want more brainstorming. So you really have to think about what is it you want? And how do you set up that relationship with your coach or mentor to give you what you need. But often the mentee or the protege doesn’t think about what they need, nor do they establish at the beginning of the relationship, what they’re looking for. And when they get more from that relationship if you do that.

Chris Dreyer

Well I think that’s a that’s an incredible piece of advice there on its own. I mean, I that’s a huge takeaway for me. I haven’t looked at it like that. I’ve always just kind of lumped the different types of coaching mastermind groups all together. But But yeah, that’s

Cameron Herold

very different. Like again, as an example, Genius Network has a lot of ideas around marketing and branding and Business Development. War Room is a lot of deep deep dives into digital marketing, Baby Bathwater is around communities and strategic coaches around thinking about the business and thinking about yourself and thinking about your systems. And you know, YPO is opening doors. And so every mastermind group is very, very different. Vistage is very kind of operationally focused. I always say Vistage is very boring. But But damn, everybody stays for seven years, because they’re getting the stuff done. And you’ve got a built in coach who’s really, you know, more gray haired wisdom, you know, so every mastermind group is very, very different. I think you have to be very selective with what you’re looking for, and then apply it and then move around, you know, but but again, investing in yourself is is huge dividends for your business. If you’re investing in a coach, it pays off huge dividends if you’re investing in a mastermind group pays off huge dividends. For sure.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah, I’ve seen the returns. tenfold You know, I’ve got our sales guy and Southwestern consulting. I’ve got one guy, Brett Harned, which is doing like project management, you know, process oriented thing like a director of operations. And then we’ve got our VP that’s that’s a Steven who’s going to be soon to join the COO Alliance and he’s our second in command and and i think he’s a perfect fit there. And it’s just been tremendously affected because they get to pass that down to the rest of our team, our RPMs our technicians, everyone like that.

Cameron Herold

Well, it’s funny, like even even on the on the COO Alliance, I remember that. That when we put in place what we call our Tech’s guarantee, we guarantee our members, we love them to test drive, we’re like okay, if you’re not sure if you want to join for the full year, pay to come to one event, just pay to come to one event. And if you don’t get at least 10 times your investment on ideas on how to make your company money or save your company money will give you your money back and don’t join. Like that’s pretty ballsy for us to say. Look like you gonna pay to come to like, so it’s the September event, as an example is 5500 to attend. But we guarantee you’re gonna get at least $55,000 in value I had made from organic. I say on video, she got $2 million in value, I could I could list member after member, they get somewhere between 100,000 and a million dollars in value per event on ideas for their company. You can’t, it’s irresponsible not to show up, right? If you qualify, it’s irresponsible not to show up. Right. And otherwise, what do you do you sit in your office and do more email?

Chris Dreyer

Yeah, I totally agree. So one final question here, Cameron. So is there anything that you want to talk about that we haven’t discussed?

Cameron Herold

And I want to talk about we haven’t discussed I guess a little bit. Well, when was this episode going to release in about a month? Okay. So let’s let’s think about the fact that we’re going to still be in the midst of COVID or coming out of COVID. I think business leaders more than ever have to lead We really have to leave, we have to pick a direction, roll it a vivid vision, get the team excited about that vivid vision of where we’re going, get a plan put in place and drive towards something. But we need to stop reading about how hard it is or how bad it is or all the fear, because our team more than ever wants someone to follow. And it’s easy to run without that leader follower model during a period of growth when business just happens. You know, the last 11 years we’ve been running through a boom since the 2008, nine global financial crisis. It’s just been kind of boom time. Now more than ever, leaders up to step up and lead. So I would just challenge anyone who’s listening to think about that.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah, I think that’s a great piece of advice. And like you said, your employees want that leader and when they feel a little unknown or, or they’re unsure, they want someone to follow and it makes them feel, you know, emotionally stronger and right about that journey.

Cameron Herold

It gives them something to focus on right now. In the absence of that, they just get more fear. So the other one that I that I’ve often been talking about the last few years is none of this actually matters. Like none of this what you do for work, but I do for work, none of this actually matters. Like, what matters is having some fun along the way and having some hobbies and hanging out with our kids and our friends and our families. And this is just what we do to make money. And I think if we lose sight of what’s actually fun and what we do to have fun, you know, all work and no play makes jack a dull boy.

Chris Dreyer

That’s very true. That’s very true. Guys, we’ve been talking to Cameron Herold, elite business entrepreneur, author and founder of COO Alliance, Cameron, where can people go to learn more?

Cameron Herold

I guess the COO Alliance website is one and then the Cameron Herold, it’s Herold, website would be the second, obviously the

Second-in-Command

podcast, a great one to listen to. And then all five of my books are on Amazon, Audible and iTunes as well.

Chris Dreyer

Cameron, thanks so much for coming on the show.

Cameron Herold

Hey, Chris. Thanks for having me. Appreciate it. Look forward to seeing Steve at our next event.

Chris Dreyer

Sounds good. Thank you.

Conclusion

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The Rankings Podcast

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