Jamming with Jason E45: We’ll follow the old man

In this #jammingwithjason #internalauditpodcast I discuss some things you can do to become a better leader … one who your people love, and one who gets the most out of their teams. Practical tips you can start applying today that will make a HUGE impact on your ability to lead.

Wondering about the title? It’s from a song in “White Christmas.” What does the movie “White Christmas” have to do with becoming a better leader? Take a listen and you’ll find out. You many even get to hear me sing a little 🙂

If you are a CAE and really serious about becoming a better leader, submit an application for the Chief Audit Executive (CAE) Forum. We are accepting new member application until 31 January 2020. http://meffordassociates.com/caeforum/

Please help spread the word about #jammingwithjason so we can light up the world and elevate the status of internal audit. Interviews and discussions (jam sessions) relevant to Chief Audit Executives and professionals in internal audit, risk management, and compliance.

Transcript

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Jason Mefford: Welcome to another episode of jamming with Jason Hello my friends from literally all over the world. I’m glad to be with you this week.

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Jason Mefford: Now I’m sure that some of you might have looked at the title of this and thought will follow the old man, Jason. Are you crazy. What are you talking about

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Jason Mefford: Actually, I’m going to get to that in just a minute because it comes from a song that that you’ll see kind of ties in with what we’re going to be talking about today.

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Jason Mefford: But before we get in into that main part of the podcast today I wanted to go over a few things with you.

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Jason Mefford: Now I monitor and kind of watch you know where people around the world are listening to the podcast and we’re actually getting quite a huge reach

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Jason Mefford: Across the whole world. In fact, there’s been people on all six continents that are listening to this each week.

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Jason Mefford: They don’t put Antarctica on there so I’m not sure if we’ll ever have anybody from Antarctica.

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Jason Mefford: But maybe at some point when I go and visit there. I’ll have to listen to the podcast. So I know at least one person listened in Antarctica. But I was wondering, it’s like, as I’m looking at the map.

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Jason Mefford: If you can do me a favor. So what I would love to see is it pretty much the whole world is lit up because I get kind of a color coded map.

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Jason Mefford: That shows where people have been listening. And like I said, the whole world is starting to light up.

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Jason Mefford: But there’s there’s kind of a gray area in Central Asia. So if, if you know people in Central Asia, please help them.

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Jason Mefford: Know about the podcast and have them listen so that part of the world will light up. There’s a little gray area in in Eastern Europe. So again, if you know people in Eastern Europe.

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Jason Mefford: Please reach out to them and let them know about the podcast as well because you know what, I know there’s auditors in these areas.

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Jason Mefford: And the last kind of area is is kind of Central Africa. There’s not much activity there as well. But again, I know that there’s auditors out there as well so

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Jason Mefford: If you can do me a favor, make sure and if you’re enjoying the podcast share this with your friends and colleagues and if you know people, especially in those parts of the world, make sure to reach out to them. So we can literally kind of light up the world as we get going.

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Jason Mefford: Now, the other thing is, you know, a couple times a year, we open up the chief audit executive forum for a new member applications.

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Jason Mefford: And the reason that I’m kind of telling you now is we’re getting ready within the next few days. We’re going to open it up.

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Jason Mefford: For new member applications. So what that means is if you are a chief audit executive now is going to be your time to be able to get in and submit an application for membership.

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Jason Mefford: This is it’s an application only process we go through, you have to fill out an application be interviewed by me to make sure that you’re a good fit.

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Jason Mefford: For the group. And honestly, you know, each time we do this, we turn people away because not everybody is a good fit for this.

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Jason Mefford: But if you’re a chief audit executive and you want to belong to a community where you can have frank discussions about the challenges and opportunities of being a chief audit executive

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Jason Mefford: And where you want to get practical advice, be able to do some things like increase your executive presence and we’re going to talk a little bit about that today.

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Jason Mefford: And you really just want to be viewed or perceived as a trusted advisor to your organization, the chief audit executive forum is the best way for you to actually be able to do that.

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Jason Mefford: To rub shoulders with get a sense of community from other like minded chief audit executives from around the world kind of see what they’re doing.

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Jason Mefford: You know, talk about you know the challenges that they’re experiencing maybe how they’ve overcome those and and really just kind of focus on some of these opportunities and other things that are out there.

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Jason Mefford: For us in the Internal Audit space. So again, if you’re a chief audit executive, like I said that this is going to be opening up very quickly.

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Jason Mefford: And so what I’ve done is actually down in the show notes. I put the link of where you can actually go to be able to find out more information and fill out.

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Jason Mefford: An application. Now I’ll also tell you it’s you can find it at Medford associates.com forward slash ca P forum so again that’s Medford associates.com forward slash ca he forum.

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Jason Mefford: That you’ll be able to find it there. And if you forget the exact link if you go to the method associates web page.

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Jason Mefford: You’ll be able to find it there as well as there’ll be information on my personal website Jason method calm as well that’s yet to come. So

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Jason Mefford: You’ll be able to see that in all those different places. Now let’s get into talking about the old man. And this isn’t a tongue in cheek about me getting older, anything

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Jason Mefford: But it actually comes from, you know, one of the one of the traditions that we have in my family is during the holiday time

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Jason Mefford: We what we watch certain Christmas movies. And one of the movies that we watch every year is called White Christmas.

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Jason Mefford: It’s a, it’s a movie that has been Crosby Danny Kaye Vera Allen and Rosemary Clooney and yes that Rosemary Clooney is the aunt of George Clooney, which is probably an actor that most of you are familiar with.

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Jason Mefford: But it’s a it’s a great movie in a lot of ways, but I want to talk about. Let me just share briefly about one of the storylines.

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Jason Mefford: That is in this movie and was really kind of the inspiration for what we’re going to be talking about today.

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Jason Mefford: So at the beginning of the movie The scene opens and you see there are, you know, these American servicemen and the Second World War.

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Jason Mefford: And they’re having kind of a little, a little party there they’re getting ready to move up to the front lines. The next day. And so, you know,

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Jason Mefford: Anybody in the military, getting ready to go into battle. It’s very nerve wracking, the day before. And so they they kind of were putting on this.

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Jason Mefford: You know, little stage show being Crosby and Danny Kaye were up kind of singing and and trying to entertain the troops to get their spirits high for going into action.

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Jason Mefford: And in kind of at the end of that scene, you know, Bing Crosby gets up and says, you know, I’m sorry that general Waverly wasn’t able to be with us because we had a special number for him.

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Jason Mefford: That we wanted to, to prepare and. And the reason was General Waverly this major general that was in charge of these men.

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Jason Mefford: Was actually was being relieved of his command. And so he was out actually bringing in the new general who was a very serious, man.

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Jason Mefford: In bringing him in showing them kind of around sending them off to headquarters and then going to say goodbye to the troops because he was leaving

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Jason Mefford: They were moving forward. He was going back home and as as a general as a leader of people that has to be a very hard thing to do.

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Jason Mefford: To watch your people effectively go into battle, but you’re not there with them anymore. Even though this has been kind of your whole life.

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Jason Mefford: And so, you know, at the, at the beginning of the movie they end up singing this song.

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Jason Mefford: And and it comes full circle, you know, a little bit later in in the in the story is they end up after the war in Vermont.

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Jason Mefford: And they find out that general way really owns this hotel up in the area, only it’s not doing very well. In fact, he spent all of his money.

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Jason Mefford: He’s about to go bankrupt and and in the characters you know that Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye play, they find out about this and they decide that they want to do something to help the general

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Jason Mefford: And so, you know, what they do is they go on TV, they actually put out a call to everybody who served under General

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Jason Mefford: And get a little emotional. It’s like

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Jason Mefford: Who served under General Waverly at that time to let them know. Come and let’s put on a party for him come to his hotel. Let’s help out the old man.

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Jason Mefford: And and where that comes from, is, you know, there’s a song that song that they sang at the beginning of the movie. They also sang at the end of the movie and it’s called the old man, it was written by Irving Berlin.

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Jason Mefford: And how plan was

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Jason Mefford: To sing this to you. And now I’m getting a little emotional. So here we go, but the the song kind of goes like this.

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Jason Mefford: Will follow the old man, wherever he wants to go long as he wants to go opposite to the phone will stay with the old man, wherever he wants to stay

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Jason Mefford: Long as he stays away from the battle fray, because we love him. We love him, especially when they keep cysts on the ball and will tell the kitties we answer, dude. He’s call with the grand son of a soldier of them all. Now it’s, it seems a little ironic to be talking about loving a general

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Jason Mefford: Because generals are usually very tough very strong people, but this this character major, major to general way really was loved by his man.

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Jason Mefford: He was a servant leader. In fact, you know, in part of the movie they talked about how we ate. First, he ate later.

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Jason Mefford: Not a surprise that Simon cynics book, you know, leaders eat last that he chose that title because that happens a lot really great leaders are servant leaders and they put their people first. Okay, and

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Jason Mefford: I love this because you know these men were willing to follow the old man, wherever he may go because they loved him.

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Jason Mefford: And

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Jason Mefford: And what I want to talk about today is that there’s really three things that a leader has to do in order to move into kind of this executive presence.

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Jason Mefford: And it’s it’s around being able to manage stakeholders yourself and your staff and I want to talk a little bit today about the staff part of it.

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Jason Mefford: Excuse me, because, again, I think a lot of times, you know, are a lot of the corporate management and leadership.

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Jason Mefford: That really has been around since the Second World War, especially has been very militaristic in its style, it’s a command and control type of management and leadership.

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Jason Mefford: And you know that makes a lot of sense because after the Second World War, especially in the United States.

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Jason Mefford: A lot of the people who became in these management and leadership roles had a military background because of the war, they understood command and control.

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Jason Mefford: And and but a lot of times that command and control becomes an authoritarian

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Jason Mefford: Type of dictatorship, where the leader is right, and nobody else they don’t listen to anybody else. It’s my way or the highway kind of a leadership.

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Jason Mefford: And the problem is that that has continued to carry over.

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Jason Mefford: Even up until this day in many organizations. And this is one of the reasons why you’re starting to hear a lot more about things like emotional intelligence.

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Jason Mefford: Because you know what emotional intelligence is important. It’s important, as a leader, it’s important to end up being a servant leader and if you get much more out of your people. If you are a servant leader than if you are a dictator. Okay. Now this brings me to to a

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Jason Mefford: discussion that I had with somebody. A couple weeks ago that again between the movie in this discussion. I had made me realize, you know what, I got to talk about this on the podcast.

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Jason Mefford: And here’s what happened. I was talking with a man he is. He is. He is a direct report to a chief audit executive

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Jason Mefford: And so we were talking about because he was he was having some struggles and had some questions that he wanted to have answered.

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Jason Mefford: And so as we were talking, he goes through and he starts explaining to me kind of about the company that is working for and his internal audit group, and particularly the chief audit executive

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Jason Mefford: And he was expressing some frustrations, because you know as he’s going through and talking about. He says, you know,

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Jason Mefford: Our chief audit executive is really, you know, he’s friends with other executives, he doesn’t have an audit background so he doesn’t really understand internal audit.

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Jason Mefford: And, you know, he asked us to do things, but he never praises us he’s always criticizing us. And in fact, you know, he talked about

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Jason Mefford: The this this particular incident where he had he had gone out done what the, what the executive was asking him to do brings him back this report.

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Jason Mefford: And in the middle of a staff meeting where there’s a whole bunch of people around. He just starts criticizing this person and telling them that you don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re such an idiot.

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Jason Mefford: And and things like that. And this man that I’m talking to you know at that point he just said you know what my boss is an asshole.

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Jason Mefford: And I had to stop and he said you know the guy is just an asshole. And you know what he probably is, but here’s the reality. Some of you may also be acting like an asshole.

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Jason Mefford: Don’t be an asshole. Okay. You don’t have to, to act that way because fear will never get you anywhere in the long term.

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Jason Mefford: And so today, as I said, I want to talk a little bit about that area of kind of managing or leading staff.

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Jason Mefford: And I want to be able to give you some a couple of quick tips and I’m going to talk a lot more about this in the future.

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Jason Mefford: But I want to give you some ideas or some things that you can start doing differently because you know what you want to be the kind of general that we love him. We love him or her right it’s it’s not the fear and command and control.

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Jason Mefford: Will not get the most out of your people and I’m here to tell you again that the command and control leadership.

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Jason Mefford: Period in existence is over. It is changing. And if you do not change, you will be left behind.

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Jason Mefford: There’s, there’s a lot of different things that are out there that are showing this. This is one of the major causes of stress and anxiety at work.

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Jason Mefford: And organizations are starting to realize this, and they’re starting to get rid of people who act that way.

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Jason Mefford: Who are not emotionally intelligent and who cannot actually lead kind of from a servant leadership perspective.

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Jason Mefford: So let’s talk a little bit about what you can do if you find yourself in that if your people are afraid of you, then you’re doing something wrong. Okay, now

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Jason Mefford: A couple of things to kind of go through and talk about here. The first one is, and I learned this a long time ago, but this is so so true.

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Jason Mefford: You want to praise in public, but correct in private. Okay, so this is your first tip praise in public and correct in private.

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Jason Mefford: So if we go back and we look at this example of this, man. I was talking to

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Jason Mefford: The mistake that the chief audit executive was making was criticizing or trying to correct in public, you never do that in front of other people.

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Jason Mefford: If you need to correct someone if someone needs to be disciplined, you do it privately, you do not do it in front of other people because not only does it under it, it undermines your leadership.

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Jason Mefford: Be because of the way that you’re doing it. Everybody else sees it. So, it not only has a negative effect on the person who needs to be corrected.

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Jason Mefford: But it also affects everybody else in your team and everyone else who heard it. So I know that these come along. I’ve met lots of people over over my life.

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Jason Mefford: And at some time, you do need to correct people but do it in private. Now the other thing that a lot of people fail to do is actually praise in public.

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Jason Mefford: You know, one of the reasons. A lot of times when people leave an organization, everybody thinks, Oh, it’s because I’m getting I got a better job. And I’m making more money at Nope.

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Jason Mefford: That’s not the reason most of the time people leave a job is because they do not feel appreciated.

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Jason Mefford: And why do they not feel appreciated because their leader, never appreciated them never actually publicly or in any way acknowledged what they were doing.

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Jason Mefford: And I’ve talked to a lot of people about this, you know, where are leaders will say, Well, you know,

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Jason Mefford: I’m not going to tell them every time they do something good. I mean, if they’re just doing their job, then that’s what’s expected and I don’t need

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Jason Mefford: To actually tell them that they’re doing a good job if they’re just doing their job that’s expected anyway. Well, you can take that

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Jason Mefford: You can take that view. If you want, but you people are going to hate you and you’re not going to get the most out of your people. So praise people and praise them in public.

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Jason Mefford: There is always something good that you can find to praise about someone else.

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Jason Mefford: And make sure that when you do it that it’s at the appropriate time that it’s quickly after you have actually, you know, observed it because here’s another one of the things that I learned a long time ago.

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Jason Mefford: In some of my executive training, when you see it. Say it. Okay, when you see it. Say it. And that works for both the positive and the negative

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Jason Mefford: If you observe someone doing something good praise them immediately. Let them know about it right then.

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Jason Mefford: If you see that something is not going the way it’s supposed to be. Pull that person aside and tell them immediately when you see it. Say it. Okay, so there’s another tip for you.

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Jason Mefford: So our first one was praise in public correct in private. And then we also talked about when you see it, you need to say it when you see it. Say it.

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Jason Mefford: Okay, another one.

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Jason Mefford: And this is, this is actually something, you know, again, you don’t have to be a chief audit executive to do this.

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Jason Mefford: But if you if you have people that are reporting to you. These are all things that will help you either whether you’re a supervisor or manager or a chief audit executive

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Jason Mefford: But that but the next one is here’s here’s kind of a little challenge to you.

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Jason Mefford: You know, we all think that we’re really, really busy and sometimes we think that being busy means we’re more important, but that’s just a load of crap. Okay.

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Jason Mefford: So here’s what I want you to do. And I want you to take this challenge. I want you to take 15 minutes each week just 15 minutes one 515 minutes

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Jason Mefford: And actually talk to some of your staff members on a personal level, I want you to actually and it can be one person for 15 minutes that week. Fine.

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Jason Mefford: You could do to people at kind of seven minutes or three people at five minutes, but I want you to actually try to have a conversation

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Jason Mefford: With the people that work for you as a human being. I don’t want you to just ask them about their work and what’s going on. I want you to actually try to get to know them as a human.

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Jason Mefford: Find out, you know, are they married. What’s their spouses name. Do they have kids. How was their weekend.

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Jason Mefford: And I know a lot of times people push back on this and they say, Well, no, we need to separate business from our personal life.

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Jason Mefford: Again, that’s a bunch of hogwash. Okay. Because your personal life makes its way into business and by getting to know someone a little bit better.

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Jason Mefford: On, on a personal and human level will actually help you to be more emotionally intelligent

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Jason Mefford: I’m not talking about, you know, having people over share with you and all this kind of stuff, but just take 15 minutes each week.

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Jason Mefford: And actually try to connect with people that work for you on a personal level. This will make a huge, huge difference.

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Jason Mefford: Not only in how you will be able to lead but also in the culture of your group because, guess what’s going to happen.

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Jason Mefford: Oh. Hey, Jason, just talk to me. And he actually like really asked me what was going on and was concerned about me as a person.

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Jason Mefford: You think your employees aren’t going to share that with each other. Of course they are. And when you go around and you do it to everybody. It’s showing that you actually care.

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Jason Mefford: Right, people don’t care what you think or know they they are more concerned about how much you care. And so if you actually take just 15 minutes each week and do that you will start to see a huge difference in your team. Okay.

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Jason Mefford: The last one. Here’s another challenge for you. I want you to take the opportunity to thank at least two people on your team each week that’s just two people.

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Jason Mefford: And and I’m talking really quick just to thank you. You can do it verbally, you know, to where again when you see it. Say it. Look for at least two different people in your team.

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Jason Mefford: Each week that have done something good and just go, Hey, Jason. Thank you for doing that. I really appreciate that. Just saying thank you is great and it will go a long ways now.

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Jason Mefford: If you want to take that to another level. Do something that’s unexpected in the way that you thank them.

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Jason Mefford: You know, you can go down to the store and buy these little thank you cards, a little handwritten thank you card.

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Jason Mefford: Given to someone in today’s day digital age goes a long ways. In fact, I remember you know this was many, many years ago. So we were still digital, but not as digital as we are now.

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Jason Mefford: But I had, you know, I was sitting in my office and you know the male person was coming around dropping off all the inter office mail and we had those little, you know, yellow on bulbs that have the string on it and and

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Jason Mefford: Usually you know there were there were all the names on it. And so I could, I could see, you know, the mail person dropped off off one and I looked at it.

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Jason Mefford: And I could see because you can always see kind of who has the, the, the letter before because it had everybody’s names on it and then they were crossed off.

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Jason Mefford: And I looked at it and I could see that it came from the executive floor of our building.

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Jason Mefford: Because the couple of people’s names that were on it before I received it, where the executives that were on that floor.

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Jason Mefford: And so I was sitting there at my desk and I thought, Hmm, this is kind of funny. I wonder what this is right.

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Jason Mefford: And so I take it and I and I underline you know the the string and I opened it up and there’s a little card in there.

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Jason Mefford: And it was just a small kind of three by five or four by six kind of size card and at the top of it in blue letters. It said from the desk of Larry

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Jason Mefford: Now our CEOs name was Larry and so I was a little shocked and I sat back in my seat. A little bit that you know Larry our CEO had hand written a note to me.

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Jason Mefford: And so I looked down at that card, you know, this little white card with the blue lettering on the top and I could see Larry’s handwriting and all it said was, Jason. Great job on the last audit, keep it up, Larry. That was it. Jason. Great job on the last audit, keep it up, Larry.

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Jason Mefford: But you know what, I even still get a little chills kind of thinking about this. Now I carry that card around. I swear it is out in my garage in my, in my storage. I never threw that card away.

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Jason Mefford: Because, you know, to me again him taking that literally it probably took him 15 or 20 seconds to write it and throw it in the envelope. But the fact that he took that little bit of time and actually thanked me for what I was doing.

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Jason Mefford: Right. And I’ll tell you, I worked with a lot of Chief Executive Officer CEOs over the years, Larry was one of the best CEOs I ever worked for

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Jason Mefford: And that was part of the reason he actually knew you. He actually talked to you. He actually knew me right and we would actually talk about things that were non business related as well.

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Jason Mefford: So if you want to be a good leader, you know, if you’re really serious about becoming a better leader then start implementing some of these things and it will make a huge, huge difference. Okay. So as a summary.

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Jason Mefford: These are some of the things that we talked about, right, so remember praise in public, but correct in private, when you see it. Say it. So when you see it. Say it.

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Jason Mefford: Take the challenge of taking 15 minutes each week and actually get to know your staff on a personal level.

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Jason Mefford: So for 15 minutes a week. I want you to talk about something with people that work with you, that is that is non business related and actually try to get to know them better at a human level.

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Jason Mefford: And the last one. Make sure that you’re thinking, at least two people on your team each week.

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Jason Mefford: Again, that can be a verbal. Thank you. It could be a quick little you know thank you note like Larry sent to me, but something that shows people that you actually appreciate them.

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Jason Mefford: And you are thankful for what they are doing. It will make a huge, huge difference. My friends, not only in your ability as a leader.

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Jason Mefford: But it will it will create a culture in your team so that as we talked about at the beginning, you know, when you leave and move on. I want your team.

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Jason Mefford: To stand up and saying, we love him. We love him kind of a, of a that that same sense of pride and love for your leader like was presented in that movie quite Christmas.

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Jason Mefford: Now if you are really serious about becoming a better leader and you are a chief audit executive

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Jason Mefford: At the beginning of this, I talked about the chief audit executive forum, if you are serious if you want to take your career to the next level.

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Jason Mefford: then submit an application to join the chief audit executive forum because we are accepting applications now. And so again, you know, you can go out to the website method associates com forward slash ca forum.

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Jason Mefford: And and take a look at the information. See if it looks like it’s for you.

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Jason Mefford: Because as I said, it’s not for everybody. We turn away people each time that we have application period.

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Jason Mefford: But if if you feel like this is something that you want and need and and believe that you’re a good fit, submit your application so that we can

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Jason Mefford: We can talk and see where we go from there. So with that, my friends, I’m going to sign off for this week. But thanks for listening through

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Jason Mefford: And again, you know, if you know people in some of these other parts of the world where the jamming with Jason podcast has not yet been aired live

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Jason Mefford: Please reach out to them and say, Hey, you got to download this podcast and listen to it.

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Jason Mefford: So that we can make the world map light up and have everybody all or somebody from every country actually listening to this each week.

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Jason Mefford: And again, if you’re a chief audit executive, make sure to check out the CA forum. But even if you’re not a chief audit executive let your chief audit executive know about this.

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Jason Mefford: Because again, I’m trying to get the word out to everybody and. And so again, just let everybody know the more that we know the more that we spread this message.

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Jason Mefford: The better. We’re going to be at being able to actually elevate the the internal audit status in your organization’s because that really is my goal.

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Jason Mefford: So with that, my friends, I’m signing off for this week. Hope you have a great rest of your week and I’ll talk to you on a future episode of jamming with Jason