Thomas and I are back at it again with collab session number four, and it's kind of like our really good friend, Mr. Davis Hambrick said, the entire conversation is. Framed around the, the goal, and then we just kind of keep veering off and getting into deeper subjects, like super deep, highly intellectual subjects like booger, flicking, I know it sounds goofy, but there is a serious tone to the whole idea. You're gonna have to listen to catch that one. we also jump into constraint management and Thomas shares some really simple but important techniques to like, make sure they get handled and and removed before they impact the flow of work.
He also brings up like a list of ambush techniques that, I'm gonna say weak managers, which I used to be and still am sometimes tend to deploy on their people. With like a cheat code list of how to respond when you're being ambushed by your manager or those managers that deploy those types of techniques.
So it's actually another one of those where you should get your notepad out and maybe make some mental notes or write 'em down, um, because he's dropping knowledge, man, that dude's got it going on and it's like a little scary because we're getting close to the end. Meaning there's two or three more episodes to come if I can ever like buckle down and get it done.
I didn't want the listeners to feel like we scripted this whole thing. I want make this feel real and wrong. I don't have prepared, I have my notes, I got my notebook, but I don't have it like, scripted in front of me. I have an agenda. I want to hit all these items because, I think it would hit little bit differently if to a listener, if you were just listening to us just chit chat and banter and rant and going down huge rabbit holes. about the goal. But we will try to keep some amount of time. So the goal for today is to get to 19 . Tipping Point Chapter 15 is a tipping point. It's the Herbie Hike. And I want to just back up a little bit because we hit it. I think like we hit it and we took it to a level where I don't know if I've. Heard or read in forums or whatever about the goal that Alex had to swallow some ego. So did Herbie. And oftentimes that's the hardest thing to do. Both if you're in a position of leadership, you have to admit that your way is not working, even working like, and whatever you are trying to do, whatever you try to do will be wrong because all of your assumptions are wrong. Oh yeah. Thomas and I are back at it again with collab session number four, and it's kind of like our really good friend, Mr. Davis Hambrick said, the entire conversation is. Framed around the, the goal, and then we just kind of keep veering off and getting into deeper subjects, like super deep, highly intellectual subjects like booger, flicking, I know it sounds goofy, but there is a serious tone to the whole idea. You're gonna have to listen to catch that one. we also jump into constraint management and Thomas shares some really simple but important techniques to like, make sure they get handled and and removed before they impact the flow of work. He also brings up like a list of ambush techniques that, I'm gonna say weak managers, which I used to be and still am sometimes tend to deploy on their people. With like a cheat code list of how to respond when you're being ambushed by your manager or those managers that deploy those types of techniques. So it's actually another one of those where you should get your notepad out and maybe make some mental notes or write 'em down, um, because he's dropping knowledge, man, that dude's got it going on and it's like a little scary because we're getting close to the end. Meaning there's two or three more episodes to come if I can ever like buckle down and get it done. And because I've, I have become the bottleneck on releasing these collab sessions and with the help of the patrons. Thank you all patrons for. Been with us and sticking with us for so long. we have added, a team member. Miss Arely who I don't know if y'all noticed, if you haven't gone to the learnings and missteps. TikTok, you'll see I've been pushing out tons of content and that's because she's been helping. Chop up the clips, like she's making the total selection. So that's taken some work. And we just ran an experiment with this episode where she did all of the editing and I am extremely pleased with the product. And again, the funds that people contribute to the Patreon account through the website help pay for stuff like this. And also, December's upon us, so we'll be making a distribution to Skilled Trades Alliance for 80% of what we've gotten from, from y'all's contribution. So appreciate y'all very much and also wanna give y'all a little teaser. It's the day after Thanksgiving. I have on my board to release the Lean and Love Reflection Journal. So it's gonna be like a 30 day journal. I, of course I've got some work to do it. The famous lady, Jennifer Lacy, has already produced a fabulous piece of art doodle art that's going to be on the cover. But keep an eye out cuz that's coming out in December, just in time for all the Christmas gifts. Back to the conversation on the Goal They're not based on anything scientific or fact that are based upon your own emotions. In that moment. In that moment, when you go 10 minutes later and you look back, it'll be crisp, clear, but it doesn't matter. Cause that's 10 minutes later and you have a whole brand new situation. So when we were gonna talk about bottlenecks Bottlenecks are not necessarily bad, nor are they necessarily good. They just are. They're just state. And once you accept that you have bottlenecks, you can start to exploit them . And you see that here in this example in chapter 15 with Herbie. Slow. He's overloaded and he is getting tired. So whatever Herbie tries to do by himself just makes it completely worse and it slows everybody down. And oftentimes what we try to do in construction is if we find the slowest trade, I guess you've been in general contractor long enough. What's the almost like knee jerk reaction once you find someone that's working slower than agreed upon, Double 'em up. Right? Like they need more manpower. They need more material. Gonna supplement labor. You gotta work overtime. I gonna punish them. I've written in my day letters nasty letters with certified and signatures and made sure they were delivered. Like, there's legal ramifications for doing this and we have to do that, right? This is just the world's like neither delay letters are neither good nor bad. They just are. They're part of the system, right? . But we shouldn't weaponize them as a first tech. That should be the, when every other thing that we've decided has failed, including third party arbitration. Like we get a third party, then we take steps to Supplement labor and there's other production laws that will teach you that, that won't even help. That's the worst. Make it worse. Doesn't make it worse. Well, you know what's interesting? I understand the value of the letters and the contract language and the different gateways that you go through to, you know protect yourself against liability or risk. What confuses me or what I'd rather, what I've always found entertaining is when me as a trade uses the same system and all of a sudden I'm not a trade partner because I'm submitting letters, I'm using language like delay, and people get super, super defensive. All this. It's like, well wait a minute. Last time you did this to me, you said it was just business. Like it's not a big deal. what happened to just business? This is just part of the system, the part of the process. But I understand, right? Like it gets people, you read the language and it's intimidating language and I It's intimidating by design. Yeah. Like our long form contract that if you want to work with the company I work for it's pretty scary. There's a lot of risk. She there. And oftentimes my thing is, Okay. Sign that. Throw that in the folder. Never even look at that again. The only people that have to look at that besides the little scope portion, are none of us, none of us need to even look about that because those will be people who are $450 an hour and they wear suits and fancy shoes at the job site and not understand why that's a bad idea. , they're not one of us and they're great people. And we need attorneys. People in the justice, but not when we're trying to settle a production issue on a job site. Let's be real here. So back to the book. I just wanted to say that thank you for showing some vulnerability because we were talking about being men and the beam courageous and strong and independent and assertive. Those are known, studied psychology of being masculine. And Alex Rogo finally starts to become a leader at this moment on this hike. What he does, he says, He doesn't accept that Herbie doesn't want to open his rucksack and remove all this heavy stuff that's burdening him down., but he's like, Nope, Herbie it's too bad you have to for the better of this group. and everybody here, you have to pick up the slack so we all can move forward as a team. That's so important at that moment. And they're very small moments. And you would think, Oh, what's the big deal? It's like this group of children doing a hike. This was his tipping point to start to change the way his mindset worked when dealing with delays at work. He swallows his pride and says, Herbi, I was wrong this entire time. We just proved it by doing this silly simulation that we gotta find a bottleneck and you're the bottleneck and you have to admit that. So you have to admit that Herbie is the slowest, but also understand that herbie's a crucial part of the troops goal. Right. Like you have to accept both. When we accept both, we can accept the current condition. Like you can literally see. And there's a lot of bias and I'm full of it, but I have trouble when I'm in that moment, if I'm so like stubborn and stuck in my ways, I literally can't see things, even if it's right in front of my face. But I didn't notice where the bottleneck until I finally accepted it. Yeah. And once you accept it, then it's like, Oh my god, I can see it. And then it grows and it builds upon itself. And then Alex, the leader, he puts herbi in the front along and makes a statement. The idea is to get there together. Not a bunch of individuals. We're a team and a team doesn't arrive at camp until all of us arrive at camp. So anyways, we'll go back to the book and they get to the campground late and they're setting up the dark. It presents an increasingly dangerous situation. So not only are they in a psychological battle with themselves about like egos they're also in actual danger. So he asks open and honest questions. He goes, Hey Herby, what do you got in your pack? What you got, man? Six pack of soda spaghetti candy bars, Jarrow pickles, multiple cans of tuna fish, a raincoat, rubber boots, bag of 10 pins steaks, large iron skillet, and a collapsible steel shovel. This guy was ready. He's ready. He was ready to be entrenched and Herby resists the help. He says, I can carry. And three, make a plan once you've accepted it, right? You have to make a plan and it says, make a plan to help Herbie go faster. And Alex says, If we take some of the load off you, you'll be able to do a better job at the front of the line. Herby finally seems to understand. And then three, take action. The kids, they split up the carrying load and it's like, no factor. We got you Herbie. We got you. Cuz they understand the situation too. And they remove the stuff in his bag. They split the stuff up, they share the load, and then they get it back going down the trail. Suddenly they go faster. And the lesson we learned there, the slowest operation in terms of theory of constraints, that is the lesson here, is the slowest operation is the constraint. Cause if we have dependent events, you don't have to look far, you just have to look for the slowest. And whoever's the slowest that's the constraint. And if the constraint. Is stop the line. That's the worst kind. If it's not sloppy the line, but it's slowing it down, slowing it more than the demand that you want it to be like, Hey, we need to get to the end we got a production rate, we got meet, we don't get there, We're gonna be in the dark. And that's dangerous, but I'm gonna do this. So Dr. Gold in the hike, he teaches dependent events and statistical fluctuations because all of the events depend on the constraint. Everything is dependent upon the constraint. Herbie doesn't make it, but we don't meet the goal, right? So each event has an expected value, but all of those expected values fluctuate because of slight variations, right? Somebody speeds up and especially for Herbie, cuz Herbie's the constraint. So any fluctuation in Herbie if he get gases out and falls down Yeah, everybody's down the stopped, right? So you'll have slight fluctuations that might change inventory or might change your operating expense. But if your constraint slows down, it's the worst cuz everything slows down. And even if the kids. Pass Herbie. We do this all the time. Look around him and we'll go back and get Herbie, be like, Herbie, sit down. We're gonna take your bag and you rest here, and we're gonna come back and get you when we're done. Like, that's terrible. Don't do that with children. That's super dangerous. So we can't go around Herbie, we can't. We got the face facts. So the constraint is the slowest task or individual step in the process. If that step is the slowest, that is the constraint. You have to label that thing and put red flags and shoot lasers at it. And if you are the constraint, it's super scary because it's like, Oh man I'm the loser here. So you also have to highlight it and then also support that if it's a person or if it's a person's responsibility, you gotta be like, It's okay. We're gonna help you. If you don't do that, That leads to bad, bad, bad things or fire the person. That doesn't help you. What helps the person and helps the whole situation is helping that constraint. All the other tasks are directly dependent on the constraint ahead of them. So if you think of me in the self checkout line somebody's in front of me with complicated order, and they're doing a price check and then they bought alcohol, so they gotta check their ID and then they're gonna rent it with a check. Or get off a damn airplane. The person who put their bag four rows behind, Who's trying, Just wait. Just wait until those four rows go by you and then go back and get it. Don't try to be a salmon and go, so anyway, so we need to support them and teach. But often this also happens in construction. Let me just bring it back a little bit. We use historical data in construction, right? Or we use a set of logical rules that is fixed five day concrete cycle. What's this high rise right here? It's five day or five day. Five day, right? Tape and finished drywall. It could be 10 square feet. It could be 10,000 square feet. It's gonna take seven days. Overhead. H V A C, Ruffin from floors two to 10. Do we ever use historical data or rules? Yes. So the historical data slash rules that I used to plan off was pounds per hour cuz we knew the poundage of the sheet metal that we were installing. Combination of medium pressure, low pressure, and it spat out like, okay, this is what we perform at, this is what our history tells us that we've been able to accomplish. And we would build that. That's how we would build our schedule. And so then it's a simple question of that helped me to have the negotiation with the GC of, Hey, you need to be done in three days. Like, okay, in order for me to do that, I'm gonna need all of my sheet metal here and I'm gonna need 15 people on the floor to be able to accomplish that. Where do you need that? Because this is our install rate. Well, we can't do that. Nobody else is gonna be able to work. I was like, I agree. So can we do nine days Can we phase this out? To where I get out of the chase get my medium pressure in and concurrent with the framers. But all those other little damn wing walls all over the place, leave them down. And let me get ahead a day or two and then they can come back and do whatever they gotta do. Like we can do that, What the hike teaches us is when we're in the production time, we cannot rely on historical data. There is a time and a place for historical data. Correct. I get it. When we're facing constraints and we're in real situations, the thing we should double down on is not, Hey, what does RS means have to say about production rate for electricians running three quarter and one inch conduit. Like, no, throw that book, put that back on the shelf. Don't throw it away. Different situations is a useful book. Go base it upon what you see in front of your face. People moving around. And if you see a electrician that has to go in and out these little meeting rooms on a lift, because you can't use ladders, you know, in and out on the lift, in and out on the lift. It takes longer. Is it better? Is it more ergonomic and is more safe? Absolutely. But it takes longer to do that maneuver. The only way to understand that is to actually go out and see and stand in that situation and study it. Yeah. And then take your assumption that your RS means book or historical data or the five day concrete cycle that we all bought in the contract. Get it. I get it. Set that aside and take current reality and go find Herbie. Find your constraint. And it won't take long because all you have to do look for the slowest operation, the one that's completing at a rate that is slower than the rest. And oftentimes it tells itself because people are upset. Not only are the people behind it like me and the checkout line, like I'm upset. Why is constraint in front of me? I feel confined or I'm on a airplane, I am confined and I can't leave because there's a process in front of me. So oftentimes you don't even have to look. People will tell you. Yes. Oh, absolutely. They'll tell you if you listen, they'll tell you. Yeah, ask them. You just look at their eyes. And then the people who are Herbie, the herpes of the world you can see fatigue in their faces or stress. Yes, they're demoralized. You know, there's a couple things that have popped in my head, you know, in terms of historical data, cuz I've had this argument, ah, too many times. The GC would be telling me exactly how many plumbers I needed, how many pack fitters I needed, how many sheet metal guys I needed. And I'm like I disagree. where are you getting this? Like what are you talking about? I didn't understand. But over and over I started like kind of paying attention. They had their own personal historic data, right? They had their little pocket notepad that over the years they had this many square feet and it took this many plumbers to do that and it took this many sheet metal workers to do that. And so they were basing it on another outfit's performance. And at the time, the company I was with we preassembled as much as we possibly could before we hit the job. So that was the reason I was not going to have this large volume of people. And I used to fight it all the time. Like, what do you mean you only have four plumbers? I'm like, bro, we got a layout. We're gonna install hangers. My prefabs showing up next Tuesday. Like, I got plumbers working on it right now. You just can't see them. And it was a constant battle. So that's one point on the historic data. And finally like, look, we're just gonna have to be mad at each other. Like by next Friday, if you, don't feel better, then call my office but I'm not changing anything to make you feel better That's incredibly profound. And people who are listening, we don't ever double down on historical data or even if it's an attacked plan. If you find a constraint, don't force it because it's like, hey, you have to be here and you also have to be in this zone cuz you're holding this tack train. Now you get the focus on the Herbie and that the beautiful thing about tact. It'll almost instantly tell you when you have a Herbie, that's the beauty of it. So those who are into tact or are curious, the beauty of even last plan. It'll tell you, It'll find Herbie and it'll tell you what Herbie is within whenever you're, whenever you close the cycle. So if you're doing less planner, it's at least every five days. And if you're doing tact, it could be twice a day. Yes. As often as twice a day. If you're super di , and then the closer you are to Herbie showing up and Herbie getting dealt with, like us removing all the crap outta Herbie's backpack, the closer in time that we can do that, that's how you recover quickly. That's being agile. Like I think I just covered like six books in a row there. Yep. It's a super easy to say, Super hard to do what I'm trying to say. So what do you think about that? I think so there's a really important point there. You talked about these different planning, production management systems and I used to have this thinking and then I kind of like, Oh no, I was thinking about it backwards. These systems are perfectly designed to surface problems. Right. Think about it when you're having a pool plan and people are saying, Man, I could do that, but I need this. Like, we don't have that agreement or submittal or whatever constraint, right? That goes on the constraint board. Like, let's make sure get a plan to let's push that skillet somewhere. Somebody's gotta carry that skillet. Y'all need to go do that. Now, what people do though is because all of these constraints are surfacing, all of these problems are coming out in these engagements, their response is to feel like the meeting or the session was a failure because all anybody did was complain. It's like, no, they didn't complain. They're surfacing problems early . And now we can do something about the, Cuz normally those problems don't come up until we're on the hike. We're finding out now before the damn hike. And so again, to your point, these things will surface problems. But for people that are maybe new to them, their natural instinct is like, Man, this was a waste of time. All we heard was a bunch of complaints and excuses. Like, no, you got a bunch of gifts today. That's what you got. That was the entire point. I mean, the benefit that maybe we figured out sequence A through D, right? That's really effective. But the gold, the whole reason, the entire reason we did it is surface all those. Then all of a sudden now we got a cheat sheet. Not only do we have at least the best plan of all that experience in that room. Two, we also have all of the issues from the experts who know the issue, who aren't doing this for the first time or who aren't over who aren't being challenged in a leadership position. Like, these are people who've done this for 20 plus years. They know all the tricks. , they surface these issues, and then it's like, Oh my God, we need go do something about this stuff. Everything that goes on, that constraint log goes into the plan. So it's like, how do I put, uh, the pull plan into P six? Well, you just take what's ever written on the card and add a line and yeah. P six, link it together with the logic that's written on the board. Step one, step two, if there's also an issue that's linked to that activity, gotta put it in. Also make that another activity and call it constraint if you don't wanna put it into your schedule, put it into some kind of a worksheet or a whiteboard that you'll look at every single. Not when you print the notes for the oac meaning, or when you have to scramble and get everything into the monthly report for the people like me, don't do that. I don't, I already know the issues cuz how, cuz I went and you wouldn't solve, I looked at either your whiteboard or if you have a, some kind of constraint log in your folders. I've already read it that way when I show up I respect your time. You don't have to teach me all your issues. I'm more or less aware of those. And now it's like, hey instead of me discovering all these new issues that are new to me, just start working on them and then I'll give you some advice on how to solve them. That's literally how you'd be an operational manager. So we learned that from Herby. We learned that from Alex and he's like sitting on some juice. I got it, I got it. He's all excited. And then he goes home and then it's like chapter 16 and his wife is gone. Sealed letter from Julie, by the way. I've never gotten a sealed handwritten. I've gotten a couple emails and many texts and a couple phone calls, but you gotta be angry to put pen and paper fold it very nicely and put it into an envelope. Seal it and write Alex. Boom. Leave it on the kitchen table and you pack your stuff and you're gone. The note reads, Al, not even fully, Alex, just al I can't handle always being last in line for you. I need more of you. And it's clear now that you won't change. Woo. I'm going away for a while. Need to think things over. Sorry to do this to you. I know you're busy. Yours truly, Julie, you've already shared this, but you received a similar letter. Yeah, similar. I mean, the letters were handwritten. Man, You know what I wonder if I still have the handwritten, I got pictures of it anyways. I received the letters there was a different tone. I mean, Partial part of it is like, you're jacked up, bro, we need to work on this. But the point was can we use this to work on our relationship? Not like I'm out just like, Hey, I want this to work, so can we work on this together? And I'll tell you in that moment, it was an intense, an intensely emotional experience cuz for so many re like one, she was calling me out. Two, it was very factual because, you know, the stuff was real and it was on paper. And just the fact that she took the time and energy to contextualize fives and apply it to our personal relationship, like she was trying to connect with me. And that meant a lot. And then as I'm reading like, Oh my God, this can be valuable for so many people. It was a lot going on at that time. And you know, this part of the book is the part that shocked me, Right? Of the goal. Oh yeah. Yeah. Because you know I'm having a good time reading about Herbie and all the other stuff. . And then they bring the home life in, right? Like the home personal relationship. And when I read the, whatever it was, five, eight years ago I'm like, oh no, let's not do this. Like, what does that matter? That's different. Well, here we are now we're live streaming every other Saturday, Jen and I, and that's all we're talking about is relationships. Because I'm a different person. I live a different life and I'm experiencing a greater quality of life because now I understand it. It's the same , like it's not separate. It's all one thing. And anyways, the goal when this, we get this section is just like, Oh man there's some conviction for me, thinking of the ladies that I've been with. And they were second 100 and they weren't even second. Sometimes, sometimes they were fourth or fifth in terms of priority. So, you know it just reminds me of my shortsightedness on that realm. A lot of the people that read the goal and comment they talk about the chapter 16 as a throwaway chapter is not negative. It's not, No it's proof that there is no balance in work life or a membrane. If you have inefficiencies in your own personal life at work, it flows into own. Yes. Sorry. And if you don't. Use your words and then hold it in. Doesn't matter. It comes out in your energy either in bad moods, it comes out in your words, it comes out in your bodily movements, it comes out in your physical location. You'll go hide. You have to cope with that stress as possible to not to cope with that stress. And this proves it that this is a rough time in Alex Roos life. It's a fictional character and I get it, but, it's real. Yeah. It's very real and work problems. If you're not efficient at work and your team's unhappy and there's a whole bunch of stress, all of that carries spills right over into your home life. And not only does it spill into your home life, but everybody that's also working in that situation, it goes and spills over theirs. And we talk a lot about mental health and in construction, and it's like, Yeah, we really need to do something about this seems to be a problem. Yeah, it is. How do we do that? It's fixing flow. My company works with Nicholas Modig. Dude, Nicholas hopefully hears these words. Because his book if the goal kind of was like shifted me into like, I'm now lean maniac, I can't consume enough now. That was like the one where it was like, oh damn this has world changing impacts. And I just have a little note here. It says flow, efficiency, fulfills needs. That's it. You're fulfilling needs. So if you have high flow efficiency and you have a poor home life or you have issues with home, you're not being efficient. . Right? Right. You still have some process improvement to work on. And the same with if your home life is awesome and you've got amazing family and they're extended and they're so happy, blah, blah, blah. And you're an asset work. Same thing thing. Same thing. So when we talk to Nicholas his whole thing is like fix flow, fix oil. All of these little waiting moments and constraints and issues, like once you start to loosen those, don't just stop with the ones at home or don't just stop with the ones at work because you're only, and Dr. Gold Grant says the same thing, You're only locally optimized, right? You gotta keep going. So your Herbie, you might fix the Herbie and we're gonna get to chapter 18, but you might fix the Herbie at work and be so happy about it. But if we got issues at home that we're not dealing with, with my wife, beautiful wife, Julie, and my children, we're not meeting the goal because we're still having unintended outcomes of that. I think chapter 17 even though it's super short, it plays the reality I was one of those people that said like, Why is that? Even in the book, that's stupid. But again, accounting for the entire system, you know what it reminds me of is addiction, right? Like, I'm so addicted to work or the dopamine hits that I get from the interactions of work that I put more energy into that. And it's the same with my self-medicating alcohol. Like all the stuff that I used, I put so much energy into it. The first, like usually the very first signal that I'm off the rails again, is other parts of my life are unmanageable, are becoming like the yard easy one. The grass and the weeds are now three feet. But everything's good. But no, everything's not good because I'm putting all this time and energy in one part of my life. Sometimes it was productive stuff, sometimes it was not productive stuff, but in every case it was addiction. And the first sign is some important part of my life is falling apart. And so for me, like I did dismiss it originally, but now, you know, coming to where I'm at now, it's like, no, no, no, no. It's a perfect, perfectly suited point of the story in terms of thinking big, like full circle, right? I've been wrestling with this idea around balance, cuz in my head I see a scale and balance means they're evenly balanced. So, in Jesse land, that means I spend eight hours working, I spend eight hours exercising. I spend eight hours sleeping. I spend eight hours with family. And there's not enough hours to do that. And I know that there's no way I'm going to do that. It just doesn't even make sense to me. But maybe it's a matter of intensity. So this is where I'm at now is it's a question of intensity. Do I give all the other important things in my life, the same measure of intensity that I do my work? And if I do that, I mean, that's the experiment right now when I spend time with my mom or my friends or whatever, and I give them the same measure of intensity, it's a more fruitful experience. So it's not, it is that balance, it's intensity, which is also a far cry from half measures or neglect. Anyhow, that's where this whole situation, That's what it's ringing in my head. Yeah. You gotta find Herbie in whatever situation and then take the load off it and then what's gonna happen? Another Herbie. That's powerful stuff there. But it doesn't get any better for Alex either, by the way. No. Go to chapter 17. It's a Monday cause weekend's over, bro. Uhhuh reality. And Monday morning is a disaster. It starts with Davey trying to make breakfast for himself, which is a nice responsible thing to do. So when he is in the shower, his children are trying to make pancakes. So one, it gets the pan too hot D and then scorches in and he freaks out cause there's smoke going. And the two children are fighting in the kitchen and they make this huge mess, huge mess. His daughter Sharon's just trying to help and only makes it worse she grabs a pan and flails it and then they got burnt batter and all kinds of stuff. everything gets ruined. And then it's like, hey it's time to go. Then Sharon she fes illness and she gets sick. It's like, Oh, you can't be sick cuz I got this big thing at work and your mom's not home. Like we can't have this. And he has to sit her down. Have that conversation because in the moment you gotta bring the situation and if it's a nine, you gotta dial it back. And the only way to dial it back is to put space in between that issue. And the person said they go to the bedroom and they have a calm conversation and he explains, I got this situation. I have to go to work. You have to go to school. So they make an agreement and Sharon says, Okay, I'll go to school. But by the time he gets both the kids to school, And drives his butt to work. It's past nine o'clock . That's when you walk in and be like, Good afternoon. You just own it. And as he walks in, cause he is late his assistant has a message slip because this is the eighties. So if you called and no one was there, you had to leave a message and you get handed to you. It was a written from Hilton Smith marked urgent and double underlined. So he is gotta call Hilton, I guess he's the coo and he says Well it's about time I tried to reach you an hour ago. Cuz when you do that and you put someone in a box like that, you're immediately, like on the defense, and we already talked about this earlier, but this is that ambush management style. Yeah. It's one of the worst things you can do to your employees, ambush them. I hate that. And it's favored by those who fear direct. I'm pausing for dramatic effects. If you fear direct conflict, you use this method because it's so effective. It's like hey if I have to have an uncomfortable conversation with somebody about an issue and we gotta have a chat that's not gonna be comfortable. They shield themselves with ambush. Cause it immediately, you don't have a chance to recover yourself. You're like, damn. And then you just do the pile on. So I wrote down some of these ambushes that we weave into our corporate messaging I'm guilty of all of them. That's how I know these are super effective. So number one sending out bad news and a mass email as a first strike mass email layoffs. That's a super uncomfortable conversation and I'm just gonna do it in a mass email and copy the world on it. Two. if you're less tech savvy and you wanna do this in person, you get a bunch of people in a group and you deliver bad news in a group setting and then escape, right? Yeah. And it's like the bad news is for one person, but I'm gonna tell everybody. This is where people get uncomfortable in one-on-one situations cuz it's dealing with people's livelihoods. So we're gonna get a group of them together and we're gonna say, Hey, the situation is bad, blah blah, blah. We're gonna make cuts to the accounting department and then I'm gonna shoot right out this door and ask this person if you have any questions. That's so bad. Ooh, so bad. Using the element of surprise to make reassignments and coerced acknowledgements, right. And be like, Hey you need to go to this other project. Now. I'm gonna use that element of surprise. Instead of having a uncomfortable conversation about, showing up on time or commitment or whatever, I'm just gonna be like, You're not my problem anymore. Go away and I'm not gonna tell you ahead of time. I'm just gonna blast in on you and say, pack up your stuff and get outta here. Now you're somebody else's problem making those things or worse, this coerced acknowledgement where it's like, Hey, you need to go to this other project, and by the way, you need to sign this piece of paper that's backdated so I can be free and clear from hr. So my bus covered for the process. Oh, negative. All of those are just ambushes. If you are a leader and you do this, just stop. Stop it. Do you have another ambush style? I don't know that I have another ambush style, but the two that bug me the most is the group ash chewing when it's one or two people and everybody knows it's the one or two people. Well, I do have another ambush, it's just totally disrespectful and. I respect you less if that's what you're doing. Oh, yeah. Percent, right? Like, come on man, we all know what the deal is. Why you scared? What are you scared of?. It's the conflict. The other one is sending people, like, I call it booger, flicking, like, this person's a problem here. I'm gonna flip my booger to somebody else instead of having the conversation. I have experience with one young man, three years, three year apprentice. And he bounced around from job to job to job. He finally ended up on my crew and he was nowhere near where he should have been in terms of skill and knowledge. And so I talked to him like, Bro what have you been, I know you're a 30 year apprentice. You don't know how to do this. And he's like, Well, nobody's ever showed me. I'm like, Okay, well let me show you. And so he had a lot of problems, like just a lot of problems. And I finally sat him down. I said, Look, bro, like I'm gonna be patient with you, but I need more from you. And here are the things that, like, you ain't even got the tools you're supposed to have, so you're gonna have to have these tools, blah, blah, blah. And he seemed like shocked. Like, What do you like offended? And I said, Dude why do you think you get passed around from job to job to job to job? And his response was, Cuz everybody wants me on their. I was like, Oh my God. Like he really believed that. Yeah. And I said, No yeah, no, they passed. It's because they're happy to get rid of you first. like got teary-eyed and everything. I like, Look bro, I'm sorry to bring this truth to you, but that's my job to let you know and I got you. I could help you, but you really gotta pick it up. I'm gonna be patient. And it helped, right? All of a sudden he's like, Man, thank you. Nobody ever told me that. But three years like you're under serving that person, that human being's career by flicking the damn booger and being a chicken and not having the performance conversation. So the other ambush that I cannot I will exploit it is, Hey, they said this came from upstairs, This came from the main, right? Like, it's not me. It's not me. It's them. Like real story pass through. Yes. And you know, the worst thing about that again is you abdicate your authority and your responsibility. Or rather, if I do that, I'm abdicating my authority and responsibility to them. Whoever them is. And so I had a situation where my boss was writing me up, like a corrective action thing for, I don't even remember what it was. And I earned it like it wasn't wrong. I pissed off hr, I argued with a bunch of people. I got really emotional about a situation, so I was getting written up for that. But what he said is, Hey, man, I gotta write you up. This is coming from above and this is what they think. And my immediate response is like, Okay, well why am I talking to you? I think I should hear this from them. What he wanted to do. All he wanted was a signature. He didn't want to have the conversation. And so of course I pressed, I'm like, Okay. Like if it's from them, I'm kind of feeling like you don't agree with this write up. And so if you don't agree, why are you bringing it to me? He's like, No, no, no, no. I agree. Like, Oh, okay, well let's talk about that. Well, you know, we just really need to, you know, it's just the formality. And of course I lost total respect for that person after that. But it was one of those like hidden ambushes, You're trying to be my friend and you're sticking the knife in my rib. That's most effective. Ambush is when you don't even see coming. . Name droppers. Don't do that. Cause you'll get caught. Yes. Cause how do I know I call the name. Drop the name. I ain't scared of calling a name. Right. I got number two, bro. Oh. And then I'll call and find out that you're a liar. Oh, right. And then it's even a worse situation. Because Oh, what are we, like, We can't even repair that. Like at then it's done. It's just done. There's only one way out. And that's the move on. And I have a letter, I've also deserved a performance improvement plan letter, , and I got the damn thing. I still got it. I'm glad that they did that because, hey, you know what, here's a list of the things that you need to work on. Got it. Yep. A hundred percent. I'll go work on this, these items and, so those performance things, but if you have a real conversation about that and it's truthful and it's honest and open, it's like, Hey, we have this opportunity, blah, blah, blah. Doors will open for you. One. If you're a leader and you do that, you're not a leader. You're a Tyt. Yeah. . You're not effective at all. Uh, two, if you're the victim of an ambush, I have some tips. Ooh. First thing is check your ego . Because it's like, I'm being assaulted verbally or worse. So you have to try to remain calm. And if you can be calm in that situation, it's a superpower. Cause you immediately level the playing field as the attacker tries to ambush you. The whole point of the ambush you is to get you to physically react or emotionally react. That's the whole point. And thereby, if you react and you go start swearing at them or stomp your feet or do the thing that they, that's the reason why they're gonna ambush you. You do that. They win. Because that was the whole point of the ambush is ruined your reputation and make you stomp out. So here's the trick. You gotta pause for six seconds. Ooh, that's six seconds. Not that long. Nope. Is it? I just counted in my head. But it's been studied. There's psychological studies. A book called Never Split the Difference. Uncommon Communicator is a good podcast too, but never split the difference. Just having that six second pause takes all the air out of the Ambusher hires you have to remain calm too. And it's super hard. It's so hard. But it has a profound impact on human conflict. Two, you gotta set boundaries tactfully and tactfully is call out the ambush behavior and set a appropriate meeting time in place for the meeting. Just call 'em out. But you have to do it calmly. Be like, Hey I have a meeting right now. I haven't started my day. You didn't follow the proper communication methods that I set for myself and everybody that I communicate with. So here's how it works. Please look at my calendar. Find an open time. Let's have this conversation for real when we can both do it calmly. And it could be 10 minutes from now, it could be an hour from now. Let's go take a walk. Let's go look at the situation, put some distance in between that attack and yourself, and set some boundaries around yourself. So this is the emotional swift reaction. Force. I like that. Right? So you gotta pump the brakes on the situation, but you have to do it very tactfully. if you come off and you start screaming and yelling, you lost, lost . You gotta set some boundaries around yourself, and that's hard to do. But usually people will to, unless they're a complete bully in that situation, just walk away. Three, be confident, not apologetic. Once you've calmed the situation, you've set some boundaries, Confidence comes in. Be like, Thank you for your feedback. And don't try to get back. There's no get backs here. If you can take enough time to write down the criticism on a whiteboard, put those nasty words in physical form. On a whiteboard. Oh. Oh. You wanna kill a nasty situation? Make it visual. If there's no whiteboard around you and it's like a physical thing, be like, let's go physically walk and look at it. And one it changes the tempo of the conversation cuz you actually have to physically move. And two it helps you collect your thoughts if you're being ambush. But you gotta do it like, cool cat, you gotta have a late night DJ voice. I can't, I don't have one. Then for once you've set boundaries and you're not being apologetic, now it's time to challenge untrue or exaggerated accusations. Yes. So this is why you gotta start writing stuff on the wall or go physically. It's like, Hey, what, what's the situation between you and Brad? Brad's not here right now. Let's grab Brad, bring it into this conversation right now. Be like, Hey, let's not do this. He said, he said stuff. Let's actually have a three-way conversation about it. Turn on a cell phone. They have this magical device that's called a speaker. Or a teams or whatever. We're all basically reachable these days. And then challenge those exaggerated accusations if you're being gas. Someone is like trying to make you feel crazy. As you're challenging these accusations, you answer who, what, where, when, how many for every statement that and usually you'll find in one of those, they can't answer one of those cuz they made some wild assumption and be like, you know what, no, I've already had this agreement with this person and we're actually gonna do it next Thursday. And that's what we're gonna stick to. Cuz that works for the whole plan. I'm sorry you didn't understand that cause I didn't tell you, but I'm telling you now. So you're starting to mend the relationship by challenging their false assumptions. But again you have to do this in very calm character. And how do you do that? Go to step five. And that's using assertive I and not you ever using. You or their name? Or somebody else's name. Because what that does is say, you told me that I can make my own hours, and you told me that blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And just like, oh, just throwing gas on the fire when you do that. Because yes, all of a sudden if someone doesn't like confrontation, they're scared of that, and now it's now in their face. Now they'll double down. On the frontal assault because they're committed, They're committed to that frontal assault. You can't maneuver away from that once you're committed to that assault. So they'll double down on that. And then sometimes, this is how we turn into physical blows, , because when you get into a completely situation where you have no way out, the only way out is you use fights, right? So the other party will automatically become defensive if you're using you. So if using I you're taking those blows, but you're being assertive about it and you always use I, and then the sixth step, and probably the most important. Listen with your ears. . Listen, actively and listening actively means you have to turn your body and face the person's. Both ears can hear equally and then it comes at you. And then two, your body language expresses if I'm open and I don't have my myths up I'm open to having a conversation. And that's why when you're trying to diffuse the situation, if you have to have that conversation right immediately when you write the words down, one, if it's like super aggressive they will tone themselves down because it has this psychological thing where if super aggressive words and they can see it, it diffuses it that way. And two, it helps you listen because it's like, this is what I understand the situation that boom, boom, boom. And these, these five things, is this the entirety of the problem because let's go through these one at a time. And you might hear what your colleague is saying, , but are you actually listening to them or are you waiting for your time to speak? And people's minds often want wander. I'm all over the place. So I have to actually write stuff down and especially if you're getting ambushed in a group setting take meticulous notes. Cause they want you to be shocked and not write anything down. So it's all hearsay, but if you can actually write down what you heard, and then what you were feeling, when you have that follow up conversation it could be more real. So then you can get past that. So that's the gist of chapter 17 there. What do you think about ambush? You know what, I love that you brought one labeled the ambush techniques to, gave some, some remedies to it. Right. Because it happens all the time. And , I would add that if these situations happen with any, like frequency you may need to be thinking about changing places, changing bosses, changing companies. Right. Because I mean, I can remember being on teams where that was the behavior and it was the normal operating procedure to behave that way. And it was not a fun place to be. Then all of a sudden I found myself exerting all kinds of energy. To protect myself from ambushes instead of doing my damn job. Right. Like fact of the matter was these people are gonna be ambushing me no matter what. Like the way they got ahead was on top of other people's backs. I need to be somewhere else. Luckily the leadership changed and that whole thing, like just as soon as the leadership changed that all that stuff went away, there's no value in that. So the whole point of Hilton ambushing Alex in that meeting was to get his freaking order expedited. He's got some subassemblies Yes. For his BFF somewhere. And Alex does doom himself a favor. He's like, Listen, Hilton Spice doing the name drop technique. He's like, Bill Peach, the CEO wants this done. It's like I have a relationship with Bill Peach, by the way, Mr. Smith don't name drop on me. So they're both at this crossroads So they hang up the phone and discuss and at the end of that conversation, Hilton goes, Maybe you ought to read your mail. He knew Smile is like, he's trying to get his order expedited. He's also got this other ambush waiting for him in an envelope, another envelope getting nailed left and right. And uh, geez, he gets the memo. Well, first thing he does, he's like, Right, I gotta get this guy Smyth off my back. Goes talk to Bob the floor manager and he's like, Hey, get the expeditors on this Hilton Smyth thing. He's like, What about this thing about Herbie? Like, what is this? they haven't discussed this yet, but he is like, Okay, back to life. Back to reality. So he's gotta go back to work even though he's holding this solid gold that he learned on a Boy Scout hike. Yes. He's gotta grit his teeth and be like, You know what? Let's gotta wait. We gotta get this thing ordered. Get my button ringer. And then it's like, Oh crap. What's in the memo? What's in the box? So the memo, it pulls it out, it's an announcement. So this would be 1980s version of email blast. Right? It's announcement that he named Smith to a newly created position of division productivity manager. The appointment is effective at the end of this week. Basically, all the general managers of plants now report to Hilton Smy. It's rearranged the organizational structure and guess what? Hilton. Hilton has operational now has operational control of how every plant is run. And it's according to the numbers, right? According to productivity numbers only. Productivity numbers only based on productivity, only based on individual workstations. And he's like, Oh God, whatever chance I had to make some new arrangements. Go find Herbie, go take the skillet out of his backpack, whatever chance I had. Oh it's gonna be so much harder. This guy who name drops, uses ambushes. He's now in charge. And you know what, That happens .The lesson here is whatever I'll take care of your issue and I'm gonna work harder to go find her make this better. And in that moment, even though it's harder, and even though you're probably gonna get busted, you're probably gonna get in trouble now. But being brave, being courageous, being assertive, being the leader, being independent, those are masculine traits. . So we go back to like that's where we want our hero Alex to go. And he gets his crew, he starts to build a crew. And he is got some smart people that work with him. We already know Lou, the accountant. He's got the financials on Lock Bob, right? Operational leader out on the floors. Like superintendent works with all the workstations. Stacy Stacy's the head lead Expeditor who understands how the plant operates, but also understands productivity and what things are. So she's got, the numbers and she's probably classically trained. She probably has like a masters , right? In productivity tqm. Then you got Ralph Naam and he's got the data. He's got the access to the mainframe computer. So now we almost have all of the elements that we can study our operation with. This crack team of misfits guess what he does? Alex goes and he gets a big pad of paper and he starts drawing diagrams on the wall. And this, at this moment,, they're like, Okay, one, we gotta goal, we gotta ship out these parts to another plant for Hilton Smith. Two, we gotta go find Herbie. And so we're like, Stacy, you know, all the optimization stuff. Go find a machine that's not optimum. Bob, go find Herbie. So he explains the hike And then like Lou cool hand Lou, he's like, Nah, I don't buy this. I don't buy this and this my friends. Is why we need diversity. You have to have diverse sets of thought, diverse, and people being like, I know I'm buying into this BS man, just because you went on some hike. I don't know what chemicals that you ingested on your camping trip. He's like, uh, it's just that, Well, you said you figured this out by watching a bunch of kids hiking. Like always nay saying Lou, In fact, you have to have that. And the reason why, because not everybody's gonna buy into your situation. And so instead of being like, No, this is my way or the highway, which probably Alex could have done, but the reason why they set it up with him getting way laid by Hilton Smith, he's like, I'm not gonna repeat that with Lou. I could, I could pull rank and be like, Lou, this is what we're doing. This is the new way. Either you like it or it's too bad. Go look. There's a letter in your inbox by the way, , so you can take it up with Hilton. It's not my fault. . So he doesn't he stops that cycle of psychological damage cuz that's what it is. And he is like I got an idea. These robots, they got statistical fluctuations. It's one of the reasons why we got the dang robots. So we can have consistency cuz it runs, it doesn't sleep, it don't need food, it just needs electricity and grease and oil. So then Lou's like, Hmm, Bob, you gotta point there. So it's like, and so they're writing stuff, they're, you're drawing out diagrams on the wall and Alex is writing like, constraint dependent events. Statistical fluctuations. They start mapping the plant, they start mapping it out. Because when you draw that line, that shows logic of dependent events. Why do you think that is so important to do the visual thing? So there's two reasons for me. One is when we get, when we visualize it and put it out in front of us, somebody in that group of misfits has direct responsibility of that situation. And if we're talking about the situation, like you and I right now, we're on camera and I'm saying, Hey, that thing that you're doing, I'm pointing at you. And so the feeling is that you are the problem, but when we take it out of our head and put it up on the wall, you're not the problem. The problem is we're attacking the problem together. Now, side by side, able to see that. The other thing is now we can both verify that we're talking about the same damn thing. like, Nope, that's not where it is. It's, it's two steps forward. No, it's a step and a half back, whatever that situation is. But because it's visualized now, we are working towards gaining agreement on the problem. That thinking right there. Mr. David, verbal through many coaching sessions helped me understand, he's like, Jesse, a plan without agreement is a wish. What you need to do is get agreement on the problem first. like, Oh man, you, so you want me to work to solve this problem? I just wanted to give a solution. But visualizing is one of those methods to help gain agreement on the problem and make sure that we're isolating the problem as it is out, in the workspace, not within the individual. Yeah. And it takes the individual almost out of it. But yeah, the whole point of that is right, the steps out and if you're in a group setting, if someone doesn't buy that, that step happens after this step. They can see it and understand it and they can interject and be like, No, there's actually an intermediate. That actually happens here. Then that's their opportunity to explain it. And if that's correct, if that proves that, Yeah, you're right. And now I'm gonna draw that instead of from A to B, it's gonna go from A to a 0.2 then to B. So I'm gonna change my logic. So they do that they draw out basic steps of their facility. He wrote constraint dependent events, statistical fluctuation and the team they're like, I think it's the robot the Ncx 10. And they're like, Think about it the parts they have to pass through the robot, the robot can only handle 25 parts per batch, and then it goes through and mills it. I imagine it's like a eighties style CNC mill. You can't do 26, but if you do 24. You're not meeting the capacity. I'm gonna get busted by Hilton. I'm running it. Less than a hundred percent capacity. So if you only run 24, then one empty slot, you don't run. So you're actually gonna be slower than what that thing needs. Here's the thing, here's what they realize, that that robot, the setup piece, that's not by another robot, that's by a human being and it's by a set of human beings. So the setup is done by human beings who take breaks and work shifts. The other thing is that the parts that arrive in front of the machine, they don't come in sets of 25 always. Sometimes it comes in 12, sometimes it comes in 28. So it's like, what do we run? We run a batch of 12 and we run half batches, or we run a 25 and then at six, Or what? Like what are we doing here? So it's, you have all this fluctuation, all this variance, and all this variance is caused because the system, the entire system is not set up to give that machine what they assume is the bottleneck. Because that's, It's not optimized. It's not giving that machine what it needs every single time. So that's what they realized. They're like, Oh, damn, this thing that Bill Peach is all hot and bothered about marketing. People are all over it. So then it's in, and all these trade magazines that like, Unicos got the CX 10, they're like, Oh, damn. Like now this situation went from really bad to way worse because we're gonna have to optimize the robot. The thing that's entire purpose was to make the plant more productive. It's freaking Herbie. So the only thing that it can do is make things worse. That's the only thing you can do. If nothing else is fixed, The only thing that robot will do is continuously make stuff worse. And then even worse, a dang thing will break. Yes. And then you totally shut down. Um, if you've ever done anything with a drill rig drilling into the earth, there's one constant, It will break. Because drilling into the earth is incredibly rough on machines steel carbide and diesel, and it will break. And usually there's not enough money in the budget to have two. So the thing about a drill rigs just like the drill robot, gotta maintain it. You gotta take some of the load off of it Yes. To make sure that you don't run that thing so ragged it's gonna blow up. And then your whole drilling operation slows down or it stops. So I got a story about the drill rig situation we were pursuing this project that was like crazy, crazy timeline. 24 hour shifts for, you know, whatever it was, six or seven months. It was a data center and the rub. So we stop calling it pull plan. Cuz the GC didn't like, ah, we don't believe in that lean junk. Like, okay, can we at least map out this process, the underground installation from drilling to roughing to pouring concrete? Let's just look at those steps because we knew that we would not be able to. The scheduled time that was dictated to us. Like, we can't do that. And they like, Well, you have to, you signed up for it. Like, Okay, we did sign up for it. I didn't sign it, but I'm telling you we're gonna start out the gate bad. So we got into it, they agreed to map the process out and I'm like, Look, the fact is these drill rigs will break. There's al there's a lot of downtime and I recognize that my schedule time, I have enough time to do my job if the drill rigs do not break. And they always do. Like, we all know this, so the sequence is not going to work. you're gonna compress me and I know I can't deliver that because of inspections. Like, the thing was the frequency and the response time of inspections was going to delay or impact, right? It was a day and a day and a day and a day and a day, and it took us four or five days out and like train wreck, I said, What if we go in there and Rock saw all of our ditches and backfill them and then they come in and start doing their drilling and like, Well, why would you do that? I'm like, Because that's where I'm gonna get held up if they're bust. , I can't dig. And my machinery to dig is way bigger. There's not enough space. We're just gonna have a whole lot of traffic. If I can get in there and saw, cut all of my ditches and backfill them and they break down, I can get a little mini excavator. I can get a little termite baby to, or hand dig the damn ditch cuz now it's powder and keep going with my roughing. And they're like, well you're gonna be responsible like it was, I'll rent steel plates to cover the ditches. Like whatever. They're not going to slow me down if you let us do this. And they did. And oh my God. It was a crazy idea, but it was glorious at the end of it because guess what? This stupid drill rig broke down a few times. They had to get one in. Oh, it's a big deal the drillers of the world. Like we salute you. Dude. Poor guys. That's some serious work. Our society is sitting on their work. Absolutely. A lot of it, if you've crossed a bridge if you've ever stayed, slept in this hotel, I have it's setting upon something that was drilled into the ground and it's not most appreciated work. That's a great story cuz it links perfectly with there's a little bet so Alex, he's like I got my, he's up my butt. Right. We gotta get these 200 sub assemblies out. This robot can only do 25 parts at a time. it's afternoon. This thing is four hours. We gotta get this, these parts on the truck and off so we gotta get cracking. So you guys make a hundred units and the robot make a hundred units. Right. But they have to give the robot parts, right? That's the whole point. So it's like, who's gonna win? Hey, the robot needs 25 parts an hour. Can you hit that? And they're like, Dude, we got this. We got it. He bets him 10 bucks. We don't get this order shipped out. He's like, You're betting against your own demise, Bob. That's what he bets Bob. He's like 10 bucks. I big some of money. Maybe a little more in the eighties, but he's like, I bet you 10 bucks we don't ship this order. But he calls Smith, he's like, Hey, we're gonna get this order out. He's like, You got it. So he is like, now the heat's on and they gotta get it out. So he asked one of Pete's people. He says, Keep track of your production every hour and keep it on this Just make a note and then I'll come around and I'll see our progress. So the first hour, and in the book, it's on page 1 32, , but the first hour between noon and, and one, these guys get 19 parts. Yep. It's good. I mean, they're on it. They're not worried cuz they're like, Hey we'll just ramp it up. We'll just start hitting it. So the first hour they give the machine 19 parts. The machine and the guys are going now. Second hour Pete's crew, 21 parts. It was an improvement from the previous hour. So at this point they're like, guys we're behind. We're not gonna make it. But this time Bob's like, Oh, we're gonna beat this robots, but we're gonna crush 'em, the robot, I guarantee you, is gonna be the constraint. I guarantee you the robot is the constraint. They mapped it out. Bob comes over third hour. So at this point they're only 10 behind, which is pretty close. Third hour, they crush at 28. they cut it. They're only seven pieces behind, but at this time, the robot has only processed a 19 batch, The second batch was 21. It's still behind by 10. So right now it's 68 parts to 40. Third hour. So they crushed it between three and 4 32. Yeah they've gotten efficiency and now they're ahead. They hit a hundred. Nailed it. They saw the finish line. But guys, last hour, if we hit 32, we beat the machine. Yes. They give the 32 4 o'clock hundred Bob's like, pay up bro. And the machine still has got one more hour to run, but it's 10 behind. Yeah, it's 10 behind and it can only do 25. Like literally they see the constraint in front of their eyes. They can't hurry the machine. There's 10 units sitting in front of this machine. Inventory. Yes. That's exactly where I was at. the inventory showed up and cluttered in front of the Herbie, the Ncx 10. And literally, they're like, Yeah there's no point we're done. And tell the truck to go. They're like, Do you wanna take the half order? And I'm like, No. I'll tell Hilton that He'll have it, have the dang thing in the first truck out in the morning. Like whatever. He got his order right. But that, proved that the Ncx 10. Was Herbie But they were all uncomfortable and squishy about it because this is the big machine. This thing has high precedence, high pecking order. But the moral there of 18, it's like, hey, they need to one, anticipate that their plan of hitting it on the dot Exactly at the right time this thing does 25 an hour. We got four hours. That's a hundred units. That's the order. We got it. Like we got it. But the first hour that gets 19. It was already done. So if you're doing this with tact, first hour 19, there's a flag and somebody pulls an and on probably when they've delivered those 19 units. That didn't fulfill my Kanban, and on like, and on, let me explain, is a signal that says, Hey, there's some kind of an issue. So if you're working to tact, meaning like if we're working to 25 parts an hour and I need 25 parts an hour for me to be fully optimized and I get 19, I'm gonna raise a flag right there. So if we're working on assumptions or historical data, being like, Hey, this thing does 25 an hour, if we just work the dang thing harder, if we're hopeful Or have the truck wait later delay the truck and that guy's, he's gotta go deliver and then go home. Like now you're screwing around with people's lives. if we start creating little micro delays, we have to raise those flags right then and there. So I have a story that when this happened, that's why I picked this photograph behind me this is a vertical building. It's a 2028 floor. Building. In San Francisco it's on second. And Howard, it's the headquarters of LinkedIn if you're into that kind of thing. But you'll see behind me, this is Herby. let me introduce you. . This guy and this guy they iron workers. Remember I was telling the story about we figured out a cycle time for welding Yes. And concrete. Like we, we figured out that sequence. We did not in that sequence, in that planning, we failed to find Herbie. This is probably 200 plus feet in the air right here. The problem with building in high places is you need to access them . And you can't just levitate we can access them from a hoist. And it's not legal either, but the problem with accessing with a mechanical device is if that breaks, then your access is ruined. And if someone gets seriously hurt or injured or has a medical condition or just wants to go home, traditionally we would build some kind of a job built ladder here. You've probably gone up and down those a million times. Oh yeah. Right. But but we were like, we don't wanna use ladders. Why don't we use these steel stairs? And they're not the kind you fill with concrete. They pan stairs, so they're, as soon as you install them and put a handrail up, you're ready to go. They're stairs. So Herbie was not the stairs themselves being delivered. It was the time it takes to get 'em up there, get 'em aligned, get 'em welded, you know get things in place. It's not the greatest work. I mean, you see these two gentlemen here? They're being tied off. You're not, fully able to move freely. So you move slower than if you weren't encumbered with that. The problem is they don't have multiple crews. It's one crew that installs the stairs, they do the erection, they do the bolting and they do the welding and they do the cables and they release them to other workers. Plus they have to get all their inspections. So it's not like we can just add more herpes. Nope. We can't add more any iron workers because if we add more iron workers on these sets of stairs, they will rain, welding sl down upon themselves. Just like we added some netting to catch the SL from the structural steel weld. Same thing here. So that's dangerous. That can't be the solution. So what was the solution? ? We had to figure that out. And we had to accept that yes, our limitation of continuously growing the structure higher was not the hoist, not the crane. That was our first assumption in my first story. . That only worked until we ran outta stairs. And the reason why we ran outta stairs was because the, this opening, they needed the landing to be feel concrete. Because they needed to get it set, right? And we're like, I don't know if that's the right assumption. Is that the right thing? And then the second assumption was, well, you can't have the stairs sitting on the slab on metal deck like that's around here until we pour the concrete. Like it's in the dang way. This is the concrete guys telling me, and this was once we realized the stairs was the constraint and we didn't blame the stair people great workers they were highly productive. They were very skilled. They did a great job on this project. I took this photo, I took this photo studying them. I was actually like trying to understand the steps and doing the same thing I did with the iron workers and the concrete crews and all the MEP trades that did all their inserts. But now I was like, we have to change the way we looked and we had to accept that and not blame Olson. We didn't blame them at all. In fact, we were like, Let's figure this out. So the first thing was like, we need to resolve this issue with delivering the stairs. So that's a manufacturing problem. I gotta call Olson's shop and be like, Hey, where's our stairs at? And they're like, They're all here lined up. Here's a photo, bro. So I'm like, Okay, that's not a problem. It's a delivery issue now. Okay, that's mine. I can't control this delivery issue. So the second problem was, hey, when the stairs are laying on the deck, it's in the way of the concrete finishing. Then we gotta send the concrete crew back. Like that's just a bad idea. So, you know what the solution that we came up with I don't know if you can see it in this device, but they have this thing, It's a chain fall. This chain fall device if you use several of them, you can suspend during a concrete pour safely in the air a high where you're placing the concrete Nice. And hold it in that place. And we secured it. We didn't just use the chain fall we used a couple methods and we made sure it was safe and wasn't falling and no one went under it. But we had to finish under it. But it was secured off and it was suspended from the air. That removed that issue, it removed the issue of, Hey, it's access. now, once the concrete is placed and again, it's not hanging over the concrete, it's just hanging over where the stair goes. You lower this piece down, and then there's another section where this gentleman's standing. The other section is above him that's being lowered from the floor above. And that'll go fit in this section right here. And that's how stairs are erected. And we figured that out about halfway through we resolved another Herbie they're starting to put a hand on Herbie's back, the new Herby concrete. Yeah. And I'll save that story for the next time. I guess you're a marathon runner. Yeah. So sometimes it helps if you're getting gas, if you have somebody who's running at the same pace. So if you have someone, in this instance where you have a productivity. They're slow and now they picked back up and they just little, little tap on the back being like, Hey Olson, we're gonna catch up. We caught up and now we're giving everyone access very saved off. We got cables. Like it's way better access than any kind of job built ladder. I don't care how fancy it is with gates get it out. You can't do this. Do scaffolding stairs. As a trade worker, you can't appreciate that, that you can, yes, you can use the hoist to get up to the floor, but if you need to work from floor to floor, it's really nice to just shoot down the stairs. Plus it's a means of egress in an event of an emergency and it's just better on overall morale. Go back to Dr. Gold. It can't exceed demand. That capacity, it should always meet the demand. And he actually gives, there's nine more rules they're called bottleneck rules, but we'll talk about that next time, chapter 19. But he basically says , if you have a known capacity, we do a floor based upon our productivity rates, based upon a whole bunch of historical data based, based upon our weekly work plan that, we sign off and commit to every single week. We know pretty predictably where we're gonna be from week to week. And now we find issues and then we start resolving those issues. Your capacity will now increase . The trick is don't rest. Go look for Herbie. He's gonna be around herpes out there for sure. He just had different hard hats. Yes. And the new Herbie will be spoiler alert and will be concrete fill on metal. Also amazing crew. Now they saw it, they're like, Oh, they see it, they're experiencing it. All of the stuff, This has an organizing effect on a whole organization of people. ] it doesn't matter what trade you're at, when you start to see this organization start to happen, and maybe you've experienced this. Oh yeah. You start to be like these guys got it. Yes. These guys are getting it. And it wasn't magic. Nope. We were figuring this out, out on our own. We did have some third party help. I will say we did . There might have been some uc, Berkeley influence coming in. But that was later. That was actually later. This initial optimization we figured out with last planner, last planner system wasn't perfect. Wasn't by the book at all. that added with optimization, meaning when I was taking this photo, we would actually watch production happen. Then we'd compare notes and based upon the notes, we would make decisions. . We didn't go back and look at the P six schedule. That was part of the decision making process. I'm not saying we threw the thing out, but we definitely used this data That was the means to make the update.. We didn't sit there and have to explain our way around the situation. We still weren't like high fiving each other about getting a hit on the schedule. We were high fiving each other because the job was getting easier. Yes. We were having fun and getting along and it wasn't perfect. I'm not gonna say this was like hunky dory and there was rainbows on the other side of mission, but along, we got along really well. And how do I know that? Because I still feel very strongly for the people that, on that project, that work there and including this Olson steel stair crew, and they just knocked it out. They were just, they're great. Super safe. And when they were Kirby, we didn't blame them. We didn't send them delay letters. We called, we did do some due diligence. We called their fab and said, Hey, what's this situation on the fabrication? And then once we got past that situation based on a really great relationship that we had it was like, Okay let's go find a solution. And the solution was right in front of our face. And all those ideas came from conversations just like the misfit crew. ? Even in the face of getting yelled at by their boss, even with the home issues that he's got faced with. He had every right to just be . With his coworkers, with his boss. But he said, I'm gonna work on that. But right now the situation says, Let's get Hilton Splice order out. Cuz that's the situation. But also let's simulate our theory in the meantime. So we can do both. We're gonna get Hilton's order out on time or way better than we've ever performed. So we'll look good there. And then two, we're also gonna learn from this process this theory of constraints that we're trying to figure out and we're gonna go find a Herbie and we assume the Herbie is the Ncx 10 robot. And then we got the data guy there crunching the numbers, being like, Hey, you're not gonna make it and here's why. And all of a sudden they're like, now they're faced with the brutal facts and they're. Damn this has more weight to it, so I'll, I'm gonna leave it at that. Yes. Love it. Has that ever happened to you having the organizational effect from other trades, like seeping into your own work? Totally. I like the way you mentioned the morale, and that's kind of the most significant experience I've had of where we're working. And you know, I was totally local optimization for a very long time, and we're smoking everybody, and all of a sudden I could see like, Oh, oh, these dudes are catching up. And I'm like, Whoa, wait a minute. But because of the way the morale was that way, the gc, the superintendent on that project was very good about, Hey, this is what's happening. These guys are getting ahead. What are you gonna do? They're catching up to you what can we do? It was never a dictatorial. He would share his observations about what was going on and fig like, Hey Jess, you're working a bunch of overtime. I'm gonna ask you to stop because you're creating problems and you don't need to work all this overtime. And like, Yeah, yeah, yeah, but we gotta get done and my guys want overtime and, you know, whatever. And he finally like, Jesse, no, you need to stop. I'm not approving your overtime. I am not gonna be here Saturday. You're not gonna be here past three 30 because you're getting too far ahead. So he would do things and I'm like, Man, why are you doing that? And the guys were like, Jess, that's fine. Like we won a weekend. And all of a sudden I could see ah, okay, now I need to amp it up. I need to catch up, or we need to switch some things. Significant thing he did and what you've described that you did was, he never told me how many people I needed to have or like any of that. What he did was he said, Hey man, I've been watching. I can see this is what's happening over here with the framers. We got the mezzanine going up. What's your plan there? I see all struggling. What if you tried this so that we can get the air handler units and pieces, get 'em all this, you know, just helping us problem solve, and that's like the one time, there might be two other times in my career, . And the difference was he never said, You need more people. What he did was we always approached how we were doing the work. How are you going to do that? How is what you're doing affecting everything? At that point, In my thinking , it wasn't clear to me, it was just, he was just magical, right? The way he operated. But looking back, it was like, that's what he was doing. And it was very different than the traditional style of, you need more people, you need more people, and you need to work more hours. Cuz that was always the only answer. And now I understand like, oh, okay, so you're gonna make us throw more people and work more hours. When really what that means is we're going to do more waste faster. Let's look at the process, let's adjust the process like, yeah, I agree, we should add more people, but let's look at all these bottlenecks that we have and let's do something about those before we add the damn people. And that's a hard thing people get excited, right? They learn last planner, they get introduced to lean and they think it's just gonna happen. Like, no, it takes study and observation and experimentation to get there. And clearly you understood that. Yeah we did that, we're not hitting our numbers. That we're committing to what's up with that? What's up with that question? It's not a closed question. You are stair installer, foreman are behind. You need to work every Saturday and Sunday and possibly added on the shift. But in lieu of that it sounds like you had a very similar conversation and it's universal. It happened probably at the same time in Texas. I'm in California. We're having the same conversation and really that's how it works. Take notes, keep score. Be open and honest about it. And then when you see a problem, don't blame the crew working. They're working hard. They're skilled crafts people. It's not their problem. it's Thomas's problem in this thing. And guess what Thomas is Thomas me. I was like, Okay, now I'm gonna, I'm gonna check my ego and I'm be like, What's the solution out of this? And I couldn't do it by myself. No. I had to call Jay at the shop. I had to talk to the foreman and be like, Hey, what's your idea on this? I had to go talk to the concrete crew, get their permission because hey, there's this gonna be a stair suspended over an opening. Are you okay with this? I had to get permission from our safety department to do that. They added all kinds of stuff to make sure that things gonna be secured. Like I got all that squared away. We did in inspection on it. We did a whole bunch of validation on it. We had a couple contingency plans like, Hey, what happens if the stairs get behind. So we had these plans in place. Just in case we got out of sequence. And if you're Jason Stro. If you're planning that tight, this is where you add in those time buffers. And then when you need the contingency plan, you burn a time buffer. That way you don't get outta tact. I was learning that the hard way. Firsthand. In lieu of learning it in a book. But I was also reading chapter 18 when I took this photograph probably very close in time. I found that, hey, this is a situation that it's in our power to resolve. In fact, this is the kind of problem solving that is looked at as like super positive. This is what we want people to think. You can't teach that. You can't, you can only show people the way. And I found that this is the way, and I'm really wanting to share that with the people listening that at this moment and in this time when I took this photograph and when I read this chapter, had these conversations made some decisions. I was in a position of authorities so I could actually make these decisions too. That's another key factor. The key. So key, the structural area superintendent in charge of this area. Could only bring this up to me. And I wasn't even fully agency. Like I had to get permission from beyond me to get to do this kind of stuff. But we figured it out. We made it happen, and, uh, we were better for it. But there was always a lou cool hand, Lou being like, eh, you know, instead of just on the chain fall, can we actually have like a physical restraint that doesn't reverse? Yeah. Let me go talk to the crew and be like, there's other things. And we came up with a plan. We went out and executed that plan. This new concept, have you heard of this? It's called the UDA loop I have heard of. Yes. The UDA loop, it comes from the Air Force. So aim high. It's a Colonel John Boyd, and it's very important because in an Air Force situation, especially in an aircraft you have to make super fast decisions almost instantly and be trained for that, right? So, UD uda, O Oda. First O is observation, you have to observe, you have to understand the unfolding circumstances. You have to understand the outside information. You have to understand what's happening in your environment. You only way to do that is observe. Second thing is orient. So I gotta go talk to the fab shop. I gotta talk to the concrete crew. I have to talk to the steel directors. I have to talk to the steer crew. I gotta talk to my safety department. I gotta talk to a project manager. I gotta talk to the general super. I gotta talk to US manager. I have to get all of this clearance. To get stuff oriented. And be like, okay we got this plan, these are the steps. What's wrong with the plan? And then you decide. Once you have that kind of package together, you make a decision and that decision does a couple things. You can either move forward and say, Yeah, go to feedback, feedback to your, either your orientation or you go even go back, Gotta go back and observe more. You get some kind of feedback and so it's a loop. And that decision, you only move to act the A. So O O D A, when you move to act. You have to make a decision. And that decision is based upon how you oriented and how you oriented it is based on observation. Your observation. So they train in this loop. And now I try to bring that into, every situation, observe, orient, decide feedback. If the decision is no, right? It's never just, no, it's no, but. And then act. Immediately. Immediately act. There's no waiting. There's no observe, orient, hesitate, , right? There's no observe get scared, run away. So if you're in a very serious situation, ulu, it's just a little mind trick. But you can actually follow these steps in any process, any decision making process. So I'm gonna stop with that, but what's your thoughts on this chapter? Lots of good nuggets and especially your experience and like the uda loop. Observe, orient, decide, act. I'm usually the side act and then like, Oh, crap, I should have observed a little bit. So that gets me in trouble, but my observation of working with a lot of people in our industry is they never get to decide and act. They're observing and orienting and complaining the whole. And they're observing from the trailer. Sorry bro, that's not what we mean. Get out there and get boots and see what the hell's actually happening. Because if you're just asking people to report the situation, and Adam hoots, on my interview with him, he shares this example a lot when he was doing last planner, he was having a problem he couldn't understand what the hell was going on between the plumber and the framer. And he was frustrating him until he went to see what the, and he is like, Oh, because if we count, and I've done this, if I'm dependent on people's report of the situation, there's bias in the report. And if I'm making decision on that, like it's not gonna be the best decision. I've gotta go and see it for myself to say, Ah, okay, now I understand what you're saying and what you're saying, and here's the relationship. What if we do xyz? Right? That's the orientation part. Again, I think the one thing people take away from this little banter is, don't observe from the trailer. . Go out there, see it, decide and act. There's another book by Annie Duke, Thinking and Bets. Really good book. And it talks about the difference or dynamic between making the rightest decision based on all the information you had in hand. That's a good thing. That does not guarantee an outcome. And if the outcome is not in your favor, it's not because you made a bad decision, it's because the outcome's. An outcome, . And often those people that get stuck in the observe and orient, they're trying to mitigate every single risk to guarantee a particular outcome. But life, so the outcome is not always gonna be perfect. So decide and act and then repeat. That's why it's UDA loop. Thank you for that was a great assessment of it. And that's kind of the piece that I wanted to say and you highlighted it. When you get to decide you have to have an agency to make a decision. And everybody's like, you gotta take ownership of all this stuff. Like you don't have ownership of everything. Every aspect of everything. But you can bring this orientation, if you can take ownership of that. And say, I've exhausted every remedy I've packaged this whole thing up and I can no longer elevate this constraint any longer. I have to elevate it beyond my agency, beyond my roles and responsibilities. And from there, the ownership piece for you and me is if the feedback is, No, you have to accept that. Because oftentimes the feedback will be no. And there's sometimes there's good reasons for the no. Sometimes people are just like, Go away. Your problem isn't big enough for me. But don't fret on that., go back to observe. Observe some more. Perhaps your observation was flawed or the way that you packaged your issue and the way you elevated it wasn't at the right time. The mood wasn't right. Somebody was annoyed and said, Get outta here, Thomas, for the 50,000 times today. So that orientation piece, when you feed it forward into your decision it's gotta be pretty complete. And you have to consider culture, right. You have to consider how it's gonna be analyzed, and you have to do this rapidly. So, if your plan is incomplete, oftentimes you'll get the feedback of no what I learned in this incident that planning, that orientation part is sometimes exhausting and sometimes you're not completely successful on the first try. But Try again. Don't be crushed. Because the benefit is build morale, build relationships, build trust. People are generally happy at work. and what that builds upon is people's mental state . Their care for each other. That just has such a resounding effect. I'm gonna leave it at that. Mm. Did I not tell you I think it's the combination of Thomas' intellect and flexibility to share the stage with me and his like real concern for humans, like for people he really, really cares. That comes through every time I talk to him. Uh, he and I, you know, we both operated differently years ago and, and we have seen the light. Y'all gotta hit up Thomas. If y'all are on the LinkedIn, you need to follow him. That dude's gotta going on. And time for the LnM Family member. Shout out. We got some feedback. We received a review on the Apple thing. Boom, boom, boom. LF team, LF team says, Jesse is one of a kind leader who understands the work that is done every day on the job site where he differs from others is heart for people. There's no other leader that values others quite like this. Be ready to be challenged and to be motivated to grow in each podcast. I'm sorry, LF team. I giggle a little bit because it's kind of uncomfortable to, to read those, that kind of stuff about me. I really appreciate that my heart comes through and that you're picking up on it, and particularly that you took the time to put some meaningful words, into the app thing and, and LnM Family. I'm always grateful for all the feedback. Your comments on the socials, the likes, the shares, the reposts, Aaron Gibson, you'd be reposting like crazy, bro. I love it. So y'all keep it going. End of the years coming. Be kind to yourself. Take care of you. Take care of your people. Be cool, and we'll talk at you next time. Peace. Oh my goodness. You're either driving down the road or just so enthralled with, uh, with this whole podcast that you went all the way down to the very, very, very, very end of it. And we appreciate you and just, we're going to take this as an indication of your dedication so we got a little special request of you, a call to action, because everybody tells us that like, you need to have a call to action. So here's the call to action. Be kind to yourself, go out there and share a smile with someone