May 3, 2023

Potential Unleashed

Matt Perez and Jose Leal conversed with Daniel Hammond, Managing Partner of Customer Driven Leadership, about achieving breakthroughs by challenging top-down thinking. Daniel is convinced that, if properly resourced, the people best suited to solve problems and innovate are the ones with direct experience, as well as the right motivation and inspiration. Tune in to the discussion to find out how and why this can be made possible.

Innovation often requires breaking free from the constraints of top-down thinking. Those with direct experience in a field, combined with the right motivation and inspiration, are often the best suited to solve problems and drive breakthroughs. By encouraging bottom-up thinking, companies and individuals can tap into the creativity and unique perspectives of those on the ground. This approach not only fosters innovation but also leads to greater engagement and buy-in from employees, ultimately leading to a more collaborative and successful organization. Daniel Hammond encourages us to consider tapping into the power of those with direct experience and an innovative mindset next time we're faced with a challenge. 


Jose Leal (00:08):

Hello there, and welcome to our Hatchery Live. I, I just did Daniel, what I've told guests never to do, which is there's going to be a little pop-up going, and that's okay. I'm Jose Leal, one of the founders of Radical. Matt may join us a little later. We're not sure what, where Matt's at, but if he does pop up, you'll know where he is coming from. And today we've got Daniel Hammond from Customer-driven Leadership and welcome Daniel and tell us a little bit about yourself before we get started with some questions.

Daniel Hammond (00:48):

Fantastic. Thank you so much for having me, Jose. Really excited to be here. I love the way that radical is thinking. I, I agree with so much of what you're doing. And so, from my perspective, I have a very diverse background. I get bored easily. I like to learn new things. So, I was in the military for four years active and 10 in the reserves in the US Army. US Army Reserves. Started off in, in signals intelligence, switched over to human intelligence, and became an interrogation instructor. Have some real-world experience in that realm, and then leveraged that to help design courses, to help people do Geneva-compliant interrogation work more efficiently and more effectively. And h how to collect that data and organize that data so that it's actually usable.

Daniel Hammond (01:46):

From there, I moved to Honduras. I lived in Honduras for five and a half years working with my wife. She's the best boss ever. She had a textile export company, and so I helped her run that. And then I got an opportunity to help a friend work in his he had a top-tier physical security company, so I did some physical security company work in Honduras in San Pedro Sula, which is a fairly <laugh>, fairly unsafe city. But got to be the general manager of a company with over 400 employees helped increase profitability, helped change up some of the ways they did things, and create some new revenue streams. And then from there, I ended up moving back to the US and started working in cybersecurity, doing cyber intelligence first, kind of understanding the bad guys, how they look at you know, targets, right?

Daniel Hammond (02:52):

They're, they're coming after you. And so I've always had kind of an ability to think like a bad guy, right? I, I can shift my perspective and go, well, what would I do if I were, you know, not a good person and I was looking to harm this kind of company, whatever it is that I'm working for? I was working for a top 10 global bank, and from there I switched over to cyber exercises. So that's a kind of fire drill for networks. So helping leadership teams think through what they are prepared for and practice that, and also identify gaps in their planning and their strategies. I did that all the way up to the industry level. I led a couple of industry exercises. This is one of them that I, I was blessed to design and facilitate in front of the secretary, US Secretary of the Treasury. So had some high-level engagements. Across my career, I have actually worked with cabinet-level officials in four countries, in four completely different job roles. And I'm always looking for new ways to think and learn. I joined the John Maxwell team. I'm really into growing myself so that I can better serve others. And I've also been coached by Dan Sullivan's entrepreneurial coaching program, a strategic coach.

Jose Leal (04:22):

So, that's it, huh? It, it sounds like you're like me. You  can't stay in one place for too long. You feel like you need to grab some more information, do some new things figure stuff out.

Daniel Hammond (04:40):

Absolutely. I, I love, my hobby is board gaming, so I love to get a new game, learn the rules figure out how it works, and go from there.

Jose Leal (04:56):

Perfect. So, I, I'm going to let you clear your throat a little bit As I ask a, a question that's probably a little bit longer here. You, you've got a history that leads me to think that, you know, human nature pretty well based on your experience in the military and your experience in dealing with threats. What's your, what is it that you're seeing now that's sort of interesting you in that realm? Because it seems to me that the work you've done sort of leads you to focus on who are people, what do they do, why do they do it, and how do they come about to that?

Daniel Hammond (05:50):

Yeah, fantastic question. For one the tools are getting better.

Jose Leal (05:55):


Daniel Hammond (05:58):

My wife, saving the day,

Jose Leal (06:00):

Not only a great boss but also saving the day.

Daniel Hammond (06:05):

Thank you. And again, Colleen, my apologies. I think the tools, the tools are getting better, right? I really look at AI and its evolution. It really helps. One of the things they tell you about phishing emails, right? Look for the bad grammar. Well, if you've got an AI bot doing your grammar for you, those mistakes are going to be gone, right?

Jose Leal (06:34):


Daniel Hammond (06:37):

If I want to be able to speak in a way that I'm not generally trained in, like, sounding like an executive, it's going to be able to do that for you as well. So there's a lot of things where the tools that are coming out now are game-changing. Brute forcing attacks having AI run background checks on people looking for things like mothers-made names, passwords things that have been disclosed on the dark net that might give me an insight into how I can access your information are all improving very quickly. It's so much so that they're talking about wanting to pause it, but the bad guys aren't going to pause it <laugh>, right? So <laugh>, it's like I'm from Texas. It's kind of like gun control, right? Taking, taking guns away from the people who are being responsible isn't going to change the, fact it just changes the power dynamic,

Jose Leal (07:45):

Right? So, speaking about power dynamics let's introduce today's topic because it's, it's a critical topic as far as I'm concerned. And it sounds like something that you're very familiar with. So, unlocking success by challenging top-down thinking, we call that the fiat system. The idea is that it's the top that gets to make decisions and the bottom gets to run with those decisions. Obviously your background in the military, you're very familiar with that kind of thinking. I would guess not having been there myself, but tell us about, what that means to you.

Daniel Hammond (08:33):

Yeah. Well, just quickly going in the military scheme, right? I mean, it's very top-down, but when done correctly, I think the success of the US military and say World War II was the information was shared and un everyone understood what the mission was. So, when somebody goes down I don't know thank you. When somebody goes down like a leader the mission can continue, right? Whereas in the German military, in the Soviet military you know, only the leader knew what the goal was. And so, if you could take out the leader, now you just have a bunch of men defending themselves and not really knowing what they're about and what they're doing. So that's kind of a diversified military, and I saw plenty of things. I'm going to try a lozenge, <laugh>. So, I see a lot of times when I was told what to do and how to do it, but I understood the goal of what we were trying to accomplish better than my directions. And so at that point, you have a choice, do I obey a legal order or do I accomplish the mission in the best possible way? And it sort of creates a moral quandary for me and potentially for my soldiers because maybe I'm being directed to do it in a riskier way.

Daniel Hammond (10:13):

Whereas if I just understood what the intent and the goal of the action is, I can make better decisions.

Jose Leal (10:23):

And that's focusing on the impact rather than necessarily on the instructions, right?

Daniel Hammond (10:28):

Correct. Yeah. And in the military, if you don't do what you're told, there are serious consequences, right? Your career can be ended, you can go to jail, all of those things. And, it saw the same thing in the corporate environment. Many times I could not save my leadership from mistakes because, and it, and it, I think every leader wants to make the best decision possible for themselves, the company, the team, but is not always cut and dry. And not all leaders value those things in the same order, right? Sometimes some leaders are more concerned about how do I look and what kind of pushback am I going to get from my leader if I challenge them. So, there's a, you know, a courage factor. I think there and then, you know, again, how many times will the employee be willing to raise their hand and say, might this not be a better way if they're constantly shut down? Right?

Jose Leal (11:48):

So the way we've been looking at it within the community is, is wondering, how do we see this? Because what you've just described isn't symptomatic only of the military or the organizations, right? It's, it's across the whole of our society. We've got a system, a societal system if you want to just call it a single system that is really about this idea that a single person is a leader and that we follow the leader in whatever way that happens. That I think worked baby a few hundred years ago when we didn't have, you know, when we started this country in the United States here something like 12% of people were educated mm-hmm.

Daniel Hammond (12:55):

<Affirmative>, yeah.

Jose Leal (12:56):

Around the world, right? Today we have 87, 90% of people who are educated. We, it took us weeks to get a letter from one place in the country to another, never mind around the world. So, it was very difficult and to communicate leadership and stuff. So you had to have local leaders really take charge and those local leaders were then dealing with people in many cases that weren't educated,

Daniel Hammond (13:36):


Jose Leal (13:37):

And so, I think we've built a system that is on that basis that we have to obey these rules by the leadership. And that's the system we've built. We've built a country that way. We've built companies that way. And obviously in your experience military is that way. So, my question to you is, with that viewpoint, with that perspective on our current system, as I said earlier, what we call the fiat system, what, what is it that you think is changing that is allowing for a new kind of leadership, a new kind of way of doing things that isn't authoritarian in nature or autocratic in nature?

Daniel Hammond (14:28):

Yeah. first of all, I, I completely agree with you. And I see, I see not only, not only in organizations but global thinking as well. You know, I see these things like, excuse me ESG, I really see ESG as it's a top, it's again, it's top-down thinking, right? They're telling us they're going to grade our companies.

Jose Leal (14:56):


Daniel Hammond (14:57):

And tell us how we're doing things. And, and, and then they're setting the rules around, you know, how we get to operate within that system. I, I like to think of that as it's corporate indulgences, right? Where you can pay off to have your sins forgiven a, you know, ahead of time without you're, you're, you're checking boxes, you're greenwashing. It allows people to game the system where I think any kind of success really starts at the bottom and goes up. And, even if you have like a leadership team you know, again, how, how many layers of organization do you have? And you are basing your decision on the visibility of the people under you and what they can see. Again, you have, you, you're the tip of the iceberg, but the bulk of the iceberg is down where you will never see what's going on. So, what kind of po you know, what kind of procedures do you have in place to get the best ideas coming up to you, rather than you making your best guesses? And again, I think the leaders will make the best guesses based on what's important to them and their understanding of the situation. But again, it's highly limited in a hierarchical organization.

Jose Leal (16:24):

Yep. Welcome Matt. You made it.

Matt Perez (16:27):

Yeah. Yeah.

Jose Leal (16:27):

How are you feeling?

Matt Perez (16:29):

I, I was in another meeting, and I couldn't get out of it. Well, I could have if I had been rude, but I'll sit here quietly because I don't know what's going on.

Jose Leal (16:40):

<Laugh>. I'm sure you'll figure it out pretty quickly. I think Daniel and us certainly share a lot of common views, on what's going on and what we need to do to make some changes. So back to your point, Daniel, the structure of organizations with the hierarchical structure and leaders not being able to see as I said earlier, we now have people who are much more educated than we did when these systems were originally designed. And we have a lot of our work is now creative work. It's no longer just physical labor work again, which these systems were originally designed for, right? Even in the military. Back to your examples, you know, the military has become a lot more about information than about bullets, right? Especially in the field that you worked with, right?

Daniel Hammond (17:47):


Jose Leal (17:48):

So how does that our real our current reality alter the way that we have to rethink how organizations are structured?

Daniel Hammond (18:00):

Yeah. So, it's interesting. In my early days I was a big disruptor, well, I would say most of my bosses would say I'm a fairly disruptive kind of maverick leader. I challenged a lot of thinking maybe half the time it was appreciated. It did get me singled out for Daniel's, the guy we throw at things where we don't really know what the heck's going on. So that made life more interesting for me. I'm kind of a problem solver. And I think that's the other thing that I really you know, one of the things that I'm always looking for is how can I better serve the people that I'm around? And, and that can be in volunteer organizations, it can be in the company that I'm with. It can be just in, you know, in communities that I'm part of.

Daniel Hammond (18:57):

It's learning new skills. It's figuring out how to better identify one of what I am really good at. And I think, you know, that's ex speaks exactly. It's, it's beyond just the education level of, the people in the workforce now, but it's also what are you uniquely gifted at and how can we leverage your gifts. Because  I guarantee everybody would rather be doing the things that they're gifted in, right? Because they become, they're easy for them, they serve better in and in bigger ways. And so, finding out ways to create more collaborative environments is, is I think, the way to improve things from the bottom up, which again, I think that aligns with, with kind of the direction of, of what you guys think.

Jose Leal (19:53):

Yeah. We call that radical purpose. The thing that motivates us all right? How do we feel about a certain thing? How do we get excited about a certain thing? How do we take the work that we're doing forward, right? And I think most of what we see is that there is a gap between these two things. The work that leadership thinks needs to be done and the work that I feel needs to be done. Yeah. And I'm the one that's touching the customer. I'm the one that's, you know, my partner Laura is in medicine. She's the one touching the patient, right? And yet the way that she has to act isn't about what is necessary at the moment, but, you know, some timelines, some guidelines, some policies, some structures, all of which are done by people, many layers up about how much time should be spent with a patient, how, how long you should be in dealing with someone. So, and, and I use that as an example, but I think that's true across all of our organizations, right? Yeah. well, I…

Daniel Hammond (21:16):

And I'll, I'll specifically say too, the medical example is perfect because the pandemic response was very top-down, right? They basically cut off what we do best, which is doctors talking to doctors, what's working? How can we best serve our C clients? And that wasn't the plan. And you can see that did not go well. And, and let's, let's be completely honest, how many, how many people died because we could not collaborate or we shut down that collaboration between the people who were on the ground and were trying new things and, and, you know, communicating those things. I mean, they shut down the communication so they literally could not collaborate.

Jose Leal (22:00):

Well, that's a perfect example of what happens when you think you've got the answers, right?

Daniel Hammond (22:05):

Yeah, a hundred percent.

Jose Leal (22:07):

So when you talk about customer-driven, I, I want to get a little bit down into the weeds on this. We've talked about the fact that what you're tapping is someone's, as we say, radical purpose, someone's motivation to do the work. What's your sense of how you tap that and still get the job done, right? Because that's the reality is there's a fear that if we give people a sense of themselves that what they're going to do is go, you know, go work somewhere else and do something else rather than do the thing that needs to be done.

Daniel Hammond (22:51):

No. Fantastic. So first of all, I'd just like to share with you kind of our radical purpose at customer-driven leadership. Our goal is to have over a thousand highly ethical organizations using customer-driven leadership operating systems to ha experience safe and radical growth by empowering their people through community and collaboration. So that's sort of our goal as an organization. And, and the way the system works is first of all, again, the leadership, the leader is important because you need to have a direction and you need to build an organization, I think based on people who share that vision and the values that you have, right? You, you, you know, when you have somebody in your organization that's pulling against the organization, it's toxic. It, it's not, you know, and, and, and let's be honest, I mean, if you have a moral person in an immoral company, that's not going to go well, they're going to make life uncomfortable for the lack of morals in the organization, right?

Daniel Hammond (24:05):

You, if you, so that, that alignment there, but then, the leader needs to have a vision that's worthy of an organization surviving to the next round of, of whatever comes next, right? And, you know, I, I like to use an example. You know, if you want to be one of the top five McDonald's in your town that's not something that people are going to go to, gosh, I'm going to commit my life to that, right? But if you're an organization that, that has a vision that could fundamentally change and better the world, that's something that people will go, Hey, I, I would love to be part of an organization that's going to do that. And I'd, I'd love to use my gifts and abilities to help them succeed. That, that's kind of the, the next part. One of the ways that customer-driven leadership works, and all credit goes to my partner Dr…

Daniel Hammond (25:00):

..Ted Anders, he created this system in the mid-nineties. He ran it as a consultancy from then until probably 2012. Changed a lot of organizations for the better. What he does is empower the people. You, go into the organization asking, well, how does your team serve the other teams in the organization? And you map out all the connections. So, if Team A serves Team B, which serves Team C, which serves the client, Team A goes to Team B and says, what's the one thing that we can do to help you better serve the client? And that becomes what we call the customer care about between B and A. And, and so they negotiate, it's not, nothing's coerced. So, B can't say, well double your production, right? Because they can go, well, we're already at capacity, you know, sort of working 24 7, we can't do that, right?

Daniel Hammond (26:01):

So then there becomes a negotiation. It's like, well, would 20% be helpful for you in serving the customer? And then they find a way where A works to be more efficient at what B cares about. And then, but you map those connections across the entire organization, right? The HR department serves everybody, right? The legal department serves everyone. However, whatever the complexity. And we work with organizations as small as three or four, five employees all the way up to organizations with hundreds of employees, certainly even thousands based on, you know, the organizational structure. The other thing that's interesting about customer-driven leadership as an operating system is we don't go in and tell you how you should structure your organization. There are some operating systems that are like, here's our model. If you fit into our model and do our processes, we will help you run your company. We just look at how can each team serve each team better. And then the next part of it is the teams are not evaluated as individuals anymore. They're evaluated as a team.


Jose Leal

So now team A has to deliver to team B, whatever their care about, and they collaborate together on how we can do this better. And so, what ends up happening is, instead of, let's say, a sales team where, you know, I'm competing to do better than you are now all of a sudden we're like, well, how can I, how can we convert the most clients collaboratively? So, Daniel solves problems. So, his first priority should be anybody has, a problem that a customer has that should be routed to Daniel. You know, hey, I hear that you're, it sounds like you're not able to, you know, work this project with us. Do you mind if I just give you 10 minutes to talk to Daniel? He's really good at figuring out alternative solutions. Pass them off to me and then I can finish resolving the issue and send them back or close the sale myself.

Jose Leal

It doesn't matter because we share a score, right? And we're, we're working collaboratively. So those are some of the ways, and then the leadership helps determine what is, what we call the playing field. In every sport, there are rules. And if there are no rules to a sport you just, or you don't know the rules, how can you contribute to the game, right? You don't, you don't know what's a goal or what's a touchdown or a basket or anything else. So we define those things. We say, hey, this is what the boundaries are. Then, the legal requirements don't break the law. These are our budgetary restraints, right? This is how this is our operating system. So, or our standard operating procedure. So, if you want to, if, if you, you know, you can't solve a $5 problem by writing a million-dollar check, right? We, we have to, we have to think what's good for the business. And that's the other thing you're inviting people to contribute. What ideas do you, do? You have to, how…

Daniel Hammond

I need to interrupt. Sorry, that I was like, but what it sounds like is that you are okay with hierarchy. Is that, what we call fiat hierarchy, is that okay? Is that okay? And you said something, you said two things that are making my head explode <laugh>. And one is you keep referring to leadership, which I assume is the bosses, right? If I have to follow you because there is Gunther, my head calls my salary. That's not leadership. That's, I have to follow it, okay? Mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And the other one is you said HR and legal serve everybody. HR and legal keep everybody in line, but they serve only the executives.

Jose Leal

Okay? Right? Yeah.

Daniel Hammond

So, so going back, so let me ask, let me formulate a question about that. So, if, if hierarchy is a problem, I thought at the beginning you were saying it is a problem. What you're doing is moving the problem, or because you're not trying to remove hierarchy. So that's, that's what I'm confused.

Jose Leal

Yeah. So, in, in customer-driven leadership but the teams serve the other teams, and it doesn't matter. I, I don't know that it's hierarchical. We call it a value chain, right? From where the customer comes into where the customer gets the service or product that they work.

Daniel Hammond

Percent. Yeah.

Jose Leal

Yeah. So, it's not so much necessarily a hierarchical structure. It, it could be, it moves from the sales to the production to the delivery team.

Daniel Hammond

So, you still have teams that are correct, the hierarch of some sort, right? Then, the report to some boss that reports to another boss, and that boss goes down to this boss. And so, HR and legal, for example, have their own bosses, and they old report to, let's say, the CEO to keep it simple. So, it is a hierarchy.

Jose Leal

Well, in a customer-driven leadership organization you, your, the leadership is evaluated by their team, and they share a score with their team. So instead of the leadership of, let's say the sales team dec telling each salesperson how they did, or gathering up the numbers and rewarding people based on their metrics, 70% of their score is shared with the team. So as a leader, I'm only as successful as I, as my team is, at a 70% mark. And then the other 30% is what am I committing to the team in how I serve them? So, everyone in customer-driven leadership is evaluated by whom they serve.

Daniel Hammond

No, I, I understood that part because I, I live those kinds of systems where you're evaluate evaluated by the team and performance and stuff like that. But I, I want to get back to the, so the hierarchy is there, you know, you're not about to remove it, but so we're doing is overlaying a value chain on top of that, and which is kind of a network approach. And the leadership stays in place. There's still, an HR and a boss, which is evaluated by the team, and that's fine. And a sales guy and, and their team, and followed by the team. But there's still a hierarchy at some point behind that, right?

Jose Leal

There, I mean, there's, there's definitely a structure. It would depend on the organization as to hi, how hierarchical it is. Again, it doesn't, it doesn't really matter if every leader is held accountable by the teams they serve. You know, that means the CEO or the owner of the organization gets evaluated by everyone. So, again, it's their commitment to the success of the organization for which they're evaluated. So, for example, HR, whereas in a hierarchical organization, HR might be a stick that's used to manipulate people. Now, in this case, HR is the team that has to find replacements for whatever, whatever holes there are in the organization. For example, let's say we need to add three new salespeople. In my experience, in the corporate environment, we had positions stay open for months and months and months while they played games trying to find the right diverse candidate or, or even going through the motions of making sure the right people were interviewed so they could say they looked at diversity without actually hiring diversity in, in a customer-driven leadership organization, if they're not sending over good candidates for the team to interview, and really the teams do more of the hiring than the leadership because the teams know what gaps they have,

Daniel Hammond


Jose Leal

To be successful and score better for themselves. You, you're not going to l no duds get added to teams because the people talk to them and they're like, well, here's what we do and how we, and, and this is what we owe the other teams that we, that we interact with. And if you can't convince us you are the right fit for our team, we're not going to hire you. So, it's far more collaborative. Then, I would say, you know, whether we call it an inverted hierarchy, really with the lead, the senior leader at the bottom, and the customer at the top, but truly, it doesn't matter what the structure of the organization is because you're mapping who serves who. And so, for example, team A might serve Team B in one capacity, and Team B might serve Team A in a different capacity. And you're measuring,

Daniel Hammond

I recognize that customer-driven anything, at least you're, you're keeping your eye on what's important being the customer and stuff like that. But yeah, the hierarchy stays in the power, the power structure stays, which is the important thing. And

Jose Leal

Well, the power structure stays in what way?

Daniel Hammond

Well, the power structure stays in a way that is tomorrow. We decide that the top guy decides to sell different things or add a telephone model or, you know, do something like that. That's what it is. And the organization has to adapt to that. And I understand the value of, of, well, we have a different customer. We have to serve different customers a little bit differently, and therefore, these two guys that we had here doing works work X and y have to be retrained or fired in place or whatever. But you're keeping your right in the customer, and that's valuable for current businesses. It's just, I don't think it's is over the long term. What's effective?

Jose Leal

Well, let me, let me, let me share this with you, Matt. Maybe this will give you a better perspective. One of our clients is a dental office, and when we went in there, we had they had five employees, and we started talking about customer-driven leadership. And what it does is it effectively gamifies how people serve. So from my own perspective, one of my most fun jobs was waiting tables where we had daily challenges, you know, to try and sell a certain good and just to compete amongst ourselves but in a friendly kind of environment. And what we found was four of there was the owner, and really the owner is ultimately going to decide what the business is going to do. I don't, I don't see any way to get around that until you're a corporation. But the owner wanted to him had a, he has a vision of a new way to treat jaw disorders (TTMJ) by having it surgically treated, whereas most dentists or, or many dentists will just treat the symptoms causing that, that are caused by this,

Daniel Hammond

Right? Right.

Jose Leal

So, in that…

Daniel Hammond

I got personal knowledge of that <laugh>. So,

Jose Leal

So, this dentist would rather send you to a doctor to have your actual problem fixed rather than treat the symptoms year after year after year, right? And so, in, in that, he's very visionary and he wants to disrupt his industry with this position of his, well, as we started talking about customer-driven leadership, he had one employee that did not want to participate. And what, what they found out was, and one of the things about how this works is as you grow in your scores as a team, as a leader, and amongst yourselves for, for, let's say the three of us are a team, we evaluate each other does Jose live our values and does Jose contribute to the team? And if there are specific issues where I feel Jose's not doing that, I can anonymously call him out and say, Hey, Jose, when you don't cr greet a customer when they walk through the door, you're not living our values or you're making our team not seem like we care, right?

Jose Leal

And so that specific feedback that Jose will take a hit on his score this month, but next month he can be focused on, Hey, I need to greet customers when they come in, right? So, we're getting better together. And then with this particular organization, they found that this one person had been dropping so many balls and, not fulfilling their responsibility, which was causing everyone else to be in crisis mode all the time. So, they fired this person, and now they have four people. But now they understood better, okay, now we see why we were always in this crisis mode because this one person was not doing their job and they didn't want the accountability that customer-driven leadership was going to create. The next part is, as we started to install this, the owner had a big vision, and once the people understood what the owner's vision was, they started to come up with ideas of, look, you go out, you want to be cutting edge, and you find a new technology or solution, and you bring it back to us at a cost, right?

Jose Leal

You go to a conference, you buy a solution, and you bring it back to us. We don't have time to digest what it is and incorporate it into how we serve customers. And then you go off chasing the next big thing. So, so, and sometimes at the expense of us being able to pay our bills. So, what they did was they created a kind of approval board for the owner so that the owner and, and the employees helped manage that desire to grow with the health and long-term goal of the organization. So, they basically became a check and balance on the leadership, chasing new things without being able to incorporate it into the system of how they serve customers. Does that help at all, Matt?

Daniel Hammond

Yeah. Well, like I said, it describes a lot better what the service that you provide is and what the value of it is in the current environment in what we call the fiat environment. And that, in that sense, it helps. What we're trying to, we're trying to do here is, is frame things from the perspective of a non-fiat environment. And in that sense, I don't think there's a fit between the two. It's just what you were talking about. You know the guy at the top being limited by the people below it and blah, blah, blah. It's, it's the still the, it still exists. So, somebody had to fire that person. Somebody had to make a decision to fire that person. And well, it's just, it's just power in this display. That's all.

Jose Leal

Well, in that case, let's, let's look at how, how we would get rid of a wrong-fit person on the team, right? So, if Jose was just not, sorry, Jose, I'm going to pick, no, you keep…

Daniel Hammond

Picking on me here,

Matt Perez

Dad. <Laugh>, I need to go. Now…

Jose Leal

If Jose is the weakest link on our team, Matt, right?

Daniel Hammond

Yes, he is.

Jose Leal

We're going to continue to give him constructive feedback, and he's going to be scored, you know, poorly. And when he doesn't even attempt to get better at that, then that will be an indication that he's on the wrong team or he is in the wrong organization. And so right at that point, it will be obvious from the leadership perspective and the team perspective, Jose's just not a good fit for us. And it doesn't, if no reflection on Jose whatsoever, it could just be he's on the wrong team or, you know, I mean, there are many reasons why somebody's not a good fit, right? And, and I will say that customer-driven leadership's been around since 9, 19 95. And of the organizations where my partner has installed it, and it's worked with entrepreneurial organizations, it's worked with traditional businesses, it's worked in the military, it's worked in government bureaucracies.

Jose Leal

I don't know if you know the US Postal Service, for example. And where it fails is if the leader of the organization makes promises and then withdraws that promise, because that's really the only thing that can kill it, is I'm going to give the organization hope, and then I'm going to take that hope away, right? That is soul-crushing. That's the one thing that will kill customer-driven leadership. But if you make promises to your organization, that you help me grow to the next level, I will reward you through incentives for how you're contributing to our growth. It creates a, it, it really helps create a place where people are appreciated for the gifts and skills that they have. And you don't feel like you're working for your boss. In fact, you are grading your boss, right? You are holding the boss accountable for what they promised to do in serving the team. And so really you know, we've had an organization that's been running it for over 25 years, and he, he grew the company from nine people when it started to over 300 now. They are, they are strategic, they are focused, and they are very, very honed in on serving the customer. They do it better you know, maybe four times better than their competition because they're collaborative in nature. And

Matt Perez

Yeah, Daniel, I wanted to jump in here because I think we're, we're talking about two different things. The first thing, which is what you are describing in customer-driven leadership, I think is a, it's a huge step away from your traditional fiat structure, right? You're, you're moving away from just listening to the leadership, to listening to the customer, making sure teams are working together in a collaborative way, right? That the teams are actually judging each other. Many of the beliefs in ideas that we have in regard to how this should work. I think what Matt is pointing out is that at some point we've realized that there is, there's a gap between what you've been describing and the ability for us to really motivate or for people not to motivate, but to, for people to motivate themselves in the work that they do.

Matt Perez

And that gap is between understanding what motivates us, and understanding that if I'm in a system that is forceful, that that keeps force on me, and incentives, as you've just described, are a way of force, right? As Matt said earlier, “…here's your salary, do this or your salary's gone”. This is an incentive, but it's also forced in the sense that I'm reacting to that power play that you have. And so, I think what Matt is alluding to is, is something that we're, we've been exploring, we've been trying to figure out how do we create an environment that is wholly suitable to being motivationally driven from people's innards rather than from an external dictate. And the only way we see that happening is when we are able to create an environment where not only do you feel like an owner, but you actually are an owner. Not only do you feel like a leader, but you are a leader in that the, the, the distribution of both power and benefit is not just, you know, it'd be nice, but explicit and real, what we call co-ownership in co-management that that's sort of the, the gap that we're seeing here. Yeah. Can you speak to that a bit?

Jose Leal

Sure. So yes, your salary is going to be your salary and but the incentives are on top of that, right? What, we're saying is if you give more, if you contribute more, if you help us innovate and get better and grow us to our goal, we are going to share that success with you. You know, some of the things that our owners and or our organizations in the past have done is you know, we have to clean our facility, right? And so, you know, I, I get some bids out on the market and find out it's going to cost me $3 million a year to clean our facility, going back to the employees and saying, Hey would you guys be willing to contribute an extra couple of hours a week to keep our own facility clean rather than outsourcing that to another organization?

Jose Leal

And then we will share that, that benefit that we're getting as to not having to spend those millions of dollars and, and, hey, I as the owner, I will be cleaning toilets next to you. Right? I'm, I'm not asking you to do it. I'm saying would be, would we be willing to take that on as a community? And some of the things that we find here, I think one of the things that really help people have a purpose is I'm not asking Jose and Matt to come in and sell my product to people. I'm asking Jose and Matt to come and contribute to what our organization does and how it serves our clients. I'm clear on that. And it's, I mean, all it's an invitation to work at our organization or not work at our organization, but one of the things that we've had we've found is rete retention at customer-driven leadership organizations is through the roof in that organization that had over 300 employees. The owner of that organization told me in the, in, we had a 20-year period where I had five people quit to go work someplace else. I've never heard a retention story like that. It's the people, he said they will, you know, retire from us. They will die here, but nobody wants, I mean if you are valued where…

Matt Perez

You, I'm not…that's a really good thing. They'll die here <laugh>. That, that you got to go. I get, I get your point. I get your point. You might as well die where you love being, right? That's

Jose Leal

Right. Exactly

Matt Perez


Jose Leal

And when they do die, they come together as a community and they celebrate that life with the family and the families of the people they've been working alongside for 15, 20 years. And so again you know, it, it is it's an interesting disruptive way and, and why I fell in love with customer-driven leadership is I see the gaps in processes and systems and the weakest links in there. And when I saw this system, I said, you know, I can see where I can gum it up for a month, but because you're taking monthly assessments and it'll show you, here is the problem, fix this thing. I really told my partner, Ted, I said, the world needs this, and I really would love to commit some time. And so, he asked me to write the co-author the second edition, which is the legacy edition of Customer-driven Leadership. And again our goal is to empower organizations that want to make a big impact in the world. And I think you do that by empowering your people, not telling them what to do.

Daniel Hammond

So are we just about to run out of time and I need to make, some announcements about next week's guest Abed Baidas, I'm pretty much reading in Spanish CEO of Identity Branding Forum. And he's about disrupting youth minds to empower the future of work and business. I'm not sure what that means, but we're going to find out next week, and looking forward to having a conversation with him. I think with that we're... Yep. We're, we're about one minute out of time. Yeah. And it's been, at least the part that I got was very interesting.

Jose Leal

We're glad you made it, Matt.

Matt Perez

Yeah, yeah. Thanks for joining us. Matt, Daniel, thank you for joining us. I really enjoyed the, the conversation and my takeaway today are that the work you guys are doing is, is very much in keeping with the work that we're taking on, which is how we not only change organizational structures in the way that people react and respond to one another but also change the legal and financial structures to reflect the needs of the individuals themselves. And so, I think that that is a, a bigger ask than the work that you guys are doing, but certainly we think an important part of, of what we're doing. So again,

Jose Leal

Thank you very much. Well, hopefully, you'll have me back to <laugh> to help you think through those things too, because I think those are really important things and that, you know, my goal is to build communities and then build communities of communities because it, it's working together collaboratively that we change the world. Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. Thank you again, and we'll see you soon. Thank you.




Daniel HammondProfile Photo

Daniel Hammond

Managing Partner

Daniel Hammond’s Unique Ability™ is to quickly adapt and build trust, absorb knowledge, discern connections, optimize strategies, overcome problems, and positively influence outcomes in order to maximize success, to protect against risk, to oppose evil and injustice, and to fight for what is right and true.