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Jul 5, 2024

Mapping Out Success with Goals

Cole and Mark explore the concept of goals and their relationship to an organization's Vision. They discuss how every goal you set (quarterly, annually, and beyond) should work together to guide progress and maintain focus. The conversation also touches on the importance of maintaining a thriving culture that aligns with the company's overall Vision.

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Cole Abbott (00:00:00 -> 00:00:22)

Today we're continuing with nine core competencies. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And so the next chapter in this series, Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> is goals. Goals. Which is a fun one. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, I think one that an idea that many people out there have covered, right? Right. Everyone's talking about goals and how to set them and achieve them, and, you know, why

Mark Abbott (00:00:22 -> 00:00:23)

They matter,

Cole Abbott (00:00:23 -> 00:00:37)

Why they matter. Everything from, you know, manifesting and vision boards and all that, which we're not gonna get into <laugh>. You don't wanna build a vision board right here for the audience. Let's put some, like a Pinterest thing right there. It's like a,

Mark Abbott (00:00:38 -> 00:00:41)

You know, you know, what we should get is Play-Doh and we could write the words goals with Play-Doh. How

Cole Abbott (00:00:41 -> 00:01:10)

We really, we really do that. <laugh>. It's like I had a, a friend who, you know, who many of the audience would know, and his, his mission board is like a, a Rolls Royce and a private jet that was in his college dorm room. And there were a lot of other things in there, but I thought that was really funny. <laugh> God love it. Yeah. Dreaming, right? We define things as, uh, compelling audacious goals. Right. We'd use that terminology for a reason. Yeah. So why?

Mark Abbott (00:01:11 -> 00:05:24)

Well, um, I mean, the honest answer is everybody's pretty familiar. Lots of people are pretty familiar with big, hairy, audacious goals. That's a Jim Collins term. And, uh, I, I think it goes all the way back to, to built to last. Certainly good to great. And, um, you know, and the, and the research that was done way, way, way back then was that, uh, these organizations, these companies that had long-term big goals that they drove to, um, performed, you know, it was one of the reasons why they performed better and they performed better because there was this focus and there was energy, right? So obviously if you say, well, I want to go do something, you know, incredibly huge and whatever, but there's like no bloody way it's gonna get done, or it's silly or right. Um, so the concept is, you know, you got this focus on this long-term goal that's, that's, that's large, but it's, but it's, it actually is doable and it's energizing. It's like, yeah, you know, you can, you can, you know, talk about vision boards, right? You can close your eyes. You can imagine being there. And, um, and, and, and they're, they work for a whole host of reasons, not just the energy. Um, but they work for the focus and they, you know, there's something that everybody in the organization should be aware of. And like, you know, it's like, is it consistent with our goal? Is it consistent with our compelling audacious goal? You know, one of ours, which we kind of didn't really talk about much on purpose, 'cause it's kind of personal, but I think people are aware of, is, you know, we wanna be one of the most trusted brands in the world, right? And so we talk about that pretty much every single day, right? Is the work we're doing, building trust. We talk about the three dimensions of trust. This is not purpose of today's discussion, but you know, it, it really does align people around things that help you make decisions. And, um, and then, you know, then there are other goals that are like, that's an interesting one. But, you know, the goal of serving 10 million people, um, is another one of our compelling audacious goals. And that's, you know, think about what kind of company will, will be in at the end of 2030 if we achieve those two goals. That's pretty cool, right? And, and, and that's not a small company, obviously. Um, and so when you have these, these big, you know, compelling audacious goals, it also gives people a sense that, you know, their own individual goals, right? If we achieve those goals, you can achieve, you know, your career goals and, and, and not just career goals, but you know, financial goals as well, right? And so, you know, when our dreams are big enough to accommodate and excite the dreams of all of our employees, and even more than that, right? Because if we achieve all this, we're going to actually do a lot of great things for all of our ideal stakeholders, right? If you were a vendor and you joined us on this journey and you grew with us, that's huge. Um, obviously if you're an investor, that's gonna be okay. 'cause it's probably gonna be a pretty good situation, right? So that's gonna be okay. And then of course, you know, there's gonna be tons of room for people to grow, um, you know, in terms of their skills, experiences, obviously that improves their value in, in the world means they make more money. Um, and so, uh, you know, it serves a whole host of purposes. Um, and, uh, and, and, and, and, you know, it's not, and you know, you talk about focus, align, and thrive. So if we're hitting, if we're progressing towards our goals, we're focused on our goals. If we're progressing towards those goals, we're all aligned. 'cause we know these are the things that really, really matter. And if we're enjoying all the work that we do, we're gonna be thriving, right? So we talk about focus, align, and thrive. So, you know, it's an ingredient and an important and an important ingredient. I think in terms of, um, in terms of, of of, of building, you know, a great company. Does that make some sense so far? Yeah.

Cole Abbott (00:05:24 -> 00:05:30)

They're, they're, they're right. We're thinking about them almost as landmarks right? Out, out on our path forward.

Mark Abbott (00:05:30 -> 00:05:42)

We, we talk, and as I like to talk about, you know, those, if there's two of 'em, they're both stars. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, and they're part of this northern constellation that lights the path forward. And

Cole Abbott (00:05:42 -> 00:05:51)

If you, if you do them right, they're al they're not like two different stars, right? Because that wouldn't really work very well unless you're like, well, one's on the way to the other one. Yeah.

Mark Abbott (00:05:51 -> 00:06:04)

Or, or no, I'm, I'm staying in bet. Right? I know to stay, I'm, I'm, I'm, I'm going, there's two of 'em up there, right? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And I'm going between the two of 'em, right? So I'm using that to navigate towards, you know, that place. So I think it works.

Cole Abbott (00:06:05 -> 00:06:31)

I I was gonna say, I kind of think about it more in terms of they're in different dimensions. Yeah. Right? Because we have in, in some way, right? You're, these goals are really condensing and distilling a lot of the values and the ideals and the vision and everything in terms of, okay, at this point in time, what do we want this thing to look like? In a very distilled sense. Yes. And when you have, for us, we have, right, I think two main goals doesn't really matter exactly what those are,

Mark Abbott (00:06:31 -> 00:06:31)


Cole Abbott (00:06:31 -> 00:06:49)

Within our 10 years picture, we have those, and I think that those one being very value-based and one being more objective. Yes. Right? And so those are two different things. They don't necessarily conflict with each other whatsoever. Right. But then there are gonna be instances where we make a decision and it favors one over the other.

Mark Abbott (00:06:50 -> 00:06:51)

Oh, a hundred percent, right? Yeah.

Cole Abbott (00:06:51 -> 00:06:52)

And, and so

Mark Abbott (00:06:52 -> 00:06:53)

Hopefully not,

Cole Abbott (00:06:54 -> 00:07:15)

Right? There's ones that advances towards one, but may make another one more difficult. And right in, uh, that saying of there's no Thomas o or whatever, there's no solutions, only trade offs. And I think with any sort of two goals like that, especially when they are different in nature. Yeah. Right? Unless they're successive, you're gonna get into that struggle.

Mark Abbott (00:07:16 -> 00:07:16)


Cole Abbott (00:07:17 -> 00:07:18)

Not struggle, but, uh,

Mark Abbott (00:07:19 -> 00:07:19)


Cole Abbott (00:07:19 -> 00:07:20)

Or anything

Mark Abbott (00:07:20 -> 00:07:52)

You can have, you can have goals that, think about it, sort of like Venn diagramming thing, right? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, you can have goals that are just like that. They have nothing to do with one another. And then you can have goals that are extraordinarily overlapped, right? But one is more, as you say, one is more quantitative, one is more qualitative, right? Um, I think those two have very little dissonance between them. Yeah.

Cole Abbott (00:07:52 -> 00:08:18)

And if you pick the right white, 'cause you could pick ones that are completely Yeah. At odds with each other. Yeah. Yeah. And you could pick ones that are completely synonymous. Yeah. But if you pick two that have, right. That overlap, that Venn diagram that makes your target actually narrower. Yeah. Then if you just did one versus the other. Yeah. And so I think there's, right, the whole point of all that is that I think there is value in having two different dimensions of those goals Yeah. In order to really keep you balanced and keep that lane Yeah.

Mark Abbott (00:08:18 -> 00:09:30)

Straight. Yeah. I, and I, I think, you know, maybe it's a rabbit hole, right? But, but clearly if you have two goals that are pretty, like, here's a, here's a classic example, right? We talk about in stratum stratum one seats, um, and really every seat, but, right. But in stratum one in particular, kp, you know, two of the KPIs, one tends to be around quality and one tends to be around quantity, right? So those are classic examples where, oh, I hit all my quantity, but my quality went to, you know, hell in a hand basket. Right? So those are 2, 2, 2 different things that definitely have tension. And that tension is there on purpose because you don't want to just have quality. Okay? Yeah. It's beautiful. You produced one widget, right? And Right. And we had a thousand to produce, right? So, or you produced a thousand widgets, but you know, every single one of 'em is gonna go in the trash bin. So I think, you know, to the extent you can, it's good if you can, if you could have two or three where the vens like super, super near in line, that's Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> makes just more powerful, in my opinion. You

Cole Abbott (00:09:30 -> 00:10:06)

Know, I could go a whole episode on complimentary dichotomies Yeah. And the balance of everything. Yeah. Right? There's, you know, creativity needs borders, and without them, there's no form. No. Or it's just chaos, right? Yeah. You can have everything go like that, or Yeah. If you have everything that's way too rigid, then there's no room to swerve within the lanes and Yeah. Whereas the value of where's the fun in that Yeah. And then you lose the human side of everything, which I think is more important these days. Yeah. Um, but Right. We have the goals, but how do those differ from a vision, right? Yeah. What separates those, those two, yeah. Core competencies.

Mark Abbott (00:10:06 -> 00:11:42)

So, um, to me, and we, we teach this and we're leaning more and more into it, right? So the vision stuff, the best vision stuff, the stuff that lasts forever, right? So what are those things like your core values, those should be forever agreements. You, and, and, you know, they get tweaked a little bit. We've tweaked ours, you know, over the last two or three years, like a word here or there, right? Where work life balance turned into work life harmony, as an example. Um, and I think we inserted the word care somewhere. 'cause it's such an important part of who we are. Everybody cares very much about all of our ideal stakeholders, and so we've tweaked them, but at their core, right? No pun intended. The, um, the core values have been consistent. And the, the culture, I think has been consistent for years and years and years. And I deeply believe that great companies have a soul. And that the soul are these things called forever agreements. And one of the forever agreements is the core values, right? So that's part of the vision. The second thing, um, a part of a vision is, um, you know, we believe is your ICP, right? So a great vision, a really, really strong vision, in my opinion, is focused on an ICP that will be there forever, right? Um, and why, and

Cole Abbott (00:11:42 -> 00:11:44)

An enduring vision, right? Right,

Mark Abbott (00:11:44 -> 00:14:27)

Right. A great enduring vision, right? Um, and, you know, why does that matter? Uh, well, for a whole lot of reasons. But, you know, funda, one of 'em is eighth, you know, Einstein's eighth Wonder of the World, which is the compounding of learning that takes place when we're, you know, when we have things that are forever, right? So now it's like we're constantly learning how to become better and better, better culturally, right? Very focused, better and better, better culturally. We're constantly learning how to become better and better and better at serving, you know, ambitious founders of small and mid-size comp, really, really, really startups and small and mid-size companies, right? So better and better and better in that. And, and then our third thing is, you know, what we used to call our unique value proposition, but we're turning it, we're changing to our compelling offering, right? Um, and so, and, and the, and the idea is if the compelling offer is forever as well, there's all that compounding that goes on to becoming amazing at, at that compelling offer, right? And then, um, and so you, so in the vision we have the ICP, we have the core values, we have the compelling offer. And then last but not least, is how do you make the world better, right? And once we call that either a purpose, passion, and, or just cause or in short, we call it our compelling why, right? Why do we exist? How do we make the world a better place? How do we matter? And, and if you can get those four things to be forever agreements, um, it's super powerful in my opinion, because people are attracted to who you are at your core. And it's why I say these four forever agreements are, um, they're kind of the soul of a company. And so, um, so, so vision is the forever agreements, in my opinion, right? A forever vision. Those are the best ones. It could never be satisfied, right? You can't, you'll never reach that destiny. And why are forever agreements so important? Um, I read a, I remember it so vividly, um, an article. It was a one pager in the Economist magazine in 1982, and it talks about why forever, why visions forever. Visions are so important. And, and, and the example it gave was nasa, right? So NASA's vision was to put, you know, a man on the moon. And once it did that and did it and did it, and did it, it didn't really have a purpose anymore.

Cole Abbott (00:14:29 -> 00:14:42)

I think you see that in a lot of cases, right? You see a lot of the people who achieve what they thought was gonna change their lives and what they thought was gonna make them happy. Yeah. And then the road's done, right? And they're like, this sucks.

Mark Abbott (00:14:42 -> 00:14:42)


Cole Abbott (00:14:42 -> 00:14:52)

What? Now what? And that's even worse than right. Because you have a, a what you call like a crappy vision. Yeah. And you're, but you, you're progressing towards it. Yeah.

Mark Abbott (00:14:52 -> 00:14:53)


Cole Abbott (00:14:53 -> 00:15:04)

Even if it's the world, your situation, you're, you're not doing well. Yeah. That's still more enjoyable and more meaningful than when you get, get to the end. Yeah. And you've done all this work, and then you just feel lost.

Mark Abbott (00:15:05 -> 00:15:39)

Yeah. 'cause now what do you, do? You, I mean, you look at it as a journey. Right? Now you're just sitting there staring and you're like, and worse is, you know, I think if you put it, you know, metaphorically speaking, you know, think of it as an individual, right? You get to the end of this thing that you've been working on for years and years and years. Let's just say it's a physical journey. And all of a sudden, you know, we'll make it really bad, right? You're, you're standing in the middle of the desert and you're looking around and it's like, I'm by myself. I've achieved nothing. There's nothing left. I mean, that's soul trenching

Cole Abbott (00:15:41 -> 00:16:46)

And one, and that's, a lot of people that are out there are, have either been there or are working towards that, right? 'cause they're, they're all about the destination, right? And not viewing the destination as Right. The journey is the destination. Yeah. If you, right. And that's part of why, what makes a great enduring vision so special. It's like, Hey, this is the way that we do things and this is the direction we're moving in, and that's all it is. And we have these goals because we need to have some markers to make sure that we're on track, right. In in terms of growth and everything. But those aren't destinations. Those are just to make sure that we're moving in the right direction. Yeah. And to really, really distill what that means. Yeah. As, you know, in, in a form of just a really quick heuristic, right? Does this get us closer to that thing, right? Yes. It's a lot better than like, Hey, let's go review the whole vision deck and everything and, and work through that to make sure that this is in service of that. Um, right. And there's a bunch of ways you can do that. Right. But if, if your vision, it has the defined destination, right. That's not,

Mark Abbott (00:16:46 -> 00:18:06)

It's, it's it. Right. And it, and it gets back to, you know, we've talked about it before. You know, the unhappiest people in the world are people who want to be happy. Right? You don't make money because you want to make money. Make money, because people value what it is you do. If you're just focusing on the, out on the outputs, right. It's like you're driving, you know, looking in the rear view mirror. We can use a bunch of different, you know, sort of analogies, metaphors, whatever you want to call these things. Right? But, you know, going back to this topic, so vision is all about the forever agreements. And then as you said, the goals are intended to, once again, make sure that we're doing all the things that are consistent with us, making progress on our vision, making progress on the things that attracted all of us to be together. Right. And, um, and the tenure year in particular, you know, it's, it, it, it, it should go, it could be 20 years, it could be 30, it could be 40. It just gets, you know, when it's way too far out there, I think it becomes just like, it almost loses its value for obviously for the vast, vast majority of the people, which is

Cole Abbott (00:18:06 -> 00:18:08)

Not tangible. Yeah. It's not tangible. It's not powerful. Yeah.

Mark Abbott (00:18:08 -> 00:18:49)

And then how do you, I mean, how do you even, how do you, can you sit here and say you're making progress, right? Tenure years I think works, works extraordinarily well. And then of course, you don't move, you don't change the tenure. So our 2030 has been our 2030 for 10, you know, since 2020. Right. And when now 2024. And, uh, and you know, right now I feel like I, I I, I feel like, you know, that is only, you know, five and a half years away. Yeah. And, and it's Right. And it's like, it's not a small thing we got in front of us, but we're not changing it. And I do have, I do think there's a way for us to achieve our vision. Right. And

Cole Abbott (00:18:49 -> 00:18:54)

We've been work, everything we've done has built a solid foundation to where we want to go. Yeah. We haven't, we haven't

Mark Abbott (00:18:54 -> 00:18:55)

Veered off. No,

Cole Abbott (00:18:55 -> 00:18:58)

We're just not moving as quickly as we would like to. Maybe

Mark Abbott (00:18:58 -> 00:19:02)

We're moving just a slightly slower, and we'd like to slightly slower,

Cole Abbott (00:19:02 -> 00:19:23)

Which should be expected. But I, but I also think Right. Going back to the nature of compounding. Yeah. Right. We're looking at things like this. It's not gonna be, this is not linear. Our progression towards that is not linear. Yeah. And I, I think, you know, when I look at a lot of the things we're planning on having or doing within the next five years, being there would not surprise me if that continues.

Mark Abbott (00:19:23 -> 00:20:44)

A hundred percent. A hundred percent. Yeah. Yeah. So, so, so I'm on the same page. And so, you know, we've got that, that, that, that tenure and it starts to creep down towards you, which is fine and motivating and inspiring and, um, and, and, and so that's there, and ultimately, and I've been thinking a lot about this, and I'm gonna write about this, the forever agreement that connects the vision to the goals is a level of ambition. Right? And, and, and, and, and the big idea behind that is that I believe that this company needs to forever be ambitious. Right. Because if we're not forever ambitious, the people we have here today are not going to, they're, they're just that this, that's not the journey. That's not the ride. That's not the game. That's right. That's not the, that's not the field they wanted to play on. Well,

Cole Abbott (00:20:44 -> 00:21:29)

Then it's a false promise that we made because Right. We are ambitious. Right. At the core, it's ambitious. And you could, I would include ambitious as a trait into that set of forever agreements. Yeah. Into the right. Yes. 'cause we have our, our model that we're working on right now. Exactly. But it, it falls into that. Yeah. And if we don't hold true to that or to anything in there Right. Then we're not holding true to ourselves. Yeah. And if we're not doing that, then we're going to Right. To just take that one and go on with go off with it, right? Yeah. If we're not ambitious in two years, and then everyone who's been here up to that point where we were like, we're not that way anymore. We wanna go Right. Just take it easy and Yeah. You know, we're just push it out 10 more years, whatever. Right. That's a slap in the face. Yeah. And, and then now we're gonna have a very discordant culture. Right.

Mark Abbott (00:21:29 -> 00:24:08)

Exactly. And, and, and, and, you know, I think that's, and, and we're, you know, maybe we're too doing too much on vision, um, and, and goals right now versus goals. But, you know, one of the things I've, I, I, I deeply believe, and I I'd love to do the research, and maybe I've even said this before on, on, on one of these podcasts, is that, you know, when a CEO comes in and they take over and they wanna rip out something that's core, that's like, that's, that's, that's what causes, you know, problems in companies, right? It's like every, you know, all these people up until you, Mr. New CEO came on board. They were all here because of our core values. They were all here because of our compelling why they were all here, because of our compelling offer. They were all here because they love serving the, the, this ICP. Right? We all love serving the small and midsize, um, you know, uh, businesses. And so you change one of those things. It's like, that's that, that's not the deal. Right? That wasn't the deal we made. And now to connect this, and we're all here because we want to work in an, in an, within an ambitious culture where, you know, we're getting challenged, we're in flow, right? Um, and, uh, and we love the work we're doing. It's got that really, you know, amazing balance that, you know, we come into, like Chris Snyder and I were saying last night to a potential hire. You know, I think one of the things, if you really want to measure how well run, how healthy a company is, what percentage of the people genuinely look forward to going to a meeting, right. Versus regret or dread going to a meeting. Right. I love going to, to my meetings, right? I mean, there's not, like, I, there's not a meeting, especially all my standing meetings and even the non standing meetings. There's not a meeting that I'm like, oh, I can't believe I gotta go that to that thing right now at the end of Mondays, because I'm in like 10 meetings and at the end of Mondays, am I tired? Yeah, I'm a hundred percent I'm tired, but I genuinely look forward to going to my meetings. Right? I genuinely look forward to hanging out with all these people. I genuinely look forward to. Some people don't like it, but I genuinely look forward to, right. Having good tussles over, over issues. Right. I, I love that stuff. Right. And so there's, you know, we got 180 employees right now. I can't tell you if 180 of 'em love everything that we do, but we got 98% on great place to work. I think the vast majority of the people love going to the meetings, love being in the flow, love doing work that matters, love serving, blah, blah, blah. Right? And, um, and so I do think that the connection between the forever agreements and the 10 year and the goals thereafter, right? The connection is an invigorating level of ambition. Yeah.

Cole Abbott (00:24:08 -> 00:24:31)

Yeah. And you can always use ambition or something similar to that to give that chronological component to the vision, right? Right. To allow it to turn into goals. Yeah. And right, so we go to the tenure and to bring it back to goals, right? Because then we could talk about vision forever. Yeah. It's fun. Yep. Uh, and there's so many rabbit holes to go down, but how do we right, scale back that 10 year to our, you know, 5, 3, 1? Yeah.

Mark Abbott (00:24:31 -> 00:26:55)

So we choose three, um, and at the, at the company level, and then we choose two at the department level, and then we all do one and we all do 90 days, right? And so the three year is, you know, it's really not, I mean, three short years, I always say, right? It's just three short years. And, um, and in, and in, in those, you know, in those three short years, this is what we're gonna look like. These are the advancements we're gonna be making in terms of our product offering, right? These are the advancements we're gonna be making geographically speaking. These are advancements we're gonna be making in terms of, you know, incorporating AI into the platform. These are the advancements we're gonna be making, um, in terms of, you know, we'll hopefully, you know, knock on wood, we'll do everything we can, right? To be a great place to work for five years in a row or whatever it is. These are, these are, and we paint this picture of, you know, around, I don't even remember what it is right now, somewhere between 12 and 17 things that we, that we want to, we wanna accomplish by then, community things. So there's a number of things, and we, we paint this picture so that you, people have a sense, okay, oh yeah. So I get it. Right. Here's, we're gonna be in 2030. Okay, cool. This is where you're gonna be at the end of 2026, right? And then, as I said with that, then the departments have the 2026 so they can align then, okay, if that's what I gotta be where we're gonna be at 2026, here's where I need to be as a department in 2025, right? And they have the guidance, obviously, of us all talking about where we're gonna be for this year, right? So everybody has 20, 24 goals, one year goals, and then we have the 90 day. And then when you, you know, you don't want to, it sounds braggy, but you know, we've hit 90 plus percent of our rocks every single quarter. You know, once again, I, I'm a karma guy. Um, but we've hit 'em, you know, I don't know, five years in a row, right? So when the organization sees that you are making progress, I mean, you're hitting 95% or 90%, and we probably have over 300 rocks in the company, right? When they see you're making that progress and towards those goals, right? When one year and the two year and the three year. And it gives 'em a lot of confidence. And that confidence, right? Confidence is pretty damn important. It's really tough to be good at your game if you're not confident. Well,

Cole Abbott (00:26:55 -> 00:27:14)

It's evidence, right? Yeah. There's a standard that's been set. Yeah. And it's not like, oh, we mentioned this thing, here you go and Right. Carry yourself. Like keep your head high and Right. Carry through it. It's like, no, this has been done year after year after year. Here's the standard we have. Yeah. Right. Let's do it. And we're not gonna hit a hundred percent Right. If you just, if something goes off,

Mark Abbott (00:27:14 -> 00:27:15)

That's cool. Yeah, it's

Cole Abbott (00:27:15 -> 00:27:23)

Cool. Yeah. We don't want to hit a hundred percent. Yeah. Uh, right. It's like that's a good thing that we don't do that. So it's, I don't think 90% sounds braggy.

Mark Abbott (00:27:23 -> 00:27:35)

No. 'cause well wait, and we know that, you know, we'd actually, 85% would, in theory, we've talked about this before, be optimal because 15% failure rates sort of optimal for learning and growth, but 85 is just not as good as 90. So

Cole Abbott (00:27:36 -> 00:27:39)

Yeah. It's just doesn't have a good ring to it <laugh>.

Mark Abbott (00:27:40 -> 00:30:00)

So, so that's, that's the three year, and as I said, right? Then we talk about the two years, right? So, you know, in our, our, you know, vision and goals section of 90, right? Everybody can go and see, you know, their departments two years, they can go see our companies three years, right? Um, and they can see their departments or ours, right? They can, they can look at theirs, they can go and they can just click on the, on, on, on the senior leadership team's, um, goals. And, um, and so it just, you know, back to focus, align and thriving, you know, you can, you can just, okay, that makes sense. That makes sense. That makes sense, right? It just gives everything so much more context in terms of what's important, right? And, um, and, and all of that when it's really understood by, you know, and, and by the people who've been here for a while, right? If you're, if you're, you know, if you just entered the fresh new face, just entered the company, sort of an entry-level position, obviously you don't understand all this stuff, but so over time you'll see it, you know, quarter after quarter after quarter, you'll see this stuff update and it'll start to make sense. And it, and you know, in the back of your head, you know, you're like, is this consistent with, you know, where we're going and what we think is important, uh, this decision or, you know, even better, Hey, that's not consistent. And having the confidence to know that this really matters. And it's cool that you tell us that, you know, why are we doing this? Right? I mean, and, and I I, you, I don't know the answer, but I think a lot of people know, you know, we talk about less, more until it's not, we talk about non rocks, you know, I think a lot of people are like, Hey, I love that. But that's, that's a, that's a non rock. And so you're gonna have to put that on the long term issues list and see if that can be done, uh, next, next quarter or thereafter. And, um, and I, and I think that's another reason why we tend to hit 90 plus percent, is we do not have a lot of non rock rocks. We have 'em, they usually happen at the comp at the senior leadership team level. And it's because all of a sudden someone made a term sheet, you know, for like, like our last time, right? When someone came along and gave us a, an investment at a price that we thought was very fair of great people, and we're like, no, we should, we should do this, even though it wasn't the plan for the quarter. But generally speaking, right? We do what we're gonna say we're gonna do, and we don't take on things that we haven't agreed to because we just don't have the capacity.

Cole Abbott (00:30:01 -> 00:30:39)

And that becomes sort of a, a cultural attribute for us, right? And you see a lot of new people come in and adjust that quickly. And it's fun to see when somebody is newer and then they call something out like that. Yeah. Uh, so that always makes you happy 'cause Right. Strong cultures are self-reinforcing. Yeah. The new people become the culture, the culture doesn't become the new people. Yeah. And I think now, and, and right past year especially, we've done the, it feels like a very good job with that. Um, and then that all comes back to really understanding who we are, making that explicit and having those forever agreements, not those forever expectations. Right. 'cause that would not Yeah.

Mark Abbott (00:30:39 -> 00:30:42)

Go well. No, that is be obviously that'd be dysfunctional or worse.

Cole Abbott (00:30:43 -> 00:30:43)


Mark Abbott (00:30:43 -> 00:33:45)

Yeah. So, so you have the 10, then you have the three, we talked about the two. The, we don't do it at a company level, we just do the twos at the department levels. And then we all do the, do the ones. And instead of the, you know, the three year being, you know, a painting, a pitcher, um, and that picture can change, right? Ev we, we, we look at it, uh, every quarter we look at it seriously. We obviously redo it every year. 'cause you're pushing it out another year, right? So 26 will become 27. Um, but, uh, the, um, the one year, you know, tends to have, now, you know, we have now 22 people between the C-suite and the SLT, um, senior leadership team departments, right? So, um, you know, you, there's every single, every single, you know, c-Suite member, whether it's, you know, the office of the CMO or it's the CTPO or the chief people officer, the chief financial officer, chief Revenue Officer. You know, they all, you know, they've all got, everyone's got big, big efforts underway, right? Because once again, 'cause it's, you know, part of the culture's just a certain level of ambition. Um, and so, um, you know, you gotta decide, okay, so what are the seven things or the three things or four things this year that you want to, you want to get done? And the truth is, we have probably performed less well on the one year goals. We've then, we've probably performed pretty well on the three year. We've performed very well on the 90 days and the one year goals per, as a percentage, I would say we have probably been more like 70, 75% than 90%. Because, you know, if you have seven and you miss one or two and things happen during the year and it just, there, you just don't have any choice but to change. Um, we, we, we've never hit a hundred percent of our, of our, of our company goals. Um, one year it was because, you know, it was, it was a bad reason in my opinion, um, that we missed one of them. It was just like, you know, there was not the proper communication going on. Um, and then, you know, I'm trying to remember what we missed. That was one of them last year we missed because it was just like, there was just not good communication. That's obviously my responsibility. Um, but it was one where like three different departments were depending and on each of 'em ended up pointing their fingers at one another nine months into the year. And it's like, we can't get this done. And I felt like the person who I felt there was a goal owner, but the goal owner didn't have the hard conversations is the best way of putting it. So, um, so that's, you know, being open and honest and vulnerable. That's the one area where I think we've been, eh,

Cole Abbott (00:33:46 -> 00:34:15)

I think one year's a tricky spot. Yeah. Because I think 90 days is you can control it. Yeah. And then one year can fall vulnerable to compounding issues of not working in 90 days. Yeah. Uh, right. It's like I i, if the 90 days right, we can figure that out. And if somebody has an issue, you get it right there. Yeah. But like the stock market, if you're trying to pick it it from a year from now, it's, that's hard. Interesting. But if, if you're trying average out the annualized returns over the 10 years, it's like I can predict that more easily than I can and just say where it's gonna be in a year.

Mark Abbott (00:34:16 -> 00:34:32)

A hundred percent. A hundred percent. And you know, I think, I think Chris Snyder has advocated that we just like always have a one, like a rolling one year. And I know for a fact that obviously the board's not gonna accept that. Right. Um, and so it's one of those could

Cole Abbott (00:34:32 -> 00:34:45)

Make it separate it out into like a values based one year kind of thing where I think Chris would like to go. Yeah. And then more of that objective one year because you Right. And we could figure out how to make them both work together. Yeah. Just thinking out loud here, but Yeah.

Mark Abbott (00:34:45 -> 00:34:46)


Cole Abbott (00:34:46 -> 00:34:52)

It is hard to do the objective stuff and do that as repeatedly and consistently as the 90 days.

Mark Abbott (00:34:52 -> 00:34:59)

Well, and, and, and at the risk of stating the obvious, my bias is I'd rather be really good at the 90 than the one year.

Cole Abbott (00:35:02 -> 00:35:20)

I, I think Right? Because if I, I think no matter the system, if the system is run well then, and the goals are set appropriately, the 90 days are gonna be better than the one year. 'cause if your one year is better than your 90, I think that by default makes your one year not as ambitious. Right. Or not equally as ambitious.

Mark Abbott (00:35:20 -> 00:35:21)

Something's weird there.

Cole Abbott (00:35:21 -> 00:35:58)

Right? Right. Something's off because it should always be lower. Yeah. Or or less achievable. Yeah. Right. And then, then things can start to average out. Yeah. And it'd be, it'd be interesting, and I know probably it'd be able to have better insights in this in the future, but what, right. What is the success rate of this leads to, right. Uh, what's your rock success rate, right? Indicates this range for one year goal success rate, and this range for this and this range for this. And you can kind of chart out based on these inputs where you're likely to end up, right? Yeah. When we have all the data. Yeah. It'll be interesting to see that. And yeah. So,

Mark Abbott (00:35:58 -> 00:36:13)

But yeah, but I, you know, but it's interesting because I, you know, I obviously we've, you know, if you, if you bought into the theory, we're damn good at the, at the rocks and, you know, I would say we're, you know, I I, I might, I'd say we're average at goals, so

Cole Abbott (00:36:14 -> 00:36:20)

Let's just feels like not the fun note to end this on <laugh>. Like, we're not very good at goals after we say, well, I

Mark Abbott (00:36:20 -> 00:36:39)

Say, I say we're average. I said, I say, I say we're, we're, we're average on it. Right. And I think it's, you know, but the, the, the, to be fair to us, there's, you know, the dynamics over the last bunch of years, you know, our relationship with the US as an example and, and, and other things. It just hasn't been, you know, it hasn't been like we've had this normal existence.

Cole Abbott (00:36:39 -> 00:36:41)

It's not a smooth road, but we wouldn't take a smooth road.

Mark Abbott (00:36:42 -> 00:36:43)

No, no. And

Cole Abbott (00:36:43 -> 00:36:48)

Right. I think that we're going in the direction of the goals. That's not Yeah. That hasn't changed. That hasn't changed.

Mark Abbott (00:36:48 -> 00:36:48)

And that's

Cole Abbott (00:36:48 -> 00:36:49)

Consistently great.

Mark Abbott (00:36:49 -> 00:36:50)

And our vision hasn't changed.

Cole Abbott (00:36:51 -> 00:36:53)

No. And I, and I think that that is because the vision's

Mark Abbott (00:36:53 -> 00:36:55)

Culture hasn't changed, so, right.

Cole Abbott (00:36:56 -> 00:37:07)

So even if we're not hitting things on time Right. We're still moving in the right direction and Right. I I, none of this is easy. No.

Mark Abbott (00:37:07 -> 00:37:07)


Cole Abbott (00:37:07 -> 00:37:21)

You could look at the market and see that this is not an easy thing for anybody. Right. And so I don't wanna Right. I don't wanna be like, uh, but Right. Looking at the market is like, we're doing fine. Oh yeah. <laugh>, it's like, it's not, I know we like to just look at our own and, and mind our own business. Yeah. But

Mark Abbott (00:37:21 -> 00:37:22)

Yeah. So that's goals.

Cole Abbott (00:37:23 -> 00:37:24)

Just keep moving. Yeah.