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What Are The Four Truthst?

Image of silhouette of man looking over a lake at sunset | Title: WHAT ARE THE FOUR TRUTHS?

What are The Four Truths?

Images of Jonathan Lambert and Karla Nelson | The People Catalysts logo | Text: "WHAT ARE THE FOUR TRUTHS? with Jonathan Lambert"

If you understand these four truths, in the right order, you can clear a path to connecting with your team and everyone else around you.  What are they?

Executive leader with proven success leading and growing high performance teams, structuring partnerships, creating agencies, building platforms and bringing new or reimagined products to market. Experienced in software engineering management, marketing and sales, strategy, cloud, user experience, prototype, and design. Results oriented and process, metrics, and technology driven, Jonathan truly enjoys solving client problems, setting strategic direction, coaching ambitious people, and learning something new every day. I have deep brand and technology platform experience working with clients like the NYSE Euronext, Disney, NBC, Atari, MTG, THQ, Acquia, The United States Federal Government, Playboy, Major League Soccer, and many, many others. I have also conceived and created multiple successful companies over the last 10 years. My true pleasure is running teams and helping companies win by creating and improving Strategies and Platforms that combine outstanding Engineering & User Experience driven by data-driven Strategy and Design with Data, Cloud, and Operations to support long-term growth and business objectives. Coin carrier

.Website: https://bring.company/

Twitter: @jlambert

LinkedIn: Jonathan Lambert

Listen to the podcast here:

Read Along as Karla and Jonathan Discuss The Four Truths

Karla Nelson:  And welcome to the People Catalysts’ podcast, Jonathan Lambert.

Jonathan Lambert:  It’s great to be here, Karla.

Karla Nelson:  Great to have you on here. Oh, my goodness. Well, we’ve had clubhouse together. We’ve had long conversations. And finally, good to have you on the People Catalyst podcast.

So happy to have you here today, Jonathan. And you had such amazing, like interesting entrepreneurial stories. So I know I touch on all of it, but you definitely have to give the listeners and viewers a little bit about, you know, kind of your journey, where you started, where you’re at.

And definitely you have to mention how the kids were jumping on your servers, your living room.

Jonathan Lambert:  Yeah. Yeah. Well, so I’ve I started off working. I was very lucky. I had a very, very close friends in the computer community. I grew up in the sort of hacker scene in San Francisco, and not a number of friends who were like, you need to don’t, don’t, don’t go, you know, environmental engineering, don’t don’t chase like, you know, the security.

Come on here, work on the Internet. So in 1995, I got a chance to come out here and work at some of the first e-commerce companies at that time, which by was really the cost. I mean, it was it was I mean, I was here in late 94 looking for a job. And it was because my friends were early technology people. You know, there are folks that wrote some of the major platforms that we use even today. And so I got really lucky in that, you know, I was in this little circle of people who who who were working with a lot of the sort of early Internet.

And I got a chance to work for some of that, like an early catalog e-commerce company still around, you know. Hey, Kinberg, appreciate the break. There’s a company called Market Live. At the time, as you know, it was building Tony Robbins first website and doing all this kind of stuff.

And I worked my way up from there to, you know, working for companies like Medical Logic, which is now GE Medical and and next card work, my good friend Pete Atkins’, and building the first kind of online credit card stuff and then eventually over to Apple, got the big company experience.

When I left Apple, I decided to start running my own companies. And so for about the last, you know, just coming up on maybe 18, 19 years here, I’ve been building essentially just disruptive technology companies, some service companies, and leading some mission critical projects for for startups and fortunes, basically.

And so, you know, what I do is I use technology, user experience and design to build a transformative business platform. So, you know, if you want to basically starting an initiative to build a new product line or you want to turn something around that’s not working, you know, a lot of times people get themselves in trouble in technology projects. I jump in and I rebuild the whole business model and build the company. Yeah, it’s it’s a lot more common. You like to talk about it. It’s well, I mean, you know,

Karla Nelson:  There’s a reason I’ve stayed in finance, because you have to have the money to be able to execute. But, you know, that kind of brings us to a question I have for you. And you have such an amazing way of communicating this. We were doing a clubhouse and Jonathan jumped in and we were talking about the difference between education, coaching and training and how all are, you know, important but understanding, you know, the different lanes and how you utilize them. And I think applying that to technology is. Even more critical than if you say like a service based industry.

Jonathan Lambert:  I think it’s absolutely the case. You know, one of the things that happens with technology is the pace. Right. Well, we’ll talk about time, I’m sure. But the pace increases the amount of exposure. So if you are not functioning well, you’re not steady. Technology is like a great amplifier for the consequences of that that that behavior. So because because whatever it is, you’re not doing right. You’ll get yourself in trouble in a hurry, because these projects typically are large, expensive and require a lot of a lot of good functioning to kind of get them built.

Karla Nelson:  And so much of it is not tangible. It’s intangible. And you’re working the intangible. That’s a very different space than working with the tangible.

Jonathan Lambert:  Yes. And it’s almost always team lead, which means that the personality matters so. Well, we were talking about in terms of training versus coaching, I think some of the key points there. You know, if you look at coaching, coaching is typically like a one on one. And and and it’s generally something that’s designed to improve the person. Right. Whereas training is really about teaching a specific skill set. It’s often it can be one on one, but it’s often one too many.

And it’s about sort of bringing somebody in, you know, training something you transfer getting. Yeah, it’s a skills transfer. That’s right. That’s right. So, you know, if you put these two things together, you start thinking about it. You go, okay, well, you know, there’s training. I mean, in education, of course, we could talk about all day long because it’s that’s the size of it’s an ocean. Right? Like that’s the that’s just a massive, massive market with many facets. But, you know, if we look at if we look at just training versus versus coaching, you know, one of the things that comes up in the coaching work I do a lot with startups is sort of dealing with the anxiety and how do I make decisions and what is the framework I can use in order to kind. Because, you know, especially if you’re just starting out in entrepreneurship, like it’s absolutely difficult, painful to be at the helm and figure out all of these choices. And so I have a framework that this is what you’re referring to. I’m a framework that I often use. You know, which is basically looking if you look into the future, you look to the past, you look at yourself.

Right. So it’s called foresight plus hindsight equals insight. And so sitting down and making the effort to look at the impact of the decision you’re about to make. Right. And you can use a Bezos style framework of if it’s reversible or irreversible, if it’s irreversible.

And you really need to take your time with it. If it’s reversible just make the decision. Right, is a high consequence. Low consequence. Those are the pieces. Then you look backwards in time and you say, what’s the what’s what’s my previous experience?

What do I know here? You know, what is it that’s going to guide me in my decision making? And I’m being objective and unbiased in it? And then those insights allow you to make a decision without sort of the sort of the tendency to kind of second guess and second guess and second guess, because you’re you’re really making an objective decision based on what the future impact is going to be, what the history that’s leading up to you. And it can be personal. Know it can be it can be some of the emotional impact of decisions made in the past.

And then you make the decision.

Karla Nelson:  One of the things I love about that, Jonathan, as you know, the WHO-DO method is based on 110 years of marketing research, right, the law of diffusion of innovations, how people adopt new ideas. Right. You’re actually taking both the early adopter and later adopter, and you’re saying, OK, let’s look at what could go wrong in the hindsight. Let’s look at where the puck is going and then let’s come somewhere in the middle and decide like what we’re going to do.

And then is it reversible or not reversible? That’s right. That’s right. Great way to get people comfortable, because either you have those that are very comfortable with doing new things and adopting new ideas, but how to execute them or you have those that are great at executing them.

But unless they’re embracing it, it’s really hard to get anything done.

Jonathan Lambert:  That’s it. That’s it. And, you know, I think, you know, as you as you accumulate experiences, there’s an emotional price to pay for making executive decisions. You know, not everyone is a sociopath. You know, most people aren’t. So, you know, there’s there’s consequences to decisions inside of organizations.

Karla Nelson:  No doubt. And kind of interesting. We were just talking with a startup company, actually, I was just yesterday in regards to, you know, hiring. And what most people don’t know is that whatever that individual salary is, the studies have shown that turnover cost you thirty, thirty three, thirty three percent of what it cost to hire that person. So if there are a hundred thousand dollars a year, it’s going to cost you thirty three thousand dollars if you can’t get them trained up and then integrate it into your system.

Jonathan Lambert:  And, you know, those metrics are only attached to the cost of replacing the employee, not the impact to the busines.

Karla Nelson:  You got it. That’s where I was going. I’m like, that’s only the hard cost.

What is different? Soft cost to go into it? The momentum, the culture. That’s the word. Those things. And I would actually venture to say that probably even cost you more over time.

Jonathan Lambert:  I would say it cost you a lot more.

Karla Nelson:  It’s one of the things is definitely one of the places that it sticks out because it is an intangible and you’ve got, you know, all these different people that you need. And I always tell everybody, we need you all. We need you at different times. So if you haven’t set them up in, actually, Scrum is been one of the best implementations of utilizing the law of diffusion of innovations, in my opinion. It still doesn’t take into account like what your core nature of work is.

But I think that’s where a lot of tech companies, they end up going belly up because they don’t know what to do with the cash. They spend it in one way based off of the fact if they’re trying to not get in trouble or they’re changing their mind every other day.

Jonathan Lambert:  Right. Well, I mean, this is like but you just you just laid out some fantastic I mean, there’s literature written about what you’re talking about. It’s incredibly important sort of area. I mean, if you look at sures from, you know, in lean, you know, it’s something I spent a lot of my life looking at, you know, the otio method and lean and agile and scrum and all these processes that are designed to support what ultimately, you know, what my my my one of my former business partners who I love dearly, used to call basically the the the hierarchy.

Right. Which is you first, you have communication and then you have process and then you have tools. But if you don’t have communication, your tools and processes don’t matter like at all, because no one is going to be talking on them.

And and so when you look at, you know, I remember working with

Karla Nelson:  They’re going to be rolling their eyes, right? The later adopters roll their eyes.

Jonathan Lambert:  Oh, God. Yeah. Well, you know, I just wonder, you know, a lot of times it’s like, you know, the the the attachment theory around dating and how all that goes down.

When you look at this engagement in the workplace, if there’s not some equivalent metric. I haven’t figured out yet because, you know, a lot of times it’s the same people that are disengaged and it has a lot to do. And really that’s the cost of of of having a bad hire. What you were just talking about is that you can cost disengagement across the enterprise. The people who made the investment in the business leaving you believe in what you’re working on and want to go double down, triple down and be invested.

And then they see you make a bad hiring choice and they’re going, man, did I make a mistake, you know, or I wish this person I wish this leader had listened to me. Right, or I wish I had been consulted about this, and so when you misstep with a key hire, especially if it’s really dramatic, the consequences

can come slamming down on the organization and they can be far reaching, even permanent in terms of cultural shifts. So, you know, I just feel like, you know, a lot of times we look for the quantitative information where, you know, and that’s been a big part of my learning over all these companies that I built is the qualitative management is the hard part. I mean, and I assure you, I’ve made every mistake you can possibly make in the book times.

Karla Nelson:  And that’s why, you know, they exist.

Jonathan Lambert:  Right. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. The biggest failure. Who has ever succeeded, right.

Like any good entrepreneur. You know, so. Yeah, so

Karla Nelson:  I love that though. Communication process and then tools. That is a really great insight in regards to understanding the. Because we always talk everybody knows the hierarchy in business, which doesn’t work, actually. Right. That’s the old way of looking at business.

Jonathan Lambert:  That’s my old partner, Kensei Stewart,

Karla Nelson:  Identify it doesn’t work. And they’ve had to adjust and amend. But the communication and making sure, OK, we got a solid foundation of communication and then you put a process like this. Yup. Right. So now we’re communicating and there’s a process. Now I’m going to give you another tool to be able to. Regardless if it’s, you know, something like a DiSC or Myers Briggs or something, actually, it’s a tool to support that

Jonathan Lambert:  “Management tools.”

Karla Nelson:  Yeah, I think that. Well, you know, what? What do we start out with? The bottom. Higher. Yeah, well, yeah, but I will give them a tool and be like, nobody’s communicating,

Jonathan Lambert:  but well, yeah, I mean, that’s why tool adoption fails, because it doesn’t address the human needs underneath it. I mean, I worked really intensively to build a help, you know, get drive software off. And we were one of their first major partners and they were the social business software company. And, you know, I watched as as that software. It grew and grew and grew. And the critical piece that made that software work was that there were highly invested individuals inside of companies that were making that were firing up the implementation and putting all the information into it.

You know, it really is critical. And it is you know, when you really back up, Karla, when you go back to that core of it, though, around sort of, you know, communication process tools, when you have ultimately, again, just to boil the simple out of it is you’ve got “hire well” or “manege hard.”

Right. I mean, and it’s when you look at it through that, you know, matrix of two by three and you go east, like, if I don’t hire, well, I’m going to manage hard. Oh, all of those upper level echelon tools get used to manage, which is cancerous to organizational culture because you’re imposing on people rather than

having them organically pick things up and find that they’re helping them do their job.

Karla Nelson:  Well. Jonathan, that really means something coming from your background too based off of technology, because it shifts. Technology is moving. It is never I mean, it’s a constant.

You want to talk about, you know, an area that the law of diffusion of innovations has a need, you know, and the different people that you need in order to create the craziest thing is we need everybody to create the new innovations, not just the early adopters, but the later adopters that can, you know, execute it.

But the fact that the puck is constantly moving. So you’re right. You’re actually like working in a organization that’s going nuts in a vertical, that’s going nuts constantly, especially today.

Jonathan Lambert:  Well, I mean, is there ever been a time where we weren’t living in constant change? I mean, I thought everything we run by steam engines by now, you know,

It’s just gets changed faster now. Right. Well, I wonder about that. You know, we have a tendency to kind of look at our current situation and be like, yeah, it’s changing rapidly. Certainly the modern industrial revolution is brought about like a pace of change in technology. That certainly feels like a burden, like you can feel it. But I wonder if this hasn’t been going on, you know, relative to what people for maybe 150 years or longer.

Right. I mean, you know, you’re looking at steam at steam. You know, certainly like the the the the the level where we’re going. You know, even we start from mining coal. Now we’re mining coal with a steam engine that does the water dumping for us.

And those are major technology shifts. But I think in terms of human adaptation to technology, what we’re really noticing at these later stages of this particular cycle is that our our our adaptation is getting disrupted. We’re we’re finding we’re like in almost like a like like a like a like a like a. It feels like we’ve reached a frenzy of technology change where you can’t keep up. Right. And where it’s subsuming things that, you know, the slower and sort of need to be centered inside of yourself. And I think people really struggle with that.

And but at the same time, I think it’s been going on a long time. I mean, you know, you have to look at the airplane in the airplane will tell you everything, right. Nineteen eighty six, you got Wright field.

And the next thing you know, thirty years later, we’ve got, you know, B-52s. Right. I mean, it’s a lot like where did that come from?

Karla Nelson:  Mhm. Yeah, exactly. Well, that’s really an interesting point. And we were chatting just earlier about VR and how, you know, for a lot of the stuff that’s been adapting, it’s like, well , everybody kind of has to catch up to. So, you know, it’s really expensive in the beginning. And so not everybody can utilize it or they have to have this, you know, computing system behind it. And then that’s you know, it’s just really interesting to think of.

And I love the law of diffusion of innovations, because it’s how people adopt new ideas. So if you’re looking at technology or you’re looking at a tool or a management tool and business or communication strategy or any of those things, you know, if you can’t get your team to adopt, whatever that is, I mean, that’s exactly what

Scrum was designed for, to have a team work together to be able to agree upon. Right. The project owner, the developers and the person in between saying, hey, let’s play fair here and agree upon everything. And and then also identify where somebody is on that spectrum you have.

And they used it just for a marketing tool. You can use it for anything you can. You know, it’s like. So it’s like the largest body of marketing research about human behavior in human behavior is critical. If you’re going to get anything done, especially in technology, because you’re dealing, like we talked about earlier, just so much of the intangible.

Jonathan Lambert:  You know, it’s really interesting to watch is this generation, it’s the millennial generation, Gen Z generation are taking a critical eye to some of this. And I really have a ton of respect for the way that they’re doing it because is a level of critical thinking going on that, you know, they like people are like , oh, you know, this generation to salu. I’m like, no, no. This generation sees clearly through everything. It’s really interesting. You know, if you talk about what you’re talking about with the, you know, sort of the law of diffusion of innovation, sort of the early adopters, you know, early majority majority and with the last one, like laggards , right? Yeah, I love that. I just love the term laggard. Like you’re a laggard.

Karla Nelson:  Yeah. Well, I love with Simon Sinek said on his he’s like, these are the people that you know. I think he said something about a telephone. Still would have a rotary telephone if they.

Jonathan Lambert:  Yeah, yeah, yeah. Everybody everybody’s got their their Ford horse. Right. So, you know, I mean, if you look, you’re really looking at the innovative people doing two point five percent of the general population and the idea of building.

And I’ve worked on projects that are full of innovators to the point where there’s nobody doing the work right or it’s got great ideas and you’re like, OK, you still need to write it down. We to have a product, you know, the early adopters.

If you look, it’s really like the early adopters. And those early stage people typically are, you know, arguably 15 to 20 percent the population. Right. So you’re looking with that sort of being the first. It is.

Karla Nelson:  And the shakers, thirty five percent of the populations and they’re thinkers, that’s the other part, that they don’t strike their thinkers, so they’re in their head. And so we have these negative notions about squirrel or chief idea fairy. That’s what they call in the Air Force or they’re head’s always in the clouds.

Right. The person that looks at something goes I thought about that 20 years ago. Yeah, but you didn’t get it executed because you didn’t have the team to be able to then get to that point. And yes. And then you’ve got your movers that are early adopters, but they’re doers.

So that team I mean, if a Shaker doesn’t have a mover to connect with me, it’s like, who do you hand it off to next? Right. Actually get something implemented, right? Right. I love how you talked about the you have to have somebody do the work and do the end result.

Jonathan Lambert:  And, you know, ultimately. Yeah, exactly. And, you know, I think I think I think, you know, we have a lot of processes like like the lean process, right where we go in and do testing and prototype test and iterate.

Right. And we have the IDEO design process, which is like observation ideation, rapid prototyping, feedback, iteration and implementation. And, you know, these processes allow me to really common sense. Right. Like basically like you should basically check to see if people want your crap before you build it.

It’s a good idea. It’s, you know, let’s formalize that and let’s make sure that, you know, everyone can get behind that idea, but then let’s make sure that people actually want it. And, you know, so now the conversation with investors, you know, and and, you know, my late I run a venture incubator.

You know, the conversation is oftentimes like, hey, like what exactly is the early traction in the early evidence that you’re using to to build your business? And, you know, I think in that. I think that, you know, it’s one of those things, you know, we’ll get back to some of that VR bit, but you know, I wanted to

go back and talk a little bit more about sort of the personal dynamic of what it takes to kind of build your company. Because, you know, one of the things I was seeing in in that meeting the other day, we were talking about coaching and we were talking about training is how personal that stuff gets, especially with coaching and how business like this whole generation motile is together for you. This whole generation is Gen Z. Millennial generation is like, nah, this is all nonsense. Like this has to matter to me personally. I’m not just going to get it on the treadmill and work 60 hours a week in order to get a good 401K.

Like it also has to make the world better and keep, you know, you know, and and I need it to be meaningful. Like I’m just telling you, like I need to be meaningful. And if you look at that in that context, you’re like, that’s pretty reasonable.

Yeah, I think I’d like to have some meaningful work. I like that. And then you go, OK, well, you know, what are the frameworks for that? So if you look at, you know, coaching and training and you start thinking about that, you know, looking forward to the consequences.

Right. Which is where we use our creative visualization techniques to look at the impact of choices creatively, looking backwards into the history, going, what can I learn? What are the lessons? Right now, I’m using a learning framework towards the world.

I look at life like a giant school and everything we do as a lesson. So when you look back and you look at the lessons, you’re like, where in my library of lessons is something that can inform this?

Then you go into the insights. And, you know, I really wanted to kind of put the point that I had in that talk to him the other day comes from a beautiful friend of mine, Daiki Fox is one of my mom’s best friends.

And we were having a conversation and she introduced me. I don’t know where she got I’m sure she got somewhere. It was one of the most beautiful frameworks I’ve ever heard for telling the truth, which is a great framework for when you when you’re making these critical decisions.

And she said to me, she goes “first, tell the truth to yourself about yourself, then tell the truth about yourself to others, then tell the truth about others to yourself. And then you can tell the truth to others about themselves.”

And that framework in the context of major organizational decisions has been extremely transformative for me because it makes me look at things from every perspective, like a slap in the face perspective, like you really if you really take that to heart, tell the truth to yourself about yourself.

Yeah. So, you know, I think that these kinds of tools are where technology doesn’t really give us a enough because it’s not asking us to bring our deeper, emotional, personal selves into the conversation. It’s great organizing information. But in order to be a great leader, you have to be someone who has passion and connection.

And ultimately underneath that is is is is oftentimes like a deep caring about what you’re building and about the people around you, which comes out in whatever form you want to call it, is a form of love. Right.

So ultimately, the question you have to ask inside of that is, are you being loving in your decision making? It doesn’t mean necessarily that you’re enabling people, but because you may need to be you may need to lay somebody else and you may.

But doing so in a way that is telling yourself the truth, is telling the truth about your own self to the other person, to listen to what their truth is, and then to tell them what your truth is to them.

Imagine if you were applying that framework to a layoff and you were actually operating with that level of integrity as a company. I think that that’s something that kind of gets missed in the technology conversation.

Karla Nelson:  I love it. That’s beautiful, Jonathan.

So how can our listeners and viewers get a hold of you?

Jonathan Lambert:  Oh, well, yeah, I’m pretty easy to get ahold of. You know, my email is just the letter J@bring.company. So that’s the name of the venture incubator I run.

So it’s just awesome bringing up email addresses. Yeah. Yeah. Well, you know, you know, I’ve been really blessed to work with a lot of early stage entrepreneurs, you know, in helping to build these kinds of programs with this venture incubator for the last couple of years.

You know, I’ve been able to kind of work across fintech and security and artificial intelligence and large scale ecommerce businesses and see kind of like the trends that are going on. But but the truth is that, you know, we’re all kind of growing and learning together.

And I’m learning more from the people. I’m working with them than anything else. It’s been astonishing to watch how people have been able to adapt and react to COVID.

Karla Nelson:  You know what they say, it’s either grow or die. So, Jonathan, it’s been so amazing having you on the show. Thank you so much. And I can’t wait to hear more.

Jonathan Lambert:  It’s my pleasure. I look forward to more and more chats in the future.