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Worst Things First

How can you ensure you get First Things First done, rather than Worst Things First? Stephen Covey takes a deeper look into one of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and we show how to put gasoline and a match on your checklists… 


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Karla Nelson:  And welcome to the People Catalysts Podcast. My friend, Allen Fahden. 

Allen Fahden:  Hello, Karla.  

Karla Nelson:  Greetings. How are you today?  

Allen Fahden:  Oh, I’m happy that we’re doing a podcast. It’s always a good thing.  

Karla Nelson:  This has been a really neat series. When we first decided to do it, it was interesting because we’d been looking back at a lot of best-selling books that had been out for a long time that we read way back in the day. And going back and revisiting them has been really fun and really engaging. And thanks to all our listeners for reaching out. Social media’s been big. And getting a lot of email and a lot of traction on it.  

And we hope this is a really great series that people can use because the business books, what do we do? We read them and we have to go back to our office. They’re fantastic and all these strategies are amazing, however and from our perspective there’s something missing in the how. And that’s really what we’re talking about in this series. And today, we are going to be talking about the book, First Things First. But, of course, the title for our podcast is Worst Things First.  

Allen Fahden:  Worst Things First. And why is that? Because the minute you get on the elevator going into the office you have great intentions and great plans. And the minute you get in everything just collapses. And when it gets down to the reality of actually doing the things that are in business books it can oftentimes what looks very promising can just turn to the worst in an instant. We’re going to talk about those and see how you can around that. And actually, take some of these business books once again and be able to put them to work for you.  

Karla Nelson:  Now, first things first as probably everybody knows because it wasn’t as popular as The 7 Habits. That sold 10 million copies. But it was the most popular habit within The 7 Habits. And so it was written by Stephen Covey. And I do believe the co-writers were Roger and Rebecca Merrill. And it was published in 1994, and it did sell over a million copies, and I’m sure that number is still ticking away. What it talked about was the previous … And I think this is really interesting, and a different approach to time management is before it was speeding control. How can you do things super, super fast?  

And what this book talks about is the results on your personal vision, and your personal how you want to put your dent on the universe, so you know what you’re working on is really not just about getting more done, but it’s direction versus just getting more done. It’s very future-focused. When you’re working in today you’re keeping that future in mind. And it talks a lot about previously in other books, time management was all about you so independence, it was all about me. And this book really shifts that and says, “It’s actually cooperation. It’s interdependence, not independence.” And I think that really was the big whoa that was different. And it was different from a time management perspective up to this time where … And again, Steven talks about The 7 Habits and this is one of the habits is putting First Things First.  

However, man this book is so rich it’s insane. I would not recommend anyone read it sitting down from beginning to end because you’ll probably never finish it. But there’s really four main sections in the book, and it breaks down different things in the section. And I’ll just briefly talk about that for the purpose of this podcast, of course, we’re always going to go to the team focus and how you utilize the team in two different areas of the book.  

Section one talks about the clock and the compass. This is getting things done is not the same as having a lot to do. You want to focus on the things that are important to you and also the clock is really a short-term look where the compass is the long-term. And well, it also talks about is the urgency addiction and gets into the four quadrants. And we’ll talk about … I don’t want to go into that right now because we’re going to go into that depth in just a little bit. And then leaving a legacy. Very focused. It’s very mission vision focused. And that’s section one.  

Section two is about to keeping the main thing the main thing. And what it talks about is your different roles in life. If your a mother, or father, or aunt, or business owner, or team lead, or executive, or coach. It could be whatever your roles are. And then how you plan for each of those roles and what’s important to you in your vision with those roles. And balancing those roles. Are you spending a whole bunch of time as business owner, and you’re not as a wife or husband? What about a parent? It talks about balancing those roles, and the goals associated with it. And that again it comes back to that perspective of long-term versus short-term. And then in section three, it talks about the synergy of interdependence. And I talked about this being a really also interesting thing because to put time management in synergy of interdependence with a very interesting approach.  

Allen Fahden:  Very new.  

Karla Nelson:  To time management. What it talks about is that you collaborate with people to create things, not the opposite. Which is again that’s that tada difference I think that was really attractive to others in this book. And then it talks about empowerment from the inside out. First it talks about the empowerment from the inside out and why it’s important and then it also talks about what if you work in an organization that doesn’t value it that way how do you approach being in an environment where you were valuing it but you’re in a company in a culture that doesn’t value it. And then the last part of that is talking about the power of principle-centered living. And the peace associated with being principle-centered. 

Allen Fahden:  And we like that part especially well I think because one of the things with all everything changing all the time and having to deal with that well, you get something up as high as of the level of principles and laws and they don’t change they endure. And you can start depending on something, and you can go back to it no matter what happens in the situation. These principles will not change. And so, this is not only comforting but it gets people on the right track. 

Karla Nelson:  And I think that goes back to the aha piece about this book that was new to time management which is focus on … Don’t focus on being busy. It’s not just about getting it done it’s about getting it done with a vision in mind.  

Allen Fahden:  Getting the right thing done. 

Karla Nelson:  Exactly. And the bigger purpose. But for the purpose of this podcast because there’s no way we could go to through this entire book. I want to say this book was 300 and some pages. I got it right in front of me. Let me see. I mean, it is a rich, rich book. If you go through the end appendix it’s 330 pages. But I mean, with the writing in the back of it it’s pretty long. But 306 without the … There’s a workshop in the back of the book and then a whole bunch of appendixes as well. That’s a pretty rich book right there. And it’s small words. Sometimes in school when we tried to get the largest type we could.  

Allen Fahden:  As in paper.  

Karla Nelson:  Well, hey you have to write a 20-page paper.  

Allen Fahden:  I’ll write one that’ll have 200 words.  

Karla Nelson:  Exactly. We’re going to pick out two areas that with The WHO-DO Method that you could really focus on and put gasoline and a match on that. For the purpose of the podcast today we’re going to talk about the four quadrants which I referred to earlier, the urgency addiction. And we’re going to talk about this synergy of interdependence. 

Allen Fahden:  I think these are great things to talk about because if you fix these two things and learn the how, which is exactly it’s paralogical. The how is really the who and the when. If you can attempt these things and get the right people in the right place doing the right thing at the right time that’s fit. How do people fit together? And the sequence that they hand the work off and even hand the discussion off. And hand the contributions off well, then you’ve got something that can actually make your how work because you can get an idea. Actually, implement it. You can get the ideation done. You can get the implementation done. And that is so important.  

Karla Nelson:  Awesome. Which one do you want to begin with? The four quadrants or the synergy of interdependence?  

Allen Fahden:  Quadrants I think.  

Karla Nelson:  That one’s pretty rich right here. Hold onto your seats everybody because we’re going to blow through this because I’m sure we don’t want to go on forever and ever. But we have two years of podcast as well that you can go back through. But for the purpose of this book and what this is called is the Eisenhower Matrix. This is not new but this quadrant model was made famous by Covey. And I’m sure most the listeners have seen this because almost every training company uses it now. And if you’ve been to the time management or Covey and I’ve been through all their training. I used to carry around that big old … Remember the time management … I had every year. I had seven years I think before I started going electronic. My purse even had the book in it. It was hilarious. And so it’s really the Eisenhower Matrix. 

And basically what it breaks down is if you think about the quad model. Think about a box and then there’s four pieces … Four boxes within the box. And then at the top of the two boxes, it’s urgent and not urgent. And to the right, it’s important and not important. And so I’m just going to go through each of the quadrants because it doesn’t really matter where it lies in the quadrant model. It’s just that quadrant one is important and urgent. This is you’re in firefighting mode. You just lost a client or something major happened. And it’s important you got to take care of it right away. Quadrant two is it’s important and not urgent. This is your planning the future focus of … It’s really important but I don’t really need to do it today because there’s nothing that’s going to be hurt today by not doing it. 

Allen Fahden:  And this is the one that always gets the short trift. It’s like nobody … We don’t have time for that right now. 

Karla Nelson:  Exactly. And it’s so important.  

Allen Fahden:  And that’s probably the survival of your business in the next five years but that gives you enough time.  

Karla Nelson:  Well, and that’s where the money is. It’s actually the planning. It’s delayed gratification in quadrant two. And that’s in the book it says, “Hey, this is the place you need to spent your time.” And we’ll talk about the misnomer associated with just stating that. And its umbrella bashing in just a moment. In quadrant three, is not important and urgent. This is interruptions. Ringing phones, email. Often we talk about help desk, these people live in quadrant three. Customer service. Quadrant four is it it’s not urgent and not important. This is a time-waster. I would say watching TV or videos. Or, people used to say social media, and I think yes if you’re just scrolling through social media but it also could be a huge asset to your business and is under-appreciated because that could also be in a different quadrant. Those are the four quadrants.  

And then how about this, Allen. I will go ahead and name the quadrant and then we can discuss each of the four natures of work. And the challenge that they would have in the area and also the brilliance that they could bring to each quadrant. And talk a little bit about the content versus the context. Because the context of quadrant one, two, three, four is great. But the content in the examples that each core nature of work is going to excel at something in a part of it or nothing at all. They just don’t. They’re not going to excel there I think is really critical to discuss. And if you want to maybe discuss a little bit, Allen about that context versus content. How about we do it we’ll start with the shakers. The shakers in quadrant one, which is it’s important and it’s urgent.  

Allen Fahden:  And this is a great place for the shakers because you’re … When you’re firefighting you need an ID. You got a problem you got no solution. You got to come up with a solutions. You got to come up with it fast and you’ve got to come up with something that’s not the same old tired stuff. You may need something that’s a big idea. Shakers are really become they excel at this. 

Karla Nelson:  Well, they get excited about it.  

Allen Fahden:  Love it. Love it.  

Karla Nelson:  And I think one of the things here is shakers are really great at that. Just perhaps bring that mover along with you. Because and there’s a context versus a content. As we want to shove everybody only in one quadrant. 

Allen Fahden:  That’s a good point.  

Karla Nelson:  Really each quadrant should have somehow all four of them working or maybe one not at all based off of it. And so I think shakers you’re right come up with great ideas and it’s like, “You came up with a great idea as soon as we picked the ideas the set of ideas it’s like hmm.” There’s more that goes into the content where you just say important and urgent than you’re like, “Well, everybody has to live there and that’s not the truth.” But shakers excel there for sure. 

Allen Fahden:  And shakers are not going to get their ideas implemented without movers. To pick the best one. To lay the plan. To get it going. We all need each other just as different shades in the quadrants.  

Karla Nelson:  Exactly. But shakers are the leader. They’re like, “Give me a problem.” Oh, it’s a problem. It’s a challenge.  

Allen Fahden:  It’s shaker country.  

Karla Nelson:  It’s almost like shakers thrive there and movers know that they need to be there. But if you lead a prover or maker in there that’s going to be … And we’ll talk about that in a minute. Quadrant two is important and not urgent. This is that future vision mission. Making sure things don’t go wrong. How is the Shaker in quadrant two?  

Allen Fahden:  Now, you don’t have the urgency so what you got is the mover I think emerging as leader in there because those are the people who are going to lay a few ideas on the table. And it’s the mover who looks naturally looks out ahead and sees what’s going to happen and then manages all that. They emerge much more as the leader because now the fire isn’t burning. 

Karla Nelson:  I would say since we’re focused on the shaker now then the whole is that now how we talked about … And I think you probably need both the mover and the shaker are going to be two more that focus. But since we’re focused on the shaker I think that you just hit the pitfall is that they’re not going to have a fire in their belly but still focusing in a team perspective of those two are going to just naturally perform in that quadrant.  

And then in a moment when we move to mover, shaker, improver or maker, we can talk about that. But for the purpose of important not urgent and the task typically in there, you’re going to see your shaker not have the fire in the belly but at the same time, the mover needs the shaker. I think it’s the reverse of quadrant one. Now, in quadrant three being a shaker now it’s not important and not urgent. This is hilarious. Interruptions … Well, this is hilarious actually with the shaker. But I’m not sure what you’re going to say but I know what I would say as far as a shaker not important and not urgent. 

Allen Fahden:  It would be like what are we doing here would be what I would say. 

Karla Nelson:  At the same time, here we go. It’s also plain. Not important and not urgent is also … Think about it. Shakers and help desk. You’re a shaker and you’re like, “I get all these different calls.” It’s not important. It’s not urgent play. It’s different.  

Allen Fahden:  It’s fine.  

Karla Nelson:  It’s fine. There’s the thing. They don’t want to do the email and the phone. That content they don’t want to do that content when there’s other content that they would love which is how can I play with the new app to see if we can use it. How can I get … And if you’re on help desk, I get to go solve a problem, if you’re a techie shaker. I get to go do this. I get to do that. I think that is the misnomer with this is that until you get to contend within each of the quadrants you’re not going to realize what part of the work that you excel if at all. Because some quadrants you’re just going to be foreign to. And then let’s see. Quadrant four, this is funny. Quadrant four, not important and not urgent. This is basically time-wasting. Shaker and time-wasting.  

Allen Fahden:  Yes. Well, that means well shakers digress. Sit down and start a business. Well, what can we do now? Well, let’s do something different. This is such an awesome business let’s make the business more fun. 

Karla Nelson:  And you know what, that’s really interesting because when you look at the whole future-based mission vision, they can take a chunk. Look at how they respond in quad one and quad two. And then in quad four, it’s like, here’s a pitfall. As a shaker, you got to make sure that you don’t go down the rabbit hole in a million different ways. That is why I think as a shaker understanding the principles, and the principle-centered piece and how it applies to each of the four quadrants is critical. Now movers. Movers quadrant one. Important and urgent. 

Allen Fahden:  Movers are there but as a let’s get through this quickly, let’s stay focused, let’s make sure we pick the right idea but let’s not get off track. Let’s do something we can do now. It’s got to be done, got to be done, that kind of thing. They can be keeping it cracking the whip and making it get done fast and focused and well.  

Karla Nelson:  And I think pulling again the team. The first thing they should do is go figure out I’ve got this problem. What do you think we could do about it? It’s the opposite. It’s that mover and shaker in quadrant one really work together well as a team. And again, there you go as far as that synergistic approach. And having this synergistic approach to the quadrant is I think key what we’re talking about here. Quadrant two mover. Important not urgent. 

Allen Fahden:  Mover this is mover land.  

Karla Nelson:  This is so mover land. 

Allen Fahden:  This is the person who sees the vision but it’s like, how are we going to get there from here. And that is the shaker. That’s not important now but give me some more on this one over here. That’s important now. They know a way the order things are going to come. They can set priorities and they can put one foot in front of the other one. Whereas the shakers sequence impaired. And so it depends so much on the mover for that. It’s like, how can we see our way from here to there? That’s a mover who really planned it out.  

Karla Nelson:  And I think you hit the nail on the head on the brilliance of the mover in a pitfall here. Being a mover is that you want it done by Friday and you might be talking about a two-year thing. 

Allen Fahden:  Oh, yeah.  

Karla Nelson:  You get it.  

Allen Fahden:  I get it. 

Karla Nelson:  It’s important and it’s not urgent but these are the things that are visionary and it’s the five-year overnight success. You have to do it to get to the success. However, a lot of times the patience is a big pitfall I think in quadrant two for a mover. And you have to pull your whole team in. Because even though you’re spending time in quadrant two you still need the ideas. And you need the prover to tell you everything that needs to go wrong. And you have to have the maker to be able to be repetitive on it. This is a real critical point guard piece I think as understanding in your organization, who are you asking to do what content within quadrant two, important not urgent. Mover quadrant three. Not important and not urgent. Interruptions, email, phone. 

Allen Fahden:  Not important and urgent quadrant three. This is like other people needing your time right now. And so you’re a mover. How do you feel when people keep interrupting you and calling you and you’re working on something? I mean, you can handle it probably easier than anybody. 

Karla Nelson:  It’s a death sentence, in my opinion. You know why? Because as a mover you’re the one that’s typically the proactive one. It’s okay I think if it’s at a limitation. I think the brilliance of it is that you can understand and set priorities of when you get interrupted. I think that’s a big deal. Because if you’re trying to get longer-term projects done and you’re interrupted constantly, the challenge is it takes your brain, depending on what you’re working on, 10 to 20 minutes to get back into the quote-unquote groove. And that’s I think a big pitfall. Because movers know they need everybody. And so they can spread themselves thin in this quadrant with not important and urgent because those interruptions just suck your time over time. And they suck your energy over time. 

Allen Fahden:  Well, this really is the closest one to me to pure time management. One strategy is to answer your phone calls from 11:00 to 12:00 in the morning and from 4:00 to 5:00. And then return all your calls at that time too. And then not have the phone ring for the rest of the time. You know what I mean. You can free yourself a little bit from the urgent that’s not important and still have time to get your stuff done. Pure time management. 

Karla Nelson:  Yes. I agree with you. Now, mover on the time waster. This is not important not urgent.  

Allen Fahden:  To me, that’s just it looks like an anathema to the mover. Not important. Let’s laugh about this now. Everybody come on we’ve got stuff to do. 

Karla Nelson:  Oh my gosh, I cannot tell you … And here’s the pitfall by the way. Setting the standard of how other people need to take a break. And then how do you set the standard that you’re not looking at everyone’s computer going, “What the hells wrong with you?” Get back to work. We’ve got stuff to do here. And you don’t have to worry about this as the maker as much because their doers really well too. But with everyone else they might need some space to actually … Sometimes time-wasting gives you a reprieve. It might not be for the mover but that’s a big pitfall when you’re working with a team, is that if you don’t let people take a break or don’t let them … And honestly, they should take more breaks. They’re sharpening the saw. The 7 Habits. And so that’s a big pitfall I think with being a mover in quadrant four. Let’s move on to provers. Provers in quadrant one. Important and urgent. 

Allen Fahden:  They might even question the fact that it is important. 

Karla Nelson:  That is so true. They want you to tell them the 50 things of why it’s urgent. Instead of you know. You’re like, “Yes, it’s going to hit the bottom line. It’s going to do this.” And they just need so much details associated with that it’s crazy. That’s funny. That’s so true. This is not a place that the prover shines. But one thing that they could probably learn from is a pitfall of that is that when somebody does say it’s urgent how do you respond to that. And it’s typically if you’re using a process it’s the mover that’s going to go to the prover. How can you then just agree it’s urgent and ask not the questions of determining if it’s urgent but determining the problem of what we could do? And another thing is that if the provers having that challenge what are you going to do on the process? 

Allen Fahden:  On the process and that puts the prover shifts them into a role of saying predicting what’s going to go wrong with the solution rather than attacking whether the problem itself is urgent or important. Then at least you’re forwarding now and it’s just as occupying and just as satisfying for the prover to be in that space. 

Karla Nelson:  Exact. It moves them. Where you can look at quadrant one and you can’t just hand it off. But you can stop for a second. And believe me that 10 or 15 minutes you’re going to take, bring them in and allowing them to then shine in that space. They’re probably not going to deliver anything but you need them. It can allow the shaker and the mover then to be successful as well. 

Allen Fahden:  It can make all the difference. Just identifying what the consequences of this action are going to be. Because then you can fail the idea in concept form and it won’t cost you anything. Money, time, or anything. And it avoids black eyes. It’s a really important piece.  

Karla Nelson:  Yes, yes. Prover in quadrant two. The important and not urgent. Vision.  

Allen Fahden:  Again, they’re going to try to slow you down by analyzing of well, why are we even planning this. We got a perfectly good business now that’s ridiculous. And if you can get him off that and again getting them into the process and start hypothesizing the future. What would it take to get there? What can go wrong? Make sure they have their role and not … And that can make a big, big difference.  

Karla Nelson:  I love that run … With the prover, it really does … I think it really helps them, especially in ideation when you hit a wall to stop and give them what they need. And it allows them to shine in every one of these other areas.  

Allen Fahden:  I knew a prover who said, “I need more detail.” And I said, “Well, why do you need more detail?” And he laughs and he says, “So I can pick it apart.” You know what, he’s right and he’s good at that. And he did. And it’s like, oh, I never thought of that. 

Karla Nelson:  Exact. That’s the brilliant part. And as a prover, the way you can when you get frustrated because you’re thrown into that situation is understand and ask to run the process. Get mover and your shaker there. And say, “I just need to take the 10, 15 minutes to be able to get what I need so that they can shine in their brilliance in that quadrant.” And so quadrant three. Not important and urgent. Interruptions. I think this one’s interesting for the prover.  

Allen Fahden:  Provers don’t like to be interrupted no matter what. That’s one of the big pieces there is that they really don’t like spending their time there. And probably another way of saying, “Not important but urgent,” usually means it’s what’s important to somebody else but not you. It’s like really, really you’re going to bother me with this. They’d just a soon not play in that space if they can help it. 

Karla Nelson:  Yes. I agree. I agree. Except for here let’s go to the content though. Oh no, no I was thinking shaker not prover. I was thinking prover shaker. And provers never love interruptions. They like to focus and focus on the task at hand. I was going back to our last group 

Allen Fahden:  Yes, the prover and the shaker.  

Karla Nelson:  When they had to do both. Now, quadrant four for the prover. Not important and not urgent. Our time wasters. 

Allen Fahden:  And again, that’s probably the prover is not going to like that too much with my analysis. But it would be lose time. And they might get into some subject and get in it well but they’ll be debating something else that has nothing to do with the business or whatever. 

Karla Nelson:  And for a prover, I think they’re … A lot of times they recharge but they recharge as a time-waster in a different way. And I’ll give you an example. You’re working on a project, you had your headphones on, you’ve been digging in it, digging in it, digging in it. And then for you wasting time is to look at some other program that is not in any of the quadrants that you’re probably not going to use if at all. But just relaxing. And their relaxing is not necessarily watching a video or something. Maybe it’s a training video. But they have a different way in quadrant four than most of the others as far as the time waster. But it’s not typical. They are a focused group typically. At least your uber provers are. Now, the last one maker. Maker in quadrant one. Important and urgent.  

Allen Fahden:  Get me out of here.  

Karla Nelson:  Exactly. They’re going to run and hide here. And they really don’t need to be ever put into this quadrant. I mean, if it’s important and urgent you’re not creating a checklist that needs to be replicated unless it’s oh, let’s not ever let this happen again and then you get it to the maker. But they just don’t even belong in this quadrant at all. 

Allen Fahden:  Because it’s a threat first of all. And they don’t like that because it’s going to disrupt the system that they love running smoothly. And they don’t want to see that happening. That’s a catastrophe. And then plus then they’re frustrated because there’s not much they can do about it. Ideas to fix this. Well, I don’t know.  

Karla Nelson:  This is when they go back to their desk and sweat.  

Allen Fahden:  Is there a manual? Where’s the manual. If it’s in the manual we can fix it.  

Karla Nelson:  Exactly. Quadrant two. Important and not urgent for makers. 

Allen Fahden:  I think it’s the same thing but with a different face. It’s like, “Can you let me know when the real work starts. I’ve got work to do and you guys are all blue-skying and dreaming. I’d just soon … You really don’t need me here do you?”  

Karla Nelson:  And quadrant two really by default is a ideation future face conversation. And so makers just avoid quadrant one and two. People that know them, don’t ask them. Because they’re going to sit there and just worry about the work that they’ve got back at their … The real work that they’ve got. Exactly. Quadrant three. Not important and urgent for a maker. 

Allen Fahden:  Geez. That’s starting to have a chance to shine now I think. Even though it’s not important it’s like, “Well, here let me handle that for you. I want to make sure this is done just right. I’m going to make you a chart like you’ve never seen before.”  

Karla Nelson:  And they’re really good at repetitive things. The email might not be the same but think about getting really if you’re doing a focus position you’re going to get the same type of emails. I mean, heck that’s why we write faq’s and things like this. Makers are really good at answering the same questions over and over again. But it’s still urgent. When you think about customer service, makers do really well. Why? Because they get the same questions day in and day out. And it’s okay with them. And it’s still urgent it’s something that needs to be fixed immediately. 

Allen Fahden:  Here’s a person who doesn’t know the answer. It’s great.  

Karla Nelson:  And think about it, reports. They’re great at, “Hey, we need this report from these different pieces, click this button, do this, compile this, and hand it here.” They’re great at that work. And that really is by default urgent. Especially if you have a meeting with the CEO on Thursday at 8:00. That is an urgent thing. And it if it’s 7:00 someone is going to have to get on it. They’re great in that quadrant. The last one. Quadrant four. Not important and not urgent for a maker. 

Allen Fahden:  Well, that’s a pretty good one I think. Again, and it’s like well, tell me do you use those file folders with the tabs on the left or on the right? Well, I like them on the left. I know but I’ve tried them on the right and I’m just not sure. What do you think? Let’s talk about this some more.  

Karla Nelson:  And I think this is an interesting one on the content as well because the context is a time-waster. But think about the content of what you’re saying, which is like wow that’s really you’re not really doing anything even though you think you’re doing something. Because remember makers are doers. It’s the context of the doing that is the pitfall for them in quadrant four.  

Allen Fahden:  A good one.  

Karla Nelson:  Because at the same time they’re doers and they want to get something done. I mean, they eat checklists for breakfast. And uber makers are not slackers but if you were analyzing the snot out of every little thing I think that’s a really big pitfall where you don’t realize you’re wasting time but you have to realize if your a maker being aware of yourself that you’re a maker. And or, if you’re a leader and teaching them this. Now, remember that we all lead. We lead at different times. And that’s what we’re talking about here with the quadrants is we dump everybody and say, “Here’s the four quadrants.” Instead of looking at them. Looking at the context versus the content. And then also looking at what core nature of work based off of what that is. It’s who’s going to excel and being really aware of that. All right.  

Allen Fahden:  I think one of the real key things here to is begin on the same page as to what actually is important. Because that conversation about the tabs on the file folders could be one of the most important things for a maker.  

Karla Nelson:  And it could be not.  

Allen Fahden:  Because maybe they couldn’t find something if the tab was on the wrong side. It would get lost in the drawer. It could be hugely important to them. 

Karla Nelson:  I totally agree. And it’s understanding that. And it’s understanding yourself. And think about that. That was maybe quadrant four but that was maybe quadrant two. And there’s the context versus the content. You have to be really aware that the matrix is the … It’s the context. You still have to go a couple layers deep. And how do you use the matrix and the context and also then bring it a level lower to the content and overlay the core nature of work? And a model that you can use and a method that you can use. 

Allen Fahden:  And that’s usually what’s missing in these books is they’re high in context and low in content sometimes. Or, vice versa. But you have to have them both to really get something done. 

Karla Nelson:  Well, what is that quote? Gosh, who said that “Innovation is simple you just use teams but nobody knows how.” 

Allen Fahden:  Peter Drucker. “You just use teams but nobody knows how to do that.”  

Karla Nelson:  There you go. Have synergy do this. Well, this is perfect. That was the perfect quote. I didn’t do that on purpose. Because we’re now moving onto the synergy of interdependence. Something that everybody says, “Yes, yes we need.” And again, that quote is, “Innovation is simple you use teams but nobody knows how.” And this is Peter Drucker, a huge visionary.  

Allen Fahden:  Yes. The beautiful thing is that we all agree with this. But think of the innovation may be in the last 2 hours and nothing gets done. 

Karla Nelson:  You mean the one that we audited. I know what you’re talking about.  

Allen Fahden:  Thumble all over everything. 

Karla Nelson:  Oh my God.  

Allen Fahden:  It’s so stupid because I did an idiotic thing. An idiotic report. They said, “What’s your report?” I said, “37 to 36.” “Oh, thanks a lot that’s a great report.” I said, “Well, it’s short.” “Well, what do you mean?” “Well, how many ideas were advanced?” We counted those and there were 37 ideas. How many of them got shot down? 36 of them. Which one didn’t get shot down? The very last one at the end of the meeting. Why? Because everyone wanted to get out of the meeting. 

Karla Nelson:  They were too tired.  

Allen Fahden:  They were tired and so annoyed.  

Karla Nelson:  It’s painful. It’s painful being in that meeting. And the reason why is we just dump everybody in a room and go, “Good luck.” And the thing is that it’s having a process. You have to have a process of interdependence. And that reminds me of … We often with Demi, identified 94% of failure is process failure, not people failure. But think about that Allen. Everybody thinks of that as a checklist. No, it’s a process for everything you want to implement. Using a process for interdependence. It’s not like hey, be interdependent. I mean, that’s learning by osmosis. You really have to get to figuring out what we’re going to do and then how we’re going to implement it. Breaking it down into those two pieces. 

Allen Fahden:  And when we do that we need to realize one little aha and that’s when you really get down into and that is, there are really two kinds of these processes. And one is for early phase, and the other is for the later phase. Everything goes in a predictable order. Where you start out with ideation, you’re trying to get an idea that’s thought through. The one that’s where you’ve taken all the obstacles and all the pitfalls out of it and in that process of ideation you’re handing off between movers, shakers, provers, and makers. The mover acts as the so-called point guard. They run the process.  

And because they’re such a perfect intermediary between the two what we call the red light relationship between the shaker and the prover. Shakers launch ideas movers say that won’t work. Shaker launches another idea. Oh, we tried that. They’re always fighting. It’s the mover that relates best to both of them individually and so you get the ideas through the mover as the point guard than the ideation thing happens two to three times faster. The same is true once you have an idea that’s thought through. That’s phase two, implementation.  

Well, there the leadership shifts to prover. Prover becomes the point guard, why? Because it’s the prover that gets on well with the mover as we just said. But the prover also gets on with the maker. The prover now is the center point between the maker who’s going to be doing the details and implementing the idea and then every time there’s a problem that the maker can’t solve it goes back to the prover. And if the prover can’t solve it, it goes back to the mover. And so there’s a- 

Karla Nelson:  Then you go back and run the ideation. If the mover can’t figure it out. The mover goes back to the shaker. But if it’s a deal-killer you go back to ideation. And so it’s this balance between the two of what are we going to do. How are we going to implement it? And then you’re using everybody. Again, interdependence is we’re all … We need everybody. We need you at different times. And everyone is a leader in their own right. It’s not just we always lean towards the movers and the shakers, that’s why there’s that cliche, and we use it. It’s because everybody looks at them. Well, that’s why stuff blows up. You’re doing great in the ideation most likely, but you didn’t think about what was going wrong and everything blows up and everybody is irritated about the piece of the work that they need to do. We’ve never seen that happen, Allen.  

Allen Fahden:  Never ever.  

Karla Nelson:  Unfortunately, it’s typical. It’s okay, and it’s funny working with companies that think we’re some miracle workers, and we can read their mind when we’ve never even seen their team, and we only see their profiles and who’s on their team. We tell them how everybody responds. It’s not rocket science. It’s based off 110 years of marketing research. The law of diffusion of innovation. And so well, this was a rich, rich, rich podcast. I don’t know about you but I’m feeling like … Hopefully, our listeners could keep up with that. And, of course, we’ve got other podcasts that you can refer to. Looking at the specifics of the process. And you can go to our website at www. Of course, why did I say www? 

Allen Fahden:  Because it’s hard to pronounce. 

Karla Nelson:  There you go. It’s thepeoplescatalysts, and that’s plural because, of course, we need you all but just at different times, dot com. Well, thanks so much, Allen. Oh, and I want to mention our beta test for our version two assessment, the WHO-DO assessment will be out. There’ll be a link in the social media piece as well as on our website. We typically charge $60 for this but through the beta testing, you can get it absolutely free. Check it out and feel free to email us directly. And thanks again, Allen for your words of wisdom as always. 

Allen Fahden:  And yours. And I just want you to know that after this information-rich podcast I feel like going and doing something not important and not urgent. 

Karla Nelson:  I’ll take you up on that my friend. All right.  

Allen Fahden:  That’s a good one. Bye.  

Karla Nelson:  Until next time, Allen, we’ll see you soon.  

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