Leading Up, Leading Down: Understanding Your Second-in-Command
Founder of COO Alliance & Second In Command Podcast
Cameron Herold is a former COO and business coach with over two decades of experience in the industry. He is known for his work with over 1,000 entrepreneurs and CEOs, helping them grow their businesses and reach their full potential. Cameron is a sought-after speaker and has been featured in numerous media outlets, including The New York Times, Forbes, and Inc. Magazine. He is the author of several books, including “Double Double” and “Meetings Suck”. With his wealth of knowledge and practical experience, Cameron is considered a leading expert on business growth and leadership.
Take home these learnings:
1. How do you know if someone is ready to take on the role of a second-in-command?
2. What are some common mistakes leaders make when working with their second-in-command?
3. How can leaders ensure that their second-in-command is aligned with the company’s goals and vision?
4. How does having a strong second-in-command impact your personal and professional growth as a leader?
2. What are some common mistakes leaders make when working with their second-in-command?
3. How can leaders ensure that their second-in-command is aligned with the company’s goals and vision?
4. How does having a strong second-in-command impact your personal and professional growth as a leader?
Cameron: [00:00:00] Yeah, I'm here. Perfect. Gaurav: Cameron, thank you so much. Such a pleasure having you here. Finally. You are here after a chase of one year. Can you beat it? Cameron: Grav? That's nice to be here. For sure. And I'm curious because I was just in India back in October. Where in India are you based? Gaurav: I'm be New Deli. Where Cameron: were you? Cameron: Oh no, I was in New Delhi. I was there for four days. We could have done this live if we'd known this back in October. I was there. On my way to, to, um, on my way to Mumba or to, uh, Bhutan, we stopped in India for four days. We stayed at the Claridges Hotel and uh, and then I had dinner with a friend of mine, um, SHA Keka, who's an entrepreneur from Delhi, had dinner at his home. Cameron: But I wish we'd known, could have done this four months ago. Just Gaurav: missed it. My bad. Okay, next time. Fantastic. Uh, Cameron, help me understand, you are known as the c e o of Whisper. Just curious, why are you [00:01:00] known as the C e O Whisperer? What's the story Cameron: behind that? Yeah, so I was speaking at an event. I've done paid speaking events in 26 countries and on every single continent I've actually been paid to speak in Antarctica and, and the speaking event that I did about six or seven years ago, the publisher of Forbes Magazine was sitting in the audience, and he had seen me speak a number of times before. Cameron: His name is Rich Carl. and Rich, the publisher of Forbes Magazine wrote a full page article on the actual print edition of Forbes Magazine, about me and my vivid vision concept, and he called me the c e o whisperer because I'm, I'm kind of teaching the CEOs behind the scenes how to build better companies and how to build themselves as better leaders, and now teaching their CEOs how to build better companies. Cameron: And he said, I'm kind of whispering the secrets in their mind. So that's where the title, the CEO Whisperer came from. Mm-hmm. would Gaurav: love to learn. The whisper that you're doing in their ears that's helping them to become better CEOs. Uh, [00:02:00] Cameron, help me understand you Cameron: working with, I'll tell, I'll tell you one of the things I, one of the ways that I whisper is I tell them the stuff that no one else is willing to tell them. Cameron: I tell them, I tell them the brutal facts that, you know, no one else is willing to say, but everyone sees it. And I, and I always frame it this way, I tell them, look, I'm gonna tell you something that is to help you and help grow your. So I can either, I can either tell you and it might upset you or just not tell you. Cameron: And they go, no, no, tell me. I'm like, okay. So I always frame it with, look, this might piss you off, but you know, and then I tell them and they go, oh wow. Like I, you know, you look like anor. You're saying the wrong thing, or you're not growing. Like when, when I show, and they know it to be true, but no one's ever had the courage to tell them that stuff. Cameron: Yeah. Yeah. This, this Gaurav: is beautiful story of where a small child tells the king that you are roaming in the streets of your kingdom. Without the Cameron: clothes. Without the clothes. Be aware. The emperor. The emperor new suit. That's exactly what I talked to 'em about, and I [00:03:00] even explained to them sometimes that story that I'm like the little boy in the emperor's new suit. Cameron: Hmm. Gaurav: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Can you just mentioned that you have spoken in 26 countries? Yes. You work with the COOs? You work with the vice presidents of operations, general managers, presidents who run company wide operations. Just curious, how did you manage to zero in on your target audience? You know, I've come across so many coaches. Gaurav: They struggle to zero in their Cameron: target audience. So I have been, I've played the COO role. I, I was the COO for a very large company, or a company that was very small and became very large. I grew them from 14 employee. To 3,100 employees in six years and I was the coo, it's called 1-800-GOT-JUNK. I'd also played the quasi second in command role a couple of o other times as well prior to that. Cameron: Mm-hmm. . So I had some experience in the niche. [00:04:00] I was also coaching a lot of entrepreneurs and I ended up coaching their second in commands quite often as well. I teach both of them how to grow the companies. Mm-hmm. . So just from being around that, I think that was the exposure. Um, you mentioned that I've been paid to speak in 26 c. Cameron: I think I've been paid to speak also in 14 or 15 cities in India. Um, wow. Y p O, the Young President's organization partnered with the Entrepreneurs Organization. Yeah. And they flew me over and I did two speaking tours through India, two years in a row, and then also spoken, um, in Capmandu up in Nepal as well. Cameron: So I've, I've loved the region. I've been to India five times, but yeah, I've, I've had a lot of exposure working with CEOs of, of good size companies in India. Gaurav: Hmm. And I'm assuming that's the reason you started c o Alliance and Second in Command Podcast. Tell me more Cameron: about that. Yeah, so the, the reason for starting the C O O Alliance, it's the only network of its kind in the world. Cameron: For the second in command, as you mentioned, I also have a podcast called The Second in Command podcast, and my new [00:05:00] book comes out January 24th, called the Second in Command. How to unleash the power of your c o o was no one had really been talking about or doing enough content sharing for this second in command role, everyone's talking to the entrepreneur and most entrepreneurs are not capable of taking all the ideas and putting them in place. Cameron: it's really the COO who's putting them in place in the company. And because I understood that market and understood that niche and was very passionate about that niche, I decided to create a network for them and a podcast for them and to, you know, write content for them as well. . Gaurav: Mm-hmm. , you know, very interestingly, I've personally come across so many coaches, so many consultants who take pride in saying that they work with CEOs. Gaurav: And here you are promoting, saying that it's very important to work with CEOs as well, or what you call is the second in command. Help me understand, what is the primary difference have you noticed in the mindset of A C E O and the [00:06:00] people who are directly reporting into her, the, what you call as coo Cameron: o. Cameron: Yeah. It's funny, it's, it's almost like in a traditional marriage, you've got a husband and wife that are married. The husband is not a hairy version of a female. Hmm. The husbands are just different than women. Men are different than women, and we work really well together to build a great family together. Cameron: The c e o, if everyone is teaching the c e O. , who's teaching the coo o o, who's teaching the C o O, how to build the relationship with the C E O, who's teaching the c e o, how to build a relat. So I just decided to work with that second and to teach the CEOs how to build that strong relationship with the second in command as well. Cameron: It's all about creating that real yin and yang partnership, you know, with with the second person, and then the two of you can build the organization faster and. . Gaurav: So what is the primary difference in the mindset? Have you noticed? Yeah. Cameron: One, one is most entrepreneurs are visionaries. Mm-hmm. , they tend to plan, or you know, they plan later. Cameron: They [00:07:00] start and plan as they go. They're winging it, they're shooting from the hip. They make it up on the go. They're ideal, you know, perpetual motion machines, always coming up with ideas. Most COOs are the. To the gas right, we're the execution to the vision. Thomas Edison once said that vision without execution is hallucination. Cameron: Mm-hmm. So the c o o is about execution. The c e o is often about vision. The C often asks a lot of questions before they start a project. , the CEO tends to start the project. Mm-hmm. CEOs tend to put a system in place, or a playbook in place, or a, a checklist or a before they'll start the project. And again, the CEOs tend to just start the project. Cameron: Right? Mm-hmm. , Gaurav: you know what reminds me of, um, when he said that you might have the A level of strategy, but with B level of execution, you're not going to produce results. On the contrary, with B level of strategy, with a level of execution, you'll define better [00:08:00] results. It Cameron: makes sense, Gaurav: of course. Uh, Cameron, you have written a book called Vivid Visions. Gaurav: Yes. You have been an evangelist of Vivid Visions. if someone does some research onto you, one of the talks that you have been consistently talking about is Vivid vision. Vivid vision. Yeah. Just curious, what do you think is the prime difference between those who have been able to make their vision a reality? Gaurav: Sure. And those who gave up in between. Cameron: Yeah. Most entrepreneurs have an idea in their mind of what their company's going to look like in the. If you ask an entrepreneur to describe what their company will look like, act like, and feel like they can do that, but they're the only one that can see what's in their mind. Cameron: We can't read minds as humans. We can't read everything that the person is thinking, so we start guessing. So the [00:09:00] idea with the vivid vision is getting the entrepreneur or the c e O to lean out into the future and describe their company three years from today. and describe it as if they're walking around the company as if it's already completed. Cameron: Mm-hmm. describing the meeting rhythms, describing the culture, describing the employee's engagement, describing what the marketing is, is like describing what the media is writing about you describing. You know how the company operates on a day-to-day basis, describing your physical environments, and you can literally describe what it looks like, but you don't know how to make it come true. Cameron: You know, if I was building a home, I can describe what I want the home to look like, but I don't know how to do electrical. I don't know how to do plumbing. I don't know how to fix drywall. , but I can describe what I want the home to look like, and those professionals can come in, if they can read the blueprints. Cameron: If they can read the plans to make my vision come true, they can execute against the plan. So the vivid vision is a way to communicate to the team so that the team can [00:10:00] come up with the plan to make the vision come true. Where most entrepreneurs stop is they get frustrated because people can't read their mind. Cameron: They get frustrated because they're the only person with intuition. . Well, the reality is they're the, they're the only person who has seen the movie. Gaurav: Yeah, yeah. And unfortunately, rather than taking the ownership and communicating what they have seen in their vision, they get into that spiraled down mode and they get experience, what we call as frustration is my understanding. Gaurav: Right, Cameron: exactly. Like you could, you could probably name one of the most famous films in Bollywood. Me as a Canadian, I've probably never seen. I have no idea what the movie's about, which is kind of laughable to you. Like what's a movie that everyone in India knows of? Gaurav: Oh, for that matter, surely very old movie, Cameron: surely. Cameron: Right? I, I don't even know what you said cuz I couldn't hear the accent. Clearly have no idea what the movie's about. So for me, the movie could be about, um, [00:11:00] a soccer player. Yeah. You'd be like, why, why would, like, I, I have no idea what the movie's about cause I've never seen the movie. So, so all I can do is make guesses. Cameron: Well, if I can't see what you want the company to look like, if I can't see what the meeting's like, if I can't see how, yeah. Like if I, then I can't build it. So, so that's the power of the Vivid vision concept is explaining the movie in so much detail that everyone else can figure out how to make it come true. Cameron: Yeah. Gaurav: So, Cameron, would it be a fair assumption to make that it's not only important to have the vivid. It's equally important for you to communicate in a way that makes sense to your team members as well, so that they can visualize what you have visualized Cameron: already. Yes. And that's why the Vivid vision becomes a four or five page written description of what the company looks like, acts like, and feels like three years in the future. Cameron: Mm-hmm. so that everyone can actually start to [00:12:00] read what you feel and think. , if it's just pictures, like if I showed you a picture of my home, like let's say you're looking at my background. Hmm. You might see a coffee maker, but all I want the picture to show is the plant. Hmm. But because there's a coffee maker and a coffee cup, and a table and a television and a picture in the flooring and the like, you don't know what I'm really seeing in the picture. Cameron: Mm-hmm. , a picture says a thousand words. , right? Hmm. So the, the vivid vision, it's very clear that we want every sentence to come true, and then the people can figure out what are one or two projects to make this sentence come true. What are one or two projects to make the next sentence come true? You come up with a huge list of projects that make all the sentences come true, and then you decide which ones are the foundational building blocks that you put those projects in place first, like putting the foundation of the hone in, then putting in the walls, then doing the electrical and the plumbing. Cameron: you don't want to go put in all the electrical and the plumbing before the walls are up. [00:13:00] Mm-hmm. . Yeah. Gaurav: And as I'm just listening to you, I'm saying, how can I apply that in my day-to-day life as well? , you know, the kind of relationships that I would like to have with my family members, different family members, the kind of relationship that I would like to have with my father, the kinda relationship that I would like to have with my daughter. Gaurav: The kinda relationship that I would like to have my, with my team members, with my own self. The kind of help that I would like to, uh, see for myself. Cameron: Mm-hmm. Yeah. When you, when you, again, when you write those and commit those in writing, and when you share those with other people, it starts to provide some pressure on us to change as. Cameron: Right. If I share my personal vivid vision with you, or my vivid vision that my wife and I wrote for our marriage, or the vivid vision for my business, if I share with you those written documents, it's now getting out in the world that that's who Cameron Herd is going to be. I start forcing myself to be more like that. Cameron: I start making the changes to be like that. Friends of mine start calling me and [00:14:00] saying, Hey, let's do something. I read in your vivid vision together, right? Mm-hmm. , Gaurav: it's like declaring to the universe. . Cameron: Yes. So the manifestation is part, you know, Mindvalley Vision la, he took my Vivid vision concept and rolled it out globally at Mindvalley as one of the Mindvalley quests. Cameron: It's about declaring your vivid vision, setting that that goal, but then also putting the work in place to make it come true. You can't just sit there and hope, right? You actually, you have to do the work to make it come true as well. Yeah. Thank you, Gaurav: Cameron, for sharing that. In one of the speeches that I was listening to where you were mentioning about running a full marathon in less than four hours. Gaurav: Yeah. And you said, if somebody has not experienced that, if somebody cannot walk for a mile, , it'll be very difficult for the person to run a full marathon in less than four hours. Right. What you mentioned is that there [00:15:00] should be some reality checks while designing your vision now. That's what you mentioned. Gaurav: Yeah. Now, here's my question. What would you coach someone who's like Elon Musk, who's sharing his vision? That I would like to be. in the universe. I would like to step onto mourn in these few years. Cameron: So yeah, so, so e I've known Elon for 25 years. Elon's brother Kimball used to work for me at college. Cameron: Painters. Yeah. In 1993. Uh, those, what, what Elon's talking about, like colonizing Mars is not a vivid vision. It is, but it's at a different level than the, the concept I teach, I always teach three years. . He's communicating. He's communicating. Be hags. These big hair audacious goals when he's, what he's communicating is 20 or 30 year pushes. Cameron: Mm-hmm. . Those are different than articulating a three year vision for your company. Very different things. So I don't play in that zone, Gaurav: and that's the [00:16:00] distinction that I wanted to have for my own self. That's the understanding that I wanted to have. That there is a difference. creating a three year vision for yourself, what you call it, vivid vision. Gaurav: And there is a difference between three years and the next 10 years, or three years, or next 20 years. Thank you for sharing that. Cameron. In your experience, what is the most common mistake a leader makes while leading an organization and how can she avoid that? Cameron: Yeah. The, the biggest mistake is, is, is one is not delegating fast. Cameron: So keeping too many of the projects on your own plate and not delegating fast enough, the common objection I always hear is, while my team can't do it, well then train them, right, because you need to get it off your plate. So spend the time growing them, growing their skills, growing their confidence so that you can delegate more because you're slowing your company down by, by not delegating, that's just the first. Cameron: The second is not praising people. [00:17:00] That we can't keep giving them more projects, we can't give, giving them more to do. We can't keep pushing them. We need to actually grow their confidence and grow their skills. Um, and we need to praise them so that we can, we can make, like if, if your child doesn't get enough praise, they're not going to have the confidence. Cameron: You need to build up their confidence with praise. And most entrepreneurs don't do a good job with that. I would say those are probably the two. Gaurav: Yeah. Thank you for bringing the second element, especially when you're talking about that most of the leaders, they don't praise, they don't appreciate their team members more often. Gaurav: I'll come to this point. Let's talk about the first one. What do you think? What is the possible reason? Why don't people delegate, as you mentioned, that possibly, uh, the team members would not be able to do that. Cameron: What are the Yeah. That, that tends to be the first reason is because we don't think we have people that we can do it. Cameron: Secondly, I think we're wor moving so quickly that we don't pause to say what's the [00:18:00] better, faster way? Right. It needs to get done, but not by me. So the to-do list doesn't have to say your name beside it, it, it, it's not Cameron's to-do list. It's a needs to get done by somebody list. Right. It's the who can I delegate list, you know? Cameron: Hmm. So we, it's just a mindset shift is, is part. And then thirdly, I think it's because so often the entrepreneurial c CEO started the company and did everything. . You know, we, we did sales, we did marketing, we did operations, we did customer service, we did billing, we did receivables. So we've kind of done it all. Cameron: Not necessarily well, but because we've been doing it all, it's sometimes hard to get it off our plates. But as soon as we do, as soon as we free up our time to work, just in our unique ability, the company really scales. Gaurav: Mm-hmm. , thank you. Let's double click on the, That we are taking right now. I was just going through [00:19:00] different blocks that you have written. Gaurav: I personally come across so many leaders who find it very difficult to give feedback. Mm. Or be assertive or say no when the need being. And when I'm saying I was going through one of your blocks where you have spoken about tough. , tell me about that. Three ways that could help a leader develop this trait of Cameron: tough love. Cameron: Yeah, so I think I always go back to what it's like raising a family or you know, raising children or being in a marriage. And I think there's something there that with our children, we need to have tough love with our children. We need to be firm, but. We need to hold them accountable. We need to grow them. Cameron: We need to, you know, tell, hold them accountable to core values. Sometimes we need to punish them, but we need to praise them. We need to thank them. We need to show gratitude. We need to show them love, but we can't let them get away with everything. Otherwise, we have [00:20:00] these spoiled brats running around. So it's very, it's very similar inside of our businesses. Cameron: We need to hold our employees accountable, hire accountable people, hold them to the core values, praise them for living the core values. Thank them and praise them for getting good results on things. Raise the energy of the group, but keep aligning them with the core values and the vision of where we're going. Cameron: It's a little bit about that. You also mentioned, you know, saying, no, I think a leader needs to say no more often than we say. , we've become a very pervasive or permissive society where we say yes often to try to keep people happy, but sometimes the yeses take us off track. Sometimes they take us to it in a different direction. Cameron: Sometimes they're not aligned with our core purpose or our core values or our goals or our vivid vision, right? So if everyone knows the vivid vision, Their ideas tend to be more aligned with that direction, which allows us to say yes more, but without clarity of the vision, without clarity of core purpose, without clarity of core values. Cameron: A lot of the ideas are taking us in random directions and [00:21:00] we need to say no to those because we only have three inputs. We have people time and money, and we need to get the highest return on those three investments. Right. So the, the leader needs to be more confident in saying no more often, I believe. Cameron: Yeah. Gaurav: You know, as much as I believe in that, as much as I talk about that, but I know at times people find it difficult to say no. And then I code Steve Jobs quote when he says that in case you would want people to be happy all the times, you should be in the business of selling ice Cameron: creams. I agree. Cameron: Exactly right, , we're we're not, we're not in the job that everybody is supposed to be happy all the time. Right? Yeah. We're in the job of growing people. We're in the job of keeping those people aligned with our culture and our core values, and then if, if we're there to support them and grow them, we're gonna get results through people, right? Cameron: Yeah. Our job is to get results through people. Gaurav: You know, in the last, in the last podcast I had Marshall Goldsmith and he said, [00:22:00] please remember, a leader is not in the popularity contest. Cameron: Yeah. And, and I think it's when the leader, when the c e O has a C O O that can help the c e o be popular by letting the c e o make the tough decisions. Cameron: but the c e o needs to be behind the scenes, make sure that they shine the spotlight on the c O o who's making all the tough decisions. Mm-hmm. , the COO's job is to help make the c e o look good. So it's a bit of a mom and dad situation where my mom would say, oh, wait till your dad gets home. And my dad would come home and I'd get punished by my dad, but then my mom would come to my bedroom later and say, he loves you. Cameron: He just has to be the hard guy. He ha you know, so, so they covered for each other. . I think there's a bit of that that needs to happen or can happen in an organization, but yes, the leader's job isn't to be popular. It's to grow people and align people and get results through people. Mm-hmm. Gaurav: excuse me. You know, Cameron, I believe that [00:23:00] one of the most important objective for A C E O is to have a vivid vision for the organization and of course to communicate. Another important objective is to create a culture for growth. Just curious, what is it that a leader can do to master growth, culture, and leadership in the organization? Gaurav: Any one, two, or three steps that you may want to Cameron: recommend? Yeah. A couple can be around, you know, core values. I have a, a client in the C O O Alliance. One of their core values is Find a Better Way, which is a growth mindset. . Another one is to focus on growing your people, right? I launched a course called Invest in Your Leaders. Cameron: That's all about growing the skillset of people, and the more that we grow our people, the more they'll grow their company. Another is to set goals that are growth oriented, right? And, and set plans in place to hit them instead of forecasting where we're going to be. Decide where you want [00:24:00] to be and reverse engineer that goal to figure out what you need to do to do, to get there. Cameron: So you, you drive growth. Another one would be to hire people who like to grow themselves, hire people that like to learn already, so that if you want to grow them, they're more apt to say yes versus having to convince them to grow. Right. Hire people that like to read personal development books that like to read business books that, that like to grow. Cameron: Those would be some quick ideas around growth for sure. Gaurav: Yeah. So. in an organization, if you look at from top to bottom right, what are the first few checkpoints that you can identify in terms of a failing culture in the organization and what could be done Cameron: in terms of a failing culture? Yeah, so I had a C E O recently. Cameron: He said, you know, we don't really have a culture. And I went, well, that then, that's your culture. It's, it's kind of beige and it's not even, it's not even designer beige. It's kind of like boring beige, right? It's just. So you [00:25:00] have to decide what your culture's going to be. We, you go to many restaurants where there's no, there's no real culture. Cameron: The food is okay, the staff is okay, you don't really remember it. There's nothing memorable. That's their culture. So no one talks about it. They don't really get reviews. The food's just okay. But if they create a vibe, if they create like, so culture has to be by. , and I think the failing cultures are where people don't realize that culture is the glue. Cameron: Culture drives people, culture's energy. I think to build a great business, it has to be a little more than a business and a little bit less than a religion. You have to get into the zone of a cult. Right. And that culture emerges from that. Hmm Gaurav: hmm. You know, at times you'll find that there are people, so when. Gaurav: Creating a culture as you may use the word cult, right, or less than a religion. When you're building that kind of culture, at times there could be a positive where your team members would start to take you for a right. [00:26:00] So how can you set boundaries where people respect the boundaries and yet they experience a sense of belongingness with the organiz. Cameron: It's, it's really reinforcing and driving the core values and driving goals and driving OKRs. So a culture is not making it easy and relaxed and fun culture's, not the massages and the free lunches. That's not culture. Culture can be work hard, play hard. It can be drive for success. It can be, you know, growth minded. Cameron: It can be, you know, a customer obsession. It can, it culture can be like, it's like a culture in a cricket team or culture in a soccer team. Like, you're not gonna find a soccer team out there who's not driving hard. . They're not all just sitting around going, Hey, we're the best. Let's just go to the beach today. Cameron: That, that's not their culture, right? Their culture is to drive and success and work hard. So think about, think about your te, your company as a team or as a Cirque de sole, that we're all the absolute best. We're striving for better. We're striving to blow [00:27:00] everyone away. We're working together as a team that, like, that's your culture. Cameron: Cultures not sit around and cultures not sit around and have a free lunch and a massage on an a. . Gaurav: Mm-hmm. Thank you. Thank you for bringing that. Now let's have a inside out approach. And when I'm saying inside out it, I personally believe it's extremely important to brainstorm ideas, to brainstorm your challenges, to brainstorm what you're struggling with, not only with people who are a part of your organization as well, but also share them with people who are outside the organization. Gaurav: For that, I think you. A network, a community called C O O Alliance. Tell me, yeah. What are the benefits that leaders get when they are a part of an organization like c O Alliance? Cameron: Yeah. I call it ideas having sex. So all of our members of the C O O Alliance, we have seconds in command. Typically around the 40 [00:28:00] million size is the company, but we have members as small as 5 million as large as 1.2 billion in revenue. Cameron: they're only the coo, so there's no entrepreneurs. So it's a safe space for these seconding commands to share with each other. And they're not from the same industry. So they take ideas from one industry and ideas from another industry, and ideas from a small company and ideas from a big company, and those ideas become something else that they can use inside of their company. Cameron: It's a group of people that are trying to grow themselves and grow their company. So they're forward thinking, they're looking for best practices. They're, they're saying yes to opportunity, right? They're saying yes to growth. They're, they're trying to find better ways, and that's great energy to bring that back into the company. Cameron: We even tell our members that you're gonna get at least a 10 x return off your membership. My goal is that they get a 10 x return every single month. So almost a hundred x return over the course of a. on ideas on way to make their company more money or save their company money or grow their company so that that's [00:29:00] the benefit of being in Masterminds. Cameron: Yeah, I've been in probably five or six, maybe seven different mastermind communities over the last 15 years. Right. I've gone to Strategic Coach for seven years. I've gone to the main five day TED conference nine times. I was in the Genius Network for seven years. I've gone to Baby Bathwater mastermind talks, the Entrepreneur's Organization War room. Cameron: So by investing in. My network is bigger, my ideas are bigger. The people who can help me are all over the place, right? So I can reach out to people all over the world for assistance on things. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Gaurav: And Karen, you mentioned that people should be getting at least Tenex, the investment that they are making. Gaurav: How would you measure that kind of Cameron: investment? Well, so the investment is a membership. They pay 8,900 a year to be a member. So they need to get at least $90,000 in revenue or $90,000 in saving. How do you measure that? It could be, it could be a, a new idea that grows revenue. It could be a new idea that [00:30:00] generates more marketing. Cameron: It could be a partnership. It could be an introduction to someone who helps 'em save money or helps 'em make money. It could be realizing you need to fire somebody or optimizing or automating your business so now you can grow without people. There's all kinds of ways. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Gaurav: You know, one. Very important in gradient, if I may use the word of any of the Masterminds or any of the communities or any of the network, is when they meet people in person. Gaurav: In fact, you have written a book called Meetings sac. Yes. Just curious, now, you wrote this book years before covid came. Yes. And since then, the communication medium, the meeting approaches have changed dramatically. Yes. What should be done differently now to make meetings? , Cameron: all of the, every single system, which is what was beautiful about the book meeting Suck, is it's all of the right systems to, to have any phone call, video meeting, or in-person meeting to be [00:31:00] highly effective. Cameron: And it talks about all of the best meetings to run in the company and, and it's for employees to understand how to show up and attend meetings, and participate in meetings. Every single system that's in the book works very well for a Zoom. It was amazing during Covid to go back and look at the content and realize that every single sy, so I'll give you some examples. Cameron: Every meeting has to start exactly on time. Every meeting should finish five minutes early to give you time to walk down the hall, talk to your assistant, get a cup of coffee, go to the bathroom so you can start the next meeting exactly on time. Every meeting has to have an agenda, right? What are we covering? Cameron: In what order? How many minutes are we spending on each agenda Item? . Um, every meeting has to have a purpose and an outcome. So, so all of the rules of engagement for successful meetings are there. How to get the quieter people to speak, how to use the zip ands app. Like it, it all just scales. So meetings suck was written for every employee in every company to read so that your meetings don't, so your [00:32:00] meetings don't suck. Cameron: Hmm. Gaurav: Yeah. Thank you. And if my memory supports me, Cameron, you started c e o Alliance in the year 2016 is my understanding. , Cameron: correct? Yep. Six years ago. Yeah. Gaurav: What shifts have you observed, have you noticed in your own self that you're really happy about? I'm really mindful, I don't want to use the word proud of. Gaurav: I'm saying that you're really happy. Cameron: You feel what I'm Really, what I'm real, what I'm really happy about with the COO alliance is that I could take a good leader. and give them, so we have a COO alliance meeting today. We have a three hour meeting coming up today, or no, tomorrow. It's tomorrow, um, three hour meeting tomorrow. Cameron: I could hand you the agenda for the meeting. You could facilitate the three hour meeting for our members and they would all get a ton of value because the COO alliance is [00:33:00] not about me teaching the members. It's about me pulling a lot of great COOs. Creating a great agenda, getting some good guest speakers, having good breakout discussions, good group discussions, good slack discussions. Cameron: It's really about facilitating those relationships. So I'm really proud that the organization will be something that could outlast me. Hmm. Thank you Gaurav: for sharing. Hmm. Can, let's take one step deeper. When you said that the organization can outlast. . Yeah. You know, if I may request you to share an experience that has shifted your perspective on humanity and Cameron: why. Cameron: Well, so one, one example is that I started a fraternity with a friend of mine back in 1987 in Ottawa, Canada, and that fraternity is still going today, 35 years later [00:34:00] with, with groups of young men at Univers. That are still meeting, that still pay dues, that still do charity, that still wear our fraternity letters. Cameron: And we were the very first fraternity in the city of Ottawa and I was president the very first year and my best friend who started it with me was the second president the second year. He's now the c o o for 1-800-GOD-JUNK. It's a crazy story that we have of, of having built something that lasts beyond us. Cameron: So that's, that's one thing. The one thing that I've noticed about humanity, I think that has really impacted me is, , none. None of this matters. We're all gonna die. Hmm. This is just what we do to make money. This is just what we do to pay bills. This is just what we do to have time to spend with our families, and that the most important thing to remember is that every single person is struggling with something in their life. Cameron: Today, I'm sure there's something that you're struggling with, either a family issue or an illness or money, or insecurity or vulnerability. There's something that every single listener is struggling with, [00:35:00] and to remember that. that we're all struggling with that human condition and we're all just walking each other home is a very powerful concept to allow us to have some fun at this, because at the end of the day, none of this shit matters. Cameron: Hmm. Yeah. Gaurav: You know, I remember my conversation with Marshall and he said, please remember we all grew old. We all would experience sickness, and we all are going to Cameron: die. Exactly. and, and so to teach our, you know, when our employee shows up at the office and they don't have a project done, our job is to figure out how to help them with that project, but also to help them with whatever's bothering them in their personal life. Cameron: Mm-hmm. . Right. Our job is to remember that sometimes our employees need our support. They don't need us getting mad at them for missing something. Yeah. Gaurav: Yeah. And that's where I often share the journey of a leader is a journey of a human being. Yeah. And, . Unless I can be a good [00:36:00] individual, unless I can be a good human being, I'll never be able to be a good leader. Gaurav: Camron, help me understand. Let's imagine if you are sitting at my position right now. Yeah. What's that one question you would ask Camron that has never been asked from him in any of the podcast, in any of the media, um, interviews, in any of the podcast conversations, what would you ask? , Cameron: what are you scared of or what are your weaknesses? Cameron: Um, what are you struggling with? You know, where, where are you? Uh, where do you need help? Questions like that. What are you scared of? Cameron: I'm scared of dying. Currently. I'm not ready to go. I just lost my dad in September and I lost my mom 20 years ago, and I'm. Cognizant that I'm 57 years old and, and I could be [00:37:00] gone any day or in 40 years. I'm not ready. I have too many relationships that I wanna spend time with people still. So I'm scared of that. Cameron: And, and Gaurav: who is going to die? All of us. No, when you are saying that I'm going to die, who's that? I, who's going to Cameron: die? Me. I, I don't want to die yet. Who is that? You. Oh. I don't know. I, I don't know. I, my, my current mind or I don't know where we go or where we end up or what happens, but I'm not ready to have this mind and this body not be here yet. Cameron: There's too many things that I want to do and people that I want to connect with and experiences I still want to have in this state. And as Gaurav: you mentioned the last question, where Cameron: do you need. One area that I need help right now is to, to scale up. Uh, my course. I launched a course called Invest in Your Leaders. Cameron: It is amazing content. I'm getting fantastic reviews globally. We've done [00:38:00] close to a million dollars in revenue on it already, and, but I really need help to, to get more companies globally, getting more of their employees into that course, getting certified in that content and, and growing that cause. I think it's a. Cameron: Big opportunity that the more that we grow our people, the more they can grow our company. So it'd be getting exposure for the course would be one. Hmm. Beautiful. Gaurav: With all the insights that you have been able to accumulate for yourself, all the lessons that you have learned, all the fields that you have embraced, all the ask that you have, all the experiences that you. Gaurav: experience for yourself? What do you know for sure with hundred percent surety uncertainty. Cameron: Wow. I know for sure and for certainty that I love my two boys and, um, and I'm very proud of who they're becoming as [00:39:00] young men and it's, it's incredible just to watch them right now as young men. They're 20 and 21 and 19 and, and. Been hard. It's been a rollercoaster growing them, but it's this immense sense of pride of kind of watching me continue on in them and, and you know, there's something really cool about that. Cameron: Thank you. Thank you. Yeah. Gaurav: Almost done. Such a pleasure having you here. Thank you for opening your heart and I could connect with you. Cameron: I appreciate it. Thank you so much More apology. Thank you.
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