Are You an Eagle or a Pigeon? With Stephen Farnsworth

Jordan talks with Stephen Farnsworth, Segment Leader at Workato, about analyzing differences in a team, and how to coach differences to boost team performance.
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Show notes

Grind. Hustle. Sam Nelson has it. Stephen Farnsworth has it.

Show up at the Outreach office at 6:00am. Five-minute run to grab a sandwich for lunch. Eat at the desk. These former roommates had two very similar days.

What was different was their approach, their workflows. Was that bad? No. Did both work? Yes.

RevOps Therapist and CEO of Greaser Consulting, Jordan Greaser, and Stephen Farnsworth, Segment Leader at Workato, analyze how differences in your team can be wonderful.

They take it one step further to discuss how to coach those differences, too, to take an underperforming team to greatness.

Jordan  00:00

Hi everyone, this is Jordan, the owner and CEO of greaser consulting. In this episode, I spoke with Stephen Farnsworth who is the segment leader, a segment leader at Workato. He and I spent some days cutting our teeth on an SDR floor together; he’s moved into product management partnerships. He’s like a mini-CRO today for a whole segment of Workato. So just a really fascinating individual who was a fan, like a just a great SDR but just really thoughtful and very precise in everything that he did, which is not not really what the SDR world is known for. And that has served him well, in so many leadership positions, and different areas of organizations that he’s been a part of. In this episode, we kind of dive into the nuances and differences in people and, and how do you draw, you know, goodness out of them? Do we need everybody to just be, for lack of better, better term a machine here? Just plug into the program and do that? Or should we sort of lean into some of the qualities that make somebody who they are? And how do we, how do we pull that out of people? How do we maximize that effect? And not just try to make everybody look exactly the same? So as you get into this, this episode, you’re gonna hear him tell some stories about how he was different from some people. It wasn’t wrong; it was just different. And then when he started to manage how to just accept the idea that his team isn’t going to work just like he worked, and then how do we pull that out of people? Anytime I talk with Mr. Farnsworth, I always leave that conversation with two or three good things to think about. So I look forward to you jumping into it. And with that, we’ll transition over. Enjoy the podcast.

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Jordan  00:00

Hi, everyone. This is Jordan. Thanks for tuning in today. Today we have with us Stephen Farnsworth, formally or sometimes goes by Farnsy on the line. So Mr. Farnsy, why don’t you go ahead and introduce yourself?

Stephen  02:33

Hey, it’s good to be here. Yeah, I… Jordan actually hired me at Outreach as an SDR back in 2017, early 2017 when I was making a career transition, but yeah, spent four years at Outreach. Some with Jordan, some without and then… 

Jordan  02:52

You call those the dark years right, the ones without…?

Stephen  02:55

Those are the ones with you. Those are the ones that… the couple of years where you, I was working with you. The dark years.

Jordan  02:59

Oh, those are the dark years? You’re done dealing with me? I see how it goes.

Stephen  03:04

Yeah, no, we spent a couple years together as really early Outreach employees. And then I spent another few years at Outreach in a lot of different roles: Product Marketing. Partnerships: ended up building out the kind of consulting and technology ecosystem at Outreach. And then I’m now over at a company called Workato Bay Area: enterprise automation company, where I lead an org that specifically focuses on Workatos use and application to like sales and marketing personas, which are the same people I worked with at Outreach, and I’ve been in this ecosystem forever.

Jordan  03:40

Yeah, so I always anytime anyone talks about Mr. Farnsworth, I always think about the, the interview we had with you where, you know, Sam Nelson referred you over. Sam was a guy I hired. And I remember getting into that interview. And this is probably, oh, I don’t know, like, I’m sure you’re not allowed to ask this question, and you’ll probably get in trouble or whatever. But I just remember my first question for you was, “tell me the truth here: Sam Nelson or Stephen Farnsworth, like, who’s going to outperform the other?” Right? Do you remember that question?

Stephen  04:13

I remember it. And that was, it was, I had every intention of crushing him every single month. And I think, you know, and ended up being pretty equal at the end of the day, but I let you down in being able to definitively crush him every month.

Jordan  04:26

I think you told me like, “oh, whatever Sam does, I’ll double.” Like, right, right in that moment, whether you doubled or not, I was like, “All right, like, I’m on board with this guy. Like this is gonna be a ton of fun.” But one of the things I remember about you, and like this was obvious, like, like right away when we started to work with you is like this guy works differently. And so at that time in our lifecycle at Outreach, like market was fairly green. I mean, we were still kind of turning and burning accounts. We were just like sort of blazing through things trying to get pipeline and meetings. And I remember the way that you operated and navigated through accounts was just fundamentally different. Like you’d make half the phone calls; you’d send out like less automated emails. And yet, like with half the activity, sometimes a quarter, you would get the right person at the accounts that nobody could get at the right place, right time. And the AEs would always talk about the quality of the meeting that you brought to the table. And I just thought, like, at the time, I thought, “that’s great. But like, how do we replicate a Farnsworth, where like, how do we even hire 20 of these?” And so the reason why I bring this up is that sometimes, when a rep works a certain way, when they get into management, like they carry that with them, but they have trouble scaling it. And now I know you’re over there at Workato; you’re a segment leader, which is like mini-CRO of an entire division of Workato. And you’ve been involved in the whole SDR stand-up process. So like, walk me through a little bit your philosophy of like, explain to folks why you’re a little different? Because like, let’s be honest, you are, in like what you’ve seen as you filled out some of these teams.

Stephen  06:17

Yeah, so first of all, I appreciate the context and the faith that you had in me in those early days to kind of let me, let me manage things the way that I felt was going to work. And so a lot of credit to you in that, because it’s, there’s a lot of managers, and I think, especially in sales development, which is, you know, by nature, more inexperienced employees, tighter leash, in many cases, like, you know, very high volume. So there’s this expectation that, you know, there are certain things that you need to drill into people every single day and Hold that tight leash to make sure that they do it. And I think the, the thing that you did well, and I think that it helped me as I’ve grown my career, and you know, I ultimately did manage, you know, some of the SDR team at Outreach, and I took these practices forward is, there needs to be a recognition that people do operate differently. Like that matters. And so you bring up Sam Nelson, and most of these people listening, hopefully know Sam; he’s the blue-haired guy on LinkedIn. He and I were roommates in college, and we’re very close friends, but also extremely different. Now, if you remember the way that Sam and I operated as SDRs, we had a very similar work ethic; he, and I don’t know if you remember this, but we showed up at the office every single day together at 6am. And like, we, everyone else would go take a long lunch; we had this… Outreach had this, like coffee shop that had these, that we had a contract with, where they had these really gross sandwiches, they were like…

Jordan  07:47

Yeah, the first three days, you’re like, “This is awesome.” By day four, you could literally not eat another one of these.

Stephen  07:54

I’m done with it. That’s exactly what it was like, “Oh, my gosh, this is so cool. Like, we have the standard contract at this at this coffee shop. Let’s go get it.” So Sam and I would run down though at like 11, 12 o’clock every single day, grab a sandwich, because it was like a five minute, you know, turn around. And then we just run straight back up to our desks and eat our lunch while we’re, while we’re making calls. And so it was like it was a straight-up grind six to six. And Sam and I were really committed at crushing it, blowing out of water, setting records. And it was something that was great to have that. But the reason I go into detail there is that we had very similar day-to-day in terms of like, the hours and the ethic and that kind of grind that we were putting into it. But if you looked at some of the way that we, like our workflows, like you looked at our workflows, like in Outreach and on the phone, and those things that were extremely different, and like…

Jordan  08:46

Couldn’t be more different, and also good luck convincing Sam Nelson that there was any other way to do it at the time. He’s a little different now, like he has different take today. But back in that day, like this is the one way right. Yeah.

Stephen  08:59

And Sam is one way just, you know, for, again, to give some context is Sam is… will look at something that I’m doing or that any other SDR is doing, and he’s convinced, and I think he I think he’s right, is that he can do it twice as fast as anybody else. And so for him, it’s okay. So if Stephen can put 50 people into sequence in, you know, three hours or something like that, I can put 100. And similarly, if Stephen can make 30 calls in an hour, I can make 60. And so what Sam got really, really good at doing is building extremely efficient workflows into his day-to-day and so he like, didn’t want to be interrupted. He put these big headphones on where he you know, he couldn’t hear anything else. And it was a signal to the world that “leave me alone. I am sequencing right now. I’m in sequencing mode.” And he had, he did things very, very quickly. He didn’t waste any clicks on his computer. He never agonized over things.

Jordan  09:54

And good luck getting Sam to come to a team rally whenever he was in the middle of sequence mode. Dream on.

Stephen  10:03

And the thing is that that was core to his workflow is like, he was very much a, “I am going to do things very quickly, I’m going to, you know, I’m going to put up the volume game,” not that he wasn’t good at the other things like Sam was an amazing, he was amazing on the phone, he was amazing at a lot of things, but he was a volume player. Whereas, you know, to your point, Jordan, and how differences, different this was, as I was significantly more careful about the people that I put into sequence and the research that I put into them. And before I made a call, like, I knew these people, and so like to this day, you know, I get people pinging me, you know, some of my reps or some of my team that pings me on LinkedIn and say, “Hey, how do you know this guy,” and it’s like, I connected that with that guy, you know, six years ago, as an SDR. But I like know who that is; he doesn’t know me. I still know, like still know a lot of the people in pipeline that like I converted, or, you know, I’m sure there are 100 people that, if you went through my LinkedIn, I was like that I never got that guy out of meeting like, I know who he is, I know the situation of that account. I know it. And so the one thing that I want to call attention to though is that as a manager, who’s managing people with different workflows, is you need to first of all understand that people operate differently. And there’s going to be a different level of comfort with each of those people. But like, there’s very different ways to then manage those people, like, let’s say, if I can keep 200 people in sequence, at any given point in time, like, that’s just, that’s, if I’ve got 200 people in sequence, I’m overloaded on tasks, and I can’t keep, I can’t quite keep up with them. Because there’s people, it’s just it’s because I’m slower. And Sam, on a different end, can have 800 people, let’s pretend, in sequence, and he can, and he’s struggling to keep up with those but like, he can… that’s kind of his threshold. His is 800; mine is 200. He is 4x the number of people that he can go after, which means that I need to be 4x as good at converting the people that are in my pipeline than, than Sam has to be with his pipeline, if we look at everything else being equal. And so that right there was, if I’m going to be slow and methodical, it better show up in the numbers; it better mean that when I get them on the phone, I convert at a higher level; it better mean that they respond at a higher rate on you know, by email, whereas Sam didn’t have to do that as much. But he had to keep… 

Jordan  12:26

So I’m with you on this. And that’s the like, a topic is I talked to SDR leaders or really managers of any team. It’s like the sort of the rhythm or method that you put for the team at scale. But then you have to recognize like, what I’m about to say, like half the people listening here are gonna be like, “I can’t believe you just call the rest of us this thing.” Don’t take it personally. But like, by and large, the nature of a team is you have a bunch of pigeons. And then you have a couple eagles, like not everybody on the team is an eagle, right? And what I mean by the eagle is like for the pigeons, listen, you’re fantastic. You have worth; you’re doing a fantastic job. You need to run the program, though, right? And then there’s a couple eagles over here where like, if I put you in the program, you’re gonna die. Like you’re just like, you got to get out there, you got to be on the hunt, you got to do your thing. But then the question of fairness comes up, right? Of like, “Well, why does… Why does Farnsworth get to do that? And I have to go over and make 75 dials? If I could do…” Well, the reality is like, there’s no way you’re gonna convert at that level if you only did 20 dials. And so there’s the issue of fairness, there’s the issue of when do you systematize? And when do you allow the creativity? And how do you structure that and so that’s where, you know, a lot of my curiosity coming into this call with you is like, you were one of those eagles that was a little different, right? But the reality is, when you start getting into the hiring profile, you’re gonna recognize, and I’m not, I’m not trying to like over elevate or over put someone on a pedestal here. But when it comes to the world of SDR, you are fantastic. You’re not going to hire 10 Farnsworth, and then that’s your, that’s your 10 SDRs, right, you’re going to have a different pool of folks. And some of them are going to be better and other things than you were; some of them are going to be worse. But the point is, it’ll be different. So how do you come, you know, being somebody that’s just so sort of focused on this, like, account efficiency? How do you build a team around that mentality where you allow folks to still be a little different, but still like, like, you’re naturally going to bring an efficiency mindset to what you’re doing. Whereas to your point, like Sam Nelson, if he’s building out a team, he’s probably going to bring, like a quality aspect. He was never just quantity, but he’s gonna play a little bit more in the quantitative, like the quantity sphere, right? 

Stephen  14:40

Yep. Yep. Yeah, good question. I think that there’s a lot of ways to answer this question. But the first that I would say is, is that anytime you have someone that wants to go outside the process, my, my short answer is make them prove it. Like if I wanted to go out and let’s say do half the numbers, half the amount of activity that was expected, I need a track record to be able to show that that’s going to like, that’s going to have me hit quota or beat quota. Like at the end of the day, an SDR manager’s job is to hit, like, to have their team hit quota, and to like put up a certain amount of opportunities. An SDR manager has whatever leeway they should have at least, whatever leeway they want to be able to get to that that number. And so if I’m a director of SDRs, and I’ve got managers, and those managers aren’t hitting quota. And their team is doing all sorts of different things. That’s a problem. Like I need my manager to be able to defend, like, why you’re not hitting quota, or what what’s going on. And so the easiest thing that you can control day one at any point in time is to say, here’s some KPIs that I need everyone to hit. Like, that’s the it’s the most defensible way to defend your job, to defend when things are struggling, is to say, “I’m doing the things that are, that matter, every single moment of the day. And I, you know, as a manager, my team is doing are is doing that minimum level of activity, and they’re doing that.” But I think as you start to see people, you know, either struggle, it’s not crazy; it shouldn’t be off the table to say, “Okay, let me try to mix things up with this person. Let me watch this person, let me shadow them and understand like what their workflow looks like, and see if we can come up with a little bit more customized plan to help them get to quota.” And on the flip side, if you’ve got someone that’s crushing it, they’re absolutely crushing it, giving them some leeway to say, “look, you’re doing great. I’m less concerned with KPIs right now. I’m more, I’m more concerned with the fact that like, you’re, you’re crushing it. I’m excited by by that, like, you, I’m gonna loosen up my leash a lot on you. But the moment, and this matters, the moment that you start underperforming, and you’re not doing the basics, like the things that I expect everyone else to do… leash goes right, right back to being super tight.” And so like this, this, I think it’s hard to do this at scale across tons and tons of SDRs. And which is why it’s important to have SDR managers that don’t have teams of 20. They’ve got teams of, you know, let’s say six to 10 is because those SDR managers then have the leeway to spend time, enough time with each individual to then build out what makes sense for each of those individuals. I had, when I when I moved from an SDR to SDR manager at Outreach, we did a really odd… and Jordan, I think you were just phasing into your new role, but I believe you were an SDR manager; you were still in the SDR manager seat when this happened. So I’m interested to hear your perspective. But Sam and I both ended up taking over two different SDR teams at the exact same time, like we both promoted. And it was not a “okay, here, Stephen’s team of a random assortment of SDRs. And here Sam’s team of a random assortment of SDRs.” It was, we tried something new. And I think a lot of companies are replicating this now is Sam took over all new SDRs, brand new SDRs to help them understand kind of process and workflow, and I took over SDRs that were struggling. I took over theirs, I took over about 10 SDRs that were really, they were either on performance improvement plans, or they were in a spot where they were, you know, had gotten off their ramp, and they were nowhere near hitting quota and the ask to me was “help them figure out what they need to do.” And so the interesting thing about this role is that it required me to really dive deep into each one of these SDR’s workflows and understand what is and isn’t working. Why are they struggling? Why are they you know, it seems like the effort is here, that was a non-negotiable at Outreach. So what, you know what’s going on. And I had, you know, the, we had the VP of Sales Development at Outreach, Steve Ross is really an amazing leader, because he just he gave me the leeway as a manager to be able to manage my team, these people who had been struggling in the way that I thought was best fit. And despite the fact that KPIs were absolutely a non-negotiable at, at Outreach, you know, he gave me a chance to work with my team to figure out customized plans for them. And we ended up being able to save like virtually every one of those people and some of those SDRs on my team, you remember Jeremy, Nav, Carrie, these ended up being the best SDRs at Outreach, and they just needed to figure out the workflows that made sense for them. And then they were the best SDRs that, some of the best SDRs we ever had.

Jordan  19:20

Well, I remember a Carrie, like Carrie specifically, and I think she’s alright if we talk about this. I, I remember, like, she came along, and she just had all the talent, all the skill, all the ability. And man we couldn’t, like at first, we couldn’t get her across the line. And it was like then just self-doubt creeps in. Right and like, well, maybe I can’t do this, and like the conversations I remember having with her is like “you don’t understand how good you are. Like we just have to, we just have to like unlock this thing.” And so I still remember the first month with her that like we finally got her across the line. And then like all the sudden faith, and hope, and belief like, like, it started to creep in and then like month two, like she’s making it. And now, like to your point, I think you you took over working with her and took her to a new level. And then today she’s an SDR manager right at Workato. Like, right where you’re at.

Stephen  20:19

Yeah, like the first thing I did when I joined Workato, I recognized that we needed a true, like a real SDR manager on my, in my org. I called up Carrie and said “I need you. Come over. Be a manager, our manager” and she’s, she’s overperformed in every metric, and the company sees how good she is and has had her take over other struggling teams at Workato now. I mean, she’s she’s best SDR manager now.

Jordan  20:41

So I know we’re like we’re going way sideways on the original topic. But I think let’s stay here a minute. Because when you worked with those folks, and you were talking about like you dug into their workflows, like there’s, there’s two sides of this coin, like, yeah, there’s the like workflow and actual skills that you have. But there’s also the like, mental aspect, right of like, belief often is what can make or break somebody. Right? So as you worked with these people, and you were sort of turning them around, so to speak, like, how did you also manage the mindset at the same time that you are adjusting the workflow?

Stephen  21:20

Yeah. I think that they need to understand that like you’re in the trenches with them. And so, for me, one of the things that I tried to do is, is not just be the manager, who was, you know, constantly Slacking them five times a day, which to be clear, I also did this. Saying like, “Hey, why are you at this many calls right now? Like, you’re not trending in a good direction, like you need to be sequencing more.” These are things that are required to get your team to keep, to keep high levels of activity. Not everyone can do it without that. But it was very much a, outside of just doing the minimums of what an SDR manager does, it was, you know, building a belief that, “hey, I can do this, I can help you, and I want to help you, and I’m here for you.” And so part of that came in the form of shadowing and watching them and coaching. And I think I was, I was really shocked when I got promoted to manage how little time there was in the day to actually spend time coaching. There were so many meetings and, you know, other things that I needed to be in at more of a company level, but it was like, “I’m, I’m spending very little time with my team.” And so I made that a, you know, a pretty big priority to spend like an hour or two a week, literally sitting over the shoulder of each one of my SDRs. And you could be annoyed at that and say, “Oh, just like babysitting, and just watching you know, kind of stalking them.” And it was no, like I’m sitting down; I’m silent. And I had a notepad and I would write down things that I saw in their workflow over the course of one or two hours. And then after that period finished, it was, “Hey, here’s some things that, like, I think are holding you up; you’re not quite as efficient here, or you did things this way. Can you explain this to me and help me understand this?” And like, those things, I think helped them over time to understand that, like, “okay, Stephen built a belief that I know what they’re doing, and give them and show that I’m not just being a watchdog, but like I cared enough to spend time with them, and prioritize them on the day-to-day that they, you know, that and then if I can give useful tips that actually matter, like that makes a big difference. There’s there was a… I don’t envy the SDR manager who comes into a team from frankly, from like, outside of an organization and has to build belief that like they can do it successfully. Like I think I had the benefit of the doubt in saying and Sam similarly, like, “hey, these guys were the best; they’ve been the best SDRs for the last year. Like they definitely know what they’re doing.” And so, to the extent that I can spend time with people who were in a role where I had just been really successful, I think there was a lot of belief there and me showing that I supported them. And that was, I think, really beneficial.

Jordan  24:04

So you mentioned something though, and again, this is where, like this is odd, okay, it’s odd to be the best as an individual contributor, and then also be a good manager. You’re gonna say, “Well, what are you talking about?” Like, there’s a reason why top athletes tend to make poor coaches, right? Because they have this expectation of here’s how you do it and you need to do it exactly my way. Right? Right. And so then you get into management and you realize like, I know hustle culture is like a, it’s a problem now, right? But like, like, there are some folks that like, one of the reasons why they’re good is Sunday night, they’re going to do all their account research Sunday night so that the rest of the week they can go; there’s gonna be some people that they don’t need any account research. They’re just naturally good on the phone. But they’re, their org is like an email-heavy org and now like, we’re going to push them down a process that isn’t their skill set. So it’s really rare for a manager to sort of put aside, “here’s how I did it” and be willing to, like, adjust to the players that you have. So walk me through, you know, whether it’s Workato, Outreach, I mean, I know you’ve actually done things in quite a few areas of life, like, how do you transition out of that individual contributor and manager role and sort of be okay with that mindset that doesn’t have to be how I did it?

Stephen  25:28

I mean, I wish I had like a perfect answer here. But I think part of this might just be to some extent putting away your ego. Just saying, “okay, like, you know, they’re recognizing that you aren’t all-powerful and the best for, you know, in every possible situation,” but that like, recognizing, and being self-aware that, “yes, I do actually have an ego about certain things because, and those things worked really well for me. And I think that these are positives to the way that I do business or that I work” and trying to keep those but also recognizing that, “alright, I also have some weaknesses, that perhaps somebody else is really strong in. And to the extent that, you know, this job, this SDR job allows them to be, to use those other strengths.” Like, then that matters, like and so just as an example, this is a negative to my, to my life, not just my work life, but it’s just a negative quality: I care a lot about the way, like what others think about me. Like, I do not like to be in a spot where I’m not liked, I like to be a well-liked person. 

Jordan  26:32

So you wouldn’t like it. If I said, like, you know, “quite frankly, I think you’re the biggest pain in the rear I’ve ever worked with.” 

Stephen  26:39

Oh, oh, that would kill me, that would kill me. And it would like, I would want to solve that; I would want to fix that. And so apply that to sales for a moment, like being an SDR where virtually everyone hates you and you get negative. That’s like, I don’t have a good, like thick skin for sales. It was a painful thing for me. And so I apply that then to like, “Well, why was I not a churn and burn SDR where I just did put 1000 people into sequence?” And well, part of it’s because I care a lot about each one of these, like, I care a lot that these people don’t just, you know, say unsubscribe, F- you like whatever, like those things were painful for me to hear. And so I spent a lot of time researching very specific people so that I could, when I got on the phone with them, they knew that I like literally that I like cared about them that I knew them and that they would therefore convert from that. There are other SDRs, Sam being one of them…

Jordan  27:28

Oh Sam doesn’t care what anybody says. 

Stephen  27:32

He doesn’t care at all what the industry… one of the reasons he’s great on socials; he just, you know, that it feels the way that he operates is completely different than me; I could never be this face on socials because for every 10,000 people who like his posts, there’s somebody who sends him a mean comment about something that would just kill me; that would just hurt me too bad. And Sam, it’s like, doesn’t doesn’t matter. And so Sam operates, the way he sold was very different. And so he, and there are other SDRs that were very similar, that were just they, they can have things roll off their back a lot easier, they can be faster; they don’t care as much about looking dumb on a phone call. And so there are a lot of phone calls that I probably made, where I spent way too long, like prepping and trying to understand that person. And if I could have gotten rid of that, like that hesitation to call those people before I knew them, I probably could have been more successful. Because at the end of the day, I was actually pretty good at cold calling; I was like great at it. And guess what, I didn’t make a lot of calls I could have made because I didn’t, I like just was too slow and agonized too much over the reaction of the person, whereas somebody like Sam or Carrie are better at just making the call about just going for it. And they probably converted in other places, but like so it’s, I think, it’s recognizing this a long way of answering your question, but like, I think it’s recognizing that, gosh, there are some internal qualities of mind that are positive and negative. And they’re going to show up in different ways on the job. And recognizing that when you coach to that, like you need to put aside your ego and try to bring out the best qualities in each person so that they can convert in a way that’s going to make sense for them.

Jordan  29:02

For like when you talk about just the nuances and differences of folks. I think earlier on in my life I bought into this idea that, like, I need to be well-rounded. And I needed to be, like, like if I was really good at cold calling but terrible at writing emails, like, I need to double down on learning how to write good emails so that like I can become a more complete human, right? There’s like a time and place for shoring up some gaps. I’m not trying to talk against that, but one of the things I recognized is, like, if you have natural gifts and natural abilities, like, lean into it, right? Like, like lean in to the far end personification of what that is because often that’s what’s going to carry you; it’s not just being mediocre at a lot of things, right? So like I suck at it; now I become mediocre, right? Like actually what you’re really good at just, lean into it, and yeah, I listened to a guy or some like YouTube comedian on let’s talk about how he wanted to be… He wanted to be a news anchor, but he came from Minnesota, and he had this really terrible accent. And he spent five years in speech therapy and vocal, whatever, trying to learn how to get rid of his accent. And he spent all this time and effort. And one day he just snapped because he was like, I can’t do this. And so he started making videos that like, like, even went beyond what his accent was. But so sort of like all the nuanced, ridiculous things of his culture and where he’s from; he just leaned way into it; it resonated with people. And then that’s how he took off; it wasn’t shaving off those rough edges, is actually saying this is who I am. And like, let me lean into it, which sort of goes against the grain of like, we need to become this perfect human. And it sort of shifts into this, like, “I’m not perfect. There’s actually things I don’t do well, and yeah, I might need to get some of that up to a certain level. Yeah, that’s true. But like, like, let’s not be afraid to lean into who we are. Right?”

Stephen  31:00

I know, I totally agree. And I think it’s, it’s, you know, if you’re to be a strong leader, it’s about helping people figure out where they need to be like those weaknesses, in some cases, might really, really affect somebody’s ability to get the job done, in which case, they need to improve and fix those weaknesses. But to your point, there are other things where, gosh, that weakness in this role really doesn’t matter that much. Like you just, if you can just focus on these other things that make you great, and you can get even better at them, then that’s what’s going to set you apart. And so it’s on the leader to help bring that out in people.

Jordan  31:31

But as a manager, there’s some of this self-awareness too of, right? Like, you have to recognize where you’re really good at leading, and where you’re not so good at leading. And, you know, one of the things I’ve always appreciated is having folks that are willing to help me, right of like, like, look, like I’m really good at like inspiration. I’m really good at people getting people’s mindset right. I’m good at getting into some of it. But what I’m not good at is like the minutia of some of their like, let me look over your shoulder for 10 hours and find that little tweak, like, like Farnes, can you come over and sit with this guy? Yeah. Because like, that’s just not like, I’m not going to do that, like, not that I can’t do it. But like, like, I’m gonna die slowly. And I’m probably not going to find what I need to find, right? 

Stephen  32:13

Yeah, yeah. No, no. And I think again, recognizing that yourself as well. Like, it’s the end of the day, like the more self-aware you can be as an employee and as a leader, and as you know, in whatever position you are, should enable you to be able to make the changes and the you know, the the coaching fixes whatever, to be able to get better at your job. And so for me, I’ve changed; I’ve been in a lot of different jobs and a lot of different roles. Each one has required different things. And, you know, that’s, that’s, I think, important to be able to recognize what those requires so that you can, you can change based on what’s needed to view at the moment.

Jordan  32:48

Well, it’s interesting how different personifications of who you are come out in different ways, depending on what’s required. But that’s a topic for another day. And I know we’re, we’re right at time. So I did want to say first off, just thanks for coming. Thanks for jumping in and having this conversation that I know we went a little sideways on but hey, if anybody wanted to get a hold of you or chat with you about something, what’s the best way for them to get in touch? 

Stephen  33:16

Yeah, just, I mean, LinkedIn is probably the best way: Stephen Farnsworth; I can, I work at Workato. Should be easy to search me and find me.

Jordan  33:28

If they can’t find you. They’re in trouble, right? Not a very good SDR. Alright, well, hey, I appreciate you coming on. Thanks for listeners today for tuning in. And we’ll catch you next time. Bye. Thanks.


Hot dog. That was a great episode. Thanks for listening. If you want to learn more about Greaser Consulting or any information you heard on today’s episode, visit us online at Be sure to click the Follow button and the bell icon to be notified on the latest here at RevOps Therapy. Thanks and see you real soon.

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