Today we’re welcoming Shane Snow to Entrepreneurs On Fire! Shane is the co-founder of Contently, and during this audio masterclass he dives deep into what makes up a dream team, what factors affect the success and failure of teams, and what YOU can do to perform better as a member of a team.
Your Big Idea: Successful Entrepreneurs have One Big Idea. Follow JLD’s FREE training & you’ll discover Your Big Idea in less than an hour!
Contently – Shane’s business
Dream Teams – Shane’s new book
Shane Snow – Shane’s website
3 Value Bombs
1) Most teams tend to perform worse than individuals, yet the most important tasks and projects are too big for one person to handle.
2) Your fights need to be about ideas – not about individuals. Pick them right!
3) The key to success is getting passed differences and putting them aside to work on one big goal.
**Click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.
Today’s audio masterclass is about creating Your DREAM TEAM with Shane Snow
[00:45] – Tune in to Shane’s first 2 interviews on Entrepreneurs On Fire!
[02:02] – The sad data: most teams perform WORSE THAN most individuals. Listen as Shane explains in detail…
- When humans come together, they either MAKE amazing breakthroughs, OR they DESTROY one another
- Shane lists off possible reasons why people work less productively in groups
- Wanting to fit in and be accepted, which leads to them having a harder time taking risks, being vulnerable, and thinking critically
[06:58] – The reality: the most important things are TOO BIG for one person to manage
- He discusses the difference between teams that excel and teams that don’t. Shane digs deep into his research
[08:36] – Fitting into groups and coordination are 2 big factors when it comes to why people work less productively in teams
- Differences in people’s personalities also plays a role – not all people think the same
[11:38] – Choosing your battles/fights – which ones matter and which ones you can just shrug off
- Cognitive Diversity — one of the most powerful ways to help you choose your battles
- Shane talks about Destruction VS Enertia – The Zone of Friction
- The importance of switching sides in an argument
[18:05] – Picking the right kind of fights: fights NEED to be about ideas and NOT individuals
[19:30] – John talks about a cool image in Shane’s book
- Check out JLD’s Instagram to see!
[23:05] – The answer to depressurizing tension with people we’re not like and/or we don’t like
- The #1 thing you can do is get these two people together. Tune in to hear why!
- Shane shares his own personal story of playing chess with a homeless person
- Humor, play, and games all help depressurize tension between people
[30:24] – Shane helps us understand Agitation: Why working with your worst critics helps you get better
- Not having other points of view can hold you back from achieving success
- Shane talks about his blog post that became controversial… Fire Nation, you have to hear this one!
- Not everyone welcomes criticisms, BUT seeing criticisms as helpful can improve your work, your ideas, and ones self
- Shane tells the story of the war in 1812 where the American side was outnumbered 7:1 – yet won over the British army
- Putting differences aside helped America win
[47:53] – The KEY to SUCCESS is getting past our differences
[48:49] – Shane reminds us that being successful is not about how strong or smart we are, but about how flexible we are.
Boom, shake the room, Fire Nation. JLD here and welcome to Entrepreneurs On Fire brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network with great shows like my first million today, we'll be pulling a timeless EOFire classic episode from the archives, and we'll be breaking down how to build your dream team. So you can live the life of your dreams to drop these value bombs. I have brought Shane Snow into EOFire studios. Shane is the co-founder of Contently. And during this audio master class, he dives deep into what makes up a dream team. What factors affect the success in failure teams and what you can do to perform better as a member of a team and so much more Fire Nation.
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0 (1m 29s):
So Shane here you are chatting once again it with Fire Nation, you were episode 96, your episode 6 82. Now you are post 2000 episodes, and it's really exciting for me to bring you on because you've written the book on dream teams. And again, as I mentioned in the intro a little bit, one of the biggest questions that I get is John, how do I build my team? So I don't have to be the person doing all the things all the time. And I think that we're going to start off with a pretty interesting point here, which you know, is as you put it, the sad data, which is most teams actually perform, perform worse than most individuals.
0 (2m 9s):
So Shane say what's up to Fire Nation and then break into why that's the sad, sad, reality.
1 (2m 16s):
What's up Fire Nation at super great to be back and, and Greg, once again to talk with your job. So, okay. So the sad data, I mean, maybe I can start a little bit with the most depressing way to sort of get into the topic of teamwork. And one of the reasons why I got into it is I was sitting at a, a science presentation called nerd night many years ago, and there's a scientist up on stage and near died is kind of people get drunk and, and tell scientists, get drunk and get presentation. So there's drug scientists was up there is talking about, which will kill us first. The aliens are the robots. And I gave this whole presentation about what, you know, different people who study things think, and AI and all this, they got down off the stage and, and I grabbed his arm and I was like, Hey, you know, by the time that the alien showed up to get us, wouldn't it be their robots had already killed them.
1 (3m 9s):
And he's like, yeah, yeah, yeah. The, you know, any aliens to show up will be the robotic AI descendants to kill those aliens. But don't worry because we're going to blow ourselves up with nukes long before that. And then he walks away and I was like, holy crap. And, and so this bothered me because my dad is a nuclear engineer. And I grew up hearing this story and going and touring, you know, the, the facilities he worked at and hearing this story about how all these scientists came together and crossed borders, you know, Russians and Americans and new Zealanders and men and women, old people, young people to help us harness the Adam and make this great source of energy. And, you know, and this is sort of the science story I grew up with.
1 (3m 50s):
And, and then kind of having this epiphany at this drug nerd night, that, that same thing that put food on our table that, you know, my dad was convinced could help make the planet greener and help us power our cities. It was also the thing that other scientists were convinced would be our demise. And, and so I kind of freaked out about this and got obsessed in part, because I was becoming a team leader, but I've got obsessed with this paradox, which is that when humans come together, we either make amazing breakthroughs. You know, we invent the future, we build companies, we, you know, we harness the atom or we destroy each other. And in fact, a lot of the breakthroughs we make, we end up using on each other.
1 (4m 31s):
And so this got me looking at the, you know, kind of the, this paradox and why do some teams do amazing things and some teams suck. And it turns out that to my surprise, that most teams actually are worse off than people who just work on their own. So for example, studies show that when you put people in groups to, to do a tug of war, you'll pull less hard on the tug of war rope. If you're in a group of six, then if you are by yourself, if you are put in a group to shout as loud as you can, you'll shout 74% is loud in a group of a hundred people as you will by yourself. Even if you think you're shouting just as you're doing your hardest.
1 (5m 11s):
And the worst one is brainstorming groups, all this research and brainstorming shows that you put groups of people together to come up with ideas. You know, we, we have this sort of hallowed ritual or the brainstorm session, any ideas, a good idea. It turns out that a brainstorming group, no matter how many people know better, you know, what, how great the people are, we'll come up with fewer ideas and fewer good ideas than if you just have those same people brainstorm by themselves at home. And, and so, you know, some of this is social loafing, you know, the tug of war thing, you pull less hard because, you know, you know, maybe you don't, you feel like you don't need to. Some of this is coordination is tough, but some of this is just the, the kind of the way that humans interact is our brains subconsciously want so hard to be accepted, to fit in, to belong to our tribes and not be rejected by the group that we have a harder time taking risks.
1 (6m 5s):
And I mean, vulnerable, and even just thinking more critically when we're in a group than we do when we're by ourselves. And I experienced this kind of personally, as I went as a, an entrepreneur, as a founder of a company to, you know, the guy who does everything and is scrappy and all those things that, you know, you talk about on your show that you got to do in order to, you know, to get launched. I went from that guy to the guy who had to pick people to do those things for me, and then help them do those things better. And then I watched, as, you know, the more people we got, the less efficient we were and the more politics there were and the more fighting there was and how so-and-so, you know, it was trying to sort of undermine so-and-so. And even though we have amazing great people, these things just happen.
1 (6m 49s):
And, and it started to sort of stressing out about this at the same time. I was stressing out about that, you know, the nukes that my dad helped blowing us all up, but, you know, the reality is that most important things are too big for one person. You can't build a really big company with just one person you need other people's help. You can't invent any scientific breakthrough without building on the shoulders of the giants before you, or collaborating with another people. You can't clean a football stadium with one person, you know, in time for the next game. So this is sort of the, the sad truth that we, we have to endure the lost productivity. You have to endure these social dynamics that make us suck a little bit more together because we need each other, but the reason this matters and the thing that I'm super excited about with, with this book and the last four years of research into it is that every once in a while you see a group of people, or maybe the part of one that just defies all of that, that it's like you click and you you're in this flow where somehow you add up to more than the sum of your parts, you know, and I think anyone who's been a parent, you know, it, everyone that I know that has become a parent is just astonished by the amazing feeling of realizing that one plus one is equal more than two.
1 (8m 7s):
And this happens sometimes in teams and throughout history, there's been amazing teams that have done this. So I got kind of obsessed with studying. What's the difference between those teams that become way more, that fulfilled a promise. We're all told that, you know, working together is better. Two heads are better than one, those few teams that actually do that. What's the difference between them and the teams that, that don't do that, that, you know, two heads equal one and a half, but we need one and a half because it's better than one or the teams that end up destroying each other, creating all these problems with so that we point nukes at each
0 (8m 37s):
To kind of sum this up Fire Nation, you know, the sad data is that teams perform worse than most individuals for specific reasons, but there's a conundrum there because most of the important things are too big for just one person to complete on their own. So we need teams, but teams performed worse than just individuals by themselves. So there's the conundrum. This is exactly why this book, dream teams is critical because you kind of go through this process. And as you can already tell, this is why I love all of Shane's books, because he tells the stories, he's a good storyteller. And that's what this book has is actually just one story. After another story after another story that I can just relate to, but one thing I'm still a little unclear of Shane with what you were just chatting about is why do we pull less hard?
0 (9m 21s):
And why do we shout less loud when we're in groups? I mean, I know you said it's somewhat because of the fitting in situation, but is there anything more to that
1 (9m 30s):
The fitting in thing is much more powerful than people give credit to even just being conscious knowing this data, it still happens. Part of it also is coordination. I think that's usually with well-meaning people, the biggest culprit is, is coordination. You know, you pull on the tug of war rope, but you have to all, you're all sort of bunched together and, and you lose some efficiency in doing that. You know, big group, we'll just move slower if you're running down the road. But some of it also is, you know, that people are different, you know, we're not all the same. And so because of that, I think that that kind of leads to the coordination thing.
1 (10m 11s):
People have different ideas of how things should be done. And, you know, this is why, you know, I think about how wars used to be fought, you know, the British red coats, you know, marching in, you know, to, to fight Napoleon or whatever everyone lined up, you know, all the soldiers are the same that wear the same outfits. They step exactly the same. They shoot exactly the same, you know, it's these rows and rows of sort of uniform people. The reason we develop those kinds of things. So the reason we develop assembly lines and all of that is, is because of those inefficiencies that creep in when we have a big group of people. But it turns out that, you know, the army of British soldiers just all lined up being exactly the same.
1 (10m 52s):
It's not the greatest, you know, most breakthrough way to do things. And it was really susceptible to guerrilla warfare and, you know, so it, it, it's all kind of this paradox, right? Like, you know, that the other thing that happens is social loafing. You know, someone in the group of the tug of war rope kind of reduces the whole thing because they're like, well, there's, you know, Dwayne Johnson is in front of me, so I'm gonna pull a little less hard, you know, that happens too. But yeah, I think we underestimate even people who have been told all these things, you put them in a room of a bunch of people and, and they do a little bit worse, usually not always. And, and there's a couple of things and, you know, I'm hoping we'll talk about, but even if we know it, it's still happens.
0 (11m 39s):
Shane, I have this exercise where to find your big idea, you go through this process called the zone of fire, and that gets you to your big idea. So then when I saw your zone of friction, I really perked up and said, wow, this is gonna be something pretty cool, probably. And when I read a little bit more about, I saw that it was the virtues of picking the right kinds of fights, which I thought was pretty interesting. You know, you've kind of maybe heard your parents at one time say, you know, you got to pick and choose your battles, but like, what does this really mean? As far as building teams and running a team and being a leader or part of a team as far as the zone of frictions involved.
1 (12m 17s):
So happy you asked about this. So when you look at patterns in history of game changes in any industry, you know, any kind of innovation is when the game changes, right? You look at when that happens. It's never because people did the same thing. Only more of it. It's never because you added more soldiers to that, you know, army of red coats doing the same thing. And, you know, so it happens with people think differently, which was the subject of the first book I wrote smart cuts. And so that inevitably leads to will. How do you think differently? How do you come up with these game changes? And it turns out that one of the most reliable and most powerful ways to do that is something called cognitive diversity.
1 (12m 59s):
It's basically when you get different ways of thinking, you smash them together. You know, this is a lot of people talk about creativity being this sort of thing. But so what happens is the difference between teams that break down and that breakthrough is that the teams that break down are the ones that have, so there are differences, the different ways of thinking or the different priorities or whatever it is, go to war and they destroy each other, or people are so afraid of those differences that they hold back. And so there's kind of this two ends of this spectrum of, you know, we're engaging our different ways of thinking on the one that is destruction on the other end is inertia. This is kind of the problem with every, with corporate America.
1 (13m 40s):
Basically this is a problem with most teams and, and we're afraid of fighting and of friction and have too much conflict because, you know, it puts us at risk evolutionarily, right? We want to belong to the tribe. We don't want to get kicked out. We don't want to take a risk that gets everyone killed. So we have this, you know, trepidation about this. But when you look at the history of innovation, innovation happens in this sweet spot, in the zone, in the middle, where you have different ways of thinking and doing things, perspectives and heuristics and predictive models and all these stuff that psychologists talk about. Those things rub against each other when they go to war, that's what magic happens.
1 (14m 21s):
So a lot of times we have groups of people. I mean, you know, we build teams, we build companies and, and we want people to fit, you know, certain culture. We want people to fit a certain way of doing things, because then we're not going to have war. We're going to have peace and we're gonna be able to work together and, you know, move forward, which is great, except, you know, we lose productivity along the way and blah, blah, blah, but also a group like that is only going to be as smart as its smartest member. The group that thinks similarly, right? It just makes sense. But a group that has many different types of heads, different types of thinking that engage with each other has the potential to become smarter than the smartest person in that group is that that's where the zone that friction comes in.
1 (15m 4s):
And I think the best way to illustrate it would be one of my favorite stories from history of, of two guys that, you know, on the surface are actually quite similar to brothers who were a couple of engineers who they, you know, they're quite similar because they're brothers, but they're also not afraid of getting in each other's face and fighting cause they're brothers because they knew they could always make up. One brother was, was really sort of impetuous and loud and kind of, you know, creative and a little bit crazy. And the other was more cerebral and, you know, kept very clean notes, had great handwriting and, and, you know, it was, was more the logical one, but they're both great engineers. So when they work on projects, they would get into these big fights is big debates from their different perspectives.
1 (15m 50s):
And, you know, they'd argue about things and argue about things and, and their assistants in their shop used to kind of get worried and the neighbors would hear screaming from, you know, outside the windows. And, and then what they do is day at lunch. They'd be in one of these fights about how to design something and they'd take lunch and they'd stop and they'd eat their sandwiches together. And then they'd go right back to fighting after lunch. But what they do, and this is why I love this story is that after lunch, they'd say, all right, let's switch sides of this argument. You have to argue my side. I got to argue your side and they'd go back to the yelling and fighting and you know, and really letting each other have it. And, and this might sound like a hostile work environment, as you can imagine.
0 (16m 32s):
Didn't she say that like people would walk by outside and they'd be like, bam, those people are just screaming at each other all day.
1 (16m 38s):
It would be like, what is going on? Yeah. You know, I actually ran into someone who is like the great granddaughter of one of the shop assistants. I randomly ran into her at a conference and she was like, oh yeah, in my granddad's journals, he, you know, he wrote about how the, you know, he and, and, and the rest of the gang were worried that they're gonna, you know, hit each other or strangle each other. But so it might sound hostile until you learn who they are. There's two guys, their names were Orville and Wilbur Wright who mentors of human flight. It turns out that this was their process because they knew that they were similar enough and had similar training. This is there a process for unlocking different thinking that they would have these really fiery debates and in order to make sure that they didn't kill each other, they switched sides of the base, which is really clever, but they always wanted to be in this zone where their ideas could do battle and, and where it was just the idea of doing battle.
1 (17m 37s):
So, you know, it didn't blow over to that other side of the, you know, the spectrum into destruction. And this becomes, I think, a really great analogy for anytime you see innovation happen, it's either ideas in your head doing battle to become something that no one ever thought of, or more often than not, it's different people bringing their ideas to do battle and actually letting them smash together, actually trying to poke holes in the ideas until something emerges. That's, that's bigger and better. And so I think picking the right kinds of fights, you know, when you ask about that part, what that's about, I think primarily is what I just said is that our fights need to be about ideas and not about individuals and getting personal.
1 (18m 21s):
And this is where, you know, political debates and, and a lot of debates at work actually ended up going off the rails. You start losing the fight or losing the debate and your ego is attached to your side of things. And so, you know, you make it personal. You say, well, you know, you didn't do X, Y, Z, or well so-and-so was a douchebag. And, you know, when I ran it and it gets the, the thing turns into instead of a war of ideas or of, of people, and, you know, in the book I write about how this is how, you know, hip hop emerged was every week, you know, in the Bronx, the DJs came and yeah, the Wu Tang clan literally was built on the idea that you showed up. And, you know, there was a track and you had to fight for it and battle for it.
1 (19m 4s):
And if you lost, you didn't come back next week with the same thing. And, you know, and, and, and you didn't come back next week with a gun to go kill the other person. You came back with better ideas. And this is how the form was innovated and created all this stuff. And actually hip hop, you know, the gun thing, it turns out that it, you know, at a certain point it did become a one people didn't start
0 (19m 25s):
And biggie and get into all of that. It's just really fascinating stuff. As Shane really dives into the stories behind these things and financial, let me challenge you right now. Try switching sides. The next time you're fighting with somebody, you know, you're fighting with them, you're arguing, maybe it's with a significant other, a loved one, a family, a friend, somebody on your team stop, and just say, all right, let's switch sides. And then might be like, what are you talking about? Be like, just trust me. Now, you take my side, I'll take your side and let's keep the argument going and let's see what happens. And now you're just like not defending for the sake of defending, which is, you know, you're just doing it beforehand because you've already entrenched your position. Now you're gonna to make an argument for the other side and guess what your mind might open up and make that happen.
0 (20m 6s):
That's why, when I was in law school, we would always do that. We'd have to just be given a random topic, we'd flip a coin and then we'd have to be the prosecutor or the defender on one side of that. Like we wouldn't know until right before. And it was just a very interesting way to open your mind up. And Fire Nation is shades kind of going through and talking about this stuff. I just want to share that the images that he shows in his book are super cool. I mean, I actually, Shane took a picture of your six cups of milk exercise, and I shared it on my Instagram feed and I challenged people to figure it out and people were so they're like, oh, what's the answer. I can't figure it out. But like, that's the kind of entertaining read. This is fine. It's just not just like words on a page, but he tells stories. There's images, there's challenges.
0 (20m 48s):
There's all these really cool things. It's just, this really makes this an absolute page Turner. And we're going to be talking about something very cool. When we get back from thanking our sponsors, one of the number one challenges, entrepreneurs face is figuring out how to scale. You don't want to trade your time for money because eventually you run out of time. And when you master your time working one-to-one with clients, what do you do here at entrepreneurs on fire? We've been using Thinkific since 2017 to solve this challenge by delivering knowledge to thousands of entrepreneurs around the world, with online courses, as a result, we've seen a huge lift in revenue without needing to trade time for money, but don't just take our word for it.
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0 (22m 11s):
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Learn more about how you can customize your CRM platform with hubspot at hubspot.com. That's hubspot.com. So Shane we're back and let's be honest, you and me, but also since foreign nations listening, we'll be honest with them as well. There's always going to be people who we don't like, and there's always going to people who really just aren't like us. So how do we depressurize tension so that we can work with people who are not like, or how so that we can work with people that we frankly just don't like, how can we depressurize that tension?
1 (23m 29s):
The answer to this is going to sound dumb or simple or simplistic psychologists have found over the last, really over the last 30, 40 years, but especially over the last few years, that the number one thing that you can do to depressurize tension between people who are suspicious of each other, who don't like each other, or who are, you know, don't want to work together. There, there are two things really, but the number one thing is to get them to play together and play. It turns out is a key part of how we survived and learned to collaborate and, and, and gain empathy for each other as exactly animals do it too.
1 (24m 11s):
Yeah, exactly. You know, baby tigers will, you know, practice hunting, they'll play hunt together, right. You know, cause they're learning these survival skills, but they also do it to develop a comradery among other other baby tigers gorillas do this, they play tag lemurs, do this. And it turns out that this is part of how human beings can depressurize, you know, this kind of built-in suspicion of people who are different than us play is sort of a simulation of a real life thing that that is safe, right? One scientist that I, I quote in the book called it a simulation of an anxiety attack.
1 (24m 51s):
You know, you have something where there's, there's something at stake. And if this were real life, you know, that could be life-threatening or it could be, you know, injurious somehow, but in play, you're sort of in this magic circle where nothing, the worst that can happen is nothing. You know, you lose the game. And so study after study, after study shows that you put two people together and put them on the same team, two people who don't get along and at the end of the game, whether it's basketball or chess or, you know, world of Warcraft, or my favorite is improv comedy. And afterwards, those people who are suspicious of each other, we'll walk out and this sort of lingering effects of being on the same team remain.
1 (25m 36s):
And you start to see each other as part of the same, same tribe. Even if you compete, you play a game against each other, you'll walk out of that game, less afraid and a story that I don't have in the book, but that I, I love, I'd love to share of how this happened. Surprisingly to me, it's one, one time, a few years ago, I, I was in Philadelphia for a conference and the night before the conference, I went out with my friend and her sister and we went to some bar and there was something on the menu called a mind eraser. I didn't know what it was, but it sounded cool. And I drank it. And then I don't remember anything until the next morning when I woke up on some couch in south Philly.
1 (26m 16s):
So I wake up on this couch, you know, I'm an investigative journalist. So I look for context clues. I'm like, Nope, this is not my friend's couch. I don't know where I am. So I leave the apartment kind of freaked out and, and you know, everything was fine, but I, you know, at six in the morning, I don't know where I am. So I walk into this Starbucks, which happens to be the only place open to kind of like regroup, get my bearings and, you know, scold myself, being an idiot and walking to Starbucks, I get a tea and I sit down and the only other person that Starbucks across the way is this big hulking, homeless man, a long curly fingernails, this gray beard, you know, long hair, the guy, you know, he hasn't disclosed.
1 (26m 57s):
I haven't seen the inside of a washing machine and you know, who knows how long and he's staring at me and this is not someone that's part of my team, part of my tribe, not someone I'm going to just hang out with or talk to or whatever. And, and he's staring at me and he looks down and then his table as a chess set. And he just with his eyes, looks at me, looks at the chess set, does that a couple of times and, you know, blame it on the hangover or whatever. But somehow I find myself walking across this Starbucks, sit down with this homeless man to play chess and long story short, he kicks my ass. He's a great chest.
1 (27m 38s):
And so afterwards, but you know, during this game, you know, he doesn't talk at all and I'm talking to him, I'm trying to, you know, converse cause I'm nervous because this guy is huge and homeless and you know, and, and, you know, as his scary fingernails and he, you know, moves the pieces. And when it, whenever he puts me in check, he just makes a check mark with his finger, you know? And when I put him in check or ask some questions, he just like smiles, you know, and doesn't say anything. And, and so he finally, he beats me in chess, but by the time it beats me, I kind of love this guy. You know, he's like such a character. So interesting. I'm starting to wonder, you know, how, what is he doing at six in the morning and this Starbucks, you know, how did he end up like this? And, and why is he so good at chess?
1 (28m 19s):
So it kicks my ass in chess. And then afterwards I put in my wallet to give him a, you know, a $5 bill. Cause I assume that's what he wants. And, and he like, you know, he waves his gross fingernail hand at me to like, no, put the, put the money away. He doesn't want the money. And, and so I'm like, okay, well that was really cool. Oh, can I, you know, get at least shake your hand. And you know, it gives me his handshake. And I was like, so my name's Shane know, can you tell you, tell me your name and, and the only words I ever hear this man stayed in my whole life at like an octave higher than you expect. He says, call me grand master. And I'm like, if I knew your name was Grandmaster, I would've have played this game of chess with you.
1 (29m 4s):
And, and that was it. And then he smiles. He doesn't want any money. And I walk out and, and on the walkout, I'm so happy. You know, I'm scared, I'm nervous going into this encounter with this guy. But I feel like, you know, I kinda made a friend there. And if I were to see him on the street, I would say hi to him. You know, whereas before, you know, he is someone that is not in my tribe, you know, I would not say hi to him. And this is the power of play. It was it a little game of chess where we didn't even speak. And this happens. There's all sorts of great research, you know, and companies that have their employees play intermural sports together, or take improv classes together, or they insert humor and little games. These all help people to depressurize situations that that can be tense, you know, where can be tense.
1 (29m 48s):
You know, we have debates and problems and things to work out and disagreements. And if you insert humor and get people to laugh about the thing that is so intense, it makes it less tense. And you can actually talk about the ideas rather than resorting to undermining each other or avoiding things. And if you can get people to play together that walk out of those games, feeling like it's safe to express your full point of view on something it's safe to debate or argue because you're on the same team at the end of that
0 (30m 18s):
Fire Nation. I have two words, trust falls, make it happen. And let's be honest with each other. Let's be honest with Fire Nation. Most of us, we hate criticism. You know, we hate critics and we try to stay as far away from them as we possibly can. But as I learned about reading your book, this could be a mistake. So I kind of want to talk next about agitation, about how maybe working with your worst critics could actually help you get back.
1 (30m 49s):
So if you are in a situation where you personally, or your team have found something that works good solution to whatever you're doing, you're likely to stick with it. That's just kind of how we do things. And that's when we're likely to get passed up by someone who has changed the game and gotten better at things. That's what disruption is is about. So, you know, often we, we have a good thing going. And the thing that holds us back for more success is that the fact that we don't have other points of view, other different ways of thinking. And, you know, I get into all sorts of the, the kind of the technical facets of this in the book. But sometimes all we need to get thinking more critically as a little push, but, you know, getting a little push there's never comfortable being pushed, you know, into the ravine between two mountain peaks so that you can climb up the higher one.
1 (31m 38s):
Let's not fun. So, you know, this thing called agitation provocation that I I read about is, is the idea that having those kinds of the kinds of people who can push you, who can nut you, who can irritate you into, you know, making progress are often very useful to your team. And there's, there's all sorts of great research about, or that sort of concludes. This is the conclusion that we should consider. Our critics are provocateurs are whistleblowers that people who are just plain annoying, we should consider them a crucial part of our teams if we want to solve problems better. But again, now it's, it's sort of annoying and it it's tough, but let me give you an example, not in the book, but from my own life.
1 (32m 22s):
Again, couple of years ago, I wrote this blog post that was fairly controversial and, and it was about, you know, what, if we, you know, we started feeding prisoners in prisons, Soylent because it's nutritious more nutritious than like the, some of the food they give prisoners. And what if we gave them all Oculus rifts so that they can not have to, you know, get shanked in real life, but they can interact in virtual reality. So it's sort of this wackadoodle idea throughout this blog post about this. And suddenly a couple of months later, this article shows up in the Atlantic, destroying me some MIT professor. He is destroying me over this blog post it's like, this is so uninformed. There's people who study prisons and blah, blah, blah, and, and represents everything that's wrong with tech.
1 (33m 6s):
And at first I was like, that was devastated. I was like, someone's torn apart. This thing that wasn't really that important to me, it was a thought experiment, but also it feels really personal and I'm really upset. And I, and I have decided I hate this guy and my friends who all like me and don't know this guy. They're like, yeah, what a jerk. And like, he seems like a creep and they're making fun of him and all this to make me feel better, but none of this is helping, you know, actually feel better. And, and, you know, I'm just sort of digging in my heels on my point of view on this, you know, blog posts that I, I hadn't cared that much about, so fumed for a week. And then finally I wrote this guy an email and after I had to go to calm down, cause I wanted him to retract this article, you know, that was so mean about me.
1 (33m 49s):
I didn't want him in my Google search results. And so I made all these points in this email, or I was like, Hey, you're wrong about some of the things that you brought up here's data to show and to like, kind of throw them a bone. I was like, you know what, you're, you're, you're right about these couple of things. And thanks for helping me to change my thinking. Not really meaning it, but just to, you know, hoping they'll take the article down, you asked me back this incredible note, whereas like, thank you for, you know, I do this all the time. Thank you for, for engaging with me. And let's talk about some of these ideas and you know, what I'll retract some of the things that you point out that I'm wrong about, but you know, the point still stands. So let's talk about this. We start this email back and forth, you know, debating these ideas that basically turns into a greater disagree on some things having, we both sort of changed our minds on some things.
1 (34m 35s):
And he invites me to go hang out in his class at MIT to talk about this stuff sometime to, to bring the debate, you know, to the students. So then a couple months later, and I feel much better about this. And a couple months later I'm writing another article that's actually important to me. And I think that prison system is important. And we have a lot of things that we need to fix about that. But, but in our budget to me personally was actually important. And, and I was like, this is going to be controversial. So, you know, have some friends look at it, I have an editor look at it. And then I was like, you know what, I'm an email, this guy who hates me, Hey, it's my stuff. And ask him to tear it apart before I publish it.
1 (35m 16s):
So I emailed him like, Hey, would you look at this article that I'm pretty sure you're going to hate? And he says with pleasure. And so I sent it to him at eight. He writes back really thoughtful notes from the point of view of someone who sees the world very different than me. And, and I use those notes to make the article better change my point of view on some things and to just shore up arguments against arguments that I know will be coming. And, and, and then I got an email from him saying, Hey, I have a blog post that I'm about to put up. Would you mind looking at it and giving me notes? And so I did. And guess what? It's like that, you know, that seed where this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship, this guy who does not think like me, he does not agree with me. And I can.
1 (35m 57s):
Now, if we want ask each other to be the critic, the teammate that can show us what we don't want to see, can tell us what we don't want to hear so we can make our work better. I think that's, if we think of, you know, not everyone's going to be up for that, not everyone's going to be amenable. That's some people just are pure jerks, but if we think of those people, whether they're real jerks or whether they just disagree with us as helpful, and we think of, you know, descent and negative feedback and criticism as not about us, but we, we sort it so that it's about our ideas and, and you remove our ego for a minute. And if we, in fact invite, it was, this is one of the things that I love about a big Ben Franklin fan.
1 (36m 38s):
Ben Franklin talked about how, whenever he'd say something that was a strong opinion, he liked to preface it with, I could be wrong. So tell me how I'm wrong, but I think this, and by just doing that, or even in your head doing that saying I could be wrong, or, you know, like I invite people to give me their point of view so that I can change my point of view if necessary that basically takes the ego a little bit out of the equation and helps us to think of other people's dissenting ideas as potentially useful for our work. So that's, you know, when I talk about agitation, provocation critics, if we can reframe that and it is not easy, it's amazing how much better we can get at what we do.
0 (37m 18s):
We use a phrase digging in your heels about your viewpoint and Fire Nation. That's kind of the one thing that I really want to highlight here is that's what we do as human beings. Like when somebody criticizes us, it just makes us more entrenched in our own situation, in our own position and makes us just want to fight it to the death, which is why going back to an earlier story, changing size can be so incredibly eye-opening because it takes you out of that deep in your heels mentality and puts you into the other person's shoes and see where they're coming from. And it can just really be a healthy, healthy exercise. So Shane you've been telling us some great stories. I really appreciate that. You've told us a few that aren't in the books, so that's super cool, but why don't we end with one of your favorite stories?
0 (37m 59s):
Tell us one story. And again, this could be from one in the book because you've written a lot or this could be one that's not, but just what is a story that you think is going to maybe wrap up the whole premise that we're talking about today, which is building a dream team, tell us the story. And then we'll kind of end on a high note and tell everybody where they can find out more about you.
1 (38m 20s):
This story is from the book, but it was one of my favorites. And I think it should be a movie. If someone doesn't make a movie out of this, I'm going to make a movie and it's going to start writing.
0 (38m 30s):
It was actually listen to this podcast. So Steven, you did a great job with ready player one. I know you're looking for a new project, so here, Shane, take it away.
1 (38m 39s):
There it is. And I want Ryan Gosling attached.
0 (38m 42s):
Is he playing you in this movie by the way? Okay. And Rachel McAdams is your love interest, correct.
1 (38m 50s):
Okay. So in history, class and us history, we learn all about the us revolution, the civil war, world war two. And that, you know, usually in history class, they say, and there was a war in 1812, and that's it. But the story of the war of 1812 is I think one of the best examples, the best sort of Metta examples, wrapping up what it takes, what it means to be a dream team, because in the war of 1812, we had a, an army on the us side with seven to one odds that beat an army with 10 to one casualties.
0 (39m 26s):
The American side was outnumbered seven to one.
1 (39m 29s):
Yep. 3000. And I'll get into the story cause it's great. But 3000 people on the American side defending the last city that the British had to take in order to take over America, 3000 people against 20,000 British soldiers.
0 (39m 42s):
But he just thinks that, Hey, 1776, we repulsed the British and that was it. But you're saying it wasn't it
1 (39m 49s):
Wasn't it. So what happened? And the tend to, well, I'll, I'll get to the tender one. So what happened is, or mates in 12 started because the British decided they wanted to pay themselves back for some of the, you know, the losses they got during the revolution. They fought all these wars there, you know? So they, they started picking up us ships that were importing and exporting and taking their stuff. And this was a time when it was legal, kind of in every country and worldwide to rate another country's ship, if you happen to be at war with that country. And, and we weren't at war with it with England. So I started doing this and, and we got upset and they would take people that had British accents and they'd conscript them into the British Navy.
1 (40m 30s):
If you were caught on a ship, you sat a British boom you're in the Navy. So this was upsetting obviously, and it was more complicated than this, but this is basically what happened. Thomas Jefferson for all his great penmanship on the declaration of independence was really bad at foreign policy. And his policy for dealing with this was to just ban all imports and exports. So no more ships coming in and out of America than the British can't get them. And this destroyed the economy. So that happened. And then to save money, he got rid of the military, which turned out to be a bad move because then the British were like, you know what? They have no military. Therefore everyone's unhappy there.
1 (41m 11s):
Let's just take them back. But that's basically what happens. The British came burnt down, Washington, DC. They, you know, started rating all these cities along the east coast. And, and the plan was to, to sail up the Mississippi and have a land invasion from the west meet and basically pushed the Americans into the seat where the British Navy had just control of the whole east coast. And then you Northern states already wanted to join England because they were upset about all this. And they figured they'd get America to surrender. And, and the reason we don't have the queen on our fiber is because there was one city left that the city was blocking access to the Mississippi new Orleans new Orleans was this sort of Rawkus port town classic place where lots of immigrants from lots of places around the world had found a home where they could be misfits together, which turns out to be a theme of this story and the dream team's idea.
1 (42m 4s):
So, so new Orleans is the only town left. The British Navy is, is coming to, to go take it over. And there's a, a group of local heroes in new Orleans. That new Orleans is, is a happy place during all this because they have imports and exports because of these local heroes, the pirate brothers Laffite. So John and Pierre Laffite and their older brother, Dominique, you who was out in the Caribbean, they had this smuggling operation going. So John Laffite was kind of the brains and, and sort of this fancy man about town and his brother Pierre ran this shop where they would sell rum and rugs and all these things.
1 (42m 44s):
And Dominique would go out and basically plunder boats in the Caribbean and they'd smuggle them in through the swamps. So new Orleans basically said, y'all can do this. Just don't tell us where the stuff comes from. As long as we have rum. So it was, you know, it was this, you know, this sort of land of criminals going on and the British, when they showed up to, to go take over to go, you know, conquer new Orleans and go up the Mississippi, they went to the pirates and said, Hey, we'll pay you $2 million to guide us through the swamp so we can surprise attack the city. And, and John Laffite agreed. And then, because he was a pirate, he went and told the city that this was gonna happen. So, so everyone freaked out and, and they had to assemble an army really fast to defend against this, you know, this last ditch attempt to save America.
1 (43m 31s):
Basically the only guy that was around that could, you know, drew Jackson, Andrew Jackson,
2 (43m 40s):
That's my claim to fame.
1 (43m 42s):
And we'll see, you know, Andrew Jackson was not, you know, anyone's top pick for this job. He was a jerk. He was good at military strategy, but he was very stubborn. He had one way of doing things and, you know, sound like anyone, you know, so Energex and gets a call. He's the only guy around that can, can lead this defense. And he shows up to new Orleans and he's like, got dysentery. And, you know, no one likes him. And it's like this terrible situation, the British are coming and he has to assemble this army. So he gets a bunch of Tennessee hunters that he brings with them from the south that had never seen war, but they're good shots with really slow loading guns.
1 (44m 23s):
And he gets the cities, you know, lawyers and businessmen, and a contingent of local whores to all kind of make ammo and practice with. There's a, a group of freed slaves and a, and free men of color from the Caribbean who were living in new Orleans that, that had a little militia. He, he promised to pay them if they join up. And, and then there was a, a group of, of Choctaw Braves that for whatever reason, cause you know, they had every reason not to like Andrew Jackson. He convinced them to join up as well. So he assembled the most diverse ragtag army in history to, to defend the city against these 20,000 British troops.
1 (45m 6s):
And at the last minute, you know, when he was like, this is not gonna work. We, we, we got nothing there. This is, you know, we're just going to get slaughtered. A lawyer shows up. It was kind of like the Saul Goodman. If you ever watch breaking bad, it's kind of like the Saul Goodman of the day he shows up and he says, my client happens to own a lot of cannons. And he and his, his married men could help in this engagement. And Jackson said, who is, it said, John, Laffite the notorious pirate and his men. And so he persuaded him to, to let John Laffite become co strategists, co commander of the, of the defense. So British show up and you know, the details of this story are just so fantastic.
1 (45m 48s):
I, I, maybe I should let people read the book, but basically what happens is they combine the fighting tactics of the American Indians of the Choctaw Braves. They teach these Tennessee hunters how to do guerrilla warfare. The pirates teach the, the free men of color, the militia, a bunch of really sneaky things about how to use pirate cannons and the free men of color teach the pirates, how to man, a wall, they build a, you know, big dirt wall and they all kind of adopt each other's different fighting strategies and heuristics. So when the British show up and they have nice clean lines to, you know, just rule over these guys, this ragtag army obliterates them.
1 (46m 35s):
And, and it was just so incredible knowing one, even that they, they thought they were all gonna die. And it turns out that there were 333 casualties on the new Orleans side after the first day of fighting, you know, people injured or killed. And there were 3,500 casualties on the British side, just in that first day. So 10 to one more than 10 to one. So after, after that first day, it was kind of the first charge. Really. There there's a lot to the story, but after that first charge, the British were like, holy crap, this is not going to work at this rate. We're all going to die. And so they retreated tails between their legs and went back to England and, and America was saved and new Orleans threw a big party and it's still a nonstop party.
1 (47m 20s):
And the lesson that you learn is, you know, Andrew Jackson, Hey, hated Creoles. He hated that, you know, that these people have mixed blood that lived in new Orleans. He hated pirates. He hated criminals. He was hardly on the right side of history when it came to American Indians or black people, you know, it was a slave owner and all that. And yet he, he met should get all these people to come together, you know, to save their city, to, you know, to put their differences aside for, you know, for a moment and work together. And, you know, the British were, were all unified and uniform and well-trained and the BDS and all the same, and they were destroyed by this army.
1 (48m 2s):
And so kind of the lesson here, sort of the meta lesson, when you look at great teams in history is that, you know, we think that, you know, the key to success is getting past our differences, that the key to getting people to work together and, and be great together is to deal with our differences and get past our differences. Well, I'd pause it and stories like this, show us that it's true. That maybe the key is our differences that who we are and our different ways of doing things and seeing things when combined can make us greater than we can be on our own. So that's, that's the story. That's my,
0 (48m 37s):
Wow. Well, I have absolutely bookmarked that story in the book. I haven't got there yet, but I believe the title is called welcome to pirate lands. Is that correct? Oh, chapter six. I will be reading that very shortly and Fire Nation. I hope you are as fired up about these different stories and about how you can use this knowledge to build your dream team and understand, you know, what it means to actually change size and to embrace your critics, not to just be repelled by them and all these different things. So many great lessons, so many great takeaways. And Shane let's end today on fire with you giving us one parting piece of guidance, then share the best way that we can connect with you. And of course your biggest preferred method of us picking up the book, dream teams.
0 (49m 20s):
And then we'll say goodbye.
1 (49m 22s):
One of my favorite quotes, I don't know where it came from, but it's about it comes from the story of, of one of the greatest physicists of our time. Richard Fineman, who was known as being this groundbreaking physicist, despite having a relatively low IQ, he couldn't do all this crazy math in his head, and yet he broke all this ground, change the world. And, and because he to collaborate with other people to do the math and, and actually think about things differently. So the quote that I like in the parting piece of advice, the thing to remember is, is it being successful in leadership, in entrepreneurship, in life and team building?
1 (50m 4s):
It's not about how strong we are it's not about how smart we are. It's about how flexible we are, our ability to consider different things and, and actually try them out to be curious. And so the quote is that genius has less to do with the size of your mind than how open it is. So that's the parting advice. And, and I guess if anyone wants to find me, I'm just Shane snow.com. Dream is Shane snow.com/dream teams. And, and I, maybe you can also just Google my name, hardly anyone. I think there's a hockey player and someone in prison, but also have my name. So I'm the one that that's not neither a sports hero nor in jail.
0 (50m 41s):
And you know, that's actually why I use my middle name. So when I first started back in 2012, I Googled John Dumas and there's this like 50 or 60 year old, Indian flute player who played this large wooden flute, whose name was John Dumas. And he had all the social media handles John dumas.com and I'm like, huh? So I'm like, I guess, let me, let me Google John Lee Dumas. And like, nobody came up and I'm like, all right, I guess that's where I make my steak.
1 (51m 10s):
So, so the only person that calls you, John Lee is your mother. When she's mad at you,
0 (51m 14s):
You're like, you know me. So Fire Nation, you're the average of the five people you spend the most time with. And hello, you've been hanging out with SS and JLD today. So keep up the heat. And of course, head over to EOFire.com type Shane in the search bar in the show notes page will pop up from today's episode. But of course from episode 96, I mean, he was pre 100. Now he's post 2000 also episode 682 was an amazing episode. You can check it out. All three of them will come up when you type in Shane snow email@example.com. So definitely check that out. And I'm telling you, I'm on chapter three right now of dream teams.
0 (51m 55s):
I've really been enjoying it. I'm going to skip ahead to chapter six because I just love history. So that story really got me fired up about Andrew Jackson, that I'll go back and do chapters four or five, and then the rest of the book. But it's a great book Fire Nation. By the time you hear this, I will have read it all. And definitely applied a lot of learnings to myself and my team. So check it out. shanesnow.com/dreamteams. And Shane, thank you for sharing your journey with Fire Nation today. For that brother, we salute you and we will catch you on the flip side.
1 (52m 28s):
I salute back, catch it later.
0 (52m 31s):
Well, there you have it. Fire Nation. Hope you enjoy this episode with Shane snow. And if you feel like your morning routine could improve just a little bit, just a hair or maybe a lot, check out my new daily podcast, the daily refresh. I share one quote to inspire your mind. I share one piece of unique gratitude to warm the soul. Then I share a guided breathing exercise to energize your body. So one quote, one thing to be grateful for in one minute of guided breathing and I'm telling you, it will change your life because it will massively improve your morning routine and you will be on fire.
0 (53m 12s):
So visit the daily refresh.com and I will catch you there, or I'll catch you on the flip side. Interested in BDB sales strategies. The salesman podcast is the world's most downloaded B2B sales podcast. Hosts Wilburn helps sales professionals learn how to find buyers and win business in a moderate effective and ethical way. I recently tuned into Will's episode on digital body language, how to have better zoom sales meetings. And I love how he provides a relatable examples. So the strategies are easy to understand, listen to the salesman podcast, wherever you get your podcasts. Fire Nation is time to stop trading time for money and start reaching more clients and making a bigger impact. And you can do just that with online courses, try Thinkific for free today at Thinkific.com/EOF.
0 (53m 55s):
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