This week, on The DYOJO Podcast, we will discuss record breaking efforts by contractors who care for their local communities. We will share some creative ways business owners and managers can connect with clients and engage their employees.
This Episode #110
0:00 Contractors break charitable record
0:56 Creative community and team engagement
5:40 SOCKTember 2023 results
10:24 Kate Cinnamo on educating young people
14:22 Record breaking sock raising efforts
19:38 Nicole Humber on breaking the glass ceiling
27:31 Thank you to SOCKTember participants and contributors
Joe Biden Home Rehab Money
First, let’s recap what we talked about in our last episode. Biden wants to fix your house. Go get that Biden money.
In Episode 109 we discussed how President Biden proposed $16 billion for the Neighborhood Homes Tax Credit, which would result in more than 400,000 homes built or rehabilitated, creating a pathway for more families to buy a home and start building wealth.
We talked about the 203(k) reinvestment loan and how that can lead to opportunities for home buyers, home owners, and contractors.
Find where the money is and explore whether your team can tool themselves to be of service. As the economy evolves, business must do the same. We all know the six deadly words - we’ve always done it that way - yet how often are we really challenging ourselves. When was the last time you checked your mindset as a business owner or changed a habit as a manager?
Steve Jobs had a term, “self disruption”. Recognizing that companies, industries, and economies are always being disrupted. The only constant is change. So why not build into yourself and your team the practice of disrupting yourself?
The Power of Thank You
We talked to Michelle Blevins a few episodes ago (#102) about creative ways to engage your community and your team. Many times these efforts don’t need to be anything extraordinary to be impactful. In my second book, Be Intentional: Culture, one segment many readers cite is the chapter by Lisa Lavender. She is the mastermind behind Berks Fire and Water in X, Pennsylvania as well as the Restoration Technical Institute. In her chapter she discusses the importance and impact of simply saying, “Thank you.”
SOCKTember 2023 Results
Restorers Set a Record Raising OVER 72,000 NEW Socks for Local Charities
Since 2020, skilled trades have been competing to see who can raise the most pairs of new socks for local charitable organizations. In 2021 teams from On Side Restoration joined The DYOJO Podcast Annual SOCKTember NEW Sock-Raising Challenge to expand the effort into an international challenge. This year C&R Magazine joined the effort as a sock-raising competitor as well as incorporating the event into their Restoring Kindness initiative.
SOCKTember History In the year of the shutdown, several contractors in Washington State gathered together to source a creative way to reach out to customers, engage their communities, and inspire their teams. SOCKTember started with the simple idea of having fun and doing good with the added incentive of competing against fellow contractors to see who could raise the most pairs of NEW socks to donate to local charities.
SOCKTember Annual Results (Years Past) Year 1: 2020
Year 2: 2021
Year 3: 2022
SOCKTember 2023 Results
State vs. State
This year SOCKTember added many new states, inlcuding Connecticut, Florida, Pennsylvania, Colorado, New York, New Jersey, and Michigan. Thanks to the addition of Advanced Disaster Recovery (ADRI) New Jersey made a run at the state title raising 5,639 pairs of NEW socks but was beaten by four-time states chamption Washington with a total of 6,069.
Nation vs. Nation (RECORD)
Since their emergence in the competition in 2021, Canada has proven to be a fierce competitor at the national and team level. In truth, they have been only widening the gap in most categories in large part due to the involvement of the engagement from the On Side Restoration headquarters as well as the drive of the individual offices. Canada set a new national record raised 44,797 pairs of NEW socks.
2023 Total NEW Socks Raised (RECORD)
Thirty eight teams, many of whom were new to the competition, worked diligently during the month of September to enlist their teams and communities to help them raise socks. Graham Auto Repair (WA) and Triple D (WA) went out on their own, with the Graham team gathering automotive professionals from several states to represent the efforts of their industry. Rare Restoration (CO) and Ironclad Restoration Marketing (FL) also formed their own teams to represent their home states. SOCKTember 2023 set a new world record raising and donating 72,441 pairs of NEW socks. In four years this brings the total of NEW socks raised and donated to charitable organizations to 202,167.
2023 Awards and Top 5 Teams
SOCKTember 2023 WINNER
This years winner joined the competition in 2021 and hit the ground running as the fourth place finisher with 4,532. In 2022 they nearly doubled their NEW sock haul raising and donating 8,144 pairs of NEW socks but were overtaken by a team that went from 36 pairs in 2021 to setting the all time record in 2022, On Side Restoration - Laval. Finally, after elevating the quantity of socks raised year after year, On Side Restoration - Red Deer takes home the SOCKTember 2023 trophy by raising the second highest total ever at 10,794 pairs of NEW socks. Congratulations to On Side Restoration and the fiercely competitive team of do-gooders at the Red Deer office!
SOCKTember 2023 Teams
Pierce County Sock Thank Yous
SOCKTember 2023 Thank You’s
For our team, The Best DANG Sock Raising Team in Pierce County we want to thank those contributors who made themselves known. Many people gave generously and anonymously. Our generous drop sites - Jimmy, Dawn, and the team at Edward Jones of Graham Washington, Judy and the team at Tacoma Trophy, Quincy and the team at Campfire Coffee, and Theory Real Estate. There were several companies and individual contributors as well, including Movement Mortgage, Arken, ARES, Washington Restorer, Expert Restoration, Tyler Hegstad, Jotasha Krueger, Terrance Krueger, Dave English, Jennifer English, Hendricks Family, Nan Gehlen, Encircle, Luke Draeger, Aramsco, Joyce Gabriel, and MANY MORE.
Restoring Kindness and SOCKTember 2024
The DYOJO Podcast and C&R Magazine want to thank all of those who participated, donated, and helped spread the word. Check out the Restoring Kindness website to register your team for the traditional Spring Restoring Kindness event as well as the Fall SOCKTember (September) event for next year. Let’s continue to have some fun, do a lot of good, and help promote all of the good things that our industry does in our local communities.
We keep promoting this week to week, but next week we will actually dive into a story about a construction project here in my home state that was off the mark by billions. As we talked about in the opening thoughts, a lack of vision, clarity, oversight, and willingness to address the issues lead up to billions in losses and an overall failure to complete the project.
The DYOJO Podcast
The DYOJO Podcast is produced by The DYOJO (D-Y-O-J-O). Host Jon Isaacson, the Intentional Restorer, is an author and contractor based in Puyallup Washington. You can find out more about this podcast, including blog posts with content references, as well as Jon’s books for contractors and other services at thedyojo.com. If you have enjoyed this content, please like, subscribe, and share.
Everyone talks about ACCOUNTABILITY, but what does it mean to create it within an organization?
Our guest Geoff Lawson (Auburn, WA) shares his experiences with hiring, training, and developing skilled trades teams. In part two of this discussion on productivity, we will dive into elements such as:
The DYOJO Podcast Ep 106
Accountability & Leadership
IN THIS EPISODE:
Appearances and shoutouts in this episode include:
Michelle Blevins Kelsey Isaacson Pete Consigli Cliff Zlotnik Jim Thompson Lloyd Weaver, Jr Lance Weaver Ben Justesen Brendon Rumsey
Thursdays are for The DYOJO Podcast - helping contractors shorten their DANG learning curve. Last Episode 105 - Productivity Part 1 - Training & Expectations with Geoff Lawson
Next year our goals are to:
SOCKTember fits well into the fall plans for those participating in Restoring Kindness as a means of team building as well as community involvement. Keep your eyes and ears open as The DYOJO and C&R Magazine will continue to share the plans for SOCKTember 2023.
CONTACT The DYOJO about getting involved with SOCKTember 2023!
2022 SOCKTember Champions
The winning team this year joined the competition in 2021 and raised a total of 36 pairs of NEW socks. This year, their team returned to the competition with their eyes on the prize and were able to raise a current record of 11,160 pairs of NEW socks. The team behind the Laval office of On Side Restoration are the 2022 SOCKTember Champions! Their record-breaking efforts bring the total quantity of NEW socks raised and donated to local charitable organizations throughout the United States and Canada to 57,791.
The Top 5 Sock-Raising Teams of 2022
Were those valiant Sisters for Socks able to three-peat? The answer is no. This back-to-back (2020 & 2021) winning team is led by Allstars Lindsey Ward (Reliable Contents Services) and Sarah Roberts (ServiceMaster of Tacoma). We know they will be back next year with a vengeance.
Rounding out the Top 5 for 2022 are:
The Top 10 Sock-Raising Teams of All Time
In our third year of competitive sock-raising the leader board for most socks raised in a single season by a single team looks like this:
Sock-Raising Leaders by Category
CONTACT The DYOJO about getting involved with SOCKTember 2023!
SOCKTember 2022 Champions Announcement
Every company has some form of leadership, and whether it is good or bad will be judged by the results it produces. A company with good leadership will thrive not only as a business but as a group of people. The amount of positive outcomes that are provoked by good leadership are exponential. For the restoration contractor, good leadership is critical due to the spontaneity as well as both physical and mental challenges that come from restoration work.
The discussion from Episode 84 of The DYOJO Podcast - Developing Your Leadership Skills, draws out helpful principles for the formation of functional leadership, such as the importance of having the right idea about what leadership entails. Leadership is not just rigid rules or pointless processes. The guests on this episode will help the leader build their own way to lead, unique to themselves and their company.
Ownership Creates Leadership
Denis Beaulieu an environmental branch manager in Thousand Oaks, CA and former guest (Episode 15) advises that a good leader will give their people opportunities to take ownership of things and make decisions. People that can think for themselves and problem solve will be able to execute things quickly because they won’t have to wait for authority and will be confident in how they conduct themselves on the job. A client witnessing lack of confidence from a worker will feel that same lack of confidence in the company. He also says that a good leader will hire people smarter than they are. This helps the leader to grow themselves from constantly learning from those they are around. And of course the company benefits from their knowledge, too.
Self Discipline Creates Leadership
Mike Kenny and David Smith joined the DYOJO Podcast for Episode 12 to discuss leadership formation perspectives. Mike, a skilled trades service manager, shared that a quote from former Navy Seal Jocko Wilnick that has helped him create his leadership mindset is, “Discipline equals freedom.” Details build the way to goals. Being disciplined will establish a foundation of habits. These habits over time are how goals are achieved. David, a former estimator skilled in the nuances of program work, adds that structure leads to discipline. If the structure is lost, so is the discipline. A good leader makes sure to hit upon the basics everyday. Even when things come up that may call for changes, they will fall back to their regular routine.
Structure Creates Leadership
Lex Sisney (Episode 22) is the author of two books about business growth,
He has this to say about structure, “Structure is a very misunderstood concept.” Structure is different from processes. He gives the example of your skeleton being the structure and the processes as the neural pathways, blood vessels, muscles, etc. If there is something off on the skeleton then the body will maladapt to it.
Adaptation Creates Leadership
Podcast host and author, Jon Isaacson, tells of what he learned about being a good leader as well. He warns managers not to hire people with the thought that because they have prior experience they can be just “plugged in” and ready to play. Experience doesn’t mean they know how to do things correctly for your company. As Jon talks about in So, You Want To Be A Project Manager? someone with technical experience won’t have experience with your company culture, you will have to be intentional as a lead to develop that within every employee.
Leadership is an active role. Leaders will always be adapting to the specific processes of how they lead their people. There are basic principles that won’t change, but the way those principles are practiced will take on different nuances according to the present circumstances. The company is a living organism and will work to develop ownership, self-discipline, structure and adaptation as they nourish their people to keep growing for the health of the company.
Recruiting, developing, and retaining good talent is on the minds of every manager and business owner. While there is always some new concept or fancy solution, the growth minded leader is always working to improve themselves and their team. Often this means asking some difficult questions as we review our own performance. For those professionals looking for some assistance in employee motivation, we will review two motivational mistakes and what you can do to remedy them. Robert More joined us for a live discussion on The DYOJO Podcast, Episode 88 and asked our guest, Josh Zolin,
As a manager, one thing I have observed that kills employee passion is the lack of training or advancement opportunities. Do you have any advice on how to combat that within a growing company?
Motivational Mistake #1 - Making empty promises at the time of hire
Josh Zolin is an author, speaker, and the owner of the rapidly growing Windy City Equipment (WCE) in Phoenix, Arizona. He stated, "That's tough and you're absolutely right. The lack of training and advancement can be a passion suck for many employees."
On area that Josh encourages managers and business owners it to be intentional in the phrasing and promises, perceived or actual, during the employee recruitment stage. By not being clear about the state of growth the business is in and not having a clear pathway to advancement, there is fertile ground for miscommunication which leads to unrealistic expectations. To be fair, many people in a position of leadership aren't lying, they are speaking from their vision and their intentions but the foundation hasn't been laid and the organization isn't ready for the types or pace of advancement that some employees may desire.
Another mistake I've made, I used to sell our aspirations.
Motivational Mistake #2 - Selling your aspirations rather than your reality
Josh mentions that he has used phrases in the past like, "We're going to train you fast growing company. So, there's going to be lots of advancement..." Speaking from his heart but not thinking through the expectation that it may be planting in the employees thought process. With several years of failures and experience under his belt, he now is much more intentional in the recruiting, hiring, and goal setting phase of onboarding new employees.
He noted that there were a lot of people that reach the six month mark in an organization and wonder why they don't have a significant raise or a promotion. As an owner and people manager, Josh realized that he was setting up the wrong expectations by not clarifying the situation and the conditions that would need to be met for those next steps to be taken. Now the employee is frustrated and the company has to take responsibility for their unclear and inconsistent process.
Josh recommends the following for managers and business owners,
Be transparent up front. Say something like, 'We are a quick growing company, we suck at training, It's something that we really want to do something we want to get better at, and maybe you can help with that. I can't promise that you're going to get a promotion tomorrow, but I can promise that if we get the results from you that we need, advancement is an opportunity in the future. Be crystal clear about your process.
Clarity, consistency, and accountability
To answer the question of offsetting the demotivation that comes from a lack of training or advancement opportunities, Josh advises, "Be crystal clear about where you are and what your process is." By doing so, Mr. Zolin believes that your will also help our organization to, "Weed out the people in the beginning that could ultimately be susceptible to this passion suck." Managers and owners might be tempted to think that employees have unrealistic expectations about advancement, but they also have ask themselves a few key questions:
In this podcast conversation with Josh Zolin, I asked our guest if there was a recent business or leadership catchphrase that bugged him, without skipping a beat, the owner of the rapidly growing Windy City Equipment (WCE) in Phoenix, Arizona answered,
Yes! Give it your best effort.
This video is a snip of what will become The DYOJO Podcast, Episode 88. With our guests, Josh Zolin and Kelsey Isaacson. The video also introduces the article that will be released in Cleanfax Magazine titled Goals, Effort and Results, Developing Your Team. Josh wrote the skilled trades advocacy book, Blue is the New White and hosts a weekly podcast by the same name.
This thought-provoking question that Mr. Zolin dropped during our discussion has caused me to think through our understanding and implementation of EFFORT versus RESULTS in our local contracting company, ARES Restoration based in Puyallup, Washington. Josh continues, "This was a big mindset shift for me. Look, it's a good indication of character. But that's about where it ends."
In preparing for this podcast episode, which you can view on YouTube or listen to on Spotify, I did some research. I found an article called The Effort Effect from Stanford magazine. In addition to our discussion with Mr. Zolin, we're going to be talking about the research efforts of a professor of psychology, Carol Dweck. We will also review several quotes from other business minds on the topic of effort versus results including this one from Mark Cuban whom you may recognize from the television show Shark Tank.
“The one requirement for success in our business lives is effort. Either you make the commitment to get results or you don’t.” - Mark Cuban
It appears that Mark blends the concepts of effort and results, and to some degree they are inextricable. What Josh was trying to get at is that it becomes more of the "work smarter rather than work harder" mentality once you have a level of competency in your field. But, when you don't know necessarily what to do you can't just start out working smarter. As you develop your skills and abilities, you have to gather the pennies (see video below). Once you are proficient in gathering pennies, or whatever work you can find, they will eventually turn into nickels. Then eventually your nickels will turn into dimes and so forth until you are up-and-running to the point that you have quarters (better quality work).
Gathering pennies is a reference to a rather old video and article (see above) title The Five Phases of Business Startup. Distinctives of Business Startup Phase One include:
In this first phase of business, the entrepreneur is asking, "Where can we get our name out there with fairly low cost and high exposure?" Often, these opportunities are in the various networking meetings that not everybody likes going to.
“The best results are achieved by using the right amount of effort in the right place at the right time. And this right amount is usually less than we think we need.” - Tony Buzan
For The DYOJO Podcast, Episode 88 we consider this question from Josh Zolin and review several others, such as the one above from Tony Buzan, with Kelsey Isaacson, a successful realtor in Pierce County, Washington. It is important for people in a position of leadership to question whether what they believe, practice and reward is leading their team down the right path to achieving their shared goals. Dweck's research uncovered many interesting insights about goals, performance, and achievement which we will discuss in this episode and dive deeper into for the Cleanfax article. As people in a position of leadership, it is important to take a step back and determine, with brutal honesty, whether we are developing the right mindset and habits for success; both for ourselves as well as for our teams.
Please join us on Thursday as we help you shorten your DANG learning curve!
The DYOJO - helping contractors shorten