Unknown Speaker 0:00
I'm going to put all this in my book bag because I'm from the streets, the air. Yeah.
And boom, what's going on? It's your boy ambition. And welcome to another episode of the MYFB podcast. And today I have with me, a leadership coach and the leadership development expert, Mr. Jerry, foo. How you doing, Jerry?
Jerry Fu 0:23
I'm great. Thanks for having me.
All right, how you doing? I'm so just really awkward start not going to cut this out at all. So no, that's fine. No, I just want the listeners to know like, No, we knew that was awkward. That's the thing. Oh, absolutely. So talk to me a little bit about what you do as a leadership development coach.
Jerry Fu 0:46
Yeah, the main thing is really just first getting an idea of what people's definition of leadership is, right? A lot of people, right, they think people leaders fall, you know, people fall into two camps. One is that leaders are just born like they have instincts and Leia like they're predestined to for greatness, right? And then a lot of people think, well, you know, I don't have this person's charisma or their intelligence. So I guess I'm just not gonna bother, right. And so part of leadership development, is to challenge those those beliefs, right to say, well, you know, if you don't think you can be a leader, how do you expect to become a leader? You know, what if? What if you gave yourself the possibility of becoming a good leader? You know, how would you carry yourself? What kind of work would that involve? Right, and now, their thinking is different, right? Because that's my own path. Right? That was like, it wasn't until I gave myself the idea that I could actually become a good leader, that that was like an option for me that I actually started to work toward it. And sooner or later, that's ultimately what I became.
Man, that that's a really good point that you made almost immediately is that anyone can be a leader. And it really is about your intent and your focus. I remember being in the Marine Corps, and it was, people would get promoted left and right. And I mentioned this in Episode 20, as well, I had another leadership expert on with me. And, you know, it was mentioning to him how, in the military, you're promoted, whether you're ready for the leadership position or not, nobody cares that you don't think you're a good leader. Nobody hears about all of your reservations, It's sink or swim. And I watched countless people swim, right? You think people are gonna sink? And it's like, no. Like, this is something that almost anyone can do. So has that been your experience? Have you seen that people who think that they can't be leaders? You know, after your coaching, or after your program, they gain a little bit more confidence about it? Or how do you go about helping people build confidence in leadership?
Jerry Fu 2:55
Yeah, yeah, it's, you know, it's a great question. So part of it is, yeah, you know, my clients typically set the agenda and, you know, they'll tell me, hey, you know, I'm working through this challenge. So one example is to say, Hey, I'm out work, and people keep asking me for favors. But that's taking away from the work that I know, I need to get done for my own boss, how do I say no to them? Right. And so we asked, you know, we talked to some scenarios, like, How comfortable are you just telling them straight up? No. And they said, Well, you know, I don't like it when they get upset with me. And I don't want to look like I'm selfish or lazy. And so we start to reframe the situation differently, right. And so we asked them, well offer them something like this to say, Well, if you want me to help with that, which one of my other projects do I need to cut out, you know, cut out in order to help you, right? And then they start to realize, oh, well, I don't want to take away from your main work. But this is still important. And then you can say something like, Well, who else can help you with this project? Right? Now you can kind of delegate it instead. So when people realize, hey, if I'm only doing this, just so I don't look like a selfish jerk. And they realize, you know what, it's okay. If they don't think, you know, hire a fee, just because I knew I had to stick to my guns, like you trade popularity for respect. So I think that's like one situation that comes about another is dealing with conflict. So one of my other clients had a very temperamental, passive aggressive boss, he tried to call her after hours, she didn't pick up because she's like, you know, I'm not working, you know, I'm not on the clock. And then the next day, he blows up at er, and he's just like, you're not committed to this company. I don't know. How dare you written, you know, my call when I need you, I need you. And, you know, she comes to me and she's like, how do I, you know, get this frustration off my chest, but not like antagonists, and further to the point where I don't want to lose my job, even though I want to confront him on this bad behavior. And so, you know, then after that, right then now they have this confidence. And the funny thing is, right, as soon as they have the competence, they're like, You know what, Jerry? I don't think I need you Many more. And for them to be able to tell me that right to have the car say, hey, you know, I don't think I need any more coaching. Like, I feel pretty good about myself. And you know, on one hand, right, pardon me, ah, you know, but the, but the bigger thing is that that's the whole point, right? I want to work myself out of a job. And so when they have the courage to tell me, hey, you know what, you know, I've found my footing, I'm able to walk on my own now. You know, I thank you for your help. And I'm going to move on. Right? And that's okay. Right. Ideally, you know, there's we talked about referrals and things like that, because I don't want it's like a doctor who doesn't want the patients to get better, right? If I'm just keeping them on the hook, I don't want that kind of reputation. And yeah, ideally, you know, if they get better, maybe is for referrals, or they say, Hey, you know, Jerry really helped me for three months, that's all you're gonna have to pay for? You know, I'd rather have my integrity and a little less money than a little more money and a lot less integrity. But that's just me.
No, I really do. I really do respect that. I think that's the goal, the goal of almost every coaching program, when I was a personal trainer, that was like, My main worry, like, am I gonna get these clients and they're gonna want to work with me forever, because I'm not going to want to do this forever. But you said something that I thought was very, very interesting, right? And this may be contrary to a lot of people's beliefs. Would you say that leadership is about knowing when to say no, and standing firm on that?
Jerry Fu 6:37
I think me and thinking this out loud with you. That's technically it, right? Because knowing what to say no to means implies that you know what to say yes to, right. Because when you learn to say no to good things, to focus on the most important things, right? When you say no to, you know, a lack of self respect, or a lack of boundaries, right? A big part of leadership is Yeah, knowing when to say no being decisive in that regard, and not letting popularity or other factors, you know, kind of dilute the decision that you ultimately knows what's in your gut.
No, I really, and what you said that kind of pointed that out is, you know, I remember as you were speaking, I thought of the book essentialism? Oh, yeah. Yeah. It's literally say no to the things that, you know, you can't do, right. Obviously, if someone's asking you to do something more than your capacity, right? It's not, it's not a feather in your cap, that you're doing things greater than your capacity, it's actually to your detriment. If you were just zoned in on the things that you were really good at and your boss wasn't stretching you then then you would do better, you would produce better work. So that's really what I thought about when you said it. Now, in terms of your own path to leadership. What inspired you to become a better leader? What was the event or the moment? Or maybe it was a series of events? But what inspired you to become a better leader?
Jerry Fu 8:17
Yeah, I think the main one that really, that really shook my world was getting fired from the job and move to Houston from because before I was, you know, I would let myself get stuck in a job I wasn't ultimately excited about and, you know, I read some books, I knew what I was talking about when it came to leadership, but there was a serious lack of application in my life. And I say, I set this up carefully. Because, yeah, like, you know, Jerry is a hard worker, and he's a pleasant guy to be around. And he reads a lot of great books. Right. And so that was the persona I settled for for a long time, because I was just too scared to fail at leadership. I didn't like conflict. I didn't like having conversations where you just, you know, they escalated quickly, tempers flared and then you know, like, you didn't resolve the issue, and now you've lost a friend or something like that. Right? But then you realize, after enough time of being passive, you're like, Okay, no, I'm tired of this job. And I want to take on a different one. And so when I leverage my connections to become a teacher or instructor through a pharmacy consulting company, that I left my pharmacy job to come to Houston for right now. It was like, Oh, I think I'm finally done. But this attitude, really, you know, this lack of application of leadership, you know, start to show because I wasn't pulling my weight. I wasn't getting the job done. I was giving my boss stories instead of results. And eventually, after 11 months, they said, No, we didn't pay you to give us stories as to why you didn't get the job done. We're paying you to get the job done. And so you got to go. And, you know, that was when I didn't want it. It's myself that I what I was doing what I was thinking really wasn't helpful or productive or respectful. Right? And so yeah, and I, you know, I'm like struggling, I'm reading more books, right, I'm like, Well, the next best thing I can do to think of right now is just to learn. But that's when the career roller coaster got really, really difficult because I ended up at a house of cards pharmacy job, where four of my paychecks bounced billing for doctors. And I didn't know how to confront the guy who was clearly ripping me off, right? Again, moments where I, I struggled with leadership, and I didn't know how to improve. And then I ended up next at a job where they liked me that was more legitimate, but couldn't pay me more than eight hours a week. And so I'm like, Well, when you know, now, what do I do? And so that was the summer where I was invited to help teach some leadership seminars through a pharmacy leadership nonprofit owned by some of my friends. And that that's when the shift in thinking happened when I taught it. And I saw it modeled for me. And I said, wow, you know, what, if I could do this better, what if I really could, now that I'm not just reading about it, but I'm seeing it in action, right. And as they say, leadership is more caught than taught, okay, here we go. And, you know, had the confidence to take on a manager position that opened up back in Houston, after I came back from Boston, and, you know, that was nice for a little bit. And then I proceeded to get written up the following year, because I had technicians that were not pulling their weight. And I, again, still very conflict averse. And so I struggled to engage them, discipline them, or even fire them. And so management said, Hey, you got to get better at this. So after enough of those Wake Up Calls, you realize, hey, you know, what, if I don't handle my business, someone else is going to handle my business, and then I'm not going to be left with much of a job. So yeah, I'd say that sequence of confrontation really led to me really diving deeper into okay, what's it going to take for me to really get good at this?
Man, I think you're definitely saying a mouthful, and you're saying a lot, that's going to help a whole lot of people. Right? You know, I'm a pretty rough and rugged guy, I don't have a problem with confrontation. And as you can imagine, me not having a problem with confrontation causes a lot of confrontation. For me, with non confrontational people. Oh, man, yeah, who are mad at me because I don't mind confrontation. So with that, it's always me trying to explain that, hey, if you're not willing to fight, if people don't think that you're serious, if people can't take you serious, then they won't take you serious. If you're not the person saying, Hey, this is what it is full stop. And they're gonna keep pulling the rope. So what were you say? What would you say? Were some of the steps that you learned that helped you be more strategically confrontational? Hmm,
Jerry Fu 13:04
great, great question. So yeah, being conflict averse by defaults. You know, I grew up in a conflict averse household and I, you know, at any retail pharmacy, like you're just taught to be conflict averse, because you just they just placate them, right? Doesn't matter how unfair or unreasonable they are, just placate them because we can't lose the business. And so you're like, do I have a spine at all? Like, after I go home, right. And so the five step framework that I've basically kind of perfected for myself, and the one that I share, you know, on my website now, first is you have to imagine what a successful conversation was sound like? So kind of unlocking that possibility? Hey, you know what, maybe it can be as simple as asking your roommate not to leave dirty dishes in the sink. Right? It can be that easy. Maybe he could take it that easily. Oh, yeah. Sorry about that. Yeah, let me you know, a lot on my mind, I saw I didn't realize my muscles getting in the way of other people. You know, it could be that. That's it. So that's the first idea is to say, hey, you know what, maybe this conversation could go well, and also because a lot of people, right, they just think to themselves? Oh, you know, I don't know what's gonna happen, but I just got engaged. It's just like, no, like, give yourself a higher ceiling, right? If all that said, you know, success might not be able to restore your relationship to 100%. Maybe success is being able to say, hey, you know what? I'd rather not talk about politics or religion with you, because we just seem to like devolve into really bad arguments. Can we just not talk about those if we're going to hang out together? Because I really want to, you know, maintain a good term with you. Okay, maybe that's it. Other times, you may have to fire somebody, Hey, success is you know, what, you can't be here anymore, because you're not pulling your way and is, is cutting in on the team's morale. So we've given you one enough chances you're gonna have to, you're gonna have to leave, right? So anyway, so something to play around with the same but to say, hey, you know what, maybe I can reach the other side, right. Step two, is to find 10 seconds of courage to set things emotion. And by sending emotion, right? Maybe it's just I just did 10 seconds to pick up the phone, I need 10 seconds to send that email and or send that text, right. And this guards against people who want to rationalize away, you know, taking any initiative, right? They think, oh, I need to put on my whole superhero costume in order to you know, go fight that fire. It's just like you know that may take you three months, six months before you finally feel like you can finally do this. Now the buildings burned down now there's nothing left to say. Right? So you just need 10 seconds to set the boulder down the down the cliff and lock the gate behind you. So you can't backtrack and be like, Oh, just kidding. I didn't need to talk. It's like no, you now you have no way back, right? Step three is to scripted critical moves. Okay, now that I've imagined the best case scenario, what are some what some pushback I can expect, right? Because if I have to ask my boss for a raise, he's probably going to give me reasons that he's going to say no, right? Well, money's tight, things like that. So okay, now that I have an idea, let me not keep it up in my head. Let me put it out on paper, and anticipate the main things that I want to talk about? And also what kind of pushback I might hear from him. So let me go ahead and organize my thoughts. Let me go ahead and kind of get that battle plan together, right. And then step four is to rehearse these moves. You can't just put it on paper, this isn't a multiple choice test. You want to spar in the dojo before you fight on the street, right? Hey, let me practice in the mirror. Is my posture good? Is my voice. Confidence, right? Maybe I roleplay with a friend to say, Hey, can you pretend to be the boss, I need to ask for a raise from this. So now you kind of get some muscle memory, right before you get out on the field. And then step five, hey, just do it. Right. The cost of not engaging, the cost of staying comfortable is worse than the cost of trying and failing. And so even if the conversation doesn't go as expected, Hey, be glad you're not keeping this pent up in your chest. And you're resentful, right? Hey, if we're going to lose this friendship, at least they know exactly why I'm upset with them. So that's the five steps that I use whenever I find myself defaulting to confer and saying, hey, you know, what's, maybe it's not that big a deal. I'm just gonna, you know, I'll just clean up the message, and I'll wash the dishes again, it's maybe maybe they just had a bad day.
Right? I think that one of the most important things that we all need to realize, and let me start by saying, I 100% agree with those five steps, right? Like, I can't wait to this interview is over. So I can go share this with my friends and my buddies and be like, hey, you know, that problem you have and when you have something confrontational you need to bring with us this. But I think a big piece of it right is because, you know, coming from the military, I'm around all of these type A personalities. And one of the things that type A personalities do is that they separate the conflict, or they separate the confrontation from the individual. Good, right? And the way they do that is, let's say, for example, we curse on this podcast, so I don't use adult language, right? So let's say for example, you don't like something I did. And you said, You know what? Ambition? You're a fucking idiot. Right? I may have done something idiotic, that would have been perfectly that perfectly deserved that sort of a response. Right? But I do need to sit down and just not take it personal that you just called me a fucking idiot. Right? Because you're my friend. Right? And we kind of just have that relationship. I need people to tell me when I'm being a fucking idiot. Because as human beings we go through different motions. So the more that you can learn not to take it personal, like okay, obviously, this person isn't trying to hurt me. They're not trying to do bad things. To me. The what I find is whenever I do get around a group of people that are confrontational avoidant, or conflict avoidant, normally because they do have a presumption of negative intent, or the people around them, and that presumption of negative intent is what doesn't allow you to just receive tough information in the best way.
Jerry Fu 19:14
Yeah, yeah. I mean, part of it is saying being able to say what you did was idiotic instead of saying you are an idiot, right? So you can in a way like you still further separated you just because you can tell them Well, anyone who does this is idiotic. I am not calling you idiot. And this is still an idiotic thing to do. Right?
I don't do that.
Jerry Fu 19:35
I'd be like did you know I mean, you can Yeah, that's just one wrinkle. You can do
I just like to mess with you like did you do it? Well in fucking idiot.
Jerry Fu 19:44
Well, I mean, you know, if the relationship strong enough to do that, then you know, celebrate that for sure.
Yeah, well, those are the only types of relationships
Jerry Fu 19:53
No, that's that's almost you should have right that's beautiful. Like yeah,
I also believe like, I want people to be able to come to me with that. Right and good. Yeah, this is something I would say for all the listeners out there. If there is someone who is upfront and blunt, and they just tell you stuff as it is, and it hurts your feelings, but it's true. That's the caveat. Yeah. All right. A caveat is, is it true? Right? When you're done being mad at that person, go give them a hug for being the honest person with you in life. There you go. Because you don't know how many times you run into people where you present something, and they're just like, well, and they're so uncomfortable to tell you what's wrong. Right. Yeah. Yeah. So be thankful for the Sheldon Cooper's in your life.
Jerry Fu 20:43
There you go. Yeah. unfilter. Yeah, no,
yeah, that's definitely. Great. Okay, so you went through, you know, pretty much like you said, House of Cards sounded like some madmen stuff in the forums, you know, I'm leading those types of personalities, because you talk to me about the type of personalities you engage with, you mentioned, you know, there was some shady Ness, crooked doctors, that sort of thing. But what were the other types of personalities that you dealt with? And how did your leadership change to? Or how did your leadership adapt to those personalities?
Jerry Fu 21:22
Yeah, great question. So, yeah, if I had to look at the range of people that I dealt with, yeah, I mean, the main one that you kind of have to. So we'll do it this way. So Henry Cloud talks about three different kinds of people that you'll deal with number one is wise people. Number two is foolish people. And then number three is evil people. Right? So why is people I actually did have some good employees, even when I was working at the House of Cards, like they, they had a good heart, they knew how to pull their weight, they just unfortunately, you know, it doesn't matter when you have a really terrible boss, right? Who's clearly taking advantage of you. But you know, why is people right? You give them feedback, you're just like, hey, can you just this, they don't take it personally, they think about what you said, and they realize like, Okay, this is harmful, but it's helpful. And, you know, let me adjust some things. And then, you know, you see the, the application, not just the acknowledgement of your advice, and they take it and it's done, right preventive maintenance done. The majority I think, is falls in the second category, which is I foolish people that they have good intentions, but the execution of the application isn't quite there. And so I'll give an example. Like I had a sec, who was notoriously late, like she would show up 30 minutes after pharmacy open, she'd take another 1015 20 Just getting her coffee and lollygagging and cutting up and it's like, we've lost an hour, right? Just like all everyone else is annoyed at her, you know. So that means they're not getting work done. And this is kind of like, so we have a meeting where we're talking to everybody, but we're really also talking to her. And we talked about the importance of punctuality, and she's like, Hey, you know what I should show up sooner. And she proceeds to be late for the next five days. And so at that point, we're just like, okay, clearly, it's not enough to just maintain expectations, right? I'll own up to the fact that maybe I should say that on time being on time, he's being clocking in the company clocked by 9:03am. Right? If you want absolute clarity, hey, if you're on time, that means you will clock in by 9:03am. Right? No confusion on that. And even after we've discussed this expectation, you have failed to meet it for the next five days, and we are not okay with that. So we're gonna have to write you. And then she proceeds to give me excuses, right? Where? Oh, well, you know, so my traffic is terrible in the morning. And you know, it takes too long to get here. And it's like, we're paying you the same money, we're paying the other texts, and they're showing up on time. So I'm not sure why I need to lower my standard for you. Right. And, you know, you hate to, I took no satisfaction in the fact that it felt like I had to get it or realize, hey, I own the process, right? So that's the second kind of person and those, those are the ones who have, you're going to, you're going to have to figure out how much rope you're willing to give them before they hang themselves. Right. So and then the finally you have evil people and unfortunately, yeah, they are the ones who are deliberately sabotaging your operation. And then they know how to deflect and defend in such a way where it's just they're very slippery, and you just don't know how to pin anything on them. And it's not like we're pinning them just to like point fingers or assess blame. And at the same time, you know, if they're not actively playing, you know, contributing to the company or adding value, you got to fire them. And that's, and I mean, that's the only reason I was able to kind of embrace my own firing was to recognize Hey, you know what, yeah, we don't send each other Christmas cards anymore, but the firing was done in love. Because like firing yeah, like I said, there If we see each other around, it'll probably be kind of awkward. But it's okay. Because I've embraced the lesson. And I said, You know what, this is the wake up call and needed to really improve. Right? It took that's that, you know, I don't I didn't I had one point I'd evicted roommate, right. And it was just kind of like, I wish it didn't come to this. And I know that if I don't do this, you're going to be much worse off, I'm just enabling you at this point, right. And that's when you realize, oh, loving thing doesn't mean showing excessive grace to the point where you just resentful, like loving is, hey, you got to cut. This is it?
Wow, I love that loving, someone isn't showing excessive grace, to the point you are resentful. And I really do want to mention this right? Part of the reason that we as human beings pursue each other's respect, is it's something that's vital. Right? I need to believe that you are a capable human being, right, that you're capable of surviving on your own and doing all of the things that you need to do. And I've said this to, you know, some family members, and when I tell you, I'm that guy that people hate when it comes to this sort of stuff. So I have a great deal of respect for you for how you describe your firing, right? When you said, You know what, I learned what I needed to learn, I went out there, and you made the situation better. You You took control of your life and all of those things. But then you have the other side of that, right? Like, you could have looked at it as an unpleasant experience. And then, you know, yes, you've grown from it. But now you treat it like it never happens, right? And your business would lose out and your career would lose out. And even the people that you are not relating to because you can tell that story. Because how many of the people that you that have come to you have probably had a firing and they go, You know what you told this story about this experience. And that really connected with me, right. Um, so I want to mention that to all the listeners, if you want to make sure that you maintain people's respect, whenever you are going through something like that, whether it's a fire ring and eviction, you, you are breaking up with someone owning it down the line is how you maintain the respect of others. Good. So I do I did want to call that out, you know, one leader to another and say, I can respect you as a leader. Because one thing that people have to understand leaders don't just focus on what's good, right? And they don't just try to teach you based off of the great things. They teach you based off of their failures as well. And that's definitely something that you're doing and hats off to you for that, man.
Jerry Fu 27:52
Thanks. Yeah, that took a while. Believe me, I didn't want to admit and it's tempting. Because I mean, I've heard that from you know, tech stuff fire, like when tech we fired and as soon as you know, she left and another tech checked up on her. Hey, are you okay? She's like, Oh, yeah, I was gonna quit that job anyway. Like, okay, well, you know. Yeah. So yeah, you see, kind of surprised when I fired you. So, you know, how much was this? Really? Because, yeah, sour grapes, playing the sour grapes card can feel good. And, you know, is this really the most helpful thing? Because I would love for her to, you know, actually come back around, say, hell, okay, you know what, let me let me look at why I got fired. You know what, maybe there's something there that I just didn't want to admit about myself. And you know, what, maybe I need to change it. But, you know, she's just like, no failure, I don't fail. Like, I just need to, you know, move on and sweep this under the rug. For sure, man, you know, I your choice.
Right. Like, I'm not gonna stop you. I just also don't want to be around you. What else? Exactly? under the rug, right. Like, tell me about it. Like, and that's something that people don't understand. They think that they're doing it oh, well, I'm gonna do this because it makes me feel better and in there. wickedness, and evil is a real slippery slope. And that's why I like that you brought up those three kinds of people. Right? Because it's not that evil people are evil, evil people are traumatized people try to avoid more pain. Right? And for that matter, sore, foolish people, but the people that you want to be around are people who are honest about the things that they've been through. They're honest about the experiences that they've had, and they're honest about the lessons that they've learned from that. That and essentially, that's what we call maturity. And that's what's needed for leadership. So man, amazing conversation we're having, um, what would you say, has been your greatest challenge and converting over from the pharmaceutical industry to being a Leadership and Development coach, primarily. And along with that, what has been your greatest delight?
Jerry Fu 29:56
Yeah, great questions. I think Just setting things in motion was probably the hardest thing. And so I'll explain, basically, you know, when I taught these leadership workshops, and then it took on a manager position, you know that I was so happy that I was like, Okay, I can't stay safe. I can't stay secure, because I did have a good work situation, Austin, but I knew I wanted to come back to Houston. And I, I knew I needed to take on this leadership challenge. And when that company had their funding pulled shortly around the time I got out of my probationary period, right, the only reason I got an interview next was that I had leadership experience on my resume. And I said, Wow, leadership saved my career. And, you know, the smaller jobs in pharmacy that offer a higher quality of life don't last very long. And so I call these jobs, icebergs, and that's like, it's nice to have more icebergs to hop to. But if they're gonna melt after one or two years, like, I'm kind of tired of this. And so when my last job went under, about five years ago, I said, you know, I'm tired of chasing scripts from doctors and tired of finding insurance companies that dictate how much I can make. But I love teaching his leadership workshops. You know, what if I tried to become a coach, and ambition, it took me for years, you know, because I was so still so scared of failing rejection to be like, well, you know, maybe some people will hire me, right. And this was like, a hobby. You know, it was nice. I mean, I got some people were kind enough to pay. But then it took a pandemic for me to say, Okay, how much am I really? Gonna? How much longer am I really gonna wait in order to get some skin in the game and get this off the ground? And so yeah, I took a pandemic to be like, Okay, no, I'm finally LLC, get the website up, you know, open the bank account. So my greatest achievement, I'd say, in all this was to, I flipped, I flipped one of my book discussion events into a paid gig. And so basically, what happened was, yeah, I was friends with the executive director of leadership, society and pharmacy, I invited him to one of my book discussions about, you know, just 10 bucks a person, you know, not a lot, not definitely not enough to pay my bills, but just the starting point. And he's like, hey, you know, I, I really liked this, you run this really well, what if, you know, we gave you a small honorarium to host some book discussions for our leadership society? You know, how does 125 An hour stand up for like, six sessions, and I was just like, wow, you know, that was great. So again, far from the end, but it was a, it was a good sign that people knew what kind of value I was bringing, and, you know, trying to explain that a little more.
Man, I love the fact that you also mentioned that you flipped your book discussions and describe what those were where you were having meetings about these books. And that turning into a speaking gig, right? Like, I think people kind of take it for granted. Like, this is why you might get all of these social media coaches telling you do lives, right? Or get out there. But that's really all it is. If you have a business, and you want customers, you have to be able to describe what you do and who you do it for. Yeah. And if you can't tell people what you do, and who you do it for. You have a pipe dream still. And that's okay. Right. I'm not gonna knock anybody with the dream. But yeah, I've been there, man. So I know. When when you're talking about your dream, it can be scary to put it out early. Because it's like our Navy. It's like, I don't need anyone to crush this. This is the thing that's nearest and dearest to my heart. And if you tell me that I can't do it, I'm going to be upset. Right? If you told me that it's not possible, I'm going to be upset. Yeah, right. But once you've gotten that thing, figured out what you do and who you do it for, and you walk up to them, and you know, the people who you do it for you. You know what challenges they're having. Man, you're in great shape. I'm glad that you figure that out. And then, okay. Now, this is usually the point of podcasts where we do something called story for story. All right. And as a leader, I know you have great street stories, because leaders teach through stories. Absolutely. I don't know one leader that hasn't told me a story. Okay. Um, so, I'm gonna give you a story from a leader of mine that I took from, but you're gonna give me a story and then we'll
Jerry Fu 34:24
switch it off story swap. Let's do it. Yes.
All right. So you want to go first you want me go first?
Jerry Fu 34:31
You go first. Let's go. Okay.
So this was around 2010. Right. This is brand new Lance Corporal Phillips had just made his way into Okinawa. And I'm a hard worker, right. Like, if there's anything that people can't say about me, I don't need them to say, Oh, this guy's lazy. Yeah. So my lieutenant, I was they was had me sitting up in the office and And the lieutenant came to me, he asked me to do something. He was a first lieutenant. He was like the coolest dude ever, right? Like 20 something years old. His last name we could never pronounce. So he was always like, call me Leo. And this is the Marine Corps. Right? So, so in the Marine Corps you it's sir. And then when he's not, sir, he's like, call me Leo. I'm like, okay, guy. Not gonna, people aren't gonna overhear me calling to you, Leo. And come yell at me. That's not gonna lie. He was like the coolest guy ever. So he asked me to do something. And I came back. And like you said earlier, I had stories, right? Like, I was like, I couldn't get this done. Because the he started breaking it down to me. He said, Look, right. I want you to imagine that you were on a road trip. And you were driving for 10 hours, and you finally made it to the hotel. And this is gorgeous woman at the desk. Right? She's beautiful. Whatever you think beautiful is she's that. Right? And if you don't think she's beautiful. It's that to whatever you think is beautiful. That's what it is. Right? And you pay for your room. You get your key. And what's the first thing you're thinking about when you go to slide that key? To go in the room? been driving for 10 days, right? You're filthy, you're sweaty, you're like, Man, I need to go lay down. I need to go shower and go lay down. So you walk in a room, you open it up, and there's no fucking mattress. Oh, there's no mattress. So you walk back to the desk and this lady that was just so beautiful. Starts us tell her Hey, I went in my room. There wasn't a mattress. And she starts giving you the story. She says, Well, you know, the last guest, they do a wild party. And every story she tells she loses her beauty. Oh, she she tells you Oh, well, you know, the last guest. And we just didn't have time. And as soon as she says time, you notice this big mole that she has, and it's like, is growing here, right? He's like, What would you respond to that woman? And when he asked me that question, I said, I don't care. I just want my bed. And he's like, Yes, that's what I want you to understand. Yeah, I don't fucking care. What you're telling me right now. I just want my bed. Yeah. Right. So unless you were going to come back with an alternate plan of how I'm going to get my bed. Right? All of these stories are useless. And at 19 years old, I've I've realized what the fucking problem was. I don't need to give excuses. It's either gonna get done in the time that I said it was gonna get done. Or it's not done done in the time I said it was gonna get done. And I'm now giving you a new timeline, with the the reasoning or dependencies for why the timeline got extended. Okay, so for all my listeners out there, extending a timeline is not an excuse, like, that's what I want, right? Like, if you're, you ever work with me, and you can't get it done? Just tell me the extension, and what needs to be done to get it done? Right. That's it. So but that's the story, right? Most of you out there before you go back and tell your boss all the story. You and your kid couldn't get up this morning. Just remember, they just want their fucking bed. So that's my story. What do you got? For me, Jerry?
Jerry Fu 38:35
Oh, this could go so many different directions. Because I mean, I could tell you a moment I had a similar moment where, you know, I, I tried to tell my boss why something didn't work out. Or I could tell you just a sudden death moment that you know, you had no choice but to like, get to the finish line. So as the host, I'll give you write a first refusal. Do you want a story that parallels what you just shared? Or do you want crazy sudden death situation that you have no choice but to, you know, cross the finish line? Okay.
I'll negotiate with you, Jerry. Okay. Give me the one that parallels. Okay. And then I'll give you another story for story.
Jerry Fu 39:13
Sure. Let's do it. All right. Yeah. All right. So yeah, guys. So you know, as much as I hate to admit this, but this is this is part of my journey, right? This is one of those turning moments where you realize, hey, you know what, your boss doesn't want excuses. Your boss just wants the job done. Right, right. So when I started one of my jobs, it was like a startup pharmacy, I could, you know, kind of call my own shots. It's my own puppy, right? I could kind of decorate how I wanted set my operations procedures, how I wanted to. And so there was this peculiar thing, when the it slash VP who was giving me all my equipment, he said, Oh, hey, this is like your mail printer. You know, this is what you need to print out like mailing labels whenever you need to mail prescriptions, and I'm just like, okay, sure that sounds great. But what I didn't know was that he didn't Give me all the equipment that actually needs to set it up properly. So I'm just like, I don't know why I have like this tiny label printer, like I can only do like, address labels, but I can't do stamps like do I need to replace out the role? Like, this just seems really weird. And so I, you know, I just left it alone, because the clinic we were working with had their own mailing services. So I just said, you know, I can't figure this out, he has not given me any stuff. But we already have a system in place that works, I'm just going to use their system, right. And, you know, for a while that workaround, no problems until the head doctor of that clinic found out that I was not using my own mailing equipment. And of course, told my boss who proceeded to blow up at me and say, you know, why isn't this done? I mean, I need this done now. And I'm like, you know, Blake didn't give me this blank didn't give me that. And then the magic phrase that I said ambition that finally got my boss to kind of cool off just a little bit was, I should have done more to see this through. Hmm, once he heard on the show, he's a Vietnam vet. So there's no sympathy from him. Right? And he's like, okay, you know, and I'm like, Alright, so like, I need this done as soon as possible. How soon can you do it? I'm just like, Look, I need Blake like to send me the correct equipment, because he didn't send me that. And I don't have the passwords, which he never gave me. So yeah, let me I'll reach out to Blake right now and tell him what I need. And we'll get this done. And finally, like, believe me, my boss, like was like, still, you know, not happy with me. But at the very least I understood now, hey, doesn't matter how unfair the circumstances are, it doesn't matter what kind of setbacks or interactions to deal with. You are paid to do a job. And so just do the job, right? If the boss calls back and says, Hey, is it done? And you can just tell him? Yes. And everything's fine. Well, that's that story.
And I love the fact that you said that, because that was one of the lessons that got hammered into me while I was in the military. They're like, yeah, just own it and do it. Yeah, like, shut the fuck up. Nobody cares. They'll just tell you. Right. Um, and then one of the things that you mentioned that I just thought was so interesting, right? We're talking about jobs, right? When you jump and you finally have to do this for your business? Who are you going to give these excuses to I know, are you going to give the excuses to your landlord? Because they're going to give you the eviction notice, right? You can't give these excuses to SoCal Edison or Edison. If you're in New York, or the grid down in Houston that just got snowed in last year. They don't care. They're dealing with their own problems. They're trying to prep for this year snowstorm. Oh, yeah. Right. So when you're stepping out, and I need people understand this, when you're stepping out into your own business, all of those excuses that you got to have as an employee, they're gone. Nobody cares. Like, you're not going to go to the bank and tell them the excuses. Nobody gives a shit. Yeah, right. And I, man, I can't I can't say that enough. I don't know how to say nobody gives a shit in a full enough way to let you know, because everybody's dealing with their own excuses, right? Like, if you tell someone, oh, well, you know, I don't I don't like to join groups. I've just, you know, I've been under peer pressure. Like, if you said that to me, I'd be like, Okay, I was cold. What are you talking about? Right. So that's kind of what you got to understand, right? Like, no one's expecting you to be uber resilient. But there are appropriate times and places to give excuses. And when you're trying to get something done isn't one of them.
Jerry Fu 43:50
Yeah, yeah. You know, it's like, do you want pity or do you want a company? Right? Thank you. Yeah. You know, I mean, I was guilty of so many things, right? Where it's just like, you know, just tired of being single. And, you know, why don't more girls say yes, just say like, do you want pity? Do you want a girlfriend? Like, you know, right.
That's what it is. Right? And once you stop once you stop pitying yourself. Right? And you start realizing that if people have been pitying you that that's different than respect. Yeah, you don't need people to pity you. You need people to respect you. The girl that pities you isn't gonna want to be your girlfriend that makes you want to be your girlfriend. So that's pretty much what it is. Okay, so now we have story four story version two with Jerry foo. Let's do it. First, are you alright? Um, you start because you're trying to
Jerry Fu 44:45
start. Yeah. All right. All right. So here's, here's the fun one. This is this is always a fun one. So at one point, I actually served as a church class director as part of my volunteer efforts and my second day on the job right when I was actually bought to go on by occasion for a trip I had planned prior to taking on this term, I find out that a newer guy in the class is sexually harassing women in the class. And they're like, Jerry, your director, you got to handle it. And it's like, you didn't give me a manual. Like, oh, I have to go on vacation. I this is what this is the curveball you throwing at me? It's just my second day. And so yeah, we'll call him Nick. So, you know, I get Nick on the phone. And I'm like, Hey, Nick. So this, something's come up. And I need your help trying to figure this out. And he's like, I tell him, and he's like, Oh, no, no, I don't know what they're talking about, and what they're talking about, you know, and I'm just sitting there thinking, I can't ignore this. Like, this isn't just oh, maybe it was a misunderstanding. Okay, nevermind. It's like, no, I need to press into this. And so it's thinking on my feet, right? I still haven't figured out my framework. I'm just trying to figure out how in the world am I going to get this guy, you know, to get on board with the situation that's, you know, brewing in my head. And so I said, Okay, Nick, there's three possibilities. One, you are right, and they are wrong. Which means it's a miss some kind of misunderstanding. And you know, I need you, you know, please go ahead and talk to them about what exactly behavior they found offensive, just go out and apologize. Just don't do it again, right? Because if you didn't, if you honestly didn't know, you were offending them. We're being inappropriate. Okay, you know, Fine, let's just talk about what needs to stop, why needs to stop, and we're done. Right? Right. Possibility number two, they are right, and you are wrong, which means number one, you're lying to me. And number two, that means you actually are, you know, harassing women in the class. And that means you need to go talk to them, apologize to them, and make sure it doesn't happen again, and we're going to be keeping a pretty close eye. Right? Because like, then we can't condone that here. Step number three, or option number three is they're like, both sides insist that they're right. Which means now it's their word against yours. And that means I have to ask you to leave because I've known them longer than I've known. Right? So what do you want to say like, oh, what sounds like you need to go talk to them. I'm just like, yeah, man, just do it by the end of the week. And you know, hopefully, that'll be the end of it. It ended up being the end of it. But option number two turns out was was correct. So we never, we never saw him again. And, you know, that was just one of those moments. You just kind of like, you know, I couldn't make this up if I tried efficient.
No, I love the ladies, you dealt with that. Man. You're, you're giving me leadership tools on how I can be a little bit softer as well. Sure. Yeah. I the way I've dealt with males harass me, I just punched him in the mouth. Right? No, that's the word. So I'll give you a story. And this will be a good one. Right? This is, of course, how I ended up in HR. My first two weeks out of the military in my new job. Right. So here I am, um, I'm definitely afraid like I've never worked in corporate. So when I say I'm definitely afraid, like, if anyone knows a active veteran, especially Marine Corps veterans. We joke about everything. We're extremely inappropriate. Nothing is off limits. politics, religion. We are like the South Park of people. Nobody's safe. Right? Yeah. So taking that into consideration and how much I just like the cursor and express myself. I am afraid when I go to work, I'm like, God, let me not say anything. I'm trying to do my best behavior. Yeah. Right. And avoid everything, right? Yeah. Yeah. So we get into the office, and it's week two, or the first weekend. One of the guys that same, same job title as me. He's a man manager says, Hey, he's going to be doing a meeting with a couple of the CPUs, I want you to go with him. And let's run with it from there. Right. So we open it up, open the meeting, and then he pops up a slide in the meeting. He goes, a keel is going to give and that's my first name. For people who don't know, don't call me that. Because a keel is going to give a present this slide. Right? So luckily, I had the years of Toastmasters. And I know I'm a pretty smart guy. So I just presented the slide. And that was that right? Yeah. Our manager was in the meeting. And he he mentioned, right, he said, Hey, in the future, just make sure you guys are touching bases so that we can make sure everything is together. Right? Obviously highlighting the fact that this guy just got here this week. And you're making him present in a meeting with business units. Yeah, right. So Friday comes around. And he says, Hey, we have a meeting coming up with the business units next week. I'm so okay, I turned them I say, okay, so when are we gonna sit down to go through the slides so we can make sure we're prepared. He said, What? I said, When are we going to sit down and go through the slides so we can be prepared? He looks at me, he goes, Do you want to run this project? Because I've been in networking for over 20 years. I said, bro, stop. Don't do that. Don't do that. Right. I was like, he's like, so do you want to run? I was like, You know what? Yes. I'll run the product. Do you want to go talk to June now? Can we can go talk to the guy, right? he stomps off, has an attitude. I'm like, Alright, whatever. But everybody was watching. And they saw as he was standing over me while I'm sitting on my desk, I didn't stand up. Once he walked over to me. I said, Don't do that. Right. I thought it was very non threatening. Apparently, I forgot that I was a huge, intimidating black guy. Once and now I am sitting in front of HR. Right? try my best not to cry because I'm a man. Like, why am I here? So at the same time, like, this is fucking racist. everything right? But the, it's very weird because the guy is Chinese, right? So it's not like so eventually, everybody just sits me down and like, Hey, man, don't worry about it. That's just him. He fell down the stairs like a couple of months ago. He he blanked. He went to HR complaining that everyone laughed at him. Right? So they were like, they're like, no, don't mind him. You're good, right? But I was sitting in that office, I freaked out. I was like, This is my like, first couple of weeks here. And already I'm dealing with bullshit, right? He had them write it up that he wanted to work from home because he didn't feel safe working with me. I was like, What the fuck? Yeah,
that's hard. Yeah. So that was my first two weeks at the corporate job. And it was where I just realized, like, hey, you know what? People are human. Right? And there's gonna be these weird little things. But so long as you're honest, and you're just a real person, and you weren't actually being aggressive, you'll be fine. Right? And so when I told them what I did, they was like, Oh, really. Even the HR, the HR lady was like, she leaned in and she whispered it because she didn't want anybody to know. She was like, He's just like that. Yeah. Right. I was like, but that's something you're gonna have to worry about. Not worry about. But what I learned from that experience was Don't, don't hype up the environment, don't, don't feel like you're going to move into these spaces and like, they're against you. No idea who these people are and who they're going to be you. You don't know who's going to be for you and who's going to be against you. And it's not really about who's for you and who's against you. So long as you're doing what's right. It'll work out in the end.
Unknown Speaker 53:30
That's what I learned from that experience.
Jerry Fu 53:31
It's good. Yeah, cuz yeah, it's tough when you have to account for the fact that sometimes, like the trip wires, you just step on, you know, in a field and you didn't realize you had some trip wires and it just kind of like Geez man, like, I'm just trying to take a step forward, and you're just like, oh, no, like, that's racist. That's Oh, no offended me. You're
like, it was so funny. I was telling my friends it and you know, all my friends are military down like, so did you, you and your boys meet him out back after? He's like, Yeah, you're supposed to beat him with chains and pipes after that. But all in all, man, that is a great experience to laugh at now. But I was not I literally, between me and you, and everybody listening. I got in my car and cried. That day. I was like, Oh, my God, my career's over. And it's only been a week.
Jerry Fu 54:28
So that's tough, right? Like you've you've seen so much, right? Like from your time and active duty, and then you come back to these social pressures and you're just like, Ah,
right. I'm like, I'm trying to be a good person. Alright, so last question. Yeah. What is one thing that you will leave our audience with that you think will make them a better leader?
Jerry Fu 54:53
Hmm, yeah. So I had to pick one thing. Let's say I don't want this to sound cheesy I do need it to sound I do want to hook and so this kind of memorable enough to the point where it's just so cliche that it's like it's just cheese to be a better leader one thing I would say is no allow people to disagree with you hmm
I'm glad that you meditated on that one. That is a extremely good one. Right for everybody listening. Go be great
Jerry Fu 55:42