Fewer Rules, More Productivity (with Erin Meyer)

Hey, good news OG. You were in the other room when
I mentioned this at the beginning of one of our rewind episodes last
week, but my nephew Colin just returned from a submarine tour three
months out at sea, safely back home. Oh, when you said submarine tour, I
was like, Oh, where do you work? Where can you tour subs? Mmm, Subs. I didn't mean the
sandwiches, like a tasting.

He had like a tasting. What was a paired with diet Pepsi? It was great. Remember those breads that all look
different than tastes the same. This tastes like a Asiago With, um, is this the Turkey and ham? I like that you put cucumbers on it. This is an interesting flavor profile. Yes. At the beginning of this year
Stackers, Navy Federal and our Stacie Benjamins team would like to salute
our troops who kept us safe all of last year and doing the same this year. Go thank a service member people
and thanks to Navy Federal for not only supporting our troops, but who
support our troops all hoping to not just keep you safe, but also hope
to stack a few Benjamin's himself. Thanks for all you do troops. Hey, I'm Rob Berger when I'm
not rolling in the dough. That's right. I'm stacking Benjamins Live from Joe's mom's basement
it's the Stacking Benjamins show. I'm Joe's mom's neighbor, Doug. And what could be better at the
start of a fresh new year than to learn about reinventing yourself? Here to share lessons from the story
of how Netflix did it we welcome Erin Meyer.

Plus, one billionaire handed over a cool 6
billion bucks to charities last year. What can we learn about
giving to charities from this wonder woman? I just made up that term. Wonder woman. And I wonder if it'll take off? We'll wrap things up by tossing out the
Haven Life line to Brad who's retiring, but still wants to max out his HSA. Talk about juggling. We'll help Brad manage priorities
in this important year. And I'll do my part by wowing
you with my amazing trivia. And now two guys who have been trying
to reinvent themselves for years. It's Joe and Oh, judge, judge, judge G. And a happy Wednesday to you. Welcome back Stackers to
the Stacking Benjamin show. I'm Joe Saul-Sehy, @AverageJoeMoney on
Twitter and across the card table from me.

Exhausted. Because he's working a full week
for the first time and well, has he ever actually worked a full week? It's Mr. OG, I'm exhausted. Cause I'm on day six. Keep me accountable. Keep me accountable. Stacking Benjamins people day six of, well, it was meant to be day
six of every day riding the Peloton. I'm optimistic because we're recording
this a little bit in advance. That that's true, but in cases
not which also could be true. That I didn't make it today. Six, it is day six of having
a cup of coffee every day. Just baby steps. We had Rachel Cruze on, on Monday. Ramsey organization knows
all about baby steps. Yes. Just do that with your goals. Or you could go with what Doug said
on Monday and say, Hey, I'm never going to ride my Peloton again. I will never do it. Yeah. For those of you that miss
Monday show, uh, go back in here.

Doug's strategically there. We've got a fantastic show today. Erin Meyer co author of a
book on how Netflix works. And before you go up, this
one's not for me cause I don't run a business like Netflix. I think even if you're dealing with
your family here, This is an important, uh, part and interview, lots of
good strategies on how to manage people, manage your organization,
whatever your organization might be. But before we get to our headlines today,
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Isn't that amazing? Amazing more amazement coming
up, Erin Meyer and some of the lessons from creating Netflix. But first. Get a couple of headlines. Hello Darlings, And now it's time for
your favorite part of the show, our Stacking Benjamins headlines. First deadline comes to us
from the New York times. This is written by Nicholas
coolish, giving billions fast McKinsey Scott appends philanthropy. Of course, after divorcing
Jeff Bezos, she had billions of dollars in O G late last year.

Tons of organizations. According to this piece, got
letters saying that they were going to get a lot, lot, lot of
charitable donations in their pocket. And I'm wondering because when
you see these organizations that are set up over time, right? These foundations, they do a lot
of very careful scrutiny and they give money a little bit at a time. Do you think some of these
organizations, when they're flooded full of tons of money, that that's.

Get to create a little bit of waste. Like they might not do the charitable
thing as well because Hey, all of a sudden I got more than enough to meet my budget. Yeah. I've thought about this and
I'm trying to figure out like, what's the best way to do it. You know what I mean? Because you can have. And certainly we're not donating
money to the capacity of McKinsey here, but, um, you know, a lot of
times organizations have big capital projects that they're trying to do. And so a large donation can kind of
check the box of that capital project. Like, Hey, we're trying to build a new. Wing to the thing though, a wing to
the thing, you know, or, you know, like church has, Hey, we're trying to raise
a hundred thousand dollars for new Oregon or something like that, you know,
and they take a little bits of time.

It takes them five years and they
finally have enough money, you know, a lump sum contribution. Can accelerate that. Well, that's what it says in this
piece is that she really wanted to get out of the way thinking that
these people are professionals. They know what the issue is. And sometimes these organizations are
so, so, uh, second guessed by people who read they're well-intentioned people,
gee, that just don't know any better. So they come in for the site visits
and they said that a lot of these organizations, they roll their eyes
because they spent so much time doing site visits and raising money that they can't
get to the important work they're trying.

Yeah, that would be a benefit of it. Right? So that then he can, they now focus all
their energy on deploying the capital. So to speak. It's funny because I think that
you should do your due diligence. Let's bring this away from
McKinsey Scott to you. And I, I think that we
should do our due diligence. We're giving money to charities. Obviously we want to make sure that
they're a five Oh one C3 they're really are a charity and not
just somebody with their handout. So do that basic stuff. But I think also. People need to get away a little bit from. The expenses that the charity has. Cause you see this
emphasized all the time. What percentage of the money is
actually going to charity versus what percent is being deployed? And the problem with that, according
to Kimberly Putnam Walker, who was on our show, uh, last summer, if you
remember OJI, she said that the problem is good charities need good people.

And if you spend a little more. And I think we'll probably hear
this again later from Aaron Meyer talking about the success in Netflix. If you spend a little more and have
great people in your corner, maybe you're not deploying as high a percentage,
but it's much more laser focused. It's actually solving the problem
instead of just keeping expenses super low and getting a bunch of money out
there that later on, once it leaves the charity is going to get wasted. And that's always, the challenge is to. You know, make sure that you're
supporting organizations that are trying to do the right thing. And then those organizations
are finding organizations that are doing the right thing. You know what I mean? It's a multi-step process and you can
look at it and say, well, it's ridiculous that they pay the such and such a
person, so much money to do this thing.

And it's like, Maybe it is, or
maybe it's not, but at the end of the day, are they solving the
problem that they're trying to do? You know, and people listening to
this show want metrics and that's an easy metric to get at what's the cost. But I think that a metric that we should
be looking for is some effectiveness metric, and I'm not sure what those are. In fact, we'll link to our interview
with Kimberly Putnam Walker she'd know, uh, she also has a book on
the topic, but we'll also link to a few other sources in our show notes
page, but I think it's as much about.

Being effective. And I don't know if giving billions
and billions of dollars away is going to be effective, but giving
billions of billions of dollars away in a hurry is going to be effective. I guess we shall see. Our second headline comes
to us from investment news for people new to the show. This is, uh, an industry rag for, uh,
investment advisors, kind of the stuff that industry insiders read art bell. When he was on the show talking about
creating comedy central member, him talking about reading Cole weekly
when he was with this, this is the finance industries, coal weekly,
whole weekly right marks off Jr. Wrote this piece. Sec approves rule. That's not the Southeastern
conference of football fame. That's the securities and exchange
commission approves rule to allow testimonials in advertising. Mark writes the new rule, replaces
the advertising rule, which was adopted by the securities and exchange
commission in wait for this, cause this might be a little outdated. This is, this is something that we used
to laugh about all the time when I was in.

I don't know if you guys
still do Oh, gee, but. 1961. This rule was created
and a rule on payments to solicitors established in 1979. The previous regulation centered
on written communications, television, and radio advertising. The newly approved rule. Finally, finally contains principles
based provisions that can apply to online outreach, such as adviser
marketing over social media. Can you believe it? We finally. Welcome to the 1990s securities
and exchange commission. Isn't that funny? Well, this, this always frustrated me
when I was an advisor and frankly, even now on the social media side, it still
frustrates me on the financial media side because I hear a lot from unregulated. Lack of a better term. Let's call them morons who, uh, and by
the way, that's not everybody, there's some smart voices out there, but when
you're on regulated OJI, anybody can say anything, but there's a ton of
smart people out there who choose to say nothing because of these incredibly
onerous rules that the securities and exchange commission have in place.

And of course, then you have compliance
people and these big organizations who are making sure that the
organization doesn't get in trouble. Who basically tell their people,
you need to say nothing so that we stay out of trouble. Yeah. Yeah. It's super frustrating that, um, we're
moving at the speed of a gosh, is it 50 years to 40 years of outdated stuff here. And by the same token, if you
are going to rely on Yelp, if you're a financial planner too. Make or break your business? I don't think that's going
to be successful either. You know what I mean? I'll be interested to see how this goes. You know, we have compliance people
that work for work for our firm. And, um, I don't really spend a lot
of time on this yet cause this past brand new kind of late in the year,
and really didn't want to spend a lot of time thinking about thinking
about work around the holidays.

But I have started to see a
little bit in the Twitter sphere about like marketing companies. Hey, great news. You can put testimonials on your website. Is that, is that okay? It'd be the key to success. Like somebody writes, Oh geez. Awesome. Or, Oh, gee sucks. Like that's gonna make or
break your decision making. And I think for the consumer, if you're going to go through and
interview a financial planning firm and your selection criteria are wow. They had a lot of great testimonials. I think I'm going to go with them. No, but, but when Angela poli at MedPro
casually says I worked with Aaron Rogers. Yeah. It goes a long way. And the fact that he can say that, and
Aaron Rogers is okay with him saying that, you know, that says a lot. To a bunch of people. Now, there are some rules
here that Mark writes about. He says the final marketing rule
allows testimonials endorsements product, or assuming performance
advertising, and third party ratings, as long as they comply with anti-fraud
protections and other conditions.

That'll be interesting. Cause you're going to see people
flaunt these things, right? You're going to see some ugliness by
people that don't read the full rule. So it is the ugliest common,
but for instance, he writes in. Advertisement must disclose whether
the person giving an endorsement or testimonial is a client or as being
compensated advertising of gross performance must be accompanied by net
performance and performance data must be presented over a specific time period,
and they don't get too much into that yet. Uh, but the sec chairman John
Clayton says to advertising regulation reform is overdue. And I, for one, I agree. The thing I think that listeners of
this show should look out for is. If there is an advisor who is listing
performance data in their marketing and advertising, I think you need to run.

I think you need to run away because
if they're truly doing comprehensive financial planning and they're looking
at your situation, what does it matter? That Aaron Rogers got X percent? Cause he's got different goals than you have. Yeah, again, I'll be interested to see
how this all shakes out for everybody. It's very difficult to have performance
calculations done, according to the standard that is required. It costs a lot of money
to have that audited. So, so that's the other side of it. I'll be interested to see like how
many relatively smaller firms are touting that, but I'm with you. If they're just investment
managers, right. If they have one single. Philosophy, I think about like a
mutual fund or something, right. They're like, Hey, we're a large company
tech fund dissolve all we manage money and you're looking for that thing then. Yeah, you would. Sometimes look at some performance
data to kind of get an idea of what you're getting yourself into. If you're trying to, you know, invest in
an active strategy or something like that.

But if you're on a quest to find a
financial planning firm and they're like, you can, our average
client gets 8.6% a year. Like happy. Like what does that got to do with anything? What if I only need six to reach my goals? Yeah. Taking too much risks to reach my
6% return, by the way, the rule goes into effect 60 days after it's a
published in the federal register.

Uh, Mark writes, he says her after
the election of president elect, uh, Biden on January 20th, he says
that makes it vulnerable to a delay. We saw that with the change of
administration, to the Trump administration, where there were
some oversight things that the Obama administration put in place. And there was big delays there
as, uh, oversight changed. So. Hopefully though, hopefully coming, maybe
that's going to be our first takeaway. Don't bet on hopefully in your,
in your financial plan, but we'll have a couple better takeaways
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and see how much you could save. It's Geico easy visit geico.com today. That's geico.com. I think a takeaway number one seriously
on this advisory statement is. Now that we're going to
see some testimonials. Hopefully we'll see some people. That haven't previously talked very
much and social media get involved in some of these conversations. I've been involved in conversations
where people are talking about gold as an emergency fund, not wanting an
advisor would have you talk about people investing their entire emergency fund. Not, not something a professional advisor,
uh, would also get involved with and, uh, a lot of bedding and there's not
enough people talking against bedding. Not that you know, for some
people, trading is fun. Depends on why you're doing it. But advisors on the other side of that,
that finally are weighing in on some of these discussions will present a
whole different point of view, but.

I think our takeaway there O G is when
you're watching people online, which studies show is more and more where
people are getting their news, right from friends and family and from people
online, look at their credentials. Who are you actually listening to? We used to say that all
the time about CNBC, right? A CNBC guest comes on,
look at their credentials. I think it's the same. If you're reading somebody on Twitter
and you go, Ooh, that sounds good.

And then our second takeaway while
expenses are important, when it comes to charitable giving and
keeping track of those, I think it's equally as important, maybe even
more so to talk about effectiveness. And if you're going to look for
metrics to value the charities, you're giving money to look for organizations
that are getting the job done. SO happy today's guest agreed
to talk to us because I've so interested in how Netflix came
to be and how they have managed. After time and time again. How many times OG, have you heard
people say, Oh, Netflix is dead now. Like the Netflix killer is coming right around the corner and yet Netflix not only continues
to survive, but it seems to get stronger all the time.

Erin Meyer is a professor at INSEAD
in Paris and not Paris, Texas. The other Paris, the lesser
known one over in France, Oklahoma over and yes, uh, not that one either. Surprisingly there's one in France who
knew, uh, of course that one of the leading international business schools,
her work has always focused on how the world's most successful managers
navigate the complexities of cultural differences in a global environment. She's dealt with that. I want you to listen carefully though
everybody to this interview, because even if you're just managing the family
at home, I think she makes some great statements, uh, based on the book where
they talk about managing people, managing expectations, getting rid of rules.

Here's the coauthor of No Rules Rules, ERin Meyer. And on my dad's shortwave radio. It's my new friend, Erin
Meyer, Erin, how are you? I'm great, Joe, joining you
from Paris this evening. It's starting to get dark outside. I, I want to go to Paris right now, Erin,
I just, and I think it's COVID right. That I just want to go anywhere. But Paris is my favorite city on earth. How long have you lived there? I've lived here 20 years, but I can
tell you, um, December is not the time. The winter is not the time to come
because it gets dark really early. And all those images you have of
strolling down the shows at Lycee. It's not happening this time of year. Yeah. This whole Paris in the spring time. Right. That's right. That's better. When you and Reed started
working on this project together. I love the opening of the
book, Erin, where you say this whole Netflix culture thing.

I don't know how, how any of this works. Like you read the culture deck, which
a lot of our fans have also read. And you said you didn't really like it. Why didn't you like it? Yeah, well, it's pretty startling, right? So, I mean, that's the set for the
listeners who don't know this set of of slides that Reed released on the internet. A bunch of years ago, they've been
read like 20 million times now. And one of the slides says at
Netflix, adequate performance gets a generous severance. I think some people have some ethical
issues when they hear that, but that wasn't so much what was going on for me. It's just that at INSEAD, where I teach,
the business school where I teach at here in France, we're all talking about
psychological safety in the workforce. So if you want to create an
environment, which is really innovative, you need to have a
psychologically safe work environment. And I just couldn't figure out.

How a company that was innovative,
like Netflix was, could be focusing, not on psychological safety,
but saying things like adequate performance gets a generous severance. So that was pretty puzzling. And then there are other weird
things in that deck too, right? It says things like our vacation
policy at Netflix is, uh, take some. And our travel and expense policy at
Netflix is act in Netflix's best interest. And, you know, I thought those principles
sounded fine, but I couldn't figure out how like in a real company with more
than 15 people, they could actually use those principles successfully. So I was really puzzled to figure out
how that would work in a real company.

So Reed gave you then, um, I'm
imagining carte blanche to just go talk to people inside the company. Cause you wrote that you interviewed
200 Netflix employees past and present. Yeah, that's right. So I interviewed a couple of
hundred people, um, who were in Netflix currently or had been. We worked in offices around the world. And then I spent a lot of time with
Reed himself, trying to figure out how this actually worked in a company. And also mostly trying to figure out
what were the lessons that I could take, that I could pass on to other people. Uh, just for things they could do was
lead someone, leading a little team that they want to get more innovation out of. Things they could do in
order to get that to happen. Were there any of those interviews
here and that really surprised you. Oh, well, the, what surprised me the
most is how candid people were with me. I mean, you know, when I got
started I was like, is this even going to be a useful exercise? Because everybody knows that I'm
writing a book with their CEO.

Right? So like they, they sign up to come
into an interview and he asked them, he said, be candid with Erin
the way we are with one another. And I was like, okay, we'll see how that works. Here we go. But I actually found that people
were extraordinarily candid. Um, you know, they love people
sometimes people would cry. They told me stories about the
politics in their department. And then they talked endlessly and
passionately about the freedom that they had at Netflix to make big decisions
and do things they believed in. So yeah, I saw a little bit of everything,
but that freedom was everywhere. Something that surprised me
as I was reading through the pages was Reid's openness and
honesty about his past mistakes. How many of those past mistakes kind of
have fueled the culture at Netflix today? Well, so he loves to talk about,
uh, his first company, which was his Damascus road experience. I mean, how he, uh, everything he
learned about how to run a company was from, from the failure at pier soft.

So pure software was his first company. That was a small entrepreneurial
company to start out in Silicon Valley. And we could say that people
were just in the company running like fast and loose, right? So there were no rules or process. They were all just doing the
best they could to make good decisions for the organization. But then, you know like any
company, the company started to grow to a couple hundred people
to a couple of thousand people. And as it grew, um, Of course, some
people took advantage of the freedom. Some people did stupid things. And as that happened, Reed started
to put rules and process in place. For example, there was this guy
named Jim who used to fly every week from San Francisco to LA. And because there was no travel
policy, he thought, well, I'll just fly first class every week. Right. And when Reed found out
he was really frustrated. So he put in place a
detailed travel policy. Right. There was this woman named
Charlotte and she used to bring her dog to work every day.

There was no policy saying she
couldn't, but the dog chewed a big hole in the carpet one day. So Reed put to get started putting
together an employee handbook. Right. And one of the rules in that
handbook was no dogs at work. But these all seem to make so much sense though, right? I mean, it sounds like you have
to, that's what you should do. Well, of course, almost all companies are
built on the idea that once people start to take advantage of the freedom around
them, that we need to set in place processes in order to reduce error. That's what Reed did. But then he also found that
something happened, which is that when the company was really small,
it had been super innovative. But as he put in place, these rules
and processes, the most, mavericky kind of like crazy thinkers. They started to leave the company
because really mavericky creative people.

They want to work at places. They can run free. And then the company stopped innovating. The other thing that happened was that
the people in the company who were really good at following the rules
and process, they were promoted into senior management positions and they
were not the most flexible people. So when the environment shifted
from C++ to Java, they weren't really flexible in the organization
was not able to shift with it. So they had, he had to sell the company. So in any case, it was because of that. Say overriding mistake that read opened up
Netflix with these two overarching ideas. One is employee freedom breeds
innovation, and the second was process kills flexibility. So then he thought, you know,
with this new company, even as it grew, he was going to keep rules
and process as low as possible, which sounds awesome.

But I can just imagine as Netflix grew,
like keeping that pace in that, uh, openness has gotta be a hard thing, Erin. Yeah, well, that's the first thing
it's like, um, you know, Reed says it like he's buttering his toast, right. Uh, we just give, we just give
people freedom and everyone can sign off on multimillion dollar
decisions, but you think, well, in real life, how does that play out? Right.

But the deal is that there are a number
of elements in the ecosystem that allow this freedom to be possible. So the first is that Reed insists,
Netflix insists on having only top performers in the organization. The idea being. The top performers don't
need much rules and process. Most of the rules and process that
most companies are put in place to deal with the kind of like,
let's say less fabulous in place. W w w and this was the first for me. This was the first of
many ahas and the big aha. I think that I would love to
hear you tell this story, Erin. Is, they went through this
painful period, right. Where they had to let a punch people go. And yet, and this is, this was
mind-bending for me, that ended up being this huge aha moment for Reed. Yeah, that's right. So when Reed started Netflix, he wanted to
give his employees freedom and he wanted to build up high performing teams, but
he also thought that the reality of any business was that every team would have
some okay players and some excellent ones.

Many. If they were really poor
performers, clearly he fired them. And then in 2001 Netflix had
grown to 120 employees and the environment around the office was. Okay. And the company was doing fine. Um, but then financial crisis hit
and Reed found out he was going to have to fire one third of his
employees or close the company. And he really dreaded that.

Right. Cause he thought, gosh, you know, first
of all, those 120 employees were busy. So if we fired 40 of them,
Then the other 80, we're going to have to work like crazy. And that was gonna make them bitter. And the whole thing was
going to be horrible. In any case, he didn't have a choice. So he, he laid off those 40
employees, people cried and slammed doors and, you know, shriek
just like you expect, but within several weeks, something really
strange happened, which was that the employees that he'd kept were
suddenly accomplishing everything. So the 80 employees where it's
suddenly accomplishing everything that the 120 employees had
been accomplishing before them.

But better than that,
it now seemed that the environment around the workplace
had just improved dramatically. It was like suddenly everybody in that
office was madly in love with their work. So I'm trying to think it over. You're like, why did this happen? Reed came to the conclusion that this
happened because the people he had kept in the company were really the star
performers and for a star performer, a great workplace is not a sushi lunch.

A great workplace is being surrounded
by other stunning colleagues. Um, so that was his goal. Moving forward to do anything necessary,
to make sure that his organization was staffed with only high performers. You reference a study about how,
because I thought, well, surely Erin, you could have one or two people
that are mediocre and you'll be fine. But you referenced a study that where
you say, no, that's not the case in all of your study of cultures. There've been studies done where
you put, you put just a one or two mediocre apples in there. It taints the whole bunch. Yeah, there's this fascinating study
that's conducted by this professor named William Phelps and he invited four
MBA students into his lab at a time. He gave them a 45 minute task and
he rewarded them financially based on how well that they did and
unbeknownst to them on 50% of the group, there was an interloper. So the interloper was this guy named
this actor named Nick and Nick had been hired to act like a regular
MBA student, but to behave in a way that was a little bit un-amazing.

Like sometimes he would act
bored and text his mother and put his feet up on the table. Sometimes he would act kind of jerky
by saying things to other the other MBA students like, have you even ever
attended a business school class before? And what's amazing. Is that on team after team? What professor Phelps proved is that those teams with
Nick on them, they performed at a 45% worse rate. So amazing. And even more interesting than
that is that the three excellent MBA students, they start to behave
like Nick and just 45 minutes. So when he's bored, you know, and he's
acting like this board pessimist after about, you know, 20, 30 minutes, the
other MBA students in the team also start acting board saying things like what's
even the point of this exercise, right? And when he acts like a jerk others on
the team start acting jerky too, and not just to him, but to one another.

So I think a lot of managers
think an individual performance problem is an individual problem. So if I leave that person on the
team, that's just about me and him. But what research shows is that
an individual performance problem is not an individual problem. It's a systemic problem that
impacts the entire team. Maybe even the entire organization. The impact of that. I just, it was unbelievable to me. Once you get to a better talent
density then, your next step is then to increase candor.

Which again, Erin, I think,
okay, this sounds great. We're all going to tell each other
what we think about each other. And before we know it, everybody
hates each other at work, right. We're commenting on every little
thing that this also sounds backward. Yeah. Well, I have to tell you, I really
hated that when I started doing that work there and they hated that
because they were giving feedback to me. I mean, I had this one situation
and it just kind of, I think shows how, um, how candor works. I was giving a presentation at a
leadership conference for Netflix. There are 500 people in the audience
and at one point I gave them a small group exercise and I came down
from the stage to meander around.

Right. And as I was meandering, I saw
one woman in one group and she was talking this really animated way. And when she saw me, she gestured me over. So I came over and she said Erin, I
just need to give you some feedback. You know, the way that you are
facilitating the discussion from stage, it's really undermining your point because
you're talking about cultural diversity, but then you're asking for volunteers and it's only the Americans
who are volunteering. Please find a way to fix this
cause I really want to make sure that your presentation succeeds. And I thought you are telling me
this now, right in the middle of my presentation, never before. Right. But immediately I thought,
well, of course, she's right.

And it hadn't occurred to me. I had two and a half minutes before
going on to stage, I kind of went into this deep meditative state. And I, after two and a half minutes, I had a better method. I came back onto stage and I
facilitated in a way that I got all of the cultures speaking. And that's just such an example of
what happens with feedback, which is that if feedback is given with
the purpose to help the person that you're giving it's actionable, right. That you're giving it, then it
doesn't always feel comfortable.

And a lot of people initially
think, Oh gosh, really? But. It can really help a lot. I mean, that woman, she saved
my presentation for sure. I just can't believe she told you
that in front of everybody, that's, that's still the part that gets me. I'm like, Hey, could we have
gone to the back of the room and done this, but in their culture,
I suppose that doesn't matter.

Oh, and Joan, she, Joe, she couldn't
have, because we didn't have time. Right. I was going back on
stage in three minutes. And of course in any other company,
any person would say, well, obviously it would be inappropriate for me
to give her that feedback now. So I'll just let her continue
to ruin her presentation. You talk about that and with all your
work on culture, Erin, not just with Netflix, but in all of your work.

I mean, and you make this point, how
many times have you sat through a meeting and you go, you know, I should really
tell them this thing, but I won't, or man, I should probably give them this
feedback because I really don't think this initiative is going to work and
how much worse off is the company, the organization, the family, whatever
it is, because you didn't speak up. Of course, we don't like feedback
as animals because of the amygdala that as human animals.

Right? So the amygdala is of course the
most primitive part of your brain. And one of the things that the
amygdala is very concerned with is finding safety in groups. So the amygdala is really worried that you
are going to be kicked out of the tribe. Right? So when someone gives you
feedback about what you. Didn't do well, your, your
amygdala starts screaming, right? Sending out an alarm and often it
puts us into fight or flight fight. We defend ourselves.

No, it's not true. I didn't do it. Problem's not me. It's you? Or we flight, we flight, we think,
well, I'm never going to talk to that guy again, but the amygdala
should not be running our companies today because we need that feedback. There's one piece of research that shows
that 72% of people in companies wish they could get more feedback and think they
could do a better job if they received it. So at Netflix, They've
tried to put in place. They have successfully put in place
these methods for getting the feedback out there, despite the amygdala. How do you do that? Right. So they have a couple of things. I mean, one is just putting
feedback on the agenda, right? So as you said, a moment ago, like
you might say, Oh, that guy in that meeting, he talked so much that the
client never had an opportunity to speak.

Am I going to tell him, I mean, I know if
I told him it would help the company and the team and probably even him, but he
didn't ask me for feedback and it might. He might like me last if I tell
him, so I'll just stay quiet, right? Um, but at Netflix they frequently
put feedback on the agenda. So like maybe I meet with
that guy once a month. And the last item or the first item
on the agenda is always feedback. He gives me some feedback about
how I can improve my performance.

And I give him some feedback. So the, the mechanism assures that
I have a moment, a clear moment to tell him what he can do better. And then they have the crazy
one, Joe, uh, which is these, uh, these three 60 feedback dinners. Where they get together in the
evening, maybe once a year as a team. And they go around the table one by one,
like if I'm up first, I'm on the hot seat. Everybody at the table gives me some
feedback about what I could do better. When I first heard that I thought,
Oh Well what's the point, right? Why can't you just tell me, you know,
in the corner with the door closed. Right here Why did you have to tell
me in front of everybody? what a horrible embarrassment, but I
saw that it's actually this incredible mechanism, because what happens is that we
get rid of then kind of all the gossiping and whispering behind one anothers back.

And we all know, Oh you
know what, Cheryl's working on getting better at this. And you know, Jackson's going to
try to speak less in meetings. And Jenny, Jenny's going to try
to, to do a better job with her, with her presentations or whatever. Right. And it also creates a mechanism
where I can see, you know, um, that one piece of feedback from Patrice,
that really was only from him. No one else agreed with it, but
that other feedback, it came from everybody on the team. So I couldn't really see.

See what I need to work on based
on the whole team, not just one individual, it's actually a great
trigger for improving performance. This has to be modeled though. Very carefully. I would think Erin, from the top
down, like if the boss, if the boss doesn't model this, it goes nowhere. Oh, that's right. So first of all, let me
say big rule at Netflix. No brilliant jerks. If you have jerks on your
team, don't do the 360 dinner. It ends in a food fight. Is that what you're saying? Well, then you're just
going to have, yeah. Crying, backstabbing, whatever. So when feedback is given is to
keep, uh, keep to what, what, what we'll call the four A's. Okay. The four A's of feedback at Netflix,
A #1, the feedback needs to be given with the aim to assist. So I only give the
feedback to help you out. Not because I want to get frustration
off my chest or make myself feel better.

The goal is to help you. And then the second is actionable. That's the second A right. When I give you the feedback, you should
see clearly what you could do, what action you could take in order to, to get better. And then the third A, because of the
amygdala, is that when you get the feedback, you need to show appreciation. Thank you. I really appreciate you
giving me that feedback. And then the fourth A is
accepted or discard just cause you get a lot of feedback.

Doesn't mean you have to be
acting on it all the time. Some of those things, you might
think, you know what I hear you, but I'm not going to do it. And if you get those things going, I
think it actually can be very useful. I've started doing those live three
sixties with my own team and I found them to be really, really helpful. I was thinking and is our team
here at, uh, in the basement? Here's this? Uh, I can already hear mom and neighbor,
Doug groaning his work as we're going to start doing that ourselves. But I do think, I think it's,
it sounds incredibly helpful. And you know what, afterwards, I'm
always so appreciative that somebody told me what they really thought. And you know, like you said earlier,
when we're all going ahead faster, it's exciting to be part of something
that's moving, you know, something that's an exciting place to work.

You also, then, then you go into,
now that you have great talent density and you have candor. Now you can start removing controls. This also confused me. How the heck do you get people to take
vacation when there's no vacation policy? It seems to me that if you, if. If there were no vacation policy, Erin,
nobody would take a vacation because now I can point at the person next to me and
say, I'm working way harder than they are. So I deserve a raise quicker. I deserve a promotion quicker. That seems like that'd be tough too. Yeah. So when you get rid of policies, of
course, there's always a lot of worries. And the one about getting
rid of a vacation policy? Well, there's two parts, right? One would be that either. Like, if you're the entrepreneur, who's
leading the company, either you worry that nobody's going to take vacation or
you worry that everybody's going to take, but nobody's going to work right now. We're going to come to work anymore. They started taking six, eight months off.

So here's where they say at Netflix
lead with context not control. And the idea is that we don't tell
employees how much time they can take off. Everyone should do what they feel
is best for them in their jobs. But the boss has to be setting
clear context by taking a lot of vacation herself. Am I talking about when is a good time to take
vacation throughout the year? Um, it doesn't mean that there's
just a free for all, of course, in the absence of policies, we look
around us to see what our colleagues are doing and we try to do the same.

So Reed himself, he takes six weeks of
vacation a year and I've never met a CEO who talks so much about his vacation. And I saw that Reed does that because
he wants everybody to see, look, I'm taking six weeks of vacation
and you should do that also. So it trickles down. And I do think we can see that with
all elements of, let's say, um, leading, without controls that you
need to be setting a good example. These are just the first three
dominoes of many, many dominoes. I was fascinated. The entire book is you and Reed, Erin
go through these things that seem like contradictions and a paradox. And then as you explain it, we get back to
the way that you started at the beginning of this discussion, where Patty and Reed
looked at you and said, it's common sense.

I mean, as I've worked through the
chapters, I thought, well, yeah, this is, this is common sense. The book is called No Rules Rules. Available everywhere I assume? Uh, you can get it everywhere. Yep. It's in 25. Languages should be at any store near you. Well, thank you so much for spending
time with us talking about culture and about Netflix and it was very helpful. Thanks, Joe. I really enjoyed it. Hope to see you face
to face next time deal. Hey trivia fans. I'm Joe's mom's neighbor Doug. You know, all this talk
about reinventing yourself.

It's got me really just
wanting to Netflix and chill. The issue is now that I've
decided what I want to watch. Now, I need to wait until
that disc comes in the mail. Talk about inconvenient. If only Netflix had a way to bring this to my TV, like instantly. I bet that it'd be a hit well, since we're talking about
Netflix and chill, here's the question? What are the most popular
shows on Netflix right now? Can you name any of the top five Netflix
original shows in 2020? I'll be back with your answer faster
than you can pinch this podcast. One thing that always
decreases the stress of life. And especially during the pandemic year
is having a pet around having Cooper. The cat around here always
gives us some levity.

In fact, it was, it was, uh, we're
playing this game of hide and seek earlier with, with Cooper and the fact
that my cat loves hide and go seek. Is amazing. The fact that our G gets
into a game of hide and seek with the cat. I like hide and seek with the cat. Oh, it can't always wins. The cat always wins. Always, always seems to find you. So just like your cat has maybe been
essential, your cat, your dog, your pet, whatever it might be has been essential. PetSmart has been an essential
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petsmart.com for more details, Cooper. Thanks me for that. You're pedal. Thank you too. If you're an active duty service
member, like my nephew, a veteran, like my dad, like Mr.

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and sits by Netflix disk. Won't show up for a few days.

I guess. I'll have to buy some time, come on
over and join me for some golden eye on this new system I've got, it's amazing. It's called a, uh, a Nintendo 64. The graphics are unbelievable. It'll blow your mind. Well, or maybe this amazing
game called duck hunt. Before I go set up some games for us. Let's get back to our
trivia challenge question. Was, can you name any of the top five most
viewed Netflix original shows from 2020? Well, here we go. At five with 48 M views. It's ratchet at number four with 51 M views. It's too hot to handle. Sounds like me on the dance floor. You know, after COVID at number three,
with 62 M views, it's the Queen's gate.

And what are all these AMS after the numbers? That's weird. Well, at number two, with 64 M views. It's tiger King. And coming in at the big number
one, the top Netflix original in 2020 with 60 5:00 AM views is money
heist, season four, season four. Imagine waiting for all of those discs. And now that I've given you plenty to do
time to roll out some games for myself. See ya. Thanks to Erin Meyer for hanging
out with us to talk about working with excellent people at GE.

I think you and I need to
have a little talk here. One bad Apple, man. Uh, I am not the bad Apple. You know what? This show could be amazing. It already is just, just think about that. Actually. It's funny. You're looking at the dude who
just walked up the stairs and didn't say a word about him. There's maybe an issue we need to
talk about here in a little bit. We're going to let Doug go.

I found this early in my career,
managing people, what she talks about, about rules, all these rules. Oh gee, these policies individually. They're great. But the problem is you can't get rid
of them and it takes away creativity and makes people hate working there a much bigger fan of saying here's
the outcome that we're looking for. Go get 'em tiger. Let me know if there's
something I can do for you. Yeah, I get there man. And I thought early in my career, I
remember thinking, man, if I put just all these policies in place and make
it easy, people can just sit down.

They don't even have to think, and
they can just check these boxes and bam, we get this consistent, great
output and immediately, well actually immediately over the very short run
output went up, but over the longer run and I'm, I'm saying not even super
long run, maybe three weeks later. Yeah. All of a sudden, I'm wondering
why less is getting done. Even though I put all these
phenomenal policies place, not great.

Give her people room to breathe, huh? Yeah, I think we even do that. You know, before the interview, I
talked about how, even if you're a parent, this is difficult. My cousin, his son got invited
to a new year's Eve party as a senior in high school. And he said, you know, I don't want to be
the overbearing parent that says, no, you can't go this party's 45 minutes away. I'm not going to be there myself. What do you do? Oh, gee. Yes. Say no. And you just go life sucks, dude. Be mad, but there are some places where you think
my kids got to learn this and I'd rather, they learned it while they're at home with
me versus wait until next year when his son is on a college campus has a similar
incident come and dad's not around. Yeah. I had my parents say no to me a lot. I mean, well-meaning parents said
no to me a lot when it came to managing money, which is I think,
and I'm not blaming on mom and dad, it was me that destroyed my credit.

But the fact that I'd never
seen more than a $10 bill in my hand before I got to college. And then all of a sudden I got a
nice sweet American express card. I think there's a direct correlation to
maybe I should have been trusted with a little more money ahead of time so
that I can make better decisions later. Very interesting topic and something
that ever since I read this book, I've been well, you know, I've
been talking about this book all the way through the holidays. Hey, let's throw out the Haven
Life Line OG and tackle some of life's most important questions.

Our friends at Haven life insurance
agency put what you value first. Yeah, I'm really looking
forward to spring. Being here in Texas. Uh, we've got about another
four weeks of winter left. So we're going to try to grind it
out between here and Valentine's day. And, uh, everybody of Massachusetts
giving you the thing it's like, yeah, we missed the storm last week. I mean, it rained like hell,
but, uh, but we missed the, it could have been. Just West of Dallas was a
whole bunch of whole bunch of snow and ice and everything. So it could have been, it could
have been sporting, but no, a winter time in Dallas is 37 in rain.

So I'm ready for 75 and sunny again. So that's what I value the
most springtime on the horizon. It's actually a loved ones in
your time, but Hey, loved ones in your time, out by the pool. What could be better? A little margarita would be better, but go ahead. Oh yeah. Loved ones. Your time pool margarita. Anything with an umbrella
in it, let's be realistic. It's also being realistic that
it's not wasting time on a long insurance application. And that's why Haven life made
the process of buying quality term life insurance, actually simple. Had a stacking benjamins.com
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And of course backed by 160 year old
company because you want to make sure the coverage is there when you need it. We talked about HSHS and FSAs on Monday. Let's keep the string going. Say hi to Brad. Say hi, Brad, gentlemen, this
is Brad in Lexington, Kentucky. And I would like to announce
that around March of this year, I'll be retiring pretty happy. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Quiet. So my question is I have an HSA and
I've maxed out the contribution. And been fortunate enough to be
fairly healthy and just pay my own medical bills out of pocket. And I would like to, again, this year,
maximize my contribution, but do so early with the first few paychecks as I
will not have an HSA through the health insurance broker after retirement. And just want to make sure there are
no ramifications for not having the account throughout the entire year.

Appreciate any input that
you may or may not have. And, uh, I'll be sure to get a
second opinion since we don't learn things here, have a great holiday. Thanks for the question, Brad, and
congratulations on retiring this year. Also, congratulations on
having the family behind you. They're cheering you on as you call us. So, uh, good stuff all around. It's it's an exciting time for
Brad OJI, but it's also a time when he might step in it with the HSA.

Tell us the rules wise, man. It's 100% prorated. So if he retires in March that let's say
it's a 7,200 family contribution, he can only put in a prorated portion. That's right. That's right. Yeah. And it's full month. So if you retire on April 1st, then you
get credit for the entire month of April. So retire on the first day of the
month, if you can afford it and sock in the rest of the month. Yeah. I mean, you're talking about an extra
600 bucks or something like that, but it's something that's a procedure.

It's a procedure that covers one procedure,
like 10 years in the future. Oh yeah. Okay. I gotcha. It's one little thing. I guess that's sinful. When people think about
it, it's like procedures. Like how many procedures does
this about the HSA contribution? Come from a guy who just
said to schedule one. I'm like, Oh yeah. Hey, that might cover it. Oh, you scheduled a procedure. Cause you're 50 something. Nice. So I think it's important
to think that way. Brad increasingly, now that he's retired
too, we'll be thinking that way as well. So prorated Brad, unfortunately, I don't
think there's a way to game that system. Make sure the money is invested
if you're not going to use it. Long-term absolutely. And also make sure you look
into your Medicare supplemental coverages when you're looking
at your full insurance package. Thanks to Brad for calling in. You got a question for us, had to
stacking benjamins.com forward slash voicemail, and you like Brad can
bring along your own cheering section.

As you leave a message for O G and
I, you do that right on your phone. If your computer has a microphone
on it, pretty easy to do stacking benjamins.com forward slash voicemail. Big, thanks to everybody who's
told friends about the show. It's been nice getting some of the
notes from all of you over the holidays. We really appreciate the fact
that you spend time with us. And, uh, you've either
left us a review or you've. Said to someone, you know
what this one applies to you. So if you know, some people who
love the world of business, or even just need those need those
lessons, whether they love it or not.

Aaron Meyer, uh, what a fun and
informative interview with her. And lastly, if you're somebody
who's looking for better financial planning help in your corner. Oh gee. And his team are taking clients. So to get on their schedule, head to
Stacie, benjamins.com forward slash O G, and that will lead you to their schedule,
set up a meeting with their team and talk about how they may be able to help you. All right. That's going to do it for today. Doug. You've got it from here, man. What should we have learned? On this episode. So what should we have learned today? First, take a lesson from our headlines. When you take care of yourself
financially, then you're better able to focus on causes you care about. Second, take a lesson from Erin Meyer. Hard work is irrelevant. Be radically honest and never,
ever try to please your boss. Boy, I live by that one, but the big takeaway. Reinventing yourself
is a continual process. So you need to stay up on the times,
check out what I'm talking about on AOL, or try out my geo cities page.

I'll put all the info to stay up on new tech there. special thanks to Erin Meyer for joining
us today, we'll have a link to her new book, No Rules Rules on our show
notes Page at stackingbenjamins.com. This show is created by Joe Saul-Sehy,
produced by Taylor Stevens and engineered by the amazing Steve Stewart online. Visit us on Twitter at SBenjaminsCast or on our Facebook page.

I'm Joe's mom's neighbor, Doug. And I'm a lot deeper than you realize. In fact, sometimes I just
stand in front of my mirror and reflect as podcast may receive payment on
the show from sponsors and guests in the form of books, giveaway items. Discounts or other remunerations. That's a big word. There's no way you take advice from
these dorks, but like Joe's mom always says don't take advice from people yet. Don't know. This show is for
entertainment purposes only. And before making any financial decisions
consult with a real financial advisor, I mentioned that I've seen
a lot of movies lately. Have you seen any? Uh, no, we watched Batman. We already talked about that and, uh, Nope, that was it. We talked on Monday about wonder woman 84. And after that experience,
which you can hear. On Monday show. I hope for better from this one. This is Pixar's new film released
on Disney plus called soul. What is this place? What's your name? Honey.

I'm job. I teach middle school band cottage go forward. Today, started out as the best day of my life back here tonight. First shows that said, you know what? This is going to say, Joe Gardner, I did it. I got the gig. Mr. Huh? No, it's the great before. This is where new souls
get their personalities, quirks and interest before they go to earth. Meet 20. Want to go to first? Uh, Oh, Hey, look, I already know
everything about earth and I don't want anything to do with it.

You're missing out on the joys of life. Like pizza. I can't smell. We can't, we can't taste either. All that stuff is in your body. Smell, no taste or touch. See. Okay, I get it. Jamie Fox playing the main character
in Seoul where he's realized, Oh, gee, that when he accidentally stepped
in a manhole on his way to his big appearance to finally be with this
jazz quartet, that is legendary. These dreamed about being a
part of forever while he's a middle school music teacher. He falls in this man hole and
he realizes that he's dead and he's not going to get his shot.

And so he then very hilariously tries
to get back to earth at the same time. He meets a soul, uh, play by Tina Fey. And so Jamie Fox and Tina Fey as
these two characters end up getting to know a little bit about each
other, a little bit about life, a little bit about what it means to be. Alive from both their perspective. Tina Fey's soul has never been alive. And, uh, Jamie Fox is a characters. One that thought that they may be
wasted their life, uh, teaching middle schoolers, how to play
instruments in the worst possible way. After watching wonder woman 84, I
had very low expectations thinking that after all this time of watching
so much good TV over the last year. That may be the magic of
movies has gone for me. Oh, gee. Maybe I prefer to have 30 to 60 minutes
sitting in front of a screen and then have this ongoing story that I can binge
over a series of, you know, days or weeks or whatever it might be instead
of, uh, seeing just two hours straight. Because man, with wonder woman
that two hours felt like 16 hours watching that movie with soul, I was.

Laughing my head off from the first
scene with middle-schoolers, where he's teaching them music and some of the lines
that you, you don't catch immediately, but you catch a few minutes later, like
you realize some of the inside jokes and you look at some of the pictures that are
hanging on the wall, or some of the things that Pixar doesn't draw attention to. This is a movie very much for grownups. Being a kid. These are some heavy topics. The idea of dying, right? Of not living a full life. This is, this is something that my
six year old or seven year old might know nothing about, or, or not even. Um, frankly, I don't even know if
this is a movie for kids, but for adults for 52 year old adults like me. This is a hell of a movie. I absolutely love this film I thought. And you know, usually as you know,
I'll see between what 40 and 70 movies a year, depending on the
year, this year, I may be soft five. So obviously what's that
old Eddie Murphy joke.

When you haven't had a Cracker in a
long time, everyone tastes like a Ritz. You know? So maybe it's that maybe it's
that I haven't seen that many, but man, was this a great film? Okay. I heard it was awesome. So. I'm a big fan of Pixar movies generally. So I can, there've been a few that
I really didn't inside out. I didn't love. And I thought that was all right,
like cars two and cars three. I like NASCAR as much as the next hiccup. I like NASCAR more than most people. I go to races, the, but
cars two and cars three. Not that much toy story movies. Fantastic. Coco was brilliant. Not that many people saw it. It wasn't a big fan of Wall-E. I thought that was all right. A little depressing. But man, this was so good and just
uplifting really, really fun movie, big, big thumb up for Disney Pixar soul.

Okay..

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