How To Catalyze Success: An Engaging Dialogue Of Maximizing Potential With Dr. William Attaway Of The Catalytic Leadership Podcast

TBF William Attaway | Catalytic Leadership

 

There are a lot of leadership podcasts out there but only a handful ever stand out. You need a key differentiator to really become a bingeable show. In this episode of The Binge Factor, Tracy Hazzard is joined by a fellow seasoned podcaster in a conversation that reveals the secrets of standing out in the saturated world of leadership podcasts. Dr. William Attaway, host of the Catalytic Leadership podcast, shares his unique approach to scaling a show while staying ahead in episode production. With valuable insights on intentional team building and the importance of listener feedback, Dr. Attaway sheds light on the key differentiator that makes his podcast truly binge-worthy. Discover how to turn challenges into opportunities, embrace continuous improvement, and create a podcast that resonates with both guests and listeners. Tune in and learn from the wisdom of this engaging dialogue that holds the secrets to unlocking the true potential of your leadership podcast!

Watch the episode here

 

Listen to the podcast here

 

How To Catalyze Success: An Engaging Dialogue Of Maximizing Potential With Dr. William Attaway Of The Catalytic Leadership Podcast

I have William Attaway of the Catalytic Leadership podcast. I love the name Catalytic. That sounds so explosive but in a good way. William has been a student of leadership for 30 years and has been coaching leaders for over 20 of those years from C-Suite leaders to educators, military leaders, small business owners, church leaders, and 6 and 7-figure entrepreneurs. He’s got experience helping conquer challenging situations and maximizing potential with focus, calm, control, and confidence so you can build an unbreakable and unshakable business.

I thought there was a lot of synergy between this thinking of scaling your business and your podcast. That’s why I wanted William to come on the show because his 25-plus years of leadership experience coaching teams and helping people grow with staff into larger organizations with systems, teams, and processes seemed to me like that was synergistic with how some of you are growing your show. He’s captured the insights that he’s had from all these decades of coaching in a book called Catalytic Leadership: 12 Keys to Becoming an International Leader Who Makes a Difference.

He’s also been hosting this podcast where he’s got over 50 episodes. He’s been walking the walk and talking the talk as we like to say here. He interviews entrepreneurial leaders with their insights and wisdom about what they have learned so far, the challenges they’re facing, and how they’re intentionally growing and thriving. I thought that I could learn a lot from William, which is one of the reasons I invited him to my show. Let’s talk to Dr. William Attaway of Catalytic Leadership.

About The Catalytic Leadership Podcast Host William Attaway

TBF William Attaway | Catalytic Leadership

William has been a student of leadership for 30+ years, and he has been coaching leaders for over 20 years. From C-suite leaders to educators, from military leaders to small business owners, from church leaders to 6 and 7 figure entrepreneurs, he has experience in helping you conquer challenging situations and maximize potential with Clear-Minded Focus, Calm Control, and Confidence so you can build an unbreakable, unshakeable business.

Pulling from his own 25+ years of leadership experience leading and coaching teams in the business and non-profit/church sectors, as well as from the hundreds of leaders he has coached, clients have access to a knowledge base that is deep and wide, a coach who is FOR you, and a proven methodology that will help you stop spinning your wheels into overwhelm and overwork.

William has captured insights from decades of coaching in his most recent book, Catalytic Leadership: 12 Keys to Becoming an Intentional Leader Who Makes a Difference. He also hosts the Catalytic Leadership Podcast each week, where he interviews entrepreneurial leaders about the insights and wisdom they have learned so far in their journey.

William founded Catalytic Leadership, LLC, to help leaders to INTENTIONALLY grow and thrive. He has served in local church ministry for over 25 years, and is currently the Lead Pastor of Southview Community Church, a church in Herndon, Virginia (near Washington, D.C.) where he has served since 2004. He holds a Ph.D. in Old Testament (with an emphasis in Biblical Backgrounds and Archaeology), and he loves to read and speak about leadership, organizational change, and building up people and teams. He’s an Amazon #1 best-selling author, and his newest book is Catalytic Leadership (January, 2022). Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, William now lives in northern Virginia with his beautiful wife Charlotte and their two daughters.

 

Follow William Attaway on Social: Facebook | LinkedIn

 

William, I’m so glad to have you here and talk about Catalytic Leadership. I love the term catalytic. It’s explosive but in a good way because it provides the power. We don’t want explosive in a bad way.

That’s a different show.

You talk to leaders, but they’re at a little bit more advanced level of leadership. It’s not just any entrepreneur. It’s someone who’s built and grown businesses. They have a little bit broader perspective. Do you have a specific target for those guests that you’re looking for?

I’m looking for guests who have gotten past the very early struggle stage and have built a business that they feel like, “This is moving now. We’re going.” What I find is that when entrepreneurs get to this point, they have to begin to hire people to help them with fulfillment for whatever they do, whatever service they provide, or the products that they serve. It’s at that point that they begin to face some different challenges because you have to begin to develop the mindset, not of a startup so much as the mindset of a CEO.

 

TBF William Attaway | Catalytic Leadership

 

You have to start thinking about leadership. You have to start thinking about leading other people on your team, not just yourself. You’re the hardest person you are ever going to lead. There’s no doubt about it. Me too. Leading other people is a skill, and that’s not one that anybody is born knowing how to do. We have to learn it. We have to develop it. That’s the people that I’m looking for. It’s people who are in that stage and who are struggling a little bit and saying, “This is a little bit more challenging, learning how to manage and lead other people.”

You're the hardest person you are ever going to lead, no doubt about it. But leading other people is a skill, too, and that's not one that anybody is born knowing how to do. Click To Tweet

It is a real challenge. It’s scaling a business. The piece of it that you’ve chosen to address is the biggest and most difficult piece. There are trust issues. There are systems issues. It’s such a different set of skills than it is to jump in, be an entrepreneur, start a company, and get an idea off the ground. That’s a different skillset.

They’re great at that. They have done that. They’re past that part, but you have to level up. You’ve heard the phrase, “New levels, new devils.” You’ve got new levels now, and you can’t use the same strategies you’ve used before. Marshall Goldsmith says, “What got you here won’t get you there. You have to learn something different.”

Let’s go back to the beginning about starting a podcast because starting one and scaling one are two different things. I wanted to set that tone because you’re at that stage where you’re about to take off, scale it, and move from into that phase. Anyone who’s been a year or more in their podcast or 50 episodes or more, that’s where they’re at, and that’s exactly where you are. Let’s talk about the impetus for starting it. What was its purpose? Why did you think podcasting was the right thing for you?

I had this in mind for years, honestly. I had been thinking this would be a neat way to connect with people. I love to listen to podcasts. I used to have a long commute. I would listen to them back and forth, multiple shows a day. I thought this would be a great way to communicate with people in a way that they’re receiving. Podcasts are hot, and they’re not going to get any colder. They’re only getting hotter in the days ahead.

TBF William Attaway | Catalytic Leadership
Catalytic Leadership: Podcasts are hot and they won’t get any colder. They’re only getting hotter in the days ahead.

 

How do I do that? There’s the logistics of it, and then the shows, programming, content, and guests. The complexity tends to make one shy back a little bit. I had other irons in the fire, and I said, “This can wait.” In January 2022, I released my latest book and went on a podcast book tour. It was the first time I had ever done that. I was on something like 80 different shows between February and the end of the year. That’s a lot.

It’s not the most I’ve heard, but that’s a lot.

I got about halfway through that, and I was like, “I’m enjoying this. This seems like something I could do.” I had been taking notes, watching, learning from the hosts that I interacted with, how they did what they did, and the systems they were using, and asking questions before and after the show. I felt like I was in a much better spot to begin to try it. You don’t get to 50 episodes without doing episode 1. I said, “We’re going to start there. We’re going to learn, grow, and get better.”

I’m firmly of the belief that is a choice you and I make every day, whether we’re going to approach that day as a teacher where we know everything or as a student where we say, “I’m going to learn something new. What can I learn? Who can I learn it from?” I believe you can learn from anybody. Sometimes you learn what not to do. That could be incredibly valuable. I said, “Let’s get it started.” We started in August 2022. It would be almost one year in 2023.

You can learn from anybody. Sometimes you learn what not to do. That could be incredibly valuable. Click To Tweet

That’s so great. I’m glad you dove in,but I can tell the difference when someone is a listener. I can tell the difference in their show because I’ve listened to enough shows now. I can distinctly tell the difference. What were some of the things that you were trying to put into your show that you felt were positive things about other people’s shows?

The first thing was I wanted to ask questions that they might want to ask. I approached the guests with those questions in mind. There’s no cookie-cutter formula. There are some questions I’ll ask everybody, but as I dive in now doing pre-interviews and beginning to build the episode in advance, it gives me the ability to script out questions and say, “This is a question I would have asked if I were listening to this show.” That’s the first thing.

The second thing is getting past the initial nervousness and awkwardness of doing this for the first 10, 15, and 20 times to where I can be present fully at the moment when we’re doing the interview and listen. When I can listen, I’m able to script questions on the fly and chase something that they say, “I want to follow that,” even though I didn’t plan it that way. That makes for a much more organic conversation. Those are so much more fun to listen to in my opinion.

TBF William Attaway | Catalytic Leadership
Catalytic Leadership: When you can listen, you’re able to script questions on the fly and chase something that they say, even though you didn’t plan it that way. That makes for a much more organic and fun conversation.

 

I can hear that in your show. I can hear the way that you ask questions there. They show a pre-knowledge, which I didn’t realize you were doing pre-interview. I’m going to touch on that. It makes sense now from what I’m hearing in the show. You follow the path. That’s the frustrating thing. One of the reasons listeners will quit a show is if they’re sitting back, and someone is following their outline of questions and they miss the follow-up. You want to yell at your phone or whatever you’re listening in. You yell, “You forgot to ask the important question.” That’s not the person you wanted to be. That’s not the kind of host you want to be or the host that follows that. You want to be the advocate for the listener because you know what it’s like to be that listener.

There are so many times when I’m listening to an interview, and the guest will say something that begs for a follow-up question. They don’t ask. I’m like, “I want to know. Ask it.” I’m always listening for those opportunities.

They mentioned, “We’re going to ask that. We’re going to talk about that,” and then they don’t. Let’s get back to the one I dropped there, which was pre-interviews. Often, we get a lot of people who are anti-pre-interview in the podcasting world. We get guests who don’t want to participate them and hosts who hate them because they think they’re a waste of time and they want to do it organically on the fly and authentically on air, but you’ve chosen to add them in. Why? What’s the benefit for you?

I’m a planner. It’s how I’m made. I was wired that way. I did not do them at first. I started rolling right in. What I discovered was there were so many times I wished I had. Had I walked in with a little more information and a little more knowledge that wasn’t on their guest profile or anywhere on their social media, but I heard something, I wished I had that before so I could have prepared for it and chased it. After you do the same mistake 2 or 3 times, it’s time for a change. I don’t want to keep circling the same drain over and over again.

I instituted it. Some people don’t like to do them. If they don’t like to do them, they won’t do them, and then they won’t be a guest. They have made that choice. That’s their choice. For me, it’s in line with everything else I do. I tell my daughters all the time, “Prior planning prevents poor performance.” It’s that old British Army adage. This is important. You can do this. You can choose to plan and prepare. I’ve never regretted that. Since I started doing the pre-interviews, I’ve never regretted making that choice.

 


Let’s talk a little bit about the model of your guests. Are your guests your ideal clients?

Some of them are. My ideal coaching clients are marketing agency owners. These are people who have built something to a point but then have to find a team, build a team, and coalesce a team to focus on fulfillment. That is a key. I do have marketing agency owners on the show or people who will add value because that’s the audience who’s listening. I want to make sure that every episode is going to add value to those who are listening. I want to make sure that wherever they are, they can walk away with something that is of value that they can take and say, “I can do something with that.” If I hit that in every episode, to me, that’s a home run.

You’re focused on being in the right place. You do need to pre-interview because you need to make sure what stage are you going to talk about and where are you going to guide this because it is a journey for those who are listening. You need to make sure you don’t drop something in that process that they need to hear. That is important. Plus, there’s the added bonus of you potentially having an extra touchpoint with someone who might be your client too or might refer you to other agency owners who they know who should be your client.

Every conversation that we have is a networking opportunity, whether it’s with a podcast guest, a podcast host, somebody on LinkedIn, or wherever it is. It’s an opportunity to build a relationship. It’s not just what we get in the moment. You’re building a relationship from here going forward. I want to make sure that I’m adding value to those relationships. If there’s a way I can bring value as a coach, then I want to make sure I’m available for that as well.

Every conversation that we have is a networking opportunity. It's an opportunity to build a relationship. Click To Tweet

I always go over everybody’s binge factor at a certain moment in time and pick it randomly. Yours is right now. This is the difference between your show and the others. There are a lot of shows on leadership out there. There’s no question about it. Yours has its little edge with marketing agencies and other things. It’s found its place within that, but the difference is the energy that you are bringing to it.

Every opportunity to connect with my guest, my audience, and that world is an opportunity and not, “I have to do this to get my podcast out.” There are a lot of people and hosts out there who are running through a plan or a system, but they don’t feel the opportunity in it. Your energy in seeing that as the opportunity is what makes me want to listen to your show because you’re maximizing what you’re doing. You’re not just phoning in a pitch.

That’s a mindset shift, and it’s one that every one of your listeners can make. It’s a choice you have to make. It’s exactly what you said. It’s from, “I have to,” to, “I get to.”

It’s coming across in your show because I listen to some of your early episodes. I always do it because I like to hear how far you’ve come in terms of that. That’s one of the reasons I always pick one of the first episodes somebody does. I heard a little hesitation and a little lack of confidence in the process, but I didn’t hear a difference in believing what you were doing. That has stayed continuous through the episodes that you’ve done. You believe that this is something worth investing your time and energy in, and it’s coming across.

I love that. Thank you for that.

You’re welcome. Let’s talk a little bit about the scaling model. You’re hitting that year point or that one year in and 50-plus episodes. You’re thinking, “Maybe it’s time for a little shift. Maybe it’s time for some adjustments. It’s time to scale.” What’s next for you here?

I shifted from producing once per week to now producing twice per week. Two episodes a week is a different level of commitment, but what I found was that I had so many guests that I had connected with. We had set up a pre-interview, and I wanted to proceed. We did the recording, and they were backlogged. I thought if I go once a week, I’m six months ahead. That’s a long stretch between recording and when it goes live. I made the decision, “I’m going to go ahead and get this backlog going. We’re going to go twice a week for a while to do that.”

That’s something new I’m trying. We will see how this works. We will see what the response is from the audience or the listeners if they say, “It’s too much,” or if they say, “We enjoy this. Give us more.” It gives me a chance to have more interviews. I’m now talking with people that I was not talking with previously. Previously, I had been limited to PodMatch. That’s where I found all of my guests. Now, I’m talking to people on LinkedIn and PodMatch. I’m talking with people straight out in LinkedIn conversations. Once I see a little bit more about them and what they’re doing, I’m inviting them onto the show if they would like to have a conversation about that.

That has increased the pool as you might expect exponentially. There are so many good people that I want to talk to. My goal was to have conversations that I would want to listen to. There are a lot of conversations that I would like to listen to, but I’m not going to have as many of those as I can. Two a week is enough. I’m not going to go any more than that, but this is a way that I can increase the number of people that I’m able to talk to and listen to, share their stories, highlight and spotlight them, and help people who are listening.

TBF William Attaway | Catalytic Leadership
Catalytic Leadership: Have conversations that you would want to listen to.

 

It’s so good that you’re doing that because you’ve invested a lot of time into producing the episodes because you do a pre-interview and then the interview. If you wait that long, there’s a loss of momentum from the guests sharing it. That can have a detrimental effect on the popularity of the episode and its circulation, and then it’s not getting out there anywhere but to the subscribers that you’ve already worked your butt off for. You’re not growing that. That’s so smart.

I did a coaching call about this thing, and so few people want to amp it up. Sometimes it’s budget, and I get that. It’s hard to produce episodes. It’s a budgetary issue of doing more than one a week, but at the same time, the loss of value in getting that guest to promote your show seems not worth it to me. I’m so glad you’ve decided to do it. I do think you’re right about it. It’s a tipping point between the value from the guest and the circulation to getting new subscribers against, “Do I overwhelm my existing subscribers? Is this too much of a pace?” Two is not bad. If you go five days a week all of a sudden from one, that’s a different show.

There’s no doubt. I don’t have the margin for that.

It’s a lot. That’s smart. I’m glad to hear you’re doing that because I’ve seen that where shows are way far ahead. I do see that their growth is stunted because. It simply is because that sharing energy isn’t there.

From the beginning, I knew I needed to stay ahead. My goal was to be 4 to 6 weeks ahead.

That’s optimum.

That’s a good spot, but so many of these conversations and opportunities kept coming. I was like, “I’m going to lean into that.” All of a sudden, I found myself with a couple of dozen episodes recorded.

You’re like, “I’m ahead.”

I’m way ahead. It’s too much of a good thing.

I can see why you would book. A lot of people were like, “I only book two appointments on my calendar a week. I only book one.” You can’t get that far ahead because of how they do it, but I could see from the way you are as a person with all the books behind you on your shelf there that you were like, “This is a learning opportunity.” You were accepting the conversation and the power of the moment. I could see you doing that. You find yourself so far ahead all of a sudden, but I’m glad you worked out that mechanism for making sure that you flow through it without saying, “I’m going to take my foot off the gas and coast for now.”

I’m not a coaster. That’s not my nature. I tell people all the time, “You never drift into excellence. You drift into mediocrity.” I’m not interested in that.

You never drift into excellence. You drift into mediocrity. Click To Tweet

That’s such good advice there. Let’s talk a little bit about the challenges to scaling at this level. Going up to two episodes is a challenge in and of itself functionally. What is the biggest challenge for you going into year two?

It’s the time involved to go through all the pre-stuff, the pre-interview, the scheduling, the rescheduling when something happens if somebody has to reschedule, getting everything recorded, the backend, the editing, the production, and the uploading. I’m still doing all of that. That’s a pretty significant time commitment. I’ve doubled it. That’s more time.

What I’m finding now is I need to be intentional about the time blocking that I do to make sure that I can stay ahead, but that requires a lot more time. That’s a big challenge for me. I’ve got to be more intentional with it. We all get the same 168 hours a week. Nobody puts anything on my calendar except for me. Knowing that if my calendar is too full if I don’t have any margin, I only have one place to look for the responsible party, and that’s right in the mirror.

I love that. You’re owning up to that scheduling, that time, and that situation of so many episodes you got yourself into. You’re owning up to that and figuring out a path for that. With the indicators in your show, your episode titles, and your descriptions, I can tell you put good time in it, but you also have best practices. You know what’s working. I see a lot of maximizing of value coming from the effort that you’re putting in. It’s not a wasted effort. That’s the one thing I could tell for sure. There are a lot of things that people do that are not worth the time and the energy. The part that you’re putting time into is worth it.

It gets to the point where our shows have a level of professionalism that is necessary for us to live up to how we want to show up, but also, it is a lead generator for us. We need to play at a specific level. Agency owners are a little picky. If that’s your audience, then you want them to know that you know what they’re dealing with. You know what they’re doing. You do want to have that. It does have to match your audience.

There’s no doubt. I have to be intentional about the people that I know and the clients that I know who will listen. Would they choose this show? Would they pick this out? Is this an episode they would choose and say, “That could help me?” What’s the title? Is the title going to draw them in? Is the title something that you’re saying, “Meh.”

Too often I find it people are like, “I’ll put the person’s name. They will recognize it,” but that’s not the case, especially for somebody growing a business at the level you want to reach them. They’re so busy that they don’t always know what’s going on in their industry. Name recognition means nothing to them, but the topic means something, and that’s what you’re putting in. Putting in both makes a difference.

Don’t stop that. You’re doing that right. That’s good. I’m glad to see that. What occurred to me though is that there has to have been some return on investment for your time, whether that’s in direct monetary value that you’ve received or business that you’ve received, but there has to be something that’s feeling to you as a return on investment. What are those things that you’ve found?

The first thing I would say to that is the comments that I get or the feedback that I get from listeners when somebody says, “This episode hit me. The questions that you asked, what they said, and this information is going to help me move from where I am and where I’ve been stuck. This is going to help me get unstuck. This is going to help me move closer to where I want to be. Thanks for sharing that.” When I hear something like that, that makes me feel like we did a good job with that one. That was the center of the bullseye. The more shows you do, the more feedback you get. I read every review on the show. I want to know what people are thinking. I want to know, “Are we hitting the center of the bullseye?”

If you’re familiar with the five love languages, mine is words of affirmation. I’m going to hear those things when somebody says, “This helped. This was helpful. This added value.” I’m going to hear that, receive that, and say, “This is the fuel I need to do 100 more episodes.” I’ve also gotten clients from this. That has been another thing that people have seen value in the show and said, “I want to have more conversations. There’s some wisdom here that would help me move from where I’m stuck to where I want to be.”

I’m able to come alongside them as a mindset and leadership coach and help them in that way. That has been something as well. My goal is to help people where they are. A podcast is a tool that I can put out there for free that people can benefit from, whether they can afford to hire me as their coach or not. They can benefit from so much insight and wisdom that people share that they can listen to anytime they want.

TBF William Attaway | Catalytic Leadership
Catalytic Leadership: A podcast is a tool that you can put out there for free that benefits people with the insight and wisdom that others share, and they can listen anytime they want.

 

It’s so true that we put these things out there. Getting that feedback loop happening is a tipping point for a lot of people. It’s the part where I said, “I can keep going with this. This is having the effect that I want.” The business comes always a little bit after that, but it does come when we start to hear that value.

It was 6 or 7 months after I started before I got a client from it.

Did you get a client from your listeners or your guests first?

From a guest.

That’s typically what we see as well. It will start with the guest. Sometimes it’s not just the guest becoming a client, but it’s the guest referring somebody ideal because of the conversation you had. That can happen as well. You did the guesting first. I want to do a little conversation on the contrast between the two. Did you feel that same connection in the guesting that you feel in your show? You’re still only having 1 to 2 conversations with people, so it’s not that dramatically different. Do you feel a difference between guesting and hosting?

It’s a very different experience. It’s still an opportunity to build a relationship. I did not realize that quite so much early on in the guesting, and because there were so many of them. In one month, I had nineteen different interviews. If you do that many inside of a month, it begins to feel like it’s rote. You’re not connecting because you’re thinking about the next seven shows you’ve got that week. That gets into a different thing.

When I started to realize, “This is a relationship opportunity. This is an opportunity to listen, hear, and get to know. And invest into somebody,” when that light switch came on, it was like, “This is different. This is an opportunity. Let’s see it that way. Let’s leverage it. Let’s not waste this. This is a chance to talk to people I would never talk to otherwise on both sides of the table.”

TBF William Attaway | Catalytic Leadership
Catalytic Leadership: Podcast guesting and hosting are both relationship opportunities. They’re a chance to talk to people you would never talk to otherwise on both sides of the table.

 

It’s different once you have that perspective of being a host. There’s intention in a show. You have an intention. You have an audience that you want to meet. It makes us a little more discerning about our choices of who we guested on.

For sure. There’s no doubt about that.

You may not have chosen those 80 shows you did before this time around if you were doing it again because you understand that from doing it.

These days, I’m going to research a show before I appear on it because I want to make sure I’m going to add value in the way that they add value to their listeners. I want to make sure I’m not bringing something that’s going to be diametrically opposed. I’ll turn down way more shows than I’ll appear on because I’m not a good fit. If they don’t see that, I see that. I don’t want to show up, and then they have to figure out how to make this work. That’s not honoring them as the host.

Let’s talk a little bit about the challenges that most of your clients are facing, which is the idea of scaling with teams. They’re bringing in teams. It’s at this level. This happens at a tipping point on a lot of podcasts about a year to a year and a half in or somewhere around there. They decide, “I need to get a team in.” It goes horribly wrong sometimes. What are some best practices that you’ve found in that team growth side when that moment happens that you’re about to add staff, agencies, or other things into the mix of it for you and stop doing things yourself? What are some best practices? What are some things that we can look for in mindsets?

The first thing I would say is this. Moving from a freelancer to a team leader is a big shift. If you are hiring that team from scratch, you have to understand that you are creating the DNA of the team. You’re the leader. The DNA is your responsibility. You cannot abdicate it and delegate it. You have to be very intentional in how you are going to create the DNA of a team that you’re starting from scratch. What’s it going to be like? What do you want it to feel like to be a part of this team? You decide that.

I watched too many leaders go 1 of 2 directions. They abdicate the leadership role and say, “I didn’t sign up to be a boss. I got out of that world. I don’t want to boss anybody. Everything is going to be flat. It’s all going to be flat.” That’s a terrible decision. That does not go where you want it to go. That road doesn’t end well. They say, “I’ll figure it out as I go. I’ll build a plane while I’m flying it.” As they’re driving, they hit every single ditch you can imagine on that road because they have never driven before.

Both of those are bad, and there’s a better way. When you’re building a team, and I say this all the time, I would rather have nobody than the wrong body. Who you choose to be on your team matters. You do not want to get a warm body. You want the right person. I like how Jim Collins says this. Companies always say, “Our people are our most important asset.” He says, “That is wrong. The right people are your most important asset.”

Who you choose to be on your team matters. You don’t just want to get a warm body. You want the right person. Click To Tweet

We are deluding ourselves when we say we’re going to go in and hire a virtual assistant. That’s not team building. That happens all the time. Someone is like, “I’ll put an assistant on it. It will be fine. I don’t have to deal with culture or any of these things.” I’m thinking to myself, “You don’t know.”

What are you going to learn?

You’re going to learn the hard way how you’re represented out there and how you don’t have any systems and processes. You’re only as good as what that person brings. It is not something that they go into with the right mindset about it. That’s the one thing I see. They treat assistance as a very different model like it’s not a team.

They treat them like cogs in a machine, “I need you to do this task. Do this task this way. That’s all I need from you. Thank you very much.” The problem is people aren’t cogs, and they don’t like to be treated like cogs. When you treat them like cogs, they are going to treat your clients or your customers also like cogs. We will pass through. I don’t know a client or a customer that wants to be treated like that. If it happens more than once, it won’t happen again because they will go somewhere else.

People aren't cogs, and they don't like to be treated like cogs. When you treat them like cogs, they are going to treat your clients like cogs. Click To Tweet

You choose the people on your team. If you’re building, you get to choose that. That’s one of the joys of being an entrepreneur. Do not fall into the trap of thinking, “They’re not an employee. They’re a contractor. I’m hiring them to do this thing.” They’re part of your team. You get to create the DNA for your team, and that’s going to pass through them to the people that you’re serving.

I was thinking about this as you were saying that with your target client being a marketing agency or agency owners in general. If they don’t get this right, that’s one of the very big problems with it. When you hire an agency, you’re not hiring the owner. If they have not done their job, the DNA of it is not following through. I see people burn through a lot of agencies on the other side because they didn’t get what they thought they were hiring.

They thought they were hiring the person at the top. That’s not who you’re getting. You’re getting their team. It’s so important. I watched too many people hit the ditches on this. There’s a better way you can be intentional. You can invest in people and build a team where they feel valued. When people feel valued, 1.) They’re going to stick around. 2.) They’re going to pass that value on to your customers or your clients.

It’s so important. All of you know why I invited William to the show. It’s because I wanted to pick his brain and hear about this. It’s important to find shows out there that speak to you at the same time that you might be researching something. You might be checking out and investigating shows that you want to be a guest on. You might want to have them on your show.

There are all those things out there. As we’re doing it, we listen for these things that are going to provide us an opportunity to learn. I love that you put it that way. Every chance is an opportunity for you to learn it. That’s who you want to show up as now. It’s the number one reason why I invited you to the show. I knew I wanted to learn from you, William. Before we go, what is your advice to our startups or ones who maybe haven’t gotten their show kicked off yet?

Get started. Get going. You’re never going to get to episode 50 until you do episode 1. You’re going to learn things, and episode one is not going to be great. My episode 1, episode 7, and episode 15 were not great, but over time, you learn, develop, adjust, and evaluate. That’s how you get better. Experience does not make you any better. Evaluated experience makes you better.

You evaluate every episode. You ask, “What went right? What went wrong? What would I do differently next time?” When you ask those three questions, you’re going to carry that learning forward. If you haven’t started yet, start now. Get it kicked off and understand all the things I said. You’re not going to start hitting on all cylinders. You’re not going to start with a five-star episode, but you’re going to learn.

I’m so glad you’ve got the Catalytic Leadership podcast out there. I’m glad you’re headed into two episodes a week because that’s going to be valuable. Have some great conversations. I look forward to seeing who’s on your show next.

Thank you so much. This has been a lot of fun.

One of my favorite things about getting to meet new guests is learning something. It’s a curiosity model for me to learn what other people are doing, how they’re doing things right, and where they are stumbling because it gives me opportunities for things that I could create or ways that I could provide support. All of those things come together, but the thing that I love the most is I love to invite someone on my show first. I like to be the first gift. I like to have them on my show and then let them see if there’s synergy and if they would like to invite me to their show.

I never invite myself first. It’s not a strategy that I put in place. What it does is exactly what Williams does in his process where he’s pre-interviewing. In a sense, when someone is coming on my show, I’m pre-interviewing them about whether or not their show has synergy for me, and I even want the opportunity. It saves me time and energy, but more importantly, it demonstrates a mind share of value between the two. If it clicks and if it’s right, then I know we’re going to support each other better.

I’m a big fan of the pre-interview model from a discerning podcaster mode. It might not be the way to go in the beginning when you’re building your show because frankly, you need more guests. You don’t always know what guests are going to resonate. Sometimes the pre-interview process can screen people out because they don’t have the time to do it, or if they’re a seasoned podcast guest, they are not going to participate in that. That’s okay later on, but maybe early on, you want them.

I love that William built this in. He’s over 50 episodes, and he decided along the way that this made sense for him. It got him better content and better connections. It might even get him better clients and better referrals. As it’s going forward for him, it’s going to do more of that. He found that this is a way for him to stay authentic to the goals that he has for the show and create a value add for all involved, the guest, the listener, himself as the host, and his business in that process.

I look forward to getting to know William some more as we go along and seeing how he grows his show into the next stages and everything because I love the way he talked about evaluating everything along the way. It’s great to have an experience, but if you’re not evaluating that experience and knowing, “Did this work for me? Was this right for me?” that’s such a valuable insight right then and there.

If you take nothing away from what you heard, and I hope you’re going to take a bunch of things away because I did, take away this idea that at each stage of your show, you should be evaluating, “How did that go? How did that feel? Is this something I could keep doing? What should I try differently next time?” Making these small adjustments along the way is going to hedge you into a big result on the other side. Every little improvement you make can have a magnifying effect.

That’s Dr. William Attaway of Catalytic Leadership. I want you to check out his show and listen, not just because you can hear some great tactics and ways of doing things but because his guests are all agency owners. A lot of them are marketing agency owners. You are going to pick up a lot of tips on how to market your show by listening. I randomly picked three episodes and got three great ideas or nuggets from each episode of things I could be trying and doing differently in my marketing. I know that you’re going to find the same as well. Go check out Catalytic Leadership everywhere you listen to podcasts on your favorite app and follow Dr. William Attaway. Thanks, everyone, for reading. I’ll be back next time with another host. Let’s hear how they’re taking their show to the next level.

 

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Tracy Hazzard

Tracy Hazzard

Tracy Hazzard is an Authority Magazine columnist, former Inc. Columnist on disruptive innovation, and host of 5 top-ranked podcasts including: The Binge Factor and Feed Your Brand–one of CIO’s Top 26 Entrepreneur Podcasts. She is the co-founder of Podetize, the largest podcast post-production company in the U.S. As a content, product, and influence strategist for networks, corporations, marketing agencies, entrepreneurs, publications, speakers, authors & experts, Tracy influences and casts branded content with $2 Billion worth of innovation around the world. Her marketing methods and AI-integrated platform, provides businesses of all sizes a system to spread their authentic voices from video to podcast to blog, growing an engaged audience and growing valuable digital authority.
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