Garrison Wynn - The Future of Retirement and the Next Gen Workforce

Garrison Wynn CSP
March 30, 2021

Garrison Wynn CSP

You can have it ALL in ONE speaker! Motivation - Original Humor - Customized Content
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Brian Lord:

I'm Brian Lord, your host of the Beyond Speaking Podcast, and our guest today is Garrison Wynn. Garrison fuses comic timing and research to deliver motivational business and safety expertise. For over 20 years, he's engaged clients like Exxon Mobile, Caterpillar, Walmart, Verizon, the NFL, and even NASA at corporate and association events. He's an Amazon bestselling author and has been featured in Forbes Inc. magazine, and has developed industrial products still being sold in 30 countries. We've worked with Garrison for probably like 10 or 15 years now. So a long time. So Garrison, thanks for coming on today. We appreciate having you.

Garrison Wynn:

Thank you. Thanks for having me, Brian. I'm glad to be here. Glad to be here.

Brian Lord:

So the world has changed a whole lot in the past year and [Inaudible] quite a bit. What's one of the, and so one of the biggest challenges that leaders are facing right now is how to lead their teams remotely. What advice would you give leaders on how to do that successfully?

Garrison Wynn:

What's working right now, Brian, is number one is trust. Meaning they have to believe that you believe they're working. So if they think that you're at home watching some weird, like, uh, you know, Ben Affleck movie, you're not doing anything. You're, you know, you're in your underwear hanging out. If they believe you think that it's very difficult to have influence. So the first thing is, is they need to believe that you believe they're actually working. The, the second thing is, is that they have to kind of know what a good job looks like when it's finished, not just the steps to get there. So what does a complete good job look like? So clarity has never been so important when it comes to remote stuff. It's just a, really, a very, very big deal. What does success look like when it's actually finished and not just the process by which it happens? And then the third thing is that they need to know when you're gonna talk to them. Um, this whole idea of quality time and give my people quality time. They don't want quality time. They want to know when it's going to happen tomorrow at two o'clock. They want your time at two o'clock tomorrow. It's kind of like people say, "Oh, I- with my kids, I spend quality time." Your kids want to know when's daddy coming home that quality time. So what is it actually going to happen? I think that's the key. So those three things, a big trust upfront, they have to believe that you believe they're working. Number two, how clear is everything? What does a good job looks like when it's finished? And number three is when's it going to happen? Is there a consistent, regular time you'll communicate with them. That's the, that's the foundational part of it. And we find when it comes to remote manage remote employees, a lot of people look to the basics and wonder why the specifics don't work.

Brian Lord:

And why did you pick a Ben Affleck movie specifically as, as the go-to for when you're not working?

Garrison Wynn:

I guess there's always some weird Ben Affleck movie on Netflix. I mean, you know, and he won an Academy Award. How, how how's that possible?

Brian Lord:

You know, I'm really addicted. Like I cannot not watch Armageddon if it's on. Ben Affleck- and I mean, like, it's one of those things, like, I don't know, like it's such a cheesy movie, but I'm kind of, and that's what I'm thinking. Like that's, if I were, if I was supposed to be working in that came on, I would quit working and watch three 38 minutes...

Garrison Wynn:

And if, and if I'm your leader, I have to pretend like, I don't know that. And just trust the fact that you are working and you're not watching Armageddon, so.

Brian Lord:

Yep. So you were a manager at a Fortune 50 company and a young manager at that. You had to deal with change quite a bit as well at that time, two different time period, same change. And you were tasked with, you know, teaching World War II veterans, much your, your senior life experience and other ways on change. What, what was that experience like and what did you learn from it?

Garrison Wynn:

Well, I have to explain, first of all, a, that was in the eighties. And, uh, so I'm on a Zoom filter. I'm actually older than this. I would say, um, I'm like 112 years old in real life. But in the eighties and I was like 27 years old and I worked for this company, my boss got fired, I got his jobs. I'm literally, I'm 27 and I've got 71 direct reports at corporate I'm over 38 satellite areas. And I'm young and don't know what I'm doing. The guys that I'm dealing with, the corporate people, I'm dealing with the VP team, they were, they stormed the beaches in Iwo Jima. These are World War II guys. Like you seen the [Saving] Private Ryan or whatever they, they were there. And so I'd explained to them that technology, first of all, was actually a thing that existed. And number two, we have to have it now and I need $280,000. That's 1980s dollars to do it. So it was kind of difficult. And that change was difficult because I had to get buy in. People have to kind of really believe that it's something that'll get them where they want to go. And I think that's the same way with the day. We have to kind of let people know that we have to have things a certain way to be successful. We're going to have to treat employees a certain way. A lot of times we, we, we treat employees like the ones we used to have that no longer exists. We have to manage people for who they are and who we wish they were. And that was a big step back then letting these people know the World War II guys, if we don't have this, we can't have moderate employees.

Brian Lord:

What kind of resistance did you come up with?

Garrison Wynn:

I was talking to people who had shrapnel in their leg, you know, they're like, what are, you know, we don't need none of that stuff. We're not in the people business. We're in the business of doing business, whatever that meant, you know, back then, you know, a lot of resistance. Um, back in those days, they got in a room and smoked cigarettes and just beat ideas around and they, and they really, first of all, they were kind of brilliant. I I'll admit these guys were pretty good, but military management didn't really work outside the military, meaning that people don't like an autocratic process. Uh, they want to know people like to see that what they've done. People like to know their existing knowledge is valuable before they'll listen to your idea. And I think they didn't really understand that. So I had to kind of coach them in that direction. They did come around, but only after the competition was beating us, they had to see that we were losing before they made a move back then. And when they did, they did, they, they move quickly. So they actually, I, to their credit, they just move with lightning speed and they had to see they were losing first. So I had to explain everything like in, you know, military terms of the, or trying to the enemy of the competition. And they were very, they didn't want to use like take over the [Inaudible], they wanted to kill the competition. They wanted to destroy the competition. That's the kind of language they used back then.

Brian Lord:

So you've, you've been around a lot of different types of change. So, so one of the stories, if you're fine telling it here, I know that you are actually, I think part of the very first console video game.

Garrison Wynn:

Yeah. Weird story. So my dad worked for Magnavox and they developed this game called Odyssey, which was the first console video game. This is 1971. So I'm in the fifth grade. That's how old I am. I'm in the fifth grade. And my dad says, whatever you do do not take one of the four demos to school for show and tell. Seriously. So that's exactly what I did. And people went nuts. What was weird was the science teacher who you think had the most knowledge, just couldn't believe that the console affected the TV. He was convinced it was a special TV. He couldn't even understand it. So what it was basically was you plugged it in, it was just like a modern game. And there was tank and hockey and baseball. And my dad's made 400 phone calls after that. Anyway, eventually what happened was that they realized that the game probably should be for kids because it was designed to be for adults, Magnavox developed, developed it to sell it with a TV set. That was the idea. And so they said, what did I get? Maybe it should be for kids. So they tried to do it, but they didn't do it very well. And the CEO of Magnavox who my father said, wasn't the sharp guy didn't understand really the power of the game. And a company called a Atari, they thought back then, ordered 500 games, a company in Japan called Atari. It's A-tah-ree, ordered 500 games. And the rest of course is history, but that was Magnavox. Yep.

Brian Lord:

What, what did that help you learn about how to deal with change?

Garrison Wynn:

It helped me learn that sometimes you have to be realistic about it. If somebody wants something and they believe in it and it's hot in the moment you've got to take action. Sometimes change works when you do it in the right moment. Change is about timing. You can't wait too late. I've always felt like you got to hang on to the old idea, as long as you can, while still working and embrace the new one right at the right time. So I think timing is everything. Uh, Magnavox was right there at the exact moment and they just didn't think it was important enough. Again, they really believe that a video game was a way to sell TVs. They didn't understand the power of it on its own.

Brian Lord:

So what are the other things that are coming up a lot with a lot of change is, you know, the coming talent war. So I know people have talked about this for a bit. You know, companies are, are predictive even right now, there's employee unemployment, but, uh, companies are going to be, uh, having a hard time finding and keeping the right people. Uh, first of all, how do you find the right people and how do you keep the right people?

Garrison Wynn:

Well, you have to start with the problem. And the problem is we're getting ready to look at possibly half of a generation that will not be looking for a full-time job. They're going to work from home. They're gonna work part time. They're gonna deliver packages for Amazon, or they're going to be at a coffee shop doing nothing. But what they're not doing is working full-time job. That's going to shrink things dramatically. And as people are retiring an entire generation retires, there's only half a generation comes in to replace it. So what you're going to have to do, number one is look very hard for employees and you're going to have to have an unbelievably good offer. The war is not between corporations in talent because people say well talent won, no it's between the companies fighting over an employee. We're going to have to have an unbelievable offer, are gonna have to approve a fantastic employee experience and to find and recruit you're going to have to get real. So if you have a rural manufacturing facility, that's in Arkansas, you're not going to be able to attract anybody from LA. They're not coming. So, you know, you're gonna have to go to similar places. You're going to go to somewhere in Oklahoma to find people, to bring them into Arkansas. So when you're doing your social media and you're targeting clients, and hopefully you do have a social media campaign, that's specific to targeting a potential, I mean, potential candidates. Uh, you're going to have to get real about who they are about demographics and psychographics and knowing what they think and believe in and what would they be willing to do if they're going to move and to your area, it's gonna have to look a lot like the area they're already in and your beliefs have to be their beliefs. So it's really about understanding who people are and what they value. And remember the number one thing that all humans value is feeling valuable. So in that process, the employee is gonna have to really feel like you've value them for who they are. Again, not who you wish them to be.

Brian Lord:

How much do you think of the retiring generation is going to come back at some point? Um, you know, whether it's part-time or otherwise?

Garrison Wynn:

It's a big question. I would say that's, by the way, the great question. I think we're going to see 15 or 20% have to come back. There's no way around it. I'm talking to companies right now that are already talking to their retiring people say, look, we got an idea. We've got a plan. We've got a plan because they realized that there's no replacement for them. Uh, companies I'm talking to say that for every five retirees are bringing in one or two people, that's how far off it is.

Brian Lord:

Wow. Wow. That's crazy. That's crazy. One of the other things that's come about now, you know, we talked a little bit about the first at the first part is dealing with change. What are some successful ways people can view and deal with change and stress?

Garrison Wynn:

Well, the thing about it is, first of all, is to understand that stress is not a thing. Stress is not, there's not really any such thing as stress. Stress is a belief that you hold about something that gives you a feeling. In other words, people jump out of airplanes for fun. I'm going to jump out of airplane for fun. Usually strapped another dude, like, ah, that's fun. Right? And then they're hospitalized because of worry. Yeah. So it's really a belief that you hold. And if you believe that something is that important. If it's life or death, there's no way out they're going to be stressed out. Uh, but the leading cause of stress is a lot about your actions, the leading cause of stress is knowing exactly what you're supposed to be doing and consistently doing something else. That would be the leading cause of stress. If I know I'm supposed to be doing this, but I'm sidetracked with that. So a lot of stress is about planning on doing the work that you know, has to be done. Are we doing the difficult things first? Have we identified with the worst possible thing is, and we work on that first. That is simple as that is. It's huge. The last thing is this: Action and adaptability equate opportunity that action and adaptability equate opportunity. Are you flexible enough along the way to the goal. And sometimes flexibility is a combination between saying, "Hey, I think I can survive anything. I'm going to be okay. I've got some faith that things are gonna work out." And the other thing is, is are you willing to learn, are you willing to, to do something? Um, are you willing to change what you're doing to get to where you want to go? It's the willingness. And sometimes you don't have to be that good at change. If you're willing, then sometimes we'll be surprised. I've in my life. I've seen situations where I felt that it was too difficult to change, but I said, I'm going to try anyway. And I found that I actually moved ahead of other people who probably were better at it than I was. I just, I just was willing to, to make the attempt.

Brian Lord:

So, you know, for this, how do I like put putting speakers on the spot here. So how do you set up your day to avoid or deal with stress?

Garrison Wynn:

Well, the first thing I have to realize is I am a high energy guy and I operate on stress. I'm someone, my belief is it's gotta be done right. It's gotta be done perfect. And I, I make sure that I am honest with myself about myself. I'm a high strong dude. Okay. That is, there's no doubt about that. So since I know that about myself, I make sure that I stop and really take a look at what's important before I do anything. What is the most important thing I've got to do? And what's the thing we have to do. And if we don't do that, we've got a problem. And I make sure that I'm building my day around that. So there, I avoid that doing this right. When I'm worried about that, the second thing that I do, um, and it's kind of, uh, no one was to talk about this is that I, uh, I kind of allow myself, uh, to be who I am and realize when you're high strung like me, that you're going to have to apologize. And you have to do that. You know, you're either a person who never has an issue or you're good at apologizing. You have to be one of those two people. And so I'm good at telling people, guess what? My actions are wrong. I want you to know that I know my actions were wrong. We're going to get it. We'll be better here in 10 minutes. So when I'm working by people in my staff, I make sure that that's why I've had staff members for 20 years is because they know that I'm honest with myself about myself. And over time I got better. I'm much better, uh, than I was 10 or 15 years ago. There's, there's no doubt about that. But the last thing I want to say is that when in, in, in dealing with stress to get real about the situation about- The study has been done maybe every 10 years about, and it comes out the same way, 90% of everything everyone's worried about is never going to happen 90%. And that 10% is something you can actually deal with. So I'm real about the fact that as much as I feel the life or death stuff, that none of it's that real and that stress in fact is a belief that I'm holding. And if it's about a belief I can alter it manage, or at least acknowledge my beliefs. So that's what I do.

Brian Lord:

So speaking of things you've done, you've, uh, you've done a whole lot in your career. And one of those things was actually being a standup comedian and traveling around with Mitch Hedberg and some others. What, what, what was that experience like and any good stories to share from that?

Garrison Wynn:

I've got stories I can share that your viewers can't hear. Yeah. So there's a lot of stuff with it. Lot of stuff in the eighties, we can't talk about it anymore. You can't talk about that, but I can tell you that, um, a couple of Mitchell's a very, very nice guy, a very nice guy. I got very nervous. He may, he was so nervous. He made me nervous, uh, but a very nice guy. So I got to work with a lot of people on a famous people, um, have an ex-girlfriend that's famous. Um, so I got exposed to that. And what I learned was it's, uh, you know, about being good and being ready and being prepared. Um, but I guess the, the, the story who ask you about, so I, Rodney Dangerfield used to go to the comedy store in LA and he would go in there and he would help give notes to comedians. This was back when, uh, you know, Pauly Shore was about this big and Mitzi ran the thing. And, you know, Paula was a little pain in the butt. Um, and so it comedians like me. I was a road comic. I was a middle guy. There were probably 150 of us that nobody knew who we were. They were the headliners and stuff, and people like Richard Jeannie and, uh, people like Andrew Dice Clay, and, uh, all that kind of stuff. So, um, anyway, so, uh, Sam Kinison was the doorman back in the early days. Kennison he worked in door Mitzi. Wouldn't let him on stage, uh, think that she hated Lucy, Kay would let Lucy stay on stage. Um, but anyway, so, uh, I was coming off stage and I don't know Rodney, but he was there. And as I'm walking past him, I'm a young guy. I'm like 20 something years old. He goes, "Hey kid, Hey, kid lose the dolphin bit, dolphins aren't funny!" Rodney told me, and then people asked me, well, what was the dolphin bed? Well, the dolphin bit was this. Remember, this was really funny a long time ago, or maybe not so much. He said lose it. I said, you know, I was recently kicked out of the dolphin, the dolphin wrestling association for holding the blow hole. You can't, you can't do it. They can't hold the blow hole. So that was terrible.

Brian Lord:

I don't know what you're talking about. That was magic.

Garrison Wynn:

Anyway. But, uh, yeah, so, um, I had a good experience. I got to travel around, meet people and see people, but do understand a lot of people. They weren't famous when I knew them. So if some famous person calls me on the phone, Oh wow. This who's on the phone. They knew me before. So it's not like famous people reach out to me. I knew them when we were old, not famous.

Brian Lord:

Great. Great. Well, Garrison, thank you so much for joining us here on the Beyond Speaking Podcast. And, and for those watching and listening, you can check more out at Garrison Wynn on the premierespeakers.com website and, uh, from all of us here at Premiere Speakers and National Speakers, thanks for tuning in and make sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and anywhere else you check out podcasts. Thanks again.

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