1821 – Mastering Leadership and Communication with Jeremy Doran

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks to the President of Pinnacle Performance, Jeremy Doran.

Doran Wide

One of the main topics Jeremy dove into was the often challenging transition from being an excellent producer to stepping up as a manager. This is a scenario many professionals, especially those with engineering and technical backgrounds, find themselves in. When you transition from a producer to a manager, the game changes significantly as you shift from focusing on details and tasks to a higher-level perspective.

The transition requires a new skill set that places leadership and communication at the forefront. It's no longer just about your output but about how you can inspire and guide a team to achieve collective goals. This can be a daunting shift, but it's crucial for the growth of the individual and the organization.

Jeremy discussed the power of effective communication in the workplace. It's not just about conveying information but about connecting with people on a deeper level. Active listening plays a vital role here. It's about truly hearing what others are saying, understanding their perspective, and responding in a way that shows you value their input.

Jeremy's podcast, “How to Talk to Weirdos,” tackles this issue. The title might raise eyebrows, but it's a candid take on workplace diversity. We all have our quirks and idiosyncrasies, and learning to communicate effectively with people who might not share our views or approaches is a skill worth mastering.

Key Points from the Episode:

  • Leadership coaching
  • Effective communication
  • Transitioning from producer to manager
  • Importance of active listening
  • Challenges in engineering and technical backgrounds
  • Communicating with diverse individuals
  • Jeremy Doran's podcast “How to Talk to Weirdos”
  • Glenn Poulos introducing Jeremy Doran
  • The significance of effective communication in the workplace

About Jeremy Doran:

Jeremy Doran specializes in assisting individuals who excel in their roles but face challenges upon transitioning to management. With a background in Mechanical Engineering, Jeremy uniquely empathizes with those in STEM fields, guiding them through a transformative journey.

Jeremy's expertise in mindset adjustment and skill development is essential for effective management and leadership. His keynote talks predominantly focus on communication within the context of leadership, emphasizing its pivotal role.

He particularly enjoys aiding STEM professionals in refining their communication skills beyond their specialized domains. By drawing from personal experience and understanding the struggles in the engineering realm, Jeremy Doran provides valuable insights and strategies for individuals navigating the complexities of managerial roles, fostering their growth into exceptional leaders.

About Pinnacle Performance:

Pinnacle Performance focuses on bridging the gap between individual expertise and effective management, recognizing that skill in a specific role doesn't inherently translate to managerial success. The program targets professionals newly promoted to management, emphasizing the cultivation of essential leadership and organizational skills.

Pinnacle Performance offers tailored training modules to enhance communication, decision-making, and team-building capabilities. By addressing the nuances of effective leadership, the program equips individuals with the tools needed to successfully navigate the challenges of managerial roles.

Through a comprehensive approach, Pinnacle Performance empowers emerging leaders to excel in their new positions and fosters a supportive and productive work environment. With a commitment to skill development, the program ensures that promotion aligns with the growth of both individuals and the organizations they serve.

Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Want to learn more? Check out Pinnacle Performance website at

Check out Pinnacle Performance on LinkedIn at

Check out Jeremy Doran on LinkedIn at

Check out Jeremy Doran on Instagram at

Check out Jeremy Doran on Facebook at

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Josh (00:00:05) - A thoughtful listener before we get going. Did you know that my company up My has launched more than 200 business podcasts. The host of our shows are amazing leaders and collaborators. Folks I want to connect you with. Maybe you deserve your moment in the spotlight as a guest of one of these amazing shows. Just go to up my, where you can see more than 50 shows that are actively seeking business leader guests like you to celebrate right now in front of their high caliber audiences. Just click on the podcast tab Add up my, where you'll see shows like Profit, Powerhouse with Glenn Poulos, sales negotiations, and business insights. This isn't just another business podcast, it's a deep dive into the strategies that truly drive success. Hosted by Glenn Poulos, a seasoned sales strategist and business growth expert. Each episode is packed with insights from top executives and business leaders. If you're a high level executive looking to share your expertise and story, we want you on profit powerhouse. Your experiences could be the exact insights Glenn's audience of ambitious business leaders are craving.

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Jeremy (00:02:08) - With us.

Josh (00:02:09) - Right now it's Jeremy Doran. Jeremy, you're a speaker coach, you're an author, and you are a podcaster. You are found on the web, a couple places pinnacle, Dash performance, dot com, and of course, your personal website. Jeremy Doran I'll just point this out to your podcast for our fellow podcast listener that's tuning in right now. You can search for this show right now. It's called How to Talk to Weirdos, which we'll talk about.

Josh (00:02:37) - Jeremy, thank you so much for joining us.

Speaker 3 (00:02:39) - Thank you. It's a pleasure to be here.

Josh (00:02:41) - Yeah. Well, Jeremy, um, give us maybe just a quick overview of the work that you do in the world and your message.

Speaker 3 (00:02:47) - I do a lot of leadership coaching for people who make the transition from being excellent producers to being managers. And that transition is pretty tough. They need to change their mindset and the way they do things. But I also have fallen into doing a lot of coaching for engineers who have become managers. My background in engineering and psychology. So it just kind of happened. And when engineers make that transition, they have a little extra issue because they tend not to communicate the way other people do. So I've started doing public speaking, and my podcast is really about communicating with people who are different than you.

Josh (00:03:28) - You know, I think we may all remember if we've seen the movie Office Space, where there's that kind of that, you know, that scene where they talk about why they need that middle guy, right.

Josh (00:03:38) - Because engineers don't speak sales and sales and marketing don't speak engineer. I would imagine that might be some aspect of the work that you do. Yeah it.

Speaker 3 (00:03:47) - Is. I try to help them so they can cut out the middleman and actually communicate with each other, whether it's Stem people who are trying to get funding, they're talking to people who think very different or, you know, once you get promoted and you're a manager and you're dealing with people throughout the rest of the company, there's a lot of miscommunication. And I try to help people figure out how to navigate that.

Josh (00:04:08) - Yeah. And Jeremy, tell me about, um, like, tactically, what that looks like when people engage with you, like, how do you serve?

Speaker 3 (00:04:16) - Well, I mentioned two different things. If it is coaching someone who's making that transition in general, it's normally an 8 to 12 week program because I like teaching a lesson. Having them practice it, come back, see what worked, what didn't work, and then build from there.

Speaker 3 (00:04:32) - But I'll also do workshops on things like communication or active listening. That may be a 2 to 4 hour workshop where they can just really dive into one particular topic and, you know, listening is a great one. Or if it's communication in general, a lot of it's just understanding just how different everybody is and figuring out what assumptions you're making when you communicate so that you can get past those and and communicate better.

Josh (00:04:59) - Yeah. I mean, I would say, you know, I'm one of the I would say few, but, you know, I don't know that everybody has a tech background. I that was my background and I just, I think happened to have the personality that made me a little bit more suited for, you know, kind of the CEO kind of front facing role. So I feel like historically, you know, I've been through a few startups now that's been helpful for me. Um, you know, but but again, most people don't have this. Usually they've kind of picked a lane.

Josh (00:05:29) - And listen, I'm a marketing guy. And those engineers, I don't know what they're talking about. Right. And so what would be maybe some you know, if we were giving like a one on one talk, you know, to a group of maybe some simple things that they can do to kind of better work together or, um, you know, maybe it's I don't know if it's, you know, kind of leaning into, you know, just a different way of listening or more adept, you know, at that those listening skills maybe kind of give us your mini Ted talk on on things we can implement today.

Speaker 3 (00:06:00) - For engineers specifically. One thing I'll always tell them is your boss doesn't need all the details. The common joke about engineers is you ask them what time it is and they'll tell you how to build a watch. Ah, the person running the business does not want to know how to build that watch. Um, and that's just one aspect of personalities, whether you really love the details or you love the big picture.

Speaker 3 (00:06:25) - So if I'm working with a group, I'll often start with a personality profile and help them just understand. And once you really see how differently people think, it helps you believe that you have to change the way you communicate. So whether it's, as I said, not giving all of the details to someone who doesn't want all the details and just telling them what you need from them, that's one example.

Josh (00:06:53) - Could you break that down maybe just a little bit more? Because I'm wondering if someone says, well, I don't know, then what to really focus on versus I'd like to because, you know, again, it's there might be this innate need to want to be able to explain how cool this thing is or how this works, or how we figured this out and solve this. Right. And so it's very tempting to want to do that. But, um, so how do we let's say that, you know, we've got a sheet of all the things we want to say, how do we know what to cross off? Ask.

Speaker 3 (00:07:23) - And a lot of it depends on how busy the person is. But if you ask up front, if you say go in with a complaint and you let the person know what you want from telling this complaint, it makes the conversation a lot easier. If you go in and all you want is someone to listen to you, that's one thing. If you want them to solve the problem for you, that's a totally different thing. So if you go in with a, say, a complaint and say, I'm going to tell you a thing that's bothering me, can you help me solve it? Or can you just listen and validate if I'm correct? In the other example I gave of, you know, asking for something from your manager, ask how much time they have, say, hey, I need something from you. Do you want the one minute version or the ten minute version? And they'll tell you what they want. And if they only want to know, like I need the key to the back office.

Speaker 3 (00:08:15) - Great. Here's the key. I don't care why I saved so much time and pain.

Josh (00:08:20) - You know what might be some kind of rules of thumb that we could use? Let's say that, you know, we're coming from more of the tech side of things, and we're really frustrated with a few things. So like, we're already coming in and you know, there's, you know, the team is angry. I'm upset about something. And I'm mad at those guys. Like, you know, how could we center ourselves, you know, how can we go into a potentially an environment where there may be some conflict involved?

Speaker 3 (00:08:53) - Yeah. When there is potentially conflict, removing yourself from the emotion as quickly as possible is great. If you start a conversation and you're getting really frustrated, that is probably not the time when you can resolve the issue. If you can then say, hey, let's both think of how we can come to an agreement or come to a solution and meet back in an hour or two, then that kind of puts that emotion off to the side so you can think about the solutions.

Speaker 3 (00:09:23) - But I, I tell every employee, any time that you're making a complaint to your boss or another team, you have to have a solution in your back pocket. You can't just go and dump it on them. You have to go and say, hey, here's a problem we're having. Here's a thought that I had about how you might solve it, and that takes a lot of the pressure off of them to just do your job for you. And then it starts a conversation.

Josh (00:09:50) - Can you tell me a little bit more about that, why that's so critical to come in with ideas rather than, again, just dump it on a senior leader or someone else in another department and say, you fix it.

Speaker 3 (00:10:02) - Right. And sometimes that is what you have to do. But I look at it, I started from the reverse side when I was a manager. People would come to me and I would be so busy I couldn't tie my shoes that day, and they would just keep coming to me with problems.

Speaker 3 (00:10:17) - And I would tell them the answer, and then they would go away. And I realized that I was just enabling them so they would come to me with a problem. I say, what would you do if I wasn't here? And they'd always resist? They're like, I'd call you. I'm like, nope, you can't call me. What would you do? Would they say, well, I you have to come up with a solution, what would it be? And they come up with any idea. And as long as it was even close to what I would have done, I said, great, try it, see how it goes, and report back to me. And they started getting in the habit of knowing I was not going to just solve their problem. It forced them to come to me with solutions, and it got them so much more engaged in everything that they were doing, and it made them so much better at their jobs because they were figuring out how to solve their own problems.

Josh (00:11:06) - Yeah. And I think that what a great reminder because, um, it's tempting. Right. Especially like thinking about it from the leadership perspective. You know, if you truly do have ideas like it's it's really easy to keep showing up with your brilliance every day, but there's some consequences to that, right? You want to maybe share just a bit about what those consequences are.

Speaker 3 (00:11:28) - Well, I talk about making that transition from being a doer to a manager. And the hardest thing is when you're a manager, you no longer have a product that you're building, you're no longer designing something or writing the paper or doing the thing that you got so much pride out of having a good product. When you become the manager, your pride and your product is the people, and you have to be proud when they do things well, not when you do anything well. So if you can make the mind shift from my product is my team, then it really changes the way you think about getting them to really engage in and solve problems so that you don't need to be there.

Speaker 3 (00:12:13) - The goal for every manager should be to obsolete yourself, so that you can then get promoted without leaving a gaping hole.

Josh (00:12:20) - I love it, I love it, and naturally, Jeremy, I'm sure you've stepped into some dysfunctional organizations where there's been, you know, kind of like there's just not that interdepartmental communication that's happening or or the kind of that up, down, uh, you know, within the organization, it's just there's blocks, there's some dysfunction there. What are the consequences of not addressing this or not taking this topic seriously?

Speaker 3 (00:12:48) - There are too many consequences to really talk about it. One one thing that I reference all the time is if people feel seen and heard. When they do, they are three times as likely to be highly engaged and highly engaged. People are at least 20% more productive on average, and they're much more likely to stay. So if you're having conflict within your own team where someone feels like they're not being heard or listened to, then it can cause that problem. If you're, you know, you're talking about having a translator between two kind of departments.

Speaker 3 (00:13:27) - If that translator is not there and, you know, the engineers are building something because it's the best thing they can build and it's awesome. And the salespeople are saying, but we want this other product because that's what the customers want. And then there's the people who have to do service and they say, we want it built this way, because that way we can actually service it. If those people aren't talking, then nothing's going to get done that makes anybody happy.

Josh (00:13:55) - You know, I want to share, Jeremy a bit about your podcast for those who are like podcasts, because you're listening to this one and you may be a really great fan of Jeremy, of your show, maybe. Who is this show for? Who should be subscribing and listening?

Speaker 3 (00:14:13) - You know, it started for engineers who have become managers and they need to change the way they communicate. But what I found is that it's anyone who communicates with people unlike themselves. So if you are a CEO and you're dealing with artists on the marketing side and engineers and, you know, salespeople, they're all very different personality types and they all hear and communicate in very different ways.

Speaker 3 (00:14:39) - So it's it's to help you communicate with people who are different than you are.

Josh (00:14:45) - Yeah. Your website. Jeremy I want to share this again is pinnacle Dash performance. And then of course Jeremy Doran So to our friends that's been listening to our conversation. They're like okay we're just kind of scratching the surface what you were talking about I may be familiar with a workplace or a company culture that might need a little bit of touching up. Where do they go from here? What would you recommend that they do?

Speaker 3 (00:15:09) - If you go to my web page, the Jeremy Dorn Speaks. Com there's a contact page. If you contact me then you are going to automatically get a PDF with seven steps for better listening, which goes a little bit more in depth. And then you'll also get a discount code for any future workshops that I do. The one that's coming up is also about listening. I'm really leaning into active listening right now.

Speaker 4 (00:15:35) - Yeah.

Josh (00:15:36) - I appreciate that. Jeremy Doran, again, your website is Jeremy Doran

Josh (00:15:42) - When you go to that website, if you just kind of scroll down the page, you'll see where there is the form where you can get a free PDF with seven steps to becoming a better listener. That certainly would be something that would, I think, be an asset to any organization. Jeremy Doran, this has been great. Again, your podcast as well, I wanted to share and that is how to speak to weirdos.

Speaker 3 (00:16:07) - How to talk to weirdos.

Josh (00:16:09) - How to talk to weirdos. Uh, so you can search for that as well. Jeremy Doran, again, thank you so much for joining us.

Speaker 3 (00:16:15) - Thank you. It's been a pleasure.

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