#SitkinsIsTheSolution

It's OK To Be Challenged with Jeff Kirk

agency leadership podcast Mar 11, 2022
 

Brent Kelly:

Welcome to the Agent Leader Podcast. My name is Brent Kelly, your host. Thanks so much for joining me on another episode, so glad to have you with me. I've got a great guest today, and we'll get to my great guest in just a couple minutes here. But I do want to share as always the purpose, the mission of the Agent Leader Podcast. My goal, our goal, even with all the guests that we have on the podcast is to help you as an agency leader gain clarity, build consistency, and make a commitment to becoming your best version possible, which is a topic that we speak about all the time. In fact, if you're watching the video version of my podcast, you'll see behind me a copy of our book, which by the way I owe my guest his own personal copy. I'm finally getting more shipments in and I will tell you, I will speak on this.

Brent Kelly:

Hopefully by the time our audience listens to this, all the pre-ship books are finally in the hands of people. We have had some shipping delays and we're aware of that. But I want to get books to you. If you go to sitkins.com/bvp, we'll put a link here on the show notes. You can go to our site there to order a book for your agency, order as many as you like, give them to your team. But we're getting some great feedback. I'm really proud of what we put together for agencies out there. Also if you want the movie version of Best Version Possible, we have that as well. We've got the book and the movie. We want to make sure that we're multi-faceted here at Sitkins. You go to sitkins.com/vip for VIP, Very Important Person. So sitkins.com/bvp for the book or VIP if you want to watch the movie or hey, you know what? Do both.

Brent Kelly:

So with that, I want to get into the podcast interview today. And I mentioned I've got a great guest. The person I have with me today is one of our Sitkins network members. So I get to know Jeff and his team really well over the past year or so. And I'll say this and Jeff, I want you to intro yourself and talk about what you want with your family, and business, and all of that good stuff. But I know this, Jeff is a committed growth professional, but he is so just a great human being. And I'll say that, I didn't preface this Jeff, but just a great human being. I tell you, it's one of those things that makes this business fun. I know when working with clients, there are certain clients that you have that you just go, hey, listen, you're a great client, but they're just a great person. And I really mean that Jeff, you're just a quality individual. You're a husband, you're a father, you're a grandpa and you're leading your agency. So I've got Jeff Kirk from the great state of Ohio. The agency is Dostal & Kirk. Jeff, if you could just say hello to the audience, and then if you'd like, just share your background, family, insurance, whatever it comes to your heart and mind that our audience can get to know you better.

Jeff Kirk:

Sure. Well, first of all, thanks for having me on Brent, it's great to be with you as always and appreciate all the things that Sitkins does for our organization and us personally. So I'm probably a little grayer than most people that you have on here typically. So I began my 41st year in the business just this year. I started out from a small town in Ohio about an hour from Columbus, Ohio. And I started out with a small insurance company, a little regional domestic, Ohio based only company, a little mutual company right out of college, and went to work there as a personalized underwriter. Didn't know what I didn't know. And it was a great place to start. Great culture, great people. Ended up from there moving on to a couple of other insurance companies over the next few years and spent 20 years of my life on the company side. Got into marketing right away, found out that the underwriting desk was not the place for me to be.

Jeff Kirk:

I really needed to be outside where I could be developing more personal one on one relationships with people. So got lucky, got up with a great company and a regional company again, did business in about 25, 30 states, was with them, ended up with a national carrier then ultimately worked with a that was an international carrier. So got to see a lot of different things over that 20 year period, my family and I lived in Ohio, we lived in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Nashville, Tennessee, Indianapolis, Indiana. So we moved around quite a bit during that process and which was great because we got to meet so many really cool people and different parts of the country. And many of those folks remain really close personal friends today and some are business associates. And so that exposure was something we've always felt really grateful that we had an opportunity to do that and the company put us in that position.

Jeff Kirk:

I've been a student in the business I think pretty much my whole career. I got involved in CIC program and picked up my designation in 1989 and 93, picked up my CPCU designation. I have numerous financial designations. I just feel like you got to be a student of the business and I tried to do that throughout my career. I returned home so to speak about 21 years ago, opened up a scratch agency in my home town of Galion, Ohio, and was a one man shop doing a little bit of everything for about eight and a half years. And then I ended up merging with my current business partner and his father, and then ultimately we brought my son in as a business partner as well.

Jeff Kirk:

So it's an organization with four offices in North Central, Ohio, one in a Greater Columbus area and three in real small communities up fairly close to where my partner and myself are from. So it's a great opportunity for us. We're holistic planners. So we provide services, advice and council, and all things insurance, but also financial services as well. My individual expertise is more in the commercial lines, production area, but also I'm very involved in all things retirement. So qualified plans, non-qualified plans, pension plans, I advise corporations and plans on nonprofits on those plans and that's something probably I really enjoy probably the most of what I do. But yeah, it's been a great ride. The business has been so good to me, my family and our associates and I couldn't imagine doing anything else for 41 years.

Brent Kelly:

Yeah. Well, thanks for the recap. It's always interesting is to see people's experience and how they got to where they are today and what you're doing. And by the way, the gray thing, you said, gray hair, I don't know, I'm catching you pretty quickly here. People remind me of that often too. And my first boss said to me, Jeff, this is, well, let's see, 21 years ago now or something like that, 21, 22 years ago, he was like, when you get somehow gray you'll be able to speak at a higher level. So I'm hoping it's working. I don't know, but I'm doing my best.

Jeff Kirk:

I was told the same thing and I got gray really early. So I think I put my mind to it that's where I should go.

Brent Kelly:

Yeah. So at this point I can't stop it. It's just a runaway freight train. So I want to get to some of your challenges, but we talked even before I hit Record. And I want to ask you this, I think it's important. And we mentioned the agencies that we personally work with, they vary in size and scope. And you know this, we've talked about this, you're one of the smaller revenue agencies from that aspect that we work with. But as I was talking to you before, I loved your perspective on this, it's not just... To me there's large, medium, small revenue, however you want to define it, but there's also different types of thinking, right? You could be a medium or large agency and have small thinking, you could be a smaller agency in revenue but begin to have larger thinking. I think that's been something that you've addressed. So I don't know if this is a question or more of just your thoughts, Jeff, but what does that mean to you as far as being a big thinker or small thinker, and what has that meant for your agency?

Jeff Kirk:

Great question and one I'm happy to take on, because I think it's important to our agency. In fact, I've always viewed myself based on my experiences in the past of being more of a larger thinker or someone who doesn't have a lot of limitations in terms of what their thought process is. And so you get yourself into a bit of a comfort level there, and I was attending the Sitkins Elite 50, the first program back in the fall and I had a chance to talk to Roger at a break. And Roger challenged me a little bit on that and said, some of the things you sometimes might mention about the size or location of your agency and some of the account sizes that you work, he goes, I would define those as more of self-limiting beliefs.

Brent Kelly:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jeff Kirk:

And I really took that to heart. And that resonated with me. It wasn't really fun to listen to or hear at the time, but I think he really did catch something there. I think might've gotten a little bit complacent over the years and really haven't thought about just because we're in a small area, doesn't mean we have to be small. It doesn't mean we need to think small, we want to think big. We want to make sure that we are providing solutions to our clients that anyone in any major metro area could do. And while we thought that way over time, I think we got away from it. And I think that was really great advice and now my team will hold me accountable as well in group settings if I might mention. Well, I'm not sure we can really do that, and I go, wait a minute, self limiting belief.

Jeff Kirk:

You mentioned that that's not the road we're going to go down. And I would just speak to anyone in any agency or size, but even those especially that maybe in communities that are 10, 15,000, 25,000, whatever it might be, there's no limit to what you can do. And I think that was just really great to hear from Roger, it stung a bit, we're working hard to make sure that we don't fall back into that trap again, but it's easy to do. And so I appreciate you asking about it and I'm happy to share it.

Brent Kelly:

Yeah. Well, and one thing too, Jeff, I mean, it sounds obvious, but I do think it's missed. I mean, to your point of what you just said, the most successful people have one major thing in common, they're coachable. And part of that is as you just said, you don't always like the things that you hear with that. I've had coaches that have challenged me in ways that... I told my daughter when she was freshman or sophomore and basketball, and the coach was getting on her. I said, listen, I said, if the coach didn't see great potential and value in what you could do, he wouldn't get on you because it wouldn't be worth it. So part of that is just seeing more greatness than what we see in ourselves.

Brent Kelly:

And you're right. That thing between our ears is, well, that's what other people do. We probably really couldn't do that. And we think sometimes, I'm part of that where we think we're like, oh, I'm a big thinker. And then someone comes and goes, okay, are you? And we find ourselves with that. So I just, as a listener, just think about that. I get, hey, who's coaching you. And it doesn't have to be a Sitkins thing, right? Obviously we love what we do, but just someone there to say, hey, listen, are you really challenging and thinking yourself at the highest level, because it is easy to get complacent. It just really, really is.

Brent Kelly:

I'm going to ask a question about challenges. I'm sure you've had more than one. I know you share with me, but when did you believe? And this could be maybe something in the past, Jeff, that you and your team maybe have overcome or worked on or maybe something right now you're dealing with, but what do you feel is your number one challenge and how are you working, or what did you do to overcome that?

Jeff Kirk:

I would say that obviously we all go through daily challenges, right? But I think if you just try to go up to just somewhat of a higher level, if you look at what's happening and we do as an agency in the industry right now. And with all the M&A activity and all the things that are being driven by private equity, and what's happening with agencies. And it's caused just few years ago to sit back and look and say, okay, who are we? Where do we want to go? What are we trying to get accomplished? And one of the major things we set out was we said we want to strive to be a successful enterprise for years to come that both our associates and our clients can count on over time. And in order to do that, we felt like the best way to do that would be to remain independent.

Brent Kelly:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jeff Kirk:

And so that will continue to become a bigger and bigger challenge I think going forward, because you're either going to acquire or you're going to be acquired. And we did acquire an agency about five years ago. I think it was a tremendous learning opportunity for us. It was a smaller agency and a smaller community but I think what it did is it allowed us to go through the process of integrating another agency into ours, the challenges that creates in terms of culture, human aspects of everything, training, how we both saw the way the client should be serviced and align ourselves to make sure that we have a now a new shared version going for forward. It wasn't our version, it was our shared version. So I think we going through that and looked at what do we need to do going forward?

Jeff Kirk:

Yes, we need to grow organically and that's our biggest challenge. I would imagine you talk to most people, that's going to be the biggest challenge. How do we grow organically in a challenging market, right? And it's always going to be a challenging market. So that's our biggest challenge. How do we retain our best clients and how do we attract our new future best clients? And when an opportunity presents itself is agency in a good healthy financial position to look at other acquisitions that might serve us and our clients with us. So I think that's our number one challenge is how do we get to the next 10 years? What needs to happen between now and then for us to be able to realize that goal, right? So we're engaged all the time in talking with great agencies that we know and respect and trying to get their input on what's happening with their agencies. And maybe there's a potential alignment there, maybe not. It's always a good conversation to have.

Jeff Kirk:

So I think we need keeping our ear to the ground for that going forward. And then also, what do we need to do in terms of our own internal processes to make sure we're going to be successful in growing our business? Great execution of our high performance teams with our account managers and our producers, making sure our producers are focused on allocating enough face to face time with their best clients and their best potential clients and all those circles of influence that we like to work with to help each other's clients. Are we spending the proper time there? So those are kinds of things we're really trying to focus and work on right now because it's everything that we do tactically goes back to support that one strategic goal to grow profitably and stay independent and be locally owned.

Brent Kelly:

Yeah. Well said so many good takeaways there, Jeff. I think what hits me too and there's a lot of layers to this and what you guys are trying to do, it's always more than one thing. But one of the first things you talked about there was culture. And it's the buzz word, culture, culture, culture, culture. But I think this comes back to something I learned years ago. And again, there's more than just this, but it was the law of magnetism which said that we don't attract what we want we attract who we are. And I love that because it's like, who are we? Who are we and who do we want to be? What are we going to be when we grow up? And you're really defining that, owning it, because this goes back to small thinking. It's really hard to go well, we just do this and this, I can't figure out why we're not attracting more of these clients we really want.

Brent Kelly:

Well, because you're not living in that world, right? So I think a lot of that it's a culture who are we and what internally do we need to be and discuss and talk about to make sure that we're doing the things externally to the clients that we truly want to keep and serve at the highest level. So love what you said there. Now we all have successes, although I will say this with agency leaders in particular, Jeff, and I'm sure you're not going to be immune to this. Is that the best leaders I talk to don't like to brag. And that's okay. They're humble leaders, humble servants. But success does leave clues. And you guys have had some levels of success in different areas. What has been would you say the greatest success that you've seen or done? Again, this could be recent or not that you've got to continue to replicate at the highest level?

Jeff Kirk:

I'll tell you for me personally, it is just maybe a little bit off the track, but for me personally, my biggest success I feel and it's a struggle every day.

Brent Kelly:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jeff Kirk:

For me anyway is to really create a true life balance. And I really feel like that's just really critical. I mean, we're imperfect, we're human, from time to time we think we might be in balance and fall out of that. And for me way I would define that, and I have over the years, I've always really tried to make sure that I kept things in check so that I wasn't spending... There's times when you have to spend so many hours at work, right? I mean, you just do, and that's just building an organization and a business, and that type of thing and my family's always been understanding about that, but it was always really important for me never to miss anything. So I never missed a science fair, I never missed a ball game, I never missed a cheerleading competition or a band competition. Anything that our family was involved in I really tried to make sure that's my life's priority.

Jeff Kirk:

I think the fact for me also personally, is just where I'm at in my whole spiritual life and making sure that I keep a balance there and trying to be the person that I was put on this earth to be. And then I think also the people that I work with, I think they count on me to be a good, steady influence and make sure that I'm supportive and helpful and balanced, and making sure that I'm considering their needs and their perspectives and everything.

Jeff Kirk:

First thing I look at is I look at our team, are all of our folks at worked at Dostal & Kirk. And then we just have an unbelievable group of people. And my role there is just to be as supportive and helpful, and providing any kind of direction I can. So to me, it's just balance overall, right? Your health and fitness and all those things fit into that but I think sometimes we can get out of whack and we can go a little bit too heavy in one area or not take ourselves a little bit too seriously. And I think just having a good, healthy balance and making sure we're happy people, that you're a good friend, good neighbor doing all the right kinds of things. I know that sounds like mom and apple pie, but I think to me, that's what drives me, that's my why is sure that I have that and at the end of the day... I mean, most of my earning years obviously are behind me. My dad used to say the hay is in the barn. So now it's just about how can I make better for others? And not only my clients, but our people. And if I'm doing that, the insurance is great, but at the end of the day it's a piece of who I am and not who I am.

Brent Kelly:

Well said. I mean, I just words I wrote down as you were saying, there was freedom in fulfillment. And I'm sure I'm not the only one here but you don't hear people at the end of life going, gosh, Brent, of all the things, I just really wish I would've put more time in the office. I mean, that was the thing I really missed out on. And we laugh and joke about it, but it's true. And I mean, it's just one of those things. It's a tough deal, right? Because when we have ambitions and things we want to accomplish, how do you balance that? What does that mean? What does that look like?

Brent Kelly:

And so I highly respect the fact and say I'm not going to miss that, I'm not going to miss that. I believe a lot in priorities. And I'll just tell you just a real quick story, Jeff. I think you'll appreciate it. So again, I try to surround myself with mentors and coaches. I was on a mentorship call. That's probably lon ago, four or five, six years ago I don't remember now. But just talking about my business model and what I want to do and want to create. And the big part of this was schedule in your calendar. I talk about this all the time. I was just being proactive. And so I was talking about all the blocks and how I'm going to do this and this way, and it's going to be great and all this. And he said, hey, can I ask you a question? He goes, what's most important to you. And I said everything. And he goes, yeah, I have everything. And I said, well, I mean, obviously there's my spiritual life. And I said, but my wife, my kids, I mean... And he goes, now, are they on the calendar first or would you just add them when it's convenient?

Brent Kelly:

I about fell out of my chair. And it's very, very true. And so I think it's one of those things that we all need to take some time to think about. And again, there's struggles there's the wheel where you got physical, spiritual, work, financial, you name it, and there's sometimes we always get out of whack, but it's just being cognizant of what do I really want? And what does it mean? So I appreciate your vulnerability there, Jeff in sharing that.

Jeff Kirk:

For me the big thing is... And my wife and I have talked about this several times is there's always somebody watching you. Either your team's watching you to see your reaction, your kids are watching you to see what kind of example you're going to set, your grandkids are watching you to see if you have rules for them and rules for yourself different. And I think that I always try to really be thoughtful about, there's always somebody watching you and just in terms of be yourself, be true to yourself, hold yourself to high standards, be ethical and all those great things that we all want to do. But you do matter to people, and what you do matters to them, and if you're not out there thinking proactively about that example, you're setting yourself up to have problems down the line I think.

Brent Kelly:

Yeah. I love that. That might be a good theme or title for this podcast. I like that because it's so, so true. All right, so this isn't a plug just on Sitkins, but maybe it is. We've worked together for a while, obviously in working with our group. And I'm always curious too and sometimes I have an idea of the answer, but sometimes I don't. Just in working with us, because there's a lot of different strategies and principles on things we talk about and people identify and implement things differently. And we talk about that, right? You're not going to agree with everything that we say, you're not going to implement everything that we say, it's not possible. We're trying to find the right pieces for you and your agency. So a question is this, what's the biggest thing that you feel that and your agency have received from just our relationship, our coaching, our training over the past few years?

Jeff Kirk:

Sure. I would start with going through a healthy self analysis and recognizing that we couldn't do it by ourselves. Okay. So where we wanted to go, we knew we weren't getting where we wanted to go. So we had to sit back and think thoughtfully about what do we think we need to do? And so we started thinking about who might we align ourselves with? And we actually reached out to a firm that we thought might be a good fit for us. They worked with financial services advisors more than PNC advisors, and we found out about a month into beginning of that relationship that was not the way for us to go, that we needed someone who was more holistic and could handle much more breadth, but also mainly more focused on PNC. I was actually looking at a program when we attended one of the agency nation events up in Cleveland, and had I participated in one of your breakout sessions and you were there representing Sitkins at the time.

Jeff Kirk:

And my partners and I had a conversation and said, well, maybe we got to reach out to the folks at Sitkins and just stick awesome ideas on the wall and find out if they might be a good fit for us. And that's really how that whole thing started. And from us initially understanding that we needed some help and guidance, and then we talked with you all and Brad Kelly was a person we talked to there, your brother. And also then had a little bit of a conversation with Roger that he had put together. And then ultimately started working with you. I think what you guys have done for us is you've introduced a process, and you have introduced a better way of approaching life's business problems, right? That an agency faces. And I think what we've done as a result is we've slowed down. It's not the flavor of the month. I think the principles that you have and tried to instill in us is to plan better, get back to executing the basics. You mentioned a comment in a meeting we were in a few weeks back that, execute the basics so well that you become cutting edge.

Brent Kelly:

Yeah.

Jeff Kirk:

And it's so obvious, it's so out there in front of you. Is just do the basic stuff and do it right. If you tell a client you're going to do something, do it. And make sure that you do it really, really well in the best of your ability. So I think just improving both personal and organizational accountability has been something that you guys have really instilled in us. We liked the coaching. The best coach I ever had in high school or college athletics was my high school football coach, and he was demanding. You thought there's no way you could take one more step in August in a two day practice and somehow, he came over and got in your face and you did take that step. And later on in life turned out to be one of the best mentors I've ever had. And he was able to change roles and not be the guy that was trying to drive us down the field, and now he wants to drive you through life. It's okay to be challenged.

Jeff Kirk:

That's something you all have done in a meaningful and respectful way to us and our business, because sometimes it does get personal, right? And I think that you guys have done that in a way, found a great balance to say these are great ideas, this is what other agencies the best in class agencies are doing, this is what we've seen over the last 30, 40 years. And, oh, by the way, if it doesn't work for you don't have to do it, but this is what we're going to tell you, and you can implement it or not but this is our best advice. That's all we can ask for. It's up to us then to determine what fits our culture and cadence, what fits the way we do things to put our brand on it, to be able to use what you're telling us and make it real for our clients that they see our brand only. So that helps elevate us in the lines of our customers, which is what we want.

Jeff Kirk:

And we just feel like from a multitude of perspectives, a lot of the consulting and coaching world focuses on people like me. But what you guys have been able to do for us is you've been able to drill through the different layers of an organization and go into that line account manager who's working on the day to day stuff with the client and servicing them and making sure all the things get done right. And you have programs that are specifically designed for them and are producers the same way. So I think we've been able to... What we didn't know about at the very beginning with you, and what we know now is that there's something for everyone in our office through your organization that will ultimately benefit our clients and elevate our people. And I think to me that's just as simplest part, it's not any more complex than that it's what the agency says, people helping people, right?

Brent Kelly:

Yeah.

Jeff Kirk:

And you can't be in Columbus, Ohio without remembering, Coach Hayes. So at least one thing that he says in what we do once in a while.

Brent Kelly:

I love it. Well, hey, thanks for sharing that and I mean, again, I don't need to add much to it, but the thing that you said that's... It's even a challenge as a coach is that so many times you want to get on like, hey, what's the new cool thing we're going to do? Nothing, we're going to do the thing that you haven't really done yet, right? Or improve it, or go a little deep or all those things. And magically it's like, wow, we actually focus on something long enough to start to push the ball down the field to use another sports analogy, right? So I appreciate you sharing that, Jeff. Here's my last question, final question. And maybe you address this in different ways, but you take it however you want. And we were talking about our gray hair here. So here's maybe a better way that we could address it. If we could go back, if you could go back, and I don't know how long you want to go back I'll let you think about that, but I will say 20 years, but talk to the younger version of you. You've got young Jeff Kirk sitting there looking up at current Jeff Kirk and he says, hey, future me, if you got something to give me advice, what would you tell me? What would you tell your younger self?

Jeff Kirk:

I think from a work perspective, I would probably say that find out what you do really, really well, what you really enjoy doing the most and what seems to fulfill you the most, do that and delegate everything else. One of my first job, my first promotion on the insurance company side when I had been a field representative, Paul on independent agencies in Minnesota and Ohio and Tennessee, and I got brought back into the home office. And at the time the company they wanted to advance me into a role of a manager so I could have some people manage responsibilities, but there was also a small local territory that they wanted me to continue to serve agency. They thought that would be a really good way for me to stay current with the agencies, but also develop the managerial skills. And what it ultimately turned out into was a complete fiasco because it was like, okay, well, do I service agents or to I go out and help people. And these are people they're calling me.

Jeff Kirk:

So that what they ultimately did was I think quickly in that role, I think the company found out that probably wasn't the best way to go about it. So you're either going to need to be in the sales and field where you need to be a manager. And so they ultimately decided that at least at that time they felt like I would be better suited for management. And they put me in that. And then I ultimately became better in that role. And I was able to focus on it, I was able to really try to do the things that I needed to do to help facilitate the people that reported through me. And I think that was really, really a good thing. Then when you fast forward and I become an agent, especially when you start an agency from scratch, I mean, you're doing it all. You're the chief and bottle washer, you're entering the applications at night at home. You're meeting with the clients in the evening or the day of the Saturday, or what do you have to do to put food on your family's table. And it didn't take me too long to figure out that there was a better way to do that. And so I hired my first employee before I could afford them.

Brent Kelly:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jeff Kirk:

Because I knew where we needed to go and where I wanted to go. And then my next tire, and then my next tire. And I still fall back into that I guess I would call it a rut today once in a while. So obviously we know as business owners and we have responsibilities, managerial responsibilities, whether they'd be finances of business, or the people aspects of it, or the core operations, the real estate, all the other things you get involved with training. And then there's also the other side of it which is you're a producer, if you are a producer. And probably if I would've had to do that all over to do again, maybe 10 years ago, I would've found someone to say, you're going to handle all the administration, you're going to handle the operations and I believe that my personal book of business, my personal enjoyment and probably the results of just being an advisor and a producer, which is what I love to do and meet and counsel and coach clients and that's the heart of what I do. That's what I would do. So if I could rewind that back, tell somebody younger, find out what you're good at and just go do the heck out of it and let everybody else take care of everything else. You'll be fine and happy.

Brent Kelly:

Yeah. Well hopefully the audience is writing some of that down because there's such good advice there, Jeff. And I mean, I'm taking some notes as you said it and reminded me too a year back when you said, I was starting from scratch, I had to do everything because I was the only one that could do it. And I remember even having conversations with myself, but also with people like you in that situation saying, listen, you can't give all that up today that's not feasible, but I want to start you to think about how can you become a quitter? It's like, what are you talking about? You're my coach. But it's like, no, no. I mean, as soon as you can think about it, if you've got 10... It's probably more than that, but 10 responsibilities that are making the agency in this case move. Like you said, identify the things that are most impactful and that you love to do and start thinking about how do I begin quickly to quit that, and quit that, and quit that, right? By finding people to delegate it to.

Brent Kelly:

And Roger said something at the Elite 50 that hit me. And I've said this in different ways, but he said in a way that really hit me, he said the things that we often won't let go are the same things that are keeping us back. And I was like, wow, it's true. And it's like, well, I got to do... No, you don't. There are people that are better at that than you, that like to do that job more than you. I mean, we've all been there, we're doing things. Well, I just have to, and we're miserable, we're not good at it, we're slow, it's frustrating. But gosh, darn it, I'm a hard worker, so I'm going to do it. Well, have fun with that, right? And you're going to get stuck pretty quick. So, really good advice. Anything you want to add to that, Jeff?

Jeff Kirk:

Well, it's hard to let go, just human nature. And I think as humans, we view letting go of something as failure. And what you're doing by letting it go is you're actually creating a successful opportunity for someone else to do it better.

Brent Kelly:

Yep.

Jeff Kirk:

And then it sets you up to be able to go back to those clear building blocks of what you are the best at. And so that's perfectly normal. I think I have had those feelings in the past when I've tried to do that and I've probably unsuccessfully delegated more than I have successfully. But the nice thing about it is it's a constant learning opportunity and a process to go through. And as long as you've got yourself surrounded by great people that have your back and understand that you're imperfect, that you're going to make mistakes and you have to acknowledge those. It's healthier for everyone.

Brent Kelly:

Yeah. And usually we find out is that when you tell of people around you that you're going to give up some of that thing because you need to focus on that, they usually go, thank you, about time, right? But you're right, there's the human condition. I mean, I'm raising my own hand where it's like, yeah, but if I give that up, it means that I didn't do a very good job at it. Yeah, probably. So we say success leaves clues and so does failure. So, well, Jeff, thanks so much for your time and coming on. And again, I enjoy speaking with you for so many reasons, and I said, you're a great leader and producer and you're out there trying to get better, but you're just a great human being, and I mean that. So I appreciate you being part of our network, part of our team and continue to wish your success as you move forward.

Jeff Kirk:

Well, I appreciate you having me on and your nice comments. Our team loves working with you all and hopefully we can continue to learn from each other. I enjoy your podcast. I enjoy listening to my contemporaries out there and I learn something every time. So if someone's picked up something today beneficial for them, then that's a good use of my time as well.

Brent Kelly:

So thank you. Well, last reminder, again, the book, the movies out there, our promo. And again, sitkins.com/bvp to get a copy of the Best Version Possible book. And we talk about a lot of these things that Jeff had mentioned today in the book. And so just give you the roadmap and again, how do you get greater profits and more freedom with less stress, right? In different ways we want to help agencies do that. And then the movie sitkins.com/vip you can take a look at something that Roger and I and our team put together this year to help you and your agency do your best version possible. So thanks again to the audience out there, all the best to your success. Thanks for being a listener.

 

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