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Data Literacy vs. Business Literacy with Jason Krantz

Jason Krantz is Here to Help You Get Clear on the Differences Between Data Literacy and Business Literacy

Today’s guest is a LinkedIn data superstar on a mission to help data practitioners kick ass at their jobs using a widely underutilized tool in the analytics field: business literacy and personal growth.

With a total quantifiable career revenue impact of $300 million+ and EBITDA impact of $75 million+, Jason Krantz has been successful in translating data and analytical insights into actionable business strategies and activities that drive higher revenues, greater margins, and market/wallet share growth.

He is the CEO and founder of Strategy Titan, a strategic advisory and information product development company. Their Labor Titan product helps individuals and teams make better, faster, and more confident labor and compensation decisions.

And in this episode, Jason shares some amazing analogies and practical tips for gaining business literacy as a data practitioner!

In This Episode, You’ll Learn…

  • What is business literacy and why it’s the key to data practitioner and organizational success.
  • A practitioner’s first steps for becoming more business literate.
  • How to describe what’s at stake in the data to identify opportunities
  • How to explain the stakes in the data in the language of the audience’s needs.
  • What to do when encountering objections and cognitive bias in stubborn stakeholders.
  • The processes for adopting the perspective of a CEO.
  • Consciously seeking out certain kinds of discomfort in order to grow.

People, Blogs, and Resources Mentioned

How to Connect with Jason Krantz:

Where Lea is Speaking Next:

I'd love to meet you, in-person or online! Here are the data storytelling, analytics, digital marketing conferences and events I'll be speaking at:

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining me. Have some feedback you’d like to share, or a question? Leave a note in the comments below, and we’ll get back to you!

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And finally, always remember: viz responsibly, my friends.

Namaste,

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[00:00:00] LP: Hello. Hello. Lea Pica, here. Today's guest is a big voice on LinkedIn. Helping data practitioners unlock their potential through business literacy. Stay tuned to find out who's taking us to school on The Present Beyond Measure Show, Episode 81.

 

[00:00:15] ANNOUNCER: Welcome to The Present Beyond Measure Show, a podcast at the intersection of analytics, data visualization, and presentation awesomeness. You'll learn the best tips, tools, and techniques for creating analytics visualizations and presentations that inspire data-driven decisions and move you forward. If you're ready to get your insights understood and acted upon. You're in the right place. Now your host, Lea Pica.

 

[INTERVIEW]

 

[00:00:43] LP: Hey. Hello. Welcome to the 81st episode of The Present Beyond Measure Show, the only podcast at the intersection of presentation, data visualization, storytelling, and analytics. This is the place to be if you're ready to make maximum impact and create credibility through your thoughtfully presented insights and ideas. Now, today's interview is loaded with insights on an often underdeveloped area of skills for data practitioners and organizations that actually hold the key to their career success. Be sure to stay tuned in, but before we get rolling, I have just a few fun updates for you.

 

First, a shout out to Presentations Can Be Beautiful, great name, for leaving a very kind review for the show. They say, “Lea tackles content that is essential for anyone in business. Presenting complex data in an impactful and digestible way is the difference between persuading your audience into desired action or not. A lot rides on the success of your presentations, and Lea provides actionable insights, strategies and tips on how to deliver a memorable and compelling presentation. Give it a shot, you won't be sorry.” Thank you so much for that support. Please be sure to leave your own review on the show in Apple podcasts, if you find this to be a useful resource and I may read yours next.

 

All right, as usual, I am so excited for today's guests, but in particular, this person has a singular ability to generate the most enlivening and thought-provoking discussions on all things data on LinkedIn, my favorite place to hang out. This is a water cooler, you'll definitely want to hang around. Let's dive in.

 

[00:02:39] LP: All right. Hello. Welcome. Today's guest has over 15 years of business analytics, data science, and strategic leadership experience in public and private equity owned business. He specializes in creating award winning analytic strategy, capabilities, teams, cultures and solutions that drive tangible results. He is the CEO and Founder of Strategy Titan, a strategic advisory and information product development company. Their labor Titan product helps individuals and teams make better, faster, more confident labor and compensation decisions. He is one of my LinkedIn data superheroes, one to follow for sure. Please help me welcome our latest guest, Jason Krantz. Hello.

 

[00:03:25] JK: How are you doing? Thank you for having me on.

 

[00:03:27] LP: Oh, thank you. It's a beautiful day here in Bucks County. I'm with a rock star, right now. I'm so thrilled we finally made this happen. I've admired your work on LinkedIn so much as a thought leader and someone who really engages the crowd, engages and really holds a lot of perspectives with care. I just really appreciate that about you.

 

[00:03:49] JK: Well, I appreciate you. I do greatly enjoy your content, too, as we were talking about beforehand, just I think one of the magical parts of this community is how different ideas come together to make things work.

 

[00:04:00] LP: Yes.

 

[00:04:01] JK: As we were saying each of us brings certain expertise and immense admiration for your expertise. Thank you for sharing yours.

 

[00:04:08] JK: Oh, thank you so much. I know, especially when I share like silly pie charts of like, this much of the pizza eat and not this bar was not eaten.

 

[00:04:19] JK: That was a good one. Yeah, I like that one. It made me chuckle.

 

[00:04:22] LP: All right. Jason, as a superhero, everyone loves the origin story. I'd love to hear how you fell into this wacky and wonderful world of data.

 

[00:04:33] JK: Yeah. It was actually, for about three months in my first job. I was a young kid didn't really know what I was doing. I found out very quickly that I was good with numbers. I've always been good with numbers. I thought I was just everybody was decent at it. So I remember one day, I found this insight and it was a real insight on that like, “Hey, we're wasting a lot of money in this area.” It was a very big number and it caught the attention of the management team. They're like, “Whoa, wait. This is actually millions of dollars. How would you find it?” We walk them through it and they're like, “Yeah. This is legitimate.”

 

Anyway, they had a huge meeting with all these executives, leaders of a major, major business publicly traded company, and three months out of school, and I'm in there. I'm nervous. Then they say, “Jason found something that we think represents a seven figure savings opportunity. Jason, tell us about it.” I was petrified. I'm like, “I don't know anything. Why are these people in here talking or listening to me talk.” I delivered my message. I was scared. I didn't know what I was doing, but they were all listening in. That was the moment that was my first experience in realizing the power of data.

 

[00:05:42] LP: Yeah.

 

[00:05:42] JK: The fact that I could get all these very smart people to listen to somebody that was still figuring out where the bathroom was at. They’re listening and actually, I got their attention. For me, that was it. I realized, wow, this data stuff can put me in a position to get in front of people that it would take me 15, 20 years in the regular career path. I realized very quickly, this is a shortcut to get to where I want to go. I grabbed it hold, I just clamped onto it and ran with it.

 

[00:06:14] LP: That's fantastic. I want to really highlight something you mentioned. I want to make sure it didn't just whoop slip past people. Was that when they identified what you had found, they immediately contextualized and defined what that meant in the vocabulary that would matter to stakeholders, a seven figure sum. That's what just hit me right now. That's what I think — I pay attention a lot to how we express the stakes. People don't realize when we're telling a data story. It's not just saying what happened, but you're creating a climax point that is, what's at stake if we don't do anything. People don't think about that. They're like, “Well, our visitors will go down.”

 

[00:06:59] JK: Yeah.

 

[00:07:00] LP: It's mushy. What does that mean to the stakeholders?

 

[00:07:04] JK: Well, so to your point, I remember this very clearly. I'm just going to use fake numbers, but it illustrates concept.

 

[00:07:11] LP: Sure.

 

[00:07:11] JK: I remember our group goal was we needed to find like $30 million in cost savings.

 

[00:07:16] LP: Wow –

 

[00:07:17] JK: It has been massive company. $30 million was actually fairly achievable. We got this go get. It's early in the year. Then this is where I'm like, I saw these numbers, because my job was to track these numbers. I needed to track everything. Then as I was tracking, I would go and just dig around. I found this opportunity. I'm like, “Hey, boss. I know, we got 30 million go get, you're going to know better than I do, but I think I found like three or five.” These are like, “Wait, what?” I had his attention, like that, because he's got to go get.

 

[00:07:54] LP: That's right.

 

[00:07:55] JK: This is a central theme. I think that we're going to cover a lot talking in the language of the business.

 

[00:07:58] LP: That's right.

 

[00:08:00] JK: Oh, I use this algorithm or blah, blah, blah, it's like, no, we've got a problem. We got to get from here to here. I think I found something that gets us a sixth of the way or whatever the number is. Right away, he's got attention. Then we go through and we do the due diligence. We're like, “Yeah, this is legitimate.” We go to the plans. We start talking about plans. Is this real? Yeah, this is real. Then what we do is you start to build this momentum. It's like, an insight, but then we validate it by validation. We get other people to buy into it.

 

[00:08:27] LP: Right. Right.

 

[00:08:28] JK: We get them to see the vision. We get to see maybe them looking at things in a different way. We never looked at it like that, but what other opportunities are there. This is where I realized very early in this juncture in my career, that the data was simply a mechanism to identify opportunities, but it was exactly to your point. The way that you frame it and communicate it to get people that normally don't care about this stuff.

 

[00:08:51] LP: That’s right.

 

[00:08:52] JK: To buy into the potential, because now once they see it, we just made their life better. Now, they're like what else do you got?

 

[00:09:02] LP: Yeah. Now I'm listening. No, I totally agree. I actually just completed a workshop this week, where someone asked me a question, and my answer was, “You're in a sales process. You may not realize it, but you're all salespeople.” You have to convince and persuade your stakeholders, who are busy, overwhelmed, overstretched and consumed with thinking about the things that matter to them most. Here you are asking them to part with their money, to reorganize their resources, to reorganize priorities. People don't want to do that. Can you make a compelling enough argument for them to be a yes? How do you get them to the, yes? That's only going to be talking in the things, the language, the vocab that matters and that generally tends to be money of some kind, market share, brand favorability. The things that they are measured by their own success, right?

 

[00:10:04] JK: 100%. To elaborate on your point, because I think it's outstanding, one that merits further discussion. If you think about it, attention is one of the hardest things to get into today. Attention is very difficult to get. It is exponentially harder to keep. That's true in social media, and it is the exact same in business. This is why, if you want to have any impact, you've got to know how to get their attention.

 

[00:10:38] LP: That’s right.

 

[00:10:39] JK: We talk about this all the time is that, if you don't have that hook, if you don't have that mechanism to trace it to what matters to them, all these things that matter in the attention front, you're never going to get them to walk through. That's not being a negative, you know I'm a positive person. I strive on positive conceit.

 

[00:10:57] LP: I can see.

 

[00:10:58] JK: I'm also realistic and saying this is a very real challenge to all data professionals. The challenge is that many of us are trained to crank out a dashboard, or delivering insight. That's where I see a lot of the value in what you offer, is because you're teaching people. It's about more than.

 

[00:11:14] LP: I appreciate that.

 

[00:11:15] JK: Here’s the mechanism to actually do that, to have and change it, you want to see. I mean, I don't know what's your take on it, how do you see it on the attention front?

 

[00:11:23] LP: Well, I love this question, because it's like, my whole job is literally around attention, because to your point there's arguments made that technology and social media aren't actually creating an attention problem, they're just creating a new avenue for an existing pre-existing attention problem. However, they are really, really suited to push all of our attention buttons and get us hooked in AI and algorithms. I do think there is an increasing busyness of business that we are fighting against. As a data communicator, knowing what makes neuroscience and the science of attention tick is a major ace in your pocket. This is what I structure everything around.

 

The entire first half of my workshop is geared towards strategy, just for maintaining attention during the audience. The second piece is creating memory and recall so that people remember to take action after the meeting is over, because it's really a two-part process, but to your point, one of the things that came up for me just now is a story I've never told. This is all about storytelling. I'd love to tell it, right now. Let’s do it.

 

[00:12:34] JK: Do it.

 

[00:12:35] LP: Okay, once upon a time in a land far away. I was starting as an analyst at a digital agency. I was taking over someone's role. One of the challenges that the client kept complaining about in the account team kept complaining about is that no matter how closely the team budgeted the spend this was for paid search, no matter how closely they monitored and fine tune the spin, we had a very fine tune budget adjustment process and projection process every week. No matter what happened, we were always came that tens of thousands of dollars short on spending the budget. They started reducing the budget that they were giving to the agency, so they were like, “Well, you can't seem to spend it, so we're going to put it somewhere else.”

 

One day, clouds. One day I was poking through this thing, as I got really acclimated to the calculations that were in this very complex document. Suddenly, one of the numbers didn't make sense when I made a change. I was like, “Wait a minute, wait a minute. That's not what should have happened.” I went in. I noticed that someone, I don't know who created the document, but someone had gotten the calculation backwards. No matter what was ever going to happen from spend, it was always going to –

 

[00:14:06] JK: Always going to miss the mark, no matter what.

 

[00:14:08] LP: I was like, “Alleluia.” This was very exciting. Even though this wasn't necessarily like a customer generated or site side issue, it still had a big story behind it that I couldn't wait to present. I really made it like, here has been our spend with every month we have this problem, boom. Here, we found this issue. We've corrected it. The next month we were able to spend, we asked like, “Can you keep the budget in place for one more month?” And boom, we spent it and from there, but I contextualized it in what mattered to the client, not like my frustration of well, I'm doing the best I can, but it was we're going to spend your money now, finally. This is what you wanted. I just haven't thought of that story, so go me.

 

[00:15:00] JK: That's a great story, though. It's like, I think things like that happen a lot to your point is to bring it back full circle is the idea of what matters and the funny thing is that, I've realized is that a lot of the stuff is, I would call a common sense. It's not revolutionary, but the simplicity almost pulls people who think it can't be that easy, but it's not that easy. The analogy I use all the time, because everybody can relate to it. It's trying to get in shape with diet and exercise.

[00:15:27] LP: I love analogies.

 

[00:15:27] JK: At its core, it's really not that difficult.

 

[00:15:31] LP: It's like, “Dah.” You take care of your body.

 

[00:15:34] JK: I know me is that it's hard to execute on a consistent basis, because things happen, you lose motivation, whatever it is. My point is that, so many times I think people overlook these things. The simplicity, because it's not complicated. You think about the nature of the people that are doing what we do. They're smart people.

 

[00:15:53] LP: Oh, yeah. The best.

 

[00:15:54] JK: They are very smart people. Sometimes too smart for their own good, because it can't be that easy and the thing that I've realized is that success like business facing success in this realm is not about smarts. Historical, academic smarts are people smarts, storytelling, emotion, right? Those are the two levers that I pull on the hardest when I'm like, tell me about you, what do you want to do? What do you want to achieve? What are the challenges you have in getting from here to there? All that front worked, understand, great, now I have context for how we can help you, not only that, when we deliver something, we already know how it's going to help you. So when communicate it in a way say like, “Hey, I heard you say that you had A, B and C. A, we can't help her, but B and C we can. Here's how.” We can help you in this regard. Would you be willing to get on board if we work together in this? Most type people are going to say yeah, because you want to help. Let's be honest, we're in a customer serving position.

 

[00:16:54] LP: That's right.

 

[00:16:55] JK: We are here to serve.

 

[00:16:57] LP: Yeah. Oh, my gosh. When people take on a true service mindset, everything changes, because then the happiness of our constituents of our stakeholders become our own happiness. That is a very good cycle. Now, that's not to say it's at the cost of our own like we should indulge. Behaviors or patterns that cost us emotionally as well, there is proper give and take, but I do believe that when you start thinking in terms of the vocabulary that stakeholders speaking, when you start seeing them as human beings who are measured by certain metrics, who have challenges, who have things keeping them up at night, and you start to understand what those things are, and you use your data as a language to translate. Are you the Rosetta Stone, between your numbers and your spreadsheets and the needs that your stakeholders have to help serve your customers in a bigger way. It's a process.

 

People are always like, “Oh, it is human nature and it seems obvious.” But parenting is also human nature. It's natural. Do any of us feel ready for what parenting actually brings us? I say this as today is my son's 10th birthday. I'm in deep reflection over like, God, the user manual, I would write on this process. It is not instinctual at all. It requires knowledge and wisdom that is passed through generations. This is a new arena of knowledge and wisdom that is best served when we are choosing to learn from each other. That actually brings me to the question I'm dying to ask you about. I saw that you're launching a new online course called Business Literacy for Data Professionals. I'm like, “Okay, wait, add to cart.” I would love to hear more about this. Please tell us more.

 

[00:19:01] JK: Yeah. This is a course that honestly, people have been asking me to make for a long time like, “You got to put out a course.” I was like, “That's not what I do.” So, the other day I was working out and I thought about I'm like, “Yeah. Let’s just give it a shot.” I thought if I had one hour to tell you an upcoming, not even an upcoming, but a mid or even senior level data professional. How do you get the business to you? How do you get aligned with the business? What would I say? That was the thesis statement. I'm great friends with my buddy, Jordan Morrow. Jordan has a new book out –

 

[00:19:41] LP: Yeah.

 

[00:19:42] JK: Be Data Driven. Yeah. Give me that plug. He's my guy. Great book, but he's data literacy for business professionals. What I'm saying is nobody anyway who’s talking about business literacy, forget professionals. The thesis statement on this, again, I am not the first, lots of very smart people thought. Let’s bring up the gap, that in tech in business, data literacy is doing its part to try to bring people towards the center so we can start speaking a common language, but there's nothing out there on the business side or on teaching business literacy today.

 

It is a major – this is a major, major problem. I said, “You know what, nobody's solving it, I have the expertise to solve it, I've lived it, I got battle scars all over me on this stuff. That's not to say I know everything. I don't, but let's give this a shot. Let's see what we can do.” As I started putting this together, it's really focused on what I see as the primary driver of the disconnect between the data world and the business world and that's business literacy from the data realm, because of many of the topics that you and I have already discussed here. You can have the best flux capacitor in the world.

 

[00:20:57] LP: Great reference.

 

[00:20:58] JK: Yeah. For the people don't want time travel.

 

[00:21:02] LP: That's right.

 

[00:21:03] JK: They're not going to care. What it is, is at its core, what we're looking to do here is to highlight the legacy push model, because that's what most analytics programs are. It's like, “Okay, we have a vague understanding, we're going to push a solution out to the business.” It doesn't work. I'm sorry. It does not work. What I'm going to propose in this course, is saying, let's create a pull model. Here's how you create a pull model in the everyday situation. We go through the academic of or what is business, literacy, all these other things, but then I give you the actual playbook that I have used some of it, which we've discussed here already to walk people through, here's how you actually do it.

 

The reason why this is really important, I feel it's very important. If somebody wants to become data literate, let's say you want to learn Python, you can go into a room. You can hammer on the keyboard for days on end weeks on end months on end, if you wanted to. You can put in a program, run it and you get instantaneous feedback. You're getting outputs immediately. You can grow and iterate that experience quickly, right? So you can become quite proficient in a programming language in a couple of months, especially today with Stack Overflow and all these other things. The exact opposite is true in business, you don't have the opportunity to go and practice every single day. Your opportunities to practice are very spaced out. That's even if you get the opportunity.

 

Then as these types of these are social skills, communication skills start, they take a long, long time to develop. Not only that, the context that comes with it takes a very long time to develop. Now, it's not to say everybody has to be perfect in this realm. It's a very difficult proposition to ask a data professional to also be an expert in these realms, that's not, but I do think it is extremely reasonable and beneficial for everybody to have a baseline level of understanding or baseline storytelling ability, a baseline understanding of the business. I'm monologuing here. I'll stop, but that's the thesis.

 

[00:23:12] LP: No. I love it. You make a really good point. I've never really noticed. Maybe that's why I came in to try to fill this gap as well, because when I came in, I just wasn't seeing people really take the reins of telling effective data stories. One of the things I do is I compare Hollywood, my latest keynote compares the elements that make Hollywood engaging and enthralling and transformative, but imagining if Hollywood did the things that we do during our business data presentation like executive summaries, and agendas, and bullet points, and all these things that you would never see. It really is key about filling in that gap. You point me towards a question that I've often gotten in my workshops, where people have said, “Why do I have to learn the business? If they don't have to learn analysis, why do I have to learn?” What would you say to someone that asking that?

 

[00:24:11] JK: You're playing in their world. Businesses existed without data long time ago. It's that simple. You are in their world. They operate totally fine without you most of the time, because they're going off gut feel, right? Let's call – again, I love data anal – that is the reality of many industries in many situations. It's actually the onus is on you, data professional to create a compelling reason, because guess what, they're making sales. They're doing all this stuff without you.

 

[00:24:46] LP: Yeah.

 

[00:24:47] JK: What I tell people is I'm like, lose the ego, okay. There's a lot of ego in this space.

 

[00:24:53] LP: Yes.

 

[00:24:53] JK: I say this in a realm of positively challenging people to look in the mirror and be like, “Hey, your point – to your point, I think it is a legitimate point, but it's a capa. It's putting the onus the responsibility on somebody else. Well, I like to challenge people, people I work with. Say, “Hey, want be a leader? You want to drive or something?” You have to do things that most people aren't willing to do, because it's hard.

 

[00:25:20] LP: Yeah. What I love about what you're saying, because I'm a total fan of friendly, tough love, is that the data you're analyzing is being created by that business, and the people engaging by that business. Analytics is a vital role, but to your point, where are the numbers coming from, right? So when I do hear that question, I can resonate with it, too. I feel it in me, but I also think, “Well, are we keeping score or are we partnering?” What I've said back is like, “Well, how far do you want to go in this journey?” Because you can choose wherever you want to land, you can absolutely crunch numbers and stay there and that's fine, perfect, but there are people who are wanting to travel the path to from Data Explorer, to explainer, to strategic partner, to thought leader. That chasm is for me, storytelling and explanation and business expertise.

 

[00:26:23] JK: If I can elaborate on that for one second.

 

[00:26:25] LP: Please.

 

[00:26:25] JK: I got to tell a story. It's in that realm.

 

[00:26:27] LP: Story time.

 

[00:26:28] JK:  Story time. I'll keep it brief. There was this brilliant applied mathematician I hired. This kid was sharp. I said, “Okay, I'm going to give you this pricing project.” Pricing is a great project, because everybody can relate the pricing. I said, “I want you to go and look at this segment. I know there's an opportunity here, go look at this, and then bring back to me what you find.” He prepares, it brings it back to me. I said, “Okay, now, what are the things we talked about new development was wanting to get in front of executive teams more to develop that presence, right, to get comfortable with it. Now, pretend that I am the CEO of this company that you're talking to, what are you going to tell me? “Well, we found in the analysis that the R squared.” I’m like, “Stop.”

 

[00:27:08] LP: Stop.

 

[00:27:09] JK: Wrong. I get what you're going. You're technically correct. Who am I again? I am the CEO. What does the CEO care about? Okay, so we try it again. Well, and he got a little bit better. So anyway, finally, we get to – I'm like, “Okay, you know what, you have two sentences to hook me on why I should care about what you're saying. If you do not get it right here, I will not put you in front of – I'm not going to do that to you. I'm not going to do that to you. You're not ready then. That's fine. So I go, “Let's reconvene in two days, if you want to talk about it, whatever, but I want you to come up with it on your own. I can tell you what to say, but I want you to come up with on your own, because it's building that mental muscle. Because what you got to do is you've got to move from your perspective of the world.

 

[00:27:59] LP: That's right.

 

[00:28:00] JK: To the CEOs perspective. That is a very difficult mental muscle to build, if you don't go through that exercise yourself. Somebody like you, you can do it easily. It's what you've done. If you've done it, it's quite easy, but for somebody that's building to your point that chasm of where they want to go, yeah, do that. Anyway, he finally comes back. He's like, he nailed it. He got it.

 

[00:28:25] LP: Amazing.

 

[00:28:25] JK: The ability to go and this is when we talk about the process of getting back to the course for a second, that's a whole, what's the fundamental idea is put yourself in your customers shoes, what do you think about? What do they care about? Talk to them and figure it out. I think for a lot of data storytellers or those that are responsible for presenting, that as the single greatest thing that you can do to help ensure that you're going to connect with them on a practical, but also an emotional level.

 

[00:28:52] LP: I couldn't agree more. My favorite quote from one of my idols, Simon Sinek, is “Make it about them, not about you.” I feel like if we apply that general sense that other people's needs are our needs. We really take that in. We start to come from that place where we're not only speculating from the outside, but what we think they need, but we're actually empathizing, we are empathizing and imagining like, “Oh, I can imagine that this is really hard for them. This is how my data could help solve for that obstacle or take advantage of that opportunity.” Right?

 

[00:29:33] JK: I'm going to throw out something crazy. That’s totally throughout the flow here. Not really.

 

[00:29:37] LP: Crazier, the better.

 

[00:29:38] JK: Did you notice how nothing we've talked about is really been technical?

 

[00:29:42] LP: I have noticed.

 

[00:29:43] JK: It’s all people.

 

[00:29:44] LP: It’s all people.

 

[00:29:46] JK: This is one of the most fascinating things as I have evolved in my career. I realized more and more, it is not about technology. Technology's easy, relative to this stuff. That's not to undermine the effort for engineering, architecture, that is difficult, but in terms of getting people to use these things, it's all these things which are, they're very difficult to develop, but they are like, the key to success. I just found it fascinating that this far in and we really haven't mentioned too much technical.

 

[00:30:13] LP: Yeah. I mean, that's the way on this particular show, because there are a lot of shows out there that dive deep into the technical, nitty gritty. I know that's the fun part. That's the fun sandbox, but to your point, technology is young in the timeline of humanity. Technology, it's young, and it's ever evolving. It will always change, but humans are still wired the same way we have been wired for hundreds of thousands, if not more years, which is why the show really often does focus on the more human elements of the practitioner, the stakeholder, the customer, because without those skills, I think we're just reinforcing what we're saying. That's the key that is going I think that's the key to a longevity in this career.

 

[00:31:08] JK: I would agree. Yes. If you have any aspirations for a leadership, where it's outside of engineering, where you be behind the door, anything that's business facing. I firmly believe these are skills you must, have you wonder why Chief Data Officers, many of them struggle. Many of them are remarkably intelligent –

 

[00:31:29] LP: Oh, I can’t imagine.

 

[00:31:31] JK: Remarkably intelligent, but they lack a lot of this perspective. As a result, they really struggled to apply that intelligence in a manner that really – it's like just left in this cage. This is what I'm saying is that, you can be super smart, but if you want your stuff to get used, that's one of the biggest frustrations I hear from brilliant engineers, and brilliant architects is we create all this great stuff, and then nobody uses it. I've been there. It's very frustrating. What I'm saying is, this is one of the best things that you can do to get people to use your solutions. I do fully acknowledge. It is complex. There's usually multiple people that need to be involved.

 

My point is, as with before, don't punt the responsibility. There are things that you can do on an individual level to drive that change with the people that you interact with, right? Culture is a function of a whole bunch of people doing things in a common way like, what I tell people. Lead the change that you want to see. You want to see the business use things more? Do your part to lead that change. I understand this is like the data and analytics equivalent of like, Tony Robbins, rah, rah, rah stuff. This is real.

 

[00:32:45] LP: Well, there's a reason why he's like, Tony Robbins, because –

 

[00:32:49] JK: Exactly, yeah.

 

[00:32:50] LP: He's speaking and we're going to get even a little more, big picture here. We're talking about different forms of intelligence in a way. I don't mean to use the word intelligence as like, intellect or smartness. I think those are inherently –

 

[00:33:07] JK: Like awareness.

 

[00:33:08] LP: I think that, when people describe intelligence, I think there are multiple facets to it, that are self-awareness, the effort towards improvement, and ultimately, what I call emotional agility. The ability to actually navigate challenging situations, and field difficult questions, and. get to the heart of conflict with stakeholders, and really understand what they need. So one of my favorite speakers on channels on YouTube is called, The School of Life, it's run by this guy, Alain de Botton, and incredible information about interacting with humans.

 

What he talks about is that humans as a race are immensely technologically proficient, the leaps and bounds we have made in our intellect, technical intellect. It's incomprehensible, and yet our human emotional intelligence is back in the cave days. It hasn't really matured on the whole. So that's why when I look at courses like yours, what I start to see is a better rounding out of, “Yes, we love the Python. We love learning Tableau and Power BI. I love that technical intellect. That's the fun place.” I do think the real juice when it comes to progressing in a business path comes from more of that emotional cultivation, that emotional IQ cultivation. I'd love to ask you, what's the first step that a practitioner can take to begin to get business literate?

 

[00:34:51] JK: Yes. I say that the first thing and this sounds ridiculous, but it's just awareness that you need to develop it. Most young guy at LS professionals, I talk. They laugh at the concept. They go, “Okay, we're not ready for you.” That's fine. There’s nothing wrong. It takes a certain level of maturity. Again, this is more of the emotional and awareness. I mean, I look back to when I was younger. I thought I knew everything at 25.

 

[00:35:17] LP: We did though, but we didn't know –

 

[00:35:19] JK: Exactly, yeah. Absolutely, but you know, somebody learns a new language, and they're unstoppable.

 

[00:35:25] LP: Right.

 

[00:35:26] JK: I know everything. I’m on roll with the world this. It happens all the time. The funny thing is, I've done it. Everybody I know has done it. It's part of the growth.

 

[00:35:33] LP: I still do it.

 

[00:35:35] JK: What I would say is one the awareness in the willingness to acknowledge that this is a developmental opportunity in your skill sets, or more specifically, your perspectives. The second thing I would say, is the acknowledgement of the work like that framework, right? That's the idea with the course is to say, what does business literacy actually entail? Because people have different perspectives on it. That's why we're focused on for data professionals, because you go view a big picture, all this finance, and blah, for data professional, we don't have to get too deep in that stuff, because it's about understanding at its core, understanding your customer their needs, what are their common pain points?

 

Let's say the first step in this, is those two things. Then I would say is, it's the willingness to step out from your comfort zone of living behind the keyboard, because that is the biggest hurdle I have seen, even if you get through the first two steps. Now you got to get out in the business. You got to do these things that are highly uncomfortable, but as I tell people is that well, what's more uncomfortable? You choose the discomfort, because it's going to make you grow, or the have that discomfort pushed upon you, because nobody's using your solution. Now, here's the point. You're going to have discomfort one way or another, but do you have it put upon you? Or do you go and seek it out? I know, for me, every time. I'm going to go seek it out.

 

[00:37:07] LP: That's right.

 

[00:37:07] JK: Because what happens eventually is as you – this is the career advice I give people is you start out and you got this little circle of skill set. Now you want to maybe grow over here, well leverage this skill set, be able to do 70% of the job right, and then learn that next three, and then circle gets bigger, bigger. Then before you know it, you've got this very vast portfolio of expertise across a bunch of different areas, each time you weren't jumping into something that was totally new. You were leveraging your existing skills to scale in different ways. My point here is the exact same methodology. Don't abandon your data, your data skills are immensely valuable.

 

[00:37:47] LP: Yes.

 

[00:37:48] JK: What we're saying is just in your head, maybe reprogram a little bit into consider, this is a really easy way, not easy. It's a very easy way to set yourself apart from in the sea of sameness.

 

[00:38:01] LP: Oh, that's right.

 

[00:38:02] JK: You do Python, great. So do a100 trillion other people – 1%, you're not going to stand out. These are just numbers. This is what I tell people that the reason why this is worthwhile is because we just a little bit of business literacy, combined with your technical skills. You will stand out, because the business is like, “All right, I need somebody that can do A, B and C. Oh, and that understands our business.” Well, A, B and C, you got 1000 people you're competing with. Adding the thing that you're good at, now maybe have one or two. You just vastly increased your career options. The earning potential. All of this other things. Let’s say the actual process starts up here, the approach, the awareness. I've got to get better in this realm, those things, because if you don't get those, you're not going to stick with the work when it gets hard.

 

[00:38:57] LP: You're making such a great point. I mean, I would say, I'm an immensely growth-oriented person. I don't like certain kinds of discomfort as much as the next person, but what life is teaching me is like life in general is generally hard. We have it way easier than like any other time in human history, but it's generally hard and an unexpected, and we're losing this conditioning to help us, I forget what they call it, but like conditioning our nervous system and trained meant to handle adversity.

 

We sit in our comfort zone, and then life hands us a real whopper. We’re like, we all come apart, but when we adopt a growth-oriented mindset, knowing that growing pains hurt. It's uncomfortable, because habits or habituation are what keep us comfortable and in our little cozy nest, but it's the edges of that nest that are going to be uncomfortable, but if we do it in the right way and consistently and to your point that we choose our discomfort. I had a coach who was told me go into intentional discomfort, so you don't forever live in unconscious discomfort. That discomfort happens to you make it happen for you, in a way.

 

[00:40:15] JK: Well, to your point. When I was in college, I was a division one track and field athlete at the University of Oregon.

 

[00:40:21] LP: Cool.

 

[00:40:22] JK: I ran the sprints. What my coach would say to me all the time, he's like, “All right, Jason. Today is going to be a hard workout. You got a decision to make. Do you want it to hurt now or do you want it to hurt when you finish second, or you finished third, and you knew you left something in the tank in this workout? Choice is yours. What one do you want?” I always chose the discomfort now, because you want to go into a situation, a presentation, a pitch, an analysis, whatever it is. Knowing that you are as prepared as you possibly could have been and that you made the choice, you chose, I'm going to do the hard work now so I can get that job down in the future.

 

I don't know what exactly what's going to unfold, but I want to walk into that situation down my career path. I am strategically managing it in a way that is going to put me in a position to do the things that I want to do, because a lot of people just drift through their careers. If that's what you want to do, that's your prerogative. Nobody's going to fault you for that. I for one would never do that. But this is, again, this is an individual decision. You want to drift, that's cool. You do your thing. A lot of people don't know. Then the question becomes, it's like that cartoon where it's like, “Who wants to win? Who wants to do the things that are needed to win?” It's like everybody's in the wind line. Yeah. Anyway, to bring it back full circle and all this is that the idea is that for many data professionals, this represents a very significant mindset shift.

 

[00:41:56] LP: Yeah, for sure.

 

[00:41:57] JK: This is where you've got to be, you've got to be committed to the change. If you do it, I guarantee you this. People that have both of these skills, the technical with the business, they're literally unstoppable. You can do whatever you want in your career and I say that with great confidence. You will stand out in such a positive way. It's unfathomable. I've got a couple people that run my team early on. I just hammered this mentality into that. They come back to me now like Jason. You were spot on like, these are people that three years ago were analysts, now they're at IVP level, right?

 

[00:42:34] LP: It's that amazing?

 

[00:42:35] JK: They’re moving up, because management sees it. This is a person that they get it. They can do it.

 

[00:42:41] LP: Yup. You know, you're right. Put as much discomfort you as you can on your terms, and embrace it as like a path, a facet of your life. Your right, Jason, once you embark on that path, there is no limit to what you can overcome if you are dedicated enough to it, but it really does take that moment, aha moment like where – what do I want out of this one shot that I have on this blue marble like, when I had the choice of staying at my very cushy job, or taking the entrepreneurial leap. I came across this article that described the velvet coffin, which was the velvet coffin meaning like a very plush, cozy, comfortable place where you die a little bit every day, instead of living a bit every day. That career can be the promise of a retirement pension and an increase in salary every year.

 

There's this pervading sense that you're not growing. That you're just dying, because we're all dying, we're all dying every single day. The day we're born, we're dying. I appreciate that mindset shift that you've enabled. I'd love to hear about how that filters down into some of the business literacy aspects. One of the ones I'm curious about, I'm always harping with my students that the stories are great, what they're designed to do is lead to making recommendations. It's like the setup and the recommendations like the slam dunk. You set that up, but then do you help teach people how to get people to take action on recommendations?

 

[00:44:20] JK: Yes, in my mind, that's the most important part.

 

[00:44:22] LP: Right. That's the point.

 

[00:44:25] JK: Again, I have a much more direct communication style. The people that know me know, you're capable of doing this. I'm trying to help you get out of your own way. Let's take the pricing example. Okay. You go through you do your pricing analysis and everything. Now, what you do is, what I like to do is to contextualize it. The reason why we're talking about this, is because we know in our strategic plan, we have a $10 million go get, on revenue. With a 5 million dollar go get on IBITDA. The purpose of this particular analysis and recommendation is to highlight ways that we can help close the gap on both. We started with the end in mind, problem, we think this is a solution. We get everybody in line there, great. We got attention, attention.

 

[00:45:07] LP: Yup. Number one.

 

[00:45:08] JK: Then what we do is we say, “Okay, we are recommending.” It's very specific. This is very difficult to do if you don't have the business literacy, right? You can do it, but it's harder, is that you say, “We recommend that for X products at y customers, we do a price increase of z.” Now I again, I'm vastly oversimplifying. Now, what we're saying is that, if we do this, we believe that one, we can do it because it strategic price increases. Rifle shot, price increases. We minimize churn risk, primary concern of any sales force.

 

Two this will help drive sales as a percent of plans and over performance, because you're not going to have to go out and get new business, you're optimizing your current portfolio business. Again, we're getting sales and management this addresses a major problem, because in price increases the first place you're going to get pushback, will find you that price increase, I'm going to lose that account, and then my incentive plan is blown up. We're going to we're going to get there before you do. We're going to acknowledge that upfront.

 

Then what you do is that now, again, there's more things that you can do in this example, but then it's acknowledging those risks, and then saying, “If we were to do this, here's the timeframe it would take to do it. Here's the resources we would need to do it.” Now, these are our recommendations, but we have a limited view of the world. What is the rest of the team think? What I love is poke holes in this argument, why won't it work? Given people permission to disagree. That's a very, very, very big deal, because now you've given people the medium to voice displeasure without buckling the social norms.

 

[00:46:46] LP: That's right.

 

[00:46:47] JK: Things like that. You've created the channel, the communication channel. Then what happens is it usually facilitates in my experience, a healthy discussion of debate, but then what we do is then at the end, we debate and then what I would do, and this won't work for everybody, that's my personality, because I like to lead and say, “Okay, it sounds we've got agreement, what are the tangible next steps that we are going to do, because we've done our part, this is the handoff now to the business saying, “All right, guys, we need somebody to actually take action on this. Who's going to do it?”

 

Now, what I like to do always beforehand is to understand way beforehand, who's actually going to do it. Then pre align with them. So when we go into the call, everybody already knows, right? People need to know. It's the pre sales meeting before the meeting, because you don't want to throw curveballs, anybody in the meeting, but what I found is this process in general, tends to work very well, because you've gotten everybody on the same page. If anybody has any grievances, you've created the opening for them to voice it. They feel heard. Even if people might not agree with it, just the fact that you're giving them a medium to be heard is often a very big deal.

 

Then if there's any disagreement in the future, you can come back and say, “Listen, I completely understand your point. However, we did give you the opportunity to vocalize how come you didn't vocalize it then?” Use a [inaudible 00:48:10] tell them, and you’d be like, tell me about it. What happens? So we can learn from. I was all over the place there, but that's what I found is that it's a complicated process. I like to make it much more crisp, but that example, hopefully bring some clarity on the technique and strategy that I use and coach my team on to get alignment, to get buy in. Then to get people to take action, because that last piece, what I would actually do in the past is I would actually, it's part of a project charter. Have like an informal contract. Okay, if we do this, you are committing to do the things that you need to do.

 

[00:48:51] LP: Right, get a contract.

 

[00:48:52] JK: Handshake agreement, whatever it is. When my team finishes this, because we're contributing finite resources to support your initiative, and I'm in. What I need from you, that is, I need the assurance that you are going to do what you need. We’ll do everything we can. When we do this and you don't deliver, we're going to have a different conversation. This is a conversation that is born from trust, mutual trust, respectful disagreement. It's a very big thing. Respectful being, because my point is, I want to see you win, because guess what, if you win, we all win.

 

[00:49:28] LP: We all win. Yup. That's the best mindset to have even when we disagree. It's when we have a every person for themselves mentality. That's when the whole system starts to fall apart. I love what you described like a contract for recommendations. Sometimes I often relate doing business and our relationships in corporate as dysfunctional marriages, I think, all have the same dynamics follow us in there except they're amplified, because our livelihood depends on it and we spend more time with our colleagues than we do often with our families. I've really tried to move out of the realm of psychic contracts. I came across this term where it's the unspoken expectation that we've created for each other like, “Oh, we'll do everything we can.”

 

Okay, what in the world does that actually mean, though? What does that mean? Because I think you can do a lot. I think you're have unlimited power, but that's obviously not the case. I don't want you to believe that I'm going to be able to do something that I didn't sign up to do. We go back and forth, and we have each other write these checks that we each can't cash. That's why I love the contract aspect. Something else I love that you said, and once again, it's amazing. We haven't gotten technical at all. Something else I love you talked about is about how could this not work? Which is poking it a huge hole in your own stuff and that's one of the biggest gripes that my audience has is, what about objections? They ask these challenging questions or poking holes. Don't agree. They don't trust me. I have a whole take on objections, but I'd love to hear your take first.

 

[00:51:23] JK: Well, to your point as having experienced it myself, many, many, many times. I just said again, this gets back to something I said before. Nowhere things are going to go off the rails and beat them to the pass. I know somebody is going to disagree with this. Rather than again sitting back and waiting, much like, our discomfort conversation. You can choose discomfort, or it can choose you. One of the two is going to happen. Either the exact same concept, rather than waiting for people to be like, “Well, I disagree with it, here's all the problems.” By proactively seeking it, seeking the discomfort, you actually in my belief actually end up strengthening your argument, because you're getting feedback that you probably don't get directly, you're probably getting it behind the scenes, or somewhere else where by creating that channel, you're getting direct feedback on the spot right there.

 

Then what you've done is you've created a constructive mechanism to say, “Hey, you know what.” I've used this. “You brought up a great point in that meeting.” Instead like, “We’re missing this, this and this.” What we've done is we brought these things together. I think we got it, I think we got to fix now, but like, all right, take a look at it and from your perspective, does this address the things that you brought up? Yeah. It does. Think about the trust that you earned, because when you heard me, do you respected my opinion, three, you did something about it, or it's something I can actually use. I mean, it is one of the quickest ways to build trust with a business stakeholder was just by asking that simple question, like we’re saying. Where's the holes in this logic? I just think it's a healthy exercise anyway. One of the best ways to strengthen argument is to actually argue the other side.

 

[00:53:10] LP: Right. Exactly. Play devil's advocate.

 

[00:53:13] JK: Yes, it's a bulletproof way. Are you against what you believe?

 

[00:53:15] LP: That’s right.

 

[00:53:16] JK: Because you're going to see all your holes then. If you really commit to it, you're going to see all the holes in your argument. You might find out like, yeah, I was wrong about that.

 

[00:53:24] LP: You’re like, “Oh, there is a whole.”

 

[00:53:26] JK: Yeah. A lot of them.

 

[00:53:27] LP: Big one. Yeah, to your point, when I go over objections in the storytelling process. I try to relay like, you don't realize this when you sit in front of these humans. They are not robots, they are humans. They're bringing with them all these cognitive biases. They might believe something that is a preconceived, very entrenched notion or trope that circulates the organization or the culture. They may have beliefs based in their own experience, but are unable to adjust and be flexible. They may not like you very much. There's an actual bias called disliked bias. They just may not like you, so they're already predisposed to disagree.

 

One of my favorite ways of thinking of objections is how can I create a bridge, because there's this chasm that is their bias and maybe our own? How can we say, so even the language like, now I know, I am aware, we are aware that there is a belief or a commonly held belief here that x y, z is this or this happens here. It's understandable. We are here to also represent what the data is telling us. We're finding something that is throwing that into question and we want to understand like, and it's acknowledging also. It's uncomfortable to adopt a new belief. It's the most uncomfortable to challenge our belief systems. We want to think we're so data driven, but we're not. We're emotionally driven, but we use data to substantiate our beliefs and decisions. How can you find that bridge? I do think that is like a next level partnership skill people can have.

 

[00:55:20] JK: That is hard. Your point on biases that the other thing that I've seen too is that people are fear. I think it's completely irrational. However, I disagree with it, but I understand it.

 

[00:55:33] LP: Right.

 

[00:55:33] JK: People feel found out, on the price example, “Hey, you haven't been managing your pricing very well.” That's not the intent at all. It is what it is. We want to make it better. Well, somehow they're going to get called out or that their job is going to be made obsolete or –

 

[00:55:50] LP: W0hat does it mean about them?

 

[00:55:52] JK: That's it. These things are irrational from the perspective of somebody who has been through this and knows, but from their lens of the world, again, the customer perspective. If you've never been through this, it's actually highly rational to be like, this is new, this is scary. I don't like it. I don't care if it will make my job 100 times easier and better. I don't like it, because it's different.

 

[00:56:15] LP: That's right. There's such a young language there, too, right? It's so young, right? I don't like it.

 

[00:56:22] JK: I don’t like it at all. I would see this all the time in like SAP installations when I would do this, and then what I would tell people about the plan level, being like, listen, the technology is going to replace you, you bring immense amount of expertise to the table. What it's going to do is to remove your expertise from being applied to repeatable and mundane tests, you can do things that are of much higher value. That's the difference. We're going to simply repurpose where you're spending your time.

 

[00:56:53] LP: I love that. What I'll conclude this part with is how can you show them the upside of challenging their beliefs and biases? What's the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow of that discomfort? I think once you're able to do that, and really, it's not just about telling them, well, what you thought was wrong, but it’s like, “Hey, good news. We were wrong about this.” There's this great stuff at the end of it.

 

[00:57:21] JK: Absolutely. It's hard for sure, though, because again, all this it's emotional, and emotion can defy logical explanation.

 

[00:57:29] LP: Two different wavelengths.

 

[00:57:30] JK: Yup.

 

[00:57:39] LP: All right, so we have arrived at a next segment called the upgrade, which is a tool, it book a resource, something cool that the listeners can check out. We love the tools here. Something cool that they can check out right away to help advance the practices we're talking about or if there was a resource that was really integral in your journey as a data practitioner. So what do you got?

 

[00:58:03] JK: Yeah, absolutely. The first thing that I would recommend, it does very valuable about this whole concept of perspective. It sounds counterintuitive, but I would actually recommend my buddy Jordan Morrow’s books.

 

[00:58:14] LP: Great.

 

[00:58:14] JK: Be Data Literate and Be Data Driven. The reason why, is because those books are written for business professionals looking to build data literacy. One of the best ways to understand your audience is to get a sense of where they're at, right? Because you want to meet them where they're at. You want to help them along in their journey. I think that reading those two books provides, Be Data Literate is great, I think on the individual level. How does the individual business person assess and look at data. Then Be Data Driven is more in my take more organizationally focused. I find these very valuable, because it's almost the curse of knowledge. If you know something, it's very difficult to imagine somebody who doesn't have that expertise. In reading these books puts you squarely in the middle of our perspective like, what do you mean they don't know the four types of analytics?

 

[00:59:04] LP: There are four?

 

[00:59:07] JK: Yeah. It's like those are the things where it's like perspective. It's about put transporting yourself into your customer’s mindset, moral, fears and by getting into that, now we're building by reading these books. It'll help you build that mental muscle to now transport yourself into your customer’s perspective, which is linking this all together, is building back to here. Open this a couple inches here, building that perspective, because that's the foundation of everything we've talked about.

 

[00:59:38] LP: I love it. It sounds like, if Jordan is listening, he needs to make a little appearance on the show, because I love books and love authors. That sounds like something that will really help continue to help practitioners really expand out the dimensions that they're operating in. I love that. I can't wait to check it out. All right, this is our final wildcard question. Think very hard here. Imagine this very plausible scenario. You're taking the platform at the World weightlifting championship. Suddenly you trip and fall into a vortex that pulls you back to the moment you're about to deliver your first presentation. Do you remember what you were presenting about? What advice would you give to past Jason?

 

[01:00:26] JK: I was very fortunate that I was given some advice early on in college, which was, take Toastmasters. Do it?

 

[01:00:34] LP: Yes.

 

[01:00:36] JK: I did it. I've always been a very social, I'm an extrovert. If it hasn't been made readily apparent already.

 

[01:00:43] LP: No. No way.

 

[01:00:46] JK: I'm not joking. I would love nothing more than to talk to a stadium full of 60,000 people. Not because I love, the bigger the crowd, the more energy.

 

[01:00:55] LP: That's true.

 

[01:00:56] JK: Well my buddy told me, he's like, “You're like the Hulk for speaking.” He's like, “Hulk get angry or Hulk get stronger.” Jason has a bigger crowd. I love it more. My advice would just be like, just understand that this is a journey and that you're going to be uncomfortable in a lot of different ways, but just get clear and who it is that you want to be. What do you want to stand for? What do you want your life to be? I know that those are deeper questions, but I've talked to a lot of individuals that are we'll say, further along in the journey of life, incredibly successful individuals. What they keep coming back to there's a consistent theme, which is just like, as you get older, you start to get clarity on these things. You stop caring less about what people think.

 

It's a very liberating experience to get clarity on who you are as an individual. It’s very powerful when you reach that point, because you get a sense of comfort that you really can't get any other way and this is process of discovery. It’s like the journey that we're talking about self-discovery. These are things that 10 years ago, I would have just laughed at, yeah, sure. I've just realized the immense wisdom in these words that these people taught me. If I fell into the vortex, and I was getting on stage to talk about stuff like this, that would be what I would say is just like, you're going to figure it out just be receptive to the journey, and understand that it is a journey. You're going to make wrong turns. You're going to mess up, all that stuff, but just have that established that North Star, where do you want to go? Who do you want to be? All those things.

 

I think that this is really important and that influences your personal life, professional life, everything like, let's tell a really, really quick story. I shared a post yesterday, I got great reception, where I had a job offer in hand to be achieved blank at a $12 billion company. Job was mine. If I wanted it, I had it. I thought like, this is the North star story. Do I want to go and keep playing this corporate game? Yeah, I can make a ton of money at it. When I get to my 60s, am I going to look back and be, “I did that for the money. I didn't do that because I wanted it.” No, I don't want that. It actually, it gave me, I don't get anxiety ever. It gave me anxiety, thinking about it, because –

 

[01:03:18] LP: Wow, interesting.

 

[01:03:20] JK: Those things where I was like, “No, I don't want to live that life. I want to live the life the way that I want to live it.” This the whole – only point is that's my decision, but I had clarity on the North star, because I wanted to be a family man that was present for my kids. I wanted to be a good husband, I want to be there at the games, I wanted all that stuff. I was convinced that I can be successful without that stuff. Now at the sale, that was my personal journey, you have to determine for the individual, whoever it is yourself. What do you want it to be? Because it's going to be different for each of us, but give it the thought. Don't just drift in life. Don't drift in your career. Get the clarity on what it is that you want. It will help you make decisions along the way.

 

[01:04:00] LP: Well, Jason, this is why I love this conversation. I think why you're so inspiring, because you are not just talking about the tactics and the tangible aspects of this job. You're really talking about like getting to the human side of things since asking, what do you want this –  we've one shot at this.

 

[01:04:20] JK: Where you want it to be.

 

[01:04:22] LP: What do you want? What do you want this to be? It's all good, but to your point like, if you’re really loving what you're doing, or if you are choosing to do something for the money, that's actually a perfectly acceptable thing. We're living in a world where our survival depends on it. However, don't just sit there forever. Don't forget that question. If you're experiencing anxiety, and who do you want to show up as, and what are the skills that it will take to get there? So wow, I am blown away by that advice, obviously like preaching to the choir.

 

[01:04:56] JK: One last thing too, on that. It was that, I don't want anybody else listening to this, it might be more technically minded to think that I'm knocking. I came up through the technical ranks. Data architect. Data engineer. I came up through there, but then what I realized is by having that North Star, we start looking at opportunities differently. That's my only point is just to challenge you to think differently about your life, about your career. Again, if you choose that path you want, you want to keep it, that your choice. You do you.

 

[01:05:26] LP: But choose it.

 

[01:05:28] JK: Choose, that's it. Choose it.

 

[01:05:30] LP: Right. Don't let it choose you. I really liked how you said that. Whether it's discomfort or your life, choose it, don't let things choose you and I really going to, maybe that's the tattoo that I've been waiting for. All right. Well, Jason, obviously, love this conversation so much, unfortunately, our time has run out. Please tell the listeners where they can keep up with you.

 

[01:05:54] JK: Yeah. If you aren't already follow me on LinkedIn, I post every day. I've been posting there for years just try to share much like this conversation, just my view anything. I don't know everything. I've learned a lot. I've made a lot of mistakes and a lot of my stories try to focus on much like here, what I have learned, hopefully sharing it so other people can benefit from it, positively challenging people to maximize their potential. If you're not already following me there, again, with my course, Business Literacy for Data Professionals, check it out. I'm going to be releasing it next week. We got 20 minutes of free content. I think it'd be highly impactful for a lot of individuals. I would love it if you had to check it out.

 

[01:06:30] LP: Beautiful. Thank you so much, Jason. I am thrilled we finally got this off the ground. I've always felt such a great resonance with you and your work and your mission. I'm thrilled to be in the space of just helping practitioners get the most out of this choice of life, right, looking forward to our paths crossing again.

 

[01:06:52] JK: Likewise, thank you very much for the opportunity to speak again. I admire your work greatly and keep dominating it.

 

[01:06:57] LP: Thanks so much.

 

[01:06:58] JK: Have a good one.

 

[OUTRO]

 

[01:07:07] LP: Wow. Wow. Wow. It's not often when I meet someone who not only so deeply understands the craft of data so well, and what it means at every level of the organization, but also embodies a deep growth and service mindset that can only create the deepest and widest ripple of positive change in the surrounding community, lucky us. To catch all of the resources, everything mentioned in this episode, please visit the show notes page at leapica.com/081. If you'd like to connect, don't be shy and reach out to me on LinkedIn or Twitter. Be sure to send a connection invite with a note mentioning the show. I love to meet my listeners and I respond to every message.

 

I'll leave you with today's bit of presentation inspiration by Lao Tzu, and that is, “Knowing others is intelligence. Knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.” My take, I truly believe that success in life is sourced by a continuous pursuit of self-mastery and growth, which can only come from stepping outside of our warm and cozy comfort zones and beholding the possibilities that wait for us beyond. That's it for today. Stay warm, stay well and Namaste.

 

[END]

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