Interview with Billy Taylor, Author of The Winning Link


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Joining us for Episode #466 of the Lean Blog Interviews Podcast is a returning guest, Billy Taylor. Since his last appearance, Billy has written and released a great book titled The Winning Link: A Proven Process to Define, Align, and Execute Strategy at Every Level.

Billy had a long career at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, where he served as plant director for both union and non-union facilities, leading lean transformations in Goodyear's largest and most complex tire-producing sites. Billy more recently founded his firm LinkedXL, where he is CEO.

He was previously a guest in Episodes 293 and 298, back in 2017. He was also a guest on Episode 5 of “My Favorite Mistake.”

Questions, Notes, and highlights:

  • Before we talk about your book, what stood out to you most at the AME conference this year?
  • How to understand the level of trust? How do build it??
  • “Coaching leaders on how to show up”
  • Productive huddles – Key Performance Actions (KPA)
  • What is “title-itis”?
  • Best people… best processes
  • Defining winning — why is that a challenge for some organizations? Lack of agreement on what winning means?
  • Purpose mapping – agreeing on this first?
  • Developing your strategy — how do we know if a strategy is the “right” strategy?? Truly differentiating??
  • What's your CPI – critical performance indicator? 
  • “Have you defined what winning means to you?”
  • SOAP – Strategy on a Page
  • Aligning to win — As you write — Making jobs better not making jobs go away?
  • “America… not a hiring problem… a retention problem”
  • Psychological Safety
  • “Covid changed the way we do business”

The podcast is sponsored by Stiles Associates, now in their 30th year of business. They are the go-to Lean recruiting firm serving the manufacturing, private equity, and healthcare industries. Learn more.

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Automated Transcript (Not Guaranteed to be Defect Free)

Announcer (1s):
Welcome to the Lean Blog podcast. Visit our website Now, here's your host, Mark Graban.

Mark Graban (13s):
Hi, it's Mark Graban here, welcomed episode 466 of the podcast. It is January 11th, 2023. I had to focus on that really hard because I keep saying 2013 by mistake. I am clearly stuck in the past. But welcome to the present and welcome to 2023. I'm really happy that my first guest of the year is Billy Taylor. He's a returning guest. For more information about Billy, his book, his company and more, look for links in the show notes. Or you can go to Well, hi everybody. Welcome back to the podcast. My guest today is Billy Taylor. He is a returning guest.

Mark Graban (53s):
I'm really happy to have him back. We, he was here in episodes 293 and 298 from a couple years back, if you want to go check that out. And then more recently, Billy was also my guest on episode five of the My Favorite Mistake podcast series. So I recently got to catch up with Billy a little bit at the AME annual conference. And before I tell you a little bit more, Billy, welcome back to the podcast. How are you?

Billy Taylor (1m 17s):
Thank you, Mark. I am doing well, and thank you for having me back. I really enjoyed being on those episodes, and you and I still talk about them from time to time, so thank you for having me.

Mark Graban (1m 28s):
Yeah, well, thank you for being back and, you know, thank you like with the My Favorite Mistake podcast of of, of being one of the first, you know, being brave enough to share your favorite mistake story and to be, you know, open about talking about mistakes that really sets a good example for others. So thank you again for that.

Billy Taylor (1m 45s):
Thank you. And congratulations on the show. It's doing very well. Very well. So I, I'm honored to be one of the first ones to be invited. Yeah.

Mark Graban (1m 54s):
And, and, and I will mention it and encourage people. I'll put a link to it in the show notes. It is the most-listened-to episode of the My Favorite Mistake podcast by a good margin. So there's the Billy Taylor Effect. Thank you again for that.

Billy Taylor (2m 7s):
Thank you.

Mark Graban (2m 10s):
But since we, we last talked, Billy has written and released a, a great book. It's titled The Winning Link: A Proven Process to Define a Line and Execute Strategy at Every Level. So we're gonna be talking about that today. And if you don't know, Billy, just in, in a nutshell, and I'll, I'll link to his full bio in the show notes. He had long career at Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. He served, he had a lot of different leadership roles, including being a plant director in both union and non-union facilities. He was leading Lean Transformations in Goodyear's largest and most complex tire-producing sites. And, and Billy Moore recently founded his firm LinkedXL, where he is the CEO and doing a lot of great work with companies out there.

Mark Graban (2m 52s):
So, you know, Billy, before we, we talk about the book, the Winning link, it, it was great reconnecting with you at AME and I know you were there, there for a while. What, it's kind of open-ended question, but what stood out to you most? Like what, what, what, what's your first recollection of, you know, what was interesting at the AME conference this year?

Billy Taylor (3m 11s):
One, the, the content that was being displayed, it was right, the next generational type of lean experience, right? It's post-Covid, people were excited to be back out and, and, and talking to people, interacting with people. But the content around operational excellence and lean is what, what really impressed me. Some of the guests that were, were the keynote speakers, were very, very hands-on. They, they, they gave you the experience that you can go up and talk to them. That type of experience and the interactions, I think the, the, the speakers and workshop leaders were more personable cause they were just coming back into that we can interact not through a Zoom, A zoom, I'm sorry, teams that, that stood out to me.

Billy Taylor (4m 2s):
People wanted to be there. People were embracing the knowledge and then the follow up discussions, they were outstanding. Outstanding.

Mark Graban (4m 11s):
Yeah. Well, there were a lot of great speakers and in a recent episode, Katie Anderson and I talked about Larry Culp as the CEO of GE. Gary Michel, another CEO, Jeld-Wen is previously CEO of that company up, up of, until recently. You know, both shared really, really great perspectives about the shop floor, the frontline workers, the respect that they both showed and, and, and talking about their employees. You know, it's, that's, that's exactly the example that you would, you, you would wanna see leaders set at ame.

Billy Taylor (4m 48s):
Absolutely. And, and like the, the, the Larry Culp. That was very, very good because it was part keynote and part just an open discussion. Open dialogue with Katie. Yeah. That was very, very well received by the audience.

Mark Graban (5m 4s):
Yeah. And, and Katie and I recapped that in that episode. So I encourage people to scroll down a little bit in the feed and they can, they can listen to that. Now, Billy, you did a session. I, I wish they had you on the main stage, like hopefully next year. But you did a session, it was for the Champions Club group, is that right? A fireside chat.

Billy Taylor (5m 25s):
A fireside chat. Where it was, it was only personal invite where they had personal invites. And we just talked about, you know, how to drive excellence, how to, how to shape culture. Because when you think about leadership and people that are in these roles, and they're talking lean transformations, I always talk about that respect and value for people that drive change. It's like being a, a good parent. I recently saw this. I was watching something on TV and I was watching a teacher really explain the students just the value of life and, and, and, and very applicable to leadership. It's like, I can buy a watch, but I can't buy time.

Billy Taylor (6m 6s):
I can buy a house, I can buy a mansion, but I can't buy a home. And so as leaders, when you go in and you get these big titles, what are you building or you building an enterprise of ownership, respect, trust. Right? You hear me talking about earning the right to change. The technical right? Is you can go out and buy equipment, you can hire associates, but what you don't get is that culture that drives those things. Now, when you earn the cultural right, that's the respect and trust. That's the same equivalent of buying that watch and time. And so when you go out there in, in, in organizations and, and I see organizations when I go out there, just this conference when I was having a fireside chat, it was around those leaders that are really driving change the cultural piece of change.

Mark Graban (7m 5s):
And there's really no shortcut when it comes to building trust. I mean, through, through your actions. It takes time. I I, I'd love to hear you elaborate on, you know, leaders building trust. How do you first understand the level of trust that exists before you try to, to build or strengthen that?

Billy Taylor (7m 23s):
No, I was just gonna say, seek to understand before you seek to change. Okay. Don't walk into an organization thinking you know about that organization. You know about the natives, you know, what drives your organization. Because then sometimes it's not a common language, it's a common meaning, right? Because people want to, you want them to understand right now in this, this world of diversity, the workforce that's being hired is, are multicultural. And so you may have to put your work instructions in a different language until that demographic understands English. But the meaning has to be the same, those interactions and Right. It takes time, it takes understanding, it takes interactions.

Billy Taylor (8m 7s):
And you have to go to every level of the organization and connect. You have to connect. If you don't, that leader, when mistrust seeks in, you have a problem. A major problem. Right?

Mark Graban (8m 24s):
And as, as a leader, you can't just say, Hey, I'm new. You should trust me.

Billy Taylor (8m 29s):
Makes sense, right? Or, hey, I'm the the plant manager, or Hey, I'm the c e o, or Hey, I'm this vice president, you should or you must follow me. Doesn't work that way. It's not that simple. It's not that simple. It's first sheet. Hey Mark, how are you doing? I'm Billy Taylor. Tell me about yourself. Well, I'm from this place as well, and I do this and you know, and you invite them in and, and then they'll invite you in.

Mark Graban (8m 56s):
Yeah. Yeah. You can't jump right into, hi, I'm, hi, I'm Mark Graban. I'm new here. What do you think we should improve? Like, that might be a little too direct,

Billy Taylor (9m 6s):
Right? That's right. That's right. It's kinda like the state forum commercial, right? We're good neighbor. We're a good neighbor 'cause we're there. Right? We're there, right. We're you, you can trust us.

Mark Graban (9m 20s):

Billy Taylor (9m 21s):
You know, and, and that's what good leaders are there, right? Good, good leaders listen, good leaders engage. But it's kinda like my favorite mistake when we talk, right? Not holding too much standards. Good leaders set standards and hold a team to those standards, right? They're, that's what make the great coaches in life, the great parents in life, right? The great teachers. They, those, those, those individuals start with standards and they hold to those standards and they make you better for it. Yeah.

Mark Graban (9m 54s):
Yeah. And they help you be able to hold to the standard. I mean, I see in healthcare a different setting than, than you're working in there. There are real systemic barriers that prevent healthcare providers from holding to the standard when they want to. So then people are forced into workarounds or shortcuts. And, you know, there's, there's that opportunity in healthcare for, for the leaders to not shy away from the feedback people are giving about, you know, here are the barriers. We need your help. And, and not just blame people for what they're being forced into doing with the workarounds or the shortcuts.

Mark Graban (10m 34s):

Billy Taylor (10m 35s):
Absolutely. As, as my mother would say, son, there's no, there are no shortcuts to success. And often the shortcut is the long way to success because you, you have to correct some mistakes, you have to correct some things you covered up by taking the shortcut. And so it eventually becomes the long way to success. And so once you set standards, now standards are not monuments. Right? You can earn the right to change them, but the good leaders hold to those standards.

Mark Graban (11m 9s):
Yeah. And, you know, I think good leaders also, thinking back to your phrase, you talk about being there, you know, there's, there's this often this advice that's given, you know, leaders need to go out into the gemba or the shop floor or the, the workplace. So being there is important, but how you're being matters too, right? If we, if leaders go out and, and, and they're out in the workforce and they're, they're yelling and blaming and doing things that, that aren't helping. I mean, there's, there's, there's, there's how you're being, while you're being there, I, I'd be curious to hear your thoughts about that, of coaching people through developing good habits or new habits for when they're out there.

Billy Taylor (11m 54s):
Yeah. It's coaching leaders on how to show up, how to show up. And, and often you start by showing up as a listener rather than a teller, right? Because change, the best part of change is done with people, not to people. And so when you show up to the gemba and all you're doing is, is picking, I call it picking corn out of the chicken poop. Right? You just picking out little things and you, you, and people get irritated by that, right? And, and, and often say, ask leaders, ask the person to state what the issue is, and then ask them, what do you need from me?

Billy Taylor (12m 35s):
Not what do you want from me? What do you need from me to eliminate this constraint? Right? Because often people, people, people are seeking to understand you, to understand your commitment as a leader. And, and, and, and no one's a boss. And you bosses are extinct, you know, the way we live with, with, with social media. And we know more than we've ever known, faster than we ever knew it. And so leaders are, I mean, people are looking for leaders. Leaders are partners in success.

Mark Graban (13m 12s):

Billy Taylor (13m 13s):
They're not bosses, right.

Mark Graban (13m 15s):

Billy Taylor (13m 15s):
Just tell people what to do.

Mark Graban (13m 16s):
Right. That's, that's an outdated term.

Billy Taylor (13m 19s):

Mark Graban (13m 20s):
If not offensive, almost, I mean, be boss. But like you said, leading with questions, leading with humility. And, and that doesn't mean, let, lemme throw this back to you as a question. I mean, I think sometimes people misunderstand a little bit that say, oh, oh, okay, lean problems should be solved at lower levels of the organization, and we have continuous improvement, so I'll just delegate everything to the frontline staff. That doesn't really work either. Right? How do you find the balance between what leaders need to be doing in addition to the frontline staff and what they're doing?

Billy Taylor (13m 60s):
So how the, the how is being very, very deliberate on how you deploy strategy. Because you people need to know what they own. And so when you break that down, you can really have those, I mean, precise conversations on what it is that the person should be doing and what they own inside the strategy. And so when you do that, it's a different discussion than this big Yeah. This big massive bowl of, we, we own everything. We own safety, we own quality.

Billy Taylor (14m 41s):
No. What do you own in your part of safety and helping people with, with creating a safe environment? What do you own in quality? And when you can break it down to that point, you can really have those productive discussions. Those right. Those, those those that, that, that creative problem solving that scientific thinking. Because when we say we, one of the ladies on my team used to say, when, when two people owned the dog, the dog dies because I thought you fed the dog. No, I thought you fed the dog. No, I I did feed the dog. Well, I fed the dog too. The dog either over eat, overeat, or star. Right? Because we own the dog, we don't know who owns what.

Billy Taylor (15m 24s):
And so that's what I see in companies when, when, when these discussions happen, these weed discussions, you know, and everybody show up at a board or a huddle board. And that's one of the things I've seen as one of the least productive things in, in enterprises. Their, their daily huddles. It's more one person talking or two, but you're just reporting news. You're, you're, yeah, well we had a safe night, we have this quality issue. We then they break like a football huddle and everybody go to their job. Right? Productive huddles. What I've seen is they're focused on key KPIs, the key performance actions that we're gonna take to drive the key performance indicator, right?

Billy Taylor (16m 5s):
Right. And what we're gonna achieve. The KPI says, did we do a safety walk? And what did we find? And who's going to address that? Did we have any quality alerts, any quality issues? Did who, who owns it? And who's going to address it? Those are productive huddles. Right? And, but it's a, it's, it's, it's systematized and has a process driven the big collective, everybody owns it. Again, it's one of those terms that, that will get you in trouble. Right. We'll get the leader in trouble.

Mark Graban (16m 38s):
Yeah, you're right. Neil. Thinking first about huddles, it's interesting to observe the body language of a team that's huddling where it's say if there, there, there's an opportunity for improvement. If everyone's just kind of got arms folded, looking at their shoes, looking at their watch, just waiting for the huddle to be over that, that's not a good huddle. There's an opportunity to engage people in a better way, right?

Billy Taylor (17m 3s):
Absolutely. I recently was with an organization and they were doing their team huddle, and the leader themselves was offended when they got the recommendation to, to let others talk about their business in the huddle. The leader wanted to do all the talking, well, I've got the data, I'm gonna give them the data and then send them to work. And it's like you said, mark, you watch their body language, they're checking out, they're checking out on this individual. And the individual doesn't have the emotional intelligence to see that, to see that you're not engaging these associates and they're not going to, to buy into what you're doing because it's not inclusive.

Billy Taylor (17m 51s):
Not inclusive. And they don't see the value in it.

Mark Graban (17m 55s):
And it seems like if that leader doesn't have the emotional intelligence, or isn't reading the room, or isn't reading the huddle, it seems like that's where you or another coach can, can help maybe help open their eyes to, to what they're not noticing. And, and sort of a how, how, I mean, you, it's a difficult thing to bring up maybe, but if, if you've got a good coaching relationship, hopefully they're, they're open to you kind of raising the concern to talk about, right?

Billy Taylor (18m 24s):
Yeah. And as to how right. To even bring that to their attention to say, when I'm, when I'm coaching, I call it out on the spot in a respectful way. I, I make sure that they get the point. Because some people are in denial, right? They, they, they don't see their own flaws. And they're, they have that title ILAs, that's what I call it, title ILAs IDAs, where they this big title and they know it all. And I'll, I'll point out, look at your team. Look, look, they're not following you, right? They're being maliciously obedient.

Billy Taylor (19m 5s):
Right? They're saying, yes, we'll do it. They're they, that's what they're saying to you. Yes, they're doing well. Here's what they're thinking. Yes, we'll do it.

Mark Graban (19m 13s):
But the head nodding no.

Billy Taylor (19m 15s):
Right? Right. They're not going to do it. Cause they don't buy in. And again, they feel that we as humans, we don't resist change. We resist change being done to us rather than that's when we push back. And you don't involve us in the change the planning. Right. You can come up with what winning is, but how do we connect, how do we own some of this? Because the greatest teams, the greatest sports teams, leadership teams, they have b buy-in where they, they rally around the win. They, they, they own their part of the strategy and they know, they know it's like the best.

Billy Taylor (20m 0s):
And I'm a huge football fan. Now I'm a huge Nick Saban fan, not an Alabama fan, but a Nick Saban fan because Nick is very deliberate around letting every player know what they own in the daily, in, in the strategy, in the daily strategy. And if you jump offsides or get a penalty on a Nick Saban team, and he's up by 45 points, the game's out of reach, no way the other team can come back and beat you. But, but Mark Gran, if you jumped offsides, you're going to hear about it in the film session, right. Because you violated the standard.

Mark Graban (20m 40s):
Yeah. It's a, a process problem, even though the result of the game was good.

Billy Taylor (20m 45s):
Absolutely. Because the next game you may be down seven points and they're on a verge of winning the game and you jump off side and it costs the whole team the victory. So he's correcting those things that may hurt the organization or hurt the enterprise. And, and, and, and, and, but the person that jumped offside, they are aware that that's not acceptable. And that's when you start to win. When people own it, they know what the strategy is, they own it and they know their piece of it. That's what's important because when, when, when often, when I talk Mark, I'll say, strategy plus execution equals results.

Billy Taylor (21m 29s):
And then people say, well, if that's, if it's that easy, why doesn't it happen? I said, the plus. See, the plus is what's so vague in strategy. Strategy plus execution. Plus is who owns what in the strategy, who owns what at every level of the organization. And I talk about if I was, when I was at Goodyear, if I needed to make 38,000 tires a day and I had 38 tire builders, that means each one of you have to get 1000 tires a day. If you don't get your thousand, you have let the team down. And so they took pride in getting 1100.

Mark Graban (22m 8s):

Billy Taylor (22m 9s):
Right. They knew what winning was.

Mark Graban (22m 13s):
But you, you, I'm sure in that situation, you equipped them to do that. Nick Saban equips his team to win through the talent that he brings in through, through the system, through the practice, through the training, through the discipline. You can't just grab any 80 students and throw throw pads on him and say, Hey, go win. And then blame them for not winning when Alabama beats them 400 to nothing.

Billy Taylor (22m 37s):
Absolutely. He equips them. Well, one, he goes and get the best people. He has the best tools and his processes are married to both of those to drive excellence. Right. I saw so many of his kids this morning that jumped into the, the transfer portal to go to a different school. There were five star four stars at one time that for whatever reason, they're not getting much plane time under, under under Nick Saban. Well, it's, it's Nick Standard. That's all I'm gonna say. But I do know, I I guarantee you mark that at the start of next season, Nick Saban will be in the top five, or his leadership standards will be in the top five.

Billy Taylor (23m 27s):

Mark Graban (23m 28s):
And I think there's an interesting parallel there. It's not just about getting the best people. I mean, there are football programs out there, I'm sure, that have really highly rated recruiting classes year after year. That kind of underperform Absolutely. To the Nick Saban standard or the, the Dabo Sweeney standard or let's say, well, it's gonna be interesting to see what he's gonna do at Colorado, the Dion standards standard, who's been incredibly successful at Jackson State.

Billy Taylor (23m 55s):
You know? Absolutely. Very, very much so. But he went into the locker room. I was watching something on his introduction to his players. He started with talking about his standards.

Mark Graban (24m 9s):

Billy Taylor (24m 10s):
And what it's gonna take to make his team, if you're an existing player. He talked about those things on what, what it takes to win. Not a big promise that we're gonna be great. The great Pat Summit from Tennessee, she was the same way. She started with the standard that that's what those were the leaders I really studied. It's gonna be interesting to see what Dion Sanders does. I'm looking forward to it. But here's the other thing. People are in the portal are trying to get his attention. Right. They want to play for a coach like that.

Billy Taylor (24m 50s):
So people now, it, it's like a magnet, right? The the, they're, they're attracting Colorado's already attracting some of the best players in the country. Yeah. The leadership standard.

Mark Graban (25m 2s):
Yeah. Well, and then it's interesting to see, you know, the standard that exists for hiring a coach. Who knows if that's the right standard, because people kind of wondered like, well, you hired Deion Sanders. I don't think he, I don't think he, he hadn't gone through the traditional path of being an assistant coach. And people questioned that. Or, you know, the Indianapolis Colts recently hired a former player to be a coach who I think had coached a little bit in high school, but he was on ESPN. And you know, it's, it's interesting, the challenge is that a standard, you talked earlier about standard isn't a monument. Maybe some of the standards are outdated.

Mark Graban (25m 43s):
If someone is a leader, they, they can, you know, hire people to do some of the tactical things related to the coaching. Maybe we need to look in, in different settings. And I'll, I'll I'll draw a parallel to healthcare here. The standard of who can be a hospital ceo. That standard has generally been somebody who's moved up through the ranks in healthcare. It's interesting when that standard gets challenged, somebody who's brought in from a non-traditional background, and sometimes that's their biggest strength.

Billy Taylor (26m 10s):
Absolutely. And I think, and I watched the best coaches, the Pat Summits, the, the Sabins, even Deion, they hired the best people around them, meaning assistant coaches. They, that's what they got. Right. And they were able to let go without letting loose. Right. And so they let those coaches do their job. They went out and got the best coaches to surround them with. If you ever watch a game, Nick is not really coaching the game. He's coaching the environment and holding his coaches to a standard. He's not coaching the game. I watched Dion, he wasn't coaching the game when they, they won the championship Saturday.

Billy Taylor (26m 55s):
He wasn't coaching the game. He was coaching the environment. And, and I, I would often say when I was in corporate America, yeah, I'm a pretty smart guy. I've got 13 degrees, right. And people say, what do you mean you have 13 degrees? I earned two and I hired 11. Right. And I use all 13 of them. Yeah. Right. I, I, i, I hired to compliment my weaknesses or my gaps. And so that's how I put the best coaching group on the field to, to manage my team.

Mark Graban (27m 28s):
Yeah. And I think a good leader in any setting isn't threatened, hopefully isn't threatened by the talented people that they've hired to be part of their team. I'm saying like, oh, this person could replace me someday. You know, sometimes in sports there are accusations that, you know, a head coach doesn't, you don't want to feel threatened by their offensive coordinator or their defensive coordinator. Yes. But like talent's gotta attract talent and not be threatened.

Billy Taylor (27m 56s):
Right. By

Mark Graban (27m 56s):
Talent. Right.

Billy Taylor (27m 58s):
Right. You want the best talent on your team. I, and you know, no matter who you are, if you are the smartest person on that team, by far, you are in broad, you have a problem. You have a problem. Because you know what, Mark, there's some things that I am, I'm, I'm better at than you would be. And there's things that you're much better at than I would be. But collectively we can be better than anyone else at this. And so that's when you realize where humility has its place. Humility and respect has its place in trust. It's no different than you and I being on a podcast today.

Billy Taylor (28m 39s):
Right. It, it's that mutual respect, that value proposition. I value being on your podcast. You value heaven me on your podcast. And that's what works. That's what works. That's where that mutual respect and trust comes in. And, and that same as leading teams, I value the people on my team and, you know, they value being on my team. You know, and, and together, right. We, we make things happen. We, we, we, we drive positive change. Yeah.

Mark Graban (29m 13s):
So I'm gonna ask one football, one more football question, looking for analogies to, to, you know, our workplaces. But before we talk about the book, speaking of making things happen, Billy making the book happen, the winning link. We'll talk more about that. But you talked earlier about Nick Saban and his, his coaching and his standards, and I've blogged about this. He talks about the process, you know, he's big into process. And you, you, you, you brought up a situation where a player jumps offside. Now sometimes you get away with it, official doesn't see it. Does that get pointed out as an opportunity for improvement?

Mark Graban (29m 53s):
Like, hey, you, you jumped offside, but you lucked out. Let's, let's learn from that. Right?

Billy Taylor (29m 59s):
Absolutely. Absolutely. That's the shortcut piece, right? You can't praise and, and I say it like this thing about the process. Celebrate the process, embrace the individual, because you have to have those hard conversations, those transparent conversations, because that person can feel that that's okay. That's okay. It's like if your kid shoplifted or something and you find out two or three weeks later, you don't say that's okay,

Mark Graban (30m 34s):
Right? Because you got away with it. No, not at all. Yeah.

Billy Taylor (30m 37s):
Because what if you say that's okay, you going to enforce the behavior that that's okay and that person's going to do it again. The next time they will get caught. They will get caught. And, and, you know, being raised by a very stern mother, you know, parent, that was it. You know, those, those things. She didn't let pass by. She, she didn't let go. She always took the opportunity to talk about things you could do to be better. Now she celebrated things. We did well, but when I say focus on the process, the process is you don't jump offsides.

Billy Taylor (31m 18s):
You got away with that one. And how often do we get away with something or passing on poor quality? But here's the one mark that really jumps out when you say that jumping off sides, you violated a safety issue, right? And the leader let it go, walk past it. You violated a lockout tagout situation so that people can get more production. And the leader looked the other way. Now, a week later, you go in and you violate that bypass and it results in a fatality.

Billy Taylor (32m 3s):
Had the leader addressed it, then that associate would not have did it a second time. But cause you got away with it that time, it ended in a, a serious injury or fatality. And so that's why I say, you know, you have to hold to those standards, you know, and going back to your statement earlier, you can't rely on getting lucky. Right. Or you can't take the shortcut because you know what, and even in that incident, the shortcut was the long way.

Mark Graban (32m 37s):
Right. And there, the, there was a story in the news recently about, I won't name names, but a large global manufacturer that makes big heavy equipment, had an employee who was killed in a factory. And the, the, there was a big OSHA fine. And, and, and it sounds like the story, at least my reading of it, was that there, there was some equipment that was often jamming like this, I think metal extrusion factory and what you were saying reminded me of this story, Billy, where the employee was allowed to, or maybe even taught to jump over safety barricading and unjam the machine without doing a tagout lockout.

Mark Graban (33m 22s):
And they probably got away with it a bunch of times. And then one time there, there was a big boom arm that came around and hit the worker in the head, killed instantly.

Billy Taylor (33m 32s):

Mark Graban (33m 32s):
It's tragic. But I mean, that's just that, that, that, that shouldn't happen if people are holding to the standard and, and, and putting principles above, keep production going.

Billy Taylor (33m 44s):
That's right. And you can't, that's unacceptable. In any case, you know, the processes and the standards are there to protect the worker, the customer, and the company. And, and so when people are allowed, and it goes back to, to, to disregard or bypass the standard. You're putting the customer at risk. You're putting the, the, the company at risk. And you talked about the huge fine that's leveraged against that company. But think about the person that lost their life. Think about that family member, right?

Billy Taylor (34m 26s):
That that lost their loved one. And so that's what I mean by, you know, I often, I, I had a great relationship with the union. Any place I've ever worked, the union would vouch. Anytime I post something even on social media, the, the union members comment positively. It's because our relationship, our respect and our trust. But I remember early on in my career having a conversation with a senior union rep, and it was around a person that was violating a safety issue, a safety rule. And I disciplined them, basically. We walked them out and the person wanted to, to represent them. And I said, do you know that person was inches away from killing someone?

Billy Taylor (35m 10s):
And you're in here and we're having this discussion because if it'd have been the other way, you'd have been leading the charge on suing. You'd have been saying we were wrong and we don't care about safety. And that person, that person thought about it, came back to my office. He goes, I never looked at it from that perspective. Now he said, bill, I have to do my job. And I says, I understand doing your job, but you're putting others at risk when you accept that. Right. A person drinking on the job or a person, you know, violating a rule that that's some things you shouldn't even ne shouldn't be negotiable for you.

Billy Taylor (35m 52s):
That's an absolute. And so when I talk about standards, there's certain things I just don't negotiate. I, I just, I just, it's a standard. And that's when I say I, I, I I, I recently saw an organization that I thought was phenomenal around safety concerns. They were, they were recognizing people for following safety standards, recognizing now they didn't write people up there that, that they found violating. They coached those people. So when you're talking standards, that's what drives an enterprise. That's what, you know, you check into a hotel room, you have standards.

Billy Taylor (36m 32s):
If the sheets were all messed up and you, you are going downstairs. Cause there's a standard on what you expect when you walk in the door, right. And the hotel. And so that's what I see in organizations. And there's some gaps, the gaps in leadership ability to set standards and then hold people to the standard,

Mark Graban (36m 54s):
Right. Based on principles as opposed to the title. I have the title, I can tell you what the standard is as opposed to holding to it because it's principled such as safety first, nobody should get hurt.

Billy Taylor (37m 8s):

Mark Graban (37m 9s):
Principles like that.

Billy Taylor (37m 10s):
Yes. The title don't entitle you for anything. Right. They don't. And, and, and, and, and leaders get that confused, I believe some leaders, not most, but some as they go up the ladder, they believe that they're invincible. And then reality hits and where reality hits, it's a difficult, it's a difficult conversation. Yeah. A difficult reality in most cases. Yeah.

Mark Graban (37m 44s):
Well, again, we're, we're talking with Billy Taylor here today, and I promise we're gonna talk about the book. So let's, let's make sure we don't run out of time without talking about the winning link. A proven process to define, align and execute strategy at every level. When, you know, in the, in the book, you know, before there's different parts of strategy that we talk to you here. But, but back to the idea of winning and you write about the need to define winning. Are, are, are there times when that is a difficult conversation where, there, where, where there's a lack of agreement around our, our organization's definition of winning?

Billy Taylor (38m 20s):
Absolutely. When, when, again, think about the voice. People want a voice. It starts with how you develop strategy, right? Getting everyone getting the critical, the, the, and I say everyone, the key stakeholders, the key players in the room, so they have a voice. And, and, and when you do that, I think you get that total alignment on, on what strategy is in the, in the how at the top from an enterprise perspective. But they're small branches of that strategy that has to go out to the enterprise, right?

Billy Taylor (39m 0s):
So there's this, the strategy for the enterprise, and then there's a connected business model that says the branch of safety, the branch of quality, the branch of material movement, right? The branch of continuous improvement. Those are smaller strategies or spokes of the whole wheel of strategy. And so when they know the process of which they're gonna develop the strategy and they're gonna be accountable to drive to, to build the, the, that branch strategy, that's when you get the, that involvement, that engagement that you, you you're looking for. We do a process called purpose mapping.

Billy Taylor (39m 41s):
We start with the purpose. And then what we do, we break down from the purpose of the enterprise. Then we talk about the purpose of that branch, right? So enterprise is willing to safely make, I'm just making this up safely, make products on time and full at the right crop, right Cost while serving as good stewards. Okay, that's good. Somebody in the break area, everybody understands that. Now what's the strategy for safety? What's the purpose? Right? To protect our people, our environment, our company, everyone, home safe, yada yada. So that branch is again, feeds back up into the overall statement.

Billy Taylor (40m 22s):
And so what we, the key thing is that inclusiveness of building strategy and being very deliberate on what winning is. So you are gonna hear me talk about deliberate clarity as clarity of the enterprise and every individual function, deliberate ownership. That's who owns everything inside that strategy at every level. So it's breaking that strategy, that's real strategy deployment, it's deliberate ownership. And then the next part is deliberate practice. That's that continuous improvement journey, right?

Billy Taylor (41m 5s):
Scientific thinking. And so when you get, when you connect those things together, you start to build this, this trust, this organization enterprise trust and buy it.

Mark Graban (41m 17s):

Billy Taylor (41m 19s):
You know?

Mark Graban (41m 19s):
Yeah. 1, 1, 1 thing I hear you saying is we've gotta agree on purpose first.

Billy Taylor (41m 26s):

Mark Graban (41m 27s):
Our strategy can't be so limited or, or dictated in a top down, say our, our goal is to be a leader in all of our businesses. And we're we, we we, we have certain goals around the stock price and return on net assets. Like well that, that probably, that doesn't engage people the way talking about deeper purpose would, right?

Billy Taylor (41m 49s):
That's right. That is correct. Yes. You know, in, in the true essence of the book, even, and I'll just share the cover. Yeah. It has people,

Mark Graban (41m 59s):
Those links. Yep.

Billy Taylor (42m 1s):
The winning links starts with that people aspect. But the, the, the, the core essence of it, if you ask me to sum it up in a, in in what it means, it's how we win the winning link. It's really about just how we win. I don't care if it's manufacturing, it's the medical industry. It's youth sports, it's nonprofit. How we win is consistent.

Mark Graban (42m 30s):

Billy Taylor (42m 32s):
It's, go ahead.

Mark Graban (42m 35s):
Well, no, well I was just gonna ask you is we define winning and then we have an idea about our strategy and we've gotten input from other people. It probably means it's more likely to be a good strategy, if you will. But how, how do we know if our definition of strategy or our definition of winning is the quote unquote right? Strategy? How do we know it's really a differentiating strategy? How, how do we test that or figure that out as opposed to knowing that we're right?

Billy Taylor (43m 4s):
So what we do is we develop purpose statements. Excuse me. We develop a purpose statement and then we identify what's a CPI, what's your critical performance indicator? And you can only have up to two. You can't exceed. And, and what we ask companies and leaders to do is if this doesn't happen, you're going outta business. So it can be EBITDA or it could be customer service, whatever it is. What's your cpi, what's your critical performance indicator? Then what we do, mark, is we do a part of what we assess your current reality. Are you really capable of delivering what you want with your purpose?

Billy Taylor (43m 45s):
How do you know you identify what winning is to the enterprise. And then you start to identify what are the KPA, the key performance actions you're going to take and how you gonna measure those actions. So what would happen, mark, if, if I did this, and if I'm safe, my quality's bad, my delivery's good, my maintenance is good. Really where do I need to go Focus, right? I need to go focus on my quality and is that a really affecting my CPI? So we tie everything back to these two major things we say are right and how do you know if the strategies are right?

Billy Taylor (44m 27s):
The strategies based on the actions you're going to take. Your strategy's not a paragraph to say, Hey, here's what we're going to do. It's around the actions you're going to take. Right? How, how, where are you gonna focus to achieve what you want? Now, if you're getting, how do you know if that's wrong? If you're, if you're delivering, if you're, if you, if I say I'm gonna make a thousand widgets and that's what success is, and I'm making a thousand widgets and we're not selling them. Well, maybe you should have had two CPIs. This is one a thousand widgets and a thousand widgets sold right on time and full.

Billy Taylor (45m 15s):
And so that's how you start to test, you know, your strategy, but your strategy is based around actions you're gonna take. Your strategy should be based on where you're gonna focus. And then you shouldn't measure that. They shouldn't just be sentences, vague citizen's sentences. They should be things that you're gonna focus and track. So you know, if your strategy's working

Mark Graban (45m 41s):
Right and that's where you're gauging the execution, how well are we executing or if we're executing well, if we're executing the wrong strategy, well, we may learn that over time.

Billy Taylor (45m 53s):
Because here's the deal, if you don't get the CPI right, the rest is a bunch of noise. Again, when I go into clients, here's what I do and I have a PowerPoint slide and I pull up a football scoreboard and, but I don't put the score on there, but I do put a lot of information on the scoreboard. There's one minute left. Mark. It's the fourth quarter. You have the ball mark on the 10 yard line. First down, mark, what's your strategy? There's no score on the board. Yeah. What's your strategy?

Mark Graban (46m 27s):
Yeah, it, it depends. Am I running out the clock cuz I'm ahead or am I desperately trying to catch up like Tom Brady did last night

Billy Taylor (46m 35s):
As so it depends on your CPI. Yeah. Getting that critical performance indicator, right, what you're gonna measure now, watch this, it's gonna, it's amazing when I do this with professionals and, and more so I, I love to see women in this scenario that, that some cases they don't really know the game, but they get the message and they take over. They literally take over and we're, we're like, clarity. So Mark, if the score is 40, you have 40, the opposing team has zero, you have the ball first down, what are you gonna do? One minute left. You're up by 40 points.

Mark Graban (47m 15s):
Yeah, I'm gonna take a knee, I'm running out the clock.

Billy Taylor (47m 18s):
Run out the clock. Right? Unless you're Ohio State playing Michigan, they're gonna try to score again. Now let's go, let's go again. What happens if you have zero and the opposing team has seven and there's one minute left. Yeah. Are you gonna kick a field goal?

Mark Graban (47m 35s):

Billy Taylor (47m 37s):
No. Think about this. How quick you went there with your strategy, You know what to do and what not to do. And that's why it's important to get the CPI, right? What's the critical performance indicator that you're gonna measure? Because if you don't get that right, that deliberate clarity define winning in the book, I say do this, right? And I ask people, I say, write this down. Have you clearly defined what winning is at every level? Deliberate clarity. Two, have you aligned yourself to win?

Billy Taylor (48m 16s):
So as you, you've cascaded the strategy defined, you've aligned so everybody knows what they own, deliberate ownership, and now you execute. That's deliberate practice. And so that's kinda what, when I, when I read, when I wrote the book, it was around things my favorite mistakes, mark. It was around things that I saw didn't work as I was coming up in a 30-year career. And then I've worked with some major consultants in industry, some powerhouses and some things I've learned through successes and failures.

Billy Taylor (48m 57s):
What worked, what didn't work. I shifted those things out and said, this is what people should embrace when they're really driving excellence in their, their enterprise.

Mark Graban (49m 9s):
And you, you know that question you ask Billy, have you defined what winning means to you? That's making me think for the work I do have, I defined, I'm busy, I'm doing things, I'd like to have a few strategic intents, but you're, you're really making me think I I need to sit down and take some time to think through and write out and talk through what winning means to me personally with the work I do in my business.

Billy Taylor (49m 38s):
Absolutely. You know, and, and, and that's why we use a purpose map. It's really a one page, it's, we call it the SOAP, it's a strategy on a page. And once we go through it, it starts with the purpose statement. It provides such clarity around like, and it's just like you were describing, define winning. If you don't def it's like meetings when you show up to a meeting and the leader has not clearly defined what winning is in that meeting. It's just a, a bunch of noise

Mark Graban (50m 10s):
Mm. For the, the outcome of that particular meeting.

Billy Taylor (50m 13s):
Absolutely. Yeah. Absolutely. But when I define what, what, what, what winning is coming in out of this meeting and then our line, we're gonna go around the room and here's what you own and I want to hear from you the exiting that meeting is the taking action. What are we gonna do? And then the follow up meeting is what was done right? And so it simplifies strategy deployment, it str it simplifies how we win, how we win. And then I know we're winning. Cause it's just like the scoreboards, okay, I'm tracking first downs, I'm tracking rushing yardage, I'm tracking all these things we track, they're irrelevant if what, and and I had this conversation with my younger brother recently.

Billy Taylor (51m 4s):
We're both, we're all come from a family of Dallas Cowboys and we were talking about some personnel and I, he, he said this person was one of the best players at that position. I says, how can you say that? And it was, it's a discussion between Troy Aikman and Tony Romo. And I said, Troy Aman is the best quarterback in Dallas Cowboy history. And my brother says, why do you say that? I says, he won three Super Bowls. Yeah. He says, well, Romeo had this many stats. And I'm

Mark Graban (51m 34s):
Like, yeah,

Billy Taylor (51m 35s):
What's winning?

Mark Graban (51m 36s):

Billy Taylor (51m 37s):
Super Bowl. The ultimate goal is to win the Super Bowl. And I said, would you rather have a quarterback they do for 3000 yards, but they lost in the first round of the playoffs. Or a quarterback that threw for 2000 yards Right. Than won three Super Bowls.

Mark Graban (51m 51s):
There's the

Billy Taylor (51m 52s):

Mark Graban (51m 52s):
Bowls. Yeah. There's the un there's the unanswerable thought experiment of if you had a time machine and Tony Romo could go back in time and beat out Troy Aikman for the starting job, would he have won three or even four Super Bowls? We don't, we'd never, we never know.

Billy Taylor (52m 8s):
You never know.

Mark Graban (52m 10s):

Billy Taylor (52m 10s):
And so, you know, when I say, when you get that right, what they did right in that area to get three Super bowls, they define, align themselves with the best talent and they executed a great strategy, which made them winners.

Mark Graban (52m 25s):

Billy Taylor (52m 27s):
Yeah. And the purpose was to what? Win a Super Bowl.

Mark Graban (52m 30s):
Yeah. So your, your framework and, and, and again, I'll, I'll I'll read the title of the book and the subtitle. So the title of Billy's book is the winning link. A proven process to define, align and execute strategy at every level. So I keep, I you're, you're, you keep making me think of those three words. So whether it's strategy for the year, strategy long term, or even the outcomes of that meeting. Have we defined the problem? Have we design defined what we're gonna do? Are we aligned on those actions? That's right. And we can't just come up with the what we think is a great idea. We've gotta execute and have some measures come back and have some feedback loops to make sure we're not just plowing forward with our execution, but we're willing to maybe go back and redefine or realign if needed.

Mark Graban (53m 23s):
Is that fair to say?

Billy Taylor (53m 24s):
That's right. And that's the PDCA part of it. That's, that's that connection there that we have to call some, right. Some audibles we have to do some things differently because this, this part of the strategy isn't working so we'll adjust. Yes.

Mark Graban (53m 43s):
Yeah. And, and, and I'm glad you mentioned the p PDSA cycles because a lot of times leaders want to think very definitively, very linearly. We define the strategy, we're gonna force people to align to it, and then we're gonna go execute it and we're gonna be stubborn or in denial or, you know, refuse to accept the real reality. Even if the scoreboard is showing that we're down 41 to three.

Billy Taylor (54m 10s):
That's right. That's right. You

Mark Graban (54m 12s):
Have the right strategy. Well, maybe you didn't, or maybe, you know, maybe you have the right strategy poorly executed

Billy Taylor (54m 17s):
And you have to mark one thing. They have to know their personnel. Your personnel may not be capable of delivering that strategy. So know your personnel.

Mark Graban (54m 28s):
Yeah. If you've got, this is lapsing back in the football talk again. Yeah. If you've got a backup quarterback who doesn't pass as well as the starting quarterback, you may adjust the plays you're calling to better suit that quarterback's abilities or skillset. Or if they don't know the playbook as well, you're gonna

Billy Taylor (54m 49s):

Mark Graban (54m 50s):
Dial back and limit what, what, what, what you call, what play you call back. I, I love your scenario of like the situational decision making of what play are you gonna call with a minute left. You know, having, having structure and a system as a team doesn't mean you, you can't possibly script out every play you're going to call. Like sometimes teams will quote unquote script the first five plays of the game the first time they get the ball. Maybe you can do that. But if, but even then, like if, if you have this plan for the first five plays and the first play has a bad snap over the quarterback's head and you lose 20 yards, you're, you're gonna have to get off script.

Mark Graban (55m 34s):
That's right. The plan is no longer the plan or no longer the right plan.

Billy Taylor (55m 39s):
Yeah. Yeah. And, and sometimes you have to call some audibles. Right? Right. You have based on what's in front of you, what are the challenges are in front of you, the situation in front of you. Right. It can't be just scripted. There's a core plan, but Right. There's some intangible, some things that we don't, we can't control. Yeah.

Mark Graban (56m 2s):
But I think when you have alignment around strategy and principles, it's probably easier to realize what decisions we should make in a certain situation. So let's say end of a game, you, you talk about, okay, it's 40 to nothing. Maybe one of our principles is, I'm not trying to pick on Ohio State cause you mentioned them earlier, but just saying in general, if our team has a principle of, you know what sportsmanship, we're not gonna run up the score. We're gonna put all the, the third stringers in and we're just gonna run the ball up the middle. And we're not trying to score again. But let's say there's a system like the college football playoff that almost incentivizes you to say, well, it's gonna look better if we win 52 to nothing if we had won 38 to nothing.

Billy Taylor (56m 53s):

Mark Graban (56m 54s):
So, Hmm. My principle of sportsmanship maybe goes to the side and we're like, I may apologize to the other coach and the other coach may understand

Billy Taylor (57m 2s):

Mark Graban (57m 3s):
Hey, I didn't want to do that. But those are the rules of not just the game, but the rules of the system.

Billy Taylor (57m 8s):
Right. And, and think about why would you do that, mark, that's a perfect example. You're gonna go back to your purpose of why you're playing the season to get to the college football playoffs. So that decision was required and it wasn't immoral, unethical. Right. Or illegal. And those are my things that I really focus on when I deal with every individual moral ethically. Right. And illegal. And so by scoring that, I'm gonna go back to you. I did that and I said, you know what? Traditionally, you know, even when I saw the coach, he may not like it, but I'm like, you know, a great game.

Billy Taylor (57m 48s):
Prepare your team, you know, didn't wanna go to for the last touchdown. That's right. It's, it's, it's, it's, it's between us and Bama getting into the championship. He might get mad and walk away. I can explain that. So it goes back to my purpose. What's your purpose? What your, you know, my purpose in life is to be a great father and a provider Right. For my family. Great husband. So I do that. There's things, I align with that and I do things to, to show value. It's funny, I'm on a business trip and my husband's in my, my my my, my sons in, in the area. First thing we did was had dinner.

Billy Taylor (58m 29s):
I could see this. There's just this joy on his face. It fits into my purpose in life. No matter how tired I I would be or to call my daughter, you know, every other day it is just to say hi. Yeah. It's part of my purpose. Make people visible and they make you valuable

Mark Graban (58m 48s):
How you define winning.

Billy Taylor (58m 49s):
That's it.

Mark Graban (58m 50s):
Yeah. Yeah. That's it. So maybe one, one last question for you, Billy. You know, in the book you talked about, I think this was really powerful, making jobs better instead of making jobs go away.

Billy Taylor (59m 4s):

Mark Graban (59m 4s):
Through improvement. And, and, and a minute ago you, you talked about moral, legal, ethical, like making jobs go away is not illegal, you know, but it, it, it's a matter of, I mean, you know, it comes down to principles. How, how, how would you talk through if somebody's saying, well, I, I hear what you're saying, that this would be the ideal about not making jobs go away, but we need to hit our numbers.

Billy Taylor (59m 31s):
Yeah. And so, and I'm gonna start with the need of, I'm gonna say America. America doesn't have a hiring problem right now. They have a retention problem. Companies are hiring two to three workforces. You know, I've observed a company that hired three workforces this year. They have 300 plus employees full-time. They've hired over 1200 people this year. Okay? People are not quitting pay. People are not quitting. Just the, the, the job. They're quitting the environment. They're quitting. Right? Covid introduced a different way of life.

Billy Taylor (1h 0m 11s):
The new workforce is into a better working environment and not just being inclusive jobs. Right? Now, when you say go away, you know, lean in the old days was, if we get better, they're gonna cut my job. No, you really want to, even the smallest intangibles making jobs better is hearing that voice of the leader running that, that, that not department, that operators, when I mean the definition of a leader, how do we make that job, that person's job better, more inclusive, they're recognized for what they do.

Billy Taylor (1h 0m 54s):
They're visible. Your visual management systems, the upkeeping housekeeping, they have a voice. That's what I mean by making it better. Give employees a voice and let that voice ring loud and, and, and, and let them feel valued. And one of the things that, that I talk about in the book too is psychological safety. Psychological safety is just as harmful as physical safety. Right? If, if, if, if, if I don't feel comfortable saying something to my leader or I'll be reprimanded, you know what they're gonna pass on poor quality.

Billy Taylor (1h 1m 39s):
They're gonna pass on things. They're gonna ignore unsafe conditions cause it's easier to ignore it than to talk to you about it. And so that whole thing around making the job better, that's not only the, the, the, the, the physical assets, the equipment, the productivity. That's also around the culture. How do they feel about working in there? How do they Right that piece, the break area experience. When I'm going to eat my lunch or I'm going in to use the bathroom. That's all inclusive of that. And if I don't, if I walk in the cafeteria and it's filthy that says, you don't care about me.

Billy Taylor (1h 2m 21s):
Cause I bet you if I go to the salary cafeteria, it's pretty nice. The salary break room. It's pretty nice. You know, I I, I, last week I was in a, an organization, I thought that the, the, the, the, the bathroom for the associates was at a, a five star hotel. I mean, the plant leader had it with some of the most exquisite tile and everything. And you know what all the people wanted to show me before we got to their area was their bathroom. And then he laid out what's the plan for doing the whole plant, making it better.

Billy Taylor (1h 3m 2s):
See that whole thing of better now is inclusive. We are a different culture now. The covid changed the way we do business. Covid s Covid made a new style a new level of leader, the right, the, the, the, the people now that are, because of the internet zoom, the operator now has a different skill set, a different mindset Of what good looks like.

Mark Graban (1h 3m 35s):

Billy Taylor (1h 3m 36s):
And, and they're gonna hold you to that standard or they're not gonna work for you.

Mark Graban (1h 3m 40s):
Yeah. Well, we could do a whole conversation about that, that topic alone. So maybe some other time we can get together and explore that more. But Billy, this is, you know, it's been great chatting with you and you know, you a lot of important things well said during the conversation here. And the same goes with the book. So again, Billy Taylor, it's been our guest today, the winning link, A proven process to define a line and execute strategy at every level. You can find Billy's website and I'll, I'll put links to all of that in the show notes. So, Billy, it's been, you know, so great having you back here on the podcast.

Mark Graban (1h 4m 22s):
I'm really glad I could see you in person back in Dallas at AME. That's, you know, the, the zoom time here is no substitute for that, but I'm glad we could do

Billy Taylor (1h 4m 31s):
Both. Absolutely. I definitely enjoyed catching up with you. Always an honor to be on your podcast. Definitely is a big supporter of Mark Graban. And, and it's not because of Mark Graban has a podcast. It's cause the person that Mark Graban is. And that's the thing that I, I I value most about you and our relationship. And I wish you nothing but the best, my friend.

Mark Graban (1h 4m 55s):
Well, thank, that's very kind of you, Billy. Thank you. And certainly wish you the best and everything you're doing and I'm glad the book is getting such great reviews and that it's doing so well. But I appreciate you not because of that, but I, I appreciate you for, for who you are and being a friend here. So thank you for

Billy Taylor (1h 5m 16s):
That. Thank you. And all the best yes to everyone.

Mark Graban (1h 5m 20s):
Yes. Take care. Well, thanks again to Billy Taylor for the great conversation today. To learn more about him and his book, the Winning Link, look for links to the book, the winning link in the show notes, or go to 466.

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Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


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