Authentic Achievements Episode 11 with Special Guest Tobias Hooton

Authentic Achievements Episode 11 with Special Guest Tobias Hooton

From Bestselling author, currently writing the forthcoming book Authentic Achievements – The 7 Secrets to Building Brave Belief, Unstoppable Sales, and Turning Your Leaders Into Talent Magnets for Guaranteed Sustainable Growth, this show shares advice, stories and inspiration to help you achieve exponential growth personally and for your business. Featuring interviews with industry leaders and a separate series on #confidencehacker to help you build authentic confidence.  

In this episode, I am delighted to be joined by Tobias Hooton CEO and Founder of Stelia and ICONIC Networks. Tobias is a technology evangelist, and serial entrepreneur with a career to date spanning global corporates, governments, the defence sector, and high tech startups.

As a young school leaver, Tobias forged his own career in a global technol technical stage from grassroots due to established credible CEO with a background in internet service provider network, design in security devices, led teams and grown businesses from startup to scale-up. Building and supporting global internet provider networks, software development, financial services, applications, development, and most recently web 3.0 and blockchain-backed fabrics.

Tobias is a genuine innovator, a focused, passionate technologist with a relentless drive and ambition to match. Today he shares with us his journey and the lessons he has learned.

If you would like to find out more about Tobias please go to https://www.linkedin.com/in/tobias-ho… or message him at Toby@tobyhooton.com

If you want to find out more check us out at www.authenticachievements.co.uk If you enjoyed it please check out our YouTube or our recent blog or subscribe to our Mastermindset Newsletter

Full Transcript

Authentic Achievements with Tobias Hooton

Kim-Adele

Hello, and welcome to this episode of authentic achievements. And today I’m delighted to be joined by the fabulous Tobias Hooton. So Tobias is a technology evangelist, serial entrepreneur with a career to date spanning global corporates, governments, defense sector, and high tech startups as a young school leaver Tobias forged his own career in a global technol technical stage from grassroots due to established credible CEO with a background in internet service provider network, design insecurity devices, led teams and grown businesses from startup to scale up building and supporting global internet provider networks, software development, financial services, applications, development, and most recently web 3.0 and blockchain backed fabrics. Tobias is a genuine innovator, a focused, passionate technologist with a relentless drive and ambition to match. And what I love is you are also such a real family man, and come from a huge desire to do the right thing. So I love that you are authentically you, and that’s why you are gonna be such an amazing guest. So Tobias welcome.

Tobias

Thank you very much.

Kim-Adele

It’s a delight to have you here and what, what an amazing, amazing journey that you’ve had already. So can I ask you to start by sharing with us a little bit off your journey so far, please?

Tobias

Of course. Yeah. So I started my career in technology the slightly unorthodox way, and it started for me at about 11, 12, 13 years old. I remember my father ringing home the first home PC when it was tiny little Toshiba laptop that he’d been given from work and being interested in that. And when I was much younger, there was a website used to be called rent Coda, whereby people would put out things like, you know, I can’t get a particular spreadsheet to work and somebody helped me. You Don a either. I just started playing with that from quite a young age and eventually expanded my very year, years ago, my, my own sort of software repertoire, if you like. And I bumped into a project, which was for a company, which is called LNX, which is now part of IBM and they, they put out a request for somebody to build a printer driver to get something working.

Tobias

I thought, oh, I have a go at that. So I did, I didn’t realize at the time that that particular project was a scouted project was actually a seed project that had been put out there to test people’s skillsets in, in driver design for networks, for networking effectively. So that’s where my initial sort of far into technology started very much from a software development background, but these sort of little micro projects left school, GCSE age, wasn’t very interested in, in progressing my career further into a levels and into university at the time. It wasn’t what was right for me. So went to go and work for a business that supplied the defense sector IPC. So taking hardware and software and integrating the two and became quite good at that and ended up leading a team through a series of events second from BAE part of the ministry of events, and then spent some time in different parts of the world, working in, in networking and security as part of that IPC division.

Tobias

And then from there, I decided actually there was a, a space in the market for me to potentially do things a little bit differently, taking that skill set of sort of network security and hardware and bringing the two together to having done that for four or five years, we started the first business, which was initially supplying the data center and security marketplaces with a, with a product. And that company did quite well. I was fortunate enough to exit that in 2014, since then, my journey had very much been taking startup, challenging companies and growing them on the, on the global stage, in different parts of the connectivity landscape. So be that service providers be that professional services firms managed services providers, but all in more boutique areas. So none of the companies that I’ve run all led are sort of big overarching MSPs. They tend to be boutique and, and specific startups.

Tobias

And that’s led to the current businesses, which is a, a cyber security firm, which is using the best of all of my skills, certainly in the leadership that I’ve learned and, and the cultural challenges of working with very smart technology and software people. And they have some, some specific requirements that’s say melding that into a cyber security firm is very interesting right now. And then the other project we have launching, which is about to go to series a, is a global connectivity fabric, but built with a blockchain encryption mechanism in the back of it and looking at really the next level of capacity. So sort of 400 gig, 800 gig and above for these massive global CDM providers. So my background’s always been in technology. I’m very much a tech guy and work quite practically within that. But yeah, certainly didn’t start out the typical way

Kim-Adele

Now. And I love that that despite not starting out the typical way, look where you’ve got, so it really lends to the fact that there’s more than one route to your destination. Isn’t there and it’s the destination that, that kind of counts. And I think sometimes we, we can get a little bit lost when the journey that’s mapped out for us. Doesn’t quite work for us. Doesn’t quite fit. Is that, how did you find that? And then making that break to find your own journey

Tobias

Very difficult early on? I think the best way for me to describe my early parts of, of the career was completely unfocused. I didn’t know quite what part of an industry I wanted to work in, and this is 15 years ago. So the technology landscape moves so fast by the time you’ve thought about what is you want to go and achieve and do it’s moved on two years and you’re sort of, you’re left behind all the time. There’s also an element of proving ground. So once you found yourself, you know, I found myself at a time dealing with part of NCR as part of actually division of Blas. We’re looking at when contactless payments were first coming and everyone was like, this is the next big thing. That’s gonna be fantastic. And I pointed out that with a three pound USB receiver, I bought from maps at the time plugged into a laptop, I could pick up the card transaction from Santa cafe.

Tobias

And it’s very difficult to prove yourself when you’re much younger. I mean, I had two things on my side. A I was only in my early twenties, late teens and B landing, these sort of conversations on a, in much larger companies and me going, okay, well, this is a really obvious problem. And these companies saying, well, why should we take you seriously? And for me, the answer was simple because there’s a problem, but that was really a barrier to entry, was finding out how to, how to come across, how to communicate at that level and learning that not everyone will see you for your skillset. There is a sort of a certain amount of what you look like and, and the accolades that you have as to whether they’ll take you seriously or not. And that was a challenge early on.

Kim-Adele

Yeah. It can be hard, can’t it? Cause unfortunately, particularly in some of those industries here and I worked in financial services and, and it software for most of my career and I, I think they did come with a, why should I listen to you? You know, have you, have you built your, I remember being told years ago, you don’t have the gravitas and you don’t have the vocabulary to be as successful as you should be. So go away and learn those so soft did, and then realize that nobody understood me. Well, the board did, but none of the people that I led understood me anymore. Cause I was coming with ridiculous words. So they were like, what you mean Mold? Wasn’t it. And, and what’s great is you’ve been able to make that mold your own. So instead go, actually, no, I’m gonna talk to you authentically, but here’s the problem. Here’s the challenge. And actually here’s how I can help fix it, which is really a fascinating way of kind of driving that technology change. So what would you say is the thing that you are proudest of so far?

Tobias

Hmm. I think my proudest moment so far was taking my first proper business. Let’s say from being one employee IME to my first, first proper paid employee who is still a longstanding and good friend of mine. Now that for me was a tick in the box that said you’re doing something right. And you are at the point where you can take on responsibilities of other people as well and their families and, and provide for them too. I think for me, that was a, a moment of, okay, yeah, you, you know what you’re doing now? You you’ve made this into a serious business and you’ve made that first step and you then go on to employ 150 people. But the first person is I think the, the first major tick in the box of, you know, this is an achievement. Now you feel like you’ve actually done something and taken something from being more than just an idea in your head and into something that’s actually other people want, which is, you know, that’s a, a fantastic position to be in

Kim-Adele

Amazing. And you’re right, such a responsibility as well. Isn’t it? Cause you are now responsible for somebody else’s livelihood and, and as if it were bad, enough being responsible for your own, that comes with, with both the, the joy of feeling like you’ve been able to add value and give back, but also really underlines the responsibility you’re taking and running that organization. Doesn’t it? That you’ve now got these people that are relying on you to make sure that it keeps going well so that they can continue to prosper.

Tobias

Absolutely. Yeah. And also creating the space for people to evolve and grow as well. That’s another responsibility. It’s not solely about creating the profit for them to be paid people. We’re only a part of someone’s journey in life or a moment in their career. And for that time in their career, we have to support them both financially, but also for their moment in life. So trying to create the space for people to either grow technologically or grow with their skill sets or have family time. These are other responsibilities I think are really important that when you’re leading a business or you are leading a young startup company, you, you factor that into your planning as well. Those sorts of pressures are quite unique when you’re 20 years old. So yeah. Yeah.

Kim-Adele

But is it, is that whole culture piece? Isn’t it because we want people to, to grow and evolve and thrive cuz only when our people grow, evolve and thrive, does our business really grow, evolve and thrive because we’ve, we need to develop each other to be ready for the next stage. Don’t we for the next part of that evolution and that whole piece around creating a, creating a space where people are cared for in all of their requirements, you know, their ability to, to grow, like you said, technologically, or about their leadership skills or about their soft skills or, or just about their work life balance and being able to get those parts in it’s so crucial, isn’t it? That we create that right space. Is there any things you can share with us about how you’ve been able to do that? So successfully in all your organizations?

Tobias

Yeah. Make a lot of mistakes, get a lot of things wrong. I’m a Virgo. So I like things in, in straight lines. I like boxes and I like order, but at the same time, organized chaos is a really good thing. So one of the early things that we did in all of the businesses was to become hypercritical about what are we actually trying to achieve and why are we think it a certain way? Why are making this decision? So we use the standard. Why test ask why three times in a row, if you can still answer it, it sounds like it should be a good idea and sort of take that a little bit further and say, well actually, why are we doing a certain thing? Why are we building processes that only support our team, but don’t actually support our customers. So really trying to peel away the layers and understand exactly what we are trying to achieve.

Tobias

And then once we have the essence of exactly what we’re trying to achieve as an output, turning the company on its head and saying the company is entirely output focused. We don’t actually care about how you get to that point. Yeah. We create the space for you to use your own thought, processes, patterns, people, wherever else you need to get to that end point. But we turn the whole company upside down and say, right, we are focused on the output of this particular thing. And lots of companies say they are output focused and they are. But what they mean by that is they are work great output focused. They are not necessarily product or service focused. So you find that some especially technical startup companies have these long extrapolated processes in place that are all designed to support the business operation as opposed to the customer.

Tobias

And we, we learned that the hardware, right? I mean, we, we lost customers cause we bought processes that didn’t work. But we also, there was also no playbook. There was no operations handbook for young tech software startup. This is the process you should do. So we had to go and find that. And we also found that, you know, things like the standard processes are things like IEL just didn’t work in our industries where we were playing as well. So it was having that, that, that state of mind to really peel away as much of the layers, as we could forget to the essence of what we were trying to achieve and to ask all those difficult questions along the way.

Kim-Adele

I love that. It’s such, it sounds like such a simple thing, but it’s actually so vital. I mean I spent 30 years making a career out of asking what I used to call the dim girl questions like going and go that, why, why are we doing that? Like that? I’m just interested. Just, just tell me, because actually that’s where you usually found so that there was so much waste in a process because we’ve been doing it that way. Cuz somebody told us to, and it become gospel that you needed to do it, but you were added no value to the customer. It added no value to the colleague. It probably added no value to the business. It just got lost in the Meer of, of how businesses grow. Isn’t it and their, and their processes develop. So I love all of that. So what would you say has been your biggest lesson so far?

Tobias

Oh, biggest lesson. You can lose everything overnight. If you are, if you are not absolutely on the pulse, you can lose everything overnight. I think for me, the biggest lesson is, is really not listening to all the advice out there. And that sounds really pigheaded in a way and arrogant, which is certainly not something I want to come across as, but there is a lot of advice, certainly in today’s landscape in the business world, you look at LinkedIn, you look at Twitty, look at anything. There’s experts, there’s specialists, it’s full of noise about stuff. And I know having tried and, and spoken to a great many mentors and colleague and friends and other very successful business people, but actually we all do things very differently. And that trying to take a particular piece of advice and wedging it in doesn’t actually work. So, you know, for me not listening as such has been a really powerful tool and having the confidence to carve your own way of doing something without taking some of the advice and, and allowing yourself the space to do that as well. And to make those mistakes is really being critical to the success that we’ve had so far

Kim-Adele

And that giving yourself space to make the mistakes is crucial because we, we have to learn for ourselves. I mean, you’ve got children, I’ve got children who love to wrap them up in cotton war wouldn’t you hope that they never make a mistake, but actually they need to, to learn, to learn for themselves how, how they have become. And obviously we try and stop them making any really harmful or really difficult ones. But you know, there has to be that element of allowing them to grow. And I think that’s true as we’re adults, isn’t it. We have to be able to make our own mistakes and learn from them and find our own path through, you know, it, there is so much advice. I was talking to some clients recently who were getting ready for investment and you go and talk to different investors and someone go, oh, you know, I wanna on the team up front and it’s like, no, want the team at the back? And it’s like, oh my God, we’re never gonna, you’re never gonna make it work for everybody. You’re just gonna have to go with what feels right. That you can stand in front of and be proud of and say, I think this is, I think this is good. I think this is something that I, you know, that I can stand by that.

Tobias

Absolutely.

Kim-Adele

When you are taking that leap of faith, when you are following your own path, is there any advice you could give for those moments where you start to doubt yourself?

Tobias

Yeah. There’s plenty of moments where you wake up at three in the morning with a yeah. And you can’t sleep to worry about paying the bills or the rest of it there when running companies and when you you’re working in and on at the same time, there’s a lot of things that draw your attention and I’ve found more recently. It’s been important for me to have one grounding position, something I can go back to that is a constant and that could be in work or out of work. For me, it’s always been within the sphere of work. I like to divide home and work quite clearly, but I’ve always found that to get through some of those more difficult situations and to, to maintain that four momentum, I’ve always had one sort of grounding point idea, theory, focus to go to that is tangible. So you can measure your, your movement towards it. But I’ve always found that for me, having something to go back to as an idea or a process or something to ground yourself with is really important to maintain that focus.

Kim-Adele

I love that such great advice. There was a study a few years ago by Harvard university and they were looking into people who wrote down goals and they identified that in this, this group that they, that they stood it 87%. Hadn’t got a written down goal. So they might have a goal, but it wasn’t written down anywhere. And only 3% had got a written down goal with an action plan, even if it was a rubbish action plan, but they had an action plan. And yet when they came back to them later on you, I think it was about 12 months later when they went and checked on them, the 3% that had got the goal and the action plan. So they’d got something tangible that they were coming back to had outperformed everybody out tenfold. So even if it’s not the right plan, even if it’s not the right piece, just the fact that you’ve got that focus, that you’re giving your, your subconscious brain direction, because we think everything’s in our thinking brain and yet it’s our subconscious brain that drives us. Isn’t it. So great advice on that, having that something to anchor yourself back to so that you can keep yourself honest on whether or not you’re on track or off track. Would that be fair?

Tobias

Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, you see the whole, the normal sort of the corporate mission statement and the vision statement. And for me, it could be something as simple as, you know, we are trying to protect companies. It could be whatever it needs to be, but actually when there’s so much noise, it’s just something to bring you back to a centering point. So actually, okay. Yes. I’m just gonna check myself, what are we actually trying to do again? And does it actually make any sense and why am I worrying about that thing over there? That’s completely left field. Forget about that. Come back to here again, please. You know, and I I’ve been there, I’ve been through the seat this night. I’ve been through the two or three years of difficult companies. I’ve taken companies through the COVID pandemic and you know, we’ve all lost companies as well. So I understand the pressures, but for me, the con having that constant grounding point, having that thing to bring back to our center has been really important.

Kim-Adele

I love that because we, we need it. Don’t we, you know, when we’re in those moments of turmoil, having something that you can cling onto allows you to take a moment of pause and therefore reflect and see where there might be an opportunity to, to move. And it is devastating when, when you lose a company, the impact that has on the people that were in it and, and that lays heavy, doesn’t it as a leader when you’ve been involved in that and that responsibility. So being able to give yourself that grounding is, is vital, I think, to success. So when you have had to go through those challenging times, what advice could you give us about how you handle it for, for the people that you’re taking through those journeys as well? You know, you’ve talked about COVID, you’ve talked about losing companies. There’s gotta have been some really hard conversations to have to have with the impact on the people.

Tobias

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, me, people in my family notices, I take things very, very personally openness and honesty and, and real openness and honesty as well. I mean, plenty of people, plenty of leaders will, will provide the honest truth, but only a part of it. Now, if things are good, if they say they’re good, if they’re bad, tell people they’re bad, most people can tolerate the truth. If it’s explained correctly and all the facts is bigger set out, and then I’ll allow people to ask questions, no closed doors. The only way we’ve got companies through very difficult times has been sitting people down and saying, look, this is going really, really well. This is going really, really badly. This isn’t gonna work. There’s gonna be some problems. And these are gonna be the problems. This is what we’re gonna do about them, but, you know, stick with us, but we’re being open with you so that you know, all the information and you can make your own decisions if you need to. I think that openness and transparency and plain language clarity of communication is really key. Yes, it’s a basic respect thing, of course, but actually using simple language, being very clear, very direct, which is something I’ve been known for and help. But you know, if it’s good, I’ll tell you, it’s good. If it’s bad, I thought it’s bad, but that has to be something that you, you use as a tool and it should be expected of, of you. Anyway.

Kim-Adele

I love that. So that real authenticity, isn’t it. And treating people like adults, letting them know all of the information and then they can deal with the hand that they’ve been dealt. They can make their choices and because they’re informed. And I think often we as leaders, we don’t inform people. We don’t give them all of the information or we make it so opaque that they actually can’t work out what it was for. Tell them anyway, and we can feel really good that we, we told them well, yeah, they can’t actually work it out. So I love that. Actually. It was about that honesty about that openness and, and about that, respecting them with the information to allow them to make an informed choice of what worked for them. Yeah. And that allows them then to, to be owning that position. Doesn’t it being able to feel like they’re in control? Cause I think that’s one of the largest challenges when people are faced with these situations is they feel out of control and they feel like they lack respect because we tend not to spend that time, listening to them, giving them a chance to tell us how they feel and what, what, how’s this making you feel? What, what concerns is it bringing you takes, takes a special skill and one that quite rightly, like you say should be in all leaders, but unfortunately isn’t in all of them is it could be quite uncomfortable I guess.

Tobias

No. And I’ve found that firsthand as well. You know, sometimes there are, there are strategies playing played out, but it’s, that’s just the part of business. I think we’ve also employed skills such as know, we get the teams to buy into decision making as well. So, you know, very, very early on, we’ve got an idea we’ll open forum it and properly open forum it too. This is an idea. This is how we think we’re gonna fund it. This is what we think the market returns is going to be. This is the decision we’re gonna make to do that. These are the sorts of people that we need. Do we think is a good idea or bad idea. It might be a case that actually we change tax slightly. It might be a case that we’ve missed something, but we involve our people throughout the whole process, both on the way in and on the way out. So everyone’s aware of why I’ve made a decision and if it’s not gone very well, then we’ll, we’ll explain those to them as to why. But yeah, I think it’s a basic, it should be a basic expectation. I think of, of good leaders is to have that ability to communicate clearly and be open and honest to people at all the times through good times and bad.

Kim-Adele

I completely agree. And I think for me, what’s great in there as well is the extra part of that communication is being able to listen and take on board feedback as well. So that the communication’s not just one way, it’s two way, which you’ve clearly demonstrated in kind of what you are doing in your cultures. It, it’s not just a case of making sure as the leader, you are sharing what we’re doing and where we’re going, but you’re seeking their input and you’re listening to their input and their advice and shaping it together. And I think that is a vital, additional skill. Isn’t it for leaders today?

Tobias

It is. Yeah, absolutely is. And also the, the other point is for us is, is real critical thinking. You know, if you, if you bring people into teams that don’t have the same level of maybe critical thinking, or haven’t had the exposure to understanding how to do that, then bring them up to speed. They provide the, provide the training, provide the knowledge, provide the supports that everyone is on that level playing field. So they can feel comfortable asking the same questions and they do know how to receive that information too. So yeah, these are important, important points.

Kim-Adele

Yeah. I know. I love it. So you’ve already shared like so much with us, but if you had to go back and give young Tobias some advice, what do you know now that you wish you’d known then

Tobias

A very good friend of mine who is the ex CEO of an extremely large telecommunications company. He said to me, you’ll get to a point in technology at some point where everyone is interested in you and you won’t see it coming and it’ll look like a good idea. And I think that for me, would’ve been good advice a long time ago. Actually, if you are doing something and you’re doing well and you are, you are enjoying the way you are doing something and you are happy and you are position, then don’t do don’t change just because somebody else has an opinion or a suggestion that you might improve, the way you are doing something, or you might grow to the next level, or you might complete a merger or an wherever it is. You don’t have to listen to that. I think for me having the foresight to understand that earlier on in my career, would’ve been beneficial at times in the last 10 years have been very interesting. But at times that that check and balance is a, is would’ve been required. I think so. Yeah. I would’ve, would’ve appreciated understanding earlier on that advice. I think from, from my good friend, certainly

Kim-Adele

I love that and such great advice, isn’t it? Cause we are supposed to do what makes our soul sing. You know, we’re supposed to do the things that, that bring us joy and bring us happiness. As long as you have their kind, they’re doing good things for other people, but often, you know, we lose our way on that. Don’t we, we lose our way from doing the things actually ignite us with, with fire. One of the things I, I spend a lot of time with my clients doing is the do delegate and dump, you know, what, what you have to do because actually either it’s the thing that you joy or because you’re the only one that knows how to do it. What can you delegate? And what can you dump? Because actually it adds no value to anybody. So just like stop letting it steal your day. And it’s amazing when you take that step back and, and re-look at what’s going on in your world when you can see actually there is space that, you know, there’s always space. We just fill it sometimes with things that might not be the best use of, of that space.

Tobias

Yeah. There’s plenty of people filling their time with things I think they should be doing, not actually delivering any benefits of themselves first of all, but anybody else as well. And yeah, the, the, the process of, of actually understanding, do I need to do this? Should I delegate it? Or should I just get rid of it is, is something that people need to learn and should be really critical about delegation. People find very, very hard from experience in my experience anyway, but yeah, certainly some people do fill their time with things, doing things that aren’t necessarily good for themselves or, or productive.

Kim-Adele

Yes. And I think, you know what you’ve already shared with the, I think you said it was the, the three, why I used to call it the five Y theory, you know, the bit like when you turn into a toddler and you like, why yeah. Why? And if you can get to the fifth level of why that’s when you get to the real crooks of why you’re actually doing it and that’s when you have to go, am I still happy with that decision? Don’t still agree that this is where I’m heading or actually is this now telling me that I need to go and do something else? I think having that passion for being curious, it sounds like, you know, the thing that underpins how you’ve lived your life so far is that curiosity. So why, why is that like that and why, why couldn’t we make it better? Why couldn’t we fix it? Why, why are we doing it this way? Would that be, would that be a fair summary that you’re driven by a curiosity?

Tobias

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I’m naturally inquisitive. Anyway, I have a fairly analytical mind and I wanna understand how things work. And I, the way I I learn is I need to understand how something works at the low level to be able to then do it. I’ve learned as I’ve got older and they larger companies that actually, I don’t need to know everything at all. I need to know the benefit and the outcome of what it’s delivering, not how it works. So yeah, that’s saying something, I think again, with age, achievement tracker genshin

Kim-Adele

I, I love that cause I was very similar. You know, when I first started out, I, I was the kid that had to break the toy to work out how it worked, put it back together and then I was okay and we could share, we could share the toy. But when you move up in leadership, you suddenly get to the stage where you can’t actually do the, do it. You just have to trust that they can do it because you are, you are leader on a much greater scale. Is there any advice for people that are making that step that are going from feeling, being a leader that was able to know how to do it and therefore was comfortable that they had more knowledge to one that’s just actually leading and therefore what they bring to the, to the table is their leadership skills and their ability to direct.

Tobias

Yeah, definitely. Just because you’ve got a certain way of doing something doesn’t mean it’s the right way of doing something anymore. And there’s a lot of value to be found in having other people tell you the way that they’re doing things you may or may not disagree with it. And you may or may not find their value there, but there is absolutely value in listening and understanding fully why other people do things a certain way and the outcomes that it’s had. I think if you get to the point where you are refusing to understand and to adopt other people’s methodologies or processes or principles, you’ve lost the battle, the script because you’re not in receiving mode at that point that you can no longer learn. So I think the it’s really valuable to listen to other people and to understand and have that inquisitive mindset to understand how they are doing something, why they are doing it and the, the benefits that it’s bringing them and also to share the way that you are doing things as well back with them too.

Tobias

So just because somebody’s been a veteran of the industry for 40 years and they know it inside out, doesn’t mean that they’re necessarily at the same position that you are right now, spotting the things that you are spotting. And we’ve done that with, with very large companies, some of our suppliers, partners, customers, and we’ve got, you know, global travel insurance companies that we’ve worked with in the past. And just because our approach has been one way doesn’t mean their approach doesn’t work the same way. So it’s really important that you share that knowledge and process and then make your own decisions from that.

Kim-Adele

I love it. That’s such great advice because it is too often. We listen to interject not to understand, but when we open our mind to listen to understand, and then we share, then we all learn. Don’t wait. We all can grow and we can develop. And we might find something in the middle. I go, actually, it’s not your way or my way. It’s this new way. That’s a little bit of both that actually creates a brand new path for us all.

Tobias

Absolutely. Yeah. That point that you mentioned there, that, that, that pause moment, that reflection point is really important. And it’s certainly something that I’ve found useful as I’ve been in very difficult high conflict situations. And that’s been at different points in my career so far, but just taking that time to go, right? Silence, no phones, no laptops, no nothing. And as a cup of coffee, I’m gonna sit in the garden for five minutes and just think about what’s happened and just take my point back to that grounding position again and go, okay, that’s all well and good. But how do we move past this? I’ve found that what’s helped me and kept me going, is taking that space, creating that time reflection and then also helping others to do the same thing because we don’t listen enough. We talk an awful lot and actually taking that time out to understand compute, draw down rationalize, and then make decisions from that distilled point is really critical when leading scale up businesses, especially with all the noise there is out there. Now,

Kim-Adele

I love that. That is such great advice cause as human beings, unfortunately what happens is we don’t respond to what’s happening. We respond to what we’ve made it mean. So whenever we get into those moments of conflict, we are all dealing with emotion, not the facts. So when we can take ourself away for a moment and go, okay, what’s happening and what am I making it mean? And now how can I bring it back to what’s happening and deal with that? And then come back to it. It, it just changes the, the whole outcome. Doesn’t it? Because it allows you to come from that centered position. Amazing advice. I could literally chat to you all day, but so I’m definitely have to get you back on, but how can people get in touch with you and learn more?

Tobias

Email me, Toby@tobyhooton.com. You’ll find me on LinkedIn via I respond to text call email. I work twenty four seven. So yeah, reach out

Kim-Adele

Fab. I will make sure all of those details are in the show notes. Tobias it has been an absolute joy. Thank you so much for coming on. I look forward to having you on again soon if you up for absolutely for such great Sage advice.

Tobias

Thank you.

Kim-Adele

Take care.

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