About the Episode:
In today’s episode, I dive deep into a mantra that has guided me throughout my career: “Don’t let them see you sweat.” This phrase, which I picked up during my Geek Squad days, emphasizes the importance of exuding confidence, even in uncertain situations. I share a personal story about a challenging tech scenario, highlighting the significance of clear communication and decision-making. It’s not about the certainty of the outcome but the confidence in the decision to move forward. Whether you’re in business, relationships, or personal growth, this episode offers insights into eliminating fear and leading with unwavering confidence.
Listen to the podcast here:
Watch the episode here:
- Discover the true essence of confidence and how it can transform your approach to challenges.
- Hear a personal story from my Geek Squad days that underscores the power of decisive action.
- Learn why “trying” and “hoping” can be detrimental to your growth.
- Gain insights into effective communication during uncertain situations.
- Understand why confidence in your decisions, not outcomes, is the key to success.
Hey, what’s shakin’? Hey, I’m Rick Jordan today, we’re going all in. Today is a training we’re gonna call this don’t let them see you sweat. This is a phrase that I picked up a long time ago from a company I used to work for called Geek Squad. And this was one of the things even because Geek Squad if you don’t know, I mean everybody sees it, it’s in Best Buy. Now, you know, it’s all over the country and all over the world. Actually in Canada. I know it’s in Canada because I helped personally roll it out. I trained everybody in Canada when it rolled out in 2004. I was one of the two dudes who went up there and trained all the agents at all the Best Buy stores as to how to do this thing right now, Geek Squad used to exist as its own standalone technology company based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. And then dude, Robert Stevens founded it, and then came along BestBuy and acquired it, and they struck a deal.
I don’t remember how much but Robert Stevens has still excelled and been promoted. Now he is still a still I believe the CTO, the Chief Technology Officer executive levels at Best Buy in a 30-something billion-dollar company. Imagine that. Right for a moment. I mean, that’s an encouragement to anybody. You know, and even my new book, talks about how it’s difficult when you’re working for a corporation, you probably which isn’t out yet, by the way, my new book is not out yet. But it’s coming soon, about how it’s hard for somebody to start in a company and then end up being coming in owner of that company. That’s just an unlikely scenario. However, with public companies, like Reachout, like Best Buy, there are amazing things like employee stock option programs, awesome things like employee stock purchase programs where you get stock as part of your compensation, and an Options Program, which means you become an owner, you become a shareholder of that company. And then there are others on the other side of the purchase program, so where you have the option to buy at a discounted rate, it’s really cool.
But here’s a guy, Robert Stevens, who started a company, Geek Squad, and then ended up rising to like the second tier of leadership, if you’ve got the CEO, then you’ve got the other sea levels. He’s the CTO and Best Buy in a 30-something billion-dollar-a-year company. That’s badass, right? So you see that these things happen, sometimes clerks at law firms end up becoming managing partners of the law firm, these things can happen, and they do happen. And I was right in the midst of it. Now, I’m telling you this story, because Geek Squad had a culture, and I’m using the word had h and past tense, because that culture, in my opinion, no longer exists. And that happened shortly after I departed from the company. And I saw the bar being lowered and all these things. But there was one very important thing that this phrase, don’t let them see you sweat dates all the way back to pre BestBuy.
This was one thing that was drilled into the heads of every single person who worked for Geek Squad, and all of them were called Special agents at that point. And then also carried over into the early years of Geek Squad, which is when I started there, actually, which is where my Vice President of Operations Ryan Luering, started in that time period, also with Geek Squad. And this was one of the things that they just drilled and pounded into our heads. And it’s still so very valid today. It’s a thing that I feel the Best Buy and Geek Squad has lost. But it’s something that it reached out we will never ever lose, which is why this training exists right now. And for everybody else, that’s listening. Now, don’t let them see you sweat. This is pretty simple. Because there are times no matter what industry you’re in, there are times when you get in front of a customer and you don’t know what to do, you just don’t know. And a lot of people will feel like that’s a that’s sign of weakness, right? And that’s an issue at the moment. And then you start to get in your own head about certain things.
This can be anything that is working on a ransomware scenario. This can be reading a financial statement, this can be getting into a sales conversation with somebody who’s in an industry you’ve never talked to before, you know all of these areas, you know, or leading a Zoom call for the first time with an important meeting with external stakeholders. These things happen all the time. These first will continue to happen as long as you continue to grow in your career and your professionalism and your professional growth and your personal growth. These things will happen and continue to happen all the time. Unless you do some bad things which we’ll also talk about here today because today is about confidence. And there are ways to have confidence, even in the moments where you are freaked out, and thusly comes don’t let them see you sweat. There have been times where even I, you know date back to engineering days, right and working on servers, there have been times to where I have blown up servers. It just happens, right? Technology is messed up. So if I’m putting in a new server, I remember one specific time that I was with a client who was one of my very first clients with Reachout, it was just me at the time, and I’m sitting there putting in a new server, right?
Everything’s going great. It’s about eight o’clock at night. It’s right, we started some things about three o’clock in the afternoon, and they shut the factory down, in order for me to be in this scenario. And without really hindering the business process, the operations, the production line, all of that, you know, and I was guessing because I’d done this before, it would take maybe five hours or so right? To swap this thing out. I had everything pre-loaded. So then I get to the point. And I don’t know if you’re in if you’ve ever gone back this far, but this is I mean, SharePoint dates back this far, it’s still used with Office 365 right now. And this is probably why I hate it. Because it’s PTSD from this moment, that SharePoint that existed on one server used to not exist in the cloud with Microsoft Office, right? It used to be on a server. And the only way you could really get this was with something called Small Business Server. So I’m going to transfer this stuff over. And the thing just blows up in my face.
Right, eight o’clock at night. It’s like, oh, now I don’t have the customer’s data on the new server because the transfer failed. And now all of a sudden, on the old server, you just can’t access it anymore. Because at that point, I remember that the Transfer app right, you see this on Macs nowadays to read, it’s like, hey, let’s transfer your stuff to a new machine, sign in with your iCloud ID. And here you go, everything that comes over. And every time it’s like a twitch a little bit when that happens, because when I get a new Mac, because of this scenario, like 15 years ago, when this thing shifted, and it at least at that time, it kind of locked down everything else because it had to take this moment in time. And it had to stop things because databases are active things, and you can’t really grab stuff out of them. When they’re still running. You can’t transfer the data when they’re still running. So this old server just shut down SharePoint to transfer the data, and now I couldn’t access it. So at this moment, I’ve got it wasn’t just me, it was just myself, and the general manager who was hanging out, right? And that’s it.
And here’s how I handle this scenario. Because at this moment, the first thing that comes to your mind is, oh, shit, I just lost all this data, right? I had preparations in place because one thing I used to do was make a complete backup of the whole thing before moving it over. So I did that the right way. But at the same time, I think of what was in place, what happened before this, that caused this thing to just crash in this, that’s probably in the backup, too. I hope this thing works, right? So if you know, there’s manual repairs, and everything, it’s a long process. But long story short, I remembered this at this moment, right? Because this was maybe three years after Geek Squad, like don’t let them see you sweat. So I walk into the general manager’s office and I go, I’m like, I just tell him, I’m like, This is what happened. This is going to take a little bit longer.
This is my path forward, it’s probably going to last I am here until this is done, unless you need to go and then we can both go. And then I’ll be back in the morning, whatever time works for you. But this is my path forward. And this is how I am going to fix it. Notice, that there are a couple of things that I didn’t add in there. I didn’t use the word try. I didn’t say this is how I’m going to try to fix it. Or didn’t use the word hope. Like I hope this fixes it. I’m stating facts at the moment. And this is a key to confidence in anything that you’re in. I’m stating facts at the moment. And of course, he’s asked, Well, how did this happen? And my answer to that question was, I don’t actually know, there could be a couple of different reasons why this happened. But the process that I’m proceeding forward with, doesn’t really matter, because this is how I am going to fix it.
I don’t really care how I got to this point to begin with, because my path forward doesn’t really have anything to do with those. So this is how I am going to fix it. Now in those moments, I’m thinking in my head, it’s like, I don’t actually know 100% And this is the thing in life this is the thing in business is the thing and relationships is the thing literally in everything. You never know 100% about anything. Even though you can look in the historic past and see trends and see that something worked really about 100% of the time it could have even worked every single time prior to that and it just that that’s what maybe gave you the confidence to move forward. This was the first time I ever faced this scenario. So I didn’t have the historical reference to pull on. All I knew was exactly what my path forward was. So I said, this is how I am going to fix it. And in that moment, he said, Okay. He asked, of course, how did it happen, as I said, but I didn’t say try, I didn’t say hope. All I said is, this is how I am going to dot dot dot.
He’s like, You know what I’m gonna go home, I don’t mind if you stay here, just that works, because I’d rather have it back up and running. If you need to come back in the morning, that’s fine, too. If you want to stay all night, that’s okay. It’s completely up to you. Here’s a here’s a key fob to the door. So you can get in and out in case you want to go get dinner, whatever it is, but it’s all good. Notice, there are a couple of things in this, this, there are a few things I did not do, in addition to saying the word try, which I didn’t say it or say hope, which I didn’t say, I also didn’t avoid it. I didn’t sit my ass in front of the server and stay in that clause and just keep chugging away without any kind of communication with him whatsoever. Because at some point in time, he’ll start to look at his watch and be like, You know what he said, like eight, nine o’clock, and now it’s 10 o’clock, what’s going on here? So of course, that person would come in and say, Hey, how’s it going? And then that moment, it’s like, you have lost control of the situation.
Now you look like an S, and any possibility of confidence that you have has completely eroded away. And in order for you to instill confidence in other people and allow them to trust you, you have to exert the confidence yourself. So outside of saying try or hope, which I didn’t do, I also didn’t avoid this scenario. I immediately as soon as I had a plan, right, which took me all about five minutes or so. Right? So let’s see, okay, I know what I need to do. My next step is to go to the backups, try to restore that, and then start this transfer over. I had a plan of action. Did I know it was going to work? Fuck no, I had no idea. Because I’d never been in this scenario before. But what I was confident in, at that moment, was that I had made a decision on a path forward. And that’s what I could convey. So even though I could not convey that it was going to work, 100% of that was going to be the outcome, a good outcome, what I was able to do in the moments was simply be confident in the fact that I made a decision and that I forged a path forward. And in my communication with this general manager, that’s what I communicated. So in my confidence, I was able to display I have identified the problem. And I’m moving forward. It was as simple as that. And in that, he’s like, all right. And then, of course, the curiosity. Well, how did it happen? I don’t really know.
But this is how I am going to fix it, it was just a loop coming back, like, okay, so when people see this in you, when people hear this and you when they can, when they know that you actually have some kind of path forward, that they’re not, you’re not going to stay stuck in this predicament where you’re at, you will be able to instill that confidence in everybody else, and they will trust on you and lean on you literally with their lives at some point in time. This isn’t even just leading other people, this is actually really like leading yourself. And in that moment, because you have decided on a path forward. And that’s literally the only thing you have to be confident in right now. Because it’s not a try. It’s not a hope you are going to this not only applies to working with customers, but this also applies to your relationships, right? If you’re having difficulty, you’d say, Hey, I am going to plot dot dots. And then that becomes confidence, even for the other person that they know that they can believe in you.
If it’s with your kids, and you’re you know, something happens, I mean, this was a scenario for me to where it was like three kids in a two-bedroom condo. And it’s like I decided and one day it’s I had no frickin idea how it was going to happen. But five people in a two-person condo, I’m like, This is it. You know, I? I could stay stuck in this moment right now. But no, because here’s what I’m going to do. I have no idea exactly how I am going to get there. Right. I understand how things got to that point. At least I understood that at that point in time. But in that moment, I’m like, I don’t know what to do. I have no idea. I know that I need more space for my family. But you know what I could just do right here so I’m not just gonna sit back and wait which is avoiding this scenario. I’m not going to try to produce more money. I’m not going to hope that I produce more income for my family. What I will do is I am going to grow my business. Get a bigger home. No idea if it would work.
The business because I was early years no idea if I would have a bigger home any time soon. But that confidence comes in your decision about what you are going to do. I’m telling you, even if you have fear in the moments of dealing with the customer or any of these other scenarios that I’ve described today, that confidence will eliminate all the fear that you have in your life right now at that moment strictly because you said I am going to and then when you have that communication with the manager or with the owner, whoever it is, they’re going to sense that in you and they’re going to go right along with you. Confidence does not have to be in the solution. Confidence it does not have to be in the outcome. Confidence only has to be in your decision of I am going to there is no try. There is no hope I’m not Yoda there’s also no avoiding this scenario, avoiding the communication because then you just look like an ass. This is how you move forward moving literally in anything and we’re talking in a business sense today, but I’ve given you a lot of other examples. So don’t let them see you sweat.
GO ALL IN.