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CMOs and Partnership Leaders today are facing increasing amounts of pressure.

Pressure to do more with less.

Pressure to show their stakeholders, internal and external, real results.

Pressure to take their partner programs to the next level.

All the books and courses and webinars in the world can’t help if you don’t have the right mindset. So where do we begin?

That’s what we’re covering in today’s episode of Partnership Unpacked.

Welcome back to Partnership Unpacked, where I selfishly use this time to pick the brains of experts at strategic partnerships, channel programs, affiliates, influencer marketing, and relationship building… oh, and you get to learn too! Subscribe to learn how you can amplify your growth strategy – with a solid takeaway every episode from partnership experts in the industry.

And after a couple dozen episodes, we’ve covered a lot of ground. We’ve talked about building strategic partner programs, working with influencers, and even how to start up a great affiliate program.

But how are we supposed to accomplish these goals, juggle competing priorities, and keep our personal and professional lives balanced?

That’s what Angus Nelson is here to help us with.

If you want to model the best, why not look to someone who’s worked with executives and brands like Walmart, Coca-Cola, Disney and Adobe! I’ve known Angus for years and have always been impressed with his knowledge and style, and couldn’t wait to bring him on to share his years of best practices as an executive strategist.

Partnership Unpacked host Mike Allton talked to Angus Nelson about::

♉️ How to overcome issues plaguing partnership leaders like overwhelm and dealing with failure.

♉ Why successful executives still hit plateaus, and what to do about them.

♉️ And how to achieve success, despite all these pressures.

Learn more about Angus Nelson

Resources & Brands mentioned in this episode

Full Notes & Transcript:

(Lightly edited)

How CMOs and Partnership Leaders Can Adopt A Winning Mindset with Angus Nelson

How CMOs and Partnership Leaders Can Adopt A Winning Mindset with Angus Nelson

[00:00:00] Mike Allton: CMOs and partnership leaders today are facing increasing amounts of pressure. Pressure to do more with less pressure to show their stakeholders internal and external real results and pressure to take their partner programs to the next level. All the books and courses and webinars in the world can’t help you if you don’t have the right mindset.

So where do we begin? That’s what we’re covering in today’s episode of Partnership Unpacked.

This is Partnership unpacked your Go-to Guide to Growing Your Business through partnerships quickly. I’m your host, Mike Alton, and each episode unpacks the winning strategies and latest trends from influencer marketing to brand partnerships and ideas that you can apply your own business to grow exponentially.

And now the rest. Of today’s episode,

welcome back to Partnership Unpacked, where I selfishly use this time to pick the brains of experts at strategic partnerships, channel programs, affiliates, influencer marketing, and relationship building. Oh, you get to learn too. Subscribe to learn how you can amplify your growth strategy with a solid takeaway.

Every episode from partnership experts in the industry, and after a couple dozen episodes, we’ve covered a lot of ground. We’ve talked about building strategic partner programs, working with influencers, and even how to start up a great affiliate program. But how are we supposed to accomplish these goals, juggle competing priorities, and keep our personal and professional lives balanced?

That’s what Angus Nelson is here to help us with. If you wanna model the best, why not look to someone who’s worked with executives and brands like Walmart, Coca-Cola, Disney, Adobe. I’ve known Angus for years, and I’ve always been impressed with his knowledge and style and couldn’t wait to bring him on to share his years of best practices as an executive strategist.

Hey Angus, welcome to the show.

[00:02:02] Angus Nelson: I love the fact that I’m here to hang out with you, but even more so, your intro is awesome. So yeah, I’m, I’m like fired up over here. Bring it. Let’s, let’s bring the heat. [00:02:14] Mike Allton: Love it. I’ll tell you a little secret, everyone that is on the show, they give me their bio, right? I mean, you did it.

I, I had you fill out a form and I get their bio, but I never just read the bio. I reword it. And that’s something I was actually taught by a podcast company out of the uk. They said, you know, here, change the bio a little bit so that you’re, you’re leading with, you know what the value is to the audience.

Cuz a lot of people, myself included, we may not necessarily write the best bio. Your bio itself is fine, but I just move things around so, Thanks for calling that out. Appreciate that. That observation,

[00:02:46] Angus Nelson: all your years of blogging are paying off. [00:02:49] Mike Allton: Very true. So let’s start with a little bit of background.

Cause I like to do this. Help my audience understand, you know, why did I bring on this guy? Right? So you’re working exclusively with men today. Typically, I would say, successful men who wanna take their work and their lives to the next level. Why? What’s your origin story?

[00:03:06] Angus Nelson: So as you kind of read in the bio, my background was, you know, in this place of working with Fortune 500 brands all around innovation.

I ran an innovation association coming out of oh eight and oh nine. There was all of this peer-to-peer crowdfunding, crowd lending. There was blockchain, there was autonomous vehicles. All these things that are now becoming more ubiquitous at the time were revolutionary. And we were tracking all of the progression, the investments in this space, and so we were following all of the startups as well as giving opportunity for these big brands to either disrupt themselves, find partnerships or acquisitions.

My role was on the people side of it, so I ran all of the curriculum, webinars, live events that we did. I worked very closely with all of our clients. And so in those relationships I would have these conversations and they would inevitably roll into the challenges and the struggles that they themselves as an individual were struggling with more so than digital transformation, innovation, and all the other topics of de jour, you know, the things that we were doing.

And if I could back up a little bit more before that, my first business that I did about 14 years prior to that, I made all the mistakes. I started working too hard. I, um, missed some deadlines and I made some bad calls and got the organization that I had founded in a lot of debt. We had the opportunity to ask for help.

I didn’t take it. I could have called to my board. I didn’t do it. I did what a lot of men do. As I shouldered all of that, put it on my back and said, I’m going to turn this ship around. I’m gonna fix this. 60, 70, 80, 90 hour work weeks. Suddenly my wife is despising me for all the time I’m giving in the office that’s making me dive into this even more, cuz I’m gonna prove to her, prove to the community, prove to all the others.

And in short order, I started coping and it started with addiction issues with pornography and then alcohol. And then I started sleeping around and in short order, I blew up the business. I blew up my marriage and I blew up my sense of self from that situation. I got to a point where I was literally suicidal.

I won’t go into all the details, but I had an opportunity to see a counselor. When I went to this counselor, the first thing he opened my eyes to was this whole thing about psychology and the way that we think and the mindset that we have towards ourselves and how that operates and impacts those around us.

I started learning about this human behavior and emotional intelligence and all these terms I didn’t necessarily know anything about and now bring this back to me running these organizations, and I started to see the same patterns of my life and all the things that I went through. I started to see in a lot of the clients that I had within this organization and the propensity they had for following the same trajectory.

And I learned that this was a thing. This was called coaching. So I became this executive strategist helping specifically men, because I believe on many levels that men following that same suit is we will isolate and we will be alone, and we will think we’re the only one. And because I have such great perception on that and I have incredible experience in that, I’ve made that my goal.

Add to that a lot of the cultural dynamics about equity and about equality and all the elements that, uh, a man in leadership, particularly, you know, middle-aged white men, all those issues require a number of elements of self-awareness, emotional intelligence, et cetera, et cetera. And all that plays part in how I help great leaders become incredible leaders.

[00:06:46] Mike Allton: Love that. I appreciate your transparency, the vulnerability that comes through, and I know myself and everybody listening can relate to so much of what you just said. Both having gone through a lot of those things and still going through a lot of those same kinds of situations, we’re putting everything on our own shoulders and so on.

But I also, I, I love the overarching. Truth that you’ve just shared, which is that you are finding success because you’ve made the mistakes and you’re now helping others understand, hey, you know, I can, I can help you kind of avoid some of those mistakes in the future. You mentioned my, my blogging career.

That’s what my blogging career has always been. Here’s what I got wrong about LinkedIn or Twitter or whatever, and here’s how you can, you know, skip that mistake. You can go off and make all kinds of mistakes on your own, but at least you can skip this mistake cuz I’m gonna share with you how, and isn’t this, isn’t this the truth that we think like, oh, I learned from my mistakes, but should you, why?

[00:07:42] Angus Nelson: Yeah. Like, isn’t it smarter to learn from other people’s mistakes? Isn’t it smarter to have intervention and wisdom and insights to now all of a sudden extract that and let that be your advantage? This is the thing that people get in their their minds is they think like, Hey, I can figure this out. I just wrote a post the other day.

I said, the problem with success is success itself because we think what got us here is gonna get us there and it won’t. It’s like you have to upgrade. You know, the name of our organization is Evolve, you know, evolve Men is because at some level we need to evolve the way we think, the way we perceive, the way we show up, the way that we lead is a product of an internal transformation of ourselves to a, give ourselves permission to put on a bigger pair of pants, to wear some, some bigger shoes so that we can operate at a bigger level.

A lot of these startups that I’ve worked with, when you’re at a level where you’ve got 1 million, 3 million and you’re like, oh yeah, we got a company. And then you go to a Series A and they offer you this WA of cash, 10, 20, 40, a hundred million dollars, and now you’ve got a real company with real liabilities and real accountability.

And that’s where people start to crack because they were really cool when they were doing all the things, but now you want me to lead, but I’m used to staying in the weeds. Don’t ask me to be over here and managing people and managing time and managing projections and relationships with all the investors and all the customers and all the different parties at play.

Meanwhile, you’re trying to build a team. You’re trying to delegate, you’re trying to let go. These are huge challenges. And then you add all the other stuff we’ve had going on the last three, four years. It’s, yeah, it’s chaos. And so that’s why what I do is not just a job, it’s my passion. Cause I wanna settlement free.

[00:09:40] Mike Allton: Yeah, we’re actually, it’s funny cuz we’re seeing the same kind of evolution within Agorapulse, where, you know, for years we had this small team startup, scrappy, underdog mentality. That ain’t us anymore. So that means we now need to change the things that got us to where we are today with the, you know, tens of thousands of customers and, and millions of annual revenue.

Okay, that’s not gonna get us to the next level. Yeah. You know, we have to change. We have to evolve. So I love that you’re sharing that from a men and and a leader’s perspective. It’s funny, I say this at the outset of every show. I don’t know, no one’s ever said anything, so I dunno if they pick up on it.

But in the introduction I say I’m selfishly using this time. To pick people’s brains and it’s a hundred percent true. It’s not just something I said. I mean, this is true. This is for me and y’all get to listen and, and learn a little bit with me, but I know that I don’t know everything there is to know about partnerships, about influencer marketing.

I don’t. I’m good at my job, but I’m constantly being asked to. Do new things and take on new responsibilities and go in different directions and grow with our company, that is also growing and changing and evolving. So I appreciate that you’re here. I love that we’re having this conversation and I wanna kind of call out some of the folks who are working, who are listening right now, they’re in the partnership world because partnership managers, partnership leaders, they’re really interesting because they’re balancing a lot of internal.

And external relationships and stakeholders. They’re essentially marketers and sales reps and customer support heroes kind of all wrapped in one. And they need to think about their business as an entrepreneur and a visionary, but also try to create campaigns and projects and integrations that are at least as beneficial to another company and there’s tremendous opportunity for success.

As well as failure. So here’s my question. My question is, what advice would you give to these kinds of professionals who may be working for months on a project or a partnership only to see it fail falls apart and suddenly they’re faced with this incredible failure or even a series of failures?

[00:11:44] Angus Nelson: Yeah.

Yeah. So the first thing I’d say is you’re gonna look in the mirror, right? And you’re gonna identify a couple things. So, Most people when they look in the mirror are gonna see the failure. They’re gonna see the fault, and then they’re gonna start to pick away at, you know, what could have gone wrong, and they’ll then turn that towards the partnership.

It’s that other person and is, is their bad decisions. And it was, and we start to project all this pain towards someone else. Well, they’re just this, they’re just that. They’re just idiots, you know, whatever. And it’s like they’re, they don’t even know what they’re missing. Like we have this propensity versus a more mature, more healthy, more whole way of saying like, everything is a numbers game.

And so if you take on it, and this may sound a little cold-hearted, but one thing that you can just say is next. And move on. But besides that is then to do the internal work, which is what do I learn? Where did I not equip that company or that individual, that decision maker with the right information, the right tools or the right tone, where the opportunities in my communication where perhaps I entered into that conversation from a place of scarcity.

Where I was putting too much pressure need, I was putting on too much of my own desperation into the conversation and didn’t even realize it. And this again, is where self-awareness is so critical. If you’ll understand that the energy you bring into sales conversations, marketing conversations, writing copy, all of that is an expression of how I see myself.

And if you are not in a healthy place, If you’re operating out of scarcity, then the things that you say, the things that you do and the things that you write will reflect that even on some weird subconscious, uh, energetic level. And this is why doing the elements of self-work, personal development, mental health is so critical because the energy you carry into whatever you’re doing is going to transfer.

And if you’re instead coming from a place of abundance and joy, a place of opportunity and optimism, well shoot man. Everybody loves to work with happy people. So you’re already got a foot in the door. Now, it’s about crunching through the numbers and the execution of actually bringing a solution into a new company.

But if you really break down how did this thing fall apart? And be really honest and humble with yourself to say, the lessons that I learned from this are now the wisdom I gain. Those things become my new skillset as I evolve myself, and now that becomes my advantage for my future.

[00:14:43] Mike Allton: Love it. I went through a week of, a little, over a week of, uh, N L P training last year.

Just a deep, deep dive into personal mindset and goal setting, and it’s helped me become a better person. It’s helped me work better with colleagues, work better with clients, but I’ve also recognizing that it’s not. Foolproof. Right? It’s not permanent. I’m often reminded of Zig Ziglar, who was asked once, do you keep having to motivate?

Why do I keep having to go through motivate? He’s like, well, motivation isn’t permanent and neither is bathing, but you keep bathing, right? You keep having to clean yourself. You keep having to self-motivate. You keep having to work on that self-awareness. So I’m, I’m loving that we’re having this conversation because it, it’s a reminder to me, and hopefully all of you listening, that this is not something that we just do once and stop.

Yeah. We just have to keep working on ourselves, keep reminding ourselves where our power comes from, what our goals are, and have that frank. Humble assessment of what went wrong. We do a technique in N O P called timeline therapy where we almost have this out body experience and we go back and we look down UNE emotionally.

Mm-hmm. At what happened and we deal with it and we address it. That’s amazing.

[00:15:58] Angus Nelson: One more thing to this too. Yeah. And listener, you’re going to know exactly what I’m saying when I say this, and that is not everything’s in your control. And you may have done the best. Delivery communication process of this entire engagement and something fell apart on the other side, has nothing to do with how you set it up, the relationship you built, the time you put in, and the emotion that was connected.

It may have nothing to do with that. And again, this is where that honesty and that humility can come into play and say, but even in that, How could I mitigate the next opportunity? How could I equip my partner with the tools that they could be more successful and or how can I take the lessons that I’ve learned in my own self-awareness to help them to be able to be a better presenter, a better salesperson, or better marketer of their own plan?

These are all things that, again, if you have some real honest conversations and can see objectively, I love what you just said, kinda rise above in that like third person kind of way. You can see a better picture. And again, it takes a lot of the criticism off of yourself and puts you back in the seat of power because now you’re moving forward.

[00:17:18] Mike Allton: Love it. Love it. Now, the other thing that can happen, I think often when someone’s gone through multiple failures, or perhaps they just haven’t been challenged enough, is that they kind of begin to lose their passion and their interest in their work. How would you handle that kind of a situation? [00:17:35] Angus Nelson: So if I, I understand correctly.

So now they’re either getting bored with what they’re doing? Yeah. Or they’re just losing the focus. I don’t know if this answer is gonna be the best for some people, but. Are you doing what you’re supposed to be doing?

[00:17:50] Mike Allton: Yeah, [00:17:52] Angus Nelson: good question. Are you suing yourself? You know, if we get really honest, because it’s interesting how alignment of how you see you and wanna show up in the world is so necessary for our work.

And if our work doesn’t align with our person, there’s always gonna be conflict. So how you see yourself in the things that you do. If you’re losing energy, you’re losing perspective, you’re losing that verve, that motivation. So one side would be, Hey, are you in the right place? And if you get to the end of that sentence, you’re like, yeah, I’m absolutely in the right place.

I totally wanna do this. I just understand. Well, the number two is, are you in burnout? So are you in a state where you are over indexing effort? In other words, you are striving, manipulating, and manufacturing your future rather than coming from a place of what I said before, abundance. If you’re in scarcity, then everything you’re doing is trying to push a ball up a hill and you’re using way more energy.

You’re exerting way more striving and manipulating and manufacturing to make an expected outcome come to pass. Versus coming from this place of abundance where now you’re, and, and I like to say it’s the difference between wielding and yielding. Mm. Instead of trying to wield power to make something happen, and you get to this place where you yield.

And so now when you step into a room in a conversation with a person, you’re doing it in a way that you are inviting them into the process, whether that be sales or marketing, whatever, and you’re doing it from a place that almost feels life-giving and effortless. Because you’re doing it from a place where you’re not trying to make something happen, you’re doing it because making things happen is just who you are.

It’s what you do. And so your expectation now becomes, Hey, we’re gonna go make some stuff happen. And from that comes a place of peace, a place of connection, and a place of recreation. And now all of a sudden you move out of burnout and into this place of connection and a place of alignment. When we get to that place where we’re bored, distracted in that place of like, we don’t have the same fire and drive, oftentimes it’s because we’re pushing into a part of our creation that is actually exasperating our energy.

It’s robbing us of who we are and what we’re capable of. However, if you feed your soul, feed your mind, feed your heart with a perspective on wow, how your business or how your part in the business, the role that you play is creating transformation, is creating opportunities, is creating possibility for your clients, for those businesses, for those partnerships.

Well now you step into a place where instead of trying to sell, you slide into a place to solve, and this place of solution feels a lot lighter. And so these are just some of the mind hacks we have to give ourselves to put into a place of getting that flow back into what we do. And with that flow will come the joy.

So that’s the two things. One, are you in the right place? And then two, are you in the right state? A state of scarcity or a state of abundance, a state of striving or a state of serving? A state of selling, or a state of solving.

[00:21:42] Mike Allton: First of all, that was an amazing answer. Second of all, I love talking to people who’ve obviously given a lot of thought to not only psychology and human behavior, but the power of words and language, right?

When you can you things like antonyms and, and, and those kinds of powerful words that just put people in a trance and they’re just, Listening and they’re absorbing and it’s easier to understand because of the power of the words that you’re choosing. I love that. And I just wanna underline the fact that you said alignment was one of the first things I I couldn’t agree more.

Mm, that’s so important. And, and just to. Have a little bit of a sidebar for a moment. With all of you listening today, make sure that you are having conversations about your alignment. Just like Angus said at the very beginning, this is not something you have to take on for yourself. You should be talking to your manager.

You should be talking to a coach. You should have a mastermind group. And just to pull back the curtain even more, I’ve got a personal mastermind group. I met with them last night specifically to talk about my alignment and my goals and who I’m trying to serve as a man, as a coach, as a personal business.

Who are the people that I can help the most? Yeah. With the skills that I have. And that’s, that’s one of the real wonderful things that a coach in a mastermind group can bring is that they know you, right? Yeah. These people, they know me and they’re like, Mike, why are you doing this? You don’t need to do this.

You should be talking to these people because you’re so good at these three things. And I’m like, oh, I know you’re right. And so it’s fantastic. So have those conversations, but another issue that I think. Creeps up often with partnership leaders. I, I know myself, this happens all the time as procrastination and it can look a lot of different things, but for me it looks like they’re facing a new kind of partnership or a new kind of partnership or project and it’s just massive or unknown or overwhelming.

So how do we shift our to approach these kinds of situations better?

[00:23:41] Angus Nelson: You are asking some great questions. So look at everything you’ve done in your career. Most things that you have gotten yourself into, either you didn’t directly get it in through some school, and I mean school, like all the way through grade school, high school into college.

You probably didn’t learn a lot of things that you’re implementing today in your career in many respects, uh, especially if you’re in sales, like nobody goes to college to get a sales degree. Sales is something you, you learn on the job, right? And, and you look at all these things, but the piece that is the common denominator is that at every step in this evolution, if I can use that word again, is you had this figure out ability, right?

You had a, an ability to figure things out. And so if you’re facing something where you’re seen or feeling what the words you use were procrastination, I would use the word resistance. Hmm. You know, you have to work on something. You know, you have to, to assemble something, you know, you have to have a certain conversation.

You know, you have to like send a certain email. You should make that phone call. You should get on that Zoom call, and you just cannot bring yourself to do it. It seems to slide down the priority every time. I would call that resistance. Because there’s something about that next step that makes you feel like, I’m not worthy, I don’t deserve, or I don’t have what it takes.

And this is a powerful revelation when you understand that that friction that we’re experiencing is a product of a belief about me. And again, it could be that part of that alignment. It can go back to some of the things we talked about before, burnout. Those can all be some of the symptoms, but ultimately it was, Joseph Campbell said this, that in the cave you fear to enter lies, the treasure that you seek, and yet there’s a lot of treasure.

None of us are accessing because we are scared spitless to walk into the cave. And the thing that you need to do that call, you need to make that interview. You have to be about the, the, the meeting. You have to attend that conference. You’re supposed to go and network. There’s something about that that is an invitation for you to step into a higher realm, to develop a new skillset, to learn a new lesson, to make a new connection.

The resistance you’re feeling is on some level, you’re doubting your capacity or your ability, and the resistance is keeping you in a place of procrastination. And the moment you can see it and call it for what it is, and it’s like that is no longer gonna be my friction and my resistance, that is going to be my invitation.

And suddenly you give yourself permission and out of permission comes possibility. Our entire lives are bound simply by permission. Will you give yourself permission to become incredible? Will you give yourself permission to shine, to stand out, to be something bigger than what you truly are? Excuse me, bigger than what you currently are to be who you truly are.

We have all these weird stories in our heads that keep us bound in certain areas of our career, our finances, our relationships, or our sense of self. And as a result, we will operate in our worlds on that consistent basis of status quo because it feels on some level safe. But the moment we have to step out of that, Then it feels scary cuz we’ve never been in that place before.

And then we might have other stories in our head that says like, well what is so-and-so gonna say about you? Or what if you’re making more money than your dad ever made? What if you are gonna be in a a place where people can think you’re, you’re high and mighty and you’re better than them? Like all these different stories in our heads will actually create self-sabotage in our lives.

So now here you are procrastinating. Maybe this procrastination is actually a reflection of you afraid to step in your greatness, and what if you just give yourself permission to pick up that call to schedule, to have the conversation, to grab that coffee? What possibility is awaiting you on the other side first?

Get alignment and give yourself permission.

[00:28:20] Mike Allton: Wow, folks. We’re talking to Angus Nelson about how important it is to have the right mindset and approach to business. And while we’re on the subject, I just wanna share with you a quick message from our CMO about another area where you may need to shift your mindset.

Social media.

It’s the arc de triumph. Can you imagine if you’re in charge, if you’re the cmo? Of marketing Paris, what are your main channels? Wow. There’s the arc of Triumph. There’s the Eiffel Tower, there’s the Louvre. Those are your channels you’re gonna use to drive tourism dollars in. Okay, now, but you’re not the CMO of Paris.

In fact, you’re the CMO of your company product service. So what are your main channels? So I’m gonna guess they’re things like pay per click, maybe trade shows, events. Maybe content. Those are all pretty predictable, right? Let me ask you this question. Are you treating social media as a main channel? By the way, only 1.8% of you today measure social media and can prove an ROI in that investment.

HubSpot and Gartner say, social media is the number one channeled invest in this year. Are you doing it? If not, I can tell you why you’re not doing it. Because you don’t have the tools, you don’t have the mentality, and that’s okay. We’ve got you covered. You changed the mentality. We’ll give you the tour of Go Pulse tracks all the ROI for you.

One place to manage all your social media activity, your number one channel, change your success. Treat social media as the Channel one CMO to another. My name is Darryl. I’m with Agorapulse. I’ll talk to you soon.

All right, Angus, we’re talking about people who are or should be leaning into their greatness, and one of the things I’m seeing with just great partnership leaders and CMOs, generally speaking, they’re investing a tremendous amount of time into building. Professional relationships, which today means melding social media with virtual meetings and whenever possible in-person events and meetings, which means travel and long hours.

And I’m seeing that take a toll on personal relationships, friends, significant others, spouses. How do you balance that?

[00:30:27] Angus Nelson: Man, I had to go through this just recently when you and I hung out last in San Diego and I was doing a three week, uh, three week stint in the United States, and my family lives in Lisbon, Portugal, so I was away from my family for three weeks.

And I have a team that operates in my company. We’re global. We’ve got people in, uh, north Macedonia, in Bosnia, and in Hawaii and in in Tennessee. And so, I know what it’s like when you get super busy and you are trying to stay focused, you know, on the things that are right in front of you. At the same time, you’re trying to manage all the things that are back, and I’m gonna just put an air quotes home, uh, wherever that might be.

And in the, in the company. And there’s a couple different things that you have to think through is what are some of the systems that I put in place of communication for me, for things at home, I use a tool called Marco Polo, which is a video app. It’s asynchronous so I can, instead of trying to be on a call with them, which may, because of the timeframe on a different side of the planet.

I instead can talk to them asynchronous so I can record a video and talk to my kids and share my story and, and, you know, show things that are going on in my life. And it’s not on social media, it’s just us. And so I can also do that with my team. It’s like we’re the things where, for me, I can hit record and I can send things in real time to my team.

And then whenever they’re up and about or whatever, they can listen to communications because. As we know and, and I’m speaking from global, and I don’t know if your company happens to be, you know, maybe you’re just going 45 minutes down the road over and over again. That might be a little bit of a different technique, but I will tell you that all of the communication that we do is using video and and audio as the easiest form of communication in real time when we have to have speed involved.

Obviously you’ve got all the other components of, you know, slack or whatever the one they’re using for Microsoft. I can’t remember what teams, is that what it is? Yeah. Teams. So all of those are ways to have some sort of communication, but above and beyond all of that. Here’s the thing I really want to get to is your tone and your urgency.

This has been a thread line through all of this conversation. You know what’s going on around you and there’s some urgency. You’ve gotta get to this meeting, or you gotta get to that part of the event. Or maybe you’re sponsoring something as the company and we gotta get to that booth. All those different things.

And those that are working back in the office, back at home, or wherever they’re at, they’re not experiencing the same thing you are. And to have a little bit of clarity on that, to know that you’re moving at a certain speed and they may not. It means you have to over communicate and to say things that you need in a context of when you need them, how you need them, and what exactly it is that you’re talking about.

So over communicate the things that normally wouldn’t feel like it’s that much of a priority. The second piece is, again, that urgency part is you’re like, go, go, go, go. We gotta go, go, go. And the person who is trying to execute on something or build something or deliver something for you, If you are speaking to them with that kind of urgency, you’re also giving a bit of stress to them that they’re feeling like your urgency as if you’re demanding something of them and you’re rushing them to something.

The truth is, you are just rushing your schedule. You are rushing your, your transport, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re rushing a project. And so being able to like take a breath as you’re communicating. Making sure that the energy that you’re communicating with isn’t saying something. You are not saying.

And I’m saying this from personal experience because I’m rushing through an airport talking to one of my team members and I’m speaking with a ton of urgency cuz I’m late to this plane. Turns out the plane was late for me too. So by the time I got to the gate, the plane wasn’t leaving for another 40 minutes.

But I put pressure on one of my teammates. And then he felt as if he was disappointing me. Hmm. And that was my bad because I took my current present situation and then in some form of energy projected it on him. And so being distant from your team also means you have to be self-aware about how I’m communicating is a way that they.

Can sense or feel like you’re communicating in a way that’s relevant to the situation. And lastly, I’ll say one more thing. The biggest form of communication in general, not just when you’re out and about and doing your things, especially during conference season. Communication is not saying what you wanna say in the way you wanna say it.

True communication is saying what you wanna say in the way the other person can receive it. So some people may need more facts and figures and details. Some people may need more just scope and and framework. Some people need you to just tell it like it is, and some people want you to build a story and and have some context and have some friendliness to it.

Know who you’re talking to and frame what you’re saying in a way that they can receive it, and you’ll find that communication lines with you and your team will be that much more powerful.

[00:36:01] Mike Allton: Could not agree more. You absolutely must take the time to learn who it is that you need to communicate with the most.

And like you said at the beginning, over communicate the positive mindset and understand how you need to communicate in order to. Actually share what it’s that you want to have shared, whether that’s instructions or just a status, connection, whatever it’s you need to do. So this has been fantastic and I just have, I have two more questions.

Okay. Second and last question. What final advice do you have for these CMOs and these partnership leaders who, particularly now we’ve kind of touched on this, right? They’re facing tremendous amounts of pressure, mm-hmm. To succeed. The economy is all over the place. Marketing budgets are being slashed, people are being, you know, forced.

And pressure to focus on tangible results, right? Yeah. Yeah. How do they face that in a way that’s demonstrable, right? How do they, how do they face this pressure to succeed?

[00:36:58] Angus Nelson: I’m gonna tell you a couple different things. One is, depend on your team. You need to make sure that the people you’re, you have around you, that you are not trying to carry stuff that other people would love to be a part of.

Giving people ownership over the future of whatever project or product and things that you’re working on. People want to feel like they’re a part of it, and sometimes we will withhold because we don’t either know exactly what we want in that moment or we don’t have an answer to that situation or we.

Don’t want them to see that we might be feeling inadequate in that moment or stupid in that moment, and we’re just trying to figure out ourselves. But if you invite more people into the, the situation, You can find solutions faster, so involve your team as much as possible. Number two is don’t be afraid of making the mistake I made was not asking for help.

So don’t be afraid to ask for help, not just with your team. Now, who else is on the company team? Like could they be above you? Is it superior? Is it a peer? Because many people think like if I share with somebody that I need help, that in some way that makes me weak. And I would tell you, it can actually make you strong because the perspective you have is we need each other.

You have smarts in this area, and I could use some of your smarts right now because I’ll help you with smarts in other areas. And suddenly the person you’re asking doesn’t look at you is going, oh, you buffoon. You don’t know how to figure this out. You, you are an idiot. No. Instead they say, oh, man, yeah, I would love to help you, because there’s something about you asking that makes them on some level feel like, well, they matter.

Like they were important enough for you to ask. Contextually, you have to give yourself a different context in your mind because how you ask will determine how you receive. So if you ask from a place of weakness, cowardness, I’m gonna look dumb, I’m gonna look stupid or whatever, then the way you say it is gonna make you look dumb and stupid.

Yep. But if you approach it from a place of power, knowing who you are, like, hey. I’ve got a situation, a challenge here that I’m gonna need some other brilliance wrapped with me because we need each other to make this thing happen. Suddenly you’ve got a different energy and a different vibe coming from everyone in the room.

Top or bottom, right? Last thing, you need someone to talk to outside of your business, there are conversations you’re having in your head that you dare not speak with other people because of maybe it may look like you are in a place of weakness. Get a counselor, get a therapist, get a coach, get a mastermind.

Get an outside party that is not attached to the brand. That is a safe place. That can be a mirror. I don’t know if you’ve ever had this issue where you went out on lunch and you grabbed a something to eat and oh man, that broccoli, it was just perfectly done. And you go about your day and you get home at night and drop the keys off in the little bowl and you’re getting your coat off.

You look in the mirror and you smile, and all of a sudden you see this thing in your teeth. Like, that’s that. That’s the broccoli that I had at lunch and nobody told me I had that broccoli in my teeth this whole afternoon. Nobody said anything. That’s the outside party is they show up a mirror to you and reveal to you the things you cannot see in yourself.

That counselor, that coach, that therapist, that whoever that other party is, is gonna say, Hey, you know, Mike, have you considered this? Or maybe that person was reacting to that, or maybe the perspective you have on this challenge is actually looking more like that, and suddenly you can get objectivity and honesty about addressing a challenge you might be facing.

So in light of all the stress and all the pressure and all the change we’re experiencing in our companies, there has never been a better time for us to surround ourselves with others. If you look at the data, the number one thing that is crushing people emotionally is loneliness. We need community, every one of us, and what better place to have community than both in your company and without your company?

You need others to help you succeed. They will lift you up when you need it. They will correct you when you need it, and they will help you flourish and become a more powerful and incredible leader if you’ll let ’em.

[00:41:48] Mike Allton: Absolutely. And now my last question’s my favorite question and I, I can only envision how you’re gonna answer.

I ask this question every time. Okay. I don’t tell people how to answer. I love how they do. This is, this is one of my favorite points of the show, but how important have relationships been to you personally throughout your entire career?

[00:42:06] Angus Nelson: I would not be here today if I didn’t have relationships in my life.

It was coming out of that dark season that I told you about, that I was a recluse for three years, like I stayed in my house. I didn’t do Jack with anybody. I didn’t talk with anybody. I didn’t interact with anybody. I just felt sorry for myself. And when I came out of that and I started to give value to me, I went all in on developing relationships and I developed these skill sets about making people feel good about themselves.

And the interesting thing was I was finally in a place where I had nothing to gain, nothing to prove, and nothing to lose cuz I’d already lost it all. I’d already jacked up my life. And so there’s nothing anybody could say to me that could make me feel bad about myself. I’d already put myself through the ringer.

So now it’s like, if you say something, I’m like, well, that’s your opinion. Cool. But as I grew, I started networking. And just real funny story, as I went into 2008, 2009, I told you about, we were starting to observe, you know, the transformation through all that. Well, what I didn’t tell you was I actually did a stint before we started the Innovation Association as a stay-at-home dad.

I was finishing my book and I was taking care of a toddler and an infant at the same time. Great skill sets and learning about how to be a dad. And I started writing about it and I had a dad blog and there was an event in Austin, Texas, and I went to be a part of this dad blogging event in the evenings.

South by Southwest was going on in the interactive, so all the technology and I had an identical twin brother. And he was the head of social for this little company called Salesforce, and he had the expense account, he was staying at the W I’m like, bro, I’m staying with you. I’m gonna sleep in your bed and I’m gonna, you know, hang out.

So in the daytime, I did all the dad blog stuff at night. He took me to all the tech parties and he introduced me to everybody by having me pretend to be him. Again, we’re identical twins. So he’d point somebody out and he’d say, that’s so and so from such and such. And you even said, you know, some, some of our mutual friends, you know, you brought falls.

I didn’t meet him at that event, but I met him as a result of all this. But it was Chris Brogan and Gary Vaynerchuk, and Brian Alis and Jeremiah Ang and like all the guys in the enterprise space were a product of my brother saying That guy is a hugger or shaker. Go. I’d walk up to him and I’d give him a hug or give him a shake.

I’m like, Hey, what’s up? It’s like, what’s up Marcus? And then like four or five minutes later, Marcus would walk up behind them or behind me and they’d be like, what the what? And that’s how I met everybody. And one of those people I mentioned was Jeremiah ing. And a year later, We had stayed friends. I was interviewing at a job down in Palo Alto and uh, I said, I’m in town.

And he’s like, Hey, I’ll pick you up. We went and hung out. We did this big geek tour. He showed me all the things about Palo Alto and then we ended up the evening talking about human behavior at some Cdy bar in Palo Alto. And just a few months later I got wind that he was starting a new company. I was like, you want some help with that?

And he gave me a shot and he could have hired anybody from the Bay Area. I. And he hired me. That changed the directory of my life just through relationships and I’ve never quit. And that’s how you and I know each other. And that’s how so many of our little network of friends is because we’ve invested in each other.

And the ones who have stayed are the ones who don’t take themselves too seriously, are the ones who actually give more than they take. You’re the ones who show up for each other. That’s the power of our network, and that’s how we became who we’ve become.

[00:46:04] Mike Allton: Love it. Angus, you have been amazing, and this has been such an important and informative talk.

It’s been impactful to me personally. I’m gonna be thinking about this for weeks and weeks and weeks. Can you tell folks where to connect with you and learn more and work with you?

[00:46:19] Angus Nelson: Sure. Uh, you can find [email protected]. That’s the best place to find me. And I would tell you if you are facing some challenges in your own career or life, we like to say for all the men that we’ve experienced over the last seven years, we built an assessment called A Four Mountains.

We believe every man faces a mountain. The question is, what mountain are you facing? Cuz you’ll never know what you need to do, what action you need to take until you know exactly what you’re facing. And you can simply go to what is my mountain.com? And you can take the assessment, take you two minutes, and then it’ll give you all the information you need to bring transformation into your life.

[00:46:55] Mike Allton: Love it. We’ll have what is my mountain.com and all of Angus’s other information links in the show notes. That’s all we’ve got for today, friends. But don’t forget to go to the Partnership unpacked podcast on Apple and drop us a review. We’d love to know what you think. Until next time, thank you for listening to another episode of Partnership Unpacked, hosted by Mike Alton, empowered by Agorapulse, the number one rated social media management solution.

Which you can learn more [email protected]. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe on your favorite podcast player. Be sure to leave us a review. Your feedback is important to us, and if you wanna be a part of our audience during. Live broadcasts. Take a look at our [email protected] slash


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