November 22

Episode 149: Staying Humble as a Leader During Rapid Growth


In today’s episode, Mike talks with Pete Srodoski, COO of and author of the book “Lead with Empathy.”

Pete explains his journey from retail management to small business and lessons learned about compassionate leadership. He shares how transparency, humility and empathy create engaged teams, even remotely.

Listeners will learn how caring for employees, building trust, and inspiring from afar are critical for culture and performance. Hear Pete’s perspective on retail’s hidden leadership talents and why businesses should take chances on these leaders.

Pete Srodoski’s Bio:

Chief Operating Officer, | Author | Entrepreneur

Pete Srodoski is a driving force in empathetic leadership, recognized for his transformative impact on businesses and teams. With a rich background spanning retail, entrepreneurship, and a dedication to fostering strong team dynamics, Pete is an esteemed author, speaker, and visionary.

Beginning his journey in retail management, Pete witnessed the profound influence of empathetic leadership on team cohesion and business success. His experiences, from navigating changing perceptions of tattoos in the workplace to overcoming personal challenges like anxiety, have fueled his commitment to creating inclusive and supportive environments.

Pete’s resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic showcased his innovation and adaptability. Guiding companies through transformations, he demonstrated that empathetic leadership not only facilitates change but also sparks creative solutions that resonate with employees and customers alike.

Balancing a thriving career with family responsibilities, Pete champions work-life equilibrium. His journey underscores the importance of accommodating diverse team needs, and fostering personal and professional growth.

Authoring the forthcoming book “Lead With Empathy,” Pete offers actionable insights, compelling stories, and proven strategies for empathetic leadership. Pete shapes the future of leadership through his writing and speaking engagements, inspiring positive change.

Connect with Pete Srodoski to elevate your leadership, empower teams, and drive lasting transformation.

In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • The positive impact transparency, humility and empathy can have on company culture
  • Tips for leading and inspiring distributed teams
  • Why businesses overlook talented leaders stuck in retail
  • How to move from reactive management to compassionate leadership
  • The importance of vulnerability and trust in remote work

Links & Resources Mentioned:

Read The Transcript

Mike O'Neill: Welcome back to Get Unstuck and On Target. I'm Mike O'Neill with Bench Builders. Whether we're working with supervisors to improve their people skills, or it's me coaching a CEO one on one, getting leaders and companies unstuck is at the heart of everything we do. And that is exactly what this podcast is all about.

Each week, we invite incredible guests who share their hard-won experiences of getting themselves or others unstuck, back on target, and moving forward. And I hope it will get you unstuck and on target as well. Joining me is Pete Srodoski. Pete is the chief operating officer of He has just published his first book.

It's entitled "Lead with Empathy", elevate your leadership and management skills, build strong teams, and inspire lasting change in your business. With that title, how can we go wrong with this conversation? Welcome, Pete.

Pete Srodoski: Hey, Mike. So great to be here. Thank you so much.

Mike O'Neill: I've told Pete before we came on, I really am looking forward to this conversation for a variety of reasons because, what I've learned about Pete is there's so much more beyond that intro that I just you come to your role as COO of, maybe in a more non-traditional way. Could you kind of share with our viewers and listeners a little bit about that path?

Pete Srodoski: Yeah, you know, much like anything else, you kind of just fall into it. So, I started my career. And retail and grocery management working for some of the big players like target and Dick's sporting goods and PetSmart.

And after about 10 years of being a store manager and running a number of stores all over North Georgia, I kind of realized that I just wanted more out of life than what I was getting from running retail stores. And so I tested my boundaries. I took a chance. took a pretty sizable pay cut and moved into small business entrepreneurship.

and, took on a role with a company called King of Pops, which is a popsicle vending company based out of Atlanta, Georgia, with deserteries all up the East Coast. And, I loved it. You know, the world was my oyster. I had opportunities to grow, in and around the East Coast and build into stadiums and universities and it was, it was pretty amazing.

So, from there, it was really the, the inspiration I needed. you know, that's one of the things I was really excited about with this podcast, get unstuck. I mean, that's, that's really what I felt like I was, I felt like I was stuck. in retail. And for me, this was an opportunity to, do a career change and, to learn something new and to grow.

And what I felt like was, a never ending cycle of putting on a different colored shirt and going into my retail store and closing down the doors and, you know, doing it all again next day. So, for me, you know, I, I, I twist and turned, through small business entrepreneurship. And I, I landed in this role here recently, recently.

About a year ago now, to run publishing. com, which is a worldwide, fully remote, online self publishing business.

Mike O'Neill: You've introduced me to a word I've never heard before, deserteries.

Pete Srodoski: Yes, you know, delicatessens for desserts. I

Mike O'Neill: love that actual term. you came to this role, starting in retail, and it's, that is a tough, tough industry.

But it seems as if, historically, when people got into that industry, They tend to stick with it. Now, I don't know why, is it because they've gotten stuck in it or are there things about retail that can be compelling, even though you might have concluded I'm stuck in a retail management role?

Pete Srodoski: Yeah, that's a great question.

I think in many cases you are kind of stuck. There is a financial burden. there is a comfortability, but also externally there's this. This world where people don't value, retail managers for what they've been able to bring to the table. There's a tremendous amount of, of experience that comes from retail and service managers.

Things like dealing with conflict, dealing with employees, change management. you know, the stresses of overnights, weekends, inventories, profit loss, sales, sales goals, achieving scorecard metrics. Those things don't necessarily exist, in the entrepreneurial world as much. And in many cases, that was one of the differentiators for me when I walked into that business, of King of Pops was, there weren't a whole lot of people that have that experience.

so I, I think. I'm grateful, and humbled for the time that I spent in retail because it really made me the manager I am today. And in many cases, taught me that compassion and empathy of an 8 an hour employee. is going to be what keeps them around. I mean, there's nothing preventing, your employee from leaving Dick's Sporting Goods and going directly next door to the Babies R Us, or the TJ Maxx, and they're getting paid the same amount.

So the only thing that really is going to compel them to stay. Is by having a boss that cares about, and so I think that that is, that is critical, component, but you know, to go back to your question, yeah, I think in many cases, people stay in retail, for the comfortability and for the pay, and, and also because they, in many cases they aren't valued,

Mike O'Neill: you know, you mentioned that one reason they might stay is because they have a boss that cares for them, of all things we could. Talk about you and I decided I'd love to kind of learn a little bit more about your thoughts about leading with empathy and just to kind of set the stage for those who are listening that kind of go, This is going to be one of those touchy feely type conversations.

It may very well be as you're, you're an author. Now, you wrote an entire book on this in your, in your opinion, what kind of describes how do you define empathic? Yeah. Leadership.

Pete Srodoski: Yeah. You know, I've had that question quite a few times, especially since I wrote this, this book. And I think the thing that it's really anchored in for me is that empathy is all about compassion.

Empathy is all about understanding. It's all about providing grace. It's all about giving space to your employees. and treating them like human beings. and, and for the people that work for you and work around you, it's absolutely critical. And even the people you work for, you know, in many cases, there's this expectation that your team has that the bosses.

or the leaders of the company are always going to be right or that they always have their best foot forward. And in many cases that unhealthy expectation causes a lot of the friction that you have or the reasons why you want to leave a business. And in many cases just providing grace to your, your boss providing grace to the people around you into the employees that you work with.

For me, one of my main tenants is just transparency and and humility and empathy. And I think it all just kind of plays together so nicely. it's listening. It's active listening. It's taking care of yourself is treating others, the way that you would want to be treated, but it's not, it doesn't have to be warm and fuzzy because in many cases, honesty and transparency in some cases is challenging and can be abrasive.

Thank you. but I think empathy plays into that where you almost have a risk, respect and a necessity to have honest communication with your employees. And if you don't feel like that, they're doing the job that they should be, let them know. in most cases, give them an opportunity to fix it. And I think in many cases, when it comes to leaders, they're always.

Nervous about having those types of conversations, or because they don't want to have those conversations. They just push them aside. Well, that's not doing any anything positive for your team members that are sitting there and and looking to grow within your organization. So, I kind of look at empathy is that entire, full cycle of compassion, of listening, of caring, of understanding, of treating others like they're human beings, and not just like numbers, within your business.

And I think a lot of this was created from my earlier years in retail. We're seeing how people were treated like numbers. And in many cases, like what have you done for me today? so for me, it's been kind of this full cycle realization that there is a better way to lead others and there is a better way.

to manage a team,

Mike O'Neill: you mentioned the tenants that you tried to adhere to transparency, humility and empathy. I know we're kind of leaning into the empathy aspect of it. But can we start with that transparency? Yeah. when you said it, the 1st mental imagery that came to my mind is. We're all made differently and empathy might come easier for some than others by that I mean at least as a leader At least at my dealings with leaders.

I'm trying to encourage leaders to be true to who they are and That genuineness by being transparent people can pick up on that That is part of being empathic and that is willing to be a little bit vulnerable I don't know if that's the words you would use, but I don't know why we believe that we can go around sometimes with a facade that people can't see through.

People are smart. Why not acknowledge it, be transparent who you are, and build on it? Does that make any sense?

Pete Srodoski: Yeah, yeah, it totally does. Mike, you couldn't be any more right when it comes to transparency. There is a confidence and a conviction to be yourself, and to own that. And I think in many cases, that lack of confidence or that lack of conviction, and understanding who you are as a person.

Prevents you from being transparent. In many cases, you know, we look at like, the positives, the empathy, the transparency, the humility, the grace, the compassion, or we look at the, the opposites of those. And we look at insecurity and we look at dishonesty. And we look at a lot of those things that you would probably look at by saying like these are the worst traits of being a leader and these are the worst things that I've worked for in my life and the people that I've worked with.

you can kind of point back to your previous leaders that you work with and you've said, those are the worst leaders I've worked for right and it's almost as valuable to look at the poor performers in your life. As it is to look at those great mentors that you've got, because you can learn so many valuable things from what bad looks like just as much as you can from what good looks.

And I want to look back at, at transparency and, and kind of owning it yourself because you said something interesting is, is as an empath, I am not an empath. You never have been. in fact, if you were to ask my wife. I'm far from empathetic. it's a learned behavior and it really took years of, of going through the grinder in retail management and seeing what bad was before I really picked up, what good looks like.

And I've had a couple of great mentors in my life. I, I, two people that come to mind, Amy Proctor and Pete Schneider, people that I worked with at PetSmart that I could look up to and say, I really want to be a leader like those guys were, that really helped, but I've had, you know, and I'm not going to call out any names here, but equally poor performers that I worked for.

And that's kind of said to me, like, I don't want to be like those guys. I don't want to. I don't want to treat my staff like that. I don't want to treat my team like that. There's no way that I would want to work for someone like that again. So empathy is something that I've had to learn, and I've had to see the success of what it looks like versus what it is originally and what it could be if, if you're not being empathetic.

so I don't want to use it like it's a buzzword. It's, it's a learned behavior that it's just a better way to run your business. And it's a better way to lead your team is to care about them, but like in an honest way, not just some kind of fabricated, you know, you, some kind of fabricated, I'm not really caring.

I'm just saying the words and going through the motions. I think most people, can see

Mike O'Neill: through them.

You mentioned that you've taken. What you learn by good example and not good example, and you've carried it from retail to entrepreneurship. Now to be in the CEO, COO of an, of an organization, be kind of build a business case. Why is being an empathic leader in what ways can the behavior that can be learned?

Why is that good for leaders? And their organizations in what ways? Yeah,

Pete Srodoski: that's a great question, but I think probably the easiest thing is if you want your team fully engaged, right? What an important word you want your team fully engaged and you want them excited to come to work and you want them to feel like they have an ability to do good within your business, you need to be transparent, the more information that you can provide to your team, the more transparency that you can give them into how the business works.

The more likely they're going to work on helping the business. I, you know, I believe in EOS, which is entrepreneurial operating system. It's a major component of traction and, and get a grip by Gina Wickman. And a lot of what that is all about is creating a scorecard that your team can look at, and they can identify with the core values and identify with the mission and the vision that we have, within the business.

And it's, it's just no, it's not like a secret sauce or anything that if your team understands what is important. They'll fight for it. And it's not that's not a hard thing to come across. but there is, you know, there's, there's multiple ways to manage. There, there are, people that believe vehemently that that's not the best way to run a business and, they want to keep all of the financials to themselves and they want to keep everything closed in and, and, and you just stay in your lane and you knock out the tasks that you're responsible for.

But that only works for so long. that's a never ending cycle of, of that circular door that, you know, people come in and then they leave and then they come in and they leave and, just, you know, you've got a lost culture there.

Mike O'Neill: You know, Pete, we've been talking a little bit about retail, in the classic sense, it's in person, whereas the digital world has totally transformed the workplace in so many different ways.

The fact that, is your business mostly

Pete Srodoski: virtual? It's a hundred percent remote.

Mike O'Neill: I think there's some value in us going down that path a little bit. You're you're helping lead a 100 percent remote organization. Therefore, and we're talking about this, this notion of empathy, we're talking about transparency, humility, and empathy.

It would seem to me that that's much easier to convey in person.

Pete Srodoski: Yeah. You know, Mike, I'm going to hop in right here because there's. Always what I've, what I've talked about this, the two hardest things I've ever had to learn as a leader is first how to lead other leaders. When you're, when you're managing a team of 40 part time employees and you're running a store, it's, it's one thing, right?

And then as soon as you start taking on other people where this is their career and their livelihood, and there's a separate level of care and concern and. And an energy in their, in their own career. that was the first hardest thing. The second hardest thing is learning how to, to lead a team remotely.

And there is an insecurity that exists within leaders of. I can't see them do it. So how do I know they're doing it? And I don't know what's going on. How can I trust them? And there is this, this vulnerability, you said it earlier, and it's such a great word right now, because there is this vulnerability with, with, leading a team remote, especially where people struggle is this empathetic way of like caring and considering their personal lives, caring and respecting what they have going on in their day.

It becomes more of a, performance driven culture. I'm not going to check in where you are at 9 o'clock in the morning. However, you have a task that needs to be completed by the end of the day today. So, if it gets completed, I'm going to verify behind you. I'll give you feedback. But I'm satisfied at that point, whether or not it took you two hours to complete that task or four hours to complete that task, or you went to lunch with your wife, that in the insecure manager is the one that's going to hop in and check.

When did you clock in for the day? When did you clock out for the day? What were you doing at 1145? And and that becomes, smothering, especially for the employees. And I think from an empathetic standpoint, there is a, a much more comfortable way to lead. In a way that your team members appreciate it more.

but it's also inspiring from afar, which is interesting. You have to create a unique ways to deliver inspiration to your team members that are across the planet. I've got employees in Australia and Pakistan and Nigeria and the UK and Spain and all over Canada and North America and South America and different time zones.

So it becomes, far, far more challenging to, to find ways to inspire your team. So it's, it's culture building. naturally I don't think I could do it without a tool like Slack, where you have some kind of common thread that exists. Within the teams, and an expectation to be on there and, and the leaders communicate and, and calling out people positively in public and coaching them privately and all of the things that are associated with, with delivering great cultural performance.

but through a tool like a slack has really helped out dramatically.

Mike O'Neill: You know, slack also has, it does have a little bit of an instantaneous feel about it. And I don't know if this is. Then your experience or not. But if you ask a question, so when via slack, it's basically a direct message to them.

But if you're expecting an immediate response, then one could misconstrue that. That's how I'm managing you by asking questions and see how long it takes for you to get back. Does that comment make any sense?

Pete Srodoski: Yeah. Yeah. And that's, that's an insecurity thing too, right? So it goes back to that concern of if they're not responding to me right now, well, what are they doing?

And there has to be a level of confidence. There has to be a level of, of, of, of business maturity and the leader to understand that, there are things that are going on beyond that, what you can see. And you need to lead by performance. So if, if they're accomplishing the tasks that they're accomplishing, if they're choosing to do it at a, cafe, and they're, they're stopping to go get a coffee and that's why they didn't respond to me immediately.

That's got to be okay. But there's other aspects of that when it comes to managing remote. There is a cultural wind that comes with that. I mean, within our team, we, we constantly share all of the locations that our employees are working from. So our graphic designer, our head of design right now just moved, from Macedonia to Spain, out of nowhere, just like, I'm, I'm, I'm picking up my stuff and I'm moving to Spain and he lives right on the beach in Spain and it's beautiful.

And he shared pictures of the villa that he's living at. And it's that kind of like, energy that gets very infectious within a business. and creates that culture, but he wouldn't be able to do that if he felt untrusted. And I think that goes back to what you're saying about. Being responsive in slack is is there's a moment where you have to be comfortable as a leader.

You have to be vulnerable. and, and, and fix those issues. You know, actually, I'll go 1 step further. my mentor recently told me that he had a conversation with 1 of his bosses many years ago, and he said, Mike, we're going to try new things. We're going to test things out. We're going to innovate, but we're going to fail fast.

And I love that mentality, especially in the remote world. We're going to test it out. We're going to give people the chance. We're going to give them the benefit of the doubt when it comes to remote leadership. And when it comes to being a remote employee, however, If we recognize that it's not working out for you, we're going to fail fast.

Mike O'Neill: I love that example. we've been talking a little bit about kind of this notion of managing folks remotely, but you use an expression that I'd like to follow up on. You didn't say manage remotely. You said inspire from afar. And I draw a distinction, but maybe, but there's a difference between managing and inspiring.

Is there not?

Pete Srodoski: Yeah, I think it's culture-building versus task accomplishment. project management are typically not inspirers. And that's my mother's a project manager. So there's no, no attacks on new mom. but when you're leading a company and when you're leading a business, it becomes important that you're inspiring a team.

it's no longer, just accomplishing tasks and verification of those tasks. And what I tell my team is that I don't have a lot of customers. So my customers are the employees and I want to give excellent customer service and I want to make sure that you're fully satisfied with the customer service I've provided.

So responsiveness, energy, commitment. I think it goes in a lot of ways that if somebody sends you a message and needs to know an answer about their benefits package and our HR director didn't respond that I can respond quickly and I can help you out. I look at inspiration kind of in tandem with that is when you have a team, especially a fully remote team.

The executive team is responsible for and.

If you can't accomplish that, I think you have the workings of a failed culture. So it becomes a lot more than just task approval and verification. and, and that's when it moves into that word inspiration, which is paramount.

Mike O'Neill: How would you describe the culture that you are trying to build there at

Pete Srodoski: Well, you know, I've got, we've got some just amazing leaders and, and people that are so passionate. you know, one of the things that really differentiates our company, which I'm really, I'm really proud of, but I can't take any credit for, the Mickelson twins who are the, CEO and the founders of the company, have just created this completely humble, transparent.

business and, and, and luckily, I just get to be a part of that and continue to grow that within our business. but I think that what we're trying to do is we're taking people that are publishers, people that love to publish books, people that are self-publishers. And we're finding ways for them to feel a part of this community.

And it's something that when people are bought into the vision of the organization and they're fully bought in, like they care so tremendously. it's really easy to get everybody rowing in the same direction and get them working harder than they've ever worked. it doesn't even feel like work Mike when, when you're fully engaged in, in, in the program, when you, when you're passionate about it, when you're excited about it.

When you love the success and everybody's excited about the publishing and people are cranking out books and internally and we're, we're, we're rooting each other on and celebrating victories publicly and it all starts with the, the owners and it all starts with the executive team. But all the way to the very bottom, we have a team full of people that just care so much.

I think 2 consecutive quarters. We've been over a 90 ENPS survey. and it just, the team just loves being here and it's, it's a great place to be a part of.

Mike O'Neill: Yeah, that's an impressive score. I've had a good opportunity to work with fast-growing companies. And at least in my experience, when companies grow fast, sometimes they begin to think of themselves.

Well, we've got it all figured out and, you know, complacency can kind of. Creep in, if they're growing faster than their competitors, potential, little arrogance can kind of creep in, but you mentioned the co-founders and their, their humility, and that marries up nicely with your own personal tenant of humility.

How does your COO of an organization that's growing incredibly fast, you appeared to still be maintain high quality in terms of the scores you as mentioned, but with success. How do you, in what ways do you find keeping humility, in place so that it kind of keeps in check the ego, if you would?

Pete Srodoski: Yeah, you know, Mike, that's a, that's a great question and it's something that's so critical.

I, I think I've personally seen the downfall of businesses, based on on a lack of humility, not to give you, some foreshadowing into the next title of my book. Which I won't do, but it's probably somewhere, around leading with humility. however, I, I think in many cases, this is something that, when the owners are humble and they can acknowledge that they don't know everything and they can bring in experts to help them and to guide them.

And I think all, everybody has that same ability to be able to do it because the owners can do it. Because the CEO can do it. The COO does it. I'm not, I'm not perfect. I'm a retail guy that moved into the popsicle business and have, you know, found my way as a COO of a self-publishing company. so I, I don't know at all.

And I don't have all the right answers.

And what I tell the owners is that, and I say this frequently, I want to provide value and I want to provide, care and consideration to our team members. And in many cases, that humility is something that is infectious. And, you start to, you start to see the entire team acting that same manner, and looking for resources that will win regardless if they're internal or external and you're willing to upgrade, you know, with, with every small business, you realize that there's a point where you only know the people that, you know, and you have to extend beyond that.

So you have to take chances. And I was one of the few people that came in early that was outside of their comfort zone, having never worked in the self-publishing industry and having come from a unique industry before this. It was, it was taking a chance on me because of my personality and my style, the compassion, the empathy, the care and it's, it's married itself very, very well.

But I'll, I'll tell you the moment where I realized I wanted to work here. Mike was interviewing for a couple of jobs and I got on the phone. for a video call with the president. Her name's Charlotte. She works here. she's one of our executives and, and we were interviewing, having a great conversation.

And she asked me, what would you do in this situation? And I explained to her how I would handle the situation. And she started writing down notes. She said, Pete, that's awesome. I'm going to go do that next week. Instantly right there. I knew I wanted to work for this woman. I wanted to work for this team because if they were willing to hear me out, consider that and follow it.

I knew that I had. An ability to mentor. I had an ability to provide value and I was going to work for a number of humble individuals and that that mattered tremendously to me

Mike O'Neill: as you kind of reflect on this conversation thus far. There may be some things that you wanted to make sure we get covered that we have not.

This is an unscripted conversation. you've Answer the only question you knew it's going to be asked, and I didn't even have to ask it. And that is, you made reference to feeling stuck in a profession. What I really like about what you shared with us, though, is that you learned a great deal, though you felt a Stuck the lessons learned carried you forward.

I had to laugh when you're talking about interviewing and I'm just imagining they're sitting out. Okay. We need to see. Oh, what qualifications are we looking for? Boy, wouldn't it be nice if we had someone who has sold ice pops. And then all of a sudden your resume comes across, their, their inbox, ding, ding, ding, ding.

they took a chance with you. You took a chance with, with them, but it sounds like that in the process of taking chances both ways, you found a nice, nice marriage and you're trying to perpetuate that. What is it you would like to make sure, though, that we know about Pete, about your book, about your organization that we maybe haven't covered?

Pete Srodoski: Yeah, you know, there's, there's 1 thing I want to end on. So, I'll just remind you that I'm going to end on my retail component here, but. you know, we're so incredibly proud of, of the service that we've provided here, just helping regular folks self-publish and, and find ways to take their dreams, create, you know, passive income streams, things that matter to them if, if they want to be a stay at home mom and find a way to make a couple extra bucks while I could put out some coloring books and, and sell those on Amazon, and here's a fast and proven method to doing so for me.

I've got this, this book, I just put out lead with empathy and it's something that it's been a journey for the past 2 years, for me, putting this book together and the learnings that I've crafted and the people I've spoke with and the things that I feel like I've learned 25 years in that. I can share.

I just feel so proud of that, that there's a better way to do it, and it doesn't have to be. In some kind of, uncomfortable, new age, you know, uber progressive way of managing. It's just caring and being compassionate. You know, I, I, I put a lot of, you know, my experience and I put a lot of.

Who I am into Christianity and, and, and believing and, and, and compassion and empathy and caring and transparency, but honesty and, and providing great feedback. And I look at, I look at this book as kind of a testament to all of those things that I've learned in who I am. So, I'm super excited to share that with, with your, your listeners today, Mike.

Additionally, I want to go back on something that I've just been so it's been so critical in such a major component living in that retail world for 10, 15 years of my life. There are so many valuable, great leaders that are stuck. I don't know how to get out. They don't want to be in retail anymore, and they deserve a chance.

They have such great experiences, and they can do wonderful things. In the world of business, and I just wish there were people that took more chances on on those folks that are stuck in in retail and and the service world. some really great leaders looking for for mentors to learn how to do it a different way.

Mike O'Neill: That is a great way of recognizing all the people you've worked with who might be experiencing what you experienced. Let's be mindful of those in retail who've done it for a long time. There are some phenomenal transferable skills that could be put to immediate use, but you have to be open to giving these folks a chance.

Absolutely. Pete, I told you before I even hit the record button how much I was looking forward to this conversation. What I I'd like to kind of ask is you obviously You have to kind of effectively model publishing dot com by publishing a book, but this book has been recently published. How does it feel to hold up a book that you've worked on for 2 years?

Describe this, that the feelings that go through you when you actually hold it or even hold up to the camera?

Pete Srodoski: You know, It's incredible. I, I base a lot of my, my value as a father. I have five young children and, beautiful wife and I, I'm so proud of my Children. I'm so proud of. Of each one of them.

And they, they matter to me more than anything else in the world. And then this book is right next to them. It feels so incredible for anybody that's been a parent. You can probably share this, this feeling, this pride. and for me, that's what it is. You know, it's, I put so much effort into putting this book together.

And, I feel like it's so valuable for mid-level managers or. Executive leaders of small businesses that just feel stuck and they don't know a better way to manage their business and they feel out of control. it's a short read 150 pages, but. Mike, it feels so incredible to to finally release it and look at it on Amazon and looking on Barnes and Noble's website, it just I don't know. It feels incredible.

Mike O'Neill: Well, for those who can't see Pete smiling, you're you're proud. Dad, announcing the birth of another child. and it, it shows, Pete, we're going to include in the show notes, a link to how to people can get hold of, of that book, but if folks want to reach out to you and connect in some form or fashion, what's the best way for them to do so?

Pete Srodoski: Yeah. I mean, any of our normal social media, you know, LinkedIn, you can, you can find me on LinkedIn and Facebook. I don't use Instagram, but you can find me on Facebook or LinkedIn or, you know, reach out to me through our website, publishing. com.

Mike O'Neill: Pete, the spelling for your last name. So, if folks are looking for you on LinkedIn, how will we find you?

What, how do you spell your name? Is that the best way to I've got it sitting right here. it's it's listed as Peter. P. E. T. E. R. S. R. O. D. O. S. K. I. Yeah,

Pete Srodoski: and I go by Pete. but Skrodowsky is my last name, and you got it right, right at the beginning. It's a very tough last name.

Mike O'Neill: I had my fingers crossed. didn't have to do a double-take on that.

Peter, thank you for sharing, what clearly is something that, lights you up. it shows. in your face and we can hear it in your voice. Thank you very much,

Pete Srodoski: Mike. Thank you so much. And to your listeners, thank you for having me on. Really appreciate it.

Mike O'Neill: I do want to thank those listeners for joining us today.

For even more insights about getting unstuck and moving your business forward, I invite you to subscribe to the Bottom Line Newsletter. You can do that by going to our website, bench builders. com. You know, I have found that the clients we work with, they usually had one or two problems. Either they were frustrated because they were losing the employees they wanted to keep, or the leaders.

They found themselves stuck in the weeds of the day-to-day, and they were failing to execute on their long-term strategy. So if you're listening, and you're struggling with high turnover or poor execution, if that's slowing your growth, let's talk. Head over to to schedule a call. So I want to thank you again for joining us, and I hope you have picked up on some quick wins from Peter that will help you get unstuck and on target.

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