Cena shares her insights on the challenges of balancing work and personal life, especially when it comes to raising kids.
Through her work with clients and her own career, she sees the challenges organizations have today. Cena also shares her thoughts on how to hire the right people for your business.
Let’s dive into Cena’s valuable insights and tips for anyone looking to navigate the challenges of remote work and building a strong team.
- 1:08 – How do you balance the two worlds with kids?
- 5:30 – How working styles can be any combination these days.
- 6:59 – How remote work is changing the world.
- 9:12 – Challenges Cena sees in clients and organizations today.
- 13:15 – How to hire the right people for your business.
- 15:13 – What do you recommend to leaders when trying to find the right people?
- 17:18 – Can we do a pilot project?
- 22:00 – The similarities between Aaron’s and Cena’s career experiences.
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Connect with Cena
Cena Martin Chandler is a Producer, Author, Workforce Development Expert, and Mom of 2 boys.
She is the CEO of Hire Great Help, Inc a training & development company that helps financial service providers delegate the day-to-day operations of their high-ticket services without sacrificing client success in the Growth Phase.
Episode 29 – Full Transcript
Aaron Lee 0:00
Hey friends thanks for tuning in to Episode 29 of the new generation leader. Today I have a great conversation ahead with Cena Martin Chandler, she’s a producer, author, workforce development expert mom of two boys. Her background is incredible. She has such a wide ranging experience that has brought her to what she does today. She’s currently the CEO of hire great help a training and development company that helps financial service providers delegate the day to day operations of their high ticket services without sacrificing client success in the growth phase. And she is a passionate mom of her two boys. She’s a dedicated team member and leader in her community. And I think you’re really gonna enjoy this conversation. So here’s my conversation on episode 29 With Siena. Welcome to the new generation leader podcast, we’re giving you the tools you need to lead in the digital world ready to reach your true potential. This is the new generation leader podcast.
Cena Martin 1:08
That’s how I am I have the life over with like the work I do with this companies. And seeing all the behind the scenes of that. And then the work I do at higher grade help help astronauts with their teams. So it’s kind of interesting, being able to have a holiday themed work you can pull into your business, it’s really useful.
Aaron Lee 1:25
Yeah, absolutely. So how do you balance those two worlds?
Cena Martin 1:31
With kids and without? Going to go first? Okay, so how do I balance the two worlds? So boundaries is the first thing. And I wasn’t always great at that. But burning out so many times, it definitely teaches you how to put those guardrails up for yourself. So that’s the first thing is boundaries. And then I have a, you see the best way to word it, I take the relationship, I have my clients very seriously. And so with that corporate world, we’re being trusted, so to speak by certain organizations to protect their IP to show up and do our work to contribute to the organization. And I try to make sure that I don’t allow anything to compromise. You know what I mean, I don’t put myself in a position where I’ll reveal private information about my corporate work or corporate clients that I work with, I won’t put that into my business. So I make sure that keep the boundaries in place, keep the two separate. We always get funny, you know how you just mentioned that you learn a lot living in both realities, basically. And so I try to make sure that when I share those lessons, or those findings, like with clients in my business, if it did come from something I learned in the corporate space, I’ll share the actionable items, the nitty gritty of it, but I won’t compromise any client information in the transfer of knowledge. So hopefully that answered that question. But that’s how I’ve tried to keep the two very separate. And confidentiality is at the top of everything I do.
Aaron Lee 3:06
There’s something you said there that I think is really one of my key takeaways. And I keep finding, I don’t think I’m asking leading questions in these conversations with clients. But I keep finding myself that every week, every month, throughout the year, in that same period of time, I’m hearing the same things come up over and over again. And some of it’s the same issue that I hear now. And I’ll hear it in six months. And I’ll hear it in a year. But sometimes I also hear it in the same week. And so it is interesting when you start to have multiple data points like that, that you can glean that information and allow other people to learn the lesson. Oh, maintaining confidentiality.
Cena Martin 3:55
Yeah, I mean, you said a mouthful right there. That just happened to me this morning. So you were asking, like how was my first Monday back of the year. And that literally just happened where I had a situation with a personal client who was going with something with their team. And then I saw the same exact thing happening with one of the corporate clients. And I was like, wow, it doesn’t matter if the business is at $100,000 or at a few million dollars. To some extent. They’re both experiencing these transitions and changes and challenges within the interim of their team. So it’s really interesting, like you said, I what I think it does is it makes you more of a validated, it validates your expertise more, because you see the same scenarios happening, like you said, across different data points. And then it helps you to formulate like what you do at your podcasts and the work you do in your business. It really helps you formulate solutions that are grounded in not just something you saw online or something you read, but I’ve lived this experience. Let me show you how to work through it. So I mean, we’re blessed. I think to be able to to do both, if I can share this and one of the things that’s my biggest pet peeves is when people say, you should have a corporate traditional type of job or entrepreneurship, but it’s an either or without, I don’t think people fully realize that when you have both, and you learn how to balance both, it actually makes you better at what you do. It really does. And your clients are better for it, if you understand how to balance both. So that’s like an unspoken thing, I believe in our industry.
Aaron Lee 5:30
So my friend Jeremy, who was on the show back on Episode 22, he’s actually worked on this thought and idea of working styles. And I think he has a book in the works. He’s talked about it, and I’ve heard him speak, get up in front of a whiteboard and walk through those pieces and components. But in a nutshell, I won’t spoil his bottom line, but it’s exactly that point that you just laid out that are working styles can be any combination. These days. Now, we probably don’t want the people who are double dipping, and working remotely for in two full time roles and trying to keep a foot in both worlds without telling one employer what they’re doing with the other one. But I’ve heard, there’s a local restaurant here that’s trying out three or three and a half day shifts. So they work longer shifts in a shorter number of days, and then have more days off. And for some people, you know, I think especially up and coming leaders, employees, team members who are trying to get a step up or prepare or move forward. If they put two of those together, they could work three days and instead of taking the other four off, but in another job or have a significant side hustle that they can work on, or a part time gig or contract work. There. There’s all sorts of ways in today’s economy. And that is one of the upsides, the the pandemic and remote work and everybody being able to be online and work remotely and collaborate effectively. That’s one of the positives that’s come from that is being able to do both, and not either or,
Cena Martin 7:20
either or, yeah, like you said, when you do it effectively, or when you find contractors or anyone who’s really participating like that gig economy who they’re good at balancing, like you said, they can shift between the two, that’s me, I will prefer to do a 10 hour day, sometimes a 12 hour day. But that means I’m doing two or three of those a week, I want the rest of my time off, and I function so well in that. And there’s a lot of us who prefer the flexibility over the traditional 40 year, you know what I mean, nine to five, five days a week, holidays off, a lot of us are thriving with the options and what the possibilities within the workforce. And I think of so many of us keep that in mind when we’re building teams to, we will be able to empower our teams to do more. Because you have to think of what the working individual is looking for in today’s workforce is much different than what it was even like 20 years ago,
Aaron Lee 8:17
even five years ago, even five years ago, right? Or three years ago,
Cena Martin 8:21
it’s changing all the time. Yeah.
Aaron Lee 8:25
I’m getting ready to teach another semester at the nursing college. And I was looking up some research on the nursing industry and how much that has changed, and the effects and impacts not only of the pandemic, but of digital world. And the pace and the speed of change and how much that’s coming and flying at just nursing alone. how that impacts the education of nurses, the training of nurses, them getting the skills they need to come into the workforce, how they learn. There’s so much that’s changing. And it’s a challenge in any industry to figure out how we react and respond and build up and prepare for a new world and a new reality.
Cena Martin 9:11
Absolutely. Yeah, it’s challenging. And it’s scary at times to so many people feel uncertainty, and they don’t know if they’re going to have the same roles or positions or opportunity that they have today. It is scary. But I think one of the advantages we have is, like we said the immense amount of flexibility where you can move around. There are many people who are changing careers and switching careers and not having to take pay cuts, not having to lose the income they’re used to because there are just so many opportunities. You just have to know how to look, where to look to find your fit and how to adapt your skillset to the changes that are happening. I think that’s the key.
Aaron Lee 9:49
So what challenges are you seeing in your clients and the organizations you’re working with through hire great help. What are they facing these days?
Cena Martin 10:00
One of the biggest ones you just mentioned, which is different contractors or employees having one foot in one foot out, that’s a huge thing where, and some people may agree this may be a little bit like controversial, but I think we’re past the point of people don’t want to work, I think it’s actually the opposite people are overworking, and they are taking three, four and five full time jobs sometimes out of necessity. It’s not always to get over on the boss or the leader, it’s because they’re trying to survive. And more than that, but thrive. So that’s definitely an issue that I’m seeing amongst all of my clients, or that’s a challenge that we’re actively working with them to overcome. Is that what do you do with with team members who aren’t fully committed to the business, they aren’t fully investing themselves in the direction that you want to drive as an organization. And it’s because they have one foot in another company, one arm and another job, their mind is focused on something else that’s coming up next week. So it’s these challenges with integrating the team that you do have existing team? How do you integrate them into the vision into the company and helping them feel satisfied with the work they’re doing with you so that they don’t quickly leave. And so many of the clients that we’re working with, they are trying to retain the team members they have. Because another thing is the turnover with people having to make different decisions, looking for more pay, or they need more flexibility, or now their children are at home in the company they’re gonna want. And the kids coming in the back of the camera on the fall, and the kids are home, there’s nothing to do about it. So just making sure that the clients that we’re working with, they understand how to not just hire people or train their team properly. But how do you also create that buy in and create that culture, where you’re retaining team members longer? That is one of the biggest challenges right now.
Aaron Lee 11:55
I heard one leader say recently, that if they lose someone, not only is it hard to find someone to take their place, when they finally do, they’re not nearly as good as the employee who left. Not even from a training experience. They’ve been around for a considerable time. But from a baseline skill set and ability perspective. So what are you encouraging your clients to do to bolster their teams and organizations?
Cena Martin 12:29
Yeah, I’m encouraging them to slow down and to hire for First of all, because I think a lot of us are moving so quickly, that we are bringing in people without fully taking the time to vet if their skill set is deep enough, and it has enough depth to even serve or fill the role that you’re actually trying to fill. And like I said, one of the worst things that can happen is you put someone in a seat, or you put them in the driver’s seat or a particular position or rolling your company, and then get 3060 90 days into this person’s higher, and you’re in the middle of a launch or a big project. And they come to find out their skill set isn’t even adequate for what you need. Now you have to go and spend their time to go where you fill the role, which is a loss for the company’s resources and all of that. So what I’m doing with our clients is we do have a process, and this is from my own experience with I’ve worked across 10 different industries, healthcare being one of them, interestingly enough, another we’re gonna I was gonna help create industry tech industry, so many different, and that was just because of the way my life went after college, that work in so many different fields. But due to that experience, I was able to see how teams operated across the marketplace, right? And sharing it, I then went ahead and created my own coaching business where we had a program that enrolled like 250 people. And that was where I really started working through my own methods of hiring the team that could serve clients and then help the business scale. So from all of that experience, I basically created a proprietary process that we take our clients through inside of my business, hire great hope we actually have a program as well, that lasts for six months that takes people through this process. So we take people through our process to help the CEOs to help the leaders. Make sure that they are properly vetting the individuals who you are wanting to place in your business and making sure that their experience can truly fit. It’s like a magnet, and it properly integrates with the gap, or the hole that currently exists within the business. We’re not just putting bodies and seats or poor people in seats. We’re trying to make sure that the full experience matches what we need.
Aaron Lee 14:46
And that concept of finding the right people and making sure you have the right people. It’s hard. It’s hard to guess or predict or work through especially when you find yourself in that situation. And I’ve watch so many organizations get so close to hiring somebody after a long tenure with an interim or with no one in that seat, that any warm body sounds good. They so quickly dismiss all of the red flags. And as somebody I worked with once infamously said, red flags don’t go away. Now there are things you can build on their skills you can develop, all of that is absolutely something we can build upon. But a red flag is a red flag. And that’s something completely different. And those things tend to not fall away. Zoey, and I talked on Episode 25, a few episodes ago. And she uses data and analytics and a lot of information to be able to build stronger teams and develop organizations. What would you say is most effective? What do you recommend to leaders, when they’re trying to find those right people.
Cena Martin 16:07
I’m an advocate of learning on the job. That’s always been what helped me to be successful, a lot of my clients be successful. So I always recommend having a trial period with people I know you want to find out before you put them in the seat. But sometimes you won’t see certain things unless they’re actually doing it. Like you need to see them performing real time anyone can send you resumes and referrals and what they’ve done in the past, but you won’t really know until the person is performing in front of you. So I Yes, the data is important. We look at the data as well. But what I typically helped my clients do was we put people in the seat, let’s get someone in here to do this for 30 days, let’s give them a project that must be completed. We don’t have that much time. Give them 14 days, give them two weeks to do this. Let’s see how they commingle with the rest of the team, can they collaborate? Are they communicating? Are they transparent in what they’re doing? And if not, and those red flags are a hindrance to them completing just the small project we gave them, there’s a way we can put them into one of the biggest role that’s going to have an impact on the bottom arm of the company. So my suggestion, what I typically walk my clients through is trying it out in real time, have them learn on the job. And if it doesn’t work, and it’s a bus will be no early enough. We have enough applicants in the pool where we can quickly pull someone in so we get the right individual. Yeah, that’s
Aaron Lee 17:29
a great. I’ve always said my favorite tactic is, can we do a pilot project? Yeah. Anytime you can show somebody or walk somebody through, give them something real and tangible to feel and hold and watch. I’ve been talking with a few friends here lately that there are things you can hide for a certain number of days, or from an interview to your first weeks, you can put your best foot forward. But what about day 91? What about when the honeymoon is over? How do you get ahead of it to predict what’s coming. And that can be so hard. But if you can do that, and really figure out who somebody is? And like you said, do they fit and even moving beyond looking for somebody you like, or even on the flip side, not discarding somebody you don’t like or throwing their resume out just because you don’t like them. But what if that is just the right person, you need to fill a huge hole. That might be what you need to do to get started right now.
Cena Martin 18:45
Yeah, and you said something so golden right there. It might be who you need right now. But also keep in mind that it’s still a human being, they have opportunity and room to grow. So they may be experienced enough, adequate enough for what you need at the moment. They’re going to grow. They’re human beings. So put the person in place don’t look for total perfection. We just want someone who can fit into our culture and who can do this job well, and they’ll grow and they’ll expand and they’ll get better as they go. So it’s a delicate process because you’re dealing with human beings. So how did you get into this work? How did I get into workforce development? Well, like I mentioned, I got into this even before I started my coaching business, it was the middle of the story. Before that I was a teen mom. So I had my son my senior year of high school, graduated school in June. I had my son in October, the very same year. And so very early on in his life. Before he turned one. I ended up enrolling in a local community college and that is where I began picking up all of this experience education that I have nailed on where entrepreneurship. I did a ton of work like in the podcast department at the school in the business illustration, they had like a Business Administration Center. So I began studying in business and then into my career at the time, I was a CMA, my grandmother and a few of my aunts as well, were all nurses. So I thought I was going to go into that field. My mom was a paralegal for two decades, I thought I also wanted to be a lawyer. So I kept nibbling and dabble in, in various industries, like I mentioned earlier, trying to find my fit, nothing fit. And I said, You know what, I just need to start a business. Let me put my foot, dip my toe into the entrepreneur pool, see if I can make it. And so I did that. But because I had a child so young, and not too much of a support system, we ended up losing our home. And so that is when I said, Okay, I really need to find a way to sustain myself, not just making money, but how do I make money and sustain myself and take care of my son. And so when I started the business, I started looking for ways to start a business that would not just be profitable, but then I would have 567 years down the road, so I didn’t have to keep restarting from the beginning. Long story short, guys, the business tried a few different things, found out that the coaching industry wasn’t my fit, and started coaching people on some of the skills I had learned back when I was working as a CNA, and then when I worked as like a tax professional and was running a tax office with 10 or 12 people, and then I realized, I say, Wow, I’m extremely good at helping people develop and manage their teams. That is what I’ve done for the past 10 years. And then once I realized that, I started to move into training as an operations specialist. And hire great help was birthed out of what I mentioned to you earlier, taking that experience of training those different teams, running my own businesses with hundreds of clients at a time. And then really seeing the struggles of mainly online entrepreneurs. A lot of us come from corporate, but then we tried to apply the team development skills of corporate to our businesses, and it’s totally different. And we wanted to a lot of red flags, and then hire great help was birthed out of me acknowledging that get in the industry. So here we are.
Aaron Lee 22:00
That’s fantastic. What I think is so interesting, is the similarities we have in the multitude of experiences that that you and I both had. And I think that’s what has really piqued my curiosity, because I saw and collected so many data points. And it was, for me, not only the data points that I picked up, it was also the partners, the other organizations, not just who I worked for, but who I connected with along the way. And watching and seeing what they were doing, how they were doing it. It really became a great state of mind for me to be able to look at all of those examples and experiences and find the stories, find the similarities, be able to connect the dots for people and figure out how can we make organizations better, stronger? How can we unlock the true potential of people and organizations and enjoy it ourselves along the journey? And I do, I’m excited. I love what I’m doing. I think there’s great opportunity. Just like our backgrounds, I get to see so many different companies and organizations, and every day is different. And so it’s a lot of
Cena Martin 23:21
fun. That’s the exciting part about it. No two days are the same. No two organizations are the same. No two CEOs are the same. Right? That’s the part I love about it, too. It’s the immense variation that we see on a day to day basis. That’s what makes it fun. So
Aaron Lee 23:37
the one question I always ask, as we get ready to wrap up is the question that started the new generation leader as a philosophy as a framework was me as a good friend, and longtime collaborator, mentor, what it was at the point he was at in his career that he wished he had learned earlier. So I’ll ask you, what do you wish you had learned earlier in your career that you know now?
Cena Martin 24:06
Oh, that’s a good question. I wish I would have learned earlier how to understand the psychology of different types of learners. I wish I would have known that earlier. Because I have made so many assumptions, and made so many judgments of team members that I’ve hired of co workers that I’ve worked with have colleagues that I’ve worked with, without fully understanding how people learn how people work together with other individuals and just the psychology of how we as human beings absorb information differently. And me knowing that now it has boosted how I deal with even like my personal relationships in my life. It’s made me better in my teams. It’s made me better as a CEO. So that’s something where I never knew the importance of it. I overlooked it earlier in my career, but now it’s a pillar in how I make decisions.
Aaron Lee 25:00
That’s great. I’ve enjoyed our conversation we’ve hit on a lot of different topics and areas, how can people connect with you to continue following along with your journey or reach out and connect with you?
Cena Martin 25:14
Yeah, thank you for having me. This was an amazing episode. Hopefully it was as well for the listeners. You can find me on my hiker health.com. So if you want to reach out and inquire about any of our services, or how we may be able to assist you in your organization, Highbury hook.com is how you can find us and then we’re on all social media platforms. Typically encourage listeners to come find us on Instagram at hire great help, are also on LinkedIn, YouTube. So you’ll find those just just follow us on all socials. And I look forward to seeing a DM from you soon.
Aaron Lee 25:49
That’s great. Well, we’ll link to all those pages and accounts on the show notes at NewGenerationleader.com/29. Thanks so much for our conversation today. It was great having you.
Cena Martin 26:00
Thank you, Aaron, I appreciate you having me.