SAVE THE DATE: Sleep Summit Oct 8-11, 2024

Sleep Train’s President Hernani Alves on Building a Culture of Accountability

Former President of Sleep Train chats about milking cows, managers and accountability.

What do milking cows, Sleep Train and accountability have in common? Hernani Alves.

In this episode, we chat with the former President of Sleep Train and current CEO of Balanced IQ Leadership, Hernani Alves and discuss the difference between managers and leaders and how being held accountable by others is a form of love. 

Full Transcription:

Mark Quinn: 

I’m really excited today we’ve got Hernani Alves on the show past president of sleep train a billion-dollar company when they merge with Mattress Firm, now the CEO of balanced IQ leadership, we’re going to be talking about milking cows, the difference between managers and leaders and how accountability is actually a form of love.

 It’s summer. Kinsley, you feeling it?

Mark Kinsley: 

I’m feeling it. I’m feeling it. Feel the sunshine. I feel the glow. I feel the humidity in the Midwest. I’m feeling it all.

Mark Quinn: 

Well, I am too the weather’s awesome. I’ve been enjoying that. And I can’t wait her nanny. We’re gonna get to you in a second brother. But this is going to be a great show for everyone listening so much to talk about today. Kinsley, you know that over the last four weeks, I’ve been on the road with nationwide, right?

Mark Kinsley:

You’ve been hitting it hard you and Whittaker and the whole team. You guys have been banging the drum sounds like

Mark Quinn:  

It’s amazing. Yeah. So I was able to do a keynote on day two of their leadership sessions. And you know, I got to do it with Co-present with Whitaker. That was a lot of fun. And we talked about you every single time we talked about flying the flag. And that’s something you always talk about. So we always inserted the mark Kinsley approach to flying your flag. But anyway, I have to tell you.

Mark Kinsley:

Hold on really quickly but sure I just need the last time that we presented as a group, all three of us together. Mike Whitaker was in a dress. Did he have on a woman? Any did he have on a dress?

Mark Quinn:

 No, no, but he did have on a QR code that we had printed for him that you could scan. And if you scanned it, it would take you right to a page where you could subscribe to the fam, right and get the free audiobook, come back to bed. And Whitaker got so mad because he says I’m a fat man and this QR code like he didn’t like everyone’s scanning his body. I said, you don’t like this shirt, because then he kept saying it was a fail. And I said it wasn’t a fail just because your belly distorted the QR code and it wouldn’t work as it stretched out the code. I mean, come on. It’s not my fault. So anyway, we had to debate that live in front of every audience. But anyway, it was awesome to do and suddenly got being in a room with retailers from all over the country with Dallas and Orlando and St. Louis and Seattle, and listening to them talk about their business, there’s so much power in that for me, I just learned so much in being with them. They were just so grateful to be in a room together. I just loved that part of it. But, you know, we started that talk with me talking about Joplin and the tornado Kenza you and I had to live through and the tragedy and that and the death and the destruction and, and all of those things. And then we shifted into a conversation about 911. And then a conversation about the pandemic and all of these shared experiences. And it’s very tough for us to get through them. But then at the end of it, you kind of just go, you know, but I think I’m okay like we’ve survived it. Not everyone survived it. But there are lessons to learn along the way. And it’s just that post-event check where you’re like, Oh, my gosh, you know, where are we? That was tragic. It was horrible. But, you know, how are we feeling right now? I think I’m okay. Well, we didn’t know this. But there was a guy in Dallas, Texas, who heard that message loudly and clearly. And you know, Mark Kinsley I get so emotional when talking about that stuff anyway. And he was sitting in the audience, and he sent Whitaker a note recently, and it said, hey, guys, my son died from a drug overdose in January of 2020. And as a result of that, I’ve been struck, and I can’t move past it. The grief is weighing me down, and I can’t get out of that state of mind. And so listening to your talk, got me to realize that I had to move out of where I was, and I think I’m okay and Excuse me. And that whole thing is a horrible thing. But at some point, you just have to grab a hold of your current life, and don’t let that pass you by and it inspired him to kind of move out of the place he was in. So I just want to thank him for sending us feedback and telling us that and letting us know that, you know that it had that kind of impact on him. And you know, before we talk we ever you and I always go into a conversation or a speech together, and we say, just let us get out of the way and let the right message get to the audience. And I think in this case, it did. So I just thought that was so cool. So those nationwide events are powerful. The nationwide organization is powerful, and thanks to them for letting us be part of that. And it was just incredible. I love that.

Mark Kinsley:

What an incredible story, you know, somebody that was suffering, and a man and a stretched-out QR code. And, and another handsome devil beside him. They Mark when have that type of impact when you’re there to talk about retail, you’re there to talk about serving the community and some of the messages that I know you and Whittaker were taking forward. And look what happens. Yeah, just I love this industry. That’s why I love being able to just be in rooms with people again. You know, like you did? It’s a true job, man.

Mark Quinn:

Yeah, no, it’s true. And thank you. I give the guy credit. I mean, for him to be there in that seat for him to kind of own where he was. Because it all starts with accountability. We’re going to talk to Hernani about that. But part of it is not just the accountability you have for other people, but it’s the accountability, that accountability you have to hold yourself to and grief is a tough thing. But at some point, you have to you know, even that you have to put aside. But anyway, so lot to talk about Kinsley, and one of those is door counts.

Mark Kinsley:

Yeah, you want to talk about accountability. I mean, that’s on the show today with Hernani, which by the way, Hernani knows his name is not common. So we’re going to get down to the bottom of that, first of all, but he talks Hernani talks a lot about accountability. And if you are a business that wants accountability built into your four walls, door counts as it and now door counts, brand new features completely redesigned user interface, gathering more data has never been easier. And it’s 123. Here’s how it works. With one click of a button, you’re going to see your salespeople connect with customers as they walk through the door. That’s one second, click the second click records the outcome, sale, no sale, potential sale. Third click lets you see key performance metrics by the minute from anywhere on any device. So if you get five stores, 10 stores, if you like sleep train, back in the day, you had 300 plus stores. You can see it from your phone. And now your salespeople can spend all their time making sales with three clicks. You got to start today at door counts.com. It is a huge, huge upgrade door accounts.com. How her nanny. How did I do on that? I mean, we talked about accountability. like can you imagine having that back in the day on your device seeing everything is happening at every store? You’re the president of the sleep train. And you probably got into this a lot like how we are tracking? How are we keeping people accountable?

Hernani Alves: 

Absolutely. I would always hear you know, we’re not seeing any customers like how many customers Did you see right? Now you actually have the proof. And if you can actually measure something now you know, you can improve it. Right now a lot of us don’t know we have no idea how many people are walking through the door. But here you have an opportunity. I wish it existed, you signed off by it now. That’s how much that is so important. It’s so important for businesses to have be able to measure that’s, that’s the performance part of accountability. That’s where all leaders want to get to. And it really would start with that. So, I’m in.

Mark Kinsley: 

 Nice, very nice. Well, hey, we got to give you an official on-ramp here, her nanny you and I go back, little ways. But I think the last time you saw me, I was dressed up like a character from Caddy shack. And I come out for the sleep train. Maybe that’s not the last time I saw you. It was definitely the first time we met, we played golf together, I come out for the sleep train event to benefit foster kids. And it was the most amazing industry event I had ever attended. By far. It just blew me away the genuine heart that the entire team had for your community and for foster kids in particular. And then just the production value of the event to make sure people walked away having had a great time having deepened connections with each other and having made a huge impact on the community. I was just blown away. And I loved meeting you and we’ve stayed in touch kind of off and on. And you know, everything happened with sleep train, which people don’t know we’ll get into a little bit of that but we’re so excited to have you on the show today. You’re published author a couple times over now and you continue to have an impact out in the world but let’s before we get into all that, lets her nanny it’s a different name. So like How did like, Where did you get your name Hernani knows from your parents. But where did they come up with that? What’s the backstory there?

Hernani Alves:

I know it’s kind of crazy. Hernani, you can’t even go to a zoo and find her nanny anywhere. Right? So this is a big deal you got, you got me on your podcast. This is awesome. So when I grew up, I was born in Angola, Africa, and my sister is 14 years older than me. And in Angola, Africa, there was this famous singer. He’s like the Elvis Presley, and his name was Hernani. So she convinced my mom, I got the name. Unfortunately, I let my sister and my parents down. I can’t sing. So that’s how that all started. So it’s unique.

Mark Kinsley: 

So you’re born in Africa, but your family, your father, and your mother were from the Azores?

Hernani Alves: 

Yeah, so it’s unique because I didn’t learn English. It’s I was eight years old. So there are certain words I like stumble with. And I actually didn’t learn how to read at the grade level until about 15. As I was always behind, so writing a book, I never thought that would happen. But my dad, he lived on a beautiful island in Sao Jorge Azores. There’s nine islands there, this small one that is like nine miles wide by four miles long, not very big. It’s known for its milk because it’s got amazing cheese and seafood. That’s about it. So at the age of 18, he’s overlooking the water goes, I’m gonna go to Angola, Africa. And why do you choose Angola Africa over the US? This is back in 1950. Angola was prospering diamond and oil. So he migrated, he spent all his money got on a boat two months to get there, he gets off. And keep in mind, there’s no Google Yelp, you can’t just like go to indeed and find a job. So he starts going around, but he doesn’t really speak the language. So for first couple of weeks, he was poor. He was living out in the streets, and he finally got a job at a trading post. So that’s how that kind of all started, and he’s an entrepreneur, he didn’t know at 18, he was an entrepreneur. But he asked the owner, Hey, can I have a part of this business? So he went hidden and helped him out with another location. He built that up, built it a few more met my mom, she’s a great cook. So he opened up some restaurants, Auto-bot, he went from the lower poverty, living on the streets to the upper middle, he had his own plane, he was able to fly throughout Africa. So he’s on top of the world. I don’t know how much I’m going to go into this story. 

Mark Kinsley:

But this is an amazing story. We can’t stop it there. So he’s, he’s flying around Africa has met his beautiful wife, and they’ve got these trading posts and these businesses, and life is good. Like he says, I mean, it’s like what we think about is the American Dream people coming here and be able to prosper, but this is the Angola dream. 

Hernani Alves: 

Yeah. Yeah. So he’s on cloud nine. This is I mean, couldn’t write a better story. And then 1975 so that I have three siblings older than I 1975 is the year I was born. And I know you’d said. Summer, June 21, which is the first day of summer is my birthday. Just want to make sure both of you know that. So just in case you want to send me stuff on the way don’t worry

Mark Quinn:  

June 21st.Got it. So, it’s the 22nd I am. So I’ve got you now. Yeah.

Hernani Alves:  

That’s my brother’s June 26th really crazy. And then my mom’s June 24. I know there’s something weird happening nine months before that, but we’re not going to get into that here on your show. It’s not one of those shows.

Mark Kinsley:

So Oh, It actually is absolutely that type of Show. I’m surprised it’s taken. We’re 13 minutes 24 seconds in and Quinn hasn’t mentioned sex. 

Mark Quinn:

Not once. 

Mark Kinsley:

That’s a record.

Hernani Alves:

I just saw that thing. Call me Daddy, the podcast if you guys heard about that? No, no, like, she’s like getting $20 million. That’s it. Anyways, we’re not gonna promote that one here. But crazy stuff. That actually. So Alright,

Mark Kinsley:

So let’s go back to Angola. So you painted a really clear picture of this amazing success story? And does it have a happy ending? What happened next with your dad’s life and with your family’s life?

Hernani Alves:

So 1975 was born June and in September of 1975. He got the knock on the door, like a really powerful. You know, one of those. It’s early in the morning. My mom’s kind of getting breakfast, ready for everybody. And he opened up the door and said, Get out, get out the Gorrilla’s armies coming. And what it is, is he had heard the Civil War had broken out in Angola. And so I knew things had gotten pretty bad. He just didn’t know it had gotten to that point. So he could either stay there and fight and it probably would have been a deadly outcome because some families did do that. But he decided to kind of get us all together and take off and the first thing was to get to like an airport or get to the ocean so you can find a ship. But that was blocked off and he ran into the Red Cross. And we ended up becoming homeless again. For the next six months. We lived at the Red Cross and fought for food and, and it was a tough time. So you’re like, well, he had money in the bank. He had all this stuff. It’s gone. He lost everything that was, it was all corrupt. So here he is bone dry, poor again. But he’s got a family now, which is really important. And he had to restart. And we ended up going back to the Azores. And being an entrepreneur he is and my mom’s a good cook. He just started a restaurant that opened up a second one. But now a few years later had gone by, and my sister is now 18 years old. And my dad’s 50 years old, and he’s like, I can’t keep my kids here on this island that I had, I wanted to leave, there’s just not much opportunity. And he decides to pivot one more time and come to the United States. And so fortunate, he did that. And he started up another business that doesn’t speak the language. But he started a fish market in Turlock, California, started building that up. And I’m so grateful he did that all of us, all of us siblings are entrepreneurs. And it was just his perseverance. And just like quince, mentioned about the story, you know, a COVID would just happen here is not the worst thing that we’re ever going to go through in our lives, there’s going to be much more difficult things. And most of just like that gentleman, I mean, losing your child is such a difficult thing. But you have to maximize your controllables once you can reflect and get past the grieving, and you look. And that’s what gets you that growth mindset to take you to that next level. But no one can help you with that. That is something that you personally have to come to an agreement, and then make the pivot and start taking action. So it starts with you, the most important person in the world is yourself?

Mark Quinn:

I’ve always heard when the student is ready, the teacher appears. Yeah, you’re right. 

Mark Kinsley:

What an amazing story. So your dad comes to California? And did it take a while for you all to settle in and restart and get your footing back underneath you? Or was it pretty quick? Do you know? He’s like, no, we’re here. And we had resources and community. How did that unfold?

Hernani Alves:

Yeah, I don’t quite remember that part. There was always food on the table. My dad definitely held me accountable. And there’s some other businesses and different things. And I know you mentioned cow number one, that’s the one that really taught me about accountability. But he would just see, he goes, you know, there’s farmers here looking for fish, because there’s no fish in the valley. So you’d go to Monterey, which is two hours away with igloo containers, go to the boats, you’d buy the leftover fish for pennies on the dollar. And then you’d come up and sell it. And he started building a business pretty much about a year later, he had his own fish market, had his own truck, and just built it up. Again. He doesn’t speak the language. But it’s not what you say. It’s how you make people feel. And my dad always had that magic of really, people just want to help or get involved. And he’s one of the best salespeople in the world that I know. And he just talks to people, he’s very genuine. 

Mark Quinn:

So but let’s go into the cow story. We go in, I got to go there. I want to talk about how your dad made you feel because Hernani, this is a foundational piece to your book, and to your approach to accountability and leadership. So why don’t you tell us a story about your dad, and you milking those cows and the lesson that taught you and what you’ve done with it since?

Hernani Alves:

Awesome. Thank you for reading the book. Yeah, a lot of the stories are from sleep train, once I left sleep train, I was gonna take three years off and not really get involved. But I had other vendors come to me like we want to have that same accountability. We want to have that culture that sleep train hat. No, we want multiple times the best workplace award. And a lot of that came from the personal accountability that each one of our amazing team link leaders had. So accountability is something I learned at nine years old. My dad built the fish market. And then he goes, You know, I want to go the next level, you want to start another business, which is a dairy business, and we went to Idaho. And the reason we started in Idaho is because it’s cold hub, but it’s easy to get into and he could buy some real estate there. And my job was to get off the school bus and then go and relieve him from milking. And then he would go feed the cows, and then we would kind of get connected back for dinner. So this cold winter day. I didn’t want to do this. I’m nine years old. 75 pounds. Oh, most of my kids are playing Atari back then or most of my friends are playing Atari. You guys probably remember Atari. 

Mark Kinsley:

Oh, yeah.  I had the joystick.

Hernani Alves: 

Yeah, milking cows. So this day there was cow number one. She was now a cow. She was the first baby born on our, she was a calf and then my dad gave her number one. So that’s she had grown up she had kept herself. But when you first go into the barn, you get spooked like what’s going on as a cow. And I had to kind of bring her in. I finally got her a 90 to put the machine on and cleaned her otter trying to put the machine on she kicked me and I’m like, that sucks. I kind of put my 75 pounds into her 1500 pound leg there, which is foolish. And she kicked me in again, I just scratched my arm and I go, this is it. I’m not milking her. And I opened up the gate and just let her go. And I just had about 10 more minutes to clean it. And then I get to go inside where it’s nice and warm and have dinner. And all the sudden about 10 minutes into two and I’m almost done. All of a sudden, I hear like the tingling behind me like the gate opening up and I look back and I see cow number one running in again. I’m like, how did that happen? How she opened the gate because I’m just trying to process it. And then I heard the fee fi fo farm, you know, your dad’s footsteps coming. And I knew I was in fourth. So at that point, I could either run away, mom’s not gonna save me, my dad just take a catch me. And I just stood there. I took it. I got the biggest spanking I’ve ever gotten so much. I peed my pants spanking. And so at that point, I’m thinking, Okay, it’s over and done with I don’t have to milk cow number one. And I started going towards the house. And my dad just picked me up like on the back of my shirt turned me around and goes, go finish what you started and do it right this time. And I hated my dad. So I just hated my death. So even now, I still get emotional with that. And keep in mind, I don’t want anyone to judge my dad because he spanked me. I mean, he beat me though there’s no question. This is way before the timeout was ever invented, that that’s how we got punished back then. But he forced me to go do something. And to do it right this time, and he had taught me how to do it. I was just cutting some corners. There’s this mechanism you put over their hips, they don’t kick you anymore. And then the cow gets comfortable. But I used to hate my dad for years until later I learned in life. Why did he do that? Why did he truly hold me accountable? Why was he so tough on me? Why was my mom tough on me? Why was my sibling’s tough on me? That’s because they love you. So at the end of the day, it’s really accountability equals love. And as a leader, you’re trying to help others become greater than themselves. Anyone that’s listening right now, if you have kids, why do you hold them accountable, because you want them to become greater than themselves who they are today. And so I’m so glad he did that. And so glad, but it took me probably about 30 years before I could physically say thank you. So anyone that’s listening, if you’ve got someone that’s held you accountable for all these years, they brought you up to this higher standard, take a moment, say thank you to them, even if they’re not here, Father time, they’re still going to be able to feel that love. And just be very thoughtful for that. And grateful.

Mark Kinsley:

So this is a lesson that really took a long time as a long fuse for it to sink in and set in for you to understand it and appreciate it fully. But clearly, that theme of accountability has been a thread that’s woven itself through your life now and through your time at sleep train. So take us into it because I know you started as a part-time employee at sleep train. How did you get that job? And then how did you rise to the ranks of President and one of the most beloved country companies in this entire industry?

Hernani Alves:

Yeah, so here, once again, I let my parents down. I went and got a degree and all of a sudden I’m working for a mattress company. 

Mark Quinn:

I mean, well, you are really disappointed. You already can’t sing. So that’s strike one. 

Hernani Alves:

Yeah, I know. And now I’m like you’re working for a mattress company. So this is back in 98. And they’re like, who goes and buys mattresses and a mattress store? Right? This is kind of at that time, we didn’t know. But got into it. I was a good salesperson, there was an opportunity for a manager position opened up. And I was kind of cocky young, 23 years old, I decided to apply for it. My manager goes, don’t apply for it. You got to be here for at least five years. You got to go through a management training program. You’re just not ready. And I applied for it. I only been there six months. And I got the job. I nailed it. Just boom, first time, like after three questions. Nailed it. And I remember asking Matt, my district managers, I’m like, that’s so cool. How many people apply for he goes, No one, you’re the one that applied. It’s yours. The job is yours. So yeah, that’s talking about hurting the ego. If we’ve probably all been there.

Mark Kinsley:

What I did, like, yeah, they heard I was applying and they just said we’re not even gonna try.

Hernani Alves:

Yes. I said I scared everybody off. I think that’s exactly I like that. I think do you think?

Mark Quinn:

That’s the right spin, that’s the right spin. 

Hernani Alves:  

So, but this is in Stockton, California, and it was a store that I didn’t know that they were going to close. They had labeled this store, the people that work there, the cemetery store, and this is where your career went to die. So other leaders that had gone there before had make it. So we went in there and then like the third month we had tripled the stores business. And now we’re going from the lower tier. Now we’re up there too. This day that store is still open. So just put that in perspective. And what I found out it’s the people that the other day, I didn’t get any new products. I didn’t get any new advertising. It strictly was the mindset of the people, because they looked at customers walking through the door. Oh, they’re here to waste my time. They’re here to haggle. They don’t want anything. No, when they open the door. That’s the biggest buying signal on the planet. They’re there to buy something. And it’s our job not to screw it up, right? So we had we changed the mentality we help people fall in love with sleep, and all of a sudden our sales went up, it was just amazing.

Mark Kinsley:

Oh, your focus on the sleep message even back then you weren’t focused on like white rectangles? You know? 199 for a queen set?

Hernani Alves:

Yeah. 100% that is like the worst. I hate the leader. $9. It’s like the worst thing you could do ever on the planet bringing these cheap mattresses in that don’t go hotel bed. So I’m not a big fan of it, I get it that you got to bring in some customers into that. But at the end of the day, you focus on value. I mean, sleep. Let’s just look at food and water, right? What’s more important is food, water, sleep, food, if all the conditions are right, you can go 14 days, right? That’s a pretty big fall, the conditions are and I could barely make it to lunch. But normally, that’s the case. But water if all the conditions are right, seven days sleep, maybe three to four days, that’s how important sleep is. And I’ve gotten maybe about a little over 19 hours without sleep. And that or I mean 29 hours of sleep, and that was horrible. So

Mark Kinsley:  

We talk a lot these days about, you know, we used to talk about, you know, nutrition and exercise and sleep being these three pillars of health. And we’ve really shifted our thinking on that because sleep is the foundation of nutrition and exercise. Because if you get good sleep, it has a huge impact on both of those columns that sit on top of it. So it’s foundational to all we do. It just underpins our lives. And it’s cool that you were even thinking that way back in 98 whenever you’re at the cemetery store.

Hernani Alves:

So no question. You can’t find food and water if you don’t have a good night’s sleep. It all starts right there. 

Mark Quinn:

 So, I noticed, you know, in the book, you talk about the fact that so you went to that store, and you had success. But that wasn’t it right. So it wasn’t enough that you were able to take an underperforming store and turn it into something incredible. But along the way, you had some issues, because the people around you, you weren’t making any friends. And so your ability to grow inside the company was very limited. Because you had developed a relation you had developed a reputation for yourself. Tell us a little bit about that.

Hernani Alves:

Yeah, so the three months into it, my district manager the one that hired me comes in and he wants take me out to lunch. So we go to lunch, but I could tell it wasn’t a celebratory lunch, you know like we’re on top of the world our margins good. So it’s not one of those like my I dropped my margin to get more sales. It’s quite the opposite. I built more value, and we had a really healthy margin. But he goes, you know what, we’re here today. And I’m like, yeah, cuz the store is on top of the world. We’re doing great. He goes, yeah, it’s doing good. But I want like, you know, your team doesn’t want to work with you anymore. Like what doesn’t want to work with me? Like, I don’t buy that. And they go, he goes Hernani. Do you know your nickname? I’m not sure if I can say that. Here you guys drink tequila. Everyone’s here. 

Mark Kinsley:

You can say whatever you want. It went 28-28. And Quinn hasn’t dropped an F-bomb new record again. Records. 

Mark Quinn: 

Why do you paint me such a degenerate? Kinsley. I’m not that guy. I’m a good guy.

Hernani Alves: 

So awesome. But it is shared with me. My nickname my staff had called me was her Nazi. Her Nazi that’s like the worst thing. I had it. I was actually wanted to leave the company didn’t want to work there anymore.  I didn’t want to go work with those people. I was pretty pissed off came out of 23 still immature. So then after my pity party, I go and I just kind of like, okay, I had a couple of days off and went to my team. And I said the two most important things to this date. And it’s in the book who kind of really references it. I asked the team, what can I do more of? And what can I do less of as your leader I know I screwed up. And what I did there is I listened. And as leaders many times we were really good at talking, especially salespeople, we talk, talk, talk talk, but we don’t truly listen. And we should be listening twice the amount of time. So I listened to my team, I took notes, and then I started showing them the proof. And when I did that, a little over a year later, they gave me an award from my team as the best Leader Award for them. And that’s when I really knew the power of accountability. It started with me the very first person personal accountability, and it was truly me that I had to take action and be responsible for my actions.

Mark Kinsley:

Hernani, that’s a pretty young age to not dig in your heels and say everybody else is wrong. Right. What seems like a high level of emotional maturity we just kind of wired that way, or did you have help and guidance?

Hernani Alves:

Yeah, no, no help and guidance. I think one thing I’ve always gotten from my dad was maximize your controllables. Like, what can I control here? And I knew my attitude had gotten me in trouble. I was a micromanager, like this, you got to keep all your headboards completely straight, I want these beds over here, when you actually vacuum the floor, I want it to be perfectly vacuumed here, so I can see the lines in there, you know. So that was I was an anal about it. And that’s where I got the nice, I got it. But what I’ve learned is that everybody has a slightly different way that they want to do it and that I need to maximize the positives. And that really came out in a book by Ken Blanchard called well done. W-h-a-l-e, and like the whale, and that was that taught me magnify the positives. And that’s where the magic started happening. 

Mark Kinsley:  

What did you change right away? Like, did you let the headboards just be a little crooked, and the lines and the carpet not be completely vacuumed correctly? I mean, what was some of the immediate things you change that your team recommended you change and they saw that very quickly.

Hernani Alves:

It really started. One, I had to take action on myself, not micromanage the situation. So I had to be a little bit flexible in the details. And Jeff Bezos talks about that a lot, is to build Amazon to be as big as they are right? You have to be flexible in the details. So you got to really let people do what they’re good at and just be a little flexible. So was I still getting straight lines I was the headboards every once in a while off a little bit. Yes. They weren’t perfect, but I knew that wasn’t costing me sales. And what would cost me sales is by getting my staff in a bad attitude or a bad mood. So that was my job was to really elevate that helped them but then tell them, hey, you’ve got the headboards perfectly straight, give them a high five, and celebrate that maybe there was one that wasn’t celebrate that. So they took out the trash that night, celebrate that. And then all of a sudden, I noticed that it was getting done more and more because I was magnifying the positives. 

Mark Kinsley:

And that’s a real art form and a skill to be able to give feedback when you know something’s wrong. But focus first or somehow focus in that whole swirling conversation on those positives and magnify those things while still being able to sneak in some of the nudges that you need to give a team. Yeah, tips on how to do that?

Hernani Alves:

 It starts with you right. So you got to lead by example when it comes down to that. But if you really, just like when he talked about there about the person that he made that presentation, he had no idea that he was going to change someone’s life, to start thinking more positive. It’s not really what you say. It’s what how you make people feel. And he really, he said some great things, but he really hit home with that person. And now they want to take action and make some improvements on that. So that’s where, Yeah, go ahead.

Mark Quinn:

 Yeah, no, but so going back to the story of you know what you did with your people part of it, though. So in the book, you talk about management versus leadership, right, so you can manage the lines and the carpet and the straightness of the headboards, but you can’t accomplish anything by yourself. And you knew that back then, right? Intuitively, so you had to make a decision instead of managing those people to lead them instead, what was the big pivot there? Like? What was the light bulb that went off to help you understand the difference between those two things?

Hernani Alves

Yeah, one was just going I was actually going home in a much better attitude versus when I was going home I was a little upset are kind of more of a firecracker. When you have somebody, that’s when you’re kind of going through goals, and you give them all these high-performance indicators. And all these things that you want them to get to, how do you truly get them to get there is you got to lead and show them how to do it. But then you got to celebrate those small wins when you get there in the higher you go, as most of you have probably seen is that you’ve got to give them ownership and be flexible in those details. So we want to raise margin in the store, hey, I want to raise it by five points, I could tell him to do that. And this is what we’re going to do. And I could tell him, I’m probably not going to get a lot of outcome out of it. But if I asked them, I’d like to raise the margin in the store. We can make some improvements there. What do you think we can hit? Listen to them, maybe push them a little bit? Maybe it’s four margin points versus five. Okay, so we’re going to do that. How are we going to do it, and they tell you how they’re going to do it and you can add your feedback. And then you put it in writing because if it’s written it’s real, and then you measure it and then we start executing it. And then we celebrate when we get there. Many times we find out we can get that 5% margin points, but it’s so much more rewarding when they own the details, and it’s their ownership and it was their idea. So as a leader, that’s what you want to do is you want to make sure it’s their ownership and their idea that they’re doing.

Mark Kinsley:

One of the books I just finished up is by a guy named Warren burger. And it’s called a more beautiful question. But it really gets into kind of what you talked about, which is how do you ask questions in a way that allows people to take ownership of it, to highlight the areas where there are opportunities for improvement? And really create your own path? And you know, I think that is so important in leadership roles is, how do you ask really good questions? And how do you reframe questions sometimes so that it gets to the core of the issue? Do you find yourself doing that ask you you have figuring out how to ask good questions, is that where you kind of transition as a leader and to the question asker. 

Hernani Alves:

100%. So I always look at when something happens to me, that’s negatively I look at what was the trigger? What caused it? And positively, you got to look at those. So what I noticed is when I went to my staff is why are you doing it this way? Guess what was happening? They’re going into defense mode, and they’re freaking out. And they’re just giving me a bunch of BS. But if I asked him, okay, so tell me more of how you’re doing it this way. And I got away from the word of why, because why isn’t attacking word, learn that with my daughter, 13 years old when I used Why are you doing that? Oh, my gosh, it was drama in the house. Right? She hated that was like, Honey, can you just tell me a little bit more? A little bit more about that situation? Same thing. But now she’s telling me and we’re talking. And we’re actually conversing. And I noticed that I was the problem. So it’s all about those trigger words like, Hey, we need to change the way we are selling. Okay, defense change, people don’t like to change. Can we make some improvement on the way we’re selling? What are some things? What are some observations from the team, and then now you’re getting that? So change equals improvements, right? It’s the same word. It’s just a change is a very negative. I remember going to our group in Seattle, we had changed the compensation program. And it was actually a very lucrative compensation program, we had a lot of these bonus triggers that they can make more money. I got there, I started my presentation. Like, yeah, we’re here to change your bonus program, and you’re gonna love that, guess what they got in their seats, and they’re like, we’re not gonna, you could just see their heads were down. You could just feel the negative energy. And it didn’t go overwhelmed. So I’d be brief with my team, like, what happened there? What do you guys notice? What did people’s attitude? So when I landed in San Diego, we rolled out the same compensation program. I said we’re here to make some improvements to your bonus program. Oh, my gosh, they’re like listening. They’re like, what is it? Guess who outperformed that weekend. And it was because of the words and how we really magnified the opportunity, and just how they felt?

Mark Kinsley:

You know, one of the questions, one of the framing questions that I really took away from the book that kind of feeds into these leadership conversations, and the buy-in conversation, is starting your conversations with your teams with the words, how might we? Because a lot of times, you ask why questions, and they completely shut people down? Because they’re so broad, and people have to think about intentions behind it, and are my intentions good and made you just go down this rabbit trail doesn’t make any sense. But when you say how might we number one, you’re saying, hey, we’re giving ourselves the expectation that something can be done. And we’re going to do it together. And this is really just kind of a brainstorm because might is not a word that’s holding you to anything at that very moment. It’s not a big change word, a big change agent, we’re just having a casual conversation. I really liked that terminology. How might we go about doing this? And then you get that involvement. And get people kind of moving in a direction that you can plant that seed toward? What you talked about just a moment ago, Hernani going into these different markets, you were a leader that was spread across one of the largest economies on the planet, California. That, in and of itself probably created major, major challenges. What did you notice? Did you notice a lot of we had high performing markets and low performing markets, but we’re trying to create a culture that has some sort of shared experience and we want to sleep train culture, that mother’s yeast to be injected into all these markets? How did you even think about doing that and growing that company?

Hernani Alves: 

We were very fortunate to be surrounded by an amazing team. I mean, you know, Dale Carlson, the founder advice that he had gotten from his dad Paul, was you surround yourself with great people treat them. Good, and make them successful and return, guess what’s gonna happen, they’re gonna make you successful. And he really preached that, to this day, I remember our purpose for our company, why does the company exist, he would always talk about why we existed. And it was to improve lives, one relationship at a time. That’s what we’re doing. It was for foster kids, it was for that guest walking in through the door, it was for my internal client, the people I work with, you know, so that’s how it departments started collaborating, we held each other accountable. So it’s really, if you’ve got to be flexible in the details, though, the more you scale, when we were smaller, it was easy, it was easy to have that tight, tight culture. But when we started scaling, we realize that there are subcultures. So for example, the culture in Seattle is slightly different than the culture in San Diego or the Bay Area, or kind of anywhere, even Hawaii, it’s a slightly different culture, but the message was the same. So you got to be flexible in those details of what was happening there. So hopefully, that gives you a little bit more. I’ll give you another quick one here because I know you’re coming into we just this is the busy summer selling season, it starts on Memorial Day, right? And then the Super bowl is Labor Day, that’s like the busiest where you’re really focused on, we would always do these blitzes where we’d go just before Memorial Day, Fourth of July, you go during August, super busy month, September, and we used to go in and believe this to her Nazi, I kind of went down the road of like, let’s go in there with the white glove, make sure there’s no dust anywhere. And really do these, like very detailed model store audits. And it did it work. Yeah, some, some people did well, but I found out myself, sometimes I could only hit two or three stores because I stayed there fixing things that I saw wrong. But I realized that the people I was hurting them, they weren’t motivated. So we change the outcome to where let’s go in and magnify the positives. Let’s go in and tell them we’re coming in, we’re doing a blitz, here’s our schedule, we’re going to go to your store, we’re gonna go to your store, and we’re gonna go that they have, and I would come in with vitamins, which are normally like treats or different things, I’d come in and give them something and like, show me around the stores show me what’s going well, well, if they knew were coming in, they made the store look awesome. It smelled like Pine-Sol is just beautiful. And I could really magnify that. So once I realized when I left the store, if the team there is more happy and more satisfied, we’re gonna have a booming, booming, busy weekend because I had their mindset, right, that they weren’t upset with the company. And they were able to share with me some challenges and different things that I could make some improvements. So I remember if they needed a mop, I don’t give them a mop. But that’s what they wanted. So is whatever they needed. So anything I could do to help them and be there more as a leader for them. 

Mark Kinsley:

I’ve always found that when people are able to go home and sit down at their dinner table that night and tell their husband or wife or their kids, what their company appreciates about them. It’s a pretty special thing to get all the way to that dinner table, and it’s got to get all the way to the dinner table. It can’t just be you know, we said that in the store. It has to be, I’m gonna go home. And I’m gonna tell my family about this tonight.

Mark Quinn:

Very true. So Thanksgiving dinner, we get to do that, right, we get to tell everyone how grateful we are for what they do. We’re here on the Dos Marcos podcast for Hernani Alves. So glad that you’re on with us. Hernani is the author of the book, balanced accountability, and also the CEO and founder of balance IQ leadership. And so Hernani, I want to ask you a question about accountability, because it’s not easy, man. I mean, inside of companies, I mean, there’s a little bit of this thing where when you’re going to talk about accountability with someone, there’s a fear of the finger-pointing or blaming people or whatever. So talk to us a little bit about when you’re coaching companies through some of this. For the person who isn’t owning their stuff, you know what I mean? Like the guy is like the maybe the leader of the business, and he’s just not willing to go Yep, that’s me or Yep, that’s my fault, or Yes, on the bottleneck. How do you get them through that to where they can own it, and then go, man, if I own this, when we come out of the other side, it’s gonna be so much better, like, how do you handle those types of people?

Hernani Alves:

Yeah. And you’ve heard of soft skills, right? I don’t like that terminology, but then, you know, soft skills, how you kind of make that warm, fuzzy thing. And he got hard skills, very technical. Well, accountability is a foundational skill. You can’t do anything with the organization till you’ve done that. And it was just a shame. In a recent study conducted by American managements of over nearly 5000 people. They were asked, how do you feel about accountability in your organization? 3% of them said it’s good 3% so that means 97 percent said, it’s not good. It doesn’t exist. Or when it does happen. It’s with HR and it’s negative. So what is that? And keep in mind, these are fortune 500 companies that were asked people that went to Harvard, some pretty big schools, right? I was a C student, but you’re not going to believe what their response was of why accountability doesn’t exist. Because I’ve never been trained. I’ve never been trained. I’ve learned accountability from my supervisor from somebody else based on what I’ve seen. So that’s what’s horrible. So what is the accountability carrot and the stick? No, it’s not the carrot in the stick. That’s the worst form of accountability. Don’t do that. It’s like makes me cringe even right now. And I said it. And so the carrot and the stick, I’ll give you the quick analogy of what it is because most people don’t know how it started. Back in the day, way before our time, the farmer wakes up in the morning and grabs a carrot out of the garden. And he ties it to a stick and he grabs his mule hooks up to a plow and starts to plow in this field. Does it work? Yeah, put a carrot in front of a mule, the mule takes off. But there’s a point where the mule realizes that I’m not getting closer to that carrot. So the farmer starts bringing in the carrot back to him, and then finally gives it to him? Well, the mules figured it out that now when I start slacking, I get my care, their care it’s gonna happen, then that happens with salespeople, sometimes where you give them some of these goals, they start kind of backing off, like, these cops are getting harder and harder. Let’s like, let’s move, let’s just fluff these numbers up a little bit. So that’s sometimes happens. But like, the farmers only got X amount of carrots, so he can’t keep going through this. So once the mule starts slacking off, again, guess what happens? The stick comes out. And does that work? Absolutely. When you’re getting beat, even if you’re an animal, it’s gonna work. However, like every animal after a point, when you keep getting beat up, you’re done. And you shut down. So that’s why it’s the worst form of accountability. But once your team understands that accountability equals love that you wouldn’t be here because someone else held you to a higher standard. That’s why your parents do that guardian or coach, you’ve seen it with professional teams, all they do is just change the coach, they change a few team members, all of a sudden, it’s pretty much the same player, but now they’re starting to win again, or you’ve seen the opposite work. It’s a winning team, all of a sudden, they’re going down. So it really comes down to that leader. So if your team’s not winning, you’ve got to look at yourself first, which is the first piece personal accountability, then you got to go to the second p which is positive accountability. And then you go to Performance Base. So there’s actually a fourth p I had no idea. Working with writing companies now. And the CEO goes Hernani he knows the fourth p I was like, there’s no fourth p It was a proof because I always say you got to show the proof. You got to show the proof. She goes yeah, the proofs important. But she goes, you know what happens when you do personal accountability, positive accountability, and Performance Base, you automatically get peer-to-peer accountability. And that’s where that magic starts to happen. And that that is not in the book that it wasn’t until we started rolling it out in multiple companies now where you start seeing that magic happen.

Yeah, so that gets tough to do that. When it comes from the leader, let’s talk about accountability. They normally like Oh, here we go, CEO or somebody pissed off, we got numbers we got to hit the sales aren’t good, or we’re having stock issues, which I know is happening a lot out there right now. So you got to be very cautious about that. So it’s always better if someone else brings it up and kind of takes the group through it. And then that’s where the leader gets involved. So that’s where I get a chance to kind of work with organizations get the team to fall in love with accountability. However, I do a special exercise in there with the CEO or the leader of the team, is we do the more of and less of so I actually we talked about personal accountability, your leader is going to go through that today. And he needs to do more of or she less up and you get to provide feedback. So they’re going to leave the room and get the group, they come up with their top three more or less of, I bring that leader back in and I go, all you’re doing is you’re listening, you’re going to take action. And now for the next 90 days, we’re going to show the proof to the team. And guess what happens when you do that and the leader goes first. The next person goes, what are we doing ours? What are we doing all the other leaders in the group wants to do the same thing and they start taking action, then that’s where that magic starts to really happen is when they really reflect on that, but nothing’s gonna happen until you listen, and you show the proof that you’re making these improvements.

Mark Kinsley:

This really goes back to 23 years old, Hernani with the bad nickname got walking into his team and saying, and I think it’s a great question you can ask as a leader right now of your team, hey, what can I do more of? What can I do less of right now today? Because I think, you know, if you get a small went under your belt like that, you can start to change culture, you know, and, and this is such a, you know, this is why I think sleep train has always been just this shining light in our industry and like reflecting on that sleep train culture that Dale on you and Brian Baxter and the whole, the whole team created was the fact that you had a culture that paid off your brand. And we talked about this a lot. It’s like, Oh, we got our mission, our vision, our values. Now let’s get to our brand. Nope, skipped it. mission, vision values, culture brand, because if you don’t have a culture that that can pay off what you’re trying to say, with your marketing messages, or with the brand you’re trying to build in your community, then people are going to feel that disconnect when they come in your store. They’re gonna walk in and be like, wow, I really do these people position themselves as they have a heart for the community. But really, they’re a bunch of assholes, you know, that your culture is going to screw up your brand. So if your culture, it, you know, Dr. V, told me one time, culture is what you create, or what you tolerate. And sometimes whenever you go through these exercises, you realize, Oh my gosh, I need to create and be intentional about the culture we want to build. And if you’re not, it’s simply just what you’re tolerating today. And sometimes what you tolerate could be amazing. I’m not saying it’s always bad. But Gosh, whenever you really start to think about the organization, how people see it, are your people able to pay that off? When a customer walks through the door and you have an interaction? If that doesn’t happen? That’s where everything falls apart.

Hernani Alves:

100%, you’re right on it, and what is culture? What does that truly mean? And it’s going to be the values so you’ve got your PBVS, they call it purpose, why does the company exist, then you get into your values. So we exist based on this is how we’re going to act, we’re going to do these three to five things. I’ve seen some organizations, they’re like, let me go get the SOP manual, I know it’s in there. And they’ll give it to me, it’s like three pages of stuff that they have to go through values that let’s focus on the 80%. If we do this, these five key things, three to five things, this is what it is. And then what you do is you magnify that. So now when you give out awards, it’s not always going to be the top Rockstar, the number one sales, I can tell you the number one salesperson sometimes could be your energy vampire. They’re the ones that just bringing everybody down. Yeah, they got good sales. And I’ve seen because I’ve lost some of these million-dollar writers because they were unethical, they did something that wasn’t right, we let them go. And you’re like, we’re gonna miss out on that business. No, all of a sudden, the rest of the team just picked it up, it was crazy, we actually ended up doing more, because we got rid of that energy vampire. So go back to values. If you got those three to five, starting handing out some awards to that it could be your middle person, someone that’s done a good job, they went above and beyond, they helped to a certain customer, externally, or they did somebody for internally another customer, give them an award. Because the more you start measuring and start bringing that middle average up, guess what happens? It keeps going up higher and higher, the more of a disconnect from your higher end to your lower in that you’ve got a big Delta there, that becomes the dumbbell effect, right? So you really want to bring those middle up a few notches, and you’ll see the things really start taking off in the organization. 

Mark Quinn: 

The word accountability, Hernani has a hard feel to it a little bit, you know what I’m saying? It’s like, I’m going to hold you accountable. You know, we’re all going to be accountable for whatever it is. Yeah, right. Exactly. And so my dad used to say, Listen, you can give feedback to people in that’s why I love how you’re tying it to the word love. You can give feedback to people if it’s done out of love, right? So there’s the boss who just wants to bust ass and walk into a store and maybe how some of us were like when we first started our careers and be like, this isn’t right, this sucks. This is you know, we’re going to be accountable. There’s that versus the guy who comes in and he sees the opportunity in it and he is on the side and his intention, which they matter is not to bust ass, but it’s to help that person grow as a human, help the business accomplish the goals that everyone agreed to at the beginning. So there’s a real drastic difference in those two styles. It can you talk a little bit about maybe running into the misinterpretation of what accountability actually is.

Hernani Alves:

100% again, most of the time you learn from someone else. So those leaders those managers probably learned from someone else that was busting their ass and holding them for that highly accountable thing. I had some leaders 

Mark Quinn:

By the way, I’m gonna pause you right there, guys. He knows this reminds me of it because of kid’s athletics, it reminds me of that old school coach, doesn’t it? It’s like the guy that was just like, the hard-ass on the kids and yelling at him constantly. And I look at youth athletics, and I swear to you, I see that and I’m like, would we ever in a million years walk into our company and do what that coach does, which is this sucks. We’re gonna, you’re gonna run or you’re gonna stay an hour. And I’m sure that that exists today. But you know what I’m saying? It’s like that old-school coach versus the coaches today. You understand every player is different. They have different ways that need to be motivated. I just the coach of children today, it keeps coming in my head in terms of leadership style, and it’s kind of what I’m talking about.

Hernani Alves:

You’re so right on. And we you’ve seen organizations where they have no accountability, what happens that doesn’t last very long. So people in that they’re not read emails, their deadlines are being missed, right? Just people don’t really care. They’re not getting paid on time. That’s not accountability, then you got the extreme super accountability. You got to do it this way. Macro may feel like you’re being suffocated. So that’s where the name balanced accountability comes into play. So you got to have that balance of your actions. And so love, the reason I bring that up is the immature leaders like, I’m not gonna bring love, I’m gonna get busted. I’m gonna go to HR. I’m bringing love here in California, we were able to have our sales professionals, which we didn’t call them salespeople, we call them sales professionals because that’s how they act. And that’s how they did. They showed love to customers, they helped customers find the right mattress, not the one that they liked, the one that they loved. And when a customer loves a mattress, guess what’s happened, you close the deal, you move on, they’re gonna love a mattress pad, they’re gonna love sheets, they’re gonna love all that stuff. They’re gonna pay attention, and it’s going to separate you from your competitor. When you start bringing in love. Love is not romance that will get you in trouble, right? I know Kinsley just celebrated 15 years. Congratulations, by the way.

.

 Mark Kinsley:

Thank you very much British.

Hernani Alves:

 Love your spouse. That’s awesome. 15 years. So Love is the love of humanity, the love of serving other people. That’s the love. You’ve heard of Vince Lombardi, right? Vince Lombardi NFL, one of the toughest coaches of all time with the Green Bay Packers, his team would say, yeah, he was tough. But he loved me. He was always there for me, he would do these things. These are players since he’s left and gone. Vince Lombardi NFL used the word love. And now, most people don’t know this. But the Super Bowl trophy is called the Vince Lombardi Trophy when you can truly bring in the love. Now you’re bringing this relationship that people start feeling and they will break down barriers, they will win these big games, they will win that Super Bowl for you on Labor Day weekend, or anytime you have challenges. William Buffett, another great when he goes in and starts working with these great companies, and he wants to invest into them. Yeah, he looks at the P&L. He looks at what their potential could be in the future. But the most important thing he does is how’s the attitude of the team? And he brings them in. And if the team loves the executive leadership he’s in he’s, he’s gonna invest money into them. And why does he do that? Because like every business, you go up, you go down, you go up, when they truly love you, they will be loyal to you. They will help you overcome any type of challenge. We had a hard time, that good sleep train when everybody else did in 2008. When the whole collapse came down. Our team truly loved us love the customer. They stayed with us. We were living paycheck to paycheck just to make it we came out of that so strong. And we had our best years, right? And we came out of that. And guess what, we didn’t chase the $9 mattress. What we chased was the customer walking through the door had a sleep problem. And we started getting on top of those Ergo foundations, moveable base foundations, adjustable beds, whatever you want to call it, we showed them love and our ticket average went through the roof. And it made us so much better and stronger. All right as you can tee I get a  real passion when I start talking about love because it’s hopefully you feel that a little bit. 

Mark Kinsley:

 I do feel it, man. I love that you guys. 

Mark Quinn:

I feel the love

Mark Kinsley:

Well, hey, that gosh man, I like where this is landing for me personally. Because life, business, all of it. It’s just about relationships and what our relationships. I mean their trust and love, you know, at its core, and you know, we get to wake up every day and help people find something that is really hard for a lot of people to find a great night’s sleep changed your life, you change your life, you change everybody else’s life, Spread the Love. And I hadn’t thought about accountability in that way but man, you know, we do it with each other all the time. You know, in our businesses, you know, Quinn and I, we keep each other accountable through the love we have for each other as friends. You know, checking in, that’s what accountability is about what’s going on with you. Tell me about your life and then being able to be vulnerable, which I’ve, I’ve had a hard time with over the years being vulnerable and talking about what’s going on with you, but man, that when you have that, flowing through your organization, like you said, or in any way that that fourth p that peer to peer, and people are on it, and you walk into those stores, and you see how they are, they’re loving on each other and keep each other keeping each other accountable, loving on the customers, man, you’re on to something special, you’re on to something world-changing now.

Mark Quinn:

You know, two takeaways. Now, go ahead Hernani.

Hernani Alves:

No, I was just gonna talk about the peer-to-peer accountability is really where you don’t only have to do anything. It just, it’s really connected people are embracing it becomes that culture. 

Mark Quinn:

So I was just going to add to what Kinsley said, I think the takeaway for me here is two things. It’s number one, intentions are important, right? So intentions are empty if they’re not followed by action, but I think it’s how you come at people is a big deal. And I think the retail sales associate the sales professional in your vernacular, like, you know, we always talk about Kinsley and I do if you’re on a sales floor, in your transactional business, the consumer that comes in they, they’re going to feel that if on the other hand, they come into your store, and you’re a sales professional and your intention, and the purpose behind your job, you see yourself as a sales professional that wants to genuinely help that person arrive at a decision that’s going to help them improve their quality of life. That’s a completely different game. And then the other part is accountability. I think people are okay being held accountable if you come at them in that way. And at the end of the day, accountability is really just the opportunity to grow. And so if you are approaching them in the right way, and they feel that from you, then the upside is absolutely huge. So I love what you’re saying there, Hernani, and he and I love that. So many people had the benefit of hearing all of that from you. And you know, your book, balanced accountability is fantastic. I’ve really enjoyed it. And I really recommend everybody go buy that book and tune in to when whenever Hernani is out there on the speaking circuit or doing what he’s doing or look into his business actually balanced IQ leaders. And we’ll get your contact information here in a second. But her nanny, what have we missed here with you today? Is there anything that you want this audience to understand in terms of, you know, we’re just coming out of a pandemic, things have been difficult, we know that change is going to be necessary for people going forward? Can you give a little advice to the retailers out there kind of where things are now? And like what kind of encouragement would you offer?

Hernani Alves:

Yeah, so one is don’t say the C-word anymore. Get that out of your vocabulary and Do not let anyone else say that within your organization. 

Mark Quinn:

What did I say?

Hernani Alves:

Because it’s become an excuse the C-word. 

Hernani Alves:

If we use that as an excuse, you know, we’re having supply issues or whatever, COVID. COVID know, what can we do within our group here? And how can we really with maximize our control of this? So the one thing I left off, we’d have time to talk about, but it talks about energy vampires, and it gets into how do we handle negative because I’ve kind of made this really positive, a lot of wind. And keep in mind her nanny, her naughty, I was an energy vampire. So there are tough love that you got to give people and you’ve got to give them tough love. Just like Matt did my district manager and told me who I was, he did it privately, I was able to make some improvement, take action, he believed in me. And then I was eventually grow up to become the president of sleep training. I’ve been so honored to do that. So I’d say that’s the last thing. I’ll leave you with my one of my favorite quotes by Abraham Lincoln. The best way to predict the future is to go out and create it. And we control it, we have to take action. We personally need to go do it and not count on someone else to do that for us.

Mark Kinsley:

 And when you talk about that tough love, Hernani that really speaks to me because if you care, you have the conversation. If you don’t care, you go behind people’s backs, and you don’t have the conversation now. So having those tough face to face, private conversations are an expression of love. And they’re hard for everybody. But you can think about great ways to magnify some positives along the way. And also be sure that your message is clear because that is showing that you love people. And hey, I love you guys. I really do. I love this industry. I love the people we get to interact with and thanks for all the years continuing to do for companies, and congratulations on the new book, that champion advantage. 

Hernani Alves:

You got it, yeah.

Mark Kinsley:

Awesome, so we will have to come back and talk about the champion advantage at some point and dig into some of more your stories because you’d have a great story to tell about your family and your father and your rise to the ranks at sleep train. And now, your mission to continue serving people in this way. So thanks for being here. Hernani it has been a joy. 

Hernani Alves:

Oh, my pleasure Dos Marcos. I mean, this is amazing to be on the fam here, world-famous. And you guys have brought a lot of love to the industry. I’ve seen where you’re taking this. And congratulations, you’re helping people dream and live better. 

Mark Quinn:

Thanks, brother. And hey, Hernani. If people want to reach out and get connected to you, how can they do that?

Hernani Alves:

You could go to balanced iq.com. That’ll take you directly to my web page and go there. I’ve got a free playbook. I kind of give you the playbook of this balanced accountability within organizations is what you should do the actual playbook and I can take you through it. And I’m always here to serve, especially in this industry, which has given back so much to me for over a quarter of a decade. I love it so much. I’m always here by your side. 

Mark Quinn:  

Hey, you know Kinsley, I think it should be noted here for you and I that Hernani actually worked directly with Brett Thornton. Okay, and all of all of the mattress podcast shows that Hernani could have come on he chose us over Brett Thornton and I think that really I think we need to really focus on that and really kind of take a moment and enjoy that because I, you know, we scooped Brett Thornton on Hernani’s interview that’s pretty big stuff.

Mark Kinsley:

 I just want to say to you Hernani, that’s a great choice.

Hernani Alves:

Yeah, I know. I can’t believe you guys had me signing on compete so even if Brett is listening, I can’t do your podcast now. Sorry, Brett. Sorry, just

Mark Kinsley:

We got all the stuff of hand we got thrown together every once in a while. Brett’s new podcast he’s doing it’s up. I mean, if you haven’t heard it, go to fam.news. It’s awesome. Like he’s doing this leaders. He’s got a series on female leaders in the industry, which has been under magnified. And he’s just rocking and rolling. And we all know each other. So we’re just giving each other.

Mark Quinn:

And we love that guy. So Hey, everybody, for listening. Thanks for tuning in and listen, go out to wherever you get your podcast and like it, and show us some love five stars if you would. But most importantly, share this show with other people inside the industry because there’s a lot of good stuff that happens here. And a lot of the stuff that Hernani talked about today could really serve someone else so share it with them and Hernani I got some good news. We have the best-ever mattress rap video coming your way right now. Awesome.

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