Episode 36 — Culture & Leadership with Joshua Szarek

Episode #36
Original Air Date: 06.20.2017

31 Minutes

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Our Guest This Episode: Joshua Szarek

Integrity, core values, culture and leadership... this episode is packed with great tips from Joshua Szarek. He shares his experience as an Army Ranger and as a corporate professional.

Joshua is a proud Eagle Scout and Scout Leader within his community, an achievement and service he continues to recognize as being a fundamental building block to his success today. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and Business, received his MBA in Marketing and Finance, and earned his Project Management Professional (PMP®) and Six Sigma Black Belt license and advanced certification.

After completing his education, Joshua joined the military as an Officer with the U.S. Army. He served in the Special Operations community, traveled the world, and visited 49 states and 34 countries. Following his service, Joshua utilized his strategic leadership training and skills to expand his career, and entered the Oil/Gas industry. He followed the dynamic change with a further expansion and transitioned into the robust healthcare sector as a Senior Executive, a role which allowed him to build thriving businesses, mentor, educate and train future leaders, as well as serve patient communities across the country.

Joshua left his tenure in healthcare to pursue his passion further, creating a business to serve his community and partner with the largest real estate brokerage in the World, Keller Williams, to begin a practice in Marin County. By combining his scouting and military values with his organizational healthcare experience, Joshua serves, mentors and supports individuals and families within his local and global community to buy, sell or invest in real estate property. As the natural disaster director in Marin County, he combines his unique in-depth knowledge of the county to help buyers and sellers in ways that are unimaginable to most.

Tune in to hear about the 3-pillars for successful organizations and the benefits of having a Positive Mental Attitude.

Favorite Quotes from Our Talk:

"Leadership is a key principle, and you have to have someone who is a willing and educated learner, and someone who is open to different communication styles because, as good leaders, you have to have all three, and you have to be able to instill that and be able to continue to grow yourself and communicate in a clear, concise method on ways how other people like to be communicated with."

- Joshua Szarek

"If we can relate to someone at that human level to where we understand their values and their values connect with us, it resonates.  So you start to develop that team atmosphere where we all believe in the same things at the very root, which makes everything else possible."

- Joshua Szarek

"It goes now in the corporate world about hiring to values.  I’m a big believer that you can teach and train almost any skill set.  You can’t teach and train values or attitude."

- Joshua Szarek

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ANDY CROWE ● BILL YATES ● NICK WALKER ● JOSHUA SZAREK

NICK WALKER:  Welcome to Manage This, the podcast by project managers for project managers.  Every other week we get together to discuss what matters to you in this lively and ever-changing world of project management.  It’s our goal to challenge you, to encourage you, and to provide some principles and guidance, whether you’re a veteran PM or a newbie.  And we do that by hearing the everyday stories of others who have been there and done that.

I’m your host, Nick Walker, and with me are the two guys who I have no qualms about calling our “resident experts,” Andy Crowe and Bill Yates.  And Andy, we have on the phone with us today someone who has worn many hats in his career, and his experience has allowed him to play some key roles in a variety of projects.

ANDY CROWE:  You know what, Nick, I’m really excited about this particular guest and the topic that we’re talking about, leadership and culture.  And he’s got a perspective that I don’t think anyone else that we’ve had on the podcast has brought.  So this is going to be good.

NICK WALKER:  Well, let me introduce him.  Joshua Szarek has a background as an officer in the military.  He’s worked in the oil and gas industry, in healthcare, and now in real estate.  He has degrees in mechanical engineering and business, an MBA in marketing and finance, and is a Six Sigma Black Belt.  Joshua, welcome to Manage This.

JOSHUA SZAREK:  Thank you very much.  I’m glad to be here.

NICK WALKER:  Now, you have been a leader in a variety of different organizational environments and cultures.  You’ve seen how essential effective leadership is in creating a great culture.  I think it might be a good place to start, by just talking a little bit about what you call your “three pillars” for successful organizations:  leadership, education, and communication.  Why are those three things pillars?

JOSHUA SZAREK:  You know, I really feel like those three things are pillars because none of the three can stand alone.  I really believe that.  Leadership is a key principle, and you have to have someone who is a willing and educated learner, and someone who is open to different communication styles because, as good leaders, you have to have all three, and you have to be able to instill that and be able to continue to grow yourself and communicate in a clear, concise method on ways how other people like to be communicated with.

NICK WALKER:  And one of the things I understand that you really put forth in your speaking engagements is the importance of leadership in establishing an effective culture and vice versa.  A great culture means great leadership, but it can also work the opposite.

JOSHUA SZAREK:  Yes, it can.  We’ve seen this in a lot of different organizations and cultures.  And as you had mentioned earlier, I’ve been very fortunate to be part of a wide variety of them.  And I’ve seen great leaders in bad cultures sink because the atmosphere around them was not conducive.  And I’ve seen great cultures with bad leaders that couldn’t rise because they didn’t know how to fit within that atmosphere.

ANDY CROWE:  Joshua, this is Andy.  And one of the things that stands out in your bio is you’ve had a lot of military service.  You’ve worked in the special forces.  Talk to me about leadership in that context, and talk to me about what you observed and what you saw, maybe good and bad.  I’m sure at this point in your career you’ve probably seen a lot of the spectrum of good leadership and maybe some that was a little be lacking.  Talk to me a little bit about that in the context of the military world.

JOSHUA SZAREK:  Sure.  In the military, the first definition of leadership that you learn is it’s the process of influencing others to accomplish a mission or task by providing purpose, motivation, and direction.  And you see this very often as young leaders who don’t take good direction from their senior enlisted soldiers.  And I think it’s part of being a good leader is being a good listener.  And so I’ve been fortunate to see really good enlisted soldiers and leaders above me who have done this well and have used this to shape and grow the rest of their teams.  And I’ve also, to your point, seen the opposite of this, where you have leaders that think they can do it their own way, and they don’t take any guidance or listen to anyone, or they don’t take the team approach.  And honestly their teams die, and they aren’t successful.

ANDY CROWE:  I had a friend who went to West Point right out of high school.  And he, when he got there, the first thing that shocked him was they didn’t teach him to be a leader, they taught him to be a follower.  And being a follower in his case meant, hey, you can’t walk on the sidewalk.  There’s so many things you can’t do, and you’re going to take orders from anyone and everyone about the most trivial things and the most serious.  And at some point you start to absorb, okay, this is how I need to relate to leadership.  This is some of the things that makes a person a decent leader.  And then you begin to transition into that role.  So that’s an interesting point you bring up.

JOSHUA SZAREK:  Yeah, it’s a great, great point because, you know, you have to be a good follower because, if you want people to follow you, you have to understand what you can expect from them.  It’s the old adage of walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.  And in the military it’s walk 10 miles in someone else’s [crosstalk].

BILL YATES:  With a 60-pound pack.  Joshua, I had a question about that connection between leadership and culture.  If you have healthy leadership, you have a healthy culture.  If you have a healthy culture, then there’s probably a strong leader behind that.  To you, what does a healthy team culture look like?  What are some of the characteristics and attributes?

JOSHUA SZAREK:  You know, for the organizations I’ve been a part of that have really good cultures, it really starts with values.  And I’ve been fortunate to be part of some teams and organizations that had incredible values, a great mission, and a very large vision.  And it’s something where I’ve actually been – been a pleasure to speak about myself in some different organizations because those values are really ingrained in all of us.  And so if we can relate to someone at that human level to where we understand their values and their values connect with us, it resonates.  So you start to develop that team atmosphere where we all believe in the same things at the very root, which makes everything else possible.

ANDY CROWE:  I want to just pick up on that, Joshua, with a follow-up question there.  So if values are this tremendously important thing, what would you say you value?

JOSHUA SZAREK:  To me, integrity is number one.  I’ve been fortunate to grow through the Boy Scouts.  I had an Eagle Scout – earned my Eagle Scout rank.  And through the military and through my corporate experience, if people can’t trust you, they’re not going to follow you, and they’re not going to listen to you.

NICK WALKER:  My son is an Eagle Scout.  And so I can identify a little bit with that.  And I appreciate your taking pride in that, you know, even after all these years.  Can you tell me a little bit about how you’ve been able to build on some of the things that you took away from all of the hard work and accomplishment it takes to be an Eagle Scout?

JOSHUA SZAREK:  I was very fortunate.  My father actually passed away when I was very young.  And so scouting gave me a bunch of male role models and a bunch of brothers very early in my young career.  And so that really taught me structure.  It taught me how to be a good person, how to be a great citizen, how to give back to the world and learn about being part of something bigger than myself.

BILL YATES:  Joshua, that’s awesome.  I’m thinking of some of our listeners.  And many times, and you may have been in a similar situation, some of our listeners have been asked to step into situations where there has not been integrity, or there has, for whatever reason, there is suddenly a poisonous culture, or there’s a bad culture they have to step into and lead.  What are some steps that we can take as leaders to reestablish a positive culture or bring something back to life?  What are some things that you’ve seen that are effective?

JOSHUA SZAREK:  You know, I think where it starts is with us; right?  We can’t expect others to change unless we’re willing to change.  And so we have to recognize where we’re at in that environment and see where are the opportunities, so who are some of those people who are creating that negative culture, and where are some opportunities for growth in ourselves and within others.  And it’s definitely a two-way street.

NICK WALKER:  So can a leader come into a negative culture environment and completely turn that around?  And, if so, how?

JOSHUA SZAREK:  I do, I think they can.  And it does take time because sometimes we have individuals who are not open to change.  And you have to be able to look at that for what it is.  And after you’ve given yourself enough opportunities, you’ve given them enough opportunities, be okay with making those changes for the betterment of the group.

ANDY CROWE:  You know what, Joshua, I’m thinking through as you’re describing some of this, and you said a lot of the foundation of this is integrity.  And that resonated with me.  The worst project I think I ever worked on in my career to date, knock on wood, is one where my boss asked me to fundamentally misrepresent where we were on the project to some of the key stakeholders.  And it was kind of outrageous what it came down to, but basically just out and out misrepresent it.

And the effect on the culture that it had – because it started in degrees.  It didn’t start out to where, hey, I want you to give just a complete out-and-out lie.  It started out just a little bit of a misrepresentation and then built up to the fact of, hey, you have to go, and you have to say this, and even though we knew that was 180 degrees out of phase from the truth.  And the effect on the department, even that request, what he asked, and I ultimately left the organization before doing that, I just couldn’t do it, but the effect on the organization was toxic.  So it’s interesting that you pointed that out because I hadn’t really codified it that way.  But that’s an interesting observation to give.

JOSHUA SZAREK:  Yeah, absolutely.  And like you, I’ve been in that situation myself.  And because of my values, it’s not something that I’m okay doing.

ANDY CROWE:  Yeah.  And it’s tricky.  Again, this wasn’t something, somebody didn’t walk in day one and say, you know, I just want you to lie.  And it wasn’t even about the progress we had made.  It was about what database we were using on the back end.  The contract specified that we needed to be using Oracle, and we were using Microsoft SQL Server.  And I was asked to conceal that and deceive the client so that they thought it was Oracle, by putting up fake screens and fake data, things like, I mean, it was an out-and-out…

BILL YATES:  Wow.

ANDY CROWE:  Yeah, yeah, yeah.  And it was kind of outrageous.  That’s the only time that’s ever really happened to me like that.  But it certainly did.  Interesting.

BILL YATES:  Yeah.  So…

JOSHUA SZAREK:  It becomes a slippery slope; doesn’t it?

ANDY CROWE:  It does.

BILL YATES:  It does, yeah.  And Joshua, and really Andy, I’d like to hear your opinion on this.  When I think of, okay, that’s a very obvious sign, if I have somebody saying code a fake window, then my integrity button’s going off; right?  The light is blinking.

ANDY CROWE:  But it’s just temporary, Bill.  They won’t notice.  They’ll be back on the plane before…

BILL YATES:  That’s right.

JOSHUA SZAREK:  It’s only a screenshot.

BILL YATES:  Yeah, that’s all. But there are subtle signs, too, that for a leader, again, for a project manager there are subtle signs that I get sometimes from a sponsor or from senior management that are going – they’re starting to erode the culture that we’ve tried to build on the team.  What are some other subtle signs, and then what do you do about it when those signs start to pop up?  What are some other signs that you guys have seen?

JOSHUA SZAREK:  I think you have to address them head on.  I think it’s interesting, not a lot of organizations do this.  Point first, a lot of organizations have values, and they’re usually something on a wall some place in the senior executives’ wing.  Not a lot of organizations are open to talking about them on a regular basis.  And that’s something that I have historically done with my teams is on a weekly basis, if not sooner, if something is happening, we talk about them, and we ask what is happening in your day-to-day life, both from a business perspective and a personal perspective, and how does that mirror your values?  Because if we’re not open about it, if you can’t share with your leaders, then something bad is definitely going to happen.

ANDY CROWE:  You know, it’s funny, Joshua, that you say that about having values, but not talking about them; or that they talk about them, but maybe they’re not representative.  We have ours on the wall, as well.  But we spend a lot of time talking about that, talking about what they mean for our organization.  And it becomes part of the culture in a very real way when you bring them up at performance reviews, when you weave them into the daily life of the company.  One of our values is outrageous customer service.  But that phrase gets used here almost daily, if not multiple times a day, that sometimes somebody will say, hey, why did you this?  Why did you – well, hey, it’s outrageous customer service.  And, you know, it’s hard to argue when you say that’s your core value.

JOSHUA SZAREK:  Yeah, it’s great because we actually, at one of my organizations, we actually gave out value awards once a quarter.  And it becomes a very large display among your peers.  This way other people are recognized in front of their peers and their leaders and the folks that work with them to recognize that these people are doing the right stuff.

ANDY CROWE:  Yeah, and you see organizations where it sounds like their corporate values were developed in a marketing focus group.  And you wonder, you know, is this really – I still remember one company I worked for, they said, “We work hard, and we play hard.”  And the people around the office said, “Is this our company?  We work hard.  What have we ever done that’s resembled play ever?  Tell me one thing we’ve ever done.”  And it was kind of funny to point that out.  But it sounds great.

BILL YATES:  Yeah.

ANDY CROWE:  You know what, Bill, to answer that question, I think also you have to look for – you have to make sure people are aligned to those values.  And that can be really tricky.  We talk about alignment a lot here at Velociteach.  And one of the tricky things about making sure people are aligned is that you may have that set up one day, and then it may drift.  So that now the very values that you had people aligned to, maybe outrageous customer service – but then people get motivated in different directions, you know, and so it changes.  It can cause problems.  You’ve got to constantly revisit how your organization matches up to those values.

JOSHUA SZAREK:  I completely agree.  And it goes now in the corporate world about hiring to values.  I’m a big believer that you can teach and train almost any skill set.  You can’t teach and train values or attitude.

ANDY CROWE:  I agree.

BILL YATES:  Yeah.  That’s such a solid point.  I’m a big fan of “The Ideal Team Player” by Patrick Lencioni.  And there, that’s really what he’s getting at is he draws an analogy with a story on the front half of the book, and the back half he’s talking about what are the takeaways here, how do we identify the right people to hire into positions on our teams or within our organizations?  And that’s it.  That’s the hard part.  Right?  There’s an assumption that, okay, if somebody has a certain level of education or a skill set, we can help take that to the next level.  But how do we make sure that person has integrity, is a humble team player, has a hunger about them?  Those are tough things to get at.

JOSHUA SZAREK:  Yes, they are.  And it’s hard to evaluate while you’re interviewing, so you have to be able to have those open-ended questions, talk about historical opportunities when they’ve been able to display that.  And you find very quickly when you start talking about values, if someone’s not a values-driven person, they don’t feel very comfortable in the conversation.

BILL YATES:  Right. Yes, that’s a good point.

NICK WALKER:  And Joshua, this sort of leads into something that you talk a lot about, I understand, and that’s what you call “PMA,” Positive Mental Attitude.  How does that play the role, the big role in all of this?

JOSHUA SZAREK:  Yeah, thank you.  I think, to me, positive mental attitude is really everything.  When I think about the three pillars, I always talk about how PMA is this cloud that surrounds the three pillars because, you know, attitude can’t be taught.  It can’t be trained.  This is something that you either have or you don’t.  And it really just looks at how someone approaches life and how someone takes all the negative that happens to them, that happens to all of us, and then how do you react to it?  That’s the key of positive mental attitude.

NICK WALKER:  How has that been personally for you?  How has that come about?

JOSHUA SZAREK:  Sure.  Well, you know, I’ve been, as you had mentioned earlier, I was in the military for a while and going through situations like Ranger School and experiencing some very hard times when they don’t treat you the best in that school.  And you have to think about how you’re going to react to what’s happening when you’re not being fed or when you’re overexerted or you’re not sleeping, and how you’re going to make it through the next day and see the bright side of something.  And quite honestly, combat’s the same way.  There are some really bad days, and you go through situations where you don’t know how you’re going to make it, and you’ve got to keep thinking that the next day is going to be better, and that you’re doing good for more than just yourself.

NICK WALKER:  And I hear a lot from people who have had parents who have been in the military and in leadership positions in the military.  And they often take that attitude, that “you’re going to do this, you’re going to do that” attitude, into their family.  But what you’re describing is something completely different.

JOSHUA SZAREK:  I am, I am.  And I think it’s something that you’ve got to experience.  And I think everybody goes through hard times.  And it’s how do you react to those hard times?  How do you make the best out of a situation; right?  So how do you make lemonade at all?  And the old adage.  And it’s really, it’s about you.  And when people see that energy, that positive mental attitude, they get attracted to you.  We all probably have heard from our parents, “Birds of a feather flock together.”  And it’s very true.  And I think PMA is the same way.  You’d be hard pressed to find people who are negative in a positive team because they filter themselves out eventually.

ANDY CROWE:  You know what, Joshua, probably the best book I ever read, I think I’ve referenced it on this podcast before, is “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl.  And he was a World War II Holocaust survivor, Auschwitz camp survivor.  And he said he figured out really quickly when he got to Auschwitz, he said the guards could take away every possession I had.  The only thing they couldn’t take away was my internal response.  They couldn’t take away my own attitude.  And he started looking around the camp at who lived and who died, and so much of it came down to attitude.

So I’ve got a question for you.  You know, when I look at your bio, you’re a mechanical engineer, and you’re a Six Sigma Black Belt.  And so I would make some immediate inferences based on that, that you’re sort of a left-brain logical guy.  And yet you come across as a very personable guy.  How would you put yourself on that continuum?  And then I’ve got a follow-up question for you.

JOSHUA SZAREK:  Okay.  So it’s interesting because I do have the hard science background.  And a quick funny story:  When I was in my ROTC coursework in college, that was actually a concern of mine because I didn’t want to become an engineer.  I wanted to be an infantry officer and help serve, protect, and save lives.  My colonel at the time actually had to call down to my branch manager and plead, please do not put this guy as an engineer.  He will not be happy.

ANDY CROWE:  How about that.

JOSHUA SZAREK:  So it literally took a personal phone call because otherwise they typecast you.  And what I mean by that is, for example, those two degrees, I would have gotten typecast.  And in the military, no one ever knew I was an engineer.

ANDY CROWE:  So I get that aspect.  I have an affinity for that.  I’m a Six Sigma Black Belt, as well.  Don’t have an engineering background, but I was a software developer for a long time.  So I guess they’re kind of third cousins, in a way.  But the Six Sigma, you know, these are all data-driven things; and yet you talk about your PMA, and you talk about people a lot.  Tell me, when it comes to leadership, how the people side influences it?

JOSHUA SZAREK:  It’s huge.  The data analytics part is crucial because I can use that side of my brain, as you said, to make quick decisions.  At the same time, the people side, you really have to slow down because you’re dealing with humans; you’re dealing with emotions; you’re dealing with people that respond.  As opposed to data, which we all know is just black and white.  So that’s part of where I think the leadership, the PMA is very helpful because you can take what is black and white and say, “Yes, I understand what the decision should be.  It’s not what the decision is going to be.”  And very often they are different.  And you have to be able to go with what is called your “gut feeling”; right?  They call your gut the “second brain.”  And they call it that for a good reason.

ANDY CROWE:  My wife is very good about reminding me when I present her with some issue I’m having at work or elsewhere, present her with data.  And she says, “Yeah, but you’re dealing with human beings.”  And it’s always a great reminder; you know?  And that’s not even a sort of a Mr. Spock, that these are flawed human beings.  That’s more just saying, hey, people are complicated.  You know, people have different needs, and they’re not all completely logical and rational all the time.

JOSHUA SZAREK:  Absolutely.

BILL YATES:  Joshua, there’s a concept I want to ask you about.  And I think you and I are wired similarly in that we both see the positive side in people.  And I tend to assume a team is healthy until I see proof otherwise.  So I tend to think, well, I’m feeling good, so the team must be happy with our progress or happy with the work, as well.

So there was an author, it was actually Ed Catmull in “Creativity, Inc.”  He’s the president of Pixar and Disney Studios.  He had a chapter dedicated to the problem of blind spots.  And really it hit me right between the eyes because, as a leader, sometimes I assume, well, things are good for me, you know, I’m feeling pretty good in my world.  So I may overlook or not be aware of issues that are perhaps right under the surface with the team.  What are some efforts that you undertake to make sure that you’re not suffering from blind spots as a leader?

JOSHUA SZAREK:  That is a really good question.  And it’s interesting, we talk about blind spots a lot.  And we use this example:  If you’re looking straight forward, and you do not turn your head left to right, you can basically see about 180 degrees.  That means that you have an entire 180 degrees behind you that you cannot see.  And it’s when you start to realize that you’re missing half at least of every opportunity or what’s really happening underneath the surface, is when you start to bring in coaches, and you start to bring in mentors because they can stand behind you, and they can see that blind spot.  And then they have mentors and coaches behind them.  So it’s always a great idea to have other leaders assess you from an angle that you can’t see.

BILL YATES:  That’s good.

ANDY CROWE:  That’s fantastic.  I thought Bill was going to say that, because he didn’t have any blind spots, he assumed that nobody else did, either.

BILL YATES:  That’s it, yeah.  Yeah, Josh, I just want to add to that.  I like that, again, it kind of gets back to the leader setting the right example.  If I am able to say to my team, hey, I have a mentor, I have a coach, I have someone who steps into my meetings every now and then or gives me feedback on communication that I’ve provided my team, then I think that sets a fine example for those that I’m leading that it’s okay to not pretend like you’ve got everything figured out.  There’s humility in that that I think grows the leader, so I like that.

JOSHUA SZAREK:  Absolutely.  You know, and it’s actually a concept that’s been embraced by the leadership, and it’s being open to others so that they can be open to you.

BILL YATES:  Yup.

NICK WALKER:  Joshua, we’ve touched on this, but just looking at your background, you know, in the military, then the oil and gas industry, then in healthcare, and then in real estate, that doesn’t seem like a common career path for most people.  I mean, people might look at that and say those are completely separate types of environments, completely separate cultures.  But yet you’re talking about common things to all of these.  So maybe from the outside, those of us who would say, “How did that career path take place,” it sounds like maybe it’s fairly natural for you.

JOSHUA SZAREK:  Well, yeah.  I basically have learned that the unnatural has become natural for me in my career.  For example, the education I’ve been very honored to be able to partake in, most of those don’t go together.  As you had mentioned, engineering and business, or marketing and finance.  They just don’t normally mesh.  And so when I think about that in this context of my career, I have moved toward opportunities where I thought I could be a help to a team, to an organization, and quite honestly to my country.  And so I have found myself in those roles for better or for worse.  And no matter where I have been, I have taken away quite a bit and have ideally helped myself grow, which then I can help someone else grow.

NICK WALKER:  Can we talk a little bit about one of these pillars specifically?  The pillar of education, I’m curious about that because obviously you’re talking about more than just earning PDUs to recertify here.

JOSHUA SZAREK:  Yes.

NICK WALKER:  What encompasses that one pillar of education?

JOSHUA SZAREK:  I think education is, as you had mentioned, definitely much broader than just bookwork.  I think education goes into that concept of lifelong learner because we are never going to be perfect.  That’s just not how we’re wired.  And I think the first thing is to be open with ourselves to understand that we’re not perfect, and that we need to learn from our mistakes, and we need to learn from others and be open to that and be willing to learn.

NICK WALKER:  So it’s becoming clearer to me why these leadership, education, and communication are not completely separate, but there is a continuum there.

JOSHUA SZAREK:  There is.  It’s very much like a three-legged stool.  Without one, the stool still falls over.

NICK WALKER:  Joshua, we have been honored to have this chance to talk with you.  And we want you to know that here on Manage This we do not allow our guests to go away empty-handed; all right?  So we have a gift for you.  This is part of our outrageous customer service; okay?

JOSHUA SZAREK:  Outstanding.

NICK WALKER:  This Manage This mug.  We are going to put it in the mail and make sure you get it with our thanks.

JOSHUA SZAREK:  Excellent.  Well, it’s been my honor, and thank you for having me.

ANDY CROWE:  Thank you, Joshua.

NICK WALKER:  Lastly, Joshua, how can listeners connect with you, either by email, on the web, social media?  What’s the best way?

JOSHUA SZAREK:  You know, honestly, any method is fine.  I’ve always had a 24-hour response rate at all of my teams.  So no matter who sends me an email, calls me, a text or a smoke signal, I always respond within 24 hours.

NICK WALKER:  Well, thanks so much, Joshua.  Andy and Bill, as always, thanks for your guidance and expertise, as well.

We here at Manage This believe your time has great worth.  And we want to reward you for listening to this podcast with free PDUs, Professional Development Units, toward your recertifications.  To claim your free PDUs, go to Velociteach.com and select Manage This Podcast from the top of the page.  Click the button that says Claim PDUs, and just click through the steps.

Well, that’s it for us here on Manage This.  In the meantime, you can visit us at Velociteach.com/managethis to subscribe to this podcast, to see a transcript of the show, or to contact us.  And tweet us at @manage_this if you have any questions about our podcasts or about project management certifications.  We always like hearing from you.

That’s all for this episode.  Thanks for joining us.  Until next time, keep calm and Manage This.

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