Fostering Transparency and Vulnerability in Forums with Jesus de la Garza

Fostering Transparency and Vulnerability in Forums with Jesus de la Garza

Brent Peterson (00:02.254)
Welcome to this episode of Uncharted Entrepreneurship. Today I have Jesus De La Garza. He is with E .L. Monterey. Jesus, introduce yourself, tell us your company, your day -to -day role, and one of your passions.

Jesus (00:15.88)
Thank you, Brett. Thank you for the invitation and hello everybody. I'm based in Monterrey, Mexico. I've been in EO 25 years. This last February, I turned 25 years as a member. So I'm very proud and honored to be part of the organization for this long. I have two businesses. I sell steel. I represent two companies in Mexico and I manage the steel businesses for them for the past 30 years now. And I also do consulting.

And the consulting is a combination between coaching, mentoring, counseling, and consulting. So it's like a combination of the four disciplines. That's what I do.

Brent Peterson (00:58.35)
And passion, tell us your passion.

Jesus (01:00.616)
well, my passion, I have several, but one you know is I like scuba diving. And I like scuba diving. Now lately I've been doing scuba diving in caves and I've been having a blast with that. And I'm looking for my next cave dive.

Brent Peterson (01:13.998)
Yeah, I...

Sure. So it's not scuba diving necessarily in caves off the ocean. A lot of times it's in caves in the middle of somewhere in Mexico, let's say, right?

Jesus (01:28.328)
Yeah, because the South Mexico, the Yucatan state and Quintana Roo state are places where you have what is called cenotes, which are sweet water caves. And it's very interesting. Basically, in Yucatan, like it's a little bit far away from the ocean, is sweet water. And in Quintana Roo, the cenotes there have a combination between sweet water and salt water.

And when the two waters join, it makes an effect like a cloud. So it's very interesting to see that.

Brent Peterson (02:03.342)
Yeah, I think a lot of people might find it scary to go into a hole in the earth and then go underwater in the dark and the water and wearing gear and we won't go into it all right now, but it's very interesting.

Jesus (02:11.048)

Jesus (02:17.288)
Yeah, it brings me back to my mother's belly, right? It reminds me inside my mother's belly. So it's always very grateful. I'm grateful that I can do that and remember that, like a deja vu.

Brent Peterson (02:20.75)

Brent Peterson (02:28.59)
Yeah, that's good. So Jesus, before we get started, you have graciously volunteered to be part of the free joke project. I'm going to tell you a joke. All you have to do is give me a rating for the joke one through five. and I should have thought about it. I had a Spanish joke, but I'm going to tell you one in English. Before I die, I'm going to eat a whole bag of unpopped popcorn.

Jesus (02:43.56)

Brent Peterson (02:56.558)
That should make the cremation a little more interesting.

Brent Peterson (03:04.494)
Okay, great, thank you. Good, all right. Just, yes, please.

Jesus (03:09.512)
Let me tell you a story about that. I was in the pyramids in Mexico City, Teotihuacan. Yeah, you know the pyramids there? And I was fortunate enough to meet with the chief archaeologist there. And they discovered a cave. They discovered a tunnel underneath the pyramids.

Brent Peterson (03:17.934)
Yes, I've been there.

Jesus (03:32.488)
And the reason they discovered this was a very rainy day and all of a sudden there was a cave in and the garden was a hole in the middle of the garden. So he went in and he discovered a tunnel inside the pyramids, which is very interesting because the chamber of the tunnel is exactly the tip. It's exactly at the same time at the tip of the pyramid. And I ask him, what is the most exotic thing you have found here? Because they found a lot of things there.

They don't know the civilization that was there. They don't know because it was prior to the Aztecs and prior to anything. It was like maybe 400 years before Christ. And he said to me, the most strange thing that I found here is a popcorn.

Brent Peterson (04:15.662)
Wow, okay, yeah.

Jesus (04:16.248)
And he showed it to me. It was a black popcorn. Yeah. They had these holes in the tunnel where they put fire so they can light the tunnel. And apparently they threw corn into the fire so they have the popping. And that made a very experience or something. But that was very interesting to know.

Brent Peterson (04:21.39)

Brent Peterson (04:38.094)
Yeah, that's very interesting. So popcorn's been a lot and they didn't have any movies to watch either.

Jesus (04:43.784)
No, no movies to watch.

Brent Peterson (04:47.406)
All right, so I want to dive in here. I like the, so you approach facilitation a little differently. And I just went through some training with you and it was very, I thought it found it very interesting. Tell us a little bit about the facilitation process and tell us why it's good to always have a facilitator. You're learning something new and especially maybe in your forum group, why it's important to bring somebody in to help.

with some of that process.

Jesus (05:19.496)
Yes, first it's important to clarify, Brett, that I don't think always, maybe it's every other time. Always is not something that I will encourage. But from my perspective, the role of the facilitator is to highlight the identity of the group. Groups already have identities, but they don't realize that they have it.

So from an outsider perspective, it's easier to highlight and activate the identity of the group. And why is this critical? The identity of the groups creates a higher sense of belonging and creates also a higher engagement or disengagement. So when groups have clarity on their identity,

people can engage to the identity or can disengage from it. Like for example, I have a forum in the US, I told you that, that the identity of that group is to age together.

So because we have clarity on the identity, we know what the group is about. So we know how to behave. We know how to engage. We know how to invite new people to join or tell people not to join because we are in that process. The other forum that I belong to in Mexico, we like adventure. So we have taken decisions of letting people go.

because they don't like adventure as much. But the identity of that group is adventure. And so people who like adventure are welcome, and people who don't like adventure are not welcome. So I work with different forums, for example, forums that have been more into business growth. And one of them said, OK, if you don't have EOS implemented in your business,

Jesus (07:26.28)
you're not welcome to the group. So that's more like building up on the identity. You can be very successful, you can be a qualifying member, but if you don't have certain characteristics, you will not be welcome to the group because the group has this identity. And I think the facilitator role is to highlight that identity and to highlight the values and highlight the way that the...

forum behaves or the group behaves, because this is applicable also for companies. When I am hired to facilitate executive team meetings, this is what I tell them, hey, I'm here to highlight what you already are, but you're not aware of it. It's like bringing awareness to the group. And that awareness seems to have a higher level of engagement.

Brent Peterson (08:16.75)
Yeah, would you? Yeah, go ahead.

Brent Peterson (08:23.15)
Would you relate that to even when an organization is hiring people that you would like them to hire people to their core values? So if you bring it to a broader spectrum for a company, your mission, core values, your vision, all those should be aligned with all your employees. The same thing should apply in your leadership team and your small groups and your forums. All those should apply across all those different parts and disciplines.

Jesus (08:32.2)

Jesus (08:52.552)
I fully agree. And the question there, Brent, is let's say in my company, okay, my company is a service company and the tagline is we want to provide a concierge service. We're not in the hospitality business, we're in the steel business, but we want to provide a concierge service. So anything that has to do with providing concierge service is welcome.

Anything that is not providing concert service with put away. So when when I hire a new person to the staff, I say, hey, what is your view of providing a concert service? Give me your view about it. What are you going to do about it? And I have a conversation around that with the person. And from that, we both can decide if he or she or they are suitable or not. Yeah, so it's not like this is the values and you need to meet the values in more height.

What is your interpretation of the values? And what are you gonna do to embrace those values? That will be more the conversation rather than yes or no, yeah?

Brent Peterson (10:03.246)
Yeah, that's a good point. Tell us a little bit about how that then goes into other parts of the leadership team, even looking outside of EO, how do you help larger companies navigate that process?

Jesus (10:19.24)
Yeah, for example,

This is part of the company culture. And that is the word culture now is very used now in companies. More people use it. That is more common now. But what we talk about culture is, hey, let's talk about the values on a day -to -day basis. How are we meeting the value? So what I've been doing with a company for the past two and a half years, for example, is we revise the values. And we put teams like ambassadors.

for each of the values and each ambassador team is promoting the value on a regular basis and they bring some plans to do that.

all of the sudden the values that were in a frame, in a very nice frame in the wall, all of the sudden those values came to life. Because now everybody's talking about it, they have campaigns around the values, and there's a meeting around the values, and people are talking about it. And that, how you say, day -to -day conversation about values creates a higher sense of belonging to the company.

Jesus (11:30.088)
The train is passing by, sorry.

Brent Peterson (11:31.246)
Yeah, good. All right. Yeah. Jesus, I'm going to put it into low data mode because we are getting a little bit of a breakup on the internet. So the our cameras are still on. I'm going to edit this part out, but our cameras are still on. But this should help us on getting a little choppy every once in a while. Not not nothing to do with the train horn, but OK, so let's let's go back to.

Let's go back to values. Let's start there. I like that EOS is, you know, that's one of the things that EOS does and a lot of entrepreneurs will have their values up on the wall. But I think a lot of times they kind of forget that over time. Important is that for somebody to come in outside of an EOS implementer and help the team.

do the things that are outside of what EOS teaches. And I guess maybe it's more cultural rather than the business framework. Do you understand my question?

Jesus (12:42.856)
Yes, I call myself, Brent, EOS complementator because I complement what EOS does. And usually the companies that I work with have EOS implemented or some kind of system implemented, but they forget about the human side and they forget about the value side, like the cultural side. So that's where I come in and try to align those. So the importance of having clarity on the values.

read this, not when things are going well, when things are going well, everybody's happy and going well. But when in moments of confusion, when the person has a moment of confusion, what to do in a situation and the boss is not around or they don't have clarity on what to do, that's when the values are important. Because then the person can relate, hey, I don't know what to do, but let me think about the value and let me take a decision around the value. Let me embrace that value.

That's the idea, ideally, when the values go all the way down to the organization, where people can be more autonomous and can be thinking about values and how to promote them and how to build on those when there's a moment of confusion, not when there's a moment of joy or of happiness.

Brent Peterson (14:08.334)
Do you feel as though, I wanna kind of just touch on the idea that you said when everything's going well, maybe it's not as important, but does that sometimes lead to some laziness, meaning, hey, everything's going great, let's just leave it and we're not reexamining things?

Jesus (14:23.62)
Yes. High performance groups, right, question themselves on a continuous basis, how can they improve? How can they improve towards the direction that they chose to take? So for high performance groups, two things are crucial is having a clear sense of direction and having a clear sense of identity. So the group needs to know what the group is about and the group needs to know where the group is going. And

When the group is know where the group is going, they need to question themselves on a continuous basis, how can they improve towards that direction? And let me give you an example. Last year, I was consulting a company that wanted to increase 20 % sales and 20 % profit. So once we agree on that, it's OK, this is going to be the campaign or the theme. This is applicable for forums on the theme of the year.

I do it on campaigns for companies. So the campaign was, we're going to increase 20 % sales and 20 % profit. So every daily meeting, every weekly meeting, every other week meeting, or every monthly meeting, the first question in the agenda was, what you did today, or this week, or this month, to impact and to help the 20 % sales and 20 % profit increase.

And because that was the first question asked on the agenda, everybody needed to contribute something towards it. After the first month of doing that, they hit the 20 % profit and 20 % sales increase, and they've been hitting it since then because they ask themselves on a continuous basis, how can they improve towards that objective? Because the direction is very clear.

Brent Peterson (16:18.19)
Yeah, that's very good. Tell us your approach. You have a conversational approach rather than a slideshow approach. And I think even when we started, you said you weren't going to use slides. And I really did enjoy the approach of having more of a conversational learning style rather than a, I don't know, direct slide presentation. Do it this way, learning style. Tell us.

how you came up with that and how effective it's been for your different students.

Jesus (16:51.432)
I believe that conversations can change the world. So if you and I have this conversation and the conversation changes your idea of something, that you can have an impact in your community and that impact in your community eventually can change the world. So I'm a believer that conversations can change the world.

And I understand that we have head conversations and heart conversations. And that's one of the topics that I do on my speaking engagements. I did this in GLC and I've been working with other groups on that. So it's like the conversation, if the person doesn't feel any threat, the brain, when the brain doesn't feel any threat, the conversation can go, how you say, easier.

to impact the behavior of the person rather than when I show you this is the content, you need to read the content, that the brain somehow blocks that rather than being more subtle. I believe in subtle changes also. So conversations can lead to subtle changes and that sort of changes can lead to transformation on the person and then the community and that can impact the world at the end of the day.

So I am a believer on having what I call transformational conversations. And that's the way I do it. In order for that to happen effectively, you need to be mindful from the facilitator standpoint to be open that the conversation may go one way or the other way.

You're not it's not like a linear conversation but it doesn't it doesn't matter from my perspective because if I achieve the end objective which is for plant a seed in you or or How you say plant a seed or water a seed in you that you already have? Just bring some curiosity to the table. That's the objective not not to learn hard data But to make you curious about it and then you can research in a different moment

Jesus (19:05.992)
So my approach is, hey, this is what I do. This is what I've learned. This is some examples. And get you curious to keep digging. And in case you have more questions, you can always come back to me. So adult education.

Brent Peterson (19:22.766)
Yeah, I think the other thing that you helped us understand is that, yeah, go ahead.

Jesus (19:28.264)
No, no, no.

Brent Peterson (19:33.838)
One other thing you helped us understand was that you want to always come out of these sessions with some actions that you can take rather than some theory that you can think about because a lot of times people just think about it and never do anything with it. How do you challenge those people to do those actions?

Jesus (19:51.592)
Yeah, action and perception of value are linked together. In other words, if you invested three or four hours in a session and you don't get an action after the session, it's going to be very hard for you to perceive value of it. So you need to be mindful to have some actions after so that you're perceiving value from that. So.

The point I was gonna make before that was that adult education has three aspects that are crucial. First is the concept aspect, then is an example, and then is practice. So if you hit those three aspects on adult education, the information remains in the person 80 % more time than if you don't.

In other words, if you remember the conversation and the session we had, I use those three aspects all the time. Hey, this is the concept, this is an example, and let's practice. And that practice is the action. Yeah? So that way, the person, if the person doesn't remember the concept, may remember the example, and if they don't remember the example, may remember the practice. So you're hitting three different aspects at the same time.

Brent Peterson (21:16.046)
Yeah, that's so good. I think that we all forget, especially going into some kind of a training that that's going to happen. I think that's it's not unique to EO and certainly as in the accelerator program, at least in Minnesota, the accelerator program is really big on quarterly day and lots of actions coming out of that for the listeners that are listening that aren't in EO. Tell us some, some of those things that the benefits of

joining and even as a less than a million dollar revenue company, why they should join Accelerator.

Jesus (21:56.232)
Well, Accelerator is a program that gives a package, like packs a lot of different ways and tools to get your business to the next level. And there's a big team of people, and I'm very proud. I was part of the original team of Accelerator, and I was in charge of the people piece. And I put some time and...

knowledge and hours into putting these people piece together. So it's a package that doesn't have any affiliation. In other words, it's a very broad packages from the different topics that we as entrepreneurs have tried in our business and we think that is useful. So it's like a very condensed package for people to go and use it in your business to get it to the next level. It's not like one.

mentality or one like if you go to a school, if you go, let's say to Cornell or you go to Harvard or Stanford, they have their own way to do the management. In this case, in the accelerator package, we have a very diverse base from experiences that have worked and a very diverse base of tools that have worked. So you're putting in one place a lot of different pieces from different.

universities and different researchers and also from the practical standpoint that have been useful for us to grow our business. So it's like a combination of many different theoretical backgrounds, but put it in one package so people can digest it and use it. So I highly recommend it to join the accelerator program because of that. If that person is looking for one way of thinking or one way of

university that's a trend, then Accelerator may not be the right program.

Brent Peterson (23:57.006)
If you were to give, and we don't give advice, we experience share, but if you were to give some kind of experience that has been successful in the forum experience for other EO members, what would be that thing that you would tell people to explore in this next year coming up? I think the year starts in July for EO. There's going to be many new members that are joining or now that some members that have left.

What would be that thing that you would encourage all the forums to practice in their forum?

Jesus (24:33.48)
I will highlight the importance of the uniqueness. In other words, forum has a unique component that other groups or other spaces around me don't have. Like having forum is not the same relationship or the same space that I show with my friends from high school or from my friends from the steel industry or from my friends from the...

coaching school. So, FORUM has a uniqueness and that uniqueness has to do with transparency. So, in order for us to have a fully experience, to have a full perception of value of the experience of FORUM, we need to work on transparency. And I don't have any other outlet within my...

different groups that I belong to where I can show myself transparently and vulnerable. So I think promoting transparency and maybe transparency doesn't come easy because we need to practice it and we need to be very, there's a lot of reflection involved, preparation becomes a key component. But I think having clarity on if the forum is a space where I can show myself transparent or vulnerable.

And I like to use the word more transparent than vulnerable because sometimes the word vulnerable sends a message of weakness. But transparent is a more neutral word. So in order for me to show myself transparent, I need to prepare because usually transparency is not on top of mind. It's somewhere in the bottom of mind. And I need to have some time to reflect on it and show myself transparent to the group. That will be my invitation. And that will be...

the uniqueness of that space, of the forum space.

Brent Peterson (26:33.23)
That's great. Hey Zeus, we have a few minutes left. As I close out the podcast, I give my guests a chance to do a shameless plug about anything they'd like. What would you like to plug or promote today?

Jesus (26:45.288)
Well, first of all, I want to thank you for the invitation, Brett, and I want to tell you how I got here. I facilitated a retreat for a forum in Minnesota, and I was the third choice of facilitation. I got the request, and two other trainers got the request, and finally those two other trainers couldn't make it, and I was the one who could make it.

And after that facilitation, the people like the way I facilitated, they invited me to go and do a moderator training. And because of that moderator training, I'm here with you today. It's like a chain of events. So what I want to highlight is that those chains of events can get you very far, have gotten me very far. So I want to promote that. So it's like, enjoy EO.

try to get in, you never know where the journey will take you. But within EO, I feel very confident that I can just keep going and keep going. I was invited six months ago or eight months ago to facilitate some conversations between Jews and Muslims within EO. It's called the HOPE group. And I'm very proud of that group because people have found that they have more in common than differences.

and I've been facilitating those conversations and I'm very proud of that. So EO has given me a lot of opportunity to...

I would say to play and experiment things that normally I would not do in any other space. So I'm inviting you to try that as a member. And if you want to invite me to one of your forum sessions, or if you want to invite me to have a conversation or a coaching session, I'll be happy to help out. I'm here to help.

Brent Peterson (28:46.254)
That's great. Thank you. And I'm sure we'll see each other in Honolulu next April for GLC.

Jesus (28:53.064)
Yes, yes, I am. Last year in Singapore, I was invited as a speaker, so I'm hoping that they invite me back again in Honolulu. Yeah.

Brent Peterson (29:02.83)
That's great. I just want to touch in on how important those relationships are. And a lot of, not a lot, but there's a group of business people or entrepreneurs that believe that they can do everything on their own. And a lot of entrepreneurs don't value relationships. And especially in the Zoom culture, relationships sometimes have gotten set aside.

how important the human touch is and how important building those relationships is and just staying in touch with your friends and family and business acquaintances and then visiting them in person. It's such an important part of our life and it goes beyond even our business. So I thank you for that. Thank you, Jesus.

Jesus (29:48.296)
Yeah, one of the things that I do when I do these speaking engagements and the biggest challenge I've had was with 250 people. I welcome everybody to my conference and I hand check everybody before they come in and I say, hey, welcome to my conference. So from the moment they come to the conference, they feel that it's a different thing. And their brain is wondering what is gonna happen.

So having that human touch is important and is crucial in this type of moments. Now, when a person believes that they can do everything on their own, they can. But it's going to be limited. And if you understand that you can be helped and that you can be encouraged and that you can be inspired and that you can be supported from somebody else, that...

you can maximize more your talents rather than being, you are being yourself, you're putting yourself in your own straight jacket rather than maximize your talents.

Brent Peterson (30:53.198)
That's perfect. Jesus de la Garza, I will put all their contact information in the show notes. It's been such a pleasure to speak to you today. I would encourage any forum members that are planning a retreat to reach out to Jesus. And if you're doing remote sessions or you want to have as a, if you need a facilitator as a company outside of EO, I would also encourage you to reach out to Jesus. Thank you so much for being here today.

Jesus (31:23.176)
Thank you, Brent. I appreciate the invitation and have a nice weekend.

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