I’m wondering if you have some great employees that are not interested in starting their own business, but have some great ideas? How can you help harness those ideas and develop that talent?
Our guest today is Luis Baez, and he shares with us his insights on helping business leaders implement intrapreneurship programs.
Think of yourself as an Olympic Athlete. At some point you can no longer compete as an athlete, but you can become a coach or trainer.
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ABOUT OUR GUEST:
Luis Báez is a Revenue Enablement Strategist + Sales Coach dedicated to serving executives and sales leaders at businesses.
In 2017, after years of working in some of the biggest Silicon Valley startups (think LinkedIn, Google, Uber, Tesla, and more), Luis began to teach impassioned business owners how to scale their revenues and impact by creating and selling high-end offers. During that time, he was also invited to speak about leadership and personal branding at business schools across the country including Stanford, UC Berkeley and Bard.
ABOUT BIG SKY FRANCHISE TEAM:
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Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (00:01):
Welcome to the Multiply Your Success podcast, where each week we help growth-minded entrepreneurs and franchise leaders take the next step in their expansion journey. I’m your host, Tom DuFore, CEO of Big Sky Franchise team. And over the course of the last 20-plus years or so, I’ve spent my career helping business owners franchise their company. Then in turn, those owners go and sell franchises to budding entrepreneurs in helping them launch your own business. But what if you have some great employees that are not interested in starting their own business, but they have some great ideas. And how can you help harness those ideas and develop the talent that exists in your organization currently?
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (00:46):
Well, our guest today is Luis Baez, and he shares with us his insights on helping business leaders implement intrapreneurship programs within their company. Now, Luis is a revenue enablement strategist and sales coach dedicated to serving executives and sales leaders at businesses. In 2017, after working for some of the largest and biggest Silicon Valley startups, think companies like LinkedIn, Google, Uber, Tesla and more, Luis began to teach and passion business owners how to scale their revenues and impact by creating and selling high-end offers. During that time, he was also invited to speak about leadership and personal branding at business schools across the country, including Stanford, UC Berkeley, and Bard. So let’s go ahead and jump right into my interview with Luis as we’re about midway through the initial part of the interview here.
Luis Baez, Pa’Lante Ventures, LLC (01:39):
I am a revenue enablement strategist, and so I sit at that intersection of sales, marketing and operations and creating all the processes, tools, and content that are needed to facilitate really productive conversations with customers and clients.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (01:54):
Ah, great. So revenue enablement specialist, those are a lot of words together. So break that down a little bit. What does that mean from a practical application standpoint?
Luis Baez, Pa’Lante Ventures, LLC (02:05):
Imagine if you are on the line with a customer, they’ve got hesitations about working with you, questions about your product or service. They need visuals, they need audio, they need proof, they need case studies. All of those things coupled with the skills and confidence to deliver them are really where I sit. That’s my wheelhouse. And so through training, coaching, and performance-focused measurement, we look at that opportunity to enable people to have healthier and productive conversations with customers by designing a buying experience that meets the customer exactly where they expect to be met, that facilitates their desired outcome, and the timeframe that they desire as well. So we take all those factors into defining what that revenue enablement strategy looks like.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (02:56):
Very interesting. Well, one of the things that I found interesting in preparing for our discussion and interview and really a topic I’ve always been fascinated by is this concept of intrapreneurship. And based off of your specialty and your expertise really seems geared up and perfectly placed to help grow this concept of intrapreneurship. So as a starter, I’d love for you to talk a little bit about what that intrapreneurship, just what it is for our audience.
Luis Baez, Pa’Lante Ventures, LLC (03:24):
So intrapreneurship is a culture, a mindset, and a work ethic where borrowing that sort of self-motivated, self-guided energy and thinking and impulse from entrepreneurship, and we’re infusing that mindset and culture within an organization. So we’re enabling and empowering people within a company, within an organization to show up and perform like bosses, like stakeholders in the business. We give them full permission to do what they need to do, we give them all the tools to get it done, and then we create a culture that celebrates that level of performance and self-motivation. So intrapreneurship is really, it’s a shift from the traditional top-down sort of way of running an organization and leading a team instead stepping into a more servant leadership and coaching sort of position when you think about your role in enabling your team to become intrapreneurs.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (04:25):
Thank you for that description, and it’s something I always appreciated because there are great folks who are working at organizations, large companies that have great ideas, and I’ve often found that usually the people that are closest to either creating that product or service or working with those customers, they see the problems and come up with new ideas or solutions to solve those problems. And so I think often the culture at an organization can prohibit or really get in the way for those ideas to blossom. How do you help cultivate this concept? Because our audience tends to be what I describe as very successful entrepreneurs or they are franchise organizations. And so there’s this balance of, “Well, if they’re too entrepreneurial, does it kind of create headaches?” But at the same time, I also want them to help solve problems that exist. So how do you help cultivate that, I guess?
Luis Baez, Pa’Lante Ventures, LLC (05:24):
I’d like to address what you just brought up was like they’re too entrepreneurial, they’re too independent, or they might be doing too much on their own. I think we need to embrace the reality this day and age is that whomever works for you isn’t only working for you. They are by day doing what they need to do for you, and they’re moonlighting, right? They’re building a business on the side, they’re pursuing side hustles. Rather than having these intentions and desires at odds, why not embrace that person’s inner entrepreneur and let them shine at work?
Luis Baez, Pa’Lante Ventures, LLC (05:56):
And so when I approach and I step into a company that’s looking to make this radical shift in their culture to be performance-based and to step away from the old school way of doing things and embrace a newer way of doing things, I often am met with resistance at the top. While my MBA program and my leadership classes and all my mentors have told me to do things this way and that way and that way, great, that might’ve made sense before 2020. But this day and age, everything has shifted. And when you engage with customers, they’re far more prepared and clear about what it is that they’re expecting before they engage with your team. So your team has to show up in a very different way.
Luis Baez, Pa’Lante Ventures, LLC (06:37):
And I personally, as someone who is a business owner, I don’t have time to be in the weeds and to manage all the details and to be on top of everything and monitor every little thing. I need people who show up, know what they’re doing, run with their objectives. I make sure the objectives are clear and actually produce and deliver those results. And so when I step into a company and we’re talking about this aspiration of functioning this way, twofold is how the approach goals. On the one hand, I’m coaching all the leaders. I’m being better coaches and servant leaders to shift the way that they think, not to be authoritative and micromanaging, but instead to embrace what it looks like to just let people rock out.
Luis Baez, Pa’Lante Ventures, LLC (07:24):
Rather than having them smile to your face and pretend to be good employees while they’re doing their thing on the side, let’s just make their skills front and center. You already have this aspiration of someday going off on your own and running your own business. Why don’t you use this opportunity as your training wheels? Knowing that the average time that a person spends with the company is about 18 months, right? So you don’t want to relinquish control because you’re expecting people to stay with you for the long term. They’re not going to be with you for very long. There is no loyalty. People don’t stay with companies for 10 years like they used to. So while that person is with you, why not whistle while you work and let them contribute at their highest?
Luis Baez, Pa’Lante Ventures, LLC (08:06):
And so I’ve got to coach leaders on how to be good coaches, how to set up the right processes and systems to track performance, celebrate performance, develop all the content tools and processes that need to be in place so that people can thrive. Then there’s the other shift that needs to happen. I’ve got to sit down with employees, people with direct reports and folks who are used to very authoritative work environments where they’re being told what to do, they’re being cut the minute they don’t do what they’re told to do. I’ve got to instead inspire them to trust the process, to let go of the compulsion of being a good employee and instead be a radical boss, to be an owner in the business, to not forget that beyond the paycheck. They also might have equity in a company or in a business, which means that they are part owner. And as an owner, you make decisions, you speak up when you see things aren’t working, you bring that feedback about the product or service from the field in-house so that we have an opportunity to workshop, brainstorm, and improve and reiterate.
Luis Baez, Pa’Lante Ventures, LLC (09:10):
Showing up that way versus just clocking and clocking out and getting check has massive impact for everyone. Not only is that individual humming and contributing at their highest and most likely to stay with the business longer because they’re having that experience. The business then reaps the benefits from happier customers, happier engagement, greater lifetime value of each person that comes in through the door. Because overall, these customers are seen, heard, understood on a level that they’re not anywhere else. That culture internally shifts the experience that customers have as well.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (09:47):
Someone who’s listening in, they have a company, they’re a leader of an organization, why does this even matter to them? I’m doing my thing. Things are kind of moving along fairly well. What would you say to that?
Luis Baez, Pa’Lante Ventures, LLC (09:59):
Yeah, I think that if you look left and right and you talk to any business owner franchisee, anyone who’s in business right now, top of mind concern is really limited talent pool. It is hard to find good people who do good work and want to stay around. It’s also true that people don’t quit jobs. They quit managers. They quit toxic environments. They quit spaces where they’re not seen, heard, respected, where there’s no opportunity for growth. And growth isn’t always about a promotion. Not everyone wants to be a manager or vice president someday. Some people just want very specific additional responsibilities and very specific pay, and that’s their definition of growth. And so if you can’t provide that opportunity for them in-house and you want to scold them for pursuing things outside of your house, then you’re creating a really toxic situation and you’re back at square one, which is, it’s hard to find good people, it’s hard to find people who do good work, and it’s hard to find people who stick around.
Luis Baez, Pa’Lante Ventures, LLC (11:01):
And so if you are feeling the pain of that and you’re nodding your head as you’re listening to this, then yeah, I think it’s time to embrace a newer way of doing things. My whole influence around intrapreneurship and the way that I see things was because I spent time in Silicon Valley. It’s a radically different culture compared to other industries. And I also had time away from corporate. I didn’t really step into realizing that I was an intrapreneur until I became an entrepreneur. And I realized that I had been prepared for project management, relationship management, all those things that I was doing in-house prepared me to go out and do my own thing. But the realization I came to was that it was much easier when someone else took care of legal and marketing and all those other things for me. So I embraced intrapreneurship.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (11:45):
Point well taken. Your comment there about everybody who’s hiring or has hired or has staff knows that it is a challenge, and so why not create an environment that at the very least is not turning people away? Maybe eliminate one of those variables as to why someone might leave or why someone might not join your team. So this can become not only a way of keeping great talent, but also attracting, at least to me it would seem, like attracting that next prop of great potential hires.
Luis Baez, Pa’Lante Ventures, LLC (12:19):
Yeah, you’d be surprised. I often work with people who will accept an offer and then after the fact admit “This was just a little lower than what I wanted in terms of salary, but it just seems like the right place, the right environment for me to bring my whole self and contribute my highest.” I would not underestimate how important that is to people this day and age. I hear so many burnt out executives that will tell you, “I’ll gladly take a pay cut for peace of mind.”
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (12:46):
What might a first step or two be for a leader that’s listening and that says, “Boy, this sounds interesting. How can I get started? Do I have to radically change everything internally, which then makes it harder to want to implement?” Or are there maybe a few small steps someone could take to get this going?
Luis Baez, Pa’Lante Ventures, LLC (13:06):
Yeah, I think the first thing that a leader needs to do is step out of the way. If you know that you’re a bottleneck because you have to approve and review every little thing, that is the first sign that this is an opportunity for you to start infusing what it means to be entrepreneurship. And so if for example, you are a sales leader and all of your reps have to come to you for any approval on pricing, and that is delaying deals because you’re wrapped up in meetings, back-to-back meetings, you got an email in the morning, but you couldn’t get back to that pricing request until 3:00 P.M, that deal can go stale. You can lose that customer very quickly. And on top of that, you’ve created this environment of people needing to be obedient and constantly ask for permission and validation to do things.
Luis Baez, Pa’Lante Ventures, LLC (13:52):
The first thing that you can do is instead create policies around pricing thresholds. Give your reps clear guidance about what kind of discounting they can offer and the conditions that need to be met in order to offer such discounting without approval internally. Then all of a sudden you start to have people with more agency run with these deals, accelerate the revenues and drive those results. To top that off as a leader, you also need to vocally, visibly, publicly in front of the company, celebrate these kinds of behaviors and these kinds of wins. When you do all hands as a team or all hands as a company, call out those performances and those behaviors that you want to reinforce. That is how you start to get everyone to rally behind letting go of the older way of doing things, embracing the new ways of doing things, because you’ve given the hint that that’s what’s appreciated within an organization.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (14:55):
The thing I love about praise, it’s free. It doesn’t cost you anything.
Luis Baez, Pa’Lante Ventures, LLC (14:59):
Yeah, absolutely. People want to feel seen, heard, and understood. We’re working with companies and businesses, providing a lot more time and hours of our day to these businesses than we do to our families and friends and hobbies and interests. So while we’re in-house, make it worth our while. Make sure that you celebrate the things that we do, contribute. And redefine what success is. The success isn’t just hitting a revenue target. It’s also about the muscles that are developed, the skills and the confidence that are developed in the process. So rather than celebrating the milestone, applaud the journey.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (15:32):
Excellent advice. Well, Luis, this is a great time in the show where we make a transition and we ask every guest the same four questions before you go. And the first question we ask is, have you had a miss or two on your journey and something you learned from it?
Luis Baez, Pa’Lante Ventures, LLC (15:46):
Gosh, many, right? I think about opportunities where I could have shown up differently as an individual contributor or as a leader. And I think most recent experience for me in that same vein of I’m not a micromanager, I give everyone the agency to do the things that they need to do, I got ahead of myself and I forgot to check in with someone and just ask, “Do you have what you need?” Right. They weren’t used to my style of leadership. They were used to, again, that sort of top down experience. And so I had to learn from myself to not leave things to assumption and always check in and ask, “Do you have what you need to get this done?”
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (16:26):
Well, let’s look on the other side and talk about a make or two that you’ve had that you’d love to share with us.
Luis Baez, Pa’Lante Ventures, LLC (16:34):
In my earlier pursuit to run entrepreneurship, I was ready to throw the hat in. It was quite difficult. As I mentioned to you, I came to that realization that, “Oh, no one’s running my marketing and my legal and all these things for me.” I almost threw in the towel and I got a piece of advice from a friend. It’s like, “Hey, you have done great in your career. You’ve built a career beyond your wildest dreams. Most Olympians reach a point in their career where they don’t qualify for certain events and they stop being number one at what they do because someone else is innovative and people typically shy away from ever doing the sport again. But the real ones that are committed become the trainers.” And so I started to adopt that sort of mindset of I’m an Olympic trainer. I was an Olympian at one point in my career, and now I’m the trainer helping the next Olympian.
Luis Baez, Pa’Lante Ventures, LLC (17:32):
When that mindset shift happened, I showed up quite differently. I launched a new program in my business that was centered around exactly what it is that leaders wanted and needed and were asking me versus me trying to drive a different sort of agenda. And when I stepped into that Olympic trainer mindset and I started to listen to people, it allowed me to show up differently. And that’s where my business took off. That’s where I started to develop that reputation for like, “Oh, Luis is the coach. He’s the person. He’s the trainer you want to bring in for your team.”
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (18:09):
Luis, let’s talk about a multiplier. The name of the shows Multiply Your Success, and we get such a great variety of responses for this question. Have you used a multiplier to grow yourself personally, professionally, businesses you’ve been a part of? I’d love to hear what you have to say.
Luis Baez, Pa’Lante Ventures, LLC (18:24):
Yeah. Gosh. I’m going to say that on the business side, a massive multiplier for me in terms of being able to have greater impact and even being able to have global impact within a company at scale, revenue intelligence tools. So there are so many tools that will plug into reps as calls, listen in, scan the transcript, feed out ideas for how to improve performance or next steps for following through with that customer or client. I didn’t embrace these tools early in my career, number one, because I hated listening to myself. And so whenever someone else was like, “Oh, I hate listening to my own voice and my own calls,” yes, I get it. And I was really in the weeds with coaching and training people individually one-on-one. It was a lot of time invested when I would step into organizations and do that. And so implementing this tool allowed me to coach at scale globally and be able to provide coaching for everyone on the team within a day versus having to drag out my coaching sessions over two weeks to be able to serve everyone on the team.
Luis Baez, Pa’Lante Ventures, LLC (19:31):
And so I would say that that is the key sort of multiplier for me, is embrace the technology and the tools that are now available to do business more efficiently. There’s a lot of fear and hesitation around like, “Oh, we’re about to lose our jobs to all these AI solutions and all these things.” But I’m also seeing a shift that’s happening, is that the people who are more productive and making a higher contribution are the ones that are embracing it. In tandem, those people who are afraid of embracing these technologies are also starting their TikTok on the side and finding other ways of making their highest contribution. So I would say it’s actually a great thing that’s happening. There’s change and there’s certainly innovation that’s happening.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (20:16):
That’s a great point you bring up. And I’ve seen it in myself and other clients I’ve worked with over the years. Even the technology that’s available to just the masses that’s affordable or free in many cases, it’s all prevalent and readily available where you don’t have to create some custom-built software program system thing. Certainly you can, but there are so many out of the box or available systems that you can plug right into.
Luis Baez, Pa’Lante Ventures, LLC (20:45):
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (20:47):
Well, Luis, the final question we ask every guest is, what does success mean to you?
Luis Baez, Pa’Lante Ventures, LLC (20:52):
Success for me is about having control of my time. It’s about not doing the things that need to be done because I have to do them. But instead, these are the things that I want to do. This is how I want to be spending my time. This is how I want to be spending my days. These are the projects that I want to be involved in, the companies I want to work with, the customers I want to serve. Being in that position for me is a measure of success because I am someone that grew up in poverty, came up and did what I had to do to get to where I am. And it was always for me a matter of time. Not having control over my time, not having enough time to sleep. I’m not having enough time for hobbies, friends, family, and spending my time doing things that I didn’t want to be doing. And so my measure of success is my capacity to be in control of my time.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (21:43):
Absolutely. Well, as we bring this to a close Luis, is there anything we’re maybe hoping to share or get across that you haven’t had a chance to yet?
Luis Baez, Pa’Lante Ventures, LLC (21:51):
I think we touched on a lot of bases. And for anyone that’s listening to this and going, “I don’t know if this is for me or for my business. I don’t know that my people are ready for this kind of change, or I don’t know that I am quite in a position to relinquish this kind of control,” I would advise you that the sooner you embrace this way of doing business, the more success you’ll see. The fact of the matter is when I connect with younger generations, the cat is out the bag. They look at the ways that my generation have done things and done business and interacted. They’re laughing at us because they know that it’s all smoke and mirrors. The pandemic, the quarantine and everything really laid everything bare about how things just were working and how they didn’t work efficiently for us.
Luis Baez, Pa’Lante Ventures, LLC (22:39):
And so I would say that if you’re listening to this and resisting, unfortunately the change is coming, lean into it. Lean into that opportunity to grow and thrive and innovate because that’s why we entered the business world in the first place. If all we wanted to do was status quo or whatever, maybe go work for the government or some other sort of stale industry.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (23:01):
That’s great advice, Luis. And for someone who’s interested in maybe saying, “Well, this sounds great, but Luis, I’d love for you to help guide me through that or learn a little bit more about getting involved with you. What’s the best way for someone to get in touch with you or learn a little bit more?”
Luis Baez, Pa’Lante Ventures, LLC (23:14):
I offer all the pages of my playbooks across sales and leadership and intrapreneurship in my Flex and Flourish Academy. It’s a free training, and that’s available at learnfromLuis.com. It’s a 14-day training where I literally walk you through page by page how to approach every situation as a leader and as a sales rep to yield the best possible outcome for all parties.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (23:42):
Luis, thank you so much for a fantastic interview. And let’s go ahead and jump into today’s three key takeaways.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (23:49):
So takeaway number one is just how Luis defined intrapreneurship. And I like some of the things that he said here, that intrapreneurship is culture and a mindset and it’s this idea of applying intrapreneurship and this entrepreneurship mindset within an existing organization where someone’s able to freely create maybe new products or services or offerings or solutions to challenges or problems that exist, and you’re creating a culture that celebrates that kind of thinking. He referenced building a servant leadership management style.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (24:25):
Takeaway number two is when he said to embrace the reality that people are likely to leave your organization. He said very often it’s an 18-month window that employees are going to be working for you. And the other reality is that most people out there or many are already creating or in the process of creating a side hustle or already have a side hustle or are moonlighting doing something else. So in lieu of them diverting their time, effort, and energy onto something independently, why not help harness that and have them use that time and talent in building something for your current organization and do it collaboratively together?
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (25:08):
Takeaway number three is when he described some steps that a leader can take to help begin implementing an entrepreneurship type of a program. And the first thing he said was just to get out of the way as the leader. You need to remove yourself as the bottleneck to allow people to make more decisions and to make those decisions more freely. And we talked about this idea that praise is free, so help people feel seen, heard, and understood. And he gave this recommendation to applaud the journey rather than celebrating the milestone.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (25:45):
And now it’s time for today’s win-win. So today’s win-win comes when Luis talked about this idea of an Olympic athlete and how at some point in time, every Olympic athlete, the best of the best in the whole world will eventually no longer physically be able to run the races or compete in whatever sport they were participating in. However, that athlete has lots and lots of knowledge and expertise, and so he said, “Think of yourself as an athlete, as the leader of your organization, that you’ve got the years of experience, but you don’t have to be the one in the arena. Your job is to turn into a coach or a trainer.” So I think that’s a great takeaway for you to think about how you can become a coach or a trainer or maybe become a better coach or a trainer for your team and the people that you’re managing and leading.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (26:44):
And so that’s the episode today, folks. Please make sure you subscribe to the podcast and give us a review. And remember, if you or anyone you know might be ready to franchise their business or take their franchise company to the next level, please connect with us at bigskyfranchiseteam.com. Thanks for tuning in, and we look forward to having you back next week.