Raises: What Matters Most


Today you meet my longtime friend Gary Fly, Chief Marketing Officer at the Brooks Group. He dives right at the heart of How to Get A Raise:  

  1. Create alignment with your team
  2. Create an understanding with your supervisor
  3. Become very proficient at your craft
  4. All while having a good attitude 

and those four things - more than anything else - will earn you a raise. He says “You will start to rise up. Leaders recognize skill and desire.”  WOW! 

Gary also mentions his mantra of “It’s easier to ride a horse in the direction it’s going….” which means rather than guess at how to get a raise in YOUR company, uncover your company’s compensation philosophy first and THEN be very intentional about following their guidelines.  

This episode is filled with gems, but one of my favorites is how NOT to ask for a raise during the Pandemic. Gary, whose son is an A-10 Pilot in the US Air Force, uses the analogy of a foggy airport - there are times when it’s smart to wait for the fog to clear before attempting to land your plane, i.e. you might want to wait until the company is on solid ground before angling in and attacking the raise conversation.

If you enjoy this episode and it inspired you in some way, I'd love to hear about it and know your biggest takeaway. Take a screenshot of you listening on your device, post it to your Instagram Stories and tag me, @amandalefever! 


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Full Transcript

Gary (00:01):

My hunch is because I've seen it, that when employees approach the subject without emotion, and with real intent to learn. When they ask a question of their supervisor, what does success look like in my job? Or, what's important for me to do in this job for you to be pleased with the work I'm doing. It starts to give you clues as to what's important.

Amanda (00:30):

Ladies and gentlemen welcome to another episode of your favorite podcast in the whole wide world where we talk about how to ask for and get a pay raise at your job. I'm your hostess. Amanda LeFever. Thanks for being here. Thanks for showing up week after week to mine all this juicy wisdom. I'm stoked about today's guest, you guys, his name is Gary Fly, and he's Chief Marketing Officer at the Brooks Group, where he's responsible for the sales performance research center. Gary received a systems engineering degree from Georgia Tech, his MBA from Vanderbilt University, and a degree in restaurant management from Waffle House University. I can't wait to hear more about that, Gary. Gary was the VP of Operations for Waffle House with 2000 plus associates and built a specialized consulting practice working with companies between $15 - $50 million in revenue. Gary, thank you so much for coming on the show. I'm really excited to have you here.

Gary (01:30):

Well, Amanda, I'm excited to be here. I look forward to our conversation and happy to answer any questions you might have and hope to bring some value to your listeners.

Amanda (01:39):

Excellent. So my very first question is that I saw you were a barbecue judge, and North Carolina is known for our incredible barbecue. So I'm really jealous. I need you to tell me a little bit, was this a whole day of judging barbecue? How did this work?

Gary (01:54):

Yes, I was at my niece's wedding and reception, and I was talking to a fellow, and I said, Hey, what do you do? He goes, Oh, I'm retired, so I'm a full-time barbecue judge. And as soon as he said that, I'm like, what? There's such a thing? And so I reached out to the Kansas City Barbecue Society, which is the largest governing body of barbecue contests, I think in the world. And they had an all-day training in Lexington, conveniently enough. So, they had competition teams and my son, and I went down and spent the day, and so we went through the certification process. So, that was only one day, you know, the continuing ED never stops. So, every opportunity I have, I venture out to a barbecue restaurant. But yeah, something I hope to do more of as my work-life balance changes.

Amanda (02:45):

Yes. That's really interesting. I did not know that there was such a thing. Are there specific criteria that you're looking for when you're judging a barbecue?

Gary (02:53):

Yeah. We have a scoring system. All very intentional, no conversation at the tables while you're judging. No looking at other scorecards. Yeah, it's serious business.

Amanda (03:08):

They can't sell you like, has just a little bit of spice on this one. None of that? Oh, my goodness. Okay. So, I got off on a total tangent. I'm sorry. And we don't have much time together, but I really want to focus on kind of two professions today. So salespeople and retail food workers. So it seems that you are uniquely qualified to talk about both of these things, in my opinion. So can you set the stage for us? Tell us a little bit about your time at Waffle House. Kind of in a nutshell, what is your best advice for someone who would ask you, what should I do this week to get a raise?

Gary (03:49):

Yeah. So I was on the operation side, so I spent my entire career in restaurants. So I would, I wouldn't go to an office, I would physically go to restaurants. And really it was all around, ensuring the quality on the floor, whether it's the training of the associates or the quality of the food we were putting out and whatnot. And really, we had a basic system that worked pretty well. But the idea for the restaurant operator who was our manager, our store manager, we really train them heavily on being in the mix, being out with the customers, understanding the customer experience, and managing that, and if they could ensure that the customer experience was good from the time they walked drove onto the parking lot to the time they left, that the building looked right, that the people were pleasant and looked nice in their uniforms, that they received good service and good food, that that really was the key for them to pay attention to if they could do that. And then kind of the rest of the things took care of themselves. Right? So, I don't know if that addresses it necessarily, but we worked very hard to ensure that the managers and every associate, the waitress, the cook, the host, all those people were really intentional about the customer experience and ensuring that they had a good time. So that we could build sales and everything tied back to that, so, as a waitress, the way you got it, you would increase sales, were taking good care of the customers. I remember one of my most vivid memories, was we had our busiest day of the year actually at Waffle House, was Christmas day.

Amanda (05:30):

Oh my gosh, no way. I didn't expect you to say that.

Gary (05:36):

Three to four times as busy. And for many years we were the only game in town. But I had one in particular. We call them sales people, most people would call them waitresses. I had one waitress, Lisa, and she would, and this was in 1989; this has stuck with me. So this was in 1989 that I saw her do this. So, Christmas day, 1989, she comes to work with a box of Christmas cards, and they are already signed love from Lisa. And she would see a regular customer get out of the car and she'd write dear Amanda, right in it. And hand it to you when you sat down, and they would say, Oh Lisa, this is so nice. But it was that kind of very intentional thinking around how do I connect with people on a human level, show them a good time, make sure that they have an experience that's really beneficial. And they would make several hundred dollars on Christmas day if not thousands of dollars. It was amazing. But it was those kinds of touches that really mattered. So, that was one example. Does that help?

Amanda (06:40):

Oh yeah, absolutely. So that's kind of building relationships and ensuring that the customer experience is exceptional. That is your road to getting more money, is to help the organization do well, as well. And I love that special touch of the cards because that's creating that relationship with those customers so that they will come back. They'll come back, not just on Christmas, right? We know Lisa, Lisa gave us a Christmas card. I want to sit in Lisa's section too, is another thing that probably was very helpful. That's amazing. So what about the managers? How would they move up, or how did you guys promote, kind of within?

Gary (07:29):

And all promotion was done from within. So, we had a couple of key metrics that we would look at, but all of them were really based around this idea of great customer experience that will build the business. So, we would look at year over year sales increases, our year over year sales, and we'd look at the basic profitability of the restaurant. But the real driver was running sales increases. So, if you had same store sales, or traffic increases, then we knew you were taking care of the customer. Essentially, it's kind of the bottom line of that. And so, again, we had very good training on the fundamentals. But we had these guiding principles, and one of them is what we called the ten steps of service, which was, Hey, make sure this is going on inside of your restaurant. Make sure your people are trained in these very basic things. And I don't know the last time you've been in a Waffle House, but hopefully, when you walked in, they said hello or good morning, or greeted you. That was the first step of customer service, which was a friendly greeting with a smile, and it was that eye to eye, human contact. So, what we really strive to do was to have the manager actively engaged in the customer experience, which meant they were on the floor in the middle of the action, not in some backroom, not paying attention to work, all that kind of stuff. But we knew when we were going to be busy, and it was expected that the management team was on the floor in the restaurants on those busy times, which meant we worked a lot of nights, we worked a lot of third shifts. I worked third shift on new year's Eve for 21 years. Right? And I worked first shift on Christmas day for 21 years, and first shift on Thanksgiving day for 21 years. And it was that kind of immersion in the business during the times that were critical. That was the mindset.

Amanda (09:23):

So, what did employees do that kind of would stand out to you? How would they end up in management positions? And then was there another avenue for them other than just running a store? Is there district management, how did that work at the Waffle House?

Gary (09:41):

Yeah. So, yes, there is another avenue. They would do things like what Lisa did, right? They would do things like, wow, that was really inventive and really creative, and it was culturally appropriate as well. So, they understood the company's culture and the mission that we were trying to drive to. But they understood how to be really good at their craft. So, we had a lot of professionals, whether they were the grill operators, the cooks or the waitresses or salespeople as we call them, but those that strove to be excellent in their craft just stood out that they took it seriously. And so I'll go back to Lisa. She was very well rounded as a waitress. She understood that but she also was a great cook, and she taught herself, or she aligned herself with different grill operators to learn how they did what they did. And so she made it her mission to educate herself on all aspects of the business. And then she became a shift leader, and she became a certified trainer for us, and then became a part of the management team. So, we had a single store supervisor, which we called a unit manager, and then we had district managers that oversaw three stores, and then division managers that oversaw nine stores, and then regional managers that oversaw 27, which is how it was done. And, really it was all about who's building, who's building great customer service at the store level and then who's building out a great team at the multi-store level, so that region manager to ensure they have a good customer experience at an individual store. They need to have a good management team, and they need to have good district managers, and they need to have good division managers. So as they progressed up the hierarchy, those soft skills and leading and managing people became much more critical because you were building out a team that led hundreds of employees.

Amanda (11:47):

So, would they go to the Waffle House University? Is that where they would learn those soft skills and the leadership training?

Gary (12:00):

That's where all that stuff was introduced. So, it was both tactical training and an introduction to basic leadership principles. And then we also did a nice job of having ongoing education. They did a fair amount of assessment type of work, where people would learn more about themselves, their strengths, and their weaknesses. There was regular training that went on at all different levels. So, there was a very intentional protocol around the training and whatnot. And again, it's those people that not only went through the motion, but actually embraced it, understood it, and were culturally aligned as well as technically proficient. They did well, and then earned the opportunity to earn more money and position themselves for opportunities, promotions, and raises.

Amanda (12:56):

So, I love that you said you always hired from within, and always promoted from within. That's amazing. So, I was reading an article the other day in Restaurant Today, and they said that in retail or food service, raises tend to happen every six months or so, but they tend to be tiny increases like 20 cents an hour. So in your opinion, as a salesperson, is there kind of a strategy around smaller, more frequent raises instead of just like big jumps every year?

Gary (13:34):

Yeah. Especially in the restaurant business and at the Waffle House, it's nickels and dimes that really make the difference, right? I mean, they're controlling costs, so tightly because there's just not great profit margins on any of that. And so, what may seem like a smaller raise to a lot of folks, is you start to multiply it over many people, and it starts to have a pretty significant impact on the restaurant. So, my sense is that those are more palatable to the restaurant owner, to the restaurant management team, or whatnot. That Hey, yeah, I can justify 20 cents now, 20 cents later, because I'm probably also in those time-frames also adjusting menu prices as well. So, most restaurants, like Waffle House, they would adjust menus a couple of times a year, and it was, they always lagged inflation, but that allowed them to possibly tie that with raises, because you start getting that out of balance and then it's not profitable, and you can't give anybody a raise.

Amanda (14:44):

Right. That makes sense.

Gary (14:47):

So, those sorts of raises, my belief always was that the raises were nice to have, but it was those personal touches that allowed the tips and sales to go up, is where people made their real money. It was really that kind of thing. So Lisa, knowing that she was going to make several hundred dollars, she invested $8, $10, or $12 in a pack of Christmas cards that probably paid her $300 to $500, or she thought about that. It's those sorts of things. It's making sure that the customer experience is good. Making sure that the food looks good when you bring it to the table, making sure that you check on them, making sure that they're comfortable, all that kind of stuff. That's where I think most people can materially adjust their income.

Amanda (15:42):

Okay. That makes sense. So, let's pivot a little bit to salespeople. Is your advice about getting a raise at a restaurant franchise? Any difference for a salesperson?

Gary (15:56):

Yeah, so, I think there are some common things that have to be in place. One is I really do believe you have to be proficient at your craft. Whatever is it, right? You have to be good, you have to be bringing value, and it has to be in some sort of a tangible way. Whether it's, I'm bringing in more customers, or my customers want to sit with me and eat with me. But, then I also believe you have to be, again, I'll use this term again, culturally aligned with the enterprise, whatever it is you're working with, right? If your values and the way you're conducting yourself aren't in alignment with what the company is trying to do, then I think it's going to be hard to do that. So, you have to understand the culture of the company values, how does the company think about raises, right? How do they think about compensation in general, and what's important to them? I think when you start to put all that together, it paints a picture for you, and an individual in a particular situation to say, okay, I understand this is what it means to my company to be good at my job. I need to be proficient on this, and I need to be able to do this, I need to be able to show this value. Whatever that looks like. When you start to get alignment between your skillset, and your understanding of what the company thinks is important, then I think you have earned the right to either ask for a raise or to be given a promotion. Does that make sense?

Amanda (17:30):

Yeah, absolutely. The one question that I did have is how do you feel you can learn more or learn quickly what the company values and how they think about raises? Because I love that you said that, how the company thinks about raises. So I keep getting stuck back on that, how do you learn more about that?

Gary (17:49):

Yeah, so you mentioned in the bio that I'd had a consulting business, right? And I would oftentimes work with smaller, or a lot of times, family-owned businesses that were in the $15 - $50 million a year sales range. And one of the biggest frustrations for owners was around compensation. They would always say, well, now Amanda's asking for a raise, or now Gary's asking for a raise. So one of the things I would talk about would be do you have any sort of compensation philosophy, or do you even have a plan? And they'd be like, well, what are you talking about? I said, well, you have to have some way in your own mind that you justify raises, and you justify compensation. How do you do that? And so I think for employees it's fair for them to ask the question, how are raises earned and what's important? What does a win look like in my job? Right? What does it look like for me to be successful in my job? And, my hunch is, because I've seen it, that when employees approach the subject without emotion, and with real intent to learn. When they ask a question of their supervisor, what does success look like in my job? Or, what's important for me to do in this job for you to be pleased with the work I'm doing? It starts to give you clues as to what's important. It starts to dial you into; well, Amanda, what we really need is, if you could turn your tables in 22 minutes, that would be great. That's important. That's an important metric process because that allows our throughput to increase. Or, if you could increase your number of repeat customers by X, then that's important to us. Or if you could sell X dollars a month, or a day, or a week, or a year. Just having that conversation in a nonthreatening way that's really designed to gather information. I think it is a good first step, because most people won't do that. Most employees get all worked up about it, and they want to justify their raise, and they'll bring in, well, I've done this, and I've done this, and I've done this, and I've done this. And the boss might say, well, yeah, but none of that really mattered. So instead of coming after the fact, just having a human to human conversation around, Hey, you know, I want to do a good job, and I want to understand what's important to the company, and what's important to you as my supervisor. Can you tell me what success looks like? Can you tell me how you value things? Can you tell me, does the company have a compensation philosophy? How do they give raises? What are the things that are important? Is it just time and service, or is it some performance metric, or is it some combination of both?

Amanda (20:33):

Yeah. Because I think that where people get hung up, at least for me, it was, I've been here this long, and I know that I'm doing a better job than her, and she's making more money. Right? I came at it very emotionally. You had said, don't approach this with emotion. I really liked that, and I wished that I would've known that in the past, might've made me more money.

Gary (21:03):

You are sitting across from your supervisor who may be completely blindsided.

Amanda (21:07):

Yeah. And they're asking, what is happening? Oh, right. So now you're defensive, and they're defensive, and it just is not good.

Gary (21:21):

So again, I have found that if people ask with sincerity, and people know. I mean, your supervisors are people too. And they understand when you're coming to them sincerely, and when you're honestly trying to do a good job. Understand the situation so that you don't blindside them. I don't want to come to you in a year, and blindside you with a raise, request for more money, or a promotion if it's not appropriate. But I'd love to understand how that process works. And you may, as an employee, learn that there is no process, right? Which is a little bit harder, but at least you know how the table is set.

Amanda (22:02):

That's true. And then, if it's not somewhere that you want to stay, you have the option to look somewhere else. Okay. I like that. When you work with these owners, and the small business, do they usually introduce compensation plans? Will they, are they open to that idea?

Gary (22:28):

They're very open typically to the idea of creating sort of a comp philosophy that they can then articulate they may say something like, Hey, what we value in this business is repeat customers, customer loyalty, and great customer service. So, those are the things we're going to pay on, and here's how we measure that sort of thing. Generally speaking, we give a cost of living raise every year, and then we have performance bonuses that are paid quarterly based on X, Y, and Z. It can be very simple because, again, what you're trying to do is, you're trying to demystify it for both sides really. You're trying to make sure a good owner or a good supervisor wants their employees to understand how to get paid, how to get promoted, how to make more money, and all that. And they don't want to be blindsided necessarily. And so again, one example that comes to mind is that the owners had no real cohesion around their thinking. And so, I mean it would be twice a month, different employees would come to them and say, Hey, can I get a raise? So 24 times a year, they have to deal with this, and it made them crazy. Well, have you ever told them that you only give raises in December? Or have you told him that the way to get raises is to do this? And they say, no, I didn't know.

Amanda (23:53):

Well, what the expectations are, right?

Gary (23:59):

Well, you can't blame them. So, let's put a little structure around it. And again, it doesn't have to be 1,000 pages deep of detail. It can be very general. Here's what we value, here's how we do it, here's how we think about compensation. I was on a board, and our compensation philosophy was that we were going to pay in terms of salary, we were going to pay 95% of the market average, but we were going to have additional benefits. So, the total comp would be a little bit better than the market average, but we were going to pay for it with some different benefits. It was just a philosophical thing that this organization wanted, and it was easy to explain to the employees. So, then you could say, this is how we pay, and the salary is going to be 95% of what you might find in the market. But you get these other benefits that we think are important. And one of the benefits was the actual work environment, the kind of employees, and things they were taking care of, but it was very well regulated. But then the employees knew, and they could make a decision back to your comment earlier, they could say, well, I'm not willing to work for 95% of the market average. I want to work for a hundred percent of it, and they could go and go somewhere. But when it just relieved that short of an angst intention around the unknowing of how do I get paid, why is my pay this way?

Amanda (25:31):

So did you have people that would come up to you and ask, Gary, what can I do? Yes? Okay, what were some of the best questions, or approaches, or things that people asked you?

Gary (25:47):

So, I actually have an exhibit from one of my, and I know that the viewers of the podcast can't see it. But in one scenario, I had a person who was a very visual person. Say, hey, I want to understand what's important and how do I get a raise? And we talk, and they left, and they came back with kind of a career map, which is what I showed you. It's them going up the summit of a mountain.

Amanda (26:18):

The summit to success.

Gary (26:23):

The summit to success, and here are the milestones or landing spots. So, what that told me was that she had really thought about what we talked about, and really started to vet kind of herself around, all right, well where do I need help and what do I need to do? So each of those little steps that you saw on the visual was, I need to spend adequate time doing this. I need to attend leadership training here. I need to do these types of things. So to me, that was a very thoughtful kind of rational approach. And, even if it didn't align 100% with what I felt was important, it gave us a great place to talk or starting place. And we could talk about it, we could assign timelines to it, we could put resources behind it, meaning help pay for some of these courses, and then we could assign benefits to her. Which the ultimate thing was she wanted to run a department. And so, let me go do this and let me train on this. And so I thought that was a really unique and thoughtful approach to it.

Amanda (27:25):

Yeah, I love that. The whole the mountain with the different points going all the way up of the different things that she could do, that's really awesome. So typically, I ask people to share one of their favorite raise stories, and I'm sure that working in the restaurant industry, and with all of these small businesses, and the owners that you might have a really good raise story, Gary.

Gary (27:52):

Yeah. So I've got all sorts of stories. I will tell you one that's not necessarily a raise story, but real quickly because it has to do with cash. I learned early on that, every time I'd walk into one of my restaurants, there would be somebody say, Gary, can I borrow some money? I need to do X, Y, and Z. And so, being a kindhearted guy, I typically would do that. And then I'd go home, and my wife would ask, why don't you have any money? So, I had to change my tactic. So I eventually went, hey Amanda, I'd like to, but I made a deal with Bank of America, they said they're not going to make any waffles, and I'm not going to give out any loans. And, by the time the person realized what I'd said, I'd be down the road. I'll tell you, and I actually want to tell you, conversely, a story that's happened recently that was not a good way to ask for a raise.

Amanda (28:49):

Excellent. We love those stories.

Gary (28:52):

So, we're in a really interesting time right now in businesses, I think really are in a conundrum. They don't know necessarily what the future holds. A lot of businesses have taken advantage of the paycheck protection act. But there's so much uncertainty around that, and they just don't know. And so I think that people that push too hard right now, employees come across as tone-deaf, right? They don't really show an appreciation for the uniqueness of the situation. So, I had a person come recently and essentially said, Hey, I'm the sole breadwinner, and I need to make more money. Our world has been rocked dramatically, and everybody I know has. What does this really mean to us, and what can we do? That really came across as tone-deaf to me, and it's all about me. And while I appreciate the situation the person's in, it's not really a reason to justify a raise. I think that, unfortunately, it's not something that we can pay off. So, I think that that's hard, I think that right now you have to be very sensitive to what's going on in the world. And it's even more important to be aligned with the company, and their values, and what they see as important. And really, the idea is to set yourself up. It's kind of a longer play now, I think. But to set yourself up as an essential worker. If a company asks you to take on more responsibility, I think the answer is yes, and you kind of figure it out. And it's those acts of goodwill that will, I think, pay huge dividends when the dust settles, and we kind of get back to whatever the next normal looks like. I know that wasn't exactly what you asked.

Amanda (30:50):

No, that's fantastic. Actually, I was watching a conference the other day, and they were saying that now is the time to be a yes/and person. Yes, I will do that. And what if we did this? How can I do this? How can I help here? So this is really a good time to show your loyalty, to step up, and show that you're a team player. To put all these pebbles in the water instead of making a huge wave that you need more money right now. Everybody is hurting right now, and we're all in this together. So I liked that about, yes/and, I can help.

Gary (31:33):

I just think that that's absolutely critical. Again, we've heard a lot about the term essential worker, but I think every company you have the opportunity to make yourself an essential worker. And I know as a supervisor, as a manager of people, I'm so appreciative of that. Because these are tough times, that people are under different sorts of stresses that they've ever been under, they're managing kids at home, work from home, spouses at home, and they can't go, all that stuff. So those people that are yes, really stand out and position themselves, I think for an accelerated trajectory has the fog lands or the fog goes away.

Amanda (32:20):

Yeah. For sure. So is there anything else that you want to add to our national conversation about how to get a raise? How to ask for a raise, really how to position for raises at this point in time?

Gary (32:33):

Yeah, I'll go back to I used to work for a fellow who said it's easier to ride the horse in the direction it's headed, which meant, don't try to fight things. And so that's why I go to, Hey, just talk, have real conversations about things that you're thinking about with your supervisor because they want to be successful and they realize that their success is dependent on their ability to move a team forward and for the team to be successful. So if you can create alignment, and vision, and understanding with your supervisor, then you can become very proficient at your craft, and you do it with a good attitude, I think that is what will position you better than anything else for future promotions, future raises, and the opportunity to ask for both. Actually, I think that when you do that well, you don't end up having to ask, so intentionally. I think you start to rise up. People recognize, they'll be like, Oh my gosh, I love working with Amanda because she's diligent, she gets it done, she's pleasant, she's insightful, and it's that whole bundle of stuff. I know I can trust her, and I know that the work will be thorough. It's that bundle of completeness that I think really is important at any time. But now I think it's critically important.

Amanda (33:58):

And they'll start bringing you along. Right? Come on, come with us.

Gary (34:05):

Yeah. Because you see it, right? Yeah. That enthusiasm and that willingness. You think, Oh well, Amanda would be great at this, or if I could expose her to this, who knows where her brain will go, and what kind of cool stuff she'll come up with. I really do believe that the vast majority of leaders, especially good leaders, that's the way they think.

Amanda (34:28):

Yeah. That's what they're looking for. They want those people, the high potential people. Yeah. They're always searching.

Gary (34:38):

And it's the little things that to set you up part. Right. To make you that high potential person. Yes/And attitude. It's that willingness to kind of just grin and bear it at times, and work through it, but do it with a good attitude, do it without an agenda, and do it without self-centered emotion type stuff. What's in it for me, what am I going to gain today? What's that sort of mindset?

Amanda (35:07):

Yeah. And kind of that approach too. So we're going to start wrapping up. This has been so good, Gary. You have to tell me, though what's going on with the Brooks Group. We didn't even talk about that. What are you guys up to in the training market that's going to really make an impact in the next few years?

Gary (35:24):

It's going to be huge.

Amanda (35:25):

Oh, exciting.

Gary (35:28):

We are fortunate. We have a great bench of curriculum designers. All of them were master-level curriculum designers that have real expertise in adult learning theory. And this pandemic has really caused some rapid prototyping, which I think is going to have big benefits. But we've always had virtual programs, but what we've really kind of perfected over the last several weeks and months is this small kind of chunk learning that's delivered virtually. So, our traditional programs are delivered over two or three days, and they're kind of traditional classrooms all day kind of stuff. People can't do that right now. And you can't sit through that virtually. So what we have is a program that we're delivering a little bit every week for 12 to 14 weeks and then heavy coaching through it. So, here's the learning objective, and then the practice that we're doing between the classes is really, really cool. And it allows salespeople to go out and actually practice the skill that we taught on, earlier in the week and bring it back in. And we do a lot of peer to peer kind of coaching and stuff. So I think it's really going to be groundbreaking, at least the sales coaching and sales training world.

Amanda (36:58):

Yeah, for sure. Because it's more hands-on experience instead of just going and sitting and taking all this information in and then, now what? So you have that, that continued learning every week. That's awesome. I'm excited for you guys.

Gary (37:17):

Yeah, we're excited as well. You know, it's good to reinvent and to pivot. COVID-19 has forced our hand in some ways, and it's been really good, we're just fortunate to have this great team of professionals that can pull it together quickly and deliver really, really strong content and learning tools.

Amanda (37:37):

That's awesome. I'll make sure that I link the Brooks Group in the show notes as well so people can easily find it. And then where can people connect with you, Gary? If they want to say hello or, hey, I used to work with you at Waffle House back in the day.

Gary (37:54):

I'm easy to find on LinkedIn, so there's not a lot of Gary Fly's out there. But, I'm on LinkedIn and happy to connect there. And then if they want to send an email right to me, my email is just [email protected] So, it's easy to find me, happy to chat, and really appreciate you asking me to come and be a part of this. I'm excited. I know you're excited to have the podcast and it's all neat stuff happening.

Amanda (38:23):

Yeah, I think a lot of people are really enjoying the message and the things that people are saying. And I have no doubt that this will be a super popular episode because I mean, you're just awesome, Gary. I mean, your name's Gary Fly. It's hard not to be cool.

Gary (38:40):

Maybe you can talk to my kids. They don't recognize it.

Amanda (38:41):

They don't think you're so cool? That's funny. Well, thank you so much for being on the show. And, thank you guys so much for listening today. Wherever you are, I have a very special request. If you haven't already, go ahead and subscribe to the podcast, and I'd love it if you'd rate and review the podcast. A five-star rating would be fantastic, but I'll talk to you guys soon. Bye.



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