Merrill Crawford, President/CEO of Charlie's Plumbing, Inc., talks about her journey to where she is now. Crawford also shares how to spot the snakes, bullies and weasels so they do not stop you from being successful.
Episode with guest: Merrill Crawford
President/CEO of Charlie's Plumbing, Inc.
(This episode was recorded in January of 2021.)
Key Episode Take-Aways:
1. When people think of bullies, they think about lateral or bullying from the top down. They don't think about the boss that could get bullied. (click to jump to this topic below) When they think of bullies, they think of bullies, they think about lateral bullying or bullying from the top down. That is a, it's an underlying or a lower-level employee that they're bullying. They don't think about that the boss could get bullied, and it happens all the time.
2. Bullies will try to make you believe that you are in the wrong. (click to jump to this topic below) The bullies that I have done that with both said I was wrong, that all of us were wrong, that these six people at the table were wrong. None of that was true.
3. Using high involvement planning to prepare for 2021 after an uncertain 2020. (click to jump to this topic below) I think that it's really important to keep rowing, and try and keep everybody rowing in the same direction is really good. We decided that we wanted to focus this year on health and restoration for our clients, for our company, and just continue making everybody feel safe and strong.
Continue scrolling to read the full episode transcription.
Welcome to the "Change the Game" Podcast, where we share stories of open-book management and highlight capitalism at its best. Thank you for tuning in to this episode of the "Change the Game" Podcast with special guest, Merrill Crawford. In this episode Merrill tells us how snakes, bullies and weasels are holding you back from success. Here's your hosts, Rich Armstrong and Steve Baker.
Steve Baker 0:25
Hello again, everybody. I'm Steve Baker. And with me, as usual, is Rich Armstrong, president of the Great Game of Business and co-author of our amazing book, Get in the Game, How to Create Rapid Financial Results and Lasting Cultural Change. Hey, Rich, how are you?
Rich Armstrong 0:39
I'm very good. How are you?
Steve Baker 0:41
I'm exceptional. And here's why. Because we have a really special guest. And a good friend of mine, Merrill Crawford of Charlie's Plumbing in Houston. You know many of you remember her as one of our conference speakers this past year, she led a session called snakes, bullies and weasels. And I can't wait to get into this conversation, Merrill. How are you today?
Merrill Crawford 1:02
Great, Steve. Thanks for having me here. I really appreciate it. And I'm looking forward to it.
Steve Baker 1:07
Well, it's going to be fun. And I guess a great way to start out would be to just talk about you know, you own and run Charlie's plumbing in Houston, Texas. You're not a plumber. So why don't you tell us a little bit about your, yourself and your background and the company how this all came together.
Merrill Crawford 1:26
Well, I started a long, long time ago in the swimming pool business. And I was in the swimming pool business for about 15 years. And then I ended up going through a divorce and could no longer stay in the swimming pool business. And I needed a job. And it's really, really difficult to get a job when you've been in business for yourself for years and years and years. But yes, sometimes you got to do it. And so, after three or four jobs that I didn't really care for, I found a job at Charlie's plumbing. And I had known Charlie for a long time. And we had served on a couple of nonprofit boards together, educational things. And I said, you know, gosh, I really need a job. And he said, Well, I need a new computer system. Do you know how to do that? Well, of course, when you need a job, it's amazing what you know how to do. And so, I went to work there and worked my way through that. And in the last, so that was in 1998. And since then, I have been in charge of marketing, I have been the controller, I have pretty much been everything except a plumber. So, in 2001, Charlie just kind of stopped coming to work very often and kind of ended up taking over because no one else would. And in 1990, I'm sorry, in 2008, we decided to get married. It was a long courtship. We were together forever. And I like you know. And so, we got married. And he, I ended up taking over everything, we became a Women's Business Enterprise. And so, I was still controller, but now I'm owner, and controller and president, all those things. And I knew a lot about plumbing, I still I know a lot. I just don't want to get my hands dirty that way. And it's a lot of really, really hard work. Anyway, so over the years, it was a really good career. And then in 2014, very suddenly, Charlie passed away. And it was it was very suddenly in a matter of hours. And so, we were all very sad. It was tragic, you really felt like they lost their dad and founder. But fortunately for me, there was not a business transition to be made. I had already been running the company. I already knew, you know, where everything was hidden. So, that was helpful. And it's always good also to have your high involvement planning, know what your biggest risk is going to be. So, when it happens, you're prepared. And fortunately, I was. So, anyway, since then, we have almost doubled the size of the company, and built a new building. And we brought in a whole new division last year. So
Steve Baker 4:38
Yeah, I want to touch on that during our talk today to. Flash forward a couple years and you and I met at the Inc. 5000 conference. You had a whole posse of women entrepreneurs with you. And as I recall, you're like, hey, you are pretty good up there. Why don't you come to Houston and talk to my group? I'll get 20 or 25 companies together and you have actually created a kind of a women's movement in business in the Houston Metro, haven't you?
Merrill Crawford 5:07
But yeah, we have a really good group. Thank you. We have, I decided I needed some women business friends one day and a couple of us got together and said, hey, let's invite some women to get together and talk about business. That was almost seven years ago. There's 25 of us in the group, but we have lots of other friends that come and visit in our group a lot. And we get, we travel, we go to conferences together, we share resources, and it works out great. And Steve, you were great to come down, I think we had 60 companies there that day. Yeah, it was really good. You know, when I first saw you, I just thought, that's the way I want to run the company. And you know, the Game has been so instrumental. It's just been a great thing.
Steve Baker 5:55
Merrill Crawford 5:56
Glad I met you at the conference.
Steve Baker 5:58
Well, me too. It's been, it's been a lot of fun. And I think it's been a win win all the way around.
Rich Armstrong 6:03
Well Merrill, welcome, welcome. Hey,
Merrill Crawford 6:06
Rich Armstrong 6:07
All of us are really excited that we met Steve Baker at one time in our lives. That's good,
Steve Baker 6:13
Whoa. [Laughter] You need to talk to my wife.
Rich Armstrong 6:20
Well, it sounds like, you know, when you look back at your story, you've certainly had some success with the Great Game. And it's kind of interesting, when you look at your website, you know, you're really proud of it, and you are outwardly promoting it to your customers that you practice the Game, you have it all over the website. Just curious to give us a little bit of the history there, how long you've been playing, and maybe why it is so important to you and your culture?
Merrill Crawford 6:44
Well, gosh, so before I ever met Steve Baker, which is a very dark part of my life. And I have tried several incentive programs, and I was really trying hard to build culture. And you know, we all know culture eats strategy for breakfast. So, it's really important. But I tried all these different incentive programs, and none of them had worked. And I realized that I'm really not very good at developing an incentive program. And so, I was searching when I found him. And it was totally an immediate, that's how I want to run my business. But prior to that, I had done a survey of all of my employees. And I basically gave people 10 options, you know, what are the and rank these 1 to 10? What are the most important things to you? Is it pay? Is it time off? Is it perks? Is it feeling recognized? Is it company events? You know, and we had all these things, and I had about 34 employees back then. And so, I collected them all and I was sitting at my desk going through these little folded up pieces of paper and kind of tallying things up. And we had 100% response of number one being, the number one thing of everyone, every single person said, the stability of the company is number one important thing to them. I was blown away I thought that would have been dead last. And you know, what do they care if the company's you know stable, they were looking for a job when they found this one. And you know, licensed plumbers can go get a job anywhere they want to. So, I was just bored. So, I had that piece of information before I knew about the Game. And so, then when you learn about the Game, and how that is what makes people feel secure about the company, it just fit right in. It was just locked in place there. But we've been playing the Game now about four years. And it has been, we've had great years, we've had not so great years. Obviously last year was really difficult. And, and I but as far as the stability of the company, you know, last year was probably the that was the most important thing to everyone, everywhere. And so, we were already in the middle of the game and it was right there saying look, okay, this is where we are. This is where we're going. I'm here, this is stable. And I also think, I know we haven't really talked about last year and the whole pandemic thing, but people feel like they can do something, the Game makes them feel like they have power. Whereas they you know if you don't have power over your job or what happens to the company. It's not very satisfying.
Steve Baker 10:04
Mm hmm. Yeah, that's for sure. In fact, you know, I've been talking about it a lot lately at workshops, is University of Michigan did a study and found that the number one predictor of happiness is a feeling of control over one's own life. So, you just described it perfectly. And that that speaks to culture. And I love the fact that you already had the heart to ask people, what's most important to you? Because a lot of folks don't, they assume a lot of things, you asked. And this, this speaks again to your natural culture. But we always say that creating and nurturing your culture can either make or break a company. So, you and I did a session based on a conversation that we had had some time earlier. And this session at the last conference was snakes, bullies and weasels. And I wanted to ask you, if you could kind of you know, for our audience that hasn't heard you speak about it before it. First of all, it's highly entertaining, but it's also real. And it's also an issue everybody's dealing with. What are the characteristics that define somebody who is a snake, a bully, or a weasel?
Merrill Crawford 11:09
So first, I'd like to say that so many people,
1. When people think of bullies, they think about lateral or bullying from the top down. They don't think about the boss that could get bullied.
when they think of bullies, they think about lateral bullying or bullying from the top down. That is a, it's an underlying or a lower-level employee that they're bullying. They don't think about that the boss could get bullied, and it happens all the time. And the next thing is, well, why wouldn't you just fire that person? Like, well, first of all, you have to know that you're being bullied. And if it's a high, high performing person, a high-level person, you know, there's a lot of denial. It's like, of course, they would have behaved that way to me, I sign their paycheck, they like working here, why would people do that? And so, there's this this kind of denial or disbelief or not even knowing it's happening for a long time. So, it's really important to know the traits of what they do. And there's tons and tons of them, but sort of the number one thing is undermining. You know, if you have somebody that, you know, you set up a meeting at, you know, Wednesday at three, and all of a sudden, they're rescheduling it on a regular basis, or telling everybody else, they don't need to bring what they were supposed to bring, that is direct undermining rather than them coming to you. And there's lots of different ways to undermine. And at first, it's very vague, and you don't really see it happening. And they don't communicate with you. So, withholding information is actually abusive, not speaking to somebody is actually a form of abuse. But if all of a sudden you hear this whole story about something that happened that you need to address, nut you find out later you didn't get all the pieces of the story. And this seems to keep happening. And now you look like a jerk because you may have reacted in some way, but you didn't have all the information. It's like, well you didn't tell me that. So, there's withholding information. Being unaccountable, you know, just in forever saying, well, that's not my job, or you didn't tell me. It's the other person gave me bad information. You know, just one reason after another why something is not their fault. And what's really bad is when they start telling you that it's your fault.
Steve Baker 13:38
Merrill Crawford 13:39
Steve Baker 13:41
Kind of projecting that, that stuff back onto you. That's really crafty. I mean, to me, I guess you just kind of opened my mind, because to me, a bully would be way more overt, you're saying it isn't always that overt at all.
Merrill Crawford 13:54
Steve Baker 13:55
And if they're that sneaky, how do you know who they are?
Merrill Crawford 13:59
So, you have to really know yourself. First of all, it's really important to know yourself. And so, one of the reasons that you don't just look at somebody who's just been unaccountable and told you that it's your fault. But you don't immediately go oh my God, you can no longer work here is that if you're the kind of leader that really, really wants to build culture, and be a good leader and be a good helper, your first response is usually like, it really is my fault. What did I do? How could I have been a better communicator? What, how could I have been a better leader? And so, it's real easy to not say, now wait a minute. So, that you really need to first know yourself and then I want you to think about these things. You hear about them from clients and other team members and it's so easy to blow that off. Oh, that wasn't a really big deal. You're making it petty. It was a one-time thing. They didn't mean it. Especially If this is a high performing person, you start convincing yourself, I need this person to make the sale, they bring in lots of revenue.
Steve Baker 15:07
Merrill Crawford 15:07
Here's how you really know, when you avoid their office, when you cringe when you see them walking down the hall or their name lights up on your cell phone. If you just decide I don't really like this person, that's a big deal, we tend to discount. Well, they're making me money, I don't have to like them. You know that we're all small businesspeople, we don't have a lot of room for discord. And if they're not living your values, and in every way, something bad was going to happen, you're bringing liability and risk into your company.
Steve Baker 15:45
Merrill Crawford 15:46
So, if you have ever spent any time lying awake at night thinking about them. Yeah, you should just lie awake at night thinking about the new roof you have to put on your house or your kid that's in college or your mom is sick, but you're not supposed to lie awake at night trying to figure out why a person that you pay is making you crazy. If you find yourself looking for their replacement on zip recruiter on a regular basis, but you can't let them go, because you haven't found their replacement yet, I promise you, you're never going to let them go. Just do it. I promise you will find their replacement after you let them go. Nobody wants to do somebody else's job. But you know, it's terrible. But I think the biggest thing is that when you think about them, just the thought, you just know it in your gut. And if nothing else convinces you just know that you're causing the rest of the people on your team pain. The rest of your team feels the way that you do, if not worse. And as a leader, it is your job to protect the team.
Rich Armstrong 17:05
Well, you just I think for the listeners, an employee, I think everybody's had that situation, especially the describing it as walking by their office and going you don't even want to go in and talk to them. It's just crazy to get into that situation.
Steve Baker 17:22
Hey, don't look at me when you say that Rich.
Rich Armstrong 17:23
Really well, I was going to get to that Steve [Laughter]. But I you know, it's got to be the next question is just, you know, we've been in those situations, and it's so hard, but what can you do about it? Can they change?
Merrill Crawford 17:37
Okay, so this is what we all tend to do. But please know that I, I don't feel like an expert on this subject. Except it's happened to all of us. Whenever I talk to another business owner, they go Yep,
Rich Armstrong 17:51
Merrill Crawford 17:52
Yeah, you get all this nodding. So, your first reaction is I'm going to send this person for training. Yeah, we're going to send them to supervisory training, we're going to send them to Dale Carnegie, they're going to become a better communicator, how about sensitivity training, and all that's great and wonderful. But now actually, you're rewarding them for their behavior. And they're getting training, everybody else in the office is doing their job well, and everything, they're not getting new training, you're also giving a real bully the tools to do higher level bullying.
Steve Baker 18:28
Merrill Crawford 18:31
I'm getting supervisory training. I'm getting communication training. I know how to do this better now.
Steve Baker 18:38
I can bully my way to the top.
Merrill Crawford 18:41
Exactly. And I can leverage I got the certificate now in the background hanging on my wall, they sent me for training. So okay, then there is I think we should have an intervention. First, you have the really nice talk with them, and you tell them what a great guy they are. And, you know, you do that. And then you're very gentle going, you know, there's some people around here that feel kind of intimidated, or you're a little rough around the edges, and you're very kind and so you try to kind of slide in that way. And I got to tell you, I've never seen that work because they heard the part, you're really great person. And, you know, I just need to tweak it a little bit, but I'm really pretty good. Well, then you get to the point like, okay, we're going to have an intervention. And I've actually seen this go two ways. I've had four different employees that we've done this with. And we do it with as much kindness as possible, and it's a last-ditch effort, where we all come together, under very false pretenses. I have to say you just basically help people and then you very kindly tell what the issues are and you tell that person how much you care about them, and what an asset they are to your team. And in all honesty, if they weren't, you wouldn't be doing this. And they know that.
2. Bullies will try to make you believe that you are in the wrong.
And there are two responses that have happened, two of the people that we did it with, said, wow, that took a lot for you all to do this and put this together and I appreciate it. What do I need to do to fix this? And I think that is extremely rare. Both of these people had been with me for a long, long time. And we had to put months of effort and training into making that turn. I will tell you that both of those people were not beliefs, they had other issues. The bullies that I have done that with both said I was wrong, that all of us were wrong, that these six people at the table were wrong. None of that was true. Including your feelings. And you're just wrong. still didn't do anything about it. We kept trying, even though that was it kept trying kept offering, here's this book that I bought for you, you're going to love this book. It's all about accountability. We're all reading it. We're all reading it. So, this person will read it. And then we're going to get together and talk about it. And then there's the day that you realize, I actually had a team member say, I know it's going to be a great week, when he's on vacation, I enjoy my job when that person is on vacation. And I realized that moment that I have let all these people that are working hard and doing their job completely down. So, I brought this guy in that we'd had the one of the interventions with. And I said, and he was probably the highest-level person in my company other than me. I needed this guy really bad. And I said you have to go, I'm sorry. I've talked to you; we've tried to work this out and you're not willing to change. And he left. And flowers started blooming within 30 seconds. I mean, the sky cleared up and the sun came out and there was singing in every department. And this knot that was in my chest just went away.
Steve Baker 22:43
Merrill Crawford 22:44
It's a miracle. And you just created massive cultural development in a matter of five minutes.
Steve Baker 22:53
And that was my next question was how, you know, I knew it affected you. I mean, you're literally describing what owners are doing all the time, which is laying awake at night worrying and fretting and trying to figure things out and trying to be the best, you know, humanist leader you can possibly be and then you finally get to it. And other people are like, well, what took you so long? What was that like? I mean, how did you address the bullying? The snakes? The weasels, all that stuff? How did it affect your culture at Charlie's?
Merrill Crawford 23:22
Ah, well, like I said, it's hugely positive. It does shake some people up if you're willing to fire this guy that, you know, they didn't even know is, because there are people that didn't know what was going on.
Steve Baker 23:36
Merrill Crawford 23:38
But here's something you have to be really aware of, if you're not hearing this person is behaving badly from lots of people. Or you go ask your department managers, how do you like dealing with this person? Oh, I don't have any problem with them. They're fine. But then later on, they as soon as that person is gone, they'll come and tell you. I'm so glad you did this; it meant a lot to me. And then you say, why didn't you tell me? And they, I don't know. I just it's because they were afraid.
Steve Baker 24:10
Merrill Crawford 24:11
They were afraid they would lose their job. Or you would take that other person's side, or you wouldn't believe them. And in my company, there's a level of safety. That I mean, we have major psychological safety, and we have mental health moments, and we talk about things if you can't do it at my company. You can't do it in a lot of places. And so, don't expect people in your company to come forward and say you need to address this. You have to do the ferret out the information and you have to think about how you feel about it because they're not necessarily going to come tell you every time but then they feel amazing. I mean, and they are more productive, and they can do their job better. And they feel empowered because that person may have been taking power away from them.
Rich Armstrong 24:58
Yep. This really good stuff, real relevant stuff. And you mentioned earlier that some of the things that hold you back from doing this is that you really, they are making some kind of contribution to the business. Right? So, you've said that it's relieved everybody around you. But what did you see after you let them go about your performance? What kind of performance changes were there?
Merrill Crawford 25:24
So, the person that you're letting go is never as good as you think they are. They aren't, and you will find out 10 other things that they were doing badly in, you're going to beat yourself up over it that things you should have known, but that's okay. We're only human beings. Performance on all levels will improve and other people will even help you get that person's replacement. Or you can grow it from within. There may have been somebody else that's perfectly capable of doing that job, at least as good, if not better, that has been watching in the background and thinking I could never have that job because that person has that job, and they're never going to fire him or her. And so, you literally are holding yourself back and a leader’s job is to remove roadblocks. It's to help us all get to the place we're going. And you've got to make sure there's no roadblocks. And when we do our high involvement planning, we talk about what's stopping us what is our limiting belief, we all want to drive to that location we want to get to, but what's in the way? And if you keep trying to get there, and you're not getting there, there's roadblocks so I feel like, you know, the leader needs to remove whatever roadblocks and if there's people in your office that are limiting you, you're never going to get there. You're just never going to get there.
Steve Baker 26:59
So, you're actually kind of making a great segue into where you're sitting right now. You're away from the office away from home, you're in a remote beach location where you guys, your leadership team just had your high involvement planning sessions. You want to talk about your process a little bit now that you've gotten rid of the snakes, the bullies, and the weasels. What was this session like? And what results, you know came out of it?
Merrill Crawford 27:23
So, a lot of great and wonderful things came out of it. I think, usually we try and have a theme for the year. And I spent a lot of time getting ready for this year's planning kind of think, well, you know, this is a very strange time for everyone right now. And we're still really uncertain. Okay, we know what 2020 brought, what's 2021 going to bring? Are we going to have the giant upswing in the economy? Or are we still have a lot of pain and suffering left to left to go and no one knows. So how do you plan for that?
3. Using high involvement planning to prepare for 2021 after an uncertain 2020.
Well, I think that it's really important to keep rowing, and try and keep everybody rowing in the same direction is really good. And so, we decided that we wanted to focus this year on health and restoration for our clients, for our company, and just continue making everybody feel safe and strong. And so, the Game always comes into play with that a whole lot. It's like, let's just stick with the continuity. And but we can also grow our sales, through health, helping our clients get healthier, and you know, having a plumbing company, it's easier for us to do that. But just then a lot of other styles of company. We started out our planning, talking about, we're not looking for huge initiatives this year. We're looking for, you know, we brought in our KPIs. We said okay, we got basically lost a year on our three year plan this year, that from where we're starting, how do we get to where we need to be, and can we do it? And so, and how can we do it in a healthy manner? We started there, and then you look at what roadblocks do you have. You know, what's stopping us? What's going to hold us back? You know, yeah, global pandemics a pretty big roadblock. [Laughter] Like, that was a big deal for everybody. We also installed two ERPs remotely last year, which was giant that was horrific, and we're done with that. And we brought in a whole new division, about two weeks before everybody had to start working remotely. We started a draft beverage division three weeks before every bar in the world closed. So that was really bad.
Rich Armstrong 29:45
Merrill Crawford 29:46
Yes, timing is great. So yes, so our planning it went really well. And you know, it's just keep rowing. Make sure you trust your data and it was really good. You know, we can't we don't do anything without the Game sort of being our platform. It's everything goes towards that.
Steve Baker 30:13
Merrill, did you guys nail your critical number during this session? Or were you just on the journey?
Merrill Crawford 30:17
We're on the journey.
Steve Baker 30:20
That's good. Well, so you mentioned the diversification, you know, the idea of bringing in Draft Horse and you know, being able to help wineries and restaurants and bars and that sort of thing. I'm just curious about what's next for the Charlie's Empire.
Merrill Crawford 30:35
Well, we have really big expectations for this year, because as soon as every bar in the world opens back up, they're going to need us. But we're really, so we're, I'm not I’m not doing like huge initiatives. But our big empire is, one of things that really helped us this year is we have sold everything in the world that's touchless. Touchless faucets, touchless bottle fillers, and so and now the clean, whole clean beer drinking, you know, is a big thing. So, when I say it's about health for us this year, it's about health, in every way. And so that's, that's our big initiative this year, and, and hoping we're going to be going to a real live gathering in September will be fabulous. Getting back to less, less virtual everything.
Steve Baker 31:35
Rich Armstrong 31:36
Got it. You got it.
Merrill Crawford 31:37
It's our favorite one all year. It's our favorite conference that we get to.
Rich Armstrong 31:42
Awesome, awesome. One way that we kind of wrap up these podcasts a lot of times is just simply ask you what questions should we be asking you?
Merrill Crawford 31:53
Oh, man, I, you know, I think that every business owner right now is trying to figure out how to navigate this year. And there's new laws regarding funding and things that are held, new tax laws and all that trying to figure out what's going to happen to our business. And I think that what everybody needs to be asking themselves is, am I well prepared? Yeah, I want to be prepared for as much as I can, that comes my way. And just, you know, it's that whole is Boy Scout and Girl Scout, you know, be prepared is the way to be. And I think that it's really important that business owners talk to other business owners that they ask and gather as much information on a regular basis as they can.
Rich Armstrong 32:52
Great advice. Really good advice.
Steve Baker 32:54
It is. Merrill, I like to sometimes I get so inspired, I jot down you know, key things I just want to wrap up, tell me if I missed anything really important, or if I got any of these wrong. First, I love know thyself. That is, self-awareness is a huge deal. When you avoid somebody's red flag, you're probably bringing liability and risk into your business and you're causing other people pain. When you deal with the snake, bully or weasel, flowers bloom and an angel get its wings. [Laughter]. Don't expect people to come forward on their own and you have to use a ferret to find snakes, bullies and weasels is what I heard?
Merrill Crawford 33:37
I knew you were going to go there.
Steve Baker 33:38
You did, didn't you? And then finally, just this is what came to mind after the conversations that we've had, both professionally and personally is you get what you tolerate. And I just love that idea of just deal with the tough issues instead of letting them fester and go on and on and on. So as
Merrill Crawford 33:58
You're sending a giant message to your team, that you're tolerating it. So
Steve Baker 34:04
Merrill Crawford 34:04
You're absolutely right. Yes. Right. So, can I add one thing?
Steve Baker 34:09
Merrill Crawford 34:11
Whenever you listen to something regarding this topic, whether it was this podcast or you're listening to somebody else, talk about leadership. Think about who you're thinking about in your mind. Because you are when I'm telling all the traits of a snake bully or weasel or I'm saying you lie awake at night. You're thinking about somebody in your team. And if it keeps popping in your head, you probably need to pay attention to that.
Steve Baker 34:44
Trust your instincts. Oh, that's such good advice. Well, you know, what we think of you, Merrill, we love you. We appreciate everything you're doing for the community and for your people in Houston. So, thank you for being with us and talking about these things. so open and vulnerably. People can learn so much. Thank you so much.
Merrill Crawford 35:04
Thank you very much for having me. Thanks, Rich.
Rich Armstrong 35:07
It was fun. It was fun. Thank you.
Steve Baker 35:09
Well, everybody, let's keep the conversation going. Be sure to send us your questions and your stories, your best practices, ideas and challenges and victories. That is capitalism at its best. And remember, like Merrill said, you don't have to do this alone. Join the community. Be a part of it. Thanks for joining us, and we'll see you next time.
The "Change the Game" Podcast is produced by the Great Game of Business. To learn more, visit greatgame.com.