Accountability and leadership keynote speaker Sam Silverstein's mission is to empower people to live accountable lives, transform the way they do business, and to thrive at extraordinary levels. He works with organizations worldwide, and he helps them build powerful workplace cultures and long term sustainability. He's the founder of the Accountability Institute and a Certified Accountability Advisor. He's the author of 11 books, including I Am Accountable, Non-negotiable and No more excuses.
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 444
How To Automate Your Business – https://screwthecommute.com/automatefree/
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Higher Education Webinar – https://screwthecommute.com/webinars
See Tom's Stuff – https://linktr.ee/antionandassociates[02:43] Tom's introduction to Sam Silverstein [05:17] How to use Accountability [10:36] Working in other family businesses [13:38] Business people should not try to fix the employees [15:06] Practical tips to improve leadership [17:38] Sponsor message [21:10] A typical day for Sam
Higher Education Webinar – https://screwthecommute.com/webinars
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College Ripoff Quiz – https://imtcva.org/quiz
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Internet Marketing Retreat and Joint Venture Program – https://greatinternetmarketingtraining.com/
Free gift for Tom's listeners – https://samsilverstein.com/valuesworksheet/
Accountability Quiz – http://amiaccountable.com
Sam's website – https://samsilverstein.com/
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Helping Others – https://screwthecommute.com/443/
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Episode 444 – Sam Silverstein
[00:00:09] Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money, with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire, Tom Antion.
[00:00:24] Hey everybody. It's Tom here with episode four hundred and forty four of Screw the Commute podcast. I'm here with Sam Silverstein. And I got to tell you, we go so far back that I know a lot of people are going to have to look this up on Google because they won't know what I'm talking about. But he used to duplicate my CDs. For a lot of you don't know what those are. Google it. That's how ancient we are. So we'll bring him on in a minute. He's got some great things on employee accountability and retention. He's one of the experts in the world on that topic. So hope you didn't miss Episode 442 Referral Marketing. Just one of the statistics of that should jump out at you. People are four times more likely to buy if they're referred and there's loads of way to do it. I cover them all on that episode 442. And obviously to get the 442, you got to do something. So you got to go to screwthecommute.com then slash 442. That's how you get the all back episodes. And this episode is 444. You'll want to make sure to bookmark it because he's going to have some great tips for you. All right. So we got this thing going on with my school and I'm really, really, really excited about it. I'm going to I've done a lot of good things in my life. But this one, I'm hoping this goes over the top to change some people's lives.
[00:01:52] So we have a pilot program going on with my school where we have four scholarships we're giving out to people with physical disabilities because the school is perfect for that. Of course, I've been preaching that for 23 years. But, you know, all of a sudden people recognize, oh, we could work from home. I know it. I you can. So we got four people enrolled in a scholarship program and we're doing a go fund me account to finance the whole thing. And we're going to hire people with disabilities to help run the program. So I'm going to change the lives of several people. So if you see an announcement on the Go Fund Me account that's coming out in a week or so, then please throw in anything. Anything will help and we're going to change these people's lives. That's for my school, the Internet Marketing Training Center of Virginia.
[00:02:44] All right. Let's get to the main event. Accountability and leadership keynote speaker Sam Silverstein. His mission is to empower people to live accountable lives, transform the way they do business, and to thrive at extraordinary levels. He works with organizations worldwide, and he helps them build powerful workplace cultures and long term sustainability. He's the founder of the Accountability Institute and a Certified Accountability Advisor. He's going to definitely tell you about that. It's something that could be a great revenue stream for some of you out there. He's the author of 11 books, including I Am Accountable, the other one Non-negotiable. And there's another one. No more excuses. Sam, are you ready to screw? The commute?
[00:03:35] You bet I am.
[00:03:37] You're going to commute for a long time, buddy.
[00:03:40] I know, and I've invested a lot to make sure that I don't have to commute, so I'm grateful to be here with you. It's good to see you here you again. And to have this conversation.
[00:03:53] Yeah. And it's I'm sorry to kind of out you about the CD thing, but, you know, we're very transparent here.
[00:04:00] Oh, man. Yeah. You know, I was trying to I was trying to cover up those tracks. You know, I had a I had a duplication business. We were getting CDs and DVDs and we did a lot of business together over the years. And you know what? It was a great revenue generator. And we ran that whole thing from our home.
[00:04:19] Yeah. And and the whole world is jumping on the word pivot now. Well, you got to pivot. It's like if you were a vinyl record person in the old days or if you were an eight track manufacturer, you know, time the time to change. So now it's the most of the stuff is digital now. So so tell everybody what you're doing now. Then we'll take you back and see how you came up through the ranks.
[00:04:42] Well, as you mentioned, I'm a professional speaker, I've been I've been speaking to organizations, leadership groups, leadership teams of companies and governments around the world for, well, twenty eight years, to be exact, written 11 books. And and and my focus is, is accountability. How do you build accountability individually? How do you build it organizationally? How do you build it in a community? And so what we've done is we've built a process and and then we're out sharing that process so that we my mission is to build a more accountable world. It's it's been quite a journey.
[00:05:18] So how can a small business use this kind of information on making their employees accountable? And I guess their leaders have to be accountable to.
[00:05:29] Well, see, that's just it it's not about making employees accountable. At the end of the day, really what we've discovered is the reason we struggle with accountability is because we don't know what it is. Accountability is and leadership trying to manipulate their people to do more accountability. Is leadership taking the responsibility to create an environment that that inspires accountability and inspires people to want to be their best? And if you have an organization made up of people who want to be their best, then you are going to be your best as an organization. And so it's exactly what you said. It's about the leader understanding that they're accountable to the people first. And when the leader takes on that commitment and that responsibility, then that changes everything because they see their people different, they treat their people different, and then ultimately they're going to get a different result.
[00:06:18] Now, I'd like to read a little segment from one of your books, it's called I Am Accountable 10 Choices that create deeper meaning in Your Life, your organization and Your World. Here's the excerpt. I want Sam to expand on it. We struggle with the word accountability. We frequently use it incorrectly, I mean, as though it was interchangeable with the word responsibility. You are about to discover in his book, Responsibility and Accountability have two completely different meanings. And what's more, that the positive power generated by countermelody accountability is enormous. And just for the record, you are responsible for things, but you are accountable to people. Tell us more about that.
[00:07:07] I said that. Wow.
[00:07:09] Yeah, I like that. Or you might copy that from something. I'm not sure. You know,
[00:07:14] It's interesting, I, I love I love having the opportunity to connect and have these conversations because whenever I talk to someone about one of my books, they've always read it more recently than I have it. Right. But you're right on. I mean, that's that's very accurate. That's the thing. We're responsible for things. We're accountable to people. That report is not going to hold you accountable. I will. However, I'd rather look at it as a leader will help you be accountable, because that's really the relationship that we want. Holding someone accountable is like putting a gun to their head. Nobody wants to be held accountable. But if you inspire me, if you help me be my best, you help as a leader. You help me grow to my potential. You lead me to that potential while that takes energy and effort on your part. But if you show you care enough to do that, then what happens? I would never want to let you down. I would never want to lead this organization. Are you kidding me? Tom's always got my back. He looks out for me. He wants me to be the best I can be. A matter of fact, I know that if an opportunity another organization existed that will allow me to grow even more, he would want me to take that because I saw him do that with Sue. Now, when you have that kind of track record as a leader, people will march to the ends of the world on your behalf and your organization's behalf and those organizations, small or large, or the ones that kill the competition. So you're accountable for things. You're responsible for things. You're accountable to people. Accountability is keeping your commitments to people. But I'm not talking about the tactical commitments that I'm talking about the relational commitments, and it's the relational commitments, the non transactional commitments between people that we make and many times never even verbalize. But we make them in in our minds and in our hearts. That's what builds relationships and that's what inspires accountability.
[00:09:06] Yeah. And, you know, I never had any formal training in this. I must have got lucky or something because when people get hired here, which hasn't been any many lately, because they've been other ones have been here so long, but I say I don't expect you to be here thirty years for and get a gold watch out of me and then they're here fifteen years or so. So they, they see that I and I make them twice a week. When we have a meeting, I make them tell something personal improvement that they've done or something. And I'm always interested in their family and their dogs and their kids and all that stuff. And I think that must have something to do with it, that they're staying so long or they're desperate, you know?
[00:09:50] Well, yeah, I mean, I'm I seriously doubt you're the only job that they do. Yeah. And so what happens is when people want to be recognized as human beings and appreciated and when you first of all, what's more important than you to you, than your family, what's more important to your team than their family? And don't think that your job that you're accompanying, the job that you're giving someone is more important to them than their family, because if you do, you're sadly mistaken. And when you show as a leader, as an entrepreneur, as a small business person is a large business person, when you show that you care about people's families, that means that you care about what's most important to them. There is nothing that can replace that kind of connection.
[00:10:37] Yeah, that's for sure. It's just it's it's really a beautiful, beautiful thing. You know, you think of business as just numbers and stuff, but there's so much more so. So you've been screwing the commute for a long time, but you did work in two other businesses. But but tell us about those and how you transitioned out. They were family businesses, which is interesting on both sides of the family.
[00:11:01] Well, yeah. You know, it's yeah, I've I've I went from the fire to the frying pan, but I loved it. I work I worked in a family business with my parents. And then I bought into my father in law's business and and worked on on that side. So I'm. I'm well versed on family business and the ups and the downs and the good and the bad, and there's most it's mostly good. I mean, I had two very positive situations. The reason I left the first company is that I didn't like the business. I didn't enjoy what the business entailed. And I'm the company that I went to with my father in law was a manufacturing business. And that's what I really wanted to do. I wanted to manufacture and distribute a product. And so we manufactured windows and doors. I came into the company. My responsibility was initially was the sales side of it, until eventually it became overarching. But we in my time there, we we grew the thing over 400 percent soldier of Fortune 500 company. And I was fortunate enough to be able to walk out of there with what I needed behind me to move to the next phase of my life.
[00:12:07] And how did you take a break after that? Or how did you transition to doing what?
[00:12:12] I'm sorry. There's static on the line. Yeah, I. Yeah. You know, so. So the transition was simple. Three years before we sold the business, I started to write a book and I started in December and the goal was by the end of the year to be sending it off to the publisher, to the printer. However, it was going to be handled, and that's exactly what happened at the end of the year. The book went, it was printed. I sent a copy to a trade association and I was hired to speak in front of fifteen hundred people. So my first professional speaking job was in front of fifteen hundred people. I know. Insane, right? And yeah, it took 10 years before I realized that I was finally as good as I thought I was 10 years before. But that's a separate issue. And and so that began the trends began the transition. So I started speaking while I was actually still involved in ownership in this one to indoor manufacturing business. And literally somebody somebody came in and said they wanted it more than we wanted it. And so that loud bang that you heard several years back were my keys hitting the desk as I went out the door because I was ready to move on. I was ready to to get out and do what really connected with my purpose, my unique purpose, which is helping people be the best they can be and to reach their potential.
[00:13:38] Well. I think I've heard you say also, and we kind of touched on it earlier, small business people should not try to fix the employees. They need to fix the leadership, which is them.
[00:13:52] Well, yeah, that's where everything starts. First of all, if you need to fix employees, then you hired the wrong employees. And that's not to say that we all can't get better now. We need to help them grow. But that's not fixing. We need to help our people be the best they can be. There's nothing more there's nothing more rewarding to me than when I work with a leadership team in an organization. And subsequent to that, it's some sort of organization wide event. Their spouses, their and maybe their wife will come up to me and she'll say, you know, my husband's a better person for having worked in this organization. That is what it's about. And that's not fixing someone, but that's helping someone grow to be their best. And that's what a leader should do. And if a leader does that, then you're going to attract the best and you're going to keep the best. If we as leaders are focused on our people, if we as leaders accept the responsibility that we need to be accountable to and for our people, then what happens? We attract the best. We keep the best. We're focused on them. They focus on the numbers. They take care of the bottom line. They make sure we reach the goals or exceed the goals. That's the type of organization I want to build.
[00:15:06] All right. So let's take this down to some real practical tips for very I mean, a lot of people that have small businesses don't even think of themselves as leaders or read leadership books. They're just putting out fires every day and trying to keep the bills paid. So what are some of the things that really small businesses can do to improve their leadership ability to make the whole thing better in the long run?
[00:15:33] All right, so you're absolutely correct, we get trapped up in working in the business instead of working on the business, and that may be our greatest mistake and challenge as a small business owner. So we need to not just look at the tactics of the business. We need to look at the spirit of the business of who we are as an organization. We need to it's imperative that we make time to work on the business and I guarantee you will get a return on that. Tactics are abundant. I don't care what business you're in. I can learn the tactics and be as good tactically as you are. Just go on YouTube, look it up, learn the tactics, give me an afternoon. That's not a problem. But the spirit of the business is what differentiates you, your relationship with your people, how your people interface with the customers. And believe me, how they interface with the customers is a direct correlation to how you interface with them. So where does it start? Well, first of all, we need to be continuously growing ourselves. You've already mentioned that we need to be you need to be reading a book, listening to a book, watching a video on YouTube.
[00:16:42] Personal development is critical. Second of all, as a as a as a small business owner, you define your culture through your values, having understanding and having a clear, definitive set, a great set of values, a complete set of values is is critical. And if if you don't have that, then what happens is you make inconsistent decisions. You get bogged down people that work around. You don't know how to make decisions. Once you have a set of values as new, you hire to the values you fire from the values that is the central piece of of. Of what we need in a business, that's what you know, if I was advising someone, I'd say, you know what? Let's sit down. Let's talk about what you believe. Let's talk about what you believe is an organization. And we want to define the sandbox that we're all going to be in. And I would do that through the values. And by the way, Tom, we do have a free values worksheet that we can make available to your listeners. I'm happy to do.
[00:17:38] Yeah, we want to we're going to take a short sponsor break. When we come back, we're going to see what a typical day looks like for Sam. And then he's got really great freebie for you and he's got an up and coming program. That could be a serious revenue stream for a lot of you out there. And a lot of people are coaches and consultants and speakers on my list. So and I don't really promote a lot of this stuff because I don't trust the people running a lot of the people that the certification programs. But I trust Sam well, at least enough to copy a couple of CDs for me. So thank you. So he said thank you. I think so. So folks, about 23 years ago I kind of turned the Internet marketing guru world on its head and the people at my level were charging 50 or 100 grand up front to teach you what they knew. And I knew a lot of these people were giving 50 grand up front. You'd never see him again. So I said, that's too risky. And it's not right to put small business people in that have, you know, dangerous financial position. So I said, OK, I'm going to turn this upside down. And I made him all mad because I charged like 10 percent of what they were charging as an entry fee.
[00:18:55] And then I tied my success to their success. So for me to get my fifty thousand, you have to net two hundred thousand. Well, people really like this idea because they knew I wouldn't disappear on them and 7500 plus students later in 23 years. It's still going strong and it's the longest running, most unique, most successful digital Internet marketing mentor program ever. And I triple dog dare people to put their they're up against mine and nobody will do it because it'll put them to shame. It's so unique. You have an immersion weekend that this giant retreat center in Virginia Beach, we have a TV studio here where we shoot marketing videos for you. Everything is one on one. We don't lump in with groups where you're either lost because we're talking advanced or you're bored because we're talking basic. So it's one on one. Anybody, myself and my staff will take over your computer, show you where to click. Nobody, nobody at my level even talk to you, let alone do this kind of stuff. So so it's crazy, really powerful like that. Plus, you get a scholarship to the school. I mentioned earlier where we're doing the pilot program and we had one guy join the mentor program, gift this to his daughter.
[00:20:12] And after four months in the school, she's making six thousand dollars a month as a side hustle. So it's really powerful, hard core skills that are in high demand that I've been using since 1994 when the commercial Internet started and kept this beautiful lifestyle business I have and helped thousands of others. So check it out. It's at IMTCVA.org is the school and then the mentor program is greatInternetmarketingtraining.com. Give me a call. I'm very accessible. I'd love to help you and and you can gift that program like I said to some young person, and it would be one of the best legacy gifts you could ever give them, because instead of, you know, hawking your house to send them to a four year college to learn how to protest and then they get out and compete for jobs at Starbucks, they'll have a skill that's in high demand by every business owner. So check it out.
[00:21:11] All right. Let's get back to the main event, Sam Silver. You know what? I'm kind of embarrassed because I've known this guy for two thousand years. And one time I said Silverstein. And one time I said Silverstein. And I really don't know, it's somewhere in between.
[00:21:24] So we'll go with Silverstein and I'm not worried.
[00:21:27] Silverstein And and it was just always Sam to me because that was my dad's name. So he gets extra bonus points for that. But so, Sam, tell him what a typical day looks like for you. Now, you know, all of us speakers had a drastic change during this pandemic. So how's that going for you? And then you got some great gift for him and tell him about your certification program.
[00:21:52] Wow, that's a lot there. Typical day. I'm usually I'm up at about five fifteen. I jump on to to clubhouse for a little while and hang out in the room on clubhouse, sharing, learning. And then I like to get that in early and got a
[00:22:09] Do you hang out.
[00:22:10] Well, one of the ones is the Success.com Breakfast Achievers Club. I do my own room on Friday afternoons at four o'clock Eastern Time, where we talk about personal growth changing the way we think
[00:22:25] We're recording on a Friday. Awesome.
[00:22:28] Yeah, there we go. Yeah. This afternoon at 4:00 Eastern, I'm on clubhouse. Would always welcome people to join in. And then Wednesday mornings I do a actually do a seven 30 Eastern A room on. It's called the culture conversation. Yeah. A.M. I am. And we talk about workplace culture, how to build a stronger culture in your organization, what what erodes the culture, what you can use to build the culture. And so we do that every Wednesday morning and it's amazing who shows up and has and joins in the conversation. Look, man, a lot of people have learned a lot about workplace culture just in that once a week, meaning that I do. So I do that in the mornings and then I like to get my workout in. And depending on the time of the year, if it's summer, if it's winter time, I'll work out over the lunch hour because I want a little more heat in the day. I'm in St. Louis and it can be chilly. But might you have built out a pretty elaborate studio here which allows me to work with and speak to organizations literally around the world. So this week I I had worked with one of my large clients and in Saudi Arabia and and at the same time, I'm collaborating with someone in the U.K. and, you know, I mean, it's it's a flat world now. So it it I mean, last week I was in Minneapolis. I was on stage for the first time in a year for a speech, which was great. But in the meantime, I've had two or three other speaking opportunities that I that I literally handle here in my studio. So I love that. I love not being able I love being on stage Tom. But I, I love getting up and being able to come here and not having to travel and not having to deal with that.
[00:24:12] Oh, tell me about I haven't been on a plane in two years and I'm just thrilled. I love it, especially when you could make as much money from home and killing yourself and getting thrown off planes.
[00:24:25] Right, exactly. And so and that's why that's why I've taken, you know, as an author of 11 books. I've really and let me tell you, I'm starting number 12 and already having a rough outlines on what 13 and 14 could be. I just really believe in this message of accountability and the difference it makes in our lives, the difference it makes and in in our organizations and the people that work for those organizations. So I I want this message out there. My mission is to build a more accountable world. I can't do it by myself. And that's why we that's why I founded the Accountability Institute and that's why we created the Certified Accountability Advisor. And so what we're doing is, is licensing individuals to be able to take all this content, this incredible content that I've developed and present it to their clients to use it to help their clients grow. And not only are we teaching them what accountability really is, we're teaching them how to present it. We're providing facilitation guides, participant workbooks, PowerPoint slides, text online training, online assessments, all the tools. If someone just actually I was talking to yesterday and they said, oh, my God, this little piece could be five hundred thousand for someone easily in their business. And I'm like, you know what? I never really stop to think about it because I'm focused on the message. But you're absolutely right. Somebody wants to build a business. This can be the cornerstone.
[00:25:50] Yeah. And how much could they what's their range of fees that you would get to to do one of these gigs?
[00:25:57] Well, you know, it's interesting, just the online assessment. If someone's doing a cultural assessment for an organization, they could generate anywhere from seventy five hundred and twenty thousand dollars year just doing the assessment. And that's not even a presentation. Last year when covid hit, we sold a we sold a one week project with a client that was one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. And then this year I've got another client, for instance, we sold in eighty five thousand dollars project to it's it's incredible the opportunity that's out there if you can make a difference for for an organization.
[00:26:34] Exactly. Exactly. So now this isn't quite ready for public consumption today as we record this, but you do have a freebie for them and then they'll be on the list to hear about it when it comes out, right?
[00:26:47] Yeah, absolutely. So there's a couple of things they can do. One, if if if they want to work on their values, we have a values which if they can go to SamSilverstein.com/valuesworksheet, there's a free download to help them work on their values if they want some insights. I have an accountability assessment and individual assessment takes three minutes and that's it. AmIaccountable.com and those are just a couple of freebies that that can be helpful, and once once they sign, they'll get on the list, they'll get a notification when we launch and we're getting pretty close to launching and making this available. And anyone that's really super serious, just from hearing this, just reach out. And it's easy to send an email to advisor@SamSilverstein.com.
[00:27:38] There you go. And we'll have all of this in the show notes for you folks so you don't have to write it down. You can just click on it and and hit Sam up. So. So, Sam, good catching up with you, man.
[00:27:49] Tom, it is great to catch up with you've always you've been amazing in helping people move the needle in their business and you've made a difference. And I've always valued that in in watching you up close and from afar. So it's always been an honor to be associated with you. It's great to visit with you today. Any time you want to talk about accountability, workplace culture, even for small organizations, because it's super critical to deal with this when you're small. You know my number.
[00:28:16] You're awesome, man. So everybody, check out the show notes for all Sam's great stuff. Consider that certification program because that could be a business in itself. And you hear that kind of money big companies spend on this stuff and you could still work from your home and screw that commute. But I like about the bringing in screw the commute.
[00:28:37] OK everybody. We'll catch you on the next episode. See you later. And don't forget, help me out to help those people with disabilities when you see the announcement for that. All right everybody, we'll catch you later.