“Think Do Say” author Ron Tite joins Andrea to talk about thinking before saying, leaning in to our idiosyncrasies (or “bugs”), thoughts on profanity, how filtering your personal brand is like choosing an outfit from your closet, and how to deal with those annoying pitch slappers!

RON TITE RESOURCES

CONNECT WITH ANDREA & TALK ABOUT TALK


TRANSCRIPT

If you’re like me, and a lot of people that I talk to, you probably have a love hate relationship with social media. We love connecting with interesting people and learning new things. but we hate the annoying people and wasting our time. sound familiar?
I choose to spend most of my time on social media on linkedin.
LinkedIn used to be the online platform for job seekers. but nowadays it’s more like the virtual water cooler conversation. sure it’s focused on our careers and our professional life but it’s a lot more than just job seeking. it’s learning, it’s mentoring, it’s connecting, and a lot more.
Of course there are the folks on LinkedIn who are constantly in sales mode, sending you direct messages To help you accelerate your sales funnel or gain a million followers. I also get a lot of pitches from people who want to be a guest on this podcast or who want to write a guest post on the talkabouttalk.com website. again, this is all about generating sales. So annoying.
That all said, just about every day I read something that inspires me on linkedin. There are certain people who I follow who consistently add value to the platform. one of these folks is the knowledgeable, generous and entertaining Ron Tite, whom you’re going to meet in just a few minutes

In this conversation with ron, you’re going to his advice for how to simplify your out of control brand strategy document. We also talk about how to apply these insights to your own Personal brand. We cover the difference between self-awareness, honesty, transparency and authenticity, we cover insights about profanity, and yes, we talk about Pitch-Slappers… Pitch slappers is the name is the label that Ron tight gave to those annoying folks on social media who politely request a connection and then bam – slap you with a pitch. he even created a segmentation scheme for them.
Pitch slappers is the label that Ron Tite gave to those annoying folks on social media who politely request a connection and then bam – slap you with a pitch. he even created a segmentation scheme for them.
there’s the Groper,
The stumble upon,
The smoke blower,
The howdy partner,
The mother, or father Teresa,
The script follower,
And, of course Robbie random.

I love it!

Welcome to Talk about Talk podcast episode #159 “Think, Do Say” with Ron Tite”

 

In case we haven’t met, my name is Dr. Andrea Wojnicki and I’m your executive communication coach. Please just call me Andrea. I coach executives like you to improve your communication skills so you can communicate with confidence and and ultimately achieve your career goals. You can learn more about what I do on the talkabouttalk.com website. There are lots and lots of resources for you there. There’s one-on-one coaching, boot camps, online courses, information about corporate workshops, and of course, the archive of this bi-weekly podcast. And while you’re on the website, I really hope to sign up for my bi-weekly email newsletter. That newsletter is your chance to get free communication coaching from me in your email inbox, plus some behind-the-scenes insights, information about the most recent podcast episodes, and upcoming programs. So please sign up for that newsletter.

 

Ok, let’s get into this. I’m sure you want to hear from Ron Tite. If you’re a frequent listener of talk about talk, you probably know how this is going to go. First, I’ll introduce Ron, we’ll get right into the interview. Then at the end I’m going to summarize with the top three learnings that I want to reinforce with you, based on the interview. Three things that I hope will help you in your quest for improved communication skills.

 

Now, let me introduce Ron.

 

As an entrepreneur, speaker, and best-selling author, Ron Tite has always blurred the lines between art and commerce. Ron is what you might call a Renaissance man.

He is founder and chief strategy and creative officer of an agency called Church+State, host and executive producer of the hit podcast, The Coup, and executive producer of the Canadian Screen Award nominated documentary film, Fresh Water (Crave, 2021). He has written for television, has been a frequent guest on CTV, CBC, and Global news programs, and was a judge on the CTV business reality show, Dream Funded. He wrote and performed a hit play. Created a branded art gallery. Published an award winning comedy book for the CBC. And for 5 years was the host and executive producer of the Canadian Comedy Award nominated show, Monkey Toast. This was before the time a few years ago when I was a guest on monkey toast. quite an experience, having improv actors on stage basically making fun of you. yes, Ron has a great sense of humor. He’s very clever. he’s also in demand as a speaker all over the world. Ron speaks to leading organizations about topics such as creativity, disruption, leadership, and growth. 

He’s also written a few books. in 2016 he co-authored his first book called open quotes Everyone’s an artist, or at least they should be his second book is the one we’ll be talking about in this episode, quote think do say how to seize attention and build trust in a busy busy world close quote.

His 3rd book, The Purpose of Purpose, will be released in the fall of 2024. I can’t wait to get my hands on that one. but now let’s listen to Ron’s insights about thinking, doing and saying.

 


INTERVIEW

Thank you very much, Ron, for joining us here today to talk about, think, do, and say.

Ron Tite: Well, thanks, Andrea, thanks for having me.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: Why don’t we start by having you describe what the main premise of your book is which I’ve got sitting here right over my corner, the corner of my shoulder.

Ron Tite: Beautiful. Over there looks fantastic.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: Doesn’t it look fantastic? It’s it’s actually always there. It’s usually turned in.

Ron Tite: Yeah.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: Always there it is

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: so why don’t you describe what you mean by thinking, doing, and saying.

Ron Tite: Well, this was in reaction to what I saw, as business leaders are the business leaders over complicating their business. and we just went through man. It was like, we need a mission. We need a vision. We need a north star. We need a be, hey? We need a purpose like it was just. It was just getting endless, and I was going around and doing a ton of speeches, and I started to speak to frontline employees. And how do they kind of connect what the organization believes into their actions like? How do they contribute to the goals of the organization? And historically, they would just they would go like they’d either go. I have no idea what a mission revision is. I have no clue. What that what that means, and how it relates to my job. or they would know it by heart. You know they’d go. The mission of this organization isn’t. But and they would. They would spew that because it was beaten their heads on on onboarding day. but they again had no idea what it meant. And so I thought we we, as because business got so complicated that we needed a simplified operating system in order to kind of run and grow businesses. And I just think it was like, well, what’s the simplest. the operating system? And it is really that successful organizations can align what they fundamentally believe. The think part what they do to reinforce that belief, the do part. And then how do they talk about it? And that when you look at, you know, successful organizations, they’re really they’re focused by a sense of purpose. They’re focused by a sense of purpose. They’re still defined by the actions that they take, and that when you look at growth, it happens, really depending on how we, how we talk about it, how we communicate it, and only then will people adopt our ideas and our passions.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: So I’m imagining you running your agency and getting maybe a creative brief from a consumer package goods or some other organization. And and it has all of these things in it that you were listing. Right. Here’s the vision of the brand. Here’s the mission. Here’s the personality. Here’s the values. And you’re like. it’s not helpful. Right? It’s.

Ron Tite: Yeah, it’s just like, well, where do you focus? Which one do you? It’s like that Spiderman meme, you know of, just like, what is it over here? What?

Ron Tite: And and I just thought we needed to simplify because the inputs to it could be really complicated. There’s way, more tools. The consumer journey is, you know, way more complex than it ever has been before. The sales funnel is completely dead. It’s now a sales cyclone like there’s all these things.

Ron Tite: And and I just thought like those. And and it’s only gonna grow. It’s only gonna become increasingly complicated. So let’s simplify the operating system that handles all those in.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: So? Is it a sequence in that order? First you think. then you do, then you say.

Ron Tite: Yes, it’s really funny, cause and I was very conscious about that. And the day I the day the book launched I think I was in a saskatoon or something, and and I was on a I had a morning hit on like a morning show, a TV morning show, and and the anchor, said the he’s the author of Think, say, do, and I thought I can’t correct him. Live on air but everybody often will say he’s the author of things they do. They get it wrong? Because our mind, I think, naturally puts the promotion part before the action part. And I think that’s wrong. I think we want to talk about it first. and before we actually do it. And if we talk about something, what we haven’t done. even if it’s aspirational that has way less credibility. Then you know than stuff that is currently in place or actions that are currently taking place. So yeah, so the do goes before they say. And you need to first figure out what you fundamentally believe in as an organization. And only then, can you, you know, should you focus the activities on reinforcing that purpose, and then, and only once, it’s done. Should you be talking about it.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: So you probably see this massive smile on my face. Ron.

Ron Tite: Yeah.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: I coach the the topic that I coach executives on more than any other is actually their personal brand, which I say it’s synonymous in terms of their professional identity. So I’m not talking about turning people into social media influencers or monetizing their brand. I’m talking about them. thinking deeply about who they are, what they care about what their expertise and passions are, and then going out and communicating it. So I I actually say explicitly. compared to other communication coaches. When you work with me, we’re going to spend way more time on step one which is creating or articulating the brand, and then step 2, the communicating becomes so much easier.

Ron Tite: Right and.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: Yeah. So I think that might be one of the reasons why that your book resonated with me. So much. So it’s that, plus the fact that you’re really encouraging consistency. right?

Ron Tite: This is a rapid head. Nod.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: Yeah, I see a big smile there, too. Yeah, yeah. So I you know what I say sometimes is garbage in garbage, out quality and quality out, and I don’t understand. So I’ve you know I’m curious what other coaches are, and personal branding coaches are coaching their folks on, and I see. So sign up and I’ll teach you how to get 1,000 followers. What you need to do is, you know, fill in the blanks with these posts online and guaranteed. And I’m like, Wait, what? How do they know what they’re even talking about? Yeah, I mean.

Ron Tite: And Warren Tomlin calls it random acts of digital. It’s just random bunch of random stuff. And yeah, we when we work with brands and executives, and we use that is, I mean, the book and the speech are what I, you know, call that the kind of the corporate theater version of it. But when we get into, you know, working with, you know big brands. It gets way more granular and kind of way, more strategic but it’s still. It’s the exact same operating system.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: So have you ever thought about the analogy of taking your process that you take your clients through to a person.

Ron Tite: Yeah, yeah, we.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: Brands to people, brands right?

Ron Tite: Oh, yeah, yeah, we’ve we’ve worked with Olympians. We’ve we’re right now. We’re working with 2 executives. So sometimes the organization will go through a huge transformation. and we think that often not always. but often, the face of the company can be a separate, independent marketing channel and that it can drive investor relations. It can drive internal alignment. It can drive, you know, prospects and biz dev and things like that. And so. But we can’t just have them kind of parroting. You know what the organizational beliefs are. So you know, as an example. One. I can’t say the organization right yet, cause. It’s not live yet, but large Canadian organization, and who have fundamental beliefs about the category that they’re in. Now when we get to the CEO, what does she believe in? Well, we’re articulating in the in the area of collaborative leadership. that how are they? Gonna how is the organization going to achieve this with various stakeholders. It’s through collaborative leadership. And so that’s what the person stands for, and that contributes to what the organizational goals are. But it’s how she plays an individual role in it.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: Interesting. I could go off on a tangent inquiring about collaborative leadership and what the difference is between that and servant leadership. But I’m not going to go there. I’m going to ask you another question with very many of my clients when I’m coaching them on their personal brand. I asked them whether there’s part of their identity that they know is unique about them. Did they end up trying to hide. especially in their job? And there’s a quote in your book where you say it’s not a bug, it’s a feature. And when I read that I was like ding ding. So, for example, I want to. I want to give you a couple of examples. One is a common one is when people have an accent, and they say to me, Andrea, can you help me bury my accent? I don’t want to have an accent anymore, because I’m I’m thought of as the foreigner I’m like, hang on a second. The research says. if I can understand you clearly and I can, then I then I register for an accent, and then I just hear the content like it’s insignificant. Secondly, this is your opportunity to provide evidence of something that actually is valuable. And that is your global experience. Right? So you’re not a foreigner. You’re a lawyer with global experience and.

Ron Tite: Thrilled with that.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: And the other example is a woman that I was coaching who’s a senior partner at one of the big audit firms. and she said, well, I know what stands out about me is my sense of humor, and I really have to quash it. So I know. And we can. We can also talk a lot about humor, because I think you have a great sense of humor. But I said to her, Didn’t you just get promoted? Yeah, does your boss not know you have a sense of humor? Yeah. Do you think that your sense of humor was part of the reason you got promoted? She goes I don’t know. And I said, Well, are you not the person in the room that brings levity to otherwise overly intense situations? She goes well, yeah. And I said, and you know, not to tell off color, you know. Inappropriate jokes, of course, even though even though that’s my what might be playing in the track in your head. And she said, Okay, okay. And I said, you need to lean. Lean into this as your superpower. It’s not your main superpower, but it’s one of them. And she she felt this immense sense of relief. Can you comment on this whole thing? The it’s not a bug. It’s a feature. I’m going to quote you on that. I love that.

Ron Tite: Yeah, that that was from a from a a CEO who Chatham house rules were in effect, so I can’t tell you who it was.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: Hey!

Ron Tite: But he was. He is the a global CEO of a of a global software company that we all know. And he’s from the deep South in the Us.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: Okay. Oh.

Ron Tite: And he was at a Cp. Before the software company was at a Cpg. Who will go unnamed, and they sent him on a Leadership Development course when he hit Vp. And he said, I quickly realized the sole purpose of the Leadership Development course was to get me to lose my Southern accent because they didn’t feel I’d have credibility on the global stage. And that’s when he said. And I kait cause I realized it is a bug. It’s a feature.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: Love it.

Ron Tite: Yeah, it was amazing. But I think there’s a couple of things with that. I think if you if you hide something from well, I think we all have this like belief that we’re supposed to look and act and sound like the stock photo version of whatever we think an executive in our field is supposed to look and act and sound like.Hmm. And that’s just bullshit it. It is because you and when you do that you kind of take on this mindset that oh, this is what I’m supposed to say, and this is what I’m supposed to do, and you lose your authenticity and you lose your uniqueness. And I think in the gut of the people that you’re dealing with. They think if they’re hiding the real you for me, like, what else are you hiding like? This is just some Polish scripted version of of you, and I don’t know what you’re hiding there. And so that’s the first thing is, I think authenticity helps to build trust. My definition of authenticity is just being comfortable with your supposed imperfections. Because that’s what people buy. That’s what they that’s what they trust, and that’s what they believe. The other side of it, though, is that when people go one of them in a hall, you know, like, am I supposed to lean into that authentic person. And so yeah, there has to be a business model that supports your authentic self, so you can’t just be who you are. But there’s also, you know, to the example that you talked about with the, with the humor. the metaphor there is. you know. if if you’re single and you’re going on blind dates. Well, you probably have a whole wardrobe of clothes, and if you find out you’re going on a date with an investment banker. You probably go. You know what I’m gonna wear this suit. I’m gonna wear this one but if you have a date with a total tree hugger. Then you probably have something else. You more dribble. You’re like, you know, I’m gonna wear this thing. This is what I’m gonna wear for for this. And so what you’re doing is you’re accessing different aspects of your personality. And all these things are all in your wardrobe. They’re all a shade of yourself, but they’re true and authentic. You already own them. Now, if you go out and buy something that you don’t have to try and become something that you’re not. Then you can fee you feel it. It doesn’t feel right, you know, like everything. And you just. You’re not. You never yourself. So to the people who are. You know the the funny people they’re like, well, I’m funny, but I can’t bring it to a meeting like well, you probably don’t bring it to a funeral, do you? No, okay, so that’s where there’s kind of 0% humor is your funerals version of yourself. But but to a baby shower. Oh, you probably have a little bit of humor that that shows up, and to to a board meeting there’s probably a little bit there, and you, you know, and you dial all the way up to sitting on a dock with a beer with your friends. So we’re not all 100 humor. you know, executive and 0% humor executive. We all have shades of those different personalities, and it’s dialing them up and dialing them down to suit the situation that we’re in.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: I love that shades and dialing it up and dialing it down. I talk about filtering right? So that’s I say, the F word of personal branding is filtering. Share every part of yourself with every single person that you meet. They think you were crazy. You couldn’t show up wearing your entire wardrobe right.

Ron Tite: Right. That’s.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: I like that analogy as well. It’s beautiful.

Ron Tite: One of one of the. It’s funny because one of the first things I do

Ron Tite: in speeches. Usually they’re they’re always different. But I’ll usually talk about my kids within the first 3 min and make a joke about like I’m 53, and I have a 4 year old and a 6 year old. and right away it takes the script of the speaker that they’ve heard 4 million times and removes it. And it’s and it just shows up. It shows the human that who’s before them opposed to just the the speaker.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: There’s something about talking about our family, isn’t there?

Ron Tite: Yeah, yeah, I think so.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: Me. It’s I have 3 ginormous children. My my sons are 6, 7, and 6 8 Am.

Ron Tite: Like no.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: Yeah. And people go. How do you feed them? I’m like, Oh, let me talk. Talk to you about like inventory in the refrigerator. It’s ridiculous.

Ron Tite: Wow! Oh, yeah, they tower. They would tower over me.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: Yeah. And I buy like 2 bunches of bananas. And then I get up in the morning. They’re all gone. I’m like, anyway. Yeah, there’s there’s something about talking about your family, though, that just you know. Okay, I saw a little glimpse into your life right.

Ron Tite: Yeah, exactly. So.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: You mentioned authenticity. This is another topic that I’m often questioned about, that I have a lot of thoughts about

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: after well, during and after the pandemic there was there was a common headline, that was or question, I guess. Should we share our whole selves at work? Yes or no?

Ron Tite: Was like.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: We should never share our whole selves. People would think we’re crazy right? And then I was like, if you’re talking. And also what’s the difference between authenticity and transparency. because a lot of people think being transparent and being authentic means sharing everything like every part of your personal life, like the bad stuff your kids did, or the thing that you’re not proud of, or whatever right can you talk about that a little bit and and relate it back also to product brands.

Ron Tite: Yeah. I I’d love that inside of that cause. There are a lot of people who like, I’m gonna over share, because that’s being transparent. It’s like, Hmm, we, you know. I don’t think we need to know everything, especially if it if we, you know, if it doesn’t contribute to the positioning of the brand, be it personal or organizational, then I don’t think you want to talk about your failures now, I think. saying and being honest and saying, of course I’ve had stuff that hasn’t gone the way I thought it was going to go. Of course, like, of course, I have but that doesn’t mean we have to get up every single day and share every single detail of like what went wrong that day, where we let ourselves down and everything. I don’t. I don’t think we we need to share that, because what I find is that then that just becomes the stuff that people share. That’s the only thing they share. Yeah. And they don’t. You know, they don’t end up sharing the great business insight. They don’t share the positive stuff they don’t like. And so I think you need to keep focused on where you’re going to add value for people, and anything that helps you add value like the honesty that goes like, oh, that’s gonna bring more trust to to my message. Then, of course, you share that, and anything that detracts from it. Maybe you don’t lead with that now, of course, when questioned, or if it comes up like, of course you do, you know you don’t lie about anything? I do think it does get weird when? What? The definition, because the definition is different for everybody. Some people don’t want to share like their background kind of thing. So I’m in my basement. And the reason I have this is because I use I love you good, but I use like, you know. Oh, there we go, you know. So I. So there’s my kids right? So I use photos in doing virtual keynote presentations. And it’s just way easier for me to do this and post to creating a a background for for people. But I did say in the middle of the pandemic at 1 point. that I thought people that when you do welcome your personal life into your work life that your roots are showing. And I don’t. Yeah mean these roots.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: Nice.

Ron Tite: It’s your roots, the things that keep you grounded and and focused and and stable those things, I think when you expose your roots, then I think, you people get to see where your stability comes from and where the important things are in your life. So oftentimes because my office is in the basement. The kids are home, that door will open and the kids will come in. and I will immediately. Even if it’s a client, I will pop my kids up on my lap, and I wear an earpie so they can’t really hear what’s going on anyhow. But I have no issues having my kid join a meeting like I’ve no no clause button at all. Not everybody else shares that definition, and that’s totally cool. I think you just need to stay within the boundaries that you’ve established for yourself. Yeah.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: But so, as you were describing that I was, I was thinking about the hero’s journey archetype. and how you probably witness this as well, right. There’s there’s this successful storyline right where you have someone. Their their mom dies. Usually it’s the Disney story, right? The mother dies. They flounder. They find someone. They’re not sure where they’re to trust them. They have to make a decision. There’s a crisis, this whole story, right? And and the popular advice. If you’re standing up on stage, is be vulnerable and share a story. Follow the hero’s journey, and I feel like sometimes you said people get obsessed, and they? They fall into this. This, I’m paraphrasing what you said. But they they fall into this pattern of it’s almost like self deprecation. Yeah, right? It. Do you. Do you think it’s related to this common advice of what’s your hero’s journey story? Yeah, I think so. Yeah, I think I think we. And which is

Ron Tite: especially from a speaking standpoint. that’s the wrong approach. You don’t want to be the hero on stage. Like all those stories I’ll tell young speakers. They’ll come to me, and they’ll say, you know, I’ve got a really unique story that I should share on stage. and I’ll always stop them and go great. Just hold on a sec. I want to hear the story. That’s okay, just remember one thing. the guy before you, the person who spoke before you. He went to space. But the space. Okay, now, how special is this story you got. And they’re like, I built a business that you’re like, right? Yeah, not so special, so special to you. Not that you shouldn’t be proud of, so I don’t speak about Church and State on stage. I don’t share any of our work. I don’t do any of it, cause I’m not there to be the hero. I’m not saying you should live like me. No, I am here as a curator of of information, and my advice is sure. Surely it is based on personal experience and what I’ve gone through. But it also is what the literature has kind of said. This is what works really well, and it’s a mix of data and anecdotes and stuff. The only time I share a personal story is when somebody else is the hero in my story. then it makes it really unique, and nobody else can tell that story. But I shouldn’t be the hero in that story.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: You’re making me think about all the stories that I’ve been telling, and I’m thinking, am I the hero, or is someone else the hero. I love telling stories of transformation of my clients. Not. I’m not making myself the hero for coaching them to that. It’s they’re the hero for raising their hand, for self-improvement or self-development right, and then doing the work.

Ron Tite: Yeah, I mean, it’s.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: Purple that that’s this message.

Ron Tite: Ye. Yeah, I mean, I think it all comes down to like I won’t do it in speeches, cause it’s only an hour, and I’m you know there’s a very specific reason I’m there. But if you look at the body of Linkedin work well. you know, I post typically, I share stuff 3 times a day. So that’s a ton of content. and I know that occasionally I will, you know. share something really vulnerable. I will talk about my mom. The effect my mom had on me. And here’s what’s crazy is. I know that when I do that the number of shares and likes, and but all the superficial metric stuff is going to go through the roof. I know that and most marketers would go. Oh, that’s driving your numbers. You should just do more of that. and I go. I don’t wanna do. I don’t wanna do more. I don’t wanna be that person, that’s all they share is those vulnerable, vulnerable things, but 5% of the post, 2% in the post. Sure. I think that then, makes you a more complete human being. And do I talk about what we do at church and state? 7% of the post, or whatever you know, whatever the numbers are. Yeah. But I try and make the majority of the stuff somebody else’s thoughts that can add value to the person who’s reading it.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: Well, Ron, you’ve established a track track record on Linkedin of someone who has valuable information and learning to share with people. You’re funny, you’re insightful. And and so when you show up with something that’s vulnerable and and really authentic, maybe you’re being more transparent about your personal life or your personal experience. That’s why you’re seeing the numbers. I think if they you’re right. If they were all like that, people would be like, Who is this guy?

Ron Tite: Yeah. So people who like take pictures of themselves crying right?

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: There was that one of those went viral. But people were were basically hating on the guy that did that. I don’t know. That was a couple of months ago. Yeah. Speaking of Linkedin, before I pressed record, I was thinking. there’s a good side and a bad side of Linkedin right? The good side is. I got to meet you.

Ron Tite: Yeah.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: I read your posts. I was impressed. I bought your book, I read your book, I invited you to be on my podcast, thank you, Linkedin, for that.

Ron Tite: He does.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: So a bad side of Linkedin, and you talk about it in your book. It’s called The Pitch Slappers. Can you explain that to the readers. This is, oh, I could! We could do the whole interview about this, but.

Ron Tite: Yeah, there, there, you know, back when I was a creative director at Havas, like, just in the kind of the rise of digital and social and stuff. All the pure play digital people like, oh, just you wait, man, T, cause I was, you know. you know, create a vector on a whack of TV spots. And they’d be like, just you wait. Because when digital really comes in, people are only gonna get the ads that they wanna see for the products that they need when they need them on the platforms that they’re on, you know there’ll be no more innocent by standards. And I was like, well, this, this will be great. And you know it was always supposed to be about personalization and customization, not scale. And what people use digital tools now is just for scale. They’re like, if I get point 0 2% of the people who click through, then I don’t mind sending 2 million messages. I don’t mind taking the opportunity to pitch slap somebody every single opportunity I get. If they hate me, I don’t care. Cause point 2% of them is gonna is are gonna convert.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: What do they call it? Spray and play? Is that what they.

Ron Tite: Spray, and pray.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: Right, yeah, right.

Ron Tite: Right? Yeah. And it’s just. And you know. I just think it’s not that it doesn’t work either. Right? I’m not saying it doesn’t work. Of course, it works at point 2%. You’re gonna get and people build businesses based on this. But then you got to be that person.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: Yeah.

Ron Tite: But that’s the person you become. You’ve become the person whose sales pitch is more important than your than your authenticity. and and of course, we’re all there on some level, because we’re interested in business. And we wanna take those tools and those conversations and apply them so that we can improve our businesses and grow our businesses, and there’s an element of sales in all of us and everything that we do. And there’s just a way of earning the trust in order to pitch yourself or your ideas? And building up trust that your priority is to add value opposed to just going for the jugular every single time. I just it’s like it’s it’s like innocent bystanders you’re like, I I’m not even in your target. I don’t know if you saw this thing I’d share that they have somebody who reached out and says, like, I have a client. I’m a certified broker. They wanna buy a church.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: I saw that.

Ron Tite: What like. Clearly. you just are. You’re using this for scale.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: Yeah.

Ron Tite: And I don’t feel so special anymore, let alone. I’m not an owner of a church. So I I I get. Why, it’s so easy. And I get why, there’s an inner. I have the. I fight those demons, too right. I fight the demon of like man. I really would love to work with that client, and I should just pitchlap them.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: No, but you wouldn’t pitch slap them right? Cause I’m I’m just going to read what the segmentation scheme that you create you created. There’s the groper stumble upon the smokeblower. Gotta love them. Yeah. Howdy, partner? The mother, Teresa or Father Teresa, the script follower and Robbie Random. hey, hey? Andrea? What’s your favorite Bagel.

Ron Tite: Yeah, it’s just like random email pitch, Link Linkedin messages that the the and you just, you just know when they come in of which segment they’re in. The smoke blower is like the person is like. You are so brilliant.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: Yeah, I list andre, I listen to your podcast on fill in the blank podcast. Episode. And I really loved it. They don’t say anything about it. They clearly they didn’t listen.

Ron Tite: Coming in there.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: Not that. Not that I would not that it would make a difference anyway, but flattery does not get you everywhere.

Ron Tite: No. no, it does not.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: So I’ve gone through phases where I’ve unconnected like. So some of these, some of these people that are messaging me on Linkedin are my connections. I don’t know them. And I’ve gone through phases where, if someone requests to connect with me and it says. I’ll grow your podcast downloads 10 times, or hey, coaches triple your income by working with me. That’s in their headline. So you know what’s gonna happen right? It’s like a foreshadowing. Yeah, really, even a foreshadowing. But now I just I accept it, and then I get the message and I just ignore it. But I actually have sent people links to your book. then said, read the chapter on first lap.

Ron Tite: Oh, well, thank you. Do you know what I do? Cause I have a similar rule in that I to give anybody the benefit of the doubt. Right? Like, hey? We’re all here to learn and share with one another. I get all of that. So IA right away. I will accept you and give you the benefit of the doubt. but if I suspect something in my acceptance I will say so happy to connect. I don’t want to be pitched. Hi! That’s it!

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: I read that you said that? Yeah, that’s a smart one. I’ve thought about it.

Ron Tite: And then when they come back, you’re like.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: That takes time, Ron. It gives you some kind of satisfaction.

Ron Tite: Oh, no, I have a shortcut.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: You do. You have a shortcut key.

Ron Tite: 100%. That’s that states that line have a quick shortcut.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: I love it. I love it. Okay. before we get into the rapid fire questions I want to ask you about profanity.

Ron Tite: M-

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: Talk about it in your book. So far I think you’ve only sworn once I have to decide whether and.

Ron Tite: I think so.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: But out, or keep this as a clean episode.

Ron Tite: Yep.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: I’ve I’ve actually interviewed a linguist who teaches a course at a university on rap lyrics, and he’s he’s an expert on profanity. So and I’m absolutely fascinated by the topic of profanity. To be honest.

Ron Tite: Yeah.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: What’s your take on it, the impact of it when to do it, when not to do it. Any rules you have for yourself, or things you wish you’d see or not see. Other people do.

Ron Tite: Yeah, again, we all have our line, but mine. Is that I in speeches when it is difficult. The rooms are bigger. Right? So you don’t. You don’t know exactly who’s there and you don’t. Wanna you know you don’t want to abandon you don’t everything else. So the line is so certainly I have a no F bomb ruling speeches, that’s for sure. But I will consciously use the word shit. and I will use it in certain places. because I think it actually a. It’s kind like I’m a swearer. I just. This is just who I am. So there’s a little bit of authenticity there, but I also think it. It can make a it can make your point better. It can really raise the seriousness of of your point. and it could be. It can just may, and that’s what they’re there for to persuade, and people to think like you think.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: Well, if you’re using it selectively, then it is like punctuation right.

Ron Tite: Yeah, it’s a great way to. That’s a great way to describe it. It’s like punctuation, I know. Like, say, Jerry Seinfeld, in in a there’s a great video highly recommend for everybody. It’s called Talk and Funny. It’s Jerry Seinfeld, Ricky Gervais Chris Rock and Louis Ck. And they just talk about comedy and the ins and outs of it, and and and the and the swearing, and they they are the other 3 who swear all the time say to Seinfeld. You don’t swear. and he says, No, I I I mean, I have, but I typically don’t, because I don’t see the funny in it, but he had one joke. and he was doing it, and in his natural delivery there was an F bomb in the joke, and then he consciously said, I’m not going to tell the joke with the F. Bomb. and he knew it was just not as funny. It just wasn’t as funny without the punctuation of the F bomb in it. And he was. He was a little sad at that, because he thought that he was always a purist. but it was like, No, there, sometimes it makes you funnier.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: Really interesting. Yeah, I just having a conversation on the weekend with someone about profanity. You said that you will avoid the F bomb. But you will say. Shit yep.

Ron Tite: I will avoid the F bomb in speeches.

461
Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, I get that. So 1 one thing that this linguist shared with me that that you might also find really interesting is how over the decades, maybe over the centuries, but over the decades profanity evolves where it may be more. The most profane terms may be focused on religion. Right? Just think about that. Yeah, we focused on excrement and filth.

Ron Tite: Yeah.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: They may be focused on sex. And now the worst words, at least in the English language, are derogatory terms about racial minorities. Yeah. And he said, Isn’t that a beautiful thing about our society where the words that are the most taboo are the racist words? Yeah, that’s actually a good sign for humanity, and I was like, Oh, I love that point.

Ron Tite: Yeah, it’s a great sign of progress.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: It is, yeah. Okay. Can I ask you the 3 rapid fire questions. Now.

Ron Tite: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Go for it.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: Okay, I actually don’t know what you’re gonna say about these first question. are you an introvert or an extrovert?

Ron Tite: I’m I’m usually an extrovert, but I’m an extrovert who needs my introverted time.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: Okay.

Ron Tite: Is, that is, that.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: You’re an amber. No, that’s not cheap. You’re an amber vert most. I ask it that way to be provocative. You’re an amber vert which most of us are. we’re right in the middle. Yeah. yeah. Okay. Next question. what are your communication, pet peeves? What do people do that really annoy you? I I.

Ron Tite: Bristle at bad grammar. Gotcha like the word scene. Guess who I seen the other day. I just that drives me but otherwise. I don’t love like if you’re talking broader communications like the the the Powerpoint slide with the 800 points on it. or that you probably can’t read this at the back of the room, because there’s 2.5. But anyhow.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: Read it to you.

Ron Tite: Yeah. that I don’t like. I don’t like leaders who read speeches prepared by their people. especially the reading part, like, there’s the. You know, the Presidential paddles thing is just like that’s a really specific skill that not a lot of people can actually do convincingly.

Ron Tite: So what happens is a lot of leaders. They they deliver speeches that are remarks that are prepared by their Comms team or their handlers. And those people edit those remarks and create those remarks in written form. And so they write them to be read. They’re reading them, and they edit them as they read them, because it doesn’t set, but but they’re not created to be spoken. And so it’s like, Yes, I’m reading this, but no audience is going to read this. They’re going to hear this from somebody speaking it. And so this perfect language that you’ve written is beautifully written. make it like dumb it down. We this is nobody speaks like this. People write like this, but they don’t speak like this.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: Right. I did a podcasting coaching session at one of my kids in their class because they had to create a podcast episode for for an English assignment.

Ron Tite: Nice.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: And I and they were writing their scripts for it, and I said, Here’s a pointer anywhere where you can add a contraction. That’s the way we talk. We don’t say there is, and they are. We say theirs, and there and and the teacher goes. Oh, that’s good! And I said, oh, don’t get me started. That’s just the beginning, right? Anyway. Yeah, we don’t. You’re that’s a great point. We don’t read the same way we hear someone speak or we shouldn’t. Yeah.

Ron Tite: And we get that all the time, because we work with on speeches and stuff for for Ceos, and it’s their handlers that come in they go. Well, I want to see before they see it, and they’ll write. Edit it to sound beautiful. And but it’s like no one’s gonna speak like that.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: Yeah, you know I can. I can imagine where they get there, though, right? Because I’ve had a few executives come to me for what they call media training, and they want to learn how to not go off script. So they are memorizing lines.

Ron Tite: Yep. You’ve been.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: Even for interviews. Note to all the listeners. Yeah.

Ron Tite: You know the trick I use for that. Yeah, you know. But you know the trick that I use for that is a conscious repeat of words like, Yeah, and I’ll get this a lot where that the handlers will say, like, we’ve used this word too many times in this kind of like. No, we consciously did that.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: Oh, it’s.

Ron Tite: It’s like this, change is difficult. Change is hard. Change is dynamic changes moving forward, because that’s how we kind of talk. But they’ll want to sub in different words for change. And like you’re being way too conscious about it like we wouldn’t speak like that.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: I love that Ron Ron. That’s back to the original point of being consistent in what you’re thinking, what you’re doing, what you’re saying, and then hitting your audience over the head with the same message. Because. you know, I I tell people when we’re creating the narrative for their personal brand, you have to say it in your self introduction. You have to say it again in your next self introduction. You need to remind people when you see them. And the thing is. it’s not repetitive to them, because it’s not all about you. It’s it’s actually all about them, right. Okay. Third, in this, not so rapid rapid fire.

Ron Tite: Question.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: Is is there a podcast or a book that you find yourself recommending lately.

Ron Tite: Lately, I mean I I someone just asked me this like about business books, and I the example I gave. It’s a old, old, old, old, old, old, old, old, old one. but it it holds a special place in my heart, because it was the first time I read a business. I think I was 14 or 15, and I wasn’t a business guy. You know. I was not like I was.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: The same age. Ron. I’m really curious what it is.

Ron Tite: I’m 53. Oh, oh, so the book! What’s the book? So the book was. You may have read this. Given your background. It’s what they don’t teach you at Harvard Business School.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: Oh, yeah, of course.

Ron Tite: By Mark Mccormick and the line that got me in that book, and at first tweaked my interest in branding and marketing, and business was the very simple line that Arnold Palmer made more money in his first year of retirement than he ever made playing. And I was like, how is that possible? How? There’s no way? This guy made more money in retirement than he made the one of the best golfers in the world, and it was because of partnership deals. And it was the Arna Palmer brand that that’s what did it. And all those things still hold up. They all hold up. Yeah, mark Mccormick has passed away, and that book still, to me it holds up. Yeah.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: Well, you know. There, I know I talked to a lot of marketers, and they all talk about how originally it was about strategy. So back to your back, to your whole motivation for writing the book. They were talking about strategy and and identifying consumer insights. And now it’s all about data. And I’m like, well.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: and then, what do you do with the data? Or how do you read the data based on the strategy and the insights? Right?

Ron Tite: Yeah, the data. It’s just there’s so much now. And we’re already seeing it with AI where they’re just trying to people just trying to jump the queue to the next thing, like, what’s the next thing? Okay, we’re gonna start using AI, and we went in saying, Yes, of course, of course, of course, of course, you should be using AI. But how about we use it to make us smarter like? Let’s.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: Whoo!

Ron Tite: May use it to make us smarter. and but people are jumping right to how do we crank out? How we just turn to AI and say, Write my book for me. It’s like, that’s maybe eventually, sure. But let’s let’s take step one like, how do we use it to make us a little bit more efficient. How do we use it to make us smarter, so that the insights are better.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: Yeah.

Ron Tite: Not jumping the queue to just cranking out stuff.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: Yeah, yeah. Very well, put Ron. I have really enjoyed this conversation. Is there anything else you want to say to the talk about talk listeners about improving their communication skills, or what they’re thinking, or what they’re doing, or what they’re saying.

Ron Tite: No, no, I mean this has been great. I just can’t think of anything else that other than thanks for investing the time and listening.

Andrea Wojnicki – TalkAboutTalk: Okay, thank you very much. Ron.

Ron Tite: Thanks for having me.

Thanks again to Ron for so generously, sharing his at time and insights with us. If you watched our interview on youtube, you probably noticed that I was smiling the whole time. Ron definitely has a joie de vivre and I appreciate his clever sense of humor.  if you were watching on YouTube you probably also you may have also noticed that Ron is wearing a gingham dress shirt. he shared with me at the beginning when we first logged into the zoom call that he frequently wears gingham. be it blue, gray, pink, purple, gingham is part of his brand. just like turquoise is part of my brand.

Before I get into sharing with you the three learnings that I hope you’ll take away from this conversation, I want to acknowledge that perhaps one of the most useful points from this conversation is Ron’s suggestion on how to respond to potential pitch slappers. you know when you’re on LinkedIn and the person who’s requesting a connection has their pitch in their headline? the one who says, “I’ll help you accelerate your sales funnel” or gain a million followers or whatever. when those people reach out to connect, Ron suggests that you accept the connection with a comment: “happy to connect, not to be pitched.” beautiful!

Now as promised, I’m going to share with you three learnings that I hope you’ll take away from this conversation. 

 the first point I want to reinforce is the title of Ron’s book. the sequence he recommends you can use as a brand manager, creating the brand strategy for your product or service. first you think. then you do. then you say. there’s no need to confuse or overcomplicate things with a voluminous brand strategy document.  Ron is also purposeful and disciplined about the sequence. many people mistakenly focus first on the saying or the communicating. whether you’re managing a product brand, a service brand or even a personal brand, Always start with the thinking. The saying is the last step. For those of you who have taken any of my personal branding workshops or boot camps, you’ll you might recognize this sequence. I’m also very disciplined and strategic about first doing the creating or the articulating and spending most of your time here. then moving on to the communicating step. Ron and I share this belief of garbage in garbage out, quality in quality out. if you spend most of your time in the first step of thinking or creating, the saying or communicating will be a lot easier.

The second point I want to reinforce is a Ron’s line from his book. it’s this quote: “Its not a bug, it’s a feature.” So many of us waste our time trying to hide or change things about ourselves that we see as weaknesses or things that are holding us back. Ron shared the story of the rising executive from the Deep South who was sent to leadership Training. this executive quickly realized that the objective of the training was to erase his Deep South accent. he refused. it’s not a bug it’s a feature. Whether it’s your accent, or your sense of humor, whether it’s your leadership style, or your or a personality trait. of course we need to make sure we these things arent standing in our way of being a productive leader. but there’s often an opportunity to create a narrative around that unique trait and to embrace it as part of your valuable, unique personal brand!

The third point I want to reinforce  is also a line from Ron’s book: “Self-awareness is the purest form of honesty. And honesty is the purest form of authenticity.” 

Ron carefully distinguishes between these terms: SELF-AWRANESS and it’s relationship with HONESTY and how HONESTY relates to AUTHENTICITY, and then in our conversation we also talked about the distinction between AUTHENTICITY and TRANSPARENCY. We should be careful with using each of these terms.

Transparency doesn’t mean you’re sharing every truth about yourself with every person that you meet. I love Ron’s metaphor of choosing what to wear when you go on a date. if the person you’re meeting is an investment banker, chances are you’re going to dress differently than if they’re a tree hugger. sure these are extreme examples, but you get the idea. When I’m coaching folks on their personal brands and how to show up as your authentic self, I remind people that we are all complicated, sophisticated smart humans, with multiple roles that we play in our life. we can’t share everything with everyone all the time. so we filter what parts of our personal identity we share, depending on the person and depending on the context. as Ron says, you can choose which outfit from your closet to wear, depending on the person and depending on the context.

Alright. That’s it. That’s everything for this episode. Thanks again to Ron Tite for sharing his time and insights with us. If you havent already read his book, THINK, DO, SAY,I certainly recommend that you do! there’s a link to it in the shownotes. And I cant wait to read his new book, “The Purose of Purpose,” coming out later this year.

Now, if you enjoyed this episode, I hope you will refer it to one of your friends, and I also hope you’ll leave a review on Apple, Spotify or YouTube or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Thank you so much for listening. Talk soon.