Leading a company or business does not just revolve around making profit and delivering your products or services. In fact, it extends beyond to having a clear vision and impact. In this episode, host Jen Du Plessis interviews business impact strategist Catherine Rocheleau about her strategies on leadership. No one can do business alone. That is why we need to build strong teams if we want to expand our businesses. Catherine gets inside to what she calls ‘The Triple Bottom Line’ that represents the three key factors that make a business more profitable. Tune in to this episode to explore more what these are and maximize their benefits and create a positive impact.
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Creating A Positive Impact Within The Business And Into The World With Catherine Rocheleau
I have a wonderful guest with me, Catherine Rocheleau. She is a business impact strategist who is passionate about creating positive social change through business, which we’re going to talk about. We’re going to talk about leadership. Leadership as it relates to having a positive atmosphere, a positive outlook, a positive culture, being a good leader, communicating well with your team, and building strong teams. We all know that’s important as we continue to expand our businesses. We can’t do it alone. Catherine brings us extensive experience as an entrepreneur.
She’s been instrumental, especially in her diversified background of creating positive organizational change designed to boost profits and business growth while creating stronger teams, better communication and effective leadership. She does this through her IMPACT Business Blueprint Program. Catherine lives in Northern Vancouver, British Columbia. We have met and continue to meet on a regular basis. We’re both in a program together and both in a coaching program called Lead. I see her all the time on screen and then we get the opportunity to meet each other in person where we’re able to go to some of our summits, retreats and workshops. Welcome, Catherine, and thank you for taking the time to share with us. One of the things that you talk about is something called a triple bottom line. Before we get into how we get to be more profitable, let’s talk about this triple bottom line that you like to talk about as it relates to business.
If we think about it, organizations have more than shareholders that they should be responsible for. Unfortunately, the way that we look at most organizations, they are profit-driven. Their primary goal is for shareholder wealth. If we look at the model of business, it is more of a stakeholder model. I use the triangle and it’s the People, Profit and Planet. You need all three factors in your organization that are looking at your shareholders, employees and suppliers. It’s considering your community, the world in general, the environment, but also your profit. If you have a business that is profitable plus they have a purpose, they create positive change in the world for any or all of those stakeholders. When we think about employees, they want to be with companies that do more than making money. That’s where the triple bottom line comes in. It stands for People, Profit and Planet. It is a model that looks at how we maximize the benefit for all three factors when we’re making decisions, looking at operations and looking at outcomes.
You’re right, this is a big topic. In Canada, and maybe I’m in the wrong segment of the market, but I hear about the environmental. When you say planet, for me it means community because that seems to be something that is the buzzword that’s running around in my circle. It’s that community involvement, helping people in the community. It may not be environmental, it may not be about geological, it’s the people that are on the planet. It’s helping people around it. I know that employees have been more attracted to that in the future.Catherine Rocheleau is a master at creating strategies for mission-driven companies that result in higher profits. Click To Tweet
That is a purpose. When you think about it, people can be people in your organization as well as your community. The planet can be the other factors in your community, not only the people. There are other things in the community that you need to be considering.
What do you mean by impact?
Whenever I go into a room, I’ll say, “How many of you in your business wants to make a positive impact in the world?” Everybody raises their hand. I turn around and I say, “How many of you can measure the impact that you make?” and nobody can.
They’re hoping you are. I’m speaking from my perspective as an entrepreneur, but I don’t know how to measure it.Employees today want to be with companies that do more than just make money. Click To Tweet
We all want to do that. There is an impact we make by delivering our product and service. For your audience, if you’re a lender or realtor, you’re trying to make a positive impact by helping people get the home that they desire or the business that they desire. That’s one impact. The impact that I tend to talk about is that indirect impact. It’s beyond what you deliver. How are you benefiting the people in your organization, community and environment in addition to that? That’s what I call the ripple effect. We create an impact by delivering a product or service that we’re passionate about and that we’re good at. What’s that indirect ripple effect that creates a positive impact? When we hire people to work with us, whether we’re contractors or we add to our team as a larger organization, we positively benefit people in our community because we hire those people. They can spend more money. They can help other people and it benefits out from there. That’s what I mean by impact. It’s that ripple effect beyond you delivering your product or service.
Going back to that original question, for example, when I’m speaking someplace. Someone will come up to me and say, “I saw you speak a few years ago. You changed my life.” I’m like, “Make a note of that.” To me, it’s not measurable because I can’t go out and grab it. I know and I hope to God that I’m doing that, that I’m making an impact on people’s lives. How do you measure something that’s intangible?
If you think about it, say for example as a solopreneur or a contractor, you have resources. It’s your skillset. For some realtors, they have vans that they use for their clients. There are times when those vans aren’t being used for their clients, they’re just sitting. They could lend that to a nonprofit for delivering food to the community. Their van gives them credibility. It’s a shared resource, but it has a greater impact. The person who has that van that lends it out can say, “I lend my van out fifteen days of the year. The impact is we feed 50 families every trip.” There’s your impact. You measure those things, volunteer hours that you’re doing. You can measure that, you can convert that into a dollar amount, that becomes a measurable entity. For example, I track all of my volunteer hours and I was over 200 hours of volunteer time. I do that regularly. It’s another metric because that’s me giving back to my community. That wouldn’t happen if I didn’t do it.
I love that because the company I was with before I transitioned out of origination into being a full-time speaker and coach, we did a lot of volunteer hours. We encouraged our employees to take time off of work to do those hours. We didn’t just let them have it. We knew the event was going on and we all did it together. We had shirts whenever we were working together. That’s good. How do you tell the world about that? I get on social media, you can say, “Look at me, I’m holding a hammer for Habitat for Humanity.” If you’re doing more silent things, things that you don’t want to share with the world or they’re more private.
What I’m going at and let me tell you what it is. I’m Catholic. I say that all the time. I deliver communion to people. I can’t take pictures of people at their homes with communion and stuff. I know I’m making an impact on my community in that way. That’s one way that I do volunteer work. The other work that I do is volunteer at a veteran’s facility where they’re dealing with PTSD and not something I want to say other than, “I want to say hi. I’m walking into the veteran’s facility and I want to say that I’m contributing my time. If you can do it in your neighborhood, that would be great.” What are some ways that we could be sharing this to allow for the ripple without it being in a contained vacuum?
What I always say is that each of us has the ability in our businesses once a year to put out a small impact report. We can summarize what our goals for the year were? What are those things and actions that we have taken to be more environmentally friendly, to better pay our team members, or to take care of our team members? How have we used our time? That example of allowing employees time off of work as paid time, they are a representative of your company, but they’re doing something that the employee is also passionate about it. There’s that triple win that I always like to talk about because the employee wins, the company wins and the recipients win. Why not? We can talk about it. We don’t have to do it with a lot of pictures.
This is not a PR stunt. This is something that should be heart-driven. It should be part of your core operation and you’re reporting on it the same way you would report on your financials. You brought in your revenues. You’re not going to tell everybody what your total revenues are unless you’re a public company. You are going to say, “We had a successful year. Here’s what we did with it.” You might be proud of the fact that you do pay your employees five hours a year to go out and volunteer, or that you pay them at a living wage. Those are things that are valued but are often swept under the table. We need to have a way of communicating with transparency and integrity. That’s the whole thing. It’s not for PR. This is something that’s integrating into being great human beings and great business owners.
I’m trying to figure out how you would do it if you’re not a company that puts out a report, and you’re an individual. As an individual loan officer, the only way that I have to do that is to put it out there on social media. For me as a company, because I’m an individual, that thing would be where it’s at. When I was originating, there are three charities that I’m involved in. I offered to give $100 per closing to a charity of the client’s choice as long as they pick for my three. I couldn’t give it to everybody and I would donate in their name. That was cool and people liked it. I didn’t tell that. It was for my clients. I didn’t think that I needed to. I probably should have because it would have shared the fact that I would do that if you came to me and I probably would’ve gotten business as a result of it.People want to connect with people who have the same values as them. Click To Tweet
In my company, I have what I call my more than green plan. What that means is money is green and the environment is green. My passion has always been people. That’s why I work in leadership, communication and teams. That’s how it came about, more than green. 2% of all of my top-line revenue goes to charity. I have four charities that I support. I’m like you, I pick my charities. Anybody who works with me knows that money goes. The way that I’m able to support them further is promote my charities in different ways. I can say, “There’s a fundraiser or there is this happening or this event is happening that I know to go to help that charity.”
As an individual, we all have the ability to have that impact. As a person, you could say for every sale I make or for everything I do, but the conscious consumer is prevalent. These are consumers who want to do business with organizations and companies that do more than making a profit. If you communicate as an independent, as a person that is doing this and you’re doing this out of the graciousness of your heart, you can share that and do so because you’re being consistent. You’re doing it in integrity. You’re doing it transparently. People will come to you. It does attract business. It is a client attractor. People want to connect with people who have the same values as them.
We talked about the shift that’s been happening a little bit, but let’s talk about how to build stronger teams and have better communication. There is a lot of finger-pointing that goes on. At least, what I see with entrepreneurs is they don’t ever blame themselves for hiring the wrong person. It may be the right person, but then once they get them in, they don’t communicate with them properly so they end up losing them anyway. Whether it’s a right or wrong person because of the lack of communication, what happens with a lot of leaders, team leads, managers and entrepreneurs to that extent are that they were good in their craft. They’ve been elevated into this leadership position either by attrition, production, or someone planted a seed that said, “You’re a great widget maker. You should have a widget-maker company.” They’re thrust into this position and they can’t seem to grow the team. The frustration that they have is they’re running around like a chicken with their head cut off. Can you concisely tell us how do we build better teams? How do we communicate to build better teams? Maybe it starts at the hiring process.
Number one, when it comes to onboarding, you want to have a proper system that takes you through the hiring process. What are your interview questions? What are you trying to find out? Make sure you do that when you bring somebody on. Orient them. Give them the policies and procedures. Walk them through what you need them to do. If you don’t take the time to train and orient somebody at the beginning, they’re going to flounder and they’re going to do their own thing. You’re losing control. I find a lot of companies undervalue the onboarding process.As a leader, you have a responsibility to inspire those that are below you or that are following you. Click To Tweet
Number two, as a leader, you have a responsibility to inspire those that are below you or that are following you. A leader leads and people follow. We have an obligation to do that. You put the hammer right on the head of the nail. Not all great employees are great leaders. Sometimes what happens is the wrong person gets into a leadership role, they are better doing their job than they are at being a people manager. You need somebody who is a people manager that’s also relatively good, but not your best employee to be in that leadership role. There’s another thing to find the right leaders and promote them. The great employees, they may be highly productive, maybe they’re better continuing to produce.
You bring up a good point. I’m coaching someone, a loan officer who is great at origination and not great at managing people. It gets frustrating, very snippy with everyone, and condescending. An enabler, not an empowerer. They don’t empower people to do their job, they say, “Give it to me, I’ll do it.” What we’ve done is that we hired a team manager to be a buffer between that team lead because technically they are in a team to be a buffer between the team lead and the actual team. This person is a people person, doesn’t know a lot about the industry but knows a lot about people. It’s worked out well. What other points do you have on that?
Another one is that you need to build relationships with each and every member of your team. One of my tricks and I recommend this all the time is that you need to have a daily conversation with everybody on your team if you possibly can. I have run remote teams. This was even before we had things like Zoom and all the video calls. I would get on the phone and I would talk to everybody every day. “How are you doing? Is there anything I could do to help you?” If you’re in one location and you can have a daily huddle. Think of football when they huddle. They come together, they create their plan, “What’s our priority? We snap, we go, and then we execute.”
Your daily huddle is an opportunity for everybody to come together, share their top priorities, identify where the roadblocks are. What are the opportunities available for us to set the plan? We go out and we execute. It should only take about 10 to 15 minutes. If you can set a time where everybody comes together and you have a standardized format, you report, you go, and then the follow-up happens. Out of this meeting, you’re not troubleshooting anything. You’re bringing things forward. Who’s going to be responsible for following through on this? You identify that. The team goes out. It all gets flipped after. It is amazing. It builds a team, communication, trust and relationship. If you as a leader do not have relationships beyond barking orders, then you’re not going to to get the productivity, you’re not going to have the engagement, and you’re not going to have the retention that you need. You’re not going to deliver the customer service that you want, which is driving your bottom line.
For those that have been reading, and Catherine, you probably don’t know that I talk about huddles all the time. We have a fifteen-minute huddle every single morning. You’re right, you have to have an agenda on. It has to be specific, otherwise, it will be a twenty-minute huddle and you’ll start losing the game because you keep getting penalized. You want to be prepared for the huddle constantly. Everyone’s prepared for it.
Everyone is proactive and forward-thinking. When you have a roadblock, you need to identify what that roadblock is. That’s something that’s stopping you from being successful. When you bring it up as a point of fact that, “The photocopier is broken and I can’t photocopy all of the agreements or the printers down.” If you just say that, somebody has to be delegated to get that fixed. Most people won’t even say anything, they’ll mumble and grumble. It comes forward. Somebody is delegated to deal with it and away we go.
Catherine, what is it like to be you?
It’s challenging. I’m passionate about what I do. I love working in leadership. I love working with passion-driven and mission-driven entrepreneurs and businesses. I love to see teams come together. For me, I would say that I have the opportunity to work a rewarding career and can have an amazing change both on my clients and their teams as well as the greater good through my company and my efforts to be more of a B-corp impact business model. I do believe that we all together can make a huge difference. I’m honored that I have that opportunity. For me, my days are filled with talking to people, trying to look at new opportunities, training, educating and coaching. I love that whole world and I do want to see others succeed. I always say I’m not sporty, but I’m the world’s greatest cheerleader and I get that right into my business.
Do you have a gift for our readers? Do you have something that they can go to and get a blueprint?
I do. I have an article on becoming an impact business. You could use it even as a person. Although it does have a definite business focus, it would definitely be there. Anybody who does sign up for it, what we would be able to do is I will follow-up with something that has a leadership slant. I can put that together and have everybody so it will come as a secondary gift for anybody who does get the impact. It’s 5 Simple Business Strategies to SPARK IMPACT & Ignite Change. It has a little bit of a leadership slant attached as an addendum to that. I can do that for your audience and it would be quite valuable.
For our readers, what is the best way for us to get access to that?
This is an eBook. It’s all there. It will have the leadership component attached to it. You’ll see from a business perspective and you’ll see from a leadership perspective. It’s one of those ones I’ve been working on.
It’s great because we do have a lot of managers and entrepreneurs who read this. This is good for them as well. Quite frankly, anyone who’s in the lending or real estate space, while one is paid 1099 and the other is paid a W-2, we are our own business owners. It’s fine that it’s written that way. That’s wonderful. Catherine, one of the things that I ask a lot of my guests is to tell us about a book that you’re reading that you would like to share with everyone or give us one of your favorite quotes.
I’m rereading Good to Great. I love that book. I always extract things out of that book. It’s one of my favorites. My favorite quote is from Yoda from Empire Strikes Back. It is, “Do or do not. There is no try.” What that means to me is you do your best whenever you do something and you do it to your absolute. If you don’t do your best, you’re only going halfway and you might as well not do it. I even put that quote right on the back of my business card.
Those that are reading, we also have a collaborative book coming out that you and I both are part of. It’s funny because I say I’ve written 1/21st of a book or 1/17th of a book. We each have a chapter. It’s collaborative. It’s called The Game Changer. It’s been an absolute pleasure, Catherine. Thank you so much for joining us. For those of you that are reading, please go write a review. Give us a five-star rating, subscribe, and pay it forward. We were talking about that. Let that ripple go out there to help others in the industry and outside of the industry so that they can have that personal and professional development that forges their business forward. Catherine, thank you for joining me.
Thank you, Jen. It’s been a pleasure.
- Catherine Rocheleau
- IMPACT Business Blueprint Program
- 5 Simple Business Strategies to SPARK IMPACT & Ignite Change
- Good to Great
- The Game Changer
About Catherine Rocheleau
Catherine is a Business Impact Strategist who is passionate about creating positive social change through business. Catherine founded Ignite Leadership International®.
She created the online program IMPACT Business Blueprint to guide other mission-driven organizations to adopt a new approach and create positive change.
Catherine believes changing the world through business requires changing the rules of business. As a speaker, Catherine’s pragmatic and insightful approach enlightens and engages audiences wherever she speaks.