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Strategist, Consultant, or Coach?

Do you need a strategist, a consultant, or a coach?

These are words that are often used interchangeably in our space, but they mean very different things and are often best done by different kinds of people at different times.

In this episode of Expert Marketing Matters, Chris, Lauren, and Mark draw distinctions between the three and how each one comes to bear in the life cycle of work with clients.

You can listen to the episode using the player embedded above, or you can read a full transcript below.

Episode Transcript

Chris Butler: Welcome to Expert Marketing Matters, I’m Chris Butler.

Lauren McGaha: I’m Lauren McGaha.

Mark O’Brien: And I’m Mark O’Brien.

Chris Butler: So would you guys say that we are strategists?

Mark O’Brien: I would say that we have really fancy new audio equipment.

Chris Butler: That has nothing to do with this topic. But that is true. That is true. We are fully Bro safe politics now with the headsets-

Mark O’Brien: Yeah.

Chris Butler: … And we got the whole deal.

Lauren McGaha: [inaudible 00:00:40] Bro safe politics. So offended by that show.

Mark O’Brien: There’s a lot of debate here about that show.

Lauren McGaha: You used to love it.

Chris Butler: I still like it. I still like it.

Lauren McGaha: He walks around and talking about friends of the pot all the time.

Chris Butler: Yep. In a sarcastic manner.

Mark O’Brien: I wonder if anyone knows what we’re talking about, probably.

Lauren McGaha: I’m sure they do.

Chris Butler: Everybody knows what we’re talking about.

Mark O’Brien: This podcast is much more popular than that one. So anyway, yeah, we’ve been working with Marcus [Depaula 00:01:03] and he has given us lots of counsel and has encouraged us to spend lots of money to get all kinds of new equipment, new microphones, new headphones, new mixers, all the rest. So hopefully the end result is a even better sounding podcast, for the second episode of season three or season four now.

Lauren McGaha: It’s season four.

Chris Butler: Season four.

Lauren McGaha: Season four, yeah.

Mark O’Brien: So many seasons.

Lauren McGaha: It’d be fun to listen to this next to episode one of season one.

Mark O’Brien: Yeah.

Chris Butler: I don’t know if that would be fun.

Lauren McGaha: [inaudible 00:01:29] in the conference room.

Mark O’Brien: We’ve learned a lot. We’ve learned a lot. So anyway, thanks to Marcus Depaula’s help.

Chris Butler: Yeah, it’s been, a pleasure working with him and it does sound good from here so far.

Mark O’Brien: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Lauren McGaha: Headphones work.

Mark O’Brien: The headphones are really nice, I have to say.

Chris Butler: They are.

Mark O’Brien: Okay. So the question was …

Chris Butler: The question was, are we strategists? Would you say that we’re strategists as a firm?

Mark O’Brien: At times, we are.

Chris Butler: How about consultants? Would you say were consultants as a firm?

Lauren McGaha: We have been.

Chris Butler: And what about coaching? Are we coaches?

Mark O’Brien: Yeah.

Chris Butler: Yeah. Those are three words that we throw around a lot. And just so you all know, we’re rerecording this podcast, we’ve already had this conversation months ago actually, because this has been a theme, that’s been an ongoing theme for us at Newfangled, talking through these words and thinking about how they apply to different postures that we take at different times with our clients, and why they are different, why there’s a meaningful difference between the three. And so I thought we could just bat that around a little bit and think about how it plays a role in the life cycle of work with our clients. When are we strategist, when are we consultants, when are we coaches? And so maybe it would be helpful to sort of draw some distinctions before we get into it.

Mark O’Brien: That sounds great.

Chris Butler: So the way that I’ve been thinking about it is that strategy work has to do … I think it’s helpful to think about what somebody’s getting or what they think they’re getting when they hire a strategist. I think that has mostly to do with bringing an outside point of view, getting factual knowledge and getting the organization and systems to basically assemble that all together. Right?

Lauren McGaha: Yeah, I would agree with that.

Chris Butler: Yeah. And the question is, is that something that you need all the time or is it something that you need at certain times? For instance, if you bring a strategist in and assemble a new plan, and you start acting on that plan, you’re not going to reassemble it every time you work with that person. So the strategic work gets done at key times, right?

Lauren McGaha: Sure. I was going to say, I think, for me it’s helpful to place the definition in the context of the three words because there’s almost like a timeline of the individual’s involvement. So I see it as like a consultant being more of even shorter, very finite period of time, identifying a goal versus a strategist perhaps is engaged a little bit longer and identifies the goal, but also is more involved with defining the steps to achieve that goal. And so, they’re both temporary engagements to a certain extent, but the strategist would be a little bit more involved than a consultant would be.

Chris Butler: Right. In fact, I have some notes here and when I think about consulting, I think about, you know, true objectivity, somebody that comes in from the outside and because they do this, in different contexts for different people over and over again, looking at a key problem or trying to bring some important knowledge from the outside. They can do pattern recognition from the outside. They can bring correction to an organization or to a team. They can bring instruction on what to do and why, and sometimes how, but that again tends to be instructional, they may not stick around for implementation or even longer than just imparting the knowledge and then leave. So consulting can be like a spot treatment or it could be longer term. It really depends on the situation, right?

Lauren McGaha: Yeah. It’s like the consultant identifies in some ways like what is the goal? What is the thing you should do? And the strategists can do that, but also is a little bit more deeply involved in the how to get there.

Chris Butler: Right? Yeah.

Mark O’Brien: Then I do think once the coaching picks up, then there’s a mix of strategy and coaching ongoing. There’s coaching to execute the strategy and making sure that the subject is doing that faithfully according to the plans of the consultant and the strategist. But then there is reapplied strategy to witness how the effects of the consulting and strategy are actually taking hold.

Chris Butler: Right. Yeah. In fact, let’s define coaching a little bit because I think you’re right, it is a bit of a synthesis, and in my opinion it’s just more of a holistic approach to bringing answers at the right times, plans at the right times, guidance at the right times, those sort of things. But, when I talked to people internally at Newfangled, I define coaching really loosely as just purely helping somebody get from point A to point B. The question is, who defines point A and point B? And is that a strategic job, is it a consultant’s job? It could be both. I mean, for us really this gets a little loose because we play all three of these roles, and we have to be able to navigate when we’re striking those postures and when we’re not, when they need something.

Chris Butler: The other note I had jotted down that I think is relevant to this because otherwise it seems pretty academic, is that, what is somebody getting out of these types of work? With strategy, I think most of the time someone’s getting a plan, they’re getting analysis of the situation, they’re getting a recommendation and a plan, a system. With consulting, they’re getting an answer. Often you bring a consultant in because you know that there’s an issue, but you’re not even sure exactly about all the detail. And then with coaching you’re getting growth. You’re getting somebody to help you move along some kind of trajectory.

Mark O’Brien: Guided execution of the plan.

Chris Butler: Right.

Lauren McGaha: And for me the biggest differentiator … I feel like the differences between consultant and strategist are more nuance, but when you insert coaching into this conversation, I would say that the biggest differences is almost the level of personal investment. Like, the coaches is really in it as well. It stings if you don’t achieve that goal and you’re the coach because you’ve got some sort of real investment in the success of the plan at hand and that requires you to be a little bit more deeply involved to make sure that the powers that be who are charged with achieving that goal are executing it properly and are on that path in the right way. And I see the consultant on the other end of the spectrum where it’s not that you don’t care, but your job is to identify as you start the answer, the what, what is it that we need to be doing? It’s not necessarily to be there every moment of the way in the whole path to achieving that what.

Mark O’Brien: Yeah, it’s the investment in it, and also the knowledge of it. For example, using us as an example, back in the day when we would just offer the content strategy we’d say, “Here’s your plan and go ahead.” And we wouldn’t really know if they did it or not, six months down the road we wouldn’t understand it. But now we understand every word of every post that is published. And so I think it’s … Once you get in the coaching area, there’s more accountability on both sides, I think. I’m just using our experience as a guide there, because there’s just so much more knowledge about the minutia and that is … That can mean messy work. Back in the day, again with us when we were just giving the plans, “Okay, good luck.” We were done, that’s it.

Lauren McGaha: It was a little more compassionate then.

Mark O’Brien: Well, yeah. It certainly was, but we weren’t involved in the execution.

Lauren McGaha: No.

Mark O’Brien: We didn’t really know what happened with the execution.

Lauren McGaha: No, we just sort of trusted that.

Mark O’Brien: Right, right. And [inaudible 00:08:43] the client and sometimes it worked, sometimes it wouldn’t, but now when we’re involved in just the play by play, there’s a very different relationship and we enjoy that relationship, it’s a lot of fun for us.

Lauren McGaha: And I have observed that if we do our job right, then our clients are naturally maturing into different stages of what they need from us. If they start with coaching, and we do our job well enough that they really understand over a year or two how to do this internally, then they might graduate to really just needing a tweak in the strategy every once in a while to ultimately okay, years down the road only if there’s some big kind of issue.

Chris Butler: Right. I mean conditions are likely to change and so you’re absolutely right. I think any good coach is going to be … Like, let’s imagine that you envision working with a client as long as you can. As long as the relationship is good, and they’re invested in growth, and you’re invested in them, then you can be a coach for them, for a very long period of time during which point A and point B are constantly going to change based on outside factors, based on the desire of your client, based on the conditions they’re facing, based on all kinds of market forces, et cetera. I think something that you all mentioned that I think is worth really hammering home is that there does need to be a true investment in someone else’s growth and success and some steaks. I remember actually back, I don’t know, like 2007, 2008-ish, I read this book about consulting. I think it was like called Consulting. I forgot what it was called, but it was not very good. But early on-

Mark O’Brien: It wasn’t like Secrets of the Consultants, something like that?

Chris Butler: Yeah, maybe something like that. I had it around the office and something that never sat right with me is that this author’s main point was, a good consultant, has to be okay with their advice not being taken.

Mark O’Brien: That is true.

Chris Butler: Well, it is true if you’re going to leave it at that.

Mark O’Brien: Yeah.

Chris Butler: If your job is to bring an answer and bring a recommendation and then walk away, then yeah, you have to be okay with the fact that they may take it or leave it. The problem that I had with that is that, I’ve never experienced a consulting client relationship where the client was content with that either. We’ve had numerous examples where we’ve only consulted the client, but then they call again and they have more questions and they need more answers. And what becomes obvious over time is that actually it’s not like they didn’t get it the first time, it’s that they need help putting it to work, putting it to action. And so they keep calling you and asking for answers, but what they really want is someone on the ground with them to help them put that thing to work. And that feels uncomfortable if you care. Right?

Mark O’Brien: Yeah.

Chris Butler: That’s why it never sat right with me.

Mark O’Brien: I think it doesn’t sit right for you, not because it’s not true, just because that’s not the role you want to play.

Chris Butler: Exactly.

Mark O’Brien: Right.

Chris Butler: Yeah. It never sat right with me.

Mark O’Brien: Yeah. That is the honest nature of consulting. And I think that’s really difficult, and that’s something I think a lot of consultants struggle with is that baseline reality. And, everyone gets to choose, do you want to get involved in the messy stuff that goes on for months and months and months and months? Or do you want to just give someone the right answer, knowing it’s the right answer and if they implement it, great. If they don’t, great. And we’ve worked with consultants when we’ve gotten advice and it took us a decade to implement it.

Chris Butler: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yep.

Mark O’Brien: It was the right answer, we just weren’t ready to hear it. And so we eventually got there, and I think a lot of firms, they probably forget by the time they’re ready to take the steps necessary of what the initial advice was. So we should actually just bring us a little bit, and the reason we’re doing this is because what we see in the marketplace is that these three words are constantly mixed and matched with no real purpose or meaning behind them. They’re just interchanged at will.

Chris Butler: They’re used interchangeably, and I think that what we’ve discovered anyway is that the market is hungry for organizations that can do all three at the right times, I think. I think our business model has responded to that intuitively, and we now are able to do all three of these things either by the same person at different times or by different people who are doing those things within the same team. And I think that really does make it work because for instance, if we began our relationship with the client and give them a bunch of answers, we give them our perspective on the decisions they ought to make, and our belief that they will lead to some sort of success.

Chris Butler: I think the problem with that is that, it’s really not going to lead to this success, unless someone’s there holding them accountable to actually take those actions. It’s like if you want to lose 30 pounds, someone could give you a diet plan, and an exercise plan, and tell you the truth about what needs to happen, but it’s not going to happen unless they’re there with you waking up in the morning and cheering you-

Mark O’Brien: For most individuals.

Chris Butler: For most individuals.

Mark O’Brien: Most individuals, most firms, if they are hiring to fix a problem of that complex in the first place, chances are they’re going to need help actually implementing the effects.

Chris Butler: Yeah.

Lauren McGaha: That’s certainly been the story of our content department. I’ve definitely seen it evolve in that way. And I think the specificity of the language around these terms is really important because it frames even internally for our own employees who are delivering on these services, it frames their minds around, “Okay, what is it that I’m actually delivering to this client and what is the need and what is the measures for success?” And we’ve seen over time, just using the content department as an example, knowing , “Okay, this client needs to really understand content marketing in a different way. They need to invest in different way.” Giving them a plan and yeah, basically trusting that those goals will be achieved and that work will get done. And it just doesn’t happen that way. And so I think the nature of what we do really requires this deeper level of coaching and investment for the client to make sure that they understand not just the what, but the how.

Mark O’Brien: It’s worth noting again, just to frame all of this in context, is that the next step after coaching if you want it to really continue down that path, would be implementation.

Chris Butler: Right.

Lauren McGaha: Yeah.

Mark O’Brien: “Here. We’ll do this for you.” And so we’ve got … And this is me just throwing this out there, if there a counter opinion, let’s voice it. But we’ve got … The whole trajectory is consulting, which is here’s the plan, big, big, big picture plan. How do we get from point A to point B? Then strategy. Here are the smaller steps you need to take to actually execute this plan. Coaching. We’re going to be with you every step of the way. Implementation. We’re going to do it for you.

Speaker 2: You’re listening to expert marketing matters, a podcast about generating ideal new business opportunities by creating and nurturing digital marketing systems and habits that have a measurable impact on your bottom line. This podcast is brought to you by Newfangled, a digital marketing consultancy focused on empowering experts to do better digital marketing. You can learn more about Newfangled’s digital marketing method

Lauren McGaha: I think you’re pulling on a really important thread here and one of the things that I would want to toss out for discussion as well as is there a danger … I mean, I think you’ve got to be really careful if you decide you’re going to be a coach that you don’t lose the respect of the expert in the room, because if you’re dancing on that line between coaching and implementation, you don’t want to be seen as a vendor. Being a coach doesn’t mean you’re taking one more step toward being a vendor for that client. You can still be a coach and maintain the respect of the objective expert practitioner in the room.

Mark O’Brien: That’s a really good point, and I think that’s probably one of the most tricky aspects of coaching and most dangerous aspects of coaching is slipping into vendor-hood. The more time you spend with somebody, the more the magic wears off.

Chris Butler: Or slipping into just being a cheerleader, or nag. I mean that’s the thing. Like imagine the spectrum of a coach, on the one hand you could be a cheerleader, on the other hand you could be a nag. I think the difference is actually the keeping the relationship alive in its truest sense. It’s almost like … Well actually a good example is this, I was on the phone last night with one of our agency partners and it was clear to me that our consulting work really was effective. They had taken all of our recommendations quite literally and had not missed a single detail. But in doing that, it revealed a ton of opportunity for them to actually be a little bit more creative in their expression to be a little bit more them.

Chris Butler: And so as a coach, I needed to spend time showing them those options, those opportunities and encouraging them to take them. It was like inspiring, like, “Oh, you could actually do this instead, you don’t just have to do that. And getting to know the designer enough to know, whether that is going to resonate, and how much of this is a synthesis of what he thinks is necessary or what the people he’s trying to corral on his team to have input, what they want. And it can get really tight, because a fear like, “What if I get it wrong or what if I don’t have this person’s opinion in place?” And so, I basically spent my entire time being a coach because I really care that it’s the best expression of them possible.

Chris Butler: I’m talking about a website here by the way. But I also care that the details are there, but I saw that the details were there. So now we have an opportunity to get deeper and get a little bit more nuanced.

Mark O’Brien: What’s interesting about that, and I think sort of necessary about that is that you are also giving the initial advice that will fall under consulting. It’d be so easy if you weren’t that person or weren’t at least deeply familiar and in line with that perspective, you could contradict it all over the place. Right?

Chris Butler: Yeah, we wouldn’t want to have like a-

Mark O’Brien: [crosstalk 00:18:47] bit of a zigzag.

Chris Butler: Right, or a good cop, bad cop dynamic where like you have the consultant coming in saying, “These are all the must. You must do this, this, this and this.” And then someone else coming in like, “Hey, let’s …” I think you’re right. Being able to move back and forth between those postures as one individual in one relationship with another individual is really critical, but it’s hard. It’s hard to do.

Lauren McGaha: I think that also does make it a safer, when you put on the coaching hat that you’re not as close to that implementer role because you were the one who set the initial strategy. Now this is a conversation that we have inside of Newfangled all the time because we have certain individuals setting the initial strategy and we have other individuals who are shepherding that strategy long term and again, I just think you’ve got to be really cognizant of being invested with the client and making them feel like you’re right there with them and they’re executing and they’re implementing the work, but you’re there and that they can lean on you, but you’re not a vendor.

Chris Butler: Right. Well also, it’s interesting the spectrum that you all have outlined. One issue that I see that’s somewhat contradictory there is this idea of going from coach to vendor in terms of how much detail are you actually in control over covering. Implementation is somewhat contrary to the coaching in the sense that a coach really wants to empower someone else to do the things that they need to do and to do them well and to do them as true to them as possible. Whereas an implementer, there’s a much shorter line between the consultant and the implementer in the sense of that the consultant is saying, “This is what you must do.” And implementer says, “I’ll go do it.” And the person who is okay with that has said, “Look, I just don’t want to have to think about it or do it, just do it for me. And that’s fine, there’s lots of elements of our work where that is entirely appropriate. But then there are some elements of our work where our whole approach to coaching is based on this sort of philosophical belief that we know that when people get it, they’re the best people to do it. Right?

Lauren McGaha: Yeah.

Chris Butler: And so a coach … Yeah, it’s tricky a coach has to know where those edges are. We’ve got a lot of implementation things that we’re currently doing or could do, but there’re some things that we would probably never do. And knowing those lines I think is … We know those lines of engagement or those rules of engagement because we’re the consultants and the coaches.

Mark O’Brien: And it’s all about what’s appropriate for the client.

Chris Butler: Right.

Mark O’Brien: Some clients just aren’t going to do certain things and they know it.

Chris Butler: That’s true.

Mark O’Brien: And they’ve resigned themselves to that fact and they need help some way or other. And so, it’s all about how you can help progress that client’s situation in the most effective manner.

Chris Butler: Actually that’s a really good point because this idea of identifying point A and point B, if you’re a really good coach, you might say, “Look, you’re never going to get to point B, unless we do F, Y and Z for you.” Like there’s still a growth path here that you are playing a direct role in, but you’re just never going to get there-

Lauren McGaha: Or they just haven’t cracked the code on how to do it internally. Like if they are going to be able to do it, to have the conversation, to have the objective insight to say, “Okay, these are the people who need to be involved and this is going to be their role and their responsibility.” And this is how you create that structure internally in a way that they’d never really thought about or seen before.

Mark O’Brien: This is where the fitness analogy falls apart.

Chris Butler: True, because you can’t have the trainer lift the weight for you.

Mark O’Brien: Right, yeah. Yeah.

Chris Butler: I think whenever we talked about this before we fell into that because I think it is so apt though because anyone who’s ever worked with a trainer knows or who has worked or done fitness with someone else, knows that they’re there always capable of doing more when someone else’s there with them. And that’s true for me-

Mark O’Brien: Everyone.

Chris Butler: I’ve been engaged in this for a long time and I’ve every now and then worked with a trainer, but I don’t need a trainer to remind me to get up and do it. I’ve got that down. But I know if I run with someone else or if I’m going to the gym with someone else, I always exceed my performance in that context. It’s motivated.

Mark O’Brien: Oh yeah. Greatly. We were just having a conversation about this over the weekend after a session and the group of us who had just worked out together also that exact same thing, is just, there’s no way it would [inaudible 00:22:58] close to the limit we hit on our own. You just can’t do it. So there’s something really nice about that. Something like fundamentally human and social about that, about being together as people and helping people in a certain level of community, which is quite fun. And that gets to relate to the heart of why we like coaching, why we set up these one year models where we’re engaging with a client on a weekly basis. That’s so much contact, that’s deeply relational and it’s a lot of fun and it’s very rewarding to see the growth and to build the relationships and to really understand what’s going on and to get our hands dirty because we’re going to get into the mess of it, “Okay, well here’s why they’ve really never been able to do this before.” We discover month seven.

Chris Butler: Just not uncommon.

Mark O’Brien: But that’s for us enjoyable for other firms and individuals not at all. And that’s great. There’s plenty of room in the world for all of these different levels of influence.

Chris Butler: Well, and I’m glad you used the word model because we’ve recorded an episode in the past, I don’t recall what number it is, where we talked about structuring your business model around when you’re doing work and when you’re being paid. And how to make that easy to say yes to, but also really easy for you to keep going and to make it motivating to keep going. And I think that’s really key here. It feels good. I think we are a team of people who feel good working in an intimate way with our clients over a prolonged period of time, which is a uniqueness. That’s a unique element for Newfangled. But we’ve also made it easy for us to do that by way of having structured these engagements, financially that way. So it’s easy for the client to say, yes to. They’re not saying, “Well, I’m paying you a ton of money just to be with me.” They don’t think that. It’s really a balance between the detail of the plans, the objectivity as well as the intimacy.

Mark O’Brien: Well, that’s a really good point. Once you, as a firm, you being the audience here, decide what level of these four elements you want to get into and to what degree then I think it is really important to price and schedule pricing accordingly.

Chris Butler: Correct.

Mark O’Brien: Yeah, because to your point, if it is just consulting then it would be an upfront lump payment, but if you’re in for a long term, the pricing should be based on long term as well, and we’ve had great success with that in terms of pricing strategy. Even though we over the course of the year are spending a lot more time in the upfront stages when there is so much consulting and strategy work getting done, we flatten out the payments over the course of the year and that makes it easier for everybody, including us. There is risk for us, because if a client disappears after month three we’re left holding a bag there but that really doesn’t happen.

Chris Butler: It’s very rare.

Mark O’Brien: There’re many crooks out there.

Chris Butler: Not in our space.

Mark O’Brien: True, [crosstalk 00:25:41].

Chris Butler: We exist in a really unique space of people who are earnest about making the world a better place and making money, and those two things are not mutually exclusive in any way.

Mark O’Brien: And most of our clients can say the same thing about the audiences they serve and which is in part why they serve them.

Chris Butler: Our clients and their clients are not the people whose sole purpose is to extract wealth-

Mark O’Brien: That’s right.

Chris Butler: … That’s not what they’re doing.

Mark O’Brien: Typically speaking, but yeah, I think the idea of pricing according to, not in terms of the amount, the amount is relative to the firm, but in terms of the pacing of the pricing according to what sort of service you’re offering.

Chris Butler: Yep. Yeah. I think that was really important detail to bring here because it adds rigor from a business standpoint to what we’ve been talking about. And really if you’re listening to this and you’re thinking academically about all these words we’ve been throwing around, really it’s important to think about that because you’re scaling out a client lifecycle of relationship lifecycle. You’re thinking about when you’re going to get paid, when the client’s going to see that they’ve received value, and making sure that, that actually makes sense,

Chris Butler: But also as a human being, you need to construct a situation that allows you to encourage your clients to experience these things for what they really are. The process as it truly is, and what that means for pace. We have lots of clients that don’t go according to plan. Most of them don’t. And that needs to be okay. But a typical consultant, it might not be okay because you say, “Well, I have a lot of three months to get this done.” You have to do it all in that three months. And if you take longer or you bail, then everything’s lost.

Mark O’Brien: Well, that’s one of the things that I enjoy so much about what we do and I think is the reason why we do it is, is that, what happens when this strategy is tested out in the real world?

Chris Butler: Right.

Mark O’Brien: Right, because we can say this is the plan and with competence. We can say this is a strategy to execute the plan, but once the plan actually starts getting executed, life happens and in the real world shows up and has his influence and that’s where the play between strategy and coaching, that mixture, maybe it’s a 80-20 mixture, who knows where it is? [inaudible 00:27:46] 75-25 between. We calibrate here on a regular basis because we don’t know how the world is going to react to us making this change, whether it be an internal change and external change.

Chris Butler: I think that speaks to the kinds of individuals that we have here at Newfangled because that almost feels like a personal choice and the kind of work you want to be doing in this world. Do you want to be … Are you curious enough that, that kind of unknown can be intriguing to you to not understand or to to not really know or be able to predict, how was this going to go? When do we step in and change the strategy? When do we hold steady? How do we advise a client to do the same? That’s an intriguing part of the whole coaching role that I think has attracted a lot of the individuals who have found themselves in those roles here at Newfangled.

Mark O’Brien: Yeah, I agree. And it goes back to this idea of unique ability, how can the individuals inside of the firm, most impact the clients in a positive manner? And then what does that mean for the way the firm can? And for some people, the way they have the most impact in the world is by showing up to as many [inaudible 00:28:47] as possible and giving them the best plan possible and taking off because they got to on to the next firm and give them the next plan. And for others it’s, “Okay, here’s the plan.”

Chris Butler: Let’s make it happen. Yeah. That’s really good that you both raised those points because it’s not as if one of these things is better than another.

Lauren McGaha: No, no, not at all.

Mark O’Brien: Even the implementation. They’re all equal.

Chris Butler: Right? They’re all equal.

Mark O’Brien: Objectively.

Chris Butler: Each according to their ability and their desire. Like as you were saying, Loren, I think we happen to be a group of people where we do have a shared desire to work for longer periods of time with people to go deeper and to be flexible, to respond to whatever the condition is in front of us and I guess extend empathy in those conditions, which I think is another element of this.

Chris Butler: When we recorded this the first time, we had all been talking about Mr. Rogers a lot because at the documentary that came out at the end of the year, and I think about that a lot because something that strikes me about him as an individual is that he was the kind of person that could look at any individual, no matter what that person said or did, and never show disappointment.

Mark O’Brien: Or boredom.

Chris Butler: Or boredom or judgment over how that person has responded to what’s happened. And it’s like, “Who is actually like that?” I would love to be like that. I’m definitely not. But I think that this is a kind of working condition for all of us where we can at least aspire to something close to that, and know that we’re bringing value in the course of it. I think that’s all you can ask for.

Mark O’Brien: Well this is fun.

Chris Butler: Yeah.

Lauren McGaha: It all comes back to Mr. Rodgers.

Chris Butler: It always does.

Mark O’Brien: Thank God, we got that in. It wouldn’t be a podcast without him. I feel better now. Well thanks. This is interesting material. You know, it’s funny, it strikes me that, one limitation of this medium is that I’d love Q&A right now. I’d love that. I guess we could take emails.

Lauren McGaha: Well we do have an email set up, so if you are listening and you have some thoughts or comments or questions about this subject or other subjects that we’ve covered, you can email it to

Mark O’Brien: And if we do end up getting some of those, overtime we get a substantial amount. It might be cool to just portion out with a segment of each podcast to say, “Last time we spoke about this and something just came up.”

Chris Butler: I’d love that.

Mark O’Brien: That’d be kind of fun.

Chris Butler: Yeah.

Mark O’Brien: And I just like that interaction, that’d be same rewarding.

Chris Butler: Maybe one day when we get our ducks in a row, we can do a live broadcast and do … There are tools that allow you to do chat rooms during the live broadcast and take people’s questions like a webinar.

Mark O’Brien: Like a webinar.

Chris Butler: Yeah. Very much like that, which I think would be a lot of fun.

Mark O’Brien: Yeah. Okay. Well, for now, it’s time to get out of the way.

Chris Butler: All right, you all, talk to you soon.

Lauren McGaha: Thanks.