Jake Jacobs is the best-selling author of Real Time Strategic Change.
He has more than 25 years of track record successfully helping people get clear, connected, committed, and achieving better and lasting end-results.
In this episode he mentioned that to do business in new ways, there’s competition and technology and trends. Pay attention to continuity as well as to change. What does he mean by this? Listen today.
Connect with Jake:
Book (mentioned in the show): https://www.amazon.com/Leverage-Change-Achieve-Faster-Results-ebook/dp/B08DH58J3M/
Connect with Pam and David:
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Read The Transcription
Speaker 1 (00:29):
[Inaudible] Speaker 2 (00:35):
Hello guys. Welcome to how to build a team podcast tonight or today. Good morning. Good evening to all of you. We have a very special, amazing guests tonight. You know he was he was letting me introduce you. So, yeah. So our very special guests tonight, he is the best selling author of real time. Strategic change. Jake Jacobs has more than 25 years of track record successfully helping people get clear, connected, committed, and achieving better and lasting and results. I read the book, he sent us a copy of the book that he he’s going to launch. So I’m very excited. I was able to, to browse the book. I I’m sorry, because I wasn’t able to finish it’s this thick. I actually printed it out. It’s over here and I was reading it, and this is something that our listeners will definitely benefit from Jake. So why don’t we welcome Jake? Welcome Jake to the show.
Speaker 3 (01:52):
Thank you so much, guys. I’m pleased to be here.
Speaker 2 (01:56):
Great. Jake, why don’t you introduce yourself? Tell us a little bit more about yourself. What do you do? Why are you doing what you’re doing? And, and that, yeah.
Speaker 3 (02:09):
Great. So first off, Pam, I, I have to say thank you for saying it was 25 years. Actually. It’s been 35, but we’re not going to get into ages here. And I work with leaders in organizations of all types. I’ve worked on a tuberculosis control project in New York city. I’ve worked with the national health service Corning and TJ max. So lots of organizations as well as local theaters, but I work with leaders in change who are frustrated that the results that they achieve are too slow, too hard or too often disappointing. And so a lot of people in the world of change have the best of intentions and for one reason or another hit a and a lot of people talk about it as resistance, but I’ve dedicated 35 years of my career. The entire bit of it I had mentioned by first consulting job was when I was tending beer, attending bear tending bar in college. And I said to the owner, I wanted to do an independent study. And he said, that’s fine. Jacobs just don’t F it up. And so that was my first client, a consultant relationship. I did not F it up. I got an a on the independent study and he was not upset about that. So this is what I’ve done my whole life. I love it. I feel really blessed to be able to do it. And the book leverage change is a distillation of what I’ve learned over the past 35 years.
Speaker 2 (03:43):
Now that you’ve mentioned about the book. The reason why I so love about the book I mentioned this in the beginning of the show because it’s very timely. The email that we’re going to send out to our list are the things that you mentioned in the book. So when I was reading your book, I’m like, Oh my gosh, this is what we’re talking about. So why don’t we dive deep into the levers that you, that you mentioned in the book? There are, there are eight levers for, for change to give you clarity, to give you faster results. I want to dive deep into that. You mentioned there, the number one item there was paying attention to continually see those resisting change as key contributors, not troublemakers. I love that. Can you expound on that, Jake?
Speaker 3 (04:39):
Sure. So the, the concept of leverage change came from our communities. There’s a picture in my office that I commissioned 25 years ago. Our communities was a third century, BC Greek, Beth matician and he was famous for describing leverage the concept of it. And he said, give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it. And I shall move the world. And I believe people can move their worlds in the arena of change with fewer headaches, hassles, and problems. So, whereas most people who work in the world of change, talk about change. I take a different approach. And I think that continuity is as important as change when you’re trying to do business in new ways. And by that, I mean that a lot of people get nervous and apprehensive and have anxiety about change. And I think that’s because people leaders talk all about change, but they don’t give people a firm footing on continuity.
Speaker 3 (05:43):
What’s going to stay the same, that we can then feel comfortable taking a leap into the unknown. So I tell my clients, I say, you know, make a list of those things that are going to change. And then with your people make a list of those things that are going to keep the same, but make that list twice as long. And so you get a list that’s twice as long, you really can appreciate that. Most things during times of great upheaval and change are actually staying the same. And I think that a lot of people rebel, somebody I talked to yesterday on a podcast said, you know, people don’t mind change. They mind being changed. And I agreed with that. And so I think that focusing on continuity helps organizations that are struggling with what, you know, often gets called change fatigue. Every time you turn around the corner, there’s another change coming. And we got to do business in new ways and there’s competition and technology and trends, all of these things that are going on. And I say, pay attention to continuity as well as to change.
Speaker 2 (06:48):
Yeah, well, very well said. Like with what’s happening right now, I can, since last year with the pandemic and all, so many things that’s changed, but it doesn’t mean that you have to stop whatever you’re doing. It’s actually taking a look and analyzing inside your business, what is working. And if it is working, then just keep on doing it, continue doing that. And maybe, you know, leverage that, make it better, but do not stop because a lot of people are counting on you. Especially for us. We are interrupting work as business owners, consultants, coaches, like you, Jake, we need the world needs someone who can, you know, hand guide them so that they will keep on helping people. That is very big. You’re going to say something.
Speaker 4 (07:45):
Yeah. I the whole, the message around that is that in T to get really effective change, there needs to be some continuity as well. Some things need to not change and I’ve, I’ve had a variety let’s say let’s call it a variety of different careers in my life. And I’ve worked in, in small entrepreneurial businesses. I’ve worked at myself, obviously for a number of years, but I also worked in corporate life. And in the corporate world, there was always this push of this isn’t working. We’re not getting the results we want. We’re going to change everything and get the results that we want. And we would go through change. And then a year later we were changing the change. And the next year after that, the change again. Yup. And it got frustrating and scary for the employees. I was in a, sort of a middle management job. So I was kind of stuck between both worlds, but if only we, the collective we had had the forethought to have continue, have some continuity, keep some things the way they were and change some things. We might’ve actually been successful in making change, but we never were. We would hit a brick wall and go back to the old way of doing things until we came up with the next great idea to change everything. Yeah.
Speaker 3 (09:05):
I have a great book for you. It’s called leverage change, help you. If you looked at the first chapter or some of your executives in those companies, because if they can put a spotlight on continuity and I’m not saying don’t focus on change, I’m just saying it’s not enough. It’s half the story. And people know that. So you have to focus on all of reality to really capture people’s imagination and energy.
Speaker 4 (09:34):
Yeah. Especially in a big organization with hundreds of employees. Yeah. Employees are inherently nervous people. They, you know they don’t want a wholesale change. They’re, they’re all for improvement, but nobody, that whole thing that comes down to, you know, who wants change, we do, who wants to change nobody. That’s right. Right. So if you can make change management less scary for the actual workers, for the people who are going to work under the change, if you can make them more confident in what’s happening, I think that’s gotta be a key to success right there. Yeah.
Speaker 2 (10:09):
There’s this one thing as well, that in the book you mentioned, think, and act as if the future we’re now vision, a winning future, communicate lessons learned far and wide. Why did you say this?
Speaker 3 (10:28):
Well, a lot of things in the book are set up so that there’s a common problem that organizations bump up against with change. And then I offer a lever along with Archimedes, right? I offer these levers that will help you address those. So this one deals with the problem of change being too slow. And when you get people on board and they’re focused on change, often it’s too slow. And people complain about that. So thinking and acting as if the future were now is a different paradigm. It’s a different way of thinking about change. So rather than the future being something that’s out there, we’re going to get to it at a later point in time, we spend a lot of time planning for it while I think thinking back as if the future were now. So what this means is is that we get some image of that future that we want.
Speaker 3 (11:19):
And any image at all will work. It can even be just a small one, but then we say, all right, if we were in this preferred future that we have, how would we think, how would we act? What decisions would we make? What people would be in the room. Right. I had a client that, that was arguing the executives about sales in these regions and what was going to win the new sales. And and they didn’t know enough. So they said, well, we wanted to have a participative organization. And I said to him, well, live that today, be there now. And so they actually called in salespeople who were in the office, they dialed up salespeople who were in the field. They brought these people into the room. And rather than talking about becoming a participative organization, they became one. And in that moment they got new information, they got new insights and they got a better strategic decision. So this whole notion of saying, well, the future’s out there and I’m talking about a different paradigm, a different way of thinking about the present and future. And the more you blur that line between the present and future, the faster change is going to occur. And you’re going to start living that preferred future here and now.
Speaker 2 (12:33):
Right, right. Having a plan and a strategic plan is really the key there. You cannot say, you know, Oh, the, the campaign is still in two months in three months. No, you have to prepare, you have to plan and think that it is now, what if there’s no tomorrow. Right? Right. So you have to have that plan. And if you have a team, I mean, there’s a reason why you hired those people, engage them, get the best of them, you know, ask for their opinion, ask questions. And the, the example that you’ve given here is about actually teamwork. You know, that they talked, they discussed, they, you know, brainstorm and they came up with a plan for now, even if we’re talking about it’s for the next three months, for the next quarter, it is still a plan that you have to prepare. Right.
Speaker 3 (13:37):
I am one of my favorite things to tell clients, because I believe in practical advice, there are 44 stories in the book of people taking these levers and putting them to work. And so I encourage clients. I say, look, there’s four magic words. And if you can remember them, it’ll make a big difference in terms of how effective your team is and how effective your organization is. And those magic forwards are. Could you say more? And so, rather than assuming that I know what you’re going to say or worse, I know what I’m going to say. And I don’t really care what you’re going to say. What you can do is say, can you say more? And what it does is it encourages the other person to share more. It encourages them to go deeper. It encourages them to feel safe, to be able to express their own opinion. Whereas if you’re the leader, most people are nervous about that. And they withhold information just because of the dynamics of the hierarchy. So could you say more would be something that’s a very practical, very hands-on thing that your listeners could take away and start doing right here and right now,
Speaker 2 (14:47):
Perfect. I love that. You know what it reminded Jake, how we do here at great work online. We would have a project management meeting every week. And even though David and I would brainstorm and discuss about his opinion about, on something about a client, about a campaign, about a project, we would go back to, we have a team of digital marketing experts. We bring on these questions and ask for their opinion. And so every Monday we do get an update for each of our client’s projects. And if there is an idea, we talk about it. We brainstorm. And after that, the client love that. We’re going to say, Hey, we talked about this. This is the best practices. This is what we’re going to do. And we believe that 90%, this is going to work. It’s just a matter of, you know, strategic planning. We’re going to put in the work, we’re going to do the heavy lifting. And then that’s it. You know, it, you have to be patient and you have to use your resources. If you have a team, then use them, talk to them, ask for their opinion, because there is a reason why you hired these people. And what is that saying, babe? That you find her
Speaker 4 (16:15):
Hire, who you trust and trust, who you hire. Oh, and it’s. Yeah. I see so many, especially entrepreneurs. And I work in a very entrepreneurial environment and I meet people who will hire a manager production person or an assistant or whatever the role is. And then they’ll micromanage that person and they’ll go through all of the angsty and all of the stressful reviewing resumes and interviewing all these people and trying to decide who to hire. And then they bring somebody on and then they keep telling them how and what to do. Absolutely. It’s you hire people for a reason because they’re better at something or more efficient at something than you are, let them do their job.
Speaker 3 (17:01):
Yeah. You know, and it, it reminds me there’s another lever which is around the problem that people don’t know enough to make good decisions. So often here’s, we’ll ask people what they think, but they don’t give them the context. They don’t give them the background. They don’t give them the information to make good decisions. So there’s a lever that’s called create a common database. And that lever, you know, we used in a client we have a group coaching program. And in that group coaching program, there was a client who had a very complex buyout on a merger and acquisition. And they had convertible bonds and floating interest rates. And we talked with them about, well, who needs to know this information? And they said everybody. So they would have a sense of urgency because the sooner they paid off that debt, the sooner they didn’t have to worry about those floating interest rates and convertible bonds. And so they had a mini MBA course for their employees as part of this common database, the question is what information is needed. Well, they needed an MBA course. So they gave that to their employees so that they could make better decisions. So that common database of the team, like you’re saying, bringing in an idea and getting input and you hearing from them as well as them hearing from you. I think it’s a two way street and make better decisions when you have more information.
Speaker 2 (18:27):
Right. You also mentioned in that lever about putting a process. Yes.
Speaker 3 (18:34):
Yeah. So it’s, it’s not a one-time deal, right? So you get learning organizations. There’s a fellow in my field, Peter Sangay who wrote a book called the learning organization. And it’s well and good to do that once. It’s way better to put in place ongoing processes. So when you come in on Monday morning and you have a conversation with your employees, that’s an example of a process and a system and a structure that you’ve put in place on autopilot. You don’t have to remember to share information with your people, so you could make good decisions together. You’ve got that Monday morning meeting. And if you show up and they show up at that meeting, it takes care of itself. So I believe that sustainability is really important. And I talk about in the book, rubber band change, where something changes for six months. And then what you find is that, that rubber band that you stretched snaps back, and you’re back to doing business as usual, because you haven’t put in place some systems and structures that sustain that change or those new behaviors over time.
Speaker 2 (19:41):
Yeah. Yeah. If, if you guys would like to grow and have that, that continuing it and have that effective team, I think the basic foundation first is for you to put up a process in the system or else it’s not going to work. Everything is like in a spur of a moment. Right. And it can’t be like that. So, so this book really talks about how you can be clear about your goal about actually about having a team, having that clear mindset and how you can be a good leader so that you can achieve your goal in the book you itemized and explained every levers. And I can’t wait to finish the book because I just highlighted some of the pages. Yeah, but I can’t wait to finish the book. It’s it’s right here, Jake. I printed it.
Speaker 3 (20:43):
I saw the highlights. I’m impressed. I should tell my mother that somebody is out there reading the book before it’s published and highlighting it. She’d be so proud.
Speaker 2 (20:54):
Yeah. And thank you so much for sending us this book. This is going to be useful for us and for the team. And you know, there is this thing here in the book that is so compelling and so powerful because this is like a roadmap to success. Yeah. You narrowed down all the items. There are eight levers and we’ve talked about, it feels like we’ve been talking for like hours already about this, because there’s so much to talk about here. We’ve talked about, I think three levers only, but there are eight. I also would like to highlight in the book you mentioned, you mentioned here develop a future. People want to call their own, engage your stakeholders in ways they will want to engage with you. I think this is very important to tell us more about this. Yeah,
Speaker 3 (21:49):
Yeah. Yeah. So this one comes from the problem. And I hear this a lot from my clients and, and people in organizations say what’s in it for me. Right? What’s the payoff for me. And they even have a way of saying it, which is with them, which is what’s in it for me with the first letters. So this whiff them problem is very prevalent. And I think that the issue with it is people don’t see themselves in the future. They’re asking at an individual level, which, which tends to look selfish. I mean, they’re, they’re trying to do their best for the greater good, but, but they’re concerned about the implications and the impact. We start with what it means for me. So when you have this, what’s in it for me, issue. If you develop a future, people want to call their own. That means everybody’s going to want to call it their own.
Speaker 3 (22:42):
I see myself in that future, I’m excited by the future. It pulls me forward in the work that I’m doing. I feel part of a team. So again, I’m just going to go back and, and affirm congratulate you. Those Monday meetings are another example of developing a future that people want to call their own, your creating the kind of organization that people want to belong to. And I believe one of the greatest retention strategies and recruitment strategies, the way to get the best people David, that you were talking about is to have a great organization. And they’re going to want to come work for you. And they’re going to want to stay working for you because it’s a place that they love. And Matt is about development, developing a future that people want to call their own. I’ll have pride in this organization. And I want to tell my friends and family and other people. So I become an ambassador to the organization. And I can even recruit people to say, you know what? This is a great place. You ought to come join me because Pam and David really listened to what we’re saying. That’s a great strategy. And you don’t have it. Doesn’t cost you another penny. It doesn’t cost you in salaries. It doesn’t cost you in benefits. All these things that entrepreneurs have to worry about to balance the books. This is about creating a place that people want to call their own.
Speaker 2 (24:06):
Right? Right. And once you were able to develop that process, the system, you also mentioned and get the right people involved from the start. That is very so true. If you really want to grow, I mean, you really have to invest, make that decision, make that assessment inside your business. If you need help, then find somebody who can guide. You find a coach, find a mentor so that, you know, you’ll be able to not to great mistakes. You’ll be able to great mistakes. You mentioned that in the book and don’t be afraid to do mistakes, to make wrong decisions because that’s part of the journey. But for you to, to lessen those mistakes, you have to have somebody to guide you. And like what we mentioned in the beginning, the structure, the process should be like your foundation. And you were, you were saying about, you have to create that future, that your market would like would want to have that same future. I mean, you also have to step back and think, or put yourself in your market’s shoes, in your clients and see what they feel. What do they think? And then that’s where you’re going to start it. Yeah.
Speaker 3 (25:26):
I just want to jump in and say, absolutely because developing a future, people want to call their own. It’s all the people. So think about stakeholders. If you’re there developing a future, your employees love and your customers hate. You’re not going to be around in that future to experience it. So you need to be listening to the market. You need to listen to trends and evolving where your industry’s going. But when you develop a future that everybody wants to call their own, right. Maybe I should have put everybody instead of just, people want to call their own that that’s where the magic comes in. And you’re, I couldn’t agree more with you. I feel like I’m sitting around with the best friends who help write the book.
Speaker 2 (26:10):
Yeah. Yeah. Oh my gosh. This book is so good. You even mentioned here, make change, work part of daily work, coordinate around common goals. This is very important. We’ve, we’ve mentioned about having a team do not ignore your team, do not exclude them with, what is your goal? What is the purpose? Like? For example, when we do a project or when we do a campaign, I do talk to defiant all the time and strategize and plan with the client. And then I coordinate this with the rest of the team. You have to, when you assign a task to a project manager, to a VA, you have to tell them what is the goal? What is the purpose of this task? So that they have a feel of urgency and importance that they are not just part of the system, but they are part of your growth part of the client success. If they know what they are doing. And I, people, I feel like there is power to that when you get them involved into your client’s project, into your target markets concerns and issues and pain points and all of those things. So can you expand more on that, Jake?
Speaker 3 (27:35):
Yeah, absolutely. So I’m, I’m a huge fan of the way that you guys work and what you talk about. So I have 12 people who helped me in my organization get my work done. And years ago, there’s a man named Dan Sullivan. I took an entrepreneur’s course with him called the strategic coach. I highly recommend it. One of the things they talked about was unique ability, and they said, you can find the magic spot, where you do things well, it’s easy for you to do and others value highly. And if you can think of those as three circles where you get the concentric center, where you love to do it, it’s easy for you to do and others value at highly listen. When you’re doing that work, you’re doing the work that you were born to do. And so what I work really hard in my organization to do is stick to the knitting, do what I do and Lord, let everybody else do what they do. I have a VA in America, I’ve worked with for 13 years. And in that relationship, boy, she takes care of details. And I send her notes. I look, I should do the creative work. I should do the work. That makes a difference for people. And we’ll hear in a fine people. I have a man in Pakistan. I have a man in India. I’ve got people across. There’s a woman in Canada and across the us that worked for me to be able to help me do what I do best.
Speaker 2 (29:10):
That’s awesome. You have to, you have to read the book guys. There’s nothing I can say. This is like our roadmap. This is you. You itemize all the things that are very important for you to be able to have that clarity and for you to be able to go from point a to point Z in fast, easy, and the best way that you can. I mean, I can’t stress that enough. We share the same value. You also patronize outsourcing, you mentioned offline that you have a team of 12, 12 team members, right? Yeah. So we have like 15 and it’s around the globe. We’ve got here in the country and overseas. So, I mean, this is like destiny for us to meet, right?
Speaker 3 (30:14):
Well, certainly a meeting of the minds. And I think this leverage change eight ways to achieve faster, easier, better results. My request to your readers. It’s a simple one is get the book and read like Pam’s doing, and then put a review on Amazon. You know, if you like, what you see and you think it’ll help other people, that’s my mission with this book, put something up there. That’s going to encourage people. And frankly, if you read it and you go, Hmm, don’t know what this guy was thinking. Then you put that up there too, because we want to protect people from having to spend their time and money on it. But my bet is that when you get it, the goal is that immediately you can do something on my website. I have a free ebook. That’s called 27 ways to achieve faster, easier, better results immediately. And so these are things that you can take out. And tomorrow morning, this afternoon, you can start putting into practice. What I talk about, what Pam, David and I have talked about this morning. You can put it into practice, test it yourself. And my bet is you’re going to find that there are some really useful tips and advice that you can start using immediately. And once you convince yourself, that’s worthwhile, okay, then go out and pick this book up and read it and start getting even more value.
Speaker 2 (31:43):
I couldn’t agree more, Jake. I am not even half of your book reading it and I already highlighted some of the pages. Some, we are already implementing integrate work online, and this is amazing. This is a good, fine. Before we wrap this up, let’s just have fun here. Jake, I’m going to ask you three questions. There is no wrong answers. It’s just for fun. So here’s one. What is the one thing you’d be really disappointed if you never get to experience,
Speaker 3 (32:18):
Ah, I’m supposed to marry a woman. I love COVID got in the way it was supposed to happen in June in Italy. And we said, we want it to be special. So it’s not going to be one of those backyard deals and boil boy, I would have trouble on my hands if that marriage never occurred. So that’s number one on my list. As soon as the world up, I’m headed to the Amalfi coast to put a ring on my finger.
Speaker 2 (32:44):
That is so funny. I’m going to let you and David talk in private, offline. We just we were engaged and because of COVID we don’t want to be in front of the judge and the two of us and that’s real advice. So of course we want we want to have some other people as well, but because of COVID social distancing, don’t gather so it can wait. Right? So that’s, that’s cool. Number two, if you could be a personal assistant to anyone who would it be, but before you answer it, that shape, you have, I’m going to let you think about that question for a moment. You have, you mentioned that you’ve got a team of you have 12 members in your team, and for sure you have your own personal assistant, you have your VA, you said I forgot her name. You said you’ve been working with her for 13 years and you know how important this is? A VA your personal assistant is like a lifesaver for any entrepreneurs, right? You are going to be that lifesaver for someone who would it be
Speaker 3 (33:57):
Great. So I’m going to tell you about that kind of person who would be my perfect boss. I don’t know who the specific person would be, but Oh boy, they would be somebody who loves to get help with creativity and new ideas and innovation. And so anybody who’s out there right now, listening, if that’s what you need, you go to Jake jacobs.com and you leave me a note because maybe we can work out a deal in my spare hours where I can be your creativity opportunity, and you can focus on the details and the rest of the work to make your business successful.
Speaker 2 (34:37):
I love it. I love that. All right. Last one, given the choice of anyone in the world, who would you want as a dinner guest?
Speaker 3 (34:50):
Okay. I think, and I’ve, I’ve watched some of this I, he seems to be popping up on my screen. So there’s a man named Thomas Keller, this thing who runs a restaurant called the French laundry. And this is a very, very famous, very fancy restaurant that is in Napa Valley. And what I would like to do is I would like to have Thomas Keller to dinner, but guess what? I want them to help cook the meal. And I want to enjoy that French food and I’ll sit down and break bread with them, but he’s got to get in the kitchen about two hours early to help me made sure that I do a good job. And I learned something about the cooking too, because I’m a lifelong learner. And when it comes to the kitchen, I love to cook it’s in the back of my books, especially with left odd leftovers in the fridge I seem to have magic with, but I’m not going to have the kind of magic that Thomas Keller has. So sign me up with him.
Speaker 2 (35:50):
I love that. Okay. This is a very good episode with you. We learned a lot. I learned a lot. I hope our listeners learned a lot as well. Where can we find usually?
Speaker 3 (36:07):
Sure. So I do some fun videos, minute, minute, and a half videos that drop three times a week on LinkedIn. And you can find me firstname.lastname@example.org. I call him Jake on change. And so they’re, they’re very quick videos that will give you some insight and some tips. That’s one place. I think your listeners will appreciate. I have a Twitter account, which is at Jake Jacobs and then my website, which is Jake Jacobs consulting.com, where I said, you can get that free ebook of the 27 ways. You can get an excerpt from the book. So the first chapter in the introduction and prefaces there, and if you want to connect with me directly, then send it email to Jake, J a K email@example.com. And I read every one of the emails that comes in and I respond to them personally. And so if there’s a way that one of our programs or our coaching or our consulting can help you get faster, easier, better results, then let’s have a conversation and find a way to make that happen.
Speaker 2 (37:16):
Awesome. Thank you. We appreciate you. So there you go, guys. We will put all of Jake’s websites and social media in the show notes so that you can check him out. I would like to invite you guys to get the book. It’s very helpful. You’re gonna learn a lot from it. I’m telling you guys. So there we go. Here’s another episode on how to build a team podcast and we will catch you again. Next time. [inaudible].