Banks Benitez joined Uncharted in 2012 as an unpaid intern, and became the CEO in 2017. Since stepping in as CEO, Banks and his leadership have tripled the size of the team and doubled their revenue. Also during the pandemic, Banks moved to a four-day workweek at the same wages. In this episode, Banks shares his insight on the move to a four-day week, and the lessons learned about time management, mental health, and productivity. As a CEO, Banks went from 52 hours a week to 34 hours a week!
[1:50] Advice Jim and Jan give to veterans is, “If you hear about really interesting people, just reach out to them.”
[2:20] Banks has not only grown his organization to triple its size but shifted to a four-day workweek.
[5:20] Banks is currently reading Making Numbers Count, by Chip Heath.
[6:20] Banks shares his story on how he got selected for Rotary International.
[9:35] Jan believes understanding anthropology will also help you towards being a better leader.
[11:00] Banks talks a little bit about his company, Uncharted, and the inspiration behind it.
[12:15] It’s so easy to be a fixer of problems. As a leader, Banks found himself spending all of his time making things “less bad.”
[13:35] Banks and his COO decided to change things up after feeling burned out within the company. They decided to go on the offensive instead of being on the defensive.
[17:55] Banks is a few months into his company working on a four-day workweek. He shares his results so far.
[20:35] Banks was nervous at first when he had to talk to his investors and clients about this. He was worried they would not see him as a serious company.
[23:15] Banks has noticed that his team really hates a three-day week.
[24:55] Prior to converting over to a four-day workweek, Banks decided to hire a third party to help evaluate the productivity and measure if it made sense to convert over.
[28:34] The book Essentialism, by Greg McKeown was critical in determining what was important work and what was not.
[29:55] Jim and Jan hear topics about mental health all the time with their clients. It’s important. People are getting burned out.
[30:30] You can easily quantify turnover costs and when people burn out, and how much it takes to replace that talent. A four-day workweek makes you competitive.
[35:50] Banks explains how Uncharted works and how they’ve been a successful non-profit company.
[37:40] Entrepreneurs who are successful tend to be coachable and follow up/follow through.
[39:45] Sell the problem, not the solution.
[43:55] Busyness and working “hard” is a cultural value that needs to be questioned.
[44:35] When Banks closes his laptop on Thursday night, he still feels incomplete. There’s still a lot to get done.
[45:35] The more you focus on brute force hard work, the less you are refining your “decisive” muscle.
[48:40] Listener challenge: Plant yourself in the richest soil you possibly can.
Quotable Quotes“It’s so easy to be a fixer of problems. It’s easier to fill holes, but it’s harder to build peaks.” Click To Tweet “We spent the whole month of May in 2020 to how we might optimize our work week; the ways we could get smarter about how we structure our time.” Click To Tweet “Not all hours of the workweek are created equally. They are some hours that are productive. There are some hours that are a complete waste of time.” Click To Tweet “My day before, I was working 52 hours a week. Now I am down to 34 hours a week.” Click To Tweet “The best entrepreneurs that we work with are those who are really good at handling a lot of loose ties.” Click To Tweet
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These are the books mentioned in our conversation with Banks