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Episode 196 | The Queen Bee Role in Businesses with Mike Michalowicz

Mike Michalowicz

WITH Mike Michalowicz

  • Episode 196 | The Queen Bee Role in Businesses with Mike Michalowicz 00:00


Hey Group Practice Listeners! The usual work schedule of 9-5 is said to be unproductive as the average person only renders his optimum productivity in 3.2 hours. Now, how can this piece of information be of use to businesses like yours? And how does this affect how we view roles in our business? 

Join us as we discover the new era of productivity and influence with our guest, Mike Michalowicz with his forthcoming book, Clockwork.

In this episode, we will cover:

  • What is the forthcoming book “Clockwork” by Mike Michalowicz’ about?
  • What is the Queen Bee Role in businesses?
  • Why you should identify the Queen Bee Role in your business.
  • How do you identify the Queen Bee Role in your business?
  • How does this Queen Bee Role dictate the productivity and the survival of your business?

Links mentioned in the episode:

Clockwork – Mike Michalowicz

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Maureen Werrbach

Hey everyone. Welcome to another episode of the group practice exchange podcast. Today. I have someone on who has been on several times and I’m really excited because he is coming out with a revised and expanded edition of a book that probably all of you have already. Today’s guest is Mike MCZ and we’re gonna be talking about one of his books, clockwork which is going to be coming out shortly.

I think in about a month, you can let me know. Yeah. It’s a revised and expanded edition. I’m flying without anything on right now because I have no idea what is in this newest addition to the book. So I’m gonna be learning with all of you guys. Hi, Mike. Good to see you. Thank God. I know what’s in the new book.

So this one, this is not flying blind. You know, it’ll just be me flying blind and you’re driving the ship on this one right now. All right. You got it. You got it right? I think almost all of my audience has read clockwork in the first edition. Yeah. So I wanna just spend some time having you talk about what’s new and yeah.

How that came to be, that you decided to even put new things in. There are two components that trigger me to work on revising and expanding the edition. This is only my second book. I’ve done this for my first book. I wrote an edition or renovated the book was profit. First, two components were this. First of all, was the frequency of inquiries.

So people were saying, Hey, I have a question about this. I’m trying to implement that. My intention of the book is that when the reader reads it, they have everything they know or need within the book. The challenge I’ve noticed is when I do a presentation or keynote, you’ve been so kind to have me at your events and I keynote it on clockwork.

You know, people can raise their hand and say, can you gimme more detail or clarity? You don’t get that in a book. Can’t be like a person can’t raise their hand and say, can you explain this further? You gotta nail it in every single sentence. So, first of all, there were a lot of inquiries coming in, which is an indicator.

I may not be serving people optimally in the book. It may not be written as efficiently as possible, but the other complementary indicator in part two is the volume of book sales. No, one’s buying the book and it’s confusing. Uh, maybe the book shouldn’t even be out there because no one’s buying the first place, but people are buying it and trying to fight through it.

Then I gotta fix it. So the sales of clockwork we’re increasing and the rate of emails coming in saying, can you clarify this? Or. Was at the same rate as the book sales increasing. So it’s like, okay, this is an indicator that there’s demand for this subject. I have an opportunity to write it better. Yeah.

That’s why I wrote it. Oh, I love it. So what is one of the most common questions that you were getting that maybe kind of started this process of thinking about writing an expanded or newer version? Yeah. About the QBR. The principle of the QBR stands for the queen B role. What I did in the original book was I was studying beehives.

And I believe in this concept called biomimicry. Basically, if mother nature figures something out and does it effectively, she’s mastered it. And we should replicate that if there’s an application in our lives or in our business, and beehives are extraordinarily efficient at growing and maintaining themselves scale.

Well, I studied how they do this and every B knows I’m putting air quotes around that, but every B knows of the most important role or function happening in the hive is the production of eggs it’s served by the queen bee. That’s her job. And the reason that’s such an important role is that bees don’t live for a long period of time.

It depends on the species, but it could be four weeks on the short side to maybe four months on the long side. So there’s a lot of, I call turnover beehives. So what the bees do is they say we gotta be producing eggs. And, uh, they also do other functions, like defend the hive and collect nectar and pollen, but nothing trumps the necessity to produce eggs.

Including the queen B yourself, if the queen B is failing to produce the eggs, the high will kill the queen. Be they’ll assassinate effectively. And they’ll spawn a new queen B because we have to do this. We all depend on it. Mm-hmm. So I was like, oh, in our companies, there must be something that is that critical function that must be happening.

And if it doesn’t happen, it kills the business. You know, the definition of most there’s only one thing that can be of the biggest importance. So the feedback I was getting though, is someone said, you know, if we don’t invoice, we’ll never collect our money. That is the queen B role of our organization. Well, I explained the first book, but not effectively what are you known for?

Uh, what do you wanna stake your business’ reputation on that’s the idea that queen B rolls it’s how customers see us. And as long as we are meeting that extraordinary customer expectation, that one thing that we crush so well, but we’re known for, we will continue to have a good reput. , but what happened with this person?

I said, well, invoicing, everything. I said, well, call your customer and say is the most important thing we do to invoice you. What are they gonna say? Of course, no, thanks. Uh, for the bill, we know we’re getting it, but the number one thing you do for us is X, Y, Z. So I did clarify this, how I did in the prior book was through deductive reasoning.

You take sticky notes and you remove, yeah, it could be, this could be that. And you kind of hone in on finally what it is. There’s a much more efficient way. And what it is is to start off with your big promise. The big promise is that our reputation hinges on what we’re known for and what we want to be known for.

So an example with Zappos is we deliver happiness. They want customers to say, this is a joyous transaction, which really delivers, uh, FedEx. They take your reputation on logistics. We promise, to deliver your packages overnight. Mm-hmm. And so in the FedEx example, What we then ask. So once we know what the promise is, what we stake our reputation on of all the activities we do, and what one most influences that that’s all we have to ask in FedEx.

They have a logistics department, you know, the managers, logistics and the software and stuff. They have, uh, print shop, actually just that one this past weekend and need some stuff printed up. They have all these different things. Customer service department. If FedEx said screw logistics, which I argue is their QBR.

It’s the production of exit that keeps the business alive. If they say screw logistics, who cares what the packages are but let’s go all in on customer service and just wow. People with how friendly we are. I think within one week, the headline is, you know, FedEx doesn’t know where an effing package is, but they’re nice about it.

Like they’re gonna go out of business. but, and this is a multi-billion dollar corporation, but if we did the reverse, if FedEx said, screw the customer service department, we’re not even answering the phones anymore. We’re gonna double down on logistics. We’ll know where every package is and we will deliver ’em on time.

Now, one week from now, the headline is FedEx not answering the phone, but every package is delivered on time. Mm-hmm they will be injured slightly. Mm-hmm for the reputation, but they will keep that billion-dollar corporation going. That’s what we need to do. We have to say, what is the biggest thing we wanna be known for, with our customers, and then ask ourselves about all the things we do.

What do we deliver? What service or activity I should say most service is that big promise and then never compromise on it. Always make sure that’s done. That’s the QBR and how you find it. That’s really amazing. And I remember, I feel like I was lucky in a lot of ways to know you and have talked to you a bunch of.

To have understood that because I feel like when, um, I read clockwork initially, I knew what most people were thinking at the time was what’s the most obvious thing. The most obvious thing is the QPR. The thing that brings them is money usually. So like, if you’re you work at famous footwear like it’s selling shoes because if you’re not selling shoes, then the store doesn’t exist.

When in reality, There’s usually something much deeper than that. That is actually that queen bee role. And in my own group practice, we spent a lot of time trying to figure that out, but also have the luxury of having had your brain to begin within it, outside of the book, realizing that, you know, I’ve, uh, 60 or 70 therapists in my practice.

And for us, it’s not about like finding the best therapists in the world because we’re multispecialty. So every therapist has a different niche. When I saw clients, I did couples therapy. If you gave me a kid, even if I’m the best couples therapist and you gave me a kid, I’m not gonna do great. It was more about like our queen B’s role was the process of effectively having our intake people, the people who are the.

Of the phones coordinating the best referral within the practice, because when that was happening, ah, clients were actually getting the results that they wanted. It’s not about just scheduling them with someone in our practice, but like having a system. I love it. That accurate screens, what the client’s problems are through the phone, a pain points.

Their personality, because we have therapists who do have some specialties, where one is more client-centered and calm and like Zen and I have other therapists who do the exact same, have the same background, do the same trauma therapy, but they’re a little bit more direct and they’ll call people out on their shit.

Yeah. And two clients who that trauma one might. Really just need someone calmer and like, let the client kind of run the session. Whereas another one might need someone to call ’em out on their shit. And so we have this whole system of really coordinating the right fit therapist with the client and then a whole system afterward.

So for us, I love that. I mean, I saw it as a perfect example. Yeah. But my own business says we went through the QBR too. It took me time to figure it out. I was like, oh, maybe it’s the presentation of the material of my research through the keying and so forth. But the end day it was like, oh, it’s writing books, but the promise is simplifying entrepreneurship.

Yeah. So my commitment to my customers is when you have an experience with me, I will simplify entrepreneurship for you. You’ll get the end results faster or easier, or hopefully both mm-hmm. Then I had to go, where are all the activities I do that support? Speaking podcast interviews, so forth writing books.

And I said of all these, what do I stake my reputation on? Well, it’s writing books. Yeah. Like if I write shitty shitty books, I’m never gonna speak again. I won’t get podcast interviews. I got to double down on it. Yeah. Now my whole team isn’t writing books. It’s me. I have a co-writer and my partner, AJ. We work on ’em together, but my team knows to defend that if the queen bee is not laying eggs, the other bees don’t necessarily lay eggs.

They can mm-hmm but they will take actions to ensure the egg production’s going along. They’ll actually cool or heat the hive. They can do it by using their wings and doing other activities. So once you know, your QBR. Two points of importance here. One is it doesn’t have to be served by a single person in some businesses.

It is. And that’s kind of where the analogy breaks down. Cause we think queen bees are only one. No, you could have ideally dozens as you grow or whatever it is, and doesn’t need to be the owner. The second thing is, that even if someone’s not doing it, they still have a responsibility to keep an eye out for it. And if it’s not happening to wave that red flag or take an action to make sure that QBR is humming along again and connect with that, what you just said.

So our practice, I know for people who are listening group, practice owners, Maybe wanting to get a sense of like, how that translates into our industry. Our practice recently, probably about six months ago or so. So we have an admin team who does all of the phone stuff. They have the whole system for making sure that the right fit, the clients are going to the right fit therapist and not just.

Any trauma therapist, but we were noticing that we have a lot of KPIs and notice that we’re having some clients who were calling back wanting to be rescheduled with another therapist. They loved our practice, but he wasn’t perfect. And so what we realized was that our clinical team, they were the ones they’re not part of the QBR.

They don’t do the, uh, answering the phones and coordinating the calls and all. But they were like, I think our bio pages, all of my clinicians have their individual bio pages. Maybe we should freshen that up. We’ve had ’em for really long. And so similar to what you were saying is like, they have nothing to do with the actual scheduling of appointments or there are just the clinicians who see them, but they’re like, what if we updated our bios and that’s gonna help our intake people be able to then reference our bios to give the potential clients just one more touchpoint of yeah.

People making sure that that’s good. Clinician. Yeah. I love that. That’s another great example of protecting and serving the QBR. And the funny thing is I think the general perception is like updating a bio page. That’s so minor, like who really even cares, but when you understand what your QBR it’s like, oh my gosh, this is a critical point.

And often those perceivably minor changes have an extraordinary impact on the health of an organization. Yep. Yeah, it does. I see, in my little show notes, I’ve been, uh, curious about the power of the 3.2-hour productivity rule you have on here. So I need to know what is this. Okay. This is crazy. This is crazy.

So this research came out of England and they identified predominantly the research was around knowledge workers, stuff you’re doing that. The average person is only productive for 3.2 hours per day, regardless of the number of hours they’re actually working. Someone can work eight hours or five, arguably 3.2.

And they’re still producing 3.2. The logic behind this is our battery strain. Like the iPhone. You gotta recharge it up. It’s hard to be engaged at the highest level all the time. So we have to recover. And often we do that through distraction break time, whatever it may be. So the argument here is maybe we don’t need people working eight hours.

Here at our own company, 60 or 70% of our employees are part-time employees. And then, the secret, which is not so secret anymore is they produce just as much as the full-timers they’re, they’re still given the full-time work, but they’re choosing to take their break time at home. So whatever that may be, they have an agenda full at home, but it’s not doing the activity so their brain can recover.

Mm-hmm our eight-hour folks, our full-day folks, just like myself. We need these breaks during the day, just to give ourselves a re. So it may be a way for a business to run more cost-effectively, but if nothing else, it puts us around the optimization of how to leverage people. Yeah. And maybe the eight-hour day is not a productive day.

Honestly, I don’t think it is. Um, we are full-time therapists are 25 hours, so they’re salaried. Full-time full benefit. Yeah. Unlimited time off all of that. And that’s at seeing 25 clinical hours. That’s what we consider full-time. Our administrative team is at 40-hour work weeks and it’s been on our agenda.

By the end of 20, 22 to figure out how we can take one full day’s worth of work off of all of their plates while still being able to, for us, it’s like the phones need to still be answered. So is it? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Part-time people and, and all that kind of stuff. So our hope is to be able to allow them to have the same salaries they have whilst cutting out a full day of work for all of them taking up full eight hours.

We do that too. We cut out Friday. So yeah, year-round. So we’re 32 hours for a full-time person. And honestly, we don’t even track the time. So you don’t have to work eight hours, just have to get your job done. Yeah. And, uh, no impact on productivity. If anything, I think we’re more productive. Mm-hmm, it’s a great recruitment tool too.

It’s kind of funny, cuz so many businesses are on that old mindset saying, you know, 40 hour week and you better be available all. We interviewed one of our own internal employees is asking about how they came here. They had a job offer for about 30% more than us. And they called us and said, listen, I got this job offer asking for more money.

I just wanna know. Can I start with you? And, and do you have a long-term plan for me cuz I, I want to come here. Yeah. And we’re like, yeah, we do. Her name is Izzy. I asked her, I said, why’d you come here? She. The culture is such a fit for me. The work-life balance is extraordinary. She’s been with us now for almost two years.

Her friends come to her and say, how can I get a job working for your company? It was interesting, and this is this line. She used that, that kind of opened my eyes and I’m putting the new book that many companies are just trying to fill in the blanks. They have a spot and just plug someone in. Plug someone in the smart company is integrating the whole person,, their personal lives and their business lives and really caring for the entire.

Nurturing that person’s life. And those people seem to be the most productive and obviously the most loyal. Yeah. And we’re seeing, I think. COVID the shift in the, what employees are looking for, you know? Yes. Oh yeah. Yeah. And flexibility is at the top of it right now. Totally. Which it wasn’t pre COVID, you know, is usually income over everything or vacation time, but not necessarily like the flexibility of being able to work from home and the office, or being able to just not work if you got your work done, you know, and we’re seeing a big shift in that now COVID in that way was a major blessing.

Mm-hmm it forced the inevitable. I was always there bubbling under the service and then. There was an eruption with COVID. Is there anything else before? I know we have a few more minutes, but is anything else that is important or different that’s going on in the book? I’m sure we didn’t cover all of the things.

Yeah. So the book about 60% of it is brand new concepts. I take that have enhanced modified stuff that has removed 40% is original, but it’s entirely reworked and reconnected. So I hope when someone reads they’ll find this as fresh content delivered in an even more efficient way. You have the four Dix in there.

Yeah, well, actually we’ve added a fifth D and we just talked about it, so the four D mix is still in there. That’s a core tenant. The 50 D is downtime, the necessity of building downtime, which we’re just referring to, but we also added the fourth tee. So we talked about the three tees, which are trash transferring trim.

Here’s what’s so interesting is I was hearing back from readers saying I don’t wanna clockwork my business because I don’t know what to do with myself. If the business can run without. It’s like, oh, whoa. That’s not the intent, like a book, you need to be writing. Cause that is where I love to be. yeah. Right.

Yeah. But for some people it is daunting. It’s like, what do I do with my life if I’m not working? Well, the point is when the business can run itself, we as the owners of the business now have the choice or the option to reinsert ourselves in the business in the way that we choose. Yeah. Not as a superhero.

In and more likely mess things up, but there are certain things that we can treasure. So the fourth tee now is a treasure. What are the things that often are our zone of genius or our super? Something you love to do is insert ourselves that way, but you can never get there until you extract yourself from the business and the business now running without you.

Otherwise we’re a crutch for certain areas of the company. Yep. So that’s a new big component. I love that. I love both of those things. The 50 is also, I think. A perfect addition. I’m so excited to read it. I thought, oh, there’s not gonna be that much change. I always think that additions like revisions are usually a slight change.

You can’t tell the difference. You usually are. Okay. My publisher was blown away. Like when I did this. They came back a month into this. They said, why is this gonna take so long? I gave ’em the regular publishing. It’s taking me another year and a half to rewrite this book. Like, why is this taking so long?

Usually a rewrite is about a month or two. Yeah. I said because it’s a brand new book. They didn’t have the right editorial team lined up. They had someone kind of almost kind of check the boxes and push it through publishing. They said, oh my gosh, we have to get the whole team back involved. Yeah, sorry. I miscommunicated that, but this is how I do revise and expanded.

I’m very proud of the book. One last component I wanna share is lots of new stories. So I was able to interview, I think 50 people have implemented clockwork, the actual full system, and had varying degrees of success. Some people really struggled in certain areas and codified it. I took of those 50, maybe 12 stories.

There are 12 kinds of new stories intertwined throughout the book. Opens with a brand new story and closes with a brand new story, but there’s packed in the middle too, which really drives home the points and makes ’em very visual. I think that one of the key things with all your books that just puts together such a nice story for the key concepts of your books is the fact that you’re a really great storyteller.

Oh, thank you. And you find really. Relevant and good stories to combine throughout the book that kind of pull all the pieces together. Thank you. Yeah. And what can be well, not with, uh, clockwork, but like private first, what can be, you know, very number dry sort of topic? You’re really good at bringing stories in, in a way that makes it really exciting to read.

So thank you to read this one. Thank you. Yeah, that’s what my goal is, is to make this stuff really accessible because it’s fun, but it also makes sense. Yeah, I’ll finish the audiobook. This Friday is my last recording day. And on the audiobook, I added even more stories. So there are 12 in the book. There is about 15 or 16 total I wanted to include, so there are an additional three or four in the audio edition.

Oh, that’s cool. Wait, so when does the book come? Comes out on August, um, something 25th. So funny. I dunno if that’s my birthday is it? Oh, great. Then let’s make it that day. I gotta look we’re gonna edit it in the show notes later. okay. Okay. That’s funny. I don’t know. I’m gonna pull it up right now, cause I’m curious.

Okay. Well, I really appreciate having you back on, it’s always really fun chatting with you and I look forward to helping and supporting you as much as I can with this new edit. You are the best. Thank you for this. Of course. All right. Have a good rest of your day. You too. Take care, Maureen. Thanks for listening to the group practice exchange podcast.

Like what you heard? Give us five stars on whatever platform you’re listening from. Need extra support. Join the exchange, a membership community just for group practice owners with monthly office hours, live webinars, and a library of training. Ready for you to dive into visit www dot members dot the group.

Practice See you next week.

Thanks For Listening

Thanks for listening to the group practice exchange podcast. Like what you heard? Give us five stars on whatever platform you’re listening from. Need extra suppor? Join The Exchange, a membership community just for group practice owners with monthly office hours, live webinars, and a library of trainings ready for you to dive into visit www dot members dot the group practice exchange dot com forward slash exchange. See you next week.


Here are the resources and guides we recommend based on this episode

* I am an affiliate for some of the businesses I recommend. These are companies that I use in my own group practice, and make recommendations based off of my experience with them. When you use some of these companies through my links, I receive compensation, which helps me continue to offer great free information on my podcast, blog, Facebook group, and website.

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Meet your host


Maureen Werrbach is a psychotherapist, group practice owner and group practice coach. Learn more about her coaching services here:


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