Fran Biderman-Gross | How to Find Your Business Purpose, Surviving and Thriving in Times of Economic Uncertainty

Everybody needs a purpose. The same is true in business.

Fran Biderman-Gross is the CEO and Founder of Advantages, an award-winning New York-based end-to-end communications agency. She is also the co-author of the book, How to Lead a Values-Based Professional Services Firm: 3 Keys to Unlock Purpose and Profit, which she wrote with Don Scales.

Fran works with senior executives to help them clearly see the results of purpose-driven marketing and leadership. She leads her clients on an invaluable journey of brand discovery that reveals their personal and organizational’s 3 keys: Purpose, Values, and Story. She empowers leaders and organizations to infuse meaning into everything they do so that their visions become realized.

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Here’s a Glimpse of What You’ll Hear:

  • What brand foundation means and why Fran Biderman-Gross believes businesses should run under its lenses
  • The importance of being a clear leader with vision and commitment
  • The 3 keys to unlocking purpose and profit
  • How Fran met Simon Sinek and what she learned from him
  • The difference between Fran’s 3 keys and Dan Pink’s 3 principles
  • The Gallup StrengthsFinder assessment
  • The distinction between individual and shared values, and the appropriate use of integrity
  • How stories can help people communicate better
  • How companies can figure out their purpose, values, and stories
  • Fran shares how she lost her husband in 2011 and how she managed through that tragedy
  • The importance of purpose given the current economic conditions
  • The people Fran acknowledges for her achievements
  • Where to learn more about Fran Biderman-Gross

Resources Mentioned:

Sponsor: Rise25

Today’s episode is sponsored by Rise25 Media, where our mission is to connect you with your best referral partners, clients, and strategic partners. We do this through our done for you business podcast solution and content marketing. 

Along with my business partner Dr. Jeremy Weisz, we have over 18 years of experience with B2B podcasting, which is one of the best things you can do for your business and you personally. 

If you do it right, a podcast is like a “Swiss Army Knife” – it is a tool that accomplishes many things at once. It can and will lead to great ROI, great clients, referrals, strategic partnerships, and more. It is networking and business development; and it is personal and professional development which doubles as content marketing

A podcast is the highest and best use of your time and will save you time by connecting you to higher caliber people to uplevel your network. 

To learn more, go to or email us at [email protected]

To learn more, book a call with us here

Check out Rise25 to learn more about our done-for-you lead generation and done-for-you podcast services. 

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Episode Transcript

John Corcoran 00:40

All right. Welcome, everybody. John Corcoran. Here. I’m the host of the smart business revolution podcast where I talk with CEOs, founders and entrepreneurs of companies and organizations like YPO eo Activision Blizzard, which is the world’s largest video game company. Lending tree Open Table x offer many many more. I’m also the co-founder of rise25, where we help to connect b2b business owners to their ideal prospects and I’m very excited today because my guest is Fran Biederman gross. Fran is the CEO and founder of advantages, which is an award-winning New York based end and communications agency. She’s also the co-author with Don scales of the book, how to lead a values-based professional services firm, three keys to unlock purpose and profit. And so we’re going to ask her all about that. And she works with senior executives, helping them to clearly see the results of purpose-driven marketing and leadership. So if you are questioning your purpose, or wondering about the role of purpose in marketing and driving your business forward, this is gonna be really valuable for you. And so we’re gonna dive into that in a second. But first, before we get into that this episode is brought to you by rise25 media, which I co-founded with my business partner, Dr. Jeremy Weiss, and our mission is to connect you with your best referral partners and customers. We do that through our done for you podcast and content marketing solution, and I believe firmly because I’m doing it for 10 years, that if you have a business, that you should have a podcast period, it’s one of the best things I’ve done. Hands down since I found in my business, it’s like a Swiss Army knife, a tool that accomplishes so much. And at a time like this, really, it’s about your best relationship, strengthen your best relationships. And it’s a tool that allows you to do that.

So if you want to learn more, you can go to rise 25 and learn all about it. All right, so Fran, I’m excited to talk to you today. We connected over that great platform LinkedIn, which I’ve connected with so many interesting people also active in eo u in New York, me in San Francisco. So we had a connection through that. And you know, you say that people want to know today. They want to know what you stand for. They want to know what you believe in. And then it’s no longer enough today to work with a firm that offers excellent services. They want to know more about that deeper what is driving you what is motivating you and you use a term called brand foundation. You say in order to thrive in the 21st century, you must run all aspects of your business through the lens of your brain. foundation. Let’s start there. Tell me about what that means. And then I also in context of when we’re recording this, which is mid-March 2020. There’s a lot of uncertainty in the world right now with the coronavirus crisis pandemic happening. And so I’m going to ask you about that. But first, I want to ask you about brand foundation because that’s obviously the focus of your life work.

Fran Biderman 03:22

So first of all, thank you so much for having me I really have listened to a bunch of your podcasts and I know many of your guests and there’s always such great information and great little great Nuggets to take away so I look forward to being counted among them. And I really hope there’s a lot of value in all the life’s work and the life experience that I’m gonna, hopefully uniquely and vulnerably bring you today. Sure, so go ahead start with the hardest question. The brand foundation right so everybody, the minute you the word you hear it. The minute you hear the word brand you think logo you think you know marketing executive, you think all the campaigns you think all of those things. And the truth of the matter is Tron that is just the external use of it. What we’ve realized in these last 15 years of really exploring this is that the brand, right your brand has a foundation is a communications foundation. And the leader for internal purposes must be clear about these three things that we talked about these three keys, which I’ll get into in a second, but they are the underpinning of your brand. And internally, the clearer right now, I welcome your opposition or any of your feedback, but I haven’t really been able to get much so far. But any leader who, you know, isn’t is clear enough right? The clear leaders. And when I mean clear, I mean, I’m talking about leaders who clearly articulate the dream and the world that they have and where they’re going, otherwise known as their vision. Right? And when they’re really clear about what they’re dedicated to, consistently every single day, we are committed to this cause. Right? You really find very interesting things that happen, right? So we think about, like, well, who were the clear as leaders, inspirationally that, you know, right? People come up and I don’t know name a few john, who would you consider a clear lever,

John Corcoran 05:38

a clear leader who’s committed to a cause business leader

Fran Biderman 05:41

doesn’t have to be committed to a cause, right? But their cause their impact the dream that they have in the world? So someone who is clear on their message in their organization?

John Corcoran 05:53

Well, one that’s interesting to me, this might be a surprise, but what’s interesting is, you think of like Honest Company. And Jessica Alba. She is an actress who starts a company with clean cleaning products and clean household goods and items and stuff like that. And I, I’ve always thought that’s an interesting one.

Fran Biderman 06:15

Well, I’m sure that if we had her on the phone, we can really ask her a fair number of questions. And I’m, I’m sure if I dig deep enough, I would find the reason why that’s important to her just the way that it manifests or a products company would probably be no surprise, right? If I, if I could connect those dots and draw the lines.

John Corcoran 06:34

Yeah, that but if you want more of the example of professional service, that’s why not

John Corcoran 06:41

sure. Yeah. That’s it. That’s kind of the focus of the book. I mean, you know, yeah, there’s, there are always companies that I come across that are interesting that have maybe a charitable component to them, or they employ veterans, or a colleague of mine, Catherine has got a company called oDesk. Ai and she employs women mostly in the developing world who do outsource labor through a platform. So you know that there are interesting companies like that, that clearly have a purpose behind them.

Fran Biderman 07:13

So I’m going to say that those feel obvious to you, because they’re their cause is something you can rally around, right? It’s impactful. But first of all, we could talk about how, you know, while they didn’t want to name the book, the three keys to unlock purpose and profit because they felt it was to nonprofit II. And the truth is, when you think about professional services firms, if you’re kind of into that thing, you know, David Meester really wrote this really academic book, which is very well read us in academia still today, which is how to manage a professional services firm and they’re the backbone, really devise professional services, but is still very relevant today, but Don, having as much experience He has running professional services firms, and so much success with m&a. Looking at this as an obvious choice to say, wait a minute, you know what David hasn’t done. He really hasn’t addressed what’s been going on and updated in the last 20 years. And Wiley does go mad over that and thought, this is the perfect intersection of what’s very relevant today on purpose, and applying it to the professional services, right, because it’s not managing anymore. It’s leading. And what’s really is missing is this values-based component, which is where purpose gets elevated. So just give me a little bit of it. It’s not only for professional services firms, actually, many people have written in and review it and said, like, it’s, it’s really great for all things. Yeah. encourage people to read it.

John Corcoran 08:49

Right. And I and I know there’s a there’s another book that since we’re setting books, there’s another book that had big impact on me, Dan Pink’s drive. Yeah, which is all about mastery. authentic. Enemy and purpose he finds that today’s workforce is motivated by those three. It used to be more of a carrot and stick approach. But now it actually motivates people is those things?

Fran Biderman 09:11

Right? Which is a perfect segue, right? Can you set it up for me any better so people demand to know why you exist? So whether you’re a nonprofit or have somewhat of an emotional component to save the world and you know, buy one pair, get another pair of shoes like Yes, all of those things are really easy to see. It’s, it’s the firm’s that, like yours and maybe mine that isn’t necessarily as easy to articulate or isn’t as easy to be as clear because there’s not that emotional component to it. But like at advantages, all we are very passionate about helping leaders achieve the things that they want to write in simplistic terms, achieve their vision, have it realized, help the teams around them rally around that clarity and empower and give them this framework and The structure for them to really engage and to be empowered. So they’re getting this lens or this filter by which to make decisions, but to have the autonomy and the empowerment to do that, and that, in a very exciting kind of way gets really clear to your team and your employees, when you as a leader, or the visionary is clear, right? So very much very much you watch. I’m like tripping over my words for a second. I’m trying to, like so excited to get this out. But if you have a clear leader, a clear leader who is clear and can clearly articulate, where they’re going, what they’re committed to doing, what happens, right, they surround themselves by the people who get them, right their best employees. And it’s like, oh, but I want another person like this person and I you know, this is my best employee gym, and I want another gym around me. How do I do that? Well It’s, it’s really not that hard. Because see you and Jim, believe the same things, you’re just not looking for it or you don’t necessarily know how to spot it. And the three keys completely set you up and simplify this to make it really easy to attract not only the right team members, right but the employees right, there you go. But the right clients, so let’s leave the clients out for a second and just show you the three keys. Let’s talk about what they are. Right. So purpose, values and story. So really simply, purpose is comprised of a couple of things your why we can think Simon Sinek for that for giving me the clarity and meeting me in 2005. That was a hell of a meeting and a great challenge and super embarrassed and he just turned me upside down going What do you mean? I’m like everybody else like, so it was that a little bit more?

John Corcoran 11:51

How did you come across Simon Sinek How did you meet him? He probably wasn’t as famous back then as he is now.

Fran Biderman 11:57

Oh, no. This is way before his TED talk. He had just come back, you know, within, I would say days or weeks of, you know, having this neuroscience conversation of this and coming up with this golden circle of how one speaks from the inside out, and it was actually a New York member, Monique Moorea in her apartment. There was an eo event with about 85 or 90 P, probably about 85 or 90 people was one of my first events back in 2004 or five. And it was like a call to arms, right? Bring your best marketing materials for this marketing expert to kind of, you know, give his thoughts and I’m like, Well, I’m a marketing expert. I design beautiful things and they’re award-winning and all that and I want to see what he has to say about my stuff. So you know, my whole team We’re really really excited we pick out we’re like savoring what’s the one thing we could bring out but he could only say good things about and then I get there early and I put it on the corner of the table. I want to make sure That I stand out somehow oh I got noticed all right that night boy um yeah it was the first to

John Corcoran 13:06

tear down would happen

Fran Biderman 13:08

oh yeah he ripped me to shreds he was oh yeah it’s beautifully designed but she like the language is like everybody else is never stand out in a crowd and I like sinking in my chair expert I was like dying I was like took every ounce of strength not to leave that night but I was really intrigued as I’m glad I didn’t mean it because you really intrigued me with this circle these three circles it looked like a target logo which wasn’t even popular at the time and how could one speak from the inside out? I’ve been communicating my whole life like I don’t I didn’t get it. So I was very curious and I really waited till the end of the night to start talking to him because he really a pinch me off and then embarrass me to death. But we got to such an incredible conversation that like I hired him. I think he came like two weeks later and then handed me my purpose if you will which is gone. After a few iterations essence is still the same. And then we went on to do some really great projects together for a while. And I mean, he’s, he really pushed me, you know, to figure out

John Corcoran 14:14

how. So how is your three keys different from the three keys or the three principles that Dan pink talks about? And Dr. How do you distinguish them? Because he talks about mastery, autonomy and purpose, you’re talking about purpose, values and story.

Fran Biderman 14:28

Right? So again, they’re slightly different talks about how to use them in the world. I’m going to talk about them how to use in the world in relationship to why the business exists and why you exist as a leader. So when you talk about purpose comprised of those three things, sorry for the digression into Simon, but it’s why values I’m sorry, why? The inside purpose is your why your mission and your vision because your y, the formulation of a y has a cause and an impact. So the Beginning of your wise statement really is very much usually related to what you’re, what you’re dedicated to doing every day or your mission. And the back end of that statement in a formulaic way, is usually connected, you know, outward facing the things that you want to accomplish in the world. The world will be a better place if right so it’s the things that you dream about, affecting or impacting. And those three things very much comprise the purpose of the organization when that is clear, right? tucked right inside is your mission, your vision, you’re already know how to rally your team where we’re going, what we’re committed to doing your values. We take a really interesting approach they have to be actionable. There is a formula in which we build them they’re built, not on visceral verbs alone, right? You could Google any, you know, any core values exercise you could ever want. And you will nine out of 10 or eight out of 10 times come up with visceral verbs and very much, very much little else. So depending on how you feel that morning if you had a great day the day before woke up really excited and came, you know, to this core values exercise, you’re in one kind of mood. If you had the opposite experience, you’re you’re not bringing your full best self to that exercise. So you can’t really rely on visceral verbs to really lead or guide these really unchanging things. So we great shortcut for all of the listeners. Gallup Strength Finders is just a fantastic way Oh, I

John Corcoran 16:41

just did that actually. Yeah, yeah, just literally like about a week or two ago so

Fran Biderman 16:46

you don’t have to send it to me We’ll have to discuss it. Oh, well

John Corcoran 16:49

I discovered I’m a woo in front of a roomful of people. It was funny because we had so as an event and I had we had done it beforehand. The instructor and the brother says and john Corcoran, your woo and like a couple of other people in the room were like Oh, yes. And I was like I’m a what? What? So woo is like over Yeah, I like when people over apparently Yeah. Which made total sense.

Fran Biderman 17:17

Yeah. Which is why you have in you know, in a great business and a great podcast and great relationships because you find a way to connect with them and win them over. Right? So I actually have Lou nd out of the list of strengths, I have different things but I, I’m always except. First of all, it’s not so unique to meet a low although they are popping up more and more these days as we do this assessment so often, but there is a direct correlation and a bit of a tip. They are not your core values, but they will tip you if you do it right. And really read through you know the descriptions and the reports you will get to the underpinning or the deeper peel back beyond In component of what you value, they come really straight right from your strengths. And I’ve done a fair amount of work with Gallup, writing white papers and presenting on how ancient times and tribal communities and moral and ethics directly relate to the strengths. And trust me, you cannot argue with like 19 million people. And all this needs data points, a little bit of emotion, a little bit of data, you can, I promise you, you can create core values that are set in a framework that is forever unchanging. And you should not be redoing your core values based on who your team is. Every five years like that you never did it right in the first place, and you’re attaching and conforming to things that really are not authentically you. That I would, I would have a lot to say about that.

John Corcoran 18:47

So that’s a great, that’s a great strategy. It’s a great tool for people who are want to figure out their values. And then the last piece of purpose values story is the third piece.

Fran Biderman 18:57

Well, before we get to story, there’s one really important thing that I want to share about values. Everybody has them, right? We talked about morals and ethics, you have your own individual values, I have my own individual values. But when you take a key influencing team could be your C suite could be less than that, that are leading this organization that you’re that we’re talking about. You have shared values, right? So they’re not only going to come they’re going to from the influencing visionary, they are going to be influenced the values of the company will be influenced by the key influencing team. So those individual values are called shared values. And many people don’t make that distinction. And that’s where so where they fall, so I would recommend everybody go through the strain finders and you know, really go through that and then look at the commonality between them because you might have woo and I might have positivity on communication, which is a little bit you know, of will in there. So there’s some so that means there’s probably a core value. If you and I were creating a company that would have something overlap with those, that those things so we want to be careful in melding that and you want to create a framework, but you don’t want to have a one-word structure integrity, right? When I say the word integrity on a wall when I walk into a bank, like run, like I was that cost of entry. Yeah, people don’t know what to do with Oh, we have integrity, like, okay, you’re supposed to Yes. Even if that wasn’t you weren’t a bank and integrity was something that was really important to you like, what was the action about that integrity? And then how beneath that in the framework, like how do I create a paragraph, a couple of sentences that actually explain you know, what integrity means to the company and how people should use that in, in the way that they know that they can behave around people right, it’s an inspiring them.

John Corcoran 20:53

Yeah. So Alright, so that helps an individual or just shared values and then a story, the last bit

Fran Biderman 21:00

Stories, you know, it’s just the way that we communicate. We remember stories more than we remember words, God knows there are so many statistics about that. And we were, we remember how you make, how you are made to feel. So if we can use a story, start with the purpose, you know, get through the things that you value, then you can talk about your products and services, and the features and benefits because your unique selling proposition will come out through your values. But you can’t win over someone in the differentiate to differentiate yourself without aligning yourself to that other person, right? People buy stuff from people. So when you align with a person, and you love that person, or you care about what they stand for, then you can get them to do things right that they wouldn’t necessarily have done like, right, I’m on the podcast, right? countless guests that you’re able to invite Chances aren’t john, we already know that we align. And we have different tribes that we belong to and different commonalities last time we spoke. And it was, it was why it was what you believe in what I believe in through the power of communication. That was a perfect fit for, you know, the reason why we’re recording today.

John Corcoran 22:19

Right, right. Yeah. And I love that about story. That’s something that, you know, we talk about a lot with our clients and my, my business partner has got this great example he talks about, you know, there are statistics from the consumer products Safety Commission, that 200 and now there’s some statistic there like 200 plus children are under the age of eight were killed by falling TVs or other bedroom furniture. There’s some period of time like in the 2000s but then he compares that to a true story of an emergency room doctor that he knew that told a story of and you know, you see it coming right like a two-year-old who came into the ER blood spurting out of their ears how to do CPR to keep the kid alive. Because a TV stand fell over on her hit her head, and you remember that, you know, it’s so much more powerful, and that will get people to go home and they will secure their furniture, or they’ll move their heavy TV down closer to the ground, or they’ll do whatever it takes to prevent that from happening. Whereas the statistic about the hundreds of kids, no one takes action off of that, you know, it’s much more of the story.

Fran Biderman 23:23

So it’s about how you communicate it right? And then if you’re really good, you can start connecting and by the way, I think I was in IKEA like two weeks ago and I saw I don’t know I was waiting probably to return something or exchange something it behooves me to remember but I remember this ad the video that they were playing right that this kid you know, this parents swept away and move the kid and this was all about you know, anchoring, you know, for their anchors to anchor the dresser, you know, to the wall, right? It’s not tipping over full draws like kids could get hurt. So I think it was the same statistic there. Probably quoted and use it differently and it was really impactful to the poor. I remember it it was a couple of weeks ago or could have been longer than that even. But like I didn’t read this statistic. I don’t think I never would have you know, related to that based on the statistic alone, but there’s no question in the way that you use that in the way that you communicate or pull the heartstrings of someone is the way that you get to remember it. Really put your purpose first. Right so if I can, kiya can talk about safety and put safety first and then get to eventually Hey, you should be securing your stuff against them right. All right, then that’s when that will motivate you to shop at IKEA again because they care about safety. And to buy these things and put them on stuff that you maybe didn’t even buy from IKEA

John Corcoran 24:50

because you’re much more connected to that company because you valid because you have overlap in terms of values is a value keeping kids safe and new value keeping kids safe. Correct,

Fran Biderman 25:00

right? It’s right, it strikes that chord and it becomes memorable. Right? So the story is the vehicle that you want to tell it in a way that it will be memorable. Right? So if you use the emotional component, but it still follows the same why how what right? Why are we here? Why is this thing important to you? And then get to features and benefits? And then what the product actually is.

John Corcoran 25:25

So how do companies is probably the million-dollar question, right? How do companies that have been started and gotten where they are today, but they don’t really haven’t really figured out that piece? How did they figure that out? And then I imagine, when you start as you started your company in your mid-20s, so relatively young, and had you figured that out at that point, or is this something that you yourself figured out later?

Fran Biderman 25:50

Um, no, I definitely. I definitely didn’t articulate it clearly. Right. I didn’t figure it out. I think innately you know, Everybody knows what’s important to them. You know what your strengths are. But you don’t really articulate them, right. I call them for people to just kind of really wrap their head around it. I want I just call them their superpowers. Like, john, I have no doubt that we could list three or four or five things that you are better at that than most people. But you don’t want to engage in a conversation with me, typically, unless you’re really super arrogant, which I know you’re not. Um, it gets, you get really uncomfortable. And you’re like, What do you mean? I’m just like, I’m just junk. And I’m like, No, no, if I got your mom, your wife, your business partner, if I got those three people on a phone, three separate conversations and I asked them hey, what is john What do you rely on john for what is you really good at? And what do you go to him first for they would come up with a couple of different things and go ahead, you should try this at home. But do that to the three. You know family. The unconditional love mom, dad, brother, sister. If you Have that close relationship even when you don’t? They’re coming for you that anyway. They might be more reluctant to tell you but they’ll they will write your best clients. Why do they call you? Why do they think of you? Right? And your friends, your best friends, your tribe, right business or personal? Why do they rely on you and you will find these common themes amongst your values that might articulate it slightly differently, might paint a picture slightly differently, but the essence is really there and actually doing the hard work right in your brain, where you feel you do not speak. There are two different sections to like as marketers and as writers, Our job is to articulate how people feel because they can’t in their part of that brain. So giving purpose and clarity to these three keys really help your team really bring to life and elevate the things that you that mean something to them and to you in the world. And when as a leader when you validate them and acknowledge their contribution, it just makes productivity all the better. Right? You have an increased culture. There’s a complete direct graph and line of great proof for that as well.

John Corcoran 28:16

I want to ask you about what role you think that purpose has given that we’re recording this in mid-March 2020. And by all means, it appears that we’re heading into a recession, an economic downturn, what role it has, but first, before we get to that, we were talking beforehand and to give some context, your husband passed away suddenly or unexpectedly in shortly, three months before 911.

Fran Biderman 28:46

So it was he was after a two-year battle. So okay, I was I had an eight when he passed, I had a 12 and a half an eight-year-old and you could do the math. I was like 11 and 33 at the time, so you really can do that now. But yeah, my husband was six months older than me. And, you know, he was a healthy man with cancer. And two years later, he was gone. And we had a business together. And then three months later, I actually did a tremendous amount of business. We really lost 60, close to 60% of our business overnight. Well, I was actually supposed to go down to the financial district that morning, and I’ll never forget my daughter when she came home from school. When we were together that night, she goes, Oh my god, Mom, if I would have lost you ever lost both my parents and I’m like, Oh, that’s a terrible thought. But, you know, the truth of the matter is like that you want to talk about crazy times like I had the world war in New York. I mean billowing smoke. I could see it from outside my office. It was just the world came to a stop. You had no communication. I had people in my office. Come home and sleep at my house like we had no refrigeration practically we had. We were good because we had batteries, right? We had no cable, they took out the cable. They took out everything off the top of the Empire State Building, and I mean Top of the World Trade Center. And it was just the world really stood still. And no social media back then.

Fran Biderman 30:19

Yeah and right. And we didn’t have the communication we have now. And believe me, it was a small isolated area, but not really off the corridor. And when you talk about what happened in Virginia and Washington right through the Pentagon, like it just it rippled right through and I was on the phone with a former employee who was working for the Fed and in building seven at the time. He was building seven-building five or building seven and we turned it on I actually saw the second plane hit. But after that, it was like, okay, phones are down. We’re all down. There are no subways halted, people walking home from across the bridge, that it’s not pinned on. But that that losing your husband three months before, it’s like, literally I felt the world was ending to find my way back through that. Like we have communication. All right, we’re in we are literally in a week of non-national leadership, which is unfortunate but every state is fending for themselves trying to figure out I really don’t envy any of the governors and all the state legislators and trying to figure out what’s the right thing to do. So we’re missing that national leadership at the moment, but even from a micro levels being part of the executive board of the Queen’s Chamber and on the local, you know, my husband’s Vice President, one of the vice president of the synagogue, we’re totally in the thick of the community trying to just mobilize or actually distance right so that we can figure out how to stop. If people would just stop panicking for a moment right there live. Their lives are not crashing in the same way. We do. have communication we do know what’s going on. The fear of the unknown has definitely created panic. And the one thing I wish people would you know, not panic is, you know what’s driving the store shelves to be empty. And if we could just calm down, we have communication when we don’t have communication, we’re isolated. Right? Oh, we have that. And that. That’s a huge difference. So what’s reacting in the markets and I’m not an economist, but I really feel that we’re going to bounce back when we find our new normal, right? We’re going to work from home for a while and that’s okay. But we have contingency plans. We have the technology. Look how quickly we’ve recovered. Right? I happen to be in the office today. Because Truthfully, I can go from my car to my office and but everyone else is home. And we have talking calls and it didn’t take us a day. You know, I wanted to make sure my team had all the technology we gave out some tech that was needed. You know, the type To speed and things, but what did it take a day, two days a weekend? This wasn’t days, right? Even in Hurricane Sandy. We there were some parts in New York, gosh, we were wiped out. We lost everything. Well, thank God, we weren’t affected by that. But again, being involved in the local community, there were companies that were down for days bailing out of the water and, you know, manufacturing plants dealing with food that just like really took weeks and months to get to full capacity, the demand for the damage,

John Corcoran 33:33

so that definitely puts it in perspective. So we’re running short on time. But So tell me, what’s your perspective on the role of purpose today, in light of the change economic conditions,

Fran Biderman 33:49

so it couldn’t be more relevant than ever. If you clearly can articulate it. I say, don’t change. Don’t veer course don’t do anything but follow that As your permanent Northstar, it will serve you. Even on the 18th of March, right, we’re in mid-March, we are seeing an uptick for those who understand and believe what I believe that will, it will take time to rebuild, there will people there will be businesses that will not thrive and be able to survive this. But we’re going to do everything we can to support local and to do all of those things that we need to but if you’re a leader of an organization, just hold on to that purpose. And even though it’s gloomy and fearful, you can’t go wrong. We’ve seen it bounce back time and time again. We’re going to be committed to doing the things that we’ve always done which are helping leaders achieve that. And in the short term, if there is hair, for example, or a theme for the year is to, you know is to be always forward. Right now, with all the fear It’s really hard to do that. So right now we want to look inward so that we can begin to look forward. And when we can begin to look forward, we can actually go back to moving forward. Yeah, that’s the reactive adaption, you know, adaptation, if you will. But the purpose. And the theme for this year is to do that. And we will always be dedicated. And we’re going to find different ways of doing it. Right. So we’re going to have zoom open calls we just sent out. We’re just actually approaching our entire client list with personal emails, what can we do to help you? Do you need anything? Do you have access to everything? You know, just so that the speed of business maybe isn’t at the same rate, but we must continue?

John Corcoran 35:44

I love that. That’s exactly what we’ve been doing. Actually, same thing reaching out to our entire client list saying how can we help we’re planning a zoom golf for tomorrow. So same thing is as what you’re talking about, and really reminding yourself of your purpose not going astray from it, you know? It’s such a great, such a great message. Well, I want to wrap things up with the question that I was asked, which is let’s pretend we’re at in awards banquet much like the Tonys, your husband wanted Tony, or the Oscars or the Emmys or something like that. But this time, it’s you’re receiving the award, and you’re getting an Award for Lifetime Achievement for everything you’ve done up until this point. And who do you think are the mentors? Were the friends business partners, were the people you acknowledge in your remarks?

Fran Biderman 36:25

Oh, my gosh, I’m glad we’re not on the Emmys. And, Tony, is that I get like a 32nd limit? No. The truth of the matter is I look at that a little bit differently. And think about, you know, my life’s work and what do we want to, you know, be thankful for, and hoping that these three keys have really, you know, simplify things for all people in all businesses, you know, to get grounded and to really get in touch with doing as Don will affectionately call the slog of hard work, which by the way, doesn’t take very long but it is hard, but when you clarify It’s a bit of like striking gold because it’s it really becomes your permanent Northstar and all especially in these difficult times you know exactly how to lead. But I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge, you know, my husband who, who consistently pushes me to better and I’m a Virgo to begin with, so my God, like, nauseum it can, it can always be better. He’s always after the magical, you know, the experience of remembrance, and that takes, you know, Virgo perfectionism to a whole other level. But I wouldn’t be here without that without him without dawn without people like Warren rust hand who I know you also had a guest who’s been an incredible mentor, these last number of years, Simon Sinek, for really pushing him over the edge on this journey to really understand not the complexity, not the complexity, but the simplicity of understanding how to infuse Implement purpose so that it really gets you to the point of true productivity where profit reveals itself. And, you know, to Don’s gals who said, Oh my gosh, you’re such a great story to tell. And it’s not just for marketing. And I would love to write a book with you. So to my partner in crime to a man I’m, you know, I joke with like, I’ve now bound in the Library of Congress with it’s just, it’s so fun to walk that, you know, two completely different walks of life coming out with a unified voice, trying to really help people leading companies doing things in a more purposeful way to be more fulfilled and more valued. So I’d be remiss for not remembering at least, you know, of course, my kids for putting up with me because God knows I’m like the weekend mom. But, you know, the list kind of goes on I just for the people who push me honestly, it’d be better every day because God knows I’ve got a lot to improve on. Hmm.

John Corcoran 39:03

Advantages are the name of the company and how to lead a values-based professional services firm three keys to unlock purpose and profit with your co-author Don scales is the book and where can people learn more about your friend?

Fran Biderman 39:18

They can learn more about me at advantages dotnet we’ve definitely got a robust YouTube channel of snippets. And I would definitely go to three keys we’ve got a fair amount of videos we to come out with a podcast soon on how to build the three keys, you know, impact purpose and profit and they unlock it. So to be

John Corcoran 39:42

another one over to doing a podcast. I’m glad to hear it. Yes, yeah.

John Corcoran 39:47

All right. Good. Good times. All right. Thanks so much, man.

Fran Biderman 39:50

All right. Thanks, John, for having me. Thank you for listening to the smart business revolution podcast with john Corcoran. Find out more at smart business revolution. dot com. And while you’re there, sign up for our email list and join the Revolution Revolution Revolution Revolution. And be listening for the next episode of the smart business revolution podcast.