Mini-cast 139: If ESOP-world Ran the Airlines



Bret Keisling was joined by Darren Gleeman of MBO Ventures on Episode 149 of The EsOp Podcast, which inspired this take on buying a plane ticket if the airlines were run by ESOP-world.


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Mini-cast 139 Transcript

Bret Keisling: [00:00:08] Welcome to the ESOP Mini-cast. Thank you so much for listening. My name is Bret Keisling and as it says on my business cards, I'm a passionate advocate for employee ownership.


Darren Gleeman of MBO Ventures appeared on Episode 149 of our primary EO/ESOP Podcast, where he shared what I've taken to call the "Gleeman Method."

His point is that we all talk about ESOPs wrong by burying the headline. He makes the point quite passionately that ESOPs are not boring and in fact, compared to many other types of transactions, they're both exciting and sexy. If you haven't already done so, check out Episode149 at www.EsOpPodcast.com, or wherever you get your podcasts. You'll also find more than 300 episodes in our archives.


Shortly after the podcast came out, I was on a video call with Darren and I asked if I could share an example of how our collective approach to ESOPs would look in other industries. I posted the video on social media in May 2020, but thought it would be fun to share on the Mini-cast.


Here we go.


Bret Keisling: [00:01:16] Darren Gleeman I had to reach out to you, you were on Episode 149 of The ESOP Podcast and you talked about what I now call the "Gleeman Method" much to, perhaps, your chagrin. But I wanted to give you my own take on the Gleeman Method. Is it okay if I fly it by you?


Darren Gleeman: [00:01:40] Absolutely. Go ahead.


Bret Keisling: [00:01:41] All right, if the ESOP industry ran the airlines. I'm fully vaccinated. I am ready to get out in the world. So I called up the airlines and said "I want to buy a ticket to the most perfect destination." You can fill in the blank.


And the airline says, "great we can get you to a perfect destination, but first we need to explain very seriously that in the event of a plane crash, there's going to be FAA/ NTSB and all kinds of investigations of the plane crash.


And even though the plane crash has only happened one in 1/10th -- if that -- percent of the time, you're not going to be able to buy the ticket until we make very clear that in the very small event that there's a plane crash that it's going to be heavily investigated, vetted, et cetera, et cetera.


And then Darren, when I get done being scared and I'm like, "uh, you know, probably be easier just to drive or take the train, but you know what? It's a perfect destination. I want to buy the ticket." Then the ESOP industry airlines are saying: but wait, you need to sit through a significant number of seminars with the physicists. You need to understand jet propulsion. You need to understand gravity. You need to understand every possible thing in science and to make you a better person we're going to throw in Einstein's Theory of Relativity.


Darren Gleeman: [00:02:54] [Laughter.]


Bret Keisling: [00:02:54] And at the end of that process Darren, not only do I not want to fly anymore, I don't want to travel! I don't want to sell my business. I don't want to consider an ESOP. That to me is what we've been doing talking wrong about ESOPs since 2008. And that's what I learned from you and the Gleeman Method.

How'd I do?


Darren Gleeman: [00:03:12] That is, I love it, number one, but yeah, that's exactly what the Gleeman Method is all about. Just explaining to people what is the headline and the headline is not like you said, let me talk to you about the physics of how this works. Right?


When anybody sells anything, they're not telling you about the physics of how it works. When I go to Starbucks coffee, I'm going to Starbucks coffee because I want to have a great cup of coffee. I'm not going there and having them explain to me, well, you know, before you come in, I want to explain to you how the beans are actually roasted. Maybe some people are interested in the beans are being roasted but I'm interested in having a great cup of coffee. Same thing with an ESOP.


Bret Keisling: [00:03:51] I appreciate that and I've got a couple of more ideas that I'm going to share in social media in the coming weeks on how the Gleeman Method would apply. Boy, you want to buy a house? [Laughter.] Let's go deep on the title search right from the start.


Darren, thank you very much, dude. I'll see you on that social media.


Darren Gleeman: [00:04:07] Absolutely, Bret. Thank you.

Bret Keisling: [00:04:09] I've been in ESOPs and employee ownership since 2008. Several minutes into the recording of Episode 149, I realized I've been talking about ESOPs wrong the entire time. And Darren Gleeman, who I've only known for a couple of months, is talking about them right.


He's very active on LinkedIn, so check them out there. And the next time you're talking to someone about ESOPs and employee ownership, try working the Gleeman Method into your approach.


I hope you'll join us next Tuesday for part two of our long form conversation with Marjorie Kelly of the Democracy Collaborative.


Thank you so much for listening today. This is Bret Keisling. Be well.


Bitsy McCann: [00:04:50] We'd love to hear from you! To contact us, find us on Facebook at KEISOP, LLC and on Twitter @ESOPPodcast. To reach Bret, with one "T", email Bret@KEISOP.com, on LinkedIn at Bret Keisling, and most actively on Twitter at @EO_Bret. Again, that's one "T". This podcast has been produced by The KEISOP Group, technical assistance provided by Third Circle, Inc. and BitsyPlus Design. Original music composed by Max Keisling, archival podcast material edited and produced by Brian Keisling, and I'm Bitsy McCann.


Standard Disclaimer: The views expressed herein are my own and don't represent those of my own firms or the organizations to which I belong. Nothing in the podcast should be construed as guidance or advice of any kind in any field and the fact that I mentioned an organizational website or an advocate or a company on a podcast does not reflect an endorsement, but if you've heard your name or your group's name mentioned on this podcast, I'd love to have you come on and talk about it yourself.


A note on the transcript: This transcript was produced by Descript, an automated transcription service. While it has been reviewed by The ESOP Podcast, we can not guarantee the accuracy of the transcription. Please refer to the original audio when citing sources.