Skip to content

Uncommon Decency

Mary Grothe December 9 2021


Meet Host, Mary Grothe

Mary Grothe is a former #1 MidMarket B2B Sales Rep who after selling millions and breaking multiple records, formed House of Revenue®, a Denver-based firm of fractional Revenue Leaders who currently lead the marketing, sales, customer success, and RevOps departments for 10 companies nationwide. In the past year, they've helped multiple 2nd stage growth companies between $5M - $20M, on average, double their MRR within 10 months, resulting in an average ROI of 1,454% and an average annual revenue growth eclipsing $3.2 million.


Don't Have Time to Listen, Read The Full Transcription.

[Theme music plays]

Mary Grothe: Hey everyone, this is Mary Grothe - Founder and CEO - and you're listening to the Revenue Radio® podcast brought to you by House of Revenue®. Each week, we'll talk about common revenue challenges and how to get past them, share real-world experiences, and get a glimpse into my life as a CEO scaling my own business. If you're a struggling entrepreneur, or just an entrepreneur looking to be inspired, this podcast is for you. I'll give you honest, unfiltered, and practical insights into growing your business and getting past your revenue plateau.

[Theme music ends]

I'm slightly creative but not fully creative. I like today's title, "Uncommon decency." You think of common decency, which I believe to be just as common as common sense. Hopefully, we all know that common sense isn't expected by now. In fact, it's just a flat-out myth. But what about common decency? Common decency, meaning if you type it into Google, you get this answer: “Common everyday courtesy, respect, and politeness are expected and assumed by social convention. For example, please have the common decency to consult me before making extravagant purchases. It is just common decency to help someone if they are in distress.” These were two examples. Thank you, Google, for common decency.

Today, we're talking about uncommon decency. Why? One of our leaders at our company led us through a session to talk about common sense being a myth. Common sense is really through your own filter - your own mind, unspoken objections of what you believe is common sense, and what you believe how somebody should act in a particular scenario. They should speak about what they should be thinking in executing a task. How they treat you, their behavior, and the outcomes they strive for situations they should avoid, are all those things that we could assume are common sense.

Well, common sense isn't so common. It's also just a flat-out myth because the only common sense is your reality, but people don't share in your reality. If you're walking around looking for that common sense, well, you're going to be let down, and you're going to be disappointed. Now, you can also loop in common decency. As a CEO or a leader, think about what I read to you; put this in your context: Everyday courtesy, respect, and politeness. How many times as a CEO would you use those words to describe yourself?

We have the privilege of working directly with CEOs. I have a lot of CEOs in my community as well. Being a CEO and being a leader is a high-pressure job. There's riding on you being all things all people over performing on expectations and never letting anyone down. When we think about the common decency of tackling all of that - doing it brilliantly. Having that cool, calm, collected, nearness, charm, courtesy, respect, and politeness in all situations, it's a lot.

How common or uncommon is your decency? When do you show up in the room as a leader? Are people excited to see you, or do they fear you? When you enter a conversation that you know is following a challenging situation, something that occurred, are they written with fear and fear what's about to come out of your mouth? Or do they believe that you're going to show up with courtesy, respect, and politeness regardless of the situation? Well, that's on you. You get to create and control that narrative, not through words but by your actions. Your teams will believe that they can be met with that cool, calm, collected even in moments of a challenge if you demonstrate that behavior repeatedly.

I know I was a hot CEO for a long time, and I still have that tendency. I have inside of me, probably what many of you do too. I'm full of passion, boldness, high expectations, fast pace, and high urgency. I want things done a certain way. As an emotional creature, I can also get triggered, and that's been one of the most significant areas of focus. I've been addressing and working on with me, which is how people receive me. I've recorded podcasts on that. I think that it's very important regardless of who you are - CEO, a leader, a husband, a wife, a mom, a dad, a son, a daughter, a friend, whoever you are.

You have a decision on how people perceive you. You can control how you show up in your life. You can control how you respond. It takes practice. You have to put space between your reaction to things that trigger you and cause fret inside your body. You can feel that warmth and that tingle, and I'm getting hot, and I'm going to react hotly. Well, that's the CEO that I used to be. In my first time as a VP of Sales and Marketing, I remember feedback from an employee who resigned. I was young. I mean, I was 26 or 27 years old, 27, I think. An employee resigned. They went straight to the CEO to resign, even though they were my direct report, and gave critical feedback. They're like, "I just cannot work for Mary. I never know if she's going to be in a good mood or if she's going to be super mad."

I mean, that was 11 years ago. That stuck with me, and the first employee who reported to me resigned. That's so eye-opening that I wasn't controlling how I showed up. I'm highly emotional. Being whatever my feeling was, I didn't have a filter. I didn't, back then, understand the weight of how it showed up in situations. Whatever my emotion was in that specific moment. I think about uncommon decency, what you're creating as the vibe and the culture. It's hard because some situations can really trigger you, can really hurt, inflict actual pain on the inside, and hurt people. There's this fire.

Maybe you're like an emotionally uncharged person. I don't know what it's like to be you. I don't really know what it's like to be me. It's been a journey for me to figure out how to embody those traits of courtesy, respect, and politeness. Thank you, Google. I couldn't agree with Google more, especially if Google is saying this. That is the definition that shows when you say common decency - common everyday courtesy, respect, and politeness, which is expected and assumed by social convention.

Well, the reason we're calling this uncommon decency is if you look at what's going on in the world around us. How many people are arguing? People were just attacking each other, were ultimately divided. We're on opposite ends, both politically and everything, with COVID and vaccinations. You name it. Social media has given us a wall to hide behind, prove our point and be nasty. I think that we've found a loophole in common decency, areas where we can be mean, sure, offensive, and have that short fuse.

Unfortunately, it's going to start bleeding into other areas of our life. As a leader, there's an unbelievable amount of stress on your shoulders to keep your cool. To create an environment of courtesy and respect. Even when you're running from meeting after meeting when a team member says, "Hey, do you have a minute?" It's all how you respond at that moment. I know I have found myself passing a team member in the hall being asked if I have a minute and responding with, "I've got a call in two minutes. I barely have enough time to go to the bathroom. What do you need?” That's how we're going to talk to each other?

I wouldn't love it if I raised my hand and asked for help, spoke up, and asked if a team member could help me with something. That's how they responded to me. I wouldn't love that. What's a different way to handle that? I could answer and say I would be very interested in assisting you. I do have a call in two minutes. Is that urgent? I could tell the call I'll be a couple of minutes late, or my next break is in 30 minutes. Could we chat?

There's a different way to just slow down and have a conversation. I think some people do that really well. I'm not naturally one of those people, FYI, but being conscious about bringing in courtesy, respect, and politeness in all situations. It is something that some people, some of us like me, must learn the skill for others. I believe that you're just naturally very calm people. I envy that quality in you, but in a way that it gives me excitement and encouragement that it can be done. It's something that I'm going to bring forward into my own work, into my own day, and even into my own house.

I will wrap this podcast a little bit shorter today than usual. I want you to ask yourself from a common sense and a common decency standpoint. As a leader, playback the tapes from your last day or two, interact with your team and call yourself out. Highlight a few areas where you could have brought forth a little bit more decency, politeness, and respect.

Also, if you were triggered, responded negatively, careless, super emotional, or hot, even just rushed. Not really honoring, respecting the person asking you a question, jot that all down. Look if it's tied to an unspoken expectation, really tying it into this myth of common sense. Were you triggered, upset, or frustrated because you had an expectation of someone that you didn't communicate an unspoken expectation? They just did something you didn't really love. Did you communicate? Did you gain agreement on it? Were you both on the same page on that? Or are you just walking around thinking, "Well, isn't that common sense?"

Your belief that "isn't that common sense?" gets you riled up. Suddenly, your common decency goes out the window. You're not meeting people with respect and politeness. One of those things to think about ensuing on life is so short.

As a CEO and a leader, it is a blessing that we've been given this responsibility and opportunity. We truly have at our fingertips a chance to completely change the narrative of how organizations are run, how people are treated, the environment and culture that's created. You set the tone; What a gift. You don't have to run your business the way it's been modeled for you in the past. You got to change that. It's a conscious decision. You have to commit to it, be obedient, and be disciplined because I promise it's not the easy route. The easy way is just given, be emotional, be mad, and frustrated. Put people in their place and tell them how you really feel bad. Got to break that cycle. Let's bring forward common decency that's not so common.

[Theme music plays]

Thanks for listening to today's episode. If you're interested in being on our show or want to learn more about how we can help you scale your company, connect with us at or with me Mary Grothe spelled G-R-O-T-H-E on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram.

Connect with House of Revenue® on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

[Theme music ends]


Let us make you famous.

About You:

You're a CEO of a B2B business between $2M - $20M in revenue, OR of a CPG/Consumer Brand company with revenue as high as $100M.

You're willing to publicly discuss on-air:

  • How you've scaled revenue for your company.

  • How you've conquered your revenue plateaus in the past.

  • OR Any revenue challenge you're currently experiencing.

If this describes you, fill out the form to chat with us!


Let Us Make You Famous