11: The Leadership Plateau and the Marketing Vortex

In which we address the how to grow as a design leader when the opportunities thin out, and then take a hard turn and address the culture of marketing and the problems it poses for designers.

Topics: Imbalance of leaders at different levels; don’t determine what’s interesting for someone else; the pace of career growth; designers who have found their way; discouraging people from desiring to be a leader because doing it right is fucking hard; dual-track leadership models; UX for marketing and product used to be the same; marketing design wants to work more like product design; brand beyond design; service design; marketing, as it’s commonly practiced, is bullshit; #notallmarketers; product marketing; data-driven marketing; functions have distinct cultures that cross-functional teams don’t address; Jesse’s hair.

Transcript

Peter: Welcome to another episode of Finding Our Way, the podcast where Peter and Jesse navigate their way through the challenges and opportunities of design and design leadership. I’m Peter Merholz and, as always, joining me is Jesse James Garrett.

Jesse: Hello, Peter.

Peter: Hello, Jesse. 

So this episode: the first 15 minutes or so we discuss the leadership plateau. This challenge that design leaders have as they grow in their organizations, they reach a point where it’s not clear how they can continue to grow and what to do about that. Then our conversation took a bit of a turn into the differences between design for marketing and design for product. We consider some ways forward, more holistically incorporating design for marketing and design for product in an overarching approach, looking at the entire end-to-end service experience.

Peter: If you look at design leadership I think we have more people who could do VP design work then we have VP design roles. Whereas five years ago, there weren’t enough design leaders who could be design executives, you now have almost too many design leaders who could be design executives and where you have a shortage, an imbalance, is more at this director level. So you have this glut of opportunities and not enough people to do that work. 

Jesse: And is that, do you feel like that’s just sort of an accident of history, or like that is a moment that we have passed through, are passing through, we’re going to move beyond? Or do you see this as being in the nature of this work, that there are always going to be not enough executive level positions to go around.

Peter: I don’t think there are going to be enough executive level positions to go around for quite a while. I have to assume this is true of most functions. ‘Cause if you’re operating in a hierarchical organization, the way most of us are, you’ll have one VP, that one VP will have five directors reporting to them, so you get this pinch. 

Something I’ve started to see, and I think we’re going to see more of it, is this recognition that design leaders don’t need to keep climbing the ladder in their career because there’s only so many places to go.

Whereas I’ve witnessed people who have considered hiring design leaders, like it’s a VP of design of an 80 person team and they’re looking to hire a design director for one of their offices that would probably oversee about 20 folks. And they’re getting applications from people who have run teams of 150. This type of thing I think is going to continue to happen because there’s only so many true design leadership roles, of a certain level.

And if you need a job and you are qualified to do the work, you very well will be like, “Hey, you know what, I’d be happy to run a team of 20, rather than be unemployed or rather than hold out for the rarer VP of design role.” And one of the issues I’ve seen in talking to leaders about this is the leader hiring for that director-level role is suspicious of a candidate who seems overqualified. And a piece of advice I actually gave this guy is, it is not your job to assume what they want better than they do. If they are applying for that role, take it at face value.

Don’t speculate about their circumstances. If they say they want to get closer to the work, then assume they want to get closer to the work. If they say the size of the team doesn’t matter and they just want to do good work at a good company, don’t assume that it’s something other than that, I know I’ve actually been discounted or dismissed from opportunities where the hiring folks were just like, “Oh, this wouldn’t be interesting for you.” And I’m like, “Why are you determining what’s interesting for me?” I should get to make that determination. And instead, if I know full well what the role is, and I’m still invested and engaged, appreciate that. Don’t think you know more about the candidate than the candidate does.

And I think a lot of hiring managers feel they know more about the person that they are bringing on than that person themselves. And that I think is a trap.

Jesse: So that raises an interesting question for me, which is what pace of career growth, and I mean this in the sense of expanded responsibility, greater authority, more pay, moving on up in the world, career growth. What pace of career growth do you think is reasonable for designers and design leaders to expect and are those different between designers and design leaders?

I find myself wondering if designers get accustomed to a certain pace of getting promotions, getting more authority, getting more responsibility, extending, expanding their skills in new directions. And then you get to design leadership and the cadence is different. The pace is different.

You might be spending a longer time at each of these levels before you eventually make your way up to VP.

Peter: I think that’s exactly right. A pretty common pattern is: you’re a junior designer for a couple of years, right out of school. Then you’re a mid-level designer for about three or four years. And then once you’ve hit your fifth or sixth year of being a designer, you’re now a senior designer, and the expectation is you’re in that role for a few years. From your fifth or sixth year to your ninth or 10th year at the most. And then it’s usually time to move on from being a senior designer that you either choose a management path or an individual contributor path.

And then those stages after that are longer-lasting. You could be a manager for five to 10 years. You can be a director for five to 10 years. Such that you get to be a VP usually when you’ve had roughly 20 years experience. And I mean, there are VPs of design of much smaller teams and they might not have had as long a career. 

A couple things to acknowledge here. Years experience is a correlate for this but should not be a determiner. Unfortunately, so many HR practices use years experience as an easy quantifiable metric by which they can screen people in or out of a role. And the other thing I’ve seen is, people move at their own pace. And some designers, after 20 some years, are still senior designers. Maybe they’re a lead, the next level above senior, and they’re perfectly happy. 

As a design manager, one of the things I appreciate most within my team are those older designers who figured out what they wanted and what they wanted wasn’t to keep climbing the ladder, but to find a groove that they were happy with and that they just settled right in. And they did really good work. It’s not like they were resting on their laurels. It’s not like they had given up. They’re just like, “You know what? I want to do this job. And, I’m fine that I’m not earning more money, that I’m not giving more responsibility because I’m happy.” 

And so many other designers, I think, especially those who continue to climb the ladder, which probably means you have a bit of ambition, a bit of ego, a bit of that desire. Those leaders look at someone who’s found their groove, and are kind of suspicious. Like, “There must be something wrong with you if you don’t have the kind of ambition I do.” And that’s not true, that’s just a different mindset, a different personality.

Jesse:  When you talk about this archetype of the designer, who knows what they want, I’m reminded of our old friend and former colleague Tim Gasperak, and a conversation that I had with Tim as he was parting ways from Adaptive Path many years ago. And he was very clear. He was like, you know what? This is the kind of team in which I know I can be successful. And this is the kind of environment in which I can be an effective leader and Adaptive Path at that point was turning into something that he could see was not for him. And I really appreciated his clarity about that and not, just mindlessly seeking additional opportunities within a system that wasn’t the right fit for him.

Peter: Yeah. Where, for me, it really crystallized was when I was leading design at Groupon and. We were building out our Chicago team. And there was a guy who was my age, our age, he’d been doing this type of work at that point for 20 some years. And at the company he was working for, he had been put into a manager role almost against his will, but because there was no one else around to do the work, and he was the senior most person on the team. And when we were able to offer him a straightforward senior interaction designer roll, a product designer role. He was so grateful that there was a place that he go and focus on the work. Not manage people, not be seen as some galvanizing leader, just someone who’s like really into the craft of design, wants to do good interaction design work, but also wants to work eight hours a day. Had his family, had his life. Wasn’t a striver and that was just a personality type. And he was by far and away the most well adjusted person on the team, because, probably because he’d had this experience and maybe Tim had this as well. He had an experience where he realized like, “Oh, I don’t like that.”

Maybe you don’t realize it until you’ve done it. And you’re like, “Oh, okay. I need to back off from that.” I guess my point to all of this is 1) don’t assume that you know other people’s conditions better than your own, like, take people at their face value. And 2) don’t assume that everyone else has the same drive and motivation that you do.

We’re all differently wired or inclined. And that’s great. And your role as a manager or a leader is to respect and recognize that, not try to mold and shape people all into a set of similar strivers.

Jesse: I think on the part of some of these very senior skilled people there is a question of whether this individual contributor path is going to be enough. Is it going to give them enough authority? Is it going to give them enough autonomy, to be able to actually grow into leadership from that perspective. I think that a lot of senior designers feel like in order to become leaders, they have to become managers and that the power structures that they’re a part of in fact favor the managers over the individual contributor leaders in a lot of the organizations that I’ve seen.

Peter: I think it is generally true that organizations find their leadership from those who manage, even in an organization that has dual track career ladders, where you can become a more senior IC or a manager, if you find you’re really wanting to have that influence and authority, there is a nudge towards management. That said, one of the things that I’m realizing, I hope our podcast can do, and it’s actually an unstated desire of my design leadership talks and workshops, is to subtly, and now I’m being unsubtle….

Jesse: Yeah, I don’t know how subtle you can call it anymore.

Peter: …is to subtly discourage people from desiring to be a leader if you’re not ready for it, because leadership is fucking hard. And I think too many people feel that leadership is just the next step on the ladder. It’s the next thing that I should be doing. There’s, again, this societal or professional pressure to grow into these leader roles, but to do leadership right is hard. But if you’re going to be a leader, it is incumbent upon you to be a good leader because now you’re responsible for so many more people other than yourself.

You have to take it seriously. And I think a lot of leaders don’t recognize what they’re getting into. They don’t approach the leadership aspects of their role with the seriousness or gravity that it’s warranted. And that’s bad, that’s harmful. I would rather folks who are not willing to sign up for the pain-in-the-ass that is true leadership to recognize, like, “You know what, I’m out. I don’t need to be a leader.” Like this guy that I was referring to earlier. “I’m happy being a really strong contributor. Maybe I’m not going to make as much money, but you can still make pretty good money.” 

I think fundamentally much of what we’re talking about is wrapped up in capitalism and the challenges that we face in terms of needing to work in order to survive as a society, but separating some of that, you can make good money as a senior designer that is still primarily a contributor and not bear the psychological burden of real leadership.

We should encourage folks to not feel compelled, to keep growing in that progressive way and adopt leadership modes. There is something that I have seen happen in certain firms where they do have dual-track career growth, where you can be a manager and then a director, and then a VP, or you can be a lead designer, and a principal designer, and even like a distinguished designer. Sometimes what happens in those environments is the management track becomes seen as all you’re doing is people management as you elevate. And that actually is seen as less strategic and less value-add, within the organization.

Jesse: It becomes almost like an administrative function.

Peter: Exactly. The language I heard– There was one company I did some consulting for where they had this dual-track model and the people who were these design directors, they would have 10 to 15 people in their organizations. They felt that they were seen, essentially, this was their language, as babysitters.

Their job is to nurture and care for the humans. 

And then they had a peer who, the role was, I think, a design architect, and those folks were the strategic and creative leaders and all of the energy outside of the design team, in terms of that cross-functional engagement was focused on the design architect. So your engineering peers, your product management peers, the executives. Because the design architect is the one talking about the strategic and creative problems in play. They’re getting all the attention and the design director who is running the team of all the people who are ultimately delivering this work is set aside because they’re not seen as strategic.

So there’s a risk there, that you turn your management class into, yeah, some form of admin and not someone who is also respected for their ability to lead a group towards delivering valuable solutions.

Music break

Design for Marketing vs Design for Product

Jesse: In more traditional marketing, branding, advertising agency environments, these strong high level performers are, I think, culturally more elevated because these are the workhorses of those companies as businesses. It’s your really super-skilled video editors and graphic designers and copywriters that can drive the creation of these highly polished artifacts, that is the basis of your business. And, so I’m curious about, how contextual this is in terms of the elevation of the individual contributor versus the elevation of the manager, depending on what business you’re in and what you’re delivering.

Peter: One of the companies I’m working with, right now I’m supporting their recruiting and hiring efforts. And they’ve been looking for design directors. And one of the people we were introduced to was someone who had predominantly a marketing background, and the design director role that I was recruiting for was going to have management as its primary function. This was going to be someone responsible for a team of 10 to 20 folks. There was going to be a lot of care and feeding and nurturing of that team.

There was going to be recruiting and hiring that they were going to have to do in building out the team. So I’m interviewing this guy, and it was interesting to me because he was coming at this from a background in marketing and creative. When I would ask him questions, he would always respond with experiences that he had in doing project work, and his stories were not about leading user experience teams. It was about delivering user experience work, and he never talked about his teams. He never talked– I couldn’t get him to talk about recruiting and hiring. Like, I didn’t want to lead him as a witness, right? I was trying to get a sense of where his head was, but I gave him many opportunities to talk about recruiting and hiring, to talk about building a team, to talk about coaching others and bringing them up. And he was clearly just– it didn’t occur to him that that was the thing to do. What occurred to him was I created deliverables for a client and that was my value. And it struck me just how, to the point you were just making, this cultural distinction between design for marketing and traditional creative and design for product and user experience.

And, it became clear to me that this gentleman was not going to be a fit for what we needed, because of this cultural difference. And I’m one who’s usually pretty accommodating of different backgrounds and perspectives, but there was a chasm that was just going to be too wide to cross here, in order for this person to succeed in the organization I was trying to recruit for.

Jesse: How separate do you think those worlds are at this point? Years ago, when all of this was getting started, there was a sense that these practices might not be that different. That UX was going to be UX was going to be UX, regardless of the context in which it was practiced. And since then, I think that we have seen a stronger divide between marketing, branding, content-oriented UX versus product UX, and those cultures and practices, I think, have been diverging for a little while now, maybe the last 10 years or so.

Peter: I have…

Jesse: And it used to be that a lot of people would go back and forth between them. Now, a lot of people had these resumes that were a mix of different kinds of UX work, and I don’t know how much that’s happening anymore.

Peter: Wow. Okay. I feel like I’m about to go for five to eight minutes. 

Jesse: Great.

Peter: Well, so. When Adaptive Path started, our work was primarily in support of marketing user experience: big, hairy websites that needed help figuring out their structure to be more understandable to potential customers.

And we always wanted to do the product side, what happened once you logged in, but there just wasn’t as much demand for that. Marketing had budgets for user experience in a way that product teams at that time, in 2001, 2002, did not have budgets for user experience. 

Jesse: Right. 

Peter: What our experience was at Adaptive Path is exactly what you said. We were able to use basically the same methods for doing marketing UX as we did for doing product UX. And I think we were quite successful. That said, there has been a bifurcation. I mean, it’s basically the split in your Elements diagram, right, right down the middle.

Jesse: [Laughs]

Peter: There’s been a bifurcation…

Jesse: You got me.

Peter: …possibly less in practice, but definitely in culture. In the last year, I’ve really felt a certain, almost upheaval about this. Because I think marketing design teams are frustrated. Marketing design teams, I believe, would love to work more like what they see happening on product design teams, but the internal partners that brand and marketing designers have are marketers and the marketing mindset is built around campaigns. It’s built around launches. It’s built around days, weeks, and months primarily. Whereas I think the product mindset is built around weeks, months, quarters.

The timeframe tends to be different. So marketing design teams tend to be turning around work much faster. They don’t get to dig in the way that product design teams get to. And it’s a frustration on their part. I’ve been working with some marketing design teams over the last five or six months, and they don’t like being on this hamster wheel they don’t quite know how to get off because that is the set of expectations. 

Whereas the product designers, there’s just this recognition that software takes longer, and that there’s a certain complexity to software that requires upfront deeper thinking. The research and the modeling and the understanding of the problem before you can then start building the experiences to deliver on it. Whereas marketing is not seen as a similarly complicated space to grapple with. But what I’m starting to hear more from one of my consulting clients right now, I have been working with both the brand design team and the product design team, but separately, right.

Brand design reports up through marketing, product design reports up through product. But I’ve heard from both design teams that they want to be working together and that they want to coordinate their efforts and there’s actually been some conspiratorial thinking that the higher levels of the organization are trying to keep these two teams down by keeping them separated, which I don’t believe to be the case. I think this is simply an artifact of decades of design practice.

But I think in terms of this convulsion, a different brand design team that I’m working with is trying to figure out how they push beyond brand design, to being essentially the brand ambassadors for the organization. And with this recognition that in order to deliver a brand experience, it’s not just around events production and marketing design and video testimonials and all the things that a brand design team works on. It’s about helping the frontline be better. Engage better with their customers, because that is a brand touchpoint. Or the customer service people, the salespeople, all those folks who represent the company. Our reps are thus representing the company’s brand. And the leadership of this brand design team wants to have an influence there, and they don’t quite know how to get there, but they recognize that their ultimate impact is limited, until they are able to have that influence. 

And that for me is the sign that this is a team that’s trying to solve that brand problem, that is as, if not more, complicated than the product design problems that we’re talking about.

Jesse: When you start talking about orchestrating brand identity and brand attributes across these multiple touchpoints, at that point, you are starting to talk about service design practice. So I can definitely see where these things are colliding. I think that part of this bifurcation that you’re talking about has to do with how the value of design is construed by the partners that you’re working with, that when you’re engaged in this marketing branding context, there is a certain set of assumptions about what design is bringing to the table that nudge you toward that project orientation, that delivery orientation. And you talked about the early days of Adaptive Path and the work that we did as we were straddling the marketing and product spaces and we did a lot of marketing work early on because that’s where the value was being recognized. The value of design as a contributor to product development had not yet been recognized to the same degree. That recognition then came, but their perception of the value of design was different from the perception of the value of design that our marketing oriented clients had. And they were asking for different things as a result of putting the emphasis on different things. So there would be more emphasis on the more user modeling and requirements development kind of stuff than we would see from our marketing clients, because the way that product owners saw our value was fundamentally different.

Peter: We ran away from marketing as fast as we could at Adaptive Path. The moment we didn’t have to take on marketing jobs anymore, we were happy. And I think there is a challenge in corporations, corporate America, at least. Marketing as it has been commonly practiced, particularly around marketing communications, is largely bullshit. It’s, it’s, it’s not well considered. It’s not intellectual. It’s not thought through. It’s, “We’ve always done it like this. So let’s just keeping doing it like this.” It’s throwing shit against the wall and hoping something sticks.

And the people who are in leadership roles gravitating towards marketing are often not the sharpest knives in the drawer and they’re not people that I want to be partnering with.

And this is, I’m just putting this out there. Right. I’m, I’m gonna piss off a bunch of folks and I’m sure #notallmarketers. But there is a problem in companies that marketing is often handled by folks who are not tackling these problems with the level of depth and rigor that it is due.

And I think marketing over time has kind of trifurcated–you have marketing communications, you have product marketing, and now you have, what is this newest form of marketing, kind of a growth marketing, like a data driven marketing, let’s call it that.

And one of the challenges with marketing is marketing hasn’t figured out what it is. After 20 years of the 21st century, it’s confused. And the companies who get it best are setting marcomm aside and focusing on the data-driven marketing, because they actually can see there is a degree of thought and rigor that is happening there. 

Product marketing is an interesting one because, 30 or 40 years ago, the design work that you and I do, that client would have been the product marketers. Product marketers were responsible for understanding their audience, modeling the audience, and then figuring out what you create in order to serve that market.

That was product marketing. And something happened over the last 30 or 40 years where that part of marketing withered away. There’s bits and pieces of it. You see it more in enterprise software companies than consumer focused companies, but it’s not what it once was.

I think there’s an interesting opportunity for product marketing to be reborn. I have found in over the last few years, some of my best advocates for what I was trying to do within an organization were product marketers. These folks who we’re trying to get the right thing done, but they’re not marcomm, they’re not, these data-driven marketers, they’re sitting in the middle. One of the things that’s happened is with “agile transformations,” you get these highly atomized product delivery teams. And one of the unfortunate byproducts of that is there is no holistic view of the customer anymore, except potentially with product marketers, if you have them, they were still around. They have this view, there was one client I was working with where the product marketers, they literally said our reason for being is to be the voice of the customer within this organization, ‘cause no one else is, and I’m like, shouldn’t that be design or product?

And they’re like, maybe, but it’s not happening here. So it’s on us.

Jesse: Yeah.

Peter: I think one of the challenges is brand design has been so tightly aligned with marketing communications, it has narrowed the space within which it plays and the tools that are being brought to bear in terms of designing marketing experience. Whereas product marketing is actually a better relationship for design in terms of embracing all that design has to offer

Jesse: And part of it, too, I think, has to do with the history and the legacy and the existing culture of the organization. So at Capital One, the design group, as it was starting to come together, faced some real cultural obstacles because so much of Capital One’s historical success had come from the work of the brand team that had built up this huge, really highly recognizable consumer brand.

Peter: ”What’s in your wallet?”

Jesse: Exactly, and that colored everyone’s understanding of what design was and what the value of design was that we then collectively, as a product design team, had to reeducate and re-re-educate and remind people that we were there to do something different, all the while wanting and striving for that relationship with brand that you’re talking about. There were people on both sides, on the brand side and the design side at Capital One who were working toward, tighter coordination. And it is something that, as far as I know, the folks at Capital One are still trying to unravel.

Peter: Yeah, I would love an ethnographer or ethnographers to study the cultures of these different functions. I think there’s something fundamentally broken at the heart of marketing and marketing culture and it’s not anything that marketers are even necessarily cognizant of anymore because it’s, it’s the air they breathe.

Jesse: …the water they’re swimming in.

Peter: Todd Wilkens, when he was at Adaptive Path, had this series of Interpretations of users from different parts of the business, and marketers, he said, saw their customers as sheep. You frightened them towards a certain direction and then they’ll just go in that direction.

And so the role of marketing is to just either scare or otherwise persuade. You can, just through stories and through messaging, get people to do what you want them to do. And I think that is deep within the mindset of marketing and advertising.

And you know, you and I, and the others at Adaptive Path, so part of the reason I think we wanted to run far away from marketing is that is not the values we hold. We want to enable, we want to empower. And there was more opportunity to do that on the product side. Now, product has demonstrated a whole host of it’s own ethical issues, largely trying to turn digital media into slot machines and triggering people’s personalities. 

As companies, we’re still struggling with cross-functional, cross-departmental coordination. For the longest time, for decades on end, functions could work in isolation of one another. Strategists come up with the goal of an organization. They pass that off to marketing. Marketing takes those goals, studies the market, comes up with a set of requirements for new offerings that will deliver the value that the strategists had identified. And then they pass those requirements on to designers. The designers take those requirements, create a bunch of specifications based on those requirements and pass that off to the engineers or manufacturers to take those specifications and figure out how to do it at scale.

Jesse: And we all have our place in the great waterfall.

Peter: In the last 20 years, as we’ve tried to embrace cross-functional, balanced-team, digital ways of working, where you’re not handing something off from one to another, but these folks are coming together, I think something we haven’t resolved are the cultural differences between these teams.

This gets at some of what we were talking about last time with trust, like the meaningful cultural differences between these teams and how do we create that integument, that space within which they can coexist and collaborate. And I don’t think you can do that successfully until we have a shared understanding of where each team is coming from, what it is they value, what impact they want to have, how they behave.

And we haven’t done enough to appreciate that from these different teams. So culturally, the teams are still behaving as if they’re in a waterfall isolation, but practically, they’ve been thrown together. And I think that may be some of the tension that we see in these organizations.

Jesse: Well, I think in a big way, what you’re talking about has to do with shared values. And when you talk about what you see as this problem, this sickness in the culture of marketing, I feel like part of what you’re reacting to is the fact that it seems to be embodying some values that go against human centeredness. As an underlying value underneath everything that we’re doing, which is to bring that understanding of the user, but also respect for the user and the user’s humanity and the user’s human sovereignty to the work and not just push them around like sheep.

Peter: Well, that wraps up another episode of Finding Our Way. Thank you for joining us as we continue to grapple with the challenges of design and design leadership. As always you can find us out in the world. On Twitter, I am @peterme and Jesse is @jjg. You can also reach us on our website, http://findingourway.design/. We have a contact form and we have been thrilled to receive communications from listeners. It not only makes our day, it gives us ideas for what we should be talking about.

So please continue to join our journey as we continue finding our way.

Jesse: Finding our way. Thanks, Peter.

Peter: Your hair is looking normal.

Jesse: Yeah, I was, I was, I realized this morning that it’s time for the second round quarantine haircut because the first round is now grown out. I, yeah, I can’t cut my own hair.

Peter: All right. Well, cause I know you, I mean like that, that, that side, your left side left. Yeah. You kind of clipper, right? You shave that.

Jesse: Weah, it’s actually, it’s a, it’s all the way around. It’s clipper all the way around in the back as well. So on both sides and in the back. Short back and sides.

Peter: What’s it like having hair?

Jesse: it’s, you know, it’s kind of like having a pet, you have to wash it. You have to take care of it. Check up on it.

Peter: Feed it.

Jesse: Mine likes, sirloin burger.

Peter: Oh, okay. Sure.

Jesse: Tartar.

Peter: Only the finest. You just rub it right in?

Jesse: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. You just sort of mash the ground beef into your scalp. It’s really, it’s wonderful for the texture.

Peter: Do you use a, a lean, or a higher fat ground beef for that?

Jesse: You know, it depends on the time of year. In the winter time, the higher fat is better. It kind of moisturizes the hair. It gives it a little bit more suppleness, a little bit more body in those, you know, those cold winter months, but in the summertime you can go with something leaner.

Peter: Yeah, probably in the summertime, you don’t want too much fat on your scalp, ‘cause that would just like, you know, lock it, lock it in and you need to be able to sweat. You need to be able to cool off. So…

Jesse: Yeah. Yeah. It also has a little bit of a, sort of a tanning oil effect. You end up with those, that scalp tan that’s really awkward.

Peter: Again, see, I don’t, I don’t get these pleasures without hair…

Jesse: Yeah, no, I know. I know, but you have, you, you can cut your own hair.

Peter: Well, Stacy cuts my hair. I could, it’s, it’s helpful if she does it just to make sure it’s even like everywhere. When I’ve tried to do it myself, I get little patches, like teeny patches, patches, all the same.

Jesse: Oh yeah. Yeah. That’s why I’m terrified to try to do my own hair for sure. Ah, so.

Peter: “On this episode of…” I’m trying to think. It’s not, it’s not shaving our way, clipping our way, finding our hair.

Jesse: Grooming our way.

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