David Corbin is a very good friend and a returning guest to Inside Personal Growth.  This time he joins me to discuss his new book entitled “The Illuminated Brand: Building A Culture That Remains Brandcentric Even Under Pressure.”

In this interview, we talk about integrity, branding, relationships and in all these, his advise is to always wake the F’s up, face it, follow it and fix it. “Face the fact that you have a brand and a brand reputation, whether it’s on purpose or not. You have a brand and you have brand descriptors, wake the f up, face those brand descriptors, then follow them.”

I hope you enjoy this engaging and illuminating podcast with author David Corbin. You can learn more about David, his book and mentoring programs by clicking here to be directed to his website.

You may also refer to the transcripts below for the full transciption (not edited) of the interview.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR –  David Corbin is a Keynote Speaker, Business Adviser, President of Private and Public Corporations, Inventor, Mentor and pretty good guy…..David M. Corbin has been referred to as “Robin Williams with an MBA” because of his very practical, high relevant content speeches coupled with entertaining and sometimes side splitting stories. A former psychotherapist with a background in healthcare, he has served as management and leadership consultant to businesses and organizations of all sizes – from Fortune 20 companies to businesses with less than 1 million – and enjoys the challenges of all. He has worked directly with the Presidents of companies such as AT&T, Hallmark, Sprint as well as the Hon.Secretary of Veterans Administration and others.

“I write about what’s important to me and that which will bless and benefit others”, David M Corbin

Wed, 9/15 12:09AM • 46:56

Greg Voisen 00:00
Welcome back to Inside Personal Growth. This is Greg Voisen, the host of Inside Personal Growth. And joining me from Poway, you're in Poway this morning. Poway California, is my good friend and associate David Corbin, David, how you doing? Fantastic, thanks. Hey, doing it, Greg. I'm doing wonderful. And you know, where, as I told you before, we're approaching close to 900 podcasts now, and I'm always thanking the listeners, you know, I tell my authors, it's a broken record. But without the people that come and make comments and do whatever. It's the lifeblood of what I do. So I always thank them before I start. Now, we had David on the show quite a while ago. For his book, slaughter brand, or brand slaughter, I reversed the words, and we'll put a link up to that. And David, for those of you who don't know, has worked in the area of branding and consulting business owners for quite some time, he has many books out that you're welcome to go to Amazon and check out some of those. And I would also say just go to David corbin.com. That's David corbin.com. And I encourage all of my listeners to watch the featured Inc. Little videos that he's got up there, their little two-minute videos that are just really, really cool. But David, I'm going to let him know a little bit about you. He's a keynote speaker, business advisor, president of private and public Corporation, inventor, mentor. And he is really a good guy. He says he's a good guy, David has been referred to as the Robin Williams with an MBA, because he's very practical, highly relevant content of the work that he does. He's worked for hundreds of companies. If you go to his website, you'll see he's a former psychotherapist with a background in healthcare. He served as management leadership consultant, the business in organizations of all sizes from fortune 20 companies to businesses with less than 1 million. And he enjoys the challenge of all this work. He also worked directly with the president of companies such as at&t Hallmark spread, as well as the honorary secretary of the Veterans Administration and others. Again, go to David Corbin comm that's where you can learn more about David, and what it is that he does, speaking at at&t and working with them. You know, I you talk about brand slaughter. And I know at&t lately has been challenged, and I have them for my internet service. And it isn't a dig. But I'll tell you, it's been a challenge to get anything done. When they're gotten pretty big. So David, you know, you give a ton of acknowledgments at the beginning of the book, a lot of gratitude and one love to people that have come before you, Ben, your mentors taught you, everybody from Greg Reed to Brian Tracy, who used to work with that, let's kind of start the interview there. What did you gather in the way of knowledge, expertise and wisdom by working with some of the greatest thought leaders of all time across the country? And how did that impact the writing of this particular book?

David Corbin 03:25
I got to tell you, Greg, I, that question alone is delicious. I'll tell you, I'll tell you why. Not just because I've never been asked that question.

Greg Voisen 03:36
I'm sure you have. No, I've

David Corbin 03:37
not I've literally not in the way that you just as that I mean that. Sincerely. You know, I've invented products. As a result of what I've learned, and how I've learned, in addition, I've invented products and build companies around the things that I learned from while I was teaching, and while I was mentoring others, I mean, I was Margaret Thatcher. And I got an award presented in part by Margaret Thatcher in Maya Angelou and Tom Peters and Secretary of State James Baker. And that invention came from a collaboration and a consultation I was doing with a client. And then my current invention, which just won the healthcare innovation, international healthcare Design Award came from a collaboration with someone who I consulted with 25 years ago. And so the impact of by with and for mentors, is beyond it's beyond words. So, as you're building your business, you know, we think we're building our business not Her business is building us. And business is, of course always about relationships, relationships with others, and relationships with ourselves. Right and learning about ourselves, our bandwidth, our skills, our areas of infinite potential. And all. And so I was business partners with Brian Tracy for five years.

David Corbin 05:30
how could you be around such an enlightened being, and not learn? Even osmotically, let alone directly and strategically. I've mentored for 15 years, Greg Reed still do. And while as I mentor in areas that I have experienced and expert expertise and wisdom, I'm learning from him. So this library is a building in the back of my property. Always wanted to have a library, I have a library, not to show off books. But to read, right, from old books, Carl Sandburg, his book on Lincoln, which is signed by Carl Sandburg.

Greg Voisen 06:19
Wow. And

David Corbin 06:20
books of people that I've mentored. And they've, they've written those books. So I'm touched, blessed, and in deep appreciation, and gratitude for all of these relations.

Greg Voisen 06:34
All our relations are really an important one, you know, after going to years of meditation retreats on the orcas islands, and one of the things we will say is all our relations, and when we do our vows to the north, the South, the east, in the West, in these silent retreats, those are the things that we're doing. And it is, you know, you look at your journey through life, and you look at all the people. And I was just reflecting as you were talking about some of the people that I've been so blessed to work with as well. You know, Larry Wilson, I was thinking about him as you were talking because that big bookcase behind you reminded me when I was in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and he had to have a ladder to go through it and pull the book down. And, you know, just it goes on and on and on and on of the people. And one person that you probably know that has become very close to me, because we've helped is Quint Studer from the Studer group, and he's in the hospital administration business. So if you don't know him,

David Corbin 07:37
but I do see your interview with Quint. It was very well done. Well,

Greg Voisen 07:43
he is doing something quite interesting now. And I'll offline here, we'll get to that because I want to get to what you're doing. This is a good segue to the Reliant hospital. This is this fictional setting for the book. And, and I'd like you to comment on thinking and actually using a hospital as a fictional setting to teach a lesson on brand integrity. Now, you know, we on the outsiders in don't always get to see the bowels of the ship inside of a hospital. It doesn't matter if it's scripts or it's UCSD or it doesn't matter. But why did you choose to use this this hospital as your setting? And then also, on that note, second question. The whole pandemic situation, it's been a huge discussion for the last nine months on these podcasts and how it has affected brands, brands that have gone down, they've disappeared, right? brands that have risen to the top zoo. And I could enumerate more AMC gone theaters we're at. So what would you have to say about using this as your setting for this?

David Corbin 09:03
Many years ago, I wrote a book called psyched on service, building the total service mentality. This is many, many years ago. And then one of the Cabinet Secretaries had picked up the book or was given the book and he read it. He was the secretary of the VA. And he said, get this guy in here and get him in here now. And I went in and I consulted and then I was asked to train to speak to and train all of the directors of the VA medical centers and their chiefs of staff at the Willard Hotel in Washington DC and of course I did it was a great honor. I remember telling my mom, oh my god, I'm going to go consult with and speak for the secretary. She said Oh, that's wonderful sweetheart, who's secretary. And so I really got to know hospitals and healthcare and then because I didn't want to travel all over the place. I created a video-based training and we trained many 1000s within the VA Medical Center system. And then other hospitals who were not military, medical, VA government related had me come in. So I knew that environment and, and I've worked in and around that. Well, I know that hospitals are known by everyone. And they often don't have the greatest reputation. Oh, the doctors might. But the hospital night in some cases, the hospital night and the doctors don't In any event, everybody's had hospitals as a touch point at one point in their life. So I use this as a business novella, a background, because I love telling making points. With short stories. I think people really get it, I get them emotionally involved. And they do in my latest book, I've actually had people cry, which is interesting. I like to engage people. And when they're laughing Haha, I punch him in the belly with something serious. And when they're too serious, I tickle them in the little gut and I get them open. And I like to take people on sort of a sine wave. My friend Zig Ziglar taught me that years ago. And he's a David's sort of like a Reese's cup. He says it's a little bit sweetener, it's a little bit salty. And so rely on Hospital is its affectations hospital that I I wrote about preventing brand slaughter, which made it to the Wall Street Journal bestseller list, I think because it was an engaging story with a really powerful message and a specific takeaway, you know, how to do an audit of brand integrity. So

Greg Voisen 11:44
yeah, and you know, I remember reading the part about the hospital administrator saying, I think it was Patrick, did you hear about the virus is what they said what you said the virus No, they didn't call it the pandemic, the virus and that they said, No, we didn't hear about the virus. I thought that was really good. How you you kind of wove that in there. Yes, the virus was coming. So on the second part of that question, um, how has this in and I know, I've talked with Quint a lot offline and online, about what the pandemic has done inside the hospitals for the morale, the challenge has been the morale and the, you know, people working inside of these facilities under extremely stressful conditions. And obviously, that morale issue then affects service, it affects brand that affects a lot of things. So would you comment on that, if you would, because that was the part two of my question.

David Corbin 12:56
Yeah. We know that our staff, our customers are never going to treat our patients or our clients any better than they're being treated by management and leadership, right? know that. If there is indeed a domino effect. It may not be in economics, but it sure as hell is in interpersonal relations. There's no doubt about that. Look, pandemic comes down. And everybody's stressed out. We offer them pp. And we even had shortages. But who is giving them the E pp. The emotional, personal protective equipment? and hospitals need to know that look, in the story, the illuminated brands, when this all comes down? They're blindsided. They're, they're committing brand slaughter, you know, we know but manslaughter, but they're committing brand slaughter, but it's involuntary brand slaughter, in this case, this stuff is happening upon them. And in the book, they get together and have a committee and say, listen, we've monitor how our brand lives at each touchpoint in interaction. But with this brand, with this pandemic coming down, or potentially coming down. This is involuntary brand slaughter, what could we do to make sure that we keep our brand promise our values, concrete congruence and integrity with all of our actions, because if we don't plan on it, it ain't going to happen because it's going to get crazy. And I have a story, the reader learns how to do the illuminated brand program internally so that the reader could do it themselves. And oh, by the way, I have a division that does the illuminated brand for corporations or hospitals. or whatever. And oh, by the way they came up with in the book. Well, what can we do to create a space a sacred space for our doctors and nurses to sort of reboot, when they found this thing called a rejuvenation station, which is a video kiosk with noise cancelling headphones, and an eight to 10 minutes, they go from their crazy roles and goals down into their souls. And by the way, that's an invention of mine Rajat?

Greg Voisen 15:31
Well, you have that little kiosk. Yeah, well, but that is also you know, when you think about it, to be able to take eight minutes, and go in a booth, and come down to a soul level, because of how you treat patients, there couldn't be anything better for brand than to allow people under extreme stresses to experience. So congratulations for that invention, because I think it's brilliant. And it is much needed. You know, in chapter one, you speak about brand integrity, and the state of when the hospital was in integrity with its brand. And they were confident that they were in compliance with the highest standards in health care. Speak with our listeners about brand integrity, and why compliance is so important, because obviously the pandemic had an effect on being in compliance and brand integrity.

David Corbin 16:32
You will look integrity is everything. Yeah. Integrity isn't is everything. If, if Greg Voisen is doing podcasts as you've been doing, I think longer than any other person I know. And if Greg is designing that podcast so that the message comes out from his guests, but Greg doesn't even care about the message from the guests he cares about, look at me, look at me, that's brand integrity. I mean, brand slaughter, I should say brand integrity is asking questions, like the first question you asked me, showed me that you read the book, you give a hoot. And you want that message propagated. So all I'm suggesting is this, if a hospital talks about integrity, compassion, caring, state of the art, respect for the individual, then everything that they do in harmony with that is brand integrity. But everything they do outside of that is brand slaughter. And so when I come into a hospital, and is dirty, or it's smelly, or it's hard to get in, or I'm not greeted, or I asked a question, and I'm treated like I'm a new sensor, but

David Corbin 17:48
brand slaughter and until and unless every employee at a hospital, or even a small organization, until they do the audit of brand integrity, with a list of the brands here, and the touch points there and saying, am I living this brand, with this person? It's a hit or it's a it's a yes or no?

Greg Voisen 18:13
Yeah. And it's got to be amongst everybody, all the way down. Everybody in the organization, you know, I'm working inside a company now and I totally it kind of, you know, I drink in the elixir of what you're saying, because it's really, really important. And I hope the listeners get that, because you can't have if you're going to align. And I know you talked about culture. In one of your videos, you said I'm so tired of people talking about culture. And I agree with you. But importantly, on the other hand, it's about the relationship with the people, you know, in in your chapter, where the hospital staff were talking about the new virus. They also talked about the positive power of negative thinking and the three step process to handle the negatives as face it, follow it, fix it, that is one of your you know, you've had that for quite a while. Can you discuss the three step process with the audience and how it relates to the positive power of negative thinking?

David Corbin 19:19
Yeah, so as you know, many years ago, Wiley published a book I wrote called illuminate and it's harnessing the positive power of negative thinking clearly, you're a positive guy. Why are you reading negative thinking? It's because I've read all the positive mental attitude literature and I've shared the platform. Nowhere. Nowhere in positive mental attitude literature, does it say ignore negative issues? Right, where, you know, one time You and I were talking about melanomas and having them cut up? Well, if I see like, potentially a melanoma, well, I'm just going to put a band aid over it. I'm going to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative Now, we say accentuate the positive, where things are great, yay. don't eliminate the negative illuminate the negative. You can't solve everything your face. But you can solve anything unless you face it. And then I teach, face it, follow it and fix it. And when I look at the client work that I've done over the last, this my 41st year, in my consulting business, when I look at the clients who were most effective, they were the ones who not only celebrated the successes, but they were willing to look at the issues that may be holding them back, face them, and then follow them. Where are they coming from? What's holding them in place now, and what happens? Follow it out into the future, if we if we don't mitigate it, and then you engage upon the process of fixing it, which is to eliminate or minimize the power. That's the face it, follow it and fix it. And I've done this in so many industries. I did it yesterday in a strategic planning session in Central California here. I've been doing it forever. I know the model. And for the viewers and listeners, what are you facing? In your business? Or in your life? I was challenged on Oprah Radio One time, does this apply to the family? And it does? What is it that you may be missing? You don't know. So think about it, that if you faced it, which you may be suppressing, you may be putting under the carpet, that if you to face it, and allow and follow it and fix it. Man, I'm telling you, sometimes these issues or challenges are like a vampire, they evaporate in the light of day.

Greg Voisen 21:55
Yeah, it's an IT, what happens is your lift, the weight is lifted off of your shoulders, you almost feel that I watched a thing I'd never seen it before. But Dr. Phil house calls, and he went to a family that was dealing with an overdose drug, overdose drug of one of the children of a mixed marriage. And everybody was blaming everybody else, I thought it was really fascinating because he showed the cameras in there and what he was doing, and it was very redeemed revealing for kind of a show like that. But whether it was played up to the camera or not. In the end, you really saw that this family was relieved by being able to talk through the issues of the death of the Son, and get through it. And I thought it you want to talk about illuminating. It was like they the last scene was on a boat where they're all together kind of hugging and talking about the young man who had committed because they were blaming one another. Right? And frequently that happens and you know, being psycho. Hmm, yeah. remindful.

David Corbin 22:58
Right, right. And there's nothing wrong with me, but I can sure see everything that's, that's wrong with that's wrong with you, you know, as a consultant, and as a mentor. That is huge. Because, you know, mentors and consultants are so focused on scanning and reviewing the issues, the lives, etc. of their client, they sometimes forget that they have a mirror. Yeah. And

Greg Voisen 23:26
I used to have a friend that used to say, you're pointing one finger out, two fingers are pointing back. He used to say that to me. And it's you know, they're such simple little statements or comments that people can make that really make a big impact. I mean, you were talking about Zig Ziglar. And I never forget what I used to go to all of his events, because I was definitely involved in marketing and sales. And he says, It's not your aptitude that determines your altitude, it's your attitude. And I'll never forget that, like, I still use it today. And I think it is still so very, very important. You

David Corbin 24:03
know, it's immutable, you know, Zig used to say to me, Dave, you imitate me better than you do. We did a test. He used to call his wife, sugar darlin. Yeah, yeah, his wife turned around, and we both took turns to see if she could determine who it was after turned around and sugar darlin. And he did the same time she turned around, she says, well, Dave, you came in second. And

Greg Voisen 24:37
it's so true. Now, you know, in this book, which we're going to put a link to Amazon, you speak about the illuminated brand program in your chapter three, to help the hospital face the virus issue. Regardless if it's virus or whatever it is, in general terms, what should our listeners learn from the program that they can apply? lessons in their lives or in their business. If it's every business, right, it doesn't matter if it's a hospital or whatever. But this, you use this setting to tell the story. It's a great setting. I have businesses right now I'm consulting, that have the same problem. So if you were speaking to anybody today, what would you tell?

David Corbin 25:22
You go, and I'm giving it away, I'm giving it away. So if you're interested, if any of this stuff is made any sense, grab a pen and a paper cuz Here you go, or record this or whatever? Or watch this video, or not? Most importantly, get this in any way shape, or form that you get this and that is this.

25:45
What

David Corbin 25:46
are your I call it my B ds? What are your intended brand descriptors? How do you want to be described? Let's say you're a leader, or a manager, or a supervisor or a salesperson? Or you're looking at the whole business? What descriptive adjectives Do you want to be described as, as your ibds? It's not irritable bowel does or is is intendeds, IBS, Irritable Bowel Disease, but syndrome, you want to be described? Make that list? What is your brand promise? Well, we are and we and one can only just Google it, you'll see a different brand values of many different companies, you know, how do you want to be described? What do you want people to yell over the fence so to speak to their neighbor to talk about and describe you. And then with that, you will look at all of the people in your in your life or in your business, whatever your focus is, because it really does apply to both and you simply write up you as prospects as customers as co workers is leadership. There's

Greg Voisen 27:00
then all the all these stakeholders. Yeah, all the people

David Corbin 27:06
that whether they're a stakeholder in your business or not, you have some Association. It could even be the people who office next door, anyone, anyone that you have contact with, verbally, visually or otherwise. And then you create this matrix now there's a really cool thing on the list TV, the list TV comm they did a really cool show on me and on brand slaughter. And and they did a great video, there's a comedian is the list TV and you look at brand slur, but he shows the matrix. Here's the in brand descriptors, which you can make it do it on Excel, or you could do it on paper, it doesn't make a difference just right. And then here's the touch points of the people. And you look at the intersection, and there's your bingo card to brand integrity. It's not really that simple. Now in groups, I have people look and go, Hey, where are you have a red, a green checkmark, as the song goes accentuate the positive

28:10
right there, you

David Corbin 28:11
have a red X, you don't eliminate the negative note illuminate the negative and then we break them up into groups. And then they describe where they're falling down. They illuminate it will follow it Why are we falling down? Could it could be very simple solution. And then we set SBI is right that SBI strategic brand initiatives to close the gaps to close the gap from where you are to where you want to be. And Greg, you and I know how many years ago, we talked about PGA and it wasn't Tiger Woods, it was performance gap analysis, closing those gaps with your strategic brand initiatives. And when you do your organization is focused on living the brand on brand integrity, and it creates an esprit de corps and a culture of engagement, ownership and asking ourselves, hey, are we living the brand? If so cool. If not, what can we do? And if we don't have the resources of time or money, or even know how we still put it on the flip chart, let's not lose it. That's illuminate that's brand slaughter. And that's their birth child the illuminated brand.

Greg Voisen 29:41
So if they go to your website, can they get that or should I put a link on the blog to this list? Where's that chart is that chart available? You said you're giving it away? I don't I don't know that it's

David Corbin 29:57
on the website. It might be It might be on the website. I know it's on LinkedIn.

Greg Voisen 30:03
Okay, so we can we can find it on LinkedIn, we'll, we'll put a link to that. So because that was a great way to do it, you don't. And I know you were good friends and still are with Tony Alessandra. And his name came up in a podcast yesterday with Dr. Bob Nelson, who I'm sure you know, as well. And, you know, we were talking about the Platinum rules, you know, because you're just kind of referring back to this and that. And you. I mean, you know, when you look at some of the people that have influenced you, including Dr. Tony Alessandra, and all of his quizzes and things that he created in things, it's, it's phenomenal. Now, if you would, each of the chapters, the book is engaging, we got that it's a story, it's lessons related to current situation in the country due to COVID. You talked about some of the lessons, I think the one you just shared is really good. Speak to our audience about potential brand slaughter hotspots, and its effects to brand integrity. So a

David Corbin 31:10
hotspot would be defined as being out of integrity. Now, quite frankly, many business owners or leaders, if they knew it was a hot spot.

31:27
They'd be on it.

David Corbin 31:29
But they often don't. You know, how many times have we called Martone? How many times have we called I don't care whether it's a utility. I won't mention names but I'll give you initials like at&t, you know, and we're put on hold or God someone we go through our we have to tell them our country western story about what's going on. And they tell us well, it's the wrong department. Hold I'll connect you to the right department. Are you kidding? And then we get disconnected at the executive executives audit that process Yeah, actually call and so they don't even know that brand slaughter is rampant

Greg Voisen 32:19
in their organization.

David Corbin 32:21
And they don't know it and in my opinion, they should be convicted a brand slaughter in the second degree.

Greg Voisen 32:28
So this ABI you call it a bi in the book and what an audit of brand integrity, discuss that that some of the tools techniques and practices for our listeners, because ABI look, everybody should be doing this, but they're not. The point of the book is I give you these tools. I give you these lessons now apply them. And as you said, accentuate the negative and let's fix it. Right. So I mean, if you're really down to it, it's let's fix that.

David Corbin 33:00
So yeah, doing as they call it in my client companies. Yeah, real life. Yeah, they call it in my fictional biz book, hospitals Reliant in preventing brand slaughter and in the illuminated brand. They call it the Abby. We're going to do the Abby AI wanted a brand integrity to the Abbey, where everyone goes around with a very sophisticated device called a yellow pad. And this very high tech thing called a pen. And they have their diary of time. touchpoints and they audit in their mind. Hey, am I doing it? Am I not doing it? It's not Greg playing audit brand police. Pull it over. I'm Greg Voisen I'm the sergeant the brand integrity notification that you kind of screwed up over there. What do ya know? You do this yourself and the reason you do it yourself and this is interesting.

Greg Voisen 34:06
It's almost like Undercover Boss when you think about it, but not going undercover but your own Undercover Boss Yeah, exactly

David Corbin 34:14
good at this because you have more experience under your own covers every night. You do you don't need somebody else to do it. But I've had clients tell me that when they keep their peripheral you know but the reticular activating system in the brain you open up this filters to like a red Subaru you never see one but then your neighbor gets one you see him all over the place. Well, when you open up your peripheral vision to Am I living the brand descript or am I earning the descriptors Am I living the brand? When you do that people seek and you shall find right you open the filter and you go you'll either go Holy moly, that was cool. Yay. You go, holy crap, holy, I'm going to change that. But I don't know exactly how best to handle that, because that might be a policy issue. But I'm going to write it down because it's brand slaughter. And I'm going to talk with someone in the organization, because we're all engaged in order to brand integrity. So the culture is, celebrate the success. And let's celebrate that we found an area, that we're not really doing it. And that's a celebration. Look, when we found out many years ago that we had breast cancer. Was that good news or bad news? Well, I'll tell you, it was painful news. But it was good news with regard to if we didn't know about it. She wouldn't be alive today, we couldn't have dealt with it you saying, you know, on that health? nut, you know, you talked about we should be but we're not. I mean, I sat down at breakfast this morning, with the top executive of a health care in company. And I took out my, my monkfruit maple syrup, and my big bag of supplements. And he ordered bacon, and you know, nitrates and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, but making judgments. But what I'm saying is I have illuminated years ago, you know me when I was 50 pounds heavier.

Greg Voisen 36:29
Yeah, I did, actually,

David Corbin 36:31
I have age that I was obese, I followed it. When I become a grandfather, I won't be alive or at least mobile or flexible. And I fixed it. That does take courage and discipline. But most executives don't at least even audit their brands integrity, and they allow for those calls to happen. Or they allow for the front receptionist who is the ambassador of first impression to, to either ignore them or be on a phone and not even not even look up. I mean, that's Bresler. And it's such an easy, it's such an easy fix.

Greg Voisen 37:16
Well, and much of this is, you know, being a psychotherapist, it's, I don't care if it's tiny habits, or BJ Fogg. It's really about in your case, everywhere. It's about new habits that have to be formed, to keep the consistency and the integrity. And I love the fact that it's all just done one step at a time. So when you do illuminate the negative, and like, in your case, you said you're 50 pounds overweight, I've always carried a little bit extra weight, but I'm now down. And the reality is, you know, those little habits about what you're putting in your mouth, it's very simple formula. You know, everybody makes make this real complicated, you know, calories in versus calories burned. And I know, there's a lot of controversy about all this. But the reality is, I've had enough people who help people lose weight, and then your case it's doing it, it giving them advice. And the advice can be very simple, just like you just said, Now, in chapter 13, you state that the kindness touch, and the compassionate care are two very important components in branding. And because of the pandemic, these were usually overlooked. And I would agree with you. I had a brother passed away during the pandemic at Scripps, and you couldn't get in, and he didn't have COVID. But it was so tightly restricted. You know, it was tough. What advice would you give to those on the front line, under the most pressure, about kindness and compassion coming from David Corbyn with little bit of influence from the Dalai Lama? Because the reality is, if we follow the Dalai Lama, we thought we would all be compassionate kind and understanding. And I love listening to them and I just wish the rest of the world when understand the message that he's trying to convey.

David Corbin 39:16
Let me say this to you, Greg. Yes, I am Swami Corbyn, Nanda. satchidananda, more Thai. We can't we can't give away what we don't have. We can't give away what we don't have. So if we don't show love, kindness and compassion to ourselves. We can't give it away. We could fake it. Not fake it till you make it. I think I think is more fake it till you break it because if you fake it, you're going to break compassion begins here.

Greg Voisen 40:00
Got it. I got it. I got to show you something.

David Corbin 40:04
I want to hasten to say this while you're looking and you're moving the camera to show you this, Paul, you're moving the camera

Greg Voisen 40:12
because she can add it that my next interview tomorrow, make it don't fake it.

David Corbin 40:19
And I'm saying make it don't break it. Yeah or here's what I want to say. When we talked about health, restoration, yeah, which could involve releasing weight. The greatest tips hacks or advice that I was given is self love is go inside and become connected with yourself. Will a baby Shakespeare said to thine own self be true and show follows the night the day thou canst not be false to any other. And so go inside my mentoring clients, you know, I mentor, some pretty famous people and all and I have the meditate for 12 to 22 minutes, they start them off at 12 they build up to 22 minutes until they go on their own for an hour. But the point is, is they go inside. And when you go inside and you're in touch with your quadrant at your physical self motional your intellectual, your emotional, and your spiritual. When you keep the emotional the intellectual and physical in harmony. The spiritual can steer you in the direction of greatness and equanimity and equipoise and alike. So when Swami got to be Manda, go and go inside. And if you're a healthcare worker, or if you're a high tech worker, or if you're a frontline or whether what no matter what you do, if compassion, caring, and love, which is damn good business, my buddy, Steve Farber wrote that book McGraw Hill, look, if that's important to you, it has to come from here before through heart math, you could measure it coming out of here.

Greg Voisen 42:18
Yeah, you know, it's so important that you bring this up as it relates to brand integrity, and brand slaughter. Because if people saw that, at the core essence, you said, I remember earlier, going from stress and then into your booth, getting to a soul level, at the booth eight minutes. Now you're saying you're, you're helping people meditate 12 to 24 minutes, and then on to an hour. And it's that peace that you come getting out of the whirlwind, which is what you're doing inside the hospitals, you're taking health care workers out of a whirlwind for eight minutes. And as my good friend, john Selby used to say, You're, you're giving them a breather break.

43:07
You know, there used to be there used

Greg Voisen 43:08
to be these people would say, I'm going to end in hospitals. It's really interesting. you'd walk around a hospital and see people smoking cigarettes, and I was like, How the hell could this be happening? Right? These people are out on a break, and they're walking around the building, smoking a cigarette. And they're healthcare workers. And I'm sitting here going, this is true people.

David Corbin 43:31
I worked with a company for three years, they pay me paid me lots of money to do what I used to call the marketing mentality for the healthcare professional. And I set them up for a program, that I won't tell you the name of the company, but rhymes with schmeisser permanent they then they did a program called thrive. And I told them, don't do that program. Unless you have a face of thriving healthcare workers. They're not thriving, and you're talking about thrive. That's brand slaughter. Yeah. And that was when I wrote the book, preventing brand slaughter.

Greg Voisen 44:14
Well, very, very good correlation. But again, you've linked all these together for us, which I think is really good for the listener. Obviously, we're going to tell him to go out and get the book. By the time this airs, the book will be up on Amazon. So let's wrap this up. Dave, if you were to leave the listeners with one or two single points that you'd like to have them take away from the book, what would it be and how can they integrate this advice for both themselves, and for the organizations in which they're running or working for? So in other words, if I'm the CEO great, if I'm the mid line manager, great if I'm down in the bowels of the ship, and I'm the nurse On the front line, what advice would you like to leave them with about the illuminated brand because they are the brand. Every one of those people I just mentioned because I watched your video, they are the brand.

David Corbin 45:18
Yeah, so here, here it is. Get ready editor's wake the f up. Wake the f up. If you're not effing up your business, your effing up your business. Let me explain. Face it, follow it and fix it. Wake the F 's up, face it, follow it and fix it. face the fact that you have a brand and a brand reputation, whether it's on purpose or not. You have a brand and you have brand descriptors, wake the f up, face those brand descriptors, then follow them. Are they a good witch or a bad witch and follow them as to why they're good. And follow them as to why they're sub optimal. And then set the SBI as a strategic brand initiatives, close the gaps and fix it. Wake the f up.

Greg Voisen 46:19
Great advice. So you all in that you've got three points of advice in there, which was perfect. And I didn't set that question up but you answered it fantastically. Well David, thanks for being on insight, personal growth, sharing some of your wisdom and insights about an illuminated brand slaughter the ABI and the face it and then follow it and then fix it, you know, so kudos not mistake to you. Thanks for your time this morning. I appreciate it. Thanks, Greg.

powered by

My guest in this podcast is Sabrina Horn, author of a new book entitled “Make It, Don’t Fake It: Leading with Authenticity for Real Business Success”. Sabrina is an award-winning CEO, author, tech communications expert, and advisor/board member. She is the Founder, CEO and President of Horn Group, the iconic U.S. tech communications agency she founded in Silicon Valley at age 29.

In our interview together, we discuss about how integrity and honesty matters in business. She explains that integrity is not an option or multiple choice to think about, but a must do instead of “faking it till you make it” which is very wrong. According to her “Faking it doesn’t help you be successful. It actually helps you fail. And the reason why is because the truth always comes out”. Leading with integrity always has better chance of success.

I hope you enjoy this absolutely wonderful and engaging podcast with author Sabrina Horn. You can learn more about Sabrina and her book by clicking here to be directed to her website.

You may also refer to the transcripts below for the full transciption (not edited) of the interview.

Thu, 9/2 11:29AM • 48:34

Greg Voisen 00:02
Welcome back to Inside Personal Growth. This is Greg Voisen, the host of Inside Personal Growth. And Sabrina. Every time I do this, I think, listeners, for those who have listened to the almost 900 podcasts, you probably hear this and you go, oh my goodness, he's, he's thanking those listeners again. I can't thank them enough, because those are the people that make the show. That's why I'm on the air. And I'm also on the air because of great people like yourself, who write wonderful books. And joining us today from Long Island is Sabrina horn. And we're going to be talking about her book. Make it don't fake it, leading with authenticity for real business success. Good day to you, Sabrina. How were you in Long Island?

Sabrina Horn 00:51
Oh, hello, Greg. It's so great to be here. And thank you for having me on your great show. I'm just thrilled to talk to you.

Greg Voisen 01:00
Well, likewise, uh, you and I have talked previous on a pre interview. And I got to know you a little bit more. And I'm going to let my listeners know a tad bit about you. Because, you know, you have an interesting background. And it's really important, I think that listeners get to know the authors a little bit more. She's an award-winning CEO, author, tech communication expert and advisor, board member. Her career is highlighted by 25 years as founder and CEO and president of the horn group, and the ionic us tech communications agency she founded in Silicon Valley at the age of 29. Her firm consulted 1000s of tech C suite executives and their companies through their business and marketing challenges, including category creation, brand transformation, global expansion, IPOs acquisitions, pivots and crisis manners. Our group had multiple offices across the US global partner network, and received numerous awards, including the best employer and best tech agency in the US. Sabrina sold horn in 2015, that Finn partners, a global marketing communications agency, and was appointed managing partner of their technology arena. And Sabrina, I mean, this is, you know, the bio could go on and on and on, because you have so many great achievements in your life. But this book is a big achievement in itself. And I think it tells the story very well. And it does a really good job of doing that. And I know all of the listeners have heard, fake it until you make it. But they've never heard about a book, make it, don't fake it. You wrote this book with an emphasis on integrity, honesty, and telling the truth. Why now more than ever, is it important for business owners, to not only get this, but to live it? I mean, obviously, our press has seen all kinds of improprieties by all kinds of people. And it is become more and more public didn't used to be as public. But now, it's just so easy to make it public with social media. What would you have to say to those people that are listening, that you know, need to get this message?

Sabrina Horn 03:40
Yeah. Well, that's a great place to start, Greg. I mean, I, I think that in the last five to 10 years, so many people have forgotten about the fact that integrity matters, right? And it's almost like an option and a multiple-choice question. You know, should I be honest? Or should I pull a fast one and take a shortcut, and fake it till you make it was originally kind of an innocent little tongue in cheek quip. But it took on a life of its own. And now it's like Sage business advice. It's basically telling you it's okay to lie, or exaggerate the truth, or minimize or distort the facts, right in order to succeed. I've talked with many people, especially younger folks just getting into their careers, and they tell me if they feel like if they don't fake it, they won't be successful. And like everything is everything is wrong with that, because faking it doesn't help you be successful. It actually helps you fail. And the reason why is because the truth always comes out. You know, like it could be a day. It could be a week could be a year or 10 years, but the truth always comes out and when it does, you'll be exposed for, for how you faked it. That will sabotage your success. It ruins reputations. We have a prime example of that. on trial right now Elizabeth Holmes with theranos, you know, so So that's my point, it's better to lead with integrity, because you'll have a better chance of success.

Greg Voisen 05:23
Well, having been in the advertising business, obviously, it's kind of all about lifting one up bringing up the profile, right? What would you say, you know, obviously, you during the course of your career, whether it was in Silicon Valley or consulting other companies, and what is it personally, that you're so passionate about, to make certain that this message gets done? What maybe happened to you, or something that went on that you saw going on? When you were doing consulting? That you didn't like, that? You literally decided, I need to make a statement here? Yeah.

Sabrina Horn 06:09
Yeah. Well, I mean, look, I was a 29 year old woman, with no leadership training, no management experience, really, I had four years of job experience. And here I am a CEO of a, of a hot agency in Silicon Valley. And boy, I'll tell you, you know, it's nothing like becoming a CEO with on the job on the job training, like I made so many mistakes, because I didn't have all the information and I back then fake it till you make it wasn't a was wasn't a saying, but I sure I sure as heck fix it. And of course, in being in Silicon Valley, I saw hundreds of entrepreneurs, you know, trying to do their thing and faking it here and there every day. And as an advisor to these executives, you know, it is a big time out, like they're not, that's not going to fly, the media is going to figure it out, the analysts are going to call bs on that. And so gradually, over time, I learned that lesson a few times, really the hard way, and so on, and so on my clients also dealing with that, and, and just decided, you know, unless Life is too short, it's better to just leave with integrity. And, you know, I have some examples in the book of a few.

Greg Voisen 07:31
Hey, yeah, we'll get to those, you know, Samsung with the phone and Uber. And, you know, we have lots those, I think we could, you know, fill up a book just about the about those, that you state, the book is about achieving success about making it and knowing what, you don't need to fake it that you don't need to fake it. What advice would you provide the business owners entrepreneurs out there listening, about shifting their mindset to one of a focus on ethics, passion, confidence, pride, resilience, commitment, so that they can survive and thrive no matter what situation they're in, because that is a is a is a big thing.

Sabrina Horn 08:24
Yeah, you know, so that it starts with something that may sound silly, but it's so vitally important, which is having a sit down with yourself. And really asking yourself, who you are and what you stand for. And what you want your company to stand for. Those core values, infuse everything about your culture, about every business process in your business, and how you interact with your customers, right? Ultimately, you want to be successful, you want to have a build a great brand. And that's always about a consistent customer experience based on trust. The next thing is you have to adopt a philosophy that may be a little bit uncomfortable, but it is about being humble. And it is actually about being comfortable admitting when you don't know something. And when you've made a mistake, because that that draws people in and it builds, it takes all the cypa out of the equation, and it makes you a much more productive learning organization. And then, you know, there's many other things but I guess you have to make a commitment to being able to deal with reality and looking at the truth in the face. And that's why leading with integrity is so hard. Because, by definition you have to be grounded in the truth right? But the truth hurts sometimes. threading can be very harsh to deal with reality, it's much easier to shove it under the rug. So, you know, it really is about making that commitment so that no matter what comes your way, you're going to deal with it.

Greg Voisen 10:14
Well, I think business leaders today, you know, you look at the green leaf kind of philosophy that's been out there for a long time. And leaders today, more than anything, need to learn how to be in higher integrity, but have more compassion and more empathy, especially given the pandemic and what we're going through. And I think that that's a character trait, that in a lot of people, it evolves. They don't, they are born with it all the time. Right? They have to kind of figure it out. I mean, we aren't all Dalai Lama's and don't have that great attitude about life. And I think it is learned and you speak to the listeners, and you have a chart in the book, which I thought is very cool. It's called the phaco meter. It's a progressive progression that takes place while moving along this phaco meter line that's in the book, and I'll let you explain it. Also, what are some examples that you would that you would make or give? I know, you cited the Boeing 737 max. Accident as one, but there's many. Yeah. But the reality is talk with us about the phaco meter. And talk with us about some of the examples of people that were faking it we I know, we talked about one of them was Volkswagen. You know, we've got lots of big companies. But can imagine if big companies made the mistake, how many little companies are doing the same thing?

Sabrina Horn 11:47
Yeah, yeah. Well, so the phaco meter was something that I conceived when I was writing the book and thinking about all the different ways that people fake it. And I had to put it like in different buckets. And so then I thought, all right, let's, let's put that on a continuum, from, you know, most innocent to jail time. And so if you start off with what is most innocent, right, there's something called acting as if, which is actually a technique and cognitive behavioral therapy, where you are simply say, Your, you don't feel very confident. And so you want to try and practice the behaviors that you wish you could exude and embody. And you do that until you until it feels more comfortable. And you can actually have those behaviors and feel that way. There's nothing wrong with that. It's just a form of self help. Just like visualizing yourself in a tough situation or dressing for success. But where you run into trouble, right, and you cross the line, is when you start to say and do things at other people's expense, for personal gain. So the most common acts of fakery that, that we see and hear and would expect, right, fall into this category of just simply exaggerating the truth. So if you're an entrepreneur, and you really want to get that venture capital money, maybe you'll stretch the truth a little bit about what your technology can do, or how many customers you have, or you're a salesperson, and you want to you've got to make your number, it's the end of the quarter. So you over promise a little bit about what you can do to your customer to win the deal. Or a really common way of faking it is lying on your resume to you know, get the interview. From there we go to minimizing the truth. So here examples would be like, like my, my kids, you know, yeah, I came home last night, Mom, I parked the car in the garage, and I turned off the lights. leaving out the fact that I broke the headlight coming into the garage, you know, or, hey, we won that big deal. And, yeah, we close the sale, leaving out the fact that it was really only at like, 50% of the budget that we wanted, you know. So that's, that's minimizing a situation. And then now there are other types of fakery as we move on the continuum that don't involve lying. It's called ostrich lies because like an ostrich, you're sticking your head in the sand. This is when you're an entrepreneur and or CEO, and you're facing a crisis situation, and you're so overwhelmed. You don't know what to do. You just want it all to go away and you shove it under the rug and you delay dealing with reality. That's also faking it because the consequences could be quite severe before Your business, you know, and then from there we go into like jail time, which is, which is like a selective truth telling. That's where you actually telling the truth but leaving out certain facts, as was the case of Boeing. And then, you know from there we're into total outright deception and fraud like Bernie Madoff with his Ponzi scheme, Jeffrey, yeah, yes. And you know, of course Elizabeth Holmes, who's on trial now for

Greg Voisen 15:34
Yeah, that was that's pretty egregious actually. Yeah. You know, what's interesting, as you're saying this and you're speaking about your phaco meter, is what came up for me was that, I don't think a lot of people like to be raw, for some reason, the word raw came into my, my being here. And on top of it, you mentioned sales, people promising more than could be delivered so that they could get the order. And that gap, in some cases can be so great, and causes so much repercussion downstream. And, you know, you see this happen. I'm doing some work in a company right now, where they have these contracts, say one thing, and then the performance has been another thing. And they're now paying the price if that. So you either adjust the contract to say it's going to change, and this is all we really can do. Or you change your pricing so that you can do it. Right. But you have to be honest, that it's going to cost more. And I think a lot of people are worried about not getting the order, right. So it's like, okay, I didn't get the order. And that might be a small example. But that's an example of something that happens. I think, all too frequently, almost every day causes huge customer service issues, customer complaints and problems. Yeah. And, you know, you tell us story in chapter two, great story about your own PR firm, and you landing the account at PeopleSoft. And you, you beating out this other firm and the process, which was a friend of the CEO, right? What did you learn from the experience? And can you relate the story to the listeners about how being an integrity helped you land this account? Yeah,

Sabrina Horn 17:35
yeah, well, um, yes, it was a wonderful way to start your business. And, to be honest, no pun intended, I had nothing to lose, by being honest, you know, I figured, I've got a shot. If I win it, I'm in business. So I better handle it, right. And if I don't get it, then I'll just go do something else. And, or I'll find another customer or just whatever. And so I thought, like, I've got nothing to lose by just being absolutely honest with them and with myself. And so that started by doing what I said at the beginning of our conversation, which is like, here, here's an honest assessment of what I can deliver, and what I can't. And here's who I am, and what I stand for. here's, here's my business plan. And I shared all of that with them in that meeting. And I think that my candor, and my honesty was perhaps so refreshing that it caught their attention. But I also learned that the value of doing my homework, you know, like, I crossed every T and dotted every I, and I had to ask myself, you know, what is the CEO of PeopleSoft worried about what's on his mind? What is he not thinking about? What can I then do like thinking as a business person first, like, knowing all that, then and winding my way back to Okay, so then what would be the right thing for them to do? Rather than saying, here's a list of things I'm going to do for you and you know, seeing how that resonates? So it's, it's about putting yourself in your customers shoes truly. And then having what I call a 60-minute episode with myself, where I've thought of every question they might ask me, and especially those I didn't want to answer, and I forced myself to come up with an answer for them and like, okay, that's the truth. Right? And if, if that if that answer doesn't work for them, then that's better than pulling a fast one and then being caught for it later. So I think those were the really key lessons Things that I that I learned all sort of swirling around being authentic and, and operating with integrity.

Greg Voisen 20:07
It's a good point you make I mean, you know, a person in sales, a person in marketing, and let's face it, public relations PR is, is it's all inner wound, right? Yeah, it's easy to get caught up in the emotion, it's easy to get caught up in just, oh, what we can create here and what we're going to be able to do, because you're living in the world of creativity, and imagination. And there's nothing wrong with imagining with somebody, as long as they know what you're going to be able to do is real. Because that's actually quite fun to have this imagination and creativity, mind meld of all the people. And one of the things that you speak about in the book is disarming fear and organized risk. And what it is like to be in a startup, I mean, let's face it, that's you, you've landed this account pretty much very early in your, in your career. What advice do you have about not faking it, because as you state faking, it is the same thing as lying. And this is not the value that you want to embrace. And you list on page 49. You know, some, some things that I think are important, maybe you can articulate that. But it faking it is lying. And as your phaco meter says, it depends on where you are in the scale of the phaco meter. Right. But it also has to do with this, you know, we've talked about integrity. I remember, Dr. Jim Laura was recently on here about leadership, and as a great book out the personal credo. And I come to this, and I really look at what he said. And if you can't stand in your own shoes and tell the truth, you're literally you're literally going to pay the repercussions at some point later on, as you said earlier. Yeah. So what would you say about this disarming fear, organized risk? And, and, and not whining?

Sabrina Horn 22:16
yeah, you know, it's a really appropriate thing to discuss, especially now, you know, as we've been basically living in this constant environment of fear, uncertainty and doubt with the pandemic. And it's always seems to be a moving target from week to week. And the reason why we have fear, and in, in life or in business, and especially in a startup is because there's something unknown about it, there's something we don't understand about it. And so you have to disarm the fear. And the best piece of advice I ever got was, know what you don't know. So, dial in to the fear, what's making you have that anxiety, it's probably about something you don't understand and don't know about. So acquire a bias for seeking information. Now, it's fear can be very paralyzing as well, you feel like you have cement shoes, and you know, it's just overwhelming.

Greg Voisen 23:19
It also can be very motivating. But you know, cliche for fear was false expectation appearing real. That's fear. It's like the acronym for fear was false expectation appearing. I like, Yeah, but that is, in essence, you know, in many of these companies, they don't talk about love. But if there weren't two emotions that really did exist, it would be fear or love. Yeah. And it's love for oneself. As much as its love for what it is you do and love for the people that you work with? Yeah. Because you really only have that, you know. And so, if you're going to organize this organized risk, I like how you talked about, you know, he called it organized risk. I've actually never heard it referred to that way. So I thought that was very clever. Thus, but, so is there anything else you would say about you know, this, faking it and lying from your list?

Sabrina Horn 24:23
Um, I mean, I would say, from the fake commoner

Greg Voisen 24:30
Well, on page 49, you have a list.

Sabrina Horn 24:35
Yeah. I mean, I think it's, it's about making a list of all the ways that something could go wrong. And then asking yourself, what's the worst thing that could happen here? And then how would you recover? So for me, that's contingency planning, right? hoping for the best and planning for the worst is all about Having these little plans in your back pocket so that whatever happens, you can sort of find a path down the middle to move forward. It's also about surrounding yourself with people who are going to give it to you straight, not people who will tell you what you want to hear, but people who will tell you what you need to hear. And, you know, and then lastly, it's it is also like, thinking about what success ultimately looks like. And you've got these, all of the things that could go wrong, your risks on one side, and then and then ultimately, like, okay, a year from now, this is where we want to be. And so we just need some plans to deal with these risks so that they don't get in the way of achieving that success down the road. And, and I don't mean to minimize, you know, that because depending on what kind of business you have in the industry, you're in, those risks could be quite enormous. But that's where contingency planning is just really comes into play.

Greg Voisen 26:03
Well, the other thing that we could add to the icing on the cake there, I just recently did an interview with Jonathan Brill rogue waves. And you know, much of this was all predictable. You know, if you have really taken time to look, it was there going to be a pandemic. You know, he made a great statement about the Titanic crossing the Atlantic, and that the captain of the ship knew that during that time of the year, there were 1800, icebergs crossing where that ship went. And now the question was, you know, when you navigate something, whether it's a ship, or you're navigating your company, what are you looking for that you can see around corners, that's potentially coming, because those are the risks. That's the risk to sink the ship, that's the rogue wave that comes up that you thought was just rogue, but the reality it's not, there are ways to actually look at all these factors, and have a pretty good indication to predict them into the future, you know, as a future futurist, and you stated that for you as the CEO, and that's why I love doing the show. You'd like to read lots of books on leadership, looking for in you're looking for advice, then you go on to list the characteristics of great leaders? Yes. Can you tell us what you believe is the makeup of a good leader and your estimation, you put it on page 54? Through 57? But, you know, I just want to hear it from Sabrina. Yeah. Well, as you were a leader, you still are a leader, you're a leader in this other company now. Well,

Sabrina Horn 27:49
I no longer work at Finn partners to be okay, to be clear, I, I completed my time with them. And Okay, that was an 18. And, and then wrote this book, but I still consult with them. You know, I think leadership is many, many things. But my view is that being a great leader, begins with making the right decisions at the right time, based on what you believe to be reality. And so a great leader has to make a commitment to always being grounded in the truth and in reality, and that is a has to be a tireless, relentless effort, because reality is constantly changing. Next, I believe that a great leader has to as we said earlier, have this concept of humility and to not only, you know, put that on like a new wardrobe, but to truly feel confident, admitting mistakes and knowing when to ask for help. I believe that a great leader should be flexible and agile, you know, I have this saying like, adopt early move quickly. Sometimes making a wrong decision is better than making no decision at all. I would say being I have this also this notion of being a realistic optimist. Like you always have to balance Okay, we can learn from our mistakes, but you can't spend all your time in the rearview mirror. You have to always be looking forward and trying sometimes at the it's at the 13th hour for a solution to a particular problem. You just cannot ever give up pushing and moving forward and finding solutions. And like that, that is exhausting work. And but that is the mark of a great leader who knows that somewhere out there. There is a solution. There's an answer to this problem. You just have to find it. And then I would say two more things. Surround yourself with people who complain Aren't you and complement your own weaknesses which need to be aware of people who will give it to you straight. And lastly, to be a good communicator, I mean that it's essential for the privilege of being a leader, you have to not only communicate the right message to your constituents, but you need to do it well, then you need to inspire hope in people and comfort.

Greg Voisen 30:26
That's very well put. And, you know, you spoke about humility, and I think in in leaders today, again, that's a trait that's cultivated, many of the egos are very big, and I have a, it's not an off the wall question. It's a question that really drives home. You're being in touch as a leader that you are, and you were to access a power outside of yourself. Call it spiritual illness, call it whatever you want. Call it intuition. Because you're, you're doing that, how much time is a leader did you spend in contemplation meditation, thinking about something outside of you asking for the answers? Because we all know the answers are within us. Yeah, the question is, is to extract them and not let the ego sidetrack us. And much of what you've talked about this whole fakeness, frequently is the ego speaking to somebody and they're not able to control that. And that's what's creating all that, that. That's that drive to be fake. Yep. And I know the word ego is used a lot. And I have another acronym ego is edging God out. So the question might be as, as a leader, you've had lots of people, lots of people dependent on you, how much of your time did you spend in contemplation, using your intuition to guide you and direct you and listening to that inner voice?

Sabrina Horn 32:13
You know, I, there were times when I did it consciously. And then there were other times where use your, you drift off with your thoughts on the ride home on the train, I would say probably a good hour, half hour every day. But sometimes there's no time for it, because you just have to move and you've got to execute. And there's stuff swirling around you. And you know, when that Yeah, you know, I mean, I was also a single mom, for almost the entire time that I ran my company. And so there was like, it was basically like, either my priority is something to do with my company, or something to do with my kids. And, and then I put myself last and that. And what I realized was that I had to be a part of, I had to give myself time to think about these things for the business and for my kids to take a different path or to shift gears or not hate the word pivot, but to pivot. And, you know, I spent quite a bit of time actually doing crafts, like knitting and crocheting, because it was so meditative. It could really absorb, do something completely different. And then all of a sudden, like an idea would pop into my head. And I'd say, like, you know, that's a good angle, I'm going to put that arrow in my quiver. So whether I knew I was doing it, or whether I was deliberate or not, or whether it just sort of happened. I think I probably was always doing it somewhere in the background.

Greg Voisen 33:53
Yeah. And I think that's true. You know, when you ask scientists or you ask people that are programmers, you get different answers, although it's surprising, how many of them will say, you know, how does, you know getting in the flow or staying in the flow as a CEO and having that endorphin that gets released and all those chemicals that get released in your brain to give you that kind of that high that you have, but the feeling that you have the time just passes, you know, you look at come in the morning, for you know, it's evening already, and you're like, well, what happened? It was a great day. You know, you meant that a lot of days are not those kinds of days. No. Yeah, a lot of lot of days are absolutely the opposite. That's right. That's right. You know, you said in the book, if you want to create a high value brand that you need a high value culture, yes. How important is having our values and beliefs articulated and known by our clients and customers? Also, what are some of the enduring brands. I mean, I know we can talk about, you know, apple, and, you know, Microsoft, and all of these brands that have lasted forever. But if you would, you know, a lot of people create their values, they create their mission, they create their purpose, they hang out in the lobby, and they don't live it. Yeah, it's one thing to create it, it's another thing to live it live in. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it's almost better not

Sabrina Horn 35:30
to have a mission statement, if it's going to be like this vapid statement of emptiness that, you know, insert company name here. And, and I did meet, you know, a lot of entrepreneurs and startups when, who don't think about values and culture until they become bigger company, and then it's something that they strap on and bolt on. And it's not necessarily authentic, right, because it wasn't created from the beginning. So there's so there's, you know, there's a conflict there, establishing core values and having them sort of this viscerally present in your culture and how you communicate with each other. I talked about, like, infusing of value in a business process. So if you take, for example, creativity, and how does that manifest itself, in customer service, in every interaction you have, with your clients, with your customers, with how you talk to them with how you respond to them, with your how you train your people to respond to them, right? And, and the beautiful thing is that, if you are committed to core values, they, they hold you and they protect you. And when you stray from them, and you get bad customer feedback, you have to pause and say, so how, where did we fall from our core value system here? How can we realign with that, or maybe the universe has changed, and we need to push the reset button and give that value new meaning because it also needs to evolve, perhaps? So I, I truly believe this is the essence of building a great brand. Because again, it's about a consistent customer experience that's grounded in a company's heritage somehow, even as it evolves over time. So you asked about great brands, you know, that Aside from the obvious ones, there's a company I love called Oh, Excel, and they are the kitchen utensil

Sabrina Horn 37:43
They make peelers, and, you know, spoons, and can openers, and things like that. And they have this commitment to the customer experience that is that is just without questions just outstanding. their customers love them. Because if they have a question about something or God forbid, it broke or they didn't know the box arrived, broken or whatever, they respond immediately. And they use empathy in their language with how they communicate with customers. Another brand that I think should be applauded is McLaren The, the race car company, they used and donated a lot of their equipment and their parts and whatnot. To build ventilators during the pandemic crisis, Ben and Jerry's ice cream company has, has such an enduring brand of great ice cream and great flavors, right doesn't disappoint, but they also have a commitment to social justice. And they had various campaigns in the last two years. So you know, these are great brands that are grounded in core values right? At the beginning, that founder of Oh, Excel made a commitment to like, making quality products, but really listening and paying attention to customers like, like they were in your home using your stuff.

Greg Voisen 39:13
Right, right. I you know, whether it's Patagonia or tow Expo, or its McLaren, or you have a lot of these, these are big companies. And I think for all those people that are listening for this, the small ones that are trying to support mom and pop out there, the little guy who's during the pandemic got hit pretty hard. I would say you know, there's so many of those that have the same values that are out there, and if that's what you want to do, go seeking them to do that. I think it's really important. You know, and on the flip side of the coin, you cited and we talked a little bit earlier about three examples of Falling from grace. And we don't want people to fall from grace. But you know, VW, Uber, Samsung, and these companies have the ability to fall from grace and still get back up and keep going. Many companies, if they fall from grace, that isn't going to happen. What advice would you have for entrepreneurs? like yourself who is in a startup, so they don't fall from grace? And that they know how to handle the situation afterwards? Meaning, okay, if I'm going to this is a PR nightmare. Right? You're the PR person. You know, whether it was I was trying to think of the anchor that that was on NBC that, you know, got caught. And you know, that was a nightmare for, for them for a while trying to deal with it. But no, there's lots of these, there's so many of these examples. What advice would you give as somebody who has this background in PR to kind of manage that?

Sabrina Horn 41:01
Yes, I. So I think there's various different frameworks that you can find for managing a crisis. But it there are some fundamentals. Number one, always, if you made a mistake, admit it. Admit that you made the mistake, the longer you pretend you didn't, or you hide it, the worse your crisis is going to be. And the consequences could be disastrous. always speak the truth. Never, in essence, say anything that you don't know to be the absolute truth.So that also means never predicting or providing false hope, because people aren't going to ask you about it and calling on it. Next, you want to have only one spokesperson, and perhaps a subject matter expert, but only one spokesperson, which could be the CEO, or could be someone else to sort of provide consistent information to all constituents about the situation. Use visuals, and graphics, right? Because pictures always say 1000 words, keep the message simple. retrench if you have made a mistake, tell people what your plan is to go forward. And it's always three things admitting what happened, what you're going to do about it. And then telling them when you're going to tell them about the progress you've made, when you're going to come back to them. And in a last thing is in a crisis, you want to over communicate, because people, there's fear, and anxiety and uncertainty. And it's just like, if you're waiting for your plane, and the planes late, you're sitting there at the gate, and the person standing behind the counter, and they're not telling you information, even if the information is the same, you just want to have the update agree. So over communicate, and it's those three things, here's where we are, here's what we're doing next. And we're going to get back to when we have these answers or have figured out these next steps.

Greg Voisen 43:07
I think the point about over communicating is a big one, you know, you look at what we just went through with the withdrawal out of Afghanistan. And then yes, the kind of challenge the administration had, and how it was communicated. And, you know, I mean, look, the prior administration, that's all they did was try and put out fires from things that, you know, the pyre president did. So the reality is, is that your advice is very, very strong advice. And it's very good advice. And it really helps to calm in a crisis, the situation, what you're attempting to do is remove the emotion from it, because so much emotion is tied up in it. And people just need to hear and I think that's wonderful advice. Now, you provide some great learning lessons in this book, all kinds of stories. And it's always good to leave listeners with a couple of takeaways, two or three takeaways that you would leave them with so that they can basically apply them to their business, to if their personal to their personal life. I mean, I think much of what you talk about here, even though you're a very strong business woman, and you built a very successful company, this whole point, even if I was in high school today, and I just listened to this interview, and I was a high school student, I would want to say, you know, Sabrina, great advice, where do I put this in my life because, hey, I certainly want to be an integrity. I want to tell the truth. If I broke the light in the garage, I want to make sure I tell my parents I did it before they found out

Sabrina Horn 44:55
I mean, I guess the first thing I would say is don't feel like you have to fake it, because you have what it takes to be successful with just who you are. Secondly, do think about the last time you faked it? And why were you afraid? Were you under pressure? Did you just not know what you were doing? Were you overwhelmed? And if you had a chance to, for a do over, how would you handle it differently? Would you disarm your fear? As we talked about? acquire a bias to get more information? Would you talk to someone? Would you reach out to a mentor? would you ask yourself, okay, what's the worst thing that can happen? If I organize my risk? What's the worst thing that could happen? If, if this if this does occur? And how would I rebound? You know, and then I guess, think, think about that commitment to the truth that costs you nothing. And so I think those would be a summary of the things I

Greg Voisen 46:12
I would recommend great words of wisdom from somebody who's lived it and continues to live it. Here's the book, make it don't fake it will have a link to Amazon will also have a link to Sabrina's website, which is a lovely website, you can go there you can is the book available to be purchased off of there too, or just Amazon probably links?

46:36
Yeah, you can. If you go to my book page on the website, Sabrina Horne comm forward slash book, there's a list of all the online retailers with links, so you can go to them and get the book there.

Greg Voisen 46:51
Well, what I can say, Sabrina, in closing and wrapping up here is that one, your energy as a prior business owner, and the experiences that you've been through as a single mother, and all of the experiences that have brought you up today to write this book, and now promote this book. I just want to acknowledge you, you have wonderful energy. And it's we need more female leaders. Yes, we need more female leaders that have the compassion that you do the understanding you do that really want to help make it not fake it. Yeah. And I just, I want to acknowledge that part about you as well. Because this is, you know, I do a lot of these interviews, you know, sometimes three, four a week. And this is not just to your horn, it's to say, the pace of the interview, the thoughtfulness in your answering the questions, the way in the demeanor which you carry yourself is exceptional. And maybe that's the background and PR that you had to have. But again, everybody go out, get make it, don't fake it. You're going to and then go to her website and cruise around and see what you need. Yeah. Thank you so much. Thank you so much. Now this day to you. Thanks for your attention and spending the time with my listeners today.

Sabrina Horn 48:29
Thank you. Thank you, everybody, for listening. Thank you very much, Greg.

powered by

My guests in this podcast are Dr. Bob Nelson and Mario Tamayo, authors of a new book entitled “Work Made Fun Gets Done!: Easy Ways to Boost Energy, Morale, and Results.” Dr. Bob Nelson is the president of Nelson Motivation Inc., the world’s leading authority on employee recognition and engagement and Mario is a principal with Tamayo Group Inc., a no-nonsense consulting firm specializing in leadership and organizational performance.

In this interview, we talk about having fun at work while engaging and motivating employees. I encourage everyone to listen to the insights and techniques they shared on morale boosters, recognition and communication at the workplace.   Find out more about ways to bring fun into work in four different levels: individual, leader, team and organization.

If you want to learn more about Dr. Bob Nelson and Mario Tamayo and their new book , please click here to be directed to their website.

Enjoy this podcast interview that will certainly have a positive impact on your work life.

You may also refer to the transcripts below for the full transciption (not edited) of the interview.

Thu, 9/9 12:20AM • 53:11

SPEAKERS
Dr. Bob Nelson, Mario Tamayo, Greg Voisen

Greg Voisen
Welcome back to Inside Personal Growth. This is Greg Voisen, host of Inside Personal Growth. And joining me from Rancho Bernardo, California is Dr. Bob Nelson. And Bob and Mario and Mario, make sure I pronounce your last name right. It's Tamayo. Right, you got it. My Oh, absolutely. Wow, it's pretty good. We're going to be talking about work made fun gets done easy ways to boost energy, morale and results. And no, I'm not going to use the pandemic as an excuse. But I will tell you that, you know, this pandemic has created more havoc in the workplace, as you guys know, than anybody. And you're well aware of it, because you're out consulting all the time talking to companies about the issues associated with that. And you have some great stories in the book as well, which I love. But I'm going to tell my lizard listeners just a tad bit about you about Bob, Bob's PhD president of Nelson motivation, Inc, is considered to be the leading authority on employee recognition and engagement worldwide and has worked with 80% of the Fortune 500 companies. Dr. Bob is still practicing. And you guys can reach him at his website at Dr. Bob Nelson calm or is it just Bob Nelson calm? Dr. Dr. VOB ne LS on calm? Here you go. And we also have Mario Maya. He's a principal with Maya Group, Inc. and has more than 30 years of experience and maximizing human performance working with companies such as Genentech, General Dynamics, Jay Connect pet Co. So, he also is an expert in this field. And they wrote this book together. And it just came out about how long ago you guys, I'm trying to remember what Amazon said. Yeah, middle of summer. So, it's a new book for everybody. So, you know, let's just kind of start this off with really a question for both of you, I kind of wanted to get both of you involved in this first one out. Everybody loved to have more fun at work. I do consulting as you guys do. So, I realized the stresses and the anxiety in the workplace today. Why did you guys write this book? And why is it more important now, given them pandemic, given the times that we're in, given all the adjustments that workers are making working from home, working from various remote locations? And that what they're dealing with to be able to have higher morale and higher ability to perform in the workplace? either one of you?

Dr. Bob Nelson
Yes, well, this is my 31st book. And some say that every author is writing the same book over and over. And in many ways, this is another cut of the same cloth. I've all my books have been wrapped around principles, proven principles, research based, that actually work to get a better result from employees to better attract them to better hold on to them, but are not widely applied in business. And so, I, the research base in this book is research based. And then within that context of what we know to be true, what does it look like, has 100% real life examples from actual companies that are doing the things that we that we're talking about right now and getting results. So, it makes it easier for the reader to don't have to reinvent the wheel, just open the book anywhere, and you can find a usable example.

Greg Voisen
I want to say for my listeners, I've never seen a book with so many examples and tools and techniques. You guys really did an awesome job of that. So congratulations. I mean, you cite the company, you cite what the people actually are doing. And I think that makes it a very practical book. You know, this is something that anyone can pick up almost anywhere and open the page and get an idea from, you know, one,

Mario Tamayo
Greg, one of the reasons we probably the major reason we wrote this book is back in the 70s. As you might have heard your father tell you that the promise was, we were probably with technology and all the advances that were probably going to go to a three-to-four-day workweek by the year 2000. And that we were going to be all spending 20 to 30 hours, you know at work, and we're going to be this leisure society Well, the opposite It's happened. And we're spending a lot more of our time at work. And a lot of us have not been enjoying it so much. And one of the reasons another reason we wrote the book is that people are, are absolutely craving to enjoy their work since they have to spend so much time at it. And it has become the competitive edge out there in business today. And so, we recognize that we've got some data that's, that's in the book that that says that. But the companies that are providing healthy cultures of fun and enjoyment, are also the high performing companies. And the flip side of that is that employees who are having, who are high performers are having the most fun. And fortune came out with a study just recently about that. And it shows that 82% of the companies, the great companies that they identified, have great fun working environments, while only 62% of what they categorized as the good companies, only 62% were having fun. And so, it just solidified and really just hammered home the point that we have got to do something where our employees today can enjoy themselves and have a lot more fun.

And that and that variable Mario just mentioned was the biggest differential on those that make the 100 Best Places to Work for in America fortunate list, and those that don't. So, if you if you want to be an employer of choice that better attracts and retains talent, this is key to make it happen. And he magazine, I think put it well. They said, fun is frivolous, we know unless you want to attract and keep the best employees.

Greg Voisen
Well, you know, fun is a word that isn't frequently used in the workplace. So, let's first state that. And so, you bring something I'm not going to say new, but you bring something that kind of gets glossed over, I think by a lot of people. And you mentioned in the book that each year, the great places to work Institute, ask 1000s of employees to rate their experience in the workplace. What are the factors that are rated that make a workplace fun to work in, because look, it's one thing to talk about fun, it's another thing to look at the factors that actually or the culture, I should say that even creates fun in the workplace?

Dr. Bob Nelson
And that's some of the research we were just citing from the best place to work Institute and in their creation of the Fortune 500 Best Places to Work each year. So, it's, it's really just that that one variable there. Now, there's a lot of things and in the book, we have about 15 categories of different ways to have fun. And we have it in four different chunks, what you can do individually in your own job, what you can do as a leader of a group, what the group can do, and then what the organization can do. So that's what were the buckets that we filled in the real examples that we identified. You're absolutely right, though fund is not commonly used at work, there are more and more companies that have fun is one of their core values that we were delighted to find. But there's an old-line belief that, you know, we're paying you to work, have fun on your own time do that in the weekend. And the thing about it is that personal lives and work lives have merged. And so, I don't know anyone that doesn't do some work emails at night, or on the weekend, or even on vacation, you know. And likewise, if we're if we're giving our personal time to work, work has got to be it's a little bit more doable, if we can make that that journey, that time working with others and serving the customer. More fun as well. It's only fair,

Mario Tamayo
I used to be that, you know, we used to say work hard, play hard. And that was the mantra of a lot of companies. And then when people got to work, they realized that the company was serious about the work hard part, with the play our part was the one that fell by the wayside. And you know, it's interesting today that the way that people are having fun is they're bringing in new people, new employees who already have that as a as a core value. And I'm talking about the millennial generation, but 50 to 60% of them are saying, when I go to work, I expect I demand to have fun at work. And if I don't get it, I'm going to move on to some other place. Right? It's very well,

Greg Voisen
Work when work is fun and pleasurable, productivity goes up. So, let's just talk about that. We know that all the studies will indicate, you know, greater levels of productivity when people are having fun. They also get into flow more frequently. So, they're literally when you're having fun, you have an opportunity to actually kind of do Get the Whirlwind mind gone and really be more creative and more innovative. And you know, you speak about the philosophies of about the fund workplace. And you talked about the do's and don'ts about great places to work. What are those do's and don'ts that some of our managers that are listening today online, could actually implement? I mean, I'm going to encourage everybody, you know, just go buy the book, we'll have a link to Amazon, you can go to both of their websites. There you go. We've got it up. But, you know, let's face it, whether they buy the book or not, we want to give them some value. And there are some do's and don'ts that I thought were quite valuable. Mario?

Mario Tamayo
Yeah, well, number one is, you don't make people have fun. So, I want to start with that. That was one of the things that will really kill it. If you if you try to make somebody have fun at something they don't consider fun, then you can just forget about it. So, one of our principles is that to remember is that what's fun for some may not be fun for others. And we always say, keep that in mind, no matter what you do. And as long as you're asking, and you're respecting, and you're providing people what they truly feel is fine, then then you're two steps ahead, right there.

Dr. Bob Nelson
So, for example, for example, yeah, we you can't have fun at someone else's expense. That's definitely it's not, you know, so we don't believe in pranks. pranks are funny for like two seconds. And then the person you're pranking is now upset. And, you know, I know companies have had like the bonehead award, and Haha, Jerry gets it this week, because he made this client mistake. And all of a sudden, Jerry says, hey, yeah, I had the support to do the job, I wouldn't have had that, you know, and he's defensive, he's upset, I think about quitting because you guys are jerks. And so, it's not worth to go there, there's enough, there's enough things to do. Where you don't have to do it at someone else's expense, they could do it at your own expense. And that's, that's very powerful for a leader. If they make fun of themselves, it makes them more human. And it makes it but there's so many so many ideas. And one of my biggest aha is doing this whole project. And the research that we did for years on collecting examples is that everyone's view of fun is different. You know, and so that's why it's good to pull people in and include their ideas. And it may be different than you were thinking but enjoy what they want to do. And we can all benefit from that and along the way by involving everyone, then then it makes them more receptive as well. So..

Greg Voisen
Inclusion..and that leads me to this next question, which, you know, Charlie Chase, the President of Genetic Synergy created this color code, it's colorcode.com. I never heard of it before that's why I'm asking this question. Because I think that it's really quite interesting. I didn't go to the website and take the quiz. But there is a quiz. And then you fall into a color code system, if you would talk about the color code system, to our listeners, and how the system can help them create more fun in the workplace.

Mario Tamayo
Yeah, let me let me address that. For those of you out there who are familiar with Myers Briggs, and insights, and disc. And these are all personality preference, models and profiles. And the color code is very similar in that regard. They have colors blue, green, yellow, and red. And what that what that's all about is personal preferences. And it helps people to identify what they prefer, what drives them. And it also helps them have a conversation with other people, where we can find out the colors of our coworkers of our managers of our direct reports. And what's most important is, number one, not to diagnose them, and get try and guess what they are, what they would like, but to use that as a start for a conversation, to confirm what it is that they value and what they like. And I you know, some of your folks probably have heard of the Platinum rule. And Bob and I go by that, and it's doing unto others the way they need to be done unto. And we feel it's even stronger than the golden rule of Do you want to others the way I want to be done unto because the focus there for the golden rule is on myself. But what this is all about and having fun at work is how do I set something up so other people value it as fun for themselves? So, it's doing unto them the way they want to be done unto.

Greg Voisen
Boy did you take me back Mario? That was a Dr. Alessandra, Yeah, here in La Jolla. I haven't seen him in a long time but that whole Platinum rule thing he will go over that that was it. Yeah. Wow. Tony Allesandra, we're dating ourselves. Now we are. We are. I'm sure he's still out there. Right, Bob, you must be

Dr. Bob Nelson
Yes, he was. And he was in Vegas. I'm not sure if he's moved back or somewhere else. But yes, he had some great, great content. And I remember using some of his training movies. The Pygmalion effect, I think was one that he worked on. It was very good.

Greg Voisen
He also had a bunch of assessments as well that he created. Oh, yeah. I'm sorry. But the bottom line is it puts them in kind of a category so that all the coworkers can determine really what, how everybody works, how they like to have fun.

Mario Tamayo
Exactly. Yeah. In fact,one of our one of our dues is, is that you want to when you're when you're deciding what to do is ask people form a committee, a cross section of your organization, get management involved, get an executive sponsor, get the people on the front line, and find out what the different parts of your organization really like, not just for individuals, but also for the different, you know, teams and departments and all that volunteers.

Dr. Bob Nelson
Yeah, you can have a, it's not very hard to have a fun committee and have volunteers and see what they come up with and to brainstorm to prioritize and support them to try a few things. And maybe if they need some budget, maybe you can, you can give them some of that a lot. A lot of things you could do don't cost any money. They're just, they're just fun. I was going to say that Mara and I both worked with Dr. Ken Blanchard for quite a while. And one of the one of the things he used to say was that management is what you do with people, not to them. So, this is a perfect example that you want to involve people, you might use their ideas, maybe rotate the responsibility. When Mario and I worked together there, in fact, and we had staff meetings, one of the things we would do, and we tried different things to keep it fun. Yeah, if you do the same thing over and over, it's, it's going to be boring, you know. So, we would have, remember, we tried, we started the meeting with a joke that we'd rotate who would tell the joke. Now, some people were good at that some people were not, but they had a whole week to practice. And when they're done, there could be a little better doing the joke. So, it was fun no matter what,

Greg Voisen
What would you guys say about the culture having a permission to have fun. You know, it's interesting, you can go into various cultures. And you can see the ones just by the demeanor, how they're a little more lively than others. And you'll get this heavy air when you walk in, I call it heavy air. It's, yeah, it pulls you down. It's almost like you don't have permission. What would the two of you say, would help management decide that permission is good to allow people to do this? Because I think a lot of places not even allowed.

Dr. Bob Nelson
Yeah, I agree. And, and I think, go ahead, Mario,

Mario Tamayo
I was going to say, you know, I, I remember what you just said about having permission to do it. I remember when I was doing wellness in the workplace in the 80s, right, where we were trying to get organizations to have a healthier workforce, and a lot of the same benefits for wellness. You get and you and you enjoy from having a fun work environment, right. And what we'd like to say is we got to take it up a notch, even above permission, we want the organization not to give permission, but to encourage and to nurture, and choice of words, but no, no, no, no, it's where a business is. It's like, well, we allow that to happen here. And what we're trying to do is we're trying to transform it to say, No, no, no, we've really got to embody the spirit of this. And we have got to encourage it. We've got to ask people how they're doing with it. And this and that. And, you know, one of the things in our book is we talked about, how do you get top management? Who poopoo the idea? How do you get them and convince them that fun? Is great. And Bob's got some great ideas about this.

Dr. Bob Nelson
And just to build on the idea you gave me I remember in talking with you about the wellness programs, like you did it for john dynamics that that part of the success was getting the executives involved. So, you'd set up a yoga class and there'd be some executives that would come to it. So that's they're walking the talk, and that encourages other people. And so that's a great a great strategy. I remember working with the California CalPERS, California Retirement System, imagine $7 billion in assets for California employee retirements. And they were very, very stiff, very stodgy, you know, money you know, we're managing finances, we can't be, you know, having fun here. And men, we, we, we worked it. And I showed them the data how their people were very stressed and burnt out. And, and we convinced them a couple of things. One of the challenges they had is they said, We can't we're using taxpayer money, we cannot spend money on stuff that's frivolous, right. And I and I put together a list is about a 12-page list of government agencies, federal, state, and local, what they were doing their legislative authority, and the results they got. And that went into a board meeting. And they came out and they said, we're going to do it. So, I loosened up the purse strings, and then we appealed to top management. And I didn't, you know, you think well, didn't ever get go for that. We got them to create a music video. And they were all on camera. And, and I tell you what, once we broke the ice, they loved it. And they were all in the music video, and the employees loved it. And all of a sudden, by action, not by decree, the tone is set. We're loosened it up here.

Greg Voisen
That's an important point of your book, you know, you guys have included tools, techniques, examples, lots of examples, that so many consultants that you guys talked to had developed. And companies that you would you spoken to, to create fun in the workplace? Can you speak about a few of these tools, techniques that would stand out and are available to the listeners to consider implementing, into their workplace because you like I said, when we started this, you open this book up. And I mean, literally from almost page two or three, other than the introduction, you guys are already citing examples and things and tools and things that people have used that have had success. And I think that community of fun that you guys have created, is really something that these people that are listening could get involved in. It's almost like hey, did Dr. Bob and Mario create this, you know, community of fun speak about that, if you would, though?

Dr. Bob Nelson
Well, it's sort of I've and I spent a lot of time studying organizations, I got my master's in organizational design, and my, my PhD with Peter Drucker and in in organizational behavior and human behavior, and, and so I've kind of come to the conclusion that the way you get things going in organizations is not by policy, not by a program, if you have a program is have a start a middle and an end, and it goes still, but you do it by behavior, you get down to the individual focus of control. So, we're all about getting into the individual worker and the individual manager and showing them how they can make things happen. So let me give you an example. I know my Scala as well, but one of my favorites, because you can do this in person, or you could do it virtually as well on zoom, is when you get your next time you get your group together, say hey, this, do this do something different here. Start as I go around the group, as I call someone's name, I like everyone to say what they most value about working with that person. Let's start with Jerry. Okay, now Mary 100% positive comments from your peers, that's called a praise barrage, you can do it in five or 10 minutes, and I tell you what, it will lift everyone up, they will feel better about themselves. And whatever was called out that they were good at. Tom always jumps in to help out I value that so much he takes initiative, I thank you time, I get I guarantee you that Tom will do more of that going forward, because what gets recognized gets repeated. And so, it's a great simple team building. And, and next time you together in person, you can do the same thing with index cards, right down to thank you for someone else in our group that you Oh, you get four or five thank you cards of things that people value that you've done in your job, you're going to feel better about yourself. And on a practical level, you're going to see what your most valued for and do more of those things.

Mario Tamayo
I got to tell you that that's a great activity, Bob, and I must say, and I have to give props to my sister, Elsie, to Maya, because she started that at the county of San Diego in the 1980s. And people, the way it worked was people would, would take strips of paper and they would write something nice, fold it up, and they'd put it in the middle of the table. And then it was up to each person to read out loud. What other people said to them? And I got to tell you, this is when the tears started to flow for some people, because they were saying, this is the greatest thing I've never been recognized. Nobody's ever said this stuff about me and my 20-year career. And right away we knew we had something because it just connected with people. That's really what it’s about we're working so hard working so long, that we have a tendency to forget about the human spirit at work. And what fun at work, what wellness at work, what they do is they honor the human spirit at work, and they allow the shared experiences and the connections, what's called ubuntu Bob, you want to mention anything about that?

Dr. Bob Nelson
Yes, Marcin, because he has done a book on that the South African principle of unity and connectedness and we, you know, I am what we are as a basic concept, that's a different podcast. Yeah.

Greg Voisen
You know, I go back to the days, Bob, when I would go to San Francisco and go to spirit in the workplace conference, right, here you go. And, and then as a result of that, I went, I went back to school and got a master's degree in spiritual psychology. I love it. So, the reality is, is that what you're speaking about what we're all talking about here, really, when people are allowed to express themselves freely, you know, and have fun. And when they're doing it, creativity goes up, productivity goes up, morale goes up, everybody has a lot more fun. And they want to be around those people, too. They'd like to get a dose of it, you know, it's kind of like, they're eager to get into work. Yeah, the job you know, you know, here comes Mario and Bob the twins with all this inspiration and fun they're going to bring in, you know, so only when it comes to hair. Yeah, exactly. But I love that. Now you guys, look you Gallup is big, decided to study 7200 plus US adults revealed that one in two had left their jobs to get away from their managers. They hate their managers to improve your life. At some point in your career, when

Dr. Bob Nelson
we go to work for a great company, we leave because of a bad manager. That's kind of the rule.

Greg Voisen
And we've got some managers that are listening. Okay, guarantee you there's going to be managers listening, and we're not pointing a finger at you. What I'm trying to get at is what advice do you have for managers to help inspire their them to inspire their employees to become more engaged at work? Look, we know the engagement levels at work are extremely low levels. They have been for quite some time, decades. So, if that's the case, that means everybody hates work, but not everybody does hate work. There's a percentage of people that love to work. How do you love the balance? And how do you inspire these people.

Dr. Bob Nelson
The other thing we're in the middle of is called the great resignation, that we have people leaving quitting their jobs in droves. And there's a lot of debate about why that's happening. But in a nutshell, it's like they've had they've had the whole pandemic to think about is this really what I want to do with my life, and I hate my commute, I hate my boss, I hate what I'm doing and, and time to make a change. And they are, they're doing that and so far, just the last three months, it's been 11 million people in America have quit their jobs. Because they want to do something new, something different than whatever, they're very clear. They don't want to do what they have been doing.

Greg Voisen
Much to the chagrin of the managers, because now you've got to go replace these people. And no, yeah, but I need to add this that are making the decision to do that are really your higher-level employees who have an extremely high level of consciousness. And these are the people that that the organization is relied upon. to actually help, strategize, get things done, move the workforce. And that's, that's a 11 million people, Bob, that's a lot of displacement of high-level management, people leaving to go out and seek something out,

Dr. Bob Nelson
It's going to continue as well. The whole the whole ball of wax, the community, not enjoying their work that wanting a greater purpose in their life. So, if we can't get that at work, where are we going to get it? You know, it's the

Greg Voisen
So, Mario for the people that are staying not Yes, yes. What advice do you have for them, to inspire this workforce to have more fun so that when the all the morale does increase? I mean, look, the reason I'm kind of sitting in this little office up here upstairs, because I just came from a consulting gig and I was running like crazy to get here to make this. But the reality is, is that, you know, I see it, I was just there. I see an owner of a company with 120 employees in the boardroom. And his voice and octave of his voice went up 15 20% because of lack of communication. Yeah, right. Yeah. And yeah, look, we're falling apart because you guys are talking to one another.

Mario Tamayo
You hit it on the head and in good communication always starts with having an authentic respect for other people, and really the one of the best things a manager can do is they've got to realize before they go to work, before they get on the zoom call, that they have to ask themselves, what are we doing here? What is this company all about? Oh, this company provides us product or service. And who does that? Oh, we have people that do that. And every individual we're only as good as, as our individuals put together working as a team. And if, if we can start off by asking questions, and by finding good things that people are doing, and noting and catching people doing things, right, that is the first start. So, the first thing that we do is we got to recognize the good work that our people are doing now under these conditions that they're under. Absolutely, number one, number two is a career development is we got to talk to them and find out what is it they really want to do next. And help them get there. Bobby, we're going to add to my things

Dr. Bob Nelson
I was going to say. So, in a nutshell, stop telling and start listening, start asking the questions, and don't assume you have all the answers. And here's what the problem is. Tony, you didn't do that you didn't do that. And instead, you have, I mean, I did my doctoral work on the power of recognition of catching people doing things right and, and why managers do it or don't do it. And it's been called the greatest management principle on Earth, that you get what you reward what you what you inspect what you reinforce what you catch people doing something, right, you will get more of that, you lead the charge. By doing that you don't there's so many managers that the way they're trying to lead their people is they're chasing them about performance, you did that wrong, you did that wrong. We have a policy about that the customer complained about this. And the whole thing is 100%, negative, that doesn't that doesn't drive behavior, it drives people away from you. They void you, they didn't want to work for you. And then they're miserable. And then they come home and they make their family miserable 15% of workers, workers, the average worker spends 15% of their time at home, complaining about their boss. Oh, my God.

Greg Voisen
Well, you both remember this, and especially Drucker School of Management, and when he did, you know, command and control, we know doesn't work anymore. But we do realize it's still happening. But to make the person aware that that technique is inappropriate, I'm going to actually say inappropriate mode, a lot of people would say, No, it's not, I'm still going to do command and control. Because the buck stops with me, I write the checks, it's my money, it's my business, it's, you know, I'm going to run it the way I want. It also is very controlling it also, you know, those kinds of companies where you could cut through the air, or the kind of companies that are run like that, now you, Bob, this is a really important one, you say that over 25 million meetings per day in the us today. And it makes up 15% of an organization's collective time. And that most of these meetings are on productive. And I paraphrase, because he even talks about financially, how unproductive they are, what are some of the things organizations can do to make meetings more fun, more productive, and raise the morale? This is a big one. Because if we're going to have these meetings, why not have good meetings, you know, we've got to have them. And then who plans these meetings so that they are spontaneous, fun, good, and people are walking away going, yay.

Dr. Bob Nelson
First, I would, I would highly recommend doing away with standing meetings, which is, you know, every Monday or every Friday, we're going to meet for an hour and a half, we're going to talk about how it's going. Don't meet just to just to do that, and waste time and people don't want to go and it's boring. You know, if you have a, you have a party, and no one comes, it's really not much of a party. So you guys start thinking of meeting like that, how can this be? How can this be fun for people? So they want to be here? How can we? How can we vary it so it's interesting, maybe to help them learn new skills? And so that might be having a rotating who leads meeting so it's not just the manager every time that would be interesting. Or I remember when Mark and I worked together, we were working in developing training materials. And to my chagrin, I felt that the group was kind of a CT low in basic grammar and grammar skills and so I don't know if you remember this Mario, but I remember I did grammar quizzes and they were they're quick and we'd score them together and you can't do that not learning something. It's so I kind of as a fun activity I rose the competence level of everyone that's working on writing and editing and, and as a group, we got better at it. I know I've taught Writing business writing skills for six colleges. So, I know I could do it, but I don't want to do everyone's job. I want them to be better at doing their job.

Greg Voisen
I have to say that our meetings of the meetings don't have them be regular. I'm trying to paraphrase here. They don't need to be every Tuesday or every Thursday or whatever they need to be based on the need. That's maybe what's happening, right. In other words, we have a desire to meet, something's going on, we need to talk about it, we need to have a discussion, then very up the person that mean is responsible for the meeting, yes.

Dr. Bob Nelson
Oh, invite those people that need to be there. Don't everyone come? If it doesn't involve them, just the core people. And that could vary from meeting to meeting. And then and then then vary what you do. Martin, I used to have standing meetings, you want to have a short meeting, do a standing meeting,

Mario Tamayo
Physically standing me

Dr. Bob Nelson
Somewhere done at 20 minutes. Or we had a fun thing. I know, you remember, the smarter that we you know, because we got pretty excitable people are very engaged and stuff. And we're talking on top of each other. So I brought in a coconut. I said, Okay, here's the new rule. You can only speak if you're holding the coconut fasten on the coconut and let me have the coconut it was fun. It was silly, but it served a function as well. So fun is practical as well.

Greg Voisen
It's like, you could also do you know, I go back to the days when we did visit Levi Strauss, we'd a hand a talking stick, there you go. And we would move the talking stick around in the basement there, because that's a Native American kind of mission. But it worked really well. Because you could only speak if you had that talking stick. Yeah. And it really allowed people to express themselves. I love some of the ideas that are that you're giving.

Mario Tamayo
Now also, there's, there's a lot of companies that will not meet on Wednesdays, as Bob mentioned, standing meetings, they will meet as quickly as they can, if you're late to a meeting, people sing, put in a little cup, all kinds of little things here,

Dr. Bob Neson
My son went to a boot camp for programming. And I loved the fact that and you know that 40 people in the class and you know, they're all trying to move into a new career, whoever was late, they started at 830. Every morning, whoever was late, they would stop what they're doing. Everyone that turns the person they had to explain why they're disrupting everyone's education. No one was ever late. You can't I mean, in some, some corporations I meet and people are drifting in and out. And I go, how do you guys get any work done here? It's like, it's like a Moveable Feast. It's like, you know.

Greg Voisen
Well. I like some of the ideas both of you gave. And I think, again, for my listeners that will put the link to the book, just go get the book. There's hundreds of them in the book. And you know, we did touch on this a little bit. And I love Mario, your story about your sister in this county of San Diego in recognition. But what I did

Dr. Bob Nelson
I cite her in the book, I read 1000 ways to reward employees, and Elsie Tamayo, she had a she had a lot of good suggestions for me.

Mario Tamayo
It's a whole case study.

Greg Voisen
Yeah, recognition is good thing for productivity in the workplace. But it appears that this happens far less than we might think. And again, you cited that in the book. He said, I look recognition is great, but it's just not happening enough. This lack of recognition has massively negative impact on how employees feel about the workplace. And I concur. Recognition comes in a lot of ways time off free dinner, salary, increase of bonus, whatever mean, those are the standard ones. Thank you in the hallway. Yeah, call out began the meeting. What advice would you provide to the managers listening about moving, improving the recognition program so their employees can get a job? Well done? What would you say because this is a big one?

Dr. Bob Nelson
I'd say start with the behavior in your own sphere of influence. Think of what you can do as a leader. And so, some managers will know I worked with ESPN, a manager said whenever we start a meeting, we start the same way we named five things are going well. And usually it's pretty easy, but sometimes it's not. Sometimes things aren't going well. We never skip that step. Because that's our homeroom. That's our touchstone to allow us to take on the next obstacle or problem. So again, something positive, calling out when I worked with Bank of America, 210,000 employees, I convinced them that directness was so important. It couldn't be arbitrary. It couldn't be if you feel like if you happen to get to it because it would never happen. So, they started a policy that you meet at the bank, whether it's three people 300 all meetings will start with some type of recognition. It could be calling out the achievement of department it could be someone finish to degree or had a birth in their family, it could be any number of things, but something for the or the success of the bank how things are going. And so, you make it part of it or, or when I worked with NASA last fall, Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, which is ranked by the way, this is no coincidence, number one best place to work in, in federal government. Number one, that doesn't happen by accident. And you could you walk in the building, and you feel the energy, you see it on the walls, you hear it in the conversations. And, and I, when I attended meetings from managers, I remember what they said, as per our custom, they say the last 10 minutes of this management meeting, to go around the group and ask everyone to share one thing they've done to recognize someone on their staff, since we last had been together. And I tell you what, you could just feel the energy, the pride rises, and I know something else that people would say, going to try it. They learned from each other, they got it, they got became a self-learning organization. He's trying things and then sharing with others what's working and learning from each other. That's how you make it to the top and be a culture that everyone wants to be at. And on and on. I've got I wouldn't have done 1001 rewards, which is 47th printing is now 15 101 ways to reward employees. So, it's all the time if you open your eyes to it. You know, one of the things

Greg Voisen
Sincerity, I just want to add is, you know, you don't want to just do recognition, you do recognition needs to come in a sincerity and it needs to be from the heart. Absolutely. And I'm not talking about a bonus or a paycheck, but also Mario. You know, in these times of the pandemic, we saw many companies small, big, you know, let's cite it. AMC virtually went out of business, zoom went through the ceiling, Moderna went through the ceiling, but many companies very large, were struggling financially and under tremendous pressures. Yet we saw some many rises to the top as well. The question I might be is under financial constraints like this, and pressure, it seems to be that the culture changes drastically and to have all of these things happen. And you say, have fun in a workplace. When there is so much financial stress becomes a challenge. What would you say to a founder out there of a company who maybe is experiencing something like that right now, as a result of just the economics, the kind of business they're in? God, you certainly wouldn't want to be in the theater business right now, you might not even want to own shopping centers right now. Right? Considering, you know, just what's been going on with the pandemic, not as bad, but the reality is they're still fall out. Any thoughts about that?

Dr. Bob Nelson
Yes, I've got a lot of thoughts about that. Because you know, what you just described as someone that they're, they're starting to panic, because they're not getting results. So, they push harder, and they make more commands. And they, you must do this, you must do this. And people say, guess what I'm not doing anymore, I quit. And so, you can't force you can't force performance from anyone know, if someone if someone puts a gun to your head, you could do whatever they say. But that's not the situation people have in America today. They've got more freedom than ever before to leave and go find another job. We're in. We're in an employee's market right now.

Greg Voisen
It's very hot, and it will continue 75,000 last month, jobs created so our jobs are way up each month,

Dr. Bob Neson
Created not filled, not because and it's not just because of the pay, it's because of the environment and whatnot. So guess just to give you an example, example from the Great Recession 2009 other two companies competing head to head, Best Buy in Circuit City, you remember Circuit City, they're not around anymore, because when they when they both were hit with the recession, they had, they had two different approach at Circuit City said, Well, people are as our people are our biggest expense, as is the case in most companies. 90% of the pay and benefits goes to employees. People are our biggest expense. We got to cut people and cut they did they laid off 9000 people whole strata across the country. And wow. That month their financials look good. By next month, they started to tank because they threw out all their experience and I actually remember being in a circuit city, and somebody was they I don't know. Maybe it's how I looked. But someone said, Hey, can you help me? I'm looking for a car stereo. Look at the car stereo. Someone else did it. Well, I can help you. The store manager comes over and offers me a job. I got a job, but you got to think about training the people you got here. If you're not serving customers, too late, they're out of business, they had to close down that you take best Buy, same company, same products the same time, they were hammered by the recession. But instead of saying, keep our biggest expense, they said, they said people our biggest investment, we need to get more out of it, we need to get it now. So, they started for the first time, maybe they could have done earlier. But they the recession prompted them to set up an online suggestion program to ask people, how can we save money? How can we better serve customers, and within three weeks, they got 900 suggestions? And even if they didn't implement all of them, they implemented enough of them. And just by doing that, it showed people that wow, they like my idea, I got another one for you. And it turned the whole thing and they got a better of people rose to the occasion to help the company through a tougher time. They blew it out of the water, they're still doing well. They took over the market that the Circuit City had, and they're still I think a very exceptional company. So that's, that's what I see in companies. Where you can, you can see it's it’s an opportunity.

Mario Tamayo
So, the bottom line here is, is that when we're faced with the challenge, is when you mentioned it before, Greg is we've got to communicate with each other immediately, early and often. And we've got to take the philosophy of we're all in this together. So let us solve this together. And that's really what Bob's getting at here, you are our most valuable asset here, we're going to give you something, you know, we're going to provide you with something that's low-cut low or no cost right now, to just catch your breath. Let's have a little fun here. Let's remember why we're all here. And let's talk about what we all need to do together as a team to get out of this

Dr. Bob Nelson
And even say that, verbatim, this is why we're doing it because we do value you. And then and then that will give you the financial stability to be able to do things for employees, you take Southwest Airlines, you know, the culture of having fun and whatnot. People don't realize they're also highly, they've been profitable, 30 years in a row. And as a result, they're able to pay their people better and have better benefits and other airlines because there's financially successful.

Greg Voisen
Did you know during the pandemic, they were the only one that didn't take government money?

Dr. Bob Nelson
There you go, God bless them.

Mario Tamayo
Well, I didn't I didn't know that.

Greg Voisen
They didn't take any government money, Delta, United. All the others took government money, they did not take any government money. Yeah, they were proud to say that. Now look in wrapping the interview up because like you guys gave a lot of ideas, tools. And it's one thing to listen to a podcast. And it's another thing to actually implement what's been talked about. And as people listen to these podcasts, they look for the takeaways. And I always ask the authors toward the end, you know, what are the takeaways? If there were three things that each of you would recommend to help improve morale, bring more fun, and improve productivity, because every employer listening, if they're an upper management is saying, hey, I need to take up my numbers with improved productivity at the same time, while creating this culture, where people can express themselves have fun and whatever. What are the three things? Let's start with you, Mario? Cuz you've been sitting there patiently?

Mario Tamayo
Oh, I know that.. patience. You know, again, communications huge. So, the first thing I would do is I would have a one on one with all my people. And I would ask them, I would actually ask them, you, you bring the agenda here. My purpose for doing this is, I just want to find out how things are going for you.

Greg Voisen
Good idea. Great idea.

Mario Tamayo
So that's one Bob, what do you what do you have?

Dr. Bob Nelson
Well, I just build on that. Because in many ways, all any of us have to work with our conversation. So, a one on one, but you can have that as a group as well. And I would say whatever goal is, instead of feeling like you've got all the answers as a manager, and you've got to make the right decision for us to be successful, I'd lay that out and say, Hey, here's, here's the objective we have, who What do you think we can do to reach there, because they know their jobs better than you do? They're doing them even if you used to do their job is changed since you did it. So, get closer to the action of the interaction with the customers or, or what they're seeing, you know, when they when they tried to sell the customer or, or the problems that are coming in on a customer service line and, and maybe you should be listening on those as well but, but get to their strengths. And I had worked with the company and in North Northfolk, Connecticut, boardroom Inc. They did a thing called ipower where they asked every employee to turn in two ideas for how we can improve things around Here, save money better serve the customer, every week, each week to ideas from every employee each week. And, and, you know, they got that going. And suddenly they were getting 1000s of ideas. And they couldn't implement all of them, but they implement a lot of them. And as a result, they increase their revenues fivefold in a three-year period, just by asking people for their own suggestions for how we can...

Greg Voisen
A good old suggestion box works again

Dr. Bob Nelson
But it's not just, it's not just a suggestion box, because that's in the in the lunchroom with a lock on it, no one ever opens. This is actually asking people, and then they had other employees, volunteers review the ideas. And they said, we want to encourage these ideas. So, most of them, they said, that's a great idea, you should really do it. And they gave it back to the person, this knows how we can support you with your idea. So, they it wasn't just a rubber stamp. Yeah, we're not doing that we're not doing that we're not doing that. It's get to them.

Greg Voisen
Mario's got something he wants to say.

Mario Tamayo
I want to say the third thing here is there we go. What Richard Branson does. And then a lot of other execs do this as well, with large organizations, they will actually sit down on a Sunday, and they will ride out on a hat by hand, a card, they'll still write out a card about what they're thankful for, for each of their people that they work with directly, Branson will even go visit different sites. And if he can't meet everybody there, when he goes to visit, he will write them a card that I'm sorry, I missed you. But let me tell you, what I what I love about what you're doing. And again, I think that is just so motivating. As long as it's genuine, it's authentic. It and it's doesn't cost anything other than somebody's time.

Greg Voisen
What I love about Bob and Mario is you're creating awareness. You know, this is, yep, I'm going to tell all my listeners, you know, go to the link that we're going to have a website, buy the book, and it's not because it's lining their pockets with gold because it's really not what you will want to do those check out their websites, because if you're in need of finding a consultant to help you bridge this, these two gentlemen would be at and they both have the expertise but certainly get the book there's plenty of ideas in this book that you could implement yourself. I want to say paperback it's very inexpensive. It's a great company. We will have links to both of your websites will have links to this. Thank you both for being on insight, personal growth and spending nama safe to you, Mario, appreciate it. You guys spending some time with my dedicated listeners. We'll make sure that everybody gets this and gets it out. And I hope that if you're still listening right now, after 15 minutes of this call, that you will take time to go check out the book, their websites. Thank you so much, guys.

Mario Tamayo
Thanks for having us.

Dr. Bob Nelson
Thank you love to come back anytime.

Greg Voisen
We'll have you back for certain

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In this engaging interview with Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton, we discuss their new book entitled Anxiety at Work: 8 Strategies to Help Teams Build Resilience, Handle Uncertainty, and Get Stuff Done. 

In our discussion, we speak about, anxiety and stress in the workplace as it affects productivity, focus and performance.

If you want to learn more about Adrian Gostick and and Chester Elton their books and courses, you may click here to visit their website.

I hope you enjoy this great interview with authors Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton.

You may also refer to the transcripts below for the full transciption (not edited) of the interview.

Anxiety at Work with Chester Elton & Adrian Gostick

Greg Voisen
Welcome back to Inside Personal Growth. This is Greg Voisen, the host of Inside Personal Growth. And I want to thank both of my authors because this is a co author book, it's called Anxiety at Work: 8 Strategies to Help Teams Build Resilience, Handle Uncertainty, and Get Stuff Done. Adrian Gostick is there on the bottom, and on the top is Chester Elton. For those of you who are watching this on a video for those of you who are not it's just audio you don't know top from bottom anyway. So, it doesn't really matter that much. Thank you, boy for joining me today. Adrian is joining us from Park City, and Chester is joining us from New Jersey where he resides. Thank you, guys, both. I am going to let my listeners know a tad bit about each of you, just a little bit before we get into a series of questions around the book, just so you know, these gentlemen are the author of eight. Well, is it seven other books including this one?

Chester Elton
14 actually, this is Chester, we just finished the Anxiety at Work we've been writing together for 20 years and Anxiety at Work is our 14th booked in

Greg Voisen
14th book. Well, you guys have made a good partnership I can tell from the videos that I've seen and I'll direct all of my listeners. All you have to do is type in Chester Elton, calm, E-l-t-o-n, You'll get there and you can get to Adrian's website at Adrian G-o-s-t-i-c-k.com either of them, I was just informed by Adrian, that they now have, they have Elton and Gostick gospel, and Elton Gostick okay so the other way around so you got first billing on this one guy always gets first billing, always that's the Lennon and McCartney it's never McCartney and Lana. That's great. Well, Chester is spent two decades helping clients engage their employees to execute on strategy vision and values in a proactive inspiring and always entertaining speeches he's number one bestselling leadership author and provides real solutions to leaders. And he Chester's also been called the apostle of appreciation by Canadian Globe and Mail creating the refreshing. Refreshing and by New York Times, as a must read for modern managers by CNN. Adrian hailed as the number eight leadership guru and number nine organizational guru of 2020 and Adrian helps clients around the world with employee engagement and leadership issues, their clients, I'm presuming combined together are like Bank of America, Rolls Royce Cisco California Pizza Kitchen, which is where I reside, I have one down the street, that's great. Also, Adrian is a global expert on organizational culture and the author of The New York Times and number one Wall Street Journal bestsellers the carat pencil, and when they say he is they mean he and Chester, so both of them, they kind of done everything together, it's earned his master's degree in leadership from Seton Hall University where he's a guest lecturer in organizational culture and founding partner of the culture works which is their organization a global consultancy focusing on helping organizations build high performance work cultures. Well, that's a mouthful but both of you guys have plenty of credentials, all my listeners need to do is go to the website and check it out. That's where you'll learn more about them and go to Amazon which will have links to the books on Amazon. So, you can click those links and get to them. Well guys, um, you know, I really enjoyed how you started the book off with this story about the manufacturing company in Arizona that you were speaking to and right in the middle of the pandemic. And I'm curious, you know, because we're talking about anxiety. And to me, anxiety, and loneliness and all of these things. They're not just exacerbated by the pandemic, but there's been a lot of things that have going on in your estimations, how has the impact on productivity which the numbers are pretty alarming when you look at them, but I think they've always been growing the key is now we've had a pandemic. We have people that were unemployed like crazy. We're going to get into the job security thing, but how is it really on productivity, and the mental health of the workers today really affected them, and we'll go with Chester He's raising his hand so he's going to say first.

Chester Elton
You know I just like to kick it off and say you know while there was a whole bunch of unemployment in different industries and so on. One of the surprising things about the pandemic is the productivity for those that were still working actually went way up, you know, for those that were remote workers, and that actually was a huge point of anxiety because there was no separation between work and life, you know your commute was walking through the door. And so, it was very interesting that there was a lot of anxiety for those that lost their jobs and were trying to figure out how to pay the rent and pay their mortgages and so on. On the flip side, there was a lot of anxiety for those that had jobs that were working at home and now their productivity is sky high, and yet there's no time to, to refresh and build that resilience but Adrian What's your take on that.

Adrian Gostick
Yeah, I know it's it’s a good starting point Greg because you're right we are seeing. We're seeing impacts to with this great resignation right now we're seeing impacts that a lot of businesses just can't even get started. And though the people who were there are working actually quite productively, but it's actually it's just a says leading to, to, to twin greater levels of anxiety because people just can't turn off if they have a job, they have a good job especially they want to keep it. What Wi Fi can't find the great resignation is all actually about bad jobs. We can't find people to do things that, you know, to work in retail to work in service to clean to do all those things. If you have a good job you want to hold on to it, we can't hire people to do those things that maybe aren't as sexy those entry level and so that's the discussion we're having right now. So how do we get people to come, feel good about working feel like they're making a contribution and bring down anxiety levels, that's what we're looking at,

Greg Voisen
well, you guys, you know you do an interesting thing here you delineate between, anxiety, stress and worry and these are three different responses because of, I say because of fear. I think the key behind most of it as an emotion is always fear. And we have emotionally, mentally and physically, there's an impact. And I like how you guys define or if you would define the differences for the listeners between the three of these because I think it's important, I think people like to lump them up and they say well, anxiety, and doubt and worry and fear you know they're, they're all the same thing, but they truly are and stress being the result of those emotions and how we deal with them,

Adrian Gostick
It's a good point we're making here Greg is that, you know, worry is you know I'm afraid of catching the virus, I'm afraid, and I have a big presentation coming up I'm worried. That's normal, and worrying stress and anxiety are all normal human emotion so worry is we're typically focused on an individual or single thing. It can lead to stress, stress is when our body starts getting involved. It's hard to sleep, you know, we're starting to, you know, our hands are getting sweaty where stress is starting to affect us, and we know from studies over years and years that stress actually, if it is prolonged it never stops can lead to some really bad things, heart disease, cancers, even full-blown anxiety. So, we have worried, which is one event stress starts getting into our bodies, but when we get to anxiety that even when the stressor is removed, we are still feeling the anxiety. Now it can be one of two things it can be an anxiety disorder that we feel all through our lives that people work and deal with, or it could be something creative within us like PTSD can create anxiety, stress over long periods of time, many teens many traumas, can create anxiety we see that in in soldiers and police officers, firefighters, etc., dealing with trauma, almost every day, and we're also seeing it in people dealing with this pandemic for the last year and a half, that it's actually creating full blown anxiety in people.

Greg Voisen
But it's interesting, I'm reading a book by Michael Pollan right now called change your mind, and the PTSD, the guys that are coming back, the anxiety, the stress, whatever, you know, he's, he's actually delving into the micro dosing of psycho celebrants to actually reduce anxiety. Now I'm not advocating that that's what the listeners go do what I'm saying it's pretty interesting. The effects of anxiety on a, on a cancer patient who maybe is going to die. Right. And how do you help relieve that how do you put them in a different state of consciousness where they can do that or somebody with PTSD. And you know, you guys state that anxiety costs 40 billion a year in lost productivity errors and health care costs. And while stress is estimated over $300 billion a year you said in the book. If you would speak with us about how these effects on various generations in the workplace. We know that the Gen Z they want to talk about it. I mean I, I work with Gen Z I work with millennial, they like to talk about it when you get to the Gen Xers, maybe not so much that would be me. And so I'm curious because you discuss it in the book, and you discuss that these generations kind of maybe flow with this or deal with anxiety, stress, worry in different ways. So, whoever wants to address that will go for it.

Chester Elton
Yeah, no, I'll jump in, you know, it's really interesting. You know you talked about all the books we wrote. You know as the as the buildup this book actually isn't an Elton and Gostick book, it’s an Gostick and Elton and Gostick book. We've got Adrian son Anthony, who, you know, really courageously dealt with anxiety for most of his life and gave us that wonderful perspective and I'll turn it over to Adrian for in a bit to brag on his son and the contributions he made because you know we are we are not of that generation, my generation, you would never talk about anxiety or admit to being under stress because of the stigma of you being weak or not being tough enough, the fear of not getting a promotion or getting a plum assignment so you know we would tamp it down and stick it there until you know you wouldn't know that anybody had anxiety or stress until they, you know, had an ulcer, which wasn't that uncommon,

Greg Voisen
But you also spoke about in the book, and I think this is important that upper management people and remember the one story that the gentlemen it's easier for them to come out about it. that is for maybe middle management people to actually talk about anxiety, depression, their fears, whatever mental health issue, they may have it doesn't matter what it is. So, with that being said, I mean if you've got these not only generational divisions, and now you have class divisions with inside the organization meaning, you know, high, higher-ranking people who can come out about that so Adrian any insights from your son on being able to discuss anxiety in the workplace and have discussion groups.

Adrian Gostick
Yeah, no it's a great question, you know it's a big question too because we're talking about generations are talking about what leaders, you know feel themselves middle managers, etc. And so, there's a lot to unpack in there which is, but it's important questions you're asking, you know, just a couple weeks ago I was doing an in-person session one of the first we're doing, getting back to, and we're training on anxiety work, teaching resilience, and I probably had 100 and 150 managers in the session boy, and it was amazing how much they were engaged. And as we went around at the end saying, Okay, what did you learn what are you going to take away. I had at least four or five people say the most important thing I've got some tools now to help my people, but most importantly, I realize I'm not alone. I've been feeling this as a middle manager but I haven't told anybody. And so, what's really interesting is just to say as our generations Gen X and baby boomers we just squeezed it down in the, in the Z Yeah, exactly. And so, what we're getting into now with Gen Z coming in right and millennials, is that they're talking about it. So, Anthony was one of the first one actually to talk about we need this book and he talked about this back in his high school days he's now 25 at USC in his master's program, studying regenerative medicine and stem cell biology, he's not a dumb kid by any means. He's brilliant, and yet realized that he was as he was working in labs in genetics labs, over the last five years or so he said the other some managers who get me as somebody with anxiety, and some who just don't get me at all. And he says, I know who I could really confide with hey I need to probably need a day. He says there's other times I would work 80 hours a week and I would just plow through, but we just work very differently. He said. So, he really was very open, and he started introducing us to other younger people and what they told us, not just now people you know that half of young people, by the way in their early 20s have anxiety. Anxiety so yeah if you, if you say now there's nobody really in my family have it, you're probably not seeing

Greg Voisen
well, no I relate to that, I mean my younger son, my older son who is a Chief Design Engineer at a very big company has insomnia and insomnia is worry. You know the company basically creates programs where they can go see a counselor about specifically about insomnia, if you can believe that, um, which kind of surprised me but you know they had a counselor so it, you know you look at these conditions which are being exacerbated as a result of the amount of stress that's being induced in the workplace. And it's manifesting itself in various forms of anguish anxiety, Insomnia, or any other things that you can do I'm sure there's lots of others that we have a name that healthcare professionals could name, but it is a big problem. Right. I mean you're saying it's a $300 billion problem stress, you're saying anxiety is a $40 billion problem I think it's probably even more than that in lost productivity, and other things. So, both of you, you know you've organized the book to deal with eight leading sources for anxiety in the workplace, you know, the first is employee uncertainty about organization strategy for contending with challenges and how it affects job security. I get job security as a big thing. Can you address these issues, and as you stated, July 2020, 60% of workers said they were concerned about job security? Now we're only talking like a year ago. Right. That's, that's a huge number, that are saying hey I don't know I'm going to have my job and now obviously that creates worry and that creates anxiety and that creates stress. How would you help leaders reassure workers about job security and what are the six methods to meet uncertainty?

Chester Elton
Well, you know you jump in, as with any kind of crisis, you know, communication is just really important. You know that you've got a rapport with your people and you're checking in on a regular basis, you know employees want to know, how am I doing, how's the company doing, where are we going, how do I fit. And, you know, the old traditional annual review is so ineffective now we're telling leaders and managers look in crisis time, you should be checking in at least once a month, if not weekly, that you know during your crisis how you're doing. I mean, we had clients that during the crisis, when it first hit in the restaurant industry, they were meeting every morning with their leaders and their leaders were communicating with their line people every day, because everything was changing, so for me it really starts with communication, and then that second part is very specifically, how do your people fit into the plan. Where are we, where are we going, how are we going to get there, how do I fit, am I valued, Adrian, you know, what would you add to that.

Adrian Gostick
Yeah, and this is a big question too and uncertainty because this is the number one cause of anxiety for No, and a lot of leaders probably listening to this will say well, but I don't have all the answers, and that's okay. And that's the number one method we present in the book is, you have to make it okay to not have all the answers, but people have to feel like we're going to go into this together. We're going into the dark together. And then part of it too is that some of us, in fact, studies show about more than half of those when we get into tough times, we clamped down we want to micromanage everything, and we want to. And we put more stress and pressure. We learned this from Nicole Makowsky was the first female pilot in the Air Force's Thunderbirds. And she told us when you hit turbulence as a, as a in one of these formation groups. She says you actually have to loosen your grip it's counterintuitive that when you hit turbulence instead of taking control of that stick you actually go to just two fingers, and she says otherwise you end up in what's called a pilot induced oscillation you end up kind of bouncing even more so, and she says this is something for us as leaders as well, when we hit tough times, we actually have to loosen our grip, we have to trust in our team, we have to make it through. And so there's in my anxiety work we present a lot of ideas about just the things that just talking about him, you know, presenting clear a strategy, letting people know exactly what's expected of them, helping people know you control what you can control and you have to let the rest go, there's a lot of strategies that you can employ the worst thing you can do with uncertainty is just have a strategy of, gee, I hope that everybody's okay, you've got to do something

Chester Elton
I think hope is a great strategy. Yeah.

Greg Voisen
Well and I think your other book. Gratitude is a great strategy. You know when you really think about it. If somebody can wake up every morning grateful for their job. They can be a lot more focused, and I find that gratitude does that and it's a shameful plug for your other book as well. That is true. And you know, you guys. We've had a couple of people on the show and one is Rita McGrath and you cited her in the book, and I just had Jonathan Brill on his book, rogue waves future proofing your business. He's a future. It's interesting because businesses today well maybe before weren't as interested they had their nose to the grindstone and doing what they did. But really, projecting what disruptions may come again. What are the disruptions in our industry, what are the disruptions that might occur as a result of something like a pandemic that, you know, people claim they didn't see, but we've known about this for a long time? After speaking with Jonathan Brill, we've known about most of these things. He is a great example would you guys get, you know, the Titanic was cruising across the sea, and the captain had it full bore and it got hit and all those people drowned and got killed, but the reality is, there was information ahead of time which they knew there were 1800 icebergs crossing that area at that time. So, it's like you're driving right into it. You know, you would think that maybe you would have slowed up a bit and I think that's read them a grasp point here and you bring up a good point about the story about the Navy Seal and how weak, and the correlation with the research work that Rita did at Columbia Business School about taskers. Can you relate the story and the point you're making to the listeners about dealing with employees to reduce stress and anxiety because I think it's, it's really important it's like okay we're going to bring all this down and we're going to get focused and we can do what we can with what we have? Right.

Chester Elton
I mean it is one of our favorite stories really isn't a daydream about the navy seals the taskers and the optimists, no misers not misers Yeah, well I've, I've heard of both ways, I think it is interesting that you know when you can just focus on what's ahead of you. Yeah, it reduces a lot of stress you know they do these running or they're in the freezing water whatever it is. I'm not worried about getting to the end of it I'm not getting worried about getting tough tomorrow I just I'm just going to get through this. And they sleep better, to your point about insomnia, because they're not worried so much about tomorrow and it's a hard thing to do because we do projects, you know, we want to look for danger down the road. And I love I love the test here's it's been really helpful for me. After we wrote that, you know when you get caught up in certain days and you start to think, oh, this, this day is crushing, and you go you know what, let's just get through this meeting. Let's just get through this, let's get just get through that and then you get to the end today go Oh, it wasn't that bad. You know, we did it.

Greg Voisen
You make a really important point and I think what we do frequently to in our society Western culture in particular we identify, we use a noun or a verb to describe something and then we believe that's what it is. So, then we're walking around with that identification, you know, if you really want to get deep psychologically if you're going to let go and release. You need to release the identification with what it is that's creating that. But it's so difficult in the workplaces because that's where people come from. We have these hierarchies and people move up in the ladder and that's the way it's supposed to be. But the reality is that to read to eliminate the stress and reduce it. You need to stay present. And I think if there's one thing that Rita McGrath is talking about is like, how do you, you know if these taskers can just work on one thing and complete it. And I've even had companies I'm working for saying guys we've got so many things on the initiative here like for dx, right, and we know we're going to go to the wildly important goal. Well, what is that wildly important goal, what are we going to get done right and how are we going to accomplish it. And you talk about in the clear path forward, you say. Sherry Sandberg CBS C E O A Facebook quote leadership's about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure the impact lasts and the absence. What advice do you have for leaders listening about becoming great leaders? And what I want to call instilling within others. This autonomy to just be able to do what they can do. And while you're gone, know that they can continue to do it if you guys look at your list of companies from In and Out Burger to Bank of America. That's what any great leader wants to have happen. The question is, is how you instill that with inside of everybody within the company.

Adrian Gostick
Yeah, no it's a big question because that's what every leader is trying to do is to create this legacy that that continues it's almost like spraying perfume in a room, it stays after you leave in a positive way. Right. And so, so really, and this is what our work is done for 20 years that we've, we've studied this and we know that there's a series of things that leaders do that, that are more effective, you know, they, they, for instance, They really define the burning platform for others around them, which means that they, they talk about the competitive threats very honestly, the and this is the reason why we have to do things the way we do that includes our purpose, our mission, our vision but they put it in very, very simple to understand competitive terms. So that is really clear they they're more agile than their peers, they're, they're more customer focused, they're more transparent. They hold people accountable, but they do it in very positive ways. And the red thread, we found throughout our work is that they are more grateful, the best leaders really take time to, to be grateful to their people they and gratitude is more than just saying thank you it's actually seeing the value that's being created around you. So, it's being more observant. So, there are there are steps we have found in our research that really correlate to higher levels of engagement with employees with profitability with customer satisfaction, that really are inculcated in a lot of our work and anxiety at work.

Greg Voisen
Here's some of the questions that you would ask during these check ins with these people. I know you've enumerated them in the book. And I think it's a very valuable point for somebody who picks this book up and wants to read it. What, what some of those might be.

Chester Elton
You know, it's really interesting actually even since the book, we've been doing a lot of interviews in our podcasts as well and one of the, one of the ways to check in that we really like is, rather than say, Hey Greg, you're anxious, aren't you hit it head on, that's probably not your best tactic language like, hey, I've noticed. You know, I've noticed that you haven't been quite yourself you're always on time and you're struggling to show up a little late listen though we know it's been tough for everybody. I'm here for you. How can I help you no language like that as you check in, I love that I've noticed? And to your point, the messages that I care. You know, back to the previous discussion about how you how do you, you know, protect yourself against the great resignation, how do you attract and then keep good people as they need to know that that you care and those chickens around not just is the assignment do. How's the family, how are you doing, I've noticed, let's just have a conversation just man you really, really help and I know we've got the list in the book as well I think that takeaways for the listeners. If you just incorporate more of, hey, I've noticed, into your language. I think you're going to find people a lot, a little more trusting and a little more open. Does that make sense?

Greg Voisen
Totally, I mean, I, you know, coming from my perspective, you know, I went back late in life and got a master's degree in spiritual psychology. And one of the things we used to say in the course was, you know, you don't have to believe everything you think. And the reality is that you know you get people making up stuff, right, and then beginning to believe it, they get a vicious circle. And then that becomes the result of their anxiety their fear, their frustrations their doubts their whatever it may be, you know, and, and I think that's important for people to realize is that the monkey mind is always going, it's always constantly moving forward with more thoughts and to quiet that mind down, and to get very focused, requires that you, You know, if you ask those questions that you just posed it, it really brings a calming effect. You know we know all the answers within our side of ourselves, if we're willing to ask the questions now, you're prompting those questions through those check ins, and then now all we have to do is think about it. And you know, you mentioned in the book that common complaint you hear from managers is that many of their people today are conflict avoidant, I really like this one. You can't be conflict avoidant and not then have anxiety or stress. And then the other thing is his anger starts to show up when you're conflict avoidant. So, they shy away from disagreements and they can't handle on his feedback and will not engage in tough conversations. How would you advise our leaders who are listening about creating more harmony in the workplace, especially around this conflict avoidant behavior that you see happening?

Adrian Gostick
You know, and conflict actually has a very important place in the workplace. Now we don't want personality conflicts, what we want are debates over creativity. We want debates over process improvement, and we want people to be able to speak up, but with that number we talked about earlier that you asked about Greg or that 60% of people worrying about their jobs. When people worry about their jobs, they don't offer up ideas, that's the last thing on their mind is to stick their heads above the you know the parapet and to see what's out there. They're just worrying about getting through the day. And so, what we're looking for that we debate in every aspect of our lives we debate politics and sports and everything, and then we come into work and all of a sudden, people clam up, and that's not what creates creativity. So, it's really important, what we find is low levels of candor in a team really creates poor performance. There's hurt feelings people withhold their best ideas. So, what we have to do is really set some ground rules for debate. Not only do we do those little things like go around make sure everybody's contributing fine, but I'm still not going to contribute if I'm not feeling trust in this environment. And so, we as leaders really do have to set ground rules that say, here's how we're going to treat each other during our debates. And, you know, we'll, we'll argue the idea but never the person. You know those little snide comments, they're never funny, we won't do them in front of each other or behind their backs, etc. Whatever the ground rules are the genius is not having the specific rules, it's having something in place that helps people know, we want to debate, and here's how we're going to do this in a safe way,

Chester Elton
I would add to that, most leaders don't want that kind of feedback loop for fear of conflict, employees want feedback, you know, I think our numbers were around 65% or something of employee say look I want to know how am I doing, am I on track. One of the one of our favorite leaders I was just on the video chat with him this morning, Gary Rich at WD 40 Fabulous culture tribal culture we hunt together we feed each other we cheer for each other you know it’s; he created a tremendous

Greg Voisen
Just down the road for me,

Chester Elton
There you go. Absolutely. You know, for those who I never leave home without my travel size right. The thing that he's done to encourage debate is he says look, we don't make mistakes we have learning moments. And I think, you know that mantra is so liberating for people to give feedback in the loop when something's gone wrong. They're not worried about being punished or victimized or villainized for mistakes they make they're interested in solving the problem making sure we don't make that mistake again. You know one of the great things that Anthony Gostick brought to us in dealing with innovation and making mistakes he says you know I'm becoming a scientist and when you think of science, it's just mistakes with notes. Appreciate that was such a great explanation of a whole way of being for scientists of course we're going to make mistakes, write that down, you know. And so, I think as Adrian says when you've got those kind of ground rules when you've got that kind of mantra, because going back to what you said before Greg and I'm just as guilty of this as anybody. We get a wrong thought in our head. And the more we say it, the more we believe it. Right. You know he could actually have no basis in reality whatsoever, we through constant repetition, convince ourselves,

Greg Voisen
Well, we live in a world of MSU, making stuff up, then, then we believe the stuff that we made up 90% of it, it doesn't mean anything anyway so, but the reality is we make up stuff, and then that stuff, believe it or not, can turn into our reality and it cannot be the right stuff you want to bring into your life, right?
Chester Elton
And it can be dangerous. I remember convincing myself that I really was being stalked by JLo, I wasn't. And it was very embarrassing in social situations.

Greg Voisen
I like that when that's the good joke. Well, I think that, you know,

Chester Elton
What do you mean joke?

Greg Voisen
I like it, because you're the funny one, and I like the fact that we have humor because humor then brings up another whole issue it's important to have humor, all the time as Bernie Siegel would be who wasn't, he was just on the show, not that long ago. Hey, you know, resiliency is important in Irie I've for the last two years, consulted a company 20 for a life Mayo Clinic, Mayo Clinic has an app and I remember one of the doctors talking about resiliency, and not everybody is born with the set of resilient factors. Okay, and resiliency has to actually be developed. And I think this doctor is absolutely correct, you know, if you came into a family that, you know, had all the right circumstances and everything worked out you might be extremely resilient I remember him actually saying that, during one of the videotapes and my visit to Mayo clinic as well. And I and I look at that and I go, man is he right. The reality is that in the culture today and what you guys are working with within anxiety. The best antidote is to develop resilience as an individual, as a team, as an organization, what would the two of you say, if there are varying degrees of resiliency amongst individuals. Some people cry at the drop of a hat right, they can't stand it. Other people are like well let's for John, that’s a, that's a move for me I'm going to actually take this on. How would you recognize individuals so leaders could recognize them and help them build resiliency amongst the workforce?

Adrian Gostick
Now, in this is really a great place as we kind of get near the end here to really focus in on this idea of resilience, because this is what we're all looking for. And you're right, I mean, that sometimes people are built into it or born into families that the build this with them. Other people are born into the worst of circumstances and build this up so there has been, you know a lot of very, very smart people who have studied this over the years and, and the trick is, we don't really know why some people build more resilience than others. What we do know, as you just said is weak wherever we are right now, we can build more and so the for the two most important things we found in our work is the first one is this idea of mastery it's and it's not mastery of everything it's having a sense of control over what we can control and letting the rest of it go, that really actually and that's a big idea in one little sentence but then it's vital to be able to control what we can control let everything else go. The second is the idea of so is the idea of social support…

Greg Voisen
Can I put in a crazy little plot, Adrian?

Adrian Gostick
Yeah, of course, yeah

Greg Voisen
For all those listeners who have never heard George Leonard because he's been deceased for many years I had the honor of interviewing he wrote the book called Mastery, and he was one of the founders of Esther one up in the Bay Area, he and Michael Murphy, and not, there is not one better interview I sat in his living room for four hours, and was just in awe of where he came from mastery, and he speaks exactly about what you're speaking about. And I think that book was the number one selling book around developing mastery by George Leonard. And so, what I would say to all my listeners if you want to listen to this podcast. Great, thank you. I hope you do, but if you would go back to George Leonard's podcast, I'll put a link in here, around mastery because it's, it's really good. Sorry, sorry to interrupt.

Adrian Gostick
No, I would love to. I'd love to listen to that as well.

Greg Voisen
Yeah, I'll send you the link.

Adrian Gostick
Yeah, it's terrific. And the second one is, is social support. Now this is important because, because this is what so many people miss only 10% of their of employees say they would feel safe talking to their boss about their mental health. Yeah, that's a problem. So, we have to find people that will help us, and, and most of the time we keep turning to the same people, I hear this from people I get keep telling my mom about my mental health, but she just doesn't get as a. Why are you keeping talking to your mom about it she will never get it? Talk to us, don't, don't stop talking to him. Talk to somebody else find people who can give you support coming back to our military idea, you know, the, the folks who helped the military members who come back from war are other soldiers, not therapists not senior officers, it is other soldiers that's who provides the best help, not that those other people aren't important in it, so you had to find social support.

Greg Voisen
But you have to find social retribution in the workplace too Adrian, and that is a question, really, also as well for Chester. Chester, I don't know if Adrian knows Quint Studer, but Quint just wrote a great book and was on, and we've been talking but one of the things that was going on in our hospital systems and this has been going on for years is the retribution around the death of a patient so it would be hidden. Now I don't know if that's so true, kind of up in Canada, but it isn't the United States, and you know you've got a culture now that is saying, Well, we really can't talk about this, because if we talk about it, we have liability, right, and the liability is that maybe somebody did something wrong, and this created the death of somebody, right, can you imagine what pressure it is for a nurse or a doctor or somebody who may be attempting to work in an environment like that so now they've started with these open focus groups to be able to talk about these things and this has been going on for a while, but the reality is, think about that. It's got to be extremely stressful. Any thoughts on that, um, Chester.

Chester Elton
Well, yes, I mean, again it comes back to have you created a culture where you can discuss hard things, right, when you talk about the individual, one of the concepts that keeps coming back to us again and again as far as building resilience is having as Adrian said on social network, to have somebody that's an ally, and we've got a whole chapter on being an ally in the book, the idea, keeps coming back to us again and again, you're not alone I'm not alone. There's someone I can go to, you know, when you say, people can build resilience, I think part of building resilience is having somebody that believes in you. I mean, how often do we hear about the athletes and the performers and so on that come from just ridiculously negative and dangerous backgrounds. And what was the key I had a coach that believed in me, and you know I had a mentor that that told me I could do it. And it's so funny as we do these, they are training around Anxiety at Work with managers and leaders. The other conversation shifts from Yes, my people are suffering, they're suffering they're suffering, thank you so much, I've got tools and then, oh by the way. Me too. You know, so where do the leaders go to have that allied to build it up, I think culture as is often said culture eats strategy for breakfast. If you've got a good culture where people trust each other, and you can have those hard conversations where mistakes aren't punished. They’re simply learning moments as they have WD 40, And you've got an ally somebody that you know believes in you problem in many cases more than you believe in yourself. Those are great foundational building blocks for resiliency, because it takes away a lot of the fear it takes away a lot of the stigma and allows you to ask questions, and the most important question that I think builds resilience is when it's safe to ask for help. When can you say help?

Greg Voisen
And as I think you know look and kind of summing up here that what the Dalai Lama would say is empathy and compassion. And I think one of the best attributes a leader can have today is tremendous compassion and tremendous empathy and understanding and with that begets a culture that has less fear. And the reality is when you really break it down in some kind of simple terms here for our listeners. Fear is the driving force behind anxiety, and all of these other emotions that we have. And if you can remove fear from your workplace. I always love what Herb Kelleher used to said you guys are culture, guys. And you know he'd walk around with m&ms and he hand out m&ms to the people you guys remember all this because this goes way back. But the fact that he just walked around, and he wasn't even the undercover boss, he just wanted people to know that he was there and he loved him. And he said, and Southwest Airlines is about love. That doesn't mean Southwest Airlines hasn't had their problem, but the, there's only really two things in this world love and fear. And on the other hand, if you can bring love into the workplace and I know people don't want to talk about it because it's like, oh this isn't a loving organization, well then, you're a caring organization how's that maybe just change the term if you can't use love, but I really appreciate the two of you, this book is excellent. It not only points to the issues that we're having in the workplace, but it also points to strategies to build that resilience which we addressed as well. And not only individual resilience, but the team resilience, and then the cultural resilience. When you can get it going that stuff the uncertainty goes away and stuff gets done. And, and the reality is that's what this is all about. Any parting words from either of you before we leave our listeners do you want to leave with a tidbit each?

Chester Elton
Sure. My tidbit really is what we talked about earlier, you're not alone. You know, so often, we've got friends and we think, Oh, they're always so happy and engaged they've never had an anxious moment in your life, in their lives. Just remember that top performers and people that are anxious are really good at hiding it, you know, be an ally, be a friend and if you're suffering realize that, that you're not alone. It's always fun when someone's got your back, I always loved the stories of Herb Kelleher when, when people would complain and they'd get on his people he would write them a personal letter to the customer and he'd say, I hear what you said, we’ll miss you, you know, and his employees knew that they, that he had their back. So, but be aware, people are good at hiding it, they're not alone, be a great ally, Adrian.

Adrian Gostick
I would echo that is that we've got to get being on the fine, you know, we do this all the time. Hey Greg, how you are doing fine. We got to get beyond that, really, because I got so much going on again little vulnerability in our place in our, in our place as a leader goes a long way to be able to say these are the things that I'm going through the myth of the Infallible manager his guys got to go away. We've got to be a little vulnerable ourselves and get behind the fine, and really see how people really are doing.

Greg Voisen
Well, it's a great way to sum it up, Adrian, thank you both for being on insight personal growth, thank you for your thoughts and inspiring words of wisdom to those that are listening to this about, Hey look, there's a problem, but we know how to solve it. And the reality and the solving are around caring and understanding and bringing more empathy into the workplace. And the reality is a whole big dose of gratitude. Gratitude for what we really have. Thank you both for being on insight personal growth!

Chester Elton
Pleasure being here.

Adrian Gostick
Thanks for having us.

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I had the pleasure of recently interviewing Michael Clinton, author of a new book entitled “ROAR into the second half of your life (Before it’s too late).”  Michael is the Former President and Publishing Director of Hearst.

In my interview with him, we discuss about roaring into the second half of life, being happy, strengthening capabilities and achieving harmony and success through a dynamic process called ROAR: Reimagine yourself, Own who you are, Act on what’s next and Reassess your relationships

If you want to learn more about Michael Clinton and his new book, “ROAR into the second half of your life (Before it’s too late).” please click here to be redirected to his website.

I hope you enjoy this engaging  interview with author Michael Clinton. You may also refer to the transcripts below for the highlights of the interview. Please leave a reply in the comment box if you want to request for the transcripts of the full interview.

Greg Voisen:
Welcome back to Inside Personal Growth. This is Greg Voisen the host of Inside Personal Growth. And joining me from New York today is Michael Clinton. And Michael has a new book coming out called roar into the second half of life before it's too late. Michael Good day, how are you doing?

Michael Clinton:
Great to be with you? Thank you so much for inviting me.

Greg Voisen:
Oh, you're quite welcome. And it's a pleasure having you on, and this is a topic that considering COVID, I was listening to chairman Powell today. Talk about all the people that have taken early retirement because of COVID. And they're looking at the actual impact it's going to have financially on the government. So, you know, your topic is very timely. It's for a lot of people because they're rethinking their lives. And I want to let our listeners know a little bit about you. Michael is the former president and publishing director of Hearst magazines, and now serves as special media advisor to Hearst corporation CEO. He's also an author and photographer who believes that everyone should strive to live their fullest life possible, particularly in life's second half. And I guess it just depends. Michael, when that second half is, he's an avid traveler, he had experiences in 124 countries run marathons on seven continents. He's a private pilot part owner of a vineyard in Argentina has started non-profit foundation holds two masters degree and still has a long list of life experiences he plans to tackle. So can you briefly speak about the other two? You talk about O w N own your wins and strengths and opportunities and successes, as well as own your losses, weaknesses, failures, and threats. These were also part of the own section of the book.

Michael Clinton:
Yeah, yeah. You know, there's a, there's a great and this is one tool and there are others in the books as well. It's called the SWOT analysis. S W O T for your listeners, who've been in business, it's a business rule, right. But it can be applied to your personal life as well. And, you know, it is a great way to sort through, I'll go back to the magazine industry. You know, one of the threats in the magazine industry is print, was being very challenged and disrupted by digital threat. That's a total threat, but what's the opportunity if you were in that industry or any industry that's been disrupted, the people who are who were in that industry learned how to become digital experts and they retooled themselves. So the opportunity that I had was to stay in our industry to learn something new, as opposed to being you know, in a stuck situation. So that's, you can do that, you know, analysis and cross crossover too, from the threat to the opportunity in any, any part of your life. You know, one of the things I I acknowledged early on is, you know, I'm a wiz at P and L and financial statements, but I have a fundamental weakness in what was, you know, mathematics in school.

I was not a stem guy. I was a you know, social, social science guy. So I knew that mathematics as a discipline was a weakness of mine. And I always had to make sure I had people around me who were better than they were better at math than I was in, in my in my business career as an example, to do an analysis and stuff like that. But, you know, you and failure, you know, you're, you're the weakness. Failure is a great learning tool. I've always said they should be a course. It should be a course on colleges about because we all know great stories of people who failed and came back in a new way that we're just, you know, allow them to be successful. So the SWOT analysis is a great personal tool for people

Great Voisen:
And the failure part. I like to refer to it as learning lessons. You know, if you, if a failure is only a failure, if you look at a failure, I've had plenty. And the way I look at them now is what did I learn from that, that I don't want to do again, I don't want to repeat that again. And I think if on the learning line, right, if you say, Hey, life's a learning lesson. What are those things along the learning lines that you're able to bring forward and know didn't work, and what are the things that you've done that have been successful that you want to keep doing? And I think that's really a very important thing for people now you state in the chapter act courageous, and don't look back that we need to rid ourselves of the ideas that now that we're at a certain age, that we need to act like something we need to move slower.
We need to walk with the cane. We going to have the, you know, whatever and become old in the way we dress and act. And you see this way, you know, you talked about this kind of earlier, but what advice would you give to a person that's fallen into these, the mindset I'm going to say? And then the mindset created a habit of acting old and it's, and it's hard to break it. You know, the other day I was, I was going down the street and nothing against it. I see this guy, old kind of gray hair, nothing against him driving kind of a, an older car, you know, the top down the radio, going whatever. And I'm thinking to myself, you know, he's, he's kind of playing the whole, the whole scene. Right. And not in judgment. That's okay. But really embracing that. And I think there is a time when you do embrace your age, what would you tell people if they're trying to embrace this old stuff too soon?

Michael Clinton:
It's a great topic. I mean, we could do a whole hour on, you know, w we live especially in Western cultures, but especially in the U S we live in an ageist culture. And, you know, there needs to be a reckoning because, you know, let's start with the images that are all around us in advertising and images, in marketing and, and movies. You know, I like to say, if you watch the network news, the advertising is more depressing than the news because the advertising pharmaceutical companies and the old people that are, have failed banks, and they're showing people, you know, over 50 or 60 who are struggling, that is such, those are such negative images. If you think about the average 50, 60, 70 year old today, they're tech savvy, you know, they're active and athletic by, you know, doing something. They are not brand loyal.
Michael Clinton:
You know, they're buying new things. They've gotten a lot of money as you referenced, you know, the five to 0 20, 30 to 60% of the economy in the us is going to be driven by people 50 plus. And that'll include, that'll include the millennials who are going to be hitting 50 plus. And so we have this old fashioned construct. And so what happens is we create self-imposed, age-ism on ourselves. We start saying, well, I have to start behaving this way, because I'm now 60. Or I have to start dressing this way. And I like to say, we need to blow that up because it's no longer a to quilt it's person appropriately. And those are the things. Yeah. So, you know, we, we take on these behaviors that we self impose on ourselves and we have to stop and say, well, wait a minute. Why? You know, when I, when I turned 60, I ran a marathon on Antarctica and wow, wow, you did that at 16. And I said, yeah, but hold on a minute, I was in Toronto running the Toronto marathon, and I watched the first 100 year old person cross the finish line of the Toronto marathon, the first a hundred year-old whoever ran a marathon in the world gesture.

Great Voisen:
Yeah. And I know that, you know, it's I'm an avid cyclist in a friend invited me to go on this thousand mile bike ride down in New Mexico, and it's all planned and everything, and I'm going to do it. And the reality is, is that, you know, at, at any age, if you've maintained your health, you said it earlier all of these things are possible. You know, we're seeing octogenarians running marathons and running ultra marathons. And, you know, it's, it's just there for you. But, and then the flip side of the coin is, like you said, the nightly news is focused on and is feeding a story that you're old and you need this pill because you have restless leg syndrome, or you have something. And then the side effects are so worse that you know, that you're doing it, but they're trying to sell you something to say, Hey, we can make you better.

And for some of those people, and I think better is a mindset and it's not buying into what society has done break the status quo. You know, that that's, what's going on here in the conclusion to your book, you state that it doesn't matter how old we are. Just like you said a second ago, because we can begin at any age. I think you can begin this in your sixties, seventies, eighties, wherever, what are three takeaways that you'd want to leave the audience with in embracing who they are what they would like to become and what contribution they can still make in the world, no matter what their age.

Michael Clinton:
No. Good. It's a good question. You know, I think that I'm going to go to the construct of taking the first step and, you know, one of those things taking the first step is going back to your younger self. And what is it in your younger self that you gave up that you abandoned? And, you know, there's a great story in the book of a guy named Rob Smith, who was a very successful executive. And it's in his fifties, just sort of said this, you know, this is not working for me anymore. And he went off and took a trip. Then he was in south American, Peru, and he went through that aisle washer. I'm going to mispronounce it ceremony, which is kind of like a, almost like a whole listen to Janet. I watched a thank you. And he said he was sitting on a rock and he looked across the water and he saw his 13 year old self. And he said, I'm so sorry that I left you.

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I am honored to have another returning guest for this podcast, my good friend Jack Elias. My  first podcast interview with him was about his book entitled “Finding True Magic” in 2010 and in this podcast, we are going to be speaking about this new book that he co-authored with his wife Ceci Miller entitled “The Outrageous Guide to Being Fully Alive: Defeat Your Inner Trolls and Reclaim Your Sense of Humor”

Jack Elias, CHT is the founder and director of the Institute for Therapeutic Learning, a Washington State licensed vocational school offering Transpersonal Hypnotherapy/NLP Certification trainings, seminars and mentorship programs.

If you want to know more about Jack Elias and his books, his coaching and training sessions, please click here to be directed to his website.

I hope you enjoy this engaging and informative interview with author Jack Elias. You may also refer to the transcripts below for the highlights of the interview. Please leave a reply in the comment box if you want to request for the transcripts of the full interview.

Happly listening!

Greg Voisen:
Welcome back to Inside Personal Growth. This is Greg Voisen, the host of Inside Personal Growth. And I have a returning guest, Jackie Elias, and his wife, Ceci Miller actually wrote this new book. He is up in the Seattle area called The Outrageous Guide to Being Fully Alive: Defeat Your Inner Trolls and Reclaim Your Sense of Humor. Love the title, Jack . good day to you. How are you doing?

Jack Elias:
I'm great. Thanks for having me back.

Greg Voisen:
Well, it's good to have you back. Jack. I've known you quite some time and you've got a long history with your wife Ceci in doing workshops and seminars and counseling and transpersonal hypnosis and hypnotherapy. What is it that you've learned from your clients and that you can share with us that have created really rapid results for your clients? And then in inspired you really to write this book, The Outrageous Guide to Being Fully Alive.

Jack Elias:
So as I consider my work, the evolution of my work, based on the experience with clients and how people tend to think complexity is important. And to be able to think in complex ways is important. A lot of what contributes to that as a lot of the way the way that psychological theory and ideas about psychotherapy are transmitted. People like to talk in very complex ways and have lots of complex labels. People come to me all the time with labels, for their afflictions, and they feel like they're a victim of these things and that's how it's presented to them. So, what became quickly apparent to me that the most important thing to help people is to recognize that language is hypnotic. That, our subconscious self-talk is hypnotic. That language, if not from outside or inside, and that if you get a label we're taught that nouns are things.

So you get a label that was a subtle hypnotic suggestion there that you're dealing with a thing. When in reality, there are no things there's just activity, but if you're given a label, now you think there's something outside of you, something outside of you that you have to struggle with. Whereas the, the truth is you are creating what you're experiencing. So I turn people's attention towards connecting with the awareness that they're the creator and what are they doing to create the profits. Like initially people would come to me and many people say, well, I don't know about hypnosis, or I don't think you can hit and ties me. I've been to other hypnotists and they haven't been able to hypnotize me. And I just say too late, too late, your problem is a freestanding hypnotic state. And they quickly get that and it energizes them and it gives them hope because now it's not something outside of them. That's afflicting them. They can, they can quickly that they're creating this, which means they can change it.

Greg Voisen:
I love what you say because literally they've created their own hypnotic state, which they were denying. They would alter as a result of working with you. And that phrase, you said, can you repeat it again? Cause I think it's really important.

Jack Elias:
Which one?
Greg Voisen:
What you tell them.

Jack Elias:
Language is inherently hypnotic. You're creating your experience of your issue. It's not a thing that's afflicting you. It’s like you're slapping your own self in the face. But you're being told that the pain is coming from this label syndrome.

Greg Voisen:
You speak about expectations and the correlation to having anxiety and stress in our lives. That is a big factor for anybody listening to the show. Because nobody's immune from it. We're not immune from anxiety. But taking this Zen Buddhist approach, which you do, and I would as well, not every listener would, what advice can you give our listeners about falling into the expectation trap and what are the three insights in gaining clarity about expectations? Because look, you know this, and I know it. And I think a lot of our listeners know it, but if they set themselves up by saying, I want a particular outcome, and it doesn't happen that way, that actually creates anxiety. And that creates stress. But people are doing that all day long every day, Jack that's like, Hey, I expect that someone's going to behave in a certain way, or I expect my business is going to go this way. And it doesn't. What are those three insights that you can impart on our listeners?

Jack Elias
I'll tell you the insights, but it's more important to get the background from which they arise so the insights are there in the book, our confusion about ownership, confusion about adulthood and confusion about performance. And these are all just different aspects of a dysfunctional hypnotic suggestions. All of our thinking any self-conscious thinking is a hypnotic suggestion, as opposed to being reality. So what you said is, is at the root, when you said people and immediately take it personally, like when I said slapping yourself in the face that they're going to think, oh, I'm the problem. This is the route. This book is based on a paradigm I've created from the 18 types of confusion that create all of our suffering and we use the word confusion all the time, but because we don't appreciate really the power of language, we don't examine words that we should examine. And this is a crucial one, confusion con means with, fusion means poor together. So you get a state of confusion and suffering, anytime you pour things together that don't go together. So the root confusion of these 18 types is pouring worth of being together with judged performance. Everything you just said was in the context of believing that the worth of your being is at stake in terms of how your performance turns out, how it's judged. That's a delusion.

Greg Voisen:
Now, Jack, if the listeners would like to end their day free of stress and anxiety what recommendations do you have that hypnosis can help them with? In other words, they want to wake up, hopefully stress-free and they want to go to sleep stressfully stress-free and anxious. What do you, what recommendations do you have?

Jack Elias:
Would I would phrase it as practicing de hypnosis. You don't want to have moralistic gratitude, which means you're trying to be a good boy or a good girl. And moralistic gratitude is in the framework of beliefs, religious beliefs, whatever social beliefs, family beliefs, actual gratitude is based on what we said before is recognizing that you are literally being birthed moment by moment. We're not deciding to be able to see right now, we're not deciding to have conscious intelligence. We're not deciding to digest their food like a good one. Every moment we are being fully manifest all these millions of coordinated processes that we just experienced at a superficial level of I'm here. I'm me. And I have, I can see and feel my body that's based on millions of coordinated experiences that are being gifted to us moment by moment. So you want to de hypnotize yourself to who you think you are and what you think your life is and practice your friend is right. It's all about practicing, developing habitual sanity. So habitual sanity is practicing, remembering and developing a felt sense, not just an intellectual idea, but a felt sense that you're being birthed, that you're being given the gift of life, breath by breath, heartbeat by heartbeat, and make the effort to deconstruct all the speedy thinking of your hypnotic self so that you come back to your natural, effortless flowing self.

Greg Voisen:
Jack, thanks for being on Inside Personal Growth.
Jack Elias:
Can I add one more thing quickly?

Greg Voisen:

Jack Elias:
Create a, create a file on your phone that says you deserve your love and respect as much as anyone in the universe. And so that you see that every time you open up your phone, that's a, that's a teaching of the Buddha. You deserve your own love and respect as much as anyone in the universe. And that includes the Buddhists you deserve love and your love and respect as much as anyone in the universe, we learn through habituation. So if you every day, just see that takes five seconds, but you do it like say a hundred times a day, day by day, it will change you

Greg Voisen:
And Jack. Namaste to you. Thank you for being on the show again and bringing some of your wisdom and insights. And I think my listeners definitely appreciate that.

Jack Elias:
Thank you. Thanks for having me
-End-

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I have a returning guest for this podcast and we are honored to have him back in the show, Dr. Eric Maisel. I originally interviewed Eric when we discussed his newly released book “Life Purpose Boot Camp” in 2015.

He is returning for this podcast to discuss one of his most current book entitled “The Power of Daily Practice: How Creative and Performing Artists (and Everyone Else) Can Finally Meet Their Goals”.

Dr. Eric Maisel is the author of more than 50 books and has delivered lectures worldwide. If you want to learn more about Dr. Eric Maisel please click here to be redirected to his website. You may also visit this website to know more about his coaching programs, training sessions and courses.

I hope you enjoy this informative interview with author Dr. Eric Maisel. You may also refer to the transcripts below for the highlights of the interview. Please leave a reply in the comment box  if you want to request for the transcripts of the full interview.

Happly listening!

Greg Voisen:
Welcome back to Inside Personal Growth. This is Greg Voisen, the host of Inside Personal Growth. Today. We have Eric, Maisel joining us from Walnut Creek. Here's one of his most current books. He has over 50 books. And I'm going to read a little bit about him. It's called The Power of Daily Practice: How Creative and Performing Artists and quote Everyone Else Can Finally Meet Their Goals. Eric, you speak about the varieties of daily practice because that's kind of an integration and you call it your recovery practice, speak with us if you would about this recovery practice, because there are many of these, like you just mentioned, we know family members who talk about craving, obsession, compulsion, dependency, addiction, whatever. Speak with us about the recovery, because when you talk recovery, you're usually talking about something on the opposite side, which is addiction addicted to something to get rid of it.

Eric Maisel:
So as folks who know 12 step programs, one of the ideas of 12 step programs is first things first, one day at a time, the idea that you have to pay attention to the work you're doing in recovery, to make sure that you don't slip on any given day. It's not something you can push off to the side. And so to speak, forget about, you have to remember that you are, whatever it is you are, drinking alcoholically or whatever your challenges, you have to every day, realize that you're trying to deal with that challenge. And that's why the idea of recovery merits naturally with the idea of daily practice. It's something we should be thinking about every day. For creatives, the recovery practice is interesting because it in a way flies in the face of a creativity practice, because the tasks of early recovery are to stay calm and to not be too ambitious, not to generate a lot of energy in yourself, not to start getting your engine worrying, whereas for a creative person, that's exactly what that creative person wants to do. That's a long, it's a long, good way of saying in early recovery creatives have to be less ambitious than they want to be. If you think about it, you've been drinking alcoholically, you've been falling down. You haven't been writing your novel. Now, suddenly you're in early recovery, you have 20 days of sobriety. Now you want to suddenly get to your novel with this 23 characters. Well, actually you kind of better turn to a short story and your novel with 23 characters, it's better to be modest there in early recovery in terms of the tasks you set yourself than to be suddenly in modest and narcissistic and grandiose and all those words. And suddenly think that because you have 17 days of recovery behind you, you're now equal to doing a lot of this energetic work. This is a way that these practices go together so to speak because you can have your daily creativity practice where you do rev up, maybe followed by or proceeded by your recovery practice, where you do your big book work. If you're working a 12 step program, whatever it is that amounts to your recovery program, this gives you your daily way of attending to that.

Greg Voisen:
So speak with us. If you would about the mindset that people need to create. I want to mention all my listeners that in every one of these chapters, there's food for thought. So what Eric gives you is four to five questions to be thinking, to reflect upon. And on this one, are you regularly challenged by your mindset? Are you specifically challenged by your mindset when it comes to your daily practice and what might you try to meet the challenge? I love the questions because they're very stimulating.

Eric Maisel:
So this will also preview, I think another chat that we'll have down the road for another book I have coming out called The Redesign Your Mind, and that that book comes out in a bit. And so you change your mindset by literally changing your mind, which sounds crazy. How do you do that? Well, if you visualize your mind as a room, if you use that metaphor, the room, that is your mind and you go in there, so to speak again, metaphorically and make changes like install windows so a breeze can blow through or repaint the wall so they're no longer dingy gray, but a bright white or whatever it might be. Remove that bed of nails that you sleep on and put in an easy chair. These are all metaphors, but they're metaphors that speak to the idea that you can change the insides of your mind, at least to the extent of visualizing difference and having a more positive, calm, for instance, visualize a calmness switch that you flip when you were talking about the energy needed to do the works. Well, this is one of those tricks or tactics to have to be in the right place. Energetically is to flip a condom, calm the switch, and decide to be calmer, decide that there'll be fewer dramas in your life, decide that there'll be less histrionics and all of that. So these different visualizations of flipping a calmness switch or repainting the walls or installing start installing windows or whatever the visualization is, speaks to an idea that we can actually think about our current mindset and make changes. It's not actually that hard to visualize the change. It's again, as you were, you were saying just kind of the willingness or, or taking the time to do that kind of thing. In conversations with people, they discover that they can repaint their walls in a split second and suddenly feel a little less depressed or despairing just by suddenly having yellow walls rather than gray walls. It sounds not too exciting as an idea, but in fact, it works wonders if a person is willing to try it.

Greg Voisen:
Again, a goal is defined in the mind by the vision to say, I've got to get there. Now that doesn't mean that it was influenced by the outside world. Maybe it was influenced by something that brings you pleasure. Frequently I find people are chasing goals that are not pleasurable and it doesn't mean just monetary goals. It just means goals. Let's take, for instance, the correlation between somebody saying you're going to lose 30 pounds and what you have to do to lose 30 pounds, what steps need to be taken to lose that 30 pounds and frequently they see the gap as being too much. So they never start, or if they do start, they get sidetracked because it's so easy to see that piece of cake or that pie or that whatever it is to do that. What advice would you have that around meaningful, meaningful, and heartfelt and sincere goals that one would write in harmony with their life to actually say, Hey, my ego beats up on me enough, I'm enough the way I am. Because I find that frequently that is the problem.

Eric Maisel:
Well, one of the things I would say for my creative clients who are trying to decide about their goals is to remember what they loved when they were five or six or seven. I think those are the truest loves actually. And actually stay with us our whole lives. If we remember sitting in a corner, reading a book at the age of five and being transported somewhere. Well, that's the motivation to write our novel. It's not about bestseller or what have you it's to give someone else that experience some other five-year-old or 35 year old, the experience of being transported by a book. It might've been a movie we saw in a darkened theater, and now we want to be a cinematographer. So, this is just one piece of a puzzle, but one piece of the puzzle is to reconnect with, or get back in touch with our most genuine loves. And I think those loves were really spontaneous. No one, no one told us to love a book or no one told us to love a movie. Just when that TV came on and the movie started we fell in love with what we're seeing. So that that's one piece of this puzzle is to organize your goals around your, I almost want to say ancient loves or youthful loves or childhood loves because those are probably good guideposts for what to set as goals.

Greg Voisen:
So any last words you have Eric about the book, practices, challenges that you'd like to impart on our listeners?

Eric Maisel:
Well, because I work with creative performing artists primarily, I like to remind them that the issue isn't losing a day here or there it's that if you don't become very consistent and regular in your practice, you really won't get your work done. You'll lose an awful lot of time. A decade will go by. You'll be disappointed. And you won't exactly know how it was that you didn't get your novel written or your paintings painted. So it's not so much daily practice. It's the idea of regular persistent every day as close to everyday practice, as you can get for the sake of doing the things that really matter to you.

Greg Voisen:
Well, that's a good way to sum this up. And for my listeners, you can see my little notes here. This is Eric Maisel, PhD. His book is The Power of Daily Practice. This is a new world library book. Thanks for being on Inside Personal Growth and spending time with our listeners.

Eric Maisel:
Thanks for having me.

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If you would like to know more about the language of business transformation, you will definitely enjoy listening to my interview with Sam Palazzolo, the Founder and Managing Director of Tip of the Spear Ventures.

To know more about Sam and the Tip of the Spear Ventures, please click here to be directed to their website.

You may also click here to register for the 2021 Merger and Acquisitions Forecast that they offer and to get your free 128 question business transformation self-assessment.

Happy Listening!

Greg Voisen:
Welcome back to Inside Personal Growth. This is Greg Voisen, the host of Inside Personal Growth. And joining me from North Hollywood, is that right?

Sam Palazzolo:
West Hollywood.

Greg Voisen:
West Hollywood. I said North Hollywood, West Hollywood, California, for all of these, you're looking at this podcast either on our YouTube channel or you're hearing it, you obviously know where West Hollywood is, it's in California, is Sam Pallozano. And Sam has a company called Tip of The Spear Ventures. He reached out to us, and I was very impressed with what he's doing. One of the things to let my listeners know you can go up there and download your free 128 question business transformation self-assessment which we will direct them to in the blog as well. But I'm going to let the listeners know a little bit about you, Sam.

Greg Voisen:
He's an entrepreneur, a venture capitalist and author, a leader, professor non-profit philanthropist, and he brings a variety of value creation topics to entrepreneurs and business leaders. His ideas are actionable there's takeaways captured in the five books that he has written. And most recently the influential leader leading at the Tip of the Spear. He has a new book coming out at the beginning of next year, and we're going to kind of be dancing around with questions based on all of his books. But Sam has ideas basically from the influential leader. He's worked with the biggest of the biggest. He led a technology, SAS startup raising 8 million which was cutting edge technology. Sam's built a reputation as a successful investor having provided startup capital for several early stage ventures, as well as M and a activity.

He's also been invited to speak at some of the largest places around, including Amazon Starbucks, general mills, Microsoft Department of Defense, Harvard Business School, Dartmouth University Vanderbilt, and so on. He's graduated at Indiana University with a Bachelor's Degree in Business and Economics and Public Policy and received his MBA from Vanderbilt. And he's an accomplished additional graduate studies from the university of Texas, University of Michigan sales negotiation, Northwestern university on digital strategy and the University of London on business funding. Well, that's a big one. So how'd you find time to do all that Sam?

Sam Palazzolo:
Well, I think it's one of those things where somebody told me heading under the pandemic and thanks for having me, Greg, wouldn't it be a waste of time if we didn't do anything right. So, no, it's, it's through a series of really great friends, great recommendations from those friends and, and just I want to say a curiosity of, well, what is that and what does that look like and how can I potentially do something like that? That's, what's brought me on this journey throughout my business and professional career.

Greg Voisen:
Well, it's always about being curious. It starts with focus, goes to curious and then finding some passions and then coming up with your purpose. And you're definitely a purpose driven guy. And, you know, in the introduction we were reading your material and it was mentioned that your purpose in life is to have a positive difference on people around you. And to you use the platform? You have to make a positive difference in the world, obviously your philanthropic work as well. Can you tell our listeners a little bit more about yourself and the platform that you currently have to accomplish your purpose? Because if they go to tipofthespearventures.com you're going to see is advisory services is business equity, his blog and everything else he's got. And he's obviously on our platform because he wants to let our listeners know.

Sam Palazzolo:
Yeah, no, Greg, I, I think, you know, Tip of the Spear of Ventures is the firm that I founded in 2012 after I led the tech startup. We at the tech startup, it was a pretty much a 24-month type of a rocket ship ride. We had a successful private equity exit at the conclusion. And I said, that's, that's what I want to do. I want to, I'm going to launch a private equity firm. I know I have a financial background, full disclosure, so it wasn't quite the moonshot. It sounds like, but it Tip of the Spear. We very much have two sides of the house. We have a venture side of the house. We also have a consulting side of the house. I come from big consulting like Deloitte Dan's change management group or consulting services. As you mentioned, they surround the topic of business transformation.

Greg Voisen:
How is it that we can help accelerate businesses forward? We have a heavy sales biz dev focus therein, and the venture side of the house. We do a number of different things. We do early-stage seed funding for entrepreneurs that have a proven track record of a million-dollar annual revenue or more. We'll do some business funding consulting work on the venture side of the house, which consists of some customer funding options for those entrepreneurs. And then we also were really good M and a firm we're kind of late comers to the party, but we recognized like everybody, I think recognizes that we've got this really great demographic in America, the baby boomers who are going to be exiting the economy. And we want to make certain that if they don't have a clear line of succession outlined or identified, we want to be that clear line and we want to take their organizations forward and continue on with the legacy that those baby boomers, so rightly deserved over their years of ownership.

You mentioned some, the philanthropic work back in 2017 as a result of my I'm an adjunct faculty member. I've taught at the collegiate level since 2008. I teach over at UNL V the university of Nevada Las Vegas, which is an exec ed course based off of the book I wrote in 2018 called leading at the tip of the spear of the leader. And that was really an impetus for me to form a five one C3 nonprofit. We call it the javelin Institute. You'll notice that there's a lot of either spear throwing, javelin, chucking. You can call it whatever you want to, but we try to put it into this category of, you know, we're trying to do something that is really to the benefit of an executive offering to leaders. We really want a portion of our proceeds to benefit a certain population. And the population that we identified are leaders who experienced family hardship, family hardship for me, boils down to a couple of different things like four DS death, disease, divorce, and or drugs. But we find that leaders who experienced those hardships experience, a deceleration in their performance and production, and they're just looking for a better way or how to get out of the funk. And we've been able to help those types of entrepreneurs and leaders get back on track. So that's a brief,

Greg Voisen:
It's good that you're giving back. And, you know, you talked about family offices and working with family offices, and I obviously have worked with some as well, and I understand the challenges that and that's a particular part of brown succession. You know, you have millions and millions of dollars being transferred from one generation to the next. You have family disputes situations where father and son, maybe aren't getting along, or father and daughter aren't getting along or whatever it might be. When you, when you address that situation, because there's a lot of psychology involved in that. I go to the family firm Institute meetings. And you know, when you go to those meetings, you see psychologists there, you see CPAs there, you see attorneys there. And obviously there's a, a non-disclosure policy about when you go to those meetings, what goes on? What, what do you think really sets you apart? Because when these family from offices and there'll be some people on this podcast, that'll be listening to this a couple in particular that I know that are avid fans of the show, what makes a tip of the spear, do what they do more effectively? And what do you do that? Let's say your competitors may or may not do because they certainly, they certainly don't need you for venture funding.

Sam Palazzolo:
No, they sure don’t, I think it's one of those things. And I think that, you know, at the heart of it is a strategic partnership relationship. You know, we always said that in a Kim's from the senior consultant, my senior partner that I worked with for years, who always had the mentality of, we want to be known as strategic partners, vendor is a bad word. We don't want to be known as that, but we want to be known as the group or top of mind, whereby you know, leaders who go into a Monday morning meeting come out of it, typically with a, oh no moment, which is I have more things on the to-do list than I'm ever going to get to. If only I knew somebody that I could offload some of this to-do list to, we want to be top of mind. So that way we're first call right out of that type of meeting.

And, and that strategic partner relationship is one that we take very seriously also say this much, that, you know, I kind of operate and it's instilled, it's part of our culture here at Tip of the Sphere, as well as over at the javelin Institute that we're just not going to talk theory. We're going to actually get into the trenches and we're going to roll up our sleeves. And most importantly, everything that we do has three categories or three levels to it. We have a strategic overview, we have a tactical, this is the architecture of the blueprint or the playbook that we're going to operate in. And then we've got an actionable, this is exactly what it is we're going to do step-by-step and let's go to work and let's do it and check in accountability wise on it. So those three layers are a different,

Greg Voisen:
Help them with the eminent, just paraphrase this because Jim Huling was just on you know, the four disciplines of execution. You come out of a meeting and you're like, hey, wait. You know, I've got to focus on my wildly important goals. And then I have to execute on them and I have to keep a scoreboard. And after somebody have helped me do that. So, I can appreciate that that level of a coaching slash consulting slash advising is super important. Because when you look in most of these businesses, they'll create way more initiatives than they can actually complete, can complete. And many of them are kind of nonsensical. And so, you have to get down to what's the most important. And, you know, you mentioned there's typically two types of business transformation moments for leaders that they now face. And I think more than ever you know, I'm, I'm doing interviews now and it seems to be, there's a lot of books that have come out. I'm looking at a few on the side of my desk. One is called Rogue Waves, and then another one is by two Deloitte partners called Provoke. And the reality is, is that we're seeing so many of this futurist predicting the Rogue Waves. How are you seeing around corners? What are the two types that you talk and why are those so important to business and how do you help your clients see around corners to actually predict what might be coming or the rogue wave that could really upset their business?

Sam Palazzolo:
Yeah. I think we had a conversation yesterday with one of the leaders that we work with. Totally overwhelmed, totally underwater was concerned about, you know, everything, including their career. They felt like was in extreme jeopardy. And I hate to sound cliche, but it comes down to the business basics. Everybody's looking for the magic pill. Everybody wants to know how can we run the best practice. But in order to do that, you've got to do the block and the tackle, right. And the basics of business and the basics of operations. And, and so what it comes down to is identifying not only what it is that has to be done, but the prioritization in which those steps need to occur. And then it's a matter of going and executing across those steps. We see it time. And again, with the leaders that we work with, you know, I am an accountant by training. So, you hit on the concept of dashboards just to make certain that you're on time and on target approaching destination. That's a key element. But the thing that we also see, and this is not an advanced play, but maybe it isn't advanced play. And that is, there seems to be a breakdown in the communication chain from top of the organization to bottom of the organization, the message that originates from the top very rarely gets communicated clearly and concisely to the members at the bottom of the org chart. So those are a couple of areas

Greg Voisen:
What would you say Sam about = keeping that passion because it's, you know, look it's, if you don't manage your energy as an entrepreneur or somebody, and you've got all these players in your organization, it doesn't matter what size it is, but let's just say in upper management, 10, 15, 20 people in a small company and their companies, you know, many, many more. But the point is, is that as we've gone through this pandemic, and I'm not going to blame it on the pandemic, but as we've gone through these economic challenges that people have faced, they're also being faced with, how do I continue to inspire, not motivate, inspire keep the passion and align all the players toward a single vision that we want to accomplish. Because if that vision isn't compelling for everybody on the team to want to work after it becomes very watered down and, and you get you get real challenges, what do you guys do to help do that?

Sam Palazzolo:
Yeah, I, I think that within each leader's mind, there needs to be determination of with their team members. Is there an unwillingness or is there an unable moment, the unable moment that falls back on us as leaders, right? Greg, if somebody is not able to perform or conduct a task, either we didn't with clarity, provide them with direction and what it is that we want them to do and clarify expectations. Maybe they don't have the training to do it appropriately, or maybe they just don't have the resources, the technology, the equipment, those types of things, any of those unable moments. Again, those fall back squarely on the shoulders of the leader. I say there needs to be a determination between the unable, the inability or the unwillingness, because if you identify somebody as being unwilling, it's one of those situations where you, this is on the leader's shoulders to reassign or remove that type of an associate,

Greg Voisen:
But they have such a hard time extracting them. I use the term consciously incompetent. You know, I see a lot of conscious incompetence and because of their, how do I want to say it? I don't even use the word faithfulness, but you know, when you've had somebody who's been with you 10 years and they, that their position has been outgrown, right. And they really can't manage that position because the growth of the business has been more exponential than their ability to manage. What advice do you have for those kind of people listening in today?

Sam Palazzolo:
Okay. Yeah. We see, we see different leadership skills or muscles need to be flexed at different revenue, achievement levels. And there's certain plateaus, right? There's a million-dollar plateau. We see leaders needing to have different muscles flexing. Then at 10 million, it's a different set of muscles, a lot of what needed to be flexed at the million, but at a whole host of additional ones. So on and so forth, we see these different revenue plateaus. I'll put it to you this way. One of, one of my favorite leaders, I had a conversation with him. I asked one of my favorite questions, which is what are, what's one thing about your leadership style that you would change? And his response to me was, you know, I probably believe too much, I believe in the good of my associates and that they're going to go out each and every day and they're going to do good work.

It's that belief system that holds me back because I know this unwilling, unable moment. We have that conversation as well. He said, I know I need to get rid of folks. He said, but if I'm wrong for holding onto a person for too long, I'll take that. I can sleep better at night. I know that before I remove them or allow them the opportunity to be successful somewhere else that I tried everything that I could to prop that person up and to make them a better employee. I also know this much, and this is kind of my philosophy as well. I adopted it from him that every person that comes to work here, whether they stay for a couple of weeks, or if they stay for a couple of decades, each person is going to leave a better individual because they've had exposure and experiences with me. And yeah, it's, it's a great mentality to have.

Greg Voisen:
So you know what? We see more and more especially in the age in which we've entered into with high-tech arena is the entrepreneur. If you would, and this isn't about hiring practices, per se, we know that the talent search that's going on out there is massive right now. And that there's a lack of talent in every area. I mean, it goes all the way down to companies. I'm advising that are doing landscape maintenance, right? With hundreds of employees, all the way up to companies like Adobe and Google and wherever who, my son, who's an executive at Adobe constantly putting out messages. Do you know anybody who kind of thing? Cause we're looking right, right. And so, where do you believe? Or what advice might you give somebody who's, you know, looking at their org chart saying, man, I got 10 positions to fill and I really need to fill these with great, great people, but those people don't exist in my organization. Right. I'm not moving them from within, I'm getting them from outside. Yes.

Sam Palazzolo:
Certainly. You know, and at certain levels in an organization promote from within is always the best policy. So, we see that time. And again, being something that organizations typically don't do really well. I mean, you know, one of the organizations that we worked with, I asked what is your promotion policy? And one of the leaders quit back, screw up, move up. In other words, if you screw up, that tends to be the thing that gets you recognition. And while in most organizations, it might be recognized negatively in our organization. It's recognized positively, we're going to give you a promotion. It was one of those things where it took a hot second to be able to sit back and go, okay, if that's the culture that we're attempting to get our arms around here, how do we harness that? They by the way you talked about entrepreneurs, they ended up creating one of the better innovation labs of all the organizations that we worked with, primarily because they had people who were without fault or fear able go out, put themselves in tremendously uncomfortable positions and see what happens. And it was a big spaghetti throwing at a wall contest, but they just didn't have that culture that led them to perceive that, you know, if I make a mistake, I'm going to be I'm out of here on the next train. It wasn't that way at this organization at all.

Greg Voisen:
Rusty Gillibrand was on about his book called Breaking the Code. Now Rusty's pretty unusual guy, always top of his class, the, a student and most of these organizations are looking for the AA students. They're looking for the Magna Laude guys. They're looking for those kinds of people. Rusty was the worldwide finance director for apple for many, many years, and went in and said, Hey, I'm basically not going to do that anymore. And when he got demoted, because they wanted to put him up, he says, you're taking up too much of my time. And I'm taking away from my family. And as it ended out, he ended up divorcing his wife and all kinds of other things happen in the process. But he became a transformational coach. Now, what I found very interesting, a worldwide finance director for apple computer worked his way up all the way through those ranks to get to that level tells him, Nope, no more promotion, because now you want me to work at night and we contact people in China and be all over the place and I'm never going to be at home. How do you help people find that balance? Sam, what is the, the magic elixir where somebody like that, who they lost, which was a big loss basically says Sayonara what are you telling people about balancing their life and the companies helping the people balance?

Sam Palazzolo:
You know, I think it's one of those situations where when it comes to leadership is a chair that very rarely gets sit empty for any length of time. In other words, there's always willing to someone to come and want to sit into it. Not that leadership is a game of musical chairs either, but it's relatively easy to find folks who want to escalate in their career. They might not be the best choice, but typically we find in organizations, there's not a difficult moment to try to have people scale up to that leadership chair. What's, what's interesting though, in the story that you had talked about, we ran into this with one of our client organizations as well, where they had a senior sales leader. The gentlemen were, you know, he was promoted to the position. He was good with working with other people, but he was fantastic at selling and the vacuum that he left when he was promoted, there, there was no backfill for, I mean, they needed to have at least five people do what this one individual did before the leader who was promoted.

Also, he was miserable while he loved selling. He hated selling people to sell. If that was the way he put it, you know, he needed the coaching and the, just the, the labor involved with being a leader he didn't enjoy. And it was one of those things where it takes a really special leader to recognize within their organization when they do promote people that if it's not working for those folks, you've got to allow them the opportunity to graciously go back and perform at the level that they were at before. It's not one of those things from a leadership, you know, escalation trying to get people into a leadership role. And then once you're there, you've got to prove yourself at that level.

Greg Voisen:
I like what you said, but what Rusty told me is he did go back and it was a dead end job. Now, while that was the case, you know, reality is like, you're promoted, worldwide finance director. You have all these other commitments, but by the way, it's too much of a demand on my personal life. I want to go back to where I was. I go back to where I am and you realize, I can't imagine myself walking in this door every day, doing the same thing that I was doing. And there's got to be something more to life. So, you quit, and you leave an empty void in a leadership position and you go become a transformational coach. Which many of the people at apple said to him, Hey, we're really interested. Half of them. He said, thought he was absolutely crazy to give up such a prestigious job. You know, the reality is, is that we have this trajectory in life. And I want you to go through this because you are you numerated strategy, execution, cashflow, and people as four dimensions of business transformation, excellence, and leadership under-performance in any of these dimensions could be problematic. We're just talking about under-performance in any of them. What recommendations do you have to avoid that underperformance in any of those areas?

Sam Palazzolo:
Yeah, I, again, I think it's a combination play of a multiple different processes and procedures coming together and people pulling the talents for most of the organizations that we work with. You know, what it really comes down to is their ability to find those business transformation moments, the things that they're doing well. And to scale those up even more rapidly, what we found is that, and you hit on the people element. You know, we had an organization who would tell us to our face. People are our most important asset and that's a cliche and that's something that they probably read somewhere, or maybe they went to one of those great consulting groups to help them create that type of a mission, vision value statement and how it is that they should operate. So what we typically find is that there's not a great impetus put if they say that within the people's, for example, either from a hiring perspective up front, within the people entree path into the organization, maybe they're looking and excluding out some really quality folks you were talking about A-plus talent.

Every organization wants a plus talent. I'm not saying that you need to scale back to see talent, but there's probably some people who maybe they don't test. Well, maybe they, instead of going to the best universities, have some great experiences or maybe yet get this, they have the desire. It's the college graduate experience time. And again, where they can't get the job because they don't have the experience, but they can't get the experience because they don't have the job. It's a doubt dog, chase, tail, tail chase, dog moment. Right? The other thing though, is that once you have that, those people assets onboarded into the organization, we could talk for hours about the onboarding and what's effective versus ineffective. It's how do you keep them and how do you get them to really perform at peak performance levels? We typically, and through, through any number of different assessments that we might work with the organization, we find that potential can be really high, but we're performances is usually subservient to that potential level. It's how do you close that gap in between potential and performance? That's where we spend a lot of time with the leaders that we work with.

Greg Voisen:
That's really, that's very good. And it's a good point that you make is closing the gap. And I think there are many gaps. You know, you presented a three-stage slash step approach to business transformation that can lead to success. Can you share those steps with the audience and maybe elaborate on that a little bit more? Yeah,

Sam Palazzolo:
Sure do. And I know we'll put it in the show notes because this business transformation approach, we have a one-page overview on it for us, it comes down to, you've got to be able to see you've then got to be able to do. And then you've got to ensure that what you're seeing and doing is delivering the results you want. So, see, do deliver. Those are our three steps to business transformation.

Greg Voisen:
Awesome. Now, so as a leader, transformative communication, we just talked about the breakdown in communication, and we see this happening all over. When communication breaks down, it costs companies lots of money and you were talking about human capital, and it also really messes with the performance level of people. And meaning, you know, if you're looking for, for porn for performance here, it's usually way down here when we have bad communication. Communication is probably the most powerful tool. I just had Maryanne O'Brian on called the elevated communicator assignment, and she used her book. Great, great book. Can you help tell us what kind of strategies you would implement to help people become better listeners and better communicators within the organization?

Sam Palazzolo:
I look at communication as one of those projects that it probably is the most often overlooked portion of any project. In other words, we'll spend hours in a wardroom writing on every white board and even non whiteboard insight regarding what the process and the procedures should look like. We have at times helped clients put together what were artful. I mean, they were almost Shakespearian action plans. What it was we were going to do, who was going to do them and by when the, the ultimate action plans, but the thing that most organizations don't spend a lot of time is figuring out what's our communication channel going to be. It's one of Kotter's original eight steps in his change management group from Harvard and the communication channel should be looked at just like a process or procedure should be looked at the tip though, is that it just because you come out with what the communication plan should be, it also means that you've got to build some variability into it. So, in other words, some contingency plans, if you can, future forecast what it is that is going to be said, and most importantly, how it's going to be heard and then provide almost a series of frequently asked questions in advance of that, build out your contingencies. Those are the key steps to having effective communication and organization.

Greg Voisen:
Yeah. Everybody in communication, Sam usually is looking at the now you know, it's, it's what happened immediately. Now let's address it because pants are on fire because now, we have to come up with a solution for it. And you see this happen time and time again. And I love the fact that you looked into the future and look for the contingencies. That's really important. Now I mentioned this once before, and I won't mention any more than this because you know, COVID-19 Delta, variant, whatever you want. We've obviously had lots of changes. And I just had April Rennie on here for her book called flux, the eight superpowers to thrive doing constant change. There can't be a time where we've seen more change than what we've seen is you and I in my lifetime, I'm 67 to actually see, you know, huge changes in business. What tips can you share with the leaders to get started on business transformation? And I'm not even going to say in a post pandemic situation here because none of us really knows where this is all going, but the reality is it's starting to look a lot better. Let's just say that.

Sam Palazzolo:
Yup. I think that there's a great Lennon quote, not John Lennon, but Lennon from Marxist, correct. Who said there are decades where nothing occurs in weeks where decades occur something to that effect. And that's really what the pandemic has caused. I mean, there's, there's a massive acceleration and what it is and how it is that people behaved, you know, for, for us, we tend to break down business transformation, along six different variables. We talked about people that are one of those variables. There's another one though that has to do with owning the change yesterday, we did a workshop with a client. And one of the things that we worked on was how is it that they can put together their best strategies for moving forward? And the concept that I'll share with you and with your listeners, Greg, is termed future foresight. We know that hindsight is perfect, 20, 20 clarities.

And what if you could, as a leader have that same type of 2020 vision not looking back forward, but instead looking forward. Right? Correct. And that's the challenge that we put out there. And that's what the organization is looking for leaders to do. It's one of the keys to creating successful business transformation. You know, we talked a lot about communication today and describing where it is that you want to go. It's not necessarily selling the dream as much as it is sharing the dream and the vision that the leader has, but it is one of those things where that type of future foresight, that 20, 20 clarity of vision and the be able to communicate effectively with where it is that you're going. That's another one of the keys that we've found in helping businesses transform for the better.

Greg Voisen:
Well, and I, and I'm going to use this analogy again, because the looking at the book, but, you know, the reality is this rogue wave, they come up and you can either ride the top of it or your ship can sink, right? And the reality is identifying the factors that could have an effect, whether it's digital technology or it's a transformation in this area, or it's something that's going to actually impact your business. Now you're, you know, tip of the spear is all about transforming businesses, which means addressing a wide variety of topics. And a lot of them very challenging to, to put your hands around, you know, people are listening to this podcast and they're going, wow, these guys have talked about a lot. If you were going to leave our listeners with two points and from a consultant standpoint and they're business owners are, they’re all entrepreneurs.

And I don't care what size business it is, because most of the advice you give can apply to almost any size business of a listener out there today. What would you say from all the books you've written, all the courses you've taught, all the philanthropy work you've done given the current state of the economy and the pandemic is getting better and where we're all heading. What advice would you have for the person right now, sitting there going, wow, this has been a great podcast. I learned a lot, but what can I apply today? What can I take away that Sam can tell me that I could actually take some action? You know, action is a sign of intelligence, right?

Sam Palazzolo:
No, I I'll go back to, I'll go back to some of the work that we did when I was with Toyota Lexus. We did some work with Marcus Buckingham of the Gallup group. This was right around the time that mark was launching the strength finder assessment. And Marcus had something very interesting to say about strengths versus weaknesses, because we always perceive that, you know, if you try, try, try, you'll, you'll be able to eventually do, do, do, and you'll win win-win. Marcus, his perception was that you should focus solely on your strengths if you do, and your weaknesses become irrelevant. In other words, the little train that could, it should stay in the Depot. And if trains, what trains do best is they haul heavy loads. That should be left up to real big trains, real big engines, right? Not little trains that could so focus on your strengths, your weaknesses will become irrelevant.

That's the number one thing that I would say the second point though, Greg, is that you've got to figure out a way to measure, manage, and hold yourself accountable for the people that are disciplined out there. And I'm super fortunate. I have worked with a lot of us Navy seals and I've worked with some special forces, green Berets in the army. These are some of the best discipline people on the planet, but even they need help from an external source to help keep them on track. So, they achieve on target on time results, this dashboard, or the metrics, or the KPIs, not only identifying the criteria that you're going to hold yourself accountable to achieving, but having a third party, an external force, somebody that's not in between the six inches that make up your mind hold you accountable towards achieving those. That's where the magic tends to really take root. So those are the two points that I would say, focus on your strengths. Also identify those key metrics, have somebody help hold you accountable toward achieving that.

Greg Voisen:
And again, that comes back down to goals and proximal goals because the way you get there is by the small steps to achieve the bigger goal. I don't care if you're an Olympic athlete or what you are. You have to focus your time on what's important. And I think focusing out all the other bombardment of stuff that comes at us is probably the most challenging. You know, whether it's BJ Fogg with tiny habits, a new habit you're going to do, or James clear with atomic habits or whatever it might be. The reality is it's about changing a process in your life that will transform you and to get you to that area of what you really want. And then the key is knowing what the hell it is really want. I think a lot of us go through life, not really knowing, and you know that in itself, finding a purpose and saying, Hey, this is my life purpose, right?

It's not just my purpose today. This is something that I want to do the rest of my life. A lot of people never get there and their whole lifetime. But you bring up some very important points. And for my listeners, you know you need to go to the tip of the spear and, and you need to check out his website. There are some great blog entries there. You can learn about his advisory services. And I'm an encourage you because we're going to put a link this free 2021 report plus the 37-page assessment we'll have links to both of those, but this is a good way to get with them and then reach out. I hit the contact button reach out to Sam. He's there for you. No matter what size business you are, I'm sure he's the kind of guy who would be willing to take your call.

Sam Palazzolo:
Well, thank you so much, Greg. Thanks for having me. My mother, my mother told me one time that one of my cousins was having a difficult time reaching me. And I said, mom, I don't know how that can be. I just had a conversation with the gentleman who was in internationally. He was overseas in Australia and he found my phone number on our website. If you can't find it, there's probably an issue I said, so I'm not so certain how hard our cousin tried to get ahold of Sam, but I know that I'm a pretty public person, so I can, and I also operate from one of those mentalities, which you do. I know as well, Greg and I love it. It's the, if I can help, I will. If I can't, I probably know someone who can, so I'm a helper and a giver by nature, please outreach.

Greg Voisen:
Well, thank you, Sam. Namasay to you, thank you for being on inside personal growth and sharing some of your business expertise and knowledge as well as the transference of that. So, people can actually talk with you, set up a time for a consult and get together with you. Thanks so much.

Sam Palazzolo:
No, thank you, Greg.

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We live in a world where things are moving very quickly, and we are experiencing a tremendous change in our lives and businesses.  My guest on this podcast Jonathan Brill is a futurist and has written a new book entitled “Rogue Waves, Future-Proof Your Business to Survive & Profit from Radical Change.” 

In this podcast with Jonathan, we discuss the many factors that can create rogue waves that would affect your business adversely.  At this moment, rogue waves are forming under your business. Emerging technologies, changing demographics, the data economy, automation, and other trends are undercurrents of radical, systemic change–crashing into each other.  When they converge, they’ll produce sea changes that sink companies and wash away entire industries overnight.  If your competitor can’t ride out the next wave and you can, you win.

If you are interested in creating a practical action plan the would include: 1) identifying and capitalize on the 10 economic, technological, and social trends that will collide to reshape your business. 2) Create a culture of entrepreneurship and experimentation. 3) Build and scale leadership skills and processes to supercharge your company’s agility and adaptability–then you will want to listen to this engaging and inspiring interview with author and futurist Jonathan Brill.

Jonathan speaks about ‘resilient growth strategies” and breaks them down into the ABC’s which stand for 1) Awareness 2) Behavior and Culture.

With these three competencies, business leaders can transform massive change into outsized opportunities as deftly as most admired business icons of our generation.

To learn more about Jonathan Brill and this new book ” Rogue Waves” please click here to be directed to his website.

Happy Listening!