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The Growth Connection Episode 4

By Elizabeth Sande | Feb 22, 2021 | Comments Off

As leaders, you choose which emotions you unleash within your team, and we all know that a positive work environment increases employee loyalty, productivity and mental health. But how do you create and maintain that atmosphere?

Welcome to The Growth Connection, a podcast to help us all look forward to this year with a growth mindset. We'll feature interviews with cmi's elite roster of experts in the areas of diversity, leadership, the future, mentorship, performance, teamwork and inspiration.

On today's episode...

GC episode 4 FINAL

Take some time to learn how to create a Culture of Listening with Heather R Younger and Clint Pulver on this week's episode of The Growth Connection Podcast.

Heather R. Younger is an experienced keynote speaker, two-time author, and the CEO and Founder of Employee Fanatix, a leading employee engagement, leadership development, and DEI consulting firm, where she is on a mission to help leaders understand the power they possess to ensure people feel valued at work. As a champion for positive change in workplaces, communities, and our world, Heather delivers clear and purposeful strategies that drive real business results – such as increased employee engagement, loyalty, collaboration, and connectivity.

 

Clint Pulver is a motivational keynote speaker, author, musician, and workforce expert. As the president and founder of The Center for Employee Retention, Clint has transformed how corporations like Keller Williams, AT&T, and Hewlett Packard create lasting loyalty through his work and research as "The Undercover Millennial." Known as the Leading Authority on Employee Retention, Clint helps organizations retain, engage, and inspire their team members from the front desk to the board rooms and everyone in between. He expertly helps audiences navigate generational complexities, communication challenges, leadership missteps, and cultural cues.

 

Takeaways

  • How did Heather become known as The Employee Whisperer and how her unique insights builds stronger, more loyal teams
  • Why management shouldn't run away from tough conversations, especially during a pandemic
  • How to create your own culture of listening
  • Why delegation and communication are important to removing barriers in the workplace

Click below to listen!

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Transcript

Clint Pulver
Hey everybody what's going on? My name is Clint Pulver and I am so excited to have the amazing guest. Heather Younger is in the studio today, her virtual studio. I'm in my studio and we are kicking off this podcast series and Heather, I am so excited to be hanging with you this morning. How are you?

Heather R Younger
I'm doing great. It's beautiful. Beautiful. I'm in Colorado. It's a snowy day. So I'm having fun.

Clint Pulver
You guys have a lot of snow right now. Is it melted? Some is it?

Heather R Younger
No, it's snowing actively right now. You know, this is this is that time of year I want snow. It makes me feel kind of vibrant and upbeat. 

Clint Pulver
If it's gonna be cold, it might as well be beautiful cold right? And we're in Utah. So I'm not far from you. And yeah, I'm right there. I agree, you should at least have some snow.

Heather, you and I hang out in kind of the same space, this this world of employee loyalty and how to build organizations that people never want to leave? You are known as the employee whisperer. Tell us what that means. Where did that come from? A little bit of your background.

Heather R Younger
Okay, so the reason why I'm where I'm at right now is because some years ago, over the years, I've actually been managing people for a long, long time. And some years ago, I went through a merger of some companies. And during the merger, the I noticed that the culture was going downhill, no one was listening to employees, they really are the ones that are driving the business forward. And so what happened is, I could see the trust breakdown. And people from other teams would come to me and ask me what was happening, why weren't leaders communicating with them? And so I went, I was starting to feel down myself through the merger. And so I went to the head of HR. And I said, Listen, we have got to do something about our engagement, about our lack of trust and the fear that's brewing underneath the surface. And she said, You know what, you're right. You should go do something about that. I was like, Huh, I was leading customer experience at the time, not HR. And I said, Okay, I'm gonna go ahead and do it, I did it. Because I knew I had already been kind of a culture bear inside the organization, and people would come to me and they knew I would be there be a good voice for them. And I'd like to uplift people. So I did it. And within quick order, people started to trust each other, we made them start to interact with each other, we did fun games and things to bring them together. And, and it was right in that period, where I realized there was such a huge need for folks, somebody to be the voice for the people, for the employees who drive the business forward to the executive leaders who actually can do something about it something to really to change the experience for those people who are moving the bus forward. So I just chose to be that. So within about few months after we started, that's about six months after the council started, the merger didn't go all that well. And they did have to do a lot of layoffs. And I was in that first round. And even though it hurt at that point, I knew that it was I was called to do that work to be the voice for those who didn't ordinarily have a voice who felt a little hopeless and helpless, and be able to give that to those who could change it. So that's where I'm at today.

Clint Pulver
Amazing. And so since that point to where you are now, tell us a little bit about what you do for organizations, your your background and experience, obviously has, you've been doing this for how many years, Heather?

Heather R Younger
Well, me, I've been in this field for now about 10 years and been full time in my current role right now for about three years. So it's been a really interesting ride, I haven't looked back since I decided to go on my own. And what right now what we focus on was a focus on helping organizations create listening cultures. And so we do that through helping them with employee engagement surveys, focus groups, employee resource groups, and affinity groups within the diversity inclusion space. We also help obviously, I do executive coaching for leaders that really want to utilize me and my background. And then we do some training. And and of course, I'm a speaker. So all of these things are, are wrapped into one to really help organizations create better listening cultures.

Clint Pulver
And I think creating a better listening culture right now is so important. I mean, COVID-19 just disrupted so many different industries. There's obviously been some businesses that have thrived during this time. And then there's been businesses that are barely hanging on. What have you seen right now, during this time, that great leaders are great organizations have been doing to create a better listening culture? Because I think there's a you know, some listeners and people that have businesses, right, they have employees, and they're looking for ideas, how do we do that better? How do I obviously still maintain a business and function with profitability and productivity, marketing, but also how do I take care of my people? Because yes, they drive the business forward. So what have you seen and what would maybe be a few recommendations on how leaders can can do that better right now?

Heather R Younger
Well, it's interesting because I, you know, going back to why listening cultures why why is that the focus? It is because when we think about the people who are in the front line, oh, The frontline with our customers, the ones who know the most about the business, we need to be listening to them. They're the ones who know our customers best, our customers, the ones that pay our bills. So we're talking about profitability. If we aren't listening to the people who are closest to where the profit comes from, we are going to really see ourselves in a heap of trouble, right? So we want to make sure that we're listening first, when we are listening, listening at all levels of the organization, from the frontline, all the way up, we're able to then aggregate those voices in a way that speaks to us, helps us with strategy helps us actually helps us with productivity, because if people feel like their voices are heard, like they do matter, and that their voices are powerful, they're going to go over and above and do more for the team and the organization. So that's really the thing that we want to focus on creating that listening space. And I say, create a listening culture, because for examples, a lot of organizations will listen via a survey, they may do a poll survey and a survey, yes, but they don't do anything about it. Or if they do something about it, they never connect the dots back to the people who use their voices to and then the action that they're deciding to take. So it's connecting the two and organizations that do that very well, are the ones that are going to really prosper in this type of environment.

Clint Pulver
So how would you recommend that they do that?

Heather R Younger
Have a plan, you know, you don't go into a survey or into focus groups or activity groups or just like, Let's go, let people talk, you know, you have to have know the why behind it, you have to know how it's going to happen and what you're going to do with it. So having a plan to start with is most important. Because, again, I've seen organizations way too much go in and they do 123, like tactical things, but they don't have and the idea from a big picture of where they're going with it, and what the end goal is. So I mean, listening first could be a manager on a one on one on one, right? It could be when they're just doing, you know, performance reviews, it could be a one on one session where they're just meeting with their people weekly, which should be a regular cadence for managers. It could be from an organizational view, it could be the surveys or focus groups are culture teams. And what they're doing is they're listening, and they're making sure that they're corralling all of what they're hearing and starting to look for big themes, what are the things that our people really need, and want from us in order to have a better experience inside the workplace? And when I when they have that better experience? What is going to make them go the extra mile, what's going to make them be so enthused, that they're going to sell products harder, right, they're going to be better when it comes to the customer interaction, they're going to be better when it comes to their co worker interactions. So all of those things come to the forefront. But we have to start with listening first, and all of these these other ways around the organization.

Clint Pulver
Yeah. What would you say Heather to a busy CEO, or an overstressed manager, who, you know, they click in their emails, they open up their inbox every day, they've got a to do list that is this long. They've got so many other things on weighing on their mind, other things that are pulling their attention. And they might be listening to this going, Okay, I get it. I get it. Listening is important. But I don't have time. I don't I am so busy. And you expect me to, to meet individually and to have a listening session? What would you say to somebody that's in that situation? That's just busy. And sometimes they you know, it's easy to forget about people, it still matters. But what would you maybe advocate for on how to do that better?

Heather R Younger
Well, I mean, I would say number one, I've been there. Again, I've managed people my majority of my life, and I know exactly what it means to move them down the totem pole, and put projects and processes in at the forefront. So I've been there, yes. But what I can say to you is this. Putting together making sure that you have a cadence, something that's scheduled on your calendar with each of your direct reports doesn't have to be every week, if you can't get there, every two weeks, I mean, try try to have some cadence start small, if you need to do once a month, you're not meeting with them at all, once a month, you're doing more of a team meeting. So start with the baby steps, and then go from there, I did have a cadence of trying to meet once a week with each of my direct reports to make sure that I could find out what barriers I could remove from them for them. And so here's the thing you can't really afford not to listen, really can't afford not to take that time and have that time with your people. Because you will have all these other things that are up there. But guess what you have to delegate you have to empower and you can't do that if you're not meeting with people and figuring out what it is you can do to remove barriers and to you know, plow through things and and help give them access to things that they need. So that's what I would say to them.

Clint Pulver
Yeah, it's a crucial thing. And I think sometimes with COVID right now, a lot of employees or even employers kind of look at Well, there's not very many options, and everybody's just trying to survive. So put your head down, go to work, and just be glad you have a job. But I think that what we've seen too is that great leaders that have learned to listen better, that have picked up the phone and actually called have scheduled time to connect with their employees. It always increases productivity, it always empowers people, it always in the long run will just create better results. And that little investment of time really goes a long way.

Heather R Younger
Yes, I want to say amen right now!

Clint Pulver
I wanted to ask you that, what would you say when we talk about listening? The best type of listening? Is there a specific way that you have seen is maybe better? Is it a survey? Is it a one on one, what would be your advice on how to listen better and where to start, that would get the best results.

Heather R Younger
I think in the end, the organization should have a listening strategy. So that's going to be multi level, it is going to be above organization, that kind of a survey level, drilling down to themes and looking at, you know, focus groups or different culture teams. But at some point, you know, a lot of this has to do with what the manager and the employee relationship, the the two people, the one that's looking to you for guidance, and the one you're looking to, to get things done. So that has to get done, it has to be a priority. But if the organization loosens up some space for those type of organic conversations to happen, that's where things are going to get rich. And then above organization, you do it too. So the strategy should really be multi tier, it should start top to bottom. But in the end, you have to make sure that that manager, the leader and the team member are interacting and give them weight things to talk about, what can I talk about to my team and brought me I'm meeting with every week. Okay, so I know I do projects and processes, but how about how are you doing?

Clint Pulver
Yes!

Heather R Younger
How are you feeling during this time? How are you how are you and your family handling? What is happening right now. So those are the conversations I tell you, they will give you so much more, they will pay so much larger dividends, if you are focusing on the caring side of the leadership right now, at the organizational level, with listening and being very responsive. And at the at the leader level with your team member when they're sitting right in front of right in front of you. And they may not tell you what's happening. But it's really come upon you to to dive deeper. And, and not be afraid, be a little vulnerable yourself. All of those things I think really helped to create more effective listening. Overall.

Clint Pulver
I think it's interesting in leadership, a lot of the times you see leaders that focus so much on the tangibles, right, the profit, the growth, the strategy, how do we move the needle, but it's really the intangibles that matter to the employees, you know, they don't remember how effectively you ran a meeting, or how well your strategy is to grow quota to 10% growth, or you know, they don't they don't talk about that they talk about the moments. They talk about the intangibles, how you make them feel. And I think now more than ever, and the time that we're living in, we need that we need good leaders to practice that.

Heather R Younger
Yes, absolutely. You know, it really is about emotions. And we as leaders get to choose which emotions we unleash within the people we lead, we get to choose that we choose it in our interactions, how we engage with them, how we, whether we do engage, or we don't engage, right, whether we choose to kind of show up fully and in a vulnerable way, in an authentic way, or we choose not to, and like I said, to focus on the numbers, the processes and projects. Now, having said that, again, I have managed people and I know that there's pressure to have the projects get completed to make sure we Institute processes, in fact, I think processes a huge way to produce more positive emotions at an organizational level, and all of the employees inside the organization. And so when I say that it is there are things in the background that we can do that can kind of scale the experience in a way that maybe we didn't think we could before. And so that would be like if we're doing this survey, and we're listening, what is the plan to communicate back to employees about what you're doing? If you know that the morale is low? What can you do about organization to create more recognition programs, or processes for recognition, or touch points for recognition that can uplift and enthuse your people? So those are processes that we need to focus on. But it's the emotional side of things, that really should be our priority. So I'm 100% with you there.

Clint Pulver
Have there been specific ways that you have seen that, that companies have recognized their people during COVID-19? Has there been anything specific or any ideas that you would give to leaders that can maybe use some help on how to recognize their employees more?

Heather R Younger
You know, here's one thing that I've said recently, I've said it a lot. But recently, it's been a big priority. And that is there's nothing more powerful than the written word. And right now, everybody's like so zoomed out, our emails, Zoom Text messaging, so much digital, right? Why not get back to the basics, writing from the leadership team, or the manager, handwritten thank you notes, with specific things that maybe refer directly back to your organization's values, mission norms, something that they did that really points back to that thing, so Keeps it focused on the organization. But at the same time it gets down to the person. And what did they specifically do? and writing it? Oh, my goodness, a novel concept that comes in the mailbox, they get it? What a surprise. Right? So this is just going to get getting back to basics, I think is the biggest thing, picking up the phone, as you talked about, maybe it's not zoom, maybe it's not text, we're just picking up the phone and saying on that group call that we had, I noticed that your energy was a little bit down. I just wanted to reach out to you. I just wanted to see how you know how you're doing? Is there anything I can do for you? Yep. And that those are just the kind of conversations it is the soft stuff. That is the hardest stuff to do.

Clint Pulver
Yeah, but we had to do it, you're spot on. It is the soft stuff. That is the hardest stuff to do. But it is what gets remembered. It's what employees talk about. I still remember Heather, when I was working in corporate America, I was in sales. And I'd get a monthly quarterly projection of where I was at what I was doing, how the business was going. And I could not, I can't tell you a thing. I can't remember anything from that. But I do remember at the top of every quarterly projections sheet, my manager would write a note and just praise me. And he talked about, dude, you're killing it, you're doing so great. I love how you're doing this. You're working so great with all the rest of the team. I just appreciate you if there's anything you need reach out, I still remember that I remember his handwriting. I remember what that meant. Every time when I got that quarterly projection sheet. I was excited to read it. I was excited to look at it. And it just was a little thing that really made a big difference.

Heather R Younger
That's huge. Yeah, it really is I people, it drives me nuts. We actually call things soft skills. I know because it is so hard, right? I think it's much easier to look at a spreadsheet and judge whether that's right or wrong. But it's so much harder to look through the soul of a person. Right? And to have and to allow them to authentically show up as they were put on this earth to do like those are the kind of things that just you can't put a price tag on, you can't put it that as loyalty. Loyalty comes from allowing people to show up as their fullest selves, even if it doesn't completely align with you. Okay, but that you're there to support them for who they are. Ever you actually show up not as someone perfect person with some bad cable. Yeah, yeah. Go up and say, You know what, I? This has been a tough day. But let's work together and see how we can get through this. Yeah, they have to see that you are resilient. Right? And then that helps them become resilient too.

Clint Pulver
Yep, I agree. What would you say? I mean, during during this crazy time with with COVID. You've worked with a lot of different organizations during this time. I think sometimes leaders forget. Or sometimes they don't even know that there is a problem. From your perspective and the organizations that you've worked with Heather during COVID-19. During this this time, have you seen an overarching theme from an employee's perspective, anything that the employees are hoping for wanting? Can we give some insight to a leader that's listening right now, from your expertise, that this is what you've seen the employees have needed and craved the most from their leadership during this time?

Heather R Younger
Yes, I think the biggest thing right now the entire world is really sick of the unknown, right? They're fearful of the unknown. And employees are no different. And so what a leader can do right now is to help as much as possible within their sphere of control, get rid of the unknown, inside of that small circle. And so what I mean by that is, if you are aware of things that are happening in the organization, or you know that you want to move in a direction with a team, don't hide that from your people, they are adults, they want the truth as much as you can give it to them. So being really upfront, involving them in the decision making process, and powering them during this time to again, control what they can control. That way, if you can feel like you have more influence or control in your little sphere, it makes you feel less out of control, right? And then the anxiety can go down, and the stress can go down. And so I would say that'd be the number one thing that employers are looking for right now is for their leaders to help have them to help them get rid of some of the unknown that exists inside the workplace where they are able, and that they can own their small little space right now. That's going to reduce their stress and their anxiety.

Clint Pulver
So as we close Heather, what would be maybe one action item if there's if there's one thing that you could get leadership in today's world to do to apply that to help decrease the uncertainty to help them listen more, one action item that whoever's listening, they can walk away and say, All right, I'm gonna give this a shot today, with my employees. I'm gonna I'm gonna try that. What's one thing that you would propose?

Heather R Younger
Okay. This is gonna sound earth shattering. It's gonna just rock your world...Reach out to them and talk to them. Just reach out and talk to talk to them.

You know, don't run, what happens, it's easy for us to do right now, during this crazy time of change is for us to bury our head in the sand, or for us to kind of ignore the fact that there's a lot of stress and anxiety that there are increases in mental health issues, right that are going on inside our own teams. Yes. Right now, today, commit to reaching out to each one of your people, and just checking with them. I just wanted to see how you're doing. How are you dealing with every minutes here? What can I do for you? And just listen.

Clint Pulver
I'm gonna say it for you, Heather. Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. Heather, this has been incredible. Your insight, your expertise is priceless. It's valuable. And it is so needed right now, more than ever, if any leader or anybody that's listening to this, if they want to connect with you, bring you into their organization to speak to train to help to create a culture of listening, where can they find you?

Heather R Younger
Well, you can find me at Heatheryounger.com. You can also find me through CMI speakers.com. So you can go there and find me there. I am on LinkedIn pretty actively. And so if you want to go a little bit more of me and kind of the content, that's probably the biggest platform I'm on right now. So I would say just find me Heather younger on LinkedIn.

Clint Pulver
Okay, sounds amazing, Heather, you're incredible. Thank you for taking the time to enlighten us share your expertise, and we look forward to good things to come. 

The Growth Connection Episode 3

By Elizabeth Sande | Feb 08, 2021 | Comments Off

Mentorship comes with a lot of responsibility. Ty Bennett describes it as a Peter Parker moment - with great power comes great responsibility.  

Discover how you can become a better mentor and leader to others.

 

Welcome to The Growth Connection, a podcast to help us all look forward to this year with a growth mindset. We'll feature interviews with cmi's elite roster of experts in the areas of diversity, leadership, the future, mentorship, performance, teamwork and inspiration.

On today's episode...

GC episode 3 FINAL

Spend a little time with Ty Bennett and Phil M Jones as they dive deep into the impact of mentorship and the responsibility of shaping minds.

Ty Bennett has spent the last twenty years studying, practicing, and mastering the art of influence. At 21, Ty and his brother built a direct sales business to over $20 million in annual revenues. He developed a system and organization that would help over 500 sales managers fine-tune their sales and leadership skills in over 37 countries and is the author of three best-selling books. He is also the founder of Leadership Inc., a speaking and training company with a mission to empower individuals and organizations to challenge their status quo, cultivate exceptional relationships, and compete in extraordinary ways.

Phil M Jones has made it his life’s work to completely demystify the sales process and bring both simplicity and integrity to a world that is often full of big egos and even bigger lies. He's written 8 best-selling books, produced two original programmes for Audible and delivered over 2,500 presentations in 57 countries across five continents. Phil’s unique philosophy of using specific word choices to teach people “Exactly What To Say” has made Phil one of the most practical and in-demand business experts on the planet.

Takeaways

  • The difference between mentorship and leadership
  • How people respond to different styles of mentorship
  • Why knowing what you are truly responsible for is so important
  • How to be a better mentor

Click below to listen!

Find us on Spotify

Find us on Apple Podcasts

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Watch it on youtube!

Transcript

Phil M Jones
So here we are on the growth connection. I'm Phil Jones, joined by the brilliant Ty Bennett. And we're having a conversation today about mentorship. So Ty, what does mentorship mean to you?

Ty Bennett
I think mentorship to me is tied a lot to leadership. I think great leaders take people under their wings. And they don't just lead by example. But also by instruction, they help people grow. Right. Ultimately, I think the goal of leadership is to create other leaders. And I know I've been personally blessed by mentors in my life that have helped me to get to where I am today. I'm sure you have as well. But I also now talk to leaders quite a bit about this mentoring process and how they can not just lead effective teams, but ultimately grow the leadership on their team and do it in more of a strategic fashion.

Phil M Jones
I'm just thinking even as we talk about mentorship is do you choose to be your mentor? Or does somebody choose you to be their mentor?

Ty Bennett
I think it could happen both ways. I think that I have had people describe me as their mentor and been shocked by that statement. I don't know if you've had that experience on that?

Phil M Jones
Yeah- Dang, that feels like a big responsibility. Right?

Ty Bennett
Yeah. Because, you know, they just tend to follow my work or, you know, look at me as kind of that example. And I look at people in my life. And I've had close mentors who I have a very personal relationship with. But I have other people who I consider mentors that I've read their work or studied their life, that I haven't necessarily been mentored day to day by, right. I don't know, what's your experience with that.

Phil M Jones
I've had that same experience of people have been like, oh, Phil's been my mentor about blank, blank and blank and being equally overwhelmed. And then I think about who the mentors are in my life, they've all been almost a conscious decision. I'm working on X, who's better x than me, or who's got experience in that area of x that I haven't got that I can learn from and, and sometimes I've been, I've been fortunate enough to really get up close on that mentor and being able to learn through asking them questions, and then being able to share their experience around those things in full my own opinions. And other times, I haven't been able to get close. So I've just been a spectator or observer of them from afar, and then cast my own opinions on their mentorship even though they had nothing to do with it. So I guess understanding that I found mentors that don't know they have mentored me, doesn't surprise that maybe this replicates into the other area. And I think mentorship is is also a word that gets thrown around a lot without true understanding of what it is. So what was the difference between, say mentoring and coaching?

Ty Bennett
You're such a wordsmith, I'd love your thoughts on this question too. When I think about leaders, I think people are are looking for mentors, not managers. I think that they're looking for somebody who invest deeper into them. That's the the word mentor connotes an investment to me it, it's more purposeful, it's more intentional, it's giving in the approach. It's abundant, and it's mentality. And I think that some leaders lead and they're proficient in what they do, and, but they don't necessarily dive into people's lives and give as fully as others do. And I think that's a big difference between a mentor and a coach or a leader or someone who you look at just more of kind of a manager or supervisor role.

Phil M Jones
And I think mentors can coach and can manage, right? Like those are tools within their toolkit. My general take on mentorship though, is it's often been from experience, that mentor is showing up and they're prepared to actually utilize what they've lived through, work through, gone through, etc. and then being able to give that journey back to others, often without the judgment or the tale of here's what I think you should do. More so of when I was in your situation, this is what I felt, this is what I thought this is what I did. This is what I learned from doing that take from that what you choose to do. So it's almost leadership through experience where you're prepared to be honest with that experience with others. So that you know that they can learn from that. And if we look at us as speakers, like what are some of the greatest mentors that you've had in your world as growing as a professional speaker,

Ty Bennett
you know, one who I didn't know as day to day as some others, but had a huge impact on me with Stephen Covey, the author of seven habits early in my speaking career, I got to know Stephen Covey and had several conversations with him. I live in Utah, he lived in Utah, one conversation, the wall that always impacted me and actually, I think has really shaped my mindset. And my approach was the very first conversation I ever had with him. He was hosting a political event at his home. And I was invited to the event by a mutual friend with the purpose of meeting Stephen Covey. And so after I made a large donation, I was invited to go to this event. And I remember going in and he has this big, beautiful home, and there's all these people there and you're looking around like all these famous people that you would recognize, and my wife and I were there. We mingled for a little bit. And then my friend Kevin brought me over and introduced me to Stephen Covey. And when he did, he said, Stephen, this is Ty Bennett ties writing a book, and he was very gracious. And he said, Ty, what's the title of your book? And I said, it's called the power of influence. It was my first book. And he said, that's a great title. He goes, can I give you some advice? And this was Stephen Covey was like, Yeah, yeah, like, Can I record this? Can I write this down? And the advice he gave, he said, make sure you write the book for the reader, not the writer. And I said, What do you mean by that? And he said, you know, a book that's written for the writer for their own ego. He said, that book just isn't gonna go anywhere. He said, but a book that's written for the reader, to teach and to inspire and to help people. He said, That book is going to be a home run. And then it's like, you got this train of thought going new, as you know, time a lot older than you. I was in my late 20s. He was in his late 60s. And he said, I think we go through life. And we think life is about achievement, right? What's the next step? What's the next goal? And he said, maybe it's with age, but I think at some point, we figure out life is about contribution. It's about how can I serve? How can I give? So that was a two minute conversation. The very first time ever met Stephen Covey. And to me, it totally shaped my mindset I've written about this, I've spoken about it. I think what he taught me in that, obviously, is, if you write a book, you read it for the reader, but that your focus as an influencer, as a leader, as a mentor, as on the other person, it's on the audience, it's on the person that you're leading. It's on the mentee, it's, it's how can you contribute? How can you add value and, and I seek to do that personally. But I also try and teach that mindset as often as possible to the audiences that I speak to. And that was, that's a mentoring conversation that I'll never forget.

Phil M Jones
That's such a huge point as well, as we apply it to the world of speaking also, is there's a difference between using your experience to be able to create a level of greatness in others. And using your experience to say, aren't I great? I think we see both examples of that in this world a huge amount, right is is those two things. And I was having a conversation with a mutual friend of ours Clay Bear the other day, and we were talking about the difference in content. And this certainly applies to leadership too, between Come with me content and look at me content, as speakers, there is this natural feeling to fall into this look at me approach and make yourself the center of the outcome, as opposed to the Come with me, which I would class is more of a mentoring type mindset that says, Okay, I'm going this way, or I've been this way, let me light the way so you can see, as opposed to let's stick everybody in a ring around me and make me brilliant.

Ty Bennett
I like that. Yeah, I mean, Phil, you know, I've, I've written about storytelling. And one of the things that I often remind people is that you shouldn't be the hero of your own story, it goes along with what you're saying, because there's nothing relatable about it. But I think what you're referring to in this mentoring, by experience is that it's not the the mentor, it's not the person who becomes the hero. It's the process. It's the learning through the situation. It's the journey that becomes that hero that we both can learn from together. And I like the distinction between Come with me and look at me that's really good.

Phil M Jones
Yeah, and great mentors. And I think Stephen Covey is that example to you a second ago is never told you what to do. They may be allowed you to see the world from a couple of different perspectives, then shape the decisions that you made that followed. And that's a huge level of responsibility. I think about some of the greatest mentors in my life, and they happen to be all significantly older than me at the time. So my earliest mentor would be my grandmother who showed me a way to be compassionate and inclusive and optimistic regardless of circumstances. And that was such a gift to be able to have lived in witness for that, but never did I get an instructional lesson from and never would she have known how much she mentored me, which I think is really interesting when you think about the ability to influence others without having a direct line of communication. This is okay. It's mentoring time. Now, let's plug into our mentor hour where I'm going to help you be a better man T. It is something we're doing all the time and every leader, right, whether you're the leader of a family, whether you're the leader of an organization, whether you're the leader of a community group, we're all a mentor, whether we choose to be or not.

Ty Bennett
Yeah, I think that's something we have to step up to, right. And recognize the the influence and the impact that we can have, and be willing to hopefully give and share some of our experience in that. Right, what we've, and and it's not just the good, a lot of it's the bad, right? It's being willing to be open and real and vulnerable with some of the challenges that we've had in the learning and growth that comes from that. So

Phil M Jones
how does somebody decide the Okay, I'm responsible for being a mentor to many people, some chosen someone chosen? And I want to get better at this, what is the process around mentorship that says, Okay, I can improve our amount on this right now? Because I don't think anybody's denying the Yes, I have a responsibility towards this in some circumstances. And yes, I want to be better at it. I'm always a view, like you have a house.

Ty Bennett
So I'm currently writing a book called leader of leaders, which really kind of dives into the practical approach to this. So this is geared towards leaders in a role within an organization really targeted at that mid level to C suite leader who their role is not just to supervise a couple of people, but to really grow the leadership acumen with their within their organization. I think the leaders that I've talked to, everybody says, you know, we want to grow our leadership capacity. But how do you do that on a daily basis, especially with all that's on our plate, right, we're all so busy, we all have so much that we need to do. And so the way that I look at it from a practical standpoint, is that you as the leader is you have learners on your team. And your goal is to move them to that position of leader as well, I think that there's some different mentoring approaches based off of the competency of the person you're working with, and based off of the risk of the project, or what it is that you're dealing with at the time. And so what we're writing about and breaking down is sometimes we model leadership, sometimes mentoring is very hands on it's, let me show you how to do this. And let's talk through why I do it a certain way, or why we do it this way, that would kind of be the basic level of modeling, then we move into coaching. And coaching is very hands on if you think about, like I'm a big college basketball fan, I watched a game the other day, and a coach is not on the court. But he is very involved in the every play that's going on in what's happening, and is touching base with people on the way. And so sometimes we're coaching them along the way, we're hands off, but we're saying okay, here's the next step, let me help you through that. And then we move into kind of higher levels of mentoring, where we're more hands off where we're consulting. And consulting is more reactive than proactive, right coaching, you're jumping in, but consulting, you're there when they need you. And then ultimately empowering them, this is your baby, go run with it come back when you know, with a finished project. And so really trying to put a practical how to on a day to day of what mentoring looks like as you're growing leadership on your team. So that's kind of the premise of the mentoring model that we've developed, and that we're putting in the leader of leaders book,

Phil M Jones
I boil it all down, I think from my experiences, I you know, there's a level of management. And then the next level for management is the ability to coach the next level from coaching is the ability to consult. And then above that is to mentor. And to be a successful mentor, you still need to have all of those skills in your arsenal that sit beneath that. And I'm trying to simplify the differences between all of them, as I listen to you and think about my own experiences is the managers are about sharing with you the responsibility of what needs to be done, and then holding you to account of making sure that thing is being done, a great coach is going to be like a mirror, who's going to have the ability to get to ask questions of you to improve the performance of how you get that thing done. And keep you honest in that, which is why I say like a mirror is actually allowing you to see a better version of yourself every time that you look at it. A consultant might help you find the understanding of what you want to get done and why you want to get it done. So actually, you end up with a higher level of leadership because you understand the purpose behind why you're doing something, not just what you're doing is like the real reason that sits behind it. And a mentor takes that one stage further and helps you understand how to think which is really tough. You cannot give somebody an instruction manual on how to think whereas every great mentor has changed the way that people think. And I think it's by presenting them with puzzles, challenges, obstacles and exercises that grow muscles in people's decision making growth muscles in people's mindset, that all of a sudden have them wake up with different levels of confidence and different levels of clarity. But it all works for That framework of having to go through those levels, I don't think you can be a good mentor, unless you've been a good manager, unless you've experienced or being a good coach, unless that you've been on the receiving end of good quality consultation plus you've done bad consultation or have have seen the difference of high quality consultation yourself. And mentorship is like real life stripes on all.

Ty Bennett
I think there is a linear growth process to it for sure. And we gain experience through that I, I'm curious, Phil with you. I mean, obviously, you speak to a lot of groups, but you've also served in roles with companies as kind of that mentor, thought leader, working with them and helping them look at how they think about their approach. And in those roles that you've worked with corporations, what have you found to be effective as the outside thought leader, mentor and those approaches?

Phil M Jones
It's a good question. And the answer is simple. It's the ability to change the vantage point that they're looking at any problem through, quite often, that's what it takes, whenever anybody is looking to work with outside help is typically because they've exhausted all of their existing resources towards the solving of a problem or a challenge, right is like they've taken everything they can they run in it, they've hit some form of dead end, and then they asked for external help to help them fix the same problem. Whereas the outside help normally quickly realizes they're trying to fix the real problem, what a great mentor does is, is they change the vantage point of where you're looking at something from so that could be giving them a new lens to look at it through, it could be moving, the self centered position, they might be looking at that problem through because quite often, what it comes down to is like how do we beat the competition? Yet the answer that they're looking for is how do we better serve the customer? The answer better position is well, what is the promise that you're making to your people that you're currently under serving them with that if you could actually amplify that promise and make that more apparent towards other people, then you would be your competition by default. But if you focus on beating your competition, you're not focusing on winning the game. It's always some form of shift of vantage point. And that takes a level of maturity, though, to be able to get a huge quantity of people to be able to do that. You take your Stephen Covey scenario, there would have been 1000 people that could have said those exact same things to you. And you'd have brushed it off, not because it was less relevant advice, it's because your mind would have been like on other things like, oh, what do I need to get from my wife for a drink while I'm at this thing, and and what's our table number again, except you would have been everywhere else, but because it was Stephen Covey, it had 100% of your attention. And because you empowered him in that moment, to have the mentor power, your mind was open to be molded. And and that's what happens in my world, when I get invited into these environments is they almost have pre decided that you have Oracle, like your powers, they could have had that same set of words said to them from dozens of other people in their organization. And this is where I get to earlier is you have to decide that somebody is your mentor. And only once that's done is the power truly granted, it's kind of Wizard of Oz type type stuff. And I think we have that responsibility as speakers is to understand that a meeting planner or bureau agent a, you know, SVP, you know, a group of committee members in an organization said, this is somebody who we are happy to provide a level of mentorship to our people for this sustained period of time. And that is a Peter Parker moment right, with great power comes great responsibility. Understanding that is huge. I've always said in the speaking world, and I think we've had conversations even at NSA events, etc about this is that it? It isn't a speech to an audience. It's a conversation with hundreds of individual people exactly the same time thought shaping responsibility that exists in any mentor environment is both a lot of fun and a lot of responsibility.

Ty Bennett
For sure, I think, one I know for me and and for you that weighs heavy on me when I'm brought in and at times is intimidating, right? I you probably you've probably had some of these imposter syndrome moments before you stood up for a speech. I remember being in Abu Dhabi speaking to a group of CEOs of oil companies. And right before I went on stage, I'm looking at this audience these shakes and and I'm like, What am I doing here? You know, just just thinking about, you know, the the impact that those words could have on this group and the audience they serve, right where that goes. But I also think that it it pushes us and and pushes leaders to step up to that responsibility of mentorship. right to be heard, right to earn the right to

Phil M Jones
take the responsibility that comes with it. Yeah, but you take every one of those moments where we've had imposter syndrome ahead of an event is because we weren't considering Will we be able to deliver our speech is when we were considering the response. ability of the perceived outcome as a result of that piece of work? Yeah, it was the responsibility attached towards will this make the den? Will this deliver the outcome that they are looking for? I could deliver my speech 1000 times over and now I deliver my speech fine. Yeah, understanding the needs of that audience is what allows you to truly shape your content towards them. And I think that that is a mentor based responsibility.

Ty Bennett
You know, my parents have been great mentors to me. And one of the things they always said, when I was a kid that I don't know, that I thought that much about, but they would always say where much is given, much is required. And I think to this conversation for us in the roles that we serve, but to anybody listening, who has that opportunity to serve in that mentor role, I think that applies where much is given, much is required there, there is a requirement to step up to give more, and to invest yourself fully, to have the kind of impact that a mentor can have.

Phil M Jones
And to use your example of Stephen Covey again, I think so much of mentorship is what happens outside of the moment that you're mentoring. It's actually all the work that sits around it that empowers you to be effective in the moment when you're mentoring. Same as a basketball player, right, the work you're doing the training course, is what allows you to deliver on game day. It's the same metaphor that exists from a mentoring point of view in that if you want to be a better mentor, is understand that congruence is probably one of the most important ingredients is are you what you say you are in every area of your life. And know that if somebody grants you the privilege of being their mentor, which I think is the right word to look at it is that you take that responsibility seriously, not just in the moment, but in every moment where you might be being watched, which in today's market is every moment all the time.

Ty Bennett
Yeah, it exists in all areas of life. I think, you know, as speakers, I truly am inspired by people offstage more than on you know, Phil, you and I've gotten to know each other over the years, and I think you're unbelievable onstage. I love your work. I love your delivery. But having spent time with you and your brilliance offstage, it's congruent to use your word it exists. And because of that the level of credibility that you have with me, is different than somebody that I've seen who's brilliant onstage, but doesn't seem to live up to it off.

Phil M Jones
Yeah, certainly. And same as how I've seen you live your storytelling messaging, your influence messaging, your leadership messaging, in a variety of non commercial areas of life, through the way that you raise your children through to the efforts that you bring onboard into your community, to the way that you support less experienced speakers, the way you give back towards chapter etc, it's, you're living your truth in any given area, and somebody could stumble across across your work, because they'd never seen you on stage and spotted the YouTube video, and then find you live in the exact same set of values when you're in the grocery store and dealing with a shopper system. And I haven't seen you in every one of those moments, but I've never seen you not living what you teach. I was

Ty Bennett
coaching an executive this morning preparing him for a presentation that he has coming up. And we were talking about finding his voice and that this idea and just said I think the biggest thing is being comfortable in your own skin. Because people read that we connect with that. And and I think that that, I think for a lot of people who may be want to be viewed in that mentor state, I think sometimes that's the disconnect is they're not living their values, or maybe don't even know what their values are fully, to be able to live them in all areas of their life. And because of that there's there's a disconnect, and we don't see them in that same light.

Phil M Jones
I got two questions for you, before we wrap this thing up that I'm really intrigued to know the answers to one is, is who is your current mentor towards like where you're looking to get to work on and things in your life? And then the second question I'll give them back to back on purpose is if someone listening into this right now is thinking that they have accepted the responsibility of being a mentor in their role and want to get a lot better and if what is the first thing that you think they should do?

Ty Bennett
So when you ask that question, I think that I have mentors just like you in lots of areas of life, where else say, okay, in terms of speaking, who's somebody further down the road that I want to be like, or that I see their business as something that I want to aspire to, or as a father or as a husband or just in life in general. In general in life. I have a mentor His name is Ulysses Suarez. He's a Brazilian. I actually lived in Portugal for two years, serving a mission for my church when I was 19 to 21. And he was the leader of that mission at the time. So I spent two years being very closely mentored by him And, as luck would have it, he never returned to Brazil but actually moved here to Utah and has close to me since then. So for the last 810 years, I've had a chance to continue to be mentored by him. He's someone that I learned from his example. I'm inspired by the way he lives. I am amazed at his capacity to show love and to be present and to be engaged in not just my life but other people's lives. That's who I would look at as, as my mentor, although there are others and others we could speak about just specifically in the speaker world to your second question, if someone finds that they are in a mentor role, and want to be better at that I, my favorite leadership quote, and I wish I said it, but john Maxwell said it is you can love people without leading them, but you cannot lead people without loving them. And I think that that applies so much to a mentors role that your capacity to truly care about those people that may look at you as a mentor, to because of that love, have patience. Because of that love, be willing to give a little bit more of yourself because of that care, see them for the potential they have and not just for the slow growth or the mistakes that they've made. I think that starts with that mindset.

Phil M Jones
I love that john Maxwell quote, I just wrote it down for myself to ponder on a little later. So good. I guess I should probably answer the same two questions, right?

Ty Bennett
I'd love to hear your thoughts. Okay,

Phil M Jones
I haven't had an individual mentor in any area of my life for for quite some time. And some of that's circumstantial. You know, my life has changed a lot over the last decade through planning and purpose and growth and geographic moves and marriage and babies and all of that good fun life stuff. So I haven't been in one place long enough to be able to cement what would be a traditional mental relationship like the one that you talked about. But I've always had this belief, your success is in direct correlation with the quantity of quality people that you surround yourself with, right, I think we have enough evidence around a variety of personal development spheres to, to not doubt the truth in that. And the result of which is a piece of advice I was given by a very early mentor, a speaker friend of mine called Nigel Reznor in the UK, Nigel once said to me, as if you're ever going to compare yourself with anybody compare the whole of you with the whole event, which you very quickly realize is impossible. So what it led me to then do is to decide that the mentorship that I'm looking for in people is actually not any individual person, because every individual person has flaws in some way. And inevitably, you end up feeling disappointed, because instead of truly seeing somebody as a mentor, you see them as a role model, when then when that role model lets you down in some way you find yourself lost, that for me, made me very vulnerable. So instead, I created a Frankenstein monster of a mental that is a purpose for collaboration of maybe 30 to 50 people at any one period of time with people being subbed on and off the bench on a regular basis like you would a basketball game. So I create this hypothetical mentor in a variety of different different scenarios that I do have real conversations with in my head. And sometimes those conversations have been fueled by a real life conversation I had with one of those specific people. So for example, if I look at longevity within the speaking industry as being something that's important to me, the role that I grab on to that level of mentorship in my life is someone like Scott McKay. But I don't want Scott's mentorship in every area of my life. But for that area of responsibilities, the best person who's closest enough to me to help me navigate that, who I know thinks like me, and a lot of other areas. Therefore, I can give like ultimate value to that in that given area of life. But then when I think about marriage and relationships and balance with kids, etc, different mentors in different ways, for different reasons. Now, so that is my my true answer on who in terms of first steps. I think it's about finding clarity on what you believe you're responsible for. And I know that if people have got to this ended the interview of yourself and myself right now the majority of those people are involved in the events industry in some way, shape, or form. I think the mistake that a lot of people make in the events industry that prevents them being a true mentor is they limit what they believe they're really responsible for, for example, bureau agent believes they're responsible for finding three potential candidates that could be a fit for the speech they're looking for that is on topic of conference, as opposed to the responsibility of helping make sure that both the known and unknown objectives of that event are truly maximized in a multi dimensional capacity. And the mentor leader that takes that bigger picture responsibility of understanding the true impact and it's that never underestimate the impact that you can have on one person's life. I think are all responsibility in The events industry right now is to know that we are not reacting to the change, we are creating the change and seeing if what we can be is honestly take responsibility for a greater outcome than the one that we believed was our responsibility in the past. So from a UI point of view, we become better mentors, if we understand we're responsible for serving the entire event and the business's objectives than delivering a great speech, it shifts that focus again. And that's the challenge I'd have to everybody listening is what are you truly responsible for? And then how do you show up for that refined vision of what success looks like? That's how you can mentor cuz Stephen Covey didn't decide that he was responsible for helping your book perform better. He saw a young talented man with passion, ambition and fuel in his tank, and took the responsibility of saying if I make a two degree shift in the way that you think you might go on to be able to achieve greater things as a result of which, and if history tells me anything that was true, whether it was influenced by him, or it would have been the same regardless, he certainly hasn't heard your career trajectory, like with that shift in thinking. And I think that's what mentorship is about is to go. But But my vision is greater than the moment my vision is for something that is bigger than just that individual point in time. And and that would be the question I'd be asking with people, what are you truly responsible for? And how does that shape the way that you communicate with others, if you move the finish line further out towards a bigger impact, with the knowledge of understanding what really is going on as a result of your actions? long answer, but that's where my head's at on it today.

Ty Bennett
I mean, obviously, we could keep going for a long time talking about mentorship. But, you know, as we wrap this up, I do think you've made some great points in terms of, you know, a mentor, being able to teach through experience, being able to kind of redirect thought process and help people to think differently, is that kind of highest form of leadership and, and all that linear progression along the way to get to that stage and, and each of us stepping up to the responsibility of that as we get a chance to mentor others. This great conversation.

Phil M Jones
Yeah, likewise, I'm stoked to read this new book of yours. It's got a name yet?

Ty Bennett
Leader of Leaders - Mentoring with Competence

Phil M Jones
Can't wait to grab a copy and see how it shapes the way that you lead from the stage. Thanks for chatting my friend.

Ty Bennett
Thank you.

The Growth Connection Episode 2

By Elizabeth Sande | Jan 25, 2021 | Comments Off

COVID19 has been in our lives for an entire year now and it's caused us all to pause and reflect as businesses and human beings. 

It's been a moment of truth, almost like a forced reset.

Welcome to The Growth Connection, a podcast to help us all look forward to this year with a growth mindset. We'll feature interviews with cmi's elite roster of experts in the areas of diversity, leadership, the future, mentorship, performance, teamwork and inspiration.

On today's episode...

GC episode 2 FINAL

Hang out with Dan Thurmon and Chris Bashinelli as they explore positive mental health and the importance of taking time to breathe.

Chris is a Moderator for the United Nations, an Eagle Scout, a National Geographic Explorer, and has interviewed some of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People on the Planet. He's lived with nomads in Mongolia, farmed for tea on China's hillsides, and Sumo Wrestled the heaviest Japanese human being in recorded history. Bash's life mission is clear. When we 'change our mind,' we 'change our world.'

Dan Thurmon is the author of two books, a Hall of Fame speaker, and a recognized expert in delivering peak performances, on stage and in the workplace. He encourages audiences beyond the pursuit of "success" and enhances our life experiences and professional endeavours with purposeful, positive contributions. Dan's philosophy can be summarized by the title of his book, Off Balance On Purpose. He believes that we will never achieve "perfect balance" and should, instead, learn to embrace uncertainty and initiate positive changes that lead to growth.

 

Takeaways

  • How to stay focused on what you can control, to lessen levels of anxiety
  • Learn how to navigate productivity and connection during a pandemic, when distractions are everywhere
  • Why technical preparation is equally important to preparing your heart and good intentions
  • Different ways to create space in you mind for creativity to flow freely

Click below to listen!

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Watch it on youtube!

Transcript

Dan Thurmon
Hello, everyone, and welcome to the cmi speaker interview series, where speakers interview other speakers and go deeper into the wisdom and maybe a little bit of a story behind the story. My name is Dan Thurman, and I'm here today with the one and only Chris bastianelli, better known as Bash, to his friends and to his clients. With Chris really, the whole world is his friend. So you could call him Bash. Bash has acted on the sopranos. He's moderated at the United Nations. He's hosted his own TV show for PBS and Geographic magazine. And he's done so much travelling around the world learning, teaching, and educating audiences as a speaker for many, many years. He's still a young dude, just 34 years old. But you'll be amazed by the wisdom in this man. So Chris, thank you so much. And welcome!

Chris Bashinelli
Dan, thank you so much. You're a great friend, and you have been for many years. And still, one of the great I have to say regrets of my life is not taking you up on the offer to learn how to backflip all those years ago. It's a skill that I still wish I could learn. And maybe we can do it one day together.

Dan Thurmon
We were trying to do it in like five minutes, you know,

Chris Bashinelli
without any mat to brace the fall!

Dan Thurmon
Yeah, in a hotel gymnasium like that, like little workout room actually is all it was, and it was before your speech. So like you are getting ready for your speech, getting ready to go on stage, and you're like, Oh, damn thermos here, I've got to take advantage of this moment and learn how to do a backflip. But that's how you are. You learn from everyone everywhere, wherever you go. And you don't waste any time, like getting to the nuggets of what people are all about. I was so looking forward to being with you today. And I am just pumped about this moment. Because any experience with you is simultaneously therapeutic and a little bit of a conviction. Because you know, you have this way of caring for people, but because of such a loving presence, it's almost like you hold us accountable. You cause people to take a really good look at what's going on within their lives within their thoughts. And you have to take it very seriously. Right? So I wondered if you could give us a bit of your core philosophy about life that kind of brings that quality to the surface.

Chris Bashinelli
First of all, let me say thank you so much. And it's an honour to be with you. You're a great friend. And it's an honour to be a part of cmi. And to be a part of this speaker series. I just learned so much from each and every one of you and from our entire team. So for me, I'm very grateful to be here. The lesson that's been hitting home for me a lot recently is not trying to change the world. Instead, let's change ourselves. During this pandemic, I have found especially when all of our businesses have just been flipped completely upside down. The people who are doing really well, the businesses, the people, the individuals, and the communities that are doing really well are able to focus on things within their control. And at the very beginning of this, one of our good friends, Tim Gard, said to me, "Bash, focus on what you can control." And then it dawned on me riding this pandemic out, which I do believe it will pass, is kind of like riding out a wave. When I go in the ocean, and I surf. I'm not yelling at the waves. I'm not mad at the wave for wiping me out of everything that happens to me when I'm out there in the Atlantic Ocean or the Pacific Ocean or the Indian Ocean or wherever it might be. Everything that happens, every challenge, every wave that crashes on me is information. I take it as information. Oh, I need to move a little further up on my board. I need to move further back so that I can become a better surfer. And we can use this opportunity to become better surfers of life. Yes, we might not be able to control everything in our lives right now. The economy, the weather, our finances from day to day, but we can control the attitude that we bring to it. I believe.

Dan Thurmon
I love that, and that frame of reference and ownership of this challenge is so important, really to all of our clients; what are you finding in the individuals and the organizations that you're working with that you're able to help them see that maybe they couldn't see before like your gift is that you take these beautiful thoughts that can be philosophical, and in some ways, intangible, but you make them very practical, and you help people really understand what the next move is. So what do you think is the next move for the people who feel that way? Right now,

Chris Bashinelli
I would say, Dan, from the smallest company to some of the largest, and I recently had a conversation with one of my largest clients in a major, major international company. And I would say our next step, the first step, and the last step is to open our hearts, open our hearts to what other people are going through. Because from the smallest client to the largest client, everyone is struggling with the same things during this pandemic. How can we work from home with all of these distractions at our fingertips? How can we stay connected to our family when we might not actually be able to physically give our loved ones a hug, people are hurting, and people, in many ways, are working harder than they ever have before. One of the things that I've found to be super helpful for me and something that I'm sharing with clients is that we have to take care of ourselves to truly be there for others. It's not sustainable to work 12 or 14 hours a day, seven days a week, we must take time to breathe, we must take time to be grateful to go for a walk if we can, if we can exercise, whatever practice we have, that keeps us centred. Because if we are in a positive state of mind, then we are in so much more powerful of a place to give to our clients and to give to others. So the step I've been recommending to others is twofold. One, open our hearts to what others are going through because we are all struggling with the same things right now. And to create some boundaries in our lives so that we can be more productive at work and more relaxed when we're not at work. That way, we can become resourced when we're back at our computer and working with our clients.

Dan Thurmon
Yeah, that's great, great advice. Being heart-centred is something that just comes so naturally to you. You're a very empathetic human being when you mentioned not being able to embrace a loved one. You know, I thought about you and how much wisdom you derived from travelling the globe. And, and those experiences of searching and journeying have kind of brought you this, this level of clarity about how everyone truly is connected. Like we're all dealing with the same stuff. And you saw that regardless of culture, or language or occupation, or like class in society, and you brought that forward through your TV show to audiences everywhere to help us feel that way. And I think about the fact that you can't travel, the fact that we can't hug each other, we don't even see each other smile as much because we're wearing masks, right? And so, how do we find this sense of connection right now. You know, the need for humans to be around humans and draw energy from one another has not gone away? If anything, it's increased. So how do we do that now?

Chris Bashinelli
Well, Dan, I think the thing to keep in mind is that connection is an experience. And it's an experience of the mind. It isn't necessarily a physical experience. I've travelled to many countries, filming TV shows on an expedition for National Geographic, I've travelled to many countries, in many places, speaking at different conferences, every single one of those times that I've gotten on a plane, with the exception of a handful, when I'm travelling with the production crew, I travelled by myself, I am in hotels by myself, I go on stage, I'm with people, and then I'm by myself again, if I were to truly believe that in order for me to feel connected to the people I love, I had to be around them physically. It would be a really tough go for me. So one of the practices that I've done is a really simple practice. It is simply to close my eyes, think about somebody that I feel close with, and just really feel that closeness. And we might say, well, that's corny, and they're not really here and fine. We can listen to that voice if we want, but how is it serving us? Instead, we can just imagine the person is there with us. Imagine we are feeling connected with them. And then we and then what we realize is we actually have control over that feeling. Wow, I can feel connected to my mom, to my father, to my children, to my loved ones to my spouse to my cousin's to my clients, whether I'm in the same room with them or 10,000 miles away, and that connection is a choice.

Dan Thurmon
But it's such great advice. And you're full of practical pieces of wisdom like that. You're a young guy, and you've been doing this a long, long time. So when I think about your journey, the question that comes to my mind is when you were in your early 20s and moderating at the United Nations and putting yourself forward into situations that you know, from an academic point of view or whatever it's like, you're just going there and opening up to the experience, but with a level of confidence. How did you? How did you find that measure of confidence to step into new moments? And trust? I'm okay, I'm enough. I'm here; I'm prepared. I have something of value to say or to offer or to do. Do you remember that?

Chris Bashinelli
I have goosebumps from the question. Yeah, I remember it very vividly. I remember taking the train to the United Nations. When I was giving a speech at the General Assembly Hall. The first time I spoke in the General Assembly Hall when I was 23, with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. And I remember standing at the podium, something happened in the middle of my opening speech, and a massive fixture. I don't know if it fell from the ceiling or from the stage. But there was a massive crash. And it's recorded on video, there was a massive crash, everyone in the room heard it. And I looked over, and something had fallen; it was so distracting. And I just realized I didn't think I just said I'm sorry about that. I have telekinetic powers, and everyone in the audience laughed. The reason I share that with you is because I wasn't prepared on paper. But I was prepared in my heart. I was confident to go out there, not that I wasn't nervous, not that my heart wasn't beating- it was. But I trusted the greater mission that I was there, I trusted that, hey, these people believe in me enough to bring me on to that stage, our clients believe in us enough to hire us whatever field we're in, they believe in us, they trust us, that gave me confidence in myself. And it was kind of like not to go back to surfing again. But it was kind of like that experience of pushing down the face of a wave. And when you push down the face of a wave, for many years, I would pull back at the last moment, we're afraid to let go, we were afraid to let go. What enabled me to let go and go down the face of that wave in terms of speaking on that stage and many other states since then was the experience of losing my father. And when I saw my father, I mean, I literally saw my father passed away before my eyes from cancer. And when that happened, that rocked the foundation of my world in a good way. I'm sorry to say it was in a good way because it made me realize, hey, why am I really here? What's the greater reason? Why am I really here? On one level, that propelled me to go on an international expedition that lasted more than 10 years, which I'm still on today. But the real journey that happened was the journey within, so from that experience of loss, I was able to gain sort of a momentary feeling of life is very fleeting; if there's something I believe in, I better go for it. And so witnessing that empowered me to be able to go on a stage, even though I'd never done it before, and opened my heart,

Dan Thurmon
Yeah, that's great. If I can explore something you said about preparing your heart, it really was like a wild moment for me. Because I think about, you know, everybody's trying to get ready for the moment, whether it's a speech or a presentation, or the next job interview or, or serving your client or making the sale or whatever, and you do all the things or playing in a game, or you know, sport, you do everything that you think is required, you're still not ever going to be sure if it's enough, right. And you can kind of keep after it and keep after it. And then there's the other piece that is preparing your heart piece, which is, am I going to be okay to be successful in this moment? Do I feel like I've deserved it? Do I have something of value to truly give? Why does this matter to me? You know you're making a case for is, and I've experienced this in my life...sure we prepare. But in many cases, when your hearts prepared, it will compensate for maybe some gaps in like technical preparation, or by the book preparation. My question is, what happens if you do everything technically, but then you fail to prepare your heart? What do you think happens then?

Chris Bashinelli
We always have to start with a good motivation with a good intention. Intention is behind everything that we do. People can sense it, infants can sense it, animals can sense it. What's our intention when we're dealing with others, when we're dealing with our clients? I think it's a two-fold effect. There's the technical aspect. There's the preparation aspect. You're off balance on purpose. So you have the body of like Hercules. And so you do you the technical preparation is there for you. Still, your heart is just so pure. So giving. The technical aspect, and let's say the sort of inner aspect, the psychological aspect, I think they actually influence each other. Sometimes when we wake up, we don't want to exercise we don't want to work out maybe a lot of times, especially when working out in our living room, if we force ourselves to learn the technical aspect, to do the due diligence of the day to day work that we have to do to be physically technically prepared, that tends to have an influence on how we feel about ourselves. Sometimes we start from a positive feeling within, and that will inspire us to exercise or to engage in the technical aspect of preparation. But sometimes we have to just do the work. And when we do the work, we gain confidence in our ability within, I believe it was Mr. Rogers, the wonderful PBS television host, who was interviewed, and during the interview, he was asked, how long did you prepare for that program, and I'm making this up because I forget the number. But he said something like 52 years, like his whole life, his whole life, what we do on stage,

Dan Thurmon
I find that to be the simplest, the simplest thing, the most difficult thing is living a life that's in accordance with what we share on stage. That's the difficult thing. And that's, that's our work as speakers. And it's also the multiplier, isn't it? I mean, it makes everything else when you get that resonance between your life in your message when you get that right. It just takes the message to the stratosphere in terms of impact. And I think you're right; it all comes down to intention. And the audience knows on whatever level, Hey, is this guy just a messenger for a nice message? Or is he actually living it? Right? Or is she actually walking the talk and kind of filling the room with the, like, practical authenticity and social and proof that what they're teaching us is actually true?

Chris Bashinelli
We learn, I believe, very little by what people say very little. I think we learn mostly by who people are, we learn, yes, we learn by what our teachers are saying. But we mostly learn by who the teacher is themselves, what type of person are they that gives their words power? Otherwise, the words will go in one ear and out the other? Yep, sounds good. We can check off the boxes; they said all the right things. But it has no impact to move us. When somebody has done the work on themselves, the inner work, then their words have the power to move us because there's congruency, integrity. Now that's what we're aiming for. And that's a lot of work.

Dan Thurmon
That's such a powerful leadership message. You know, leaders really need to think about that and do that internal work. And in a way, I'm curious, do you think that COVID...everybody has their COVID story. We have ours and how it impacted the speaker's world, in our relationships with our clients and our families. But I think you know, that journey you talked about going within, in a lot of ways, there was this moment of truth, where everyone had to kind of experience it that almost like a forced reset, where you really had to look back and say the question, has everything I've done been working? Do I really believe what I thought I believed? What is true anymore? You know, who am I? And either you start doing the work to figure that out, or you have to distract yourself and all these ways, self-medication or abuse or, or just entertainment or whatever. You can only avoid that crack that question so long, though, right.

Chris Bashinelli
One of the things that really challenged me when I first started, I mean, I was running my company, Bridge The Gap TV, out of my parent's basement. I was 20 years old, I was editing films, I was on the phone pitching to like Ben and Jerry's ice cream and other companies trying to get sponsorships. And my mom would be like doing the laundry next to me, right. That's, I mean, that's not an exaggeration that actually happened. But one of the tools that I learned was first thing in the morning to do my most important task first thing in the morning, I think lots of entrepreneurs know that whatever is the most important thing on your list, do it first thing in the morning, do not please, for the love of everything. Do not check your cell phone first thing in the morning, unless you have to, because it puts you in that sort of reactive backfoot defensive state of mind doing the most important thing first thing in the morning. What that forced me to do is I would I would just be like sitting at my desk, Dan. And I'd be like, I don't know what, so I would just like close my eyes and just breathe. And just think about what is the most important thing that I have to do today. My point is that when we're not engaged in compulsive distractive behaviour, it creates space in our lives. And only from space can creativity be born. If we're constantly distracted? If we're constantly caught up in the noise, if we're constantly watching the news, which I do not recommend or mindless scrolling through social media. How are we ever going to know who we are, know what we have to offer to the world, and know what ideas are just beneath the surface? It's kind of like an ocean that's moving a lot. And the waters are very choppy. Meanwhile, there could be like, you know, this is a bad example. But like a gold iceberg right below the surface. It's only when we can calm our minds, like the surface of the ocean, then we can allow the beauty and that creativity to come from within. But we have to make a purposeful intention to create space in order for that to happen, I believe.

Dan Thurmon
So Chris, when you talked about closing your eyes and asking what's most important and getting clear on a question or an intention? Would you describe that as mental health? Is it accessible? Do you have to learn a specific process in order to get there? Or can anyone kind of easily do it? And if so, how would you suggest they start, then? It's

Chris Bashinelli
a great question. And I think one of the things to understand with mental health is that a path to positive mental health is available to anyone and everyone. It doesn't take a whole set of very complex techniques. We can just start exactly where we are. Where does anxiety come from? Like, for me, anxiety comes from focusing on all the things that I can control. If I continuously obsess about all the things that are outside of my control, whether or not this client is going to sign the deal, whether or not this person is going to like me who I have a crush on, whether or not it's going to rain, whether or not they're going to be waves, I will constantly be in a state of anxiety, the only thing I can control is what I bring to each of those experiences in my life, to bring my best self to each of those experiences. So when I think about something simple, like sitting down, when I'm at my desk, I'm about to start working, literally just closing my eyes. And Dan, it could be for 10 seconds, it could be for five minutes. I just breathe with my eyes closed. And I think about what is the most important thing I have to do that day. Or maybe I know what I have to do that day, maybe I have a conversation with Dan Thurman. Maybe I'm just going to sit down and breathe and think, what is the most important feeling? I want to get across to Dan in this interview? And just think about that. Or if I have a conversation with a client next week, or if I have a conversation with whoever might be coming up. Just think about what do I What, what are the questions, I have to ask this person. Or if there's a script I want to write or a video I want to record. And by doing that, all I'm doing is concentrating on one thing at a time, as opposed to sitting down at my desk, grabbing my phone, getting distracted, and not allowing those genuine, authentic answers that come from within each of us to come. But in order for those answers, in order for that creativity to arise, there just needs to be some space. And by closing our eyes, we create some space, and then the magic can happen, brother.

Dan Thurmon
Now can that space happen? Because that magic happened? Even when you're not sitting down at your desk? Like, do you create those moments of opportunity and clarity on your surfboard? Or when you're in the moment of doing something else? I know for me, physical discipline is quite often a very wonderful gateway that opens up a space for that opportunity to materialize.

Chris Bashinelli
Totally. For me, so much of what I do is about it's about being present. And that's one of the things that attracts me so much to surfing and to exercise that discipline. By being in such intense physical situations, it forces us to be present. When I think about your work off balance on purpose, I see you in some poses that if I ever tried them, I'd be in the hospital for a month. So I know that you bring intense presence, concentration, focus to what you do. When I'm on my surfboard, I know that if I'm present, I have a much better chance of catching the wave than if I'm distracted. Actually, I've been distracted on waves, and as a result, I've gotten hurt. So it's the same in our work. It's the same in our lives. And with physical discipline. That's sort of a way to, for me, get out of our head, get out of our head, get into our body and to be present. And that practice can be different for all of us every day. For someone who might be sitting down closing their eyes for another person, it might be gratitude practice for someone else, it could be throwing on an album yes, I do have a record player, listening to music, going for a walk in nature, exercising, taking those moments each day, even if it's one moment a day, to care for ourselves so that we can resource ourselves then and be there more for others and then what happens we're out there for a walk, or we're out there on our surfboard, or we're exercising We see that we're getting distracted and thinking about work. Maybe that's not our time to think about work, maybe we've made a boundary and said, You know what, I'm going to exercise for one hour every day. And during that time, I'm going to think about nothing else, then, except exercising, and then what happens, I finish exercising. Now I have more energy and creativity to bring to my office to bring to my work, we have to have the Yin to have the Yang, we have to have them off, to have them on, we have to have the space to have creativity arise.

Dan Thurmon
Yeah, and it's so great, and they come alongside each other. Because in those moments where we're out of our head, in physical activity, or exercise, quite often creating that space, even in the workout, the answer to the problem at work, or the creative idea for the next video or blog comes to you as just this clarity. And it's not because you were trying to pursue it. It was because you created the calmness of mind for it to materialize, created the calmness, and you created the space.

Chris Bashinelli
Like I think of another surfing example. I can think of standing on the shore and seeing all the waves break in front of me. And I'm trying to paddle out to get past the lineup where the waves start breaking. And I keep getting smashed back to shore, and I keep paddling out, I keep getting smashed back to shore. But there's another option. If I go back on the beach, and I look at the ocean, I look at the waves, I might see, hey, there's actually a channel 50 yards to the left, where the waves aren't breaking. And so I can just paddle out there without my hair getting wet and paddle out to the beginning of the lineup. It's the same with any problem-solving equation that we have creating some space gives us a new perspective. And the same goes with bringing in different perspectives, different people, different backgrounds, different cultures because when we bring in different perspectives, it allows us to look at that same problem from the wisdom and experience of countless other minds. And that will be more powerful than any problem-solving equation we try to solve on our own.

Dan Thurmon
You told me that this year, you've been so creative, give us a little insight into your creative process. And tell us what you're working on right now.

Chris Bashinelli
Believe it or not, then I think one of the foundations of creativity is stepping into our own self-worth. And what I mean by that is allowing ourselves to be successful; maybe we have heard stories growing up or had experiences or been let down or whatever that affects how we feel about ourselves. So we reach a certain level of success, or we reach a certain level of health, or fitness with our body or success with our clients or fill in the blank, whatever it is for you. And then we feel like alright, like that's my threshold, anything beyond that, I'm going to sabotage myself, and it's not even conscious. So that's why I think it is critical. Every day. Each of us has some sort of practice, whether it's gratitude, or prayer or meditation or breathing or going for a walk, something that centers us something that empowers us to feel good within not based on external conditions, not based on great the person I like they like me back or great this client I really wanted, I landed them not based on externals, based on ourselves based on knowing that we've brought everything we can to our lives. As you said, some days, we don't feel motivated. Some days we don't feel inspired. I think what we have to do, honestly, then we have to strike a balance between being gentle with ourselves and being disciplined. You know, if I don't get a good night's sleep, I'm not going to go and do the heaviest deadlift I can because I've done that, and then I hurt my back as a result. And then I'm out for a handful of days. So if I'm really not well-rested, I might just go and do a few practices of yoga. I might do some light exercises to know that I've done something. Consistency is key. But at the same time, we want to make sure that lazy narrative doesn't take over our minds so that we can use gentleness as an excuse for not reaching our potential. So it's that balance between Hey, am I just saying that I feel tired today? Or am I genuinely tired? Does my body need a rest? And listening to that and walking that fine line between being gentle with ourselves and being disciplined? It takes time, but I think it can produce sustainable positive results.

Dan Thurmon
Thinking of people who are gentle and disciplined. One of your heroes and personal mentors comes to mind, Dr. Jane Goodall, who is a world-renowned, of course, primatologist, an anthropologist, and just legend. I mean, I grew up seeing these movies of her With with the primates and developing relationships within the communities, and it just seemed almost like a superhero, to be able to transform as she did and to elevate her field to a level far beyond it ever was. How did you meet Jane Goodall? What was your relationship like? And how did she impact you?

Chris Bashinelli
Dr. Jane is an amazing inspiration. I feel very, very fortunate to have met her. I connected with her through my company bridged the gap TV, we made our first documentary on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, which is unfortunately still one of the poorest places in the United States of America now looking like me, or you, it's generally difficult to gain trust, filming on a reservation. Right? And that it's very, very clear why that is, I realized that if I was going to make a documentary on an Indian reservation, we needed the support from within, we needed the support of local grassroots nonprofit initiatives that were helping people without any hidden agendas. And Jane Goodall's Roots and shoots is a very, very powerful youth-led organization that inspires young people around the world. I think it's probably in more than 150 countries, right now working on everything from animal rights to human rights to saving our planet. And Jane Goodall's Roots and shoots had a community garden initiative on the reservation at the time, and I reached out to them. And over the course of several months, I got to know the local staff working in Pine Ridge, they became a part of the documentary, they invited us into the community. And Dr. Jane was a part of that process from beginning to end. And I've also gotten to speak with her several times, the United Nations and other places. For me, the most profound thing that I learned from Dr. Jane's life is that she really lives her life. For others. She's been travelling nonstop since 1986, which is the year that I was born. So since that year, but aside from now, aside from in a global pandemic, she had not been home consistently, I think for more than two to three weeks in a row for the entire year, because she was on the road, sharing what she learned. And I believe it was said in an interview, she said something along the lines of after discovering what I discovered in Gombe National Park, I had to share that with the world. It would be selfish for me not to everything that Dr. Jane gets; she gives back to the Institute. All the money she receives, almost all that it goes back to the Institute. She's not a rich woman, but she's the richest woman I know internally because she lives her life for others, all the fame, all the attributes, all the accolades, she doesn't care about it only to the extent that it can serve others. And that's an example that each of us can take. It's kind of like the more we shine our light on others. Guess what happens? It bounces back in our direction.

Dan Thurmon
No doubt about it! I want to perhaps close our time together. You've shared some wonderful thoughts about Jane Goodall, and I couldn't agree with you more just what a blessing and privilege it is for you to cross paths with her in life. And not just for a small encounter, but for a true relationship. And now we get to benefit secondhand, and our audiences get to benefit from that experience because of how you are able to articulate it and relate it to the circumstances that we face, in our lives, in our businesses, in our mental health and how we overcome adversity, and even issues of like diversity and inclusion and how we can accept each other and truly be present, and kind of get out of our own way in terms of connecting. So I want to just close with what Jane Goodall said about you, which is we all need more people like Chris in the world. We need more people like Chris in the world. That's the quote, We need more people like Chris in the world, and I agree, or I'd say it a little differently. I'd say we all would benefit from being a little bit more like Chris because that's the deal is we when we change ourselves, as you said, we change our world. We change our relationships. We change our connection. And Chris, I truly believe just our little conversation here today has truly changed some people who listened to it. And so, thank you for being a part of the CMMI speaker interview series. Great to be with you, my friend.

Chris Bashinelli
Thank you so much. Thank you to you and the whole CMI team. Thank you, brother.

Karen Harris
Wow, what a great episode. I've known and worked with Bashan Dan for many years. They are insightful, creative, and they walk their talk every day. Remember, growth is uncomfortable because you've never been here before. Keep growing!


The Growth Connection Episode 1

By Elizabeth Sande | Jan 11, 2021 | Comments Off

Welcome to The Growth Connection, a podcast to help us all look forward to this year with a growth mindset. We'll feature interviews with cmi's elite roster of experts in the areas of diversity, leadership, the future, mentorship, performance, teamwork and inspiration.

On today's episode...

GC episode 1 Copy 2 (1)

 

cmi's CEO and Super Promoter Karen Harris and keynote speaker, author and former Blue Angel Pilot John 'Gucci' Foley sit down to discuss the Glad to be Here mentality and get to one another on a deeper level.

 

Takeaways

  • Learn how John Foley got the call sign Gucci and what it was like filming the Top Gun movie.
  • Explore how the Glad To Be Here mindset can change not just your professional life but your personal life
  • How to find different and unique ways to increase communication between leaders and employees while converting to the virtual world
  • Why you have to start looking inwards to see an outright result

Click below to listen!

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Transcript

Karen
So here we are with the first edition of The Growth Connection. It's a series of interviews designed to help us all look forward to this new year with a growth mindset. I'm joined today by John "Gucci" Foley. Welcome, John!

John
Glad to be here. Such an honour.

Karen
Glad to have you here. So okay, first of all, this call sign named Gucci. Where did this thing come from?

John
Well, here's the thing with call sides. So all fighter pilots, we get called sides. But here's the key. You don't get to pick it. If you'd like it, it doesn't stick. So one day, I was with my team, and we were about to go out, and I showed up with this thin black leather tie on now that wasn't even cool in the 80s—right, Karen? Buddy looked at me they go 'What is that?' That's Gucci. Well, no fighter pilot wants Gucci. You want Hitman, Viper, Iceman, you know, something. But it didn't help us living on a sailboat and driving an alpha male at the time too. So it stuck.

Karen
oh, it's done. It's stuck. So my one of my all-time favourite movies is Top Gun. And of course, you know, Maverick, goose, they're my most favourite characters of the whole movie. So when I when, when we were talking about, you know how you got your callsign coochie? I'm thinking, Okay, so how did they choose, say Maverick or goose or whatever? So, from your perspective, it's, if you don't like it, it sticks.

John
Yeah, it's a little both. Well, you know, I actually did some of the real flying in that movie Top Gun. I'm not sure. Right, right. Yeah, yeah, that was on the carrier enterprise. And so I got to meet, Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer. And so Hollywood did a great job, by way of capturing the air to air scenes. It was incredible. You know, I did some of the flying, and my teammates did some of the flying. But I think what was really powerful was the captured the essence, a little bit of that competitiveness. And so that's what you're getting in those call sites. You know, Iceman is the far You know, right hand, you know, very cold and calculated. Mavericks, you know, kind of on edge, you know, push no limits and reality is that somewhere in between, right, but call signs, yeah, they come up in all different shapes and sizes. Hey, by the way, when this podcast comes out, I know it's coming out in 2021. We'll get to see Top Gun Maverick as it's going to be hitting the theatres probably late in the year.

Karen
I know, I'm so excited.

John
It's great. It's great flying footage, my buddies fly in, and it's incredible stuff, you're going to really like it.

Karen
oh, man, man, it was just so great. And, you know, I'm female, right? I'm a woman. However, it doesn't mean that we as women don't get excited about that sense of competition, that sense of accomplishment. So I'm very excited about that movie coming out. Okay, so I'm sitting here with a very accomplished individual, John. You're a former Blue Angel. Before that, you were an instructor pilot, a top 10 carrier pilot, plus you got a degree in mechanical engineering, and you have three master's degrees, two of which are from Stanford. So you have a thirst for knowledge for learning, for growing? Yeah. Where does that come from? Any idea where that's come from?

John
I think for me, it's always been part of my ethos. I think it came from my parents in the upbringing, you know, always trying to, to get better, right and, and do the best you can and accomplish something in a giveback way. And that's where I've got a new mantra now. It's called give, learn, grow. And I gotta be honest with you, I used to call it learn how to grow, give, and then Okay, lies that actually, the essence is to give first like we're doing right now just giving, what we can share with the audience, hopefully, being able to give them something of value, right. And so I realized that giving is first, and I do that with the course and all the engagements we have, it's just given as much as you can, but then you're continually learning. And I think that thirst is always been there and it really was strong on the Blue Angels, you know, we had an ethos of glad to be here, which means we're grateful. So we're really trying to put out this positive energy, but also an ethos of operational excellence, that allows you to get better every single day, where it's constantly trying to get better building trust building teamwork. And I think that that's always been a part of who I am. I mean, this whole zoom, this last year has been a great experience of learning and growing. And what we found is we're actually able to impact clients at even a deeper level, a more intimate level.

Karen
Yeah, yeah, you've really adopted this whole virtual space that we're in terms of finding ways to help your clients to deal with some of the disruptive pressures that they've been under all year. And it's probably not going to end into 2021. I think disruption is here to stay forever, major disruption. And so as a result, we need to find a very different unique ways to communicate with each other, and, you know, leaders with their employees, etc. So you've really been sort of one of the leaders in the space to do a great job of converting to the virtual world. Tell us a little bit about what that took for you. You know, since learning is one of your piece of your mantra, what did that take for you?

John
Well, first off, it's listening, right? It's listening to, you know, the customers and finding out what do they need, right. And if you remember, when it first happened, we weren't sure everybody was trying to have it, you know, and all that. But it became clear that people need a connection. That's why I like what you call growth connection, right? Before you can grow, you got to connect, right? And so especially virtually, with people, you know, some companies, most companies being remote, but a lot having hybrid cases, and I found it, that's what people are asking the most of how do I get my people to stay connected? How do I keep them inspired? How do I keep them not just motivated, but you know, feeling positive when there's all these challenges around us? So that was number one. But what I liked is that most clients, if that was it, that was would have been fine. But what we realized that it's not enough just to connect, we got to align everybody, we have to look at the glass as being half full, not half empty. And so how do you do that? Well, you got to paint a metaphor. And you got to connect people that, you know, these, these new tools we have that allow us to go into breakout rooms allow us to do these beautiful word clouds, allows us to do surveys allows the interaction that you know, people come out of these meetings, more inspired and more pumped up, but also with a clear action plan.

Karen
Yeah, yeah. You mentioned connect and alignment. In a recent tweet that you did, like, just a day or so ago. You talked about seeing something, seeing things from a different perspective. Yeah, which gives you greater context. And then that context gives you a greater understanding of how things connect. And then from that alignment grows. And that makes you that causes you to pay less attention to the insignificant things. Yeah, which allows you to become more strategic now. Holy, moly, there's a lot to unpack in there. I'd like us to unpack that. So I know You talk a lot about Connect, align, commit when you're presenting and with your clients, and you're doing training and advisory work. How does this what you tweeted about, you know, the different perspective gives you a greater context? Let's start there. Let's unpack that out.

John
Yeah, well, it's a, it's what you do. It's how you build trust and teamwork. And then the commitments get you whatever we're trying to achieve, right, which is taking care of our people first, taking care of the customers making a difference in people's lives. And what I learned was, there's a lot of science behind having this glad to be here a positive state of mind, it turns out, Karen, that when you're in a grateful state of mind, it lights up the area of your brain, okay, where your observations come from how you perceive the world. Now, then, also, when you're in a generous state of mind, so you're giving you're sharing with people, right? It lights up the area of your brain where self-esteem comes from. So here's what's powerful. When you connect those two dots. When you're in a grateful state of mind and a generous state of mind, you will see things others don't see. And you have the confidence to take the action. That's innovation, that's creativity, that's seeing a glass half full, not half empty. And so it's amazing. When you can get people not just, you know, myself, when you can get a whole organization to take on that mindset. It's amazing what can happen.

Karen
So gratefulness is something I've heard up for a long time, lots of us have heard about having a grateful mindset. But there's a lot of people that are probably pretty fearful, right? You know, even you know, going into 2021, there's a lot of fears. So how do you connect that dot between Oh, my gosh, how the heck can I be grateful when I'm scared? Right now I'm just scared.

John
Well, I like to make a distinction because you're absolutely right. The biggest thing challenge we have and the biggest call it an enemy out there is not the Coronavirus. It's fear. It's what you just said it's fear itself. And and so how do you overcome the fear? That, by the way, I think it is natural, it's okay to feel fear. I actually to flip it though, I say that I'm scared, but never afraid. And this is a subtle point, they that's a big difference. See to me scared is awareness. All right, it says little hairs that stand on the back of your neck. It says, Let's wear rpp equipment, let's take the precautions we're supposed to. I mean, companies are doing that they know that right? But how do you deal with the fear and in an individual's heart, right. And actually, the antidote for fear is joyful effort. Most people would have no idea that, but it's it's having a joyful effort. You watch, you will overcome that fear. And so with me, you know, whether it was flying jets off aircraft carriers, or final blazers, or more importantly, you know, what I've done after the military, you know, like I said, Business School worked with now over 1000 companies, and you get to see this at a real level, right. And what you can see is that, you know, we can show and analogies and give people the inspiration, but more importantly, the tools to overcome their own fear. And one of them is being scared. So again, what I mean by that is you don't walk down a dark alley late at night, you don't go off things, right? You're aware of it, you increase your awareness. And with that awareness, what you want to do, and what companies are asking for is alignment, right? Let's get our people aligned, because there are so many distractions out there, and there are so many things that are gonna pull us away. So if we can, we can get them connected and aligned, then what we want to do is be very strategic, and what's the commitments we want to make, and I call those high trust contracts, by the way, and those are verbal and non verbal. And with those high trust contracts, bam, you get some great operational excellence execution.

Karen
So how do you create those high trust contracts?

John
Well we do itright here in the zoom rooms, we are the breakout rooms, we do it right here in a virtual way is you get people to number one, lay it on the table, I have what I call five dynamics that create a high trust environment, Okay, first is you got to have a safe environment. And I'm not just talking physical safety, I mean, psychological safety. All right. Second, is you want to check your ego at the door, you know, I mean, we get to work with so many great people, there are so many amazing companies out there, right. And so what I've noticed is that everybody is good, let's just check our ego at the door, because this is about the we not the AI, this is about better together. So that's the second element. The third element is to lay it on the table. And that's just openness and honesty. Karen, it's you know, it's it's getting people in a room and saying, Let's be open and honest about this. The fourth is ownership mentality, I like to call it an own and and fix it, which is really accountability. You know, but when I learned and this is this was really critical, is it's not about accountability, if all you're working on is accountability, you're not a High Performance Team yet, because what you really want to have is personal responsibility. And when you have personal responsibility, accountability and ownership becomes a given. And then I think the fifth and most important one is to have a glad to be here mindset, you know, that out of respect and gratitude and gratefulness. And what I found, Karen, is that that works in every organization in every vertical, whether it's you know, healthcare, technology, manufacturing, I mean, it's about people in teams, right? And that's what's making the difference.

Karen
Yeah, I, you know, I've watched, obviously, I've watched some footage, footage of you doing a debriefing session, you call them I believe, I have a briefing session with the Blue Angels. And then I've had the honor to sit in on some of those debriefing sessions with some clients lately. And, you know, I've been thrilled to participate with you, where you were saying, hey, my safety, that was my, my error, or whatever you would say, that doesn't happen a lot. You know, in these kinds of environments when you're working with a client, so yeah, tell me what you feel that does by by saying, hey, personal responsibility, accountability, and my safety and being meaning, hey, I made a mistake, right?

John
Yeah, yeah. Or there's things we could have done better, right. Or we could have done better. And that's what we're always trying to give, right just give value. And I think the first thing is, you got to come from a humble mindset, right, that humility. So, you know, you mentioned it with clients and the debriefs are so powerful right after an event, right. And so what I've learned, Karen, is that, first, I paint the picture by showing a video. You've seen this in that briefing room. It's one thing to talk about it but it's a whole nother thing to start. See it, and you viscerally can feel it. Right. It's, it's, it's unique. And I always do a breakout with them and talk about, you know, well, how is that in your company in your relationships? Right? And and they get it, you know, people talk about those five dynamics. So then what we do is we actually implement them right after the event, I mean, right then and there, and they get to see how quickly you can, you can implement this. And it starts with an inward look for an outright result. That's why I always talk about myself, and what am I grateful for big picture. And it's such a, it's such a blessing to work with so many individuals, right, and to be able to share and give back, and then I'm always looking to improve. And I thought the way to improve is, number one, notice, is there anything you could have done better, and then just ask the client? And they'll tell you, and it's it allows us to get better for the next event.

Karen
Yeah, absolutely, for sure. And you mentioned earlier that you know, glad to be here and give learn grow are mantras of yours, right?

John
It's about better together. This is about leadership, this is about teamwork. And we are better the more diverse, the more we embrace other people's ideas, the more we learn to listen, and, and, and, and, and care about each other, then all your processes, your procedures work so much better. You reminded yourself How fortunate you were to be part of that team just to be selected. And I think of all the companies we work with, and actually it's not it's also the individuals, that's the secret sauce is just being grateful for the opportunities we have. Right? And, and that becomes the game-changer. Because when you can instill a culture of Glad to be here. And it's not just words, okay. And I think that's the essence that you're feeling is what I've noticed is it's an ethos, it's it's the way to see the world, it's about being respectful, but also about challenging each other in a beautiful way. It's about appreciating others, it's about a growth mindset, you know, glad to be here and mixed in with this operational excellence. So you got to have a plan got a process, right? And we show that when you when you combine the two, it really is exponential results. It's it's not one plus one equals two, it's one plus one equals 11. And most importantly, the people leave feeling better about not only themselves but about the world, and and the people they get to work with.

Karen
So has the Blue Angels always had that as a mantra? How long has that been? It's a cultural thing. It's something that, from what I understand is a long term cultural perspective there.

John
Yeah, when I joined the team, I, you know, you never get to sit in on a debrief. When you're an applicant. It's only when you're a Blue Angel, right? Because they're very, it's a sacred space. And I remember the first time I sat in on a debrief, I had just gotten selected, and I was blown away. Number one, just with how humble everyone was, number two, how they were constantly looking to improve what I thought was excellent, they picked apart and said, you know, we can be a lot better. But they always ended with this, just the words Glad to be here. And that's that stuck to my heart. But what I've really done is, is I've realized that I've taken in a whole new to new way of it's much more than just being grateful, all right, it's actually a culture of excellence. It's actually a culture of caring. And and this culture is what is the most important because when you have that, and you know, you can create these little small teams first, right? It doesn't have to come out. It's beautiful. And I've never seen anybody not only embrace it, but actually take it home. And people you know, they'll text me and they'll say, Hey, I used it up at the table with my kids. You know, when we when we talk about what are we grateful for today? And and what are we grateful for when we wake up? And this glad to be here is the secret sauce?

Karen
That's it. And it sounds I mean, obviously to me, it would also really help to increase performance, right? Personal my personal performance and my organization's performance, right?

John
Yeah, yeah, it's, it's the starting point. And actually, most people think that Well, after I increase performance, then I'll be happy. It's actually just the other way around. You know, once you create that gratefulness and gratitude in your heart, you watch not only your own individual performance go up, because it's natural, the energy I can create it right and but the team environment goes up the organization environment goes up and that to me is the benefit of having a process and a mindset that's called glad to here.

Karen
Now you created a foundation for at the glad to be her foundation. So kind of work has had that foundation, but doing

John
well. You know, Karen, in the last decade alone, we've been able to sponsor over I think 347 different charities around the world. We've donated over $2 million We sponsor my wife and I sponsor 47 kids. And I know you do, too, in countries all around the world. In fact, my vision and dream is the sponsor child in every country of the world, because I want us to come together, you know, but it started really, one day, I always wanted to give back and I said, Well, wait till I make a lot of money, and, and then I'll be able to give back. And that wasn't happening. You know, I finally said, hey, what the heck, just start tomorrow. And what we do now, and we've been doing this last decade is every time we get hired, it's all future revenues. I give 10% to charity. And and the clients, they usually don't know this when they select this, but there's 10% is going to go to charity. And then I realized that probably, you know, there's so many good works out there everybody is, is really caring that we give now we let the client pick where half of that goes. So that's where we've done 347 charities, because probably 300 of those have been clients, charities, and a bow impact. And when you see so many people out there, just really caring, and a lot of local stuff. I mean, because you know, it's wherever the client is, will support them. And yes, changed my life. I you know, our business took off like crazy. I don't know if that's because the business got better, or because we were giving more, I think it's a little both.

Karen
I think it's a little bit of both, but I think I'm a big believer in you give and you shall receive. I'm a big believer in that, that mantra. So, you know, Top Gun world Blue Angels rolled, it's historically very masculine. And I mentioned earlier, though, that I've really kind of identified with the Top Gun world from way back, when did that movie goodness, what is it 2530 years ago that they made that movie, whatever, a long, long time ago. So, you know, I had somebody asked me, just last week, you know, how do your ideas appeal to a more gender-diverse audience? males females?

John
What are your thoughts about that? Well, first off, thanks for bringing it up. It's it's always a challenge at first. But what what happens is, at the end of glad to be here is universal, okay? excellence is universal. It's it doesn't come from any, you know, male, female, it's not masculine or feminine. And what people find is that actually, I'm very proud of the military and the Blue Angels and what they've accomplished, since, you know, back in the 80s, and 90s, when I was there, much more diverse. I mean, if you look at it, it's amazing what the country is going through and, and how powerful that is, you know, I actually get more people standing in line to talk and say thankful there are more women than there are men, this message actually resonates more with the the women in the audience, because they realize that it's it's this caring piece, it's this idea of having both excellence with a deep compassion and a deep caring, and actually coming from a male, they're surprised a little bit. But they feel it. It's not rhetoric. Right. Right. And, and I think that that's, that's what we care about, right? It doesn't, it's about bringing the whole world together. That's why I met sponsoring a child in every country, it's, it's about better together. This is about leadership. This is about teamwork. And we are better the more diverse, the more we embrace other people's ideas, the more we learn to listen, and, and and care about each other, then all your processes, your procedures work so much better. Yeah,

Karen
I agree with you. 100% there. So, you know, this has been amazing. Thank you. I'm so grateful for the time that you spent here. One last thing, you know, if you could speak to directly to one or two people today, what do you think is the best next step for us as leaders or individual employees? Or just, you know, somebody doing whatever at home?

John
What's our next best step for this new year? Well, first, it's just embrace the change that we're seeing in the world. And what I mean by that is, I truly know that it's an optimistic timeframe out there to be aware that yes, we still have challenges, and we're going to take care of those. But I think back to my dad always said embrace challenges, because challenges, build endurance, and then endurance builds character. And with strong character, you're ready for anything. And I think that's true. as an individual, as a team and as an organization. We're building the character and the culture is making a difference. I'm super excited for 2021 I'm so grateful for all the opportunities we get, and let's continue to help others and help the world. Yeah,

Karen
I am with you. They're Glad to be here. I hope you enjoyed your time with John is glad to be here mindset has already helped me to reach new heights. Remember, embrace challenges and change. Growth is uncomfortable because you've never been there before. Keep growing.

Clint Pulver- 2021 and the To Don't List

By Clint Pulver | Jan 06, 2021 | Comments Off

2020 has been the year of the dumpster fire. I don't know about you, but I'm ready to start a new chapter. It's been crazy. It's been a wild time. I don't think ever in my life have I experienced such difficult turbulence.

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I remember when I was in flight school, and we were flying over a mountain range, and we hit some of the roughest air. I mean, massive turbulence was shaking the plane, I hit my head on the cockpit. My safety belt wasn't on tight enough. It was rough. And I remember pushing the throttle to get through the turbulence faster. I wanted to get over the mountain range. I wanted to get through everything and get to smoother air. And I was still in school, so thankfully, my instructor was with me, and he grabbed the throttle and pulled it back.

He looked at me, and he said, "You never speed up when you're in turbulence."

Every airplane has an optimum turbulence limitation. And, you know, it's like hitting a speed bump at 80 miles an hour versus eight miles an hour. There's a big difference in what that's going to do. Sometimes, when we start a new year or a new chapter, right, it's all New Year's resolutions. Its goals, expectations, and vision statements are set, and we get busy creating a lot of To-Do's. But I think there's power in slowing down.


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There's power and maintaining and setting your course and realizing that it's not always in the things that we do, but it's sometimes in the things that we don't do, where we find the greatest growth and success. Leonardo da Vinci said that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

When the astronauts first went up into space, they found out that a ballpoint pen would not work in space. There's no gravity, so they couldn't write. So NASA and other engineers spent hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars trying to figure out how they could help astronauts write-in space. And they finally figured it out and developed this really cool pen that writes in space. But what do you think the astronauts did until they could figure that problem out? They used a pencil. Right? Simplicity is sometimes it is the ultimate sophistication.

In my years of research, and what we found is that, you know, good leaders, good entrepreneurs, business professionals, for the most part, you know what you need to do. But the great ones know what they need to stop doing. So this year, maybe you know, instead of writing the To-Do list, perhaps you write the To Don't list, and you focus on simplifying your life, focusing on the essentials.

As we do that, we realize that there's more to life than just speeding up. Sometimes the greatest thing we can do is simply slow down, especially in turbulent times. I wish you a Happy New Year, an excellent 2021 and continued success!

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Mike Rayburn- What Are You Grateful For?

By Mike Rayburn | Jan 04, 2021 | Comments Off
Virtuoso Practice #8_ Gratitude and Learning_ Thank You, 2020!!!


Many things have been said of and about 2020. What I say is, thank you. See, 2020 gave us some fantastic gifts. It taught us all what we're really made of. It showed us all how to do more with less. It taught us that it's when the going gets tough, the successful get creative.

It taught us all to be more creative, which is near and dear to my heart. It showed us all whether or not we walk our talk. And if our talk is worth walking in the first place.

More than anything, what I hope for you, and what I create with clients, is the sense that 2020 was an awesome launching pad. Now you can create a fantastic 2021 and beyond.

And if there's any way that I can partner with you in making that happen, please let me know. In the meantime, have a fantastic new year. It's going to be great!

 

Mike-Rayburn

 

Dan Thurmon Spectrum of Certainty

By Dan Thurmon | Dec 07, 2020 | Comments Off

At any moment in time, including this one, there really exists a sort of a spectrum of certainty. There are some things we're going to know for sure, absolutely. And others that are unknowable, there's a huge amount of uncertainty. And that's okay.

Dan Thurmon Spectrum of Certainty

All we ever get you to see is some certainty. So the question is, how can we operate every single day from this place of only having some certainty, and still be optimistic and confident, and joyful, and connected and fulfilled in what we do, and for in your case, to be the Great Leader, that can not only embody that for yourself, but give it to others, because you can't give away what you don't have. So here are three simple strategies that I promise you'll remember. And if you do this, you will have a better time navigating the future, and these moments.

Spectrum of Certainty

 

The first is to claim your certainties. You got to claim the certainties that you have. And you know a lot for sure. You know, who you are, you know your name, you know your past, what you love, who you love. You know, your purpose, your mission, your vision, and your incredible core values. And you know, that what you do matters so much, and your life matters, but it won't last forever. So we have to get busy living and becoming who we are at this present moment.

 

The second thing we need to do is to embrace the unknown. Right? Embrace the unknown and what that means is, you're going to be in this place, obviously, where some things you don't know. And rather than seeing the future as uncertain, I want you to think about it as unfolding. There are some things that we just don't know now. And they will be unfolded and revealed in time. Sure, we participate in making that happen. To help that happen, you can create and shape the future as you go. But imagine, for example, if you are reading a great book, or watching a fantastic movie, and for whatever reason, you couldn't enjoy yourself, unless you knew the ending in advance. It sounds crazy, right? And yet, this is how most people live their lives. So they say "when I'm dealing with only some certainty, I've got to know how this is going to work out" right? If I have a guarantee of success before I'm even willing to be comfortable, or to even start or try something new. But if you embrace the unknown, you see the future is just unfolding, and you're an active participant, and you become much more okay with that.

 

And then the third thing is to create more certainty, more certainty. And the way you do this, is you engage with the test. Now, our doctors have just told us a lot about the testing. And we know that testing has been a huge part of the psychology and the mindset and the language. And you probably have felt like you have been undergoing a test during these past few months in a new way. The question is, how do you engage with that? Is it a test coming at you? Or do you choose rather to test yourself? It's an intention.

 

Intentionality. And what you're saying really, is that in the midst of all this unknown and all that's uncertain, and things that might be going poorly or, you know, not necessarily in the direction that we wish them to go. That there is something, I can do right now at this present moment, to create a different trajectory in my life, that I know some things many things are going to be getting better in my life and in my leadership abilities and my skills.

Dan-Thurmon

 

John "Gucci" Foley - Joins cmi family

By John "Gucci" Foley | Dec 02, 2020 | Comments Off

John "Gucci" Foley is a former Lead Solo Pilot of the Blue Angels, "Top Ten Carrier Pilot," a best-selling author and an expert on high-performance teams. And we are proud to announce that he is also the newest member of the cmi family!

JOhn Foley Welcome-1

John is an expert at accelerating performance in turbulent times.

Connecting, aligning, and unifying virtual teams can be a daunting task. John’s message of trust and high-performance teamwork speaks directly to virtual teams. His unique keynote experience leaves audiences feeling inspired, energized, and “Glad to Be Here®”

As a keynote speaker, John has inspired over 1,000 organizations to increase trust, elevate execution and build a culture of excellence. He's delivered his Glad To Be Here message at over 1,000 events, to over 1 million people worldwide.

No other speaker in the world shares John's life experiences.

He has continually reinvented himself, working as an entrepreneur, venture capitalist, leadership expert, keynote speaker, and the best-selling author of Fearless Success.

John Foley's message goes above and beyond expectations. With engaging stories and electrifying videos of Blue Angel aerobatics, his presentations will give your organization a renewed spirit, purpose and energy. John’s events inspire, motivate and align teams to improve performance, strengthen teamwork, and thrive with a Glad to Be Here Mindset. 

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As the founder and CEO of CenterPoint Companies—which provides business performance training to companies worldwide—John knows first-hand how the best of the best excel and continually improve. By thoroughly studying the current climate within your workplace and reflecting on his past experiences, John Foley delivers personalized programs aligned with company culture and event goals. This detail-oriented customization will give your people the experience of a lifetime.

Inspiring Top Performing Organizations - Why Should You Hire John Foley?

  • John's process for building a culture of excellence aligns with any company striving for the top.
  • He knows how to align teams with your vision to fly in formation.
  • John's debriefing process creates a safe space for teams to trust, communicate and execute.
  • His approach inspires a disciplined dedication to teamwork.
  • John has delivered his extraordinary message at over 1 thousand events to over 1 million people.
  • He is a natural motivator with a proven record of inspiring greatness.
  • John holds 3 Masters degrees, an honorary Ph.D., and was a pilot in the movie Top Gun!

Welcome to the cmi family John!

 

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Ty Bennett - Devotion or Discipline

By Ty Bennett | Nov 16, 2020 | Comments Off

It's not enough to be busy. We're all busy. It's about being productive. We want to focus our attention on getting results. But as great as discipline is, it's not enough. 

 

Ty Bennet- Devotion vs Commitment

 

What we have to do is move to level four devotion. Now I have a lot of people say, "Ty, but discipline! That's what we're after. Discipline is great, but devotion is better. Luciano Pavarotti, the great tenor, said something really interesting. He said, "Most people think I'm disciplined. I'm not," He said, "I'm devoted. And there's a huge difference."

You see, when you're devoted, you will push through any obstacle. When you're devoted, you're not interested. You're not doing what's convenient. You're committed when you're devoted to a cause. You start to get the attention of other people, they see it in you, and they flock to you. They migrate to you. These are the kind of people that you want to be around, people who have a purpose, who are devoted. They are focused on what it is that they're going to do.

Have you been around people like this? Devotion changes everything. I had a mentor who used to say that successful entrepreneurs compress more activity into tighter timeframes at critical junctures in their business life. Have you seen that? Have you seen people who have come in and built a business quickly who have created this huge storm of activity because of their level of commitment and devotion? People seem to be magnets like magnetic people are drawn to them?

If I can attribute my success to anything, it's learning on that Russian train and being devoted to what I wanted to do. That's what allowed my brother and me to go and build the business that we made. That's what allowed me to go and speak on stages all over the world. That's what has allowed me to write and create three best-selling books. Its devotion, its commitment, its focus.

 

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Heather R Younger - Be Intentional

By Heather Younger | Oct 28, 2020 | Comments Off

Being more intentional in everything you do will give you great results. Heather R. Younger shares the top three things you can do to be more intentional about during this trying time.

 

Hello, I'm Heather R. Younger, keynote speaker and author on all things leadership, employee loyalty and engagement. Today I wanted to share just one positive message with you, which is to be more intentional.
Intentional? "What's that?" you might ask?

I don't mean intentional by sitting around in a robe and eating a jelly doughnut, and doing nothing that day. Unlike me...kidding! I don't mean that.

What I mean is to be intentional first in your mindset. And that means before you even go to sleep at night, figure out the kind of day you want the next day. And if you didn't have a great day today, make a decision in your mind that you will not have the same day the next day.

Number two, be intentional in your language. Our words mean everything. And what we say to ourselves and to those around us has a huge amount of impact. So choose to be positive to yourself. Choose to be uplifting to yourself and to others.

And lastly, be intentional in your behaviours. Set a plan for yourself for the day, maybe the night before or the day of, about what it is you want to achieve. And maybe it's not a whole bunch. Maybe it's just getting out of bed. Whatever that is for you during this time. Just be intentional.

Being intentional will make you feel like you've succeeded a lot more during this time when we're all sitting at home remotely. But know that you have the power and the strength to get through it all. But you have to first start with your mind, your language, your behaviours. Your results will all produce great things for you.

In the meantime, be intentional!

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