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The Growth Connection Episode 4

By Felicia Labbe | 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 Felicia Labbe | 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.

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