Jersey Mike’s CEO Gives Strong Message for Contact Center Leaders

Jersey Mike’s CEO Gives Strong Message for Contact Center Leaders

Did you see the thirty-second TV advertisement in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic by Peter Cancro, Founder and CEO of Jersey Mike’s Subs? It is a strong message for all contact center leaders and associates.

If you missed it, you could watch it on YouTube…just search for Jersey Mike’s—Our Family.

For those of you that are not aware, Jersey Mike’s is a chain of over two-thousand stores serving high-end subs. It was started in 1975 by Peter Cancro, a Point Pleasant Beach, NJ, high school senior who talked his football coach into loaning him $125,000 to buy the sandwich shop where he had worked part-time for four years.

There were years of challenge. Today the franchise company enjoys $1 billion in annual sales and is currently the fastest-growing sandwich chain in the U.S.

This story, however, is not about a bootstrap kid who went from rags to riches through hard work and dedication. That story has been told in a wide range of business literature.

His words were, “I am so proud of our owners throughout the country for serving hospitals, first responders, and those in need.” He encourages everyone to “seek your opportunity to give and make a difference in someone’s life.”

There is no sales pitch, no tooting your own horn, just a humble plea of gratitude and encouragement. The word “grateful” comes from the Latin word Gratus that meant “pleasing or agreeable.” We use it now as the expression of thanks to those who please us in some manner.

People please us all year long. Some loudly, like the happy-go-lucky contact center agent, some quietly, like the janitor who cleans the restrooms so during a break there’s a clean place to relieve and regroup yourself.

Customers are notorious for pleasing us. They visit our enterprises in person or online and leave behind money for our benefit. Support employees leave behind their careful toil and dedication. Here is a half-dozen who made my life better because of their special contribution.

  • The Delta flight attendant who last year spotted my ice pack and, without saying a word, filled it with ice to comfort my aching back after way too many air miles.
  • The guy who mows my yard and on mow days brings my morning newspaper to the front door rather than waiting for me to walk to the end of a very long driveway to get it.
  • The nurse who drew blood for my annual physical exam last month and then brought me a cup of great coffee since I had fasted since midnight the evening before.
  • My financial advisor at Merrill, who weekly teaches me financial smartness as he briefs me on my investments.
  • The people who follow me on social media, retweet my tweets, and publish my guest blogs.
  • My family, who always gives me a wider than normal berth when I am preoccupied (and absentminded) while in the middle of writing a new book.

To all of you (and those not named here), you bless me with your greatness, and I am full of appreciation. Thanks. As a contact center leader or agent, take a page from Jersey Mike’s during these challenging times. Thank someone for what they have meant to you or your family.


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Tried and True Ways to Create an Amazing Customer Experience

Empathy is the most important part of handling customers. In order to create an amazing customer experience, you need to understand the five customer experience phases. Thanks to Shep Hyken, you do not have to guess what your customer needs in order to feel understood. In his book The Cult of the Customer, he breaks down the five phases of customer experience and how you can use them to deliver a quality and satisfactory service. 

In the interview, Shep Hyken briefly shares his insight at the Customer Contact Week in Nashville on how your contact center can deliver an amazing customer experience using the five customer phases.

Here is an edited script of my interview with Shep.

Jim Rembach: Hey everybody. This is Jim with the Fast Leader Show and Call Center Coach and I’m here with my good old friend Shep Hyken and we’re back.

Shep Hyken: We are back.

Jim Rembach: We are back. So we’re actually at CCW Nashville. It’s 2020, however, when you start thinking about customer experience not everything is dated. Some things we have to go back, some tried and true things and Shep, I think that’s what you have to share with us an upcoming book titled ‘The Cult of the Customer.’

Shep Hyken: The Cult of the Customer

Jim Rembach:‘ The Cult of the Customer’

Shep Hyken: And actually it is tried and true because that’s not a brand new book, that is a re-release with updated information, all new stats, and facts. There’s nothing statistically in there that should be older than a year or so, as we pulled news stats together. A lot has changed in the stats but nothing’s changed in the methodology of the way any company wants to deliver a great customer experience. So little background of the book and what it’s about?

Jim Rembach: Yes.

Understanding the customer ‘cult’

Shep Hyken: By the way, ‘Cult Of the customer’, ‘cult’ is not a scary word. Cult is actually if you look at the true definition of a cult, it’s not a bunch of religious or fanatics that are doing something, what some people term evil, no. A cult is a general group of people interested in the same content, same subject, same activity.

The group that gets together every Tuesday morning at the coffee house, this is when they always meet, is kind of like a cult. The group that goes hiking on a Sunday every morning, every Sunday morning is a group for years, that’s a cult-like experience. Cult which actually has a root culture in a company so it ties in. 

Five customer phases that create an amazing customer experience

Anyway, five cults or phases the customers go through and this is really important in our industry to understand what they are and why we’re gonna move them from uncertainty to amazement.

Uncertainty, alignment, and experience

The cult of uncertainty is when a customer first comes to a business. They’re not certain. Maybe they heard about your great reputation but they haven’t experienced it themselves. So once they start to do business with us they are uncertain and then they’re going to get into alignment with what we promised them and then they’re going to experience what we promised them. So those are the first three. We want to move them into this really quickly.

Ownership creates amazing customer experience

Number four is harder, it’s the cult of ownership or the phase of ownership. This is when they are confident that it will happen again. If that great experience happened two or three times, the goal is we want to make it predictable and consistent, so the customer says, they always get back to me quickly. Whenever I talk to them they’re always knowledgeable, they’re always friendly, they’re always so helpful. The word ‘always’ followed by something good.

Amazement

It’s predictable, it’s consistent, it’s owned at that point. And if it is positive, then it moves them into the cult of amazement. You know, those people are amazing. You know. And here’s the best part this is what applies to us, even when there’s a problem, I know I can always, there’s that word ‘always’ again, count on them.

Now, the first time there’s a problem they may be in that cult of ownership and may have been there for a while. But the moment there’s a glitch, they immediately moved back to uncertainty. Until you prove to them that everything they experienced thus far, even a problem stays in that owned experience, ‘always helpful,’ ‘always back to me,’ ‘always whatever’ and that keeps you in amazement. So eventually, even if there are issues they never fall back into uncertainty. They are that confident.

Jim Rembach: Oh and even as you’re talking Shep, I started thinking about, something about, we have to earn grace from our customers.

Shep Hyken: Yes, yes. And go-ahead and earn grace.

Jim Rembach: Well it’s just that we have to actually put in those points, put in those, you know, consistent, high performing types of activities and interactions. So that customers know that, hey, they did mess up but however, that’s not the norm.

Amazing Customer Experience Through Ownership

Shep Hyken: It should never be the norm. You know, you could go for ten years and never have a problem and the first problem, that’s like judgment day. But there are certain types of big software companies, for example. There are going to be glitches, there are going to be problems. It’s how fast we take care of them.

If you submit a support ticket, somebody’s gonna back in forty-eight hours, I want you to know this, the moment they submit that support ticket or the moment they contact you, even if they’re going to call you and talk to you directly or chat or whatever it is, that’s not when the problem started. The problem started when the problem actually started and then there’s this gap between when it started and where we are right now.

And that’s why I think so many people realize, the problem didn’t start the moment we got on the phone with them or the moment we responded to them, no. It happened much sooner, so we need to prove ourselves over and over again. And once again, I really love that cult of ownership. I almost think that even though we want them in amazement, if we can always create the predictable and consistent above-average experience, they’re gonna think of us as amazing. That’s where you want to be. That owned place.

 

Jim Rembach: Most definitely Shep Hyken, as always, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom.

Shep Hyken: Thanks for having me.

Jim Rembach: Hey, you’re welcome.

Shep Hyken: Also, The Cult of The Customer, get it today because this is the cult you want to belong to.

Jim Rembach: Most definitely.


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267: Chester Elton: Lead with gratitude

267: Chester Elton: Lead with gratitude

Chester Elton Show Notes Page

Chester Elton got over the hump when he began to assume people had positive intent and became even more grateful for the things he had.

Born in Edmonton, Alberta, and raised in Vancouver B.C. Canada, Chester is a proud Canadian and avid hockey fan! Hockey isn’t just a game; it is a way of life!

His father, John Dalton Elton, has been the most significant influence in his life and work. “I grew up in the happiest house ever,” he will often say. That joy for life and family has been the single biggest driver in his work and family. He often quotes his father saying, “Be good to everyone; everybody is having a tough day!”

In his work, he had traveled to over 40 countries teaching about the importance of a healthy culture where people feel valued and appreciated for their work. He believes travel is a wonderful educator and loves experiencing new languages, traditions, and especially their food!

With Adrian Gostick, his co-author, they have written 12 books together on Culture, Leadership, and Gratitude in the workplace. Five have been NYT and WSJ best-sellers. Their books have sold over 1.6 million copies and have been translated into over 40 languages. Their latest is Leading with Gratitude: Eight Leadership Practices for Extraordinary Business Results

When not writing or speaking on workplace culture Chester spends his time with his wonderful wife Heidi working with Camp Corral, an organization that funds summer camps for military families kids, Mentors International that makes microloans to the poorest of the poor, Ability Beyond that provides care and work for those that have experienced brain trauma as well as working with the World Bank on their faith-based partnerships to end world poverty.

He is a proud father of 4 exceptional children and two amazing grandchildren, he enjoys family time at home and hockey games! He’s been married to the love of his life Heidi for 36 years, and they live happily in Summit NJ!

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @chesterelton to get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShowClick to Tweet

“The soft stuff is the hard stuff.” – Click to Tweet

“Positive workplaces return on equity is sometimes 3, 4, or 5 times those cultures that don’t” – Click to Tweet

“The imposter syndrome is the leader that shows up and thinks he or she is being the big motivator.” – Click to Tweet

“Fake praise gets very annoying, very quickly.” – Click to Tweet

“General praise has very little impact, be very specific.” – Click to Tweet

“What’s easier to change, behavior or perception? Actually, it’s behavior.” – Click to Tweet

“The customer experience will never exceed the employee experience.” – Click to Tweet

“Soft skills are not nice to have; they are must-haves.” – Click to Tweet

“A lot of managers that manage by fear don’t realize that their managing by fear.” – Click to Tweet

“If you don’t have time for the good things, but always have time for the bad things, what kind of culture do you think that breeds?” – Click to Tweet

“Make sure to have time for all the little things that are going right; I will guarantee you fewer things will go wrong.” – Click to Tweet

“Leaders set the tone, and the way they behave gives everyone else permission to act the same way.” – Click to Tweet

“The leaders that understand to tailor the experience, they know their people, they know their stories, they know what they value.” – Click to Tweet

“Understand each member of your team and their role; walk in their shoes.” – Click to Tweet

“The extraordinary leaders take the time to say, what really are your key motivators?” – Click to Tweet

“You want a lot of diversity on your team and not just diversity that we traditionally think of; you want diversity in thought.” – Click to Tweet

“Happiness is a choice; choose to be happy.” – Click to Tweet

“Gratitude has nothing to do with your circumstances and everything to do with your heart.” – Click to Tweet

“It’s not the joy in the accomplishments that drives your gratitude; it’s the gratitude that drives a joyful life.” – Click to Tweet

“Assume positive intent, don’t assume that people are out to get you.” – Click to Tweet

“The news is just prolifically negative, and yet there’s never been a better time to live than now.” – Click to Tweet

“Assume positive intent, don’t vilify people.” – Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

Chester Elton got over the hump when he began to assume people had positive intent and became even more grateful for the things he had.

Advice for others

Find a mentor or find a coach.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

I don’t manage my time, as well as I should.

Best Leadership Advice

Assume positive intent, don’t vilify people.

Secret to Success

My amazing wife and Christy Lawrence, who runs my calendar.

Best tools in business or life

Random acts of kindness.

Recommended Reading

Leading with Gratitude: Eight Leadership Practices for Extraordinary Business Results

The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters

Contacting Chester Elton

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chesterelton/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/chesterelton

Website: https://www.chesterelton.com/

Resources

3 steps to turn everyday get-togethers into transformative gatherings

Show Transcript

Click to access transcript

Unedited Transcript

Jim Rembach (00:00):

Okay, fast leader Legion today. I am absolutely thrilled because I have the opportunity to meet with somebody who I met a few years back and I was in the audience of his keynote, one of his keynote presentations, and I thought it was just fantastic and so now he’s on the show, which is great.

Jim Rembach (00:15):

Chester Elton was born in Edmonton, Alberta and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Chester is a proud Canadian and avid hockey fan. Hockey isn’t just a game, it’s a way of life. His father, John Dalton, Elton has been the most significant influencer in his life and work. He grew up in the happiest house ever is what he says. The joy for life and family has been the single biggest driver in his work and family. He often quotes his father saying, be good to everyone. Everybody is having a tough day. In his work. He has traveled to over 40 countries teaching about the importance of a healthy culture where people feel valued and appreciated for their work. He believes travel is a wonderful educator and loves experiencing new languages, traditions, and especially in our food with Adrian Gosick, his coauthor.

Jim Rembach (01:08):

They have written 12 books together on culture, leadership and gratitude in the workplace. Five has been New York times and wall street journal bestsellers. Their books have sold over 1.6 million copies and have been translated into over 40 languages. Their latest is leading with gratitude, eight leadership practices for extraordinary business results when not writing or speaking on workplace culture. Chester spends his time with his wonderful wife, Heidi, working with their camp coral and in an organization that funds summer camps, summer camps for military family, kids, mentors international that makes micro loans to the poorest of the poor ability beyond that provides care and work for those that have experienced brain trauma as well as working with the world bank on their faith-based partnerships to end world poverty. He’s a proud father of four exceptional children and two amazing grandchildren. He enjoys family Tom at home and hockey games. He’s been married to the love of his life, Heidi for 36 years and they happily live in summit, New Jersey. Chester. Elton, are you ready to help us get over the hump?

Chester Elton (02:16):

I am ready to get you over the hump. Thanks for having me on the show. Really appreciate it.

Jim Rembach (02:20):

Well, I, and I, and I have to tell you, when I was in the audience for that keynote presentation, we were throwing a bunch of carrots around having a great time. So I know we’re going to have a great time on this interview as well. So, but I’ve shared with my Legion a little bit about you, but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better?

Chester Elton (02:37):

You know, my current passion really is our kids have grown and left home. And so we’ve got time. It’s that season in our life where we’ve gotten time to dedicate. And my wife and I have really gotten involved in a lot of charitable work. Uh, you mentioned camp corral. It’s sponsored by the, by the best buffet in the USA golden corral. And we’ve had great fun with that over the summer where military kids get to go to camp for free and we go out there and we paint with them. We we advise on that board. So we really spent a lot of time, uh, doing things for that, for, for those that just need a helping hand, a little bit of encouragement and especially the poorest of the poor. We’ve gotten involved in some wonderful programs with the world bank and so on. And so, you know, along with the stuff we do a third church and of course we just love spending time with our grandkids.

Jim Rembach (03:25):

So lucky we have two and they only live three blocks away so we get to babysit and pick them up at school. We were going to asleep over tonight with little Lucas and our four year old grandson. So life is very, very good. I think that’s fantastic. And now, you know, while reading your bio and even me reflecting back upon being in that audience, I mean you’re a very positive energy guy and you share it openly and it has a huge impact on a lot of folks. And I oftentimes think that that could also be potentially, you know, misperceived, misrepresented and a couple of different ways. First of all, that Hey, it’s just bringing a lot of positive energy and that’s all you need to do. But really when you start thinking about business setting and even in home, there’s a lot of impactful results that you get from this. And a lot of times people think about the intangibles in business, these soft skills that are hard to measure, but write in the book. And I, and I shared with you earlier, I think we need to just continue to emphasize business results happen when you actually behave, feel, connect in this way. So what kind of business impacts do you see?

Chester Elton (04:34):

No, it’s so interesting that you bring that up because we say, you know, the soft stuff is the hard stuff, right? Um, the D we’ve been studying leadership as you have for well over 20 years now. And when we looked at the difference between the good leaders in the extraordinary leaders, it was never their hard skills, right? The hard skills are a given. You’ve got to know the products. And services. You’ve got another business. The difference was always what we have come to call their soft skills, how they communicate, how they paint, the vision, how they engage people. What was fascinating for us is number one in those skills was how they express gratitude. And that was really revealing to us because you know, as you, as you’re talking about servant leadership, as you talk about creating engaging cultures, you want those not just so that your mama can say, boy, aren’t you a good boy?

Chester Elton (05:20):

Right? You want it because it attracts and retains the top talent. It creates a culture of innovation and agility. You know, as you take a look at positive cultures measured in any which way you want, whether it’s Willis towers Watson or Gallup or a lot of our own work, those positive workplaces, you know, their return on on equity, their return on investment is sometimes three, four, five times those cultures that don’t. And so as we wrote leading with gratitude, it was really interesting for us to not only look at the data and have those engaging stories that everybody remembers. It was also to give people the tools and the methodology and the roadmap that says you can do this too. Is it easy? Anything that’s worthwhile is never that easy. Does it bear incredible business results? Absolutely it does. And I think the nice part of that is it’s also, it also brings good people. It creates a, a very caring and supportive workplace. And you know, who doesn’t want that?

Jim Rembach (06:17):

Well, most definitely. And, and you know, to get into some of those specifics when you start talking about this performance piece, um, I mean, you’re talking about two to three times greater profitability. You’re talking about an average 20% higher customer satisfaction, uh, and significantly higher scores in employee engagement, including vital metrics, uh, like trust and accountability. Uh, and so when I start, you know, looking at all of these things and I said, we’re probably going to be talking about this forever to just really break through what the societal, you know, myths are, you can talk about other myths as well. But before we get into that and we’re going to, we’re going to share those. I, I would like you to elaborate on something that you actually present in the book called impostor syndrome.

Chester Elton (07:01):

What is that? Well, you know, the imposter syndrome was the, the, the leader that shows up and thinks he or she is being the big motivator, you know, read all the books and comes in as, Hey Jim, great job, great job. You’re the master of the question and you’re number one, you’re know, you’re the tower P’s. You don’t kind of, and it’s that, that, that imposter syndrome, that, that fake praise that it gets a very annoying very quickly. And so as, as we talk through it and we’ve done a lot of executive coaching now as well, when we talk to executives about this, they look general praise has very little impact. Be very specific, be positive, be specific, be be a coach, be be a guide. You know, you can get, you can get just carried away with, uh, you know, the office kind of syndrome where you think you’re doing all the right things and it comes across as very much an impostor. Very much not you. And the, and it has exactly the opposite effect of what you’re looking for. Does that make sense?

Jim Rembach (07:54):

It does make sense. It also, for me, um, I, I’ve tried to be more expressive in the gratitude with being something as simple as I changed the signature line in my emails and, and I, instead of saying thanks or cheers or whatever, um, you know, I’ll put grateful, you know, are in appreciation. Uh, and so at least shows people that, you know, I do start from that, you know, as a, as a, an intent and then over time, and I think this is the key. Over time they’ll actually see it reflected in the things that I do and being genuine. And I think that’s what you’re talking about with this imposter syndrome piece is first of all, if you start down that path, you know that you need to be genuine and be consistent because it can’t be something that you do temporarily and then fall off the cliff. Because that whole trust and accountability and ownership has a waterfall impact.

Chester Elton (08:49):

No question. You know, we, we, we talk often what’s easier to change behavior or perception and actually it’s behavior, you know, the, the fact is that the perception as you said, takes a long time. You have to live it and breathe it over a long period of time and then you get people believing it’s, it’s who you are, you know, back to creating those, those, those great metrics. Uh, we, uh, we’ve often seen where, you know, you preach great customer service and great loyalty and yet you treat your people badly, you know, and, and we always say, look, the, the customer experience will never exceed the employee experience. You know, if your employees feel valued and engaged, if they believe in the products, if they understand, you know, what they do matters, they make a difference. And you notice that difference in the celebrated well before the phones rang and the emails come in and they, you know, you do a lot of work at context and as before that’ll happen.

Chester Elton (09:37):

They’re already coming from a very positive place. Does that ripple through to your customers? Of course it does. Of course it does. So, you know, again, coming back to are these soft skills? Yeah. Are they nice to have? Absolutely not. They are absolute must haves. If you’re going to create that customer loyalty and the customer experience that will differentiate you from, from your competitors. I wanted to make sure we got that in because to me that’s the difference between just saying we have a great place to work and Hey, you’re great. And then putting in place those things that actually will bear that fruit and, and convince people that you really are a good guide. You

Jim Rembach (10:15):

definitely, and I think what you’re talking about too there and doing that connection and understanding those motivators and we’re going to get a little bit more to that in detail, but as Susan Fowler, uh, who is, you know, written several books about this whole employee engagement piece, she talks about, um, having motivational junk food, you know, and the motivational junk food is that high level generic general, you know, Hey, let’s give everybody a gift certificate. You know, that kind of [inaudible]

Chester Elton (10:41):

and you checked the box, right? Well, what do you mean we do and appreciate you. I didn’t need to get that $5 Starbucks card. Come on. Yeah.

Jim Rembach (10:47):

Okay. So we’re not going to spend a whole lot of time on this, but I think it is important to mention that are, there are a lot of the societal myths, junk food, uh, that take place, uh, and a lot of different ways and that they become just part of our, you know, typical everyday practices that we really need to pay attention to. Uh, and question. And so you talk about seven myths that are holding leaders back in the seven you mentioned our fear is the best motivator. People want too much. There’s just no time for this. Uh, I’m not wired to feel it. I saved my praise for the deserted. Uh, it’s all about the money and they’ll think that I am bogus. Right. Well, what I think about these seven, I have to think that there’s maybe one or two that are most corrosive in an environment than others. Which ones kind of thing,

Chester Elton (11:37):

you know, in each one of them. I think, you know, if you’ve worked for any length of time, you’ve had every one of those bosses, right? I think the fear one is by far the most corrosive. Um, and what’s, what’s interesting is we took a deep dive into that. What we discovered is a lot of managers that manage by fear don’t realize that they’re managing by fear. They think they’re being honest and open. Uh, I’m, I’m not negative, I’m candid. You know, I’m not a, I’m not corrosive. I’m a truth teller. And they’ll say things like, well, you know, if we don’t get these quotas, I don’t know that I can guarantee your jobs. You know, I’m just being honest and open and you go, Oh, you’re scaring the crap out of everybody were just talking about, you know, um, cause it’s not often that you have the, you know, the leader that’ll come and stick their finger in your face and say, you know, if you don’t get this done, that does happen.

Chester Elton (12:23):

It’s fairly rare. It’s that passive aggressive, you know, fear that I think drives people crazy. The other one that I, that I, or two other ones we can talk about really quick and then what is, is that people need too much praise these days. You know, I, I reserved my price for those that really deserve it. And you know, I don’t say thank you very often. I don’t make people feel good very often when I do, they, they know what I mean. It, you know, I remember back in 1984, you know, when I said shocked the masses, right? And this idea of that, you know, every engagement, this, this, this, this impostor syndrome has to be something grand. You know, it’s gotta be, you know, fireworks and breasts bands and red carpets. You know, what we’re saying is, is in this leading with gratitude is often, it’s the small little things.

Chester Elton (13:07):

It’s the little gestures asking you about your, your, your sick mother or, uh, asking him about your kids and making accommodations and those kinds of things. Just genuinely caring about people. You know, I remember I had a buddy, I said, what was the best recognition you ever got? He pulled, he was a chemist at a pharmaceutical company here in New Jersey and he pulled out this little handwritten note out of his wallet from a chemist that he had worked with that was a Nobel prize winner. And he says, this little note from him has meant more to me than anything. And I asked him how long you had that in your wallet? He goes, 15 years, you know? So those, those little things. And then lastly, I want to get to really quick, cause I know time is precious, is this idea that I don’t have time and it drives me crazy because I’ll say, now let me get this straight.

Chester Elton (13:52):

You don’t have time to do, you know, value and appreciate it and show gratitude to Susan who is killing it. You know, because you got to get things done. He goes, yeah, that’s right. I said, okay, now she screws up. She makes a mistake. How much time you got for her now? Oh, I’m on that like a duck on a Junebug, you know, it’s a, which I’m not sure exactly what that means by the way. Anyway, it’s, it’s, you know, you say, look, I don’t have time for the good things. I’ve always got time for the bad things. Well, what kind of culture do you think that breeds? You know, it’s, it’s really interesting to me that we, when we can reverse that dynamic and see, I make sure to have time for all the little things that are going right. I will guarantee you fewer things will go wrong.

Chester Elton (14:35):

And when they do go wrong, people are quick to pipe up and ask for help and get it solved and move on. So, you know, those three to me are, you know, leading by fear whether you know it or not, right. People need too much praise and gratitude. Can you ever get too much? Is my question as ask your kids. Right? And then, and then lastly, I don’t have the time. Well, the great leaders, the extraordinary leaders, they, they find that time and they make sure that that’s a part of their routine. And those are some of the things that we teach in the book because these myths are easily debunked. And when you do and you understand not only the math and the science, you understand the emotion mind why really good things happen really fast.

Jim Rembach (15:13):

Well and as you’re talking, I’m starting to see all this even flow externally. Cause I mean we see the same thing occur when we start talking about the customer experience. When you know, Hey, you’re just telling me that you love everybody’s business, right? You’re just telling me but you don’t know anything. And then you also try this mass personalization thing and you know, a lot of times we feel the bigger the organization, you know, the less heart that it has. And, and the fact is is that when you tear it all down and even talk about this later in a book, is that ultimately all of this, whether it’s internal meaning employee, colleague, you know, or external customer, it ultimately comes down to some type of peer, peer to peer connection and one on one connection, isn’t it?

Chester Elton (15:52):

Yes. And that’s one of the things that we point out, that’s a, again, a misnomer is that gratitude has to flow downhill if you know. Now I agree that the leaders set the tone, you know, and the way they behave gives everyone else permission to act the same way. So I’m not minimizing the fact that it really doesn’t even start at the top. Where it gets really good is when it’s peer-to-peer, you know, when it’s your coworkers that are stepping up. Because you know, as, as the leader, as the supervisor, there’s no way you can see everything that’s going on. And that’s one of the things that, that leaders say to us, well, what if I miss somebody? So rather than, you know, miss someone, uh, I, it’s better that I just do nothing. Can you hear yourself? You know, that that doesn’t make any sense at all. So once you get the coworkers buying in and expressing gratitude to each other and giving them those little pats on the back, well that’s, that’s culture, right? That’s everybody. That’s not just up now. And that’s a very important concept for people to understand.

Jim Rembach (16:49):

Well, most definitely. And I think, you know, we’re talking also too about the flow of this being away. Um, and what I mean by this is that, you know, it also has to be requested, meaning that as a person who was working with others, and it doesn’t matter the connection up, down, sideways or whatever, I think it’s also fair to just express to others say, Hey, this is how I like to be appreciated. And then people know that. I mean, keeping it under the hood, you know, or in your pocket is just not appropriate either.

Chester Elton (17:19):

Exactly. We talked about tailoring the experience, you know, so, so when we get into the best practices, we say, look, they’re seeing what’s going on. So important and then expressing it. Well, you’re talking about the expressing it and you want to express it in a way that’s meaningful to that person. You know, you don’t want to send a great big, you know, bottle of wine to a very developed best Baptist family and say, you know, that the gesture is going to be appreciated. The execution is horrible, you know, or a honey big Tam to a very devout Jewish family, you know, and, and we laugh and yet all these things have happened. Right. They’ve all happened, right? So tailoring the experience and really understanding what is valuable. You know, for someone early in their career, it might actually be more work, right? Working on a product development or maybe sending them to a conference, uh, you know, depending on where you are in your life, it may be give me a little extra time off to spend with my family. I’ve got little kids in home, you know, and it’s, it’s, it’s the leaders that understand that to tailor the experience, they know their people, they know their stories, they know what they value, then that recognition goes a long way. And again, can be simple gestures, you know, let me fill in for you so you can leave a little early to get to your kids, you know, tee ball game or whatever it might be. Those are, and we know those leaders too. And those are the leaders that we always went the extra mile for. Right?

Jim Rembach (18:33):

Most definitely. So, and I think what we’re getting to is in the part of the book, you draw out the ability to execute upon all of this. And we’ve kinda hit this a little bit, but let’s, let’s at a, at a high level kind of group these things. So you talk about expressing, um, that’s the area in the book. And so it’s about being consistent, being in individualized, connecting to core values, uh, and then making it peer to peer. So that’s how, that’s how you actually group these. And so we’ve hit on a couple of those. But you know, when you start again, we’re where if I, if I am having particular issues in any particular area and I’m looking at consistent, individualized, connected to core and all that, you know, where do I need to make sure that I do not fail?

Chester Elton (19:17):

Well, I think it comes back very much to understanding each member of your team and their role and we talk about walking in their shoes, you know, let’s, let’s take a look and see what does their day really look like so that we’re not making, you know, demands that are, there’s no way it’s going to happen. Right. Just if you understand, we had a really interesting experience with that with a hospital in Dallas where they took the executives and said, look, let’s, let’s look at the experience at the hospital from the patient’s view. So what they did is they put them in wheelchairs and they said, look, you get to spend the day in a wheelchair. How easy is this placed in how to game? The signs are too high right there. They’re not very clear. Um, people are talking down to you all the time. In fact, the check in desk, if you came in in a wheelchair there, there was, there was no way you could, you, you had to have somebody to do it for you.

Chester Elton (20:05):

So, so this idea of really walking in your, in your employee’s shoes and understanding what it is that’s going on with them. I love to what you talked about, solicit their input. Say, look, you know, what, what can we do to make your job more effective? What can we do to empower you to serve our, our customers better? Nobody knows that better than the people on the front line. I mean, you know, this from contact centers, you know, doctors about your equipment. I mean, can you hear the people that are calling in, you know, is that, would that be helpful? You know? And so as you talk about making those connections and then to the core values, really making sure that you walk and talk the core values, if you’re really is about innovation, if you’re really is about, if it really is about customer service, let’s make sure that what we do continues to tie back to those core values. Making, you know, connecting those dots is so critical.

Jim Rembach (20:59):

Well, and in a book, uh, and we’re not going to go through all of these, but you made it to be much more clear in regards to what specifically are we talking about when we’re looking at motivators to connect with, when we’re looking at all these things in order to be able to execute. And then, like I said, there, there’s 23, uh, get the book and you’ll be able to get them all. But there are things like, you know, autonomy, challenge, creativity, you know, service, social response, all these things. All of these things are essentially individual elements or variables that reside within people. When you start talking about aligning them with their work, aligning them with their company, aligning them with their own personal purpose, you know, and therefore helping them to draw and make that connection and you being aware of it. I to me, I taught, I think that’s where your financial performance is going to hit now again from being a genuine person, you don’t want to manipulate or look at it from that perspective. You really want to look at is being able to affect and impact everybody’s wellbeing.

Chester Elton (21:58):

Exactly. You know we, we have a database now of about a million engagement surveys that we’ve collected over the years, which is amazing. We developed our own assessment, which is the motivators assessment. That’s what you’re talking about. We saw there was an interesting opportunity for, you know, love Myers-Briggs, who you are, right? StrengthFinders what I’m good at. We wanted to fill a little niche that says what am I passionate about? And when you get those concentric circles coming together, you know that your classic Venn diagram of I know who I am, I know what I’m good at and I marry it with my passions. Well now you’ve got high engagement. So the, the, again, the extraordinary leaders take the time to say what really are your key motivators. Oddly enough that we had some really interesting ahas. One of them now I grew up in sales and so I, you know, I love the, I love the whole transaction.

Chester Elton (22:44):

I love being the servant, you know, finding the problem, solving the problem with your product. What was fascinating to a lot of people is you would think that your top sales people, that money is their number one motivator. It’s rarely the case. In fact, it is really rarely the case that that’s the motivator. They’re very service oriented. You know, they’re very, uh, how relationships are very important and, and on and on. So being able to contextualize that and share those with each other again and, and you want a lot of diversity on your team and not just diversity that we traditionally think of. You know, age and gender and race and so on. You want diversity in thought. You want people that are very socially, uh, social, uh, active in their communities. You want people that are family oriented. You want people where money’s important because money is important, right? And, and on and on. And when you, when you bring that dynamic together, the way that you can then express that gratitude and build really a team that, that gets each other again, not just uptown, also peer-to-peer. That’s where it gets really good. I’m really glad that you, you, you picked up on that because the personalization of the workplace experience gets really important. And the only way you can personalize it is if you know people’s stories and you really know intrinsically and emotionally what motivates them.

Jim Rembach (24:01):

Talking about those leaders that can do that, those are the ones that we give even more for. And w w I think for me it’s important to, when we start talking about the whole being able to do it, you know, be consistent, uh, sustain it. You know, like, you know, instead of just doing it for a temporary time, all of that is we ultimately have to bring it back home.

Chester Elton (24:20):

Exactly. You know, and we never met. And we interviewed some of the most remarkable leaders in this book. Never once that we find a leader that led with gratitude and led to extraordinary results that didn’t intentionally practice gratitude in their personalized. And that was very affirming for me because it dispels that imposter syndrome, you know? Oh, she’s that way at work where she should see her at home. And the opposite. I was coaching an executive really interesting and he needed to work on his relationships. And he said, you know, what’s really interesting is in my personal life, I’m very good at this. In the workplace, I’m much more standoffish. For whatever reason, it was kind of maybe the way he was managed, the way he was, was brought up. And I said, you know what, we gotta, we gotta break down that barrier because I don’t want you to have a work life and a personal life.

Chester Elton (25:08):

I want you to have just a great life. And, and that, that makes, make such a difference. So bringing it home and we had some great best practices. Would you care to hear a few? Please do. Go ahead. So I’m Dave Kerpen, good friend of ours as a remarkably successful, um, Brandon company in New York. He said, you know what’s so interesting, I keep hearing about this gratitude practice. Is it no way South that he says, I kept hearing so much of that, there’s probably something to it. So we started doing this business and then he said, how can I take this home? Well, they got two kids and he said around the dinner table, it was classic at the end of the day. And he says, you know, we try to eat dinner together as often as we can, you know, with kids schedule. He said, we’d say, so, um, how was your day?

Chester Elton (25:45):

Fine. What did you do at school? Nothing. You know, my clothing. So we changed that dynamic and we said, you have to answer these three questions. First off, what was the best part of your day? That’s a great question. Everybody’s going to add something that happened that was great. Secondly, who are you grateful for that’s not at the table. And thirdly, who are you grateful for at the table that hasn’t been thanked yet? So everybody gets thanked, right? And everybody gets, he says, first one is all dads. Another one, your thing, you know, you read a book or something right now, like you said, consistency over time. That this is what they do. As he says, what’s really cute is when they bring friends over for dinner, they’re sitting up here ready. It was the best part of your day, your Griffin. And he said it’s changed the dynamic and brought this sort of love and positivity and we’re a family that we didn’t have before. That’s simple little tweak. I just loved that one.

Jim Rembach (26:37):

Oh that’s fantastic. Oh man, I can tell you that you getting like a second chance to see you’re heavy on the show. I mean your, I mean your energy and your positivity is impactful and it is consistent. I mean it’s genuine. I mean this is your life. So I can imagine, you know, having that real time promo and watching you all day long, it would be thankful for so many people to experience. But you know, when we look at all of this, you know, there’s a lot of things that inspire us. You’re an inspiration to many. So thank you. Uh, but there’s quotes that we look at on the show to kind of help direct us and point us and help us reflect. Is there a quote or two that you’d like that you can share?

Chester Elton (27:12):

Yeah. You know, I’m, I quote my dad a lot and, uh, I love it. He used to say, you know, Chaz happiness is a choice. Choose to be happy. You know, and I love that. And another one we work with, um, with, uh, Becky works with these, um, uh, camps in India for a leper colonies. And she said, you know, you’d see these people in the most dire of circumstances and yet they were so happy. And he said, you know, they were grateful for the things that they had, not, not upset about the things they didn’t have. And she said, you know, the lessons that I learned in these leper colonies was that gratitude has nothing to do with your circumstances and everything to do with your heart. And I love that quote. It has nothing to do with your circumstances and everything to do with your heart.

Chester Elton (27:56):

You know, the most giving people that I know aren’t the most wealthy or them or the most, you know, um, you know, gifted. They’re those people that really care about others. And then lastly, print a Brown and I’m sure you’ve read it was a remarkable leader. She said, you know, often we think that that the joy, our joy will drive our gratitude. And she says it’s just the opposite. It’s our gratitude that makes us happy. And so those are, those are three quotes that we cite in the book that I think are great. And lastly, I want to tell you a cute story about my dad cause he just wasn’t the happiest guy I ever knew. So, you know, grew up in a faith based family and did a lot of volunteer work at church and he did a lot of work with the youth in our congregation.

Chester Elton (28:37):

And there’s always that one, you know, curmudgeonly, unhappy person in the congregation that wants you to be as miserable as they are. Right. And this was the case that after church, this, this older woman came up to my dad and she put her finger in his face and said, you know, mr Elton, you think that all the young people in this congregation, just as of you? Well, I’m here to tell you they dumped. And he says to her, well thank you. And she says, it wasn’t a compliment. And he said, without skipping a beat, he goes, too late. It was Ella. My dad is, no matter what you said to him, he took it as a compliment. And I think that’s just a, just a great way to live, you know, be, be grateful, big giving, choose to be happy and understand that if you want a joyful life, it’s not the joy and the accomplishments that drives your gratitude. It’s the gratitude that drives a joyful life. And I think those are words to live by.

Jim Rembach (29:29):

Oh, most definitely. However, there are times where it just doesn’t happen. Right? I mean, it takes over. Sometimes it overwhelms us and we talk about getting over the hump on the show. Uh, so can you help us, uh, with some inspiration in regards to sharing with us a time where you’ve gotten over the hump?

Chester Elton (29:47):

Yeah. You know, it was really interesting. I, uh, you know, most of my career I’ve, I’ve spent in New York and I love New York and everything good and everything bad, you can find a New York right? And because of the pressure and the pace in New York, you get to the position, the point where you would, if something went wrong, you vilified the person and you became a victim. And one of the things that really got me over the humps, a good friend of mine, uh, Scott O’Neil, we actually put some of his stuff in our book where he said, you know, assume positive intent. Now don’t assume that people are out to get you. Assume that there’s stuff going on for them. Like if you don’t hear back from them right away, look, they’re busy people too. Uh, you know, it could just genuinely be an honest mistake.

Chester Elton (30:28):

Don’t assume that they got up in the morning and said to themselves, how can I make gestures life miserable today? You know? And so that for me was really getting over that. And when you do have people that have done you wrong and it does happen, uh, my good friend Marshall Goldsmith said to me, he says, you know, Chester, I would rather be the guy that bought the Brooklyn bridge than the guy that sold the Brooklyn bridge. And I think about that for a minute. I’d rather have been taken advantage of then be the guy who is an Outnet, a crook. So be grateful for the fact that you’re not together. It’s sold the Brooklyn bridge. Be grateful for the, that you just made a horrible choice. And those, those things have really helped me get over the hump. Assume positive intent about people and be grateful, you know, for, for those things that you have. And when people do take advantage of you, you know what that’s on them. Don’t, don’t let that break your heart, uh, move on and, and continue to be about good work. Is that, does that make sense?

Jim Rembach (31:24):

It does make sense. And then for me, being someone who, um, is strong in faith as well, I mean, I always try to put that one in God’s bucket and like, he’ll take care of that.

Chester Elton (31:34):

Exactly. Exactly. When everything else full of shirt, there’s always somebody you can call on

Jim Rembach (31:41):

most definitely. Okay. So, but I know you’re, I mean, you’re prolific writer, prolific speaker, prolific positive impact person. All of these things are going on, right? The grandkids living three blocks away. Fantastic. Uh, things going on. However, you know, we still have to have some type of guiding like focus, you know, when we talk about goals, I mean, if we were to talk about all of these things that are guiding you and where you’re going, I mean, what’s one of your goals that you can share with us?

Chester Elton (32:09):

You know, [inaudible] that’s such a deep question. There’s a lot in that question. You know, I, I, uh, you know, I have my morning prayers and a lot of people that I know, you know, as their morning meditation, I think that’s so important to reflect on, you know, what happened, you know, what did we set out to do? What happened? What did we learn? What are we going to take forward? And you know, when my morning prayers and meditation, the thing that really drives me is to be kind. And I know that sounds really simple and really fluffy. I just think that particularly in the world we live in now, where we’ve got so much digital junk that comes at us every day, that the news is just prolifically, you know, negative. And yet there’s never been a better time to live than now. You know, uh, life expectancy is up.

Chester Elton (32:54):

You know what to think of all the things that travel, the world is so small, there’s just amazing connections and so many people I think, or, or, or they’ve never been more connected and never felt more alone. And because of that, I think it really is incumbent on us that, that are so blessed. And you know, I have a ridiculously wonderful wife and four great kids and grew up in a ridiculously happy house. I’ve never had to worry about what was I going to eat today. You know, those kinds of things. I mean, there are people who woke with real problems and they’re not me, is to really sit back in the morning and say, look, how can I really assume positive intent about everyone that I engage today and how can I do those little random acts of kindness? Then hopefully it will be those little things that will uplift someone today, whether it’s in, in, in something that we write in, in an area where we speak, um, helping somebody just get their bag up in the overhead on a plane or opening a door for someone or a little piece of candy for a kid.

Chester Elton (33:49):

You know, you mentioned our carrots that we throw all over the place and I always keep a couple of extra carrots in my bag for the plane. Cause there’s going to be some kid that’s upset, you know, and expressing how we all feel, uh, by screaming at the top of their lungs. And isn’t it fun to just have a little fuzzy care to give to, uh, a stressed out mom? Or what I love is when you give it to the flight attendants that have really gone above and beyond and just cheer somebody up. I, I know this all sounds kind of fluffy at for me, it’s really not because I’ve been in those situations where I’ve just been having a really tough day. And a simple act of kindness by a stranger just meant the world to me. And I think as we start to build business cultures, we build family culture as we build our communities, that attitude of random acts of kindness, let’s be kind to each other. Let’s choose to be happy is just the foundation of good work, good business, you know, and, and a good life. It’s, I hope I didn’t sound too preachy on that. Although I have been dubbed the apostle of appreciation and I’m going to stick to it. My brother can get an amen, you know? Well no, I thought that was fantastic. And thank you for sharing. And the fast leader Legion wishes you the very best.

Jim Rembach (35:03):

All right, here we go. Fast leader Legion. It’s time for the home. Oh, okay. Chester, the hump, the hoedown is the part of our show where you give us good insights fast. So I’m going to ask you some questions and your job is to give us robust yet rapid responses. They’re going to help us move onward and upward faster. Chester, Elton, are you ready to hold down? I’m ready to hold down this camera. Alright, so what is holding you back from being an even better leader today? I just don’t manage your time. I have

Chester Elton (35:32):

as well as I should. I, I’ve gotta be a better time management person. You know, I get up and I go, Oh man, I shouldn’t have done that yesterday. You know? So time management.

Jim Rembach (35:40):

What is the best leadership advice you have ever received?

Chester Elton (35:43):

You know, assume positive intent. That was the best leadership advice I ever got. Don’t, don’t vilify. People assume that they’re as busy as you are, be positive, move forward.

Jim Rembach (35:52):

And what is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?

Chester Elton (35:56):

Uh, my amazing wife, there’s no question about it. She’s ridiculously supportive and, and Christie Lawrence who runs my calendar, I remember getting off a plane and calling her and said, Christie, I, it’s obvious. I mean Las Vegas. I just don’t know why, uh, those, those people, you know, those support groups, my wife at Christie without question.

Jim Rembach (36:16):

And what is one of your tools that helps you lead in business or life?

Chester Elton (36:20):

You know, I think it’s random acts of kindness. It really is. It’s, you know, getting to know people, being kind, having a little positive, something to leave behind in every interaction that I go through. [inaudible]

Jim Rembach (36:29):

and what would be one book that you’d recommend to our Legion? It could be from Avery Rachana of course. We’re going to put a link to leading with gratitude on your show notes page as well. And we’ll also put a link to your author page as well.

Chester Elton (36:41):

Excellent. You know, my wife and I’ve read this wonderful book by Priya Parker as you’d look her up, she’s got an amazing Ted talk on the art of gathering, uh, why we meet and why it’s important and we’ve loved it. It’s changed the way we’ve brought our families together for family dinners and vacations. We often get caught in the logistics of why we meet, who are we going to invite, where are we going to go, what the food we lose sight of, why we’re gathering and let’s engage people’s minds and help us solve problems. We had a wonderful family dinner when we said at the dinner, we want you to think about two things, something you accomplished this year that you’re really proud of and something that the family can help you accomplish this year. And it changed the conversation from, Oh, that’s a lovely blouse you’re wearing. Or boy, this, this food taste great. You should say those things. It got deeper and more meaningful. So Priya Parker’s book the art of gathering highly recommended.

Jim Rembach (37:33):

Okay, fast. Literally Jen, you can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going to fast leader.net/chester Elton. Okay. Chester, this is my last Humpday hoedown question. Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25 you can take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you, but you can’t take them all. You can only take one. So what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

Chester Elton (37:56):

You know, the pieces of knowledge that I would take back is at 25 I would have found a mentor. I would have found a coach, you know, I think at 25 I was just so head down, charging forward and get her done, get their raise, gets a promotion. I didn’t think about developing as a leader and now that I’m an executive coach and I’ve been executive coach at that man, if I could, I had a coach like that. I’m mentally like that at 25 I’d be way ahead of where I am now. I’m a big believer in mentors and coaches.

Jim Rembach (38:25):

Chester, I’ve had a great time with you today, but how can the fast leader Legion connect?

Chester Elton (38:30):

You? Don’t connect with me on LinkedIn. We’ve got all kinds of fun stuff. Uh, the culture works.com, our main company where we, you know, we teach and we train all kinds of fun stuff there for free as well. Um, if you’re ever in the New York area, uh, don’t come to my house. Look us up though. We have a great fun and you know where you can always find me as it a New Jersey devils hockey game. So I’ll look for the guy wearing orange.

Jim Rembach (38:54):

Chester. Elton, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom. The fast leader Legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump.

266: Dan Hill: Read their face to succeed

266: Dan Hill: Read their face to succeed

Dan Hill Show Notes Page

Dan Hill is a facial decoder that has experienced times when he’s not been able to practice emotional intelligence as much as he would like. But Dan is a master facial coder and uses his skills to detect opportunities to exceed customer expectations, build rapid rapport, and to see opportunities that most people are blind to.

Born in Minot, North Dakota, and raised mostly in East Dakota (more commonly known as Minnesota), Dan’s childhood had one major, unique disruptive event. At age 6, the family (including his mom and sister) all moved to Italy because his dad had received an assignment from the 3M Company to manage a film processing plant along the Italian Riviera. Suddenly, Dan found himself in 1st grade in an Italian fishing village – and not knowing the language – could only participate in the math lessons. All of his other time went to reading the body language of his new classmates and teacher, and trying to get “the lay of the land.”

A year and a half later, as the family was heading to England to get a boat home to America came a 2nd, ultimately significant event: in Amsterdam, Dan saw the paintings of Rembrandt – which spurred his interest in emotions, personalities, and expressions. It’s on our faces, after all, that we best reveal our feelings, and eventually, Dan would be an art history minor in college at St. Olaf College before going on to receive a Ph.D. in English from Rutgers University.

Ever since his early adventures in Europe, Dan has been an explorer – curious about learning more about most everything. Nothing remains more fascinating, however, than human nature. The 3rd big event in Dan’s life, and his career, came in 1998 when Dan was working at a consulting company focused on the customer experience, trying to ghost-write a book for the company’s president, and somebody, his boss, knew at IBM sent over an article about the breakthroughs in brain science and their implications for business. The underlying truth – about 95% of our mental activity is subconscious, and our reactions to the world are primarily sensory and emotive (not rational).

Armed with that insight, Dan decided to launch his own company, Sensory Logic, that pioneered the use in business of the scientific tool called facial coding to capture and quantify customers’ emotional experiences. His company has gone on to do work for over 50% of the world’s top 100 business-to-consumer companies, and he’s also applied the tool in presidential politics and pro sports.

Dan is also the author of Famous Faces Decoded: A Guidebook for Reading Others. His contribution to society and the business world is bringing the role of emotions front and center. Since Dan’s pioneering efforts, major players like Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon have followed his lead. The Economist magazine has described the result of combining AI with the automation of facial coding as the emerging “facial-industrial complex.”

Nowadays, Dan lives in alternating seasons in St. Paul, MN, and Palm Desert, CA, with his wife, a retired clothes designer. When not working, you’re likely to find him either on a tennis court or watching a movie for fun.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to Dan Hill to get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShowClick to Tweet

“If you read the face of someone, there’s so much information there.” – Click to Tweet

“The most vital 25 squares inches of territory in the world is in the middle of the face.” – Click to Tweet

“Emotions are really contagious. The emotion we give off, we’re going to get back.” – Click to Tweet

“If you make a certain expression over and, over it eventually etches itself into your face.” – Click to Tweet

“There are seven emotions in facial coding; there of them are approach emotions.” – Click to Tweet

“People who are happy tend to get to superior solutions more quickly.” – Click to Tweet

“Trust is the emotion of business and contempt is its opposite.” – Click to Tweet

“Actions speak louder than words and quick micro-expressions in the face are action.” – Click to Tweet

“They’ve got speaking points as they come in to be hired, but are the feeling points matching up?” – Click to Tweet

“We expect more from a leader than them just getting to stay in their comfort zone.” – Click to Tweet

“Having a sense of humor makes you more human.” – Click to Tweet

“Don’t imagine you’re going to accomplish everything; just get to the essentials.” – Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

Dan Hill is a facial decoder that has experienced times when he’s not been able to practice emotional intelligence as much as he would like. But Dan is a master facial coder and uses his skills to detect opportunities to exceed customer expectations, build rapid rapport, and to see opportunities that most people are blind to.

Advice for others

Control the discourse. You only get ahead in life if you keep track of what you want to accomplish.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

I’m not the best listener.

Best Leadership Advice

You have to bring people with you, don’t give them a sense that it’s unfair.

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Humor. I love the good joke that works for someone.

Best tools in business or life

Keep it simple, simple is smart.

Recommended Reading

Famous Faces Decoded: A Guidebook for Reading Others

Mrs. Bridge

Contacting Dan Hill

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dan-hill-emotionswizard/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/EmotionsWizard

Website: https://www.sensorylogic.com/

Resources

Call Center Coach – https://www.callcentercoach.com

Show Transcript

Click to access edited transcript

Unedited Transcript

Jim Rembach (00:00):

Okay, fast leader Legion. Today I’m excited because I have somebody on the show today who’s going to help all of us advance a very, very important skill that is becoming more important as days go by and that’s our emotional intelligence.

Jim Rembach (00:51):

Dan Hill was born in Minot, North Dakota and raised mostly in East Dakota, more commonly known as Minnesota. Dan’s childhood had one major unique disruptive event at age six the family, including his mom and sister all moved to Italy because his dad had received an assignment from the three M company to manage a film processing plant along the Italian Riviera. Suddenly Dan found himself in first grade in an Italian fishing village and not knowing the language could only participate in the math lessons and all his other time went to reading the body of language of his new classmates and teacher and trying to get the lay of the land. A year and a half later as the family was headed to England to get a boat home to America came a second ultimately significant event in Amsterdam. Dan saw the paintings of Rembrandt, which spurred his interest in emotions, personalities and expressions.

Jim Rembach (01:49):

It’s on our faces after all that we best reveal our feelings and eventually Dan would be an art history minor in college at St. Olaf College before going on to receive a PhD in English from Rutgers university. Ever since his early adventures in Europe, Dan has been an Explorer. Curious about learning more and most everything. Nothing remains more fascinating. However, then human nature, the third big event in Dan’s life and his career came in 1998 when Dan was working at a consulting company focused on the customer experience, trying to ghost write a book for the company’s president and somebody his boss knew at IBM sent over an article about the breakthroughs in brain science and their implications for business. The underlying truth, about 95% of our mental activity is subconscious and our reactions to the world are primarily sensory and emotive. They’re not rational.

Jim Rembach (02:42):

Armed with that insight, Dan decided to launch his own company sensory logic that pioneered the use of in business of the scientific tool called facial coding to capture and quantify customer’s emotional experiences. His company has gone on to do work for over 50% of the world’s top 100 business to consumer companies and he’s also applied the tool in presidential politics and pro sports. Dan’s contribution to society and the business world is bringing the role of emotions front and center. Since Dan’s pioneering efforts, major players like Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon have followed his lead. The economist magazine has described the result of combining AI with the automation of facial coding as the emerging facial industrial complex. Nowadays, Dan lives in alternating seasons and Saint Paul, Minnesota and Palm desert, California with his wife Karen Bernthal, a retired clothes designer. When not working, you’re likely to find him either on a tennis court or watching a movie for fun. Dan Hill, are you ready to help us get over the hump?

Dan Hill (03:54):

Absolutely. Nice to meet you, Jim. Oh, thank you.

Jim Rembach (03:56):

Dan. You’ve actually authored several books. Uh, but the book that we’re going to be talking about today kind of brings together a lot of the, the research and findings that you have. And I love the way that you did it. It’s called famous faces decoded. So Dan, tell us about your current passion and how we can get to know you even better.

Dan Hill (04:12):

Sure. Well, with this book, I really wanted to give it something that made it relatable for people. So I wanted celebrity stories. So I took Hollywood stars, I took music stars, uh, certainly business leaders and politicians, media types, uh, anything that people can relate to where there was a backstory because that makes it much more human and much more accessible. So I’m trying to cover what are the triggers of emotions? What do they mean? How do they show in the face and what in the world can you do about it all to plug it back in to make both your career and your personal life, you know, more pleasant, more effective that make you a better Mitch. Well, I better wouldn’t

Jim Rembach (04:49):

say when you start talking about, you know, the, the skill that you have currently and continuously built over the past, you know, two plus decades, uh, is becoming in more need and demand today than it has ever before. Now, what are the forces

Dan Hill (05:05):

that are causing that to happen? Well, I think one is screen time. We are so caught up in looking at the text messages and thumbing this and that back to somebody. We have lost track of the fact that we are, everything in business is people to people. And that means you have to understand who’s there. We, we desperately sent all these emoticons to correct the miscomprehension is the miscommunication that happens because of what we just typed on this device. Uh, I remember being at media and McDonald’s and the woman said, Oh, just a second. My boss in Germany just misunderstood what I just typed. I have to desperately send another message. If you read the face of someone, there’s so much information there. Someone has said that the most vital 25 square inches of territory in the world is in the middle of the face.

Dan Hill (05:49):

It is, you know, right around our eyes, our nose, her mouth, and the first person who got this is probably the most brilliant person who ever lived, da Vinci, Leonardo DaVinci. If you look at his notebooks, what you’ll discover is that he looked at human anatomy. He came to understand how we express our emotions. So in all the other brilliant things he did, it took another 200 years for anyone to be as good as DaVinci was and understanding emotions as displayed in our faces. That’s why MonaLisa is such a fascinating painting. The same thing that goes into the painting you should apply to your daily life. It can be in a call center contact. It could be at a business meeting with your boss. It can be going home and talking to your spouse afterwards, but get yourself with a higher emotional IQ and you’re going to be better off.

Jim Rembach (06:37):

Well, I think it’s also important here for us to really kind of put a little bit more of a focus in on, you know, the discipline that we’re talking about here. So this falls under emotional intelligence and there’s two things that you talk about in the book is that we have social intelligence and then we have our personal intelligence. A part of this is some of that self-discovery component, you know, how are we expressing ourselves and then how to read that in others. But it’s also important to note that like you had mentioned, is that a lot of this is just subconscious response. So somebody may not even have cognitively understood that their face displayed something. Is that correct?

Dan Hill (07:14):

Oh, it’s absolutely correct. Emotions are really contagious. And the emotion we give off, we’re going to get back. It’s, it’s tit for tat and a whole bunch of situations in life. And that better you can pick up on those dynamics, the better off you’re going to be. And just as a person, we tend to have patterns. Everything in life has patterns. We have what I call signature expressions. There is a wonderful comment from the writer, George Orwell who said, by the age of 50, a man has the face he deserves because we have muscle memory. And if you make a certain expression over and over, it eventually etches itself into your face and that’s going to change the dynamic of who you’re interacting with. If you tend to anger, if you’re a hothead, it’s going to show up and that’s going to have some implications for how your conversation goes.

Jim Rembach (08:01):

You know, as you were saying that, it kind of brings me to this, um, um, thing that I found on, on the internet and has been shared probably tens of thousands of times where they talk about this resting, you know, BITC H face. Right? And it’s true. I mean it’s, you know, like sometimes we look at people, it’s like, you know, why are you angry at me? It’s like they’re not even thinking about you. Right.

Dan Hill (08:24):

Absolutely. And part of that comes how do you have really attractive women and they have this resting BITC H face because they don’t have to use their social skills. It’s almost as if they are the, I guess I’ll say gender female equivalent of a really rich guy if I’ve got a lot of money or really great looks that I’ve got something in the bank and maybe I’m signaling in a way that I don’t really have to interact with you in a decent way, in a, in a fair level playing field sort of way that I’m above you. And so that means I can go to anger, can go to contempt or I can go to no emotion at all because I’m not going to make the effort to interact with you.

Jim Rembach (09:01):

Well. And when we start thinking about that in today’s world where it’s an experience based economy, we really have to connect with customers, colleagues, all of those things that can have some serious impact in our ability to, you know, Excel to positions of greater responsibility, uh, to, you know, that can impact our income. You know, we talk about emotional intelligence affecting, you know, a significant portion of our ability to, to experience success. And monetary is right with it. But one of the things that we don’t talk about is this variability of emotional intelligence. And to me this is a core one because it’s kind of that first impression, gold mine or tragedy.

Dan Hill (09:43):

Oh absolutely. Just last night I had dinner with Joe pine. He’s the coauthor of the experience economy. So there’s no way in business you’re always going to have an experience. It can be good, it can be bad, it could be a different, and what are you going to have with an experience? You’re going to have emotions. It’s a story that’s unfolding and as Hollywood knows and he’s story, it’s going to involve emotion. And what’s the emotional pager on the back side? One of my favorite comments about business is that there are two emotions in business as in life. One is dollars and one is emotions. And if you take care of the second one, the first one’s going to look a whole lot better.

Jim Rembach (10:20):

Most definitely. Okay, so now let’s talk about the specifics of being able to do this type of detection and interpretation and analysis. So you have identified seven core emotions, but then you also talk about four forms per emotion. And all of this goes into 23 different expressions. So if you could kind of break this down for us.

Dan Hill (10:40):

Sure. So there are seven emotions in facial coding. Three of them are approach emotions. So that means that I’m moving toward my target, my object, the positive one is happiness. I am going to hug, I’m going to embrace, I’m going to be open to consideration. If I’m in a contact center, customer contact center, and I’m talking to someone. And in the future and why this is relevant is because we’re going to have technology that, uh, labels us, not just hear their voice but see their face and they can see our face. And so all that telepathy or empathy, all of that contagion is going on emotionally. So it’s really important to know that happiness is not a trivial emotion. People who are happy tend to get to superior solutions and more quickly, they are really good at brainstorming. So if I’ve got a customer problem and I’m coming across as a happy camper, it’s probably not just that I’m coming across with a fake smile.

Dan Hill (11:34):

It means that I am really expansive and trying to figure out how to connect with you and get to a better solution. That’s fabulous. Now the other heavy hint or emotion is anger because happiness and anger together are about 70% of everyone’s emoting on average, 70% so the other five that we can cover our, only the other 30% what’s the essence of anger to hit? So happiness, to hug, anger to hit. So you have somebody who’s calling you ans customer, they’re calling you because they’re not happy. So now we’re quite possibly in the realm of anger. They could be confused about how your company’s offer works, the kind of service they got or fail to get a why. So there could be confusion. It could be resistance like you did this to me, I am not accepting that kind of treatment. It could be that they don’t see a path to progress because anger can also mean we feel like we are, we’re losing control of our situation and that there are barriers to our progress and we get angrier to the extent that we think the barriers are unfair.

Dan Hill (12:36):

So anytime you start with this kind of thing, you have to say they’ve got happiness, anger, do I have some other emotion? And then let’s say with anger, because it’s so likely to be important. What we’re talking about, four forms of anger. One is super intense anger. This is like the dog where you took away its bone and it’s growling at you. And so a really reliable way to see this is that the mouth, the lips will tighten together. The mouth will be really tight and there’ll be a bolt below the middle of the lower lip. A telltale bolts sticking out. That is an angry person and the first thing you’re going to have to do in business as in life is try to bring the anger quotient down. Try to bring some calm to this situation. Otherwise you’ve got a nuke reactor that’s about to blow.

Dan Hill (13:20):

It’s three mile Island all over again, so that’s the most intense version. There’s another version where they eyes narrow and the eyebrows come down and they’re kind of like giving you the hard snake eyes. Look, that’s not quite as bad as what I just gave you, but it’s also worrisome. The next one I think in business you can work with this is concentration. The eyebrows will come together, the lips will come together, but lightly there’s no bulge below the middle of the lower lip. This is someone that’s a reasonable person. They are concentrating on their words, they’re trying to take in your message. They’re trying to figure out how to make this into a win win. You can work with that person. Your best thing that you can hope for if you’re in customer contact role is what I call the golden blend. This is the last of the four forms of anger, a mixture of happiness and anger. So they’re expansive, they’re receptive, you can talk to the person, but they also have a purpose. They are signaling at certain moments with that anger that they do indeed want to get to an outcome and let’s get there sooner than later if you don’t mind.

Jim Rembach (14:22):

You know, as you’re talking, I’m sitting there and thinking about some of the things that were, we talk about in the contact center space in regards to speech analytics, voice biometrics and, well to me when we start talking about this, that our, our next frontier is going to be the whole, you know, facial decoding, biometric. Absolutely. And then thinking about the whole ability to infuse AI into that where it’s actually being able to read faster than we can and it’s giving us cues.

Dan Hill (14:48):

Yeah, no, I think what’s going to happen in the future is you’re going to eventually not just the ability to see their face and them to see your face. You’re going to have a little output if you’re working at one of these centers and you’re going to actually have an identified for you in real time what emotion they’re feeling. But where that still leaves you is the ability to have emotional intelligence and say, ah, it’s anger and anger means these sorts of things. You know, I don’t have control. I’m not making progress. Uh, I’ve resisted to what you’re doing. I confused. Or even I’m resentful. You’ve offended me in some way. Uh, you’ve, you’ve challenged my value system, so you got five probably really good possibilities. Which one is it that helps explain the anger that’s just been identified for you or that you picked up yourself through the voice, through the face and the software.

Dan Hill (15:38):

Once we have that opportunity. So how can I then plug that into my solution? If it’s confusion you believe because the eyebrows are pinching together and lowering, that just means you guys get back to clarity. You have to say a question to them like what is it here that you really don’t understand? If you think it’s lack of progress, maybe it’s what one thing here do you think is really holding this up the most or what do you think is unfair here and that’s going to give you the lead in to get to a solution that’s going to take that anger away from them. Well I start thinking about this. I mean I started, I started looking at your work in this and you’ve actually been awarded several patents. I mean do these patents that you’ve been awarded, will they assist and support what we’re talking about here and making it to where I can now start doing this at scale.

Dan Hill (16:27):

I can start interpreting it, scale. I can start, you know, really connecting, you know, at scale. Yes. And they also involve some extra permutations. Now let’s switch over to happiness cause that’s the other vital emotion that happens so often. But there are different levels of happiness. So joy is when the muscle around the eye relaxes and you get the twinkle in the eye. It’s called a true smile because you can’t fake it. And if you can bring the customer to that moment, that’s golden because we’ll pay good money to be extremely happy. As Woody Allen said, happiness makes up in height, what it lacks in length. So if we can get that high elation moment, great. The smile you have to worry about isn’t really a smile. It is the begrudging little smile to half smile. It’s really brief on the face. And that means something like that’s the worst joke I ever heard, but at least you tried to humor me. So you might say, ah, I’ve got, I’m smiling now. No, there’s guys kind of on the window ledge and they could turn back and flip into anger or some other negative emotion really readily. Uh, and in between that is, you know what I call pleasure and satisfaction. You’re, you’re in play. But they could go high or low and it’s all volatile and you need to keep track of where you’re actually at in that process. Okay. So you know, you talk about this 23, um,

Jim Rembach (17:50):

and I’m actually subconsciously, you know, looking and doing the interpretation, but I need to be able to pull those into my, my conscious or cognitive mind. And you actually talk about a progression or maturity process that we all have to go through. And it’s, first of all, it’s emotional literacy. Um, and then we have to understand how emotion shows on faces. Uh, and then also we have to be able to apply forms of expression. So I mean, realistically, I mean, what does that process look like for us to be able to gain these skills? I mean, you’ve been doing it for a couple of decades, but how can someone really go on a pathway to actually getting better at this?

Dan Hill (18:29):

Sure. Well, I wanted to write my book to make it more accessible. Dr Ekman, bless his heart. The professor who’s the expert at this is manual, was 500 pages long, 500 pages full of tedious instructions. So I boiled the whole bag down to less than half that length. And it’s full of stories and examples and visuals that you can relate to. It’s celebrities who all know. So the real key here is those expressions are not that hard to learn. It’s 23, it’s not 97, it’s 23 expressions and you’re probably gonna find as the average person that you gravitate to certain expressions that just naturally you can pick up readily that just are your, your, your wheelhouse so to speak. Uh, because anger is so common, you’re going to see it a lot and you should just start with the mouth. Is the mouth open if it’s closed, is it closed a little bit?

Dan Hill (19:25):

Is it closed really tightly? Is it closed so much that it’s like a dog who again, the bone has been taken away from it and it’s a growl. What level of hap anger? GSC, I think anybody can do that and they can do it quickly. Uh, you might think a certain expression is important to you. Uh, I would suggest you go to contempt, uh, with a quarter of the mouth poles up and wide and you have a little, I called pocket tornado, a little tension with an indentation in the corner of the mouth. That’s a sign of disrespect and distrust. It is the most reliable indicator that our marriage will fail. In fact, that the university of Washington, Seattle, they have a love lab. Couples in distress, marriages come in with 10 minutes of videotape, facially coded, a 90% accuracy rate that the couple will stay married or not 90%.

Dan Hill (20:15):

So if it’s not good to show contempt between spouses, you can imagine between a customer and a company. Also bad news. So I would say, yeah, there’s 23 expressions, whatever you do, pick up contempt because trust is the emotion of business. Contempt is, is opposite. And then go back to the heavy hitters. Smiling’s easy in a way. Is it just around the mouth? Is that the twinkle in the eye? If it’s anger, start with the mouth and how much compression there is there. I learned facial coding in simply one weekend. I took Ackman’s manual and maybe have an advantage cause I lived overseas and I’m visually oriented an art minor. But honestly I took his manual, I said what are the important parts? And I threw a bunch away. I cut out the parts that mattered to me. I looked at a place where I had a visual that can help me because we’re visual learners.

Dan Hill (21:06):

And before the weekend was over and I did put in probably 35 hours, but before the weekend is over, I felt I had a reasonable grasp of what these were. So I think with my book, which is much more accessible than Ackman’s manual, I’ve already done the cutting and pasting for you basically. And they’re just a small number of diagrams you have to go to. So go to the emotions that are most common. Go to the emotions that are most important. Go to the emotions that you simply seem to have a proclivity for in terms of picking up.

Jim Rembach (21:34):

Well, and as you’re talking, there’s a couple of things that start hitting. I mean I start seeing hitting me and my and I start thinking about even the hiring process.

Dan Hill (21:40):

Yes. And we should bring in one other element. So there are seven core emotions, but one that’s really important is another way of looking at emotional engagement and your face is are they engaged emotionally? Do they show any emotions? Because motivation and emotion have the same root word in Latin move rate to move to make something happen. I would say there’s nothing worse than two qualities and tell me you’re going to hire one is flat affect. They don’t care. This is just a job. This is what a friend of mine said. Well you have a lot of until workers and what they, what he meant by that was until five o’clock until the next job, until you fire me cause you’re wising up, et cetera, et cetera. You do not want to hire that sort of person if you can help it. So lack of engagement is really worrisome.

Dan Hill (22:28):

I had a person who I hired at you as smart as could be and he couldn’t have cared less. It didn’t work out optimally. The other thing I think you really have to worry about actually in hiring is fear and the most reliable way that fear shows is that the mouth poles wide. And why is this a problem who you hire because someone who is paralyzed by fear who freezes up because of fear will not have self initiative. They will wait for you to tell them what to do and then no way for you to tell them three more times and then they’ll take up your time by asking did I do it right? And a lot of hand holding is going to have to happen. And so lack of engagement, fear really bad news. And then I would say yes, contempt actually. Because if they don’t respect you and your higher the amend your, your staff meetings are going to be a disaster. It’s going to be like you can film mutiny on the bounty with people like this. You just don’t do the headache and the heartache.

Jim Rembach (23:26):

Well, and even as you’re talking, I’m starting to think about their feelings about themselves too. And how much of that could come out to play. I mean, sure for me, if I’m finding that I’m having to take a step down, you know, maybe I have contempt for myself that I’m actually applying for this position. I mean I see all these things started running through my head. So how do we know that we’re actually interpreting correctly? I mean is there a way that we can, you know, be conscious, read something and then maybe go into some voice dialogue, some voice Q and a something to help us really understand if we’ve interpreted correctly.

Dan Hill (23:54):

Uh, Jim, that’s an excellent point. Yes, you need to do some diagnostics and follow up to make sure that you’re read that you can really narrow down what it means. So let’s take the smirk cause I’m putting a lot of innocence on contempt here. Do I see a contempt expression along with a smile? Maybe even just a slight smile. Well that could actually be confidence. So you might have a followup question. You know, what’s your skill set here? Why do you think you’re so good for this job? You know, why do you think you can stand up, step into the role readily and make it happen? Because that’s sort of combination of a smirk and a smile. Well one guy who shows it, it’s Tom Brady.

Dan Hill (24:31):

And if you can hire someone on your staff has got the career statistics of Tom Brady who was, you know, a pretty low draft choice. That’s good news. But if you see I contempt expression with some anger, now I’m going, huh. So there’s some resistance there and there’s some superiority given off cause they got the smirk going and they find me beneath them. So now is it back to themselves? This is a low level job. You might want to ask where they’re going to be in five years. How do they see their career progressing? How does this job role fit into that? Is it, you know, they don’t like a command and control structure. So you think that you know where they are in the organization, who they have to report to. Your style’s a boss to me. You might not be able to ask those questions directly, but you might say, you know, what kind of organizational structure you think you Excel at. You know, are you a good team player? You like to take individual initiative, you like direction from a boss. I’m much coaching Jeewan you you have to do, I mean your question is so good because you’re going to have to stay in that game. You’re gonna have to replace Sherlock Holmes. You’re going to have to go to a couple other levels probably to really know you picked up the signal and made the best use of what you were seeing.

Jim Rembach (25:44):

And I would do have to bring up, cause you and I had this discussion off Mike and previously is um, there was a television show that kind of made a lot of this famous called lie to me that I just loved. And it unfortunately didn’t, didn’t go on for more than a season or two. Um, but one of the things that they brought out because it started to be coming in the limelight, is how they said that this particular science is a fuzzy science. Um, what, what would be your rebuttal to that?

Dan Hill (26:11):

Well, I think it’s, it’s fuzzy in two respects. One is a lot of people think this is just a lie detection device, and as dr Ackman would tell you, there is no lie detection, facial movement. There’s nothing that gives away the person’s being deceptive. Yeah. Because think about it from an evolutionary point of view. Do we all want to go around with an expression that tells people immediately I’m a liar? No, we’re not going to know. We’re not going to live very long. We’re not going to get hired. That one’s going to want to marry us. So on and so forth. So he wouldn’t, beings are more subtle than that. So yes, sometimes it be that you, you try to go to a flat effect of poker face. It might be that you get indignant and say, you know, I did not have sexual relations with that woman ad you’re pointing your lip, you’re acting really defy.

Dan Hill (26:53):

Like how could I possibly be like our to be nonpartisan about it. You could have Richard Nixon being interviewed about Watergate by David Frost and say, you know, I was not a crook. Presley can do whatever he wants. Nixon showed so much fear in that interview. I mean there was really no question, but you know, different people will show this in different sorts of ways. So I think that’s one the reasons why people think it’s quote unquote fuzzy because I just want to know what they’re lying now. It’s not that simple. The other reason I think it gets a little bit fuzzy because people think every expression should go to just one emotion and some do. So when the lips press tight, that’s anger. When the mouth poles wide, that’s fear. But you have other times, like for instance, when the eyebrows in the middle shoot upwards and pull together, that actually shows surprise because anytime the eyebrows go bigger, the eyes actually have a more expansive territory.

Dan Hill (27:47):

They can see more. So surprises about taking in information, something has changed in your world. So that’s one thing that that expression shows. But it also shows fear in part because the eyes are pinching together like, Oh my God, something new. But what is it? And finally the eyebrows coming together arching up also reveals sadness. Uh, I can remember so distinctly, there was an instance where there was some hostage taking at an elementary school and the father got there, they basis of do the terrorists and he got his young boy back in his hands. But the boys still had the sadness on his face because sadness can indicate that you feel alone, that you’re betrayed, that it’s hopeless. And I’m sure there was a point where that young boy in the school with the terrorist felt like it was hopeless and that feeling did not go away quickly.

Dan Hill (28:37):

So you’ve got three different emotions going on and now I’m Sherlock Holmes and I have to get to which of those emotions might be most pertinent. Did they start out with fear and it kind of like baked into them and they got to a point where they felt like it’s hopeless and I’ll never get out of this situation. Is it the sadness that’s the most important thing or was it surprise? And then we can move through the surprise and they’re eventually going to be able to cope. So I do have to take those emotions into account. And so some of the expressions go to a solo emotion and some of them go to two or three. And that’s important because the biggest critique that’s been made by people, it’s like, well I’m just going to show them one photograph that’s supposedly going to tell me who they are and this expression, it’s going to show all the ways of, of of sadness being shown, her anger being shown. That’s unlikely cause those have multiple expressions or I’ve got an expression in my face and it goes to more one emotion. Well, I don’t want to deal with complexity, well, sorry, life is not always a McDonald’s hamburger. Sometimes you’ve got to sit down the meal and think about it a little bit longer and take more time. It just, sometimes you have to, that’s why it’s positive, but it’s really, it’s not so fuzzy. It’s just got some limitations like everything else in life.

Jim Rembach (29:52):

Well I think that’s a very good point. And I also, um, you know, I, I would think that you have to really kind of what you said, you know, take that approach is that it’s more investigative in nature and that I want to be able to, you know, help myself make a better decision. And so knowing this information becomes important and, and, and when I start thinking about this, I also start thinking about the separation between, you know, the average and the extraordinary. I would dare to say that people who have, you know, extraordinary performance, and if we can look at that across a multitude of different industries and career types and you know, different permutations is that they probably have, if they haven’t studied it, a natural starting point that’s above normal in regards to interpreting things.

Dan Hill (30:41):

Yeah. Well, let’s go back to the two situations you mentioned. So I got a person across the desk from me and it’s a job interview. I would understand that they might be a little bit afraid when they start the interview, you know, who is this person, how’s it going to go and so forth. But you had hoped that the fear subsides a bit as you move through the interview. You would also hope that you’re building some rapport with the person because you’re going to be spending a lot of time together. So do they laugh at your jokes? Do you find some commonality? You know, if you don’t get some happiness in that blend somewhere. Yeah, this is, this is a bad decision to hire this person. If I’m on the phone with someone, there’s a really good chance that they would be calling in with anger or disgust or fear.

Dan Hill (31:20):

So let me cover each of those. Why could they have fear? Because the calling it, cause they didn’t get what they wanted. There was no customer service as far as they’re concerned. But they’re not as powerful as you. They’ve already given their money over to the company. They’re looking for you for a solution, but they realize they’re the midget and you’re the giant, you’ve got all the resources, you got their money and are you going to really help them out. So can you move them off that fear, if they call him with disgust, well discuss is really a classic way is that the nose wrinkles, something smells bad or the upper lip curl because something tastes bad. So as far as they’re concerned, you just gave them curdles milk. You know, you gave them sour milk to drink and they would love to get away from that or the anger because you know there is a barrier to them getting the outcome they want.

Dan Hill (32:10):

So it’s really easy to imagine that the person calling in as one of those three expressions or those emotions going on, you should, if you’re good at your job, you should be finding a way to deflate those emotions, move them toward happiness. And if you want a breakthrough moment, look for the surprise. Look for that instance where the eyebrows lift, the eyes go wide. That means you’ve made your breakthrough. So happiness could be just around the corner, thanks to the fact that you found a way to it, to them or give them something that they go, ah, I follow that, I get that, and now I can be happy. Well, I mean, talking about all of this, I mean there’s a lot of frustration in our inability to do this well and a whole lot of surprise when we do have the breakthrough. But we look at emotions in a lot of different ways on our show.

Dan Hill (32:57):

And one of the things that we look at our quotes, hopefully to help us focus and be able to have better outcomes. So is there a quote or two that you like that you can share? You shared several in the book, but bring it up, bring one or two to our audience. What am I favorite from J P Morgan, the banker. Now he put it all in mail terms, but it’s really obviously applies to men and women alike. You said a man makes a decision for two reasons. The good reason and the real reason. And so what we’re talking about here is the real reason because what the breakthroughs in brain science and common sense would tell us is it’s the emotions that clothe and pack the punch in terms of, you know, the real motivation for something taking place. Uh, so that’s absolutely true.

Dan Hill (33:42):

Uh, another one I love is from Oscar Wilde is he said only shallow people don’t judge others based on appearances because there is a wealth of information, again in our face. You’re crazy not to pay attention to it, but what do we do? We scurry off to the answer. It’s almost as if we want to be lied to. Like, Oh yeah, you said the right thing. So I’ll put the check Mark and I’m going to hire you for instance. No, no, no, no. Look for the evidence. Actions speak louder than words. And these little quick micro-expressions in the face are action. Do the words and the emotions go together or to put it in another way, they’ve got speaking points, talking points as they come in to be hired. But are the feeling points matching up? And earlier I mentioned this whole thing about engagement. So another lovely quote, someone said, well, we’re always talking about, sorry, I wasn’t thinking.

Dan Hill (34:36):

How about sorry I wasn’t feeling, because you really don’t want to be around someone who isn’t feeling. Think about, you know one’s personal life. You want to talk to a brick wall? No, you don’t. You want to talk to them in a staff meeting? No, you don’t. Does the person calling into the call center want to talk to a brick wall? No, they don’t. Uh, so it is so important. So there’s three for you. I appreciate that. Okay. So now talking about, you know, this, you know, progression and this journey and all of those things that are associated with getting to the point where we are today and a master’s wealth of expertise is, I’m sure there’s something that you’ve had to get over. I’m sure we can learn a lot by those. Can you share one of those stories? Well, even though I’m a facial coder and I picked up a signal, that doesn’t mean I always practice ECU as well as I wish I could.

Dan Hill (35:25):

So I’m in Toronto and I’m talking to someone, I’m trying to get them to buy our Brocket research services. And there’s always a problem that there’s an incumbent, it’s in politics. So the supplier, so the guy had a system in place already and I had to dislodge it. Well, you have to dislodge things pretty carefully. Most times as a the poet Emily Dickinson said, tell the truth, but tell it slant lest everyone go blind. The straight on attack is much too hard for most people and softer touch. Well, obviously at some point I got pressing a little too hard because what did I get back? Tit for tat. I got the lips pressed together and that telltale bolts below the middle of the lower lip, I spent the rest of the meeting desperately trying to get that expression off his face and assure him that I was a lighter touch and it would be a very reasonable person to interact with.

Dan Hill (36:18):

It did not make a difference. Uh, I never really got a true smile out of the guy, didn’t get anything, even clothes. And I left. I said, that’s it. I said, I can send the followup email, I can send a followup phone call the voicemail I didn’t get in the sale. And that proved to be the case. So sure, I’m, I’m fallible. W we all are it just trying to improve your odds day by day. But I’d give you a counter example if I could. Hopefully. So, um, uh, I was doing some advising work for the university of Minnesota basketball team for Tubby Smith, who’s one of the very few coaches to get to 500 career wins. So the tallest guy on the team, uh, I interviewed everyone at achievement. This guy just floored me because I had a question that I thought was a great interview question that I picked up from a friend of mine in New York, which was, how would your mom describe you?

Dan Hill (37:08):

Because they don’t expect that question. It’s going to be a very revealing question. It’s an interactive question and the guy couldn’t get an answer out of his mouth. Nothing. And I mean, we went 20 seconds. I mean, it was like an eternity before he finally said anything. And he never really gave me an answer. So I said to TBI, have anyone else interviewed you? I mean, so yeah, we have a team psychologist. I said, so what’s going on here? He said, the guy has a really dominant mother and a mouse of a dad and he’s basically traumatized. And I said, well, Toby, that means you’re going to have to interact with him. You know, effectively a softer touch is going to work. Well, Toby sometimes pull that off. Sometimes you don’t want you to victory. Uh, you didn’t get there. And I tried to intervene as delicately as I could.

Dan Hill (37:55):

And then one time I had a great success. They were playing Indiana. They’re the number one team in the country. We are down about six points at half time. Toby’s really pressing them to win, but he’s not giving them encouragement. And by now I’ve taken to calling this guy the scarecrow. So I said to Toby, can I say a few words? He said, okay. So I told him, you’re only six down there. Number one in the country, they have everything to lose. You’re not even the top 20 so if you just keep it close, they’re going to be more scared of losing down the stretch than you are. They got more to lose that this, this game, they’ve got their their ranking and I can see the scarecrow relax and then I can see the scarecrow smile and in the second half we won and the scarecrow twice went in.

Dan Hill (38:40):

The paint went to the basket and stuffed it. You hadn’t done that all season, twice in a row. Second time he did it, my parents were at the game. I turned to my dad, I said, tonight we win. And we did. So you know, did I intervene successfully with Tubby all the time to get him to interact with the scarecrow, right? Not always. The one time I got the chance to take the power into my own hands and I got to an outcome that I think really did help the team. So you know, you cozy things along as you can.

Jim Rembach (39:07):

Well I think you also bring up a really interesting point when we start talking about performance and coaching and managing and leading and in that as leaders to us be more effective, we have to properly interpret, um, we have to properly engage, we have to properly say the right thing so that the environment is created where people motivate themselves. And I think that’s a critical component that I always push back on, is that we can’t motivate people that comes from inside. What we can do is create the right environment. And by you saying what you said, therefore the right environment enabled him to motivate himself to end the paint jam at toys.

Dan Hill (39:46):

Yeah. No, he did some more confidence. He needed some breathing room. A lighter hand on the reins is going to help in this case. So we talked about hiring and you know, that’s, you know, you’re going to make a decision, they’re onboard, they’re not on board. Uh, if you’re talking with the person in the call center, you know, that’s one interaction probably of whatever duration. But it’s also true that if you’re working in the call center, you’ve got a boss and you’ve got colleagues. Are you getting along well with the colleagues? Are they treating you well? Is there rapport? Uh, do people like their, their boss? I, I’ve been brought into situations where I’m working with Salesforce and Salesforce is, they’re often out on their own. It’s can be a lonely job and you hear no a lot. So you really want your boss to have your back and to be supportive and not just saying you didn’t meet your quota, you didn’t meet your quota, it didn’t, but your quota. So that whole atmosphere, that whole team chemistry is really important. And that’s one of the things I look for. And that’s another way in which ECU absolutely applies. In a business context?

Jim Rembach (40:42):

No, most definitely. Okay. So when I start looking at all of this, your body of work and the work that you’re doing is when I start thinking about it, you have some goals that you want to accomplish. Can you share one of those with us?

Dan Hill (40:53):

Um, my next goal is actually to get this out into the world for people and a really practical way. So what I’m about to launch is probably two day training sessions. And it’s not like you’re just going to sit around and do tests for two days. I want them to get it out in the world. So the really fun part of these two days that I’m planning is to say, now we’re going to go to an art museum. I’m going to actually show you portraiture and can you pick out the emotions? And then I’m going to give you the background of the person who was painted and now you’ll get the context of how that person lived their lives and how they interacted with the patron and so forth. Or I might say, we’re going to go to a basketball game tonight. I want you to now facially code just as I did for NBA teams.

Dan Hill (41:33):

I want you to facially code the players on the court and the nature of their interactions. So I’ll give you another story. So for the Timberwolves in this case, way before Kevin Love admitted that he had anxiety disorder. I knew he had it because more than 20% of his emoting was fear. Well, fear has a really implication for how you interact with your teammates. You don’t take any information. Well, when you’re frozen, you just don’t. It’s frozen rope syndrome. There’s ice on the, on the trans mission lines, and that really impacted how the team could develop. So I might take them there. I might take them to a comedy club, specially if it’s a open mic night and say, let’s look at five comedians in a row. Facially code them, look around to see how they make rapport with the audience. We might take you to a theater event, but I want them to get really get out and start to apply it in their lives.

Dan Hill (42:25):

Or it could be in Vegas and say, let’s go around and look at the gamblers. How are they doing? How are they interacting with the people? Who’s the dealer? Uh, the cocktail waitresses, uh, what do they like about what they see in the atmosphere of the place? One casino to another. I want to get them out in the real world and say, this matters and let’s see how it goes. Or even just watch couples interacting in the casino. Or it could be on the streets of New York. So that’s what I think would really be exciting to do. I want to bring this home for people. So a book is a great starting point, but let’s make it part of your experience, your daily experience that you can observe. I want everyone to get to be a Sherlock Holmes. Why not? It’s fun and the fast leader Legion wishes you the very best.

Jim Rembach (43:11):

All right, here we go. Pass little Legion. It’s time for the home. Okay, Dan, the hump day hoedown is a part of our snow where you give us good insights fast. So I’m gonna ask you several questions and your job is to give us robust yet rapid responses are gonna help us onward and upward faster. Dan Hill, are you ready to hoedown okay, sure. All right, so what the idea, what I was getting into? No, that’s all right. So what is holding you back from being an even better

Dan Hill (43:40):

later today? I’m not the best listener sometimes. I’m a great observer. I am so oriented toward visuals. Part of that was in Italy. I didn’t know the language, so I didn’t get trained and used to picking up that kind of signal as much as the visuals. So what is the best leadership advice you have ever received? You got to bring people with you. Don’t get them a sense that it’s unfair. I was working for the CEO of a company in the annual employee meetings. He would have people submit the questions in advance and he had thumbed through the cards at the podium deciding which answers he wanted to give. It looked like it was all rigged, all filtered. So I think as a leader, you gotta be able to say, I’m authentic. I’m open, I will take whatever question you give me and I will try to work with it.

Dan Hill (44:27):

As opposed to I’m going to shut you down and just go to the places I’ve already with because that’s, we expect more from a leader quite frankly, and just them getting to stay in their comfort zone. So what is one of your secrets to helps you lead in business or line humor? Uh, I like to hold onto quotes and quips. I gave you three rather quickly earlier. I love the good joke that works for someone. So here’s my favorite of late. So two old people be with a fairy godmother. They can get their, their wish, the wife. And the couple says, well, I’d really like to be able to be safe. We’ll see my grandchildren more often, which granted now the man says, what’s, she says, so what’s your way? She said, well, I’m sorry to say this, but I really wish I could be married to someone who’s 20 years younger and boof, just like that.

Dan Hill (45:14):

He was 90 rather than 70 a good joke. Everyone likes a good joke. I mean, the writer Milan Kundera said, I never met a KGB agent who had a sense of humor. Don’t trust anyone without it. So I think having a sense of humor, it makes you more human. It opens people up. Uh, you know, and I like a good joke. I mean, I love the Marx brothers when I was growing up. And so I think humor is, is a, is a godson for anybody. And what is one of your tools that helps you make life easier? Make life. He’s here. Keep it simple. Simple is smart. Uh, if I go into a meeting or if I’m on TV, uh, you know, it can be crazy. I remember sitting in the green room at, uh, MSNBC and I’m like, no one’s even told me who’s going to be interviewing me.

Dan Hill (46:00):

They haven’t given me the interview questions. They had show me the stimuli. So, you know, it was on a presidential race. So I said, okay, what is the one thing I want to say about each of the two candidates? So wherever they go be, whatever chaos I’m dealing with here, these are the two things I want to get across today and just take it with that and whenever else you get to, great, but don’t imagine you’re going to accomplish everything. Just get to the essentials and what would be one book that you recommend to our Legion? It can be from any genre. Of course, we’re going to put a link to famous faces, decode it on your show notes page as well. My favorite book of all time, it’s actually mrs bridge who was made into a movie with Paul Newman many years ago and it’s about a Kansas city housewife in the 1930s it’s these short little vignettes and you laugh and you laugh.

Dan Hill (46:46):

You laugh until you cry because deep down she’s very lowly, her husband’s working long hours at his job and it has so much humanity for you and it just, it comes to you and the writer has a sense for the little details, the little things that give it away. He’s a really good detective basically, so it is. I had a professor in grad school is the best read guy I’d ever met. And I said to him, what’s the greatest American novel? And I expected him to say Moby Dick or you know, as Scott Fitzgerald, the great Gatsby. And he said, no, no mrs bridge. And I said, you’ve got to be kidding me. I’d never heard of it. And then I went away and I read it again. That’s a really smart professor. So that’s, that’s my tip for the day cause I think it will make you sensitive to dynamics and to people and in in the sweetest way possible.

Jim Rembach (47:34):

Okay. Fast leader Legion. You can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going to fast leader.net/dan Hill. Okay Dan, this is my last hump. Hold on question. Imagine you’ve been given the opportunity to go back to the age 25 and you can take the knowledge and skill that skills that you have now back with you, but you can’t take them all. You can only take one. So what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

Dan Hill (47:57):

Uh, control the discourse. Uh, you only get ahead in life if you keep track of what you want to accomplish cause that’s going to draw out your inner creative spirit. I mean, that’s what capitalism is based on. The fact that we want to get to our own outcome. I don’t think socialism works actually because you’re just counting on other people getting there for you and that just that just blind to human nature. So you want to control the discourse. I happen to be lucky enough to know Jerome Robinson’s as the choreographer who created West side story. He said, well I started college. I realized it wasn’t for me. I said to myself, who is really great in my field is Balanchine. He said, so I went over to see Balanchine and I said to him, he was 20 years old. He said, Balanchine, I love you.

Dan Hill (48:41):

I love your work. I love dance. Put me to work in any way you want. I just want to be close to your genius. I’ll get Balanchine not help it be flattered. And, uh, he stayed with the company and he eventually proved himself to be a, a dance master himself. So I really think you want to figure out where you can take yourself that best brings all of your talent to life and you see them that the longer you stay with a system and just think the system is fine and going to provide for you. I just don’t think that’s a strong, uh, you know, maybe you could join forces in that system, but to just let the system bring it to you. Nah,

Jim Rembach (49:16):

Dan, I had fun with you today. How can the faster Legion connect with you?

Dan Hill (49:20):

Uh, well obviously I have LinkedIn like everybody does seemingly. I have a blog series called faces of the week where I’m looking at things that are in the news and that’s a fun way to connect in. Uh, my email is dHill@sensorylogic.com. I absolutely don’t mind. I respond to all my emails. Some people don’t, but I do. I’m very conscientious that way. So that’s at least three places for you, the blog, the LinkedIn, and my email itself.

Jim Rembach (49:46):

Dan Hill. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom. The fast leader Legion honors you, and thanks you for helping us get over the hump. Thank you for joining me on the fast leader show today. For recap, links from every show, special offers and access to download and subscribe. If you haven’t already, head on over fast leader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster.

265: Ryan Gottfredson: I shifted from my negative mindsets

265: Ryan Gottfredson: I shifted from my negative mindsets

Ryan Gottfredson Show Notes Page

Ryan Gottfredson came to appreciate his deep learning about mindsets because it’s much more fulfilling and rewarding than learning about them due to being in crisis. Now he’s spreading the word about mindsets to help enlighten others.

Ryan was raised in North Ogden, Utah, nestled on the bench of one of the most picturesque mountains in the Rocky Mountains, Ben Lomond. He was mainly raised as an only child, although he has three older half-siblings. Playing sports, particularly dominated his youth.

In high school, he took a sports psychology class, where he read several leadership books written by basketball coaches. At that time, he thought, “If I could find a career where I could write about and teach leadership, I will have found the right career for me.”

But, not knowing that there was a field of study that focused on leadership, he went to college seeking to become a medical doctor. Shortly after that, while living in Boston for a couple of years, he met a Harvard Business School professor who taught organizational behavior. Ryan came to learn that organizational behavior is a field of study that focuses on leadership. From that moment, he positioned himself to become a professor that writes about and teaches leadership.

Ryan graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and immediately after pursued a doctoral degree in organizational behavior and human resources at Indiana University. Upon graduation, he took a position at the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics at California State University, Fullerton, where he currently works.

In addition to this experience, he has worked in human resources at Stryker, as a consultant for Gallup, Inc., and now as a leadership and organizational development consultant. He has written a book entitled, “Success Mindsets: Your Keys to Unlocking Greater Success in Your Life, Work, and Leadership.”

Ryan’s purpose is to positively influence millions by helping and empowering them to better live up to their innate greatness. He hopes that through his research, writing, speaking, and consulting, he can do this.

Ryan currently lives in Anaheim Hills, California, with his wife and two children, Hailey and Spencer, where they enjoy great Southern California weather, the beaches, and Disneyland.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @ryangottreedson to get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShowClick to Tweet

“How I think, learn, and behave is dictated by my mindsets.” – Click to Tweet

“Our mindsets are our mental lenses that shape how we view and interpret the world around us.” – Click to Tweet

“Depending on how we see and interpret the world affects everything that we do.” – Click to Tweet

“Mindsets dictate our thinking, our learning, and our behavior.” – Click to Tweet

“There are negative mindsets and positive mindsets that span a continuum.” – Click to Tweet

“The mindset neuroconnections that we come to rely upon are based upon our past life experience and our current situation.” – Click to Tweet

“If our current situation at work is making us exercise the negative mindset neuroconnections, those are going to become more dominant.” – Click to Tweet

“Leadership and having a positive influence on others is so much more than just doing something; it’s about being somebody.” – Click to Tweet

“We’ve got to have the right behaviors and the right motives, or else we’re not going to be effective.” – Click to Tweet

“Leaders have great intentions, but oftentimes they have low awareness.” – Click to Tweet

“Most of us are essentially lying to ourselves about ourselves.” – Click to Tweet

“It’s difficult for us to be self-aware because were just not conscious of what’s driving everything that we do.” – Click to Tweet

“If the leader sees his or her employees as objects, those employees are going to see their customers as objects.” – Click to Tweet

“We can always have a stiff back, the critical thing is that we always have a soft front.” – Click to Tweet

“When we’re in urgency mode, that immediately puts us in self-protection mode.” – Click to Tweet

“I’ve got to continually invest in myself and not get complacent.” – Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

Ryan Gottfredson came to appreciate his deep learning about mindsets because it’s much more fulfilling and rewarding than learning about them due to being in crisis. Now he’s spreading the word about mindsets to help enlighten others.

Advice for others

Gain self-awareness into buld skills in being opn to others thoughts and ideas.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

My schedule. It’s getting more and more demanding.

Best Leadership Advice

Be the person that other people want to follow.

Secret to Success

Have a growth, open, promotion, and outward mindsets. Seek to learn and grow.

Best tools in business or life

The full focus planner.

Recommended Reading

Success Mindsets: Your Keys to Unlocking Greater Success in Your Life, Work, & Leadership

Bonds that Make Us Free: Healing Our Relationships, Coming to Ourselves

Creativity Inc.: Building an Inventive Organization

I Hear You: The Surprisingly Simple Skill Behind Extraordinary Relationships

Contacting Ryan Gottfredson

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ryangottfredson

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ryangottfredson/

Website: https://ryangottfredson.com/

Resources

Mindset Assessmenthttps://ryangottfredson.com/

Full focus Plannerhttps://fullfocusplanner.com/

Show Transcript

Click to access edited transcript

Unedited Transcript

Jim Rembach (00:00):

Okay. Fast leader Legion today. I’m excited because we have somebody on the show today who is going to expand your mind with a little bit of sex. Ryan [inaudible] was raised in North Ogden, Utah, nestled on the bench of one of the most picturesque mountains in the Rocky mountains. Ben Lowman. He was mainly raised as an only child, although he has three older half siblings playing sports, particularly dominated his youth in high school. He took a sports psychology class where he read several leadership books written by basketball coaches and at the time he thought, if I could have a career where I could ride and teach leadership, he goes, I would have found the right career for me, but not knowing. There was a field of study that focused on leadership. He went to college seeking to become a medical doctor. Shortly thereafter, while living in Boston for a couple of years, he met a Harvard business school professor who taught organizational behavior.

Jim Rembach (00:54):

Ryan came to learn that organizational behavior is a field of study that focuses on leadership. From that moment. He positioned himself to become a professor that writes about and teaches leadership. Ryan graduated with a bachelor degree from Brigham young university and immediately after pursued a doctoral degree in organizational behavior, uh, human resources at Indiana university. Upon graduation, he took a position at the Mahalo college of business and economics at California state university, Fullerton, where he currently works. In addition to this experience, he has worked in human resources at Stryker as a consultant for Gallop and now as a leadership and organizational development consultant. He has written a book and titled success mindsets. Your keys to unlock greater success in your life, work, and leadership. Ryan’s purpose is to possibly influence millions by helping and empowering them to better live up to their innate greatness. He hopes that through his research, writing, speaking and consulting, he can do this. Ryan currently lives in Anaheim Hills, California with his wife and two children, Haley and Spencer, where they enjoy great Southern California weather, the beaches and Disneyland. Ryan [inaudible], are you ready to help us get over the hump? Let’s do it, man. I’m glad you’re here. Now I’ve given my Legion a little bit about you, but can you share what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better?

Ryan Gottfredson (02:09):

Yeah. My current passion is mindsets and I love focusing on mindsets because I’ve been on my own mindset journey and one of the things that I’ve learned on my journey is that how I think and learn and behave is dictated by my mindsets, XE, our mindsets, our mental lenses that shape how we view and interpret the world around us. And depending upon how we see and interpret the world affects everything that we do. And so if we can improve our lenses, we can improve our life, our work in our leadership.

Jim Rembach (02:41):

Well, and in the book you really talk about four of those lenses or mindsets that we often look through. And, and for me, you know, reading the book and I also went through the self assessment, which by the way, we’ll link on your show notes page as well was, was very, very helpful. Uh, from a perspective, uh, so that I can see that you really look at things more on a continuum. Mercy, more so than an if versus that. I mean it’s not as black and white. Um, so tell us a little bit about these four different mindsets.

Ryan Gottfredson (03:10):

Yeah, so in my academic research, one of the things that I stumbled upon was mindset research. And there’s different pockets of research going on in psychology, education, marketing and management. And each of these pockets have got their own unique mindsets that had been studying for 30 plus years and they’re largely not talking to each other. But what they’re all finding together is that mindsets dictate our thinking, our learning and our behavior. And and also simultaneously and all on their own, they’re identifying that there are negative mindsets and there are positive mindsets that span a continuum. And so with regards to my assessment and my book, what I’m doing is I’m just pulling these mindsets together into one framework and I think to my knowledge is the most comprehensive and research backed framework of mindsets to date. If you were to go online and just Google about what mindsets do I need to have to be successful, you’re going to get, most of the hits are actually not talking about mindsets, they’re talking about behaviors and also they’re not clearly defining mindsets. And so I think that there’s a lot of power of putting some really clear labels on our mindsets because until we have those labels, we really can’t focus on them and improve them for ourselves. And so hopefully what my framework is done, it helps these mindsets come alive for people. And because of the research backing, they have confidence that if they focus on these, it will lead to greater success.

Jim Rembach (04:43):

And from my perspective, and what I see is that this work in mindsets, it affects both the internal aspects, meaning they hold employee engagement piece as well as the customer engagement piece. The more we can understand all of this, the better we can connect, whether they’re inside or outside organization. And these four mindsets that you talk about, F and I and it’s not a versus, again, it’s a continuum and we’ll talk about that in a second. It’s fixed to growth, closed to open prevention to promotion and then inward to outward. Well, and before we get into that, you also mentioned something I think is critically important. Um, and then for me it started, I started thinking about influence and how we’re influenced because I, it seems to me, especially in today’s society with just the explosion of the ability to get information and be, you know, persuaded in a lot of different ways or be given perspectives that we otherwise wouldn’t have.

Jim Rembach (05:36):

It’s, this is quite dangerous research too. So I mean I may have potentially had a growth mindset because of bump because I get bombarded by certain things. It now falls into the fixed end of the continuum. So when you’re looking at the fixed and growth and how you look at it from a continuum perspective, talk a little bit about how that works. Because for me, my introduction, many I would dare to say if they’ve even heard of mindsets was through the body of Carol Dweck work on mindset, I guess you’d say a seminal piece that a lot of things had been founded upon and grown upon. But tell us a little bit about the continuum of fixed to grow.

Ryan Gottfredson (06:12):

Yeah. So, and even before we jump into that, I’m going to give you the neuroscience behind mindsets. And it’s, and it’s not as, you know, challenging as that might seem, but are our mindsets, I described them as mental lenses, but in reality what they are is they’re specific neuro connections within our prefrontal cortex. So when we encounter a situation, our senses are sending all of this information to our prefrontal cortex and we’ve got a digest that somehow we’ve got to weed it down to the most, or at least what we think to be the most important cues within those situations. And the factor that weeds these down is our mindsets and our mindsets. So what gets filtered through our mindset goes on to fuel our thinking, learning, and behavior. So when to speak to the idea of this continuum nature is we’ve got a negative mindset, neural connection in our brain, and we’ve got a positive mindset, neural connection with an appraisal.

Ryan Gottfredson (07:12):

So let’s play this off using the fixed and growth examples. So a fixed mindset is when we believe that we and others cannot change our talents, abilities and intelligence. A growth mindset is when we believe that we and others can change our talents, abilities and intelligence. And the reason why this affects how we operate is it affects how we view kind of ourself and our self worth. Because naturally we don’t like to fail. But if we have a fixed mindset and we fail and we don’t believe that we can improve, we’re left to interpret that as though we are failures. So those that rely more strongly upon their fixed mindset neuroconnections basically failure as as an internalize that as though they are a failure. So that’s the way that that negative mindset, neuro connection processes failure, that isn’t to say that they can’t see failure.

Ryan Gottfredson (08:15):

We were a growth mindset, which would suggest that when I fail, this is only something to learn from. In fact, I, I’ve got to usually ask your guests about quotes. And so I pulled some up. One of the quotes that I like is from Nelson Mandela. He says, I never lose. I either win or learn. I mean, that’s just such a growth mindset perspective. And so let’s just say, uh, so these are neuroconnections. The, their strength is dictated by how frequently we use those. It’s just like these neural connections are just like muscles. The more we work them out, the stronger they are. And so let’s just say our dominant neuro connection is of a fixed mindset. That isn’t to say that we can’t approach failure and kind of just step back and say, how can I learn from this? We can do that. It just doesn’t come as naturally to us. And so we’ve got this, we’ve got this continuum from negative deposit we can pull from it. But, but the one that readily gets activated is which neuroconnections are just stronger within our prefrontal cortex because we rely upon those more heavily. Does that make sense? Does that help us kind of figure out the continuum there?

Jim Rembach (09:27):

Well, it does. And then it also throws in a whole big old monkey wrench into this because when you start talking about prefrontal cortex development, uh, you know, for men, young men, that’s, you know, mid, mid, late twenties, you know, for young women, that’s, you know, early, mid twenties. I mean, and so when you start looking at this, the sheer proliferation and numbers in that population, and going back to what I mentioned a moment ago, how they’re getting influenced, this whole mindset thing can be quite frightening.

Ryan Gottfredson (09:56):

But I think that that’s, that was my thought actually when I first started working with mindsets because as I started learning about these different mindsets, I came to the realization that I actually was on the negative side on each of these continuums. And so the prospect of changing your world views seems really frightening and really daunting. But as I made personal efforts to shift from the negative side to more of the positive side, I, I’ve actually found it to be much less daunting and much less scary than I anticipated. It actually has been really fun and exhilarating it because what I’ve found for myself is when I had the negative mindsets, I was getting in my own way all the time. I was the one that was preventing things from happening that I wanted them happen. As I’ve shifted the positive, it’s almost like everything’s just falling into place. And that’s, that’s been a really fun journey.

Jim Rembach (10:52):

Okay. So, I mean, I think for me, you opening up that doorway is very beneficial and I think it would be helpful for all of us because again, we’re talking about from, from my, my, my, you know, Legion and where I come from is that we’re impacting the internal culture and the customer experience is so we need to know how to get out and, well, I mean, before I even go to this, unfortunately, when we start talking about working in organizations, we become quite fixed quite fast. Um, and cause we’re always getting this information about whether it’s performance, whether it’s driving, whether it’s PR. I mean it’s, it’s constant reinforcement of the whole fixed mindset component. Um, so how do we get ourselves out of that rut? Now it’s a

Ryan Gottfredson (11:37):

great question because the, the mindset neuroconnections that we come to rely upon are based upon kind of largely two factors, our past life experience and our current situation, right? And so if our current situation at work is essentially make making us exercise the negative mindset, neuro connections, those are going to become more dominant. But not every workplace incentivizes the negative mindset, neuro connections, right? There’s fantastic workplaces that allow us to exercise those more positive mindset, neural connections. And let me, let me just kind of span the scope of these different mindsets in a way that I think will, will help listen as resume. So I’m going to give you four desires that an employee can have. And I want you to tell me if these are bad desires. Okay. So the first one is a desire to look good. A does Ziar to be right. The desire to avoid problems and a desire to get ahead.

Jim Rembach (12:41):

How many much like I was talking about the continuum thing, I’m like, all those could be good and all those can be bad. I mean, situations can dictate it and drive it. How they actually go through and execute it is critically important because I mean, I can start getting into the whole competitive versus achievement based. Um, you know, positioning and say, well, if I’m an achiever and I want to win, but I want to win by focusing in on making everybody else successful and we do it collectively, that’s a good thing. If I look at it as, Hey, it’s all about me. It’s not for myself. And you don’t get none. Well that’s, that’s a bad thing. So, I mean, I’m flipping all over the place, but again, maybe I’m not the right person to ask because I’ve been for five years has been focused to a lot of people with great insights. Like, yeah,

Ryan Gottfredson (13:21):

no, you’re great. Right? So, so let me just repeat those again. Desire to look good, be right, avoid problems and get ahead. I mean, at the surface, these seem like good desires. I mean, who wants to look bad, be wrong, have problems and get passed up? Well, nobody. So these desires are really easy to justify when we have these desires. We’re thinking, yeah, I’m doing the best that I can. But the reality is is that these desires are fueled by the negative mindsets that I focus on. And the reason why these are negative and you pointed it out and there can be circumstance, certain circumstances in which they’re better than others. But for the most part, the reason why these are negative is because they’re self focused. When we have these desires, we’re in self protection mode. And so when I go in and I work with organizations and we’ll do a collective mindset assessment, have everybody assessed their mindsets, I’ll aggregate the results of the collective and we could see where they are along these continuums.

Ryan Gottfredson (14:25):

And well, what I find with most of the organizations that I work with is they’re predominantly on the negative side. And that’s because they’ve created a culture where people don’t feel like they can be wrong, look bad, have problems and get passed up there. There’s this competitive environment and culture that is causing them to want to self-protect but there. And I think sometimes we don’t recognize that there’s more positive desires that we have. And so is it all right if I just kind of share the flip? Oh desires. Absolutely. Okay. So instead of wanting to look good, the flip desire is to learn and grow. Instead of wanting to be right, we want to find truth and think optimally. Instead of wanting to avoid problems, we want to reach goals instead of wanting to getting passed up, we want to help everybody Excel. And when we can have a culture where we’re focused on learning and growing, finding truth, reaching goals and helping other people succeed. Like just imagine going into that work environment, we would anticipate that, that that will cultivate those positive mindsets and allow people to naturally make that shift from self protection mode to what I call organization advancement.

Jim Rembach (15:45):

Well in addition, when you were saying that, I started thinking about is what do I focus in on first? You know, so think about this is that if I’m focusing in on everybody being successful, well what ultimately what happened for me, I’d get ahead and then that’s what happens. So it’s like, what do I focus in on first? You know, kind of like, you know, the forest through the trees scenario, right? If I focus on helping everybody else, I will get the reward. However, if that’s my intent, that’s where it could get problematic if I don’t just purely try to help you know, other people with, you know, with Hey, I’m doing this because I want some type of reciprocation. Um, you know, that that’s when it starts turning negative really fast because then you have remorse, regret a revenge. I mean, all of these things that we know are the dark side. It wouldn’t that be true? Oh, for sure. And,

Ryan Gottfredson (16:35):

and that’s why I stumbled across mindsets in the first place because when I did my dissertation on leadership, uh, I had to review the last 70 years of leadership research. And what I found was that about 70% of all of leadership research focus primarily focuses primarily on leadership behaviors. In other words, what do leaders need to do to be effective? And while I think that’s helpful, it’s great to have, here’s, you know, here’s a bullet point list of what you need to do to be an effective leader. But it didn’t sit well with me because, and my guess is you would agree with me is that leadership and having a positive influence on others is so much more than just doing something. It’s about being somebody, somebody that others want to follow. And so that, that’s kinda been my mission from last six years was how do we tap into this being element?

Ryan Gottfredson (17:25):

And it’s led me to mindsets because of that. These are foundational to our being. So you’re so right in that sense. We’ve got to have the right behaviors and the right motives or else we’re not going to be effective. And so when I work with leaders and as I understand leadership statistics, I mean let me give you this example is I read the other day 60% of leaders or 60% of employees report that their leaders damaged their self esteem. Right? I just don’t think that leaders are going to work everyday saying or at any time saying, I want to hurt my employees self esteem. I just don’t think that happens. But why does that happen? Well, it’s because leaders have great intentions, but oftentimes they have low awareness, right? We’re not aware of these foundational role that these self-focus desires and mindsets are having on how we think, learn and behave when we interact with our employees.

Jim Rembach (18:23):

So before we get into something that you mentioned, cause it was on my list to discuss, um, is I want to talk about a few of those statistics that you kind of opened the doorway to. Okay. So you, in the book you talk about, um, you know, dismal leadership statistics and how 44% of employees report that their current manager do not help them be more productive. You know, 60% of employees report that their managers damned her stuff. It seemed like you mentioned, and then 65% of employees would prefer to have a different manager compared to more pay. It’s not a money thing. Right? Um, and then 82% of employees do not trust their manager to tell the truth. And then there’s also that, um, you know, also to me and I had this discussion with somebody a moment ago is, you know, the also myths or fallacies associated with transparency.

Jim Rembach (19:08):

You know, like I could unfortunately many of us, uh, who are in a leadership or management role will see that while I was just telling them the truth about their performance. But yeah, you did what you just said, talking about eroding their self esteem. Know there’s, there’s a fallacy of transparency. It’s not, you know, it’s not everything that you should tell. It’s, you know, oftentimes the delivery and you know, looking at all of their mindsets. Uh, and then, um, it’s talking about, uh, for me is the connection to your values and your values or their values and whether or not you’re putting your values in the place for theirs. Cause I think to me, you’re talking about mindsets, but there has to be a connection to the person. Uh, and oftentimes people haven’t gone through that type of discovery to say really watermark. What are my mode is what are my values and what’s important to me? Where does that come in? And all this.

Ryan Gottfredson (20:05):

Yeah, that’s a great question. So our, our mindsets, um, play this really interesting role that I think we’ve largely overlooked as kind of leadership and organizational developers. And because for kind of the historical context, we’ve largely taken a trait approach to leadership. So the train approaches is essentially the idea is if I have a certain trait, I will manifest that trait across the situations that I encountered. So for example, if I’m an introvert, I will be introverted across the situations that I encounter. But is that accurate? I mean, if, if you are an introvert or if you are an extrovert, do does level of introversion or extroversion change across situations? Well, yeah. So that’s a much more accurate perspective. And so what we’ve got to take into consideration is not just ourselves, our traits, our goals and our values, but also the situation that’s going on, right?

Ryan Gottfredson (21:04):

Because the situation, what ends up happening is because we, we read the situation and it’s our mindsets that determine how do we interpret this situation. And then depending on upon how our mindsets interpret that situation, it will activate different elements about who we are, including our personality, our goals and values, our self-regulatory processing, uh, whatever it might be. And so our mind, this is why I say mindsets are foundational to everything that we do because they are the thing that activates who we are and how we present ourselves in any, in any circumstance. Does that make sense?

Jim Rembach (21:45):

Absolutely it does. And, and, and also I start thinking about, and you hit it without us really focusing in on it specifically, but throughout our dialogue and discussion and discovery of all of this is that oftentimes this comes down to a whole emotional intelligence, aptitude elements. Yup. Um, yeah, and you kinda hit on it, but really to be more succinct, that’s what we’re talking about is am I aware of how I am impacting others? Am I aware of, you know, being able to, you know, interpret things appropriately without, you know, some type of, you know, twist to it because of, you know, my, my aptitudes and emotional intelligence, my past experiences and all of those other things. So how, how important is that in all of this?

Ryan Gottfredson (22:30):

Oh, it’s critical. Critical. Let me give you some statistics and maybe I’ll, I’ll ask you and you can, you can answer what you think is the right answer. So, um, this research was done by Tasha or rich and uh, what percentage of people would you say are self-aware or sorry, what percentage of people think that they are self-aware? Oh, it’s over 80%. 90% yeah. 95% is what she reports. So then what percentage of people are actually self-aware? That’s the reverse of 2025. That’s pretty optimistic cause she says 12 to 15%. Oh my goodness. Yeah. So she goes on to say that we’re, as most of us are essentially lying to ourselves about ourselves. And because what we’re, what we’re talking about when we’re talking about mindsets is something that generally follows below the level of our consciousness that our mindsets had exist. We just haven’t been conscious of them and we haven’t been conscious of the fact that they are shaping our thinking or learning in our behavior.

Ryan Gottfredson (23:35):

Let me give you an example of this. So when I was a freshman in college, uh, and I, I was thinking I wanted to be a medical doctor and I signed up for the weeder chemistry class and I promptly got the lowest grade I’d ever received in my life. So I got a C grade, I passed the class. But to me this was a failure because it was the lowest grade that I have ever received in my life and I had a fixed mindset and what my fixed mindset neuro connection told me was, well, this didn’t come naturally to you. You better change your major. Right. That’s, that just seems so logical to me. That seems so right to me. But now that I know the difference between the two, if I would have had a growth mindset, I imagine my growth mindset would have told me, Hey, if, if you really want to become a medical doctor, that’s going to be difficult.

Ryan Gottfredson (24:29):

Maybe you underestimated how difficult that would be and you’re going to have to reevaluate your study habits. I that, that’s what my growth mindset would’ve said. But because I’m not aware of this, this is falls below the level of my consciousness. My decision making is limited to my mindset is to just kind of do something different. And at the end of the day, you know, who knows what would’ve happened if I would’ve become a medical doctor. But at the end of the day I was essentially limiting myself from my original goal. And, and, and I was not conscious that I was the one that was limiting myself. And so this is where it’s, it’s really, you know, it’s, it’s difficult for us to be self aware because we’re just not conscious of what’s driving everything that we do. And so when we can have conversations like this and, and that’s where, why I develop my mindset assessment is to help people to become conscious of something that they’ve never been conscious of.

Jim Rembach (25:32):

And, and the, and again, I’m bringing this back full circle for the space that I work in. I see what we’re talking about here play out so often is that when we start thinking about serving customers and the customer experience and even the employee experience for that matter, I oftentimes hear people say something that goes along the lines of this, well I know that’s what I wouldn’t like and I’m like, you’re not your customer. You know, you’re not your employee. I mean you’re, you’re one of those, you’re then you also have all these different perspectives and I socially, I seriously believe that, you know, having a, an emotional intelligence, you know, engineer and these types of people who can understand, you know, the entire spectrum and ecosystem of all of this is really going to be a key differentiator for organizations in the future.

Ryan Gottfredson (26:17):

Oh yeah. Let me give you an another example of this that, that I think people who are particularly dealing with customers, but really everybody could, can, can value this, but how do we see individuals that we work with or a customer that we are working with now, we can see them in, in somewhat one of two ways. And again, we’re really talking about a continuum, but I’m going to kind of phrase this in terms of a, but we can see people in one and two weights. We can see them as an object or we can see them as a person. See, and this is the difference between an inward mindset and an outward mindset. When we have an inward mindset, we see ourselves as being more important than others. Our needs and wants matter more than their needs and wants. And when that’s the case, we’re likely to treat, see and treat other people as objects.

Ryan Gottfredson (27:09):

When we have an outward mindset, their needs and wants matter just as much as our own and we’re able to see them as people. So, so an example to kind of point this out is how do you see a homeless person who is asking for assistance? And I’m kind of ashamed to admit this, but for most of my adult life I S I would see homeless people and think that they weren’t doing their best. And when I would see them as not doing their best, I was quick to be critical, I would think. What are you doing with your time? Why don’t you do something more productive? Maybe go get a job. So what’s my likelihood of serving them in the way that is best for them? Well, it’s really low, but what if I see them differently? What if I see them as doing the best that they can?

Ryan Gottfredson (28:00):

Then it leads me to ask the question, what in the world has happened in their life that has led them to believe that this is the best way to live? And by asking that question, I grow incredibly empathetic and I’m much more likely to serve them in the way that it’s best for them and for the situation. And so how we see those that we work with shapes, how we think about them, whether we’re critical or empathetic, and then how we correspondingly behave towards them. And so that’s the role that these mindsets are playing. And so if we can help really all of us, but in particular those people who are serving others as customers, we’ve got to see them as people and not as a number or as an object helping me to reach my goals. Right. We’ve got to see them as a person and I’m helping them achieve their goals.

Jim Rembach (28:50):

Yeah. And it’s um, you know, it’s also something that they’ll transfer on, right? So I mean, I know someone who feels like they’re an object will therefore treat others that they’re supposed to be serving as objects as well. I mean, it just, it just, it creates that downward spiral and they kind of going back to what you full circle creating this culture, right. And now you have an organization where you’re coming in and you know, the entire organization’s fixed. Yup.

Ryan Gottfredson (29:15):

Because if the leader sees his or her employees as objects, those employees are gonna see their customers as objects. So you know, that just filters right through

Jim Rembach (29:26):

for both. Definitely a cascading effect. Now you did do a great job of go ahead and leading us on a couple of quotes. However, I know you have more. So give me one or two that you like that you can share so that we can focus properly. Yeah. That first one from Nelson is really focused

Ryan Gottfredson (29:42):

on this growth mindset and I, it just, that’s, that’s the thing about quotes that I love is because quotes serve the role of actually helping us exercise our more positive mindset, neural connections. And, and the more that we can do that, the more we’re going to be in kind of positive mode. This organization advanced mode as opposed to self protection mode. Another one is by George Bernard Shaw. And this is a quote that focuses primarily on the open mindset, um, which we have to really talk too much about. But he says those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. And I think there was a point in time in my life where I felt like it was so important to know it all, to be the experts. Um, but the more that I’ve kind of had life experience, the more that I’ve realized that if, if I want others to change, I’ve got to be just as willing to change as I’m wanting them to be. I’ve got to be open and receptive to new ideas. And so this quote inspires me to do that.

Jim Rembach (30:44):

You know, as you are talking too, I started thinking about, um, you know, the way that we go about, you know, creation and decision making and all of that. And I started really looking at the difference between divergent and convergent thinking. And cause you mentioned a word that’s I think important here when you start talking about expert, right? Is there are times when we start talking about creative thinking, coming up with ideas and trying to be innovative and all that stuff where it’s appropriate, right? So we have this divergent thinking going on. And then there’s other times where, you know what, that’s just not the right platform. It’s not the right venue. It’s, you know, we have to really think about how this is going to fit within our system. And that’s our convergent thinking. And unfortunately when we start thinking about our education system, we’ve slammed those two things together.

Jim Rembach (31:29):

And so when you look at the research that’s associated with creative thinking, we’re essentially sucking out the creative thinking of our society and our young people. So much so that when we become adults, it’s like our ability to really do the whole divergent convergent thinking is just all messed up. So I, you know, even when I was thinking about interpreting, you know, this continuum of mindsets, I start thinking about the whole divergent and convergent thinking component because if I’m brought in or if I’m seen or as a VA, if I’m viewed as as an expert and we’re talking about something specifically that we need to apply within the organization, it’s not time to do the whole divergent convert into the divergent thinking thing. It’s time to be convergent. So how does that come in play with interpreting these results?

Ryan Gottfredson (32:14):

Yeah, and you bring up a really interesting phenomenon, and I’m going to play off the word expert here, right? Um, so when we have a closed mindset, we’re close to the ideas and suggestions of others. And oftentimes the reason why we’re closed is because I’m going to just use a little bit different language than you did is we are in implementation mode. Like we are getting it done mode. Like we can’t take in new ideas. Um, and, and at least that’s the way that we justify when we have an open mindset, we’re open to the ideas and suggestions of others and it’s not, that doesn’t mean that we’re running with whatever other people say. You see, we can always have a stiff back. The critical thing is is that we always need to have a soft front. So even when we are in implementation mode, we can be an implementation mode while still having a soft front like, Oh you have an idea for improvement.

Ryan Gottfredson (33:10):

At least let me take it in, rattle it around my brain a little bit and then let’s talk it through now. Now that will take a little bit of time, but the consequence of not doing that is really profound because if people don’t feel like they can express their opinions at work, they are not engaged. And so we’ve got to create an environment where people have this open mindsets where we could bring forward ideas and what we call that broadly is psychological safety or peoples have the ability to speak up and take risks without fear of negative repercussion. And that’s what Google has found to be the number one factor of their top performing teams. And that requires that open mindset. So I think even when we are in implementation mode, we can’t have that soft front.

Jim Rembach (33:58):

Well I think you just threw in another dynamic though when you start talking about that whole time crisis piece, it’s like, Hey, we have limited resources, we have limited time. Okay, we got five minutes, let’s get to it.

Ryan Gottfredson (34:08):

Well, right. So as soon as you see that when we’re in urgency mode, that that immediately puts us into self protection mode as opposed to organization, organization advancement. And that’s why it’s so important to, to create balance in our lives and in our schedules. Because if we’re always running up against the deadline, we are activating those negative mindset neural connections and we’re not having the positive influence that we want to have. And it’s us that’s getting in their own way.

Jim Rembach (34:38):

Oh man, I think this is fabulous point being is that it’s not simple. No, not at all. No. And even talk about your home, your own learning journey and Hey, the reality is, is when I start thinking about some of the things that have not a hard front, you know, because of my, you know, need to have a, a soft soft front and I an a hard one instead. Um, I like, do I make that mistake? Yeah. Often. Absolutely. Um, do I try not to do that? Um, exactly. I don’t try to do that. Um, and so it’s something that I need to continually work on.

Ryan Gottfredson (35:12):

Yeah. And here’s why we do it. And it’s, it’s, there’s different reasons why, but for people like you who have great expertise, we have a tendency to be most close-minded when it’s dealing within our area of expertise. And, and here’s what’s going on is if we kind of think about our mind as a bucket and if we see ourselves as the expert and I know what is best, then that means my bucket is full. So what happens when we try to pour something into a full bucket, which just runs off the side and, and so when we have this closed mindset, we see our bucket is full. As an expert, we put ourselves in a position where we want to be seen as being right, right? We want to have our ideas supported. We want to be the one providing the answers because we’re not asking questions.

Ryan Gottfredson (36:03):

We’re largely out of touch and we’re, we’re, we’re close to kind of feedback and new perspectives. But the key is for effective leadership. And really for those of us who have expertise is, it’s not that, it’s terrible to think that what we know is great, we’ve just got to leave at least a little bit of room in our bucket for the idea that we can be wrong. Because as soon as we leave that space, we, we no longer concerned about being seen as being right. We become concerned about thinking optimally and finding truth. And when we’re in that mode, we’re asking questions, we’re inviting feedback. And that’s what brings about this engagement in the workplace. And so for the, this is my, my essentially telling you my self talk is I’ve got, I see myself as an expert, but at the same time I’ve got to also say, look, there’s a lot of stuff that I don’t know, be open to those ideas and these other perspectives and even if I know that I’m wrong, even if I know that their perspectives are wrong, I’ve got a lot of them come in and let’s talk it through.

Ryan Gottfredson (37:08):

We got to validate those ideas.

Jim Rembach (37:11):

Definitely an investment in time and effort for certain so that when you do have those moments, when you have the implementation mode and you have the crisis mode, you can fall back on that foundation you’ve already built. So I talk about, you know, all of these learnings, your things that you’re working on, things that I’m working on. It is a continuous journey, but you know, there’s humps that we have to get over that actually causes us to hopefully self reflect and make an adjustment. Is there a time where you’ve gotten over the hump that you can share?

Ryan Gottfredson (37:38):

Yeah. And the way that you phrase that question brought up a memory of mine. So there’s a researcher at university of Michigan, his name is Bob Quinn. He, he’s written several fantastic books. And one of the things that he says, and I forget which book this is in, but he says, people transform for one of two reasons, a crisis or deep learning. And out of those, and I would I agree with him. Out of those two, it’s simplified. But out of those two things, there’s one of those things that we have control over. And there’s one of those things that we don’t have control, right? So we don’t have control over the crisis. We do have control over the money. And so when I look at my life and the hunts that I’ve kind of gotten over, I could see that I’ve gotten over some because I’ve gone through a crisis and I’ve had to, and then there’s other humps where I’ve gotten through them. And it’s because I invested in some really deep learning. Um, and, and when I compare two experiences, that deep learning piece is so much more fulfilling and rewarding than going through that going over those crisis pieces. Um, and, and so it just, that’s another reminder to me is I’ve got to continually invest in myself and not get complacent because when you get complacent, inevitably you’re going to run up against a crisis. And if I could have less crisis, but at the same time continued transformation that I feel like I’m on the path to success.

Jim Rembach (39:07):

Okay. Well when I started looking at this work, you’re teaching, you know, you’re continuing to develop, um, you know, this in this area to help other folks and you’ve got the kids all, I mean, all these things going on. When I start thinking about one of your goals, what is one that you would share,

Ryan Gottfredson (39:23):

um, at the moment is to get kind of this message out there? Um, I, I’m, I focus on this message cause I probably need it as just as much as anybody else. I also focus on this message because it’s changed my life and I want to help people and empower people to change their lives by becoming conscious to their foundational elements that are driving their lives. And, and uh, so that’s why I wrote my book. That’s why I try to get on podcasts like this is just a way to help people awaken, improve their awareness, uh, so that they can unlock the success that they are seeking.

Jim Rembach (40:03):

And the fast leader Legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on, let’s get a quick word from our sponsor.

Speaker 3 (40:10):

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Jim Rembach (40:29):

four slash better. Alright, here we go. Fastly Legion.

Speaker 3 (40:32):

It’s time for the home. Oh, Dow. Okay Ryan. The hump day hoedown is the part of our show where you give us good insights fast, sorry to ask you several questions. And your job is to give us robust and get rapid responses are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Ryan, God person. Are you ready to hoedown I’m ready for the quick draw. Let’s do it. Alright. So what is holding you back from being an even better leader today? I think that

Ryan Gottfredson (40:59):

this is for me is my schedule is increasingly, my schedule is getting more and more demanding and that’s causing me to have to make decisions that may limit my influence in some spheres, uh, while also increasing influence and others and figuring out how to best juggle that is proving to be challenging, but part of the process.

Jim Rembach (41:20):

And what is the best leadership advice you have ever received?

Ryan Gottfredson (41:24):

Be the person that other people want to follow.

Jim Rembach (41:28):

And what is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success? All of

Ryan Gottfredson (41:33):

my secrets. I think you’re tied into the mindsets. So have a growth, open promotion and outward mindsets. And in terms of the desires that we’ve talked about, seek to learn and grow, seek to find truth, seek to reach goals and seek to lift others.

Jim Rembach (41:48):

And what do you feel is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business or life?

Ryan Gottfredson (41:54):

I think um, probably my best thing is actually my, I use what’s called the full focus planner. It’s produced by Michael Hyatt and it allows me to set longterm goals, break those down into bite sized chunks in terms of annual, quarterly, monthly, weekly, daily, and then also in that same time what that allows me to do is set my, my priorities and make sure my priorities in the right place. Because if my priorities aren’t right to begin with, it’s going to be hard for me to have an influence on those that I want to.

Jim Rembach (42:26):

And what would be one book that you’d recommend to our Legion? It can be for an Emory, any genre. Of course, we’re going to put a link to success mindsets on your show notes page as well.

Ryan Gottfredson (42:34):

All right, look, can I give you three? Go right ahead. All right, so one is uh, bonds that may make you free. It’s maybe the most life-changing book I’ve ever read and it focuses on inward and outward mindsets. A second book is the best business book I’ve ever read. It’s called creativity inc. It’s written by ed Catmull, who’s the founder of Pixar. And then when Disney took over Pixar, he was also the president of Disney animation. Uh, and then I had three. Um, so now I have to give you three. Oh the other one is called, I hear you by Michael Sorenson and it’s only like $5 on Audible, but it is all about validating others. And I would say as we’ve been talking a lot about emotional intelligence and self-awareness, that book has done more for improving my emotional intelligence than any other book that I’ve read.

Jim Rembach (43:25):

Okay. Pass. Literally Jen, you can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going to fast leader.net/ryan Godfrey [inaudible] and we’ll also put a link to the self-assessment that I was referring to that I took, which will actually show you where you are on the continuum for these four key mindset constructs. Okay. Now this is my last hump day. Hoedown question for you, Ryan. All right. Now you’ve given, you have the opportunity to take all the knowledge of skills that you have now and take them back with you, but you can actually can’t take them every single one them. You can only take one. So what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

Ryan Gottfredson (44:01):

I think it’s because this is the one that I’ve added. These mindsets is the one that I’ve struggled with the most historically and it’s that difference between the inward, inward mindset and the outward mindset. I wish I could go back in time if, if I have regrets. It’s connected to having an inward mindset of me seeing myself as more important than others because it caused me to treat people in ways that I now regret. So I wish I could go back and do a better job of seeing others as people and as they truly are.

Jim Rembach (44:30):

Ryan, I had a fun time with you today. Can you please share with the fast leader Legion how they can connect with you? Yeah. The best place is my website, [inaudible] dot com and if you want to also connect on LinkedIn, that’s probably the second-best place. Ryan Godwinson, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom. The fast leader Legion honors you, and thanks you for helping us get over the hump.