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.

Secret to Success

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):

And even better place to work is an easy to use solution that gives you a continuous diagnostic on employee engagement along with integrated activities that will improve employee engagement and leadership skills in everyone using this award. Winning solutions guaranteed to create motivated, productive, and loyal employees who have great work relationships with our colleagues and your customers. To learn more about an even better place to work, visit [inaudible] dot com

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.

259: Susan Fowler: Let go of the junk food motivation

259: Susan Fowler: Let go of the junk food motivation

Susan Fowler Show Notes Page

Susan Fowler shares new research on the science of motivation. When she shared these findings with the CEO of one of the world’s largest financial institutions and John Calipari, University of Kentucky Men’s Basketball Coach, they immediately changed how they led their people.

Susan Fowler was born and raised in Enid, Oklahoma, and raised in Denver, Colorado as the oldest of four children.

Susan Fowler discovered the power of teaching at an early age when her sister, Terri, was born with spina bifida, paralyzed from the waist down and retarded from water on the brain. Doctors explained that if Terri lived, she would never have the mentality beyond that of a 3-year-old.

Terri did live, and Susan couldn’t help but notice a spark in her sister’s bright blue eyes. Defying the doctors’ diagnoses, Susan used rather innovative techniques to teach her sister to read and write. Terri became the first handicapped child integrated into the Colorado school system. Doctors asked her parents: How did Terri learn to read and write? Their answer: Our 12-year-old daughter, Susan.

Susan has never stopped teaching—or leaning. Her motto is “I teach what I most need to learn.” She is the lead developer of product lines taught globally to tens of thousands of people through the Ken Blanchard Companies, including Situational Self Leadership and Optimal Motivation.

Susan is the author of seven books, including the bestselling Self Leadership and The One Minute Manager with Ken Blanchard and Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work… And What Does, and Master Your Motivation: Three Scientific Truths for Achieving your Goals.

Susan lives and works with her husband, Drea Zigarmi, in sunny San Diego where she is also an adjunct professor in the University of San Diego’s Masters of Science in Executive Leadership program and a rotating board member of Angel Faces, a nonprofit group dedicated to teaching adolescent girls how to cope with transfiguring burns and trauma.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @fowlersusann to get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow – Click to Tweet

“I’ve got a whole shelf full of books on happiness where they don’t even define what they mean by happiness.” – Click to Tweet

“Happiness is not the end goal, the reason you are feeling a sense of well-being is what we need to be paying attention to.” – Click to Tweet

“When you are extrinsically motivated, it erodes or undermines your intrinsic motivation.” – Click to Tweet

“Intrinsic Motivation is not additive” – Click to Tweet

“The simplistic concept of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation is misleading to people.” – Click to Tweet

“There’s different ways of being motivated and boiling it down to just intrinsic and extrinsic motivation is too simplistic.” – Click to Tweet

“One of the misnomers of all of these engagement surveys is that what so many of those are actually measuring is job satisfaction.” – Click to Tweet

“Measuring satisfaction at work is not a true reflection of engagement.” – Click to Tweet

“Employee work passion is the end state, motivation is the fuel that gets you there.” – Click to Tweet

“Junk food motivation leads to dissatisfaction, but optimal motivation fuels employee work passion.” – Click to Tweet

“Suboptimal motivation is the junk food of motivation.” – Click to Tweet

“The optimal ways of being motivated is when you’re motivated because you can align with whatever you’re doing with an important value that you have.” – Click to Tweet

“It’s really important for us to identify the type of motivation we’re experiencing.” – Click to Tweet

“The greatest influencers of our values are the people we surround ourselves with.” – Click to Tweet

“Values are choices you make based on your beliefs.” – Click to Tweet

“People are hungry to understand, what is my motivation and how do I shift my motivation if it’s suboptimal.” – Click to Tweet

“Motivation is at the heart of everything you do and everything you don’t do that you wish you did.” – Click to Tweet

“When you understand the true nature of motivation, then you do become resilient.” – Click to Tweet

“Create choice, connection, and competence into your life on a daily basis.” – Click to Tweet

“You don’t have to be a master, but you need to feel growth and learning every day.” – Click to Tweet

“What did you learn today that’s going to help you be better tomorrow?” – Click to Tweet

“Every day I’m reveling in what I learn.” – Click to Tweet

“The magic happens when choice, connection, and competence come together.” – Click to Tweet

“The quickest, shortest, fastest route to optimal motivation is being in a mindful state.” – Click to Tweet

“It’s almost impossible to be mindful and not experience optimal motivation.” – Click to Tweet

“Mindfulness is the greatest tool for self-regulation.” – Click to Tweet

“Let’s let go of the junk food motivation that most organizations are feeding us.” – Click to Tweet

“Fatal distractions are anything that erode our choice, connection, and competence and that’s what happens with bonuses, raises, incentives, bribes, power, and status.” – Click to Tweet

“Take care of your internal understandings so that you can better influence others.” – Click to Tweet

“Most leaders are acting out of their own needs, not the needs of their followers.” – Click to Tweet

“You got to get out of your own need and get into the needs of the people you lead.” – Click to Tweet

“Be more open to saying yes to other people’s information.” – Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

Susan Fowler shares new research on the science of motivation. When she shared these findings with the CEO of one of the world’s largest financial institutions and John Calipari, University of Kentucky Men’s Basketball Coach, they immediately changed how they led their people.

Advice for others

Be more open to saying yes to other people’s information.

Holding her back from being an even better leader

It’s always ego.

Best Leadership Advice

Take care of your internal understanding so that you can better influence others.

Secret to Success

Spending an hour each week to get better at what I do.

Best tools in business or life

A series of apps and tools that help me to be more mindful.

Recommended Reading

Self Leadership and The One Minute Manager

Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work… And What Does

Master Your Motivation: Three Scientific Truths for Achieving your Goals.

Feedback (and Other Dirty Words): Why We Fear It, How to Fix It

Contacting Susan Fowler

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/susan-fowler-955a174/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/fowlersusann

Website: https://susanfowler.com/

Resources and Show Mentions

What’s your MO survey?

Call Center Coach

Show Transcript

Click to access edited transcript

259 Susan Fowler

Jim Rembach: (00:00)

Okay, fast leader Legion today. I’m excited because I have somebody who ha who’s on the show today who’s been on before and that’s really a rarity on the best leaders show and why is that? Because I

 

Jim Rembach: (00:09)

thanks. She’s absolutely brilliant and I’m sure you will too. Susan Pollard was born and raised in Eden, Enid, Oklahoma, and raised in Denver, Colorado. As the oldest of four children. Susan discovered the power of teaching at an early age when her sister Terry was born with spina bifida, paralyzed from the waist down and retarded from water on the brain. Doctors explained that if Terry lived, she would never have the mental mid. The mentality beyond that of a three year old, Terry did live and Susan couldn’t help but notice a spark in her sister’s bright blue eyes define the doctor’s diagnosis. Susan used rather innovative techniques to teach her sister to read and write. Terry became the first handicap child integrated into the Colorado school system. Doctors asked her parents, how did Terry learn to read and write their answer? Our 12 year old daughter, Susan. Susan has never stopped teaching or learning.

 

Jim Rembach: (01:04)

Her motto is, I teach what I most need to learn. She is the lead developer of product lines, taught globally to tens of thousands of people through the Ken Blanchard companies, including situational self-leadership and optimal motivation. Susan is the author of seven books, including the bestselling self-leadership and one minute manager with Ken Blanchard and why motivating people doesn’t work. And what does and master your motivation. Three scientific truce for achieving your goals. Susan lives and works with her husband, Dre as a Garvey in sunny San Diego where she is an adjunct professor in the university of San Diego’s master’s of science in executive leadership program and a rotating board member of angel faces, a nonprofit group dedicated to teaching adolescent girls how to cope with transfiguring burns and trauma. Susan follower, are you ready to help us get over the hump?

 

Susan Fowler: (02:00)

Oh, I am. But that was emotional. It was interesting as you were reading that I um, I got teary-eyed, uh, thinking about this journey, so thank you Jim.

 

Jim Rembach: (02:11)

Alright, you’re welcome. And it’s, and it is such an honor to have you on the show. I mean, we have had such a great discussion prior to this interview, but I, I know this is going to be great now. I’ve given my Legion a little bit about you and like I said, you’ve been on the show before. However, tell us what your current passion is now so that we can get to know you even better.

 

Susan Fowler: (02:31)

Well, you know, I mean, my passion is still is motivation, but it’s around getting to the other side of complexity because what I’m really involved with is the science of motivation. And there is just such compelling research out there. I’ve, I’ve been a part of the academic community. I go to the, uh, academic conferences. I actually in 2018, uh, excuse me, 2019, my gosh, uh, into this year, um, published my first singly authored academic journal article on rethinking leadership competencies. Given what we know about motivation science. Uh, we published a paper on motivation and power and what leadership power does to people’s motivation. So it’s an ongoing, uh, it’s research, but also then saying, wow, okay, that’s fine. An academic journal, but what are you supposed to do with it? You know, what can the everyday person do with it every day. And so that’s where my passion is, is making really compelling, complex science accessible and that we can take advantage of it.

 

Jim Rembach: (03:33)

Well, and I think you bring up a really important point because oftentimes academics, you know, are known as just being mirror theorists, right? I mean, how do I take these ideas and these thoughts and this thought provocation and these creative ideas and apply it. And that’s critically important. And in some of the book you talk about, you know, first of all, identifying the truths, you know, behind motivation. And so when you start talking about those truths, how is that different from happiness?

 

Susan Fowler: (03:59)

Well, I love that question because there is such a, I guess a focus on happiness in our society and I’ve always thought of happiness is something that happens. Uh, it’s, it’s outside of your control. It’s, it’s something that if the circumstances are right, I can be happy. Whereas I think there’s a real distinction between happiness and joy. Peace, a sense of wellbeing. And I know it depends on how you define it, but I’ve got a whole shelf full of books on happiness where they don’t even define what they mean by happiness. So I could be happy that I beat someone, uh, because it gives me a sense of power and status. I could be happy that I got the corner office. Um, and that means more money because I’m so money motivated by money. And the reason I’m motivated by money is because it’s going to buy me more power and status. And so the reason for your happiness is crucial. And I don’t see that distinction being made in a lot of the work or people that are talking about happiness. So happiness is not the end goal. The reason that you are feeling a sense of wellbeing is what we need to be paying attention.

 

Jim Rembach: (05:14)

Well, and with that, you know, we start talking about these motivations and you know, there’s somebody who’s been studying this motivation science for a long time. Dr Edward D C really a pioneer in it. And he talks about good motivation and bad motivation. And he mentions how bad motivation actually spoils. Good motivation. What is he meaning?

 

Susan Fowler: (05:34)

Yeah. Um, so ever DC is kind of the father of intrinsic motivation and he’s become a wonderful mentor and someone whose work I really want to honor, uh, also his, um, colleague Richard Ryan, Dr. Richard Ryan, the two of them, um, are really the leaders of the self determination theory, um, academic community. And what they’ve proven is that when you are extrinsically motivated, it erodes or undermines your intrinsic motivation. But the problem is so, so let me just say this motivation is not additive. What I, I hear a lot of executive saying for example, is, well, yeah, you know, we’re gonna, we want to focus on intrinsic motivation, but we also want to give people extrinsic motivation because that’s what they expect. So we’re going to have, you know, incentives and bonuses and trips to The Bahamas and all that stuff. Um, in addition to people’s intrinsic motivation, like the love of selling or whatever.

 

Susan Fowler: (06:34)

But the two don’t, they’re not additive. Um, one actually erodes the other. And this is why the academic community is moving away from the simplistic concept of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation because it’s misleading to people that if you think that the only, there’s only good and bad motivation and the good motivation is intrinsic. What if that doesn’t work? What if you’re not intrinsically motivated like myself to go or I wasn’t to go through security at the airport. Does that mean that the only way I can go through the security is through extrinsic motivation? So what the science shows is that there’s different ways of being motivated and boiling it down to just intrinsic and extrinsic is too simplistic and actually defeats the whole science of motivation.

 

Jim Rembach: (07:23)

Well, okay. So, and I think you hit on something there on why this conversation and why this understanding and why this Reacher research is so critically important. Um, because I mean, when we start talking about this whole employee engagement issue, I mean, it’s a global problem, right? Yeah. Um, you know, and, and so when you start looking at people who are responsible, you know, for the work and the development of others, they got to know these things and they also need to understand about motivational junk food. You talk about that in the book.

 

Susan Fowler: (07:57)

Yeah. So, so let me just touch on something you said about engagement. Um, one of the misnomers is, and even the biggest organizations in the world that are selling all of these engagement surveys and people are doing all of these um, task forces to improve engagement. What so many of those are actually measuring is satisfaction, job satisfaction. And the reason that’s an issue is because, you know, like you have your Thanksgiving dinner and after Thanksgiving dinner you are satisfied, you’re satiated. How much energy do you have to really go over and beyond to go out and exercise or do a project? You know, you just want to lay on the couch and take advantage of, you know, that lazy moment. So measuring satisfaction at work is not a true reflection of engagement. And I’m going to do a little bit of, this is going to sound very self serving, but my husband, dr Dre is a army, um, has won the cutting edge leadership, excuse me, cutting edge research award three times for his work on employee work passion.

 

Susan Fowler: (09:06)

And all of this is coming back to motivation in just a second. But employee work passion is like the upper end of what a lot of people call engagement and what he’s measuring as people’s intentions. And those intentions are the indicators of what our behavior is going to be. And so he’s looking at, you know, are we, um, intending to perform at above expected standards? Are we intending to endorse the organization, stay in the organization? There’s five intention, so I won’t go through all of them. They’re my first book. But those intentions, um, are really reflective of employee work passion. Here’s what we know about the connection between motivation and employee work. Passion, employee work. Passion is this end state. It’s a place of being. Motivation is the fuel that gets you there. So junk food motivation, which is prevalent in organizations leads to dissatisfied, dissatisfaction or disengagement, but optimal motivation. The good kind of motivation leads you to employee work passion. That’s what fuels employee work passion.

 

Susan Fowler: (10:11)

Okay. So you started talking about suboptimal. I know, and I said good and bad, but let’s, let’s go with optimal and suboptimal. So suboptimal motivation is what’s considered the junk food motivation. So it’s, it’s when, for example, you’re overwhelmed and you don’t even know which way is up. Uh, and so you check out. It’s, it’s, that’s what’s happens to a lot of people when we’re going through change initiatives in our organizations. It’s like, just, just wake me up when it’s over. You know? So that’s like the disinterested, motivational outlook. Um, and then there’s, um, um, external motivation, which is where somebody is doing what they’re doing because they are aiming for a prize. It’s, it’s for the external reward. It’s more a tangible reward or maybe they intangible reward, like I was talking about power and status or image. And then there’s imposed motivation where you’re doing what you’re doing because you’re afraid of what’s gonna happen.

 

Susan Fowler: (11:07)

If you don’t, so it’s still something you feel like you have to do. You’re obligated to do it. There’s pressure, there’s tension, there’s stress involved. So anytime you feel that kind of disconnection, you feel the, you know, wow, I’m glad I’m getting paid or I’m glad I’m getting some kind of reward for it, or wow, I’m afraid what’s going to happen if I don’t? All of those are considered suboptimal ways of being motivated. The optimal ways of being motivated is when you’re motivated because you can align whatever you’re doing with an important value that you have, which means you need to have values, uh, and know what they are. Um, and, and then, um, integrated motivation when you’re doing something because it, it’s a self-defining activity. It’s who you are. It’s a deeper sense of purpose and inherent motivation, which is actually the most intrinsic of all of the motivational outlooks. When you’re doing something for the pure sheer reward of doing it without any other promises, it’s just, you don’t even know why you like it or enjoy it. It’s like playing a video game. You just like it. It’s fun. So, um, those, those are the, um, what we call optimal motivational outlooks. So it’s really important for us to identify the type of motivation we’re experiencing because it matters.

 

Jim Rembach: (12:23)

Okay. Well, to me when you’re saying that, I start going into thinking about that whole self-discovery component and how we’re just horrible at it. And then you also have these issues associated with the generational shifts and changes. I mean, you know, the values, even though that I’m instilling in my kids are going to be quite different, you know, then the values that I have, although because they’ve been exposed to them early, they may get to mind as they get older. I mean, all of that maturation cycle. Uh, but I start, I start thinking about Rick Miller who was on the show, who talked about finding your core four. And it’s really that, so talking about those values and talking about the things that are really most important to me and then doing that alignment work.

 

Susan Fowler: (13:02)

Well, you know what I love about what you’ve just said, Jim, is a lot of people don’t understand this, but the whole idea behind generational values is what we call programmed values. So if you’re a certain age, like I am your baby boomer, other baby boomers, we grew up in the cold war, we grew up with certain, um, uh, similar experiences like we went into SA inside a bank. So we didn’t trust ATM machines, you know, so, um, our values were developed based on our cohort experience. Um, I know that parents values are really, really important because as you said, we might come back to them, but the greatest, um, influencers of our values are the kids we hang out with. It’s the people we surround ourselves with and kids spend more time with their friends than they actually do with their parents. And so, um, all this generational talk about values, our program values, what we’re talking about and what, you know, you’re just talking about with the fork in the core for our, what we call it, developed values. Values are choices you make based on your beliefs. So what I’m encouraging people to do is to explore their beliefs and develop their values. Um, so that, that’s what they’re making decisions by every day are values that they are consciously aware of.

 

Jim Rembach: (14:23)

Okay. So then that gets us to where in the book you were talking about, um, outlooks and outlook shifting. Um, so tell us a little bit about that.

 

Susan Fowler: (14:32)

Okay. So the six different types of motivation I was mentioning earlier, each one of those is actually called a motivational outlook. So you have the disinterested, external and imposed motivational outlooks. Those are suboptimal. And then you have the aligned, integrated and inherent motivational outlooks. And those are optimal. And those are reflected the spectrum of motivation model that is in my book, both books. Um, but the idea is to be able to shift between sub optimal and optimal. So that is what I’m trying to teach people. And that’s, that’s really where the bulk of my work has been in organizations. And like in 2019, for example, I did a seven country 25 day tour. Um, I’ve been, that did not include one of my trips to Russia, vendor Russia five times now talking about these ideas because people are hungry, hungry to understand what is my motivation and how do I shift my motivation if it’s suboptimal, you know, motivation is at the heart of everything you do and everything you don’t do that you wish you did. And so if this is a skill that we really need to understand in practice,

 

Jim Rembach: (15:48)

well, and as you say that, I start thinking that people may have this false sense that if I do that it’s going to eliminate friction and I would dare to say that it is not the case. It actually helps you to the dress and then be more resilient when friction.

 

Susan Fowler: (16:02)

You know, you just gave me goosebumps, um, at the, um, at the, uh, self-determination conference where there were 800 scientists presenting their work. And I was just like, you know, a kid in a candy store. Uh, I presented at the conference three years ago. Um, and every, every time I go, I’m just so inspired by the work that’s being done. And one of the big conversations is about all of these kind of trendy concepts. Like you gotta have grit. You know, you’ve gotta be resilient. And I’m reasonably, this isn’t trendy, but it’s, it’s a, it’s a concept that people think is independent of motivation. But the whole idea is that when you understand the true nature of motivation, then you do become resilient. So in my book, I talk about those three scientific truths and those three scientific truths. When you create them in your life, the outcome, the byproduct, the, the end result is grit, resilience, trust, all kinds of things we talk about are the byproduct of actually creating these three scientific truths.

 

Jim Rembach: (17:17)

And as you say that, I start thinking about my oldest son who is a, he’s a darn iron head headed. And so for me it’s like, okay, I have to keep reminding myself that it’s really an age and prefrontal lobe development thing is that it’s going to serve you well when you get older. Once you, once you find out what your core four is, I mean, you’re going to be convicted and you’re going to be very resilient. I said, but right now you’re just a pain in my rear

 

Susan Fowler: (17:44)

little Gretta on the cover of time magazine is person of the year in 2019 kind of takes that argument away.

 

Jim Rembach: (17:52)

There are some, you know, societal issues with the whole, you know, uh, physiological development. I mean, you know, and girls, you know, get to that point of, of pre-roll prefrontal lobe development sooner than boys. I mean, there’s this whole other, you know, um, biological issue associated with this motivation signs. I mean, it’s, I think what we probably need to do is look at what do we need to do at the younger age, you know, in order to help them, you know, give this, you know, issue of understanding my core for doing the alignment and creating something that you call a credo. Tell us a little bit about the credo.

 

Susan Fowler: (18:28)

Well, I would just like people to really think about how they integrate and we haven’t actually talked about those three scientific truths yet. So it’s, it’s really a credo is something that you consciously Chorale your values and purposely, um, determine how you’re going to integrate them into your life. On a daily basis. Um, in my book I talk about Phil Reynolds who, you know, shared his credo, um, after a near death experience. And I just had dinner with Phil last week and that he still, you know, I’m on guard. I mean, when you have a brain aneurism, it’s not just something you get over and then life goes on as normal. And so his credo is truly what, what enables him to get up every day and live a life committed to doing good work. And so, um, in the book it just talks about how you write a credo and here are the things you’re going to do. Here’s how you’re going to create a, and I’ll just go ahead and say the three scientific truths you’re going to create choice, connection and competence into your life on a daily basis. Because the research shows that it’s not like you just have one glorious motivational moment. It’s that you have a number of frequency of motivationally, um, optimal experiences on a daily basis. And, and your credo allows you to do that

 

Jim Rembach: (19:59)

well. And you talk about, okay, so those three truths, you said more time, those choice,

 

Susan Fowler: (20:03)

choice, connection and competence.

 

Jim Rembach: (20:07)

And I, and I think when you start talking about the competence, there was another thing that stood out to me quite clear when we start talking about some of the things that we do to ourselves in regards to competence. So I think it’s important that you explain competence in this model.

 

Susan Fowler: (20:22)

Yeah. Competence is our belief that we can be effective at whatever the challenges before us. A lot of people think that competence means it’s mastery. Like you’ve already mastered something, but motivation science says you don’t have to be a master, but you need to feel growth and learning every day. You need to feel that you’re making progress. Um, so you think about, you know, a child who’s constantly asking why, why, why, why, why do they ask why? Well, the reason is because they love to learn and grow. And one of the things you and I were talking about before we started our formal conversation here is what happens in our education system. Um, and, and then it continues into adulthood where we start externally rewarding children for learning. And because motivation is not additive, when we, we reward children for doing something they already love doing, cause it’s part of our nature.

 

Susan Fowler: (21:23)

It’s, it’s, it’s something we need in order to even thrive. We erode the very thing that we were trying to, you know, um, expand. And so it’s a matter of understanding, um, that competence means what do we, how do we learn and grow is, so if you’re a parent, if you just ask your children every day, what did you learn today? Tell me about, you know, what, what did you do in geography and what did you learn? Or what did you learn in math today? Or, you know, you had a lot of conversations with kids today. Did you learn anything? What was it? But then imagine if you’re a leader, a manager, and at the end of every day, instead of saying, okay, what did you do today? How, how much closer are you to your goal? What are your numbers? What have you asked? What did you learn today that’s going to help you be better tomorrow? You know? And then of course, the ultimate, which is in master, your motivation is we need to ask ourselves that question. So every day I’m, I’m reveling and what I learned, I mean, my 78 year old a husband last night, we’re were talking about, um, some stuff we had read yesterday and we, we always try to get a walk in everyday because that’s where we share what we’ve learned. And it’s exhilarating. It’s, it’s absolutely a natural high to talk about what you’re learning.

 

Jim Rembach: (22:40)

Well, and as you were talking about that, I started thinking about Carol Dweck work and her book ma at, right. And you talk a lot about, you know, this whole issue of focusing in on some of those motivations. And it seems to me like there’s a connection with that work too.

 

Susan Fowler: (22:53)

Well, and, and here’s, here’s the thing. There are so many individual pieces of research and work, um, that are really valid, like Carol Dweck work on mindset. The issue I have is that it’s only dealing with one of the three psychological needs. And what science shows us is we need to have all three of these. If you have competence but you don’t have any sense of choice, then that’s going to be more than frustrating. If you have choice but you don’t have any sense of competence, you are going to be so frustrated and, and, and feel overwhelmed. If you have choice and competence without connection, if all of your competence and all the choices you’re making don’t lead to anywhere meaningful, if they don’t give you a sense of um, uh, connected NUS to the greater if, if you’re not working on behalf of the welfare of all, if you don’t feel that, um, you’re living your values, your purpose, and um, interpersonally resonating and feeling like you belong, then your choice in your competence don’t mean much. So all three of these scientific truths, and that’s what I write about in my book is it’s like they’re elixirs. Each one of those elixirs is wonderful in and of itself, but the magic happens when all three of those elixirs come together and you’re creating choice, connection and competence. I’m on a goal or just in your life in general.

 

Jim Rembach: (24:23)

Okay. Well then with that in the book, I think it is your enabler or your tool to help in all those three areas is really mindfulness because I mean you dedicate a lot of about mindfulness. So is that how that fits in or does it fit in a different way?

 

Susan Fowler: (24:38)

Well, it’s fascinating to me anyway that um, you know, a lot of neuroscience and brain research, um, around motivation is being done. Um, initially a lot of the neuroscience, uh, was misinterpreting the, the work because what they found was that, um, like if people get rewards, like external rewards, if they win a prize, that it would light up the pleasure part of the brain. And so because they were relating pleasure and rewards, people interpreted that rewards were good. I have to say that even the neuro leadership Institute that had written a lot about that connection between rewards and pleasure has written a white paper refuting the old idea and embracing it based on the science that I’m using in my, in my books. And so, um, what we, what we really need to understand is that, um, these three, um, elixirs are so, so to speak that that work together that, that when they are, um, I don’t know exactly the terminology you use here, but when that part of your brain, when they do neuroscience studies, when that part of your brain is lit up, where you’re actually in an optimal motivation state of wellbeing, um, where you’re experiencing choice, connection and competence, it’s the same part of your brain that lights up when you’re mindful.

 

Susan Fowler: (26:06)

So the quickest, shortest, fastest route to optimal motivation is being in a mindful state is mindfulness. It’s almost impossible to be mindful and not experience optimal motivation. And so, um, mindfulness is the greatest tool for self regulation. And if you look at the spectrum of motivation model, what we say is that, um, the, the model is both descriptive. It describes motivation, uh, based on choice, connection and competence in those six motivational outlooks. But it’s also prescriptive. It says if you have suboptimal motivation, the way you shift is by self-regulating and self regulation. The greatest tool is mindfulness. That was a long winded answer, but there’s just so much research that validates that mindfulness and motivation have a wonderful interconnection.

 

Jim Rembach: (27:03)

Well, and even what you were saying, um, for me, I started even thinking about a piece of research that came out or in regards to that whole mind mapping issue. And what they’re finding more about is that that whole centers, you know, of activity that light up that even has been very misinterpreted. Um, as we learn more and more so because the Maki is a map and it starts accessing information from a lot of different sources depending on what it is. Uh, depending on, uh, our genetics, the PA, I mean, there’s a whole lot of factors that go into it that could cause us to misread things.

 

Susan Fowler: (27:35)

So I love neuroscience. What I get really frustrated by is the interpretation of neuroscience that makes, that jumps to giant conclusions. You know, here’s one. Um, we talk, we hear a lot about, there’s only so much energy or capacity for us to, you know, you get into cognitive overload. However, they’re counter studies that show that when you’re an optimal motivation, you have endless supply. It’s like you’re tapped into this source that is generating positive, sustainable energy. And so the problem with happiness, the problem with, um, you know, external motivation or the Skinnerian model of, uh, developing habits is that they’re short lived. That you need not just these spikes like you get with junk food motivation. It’s like when you have a sugar high, what you need is the kind of motivation that sustainable over time. And um, and, and so there’s a difference between junk food motivation, like when you eat a candy bar or drink a cup of coffee or drink a Cola versus when you need energy, you eat a handful of almonds, you’re creating energy and both situations. But there’s a qualitative difference in the energy. And that’s the message I’m trying to get across is let’s, let’s let go of the junk food motivation that most organizations are actually feeding us. And let’s learn how to, um, ourselves shift to health, food motivation, optimal motivation.

 

Jim Rembach: (29:13)

Well, and we also know talking about one of the hazards and you’re going to talk about a couple more, but one of the hazards that will kill all of this, all of the energy, everything, I mean, all of your motivations. I mean all of it is lack of sleep.

 

Susan Fowler: (29:25)

Oh, isn’t that the truth? I, I, um, I actually have about half a shelf on sleep deprivation, you know, sleeping. Um, and I was very careful not to wake my husband up before his seven hours of sleep this morning. Um, yeah. You know, even, um, athletic, uh, forgive me, I just, I didn’t get enough sleep. I don’t remember. I think it’s the NFL or the NBA maybe both have now made it like part of their training regimen that you need to get eight to 10 hours of sleep for recovery. So before they were making these kids, you know, eat certain ways and do all these exercises, all this physical training and sleep was never an issue. Well now they know it is an issue and it’s no, they’re actually embedding it into the training programs.

 

Jim Rembach: (30:14)

Yeah. And that’s why we should put ’em our intern doctors in the ER rooms through four, four, four days with no sleep. Right?

 

Susan Fowler: (30:22)

Yeah, exactly. Or, or pilots and you know, it’s just crazy, isn’t it?

 

Jim Rembach: (30:26)

Oh, that’s too funny. Okay. But there’s other hazards. You mentioned hazards in the book. We just covered this one. It’s a key and critical one. What other hazards, Steve?

 

Susan Fowler: (30:33)

Well, I actually called them fatal distractions and fatal distractions are like the bright shiny objects that erode those three truths that eliminate our sense of choice, um, undermine our sense of connection and actually forge our competence. And so just as a simple example, I know I’ve mentioned it already, but let me just explain why this is so important is, um, when we, for example, or motivate, I’m just going to use dieting as an example because most of us have had some experience with either trying to lose weight or just trying to eat more healthy. So what happens is as soon as we go on an eating regimen or, or what’s called a diet, what happens is we automatically erode our sense of choice. So we think, Oh, I can’t eat that muffin, or I can’t do this, or I have to do that. And so we’re really feeling it.

 

Susan Fowler: (31:30)

We’re in this imposed motivational outlook because we can’t do certain things. So we’re motivated externally by our image. Like we’re going to our high school reunion, um, or we’re imposed motivation because our doctor has threatened if we don’t get healthy, we’re going to suffer. Um, but then as soon as we take on a diet or a particular eating regimen, we throw ourselves into the imposed motivational outlook because we can’t eat something. And then we think it’s all about the muffin. So what is the one thing when you can’t eat a muffin or a Krispy Kreme donut, what is the one thing you want more than anything in the world,

 

Jim Rembach: (32:06)

if that,

 

Susan Fowler: (32:08)

yeah, you want that muffin. You want that donut. It’s not about the muffin, it’s about your sense of choice. And so what, you know, part of the skill of motivation is learning to say,

 

Jim Rembach: (32:19)

I could eat that muffin.

 

Susan Fowler: (32:21)

I could choose to eat it. I can also choose not to eat it. Or I could choose to have a bite and not eat the rest of it. And so the trick is simply asking ourselves, what choices do we have? What choices have I made in the past? And then reflect on how you felt about those. Um, a lot of times I will like want a cookie. Like I’ll be honest with you. I ordered, um, two dozen of the best cookies in the world from a place in San Diego called the [inaudible]. I mean, there was it, they arrived last night. I just needed a little something sweet. I opened up those cookies and I ha I did. I went through this. I said I could choose to eat this whole cookie. I could choose to eat these three cookies. I just went through the whole choices. And in the end I said, you know what?

 

Susan Fowler: (33:07)

I’m about to go to bed. I’m going to choose to just taste it. I tasted it. It was delicious. I wrapped it up and I put it in the freezer. Um, so that’s, that’s choice. And so a fatal distraction around dieting that also erodes our sense of connection is that we’re, we, we lose touch of ourselves. We beat ourselves up or we have a false sense of our values. But if I say the reason I’m losing weight is because I value health. Now, if you’ve never really thought about health, um, if you’ve never really thought about your values around it, then that’s not going to be a tool that you can use. My husband was recently going on a, um, a diet, and when I would have these motivation conversations with them, I would said, I said, okay, what’s meaningful to you about this diet?

 

Susan Fowler: (33:58)

And you know what he said? And one of the conversations he said, I’ve always been an athlete and now that I’m older, I don’t feel athletic anymore. And that makes me sad. He says, I want to be more congruent with a person I think I am. And so he started eating healthy because he saw himself as an athlete, not someone who’s going to compete every day or anything like that. But anyway, it was, it was, um, a self-defining activity. So that’s, you know, that’s the integrated motivation. And then finally, the fatal distraction of dieting, um, erodes our sense of competence if we don’t continue to learn. So we need to keep asking ourselves, wow, okay, what did I learn from the way I ate today? What did I learn from the choices I made? And, um, one day, again having this motivation conversation with my husband and I said, so what’d you learn today?

 

Susan Fowler: (34:49)

He goes, you know, I learned that, um, I should eat red onions instead of white onions. I said, why is that? And he goes, I don’t know. But he started ordering red onions and his on Letson salads and everything else. And finally, he, he did the research and he found out that red onions have less sugar content than white onions. Now, this is years ago, to this day, he eats red onions and he knows that they have less sugar and he’s constantly making that better choice because he felt so good learning something as he’s going through that, um, that, that quote unquote diet. So the fatal distractions are anything that are Roy, um, erode our choice, connection and competence. And that’s what happens with bonuses, raises, incentives, bribes, um, power status, all of things are fatal distractions.

 

Jim Rembach: (35:39)

Well, and as you were saying that, I started thinking that one of the biggest fatal distractions on ourselves is the words that we use. So I mean, even knew you when you were describing that it wasn’t, I can’t have that donut. It w you know, I can choose not to. I mean, so I, it’s a totally different perspective. And so even though I’d be thinking it in my head, right, um, I need to galvanize it by getting it to come out of my mouth and saying it to myself. Jim, you can choose not to have that done and say, Jim, you can’t have that donut. Or even when someone asks words, you’re like, I need to say, well, I’m choosing not to have.

 

Susan Fowler: (36:13)

Oh, I love that. I love that. Uh, I was, I did a presentation, I had an event at the university of San Diego this week and I was doing a book signing and afterwards, um, and it was running a little bit later than everybody thought cause everyone stayed around. It was really exciting. And there was this man, he goes, he says, Oh, I stood Aline for like an hour and he says, I need to get home because I have to go to the gym at five 45 in the morning. I go, Oh, you have to. And he looked at me, he says, I choose to, I said, yeah, you choose to. And he goes, you’re right, I’m choosing to go to the gym at five 45 in the morning it. And he admitted it totally shifted his frame in that moment.

 

Jim Rembach: (36:56)

Most definitely. Well, you know, talking with you, you have so much energy, so much passion and you know, all of us need that in order for us to be able to address these difficult decisions and these difficult issues that we’re all dealing with. And one of the ways that we do that through the show or in quotes, we use quotes. So since the last time we’ve talked, I’m sure you have it, a lot of more reading and research and things that you’ve learned. So right now I’d like to ask, is there a quote or two that motivates you that you could share with us?

 

Susan Fowler: (37:26)

Well, I think, um, the first time we spoke, my quote was, I teach what I most need to learn. And that still is very, very prevalent in my life because if I can’t be an authentic representation of what I’m hoping others will learn from the science of motivation, um, you know, then why am I in this business? It’s, it’s like I need to be authentic. So that’s really important to me. But I have to tell you, given the times in today’s world, um, and I’ll probably get emotional about this, but I realized that a lot of my negative thinking about what’s going on in the world is only contributing to the negativity. And I decided to try to be the light that if you see evil or you see darkness or you see things that you think are wrong instead of complaining about it, because the only way to fight darkness is not with more darkness. The only way to fight darkness is with light. And so be the light. That’s my daily mantra.

 

Jim Rembach: (38:33)

Wow. Thanks for sharing that. And you know, we also share stories you share, you’ve shared a ton just as going through this and you shared a story in your first episode about, you know, your sister and, and I’m, I don’t want you to ask, uh, I’m not gonna ask you to share that story again cause I’d like you to help us with a particular story. When you met up with either an executive or somebody who was in a very big position of power and was stuck in their mindset and their thinking about motivating people that you were able to turn, can you remember a time when you did that?

 

Susan Fowler: (39:08)

Did you tell me you were going to ask me this question? Wow, this is, put him on the spot. But you know, it’s interesting the first, um, and I’m not going to use the name cause I signed a nondisclosure, but it’s probably one of the, yeah, it’s a big moment in my life. I’m the CEO of a major financial institution. Like one of the top five in the world happened to get a copy of my book Reddit and said, I need to speak with this woman. So they fly me to New York and I’m in the 50th floor penthouse office suite of this CEO and he just wants to talk for an hour. And, and I start asking him what his interest is in it. And I wanted to see if he thought these ideas might manipulate. He might be able to use these ideas to manipulate, um, so they could make more money.

 

Susan Fowler: (40:00)

Um, and his financial advisors could make more money. And so I asked, started asking him a series of questions and through the series of questions I could see him starting to realize that using these ideas, he didn’t have to use it to manipulate. You could use them to help people be more authentic. And the byproduct would be results of byproduct would be what they were looking for. And so he did two things in that hour. One was he made a decision and he asked his corporate communications person to go through all of their communications, internal communications, and take out the word drive because they’re always driving for results, drive for this drive for that. And he realized that that word drive was creating an environment, a culture that was driven by external rewards. And then he asked me to speak to his 200 top financial advisors and we actually did a work around helping them to understand their choices, connection and competence related to their work.

 

Susan Fowler: (41:11)

So that’s just one example of, but then I just had another one I’ll just show really, really fast. I’m sorry, but this was really exciting. A couple of weeks ago, right before the start of the college basketball season, I went to work with John Calipari at the university of Kentucky, the Wildcats. And I worked with John and his coaching staff. And that afternoon they literally changed the, they ran their training session that afternoon, their film session and that ended that week. They went out and they beat Michigan state and we’re number one in the country, not because of that session. And since then they’ve had some fluctuations. They’ve got a really young team. But that was really fun to see coaches who were so interested in helping their kids develop in the right way and not feel the pressure of winning and getting to the NBA and all of the other pressures that these young people feel. That was really rewarding.

 

Jim Rembach: (42:06)

Well, and thanks for sharing that because, um, I actually coached middle school baseball for those that there and I just went to a pitching clinic at Duke university and I met up with a couple of, uh, college coaches because for me, my goal, you know, I just went in that and I don’t have to work anymore is that I can actually, you know, be uh, an assistant coach, unpaid assistant, you know, at some university somewhere because that’s how these guys really run their programs is by unpaid assistance. The MCA AA only gives division one schools, three paid coaches and division two and three schools, two paid coaches. You can’t run a program with that and you just can’t do it. That’s really cool. Yeah, I’m looking forward to that and it’s a lot of your wisdoms and as well as others that I’ve had on a show that are going to help me be a better coach because I always talk about leading, you know, and, and helping young men be more successful through the game of baseball. But there is a lot of the learnings that we can get, uh, you know, from a lot of these, especially colleges, um, that are teaching their kids about the things that we’re talking about here. Motivation, mindfulness mindset because they understand how important, you know, that aspect is an athletic performance.

 

Susan Fowler: (43:20)

They see it in real time. And, and I have to tell you that, um, John Kell Perry and I are really contemplating writing a book together, um, for coaches specifically for coaches. I’m also working with, in fact, the foreword of my book is written by John Paul Bouchard, who is the head of artistic coaches at circle. So lay in Montreal. And um, he and I are working together and then I have a baseball coach in Nebraska who, um, is just brilliant. His name is Ryan Dubin and he’s been working with these ideas for over a year now. And the results, can I just tell you one quick little thing he does at the end of every baseball practice gym is he gets his kids together in groups of four or five. The other coaches are not involved in those groups, but they asked the kids to answer three questions. What choices did I make in practice today and how did I feel about the choices I made? How did I contribute to the team and what did I learn? And they only take five to seven minutes. All of them answer that question. And Ryan says the quality of their practices has dimensionally improved

 

Jim Rembach: (44:25)

without a doubt. Okay. So now, gosh, you’ve learned a lot since the last time we met. I know there’s going to be learnings that going on. So I’m looking forward to, well I don’t want to, I don’t want as big of a gap that happened as last time. But, um, if you start talking about goals that you have now, I mean, yes, you have this book, you have several others, you have this learning, you have the faculty work, you have the nonprofit work, all of these things. But if you were to say that there was one goal that stands out, what would it be?

 

Susan Fowler: (44:51)

Oh, I know what it is. For 2020, I am starting a master motivation conversations online certification program, uh, for coaches, uh, primarily executive coaches. But I think that parents, teachers, coaches, anyone who wants to understand how to facilitate motivation conversations, um, to really help other people have a motivation breakthrough. And so that’s, that’s coming in 2020. It’s very exciting.

 

Jim Rembach: (45:19)

And the fast leader Legion wishes you the very best. Thank you. Alright, here we go. Fast leader Legion Tom for the home. Oh, bow. Okay. Susan hump. They hold on as a part of our show where you give us good insights fast. So I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us a robust, your rabid responses are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Susan, follower, are you ready to hold down? I think so. All right. So what is holding you back today from being a better leader? It’s always ego. It’s always ego. It’s always my own,

 

Susan Fowler: (45:52)

um, fears, uh, that I’m not, uh, being treated right or that I haven’t gotten my fair share. So that’s part of my personality types. So, because I understand this part of my personality type, I, I’m always constantly dealing with ego.

 

Jim Rembach: (46:05)

And what is the best leadership advice you’ve ever received?

 

Susan Fowler: (46:08)

The best leadership advice I’ve ever received is take care of your internal understanding so that you can better influence others. That most leaders are acting out of their own needs, not the needs of the followers. So you got to get out of your own need and into the needs of the people you lead. So like when you give feedback, every time I give feedback now I ask myself, is this my need because I want to show my, I’m an expert or I want one upsmanship or is it really for the benefit of the development of the person I’m giving the feedback to? So it’s the best advice ever got is um, know enough about yourself to be able to focus on what other people need from you.

 

Jim Rembach: (46:48)

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

 

Susan Fowler: (46:53)

Many, many years ago I heard whether it was true or not, I don’t know, but that if you spend an hour a week getting better at what you do, that within two years you’ll be a national expert. With five in five years you’ll be an international authority. And so I literally set aside one hour a week and said, what can I read? What can I do? Who do I can connect with that’s going to make me better at what I do than anybody else in the world? And I have to say that, um, I feel, I feel really, um, accomplished and, and competent, not satisfied yet, but um, yeah, so I think that one hour a week,

 

Jim Rembach: (47:33)

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

 

Susan Fowler: (47:37)

It’s not just one tool, but it’s a series of apps. Like I’m really into calm and luminosity and I actually got this headset called muse that that measures the wavelengths so that you’re able to get into a deeper meditation. And so I’m practicing my mindfulness. Any tool that helps me practice mindfulness. So on a plane or whatever, um, that’s what I’m doing. I’m taking that opportunity to, to learn to be more mindfulness. It’s a skill.

 

Jim Rembach: (48:05)

And what would be one book that you’d recommend to our Legion? It could be from any genre. Of course, we’re going to put a link to master your motivation and your other books on your show notes page as well.

 

Susan Fowler: (48:14)

You know, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s funny, um, I was just on a webinar with some other Barrett Kohler authors this week and Barrett color’s my publisher. They publish books for to help the world be a better place. And I was on with um, two women, Laura and um, uh Tamra who wrote a book feedback and other dirty words and they’ve captured my belief about feedback and the research and just done it in a fun, easy to read way. I love their book. So it’s called feedback and other dirty words.

 

Jim Rembach: (48:48)

Okay. Past the religion, you can find links to that and other resources on Susan’s show notes page, which you will find@fastleader.net slash Susan Fowler too. Cause remember she’d been on before and we’ll also put a link to her other interview as well. Okay Susan, this is my last hump. They hold on question that you were given the opportunity to go back to the age 25. You can take the knowledge and skills that you have now and take them back with you, but you can’t take them all. You can only take one. What skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

 

Susan Fowler: (49:18)

You know, I just know so clearly what it is. And it would be to be more open to saying yes to other people’s information. Just saying yes to life and then seeing where it takes you. Um, being more open to collaboration and less fearful that I get the credit or that you know, that people are seeing me as the person who’s whatever. Um, yeah. So I, I being more collaborative, more open to saying yes to other people’s ideas.

 

Jim Rembach: (49:45)

Susan, I had fun with you today. How can collegian connect with you@reallyeasywwwdotsusanfowler.com

 

Susan Fowler: (49:54)

and Jim, we have a brand new, what’s your emo survey that people are finding really, really fun. And then you get immediate feedback and a lot of information about if you’re in suboptimal motivation, how to shift.

 

Jim Rembach: (50:08)

I’ll, I’ll make sure that that gets on your show notes page as well. Susan follower, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom. The fast leader Legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump.

Bed Bugs Invading Contact Centers: New Issues in Performance

Bed Bugs Invading Contact Centers: New Issues in Performance

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Just when we think managing all of the different customer contact channels, and those customers that can never be satisfied is pesky – we now must add beg bugs to the list of contact center performance issues.

While at ICMI’s Contact Center Expo I was walking the Expo Hall and spotted a vendor that caused me to pause. After a quick battery of internal questioning, I falsely assumed that they must be recruiting talent for themselves.

But, I needed to know for certain.

I was not only corrected, I was somewhat surprised by the truth. Bed bugs in contact centers?! That’s why Orkin was at the Contact Center Expo.

Orkin, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia employs nearly 8,000 team members in more than 400 locations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Central America, South America, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Asia, the Mediterranean, Africa, and Australia. They serve approximately 1.7 million residential and commercial customers.

After doing more research on this issue, I happened to find several news features covering this contact center pest problem. And I also found this quote from Dr. Tim Husen, an Orkin entomologist.

“The number of bed bug infestations in the United States is still rising. They continue to invade our homes and businesses on a regular basis because they are not seasonal pests, and only need blood to survive,” he says.

In fact, Orkin released a report on the Top 50 Bed Bug Cities list and after reviewing the list I’m able to confirm that several of the cities listed are known to be locations where a high percentage of contact centers exist. So, in my mind I can (now I can) completely understand why Orkin was at the Contact Center Expo. I say smart move on their part.

I met several people from Orkin and interviewed Brian Brockman, Branch Manager with Orkin on-site. Here is an edited transcript from our interview:

Jim Rembach: Hey this is Jim with the Fast Leader Show and Call Center Coach and I’m here at Contact Center Expo with Brian Brockman of Orkin. Orkin?! Brian, how do you help folks get over the hump?

Brian Brockman: Your response there was one we’ve seen a lot today. “What in the world is a pest control company doing at this show?”

Well we’re here today at the ICMI Expo, talking to call centers about how Orkin can provide a service to protect their location, their business, as well as their employees. We’ve seen a drastic increase in bed bugs in these types of locations and we do a program of training employees as well as proactive inspecting programs to help provide a protection for the establishment, their employees and the business to keep things moving slowly so there’s no hiccups.

Jim Rembach: It’s really important for the supervisor to really have an easier life in the contact center because they’re so important. How do you make their job easier?

Brian Brockman: Well the big thing is documentation. We’re going to do an inspection protocol even some proactive treating if necessary. And our documentation is key. We can provide documentation that allows you to monitor the services were providing over multiple locations. So, if you’re not on-site or you have multiple facilities, you can track those reports from off-site. And they’ll be your detailed report tonight so you have basically an extra eye on what’s going on in your business.

Jim Rembach: So, Brian how do folks learn more?

Brian Brockman: Very easy call 1-800-ORKIN-NOW or just go to our website – www.orkin.com/commercial/.

Jim Rembach: Brian thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom we wish you the very best.

Please Share

  • Bed Bugs Invading Contact Centers: New Issues in Contact Center Performance Click to Tweet
  • What! – We now must add beg bugs to the list of contact center performance issues Click to Tweet
  • Contact center cities listed in Top 50 Bed Bug Cities list Click to Tweet
  • New contact center performance problem – Bed Bugs! Click to Tweet 

Watch and learn about more contact center solutions now.

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8 Vital Lessons from an Award-winning Supervisor

8 Vital Lessons from an Award-winning Supervisor

Adriana Thompson - Contact Center Supervisor of the Year 2018
Adriana Thompson – Contact Center Supervisor of the Year 2018

Adriana Thompson was confronted with a challenge that so many frontline leaders in contact centers face. How to become a better leader when the path to success is not so visibly clear.

59% of frontline supervisors in contact centers were formerly agents (Source: ICMI). And like me, when you obtain the position, the excitement is rapidly met with anxiety because 99.9% of frontline supervisors are left to figure it out on their own and to lead the best they can.

Against All Odds

Just like Adrianna, many look to books to try to figure out the competencies they need to build and then institute the behavior changes required to successfully lead the frontline.

And with it known that 80% of people leave their jobs due to the relationship they have with their immediate supervisor, AND you’re in an industry with widespread issues with low-morale and high-turnover, the stakes are very high and the unfortunate industry standard has been that the immense burden is on individual supervisors to find their own way to success – quickly.”. Thankfully, Adrianna had the rare internal strength to do just that.

I had the delightful experience and honor to interview Adrianna shortly after the she received her recognition at the ICMI Global Contact Center Awards ceremony at the CCExpo in Orlando.

Skills to Develop

Contact Center supervisor Dream TeamDuring her interview she shared with me her personal journey on making it to this high-mark in her career. As I was listening, I heard eight distinct skills she developed that enabled her to not only survive the most difficult job in the contact center industry, but to thrive in it.

If you hear others, please share them in the comments section. What I heard was:

  1. Humility: She thanked her team, her company (BuildASign.com), and managers.
  2. Resourcefulness: For her to find her way down her success path she needed to figure out where to go, what to do, and then do it. She did!
  3. Self-motivation: She did not wait for others to hold her hand and walk her down the path to success, she made her own way.
  4. Humility and Vulnerability: Definitely influenced by Brené Brown (links in additional resources below). Adriana was able to put herself in a position of openness and learning and in the position of guiding and supporting versus commanding and controlling.
  5. Feedback: Known as one of the most underutilized tools in a leader’s kit, Adrianna’s focus was on individual team members. She focused on their needs by asking how she could be a better manager for them.
  6. Selflessness: While she did get recognized as an individual, it’s obvious that Adriana’s desire to excel is clearly rooted in her need to serve others.
  7. Caring: Repeatedly, her message was about passion for others and a motivation that is driven to serve.
  8. Confidence: Adriana mentioned she struggled with it, as so many new and tenured supervisors do. Confidence can easily be shattered without a defined success path. Stay strong – move on.

It was thrilling to get to meet her and see the wisdom she has obtained in her young contact center career. It took me several years to figure out (actually – I’m still figuring it out) what she already has.

Continue On…

Adriana is a wonderful ambassador for the contact center industry and I hope we can retain her, so that someday she is able to win a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Congratulations Adriana! We wish you the very best.

Additional Resources

Please Share

  • 8 Vital Lessons from an Award-winning Supervisor – Click to Tweet 
  • “59% of frontline supervisors in contact centers were formerly agents.” – Click to Tweet
  • “99.9% of frontline supervisors are left to figure it out on their own and to lead the best they can.” – Click to Tweet
  • “The unfortunate industry standard has been that an immense burden is placed on individual supervisors to find their own way to success – quickly.” – Click to Tweet
  • Congratulations to Adriana Thompson – 2018 Contact Center supervisor of the Year – Click to Tweet 

 

Celebrating Top Contact Center Thought Leaders

Celebrating Top Contact Center Thought Leaders

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Top 3 Trends in Contact Centers Today

Top 3 Trends in Contact Centers Today

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I met up with Justin Robbins at the opening Demo Hall Bash at the CCDemo in Las Vegas to find out about the top trends in contact centers today.

“What are the top 3 trends in contact center today?” Click to Tweet

While there are several topics that are on the agenda for the event like Workforce Management, Metrics, Voice of the Customer, and Management – I asked Justin to share with me what he is experiencing as the top three trends.

The top three were Artificial Intelligence and bots, data security, and employee engagement.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and bots

AI and bot interest is growing rapidly as we are moving out of the early adopter stage. Many organizations are asking a lot of questions about what they can expect, where to begin, and what the different generations of chatbot technologies are.

Going forward, we will be seeing more use cases about how AI is making the contact center agent a more valued organizational asset.

“AI is making the contact center agent a more valued organizational asset.” Click to Tweet

Data Security

Making sure your contact center is prepared to protect, defend, and respond to data integrity issues is no longer an option.

It’s also important to make sure your contact center is not a massive fraud risk. This needs to be part of your overall data integrity strategy. Doing so is paramount in building and maintaining trust with your customers.

You’re frontline is the first in line to often learn when a data breach occurs. Is your frontline equipped to handle the situation?

Employee Engagement

Are your employee’s part of something bigger than themselves? Do they feel like their part of something beyond the company operations?

People need a sense of purpose and an understanding and importance of their role.

Leadership in and outside of the contact center has an important responsibility to communicate the higher-level existence of the organization and the value of the frontline.

Employee satisfaction will not deliver a better customer experience. Your goal is to engage employees so they engage customers.

“Employee satisfaction will not deliver a better customer experience.” Click to Tweet

Acceleration of Change

Justin mentioned he created a timeline that plotted the pace of change in the industry. And the future is coming faster each day.

It is a great time to be in the business. But only if you are keep up with the pace of change. Falling behind means you’re likely to be left behind.

The contact center leader of today has to be more business savvy, people savvy, and tech savvy than ever before.

How are you keeping pace?

Watch and learn about more contact center solutions now.


Join me on the Fast Leader Show Podcast

monitor-fast-leader-showListen to the Fast Leader Show now. It’s an energizing docuedutainment (don’t look it up I made it up) podcast released each Wednesday and hosted by Jim Rembach. Each week, Jim introduces you to real folks (from the call center industry and beyond) with real stories of how they were able to get over the hump and lead themselves or others better…faster. You’ll learn how to become a better leader (faster) through their stories by improving your employee and customer engagement through the power of improving your emotional intelligence. Get more human-centric and move onward and upward…faster.


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Obvious Contact Center Agent Burnout Problem Revealed

Obvious Contact Center Agent Burnout Problem Revealed

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You know those times when something is right in front of you, yet you fail to realize it? You ask yourself why you didn’t think of that sooner. If you stop and think about contact center agent burnout and turnover problems, why have you not considered musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs)?

Of course, you did. It’s obvious, right? Ahem…it should be.

Have you considered MSD as a contact center agent burnout cause? Click to Tweet

This agent burnout problem is often unreported

In an article written by long-time contact center industry analyst Brendan Read and author of Designing the Best Call Center for Your Business he interviewed Dr. John Triano, director of the Texas Back Institute’s (Plano, TX) chiropractic division, and resident ergonomics expert. He shared that MSDs are insidious and often go unreported. Often, contact center agents do not realize that their work activities are causing their pain.

“Unlike lower back pain, where someone who is injured on a heavy job can’t do their work, upper arm, back and neck pains are such for call center workers that they can continue to work before the pain becomes severe enough to stop them,” explains Triano. “They risk worsening their conditions and their health.”

The fact is, our bodies were not designed to sit in front of a computer screen and handle customer interactions all day long.

A Contact Center First – For Me

Often, I look to find the not-so-obvious, because there’s often value to be found. I have been to many industry conferences over the years (not all of them) and this is the first time I met the likes of Blue Chip Onsite Corporate Message (BlueChipOCM) and Everett Johnson.

Watch BlueChipOCM reveal contact center agent burnout problem. Click to Tweet

Once I approached Everett and his colleague Jay (off-camera) about what BlueChipOCM does, I thought it was brilliant for them to be exhibiting at CCExpo.

Contact centers need to be more proactive in reducing their liabilities when it comes to (MSD) injuries. They need to put this in the forefront of their mind. Most of the injuries if treated, could be halted at the sprain, strain, and minor aches problem. But often they are over-looked under-reported and progress to tendinitis and nerve injury. In these worst cases surgery and long-term disability often result.

About Blue Chip Onsite Corporate Massage

BlueChipOCM was created to fill a gap in the industrial based massage service. Companies were searching for an entity that could provide quality, evidence-based industrial based massage services consistently and ethically to help fight overexertion injuries. We stepped up to provide that service. Source: http://www.bluechipocm.com/about-us/

Save Money at Work

The time away from work to treat MSDs can be extensive and expensive. Agents may have to go outside to get help from their doctor. Even if companies do not pay for the time off they may have to cover agent workloads with overtime. The bill ends up being a lot larger than the doctor visit. With a service like BlueChipOCM, you can reduce time away from work and save lots of grief.

Improving Employee Morale

“The biggest thing we see is employee morale goes way up. Employees, when you talk to them onsite, they say what a great company for helping us like this,” shared Everett. “Agents become very appreciative of the supervisors, human resources, and the health and safety team. Their praise is phenomenal for the company and they really feel like the company cares.”

Contact center agents praise the company and morale goes way up. Click to Tweet

Agents feel more valued. This is key because Feeling Valued is an important thing to measure and manage in a contact center. It’s one of the 7 Keys to Contact Center Employee Engagement and it’s one big key of success for an onsite massage program.

Upgrade your Agents

free-report-maximum-agent-performance-250x175Everett also shared a very intriguing insight. As an organization, you need to upgrade your computers. People at the CCExpo are there to upgrade their software. It’s time to upgrade your employees. Let’s start maintaining the employees and give him the most efficient best care they can have onsite.

The reality for contact center agents

In the case of MSDs, the prime source of hazard is the repetitiveness of work. Agents also suffer due to fixed and improper body positions, and the pace of work is also a contributing factor. But in a contact center, elimination of the repetitive patterns of work is not possible or practical. Therefore, to improve employee health implement prevention strategies involving workplace layout, tool and equipment design, work practices and treatment before it becomes a major issue is vital.

Obvious contact center agent burnout problem revealed and avoidable. Click to Tweet

Are you ready to meet this burnout problem head-on?

If you’re ready to be an employer with agents that feel valued, contact Everett at: ejohnson [at] bluechipocm.com.


Join me on the Fast Leader Show Podcast

monitor-fast-leader-showListen to the Fast Leader Show now. It’s an energizing docuedutainment (don’t look it up I made it up) podcast released each Wednesday and hosted by Jim Rembach. Each week, Jim introduces you to real folks (from the call center industry and beyond) with real stories of how they were able to get over the hump and lead themselves or others better…faster. You’ll learn how to become a better leader (faster) through their stories by improving your employee and customer engagement through the power of improving your emotional intelligence. Get more human-centric and move onward and upward…faster.


 

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