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The High Cost of Unengaged Employees

According to Gallop, a whopping 34 percent of employees are involved, enthusiastic, and committed to their work and workplace. That means—look to your left, now look to your right—only one employee in three actually gives a rip about their job and your company. In essence, that one engaged employee is carrying two other people. To […]

Four Powerful Steps to Get More of What You Want & Balance the Scales of Business

By John Gibson In business and life, there’s a constant balancing of the scales between fortifying needs and reducing company stressors. Let’s explore one strategy to improve the abundance ratio significantly. The power of “Lean-in > Weigh-in > Buy-in > Stay-in” is unmatched. Some things that we perceive that we lack as business leaders could be: […]

Slaying the Giants

By John Gibson After years of success, a multi-location service business’ progress ground to a halt. Despite their success, infighting, employee disengagement, and consistent turnover were significantly undermining their development. In desperation, they reached out to a brilliant business coach. He quickly identified three giants in their land. The business coach surmised that there were […]

What You Water, Will Grow

I was recently hiking in the high deserts of Colorado near or above the tree line. The ground was dry, parched, and rocky.  Unexpectedly, I came upon a lush green area that was full of life and beautiful wildflowers. Through the middle of this garden was a little stream of water. As the snowfields melted, […]

The Science of Responding Well

By John Gibson In our last Insight, we delved into the art of responding well and introduced the equation: E + R= O. Gaining the awareness that the outcomes (O) we get in business and all of life are the results of the quality of the responses (R) that we have to the events (E) […]

The Art of Responding Well

By John Gibson What is E+R=O?  Have you ever known someone in any area of life that seemed to almost always respond in just the right way or with just the right words no matter what? How do they make you feel? For me, they inspire confidence and, without fail, they make a profound impact […]

Flying Blind?

You are having fun. Your business is serving a greater cause. You are delivering on your mission. You and your people are working hard. But…you are going broke. How did this happen?! Leadership experts said if I focused on my mission, everything would work out. Modern aircraft are amazing pieces of machinery. The North American […]

Compliance Will Crush You

Process and systems are tools that help smart, intelligent humans accomplish more in less time. Too often, well-meaning leaders place undue emphasis on compliance. The goal is not to comply with processes and procedures. It is to accomplish your mission in the most effective manner possible. When we focus on compliance with rules, processes, and procedures, […]

You have a deadline

Did you feel that surge of stress-induced adrenaline when you read the word “deadline”? Most of us do. Our mind and supporting body chemistry say it is time to get moving, to make things happen. Would anyone do their taxes if there was not a deadline? Would students hand in their homework? Of course not. […]

They already know something is up

Transparency and openness are essential components of trust. Humans, all humans, have an uncanny ability to perceive and pick-up on emotions. It is fundamental to our survival and our ability to connect with others. Now, the ability to interpret those emotions can vary wildly. Based on the level of trust or perceived threat, we can […]

Don’t go back to normal, go forward to better

Okay, enough is enough. It’s time to get focused. Ignore the things you cannot control and focus on the things you can control. Remember, it’s not the adverse conditions that create stress; it’s the lack of a meaningful response. Jack Canfield says it well- “Successful people maintain a positive focus in life no matter what […]

Your world has been turned upside-down, now what?

As a business leader, the stress of the current events is almost suffocating, but let’s keep it in perspective. It’s not the adverse conditions that create stress; it’s the lack of a meaningful response. Now is the time to step into the fray and lead.  So, where do you begin?  In our experience, great leaders find a […]

Stay focused on what’s really important | 3 ways to manage stress in the face of uncertainty

“We don’t always get to choose whether or not we have storms. The only choice we get to have is how we respond to those storms.” -Rory Vaden The surreal events involving the current coronavirus outbreak have radically changed our world. Business leaders, just like you, are no doubt losing sleep over how bills will […]

The self-driving company | Also, why employees are really quitting

Wouldn’t it be nice to have one of those self-driving cars? All that drive time now yours to do with it whatever you want. Hop in the rig, program in your final destination, sit back and relax. Before you know it, you are there. We have been doing it for years with commercial airplanes. We […]

Believing is seeing | 3 easy steps to better communication

Odd reality about humans–we see what we believe. We are not the rational, objective creatures we like to think we are. According to the latest findings in neuroscience, all the information we receive is being filtered in an effort to complement our current belief system. If it doesn’t match our way of thinking, we either […]

The Fall Of Malls And How To Avoid The Same Fate

On a cold, snowy, winter day, I made the trip to the local mall to honor my commitment to get more steps in this year. It had been a while since I had been to the mall. In their heyday, malls were the epitome of American wealth and prosperity. Modern clean buildings, sporting the latest […]

Don’t Be a But

“But,” “no,” and “it won’t work,” are too often the knee-jerk responses we give to new ideas presented by a team member. Now put yourself in their shoes. No one wants to look stupid or be demeaned. It takes a lot of courage to bring a new concept or constructively challenge the boss’s current way […]

When Being Right Goes Wrong

“But—I was right!” It’s the proclamation of countless clients following an intense interaction with a coworker, friend, or family member. Many fight to be right without even realizing it. They fight because there’s value in it and a payoff, but “being right” comes at a cost. It’s simple math. If you are “right,” then typically […]

What were you thinking?!

“What were you thinking?!” If you haven’t said it, chances are you’ve heard it in the workplace. In other words, “what kind of idiot would do something like that?” Unfortunately, I have uttered (or at least thought) that cringe-worthy question far too often in my management career. To the person taking the action, what they […]

Are your policies coming between you and your customers?

In my line of work, I’ve experienced many white-knuckle negotiations. You can imagine, then, my frustration with a popular telephone company while trying to get one simple task accomplished. It’s a negotiation that lasted six hours. My wife and I recently welcomed my aging mother into our home. Mom’s one request is that she be […]

If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail | A leader’s vision check for 2020

Imagine we’re sitting down for coffee and I ask, “…are you completely happy with the progress you made in 2019?” We hope that you are. We hope this was a banner year for your organization, but I have a follow up question, “…was it intentional or accidental?” Without intentionality, all results are accidental. A year […]

Good leaders know it’s not about me, it’s about we

Are you concerned that your people are not engaged? Your people want to do more, not less. They eagerly want to take a seat at the table and make a meaningful contribution. If this is not the case, then there is an extremely high likelihood that you encouraged them to be disengaged. Humans are naturally […]

Seeing is doing

If you see it; you will do it. People do not normally intend to aimlessly wander around and spin their wheels. If you see this happening in your organization, it is a clear sign that success has not been well defined. It is also a sign that there is not a simple, clear way to […]

Conflict and communication rarely coexist

One of my favorite sayings is that “conflict and communication rarely coexist.” Humans generally want the same thing. Conflict arises between people because one person believes that what they want and another person wants, is somehow mutually exclusive. If you get more pie, I get less. What if, instead, you could both make the pie bigger? Then […]

Great leaders know their opinion doesn’t matter

One of the things I consistently see leaders do that undermines their team’s effectiveness is freely expressing their opinion. The best leaders know that their opinion doesn’t matter. What matters is the mission. In most organizations as soon as the leader speaks, everyone is focused on pleasing the leader. At that point, the focus is on […]

Trials and Training | How to survive in life and business

A little preparation can go a long way. It is because of training that I was able to beat cancer in 1992 and survive a plane crash in 2014. I credit training with giving me the skills to own a handful of businesses over the years and manage others. What I’ve discovered is that I […]

Great Cultures Are Built On Purpose

In order to lay the foundation for great workplace culture, two essential questions must be answered. The first, is your organization making the world a better place? And the second, is your team aware of and focused on that purpose? When you think about what attracts you to a brand or a company, is making […]

Is Your Team Dysfunctional?

In his now classic book, “The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team,” Patrick Lencioni lays out the 5 key ways in which teams undermine their effectiveness: 1. Absence of Trust 2. Fear of Conflict 3. Lack of Commitment 4. Avoidance of Accountability 5. Inattention to Results My friend Nathan Lozeron does a great job explaining the […]

Effective Communication: Can You Actually Overcommunicate?

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”  -George Bernard Shaw Business leaders, speakers, and authors often talk about the importance of overcommunicating. I’m not convinced it’s possible. If you think communication is a one-way process of talking at people, then maybe there’s some merit to it. I prefer […]

Tap into the power of dreams: A solution to get great employees to stay

In his New York Times best-selling book, “The Dream Manager,” Matthew Kelly states, “It’s foolish to hope employees will be passionate and engaged about their work if they’re not passionate and engaged in their lives–yet a staggering number of people are not enthusiastic about their lives.” Research shows that employees are more likely to stay […]

3 Traits of Every Healthy, High-Performance Organization

Do You Have an (H2O)?: Healthy, High-Performance Organization “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” This often-quoted line rings with truth. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how good your strategy is. If you don’t have a healthy culture reinforcing your strategy, you’re destined to fail. The most sustainably successful companies have three healthy, high-performance […]

Simply Brilliant

Those two words fit together like a hand in a glove. In a world that is overwhelming complex people are looking for simple, clear, and compelling solutions that work. Modern life is complex. Even a decision about what tooth paste you are going to buy is complex. A typical store carries almost of 200 distinct […]

How new phrasing can lead to new possibilities

Generative language is a powerful thing. Our words can be used to tear down or build up. Think about the possibilities around a simple statement like ”let’s explore some possibilities” or ”what do you need to make that happen?” Compare that to ”that won’t work” or ”you can’t do that.” When it comes unleashing human […]

The Change You Are Looking for Starts With a Conversation

Do Crazy People Drive You Nuts? People do what they do for a good reason, but remember it is for their reasons not yours. Have you ever observed someone else’s behavior and thought, “that person is crazy”? I know I have. The reason their behavior seems crazy to you is because if you were doing the […]

Are You Safe? | Why Trust Is So Important

People do what they do for a good reason, but remember–it is for their reasons and not yours. Are You Safe? There is an overwhelming body of scientific evidence pointing to the importance of trust and psychological safety. Interestingly, Google conducted an extensive study on what makes for effective teams. The study was named after […]

You Can’t Motivate People

Carrots and sticks don’t work. Organizational Psychologists refer to this as extrinsic motivation – motivation that comes from outside of yourself.  The approach is seductive in that it often works in the short run, but is rarely sustainable. As soon as the reward or punishment is removed, the desired behavior disappears. People are hardwired to […]

The Accountability Myth

I frequently hear leaders talk about the difficulty of holding their people accountable. Holding someone accountable is an elusive goal. Even if you can hold someone accountable in any given moment, who has the time, energy and bandwidth to hold someone else accountable on an on-going basis? The only person you can effectively hold accountable […]

If You Want to Be Heard, Shut-up and Listen 

One of my favorite sayings is that Conflict and Communication Rarely Coexist. People don’t generally disagree, they just think they do. The latest findings in neuroscience suggest that when I am trying to convince you of my truth, at a subconscious level the listener hears me saying that they are not as smart as me. […]