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So far Agustina Morero has created 40 blog entries.

Learning, Training, Leadership and More with Dirk van Reenen

Our host Evan Hackel recently interviewed Dirk van Reenen, founder of BERGflow, for another great Training Unleashed podcast.

What is BERGflow? If you visit the company’s website, you will see that the company’s mission is “helping service-based companies build better teams.” But when Evan and Dirk started to chat, their discussion took off like a skyrocket. Yes, they were talking about building teams, but before long they were discussing how humans adapt to rapid change, about leadership, recruitment, job satisfaction, performance, and of course, training.

Their conversation was remarkable, deep, and extraordinary. We are pleased to offer you the following excerpts. Be sure to watch the podcast and learn more.

Evan – Today, we’re going to talk about a whole bunch of things. We’re going to talk about recruitment and retention. How do you keep people? How do you keep them excited? How do you get the best from your staff?

Dirk – In 2016, I was the CEO of a large organization with 500 salespeople who were doing over $800 million a year in sales. And I learned something that year that was very significant, and it had to do with the rate of change in the world and the human ability to adapt to change.

Several universities did research and determined that a human being has a static ability to adapt to change. And once the rate of change exceeds that, then the human starts experiencing a higher level of stress, anxiety and feeling lost.

That resonated with me on such a deep level, and I started understanding, this is going to start shattering the business world. Up until that point, leaders could tell their people what to do and leaders could navigate the world for their people.

But after that point, leaders could no longer by themselves navigate the world. They had to start switching to a collaborative team model to be able to navigate the increasingly rapid rate of change. So when I understood that, I resigned from my corporate position, and I started a company that could help businesses navigate building teams in this new kind of environment.

So when we looked at what we were going to be doing regarding teams, we said, “We want to be able to take on large challenges because only if you’re willing to take on big challenges in the world, will you be able to unlock big opportunities. And if you can unlock big opportunity and capitalize on it, then you get a big reward.”

Evan – Can you explain your company’s name? Berg means mountain, and that reflects what you just said about big challenges and big rewards, right?

Dirk – Yes. In the physical world, we said, okay, what represents something big? And for us, it’s a mountain. So that’s where the word “berg” came from in our name, it means mountain.

The flow part of it came from a documentary called “Happy.” If you’ve never seen it, I would highly recommend watching it. It looks at what creates joy and happiness within people. It identifies about five different elements that have to be present. One of them was this thing called flow. And that documentary was actually the first time I’d heard about the state of flow. It stuck with me.

Flow is that state where you are doing something and nothing else matters, time ceases to exist, and you’re fully immersed in what you’re doing. And the documentary actually presented research that flow had to be present in your life if you wanted to experience higher levels of happiness. So for us at the company, it wasn’t just about taking on big challenges, it was also being able to do work where you could experience flow, and that’s where the name BERGflow came from.

Evan – There’s been a seismic shift in the way we do business. The top-down authoritarian style is no longer effective. And you know, we’re in an environment where workers have never had more power than they have right now. It requires companies to be excellent in how they work with their team and staff to retain people. This is as hot a topic as there is right now. What are the keys to building a culture that retains great people?

Dirk – Well, I think the first thing to recognize is that there has been a really big shift. People who work for companies have said, “Hey, enough, if you can’t care about me as a human being, you know what? I’ll go find somewhere else to work.”

And I heard a prediction a few weeks ago that more than 30 percent of the workforce is going to change jobs in the next year. That is a massive number,

Evan – I’ll just share with you that for years and years, Gallup has done research that has shown somewhere between 50 and 60 percent of employees, if they could, would change jobs. So when you say 30 percent are going to shift? I totally get it because I think there’s pent-up demand of people that have wanted to but have been afraid to and haven’t had the opportunities to change. Now, they see those opportunities.

Dirk – Virtual work has completely changed opportunities for people. So today, people are saying, “Why do I work? Where I work? Why do I do the kind of work I do? If I could do something else, what would that look like?”

It’s essentially a buyer’s market today. Companies are scrambling to try to find good talent. The talent has the power in their hands. So the question that they have is, OK, if I have the control, where am I going to work?

Companies that understand the shift are gaining massive ground on the companies that don’t understand what’s happening right now.

I heard a John Maxwell podcast not too long ago, where he was [saying]  . . It’s not about leadership anymore, it’s about collaborative teams. When we started in 2016, we knew that the key for companies to survive the future was that there would be no leaders that were smart enough to navigate all the changes, make all the decisions, or train their people

Suddenly, it had to be about finding the right people and teaching teams how to start working together and supporting each other. And I think one of the biggest changes in the workplace today is companies that are building that kind of environment and culture where it’s not about you showing up and doing your job, it’s about being part of a team. And part of that means that you are looking out for your coworkers, for your peers.

Evan – You’ve talked about the importance of getting to know people as people right now. By the same token, we’ve got training around that, sexual harassment training in particular, where there are very clear boundaries. You need to be careful that someone doesn’t feel like they’re misreading your intention. If you understand what I’m saying.

So I guess my question is, how do we connect with people and learn about their lives yet at the same time, respect a certain degree of privacy and boundary?

Dirk – Yeah, and this is a this is a really good question, because there’s definitely a clash between human resource type regulations and what it looks like to really get to know a person, right? There’s that there’s that clash within the workplace. And I think a lot of companies are so afraid of all the rules and regulations that they create a system where people are cogs because they feel like if they go any further than that, they’re going to put themselves at risk.

So the first thing I’d say is always follow EEOC compliance where, you know, within your state, within the U.S. and be compliant in what you do. Now, with that in mind, is there still an element of getting to know people?

On the Value of Training

Evan – Training in many, many companies is undervalued. Management doesn’t take it seriously, yet we know that effective training has a huge impact on companies and can massively improve sales margins. Operational efficiency can create people who really understand the brand. So you get brand stewards, and people who can deal with people with different personalities. A lot of times the training department doesn’t have the voice at upper management, or it doesn’t have the voice themselves to advocate. What advice do you give to people in training to help them as their team is part of the bigger team?

Dirk – And again, the short answer is, look, if you don’t have the right people in the right positions, it is going to be really hard to train them. If we understand more about the human beings that are in those positions, we can adjust the training to their preferred learning style, to their level of cognitive agility, how fast they’re processing.

A Special Offer for You from Dirk van Reenan

Dirk would like to invite fans of Training Unleashed podcasts to have a complimentary call and consultation. To take advantage of this offer, visit BERGflow.com, contact Dirk and his team, and request your free consultation. Be sure to mention Training Unleashed.

About Our Guest

Dirk van Reenen is founder of BERGflow, a training and education company specializing in working with CEOs, business owners, and entrepreneurs. BERGflow empowers these individuals to think bigger, gain massive clarity, find new purpose and passion, and become alive again through raw adventure!

Before founding BERGflow, Dirk was CEO of a large organization with 500 salespeople who were doing over $800 million a year in sales.

2022-04-06T01:08:28-04:00March 8, 2022|

Plan to grow a million leaders in the next three years with Scott Drake

People have been talking about a “leadership crisis” for years. They have consistently pointed out that there are just not enough leaders, that the leaders who do exist lack the skills they need to address current problems, that there are not enough talented young people coming up through the ranks to lead our important organizations, and more.

There are people who worry about this crisis, but one person is doing something about it. He is Scott Drake, founder and Executive Director of a training and leadership development company called JumpCoach. Scott is planning to train a million great leaders, and to do it in the next three years.

In a recent Training Unleashed podcast, Scott talked with host Evan Hackel about this ambitious goal and how he plans to reach it.

To bring you up to speed on Scott’s plans and progress, here are some edited portions of his talk with Training Unleashed’s host Evan Hackel. 

The Current Crisis in Leadership

Evan Hackel: Scott Drake is the founder and executive director at JumpCoach. He is on a mission to train a million new leaders in the next three years. Scott, what is that about? Why does leadership matter?

Scott Drake: My goal is to grow a million leaders in the next three years. That came about because when you talk to executives, they will say one of the biggest problems they see is a lack of leadership in their organizations. And it’s not just top-level leadership, it is front-line leadership

We just haven’t had really effective leadership training. You know, in my journey it took me about 10 years to kind of level up into being a confident, competent leader. That’s a long learning curve!

So the question really is, how do we shortcut that and then, how do we do it on a on a pretty big scale? Because if we can fix leadership problems, we can fix a lot of other problems too. So that’s my goal.

Evan: It’s a very, very ambitious goal. Let’s start with a really basic question. What is a leader?

Scott: I define a leader as someone who can work through others to get things done. There’s a lot of debate and if you go ask a lot of leaders what leadership is, most of them will be scratching their heads. Or they’re going to fall back.

Evan: What do you mean by fall back?

Scott: I came out of computer programing. And if you talk to people with that background, they’re going to think of leadership as being a super version of being a computer programmer. But a leader is someone who can work through others to get things done. It’s different from management, which is more around deciding which tasks you’re going to tackle and how you’re going to do them.

Evan: I think people confuse management with leadership. They’re totally different specialties. And I think a person that doesn’t manage a single person can still be the leader in an organization.

Scott: Yes! A leader can be a nonprofit executive who’s rallying a group of people to help solve a problem. A leader can be the computer programmer who has no authority but has to work through a team to get certain things solved so that a whole project comes together. And it’s not about authority and it’s not about management, it’s not about control, it’s about how do I work through others and be effective in a healthy way to get things done?

Evan: Let’s discuss mindset shift, which I know you have talked about. Because I think it’s an important part of the conversation. What is this shift? Where are people at now regarding leadership and where do they need to shift to?

Scott: Most people are very inwardly focused. They’re focused on, “What am I bringing to the table?” They’re focused on “How do I stand out?” or, “How am I contributing” or, “How can I be valuable?” Right?

A leader has to shift that focus outward and say, “What does this other person want from this work? I know we need to accomplish goals. But what does this person want?”

So it has to become, “What do they want?” not, “What do I want?” You have to be willing to turn that focus off yourself . . . so you’re not in what I call a competency war with your team. You let your team take ownership . . . So that’s a big one, to adopt an outward focus.

Evan: If you had one tip to share with our audience, what would it be?

Scott: An area of leadership can be called moments that matter. Leadership happens when you are working through others, as we have discussed. But when does that happen?

Leadership happens in those moments of interaction between two or more people. And in that interaction, people get what they need, they get clarity, they get direction, they feel good about themselves, they feel good about the relationship with the leader.

But if in those moments people get things they don’t need, like confusion or doubt or if they question their status in your relationship with them, then then you’re really going to struggle as a leader. Leaders are telling people what to do. They’re saying, “Here’s how I would do it.” But often, leaders are giving people things they don’t need or want, so everyone ends up feeling bad about the relationship.

It’s often a simple moment where the boss was trying to be helpful or trying to do something right, but ended up doing something wrong. Leadership is really about mastering those small moments that matter.

Be Sure to Listen to the Complete Conversation Between Evan and Scott on Training Unleashed! 

A Free Offer for Members of the Training Unleashed Audience

Scott invites you to take part in JumpCoach’s Community Edition of the Leadership Accelerator Program – at no charge.

This program offers three lessons that will quickly build your leadership skills. We encourage you to take advantage of this offer from Scott and start your in-depth leadership program today.

About Our Guest Scott Drake and JumpCoach, His Company

JumpCoach was founded by technology executive and consultant Scott Drake. Scott’s journey into leadership was long, painful, and he made every mistake in the book. It took him 10 years to thrive as a leader and not feel like an imposter.

When he became a leader of leaders, he saw next-generation leaders making the same mistakes and having the same struggles. Selfishly, he couldn’t spend 10 years watching new leaders wreck his teams while they figured out how to lead, so he began searching for a faster way to teach leadership. That search turned into a five-year research project and the innovations that are now JumpCoach.

2022-06-07T20:07:14-04:00February 11, 2022|

Virtual reality to train your employees on a deeper level with Robin Rosenberg


In a recent episode of Training Unleashed, our host Evan Hackel talked with Robin about how she and her company, Live In Their World, have developed this practical new approach to leadership and employee development.

We know you will want to watch the podcast to absorb everything Robin says about her company’s unique approach to leading.

We are pleased to share with you these edited portions of their talk as Evan and Robin discuss a new, deeper way to train employees and unlock their full potential . . . 

Evan: My guest is Robin Rosenberg. She’s the CEO and founder of Live in Their World and she is a psychologist. Let me just start by asking about the name of your company. What does it mean?

Robin: The reason it’s called Live in Their World is because the domain “Walk In My Shoes” was not available! [laughs] Our program, in part, uses virtual reality. It allows people to literally walk in the shoes of people from different demographic groups.

Evan: Scenario-based training is an effective way to train. But you’re really taking that to the next level.

Robin: Correct. VR (virtual reality) is exquisitely good when it’s well done for what we call emotional learning, which is powerful and very different than cognitive learning.

Evan: I’m very intrigued with this. Does this training have to be done in your facility, or can it be done anywhere?

Robin: It can be done anywhere, because of the pandemic.

Evan: Is your training leader-led? Is it done on a learning management system?

Robin: It’s done on our platform. We also provide cognitive learning because emotional learning isn’t enough. I mean, it’s powerful and it’s really motivating. But what we want to do is really train habits.

Evan: So your primary curriculum is around diversity, acceptance and inclusion?

Robin: So you could call it that, although I think what we’re actually about is cultivating respect in the workplace.

Evan: What results do companies see after using your training?

Robin: Part of what they see is a subtle change in behavior.

Evan: Can you give us an example?

Robin: There is something that you probably haven’t ever experienced, but many women have, which is when a man comes over to your workstation, you’re sitting and he’s looking at something on your computer with you, but his crotch is in your face . . . unintentionally, unintentionally.

Evan: And men have a similar situation where a part of the woman’s anatomy is in their faces, which they don’t necessarily want to be looking at.

Robin: A great example. So quite a number of men who did the relevant part of our training have told me that it was a very powerful experience.

Evan: But it is really about being economically good for companies. Diversity of thought creates better products and better businesses. It attracts the right employees. I think the benefits are absolutely huge. And, you know, it’s interesting. Most people who are managers think that there are no issues of discrimination in their companies. There really are issues of course, but that’s not their reality. There are no issues in their minds.

Robin: We all have blind spots.

Evan: If you had one tip to share with our audience, what would that tip be?

Robin: Well, one tip would be to really treat  colleagues and customers and business partners with respect.

About Our Guest

Robin Rosenberg, Ph.D., is CEO and Founder of Live in Their World, a company that uses, in part, virtual reality to address issues of bias and incivility in the workplace and upskill all employees, as well as leaders in particular, for respectful engagement. She is a clinical psychologist, and prior to starting her company, she had executive coaching and psychotherapy practices, wrote college textbooks, and taught psychology classes at Harvard University and Lesley University.

Robin has been interested in virtual reality (VR) for years, and was the lead author of a study to investigate using “VR for good.” She has combined her interest in immersive technologies with her coaching and clinical experiences to foster in employees a deeper understanding of how and why other people may feel slighted or marginalized, and how to approach such interactions differently.

2022-02-03T17:11:10-05:00February 3, 2022|

Strategies to build great leadership skills with Krister Ungerbock


Big ideas flew recently when Evan Hackel, host of Training Unleashed, interviewed Krister Ungerbock. Krister is the former CEO of a global tech company and a leadership language expert. His insights have been covered in numerous national and international publications, including NPR, Forbes, Inc., Chief Executive and Entrepreneur. Prior to exiting corporate life at age 42, Krister was CEO of a $200M global software company. Krister is also the author of 22 Talk Shifts: Tools to Transform Leadership In Business, In Partnership and In Life, a Wall Street Journal bestseller.

While leading that company to over 3,000% growth, Krister’s team won five consecutive Top Workplace Awards, achieved remarkable employee engagement levels of 99.3%, and became a dominant player in its market niche — event management software.

We know you won’t want to miss a word of this conversation between Evan and Krister. So please watch the podcast! Here are edited excerpts.

Evan and Krister Discuss Communication, Leadership . . . and More

Evan: Hello, everyone, and welcome to another exciting edition of Training Unleashed. I have a great guest with me, Krister Ungerbock. He is a Wall Street Journal bestselling author. I want to tell you I have bestselling authors on air all the time that are Amazon bestselling authors. I’m an Amazon bestselling author, and it doesn’t mean much compared to being a Wall Street Journal bestselling author. That is a coveted thing.

Krister, you have said, “Change your words, change your _______ {blank}.”  What do you mean by that?

Krister: I started down this path as a former CEO to write a book about communication that could cross over into leadership in the context of business, but also leadership in the context of relationships. As a father, a parent, in a marriage or whatever.

Evan: Can you share some examples of how your world changes when you change your words?

Krister: I would say one of the most common example is how hard it is to have difficult conversations . . . As leaders, we often are really talking about how we make commitments to other people. [Too often]  you know, often we make commitments like, “Hey, I’ll get that to you next week.”

Evan:  Your book is about 22 Talk Shifts. Does that mean you have 22 key points?

Krister: There are 22 short chapters, and each chapter offers a different tool.

Evan: I also know you have a very unusual way that people who are in the corporate world can utilize your book. Can you give us a bit of background on that?

Krister: So I ran a relatively, I guess, it was a small company. When I started it, it was like 10 employees. When I wanted to invest more in training, my shareholders were not on board with it. So we were always looking for really affordable ways to train.

Evan: I want to ask what I think is the most important question in this interview. It is fundamental to the concept of Training Unleashed, which is that we’re training champions. We’re here to advocate for training because we believe that effective training can make a huge change in the company.

Listeners to this show say they often get frustrated because their senior management doesn’t take training seriously enough. It’s an afterthought. It’s underfunded. So what advice would you give to our listeners to get senior management to listen to them better? How could they change their words? How can they be more effective to get buy-in and support for training initiatives?

Krister: We know that tools will create practical value. I’ve been to leadership courses where I spent three days and when I walked out, I still didn’t know what I was going to do differently. I heard a lot of platitudes.

Evan: I’m hearing you say that is instead of talking about what the training is, talk what the training does.

Krister: Yes, using real examples.

Evan: I think people would like to know what your company does. Who are your ideal customers? This is your opportunity to let everyone know about your company.

Krister: Our mission is to change the words of the world, and we give 100 percent of our profits back to initiatives that will help us to change the words of the world. I take no salary, so this is really just about changing the words of the world

Evan: As we end each podcast, I always ask our guests the same question. If you had one tip to share, what would that one tip be?

Krister: I think the simplest one is to start all your conversations with a question that that starts with the word what or how. And if you observe the questions that others ask and you observe the questions that you ask . . .

Evan: And start with those words, and see if they start with them too, then you will be discussing better issues. That is a wonderful piece of advice. Thank you very much!

Tools to Build Better Bosses—and Become One

We Invite You to Check out Krister’s Transformative Book!

22 Talk Shifts: Tools to Transform Leadership in Business, In Partnership and In Life

(Published by Lioncrest).

About the book:

Strained and estranged relationships are everywhere in business. Salespeople are frustrated by the finance people, customer service and operations people are frustrated by salespeople, and everyone is frustrated by the IT people.

It’s time to shift the conversation.

In 22 Talk SHIFTs, you’ll discover unconventional, sometimes counter-intuitive communication techniques that can make your year, or your career. You’ll learn how to:

  • Increase employee engagement, leadership communication, and growth
  • Become a better partner, parent, and boss using these 10 statements
  • Speak like an emotional Einstein
  • Lead people to their solutions, not yours
  • Cultivate connection, compassion, and commitment at work and home

TalkSHIFTs create great teams—but here’s the bonus—they also create great families. These practical tools include fill-in-the-blank phrases, powerful questions, and provocative exercises that can break the cycle of strained communication and strained relationships.


The TalkSHIFTs are the result of Krister Ungerbock’s real-world experience leading teams in languages and building businesses on five continents.

Learn language changes that make a big difference—in business, partnership, and life.


2022-01-20T14:50:55-05:00January 20, 2022|

Meredith Bell Interviews Evan Hackel about His Philosophy of Ingagement

If you have been watching and learning from our series of great Training Unleashed podcasts – and we hope you have – we would like to tell you about something unusual! Today, we are reporting on a recent podcast in which Evan Hackel does not do the interviewing . . . he gets interviewed.

The podcast is part of the Strong Performance podcast series, hosted by an inspiring woman named Meredith Bell. Meredith is co-founder of Performance Support Systems in Hayes, Virginia.

We are excited to share these edited excerpts from their conversation.

Meredith: Welcome to the Strong Performance podcast. I’m your host, Meredith Bell, and I am passionate about having conversations with guests who will inspire and challenge you. I’m very excited to have Evan Hackel with me as my guest today. Evan Hackel, welcome to my show.

Evan: Fantastic to be here.

Meredith: Evan is on the cutting edge when it comes to the creation of mobile training platforms. Evan, can you tell us about your journey to the work you’re doing today with training and consulting?

Evan: My journey, which is really a journey of understanding the importance of Ingagement, started in my family business. I said, “We need a strategic plan.”

One thing I’ll say to every listener now is that plans make things happen, whether it’s in your life or business.

Meredith: This word Ingage is really a cornerstone of your work, and so I want to talk a little bit about why you spell it differently. Why is it Ingage with an “I” instead of Engage with an “E”?

Evan: I‘m defining it as a higher level of engagement.

Meredith: I’d love to know what are some of the key insights? You mentioned planning a minute ago. What was blocking progress in the organization you mentioned?

Evan: We had all these different parts of the organization and they all had their own goals. We started to ask, “Are we getting the perspectives of the people in the company? Do we really get their perspective when we talk to the team members in the company?”

If you get everyone’s perspective, you can see the whole picture. But worst case, if your organization is an echo chamber of senior management, you really have no idea what’s going on out there and you have a vision of things you can do that are not based in reality. I like to refer to this as “High-Level Dumb” because you’re in that echo chamber. Our goal in the company was to have 40 percent of those 800 people actively involved in some form of leadership and actively contributing. Ultimately, we is more powerful than me because when you build teamwork and success, it raises everyone’s boat.

Meredith: You have said that Millennials are the best workers who have ever entered the workforce and that Generation Z will only be better. Why do you say that?

Evan: What I love about the younger generations is they are lifelong learners. They’re totally committed to self-improvement. That’s what you want on your team.

Meredith: What kind of training have you found to be most effective at engaging younger people in learning?

Evan: Whenever I bring on a new hire, I always personally meet with them and review our vision and mission purpose statements and our strategic plan. And I really go into depth about what’s in the plan. The number one reason younger generations leave work is because they do not see personal growth and they do not feel they are getting tracked.

. . . And my last tip is that younger generations like to work for companies they feel great about. If you get right down to it, they want to feel that business is in fact doing something that makes the world a better place. So make sure you grab people and share that with your team, because that’s where the younger generations get really Ingaged.

About Meredith Bell

Meredith’s first career was in education, first as a teacher and then as an administrator. In 1982 she left public education to start a company of her own.

“My passion has always focused on helping people recognize and maximize their full potential,” Meredith says, “showing them how to become stronger for work and life. For several years I had a solo consulting and training practice, working with companies to develop the people side of their business. I worked with leaders and employees alike, teaching them how to communicate more effectively and deliver positive results.”

Then in 1990, Meredith co-founded Performance Support Systems (PSS), with Denny Coates and Paula Schlauch. After a few years, Meredith and her team created a new tool, called 20/20. It is a flexible survey system that has now been used by thousands of organizations and more than a million participants worldwide for traditional 360 feedback, team effectiveness, employee engagement and customer satisfaction surveys.

Meredith states that in the years of helping organizations transform their way of dealing with people, she and her team came to an important realization:

Neither feedback nor training can, by themselves, change behavior.

About Evan Hackel

Evan Hackel is a 35-year franchising veteran as both a franchisor and franchisee. He is CEO of Tortal Training, a leading training development company, and principal of Ingage Consulting. He is a speaker, hosts “Training Unleashed,” a podcast covering training for business, and author of Ingaging Leadership. To hire Evan as a speaker, visit evanspeaksfranchising.com. Follow @ehackel or call 781-820-7609. Why not have Evan Hackel address your group about franchising success?

2022-01-14T16:01:00-05:00January 12, 2022|

Becoming a Champion with Mark Pattison


In a recent Training Unleashed Podcast, Evan Hackel sat down and talked with Mark Pattison about becoming a champion.

There are people who have theories about becoming a champion, and there are people like Mark who has undisputedly done it in the realms of sport, mountaineering and business. The secrets he shared with Evan and our Training Unleashed family are grounded firmly in both his own story and in reality.

About Mark Pattison’s Many Successes

Mark is a former  wide receiver who played for four seasons in the National Football League for the Los Angeles Raiders, the Los Angeles Rams, and the New Orleans Saints. Before he turned pro, Mark played for the University of Washington in Seattle, where he learned life lessons about coaching.

After his NFL career, Mark turned to mountain climbing. In 2013, he began a goal to climb the the highest peaks on each of the seven continents, which mountaineers call the Seven Summits. And Mark, as you will discover in his talk with Evan, is not a person who fails to reach his objectives. He went on to successfully climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in 2013 and 2017, Mount Elbrus in Russia in 2014, Mount Kosciuszko in Australia in 2015, the Aconcagua in Argentina in 2016, the Denali in Alaska in 2018, the Vinson Massif in the Antarctic in 2019, and Mount Everest in 2021.

Today Mark serves as SVP of Business Development for Sports Illustrated. As a philanthropist, his causes include the Epilepsy Foundation and Higher Ground, an organization that supports veterans. Mark hosts the Finding Your Summit Podcast, and we are thrilled that he spent a life-transforming half hour with our host Evan Hackel.

Excerpts from the Conversation Between Mark and Evan

If you are committed to becoming a champion in your life and your career, you won’t want to miss a minute of the conversation that Mark and Evan shared.

Here are some excerpts of their talk. 

Evan: How many people have climbed the Seven Summits?

Mark: Not a whole lot. You know, I think the total number over time is above 5,000. In terms of NFL players, there are only two of us!

Evan: This show is about training. And I understand you have a philosophy of training that has helped you in every aspect of your life. Why don’t we just start there and what that philosophy is?

Mark: I went to the University of Washington on a football scholarship and when I went there, I was not prepared in any way. I was completely overwhelmed. I really didn’t understand the roadmap to becoming successful. A Hall of Fame coach there, Don James, had taken a page out of the famous basketball coach from UCLA, John Wooden, and he adopted it as his own – the Pyramid of Success.

It helped me understand what it takes to become a champion in anything you do, whether it’s physical or in the business world. And that things don’t happen overnight. The pyramid of success has really helped me get to where I’ve been through the different things I’ve done.

Evan:  Please tell us more about what the pyramid is.

Mark: It’s a pyramid and there are 25 individual and team goals . . . And essentially, when you start talking about individual and team goals, you got to put yourself in a position for success. You’ve got to know the game. You have to know what you’re in for. You have to understand that it’s a daily grind.

All those little things lead to the bigger things and in terms of a team, you also have to learn how to integrate them into to a larger concept. When I was playing football, there were 11 guys on each side of the ball . . . We started off with 21 team members on Everest and only 10 of us made it. When we got down to that core 10, we had to really rely on each other for various things.

And in business, there’s no question that you can’t succeed if you don’t have people. We all have different core strengths. Success is like ascending a ladder, and it can take years.

The Seven Summits took me almost 10 years to achieve. The gaming company I founded, it took me years to start in 2001 and sell in 2008. So it was over a course of time. But competitive greatness at the end of the day means that you will love the process. And if you don’t love the process in business and sports and other things that we do in life, there are going to be obstacles. And if you don’t have a strong “why” on the reason you’re doing all these different things, you’ll quit.

Evan: Climbing Everest is certainly not a walk in the park. I know that at one point you were snow blind, so you essentially couldn’t see. You hadn’t eaten for three days. And you didn’t have supplemental oxygen. Can you talk about that?

Mark: Yeah, that’s almost right. I was snow blind in one eye, so out of one I could still see okay, but . . . climbing a hard enough feat on your best day. But when it turns out to be your worst day and you don’t have the energy, and all the energy that you do have is going towards . . .  why am I so blind?

And also, you’re trying to reach down and clip in because you’re tethered to the mountain. You’ve got fixed lines that are about 100 yards apart, and they’re anchored by screws and you’re constantly reaching down and slipping in and clipping out and clipping into the next one. And the problem with that is that because of these past expeditions, they haven’t taken those five other ropes off the father lines up the mountain. And so you’re looking at this, you know, and your depth perception is off. And are you clipping in to the right one? Because if you don’t clip in, the other ones are frayed and especially as you get higher on the mountain, it is straight down to Tibet and there’s no stopping.

And you’re stepping over dead bodies. There are a lot of negatives in terms of the supplemental oxygen. I ran out on my way down and my sherpa had left me. And so I had to go through this battle of trying to gasp for air. I was out [of oxygen] for 18 hours and I’m not an endurance athlete.

John Wooden said you need to be at your best when your best is required. And my breath was required on that particular day, but I was not at my best. You know, you’ve got to figure out a way to come up with the gumption to keep driving and the why of not quitting, and I’m going to do this and keep going.

It’s just too easy to quit and there are so many dead bodies up on Everest as you get to the top that, you know, I was looking around and it’s like, this is not the day that Mark dies.

Mark Would Like to Welcome All of You to Listen to his Finding Your Summit Podcast!

Be sure to become part of Mark’s Finding Your Summit podcast family. Mark interviews an amazing group of individuals who have achieved ultimate success in business, health, life . . . and more. You will want to be part of it!

Be sure to listen to all of this Training Unleashed Podcast. It can transform your life and your success!
2022-01-04T16:43:07-05:00January 4, 2022|

Revolutionary Tools to Create Top-Performing Organizations with Jeremie Kubicek

In a recent Training Unleashed Podcast, host Evan Hackel sat down for a talk with Jeremie Kubicek, Executive Chairman of GiANT, a company that certifies coaches and consultants that serve companies and their employees. Jeremie, who brings a powerful new perspective to creating top-performing organizations, has authored five bestselling books and is a sought-after keynote speaker.

Jeremie is also a renowned expert on building top-performing, world-class teams. He and Evan explored ideas that can turn your organization into the home of teams that are productive, inspired, inspiring and more.

We know you will want to spend a high-quality half hour listening to every word of this remarkable Training Unleashed session.

Until you do, we know you will profit from reading these excerpts.

Excerpts from the Conversation between Evan and Jeremie

Evan: I have to start out by asking why you created your company name, GiANT, in a way that has a lower-case letter i.

Jeremie: (Laughs) It’s a great question, Evan. The little i stands for humility, not pride. And it stands for what happened to me when I started the company. My wife and I were in Cancun in Mexico for a vacation before we started the business. And during that time period, September, hurricanes hit and on our way to our hotel, we got hit by a drunk driver in the hurricane and I almost lost my life. And that experience literally shaped and reshaped the way that I viewed life.

And so when I came back, I squashed the i in our company name because I had been full of pride up until then, and then I got the pride squashed out of me. And so GiANT stands for doing big things in a humble way.

Evan: Wow, that is some story. Now why don’t we talk about your book The Five Voices. What are The Five Voices? Can you share that with our audience? What do they have to do with creating better teams?

Jeremie: Years ago Steve Cockram and I decided to mess our worlds together around the process of creating teams in new ways. Steve, my co-partner and the co-founder of GiANT, had spent a lot of time working with the Myers-Briggs test and a lot of time in IQ testing and in team performance tools.

So our idea was like, what would it look like if everyone on a team knew the voice or the personality of the other people? Wouldn’t that make the team performance go up? And what would have to happen for that to take place?

And the problem that we kept finding with the traditional Myers-Briggs is that even though tools like it can be really good and powerful, the problem is they don’t scale very well. There are issues. They don’t scale down to an educated 13 to 15 year old, and they have a hard time scaling inside the organization.

So we built a formula to come up with a way to understand how language flows. We defined the five voices. In learning what your leadership voice sounds like to others, you will discover what it feels like to be on the other side of your personality, as well as how to hear and value others’ voices,

Evan: What are the Five Voices?

Jeremie: They are the Pioneer, the Connector, the Creative, the Guardian, and the Nurturer.

So we basically just took these voices and we started to unpack them in a way that would scale. And companies that started to use the concept found that by understanding the voices, they better understood what everyone on a team brings to the table.

This tool is not built around personality. It’s built around communication. And so we made engagement happen because we taught people to know others, to lead others. So if you understand their wiring and the voice they bring to the table, then you can actually influence them.

Evan: I have certainly been involved in a lot of organizations where we have done personality assessments and where we’ve had facilitated discussions. They are always powerful, but they tend to last about a month, right? They don’t become a living, breathing part of life in an organization. Can you talk about how organizations can make cultural changes that make learning and great teams part of their ongoing reality?

Jeremie: That’s what GiANT basically does. It’s a system, it’s a language . . . It becomes a common language that’s not just for the Harvard elite or for the top 15 percent of employees who went to the retreat and got the information. It’s not Cul-De-Sac learning. Everybody plays, and that’s how we built it.

How do you scale leader development and keep it as an ongoing system? And that’s what we figured out.

Evan: I want to shift gears and talk about being a Sherpa and having a Sherpa mindset. And what does that mean?

Jeremie: So when I was writing the book The 100X Leader, I started with the idea of talking to people who had climbed Mount Everest.

And when I started to meet with them, no one wanted to talk about the mountain! They only wanted to talk about the Sherpa. And I was like, this is weird! This is like the tenth person I’ve talked to, and all they’re talking about is the Sherpa and how much they trust the Sherpa.

So then it hit me. Can I talk to the Sherpa? So I started interviewing a Sherpa. I was on a Zoom call with a Sherpa. I realized what they do is climb because they help others climb.

And then it hit me. That’s the definition of a leader. They lead because they help others perform. So the Sherpa gets up before anyone else and they go up and make sure the rope is set and their ladders are set. Then they come back down, get everybody and go back up the mountain. So the Sherpa has to be the healthiest Sherpa. You don’t want to follow an asthmatic Sherpa. Right? Mount Everest, that’s the last thing you want. And so what I realized was that’s the definition of a leader, a leader in the mindset of a Sherpa.

A special free offer

Jeremie would like to offer our podcast audience the opportunity to take the amazing GiANT Five Voices Personality Assessment. CLICK HERE to get started now!

Be sure to listen to all of this inspiring, life-changing podcast!

About Our Guest

Jeremie Kubicek is the Executive Chairman of GiANT, a company that certifies coaches and consultants that serve companies and their employees. Jeremie has started more than 20 companies while living in Oklahoma City, Moscow, Atlanta and London.

Jeremie is a powerful communicator, serial entrepreneur and content builder. He creates content used by some of the largest companies around the globe. Among the books he has written are:

  • The 100X Leader,
  • 5 Voices
  • 5 Gears
  • Making Your Leadership Come Alive (a national bestseller)
2022-01-03T12:35:18-05:00December 29, 2021|

Should your company build it or outsource it? with Mike Farrell


If your company needs a new kind of functionality, should you build it or outsource it?

There are strong arguments for doing either. If you outsource a function – be it marketing, lead generation, or anything else – you will only need to spend money on it for as long as you retain the company you hired to handle it. That could potentially save you money, help you direct your employees to spend more time performing their current functions, and enjoy other benefits.

But hiring and training people to perform the function in-house can offer benefits too. The people who you hire or train will be with you for the long term. Your company will build expertise and strength as it adapts to changing needs. And then there is the fact that training your current employees, or even hiring newcomers, could cost less than hiring an outside provider of services.

Meet Mike Farrell

In a recent Training Unleashed Podcast, Evan Hackel discussed these issues in depth with Mike Farrell, CEO of Green Leads, a Massachusetts-based company that provides sales, marketing and lead-generation services. Note that their discussion was not limited to outsourcing a lead-gen company, but to the larger question of how and when it makes sense to outsource.

If you’re determined to maximize your company’s efficiency and ROI for every dollar you spend, you will want to listen to this unique podcast discussion.

Until you do, here are some edited highlights.

Outsourcing vs. Building Internally?

“The reality is that is that this is a question that companies have to ask,” Mike told Evan. “And in some cases in startups, they don’t have the staff and expertise because they’re a young and not super-mature organization, either in the marketing department or the sales department.

“They may not have the technology tools, they may not have the knowhow. And guess what? They may not have the training right . . .  A lot of companies in our area and a lot of startup technology companies hire young people right out of college. And that’s a perfectly fine model. But be ready for a lot of turnover because young people out of college are going to try to figure out what they want to do in their career. To retain them, you need to understand what their pains and challenges are.”

Onboarding and Training Young Workers

Mike added, “Let me speak specifically to young folks out of school, right out of college . . . there are literally thousands of jobs open right now. And for technology firms, it takes six months to train someone to be truly proficient. You have to make sure you hire somebody that has that curiosity to keep learning . . . but it really takes about six months for them to master skills and make all those mistakes and make course corrections.

”But then guess what? You know, we have experienced people doing one thing for 10, 20 years . . . sometimes people have the experience, but there’s so much changing now. . . So training is ongoing.”

The Critical Importance of Training

Evan pointed out that in order to keep employees once they have been trained, it is essential to provide career advancement and further training.

Mike was quick to agree and added, “Yes, absolutely. If your company is investing in that person’s success and their career progression and their career development, obviously that’s a benefit. It’s a win/win. The company gets a more productive employee and they can reduce that turnover timeframe. So that investment in training really pays back in multiple ways.”

Mike Offers a Reality Check on Training Internally

“Rarely do you find a team that doesn’t need a whole lot of hand-holding or training,” Mike told Evan. “And you know, let’s face it, those are the unicorns, right? They just don’t exist very often. You have to develop people.

“People need to have some innate ability and have tenacity. Those are attributes you try to identify in the recruiting process. You can’t teach or crack a whip for motivation. That doesn’t work, right? You have to find the people that have that. But if you find those people that have those traits and then you invest in their growth and skill development, it will pay off in retention, productivity and profit. And it becomes part of your employer brand, right? Yes, this is a company that invests in its staff.”

Mike Provides Context

“Even big companies have small parts,” Mike said to Evan. “Big companies are constantly trying out new business avenues, and different places, and those divisions aren’t the same as the bigger, larger divisions. And even in a big company, you could sit back and say, `Why don’t we hire out the expertise here?’ . . . ultimately everything is an opportunity cost, right? Do we invest in training here? And if there are limited amounts of training people and dollars, you’ve got to look and ask what the best utilization of your time is.”

Be Sure to Watch and Learn from this Dynamite Podcast!

About Our Guest

Mike Farrell is CEO of Green Leads, a Massachusetts-based company that provides sales, marketing and lead-generation services. Since 2007, Green Leads has produced hundreds of thousands of leads and appointments for clients.

Mike has an incredible track record of building companies and growing revenue. He has extensive experience selling into B2B and public sector markets, building sales development organizations, as well as developing channel partnerships.

2021-12-22T19:00:47-05:00December 14, 2021|

Fast-Changing Role of Automotive Service Training with Chuck Searles


Few people know the world of automotive service better than Chuck Searles, who joined Evan Hackel for a recent Training Unleashed Podcast.

In 2020, Chuck was named the President of the Automotive Management Institute, a nonprofit trade organization in the automotive sector. Chuck brings an astonishing wealth of knowledge in the automotive industries, where he has been a leader for nearly three decades.

What does it mean to be certified in an automotive service specialty? What does it mean to be accredited? And what impact do certification and accreditation play in a technician’s career and on the profitability of the company where he or she works?

You will want to listen to the entire Podcast. Chuck and Evan delve deeply into these topics, and more. You won’t want to miss a word.

Here are some highlights.

Training Is More Critically Important than Ever Befor

Not too many years ago, painting a car’s front bumper meant little more than . . . painting a bumper. Now that has all changed. Applying paint in the wrong way can interfere with the advanced technology that is found on many cars, such as smart cruise control, brakes that are automatically applied when a car approaches another vehicle too quickly and more.

Chuck explains, “The radars and the instructions behind the bumper that you can’t see, it’ll throw that stuff off of if there’s the wrong kind of paint . . . your intelligent cruise control and your crash avoidance systems don’t operate the way they were designed.”

Experience Can Mislead Technicians

Yes, a technician might have performed a particular service procedure 100 times. And when it is time to do it again, he or she might think that no training is needed.

Yet procedures and protocols and technology might have changed – and the technician can’t coast on past knowledge. If he or she does, the result can be that a customer needs to come back to a service facility several times because repairs were not completed successfully on the first visit.

Chuck explains, “If a company wants to have a warranty honored, they’re saying, `Look, you’ve got to take this 20 minute-training before you can redo this, even though you might have done it 100 times – because we don’t want to take a chance that you’re going to forget something and cause a problem . . . I’m, you know, obviously a huge believer in training.”

Training Can Dramatically Boost Profitability for Service Facilities

Certifications and accreditations mean a lot for customers who are getting their vehicles serviced. Those customers are reassured when those credentials are on display in a service facility because they indicate that work will be performed by technicians who are fully up-to-date on the latest technologies.

Chuck says,You know, in our country, if you get a haircut, guess what? Your barber has a license. The plumber who comes over to fix your plumbing has a license . . . it’s become a requirement.”

Chuck points out that to obtain those licenses and certifications requires passing tests. And in order to pass those tests, those professionals need to have been trained. That training helps assure customers that the experts they are hiring know what they are doing – from using the latest technology to pricing jobs, and more.

We know that the insights that Chuck and Evan discussed in this dynamite new Training Unleashed Podcast will deepen your knowledge and appreciation of training!

About Our Guest

In 2020, Chuck Searles was named the President of the Automotive Management Institute (AMI), a leading trade organization in the automotive sector. Chuck has been an active part of the automotive service and training community for almost 28 years.

Chuck began his career as a dealer service technician in 1992 and over nearly a decade, he was employed by three different dealers in Alaska and Arizona. This diversity helped expand his skill set and knowledge base, which led in 2001 to a technical service support role with Nissan North America. Over the last nineteen years he has served in four different Nissan training roles; Technical Training Instructor, Sales Training Senior Planner, Technical Training Operations Manager, and Technical Training Instructional Design Manager.

AMI is a 501c3 nonprofit organization based in Texas, with a mission to accredit training in the automotive industry. At present, more than 100,000 individuals have received training through AMI.

2021-11-30T00:06:28-05:00November 29, 2021|

Maximizing the Return from Coaching with Steve Lishansky


In their recent Training Unleashed podcast, Evan Hackel and his guest Steve Lishansky jumped right into a discussion of a question that should be on the mind of every effective leader . . .

How can the results of coaches be maximized?

You will hear big and important ideas from the first moment until the last when you watch. Until you do, we want to share some excerpts of their talk.

Why Do Companies Hire Coaches?

 Evan asked Steve, “Why do companies want to bring in coaches? Why can’t they just figure it all out themselves?”

Steve answered, “Well, that would be wonderful if we could do that. But Einstein said that great genius often comes with great limitations. In my experience the smartest, the best, the most successful are always challenging themselves to get better.”

A Powerful Tool Steve Created to Help Top Performers Get Even Better

“I created something I call the Nonfinancial Balance Sheet because if you look at anybody, even the highest performers, you will see that there are assets, capabilities, resources – but there are also limitations . . . So let’s get really clear and focused and understand each other. What are our assets? What are our liabilities as an individual, as a team? When I work with leaders, I say, let’s leverage the assets, let’s limit and mitigate the liabilities, so we can zoom beyond what most people are used to experiencing.”

Why One of the Most Common Approaches to Coaching Is Wrong

Steve and Evan both agreed that most companies bring in a coach when someone is underperforming. And that coach is supposed to correct the problem.

One example? Steve said, “You’ve got a good performer, but he’s a pain in the butt. How do you save him before you have to fire him? That kind of coaching is remediation. I don’t do that. I only do the other kind of coaching, which is what I call developmental coaching. It answers the questions of how do you take your best, most talented, highest potential, highest achieving people and help them even do better?

“That’s your best application of coaching. I’ve always said to every corporation, investing in your best gives the greatest return on investment.”

A Lesson in Excellence from NBA Great Larry Bird

Since both Evan and Steve are from New England, they started to talk about Larry Bird, one of the greatest basketball players to ever wear a Celtics jersey. After the Celtics won the championship in 1986, Larry Bird was named the MVP of the series.

“I heard a reporter ask Larry what he was going to do after winning that championship,” Steve said. “I thought he was going to say that he was going back to Indiana to drink beer. But no, Larry said, `I am going to Indiana to practice. I am going to shoot hoops.’

“I’ll never forget that moment. That’s mastery. That’s excellence personified. That’s what the best of the best are always thinking. So even if you are the best of the best, you can always get better.”

The Meaning of Training and Coaching

“I look at coaching as about being more effective,” Steve summed up. “You might have the skills, you might have the knowledge, but you might not have the ability to effectuate that within an organization the way you would like. You can’t, without coaching. I know that’s what coaching did for me.”

A Special Offer from Steve Lishansky 

To thank the Training Unleashed community for watching, Steve is offering a chance to read the first section of his new book Leadership Starts Here. CLICK HERE to learn more.

“And if people want more, they can always have more!” Steve says. “You can find me at www.leadershipstartshere.com. I am happy to answer any questions for any member of your audience.”

About Our Guest Steve Lishansky

Steve Lishansky is a Senior Executive Coach with Executive Coaching Network, Inc. (EXCN). He brings his clients extensive real-world experience and insight from 18 years as a corporate executive and entrepreneur, and more than two decades as a coach, consultant, and facilitator to the C-Suite, leaders, and leadership teams from over 40 countries.

Steve brings his clients extensive experience from years of hands-on experience as a CEO, and coaching and consulting to C-level leaders from many industries and countries dealing with all manner of issues, opportunities, and challenges. Bringing together that level of insight and experience with his deep study of neuroscience, human dynamics, neuro-linguistic programming, and the art and science of communications, he works with clients to find ways to access their strengths and capabilities faster, deal with limitations more effectively, and engage with others far more successfully. He also helps clients gain deeper insights into themselves as one of the most powerful vehicles for delivering more and better results for their organization.

Steve’s books include The Ultimate Sales Revolution and Leadership Starts Here.

2021-11-24T15:14:55-05:00November 21, 2021|
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