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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|

How to Use Experiential Learning with Kimberly Kleiman-Lee

 

Kimberly Kleiman-Lee is founder and CEO of Kimberly Kleiman-Lee & Co., a leadership development and training company headquartered in Wisconsin. For more than 20 years prior to launching her own company, she played a leading role at GE’s world-renowned training university. In her recent Training Unleashed Podcast with host Evan Hackel, Kimberly gave deep insights into the role experiential learning can play in developing extraordinary training.

We know these insights will transform your training. You’ll want to devote 30 minutes of your busy day to watching this great podcast. Here are some selected highlights.

On General Electric’s Belief in Training

Evan: General Electric’s university is one of the best corporate universities in the world . . . . I think it would be fascinating to talk about the culture at GE around training and why it was so important.

Kimberly Kleiman-Lee: Well, thanks, first of all, for having me on your podcast, Evan, it’s a pleasure to spend time with you. And you’re right. GE’s culture around learning and development was, bar none, top of its game. So let me share a couple of things about their culture regarding learning and development.

First is they believe in a leader in every chair, and the goal is to make sure that no matter what your role is, you have a responsibility to lead in it and make sure that everything you do comes from a place of betterment, moving the company forward and helping lift your colleagues up to a better place.

Second, they feel a true responsibility to make sure that leaders have the skills they need to do well, no matter where they are in their career journey. So they invest in it.

At one point, we calculated that GE was investing more than $1 billion in functional and leadership training. So training comes at every phase, every stage and every need in a leader’s journey . . . they believed not only in the concept of leadership, learning and development, but having a place for leaders to gather to do that great work.

On the Practice of Experiential Learning

Evan: I want to talk about experiential learning. I’m a big believer in it . . .. I know GE does it really well, and I know that your company does too. What does it mean when you say the words experiential training?

Kimberly Kleiman-Lee: Experiential learning means you put the learner in the center of the skill or behavior you’re trying to get them to adopt. So it’s less telling, more doing, and more feeling of being in the things you want them to learn . . .   

So if you want them to be more compassionate and empathetic to their customer, you need to put them into a situation that that helps them to adopt that. If you want them to understand what it means to be a servant leader, you need to have them serve, literally serve . . .  So it’s putting them in the center of the behavior or skill you want them to adopt.

On Training People to Become Servant Leaders

Evan: I love the concept of servant leadership, I’m a big believer. Why don’t you just take a moment and describe how that would work? What would that look like?

Kimberly Kleiman-Lee: If servant leadership or just a concept of serving is something that the company or culture wants to ensure their leaders are astute at, we would thread a component like that throughout a learning opportunity. It might not be the core focus, but it would be something that is experienced throughout a three-day workshop. Here are ways to do that.

One, I’m a big fan of leaders doing tours. Again, I work with more middle leadership and above. Oftentimes, by the time you get to be a senior leader, you are being served. So someone makes the reservation for you. Someone has the table set for you. Someone has the meeting coordinated for you. The plane is reserved for you. All of those sorts of things are done for you.

So to switch it up a bit, we have what I call the equivalent of tours. If I’m hosting a senior leadership team for a three-day workshop, I ensure that one of those days is reserved for lunch on-site and it’s catered. And the only thing that is done for them is the food is delivered to the site. They will each have a task that been assigned to them, written on the back of their nametag, which they won’t know about until they’re told to turn over their nametag. And it could be everything from set the table, serve water to your colleagues, clear the table, you name it, and it’s just a touch of, “Are you willing to do what it takes to make those around you comfortable?

Evan: Well, first, let me compliment you because one of my fears was that every example you were going to give was going to be so big and so difficult.

Kim: Absolutely . . . it doesn’t need to be big and grandiose. Being ready at hand means when you’re in a meeting and you see somebody struggling with the projector, if you know how to fix that, it doesn’t matter your level, your role, your responsibility in that meeting. What matters is that you help keep progress moving. And oftentimes, folks forget that that is, in essence, a big part of servant leadership.

Lecturing vs. Changing Behaviors

Evan: I know you do some really interesting offsite training. Can you tell how that works and what that kind of experience is like?

Kimberly Kleiman-Lee: It started actually when I was at GE . . . . when I first started, a lot of what we did was lecture-based, especially for the senior leadership group. We wanted to transmit knowledge, expose them to new and different ways of leading and strategizing and again, exposure to businesses.

All of that is terrific. But what we found was that it didn’t change behavior as much as we wanted. So after observing a couple of those classes, I thought, “I wonder if there’s a way to get the same lesson, but with a different approach?”

So we ended up letting a lot of our academic partners go for a while and said, I think we’re going to try this without the lecture and if anything, get to the point where there were no more than 30-minute lectures for any new content. And then the rest would be experiences where trainees would have to apply the learning.

So as we started down that road, we found that there were different ways to explain leadership by using metaphors for it. So, for example, I do a lot of work with my clients right now with horses. Horses are the second most intuitive beings and they are a terrific way to see your leadership loud and clear. We would bring leaders together with horses at a horse farm or barn or rodeo space. We’ve done it a number of different locations. We work with terrific gal who leads all of this learning. She will put you inside a stable with the horse, and she’ll say, “Have the horse do something you want it to do.”

Typical leadership behavior, right? So folks will stall for a while and then you’ll see them do a bunch of things. You’ll see them try to pull on the reins. Or talk nicely to the horse in English and try to explain what they want the horse to do. Some people will dangerously try to push from behind to get the horse to move.

And the gal that we partner with, says, “Look, the horse desperately wants to follow you. She just doesn’t necessarily know what you want her to do.” And then that, in essence, opens up the whole the whole dialog around the question of, how are you as a leader of people? Do they desperately want to follow you? They just don’t know exactly what you want them to do.

So that would just be one example of experiential  learning. We have taken folks to Normandy and studied World War Two, specifically communication and chaos theory around the questions of, “What do you do? How do you lead when your leader is not there? How do you step into that role?”

We’ve taken people to Silicon Valley to help them understand entrepreneurialism, design, thinking, being customer-centric and human-centered design. We’ve taken folks to Gettysburg to understand leadership through the eyes of Abraham Lincoln and some of the change management that he had to handle in a very unsophisticated way to make a huge difference. So . . . taking people to a destination. And your office could be the destination. Having them experience something is one of the best ways to learn.

A Special Offer from Kimberly Kleiman-Lee

Kimberly would like to make a special offer to all members of the Training Unleashed podcast community.

You are invited to visit KimberlyKleimanLee.com and to sign up for Kim’s remarkable Manage Time in 10 program. In it, you will learn impactful strategies for making the most of your time.

About Our Guest

Kimberly Kleiman-Lee led General Electric’s Leadership Learning & Development strategy and solutions at GE Crotonville. For seven years, her intuitional and methodical approach to individual and team development earned her the respect of leaders throughout GE. As a player-coach serving 330,000 employees, her individual work was focused on GE’s top 2500 leaders – teaching, coaching, provoking, and inspiring change.

Kimberly knows that humans are the most interesting part of work. She attributes any career success to her insatiable curiosity and voracious desire to learn about humans at work and in groups. She’s a pattern studier and tirelessly seeks innovative ways to develop leaders to thrive. 

She, like others, thinks the world is in the midst of a leadership crisis. Kimberly launched her consultancy to prepare more leaders for the world.

2021-11-18T00:02:03-05:00November 17, 2021|

Critical Strategies for Protecting Your People and Your Organization from the Risks of Sexual Harassment with Kia Roberts

 

Every Training Unleashed Podcast delivers leading-edge strategies that will transform your organization. One recent podcast, however, takes it up one level higher, because it presents information that is not only important, but absolutely essential for the safety and wellbeing of your people and your organization.

 You will want to watch this important podcast today. In it, Evan Hackel spoke with Kia Roberts J.D., Founder of Triangle Investigations. Kia is a powerhouse, recognized as one of today’s leading authorities on sexual harassment in the workplace.

About Kia Roberts and Triangle Investigations

Triangle Investigations is a group of lawyers and expert investigators conducting misconduct investigations within workplaces, schools, and other organizations. Triangle Investigations developed and created Telli™, an exclusive, easy-to-use and first-of-its kind app that works as a reporting mechanism for persons lodging allegations of misconduct, both in the workplace and in other organizational settings. Triangle Investigations also conducts dynamic, customizable, and engaging employee/organization member training sessions, and offers policy and procedural writing services for organizations.

Prior to founding Triangle Investigations, Kia was the NFL’s first-ever Director of Investigations, a position in which she handled investigations into allegations of violations of the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy (the NFL’s Code of Conduct), for all NFL players and employees, both nationally and internationally.

Within this position, Kia managed a wide range of investigations, including but not limited to: sexual harassment investigations, workplace violence investigations, bullying investigations, and investigations involving both criminal and non-criminal conduct, both in and outside of the workplace.

Kia conducted numerous high-profile, highly-complex investigations within this role, while supervising a global network of security contractors. Before joining the NFL, Kia spent nearly a decade as a Senior Assistant District Attorney in the Kings County District Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn, New York. In her last years at the District Attorney’s Office, Kia was appointed by the elected District Attorney to the Office’s prestigious and highly selective Homicide Bureau, which was composed of the top 12 trial attorneys in the Office.

Kia obtained her law degree from Vanderbilt University Law School in Nashville, Tennessee. While at Vanderbilt, she participated in numerous organizations, and worked as a writer for Obiter Dictum, a law school publication, and also served on the Student-Faculty Relations Committee. Kia obtained her undergraduate degree from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. While at Duke, Kia was on the Dean’s List, was a writer for The Chronicle, Duke’s award-winning daily student publication, and served on the President’s Council on Black Affairs, an advisory group to the President of Duke University.

What Companies Must Do to Protect their Employees and Themselves from Sexual Harassment

Kia explained to Evan Hackel . . .

“The first step is that companies really need to examine what their reporting processes are. Especially in the midst of the pandemic, a lot of organizations realized that they really didn’t have consistent and comprehensive reporting mechanisms for people to report sexual harassment, discrimination, or retaliation.

“The first step is for the company to think about how people are reporting what’s going on. Are they encouraged to go to their manager? Are they encouraged to go to human resources? Does the organization have a hotline for employees to use . . . how is management learning about allegations?”

Sexual Harassment Can Occur in Any Kind of Organization

“Triangle’s client base is anywhere sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation can occur. That’s everywhere, from that small organization to a Fortune 500 company. Nonprofits too  . . . you need to make sure that you have those reporting processes in place. And once you learn of a concern or specific report about misconduct, you need to really be in a position where you respond to that complaint robustly and as quickly as possible. Delays in responding to allegations of misconduct can be huge in terms of legal liability and really open up a company to some very specific dangers if concerns aren’t responded to in a rapid manner.”

 

Where Should Employees File Harassment Complaints?

“One thing that we really impress upon the organizations that we work with is that they have to have a mandatory reporting requirement with respect to the person who receives the complaint.

“With a number of investigations that we get, unfortunately, things have blown up and are already in the press. You’re in the New York Times? You know, a group of employees has taken to Glassdoor.com or social media to talk about their experience within the organization and how poor it was. And what we see in a lot of those instances is that an employee has reported something to their manager, but for whatever reason, the manager didn’t take it where it needed to go.

“The manager either said, `I’m sorry to hear that’ or, `I’m trying to avoid getting involved because of office politics,’ etc. And then things fester to the point that they explode.

“When a manager receives a complaint about misconduct from an employee, they have to report that up to a designated person within the human resources or employee relations space to make sure that it’s appropriately addressed.”

Make time to listen and watch this podcast today.

An Amazing, Not-to-Be-Missed Offer from Kia Roberts to the Training Unleashed Audience

 If you contact Kia and her team by visiting www.triangleinvestigations.com, you can request a code of conduct, tailored specifically to your organization, at a special discounted rate. Now that is an incredible offer!

We hope you will watch this essential podcast [insert link] and begin applying Kia Roberts’s advice today to protect your people – and your company – from the dangers of mishandling sexual harassment complaints.

2021-11-11T13:36:55-05:00November 11, 2021|

How to unlock your leadership by Carly Fiorina

Carly Fiorina is an American icon – a businesswoman and politician best known for her tenure as CEO of Hewlett-Packard, where she was the first woman to lead a Fortune Top-20 company. She led HP from 1999 through 2005. During that time, she presided over the greatest tech-sector merger in history when HP acquired Compaq. That acquisition made HP the world’s largest seller of personal computers.

Ms. Fiorina was also a top contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, and a forceful presence in the Republican presidential debates. In 2018, she founded Carly Fiorina Enterprises, a professional training and coaching firm headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia.

We are proud that this leading American executive and inspiring woman was featured on a recent episode of Training Unleashed where she shared her insights on leadership, management, training, company culture and more with host Evan Hackel.

We know you will want to spend time watching this remarkable episode of Training Unleashed and we are excited to share the following excerpts of her comments with you here.

Carly Fiorina on the Importance of People – A Company’s Most Important Asset

“The truth is that most companies will say platitudes like, `People Are Our Most Important Asset.’ But they don’t really act that way! The truth is people are the business. Companies think that a business is its products, its profits, its manufacturing. Yes . . . and people do all those things.

“So I think the people in a business, whether it’s a giant business or a tiny business, are literally what makes it go. And so if people are the business, then you must invest in those people. And the way you invest in people is, you develop them. You train them. You empower them. You encourage them. You challenge them. You hold them accountable. You give them real responsibilities. That’s how people perform at their best. And so if you believe people are the business, and they are, then you have to invest and that starts with training.”

Carly Fiorina on the Critical Importance of Company Culture

“Culture is one of those words in business that gets downplayed a little bit. You’ll hear people say, `Well, yeah, culture, it’s important, but it’s the soft stuff.’

“In my experience, `soft stuff’ is a dismissive term. Culture is the hardest stuff of all! It is the most difficult stuff to change. It is also the software of a company. It’s the software of any team. And so just like a piece of technology, if the software doesn’t work, the machinery isn’t going to work! And that’s true for teams and organizations as well.

“Companies need to start by honestly figuring out what their culture is, and it isn’t the platitudes on the wall. It’s not the code of conduct. It’s not the statement of ethics. It’s not the aspirational mission statement. I mean, maybe it is all those things, but actually culture is reflected in how people answer a really basic question:

What’s it like to work around here?

“That’s the culture of the team. It’s the water the fish swim in, the air we breathe. Often, a culture is counterproductive to what people are trying to accomplish, or sometimes culture can accelerate what people are trying to accomplish. It can encourage collaboration. It can encourage empowerment. It can encourage the development of new skills. It can encourage people taking on additional responsibilities. All of those things in a culture can encourage people to say, `I want to go to training! It’s not a waste of my time. It’s not a distraction from my main job. It is my opportunity to invest in myself or the organization’s opportunity to invest in me . . . it  is the most important thing we do around here.’”

Carly Fiorina on the Value that People Bring to Companies

“One of the things that I’ve learned through experience – and I learned this before I came to HP – is that people in an organization know what’s going on. They know what the problems are. They know what the potential is. They actually know what needs to happen. They’re rarely given an opportunity to make it happen or to say what needs to get done.

“When I arrived at HP (if you’ll forgive a bit of a story) everyone was talking about a transformational leader and saying, `we need change.’ And yes, the company was in real trouble in very serious ways. I purposefully came in alone. I brought no one with me. And I did that very deliberately because I said to the organization, you know what we need to do . . . you know what’s wrong . . . you know where we’re falling short.

“And so for me, the issue was not to give them the answer. The issue was to unlock and unleash their potential, their ability to identify problems, to identify solutions and to move the organization forward. And so very specifically on the issue of culture, we started by asking employees, `What’s it like to work around here?’ And we got a lot of answers. And then we asked them, `What do you want it to be like?’

“And guess what? The cultures that people aspire to are usually productive, high performing, collaborative, ethical, empowering organizations. And so the point is, the answers were there all along. As a leader, I was catalyzing people to do what they needed to do. Not telling them from on high, `This is the change we’re going to make.’ And so they owned it, literally.”

 Carly Fiorina on Her Journey to Leadership

“I started out as a secretary and when I finally landed in corporate America, you know, I didn’t know what management or leadership was. But what I figured out was there were people all around me who understood what the problems were but had never been given a chance to solve them, who wanted things to be better, but didn’t think they were empowered to do so. And so a lot of what I have put into my online training and the advice I give to companies and executives . . . is what I’ve learned, not just as a CEO, but from being a secretary all the way to becoming a CEO.”

Carly Fiorina on the Critical Importance of Training

“If there’s one thing I want people to take away from an interaction with me or an experience with our training, it’s that all of us underestimate ourselves! Everyone is filled with more potential than they realize. And each of us actually can change the world. It’s just we talk ourselves out of our ability to do so, or we don’t invest in our ability to do so, or others overlook our ability to do so too.”

Carly Fiorina on Her Current Priorities

“One of the things we do through our Unlocking Potential foundation is to provide leadership development to nonprofits. And if you think it’s hard to get training programs through in the corporate for-profit world, it’s very hard to get them through in the nonprofit world because resources are so scarce.

“And so we have developed a set of programs specifically for the nonprofit world. One of those was for an Easter Seals organization, and in that particular case, we brought together the entire organization at one time, from the CEO to CIO to the van driver who brought disabled children and adults to the classroom every day, and everyone in between . . .

”We had everybody together and together, they worked on the goals that they thought were most important. And together, we developed problem-solving skills for each and every one of those people, regardless of the job they were in. Because here’s the thing. The context for the van driver was different than the context for the CEO. The problems the van driver encountered were different from the problems the CEO encountered.

“But problem-solving is always the same. It takes the same fundamental characteristics and qualities, just as leadership is always the same. It doesn’t matter what the context is. And I’ve learned that through experience as well. And so that was a really different kind of experience for them. I have done that subsequently with other groups, and it was an incredibly productive experience for them because on top of learning new skills, they got to know each other better and they got to understand each other’s jobs better, which always brings a team together.”

Carly Fiorina on Human Potential

“You know, Evan, human potential is the only limitless resource we have. Money is limited. Time is limited. Resources of all kinds are limited, except one,  human potential. If it’s unleashed, if it’s unlocked, if it’s leveraged, it can literally do anything . . .  solve any problem, achieve any goal. And so the reason I devote my life to this, the reason I spent so much time as a CEO investing in people is because human potential is the most valuable resource we have, and it is also limitless. But it’s only limitless if we invest in it and hone it and develop it and then leverage it.”

Carly Fiorina on the Difference Between Management and Leadership

“First, there’s nothing wrong with management. Let me quickly say it’s needed, but managers do the best they can with the way things are. A manager may produce really excellent results, but they accept the way things are, they operate within the constraints and conditions and the context in which they find themselves.

“Leaders change the way things are. Leaders change the order of things for the better. And you have to ask yourself, why is it in organizations that problems fester all the time? It’s not because people don’t know what the problems are. It’s because they’re not willing to change things, to challenge the status quo in order to solve those problems. And so it takes leaders and leadership to challenge the way things are.

“Leadership is about changing things for the better. Leadership is about solving problems so anyone can lead.”

A Big Success Tip from Carly Fiorina

“Run to a problem! Don’t run away from it! Don’t avoid it! Run to the problem!”

An Offer to Our Training Unleashed Audience

Carly Fiorina invites you to visit her LinkedIn profile and sign up for a subscription to her weekly newsletter, Leadership Matters.

About Our Guest

Carly Fiorina is an American businesswoman and politician best known for her tenure as CEO of Hewlett-Packard from 1999 through 2005, where she distinguished herself as the first woman to lead a Fortune Top-20 company. She holds degrees from Stanford University, the University of Maryland and MIT.

During her time at HP, she presided over the greatest tech-sector merger in history when HP acquired Compaq. That acquisition made HP the world’s largest seller of personal computers.

In the political sphere, she ran for the U.S. Senate in 2010 unsuccessfully. Later, she was a top contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, during which time she became the vice-presidential running mate of Senator Ted Cruz until he suspended his campaign.

Since 2018, she has served as Chairman of Carly Fiorina Enterprises, a professional training and coaching firm headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia. Her books include Find Your Way: Unleash Your Power and Highest Potential.

2021-11-11T13:37:13-05:00October 26, 2021|

Untap the Power of Mentoring with Kevin Harrington and Mark Timm

In a special Training Unleashed podcast, Evan Hackel interviewed Kevin Harrington and Mark Timm, two highly successful entrepreneurs who believe that the more you mentor others, the more success will come back to you.

In this life-changing podcast with Evan, they explain how their lives were transformed by the ideas of Zig Ziglar, who believed that “you can have everything in life you want if you just help enough other people get what they want.”

The men explained how their lives had been changed by mentoring others, discussed how that simple principle can bring you ultimate success, and went on to explain that mentoring means training other people. The half hour you spend watching this podcast will supercharge your success in everything you do.

Before you invest that time watching, we would like to share some insights from Kevin and Mark right now.  

Kevin Describes How Mentoring Builds Personal Success

In describing the role that mentoring others can play in building personal success, Kevin said “I think a mentor is a seasoned business executive, entrepreneur, somebody who has experienced all facets of business success and maybe had some exits in their business. That’s the type of mentor that I always liked, someone worldly. You know, I’ve had some great mentors . . . they have been there, done that, made the mistakes, learned from them, and now are positioned to be able to help others with their learning curve.”

Mark on the Power of Mentoring

And Mark expressed his own belief in mentoring when he said, “I like to say that a mentor has two ears and one mouth. Oftentimes we think of a mentor as someone who is talking to us all the time. That’s a motivational public speaker. But a mentor is someone who’s listening to you, who cares about where you’re going, who understands you’ve got a unique ability in this world, and who is all in to help that unique ability get to the world. A mentor is also someone who is willing to let you fail. There is so much more to learn from failure than there is when you are doing well. I mean, you learn through pain, you learn through struggles.”

Kevin and Mark Discuss the Importance of Training

And when Evan asked Kevin and Mark about the role that training plays in building a company’s success, both men were quick to describe the importance of education.

Kevin observed that when he started his first company, “I had no training at all for any aspect of my business. I was an entrepreneur building, making mistakes like you wouldn’t believe, blood running down my ankles.”

Training, he said, could have kept him from making mistakes.

Mark was quick to add, “And that’s why I love training, because training comes at you in all different formats and all different technologies from all different age groups. And it’s universally available. It’s available on your phone if you want to do it there. So I’m a big believer in training. Get rid of the stereotypes and just learn and then act.”

About Our Guests

Kevin Harrington was one of the original sharks on the hit television show Shark Tank. He is also recognized as the man who invented the infomercial. Mark Timm, who calls himself a “serial entrepreneur,” has built successful companies in more than a dozen countries, from retail to wholesale to manufacturing and real estate.

They believe so strongly in mentoring that they made it the subject of their new book, Mentor to Millions: Secrets of Success in Business, Relationships, and Beyond.

2021-10-26T14:37:35-04:00October 18, 2021|

Pilot Training Lessons That Will Transform Your Employees with Emil and Octavian

Captain Emil Dobrovolschi and international trainer Octavian Pantis share lessons from their new book Dark Cockpit with our host Evan Hackel

We are excited to share excerpts from a recent conversation between our host Evan Hackel and two remarkable men – airline Captain Emil Dobrovolschi and international trainer Octavian Pantis, authors of the new book Dark Cockpit:  How to Communicate, Lead, and Be In Control at All Times Like an Airline Captain (Ignite Press, May 6, 2021).

The motivation behind Dark Cockpit was to revolutionize training by tapping into the treasure of knowledge that has been developed for aviation training, and to explain how it can be applied to leadership, crisis management, and other critical tasks. The authors, Emil and Octavian, have done a remarkable job of taking their knowledge about pilot training and translating it into advice all of us can use – even those of us who will never pilot a plane.

There is nothing theoretical or “soft” about their advice, because the training pilots receive can make the difference between life and death. And these two men, who both hail from Romania, are the “real deal” in providing that training. Captain Emil Dobrovolschi is a pilot with Torom, the national airline of Romania. He has been flying for Torom for 29 years, has been a flight instructor for 20 years, and has been an examiner for the last 18 years. That means that he is part of a team that examines every pilot who takes charge of a plane in Romania, and issues pilot’s licenses.

“It is a great responsibility, Emil told Evan. “At the end of the day if you do not trust a pilot to fly your family . . . my job is to judge how they perform and if they do not perform well, we will not pass them.”

Octavian Pantis, who wrote Dark Cockpit with Captain Emil, brings a similarly high level of experience to his work as an international master trainer. Also headquartered in Bucharest, Octavian manages an international training company that focuses on leadership, training, productivity and international culture.

Let’s hear what Evan, Emil and Octavian talked about in this important podcast.

Evan Sets the Context for Why Training Is Critical

Evan observed, “Pilot training can be the difference between life and death. Many companies don’t see training that way. They don’t see it as a life or death activity for their companies, but it truly is. So your insights are critically important for our viewers to hear.”

Octavian Lays Out an Approach for Training that Can’t Be Allowed to Fail

Octavian, as we noted above, is a professional trainer who specializes in training that focuses on leadership,  productivity and culture.

He explained his belief to Evan and Emil that in order for training to be ultra-effective, it should conform to these three keys:

  • First, everyone must train. “Everyone in an organization should attend the training,” Octavian said. “It is not just for newcomers.”
  • Second, it’s ongoing. “It’s regular, not only for when you have the budget or when you have the time or a subject to teach or when the manager says it’s time to do it,” he explained.
  • Third, it’s not limited in scope. “Training should be on a wide range of topics,” he said. “It’s not only on what’s new.”

Furthermore, expectations should be high for training. Octavian explained, “In air travel, training is not just about getting from Point A to Point B safely, but also comfortably, if possible. To achieve that, many things have to be in place. Without higher expectations, training would not work.”

Why Communication Is a Critically Important Training Topic in Aviation and in Your Organization Too

“Everybody knows that communication is important,” Emil told Evan and Octavian. “And in aviation, communication is critical for avoiding and dealing with mishaps. In aviation, history is written in blood!

“So for us, communication and training are vital. The way we communicate, the way we pass the message unequivocally, without access to body language, the way we manage to understand each other in a dark environment, is critical . . . for us, it’s a skill we develop over the years, but also something we learn in training. So every pilot, every year, goes twice to the simulator for eight hours.

“One session is for training in a simulator. The next session is a check, where the pilot goes if he passes that simulator training session. If the pilot doesn’t pass the simulator training session, he will not go to the second session, the check. And if a pilot doesn’t pass the check, he will be grounded until the next exam.

“Most of the people who fail this process are beginners. But there is no tolerance for mistakes, no tolerance for indiscipline. . . some pilots after maybe five or 10 years, become complacent. They know the aircraft. They may know how to make decisions, but they become complacent, and they don’t learn any more. And they are just, as I say, just floating.

“But that is not possible in our training, because the minimum mark to pass an exam is 7.5 or 8. For my company, it means achieving 8 out of 10. So if you’re not above that standard, you’re not flying the aircraft, you’re not in the cockpit any more.

“That puts pressure on the instructors first. You need to standardize the training for trainers and examiners, so they reach a good standard . . .  It’s not a punishment, but it’s a pressure on the trainers and then on the professional pilots too.”

Imparting a Sense that Training is Critically Important

In every year they fly, pilots can become a little more complacent and comfortable. And training has to fight that and help assure that pilots remain aware of the dangers they are dealing with.

“Everybody gets a little bit more comfortable,” Emil told Evan and Octavian. “But as a professional pilot, you cannot do that. Not for a minute! If I’m drinking a coffee in my cockpit at 12,000 meters, 39,000 feet, I will maybe feel a little comfortable. I can have a chat with my colleague, but my eyes are always on the instruments. I’m in a nice, comfortable environment. It’s warm or cold the way I want. But outside the window, just two feet away from my shoulder, its minus 70 degrees and the aircraft flies at 450 miles per hour! So at any moment something wrong can happen if you are not prepared for the worst every time.

“Pick every incident or accident in the history of aviation, and I will show you how there was a lack of training in that company or a lack of training of those pilots, in the way they got the license, in the way they trained.

“And if you want to maintain a high level of training, a high level of proficiency in your pilots, you have to train them not just  the technical skills, but you have to train the non-technical skills, their attitude, and the way they communicate, things like that.”

Octavian on How to Keep Trainees Coming Back and Staying Committed to Training

“One key is to keep training regular,” Octavian told Evan and Emil. “For instance, in aviation, even the best pilots in the world know that they’re scheduled for training in September and then in April.

“Yet in many companies where training doesn’t happen for a while, people are apt to think, `What’s wrong? What do you have against me? Did I do something wrong that you sent me to training?’

“But if it’s regular, then it’s like brushing teeth, it’s like having the annual or biannual performance evaluations, then yeah, when is when is the next one, the next one in September? So it’s not like, why do I have to go? You have to go because you have to, because it’s a natural part of what you do.”

A Special Offer

Captain Emil and master trainer Octavian invite all members of the Training Unleashed family to download a free chapter of their new book DarkCockpitBook.com. This book is more than interesting or useful – it is thrilling. You won’t want to pass up this chance to learn how to apply its lessons to creating training that simply cannot be allowed to fail.

Be sure to watch this critically important podcast now, [INSERT LINK] It is an experience that will transform your training and your success!

About Our Guests

Captain Emil Dobrovolschi is a pilot with Torom, the national airline of Romania. He has been flying for Torom for 29 years, has been a flight instructor for 20 years and has been an examiner for the last 18 years. That means that he is part of the team that examines every pilot who takes charge of a plane in Romania, and issues pilot’s licenses.

Octavian Pantis, who wrote Dark Cockpit with Captain Emil, brings a similarly high level of experience to his work as an international master trainer. Also headquartered in Bucharest, he manages an international training company that focuses on leadership, training, productivity and international culture.

2021-10-26T14:30:31-04:00October 12, 2021|

Succeed by Failing with Erin Diehl

 

Over the years, many successful people have been talking about the benefits of “failing forward.” In fact, “failing forward” has become a standard business term. It means that people and the organizations they serve can only succeed by making a series of mistakes, and then learning from each of them.

This concept only makes sense. But then someone like Erin Diehl comes along and elevates the whole idea of failing forward to an entirely new level. She us founder of ImproveIt!, a company that conducts workshops that help people and organizations “get comfortable with the uncomfortable.” In a recent Training Unleashed Podcast with host Evan Hackel, the dynamic Erin discussed the profound life lessons she learned about failure by performing improv.

That’s right . . . improv! Be sure to watch this life-transforming podcast. 

Here are some excerpts of the conversation between Evan and Erin.

Evan: I see you are sitting in front of a sign that says “Fail Yeah!” Can you tell me about that?

Erin: “Fail Yeah” is the name of a podcast that I host. The words “Fail Yeah” are based in the improvisational comedy world.

There is a rule in improv comedy. There are no mistakes, only gifts! So anything that happens on stage is not a mistake. It becomes a part of the scene. And that is such a metaphor for life, the things that happen to us, the failures that we have along the way, whether they happen in entrepreneurship, in corporate America, in our parenting and day-to-day lives.

Failures are actually supposed to be a part of our scene of life. You have to fail in order to improve . . . if you’re not failing, you’re not trying. And if you’re not trying, you’re not improving.

Evan: I have a saying for myself which is. “I hope my biggest failure is yet to come, because if it’s not, it means I’ve given up trying.”

Erin: That’s it! I love it! I love it!

Evan: I truly believe it. And you know, as training professionals, I think a lot of what we do is cutting edge, leading edge. There’s so much happening in the world of training that there are going to be stumbles. And that’s OK, as long as we learn. Someone famous once said, “We learn more from our failures than we learn from our successes.”

Erin: One hundred percent! And I truly believe in getting used to asking yourself the question, `What did I fail at today?’ And making that a normal thing that you say at the dinner table at the end of the day and making it something you journal about at night.

I love the idea of making failure a part of a company culture internally. My company does failure parties every quarter. We actually have one tomorrow. And instead of making a vision board for the quarter, we make a fail board of the quarter past . . . And it’s so refreshing because it allows our team to feel like we can make mistakes and it allows our team to feel human.

As I said to you before we hit record on this podcast, I’m a recovering perfectionist, turned influencer. I need to remind myself that failure is a part of the process. So it’s a big part of our culture. We’re really proud of it and of leaning into it every day.

Evan: It’s interesting that one of the major underlying root problems in business is people covering themselves. They’re not admitting their failures. They’re avoiding that difficult conversation that doesn’t allow the company to really understand what’s going on. Your failure meeting is a cool idea because it allows people the space to be able to admit they did something wrong.

Erin: That’s it! That is it Evan, and I truly believe in exactly what you said . . . Not allowing our full selves to be shown or almost covering ourselves. I have spent my entire career asking people in corporate America to take their masks off, which was hilarious because in year 2020 we were like, put your healthy mask on, be safe.

But what I feel really happened as a result of the pandemic was even though we were asked to protect ourselves in public, we actually started to see each other as humans because we were peering into each other’s homes and seeing families and pets and the day-to-day and that, I think, really strengthened the bond of a lot of teams and a lot of organizations. And it was a very eye-opening year, which we failed through miserably.

Back to the theme of failure, it felt like we were failing left and right. But we can take a step back and see some of the good that came from it. It’s so interesting to observe and to witness and to transform with, to be honest, so very cool.

Evan: I know you guys use a lot of improv in your work with companies. And maybe you could share why, because I think that’s a good thing to understand.

Erin: This is not an ad, this is an ask for everyone in America. Take an improv class, please! I’ll tell you why it’s such a beautiful, beautiful art form to teach.

Improv is the truest, most natural form of play. I call myself a professional pretender. I have a two-year-old son. He improvises all day long! We are all improvising all day long. But when we hear the word “improv,” it sometimes stifles our creativity and makes us think, oh my gosh, I have to think quickly on the spot. But when we can allow ourselves to truly play and to truly experience training at its finest in soft skill development, which is what we train on, we allow barriers to come down so that the masks that we’re talking about fall. And once that happens, that’s when we’re truly learning because we’re not judging ourselves. We’re not judging others in that moment. We’re in play!

So when we allow those barriers to fall, true learning occurs. That’s when we become our best selves and we grow both personally and professionally. It’s a magical teaching tool.

There’s much more to learn! Listen now. 

A Special Free Offer

Erin invites members of the Training Unleashed family to take the Daily Five Challenge, a life-changing exercise offered by her company ImproveIt! CLICK HERE to enroll at no cost . . . and start transforming your life now.

About Our Guest

Erin Diehl is a graduate of Clemson University and former experiential marketing and recruiting professional as well as a veteran improviser from the top improvisational training programs in Chicago, including The Second City, i.O. Theater and The Annoyance Theatre. Erin conducts workshops across the country leveraging improvisational techniques to improve employees’ skills in corporate settings.

Her work with clients such as United Airlines, PepsiCo, Groupon, Deloitte, Motorola, Lowe’s, Accenture, Walgreens, and The Obama Foundation earned her the 2014 Chicago RedEye Big Idea Award and has nominated her for the 2015-2019 Chicago Innovations Award. Erin was a speaker for Disrupt HR Chicago, hosted the 2016 RedEye Big Idea Awards and has been a speaker for HRMAC Chicago, SHRM Chicago, Disrupt HR, the Business Marketing Association, and Emerging Leaders of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. She is also a proud member of The Chicago Innovation Awards Women’s Cohort and graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program. 

Among her many accolades, Erin is most proud of successfully coercing over 12,000 professionals to chicken dance.

2021-10-26T14:31:21-04:00October 6, 2021|
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