Mikayla Takacs2023-11-17T17:26:25-05:00November 17, 2023|
Evan Hackel recently sat down with organizational change consultant Nancy Murphy to discuss a topic that is on everyone’s mind these days: How can effective leaders bring about change in their organizations during these remarkably challenging times?
Nancy, Founder and CEO of CSR Communications, is a trainer, speaker, advisor, and mentor with a passion for teaching leaders of established organizations how to make change stick.
According to Nancy, the key to making change stick is by shifting our approach from managing people to leading people.
“Let’s stop talking about managing change because that implies that change is something that is predictable, controllable, linear, and logical . . . that you’re in certain stages for predictable periods of time and that if you have the right checklists, everything is going to be easy. As I said earlier, organizations are made up of people and people are messy, emotional humans. And especially when it comes to change, there are emotional triggers that make it hard. So, we can’t manage people. We can manage things, but we can’t manage people. We need to lead people.
“And so, the first mistake organizations make is to approach change as a purely scientific process, as though it’s a predictable, linear, manageable thing. Implementation of change might have some of those checklists, but we really need the change leadership first.”
If you are leading your organization through a process of change, you will want to listen to the entire episode of Training Unleashed with Nancy Murphy.
A Special Offer
Nancy invites you to access the free publications and resources you will find on the CSR Communications resource page. In our view, they are terrific!
About Our Guests
Nancy Murphy is Chief Executive Officer of CSR Communications. She is an entrepreneur, former intrapreneur, trainer, speaker, advisor, and mentor helping mission-driven organizations and socially conscious businesses achieve their next big initiative to rapidly expand their impact.
“I founded CSR Communications to help organizations move beyond grand gestures and bold statements, to organizational change that sticks,” Nancy says. “I’ve spent my career saying what others are afraid to – and learning to say it in ways that others will listen. From challenging stereotypes of girls in my Catholic school more than 30 years ago, to my first job after college convincing nonprofits to engage youth volunteers, or my role as board chair of a global nonprofit transforming the way we do international development, I’ve experienced the challenges of leading big change within established organizations. I’ve learned lots of lessons, developed techniques that work — and I’m willing to share them with others. I’ve worked with global nonprofits, foundations, Fortune 100 companies, local governments, and federal agencies.”
In this episode of Training Unleashed, Evan speaks with John Reid and Corena Chase, two of the team of consultant/trainers who wrote the new book The Five Lost Superpowers: Why We Lose Them and How to Get Them, recently published by LionCrest Publishing.
John and Corena believe that when we were children, we all possessed extraordinary superpowers. Then while we were growing up, we were told and taught to dampen them. But John and Corena believe we still have these powers. They are always there below the surface, waiting to help us achieve our fullest human potential.
The five lost powers are . . .
Listen to the entire episode as Evan, John and Corena explore the five life-changing superpowers, and how we can reignite them to unlock our best selves and change our lives for the better.
A Special Offer
John and Corena would like to send a copy of their new book The Five Lost Superpowers: Why We Lose Them and How to Get Them to the first 20 listeners who email John at [email protected] to ask for a copy.
About Our Guests
John Reid is Founder, President and lead designer of JMReid Group, a global behavior change organization specializing in leadership, development, sales effectiveness and skill enhancement. John is unique in the training development space, having spent much of his career within industry.
After John survived three bouts of cancer, he decided to pursue his passion for learning and development. John pursued this passion with a belief that people could get better and wanted to get better, but it was often the manner of which traditional training is designed and delivered that made this desire for growth difficult.
As the lead designer for JMReid Group, John shifts the design emphasis from models and intellectual property to a learning experience that is relevant to the learner’s real world, taps into participants’ wisdom and is engaging and sustainable.
Corena Chase designs and delivers customized courses at JMReid Group to facilitate organizational change and learning, and to help senior and developing leaders maximize their ability to influence and inspire colleagues and clients.
As a facilitator Corena focuses on creating awareness, challenge and support through experiential learning among peers. As an executive coach, she tailors tools to individual strengths and needs. Corena works in an array of industries including financial services, professional services and entertainment. Her clients include some of Fortune Magazine’s 100 most admired companies, who are committed to creating innovative opportunities to help their employees thrive.
In her previous career as an actor, Corena’s job was to use the study of human behavior, communication and emotional intelligence to walk in other people’s shoes and make sure their views were convincingly conveyed to audiences. As a facilitator and coach her job is to make sure your views are convincingly conveyed to the audience of stakeholders, clients and colleagues that you need to influence and motivate on a daily basis.
In this episode of Training Unleashed, our host Evan Hackel sat down with one of the most respected sales consultants today – Bill Farquharson. Yet as you will learn in this post today, Bill is about much more than selling. He has a far-ranging philosophy that can bring success in every part of your life.
Known for his energetic and entertaining presentations about improving sales and selling, Bill is a 40-year print sales veteran. He believes that every interaction through your day can be viewed – and improved – if you think of it as a sales situation. If you are stopped by a traffic officer, that can be viewed from a sales context. The same goes for times when you are negotiating with your children, buying a cup of coffee at Starbucks, and even when you are walking your dog. In the interview, Bill goes on to explain how he viewed recovering from the pandemic as a sales problem.
Bill was highly influenced by the classic book How to Win Friends and Influence People, written by Dale Carnegie. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that Bill views it as a sales book!
Be sure to listen to the end of the episode to hear Bill’s time management tips.
The Sales Vault with Bill Farquharson
The Sales Vault with Bill Farquharson contains a variety of resources that he has created for better selling. It includes videos, expert written advisories, and more.
About Our Guest
Bill Farquharson is a sales coach, author of many books, and a presenter who has more than 40 years of experience in the graphic arts. Bill is a respected industry expert and a speaker known for his energetic and entertaining presentations.
To learn more about Bill and The Sales Vault, be sure to visit Billfarquharson.com.
Master trainer Brian Connors wears multiple hats and has multiple roles, and has a reputation for his contributions in the hospitality and beverage industries. He is the Bacardi Center of Excellence Faculty Director and Senior Director for Global Food & Beverage Innovation at Florida International University’s Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. He is also a strategic consultant, educator and principal for Connors Davis Hospitality.
In a recent Training Unleashed Podcast, host Evan Hackel chatted with Brian about the highly innovative approaches Brian has developed for the changing world of hospitality and beverage training, including how training has changed since the Covid-19 pandemic and how training and branding combine, and there was mention of an AI robot…
When Brian and Evan spoke about the Covid-19 pandemic, Brian noted how we’ve seen a lot of change very quickly. “We’ve learned that people can pretty much do anything anywhere, faster than we ever thought before.” Brian continued, “the last two years have taught us new ways of using creativity ,and new ways of transferring knowledge and taking it to the next level.”
He noted that people have gotten very good at Zoom or Teams (or whatever platform they’re using), and with that there’s an opportunity to have it as part of your overall training strategy to help reinforce learned behaviors.
“And that’s what we’re seeing as a big trend. Yet I think there’s always going to be value in face-to-face learning,” said Brian. “So I looked at the last two years personally, you know, in my own world at Florida International University… We’re using technology, video, audio, real-time learning and reinforcing them with a face-to-face educational opportunity. So I think at the end of the day, that hybrid model is here to stay.”
The conversation continued and Brian spoke more about the program they’ve developed and are re-branding at the Bacardi Center of Excellence… and you can almost see Evan’s excitement build.
Evan said, “My ears just perked up when you talked about that robot. Her name is Cecilia?”
“Cecilia is a robot, a bartender. And she uses artificial intelligence, is able to communicate with guests, communicate with servers and so forth. I saw the opportunities she offered because of the labor shortage, but also to build brand awareness and get our students engaged and get Bacardi North America engaged too,” explained Brian.
An AI-Enabled Robot Bartender? We Know You Will Want to Learn More!
Be sure to listen to or watch the complete conversation between Evan Hackel and Brian Connors on Training Unleashed!
About Our Guest
Brian Connors is a strategic consultant, educator, and principal for Connors Davis Hospitality. He is also the Bacardi Center of Excellence Faculty Director and Senior Director, Global Food & Beverage Innovation at Florida International University’s Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management.
The Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Florida International University (FIU) is home to the Bacardi Center of Excellence, a dynamic educational partnership focused on developing learners of beverage management, fine spirits, industry innovation, sustainability, and entrepreneurship. The Bacardi Center of Excellence brings academia and industry together in a pioneering partnership with Bacardi North America and the Chaplin School.
Connors Davis Hospitality is a boutique food & beverage consulting firm that creates and redevelops trend-driven concepts while implementing each key step of the growth process to help their clients achieve peak operational performance.
Brian earned his culinary degree from Johnson & Wales University, has trained for his Sommelier certification at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley and is certified by the Court of Master Sommelier. He is also a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) through the Society of Wine Educators, Certified Bordeaux Wine Educator through The Bordeaux Wine Trade Council (CIVB) and a Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE) according to standards achieved through the Educational Institute of the American Hotel and Lodging Association. Brian served as Alumni Admissions Ambassador at Cornell University for the School of Hotel Administration and a former board member of the Cornell Hotel Society of South Florida. Brian has developed nationally recognized and award winning wine and beverage programs and has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, FOX & Friends, the Travel Channel’s ‘Trip of a Lifetime’ as well as national television and print media features.
Training Unleashed’s host Evan Hackel recently sat down with Danielle Mulvey, founder of a remarkable company called The All In Company that has developed systems to hire and retain only 5-star employees.
Their conversation revolves around the concept of 5-star employees elevating a team and moving the company forward, to help it grow and prosper. So, what are 5-star employees?
According to Danielle, the 5-star employee represents the top 15% of available talent in the market. A 5-star employee is “really that ideal candidate for the role who has the drive, the passion, maybe experience, maybe not, but the aptitudes to be successful in the role and deliver on the key responsibilities that you need for the role – and the measure of success you put to those key responsibilities.”
It’s an interesting concept that starts in the hiring process—digging deep into what you need from the candidate, their aptitudes, their core values. It’s about spending time with the candidate to understand them and evaluate the fit.
Make sure you listen to the end for Danielle’s tip on how to change your job postings to start attracting your 5-star employees today!
A Special Offer
Danielle would like to offer you a complimentary list of her company’s Daily Huddle Hacks, strategies to get the most from the daily huddle meetings you have with the employees in your company.
To download these hacks and start using them, visit www.5staremployees.com/tortal.
About Our Guest
Danielle Mulvey is founder of The All In Company that transforms the hiring and productivity of companies by helping them hire and retain 5-star employees.
Danielle, a graduate of Vanderbilt University, is a former flight attendant who has become a $50-million plus in annual revenue entrepreneur. She is proud that she spends just 15 hours per week overseeing the operations of multiple companies because she has built teams of 5-star employees who work in the businesses and “do any of the roles in her companies better than I can.”
Since starting her company, Danielle has developed, tested and shared with others exactly how to recruit, hire and retain 5-star employees with an effectiveness rate of 90%.
She explains, “The 5-Star Rating System is a framework and foundation that you customize to create a proven path to recruiting, hiring and retaining 5-star employees.”
Because Training Unleashed Podcasts are all about training, you might be wondering why our host Evan Hackel recently recorded an episode with one of America’s top executive coaches, Jenna Dillon.
After you have listened to only a few minutes of the conversation between Jenna and Evan, you will quickly discover why Evan invited her to be a featured guest. The reason is that Jenna really believes in training the executives in your organization to master the skills of being top coaches. It’s a big idea, and one that can transform the level of success at every level.
Jenna is CEO & Founder, Lead Trainer, and an Executive Coach with the Executive Performance Institute for Coaching. We encourage you to spend a transformational half hour listening to this episode of Training Unleashed.
Until you do, we know you will learn a lot about executive coaching by reading the following edited excerpts of Evan’s interview with Jenna.
Evan Hackel: Our guest today is Jenna Dillon, a top executive coach who is with the Executive Performance Institute for Coaching. Jenna is an absolute expert on the impact and power of executive coaching. She offers a training program for you and the people in your company who want to be executive coaches. When they learn those skills, they will bring their value back into your organization.
We will discuss that in a second. But first let me ask, Jenna, why should companies care about executive coaching? Why should they hire people to do it?
Jenna Dillon: Thank you for asking that. I would point to the metaphor that says that a surgeon can’t do surgery on cells. He or she works on larger structures.
Evan: But the effects of that surgery are felt on the cellular level?
Jenna: Right. Executive coaches see what’s happening in an organization that the people who work in that organization often cannot see. Whether it’s a systematic issue, whether it’s a communication problem, whether it’s a leadership issue, whether it’s a problem around productivity and teams or results they want to accomplish, they need a new set of eyes.
Evan: Can you give us a case study of a company you have worked with? You don’t need to name the company. How did the coaching go, and what were the results?
Jenna: I’m happy to share. I work with a number of different industries, but the company that comes to mind first, and that I’ll share with you, is a company in the entertainment industry.
Probably six months before the pandemic hit, I started working with two of their leaders, an executive producer and the CEO, and that led me to working with the organization in a number of different capacities. But predominantly I was brought in first to just give some leadership training and communication techniques to the leaders of the company. And as you know, when the pandemic hit, a lot of industries had a rollercoaster ride and stress, to say the least, and especially the entertainment industry.
But what was so exciting, actually, and not just for me, but for them to experience, is from the time that March 2020 hit, that company began to grow and has grown 200% since then.
Jenna: They have hired probably more than 80 employees since then. They have been able to generate more revenue than they ever had. And so they’ve been clearly learning how to do something right and be bulletproof in the economy.
Evan: Did you do executive coaching with the leaders individually, or was it more group leadership coaching?
Jenna: I have done executive coaching with both their leaders, one on one. I have done strategy sessions with them. I have done retreats with their management teams. When I say I have done this, I mean my company has done it.
Evan: Were those executives happy to have you work with them, or were they resistant?
Jenna: Oh, it was thrilling, actually. When we first started working together, we didn’t know a lot about each other and we didn’t know how we were going to work together. So there’s a little bit of the unknown . . . how are we going to partner and work together? That becomes quite thrilling. And the more that I’ve continued to work with one particular leader from this company, the more we have built such a wonderful, intimate working relationship. A lot of trust has been built and we get to be creative and very intellectual at the same time. It’s of like a right-and left-brain-minded partnership, if you will.
Evan: So I really love your answer. At one point I was running a $5 billion business. I saw that one obstacle was that people thought they were given coaches because they were not doing a good job! They thought they needed to be fixed, that they were broken. And my experience has been exactly the opposite, that when you provide somebody with a coach, they’re actually thrilled, happy and appreciative because a company is investing in them. And it gives them a way to have meaningful conversations with somebody who’s purely there to help them, with no ulterior motive. And that makes such a really powerful, powerful relationship.
Jenna: Absolutely. Absolutely. A coach is not necessarily there to fix a problem that you’re experiencing right in that moment. It’s more like saying, “Hey, where is your Jiminy Cricket that’s resting on your shoulder.” We’re not just here to come and help with a pain or a challenge that you’re experiencing. We’re here to help you have a little bit more freedom and fun in your life too.
Evan: Can you explain to me how the coaching relationship works. If you are coaching me, what are your expectations for me? What should my expectations be for you?
Jenna: Okay, great. We don’t know each other a whole lot, so we’re going to get to know each other through a multitude of different conversations that I imagine you aren’t used to having. And the more that I do this in my coaching work, the more I find how rare it is that people have conversations like this.
I’ll want you to know you can share as little or as much as you want, for the purposes of it bringing you value. Anything we talk about will be confidential. And to give a little flavor to it, we’re going to get creative in the process. We’re going to partner, not me advise you, but we’re going to partner where I’m going to try to figure out how Evan’s brain is working for him or against him. And not only should I be able to understand that, but I also want you to be able to see and understand that too, so we can think together and coach you together.
Evan: Well, that’s cool. So how do we actually do that?
Jenna: The answer is there’s no linear answer and there’s no one answer, right? Just as there are a ton of different ice cream flavors, there are a ton of different personality types, there are a ton of different organizations. Different things are going on in the economy or their industry that is impacting the company. And thus, I’ll give you two different personality tests.
Evan: I love that, by the way. My number one strength is ideation. And I also like to joke that my number one weakness is ideation, because I have so many ideas. Some of them are bad and it can be as distracting as all getout.
Jenna: We will develop a portfolio, if you will, of your personality. What are some of your strengths? What are some of the things that you’re motivated by? And I say we will look at them together because I want you to understand yourself in this way. Then we’ll start talking about some of the challenges you’re experiencing. What are the goals and initiatives that you’re wanting to accomplish as a leader in your organization?
We’ll get very, very clear on results you want to have from coaching. And then we at least have what we will call our runway set. So really how we start working together is we get our runway set so that then we can focus on vision, the goals you want to accomplish, we can look at the intention that you have, having a very intentional, clear mindset, a very intentional and clear strategy that we come up with together.
So we’re monitoring, we’re tracking what’s going on in the process, what’s working, what’s not right.
Evan: I’m new to this kind of coaching, but I get a feeling that instead of telling me anything, you’re going to say, “Tell me more.” Why does that matter? Should I expect that, or should I expect actual advice?
Jenna: That’s a great question. So most of the time that I’m working with my clients, I will check in with them if I’m getting the impression that they are wanting me to play consultant, which is what I would call giving advice or prescribing or giving suggestions. I’ll ask them, “Is this you wanting me to give you advice or play consultant versus coach?”
As a coach, I want to focus on building our client’s leadership skills. And if I were to prescribe or give advice, then that would actually impact your ability to follow what I say. Right, and build your skills.
Evan: So consultant versus coach?
Jenna: Now, in an ideal, perfect world, do I think there’s a place for each one? Absolutely. I check in and they are asking for that advice, I’ll give it. However, before I take that bait, I want to be sure that me giving advice is going to serve them best. I will slow way down. I’ll ask if that’s what they’re asking, and then I’ll say if I give you advice, assuming I have credibility and believability in that area, is that going to help you most? Because if it is, great. But if it’s going to help you most to have me coach you to help you find that solution yourself, we then will do that. So I put them in the hot seat, if you will. I have them slow down and get there.
Evan: Can you talk about the power of evoking and self-discovery?
Jenna: Oh, my gosh. Sure. I’ll actually give a metaphor around children.
Why are adults so fascinated with children? It’s because it’s really fun to see them learn. It’s really fun to see how they develop. Right? And they’re enjoying that at a young age. It’s like everything’s new. And there’s all this wonderment.
It’s the same way for adults, and I say this in the best way, we’re all just kids still at heart. We’re all little boys or girls. And so if we can, the coach and the client together can create a mindset where they seek out discovering more. They don’t just value discovering, they seek it and they’re curious about it. Then they’ll learn to enjoy it. They’ll change their association and desire to learn and take that initiative or to generate some problem-solving on their own. And that’s the sweet spot. Ultimately, that’s why I do what I do. Isn’t that one of the main purposes of life, right?
Evan: Excellent. And as you know, I always end my shows by asking, “if you had one tip to share, what would that be?”
Jenna: I so love that you do that. My tip would be to live in the questions without getting to the answer too quickly. So it’s important to live in the questions because then the answers can continue to evolve. And you set yourself up to not have blind spots. You set yourself up for growing.
Be sure to listen to the entire Training Unleashed Podcast conversation between Evan Hackel and Jenna Dillon.
A Special Offer from Jenna
Because Jenna is interested in having you experience coaching, she and her team conduct a monthly raffle. The reward, if you win, is a series of three different executive coaching sessions with her and members of her team.
To enter, send Jenna a message via her LinkedIn page. Simply say you are interested in taking part in her raffle. You will then be entered to win those Executive Performance Institute coaching sessions.
About Our Guest
Jenna is CEO & Founder, Lead Trainer, and an Executive Coach with the Executive Performance Institute for Coaching.
Jenna has established herself as a top executive performance coach committed to working with high performing individuals and companies who are up to exploring what they’re capable of achieving within their lives, careers, company culture and leadership. =
Jenna has been trained in several professional development programs in phenomenology, ontological coaching via transformational coaching, neuroscience/neuroplasticity, psychology and sociology. Mentoring different types of business owners for several years, Jenna partners with her clients to uncover the values, beliefs or rules that, up until now, have controlled the way they think and run their life. She creates an environment where authenticity, vulnerability, and empowerment live in accordance with each other.
Her list of clients includes entrepreneurs, c-suite executives, engineers, business owners, artists, doctors, physiotherapists, non-profit organizations, financial advisors, mortgage bankers, and other high performing individuals. A few of the companies and/or company leaders she’s partnered with include The Allbright, DreamWorks Universal Studios, Northwestern Mutual, NASA, and First American.
Although Jenna resides in the Los Angeles area, she has worked with clients around the US, the UK, Australia and Canada. Jenna is committed and passionate about empowering her clients, standing with them and for them, so they have the tools to break through barriers and create exponential, extraordinary results.
When our host Evan Hackel attended the International Franchise Association Convention last year, he happened to meet two inspiring men who have created leadership development and other training programs for Christian Brothers Automotive, a fast-growing automotive service franchise headquartered in Houston. They were Josh Hitchcock, Director of Leadership Development at Christian Brothers and Josh Parnell, Director of Service Development.
Many organizations focus on serving their customers. But Christian Brothers takes service to a higher level, based on spiritual ideals. Evan wanted to speak with both Joshes in-depth about their philosophy of training. We know you will want to watch the entire Training Unleashed Podcast that resulted.
Until you do, please read some edited excerpts of what we know you will agree is a completely unique conversation.
Evan Hackel: I met these two gentlemen at the International Franchise Association Convention. I sat at a round table, and I was literally blown away with their commitment to lifelong learning and their company’s culture. So, gentlemen, whichever Josh wants to go first would be great. Tell us about how your company develops such a culture and what that culture is like and why it matters.
Josh Parnell: I think we need to begin with the end in mind. It begins with our mission statement. Our mission statement is to glorify God providing an excellent automotive repair service for our guests.
And so we know that our mission is ultimately to further God’s kingdom, and we happen to be using the best automotive repair to do so. And so we know what our mission is, we know what our purpose is, what our why is. It’s much easier to have that foundational approach when it comes to culture, service, sales, relations, all of the above, because we know what the end in mind is.
And so speaking to the culture of what we do, we focus on loving our neighbor as ourself. And so while we understand that sales are important, we know that in order to make a profit, to stay in business, and we know that people and syndicators drive those sales. But ultimately, if we are loving our guests, taking care of our guests and serving our guests and doing it well, our goals can and will organically happen as a byproduct of the exceptional, standard-setting service. So that speaks to the culture of who we are.
Josh Hitchcock: Evan, thank you for having us on the program. It is just an honor to be here. And I can tell you that the culture we developed in terms of what we have, I should say, in terms of learning and openness to training, is what Josh said. It’s a commitment to excellence, right?
All of us want to do our jobs well, all of us want to add value to those around us. All of us want to operate from a position of excellence. And we realize and recognize that the only way we can do that is through constantly getting better, through constantly growing, constantly stretching. And the only way that happens is through training. So through that, our culture has just kind of been developed and embraced. And really the cool thing is it isn’t a forced thing. We don’t have to force it. We’re not trying to preach in an unwanted area. We’re not trying to speak to a group of people that are not receptive. These are all individuals that are receptive and want to grow and want to become better. And it’s just really, really cool to watch that.
Evan Hackel: Tell me just a little bit about senior management and their commitment to training. And do they trust you and just leave it to you? What is their role in creating this culture?
Josh Parnell: They play a pivotal role. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to live out our passion and what we’ve been called to do and what we’re so happy to do day in and day out. And the support system that they have for us is unbelievable. The trust that they have in what we’re doing is too. And without them, we wouldn’t have the opportunity.
Evan Hackel: And the other Josh, I’m going to ask you the same question. But let me interject that in most companies, the failing is that senior management doesn’t take training seriously and people thus don’t respect training. But I know you have a totally different story
Josh Hitchcock: That’s a great point, Evan. And I agree with you, I one thing that we’re blessed with our senior management is, number one, there is a commitment of trust and empowerment. Dream it, build it, see the value it and if for some reason you trip, you fall, you fail. That’s okay, learn from it. And it’s not really a failure if you learn from it.
And the leadership development program that I have the pleasure of serving in is a relatively new program to this company. It started about a year and a half, maybe two years ago. And again, it all began as a dream, as a possibility. If we could add value, senior leadership said, go for it.
Evan Hackel: How did this training program get started? How did you get approval in the system to make it happen?
Josh Hitchcock: When I originally came in with the brand, I was told, if you see a need, fill it. So I saw the need in this area, and it began as a proposal. So we put proposals to upper management, to get their approval on it. And then once we did that, there was already kind of a budgetary structure.
There were a couple of meetings where we had discussions. But I will tell you, from an upper management perspective, it was relatively easy and smooth to get this approved. And it’s because, again, it’s the openness and the culture that we have at our brand of let’s try, let’s see if it works and if not great, we’ll move on to something else and try it and see if it works.
Evan Hackel: I think you’re making an amazing point, which is that not everything is going to be successful. And if you’re only willing to do what you know for sure is going to work, you’re going to do very little. And I like the company’s willingness to just say, okay, we see the need. We’re going to take a leap of faith. Then of course you track it, follow it, see the numbers, which is great.
Josh, how did you take this program to your franchisees and how did they embrace it?
Josh Parnell: Great question, Evan. I want to backtrack real quick on the last question to speak to it again. Josh alluded to the empowerment and the trust that leadership has, which again, is phenomenal. And I think that it goes back to the idea that you mentioned, where if we’re not failing, we’re not learning. And if we’re not learning, we’re not growing. And if we’re to grow through anything, we’ve got to be willing to go through anything. And so they simply give us the chance or the option to fail, knowing that some things might not work. But when they don’t work, it’s still a win because we’re learning.
To specifically answer your question as it relates to franchisees, franchisees recognize what our heart is, what our mission is, and what our intent is. So that the beauty of what’s coming from our department typically is met with open arms. Franchisees are saying, hey, you guys have a proven process! You’ve had proven programs in the past. So whatever is coming out of the service development department, we want a part of it. And so it really wasn’t a buy-in when we introduced the leadership development program because of the proven programs that we had prior to it.
Josh Parnell: Our company’s been around for 40 years. We began in 1982. We began franchising in 1996. We are now in 31 states, 250 locations nationwide. I may be off by a store or two. I feel like we’re growing so rapidly, which is incredible. We have about 3000 team members throughout Christian Brothers Automotive.
Evan Hackel: What’s it like onboarding a new employee? What if I’m a new employee? What would I expect?
Josh Hitchcock: Well, I’ll tell you this from what was one thing that stood out to me. So I’ve been with the brand almost three years. And what stood out to me from the moment I got here and started the onboardings, was the over-the-top friendliness in a welcoming environment, focusing on you as a person, not a number in the machine.
I’ve never experienced something like this in my life. I went home that first day and said, okay, is this real? And what I’ve realized after almost three years of being here, it’s 1,000% real!
The same way the people acted the first day I got here, the way they valued me, the way they treated me, the way they served me is the same exact way they’ve treated me and served me two and a half, three years later. And on the flipside, I’m attempting to serve them and honor them and value them. So I can tell you from an onboarding perspective, it’s what makes it unique here, at least relative to my experience. And what I’ve noticed is much more people focus, less performance focus. Is it performance focused? Absolutely. Do we have a 90-day conditional employment period when you first get hired? 100%, just like every other company. But I can tell you, during those 90 days, while we do expect performance and we do focus on performance, that valuing and serving the whole person is much more the focal point of the onboarding program versus just productivity.
Evan Hackel: I’m really impressed. I knew you were going to be great guests. I knew that when I met you. But what you’re speaking to is absolutely critical in training. And I love what I would call unselfishness. May I ask, if you had one tip to share with our audience, what would it be?
Josh Hitchcock: I think one tip I would share for anybody listening would be, remember that today counts. We can talk about tomorrow. We can focus on yesterday, the successes, the wins, the failures, the losses, all of that. But we can focus on today and say, hey, today counts and develop a culture and a mindset of habits matter.
Today counts. Let me bring 100% today. I can’t focus on yesterday and I can’t bet on tomorrow, but I can focus on today and getting better and growing today. So my one tip would be focus on today, each and every day. What can I be doing today to maximize the value I’m adding and maximizing what I’m doing in my personal life?
Josh Parnell : And I’ll say, in a world that’s ever changing, don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Exercise with humility, transparency, vulnerability, and recognize that you don’t have to have all the answers if you’re leading a team through, letting yourself view it in anybody in any former shape or size. You don’t have to have all the answers. A person would rather follow someone who’s always real than someone who’s always right. And so recognize that if you’re your true, authentic self, you’re going to do just fine.
About Our Guests
Josh Hitchcock is Director of Leadership Development at Christian Brothers Automotive. Josh Parnell is Director of Service Development. Christian Brothers Automotive is a fast-growing automotive service franchise headquartered in Houston.
The story of Christian Brothers Automotive begins in 1981. That year, a man named Mark Carr was working as a graphic arts salesman for a photographic mural company. Despite the success he was having, he couldn’t shake the feeling that he should be doing something else with his life.
Mark prayed on this and one night asked God to show him a path towards a different vocation. The very next day, while Mark was at a Sunday school event presented by his church, a friend walked up to Mark and the two got to talking. This friend was an automotive technician who was looking to start an automotive repair shop. And he needed help.
They went on to name their new company Christian Brothers Automotive (inspired by the circumstances of their first meeting) the following year. In August 1982, Mission Bend, Texas was the site of the very first Christian Brothers Automotive repair facility. Today, Mark Carr is still the Founder and Retired CEO of Christian Brothers Automotive.
After 38 years of business, Christian Brothers Automotive celebrated its 200th location in 2019. Since then, that number has grown to more than 230 locations. Christian Brothers Automotive has yet to close a single location—an indelible testament to the principles Mark knew could change the way people experience auto service.
Heather Hansen is Founder and CEO of Global Speech Academy and author of the new book Unmuted: How to Show Up, Speak Up, and Inspire Action. In a recent Training Unleashed Podcast, she and host Evan Hackel explored her very big idea that we can all succeed and accomplish more if we are “unmuted.”
It’s a fascinating concept. We know you will benefit from these edited portions of their remarkable conversation.
Evan and Heather Discuss “Unmuting”
Evan: Let me start by asking what you mean when you say that we can “unmute” ourselves. When did you first start to think about what it means?
Heather: What did it mean to be unmuted when we moved online during the pandemic? In so many video meetings we kept hearing, “You’re on mute, you’re on mute.” And after hearing that a million times, I thought, do you know what? How many of us are really on mute? We’ve been on mute way before the pandemic in our lives and our careers and our families, not having the courage to speak up to share our bright ideas. And that’s hurting our businesses.
Evan: That’s a great concept. So it means that we’re not giving fully right? How do you see muted employees hurting business and unmuted employees impacting the business in a positive way?
Heather: I think there are a number of benefits, innovation for one, when we start hearing everyone’s ideas . . . not just the eloquent speakers, not just the leaders, but the people who are looked over on a daily basis.
We all have something to contribute. So innovation is a big one. Inclusion is a big one, when we start really listening to every voice. There are a number of different movements happening now. You know, there is the concept of the fearless organization with Amy Edmondson, there is psychological safety, there is greater awareness around cross-cultural issues.
There are so many things coming together right now, and I think we will have a real awakening happening after the pandemic where we’re looking for new styles of leadership. We’re looking for a new way to interact in our companies, a more human way to appear at work. And when we start showing up fully, I think we’re going to see a massive shift in the success of businesses and in innovation, inclusion and ultimately, in bottom-line profits.
Evan: I totally agree. When I was a kid, I think people were taught that you don’t say anything at work, just do what you are told. But I think the younger generations want to be unmuted. But of course, that requires management to be receptive to listening. So let’s talk about management for a moment. What does management need to do to encourage people to unmute and to create a safe space to be unmuted?
Heather: That’s a really great question, because I think a lot of the change does have to happen top-down. We have to see leaders showing up and unmuting themselves. And there’s the big bad word. Every time I say it out loud, I get the worst feedback from leadership. And that is the word vulnerability. In my talks or workshops, I will always get a hand in the air and someone will ask, “Oh, why do I have to be vulnerable? Vulnerable is a bad word. I don’t want to be weak. I don’t want to be seen as weak.”
And there are a lot of cultural issues tied up in this as well, of course. But I think it’s important that we start realizing that vulnerability isn’t a bad word. It doesn’t mean putting your private life on a plate for everyone in the office to see. It doesn’t mean crying at work. It means showing up and sharing your full self, not just the professional side.
I struggled with it. As I wrote my new book, I kept reminding myself, “Heather, live your mantra. As leaders, we have to walk the talk.” Now, that doesn’t take the responsibility off of everyone else because we also down the ranks need to be willing to speak up in a toxic environment, need to be willing to speak up when we see a mistake, and be willing to speak up with very positive and good ideas that we have. And so it does go both ways. But if management is not creating that open culture where we aren’t afraid of failure, where we’re able to speak up without negative repercussions, we’re going to run into some problems. So I think you nailed it right there. It starts at the top.
Evan: Yes. People have to lead by example. One of the things that I talk about a lot is that people are evasive in a lot of cases because they’re trying to not hurt people’s feelings. And you know, the polite police are the enemy of a good meeting. What advice do you give to employees to unmute themselves? How do I go about encouraging that?
Heather: Well, ideally a culture has developed where there is a space for that. So maybe it’s in the weekly meetings, maybe it’s actually the leader who’s been asking for that feedback. If that person is receptive, then most likely people aren’t going to have a lot of trouble unmuting because they know the leader is receptive. And it’s been made very clear and it’s a part of the culture, and there isn’t any real worry about voicing a concern or saying, “Hey, I have this amazing, amazing right hand woman who supports me, and I’ve made it very clear to her that she needs to speak up and tell me what I don’t see, right?”
We can’t have all the answers. And of course, you know, we’re in a very global environment. I’m dealing across cultures as well, where there’s a lot more stress. Even if I come in and say, “Please tell me, tell me, tell me, tell me,” that doesn’t mean that people will necessarily tell me. Maybe the person you’re speaking with is based in Singapore or om Southeast Asia, where there’s a very strong culture around not necessarily challenging a superior in the workplace.
And we see that happening in a number of ways in larger organizations, people taking their concerns to H.R. instead of the individual wanting to be anonymous in their feedback. Again, a lot of these are systems that would have to be set up by the company . . . this idea of managing up is very difficult for a lot of people. But being able to sit down with that person and be quite open and honest with them and focus on the situation and not the person.
It can mean saying, “I’ve been thinking about this project, and I wonder if I could just share some different ideas with you that I was thinking about.” And not to say, “I don’t think that the direction that you’re taking is the right way.”
Being unmuted isn’t throwing your ideas in someone’s face and being hurtful. It’s being conscious and aware and emotionally intelligent. So it is about building the relationship with the individual, focusing on the situation and not the person, and airing your ideas and solutions and not just focusing on problems.
When we are in meetings, we can say, “I know that you have amazing ideas and I want everyone to hear them.” And if I’m doing my job properly in the meeting, I am going to be turning to you and specifically asking you for feedback. So I might warn you of that and say, “I want you to know that in meetings, people are sometimes talking over you. I know that you have ideas that you want to voice and you aren’t getting the opportunity. So I’m going to make sure that I create that space for you. I want you to be able to speak up in those situations. And how do you feel about that?”
Evan: If you had only one tip to share with our audience, what would it be?
Heather: Oh, I love that question. And when it comes to communication training in particular and enhancing our communication skills, the one tip I’m always telling my clients (and I wish they would practice more) is to set an intention in the morning of what you want to focus on that day for your communication skills. Because we are communicating all day, every day.
If you’re trying to slow down your speaking pace, then set that intention. If you want to speak clearly, think about how you are articulating in every conversation. If you want to be a better listener, try to press mute more often today and really listen to people.
We have every opportunity all day long to enhance the way that we are communicating with people! Simply set aside five minutes in the morning to think about how we are going to do that today and how are we going to inspire others to do the same. And so that would be my big tip when it comes to improving our communication skills.
A Special Offer from Heather for Members of the Training Unleashed Community
Heather invites you to take advantage of free bonuses that accompany her book. Go to heatherhanson.com/unmuted and open unmuted assignments and exercises you can start with your team. You’ll find an implementation guide for companies and HR departments that want to experience the effectiveness of unmuting their people.
About Our Guest
Heather Hansen is Founder and CEO of Global Speech Academy and author of the new book Unmuted: How to Show Up, Speak Up, and Inspire Action. She helps top global leaders show up, speak up, and inspire action in a changing world. She is on a mission to unmute leaders and teams so they can be more innovative, inclusive and efficient while adapting to modern challenges.
Heather’s primary areas of expertise:
- Global English Pronunciation and Intelligibility
- Workplace and Leadership Communication
- Linguistic Diversity and Inclusion
- Cross-Cultural Communication
- Presentation and Interpersonal Skills
- Language and Virtual Communication Policy
Heather is an outspoken advocate for global voices. She raises awareness around microinequities related to language and accent in international teams and helps companies build UNMUTED communication cultures where every voice is heard.
Heather’s experiences speaking foreign languages and working in global environments give her increased empathy for her clients and their challenges. She has spent a combined eleven years in her current home, Singapore, where she first moved in 2006. Her work has taken her to 16 countries on four continents, and her clients come from every corner of the world. She was an early adopter of online technology and has been coaching and training her global clients online since 2012. She published her first fully-online course, the Pronunciation Mastery Program, in 2013.
Watch Heather’s 2018 TEDx Odense talk: 2 Billion Voices: How to speak bad English perfectly
Evan Hackel opened a recent Training Unleashed Podcast by asking his guest David Spencer a provocative question . . .
“Let’s just pretend for a moment it’s 20 years from now. What has changed in leadership?”
Eric is just the right person to put on his thinking cap and consider big questions like that. He is COO of SkyeTeam.com and a founder of CultivateAtWork.com. He has spent more than 20years shaping HR for organizations, from startups to Fortune 100 companies. He is a sought-after consultant, speaker and mentor in the field of maximizing leadership and organizational culture.
We know you will enjoy and benefit from every big idea about leadership that these two men shared. Please make time to listen today!
Evan and Eric Talk Leadership
Here are some edited excerpts from their Podcast conversation . . .
Evan Hackel: Let’s just pretend for a moment it’s 20 years from now. What has changed in leadership?
Eric Spencer: Evan, I think 20 years from now we will have figured out some things about leading remotely. We squeezed about a decade’s worth of change in the last two years. There are some folks out there that are doing it well and some folks that are just sort of feeling their way around in the dark still when it comes to leading remotely
I think if you fast forward 20 years from today, we’ll have learned how to do remote leadership really well, really effectively. Distributed teams won’t be presenting the challenges that we’re dealing with today.
Evan: I think there are great opportunities that didn’t exist before, because people are getting used to the technology. You are a leadership expert. What is your advice for someone right now, today? I mean, we just talked about the future, but what should people be doing now to grow their leadership?
Eric: It’s knowing your people. It’s knowing your people beyond what they do at work and how they do their work. It’s about knowing who they are, how they’re wired and what lights them up.
We’ve had an opportunity to see literally into people’s homes for the last 18 months. We’ve seen their pets step into the frame. We’ve seen kids jump into the picture. We’ve sometimes seen not very clothed spouses pass through the frame.
We’ve seen a lot of stuff, but a lot of folks out there haven’t capitalized on the opportunities to really get to know their people. We were in a loneliness epidemic prior to COVID, and it’s only intensified. So if I was going to focus on one thing, it would be the quality and depth of the relationships you have with the people on your team.
Evan: Can we talk about the four questions you have developed that leaders can use to check their relationships?
Eric: I call them the four yeses. They are simple questions to help you understand where you are in any given relationship.
Question number one is, “can I count on you?” Meaning, can I count on you to show up and do your job?
Question number two is, “can I depend on you?” Question number one (“Can I count on you?”) is reactive. It’s about showing up. But question two is much more proactive. It’s centered on issues like, “Are you going to give me the warnings of impending disaster?” and, “Are you going to give me the heads up that something’s coming, like the boss is expecting something on Friday that I know you’re on the hook for?” You can have a perfectly acceptable work relationship at the “count on you” and depend on you” level. But the magic starts to happen with the next two, final questions.
Question number three is, “Do I care about you?” And it’s not a group hug. This is, “Do I care about you as a human being? Do I know your story? Do I know who you are, what you’re about?”
Question number four is the kicker question, “Do I trust you?” It’s about codependent care and trust, which are how we assess the quality of relationships.
And if you don’t say yes to all four of those questions, you’re not in what we call an ally relationship. That might be OK in certain relationships at work but once we know that, we have a choice to make as to what we’re going to do in that relationship. Will we invest in it? Hang back? Are we comfortable where it is? Or do we need it to be in a different spot?
Evan: So I would assume that this is more important in certain kinds of roles than in others. So if someone’s working on the production floor – not to say that they’re not important, but maybe the relationship is different than if somebody you’re working with daily. So when you look at these four questions. What types of people are you referring to? Or is it literally everybody?
Eric: I think that’s the beautiful thing about the questions, because they’re applicable at whatever level or however you want to cut your relationships. On the shop floor, we can have a perfectly effective relationship at the count on “ and “show up and do your stuff” levels.
But if we need to elevate that relationship, if we’re looking to increase efficiency, productivity throughput rate, if we’re thinking about the quality of the relationships of the people on that line, it’s going to be different. Right? Productivity is going to be different. If I know you, Evan (and I trust you and I like you), the chances of me having your back, even in that shop floor situation, are way higher, right? Versus letting you fail and costing the team productivity.
In a leadership role, you have a lot of power to assess relationships at multiple levels.
Evan: How does a leader create trust and how does an employee create trust? And which comes first?
Eric: Yeah, chickens and eggs, right? So I’ll say a couple of things about that. I think you create trust by walking the walk. You know, people often ask us, “How do I get more allies in my relationships?” And our answer is simple. You’ve got to be one. You’ve got to show up as one. You’ve got to do the things you say you’re going to do. You’ve got to hold yourself accountable. When you screw up, you’ve got to own it. You’ve got to step in and take accountability for that.
In workshops and at keynotes when I talk about trust I’ll often ask, “Who here has ever flown in an airplane?” People raise their hands. And I say, “I’m assuming that you interviewed the pilot and crew and made sure that they were sufficiently trained.” And of course, nobody does that. We get on the plane. We don’t even know who’s up there in the cabin, other than the voice. But we grant that trust to that person, to that crew that is going to get us where we intend to go, reasonably close to the time we intend to get there in one piece. Right? So we always grant some trust, given the structure of the relationship.
Where it gets interesting and somewhat wonky is as we move up the corporate ladder, people tend to get a little bit more puffy-chested and they’ll say things like, “Well, you’ve got to earn my trust,” And I think really, people give it to the pilot, you give it to the chef cooking your dinner, but not the guy who works in your organization?
Evan: Now we’re at the most fun part of the podcast, which is what if you had one tip to share, what would that tip be?
Eric: If you take nothing else away from our conversation about relationships at work, take away the concept of what I call The Relationship Pulse Check. It’s the easiest thing that you can do to see where things are with a specific person with whom you work. It is made up of just three questions you ask:
- What’s working for you in our relationship?
- What’s not working?
- What’s one thing that I can do to help us or you be more successful?
A Special Offer from Eric to Members of the Training Unleashed Community
Eric personally invites you to visit his company website, CultivateAtWork.com, where you will find a number of learning and training modules that members of the Training Unleashed family can access free of charge.
“And when you get in there and choose your modules,” Eric says, “go to Check Out and type in the coupon code `training unleashed’ (all lower-case letters) and the modules you choose will be available to you free of charge.”
Let’s all learn about those four powerful questions Eric has created, and how to use them to improve our leadership and company performance!
Thank you, Eric!
About Our Guest
Eric Spencer, COO of SkyeTeam.com and a founder of CultivateAtWork.com, has spent 20+ years shaping HR for organizations, from startups to Fortune 100 companies. He is a leading consultant, speaker and mentor in the field of maximizing leadership and organizational culture.
Eric’s books include You, Me, We: Why We All Need to Be a Friend at Work (and How to Show Up as One!), which he co-authored with Morag Barrett.