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Unlocking Success in Remote Staffing: Insights from CEO Rob Buffington

His name is Rob Buffington. He is the CEO of Gordian Staffing and an expert in various domains. In today’s discussion, we’ll delve into the nuances of remote staffing, training, and organizational structure.

Challenges of Training Remote Staff

In the dynamic landscape of the modern workplace, remote staffing has become a pivotal aspect of business operations. Rob kicks things off by addressing a crucial question that many training professionals grapple with: How do you effectively train remote staff and get them up to speed?

Rob shares his insights, acknowledging the inherent challenges of training individuals who aren’t physically present. “Out of sight, out of mind” is a common pitfall, but Rob emphasizes the importance of allocating time upfront to ensure a smooth onboarding process. He dispels the notion of training as a plug-and-play scenario, emphasizing the human element involved.

One of the keys to successful remote training, according to Rob, is pivoting from traditional apprenticeship models. Instead of relying on a mentor physically guiding a new employee, companies need to create comprehensive scripts, outlines, and particularly videos. Rob recommends advanced preparation, ideally weeks or months ahead of the start date.

Standardization and Consistency: Building a Healthy Company Culture

Rob delves into the necessity of adapting to a structured pedagogical approach to foster consistency in company processes. He draws parallels with historical apprenticeship models, emphasizing the need for a methodical, proactive training strategy. The gradual implementation of such an approach contributes to the standardization of operations, fostering a healthier and more predictable company culture.

Drawing from his experience, Rob underlines the importance of standardizing procedures, leading to greater consistency in output. He highlights how this approach, over time, can transform a company into a more standardized and efficient entity, comparable to the success of franchises driven by their commitment to consistency.

Navigating Remote and In-Person Dynamics in Meetings

Moving into the realm of team collaboration, the discussion turns to the challenges of conducting meetings involving both remote and in-person attendees. Rob shares his perspective, recommending a unified approach that treats all employees as part of one cohesive team. He suggests avoiding separate meetings unless absolutely necessary, promoting a sense of unity among team members, regardless of physical location.

Slicing the Gordian Knot of Staffing Challenges

The analogy of “slicing the Gordian knot” serves as a metaphor for approaching old problems with new and decisive solutions. Rob’s insights have shed light on the importance of adaptability, standardization, and effective communication in fostering a successful remote workforce.

About Our Guest

Rob Buffington, CEO of Gordian, is a leading expert in remote staffing and organizational efficiency. With a focus on training and managing remote teams, Rob is dedicated to transforming traditional practices and ensuring employees are equipped for success.

As a seasoned professional, Rob brings a wealth of experience to the table, particularly in helping small to medium-sized businesses optimize their workforce. His commitment to efficiency and innovation is inspired by historical lessons, such as the tale of Alexander the Great and the Gordian Knot.

To connect with Rob Buffington and take advantage of the free consulting offer, visit Gordian Staffing or reach out to him on LinkedIn.

2024-01-29T17:37:04-05:00February 28, 2024|

Navigating Diversity and Equity Across Borders: Insights from Toby Mildon

Toby Mildon is on a mission to help put the right strategies in place to improve retention, innovation, productivity, profitability and so much more. In this episode of Training Unleashed, Evan Hackle and Toby have an enlightening discussion on diversity and inclusion.

Comparing Diversity Discussions: UK vs. US

The definitions of diversity, equity, and inclusion are remarkably similar in the UK and the US. Toby emphasizes the importance of all three elements for creating a fair society. Diversity includes everyone, inclusion enables full contributions, and equity emphasizes personalized approaches. Toby introduces the iceberg analogy, stating that visible characteristics represent only 10% of our diversity, while the remaining 80% consists of invisible attributes. Understanding this diversity is crucial for creating an inclusive and respectful work environment.

Impact of Bias on Decision-Making

Bias, often automatic and unintentional, significantly influences decision-making, especially in critical situations like hiring or promotions. Toby highlights the importance of being mindful, curious, and challenging assumptions to understand individuals and their strengths.

Six Signature Traits of Inclusive Leadership

Toby shares the six traits identified by Deloitte for inclusive leadership:

  1. Curiosity: A trait essential for inclusive leaders.
  2. Cognizance: Being aware of biases and blind spots.
  3. Courage: Fostering honest, frank, and brave discussions.
  4. Cultural Intelligence: Understanding and navigating different cultures.
  5. Collaboration: Encouraging effective collaboration across teams.
  6. Commitment: A commitment to diversity and inclusion, challenging the status quo.
Inclusive Growth: Good for Business

Toby emphasizes that diverse teams make better decisions, and McKinsey’s reports support the idea that diverse leadership teams lead to more profitable businesses. Inclusive cultures improve creativity, innovation, customer experiences, and employee retention, leading to positive business outcomes.

About Our Guest

Toby Mildon, the founder of Milton Echo Ltd., is a dedicated advocate for fostering inclusive cultures within organizations. With a wealth of experience, Toby collaborates with clients to drive positive change, improve productivity, and create environments where everyone feels valued. For more information about Toby Mildon and his work, visit Milton Echo Ltd.. Connect with Toby on LinkedIn, where he shares valuable content regularly.

2024-01-29T17:36:23-05:00February 21, 2024|

The Transformative Power of Coaching in Career Development with Randi Roberts

Welcome to another insightful edition of Training Unleashed! Today’s episode brings us a compelling conversation between our host, Evan Hackle, and the esteemed guest, Randi Roberts, CEO of Randi Roberts Coaching. The focus of this discussion revolves around the world of coaching and its profound impact on individuals, teams, and organizational growth.

Why Coaching Matters

Evan begins the conversation by addressing a significant question: Why do some people undervalue coaching, and why isn’t it a more prominent part of the executive world? Randi expresses her belief that awareness of coaching is on the rise and emphasizes the transformative nature of coaching relationships. As someone deeply passionate about coaching, Randi emphasizes that coaching isn’t about telling people what to do; it’s about guiding them to find their own path forward.

The conversation evolves to highlight the changing landscape of coaching acceptance. Randi notes that once individuals understand the support and possibilities coaching brings, they become more open to it. Coaching, however, isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. While it may not be for everyone, those willing to engage in inner work and move forward find tremendous value in the coaching relationship.

Introducing Coaching Effectively

The discussion touches upon the crucial aspect of introducing coaching effectively within organizations. Randi and Evan share their experiences of coaching within corporate settings, highlighting the positive impact on individual and team performance. The key, they suggest, is framing coaching as an investment in personal and professional growth rather than a corrective measure.

Confidentiality in coaching engagements is a pivotal aspect that Randi emphasizes. Whether coaching is initiated by individuals or companies, setting clear objectives and maintaining confidentiality creates a safe space for clients to explore and grow.

Leadership Team Development: Nurturing High Performance

Transitioning into leadership team development, Randi underscores its essential role in organizational success. With teams constantly evolving, from forming new teams to assimilating new leaders and diagnosing team challenges, the need for ongoing development becomes apparent. Trust is identified as the foundational element, and addressing both strengths and deficits is crucial for fostering high-performance teams.

One Tip for Career Success

As the conversation concludes, Randi offers a valuable tip: If something doesn’t feel right in your career, invest time in inner work to identify the root cause. Ensuring you solve the right problem is crucial for making informed decisions about your career path.

About Our Guest

Randi Roberts shares her journey, having enjoyed two fulfilling careers—one in pharmaceuticals and the current one as a coach for the past five years. As the founder of Randi Roberts Coaching, she specializes in executive coaching, career life coaching, and leadership team development. Interested readers can explore valuable resources on her website and connect via email at [email protected].

2024-01-29T17:35:30-05:00February 14, 2024|

The Symphony of Choices in Business and Life with Gerald Leonard

Welcome to another captivating edition of Training Unleashed. We extend our gratitude to our sponsors, C-suite TV and C-suite Radio, as without them, this show wouldn’t be possible. Today, we’re thrilled to have an extraordinary guest, Gerald Leonard, the CEO of Turnberry Premier. He’s not just your typical CEO; he’s a musician with a fascinating story that intertwines the world of music with the realm of business.

What Does Music Have to Do with Business?

Evan poses a question that sets the tone for the discussion: “Gerald, what does music have to do with business?” Gerald responds with a profound connection between his musical journey, starting at the age of ten, and the valuable lessons he’s applied throughout his career.

“As a musician, you have to practice to get better,” Gerald explains. “You have to practice to learn your instrument and master that skill.” Drawing parallels to the business world, he emphasizes the importance of CEOs focusing on and mastering the essential skills required for their roles.

The Art of Learning and Seeking Guidance

Reflecting on his early years, Gerald shares a pivotal lesson from his childhood. Recognizing his limitations and the need for guidance, he hired his first coach at the age of twelve. This experience taught him the value of seeking mentorship, a principle that carried forward into his professional life.

“I realized I could only go so far by myself, so I needed a coach,” he recounts. This early lesson of seeking support and mentorship shaped his approach to continuous learning and improvement.

The Dance of Collaboration: Lessons from Playing Together

Gerald draws parallels between playing music and working in a business environment, emphasizing the importance of listening. “Just the art of listening is critical in business,” he notes. Musicians learn to listen, understand, and blend their contributions to create a harmonious performance.

“As a CEO, my job is to surrender and lead by example, providing the support everyone needs,” Gerald states. These principles of collaboration and support were instilled in him during his musical journey and are now integral to his leadership philosophy.

How to Find a Mentor: Gerald’s Advice

In response to Evan’s query about finding a mentor, Gerald shares his personal approach. He emphasizes the importance of seeking mentors with a track record of success in areas aligned with one’s goals. Even if you haven’t met them personally, mentors can influence and guide through their works, be it books, online programs, or workshops.

Connecting with Gerald

For those intrigued by Gerald’s insights and keen to explore more, you can connect with him on LinkedIn or visit the Productivity Intelligence Institute website for valuable resources, including downloadable materials on goal setting and project management.

Parting Wisdom: The Pomodoro Technique

As a parting tip, Gerald encourages adopting the Pomodoro Technique—working in short intervals with breaks in between. This technique enhances productivity and allows the mind to refresh, resulting in more focused and efficient work.

2024-01-29T17:34:37-05:00February 7, 2024|

Navigating the Future of Learning: Insights from Vena Sterling

This episode features a thought-provoking conversation with Vena Sterling, a prominent figure from the Leadership Research Institute. We delve into the future of learning, leadership, and the importance of an entrepreneurial mindset in today’s corporate landscape.

Understanding the Present: The Future of Learning Today

In this episode, Vena Sterling shares her insights into the current state of learning and work. According to Vena, we’re in a state of perpetual change, and returning to the way things were before is not an option. The workforce is divided between those who thrive in remote work and those eager to return to the office. Leaders face the challenge of navigating this diversity and deciding on a clear direction for their organizations. Whether it’s fully virtual, in-person, or a hybrid model, the key is making a conscious decision and communicating the “why” behind it.

Taking a Stand: Companies’ Approach to Hybrid Working

Vena emphasizes the importance of companies “picking a side” when it comes to their approach—be it fully virtual, in-person, or hybrid. Making a clear choice and communicating the “why” behind it is crucial for fostering alignment and reducing ambiguity. While not everyone may agree, clarity prevents inconsistencies and fosters a sense of purpose within the organization.

Work-Life Integration Challenges: Maintaining a Healthy Balance

The continuous integration of work into personal lives poses challenges, and Vena emphasizes the need to be mindful of this dynamic. Establishing boundaries and promoting psychological safety within teams is crucial. Leaders play a significant role in creating an environment where individuals feel comfortable expressing their needs, and organizations need to actively support well-being initiatives. Vena addresses the challenges of overworking and the increasing integration of work into personal lives. Establishing boundaries and recognizing the value of flexibility, whether in a remote or in-person setting, is vital. Vena advises individuals to master their calendars, starting with personal priorities, to create a balance between work and personal life.

Connecting with Vena Sterling and a Special Offer

The Leadership Research Institute, or LRI, has been serving clients for over 40 years, specializing in leadership development and research. Vena primarily works with women leaders and entrepreneurs, providing assessments and transformative experiences. Listeners can connect with her through the Leadership Research Institute website, www.leadershipresearchinstitute.com, or on LinkedIn, where she regularly shares insights and engages in discussions on leadership and learning.

As a special offer for Training Unleashed listeners, Vena has graciously provided a discount code for any leadership assessments. Simply use the code “TRAININGUNLEASHED” at checkout on the Leadership Research Institute website to unlock this exclusive offer.

About Our Guest

Vena Sterling is a respected figure in the field of leadership development and research. With a wealth of experience spanning over several decades, Vena has been a driving force behind the success of the Leadership Research Institute (LRI). Specializing in leadership development and research, Vena primarily works with women leaders and entrepreneurs, providing assessments and transformative experiences. Her expertise lies in guiding individuals and organizations towards effective leadership strategies, fostering growth and innovation.

2024-01-29T17:33:41-05:00January 31, 2024|

Mastering the Art of Leadership: A Conversation with Chad Brown

Chad is an Associate Partner at Take New Ground and the host of The Naked Leadership Podcast with the founding partners of TNG (Take New Ground). In this episode, Evan takes a deep dive into the world of leadership with our special guest, Chad Brown. With a wealth of experience and insights, Chad is here to share his perspectives on what it takes to be an exceptional leader.

Defining Leadership

At the heart of this episode is Chad’s definition of leadership – an art form that involves inspiring and empowering others. Drawing from his diverse background and extensive leadership roles, Chad sets the stage for a conversation that goes beyond conventional leadership norms. Evan delves into the qualities that make a great leader, exploring authenticity, empathy, and adaptability with Chad. According to Chad, titles and authority don’t define leadership; instead, it’s about influence, service, and creating a culture of collaboration. The discussion serves as a guide for both emerging and experienced leaders, offering insights into what truly matters in leadership.

Navigating Challenges: Lessons from Chad’s Journey:

One of the most engaging parts of the episode is when Chad shares a significant leadership challenge he faced – leading a team through a major organizational change. The transparency, resilience, and adaptability required during this period provided invaluable lessons that every leader can learn from.

Advice for Aspiring Leaders:

For our aspiring leaders, Chad offers practical advice based on his journey. Continuous learning, embracing challenges, and being open to feedback are key components that Chad believes can contribute to a fulfilling and successful leadership journey.

About Our Guest

Chad Brown is a leadership engagement expert. He coaches executives and entrepreneurs in the art and science of leadership for themselves, their teams, and clients to create new, unprecedented results and experience fulfillment in their work. He thrives in extreme environments and finds comfort in difficult conversations. Over the last 5 years, Chad has trained and developed leaders at globally recognized brands like Lulu Lemon, and Ironclad Document Services along with many burgeoning start-ups.

2024-03-21T13:53:32-04:00January 24, 2024|

Navigating the Modern Job Hunt: Insights from Lori Wallace

Welcome, to another engaging episode of “Training Unleashed” with your host, Evan Hackel. In this episode, Evan sits down with Lori Wallace, the founder of Career Ecology – a hub spot for Work-Life Empowerment and explores innovative perspectives on the workplace. Lori’s unique approach to career transitions and authentic relating adds a refreshing touch to the job hunting discussion.

The Modern-Day Hero Journey

Evan kicks off the conversation by delving into Lori’s concept of the “modern-day hero journey.” According to Lori, career transitions can feel like an initiation into the unknown, akin to a hero’s journey. Individuals, whether seasoned CEOs or recent graduates, often grapple with feelings of being an outcast, questioning their value, and facing uncertainties in their professional journey.

Shifting Trends in Job Hunting

The conversation shifts to the evolving landscape of job hunting, comparing the pre-pandemic era to the present. Lori notes a growing emphasis on authentic relating and genuine communication. In the pre-pandemic era, interviews were typically in person, laborious, and lacked the chance for authentic connections. Post-pandemic, with virtual touchpoints, there’s an opportunity for a more authentic exchange, akin to a speed-dating experience.

Authentic Relating in Interviews

Lori introduces the concept of “authentic relating” in interviews, emphasizing a shift from performance-oriented messaging to a service-oriented approach. She encourages individuals to express themselves authentically without succumbing to the pressure of competition. By interviewing from a place of service, candidates can establish a genuine connection with the interviewer, creating a more meaningful dialogue.

Generational Diversity

The conversation takes a turn towards hiring strategies, particularly concerning different generations in the workforce. Lori advocates for diversity and cooperation as essential elements in hiring. She stresses the significance of embracing diverse perspectives to create a dynamic and adaptable work environment. Evan concurs, highlighting the positive impact of diverse teams on innovation and business success.

Gen Z in the Workplace

Evan and Lori discuss the unique characteristics of Generation Z in the workplace. Lori underscores the importance of viewing generations through the lens of different personalities rather than age. She encourages hiring managers to consider personality types and diverse perspectives, fostering a collaborative and inclusive work environment.

Ecology Philosophy

Lori explains the inspiration behind her company, Career Ecology, drawing parallels with the principles of biomimicry. She emphasizes the need for individuals to authentically integrate into their professional environments, maintaining balance and adapting to changes. Career Ecology aims to empower individuals during career transitions, shifting the narrative from “outplacement” to “empowerment.”

About our Guest

Lori Wallace has mentored job seekers for over twenty years as the owner of her own search agency where she’s matched prominent hospital systems like
Cedars Sinai, Kaiser Permanente, and Sutter Health to skilled and passionate professionals ranging from CEO to Lab Assistant.

Special offers

Join Lori every Tuesday on Zoom for open discussions and expert guidance on career empowerment. Or check out her book “Way of the Monarch,” her Hero’s Journey book that offers a four-month experiential program. She extends a generous offer to listeners, providing access to the first chapter and a 10% discount on Career Ecology for Unleashed !

2024-01-16T11:14:37-05:00January 11, 2024|

Nurturing Psychological Safety: Unveiling Workplace Insights with Mehmet Baha

His full name is Mehmet Baha and everyone calls him Baha. Since his childhood, he has been fascinated by the question: “How can I make a difference in the lives of people?” His interest led him to win a scholarship from Fulbright and finish his master’s in the USA on the topic of Conflict Resolution.

In this episode of Training Unleashed, hosted by Evan Hackel and proudly sponsored by C-suite TV, listeners are treated to an engaging exploration of psychological safety in the workplace.

Understanding Psychological Safety

Evan Hackel kicked off the conversation with a fundamental question, asking Mehmet to demystify the concept of psychological safety. Mehmet’s enlightening response highlighted psychological safety as the bedrock of environments where employees feel secure expressing questions, concerns, ideas, and even mistakes – an indispensable ingredient for fostering high-performing teams. Mehmet shared insightful strategies for establishing psychological safety, placing a special emphasis on involving employees in decision-making processes. Drawing from a transformative example, he illustrated how traditional organizations can shift decision-making power to frontline employees, fostering a culture of inclusion and agility.

Empowering Employees

Evan steered the conversation towards situations where employees fear making decisions without absolute clarity. In response, Mehmet advocated for organizational awareness, genuine interest, knowledge acquisition, and the application of empowering practices to instigate sustainable change. Mehmet shared his experiences at Facebook, shedding light on the company’s commitment to transparency, open communication, and active employee involvement in addressing challenges. The emphasis here was on fostering an environment where everyone feels heard and valued.

Free Resources

The episode drew to a close with Mehmet generously sharing free resources on psychological safety available at solutionfolder.com/free-resources. These resources include eight concise, actionable videos covering various aspects of psychological safety, providing valuable insights for organizations seeking to implement positive change.

About Our Guest

He has lived and worked in Germany, Turkey, Ireland, Guatemala, and the USA with more than 18 years of work experience. Baha was one of the first employees of Facebook in Europe. Throughout his life, he has realized the importance of collaborative work culture in organizations. So far, he has delivered training and given talks in more than 28 countries across 5 continents. Recently, he completed Harvard Business School’s Online Executive Education Programme “Organizational Leadership”. He is fluent in English, Turkish, Spanish, and German. In his free time, he loves to play percussion, travel with his family, and play puzzles with his 5-year-old daughter. His new book “ Playbook for Engaged Employees“ was published in April 2021 and has already been purchased in the US, Canada, Australia, Germany, the UK, and Switzerland.

2023-12-07T14:55:31-05:00December 7, 2023|

Leading with Encouragement: A Path to a Positive Workplace Culture With John Robertson

John Robertson is the Founder and President of FORTLOG Services. John built his services with a focus on an encouragement-based approach, resolving root causes as opposed to treating crisis and transition in the workplace symptomatically, as is often the practice. In this episode of Training Unleashed, host Evan Hackle and guest John Robertson discuss how wellness is more than not being sick.

Quit playing whack-a-mole

A common practice in most workplaces is to treat a crisis when it arises. This is all done symptomatically. John’s approach centers on analyzing and confronting the root causes of problems. He underscores the significance of leaders’ roles in not just reacting to issues but comprehending why they arise in the first place. Instead of jumping up and whacking the “mole”, you need to stop talk about what the cause is.

Instead of playing the game, unplug the machine.

The Power of Encouragement

The conversation takes an authentic turn as the significance of genuine encouragement is explored. John emphasizes that effective encouragement requires leaders to be authentic and transparent in their interactions. He also highlights the challenge of time in a fast-paced work environment, where patience and encouragement may be undervalued.

Encouragement creates a culture where individuals can learn from mistakes and grow, without fear of punitive reactions.

About Our Guest

John’s been a trusted thinking partner with 30+years of assisting individuals and organizations in managing all forms of crisis/change. He leverages a values-anchored ethos as a leadership development specialist, helping organizations and individuals to define the new norm and thrive.

2023-11-17T15:48:19-05:00September 27, 2023|

Choice of software an expression of company values with Ian Robinson

Ian Robinson is founder of Enliven Design, a company he started in 2012 to create highly functional business software. In a recent Training Unleashed podcast, Ian and host Evan Hackel discussed the art of creating software that enhances all aspects of doing business, including training.

Taking the Pain Out of Software Development

Many people have come to accept the idea that developing new business software has to be difficult, frustrating . . . and painful. But Ian believes that software development should be a positive experience.

The best approach, he believes, is to start by creating a very specific work environment that is imbued with the company’s world view and culture. That environment will help companies create software that is just right for them.

Then when the worldview of the company is expressed in the software that a company uses, it becomes easier to onboard new employees and to train people to perform in ways that express the company’s deeper values.

Advantages of Using Custom, Not Off-the-Shelf, Solutions

If your company has only a small number of employees to train to perform a particular function, off-the-shelf software might be your best, cost-saving option. But you have to remember that off-the-shelf training software was designed to be used by as many companies as possible, and it typically bundles training on more functions than you need. “It wasn’t created for you,” Ian explains, “it was created for people like you.”

One Tip for Members of the Training Unleashed Audience

The most important underlying goal is to create software that is reassuring.

Ian explains, “An architect once said, `The one job in architecture is to make a space that’s reassuring on at least a subconscious level.’ So if a human is in a space, they should be subconsciously reassured. I think that’s a great way to look at software implementations and custom software builds. Put yourself in the place of your employee and create something that’s reassuring.”

Empathy is at the root of all these good practices.

About Our Guest

Throughout a successful career in software development, Ian Robinson has been sought out as a trainer and speaker for numerous engagements in the US and abroad and has interacted with a broad spectrum of clients and projects. These experiences have helped him cultivate his vision for Enliven Design, which he founded in 2012.

Enliven was founded with a mission to create highly functional business software that doesn’t compromise on creative design or user experience.

2023-09-27T13:47:57-04:00April 11, 2023|
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