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Brad Deutser - Leading Clarity

189: Brad Deutser: I’ve never looked back

Brad Deutser Show Notes Page

Brad Deuster had a business partner for many years and he finally realized that the partnership didn’t work for him. He kept giving and giving and finally let go of the circuit breakers and the things that were holding him back – he embraced clarity.

To some, Brad Deutser’s path has been anything but clear. A camp counsellor in the east coast for 11 summers, a stint in London at a solicitor’s firm where he was known as the great American lawyer, a high school basketball coach, a leasing agent at a low-income apartment complex, an old-fashioned circus promoter at Ringling Bros, a token male at an all-female PR firm, an executive at an advertising agency, to his role in developing one of the most unique consultancies in the country. Brad has been in some very interesting roles throughout his career.

But the one constant is Brad’s ability help others navigate transition and chaos, and achieve at levels they never before dreamed possible. In fact, it is that love of helping others be the best they can be that led him to create Deutser, an innovative consulting firm focused on helping organizations and their leaders achieve clarity to drive business performance, as well as Deutser Clarity Institute, a think tank, idea accelerator and learning lab.

Brad doesn’t bring a traditional consulting mindset, rather, he uses a high energy, extremely creative approach to connect with leaders and teams and unlock the DNA inside both the leader and their organization. His years of research, success with clients across the globe and approach to helping others is the focus of his new book, Leading Clarity, the Breakthrough Strategy to Unleash People, Profit and Performance. He is a big believer in Thinking INSIDE the Box and he has devised a system to help people visualize and construct their box. His work gives leaders across many industries and sized companies a replicable process to affect culture and change futures – both the leader and the people who work with and for them.

Known for his unique brand of clarity and positivity in all he does, Brad is committed to affecting change at a societal level and has infused socially responsible and cause related principles in not only his clients’ practices, but his own firm’s as well.  He established The Deutser Clarity Fund, which everyone in his company participates, to support causes that bring clarity to the community.

Brad’s personal clarity comes from his special relationship with his family, including his wife of more than 23 years and 2 loving children, who are the light of his life.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @braddeutser to get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet 

“It’s an important leader lesson, positivity underlies decision-making as we look forward.” – Click to Tweet 

“So much of our society is about 50% of the truth, we don’t want to offend people, including ourselves.” – Click to Tweet  

“Our research has proven that it’s actually inside the box thinking that drives innovation.” – Click to Tweet  

“We talk about inside the box and outside the box, but what is the box?” – Click to Tweet  

“How much progress are we really going to make just fixing things that are broken?” – Click to Tweet  

“We can address the things we don’t do quite as well, but don’t lose site of the things that makes us great.” – Click to Tweet  

“The easiest ways to be intentional is with our people.” – Click to Tweet  

“The best skill set doesn’t always translate to the best employee.” – Click to Tweet  

“Culture is fundamental to how an organization functions.” – Click to Tweet  

“There are things we do as leaders that stop or inhibit our own energy.” – Click to Tweet  

“It’s the expectations that we set for ourselves that define where we go.” – Click to Tweet  

“We’re in control of who we are, the environment around us is chaos.” – Click to Tweet  

“My future is up to me and being very purposeful and intentional about it.” – Click to Tweet  

“Challenges are there to help propel us to a different place.” – Click to Tweet  

“Clarity is not this ambiguous kind of thing, but there is a process.” – Click to Tweet  

“We’re all trying to get to the same place in the end, and that’s clarity.” – Click to Tweet  

“Life is a long road, keep going forward know that you’ll have places to turn to the right and left, but never look back.” – Click to Tweet  

“I can create my own success, with the right mindset and right determination.” – Click to Tweet  

Hump to Get Over

Brad Deuster had a business partner for many years and he finally realized that the partnership didn’t work for him. He kept giving and giving and finally let go of the circuit breakers and the things that were holding him back – he embraced clarity.

Advice for others

I can create my own success, with the right mindset and right determination, I can accomplish in any environment.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Circuit-breakers

Best Leadership Advice

Life is a long road, keep going forward know that you’ll have places to turn to the right and left, but never look back.

Secret to Success

Positivity, Positivity, Positivity

Best tools in business or life

Clarity and thinking inside the box.

Recommended Reading

Leading Clarity: The Breakthrough Strategy to Unleash People, Profit, and Performance

The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates

Oh, the Places You’ll Go!  

Contacting Brad Deuster

website: http://www.braddeutser.com/ 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/braddeutser/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BradDeutser

Resources and Show Mentions

Call Center Coach

An Even Better Place to Work

Show Transcript: 

[expand title=”Click to access edited transcript”]

189: Brad Deutser: I’ve never looked back

Intro: Welcome to the Fast Leader Podcast, where we uncover the leadership like hat that help you to experience, break out performance faster and rocket to success. And now here’s your host, customer and employee engagement expert and certified emotional intelligence practitioner, Jim Rembach.

 

Call center coach develops and unites the next generation of call center leaders. Through our e-learning and community individuals game knowledge and skills in the six core competencies that is the blueprint that develops high-performing call center leaders. Successful supervisors do not just happen so go to callcentercoach.com to learn more about enrollment and download your copy of the Supervisor Success Path e-book now.

 

Jim Rembach:      Okay, Fast Leader legion today I’m excited because we have somebody on the show today that is going to be able to help us with the strategy to unleash your glory. To some Brad Deuster path has been anything but clear.A camp counsellor in the east coast for 11 summers, a stint in London at a solicitor’s firm where he was known as the great American lawyer, a high school basketball coach, a leasing agent at a low-income apartment complex, an old-fashioned circus promoter at Ringling Bros, a token male at an all-female PR firm, an executive at an advertising agency, to his role in developing one of the most unique consultancies in the country. Brad has been in some very interesting roles throughout his career.

But the one constant is Brad’s ability to help others navigate transition and chaos and achieve at levels they never before dreamed possible. In fact, it is that love of helping others be the best they can be that led him to create Deutser, an innovative consulting firm focused on helping organizations and their leaders achieve clarity to drive business performance, as well as Deutser Clarity Institute, a think tank, idea accelerator and learning lab.

Brad doesn’t bring a traditional consulting mindset, rather, he uses a high energy, extremely creative approach to connect with leaders and teams and unlock the DNA inside both the leader and their organization. His years of research, success with clients across the globe and approach to helping others is the focus of his new book, Leading Clarity, the Breakthrough Strategy to Unleash People, Profit and Performance. He is a big believer in Thinking INSIDE the Box and he has devised a system to help people visualize and construct their box. His work gives leaders across many industries and sized companies a replicable process to affect culture and change futures – both the leader and the people who work with and for them. 

Known for his unique brand of clarity and positivity in all he does, Brad’s personal clarity comes from his personal relationship with his family including his wife of more than 23 years and two loving children who are the light of his life. Brad Deutser, are you ready to help us get over the hump? 

Brad Deutser:    I’m ready. Let’s do it. 

 

Jim Rembach:      I’m glad you’re here. I’ve given my legion a little bit about you but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better? 

 

Brad Deutser:    Absolutely. I love helping people and I think at my heart I’m a coach. From the early days coaching basketball to what I get to do today is coaching leaders and helping leaders really achieve clarity and drive performance in their organizations. My passion is all kind of been wrapped up into my new book—Leading Clarity the Breakthrough Strategy to Unleash People Profit and Performance—and I put my heart and soul into sharing lessons and stories and giving people insights on how they can achieve clarity.

 

Jim Rembach:      One of the things as I was going through the book that I found kind of like that underlying theme throughout it or underlying focus was really something based in positive psychology. I started seeing originations of positive psychology throughout the entire book. Where did that come from for you?

 

Brad Deutser:    I have been brought up from the time I was little to always see the sky as a blue sky and it’s really stems from my grandmother who was blind and who always saw the bright side of things in the world and then kind of passed that along. It’s an important leader lesson that we teach leaders all over that the positivity underlies our decision making our ability to see different solutions as we forward.

 

Jim Rembach:      In addition to that you start talking about that being able to know whether or not we’re positive in that whole self-reflection component. I started thinking about organizations because they oftentimes take on human characteristics and it seems like a lot of the tools in the book that are really around self- assessments and being able to interpret self that it may be difficult for an organization to do. So when you start thinking about humans not really being good at observing and interpreting themselves or evaluating themselves how difficult is that for them to be able to achieve clarity? What do you think about that?

 

Brad Deutser:    It’s fundamental to being able to achieve clarity we have to be honest with ourselves and honest with the environment around us and it’s one of the things we talk about the book. We talk about masqueraders of clarity and telling a hundred percent of the truth so much of our society is about fifty percent of the truth we don’t want to send people, including ourselves. So many of the assessments in the book are really designed to help us be reflective and to think about who we are what our environment is around us and how we as individuals and leaders can really be honest and move forward and then find the areas that we can improve on.

 

Jim Rembach:      When you start thinking that way—and one of the things we had talked about when you choose the bio is that thinking in the box and for most people or most organizations innovation and 

Creativity, creative thinking, is really one of those things that you have to have as a good core competency these days because otherwise you’re going to be wiped out and go extinct fast. But when you start thinking about that whole creative thinking and innovation component I think just about everybody’s heard of thinking out of the box but you talk about thinking inside the box, what do you mean by that?

 

Brad Deutser:    So our research over the last several decades and our work with clients has proven that it’s actually inside the box thinking that drives innovation that drives creativity that drives performance. And if you think about it we talk about inside the box outside the box, what is the box? We have this proverbial box but we don’t ever really define what it is. And when we put definition to the box and we realize the box is a construct that we can live within inside or outside it helps us to begin to frame it. When we talk about inside the box thinking it’s about getting the leader a place in which to lead from and giving people who work for and with that leader something to hold on to. So clarity to us is found inside that box.

 

Jim Rembach:      Well for me when I see that I also immediately went to that whole, that we talk about a second ago that positive psychology piece. When you start thinking about appreciative query for example it really talks about finding your core finding your power core finding what you do best. And when I started looking at the aspects of the inside the box assessment is I started seeing and thinking about all of those things that goes back to that positive psychology that appreciation piece that what is it that you do best that got you where you are because those are the things are going to carry forward.

 

Brad Deutser:    Think about what all the self-help books are out there today it’s fixing what’s broken. You got to fix this you got to lose weight you got to look better you got to do these things different and when we look at that and say why? How much progress are we’re going to really make just fixing things that are broken. And so our approach to companies and to leaders and to individuals is really based on that positive psychology saying we do a lot of things well and those things that what we do well let’s work on building those strengths as even greater strengths. And we can address the deficits that we have we can address the things that we don’t do quite as well but we don’t lose sight of the things that make us who we are and make us great. So we always try to focus on that positive side of things we do well and that’s why creating the box and defining an organizational box is so important because it allows us to identify those specific things that we as a company and we as leaders can help change the trajectory of our company by focusing on.

 

Jim Rembach:      Well and a lot of those things end up revolving around some of our behaviors so I really like your behavior competency model you use it to help organizations identify five core and five leadership behavioral competencies that are unique to their company. But is it a problem for an organization if the five core behaviors for an organization and the five core leadership behaviors don’t match at all? 

 

Brad Deutser:    When we think about an organization we really talk about being purposeful being intentional and one of the easiest ways to be intentional is with our people. We all talk about values and values are the things that motivate us it’s the external motivation it’s the external manifestation of the organization and the other side of values are these are these behaviors. And so companies today are hiring so much on knowledge skills and abilities they hired the best worker the best writer the best welder the best accountant but the reality is that the best skill set doesn’t always translate to the best employee. These behaviors become a critical piece of the organization and so when we work with companies date we encourage them to develop a set of core behaviors and those core behaviors or something that it doesn’t matter if you’re the janitor if your the line level employee if you’re the manager you’re the leader everyone in the organization has to live those behaviors and they’re very specific behaviors that we spell out. When we talk about being a manager and a leader there are different behavioral characteristics that we look for that is unique to each company. We’re okay that they’re different because it’s all part of creating the DNA of that organization and kind of saying the behavioral expectations for the people in the organization.

 

Jim Rembach:      Well I also like your energy obstruction grid. We talk about obstruction—you talk about the obstruction being acute, overload, healthy or an irritant. You also have a list of what you call circuit breakers and they are ambivalence, boredom and monotony, conflict, clutter, doubt, fear, inference, labeling, overconfidence, physical depletion, resources and stress but a couple things I didn’t see that I often hear a lot of folks talk about our like culture, diversity, engagement, how does those fit because they seem like those are really powerful circuit breakers for a lot of organizations? 

 

Brad Deutser:    You made a really interesting distinction. Culture is fundamental to how an organization functions. We talk a lot and we go back to the box, our box is a six sided box and three of the sides really are the strategic system and three sides really form the culture system and we’re trying to create an equilibrium a balance so there’s a natural flow of energy. Their natural energy flows inside an organization but we also look with the circuit breakers as the individual flow of energy. In leaders we all have the energy that’s flowing and there are things that we do as leaders that stop or inhibit our own energy. I take myself for an example, I uses energy obstruction grid and I try to do it every week to say, what are the things that are stopping my forward progress? And so invariably mine are fear, inference I always infer well they didn’t call me back or we had a conversation they sounded kind of funny, my mind wanders to a place and that stops my natural flow of energy as a leader. Sometimes I label things in our political world our society we label things and once we label we stopped we leave it and there’s more to it. We look at the circuit breakers as a flow of energy to a leader and how the individual can control their energy flow and be more productive. Your question really speaks to the organizational energy flow and we look at those as a little bit different. The cultural piece of it agame it’s about alignment it’s about making sure we understand all six sides of the box and there is that flow of energy through the organization that creates that alignment that connectivity with the people who work inside the company.

 

Jim Rembach:      So for me when I started looking at this book in a way that you’ve constructed and the tools that you’re using and how you’re essentially navigating organizations to that higher level of performance is that it’s unconventional going back to the whole unique thing they were using as a word as a label but when I started looking at all of this I’d imagine that there’s a whole lot of emotion and focus and all of those things that have to happen. And one of the things that we use on the show in order to help us with that are quotes. Is there a quote or two that you like that you can share? 

 

Brad Deutser:    So one of my favorite quotes and I think it’s a quote that underlies what we do in business is a quote from a book called, The Other West More, and The Other West More It’s a really thought provoking book and the quote from it that I love is, We are not products of our environment were products of our expectation. I think that that’s such a powerful message for leaders and for wherever we are. I heard the story of the theory of the flea? And if you give the flea a box that’s a foot high he’ll jump a foot if you give it two feet will jump two feet. So it’s the expectations that we set for ourselves that define where we go and more importantly the expectations we set for our companies and our employees that’s why we set the behavioral competencies we set expectations high because we believe, agame going back to positivity, in the power of people to achieve at that higher level.

 

Jim Rembach:      When I started listening to what you’re saying and I started thinking about a couple different things being able to stretch taking things to a different plane of existence than you currently are within. Oftentimes for me talking about a circuit breaker disruptor I allow other people to hold me down. And I don’t, like you said really say, I can achieve that I just need to try. And I love the stuff we’re talking about individuals in order to help with that clarity and that’s really where the drive comes from a personal core that one individual being part of the collective all working on that together and that’s what’s moving the organization forward. But how can I prevent myself from allowing others to drag me down?

 

Brad Deutser:    Well, I think it’s about the mindset. It’s about a mindset it’s about setting those expectations. I look at the bottom of the box which is organizational identity but I think it translates to individuals as well. When we know our value system and we accept who we are and the things that are important to us and we keep coming back to this idea of we’re in control of who we are the environment around us is chaos and it’s our choice whether to be part of that swirl. I keep coming back to the foundation of that box, the foundation of our being and tying in that positivity and saying it’s up to me my future is up to me and being very purposeful very intentional about it.

 

Jim Rembach:      So I can only imagine in order for you to get to this own type of thinking for in this progression we talked about all those different perspectives from the different jobs that you had is that I’m sure there’s a lot of humps that you had to get over in order to get to this point of a good solid foundation with where you are with Deutser, is there a story that you can share where we can maybe use that to help us get over the hump?

 

Brad Deutser:    Sure. I think the story—for me this humps are part of our every single day life. We deal with ambiguity we deal with chaos and we help our clients navigate transitions every day so these are the daily humps that we do. For my company I think that my favorite kind of story and my journey with this really pertains to my company. I had a partner for many, many years, wonderful person great guy great partnership. But I realized after many, many years together that the partnership work much better for him that it did for me. And I found myself giving and giving and giving and giving and giving and I kept telling myself that it’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay. And there came a time where I made a decision that I needed to go on my own but I was afraid. I was afraid I was really comfortable doing what I was doing. 

 

I made the decision to buy myself out buy my partner’s part of the business out. It was a scary time there was a lot of risk and my company was in a state flats quite honestly. And I was working with an adviser who said to me—I said, this is a lot of my money it’s a lot of effort I just don’t know. And he looked at me he said, you know what Brad? The price of freedom is not free. And I thought that was such an important lesson that help me get over the hump to say. There’s a lot of people who paid a much, much greater price for their freedom. And my freedom to be able to create the company and the vision that I wanted it did come at a cost it did came at a cost of financial cost that came out of energy costs but what I learned was by doing what I knew was right for me that gave me a chance to have a different future was completely freeing in the process. 

 

So I let go of those circuit breakers and the things that were holding me back and I really embrace the moment and I embraced our methodologies and I created a fundamentally different future one that is built around the concept of clarity. I’ve never looked back and I think that accepting that sometimes we go through challenges and those challenges are purposeful and those challenges are there to help propel us to a different place I think that’s the thing that I got out of that lesson.

 

Jim Rembach:      So thanks for sharing that. As you were talking I started thinking about some of the influence that you had and looking at how you essentially ended the book you talk about the clarity code and it was a game. When I started thinking about you telling that story I started thinking about those pieces and how much you have made being able to conquer and get over some of these humps and then also helping organization get over this into a game. So when you think about the clarity code as you’re wrapping all of this up from a game perspective, do you actually take people through that game process, roll the dice move one step ahead, does that make easier for them to actually go through the clarity process? 

 

Brad Deutser:    It’s not really that it’s a game I think the message we’re trying to say is that there is a process there is a defined process that is clarity. So clarity is not this ambiguous kind of thing but there’s a process. We use the metaphor of game because people can embrace and have fun with creating their own future. And again going back to the quote of setting our expectations when we set that expectation of what we want to be, what is the pathway that we need to follow to achieve that? My career started off at Wrigley Brothers, and so every single day whether it was a game or a performance I realize that there was so many different things that we had to get over there were so many different challenges. And I can look at it and say, oh, my gosh there’s another thing and another thing. Or I can embrace it and say, Hey! This is the pathway that we’re going to get through this show this day we’re going to get to where we need to be. And so that’s why we put the clarity code at the back of the book to remind people that there’s a lot of steps there’s a lot of things that we can think about. Sometimes we start at the beginning sometimes we start at different points were not all starting from the same place but were all trying to get to the same place at the end and that’s clarity. 

 

Jim Rembach:      Well and I think for me when I started looking at that I’m like from an engagement perspective and talking about energy perspective that going through and everybody’s moving to gamification I thought it was actually brilliant. So for me I’m like, hey, that would make it a lot easier to go through this particular process because you see that start point you see that journey and you see the end point and what can come out of the end if you haven’t made it into a game I would definitely do that.

 

Brad Deutser:    Well my team knows that if I can make anything into a board game I would do it but what part of our exercise all the things that we take leaders through are very tactile in nature. We do things with cards and sticky notes and colors and crayons and all different things because everything can be fun and we can make things into games even the most serious strategy work we can put an element of fun into it.

 

Jim Rembach:      Without a doubt. Okay, talking about a lot of things going on, you talk about living to help people you talk about the societal impacts that you’re making I’m sure there’s probably still some coaching in some way that goes on there that you may not have listed but you got a lot of things going on but if you’re to talk about one goal one, what would it be?

 

Brad Deutser:    My personal goal is I want to share the message of clarity with as many people as I can and help people see that they can have an intentional future, the future just doesn’t happen to them but they can control their own future, so that’s a passion of mine.

 

Jim Rembach:      And the Fast Leader legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on let’s get a quick word from our sponsor: 

 

An even better place to work is an easy to use solution that gives you a continuous diagnostic on employee engagement along with integrated activities that will improve employee engagement and leadership skills in everyone. Using this award winning solutions guaranteed to create motivated productive and loyal employees who have great relationships with their colleagues and your customers. To learn more about an even better place to work visit beyondmorale.com/better. 

 

Alright here we go Fast Leader legion it’s time for the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay, Brad, the Hump Day Hoedown is the part of our show where you give us good insights fast. I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us a robust yet rapid response that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Brad Deutser, are you ready to hoedown? 

 

I’m ready, let’s go. 

 

Alright. What is holding you back from being an even better leader today?

 

Circuit breakers.

 

What is the best leadership advice you have ever received?

 

Life is a long road keep going forward know that you’ll have places to turn to the right and left but never look back.

 

What is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?

 

Positivity, positivity, positivity.

 

What do you feel is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business or life?

 

Clarity and thinking inside the box.

 

What would be one book that you’d recommend to our listeners and it could be from any genre and of course we’re going to put a link to, Leading Clarity: The Breakthrough Strategy to Unleash People Profit and Performance on your show notes page as well.

 

So besides leading clarity I think it’s, All the Places You Will Go by Dr. Seuss, I love that book.

 

Okay Fast Leader legion you can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going to fastleader.net/BradDeutser. Okay, Brad, this my last Hump Day Hoedown question: Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25. And you’ve been given the opportunity to take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you but you can’t take everything back you can only choose one. So what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

 

I would take the fact that I can create my own success. And I think that I’ve learned in my career—I’ve lost my job twice I have been shoveling elephant manure outside the circus I’ve been put in some really tough situations and with the right mind set and right the determination I understand that I can accomplish in any environment. So I take the ability to create my own success no matter what environment put in as my lesson I’d take back.

 

Brad it was an honor to spend time with you today can you please share with the Fast Leader legion how they can connect with you?

 

Yes, connect with me through braddeutser.com. I’m on LinkedIn and Twitter and love to hear from people.

 

Brad Deutser, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom the Fast Leader legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over or the hump. 

 

END OF AUDIO 

 

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