page title icon Learning and development

Joe Dunlap | Now is the time to stop training

248: Joe Dunlap: It’s time to stop training

Joe Dunlap Show Notes Page

Joe Dunlap is the son of a US Air Force officer and spent most of his youth moving every two years from one Air Force base to another along with his younger sister.  He is a second-generation Bachelor and Master degree graduate.

Joe entered into Learning and Development by accident.  After completing his undergraduate degree in the Northeast, he applied for numerous jobs in Texas with little luck until a university offered him a position as a Hall Director, as long as he was also a graduate student.  Since it was late April at this time, the only department at the university that had rolling applications for grad school was the Department of Education.

Joe started a joint program in Adult Learning and Org Development with no intentions of finishing it.  Two years later I had an M Ed, he was working in HR at another university in Org Dev and some Adult Learning and here he is a long, long time later still working in L&D.

Joe started his career as a stand-up facilitator using PowerPoint and Word.  As technology evolved into eLearning, Podcasting, Video, and LMSs, he was an early adopter which allowed him to expand his competencies and services.  As the use of eLearning and LMSs grew, he became a SME for L&D technology which led him to being a leader of an L&D technology team.

Over the last few years he has researched, implemented, practiced and managed the evolving mindsets, practices, technology, and methods being used by organizations in the Digital Transformation era and implemented those within L&D as both a leader and consultant.  He is also a writer of L&D Transformation on LinkedIn.

Joe currently lives in Germantown, WI with his wife and the last of his three daughters, three cats and a dog; he’s the only male in the house, aaaaagh.

Quotes and Mentions

Listen to Joe Dunlap get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow – Click to Tweet

“With the growing skills gaps, how do we now deliver learning faster?” – Click to Tweet

“Move away from that training mindset and move into other possibilities.” – Click to Tweet

“Let’s talk about the problem because learning and development is only one piece of solving that particular problem.” – Click to Tweet

“Once training is done, what’s next because that’s not the end of the story?” – Click to Tweet

“How are you helping employees in their flow of work?” – Click to Tweet

“Thinking about the learning journey, there’s so many ways that people now go about acquiring learning.” – Click to Tweet

“If you just read a news article, there’s not a week that goes by where a CEO doesn’t talk about the need to become a learning organization.” – Click to Tweet

“The scale of an organization is losing its relevance to the speed of the organization’s learning capacity.” – Click to Tweet

“We can no longer focus on shareholder value, we have to focus on our employees improving their value.” – Click to Tweet

“You can’t continue to go out and buy skill sets, you need to start growing them.” – Click to Tweet

“You have to meet learners where they’re at. You can’t drag them to your Learning Management System.” – Click to Tweet

“If you are learning you are growing. If you aren’t growing what are you doing?” – Click to Tweet

“We moved away from that training mindset and started looking at that learning ecosystem for that individual and team and the learning journey.” – Click to Tweet

“Step back and embrace other thoughts and ideas and you’ll become a much better leader.” – Click to Tweet

[optin-cat id=11101]

Hump to Get Over

Joe Dunlap had an old-school training mindset and found himself in an organization that was losing to its competition. That’s when Joe challenged himself and his team to “stop training” and to start gathering insight into ways they could add value to employees and meet them where they are in their learning and development journey.

Advice for others

Be open to change.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Fighting an organizational culture.

Best Leadership Advice

Be humble in your practice and have humor in yourself.

Secret to Success

I listen to smart people.

Best tools in business or life

Taking a personal approach.

Recommended Watching

Steve Jobs vs Bill Gates (American Genius)

Contacting Joe Dunlap

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

Email: joseph.m.dunlap [at] gmail.com

Resources and Show Mentions

Dash Trainer: Agent Training in a Dash

Call Center Coach

An Even Better Place to Work

Show Transcript: 

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

248: Joe Dunlap: It’s time to stop training

Jim Rembach: : (00:00)

Okay, Fast leader legion today I’m excited because we have somebody on the show today who is going to tell you why you need to stop training.

 

Jim Rembach: : (00:47)

Joe Dunlap is the son of a U S air force officer and spent most of his youth moving every two years from one air force base to another along with his younger sister. He is a second generation bachelor and master’s degree. Gradually Joe entered into learning and development by accident after completing his undergraduate degree in the Northeast. He applied for numerous jobs in Texas with little luck until the university offered him a position as a whole director as long as he was a graduate student. Since it was late April. At this time, the only department at the university that had rolling applications for grad school was the department of education. Joe started a joint program in adult learning and organizational development with no intention of finishing it. Two years later he had a master’s in education and he was working in HR at another university in organizational development and some adult learning and there he is a long, long time later still and working in learning and development.

 

Jim Rembach: : (01:47)

Joe started his career as a standup facilitator using PowerPoint and word. As technology evolved into e-learning podcasting, video and learning management systems, he was an early adopter which allowed him to expand his competencies and services. As the use of e-learning and LMS has grew, he became a subject matter expert for learning and development technology, which led him to being a leader of a learning and development technology team. Over the last few years. He has researched, implemented practice and manage the evolving mindsets, practices, technology and methods being used by organizations in the digital transformation era and implemented those within learning and development as both a leader and consultant. He’s also a writer of L and D transformation on LinkedIn. Joe currently lives in Germantown, Wisconsin with his wife and the last of his three daughters, three cats and a dog. He’s the only male in the house. Joe Dunlap. Are you ready to help us get over the hump? I am ready to help you get over the hump man. I’m glad you’re here now giving my Legion a little bit about you, but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we get to know you even better? So you actually said at gym it stopped training a lot. What I write about,

 

Joe Dunlap:: (03:00)

a lot of what I consult about right now is changing that mindset and practice that a lot of learning and development leaders have had for a long time. I am certainly one of those individuals. And where we always thought about the course, we always thought about an E learning course or a workshop or instruct something instructor led. And in today’s environment, especially with the digital transformation, we just don’t have that time anymore. We have to go over it much quicker for our clients and we have to be able to pivot on a moment’s notice, you know? And so with the growing cost skills gaps that we’ve seen, we’re hearing about this all the time. It’s how do we now deliver faster? And so what I’m trying to encourage or influence people to do is move away from that training mindset into other possibilities.

 

Jim Rembach: : (03:40)

Well, and I think what you talk about there is, to me, this isn’t really focused in on one particular industry. In addition, I think there’s a lot of things that are advancing right now in the whole artificial intelligence and business automation space, but also impacting what we’re talking about from a learning and development perspective. So when you can’t, if you can kind of give us a little bit about, uh, I’ll look into the impact of what AI can be on stopping training.

 

Joe Dunlap:: (04:08)

Oh, I mean, when you think about all of this, and especially AI is that, um, if I’m thinking about it from an employee’s perspective or an organizational perspective, is now how are we growing those skill sets? You know, five years ago, if you and I were having this conversation and someone said, get a scientist, we both were to look at each other with a question Mark in the day. That same road is making $170,000 a year for a guy to sign. Okay. So the utilization of AI, machine learning, you’re now starting to see, um, positions or occupations that didn’t exist in anybody’s tongue three years ago, four years ago. There’s not even degrees for somebody, but there are people who’ve grown up with these skill sets and have learned how to analyze data and work with machine learning who are now making a lot of money. But that’s now challenging. You know, all the employees within an organization of how are they only on moving as part of this digital transformation to grow those skillsets to be, um, help the organization remain competitive within their industry?

 

Jim Rembach: : (05:07)

Well, even when you talk about that and I don’t, this whole new job thing is quite interesting and well eaten for me. What I see AI working in the contact center space and customer experience space is that AI is being used as, you know, a job aid is being used as a, you know, process flow, you know, you know, follow the leader tool. Uh, is also when you put that into the whole learning and development mix really causing, you know, more and more or reinforcing more of that stop training, you know, type of focus. And there’s one of the things that you and I had had an opportunity to talk about is you talked about that, that mindset and that first approach and the first approach used to be build a course. Now you’re saying the approach needs to be different. What does it need to be

 

Joe Dunlap:: (05:56)

well know? And I’m

 

Jim Rembach: : (05:57)

guilty of this is that, you know, the, the first thing I typically did throughout my career is, okay, let’s go with the solution mindset. And typically that was of course it may have been new learning and may have been instructor led. Now it’s part of this digital transformation on learning new ways like design thinking and agile, which is, let’s talk about the problem because very often the problem has multiple facets to it and learning development is only one piece of solving that particular problem. And so it’s bringing the right people together at the table to brainstorm around multiple ways to do that. And more importantly, Jim, like you talked about, is that, um, you know, once that training is done, let’s go back to that idea of, okay, I did a course or I did a workshop or whatever it was, is now what’s next?

 

Jim Rembach: : (06:39)

Because that’s not the end of the story, you know, is that once they’ve gained that competency, that skill that knows whatever it is now, how are you helping them? Like you were just talking about in their flow of work, when they’re actually applying that knowledge, what challenges, uh, what successes are they having? What resources do they need on the job to help them continue to grow? Well, I think for me there’s also, you and I talked about the difference between things that are more technical than short term. Yes. In regards to job skills are concerned and then other elements which are more longterm and journey and development things. Yes. So I would dare to say one of the things that I’ve looked at a lot and have been trying to bring into the contact center world is what is referred to as blended learning. But a lot of really familiar with what blended learning is. If you could kind of help us,

 

Joe Dunlap:: (07:32)

you know, I think blended learning has multiple connotations. So you know, when you think about blended learning is what are those resources now that help that individual to continue learning and growing? So an example with a previous client, we were utilizing an internal Yammer channel. So social media, we are creating a role-based and or skill-based groups in which these people could come together and share their knowledge and expertise and resources. We’re pointing them right? Uh, we are utilizing SharePoint as a way of content management because this is where the worked and these were the tools that they worked with, uh, you know, creating short videos to very often my team and I, we would actually literally take our phones or iPhones or Samsung or whatever they used and go and show videos of people working out particular problems and sharing how they solve those problems. And then just literally posting that as a very rough video for other people to use as resources. So you start to think about that learning journey. There are so many different ways in which learning people now actually go past the means of acquiring learning, but finding out what your vendors are using and then incorporating that into your overall deliverables.

 

Jim Rembach: : (08:34)

You and I talked about, uh, the transformation of the learning and development leader. And as you were talking right there, I started really thinking about, you know, the, the nuance, the art and the science of all of this. And, and that is, for example, like SharePoint, well it’s a good tool for certain organizations, but then for other organizations it is, so you have to use a different tool so that all kinds of different solutions that really have to be explored and understood. But it does start with that mindset and be first and first of all, but I see one of the transformation points for a learning and development leader and then they think about it from even from a member perspective, as someone who’s responsible for overall performance, I may not be a traditionally trained L and D leader, but yet I’m responsible, you know, as supervisor or manager for people’s performance and getting the work done is that, you know, I need to start thinking about overall knowledge assets and manage assets. Yes,

 

Joe Dunlap:: (09:31)

absolutely. And now it’s, where do I find those assets? How am I voting on? And they’re looking for those people. And so it’s this idea of learning and development growing itself. And some of the things that I write about is go create your own work. You know, so if you’re listening, if you’re in the lunch room, the water cooler, so to speak, you’re hearing these stories, these pain points that exist across the organization. Go after them, start digging into those stories to find out how painful is this experience, this knowledge is skill, whatever it is, start finding those and start meeting those learners where they’re at like you’re talking about. Because you’ll find is I’ve found that all of a sudden you’re creating your own backlog. Before that people were saying, Hey, you built this. Can you help me build this? Or how can you, can we start to curate these resources together and where can we put those resources that help people at that moment?

 

Jim Rembach: : (10:18)

Well, and I think Joe, I mean you, you could probably give better insight into this than I can is that you are talking about how overall, you know, learning and development and the need for it and really the demand for it has quite changed. And with that organizational importance. So when we start talking about strategic value, it used to be, Oh my gosh, don’t train them cause no lead. Um, and I think that’s changing too. How have you seen the strategic importance of learning and development change just within the past couple of years?

 

Joe Dunlap:: (10:48)

Oh, you know, if you just read a news article, Jim, there’s not a week that goes by where I do not see a CEO or several CEOs who talk about the importance of becoming a learning organization. You know, and I share some of these quotes when I see them on my LinkedIn profile. Um, there was one recently I shared last week and I’m paraphrasing here by the CEO of work who said that, you know, he talked about the scale of an organization is losing its relevance to the speed of the organization’s learning capacity. And I think he hits the nail on the head is native. We cannot continue to grow our employees and grow their skill sets and our competencies. We’re going to lose to our competition if they’re moving faster than we, and many organizations are now recognizing this. In fact, there was, I think it was a week or two ago that a bunch of CEOs came out and said, we no longer can focus on shareholder value.

 

Joe Dunlap:: (11:37)

We have to focus on our employees and proving their value. And I think that that message has now made its way across a lot of industries and a lot of CEOs are recognizing. So the quote, like you said, you know, the CFO said to the CEO, what if we train them and they leave and the CEO says, what if we don’t? And they stay. Right. So like you just said, you can’t continue to go out and buy the skillsets. You want to have to start growing them. You’re going to start rescaling people. Cause there’s just not enough people who aren’t around. And that need is growing so quickly that you have to respond to it. So I think you hit the nail on that. Okay. So when we start talking about, you know, going through a transformation process, you know, you talk about the mindset, you know, I, if I start looking at an organization that is, you know, doing some of the things that they’ve just always done because their great habit, we build all these processes around them.

 

Joe Dunlap:: (12:28)

You know what, we can do it fast, but you know, the effectiveness has gone away. What are two things that you often have to cause them or you have to really encourage them to step away from? Yes, so one of the first things that I do, especially when I’m starting an initiative is I’m making sure that I’m getting buy in by all the leaders impacted. And I did this very recently with a client was we were going to roll out this leadership initiative. And so I met with all the leaders across the organization and I had several leaders maybe probably close to about a fourth of them who said, Joe right now is not the time we have these other priorities going on. And I really appreciated him saying that because it allowed me to focus on those people who were ready to embrace that at that moment and be my advocates as well.

 

Joe Dunlap:: (13:11)

And they made a world of difference because they were full head, they were fooling and supportive and they were able to push forward. And that way when some of those other leaders were finally ready to haven’t gotten those other priorities off of their fight, so to speak, they were now ready to embrace it too because I was meeting them at their right moment. Well, you know, as you were saying that I also started thinking of the fact that, you know, once they decided to essentially take themselves out and they saw other people embracing it, moving ahead, it was a threat. Yes, exactly. And it’s funny, I did a, a couple of years ago, I was with a large company and you know, like you said, it was 150 years old. They had a lot of processes in place. Uh, certainly the organization, organizational culture was very much face to face and things like that.

 

Joe Dunlap:: (13:55)

And he realized that they were just not keeping up with their competition. So they were going through this organizational change. You know, and culture always trumps everything. So you know, the CEO recognized we have to start shrinking our culture and there’s early adopters and late adopters. And so by helping in, in leading that particular change, I went for the early adopters first because they became my advocates for the people who are still kind of sitting back saying, wow, this is the flavor of the day. We’ll just wait two years and he’ll be gone. By the time they finally realized that this was not going away, there was a whole lot of stories out there and resources for them to become fully engaged with it as well as having good mentors. So to me, I think it goes back to that whole short term versus long term focus and that if I’m someone who needs to go through this transformation and I, well let me take a step back and I would say that everybody needs to go through this transformation even with call center coach Academy, see so many organizations

 

Jim Rembach: : (14:53)

that you know, really don’t understand what the whole difference between, you know, task, um, short term technical skill and long term, you know, leadership development, you know, really is, it’s absolutely, unfortunately, like you said, we all kind of opt for the classroom. We opt for the workshop, we, you know, we think that, you know, Hey, just give them the information and then therefore the action’s going to happen. And it’s just not the way it works.

 

Joe Dunlap:: (15:21)

You’re right, you’re absolutely right. In fact, actually I was leading initiative with the context in a very recently and we became aware of some pain points that certainly were not trained and there were no resources in which to help those costs in a representative with that. And so we built out a number of materials, basically job AIDS to help men with that. But it was very hard for leadership to start now embracing this idea of these huddle type of trainings versus a classroom based to bring people up with speed on these things. And I struggled with it a little bit to be honest with you because in my mind as I’m looking at this information, I knew that the customer service reps were not well versed in these topics because they were pain points. The quality was showing that, but they were focused, like you said, on the metrics and meeting service level agreements and not recognizing that, okay, you know, the, the forest for the trees so to speak, is that okay, but these pain points don’t go away if you don’t address them so great and you meet your service levels, great, you need your quality, but you’re still not helping the customer because your customer service reps don’t understand the information that’s in front of them.

 

Joe Dunlap:: (16:22)

And I’m still pounding away at that gym. I really am. There’s some people who have now started to come around and say, okay, let’s try some things. There’s sound. We’re still kind of pushing back on me on that. It’s a culture shift.

 

Jim Rembach: : (16:32)

Well, and I think what you said, kind of going back a little bit full circle, you started talking about truly uncovering, you know, the the problem and being really where the mindset set shift needs to happen. Yup. Oh, when you start talking about, you know, that different lens and, and the, and you causing people to look in places that they, you know, are just not accustomed to doing. Yes. What do you often find that is preventing you from making people to make that head turn?

 

Joe Dunlap:: (17:01)

Very often it’s the organizational culture is that, you know, they built up a, for lack of a better word, the command and control structure. And so when those subject matter experts who very often become those call center leaders, get into those roles, you know, they come with great technical knowledge, but like you just said, there’s, it’s very hard for them to look outside of just my channel right in front of me. Do you understand that there’s a whole lot of stuff that’s going on around here that is impacting what you’re doing, you know, and that can help you to benefit that. And so it’s just overcoming that organizational culture is that there’s a lot of players who can bring in hands, productivity and effectiveness if you’re willing to now embrace some of that mindset versus the straight ahead parallel linear thinking.

 

Jim Rembach: : (17:43)

Well, and you know, S and KPI’s are important for every single part of a business. Those key performance indicators. So could kind of give me an understanding of that, that when that shift has occurred, get on board, they start doing things differently. What are we talking about as far as a KPI impact?

 

Joe Dunlap:: (18:02)

You know, I’ve been incorporating some different measures lately and so one of the things that a lot of organizations are looking at is employee engagement. You know, so as we talk about the world digital transformation and social media, I’ve been incorporating some measures that might be typically used on a Twitter or Facebook or something like that. So if we push out some videos or some learning resources, not only my sharing their usage, but I’m sharing how many shares, how many likes, how many did they share that with? And so I’m trying to incorporate more measures based on the deliverable and the channels that I use that now help build a much bigger story for my client to see that there’s a much bigger picture out here than just simply for instance, ROI or some of the key measures that they’re looking at. Because you know, it’s very easy for us to get logged into like, did we meet our potty metrics or did we meet our service level of bringing through things like that. But there’s sort of, like you just said, there’s a whole lot of other story out there that once they start to become aware of it, you start to see that light bulb come on in their head is, Oh wait a minute. There’s some other things out here that really make a difference, especially when you’re talking about a call center environment to keep people here versus the kind of retention problems that most experience.

 

Jim Rembach: : (19:10)

Well, gosh, Joe, as you were talking and I started seeing the role and the skills zone, the L and D people and again, even if they’re traditionally trained or are, if they’re in a manager role, that that needs to shift and let me to to quite a significant degree for some cause I mean as you were just describing what you were doing, I mean I started thinking about internal communications. Yeah. I started thinking about internal marketing. Yes. That’s, that’s different than just communications. Yeah. Um, you started talking about, um, you know, the whole, um, you know, the cultural aspects and the cultural transformation piece, performance management. I mean, I’m starting to see a whole different level of skills that are needed inL and D people that just didn’t exist.

 

Joe Dunlap:: (19:52)

Yeah. And I think that’s part of what’s going on with the digital transformation. My personal experience with this has been, uh, in a, in an organization that was working agile is that in some cases I was leading an effort, so I might’ve been referred to as a product owner. In other cases, I’m rolling up my sleeves and I’m an individual contributor. And so I was taking on those roles as we started to see how learning was being consumed and the ways in which it was being consumed by learners, you have to meet them where they’re at. You know? So the idea of me dragging you as that learner to the learning management system is not working anymore. It’s, I now need to come to where Jim does his work and deliver to Jim in a way that he wants to deliver it. So I might need to learn how to use Twitter or Instagram or learn how to, uh, make an edit videos or learn how to be a web developer and SharePoint. And so whatever it is that your, your learners are using, you’re building those skill sets and that helps you in your future gym. Because again, you may be in instances where maybe you’re not leading that effort and maybe even learning as a part of that, but you have a role or multiple roles, you might be able to plan that becomes, that makes you much more valuable.

 

Jim Rembach: : (20:59)

Well, Joe, I would dare to say with, uh, the transformation that you’re talking about and I see it with all types of transformations that, you know, we really need to focus, we need some inspiration and, and we need some things that are, you know, continual reminders of, you know, the effort that we need to put forth in the resilience. And one of the things that we look at on the show to help us with that, those types of things are quotes. So is there a quote or two that you like you can share?

 

Joe Dunlap:: (21:24)

I do. There’s actually two quotes. So for any individual and learning development, it goes like this. If you are learning, you are growing. If you ain’t growing, what are you doing? Right. And so that’s actually a quote on my LinkedIn page. Um, and um, I lovely woman who was the vice president down at an organization, Nebraska, found that one time and massively distributed that across a whole network of people. And then I started getting all these people liking and sharing and his domestic, you mean whatever your LinkedIn messaging. I was like, wow, that’s fantastic that they really meant that much to her. Something that resonated with her and it resonated with her network, you know, as a learning and development leader is that one of the most valuable things I learned from a previous leader was you got to have humility and humor about yourself.

 

Joe Dunlap:: (22:12)

You know, because you can’t know everything. You are not the expert in everything. And so I very much follow the Steve jobs mindset is I don’t hire smart people to tell them what to do. I hire smart people to tell me what to do. So as I’m growing my team, I’ve grown two teams in my history. Um, I’m bringing them on board because they bring skill sets to the table that I don’t have. I don’t need somebody else telling me or doing what I already do. I need somebody doing what I can’t do and showing me how to do. And I’ve been very fortunate in my past where I brought in the right group of people who had skill sets beyond what I had, and I’m asking them, okay, show me what it is we need to do. Tell me what it is we need to do, and helping us to lead to new discoveries and new journey.

 

Jim Rembach: : (22:53)

Well, Joe, talking about building those teams, talking about transformation, talking about taking a different path than what everybody else was going down. I mean, those are things that happen because of learning experiences that we’ve had and I’m sure we talked about getting over the hump because they set us hopefully in a better direction and most oftentimes they do. Is there a time where you’d got over the pump that you can share?

 

Joe Dunlap:: (23:14)

Yeah, absolutely. I was with an organization about five, six years ago and I was talking about it earlier. They were starting to lose to their competition. You know, they had very traditional hierarchies and processes and other organizations were being much more experimental and innovative and they were doing things faster. And the organization that I worked for realized we’re losing to our competition. We need to change the way we do. And so with that initiative, I challenged my team and they challenged me in the same mindset was we need to start thinking differently how we deliver learning and how we support performance across this organization. And so through a number of brainstorming and strategy sessions, we started coming up with ideas based on the things that we had heard across the organization of the how and the means of which people were actually learning. So we started exploring the use of video.

 

Joe Dunlap:: (24:03)

We started exploring the use of social media, the internal Yammer channel. I talked about how to become web developers and SharePoint. So we started moving away from that whole training mindset is starting to look more of this. What is that learning ecosystem is for an individual or for a team? And what is the learning journey that we create? And so that really became our mindset was it was no longer easy or no longer could we go through the idea of a one and done and we move on. It was, you’re building a course, uh, you’re doing some instructor led workshop. It’s what’s next. Now you’re following that story as those individuals, whether they be leaders or individual contributors as they go on, apply that knowledge and skill. You follow them through those experiences to say, okay, what were your successes? What were your challenges? What would have helped? You know? And you start to build up all the resources they need around that, that, that way, hopefully, hopefully over a short period of time, the next person who comes through that learning journey has a much easier than the person that went before them. And you just keep improving.

 

Jim Rembach: : (25:04)

Well, I would dare to say the whole transformation process also takes a while. Uh, and also when I start talking, I’m thinking about learning and development, you know, transforming and people doing things different, you know, that’s just going to take well. But what I still, you know, you and the whole, you know, stop training method and, and focus and all of that. Um, I started thinking about you having certain goals and also the content that you create and all of that. But if I was to look at one goal that you had, what should I be looking at?

 

Joe Dunlap:: (25:33)

One goal for me is continuous learning is I am always looking for what’s my next thing to learn about. And I’m basing that on what I’m seeing in the industry, right? So most recently, like for instance, the world economic forum came out with their top 20 skills for 2020 critical thinking, creative thinking, things like that. So those are the things I start exploring for myself. So that way when I’m having these dialogues with people, I can share what I’ve learned on my journey, which helps make me, hopefully I’m better, I better bring more value and a better partner to my clients and to the people I work with. [inaudible]

 

Jim Rembach: : (26:07)

and the fast leader Legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on, let’s get a quick word from our sponsor.

 

Speaker 5: (26:14)

And 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 work relationships with their colleagues and your customers. To learn more about an even better place to work. Visit [inaudible] dot com

 

Jim Rembach: : (26:33)

four slash better. All right. Fast leader Legion. It’s time for the

 

Speaker 5: (26:37)

Oh Oh,

 

Jim Rembach: : (26:40)

okay. But they hold on as a part of our where you give

 

Jim Rembach: : (26:44)

us good insights. I’m don’t ask several questions and your job is to give us robust yet read responses are going to help us move onward and upward. Facile. Joe Dunlap, are you ready to hold down? I’m ready to hold down. Alright, so what is holding you back from being an even better leader today? Organizational culture it at, you’re still fighting it.

 

Joe Dunlap:: (27:03)

An organizational culture that exist and changing those mindset and practices will always slow you down.

 

Jim Rembach: : (27:09)

What is the best leadership advice you’ve ever received?

 

Joe Dunlap:: (27:13)

The best leadership advice I ever received is be humble in your practice and have humor in yourself, knowing that you’re not going to be the person who knows everything and it’s good to have humor about that as you actually becoming a better leader every day.

 

Jim Rembach: : (27:27)

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

 

Joe Dunlap:: (27:32)

Um, did I listen to smart people? I want the advice of people who are telling me what they think the solution is versus going along my own immediate solution or thought process.

 

Jim Rembach: : (27:42)

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

 

Joe Dunlap:: (27:47)

Uh, I think it is that personal approach. So like I talked about before, it’s embracing that other people have opinions and ideas and experiences and that I want to hear them so that I can incorporate them into my overall effort of what I’m trying to produce.

 

Jim Rembach: : (28:01)

And what would be one book that you’d recommend to our Legion? And it could be from any genre.

 

Joe Dunlap:: (28:06)

Um, I would recommend really, uh, it’s actually more of a documentary and it’s something I saw various and recently recently on Netflix and it’s the Steve jobs bill Gates story. And as you watch and it just covers their entire history from the 1970s well into 2000 and it talks about how they changed an entire industry. They’ve made an entire industry. Um, so here’s two individuals that have both dropped out of college. They both had these ideas of how to now transform the way that we work, the way that we live. And that to me was valuable as I watched that documentary because I think we’re seeing it. We see it every day is that we have these people who are transforming the way that we live and we have to open up our mindset. Anything is possible.

 

Jim Rembach: : (28:48)

Okay. Past literal age and you can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going to fast leader.net/ Joe Dunlap. Okay, Joe, this is my last hump. Hold on question. Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25 and you have all the knowledge and skills that you have now and at durability to take back, but you can’t take it all and you can only take one. So what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

 

Joe Dunlap:: (29:12)

What skill or piece of knowledge would I take back with me? Um, the openness to change and the reason I would do that is because I think very early in my career and certainly throughout my time as a leader, probably told that within the last seven to 10 years because I had a mindset in place of what a leader did and how they thought. And then I was giving orders and telling people to do this. And now seeing the transformation that we, and I wish I would have stepped back much earlier in my career and embraced other and processes and ideas that probably would’ve made me a much better individual contributor and leader than I am today. Joe, it was fun to spend time with you today. Can you please share what the best leader Legion, how they can connect with you? Absolutely. You can find me on my LinkedIn profile. Joseph Dunlap. Uh, I am currently an independent contractor and I live in Germantown, Wisconsin. I would love to hear from you,

 

Jim Rembach: : (30:03)

Joe Dunlap. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom. The past leave Legion honors you and thank you for helping us get over the hump. Thank you for joining me on the fast leader show today. For recaps, links from every show, special offers and access to download and subscribe. If you haven’t already, head on over fast leader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster.

[/expand]

143: Josh Seibert: I’m not good at giving up

Josh Seibert Show Notes Page

Josh Seibert was a successful sales professional. He was promoted to a sales manager and all he had to do was teach people to be like him. Josh then proceeded to take a mediocre sales team and turn them into a failing sales team. That’s when he learn his most valuable lesson ever.

Josh was born and raised in the small town of Sharonville Ohio. Typical traditional “Rockwell” style, blue collar family of four with one sister… until his parents added another sister and a set of triplet boys to the family during his teenage years.  Although he had an older sister, Josh was the first-born son in the family which came with high expectations.  Solid values including honor, integrity and a hard work ethic were instilled by his father. Inspiration and a “Can Do” attitude was his mother’s gift to him.

Josh volunteered and served six years in the elite force of the United States Submarine Navy. He will tell you that it was truly an honor and a distinct privilege to have served our country. “The Submarine Force built and instilled in me the highest high levels of courage, commitment, respect during a time when sadly, those of us who were serving weren’t as welcomed by our society as they thankfully are today.  He has always been proud and thankful for the opportunity and for all who have ever served”.

During submarine school in Groton Connecticut, Josh found his “Bride” and even now, after over 40 years of marriage, he still refers to Ann as his bride. Ann and Josh have three daughters and 8 grandchildren…including a set of twins.

After his service in the Submarine Navy, Josh entered the world of sales with Prudential Financial in Charleston SC. After building a successful insurance practice, he entered Management and began to climb the corporate ladder and became the Director of Sales Training for the company. After a 20-year career and years of extensive corporate travel (living on planes and in hotels) and faced with yet another move, in 1999 Josh acquired a Sandler Training franchise and began to build a training & development business in Greensboro NC.

Josh is often heard on local as well as national business/talk radio. He has written numerous articles for business magazines and is a well-known informational, motivational and inspirational key note speaker. And is the author of Winning from Failing.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

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

“In every role, we’re either growing or failing.” -Josh Seibert Click to Tweet 

“We learn so much more from experiential learning than we do from knowledge transfer.” -Josh Seibert Click to Tweet 

“Experiential learning that follows knowledge determines whether or not we adopt it.” -Josh Seibert Click to Tweet 

“There’s a difference between failure and failing.” -Josh Seibert Click to Tweet 

“We have to shift the paradigm of understanding the value of failing.” -Josh Seibert Click to Tweet 

“Whatever result we’re looking for, we get there by changing our behavior.” -Josh Seibert Click to Tweet 

“If we’re protected from failure it doesn’t allow the full circle of the learning path.” -Josh Seibert Click to Tweet 

“Those that are very good at what they do have a coach.” -Josh Seibert Click to Tweet 

“Coaching is caught, not taught.” -Josh Seibert Click to Tweet 

“Many leaders have never been developed in the coaching role.” -Josh Seibert Click to Tweet 

“Skills are built on the job, not in a training room.” -Josh Seibert Click to Tweet 

“To own it, you’re going to have to use it effectively on the job.” -Josh Seibert Click to Tweet

“I’m okay with failing, but I’m not good at giving up.” -Josh Seibert Click to Tweet 

“A learning culture is so very different from the typical cultures in business.” -Josh Seibert Click to Tweet 

“The only thing that could hold me back is self.” -Josh Seibert Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Josh Seibert was a successful sales professional. He was promoted to a sales manager and all he had to do was teach people to be like him. Josh then proceeded to take a mediocre sales team and turn them into a failing sales team. That’s when he learn his most valuable lesson ever.

Advice for others

Learn the value of failing.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Nothing. The only thing that could hold me back is self.

Best Leadership Advice

Never give up.

Secret to Success

My core values. My honor won’t let me quit.

Best tools that helps in Business or Life

My belief.

Recommended Reading

Transforming Leaders The Sandler Way

Winning From Failing

Contacting Josh Seibert

web: http://www.training.sandler.com

email: joshs [at] sandler.com

Phone: 336-884-1438

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/josh-seibert-a06a1a4/  

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SandlerSays

Resources and Show Mentions

Developing a Better Place to Work

Increase Employee Engagement and Workplace Culture

Empathy Mapping

54 Emotional Intelligence (EQ) Competencies List: Emotional Intelligence has proven to be the right kind of intelligence to have if you want to move onward and upward faster. Get your free list today.

 

Show Transcript: 

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

143: Josh Seibert: I’m not good at giving up

Intro:  Welcome to the Fast Leader podcast where we explore convenient yet effective shortcuts that will help you get ahead and move forward faster by becoming a better leader. And now here’s your host customer and employee engagement expert and certified emotional intelligence practitioner, Jim Rembach.

The number one thing that contributes to customer loyalty is emotions so move onward and upward faster by gaining significantly deeper insight and understanding of your customer journey and personas with emotional intelligence. With your empathy mapping workshop you’ll learn how to evoke and influence the right customer emotions that generate improve customer loyalty and reduce your cost to operate. Get over your emotional hump now by going to empathymapping.com to learn more. 

Jim Rembach:   Okay, Fast Leader legion, today I’m excited because I actually have the opportunity interview somebody who’s local to me I’ve known him for a long time, actually many, many years ago. I’m just so just so glad that we get to reconnect because he’s talking about something that is critically important for us to be able to do in today’s world to really develop a stronger work-culture environment and really people –centric skill set.

Josh Seibert was born and raised in the small town of Sharonville, Ohio. Typical traditional Rockwell style, blue-collar family of four with one sister until his parents added another sister and a set of triplet boys to the family during his teenage years. Although he had an older sister, Josh was the firstborn son in the family which came with high expectations. Solid values including honor, integrity and a hard work ethic were instilled by his father, inspiration and a can-do attitude was his mother’s gift to him. Josh volunteered and served six years in the elite force of the United States submarine Navy. He will tell you that it was truly an honor and a distinct privilege to have served our country. 

The submarine force built and instill in him the highest levels of courage, commitment, and respect during a time when those that were serving weren’t necessarily welcomed by our society as thankfully they are today. He has always been proud and thankful for the opportunity and for all who have ever served. During submarine school in Groton, Connecticut, Josh found his bride and even now 40 after years of marriage he still refers to Anne as his bride. Anne and Josh have three daughters and eight grandchildren including a set of twins. After his service in the submarine Navy, Josh entered the world of sales with Prudential Financial in Charleston, South Carolina. After building a successful insurance practice he entered management and began to climb the corporate ladder and became the director of sales training for the company. After a 20-year career and years of extensive corporate travel living on planes and in hotels and faced with yet another move in 1999, Josh acquired a Sandler training franchise and began to build a training and development business in Greenville, North Carolina. 

Josh is often heard on local as well as national business talk radio. He has written numerous articles for business magazines and is a well-known informational and motivational inspirational keynote speaker and the author of Winning from Failing. Josh Seibert, are you ready to help us get over the hump 

Josh Seibert:    As best I can, thanks for having me on the show, Jim. 

Jim Rembach:   I’m glad you’re here. Now I’ve given our 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?

Josh Seibert:    My current passion is in the realm of training and development, leadership development and building a learning culture. I love doing the work. I’ve been doing it for over 30 years now and I can’t see myself doing anything else moving forward.

Jim Rembach:   It’s easy to think from the perspective of Sandler and the work that you do of sales that Sandler selling systems, Sandler selling processes, however, when I start looking at your book Winning from Failing and  I was going through it, it really isn’t just sales–centric or focus it’s much more than that. 

Josh Seibert:    Yes, the focus of the book is how—there’s a lot of how to sell and the selling systems, the techniques, and how to manage sales people and to manage the sales organizations.  There’s systems and processes and techniques that are specific to those roles—the sales role, the manager role, the leader role. The book that I wrote is more about structuring a learning culture such that development can be ongoing and supported and never ever stop. So the book focuses in the passion that I have focuses more about how to build a learning culture and really span it across everything even beyond sales and in every role either we’re growing or we’re failing. In small business, midsize businesses , they struggle and many leaders struggle with how do I get from where I am to where I want to be is this huge gap? How do I get there? And how do I not get back there to that gap again? 

Jim Rembach:   And I think that’s a really good point. As you were talking and I started thinking about what I’ve read and reviewed in your in your book that doesn’t happen overnight. And it often is a situation where you where you have to build in the timeline and expectations and like you said, the systems and the processes in order to develop and get there, you can’t push the process. 

Josh Seibert:    No, you didn’t get there overnight. We have not created or I have not discovered the purple pill that will allow one to get where they want to go overnight to be developed, to grow, to train, to fill in those gaps that are significant overnight. When I do find that little purple pill, I will sell it for a whole lot more than what I charge today.

Jim Rembach:   That reminds me of us saying that my father has always had, it says, when he figures out to put ten pounds of manure in a five-pound bag he knows he’s really done something well and he’s going to make a whole lot of money.

Josh Seibert:    That’s right, well done.

Jim Rembach:   There was something in the book that kind of resonated with me so strongly in that when you start thinking of human behavior and human expectations when it comes to learning and development we’ll say things and like you have in the book, “Hey, can’t we just hold a weekend training event or a single intensive or half-day super intensive or keynote speech that will transform everyone overnight?” But the  fact is that you say that, “Time and experience has shown that the only way that adults learn is by doing and the only way adults get around to doing something at an acceptable level of mastery is by failing trying again it’s just how humans are wired.

Josh Seibert:    Yeah, it is, it’s how we learn it’s how we grow. We learned so much more from experiential learning than we do from knowledge transfer and typically a one-day program on anything on management success, on leadership success, on sales success you picked the topic all of that knowledge transfer is very important in the learning process. It’s what we do with that knowledge that matters, that experiential learning that follows knowledge determines whether or not we adopted as a sustainable behavior moving forward as opposed to another binder on another shelf. We remember the 90/10 rule, 90 days after a training event, we retain about ten percent of what that knowledge transfer is. Unless there is a strategy to apply it in sustainably fail with it find those boundaries that experiential learning on the back end of it which includes the ability to fail in a determined specific quest to fail with.

Jim Rembach:   Someone referred to it as having a safe environment. Because when you  think in today’s world with a competitive aspect of it when you start thinking about dwindling and shrinking margins when you start thinking about people will say that, failure’s not an option, and that’s driven home in our heads over and over again that you just can’t fail but what we’re also doing by having that behavior, because it does come out as a behavior, is that we prevent any innovation, any creative thinking, people are just going to start following the process because it’s safe. 

Josh Seibert:    Right. One day we’ll all be minions as it were if we’re not careful that overprotection that happens Jim. I think it stems from the culture, the generations that moved forward as well. We baby boomers, I’ll speak for myself, protected our children from things that my father never protected me from and allowed me to experience those failures as I grew up in a small town in Ohio I didn’t have that and nor did he want that. I think there’s a difference and there’s a paradigm shift, I think there’s a difference between failure and failing. Here’s what I mean by that, being a failure is a self-esteem issue, it’s a self-esteem it’s a self-image issue is very damaging so being a failure is to me catastrophic. But failing from a control it from a role perspective I can be, what we call identity wise, I can feel very, very  good about who I am as a person and I should in my own eyes and eyes of God I’m perfect. Now am perfect in the roles? No, I have many roles in life, I’m a father, I’m a husband, I’m a son, I’m a trainer, I’m a leader, I do many things in my life and some days I do them very, very well in other days I don’t perform as well. But that is a role it’s failing in a role as opposed to a failure as a person. So first thing we have to shift the paradigm of understanding the value of failing as opposed to defining who is a failure.

Jim Rembach:   I think that’s a very important distinction that we often blur the lines on. One of the things I think, to kind of help really give—let me take a step back and say that one of the things that I really like about Sandler is that it you guys really do a good job of creating visuals and processes and frameworks that make practical sense and are just so easy to follow. One of the things that you shared in the book was called the knowing to owning a type of progression. Almost maturity processor or pathway and it talks about knowledge, application, skills, habits and then results.

Josh Seibert:    Right, you begin with the end in mind, what kind of a result are you looking for? There’s something we’re looking for when we’re about ready to make a change. And whatever that result that we’re looking for we get there by changing our behavior. If we continue to do the same things over and over again expecting a different result we know that’s the definition of insanity. So we know that if we’re going to have a significant impact on long-term results then we have to have a sustainable behavioral change that supports that result. The tough formula is to allow us to take it from knowing what we should do, need to do, want to do and owning the behaviors as it were, it’s muscle memory you just own it. I once heard and play a little bit of golf and I don’t know if you do Jim, I’m not very good at it I’m better at what I do here that I am at golf, but golf is very simple the game itself is very simple execution is the problem but it’s a very simple game. In most sports if you use sports analogies most of them are very simple in theory but execution is where it is and that’s behavioral base. Going from knowledge to that sustainable behavioral change in effect is going from knowing something to owning it. When you own it you don’t think about it you just do it and later you can peel the onion back and think about what you did, what you did right what you could have better those things. But as we pick up the phone and dial it we own that behavior we don’t think about what we have to do and that’s the process.

Jim Rembach:   Thanks for sharing that. When I start looking at this it’s almost like the arc to impact. Meaning that like you were saying earlier when you start thinking about adult learning or learning in general is that, hey we only retain so much but it’s still get its information. Information does not deliver impact nor will it ever when you start thinking about in the workplace and growing an organization or even fending off competition or any of those things that we talked about on a day-to-day life basis. It has to get to the point where we do some behavior modification you have to practice it you have to be willing to fail so that you’re not a failure because in fact if you don’t do that you will become a failure.

Josh Seibert:    Well if we’re protected from failure it doesn’t allow the full circle of the learning path to happen. We celebrate success, those good things happen we tend to engages in endorphin release and we’re happy about those things it’s a right-brain emotional experience is what happens. So oftentimes we truncate the learning from successes because we’re happy and elated and feel good about what just happened. The real learning process happens is balancing that against what it feels like, looks like, and sounds like when we do fail and we balance those two things and then we can take the next step on the learning path. 

Jim Rembach:   One of the things that you share in a book is one of those that I always see people really also confusing and quite frankly just totally messing up big time is you talk about the four roles. In the learning and development type of organization you have to make sure that you know these four roles and you know which one you’re in. Those four roles are the supervisor role, the training role, the mentoring role and the coaching role.

Josh Seibert:    Yes, most leaders of organizations or managers spend a whole lot of time as it were in the supervisor role that one is what’s required by the company of course by the organization that’s what makes it run. It’s the overseer, it’s the supervisors the one who makes certain processes take place, people are accountable measures them implements them those types of things so it’s a supervisor role. As a matter of fact most leaders will spend most managers will spend about 45% or should spend about 45% of the time in that role because that’s a very, very important role but I always relate that role to the other three roles. And then just imagine you’re on a mission to go to the moon there’s NASA they’re down there in Houston that’s the supervisor role. And they’re monitoring and they’re measuring the flight of that rocket that’s going to the moon at each stage each step they’re directing the other elements to move that. Do we turn this burner on? Do we turn that burner on? What do we do next? And how do we engage with that? Or relate those things to the coach, the mentor and the trainer role that we have when we’re running that organization. Sometimes the supervisory role pulls up an opportunity that someone is not performing. Well, if it’s a “can’t perform” that’s different from addressing a “won’t perform.” A “won’t perform” that’s a counseling issue. If someone will not do the behavior and it’s not because they cannot do the behavior then we go to the counseling role. But coaching role, training role and mentoring role all comes from they can’t the inability to. So if we’ve discovered that they’re not performing or someone is not then we have to engage that coaching role that training role and that mentor role. They have to be in a learning environment to where they can gain the knowledge through some form of training, not that the manager or leader has to do it but they have to support that training. 

We got to ask ourselves, if we’re a leader how are we actually supporting it? And in beyond the—“Josh, you need to go to training” or “Jim, I’ve signed you up for some training” that’s supervisory, that’s task assignment but how are we engaged in supporting that training that should be going on? That’s the training responsibility engaging in that developmental role. The mentor and coaching role equally important, does that trainee when they come back that employee when they come back are they seeing that knowledge that they gained or maybe the skill they started to build in that training and development session, are they seeing that behaviorally in the environment that they come back to? Is the culture I’m actually doing what the training provided for them, is it being supported and from mentor standpoint are we doing it? As leaders, are we mentoring the behavior we’re expecting those to perform? I don’t mean do their job. But if we happen to step in and perform that role we’d better be not working out of a different play book that we’ve told them to learn so that’s a mentor role. But the most important of all of these is everybody needs a coach, everybody needs a coach. If you’re a leader and you’re in management your folks need a coach they need someone there to help them “peel the onion back.” We all had coaches throughout our lifetime whether they were physical sports coaches or they were teachers or they were our parents or guardians or those that helped us along the way and those that are very good at what they do they have a coach whether it’s a sports figure or not everybody has a coach. The best sports figures have a coach and that coach isn’t on the field doing it for them but is supporting them so when they come off the field to help them be brief to learn to help that learning process go forward so someone doesn’t get stuck those four roles are crucial in building and creating a learning environment. 

Jim Rembach:   And it seems to me where I find most people making the mistake is really saying that they’re coaching or thinking that they’re coaching but in fact that is not what they’re doing they’re supervising or training but they’re calling it coaching. 

Josh Seibert:    Yes, you’re absolutely right. Personal training is different from coaching. And what I find like you do is oftentimes they fall into training and telling mode. Telling is not coaching, coaching is caught not taught I learned that a long time ago. Coaching is caught it’s not taught so if you find yourself flipping into this is  how you should do it either through mentoring or you’re in training role. But allowing the learning to happen by being there and helping that person “peel the onion back” and discover for themselves the genius and the brilliance of a coach is to allow that discovery to happen. And to become a coach there is a learning and development process that one must go through to become an effective coach or to be able to perform in that coaching role. Many leaders have never been developed and that coaching role. 

Jim Rembach:   That’s a very good point. For me, I would even say to that I have to stop myself when I want to be or need to be that particular coach to where I don’t do the instructions, I don’t do the show how an I’m like, wait a minute, you already have this in you. As a coach I’m supposed to help you see that connection so that you draw it out, let me pull it out of you. 

Josh Seibert:    That’s correct. We’re not looking at films on Mondays we’re in the Sunday game. Now is not the time to train now is the time to coach so the connections can be made so folks can grow and learn from those and begin to connect those dots when we can’t be on the field with them.

Jim Rembach:   That’s a very good point. Now, what we’re talking about here is just loaded with a whole lot of energy and excitement and emotion and one of the things that we look at on the show are quotes to help provide that. Is there a quote that you like that you can share? 

Josh Seibert:    There’s so many quotes out there that I could share with you but the one that strikes me as related to the book and related to allowing for controlled failure. We also know this in controlled failure, and I’ll get to that quote in just a second, but the control failure, you mentioned it before, means not allowing catastrophic failure for or something someone’s learning along the way what we have to go from that knowledge to application in that we have to apply it in a controlled environment such that it’s first, safe enough and allowing them to do it and then in the environment on the job to build skills. Skills are built on the job they’re not built in a training room they’re started there and they’re refined may be there but really to own it you’re going to have to use it effectively on the job. And that’s where we tend to overprotect we don’t want this person to fail so therefore we jump in and rescue them or we don’t put them in a situation where they have the opportunity of failure we protect them from failure. The quote I heard a long time ago was, “No one has ever achieved anything great by playing it safe”. So we think of all the greatness that’s ever happened it wasn’t someone playing it safe and wasn’t allowed for her it was performed by those who embraced failure’s was part of the process so no one’s ever achieved anything great by playing it safe, that’s the quote I’ve always remember. 

Jim Rembach:   That’s a good one and I think we always have to keep that little voice in our head saying, that one when we go to actually step outside of that comfort zone. When you start talking about—you write in a book of course, family, being married as many years as you had been married, the different careers being a part of the ownership group within that Sandler office there and there’s a lot of humps that we have to get over. Is there a time where you’ve had to get over the hump that you can share?

Josh Seibert:    Oh, gosh if you have gone through a lifetime as long as I have there are multiple humps that you can go back and relate to that I had to get over that we had to get over as a family but specifically to this. I would say and I write about this in the book as well, moving from the role of salesperson I was in the United States submarine Navy for a number of years. And as I went through that journey and exited that career and move into the sales career with the Prudential Financial in Charleston, South Carolina I became and learned through many humps learned how and to overcome adversity and succeed and some training, some coaching, some mentoring but tough road to go and as it were back then.  As one word in the world of sales I climbed that corporate ladder and the first rung on that ladder was when you typically in a sales organization when you’re at the top of your game and you’re at the top of the leader board you get offered the brass ring as it were and you are offered, as I was, a manager position because all you got to do and that’s I heard was Josh you’re doing such a wonderful job all you got to do is teach people to be like you and then show them what you do and wow we can make just music out of this. So, I went from being a professional salesperson into the role of an expectation of being a sales manager while the competency difference between the two was astounding and I failed miserably. In the first six months of that of that process I was able to take a mediocre sales team and turn them in to a failing sales team at that point. So to get over that hump and hang with it and figure that out, what was I doing wrong? And to get through that and succeed at that role that was probably the biggest learning curve that I went through and the most valuable hump in my life I’m one of the most viable what I remember. 

Jim Rembach:   So, I can imagine like many others they have had something similar happened to them, however, when they hit that bottom they’re actually shown a career redirection. You’re fortunate.

Josh Seibert:    ell, I would call it fortunate and persistent. I grew up in a time period and my father had the value of honor and he transferred that value to me and it’s one that I hold near and dear to my heart. I made a promise, and I had to and was compelled to uphold that honor that I that I told them that I would do, so that inspired me as well as—I’m not good at giving up, I’m okay with failing but I’m not good at giving up, so I went in to—look, I’m probably not the best at this but I can’t be the worst there’s got to be something I’m missing. During that process, the epiphany as it were, during that process was discovering that I can’t make many me’s. I can’t make them like me they have to be who they are and I have to allow them to develop and grow with their strengths so I had to not do it for them because I couldn’t sell for twelve people, seven to twelve people, and I certainly couldn’t it was clear that over six months the all you got to do Josh wasn’t working so I had to discover what would work and how it would work. What I discovered was there are certain competencies defining any role, there is one in sales, one is in management, one is in leadership, one is in engineer or a doctor there are certain competencies that make that role work. And when you can work on the gap within the strengths and the weaknesses of one’s competencies and start specifically allowing that development to happen, wonderful things happen. So, instead of trying to hire and create many Joshes that couldn’t happen I had to create a model of competencies that would help them become themselves. And they all today are very independent and that was the epiphany to stop trying to make them look like me.

Jim Rembach:   So the interesting part is that it totally aligns with what you do today because you’re teaching organizations how to essentially do the exact same thing that you went through.

Josh Seibert:    That’s what brought me to today.  I think from that moment on through more humps became successful at that particular role and climbed the corporate ladder at Prudential, end up being the director of sales training for that organization out of Newark, New Jersey, if you’ve ever been to New Jersey God love you. And throughout those rungs on the ladder going through I remember that in every rung of the ladder that I went through and then whatever position that I was in beyond that first one I had to approach it from a learning and development perspective because if it’s what carried me through that and made that strong and when I left it didn’t need me which was wonderful. So the next person that took over that role built upon what I left and didn’t have to replace it, I was very proud of that. It worked on every rung of the ladder that determining what is the outcome that we want, look at the end in mind and start building and developing the people to help achieve that and a learning culture it’s so very different from typical cultures in business. 

Jim Rembach:   So, I know you have a lot of things going on, you have the new book, you are continuing to do your work and helping to be the coach, be the mentor, be the person who helps organizations get over their humps, what is one of your goals?

Josh Seibert:    More of philosophical goal at this particular point, we all go through that process in business of growing. When you open your own business like I did in 1999, I found that my first goal was survival. Let’s just survive this business and many are that way and at some point through survival we get to that next level of what I would be or I’ve heard, it’s a sense of stability. We finally aren’t worried about the things of survival it’s just, can I keep it stable instead of this rocky boat and rollercoaster activity? So the pursuit was stability and then some form of getting it to that success that I had defined back at that time and what would be successful for me I would enjoy that success that of achieving that goal that I had mapped out in the business plan and so forth and I’ve done that a number of years. But really my primary goal now is significance, I used that word in that I’m blessed a lot of hard work and we have a very successful business. Certainly that doesn’t mean that I’m on a plateau by any means, we will continue to grow and continue to work with what we do, but significance is the next goal. How can I take what I’ve done and provide it to be some significance beyond the success that we’ve created here and that’s the passion that I’m moving forward, why I wrote the book. What we did is in the book, it’s what we do it’s how we got success. How I cause significance and transfer to the book itself is one step towards that goal of significance.

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 improves the empathy and emotional intelligence skills in everyone. It provides a continuous diagnostic on employee engagement and provides integrated activities that will improve the leadership and collaboration skills in everyone. This award-winning solution is guaranteed to create motivated, productive and higher performing employees that have great working relationships with their colleagues and your customers. To learn more about an even better place to work, visit beyondmorale.com/better. 

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

Josh Seibert:    Let’s go to hoedown.

Jim Rembach:   Alright. What do you think is holding you back from being an even better leader today? 

Josh Seibert:    Nothing. The only thing that could hold me back is myself. 

Jim Rembach:   What is the best leadership advice you have ever received?

Josh Seibert:    That’s what I heard not received from Winston Churchill, Never give.

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

Josh Seibert:    here’s no secret it’s just my core values and my honor won’t let me quit.

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

Josh Seibert:    Oh, gosh, I guess the best tool that I have in this is tough, but the best tool I have in life is my belief.

Jim Rembach:   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 Winning from Failing—Build and Lead a Corporate Learning Culture for High Performance.

Josh Seibert:    That’s a great book right there but beyond that book there’s another one from a colleague of mine called, Transforming Leaders the Sandler Way and it’s put out by Dave Arch. Look that book up if you want to be a better leader it’s a great book.

Jim Rembach:   Okay, Fast Leader listeners you can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going too fastleader.net/Josh Siebert. Okay, Josh, this is 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. What skill or knowledge would you take back with you and why? 

Josh Seibert:    Certainly the value of failing. Because back there I at 25 years old I didn’t know the value of all that struggle I was going through maybe that might have helped me pursue it a little bit better.

Jim Rembach:   Josh, it was not under spend time with you today. Can you please share with the Fast Leader legion how they can connect with you? 

Josh Seibert:    Sure. They can find me at training.sandler.com—that’s our website here. You can email me at joshs@ sandler.com. If you tend to want to do that you can contact me locally at 336-84-1438.

Jim Rembach:   Josh Siebert, thank you for sharing you knowledge and wisdom the Fast Leader Legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump. Woot! Woot!

Thank you for joining me on the Fast Leader show. For recaps, links from every show, special offers and access the download and subscribe, if you haven’t already, head on over the fastleader.net so we can help move onward and upward faster. 

END OF AUDIO 

 

[/expand]

 

116: Joshua Spodek: I had to force my friends to read it

Joshua Spodek Show Notes

Joshua Spodek wrote a book and his friends said it sucked and was difficult to read. So he turned it all around and rewrote it. Every time he received feedback no matter how terrible it was there was always something to learn. He finally realize his approach needed to change and it was much more effective. What Joshua learned will help you to move onward and upward faster.

Joshua’s first passion for science and math forced him to overcome the social and emotional challenges of his geekiness that got him picked on growing up and going to public school.

Despite no one in his family knowing anything about integrals or electrons, Joshua majored in physics and eventually get a PhD in astrophysics, helping build an x-ray observational satellite and studying under a Nobel Prize winner.

He loved the subject, and still does, but found research life wasn’t for him. He felt trapped by his education instead of enabled by it.

His escape—co-founding a company based on an invention—became his next passion. He invented a device to put on subway tunnel walls that would show animations to riders moving between stations. After its Atlanta debut, his company installed in New York, then Hong Kong, Tokyo, Europe, and Central America.

The challenges of 9/11 and the early 2000s recession led to the investors to squeeze him out of the company he co-founded.

So he went to business school, where he discovered his third, and greatest, passion, which he is still acting on today. He learned that people could learn about leadership and entrepreneurship—that you didn’t have to be born with special abilities. Unlike science, where learning just made you smarter, learning about these fields improved relationships, well-being, teamwork, and more.

For over a decade, since business school, Joshua has pursued his passion of teaching them. He found that how he teaches is as important as what.

Joshua teaches and coaches leadership and entrepreneurship at New York University, Columbia University, and independently through SpodekAcademy.com. And is the author of Leadership Step by Step: Become the Person Others Follow.

Students from undergraduates to c-suite professionals and entrepreneurs who have sold businesses describe his courses as teaching things critically valuable for their careers that they never thought they could learn in a structured way, while improving their relationships and well-being. They also describe them as fun.

Joshua has lived in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village for over 17 years. His daily habits include posting to his blog, JoshuaSpodek.com and burpees (over 2,900 days, 85,000 burpees, and counting).

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

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

“What I teach is part of the picture, how I teach is a big piece of it.” -Joshua Spodek Click to Tweet

“You don’t have to be born a leader to lead.” -Joshua Spodek Click to Tweet 

“If you want to overcome challenges a leader faces, you have to do things.” -Joshua Spodek Click to Tweet 

“Leadership is about connecting with people at an emotional level.” -Joshua Spodek Click to Tweet 

“If you work with emotions and motivations you’ll be more effective.” -Joshua Spodek Click to Tweet 

“If you use authority it tends to cause people to push back.” -Joshua Spodek Click to Tweet 

“The time when you use authority is when you don’t have anything better.” -Joshua Spodek Click to Tweet 

“Who are the people and what will motivate them.” -Joshua Spodek Click to Tweet 

“Learning from a text book gets you started, but then you need to practice.” -Joshua Spodek Click to Tweet 

“You have to solve the problem ahead of you to get to the next one.” -Joshua Spodek Click to Tweet 

“You’re never done.” -Joshua Spodek Click to Tweet 

“It would have been much more helpful to lead them to think for themselves.” -Joshua Spodek Click to Tweet 

“Empathy and compassion are skills that we can learn.” -Joshua Spodek Click to Tweet 

“You have to realize where you are and be the best you can at that moment.” -Joshua Spodek Click to Tweet 

“Business is about relationship.” -Joshua Spodek Click to Tweet 

“Have something you do every day that is healthy, challenging, and active.” -Joshua Spodek Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Joshua Spodek wrote a book and his friends said it sucked and was difficult to read. So he turned it all around and rewrote it. Every time he received feedback no matter how terrible it was there was always something to learn. He finally realize his approach needed to change and it was much more effective. What Joshua learned will help you to move onward and upward faster.

Advice for others

Practice and exercises help you to become a better leader.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

I’ve a lot to learn and I’ve come very far.

Best Leadership Advice Received

It’s all about the relationship. Business is about relationship.

Secret to Success

Having habits that I do every day that create discipline and diligence.

Best tools that helps in Business or Life

To be able to practice effective exercises and build skills.

Recommended Reading

Leadership Step by Step: Become the Person Others Follow

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In

Man’s Search for Meaning

Contacting Joshua

Website: http://joshuaspodek.com/

Website: http://spodekacademy.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/spodek

Resources and Show Mentions

Most Likely to Succeed – A national campaign to inspire – and empower – communities across the country to revolutionize their schools for the 21st Century.

54 Emotional Intelligence (EQ) Competencies List: Emotional Intelligence has proven to be the right kind of intelligence to have if you want to move onward and upward faster. Get your free list today

Show Transcript: 

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

 116: Joshua Spodek: I had to force my friends to read it

 

Intro Welcome to the Fast Leader Podcast, where we explore convenient yet effective shortcuts that will help you get ahead and move forward faster by becoming a better leader. And now here’s your host, customer and employee engagement expert and certified emotional intelligence practitioner, Jim Rembach.

 

Need a powerful and entertaining way to ignite your next conference, retreat or team-building session? My keynote don’t include magic but they do have the power to help your attendees take a leap forward by putting emotional intelligence into their employee engagement, customer engagement and customer centric leadership practices. So bring the infotainment creativity the Fast Leader show to your next event and I’ll help your attendees get over the hump now. Go to beyondmorale.com/speaking to learn more.

 

Jim Rembach:     Okay, Fast Leader Legion, today I’m excited because the guest that I have on the show today shocked me. Joshua Spodek’s first passion for science and math forced him to overcome the social and emotional challenges of his geek-ness that got him picked on growing up and going to public school. Despite no one in his family knowing anything about integrals or electrons Joshua majored in physics and eventually got a PhD in Astrophysics helping build an x-ray, observational satellite, and studying under a Nobel Prize winner. He loved the subject and still does but found research life wasn’t for him, he felt trapped by his education instead of enabled by it. His escape co-founding a company based on an innovation became his next passion. The challenges of—in the early recession let the investors to squeeze him out of the company he co-founded so he went to business school where he discovered his third and greatest passion which he is still acting on today. He learned that people could learn about leadership and entrepreneurship that you didn’t have to be born with special abilities. Unlike science where learning just made you smarter, learning about these fields improved relationships, well-being, teamwork and more. 

 

For over a decade since business school Joshua has pursued his passion of teaching them he found that how he teaches is as important as what. Joshua teaches and coaches leadership and entrepreneurship at New York University, Columbia University and independently through 

spodekacademy.com. And as the author of Leadership Step-by-Step become the person that others follow students from undergraduates to C-Suites, professionals and entrepreneurs who have solve businesses described his courses and teaching things critically valuable to their careers that they never thought they could learn in a structured way while improving their relationships and well-being they also describe them as them as fun. 

 

Joshua has lived in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village for over years. His daily habits include posting to his blog, joshuaspodek.com and Burpees over, 2,900 days, 85,000 burpees and counting. Joshua Spodek are you ready to help us get over the hump?

 

Joshua Spodek:     Yes. Oh! My god, I just turned half my life all at once. I just laughed, I cried, I was proud, I was ashamed, I was humiliated, that was just my whole life—half my life before my eyes. 

 

Jim Rembach:     I think as I say, I think they get people medication for that. 

 

Joshua Spodek:     Yeah, it was a very intense retelling—I said, Oh! My god. Yeah, so it’s great and I was like. Oh, my god I can’t believe that happened. Oh, that was great, Oh, I can’t believe that happened. Yes, I’m ready. 

 

Jim Rembach:     I’ve given our 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? 

 

Joshua Spodek:     Yes. By far my biggest passion is I teach and I coach leadership and entrepreneurship but it’s important to get across that what I teach is part of the picture it’s how I teach is a big piece of it. In business school I learned—that’s what they taught in their classes in leadership and entrepreneurship that taught me that you don’t have to be born a leader. Up until then I thought—you look at Martin Luther King, I can’t speak like that I can’t do what he did but then I learned that you could. What they taught me through case study and lecture and reading psychology papers and what I learned is that if you want to teach that stuff, do you want to overcome social and emotional challenges in order to face the social and emotional challenges that a leader faces, you have to do things. And so my passion is not just—if you think that I teach like someone who lectures, that’s not it. It’s very important that I give you exercises that force you to do things in your life that matter to you and you face these challenges and overcome them. Sorry for the long answer. 

 

Jim Rembach:     Well no that isn’t the long answer. For me I find it very intriguing because for example when you start thinking about—looking at your initial foray into education and career I mean the old joke is about things being complex or not being simple and when the things are simple and we say that, hey it’s not rocket science because we think rocket science is so darn complex. Some of the things that you were doing with the astrophysics, to me that that just seems extremely complex. It reminds me of a conversation that a friend of mine had who actually was or is a Phd in Human Behavior was having a conversation with a teacher who is a rocket scientist and she said, “, my work is significantly harder than yours and he kind of laughs” and he goes “but I’m a rocket scientist, right? And so she told him she goes. “Well, for your work if I’m talking about a rocket I have so much thrust I have so much gravitational pull I’m pointing the rocket in a certain direction and I know within a high degree of certainty that thing’s going to land right over there.” And he goes, “Yeah, that’s right. She goes, “You try to do that with people.” It gets so complex. So, I think when you start thinking about where you came from and where you are now even though it seems like you went from complex to simple I think you went the other direction. 

 

Joshua Spodek:     Oh, man. If you put an electron in a magnetic field it will do the same thing every time that’s repeatability and physics and the pursuit is to find the simplicity underneath everything. People on the other hand, people do not do the same thing every time it’s different every time it’s a totally different direction and that was a big thing that hampered me at the beginning.  In fact, one of my big challenges when I started in the business world when I left and started my first company I was CEO so I was running the company but I didn’t think of it this way then. But looking back I looked at people like there are physical objects like they were tools. And I would say, do this and I didn’t understand why they wouldn’t want to do it and it really held me back because leadership to me is about connecting with people on an emotional level and being able to motivate them through their emotions. If you just think of emotions it’s like some weird thing which is how I looked at it, they were too complex for me I didn’t get it. So, that was—yeah, I agree there’s a lot more simplicity in physics and math people from the outside don’t see it that way but the inside I agree. 

 

Jim Rembach:     And then the other thing is when I started looking at—and in previewing your book I expected, knowing that you came from the world of physics and things like that, that I was going to get this really complex, detailed book structure and what I found was just the opposite. Your book is broken down into four units and the units are: understanding yourself, leading yourself, understanding others and then leading others, I’m like boom mic drop that’s—if you can do those things you’re good to go. 

 

Joshua Spodek:     Yeah. Look, I got to (inaudible 7:40) that was a long time ago, that was in the year 2000, so almost two decades ago and in the meantime I realized that what was holding me back was holding a lot of people back and the same process of what’s going on here? How can I understand it? How can I communicate it to others? I applied that to leadership. When I say leadership a lot of people think, a guy in a suit or damn this images. And also when people think entrepreneurship they think shark tank and my courses are anything but that and really what leadership is about for me it’s not telling people what to do. I want to really distinguish between having authority and leading people. A big piece of what bought my staff out was that—I had a lot of clients that come to me and a lot of them would complain about their bosses. I’m sure people listen to this that had problems that their boss is really difficult to deal with and a lot of their visions of leadership, their beliefs and their mental models about leadership were that if I have authority over someone I can tell them what to do and if I don’t I accept what it’s telling me and if I’m a boss I just have to take it. 

 

To enable my clients to leave their bosses I had to find tools that would work for them and this is for me as well and what you have access to is you have access to people’s emotion. If don’t care if you’re if trying to motivate someone who’s above you in a hierarchy below you and hierarchy, parallel or outside the hierarchy, if it’s a client or some of you trying to work with or if it’s a husband or wife or kid, they have emotions, they have motivations and if you work with those emotions and motivations you’re going to be able to motivate them a lot more effectively than if you just use authority. If you use authority that tend to get people to push back it tends to provoke resistance. So, yeah, I spent a long time trying to get what’s going on with people’s emotions and motivations underneath besides trying to motivate people through external incentives like offering the bonuses or threatening them with demotions or something like that. And it turns out, generally, you can lead people more effectively this way. 

 

Jim Rembach:     You can. I would also say that there’s a right place, right time, for a lot of different things and circumstances they talk about situational leadership. And when you start talking about authority it’s not that you should totally lose your authority it’s just that you want to use it at the appropriate time where it’s going to allow and enable the greatest effect. Because even when you start talking about the different generations in the workplace and things like that is that a lot of folks you essentially have to call them out and say, “Hey, look this is what’s expected and I’ve tried to connect with you and get you to do those things but this is what you have to do.” That has to be very authoritative in nature but you don’t want to definitely do it from the get going on the start, but authority does have its place.

 

Joshua Spodek:     Yeah. I won’t disagree with that. You did two things there, you spoke with authority but you also spoke very clearly and directly. The clear indirect is excellent. To me the time when you use authority is when you don’t have anything better. And there definitely times, if it’s a time crunch and three people each has a different way of doing it and the person has authority, that’s an appropriate time, I agree—you say, “Look, we don’t have time to discuss this we have to get this done or we’re going to lose this client and I may be wrong I may be right but we have to pick one way of doing it I’m the authority so let’s do it this way.”  Like that’s an example I think, it’s appropriate, I would agree. But I would then make sure after what I’d circled back and say look I’m not sure if there’s a right way I’m not sure if it was wrong way but let’s revisit this and see what we can learn from it. If I step on any toes that I make any mistakes because it’s dangerous. If you can do something better this is like a tautology, if you do something better do the better thing. 

 

Jim Rembach:     Well, I think what you just explained right there is a really good point and a lot of that does come down to practice. And knowing when to be to essentially pull the right thing out of the tool kit at the right time and you’re going to fail with that too. When you start talking about the tools and the mechanisms and things like that, have you been able to help folks identify when to pull the right tool at the right time?

 

Joshua Spodek:     Yeah. And one of the big thing is, how do you know what the right tool is? One of the major things that comes out of my practice is listening to others and paying attention and being aware of them. Generally, it’s going to be a mix of what the task is at hand and also who the people are. A lot of people look for when is the right time to do this? When is the right time to do that? And I think it’s not that you look at the external circumstances although they factored in but also who are the people and what will motivate them. The more you get to know people ahead of time, spend time with them understanding what they need and what works for them what doesn’t work for them when it’s not a crisis or when you have luxury of time things like that and that will tell you what is appropriate at the time when you need it. 

 

Jim Rembach:     I think that’s a great point that you bring up because I think everybody from a time crunch perspective doesn’t have the luxury to be able to sit and have dialogue and sometimes you do just have to make a decision and move forward. I think where most people  have problems is that actually in making a decision and moving forward is that’s where they stop and so how do you get how do people get past the fear and pass the roadblock so that they can actually execute more? Because when you start thinking about innovation, creativity, when you start talking about being able to accomplish something, you have to execute. And they talk about how that’s the one of the problems that we have in our world today is that people—they may take the time to strategize, they may take the time to  plan and do all that but when it comes to the actual execution point that tipping point that’s where they fall down.

 

Joshua Spodek:     Well there’s a lot of factor in here. I made a little note here when you’re in crisis situation, when things are difficult my model there is the measure of a great quarterback. This is one leader it’s not the only place where people live but the measure of a great quarterback is not just how he runs plays, does he run the play perfectly? It’s what does he do when the play falls apart, that’s when the really great quarterback shine. Anyone can pilot a boat when the weather is calm and the seas are calm and you got a light breeze, it’s what you do you when the wind is going all over the place and the waves are really high and there’s white water all over the place. And I think that the way to develop your skills for those areas—I mean, the only way is through experience. Learning from a textbook that’ll get you started but then you have to practice and practice and practice. And I think the more variety of situations you see with the more variety of people that’s how you develop these things. My practice is—it’s difficult if you just throw someone into wolves right off the bat and start them on this big, big, big challenges the way to get to the really hard stuff is first you practice with the easy stuff. You run simple play or if you’re learning to play an instrument you start with scales and you put them in front of a small group of people and then you build and build and build more and more challenges. 

 

And so you talked about this four units in my book and each of those units is broken down into several different exercises. And the first exercise in the book is really easy it’s not that hard anyone can do it, it doesn’t involve other people. The next one builds on that it’s a little bit more challenging and after you do a bunch more you’re on to a really advanced stuff that if you started there it would be probably overwhelming and difficult but because the one before was just a little bit less challenging than that this one’s you can handle. And the same in any leadership situation, what I didn’t get in school was that kind of practice they just said, “Here’s what you do and here are the principles but not how to put them in practice.  

 

Jim Rembach:     We can sit here and we can read volumes and it could take an entire lifetime but it doesn’t mean that our behavior and what we do is going to have an effect or an impact. But when you start talking about leadership then there’s a whole lot of inspiration that is associated with it because it is so full of emotion. And on the show we look at quotes to help us really focus and stir up and get those emotions going. Is there a quote or two that you can share that you like? 

 

Joshua Spodek:     Yeah, there’s two quotes. One is pretty long and when I was looking it up on my computer I have this file of quotes and I make my file quotes smaller and smaller because I like to get—the better ones just keep floating to the top. And so I’m going to go to—the one that I was originally going to go with, I just love this quote. It was a wanted help wanted ad for an expedition, I hope you’ve heard it and it says, “Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, and safe return doubtful, honor and recognition in case of success.” Could you imagine seeing that in a newspaper wanted, like a classified ad?

 

Jim Rembach:     So, yeah, that actually has to do with the pole expedition.

 

Jim Rembach:    Yeah. That particular ad from what I understand actually had thousands of responses. 

 

Joshua Spodek:     It also reminds me of a movie that was a great movie, a movie with great lessons to learn about entrepreneurship was the Martian with Matt Damon a little while ago. One of the things I loved about that movie is there’s all these problems that he faced. And every single problem led to success but then another problem came up, success then another problem came up, success then another problem came up, success then another problem came up and you couldn’t plan for the third problem when you’re working on the first one, you just have to deal with what’s there at the time. The movie was a really cool science-fiction but I think that the lesson, you have to solve a problem ahead of you and you have to solve it and if you solve it you can get to the next problem and if you solve that when you get to the next problem but you’re never done.

 

Jim Rembach:     When you start talking about being able to take things forward and take them to the next level and be able to improve our skills and abilities we have humps that we have to get over. And there’s learnings and a whole slew of wisdom if we choose to pay attention to it and leverage it they will set us off in a better direction. Is there a hump where you had to get over that you can share that sets you in a better direction? 

 

Joshua Spodek:     Yeah. I haven’t thought about this in a long time until now. My book is just coming out so I’m thinking back of how the book began and this was before I met my agent, my editor before anyone was helping me. In fact, before I did all—you mentioned in the introduction I’ve written a lot and so when I hadn’t really written that much and I had—all the IDS in my book I was like, I want to write this book and I just wrote out a book and I gave it to a couple friends to read and they came back and they didn’t—like after a month they hadn’t read it. After another month they hadn’t read it. After another month they hadn’t read it and I have to force my friends to read it. And they come back after and they’re like Josh, “Your book sucks. It was really painful to read.” And they said, “Now when I got to the end of it I really sense some really good ideas in there but I really did not like reading this book. It was really daunting, it was not pleasant.” 

 

So I went back and I thought, all right, I’m ending with the good stuff I guess I have to turn all the way around and start with the good stuff and figure out how to rewrite this book. And so when I rewrote it somehow transformed from a book into a presentation. I thought, oh I’m going to make this into a course, I’ll teach. So I invited some friends over, one at a time, and I would go through this presentation, I don’t know who creates presentations in their spare time, but you can see how this would lead to becoming a professor and people come over and like they would stop me in the middle and be like, I can’t take anymore this.  And they push back on the parts that I thought were the most interesting, this is really not going anywhere this is really difficult. I knew that there was really important stuff in there and I was just getting all the stuff that was like people pushing back and pushing back and not liking it. 

 

But every time that they gave me a feedback no matter how terrible they said it was there was always something to learn from it. In fact, one of the friends—we begin to fight and I was really angry at him. He and his girlfriend they’re over here and I was telling him –like I was trying to present to them and they were telling me that most important stuff was like worthless and I got so angry and then it took a long time before I realized I was really pushing stuff on people that it would have been much more helpful for me just to leave them to think for themselves and let them come to their own conclusion that is to give them less and let them discover more. That’s how I change from being someone who is telling them what to do instead of trying to give the answers I realize it’s going to be much effective to give them an experience that would let them create their own answers for themselves, it’s a kind of abstract what I’m saying here. 

 

Jim Rembach:     Well, it isn’t for me because I think what you were explaining in regards to the lecture and being able to give information and telling them what they need to know that is what a professor does, they bestow information upon people. It’s a very different approach to actually draw people in and being able to build that suspense, build that intrigue, build that curiosity, build that wonder and get people to essentially—instead of you pulling them they’re actually grabbing the rope and just trying to get closer and closer towards you that’s a totally different shift and dynamic that you went through the activities and exercises to be able to learn. So, what happened?

 

Joshua Spodek:     If I can jump ahead to an epiphany that I had. I was visiting a friend’s school. A friend of mine is a founding principal of a school in Philadelphia and I went to visit it because the fourth class, they started the first year there was ninth grade and by the time those ninth graders graduated Barack Obama came to speak to the graduating class Bill Gates had already spoken there, this is incredible so, I went to go visit the school. I’m talking to him and he says, “Do you want a tour? And I go, “Yeah” and he just stopped some random kids walking by who was a tenth grader—some 15 year old kid shows me around the school, I had an MBA by this point, and this 15 year old kid had leadership skills in many ways on par with MBA’s that I knew. But the MBA’s took leadership courses and the 15 year old did not. And I was like, “What’s going on here?” I would ask the student, how does the school run in this way” and students say, “Well the teachers do this, the principal is—how’s the kid notice? And that’s when I realized that what you’re talking about the difference between lecturing and pull the people and give them an environment for them to discover things for themselves and that’s what that school was built on and I felt like I went back to the drawing board I’d decades of learning one way. And I just saw a different way from the outside at first and I kept going back to his school because there is a conference every winter of how this people who teach in this type of community. And I learned from them and I have to back to the drawing board. It was really scary and painful and you have to be humble, because I’m a university professor and I’m learning from grade school teachers. If you look at authority I did not know how it’s supposed to be, it should go not that way. But if you look at who is effective and who was not effective they were effective and I was not, I need to back to the drawing board and learn from them. 

 

Jim Rembach:     I think that’s a great story and a lot of nuggets of wisdom that we can pull from that. So when you start thinking about—you got the book, you’ve got all your burpees and a lot of things going on, what’s one of your goal? 

 

Joshua Spodek:     Oh, man. I believe that empathy and compassion and initiative creating meaning, creating value, creating passion I view those things not as traits that people are either born with or not but it’s skill that you can learn. And what I hope, one of my hope’s in my book is that it turn those things into a widely held view that they are skills that you can learn like learning to ride a bicycle. That anyone in the world they want to become more empathic more compassionate but they want to have more initiative but they want to be able to create passion to the people around them that they say, Oh, I just do a bunch of exercises Josh’s book is a good place but it’s not the only place. Just imagine the world where everybody is a bit more compassionate to everybody else because they know how to become that way. 

 

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:

 

The number one thing that contributes to customer loyalty is emotions. So move onward and upward faster by gaining significantly deeper insight and understanding of your customer journey and personas with emotional intelligence. With your empathy mapping workshop you’ll learn how to evoke and influence the right customer emotions that generate improve customer loyalty and reduce your cost to operate. Get over your emotional hump now by going to empathymapping.com to learn more. 

 

Jim Rembach:     All right here we go Fast Leader Legion, it’s time for the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay, Joshua, the Hump Day Hoedown, is a part of our show where you give us good insights fast. So I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us a robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Joshua Spodek are you ready to hoedown? 

 

Joshua Spodek:     I’m ready to hoedown. 

 

Jim Rembach:     Alright. What do you think is holding you back from being an even better leader today?

 

Joshua Spodek:     I don’t believe that I’m the best leader in the world. I don’t believe that I’m the best leader that I can possibly be in the future but for where I am now I believe that I’m the best I can be. I’ve a lot to learn but I’ve come very far. And so I think that you have to realize where you are and be the best you can be at that moment.

 

Jim Rembach:     What is the best leadership advice you have ever received?

 

Joshua Spodek:     In the most difficult times the professor of mine who became on the board he just always said, “It’s  all about the relationships.” And every time I just always learned that over and over again. It’s the relationship that you have they help you when you’re in trouble, they help you when things aren’t going well, business is about relationship.” 

 

Jim Rembach:     What was one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?

 

Joshua Spodek:     It’s becoming less my secret all the time but the structure, the burpees, the writing every day, having habits that I do every day creating that structure and I don’t fail with doing those and that could be discipline and diligence and anybody can do it. Have daily exercises, have something that you do that is challenging, healthy, active. 

 

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

 

Joshua Spodek:     It’s hard for me not to say all the stuff that’s in my book. It’s the reason I made the book is to put those tools out there. And so to be able to practice effective exercises that develop skills and I put I put everything I had in there. 

 

Jim Rembach:     What would be one book and it could be from any genre, of course we’ll put a link to yours on there on the show knows page, but what would be another book that you’d recommend to our listeners? 

 

Joshua Spodek:     Alright can I mention two? 

 

Jim Rembach:     Sure. 

 

Joshua Spodek:     Okay. Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, is a book on negotiation and is the book that changed business for me from getting ahead and like winning at all costs to being nonzero-sum and winning together different people. And then the other one is Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl, which is to me tells you what you are capable of what every human being is capable of and he was just was able to succeed and create life himself so much better than what his circumstances would allow and that tells all of us what we were able to do. 

 

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

 

Joshua Spodek:     Definitely the ability to take risks by putting faith and having confidence in my own ability to resolve situations. I was in graduate school at the time in physics and I felt so trapped. I felt if I tried to do something different I might fail and then I would be lost. And going off and trying something new is exactly what got me out of what the feeling so trap. I call the entrepreneurship it was really taking a risk and having confidence. Whatever came my way I’d be able to handle it and I just didn’t know how then, and it’s probably the biggest resource that I’ve had sinned. 

 

Jim Rembach:     Joshua, 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? 

 

Joshua Spodek:     Yeah. My personal blog is @joshuaspodek.com and that’s where I write about my view on the world from a leadership perspective. And then my professional site spodekacademy.com is where my courses are available and that’s the more professional side. On Twitter @spodek and my last name Spodek is pretty rare so if you want to find out more about me you just search on me you’ll find lots of articles and things like. And then on the two sites there’s also forms that you can contact me. I look forward to hearing from anybody, I’m happy to answer question. 

 

Jim Rembach:     Joshua Spodek, than you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom, the Fast Leader legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump. 

 

Thank you for joining me on the Fast Leader show today. For recaps, links from every show, special offers and access to download and subscribe, if you haven’t already, head on over the fastleader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster. 

 

END OF AUDIO

[/expand]

 

042: Leadership Development Return on Investment: For Organizations, Teams and You

Leadership Development Return on Investment Show Notes

Measuring the Return on Investment (ROI) in leadership training and development is considered to be an important element in Human Resources and beyond. The ROI of training and development is frequently a topic presented and discussed at conferences, workshops and professional associations. Journals and media regularly present the subject with more and more emphasis. Executives have come to expect ROI projections and estimates in requests for leadership training and development funding. Leadership educators now find that asking for Return on Investment information is common place. In this episode learn how to get over the ROI hump.

In this special episode we discuss the hump of Leadership Development Return on Investment that Paul submitted on the Fast Leader Website. Helping me address this hump is Dr. Pelé Ugboajah.

Dr. Pelé helps us to define leadership and discuss the ROI formula for organizations, teams and individuals. He also reveals a shocking statistic about the impacts of learning. He also shares what is a realistic timeline for developing better leadership skills and what you need to do to during that time.

Dr. Pelé also shares with us some of the issues that surround calculating return on investment and how you can come to grips on your situation and build better business cases to go beyond learning to developing.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Get over the Leadership Development ROI hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet

“Leadership is something that really needs to be addressed in organizations.“ Click to Tweet

“ROI on Leadership Development for one company is different for another.” Click to Tweet 

“What did we pay to develop leaders and what did we get out of it?” Click to Tweet 

“It is the intangible things that allow us to achieve those tangible things.” Click to Tweet 

“Behavior begets culture.” Click to Tweet 

“As behaviors change in organizations results also change.” Click to Tweet 

“What makes a good team has got to be analyzed and quantified.” Click to Tweet 

“The character of a team is reflective of the quality of the leader.” Click to Tweet 

“Bad leaders produce bad teams” Click to Tweet 

“Bad teams are symptomatic of bad leadership.” Click to Tweet 

“There are as many definitions for leadership as there are people on this planet.” Click to Tweet 

“Leadership is influence.” Click to Tweet 

“When a vision not being achieved that tells you something about leadership.” Click to Tweet 

“When no one is following, that tells you something about leadership.” Click to Tweet 

“Whatever we think we are doing today with respect to leadership development, is not working.” Click to Tweet 

“We have an industry called Learning and Development that only focuses on Learning.” Click to Tweet 

“Learning is the beginning, development takes time.” Click to Tweet 

“You don’t develop (leaders) in a classroom.” Click to Tweet 

“Leadership development does not happen in a classroom.” Click to Tweet 

“You learn by doing, over time.” Click to Tweet 

“I can be a leader only if the situation presents itself.” Click to Tweet 

“People should strive for leadership at all levels.” Click to Tweet 

“85% of success is from skills and attitudes, not knowledge.” Click to Tweet 

“People have to start” Click to Tweet 

“People have to practice leadership skills and attitudes.” Click to Tweet 

“You can boil down leadership into measurable and observable behaviors that people can practice.” Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Measuring the Return on Investment (ROI) in leadership training and development is considered to be an important element in Human Resources and beyond. The ROI of training and development is frequently a topic presented and discussed at conferences, workshops and professional associations. Journals and media regularly present the subject with more and more emphasis. Executives have come to expect ROI projections and estimates in requests for leadership training and development funding. Leadership educators now find that asking for Return on Investment information is common place. In this episode learn how to get over the ROI hump.

What is holding organizations back from building their leadership pipelines?

Cultures that don’t believe that leaders can be nurtured.

Many organizations have eliminated their middle leaders and are now starving for leaders; what should they do?

They should start turning everyone into a leader. People should strive for leadership at all levels.

What is one of the biggest mistakes you see orgs make when trying to develop leaders (identifying competencies?)

They don’t focus on specific, measurable behaviors.

What is the best advice to give for those that want to be better leaders?

They have to learn something about leadership, they have to practice that thing, and they’ve go to monitor the achievement of their results in a community of practice over time.

What is one of the secrets you believe that will contribute to developing leadership skills faster?

Practice. 85% of success is from skills and attitudes, not knowledge. People have to practice leadership skills and attitudes.

What do you feel is one the most misguided recommendations you hear experts give about developing leadership skills?

That leadership presence is unknown and intangible. That’s wrong. You can boil down leadership into measurable and observable behaviors that people can practice over time.

Imagine you were given the opportunity to change a tradition, system or belief that has hindered our ability to create more (and better) leaders over the past several decades. But you can’t totally wipe everything away, you can only choose one traditional, skill or belief to eliminate. So what would it be and why?

That leaders are only born; they are also nurtured and made over time.

Recommended Reading

Leadership development ROI Case Study

Additional Resources

70/20/10 Model

Return on Investment as a % = Program Benefits / Program Costs x 100

Show Transcript: 

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

042: Leadership Development Return on Investment: For Organizations, Teams and You

Intro: Welcome to the Fast Leader Podcast, where we explore convenient yet effective shortcuts that will help you get ahead and move forward faster by becoming a better leader. And now here’s your host, customer and employee engagement expert and certified emotional intelligence practitioner, Jim Rembach.

 

“Developing your company’s talent and leadership pipeline can be an overwhelming task but your burn is over with ResultPal you can use the power of practice to develop more leaders faster. Move onward and upward by going to resultpal.com/fast and getting a $750 performance package for free.”

 

Jim Rembach:    Okay, Fast Leader Legion today we have a special episode. We are going to address a question that was submitted on the Fast Leader website. We have a tab where any of you can submit a question and you never know it might show up and we’ll address that particular question. We have a special guest to talk with us about it. And today we have Pele Ugboajah that is going to help us with this, and we’ll give it to him in a second. But this particular question that we’re going to address today is really multifaceted, has a lot of different impacts that are both individual in nature, workgroup and team in nature as well as organization in nature because it gets down to the question of ROI. What is my ROI both as an individual, as part of a group, as part of an organization? And we’re going to focus in a little bit around leadership development. 

 

The particular question that was raised by Paul, and I play for you in a moment, was about maybe his individual ROI, we’ll address some of that coming up, think about ROI in a little bit different context and the reason we want to do that is because it is multifaceted, it is different for everyone and that’s will be part of our discussion is going to be like today. But any question that you have or any issue that you’re struggling with just go to the fastleader.net and click on the tab, what you struggling with, and leave us with a message.

 

So, now let’s listen to Paul:  

 “Hi. My name is Paul and I’m struggling as leader with getting return on investment. I endlessly put in more than I get back and I want that to change somehow.”

 

I’m sure that many of us including myself find times were doing just that, we feel like we’re struggling, we’re putting a lot in and not getting the things back there we’re desiring or what we want our objectives are not getting met and the performance that were trying to get just doesn’t occur. We’re going to talk about that particular issue of ROI and getting things back and focusing on leadership development. Helping us today is Dr. Pele Ugboajah, who’s a PhD in Organization and Management and has a specialization in Leadership. His dissertation and research focused on the effects of narrative on entrepreneurial leadership. And you may say, “Why are we having Dr. Pele for saying entrepreneurial leadership because I’m telling you today this concept and focus on entrepreneurial behavior, growth, and innovation is vital for us to not just thrive in today’s marketplace but just to survive.  Dr. Pele are you ready to help us get over the hump?

 

Pele Ugboajah:    I am ready. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Okay so now, normally we go through and we talk about the inspiration. We talk about leadership quotes. We talk about several things associated with what has helped us learn and grow as leaders of self and others on the show. But when you start thinking about this issue of leadership development and ROI, what do you think is some of the fuel and the driving passions behind people wanting to do anything associated with?

 

Pele Ugboajah:    Jim, thank you for that question. I think that your colors statement and the thing that he’s seeking clarity on, is really the evidence that we need that—leadership is something that really needs to be addressed in organizations. This is great evidence for the fact that at an individual level this particular leader is seeing the symptoms and the struggles of being a leader, and so I thank you for that. As far as what we see, we see exactly what’s happening to this individual. We find that this is what we call leadership effectiveness, not necessarily ROI unless one could argue that ROI at an individual level really is effectiveness.

So, this is something that we see a lot and as you lead me towards your question I’d be happy to talk about this one specifically. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Okay. Now, let’s stop for a moment and do just a quick explanation of what is ROI and how do you calculate it. And if you look at the simple explanation, what we do is we look at what benefits that we may get from any activity. Again, we’re going to focus in on leadership development and learning here on this episode. And talk about the benefits that we may get from that and we’re going to talk about a particular case study a little bit where the study that anybody can pull down, and it’s on leadership educators.org, and I’ll put a link on the show notes page so that you can get to this case study, where they looked at the return on investment and doing a managerial assessment of a proficiency program for the Georgia Extension System. For those that aren’t familiar with extension systems they have to do with the agricultural support for a state, their state run organizations and groups, I will make that available and they talk about, what was the investment of going to this leadership development program and what was the impact?

 

One of the things that they use as the program benefit was actually reducing turnover of people who were in their program and being the leaders in their program. The point being is that there’s a lot of ways that you can assess program benefits when you’re thinking about being a leader, developing leaders, and then you look at the cost of actually doing that, if you want to turn it in percentage you multiply it by 100 and that turns into percentage, so what it is, it’s program benefits provided by program cost multiplied by 100, and again we’ll put that on the show notes page. 

 

That’s a very simple explanation of what is ROI, and that’s ROI as a percentage. So Pele, when you think of an organization and you start looking at this ROI calculation, again we want to focus in on leadership development because you know I think you’re going to share with us some statistics associated with leadership development and the impact that it currently having you on and the world at a global scale. But if you were to think about an organization what are they looking at in regards to benefits, to go into the ROI calculation?

 

Pele Ugboajah:     Okay, so, for organizations, I suppose we have to look at whatever returns they were seeking when they put in leadership development program. It’s a very fluid and changing landscape. ROI for one person is going to be different for an ROI calculation for another person or individual or company. They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, in some cases ROI is in the eye of the organization. A company has to say, really what is our cost benefit? You’re just doing analysis, why did we pay to develop leaders? And what did we get out of it? Some companies may not get money out it, it may not be about money it may just be about culture, it may be about temperament, it may be about how people feel when they come to work and in the morning on Monday. And so all of these things need to be somehow qualified or quantified to begin the judgment call on whether or not something is contributing toward ROI or not. I hope that answers your questions, it’s a very broad question. 

 

Jim Rembach:     It is. There’s one point for me that stood out that I oftentimes find something that can create some deeper level of understanding and insight. We often talk about leadership and the things associated with leadership, and again we’re talking about creating an environment by which a lot of the things that are supposedly intangible becoming very tangible. All of us have heard about doing time studies, right? How long does it take to do a particular piece of work or a task? The same thing applies when you start thinking about leadership and getting work done within an organization and so that can become quite tangible when you’re starting to talk culture. 

 

In today’s organization we have to work across many different functional groups. And guess what, if we have an issue with being able to work within those workgroups, with being able to—stepping up and being a leader within those workgroups and take responsibility when we have to, what’s going to happen to that work? It’s not going to get done very quickly and it’s going to create a lot of problems. We’re going to miss deadlines and I think—who of the Legion has been part of the project, a projects, when you look at your last 10 that you’ve been part of, and goodness knows, we know that work today is all just loaded with projects. How many met their deadline? And when they met their deadline, how do they meet their deadline? Oftentimes it’s coerce, ‘if you get this done by this time it’s going to mean X’ that’s not how we actually want to create a culture that’s going to thrive.

 

So, when you think about that tangible aspect of culture and being able to work within those workgroups that is something that we can calculate and sees a very impactful benefit to actually helping raise the level of leadership throughout the entire organization.  When you start thinking about tangible and intangible and some of the things that are associated with this calculation, is there something that stands out to the people missed very often that they need to consider?

 

Pele Ugboajah:     I think your point about tangible versus intangible is extremely valuable because we have a tendency to look toward what is tangible. We look at things like sales results, we look at how many customers required over a certain period time, but the funny thing is that it’s the intangible things that allow us to achieve those tangible things. And those intangible things are things like behavior. And behavior begets culture like one is a parent of the other. If you have a lot of behaviors that a lot of people ascribe to hence comes your culture. 

 

So, I think the core intangible, if you want to use that as a good descriptor, is behavior. What exactly is behavior, let’s get down to some definitions. Behavior is described amongst the academic behavioral community but really in terms of common sense, as whatever an individual does or says. Let me repeat that, whenever you do something that is measurable and observable or you say something, again, measurable and observable you have just behaved in a certain way. And so, our task really is to help our leaders, help our organizations get down to the granular level of seeing, understanding and measuring behavior so the people can improve those behaviors over time. So I think behaviors is that intangible you’re talking about. As behaviors change in organizations results also change.

 

Jim Rembach:     And I think that’s a great point. And also as you were talking I started thinking about at an organizational level some of those things that may seem hard to calculate but can be and a lot of things at an organizational level, we’re talking about brand impacts. When we start talking about missing those deadlines, it doesn’t necessarily impact the individuals or even the workgroup it could impact the brand and it really doesn’t matter if you’re in a B to B or in a B to C environment thinking about that overall brand impact in wanting to be associated with the company and not want to be associated with the company, those can be some very high  strategic level impacts that often can go into that actual calculation or that benefit of any type of development program an activity that you go about. 

 

So not at the team level. Let’s take it down a notch because every single one of us, unless we’re a solopreneur, are part of particular team or workgroup. So, we start thinking about a benefit associated with going through the leadership development process and improving leadership skills, that pipeline, and that bench strength of leadership. What are some of the things that come to mind when you start thinking of smaller workgroups?

 

Pele Ugboajah:     Well, I think you made a valid point about larger organizations having not only organizational culture and behavior to contend with in terms of measuring but also customer behavior and culture to find a way to understand because that’s the way you understand the impact of your  brand. It’s how your customers are behaving, again back to the behavior word, what are they doing and saying? Those same concept apply precisely in the same way that teams and organizations, teams within organizations. However, we can now begin to—because we’re talking about smaller teams, we can now begin to talk more specifically about leadership and leadership impact. Because it is very visual, we can see it happening—you come to a team meeting, if you are a fly on the wall in a team meeting you could literally see if you got good leadership happening in this particular team or not. 

 

It goes back to several formulas for what it takes to be a good team, things such as trust, things such as—the openness and willingness to challenge the status quo, transparency and so on, so, there’s some basic building blocks of what a team is and should be. When you see those things absent in a team that is your indicator that leadership is not happening and you can begin to use those as measurements for behavior to understand whether or not good leadership exists or not in a team. 

 

Jim Rembach:     I think that’s a really important point. For longest time I’ve been looking and focusing in on the works of Dr. Shea McConan and he talks about there’s seven key elements associated with those outcomes or those behaviors result in, and he talks about the importance of feeling valued,  conflict management, ownership, openness, motivation, feedback and difference management and those being the core pillars associated with being able to get that trust and that openness and getting work done faster knowing that somebody’s got your back and it also potentially rolling that up at an organization level. I think you and I were participating in a conversation the other day with a Chief Learning Officer of an organization, she was talking about this issue that she deals with in regards to this whole top down problem. And I mention the case study was a Harvard Business Review study, it was printed back in 1970, and it talks about why change programs—don’t change anything essentially. And it’s just that, it’s the top down piece pushing things down, starting at the very top and expecting them to have a long term value and impact to the organization as they get down, it just doesn’t happen. You get a short term blip but it’s not long term impacting and it’s just not sustainable. 

 

When you start thinking about the team, one of the things I see a lot of organizations do that as I’m learning more and more about this whole concept of motivation that could be a detriment. As a matter of fact, there’s one particular tool that I look at their demo on their solution and what they were essentially doing was creating an artificial coercive motivation so that these things can happen as far as getting results, right? When you start talking about teams and comparing their performance with one another at what point does it become unhealthy?

 

Pele Ugboajah:    That’s an important question and I think that’s why we have consultants because the better consultants you are the better you can make what is very potentially explosive into a very positive nice process. The rules are always the same, we have to understand if people trust each other. You’ve got to know whether or not this ability to address conflict, we need to know how committed people are. And all of these things such as avoiding accountability or some people who don’t focus on results but only focus on themselves, all of these pillars if you will of what makes a good team had got to be analyzed, quantified, qualified and use as a lens to understand whether or not you have a functional leadership in that team or not. Because in the end, the character of a team is very reflective almost on one-to-one level about the quality of a leader. Bad leaders produce bad teams. And bad teams are symptomatic of leadership.

 

Jim Rembach:    It’s funny you say that. I was actually in a tradeshow a couple weeks ago and overheard somebody talking about, “I wish I could get my team to do the things that I need them to do when I’m gone.” And I almost want to say, “Well, that is because you’re not a good leader.” But of course, I refrain from doing that but I think that’s kind of the old adage that goes to—what it is that happens when you’re not there? And I don’t know if it’s necessarily a situation where one individual as a leader can totally change the situation where there’s negative performance in that. It literally requires a collaborative effort. But creating the environment and using your learning and development opportunities to put in the behaviors that will enable you to do that is important. So, let’s focus on Paul. Now, when I shared with you Paul’s message you had a very different perspective than I did. Please share that with me?

 

 Pele Ugboajah:     My mind hearing of his message was that he was struggling personally as a leader. And he wanted advice on how he could increase his leadership effectiveness. Now, he did use the word, return on investment, like what he said was, “I’m putting much more in that I’m getting out, it’s something like that. So, he was talking about return on investment at an individual level. However, what he’s really struggling with is leadership effectiveness. One thing we need to definite in addition to all the other definitions we’ve talked about such as behavior and teams we need to define leadership, why? Because there are as many definitions for leadership as there are people on this planet. Let’s find one that we can at least work with. 

 

I would say, let me just propose one and see if you agree, I would say that the shortest way to describe it, leadership is influence. Leadership is your ability to influence others. You set a vision, you create an environment where others want to follow and achieve that vision. So, when a vision is not being achieved that tells you something about leadership, when no one is following that tells you something about leadership. As you say, if you’re taking a walk and you look behind you and there’s no one behind you all you’re doing is taking a walk, you’re not a leader. And so, I would say that for pulse specific situation he needs to do three things. 

 

Frist of all, he needs to recognize that he is a leader. He is a leader, however, he needs to nurture his leadership to the point that he desires it to be and to do that he has to learn something about leadership that is in line with his own personality and his own abilities and position. Then he has to practice those things he learn as tangible, measurable behaviors, and then he has to track his achievement process over time within a community of practice and may even preferably with a coach who is consistently focused on his development. So, if those three things that I think Paul needs to do. Learn some competencies and behaviors regarding leadership. Practice them in reality at your job and make sure that you are doing it within the context of a community of practice that can help you achieve your leadership goals.

 

 Jim Rembach:     I think those are three great pieces that we all could instill as part of our behaviors in trying to get greater effectiveness in whatever we do as far as leading his concern. And I think—Paul, thank you for your contribution, we love you and we hope this helps. But also when you start thinking about that ROI, going back to that calculation play, many of those things that you referred to of those three, there’s some investment required. And so, when you also start thinking about return associated with it, what I often see is that—Oh, gosh, and I’m  going to have this problem too is that we want them to be immediate, we want those returns now, we don’t want them yesterday. And oftentimes we somewhat are a little bit laggard in trying to get those returns, and it’s like, “Gosh, if I have just done this two year ago, or last month for that matter, I would have a different effect or different impact.

 

But when you start thinking about this timeline and you’ve studied this, the impacts, how long can somebody really expect impact to occur and get greater effectiveness? What’s realistic?

 

Pele Ugboajah:     First of all, let’s just start with agreeing and admitting to the research job there which says, essentially the 150+ billion dollars that are is spent each year, for example, in the US on training and development is almost universally wasted because 85% of it is gone. The return on investment is only about maybe 5% to 20%. Let’s just say 15% that is a terrible statistic and it is evident that whatever we think we’re doing today, with respect to leadership development is not working. So, let’s just start with that, how do you do it better? I think you point about taking more time and focusing on developing things where time is really well taken. For example, we have an industry called Learning and Development that only focuses on learning, that’s the problem.

 

 Learning is the beginning, development takes time. You don’t develop in a classroom. I have a saying that I don’t think I invented but I’ve certainly adopted it to myself and my name. You don’t learn to play soccer at a seminar—my name Pele to soccer player, okay. You can’t learn how to play soccer at a seminar, you’ve got to get outside of the seminar and you’ve got to practice soccer, you’ve got develop over time, so back to your question: What is a meaningful expectation in terms of time and leadership development? First thing I want to say is that,  leadership does not happen in the classroom there’s something called the 70/20/10 rule, which says that and this is based on research that we could put down on your links later on. But 10% of learning happens in the classroom, 20% happens outside the classroom while you talk to people within the community of practice and a whopping 70% of real learning happens in the field, outside of the classroom, after job, in the workplace. What that tells me and should tell everyone is that, you learn by doing overtime. 

 

Now, when I was an executive coach in a leadership development firm, we had coaching and leadership development happen over six months to a year. It is not something that happens in a week, a month, or even three months, why? Because you need time to really get the community of practice working together to help this individual this individual grow. You need time for the opportunity to happen. If want to practice my guitar, I can pick up my guitar anytime I want and just play it, but when you’re trying to practice leadership development it is situational. I can be a leader only if the situation presents itself.  

 

And so I have to actually seek out opportunities and hope and wait and look for and create opportunities to practice those behaviors. And to do that you have to spend some time in the workplace coming across those kinds of leadership situations. So, six months is a small but a good minimum, twelve months is even better. And that 12 months has to be structured, it has to be all about practice and feedback, or what we sometimes call, feedforward which means a more positive approach, more futuristic approach to, how do I get better, and it’s got to be something that is measured and recorded hopefully in a format or platform or tool that will allow you to see whether someone is getting better or not. 

 

Jim Rembach:     Dr. Pele, thanks so much for sharing your wisdom. Now, before we move on, let’s get a quick word from our sponsor. 

 

“Contributing to the annual $150 billion loss in training and development investments is downright demoralizing so raise your spirits and training ROI by increasing learning transfer with resultpal.com. Get over the hump now by going to resultpal.com/fast and getting a $750 performance package for free.” 

 

Alright here we go Fast leader listeners now it’s time for the—Hump Day Hoedown. Okay Dr. Pele, the Hump Day Hoedown is the part of our show where you give us good insights fast. So, I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Dr. Pele, are you ready to hoedown?

 

Pele Ugboajah:     I’m ready to hoedown. 

 

Jim Rembach:     Alright.   What do you think is holding organizations back from building their leadership pipelines?

 

Pele Ugboajah:     Cultures. Most organizations that you’re talking about have cultures that frankly don’t believe that leaders can be nurtured. They believe that leadership comes from nature only. And one could debate that all day, but the fact is a switch needs to go from, “We have leaders who are born that way” to “We have leaders who we can develop overtime. 

 

Jim Rembach:     Many organizations have eliminated their middle leaders and are now starving for leaders, what should they do?

 

Pele Ugboajah:     They should start turning everyone into a leader. Just because you’re title doesn’t say Vice President or Director, doesn’t mean you can be a leader in your specific team, group or situations, people should strive for leadership at all levels. 

 

 Jim Rembach:     What is one of the biggest mistakes do you see organizations make when trying to develop their leaders?

 

Pele Ugboajah:     They don’t focus on specific measurable behaviors. They focus on this high level pie in the sky descriptions of competencies and vision and not what people need to do on Monday morning when they get back to work. 

 

Jim Rembach:       What is the best advice to give for those who want to be better leaders?

 

Pele Ugboajah:     They have to learn something about leadership. They have to practice that thing about leadership and they’ve got to monitor the achievement of their results within the community of practice overtime. 

 

Jim Rembach:     What is one of the secrets you believe that will contribute to developing leadership skills faster?

 

Pele Ugboajah:     Practice, 85% of success is from skills and attitude not knowledge. People have to start practicing leadership skills and attitudes.

 

Jim Rembach:     What do you feel is one of the most misguided recommendations you hear experts give about developing leadership skills?

 

Pele Ugboajah:     First of all, this idea I think that things like leadership where executive presence are unknown and intangible. You only feel it when it’s there, that’s wrong. You can boil down leadership into measurable and behaviors that people can practice over time, and that’s that a misguided belief in the culture of our organizations. 

 

Jim Rembach:     Okay, Fast Leader Legion you can find links to the research that we sided in this episode and other bonus information from today’s show by going to fastleader.net/ ROI. Okay Dr. Blake this is my last Hump Day hoedown question: Imagine you were given the opportunity to change a tradition, system of belief that has hindered our ability to create more and better leaders for match we were given the opportunity to change a tradition system or belief that has hindered our ability to create more and better leaders over the past several decades. But you can’t change and wipe away every single thing. You can only choose one tradition, skill or belief so what would you change and why?

 

Pele Ugboajah:     I would change the belief that leaders are only born and I would suggest that leaders are also nurtured and made over time.

 

Jim Rembach:     Dr. Pele, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom, can you share with the fast leader legion how can connect with you?

 

Pele Ugboajah:     You can connect with me by going to www.resultpal.com and I’m available to be contacted through there. And I look forward to any concepts that come my way, I’ll try to help as much as I can. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom, the Fast Leader legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump. Woot! Woot!

 

Thank you for joining me on the Fast Leader show today. For recaps, links from every show, special offers and access to download and subscribe, if you haven’t already, head on over the fastleader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster. 

 

 END OF AUDIO 

[/expand]