5 Crucial Actions That Build Unity and Foster Performance

Featuring Brad Deutser, Founder & CEO of Deutser, Bestselling Author, and Speaker, this webinar explores the critical topic of workplace unity. Discover why fostering unity in the workplace is of paramount importance, as we explore the profound impact it has on overall performance and success. Deutser shares valuable insights on the five crucial actions that serve as the foundation for building unity within teams and organizations. The discussion also explores the concept of being a more human leader and how this approach can enhance leadership effectiveness, ultimately creating a more harmonious and productive work environment.


VANNOY (00:00:47):

Five crucial actions that build unity and foster performance. Hi, I’m Mike Vannoy, vice President of Marketing at Asure, and I’ve got a really cool guest with me today. Uh, uh, uh, author. He’s got a new book coming out. Uh, the title of the book, belonging Rules, five Crucial Actions That Build Unity and Foster Performance comes out in September, uh, really looking to my conversation with Brad and unpacking the, the, the, the contents of that book. So, uh, as an introduction, Brad is a leading business consultant, creative strategist, executive coach, and trusted counselor to CEOs, board chairs, and top corporate management for high profile organizations, including numerous Fortune 100 companies and leading nonprofits. His unique insights and original approach to affecting a human approach to sustainable organization change have impacted top businesses, leading universities, professional sports, franchises, and cause-based organizations. He’s an expert in creating spaces and leadership capacity for belonging and inclusion. Brett is a sought after, uh, sought after as an authority and innovative thinker on matters of organizational change, belonging, and complexity in leadership. He’s the bestselling author of Leading Clarity, the Breakthrough Strategy to Unleash People, profit and Performance. And I already talked about his new book Belonging Rules, the Five Crucial Actions, the Bill, unity and Foster Performance. Brad, welcome to the show.

DEUTSER (00:02:09):

Thanks for having me. I’m excited to have a conversation with you.

VANNOY (00:02:13):

So much of what we talk about on this weekly show has to do with, uh, uh, compliance and, and, and so much of the, dare I say, the harder side, uh, the black and white side of, of hr, right? So we, our audience is, is entrepreneurs, small business owners, executives at mid-sized companies, um, in the war for talent has hit Main Street. That used to be a concept, you know, the, the phrase was coined by Mackenzie, uh, consultant 23, 24 years ago now. Um, uh, but really finding and keeping developing talent, uh, is, is so crucial to small businesses now, right? Uh, as, as, as the available workforce has flattened out. Um, and, and I think getting the most from our people and building great teams, uh, is, to me it’s the, it’s the coolest part of hr, right? So, um, really looking forward to your thoughts here. Can, can you maybe start out, um, what, you know, when, when you talk about building unity in an organization, what, what, what is it that you even mean by building unity and, you know, title of your first book, uh, uh, clarity? What, what does that even mean?

DEUTSER (00:03:26):

So, you know, when I, when I think about building unity in organizations, it starts with a, a, a premise. Um, and, and the premise is, is that organizations are made up of people. You know, there’s so much in today’s environment where we are focused on technology and all the things around the people, but our whole business and our whole approach really centers on the human part of business, the human change and business. And one of the big kind of needs in the, or in organizations, one of the big changes in organization is, is this idea of there needs to be unity. The world around us is fractured, and we know that if we bring the outside world into our organizations, we’re not gonna perform as well as we could or should, or need to, need to perform. And so when we talk about unity, it really kind of gets down to this very fundamental, uh, human need.


There’s a human need for people to belong, to be connected with other people. The, the Covid brought us apart. So there is an intentionality that is required to bring people together. Um, you know what we, what we, we do a lot of research in this area around, around unity, around belonging. And nine out of 10 employees believe that this concept is really, really important to them. And think about that. 90% of our people believe that belonging and feeling connected to something that’s bigger than themselves is what is, is what is driving them. And so it drives engagement, it drives performance, it drives commitment, it drives satisfaction. And we’ll get into this a little bit later, but one of, I think the big findings of our study, and we talk about unity and we talk about belonging in these concepts, is that people are willing to be paid less to be part of an organization that has higher belonging. And so it’s a little bit counterintuitive, and for some it feels soft, but it really is not soft at all. It’s the, it’s the foundation of business today.

VANNOY (00:05:39):

Yeah. You know what, it’s interesting cause I was gonna ask you using some a question using those, some of those same words, it’s like, on one hand, unity feels like kind of touchy feely, soft stuff, but at the end of the day, I mean, I’m, I’m an entrepreneur many times over myself, uh, aside from from, from working at ashore. Uh, and at the end of the day, small business owners, they, they, a lot of times they, whether intentional or not, they create kind of these family-like atmospheres, but they require performance, right? They, they, they, they don’t create a family environment just for the sake of doing it. They need the job performance because maybe they’re working really thin margins. They’re trying to scale the business up. What, what, maybe, tell us about the survey that you did. What da what does the data tell you about the link between what you call unity and actual performance?

DEUTSER (00:06:33):

Well, what, what it, what the data tells us is, is that when an organization has a higher belief in belonging, where people feel that they belong, and the organization is creating these spaces for belonging, if you will, when we, when we, what the data tells us is, number one, the employee’s commitment to the organization goes up. So it increases. Why is that valuable? Well, when we think about commitment, small businesses, small businesses are taking a chance on their people. They’re investing in people. They want them to stay. We need to do more to help them be the best that they can be. So, number one, it’s that, it’s that concept of commitment, increasing commitment. Two is engagement. You know, what we see is again, in this, in this, in this survey. And, and, and we’ve surveyed more than 15,000 people. So it’s not a small survey, it’s a large survey studying these, these different elements we see with engagement that the more engaged a person is, the less likely they are to be distracted from things on the outside.


The more they’re willing to dive headfirst into, be engaged with the whole of the organization. They’re giving the whole of themselves to the organization, which is really, really important. Um, the, the, the, the another piece of that is, is this idea of satisfaction. Um, we, we, we know the studies out there, the, the, the, the great disconnect, the, the people are disconnected from their organizations. Um, and so when, when you have a higher sense, a higher feeling of belonging, the satisfaction goes up, they’re happier in their jobs. And when we think about that, it produces more effort. And for a small business, think about the incremental effort that someone gives just a little bit more. If each person is giving a little bit more and a little bit more effort, and then they’re willing to give a little bit more, think about what that does to the bottom line of an organization.


The effort is a critical, critical piece. The satisfaction, the critical piece. And I think what’s, what’s, again, another soft fuzzy term for a lot of leaders, and if they take one thing out of this, I’d love them to take out the idea that the idea of positivity may be one of the most important drivers in business today. And there’s nothing soft and fuzzy. But what we know is when we create that sense of unity, when we create spaces for belonging, positivity goes up. And we can delve into positivity a little bit more later if you want. But what we know with positivity is the higher the positivity quotient and the positivity quotient is a measure that we have developed and we use that measures positivity in an organization, the higher that quotient is, the more likely the organization is to achieve its desired future state. So when you talk about performance, that’s, yeah.

VANNOY (00:09:50):

Can, can, can you, can you maybe step back? I, I’m really curious about this survey. So 15,000, that’s a really big sample size. Can you k kind of lay out what the survey was, the kinds of questions you asked, how you’re tying this back to? So I, I think you just, uh, kind of gave me the answer. It’s, uh, cuz cuz we just did a re a survey, we’re getting ready to publish as well, where we asked HR oriented questions correlated to what best, best describes you last year, fast growth growth flat year or down year. And so we’re we’re able to correlate HR best practices to actual revenue growth. I, I think what I heard you say is you’re tying back to did you achieve your objectives? Can you unpack that survey for us?

DEUTSER (00:10:33):

Sure. Um, so a a a couple things from an objective standpoint. Number one, our survey looks at a number of different measures. And, and I’m, I’m not the, uh, the scientists, I have a team of social scientists that study organizations, people, and so they delve deep into the science of this. But at a, at a, at a macro level, what, what we, we really were studying is, is there a correlation to, number one, belonging and salary? So if when there is a higher, uh, sense of belonging, is there a correlation to salary? And what we showed is definitively there is an absolute connection to belonging and salary. People are willing to take 10,000, in some cases, $20,000 less salary being part of an organization that values belonging, that fosters unity, that brings people together. So that’s number one. Number two, we look at turnover and, and connecting turnover to this concept of belonging.


If people feel that they belong to something bigger than themselves, to an organization that values them, that respects them, that we don’t have to all agree on everything. But there’s, there’s, there’s, there’s a place for those conversations. Again, there’s a direct correlation as we, as we expand out our survey and we look at both belonging and positivity. The desired future state really goes to the organization’s overall strategy and their, their, their bottom line goals that they’re trying to achieve. And so what we show in, in, in all our studies is that there is a direct link when we think about belonging, when we think about positivity, when we think about some of these elements that, that previously, I think most leaders would consider to be soft, squishy, kind of amorphous kind of issues that we throw that out the window and say, no, no, no, no, no, it’s actually, there’s nothing soft about it. They’re actually critical business drivers. And in some cases, what we show is that employees value them more than strategy. When we, when we compare belonging to strategy and to some of the other more traditional, uh, business tools, belonging comes out on top.

VANNOY (00:13:03):

And so what do you say to the small business owner who says, okay, you know, if if I’m running, uh, I’m running, uh, you know, uh, a rocket company, uh, designed to get people to the moon or to, to, to Mars, uh, you know, uh, I can get people to hop on that mission and, and break, you know, commute three hours one way and, and work 90 hours a week because they wanna be part of this mission of getting somebody on the moon, right? Um, uh, there, there are companies that this mission is so, I’d say innate, that I think that sense of unity just kind of happens organically. What about this, the small business owner who thinks, well, how the heck would I get unity around, you know, I got a, I I got I a local restaurant, I gotta run a local c p a firm. I mean, I I do taxes. The tax taxes are taxes. How, how do you, especially in a small business context, how do you create unity in, in, in vision, in, in commonness for, I wrote, wrote down the, to to develop this positivity quotient.

DEUTSER (00:14:08):

So I think there’s a lot of ways, number one, in the rocket example, um, yeah, people get excited about the big mission. Um, but when we’re in our work, day after day after day after day, sometimes the mission gets pushed off to the side why we do what we do to push off to the side. And it still comes back to the same concepts. It’s still about the people who are bringing that to life. When I think about the accounting firm, when I think about the small firms, it’s made up of people, people who you’ve chosen to be part of your organization, they’ve chosen to be part of your organization. And to me, the opportunity is to look, go back to that same idea. We don’t have to, it, it may, our, our purpose may not be going to take a person to Mars. Um, but in the accounting firm, it may be to provide the most human, the best solutions that to, to solve people’s problems. Problem is reconfiguring how people think about their own work. And I think that’s where it starts. Um, I look at organizations,

VANNOY (00:15:18):

Can you an example what you mean by that?

DEUTSER (00:15:20):

Yeah, I think that, I think you can look at organizations out there, um, uh, and I’ll, and I’ll give you one that, um, in the healthcare space, uh, MD Anderson, you know, we make cancer history. When I think about that, well, who’s making cancer history? We must be talking about the researchers, the doctors, the people who are at the very top of the organization. But the power is not in that line. In, in, in talking to the people at the top of the organization, that line is bringing everybody in, everybody up into the same shared kind of place where the custodian who is cleaning the floors, when you ask that person, what do you do for a living? I’m making cancer history. They genuinely view their role as making something better for someone else. And so, for the person, my expertise is not in accounting.


I rely on my accountant to help me. They don’t, maybe they maybe forget the impact that they have on me and my family, but doing things right, being on top of it, being ahead of it, asking me the questions before someone else asks them, caring about my wellbeing. I’ll tell you in a lot of ways that there’s no greater role than that, because it doesn’t just affect humanity as a whole. It affects the individual. And when we, when we, when we’re able as leaders to connect people back to the individuals they’re serving, the individuals they’re supporting, the individuals, they’re lifting up, it gives us all a purpose, a reason for being. It goes to one of the rules in, in our book where we, we talk a lot about choosing identity over purpose. It’s that broader kind of construct of who we are and how we do things.

VANNOY (00:17:22):

Brad, let, let, let, let’s go there. So the, the, again, the, the name of the book that’s coming out in September, uh, belonging Rules, five Crucial Actions that Build Union Foster Performance. So list them for us. So what are, what are the five rules?

DEUTSER (00:17:37):

So there there are five rules. We call ’em the belonging rules, and the first rule is turn into the power. So we’ll get into that in a little bit. The second rule is listen without labels, the rule is choosing identity over purpose. The fourth rule is challenge everything. And the fifth rule is demand a hundred percent of the truth on the surface, these five rules seem pretty obvious, but the power is how you execute, how you process them, and how they come together. And, and, and with these rules, it allows leaders, it doesn’t matter if you’re a company of two or a company of 2000, 20,000, 200,000, these are the rules that we have proven that help leaders build those spaces for belonging.

VANNOY (00:18:32):

All right. You, you choose the order. I’m assuming you wanna start with number one, but you know, un unpack each of those five if you could.

DEUTSER (00:18:39):

Sure. We’ll, we’ll start with the first, um, turn into the power. Um, this is this, this, this rule is there are power structures in every organization. There are power structures in society. And what we hear today in, in, in, in, watch the news, read whatever you want. We have to dismantle, we have to, we have to get rid of, just move them out of the way. The reality is that there are power structures because they’ve existed for some reason. Sometimes it’s to serve the leaders. Sometimes it’s to serve different groups in an organization. But this may be traditions, it may be forces, it could be, it could be policies, it could be procedures, it could be any number of things. But what we’ve learned is, and what our research shows is when we go around, when we try to circumvent these things that exist in our workplace and pretend that we can get around them and have a solution and they’ll go away, what we do is we create temporary solutions.


We create temporary solutions that may make our workforce feel good in the moment. It may make us feel good as leaders, we’ve solved it, but the fact is we’ve gone around it, and by going around it, they’re still there. Again, it’s not going up to a supervisor and pounding them and saying, Hey, I’m going right into you. Instead, it’s going, it’s identifying, it’s understanding what are the things that are in our pathway to achieve something different, to navigate a problem, having the ability, the willingness to go into it headfirst in a respectful way to have conversation, but not to pretend that we can move them, not to pretend that we can go around them, but to begin to have the real dialogue, to have the real conversations, which gets into some of the other, the other rules.

VANNOY (00:20:44):

So it’s going through my head. I’m, I’m just envisioning playing out. It’s, I’m sure you’ve had it in your career read yet. So you started out as, you know, maybe an individual contributor role, uh, uh, at a company. And it’s like, boy, when I get to to that job, I’m gonna do it this way. Because from, from your vantage point, what they’re doing looks so stupid. Or it looks like it may be simply the exercise of power. The reality is there’s a hierarchy and there’s authority in that hierarchy. Maybe it’s exercised with power, maybe it’s exercised, uh, out of policy. Uh, but that hierarchy exists probably for a whole bunch of reasons that you just don’t even know. And it looks like power, right? And if you, so what’s going through my head is, as you’re saying, it’s like, yeah, it’s like when you, all of a sudden you get promoted, it’s like, oh, wait a minute, those guys actually, those, those people actually weren’t stupid. This is the reason they were doing what they were doing. Right. And the, and the same thing happens probably about as high as you go, uh, in, in, in, in, in. Yeah. So may, maybe, maybe, can you give an example what, of what that might look like to turn into the power? I really like that phrase.

DEUTSER (00:21:53):

Yeah. So I think that, you know, the, one of the things that we, we coach leaders and we work with teams on is knowing when and where to call out issues. Knowing how to suggest, how to suggest change, knowing when to leverage strategic patience. Strategic patience is a concept that we, that we preach, that we talk about. And strategic patience is understanding. There is a sequencing, there’s a natural sequencing. Sometimes when we know we’re going as leaders, we that we’re going, we have a set direction. It’s being patient and knowing that our time is going to come to challenge something and to challenge it with a louder voice or a different, a different voice. But turning to the power for an organization and a leader is just a willingness to understand where those, where those structures, where those impediments are. Sometimes they’re real and sometimes they’re perceived.


And sometimes leaders don’t really see what the workforce is experiencing. We think we do. But we were there years ago, and what we know is everything’s changed. So how do we, how do we think about allowing people to come into a conversation? Sometimes that’s asking questions. Sometimes that’s just being the human leader and going into it and having the conversations to understand what are the impediments, what are the roadblocks that are, are in, in the way of people performing at their best. And so that’s what turn into the power is all about. There are things that society will tell us all the time, signs we see on the roads, stay out, you know, beware, you know, beware of, they’re telling us, stay out. What are those things in our organizations, no matter how big or small, no matter what the circumstances are, and sometimes they’re driven by society and societal needs. Sometimes they’re driven by our own organizations and the different policies and procedures that we put in place that create these barriers.

VANNOY (00:24:13):

Yeah. Right. All right. Rule number two, listen without labels, what does that mean?

DEUTSER (00:24:18):

So listen, without labels is hearing what is spoken without judgment, you know, while at the same time engaging kind of the unspoken with humanity and heart. And so this is about really listening. This is about listening. What happens is we intuitively hear what someone says, and we are so preoccupied with having to have a response, having to have an answer that we immediately bucket, okay, what they said here, and I can put a label on it. And the second that we begin to put labels on things, we diminish what someone else is saying, what they’re feeling, what they’re experiencing. And when we allow the conversation take hold, when we actively listen, when we listen to what someone is saying and giving ourselves the ability to listen to what they’re not saying, what we see in organizations is there is a growing, and I mean a significantly growing level of, of, of an imbalance of fear and trust in organizations.


And this is of all size organizations. So that that idea of psychological safety there is at a, is at a real challenge. Part of that is our employees, our workforce, are sometimes afraid to say what they really think. And so sometimes we as leaders need to listen without labels and not bucket what people are saying and overly simplify what they’re saying and saying, okay, I got it. They fall into this group. Well, they’re disenfranchised. Oh, well, they’re the extremist. Oh, well, they’re just the middle, whatever it is. There are so many labels that we use as leaders, even on ourselves to define, well, I’m a, I’m a I’m a manager. I’m a project this, I’m the, and I, I tell everybody, we’re all leaders. You know, that’s the one label that I, that I think that we, we can, we can, we should focus on. But for this rule, it’s really about listening without labels. It’s, it’s, it’s really about how we engage in a conversation.

VANNOY (00:26:40):

Certainly protect the names of the innocent, uh, uh, you’ve been consulting on in this area for a long time. But can you, can you gimme an example of what that might look like, both on the bad side and the good side, not nothing conceptual, but like, in your practice, how do you see this manifest itself?

DEUTSER (00:26:57):

Uh, we see it manifest it itself in, in many different ways. I think with the current issues across, across our world, um, I think people will immediately go to, i, i i, one of one of the hot buttons today in, in organizations, depending on where you live, it’s, it’s more pronounced one way or the other. But when you talk about diversity, equity, and inclusion, and so it’s easy to label someone as you’re, you’re, uh, uh, on the left, you’re on the right. And so therefore, I’m gonna discount everything you say because I’m gonna label you and put you in that bucket. And typically, the bucket becomes a caricature. Yeah. And sometimes an extreme caricature. So we don’t, we don’t mean to do it, but the pace at which we work, the pace, we’re in such a hurry that if we just slow down, I always say that listening without labels, you know, sometimes it’s just adding 15 seconds to the conversation. Sometimes it’s just asking that one more question to someone to really understand what they’re saying and not be so quick to overly simplify what they’re, what they’re trying to say, Greg, or what they’re feeling.

VANNOY (00:28:15):

I don’t know how to construct a question. Even help, help give some practical advice to the entrepreneur. You know, they’re, they’re, they’re working 80 hours a week, just put the kids to bed at nine o’clock at night. They’re microwave their own dinner and getting ready to invoice customers from the prior week. So they’re, they’re running hard and fast, right? They don’t have a lot of time. And so they feel the need. They are in these conversations with employees that you gotta, you gotta get the data quickly. And dare I say, I mean, as a manager of people for many, many years, sometimes you do have to cut the employee off. Cause you do know the end game. You’ve heard the data points, you’ve, you’ve witnessed what they’ve done, and, and you, you kind of need to cut to the chase, because otherwise you’re never gonna get anything done. At the same time, intellectually, I agree with everything you just said, right? So help an entrepreneur out in a world where they are stretched so thin, and you need to listen, do so without labels. All that makes sense. At the same time, you gotta cut to the chase man and get to the point in as, as, as somebody who, who’s done this a thousand times with hundreds of employees, I can kind of see around corners in ways that you can’t. I think I know the answers, maybe I don’t. How, what, what’s your guidance there?

DEUTSER (00:29:50):

So, part of my guidance is when we approach this with, by, by, by, uh, listening without labels at the beginning of this, and you, you go into it with a different energy, a different spirit, it’s gonna save you time on the backend. It’s gonna save you time because the person is gonna perform and respond differently. What are things that you can do? When we talk about listen without labels that don’t take time, first of all, it’s, it’s how we, it’s how we start the conversation. So many leaders start the conversation with, why did you do that? Why did we do this? Well, why are numbers the way they are? Not in an accusatory way, but to your point, just give me the answer. Tell me what I need to know. And we start with why. And what I’ll tell you is, and I would tell leaders, we work with leaders, we coach leaders on this, that if we eliminate the idea of why from our vocabulary, and we simply start the question differently, it’s easier to listen without labels.


Hey, Mike, help me understand. Hey, Mike, can you, can you explain a little bit more? Hey, Mike, talk to me about what am I doing? I’m inviting you in the conversation. I’m not starting with, by putting you at a distance. Why pushes you away? Why is confrontational in, in, in so many ways, it’s me versus you. I either had the answer and I want you to figure it out, or you have the answer and I need it, or I don’t like it. So, number one, it’s going into the conversation with the idea of, Hey, let’s just embrace the beginning of the conversation by eliminating why there’s a different way to to, to get into the conversation. Two ask questions that, that, that, that are set up for you to understand and get the answer that you need. That you construct a question in, in, in the right way.


Um, sometimes it’s understanding the who, sometimes it’s understanding that the employee is number one, is not an adversary. They’re working for you, they’re working with you. The more that we make them feel that they’re with us, they’re gonna do more with us and ultimately for us. And so understanding the who, where they’re coming from, where that conversation is, um, and start with the reason. Start with the reason why you’re in the conversation in, in, in, in the first place. You know, what am I trying to get to? Um, sometimes it’s simply showing that you’re listening. So many leaders are, are are multitasking. We’re doing, we’re doing multiple things at once. That it’s, it’s hard to listen without labels because the truth is we are labeling things. Okay, I got it. As I’m thinking about the next, the next thing. And so when we listen without labels, we, we, we limit the personal attacks. We’re, we’re not trying to win, we’re just trying to hear we’re, we’re, we’re, we’re, we’re just trying to hear what another person’s having to say. Um, my belief is, is that when we listen without labels, it doesn’t mean we don’t cut people off. It doesn’t mean we don’t redirect. It just means we’ve heard what we need to hear, and we move, we pivot, we shift, we bridge to, to the next talk.

VANNOY (00:33:25):

Yeah. You, you had me at hello on the whole, uh, changing the approach on the front end can save you the time on the back end. Right. That’s, that’s so true. Um, how about number three, choose identity over purpose. I’m really intrigued by this one.

DEUTSER (00:33:41):

So this goes against a lot of things that, that, that people are talking about and reading. So we talked a little bit about, about, um, the rocket ship and people wanting to work for an organization that, wow, we’re gonna figure out how to take people to Mars. Like, wow, that’s awesome. And there are those organizations that are that unique and that distinct that sometimes the purpose is enough to drive them. Yeah. But our research and our work goes to show that it’s actually purpose is important, but there’s a broader cultural ecosystem that is what we look at, that healthy organizations that create that sense of belonging, rely on, and that culture is really driven by identity. And so when we talk about that ecosystem that makes up what it means to, to have that identity, um, identity is not about the individual identities. We, we bring who we are to work, but we’re part of a larger organization.


Again, it doesn’t matter what’s how many people, but it’s more than us. And so we talk about identity from an organizational perspective. And so, um, that, that, that really goes to how we think about, uh, the, the, the purpose. Um, how we think about our characteristics, how we think about our values. Um, and I include kind of behaviors, behavioral competencies in that, that create that cultural ecosystem that make up, um, what, what what we talk about as identity. Um, and so often today, uh, leaders go with, here’s my five values. Here, here, here are my, here are my values. And they’re, they tend to be one word, values. Oh, we value honor. We value integrity. We’re family. Um, o o okay, that doesn’t give, that doesn’t create a sense of belonging. What all the research shows is, is that the values built out, and we, we, we talked about it as humanized values, two or three words that make up each value.


Um, the characteristics, things that were true are true, must be true. What differentiates our organization, it creates this whole ecosystem that creates an identity. And when we create the identity of an organization, regardless of who we are and what we bring, we have a place that we fit. So we, we, we, we, we want to create that very intentional space, no matter the size of the organization, of this is what we share, this is what we have in common, this is what we aspire to. And that’s what this rule is all about. It’s, it’s, it’s, it’s saying purpose is important, but purpose, uh, disaggregated from values and behaviors and characteristics aren’t enough. And the example I can give you, we do a lot of work with professional sports teams, with collegiate sports teams, and take the professional sports teams, as an example, professional sports teams.


The purpose is often very similar. It’s noble, it’s lofty. We wanna, we wanna, and we wanna win championships. I mean, that’s why we’re in business. We wanna win championships. So if you take the nfl, the National Football League, and you have what, 32 teams that have similar purpose statements of to win champions to win championships, there’s one champion every year. So what makes a team in one city different from another and another, and another? Some people can say, well, it’s, it’s the owner. Some people can say it’s the uniform. Some people can say it’s whatever it is. At the end of the day, it’s the unique identities that those teams have formed and the spaces that they create to attract, to retain and build people in the organization.

VANNOY (00:38:04):

Can you paint a picture of what that might look like? Because I hear so SpaceX, when get get to Mars, uh, Sistine Chapel, I’m building, uh, I’m, I’m not a bricklayer, I’m, I’m, I’m building a temple to God. Um, uh, I can’t remember the name of the firm you mentioned, but, uh, making cancer history, right, tho, so those are purposes, purposes are good. What would, what would be an example of a a, a firm who chose identity over purpose? What, what would be an example?

DEUTSER (00:38:37):

Oh, gosh. There, there are, there are so many organizations that we work with that that, that they all choose. Um, they all, they all choose identity over purpose. Um, I’m trying to think of an example that’s outside of our, of our client base that I can say, Hey, this is, this is a great example of an organization that looks like they’ve chosen identity over purpose. You know, I guess you could take a, um, uh, a Nike, you know, that, that, that, that, that they, that there is, that there’s a clear, that there’s a clear purpose of why they exist and they exist for the everyday athlete. Um, and the characteristics, whether you’re shopping online, the characteristics, whether you’re in a store, whether you’re experiencing their, their, uh, product is all linked back to what you, what you’ve seen from Nike historically, where they are today is likely where they’re gonna be tomorrow. There’s a consistency that runs through that, through that organization, um, in terms of you experience it all, all across.

VANNOY (00:39:49):

Yeah. So, and maybe it’s changed in recent years, but, uh, certainly under jobs, uh, you know, maybe you didn’t join Apple because you really, you wanted to build the, the most amazing, all in one closed, uh, infrastructure, uh, computer. But you wanted to make a difference. You wanted to make an impact. You were an outsider, you were different, you were unique, right? And you’re smart and creative. So you, I identify with that, that identity. I, I, I get it. Um, how, how does an owner, an entrepreneur, a manager, either create or foster that identity?

DEUTSER (00:40:29):

That’s such a great question. And I, and I think that’s, it’s, it’s something that I think leaders struggle so much with, because to your, to your earlier question, leaders are looking for the fast answer, but the fast answer isn’t necessarily the sustainable answer. And it’s, and on the back end, it hurts us from a performance standpoint, from from a people standpoint. So we encourage leaders to think about identity from a very holistic perspective. There are tools that we use and that we offer to let leaders ask the fundamental questions of everybody in a small organization. Hey, tell me why, why do you think we exist? What are the, what, what, what, what’s our purpose? And it’s fascinating. You can ask the highest performing companies in the world, um, some of the smallest companies in the world. You’re going to get distinct answers when you, when you ask that.


So one, it’s, it’s to ask the question, getting people to fill in the, the fill in the blanks and, and asking individuals to share, to see, hey, where, where are there gaps? Second, same question that goes to what is it that we value? And what are the things that are, um, enduring and distinct about our organization from a characteristic standpoint? So we start things by asking questions. We are big believers that leaders, the more questions we ask, the more that we elicit feedback, the more that we’re bringing people into our world, what we have. D what we have found in our studies is employees don’t, the workforce doesn’t blame leadership for the decisions they make. They blame leadership for the questions they don’t ask. And that really, again, goes back to the idea of belonging. Show me that I’m valued. Ask me what I think our purpose is.


Ask me what I think about our characteristics. Ask me what I think we value. And when, when there’s an environment where there is no right or wrong eliciting that feedback is the first step. The second step is allowing leaders to, to, to go through that, to distill it. We have one of the kind of, it’s, it’s, it’s one of the most fun processes using very tactile tools to, to sort through and process individually and then leaders collectively to distilling these concepts down. But to me, at the very least, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s making a commitment no matter where you are. Let’s go back to purpose. Let’s reinforce that purpose of the why we exist. Number two, it’s going back to saying, what are those things that really make us different that no matter what changes in the environment, probably not gonna change about our, and what is it that we value?


We strongly recommend, uh, that leaders marry values and behaviors, behavioral competencies, but that really forms that nucleus of what it means to, to build out that identity. And those are four things that a leader can, can do and work with their organization. And there’s simple tools. We offer tools to say, Hey, here’s a card deck of tools. Here’s how to use it. Go do it on yourself, or we’ll help you do it, or someone else can help you do it. But those are the things. And then once you’ve, once you’ve settled on it, what we think that the biggest differentiator for leaders and where the greatest gap is to success, is when you’re able to humanize them. And so, again, it’s not about the one word simple, we’re a family. Well, let’s have that conversation. Small businesses like to think that we’re families, but is that really the right identity that we want to build? Because are dysfunctional families have unconditional love? What was that

VANNOY (00:44:37):

They sure can be?

DEUTSER (00:44:39):

And so we have to be careful what we’re inviting into our organization and how we think about our identity. We talk so often about high performing teams, choosing that over families. Now sometimes family is right, but the high performing team, the value of that is think about teams. It doesn’t matter where you come from. It doesn’t matter what you, where, where you live it, or what you believe or what, Hey, we’re forced together. We’ve gotta find ways to work together. Families sometimes don’t have to. So we encourage leaders to really talk through and how do we humanize and how do we define what we really mean? Don’t leave the definition up to the workforce to create for you. You can have them do it with you, but not for you.

VANNOY (00:45:28):

I was gonna add two lines of thought that I wanted to ask questions on that. And that was one of ’em about the intentionality, the, the old saying that, you know, if every, every company has a culture, if you’re not creating it, you’re just getting whatever comes along. And you probably won’t like the one that that, that you didn’t create in, in nurture, right? So maybe speak to that about what happens when you’re not intentional about creating an identity.

DEUTSER (00:46:00):

I, I, I think your, your word choice is one of the most important words, I think in leadership today. So I, I, I think your word choice of intentionality, being intentional is, is, is, is, is is where things are won in business today. And so that intentionality is fundamental to, to long-term sustainable success. If you’re a leader that wants to recreate every year, and you want to invest that resource and that time and hope that your employees will stay with you, then by all means that can be your pathway. But for most organizations, being intentional is, is really critical. What we see in organizations that are not intentional is that every, um, every year we change a degree, two degrees, three degrees. We don’t really feel, we don’t really feel that change. We don’t, we don’t, you know, we, it’s, it’s just, it’s just, it’s just natural growth.


The problem lies two years or three years into it where that two or three degrees becomes 10%, 10 degrees, that 10 degrees. Think about how far that veers us off. And so that’s why your word of being intentional with identity, identity, when we’re intentional with identity, we create a framework and we talk a lot about a box. The box of belonging is a framework. And that framework, the grounding to that, to that, that that box of belonging is identity. And when we create that, it gives leaders place to, to, to lead from. And it gives people a place to belong to

VANNOY (00:47:49):

Brad. And I’m not trying to get cute or play with semantics, but do you think, do you see a difference between identity and culture?

DEUTSER (00:48:00):

Uh, yeah. Um, I, they’re very, very close. And different organizations, um, different organizations think about them sometimes the same and sometimes, uh, a a little bit differently. Um, I think about identity as that very foundation. All the l elements that come together and how they work together and come together helps to create and sustain and perpetuate an intentional culture. So I think that that’s why identity is so, so critical, because it defines all the elements of, of, of our, our belief system, our d n A, that helps to inform, protect, and guide that culture.

VANNOY (00:48:46):

So, so in from your frame of reference, and I think that makes a lot of sense. The identity is almost this axiomatic center definition. Culture is how that manifests. Am I saying that right?

DEUTSER (00:49:01):

Yeah. I, I think that, I think that, that that works. And for some people, they wanna simplify it and say, Hey, I’m just focused on identity and, and, and, and, and the terms mean the same. But I think, yeah, exactly the way you described it is how a lot of organizations think about identity and culture.

VANNOY (00:49:20):

Yeah. Okay. Let’s move to, to number three. Uh, excuse me. Number four, challenge everything.

DEUTSER (00:49:27):

Challenge everything. Now,

VANNOY (00:49:28):

You know, are, are, are you talking to employees, to managers, senior managers, mid-level managers? I’m assuming the answer is all the above. But that starts getting pretty complex pretty fast.

DEUTSER (00:49:37):

It gets complex fast. But you know, we think about challenging everything as how do we create an environment for inquiry that’s free of conflict? That’s kind of as we talk about devoid of operate oppositional energy and, and, and, and, and really to create a space that’s driven by kinda this spirit of curiosity. All right? And so challenging everything, um, really goes to this, this, this belief system that we have. And, and this, this rule that so many organizations shut out any kind of opposition. They don’t want to hear the question. And again, from a long term employee, happiness and sustainability doesn’t work. Employee, the workforce is changing. And so this idea of challenging everything with respect, we never, we never believe that, that you challenge, and I’m just in your face to do it. But, um, challenge is important. I challenge everything. Now. I’m the leader of my organization.


People can sometimes be uncomfortable, but I will challenge the output every time. I will challenge our fundamental beliefs every time. Why? Because I always believe there’s a greater solution, there’s a greater answer, and I don’t believe that I have it or we have it. But together with that challenge, we’re able to get somewhere we didn’t even know that’s possible. There’s, it’s what’s interesting with this idea of challenging everything is so many organizations confused this concept, and they think of challenge and conflict inside an organization as one and the same, right? And, and, and they are completely and totally separate concepts with conflict. Conflict in organizations is destructive. It goes against that identity inside an organization. It starts to peel away. When there is conflict, the two different sides are, are coming at it. One has to win and one will ultimately lose or never admit that they’re losing and, and continue to, to, to buck each other.


And so the idea of conflict is unhealthy. We’re not looking for the conflict. What we are looking for is for the challenge in an organization and for challenge to be part of that identity, part of that culture that whatever we achieve is good, but there’s something more. How do we challenge each other to go farther? And so challenge is, is two different sides coming together with a very different spirit, a different energy to, to ask the questions, to maybe get, maybe there’s two different perspectives coming together, but they come together with the spirit to create possibly a third solution or a better understanding of one or the other two. So they’re very, very different kind of constructs. But the, the, the, the conflict is what we want to avoid. And we actively work through our identity work to push out. But that spirit of challenge and how we challenge is really fundamental to what we believe healthy organizations are.


Now, Mike, you said something that I think is really important. I’m, I’m a, I’m a, I’m a, uh, an entry level employee. Um, am I, am I encouraging you to go to the, uh, president or the c e o, the owner of the company and say, you know what, your ideas are wrong here. Obviously not. That doesn’t, that doesn’t work. But when we create a culture that is, and, and, and an organization that embraces belonging, it allows the leader to ask the questions, to open the dialogue up, to really understand, so that someone does, someone at, at a lower level does have the ability to say, I hear you, but my challenge is this. Or What if we thought about this or that? And there’s ways that we teach how to challenge and teach leaders how to create a, how to create a framework for challenging everything.

VANNOY (00:54:16):

This feels like a fairly natural extension from, uh, rule number two, listening without labels, right? It’s not, why did you do that? Why did you do this? It’s, you know what, that, that’s not really how I see this. That’s not how that doesn’t sit totally right with me. But, you know, tell me, tell me more. Explain, explain to me what you mean, right? It’s, it’s inviting them into the conversation, giving them the opportunity to, you know, chall step up to the challenge.

DEUTSER (00:54:48):

Belonging is an invitation. I love, I loved your words with it. Belonging is an, is an invitation. And if there’s something that is happening in the organization, it’s an invitation. What do we as leaders, what do managers want? We want to perform at the highest levels possible. We want to go to the next level. We want our people to succeed and, and, and stay with us. And grow with us. And so when you think about that premise that is starting from, hey, this is what we want, inviting them in, creating that space that’s safe for them to belong. And what we talk about is, is that in belonging, you know, we, we, we accept that agreement isn’t always required, but a shared framework is, is of, of how we go through this, is, is, is accepted and it’s what we embrace. And so I think that’s a really important thing.


You know, we talk about the effective challenge, and there’s challenge, there’s steps to it. Sometimes we approach things, Mike, and we, we, we, we approach things from a, a solution for a client. We, we develop, we’ve been working for weeks and weeks on a solution. My team is exhausted from from it. They’ve worked weekends, they’ve worked nights, but they have come up with something that they are so proud of as a leader, the first thing that I do as a, as, as a is challenge that work. Now, I know if I go, if I go straight into it and start attacking it, they’re gonna feel deflated. You know, that creates that conflict. But if I go into it and I go into it with a positive mindset, going back to that ity, when I go into it and say, you know what guys? I think we have the exact right solution.


I believe we’re right, but let’s go through these steps. If we could change one thing, one little thing about this, about our solution, no matter how great we think it is, no matter how right it is one thing, one little thing, what could it be? All of a sudden you’re asking five people to challenge work that we’ve been totally invest, invested in. The ideas are amazing. People aren’t threatened. Then once you do that, we go to the, let’s scrap our idea and let’s start over. What’s, what’s the big idea that we haven’t thought of? We may not come up with something better, but our clients, our customers will challenge us and challenge the work. That’s all of us. It doesn’t matter what industry we’re in. So why aren’t we willing to challenge ourselves so that when we’re challenged by those who are a, acquiring our services, paying for our work, that whatever their challenge is, we’ve already challenged it.

VANNOY (00:57:48):

You know, there’s, and there’s another side to this coin too, right? So, so I think you, you, you pull out the difficult to execute, easy to understand at the, at this kind of a level that hey, you know, they might actually have some good ideas that could actually make things better, right? Um, sometimes you’re the boss for a reason is because your ideas were right. They are the good, the it is the best way to do something. And challenging them or them challenging you creates an opportunity to explain the why you do it the way you do it, right? And until they actually understand that the why, not just the rule. Um, I used to coach, uh, little league football and I was the crazy screaming, yelling coach. The kids loved me. I was super intense and I have a lot of fun with ’em, grabbing the face mask and y y y, yeah.


And just get ’em ball pumped up, right? Um, I became an exponentially better coach when about half my practice was screaming, yelling, pump ’em up, coach and the other half of my practice was talking a really low voice, super slow, super calm helmets off and explaining why we were gonna do it this way, cuz it didn’t matter if their form was perfect and if they were all pumped up and motivated, if they didn’t understand the why, getting the 11 young men to execute a play exactly the same as impossible. When they understand the why, their how could be slightly imperfect, but it’s all around the same, same mission, right? So sometimes coach does know best, but if you don’t challenge, why are you doing it this way? Hey, what, what are you trying to accomplish? As I know I asked you to do this, but I saw you do it that way. You know, could you explain that to me? Maybe they’re gonna convince you of a better way. But worst case scenario, you know, worst case scenario, you can explain to them the why you chose the way in the first place and come to Unity, right?

DEUTSER (00:59:49):

It comes back to think where we started the conversation. It’s all about people. It’s about understanding the psyche of people. People want to do good. They want to be part of something that’s bigger than themselves. And when we as leaders believe in our people and trust our people with information, they’re gonna do amazing things for us. Are they gonna let us down from time to time? Sure. But I’ll take that every time. And so to your example, if we explain the reasons behind, Hey, this is what I’m thinking, I’m the leader. What we know is employees respect that I’m the one accountable for the decision I make every single time. But when I tell you what I’m thinking and I don’t go, just say, Hey, shut the hell up and go do it. I just do what I say. I don’t need you to think go do it.


There are plenty of leaders like that. I’m gonna go do it and then I’m gonna question the heck of you and out of, out of you in the next time. I may not perform at the same level. So to your point, hey, when we believe in people, when we explain, Hey, I can’t give you all the reasons why we’re gonna do what we’re gonna do, but let me tell you, here’s a few of the things I’m thinking. People will fight. Like they’ll fight really hard for you, just like they did on your football team. You know when to yell. You know when to use a soft voice. You know when to talk just like this. And part of that is bringing them along, bringing them into that box of belonging, that space where they can do great things together.

VANNOY (01:01:26):

Last rule demand 100% of the truth. Really intrigued by this one.

DEUTSER (01:01:32):

So this seems obvious, right? This seems completely obvious demand a hundred percent of the truth. But in our work and our work takes us all over the country and all over the world, what we have found is the majority of organizations build their futures on something far less than a hundred percent of the truth. Typically, it’s in that 80, 85% range. Sometimes it’s 75% range. But think about what happens when we, when it’s just easier. We’re used to as, as leaders, having certain conversations. I know these three people over here, I know their perspectives. These people over here have their perspectives. It’s not worth the argument anymore. We’re building our strategy. We’re just gonna leave those, we’re gonna leave big issue off to the side cuz we’ll just, we’ll go talk about it by this water cooler. We’ll talk about it over here. Another time we leave the big issues off cuz they’re uncomfortable.


We leave the things off because society tells us that, gosh, it’s awfully hard to talk about some of these raw issues that are out there right now. So let’s talk about ’em in sometimes overly politically correct terms where we can talk to each other, but we’re not really saying what we feel. We’re not really saying what we believe. But it sounds good and it sounds like we’re having the conversation. And what happens is we build futures that, that, that never get, that we, we can never maximize our organizations from it. And so think about what happens when we don’t tell 20% of the truth. One of the stories we talk about in the book is the work we did for the Holocaust Museum. And if you think about the number of people who were killed in the Holocaust, and you say, Hey, we’re not gonna talk about 20% of them.


Think about what that does. We’re how, how we, how we, how we demean and diminish just by that. And so we encourage leaders to um, really work to get to that place where they’re comfortable with a hundred percent of the truth. And sometimes it’s hard. That doesn’t mean that every single conversation is a hundred percent of the truth. Leaders have very difficult decisions to make. And sometimes we can’t tell you everything because it’s competitively it doesn’t make sense or it doesn’t make sense for other business reasons, or it’s not good for the organization. Me as the leader, that’s, that’s my prerogative to make that decision. But what we do demand from leaders and teams are to be in the space and to encourage that a hundred percent of the truth. How do we create that space where, again, that psychologically safe space where we, we balance fear and trust in the organization to create that space so that people can provide that a hundred percent of the truth.


Um, sometimes that’s leading with facts and not emotion. Emotion will always take us off from the truth. Sometimes that’s, that’s really starting with a question and leaning into clarifying questions. Tell me more, Mike, I hear you. Can you go a little bit farther with that? Tell me a little bit more. Um, I, I, I, I don’t believe about having fights in the moment. We’re building strategies. We’re trying to create things in our business that move us forward. So let’s put the facts out there. Let’s state the obvious. Let’s, let’s, let’s get the things on the table where we can really get to that truth.

VANNOY (01:05:19):

Right? And I, I don’t hear you saying you can’t proceed until you have agreement, cuz you may never get agreement. Right. So, so speak to that. The difference is you see it between demanding 100% truth, but still proceeding when you don’t have 100% agreement.

DEUTSER (01:05:40):

Yeah. At the court of belonging, we talk about it. It’s, we’re accepted. Even if we don’t agree, we don’t, we, there’s a place to belong even if we don’t agree. And I think in our society, in our world that we live in today, it’s impossible, virtually impossible to create organizations and places where we all agree on everything. It’s just not how, how we’re wired as human beings. We have different feelings, there’s different degrees of things, of feelings that we have. So even people I agree with, I may not agree with the intensity of something or their past or their, the, the, the, the, the, the lack of intensity around something. So the idea of being accepting of others, even if they don’t agree, again, it goes back to this idea, the fundamentals of, of, we go back to conflict. One of the greatest conflicts is this idea of winning and losing.


I have to win. You have to lose or, you know, and, and so when we talk about the truth, when we put the truth out there, we don’t have to accept, we don’t have to all agree to it. We try to start with the facts. These are the facts. This is everything that is knowable. And not get to a place where it’s that binary win-lose. Let’s just go to the information. Cuz cuz you’re, you’re exactly right. We’re, we’re, sometimes we’re not gonna agree. That’s okay. The leader has to make that decision. Explain the rationale behind it. But if we have a hundred percent of the truth, people are more willing to accept the outcome even if they don’t agree with it. So it’s acceptance over agreement.

VANNOY (01:07:31):

Yeah, I agree. Um, and that was not an intentional pun. Um, all right. Let, let, let, let’s, let’s wrap on on on one last topic. So we went through the five rules, encourage everybody to, to, to download or listen to and, and, and, and purchase read you book in September when it comes out. Um, you talk in your past book and in in other speeches around being more human and being more, more of a human leader. What a, what do you mean by that? And, and how does that kind of encompass all of these other rules we’re talking about?

DEUTSER (01:08:08):

So I, I, I think that I, I think that the, the, the, the human is, is, is is a person who leads with empathy. Um, they have an understanding, they have an open mind. They accept differences. They’re not, they’re not closed off. I think the human leader is someone who celebrates difference as a source of strength. Um, they use difference as a, as a way to propel, um, innovation. Um, a human leader understands that it’s people we’re, so, we we’re hearing so much information today about, you know, ai and this can do it faster and better and all that things. The fact is, when we’re a human leader, we are understanding where people are, what they need. We understand that one of the needs that they have is, again, that need for, for, for belonging. So when we talk about being human, a human leader, it’s how do we facilitate open conversations?


How do we, how do we promote a more kind of inclusive form of, of leadership? How do we bring people together with different ideas, accepting the fact that we’re not gonna go back to that last conversation. We’re not gonna all agree, but there’s a space to have that conversation. A human leader creates a space where there is the challenge is part of it, and challenges viewed as healthy. A human leader creates a space where a hundred percent of the truth and, and, and the effective, the, the effective challenge are parts of, of, of, of who we are. So it really is getting, it’s accepting that people are different. It’s accepting that people have different needs and wants and dreams and trying to accommodate them. I learned something, uh, many years ago from a project we did with Warren Buffet, and we were talking, and, and, and Warren Buffet said, I, I, we were, we were talking about his, his, um, annual report.


And he said, I’m not gonna have someone write my annual report. It’s my annual report. And I said, yeah, but a lot of leaders wanna do their own reports. He said, well, here’s the one thing I would tell ’em. That’s what piece of advice that I love. And I, it goes to that humanity. He said, I write every letter by saying dear, and the blank, instead of dear employees is dear. He puts in his sister’s name, his mother’s name, and he writes it. And the tone changes when you write something, when you talk to somebody that you, you’re envisioning that it’s my friend, it’s my family, it’s my sister. If they, if I’m talking to them in a certain way, I’m not doing the corporate mumbo jumbo trying to be smarter than everybody. I’m already the leader. I’m already the leader. They already know my, my place.


But when I try to genuinely connect with them through my words, and so whether it’s with a memo, whether it’s how I talk to people, sometimes it’s talking to a workforce and having a conversation with the workforce, and sometimes imagining that your family is sitting on the front row of that. And so I’m talking to them, so in, in, in, in a more human way. So I think there’s so many different ways to understand. I think it goes back to our rules is that when we listen without labels, there’s a more human element. When we think about the identity choosing identity over purpose, it’s really about that dna, that human dna n that kind of forms our organization when we allow people to challenge everything that’s about being human, when we demand a hundred percent of the truth, even if we don’t agree, but we can still have a place to belong. I think it goes back to what it means to be that human leader.

VANNOY (01:12:07):

Brad. Uh, as you’re, as you’re talking through that, I thought about empathy and I, I think you just, I think that you just hit on the, the nail on the head. And again, just like we talked about, uh, in rule number five, demanding a hundred percent of the truth, you’re not demanding a hundred percent agreement when you, when you start with empathy, that doesn’t mean you think everyone’s right. When my daughter has a nightmare because there’s a boogieman under the bed, that doesn’t mean I think there’s a boogieman under the bed, but I’m starting from a place that I know she believes it, so I feel for her and I’m gonna love on her and comfort her and try to make her feel safe. Right? That’s maybe a bit of an extreme example, but I don’t think it’s really all that different with, with your employees.


It, it, it might not be, it, it’ll be more sophisticated than boogeyman under the bed. It’s gonna be the process. Who does this? Or the customer who said that? Or the product that isn’t capable of doing X, Y, or Z. Right? Whether they’re right or wrong, that’s how they feel. And, and, and, and that’s what empathy is all about, is just starting from that position. And then I love the way you tied it out. I, I, I, I really th uh, think it, it, it dovetails back to all five belonging rules, as you call them.

DEUTSER (01:13:25):

And, and Mike, the thing is about your daughter. I actually think it’s the perfect example. And the reason why is because one time, or two times, or 10 times a few years ago, you had the same experience. She did. You thought that that same thing, whatever that was, was under the bed or in the closet, and we had that fear. Yeah. And the thing that we as leaders must remember, as we progress in our careers, it doesn’t mean we become untethered from our past. It doesn’t mean we become untethered from the people who wanna do great things for us and with us. And so it’s recognizing that, that, that that boogeyman, as you talked about, that sometimes our employees see the same, the very same thing we were once there too. And so acknowledging and understanding and saying, you know what? I hear you. I hear you. Let’s talk about it. Yeah. And that’s why your daughter loves you and you love her, and she comes to you because she feels safe to do that. And that’s what we gotta do again with our employees, especially post all the crazy times that we’ve been through over the last 3, 4, 5 years.

VANNOY (01:14:43):

Yeah, no doubt, Brad. I think that’s a perfect place to, to stop. Really enjoyed our conversation very much. Looking forward to the book. Uh, uh, to everyone else, thanks for, uh, joining us today. I, I opened with this topic. Um, the War for Talent has hit Main Street, right? We are all unemployments, I think the last jobs reports we’re sitting at 3.4%. Um, we’re all looking for great people. And the greatest travesty is when we bring people on and we don’t develop them, nurture them, and retain them. And if people don’t feel like they’re a place that they belong and are part of that identity, they’re gonna vote with their feet. And, and, and Brad, you hit it at the, at the top, it might not be leaving for more money. They’re gonna go someplace that they feel like they belong, right? That, that, that is a fit for them. And so I think maybe today we hit, we started on some hard stuff, productivity, turnover rates, um, it might feel like so soft stuff, but this is the hardest hitting stuff, I think, in hr. So really appreciate you, Brad, uh, the information and our conversation. And until next week, uh, I will see y’all. Thank you.

Speaker 1 (01:16:01):

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