All posts by Solamar Support

Does Your Company Really Want to Build a Learning Culture?

Far too often, I work with clients who love the idea of building a learning culture, but who aren’t taking any steps to create one. They’ve seen the dismal reports on levels of employee engagement, accepted the prevailing wisdom that learning and development opportunities are key drivers of engagement and retention, and then… they get stuck.  

Before starting a relationship with a client I always arrange a discovery session, basically it’s a chance for me to ask questions, listen, and see if we are a good fit for each other.

It’s kind of like the business version of match making. I strongly believe it’s the best way to start a potential relationship. The questions I ask usually include:

  • What does your reality currently look like?
  • Where would you like to go? What does success look like?
  • What challenges are getting in the way of your vision?
  • What are the strengths of your team?

Very quickly I get a clear sense of their vision and challenges, and if there is a potential connection. If I feel that the client is a good fit for me, one of my follow up questions is:

“On a scale of one to ten, how important is it to your company to build a learning culture?”

I usually get answers ranging from seven all the way up to ten—well above average. Interesting. I follow up with something along the lines of: “That’s amazing. What are you doing to get that score?”

Awkward silence. I try to ride this out, and wait until they start speaking. Often, it’s some version of: “Well, we had a speaker at our annual sales meeting, bought everyone a copy of the book… that pretty much blew our budget and available time… so…” They clearly know that their efforts aren’t capable of making a meaningful change in their culture.

Sound familiar? While just about every executive I know agrees that learning is an important element of a strong culture, very few of them are taking actual concrete steps to ensure that continuous learning is happening within their organizations.

Here are my top three tips to start to build a learning culture, right now. Don’t wait for your next annual all-staff meeting, or for that big industry conference. Start today, and the results will roll in sooner than you think.

1) Begin With the End in Mind

Stephen Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People was one of the first business books I read, and it’s status as a classic is well-earned—the advice holds up almost 30 years later.

Get clear on what success looks like for you and your team at the end of the year or quarter. What does your team need to do to meet their targets? Are there any gaps in their skills or expertise that need to be addressed? Think about “soft skills” in addition to technical requirements—does your team need to improve their ability to collaborate, or increase their agility when responding to challenges? Do you think investing time on innovative thinking, communication or teamwork is important? Define what success looks like, and reverse engineer your goal, starting with the end in mind.

I use this principle when I have a potential client. I ask them to imagine we are meeting again a year from now, after we’ve achieved an unequivocal success, and resolved the issue they brought me in to address. What does that meeting look like? What has happened to make them feel that we’ve been successful? Their answer provides me with valuable information I can use to reverse engineer a learning and development program.

2) Define Your First Step

Ever been to a “brainstorming” meeting where a challenge is given to the group and everyone comes up with a list of ideas? What happens next? Usually nothing. Take that same meeting, add 10 minutes, and ask the team lead to select one item on the list. Assign a first step toward implementing your one item. Now you’re cooking.

Too often, people try to tackle big issues that are tricky to define. They want to improve employee engagement, or increase innovation, or become more agile. Those are excellent goals, but they are too big and too nebulous to really get started. Start with a small pilot to address a particular need your team faces. If your goal is to build a learning culture, your first step might be scheduling 15 minute 1:1 meetings with each member of your team to discuss their learning and development goals. It might be to circulate one article that is relevant to the team, and scheduling a time to bring everyone together for a discussion. Clearly define what the first step will be.

3) Make Learning a Regular Part of Your Schedule

One of the challenges of starting something new is making it a regular part of your schedule. Remember in January you said you were going to get up thirty minutes early to exercise every day? Are you still doing it?

Change is challenging, so make it as easy as possible. If you have a regularly scheduled weekly or monthly meeting, attach a learning component to it. Put it in your calendar and on the agenda. Too often, I see organizations rely on one-off training sessions to provide all of their learning for teams. But learning doesn’t happen that way. We learn best in small doses that can be immediately applied to our lives. Focus on incremental, consistent changes, and you’ll start to see lasting results.

You don’t need to be a learning and development expert to see positive impact—tap into the expertise of the team and encourage them to teach each other. Find out what people are reading, watching, and listening to, and use that content to spark a discussion that applies to the work your team does. Begin with a clear vision of what success looks like, clearly define your first steps, and put your calendar to work for you.

Last but certainly not least: model the behavior you want to see. How are you learning and growing as a leader? What steps are you taking in your own professional development? Share those actions with your team! You will signal that learning is a priority within your organization, and your team will follow suit.

Too often, leaders love the idea of improving their culture, but fall short of taking the required actions. It’s time to get unstuck, to take control of the changes we want in our organizations, and to build a learning culture that teams will need to keep pace with the rapid shifts in the business landscape.

Inspiration is Fine, But Action is Better

We don’t have a knowledge problem, we have a follow through problem.

I just got an email inviting me to a one day marketing conference, and the lineup of speakers in super impressive. In fact three of my favorite authors will be presenting.

So I am going? Not a chance.

Although I enjoy conferences, national meetings for companies, and other training focused events, the truth is they don’t have a lasting impact.

Let’s say you are the head of marketing for a company. It seems like an easy win—invest the day and send the team to hear a fantastic group of speakers. Maybe they will get inspired, learn something new, and apply it when they return to work. It sounds great, and those are fine intentions.

In reality, people go to the event, jot down a copious amount of notes, have a few moments of inspiration, and then head out for drinks to recap and decompress after a fantastic day.

When they return to work, and all those notes immediately get buried under a pile of other papers. They might remember one or two new ideas, but in the hustle to catch up on the time away—missed messages, clearing out email, and recovering momentum in day-to-day tasks—figuring out the next steps to implement their ideas seems overwhelming, and is quickly forgotten.

They were inspired, yes, but without action, nothing changes, and your investment doesn’t yield any impact. Sound familiar?

So what can a time and budget starved manager do to inspire their team and get results, instead of sending them off-site? Here are my top three tips:

1) Have More Real Conversations (Or Ask More Questions)

Focus on the one, yes just one, change you would like your team to commit to. Put it into your calendar and make it a habit.

One company I work with starts every Monday morning meeting with the question: “what’s one cool thing that has caught your attention in the last week?”

Sure, sometimes it’s a funny video or article, but the laughter brings the team together. More often, it’s an inspired thought the team can apply to their daily work.

2) To Maximize Impact, Keep it Simple

When there are ten action items, how many get done?

Focus on one thing at a time: too much leads to overwhelm and inaction. What is the one thing that each member of the team will apply to get them closer to your desired result?

Read just one short piece of content—a book summary, article, infographic, etc. (videos or podcasts work too!), and have a conversation with the team about your one key takeaway.

Committing to the one action leads to change, and often triggers or sets in motion other changes that have impact on the team as well. As Gary Keller and Jay Papasan say in their book The ONE Thing: “When one thing, the right thing, is set in motion, it can topple many things.”

3) Shared Experiences Have More Impact

Every company has their legendary stories from the founders, company parties, sales meetings, etc., of the shared experiences that brought the team together.

Simply put, when we experience things together as a team, they stick. If we all share our one thing it becomes part of our daily conversations, and leads to opportunities for team members to support each other. You don’t need to send the team off-site to create a group experience—creating collaborative cultures where people are empowered to share their experiences in the moment will have a much more profound impact on the group.

I used to pride myself on reading three or four business books a month—I “knew” lot of stuff, but the problem was, I didn’t apply most of it. I picked up a few facts, but didn’t put any of them into action. Sure I could sound “smart” at a cocktail party, by saying things like “Did you read (fill in the latest business hit), it was fascinating because (insert a clever point).” But sounding smart and getting results are two very different things. I started getting results when I committed to reading less, applying more, and sharing with my friends.

Making that shift led to more fun, and better results. Talk about a win-win.

How to Stop Hiding Behind Busyness

On a weekly basis, with a variety of people, I have a version of this conversation:

I ask: How are you?
They respond: Crazy busy right now! It’s…

  • the end of the quarter, and…
  • almost time for our big launch, and…
  • already less than a month before our national sales meeting, and…
  • hectic with all the travel I have to do, and…
  • a slight variation of any of the above, and…

If I could just get through these next few weeks, I’ll be much better.

The problem with this conversation is that it happens over and over, often with the same people. One busy season is quickly replaced with another. My clients may “get through” the end of the quarter, but they are inevitably bombarded with new demands for the next quarter. They might wrap up a few weeks of extensive travel, and assume that returning to the office will be more restful, only to find that they are overwhelmed with follow-up calls and emails.

Many executives and their teams never escape the “I’m busy” phase. What’s worse is that they start to wear their busyness as a badge of honor. They seem to say, “I’m busy because my job is very important.”

Startup culture reveres the image of the perpetually busy entrepreneur. We love stories about people who sacrificed everything for the success of their business—the sleep deprived, no time for a personal life, running on coffee and a dream-type of people who work 90 hours a week for years to start their business.

However, there is a very high cost to living in this constant state of busyness:

  • Stressed out and tired employees
  • Lack of creativity and new ideas
  • High turnover among burned out staff/people who realize there are better ways to work

The habit of treating busyness as a virtue is deeply ingrained in many work cultures. Take a look around your office: are people expected to read and respond to emails at all hours of the day? Are teammates powering through an illness at their desks, instead of taking time to rest and recover? Does your team routinely stay late/come in early aside from efforts to meet occasional deadlines? Is taking vacation time viewed as a luxury for people with less important work? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, your team is suffering from a busyness problem.

Now that you’ve diagnosed the problem, here are three steps you can take to shift your culture, from valuing busyness, to valuing productivity.

1) Define The Desired Outcome

The answers we get are only as good as the questions we ask. Shifting workplace culture starts with asking ourselves and our teams some tough questions:

  • What outcome are we really looking for?
  • What metrics can we use to track that outcome?
  • Is the work we do every day aligned to those outcomes?

It could be a 10% increase in sales, faster turnaround on customer service, an increase in website traffic, or whatever goal you choose to focus on. Figure out what specific metrics will help you best measure your progress, and implement a strategy for tracking them. Be as specific as you can with your desired outcomes.

2) Identify Where You and Your Team Spend Time

One of my favorite exercises with teams is to give everyone two minutes to write down the ten things they do at work every day (you can try it now! I’ll wait). When the list is finished, I follow up with the question: “what is your real goal?” People often spend their time doing busywork that doesn’t contribute directly to the goals of the team or organization.

With that in mind, go back to the ten things you just wrote down and pick the two things that will have the biggest impact on your goals, and focus your energy on those tasks.

This exercise uses the Pareto Principle, or the 80/20 rule, to identify high value tasks and projects.

3) Clear the Rest

What about the other 8 things on the list? Take a hard look at them and decide what can be eliminated, delegated, or executed quickly. Learn to spend less time on tasks that don’t directly contribute to your goals.

I recently ran a one hour session with a very busy, high performing sales team where we did this exercise. A pattern quickly emerged in their responses: they were all participating in the same conference calls, and getting cc’d on emails that they didn’t need, wasting valuable time and energy.

I applaud them and their manager because they committed to making real changes right on the spot. They eased back on the schedule for conference calls, and started only cc’ing relevant team members for each project.

One month later, I walked back into the office, and was enthusiastically greeted by one of the sales reps. She couldn’t wait to thank me for leading a conversation that reduced her stress, eased her constant “busyness,” and allowed her to focus on achieving (and exceeding!) her monthly goals. Her success was the result of a mindset shift, away from thinking of busyness as a virtue, and towards focusing on the work that matters, that paved the way for better ways of working.

In order to change in meaningful ways, we need examine our attitudes for destructive beliefs, get clear on what matters most, and engage our teams in regular, meaningful conversations.

That is, if you’re not too busy to take the first step.

Don’t Be A January Person—Sticky Behavior Change for 2017

A friend of mine is the general manager of a gym—one of hundreds of locations across the country. Guess what month brings in the most revenue? If you guessed January, you are 100% correct. It happens every year.

Two things I know for sure: 1) people love to make New Year’s resolutions; and 2) many resolutions involve some sort of improvement to their health.

At our gym we call them the “January People”: they sign up, come for 2-3 weeks, then go back to their old habits and we never see them again. Why does this happen?

While it’s especially visible at the gym, I suspect that a similar phenomenon is happening with other resolutions as well.

Let’s be honest: behavior change is challenging, and should not be attempted alone. Here are my three tips to avoid being one of the “January People” and get the results you want:

Get crystal clear on the why and the how.

If you want read more books this year, ask yourself why. Maybe you want to become more knowledgeable about marketing and selling, maybe you find that it relaxes you, or it simply makes you happy.

When you get clear on “why” you want to change your behavior, it becomes much easier to commit to doing it.

The next step is to clearly define “what” behavior change will look like. In the case of reading more, it could be reading 10 pages a day, reading for a set amount of time each week, or reading a summary of a business book twice a week. Be specific about what you will do: a confused mind always says no.

Look to the success of others as proof that you can do it.

Believing that you are capable of making a behavior change is an important step, and one that is often ignored. You have little chance of success if you have serious doubts that you can do it.

Eleven years ago I signed up to run my first marathon. The problem was that I had never run more than a few laps around the football field back in high school. Did I believe I could run 42.2 kilometers? I needed a little convincing.

On the advice of a friend, I went to the finish line of a local marathon—but not at the 2 plus hour mark when the winners finished—at the 5 hour mark, when the people that looked like me finished. It was powerful to witness. People were running in memory of loved ones, in support of charities they cared about, or simply to cross something off their bucket list. It was inspiring and I could so see myself doing it. My doubts about my ability to achieve my goal started to fade away, and I was able to commit to my training plan. I finished my first (of three!) marathons five months later.

Take Baby Steps Every Day.

Remember the movie What About Bob? Bill Murray plays a patient of Richard Dreyfuss who wrote a book on behaviour change called Baby Steps (you can watch a funny scene here). Though the example is a bit light-hearted, the principle is sound. In his book, The Compound Effect, Darren Hardy discusses the impact of making consistent, incremental behavior changes—the results are astounding!

The key is to define baby steps each day that can move you closer to your goal. We can’t lose 40 pounds in one day, but we can define the first steps to take. For me it was eating an apple and drinking 8 glasses of water every day.

What do “baby steps” look like for you? Put it in your calendar, or on your to-do list like any other task.

Many people start the New Year with unbridled optimism, and plans for massive lifestyle changes. There’s nothing wrong with being optimistic or making big plans. But to truly change, you also need a healthy dose of realism: if you think it can happen overnight, you’re setting yourself up for failure.  

As we head into the 2017, remember that you can change your behavior year round—you don’t need to wait for January 1 to come around again to become a better version of yourself. And don’t be a “January person” and give up when things get tough–picture your win, and set out to achieve it, day by day.

Avoiding Supply Teacher Syndrome

An old friend and client invited me to lunch this summer, to catch up and ask for my advice. After trading updates about our families, health, and golf scores, he came right out and said:

“I’m frustrated with my team, it’s seems like they have hit a wall and can’t come up with any new ideas. They are struggling to hit their targets, and keep doing the same old things over and over. I can’t seem to motivate them to think differently.

And you know the deal, budgets have been totally cut on professional development, or I would just hire you to get them going. Luckily I have budget to buy you lunch. Do you have any advice for me?”

So, you want results and don’t have any budget? Not exactly music to the ears of a consultant.

Fortunately his dilemma struck a chord with me. Although I have been a speaker and corporate trainer for many years, it has really bugged me how appalling the results were from some corporate training initiatives.

It goes something like this: the company is in need of some teamwork, visioning, communication, time management, fill-in-the-blank-here, training. They call in someone like me to “fix” the issue. Now, I think I’m pretty good, but honestly there are way better options.

Remember in high school when you had a supply teacher? Did you give them your full attention? I didn’t.

After being introduced to the group I could see the “this guy will be gone by lunch” look on the faces of my classmates (and was probably making that face myself). As for follow up and accountability, there was usually none.

This is the model used in a lot of front of the room training programs. And this model wasn’t working for the client or for me.

In my early days as a corporate trainer, my boss shared a model that would remain with me forever. It’s called the Kirkpatrick/Phillips Model of Evaluation. In short, there are five levels in evaluating a training initiative/program, they are:

  1. Did they like it?
  2. Did they learn anything?
  3. Did they apply the learning to their work?
  4. Did they achieve measureable results?
  5. What was the ROI for the business?

My boss shared with me that most training in North America only reaches level 1 and 2, and that my goal is always to reach the top levels. It’s a lesson I have never forgotten, and to achieve the upper levels there must be something that most training is sadly missing—follow up and accountability.

Now back to my lunch meeting and the advice I shared. While a business consultant can help direct conversations, interpret feedback and other metrics, and direct initiatives from a strategic perspective, there are a number of tactics that team leaders can use to improve performance and cultivate a learning culture in their teams:

  1. Start: I know it sounds obvious, but pick a date, schedule a room and start. It becomes real when you have a date. Go ahead and send out the invites.
  2. Have a Team Leader Run the Session: Unlike the supply teacher, the team WILL listen and support someone who is on the field with them every day. The leader understands the issues in context, and will be there long after the session is finished.
  3. Follow Up: The key is not what is learned and talked about in the room, the real results are in the follow up. As I often say: “talk is good, action is better.” To stand out from the other (potentially time wasting) meetings, have everyone commit to one thing that they learned and how they will apply it. Asking the question, “what’s your first step” is a great way to clarify and get the ball rolling. Check in to see how team members are progressing toward their commitment at your next meeting, and then repeat the process.

My friend left our lunch meeting with an action plan and a newfound excitement. After focusing on leader led conversations, he was pleasantly surprised at how well the staff responded to new ideas and collaboration.

I am the first to admit that there are great times to bring in an outside speaker or consultant to provide a fresh perspective and inject some energy. However, real lasting results happen when leaders invest in themselves and their teams and have regular ongoing conversations.

How To Grow Your Business? Ask Yourself Some Difficult Questions.

“Do you know who I am? I’m kind of a big deal.”
Ron Burgundy from the movie Anchorman

This was my thinking for many years as a keynote speaker in the corporate and healthcare space. I admit I liked the attention, traveling across North America doing keynotes to large audiences in the healthcare space. (I live with Type 1 Diabetes, and host an inspirational online TV show called “The Sugar Free Shawn” Show). Conference planners, marketing managers of pharma and medical companies kept me busy year-round with speaking requests.

In addition, there were the corporate speaking engagements to sales and senior management teams on innovative thinking, brand loyalty and much more.

In short, life was good, or at least that was what I was telling myself.

But things were far from good. I was burning myself out, while not building a sustainable business, or helping my clients solve their challenges.

Oh sure, they liked, or sometimes loved, my presentations and programs, but three things rang true:

I was burning myself out.
I was not building long-term solutions for clients.
This could be not be sustained.
But how could I leave behind such great opportunities, and build a sustainable business?

It was time to have a conversation with the person that was holding me back — me.

As I thought through what needed to change, the following three questions helped me immensely.

1) What did I want?

As a coach, “what do you want?” is often the first question I ask of clients. Now it was time for me to return to answering that question for myself.

My list included:

Stop trading time for money.
Less travel.
Working with fewer companies/people, but establishing a deeper more meaningful relationship with each.
More time off.
It was time for me to see a new vision, and work daily to make it happen.

2) What did my clients want?

The great news was that my clients were very happy with my work and continued to hire me. The questions I needed to ask them were: “What is the real goal here?” and “At the end of the year what outcomes would you be thrilled with?”

Just asking these questions got them thinking longer term, and with a higher ROI.

The real goal was not having me speak to their sales teams and give them some tips, but rather coach them on a long-term basis and support them on reaching their goals.

Now both the client and I were working together on the same goal.

The answer also got both of us thinking differently about solutions, and not just going back to the “hire a speaker for a day” model. They wanted deeper solutions that added bigger value to their business.

3) How do I start with the new vision?

Ten years ago, I read the amazing book by Michael Gerber called “The E-Myth“. The book was focused on challenges that entrepreneurs face in building their business.

One concept that hit home for me was “work on your business, not in your business.”

I loved that idea, problem was I had no idea how to do that.

Here are the first three things I did to start my new business vision.

Find examples of other people that have sustainable businesses and learn from them. I reached out to people like Michael Port, Elizabeth Marshall, Jenny Blake and Chris Taylor and asked them the questions I wanted answers to, and applied them.

Return to a beginner’s mind. It’s easy to revert back to what we already know and are comfortable doing. For me, that was doing a lot of one off speaking gigs. I needed to forget what I already knew, and be an active and engaged student in learning a new model for me.

Take immediate action. Instead for reading, talking and planning it was time to jump in and experiment. There will never be a perfect time to launch, and the real learning happens while doing.

When I launched my online TV Show, I didn’t know what I was doing, but I started. Show them, don’t tell them.

I’ve decided to leap again this time, and find a new sustainable way forward.

Create Change by Disrupting Your Habits

As a business coach, mastermind leader, and speaker, the core of what I do is lead change. I often hear from my clients and colleagues that they are feeling stuck—not necessarily unhappy, just a bit stale or unmotivated—and they are not sure where to start. My answer is almost always some version of the same thought: different actions are the key to different results.

It’s deceptively simple. So why do so many of us struggle with change? Over the years I’ve read books, watched TED talks, interviewed people, and sought out the answer to this question. Overwhelmingly, the answer is that change is simply uncomfortable. The good news is that most people who have successfully made massive changes report that it was much easier than anticipated, and they wonder why they didn’t make the move sooner.

I’ve compiled my top three tips for driving changes to your actions so that you can begin to see different, more desirable, results.

Channel your Inner Twisted Sister

I might be dating myself here, but do you remember the 80’s classic We’re not Going to Take it by Twisted Sister? It’s a song about being fed up. While being completely fed up is not the most desirable state, it is a great impetus to create change in our lives.

I recently had a moment of being fed up, and it was the motivation I needed to change my behavior to see different results.

For the past six years, I have not been at a healthy weight. I have some health complications that make this difficult for me, but I reached a point where I could not just continue doing the same things I had done in the past.

So I made a plan and put it into action. For the diet, I started making conscious choices and tracking my food intake. As for the exercise, I hired a personal trainer who also is a Muay Thai boxer—they are about as tough as you can get. Before we started, she made it clear to me that she will not train someone who is not 100% committed to results and working hard. I said yes.

I can’t say the workouts are fun, but she constantly moves me out of my comfort zone and turns me into a sweaty mess. Early results are in, and I feel way better, do pushups in commercial breaks, have built muscles that I didn’t know I had, and am down fifteen pounds.

Talk is cheap: if you are pissed off, do something about it. And start today.

Shake it Up!

Your regular habits are creating the results that you are seeing, so you’re going to have to get outside your comfort zone.

Thomas Leonard, a pioneer in the coaching field has done a ton of work on the Nine Environments of You. In short, everything is an environment: your thoughts, the people you spend time with, your health, your home/work space.

Make a decision to change your environment, starting now. Here are a few ways to start:

  • Try a new morning routine for 30 days. Incorporate things that move you closer to your goals. Reading, exercise, and meditation are great ways to start your day. Make it a habit for 30 days.
  • Want to be healthier? Hang out with people that support that goal. Running groups and local gyms are a great place to start.
    Always wanted to start your own business? Read books like the $100 Start Up, and seek out events for entrepreneurs.
  • Think about what changes you want to see in your life, and then question the environment you’ve created around those aspects. Even a simple change can have powerful results.

Involve a Buddy

Most of us are better at keeping our commitments to others than we are at keeping them with ourselves. A scheduled call, lunch meeting, or appointment is a lot easier to attend than an appointment you made with yourself to go to the gym. External accountability makes a big difference—and you can use it to your advantage!

I’ve played team sports all my life, and the desire to not let my teammates down is a big motivator. Leaving my warm house on a cold night to go to the gym alone is very challenging. Leaving the house to play hockey, knowing that my team needs me, is much easier.

To get started, pick a goal, and then pick a friend to help keep you on track for that goal (this works best if you do the same for them).

I get it. Change is challenging and intimidating. These three strategies should help you break the change down into actionable steps that you can try today! Remember that your current behaviors are getting you the results you’re seeing—to see a change you will have to make a change.

The good news is that even a small change can yield massive results. So what are you waiting for?

Are You Choosing to Be Comfortable & Miserable?

Nothing destroys your health and happiness quite like being comfortable.

I’m talking about being in a career that is slowing eating away at you. Sunday night’s are the worst and you ask “how can I get through another week of this crap?”

The career is not the work you dreamt of, it might have brought you meaning at one time, but not anymore. Is this how you want to feel for the rest of your life?

Comfortably Numb?

I get it, you “need” the job, you have “bills” to pay, yada, yada, yada.

We all do.

I am not asking you to quit today, but if you are serious about living the life you want, YOU need to make a decision, and NOW.

If you don’t decide, someone else will (like your boss or the shareholders).

Two steps to get you started:

1) Decide on what you want in all areas of your life, you can’t hit a target you don’t define.

2) Share your dream vision (answer to number 1), with at least two people everyday for the next month. Ask for their advice on how to make it happen.

Life is a team sport.

Or continue to live your comfortably numb life, it’s your choice.

Shawn Shepheard is on a mission to support people in escaping the dreaded “day in day out” and bring back your excitement, energy and passion.

Want Happy Customers – PLEASE Don’t Do This!

I get home yesterday and saw that I have a letter from the bank.

The same bank that I have had my mortgage with for 14.5 years.

Maybe it’s a “thanks for being a loyal customer” letter.

The letter start with: “Dear Client”


Your mortgage renewal is coming up and we would love to talk about options about renewing.

OK, so I don’t even want to tell you how MUCH money they have made off of us. Not once, have they said thanks, maybe sent me a Tim’s card, something.

On the other hand, I speak at an annual conference for small business owners, and when I return home there is a customized thank you gift waiting for me, just to say thanks.

Can you say thanks? Is it too much trouble to type in my name?

Brutal, if I ran my business like that I would be bankrupt.

And no, I won’t be renewing.

What is the one thing YOU would love to see companies do MORE of?

Shawn Shepheard is a business strategist, coach and speaker who is on a mission to wake up sleeping companies from their slumber.

I Dare You – Cancel At Least One Meeting Today

Please stop the madness of wasting time in a sea of endless, time wasting meetings.

I know there are people that are professional’s at attending meetings.

Less talk, more action.

If there are no clear objective, agenda, time limit and action plan…….Cancel it and get back to what needs to be done.

Who Is Shawn Shepheard?

Want a no “BS”​ action plan to inspire your team to get results they never thought were possible?

Need a speaker whose words are heard and felt long after the talk?

Whatever your needs, I am here to make things happen…with a smile.

Sorry not interested in working with those who are comfortable with mediocre results. #sorrynotsorry

Find out more at