Something Good in the Neighborhood …

Learn St. Louis logo

The St. Louis chapter of the Association for Talent Development (ATD) has created a real opportunity for learning and profession growth which will happen next Friday. 

This conference has much to recommend it to workplace learning professionals, with some accomplished presenters and loads of networking opportunities.

However …

The real draw for me is the really exciting keynote speaker ~ none other than Bill Treasurer of Giant Leap Consulting, who will be familiar to regular readers as the author of several outstanding leadership books, including the second edition of Leaders Open Doors, launching this very week.

For details on the book, read my encore review published earlier this week.  You can also preview Bill’s communication style and get a feel for this authentic and passionate leader by watching this short video:


Then visit the ATD website to learn more and register for the conference and I’ll see you next Friday in the Heartland ….



Bill Treasurer is chief encouragement officer (CEO) of Giant Leap Consulting and the author of Courage Goes to Work, an international best-seller that introduced the new management practice of courage-building.

For over two decades Treasurer has designed leadership and succession programs for clients such as NASA, Saks Fifth Avenue, UBS Bank, CNN, Hugo Boss, the CDC, the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the U.S. Veterans Administration. Prior to Giant Leap, Treasurer was an executive Accenture, a $29 billion management consulting firm. He became Accenture’s first full-time executive coach.

Treasurer is a former captain of the US High Diving Team, a cancer survivor, and the father of three children. He is a champion for the rights of people with disabilities, which includes his daughter.

Guest Post: “Don’t Confuse Motivation With Engagement” by Susan Fowler

Spromo_02usan Fowler is the author of “Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work … and What Does:  The New Science of Leading, Energizing, and Engaging.”  In connection with the launch this week, she has provided some background thinking on an important aspect of her work:  The difference between motivation and engagement and why it matters.  

This post originally published on 9/4/2014 at



Don’t Confuse Motivation with Engagement

There are tons of data supporting the value of having an engaged workforce. However, researchers have only recently explored how people come to be engaged. How do you improve engagement if you don’t understand the internal appraisal process individuals go through to become engaged in the first place?

share_11The appraisal process is at the heart of how employee engagement—and disengagement—is formed. Every day, people are appraising their experience in the workplace and coming to both cognitive and emotional conclusions: I feel threatened, safe, unsure, positive, frightened, fearful, optimistic, etc. When appraisals are negative over time, people end up disengaged or actively disengaged. When people have positive appraisals over time they are engaged or go beyond engagement to what is called employee work passion.

Engagement is the long-term, accumulative result of people’s persistent and positive appraisals of their workday experience. What if managers could help people manage their appraisal process? They can. But better yet, individuals can learn to manage their own appraisal process daily so they are more likely to experience employee work passion over time. How? This bold assertion is key to improving engagement over time: Motivation is a skill. People can learn to choose and create optimal motivational experiences anytime and anywhere. Optimal Motivation is experiencing the fulfillment of psychological needs while in the pursuit and achievement of meaningful goals.*

share_10Motivation is the day-to-day, moment-to-moment experience that ultimately leads to active disengagement, disengagement, engagement, or employee work passion.

Managing people’s appraisal process by understanding the true nature of human motivation and helping people shift to an optimal motivational outlook day-to-day is the key to having a positive effect on long-term engagement.

Engagement efforts have suffered as organizations mistakenly focus on creating metrics out of their survey results instead of the appraisal process that leads to the results. People have suffered from actions designed to improve engagement that actually undermine day-to-day motivation. Despite compelling research on the undermining effects of traditional carrot and stick approaches to motivation, organizations try to incentivize people to improve engagement.

Stop using carrots to bribe people to be engaged. Stop using the stick to pressure them to improve engagement scores. These traditional tactics only thwart day-to-day optimal motivation, destroying long-term engagement. Remember, the quality of a person’s engagement is the result of the quality of their day-to-day motivation.

*Optimal Motivation definition by Susan Fowler, David Facer, and Drea Zigarmi



clip_image002Susan Fowler has 30 years’ experience as a researcher, consultant, and coach in over 30 countries around the globe in the field of leadership. As an expert in the field of personal empowerment, she is the lead developer of The Ken Blanchard Company’s Optimal Motivation product line, as well as Situational Self Leadership, their best-of-class self leadership and personal empowerment program.

Susan is the bestselling co-author of three books with Ken Blanchard: Self Leadership And The One-Minute Manager, Leading At A Higher Level, and Empowerment. A catalyst for growth, Susan also authored the audio programs Overcoming Procrastination and Mentoring. She is a Senior Consulting Partner at The Ken Blanchard Companies, and a professor in the Master of Science Leadership Program at the University of San Diego.

Guest Post: “Contented Workers” by Chris Edmonds

Today’s guest post is by S. Chris Edmonds, whose new book The Culture Engine:  A Framework for Driving Results, Inspiring Your Employees, and Transforming Your Workplace is available beginning this week.  Originally published on April 7, 2014 at

Contented Workers

How happy are your company’s employees?   The Gallup organization recently revealed the results of their research on the US communities with the most contented workers.

The Gallup-Healthways Well Being Index measures respondents’ perceptions in six areas:


· Life Evaluation: Present life situation and anticipated life situation

· Emotional Health: Daily feelings and mental state

· Work Environment: Job satisfaction and workplace interactions

· Physical Health: Physical ability to live a full life

· Healthy Behavior: Engaging in behaviors that affect physical health

· Basic Access: Feeling safe, satisfied, and optimistic within a community


Gallup and Healthways survey 500 Americans each day. They’ve conducted the Well Being Index since January 2008. The Well-Being Index is being updated in 2014 to assess respondents’ perceptions in five areas that analysis showed would be better measures of well-being. We’ll see these new focus areas in results issued next year.

The community with the most contented workers was Provo-Orem, Utah, with an overall well-being score of 71.4 on a 100-point scale. Rounding out the top three communities are Boulder, CO (with a score of 71.3) and Ft. Collins-Loveland, CO (71.1).

The three communities with the least contented workers are Huntington-Ashland, KY/WV/OH (this metropolitan area spans portions of three states) with a score of 59.5, Charleston, WV (60.0), and Redding, CA (62.0).

Numerous studies of well being and employee engagement prove that employees with high engagement and well being produce more, innovate more, and serve customers better.

What can leaders do to boost employee well being in these six areas?

Company leaders can influence communities to enact policies that inspire residents to engage in healthy activities. Getting communities to enact policies might take awhile.

Company and team leaders can certainly work to ensure job satisfaction and healthy workplace interactions. Check out my free Change This manifesto to learn how.

Team leaders don’t need a formal mandate. They can enact informal approaches that inspire team members to embrace healthy activities. Arranging lunchtime or mid-afternoon walks with interested team members can inspire physical activity. Enrolling a team in a charity walk can inspire bonding, service, and physical health.

Bringing in a yoga teacher and providing space for interested team members to do a class before or after work is increasing in popularity.

Learning new and interesting things can be as simple as bringing in outside experts for lunchtime presentations. A nutrition expert can demonstrate simple, healthy meal preparation or inform about the season’s freshest produce.

Team leaders are only limited by their own assumed constraints. If they think healthy living is something team members must do on their own, they won’t try some of these approaches. If they believe that everyone (including themselves) can benefit from exposure to healthier practices, they’ll be creative with some of these approaches.

You want to create a variety of healthy approaches for team members. Don’t mandate these activities – simply make them available, easy, and interesting.

By arranging participation in these and similar activities, your own well being – and that of team members – will grow, right before your eyes.

What do you think? How contented are you? How contented are your work peers, today? How can leaders inspire healthier opportunities daily to boost well being and engagement?




clip_image002Chris Edmonds is the founder and CEO of the Purposeful Culture Group, which he launched after a 15-year career leading and managing teams. Since 1995, he has also served as a senior consultant with the Ken Blanchard Companies.

Chris has delivered over 100 keynote speeches to audiences as large as 5,000, and guided his clients to consistently boost customer satisfaction and employee engagement by 40+% and profits by 30+%.

He is the author or co-author of six books, including “Leading At A Higher Level” with Ken Blanchard.

His next book, “The Culture Engine: A Framework for Driving Results, Inspiring Your Employees, and Transforming Your Workplace” will be published by John Wiley & Sons in September 2014.


The Problem With “ A World Gone Social” . . .


I have this really great problem … I cannot decide what I like most about A World Gone Social: How Companies Must Adapt to Survive by Ted Coine and Mark Babbitt.

This book has so many helpful and well-written sections that I cannot decide which is the most important or useful to us.   Should I emphasize that …

… the authors “get” the impact of social on our society and on business in so many ways, large and small?

… the ongoing and detailed focus on real engagement (top down and personal)?

… the the wide variety of real-world examples of how we are living into a social world, whether we recognize the ongoing transformation or not?

… this is a well-researched and organized summation of how the business and social landscapes have changed over the past few decades and years?

… the inclusion of well-defined concepts, such as the rules for social engagement listed on page 60 and referenced throughout the book, provide extra value?

… the tools, such as rules for community engagement in the social era (pages 68-72) or the diagnostic question list for organization readiness to be Social (page 147), either of which would easily and quickly return value to the organization way beyond the price of the book?

… that they talk not just about the business applications of social for recruiting, customer service, and engagement, among other functions, but also talk about the strong potential for doing good in the world?

… that the authors eschew the terms “Social Media” and “Social Networking” by using the more widely applicable term “Social” to describe this world change?

… that they include some of my favorite horror stories about customer service nightmares, such as the United (Airlines) Breaks Guitars on YouTube  fiasco and Target’s Very Black Friday (actually the Thanksgiving Thursday they “asked” employees to work) to illustrate the power of online communication for customers and employees who feel mistreated?

… that they are even-handed enough to point out the dangers of Social, including an excellent dissection of “trolls” and an emphasis on the need to verify online information (think critical thinking skills)?


share_13No, my favorite thing about A World Gone Social is that I could continue to list important points raised in this book until the cows come home … 


If you already feel the change and understand the reality of our increasingly social world, you will find your head nodding often in agreement with what Ted and Mark have to say. 

If you are not yet convinced of the impact that technology is having in the areas of recruiting, marketing, selling, customer service, and engagement, you will find ample information that will help you understand better. 

Bottom Line:  Wherever you are in the knowledge curve around the impact of social on business, this book will better equip you to roll on down the road to our future.

For a little more, here’s a short video about A World Gone Social:

In the meanwhile, I plan to kick back and finish reading this book … I sense more learning lurking in its pages.

Enjoying a book that is making converts while it preaches to this choir in the Heartland ….




Ted Coiné is co-founder of Switch and Shift, a leadership community that believes organizations – in order to thrive in the Social Age – must build trust-based relationships, lead with purpose, and enable employees to do work that matters.

A noted blogger and speaker, Ted was recently named a Forbes Top 10 Social Media Power Influencer.

Ted lives with his wife and two daughters in Naples, Florida.



Mark Babbitt is CEO and Founder of YouTern, a social community for college students, recent graduates and young professionals that Mashable calls a Top 5 Online Community for Starting Your Career.

A prolific blogger and speaker, he is also President of Switch and Shift and a co-founder of

Mark is the father of five and a grandfather; he and his wife call Seattle home.


Disclaimer:  Yet another book received to review as part of a book launch.  I continue to do a little happy dance every time I receive another title and this one is no exception.  The value of this title and its reinforcement of what I deeply believe as the future of business and leadership make me smile.  I was under no obligation to make positive comments or even like the darned thing … but I do.


Guest Post: “Can Social Help You Out-Zappos Zappos?” by Mark Babbitt

In honor of the launch of A World Gone Social by Ted Coines and Mark Babbitt this week, here are some thoughtful observations about the power of social by Mark.

share_15Can Social Help You Out-Zappos Zappos?

Author: Mark Babbitt

Think your small organization can’t compete with big guys? Think size is a disadvantage, as it was throughout the Industrial Age?

Let us introduce you to an eight-person company that beat the pants off of some of the largest, most iconic companies out there: Nike, New Balance, Adidas/Reebok, and even online retailer Zappos.

Yes, They Out-Zapposed Zappos

It all started simply enough when Ted Coine, my co-author of A World Gone Social and impulse buyer par excellence, woke up and decided he needed new running shoes, stat! So he called one of his most revered companies, the online retailer Zappos, to get some advice and place an order.

We have admired Zappos for years. The CEO, Tony Hsieh (pronounced “shay”), intentionally created a quirky, customer-obsessed culture with an intentionally relentless focus on culture. So as you read, please keep in mind that we strongly believe Zappos is a remarkable company – and we’re certain the company was having an off day when this story took place. We’re also absolutely certain that, in the Social Age, too many bad days can ruin your company—yes, even Zappos.

As we were saying, Ted woke up with running on his mind. So he called Zappos—at five o’clock in the morning Las Vegas (where Zappos is headquartered) time. His only expectation, given the reputation of Zappos and despite the early hour, was quick counsel from a human knowledgeable in all things footwear.

Within just a few moments, it was clear that Ted’s expectation would not be met.

The clerk at the other end of the line was not exactly well informed on product and was far less trained and much less focused on finding Ted a solution to his un- fortunate shoe issues. Frustrated, Ted said a polite good-bye—and ended the call without placing an order.

But Ted Coiné, the author of Spoil ’em Rotten!: Five-Star Customer Delight in Action, didn’t let it go.

Knowing Zappos is famous not just for its extraordinary service but also for the active presence its employees maintain on Twitter, he decided to throw them a meatball—a pitch so slow and right down the middle of the plate that even the newest Zapponian could easily hit a home run.

He sent a tweet to @Zappos, asking for someone to call him.

No answer. Nothing.

Disappointing—but also intriguing! Had Ted found a chink in the armor of the mighty Zappos? Ted decided to turn this should-be-easy sale into a mini-research project—one that went on for a couple of hours that morning. Ted tweeted again, asking the Zappos social media team to have a sales associate call him, informing them that he wanted to buy a pair of shoes. No one called.

Meanwhile, Ted expanded his reach. He first tweeted to Nike, the brand he already owned, and Reebok, a brand he also admired, then went directly to the running Twitter account for New Balance, another brand he liked, and the customer service handle for Zappos:

Let’s see who calls me first to sell me some running shoes (if anyone). The race is on! @newbalance @NBRunning @Zappos_Service cc @zappos

Again, nothing. Eventually, Zappos did reach out to Ted on Twitter. For some reason, however, the company refused to call him, even after he sent a private tweet (known as a DM, or “direct message”) with his phone number. Instead, the Twitter-empowered Zapponian provided Ted with the same customer service and product order phone number he had already dialed several hours earlier, when he spoke to that less-than-helpful clerk. Ted wasn’t even offered the direct extension of a knowledgeable veteran employee who would be happy to assist.

Meanwhile, in the Social Age

In what has become standard practice on social media, another company—a smaller, hungrier company than the one from the land of Zapponia, a company that generates sales by closely monitoring social media channels—was hard at work. It knew that many of its potential customers buy shoes online. It knew that many of them loved Zappos. And it knew that many who loved running would order Nikes online from Zappos.

@tedcoine We’d love to sell you some shoes! Check out our Men’s at . . . and give us a call (617) 431–3800

It turns out this socially enabled, shoe-selling start-up—specifically, an intern at the start-up—was using a low-cost monitoring tool called Sprout Social. On the Sprout dashboard (which can be closely watched from any desktop, laptop, iPad/ tablet, or smartphone), that intern was most likely monitoring a combination of keywords. In this case, perhaps those keywords included “shoes,” “running,” and “purchase.” The intern might have even been monitoring “sell me some running shoes” or maybe even “Hey, @Zappos . . . call me!”

This intern was Alex Stoyle, who followed the basic rules of social media monitoring and selling:

  • Rule No. 1: Actively listen.
  • Rule No. 2: Respond quickly.
  • Rule No. 3: Meet customers where they are now.

Alex saw Ted’s tweets (he listened). He reached out to Ted (he responded quickly). He asked Ted, via DM, for his phone number (he met the customer where he was then). Alex called Ted.

Alex Made the Sale

Alex’s employer, Topo Athletics, had just opened a few months before, with a unique design that set them apart. Ted was reluctant to try this new shoe out, so Alex walked him through the technology and the benefits. When the well of Alex’s product knowledge ran dry, he put a coworker, whose specialty was product design, on the line with Ted to answer more questions. Satisfied with the science behind the shoes, and now really rooting for the little guy, Ted placed his order.

And Ted told 300,000 of his closest friends:

I’m placing my order now with Alex at @topoathletic. This #intern grabbed my business from 4 multinational corps!! #bravo !!!!

It should be noted that, as of this writing, Ted has never heard from New Balance, Reebok, or Nike. He never heard from Zappos.

And while all these well-established, well-respected companies—which most likely have entire social media command centers backed by the best enterprise-level software available—were ignoring a potential sale, an intern at a tiny eight-person company won the day, and Ted’s business.

Alex showed them all how it’s done… in the Social Age.



Please include with your post:


promo_02Mark Babbitt is the CEO and Founder of YouTern, a talent community that enables college students, recent graduates and young careerists to become highly employable by connecting them to high-impact internships, mentors and contemporary career advice. Mark has been featured as a keynote speaker and workshop director by the Tiger Woods Foundation, Smithsonian Institute and National Association of Colleges and Employers. He is an in-demand speaker at colleges and fraternities, including UCLA, the California State University system, New York University, Delta Sigma Pi and Alpha Kappa Psi.


promo_03Together with Ted Coiné they will be releasing their book A World Gone Social on September 22, 2014.