How the power of disruption can take you to the next level

I’m overwhelmed with emotions of gratitude right now. I’m also overwhelmed with this topic. One of the greatest gifts that Marriott International gave me was that it put me in an environment that rewarded people for completely disrupting themselves. Have you ever heard that term? Professor Clayton Christensen from Harvard Business School coined this term called disruptive innovation.

Don’t be a Blockbuster Video

To simplify it, think about Blockbuster Video. Netflix was the disruptive innovation that put Blockbuster out of business. Polaroid cameras, you know back then it was instamatic. Now we all take pictures on our smartphone and it completely made Polaroid obsolete. Well, not really because they’re kind of cool and sexy and you can get them in different colors now, but the point being is that disruptive innovation was the term and concept coined by Professor Christensen that said,

…there’s a kind of a low-end product that then gets replaced by a higher-end one. When that happens, the new concept has at least six times higher levels of success with that 20 times greater revenue streams from it. Disruptive innovation, you completely disrupt something and then there’s this Innovation.

I remember when I took the job with Marriott out of college, I went into HR, I got my degree in HR and you know $6 an hour wasn’t making much money, but it was my dream job and it was Monday through Friday 8 to 5 and I loved it. Six months into it, I find out that in order to be a Director of Human Resources, I have to leave my comfort zone and completely do something different that I’ve never heard of.  I decided to go into food and beverage because that was open then.

I went into the bar world and I was managing a sports bar. So, suddenly now my days are Tuesday through Saturday, I go in at 1:00PM in the afternoon and I’m working until 2AM. I’d spent a lot of time on one side of the bar, never behind the bar myself. You get what I’m saying? That was the first time that I disrupted myself in order to reach a game or achieve something new.

I would then go on to disrupt myself multiple times. I never thought I’d leave North Carolina, but because it was a task force opportunity, I moved and then never got home. Three months, three months, three months, I just kept going. I’m a little country girl from Podunkville North Carolina and I moved to Manhattan in the big city where I saying hi to everybody on the street and people thought I was crazy. The point is that throughout our lives we make educated decisions and power decisions to disrupt ourselves to achieve some new level that we want to get to.  We do it on purpose with purpose and with intention typically right?

I want to suggest today that this virus is causing so many changes, shifts, and disruptions in people’s lives significantly. It just wasn’t our choice. However, it may be the catalyst that we all needed to succeed and go to some higher level. I just want to suggest that we perceive things differently, that Marriott environment gave me the opportunity to change my very perception of myself. What I could do, what I was capable of, my boss one day turned around on the jet bridge walking to my first professional business trip flight. She turned around and handed me her first class seat ticket and took my coach ticket. You know, I can’t talk about that without crying. In that second and in that unselfish gesture, she completely disrupted my feelings about myself and my possibilities. She thought I was first class.

I was disrupted in that moment. This virus has disrupted so many of us and I want you to see it as potentially what if just like in business, this is the opportunity to multiply our levels of success exponentially. To multiply our levels of income and financial gain exponentially and up the level of impact we can have on other people and their lives. What’s keeping us stuck in this is that we didn’t choose. It wasn’t my choice. It wasn’t in my control. It was out of my control. I’m not sure I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

When in doubt, here are 5 tips you can use

Let me give you five tips as I started thinking of this today. Five things that that helped me embrace this disruption when I didn’t think I could do it, but then it absolutely without a doubt without question led me to where I was supposed to be. I just didn’t see it at that time.

Number 1.  Assess where you are and where you want to be. You have to do that. You have to know where you are and you have to be able to distinctively say, “Where is it that I want to be?”.  Not the job you want to be in but other things, think bigger. What level do you want to be? What do you want your days to look like? What do you want your life to feel like? Go big or go home, it’s time to put the pom poms down and get on the field. Let’s start playing. So, assess where you are and in order to get to that place where you want to go, you’ve got to play to your distinctive strengths. You cannot possibly play to your distinctive strengths if you don’t know what they are. That’s number one.

Number 2. Recognize that this whole disruption and innovation is all about discovery.  Something like 90% of successful businesses, the strategy that they started with, what they thought was their whole foundation of their success and what ultimately LED them to be successful was not due to their original strategy. Columbia University proved that 90% of businesses that were ultimately successful had to abandon their initial strategy and adopt a brand new one that was completely unexpected and it came from a process of creativity of discovery of being open-minded. I want you to abandon fear and uncertainty right now and replace that with curiosity, creativity, and really think outside the box.  If you have a friend that does this, phone them, call them, call me. So, that’s number two, recognize it’s a discovery process, stop being afraid and just get curious.

Number 3. Embrace constraints. There are limitations on all of us. I would like to think of constraints as boundaries that we don’t have to create ourselves. How many of you have trouble creating boundaries? You’ve heard you need to set boundaries. Yeah, I struggle with it. So, hey the constraints now and in this world, I’m operating in, guess what, they’re built in boundaries. They are simply things that I need to recognize there are realities I can’t do anything about and I need to be more creative to figure out how to accomplish what I want to accomplish within those boundaries. My whole well-being for the last ten years was based on doing live events, hugging, kissing, shaking hands, and just loving on teams in person. Well, suddenly that’s obsolete. Now what?  Embrace the constraints and operate within them. It’s okay. It’s not going to kill us.

Number 4.  You have got to be patient for a lot of things right now, but I want you to be impatient about finding small wins. Get quick small wins. Things will turn around and you have to be patient for that, for them to ultimately prove to be fruitful and get to the other side. Just look for small wins each day.

Number 5. More important than ever, just start. One step forward, start today. Procrastination is a form of perfectionism. You’re not lazy. You haven’t lost all your initiative. You’re probably a trapped perfectionist in the midst of a highly imperfect, highly chaotic, and highly uncertain world right now. Just start today and do one little thing. Go for practice, go for forward motion, go for different, but don’t go for perfection.

Now that I’ve thought about it, I want to add a bonus one. If you do those five great than here is extra credit. Battle your thoughts of entitlement and victimhood if you’re having those. I hope you’re not, that’s why this is extra credit and probably why I just thought of it right now. Most of the people that I interact with they do not possess a victim mentality. They do not possess this thought of, “It’s everybody against me. Everybody has an easier time than I do.”. They don’t even have that.

However, if entitlement thoughts are creeping in, if victim thoughts are creeping into your head for maybe the first time in your life because this challenge were facing is so unbelievable. Perhaps some of you are feeling a victim thought process or mentality for the first time in your life and that doesn’t feel right. Then, guess what that does to us high achievers? The gerbil in the wheel, procrastination. That’s our stinkin thinkin.

So, battle those thoughts of entitlement that, “Oh I got so far and then this virus pulled the rug out from under this.”. This could be the greatest thing that ever happened to you. This could be the best thing that ever happened to me.

Thank you for all of this. Thank you.


How to use fear to get what you want

I’m not exactly sure what it is about fear. I’ve talked on a couple of videos about fear and about the gift of fear. Our brains are wired to tell us when our lives are in danger and all of a sudden, the adrenaline in our body reacts to help save our lives. Then you have the other kind of fear that is just made up, just stories that is perceived fear. It’s not real.

There’s a great book called ‘The Gift of Fear’. Please forgive me, the author’s name is escaping me right now probably because it’s Sunday and this was my day off and I’ve been relaxing but anyway, it really is a gift. Our bodies are wired to protect ourselves and that whole fight-or-flight thing can really come in handy, but let’s talk about the other types of fear.

Positive fear vs Negative Fear

I want to talk in the context of leadership. There is positive fear and then there’s super negative fear.  There is leadership that comes from toxic fear and intimidation, you know what I’m talking about, right? Where they created this tension and this air that just made everybody scared. That’s negative fear. That’s when our hypothalamus goes into overdrive and the whole fight-or-flight thing kicks in and in a work environment, all that does is shut us down from any real thinking or problem-solving of being able to work to our potential. I think you all have a good sense of what that is.

Self- coaching is so important. Do you guys self-coach? There are three reasons to coach. One of them is to teach something. I’m coaching you, I’m teaching you how to play baseball. I’m teaching you how to do a particular job.

The second type of coaching is to correct behavior. If I see you do something incorrectly or not as well as you possibly could have, I need to coach you to get you back on the right path. That’s the second type of coaching.

The third type of coaching is to sustain excellence. This is like Michael Jordan, you know like Lebron, they’re at the pinnacle of their game. They still need coaching. If you’re a phenomenal player at your sport or your profession, you don’t need your coach to ignore you right?

In fact, it’s just as important that your coach keeps you going and keeps that fire lit. There’s a lot of self-coaching that happens and things that you do on your own.  If you work on a team, the person over you, keeping your energy going at that pace in that speed is really important too. So that’s the three types of coaching.

But there is a type of self-coaching that can be very toxic. If you understand what I’m saying, talk to me because if you’re at home or you’re finding yourself having to work autonomously or at school having to self-motivate, this is just as much for you as it is for the senior leader that is in their 40s and 50s. You need a great coach external to you, but you got to have a really killer coach internally because honestly, that’s the one that you wake up with and the one you go to bed with at night.

I wanted to mention the positive consequences of fear because there are some great things about fear that can be positive, that can be constructive, and actually push you to do your best. There is crippling toxic fear and then there is motivating fear and the motivational fear comes from,

“What do I stand to gain? How bad do I want this thing? I want to achieve X and if I don’t hit that, I’m going to feel yuck and if I’m afraid of feeling yuck, I need to step up my game.”

Does that make sense? That’s the fear of not hitting my target and it is a positive stressor. They call that eustress. So, if I fear not achieving what I want to achieve or fear the feelings that I’m going to have, what do I give up if I don’t achieve that?

If you’re in charge of reviewing other employees, when you say, “Hey, if you don’t do this, this is what’s going to happen.”, that can easily sound like a threat. You could couple that with, “Hey, if you don’t do this, here’s the negative consequence and if you do this here are the positive consequences.” Always have positive consequences because those are the ones that will generate that sense of positive fear. “I don’t want to miss out on the positive consequences that tells my brain I’m not a fighter. I don’t need to be in fight or flight mode. I need to be in ‘pedal to the metal’ mode. Look what I have to gain if I do this instead of just focusing on what bad things going to happen to me.”

There’s so much positive fear that can be created by a good coach either external to you or internal to you when you wake up in the morning. “Hey, I could lay in the bed today. I could procrastinate more, but if I do that here are the consequences,” and if I’m afraid of those consequences, I’ll be more motivated inclined to get up and do something.

So, two things I want to do tonight on my day off is to get you thinking about the positive aspects of fear versus the toxic fear that we know sucks. It’s hard to self-coach, it is really hard. The cool thing about that though is you get to tell your head what to think. All you have to do is say something to tell yourself something different and guess what, your mind will believe you if you think hard enough.

I was talking to someone today that I love so much and the people she lives with are just very negative, not inspiring, and not empowering. So, all of that is on her to do for herself and if you’re in a position like that at work or at home, or both, you have to get good at this. If you can do it for yourself, I’m telling you one hundred percent of the way you think is in your control.

If you follow me, I am a tremendous advocate of mental health and sometimes we might need some counseling, sometimes we may need some medication. They’re things that potentially cause the chemicals in your brain to get off and we might need some help getting them back on track. That’s a fact. However, if we know that our brain is chemically balanced with or without medication, our brain in and of themselves can be controlled. We don’t you don’t have to accept the natural way your head thinks.

Feelings aren’t Facts

Feelings are driven by our brain’s responses to stimuli. They’re not facts and our brain is wired to operate at the lowest common denominator. Our brains are lazy. That’s why habits are so hard to break. That’s the truth that’s science not KimRey’s Science.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and your experience because my experience is only mine and it may not be relevant to anybody’s. My goal is to get you thinking a little different. So, again tonight the point is to recognize toxic fear.

If someone is talking to me in a way that makes me afraid, it shuts my brain down. People are leading me in a way that makes me fearful which makes me make more mistakes and compromise my results versus positive fear that comes from understanding, if I don’t perform, then I won’t be able to achieve what I want and I’m scared of that. I am flat out scared and not being able to feed my kid or put him through college or I don’t know.

So now I have a healthy fear that if I don’t do these things that may or may not be comfortable for me, I might not be prepared in the future and my fear of not being prepared drives me forward. That my friends is positive stress, that is eustress, that’s positive fear that helps drive me to get better results and do more be more be better.

I hope this will help you as you go into your week. I want you to think about what you think about, recognize when you’re feeling fear and ask yourself, “Is this toxic fear that I’m fearing that has absolutely no value whatsoever or is this positive fear where I want to put it in my gas tank and let it fuel me up to achieve what I really want to achieve?”.  Recognize it if it’s toxic fear. I want you to cut that out, cut the toxic figure out because literally all toxic fear does is spin you out in fight or flight mode like animals in the jungle, but we are human beings. Our brain has that extra part this whole frontal lobe that’s about problem solving and we get to tell ourselves how we want to think.

Your feelings aren’t facts. Get to the facts and tell yourself what you want to think. Beliefs are nothing more than thoughts you have had again and again and again and again. When you think the same thing over and over again, it becomes a belief.  If you want to believe that you’re lucky, think you’re lucky today. I’m lucky. I’m lucky. I’m lucky. I’m lucky. I’m lucky. Lucky is nothing, but believing.

You’re lucky.

Just do it.

Just try it.

Just try and let me know how it goes for you because that’s what I’m doing. I am self-coaching like it is my job. I love y’all.

Thank you so much!

Aggressive listening and what it could mean for employee performance

When I was growing up in hotels, as most of you are in the Marriott family, this was true in your industry. If you were a good front desk clerk, like you came in and you learned the task, you learn how to check people in and out or if you were a great front desk clerk, a great housekeeper, a great restaurant server or a bartender, if you did that job well, that person would get promoted and suddenly, you’re supervising people.

Be a champion for your people

Obviously, there are great corporations that are known for having incredible training and development programs. We did a lot of training and there was a time many of you senior leaders with Marriott were guaranteed 40 hours of training every single year and it was a big deal. You had to track it in the computer system and I’m not sure how it is now, but the reason I bring this up is because a lot of times if you were good at doing a job doing tasks, then you were promoted to become a manager in that same discipline or even in another one.

My question for you is, did you feel like you got enough time getting trained, as much time as you spent mastering the computer systems in your department, the processes or what you’re supposed to wear, or how you’re supposed to talk to customers? You know, how much training did you get on building trust? Increasing synergy or improving alignment? I spend all my time with teams talking about how to build trust and how to cultivate a strengths-based team.

Through the 80s and 90s, we were always talking about results, we still talk about results because they’re critical. But there’s a difference in being responsible on the front line for results and then becoming a manager or a leader of others. You’re responsible for the people who get the results, the people closest to your customers, your patients, or your sales people regardless of which type of industry or from.

If you work with me, we’re always talking about, “Hey, we need to focus on what your role is as a manager.” A leader in that organization is to take care of the people that are taking care of those tasks. Now a lot of places with less senior level managers are people that haven’t had as much experience leading people. They’ll tend to behave in ways that looks like micromanaging because their comfort level is to get in there and do the task.

As people are coming back to work from the virus, you have more junior level managers that are going to be first-time managers or first-time supervisors. Some of them are second, third, or fourth time managers of people but they still keep their focus on the task instead of genuinely taking care of the people who are supposed to take care of those pieces. Does that make sense? One of the key components of taking care of the people who are the closest to your users is the  power, connection and unity.

Be a champion for your people, right? Because if you’re not, who will be? Never mind the fact that they expect you to be there to take care of them and remove obstacles that are in their way of doing the best jobs they can every day. Never mind their expectations, the truth and reality is that once you become over people, it’s not your job to check the person.

What I really want to spend the most of my time doing are the other things that the people under me, my direct reports, can’t do which is to take care of them with this whole virus and all this uncertainty going on.

A players attract more A players

There’s one key thing that I think is the biggest skill involved in connection and it is called aggressive listening. Have you ever heard anyone talk about aggressive listening? I want to make sure that all of you that are leading people, get to a point where we can listen aggressively. People need to feel heard, when they feel heard and understood they will tend to follow you anywhere.

Do you remember being a new manager and you just wanted people to do what you so badly wanted them to do? The way you behave toward them, your body language, your eye contact, your tone of voice, and everything about the energy you put out towards them, it’s either “I need you to do what I need you to do because I’m the boss,” or it’s more of like, “Hey, what do you need from me? What’s in your way? You’re a superstar, I know you are.  My job is to get these things out of your way so that you can show up and kick ass the way that I know you can because you’re an A player and I’m an A player and that means I hire A player’s.”. You’ve heard that right? B players hire C players and C players hire D players, but A player’s hire A or A+ or A++ players. We get that he stronger the people are around me the better. I just have to take care of them.

So, I just wanted to emphasize one skill of connection and especially on your team’s.

You’ve got to get comfortable opening up. Take advantage of your meetings and the conversations you have. There are probably things on people’s minds and you, as their leader, I want you to roll out a red carpet for them to talk.

We call it emotional reflection. When I’m working with a team and trying to surface all the root causes of the limitations that they’re experiencing with their results.

It’s generally conversations that they need to have that they’re just not having. Everybody’s walking around thinking, “Gosh, I really wish we’d talk about what we really should talk about in meetings.”. Have you ever said that? Lord knows in my last 30 years and in my 20 years working in Corporate America, there were many times that I was at work thinking, “I wish my boss would just ask me this. Just ask me one question. Ask me this question and crack the door open and I’ll tell you what’s getting in our way,” because I knew I might not be confident enough to bring that that up unless I’m asked.

So, if you’re in that leadership position, I just want you to ask questions. There’s nothing that is going to hurt from listening. It doesn’t mean you change your opinion and doesn’t mean you give up any power. It actually means you get more power because your people, the people around you that need to work with you, will feel like you know them and you understand them.


There are a lot of important conversations that just aren’t happening right now. As a leader, when I work with my team, there are a few things that I want to do right away. Be aware, notice people’s nonverbal cues. If they’re clammed up, quiet, and they appear to be uneasy, notice and care about that.

You need the people you love to perform while they’re working with, for you, or besides you to perform at their highest level. If they are distracted at that level, if something is bothering them and they’re in their own head about where they are, please I want you to picture a pile of cash that’s just burning. It’s just on fire. It’s your money. It’s the company’s money. You’ll probably care more if it’s your money, but we need to think, “Hey, my performance in my career, progression, raises, and promotions are contingent upon me getting results today.”.

I want you to recognize that your people are your solution to getting those results. If they are on your team, they’re how you achieve results. You can’t do it all yourself. One thing I said yesterday that is relevant to this topic is that I can’t do it all myself. I might have gotten promoted because I’m a good do-er but now I’m in this leadership position with a team that I’m responsible and making sure there is fluid communication, collaboration, and alignment in those spaces is critical. It only takes one person to help change the game and really open the gate that allows for fluidity and it doesn’t have to be the boss. It takes a good communicator and it’s the one skill that is the most important to getting us there.

I can’t possibly serve you, take care of you, or support you unless I understand you and I know what’s going on with you. I want to make sure that we as leaders are not assuming that we know everyone’s story, everyone’s reality, everyone’s perception of the work place, the boss, or their challenges at home.

Here’s one of the most important factors with a team that is really maximizing their results.

“They are operating with the same set of facts and realities.”

Write that down.

The best way for a team to maximize results is if we’re all operating in the same set of realities and facts. Too often leaders are great persuaders by nature, right? Would you agree? We tend to want to tell people what to do. Right now, people need to be heard. The only way I know to get people to follow me is if they are assured that I know them, understand them, they know what they are worth, what they’re place is here, where they add value, and know what they need to do moving forward.

If you’re in any type of leadership role or if you’re in a position to influence other people or you simply need to partner with other people. It’s irrelevant if you agree with them about every point or not, it’s irrelevant how their personality is versus yours. The most important factor is that there is dialogue.

There are some of us that actually get so much fulfillment from listening to other people, getting to know them, and hearing about their specific individual story. Then there are other people that genuinely couldn’t care less about a stranger unless someone is a means to an end for them. They don’t want to listen to them. They don’t want to talk to them. They honestly don’t want to spend any time with them but if you’re in charge of a team of people, you’ve got to care and you’ve got to coach to do that really.

You have to listen to their reality, listen to respond and not listen to learn. Trust yourself that when it is time to respond it is when the other person stops talking or when there is an efficient pause you can tentatively insert yourself into. That’s a listening skill, right? Because I’ve listened to something you’ve said and then I’m going to respond back to it.

Be straightforward about your intentions

Clarify your intentions, we call that a contrasting skill. If you don’t know what that is, let me give you an example. Let’s say I wanted to go to one of you and give you some feedback. I’m not exactly sure how you’re going to take it so I start with a contrasting statement basically stating what you do want to accomplish and what you don’t want to see happen.

“Hey Jeff. I want to come and talk to you about what happened in the meeting yesterday. The reason I want to share it with you is because I want you and I to show up aligned when we go in front of other people that aren’t on our team, but I don’t want you to think I’m trying to say that you did something wrong.”. That’s a contrasting statement.

Another example is with my son. I might say, “Hey Ethan, I want to talk about you not getting the grass mowed but I want to have a conversation with you so that we can figure out how to help each other with the house chores. I am not in any way shape or form saying you’re in trouble or I’m mad that you didn’t get it done today by 3 o’clock.”. Let me say that first and then go into the conversation. Your intentions are not in a neon sign on your forehead before you start talking.

How many of you’ve been called to your boss’s office and they don’t tell you why you’re coming? Never do you think, “Oh, they’re going to give me some nice Tiffany Jewelry to say thank you for all my hard work!”. It’s never that, it’s all, “Oh no. What have I done?” Right?

Schedule time to do it or just when you feel like doing it, go on what I call a listening tour. Walk around and ask people on your team, “Hey, where are you at today? How are you feeling today?”. Pick up the phone, call your mom. When I need to call my mom, I want to be in a certain frame of mind where I can genuinely relax. I want to really be present with her. If I schedule that 8:00 a.m. every day I may not be in the same mind frame. So, if it’s hard for you to be present and listen to someone else without forming a judgment or preparing to respond, go pick up the phone and just say, “I had you on my mind yesterday. I saw you and just body language seemed to be a little stressed. Maybe I’m off base. I could be completely wrong, but I just wanted you to know that I noticed and I cared. Is there anything you want to talk about?”.  You know that just says upfront that this is a good time for me to listen, I can handle it recognize that just hearing or not talking isn’t aggressive listening.

If you are really listening to someone please for the love of everything close your laptop and put the phone down. There’s no way to make someone else genuinely believe you’re listening to them if you are multitasking. It’s not that you don’t have the ability to multitask, but for someone to really know that you’re right there with them, you can’t be doing those things. It’s not about what you’re doing, it’s about how you’re making them feel

I can’t possibly serve my clients unless I aggressively listen to them half of them. They don’t know what they’re trying to say to me and I need to be aggressive in getting them to talk more which means they talk more and I talked less. I am merely listening and seeking to understand genuinely.

As a leader of teams around the world in all kinds of environments with all kinds of socio-demographic states, I can tell you that if my team members feel like I ‘get’ them, they have followed me anywhere.  But you don’t just get them because you have a title, you get them because you know them and understand them. There’s only one way that I know how to do that really well and that’s to genuinely listen.

Thank you all for joining me today and I’ll talk to you guys tomorrow. Have a good day.

Own your story and build better relationships

Hey everybody. I hope you’re having a wonderful day today. Today’s topic is kind of a serious one, but I think it really gets at things that get in the way of productive healthy relationships that are able to get optimal results in business and in life. But let’s talk True Team as many of you have shared with me.

A lot of people have gone through some really difficult things during this virus, but it honestly applies to all the times. If it wasn’t the virus, it would be something else. Last year you had hardships to write and the year before that and the year before that. You know difficulty just comes innately along with life and I wanted to share in my opinion, relationships and results go hand in hand all the time.

We are the stories we tell ourselves

There are a lot of people out there that say, “Hey, focus on results results results.”  I believe that you can demand results. You can tell people what to do. You can enforce rules and compel people to do things and that may get you great results.

In my experience they’ll be short term.  In order to get long-standing and sustainable results, I’ve never seen that done to the degree that I want to win or achieve without good relationships. So, the principle I want to share with you today is about stories.

Our brains are wired to make sense of things. We see things, we hear things. We don’t see things; we don’t hear things either way. There’s a set of facts or a lack of facts and our brain will naturally make up a story about it. It’s what we think.

What do they say about assumptions? Makes an ass out of you and me, but that’s really true.

We all tell ourselves a story. For example, I had some great kids into visit me this past weekend and by all appearances, it might look like everything is perfect. There are no hardships here and that, “I’m joyful all the time”, sometimes gets misconstrued and people think that, oh that must mean they know that she’s never been through anything difficult.

We’ve talked about this many times, right? The story they tell themselves is that there’s no challenge. Saying there’s no hardship and their life is more difficult than mine, somehow, it’s easier. I hope I’m not crossing a boundary here with any of you super personally, but a trend that I am hearing and heard it again today in coaching calls, was that people are frustrated about what other people think about them because it may or may not be their truth.

What I’m hearing a lot of is that, “Hey, I wish this person really knew who I genuinely am and what my character is, what my values are. They talk about me in a way that doesn’t represent me at all and it’s very hurtful. It’s very upsetting.”

For all of you whether you want to admit it or not, you really do care about what people think and you want to at least be judged fairly and truthfully based on fact.  It can get very disenchanting to feel like you need to convince people or help them see the real you because their perception of you isn’t right.

So, I want to share a thought with you today and it is this.

People that aren’t okay with their own story cannot possibly care about someone else’s story.

Hear that? Need a pen?

If you’re not OK with your story, your lot in life, your journey, your adventure, the realities and truths, The Good the Bad and the Ugly about your own life story, it is incredibly difficult to genuinely care about or even be interested in someone else’s story.

When that happens, it creates a wall and a barrier between you and that person. If there’s someone that you need at work or in your personal life to get results or achieve something with, it’s going to be incredibly difficult to do that.

When you’re not okay with your own story, which leads you to not genuinely care about someone else’s story, that leads to a complete inability for you to be in relationship with another person. Obviously, that has tremendous impact on your world, on your quality of life at work, or at home.

Let’s say if it’s a work team and you’ve gone back to work and there was someone on your team that had deaths related to the virus and that really was a hardship for them, they were still having to go home and pay all their bills. The people who have the most, have the most to lose and in times like this. Keep that in mind.

You can’t just turn in your house or just turn in the car. Everyone’s trying to stay afloat, right? You’re trying to keep the mortgage paid, you’re trying to keep all the bills, all the car payments, everything covered whether you had a full paycheck or whether you had a paycheck at all. A lot of people that kept working were making less than what unemployment would have been but they couldn’t collect unemployment because their job kept them at work and it actually made it even harder for them.

There’s just a lot going on and I guess what I want to share with you today is just, consider that if there are hang ups in your head and in your heart about your own world, your own challenges, or your own issues, working to resolve those is the best investment you’ll ever make.

Those things will get in the way of you partnering with other people genuinely and truthfully in a way that will get the best. These people could be your direct reports, they could be your peers, they could be your boss, or your manager. I don’t know who those people are, but if you need them to get the best results in business or in life, I encourage you to work on the one person, the one thing that you can work on, and you will have a hundred percent control over and that’s yourself.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about that and hear if that’s even relevant for you or if it makes any sense at all. Love to you all, stay safe out there and I will be back with you again tomorrow.

Take care.

EPIC Leadership. Be Intentional on how you pursue your purpose

This morning, I shared with you the P in my acronym of E.P.I.C. It was on purpose and now I want to share with you the I, which is intention. I need you to be intentional. If you notice behind me, this is my home office and that print back there says, “Live with Intention.”

Slow Down. Be Intentional

I have in my lifetime tended to lack discipline and focus. I tend to get sidetracked because I want to do a lot, I want to accomplish a lot. I want to achieve a lot and if I am not incredibly deliberate and intentional about how I choose to spend my time, I just get lost. I can go down a rabbit hole but it just doesn’t get what I want out of life. So being extraordinary is the E, being purposeful is the P, and being intentional is the third letter in the E.P.I.C acronym that was the training content I created for my clients this year.

What does it mean to be intentional? What’s the difference in being intentional and having purpose? Purpose is your why. It’s kind of your big picture lofty goal. You know it’s what you want your legacy to be but in order for that legacy to come true, you have to make choices about what you do, what you say, how you react, and how you respond?

You know after all, how you spend your days is how you spend your life. Right? How I spend today is ultimately a whole lot of those days adding up to each other and that’s going to be the outcome of what I did to occupy my time in my life.

So being intentional is really about being deliberate, being disciplined, staying focused, and making choices about how to spend your time.

It’s not just about being so busy, working so much and getting all caught up in the hoopla. Then you wake up, 6 months has passed and you are in exactly the same spot as you were 6 months ago. Have you ever done that?

Over the course of my life, I’ve woken up where years passed and I was still in the same place I was before. But it’s been a long time that I can say, that was me. Every day, I fully intend to be better today than I was yesterday. If I have a bad day today, if I get breath tomorrow, it’s another day to choose how I spend the day and how to make the most of my life.

So, I want to give you a couple tips on how to be intentional. First one is to slow down. I had to write these down because literally I keep this in front of me. I write everything down as I’m getting older and my memories are going out the window.  

As much as I would like to say that I live intentionally, I have to remind myself to be intentional.

Again, to not caught up because time is flying so fast. So, first thing is really you got to slow down, hear me on this. Here we go. Get a pen. You have a pen? Write this down.

Doing more does not equal achievement.

For all of us workaholics out there, that message is for you. I don’t even know what else to say about that. Slow down.

Doing more does not equal achievement.

What do you really want?

Number two. Define your values and what you want.  If this morning’s talk about purpose hit a nerve in you and you haven’t really clarified what your purpose is yet, let’s start there. What do you have? What do you need? What’s it going to take to get there? Who can help you get there?

All those kinds of questions are what you need to ask and hopefully you’ve got a great coach in your life. And if you need one just ask the question and I’ll help you in that space. You hear me? I love it.

Some people are literally going through life and they don’t even know what they want. It’s really hard to get what you want when you’re not exactly sure what it is. Sometimes it’s easiest to cut out or to recognize what you don’t want and that’s cool. Just close some doors. You may not know which exact one you want to open, but you probably have a good idea of which ones you want to close. Be intentional about that. Don’t waste time in some space, doing something that you really don’t want to be doing.

Map it Out

Third thing is set goals. Obviously. Listen, I’m not trying to bore you with it. Setting goals is important and if you’re just starting this process or you’re doing some self-exploration, try and do a little homework.

Some of you worry so much about other people that you haven’t thought about yourself in a freaking long time. You hear me? I want you to focus on you! Get this stuff nailed down. Write goals, but make them little. Make little goals and bite off little pieces. You know, they say, “how do eat an elephant?”, “one bite at a time”. That sounds kind of gross but you get the point that I’m saying. The best way to tackle the elephant in the room is take small steps, one at a time.

So, if you need to develop a new habit, don’t try to do everything all at once. Just keep it simple. Keep it small and as you accomplish something, celebrate, reward yourself even if it’s little. I know that sounds childish, but it’s not.

It’s harder as adults to develop new productive habits instead of doing what we’ve always done. Trust me. If you want to get something new and have a new result, you’ve got to do something new. And again, it takes a lot of intent to change your course and to have a different day, and a better day. A different life or a better life doesn’t miraculously happen.  Lord knows, I have looked for the pixie dust that could be sprinkled on my head to give me that ideal space. That’s just not how it happens.

For me it’s happening because I’m figuring out what am I good at. That’s the extraordinary part. Right? What am I good at? I used to never say, “I’m good at anything”. Trust me. I’m terrible at a lot of things. There are some things that I do well and they excite me. Then I get feedback and information from people that say “Yeah, this is great that you do this. I want more of this.”  That’s the E part.

That’s the extraordinary part and then the P, purposeful. What’s my mission in life? I’m not just randomly behaving from one day to the next or talking from one day to the next. I really am wanting to accomplish something. If this is my last day on Earth, I want to go out like this, you know, I don’t want to go out doing this.

The I is so important because in order to accomplish those goals, I have to be intentional and make really good choices about how I spend my time. I want to set goals.

Make time for you

Number 4 is taking action. You can make all the vision boards in the world and you can set all the goals in the world, but if you don’t actually go do them, it just doesn’t pop off. I’ve been guilty of that too.

The 5th is a big one for me. All the workaholics out there, the high achievers out there, you have got to learn to say no. Other people have priorities for you and other people want you to do things for them. Staying focused on what you intend to get done is so critical and there there’s just not an infinite amount of time in every day.

We all get the same number of hours and how we choose to spend them is in fact a choice. I want you to feel that it is a choice and it’s your choice. It’s not how your spouse chooses for you to spend your time or even your children.

You know, I have to make those choices. I’m the adult so we get to make those choices. So, you gotta say no and I love this quote from Jonathan Fields. He wrote this book called “How to live a good life” and it says “Until you cultivate the ability to say no to the things that fill your life, but not your soul. You’ll never have the space to bring into it the things you desperately want to say yes to.” Got that?

The point is, if you say yes to everything everybody else wants you to say yes to, there’s very little time left for you to say yes to actually what you want to do. So, the I is for being intentional. You’re already extraordinary, be purposeful, be intentional and then later I’ll give you what the c means in E.P.I.C for 2020.

Ready to be epic? I know you are. Thank you so much for the private messages, feedback about doing these, man. ‘m just thankful there’s even anybody that wants to hear me talk so I appreciate you all so much.

Enjoy the rest of you day! Talk to you soon. Have a great great day. I know you’re ready!

EPIC Leadership. Live Your Life With Purpose

Good morning, and happy Monday. I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. For the couple of you that are living for these daily, I should have made a disclaimer that if there’s ever a reason Facebook live doesn’t work, then I will record a video on my phone and post it.

It’s beast mode Monday! Do you need to get into that mode today? Let me send you some of that energy because I am full of it today for a lot of reasons. I mentioned that at the beginning of this year before the virus, I had written all this incredible content for all my clients.

If you don’t know they’re from a range of industries. I work with the military, I work with hospitality, I work with dental practices, I have some car dealerships that I work with from a distance just on a consulting basis kind of coaching thing.

Anyway, the point is that I always want whatever I’m sharing to be relevant to you no matter what it is that you do for a living. So, when I wrote the content for 2020, I had in my mind what a year this was going to be.

Halftime Adjustments

So, March 12th, I turned 50, the virus obviously hit all of us in March the same exact time. And going into this year I was turning 50, I knew this was going to be pivotal because for me it was about my second half. It was like a basketball game. You know you play this first half and you think you know your opponents. Especially when that opponent is life, the journey we start out on doesn’t necessarily go as planned.

If you asked me, what my life looked like over the last 20-30 years, there’s some things that were perfect and absolutely happened the way that I really hoped they would but there were other things that just took turns I didn’t expect.

The point being, I’ve done the first half now and I turned 50.  I want to make some serious halftime adjustments because I fully intend to come out on the field this year and come stronger than ever. Maybe you do too, I’d love to hear your story.

Anyway, that was the premise behind the training that I wrote for this year to share with my teams, and it was called E.P.I.C. 2020 was to be an epic year and I had no idea just how epic it would be or what it would mean for all of us. But with that context now, E was for extraordinary and it was about embracing your extraordinary.

You are remarkable you have gifts that are unique to you, only you have them and you know this because you hear this from a million different sources. But I am serious about this. You truly are and if you’re feeling down, trodden, or beat down, maybe you’re like that lobster that was growing and outgrew the shell and you had to go under the rocks to crack it and become exposed to figure yourself out over this last six months. That’s kind of what I did. I had to make a lot of adjustments with everything I do. What would no traveling mean for me? Someone who makes their living everywhere else, but where I live. So, the E was about extraordinary. Don’t be afraid to be great today and bring your game for real.

Why is greater than What

The P, I want to talk to you stands for purpose. So, embrace your extraordinary but then you got to get real clarity about your purpose. I want you to live your life on purpose with purpose. Does that make sense?

Have you read “The Purpose Driven Life”?  You know, I have them all, I’m a learner so I’m always studying. When the book came out, I was kind of exploring my faith and I was trying to deepen my spiritual relationship. So, it didn’t become as actionable for me at that time as some resources later did but what I learned is there are so many resources and tools out there that will help you find your purpose. There’s not one exact thing that’s the right thing for you. I literally explored them all and found one that really hit and help me bring action. It was just an actionable process.

I’ve done a million team buildings on creating mission statements whether it’s a personal mission statement, a team statement, a business trying to create a new mission statement or refresh one that’s old, I’ve done that a ton. I was having clarity, really getting my feet on solid ground with where I was supposed to show up in the world and really come with come with strength.

Simon Sinek has been that coach for me over the last five years. He is just a beast. He’s a beast in this space. I like things really simplified and I want to be able to understand them and then do something with them right away. He has so many resources, YouTube videos, and amazing TED talks, but here’s the principle that helped me find my purpose. He talks about this idea of three concentric circles. The most outside circle is your what. The circle inside that is your how and the circle inside that is your why. This is like our Bullseye. The point is that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it?

People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

Your ability to influence people has less to do with what you do and even how you do what you do. There’s this in the middle, this purpose. This is the why I’m talking about when I talk about purpose. I am talking about what Simon Sinek talks about when he says start with why.

Core Values

When I started with Marriott hotels in 1992, we did a little team-building kind of orientation thing. In 1992 is when I really wrote down for the first time what my mission in life was and what my purpose was. This might sound kind of kind of dark, but Marriott made us write out what we wanted on our Tombstone. If you’ve ever had your company make you do that, I’d probably stay away from that these days, it’s a little heavy and I thought it was heavy too at 22 years old. But they really wanted you to hone in on what you wanted to be remembered for? So, I remember writing that and when I first read start with why and started paying attention to what Simon was saying, that’s when it clicked for me.

So, I went back to my old handbook and wrote down my mission or what I wanted on my Tombstone. I wanted it to say she contributed positively to the lives of other people. You know what, that’s my why, that’s my purpose. It was then, it still is now 28 years later.

It’s taken me till 50 to be able to easily answer Simon’s questions. “Why do you do what you do?” I don’t mean just at work. I mean in general. The cool thing is when you can align your why to your business’s why.

My purpose is to contribute positively to the lives of other people. Now, how do I do that? Your how is your competitive advantage.

“How am I going to do that?”

I try to live within my core values and finding out, figuring out, and getting clarity around what your core values are is what will help you figure out how to put words on how you do what you do?

My core values are authenticity, love, and faith. Period. I want to be authentic. I want to operate in love not faith. I want to do everything with love. So that’s how I do what I do.

“What do I do?”

I coach people teams, I speak, I facilitate, I mediate, I do a whole lot of things and these are really tactical. This is what I do, but who cares?  A lot of people do those things, a lot of people coach, a lot of people train, a lot of people consult. Now that people have had to go home and work from home, there are a lot of experts talking about, “Hey do it this way and you’ll win.”

I don’t know what the right way is for you. I just want to tell you the process, the options, and resources that are out there to help you figure out yours because once you do man, it becomes the litmus test every day every hour. If you’re in a situation where you have to make a choice on what you’re going to do, think about your core values and what your purpose in life is and that gives you a pretty easy answer.

Remember, I like to simplify things. If you just focus on what you do, you’re going to leave joy on the table and you’re going to leave money on the table. If you are operating in alignment with your purpose and hear me on this, are you ready? You got a pen? Write this down.

Other people, circumstances, and life will distract you from your purpose.

I want to make sure you hear me when I say I am not perfect. There have been many days in the first half century that I’ve lived where I didn’t operate within my core values and things distracted me. I made choices that were out of alignment, right? It happens. We’re human. That’s not the point.  The point isn’t to be perfect.

The point isn’t to be able to say, “Hey, here’s what I do. I coach people in teams and I hope that I’m in strengthening purpose-driven teams. I do this with authenticity, love, and faith and my hope is that I’m contributing positively the lives of other people.” But you know that’s what people say. Maybe that’s your five-minute elevator speech or whatever. I can nail that and then make a choice to flip somebody off if they run me off the road today.

I hope I don’t but just recognize that your brain and your humanity, the way we’re wired as human beings, emotions, feelings, our choices, and other people’s…all that stuff is in there. I’m just saying if you get real clarity on what your target is, if you get off it can pull you right back. It can redirect you and get you back to living a life that I feel like is on purpose and with your purpose. Not someone else’s.

I’ll get off my soapbox right now because I want you to get on with your day, then we’ll get into the next letter of E.P.I.C. So, E, you are already extraordinary. Let’s figure out how to bring that forward. Know your strengths and know yourself. Let’s figure out what your unique gifting is. P, we have to operate, we have to get clarity around your purpose.

I’ll talk about what the I stands for next and I can’t wait to see you then. Thank you all, send me a message if you have thoughts or things to add, join the conversation. There are a lot of people struggling with what their purpose in life is right now, so I felt like I needed your time on the P today, but I will keep going.

Look forward to seeing you every day in August take care of y’all.

Have a great Monday.

EPIC Leadership. Dare to Be Extraordinary

I wanted to get to you with a principle for leadership today. Are you ready? Got a pen?

Here it is.

So, this year at the beginning of the year when I wrote my newest program. It was called epic because I knew in my heart of hearts and in my every fiber of my being that 2020 was going to be epic. I had no idea to what degree epic would mean in 2020.

Don’t be afraid

However, the principles and the content that I wrote are incredibly relevant. I would say even more so relevant and important right now for all of you. So, I want to share a couple of the top-level points and if you can come to one of my classes or catch me this year, you’ll see the whole thing. But I want to tell you why I picked epic.

So, E.P.I.C is an acronym or at least it is for my purposes, and tonight I want to tell you about the first letter E. The principle number two of leadership is, be extraordinary.

Bring out your extraordinary.

You already are.

The principle is the E stands for extraordinary. This leadership principle is more relevant than ever right now and it is, don’t be afraid to be great today.

Don’t be afraid to be great.

Today, tomorrow, every day when you wake up. I need you to hear me in the back of your mind saying, don’t be afraid to be great today.

I think some people are holding back or they’re behaving in really tentative ways because there’s so much uncertainty in the world right now. I say bring the heat!

Extraordinary, the definition of extraordinary that I recall is something very unusual or what’s the word, remarkable? Remarkable, let’s go with that one. Let’s go with the fact that when I say you’re extraordinary, I will tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are remarkable.

It means like a shining star, there is something unique about you. Again, I just I need you to let that fly. You’re a peacock. You need to fly; you know what I mean?

Any “The Other Guys” movie fans out there?

If you don’t think you’re extraordinary then maybe you need to call me and we can figure out how and why.

Tomorrow I’ll get into the second letter of E.P.I.C which is the P and I’m not going to spoil it for you. So, you got a tune in tomorrow to but for today, principle number two, critical post pandemic beginning is to not be afraid to be great today.

Step back, Breathe, It’s Okay

Go be great. Don’t be tentative, don’t hold back. There may be a lot of questions. You don’t know the answers to and guess what?

It’s cool to say, “I don’t know the answer to that, but I’m in this with you.”

It’s cool to say, “Man. I have no clue. Why don’t we figure that out together?”

It’s cool to say, “I have absolutely no idea how all of this is going to work out.”

“The most important thing to me though, is that I work it out with YOU teammate, with YOU colleague, with YOU boss, with YOU supervisor, with YOU subordinate, with YOU team.”

This is what True Team is all about.

It’s not about having all the answers to everything. It’s being extraordinary, being remarkable by saying it’s okay.

We’ll figure it out and we’re going to do it together. Please rest easy knowing that you’re extraordinary.

I hope you’ll tune in tomorrow, and I’ll share with you the next step in this process.

Write that down.

Some of you need to write it down so that it’s on paper so you can speak it into your mind and into your heart tomorrow morning and the next day and the next day and the next day watch this again.

If you forget take care, have a great night tonight.

Leaders: Take Responsibility for the Energy you Bring into a Room

True Team talk I want to talk about this point number one.  Write this down. Do you need a PEN? Anybody need a PEN? I’m going to need you to write this down because I’m dead serious about this one. I want you to write this one down ready. Don’t get mad.

I need you to take responsibility for the energy you bring into a room.

You feel that? Take ownership of the energy that you bring into a room. I’m not going to bore you tonight because it’s been a long day with a bunch of scientific things.

I will tell you that I’m not sure and actually I have a question for all of you scientists and/or biologists that maybe on here right now. Is there a machine yet developed that can specifically measure and quantify and/or qualify the energy between two human beings that are physically in the same space?

Human Connection…

If anything, this virus has proven why I believe in face-to-face training, facilitation and team building. If you are inundated with virtual meetings right now, I’m wondering if you feel the mind numbness or if it’s just me?

I have always been a fan of being right in person. Maybe because I grew up in hospitality, I’m just used to that. But energy, I physiologically need to feel energy from other human beings, that connection, especially at work.

Do you know people that just being around them and being in the same room with them, your energy goes from here to here and there’s no real explanation to it?

They don’t even have to say anything but just their sheer presence takes you to another level. Conversely, how about being in a room with someone, you could be in a room with 50 people and there’s just one that’s in there and something about them is just bringing the whole thing down?

You know how that feels.

This is especially to all my friends working in hospitality and in customer service positions right now. I want to speak to all of you that have been calling me saying, you know, our world can never be the same.

How are we going to create experiences for our guests, for our customers, for our patients when we can’t touch them? We’ve got protective gear on and they’ve got protective gear on you know.

How can I make somebody feel excited to be on vacation if I’m working in hospitality? Or they’re you know, just coming to buy something from me in a store and it looks like everybody’s standoffish and apart.

It’s all in your head

Well, I would like to give you my Kimrey impression of that.

It’s all in your mind as stories you’re telling yourself, you know.

A smile and seeing somebody smile at you is probably the top one or the top two, maybe the most important thing in customer service. Saying,

“Hey, I’m a friendly I’m not here to hurt you, I actually want to help you have a better experience while you’re here in my presence.”

Eye contact I would say probably inches out a smile because you can say a lot with your eyes.

Anyways, I’m excited to be getting back to work and I’ll be doing a course in a couple of weeks on this very thing about how can I bring positive energy and help create an experience for my employees, for my team members, for my customers, for my patients in this environment today.

So, everything that we’ve ever done in the past suddenly becomes irrelevant. What now?

You’re in control of your energy

Well, I say there’s a whole lot to now. Your energy comes from your whole-body head to toe and when you walk in a room with people, you can lift up that air, you can bring it down, you can add tension to it, or you can diffuse tension.

You have so much power to impact and effect a room, whether there’s one other person in the room or 1,000 people in the room. And I know you know what I’m saying is true because I bet you have seen some people, maybe they’re even your mentors, coaches, or people you love to go and see speak. They’re on stage, they’re a million miles away, they don’t even know you exist. But you feel like they’re talking directly to you.

That’s magic.

That’s what I want to do.

I want to bring that kind of positive energy into a room and if I have to wear a mask, am I just going to lay down and think, “oh, I can’t do that anymore.”

No! No, that’s stinkin thinkin.

So, for today, this is my first day of this August challenge, I gave myself. I’m going to go live every day. We can only control ourselves and I want you to own the fact that you bring energy into a room positive or negative.

I’m going to go eat dinner. I love you guys. I appreciate you so much man.

Give me some True Team talk. I’m going to give it to you every single day this month.

Talk to you tomorrow.