Inspiring Energy

Bob Schultek Author of The Gauntlet

I recently met John O’Leary via one of his podcasts. With so many discouraging, angry and negative messages being relentlessly thrust upon us, it was refreshing to listen to John’s message. 

John lived through a moment in hell. At age nine, a fire exploded in his garage and burned 100% of his my body. His probability of survival was 1%. 

After 5 months in the hospital, and dozens of surgeries that cost him all of his fingers and much more, he relearned how to walk, write, and feed himself. John credits others who served and inspired him for his ability to endure and survive. 

He shares his story of perseverance, agility and positive thinking as a tribute to those who leapt into the flames to save him…who worked tirelessly to restore him…who pushed him to write though he no longer had fingers…and who held him during his darkest, most frightening moments. 

He shares how the exceptional, motivated people who did all these things taught him to become more aware of his gifts and the fullness of his life, to appreciate each moment, and to celebrate his blessings and the joy of living an inspired life. 

He shares these lessons to liberate […]

By |September 16th, 2020|Grolistic, Growth & Leadership Insights|0 Comments

Inspiring Energy

Bob Schultek Author of The Gauntlet

We celebrated Labor Day this week, a day dedicated to the contributions that working people make to our country’s progress and supporting us all. It’s a remembrance that we appreciate more this year because the Covid disruption has created a stark contrast. We honor those who have defied the risk and worked, often tirelessly, to keep products flowing and shelves stocked, to care for us, to teach us and to protect us; likewise, we remember and respect those whose jobs have been sacrificed, hopefully on a temporary basis, to slow the spread of the disease, those who are fighting the emotional and financial battle that daily uncertainty has forced upon them. 

Our work is vital to our lives. Through our work, we earn dignity, respect and confidence, as well as compensation. We learn and discover what matters to us, realizing how we make a difference for others and ourselves. And the output from our efforts is the energy that motivates action and drives production, transforming the ideas and ambitions of an organization into the goods and services we all need. That organization will survive only as long as it enables its employees to continue generating the energy which sustains […]

By |September 10th, 2020|Grolistic, Grolistic, Growth & Leadership Insights|0 Comments

The Value of Discovery

Discovery is the most essential piece of the selling process. 

Bob Schultek Author of The Gauntlet

In a market that cultivates commoditization, where needed information is readily available and simplistic assessments are used to hastily define you, price is the priority over value creation. Prospective customers are predisposed to perceive your offering as just another commodity, so to hurry the transaction, they prefer to keep dialogue with you to a minimum. 

An effective discovery process challenges this paradigm. Asking the right questions, in the right order, clarifies the customer’s current circumstances, the aspirations that underlie their needs, and the barriers that are inhibiting their progress. Discovery uncovers why resolving a customer’s short term pain contributes to the achievement of their longer term goals. 

An effective discovery process motivates the customer to engage with you in a collaborative dialogue, providing an opportunity for you to demonstrate empathy, competency and a commitment to their success. Your knowledge and expertise are revealed when you describe optional solutions that guide the customer to consider what they truly value, and to grasp how each alternative you mention will generate quantifiable benefits that create strategic value for them, in addition to solving a problem. The resulting dialogue alters the customer’s prior perception of you, and heightens their […]

By |September 1st, 2020|Grolistic, Growth & Leadership Insights|0 Comments

Is This Meeting Necessary?

Bob Schultek Author of The Gauntlet

Time is the only irreplaceable asset, so deciding how much of your valuable time to invest in meetings is vital. Meetings seem to consume more and more time.What makes a meeting productive? What makes it necessary for you to attend?The stated purpose for a meeting can be to inform, or to educate, or to motivate. But what makes any meeting productive is the dialogue it generates, the dialogue required to motivate action and make progress. One-sided pronouncements don’t promote dialogue, and so, don’t require meetings…these can be accomplished by an email or a posting. The emotions observed by the audience when they hear the message being delivered helps them understand it and react to it, either attracting or alienating them. They assess the energy, intensity and sincerity inherent in the message, and these become the fuel that drives the subsequent dialogue. Your familiarity with the message of a meeting, and your ability to contribute to the dialogue it fosters, can be useful for judging if attending the meeting is necessary. Will your enthusiasm for the message sustain your attention, generate energy and keep you engaged so you’re not checking email? If this can’t happen, then skip the meeting. Multi-tasking during a […]

By |August 26th, 2020|Grolistic, Growth & Leadership Insights|0 Comments

3 Ways to Lead Better in the Virtual World

Bob Schultek Author of The Gauntlet

The exclusive use of virtual business methods, fostered by our shared Covid experience, has challenged many leadership paradigms. Particularly hard hit are those processes that rely on interpersonal skills to develop trust and to cultivate the collaboration necessary for teams to drive change, take ownership and improve results. 

Leaders who have traditionally used their relational skills to strengthen their personal connections with those they lead, to encourage open, transparent communication, and to better understand what emotions are motivating the actions of team members, can find virtual communication to be lacking. The opportunity to leverage their empathy and emotional intelligence can feel constrained by the absence of physical presence. They understand that motivating teams to deliver improvements relies on each team member’s awareness of being appreciated and making a difference. This emotional edge is what drives change action.

Leaders can preserve their effectiveness during times when virtual connections dominate by practicing these 3 behaviors: 

Exercise active listening. Focus on hearing the spoken and unspoken message instead of rehearsing your response. Recognize when body language is inconsistent with the words spoken. When reading an employee’s emotion is difficult, ask the person to describe how he or she feels about the information being shared and why they feel this […]

By |August 20th, 2020|Grolistic, Growth & Leadership Insights|0 Comments

Let Learning Be Doing

Bob Schultek Author of The Gauntlet

How we educate has always been a topic for debate, but in these days of Covid adaptation, all proposed methodologies, and their related consequences, are being critically scrutinized. 

In public education, policies and circumstances have driven the current dialogue about alternatives to a fever pitch. While in business organizations, where each investment’s value is projected and monitored, the discussion about the most effective education methods has continued unabated. 

One reason this debate persists is that we’ve labelled ‘learning’ as ‘education.’ Education is based on compliance, listening to approved content and focusing on what will be tested. But excelling at school is not the same as learning something. Learning results from doing. 

In K-12 public education, the current conversation may be about how much ‘teaching’ should be delivered virtually vs. physically. But the basic educational premise is unchanged – what is ‘taught’ is driven by what will be tested. The children have minimal exposure to real-life activity, experimentation and interaction as part of their lessons. 

In business, millions do their work every day, but few read books or regularly take lessons about how to do their work better. Many organizations specify continuous improvement as a core principle, but few motivate it. Investing […]

By |August 11th, 2020|Grolistic, Growth & Leadership Insights|0 Comments

The Process in Innovation

Bob Schultek Author of The Gauntlet

When considering an innovation initiative, leaders tend to start by evaluating their accumulated product or service data. They know the profit margin for each offering, and how well each is selling in key markets; often, they have a good sense of market share for each offering. They may even have customer satisfaction metrics available for each product or service. 

But all of this internally-generated data does little to clarify why customers choose a specific product or service, what makes a particular offering valuable to them, what unsatisfied need or aspiration was resolved by their choice. Yet, it is this readily-available, internal data that most often guides their innovation decisions, which explains why many never succeed. 

Successful innovations result from being outwardly focused, on markets, customers and prospects. The research that produces winning innovations probes deeper than understanding customers’ traits, or adding fancy, new features to your offerings, or following new trends, or imitating your competitors. The objective is to learn what a targeted customer values and why. This involves observing and questioning to discover the factors, and more importantly, the processes that drive the customer’s choice, that help the customer progress towards a specific objective. 

It isn’t the coffee […]

By |August 5th, 2020|Grolistic, Growth & Leadership Insights|0 Comments

Making a Difference

Bob Schultek Author of The Gauntlet

For months now, people have been working virtually to keep the wheels turning…fulfilling their responsibilities, meeting their deadlines and striving to achieve their assigned goals. It’s necessary work, producing some personal satisfaction, but often leaving many with a thirst to do more…To contribute to a purpose they believe in…To invest their energy in more meaningful work…To make a difference. 

As their leader, it’s expected that you’ll nurture this aspiration to make a difference, to drive productive change that improves results. 

Making a difference doesn’t have to involve a big issue; start with a lesser concern. Encourage your team to find a small challenge on which they can collaborate, and support their efforts to make it better. 

Making a difference happens when you motivate your team to be vigilant for opportunities to improve something – for customers, their associates, or your organization. Making something better for one of these groups often creates value for the others. Can cross-functional throughput be accelerated? How might we simplify so we can move faster and with greater agility, without compromising quality? 

Making a difference means leading by example – enabling your team to take ownership of an issue in order to make it better. Acting on their own initiative to resolve a problem, […]

By |July 29th, 2020|Grolistic, Growth & Leadership Insights|0 Comments

Will Capitalism Survive?

Bob Schultek Author of The Gauntlet

Today’s headlines may make us wonder if free market capitalism can survive its current challenges? After being the source for exceptional global progress, freedom, innovation and an improving standard of living for over 300 years, is capitalism still the best engine for creation and creativity, or as some proclaim, has it shifted to become an engine of destruction?To date, no other competing model to capitalism has ever delivered the amount of global progress experienced during the past 3 plus centuries. Why? Because it relies on the conditions required for humans to succeed, the primary one being the value and rights of each individual, characterized by private ownership of property, rather than state control.Capitalism provides the freedom for each of us to pursue opportunities that can increase our earnings and property, improving our lives and those of our families. We choose how much we will risk to accomplish this. We are curious to explore what lies ahead, why pursuing it could make things better, and how leveraging our individual initiative and gifts can help us reach it. This quest is what fuels innovation, and the competition that sustains progress. The resulting economic benefits nurture the freedoms we enjoy, including the […]

By |July 22nd, 2020|Grolistic, Growth & Leadership Insights|0 Comments

Cultivating Shared Accountability

Bob Schultek Author of The Gauntlet

High performing teams embrace shared accountability. Having committed that the ownership of their decisions is shared by the team rather than by their leader alone, they rely on one another to achieve results. The leaders of these teams cultivate this environment of shared responsibility by:

Ensuring that all team members operate under common standards of performance, fostering appreciation and satisfaction;Encouraging team members to challenge the status quo, to experiment, and to leverage their initiative and experience, driving improvements or innovations;Elevating respect for team commitments to meeting deadlines and delivering on expectations;Educating the team on setting priorities and adapting them when changing circumstances demand;Establishing the means for team members to challenge and support one another when individual performance slips;Embracing dialogue within the team, and cross-functionally, to overcome obstacles, to accelerate activity, and to make a difference for customers, associates and the business.

These leaders understand their responsibility to accelerate progress towards their organization’s goals, while operating in accordance with company values. They promote a sense of shared ownership in the future of the business. They recognize their team’s longing to do work that matters, to make a difference, which earns them respect and the appreciation of their leader and company. […]

By |July 15th, 2020|Grolistic, News and Events|0 Comments