The Quiet Revolution: Labor Force's Great Reprioritization with Chris Edmonds and Mark Babbitt

Jan 11, 2022

What if low salaries, the absence of benefits, or lack of training aren't the leading causes of the labor shortage almost every industry is experiencing? What if companies struggle to find collaborators not because people pursue higher payments but because many leaders still follow an archaic leadership model: an autocratic, command, and control model. 

Today's guests, Chris Edmonds and Mark Babbitt believe what we are witnessing is not a labor shortage; it's a respect shortage. 

Chris Edmonds is a coveted Speaker, Author of two Amazon bestsellers: "Good comes first" and "The Culture Engine." He is also an executive consultant, and Founder and CEO of The Purposeful Culture Group. Chris has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, SmartBrief, People, CNN, Fox31, NBC, and Fast Company.

Mark Babbitt is a Speaker, Author, Blogger, Culture Architect, Executive Coach, and Career Mentor. He serves as President of WorqIQ and CEO and Founder of YouTern. Mark also co-authored "Good comes first" and "A world gone social." Mark was also named one of the Inc. Magazines' Top 100 Leadership Speakers.

In this episode, our conversation spins around the role of poor leadership in the current labor shortage. Chris and Mark analyze why oppressive leadership styles are still accepted in some companies and what impact this type of leadership has on people. We explore the impact leadership has on companies' employees and their families, how increasing respect is the best way to get more results, and more. 

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • About the impact leaders have on their employees and their families lives (6:35)
  • Leadership hasn't changed in more than 50 years (10:03)
  • A new paradigm. Now, employees have voice and choice (14:32)
  • Focusing on the measurability of culture, value, and respect (21:27)
  • Some actionable inspiration from Chris and Mark ( 29:05)
  • What kind of environment leaders should focus on creating to get better results (33:40)

Resources:

  • The Purposeful Culture Group website
  • Book: Chris Edmonds, Mark Babbitt - Good Comes First: How Today's Leaders Create an Uncompromising Company Culture That Doesn't Suck
  • Book: Chris Edmonds - The Culture Engine: A Framework for Driving Results, Inspiring Your Employees, and Transforming Your Workplace
  • Book: Ted Coine, Mark Babbitt - A World Gone Social: How Companies Must Adapt to Survive
  • WorqIQ website

Connect with Chris:

Connect with Mark:

Let's Connect!

Transcript 

Chris Edmonds: Yes, we know leaders need to deliver results. They need to inspire results. People need to deliver what's been promised to their customers and vendors, etc. But for generations, the only thing that leaders have paid attention to is results. And the reality is that if you create an environment of respect, results come.

Clint Hoopes: Thank you for joining me today. I have not one, but two amazing leaders and authors on the show: Chris Edmonds and Mark Babbitt. As Chris Edmonds is a sought-after speaker, best-selling author, highly regarded executive consultant, and CEO and founder of The Purposeful Culture Group. He's the author of two Amazon bestsellers: Good Comes First, which he co-authored with Mark; as well as his book, The Culture Engine. Chris has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, SmartBrief, People CNN, Fox, NBC, and Fast Company. We also have Mark S. Babbitt, who is a speaker, author, blogger, culture architect, executive coach, and career mentor. He serves as President of WorqIQ and is the CEO and founder of YouTern. In addition to the best-selling Good Comes First, which Mark co-authored with Chris, he is also the author of A World Gone Social. Followers also find Mark’s advice in Entrepreneur, CEOWORLD, Inc., USA Today, Forbes, and many other publications. He is an in-demand speaker. And Mark was named one of Inc. Magazine's Top 100 Leadership Speakers. You are going to enjoy getting to know these amazing leaders. Without further ado, here is my conversation with Chris and Mark. 

Clint Hoopes: Chris and Mark, welcome to Flavor of Leadership. I am so grateful to have you both on today.

Chris Edmonds: Thanks very much. We're thrilled to be here. 

Mark S. Babbitt: Absolutely.

Clint Hoopes: Excellent. Thank you. I know you both are very busy. And so grateful that we could find a time to make this work. So, as we get started today, I really want our audience to learn a little bit more about your unique stories. And also, I really would love to know how you both met as well. How you guys ended up together, there's always an interesting story behind those things. So, let's get started. Who wants to go first?

Chris Edmonds: We're convinced that we're fascinating. But what's fun is that with my approach, I mean, I was a nonprofit executive for 15 years. And so I was running YMCA camps, and driving buses, and raising money every year, all that kind of stuff. Great, wonderful foundation about business leadership because I had my best boss ever during those YMCA days. And I had my two absolutely world-class worst bosses ever. So, it was a wonderful, wonderful foundation. From there, I went into the Federal Reserve Bank System, that's a shift from nonprofit to Federal Reserve. Met the good Dr. Ken Blanchard, who invited me to go and work for his company. So, I did that for 24 years. And that really gave me the grounding about culture, and understanding that leaders really don't know how to change culture, they're not even sure that they need to. I'm just forever grateful to Ken and his team for giving me a forum and letting me kind of develop this beast. I had my own company since 1990. So, been doing this culture stuff for a while. And for those of you who’re watching on television, or whatever, there's a guitar hanging on the wall. I'm a working musician. I make no money at that whatsoever. There are another 10 guitars in the room above. So, I'm a bit twisted about that side of my life. But I absolutely love the work that I'm doing and love the connection to Mark. We met about six years ago. And I'll let Mark do his background and then we can talk about the meetup.

Mark S. Babbitt: Maybe I should work backwards now. I wouldn't know. I'm not that skilled. I can't do that. So, Clint, I'm a recovering engineer. I’m military-trained. With Silicon Valley for 10 years. Worked for a great company. Should have been living my best life; I had a new wife and a newborn and we were living under the palm trees with a swimming pool in California, and I hated every minute of it. It was a drudge showing up to the same building, the same front door, the same walk to the cubicle, staring at the same monitor all the time. And I had to own that. And I did my best to fix it. And one Friday afternoon, I finally realized, “I can't fix this. This is how corporate America works. And this isn't me.” And so without even talking to my wife, I walked, I left. 

Clint Hoopes: Without even mentioning to your wife that you’re going to it? 

Mark S. Babbitt: No. 

Clint Hoopes: That’s gutsy.

Mark S. Babbitt: Probably not a surprise to your listeners but now my ex-wife. But no, I just got so frustrated in that moment, I said, “I can't be this anymore.” And so threw the keys to the company car on the admin’s desk and started walking home. And I've never looked back. And because I was in Silicon Valley, I began what I thought was a startup. In hindsight, it was a lifestyle business. I just wanted to work for myself. And even though we got up to 24 employees and $2 million in sales, the business ran me. And I thought, “Well, this is an improvement. But now the idiot I'm working for and the bad culture that I've created is mine and me.” And I took a step back and started a real startup. And it was in the online recruiting space. And I did that. Three different startups; two successful exits; one, did everything we could to hang on until the money ran out. And in that time, I learned we were sending people into a workforce that was not any more fulfilling than my experience, and that leaders had no idea the impact that they were having on not just company culture but on people's lives. And not just the worker, but their families, and their extended family, and even their kids, and even their pets. And leadership just wasn't willing to own that. And that became my life's purpose, especially, since I was lucky enough to meet Chris six, seven years ago. We've known each other on social media. I've been following Chris's work. I read his book from 2014, called The Culture Engine. Right after that, I was co-hosting a keynote at a culture conference in Chicago, and Chris and I sat down and talked and we haven’t shut up since. And the result of all that is this book where we're trying to help leaders understand their impact on culture in life.

Clint Hoopes: I love that. So many different nuances there in how you got here. There's a lot to that journey. And I love what your message is because you've seen it go both ways. Just like Chris was saying as well earlier, saying, you had that time in your life where you had the great bosses and the terrible ones. And it's amazing how drastically different it is. And often people will point to things that are not themselves when there's those kinds of problems. And that's why I love how your book addresses some of those things.

Chris Edmonds: Well, it was interesting with Mark and I starting three years ago to write this book. We had a future of work focus: multi-generations, how are leaders going to be able to manage, baby boomers who are thinking about retirement, all the way to Gen Y's and Gen z's who are wired a little bit differently and how you manage that. And then pandemic hit. And we had to change the proposal, we changed the focus. And this is not a book about pandemic times, it's about good leadership. And we've not, unfortunately, been the models of good leadership consistently for, let's call it, the last 50 years. So, when Mark and I began working on “Holy God, this is different.” It was really fun. We had support of our publisher, who said, “We need this an evergreen thing, don't talk about COVID. We're going to have all kinds of interesting challenges that are going to continue to hit us over the next 30 years.” So, the “Good Comes First” clarity came from Mark’s abstract in the proposal. And we were kind of struggling for a title. And I've had a book strategist that I've worked with, blessed to be connected with since 2012. And he said, “There's your title right there at the end of paragraph one.” And it was brilliant. And what it allowed us to do is to focus upon leaders charge, leaders responsibility, that everything that impacts an employee’s experience day-to-day, the leader can fix that, or can address it, or can tweak it, or can make it better. So, it really allowed us to focus upon that employee experience. And, boy, what an interesting experience employees and even leaders have had over the last two years.

Clint Hoopes: Oh, yeah. It's thrown so many people's leadership on its head, when really like you said, leadership hasn't changed. Leadership is the same. The true principles that made a leader successful prior to COVID still exist. They're still there. They're still the same things. But still, leaders got thrown on their heads. Just didn't know what to do. So, why is that? What do you guys think, Mark?

Mark S. Babbitt: Because we suck. We suck as leaders. 

Clint Hoopes: That’s right in the title of the book, isn’t it? It’s some title. 

Mark S. Babbitt: Yeah, it is. I coach baseball. I tend to get on my players a lot, as Chris knows, but when they do something really cool, I'm their biggest cheerleader. So, I'm known for being in the dugout. And when they make a great player, I go, “Well, that doesn't suck!” And so we had to make that part of our title. So, seriously, we have been leading the same way, basically, since the end of World War Two. And the human race has evolved since then but our leadership style has not. What would happen if General Motors put out the same kind of car now as they produced in the 1950s and ‘60s, that would never be okay. But leading the same way is okay? “Command and control.” “Autocratic.” “You're just lucky to have a job.” “Do your damn job.” “That's what you're getting paid for.” That's how many leaders still lead today. And even though the pandemic opened our eyes and people got to reprioritize, you know, we call it the great resignation. It's not the great resignation. I heard the other day, Chris, you might have said this, “The great reprioritization.” But I think it's bigger than that. I'm calling it a quiet revolution. Because people, for the last 20-21 months, have been working from home. For the first time ever, they've had a say in when, where, and how their work got done. They got to be home when the kids came home from school. They got to pet their dog or tease the cat in between meetings. They got to take care of their elderly parents. And maybe even do some volunteer work and be in the community more and go to their kid’s school and actually be a part of their kid’s lives during the day. 

Clint Hoopes: Instead of commuting for two hours a day. 

Mark S. Babbitt: Well, yes. I mean, I did a commute in Chicago for an hour and a half each way. Silicon Valley, hour and 15 minutes each way. Well, now how can we better spend that time? How can we better serve our kids and our extended family and even our pets? So, now these old-school leaders, the “you're just lucky to have a job” types, and we see this more in Wall Street than anywhere else, they're saying, “Forget all about the last 20-21 months. Please forget that we ever gave you all that freedom and autonomy. We're taking that all back now. Get your butts back to work.” And people are going, “No. I know better now. I'm not doing that.” Now, the good news is leaders also had that same epiphany. Even us old white guys are saying, “No, I liked being home. I liked being there when my kids came home from college or when my grandkids showed up. I liked that.” And so they're much more democratic about how they're building their return to work programs. But those old school guys, they haven't learned a thing. And people are walking.

Chris Edmonds: And we were talking this morning, Clint, about the most recent October voluntary quits numbers came out from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics was 4.2 million voluntarily chose to leave. And we're approaching 30 million who have, since April 2021, voluntarily left their jobs. And there's this labor shortage – oh my God – no, there's a respect shortage. And that's really the foundation of this “Good Comes First” approach and philosophy. And one of the things that Mark and I have really come clear on is that today employees of all generations, doesn't matter if they're Gen Y’s, Gen X's, Gen Z's, baby boomers, all employees desire and deserve workplaces where they're respected and validated for their ideas, efforts, and contributions every day. Now, that is not normally what Industrial Age thinking of leaders is going to deliver. Leaders don't know what to do with that. They might even think it's a little bit Kumbaya. But the reality is, employees have a voice and they have a choice. And as Mark said it, they're walking.

Clint Hoopes: I love what you said there. You said, “We don't have a labor shortage. We have a respect shortage.” That rings true to me. I know that some of the great leaders I know aren't having the same type of labor issues that you hear on the news. In fact, not only are they not having labor issues, they have more people that they can handle. They're actually refining their workforce and really the rockstars are coming to these great places to work. Not because they don't have to work hard, because they do work hard still, they just have that respect. I think you hit it on the head.

Mark S. Babbitt: Clint, you might have seen this study, but very certainly after Good Comes First was made available, MIT Sloan came out with a new employee experience survey. And they determined that the people who felt respected by their bosses, their leaders, or their company culture in general, that was an 18 times better indicator of a quality company culture than anything else. And I put it in perspective, the showing of respect was more important to the employees they surveyed. And this is a 10,500 person survey, not one of the small things. 

Clint Hoopes: Not a small sample size, yeah.

Mark S. Babbitt: Wel, it's MIT, so you'd like to be able to trust them. But the showing of respect was more important than pay, benefits, perks, and training combined. And we see that. We see McDonald's is paying people $18 an hour here in Colorado. God knows what they're paying in New York and San Francisco, and people are still walking. Well, it's not it's not a money issue. It's a respect issue.

Clint Hoopes: I actually haven't heard about that study yet. That is staggering, but not surprising when you look at it that way.

Chris Edmonds: It's not surprising. We're research geeks. And so we're always looking for telling data that is undeniable. And McKinsey did a study last month that found that 40% of employees are likely or most assuredly going to quit their jobs in the next three to six months. Again, the Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that to be true. What's interesting is that leaders realize, “Well, if I'm running a restaurant, running a hotel, running a taxi service; I need bodies, I need people who know their job and can do their job well, and maybe even have fun doing it.” There's a shortage of those. And so if we throw money at it, it's not changing the dynamic; people are still not coming. So, if I can, one of the great, great pieces that Mark shared with me last week that came clear to him is that, yes, we know leaders need to deliver results, they need to inspire results, people need to deliver what's been promised to their customers and vendors, etc. But for generations, the only thing that leaders have paid attention to is results. And the reality is that if you create an environment of respect, results come. And results come faster, and people are more dynamic. They're like, “I saw this problem, so I decided to try to fix it. Now, I think I've saved us $100,000 this year.” Again, it's the leaders having to look at their jobs differently. You're still going to be held accountable for results. But if you create an environment where people are treated with respect, you make more money. Our research shows that if you build this “Good Comes First” culture, employee engagement goes up to 40%. Now, it takes 12 months to 18 months, 40% gains in engagement, 40% gains in customer service, which not surprisingly leads to 35% gains and results in profits. Now, there are peripheral important gains like retention and attraction. And again, problem-solving, there's such wonderful benefits, but we have to help leaders realize that if results is all that matters, you can tolerate people behaving pretty badly if you're just looking at widgets sold, cars sold, sandwiches sold.

Clint Hoopes: You said something interesting, you're saying, if all we focus on is just the end dollar results, we're not going to get where we really want to get along the way. And it made me start thinking a little bit about lead measures and lag measures. We've talked about that on the podcast at times where we're often measuring the wrong thing as a lead measure. And in this case, it sounds like, essentially what you're proposing is there are some different items in regards to our culture that we should be measuring, that will have that halo effect essentially, they will impact other parts of the business. And in the end, the thing that will keep the business going and thriving, the bottom line will also increase.

Mark S. Babbitt: Well, and Clint, we see that in literally every aspect of our lives, not just work. Look what's happening, for instance, right now, in college football; winning at all costs draws a certain type of personality. Look how much college coaches are making now. They're literally recruiting convicts to come play football for the school, but they're signing contracts for $8 million or $9 million a year. So, again, that's going to attract a certain kind of personality. And now that's a huge billion-dollar industry, but the same thing goes for, there's a local real estate agent. The world's been rough on real estate for a long time. And now we're in post-recovery. Well, we can't find enough agents to fill the desks in our office. But the firm right down the road literally has a line out the door because they treat their people with respect. And we could go on down the line. One restaurant on one side of the street has more people than they can handle to do the work because the reputation, that lag result, people know what it's like to work there. They know they're going to be treated with respect. They know that if they're asked to enforce a mask mandate, the owner has their back. Where the other place, “Oh, the customer's always right,” and all these other antiquated leadership tactics, nobody wants to work there. Well, they're the people complaining about the labor shortage, not the people across the street that have consistently, for years, treated their people with respect.

Chris Edmonds: I'd love to jump on the measurability. And again, it's the leading and there's the lagging indicators. What a huge lever that we help leaders learn about and help them actually begin to implement in their own businesses is if you're measuring results, good for you. Again, that's half your job. And all of a sudden, now you've got to measure respect. Well, you can't measure values, you can't measure respect. Go out and interview 12 people from your business, you'll get 12, maybe even more, different interpretations of what respect might mean. So, what the book does, and what our, let's call it, three-phase process, and we'll get to that in a moment, what it's been doing consistently over the last 25 years is helping leaders identify behaviors that make sense, that actually contribute to respect. So, if you've got an integrity value on the wall in your conference room but you've really not paid much attention to that over the years, and it's not, today, measurable because too many people have different interpretations what integrity means. Let’s define integrity with an observable, tangible, measurable behavior. And again, integrity is a value that very often our clients are inspired to formalize if they haven't already. Well, we say, “Okay, good. So, you're not remotely done. You're 10% of the way. Let's now talk about what you mean by integrity.” 

Chris Edmonds: So, one of the interesting skills that Mark and I have built over the years is to help people move from attitudinal, desirable kinds of interactions behavior. We want to be able to measure them. So, what's a behavior that would model integrity? Well, what if we say I do what I say I will do? It's an IMS. It means I don't have to wait for anybody else, means I'm in charge of this. And it means that if I'm going to get measured – we'll come back to that in a moment – on the degree to which I keep my promises, I better bloody keep my promises, I better be making them intelligently, I better be pretty present when I'm supposed to be working on them. It completely removes the, let's call it, parental classic, maybe even coach classic; “I told you to do X. You haven't done X. You need to do X.” And what it allows is, it allows us to measure the impact leaders have on respect because we can measure – Clint, let’s pick on you, you're right in front of me here – “Does Clint do what he says he will do at work every day?” Six-point scale. Six is Highly Agree, Agree, Slightly Agree. Well, five and six scores are the only good scores. If you have a one to four, it's a degree of “No, that's not good.” So, what it allows us to do is to shift this aspirational rather, very individualized interpretations of respectful behavior. Just tell me exactly what you want and then measure me on it. And so we actually have got a client that I've been working with for five years, we're doing their January Value Survey. And so we're starting to get ramped up on what leaders have changed and who reports to whom. So, we're building that in our survey systems so we can give them their every six months formal profile of how well leaders are seen living their 12 valued behaviors. It completely changes it. Does that help a little? 

Clint Hoopes: I love that. Gives people away, like you're saying, to formalize it a little bit more to where you say what you mean in terms of your values, instead of having them just be up on the wall because people can see right through that. And when you're actually measuring it, then people know that you mean it.

Mark S. Babbitt: And I'll add very quickly to that, Clint. It also gives insight to the top leaders, maybe even to the board of directors of bigger companies. If we show that data to a leader, one leader might say, “Oh, wow, I'm at a three and a half there. I have some work to do.” And again, as Chris said, it's an “I” statement. Well, that tells you something about that leader. They're pretty aligned to that value. They know that value, living that value, modeling, and coaching that value as a leader is just as important as the results I'm driving. They're aligned. They're a keeper. Let's mentor them. Let's work with them. Let's get them some coaching. We can work with that. But you get that old-school leader, and they read one of the qualified comments taken from our interviews or taken from the survey, and they go, “Yeah, I know who said that.” And you know, okay, bing, bing, bing! Red flag! And now you know that person's not aligned. And you don't give up on them. But at that moment, as a leader, because you can't tolerate that kind of behavior, it's not respectful, it's not showing a willingness to be accountable to that value. Well, now you know they're a one or a two. Even without the data, you know they’re a one or two on that six-point scale. And now we can focus our efforts on helping them understand how important it is to model that. And if you really can't do it, 12 months from now, that's still your reaction. Or maybe it's, depending on your sense of urgency, 12 days from now. If that's still your reaction, well, attrition is our best friend, and we're going to let you go and be incredibly successful somewhere else because you can't be here with that kind of old-school approach to leadership. That's not our culture anymore. And then we're just gonna, as Chris says, lovingly set you free. Go be that somewhere else, but you can't be that here.

Clint Hoopes: It's amazing. We often think about leadership in terms of what we do, those actions, going forward. But we often forget, like, what you guys have both been saying is, it is more about what we tolerate. And letting these people remain within the organization, Tolerating that isn't fair to anyone. We've already talked about how the leaders, what they do, impact the lives of their families of their employees and everyone. So, let's tolerate that behavior just trickles all the way down to home.

Chris Edmonds: Absolutely. My daughter just changed jobs, and it's very interesting to – and she's 50 plus – help her think about what's the culture you're going into. Do what you can. Look on Glassdoor. Do some interviewing with some people whom you might know who work there. And this is kind of interesting. I think this is going to be a good company. She has been there a month and she loves it. But that's not necessarily a typical employee facet; “Well, I'm going to look at the quality of the culture I'm getting into.” And again, this rather overwhelming labor shortage, I think people are taking advantage of that.

Clint Hoopes: It's a good point. It's a very good point. Oh, I love this. This is exciting. This book is exciting. For any of you that are listening to this. We're going to put links in the show notes to the things we've discussed today, to Good Comes First, to this book so that you can have a chance to check this out. This is amazing. So, I got a question for both of you, as well as, as we wrap start wrapping things up here today, I always want to make sure that the audience has the chance to act in some way on what we've talked about. And so I would love to ask you both, what's your top action step that you'd have for my listeners?

Mark S. Babbitt: I'll jump in. So, Chris has mentioned earlier that we’re trying to find a way to inspire leaders to understand how important respect is. So, we wrote a line just recently, it's not even in the book, we wrote: “Respect equals results.” And so that's really stuck with Chris and I. And it's helping leaders gain traction with the whole concept of good comes first. But even before that, we wrote something, and it sticks out to me now. And we've already talked about it a little bit, Clint, and you wrapped up quite well. Our words in the book, I believe, Chris, are, “Company culture is built upon the positive behaviors you reward, and it is destroyed by the negative or disruptive behaviors you tolerate.” And here's what's fun about that, Clint, is leaders are coming to us and saying, “Not only did that stick to me in my workplace, among my leadership team on the board of directors. I'm now thinking about things like that at home. If I let, allow, enable my children to do something unproductive, undesirable, disruptive, destructive; I'm enabling that negative culture.” And Chris and I both heard recently, “Mark, Chris, I'm not just doing this stuff at work in the office, I'm applying this at home too. And I know that every time I tolerate a less than desirable behavior, I'm helping build a poor culture. So, that's my excitement.

Clint Hoopes: That’s when you start cheering, right? You're like, “Yes, that means you're actually doing it right. We should be the same person in all parts of our life.”

Mark S. Babbitt: We were just happy people actually bought and read the book, but actually be using it, and not just in the work, in lives. We're thrilled. Especially in bigger companies, it takes 12 to 18 months to really change the culture. But if you can remember that sentence from the book and from this conversation today on your podcast, Clint, then you can start making a quantified, deliberate change in your company, culture, and even your own culture right now, today.

Chris Edmonds: Let me add to that, Clint. One of the things that we want leaders to do, and we hope the book is full of what we call Actionable Inspiration. It’s like, yes, we can give you some cool academic theory. And there's this all grounded and well-researched good practices. But theory alone doesn't inspire us to know what to do as leaders. So, we coach leaders all the time. And often, we'll have leaders who say, “I got 10 people in my department, the rest of my company is kind of a difficult, disrespectful environment to live in. But I want my department to be, kind of shining a light, at least less stressful. Then what we say, some of our peers, colleagues, and the rest of the organization, “So, let's start with ground rules.” So, if you don't have a formal value statement, and formal dozen-or-so valued behaviors, do five, just do five. And they can be as simple as: “Show up on time.” “What we discuss here is confidential.” “Do what you say you're going to do.” “Keep your promises.” So, there's really a small list of things that can bubble up to a bit more formal. Now, because the rest of the organization doesn't have this huge organizational beast to reinforce this, just reinforce it with your own team. And it means that – and it goes back to the “I” statements – as you begin to formalize ground rules, you are now, as the leader, going to be heavily scrutinized. Now, you are already. But now you're giving them ammunition. 

Chris Edmonds: And it's like, you got to be the role model of doing it right. And if you missed, you got to be the role model of saying, “I tried. I missed. I’ll be better next time. I'm sorry.” Leaders go, “I can't say ‘I'm sorry.’” Well, we should. We make stupid things happen all the time, maybe unbeknownst. But the reality is that until leaders model this consistently, it's all going to be a facade. And once leaders demonstrate that they're going to coach this, they're going to redirect, they're not going to let bad behaviors go without a conversation; the rest of the team moves in. And the rest of the team begins to embrace it. And I tell leaders that your sphere of influence, your span of control – that's old school language we’re trying to get away from – but if you begin to create an environment where people are respected and trusted and praised for this stuff that they do, that's going to get out, and you're going to have a lot when you have an opening. And you're going to lose people too. You're going to lose people because they kind of gained confidence in themselves, and they started to look for other places they can contribute. And it may not be in the same company. It's like that's your job as a leader is to enable people to go to the next level and to improve other businesses, other churches, other community programs, other schools, God forbid. It's a pretty cool way. And it's a soft start, it's a small start, but it's very well-proven.

Clint Hoopes: I love it. Oh my goodness. Great actionable steps that we can do right now today to make ourselves better and make our people better. I love it. Mark, Chris, I'm so grateful that you took the time to come on today. And really I want to make sure that, as some of our listeners want to be able to connect with you in the future, I would love for you guys to let us know where should they find you?

Mark S. Babbitt: Well, I'll tell you. Chris and I, we're old but we're all over social media. So, you can find us everywhere. We don't have any VA that helps us. We answer all of our own emails and all of our own social media tweets. We think that's part of the relationship process. So, you can certainly reach us on social and digital media. But we encourage you also to go to GoodComesFirst.com and learn more about the book and more about the process and why it's important, and learn what other leaders are saying about the book and how it's impacted their work so far.

Clint Hoopes: That's excellent. I love it. Mark, Chris, thank you so much for being on the show today. I hope we can do this again someday.

Chris Edmonds: I appreciate your willingness to share some of these concepts with your listeners. We love it.

Clint Hoopes: Thank you. All right. Well, take care.