In partnership with Spartan, I hope you will consider joining me and other executives at the inaugural Leadership Summit of the Spartan World Championship Weekend in Lake Tahoe, the preeminent event of the obstacle racing season.
People are still the reason an organization succeeds or fails.
You probably heard the dreary news about the lack of employee engagement, right? There’s been a surge to address this situation in the American workplace because of these headlines. But, in my opinion, this laser focus and priority to improve employee engagement is energy misplaced.
The No. 1 thing you can do to influence your company culture and attract and retain high-performers is treat your employees like the incredible humans they are. When you get this right, engagement naturally follows.
There is a credible threat to your organization today and it’s not what you think. Or is it?
It’s costing companies more than $11 billion in losses annually on average and it’s getting worse. This threat is the battle to hire, inspire, engage and ultimately retain your top talent.
So, what’s the secret to employee satisfaction, engagement and retention? Contrary to popular belief, the size of the salary isn’t the primary driver of happiness.
It’s your culture.
This weekend, I became a Spartan.
I didn’t do it alone. Along with my team, my fellow Spartans were a diverse group—men and women, old and young, fit and unfit, every shape and size imaginable. Their tribes for the day were co-workers, spouses, friends and the strangers in front, behind and to either side of them along the course.
They all had a story.
And we were ALL there to kick ass in whatever way we could through the 9-mile course scattered with 27 extremely challenging obstacles. To prove to ourselves that “we can do hard things.”
Life is truly lived when you push fear aside and step out on that edge.
We only get one life, but we have many chances every single day to show up and make a difference. We get to choose to experience life rather than watch it pass us by.
When you choose to stand out, you continuously grow and make everyone around you better for interacting with you.
This is what Red Shoes Living is all about. And Paige Cooper, a former employee of mine, is definitely standing out and living life on the edge.
What do you think it takes to be a great leader? While there isn’t one magic formula, I do know when I’m around a great leader, I always want to give them the best version of myself. I never want to let them down. And, I think it’s because they do these three things.
Is it even possible for a Millennial to work with a Baby Boomer?
All we need to do is look at best-in-class organizations such as Google, Amazon, Nike, Starbucks and Apple to find the answer. Indeed they can and they do with great results.
These companies recognize their success is tied to their diversity and the common language they share. When organizations adopt the Red Shoes Pillars as their common language, they produce incredible results because diverse groups come together in a way that connects us all.
Last week, I had the privilege of bestowing medals and presenting Red Shoes Living at the prestigious British Citizen Awards held at the Palace of Westminster to 31 individuals that work tirelessly to make a positive impact on society. These are the quiet heroes that truly stand out in a crazy politically noisy world. They are true Red Shoes Citizens standing out in everything that they do. This is an extraordinary event that recognizes selfless commitment of “everyday” people whose achievements may otherwise be overlooked. The inscription on the medals say it best: They act “For the Good of the Country.”
I’m always on the lookout for those spaces in my life—the gaps—where there is opportunity for me to improve my personal or professional life. On a recent business trip, despite what I thought was really great planning, I faced a pretty significant gap. Let me tell you what happened to me because I’m sure you’ll get a kick out of this.
As an executive, there are pressures from your board investors and the teams you lead and work with. You juggle so many responsibilities it sometimes feels like you’re giving half-ass effort to it all and just getting by. Plus, you need to measure your energy throughout the day to save enough for your family and friends.
Red Shoes Living was originally created as an internal mechanism for the InMoment company culture. It has now been shared with hundreds of companies and leadership groups, and in February of 2017 due to intense interest broke out of InMoment to become its own entity, helping companies develop “stand out” cultures and people essential to customer service and business success.
However, Red Shoe Living extends far beyond the confines of work. The principles cover much more than just building a winning team. When embraced as a lifestyle, the five pillars that are its core concepts change lives, encouraging individuals to be filled with awareness, gratitude, and respect and kindness. Everyone has their own story, and it is good in moments of both tragedy and triumph to shine a light on those who have put themselves out there to help and encourage others.
The recent attacks in London, while tragic, were filled with Red Shoes Moments. Here are just a few.
MP Tobias Ellwood gave mouth-to-mouth resuscitation in an attempt to revive PC Keith Palmer, the officer stabbed by the attacker. Ellwood had every reason to run to safety: police officers were instructing everyone to do so. Ellwood has suffered personal tragedy as well: his brother was killed in the 2002 Bali Bombing.
Photos showed the MP’s bloodied hands and face, after the former Army officer tried to apply pressure to the injured officer’s wounds.
Dr. Jeeves Wijesuriya, chairman of the junior doctors' committee at the British Medical Association, also rushed to the scene as events began to unfold. The doctor was addressing a regional BBC team nearby.
He was a part of the team that tried to save the lives of both the officer and the attacker. The police and first responders spent nearly an hour trying to revive them both. One died at the scene. The other died later at St. Mary’s Hospital. Wijesuriya truly went above and beyond.
Tony Davis from Gateshead was one of the first to reach PC Palmer. Though not formally trained in first aid, the boxing coach knew the basics, and put his raincoat under the officer’s wound, applying pressure to stop the blood.
A few moments after he arrived, MP Tobias Ellwood took over the attempt to resuscitate the officer. Although Davis told the BBC, “I am not brave, I am not a hero,” his rushing to the scene showed true compassion and bravery.
Dr. Tony Joy is a member of the London Air Ambulance team that landed in Parliament Square. At first, the team was given very little information. They thought they were responding to a road crash with 20 plus patients.
What they saw when they arrived on the scene was much different than what they expected, but a survey from the air told them it was a major traumatic event. The team worked an extremely long day, tending to the nearly 40 injured individuals. Their sacrifice is a true example of the resilience of the British People.
The National Health Services (NHS) Staff. Doctors, nurses, and medics from the nearby St. Thomas Hospital responded to the scene, and the administration called in extra manpower to help the injured and provide the extra medical care needed.
The entire staff went above and beyond to help those affected, and all of them displayed what it’s like to put Red Shoes culture into action. Theirs was truly a Red Shoes Moment.
The British people are resilient, and all over the country people posted signs, Tweeted, and showed their support not only for those injured and the first responders, but about themselves as well. "London is the greatest city in the world,” the Mayor’s office said. “We will never be cowed by terrorism. We stand together in the face of those who seek to harm us and destroy our way of life. We always have and we always will."
Lonnie Mayne: I’ve been a part of the British Citizens Awards for the last three years, and love to highlight those who truly stand out and do good in the world. I’ve walked through that gate, visited the House of Lords, and my heart went out to the British Citizens who put themselves out there for the good of others during these horrible events.
Red Shoes Moments are not about me or my company, but about the real people doing good in the world. It is an honor to stand with the British people and recognize a few of the many who did so much good on that day.
For 10 years, I’ve been honored to serve as president of InMoment, the top customer experience technology firm in the world.
And while our focus was always on the technology, customer experience is an inherently human endeavor. Because of that, clients regularly asked us to advise them on the cultural side of the equation. And as the business value of great customer experience has become increasingly undeniable, the urgency around getting that aspect right has also grown.
Over the past few years I’ve invested more of my time, and passion, in this part of the business. Recently, InMoment and I announced a new partnership that will allow me to focus 100 percent of my time and energy toward helping organizations connect the operational side of customer experience with the human side, building cultures where employees, customers, and business thrive. We call this Red Shoes Living.
Red Shoes was a concept I originally created as an internal framework for the InMoment culture, and has been shared with hundreds of leading brands and leadership groups. In this new capacity, I will continue to present keynote presentation at conferences around the world. Also, I will continue to provide a framework for executive leadership training and organizational guidance to companies that want to create the “stand out” cultures and people so essential to customer experience, personal and business success.
For more information about how to bring Red Shoes Living to your team, please visit www.redshoesliving.com.
Red Shoes Living
A word of advice: Never pass up the opportunity to experience something done right—especially where food is involved. There is a lot to be learned from the things that get people buzzing—and one place that has been buzzing in my hometown of Portland, Oregon is a restaurant called Cheryl’s On 12th.