Healthy Business
May 4, 2022

Stop Being The Boss, Start Being A Leader

Transition from boss to leader with Mike Sipple Jr. Tune in and learn about mentoring, effective leadership, and potential unlocking.

Many bosses nowadays take a bossy and "Im better than you" approach to leading their company or business. Author Mike Sipple Jr. and I discuss what it looks like to lead and be mentors to your employees instead of just their boss. We discuss effective ways to unlock your potential and talk about previous mentors we had in our lives and how they impacted us.

Mike serves and leads as CEO of two companies dedicated to recruiting leadership teams, developing leaders and managers, and helping teams achieve their strategy and vision. One is a half-century strong executive search firm that focuses on building high-performing teams throughout North America. The second is a true disruptor in people development, leadership team alignment, and strategy achievement. Both serve the mission and vision of unlocking human potential.





MIKE'S BOOK - Leadership Fusion: Best Practices to Lead and Influence


Many bosses nowadays take a bossy and "Im better than you" approach to leading their company or business. Author Mike Sipple Jr. and I discuss what it looks like to lead and be mentors to your employees instead of just their boss. We discuss effective ways to unlock your potential and talk about previous mentors we had in our lives and how they impacted us.

Stop Being The Boss, Start Being A Leader

I have a gentleman named Mike Sipple Jr. on the show with me. Before I talk about Mike, I want you to go over to the Iron Deep YouTube channel and please subscribe. Leave a comment in the comment section. We have all the shows going on videos on the YouTube channel, and we have extra videos coming out each and every month. We're going to have more in the future. Also, go over to If you're interested in our men's community at Iron Deep. Make sure you sign up for our email newsletter. If you're interested, sign up for our Men's Awakening Retreat. It's in the Rocky Mountains from September 25th to 28th, 2023, so check that out.

Mike Sipple Jr. is the co-founder and CEO of Talent Magnet Institute. He also hosts a Talent Magnet Institute Podcast. He has written a book called Leadership Fusion: Best Practices to Lead and Influence. Mike looks for unlocking human potential. He has courses on his website that help leaders care about their employees, pour into their employees more, and get more production, but care about them as human beings and want them to succeed not only professionally but also personally. This is a heartfelt episode. I can't wait to introduce you now to Mike Sipplel Jr.

IDP 87 | boss to leader
Leadership Fusion: Best Practices to Lead and Influence (Business Fusion)

It's great to be with you and your audience. I look forward to meeting some new friends along this journey with you.

I'm excited about this interview. I've been studying you. You're a big deal in the Midwest. You are the co-founder of Talent Magnet Institute. You run your own podcast, Talent Magnet Institute Podcast. You have bestselling authorship with Leadership Fusion: Best Practice to Lead and Influence.

You've been in this space a long time. This is a space I am digging into now because I'm stepping into how you pour into other leaders, and how you make them better leaders and better men and women. You've been in this space a long time, so I think you can bring so much value to our audience. Give us a little taste of who is Mike Sipple Jr.

Thank you for all those kind words. I always like to say that I'm here because of the phrase but God. I was born and raised as a part of entrepreneurs. My parents are both entrepreneurs. I'm the youngest of three. I have a sister that's six years older than me and one that's nine years older than me. I like to say my parents learned a lot, then got to parent again.

I married my high school sweetheart. We met in the marching band. She was my first chair trumpet. She and I did play some James Bond-themed solos in front of crowds at football games in high school. We've got a just-entering 9th grader, a 7th grader, and a 5th grader. They are three amazing children and very active. I've learned a lot through this journey. I now own and run our family business that's almost a half-century old. Centennial is a global executive search firm specializing mostly in succession and next-level leadership teams. That's our real niche.

We launched an organization called the Talent Magnet Institute about four years ago. My father and I did that after many years of not responding to something we had as a calling. Our board called us out on it and said, “Now is the time. We need leaders who are more compassionate, caring, and loving for their people now more than ever. Your organization knows how to come in, understand, and help transform the way people lead themselves and their team.”

Between the two organizations, between employees and contractors, we've got about 50 people interacting between both brands. That's what we do. We hail from greater Cincinnati, Ohio. Our office is based in Newport, Kentucky. We have served and worked with companies in over eighteen countries, mostly in the family and private business space. That's where we thrive. That's who we love to serve, which includes a whole lot of entrepreneurs trying to live out their dreams and sometimes doing it well and sometimes not.

That's great because our audience is mostly business owners and entrepreneurs. A lot of them are in the real estate space because that's the space I'm in. That's who I know. Let's talk about this. When you talk about your company, it mostly deals with succession and next-level leadership. What does that mean? Typically, you say, “We work on leadership. We make leaders,” but what does that mean?

Succession is looking at the future state. That future state might mean that I'm going to retire in two years and I need to think about the next generation. It could mean that over the next ten years, we're going to go through some type of transformation. In our case, we are a family business. We've lived it. We might need to add professional leadership team members to our team. We might have a family member who has been in one role for four decades, and it's time to make a transition.

IDP 87 | boss to leader
Boss to leader: Succession is really looking at the future state.

It also might mean that we don't have a pipeline. We always say hiring a leader doesn't solve your talent and leadership gaps. In fact, it highlights that you aren't doing enough to develop the next generation. You aren't doing enough to invest in the people that have said yes to work in your environment and you have the privilege to employ and lead.

We try to help with that topic. Sometimes, we lead searches for an executive that's determined by the end of the engagement that we have the right person inside. That's our role and responsibility. It's to help you find the right person and walk companies through what that process looks like. We have this whole leadership development organization that then comes in and points. When the spotlight is identified on leadership and talent development gaps, we help people get in and into an economical way to start investing in their people.

I was looking at your website. You have so many different resources on how to be a better leader. I think you had a free course on there. I was like, “I want to take this free course.” We all want to be better leaders, especially driven business owners. You talk about this succession. A lot of yours is maybe this transition or a new season of life that someone may be stepping into. I ran a real estate business for thirteen-plus years. I had a succession about two years ago. They brought a guy in as a CEO. That's what you're talking about. I was reading about your organization. One of your missions is to unlock human potential. Can you explain that? What does unlocking human potential mean? How do you do that?

We help facilitate it. Part of the way that we do this is mindset and heart change. Even what you referenced on succession. Succession isn't replacing someone. It's building a talent pipeline that allows you to be prepared for change. Similarly, by unlocking human potential, everyone has potential. All of us, unfortunately, someone saw it in us at some point and helped nurture that, helped coach it, and helped provide feedback. In some cases, pointed it out even when we didn't see it or didn't know it.

Someone else had to help us identify it. Essentially, we help organizations adjust their mindsets of the responsibilities and joy that it is to lead others. Unlocking human potential doesn't just mean investing in people purely to maximize what I get out of them relating to the job that I've hired them in because we're talking about unlocking human potential. There's something, somewhere, and somehow an opportunity that you have with every single human that's around you to see something in them that they may not see in themselves.

IDP 87 | boss to leader
Boss to leader: There's something somewhere, somehow an opportunity that you have with every single human that's around you to see something in them that they may not see in themselves.

To give them an opportunity to share what their hopes, dreams, and goals are. That may not have anything to do with succeeding in this sales role or being the best controller, financial leader, IT person, or marketing executive. They may have things outside of work. They may want to compete in cross country. They may want to mountain bike or whatever it might be. We have the opportunity to help them get there, to help them see their potential, to encourage them, and to provide real feedback, even when it hurts, because it's what helps us all advance.

It's shifting our mindset from trying to develop people to be the best employees they can be for my company to how I can help this human thrive. There's some mindset shift that takes place there. I believe this because I've lived it. I’ve seen it. I’ve experienced it firsthand and watched it in others. All it takes is the right person to encourage someone at the right time. That then begins some type of lift and helps them get through whatever is keeping them from achieving that potential.

We have the opportunity to be the key that helps unlock it and recognize that we're only one person on the journey. In order to do our mission, we have to educate and inspire millions of people for a cascading effect because you may only be with me on this one particular journey. Our hope is to create a world where people are thriving to help others unlock human potential.

You talk about this untapped potential. Every human has potential and I got to get a quick story. It sometimes takes these small encouraging things. I got an email from a guy I hadn't talked to for about a year. He said he was watching some of my show and wanted to encourage me. He's like, “You do a great job interviewing your guests.” That one thing excited me to keep going and do more episodes. I was like, “I'm glad someone noticed.”

I was in a conversation with an organization that asked me to speak. I was sharing with them what I think now. They asked me a very similar question. What does that entail? What does that feel like and look like? I said, “There is something that someone in your life, work, and personal has done over the last 3 to 4 days that made you feel good, or you saw something that you're like, ‘That was fantastic.’ I bet you didn't say anything.”

To our audience that has joined us, think of that person now. Who did something, shared something, led in a certain way, or asked the question that you were like, “That was what we needed to hear.” Write that name down and do something over the next 3 to 4 days to thank them. It can take 30 seconds or 30 minutes. You could go invite them to lunch but you don't have to spend any money or time to say thank you.

That one thank you for what you did, how you showed up, or what you asked could be the thing that you just alluded to that helps that person go on, and helps that person feel like, “I was questioning myself.” As humans, we question ourselves and go, “That's the encouragement. I was afraid everybody was upset that I asked the question because nobody said anything.” We're all so in tune with not taking that extra step. That extra step can be what leads someone to realize their fullest potential.

You also say something in your book, Leadership Fusion: Best Practice to Lead and Influence. You even said it on this show. Especially as a leader, let's say we have an employee that comes in, to view them as a human not just for the benefit of us or our organization. I had this happen last December. I had an employee who worked with us for about a year.

He had these big dreams to do his own real estate and things like that. Some of his big goals. I said, “Why are you working with us? You have these dreams?” He ended up leaving, but he still brings back business and things like that. It was an affirmation for me. You view them as human, not just as your ROI. Can you dig into that a little bit more? Sometimes we are constantly talking about how they can benefit our organization, and how we can train them to benefit our organization to make us more revenue. Talk about that a little bit.

I'll also share why it benefits you to lead this way, and why it benefits your brand and your company to lead this way. We should all want to be the positive story in other people's lives. We don't know how to plant seeds and do great things for people, helping people see their greatest potential, encouraging them, and helping provide an environment where they can thrive holistically. Think about it. None of us live to work. We work to live, so it’s the ability for me to understand.

You don't have to tell me all of your personal goals and aspirations. I can ask and I can say, “You don't have to tell, but the more I know about you, the more I can help you, the more I can draw connections and provide what you need to thrive while you're helping us do what we do best.” By doing this and unlocking that potential, they're going to help an organization because this may be the first organization that cares about them.

Now I'm showing up every day at 110%, but the benefit of what you referenced of that gentleman who was with you. He was with you for a reason. There was something he knew or was told or learned that he thought he knew he didn't have the skill or the experience yet. I want to go work for an organization that can equip me to do what my long-term goal is. There was something there. Even if they move on, it's okay that we help grow, develop, nurture, and encourage them because as you also said, now, he refers things to us. We get leads. He's a positive amplification for you and your organization.

When you do this or lead this way, even if they leave, they will look back and they'll tell all of their friends the positive stuff. Not that you didn't encourage him, that you didn't invest in him, or you didn't care about him as a human. It’s quite the opposite. Therefore, if you have goals and aspirations one day to lead your company. Here's a great company to learn from because they're going to teach you all the things and you're going to be able to bring all your skills. That's okay.

It's okay being a stepping stone if you're leaving a legacy because these people are leaving going, “This is the best environment and the best leadership team that I've ever worked for.” I tell people or I tell an audience, there are components of this that are completely free. Sitting down and having a conversation is free. Caring about people and getting to know people in a way that they're like, “My last team never spent time doing this.”

IDP 87 | boss to leader
Boss to leader: It's okay being a stepping stone if you're leaving a legacy because these people are leaving going, wow, this is the best environment and the best leadership team that I've ever worked for.

We do because we know the more you're engaged and we show you that we care, the more that engagement shows up for our customers. The more impact we can have, the faster we can get to our mission and goals. It is a mindset shift that this is not the way, unfortunately, that HR has told businesses to run.

I do constantly verify, “Getting to know people is completely legal, right?” It is, as long as it's appropriate and they know they don't have to share everything. I'm allowed to let them know that I care. I love them and help see them and their families thrive. Meanwhile, here are our goals and our mission. I need you to help us achieve this too and ensure those things are in alignment.

You talk about that in your book. Having this real conversation and impactful conversations. You talk about instead of being maybe a manager or a boss that you're more of a mentor to these employees or your team. I always think about this in your own life. You told a story about there was a teacher, Ms. Gregory, a History teacher in your own life.

If you're tuning in, start to think about who was that mentor in your life. Was it a coach? Was it a teacher? Was it someone? For me, when I was in college, I had a guy reach out and have coffee with me every other week just having conversations with me and pouring. I remember it because he cared. Talk about your story a little bit and how that impacted you, and then in transition, you are trying to be that for other people.

If you don't mind, I'm going to unpack the first statement around boss manager to coach and mentor. I do think, unfortunately, the word boss has been villainized, which is inappropriate. It's okay. People aspire to be the boss and manager. That's okay and it's not a bad word. We can be great bosses and encouraging, loving, caring bosses, and great managers. We need to spend more time equipping people on how to be great managers and great bosses, versus you becoming one.

IDP 87 | boss to leader
Boss to leader:  “Boss” is not a bad word. And we can be a great boss and an encouraging and loving and caring boss and a great manager. We need to spend more time equipping people on how to be great managers and great bosses, versus just becoming one.

I do want to click on that because, in that, we're trying to teach this mindset of being a coach and a mentor as you're a boss and a manager so that you raise people up. Your organization may look around and go, “All of the great talents are coming out of this classroom or this workspace.” That was similar to Ms. Gregory, who was a History teacher. History wasn't necessarily my favorite topic, at least I thought.

I was in a program called the International Baccalaureate program and we had to write content. We had to write essays, do research papers, and all of these things. I look back now 21 or 22 years later and go, “My love for writing, content creation, podcasting, standing in front of an audience, and talking was amplified by Ms. Gregory because she saw something different.” I'll even admit, there were times in Ms. Gregory's class when I slept. I feel like she let me sleep, and now I look back and go, “I think she did let me sleep because she looked around and said these kids need some sleep. They had a long night.”

She was so caring. She encouraged and she was also hard on me. She was a teacher who was fairly aggressive with the workload and expectations. Why? It's because she saw the potential in the students she had. She knew if you're in this program, I have the ability to push you. She got to know her students. She would ask people to do volunteer things. She would ask people to show up and help her with things. I look back and I go, “It wasn't because she couldn't do it herself. It's because she was building responsibility.” She was showing people that we could go further than just the workload we thought we were responsible for by showing up at her classroom after school to help with other things.

She tried to find out what you are interested in and how I can light a fire. How can I put a spotlight on the things that you may not even know that I see you light up about? She saw the things that we lit up about. She saw the things that got us passionate. She almost pushed us like, “I'm going to drive a conversation here to figure out why you light up so much about this, then I'm going to say, ‘If you believe that, you should write a paper about it, research it, and argue your statement. You should step into nobody else sees it the way you're seeing it and fight for it.’” Those are the types of things she did.

Looking back, I'm not the only one who says, "Ms. Gregory made a profound impact on me." From our show, we've interviewed hundreds of leaders throughout the world. So many of the conversations are about a teacher at some point who asked the question, challenged a student, and helped them point them in a direction of like, “This is an area I think you should look into.”

I would say it's probably part of the teacher's responsibility. It's why they're in the role they're in. They want to help the children who sit in their classroom maximize their potential. They want that kid to have the same opportunities that the last class had. I use this example and we should too. Why don't more people treat their team members and the people they have the privilege to employ the way a teacher approaches their students?

A good teacher who cares, who wants to create a legacy, and who wants to inspire people where you hear twenty years later, "I can't wait to check in on my teacher and see how he or she is doing.” I picked that story. Fortunately, I've had several teachers who were in that mindset. Kudos to the principal who built this team that did that. The principal who built that team, I still know him to this day. He is an amazing human being. Mr. Grime helped build the team and put this team together. It's all intentional leadership.

It's all an example of intentional leadership. Who is that teacher in your life? What did they do? It may be something that made you feel very uncomfortable that you were like, “I don't want to do a research paper on this. You expected how much work from me?” It may be someone who said, “Maybe you're not right for this class. Let's move you to another class.”

All of this directly relates to the workplace. I have found, if you dig into individual stories, often there's a teacher that stands the test of time in their memory bank of the people that stand out in their lives. We've all met those teachers. We may even be friends with teachers who have a calling to teach and equip the next generation. That's a beautiful example of what a true leader, coach, and mentor look like.

You talk about it in your book and even with Ms. Gregory. You said that she asked good questions. Number one, she cared about you. Sometimes you think of a mentor or coach as someone giving feedback and advice, but you talk about active listening. I always say, “We have two ears and one mouth. We should listen twice as much as we speak.” You talk about active listening.

I've been working on and thinking about how to ask better questions, even with my own family or my employees. Sometimes we have the level one questions. How was your day? Asking better questions and a little bit deeper questions. Talk about this. How important is listening? If you're not a good listener like me, you have to work at it. How do you practice this?

We try to lead this particular topic by example. Inside of all of our learning platforms are reflection questions. We're trying to equip the individuals taking the learning journeys to get better at asking reflection questions. Ask questions that get people to think and reflect and they may not have an immediate answer to them. It's something that next time we get together, I'd like for you to be thinking about this particular question so that we can unpack this. It will help me navigate through the topic that you mentioned to me you're wrestling with.

Doing so in a way that is truly reflective, sometimes it's even good to have the basic questions. It’s like, “We thought it'd be funny to do an icebreaker about what's your favorite movie and why.” What I have found in these icebreaker-type questions that we can do in our teams, all of a sudden, people start getting to know each other more, “I didn't know that about you.” It’s all because we asked the silly question about what's your favorite movie and why.

Those questions do have a place in the workplace because the more my team knows each other, the more I know them. The more I help them reflect on things that are important to them, the more this team feels like they know one another. When you know one another, you want to work hard for one another. Start creating conversation, creating dialogue, and sitting back and reflecting.

The art of a great teacher is to listen and observe the classroom. Figure out pretty quickly who the other students turn to, whether it's a question or something that's even going on in the school or in a sport or in a life that people are like, “What would that person do about it?” Leaders show up in unique ways. Teachers do a great job learning in their classrooms. Who are the kids that create the energy, positive or negative? This is one reason why we as leaders should do more active listening because it gives us the opportunity to watch and explore what's happening, which then can inform other questions we ask, decisions we make, and responsibilities we give or retract at times.

I provide in Leadership Fusion specific leadership actions and questions. It's not rocket science. These are not overly complicated and over-engineered questions. I reflected back on what were some of the things that Ms. Gregory taught me. What are some of the things that I've experienced? In some cases, what do I need to do more of as well? Basic questions. My takeaway from that particular chapter in Leadership Fusion is all about somebody picking it up and going, “I'm going to make a copy because these questions are good. I want to use them in my next discussion.”

To me, we have succeeded and helped people unlock human potential. There are so many bosses and managers who don't do that. They think it's telling. We're going to tell people what to do. We're going to watch how internal marketing or HR communicates to the organization, which is mostly all about telling, “Here's our internal newsletter and what we want to tell people,” versus creating conversation, ending with a question, opening up with a question, encouraging reflection, and encouraging people to ask the question.

We hear about it often because people say, “That's the untouchable in organizations.” The fact that the topic exists, nothing should be untouchable. What should be the mission is untouchable. This is what we're focused on but if there are things happening inside the organization that aren't enabling us and helping us get there. Why do some of those things that lock up a team in a negative way become the untouchable? It’s because we don't ask enough questions. We don't encourage our people to challenge, explore, and reflect on what they're experiencing.

I love the icebreaker. I was on a Zoom call meeting with some leaders. Ours was, “What was your favorite TV show as a kid?” It was so funny because it was like I was giving or asking them their age because whatever they said was their favorite TV show, I knew how old they were.

I'm curious about what their eyes, energy, and posture look like when you ask that question because it all brings us back.

It brings that innocence of your childhood back in. You take your back to the living room, watching it with your family. It was cool. I have a couple of questions I want to dive into with you. I want to touch on this real quick. I don't think we have time to talk about it. Number one, when you start having these conversations, you said in your book with your employees or with your team. A couple of questions that you can ask yourself is, does their individual role align with the mission of your organization? Another question I think is good to ask all the leaders out there is, do you know the personal and professional goals of your employees now? That's a great question because if you don't, then that's a good starting point for a good conversation.

Let's dive into where's the boundary? That’s something I want to dive into. You're the manager or the boss of this employee. You're talking about their professional and personal types of goals, but you also want them to work for your organization hard. You want to have a good work ethic. You want to bring in, have them trained well, and be a good employee for your organization. What does that look like? This boundary you want to talk about personal and professional goals, but then you want them to be accountable to you. Can you talk a little bit about what's the dynamic of that?

There are a couple of things here. One, getting to know your people is important. Your people feeling as though you know them is important. I would argue that there's a huge percentage of the workforce that does not feel like their employers care about them. Unfortunately, that number is so much larger than we should ever accept in the workplace. It's because of this.

People don't even get to know me. I'm just a number, an employee member, an ID, etc. The boundary is I always tell people that it's okay to let people know you care about them. I've even verified with attorneys. It's okay to tell people, “I love my team. If you're on my team, I'm here to support you.” They don't have to share things. You're not trying to pry out things. If you touch on something that you know seems like something that may take us down a negative path, I don't have to keep harping on it.

What I also will share is people are dealing with stuff. If I were in an audience, I would say, “In a show of hands, who's dealing with stuff?” Ninety-nine percent of the audience would raise their hand, whether it's first or once they see that 67% raised their hand. The rest may go, “I’ll raise my hand.” That stuff is not left at the door. Some people have the ability to manage and compartmentalize, but most don't. That stuff is going to creep in whether you like it or not.

I'd rather know what that stuff is so I can help and look at my resources as a company and as a person and say, “How can I help employees and team members with said stuff?” The more I can do that, the more I can help and the more I can individualize their experience. Our company can support people in a way that's not prescriptive and that's identifying what you are dealing with. How can I help you manage that so you can be most effective here?

If, at some point, that stuff becomes so big, maybe it is time for people to move on. You may also be the first person in a person's career who’s ever asked about what's going on and how we can help manage that so you can show up here. Versus, I'm going to kick you out the door and go on to the next employee. Recruiting is easier than retaining people. If we can get you to focus on the things you need to do to retain and invest in your people, it will become easier, which will help the recruiting process.

The boundary is don't push. You can ask about things in ways that get people thinking of what they want to share. You can create icebreakers. You can ask people to say, “Over the next four months, we're going to be spending some time on personal and professional goals.” You don't have to share if there are certain personal goals that you don't want to share, but the more you share, we all know that accountability matters. The more you share, the more people can encourage you. The more you may find out, “Brett's goal is the same as Mike's goal.” Whoever you are, one of us may have the same goal you have. Knowing that goal, objective, and vision for what we want will help us all be more effective.

I know I've seen examples of when this works. I've seen CEOs lead this way. I've seen managers bury layers into an organization. They're creating more output than any of the experienced groups and teams because they have a manager who cares about them. They ride or die together. That's what they do. I always say the one way to identify an organization that's doing this well is to identify where the innovations and creative ideas are coming from. If they're all coming from the top, they're not doing this topic well.

I use the example of manufacturing environments. When you see the plant floor creating the innovations and ideas that help elevate their customer experiences in their organization, you've identified somewhere in there there's a leader who has built enough trust and care in his people or her people that they're sharing openly ideas of how we should be doing things differently, and not worrying about the ramifications of getting their hand slapped for questioning authority.

These are the kinds of environments we want to create. All of a sudden, you do that, and a second-shift or third-shift supervisor feels so invested in you because he or she came up with an idea that made things better. Someone did that in our lives. Someone helped us see that potential and opened up an environment for us to communicate and share. It may have happened in your upbringing, in the classroom, or in one of your employers. If you feel like it hasn't, that's the problem because there are not enough people willing to lead intentionally and personalize the experience.

Before we wrap up the show with this last question, I want to talk about this. We talk about gratitude a lot as leaders. What are we grateful for? We journal about what we're grateful for. I loved what you put in your book about going deeper into gratitude. I was reading the book and this inspired me to do something because I've been trying to celebrate people. We don't celebrate, especially as leaders. We set our goal, reach our goal, and set another one. We forget to celebrate. Celebrating other people's wins too is something I've been working on. You talk about this deeper gratitude. Can you dig into that? When you think of thanking or showing gratitude, how do you do that?

The topic I cover in the book is about personalizing. If there is someone who has done something that you have noticed you may even think, "Somebody else probably covered that,” be intentional. Keep a log of things you see that are positive and be intentional to check off that log. Checking off would be, “I told the person that I saw or shared with the team and publicized what I've noticed.” You'll learn if people want to hear that individually or in public. It's important for us to remember the things that we should all be grateful for and that we all have.

Even if you're in one of the darkest times in your life or your career, there are things that you can be grateful for. There are things that are going on in your life positively that are keeping you going. You're not alone in the journey. Sometimes it takes hard work to figure that out, but there are things that you can be grateful for. When you see things that make you feel grateful, there's sometimes a direct human attachment to that, and being intentional, writing a quick note, circling a couple of keywords that you want to pass on. This is what I'm seeing you do and I want to keep encouraging you to do it. It may not be work-related. It may be things outside of work as well. The way that you structure your day to show up at your kids' activities, people see that and it's not the norm. I want to encourage that behavior.

I always talk about us leaders put a lot of time into our own professional development. How much time do we put into our personal relationships with our spouse, children, and what I call our 3:00 AM friends? We all can do better there. Every single one of us can raise our hand and say, “I can do better there.” Just be intentional. When you see other people doing it, tell them that you see it and it's made an impact on you.

I encourage you to write 1 to 3 names down. Jot a note, “Here are the three people that even if I didn't see them do something, they've had this impact on my life, and I want them to know that. I want them to hear that.” That’s that extra layer of gratitude. Be intentional. Take an extra three minutes to do something and factor it into your day. Make it like, “Every week, I'm going to try to,” and start with one. Not just try to, I’m going to tell someone something that has had a positive impact.

I had a friend call me at a time when I was getting ready to speak. The friend asked how I was doing and I was like, “I'm not feeling it and I'm concerned my audience is going to feel it.” That person prayed with me. That experience went well. For those who public speak, we know sometimes if we get into it, it becomes almost an out-of-body experience like, “That was energizing.” I need to call that person who called me at the right moment and asked how I was doing to let them know that when you do that to people, because my guess is I'm not the only one, it makes a profound impact on the lives of those that you surround yourself with. It’s that extra layer of intentionality. Be intentional in everything you do.

I love that you talk about doing that daily discipline of having a little bit of a process or a system. That always helps me. When I wake up, I think about who I am going to encourage today. Who am I going to celebrate today? I think about that. I forget who it was, but he talked about putting pennies in his right pocket. Once he said an encouraging word to someone, he took one and put it in his left pocket. To have that little process or system is important.

Mike, we're out of time on this episode, but I want to give you an opportunity because I know Talent Magnet Institute. You help people dig deep into leadership. You have a lot of great resources. Can you tell our audience a little bit about that? If they want to dig deeper and want to be a better leader. They've tuned in to this episode. This is surface level, but if they want to continually train and work on this, what can you offer them?

For anyone who acquires the book or inquires about Leadership Fusion like we've talked a little bit about on this episode, you can go to and sign up for our leadership basics course. We've got about 3,000-plus people that engage with our brand. At any given time, 700 or 800 people going through the leadership basics journey. It goes a little bit deeper than the basics, but it's our basics.

What we believe creates talent magnet leaders. You can get certified. You can go through 7 or 8 different journeys. You can get a certification in each pathway that you go down. It's a way to reframe the way you're thinking about leadership. Again, if you go to, you can see a lot of the resources that we offer.

Follow me on LinkedIn or any social media platform. I'm mostly active on LinkedIn, creating content, and conversation. It would be a pleasure. Please let me know that you learned about me and the work we're doing through Brett and this body of work that he's doing. That way, we can draw the connection and how the communities and the world continue to get so much smaller.

We're going to put it on our YouTube channel. It's the Iron Deep YouTube channel. It's a great place to start. No matter where you're at in your journey, we can all learn. From this episode alone, I've learned and I think I got five things written down that I could have an opportunity to do better. Thanks, Mike. It's been awesome being on the show. God bless you.

Thank you so much. I look forward to the next conversation, Brett.

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