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Mastering Workshops: The Two-Hour Blueprint for Maximum Impact

Mastering Workshops: The Two-Hour Blueprint for Maximum Impact written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast with John Janstch


In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interviewed Leanne Hughes, a renowned consultant, speaker, and facilitator who specializes in maximizing team potential through influential and contagious work experiences.

Leanne Hughes is an Australian businesswoman, entrepreneur, high-performance business consultant, speaker and facilitator, maximizing team potential by creating influential, contagious work experiences that scale across teams, functions and regions. She combines her experience in Marketing, with her education (and obsession) with Group Dynamics and Psychology, to help leaders create engaging everyday experiences – that are so contagious they scale across teams, functions and regions.


Clients work with Leanne for her energy and unique approaches that provide cut-through strategies for embarking on a change initiative, or to shift performance or culture to achieve next-level success. Whether launching a change initiative, enabling shifts in performance, or building a culture to achieve next-level success, Leanne’s workshops impact both business and lives.

Leanne shared insights from her expertise, focusing on her book, the “Two-Hour Workshop Blueprint.” Discover how business-owners can design workshops that are fast, deliver strong results, and eliminate stress from the process.

Key Takeaways:

Leanne Hughes shares invaluable insights into the art of workshop facilitation, focusing on the strategic significance of the two-hour timeframe. The discussion delves into the transformative shift from traditional presentations to horizontal, engaging workshops, emphasizing the evolution of skillsets required for effective facilitation. Leanne guides listeners in identifying workshop opportunities by recognizing the telltale “how” questions in various contexts. Additionally, she provides practical tips for building rapport and connection with participants, highlighting the importance of pre-event communication and a thoughtful, engaging kickoff. Leanne’s expertise shines through, offering a comprehensive guide for mastering workshops and delivering impactful, results-driven sessions that resonate with diverse audiences.

Questions I ask Leanne Hughes:

[00:49] Why did you choose a two-hour timeframe for your blueprint?

[01:27] What’s the difference between a workshop and a conference?

[02:19] Do workshops require a different skillset?

[04:40] How can businesses view workshops as products or lead generation tactics ?

[06:20] What structure do you recommend for workshops to follow?

[07:29] What are the best and most time-efficient workshop strategies?

[10:22] How do you guarantee immense value for workshop attendees?

[11:41] How do you build rapport and get people to contribute during workshops?

[13:26] How does audience size effect a workshop?

[14:32] What is power up?

[16:08] Can you explain the value of metaphors in a workshop?

[16:47] What are the best employee engagement activities?

[20:06] Where can people connect with you and learn more ?

More About Leanne Hughes:

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John (00:08): Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Leanne Hughes. She is a consultant, speaker and facilitator maximizing team potential by creating influential contagious work experiences that scale across teams, functions, and regions. We’re going to talk about her book, the Two Hour Workshop Blueprint, how business owners can Design Workshops, fast, deliver strong and without stress. So welcome to the show,

Leanne (00:39): Amazing to be here, John. Absolutely love your work and really think about how to create word of mouth in workshops as well. So look forward to diving into that.

John (00:47): Awesome. So the first question I have to ask is why two hours? Is there something magical about that amount of time or did you have a publisher that said we have to be specific?

Leanne (00:57): I think it’s definitely about specific, and I think the fact that it is two hours is very intriguing. And I think for most, there’s facilitators and trainers and then there’s normal people like you and I who are hey, tapped on the shoulder. People want to hear expertise, and I think with two hours, if you can do a two hour workshop, you can do a two day workshop, you can do a one hour workshop because it’s enough time for you to open it, to run a few activities and to reflect out. So I thought it was a sweet spot.

John (01:22): Let’s talk a little bit about the differences you started to mention there. I mean, I do presentations, I do webinars. How is a workshop different than your standard stand up and open up a conference

Leanne (01:32): And actually I think conferences are actually shifting now because of the pandemic and the amount of content available. I think now it’s more about, I guess having a horizontal relationship with the people in your audience versus a vertical one. So vertical, you’re the expert. You’re talking at someone, it’s like a broadcast, it’s like a YouTube. You’re going on a YouTube live. Whereas a workshop is all about that interaction and getting people to connect to the content in the context that they’re in. And it’s more of a conversation, and I actually think it’s scarier doing workshops because it’s unpredictable. You don’t have that control. Whereas a keynote is, I move to the stage, I do this, I deliver that. And I think there’s absolute forums for both of them and they work really nicely together. But workshops are really about how do we land this for someone and help them make progress where they’re at.

John (02:19): Would you say it’s a different skillset? I mean, not everybody who can stand up and inspire a crowd can also lead a workshop. I mean, would you say that, I’m sure that there are people that can do both quite well, but would you say it’s a different skillset?

Leanne (02:32): Absolutely. Absolutely. It’s a different skillset. And I think when I’ve got a podcast called First Time Facilitator, but I was leading that, I was a keynote speaker, you should have seen my agenda, John. It was 9 0 1 mentioned this story, 9 0 3. It was so specific and precise and it wasn’t leaving any space for connection and anything else. And I think now as a more seasoned facilitator, I’m lazier, I’m less controlled, but it takes time on your feet and experience and going through some of the bad experiences to get comfortable with that.

John (03:03): And I know myself for doing this for years. You talked about a workshop can be scarier. I find that it’s sometimes scary when you just get a crowd that maybe didn’t want to be there. They’re there for the wrong reasons, they’re not very particip, but when you get one that’s really into it, I think they’re a lot more fun.

Leanne (03:21): Absolutely. And I think there’s something I talk about in the book as the Spark framework, and it’s all about the setup as well, and it’s very different if you’re working with an organization. I was talking to a friend about this yesterday. A client will hire you, but the people in that room haven’t necessarily volunteered. They’ve been voluntold to go there, and so you’re up against it. Whereas John, you work with business owners that would just screened to be at one of your workshops. So it’s on fire the moment you’re in the room.

John (03:46): Yeah, I’m envisioning accountants getting CEU credits, scary room. They don’t want to be there and they don’t really want to hear about marketing anyway. Yeah, but

Leanne (03:56): It’s interesting.

John (03:56): Sorry to all my accountant listeners for that one.

Leanne (03:59): Well, let’s not stop with accountants. Let’s talk about lawyers as well. Honestly, it’s really bizarre, but everyone’s like, what’s the best workshop you’ve ever been to? And it was run by, it was the code of conduct workshop at my old when I was working internally. It was like, we go in, we’re thinking, this is going to be terrible. We’re going to talk with us for three hours. It was the best experience ever talking through case studies, hypotheticals. And I guess John for me was after that experience, I was like, if you could make code of conduct interesting, you can make anything interesting. So that was cool.

John (04:29): Let’s talk about who needs to do a workshop. I’m sure that there are people out there thinking, well, I’m a trainer or I’m a coach, and so workshops have to be part of my suite. But there’s probably a whole lot of businesses that never really thought about a workshop as a product or maybe even as a lead generation tactic. Talk a little bit about how can we be more expansive in thinking who should do workshops?

Leanne (04:53): Yeah, I think it’s really, I mean, I always sort of rely on my content strategy to drive what I end up doing for workshops. So I might put out a LinkedIn post around something and people, I wonder how they’re asking questions. How do you do that? I think the second you have a how question is like, Hey, maybe this could be a workshop. And often as we take for granted the knowledge in our own mind and think everyone else knows this, but the second you’ve been sought out to, how do you do this faster? What systems are you using? There’s an opportunity, I think, to really dive in for the workshop experience. So a keynote, I think a speech is more about building awareness around a topic. I think a workshop is, I’m aware I want it. How do I do this?

John (05:32): Well, to that point, I mean, I think a lot of marketers think workshop and they think, oh, this is a way to top of funnel, maybe create some awareness. Maybe it’s a low ticket thing that’s going to lead to my high ticket thing. But where I see them terribly underutilized is we should be doing workshops for our clients. I mean, teaching them how to get more, how to do something more because we’ve already got that relationship and now we just really cement it. We

Leanne (05:57): Absolutely. Yeah, and I think because my business is, my main product is workshops, and it’s an interesting ecosystem once you have a workshop in that, because then you can expand to advisory retainer work, come in for a speech one-on-one coaching the utility of a workshop as the centerpiece is super valuable.

John (06:20): So you have structured the book as acts of a play. So talk a little bit, I mean, do you see that as kind of the structure of a workshop too, as acts of a play?

Leanne (06:30): Sometimes they can be non-linear, and I’m designing a workshop tomorrow where I don’t know where it’s going to go. We’re working through a process, so I’ve basically a series of post-IT cards and activities ready to go when we need to, which is very different to what I

John (06:41): Was Choose your own ending kind of thing.

Leanne (06:44): And yeah, choose your own adventure. I love that. But I think the reason I read the book is for people that I haven’t done workshops before and kind of need a structure and a format because I dunno how long it takes you, John, but when I was first starting out to design a two hour workshop would take me weeks. It was ridiculous. I was on Google searching for the perfect activity, and then after creating so many over the years, I’m like, actually, this is, what am I actually doing here? And let’s play it back to make it faster. No one has that bandwidth to spend that much time. And I think there’s a false assumption, the more time you spend on it, the better it will be. It’s totally false.

John (07:21): Yeah. More time you spend delivering it, the better it’ll be probably right where you really learn, right?

Leanne (07:28): A hundred percent. Yeah. Yeah.

John (07:29): We could talk about the various components of it, but I know one of the things early on, you talked about it used to take you a lot of time. I usually pack too much in them is what I did because I was like, oh, we’ve got two hours. How can I fill 120 minutes and I’ll put more stuff in it? And what it ended up doing was making it less effective. So let’s talk. Maybe that’s a good lead into the setup.

Leanne (07:51): Yeah, I think everyone in the world uses the GPS analogy, but what I like the most about the GPS analogy is that, and I didn’t know that this is how it worked, but you set your destination first. What the GPS does is actually cuts out the map. It doesn’t give you the whole map, it cuts it out. That’s the effectiveness of it. And I think especially with two hours and with any type of expert in a certain context, it’s not about the information. I mean, we can Google things as YouTube for everything. It’s more about for these people at this moment in time, what are the most useful thing and how can I cut out 90% of the stuff that actually doesn’t matter? Because I think often we equate more content to more value, but we end up overwhelming them. They don’t get a result. And as a result, they may not then book us back. But it’s hard. I think it’s kind of related to self-worth as well. My worth is in the content.

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(09:42): That’s Now, this offer is limited to new active campaign customers only. So what are you waiting for? Fuel your growth, boost revenue and save precious time by upgrading to ActiveCampaign today. Yeah, I mean, I distinctly remember doing some three hour workshops for a manufacturer for their distributors, and the first time I delivered it, about 30 minutes in, I was like, they’re overwhelmed. They’re done. I mean, you could see it on their faces and I mean, it’s really a hard lesson to learn because I think that’s probably one of the rookie mistakes people make is they’re like, I’ve got all this time. I have to shove stuff in. So if somebody says, okay, I have an inkling that this is a good topic, what’s next? What do I do next? I mean, how do I get to the right amount of content?

Leanne (10:32): Yeah, the right amount. That’s a really interesting question. But I think going back to the rule, there’s that rule in comedy like the rule of threes where you sort of set up one, two, and three. I mean, the number three is everywhere. And I think it’s a good number, particularly for a two hour workshop is I just think if someone’s leaving this workshop, what do I want to tell a friend and how I make that stick? And usually it’s like, okay, it’s three things or it’s wrapped up in one framework, like a Venn diagram or something like that. Three key themes. They can say, Hey, I went to this workshop, here are the three key things we talked about. And that’s it. Because I think the second you’ve and I talk about frameworks in the book, it’s kind of like an advanced thing, but it’s really about just gift wrapping information. You want to make it easy to remember, easy to recall, easy to share with other people. And I think so just meeting them, but also John, I think having conversations and some of the time where workshops for me didn’t land is where I wasn’t connecting with people beforehand. And I’ve made assumptions around where they’re at in their business

John (11:32): Just because I’m going to piggyback off of that. I was going to ask that a little later on, but how do you build, you walk into a room sometimes it’s the first time you’ve seen anybody the way it worked. How do you build rapport, get them engaged right away without maybe feeling cheesy?

Leanne (11:48): Yeah, that’s fun. Well, I think I was originally very cheesy and I was kind of going over the top and being a bit ridiculous

John (11:54): Or cheeky I should say, to be with your audience. That’s a more Australian term, right?

Leanne (12:00): Yeah, it’s very Australian. We can’t beat that out of ourselves. I think we’re just a cheeky country, but set up phase, I think we often, we think, and this is a Pri Parker thing, and her book, the Art of Gathering, she says, the event doesn’t start when it starts beforehand. And I think even the language you used around what are you going to call the event can really set an expectation. Often I will send, it’s not the first time I’ve communicated with the group, so I’ll ask either directly, I’ll send a video out to the people that have participating, just setting expectations, raising their level of certainty in terms of what to expect, the type of experience or the client will forward that on. And what I love about doing sometimes a pre-survey, it’s kind of like a mini listening tour. You’re hearing the language, and then what I like to do is something called the playback approach.

(12:46): So they’re in there, this is particularly useful if they’re kind hostages in the workshop, what are we doing here? You go, Hey, here’s what you said. And you just play back their language and they can’t disagree with that. So automatically you are lowering the objections in the room and getting people to feel a bit more comfortable. But also John, I’m chronically early. I’ll be there an hour before, an hour and a half, so that when people walk in 20 minutes beforehand, I’m not fluffing around and fiddling around with slides. I’m like, I’m there. I’m connecting. Just not so busy.

John (13:18): I’m the same way, only because every room, the technology is different and I always want to make sure that stuff is going to work. So talk about a little bit about size of audience, if that dictates what you can and can’t do. I know I speak to groups of 10 and I can hold their hands, whereas I speak to group of a hundred and it’s a whole different dynamic, isn’t it?

Leanne (13:39): Yeah. I’ve actually recently run a webinar on that actual, how do you host a large group? It is very different in terms of dynamics and also the level of instruction. So with smaller groups, I feel kind of weird having a group of four people and bringing in a PowerPoint and making it a bit of a performance. I’d feel extremely weird. I want to say even in the dynamics, you could just remove all the tables and sit around just with chairs and have flip charts and keep it conversational. Once you’re on over a hundred, 130 people, what I like to do is create, have roles at tables, so create mini facilitators and give roles out timekeepers. So you’re allocating responsibility, but you have to be much more precise with your instructions with bigger groups, much more deliberate with your use of language, which is tough. I like just riffing and at the smaller group level, but you’ll be very precise the bigger it gets.

John (14:30): Do you get into, so you have a section in the book you call Power Up. So I guess I’ll just let you explain that aspect. We talked a little bit about setup. So what is Power Up?

Leanne (14:40): Yeah, I think there’s two elements to power up. So one is the personal power up. I think the most important thing is how are you feeling? What’s your energy as you enter that room? Because particularly on virtual Mark, Foden body language expert, he said, we can’t read virtual body language. The best predictor of how anyone else will show up is how we lead our own energy. So we’ve got to be a beacon for that. But power up is also those first five or 10 minutes because that’s where you set the tone of engagement. And often where workshops can fail is it starts very predictably. And I sort of joke, let’s create an unpredictable experience that will predictably work. It’s welcome, housekeeping, it’s just here’s the content. Whereas I like to think, okay, how can we do the opposite of that? So do I start at the back of the room? Do we just start with an activity, just setting the tone that you want throughout the two hours that you’re there?

John (15:29): Yeah. The one I always hate, and there’s still lots of people tell you to do this, so please feel free to tell me I’m wrong, but the one where they put the whole agenda out there and then they’ve spent 20 minutes going, here’s what we’re going to do today. To me that’s like death, but maybe I’m wrong.

Leanne (15:43): It’s death. I mean, that could have been an email beforehand and it’s like, just get into it. I talk about the seven habits of Highly Effective Workshop hosts, and again, I’m working on this. One is it’s brevity. It’s like often I’ve been in, I don’t know, John, you’ve been in sessions where you hear things explain and we get it. It’s like, let’s move, let’s move on. Yeah, agenda is one of them.

John (16:05): And maybe you’re going to say it depends, but how about the use of metaphor in workshops to really drive home lessons? Do you think that’s something we ought to all strive to bring into our style?

Leanne (16:18): I think not only in workshops, I think in life, honestly, in our conversations with clients, the second I’m trying to explain a concept, if I can bring in a metaphor and people are like, they get it immediately. You’re in, you can see. Yeah, I mean metaphor is really powerful. It’s something I’ve been working with Alan Weiss, million Dollar consultant, and he just basically talks in metaphors the whole time and like, oh, I’d love to get to that stage. But even as I was writing the book, it’s like, what is the metaphor for the deep dive approach? Just really trying to connect in,

John (16:47): Talk about activities. Obviously workshop implies we’re going to work, so talk about how important they are, maybe how to do them well, I mean, just anything you want to talk about, give us advice on activities and how to make them great.

Leanne (17:02): Yeah, you’re right. Something I write at there is that it’s a workshop, not a do this later shop, and that was my biggest pet peeves, like, oh, we’ve got this content, but you’re have to go back into and play calendar Tetris and no one ever does it afterwards. So you’ve got that time and space, let’s do the work. And probably the biggest comment I’ve had about that is, oh, Leanne, it’s not content, it’s activities. It’s like, yes, let’s actually get implementing and things like that. And I think when it comes to activities, and what was taking me so long with designing workshops was I was trying to think of what’s a cool activity I can use for this scenario? And it’s like, actually just use the scenario that people are working with. If they need to free up time, let’s get them with their laptops. Let’s open up their calendar. Let’s see, and see how priorities are coming to life through the calendar in the session itself. Again, I like to weave in a bit of contrast. So with activities, it’s think about, like you said before, group size, an individual reflection, maybe it’s a conversation, then it’s doing the thing, seeing how that worked out, reflecting on it as part of that, the chunk of your workshop is about 75 minutes is dedicated to that

John (18:08): To people actually working right,

Leanne (18:11): To implementing, to doing the thing. Yeah, exactly.

John (18:14): So what’s your next workshop?

Leanne (18:18): Alright, a two day workshop. Yeah, and it isn’t a training.

John (18:22): We’re not going to be able to publicize that one because by the time people are listening to this, it will have occurred. So I guess maybe we’ll just go right into invite people to where they might connect with you and obviously find the book, but also you offer a lot more than just the book with your trainings and workshops. So I’ll let you just invite people to connect.

Leanne (18:41): Wonderful. Yeah, thanks John. Yeah, so you can see all my portfolio I’m very active on LinkedIn. I’ve got a podcast called First time Facilitator, back catalog of over 200 episodes talking about facilitation work. And of course, yeah, the book, grab it. There’s lots of templates and downloadables as part of that. And email me, let me know what workshop you’re running and how you’re going and how you’ve used it. There’s no bigger delight than hearing the impact of that book.

John (19:06): Awesome. Well, I appreciate you stopping by the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, and hopefully we’ll run into you on these days out there on the road.

Why Radical Humility is Key to Success

Why Radical Humility is Key to Success written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast with John Janstch


In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interviewed Jeffrey Hayzlett, a primetime television host of C-Suite with Jeffrey Hayzlett and Executive Perspectives on C-Suite TV, and business podcast host of All Business with Jeffrey Hayzlett on C-Suite Radio. He is a global business celebrity, speaker, best-selling author, and Chairman and CEO of C-Suite Network, home of the world’s most trusted network of C-Suite leaders. 

Key Takeaways:

The Hero Factor—a leadership philosophy emphasizing the prioritization of values, employee well-being, and community impact. Highlighting the importance of transparently publishing and living by these values, Hayzlett draws lessons from companies like Chick-fil-A and Starbucks. He underscores the relevance of conveying values consistently in both physical and digital realms. For CEOs aiming to instill change, he advises starting with defining and embodying core values. Humility, a key trait of hero leaders, is stressed as crucial in fostering a servant mentality towards employees and customers, ultimately shaping successful and impactful businesses.

Questions I ask Jeffrey Hayzlett:

  • [00:57] How do you view the expanding fractional C-suite industry?
  • [02:23] What is the Hero Factor?
  • [04:35] How do you instill values of radical humility in an organization?
  • [06:00] Is there a universal set of values every company should adhere to?
  • [06:54] As a company, how do you authentically communicate hero values?
  • [08:56] In a competitive market, how can values be communicated to attract like-minded individuals?
  • [11:56] Can a company’s actions conflicting with its stated values send a message of its own?
  • [13:24] In our increasingly digital world, are there specific techniques for communicating the hero factor?
  • [14:11] What suggestions do you have for demonstrating radical humility to employees?
  • [16:06] Can you give examples of challenges and misconceptions you’ve seen of people putting this concept into action?
  • [17:11] As a leader transforming company culture, how do you introduce the hero concept?
  • [19:18] What role does humility play in this scenario?
  • [20:06] Where can people connect with you and get a copy of the Hero Factor?

More About Jeffery Hayzlett:

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John Jantsch (00:03): Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Jeffrey Hayzlett. He’s a primetime television host of C-Suite with Jeffrey Hayzlett and executive Perspectives on c-Suite TV and business podcast host of all business with Jeffrey Hayzlett on C-Suite Radio. He is a global business celebrity speaker, bestselling author and chairman, and CEO of C-Suite Network, home of the world’s most trusted network of c-suite leaders. He’s the author of four bestselling business books and we’re going to talk about his latest, the Hero Factor, how great leaders transform Organizations and create winning cultures. So Jeffrey, welcome to the show.

Jeffery Hayzlett (00:45): Hey, thank you so much for having me, John. I really appreciate it.

John Jantsch (00:49): This is my own personal question. So before we get into the book, I’m curious, where do you, with all the time you spend with C-suite leaders, where do you fall on the growing fractional c-suite industry?

Jeffery Hayzlett (01:02): I think it’s a great thing to have. You got a heart problem, go to a cardiologist, you got a muffler problem, go to a muffler specialist, not some general practitioner. So in this case, one of the things we’re seeing is that a lot of these experts can go and do lots of different things. They do this for whether it’s a box of soap, a cure for disease, political candidate, it’s all in the packaging. And so if you’re a chief marketing officer, you can pretty much sell anything, do anything. And I think it’s the same for CFOs, CIOs, CMOs, you can pretty much handle it. So I think it’s actually a good thing for a lot of businesses because you actually get some expertise of people that you normally couldn’t afford.

John Jantsch (01:41): Yeah, yeah, yeah. It comes with executive level, but you don’t really maybe need to have a CFO sitting in the corner all day. Right.

Jeffery Hayzlett (01:49): A guy like me is going to cost you a couple mill in terms of cost for full-time if I wanted to do that full-time, plus stock benefits and everything else that you get. And that’s not to say, geez, are you bragging or whatever. No, I’m just trying to give you the full range of that’s indeed exactly what it costs at that level. But if you want to get that at a fraction of the cost for this time so I can help be the most strategic person in the room, that’s a great way to do it.

John Jantsch (02:18): Yeah. Let’s dive into the book and let’s begin with the beginning. What is the hero factor?

Jeffery Hayzlett (02:26): It goes back to the time in which a guy named Rob Ryan started the hero group back in 1996. He sold his company for roughly 24.6 billion and give or take, alright. And when he sold that, he set aside a percentage of the company for every employee making the single largest number of millionaires ever created in one day. It’s never been surpassed. Even with the sale of LinkedIn to Microsoft for 26 billion, it still didn’t create as many millionaires as he did, and he didn’t have to, it wasn’t in writing or he and his wife, Terry, chief legal officer at the time, just decided they were going to give back and said, the people that helped us do what we did. So they gave everybody a set number of percentage of the company and made everybody these millionaires, and they would run up to ’em, John, and say, Hey, you’re Mr. Ryan, you don’t know me, but I’m the night watchman.

(03:16): I can send my kids to college. You’re my hero. Or I’m the security guard, or excuse me, the janitor and my wife’s mother is dying of cancer, but now she can live because she can get the operation. So you’re our hero. And they didn’t think much of being about being a hero, they were just trying to do the right thing. And what they did was they put people above profits. And that’s really what hero leaders do. And we see that today where hero leaders, leaders of company put values at the top of their list of all the things to do rather than bottom line operational rather than just being in terms of single-minded focus around a theme or organization or a cause. But to really truly look at the people and all that they’re representing in the company and serve those people, what they do is they gross more money, they net more money than the competition. They have employees who are happier, they have employees who are more engaged, customers that are happy and pleased and meeting conditions of satisfaction and vendors who want to do business with ’em. It just goes on. And so that’s really truly what I hear our leader is all about.

John Jantsch (04:24): So you’re not the first person to suggest this idea of strong values manifest in an organization, but for a lot of people it’s sort of just an academic exercise. How do you instill these values so they’re not just nice to have, they really exist and we enforce them and it’s part of the culture?

Jeffery Hayzlett (04:42): Well, that sets companies apart because not everybody’s going to have that. And those that do lead better. In terms of on page 12 of the book, I actually have a grid around those values and what sets people up. Are you a wannabe? Are you a do-gooder? Are you a bottom line or are you an asset company? I mean, there’s lots of different ways you can set that on the grid, and it’s just really truly, what is it you want to drive in terms of your business? And if there’s nothing wrong with an operational excellence of company that’s based on bottom line principles, bottom line, things like Walmarts and the GEs of the world, they do great products, great things, they’re just not interested in values. And they might say, oh no, we give to the community, we do that. You do that because it meets your objectives and checks it off your box. You’re not doing it because it’s the primary thing you do. And that’s the difference between hero companies. They want to be great companies. They don’t want to be assholes. And in our group, they sign a pledge that says they’re going to operate with certain principles. And I, to me, I’d like to see more companies do that. I’d like to see more people operate with greater values. I’d love to see countries do that as well because we’re going through some real turmoil right now. So that’s the difference. Not everybody can do it.

John Jantsch (06:00): Would you say there are a prescribed set of values then rather than you just have to find your core values and live them?

Jeffery Hayzlett (06:07): I mean, certainly depending on your upbringing. Alright. And your socialization, you

John Jantsch (06:12): Should steal, right?

Jeffery Hayzlett (06:13): Yeah. I mean for some that’s a value form. I mean, it’s just a bad value. But there are some companies, some people, some groups, they actually do that and that’s what they believe in. I mean, there’s certain groups we all know that’s what they do. So it really depends on what drives your own moral compass in terms of how you want to be or your own personal conditions of satisfaction. We all have to have those. I talk about this all the time. I have my set of personal conditions of satisfaction, what are yours? And even with your family or with your employees or with your customers, you have to develop what those are.

John Jantsch (06:50): Alright, so let’s say internally everybody says, yeah, we’re going to be a hero company. How do you communicate that out to the world without sounding goofy at times? I mean, maybe some cases it makes total sense, right? To say we’re a hero company and people get that. But in some cases maybe it doesn’t make as much sense.

Jeffery Hayzlett (07:07): I don’t think people who are hero companies say, I’m a hero company. I don’t think that’s the case, right? Yeah. I don’t think anybody wakes up and says this morning, I’m going to be a hero. There are people that wake up and live great values and great ways of living your life and being great business people, being a great father, grandfather and so forth, grandmother for those women out there. And I think that’s what you have to do. You have to do that. And as a result, you’re a hero company as a result, you are a hero leader. And I talk about that in the book because there’s nobody that I know that’s a hero leader says, I want to be a hero. There’s none. They just want to run great companies with great people’s doing great things. And I think that’s the most important thing is to really sit forth and say, this is what I want to be, and then what I want us to do and the scale that we want to have and the impact that we want to have.

(08:01): And I don’t think we spend enough time thinking of that. Right? On the bottom of my website, it says New York, la, San Francisco and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, which is where I’m from. I’m sitting in Sioux Falls right now, but I have offices around the country and operate all over the world, and yet I say Sioux Falls, everybody says why? And then right behind that it says, because we can, and I do that because it’s an homage to my hometown of Sioux Falls, but we can do all these things in our business. Why? Because we can’t. You can choose these things and it might cost you more, it might be more time consuming, it might be harder, but you can do those things. You got to choose to make those a priority. And that’s really truly what it’s about.

John Jantsch (08:46): So a little bit of what I was getting at there is, I mean, you’ve clearly defined something that’s a competitive advantage that’s going to help you in the market that’s going to help you attract talent. So how do you effectively communicate that in a way that draws people to that same mission,

Jeffery Hayzlett (09:04): Publish your values. I mean, that’s one of the things you can do is right up front tell people, this is what we stand for and who we’re going to be. And we all know those hero companies in our community. They pay for the little league, they sponsor the symphony, they do the things because they can and they should, and they choose to do that. So one of those would be able to publish those and say, this is the values that we live by. And I’ve seen some great companies that do that. And by the way, you don’t have to agree with ’em either. You can disagree with them. I mean, let’s take Truitt, my mind escapes me a second, I’ll remember it in a second, but he’s the Kathy Truitt, the head of Chick-fil-A has certain values that they believe in. They’re upfront about those values.

(09:47): They don’t open on Sunday because he believes that’s the day of the Sabbath and we should rest. He also doesn’t believe in same-sex marriage. That’s one of his values. It’s out there and you can believe you agree with him, disagree with him, but those are the values. He puts ’em out there. And he also makes a really good chicken sandwich, right? With a pickle on it. I mean, no sauce been very successful. And as a result, by publishing that, pushing it, he attracts a certain group and doing a certain thing his way. That’s it. You agree with that or not? On the other end, you’ve got Howard Schultz from Starbucks, who is by the way, completely opposite on the political spectrum of Mr. Truett, but yet they operate in a certain way, certain form, and you could agree or disagree with that. And yet they’re very successful.

(10:35): So the key is to be able to really and live the values. And that’s important because you think back when I use it as an example in the book where two black men walked into a Philadelphia Starbucks and the manager said, if you’re not going to buy something, get out. We all know this, John, and you’ve gone to Starbucks, we’ve all gone to four bucks or five bucks, whatever you want to call ’em. And you walk in there and you can sit there all day and work in there and never buy a thing. That’s right. Because it’s really a place for community and it just happens to sell coffee and all this other stuff. And yet here was two black men sitting in this inner city, Philly, waiting for a business partner to come by or somebody they were pitching or something along those lines.

(11:17): And they were going to get coffee. They admitted that they were going to get coffee, but the police came, kicked them out the whole bit. It was a very big controversial kind of thing. And Howard Schultz shut the company down for a day and said, we’re going to go back and relive our values. We’re going to teach people again. This is what we are. We’re a place of community. You don’t have to buy anything to come in here because that’s what’s made us successful because we’re a meeting place for people to come together, and as a result, we sell coffee. And so I think those are really great things. So living the values, if you live those values, then people will see that’s what you do. It’s a slower way to get customers sometimes, but nonetheless, you get customers for life.

John Jantsch (11:55): But I think it’s a great point too though, because we’ve probably all seen companies that say, this is what we stand for, but then their actions sometimes suggest otherwise, I’ll use your Chick-fil-A example. A lot of airports are not very happy with them not being open on Sunday. And in fact, in some cases have said, you have to be. And they said, we’re willing to not be here. I mean, that sends a pretty strong message, doesn’t it?

Jeffery Hayzlett (12:18): I got to stand up for him. I mean, listen, I don’t appreciate his views on same-sex marriage. It’s not my belief. I don’t like that. I got a cousin who happens to be gay, and I don’t particularly care that they wouldn’t recognize my cousin’s partner. I don’t like that. But they still got a good chicken sandwich. And I know my cousin still goes there and eats as well. By the way, in this country, you’re entitled to your opinions. You’re entitled to your beliefs. Even though I might not agree with them, it doesn’t mean I can’t eat your chicken sandwich. All right? So it just means on those things we choose to disagree, but we’ll still be civil. And it’s okay to have that. By the way, politicians should learn that right now.

John Jantsch (12:58): Yeah, there’s actually a case to be made for a little polarization in your marketing if you’re going to stick to it, because the people you’re talking about are probably extra loyal to a company that maybe shares their values. Let’s talk about, we’ve been talking about physical spaces. Let’s talk a little bit about how this plays out in the digital world that we live in now, where increasingly we’re not interacting with individuals and companies. Is there something to be learned in terms of new techniques of communicating the hero factor in this

Jeffery Hayzlett (13:31): Increasingly digital world and breathing it? If you’re online or offline, you still have your own values of what they are, and you still should put those through, and they should come through digitally as well. That doesn’t mean just because you’re not there and face-to-face or you’re not communicating that by broadcast or by advertising. Certainly a brand is nothing but a promise delivered. If you’re delivering that promise online, you’re still delivering those same core beliefs and values that you believe in terms of being a hero club.

John Jantsch (14:00): How would you suggest this? There are a lot of people that they don’t necessarily treat their employees different than customers, but they view them different obviously, than customers. But I’m guessing that the hero factor doesn’t care. In fact, maybe starts with being a hero to your employees first.

Jeffery Hayzlett (14:19): You try to be, it’s hard for us because as business people, we’re always put customers first. We’ve been taught that since back in the seventies and eighties, when those books were there, who was it that came out first? Tom Peters customers always right. If customers ever wrong, reread rule number one. So we’ve grown up with that and know that to be true, but to serve the people that you’re going to serve, you have to make sure that those serving are treated at the same level. And we sometimes cut a little corners with that. And we have to go back and remind ourselves, I need to treat you in the same way I treat them because you’re an extension of me. And so most hero leaders do put their employees first.

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Jeffery Hayzlett (16:18): Well, the biggest problem is that 53% of the company don’t even know what the values are in all companies, I think operate with some level of value or value system. But if a majority of your own employees don’t even know what the value system is, you’ve already behind the eight ball before you begin. So you got to really start there. And it’s not easy. Trust me, it’s not easy, especially with new employees, new ways of doing things. The post covid world where everything’s been speeded up days, weeks, became months, became years. So it’s been very difficult to do that. And we’re not having the interaction that human interaction like we have, but there are ways to get around some of that by making every meeting on Zoom or video and connecting as much as possible. So there’s better ways of being able to do it, but that’s where it’s really become more difficult for us to be able to do that. But you just have to try harder.

John Jantsch (17:11): Alright, so let’s say you’re the new CEO. You’ve been brought in to turn the ship around. And one of the things you realize is culture’s pretty pretty not good here. And you want to bring this hero concept in. How do you start?

Jeffery Hayzlett (17:27): You get together with the team that’s going to implement it, and you say, we have to come up with some great values. We have to say, what is it we’re going to stand for as a company if we know that a brand is a promise delivered, first of all, what’s our promise? What problem are we solving and how is that different from everybody else? Now in that, how are we going to do that? How are we going to operate together and are we going to operate with our customers? How are we going to operate with our vendors and how are we going to operate with those around us in the community and everything else that make up our city, our towns, our states, or whatever? And so that’s where you start is that fundamental conversation. You get agreement around that and then start living to that agreement, which is not an easy thing to do.

(18:10): But once you start doing that, then it starts to happen. And then I think you also have to address John, the mood. What’s going to be our mood? How are we going to do it? It’s one thing to operate with values, but are we going to go at it by dragging ourselves the line, or are we going to run into it? And that’s really where you have to have some really hard and very transparent discussions. And then with leaders, you have to operate with what I call healthy tension. You have to have some tension and confront things when you see things and allow your employees to confront you as well when you’re not operating inside those values.

John Jantsch (18:48): Yeah, probably the biggest rule breaker, right, is the person.

Jeffery Hayzlett (18:54): Sometimes it’s tough. It’s not easy being the ceo. It’s not easy being one of the c-suite leaders. We like to think that we’re the smartest people in the room or not. Our job is to be the most strategic people in the room. And our work at the C-Suite network that we do is to help people become that most strategic person that we’re serving in that room.

John Jantsch (19:15): I probably should ask this in the beginning, but I’ll wrap us up here. What role does humility play in this leader’s new life?

Jeffery Hayzlett (19:23): I think you have to have a servant mentality to be a hero leader, without question, you have to want to serve others, whether that’s cleaning the toilets or at the, sometimes standing in front of thousands or millions on television, talking about what your company is and what you’re doing and how you’re trying to serve your community. But the core is you got to get you better. Check yourself before you wreck yourself to quote a great movie quote. And it’s important for you to look inside and make sure that you’ve got everything set up and lined up. And sometimes that takes some coaching, it takes some, obviously some ongoing education, some motivation, some inspiration, and it’s important for you as a leader to get that.

John Jantsch (20:03): Jeffrey, I appreciate you taking a moment to stop by the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. Is there anywhere you’d invite people to connect with you and then obviously pick up a copy of the Hero Factor?

Jeffery Hayzlett (20:12): Well, thank you so much. I appreciate that. You can go to,, or the C suite You could find us there, and we’ll be there for all, anything and everything you might need.

John Jantsch (20:26): Awesome. Again, I appreciate you taking a moment, and hopefully we’ll run into you one of these days out there on the road.