• Andy Goram

Not-so-secret secrets of engagement

It's always fascinating to listen to different people's perspectives on the topics of employee engagement, workplace culture and leadership. Well, I think it is anyway. On my podcast, I get to speak to many interesting people and do just that. Sometimes though, things don't always plan out as you expect. Recently, I interviewed Paul Glover, an ex-trial lawyer from Chicago, who's turned his talents to leadership coaching. I expected that we'd cover a lot of ground and discuss how you make the transition from defending clients in court, to coaching leaders to be more effective. And we did that, and more, but dropping the bombshell that the key to his pivot had been his incarceration for white-collar crimes, was a bit of a curveball, that I wasn't expecting!


It just goes to show that good things can come from the most difficult, embarrassing, and tough times in our lives, and it is never too late to make a change and turn things around. You just need to face into these things, take responsibility for those actions and move on. That's what Paul has done, very successfully. You can read a full transcript of our conversation below, or find Episode 32 of the Sticky From The Inside Podcast here.


Two men discussing employee engagement on a podcast
Paul Glover (left) and Andy Goram (right) discuss the not-so-secret secrets of employee engagement

00:00:00 Andy Goram

Hello, and welcome to sticky from the inside. The Employee Engagement podcast that looks at how to build stickier competition, smashing consistently successful organisations from the inside out. I'm your host Andy Goram and I'm on a mission to help more businesses turn their lights on behind the eyes of their employees, light the fires within them and create tons more success for everyone.


This podcast is for all those who believe that's something worth going after and would like a little help and guidance in achieving that. Each episode we dive into the topics that can help create what I call stickier businesses, the sort of businesses where people thrive and love to work and where more customers stay with you and recommend you to others because they love what you do and why you do it.


So, if you want to take the tricky out of being sticky, listen on.

00:01:10 Andy Goram

OK then, what are the secrets to long lasting engagement of your people and the creation of a thriving culture? These are the things we've covered from lots of different angles over the past 30 or so episodes. But the thing is, they aren't really secrets anymore, or at least they don't need to be. There are loads of resources out there to help you, and people like me and my guests who are all willing to help you. And resources aren't really the main issue, it comes down to a combination of will, capacity, capability and commitment. And I say will because, when you start this journey, you have to recognise it's a long-term commitment. You have to have the real desire to stick with it when it seems all too daunting a pursuit, because there are some fabulous milestones along the way. And whilst the journey is long and perhaps never ending, there will be loads of enjoyable and memorable steps along the way. After all, you're headed off to a very good place.


But it never hurts to keep talking about this stuff. The foundations, enablers and core elements of employee engagement, whatever you call them all revolve around some similar and familiar concepts. What makes it all the more interesting is the different way people interpret them and use them all. It's always interesting for me to hear how others have adapted to this engagement challenge and been successful with their own take on it. This latest episode is going to try and do just that. Today we continue to start the new year with another trip stateside, off to the Windy City this time, with my guest Paul Glover. Today, Paul’s, a leadership and engagement coach, living in Chicago. Where for 30 years prior to that he was a successful, trial lawyer.


So how does a trial lawyer make the move from defending and prosecuting clients in the accused, to helping people become better leaders who engage more of their people more of the time? Well, I don't know about you, but I'm keen to find out. So, enough waffle from me, welcome to the show, Paul!


00:03:22 Paul Glover

Andy, thank you so much. It's obviously a pleasure to be here and have the opportunity to speak to your audience, so first a happy New Year to you and to them.


00:03:33 Andy Goram

Yeah, happy New Year indeed! So I know a little bit about you, but my listeners, they don't know a ton about you, Paul. How about we start off this show with you just giving us a little insight into who you are, what you've been doing, and what's taking your attention at the moment?


00:03:48 Paul Glover

Well, Andy, you have already mentioned in your introduction, and by the way, let me tell you that you're spot on. Well, with that introduction, not about me, but about the topic that that we're speaking on. It absolutely is a journey never ending if you're a leader, because human beings are complex organisms and they require a lot of attention. But as far as I'm concerned, I spent 30 years as a trial lawyer in the city of Chicago and the Federal Court System, representing defendants. I was never a prosecutor.


00:04:23 Andy Goram

OK.


00:04:25 Paul Glover

Based off of that, I decided that at some point in my career... basically my wife stepped in and that I stopped being a lawyer. She didn't like me being a lawyer, she got really bored, and it took up too much time and energy. Of course, that was before we had grandchildren. Now she wouldn't care if I was away.

But at that time, I decided I was going to pivot, and I worked on my skill set and I looked at the leaders that I knew through casual acquaintances and through work relationships. Because what I practiced was a labour and employment law. So, since I was representing clients in the corporate world, I was familiar with how leadership was being done, accomplished. And based off of that I saw the gaps that I believe needed to be addressed by leaders if they wanted to improve. And if they improve then obviously their teams improve and the organisation improves.


So, I took my skill set and I adapted it to the coaching process and put that out there as an advertisement and promotion, and low and behold somebody decided to pay me.

00:05:36 Andy Goram

Always a bonus!

00:05:37 Paul Glover

Yes, I realised at that time this was going to be a win-win. So I shared stuff. So for the last 20 years I've been an executive coach and I work primarily with those in the C-Suite and with their Teams, and I teach a variety or culture a variety of things. One in particular, I think is extraordinarily important, is communication.

And I found that that a lot of leaders believe they are good communicators, but that's because they believe in telepathy.

As I go through the coaching process and we do the evaluation of skill sets immediately, we do that through the 360-degree review, most leaders are shocked when it comes back that their teams have no idea what they're saying most of the time. They figure it out by the way, but they do it through trial and error. So, I have inculcated that into my coaching process as a part of the opportunity to build better leaders is the opportunity to communicate better.

00:06:43 Andy Goram

Well, look, we've got a lot to talk about today. I think we're gonna have a fun time, but I cannot let you go any further in the conversation without digging into this trial lawyer stuff. So, come back to that original question that I had. How do you go from doing what you're doing now, and you've been doing for 20 years, from the position of 30 years prior to that, being a trial lawyer? It's not all down to your wife. I'm sure there's a bit of you in there, so what's that story? How do you make that transition, my friend?

00:07:16 Paul Glover

Well, you transition because for me, it was not a choice. During my career, engaged in some questionable behaviour. And at some point, had to make a career change because I went to prison.

00:07:32 Andy Goram

Wow!


00:07:33 Paul Glover

5 1/2 years incarcerated for committing white collar crimes. And when I got back up again, I had an option. I could go back, attempt to get my license and become a lawyer again, or I could make that pivot. So I decided to make the pivot. I thought there was a better way to earn a living... By the way, trial lawyers... I tell to people that being a trial lawyer is engaging in combat. When you step into the courtroom, it is a combat arena. And we don't get to use weapons, but we get to use words. But we actually have a referee, the Judge, and the Judge makes sure that we don't step outside the rules, right? There are boundaries. But at the same time, it is adversarial to the extreme. You have a client that you have to represent, and you do that to the best of your ability. And the other side, of course, is in that same situation. They have a case that they need to present. And it was that my ability through that communication process that led me to realise that how I was communicating with the jury is a way that leaders could be communicating with their employees.

For instance, I actually, I always tell the story that instead of going to law school, I went to trials. I watched. I thought, well, I'm not going to be a Wills and Estates guy. I want to go and I want to be a trial lawyer. And you do that by watching, right? If you tell people, if you want to be excellent, you need to see excellence. So I went and I watched, but my contention was that if I knew the facts and I've got the facts in front of the Jury, that should be enough. By the way, I think that a lot of people believe that. That if I tell you the facts, you should be persuaded.


00:09:21 Andy Goram

Yeah, job done. There you go.


00:09:23 Paul Glover

Yeah, so I so I lost my first two cases. And there was an experienced trial attorney who was in the audience. And he came up to me afterwards, and he said,

“You know? You're not bad at what you do. But I'll tell you why you're losing.”

And so, I thought, well that would be interesting, he said, “By the way it will cost you a steak dinner.” By the way, trial lawyers never do anything for free. So, my thought was, well after paying for three years of law school a steak dinner seems pretty cheap.

00:09:54 Andy Goram

Yeah, have two! Have two. Knock yourself out.

00:09:57 Paul Glover

So we went and we had dinner, by the way it wasn't the state dinner, but it was the bottle of expensive Scotch that he drank while we had dinner, that about broke the bank.


00:10:07 Andy Goram

There you go.

00:10:08 Paul Glover

And he said that you're really good at telling the facts, but you're not telling the story. He said if you cannot tell the jury a narrative that engages them in the process of this trial, you will never win a case. Because people need to hear the facts, but they decide on the narrative, the emotional impact and connection that you make. Now I was like, “Wow! Alright.” So, storytelling, which I had not thought about in the context of the courtroom, and even though I've watched a lot of trial lawyers, it never hit me that you are telling a... hopefully a hero's journey.

Because you have a client that you are representing. You're standing in front of the jury. They don't get to speak unless you put them on the stand, and that seldom happens, by the way. What you do, is you need to tell a hero's journey. A narrative that engages the audience, makes them see your client as the hero. Identify with them, and obviously in the final analysis, decide in their favour.


00:11:18 Andy Goram

And you never lost the case after that, right?


00:11:20 Paul Glover

No, I never did. I was very successful as a trial lawyer until I shot myself in the foot and lost my career. By the way, I tell people, bearing responsibility for your own actions is a very difficult thing to do. But if you can't do that, you can't move on. And second, I've decided that a part of life is embracing not only the good, but also the bad.

00:11:45 Andy Goram

OK.


00:11:46 Paul Glover

And you do that because if you don't, you will miss out on 50% of the opportunity to take those bad experiences and do something with them, valuable. But we often want to run away from our bad experiences. Why? Well, they're very unpleasant, right? And they require that we actually admit, confess to our involvement in making those things happen. One of the things I tell the people in my coaching program, yes, you need to recognise your responsibility for the bad thing. And if you can't do that, you can't move on. And you cannot, you don't want to lose 50% of your life. And unfortunately, 50% of our lives is made up of things we don't like. It's the human experience, isn't it?


00:12:33 Andy Goram

Absolutely that Yin and Yang thing. 100% my friend. I mean, some of my best things have come out of mistakes. You know the learning that you take from it, and I don't know, the attitude you change, or the approach that you'll tweak, it sounds cliche to say, but you probably end up learning more out of those situations, than roaring successes that just happen.


00:12:55 Paul Glover

I agree with that. I think that they give you a more fertile ground to explore yourself and how you are acting in certain situations. But people run away from the bad experiences. By the way, we talked about authenticity and vulnerability. Those buzzwords. And leaders absolutely have to do that. But so many leaders believe that if they show themselves being vulnerable, that's taken as a sign of weakness. And if they say that they've failed, that obviously is not going to go over well with the stockholders or the team, the employees, their co-workers, whatever. But the reality is that once you're able to accept those failures, and you're spot on, we learn more from them because they attract our attention and focus, that force us to look at ourselves and others, in a more productive way.

00:13:50 Andy Goram

Well, I think the two things you've already spoken about, let alone your career pathway, are all about either sort of this narrative or vulnerability. It's all about making an emotional connection with an audience, right? Be that an employer or be that a Jury. I mean, now I get where the transition’s come from. Right now, I can see the sort of different perspective that you bring to the show today, of your 30 years as a trial lawyer and 20 years as an Exec coach, kind of melding these things together. They've taken very similar paths, weirdly. You wouldn't necessarily think it, but the storytelling, emotional connection, that's directly what you want, leaders to have, hone those skills and use them for a force for good, right? So no, I get it. I get it. But why do you think not all leaders do get it, Paul?


00:14:42 Paul Glover

Well, I do think that there is a... first there, unfortunately command and control still is vibrant. And people often believe that that's the way that you get people to do what you want. You tell them to and then you control them, so they do exactly that and nothing else. The problem with that, of course, is then you're just paying for time. You pay me to come in from 8 to 4, and I will work within the context of what you told me to do. And at the end of that eight hours, I will go home, but I will never contribute anything other than what you forced me to contribute. I'm not engaged here. So that command and control has got to go away and I'm hoping the pandemic killed it.

Because while it forced a different way of looking at work and a different way of looking at engagement, but most leaders are still having trouble with that. When I look at those who oppose work from home, even though 40% of their employees can do that, I don't believe that that's because they think that it's not productive. They don't like the fact they can't watch their employees! Therefore, they're putting spyware on the computers. By the way if you're going to have an engagement, it has to be based on trust. And let me tell you, the first time you spied on me, we've pretty much lost that aspect of it.


00:16:09 Andy Goram

100%, I mean, I've done a fair amount of research and work on engagement, I've never seen spying anywhere in the secret manual that goes alongside engagement, Paul.


00:16:18 Paul Glover

And yet, shockingly, leaders believe that that's how you get productivity out of people. Yeah, you said it earlier, that we already know the rules. We know the facts. We know what engagement is like and what it can be. Leaders don't want to do it. The office is nothing but an extension of the assembly line of the Industrial Age. That's how we've done it. We need to break the mould and maybe the Pandemic has done that? Because suddenly, there is this Great Resignation and employees are thinking about leaving and demanding wellbeing. Which to me is at least signs that there is now an awareness that cannot be ignored. What people, what leaders do with that, of course, it's going to be entirely up to them. But I think it's pretty clear, that no one wants to go back to the way it was. And my contention has been that no one wants to be managed.

The word by itself is distasteful. “Managed” is about micromanaging. It's about control. It's about oversight. But it also kills off any initiative. So, you have to make some decisions here. If all you want is that eight to four person, who will not give you any extra effort, why would they? You're not paying them for it, so it's very transactional. If you want us to shift from transactional relationships which have no engagement, to a relationship engagement, where you suddenly get that extra effort, that discretionary effort. It’s discretionary for a reason. It's a choice. I choose whether or not I give you discretion, because you're paying me for my time. If we can get around paying for time, to paying for results. Suddenly it's a much different approach. Second, we have to share that. Leaders, love making the money, they don't like to share the money. But as I tell people who are looking at a spreadsheet, behind every number on the spreadsheet is a person. And if that person is engaged, the number you see will increase. If they're not engaged, it will go down. So how about if we look at what creates the number, rather than the number?


00:18:34 Andy Goram

There's so much to unpack there, Paul. I mean that there's a tonne of stuff. Let me go back quickly to that first point that you made, about the command-and-control piece of the pandemic. Do you truly believe that the pandemic has put an end to command-and-control?

00:18:50 Paul Glover

Not yet. But actually, I'm writing an article for Forbes, that where I say the pandemic is going to kill off command and control and the example, I use, is Dinosaurs.


00:19:03 Andy Goram

Yeah


00:19:05 Paul Glover

We had an event, you know, the asteroid that hit the Gulf of Mexico, and it still took a million years after, or 10,000 years after that, before the dinosaurs died off. But they started to die off. And I believe the pandemic has given us that singular event that may very well crack the code, and eliminate command and control because people are not going to tolerate it. Again, Gallup is the bellwether here for surveys, and it continues to show that people leave, 51% of all people who leave, leave because of their manager. That hasn't changed. And of course, what we get is this resistance to employees continuing to work at home, even though everybody recognises productivity is better at home, because you don't have the intermittent interruptions. Interesting, the surveys show, that out of an 8-hour day in an office, people are actually productive for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. The other five hours are just blown away by meetings, useless meetings, you know, water cooler talk, just screwing around, right?

Because people actually believe that if it's a game we're playing, where you try to make me more productive and I'm not going to do it. We're just going to play this game. And by the way, the employee will always win that game, because I don't care how much you try to track them there's always the bathroom break. So, you just accept the fact you can't keep this going and expect it to be successful. However, it remains to be seen. I have hope.


00:20:49 Andy Goram

Well, I mean I, I have hope. I love the Dinosaur analogy. It's the humanity link there is interesting to me. It's the kind of dawn of humanity after the dinosaurs take control, and maybe this is the dawn of humanity back in business. That would be... that would be a pretty cool thing and something I'd be really keen for that to be a good thing coming out of the pandemic, but no question about it. The point you make around the fear around productivity? And to me that all comes down to trust. If you cannot trust your team, your employees, your fellow colleagues to kind of deliver on stuff, then as a leader I guess you fall into that trap of trying to control everything, including spying on someone, limiting toilet breaks, I mean, this sounds like a tremendous place to work, doesn't it? I mean, well, you can't go to the loo. You're not allowed around the water cooler and everybody spying on you. I'm not hanging around there for long, Paul, right?


00:21:48 Paul Glover

And like I said employees are phenomenally good at figuring out ways around this? I was just looking at an article that had... they're now selling on Amazon, a device that you put your mouse on, and it will periodically move around. If you're trying to see if that person is still there, it looks like they are.


00:22:10 Andy Goram

Oh my God! What what's the world come to?


00:22:13 Paul Glover

But every time you try to impose that type of structure on someone, I guarantee you that they find a way around it. And by the way, it's always interesting, again, I have, there's too many angles, but sabotage. I believe there's an extraordinary amount of sabotage that takes place in the workplace because people are mad as hell and they're not going to take it anymore. And they're there and if they can't get away from the toxic environment, they will figure out some way to level the playing field. People are not dumb anymore. We keep thinking that that we're in that industrial age, where you stand there in an assembly line and you do the same thing for 8 hours. That job is gone.


What we keep asking for is initiative, right, engagement? You know it but, we then turn around and try to keep them in that industrial age mindset, people are not accepting that anymore. And by the way, I'm thrilled. I do think that we're at that point where as bad as the pandemic has been, that it has fractured this work mode and it's going to be forced on employers, whether they like it or not. Just like people have stopped talking about the minimum wage. Why? Because the marketplace is dictated that the minimum wage is now going to be governed by Walmart at Amazon at $18.00 an hour. Now you can either accept that, and say, “Well, we gotta play in that ballpark” or you get nobody.


00:23:40 Andy Goram

Yeah, we've got similar things going on over here in the UK with, I guess delivery drivers, you know, truck drivers and stuff like that. Terrible working conditions, you know, for years and years and years. Not great pay, and then, you know, we have Brexit. We lose a load of drivers, and no one wants to go into that industry because it's awful. And we wonder why we can't deliver anything in the country at the moment. It's just madness.


00:24:08 Paul Glover

Well, in the concept of essential workers are actually demanding value for being an essential worker. Oh my God, it is not, I mean these people do all of the stuff that we enjoy every day, whether it be delivering our package within two hours. Oh my God! And by the way, we're impatient about that. It’s like, “What? Where’s the drone? Isn't it supposed to drop it off now?” Or when we go to a restaurant, suddenly that restaurant’s closed. Because you know why? The servers are not happy. And by the way, I think they should get every penny they demand. One of my things is “Play the cards you have, because the other side's gonna play the cards they have.” So, if you want it to be a card game, expect the other person to play it. If you want to have a partnership, now you change the dynamics, to reciprocate, right? And we're both going to understand our purpose, we're going to join together. We're going to work towards that purpose. It seems so simple, and yet we're not capable of that yet. Maybe we will be? Like I said, I’ve got hope now. Another couple of years, we'll know.

00:25:17 Andy Goram

Well, yeah, I think it's going to be an interesting couple of years ahead, especially as you know when things do start to normalise. And I don't know what normal means anymore, by the way, because I don't think normal is just trudging back to the office. I think that's probably changed. There will still be people that do that, of course they will. But, I think there's going to be a whole bunch of different stuff. We might even touch on that, but I'm really interested to sort of hear your, I mean so many different perspectives on so many different topics, but within that great resignation piece, how much of that do you think, has come down to people having time to think about what it is they're doing and look around and look at companies that were, perhaps way ahead of the curve in their focus on people and conditions and stuff like that, and. I don't know... You know that saying, “I wish I could stop the world for a minute and take a breather”? And it never happens, except over the last, nearly two years, that's exactly what's happened for quite a few people. Do you, like me, do you think that's one of the catalysts for the Great Resignation, or...?


00:26:22 Paul Glover

Oh, absolutely! Yes, you're right. I believe that this gave people an opportunity to do exactly that. To get off the treadmill, right? To step back and look at their lives from a different perspective. One of the deals with the Great Resignation has been how many people decided to retire. An extraordinary number. How many people decided to quit their existing job? Why? Because they suddenly realised that it was actually detrimental to their health and to their life. And, yeah, I think that we've had an unexpected amount of reflection. And you know the interesting thing is, Andy, that reflection has to be forced on us. Because it really requires that if you're going to do it right, it's uncomfortable.


00:27:11 Andy Goram

Yeah, it is. Yeah.

00:27:13 Paul Glover

Yeah, you're looking for what you’re doing and you get,

Oh my God, I've been doing this for the last X number of years and I'm starting to think it's been a waste of my life. My level of satisfaction and happiness is so low. I look around and I've got all of the things that life gives me with money. But I don't have anything else.”

And when I talk to leaders, I talk about legacy. What do you want your legacy to be? Not only work-life you see, but your life legacy. We don't think about that. And then the pandemic forced us to do reflection. And I think that a lot of people came to the conclusion that they didn't like their life, and that they were now going to change it. And that's that.

And so much of our life is centred around work, and Americans in particular have a tendency to just have focus on that's the item of success. And the realisation that it's not, has come as a shock to a lot of people. So, what I'm hoping happens is that level of self-awareness and reflection is at the basis of this. So that people aren't... and I don't believe people are leaving just for money. I don't believe that at all. Again, I believe they're leaving toxic situations. They're leaving bad bosses. I mean and it's extraordinary to me that at this point in time, we have so many public figures, who are bad bosses. That are running organisations and are big organisations and you look at them and you go,

Oh my God! You're the model of success? I understand you're making billions off the backs of everybody who's working in your plan, but do you think that now we look at you and go, that's what we want as success?” And I think a lot of people are going, “That's not what we want.”

00:29:00 Andy Goram

That's really interesting, Paul. I mean, it is like a bit of a reawakening. There's definitely a reassessment of what's important. But to me, it's a bit like the Emperor's new clothes story. You know, the guys we looked at and thought were amazing, all of a sudden we’re. “Really? We've had time to think about this now. That's not cool. That's not quite as good as we thought.” So that's a really interesting concept.


00:29:24 Paul Glover

Well it is, and again I think that so many people talk about they want purpose. And they suddenly realise that making money is our purpose. And so, and I think for so often we thought that's how you dictated success. Look at the size of your 401K and your bank account and you go, “I’m a successful person.” The problem is that there's no satisfaction that comes from that. Satisfaction comes from saying there is a purpose. I'm part of something that's not only bigger than I am, but it’s good. So, we can be part of something that's bigger when we go to work for a corporation, but if they're not doing the right thing that aligns with our purpose, it's not working. And the realisation of that, I think, is driving obviously the Great Resignation. And it's a good thing. There is nothing wrong with that, and I applaud people who decided that it's time to make a change. And when I when I talk to employers who say, ”I can't believe they're leaving.” I say, “Well, have you asked them why?” The interesting thing is how many people don't ask.

00:30:30 Andy Goram

Well, sometimes you don't want to hear the answer, right?


00:30:33 Paul Glover

Spot on. Yes, you're absolutely right about this. “Would you really like for me to tell you the truth?” and you go, “Not really.”

00:30:40 Andy Goram

Not, really. That's going to sting.”

00:30:42 Paul Glover

That sounds like it's gonna hurt.

00:30:44 Andy Goram

Ha ha!


00:30:45 Paul Glover

How about if we avoid that and so you just leave? I'm happy with that.


00:30:50 Andy Goram

We've covered a lot of ground in these concepts. There's so many examples to flag up of bad stuff, but, you know, we started the show talking about the not-so-secret secrets to engagement. So, if we look on the positive side of the future, Paul, which I know is something you kind of really want to champion. If we were looking at what are the not-so-secret secrets to engagement and the hopes that you have for the workplace going forward, what would you say to my listeners, those things are?

00:31:23 Paul Glover

Well, first, the concept of engagement is not difficult from my perspective. Everybody complicates it. It's very easily complicated. I think it's very simple. In fact, I've developed what I call the 3A's.


00:31:36 Andy Goram

Oh! OK, like that, Yep.

00:31:38 Paul Glover

The three A’s are very simple. They’re attraction, attention and appreciation.

The attraction part has nothing to do with how beautiful you are.


00:31:51 Andy Goram

This is an audio podcast for a reason, Paul! Let's put it that way.

00:31:56 Paul Glover

That's why I'm only a podcast guest too! So, the attraction to me, and by the way, I have a whole list of things I can put under it, because authenticity exists there. But I also believe that positive energy exists there. I believe that positive energy is that when we see the title CEO, my deal is its “Chief Energy Officer”.

00:32:19 Andy Goram

Yeah, I love that.

00:32:21 Paul Glover

And you need to be a positive influence even in the worst of times. So the attraction part is, will people, are people attracted to you as a leader. And you can tell when people are because obviously the quality of people that surround you dictate whether or not your attraction is appropriate, right? Are you drawing the right people? And that means that you've got to have the right attitude. You have to be a good communicator. All of the things that are leadership traits that we acknowledge. You have to actually not only say them, but you have to do them. So that's attraction. Positive energy drawing you in, treating you well, and wellbeing is a part of that.


But let's move to the second A, Attention. People want attention from their leaders. They want to be recognised. And we don't do that enough. It's interesting to me that we have a tendency to believe that if we're paying someone that should be enough. And if we pay them enough, then we should expect them not to be wanting more. And they do, they're human beings. They want attention. And they want recognition. They want you to be engaged. And I believe that this goes outside the workplace now. The pandemic has forced people to work from home, and what that's done is engaged the family in a way that was not engaged before. And I believe that Corporations have got to look holistically at their employees to include that. Include their family in their community, and look at that and go, “How can we strengthen the relationship, and how can we make things better, not only for the employee but for their family?” And that goes outside of wages and goes outside of compensation.


The last A is the appreciation. I am stunned by the lack of appreciation for people who are working during a pandemic at home, on a card table and a folding chair, with their children and their spouse in the next room. And why aren't you? I just I don't understand... Send them the tools they need to do their job. Give them the money to go out and buy a desk. Let's try to be appreciative here and show that appreciation. Saying thank you is fantastic. I find it... We’ll be in a restaurant. If the table next to us hands me the salt, I say thank you. At the end of a horrendous 40 hours plus of work week, you know what we say? “See you Monday!” Andy, that is an invitation back to Hell, right? The work week has been terrible. It’s no wonder we're gonna drink during Saturday and Sunday, because I've got to prepare myself to going back to Hell on Monday. How about on Friday we go, “Hey, let me give you an appreciation hug, and tell you how much I value the fact that you stayed and hung in there with us, with me, and we got the job done. Thank you.”


Those are the 3 A’s, and I'm shocked by the fact that we believe that we can't do this over a zoom call. What I believe happens, is because people, managers hate zoom calls, is because they would still want to be command and control with a venue that doesn't allow it. So instead take the 3A's, it’s very simple, by the way and you can keep adding under each of the A’s, right? I've got a whole list. But think about it for yourself. Am I acting correctly so people are attracted to me as a leader? Am I showing recognition and attention? And then am I saying, “Thank you”? Appreciating what you do. This is so simple. If you can't do that, stop trying to lead. You're not a human being. Let AI take over. They’ll get it right. It’s formulaic, but it absolutely works, so let's not complicate this anymore. Let's absolutely use the 3 A's at every level and guess what? Engagement will improve. Guarantee it.


00:36:45 Andy Goram

Yeah no, I think that's a really nice simple model. I mean we start at the top of the show, talking about, look a lot of these concepts are similar to others. They're familiar to us. Some are more complex theories than others, but it does come down to being a decent human, I think at the end of the day. You can wrap it up, however you want, but just be decent. Just be a human being and you'd be surprised; surprised, ashamedly surprised how much impact that can make on people.

00:37:16 Paul Glover

Absolutely, and it's... it's... I don't know what else to say except what you just said. That's absolutely correct.


00:37:22 Andy Goram

Paul, I have this little bit of the show I call Sticky Notes, which is where I try and pull in the summary from my guest on today's episode. And my God, that's difficult with you, because we've covered so many different things. But if you were to leave behind three little post-it notes of wisdom for my listeners, to takeaway from today to start improving engagement or the workplace culture or all that kind of stuff, what would you leave them with?


00:37:50 Paul Glover

Well, we've talked about trust as an essential element of any relationship, and I believe trust is... Once again, anyone can complicate it. I believe trust is very simple. It's two things. First, do what you say you're going to do. And 2nd do what you're supposed to do. If you don't know what you're supposed to do, you need to find out because if you want a relationship with me, those are the two things that I have as expectations. What you're supposed to do and what you say you're going to do. Because if we get that straight, we're going to have trust. And if we have trust, we're going to have a relationship.

The second point would be the one you've already mentioned, and that is, treat people like humans. And recognise that in a time of crisis, especially if you're a leader, you have to step up. And a part of your job is to take some of the stress that they're encountering, onto yourself. And you do that by being supportive, being curious, and let me put that in there as a trait of leadership that we often ignore. Empathetic curiosity is absolutely essential if you want to be a leader. That means that you want to know about the people you work with and who work for you. And you need to ask the questions, provide the opportunity for them to share answers by asking them questions that matter. So empathetic curiosity would be my second sticky note.

And the third one is practise the 3 A’s. And by the way it requires practice. Because if you don't practice a skill set. If you can't figure out how to do a handwritten note, you know, take a tutorial, because people love handwritten notes. At the end of a workshop, and I don't care what it's on, I give everybody a certificate. And they love it.

These are very simple concepts and that increases engagement. And if you're not willing to do those things, then continue to watch your talent leave. I've been coaching now for 20 years, I don't believe it should be complicated. I think it's all about doing what we just talked about. And if you're trying to do something other than that, it's not going to work.


00:40:27 Andy Goram

I'm so with you, my friend, and that's a nice simple, but plain-speaking summary of how to unlock the not-so-secret secrets of engagement.

Paul, it's been an absolute pleasure speaking to you. The time has just rattled by. I can't believe that. Thank you, my friend. Thank you so much for your time today. Absolutely wonderful and I look forward to seeing what you get up to next, for sure.

00:40:52 Paul Glover

Well, thank you so much Andy. It's like I said at the beginning of the show, it's a privilege to be talking to you. I think you do a very admirable job as a podcast host and I love the opportunity to obviously say what I believe is true, about the future of work. And you've got an audience that obviously was eager to hear that. So thank you for that opportunity.

00:41:13 Andy Goram

My pleasure, my friend. Thanks very much for sharing. You take care now.


00:41:17 Paul Glover

Thank you.


00:41:18 Andy Goram

OK everyone that was Paul Glover, and if you'd like to find out a bit more about him and some of the things that we've talked about in today's show, please check out our show notes.

00:41:30 Andy Goram

So, that concludes today's episode. I hope you've enjoyed it, found it interesting and heard something, maybe that will help you become a stickier, more successful business from the inside going forwards.

If you have, please like comment and subscribe, it really helps. I'm Andy Goram and you've been listening to the Sticky From The Inside podcast. until next time, thanks for listening.


Andy Goram is the owner of Bizjuicer, an employee engagement and workplace culture consultancy that's on a mission to help people have more fulfilling work lives. He's also the host of the Sticky From The Inside Podcast, which talks to experts on these topics from around the world.

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