Using Force Multiplier Principles to Bring Out The Best In Your Employees.

Force Multipliers are the indispensable leaders who bring out the best out in everyone.

Last year I hosted a going away party for a close friend.  It was a small gathering of some of his closest relationships.  Within two weeks of the party, my friend would be deployed to Afghanistan where he would spend the next year aiding the military reduction in force.  As he sat in my living room pondering his uncertain future, we each took turns, expressing our love for he and his family, providing words of encouragement, and vowing to protect and help provide for his wife and their two young children while he was gone.

As we went around the room, there was one person whose words I personally had been waiting to hear.  As a Lt. Colonel he had attended many of these “deployment parties” as he called them, so I knew that his perspective would be unique.  But I was in no way prepared for the lasting effects that his words would have on my perspective of leadership.

The officer began his sharing by saying, “You are what we in the army refer to as a “force multiplier.” The overall effectiveness of your group is increased by your presence.  Because of your personality and character, you bring out the best in each and every resource you come into contact with.”

Those words resonated with me. As one who trains leaders, I often hear other leaders and even experts give all types of definitions of what a leader is. But whether referring to the ability to provide vision and direction; the ability to solve problems; or the ability to motivate others; there is one question that is rarely asked when talking about leadership effectiveness: “Is more accomplished by the person’s presence than would have occurred if they weren’t there?” Is this leader a “force multiplier?” Whether you’re there or not, here are three practical strategies that will awaken the force multiplier within you.

1. Flex Your Style

Years ago, one of my mentors gave me a piece of advice I’ve never forgotten.  He said to me, “Tony, you have to stop leading people with a herd mentality.  You’re not just leading a group, you’re leading a group of individuals.”  That was an eye opening moment.  People don’t come in one flavor; they all have many differences that make them who we are.  Whether it is differences in personality, gender, culture, belief systems, or the different experiences that shape and mold how they think and what they value, these differences will have a great effect on what it takes for them to be led effectively.

Unfortunately when leading teams, many leaders don’t consider the individuality of their people.   Many have their own leadership “style.”   That style is effective in certain situations and with certain people, but no one style works in all situations and with all people.  Often the people we find difficult to lead are really just the people that our style doesn’t work with.  Leaders who are able to adapt their leadership style to fit the needs of the people they lead and the circumstances they face are consistently more effective than those who stick to their style.

2. Give recognition

Praise and recognition are one the most powerful tools a leader has in his or her arsenal to motivate and engage employees.  It’s also one of the most overlooked tools as well.  In their book the Carrot Principle, Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton state that 79% of employees who quit their jobs cite lack of appreciation as a key reason for leaving.  They also report that 65% of North Americans report that they weren’t recognized in the least bit the previous year.  Yet Gallup links an increase of recognition with lower turnover, higher customer satisfaction and increased productivity.

If you want to bulletproof your organization from the threat of losing talent to the competition, you need to make sure they receive a consistent dose of recognition.

Praising people for a job well done makes people feel special.  Honoring them makes them feel special.  Awards and certificates, special gifts, even gift cards can make people feel special.  Make them feel special and they’ll want to do whatever they did to earn the praise again.   Praise and recognition don’t just affect work, they increase effort.  Work is contractual; effort is personal.

3. Have A Positive Attitude All of the time

Years as I was preparing for my first leadership experience, my mentor said something I’ll never forget.  He said, “Tony, you just lost the luxury of having a bad day.”  I had never thought of it that way.  I never considered having a bad day a luxury, but he was right.

What leaders don’t realize is that their emotions, whether positive or negative are contagious.   Sigal Barsade, a Wharton management professor who studies the influence of emotions on the workplace says,  “Emotions travel from person to person like a virus.”  The result of this contagion can have a dramatic effect on your business.  A Gallup study by researcher James K. Harter found that business unit sales and profits could be predicted by employees’ emotions. People’s emotions impact their performance, and if they’re healthy and happy they perform better.  Colin Powell is famously quoted as saying, “Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.”


This is a guest post by one of our C-Suite Network Advisors and C-Suit Book Club Author, Tony Chatman.

Tony Chatman helps people perform at their best. As a recognized thought leader in the area of human relationships, he instills people with an understanding of the fundamental differences in how people think and act, enabling them to make a real connection with others – whether at work or at home.  This understanding leads people to achieve goals productively, through listening and leadership.

Since 2003, Tony has worked with hundreds of corporations and government agencies to help people reach new heights of effectiveness by understanding themselves and others better.

As a keynote speaker, Tony’s passion is contagious.  His speeches provide practical, usable knowledge that people use immediately for business and personal success.   Recognized as a “tremendous speaker and presenter” with “phenomenal stage presence and intensity,” Tony delivers learning events that consistently garner enthusiastic reviews. Whether small or large groups up to 6,000, audience members feel that he is speaking directly to them because of his ability to connect with everyone, no matter their background.

“Run Towards the Roar” Comes to C-Suite TV

NEW YORK, NY–(Marketwired – May 9, 2017) – C-Suite TV, a web-based digital on demand business channel, welcomes a new show to their lineup, Run Towards the Roar. The show will be hosted by Jason Forrest, CEO and Chief Culture Officer at FPG (Forrest Performance Group), and will air the first Friday of every other month.

Run Towards the Roar answers the question ‘what does it take to be a successful entrepreneur?’ The show explores the steps needed to take control of your life and make your ideas a reality. Forrest interviews industry leaders who tell their stories about overcoming adversity to achieve a high level of success. Entrepreneurs of all levels have had times of uncertainty and the show aims to tell the stories of the men and women who ran towards the roar, went all in, and lived to tell about it.

Read the full article.

Making Connections, Finding Your “Humor Being,” Achieving Excellence and Being Bad

March 07, 2017 10:00 ET


Best Seller TV’s March Programming Features Authors Lou Diamond, Steve Rizzo, Brigham Dickinson and Erika Andersen

NEW YORK, NY–(Marketwired – Mar 7, 2017) – Best Seller TV, one of the top online business shows on C-Suite TV, announces its March lineup featuring in-depth interviews with leading business authors Lou Diamond, author of Master the Art of Connecting, Steve Rizzo, author of Motivate This!: How to Start Each Day with an Unstoppable Attitude to Succeed, Regardless of Your Circumstances, Brigham Dickinson, author of Pattern for Excellence: Engage Your Team to WOW More Customers, and Erika Andersen, author of Be Bad First: Get Good at Things Fast to Stay Ready for the Future.


Lou Diamond, author of Master the Art of Connecting, talks about the difference between networking and connecting. He defines a network as the people you know, your contacts; whereas connecting means your main focus is working with someone you intend to have a longer, more meaningful relationship with. Increasing your network, he adds, means meeting more people, but everyone should strive to make more meaningful connections instead. Diamond, who has always had a talent of connecting with people, left a lucrative Wall Street career to become a business coach in order to help c-suite executives and companies understand what they want to do, where they want to take their business, and how to achieve that. He also cautions that in order to make a connection, people have to put the work in and adds, “If you really help people understand the power of connecting, you’re changing the world.”


Steve Rizzo, author of Motivate This!: How to Start Each Day with an Unstoppable Attitude to Succeed, Regardless of Your Circumstances, talks about how it’s easy to be motivated when things are going your way, but it’s when it’s difficult that people need to find the strength to get motivated. Rizzo, a former stand-up comedian for more than twenty years, wrote the book to encourage people from all walks of life to find their “humor being,” make conscious choices to enjoy themselves, find laughter, and use the power of thoughts to connect to a higher part of yourself. Rizzo says, “You have to become aware. Can’t fix something you don’t know is wrong.”


Brigham Dickinson, author of Pattern for Excellence: Engage Your Team to WOW More Customers, talks about what the ‘pattern of excellence’ is all about: being the best, taking your job seriously and showing people how to provide a great service to someone else. Dickinson recalls that writing the book came as “an accident,” after losing his marketing software business in the downturn economy of 2008. He became a student of the industry and began keeping a journal about all the things he learned, gathering enough valuable insight to write a book applicable to anyone who wants to be a perfectionist. The goal, Dickinson says, is to “take every moment you have and go above and beyond” in order to find fulfillment in your work while serving others.


Erika Andersen is the author of Be Bad First: Get Good at Things Fast to Stay Ready for the Future and talks about the key skill everyone should acquire: learn things quickly. She says, “In order to succeed at something, you’ll be bad at it first.” Andersen argues that people are normally bad at learning new things, because learning new skills requires them to put themselves in a vulnerable position. She states the way to overcome this is by saying, ‘I’m going to be bad at this, I’m new at this,’ and give yourself some leeway because no one is perfect at a skill they haven’t mastered. In regards to the c-suite, Andersen says that leaders need to “set the tone” — if leaders do something that’s outside their comfort zone, the employees will follow their lead and feel emboldened to step out of their comfort zone.


All episodes of Best Seller TV will air throughout the month on C-Suite TV and are hosted by TV personality, Taryn Winter Brill.

Best-selling author, speaker, and former Fortune 100 CMO Jeffrey Hayzlett created C-Suite TV to give top-tier business authors a forum for sharing thought-provoking insights, in-depth business analysis, and their compelling personal narratives.

“This month, we have a wide range of authors for every palate, including a former stand-up comedian,” Hayzlett said. “These authors provide a very high level of expertise and varied life experiences that, I hope, will inspire our audience to take their skills to the next level and exceed every expectation.”

For more information on TV episodes, visit and for more information about the authors featured in Best Seller TV episodes, visit


About C-Suite TV:
C-Suite TV, an entity of the C-Suite Network, is a web-based digital on-demand business channel featuring interviews and shows with business executives, thought leaders, authors and entrepreneurs providing news and information for business leaders. C-Suite TV is your go-to resource to find out the inside track on trends and discussions taking place in businesses today. This online channel is home to such shows as C-Suite with Jeffrey Hayzlett, Executive Perspectives Live and Best Seller TV, and more. C-Suite TV is part of C-Suite Network, the world’s most trusted network of C-Suite leaders. Connect with C-Suite TV on Twitter and Facebook.

Executive Briefings: Part 2 – Navigating the New Presidential Administration

• Jay Townsend, 
Political Consultant for The Townsend Group
• February 16th, 2017
• In this latter discussion of a two-part series, we will take an even deeper dive into how the Trump Administration and Republican Congress will impact business. Throughout Trump’s presidential term, many things will affect how we do business both inside and outside of US borders


C-Suite Network Announces New Elite Group of the Most Trusted Advisors to C-Suite Executives

February 13, 2017 10:53 ET

NEW YORK, NY–(Marketwired – Feb 13, 2017) – The C-Suite Network, the world’s most trusted network of C-Suite leaders, announced that they have built an established group of experts to advise their C-level members. The group is made up of select industry thought leaders who service C-Suite executives and enterprise businesses. These notable business experts and thought leaders consist of a mix of consultants, speakers, authors, podcasters, TV contributors, trainers and coaches.


The C-Suite Network strives to provide added value to their community of C-level executives through the C-Suite Advisor program. Each advisor has been carefully vetted to ensure they meet the brand standards and provide a service of value to members. Currently, the C-Suite Advisor program has experts in corporate recruiting, sales coaching, marketing, social media services, and more.


C-Suite Advisors


The program also provides value to its Advisors through networking and sales opportunities with C-Suite Network members, distribution of select content throughout C-Suite Network properties, expert council opportunities, and more. The C-Suite Network will also provide social media and marketing guidance to advisors when applicable.


“The C-Suite Advisor program is an excellent addition to our community for both our executives and our new advisors,” said Jeffrey Hayzlett, Primetime TV Host & Chairman C-Suite Network. Adding, “The C-Suite Network is designed to generate substantive discussions of key issues facing the C-Suite across the boardrooms of all industries, and through this group of C-Suite Advisors, I am confident we will help enhance the conversations happening in the C-Suites of the world’s most successful companies.”


C-Suite Advisors held its first membership meeting in December 2016 and will hold a series of meetings in 2017 kicking off in Dallas in May. If you’re interested in becoming a part of C-Suite Advisors, please reach out via our website:


About C-Suite Advisors:

C-Suite Advisors, the most trusted network of advisors to the C-Suite, is an elite group of select thought leaders, coaches, trainers, authors, speakers and content creators who service C-Suite executives and enterprise businesses. Each advisor is an expert in their industry and the network vets all applicants before they are accepted into the group. C-Suite Network is the world’s most trusted network of C-Suite leaders, with a focus on providing growth, development and networking opportunities for business executives with titles of vice president and above from companies with revenue of $5 million and above. Learn more at, or connect on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

Executive Briefings: FutureVault. Pioneering the Digital Collaborative Vault

The C-Suite is a vast audience of leaders who all have a little extra insight into their industry and the current business world. I sit down with these leaders to give them the opportunity to share that insight and give a glimpse to their personal stories as a business leader. I recently had the opportunity to interview G. Scott Paterson, media/technology venture capitalist and CEO of FutureVault.


Fintech is transforming the industry.  What is a FinTech business anyway?

The financial services world is undergoing the biggest transformation ever, and it’s a consequence of technology — but more specifically, it’s a consequence of what’s called software being available in the cloud.

In the cloud the actual bits and bytes, the actual servers, the actual hardware that people think about when they think about a technology, these are not hosted internally. They’re hosted externally.  What this has done is create this massive transformation.


You saw an opportunity in this transformation with FutureVault.

Yes, we did.  FutureVault is a very simple concept. It is a place to store and manage digitally, in the cloud, all of your personal, financial and legal documents.

Everybody needs this. We have children that have report cards, vaccination records, Social Security numbers, class lists, team lists for their sports, memorabilia that they save. We all have bank accounts.  Many have brokerage accounts, 529 college savings accounts, IRA accounts. Some people have hunting licenses, fishing licenses, the deed for your house or lease for your car or if you lease some possibly for your business, even, equipment for your business.

In the world of FinTech, we’re showing up with a solution that’s great for the customer but also great for the institution, because they can build a stronger relationship with that customer.”


I assume everything about this is secure.

Security is the first thing we addressed and we have built what we believe is bank-grade technology.  Documents are encrypted on the way in and on the way out. None of the information ever resides on your laptop.

It’s also why we’re partnering with financial services companies where there is already a high degree of trust.  Players like that that already have a trusted relationship with their customer.


One of the great things about this product, is that it helps families.  Here, you can set this up so that each family member has access to everything that matters, and it really simplifies their life.

A customer can create a contact for any of the “trusted advisors” in their life and each will get a unique email address with a PIN number.  Information is categorized and placed in specific areas that person can have access to.  For example, my accountants can havea access to all of my tax records. Then, when they file my taxes, they put in the electronic copy, and it’s there forever.


It can be used for business as well.  There is an advanced version for multiple businesses, so it’s a great tool for anybody in business, anybody in any walk of life, but particularly business people have lots of complexity. This is a great simplification tool.


We’re very excited. These are just a few aspects of what FutureVault can do. We’ve not built a minimum viable product here. We’ve built a Ferrari.



Find this and other articles on our Huffington Post page.

Executive Briefings: Mainz Solutions, Disrupting the Recruiting Industry

The C-Suite is a vast audience of leaders who all have a little extra insight into their industry and the current business world. I sit down with these leaders to give them the opportunity to share that insight and give a glimpse to their personal stories as a business leader. I recently had the opportunity to interview Michael Bekiarian, CEO of Mainz Solutions.


One of the top 3 issues C-Suite leaders face is finding and keeping the best talent.  How does Mainz Solutions solve this problem?

Our philosophy at Mainz is to look at candidates from a 3-D perspective, not just the two dimensional perspective they represent on a resume or CV. We delve deeper into how they represent themselves collectively and marry up to the business culture.


Do organizations really know what their cultures are?

Often times work environment is confused with culture. When we talk about culture, we’re really talking about the level of engagement expected from our employees and team members, and how it is measured? When employees leave an organization it is usually because there is lack of understanding of what represents a job well done.


What are the difficulties associated with the recruiting process?

The recruiting process is a numbers game. The difficulties lie in attracting and engaging the top talent. We work as an extension of an HR department. Our customers tap into all of our recruiters, assessment technologies, video interviewing platform, job boards, candidate portals.


Most recruiting follows a traditional path, but Mainz Solutions has taken a different approach. What is your approach to recruiting and why is it different?

While we work within the recruiting industry, we don’t necessarily view ourselves as recruiters. We are more like matchmakers. Mainz Solutions goes beyond posting jobs and collecting resumes which is a 2 dimensional model that has been around for decades and gives limited insight. Retention is a factor of cultural fit and therefore we utilize technology to find the best candidates. These include video interviews, demographic studies, and cultural assessments of an organization’s internal culture.


How can companies ensure they retain good employees?

For organizations that have a retention problem, it is necessary to understand the culture of the organization. It is a communication plan and proper understanding of expectations within the organization. It is imperative to understand the corporate culture, both perceived and real, and to make certain that your employees are performing within the vision of the business. An acceptable culture that resonates throughout the organization creates a productive, happy, and engaged employee.



This article and more available on Huffington Post.


Executive Briefings: Thirstie, Exceptional Spirits Delivered to Your Door

The C-Suite is a vast audience of leaders who all have a little extra insight into their industry and the current business world. I sit down with these leaders to give them the opportunity to share that insight and give a glimpse to their personal stories as a business leader. I recently had the opportunity to interview Devaraj Southworth, CEO and Co-founder of Thirstie.

Alcohol is a heavily regulated industry, and because of that the way consumers have traditionally purchased alcohol has not changed much. Thirstie has created quite a disruption within this industry; how did this come about?

There are companies delivering products within the food, transportation, grocery industries, however within the wine and beverage industry we immediately noticed there was no one clear technology leader. We wanted to be the technology company to take an innovative approach to alcoholic beverage distribution. Of course, we had to address the legal challenges and that was about solving business challenges on a consumer side as well as the distribution aspect.

I’m having a party, I’m about to run out, or I want to have a party and I need to stock up – I can now call Thirstie.

Yes, call Thirstie! We created a system that would enable the consumer to use their mobile device to purchase alcoholic beverages and have them delivered to their home within the hour. We also offer more specialized products that can be delivered within 3 days as well as integrated recipes as a way to wrap our consumers in a fabulous value added experience.

Regarding wrapping your consumer in a value added experience, what didn’t work and what did work and what do you do as an ongoing process to continue to learn?

Early on we did a lot of testing. Our first tests involved a very niche approach. We assumed that our viewers and our readers would want a more limited group of products. We were wrong; we quickly learned our consumers wanted the largest selection possible. Our customers asked for more so we created a mail order division to better serve them.

Listen to your consumers.

Our early customers were asking for more information and education. The traditional model involves going to the liquor store, seeing thousands of items and generally leaving with the same product you usually buy. That’s not the ideal purchasing experience, so presenting information that is not overwhelming is part of our customer experience.

Five years from now how do you see change, if at all, in the primary distribution of liquor and spirits.

I think technology much like ours will enable the large massive brands to sell directly, as well as the smaller and early ones. This is the future. Using a mobile device to order alcohol does not mean we are cutting out a person, or tier. The reality is we’re not, we’re working within that system and the system’s being – first tier manufacturers, the second being distributors, and the third being retailers.

What we are doing is leading additional demand, which is beneficial to the retailers, the distributors, the brands and ultimately the consumer.

This article is also featured on Huffington Post.


The Neurochemistry of Power Conversations

Leaders Who Activate Trust
By: Judith E. Glaser MS, MA, Marcia Ruben, Ph.D., Sandra Foster, Ph.D., & Debra Pearce-McCall, Ph.D.


Executive Summary

This distinctive blog post highlights the actions a boss can choose to directly impact their own neurochemistry, behaviors and expressions that promote a climate of trust and encourage co-creation among the team. The reader will discover straightforward explanations of the interplay of two crucial hormones – ‘oxytocin and cortisol’, supported by the latest research on the neuroscience behind conversations. The terms up-regulate and down-regulate clearly guide a boss in establishing the conversational intelligence that benefits partnerships, teams, business units, and can be socialized within an entire organization.


You will recognize this familiar situation: The boss has gathered all the teams reporting to business unit heads, including you, for a meeting. The boss wants everyone to “brainstorm” ideas that will eventually result in a major shift in your organization’s product focus. You dread this encounter. Your boss dictates the format of the meeting and how the discussion will be handled by speaking only to his favorite Business Unit Heads. He excludes other groups with his judgmental comments, even though he is well meaning, and wants to move the company past stagnant sales and poor customer feedback.


Put yourself in the shoes of one of the leaders who is being overlooked as part of the ‘inner circle’.  You know you have to be at the meeting, and although you have a terrific idea to suggest you again remind yourself not to speak up. You know from past experience the likelihood is high that your boss will sarcastically belittle the recommendations that come from your group. Your colleagues are encouraging you to speak up but you feel truly threatened. You expect that your boss will just exert his influence of “power-over” everyone and he’ll run his own agenda and your opinions will not be received very well – if at all. You feel very unsettled and anxious (your heart is pounding and you have a knot in your stomach) and this seems to override your intuition that your idea would be an important contribution.

What’s going on here? You have a good idea; your colleagues support you bringing it up; and yet when you anticipate or encounter a “power-over” boss, you shut down. Many people react to “power-over” communications by going into some version of fight, flight, or freeze, because they are experiencing a threat. Our body’s neurochemistry is activated first unconsciously (Liddell et al., 2005), and then consciously, by our perception, and fear, that our competence, or even our very being, is under threat.
The Neuroscience of Conversations

At our CreatingWE Institute, we have studied what is going on behind the scenes and in our minds when we engage with others in conversations. Our nervous systems are constantly evaluating the environment and making internal neurochemical adaptations that impact our range of feelings, thoughts, and behaviors – and most of all impact our conversations.


This automatic and out-of-awareness process has been termed “neuroception” (Porges, 2003) and describes the instant reading of cues and corresponding physiological shifts to neural states that support safety and healthy connection and conversation with others (associated with producing more oxytocin), or those neural states of defensiveness, or immobilization where unhealthy conversation is almost inevitable (these states are associated with higher levels of cortisol).


The quality and the impact or potential of the meetings we attend are affected by the neuroceptions of all the participants. Even having memories of “power-over” comments – which are often experienced as a disregarding tone of voice, and a felt sense of exclusion – can create a nervous system response to these feared future threats while simply anticipating the next meeting. And since we are social beings, automatically responding to perceived cues of relational safety or danger, we are very likely to carry this feeling and anticipation with us into the next meeting, influencing how we show up, how we influence and what we take away as our ‘beliefs’ and our ‘judgments’ about what ‘is true’ and ‘what will happen next’.


When we are connecting with others in non-judgmental ways, we are exercising higher levels of Conversational Intelligence® and a healthy balance of our connecting neurotransmitters emerges within us – including oxytocin, the bonding hormone.  When we feel we distrust others, and are not connecting in a healthy and non-judgmental way, we see an elevation in different hormones, for example, the neurotransmitter cortisol, considered the stress hormone, is secreted – and we may activate more cortisol by having the ‘self-appraisal or self-talk’ that we will be judged as wrong, or worse as stupid and not valued (Thagard & Wood, 2015).


Impact of Cortisol

Elevated levels of cortisol can exert a detrimental effect on the prefrontal cortex which mediates judgment and decision making, thus interfering with our ability to think clearly and express ourselves with confidence (Diorio, Viau, & Meaney, 1993), just when we need to do so most. Just the act of imagining ourselves being criticized publicly, in front of colleagues, elicits fear and a neurochemical shift. When we feel threatened and our thinking brain closes down, we are in what Daniel Goleman (1995) labeled an “Amygdala Hijack.” The amygdala (which alerts us and in this case signals “be afraid!”) exists in an ongoing dynamic interplay with the prefrontal cortex, the evolutionarily newest, and front and center areas of our brains, essential for our best work. Just seeing a face that we perceive as untrustworthy can trigger even higher levels of cortisol and amygdala activation (Said, Baron, & Todorov, 2009). The team member, the boss, and the organization all lose when a good idea gets lost due to an amygdala hijack!


So what, Now what!

Leaders like the boss described invariably mean well. They are action-oriented and have been rewarded for getting results. As they have moved up the ranks, they take their go-getter behaviors with them and can become bosses that exert “power-over” rather than “power-with” behaviors as they engage with their organizations. Unwittingly, they shut down the creativity and ideas of their team, and they sabotage the results that they so desperately want to create with others. Team members with good ideas stay silent. The team can feel stuck, stagnant, or destructively competitive.


From Power-Over to Power-With

What can a leader do to transform this dictating or “power-over” stance to a “power-with” environment, one in which team members feel safe and feel free to offer their ideas even in challenging meetings or other workplace conversations. When leaders and their direct reports work together to ‘down-regulate’ fear and distrust, and ‘up-regulate’ ‘appreciation and trust’, everyone’s internal environment and chemistry shifts and the conversational environment feels safe, so the prefrontal cortex opens up – enabling what we call Co-creating Conversations®– which foster co-creating solutions amongst the team.


Taking Next Steps…

  1. Leaders can start by understanding how their interactions with others activate neurochemistry – and how neurochemistry triggers emotions and impacts how we make decisions, how we engage with others, and the quality and effectiveness of what we can accomplish with others.


  1. Next Leaders can understand how to up-regulate Oxytocin and down-regulate Cortisol: Let’s focus in on two key neurochemicals that reflect whether people are feeling stressed and defensive, or whether they are feeling safe to engage. The hormones called cortisol and oxytocin work in balance almost like a seesaw, corresponding to stress or a positive state, respectively (Heinrichs, Baumgartner, Kirschbaum, & Ehlert, 2003). Both a leader’s stance and their behaviors can increase (up-regulate) cortisol and decrease (down-regulate) oxytocin when those around the leader feel stressed (McEwen, 2006).


  1. Next, Leaders can intentionally shift a fear-based environment to a co-creating environment: Research evidence suggests that a leader’s behaviors can also decrease cortisol and increase oxytocin (Zak, Kurzban, & Matzner, 2005). In a review of oxytocin research, Carter, Harris and Porges (2009) summarize that research suggests oxytocin not only supports our social engagement, it decreases fear and even increases stress tolerance, expanding the neuroception of safety.

Leaders who understand the shifts they need to make, to elevate Conversational Intelligence in their relationships and teams and organizations, are the ‘game changers’ of the future.


We are at a time in our evolution, where we now know how to activate the healthiest, and most powerful states in others…. Not only can this influence our meetings, it can influence how we think together, behave together, and influence together, whether we are in a meeting, or in any difficult conversation about to happen.


How can leaders activate trust?

Think back to the example at the beginning of this blog—the team member with the excellent idea who was afraid to speak up because of a boss that demonstrated power-over behaviors. In this example the impact of ‘judging others in the room’ resulted in an increase in cortisol, and the loss of a potentially golden idea. The authors have all had the opportunity to coach such leaders. We find that when they understand the basics of the brain and neurochemistry, and how to both down-regulate cortisol producing behaviors, and also up-regulate oxytocin producing behaviors, incredibly powerful and significant changes occur not just in one leader  – but also in whole teams and organizations!



Judith E. Glaser is CEO of Benchmark Communications, Chairman of the Creating WE Institute, Organizational Anthropologist, and consultant to Fortune 500 Companies and author of four best- selling business books, including Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results (Bibliomotion). Visit;; email or call 212-307-4386.

Marcia Ruben, Ph.D., PCC is the President of Ruben Consulting Group, a San Francisco Bay Area firm that specializes in executive leadership development. Dr. Ruben is also the Chair of the Management Department at Golden Gate University and teaches graduate level, practitioner based courses in leadership, team dynamics, management, and executive coaching. She was awarded the Russell T. Sharpe Professorship for 2016-2018 and is focusing her research on leadership and neuroscience.

Debra Pearce-McCall, Ph.D., LP, LMFT provides personal and organizational coaching that integrates mind, brain, and relating, and is a Senior Consultant for the Creating WE Institute. Dr. Pearce-McCall helped found the Global Association for Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB) Studies as well as the first graduate certificate program in this cutting-edge field at the intersection of psychology, neuroscience, and human systems; she focuses on IPNB applications for leadership and organizations, adult well-being, healthcare, and ethics.

Sandra Foster, Ph.D., PCC is a business coach and peak performance psychologist who works internationally with global organizations as well as US based technology and energy companies. She received her doctorate at Stanford University where she served on the regular and adjunct faculty. Since 2001, she has been a member of the senior faculty of the College of Executive Coaching.



Carter, C. S., Harris, J., & Porges, S. W. (2009). Neural and evolutionary perspectives on empathy. In J. Decety & W. Ickes (Eds.), The social neuroscience of empathy (pp. 169-182). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press
Diorio, D., Viau, V., & Meaney, M. J. (1993). The role of the mdial prefrontal cortex (cingulate gyrus) in the regulation of hypothalamic-pituatary-adrenal response. Journal of Neuroscience, 13(9), 3839-3847.
Goleman, D. (1995). Emotional intelligence: why it can matter more than IQ. New York: Bantam Books.
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Leveraging Social Media: Creating A Personal Brand

By Lea Woodford

Leveraging social media to create an effective personal brand.

Social Media Branding is one of the most effective and cost efficient ways to convey your message to the masses. Social Media Branding is available to everyone, unlike traditional marketing and PR services. You can now build your personal brand online without breaking the bank. You get to decide what you want to be known for and you get to control how people perceive you.


Here are some tips about building your personal brand with social media branding:


  • Brand consistently both on and offline. Be authentic and be the person you are representing online. Good news spreads fast but bad news spreads faster so walk your talk and always be authentic.
  • Have a strategy before embarking on social media branding and know what your goals are and what your end result should be.
  • Go beyond corporate branding. Social Media can be especially beneficial for realtors, financial planners, insurance agents and anyone else who is being overshadowed by their parent company or franchise’s corporate branding.
  • Social Media Kharma is powerful and can really help you build your personal brand. Endorse and praise others on social media by sharing their content and promoting their posts. This goes a long way in building your online relationships and endears people to want to support you in return. Kharma works both ways so avoid being negative on social media.
  • Connect with social media influencers in your industry and build genuine relationships with them. Your influencers are valuable people to know. They will connect you with other valuable people.
  • Remember that people are looking at your online connections. Being associated with your industry experts will enhance your personal brand.
  • Find your voice! Become a great resource and original content provider so that your ideas are noticed and shared. Sharing your original content ideas online not only enhances your search engine optimization but it also positions you as an industry expert.
  • Remember social media is social and meant to be just that so don’t turn off your followers with constant pitching and selling. A good rule of thumb is 80% social and 20% marketing.
  • Stay connected! Don’t build a following and then ignore them. Your personal brand needs to connect and engage with them on a regular basis.
  • Your attitude determines your altitude so keep your posts positive. Do not allow yourself to be drawn in to negative posts. Remember you have an audience that is engaged and is watching you so play nice!
  • Flexibility is important because social media changes frequently. As soon as you think you have everything down, Facebook will change their algorithms or another new social media platform is introduced
  • Educate yourself on the various social media platforms and how to use them. Start small and master those before adding too many to the mix. Consistency is the key to all successful social media branding and marketing campaigns.


Social media branding has evened the playing fields for everyone. You too can have a strong personal brand. Invest the resources necessary to developing and crafting your personal brand and message.

People always prefer to do business with those they know and trust so your social media branding is the perfect tool to connect with people and earn their trust.



Lea Woodford is the Chief Executive Officer and founder of the SmartFem Media Group, a full service digital marketing and advertising company.  When it comes to speaking, Lea is a breath of fresh air, focusing on leadership, innovation and change to drive business. Her inspirational stories and humor will engage audiences to start thinking bigger. Lea speaks from experience as she shares her stories on making her online magazine into a full service digital marketing and advertising company. She encourages her audience to think bigger and bolder about their own business. Lea motivates her audience in the same manner she motivates her team, “find your voice.” Lea shares her ups and downs as well as her successes and failures – to give your audience a fresh perspective on marketing, leadership, innovation and customer service. An online marketing, and social media expert, Lea shares the latest trends to help companies move to the next level in the ever changing digital space. Lea is an expert and a top speaker. She walks her talk. She will impart valuable information in a fun and entertaining way and will leave your audience wanting more.