Jason TreuJason Treu is an executive coach who works with corporate executives and seven figure entrepreneurs to help them maximize their leadership potential and execute their career blueprint. He’s the best-selling author of Social Wealth, a how-to-guide on building extraordinary business relationships. He was a featured speaker at TEDxWilmington 2017, where he debuted his breakthrough team-building game, Cards Against Mundanity. In this episode of In The Clear, Jason discusses how his business practices and coaching help others create a transparent work culture. He explains how it may not be easy, but it is essential in creating game-changing work dynamics.

Welcome to the In the Clear Podcast. My name is Justin Recla and I am your host today. And today we are going to be talking about the workplace. This is something, I think at some point and time whether you’re an entrepreneur or you’re an employee, that we all have dealt with and we continue to deal with on a daily basis and it’s something, from a transparent perspective, is super, super important to the success of any business. And today we actually have Jason Treu, who is an executive coach, who’s been doing this for the last seven or eight years and he helps businesses establish a transparent work culture within their business. Jason, thanks for joining us on the show today.

Hey, thanks for having on the show and speaking to your fantastic tribe.

Thank you so much. Well Jason, talk to me a little bit more about exactly what it is that you do as an executive coach.

Well, people come to me for external issues, meaning that they’ll have leadership challenge in an organization, they may have problems managing people, they many have some conflicts, poor communication. You know, culture that’s not on track or they’re second set of people that come to me that want to start a business. That have been successful and now have reached a point where they want to do something else. And underpinning it all usually is people are in some sort of career crisis. They don’t know what to do next and if they’re really following their purpose and so typically, they’re having some other challenges.

But the real problem, or 75% of it at least, is an internal problem. So part of what I do initially with people is more mini therapy, deep self inquiry, whatever you want to call it, to really look at what people are doing because that solves most of the problem. And if you just deal with external challenges, it’s like putting a band-aid on a broken arm. I mean, sure it’s going to help to some degree but it’s only incremental. You get exponential increases when you start looking at the inside and looking at all the patterns that aren’t serving you and the blind spots that are you holding you back because that’s where you get the most lift and get to the next level the quickest.

Absolutely agree. So give me an example of a company, by all means, you don’t need to name names. But give me an example of a company that you saw a problem like this and what was the solution.

Well, I mean I have a one client who is a very large company and they hand a chairman who was a founder, who still came into the business every day, and they had a CEO. Well, CEO really wasn’t the CEO because the chairman was their every day and he would acquiesce and talk to him and get decisions made. Well, that really made for poor organizational structure. But the challenge is, it’s not that the chairman wanted to go to work every day, it’s that he didn’t there was anything else for him to do. He felt like his life was over at that point, right? I mean, not in the sense where there’s nothing left, but there are little things to do.

So the only way to get out of that was a career issues, right? Like, what am I going to do and so I helped him see the fact that there were a lot of opportunities out there to be more of an active investor, so he didn’t have to go into a day to day and do the work. That there was exciting things that he could do and make a lot of money at it and meet a lot of great people that he would have never met before. Well, what happened then was he stopped coming into the office and the CEO became the CEO and then I had to help him through a whole other set of issues, but then the whole organization just lifted up and there was massive lift in the company and massive growth and they’ve done some incredible things since then. But that’s a problem where you have people that aren’t able to see beyond the four walls of the organization and they’re holding everyone back in the company and it usually starts at the top.

Yeah and that leadership aspect, you’re so spot on because it does bleed down into, you know, from the top down. It does bleed down into the employees and so forth in. It does have an effect on the company business as whole. And over time, if it’s not addressed, it ultimately builds up resentment in the workforce and starts affecting productivity in the employees. And more importantly, you start losing folks. They start going other places.

Right. And the issue comes is that when people have to deal with … when you’re dealing this situation, it was people that don’t have a lot is confident. Their past patterns or a lot of other stucks that come up that were the issue. And it’s also the issue of your CEO and you’re not been the CEO really, there’s confidence issues, there’s doing a lot of other things but then also have to be worked on. They’re not external things, they’re internal issues and that’s the thing that you have to deal with when working with people at that level. To get them results and behavioral changes fast, otherwise it’s either slow or the change is just really minor and it’s not something that they can leverage over time. They don’t learn new things and they can’t really get clarity on what’s going around them. They’ll just fix the immediate problem and that’s kind of if, just like I said before, like putting a band-aid on it when they really need to set their arm because it’s broke.

Yeah. I absolutely love this conversation. It’s something that Tony and I have both experienced and we’ve seen in our two businesses that we run and of course, and our eight year old who’s on who sixth business. And we have a saying that if you really, really want to grow yourself, become an entrepreneur and the challenges that you have to face on the internal struggle, the personal growth and so forth is huge. That doesn’t always translate over into business because of, you know, it’s job. It’s something that you do on an everyday basis and so I love the fact that you’re bringing the conversation to corporate sector, that, hey look, the internal struggles that you’re dealing with, like you said, it’s a broken arm. It’s not a band-aid situation here. Let’s address that. And so you’re bringing that gross stuff to corporate America and I absolutely love that.

Yeah, because the emotional … An example is that if you are emotionally detached as an individual because growing up you grow up with parents that were very standoffish and they weren’t very emotional with you and didn’t do a lot of stuff. What happens is, and the people that you manage or that are around you, don’t get that either, and then they feel like you’re not engaged and you don’t care and all that stuff causes problems. Well that’s an internal issue that you have to overcome and that you have to then lead with vulnerability. Unless you learn that and someone helps you, your ability to be successful with really be challenged and at some point you hit a ceiling. And that ceiling at some point, you’ll eventually hit a valley because that’s just where people go so I think people need to really realize that their biggest challenge going forth is their own blind spot. It’s not performance.

I think companies, that they only weigh too much on performance grading and not taking look at emotional intelligence, soft skills and everything else because those are the things, when you look at the research and data, separate out extraordinary people from people that are just very good.

Absolutely and I love the fact that you bring that up because it’s one of the things we see changing in business world, is that the companies that get that, the companies that understand that, feed that and make sure their employees have that need met and the results are absolutely amazing. And you see it across the board, where you get companies that you don’t a title, you can make up your title. Just little things that feed that emotional intelligence that affirms that aspect of humanity that’s, for so long been, removed from corporate America. So I love the fact that you’re actually talking about this with businesses out there because it’s huge. It’s really a game changer from the sense that when we get back to that connective-ness and diving into who we are and what makes us up, that it’s changes the entire face of business.

Yeah, because now they’re doing research and they’re showing that connection with other people is as critical as food, water, shelter, whatever the basic needs are. They’ve linked that connection, the literally, the connection of connectivity with other people to that level. So you need to build that in your organization and when you really take a look at what makes companies like Google like a number one work place, it’s that. People tend to look at the perks and everything else because that’s what people highlight because it seems sexy, but that’s really not what’s it. It’s that the engineers can spend 25% of their time working on stuff outside their own job and it’s okay. So then, they can actually be creative and they can harvest their creativity instead of having to stifle it and just do a job because they have to do it.

And then that makes them happier and they look around and they say where else can I work that I can get this. Nowhere. And even if someone offered me more money, significantly more, I know I wouldn’t be happy and then I wouldn’t have chance to discover and do anything, so why would I ever go anywhere else. And that’s the secret that goes on that people miss when you research and talk to people who there, been there for a long time and other similar organizations, the difference. And it’s the connectivity with the people.

In fact, when I was doing research for my TED Talk, the number one factor, the only factor that they could across every single team that they looked at, and they spend three years, and I don’t, spent three or four million dollars and hired researchers to basically build the perfect team at Google. Like what would be characteristics and what would make it up? Would it be IQ? Would it be finding genius engineers, even the company in all engineers, but is it technical people? What is it?

Well the number one thing they found out, and the only thing was psychological safety. And psychological safety is basically a fancy word for vulnerability in a sense that people on these teams new each other in a personal way and what was going on in and what went on. They were able to ask controversial questions in the group to challenge anyone’s ideas and they were just able to ask questions without people getting snarky or getting mad or upset about what was going. And that was it. And they discovered it because one of the researchers came across a team where the manager told the rest of the team he had cancer and he didn’t know if he was going to make it or not. And they saw the teams performance climb and then they figured out that was it.

So really, when you look at it, it’s not some fancy ping pong table. It’s actually spending time getting to know people and their experiences. Where they’ve been and what they’ve done. Their highs and their lows. And then basically, you can recreate what they’ve done in that company without spending almost any money to do it.

Absolutely love it. Absolutely love it. And if you’re just joining, we’re talking to Jason Treu. He’s an executive coach and we’re talking about the transparent work culture. Jason, can you share with the listeners where they can find more information about you.

Sure. You can go to website. It’s JasonTreu.com.

Fantastic. And when we get back from the break, I want to explore you’re TED X Talk a little bit further and talk about your game, Cards against Mundanity. So stay with us, we’ll be right back.

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