Bill Ringle On How To Approach Leadership And Communication Better
Communication is a powerful tool; effective leadership is knowing how to use the different channels to connect with your team better. Joining Tony Martignetti today is Bill Ringle, the CEO and Chief Growth Officer of LearnWell, and the host of My Quest for the Best podcast. Bill has worked with several leaders and founders with a mission to transform leaders and their teams to unlock the growth potential of their business. In this episode, Bill highlights the value and importance of using written communication in the workplace, given the circumstances surrounding remote and virtual work. He discusses the emergence of emotional flatness, the dangers of burnout, and ways leaders can mitigate such phenomena in their organizations. Don't miss the insights from this episode and tune in as Bill also shares the flash points in his life that helped carve the path he's on today.
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Bill Ringle On How To Approach Leadership And Communication Better
It is my honor to introduce you to my guest, Bill Ringle. Bill works with senior managers who want to lead high-performance teams in high-tech companies across North America. As a chair of an Angel investment group, Bill has worked with over 200 founders of SaaS, energy and IT companies to secure more than $200 million in funding. He is the former Apple manager for worldwide training, the author of four books, and the developer of dozens of online and hybrid programs.
He's the host and executive producer of My Quest for the Best, the podcast for ambitious and small business leaders. It is a top business podcast on Apple iTunes. He interviews expert guests with relevant published books like Daniel Pink, Barbara Corcoran, Jeff Haden, Sam Horn, Dorie Clark, Harvey Mackay, and hundreds of others as they share each week.
You can find his work in Forbes, Inc Magazine, Harvard Business Review, and LinkedIn online, as well as in many other business magazines and newspapers. When he's not educating and inspiring business leaders, Bill can be found watching or playing tennis, visiting beautiful spots with terrible internet connectivity around the world, and hiking mountains, which is something I'm passionate about. Bill, it is truly an honor to have you on the show. Welcome.
It's great to be with you, Tony.
This fire has now been kindled. It has been sparked and we're ready to get this party started. We're going to have a lot of fun uncovering your journey to getting to where you are making such a big impact in the world. Reading through your bio, there's so much you are doing. I'm looking forward to it.
As am I.
The way we work on the show is we like to share your story through what we called flashpoints, the points in your journey that have ignited your gifts into the world. I'm going to turn it over to you in a moment to walk us through the journey of those flashpoints that have made you who you are now. Start wherever you like and share what you're called to share. With that, I'm going to turn it over to you.
Let me share three to get things kicked off. I know how this goes because I'm a follower of the show. I love when your episodes come out. I'm going to go back to something that, when I look back, epitomizes my journey and where I've found that I can contribute to things. What I found out when I was in high school is that I belong to a lot of different groups. I wasn't just in one clique. I was part of the athletes, the honor students and the real nerdy guys. I was the president of Math Club and Computer Club and all of these things. I found out that the teacher who taught us Geometry and Pre-Calc, her name was Mrs. Schaffer, was eligible to retire the year that we were juniors.
That year, I overheard her say, "I'm going to stay one more year because I want to see that class graduate." It was my class. I thought to myself, "She's going to work a year beyond retirement." Here's a side story. Why did I overhear stuff like that? This gives you a picture of who I was in high school. I would get to school early, and people would be gathering around the hallways looking for extra help. My first class was outside the Math office. I heard people asking questions that I could answer. I suddenly started helping them in the Math office. That became a routine thing. I would go in and hold office hours and help solve the Math questions of kids in other classes and my classes. They even gave me a little desk. It was funny, but that was me. I love to help people like that.
When I heard Mrs. Schaffer was going to stay another year, I said, "We've got to do something and surprise her." I brainstormed with my little posse at the lunch table and said, "We're going to hold a surprise party, thanking her for being our teacher for two years, and showing her how much we appreciate her." It started to snowball into things. At first, it was, "Let's have a nice party and get a card," and then I said, "What about a surprise party?" That's much more difficult to pull off. It was a surprise party with a card.
I would find times to step up to go for a bathroom break and bring the card to other classrooms. I had prearranged with the teachers, saying, "I'm going to bring a card to Mrs. Schaffer. Keep it secret and let kids in our class sign it." We had over 100 signatures with me making these little trips out for a couple of weeks during classes. When it came time for the party, we had to figure a way to get her to Kathy's house, which is a colleague of mine. Kathy's parents invited her. We also had to have Mr. Schaffer, her husband, in cahoots with us. It was this big surprise party. She was surprised by it and delighted. It was something I like pulling off and organizing. It's something that I found I was good at doing.
You have to figure out how you're going to challenge yourself because your job is not to do your job. Your job is to add value.
When I got to college, I took this leadership course in my first year. It was with a fellow, Matt Weinstein, who I'm still in touch with, many years after college. It was a real turning point because when he was talking about leadership, I was like, "I am so with you." His definition of leadership is thinking well about people in a group. It's not thinking about how to get the objective accomplished in the most resource-efficient way possible but thinking well about the people in the group. It's part of the experience as you accomplish great things.
I went to RPI, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, because people in Boston are looking at MIT or Caltech or RPI. If you don't care about the beautiful weather in California, then it's down to MIT and RPI. RPI resonated with me. I got there and realized that as good as I was at high school in Math and Computer Science, there are people who are way better than me at RPI. I was able to get things done well within the period with programming. There are people walking out of the assignment lecture with it half coded out. I'm like, "That's a whole lot of levels beyond."
I realized that I was never going to be that good at programming. One thing that I could do was bring people together. I could bring smart and talented people together and help them understand what the purpose was and how they can contribute to these projects. I was able to do a lot of projects. These are both academic and unrelated to academic endeavors like UPAC, the performing arts group. We would get things together and we would organize movies, concerts, and stuff like that. It was a lot of fun activities.
I always felt like this is my chance to contribute, and everyone let me. I came in and I had this whole idea. I would share it. I would say, "This is what you're doing. You have to make sure this has been done before this happens." It was always there. I thought everyone could do it and they were just being nice. It turns out they let me because it was a lot of work.
It's funny when you think about how you can shine in a place where everyone seems to shine as they are all bright. You could experiment or think differently about who you are. It's great to be challenged in that way and say, "Maybe I have a different way of adding value to the picture." It starts with having a passion for maybe engineering, but then seeing beyond that and saying, "Maybe it's not just engineering but also bringing a culture of collaboration of engineers together." That's okay.
It's better than okay. It's a lot of fun. What you end up with is much stronger than any one person's contributions.
I don't want to cut you off. I just want to say that I love what you have shared so far.
It is bringing people together. One thing that I would pivot off of what you said is you can't wait for someone to challenge you, especially these days. You've got to say, "How can I challenge myself? How are things right now? How can they be better?" I don't care about the size of the organization. I have worked with companies that were startups with a handful of people. I've worked with large companies like DuPont. For anyone who is a senior leader in an organization, you have to figure out how you're going to challenge yourself because your job is not to do your job. Your job is to add value.
When you understand that and take responsibility for it, you realize that even if you've had a great mentor, no one may be there in your life fulfilling that role. How can you give back? How can you find ways to make it a better environment for people? People should start looking at how to challenge themselves, take responsibility for their whole experience, and use the definition of leadership, which leadership isn't a title but thinking well about everyone in the group. If people can take that away from our conversation, we've done a great service by being able to share those pieces.
I can't talk about flashpoints without talking about two more. One is I found my wife at RPI. She was a freshman and I was a sophomore. Here's another little Bill's story. I would relax during finals weeks. I would get prepped and prepared and ready for it. Everything was a complete mess around me. The room would be a complete disaster with clothes all over the place, books, notes and stuff. I would boil every class down to a one-page summary. I would be able to get it front and back, or sometimes just the front of a sheet of paper. That exercise was so useful to me. I felt like I didn't have to worry about classes and I did pretty well on finals. That was fine. I would relax and hang out in between exams.
I would have two exams on Wednesday, one on Friday, and one on Monday. After a Friday exam I had in the morning, in the afternoon, I was walking around and visiting friends' houses who I knew were also in a similar state of complete chaos in their apartments or dorm room. I would hang out and do two things. I would ask them, "What are you studying? How does that work? What are the key ideas? Show me how the problem works." I lead them through the exercises to help them be better at studying. I thought there was a way that everyone studies, but it was an effective way to do it, summarize and teach someone.
The other thing I would do is if they say, "I'm so busy. I don't have time," I’m like, "Let me come up. I'll clean your kitchen." I will do their dishes. It was a way I relax, by doing things. I was doing that and I also had baked-chocolate chip cookies. I had a big container of chocolate chip cookies. On the way back, I stopped at a friend's dorm room and she wasn't there. As I was knocking, I saw this cute freshman down the hall. I went up to her and said, "Would you like a chocolate chip cookie?" She said, "That was pretty bold of you." When I went to my other friend's houses, they knew me. When I was walking around with this, I had on a cape. It was humiliating but I said, "I'm going to put that aside,” and I walked up to her as if it was the natural thing to do, “Would you like a delicious chocolate cookie?"
History favors the bold. You have to be out there and do things that are going to challenge you. I love this story because it's not one you often hear. People shy away from standing out because they fear rejection or the oddness of like, "Why would someone want to do that? Why would someone want to help me? They must have some other ulterior motive to this." The reality is when you put yourself out there, two things happen.
First of all, you learn from that experience. You learn how other people are going through their challenges. You're learning how they learn. You're also helping them to see that doing this can extend and build relationships. They might want to do the same thing for other people. I love what you shared. I can imagine how you started to go out into the world after college and created more of this. Tell me. What happens next?
Even though I graduated with a ComSci degree, I also had a dual minor in Organizational Psychology and Literature. I had a lot of interests. I love bringing people together. The job offers I got didn't appeal to me because I was sitting in front of a computer and working all day. I wanted to be in front of people. I found a way to get a teaching job. I taught Math and computers. I was pretty good at it. I got a Columbia University Teacher of the Year Award. That was a big deal. I liked that. I went from there to college teaching and college administration.
I was at Drexel when they started their first Macintosh program where every student coming in got a Mac. That was revolutionary like you're going to have a computer going to school. From there, Apple hired me. I rose from the ranks as a Senior Technical Trainer to the Internet Program Manager for Worldwide Training. I got to see a lot of the world. I got to help a lot of people. I was going strong and doing great at my job.
You have to be clear on what your role is as the founder of a company. The three components of clinical burnout are exhaustion, disengagement, and cynicism.
At the time, Apple wasn't doing well financially. It was right before Steve Jobs came in. As Steve Jobs came in, all of the activities I was building with small businesses, K through 12, higher education, and even some enterprise work, were scrapped. I was like, "I'm going to lose my job," which I did. I didn't lose the connections, but I was afraid of losing those connections at the time. I realized it was for the good of the company. They needed to focus on their core customers, which were creatives and individuals working in the business.
It was consumer and creative. Those were the two Cs. It was the standard and proline. That was Jobs' 2x2 matrix. I cheered them on even though I wasn't presenting at Macworld that year, which I did in Boston, as well as San Francisco. That was fun. I then went from there. I was always being asked to do things on the side when I was working at Drexel. I ramped up more of that work. I ramped up that into a consulting business.
That's interesting insight there because, first of all, this is a big disruption for you. Anytime you lose a job, especially at a place where you start to see potentially a big future, then you see it disrupted. It can be disheartening and have you questioning, "Where do I go from here?" One of the big pluses is when you start to build a portfolio or think about ways that you can do things outside of your normal stream, it can buffer the challenge you had. Something that a lot of people nowadays start to value is this idea of, "What else can I latch onto that could be a pivot in terms of if the direction of my main line goes sour or falls flat?"
You mentioned a phrase that I picked up where you said I disrupted myself. Let me be very clear, I did not choose that state. However, I'm familiar with Whitney Johnson's work. I'm a big fan. I've had her on my podcast a couple of times talking about her two books. I liked the Disrupt Yourself model and philosophy. I didn't know about Clay Christensen's S Curve or Whitney Johnson's work at that point, but what I realized that I did then is as soon as something happens that I don't like, no matter what happens, I'm always there saying, "How can this serve me? How can I benefit from this? I don't have any choices as to how that turned out. How can we make something out of it?” That's the lemons into lemonade philosophy.
It's easier said now that you've learned from these lessons. I'm sure it was a gut punch at the time.
I remember our manager, who was still working at Apple, calling two weeks later. She was like, "I'm just calling to check in." I'm like, "Okay." It was not at all cordial to her. I regret that little bit of discourteousness, but I didn't understand the purpose of it. I felt like there was nothing she could do for me. It’s like, "We're thinking of you. I wish you were here. I hope things are going well." I didn't understand how to connect with that. I wish I had the skills to connect with that at that point.
We're in different times now. When you think about how far we've come in the way of dealing with offloading people and bringing people on board, we've become more emotionally intelligent in dealing with that experience.
My experience working with companies is that even if we're not more skilled in it, we're more aware of how far or short we're falling. It creates the impetus to say, "How can we get better at onboarding and offboarding in this virtual world?" There are a lot of people who are dealing with this now and are thinking, "If we're not going to be having an office or having offices regularly, how do we make an experience that either replicates or even improves upon the experience when we're not meeting face to face on a regular basis?"
Tell me now what happens. Did you go back to Drexel and did some work with them or did some consulting with them?
After Apple, I started my own business. That was the launch of one of a handful of different businesses that I have run. We went right into web and database development right around 1999. We weren't doing the simple databases that are 5 or 6 web pages. We were doing the backend databases where we would create separate internets. I like to do challenging things. I'm not interested in doing things that are cookie cutter. We were doing some cool work with that. We are doing six-figure projects with web pages and databases that saved companies even more money than that because of the work that was involved.
One example was we created a private intranet that contractors could log into and get engineering specs. Whereas the process before was they would fax a request, then they would get a fax confirmation within four days, and it would be shipped to them. Meanwhile, they're saying, "I see a smudge here. Is it 66 inches or 6.6 inches?" Everything is on hold in that area until you get the spec, blueprint or one thing or another. They were waiting for it. I said, "Let's send them PDFs." They said, "We can't do that because we can't let everyone have it." I said, "We could create a login so that they can only see the things they're allowed to have, and everybody is set up." "You could do that?"
It's truly amazing now how far we've come. It's like this is second nature. Back in those days, that was something that was like magic being able to do that. I love that you say, "Let's take on a challenge." I'm sure that at times, there were projects that you're like, "We don't know how to do that, but we'll take it on anyways."
It's as long as I knew I could get to a good outcome. You didn't have to know every single step and every line of code along the way, but we would know that we could do that. For instance, I developed the first online application for college applications. I was working with dozens and dozens of companies. I sold that little piece off. I didn't sell it to the right people, but we had something because my pitch was to have an online application before your competitor finishes conducting their meeting about whether to have an online application. It was straightforward. You upload your name and school logo. Five years before it came to be, I essentially had created the common application. It’s all of the common questions you would have to answer to apply to a college or a university.
You got right to the point of what I was going to ask next, which is the big missteps in your journey. You immerse yourself in the entrepreneurial endeavors of starting companies. These are not for the faint of heart. What were the biggest missteps that you would want to share?
One of the big missteps is you have to be clear on what your role is as the founder of a company. I say this a lot to new founders. I say, "How are you going to build out your engineering department? What's your vision for that?" They said, "I thought I was going to do it." No. If you're going to be the founder or CEO, that's a different role. You can't be doing more than one role full-time. I tried to do that.
I was one of those people who were working 6 or 7, 8 or 10. We were working 6 or 7 days, 8 to 10 hours a day. This was before I learned a lot about managing, but I remember working one time knowing that I had a presentation the next day to a big client. Everyone had gone home. I had dinner and checked at 7:00. I said, "I better review that work,” because I know that my client gets up early. I found out that there were significant misunderstandings and gaps in the work. I had to do it myself. I was there and I was finished at 4:23 in the morning. I closed my computer. I may have drank some water. I got in the car and drove home 2 miles away.
You matter, your work matters, your contributions matter. Be sure to reflect it to yourself and others in your conversations.
When I got home, I looked at my email before I went to bed. My client said, "Before my run, I was all excited about our meeting. I decided to check and everything looks great." I'm glad I made that decision but it was something that should never happen. You shouldn't pride yourself early on being able to be the one to save the day. You should build systems, accountability, and delegate responsibly. If you do that, you could build a scalable organization rather than one that is based on your ability to solve problems.
I love what you shared because there's something about that. First of all, I had this cringe moment when you tried to describe this because I've been there before. What's worse is when you start to continue to do that over and over again and feel like, "I'm the martyr who's going to save the day," you can't sustain that over time. Maybe one time you would do that because there's one quirky thing that happened, but if that becomes your status quo, that is a surefire way to burnout land.
It's self-inflicted. It's also understandable. Let me take a step back as if we're having a coaching conversation. People get into this and it's a physiological addiction to adrenaline. If you're reading this and saying, "I could come through. I could save the day. I'm that guy or that woman. All rests on my shoulders. The buck rests here," I understand how you got there, and there are better ways of doing it. What you're doing now is not going to be good for you, your team or the company long-term.
I like what you said because there's an element where it is almost like an addiction to saving the day that feels good at the moment, and then you say, "I want to do more of that," because people celebrate you and you get kudos for that. The reality is that's not something that sustains. At some point, you start to feel burnout. Not just a burnout like burnout, but you feel as though you can't be yourself anymore.
Burnout has three components to it. I was talking to somebody at a tennis group that I got together. They were describing things. First of all, there are three components of real burnout, which is clinical burnout. It's when you feel exhaustion. Many people "That's it. I'm exhausted. I must be burned out." That's one aspect of it. What we're seeing is the other two levels become more and more prevalent. This is through my own conversations with senior managers, founders and CEOs, as well as reading research, talking with a lot of peers, and on shows like you. You run across a lot of people sharing their stories.
One fellow was telling me, and he was so proud to say, "We now spend five minutes of every meeting checking in with each other and talking." I say, "That's great. How does that work?" He says, "People are doing it. It's getting that connection going, and that's going to prevent burnout," but there are two other aspects. It's not just being exhausted. It’s when you wake up and rather than feeling, "I can't wait to get started with the day," you think, "I would rather be anywhere else. I would rather not be sitting at my desk. I would rather not be doing that. I'm not looking forward to that client call. I don't care about my favorite tools anymore." It sounds so weird to hear yourself say that. That's a symptom of burnout.
You have the exhaustion and disengagement, and then you have what people often mischaracterize or misattribute, which is cynicism. It's when somebody says, "It's going to take some extra effort if we're going to take this client on because they're going to be very demanding," somebody in the meeting makes a joke and says, "Good luck finding someone willing to put in the extra effort." It's that cynicism and that barbed comment that is a sign of burnout. That person is saying, "This whole environment sucks. I'm going to let everybody know that I'm suffering."
That is something that needs to be addressed as a separate issue to bring these people back. If you can recognize it when one person is starting to do it, that's great. You can start to lead them through certain processes and conversations to help them get back. When you suddenly realize that all your direct reports are exhibiting one or more of these symptoms, you got problems. You got a real problem on your hands. You need outside support to do that. When I was in business and had missteps, I said, "I can't find anyone to answer these questions. I'm going to find the answers so that if someone is in my shoes at some point down the road, at least they'll have one person they could contact.”
I'll help people. If you connect with me and say, "We would love to have a chat," I will have fifteen-minute networking chats during the week. I would love to help people. It's not to help you sell something. It's to help you because I care that you reached out. I want to see things improve. If I could help you in fifteen minutes and I would love to do that.
It connects back to that person we were talking to, which is the person who wants to help people get their things done, coming back to that high school Bill. I love hearing that things come full circle.
I'm sure you can relate to this too. I want to help you get something. It's not a transactional thing. It does make me feel good to help others. When somebody says, "Tony, you're an expert in all these areas. Can we trouble you to work with our team?" You're like, "I'm getting on a plane. I'm coming down there. I'll see you tomorrow. I can help you." You get so excited about that.
There's something about the energy that starts driving up. You can hear it in conversations when you get on the phone with somebody and start to lose yourself in the conversation. You're like, "What was I talking about?" You know that you lose yourself in these conversations. Look for those clues. You know this, but for the people here, when you find yourself energized by the conversation, that's a clue that you're onto something meant for you.
For all the other people who were gathered around the show now, what's missing the most in organizational conversations these days of businesses of all sizes is emotional flatness. It's this gray area. We're not in the office where would normally high-five each other and say, "How is this?" We could give honest feedback because you get it not just in words but also in the tonality and the facial expression.
Someone would say, "That is remarkable. What an elegant solution." You could feel that elevated respect and admiration for the work you did, or you hand something in and somebody says, "Did we have the same conversation? Are we even in the same room?" You could hear that this was not up to par. It's misinterpreted or misunderstood what the requirements were.
People are being entirely too careful and constrained in their conversations. It's leading to the sense of, "Does anyone care? Does it matter that I'm here?" I want everyone reading this to know that you matter, your work matters, and your contributions matter, so be sure to reflect it to yourself and others in your conversations.
That's so powerful and a great message. What came to mind when you started to go down this path is when you submit a piece of work by email, and then this email gets back and says, "Thanks. Got it." It's like, "Does that mean that you like it? Is it good? What do I do with that?" It means nothing because the communication is just words. There's no emotion to it. There's nothing that tells you I did good, bad or otherwise. It could be a very sarcastic thanks. Who knows? We have to get past that and get into how we communicate more emotion in a way that helps people. We can talk about this all day.
Written communication is so powerful.
I know that the people who are reading this are sophisticated. If anyone says to you, "We've got to gather because this is impossible to do through the written word or even through video conference," let me push back on that and say, "Baloney." You could do it, but you can't do it the way that you have been doing it. You can't just reply with one word and say that written communication doesn't work. Written communication is so powerful. We have books and transcripts. The written word is wonderful. This spoken word is wonderful to listen to. We just have to get better at using these instruments and channels of communication.
It's the thoughtfulness that has to go into it. That's so important. It's funny, even thinking about how we've lost the connection with writing letters. I can't remember the last time I got a written note from somebody, but when I did, I was like, "This person took the time to write a letter and put it in the mail. That's insane." It's such a powerful thing when you do that because it stands out. It communicates the effort that you're willing to put in to thank somebody in that manner. It's so powerful.
Let me underscore. It's not just that they said, "This means so much." They showed it through actions, not just words.
This is great. Before we get into the last few questions, here's one question I'm dying to ask. When you think about the work you're doing now, what are the things that are top of mind for you? What are the things that you're dealing with these days with clients that resonate with you?
First of all, let me tell you who my avatar is, and then you'll have a better context for understanding my work. Bruce is one of my avatars. Bruce is a conglomerate of a lot of important characteristics of ideal clients I've worked with and ones that I anticipate working with. Bruce has run at least 2 or 3 businesses. He has a variety of brands that he's working with within his companies. He's not in his 20s or 30s. He's in his 40s, 50s or 60s. He's someone who likes to work hard and relax hard. What I mean by relax hard is he likes to get out on his top-of-the-line Kawasaki jetski or his Harley Davidson motorcycle, ride for eight hours, bring friends, and have a great time.
When he's in business, he likes to look not just at what's going on that day, but he likes to look out and say, "What are the opportunities out there? Where can we take this wonderful company and this collection of talented hardworking people? How do we take it to the next level?" That's where I come into the conversation. My approach is I deal with coaching organizations differently than almost anyone out there. I work to coach teams. I work with the senior leaders and their direct reports within a team. I say, "I want everyone to be able to talk about this set of tools. I want everyone to develop these proficiencies so that when we're talking about how a project is progressing, you have a common understanding of what that means."
Your language is more precise. When you're connecting with each other, everyone is going to understand what it means by the frame frame, which is one of the things that I talk about. Everyone is going to understand some of this inside lingo so that you can have a quick way of communicating with each other. You could convey not just the update or the status but also emotion with it. We are emotional social creatures that love to connect with each other and accomplish things.
In spite of the myth, nobody loves to be paid to do nothing. That's dreadful. It's something that none of my clients or friends can relate to, but there's still this myth out there that some people think it’s ideal and they have taken advantage of it during the pandemic, which is ridiculous. You're always going to be found out. The work that excites me is being able to work with teams to transform them from being scattered, anxious and overwhelmed into admired leaders who could grow and scale their companies. I do it within three months. I install these tools, coach them on it, and then give them challenges along the way.
Remember what I said that there's no one there and you have to start giving yourself challenges unless you bring Bill in. I'm there to give you challenges. This comes from my sports coaching background. I've coached NCAA tennis. I've gone to the majors. I've gone to the US Open 30-something times, the Australian Open, many of the ATP 100 and Wimbledon. I haven't gotten to the French Open. It's low on my list. I've coached at the college level and at the top national level with juniors. I know what building a progression looks like in a sports way so that you're producing observable results.
If I say to someone, "Let's work with changing your contact point or with striking your ground strokes,” if you do what I say, you'll be able to stay in rallies longer and hit the ball deeper. That's observable. Before you're hitting just past the service line. Now, you're within 2 feet of the baseline, and that has all other benefits. I do the same thing with my management coaching and training programs. I say, "This is going to lead to observable benefits for you and your team." I want you to expand the range of your tonality when you greet people. Don't just say, "Hi." Say, "How is it going? What's going on?" or whatever way is appropriate for you.
You demonstrated exactly what we're talking about. When you find yourself in that place of speaking to the things that light you up, impassion you, and get you going, it's very transparent. You can feel the energy. You're going to do the work that you're meant to be doing.
That's funny because I know that you're a straight shooter. You don't say things unless you mean them. You've got the experience where that makes a difference.
Thank you so much. I agree with you on that. We're going to move into our last question of the day, which is one I ask of everybody. What are 1 or 2 books that have had an impact on you and why?
I'm going to name two. I've met both authors and that helps. It goes back to I have made a connection with both authors. I met Stephen Covey. He was giving a presentation at the National Speakers Association. I was the youngest president of the National Speakers Association Chapter in Philadelphia. I just published my first book. It was a part of a series. I got to hear Stephen Covey speak, and I was crestfallen. I loved his book and thought to myself, "This is so important. I've got to learn this and be able to teach to people because his speaking style was not engaging." It was such a great example. I met him and thanked him for his work.
Everybody knows that what he did was synthesize and summarize important research. He didn't come up with, "Begin with the end in mind," but he codified it and gave nice support for that. That was important because I don't just read books. I’m probably like you, I do books. If they say, "Think of three things," I write down twelve things. I'm the guy in third grade who when the teacher said, "Do the odd-numbered math problems in your workbook," I'll say, "What about the even problems? I'll do both. Maybe she's going to ask and see who did it. I got to be ready."
The other book is Unlimited Power. Tony Robbins is such an inspiration to me. He put it all in his book. When I read Unlimited Power, I started using those techniques right away. I started helping people. For someone who has a drive and natural inclination like I do, given this vast and well-detailed toolkit that Unlimited Power is, I was in heaven. It was terrific. I was kicking around and doing things from that book with everyone who would stop and let me do those techniques on them.
Both those books have been around for a long time. They're both classics. They come from two angles that are powerful. Those are great foundational pieces. I love what you shared. It is true. You can't take a book and be like, "That was great." If you dive deeper into it and do a book, you can use those tools to bring them to life and put them into action. That was powerful. I love that you shared those. I don't even know where to begin. This was a great and very insightful conversation. I'm so grateful. Thank you so much for coming to the show.
Tony, believe it when I say it has been a huge pleasure for me to join you. I love that you know the books and understand the foundational principles of coaching, leadership, and effective communications. You gather this audience around the virtual fireplace, share ideas, and bring them out from your host. It was such a delightful experience for me. Thank you so much for inviting me. I love to come back anytime.
Before I let you go, I've got to ask this. Where is the best place for people to find out more about you? You've got your four books. You can find those on Amazon. Where is the best place to get in touch?
I'll give you three options. One is social media. I'm on LinkedIn and Twitter primarily. Connect and follow me there. Second, you can get a little dose of my insight and conversations. If you like this, follow along with My Quest for the Best. It's a podcast. Every week, I’m speaking with interesting people and releasing episodes.
I started doing something new, Tony. I started doing booster episodes. After each episode, I then record a little bit more, a story we didn't get to, an additional insight, and some techniques from my private programs. It's a little added value for the audience. The third way to connect is to go to GrowBusinessNow.com/VirtualCampfire. There, I have some special treats for you from my delegation bundle for the audience of Tony's show.
Thank you so much. I appreciate that. I'm looking forward to sharing all of us with the people on the show. Thank you, everyone, for coming on the journey. This has been truly a great conversation. Bill, you're full of great insights and energy. Thank you.
It's such a pleasure. Thanks, Tony.
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About Bill Ringle
Working with high-tech CEOs to transform their overwhelmed managers into admired leaders in 90 days with a unique, guaranteed, evidenced-based approach. Host of My Quest for the Best, a top 50 business podcast.
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