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Called to Coach
Investing in and Developing People Leaders at Vibrant
Called to Coach

Investing in and Developing People Leaders at Vibrant

Webcast Details

  • How is Vibrant Credit Union investing in and developing its managers?
  • What roles do CliftonStrengths and employee engagement play in this investment?
  • How does greater authenticity help both teams and managers, and how can strengths empower this?

90,000 hours -- that's about how long the average worker spends in the workplace over a 40-year career. If they are to be engaged, these workers need managers who can authentically lead them. Their managers can do this because their companies have invested in their development, and they know and can apply their CliftonStrengths. Learn how Vibrant Credit Union is investing in its managers and the difference that is making, from Vibrant's Senior Vice President of Culture and Leadership Development, Jon Sexton, and three Vibrant leaders -- Jennie Powless, Lola Williams and Jane Evans.

Gallup Called to Coach Webcast Series -- Season 9, Episode 56.

Below is a full transcript of the conversation, including time stamps. Full audio and video are posted above.

I think you got to look at the cost of what it looks like to not invest in your leaders.

Jon Sexton, 8:41

I always thought I was a good manager. ... But the strengths-based management and leadership has completely changed the way I truly manage a team of people.

Jennie Powless, 14:54

Our goal is to be a top-performing organization in Gallup's Q12 assessment. But we want to, again, do that and make it real.

Jon Sexton, 49:27

Jim Collison 0:00
I am Jim Collison, and this is Gallup's Called to Coach, recorded on November 10, 2021.

Meet the First of Our Guests on This Episode

Jim Collison 0:19
Called to Coach is a resource for those who want to help others discover and use their strengths. We have Gallup experts and independent strengths coaches share tactics, insights and strategies to help coaches maximize the talent of individuals, teams and organizations around the world. If you're listening live, we do have a live chat room. There's a link right above me on the live page there. Love to have you log in with your Google account and join us in chat. If you have questions after the fact -- maybe you're listening to the recorded version or on the podcast -- you can send us an email: Don't forget to subscribe on your favorite podcast app. You can find us by searching "Called to Coach." And you can find us anywhere on social media just by searching "CliftonStrengths." Jon Sexton is a Senior VP of Culture and Leadership Development at Vibrant Credit Union. One of his primary focuses includes developing and facilitating Vibrant's leadership development programs, which we'll spend a whole bunch of time talking about today. As a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Jon regularly facilitates initiatives to reinforce Vibrant's strengths-based culture. Jon, 2 years ago, we had you on. Welcome back!

Jon Sexton 1:22
It's good to be here. Thanks for having us, Jim.

Jim Collison 1:23
Jon, your Top 5: Includer, Positivity, Woo (which is the best theme), Communication and, and Strategic. How are, how's that working for you these, post-COVID, how's that working out for you?

Jon Sexton 1:38
You know, it's funny, when -- well, I probably shouldn't use the term "funny" when I think about the pandemic, but at the beginning, you know, kind of that initial lockdown, everybody's in their houses, I remember having this recollection, as somebody with Woo that talks to anybody within 25 yards or 30 meters or what have you. You get in my proximity, I'm probably chirping at you. I remember sitting in the house and watching our animals and thinking, "I understand now why animals just stare out the window. Because if a neighbor walked by, I'd poke my head out like, 'Hey, how you doing?' Because I miss your face."

Jim Collison 2:13
Yeah, I, actually for me, it was a reverse. I kind of, I have Relator high too, coming at 9, and I actually kind of enjoyed taking a step back from that crazy Wooness at times and getting to know people on a one-on-one basis. You and I talked a few times during that. Catch us up a little bit. Two years ago, we, we came, on met with some of your team, spent some time talking about it. Give us a little catch-up as we, as we get to, both on your end and what's going on there at Vibrant.

How Vibrant Is Investing in and Developing Its Managers

Jon Sexton 2:43
Yeah, so just our, our Gallup partnership probably started -- not probably; it started back in 2015. I became a Certified Coach in early '16. And ever since then, we've been thinking about different ways to implement strengths, the Q12 and other Gallup resources into our organization. And it's just a constant journey. So Jim, when you and I talked a couple years ago, we talked with one of our managers, one of our Vice Presidents. And at that time, we were really focusing on kind of this individualized approach to leadership development, because we were in the midst of this coaching program where every quarter, we were meeting with all of our managers, Vice Presidents, executives, and I was supporting them with just coaching around strengths; with thinking about the engagement of their team, and what that looked like in the big-picture perspective. And since that time, we've continued to do some coaching.

Jon Sexton 3:32
But as we looked at the organization, at Vibrant, one of the things that we talk a lot about is culture. And we talk about the Vibrant culture. And as, just in some strategic conversations, we really started to drill into this idea that you can have an overarching culture, but in reality, there are all these microcultures, all these subcultures that exist, and what is the primary driver of that, right? It's the manager or it's the leader of that unit, because how they choose to reinforce our core values or who we are as an organization, or as they kind of reinforce some of those elements that we were driving, what they chose to do, it was really the, the culture that that team would experience. And I mean, the last time we were, we were at person at a summit, you know, this book was distributed, and I thought, "How cool to get a free resource!" And I started flipping through there right away, and had already read some of the, the reports that this book is based off of.

Jim Collison 4:28
That book is It's the Manager, for those listening to the audio.

Jon Sexton 4:31
Absolutely. Sorry about that. So yeah, It's the Manager. Gosh, just a tremendous resource. And, you know, one of the key things in there is this idea that 70% of the variance in employee engagement is directly attributable to any individual's leader. Right. So for us as an organization, and for any organization, we started to think, gosh, we have to think about not only, How are we investing in the development of our existing leaders, but how are we developing and providing growth opportunities for, for our high-potential employees that we anticipated may become people leaders at some point in the future?

Jim Collison 5:04
Jon, we've been saying that for a couple years. You've gone on the journey -- It's the Manager journey -- with us. But that puts a lot of pressure on managers; we have, we have three of them lined up for this call, and we're going to get, kind of get to know them a little bit. But what have you seen? I mean, how do we -- yes, that's true. 70%. But what are you guys doing to support that? I mean, you can't just throw them out there and leave them, like, "OK, good luck. Have a good time." Right? What do you guys doing now, knowing that, to kind of support your managers? What kind of programs are being put in place?

Jon Sexton 5:39
Yeah, so there's a, there's a couple different ways that we approach that. We're constantly thinking about ways to keep strengths language pertinent and keep it point of mind. It's not like you're constantly talking about your Top 5. But we're thinking about ways to integrate that just into the different aspects of our organization. And sometimes folks will reach out to me from other orgs and say, "Hey, can we talk about all of the things that you've done?" And I always reference it, it's just, it's constantly layering. And we're, I don't know that there's ever a finish line or that it's ever perfect. We're constantly tweaking things; we're constantly changing them as situations evolve. And that brings us up to that question that you just posed a couple years ago. I used to be an adjunct faculty member and an administrator in higher education. That's where I started my career -- a little over 11 years there, spent a good amount of time teaching graduate students and undergraduates as well.

Jon Sexton 6:31
And one of those, those areas at the University of Iowa was this, there's some coursework there called Career Leadership Academy, and it's all about diving into just vocation career identity development in the big picture. And we took some of that model and thought about, How do we create kind of this college seminar learning environment in a professional environment? Cause we know that a lot of professionals and a lot of folks that are kind of going through their career journey are constantly reflecting, kind of thinking about what that looks like. And that classroom environment is just as relevant in a professional setting as it is in that undergraduate experience or in a professional program. In fact, a lot of folks are going back to continue their education. So could we create some of that environment here? And so we built a couple different courses. We call them Exploring Leadership and Advancing Leadership.

Jon Sexton 7:23
And so kind of generated this, this full-blown curriculum around the idea of, of leadership; some competencies that we wanted to zero in around those concepts. And throughout, right, we were trying to think about ways that we could be intentional about integrating strengths, employee engagement and the manager's role with reinforcing that. And not only was it the content that we were reinforcing; we created these again as that, that seminar environment or a cohort group experience. So not only is it like, "OK, here's Jon, and he's passing on the knowledge that you should, like, 100% reinterpret as a manager." Our folks have this opportunity to learn from one another and to engage other leaders in the organization, to kind of, again, think about what that, that authentic style looks like for them in their leadership, and how they could integrate some of these things that we were doing in partnership with Gallup for the long run.

The Value of Investing in Leaders

Jim Collison 8:19
Doing programs like this is always cost-effective, right? Everybody appreciates the, you know -- it's not, right. It's expensive to do some of these kinds of things, both from a people standpoint and from a materials standpoint. How do you, how are you guys justifying that from an organizational standpoint, as we think about the, just kind of the dollars and cents and time around it?

Jon Sexton 8:41
I think you got to look at the cost of what it looks like to not invest in your leaders. So often, and I've heard this in so many Called to Coaches -- I'm gonna segue there for a second. Listen, y'all, if you are not following Called to Coach, quit messing around! I say it all the time. Just following and seeing some of this content that comes up, you know, I might be sitting at my house at 8 p.m. Central time in the U.S. And all of a sudden, there's a presentation in the U.K. that's going on or in Australia. And I'm learning from coaches all over the world, in all kinds of different organizations. And it's constantly getting my wheel spinning about how I can further kind of take those lessons and apply them in our organization. And so it's kind of that constant process there.

Jon Sexton 9:24
But in so many of the presentations, whether it's with guest speakers, or with Gallup, there's this constant reinforcement of the importance of investing in leaders. And one of the things that we hear about on a regular basis is, or that I see, is How do folks get into leadership positions, right? They tend to be really outstanding individual performers. And if somebody's got a whole bunch of Executing strengths, and they're just really good at taking the reins and getting stuff done, it's a pretty big transition to go from, "Well, I'll just take care of it," to "OK, I've got 6, 8, 12 direct reports. It's not about me just taking care of it, because I can't do that for 12 jobs. It's about how do I encourage folks that work on these respective teams to perform their best? And that's very different work than doing it myself." And so, again, that's really the justification of that cost. And the assessments that we see, the feedback that we get from folks that go through this program, we hear really positive things. We also hear some constructive feedback. So we're constantly fine-tuning and tweaking the coursework that we provide, but also thinking about how we integrate that throughout the organization as well.

Jim Collison 10:30
Jon, one more question, and we'll start bringing some of these guests in, because that's really what people -- they didn't, they didn't come to hear us. They really came for the guests that we have. Wellbeing. That's a big topic. How are you guys, you know, you're a, you're a strengths-based organization, when we think about strengths and engagement, and you're using both. We'll talk a little bit about those here coming up. What are your, some thoughts? How are you guys folding in wellbeing to this? And how are, how are folks feeling in the organization?

Jon Sexton 10:56
Yeah, I think one of the things that we're constantly looking at is this idea of vocational wellness or career wellness. That's a big part of, of Gallup's model and a lot of models. I was just talking with, we just launched a new professional development program. So we're recruiting students to kind of get in, learn our industry in the first year, and folding professional development into that as well. And I was just talking with that group, who's watching this morning. And we ran some numbers, right? If you take 40 -- 45 x 40 x 52, what we're simulating is about 45 hours a week for 52 weeks out of the year, and taking that time as a 40-year career, and you come up with about 90,000 hours -- and that's probably conservative on the actual amount of hours that people are working. We spend a tremendous amount of time at work.

Jon Sexton 11:47
And if I'm going to spend that much time away from family, from friends, from things that I'm passionate about, Gosh, darn it, I should be happy while I'm doing it. I mean, I want to be happy while I'm doing it. It's, if I'm trudging through my workday; if I'm frustrated; if I'm not leveraging my strengths; if I'm doing things that make me miserable, we just think all the time about the impact that that has on other avenues of wellness. How does that affect my physical health, my stress levels, just how I feel around my family and friends? Am I shorter with them because I'm miserable at work? So we're constantly thinking about that experience here, and what that looks like.

Jon Sexton 12:24
So we run the Q12 actually twice a year. Sometimes we do pulse surveys for teams. We, our leadership team genuinely dives into that information and that feedback, to think about what we're hearing about what's going well in the org and what we could do better. And we're constantly using that to fine-tune. But again, that's also just that ongoing feedback that managers matter. Leadership matters. And if someone is struggling or if they're not quite sure how to kind of deal with the emotional side of management -- or maybe they're really good in that and they struggle with the tasks, the task management or the accountability side -- how are we ensuring that, not only via these courses, but individually, how are we providing them ongoing support, so that they've got training and direction on how to navigate those different arenas?

Jim Collison 13:09
That's great. If we have some time at the end, I want to dig in a little bit on some of the materials you're using for this, for the leadership program that you do. And I think those are important. We'll save those to the end. Let's, let's bring in our first manager, and why don't you take a second and introduce her?

Jon Sexton 13:24
Yeah, so who you saw just pop up on the screen, this is Jennie Powless. And Jennie serves as Vibrant's VP of Application Support. And that's a role in which she regularly demonstrates a unique ability for prioritizing and successfully managing multiple projects for fast-paced teams. So Jennie's a, a recent addition to our organization. But she's held a variety of leadership roles at other orgs as well. And one of the things that we've seen from Jennie is she's really quickly immersed herself in our strengths-based culture and looked for resources and ways to further implement that. And Jennie is a present participant in our Advancing Leadership course, which is in our VP group. So she's in a group of other VPs who are relatively new to the organization, and they're diving into that content now. And Jennie leads with Maximizer, Positivity, Relator, Woo and Includer.

Jim Collison 14:17
Jennie, welcome! Great to have you!

Jennie Powless 14:19
Thanks. Thanks for having me on.

How Strengths-Based Management Changes Managers

Jim Collison 14:22
Let's talk a little bit about -- you're, you're new to Vibrant. You've come from other organizations. Now you're knee deep in strengths. How is that, how's that working out for you? Is that something you you're moving right towards? Give us a little, how does that feel for you?

Jennie Powless 14:37
It feels great! I've managed for over 10 years, and I always thought, "OK, this, this management thing is, is good. I, you know, it's kind of pulls into my natural strengths of Relationship Building and leading." I always thought I was a good manager. And then I came here and thought, "Oh, wow! I thought I was a good manager, you know, just naturally." But the, the strengths-based management and leadership has completely changed the way I truly manage a team of people. No idea that, you know, really digging into each person and what their strengths are completely changes a team dynamic.

Jim Collison 15:26
Dig, dig in a little bit on that, on that point for me. Like, was there a moment when you kind of realized, "Oh, oh! It's this way! I need to be moving in this direction." Any, any kind of Aha! moments for you in that?

Jennie Powless 15:41
So as Jon read through my, my Top 5 strengths, they -- 4 out of the 5 are Relationship Building. And Positivity being one of them that comes out, day in and day out -- not everyone enjoys being managed with Positivity all day long. So that's something that I've really had to tone down. One, one experience I had is, I managed a group of people when -- I live in Illinois, and my team was in California. And we had, you know, 8 a.m. meetings their time. And I had already had, you know, half a pot of coffee and was ready to go on my day. And it was just, it was too much. And so, you know, I had to really shift: OK, they are not motivated by Positivity at 8:00 in the morning. So that's something that, you know, didn't work well. And I had to adjust.

Jim Collison 16:42
Yeah, and yet, still be your -- OK, so knowing that about the team, right, and still trying to be true and authentic. I think sometimes we think we have to completely, like, "Oh, I can't. So, you know, I'm gonna come in stoic face, you know, whatever, we get the extreme. How did you, how did you or how are you tuning that Positivity to still be effective but, but also help others as well? What does that look like? What does that change look like? Or what are you learning through that process?

Jennie Powless 17:12
Sure. I don't think that I can ever completely mask it or make it go away. It's just, it's just who I am, but just knowing that I can change it to the team. So if I know Positivity to one person or group of people is just a, "Good morning. Hope you had a great evening. Let's, you know, jump into the day" versus "Tell me all about what you did. You know, here's what I did." Just, so just kind of shifting that, like, the Positivity can mean different things.

Jim Collison 17:50
Do you, as we think about the individual needs of people, do you find that you can bring it in different ways or maybe even different intensities and it have a different effect on individuals? And does that feel, sometimes for people that feels like, "I'm not authentic because I'm not the same person to everybody." But do you find that to be effective? Or how does that, how are you doing that?

Jennie Powless 18:17
Sure. So I, I have had some experiences recently with that. We, my current team, we meet every morning, and we take 15 minutes of, you know, just a motivation time to really engage as a team. We're all located in, in different areas. So we still want to just take that time. And, you know, the first few months I was here, I was still kind of feeling, you know, the team out and their strengths and what keeps them engaged and motivated. And I had someone tell me, very honestly, like, "I think we should change the way our morning motivation goes. Like how it is today is just, it's not motivating to me." And so we completely changed -- I was making it more about what motivates me. And I thought that motivated the team.

Jennie Powless 19:08
And so what we do now is, every day, someone on the team is in charge of the morning motivation. And so everyone gets to make it, you know, every 6 days, something that motivates them. And so it's kind of a round robin. And that's made a huge difference.

Jim Collison 19:27
Is that intent -- I mean, I mean, is that intentionally known? I mean, they know, "Hey, this is what motivates me. It doesn't have to motivate you, but it might be helpful in this." I think sometimes the awareness helps. Do they know that?

Jennie Powless 19:40
We've talked about it. And when we first talked about, you know, our, our morning motivation, I brought it up to them. Like, "Is this, Do you guys want to play a game every day?" We were just kind of, there wasn't a lot of structure to it. So we were just kind of talking about what we had for dinner last night. And, you know, what our kids did that was funny. Well, you know, not everyone has someone to eat dinner with every night. Not everyone has children. And so what we thought was, you know, open to everyone as a discussion, we didn't, I didn't realize of OK, some of those just open discussions could be unmotivating because they don't have that. And so we talked a little bit about it, about it. So that's why we ended up putting more structure.

Jim Collison 20:29
Jon, you, you had a look on your face like you wanted to add something to that. Did I misread you? Or do you, did you want to add something to that?

Jon Sexton 20:35
So it's not so much what you're talking about Jennie; I was reflecting on, you know, we did the exercise around this idea of '"The Best of Us." And one of my favorite things that Jennie ever said, when you lean into that Positivity or some of the, the Woo or some of the other strengths, if Jennie is having a good day, everybody around her is having a good day. Like that energy is electric. It's, it's contagious. And like you said, sometimes you have to rein that in a little bit, based on the situation. But I remember you saying that, within that, within that class setting and in that environment, like "Listen, you can count on me to be the life of the party and to bring energy." And I think that just absolutely manifests in a lot of the spaces that you're in.

Jim Collison 21:17
Jennie, any, any partners, strategic partners -- as you think about peers or other managers in the organization, have there been other partners that you can kind of lean on for maybe some of those, those things that you don't have or you don't bring or you're not strong in? Has that been an important part of your onboarding there at Vibrant?

Jennie Powless 21:37
It has, yes. So actually, my, my boss and I are very, very different. We were just comparing our strengths yesterday in a meeting, and we're like, "Oh, wow, we have complete opposite strengths. But we work so well together. And we've worked together for years." And I think that's part of it is that we balance each other out so well, where I'm the Relationship Building; she's more of, you know, the, the Strategic. And that balances; it has worked great for years with us.

Jim Collison 22:20
Is that an awkward conversation that has to be forced, to sit together and just bring these themes up? Or is it fairly natural? Because you're, you say you're different? So is that awkward? Is it getting better? Talk a little bit about that relationship dynamic.

Jennie Powless 22:36
It is not awkward. So personalitywise, we're very similar; strengths, different. But I think that we, we appreciate each other's differences. Where I can look at, you know, a project and be stuck, where I know, you know what, with, with your Analytical strengths, like, I need that, where I can go to her and just say, "OK, I need your thoughts on this." And, and she'll, she'll help out.

Jim Collison 23:08
Yeah, no, it's good. It's, it is, I think, for some folks that they miss that strategic 5 minutes -- "Let's open this conversation with 5 minutes of talking about our strengths really quick, and then point those at what we're trying to get done." Right. And it's, sometimes it's just a matter of remembering it. Right. Jon, before we transition to our next guest, any questions I missed or anything, anything you want to add to that?

Jon Sexton 23:33
Something that Jennie said that would just reinforce is one of the things that we talk about. And Jennie, you give voice to this so well. It's, it's not just about my strengths; it's How do I understand the strengths of my team? And how do I validate that, again, going back to this idea of, golly, how many, how many publications and leadership resources out there are talking about this idea of authenticity? Almost to the point where it becomes cliche, or it becomes empty, because we don't talk about the context of what that means. And just using the, the framework of strengths has been powerful, and hearing our leaders give voice to, Gosh, how do I be mindful of my blind spots and where my team complements me? And Jennie, like I said, you just talked about being mindful of that and using strengths as a framework and as a language can, can really be helpful there and for validating folks.

Jim Collison 24:23
Jennie, I'm going to ask you one more question before we transition. I think I'm gonna do this for everybody. Lisa asks this great question: What, you know, what has your experience at Leadership Academy been like? Give us a quick little what's it done for you?

Jennie Powless 24:36
It has actually provided tools. So I mentioned you know, I've, I've led teams for many years, but have, I've just done it naturally. I've never had the tools. I've never had resources. It's always been, you know, more of the employees being trained on things and not the managers. And I think, you know, we have several books that we're reading in this course. And just sitting down with my group of VP peers and, you know, we kind of have like a mini book-club session where, you know, someone every, every month is responsible for leading conversation on what we've read. And just hearing my peers, you know, talk about their perspective on the topic, and we really collaborate. Where, you know, most of the time, everyone's busy; you don't have time just to sit down for an hour and talk to your peers of, "Here's what I'm experiencing. Anyone else experiencing this?" And just that openness of collaboration and pulling out experiences has been fantastic.

Jim Collison 25:54
It's good to hear. In fact, Jon posted some of those resources in the Facebook group. I'm, I may join you guys in some of that. We'll talk about that here towards the end. Jennie, thanks for joining us. Appreciate you being here. Jon, let's introduce our next guest.

Jon Sexton 26:09
All righty, next up, we've got Lola Williams. Lola really thrives on helping her team lean into their strengths, to unlock unique ways to serve our members. So Lola has been in a variety of member-serving roles, and she's, her tenure outweighs my own. I came in about 6 years ago, and I got to meet Lola right from the get-go and immediately just picked up on that, that energy. But again, she's, she's held roles from teller to personal banker and is now one of our Retail Sales Managers in the organization. She's also a participant in our Advancing Leadership curriculum, specifically for managers. So while Jennie was in the VP group, Lola is in that manager cohort as of right now. And Lola leads with Restorative, Strategic, Belief, Responsibility and Communication.

Jim Collison 26:58
Hi, Lola, welcome!

Lola Williams 26:59
Hi, everyone. Good morning, or good afternoon!

Jim Collison 27:02
Good to have you and good to meet you. Let's, well let me ask you this question: like, What's the favorite part of your job? What do you really like? Like, why do you come to work every day? What do you really like?

Lola Williams 27:15
Well, that's a little bit of a hard question, I mean.

Jim Collison 27:17
Of course it's hard!

Lola Williams 27:18
Of course, it's the people. I do spend more, you know, when you come to work, you spend more time with your coworkers and employees than sometimes you do your family. So the people part of it is probably my favorite piece of my job.

Jim Collison 27:36
Yeah. Well, that's good. Because you're in the people business, right?

Lola Williams 27:38

Culture Change at Vibrant

Jim Collison 27:39
So that's good. You've, Jon mentioned, you've been in Vibrant for a while. How have you seen the culture change, as we as we think about engagement and the time that you've been there? Can you give us kind of just a little summary of that?

Lola Williams 27:52
Yeah, so I started when I was 12. I'm going on 10 years, right? I'm going on, I'm going on 10 years here with Vibrant. So it's been really interesting, honestly, to be able to see the flip side of the employee side of it, and then the manager side of it. So I think when I was in the, on the employee side of it, you know, wow, we're running so fast, like, this is going to be great, you know. Everybody really was able to be themselves, above everything is just really come to work and truly just be themselves and not feel like it's a cookie-cutter role or anything that they're doing on a daily basis. You know, it's, it's really, it was really interesting to kind of go, leave a different organization to come to an organization where, "Oh, I can say that?" or, "Oh, I can be myself? That, you know, that's great."

Lola Williams 28:46
And then on the manager side of it, it was really fun to know the employee side of it, to be able to help leverage their strengths and see the things that probably weren't working with a previous manager, or thinking of, Wow, I'm really going to do that when I do get a team. So I think a lot of the culture has changed. I mean, I have a lot of fun in my department. I'll come dressed up as an Easter bunny, I mean, you name it, I'm 100% ready to rock and roll, but also have fun in the end. And I love and I appreciate the fact that or, our organization lets us do those silly things and be ourselves truly.

Effect of Engagement, Strengths on Dispersed Workers

Jim Collison 29:27
Lola, I'm gonna ask you this question, but it's kind of for Jon as well. As we think about a credit union, it's a dispersed, it's a dispersed environment, right? We have branches out; not everybody's in the same building. Sometimes that can be difficult from an engagement standpoint. And Lola, with your tenure there, as we think about the work that you've done with Q12 and the work with strengths, has that done anything, or can you describe the way that might help a distributed environment, where, where you're not, you don't get to see each other each day, you're not in the same building all the time? What have you seen? And then Jon, I'll ask you the same question.

Lola Williams 30:03
So, I mean, you've see, you see a lot of different, the first thing is emotions, right. And that's one of the things where a lot of my Top 5 strengths are not based on Relationship Building, but I have them in there, right. So it's, you know, tapping into my, you know, Restorative, I know that's my top, but really thinking about, like, the Belief and Responsibility piece that I have. You know, I truly believe that everybody is, you know, capable of doing a good job. And, you know, my responsibility is to ensure as a manager that everybody is, you know, has a voice and that I'm there for them, to kind of speak on their behalf. So, when it comes with Communication, which is my fifth strength, I want to make sure that I can communicate that to everyone as a whole, and not feel like I can't just come out forward and say that to either my manager or an employee of mine or another, you know, direct report that I may have.

Jim Collison 31:04
Jon, from a, from a culture, how, what's the footprint of Vibrant, as far as we think about those, those satellite locations or branches? Whoop, Jon, you're muted. Sorry.

Jon Sexton 31:18
Sorry about that. So yeah, you think, that's good context too. So today, we sit at about, just north of or right around 225 employees, and that's, that's constantly ebbing and flowing. Our primary hub is in the Quad Cities area, which is right along the Mississippi River, on the, on the border of Iowa and Illinois. So folks that are listening from other countries, kind of the Midwest, the heartland, if you will. And that's, that's the primary area. About 200 miles west, approximately -- somebody is gonna check me on that mileage here in a second -- but we've got, we've got a little hub in Des Moines. And then we've also got a group that's out in the Danville, Illinois/Covington, Indiana, area, so that other border there. So a few markets that we have.

Jon Sexton 32:07
And so we've got, we've got kind of communities of employees that grow and develop an identity in those given areas. But then also, you know, a lot of the conversation Gallup has been putting out around the past 2 years has been this unanticipated remote experiment. Today, I think about a quarter of our employees are still working some form of primarily remote or hybrid. And so all along, it's been thinking about not only, How do we create this shared identity with folks who may live in a completely different community but are part of that greater Vibrant whole? And then how are we also sustaining that connection with folks at home? And it's, we're constantly looking at that. And again, it comes from, you can create experiences in person; you can also create them remote. But you have to be intentional about creating them remote, because it's really easy to just kind of get burrowed into our own things that we're doing if we're home, primarily. And so you have to be intentional about setting up those checkpoints or setting up those group conversations, etc.

Jim Collison 33:06
Lola, let's talk about that from a sales perspective. So as we think about the benefits, you see of encouraging individuals in a distributed network, I mean, you guys were kind of remote before remote was cool. Like, right, in that sense. So as we think about that, how, how does this help you in this area of sales performance?

Lola Williams 33:30
I think strengths really do come into play when you have direct reports that are member-facing. So when we were remote, we technically were, we were in a call, a sales environment that's over the phone. So really, there wasn't much change in the way where we weren't physically seeing a member. We were doing remote, so it was a video platform, which, now we're back -- Vibrant Live. So then when we went remote, we kind of shut down on the Vibrant Live platform. So a lot of the same, you know, the same things that they were doing before COVID really didn't change. So, you know, when they were connecting with members, it was over the phone. So a lot of their strengths, you know, in the way they communicated with a member, you know, they were, it was the nonverbals. You just couldn't see the nonverbals; I think that was the biggest thing.

Lola Williams 34:25
When you think of a remote environment, you can't really see them physically on what their, what their body language is saying. But in their tone of voice, you know exactly what they're doing and, you know, how they're really taking in the information that you're giving them. And, you know, a lot of the individuals on my team, their strengths really do correlate with the job that they're doing. So, that's the biggest thing is when you're thinking of doing a type of position that we have here for a personal banker, you know, it's really tapping into those strengths that they have and kind of seeing, you know, does that personnel is that personality going to fit with a conversation over the phone? And what's really nice is not every single personal banker has the same strengths. So it's been really nice for me to kind of see what each one brings to the table and kind of adapting feedback, you know, whether it be constructive, you know, feedback to how they're going to take it within, you know, with their strengths that they have.

Jon Sexton 35:25
So --

Jim Collison 35:26
Go ahead, Jon.

Sustaining Employees' Connection to the Organization

Jon Sexton 35:27
So I'm gonna share something that Lola has talked to me about. And one of the things that, well, you talked a little bit about emotions matter, right, particularly when everybody got separated. And it's kind of like, OK, how do we sustain this organizational connection? But just how do we make sure folks are doing well, in general? And one of the things that I love hearing from you, Lola, cause, again, coming from a higher-education environment, the whole concept of sales was different for me. And the way that you would tell that story was always really powerful. And one of the things that Lola talks about is this idea that, when you're in sales, the beginning of the month is always a brand new start. And sometimes you just need a little boost; you need a little pick-me-up. And it's, it's fun to watch Lola not shy away from that and just lift people up in a really fun way and be playful with it.

Jon Sexton 36:14
One of the other things, again, a little bit of a segue, but we're constantly thinking about employee engagement. This is just a fun story. There are a lot of leaders that will ask questions on like, How do I keep it point of mind? How do I talk about the Q12? How do I set goals? And I'll never forget, I walked through the retail sales area a couple years ago, and Lola had posted a giant sign. And it said, "Q07," I think, "My opinions seem to count." And she just wrote under it in block letters, "DUH." And so it's just not shying away from the sense of, Hey, if you want to talk about something, let's talk about it, because I want to make sure you're in a good place, so that you feel supported, and you're primed to perform. Right. Does that resonate, Lola?

Lola Williams 36:58
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think being in the Q12 as an employee and then being in the Q12 as a manager, you're getting that feedback. Where that's one of the things in my Advancing Leadership courses -- we asked each other, Well, how do you get feedback from your, from your direct reports? It's really hard, you know, it is really difficult to kind of get that constructive feedback. And I feel that now knowing what the Q12 was as an employee to now knowing what the Q12 was, is, as a manager, you know, you get that constructive feedback. And you meet with Jon, and you're just like, "Man, could have done better," where it could have been something that was perfectly fine, but it really gives you the opportunity doing that Q12 to really know, the feedback that you're craving for as a manager. And it's anonymous. And, you know, it's, it just kind of helps a manager grow in a, in a way that, you know, you don't have to guess what, what you're doing right or what you're doing wrong.

Jim Collison 37:55
Lola, thanks for -- I've got a couple of questions from chat -- thanks for coming in. I'm going to save those for the end, because I want to bring everybody in on that. But Jon, why don't we bring in our next guest?

Jon Sexton 38:08
Absolutely. So we've got Jane Evans joining us. So Jane launched her career with Vibrant here in 2019, so she's relatively new to the organization, and from the get-go has really excelled in a lot of the roles that she's been in -- just demonstrates our core values and really steps up in a lot of different ways. We see that in her work ethic. We see it in her passion for, for the role and some of the stories that she tells, in terms of her opportunities to engage with members in her respective teams. Jane actually previously went through our high-potential curriculum, and towards the end of that actually transitioned into her first managerial role as one of our Branch Managers. And so she can give a little voice of what that looks like. But Jane leads with Discipline, Strategic, Communication, Woo and Restorative.

Jim Collison 38:58
Jane, welcome! Good to have you here today.

Jane Evans 39:00
Hey, thanks for having me.

Jim Collison 39:01
Woo, Discipline -- how's that working out for you?

Jane Evans 39:04
It's really interesting, because I really lean into both. I think those are probably the two that I use in my daily life the most -- Woo more so member-facing, because I connect with so many different individuals all day long; and Discipline because I, of course, crave that structure. I want to make sure those routines are in place and that we're following them to a tee. And making sure that I also allow myself a little bit of time to, like, have fun and connect with my team also. So it is an interesting pairing of the two, especially because I use them so frequently in my day-to-day life.

Jim Collison 39:41
Well, I bring it up because I think there's some folks who believe those two couldn't exist together. And this is, I think, the, this is the beauty of strengths is that it, it does -- it works together and it works beautifully for you. Talk a little bit more -- you're on, you're in the front lines. You're a Branch Manager. You're out helping people, and you really have responsibilities for both the, the folks at the window, so to speak, right, and those customers that are coming in. So talk a little bit about how that benefits you, as you put those two -- and the rest, you have Communication in in there as well -- but talk a little bit about what how you've learned to do that well.

Jane Evans 40:20
Yeah, of course. So Communication, I think I lean really well into to really individualize conversation with members. Because during my day-to, day, sorry, day-to-day life, I'm really leaning into explaining policies, procedures, and follow-up as like what comes next, because sometimes my department will send people over to Lola's department, and we have to make sure that we're actually following through. So by leaning into Communication, I almost go a little, a little excessive. And I say, "Hey, is this done? Is this done? Is this done?" And I ask four or five different times. But it's really like just explaining every step of the way to the members, because then that relieves any frustrations that might have. Because you might come to a branch and have to get escalated to Lola's team of retail sales. But in that, you don't have to really worry about it any step of the way. Because you know that you have someone in your corner, communicating for you, advocating for what you need and making sure that that follow-up actually happens.

Jim Collison 41:23
Do you ever wish you had the customer's Top 5 in front of you, when you're, when you're working with a customer?

Jane Evans 41:28
You know, that'd be really interesting. I think that I'm very lucky. I'm at a branch where I have a large amount of regulars. So we really get to know our members. We know them by name. We like know them by what transactions they do. And sometimes even further under that, I know I'm fairly new to this branch; I transferred from a different location to this location about a month ago. And I already have members going, "Oh, hey, there's blazer girl! How's your blazer doing?" And I'm like, "You just know me for my blazers; you don't know me for me." So it's nice to know that that is also reciprocated, because they want to know you as much as you want to know them.

Vibrant's Leadership Program

Jim Collison 42:10
How is, talk a little bit about the leadership program. How has that helped you in, in your current role? And how are you kind of using that?

Jane Evans 42:17
So before I worked at Vibrant, actually, I was a head coach of a color guard, which is like the flags in marching band, for anyone who's watching doesn't know what that is. I was a head coach for about 3 or 4 years. And I was utilizing tools of management that I didn't actually know how to execute. So I was starting to get to this, this Aha! moment, but I wasn't ever actually there. So I would be working this program and, like Jon said, I was in, integrating layering and trying to build this program so that it was something more than what it was at the current moment. And I didn't actually know how to do it.

Jane Evans 42:59
So when I went through this course, I had a lot of those, like, light bulb moments of "Oh, this is what I've been trying to do." But I was missing that, like, I don't want to say like finesse, but I was missing the finesse. And so it gave me a lot of actual tools. But it also made me really focus in on my strengths, because beforehand, I understood what they were but I didn't understand how to use them in my day-to-day life.

Jim Collison 43:24
Give me an example of that.

Jane Evans 43:26
The finesse?

Jim Collison 43:27
Yeah, yeah. Give me a little example.

Jane Evans 43:32
Ooh. I think an example is we started a program from scratch. So there is outdoor color guard, and then there's indoor color guard. And in that indoor color guard, we had to utilize so many different means of communication that the both of us were really fresh and new to. And so we had missed a lot of deadlines. We had missed a lot of, like, things that had to actually be done that we just didn't catch at all. And so coming into my actual role here at Vibrant as a manager, I was able to work with Jon. And we talked about a lot of tools in the, we did readings from three separate books. And I can't tell you the three separate books' names off the top of my head. But it was really beneficial because it helped me time-manage a lot, because I was working my actual job. I was a part of this program.

Jane Evans 44:33
I also am a thespian, so I was doing theater on the side and I was also a head coach. So I had all four of these different programs going on. And if Jon's syllabus wasn't as built out as it was, I don't know how beneficial I would have actually been to the program because I just wasn't using time-management skills at all.

Setting Managers Up for Success

Jim Collison 44:55
Jon, for new managers like Jane, what are you seeing -- what, what are they, what are they grabbing on to the most or first? And maybe there isn't a trend that way; I'm not fishing for anything. But you see it from a high level, and you know Jane. Is there something they gravitate towards, for new managers?

Jon Sexton 45:14
You know, one of the things that, as we start to jump in, again, it comes from, How do we explore these assumptions about what management is? Sometimes when folks get into it or they start the conversation, why do folks want to manage, in, in some organizations? It might mean an increase in pay, an increase in prestige, an opportunity to advance one's career, being seen as having more authority or influence within the organization -- all good things, if I, if I want to leverage that in the right way to, to create a positive experience.

Jon Sexton 45:49
But people don't always think of the hard parts about management, right. They don't think about the possibility that they might have to navigate a really difficult conversation or that they might have to hold someone accountable or what happens if I become a manager, and there's a whole bunch of people that just want to casually ignore what it is that I need them to do? And so we really start to dive in and talk collectively about what that looks like. And also do every class, so we set it up a little different. So while it's modeled after what you might see in a seminar-type environment in higher education or in a professional, professional program, external, we meet about once a month for 2 to 3 hours. And before every class, all of our participants are prompted to draft a one-page reflection on leadership inquiries and questions, to think about that identity development around the idea of just my vocational identity, my career identity, what I think a leader is. And that tends to really resonate and drive a lot of that conversation.

Jon Sexton 46:50
And then we're folding those readings and additional resources in as well. In particular with Gallup, we leverage the Full 34 report. And so we're deep-diving into understanding what that looks like, both from kind of those, those natural strengths, the prominent ones, and then also understanding blind spots and weaknesses -- but not to the point where it's like, Oh, my gosh, I have to be great at everything. But how do I understand those weaknesses in the context of my team but also within the peers that I'm working with within this program?

Jim Collison 47:21
OK, that, that, that helps, and I think clears that up a little bit. Jane, last question for you individually. Knowing you have some engagement data coming in the future, right, as you think about the commitment -- Vibrant's commitment to asking employees how they feel about the place that they work -- How do you think, what are you excited or what makes you excited? And what do you think you'll use from that engagement survey the most, going forward in your leadership role?

Jane Evans 47:49
So this will be my first Q12, actually, on the managerial side of things and not as a direct report. I'm really excited. I'm really bought into this. I actually have the Q12 like taped right here in front of me; I have it taped around my branch a couple different places. I stole some resources from another branch manager. His name's Greg Durbin; he's incredible -- especially opting into the Q12 and understanding what we're need what's needed out of us. And he daily will walk around to his direct reports and say, "Hey, how are you today? How can I help you? Is there any computer issue you're having today?" And we have quite a few computer issues. We've got some older technology here. But I'm really excited to see what comes out of it -- to really dive in and to just look through everything to maybe change my structure or change my routine, to then buy into the program in a way that's individualized to my team.

Jim Collison 48:47
Yeah, well, you got a powerful, powerful too -- Jon, did you want to add to that?

Engagement via Honest, Authentic Employee Feedback

Jon Sexton 48:51
I was just gonna say, you know, one of the things about the Q12, our CEO and our leadership talks all the time about -- we do a couple other surveys as well that are industry-specific. But we're constantly talking about, we don't want this done as like an opportunity to achieve a marketing award or recognition. So how are we being as authentic as possible? And sometimes that's pretty vulnerable, because we are constantly pushing at this idea that, hey, when we, when we send you the Q12, we want you to be 100% real. Give us real responses, and let us know where you're at and give us open-ended feedback. And our goal is to be a top-performing organization in, in Gallup's Q12 assessment. But we want to, again, do that and make it real.

Jon Sexton 49:36
So it's interesting to push people to give that real, open, honest feedback and then to process and support our managers as they make sense of that. Because nobody likes a Q12 that's really red and thanks, Gosh, does that mean I'm failing? Am I not good enough? And then breaking that down and talking to, All right, so what does that mean? And then how do we work forward? And again, constantly being diligent about that. It's pretty powerful to see how each of the folks on the screen owns this and really kind of embraces that opportunity going forward.

Jim Collison 50:06
With all of you here today, who's actually still working at Vibrant? Although I feel like all the workers are right here crushing it, hopefully. Jane, I'm going to start with you. And I'm going to ask all three of you this, this question, but What do you think, if there was one thing in the last 6 months, from a leadership standpoint, that you would say you've just really leaned into. And it can be anything you want, but What's kept you, what kept you motivated and moving forward in the last 6 months, Jane?

Jane Evans 50:38
I think that I definitely have to reach out to a resource that my direct manager gave us, actually. We weekly check in and watch or listen to the Manager Tools Hall of Fame Cast (I always say it wrong, so I wanted to pause before I said it.) Their feedback method was life changing to me, because before, I would just dump all of this information on people. And I primarily did it to my color guard. And I always feel bad for my kiddos. But once I listened to that, every rehearsal, or every time I would check in with a team member, instead of just like being like, "I'm going to give you all this feedback, and you have absolutely no say in what I have to say about it," I go, "Hey, can I give you this feedback?" And then we actually walk through the process. And I think it's beneficial in a night-and-day difference, because they actually buy into you giving that feedback to them.

Jim Collison 51:36
Lola, I want to ask you that question. But I, I want to add a little bit. Justin had asked this question in the chat room about sustainability. And it was, As we think about the last 6 months, your work, leadership, you know, with leadership and training and those pieces, what are you leaning into, and how is that helping things be sustainable from a leadership perspective at Vibrant?

Lola Williams 51:59
I think I'm leaning into just being able to communicate with everyone, making sure that if there's a process that's being, you know, it's a new process, being able to communicate that out to not only my direct reports, but also getting their feedback. Their feedback is going to be super vital. And anything that you do, even with the Q12, you think of that feedback, it's constructive. You know, making sure that me as their leader, I'm taking all of the feedback and also communicating it to my manager, which then will communicate it up to hers. So we definitely, here at Vibrant, we like to level-set, you know, cascading messages. So it's not, you know, when it's coming from our, our leadership team, it's delivered to the, you know, the managers. And then we have our VPs that will also cascade messages to us, so that then we would give it to our direct reports. So just the communication piece as a whole has been, you know, a big thing that I've been leaning into, especially within, you know, this past 6 months, for sure.

Jim Collison 53:04
Jennie, what about you, especially in this area of sustainability? Because I think that's super important. Can you talk a little bit to that?

Jennie Powless 53:11
Sure. So I've been really leaning into maximizing the tasks and the confidence of the team members. So a lot of my team members are a little greener to, you know, the, their positions. And really pushing them to, "You can do this! I believe in you," building the confidence. And as far as the sustainability to that, it's, you know, if you're investing in your employees, you're training them, you're pushing them into new things, they're not going to be bored. You know, the more new things and the more, you know, responsibilities you give them, the more they're going to be engaged because they're learning new things. They're, they're seeing growth happen in their current position. And so we do, we're rolling out a lot of new things. And, you know, the team is loving it.

Jim Collison 54:12
Hold on, Jon, one second. Friends, we live in tricky times. Right? Like the turnover, folks moving around, difficult family situations, difficult employment situations, difficult, right. We, sometimes we paint this as "pie in the sky." Jon, I want you to address this right now in the sense that, What are, when you think about sustainability, Jon, what are you hoping for in this? And what are your visions for that for the future?

Sustainable Leadership, Resources

Jon Sexton 54:42
Yeah, so yeah, I look at the folks who've commented in the chat, and I know we've got a series of Gallup-Certified Strengths Coaches, a number of consultants out there. Clearly, I consult internally with this organization, and sometimes I consult external. And regardless of what population I'm working with, we're constantly talking about, to Justin's question, How do you do something that's more than just a one-off, that's a feel-good? Like, "Oh, hey, we did a strengths workshop, and it was super fun." OK, but what did you do with it? How did you create momentum to sustain that going forward?

Jon Sexton 55:15
And as we think about sustainable leadership, it's making sure that we're consistently investing in it. You go back to that idea of cost. If we have to invest $250 in materials for each of our participants plus the staff time that's required to go through all of those sessions, what is the cost of not doing that, and just assuming that leadership is happening, assuming that things are taking care of themselves? Unless we are intentional about, again, being diligent about keeping that point of mind and continuing to invest in our leaders and their development, it can fade away pretty easily, or it can become something that's forgotten until there's an issue. And then you have to put out fires. We would rather not have to put out fires and just, again, sustain that ongoing focus on developing and growing our folks.

Jim Collison 56:04
Jon, I teased folks in the beginning. You'd mentioned those resources. What, what are you using? What books are you using as part of the curriculum (besides It's the Manager, which you showed earlier)?

Jon Sexton 56:13
Yes. So we, like I said, we leverage It's the Manager. Gallup resources, we lean into the Full 34 strengths report, like I mentioned. In the future, we're looking at that, the Manager Report, the new one. I'll own that I haven't had a chance to fully dive into it. I'm excited, because I've seen glimpses at it. Some additional resources, not Gallup-oriented, what we do is we look at just a number of pieces of literature. So the Harvard Business Review has been a good, just general resource. So they've got a series of books out there that kind of combine articles. The only maybe minor drawback that we've seen, there's, there's a number of kind of recycled articles that pop up in those books. So we're constantly looking at and assessing additional readings that we might leverage.

Jon Sexton 56:55
Particularly for Lola and Jennie, a book that has been wildly popular in our organization is Radical Candor. That's a common term that's thrown out there throughout our org, just because -- if you've not seen that framework, or you've not checked out that book, there's some colorful language in there. And I think maybe that's why some of the folks in our organization like it, but it's real. So it's this blend of, you see a lot of leadership books come out. And it's "Well, when I did this at Apple ..." or "My time at Google ..." and it's a lot of stories. Kim Scott, that author, takes a lot of those stories and puts some framework and some context around them that are pretty powerful. And folks from higher education might know the term "challenge and support"; she really leans into a model that's really similar, understanding that if I'm working with direct reports, how do I balance the sense of caring about them personally, while also challenging them directly? And there's a lot more -- if anybody's got questions, I'm always happy to touch base via LinkedIn or email.

Jim Collison 57:51
Well, I appreciate that. I don't know if -- someone all of a sudden is trying to call me here about 8, 8 times on my watch. So we'll see how that goes. One final question before we do this. And the question comes, we'll have to do this quickly, but ladies, as you look ahead, opportunities to, to, beyond leadership training that you have. How do you hope to continue the strengths development for yourself? If you were to think I, "There are more things that I want to do, and here's how I'll do it." Anybody want to throw, and I'll just leave that open as we think about the future. Any future for strengths development for yourselves? What are you looking forward to? Anybody? This is the part where you just jump in.

Jane Evans 58:35
I'm, I'm, because I'm new here in this branch, I'm really looking forward to having the opportunity to learn from my direct reports and really get to learn them and their strengths and working cohesively as a unit. Jon provided three or four different resources this past 2 weeks to us. One of them is The Best of Us. And I did it and I actually cried; I had a really wholesome answer for the square that says, "This is what I need from you"; it says, "You're always there for me." And then I just had like a moment of like, Oh, my goodness, this is beautiful. And so utilizing these, these tools to then buy into my own strengths. I think that the two will really feed into each other, because I work so much on their personal strengths that I'll think more about mine as well.

Jim Collison 59:22
Jennie, how about you?

Jennie Powless 59:24
Yeah, I think incorporating the Q12 more with the team, just to get the team, you know, talking about, you know, If you're not feeling engaged; if you don't know the direction, let's talk about it, and, you know, kind of making some fun exercises around the Q12.

Jim Collison 59:46
When I was managing folks directly, I always, on Monday mornings, like, "Do you know what's expected of you this week?" I mean, it was just a conversation we had all -- it's a great question; it's so easy to ask. And it doesn't have to be on a 1 to 5 scale. Like, do you know what's expected of you? So, Lola, how about you? Final thoughts.

Lola Williams 1:00:02
I think for me is now that I have the knowledge and different techniques from being in the Advancing Leadership is implementing that to my direct reports that want to further their careers into management. Now I can say I can probably be a mentor, you know, help guide them into what I was a part of.

Jim Collison 1:00:22
Jon, you're not off the hook. How about you? What, what are you, how are you going to continue to grow?

Jon Sexton 1:00:27
You know, I am constantly thinking about ways to further implement Gallup's resources, not only for myself, but for our team. And try not to operate on assumptions that just because I read something, other, like, by osmosis, other folks got that too. So it's constantly integrating that into our culture and consistently reading. Because again, I can't reinforce it enough, Gallup is constantly providing just, just so many free resources, and there's plenty of paid ones as well, or just resources that you can purchase is what I mean by that. But there's so much content via Called to Coach or from others that it's just being intentional about, Hey, if I see a notification come up, which Jim sees this all the time, if I'm sitting and there's nothing on my calendar, I'm getting in there. It's, "Hey, it's Jon from Bettendorf, Iowa, and I'm excited to be here!" Because I don't know what's going to come up in that session. And I, and I never want to operate on assumptions that I know enough from, from that lens.

Jon Sexton 1:01:19
And so one last closing thought: I'd say the only other piece with this group, one of the neat things about that cohort model -- whether you do it external or you're trying to build something internal within your organization -- as, and this will resonate with coaches, I've worked with executives to entry-level managers. Everybody has moments where they don't feel like they're enough, where they feel like their gap, that they're not doing the right thing. And particularly in that group format, it's, it's powerful to set up an environment where people can be vulnerable and talk about the aspects of leadership that they're worried about, or that make them anxious and to get support from their peers and then navigate that together. That's, that's a neat journey to go on together.

Jim Collison 1:01:59
Well, I appreciate you, friends. I appreciate you guys for, for joining us today. Jon, Jane, Jennie, Lola, thank you for being a part. We could probably go on for another hour talking about these things. I'm sure the coaches in the chat room would love to, to, to ask you more questions, but an inspiring journey. Just, you know, good luck, as you, we'll, seems like maybe we'll get a pattern going here. Jon, we'll follow up here in, in some length of time and see how things are going. But thank you for the work and I appreciate you guys and your story today. So thanks for coming out.

Jon Sexton 1:02:34
Thanks so much.

Jim Collison 1:02:35
With that --

Jane Evans 1:02:35
Thank you guys!

Jim Collison 1:02:36
With that, though (don't, don't leave on me just yet). With that, we'll remind -- yeah, you guys stay around for a second -- we'll remind everyone to take full advantage of all the resources we have now in Gallup Access. Head out to and a great opportunity, lots of resources, a bunch of resources we didn't even mention. So head out there. Get signed in, and, and love to have you take advantage of that. For coaching, master coaching or to become a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach -- or more information, if you're interested in bringing this into your organization -- send us an email: You can find us on social media just by searching "CliftonStrengths." And we want to thank you for joining us today. And if you found this helpful, would you please share it? Just share it. Send it to somebody. We think it's worth it. And so get that out there and get it shared. Thanks for joining us live today. If you're listening to the recorded, thanks for doing that as well. With that, we'll say, Goodbye, everybody.

Jon Sexton's Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Includer, Positivity, Woo, Communication, and Strategic.

Jennie Powless' Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Maximizer, Positivity, Relator, Woo and Includer.

Lola Williams' Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Restorative, Strategic, Belief, Responsibility and Communication.

Jane Evans' Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Discipline, Strategic, Communication, Woo and Restorative.

Learn more about using CliftonStrengths to help yourself and others succeed:

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