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Chester Elton is the co-founder of The Culture Works, a global training company trusted by companies with the world’s best cultures, including Starbucks, Johnson & Johnson, and many more. He and Adrian Gostick co-authored books like All In, The Best Team Wins, The Care Principle, and Leading with Gratitude: The Eight leadership practices for extraordinary business results.

Chester has spent decades helping clients engage their employees to execute strategies, vision, and values. He provides real solutions to leaders who are looking to manage change, drive innovation, and lead a multi-generational workforce.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Chester Elton discusses what he found out about what makes some leaders extraordinary
  • How to get into the habit of practicing gratitude
  • Chester shares the best ways he’s seen leaders celebrate their staff contribution
  • How Garry Ridge showed excellent leadership through gratitude
  • Why a culture of appreciation is a need-to-have in any organization
  • Common myths about the culture of gratitude
  • Chester explains what “walk in their shoes” means for leaders
  • How Chester and Adrian Gostick started writing their book
  • The Super Bowl analogy of the power gratitude

In this episode…

Leading with gratitude is a must-have skill for leaders—period. It’s what separates everyday leaders from extraordinary ones like Bill Manning, Garry Ridge, and Dave Kerpen. But Chester Elton, the “apostle of appreciation”, has found that not many leaders understand what leading with gratitude means. And even when they might have a glimmer of an idea of what it meant, they didn’t know how to implement it in their companies in a way that would positively impact their bottom line.

In this episode of the Inspired Insider, Dr. Jeremy Weisz talks with best selling author Chester Elton about leading with gratitude and what it means for leaders and organizations. They discuss topics like how to get into the habit of gratitude, the value of employee recognition, and the common myths about the implementation of the culture of gratitude in their teams. Stay tuned.

Resources Mentioned on this episode

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Episode Transcript

Jeremy Weisz

Dr. Jeremy Weisz here, Founder of where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders. Some of the past interviews you can check out Founder of p90x, Founder of RX bar, Founder of Atari, they talk about not just the UPS but the downs in the journey. This interview is a little bit different this is was for The Process Breakdown Podcast that I did. It was so good that I had to release it on Inspired Insider, so stay tuned. And before you get to it, this episode is brought to you by Rise25 which I co founded with my business partner, John Corcoran, what we do at Rise25 we help b2b businesses give to and connect to their dream 100 partnerships and clients We help you run your podcast, so generates ROI. And the number one thing in my life is relationships. I’m always looking at a way to give it to my best relationships. A podcast for me over over the past 10 years has allowed me to profile others thought leadership and companies and give to them and have them on my podcasting platform. So if you have questions about podcasting, go to you can watch a video my business partner and I bands are like an old married couple. Check out thanks. Listen to the episode, Dr. Jeremy Weisz here, Host of The Process Breakdown podcast where we talk about streamlining and scaling operations of your company getting rid of bottlenecks and giving your staff everything they need to be successful at their job. Past guests include David Allen from Getting Things Done, Josh Wagner from Work the System and many many more. And before I introduce today’s epic guests if you haven’t, first of all, that the guest today Chester Elton, and I’ll introduce him in a second but if you haven’t checked out his website and his videos, you should do it probably every morning because it will inspire You it will move you into action and will create gratitude for you and your life. And so this episode is brought to you by Sweet Process. If you’ve had team members asked you the same questions over and over and over over again, then you probably realize that is not a sustainable practice and there’s a solution for it actually Sweet Process is a software that makes it drop dead easy to train and onboard new staff and save time with existing staff. So I realized from talking to the founder Owen not only do universities have banks and hospitals use it and software companies but first responder government agencies use them in life or death situations to run their operation. So you can use Sweet Process to document all the repetitive tasks that eat up your precious time. So you can focus on growing your team and empowering them and you can sign up for a 14 day trial no credit card required go to sweet like candy SW et And without further ado, today’s guest you know, we’re To talk to Chester Elton who’s leading with gratitude you know in general in his life all of his you know if you look at and I encourage you to buy all of his books, I bought several myself but the world’s best culture is trust Chester companies like Starbucks Johnson and Johnson State Farm if I read all of them Chester we’d be here for another 20 minutes so I’m not going to but check out their website The Culture Works. You know, Chester spent decades helping clients engage their employees to execute on strategy vision values, and he’s a number one best selling leadership you know, best selling author on leadership, him and Adrian Gostick with books like All In, The Best Team Wins, The Care Principle and Leading with Gratitude: the eight leadership practices for extraordinary business results. You know, he provides real solutions for lots of companies. And so check it out and Chester you know, I just I need people to go to YouTube or maybe LinkedIn and check out your videos. And I’m not even going to ruin any of the punch lines, but they do call the apostle appreciation for the full effect. They have to watch your videos. Okay, the full effect.

Chester Elton

Well, that’s that’s, that’s quite the introduction. Yeah, and spoiler alert, there’s always a happy ending. So you don’t have to worry about, you know, the gotcha at the end. And, you know, with Adrian, my co author, we, for 20 years, we really have been dedicated to studying workplace culture and leadership in teams. And that common thread that we always found in extraordinary leaders and extraordinary cultures was this idea of gratitude, appreciation, recognition, you know, he use a lot of different words there that they really did celebrate. They celebrated their people, they celebrated their customers, they celebrated their communities. And I think more than ever as we go through this pandemic, the need for people to be remembered. You know, you talk about recognition as a recognition remembering is is more important than ever, because we know we’re feeling more and more Isolated more and more vulnerable, more and more, just alone. And this idea of remembering each other and celebrating each other, I think isn’t one of those nice to have, that so many people will put it in the category of it is an absolute must have to keep people safe mentally, emotionally, and engage them and make it safe for them to continue to be productive.

Jeremy Weisz

Chester I feel like sometimes gratitude for some people, I don’t know, it’s more of a natural practice and some it’s not how do you get people to practice it regularly, when maybe it’s not natural for them?

Chester Elton

You know, it’s a learned skill, like anything else. And I really appreciate you bringing that up here. Because people say, Well, I’m just not wired that way. Maybe that may be true. You know, maybe the way you were brought up or the way you were managed or whatnot just doesn’t lead you to believe that. It’s important. Well, we’ve got a massive database of over a million engagement surveys that says Look, if you’re not if you’re not using the tool of gratitude in your in your leadership toolbox, you’re missing out on a huge Way to really attract engage and, you know, spur productivity. So, so we give people tools, you know, every one of our books, we have data, we have case studies. And then here’s the How to, you know, the data in the case studies without the How to it’s just an interesting story. Right? The how to and how leaders have done it. And I think importantly, how leaders have been converted to that whole process, right? Where they didn’t think it was valuable. who bears Yoli, for example, who took Best Buy from billion dollar deficit to a billion dollar surplus? He said, I was not a believer. I really wasn’t Why was he? Well, he says, look, you know, we’re process driven. We’re like, we got hard things to do. We’re going to do them, we’re going to check the boxes. It’s, it’s all about getting the compensation, right. It’s about getting the process right and plug it in, it’s called work for a reason. And if you don’t want to work, you don’t work here. You know, I mean, it was very simple, right? And there’s a lot of people that lead like that. And then he said, You know, it became very evident to me that making work meaningful was the key to really engaging people’s hearts, not just their minds. And he said, and part of that process was celebrating their contributions. He said it made all the difference. He’s got a philosophy of assuming positive intent. And I love that and he said, Look, I may be naive, I just think people come to work and they want to do a good job. You know, 999 people out of 1000 come to work, wanting to do a good job. And in trying to do a good job, they’re going to make mistakes. And you know what, that’s okay. We can fix the mistake and and move on. Well, when you’re in a culture like that, where when you make a mistake, you don’t fear for your job or try to hide it or hope that nobody notices right? Where you can admit that you’ve made a mistake, ask for help corrected and move on. Well talk about lowering stress levels and increasing endorphins and, and happiness in the workplace then, you know, listen, from a billion dollar deficit to a billion dollar surplus when a guy like that talks, I listen.

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