Better Relationships for Business Success | Ed Evarts


This week’s episode is jam-packed with tips and strategies for success from leadership coach Ed Evarts. A veteran of the corporate world, Ed now helps leaders and teams build self-awareness so that they can self-manage more effectively. He is also the author of multiple books and the host of the Be Brave at Work podcast.

In his latest book, Drive Your Career, Ed draws from his 12 years as a leadership coach and shares stories from clients that will resonate with anyone looking for a different approach to success, one that focuses the lens on relationships. By being purposeful about building relationships with our bosses, peers, subordinates, and clients, we can gain more control over where our career goes. In our conversation, Ed talks about:

  • The power of curiosity

  • The “Million Dollar Question”

  • How to deliver more effective presentations

  • And much, much more

In a corporate environment where much of the focus goes to projects, meetings, and clients, and where measurements are made by deals closed or products produced, Ed brings the attention back to the benefits of taking the time to understand each other’s goals, objectives, motivations, and even biases. It’s all about relationship success and it’s well worth a listen!

Mentioned in this episode:


Ed Evarts: Having good positive relationships with others, whoever I meet, I want them to feel better that they’ve met me. If it’s overused of course it can become a weakness because people can take advantage of it. But, you know, I try to moderate it and manage it as well. Again, higher self awareness leads to higher self management.

Voiceover: You’re listening to the Vibrant Leadership Podcast with leadership speaker and consultant Nicole Greer. 

Nicole Greer: Welcome to the Vibrant Leadership Podcast. My name is Nicole Greer. And I am also known as the Vibrant Coach and today I have with me none other than Ed Evarts. He has a leadership coach, a team coach, a business strategist, a podcast host and author who helps successful leaders build their self awareness so they can self manage more effectively. His most recent book is Drive Your Career and we’re going to talk about that today. And he hosts his bi weekly podcast all over the web. So please subscribe. So right out of the gate, Ed, where can people listen to your podcast? Because we’ve got the podcast crew on right now.

Ed: Well, you can hear it just about everywhere. Statistically, most people just listen to it via Apple, and Google, but just about any podcast venue that offers podcasts, you can find it. 

Nicole: Okay, so his podcast is Be Brave at Work. I love that title. That is a wonderful podcast title, because that’s exactly what we need is we need some leaders out there who can be brave. So I want to start out with the favorite question that I always ask of every person who comes on the Vibrant Leadership Podcast. Give us your definition of leadership.

Ed: Well, to me, leadership is about role modeling behavior that inspires others. So oftentimes, leaders think they have to do the work. And in reality, that’s why we have employees because employees are supposed to do the work. And what you want to do is set the vision for the organization, and role model the behavior that you hope others honor and emulate. So leaders really are those that demonstrate behaviors that they want others to do and lead them in a particular way.

Nicole: Okay, fantastic. And so this new book of yours, tell us all about your book, and what brought on the idea that I need to get this written down, I’m going to put pen to paper.

Ed: Well, I, my first book was called Raise your Visibility and Value. And that was really, from my perspective of recap of my 25 years in corporate America, working for large organizations, and we had just hit 2008, which some of us will recall, was a depression. And so networking became such a huge activity, and such a huge buzzword. And I quickly realized based on my prior activity, that networking wasn’t enough that you really needed to raise your visibility in order to be seen within your organization and industry. After 12 years as a leadership coach, I came to a decision that I also wanted to share some information and observations. 

And quite honestly, Nicole, there were stories that I heard myself repeat from client to client, regardless of who the client was. So they could have been a company president, or a supervisor. But these stories just came up naturally. I didn’t bring them up purposefully, but they just came up in our conversation. So I had one of those shower moments where I said, you know what, I think this should be the content for my next book. I should capture the stories that I tell most repeatedly are the observations or behaviors that most people need to do in order to drive their career and be more in charge of where they’re going. And it happened to be nine stories. And so that’s where Drive Your Career came from.

Nicole: That’s fantastic. And you know, I just had Kelly Swanson on the podcast. And we talked all about the power of storytelling. So listen, Ed knows what he’s talking about. Hear these stories. I imagine, once you read them, you’ve got the principle in your mind, is that correct?

Ed: It’s meant to be a very simple book, it’s meant to be what I call an airport book that you can purchase on a two hour flight to, you know, Philadelphia, from New York or whatever and read it. It’s meant to create stories that you can take from the book. And each of the chapters begins with a kind of a fake name, but the story is real. So these are real clients with real experiences that I hope people can relate to, that they can identify as necessary to help them be more of a driver of their career.

Nicole: That’s awesome. Okay, so let me ask the first question that I know you cover in your book, which is how do you cultivate a positive relationship with your boss because even if you’re the CEO, you’ve got a boss, it’s the stakeholders, it’s the customers it’s the board of directors. So how do you cultivate these positive relationships?

Ed: Yeah, I’m, I’m not a statistician, Nicole yet it became very clear to me after working with clients for about 12 years, that easily 85% of them believed that they could have a more positive relationship with their boss and I don’t mean become best friends and you know, go out for Margaritas on Friday night but you know, just be more positive and have a more positive relationship. And upon further investigation, it became clear that they weren’t doing anything to ensure that it was more positive. They worked together, but they weren’t being purposeful in ensuring that they had a positive relationship. So your boss is a very important relationship that you have in your organization. 

And as you said, a CEO, even has a boss, oftentimes, it’s the board of directors, but ensuring that they have a very positive view of you, in respect to their interactions with you. And the work that you do is super, super important. So the first chapter is really designed to remind people that it’s important that you work and do purposeful things in order to ensure that if your bosses in the elevator and the CEO says, hey, how’s Nicole doing? In the three seconds that we have I say something very positive, right? And I don’t pause or have to think about it. But I know instantly, that my relationship with you is very good, and that we work really well together.

Nicole: That’s awesome. That’s awesome. So what you just said was that, you know, it’s important to be very positive, know what you’re going to say, if you meet up with different people, especially the CEO, and be purposeful. Is there a way that I can prepare to have those kind of moments that happen just to you know, all of a sudden, oh, there he is, is there something I can do to prepare?

Ed: Absolutely. So in the book, I share three ideas that you can do in order to make great progress. Let me share them with you quickly. One is, be transparent. You know, if it’s appropriate, it may not always be appropriate, because I’m not suggesting that everybody has a great boss. We know there are some bosses out there that are bad at what they do. And it’s hard to have a positive relationship with them. But if there’s a possibility that your relationship could be better, is be transparent and say one day, hey, Nicole, I think our relationship can be even better than it is today. I think it’s good. But I think it could be even better. Are you willing to work on that with me? And I would hope the boss would say absolutely. And then you can start sharing some ideas of things that you can both be doing a little bit differently to be more effective. 

So idea number one, is to be transparent. Idea number two is to be curious about your boss’s goals and objectives. You know, we think so much about our own goals and objectives and where we want to go and what we want to do, we hardly ever spend time asking others what they want to do and where they want to go. And so show curiosity as to what your boss’s objectives and goals are. And then of course, once you know what they are, you’re in a better position to help them. And bosses love people in their organization who are moving in the same direction and helping them go in a particular direction. So knowing your boss’s goals and objectives would be super important. And then the last idea is to ask what I call the million dollar question, which is, what’s one or two things I could do differently to be more effective. 

And it might be effective in our relationship. It might be effective in my role, but this is a great question that people don’t ask at the workplace, they should ask peers, they should ask bosses they should ask subordinates, you know, what’s one or two things I can do differently, to be more effective? It’s not 50 things. It’s just one or two. It’s different. It’s not better or worse, because some people don’t like feeling like they’re judging people. So they might avoid the answer. Different is a little bit more benign, and people are more apt to answer it. And then of course, who wouldn’t want to help you be more effective, right? So it ends on a positive note. So, you know, if people do one of those three things, their likelihood of opening the door to a more positive relationship with their boss is greater.

Nicole: Okay, I adore that. Yeah. So I’m curious about the boss’s goal. And you know, when you said that, I thought, well, shouldn’t I know what the boss’s goal is, but you and I both know, and sometimes the boss isn’t very good at telling everybody what he wants done, or what she wants done. And so being curious about that, that’s my favorite out of your three, my absolute favorite. Alright. So the other thing I want to ask you about is the power of curiosity. You touched on it when you said that for number two, and as a coach, you being a coach, and myself, you know, one of the things we learn in our coach training is that the coach has to be seriously curious. You know, I wonder why he says that, I wonder why that happens, you know, you might my master coach used to say, you need to turn to wonder. Wonder why? So tell me a little bit about how the power of curiosity can drive your career?

Ed: Well, you know, this comes from the experiences that most of my clients have in the workplace. And I would agree with you that we’re so focused on projects and tasks, and clients and conference calls and meetings, that we don’t spend enough time understanding each other well enough, and what we’re looking to achieve and obtain by working wherever it is that we’re working. And so our relationships just aren’t as good as they could be. So I think ultimately, and this comes from after 12 years of working with leaders and reflecting back on my 25 years in corporate organizations, that there are some very basic skills that most of us can get better at. Not everyone because some people are great at this, but most people can get much better. 

First at being curious, which is seeking first to understand why the other person is saying what they’re saying, where they’re coming from, what their biases or prejudices are. You know why they think what they think, before I weigh in? You know, if you think about it, I would much rather know why you’re thinking what you’re thinking, before I share my side of the perspective, because I’m going to offer a better answer. If I don’t know why you think what you think, and I don’t even know what your purpose or reasons, or, you know, rationalities for it. I’m kind of swinging at air. I don’t know what’s gonna happen if I share what I share. So demonstrating curiosity is a significant leadership skill. Some people don’t like it, because they feel like it takes time or, you know, unfolding things that aren’t important. But my experience has been personally, and I will tell you that the experiences of my clients, the more curious they are, the more effective they become, because they just happen to know more. 

And then the other side of the equation is if you’re going to be curious, you also have to be a great listener. Right? If you’re going to ask a great question, you have to go quiet and listen to the person to answer even if you disagree, or even if you feel differently, unfortunately, you know, we’ve been raised in high school and college to always be expected to have the answer, right? The teacher would say, what’s this? Or what’s that? And he would expect everyone to raise their hand, because everyone knows answer. And so we’ve been grown and raised to always try to have the answer. And so before you’re even done talking, I’m already thinking about what I’m going to say, to either disagree with or agree with you. Right? So rather than do that, be curious. And then also be a great listener. From that answer you can be curious again, and then listen, right. And I just know that people will have much more effective relationships at work, if they demonstrate curiosity and great listening skills.

Nicole: Yeah, I totally, I cannot agree more with what you just said. And the things about being curious is you said, you know, you’ll find out more. So if you think about it, like you’re gathering data, you’re gathering nuances, you’re gathering what the consequences might be to whatever action or strategy you’re trying to put in place. So I love that, and also the part about listening. So don’t miss that is everybody write this down. It’s like the Ask a question. Be prepared to listen, instead of like asking a rhetorical question, right, which is, what a lot of leaders do. You agree with me, right?

Ed: I do I do. And I would ask all of the listeners today to really catch themselves and say, Is this a situation that I can be more curious? Rather than answer, right? Someone might walk into your office and say, hey, I’m experiencing a situation? Can you help me? And I’d say, what’s the situation? And they tell me, and then I give them the answer. And instead of doing that, you might be more curious about what’s happening, why it’s happening. What are you thinking? What are your suggestions and thoughts? They may have the answer, you know, anytime I host a webinar, or a training class with people, they always have all the answers, I always have all the answers, we just need to pull it out of them so they can be more outgoing with their recommendations.

Nicole: Yeah, and I think it’s a lot of times when you slow down and talk to somebody, they begin to think in different ways, because we’re opening up kind of their, you know, habitual thinking patterns. Right. So when you’re curious, you’re doing that for both of you. So I absolutely love that. Okay, so leaders have to give presentations. And so I’m a member of the National Speakers Association. And I’ll tell you, Ed that many, many leaders are scared to speak, or they’re scared to present. So I work with leaders to do that. I want to totally know your take on how do you deliver more effective presentations, because it’s a whole skill set that leaders need to have?

Ed: Well, if you’re a member of NSA, Nicole, you should be answering this question, right. But, you know, I would tell you that a huge piece of work that I do when I present and whether it’s at a webinar or in front of people, you know, number one is really to practice. And I don’t mean, literally get up and practice the whole speech, although that is very possible to do. But it’s creating really what I call talking points. So you know, if I write what I want to say, I will never remember it. And I can still remember situations where I went in to deliver something. And I had scripted out my whole talk. And one or two pages in I forgot where I was going, or what I was saying, and there was this, you know, awkward pause, right? Because I needed to go back to my notes to remember what I wanted to say and do so I shifted to what I call talking points, which are things that I want to say, nobody knows that I want to say them. 

Nobody knows what order I want to say them. But as long as I get them in, and it makes sense how I got them in, I’ll deliver a homerun right. So I think creating talking points, which is not a script, but just the point you want to make is a great idea for people who are looking to feel a little bit more comfortable speaking it is okay to be nervous. Some of the greatest actors in the world would tell you that, you know, even in the twilight of their career, they still get nervous when the camera goes on. Because it actually raises their performance level, right? By being a little bit worried about how you’re going to do you have a higher likelihood of being more focused on doing a good job as opposed to somebody who doesn’t care about And it just delivers at a mediocre level. It’s okay to be nervous as long as you don’t let it consume you.

Nicole: Yeah, and I love what you’re saying about just talking points. So I’m hearing you also say if I read between the lines to make it conversational, and less of a speech, right, I’ll talk to you about what’s in my heart and my mind about where this company is going. And I care so much. And so I’m going to go through my talking points. I love that. Okay, so that just takes the pressure off immediately. All right. So that’s great, great advice. So the next point I want to ask you about is, you know, we talked about how do I, you know, cultivate a great relationship with my boss, but what about the other people in the company and in the organization? What relationships do I need to cultivate at work?

Ed: Well, you know, there’s typically four areas of relationships that you should work on. And you know, the key word there, Nicole is relationship. You know, we don’t think enough about the fact that the people we work with, we should have a professional relationship with. So bosses are certainly important. And by the way, there may be more than one boss, right? You may be in a matrix environment where you support three or four people, it’s more complicated, but you still need to ensure that you have positive relations with them. Peers, these are people who also report to bosses, who I believe can also be accountability partners, mentors, you know, people who can help you and you might, you know, I might come to you one day and say, hey, Nicole, we both report to Ed, I having a challenging relationship reporting with him right now, could you help me, right? Because I think the relationship that you have is a little bit better. 

Subordinates, you know, people that report to me. You know, when I work with clients, I tell them, the two most important relationships are bosses and subordinates, because those are the two people that I influenced to get influenced by the most. And then the last might be clients or customers, you know, people externally who I work with, whom, of course, I must continue to have a great relationship with so you know, I think having conversations with them, checking in to assess how you’re doing, you know, these are all things that you can do on a recurring basis. Not frequently, but recurringly, to ensure that you’re on track, right, because we oftentimes assume, if I haven’t heard from a client, everything’s okay. And sometimes that’s not the case. You haven’t heard from them sometimes for a reason, which is that they’re not happy, and they don’t want to talk with you about it, because they’re conflict avoidant. And they’re actually off finding somebody else to help. Them so proactively reaching out to people and checking in to see how you’re doing is a great behavior that people should be doing on a regular basis.

Nicole: I love that. Yeah. So you know, if nobody’s setting up a one on one with you, you better set up a one on one with them is what I just heard you say. 

Ed: You got it. Let me just point out that’s, that’s a great point, Nicole, that, you know, people who have a boss, if the boss has not set up the time to meet with you, and a quarter has gone by, that is a huge missed opportunity. And if you are driving your career, you are ensuring that you’re getting in front of people on a regular basis. Again, not frequently, but a regular basis, to keep them up to date on what you’re doing, how it’s going. Because they need to know because if again, if I bumped into the CEO on the elevator, he says, hey, what is your team working on? I’m not going to know if we haven’t talked for a while, right? So I need to be able to say, here’s what we’re working on, even if I don’t have in depth information about it. At least I have a good answer.

Nicole: Yeah. 100%. Okay, I love that. And then the other thing that I loved what you said is, you know, is that the leader and your direct reports are the people that you need to be most in contact with? And I just got that vision of like, you know, a cheerleading squad holding up a pyramid of people, you know, we’re not going to have that team spirit. We’re not going to win the ballgame, if we don’t have everybody, you know, in formation. So I love what you said, there. That’s awesome. All right. So when should you put on the brakes in your career? And I’m curious, what exactly do you mean by putting on the brakes?

Ed: Well, when I talk about putting on the brakes, I believe that’s in a chapter where we talk a little bit about pausing. And, you know, pausing is not slowing down. And it’s actually not putting on the brakes. But what it does, it ensures is that you invest the appropriate amount of time in some type of kickoff of a project or an initiative upfront, versus in the last minute where you’re, you know, a week away from delivering it to the client. And now you have to delay delivering it because there’s confusion or people aren’t where they thought they were in respect to completing the work, right. So I will tell you in my corporate career, and then oftentimes working with my clients, they start so quickly, they meet and go, go go, that ultimately they end up delaying things because there was confusion. 

People weren’t comfortable speaking up. People weren’t comfortable asking questions. People were afraid to have you repeat yourself. I mean, God forbid someone should ever have to say something twice. But there was confusion at the kickoff, and hence, there was confusion at the end. So my thought and suggestion and talking about pausing. It’s not slowing down. It’s not letting your competitors get ahead of you, but it’s ensuring that at the kickoff, everyone understands their role. Everyone understands what we are about to do. All questions are asked a place is created for questions to be asked. So that when we say we’re going to deliver it to the client, we do and we deliver a great product on time.

Nicole: I love that. I love that. Yeah. So it’s, you know, pumping the brakes, but not putting the brakes on completely. So I totally understand what you mean, now. It’s not coming to a full stop, but maybe reflecting. And so some of the research I’ve read in the past says that, you know, all good leaders do some reflection time. And that’s kind of what I’m hearing you say is, you know, stop, reflect. But I love what you said about the beginning, you know, you’re just kind of in the car idling at the beginning of a, we’re gonna keep using the car metaphor, is at the beginning, you’re, you know, you’re having your first meeting. You know, the project management kickoff, and it’s kind of like, I want to make sure that all those questions are asked. So I love how that dovetails right back to the power of curiosity, one of your main points in the book, it’s like, you know, if you don’t allow everybody to be curious, in the beginning, like, why are we doing this? It’s not that we would take offense, that people are questioning us. They’re just like before I can, like, give my heart and my mind to this thing.

Ed: Right? You know, so one of the behaviors I suggest leaders do is after that kind of project kickoff meeting, where we announce what we want to do we identify who’s roles, you know, we feel as though everything is understood and clear, is say, okay, we’re gonna meet again, in two weeks at that meeting, we’re not going to talk about the project, what I want to talk about is, what don’t you understand? What questions do you have? What things do you need me to repeat? What is it we need? What gaps do we need to close before we put our foot on the gas to use that car metaphor and sart moving forward? 

So unfortunately, we talk about it. We think everyone’s heard us and we go, and we don’t pause, enough time for someone to say, you know, I, and this is what I call water cooler talk, right? We sit at the meeting and say, Yep, I understand I understand. And then we go to the water cooler. And it’s like, Nicole, I didn’t understand the thing we’re talking about. I think this is crazy, whatever it might be. So it’s providing a place for people to not be judged, and not be belittled, because they ask somebody to repeat a question or a topic we’ve already talked about, but provides them a place to talk about it before we move forward.

Nicole: Yeah. And so I love that too. So you know, that water cooler thing? I call that when I when I talk about I call it the meeting after the meeting? And you know, one thing leaders do, they’re very good at doing this. You’re like, does anybody have any questions?

Ed: And what does everyone say? 

Nicole: No.

Ed: No.

Nicole: And so they’re all shaking their head, no. But like, the leader needs to pull those questions out to people and like, kind of like, I like to say, this sounds weird. And but bear with me, you know, it’s like, you got to hold the space, right? You got to hold the space a little while, so that curiosity will come out. And it’ll also feel safe to be curious, or pushback or whatever. Because otherwise, you’re gonna have a whole new strategy at the watercooler coming out of this thing. 

And that strategy will be like, let’s just see how it unfolds. I’ll jump in and work when I see other people deciding. We don’t want that strategy happening. So I agree, you can’t you got to eliminate the meeting after the meeting. All right. All right. The last thing I want to ask you about is how to lead with empathy. And so I love this. I work with a model called the tilt. And the tilt model talks about how a leader should be courageous and inspirational and wise, but also have empathy and really love people. So I think this is going to be really good. Tell me all about empathy, Ed.

Ed: Well, I think along with curiosity and listening, another key strategic leadership skill is empathy. And, you know, I think empathy is going to be the word of the decade, it’s already starting to be a little bit more visible. But empathy, you know, today, oftentimes, unfortunately, is viewed as a soft skill or a waste of time, or some kind of life coach type perspective that, you know, I don’t have to show empathy in the workplace. But in reality, it’s about ensuring that you’re building a better relationship with others. You know, empathy is about, you know, if somebody seems to not be having a good day, or doesn’t seem to be doing the work that they typically do, it’s bringing yourself to their level to say, Hey, what’s going on? You don’t seem to be yourself, you know, what can I do to help as opposed to us staying where you are and expecting them to figure it out and try to get to you? So by going to somebody else’s level, and investigating their situation, the likelihood of you building a better relationship with them is effective. Do you have to do empathy all of the time? 

No, of course not. You’re not going to be every day roaming the halls of the office looking for people. But you know, every once in a while somebody is going to have something happened over the weekend, or have a personal situation or even a professional situation that’s having a dramatic impact on them. And there is a little bit of an expectation that someone’s going to notice. And it might be the boss, it might be a colleague or a peer. But, you know, somebody needs to say to that person, hey, Ed, you don’t seem to be yourself today, what’s going on? Can I help? And so there’s a model in the book that talks about how to flow through empathy. It’s a very simple model. But you know, the expectation is that you are noticing first, that somebody is operating in a little bit of a different mode. If you never notice it, you know, that’s where we have to start. Which is, you know, how do you notice when somebody is in a little bit of a different mode, because you can’t be empathetic, unless you’re noticing that something is happening. And then the steps that you might do to help create a stronger relationship with that person, and help them solve whatever problem it is that they’re experiencing.

Nicole: Yeah, I love that. I love that. And, you know, I think a lot of how we act in corporate America is, you know, you walk in the door, and you say, how are you today? And so what do you say? How are you today, Ed? What would you say?

Ed: I’m great, how are you? 

Nicole: Oh, I’m good. And that’s it.

Ed: Yep, all’s good.

Nicole: It’s all it’s almost kind of, dare I say it, like, almost like, fake. You know, if you listen to all of Ed’s advice, you know, if you are watching people behaviors, you know, you’re you’re going to notice that they’re a little off, right. So that was where you started when you said, you know, how do I cultivate a positive relationship? I’m going to try to be positive, but I’m looking around to see if people aren’t as up the feeling scale is me. And then the other thing you said was, you know, being transparent and curious about others and looking for where they are on that feeling scale, because the truth of the matter is your point about empathy being the word of the did you say of the year? Yeah, word of the year, of the decade. Big prediction, and you heard it first on the Vibrant Leadership Podcast from Ed. 

Okay, he says it’s going to be the word of the decade. But I do think it’s true with everything that’s going on out there in our world, from the pandemic, to the me to movement to our focus on inclusive inclusivity and diversity, that, you know, we really do need to be able to put on other people’s shoes. That’s what empathy means. So I absolutely adore that. Okay, I pulled a lie. And I want to ask you one more question, because I’m having too much fun. Okay. So, here’s the thing, I think there is somebody listening to this podcast, a special listener, and they’re like, okay, I just woke up, I’m 27 years old, I need to really drive my career. Okay, so how does the 27 year old move from where they are to where they want to be? What what little piece of special advice would you give this special listener? He or she wants to kick it into gear.

Ed: I think there’s a couple of things that Nicole. You know, one is, find an accountability partner, you know, oftentimes, we’re more likely to be successful. If we have somebody who’s helping us row as well, you know, it’s very hard. Sometimes the old you know, you can’t fight City Hall alone mentality. It’s good to find that it doesn’t have to be a business associate could be a friend, saying, hey, I’m trying to figure out what the next step of my life is, it would be great to talk it out with you. I’m not looking for any answers. I’m not looking for any judgments, but I just want to get it out of my head. So I can think in certainly asked me some questions. But you know, making it more an active part of your life can help you make progress. 

The second thing, and this is something that I work on with clients a little bit later in their career, but I think it’s always good to do at any time is to take a few minutes. And we have a chapter in the book where we talk about thinking with yourself. And this is because nobody knows you as well as you do, which is, you know, what are your three to five values? I mean, what is it that you truly value, and all of us have different values, and different things that we think about that impact us professionally and personally. So we need to think about, you know, what those three to five things are, I think once you have those three to five things, and you know that they’re somewhat accurate, and then you’re also speaking with someone, your likelihood of kind of figure it out is going to be a little bit better.

Nicole: Yeah, love that. And when you say values, you’re talking about core values. Do I have that right?

Ed: Yes, core values. I mean, these are, from my perspective, you know, almost as deep as you can go, you know, what’s important. So I’ll tell you, one of my core values

Nicole: I would love that 

Ed: Is relationships. So you know, part of it’s my personality preferences, that, you know, having good positive relationships with others. And when I say others, I will tell you, it’s others. It could be the mailman, it could be you know, my next door neighbor five houses down, you know, whoever I meet, I want them to feel better that they’ve met me. So this is very important to me, personally. I mean, this is very, very important. If it’s overused, of course, it can become a weakness because people can take advantage of it, but, you know, I try to moderate it and manage it as well again, higher self awareness leads to higher self management. 

But relationship building, having good relationship is one of my five values. So those are the types of things that, you know, people want to think about. And an accountability partner could hear them and say, Hey, you know, when you combine four of those, it sounds like something you might want to do is the following, right? And, you know, this goes back to driving your career, which is identifying what’s important to you, as an individual, so that you can be more in charge of where you’re going and how you’re getting there.

Nicole: I love that. Okay, so that’s worth repeating. So essentially, what I heard you say is that it is really good to leave people better than you found them.

Ed: That’s true for all of us all the time.

Nicole: Okay, so I love Ed’s core value of relationships, leave people better than you found them is what he said. So write that down, put it on a sticky note on your on your computer screen. And then the other one you said is really huge. And this is a little mini lesson in emotional intelligence that I just gave you. So I’m telling you, this is bonus material. He said, higher self awareness leads to higher self management. Oh, mic drop Ed. That was all. That was fantastic. All right. Well, everybody, I am just absolutely delighted to have Ed on the show today. And Ed can you please tell us the name of your new book, your podcast and where we can find you in case we want to hang out with you and build a relationship?

Ed: Sure. Well, my new book is Drive Your Career.

Nicole: Hold it up again. Hold it up again. So we can get a good shot of it. Okay, so the one you want on Amazon, everybody. Drive Your Career, okay.

Ed: Yeah. And it talks about your own success. So the goal here isn’t waiting for someone to come in, you know, the proverbial knight to ride in and save you but you have to be in charge of your own success. So I hope the stories can be helpful for folks. The podcast is called Be Brave at Work. And you can see all of our recordings at We post all of them there. We just posted our 100th episode. So we’re really excited to have gotten that far. And anything else about me you can go to’s It’s our website and all the information about me and the work that I’m doing is there.

Nicole: Okay, fantastic. And thank you so much for being on the Vibrant Leadership Podcast. I hope you have a fantastic rest of your day.

Ed: Thank you, Nicole.

Voiceover: Ready to up your leadership game? Bring Nicole Greer to speak to your leadership team, conference or organization to help them with her unique SHINE method to increase clarity, accountability, energy and results. Email and be sure to check out Nicole’s TEDx talk at

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