Monthly Archives: June 2017

Overcoming adversity with Jody Plauche

‘I was sexually abused, kidnapped, and my father shot the kidnapper.’ Overcoming adversity with Jody Plauche

As leaders, we want to encourage our teams to succeed. To battle challenges that are put in front of them and come out the other end stronger.

We often hear people making excuses for their careers or their performance or their achievements based on difficulties that they have faced. But to truly succeed as leaders, we need to be able to overcome adversity and today’s guest is the best possible example I could find of someone who has done exactly that in their life.

Jody Plauche from Baton Rouge, La., made national headlines in March 1984 when he was abducted by his karate teacher and taken to Los Angeles, Ca. FBI officials rescued Jody and his abductor was arrested. Upon his karate teacher’s return, Jody’s father Gary, shot and killed Jeff Doucet. The shooting was captured by WBRZ news crew, a local ABC affiliate.

Jody has worked in the field of violence prevention since 1995. While attending Louisiana State University, he served on the executive board for Men Against Violence, a campus organization aimed at preventing campus violence, including sexual assault and other physical violence.

Currently, Jody presents professional and college trainings about sexual violence risk reduction throughout the country.

We asked Jody to come onto the show to talk about his past, his work, and his philosophy, and how he has come to be the success that he is today.

In this week’s show:

  • How did the ordeal affect Jody at the time?
  • How did Jody come through the experience and move forward positively?
  • The catalyst for Jody to get into public speaking and sharing his experience with the world
  • Overcoming adversity
  • More information about Jody


How did the ordeal affect Jody at the time?

Jody was 11 years old when the kidnapping and the shooting occurred. At the time, in 1984, Jody was angry with his father, Gary Plauche, for killing his abuser, Jeff Doucet. It’s important to remember that ‘compliant victims’ as they are termed, or children that are being abused, don’t hate their abusers – largely because they don’t truly understand what is happening.

That was his initial response. Obviously over time, he came to realise that Jeff was a predator and not a good person.

Jody also stresses that he does not advise any parent to respond the way his father did – a parent should be with their child rather than putting themselves in a position where they may spend the rest of their life in prison.

That said, what helped in Jody’s recovery was the fact that the publicity that the case generated led Jody to deal with it at a young age, rather than keeping secret for 20 years. His friends were very supportive of him as a result of the case and he was able to begin to move forward positively.

How did Jody come through the experience and move forward positively?

Jody gives credit to his mother.

She sat down with her kids (long before the incident or abuse occurred) and watched a movie called ‘Fallen Angel.’ She warned them that there are people out there that pose this threat to children.

So when his karate teacher began testing boundaries and began abusing him, he realised that this was one of those people his mother had taught him about. For that reason, Jody never blamed himself for what happened or thought that he had done anything wrong.

This had a big impact on his ability to move on positively.

Jody compares the experience to a grieving process. He didn’t recover overnight. But because his father did not have to serve any jail time, they quickly moved back to being a normal family and Jody went on to develop normally into his late teens.

Jody worked at the Victim Services Center, Montgomery County, PA, and one of the things that he was most proud of that they do is offer counselling not just to the victims, but their significant others. He has seen, in his experience, that parents need counselling as well the victims of abuse.

The catalyst for Jody to get into public speaking and sharing his experience with the world

It started when he was 18 years old and he was offered a free trip to New York City.

He and his father were invited onto the Geraldo Rivera Show to discuss their experience. After the show aired, he got a call from the Sheriff’s Major who investigated Jody’s case in 1984.

He called to say that he had just arrested a Pastor at a church who was molesting two boys. They came forward after having seen Jody appear on The Geraldo Show. At this point Jody realised he could really make a difference to the lives of others.

This put him on the path to raising awareness of the issue and encouraging other victims to come forward and show them that events like this don’t have to destroy your life.

Overcoming adversity

With the proper support, you can overcome, says Jody. He encounters a lot of victims that aren’t aware of the support that is available to them.

You’re not forever damaged or scarred for life, by using a support network you can rebuild. Whether it be through professional therapy or free counselling through your local Rape Crisis.

More information about Jody

You can find more information about Jody on his website:

You can watch the E 60 feature of Jody’s story on YouTube.

Kevin Kruse on Employee Engagement

How to improve employee engagement with Kevin Kruse of LEADx

What’s the true measurement of leadership success? Is it being able to do a line item budget? Meeting deadlines? Resource management?

Really it’s none of those traits. The true measure of a successful leader is the satisfaction, engagement and productivity of our workforce. Giving the very best experience to our clients and customers comes from that effective workforce.

According to the Gallop Association, close to 70% of our workforce is disengaged or actively disengaged. So how realistic can it be to have an engaged workforce with such staggering numbers. We’ll be putting these questions to today’s guest.

With a dream to become the next Bill Gates, our guest started his first company when he was just 22 years old. Despite his hard work the company failed after just one year.

But after discovering the power of leadership and extreme productivity he went on to start, build and sell several multimillion dollar tech companies that have won both “Inc 500” awards for fast growth and “Best Place to Work” awards.

He is a New York Times bestselling author of six books including 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management and Employee Engagement 2.0. And his new podcast is the LEADx Show. Please welcome, Kevin Kruse.

In this week’s show:

  • What is employee engagement?
  • Getting buy-in from your organisation is about a sense of ownership
  • What are the effects of low employee engagement?
  • How do you identify a disengaged workforce?
  • How do you ensure front-line managers have the time and resources to engage with their team and inspire employee engagement?
  • Training our managers for a changing workforce
  • How do you improve employee engagement?


What is employee engagement?

Part of the struggle with getting people to care about engagement is due to the fact that there are a lot of different definitions and confusion around the subject.

A lot of people think it’s about employee satisfaction, but actually, that is not enough. A satisfied employee is not the person that’s going to come to you with great ideas or give 100% at all times.

Other people believe it’s about employee happiness – creating an enjoyable environment with great perks. But you can be happy at work and not really be working on behalf of the organisation.

So Kevin defines employee engagement as the emotional commitment that employees have to an organisation and its goals. When you care about the organisation you work for, you are going to give discretionary effort. Employee engagement and discretionary effort are not one and the same, but employee engagement leads to discretionary effort.

Getting buy-in from your organisation is about a sense of ownership

It’s a fundamental thing to protect something that we feel a sense of ownership of. We don’t wash a rental car, we wash the car we own!

Giving the workforce a sense of ownership of the organisation, the projects and the work they are a part of encourages a level of engagement that automatically generates buy-in to new projects and ideas.

What are the effects of low employee engagement?

There is great research that shows a correlation between engagement or lack of engagement and all kinds of business measures.

In terms of quality, a disengaged worker is going to have more accidents. A disengaged sales person isn’t going to work as hard on a Friday afternoon as a Monday afternoon. Disengaged workers are less loyal, looking for other jobs and are likely to leave the organisation for a slight pay increase.

And it’s not as simple as paying these employees more.

People need to know they are being paid fairly. But all else being equal, people would rather work for a purpose than a paycheck. It’s about Mission Not Money.

So if it was just about those benefits plans and salaries it would be an easy solution and we wouldn’t have 70% of our workforce disengaged.

Money is not the answer.

How do you identify a disengaged workforce?

At a gut level, you can often see it. A manager, department or team that has a high turnover or missing deadlines consistently.

Quantitatively though, any mid to large-sized company should be working with an outside firm to do employee engagement surveys.

The Society for Resource Management (SHRM) offers an engagement tool. Survey Monkey has a bundled survey for this also.

Alternatively, you can develop your own survey internally, but this can compromise confidentiality etc. So for accurate scores and comments, your team members need to know that their comments and ratings will be completely anonymous.

How do you ensure front-line managers have the time and resources to engage with their team and inspire employee engagement?

Everyone out there that has the word ‘Manager’ in their title, should be replaced with the word ‘Coach’, says Kevin. Pushing papers, creating budgets, reviewing documents is task management, not leading our people, which is what managers should be doing.

Realising that the number one job of managers is to be coaching each individual within that team to ensure long-term success (as well as being responsible for the output of that team), rather than administrative tasks, will make a huge difference in this area.

Other than the military, most organisations do a bad job of training their front-line managers. Even in large organisations, Kevin sees Director to VP-level executives going on retreats, executive MBA programmes, bringing in expensive speakers for quarterly meetings etc.

But if you are a front-line manager in a large organisation you either get no training, or the 1-2 day training that covers basic hiring and firing protocols. It doesn’t cover how to engage or how to coach.

Training our managers for a changing workforce

New challenges around engaging and managing the workforce come in when you look at the next generation of managers and their connection to and relationship with technology.

Remote work becomes a new challenge – there is often no training around managing and engaging the workforce when they spend much of their working time outside of the office.

How do you improve employee engagement?

No matter how old your organisation is, it is possible to improve engagement and your survey results over time. Kevin gives the example of Doug Conant at Campbell Soup changing their scores over 10 years from the worst in the Fortune 500 to the best.

Most organisations either don’t care and don’t survey, or they survey every year or two and the data stays in the C-suites. The problem is that it is the front-line managers that determine the engagement of the workforce.

The surveys need to take place throughout the organisation and each manager has to be shown her own data. Showing each individual manager where their strengths and weaknesses are in terms of managing and engaging their teams so that they can spend time with those teams discussing how they can address issues within their specific part of the organisation.

So most of the work has to come from the ground up. There are some universal truths though.

One of those is that there are three things that most of us want:

  • Growth
  • Recognition
  • Trust

So as leaders we need to be cognizant of our team, their performance, and communicating successes and how their work contributes to the wider strategy of the company on a regular basis.

Relating the workforce’s efforts to the vision statement of the company is crucial to employee engagement.

How to learn more about Kevin Kruse and engage with him

You can reach Kevin by email on kevin [at] leadx [dot] org

Listen to the LEADx Podcast

How to intentionally build your leadership legacy with Tammy Kling

How to intentionally build your leadership legacy with Tammy Kling

In today’s show we revisit our most popular interview to date. Tammy Kling had so much to offer when we talked at the start of the year, we wanted to revisit the episode.

When we think about growing as leaders and as people, and as we take the next step in our careers, what does that path look like? We spoke to Tammy to answer those questions and more.

Tammy Kling is a coach to the coaches. She’s a New York Times bestselling author, she’s a sought after speaker – her TEDx talk, ‘Words Are Currency’ have inspired and motivated countless people on the importance of how to use their words.


  • Developing a leadership legacy
  • Are we living our legacy now or do we find out what it is?
  • How do you have confidence and believe in yourself that you have a legacy?
  • Taking ownership of our legacy
  • Your words are your currency
  • More about Tammy Kling and her services


Developing a leadership legacy

When Tammy had written her 10th CEO book, she was sitting in the office of a successful Chief Executive – someone with sports cars, private jets and a house on an island – who was weeping.

The CEO said that after building his company, he wanted to know how he could give back. Would that be by helping to serve the homeless, writing a book to educate the next generation, or something else?

As he sat in his office crying, Tammy realised that you don’t have to wait until late in life – after you have become a success materialy – to find yourself, discover who you are, and decide what your legacy to the world should be.

Often successful leaders have not discovered their legacy yet. Tammy impresses the importance of finding a purpose that develops that legacy and impacts the way you lead in your life and business.

Are we living our legacy now or do we find out what it is?

A lot of people would answer that question by saying ‘we’re living our legacy every day.’ While that may be true for many of us, the majority of us go through life without intentionally thinking about our legacy – we focus on our business, on our knowledge and expertise.

Tammy often meets people like this that by the end of their career find themselves wanting to give back, to leave that lasting legacy, but unsure what that looks like. She gives the example of a retired NFL player that has had a successful career, but now is done with football – it’s not his life anymore – and wonders what he should do.

So instead, if we’re intentional about stepping back, taking time alone to discover our life’s purpose, at that point we are able to live our legacy.

How do you have confidence and believe in yourself that you have a legacy?

Tammy doesn’t believe in the idea of everyone having a story or a book in them. We guard who we learn from, so you have to be confident that you are able to contribute something positive to the world, which makes this an important question.

It’s important to really listen and try to understand a way that we can impact the world. That may not always be in the discipline that you focus your career around.

If you’re intentional and take time to reflect, listing out what your unique gifts are, you can develop an idea of what your legacy is and feel confident in it being a part of you and your life.

For example, Tammy worked with legendary golfer Chi-Chi Rodríguez. Everyone thought his legacy was golf, but in fact golf was just a tool to help him live his passion and legacy which has always been to help orphans and underprivileged kids.

Your legacy may not have anything to do with the career you are in. You are not what you do. You are what you are.

Taking ownership of our legacy

When you are in your professional life – whether that be on the golf course, the football field, or the boardroom – we feel comfortable there. But taking ownership of our personal legacy can be different.

The first step, says Tammy, is to break through your limiting beliefs about what your leadership legacy is.

When she asks the question of ‘what is your legacy’ – as she did recently to a group at Pepsi – a lot of people will answer with ‘my kids are my legacy.’

Tammy tries to challenge that as a limiting belief. Kids are your responsibility – you are responsible for raising them and teaching them good character traits and values, but they are not your legacy. You are going to train them to develop their own unique legacy.

Or similarly, a VP saying that their legacy will be to bring innovation into a company could be a limiting belief. Again, Tammy reminds us that we are who we are, not what we do.

So it’s about clearly defining what a leadership legacy could be for you without limiting yourself.

The second step is to list out your top 3 unique gifts, independent of your career, to identify how you can impact people regardless of your profession.

Your words are your currency

When we all learn to use our words, we are very young. And as we go through life we maintain the same sense we have as kids of not being intentional about our words.

Proof of that is the multi-million dollar self improvement industry. The books and teachings and products about being a good presenter or sales person. Our companies pay for us to take training to use our words more effectively.

We can convey powerful messages with our words, and without intention, they can be misunderstood or misrepresented.

So what Tammy means by ‘your words are your currency’ is that if you are more intentional about our words you can change or even save lives. Which is a huge part of leadership.

More about Tammy Kling and her services

You can reach Tammy and learn more about what she does for clients by using the below:

Lexy Thomson Trybal Performance

How to develop EQ through a gratitude practice with Lexy Thompson of Trybal Performance

Leadership is an art and a science – and you need to know the science before you can paint the portrait of success.

We like to bring guests on the show with different specialties to really give us the expertise to help us grow in ways we may not have already considered. So we are going to talk about some things that you’ve probably not heard before.

To bring the very best out of our workforce, we need to bring the very best out of ourselves. In order to do that we need to be grateful for who we are, the positions that we hold and the responsibility to our workforce. So that is what we are going to talk about today.

Our guest today is a Senior Leader in Conflict Resolution, Executive Coaching, and Entrepreneurship, she has expertise that allows you to achieve measurable results through cutting edge solutions in communications and organizational development.

She is a visionary leader, and specializes in communications strategy. She is the founder of Trybal Performance, she is an accomplished author, and speaker. Coming all the way from the Lone Star State.


  • Background on Trybal Performance
  • Lexy’s philosophy of a ‘Trybal Attitude’ and the ‘Power of Abundance’
  • Gratitude Practice
  • How does keeping track of gratitude help with self-reflection?
  • How do you maintain gratitude if you’re having a hard day through pattern interruptions?
  • How important is emotional intelligence in gratitude practice?
  • Lexy’s suggestions for those wanting to develop a gratitude practice
  • What if you don’t enjoy journaling?
  • What’s the best way to reach Lexy and talk about gratitude practice?



Background on Trybal Performance

Trybal Performance is two and a half years old – it’s the second consulting firm that Lexy has taken on. She is the Founder, but has many contributors across the business.

Lexy spent a lot of time thinking about the naming of her company and in fact the name came to her at 3AM one morning when she woke up from sleep! The word Trybal both represents the work she does with teams in organisations, but also the fact that in Leadership, it’s also about the idea of ‘try try again’ because before every success comes failure, and before every failure comes trying.

The word ‘Performance’ represents the notion of moving the needle, making incremental improvements within your leadership team.

Lexy’s philosophy of a ‘Trybal Attitude’ and the ‘Power of Abundance’

Lexy often gets pushback on her stance of starting from a platform of abundance which underlies all the work that she does. Our landscape and our world today offers many examples of why this may not be true.

The ‘Power of Abundance’ concept is more about the idea of the attitude you bring with you. Lexy starts everything from what is right and what is possible, not ignoring the pitfalls and failures, but instead starting with what is right and positive within our organisation before we look at what is wrong and negative.

This positive, ‘Trybal Attitude’, is a strategy for success that is about overcoming challenges rather than shying away from the intimidation of the rights and the wrongs within our organisation.

Gratitude Practice

The simple practice of every day expressing what you are thankful for. Sometimes, in Lexy’s experience, it can be as simple as being thankful for getting through the day! It’s not about rose tinting all of our experiences, but it’s about acknowledging where you are, how you are, with whom you are, within that moment.

Being a leader is taxing – it can often seem to be about nothing more than
Results! Results! Results!’

The opportunity to celebrate with your team can often be missed. But taking the time to observe and celebrate successes, call out those responsible, look at opportunities to improve and look at lessons learned – all within the framework of gratitude – creates a platform for positive reinforcement.

The simple act of rating your day from 1-10 can allow you the opportunity to analyze your day and think about what you can do better in future.

How does keeping track of gratitude help with self-reflection?

From Lexy’s own experience, by going through her journals where she documents gratitude at the start and end of every day, she can recognise moments of momentous personal growth. This is extremely rewarding.

Reflecting on life events can engender pride in yourself, as well as offer insight on where you need to pivot within your life or work to make improvements in certain areas.

How do you maintain gratitude if you’re having a hard day through pattern interruptions?

Lexy has a tool that she uses a lot in hard times. Often in times of frustration or anger, it can create a spiral of emotion that can turn bad very fast.

She creates pattern interruptions. One of them is what she calls a ‘structured venting session’ in order to purge emotion about a particular event or circumstance. She uses an egg timer to give herself (or her kids!) a minute to scream, cuss, and get the emotion out.

This allows you to settle in to what is really going on behind the noise as well as creating a pattern interruption to give you the opportunity to look at the reality of the situation, unencumbered by your immediate emotional reaction.

Another tactic she uses when dealing with a particularly difficult person or situation is to ask herself ‘why would a good and decent person behave this way?’ By forcing yourself to ask this question, you create a curiosity in yourself and avoid the spiral of emotion.

Failing that, you can also remove yourself from the situation, which is also fine to do.

How important is emotional intelligence in gratitude practice?

Gratitude is the door into your EQ, says Lexy. It’s something that anyone can build – just like muscles in the gym.

Slowing down long enough to reflect and appreciate and be grateful for things in our life, it creates self-awareness. By developing self-awareness we can move towards a place of self-love’, and then can start looking at performance, impact, and tools and systems to build our EQ.

Self-awareness is one of the major keys to being a successful leader. So by reflecting on gratitude, we develop that self-awareness that leads to growth and impact.

Once you begin to develop your EQ, you naturally become more aware of others and what’s going on around you. This will inevitably improve your opportunity to have impact and influence people and situations. It allows you to be more generous, compassionate and forgiving and so on.

Lexy’s suggestions for those wanting to develop a gratitude practice

Some of Lexy’s favourite actions to creating this practice are:

  • Journaling as was mentioned previously – this is the core piece. It can be digital or on paper – it’s all about getting your thoughts out in some tangible form.
  • Writing thank you letters – extending the gratitude that you’re feeling internally to others and into the world
  • Gratitude walk – this is also a pattern interruption. It can be as short as a loop around the office, but by getting up and giving yourself time to reflect on a bad situation and look for what you are grateful for inside of it can give you the opportunity to learn rather than lose.

By consistently journaling, you begin to develop a level of self-awareness that illuminates patterns or behaviours that indicate when you need to make a pattern interruption. Even before the emotional spiral begins to take place.

What if you don’t enjoy journaling?

Another option can be to journal in audio. By talking your thoughts through rather than writing them down, you can get the same benefit through a medium that works for you. This can be as simple as recording voice memos on your iPhone, or having a dictaphone in your car.

What’s the best way to reach Lexy and talk about gratitude practice?

You can reach her on lexy at trybalperformance dot com

On Twitter: @alexsysthompson

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