39: Define Your Leadership By Navigating the 17% Moments

Primary tabs

What drives high-performance leadership and emotional intelligence for exceptional leadership? In this episode, Steve Gutzler discusses his work and research, sharing insights on the difference between being a good and great leader. Steve discusses his recently released book, Splash: The Ten Remarkable Traits to Build Momentum in Life and Leadership and shares his top two traits.
Steve is the President of Leadership Quest, a Seattle based leadership development company, working with well-respected clients such as Pandora Radio, Microsoft, Starbucks, Boeing, Cisco, and the Seattle Seahawks, to name a few. Steve’s exceptional ability to communicate clear leadership and business solutions with humor, clarity, and insight is why he is highly sought after in the industry.
Listen (above) in or watch the video (below) to catch Kyle's latest interview with Steve.

Steve Gutzler Quote on HR Studio PodcastKey Learnings From This Episode

  • Successfully Navigating the 17% Moments. 83% of the time people successfully manage relationships and tasks. It is the other 17% ‘moments’ when actions become more challenging and work more difficult. That is usually when people discover whether or not they are leaders and if they are reaching their full potential. Steve coaches his clients, many of whom are CEOs, on how to manage those 83% moments – that is when they are effective and in their flow. He also helps leaders navigate the 17% moments when stress begins to peak and a challenging relationship occurs with a client or someone on their team.

    How leaders handle the 17% moments will actually define their leadership and their reputation. Their ‘personal brand’ will be determined during this time. It is all about self-regulation of emotions – delaying gratification, learning to disengage for a few minutes so they can re-engage more powerfully. While people in our information age want to have that quick response, leaders should instead give themselves a little more thoughtful time to allow the emotions to come down and the rational brain to ‘surface’ to develop better solutions.

  • ‘In the moment’ and preventative strategies. In the moment strategies to practice include breathing, disengaging to re-engage more powerfully, ‘SOSS’ – stop, oxygenate (breathe), strengthen some appreciation and get some good emotions going, and then seek solutions. Preventative strategies include exercise, nutrition, sleep – these things help raise our emotional aptitude and provide the reserves to handle ‘in the moment’ stresses.
  • The cortisol (stress hormone). What are the physical signs when cortisol gets injected into your system? These include heart racing, palms sweating, dry mouth. They serve as ‘don’t respond now’ warning lights. Steve helps clients become self-aware of these physical signs as ‘yellow lights’ to not respond, but instead allow some time and space. “Play ‘big’ – do not jump to judgment.” Self-regulate and learn how to self-manage others. This is the difference between being a good leader and being a great leader. This is what can make the difference in being a high functioning, smart team. 
  • Steve’s latest book. Recently published, ‘Splash’ is not a highly technical read. It is meant to be inspirational with stories and anecdotes on those who have found inspiration. Steve started his company 20 years ago while unemployed; struggling to get up in the morning; and changing into work clothes. Steve had never written a purpose statement or outlined what his values were. Through introspection, he created a re-start life plan. He thought that if he could help leaders go on a quest similar to his own, that would be a really great name for a company, Steve Gutzler - Leadership Quest.

    The title of his book – Splash – came during Steve’s self-discovery time. He saw a group of first graders at a bus stop in the rain. One child was in a rain slicker, jumping around, doing a 360, looking up, laughing and splashing. It was a small defining moment that gave Steve inspiration to ‘live life like that – alive, getting out of the funk, and start splashing.’

  • Ten Remarkable Traits. Steve has leaders explore 10 traits that he believes are very important. His top two: 
    1. Calling:  Many people get up in the morning and dread what they do professionally. They call it ‘work’. Steve partners with leaders to help them shift out of the ‘work’ mode and think of it as more of a ‘calling’. Work should be aligned with your passions and purpose. If they are, then it is a calling. Once you recognize your calling, every day becomes an adventure, every day becomes an opportunity to fulfill what you are called to do.
    2. Code of Honor: Great organizations have a code of promises that are unbroken. Leaders are encouraged to create a list of 8-10 promises they want to make for themselves. These may apply to others, but first, they have to be a promise keeper to themselves. What are they promising? It could be ‘commitment to excellence’, it could be that they are going to be a ‘corporate athlete’ – that they are going to train 4 or 5 days a week to stay fit and healthy, it could be that they want to create a family legacy. It becomes exciting to know what those promises are. These can become part of their life plan.

Recommended Reading and References From this Episode

Steve Gutzler HR Studio Podcast Show Notes
Steve Gutzler HR Studio Podcast Show Notes
Tuesday, October 3, 2017 - 8:00am
Kyle O'Connor
Steve Gutzler
HR Studio Podcast