Best-Self Management

Create Extraordinary Teams

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Episode 19: How To Transition To A Fully Remote Team In The Time Of Coronavirus


Welcome to the Best-Self Management podcast where we explore the brave new world where business leaders encourage everyone to bring their whole self to work. Best-Self Management proposes that if leaders build cultures and institute practices that support people in being and becoming their Best Selves, then high performance and uncommon loyalty will naturally result.

Co-hosts, David Hassell and Shane Metcalf, regularly discuss the uniquely healthy and productive cofounder relationship they’ve built at 15Five over the last seven years. You’ll hear about how they built an 8-figure business, with a stellar culture that’s rated #3 in the country on Glassdoor! They also interview academics, business leaders, and coaches, who are revolutionizing our understanding of human performance and what it takes to build a thriving culture that celebrates every employee and guides them towards greatness.

Season 3: Guests

Jenny Sauer-Klein

Jenny Sauer-Klein

Jenny Sauer-Klein is passionate about creating transformational human-to-human experiences that prioritize connection over content. She offers in-depth Scaling Intimacy trainings in her experience design methodology, and has created programs for companies such as Airbnb, Google, Dropbox, and Genentech. She is the founder and director of The Culture Conference, and the co-founder of AcroYoga, a global movement with millions of practitioners around the world. A collection of her best team building games and exercises can be found in the Play On Purpose video library. Her work has been featured in Inc., Fast Company, Forbes, and Tim Ferriss’s book Tools of Titans.

John Foster

John Foster

John is a business designer who helps people and organizations perform at their best. He has broad experience designing, building, and managing internal operations for talent driven companies; including all aspects of HR, learning & development, and innovation. In 2013, John founded Gamut HCD (Human Centered Design) as a platform to advise start-ups and build tools that help people learn and grow. He has served as CHRO at IDEO and Hulu, and interim CHRO at TrueCar, Minted, Thrive Market and West, LLC. He is very active in the start-up community as a mentor and coach, and has deep expertise in psychology, organization behavior, leadership, and communications. Follow John on Twitter @jfconnex.

Rajkumari Neogy

Rajkumari Neogy

Rajkumari is the creator of the iRestart framework, the Disruptive Diversity Boot Camp and the author of The WIT Factor: Shifting the Workplace Paradigm by Becoming Your Optimal Self. S/He is fascinated by team culture, especially in the tech arena and believes that every individual brings a superpower that often isn’t fully unlocked. S/He provides expertise in epigenetic coaching, team dynamics, and organizational belonging and believes that the qualities of passionate self-reflection and dedicated curiosity (two sides of the same coin) define true leadership. Visit www.irestart.com to get a free 20-page document on how to Build Inclusive Teams.

Wayne Baker

Dr. Wayne Baker

Dr. Baker is the Robert P. Thome Professor of Business Administration and Professor of Management & Organizations at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, and Faculty Director of the Center for Positive Organizations. Dr. Baker is author of the forthcoming book All You Have to Do Is Ask (Jan. 14, 2020) as well as five other books and many scholarly articles. A frequent guest speaker and management consultant, Baker is a cofounder and board member of Give and Take Inc., developers of the collaboration technologies based on principles in All You Have to Do Is Ask.

Season 3: Episodes

Episode 19 | 03/24/2020

How To Transition To A Fully Remote Team In The Time Of Coronavirus

In this special episode, we talk about what it takes to (re)build a successful remote workforce, since the spread of COVID-19 has forced many businesses into distributed work models…maybe permanently.

We have been a distributed company since day one and after eight years we have over 200 employees and an award-wining culture. We’ve learned that while a remote workforce has its challenges, it also presents many opportunities to build a culture with strengths that wouldn’t exist otherwise.

Listen to the audio to learn about our minimalist communication tech-stack, effective management practices, and our science-backed cultural rituals for building trust, staying connected, and keeping morale high.

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Episiode 18 | 03/10/2020

The Neurobiology of Belonging in Highly Effective Teams w/ Rajkumari Neogy

Rajkumari explains how, as leaders, we need to look at and consider why our people behave in certain ways. Research indicates that trauma can show up in our systems even if we haven’t personally experienced it, because it can be passed along through our genes! Business leaders and culture architects can benefit from incorporating an awareness of past traumas along with an understanding of neuroscience as it impacts our sense of belonging at work.

We can intentionally create a culture where people experience transformation by choosing the language that we use. Since words are integrally tied to feelings, and feelings create our environment, business leaders have the power and responsibility to create work environments where people can feel safe enough to thrive.

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Episode 17 | 03/03/2020

Intentionally Building A Culture Of Generosity w/ Dr. Wayne Baker

Ever wonder how you will achieve the monumental tasks required of you at work? Few people realize that they’re already surrounded by all the resources they need to reach their goals. There are people around you who would be happy to help. All you have to do is ask, but most people simply don’t make the request.

In this fascinating episode, we bring in an expert who has helped people and organizations successfully build cultures where anyone can tap into the giving power of what is actually a massive network of resources. He’s discovered that most people are willing and even eager, to help others. The disconnect often occurs because people are reluctant to ask for help when they most need it.

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Episode 16 | 02/19/2020

Wise Leaders Cultivate Relational Mastery

It’s not enough to have people become their individual best selves. In order to do the extraordinary, we have to work with other people. No matter how great a single person’s efforts, it’s not going to be enough on its own. That’s why cultivating relational mastery, is essential in any business.

Often, cultivating relational skill is overlooked, which is why so many orgs get bogged down by relational friction (drama, politics, resentment, blame, etc.) This means having difficult conversations. While they may be uncomfortable at the time, direct and honest communication is key to keeping negative emotions from festering.

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Episode 15 | 02/11/2020

The Real Key to Talent Development is Authentic Caring

One of the most impactful ways to influence performance involves how you see your people. This is why we describe one of the three key pillars of Best-Self Management, as “being and becoming your best self”. Leaders must simultaneously celebrate the greatness of their people (being), and also inspire continuous improvement (becoming).

Authentic caring allows you to support employees through their crises and challenges and help them grow towards becoming their best selves throughout that journey. And while sometimes the right move is to transition an underperformer out of the company, most often holding a high intention for their growth will influence a major improvement and even a transformation.

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Episode 14 | 02/04/2020

Breaking the Rules of the Corporate Offsite

This special episode is an update to our second ever podcast where we discuss how to create transformational business retreats. We’ve just returned from our 2020 retreat, which was nearly three times the size and even more powerful than last year’s. As a follow-up to last year’s episode, we interview some of our new employees, so you can hear from the attendees themselves. Chris Hloros, our business analytics manager and Jeff Smith, director of the Best-Self Academy share the profound impact that they experienced.

These include breaking down barriers and create authentic connection, so that we can deeply see the humans that comprise the company, and then all align around the greater company mission and lofty objectives.

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Episode 13 | 01/28/2020

Creating A Powerful Shared Context For Your Team

Why does your company exist? Do you feel connected to the purpose? Close your eyes and see if the answer elicits an emotional response. If the answer is to make money, that’s patently insufficient. Money is certainly critical in business but it must be the byproduct of being in service to something greater. Many leaders have developed a company mission to guide people, and we’ve found that the mission is only part of the equation.

In this episode, Shane and David discuss how to create a powerful shared context, so that your team can succeed on any horizon of time—this quarter, this year, and even a decade from now…

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Episode 12 | 01/14/2020

The Formula For Scaling An Award-Winning Culture

In less than a year, 15Five has rapidly scaled the company up from about 70 employees to over 200. It’s not entirely uncommon for many company cultures to suffer during a surge of high growth—fortunately for our company, the opposite is true. Our company culture is now stronger than ever and was recently recognized and ranked #3 on Glassdoor’s Best Workplaces list. We even received our highest scores to date from our most recent quarterly engagement survey.

So, how did we do it?

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Season 2: Guests

Laura Garnett 15Five Podcast

Laura Garnett

Laura is a performance strategist, Mother, TEDx speaker, and author of The Genius Habit. She works with CEOs and executives to identify their Zone of Genius, and craft an actionable plan to leverage it in their day-to-day work. She has consulted with organizations including Capital One, Pandora, LinkedIn, and Instructure. Prior to launching her own company, New York City-based Garnett Consulting, she honed her marketing, strategy, and career-refining skills at companies like Capital One, American Express, IAC, and Google.

Joe Mechlinski

Joe is a New York Times bestselling author, speaker, and social entrepreneur who believes that an engaged workforce is the key to unlocking human potential. Always embarking on new adventures, Joe launched his podcast, Shift Happens, which features inspiring icons and influencers such as New York Times bestselling author Dan Pink, and three-time New York Times bestselling author Tucker Max.

Anese Cavanaugh

Anese helps people show up, bring their best selves to the table, and create significant positive impact in their lives. The creator of the IEP Method (Intentional Energetic Presence), she is a speaker, advisor and thinking partner to leaders around the world. Anese is currently working on her 3rd book, CONTAGIOUS YOU: Unlock Your Power to Influence, Lead, and Create the Impact You Want.

Vanessa Shaw

Vannessa is the founder of The Workplace Lab, a design thinking incubator for HR & Talent leaders. She supports leaders to bring empathy and creativity into the workplace. Whether working with United Nations, Military cadets at West Point, or at home in Silicon Valley with tech companies, she helps people answer the question, “Can my job be an expression of my creativity?”

Season 2: Episodes

Episode 11 | 12/10/2019

Courageously Embracing Your Genius w/ Laura Garnett

In this interview, we sit down with performance strategist, Laura Garnett, to discuss the unique “genius” we all possess. We’ve been conditioned to think that the hyper-intelligent are the only ones exclusive to this title, but truly, we all have natural strengths that bring immense value at work. When we are working in roles that flex our one-of-a-kind expertise while simultaneously fueling our passions, this state is known as the Zone of Genius.

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Episode 10 | 11/05/2019

Leadership Practices For A More Positive Workplace

In our 10th episode, we discuss the benefits of creating a more positive workplace for you and your employees. We also share what we’ve learned from the field of positive psychology and how we’re able to shift our default mindsets from one that is threatened, to one that is positive and fruitful.

Positivity can manifest in many ways, including gratitude, appreciation, and of course, healthier more productive relationships.

A focus on positivity is one of the easiest ways to help the relationships in your organization thrive. When that happens, not only does the bottom line improve, but the people that make up your organization will be more connected and committed to each other and your company’s mission.

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Episode 9 | 10/22/2019

Intrinsic Motivation Pt. 2: Operating From Your Deeper Why

This is part two of our discussion on how to help inspire your people by connecting them to their internal and intrinsic motivators. In this episode, we’re going deeper into self-actualization and mastery. By helping the people around you develop and nourish a growth-mindset, meaningful and effective progress is inevitable.

At 15Five we routinely help our people set self-development objectives in addition to business goals. We’ve found that although this can be challenging, it ultimately leads to more introspection on the part of participants and creates opportunities for overall growth.

Finally, we discuss the importance of giving each other true autonomy. This means granting people the trust they need to do the work that’s required. As managers, we can choose to let our people take the lead and make the right decisions. 

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Episode 8 | 10/08/2019

Connecting People To Deeper Intrinsic Motivation Pt. 1

Motivation sparks everything we do and helps us choose where to focus in our busy lives. We have motivations for why we’re in relationships, listen to certain podcasts, and even how we work.

Intrinsic motivation is the sustainable way to drive employee performance. It’s all about incentive and deriving pleasure from the activity itself (e.g., a genuine interest in a project or strategic initiative) rather than because of any external benefits that might be obtained.

External motivators can only go so far to drive someone’s performance in life and in business. Personal fulfillment doesn’t come from a paycheck or the end-goal five years down the road; true motivation comes from waking up day-to-day excited to use our unique strengths and capabilities.

In this episode, David and Shane examine what lies behind intrinsic motivation in the workplace and why it’s a far more powerful way to encourage performance.

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Episode 7 | 09/24/2019

How Leaders Can Create Psychological Safety In The Workplace

Psychological safety hinges on making sure your people feel both respected and accepted. Remove the fear of making mistakes to support risk-taking as part of your company ethos.

There are several practical ways to build psychological safety inside your organization. We share what has worked for us at 15Five and how you can do it too. It involves building a supportive culture at work, having open and honest communication between managers and employees, and having high degrees of vulnerable trust at the leadership level.

Learn about the negative consequences that arise when your people do not feel supported and heard, and the role a manager has in creating a high level of psychological safety with their team.

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Episode 6 | 09/10/2019

What Exactly Is Best-Self Management?

Tune in for an overview of the methodology that we developed at 15Five, that we call “Best-Self Management.” We’re explaining the principles and notions that we believe point the way to a better way of working, leading, and developing our people so that we can thrive as companies, individuals, and ultimately as a society.

We explain how our experience with promoting Best-Self Management in the workplace has been a true win-win for everyone in our company and how it contrasts with the historical norm. Really, our goal is to show how we bring out the innate greatness in our people so that they can thrive, and in doing so, the business will too.

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Season 1: Episodes

Episode 5 | 08/06/2019

Reimagining The Employee Experience With Design Thinking w/ Vanessa Shaw

Your job is not simply a means to an end, a way of putting bread on the table. What if we looked at our jobs more as a way of expressing our creativity? This may sound like a radical idea, but as today’s guest explains, it’s not only possible but essential that we design an extraordinary employee experience that unlocks the potential of our people.

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Episode 4 | 07/23/2019

Present And Impactful Leadership w/ Anese Cavanaugh

In this interview, Anese discusses how we can all show up at work with intentionality behind what we hope to accomplish, and how we interact with one other. She also dives into ways we can be present with the energy we bring so that the people around us feel better supported, inspired, and motivated.

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Episode 3 | 07/09/2019

A Shared Experience Of Trust At Work w/ Joe Mechlinski

We unpack the topic of workplace trust as an essential part of any highly functioning organization. We also explore the research around the intelligence of our hearts and guts, and what scientists are saying when it comes to listening to these vital parts of ourselves.

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Episode 2 | 06/24/2019

Facilitate Transformational Company Retreats

Today, we’re exploring the importance of retreats. We’ve been putting these together since the start, even when there were only a handful of us here launching the company. We still hold them every year and the benefits have been substantial! We explain the many benefits we have seen as the result of our company retreats and how to get your employees enthusiastically involved.

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Episode 1 | 06/21/2019

Healthy Leadership Teams

In our first episode, our guests will be… ourselves! We interview each other about where we went right over the years and where we went wrong. We started with a belief that there’s a different way to do business and that the key to creating a thriving, sustainable company in the long term was supporting our people. Coming off our latest all-company retreat, many employees shared how unique an experience they had of connection with others and of a shift in mindset around what’s possible for their growth in a business setting.

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Your Hosts

David Hassell
David Hassell

David is a columnist, speaker, and entrepreneur who believes that when leaders institute practices that support each person in being and becoming their best self, high performance and uncommon loyalty naturally result. As co-founder and CEO of 15Five, David and his team have developed industry-leading people management software that drives high performance via a suite of features including weekly check-ins, OKR tracking, 1-on-1s, and peer appreciation. David also created the Best-Self Management methodology that helps leaders address hidden factors that stimulate sustainable growth, such as fostering psychological safety. David and the team practice Best-Self Management and use 15Five internally, which they credit with their near zero attrition, rapid growth, and awards like Inc.’s Best Places to Work. David has been featured in Inc., Wired, Entrepreneur, and Fast Company.

Follow David on Twitter @dhassell.

Shane Metcalf portrait
Shane Metcalf

Shane is a keynote speaker who advises on how to build a world class workplace and is one of the world’s leading pioneers in the space of cultural engineering and positive psychology. His insights have been featured in Inc.Fast CompanyBusiness Insider, Tech Crunch, and Bloomberg. As the Co-founder of 15Five, Shane and his team support HR Executives with data-driven people management. 15Five has won numerous awards for their company culture, including being ranked #3 in the U.S. on GlassDoor. 15Five has worked with thousands of corporations from around the globe like HubSpot, Spotify, and Citrix to systematically scale authenticity and create extraordinary cultures. As a keynote speaker, Shane can help any HR Executive with employee disengagement to maximize organizational health and create more cohesive leadership teams.

Follow Shane on Twitter and LinkedIn.