If you want to understand the true value of investing in long term business relationships then you’re going to really enjoy episode 145 on the Meeting Leadership Podcast.

That’s because we’re interviewing Mike Mack, a high impact Management Consultant who helps organizations grow their value. Mike’s approach with his clients is to ensure that they set a solid communication foundation, provide great service, and build lasting relationships.

Mike is also the Author of two books that every leader should read. The first one is called ‘Remarkable Service’ and the second is titled ‘Relationships For Keeps’.

So get out your note taking tools, because there are many great takeaways in this interview including:

  • How to turn soft skills into hard assets
  • How leaders can earn Like, Respect and Trust
  • How you can benefit from the proven ‘Everything DiSC®’ profile and more

Mike Mack

Mike Mack - Meeting Leadership Podcast - Effective Meetings

Mike Mack is a sought-after Consultant, Coach, Trainer and Facilitator. He has been helping business teams maximize their potential since 2006 with the use of tailored consulting and training programs, along with coaching advice. For Mike, it’s about trusted collaboration with his customers.  He is passionate about helping organizations increase their customer satisfaction, improve employee retention and achieve profitable growth. He supports business in the areas of: Customer Service, Sales Growth, Team Building, Leadership Development and Strategic Planning. 

He is the Amazon bestselling author of “REMARKABLE SERVICE – How to Keep Your Doors Open” and it’s his belief that “Remarkable Customer Service” can lead to enhanced revenue and overall profitability. His latest book “RELATIONSHIPS FOR KEEPS – How to Build Powerful Relationships in Business and in Life” also became a bestseller on Amazon.

Mike holds an MBA from Athabasca University and is a proud member of Synergy Network (Edmonton), serving as Chair in 2016; Member of ACG (Association for Corporate Growth), President 2018-19 for ACG Edmonton; Member of the Institute of Corporate Directors; Past member of Toastmasters International, obtaining his Distinguished Toastmasters Designation – DTM. The Distinguished Toastmaster award is the highest Toastmasters International bestows. The DTM recognizes a superior level of achievement in both communication and leadership; Member of CAPS (Canadian Association of Professional Speakers); National TEC Canada Speaker; Past-President, Rotary Club of Edmonton Mayfield (2005-06). Mike is a Certified Trainer for Everything DiSC®.  Mike and his wife Bonita live in Edmonton and enjoy mountain biking in Edmonton’s River Valley or in the majestic mountains of Alberta. 

You can get in touch with Mike at

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Gordon Sheppard: If you are a leader who is ready to turn soft skills into hard assets, then get ready for today’s episode on the Meeting Leadership Podcast, because our guest expert today is Mike Mack.

Are you a professional who wants to become a more effective leader? Then get ready for practical tips from the coach with the experience and inspiration to help you succeed in any leadership situation. You’re listening to the Meeting Leadership Podcast with Gordon Sheppard.

Welcome to another episode of the Meeting Leadership Podcast. My name is Gordon Sheppard. It’s really good to have you here, and I really want to say thanks. If you’re on the treadmill, maybe you’re driving in the car or wherever it is that you listen to these podcasts, I really want to say I appreciate that you take the time out of your busy day to sort of tune in and make sure you pick up another skill, another strategy, another tip to build your leadership skills and learn how to run great meetings. It’s really good to have you here. And if you and your team want to take your meetings to the next level, then consider checking out the Meeting Leadership Academy.

Now, there you’re going to find some really solid, proven live training options for one-on-one coaching and group as well. And the group ones are like half-day or full-day sessions. And these are the kind of things where you take the time out, you build in these skills and training for a day, and it really helps to jumpstart the way you’re going to go forward in every meeting that you’re in. It’s a really solid investment. I can tell you the results are there for so many people, professionals, bureaucrats, their senior leaders that have gone through this training. It really is the kind of thing that can help you go to the next level when it comes to making your meetings as profitable as possible. And you can learn all about that by going to

And now I am proud to introduce you to today’s show. It’s called, How Leaders Can Build Strong Relationships. And it’s with guest expert, Mike Mack. Now, Mike is a highly experienced coach, consultant, trainer and facilitator who is definitely in demand. He goes in and supports businesses in the areas of customer service, sales, growth, team building, leadership development and strategic planning. So he’s got the chops, he’s got the bundle to really go in and deal with everybody in an organization. All the way from the c-suite, the senior leaders, on down to the shop floor to ensure that everybody is aligned and moving in the right direction, so they can actually benefit themselves and their customers at the highest possible level.

Mike is also an Amazon best selling author of a couple of terrific books that you’ll want to pick up. One is called Remarkable Service. And the other is called Relationships for Keeps. And that’s the one that’s inspired today’s episodes because Mike really believes that if you can build long-lasting, highly-trusted relationships, that is the best way not only to function well in business, but in life as well. And with that in mind, I’m not going to hold you back any longer, here’s the great interview with Mike Mack. Mike Mack, welcome to the show.

Mike Mack: Thank you so much for having me this morning, Gordon.

Gordon Sheppard: It’s a real thrill to have you here because I know of your strong reputation in the marketplace as a consultant, as a facilitator, as someone who helps business owners build strong relationships, serve their customers at the highest possible level, your pedigree goes on and on and on. But there’s a lot of people maybe that don’t know you. So please take a moment to introduce yourself.

Mike Mack: I appreciate that opportunity, Gordon. So Mike Mack, I’m the Managing Partner and Founder of X5 Management in Edmonton. So we’re Edmonton based. We focus on training, coaching, consulting, for organizations in any industry. So typically, organizations will call us when they have challenges with sales growth, customer service, leadership development or team dysfunction, or communication just to name a few. I’ve been doing that for over 13 years now. I’m also the best selling author of two Amazon books. One of which is Remarkable Service, and the second is Relationships for Keeps. I had a lot of passion for what we do professionally in our great city of Edmonton and of course, our great province of Alberta as well. So always happy to serve any organization that’s in need of assistance. And again, Gordon, thanks for the opportunity to be part of your amazing podcast today as well.

Gordon Sheppard: Well, it’s so easy to have you on, I’m going to say, beyond sort of the resume, beyond the MBAs, beyond the study and the commitment that you’ve made to your craft. For people that don’t know, Mike is just a great guy. His reputation, not only sort of from my point of view, but here in the local region and beyond is massive. His deep transformational work that he’s done, and again, if we had a four-hour podcast, we could hear the case studies of how he’s taken and literally transformed and worked with organizations over multi-year periods to go from just getting in the door, to taking them way further than they ever thought they could go. That’s why we bring guys like Mike on the show.

And from a leadership development point of view, I wanted to start out Mike with you today to say, if you’re talking to a senior leader, these are the types of companies that you’re working with. They’re making, I don’t know, 10s of millions of dollars, maybe hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, maybe into the billions. What are the kind of first couple things that you like to recommend from a leadership kind of tip skills-building point of view?

Mike Mack: First step, Gordon, when we do a discovery to better understand what the challenges of the organization and what their strengths are as well, really, the first piece that we get into more times than not is in the area of communication. Whether we’re dealing with a sales team or a leadership team as well, more times than not, that communication aspect is a challenge. So we spend a lot of time better understanding the leader and the individual’s communication style. Some people are more analytical, some people are more outgoing, such as myself. And that difference of communication style can be a big factor in leadership and as we’ll talk later on in the podcast about effective meetings as well.

If I may, one of the tools that we use that has been highly effective, and it’s been established for a number of years, we use the Everything DiSC tool, which is a product that has been created and owned by Wiley, which is a global organization based out of the US. And really in a nutshell, we have a better understanding of working with people in their communication style, focusing on their needs and priorities. When we think about communication in an organization with a leader, it’s often the case where your priority is all about detail and attention. And my ideal is all about the vision and getting excited about perhaps the next shiny object. Well, getting that alignment is really paramount in what we try to do with the early stages of engagement with an organization, Gordon.

Gordon Sheppard: Well, these personality assessment things, Mike, come on. I’m a senior leader, I’m a busy guy. I’m a busy girl, I’m leading my organization. I don’t have time to do one of those things. Why don’t I just skip this step?

Mike Mack: Well, it’s a great point and we focus kind of on an internal line that we talk about, is turning soft skills into hard assets within an organization. And over time, those leaders that want to help in that area beyond the technical skill, if you will, have seen the benefits of that as well, from an assessment perspective. And there’s a lot of great tools out there, Gordon, obviously. But my bias is on the tool that we currently have used for over three years, the Everything DiSC tool. It takes you about 12 to 15 minutes to do that assessment online. And what we’re really proud of is that the data behind that is that statistically, that particular report is about 85% accurate. We have had some of our clients, long standing clients, and I’ll share one quick example of Stahl Peterbilt, great organization based in Edmonton, Grande Prairie and Fort McMurray.

Over the past few years, we have done every single employee of their organization, literally from the shop, service tech, mechanic, to the receptionist, to the CFO. And they have seen the benefit over time where we realize we’re not all wired the same from a communication perspective. And as you know in the corporate world, those silos get created when communication breaks down. That’s why we focus on that first and foremost. And it really builds the foundation for more effectiveness in terms of working together, enhance relationships and building trust within an organization. Which regardless of the economic conditions out there today, you’ve got to make sure that that internal trust and communication is solid in order for your organization to thrive and succeed in the years ahead.

Gordon Sheppard: Well, I really mean to take the leaders that are listening to this show right now down the rabbit hole in this moment. I am so enthusiastic about what you’ve just said. You said, we’ve got a tool here for awareness building, that right from the senior leader on down to the shop floor, we can apply this to all the different people. And when we do the communication level goes up. What is the result of the communication level going up, in your opinion?

Mike Mack: Well, there’s several factors. Probably a couple come to mind is that trust is built over time. Because if you and I are colleagues as an example, Gordon, and you make a mistake, and if we have a good communication relationship, if you will, if you make a mistake, it’s more easy to come to me and acknowledge and go “Hey, Mike, I messed up. We got to make this right for our client as an example.” So that’s one for certain. Two other factors that really come to mind. One is handling conflict more productively. The reality, conflict exists in any organization. Whether you’re dealing with a customer that the bill is too high, and we have a conflict in that regard. We have to be effective at articulating the message in that regard.

Also, from an internal perspective, when there’s conflict, we have the ability to step back and realize, hey, how did we work better together to solve the issue for the organization, and ultimately for the client as well. The final piece that really comes to mind is enhancing that overall relationship. We’ll talk about that later on, Gordon, I’m certain but I’m a really big fan of relationships. And if you and I have this trusting relationship at work, we can accomplish a lot of things. As simple as it sounds, it’s been proven time and again how effective that is specifically. And that’s why we’re so excited about using such a tool as Everything DiSC.

Gordon Sheppard: Well, DiSC gives you this sort of base. And then something like your book and taking the time, Relationships for Keeps, what a great title. And it leads into what you’re talking about. And the piece that I pulled out from the book and got inspired by was these letters, LRT, what does that stand for? And why was that so important to write about in your latest book?

Mike Mack: Yeah, thanks for bringing that up. It was a simple kind of acronym that I coined a number of years ago. And it’s been said in different aspects out there in the marketplace on a global basis today. But LRT, not to be mistaken with our Light Rail Transit system in Edmonton, but this one is actually easier and way more cost effective than the one we have in Edmonton. Like, respect and trust. And a couple things that go with that. Again, if I’m working with two colleagues as an example, my foundational advice that I want to give to each of them is that, fundamentally, Gordon, I can like you before you like me, so I have to put that out there. So I’m going to be the likable and hope over time that I earn that. You can be respectful to other people even if you don’t have a strong relationship yet.

And ultimately, we all have a choice today to trust people. And we don’t have to have a 90-day grace period to decide whether or not we’re going to trust someone or not. We just act in a trusting way. Very simple philosophy. But I want to apply that in everything that I do. And I believe that I’ve been able to do that over time. And the beautiful part about it, it doesn’t cost a dime to do it, like respect and trust. You can apply that to your clients, you can apply that to your colleagues. Now, let’s be honest that we can have conflict from time to time, but we can still have a mutual respect for one another, and resolve that issue in a respectful way. So simple philosophy but something that I find simple tips and advice more times than not are ones that last the longest as well. If it’s complicated, we’re more likely to walk away and not focus on it going further.

Gordon Sheppard: Well, and you can hear the wisdom that sort of boils down to those things, the letters that are immediately memorable. And if I was in a meeting, and I hit a moment, I was a senior leader and I understood the LRT thing. And I was trying to sort of soak that in to the rest of my team. I think I could actually stop a meeting at any moment and say, are we practicing LRT, especially in a conflict moment?

Mike Mack: Indeed. And a couple examples will come up. So if you’re the leader and you’re facilitating, sometimes we, probably the obvious one that I observe is that, we just don’t take that extra moment to listen to someone with an opinion. And in fact, sometimes when there’s a conflict, the quieter person, maybe perhaps the more introverted style, may have a great idea or solution, but we’re kind of pushing everything forward in this meeting to resolve something. We need to create an opportunity to say, hey, Sally, do you have a comment on this particular area. So allow them the opportunity, make it safe in the response, it’s going to make that meeting more effective and ultimately, more likely to solve that conflict more effectively as well.

Gordon Sheppard: And when we have sort of, again, this base building from the awareness that you’re doing with your DiSC process, when you’re bringing in your acronyms that are easy to remember and put into action LRT, are there other suggestions that you have, again, for leaders as they sort of lead their teams and move forward?

Mike Mack: Well, indeed, and thanks for bringing that up, Gordon, again. Another alignment with the Everything DiSC program because we have a suite of product that we can use within that one. One that we have spent a lot of time on, particularly in the leadership role is a tool called Work of Leaders. And really the three core areas of focus within that program are vision, alignment, and execution. So if you think about traditional leaders, the reality is, most great leaders aren’t necessarily best practiced at all three of those areas. Some are very strong, they’ve got big vision, big ideas. But what can happen sometimes there’s a lack of alignment where we don’t get everyone on the same page, relative to the team, the senior management team.

So we need to have a conversation, gain some buy-in and ultimately commitment that we agree to pursue that vision forward, make it a reality, if you will. And then finally, on that execution side, it’s everything. A vision, big ideas, all of the cool things that we want to accomplish in 2020 and beyond a great. Execution is everything. So those three areas are really paramount for any leader in any organization to really keep them focused and be mindful. Even if they have shortcomings, that knowing where those shortcomings are and leverage your team more where that may be an issue.

So for example, if it’s a major financial decision, and the CEO has big ideas and big vision, you want to bring in the CFO, maybe mitigate risk, crunch the numbers, if you will, to make sure that that plan is doable, and we can execute the plan without high levels of risk as well.So those are just a couple of high level examples in that regard, that have worked very effectively. And it really again, another simple acronym, but it really serves great focus to keep the leader heading in the right direction and not being distracted with shiny objects, if you will.

Gordon Sheppard: Well, and businesses are fluid. One of my favorite case studies back in doing the business degree was IBM in the early 90s, bleeding $6 billion a year. And this is a company with decades and decades of reputation and profits, and yet here they were. And I remember the case sort of pointing to the fact that the leader had to make those tough decisions, hundreds of thousands of people were let go, they had to refocus the entire massive global organization, and then they’ve gone on to be the success story that they are by doing that. In your sort of experience with leaders for the cases that you’re dealing with, can you give an example when you’ve gone in and you’ve applied this idea of vision and alignment and execution and how you’ve been able to help leaders be successful?

Mike Mack: It probably comes to mind if we’re involved in helping facilitate a strategic plan, for example. A lot of it is same old, same old sometimes. Where they go, we’re going to grow sales by 10% next year. But really to step back and look at the vision, we do an exercise in a discovery process on the front end of any engagement, as I briefly alluded to earlier. Where we want to better understand what their vision is for the organization, at least three years out. And we say three years out, because the reality in today’s environment is fast as it moves, and the advancement of technology and innovation, that three years out is something a bit more realistic that we can target towards, five years and beyond gets really challenging.

So that’s one area for certain in terms of that discovery side where we want them to focus on in terms of where they’re going to go. And then inevitably, when we’re having that conversation, back to the alignment side, particularly when the executive team is in the room together. Making sure we just have that open, candid conversation should be some healthy debate, whether we fully agree where that’s going to take us or not. And then open-minded leaders, in my opinion, really might think about weaving and bobbing if you will, and modifying that vision if needed, if they’re having strong beliefs coming from their executive team.

So again, great leaders traditionally have an open-mindedness. I want to share a quick example, if I will, that’s not a client example, but a recent book that I just completed this morning. In fact, in my audio, I’m going to recommend it to you and your listeners as well, Gordon, but it’s The Ride of a Lifetime and it’s by Robert Iger who’s the current CEO of Disney. It’s about an eight and a half hour audio book or you can get the hardcover as well. What I really admired about that particular book is just how great of a leader Mr. Iger was.

Ironically, a lot of the things that we were talking about on the phone today in terms of being respectful and trusting his team to make decisions, fundamentally, what were really were his guiding principles as this amazing leader, dealing with a multi billion dollar organization. So the fundamentals apply, regardless of how big the organization is, but it is really taking the time to make sure he’s listening to people, getting feedback, dealing with issues, nipping in the bud, if you will, when they occur. Those are all key aspects. All leaders can be super busy. The key is focusing on the right things at the right time.

Gordon Sheppard: I’m so glad you brought up that Disney example. We were lucky enough here on the Meeting Leadership Podcast have Dan Cockerell. Dan Cockerell, 26 years with Disney. Started as a college kid and worked his way up to Vice President. Apparently, they put 50 million people a year through their theme parks, 70,000 employees. He talked about how they are so disciplined at practicing the fundamentals that they’ve developed in their world. And I so appreciated the insights that I gained about that great organization. And what I’m hearing in your work is that you’re going in with trusted, measurable sort of platform-based building blocks and foundational blocks that people can then really build upon.

The one piece that Dan asked me during that interview, and this is something that came up. He said, “Gord, what do you think the most important thing here in our values are here at Disney?” I said, “I don’t know. Customer service?” He said, “You know what? Its safety. We want to make sure that our employees are practicing safety every time. If that ride has to stop because it sounds wrong, I want to empower young person to actually stop that ride, and make sure that they are keeping everybody safe. That is one of our fundamental.” And then they work towards these other aspects. And I so appreciated, again, the discipline. He said, “If you’re with us, you’re practicing these four pillars. And if you are not, you’re not going to be there.”

So this is just a great piece in terms of pulling together things that leaders can grab out of everything that you’ve talked about from your great insights. And again, the awareness being important, communication being key, obviously, and a good chance now to go forward in a meeting situation and apply the LRT concepts that you’ve done. And of course, I’ll recommend your book here at the end of the show. But I also want to make sure that we ask the final question that we ask all the guests that come on the show, and that’s this one. Mike, what inspires you?

Mike Mack: Well, I love that question. And I have to admit, as simple as it sounds, you have to think about it. But I think it really comes down to me having a tremendous passion for building relationships with people like you, people across the globe. But probably the second part of that is really helping others do the same. So if I have a trusted friend or colleague or associate anywhere and I’m a big fan of Gord Shepherd, you two are going to connect, and I have a lot of passion for that. And that really inspires me to ultimately know that I was the catalyst, if you will, to help two other individuals build meaningful relationships.

And the beautiful part about it, it’s easy to do, and it doesn’t cost a nickel either. And the nice part today, Gord, as you likely know, you can do it anywhere. You can do it in-person, you can do it on the telephone, and obviously, you can do it on social media nowadays, specifically LinkedIn. I make a lot of joint introductions on a weekly basis for two trusted individuals that I think would benefit to have a mutually synergized relationship, if you will, going forward. Ultimately, it’s up to them, but that’s what I get up in the morning to do and serve on a regular basis.

Ultimately, I want to be remembered for that. I was likable and respected and trusted guy that valued relationships. And honestly, that was a really big catalyst why I wrote the book in the first place because it’s something that I’m so passionate about. And I don’t think there’s a quota on relationship, Gord, as you know. You can have 1,000 online and you can have 500 in Edmonton. And if you can treat all of them with like, respect and trust, it’s endless. You can keep that going indefinitely. What an opportunity that you can benefit from long-term. Not always monetarily either, by the way, but you can benefit in other areas of having a meaningful friendship, if you will. Not just a customer or a client.

Gordon Sheppard: I’ll have to add in a piece that was mentioned in the book as well, that extends out from what you’re talking about. Because I think one of your long standing relationships that I remember from one of the first times that I met you was you talked admiringly about your mentor. I remember the way you spoke about it, and what stunned me at that time and now I take forward in my own work to encourage leaders to develop their own mentorship networks. Could you take a second and maybe describe the mentorship relationship that you had and how long lasting and how wonderful it’s been for you?

Mike Mack: Indeed. I’ll qualify this, if I will, with some context from way back when, this probably goes back 30 years ago with one of my favorite leaders, and he was my first mentor. Well, he actually was my first career mentor. I had a mentor as a teenager back in Saskatchewan way back when. But I remember this leader when he was getting transferred and moving to another province and I was concerned and he said, “Listen, Mike. I’ve been a mentor for you over time, but you’re always going to have many more mentors, and I encourage you to continually do that.” So that really became that seed, if you will, inside of me that I didn’t have all the answers. Traditionally, my mentors have been older than me, not always. But the relationship that obviously I had dedicated my last book to was Arnold McLaughlin, who is almost 85 years of age, living in Vancouver.

He’s still an active commercial realtor in the Vancouver area, out of [Coquitlam 00:23:04], to be precise. And we met on a vacation about 17 years ago, Gordon, and it’s an amazing journey. I depict some of that loosely in my book as well to thread that in. But we developed this like, respect relationship at early stages, and we are 30 years apart from an age perspective. And we have this special bond. We have regular communication with each other. And in fact, what I want to share a recent story because Arnold and I had our weekly call on Saturday morning at about 10 o’clock this past weekend. What was interesting, Arnold had a couple comments. He’d already read my book. Last week, he read the book because it was dedicated to him. He made a comment how it really impacted him to realize how much I illustrated in the book that I cared for the relationship, particularly with him, but relationships at large.

I think I’m a great relationship guy. Arnold is the guru of relationships beyond social media. He’s the guy that will know everybody in the elevator before he get to the 20th floor. And your server at any restaurant that you would regularly frequent, he is that guy because he cares about relationships so much. So it was really just an incredible, serendipitous moment to meet 17 years ago. And we often talk about that how fate brought us together by asking to read my paper on a vacation in the mountains way back when some 17 years ago. And then we just made that decision to stay together and build a relationship. He was significant influence for the growth of my business over time, struggling personally and professionally over time. He was that guy.

As you may know, Gord, on a personal note, I met my beautiful wife a number of years ago, and I got married. Who would I select to have is my best man? None other than Arnold McLaughlin, who [inaudible] is my senior, and it was a true honor and a blessing and I couldn’t imagine it [inaudible] any other person doing that. Yeah, special moment for both of us for sure. I’ll share a comment. I mean, this is on a personal note, but we talked about like, respect and trust on the LRT side. I remember this very distinctly, he brought this up at the wedding. He brought up LRT. But he said, “I realize, I love this guy. He referenced to me.

And that relationship over time, particularly with long standing mentors can evolve to that father-son relationship, if you will. And that’s really what we have today. I no longer have my father with me for the past 20 years. And Arnold is like that big brother and father and mentor and friend at the same time. I treasure every time we interact and have a conversation. In fact, we’re just coordinating a trip together right now. We’re going to try to hang out in Vancouver for a couple days coming up in the months ahead.

Gordon Sheppard: You know what’s so great? I can hear you smiling as you speak. I mean, this is really sincere. The enthusiasm that you’re conveying right now, thankfully, to capture here on the interview is the same. I remember meeting you about seven years ago, and that stunned me. It really resonated with me and still does when I think about mentorship. One of my interests in the work that I do is I think beyond one-on-one mentorship. I actually think meetings need mentors. And everything that you just talked about, imagine having, again, one-on-one leadership mentors in that way. And I would encourage every leader listening to really pull from, again, the tone of the way that Mike is speaking about this and go out and find one, two, like you said, multiple mentors to bring in at the right time and all those age things. And if it’s right, older, younger, doesn’t matter.

Make sure you get those into your world. And then my sort of goal bringing that forward is to have that same level enthusiasm for people that are leading meetings, especially senior leadership meetings, where the dysfunction can get pretty high, and again, have somebody in there to help guide them as a team. So I love this mentorship thing. I’ve always been inspired by what you just said. I know that we could go on and on about it. But specifically, the book is called Relationships for Keeps. It’s one of the key reasons amongst the 40 or 50 key reasons to bring Mike on the show. Mike, if people need to get in touch with you, how can they do that?

Mike Mack: Indeed. Obviously, they can visit our website at Or can individually send me an email if they so choose to do that at Always welcome the opportunity to speak with them or connect with me on LinkedIn that you had an opportunity to listen in on your podcast as well. Gord, I just want to make a comment to you. And you’re right, we’ve known each other seven plus years, and I’ve followed you religiously online. The things that you do right now, I have a great admiration because you’ve done such a great job of really carving out a really essential niche, if you will, in terms of leadership, and that meeting management that, you know statistics better than I do. How many meetings are out there today on a global basis and how many wasted minutes there are in meetings.

So your efforts of making a difference with every leader out there today that you touch and impact is critical. More times than not, those leaders may not even realize the impact on that bottom line until down the road where they truly understand that a one-hour meeting sometimes can be a 45-minute meeting as long as it’s really productive and we’ve got everybody aligned. Meetings shouldn’t be a quota, as you know, Gord. So again, just a taking a moment to applaud you, not only for what you do professionally, but also putting the podcast together. Because I listened to many of yours in the past. They’re brilliant. You always put very interesting speakers together. I’m fingers crossed that I may one day be regarded as one of those included in your list of podcast guests as well. So well done and keep up the great work as well, Gord. I really appreciate it.

Gordon Sheppard: Well, thanks so much. And it’s nice to sort of not blow over that and take a moment to honestly say, thank you. And when I hear about another listener to the show, who has had a moment to reflect, gain something, maybe pass it along and get somebody else the need for the meeting piece. And again, if we had … Well, I could just jump right in. I was reading in your bio, you’re Rotarian. Like when I think about those nonprofit meetings, those ones alone. Regardless of whether you’re talking about leading your business or leading in your life or leading at home, the meetings are absolutely critical. So the fact that you are reflecting back and helping me to reinforce that, I just get so excited about that. Because the need is really, really high. Mike, we can keep going on and on. But I just want to say, thank you so much for being on the show.

Mike Mack: My pleasure, indeed. Delighted that you took the opportunity to reach out to me as well and look forward to keeping in touch. As I said before, if I can ever help you in any way with an introduction or contact and continue to support the great work that you do, as well. So Gord, all the very best in 2020. And again, thank you, sincerely.

Gordon Sheppard: Thanks. Now I know that after listening to that interview you, like me, have been able to take your leadership skills up a notch, especially when it comes to relationships. And the one phrase in there that’s going to resonate with me for a long time that Mike said is this, “They want to help you turn soft skills into hard assets.” We are so reluctant these days to assign like a number value to soft skill development, but it’s actually at the core of every successful organization. So it is an investment. And I hope that you can take the advice that you got in today’s episode, apply it in your meetings, in your leadership ability. Whether you’re at work, whether you’re at home, whether you’re with your mentors, just take it forward and take action.

Another great way to take action is actually to dig into the archives for the Meeting Leadership Podcast. There, for some of the episodes that you might have missed, you’ll find these golden nuggets that will move your leadership forward. And the first one I want to mention is episode 126. It’s titled, Customer Outcomes: Why Leaders Must Make Every Business Meeting Count. And you can get that episode by going to And then in episode 114, it’s called How To Get Buy In From Employees, and that’s with Belinda Panganiban from MacEwan University. It was a great episode. It’s the kind of thing where the basic wisdom and there is the thing that you can take out right now to motivate your team. And you can get that episode by going to

And finally, when it comes to the basics, check out episode 44. It’s called How To Be A Good Facilitator. And it’s the first of a three part series, there’s a download there as well. So if you want to kind of get a spark to move forward in a facilitation capacity, check that out right now by going to I also want to let you know that this episode of the Meeting Leadership Podcast is brought to you by the Meeting Leadership Academy. Now, there you’ve got some terrific online training options, one-on-one training options, live training options, like a half-day workshop, you’ve got a full-day workshop option. There’s all kinds of ways that you can dig in there to really take your meetings up to the next level.

Because you know that when you do, you can actually inspire yourself, you can inspire your team. And when you do that, the ripple effect, it’ll be felt throughout your entire organization. And ultimately, that will flow through to the way that you serve your customers and your community. You can learn all about that by going to And for everyone who is already a subscriber, thank you so much. And if you haven’t done it yet, please take a moment to hit the subscribe button on your favorite podcast app. And as always, thank you so much for listening, and we’ll see you next time on the Meeting Leadership Podcast.

Thanks for listening to the Meeting Leadership Podcast. Be sure to subscribe for more strategies that help you become an outstanding leader. And don’t forget to rate and review so we can bring you even more great content. We’ll see you next time right here on the Meeting Leadership Podcast.

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Gordon Sheppard

Gord is on a mission to change the world, one meeting at a time. Over his 25+ years in business Gord has run or participated in more than 2000 meetings! Not only is Gord the CEO of Business Expert Solutions Inc. (owner/operator of Meeting Leadership Inc), but he is also a Facilitator, Trainer, Business Consultant, Author, Speaker and Podcaster who helps leaders learn how to have great meetings, so they can build outstanding organizations and serve their clients at the highest possible level.

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