What is YOUR “White-Hot Why?”

What is your “White-Hot Why?”

Two weeks ago I went to the annual Global Leadership Summit at Willow Creek Church in Illinois. Throughout the two days of presentations from top level leadership gurus, the most prevalent message was the critical importance of finding purpose and meaning in one’s work.


An organization with a sense of purpose!

Bill Hybels, the lead pastor of this mega church, discussed the intangibles of leadership as the following:
• Grit
• Self-Awareness
• Resourcefulness
• Self-Sacrificing Love
• Sense of Meaning

He used the term, finding your “White-Hot Why.” Instead of thinking about WHAT you do and HOW you do it, start with WHY you do it. He even suggested leaders should have the title of “Chief Meaning Officers!” He referenced Bob Buford who writes about moving from Success to Significance, finding a sense of purpose or mission in your work beyond making money.

Jim Collins described an Engaged Culture as having three elements: First, a sense of Service to a cause or purpose; second, a list of BHAGs (Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals), and third, Communal Success (all succeed by helping others succeed).

Horst Schulze says, “Don’t come to work just to work. Come to work to be proud of a purpose.”


Dan Pink tells us that purpose is one of the three big motivators for knowledge workers, along with autonomy and mastery. He writes:

“Autonomous people working toward mastery perform at very high levels. But those who do so in the service of some greater objective can achieve even more. The most deeply motivated people–not to mention those who are most productive and satisfied–hitch their desires to a cause larger than themselves.” (“Drive,” pg. 131)

Do you feel a PURPOSE in your work? Does your organization adhere to a cause larger than you or them? If not, what can you find in the work you do every day that inspires you and makes you feel as if you are making a difference? What is YOUR “white-hot why?”

To learn more about Barbara’s work, go to www.barbaraglanz.com.

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Gus, the Singing Butcher!

I had the most delightful customer service experience at Publix this week. As I was waiting to get my sockeye salmon which was on special, I saw one of the regular butchers who always is happy and greets everyone with a smile and usually a joke. Since I rarely eat meat anymore, I had not seen him for some time on my grocery visits. But there he was –with a little display in the aisle sharing a new service Publix is offering for seafood.

I greeted him, learned his name, and told him how much I always appreciated his good humor when I saw him. Then this is what happened next:

I was so tickled that I asked him if I could videotape his “performance,” and he responded by telling me that he had several videos from customers on YouTube and one even from a customer from Brazil, and that, as a result, Publix was going to do a story about him in their company newsletter.

Not only is Gus a very good singer, but just like Johnny the Bagger®, he has definitely added HIS personal signature to his work!

Publix is lucky to have so many employees who care about their customers and use their special gifts to add more joy to the customers’ visits.

To learn more about Johnny the Bagger® and how he added his personal signature to his work, go to click here.

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Golden Rule Recipe

Southwest Airlines has been a client of mine several times over the years, and through these experiences I have come to treasure my friendship with Colleen Barrett, Chairman Emeritus. When she retired from Southwest, I was deeply touched that she used her personal money and bought 3500 copies of “The Simple Truths of Service Inspired by Johnny the Bagger®,” the book I co-authored with Ken Blanchard, for every SWA employee. For several years we have exchanged Christmas presents — I love butterflies and Colleen loves hearts.

Recently I had some surgery and had to be out of commission for several weeks. Last week a large package came from Colleen — a framed portrait of the “Golden Rule Recipe” in SWA colors.

The Golden Rule Recipe

The Golden Rule Recipe

This is the recipe:

1 cup of Love and a half cup of Kindness

Add alternately in small portions:
* 1 coup of Appreciation
* 3 cups pleasant Companionship into which this has been stirred:
* 3 teaspoons carefully chosen Advice

Lightly fold in:
* 1 cup Cheerfulness, to which has been added a pinch of Sorrow

Pour with tender care into Clean Hearts.
Let bake until well Nurtured.
Turn out on the surface of Society.
Humbly invoke God’s blessings and it will serve all mankind.

What a beautiful expression of love and service that each one of us and our organizations can take to heart. And certainly Southwest Airlines does just that. Thank you, Colleen, for adding joy to my week and for the caring leadership you have provided at SWA. You and your airline have touched many lives as you live out the Golden Rule!

To learn more about Barbara’s work with many organization, go to www.barbaraglanz.com.

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New 2015 Demo Video!

We have just completed a brand new video demo tape. Please watch and send us your comments. A huge thank you to Primeau Productions for the fine work they did for us. I hope you will enjoy it!

Is your organization experiencing overwhelming change, high employee turnover and low morale, increases in customer complaints, or burnout from having to do more with less? Are your employees struggling to find a balance between their work and home lives or do they simply need a boost of positive energy? If so, Barbara Glanz can help you! Clients say her exciting, motivational, action-oriented presentations have given their employees a new sense of direction, understanding, and hope.

For more information about how I can help your organization, follow this link .

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Questions for the New Year

A new year is like a blank book. The pen is in your hands. It is your chance to write a beautiful story for yourself. Happy New Year 2015!


My friend and client, Arlin Sorenson, the CEO of the HTG Group, suggests we ask ourselves the following questions as we think about the year gone by:

1. Key Accomplishments. What are all of the great things that you got done over the past year? Which of your goals did you really miss the mark on? Which one is your key accomplishment?

2. Relationship Development. What new relationships did you develop? Which relationships have you overlooked or not given enough attention to?

3. Learning. What opportunities to learn new things did you take advantage of? What were the new things you learned about yourself?

4. Mistakes. What mistakes did you make? What mistakes could have been avoided?

5. Time Management. How well did you manage your time? Are there any significant “time wasters” that you need to reduce or eliminate from your life?

It is great to start 2015 on purpose with a purpose, and one of the best ways to do that is to contemplate the past year and then make a plan for 2015 in each of these areas.

I also choose a theme for each year. Last year my theme was “Rebuilding Relationships.” I realize with all my travel last year I developed many new relationships including a new man in my life, yet because of limited time, I neglected some others, many of which are very important to me. So my theme this year is going to be “Renewal” — renewal of relationships, my faith, my family, my health, and my business. What will your theme for 2015 be?

To learn more about Barbara’s work, go to www.barbaraglanz.com.

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Christmas Letter 2014



This has been an AMAZING year of travel and adventure – 13 countries and over 40 cities–as well as the beginning of a special new relationship. My theme for this year was “Rebuilding Relationships,” and although I have been away from home much of the year, I have also had the blessing of reconnecting with many old friends all over the world as well as meeting many new ones through my travel and my speaking. The best of all was meeting Frank Cona in February on the church steps (is that not prophetic?). We have had many lovely shared memories in the few months we have been dating, so I am very grateful for this new addition to my life.

In January I went with my travel buddy, Nancy Cobb, to FIJI, where we attended the lovely wedding of my niece, Katie Munkres, on the beach on one of the three stunning islands we visited. We snorkeled, kayaked, visited several native villages, swam in the cave where “Blue Lagoon” was filmed, and partied and partied!

In March Gretchen, Randy, Owen and Simon came from Portland for a week for Spring Break. The boys loved the pool and the beach, and we had three fun days at Disneyworld. Later in the month Frank invited me on a cruise to Cozumel, Mexico, a delightful time of shopping, eating, swimming with the stingrays, and dancing the night away!

In April Nancy and I traveled to Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Oman for two weeks. Dubai is almost beyond imagination – from the tallest building in the world (see Spider Woman on the photo collage;-), a several-story indoor ski slope INSIDE the shopping mall, internet access even in the restrooms on the beach, vending machines where you could buy gold bars, to the most amazing modern architecture I have ever seen. Abu Dhabi is the oil center and a more serious member of the Emirates, while the country of Oman, while scenic, was like going back in time to another world, i.e., it is the death penalty to have any liquor in the entire country! We rode camels, took wild rides in jeeps across the sand dunes, traveled scary dirt roads over the mountain cliffs and deep canyons, stayed in a tent in a desert camp as well as an almost “erector set” like box room on the side of a mountain, and even visited a Bedouin home.

Later in the month Frank took me on a 4 day trip to Las Vegas where we stayed at the gorgeous Bellagio and saw three Cirque de Soleil shows, including the new Michael Jackson “One.” Then in May he surprised me with a trip to Puerto Rico for my birthday where again we shopped, ate, and explored. (Unfortunately, I have gained 10 pounds since we started dating! 😉 June brought the national Society for Human Resource Management conference in Orlando where I have spoken since 1997 and then the National Speakers Association convention in San Diego where we also visited my aunt and the Johnstons, longtime friends.

In July I was the opening keynote speaker for the Human Capital Forum CEO conference in Guatemala City. In the audience were three executives from the largest church in Latin America, Casa de Dios, and afterwards, they invited me to speak that evening to 10,000 people, a mountain top experience! (You can see the picture of me on four HUGE jumbo-trons.) While in Guatemala, we took a trip to Antigua and also to a huge outdoor market. Of course, I had to buy an extra bag for all my treasures! At the end of the month, Garrett, Ashley, Gavin and Kinsey came from Seattle with friends for a fun week on the beach.

In August, I accompanied my 91 year old aunt Joan along with Frank to Bali, Indonesia, to see the gorgeous new resort my cousin, Warren, had just opened on the beach in Denpasar. We visited temples, took a trip to see the Komodo dragons, white-water rafted, and shopped and shopped. Frank and I also flew to Singapore for 4 days where I spoke to the Asia Speakers Association. We stayed with new friends in a lovely home, and several friends showed off their island, including a boat tour, dinner on the beach, and the orchid gardens.

I spent Labor Day week in Portland with Erin and Gretchen and family. We rafted down the river, went to the beach, and played. I attended Guideposts’ Board meetings in Dana Point, CA, at the end of the month and then flew to Denver for a really fun reunion with my Gamma Phi Beta sisters from KU and on to Grand Junction, CO, to visit my brother, Bruce, and sister, Beth.

November will find me speaking in Hawaii twice and then on to keynote the Human Capital Forum CEO conferences in Bogota, Colombia, and Santiago, Chile. Erin and I are planning to spend Christmas in Colorado with family.

Garrett continues to do exceedingly well with Microsoft in Seattle. Ashley and Kinsey, 13, are enjoying riding and have a new horse named Rally. Gavin just turned 16 so has his first job AND a driver’s license. Gretchen is enjoying working at a boutique in Portland while the boys are in school, and Randy is continuing his graphics and web design work. Owen, 9, and Simon, 7, are into soccer, baseball, Legos, Mine Craft, and learning camps. Erin is loving her new home and new kitty, Cricket, while still working for True Collaborative Fashion where they rep several lines made in the US. She travels all over the country showing their beautiful, fun lines of women’s clothing.

Professionally, I have been blessed to speak to many wonderful clients this year, and I am working on a new video demo tape as well as a new website. On the personal side, my heart has ached for the suffering and loss of some of my dearest friends, so while I am overcome with gratitude for the BLESSING of my life and all the experiences I have been privileged to share, I am struck by the fragility of life and the gift of EVERY DAY. May this year be filled with peace, love and joy for each one of you. How grateful I am to have you all in my life!

“In the end, nothing we do or say in this lifetime will matter as much as the way we have loved one another.”


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How Engaged are YOUR Employees?

HR Magazine, May 2014. recently quoted the following survey:

According to Gallup data, what percentage of employees are fully engaged at work?
A. 13%
B. 19%
C. 22%
D. 50%

And in another article in the same edition, they asked this question:

True or False:

Someone who starts showing up to work late, fails to return
e-mails, and takes many sick days is more likely to quit his or her job within a couple of months than other employees.

Thinking of your workplace, what would your answers be?

An Engaged Audience!

An Engaged Audience!

Sadly, recent Gallup data indicates that only 13 percent of employees worldwide are fully engaged with their work, and surveys of CEOs repeatedly show engagement as one of their top concerns. Employee engagement definitely correlates to retention, productivity, and financial results. My most popular speaking topic, for example, is “Spreading Contagious Enthusiasm™–Creating Workplaces of Passion, Purpose, and Productivity.” The need for employees to find purpose and meaning in their jobs is critical today.

Surprisingly, the answer to the second question is False! According to Utah State University research that drew on three studies and seven survey samples of students, managers, and other business leaders around the world, these behaviors, though often associated with quitting, were also exhibited by people who stayed. Again, these findings indicate a malaise and lack of purpose and mission in one’s work that are disturbing, both from a business and a human standpoint.

In my next few blog posts at www.barbaraglanz.com/blog/, I am going to share many very simple, no cost or low cost ideas to help boost employee engagement in any organization.

One of the most simple and yet most profound concepts I have ever discovered to share with my audiences can immediately change their perspective about the importance of their work.

When I ask people the question, “What is your work?”, I always get the very same response – either a job description or a job title. What I want everyone in my audiences to realize is this – we are all SO MUCH MORE than a job title or a job description!

When I ask, “What is your work?,” this is what I want to know: “How is what you do every day making someone’s life better?” THAT is your very important work.

It doesn’t matter whether people are emptying bed pans, carrying out the garbage, working on an assembly line, taking calls in a customer service center, or managing an entire team, they can find a way that their “work” makes someone’s life better. Think of how different that idea is from simply “having a job.”

That simple thought can dramatically change someone’s passion about what they do every single day. When one gets up in the morning and truly believes, “I am going to work to make someone’s life better today,” then their level of engagement is transformed, and it impacts the entire organization.

For more simple ideas from Barbara Glanz, the “Employee Engagement Expert,” go to www.barbaraglanz.com.

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“The Rules ARE the Rules!”

I had a most frustrating (and also, sadly, very common) customer service experience in Colorado last week. I was visiting my sister in Grand Junction for a few days, and we decided to take a jeep tour to the mountains to see the fall colors.

Fall colors in the Rocky Mountains

On the way to Ouray, CO, to get the tour, we had enough time to make a quick stop at a garden shop where Beth wanted to look at some flower pots that were on sale. We noticed that they had a small restaurant there, and while she was looking at the pots, I asked to see a menu since we had not had time to pack a lunch before we left. I explained that we were in a hurry as we had to be in Ouray at a certain time to get the tour, so could they get something for us really quickly — we only had about 15 minutes extra. The waitress said yes, so we decided the easiest thing would be two wraps.

The menu had avocado crossed out on the turkey wrap (mine), so I asked if I could still have it added since avocado was available on other things on the menu. She immediately said, “No, we cannot make ANY substitutes!” That should have been a hint! Then we asked if we could just get the wraps and not the sides that went with them, and of course, the answer was the same.

My sister then went to the general counter and paid for the wraps to save time, and again we reminded them about our time issue. We then waited and waited — all the while hearing them talking in the kitchen and every once in awhile one of the waitresses would even walk out and put silverware on the tables. But, still no wraps!

Finally, after more than 15 minutes had passed, I asked where our lunch was because we HAD to leave. At that point, the waitress we had dealt with came out and said that there was another table outside that was ahead of us, so they had not even started our order yet — a fact she had never mentioned when we placed the order. How long could it possibly take to make two wraps, one of which even had pre-prepared filling?

Of course, we were distressed, so we told them we wanted our money back and to cancel the order. The waitress went back and we could hear them talking in the kitchen which again took more time. She finally returned and said she would have to find someone to do that — another 5 minutes went by when at last the owner came out. She said the kitchen was separate, so the chef would have to give us our credit. At that point, my sister said, “Why don’t you just give us a store credit as I shop here often.”

“No,” said the OWNER, “I can’t do that. I will send the chef out in a minute.” After several more minutes, the chef came out and FINALLY credited my sister’s card. But in the meantime, we were without any lunch, we were late for our tour, and we were VERY unhappy customers — all because no one was willing to bend the rules!

The tour waited for us, and we ended up having a wonderful time except for being very hungry! 😉

Our "tour bus"--made for a really rough ride on the mountain paths!

To learn more about how Barbara can help you improve your customer experiences, go to www.barbaraglanz.com.

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The Healing Power of Music

Last night I saw a most touching and powerful movie titled, “Alive Inside.” It is a documentary about one man’s passion for helping dementia and alzheimer’s patients by giving them headphones and an iPad with their favorite music on it. People who had been completely unresponsive or had not spoken in years simply came alive — and all for the cost of about $40!


Spearheaded by social worker, Dan Cohen, these deeply touching, life-transforming experiences were captured on film over the course of three years. You will laugh and you will cry, but most of all, you will wonder WHY insurance companies, nursing care facilities, and doctors alike do not support this inexpensive, joyful way to bring back memories and awaken senses instead of medicating these people to often become zombies.

This movie especially reminded me of my own passion as a young person. I was a pianist in high school and won contests all around the state, but I also loved people, so I did not want to be in a practice room for hours and hours a day; plus I realized I had the talent but was just not cutthroat enough to become a concert pianist. Thus, when I learned about it, Music Therapy seemed like a perfect fit for me.

At that time Music Therapy was a brand new field, so when I was choosing a college, there were only two schools in the country that offered it — the University of Kansas and UCLA. Having grown up in a town of 4500 in Iowa, going to California seemed like going across the world to me at the time, so I chose KU.

Although I loved my professors and the school, the first year was very discouraging for me. In those days in Music Therapy, they required you to learn to play every instrument there was. Having been extremely involved in my piano and often practicing 3 and 4 hours a day, I never had time to do this when I was younger. Therefore, it turned out to be a very humiliating experience. I will never forget how the girls in my sorority house AND my little brothers teased me when I was practicing “Merrily We Roll Along” on the saxophone for my final exam!

As a result, I ended up changing my major to Piano my sophomore year and then switching to English my junior year to become a teacher. I still kept my love for music, but, at least at that time, I thought I could give more back in the classroom and feel more sure of myself by teaching English and drama in high school and college. After watching this precious movie, however, I must admit that I am a little sorry that I did not stick it out. Watching these lives being transformed to find JOY and LIFE again was a wonderful blessing.

Now, I am thinking about how I can become more involved in this pursuit — buying some ear phones and iPods and taking them to local nursing homes and donating money to Dan Cohen’s foundation, musicandmemory.org. In the meantime, I am going to make sure that MY children have a list of all my favorite music because one day each of us may very likely find ourselves, just like so many aging people today, struggling to hold onto our pasts.

This precious movie proves that music CAN heal hearts and souls! Thank you, Dan Cohen, for the blessing you have brought to so many lives.


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Another Meeting???

Speaking at the American Specialty Toy Retailers Association in Baltimore

Speaking at the American Specialty Toy Retailers Association in Baltimore

Ever find yourself needing to hold a meeting and JUST dreading it?

You know what I’m talking about… the glassy eyes, the unresponsive faces, the doodlers, the far-away-day-dreamy looks, the dead silence after a question is posed, the annoyed or bored looks when you discuss difficult items… even the under-the-table-phone-checker/chatterers.

Do these all leave you with the eerie feeling that you aren’t exactly being heard and your audience is tuned out? WAY OUT?

YOUR time is valuable, and so is theirs! You already know that it is crucial that they:
A) Receive your information,
B) Participate fully and willingly in the purpose of your meeting, and
C) Take the actions that you need them to, QUICKLY (all in a timely manner.)

After all, you’ve all got a lot on your to-do list, right? If you are anything like me, that list is calling out to you and growing steadily even now. So, let’s get to it!

Three main points to getting the most out of your meeting, AND your team:
1) Be a planner! Plan your agenda in advance. Be concise and clear. Use examples where possible.
2) Incorporate some creative communication to surprise and engage your team. Visual, verbal, physical. Make it stand out.
3) Start with THE POSITIVE! Three minutes of good news at the beginning of the meeting will make your team more receptive to sharing, engaging and being productive.

My assistant told me a story about a large company she once worked for where meeting after meeting after meeting was held – to the point that if she attended all the meetings she was supposed to, there would literally be no time for her to complete her actual job function.

And, frankly, these meetings were boring–dry and all-business, meaningless, often redundant, with seemingly endless talking. They often ran over the time limit, and items that were on the agenda were not even discussed. Whiners would sometimes “take control” of the meeting and derail the speaker’s timeline. There was no humanity in it, no joy, no inspiration. Nothing was being solved, and it felt like a waste, she said. She often left these meetings feeling absolutely drained and somewhat diminished, even bewildered, thinking, “There go two hours I’ll never get back!”

Until, that is, the day that Lynn came to have a meeting! Lynn is a spit-fire. She EXUDES positive energy, has a giant smile stamped on her face (yes, ALWAYS!), and is clearly enthusiastic beyond measure. She knows her material, but it isn’t scripted; it seems, instead,it is seamless. She made a promise right at the beginning to her audience: “I’m going to be real with you. We’re going to have fun together! You are going to participate, so your phone goes in this basket over here! You will leave smarter AND you will know what to do.”

Lynn kept her promise, always, and held the audience to keeping their end up, also. Shirking or non-participation were NOT options, and it WAS fun! Lynn had them do exercises, and they always stood up to do an activity because she said, “You use 1/3 more of your brain when you are standing.” She had them participate in activities that either proved her point or that they could take back to their departments to use as training tools. There was ENERGY! There was LAUGHTER! There was productive REAL TALK and HONEST FEEDBACK! There were even FIELD TRIPS! People LOVED going to Lynn’s meetings and would look forward all month to the next one. People even came in on their day OFF to attend her meetings and always left energized, thinking, and inspired to take action.

It came to the point that if Lynn wasn’t holding the meeting, there was a silent sigh in the room. Everyone WANTED to go to Lynn’s meetings and do what Lynn asked them to do and work with Lynn to make a better project/product/workplace. She built trust and loyalty. She built a team, just by mastering the art of the meeting!

For more ideas on how to make YOUR meetings more productive, here’s a free
Video Q &A session addressing just that!


It’s your precious time we’re talking about, so let’s make it COUNT! Have a great week, and a phenomenal meeting! You CAN DO IT!

For more helpful ideas, feel free to explore my website, www.barbaraglanz.com, where there are free videos, blog archives, speaking programs for hire, consulting, super books and DVDs and more- all to assist you with managing change, raising morale and retention, getting the most from your team, and improving customer service.

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