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Transcript: How to Design a Kindness Culture (EP42)


Intro (with music): Welcome to The Culture of Things podcast with Brendan Rogers. This is a podcast where we talk all things, culture, leadership and teamwork across business and sport.

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Brendan: Hello everybody, I'm Brendan Rogers, the host of The Culture of Things Podcast. This is episode 42. Today I'm talking with Randy McNeely. For over 20 years, Randy worked in the information technology, information security, and cyber security arena, working across multiple verticals including healthcare, department of defence, intelligence community and consulting services. Following the mass shootings in California and Texas in July, 2019, Randy authored the book The Kindness Givers' Formula: Four Simple Steps for Restoring Light, Hope, Love, Unity, and Peace to Our Troubled World.

He then pivoted away from cyber security and information security to focus full time on kindness advocacy, for individuals and within organisations. Randy loves people and has always been a passionate advocate of kindness and the effects of kindness on individuals, both personally and professionally. He firmly believes in both the positive engagement and economic power of kindness and the amazing ability kindness has to strengthen personal and professional relationships which are the key to success in business and in life. To that end, he recently founded the PEPOK Institute, specifically to provide cultural transformation solutions for both organisations and individuals.

Randy is known as the chief kindness officer. Randy is married to the amazing Kimberly McNeeley and they are blessed to be the parents of five children, four daughters and one son. The focus of our conversation today is leading with kindness and how kindness can create a world class culture. Randy, welcome to The Culture of Things Podcast.

Randy: Thank you so much Brendan for having me on. It's a wonderful opportunity to be here with you. Thank you. I appreciate that kind introduction.

Brendan: Absolute pleasure mate. We’ll get you to tell a little bit more about yourself and what got you into kindness, but first of all tell us what does PEPOK Institute mean? What is that about?

Randy: PEPOK stands for the Positive Engagement and Economic Power of Kindness and it's basically my organisation that I have founded to be able to work with individuals and organisations to help them create world class cultures, personally and professionally. I am a certified culture-wise consultant. I look for organisations anywhere from 20 to 100 people, who may already have a pretty good culture, but I help them take it to the next level by helping them codify that culture. Meaning they identify the behaviours that have enabled them to create the culture that they have and I put a methodology around introducing habits and rituals around those behaviours so that they can practice them continually and ingrain them into the organisation over time.

Let’s say the owner leaves but they want to leave a legacy of having that wonderful culture continue for generations, for decades to come. With the culturised methodology, they can do that. We can help them so that they establish a method that maintains that culture forever.

Brendan: I want you to go back into your past and think about what actually got you into kindness. I know you got a strong faith and you’ve spent time on a mission in Argentina, fascinating stories you got from that scenario. What was it about your past—you’re in this information security side of things and then it's like, wow, I woke up one morning and what kindness is it for me and this is what I'm going to dedicate my life to moving forward?

Randy: Interestingly, I've always had a desire to give kindness and share kindness with people for most of my life. A big part of that is because I was so blessed to have good friends who were there for me, who showed great kindness to me at a time in my life when my family was going through some real challenges. My father made some severe mistakes. He was getting prosecuted. As you might imagine, as a teenager that's super embarrassing. It was all over the newspapers. I lived in a small town, it was on the news. It was in newspapers and just a really tough time.

I was so blessed to have good friends who reached out and put their arms around me and let me know that they loved me, let me know that they cared, extended so much kindness toward me that I've never forgotten that. I've always had a soft spot in my heart for people who are going through challenges and through tough times because I understand what it's like to have those challenges. I may not go through some of the same things that they are, but I know what it's like to feel down and discouraged and feel like life is maybe not necessarily worth living. I've been there and had those dark times. Again, people reaching out and bringing me back into the light with their love, with their kindness, with their hope, engendering goodness towards me. It just made me always sensitive to those kinds of things. 

Coming back to why would I—I had a good career. I've been a consultant and had great opportunities in the information security world and that hasn't changed. The need for cyber security and information security and protection of digital data has not gone away, it just continues to grow. But there's a massive gap in our society, in the sense that we hear about physical climate change all the time and all the things that are happening then things we need to be doing to take care of our world, our planet which is important. We should be taking good care of our planet.

What we don't hear about is the societal climate change that's going on. Just a perfect example here in the United States this last year, there’s so much division and divisiveness because of the election and because of politics and all the racial unrest and upheaval. The protests and the riots and the businesses and lives being destroyed because of anger and all that erosion that is going on in society, because of those things in our society particularly but it's not just limited to the United States. Civility seems to have gone out the window in so many ways. Of course, the violence surrounding the shootings, we had so many shootings here in the United States last summer. I just got to a point where I can't sit back and not do something. I'm just one person, but even if I can touch one or two other people's hearts, I can potentially have a ripple effect out from there. They might touch other people's hearts, they may touch other people's hearts and have it go out from there.

I can't just sit back and hope that somebody else is going to take care of this or wait for the politicians to do something, which I could be waiting and I'd still be waiting because we know how that works a lot of the time. 

I felt compelled to write my book The Kindness Givers' Formula. We talked a little bit about that. It's a simple formula to inspire people, to create a daily intentional habit of giving kindness. Through the example of honey bees, I can talk to people about that, bringing up examples of honey bees. Through little simple acts, we can make a big difference.

Honey bees only live 6-8 weeks. In that time, they travel to thousands and thousands of flowers. They travel an equivalent distance where they could circumnavigate the globe with the amount of miles that they travel in 6-8 weeks. They're gathering nectar, yet they come back and they only produce 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey, each individual bee. That doesn't seem like a whole lot, but that little contribution is vital to the hive. You get 20,000 to 60,000 bees working together, they can produce anywhere from 60-80, maybe even 100 pounds of honey in a year, which is more than enough for the hive and obviously gives us as humans a whole bunch of extra sweetness to deal with.

Same thing with our little tiny actions, I'm one person but if I can influence two or three other people and then they influence, it can ripple out from there. You think about this, what would happen if every day, millions or even, dare I say, billions of people were getting up and saying I'm going to be a kindness giver today. I’m going to think of and plan potential ways to be kind. Then I'm going to look for ways and act on those ways to be kind. I'm going to invite and encourage other people to do the same thing. Think about how that would transform our world.

Boy, I went off on a tangent but you got me started. That's why I do what I do now. I love people and I've seen the difference that kindness can make. I've seen in my own life. I've seen it as I have tried to be kind to other people. I've seen the actions that other people have taken. Kindness can make a huge difference, not only individually but in organisations as well.

Brendan: Let's explore that point, Randy. I can ask you the simple question about what does kindness looks like? Let's put this kindness thing into action. How about you share a moment where you felt this is a really memorable moment for you where somebody has shown you an extreme level of kindness and how that's made you feel what you've done off the back of that.

Randy: Oh my goodness, there have been so many different things but I'm going to go back to that time when I was a teenager. I was 14 years old. For some reason, even though I don't know why, my friends asked me to be our class representative at my junior high school, middle school if you will from grades seven, eight, and nine at the time. They asked me to be my class representative and the student body president who is over the whole student council asked me if I would type up the agenda for a meeting that we were going to have. I typed up the agenda. I got there early. I set the agendas out on the desk, because there are going to be like 10 or 12 other students in that meeting.

One of my friends, a beautiful young lady that was a cheerleader, she was always happy and kind and nice to everybody. She comes bouncing into class. She's always bubbly always. She's always energetic, kind of like the Energizer bunny. She picked up one of the agendas and she looks at it and she says to me did you know you misspelled the word miscellaneous? It wasn't in an unkind way, she was just pointing out. I picked it up. I looked at it and I was like, inside I'm dying. I'm sitting there thinking. I was. I did. I guess you think I'm pretty stupid huh? That’s what I said, because that tells you where my self-esteem was at the time.

That's how I felt about myself. Without missing a beat, she responded back and said, oh no, I don't. I think you're pretty neat. I've never forgotten that, Brendan. At the time, I had no idea how much I needed to hear that, no idea. But it pierced me right to the heart and literally I said thank you, but then I had to turn. I turned and walked out of the room. I got outside in the hall and there was nobody in the hall. It was during class. I ran to the bathroom, locked myself in a stall and just sat there and cried.

I cried because somebody thought I was neat. For me and from my own experience, I felt like that was God was telling me, hey, you're okay. You're okay and you're going to make it through these challenges. I've never forgotten that. That has been a driver in the back of my mind, a big driver for me wanting to give back and to give kindness to other people. There's been a whole bunch of other experiences. That one in particular, I've told that story and it's impacted people all over the place, all over the world. I shared that story in an interview I did yesterday with a lady in the United Arab Emirates. I've shared it in a bunch of other places and people have come back and told me how much they appreciated it.

Not because I'm trying to hold myself up as a light or anything else like that, but it's just a simple example of the power of words and how they can ripple out through time. For crying out loud, it’s been 36 years since that happened and I remember it like it was yesterday. If she can have that kind of effect on me, what kind of effect can my words, the things that I'm saying have on other people? If I can be kind and let somebody know that I'm thinking about them and have that kind of impact, I'm going to try to do it every single day if I can in everything I do. Because I never know, you never know, we never know when we're going to have that kind of impact on somebody.

She probably didn't even think about it. In fact, I talked to her about it 25 years later. She's like, really? I was just being nice. She had no idea how much it has impacted my life. That's really what drives me. 

Now, in organisations that I've worked in, I have a colleague that was my director, bringing this experience into a modern time. He did the same thing. I made a mistake that unfortunately cost our company about $10,000 or something like that, or $15,000. I was really feeling down on myself, but he said to me, well, so what are you going to learn from this experience? That's all he said. He didn’t get mad. He didn't get upset. He says, take this, learn from it and do better next time. I'm confident that you will.

When he said that, that previous experience with my friend came immediately into my mind. I just thought this guy gets it. He understands how to treat people and how to help them maintain their confidence or have confidence in a situation where he could have really just smushed me.

Brendan: Such fantastic examples, very impactful examples. Thank you for sharing and the phrase or quote that's just ringing in my ears is that people don't remember what you do but they remember how you made them feel.

Randy: Exactly.

Brendan: It's just so powerful. Once again, thanks for sharing it. Thankfully, we're recording this video episode as well, so people will be able to see the emotion. They can hear it in your voice, but actually being able to see the emotion in your face is very powerful. With that impact and this term chief kindness officer, what responsibility does that bring for you having this term around you? Randy McNeely, the chief kindness officer.

Randy: It keeps me on my toes. I have to be self-aware. I have to be emotionally intelligent. I have to be self-aware and be careful about the things that I say and do. Not that I'm walking on eggshells or anything like that, but I want to make sure that when I speak to people that I can have a positive impact every time. Am I perfect at it? No. My wife and kids will be the first one to tell you that. The interesting thing is I really have to work at being careful about my self-talk. I say it because we spend 100% of our time with ourselves.

You've heard the statement I'm my own worst critic. Why is that, because we can't get away from ourselves, we know all that dirt. They talk about digging up the dirt and bringing out the skeletons in the closet. We know about our own skeletons. We know about our own dirt and mistakes that we made, things that might be embarrassing if they got out into public, whatever it is. It's so easy to be our own critic. I have to work really hard to be kind to myself because I'm a recovering perfectionist. In the past, I've really had a hard time with not trying to be perfect at everything and you can't. Nobody can.

I had to be self-aware and be careful how I talk to myself because when I'm not being kind to me, it's a lot harder to be kind to other people. I try to be really self-aware of how I'm talking to myself and be aware of other people around me. Be aware of their body language. Be aware of what they're saying, how they're acting because they may be having a hard time with something and need someone to notice that they're having that hard time. They may not come out and say it. They may not come out and ask you anything about it. If given the opportunity, you can say, hey Brendan, are you doing okay today? You just seem a little bit off or seem like maybe something is not quite right. Is everything okay? I can't tell you the number of times that I've said that to someone and have them open up and say, you know, I'm really not doing that well because of this, this or this.

They just need an empathetic ear. They don't necessarily even need to have you give them advice or anything like that. They just need somebody to listen. A lot of times people will find it cathartic just to be able to say I'm going through this or this. I'm thinking about this. I need to know about this. A lot of times, even with my kids, they’ll find the answer to what they're looking for just by talking about it without me having really to say anything other than give them little prompts. What happened then? Wow, I'm sorry you're feeling that way, what do you think you can do about it? Those kinds of things can make a big difference.

I've been rambling so much. I lost sight of what we were originally talking about.

Brendan: Mate, it’s all relevant, but you’re taking us into a point now where I think we can get into some practical actions. I mean you've got this book out, been out for a little while. You’ve got another one coming around The Kindness Givers' Formula and Kindness by Design. You mention that term self-awareness. The real change has to always start with ourselves. How about you give us a bit of some of this practical stuff around. What's this kindness by design, this kindness givers’ formula? What does that mean? What are the steps? Therefore we can relate to what can we actually do in our everyday lives?

Randy: Kindness by design is a personal culture creation system. It's basically identifying the behaviours that you want to have in your life to create a great personal brand so that people when they meet you would want to get to know you. As they get to know you, they'll like you. As they like you and get to know you, they'll trust you. We all know that relationships are built on trust. How do we build relationships? There's a whole bunch of different things that go into building a relationship. The keystone of that is connection. You have to be able to connect to people's hearts. 

The greatest way I've found to connect to people's hearts is through kindness, through acting in kind ways. Showing respect, listening attentively, listening generously, paying attention to body language, being honest, clearly stating expectations, there's a whole list of behaviours that are actually encircled about by what I call the circle of kindness that are encompassed in the circle of kindness. Identifying those behaviours and then again creating rituals around those behaviours or habits around those behaviours and practicing them on a regular basis.

One behaviour might be listening attentively. For this week, I'm going to focus on listening. That's a behaviour identified. Everything I do, there's going to be something related to listening that I do in these situations. Next week it might be honesty. I'm going to practice complete honesty. We always try to practice that all the time, but I'm going to create these little habits around honesty thinking about that, so it's top of mind this week. Then the next week, it might be a different behaviour.

You identify those behaviours. You practice them a week at a time and you go through that cycle over and over again until they’re ingrained in your nature. It's the same thing with organisation culture-wise with ingraining kindness into an organisation or building a world class culture is identifying those key behaviours, those fundamental behaviours and then creating rituals and habits around those behaviours and practicing them one behaviour at a time, one week at a time, over until you go through a complete cycle. Over and over again and it really ingrains that in the DNA of the organisations.

So many organisations write their values and their mission and their vision and they post them up on a wall, but they don't take the time to, okay well, what behaviours do I need to have in order to really put those values, those beliefs into action, into practice? Too often, people will merge or interchange beliefs and values and behaviour when they're really two separate things. Beliefs drive the behaviours that you take. If you haven’t identified the behaviours and are taking specific actions, you may not be upholding the values that you listed up on the wall. It doesn’t matter what you have written there, it's what you do that matters.

Those are the things around kindness by designing and culture-wise. Now, if you're just talking about ingraining a daily habit of intentional kindness giving, simple easy formula and it's in this book, The Kindness Givers’ Formula. I really went through it earlier. It's every day get up and determine I'm going to be a kindness giver. Every day get up and take 5 minutes or 10 minutes, however long you need but think about where you're going to be, who you're going to be with, what you're going to be doing and plan in your mind potential opportunities to be kind in those situations.

If you're going to be going to work, okay I know I'm going to see Debbie. I know I'm going to see Bill. I know I’m going to see Bob, what good things have they done recently? How can I compliment them? I can at least say hi and smile or whatever it is. Plan out those potential things and then go forward and look for and act on opportunities, to be kind. Look for and act on as many ways to be kind as you can reasonably. Remembering they don't have to be big things. We can smile, we can hold the door, we can say thank you for doing this. Whatever it might be, we can leave a note of appreciation. The final thing is to invite and encourage others to do the same thing. Would you mind if I share just a couple little stories that illustrate what I mean?

Brendan: Absolutely not. Feel free, Randy.

Randy: One of the things and spoiler alert, this story is in my book but a simple example of how saying thank you can touch a heart and change a life. I was at a hotel, I travelled to Louisiana and I had gotten to my hotel. I was coming down to the lobby, I was going to be meeting my partner Mike and the other consultant that I was there with. On the way, I could see one of the cleaning ladies coming towards me.

I am an extrovert to the hill, Brendan, I just am. I never have an issue talking to people but every once in a while, it's weird, I'll have this nervousness come over me when somebody's coming toward me. I think I ought to say hi or something and I just like, ugh, and I don't know why that happens, it just does. That was the case in this situation. I was thinking inside, I need to tell her thank you for all that she does to make my stay comfortable.

I don't really want to do this. Then I thought, what am I thinking? I can do this. I just have to force myself. I forced myself to say, I just wanted to say thank you for taking care of my room and for making it comfortable, for making my stay comfortable, I really appreciate it. I’ll tell your Brendan, I was so grateful that I did, because this lady stopped dead in her tracks, she looked up at me and she had a tear in her eye. She had tears in her eyes. She said to me, I have worked here for four years. You're the first person that ever said thank you, ever. That pierced me to the heart. My goodness, I've got to make sure I make an effort from now on, everywhere I go, to tell the cleaning people how much I appreciate them.

Literally from that point on, every morning before I left my room, I was there for 3-4 more days, I left a note on my pillow saying thank you to the cleaning crew for all that they do to make my stay comfortable. I've made it a practice everywhere I go. Every time I'm in a hotel, anywhere I am, I always leave that note and I say thank you. I've had them write notes back to me. I'll come back and find a note on my pillow saying thank you for saying thank you.

I started signing it, the thank you man. The thank you man has been here. That little touch, that little human touch, it makes a big difference. It's amazing how little acts of kindness give us a quiet power, a quiet sense of confidence, and they do the same thing for the people that we’re doing it for. To know that somebody appreciates me, somebody noticed me, somebody cares. We all know it, it boomerangs. She gave it away and it comes back.

Brendan: Our interview will continue after this.

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Brendan: Once again, just a great story and such powerful examples. I'm being a little bit selfish here and thinking about my own situation. My wife and kids sometimes say to me, I give a lot more time and energy to clients in my business and people in my network outside of my family. What do you think I should do to improve about showing that sort of value to my own family as opposed to always looking out first?

Randy: That's an interesting question, Brendan. Being the kindest giver you would think the first place that I would be working really hard on that is with my family because they're immediately around me, but I myself when I get up I think okay, I'm going to be a kindness giver today. What are some things that I can do here first? I look for little things right at the beginning of the day that I can do for my wife. For example, I make the bed. When she's gotten up, she might be in the bathroom or something, I’ll go around and make the bed.

I will write a note to her and say hey baby, I think you're beautiful, or I love you, or something. I'll stash it in her purse, I'll put it somewhere where she won't see it immediately but she’ll find it during the day. For my kids, I’ll do some of the same things. They're assigned to do a chore like doing the dishes or something like that, I’ll go in. We have a dishwasher, they have to load the dishwasher and then do the extra, the hand washing and stuff like that. I'll do a one minute contest. I’ll set the timer on the microwave, we have a timer and I do a contest in one minute. How many dishes can I load in a minute? I try to break my record and I’ll count the number of things I load. I'm trying to break my record without breaking any dishes.

Brendan: That’s a funny sport, Randy.

Randy: Things like that. Just simple things I can do. My mother-in-law lives here. It's been really cold the last few days. When her or my wife is getting ready to go somewhere, I go out and start the car for them. I scrape the windows off before they leave so that they don't have to worry about it. Just those kinds of little things. Anything you can do any little thing you can do, if there's something that your wife does but she doesn't necessarily like to do, some little thing, take the time to do it. Take the trash out. Take the dog for a walk or whatever it is, little things like that. Look for simple things you can do and just do them. You'll be amazed at how—at first she may not say anything, and your kids may not say anything, but they will notice. They will notice and they'll say hey where's Brendan, what did you do to him? I'm sure that they'll notice and they'll appreciate it. Does that make any sense?

Brendan: It makes perfect sense and absolutely. The most important thing I takeaway from that is that it's really these very, very simple things and extending on that simpleness I suppose and relating this also back to organisations and cultures within organisation, kindness being a foundation of world class cultures, what would you say to the naysayers out there I suppose. There's lots of leaders out there, there's lots of businesses out there that spend an awful lot of money on some pretty fancy tools, and training, and all that sort of stuff around creating better cultures. This stuff doesn't cost any money. What would you say to these people about, this is what you need to do as particularly a foundation and you can start straight away.

Randy: First thing is, think about what is the cost of not having a good culture? What is the cost to you loyalty wise if someone in your company is treating other employees or colleagues poorly? What does that cost you? Turnover goes up, creativity goes down, productivity goes down, innovation goes down, what is that costing you?

It's hard that those are kind of tangential numbers or things that are squishy if you will, you can't necessarily put a number on that, but you know what happens to morale. When morale goes down, how does that affect your bottom line? You have more friction, you have more tension, you have more tension between people, how does that affect the service they give your customers? How does that affect future opportunities? Those kinds of questions.

Now let us turn it around. when you treat your employees right, when they feel like they have a voice, when they feel like you care, when you give them the opportunity to be heard, when they understand what your cause is as an organisation, and why their role matters in that cause, and they know that you care, and that you care about what they think and what they're doing, what happens to their loyalty? It goes up. What happens to your turnover rate? It goes down. What happens to creativity? It goes up. What happens to productivity? It goes up. What happens to innovation? It goes up. How do they treat your customers? They treat them well. Why? Because they like your company, they like what they're doing, they believe in the cause.

When they treat your customers well and they believe in the cause, what happens with your opportunities with those customers? They're going to give you return business and let me back up again, when you treat your internal customers which are your colleagues and your employees right, and they treat your external customers right, both of those client divisions or those groups, they end up becoming an extension of your marketing team for no cost.

The internal people in your organisation, if you ever need someone to work there, if you have a job posting or whatever, they're going to be happy to say, come and work at company XYZ. They’ll treat you great. You'll be well taken care of and you're going to love it here. They look for the people that are going to fit into the culture that you've established. They're going to be happy to talk to them about it. They're going to be happy to talk to people about what you do. Same thing with your customers, when you treat them right and you take good care of them, not only are they going to bring you return business, but they're going to be happy to give you testimonials. They're going to be happy to say hey, Brendan Rogers, that guy is fantastic. He knows what he's doing. He's got great service. If you're doing this, this, and this, that's Brendan’s bread and butter. He will take care of you. They're going to get a whole bunch of extra business by word of mouth just because of the way that they treat people.

Their reputation will precede them in the marketplace. There's all kinds of places out there online like Glassdoor and other places that allow people to go in and rate. This is company XYZ, how would you rate the CEO? Do you approve of the CEO? What was your experience working there and all these different things? When you go there and look up your organisation and you've got a 99% approval rate for the CEO and a fantastic rating for the company, what does that say? People are going to be banging down the door to come and work there. All of those things make a big difference and how does that affect your bottom line? What do you think?

Brendan: It's a no brainer isn't it?

Randy: It should be.

Brendan: With your role in leading with Kindness, how do you feel that you can make the biggest impact to turn this into more of a no brainer for people? Because you and I, you're sort of preaching to the converted, I'm not in the Kindness space but working with cultures, it just makes perfect sense to me. Again, how do you impact that?

Randy: I think the first thing is I have to build a relationship where I can get them, ask them okay, what are your concerns? What are the things that keep you up at night? Inside your organisation, what are the things that keep you up at night? They may say, the network is bad, or this or that. Let me reframe the question, what within your personnel, within the people that you have in your organisation, what situations or what challenges keep you up at night? If I can get them talking about those kinds of things, then I can pinpoint things that I can talk about to help them alleviate those things.

Here's how we can provide a solution to help you address that or have you considered this or this, it just depends on how the conversation goes, but I want to build a relationship with them, start having a conversation just to find out where they stand, what will help them the most, what things are their concerns and how I can address those concerns. Does that make sense?

Brendan: Absolutely. I want to go into, you used a term earlier on the conversation, societal climate change. I love that term. It’s so passionate that the world is certainly very possible, very passionate about the climate change thing, and certainly we have to look after our planet 100%. There's a lot of passion and drive around that. I guess going back to that term what you referred to is societal climate change, there's no good in having a planet that's looked after if our society is not healthy to live on that planet. Where do people start for you? We all need to change ourselves. Good change always starts with ourselves, what do we need to do? What do we need to be aware of moving forward to create this kind world that a lot of us say we want to live in, but there's a lot of people not taking action to create that.

Randy: Well, I'm going to go right back to my Kindness Givers formula. Kindness begins with me first of all. Take care of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. Spiritually, people automatically when I say that, think of religious causes. For me, I'm Christian, I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Spiritually for me means I'm reading my scriptures. I have a daily devotional where I look up and read things about God and from leaders in our church, etcetera. Spirituality also means how you feel. What are you feeling? Are you feeling happy, or are you feeling grouchy, or sad, or things like that. What kind of things can you be doing to increase the happiness feelings?

Well, we use the term in medicine called the dose. The doctor gives you a dose of whatever. Give yourself a daily dose by being kind. What I mean by that is dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins. Kindness is the one thing that we can do, kind actions are the one thing we can do that will bring all of those out at the same time. Give yourself a daily dose, put the Kindest Givers formula into action every day. Take those simple steps. 

If I was going to write in my book again which may come out with the second edition at some point, I would add one more step to it. That's at the end of the day, take a few minutes and reflect on how your day went, and on any experiences where you were kind, or someone was kind to you, and write down a few things about how that impacted you. It's amazing how when you're counting those blessings if you will and having gratitude for those things, it ingrains it in your heart. It's like you're taking a pencil and writing on your own heart. It'll make a big difference.

Brendan: I want to just also refer back to you and I had a really lengthy conversation actually before we started to hit the record button earlier. One of the things you said in that conversation and I wrote it down because it really resonated was our thoughts precede our actions. Can you explain that a little bit?

Randy: There's the old saying, we become what we think about. Honestly, if we're thinking about how we can lift, and build, and serve others, and coming from that perspective from that lens personally and professionally, it's amazing how that kind of positivity attracts people just like honey attracts bees, or nectar attracts bees, like flowers attract bees. It's almost like, you know the people that when they come into the room that are positive, that are upbeat, that have a good attitude, they're like the moth flying straight at the light that's shining. They're sitting there and buzzing around, everybody buzzes around those people.

The truth of it is as we become positive ourselves and look for ways to continually lift and build those around us, our relationships, our ability to create trustworthy and powerful relationships is going to continually increase, and we’ll be able to make a big difference that way.

Brendan: Excellent. You referred to the Kindness Givers formula a couple of times here and explained that to us, thank you very much. It sounds like there's scope now for an updated edition from what you mentioned earlier, but you've also got another book coming out and it's going to be a series. Do you want to tell us a little bit about that?

Randy: Yeah. I've got a 4-volume series called the Daily Dose of Positive. Volume one is going to be released within the next 10 days or so. It's Daily Dose of Positive Volume 1, 90 Days of Timeless Nuggets to Enhance Your Life. It's basically just a daily quote for the day, something positive, a bunch of different topics. Leadership, honesty, integrity, kindness, love, renewal, hope, all these different things. Great quotes and then I share my thoughts about what that quote made me think of, what it means to me. I give a space where, what are your thoughts and you can write down what your thoughts are. Are there any inspired actions? There's another space to write down those things. What are these things, the thoughts that have been shared, what do they inspire you to do? It'll be a daily journal, a daily thing that people can look at, and hopefully get some inspiration, and make their day go a little brighter or be a little brighter.

Brendan: Thank you for sharing, I look forward to certainly getting my hands on that when it comes out. I know you're going to let me know as soon as it’s out which is fantastic. As always, these simple things are often the most powerful things aren’t they?

Randy: I didn't answer the rest of the question. There will be three other volumes to cover the entire year, the first 90 days, and then 91, and then 92, and 92. Brendan was asking me if I could do like 91.33 or 90.3333 or whatever. It just doesn't quite work out.

Brendan: It doesn't. Maybe for the analytically minded like myself it does work out, but anyway. The marketing guys and girls will disagree I'm sure.

Randy: Yeah.

Brendan: Mate, how can our listeners get a hold of you?

Randy: They can find me at RandyMcNeely.com or pepokinstitute.com. I'm on LinkedIn, they can find me there. I'm on Facebook and I have a YouTube channel, but those are still works in progress. I honestly don't get on Facebook very often. The other ones are the main sites.

Brendan: Maybe you should get on to Facebook a little bit more and share some kindness with some of those trolls that people seem to talk about a lot.

Randy: They're the reason that I'm not on Facebook. I should get back on there. I should.

Brendan: Randy, I want to say a massive thank you as I do to all of my guests. I've got to know you particularly over the last six months and you're a man that lives and breathes kindness. I've seen that. I've seen examples of kindness in some of the sessions you're involved in. You're a living and breathing example of what you're doing which is fantastic. I want to say a massive thank you for being a guest today, for sharing your knowledge around kindness. I always like to take some action from an episode and there’s so many bits of action I can take, but really simple stuff that I can implement and be more aware about today just about being more kind and being deliberate about kindness. Thank you again, I really appreciate your time. Thanks for coming on as a guest on The Culture of Things podcast.

Randy: You're so welcome. Could I throw just one more thing out there? One more quick takeaway. Dare to embrace kindness. It's not hard. You can do it. It doesn't take a lot of effort, but it takes courage. There are times when we might be faced or talking to somebody who's angry or stuff like that, it's easy to react in those situations. It's much better if we can respond with kindness and calmness because usually you can deflate the situation. I'm going to show a quick sign just to let people know. Dare to embrace kindness. Can you see that?

Brendan: I can see it and you said it for our listeners. Fantastic. Embrace kindness. I love it.

Randy: Embrace it. Okay, I'll be quiet now. Thanks Brendan.

Brendan: Randy lives and breathes kindness. His Kindness Givers formula is a simple solution that can have a powerful impact on achieving improved results on what he calls societal climate change. Every day, get up and determine that you're going to be a kindness giver. Plan in your mind opportunities to be kind during the day, go forward, look for, and act on opportunities to be kind. These don't have to be big things. Invite and encourage others to do the same and at the end of the day, reflect on how your day went, and on any experiences where you were kind or someone was kind to you, and how that impacted you.

Kindness can be the best pandemic we can ever spread. An act of kindness is like throwing a stone into a pool of water. The effect ripple out to others and it keeps going. All it takes is one person to throw the stone. Randy is that person. These were my three key takeaways from my conversation with Randy. My first key takeaway, leaders speak the kind truth. It isn't about being nice, it is about being kind. Being kind means that you care about people. This care factor means you have real conversations with people to help them improve. Leaders always speak the kind truth.

My second key takeaway, leaders will be the change they want to see. A real leader irrespective of their position won’t wait for others to make the change. They will take on the responsibility themselves. They will live the change they want and then have the kind conversations to reinforce it to others.

My third key takeaway, leaders build people up. Through acts of kindness, leaders give people confidence. This confidence leaves a positive impact on the people you interact with which will always be remembered. Spend time building people up, not knocking them down. In summary, my three key takeaways were leaders speak the kind truth, leaders will be the change they want to see, leaders build people up.

To win this week’s $30 Jangler gift card of your choice, answer this question. What is Randy known as? Send your answer to brendan@brendanrogers.com.au. Thank you for listening, stay safe. Until next time.


Outtro (music): Thank you for listening to The Culture of Things podcast with Brendan Rogers. Please visit brendanrogers.com.au to access the show notes. If you love The Culture of Things podcast, please subscribe, rate and give a review on Apple podcasts and remember a healthy culture is your competitive advantage.