Liberating Masculinity With Ed Frauenheim And Team Building Secrets With Dr. Charles Redd

Breaking the stigma of traditional masculinity is an aspiring yet challenging endeavor. But by liberating masculinity from the current status quo, men can actually unlock what may be their full potential. Dr. Diane Hamilton sits down with writer and speaker Ed Frauenheim to talk about how men can do more by setting aside their dominating nature and start embracing emotions and vulnerability. By doing so, men can work alongside others in a much uplifting and rewarding way, resulting in healthier and deeper relationships.

Businesses are created, first and foremost, with a specific goal in mind. However, strategies to keep a productive team are often neglected, making the path to the goal a bit unclear. Dr. Diane Hamilton discusses a few team building secrets with Senior Director of Content at Great Place to Work, Dr. Charles Redd. He talks about how leaders can motivate and influence their employees by sharing various strategies in making them more accountable and curious. He also explains why you need to forge relationships in the workplace to achieve shared successes and stresses the importance of opening up to learning all the time.

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I’m glad you joined us because we have Ed Frauenheim and Dr. Charles Redd here. Ed is the co-author of Reinventing Masculinity. He’s also the Senior Director of Content at Great Place to Work US. Dr. Charles is a Fortune 500 executive, minister, professor, speaker, mentor, and transformational leader. We’re going to talk about the differences we’re seeing, how we’re reinventing masculinity, and how to get successful in the workplace. A lot of sales and mentorship discussions with Dr. Redd. We’ll begin with Ed and I’m excited to find out how we’re reinventing masculinity.

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Liberating Masculinity With Ed Frauenheim

I am here with Ed Frauenheim who is a writer and speaker. He has focused on workplace technology and culture matters for many years. His writing has been featured in Fortune, Inc. and USA Today. He co-authored four books, one is Reinventing Masculinity: The Liberating Power of Compassion and Connection. He co-wrote it with Dr. Ed Adams, who was the past president of the American Psychological Associations, a division devoted to the treatment of men and boys. In the book, Ed tells the story of how we are evolving from a cramped, unhealthy, outdated masculinity to one that frees us to build a better, more inclusive future. It’s nice to have you here, Ed.

Thanks, Diane. It’s great to be here.

It’s a unique topic for the show. I don’t know that we address masculinity that much. We’re always focused on women’s issues and different things. I was looking forward to this. I want to get a backstory on you. You got into a lot of areas where I’m interested in like culture, workplace, technology, and a lot of those issues that I’m dealing with as well. What led you to this point that you’ve written all these books and reach this level of success?

There’s a combination of a personal story and a professional story. This topic of masculinity is one that’s been challenging for me as an individual. Growing up as a guy that didn’t fit the mold. You’re supposed to be a strong man, I grew up skinny. You’re supposed to be aggressive and dominant, I lost my one fistfight in sixth grade. You’re supposed to rise to the top of the corporate ladder, I managed one person for one day in my career as a professional. The gist didn’t fit. I was not successful in these “conventional” terms. I’m getting about this personally. As this debate about what’s the new masculinity shaping up to be has become a little bit of a culture war in the pop culture with the #MeToo Movement and with this Gillette’s ad that got a lot of controversies.

I was noticing that in the professional realm, there was consensus building. What it takes to succeed as a man requires a different way of masculinity showing up for us. It can’t be the old standard of being the command and control dominant barking boss. That’s not going to help you thrive at work. I teamed up with this wonderful co-author who focused more on the personal development side as a psychologist and a leader of a men’s group. We blended this work world and professional world with the individual personal development world and then some public social trends as well. The result is the book you see.

There are so many things I’m writing feverishly as you’re saying that because there is so much to that. As you were mentioning successful in conventional terms, it reminded me of Rich Karlgaard’s book Late Bloomers. He talks about what we expect you to be, how you feel like you haven’t made it at Harvard at a certain age, and things that suddenly you haven’t made it. A lot of people have a lot of great stories of people who made it later or aren’t the traditional of what you’d expect. I often talk about the Gillette ad in my marketing courses because it is a fascinating look. I write about perception. I can remember watching that ad when it first came out and it didn’t have a big impact on me as a female. I’m like, “Okay.” All of these men were freaking out when I would ask them about it because they thought it was a personal attack on men in general. I thought that was an interesting thing. I want to get your insight on that Gillette ad from a male perspective. What did you think of it?

I thought it was great showing that men can be better than the traditional bullying and catcalling of women if I remember that part of it. It touched the nerve for men, not only because we may have done some of those things in our past. I’m guilty of these things too. I didn’t know this stand up to the bullies when I was in elementary, middle, and high school. I wasn’t an active bully but I’m a kid who was mistreated in my high school and elementary school. We usually got involved in a crime. A bunch of my friends from that time are realizing, “We didn’t treat that kid well when we were young.”

TTL 781 | Liberating Masculinity
Reinventing Masculinity: The Liberating Power of Compassion and Connection

There’s a sense of guilt when you look back and say, “I didn’t oppose that style of being a guy, even if I was the leader of it.” The same is true with the way we treated women. Often, we looked at them as more like, not in our belts rather than fully human beings in terms of how we were looking at relationships with them. To me, that might explain some of the different perceptions and reactions we had to the ad as men and women.

It was an interesting thing for men though. I was like you, I see the positive in it, but I think a lot of men felt attacked. It was an attack on men in general. I don’t think that was meant necessarily their intention. If you watched it on Twitter, it was trending with all the past examples of Gillette having women in scanty closed outfits. They’re written across their rear ends and things like that and they’re like, “You guys are guilty.” It’s something that brought up a great discussion of what we expect for men, what’s masculine, and that’s what you deal with in your book. You’re calling for a reinvention of masculinity, which I find fascinating. I want to know what that means to you and why do we need to do that?

We see that this older conventional masculinity that we ended up calling confined masculinity is outdated, unhealthy, and even dangerous. What we mean by confined masculinity is one that is preventing men from having a wide set of choices in their lives. It limits them to a certain set of roles like the protector, provider, and conqueror. It also keeps them focused on certain ways of showing up in terms of being stoic, aggressive, and dominant, independent to the point of isolation. The result is masculinity that doesn’t fit so well in the 21st century, which is calling for a different man at home, at work, and in the world. The reinvention that we’re asking for and seeing emerging is what we call liberating masculinity.

It doesn’t deny the earlier ways of being a man but it builds on those other roles to say, “You can do more. You can be more,” like a caregiver, a nurse, a sensitive lover, or an environmental steward. As well as break into these areas that we have long been walled off the emotional realm, being emotionally expressive and intelligent as well as having greater self-awareness including our privileges as men which is vital in the wake of the #MeToo Movement, #BlackLivesMatter Movement, and the killing of George Floyd, especially for us as white men. We think it frees us to live fuller, happier lives, and not just us men but everyone around us.

You bring up some of the male rules. If you’ve watched Meet the Parents, they make fun of him being a male nurse because that was the way the De Niro age group. That’s what they thought of it in a different way. Times are changing. With my husband and my relationship, he does all the cooking and the cleaning, and I do the finance. We’re flip-flopped if you look at it from the traditional perspective. He’s a physician and he has a manly doctor job. I don’t think it’s as cut and dry, is that what you’re saying?

We see these roles changing. My father did something similar to your husband. He and my mom flip-flopped the breadwinner and homemaker roles about halfway through their relationship when my mom became more of a Catholic educator leader and my dad always loved cooking so he became the full-time cook and the cleaner of the house too. There are changes but those archetypes are still there, and they still have a strong impact.

Ours changed too when the kids grew up and went off to college. I used to cook a lot when they were around the house and then when they left, we flip-flopped for some reason. He took over for some of that stuff. My job is different and time requirements. It worked out. It’s important to recognize that there are different ways. Millennials are much more open than the Boomer generation to thinking of these changing things when you’re mentioning barking bosses. That was more of the madmen days, don’t you?

You’re right about that. There’s evidence along those lines that we cite in the book that there’s a FiveThirtyEight research site a couple of years ago that found that 60% of American men felt like that society puts pressure on men in a way that’s unhealthy. That was higher for younger men. They’re chafing against some of those earlier pressures. As you point out, they’re willing to play the corporate rat race as much as older men like me, where you’re supposed to pay your dues, you hope to get a bigger salary, and a higher title later on. They were willing to have a life outside of work and treat that much more as his priority.

[bctt tweet=”If men take on a set of roles, they can feel freer to venture into the emotional realm and rediscover their curiosity.” username=””]

It’s a tough time for men in some respects but some of it has been a long time coming for the privilege and certain things that they’ve had. I’ve heard a lot of women lately say things like, “The poor white man, he’s got it so tough .” When the guy has to deal with a situation where he can’t express a certain thing. There was a song a girl wrote on TED Talk about all the things she can’t do. She can’t wear a ponytail or she can’t go out at night. She can’t leave her drink left alone, but you guys get to have all this stuff. What do you say to people who say, “You’re a white guy who has everything that women don’t have?” Why should we focus on male masculinity issues when women still have so many issues?

We were sensitive about the idea of calling for liberating masculinity because, in some ways, it co-ops the term women’s liberation. What we realized that when men take on a set of roles, they can feel freer to venture into the emotional realm to rediscover their curiosity, it helps everybody. Men and women are freer when we help free men of some of these older views as well.

You bring up an important point and you mentioned curiosity. I want to get into the five C’s because you write about the five C’s. I focus on curiosity and my work research, the four factors that inhibit curiosity which are fear, assumptions, technology, and environment. Curiosity is important to develop in my work on developing those things. Tell me about your five C’s and how curiosity plays into that?

I love that overlap with our work. Our five C’s are curiosity, courage, compassion, connection, and commitment. We put curiosity at the start because in some ways, it all begins there. Are men willing to ask questions like, “Is this the best I can live?” A lot of men, especially the older men in the 50s, 60s, 70s that have worked with my co-author, feel empty in a lot of ways. Even if they’ve had conventional trappings of success, they don’t have great relationships with their spouses or with their children, or they don’t feel a lot of meaning at work. This question of, “What’s holding me back? The ways that I’ve bought into social pressures, especially about how to be a man, are those right?”

The more general sense of curiosity is you get out and asking about how things work or could there be a different way that is so important in business and innovation. We are told as men to be the smartest guy in the room and that means you can’t ask questions. You’re supposed to be a know-it-all, not a learn-it-all. That’s the term that you heard Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, has coined that or uses that term. I love it because we’ve got to move away from thinking that the only way to be smart is to already know. Increasingly, with the fast pace of the world that’s one of those 21st-century traits, it’s a faster, flatter, fair, and focused world as I see it. If we can’t ask questions all the time, we’re at a disadvantage.

As you talk about that curiosity aspect, it also tied into my book on perception. Perception is a combination of IQ, EQ, CQ for cultural quotient, and then CQ for curiosity quotient. I love that you talked about how much that ties in. Some of what you’re saying are the factors that hold people back from curiosity. When I say assumptions, that’s the voice in your head that tells you have to be the smartest guy in the room and that’ll limit you. A lot of CEOs think they build curiosity in their culture. Francesca Gino at Harvard Review has been on the show. We talked about leaders think that they’re encouraging it, they’re often not from the employee’s perception and perspective. I’m glad you brought up curiosity.

Courage is our second one and it is tied to the first one because it takes courage to start asking questions to revive the curiosity that we’re all born with. All of us, as boys and girls, but boys too ask, “Why is the sky blue? How airplanes fly?” Can we have the courage to ask in a meeting and say, “I don’t quite understand why we do this?” Instead pose those questions that might be vital to a better way in public or to say, “Do I think I can’t be more emotionally expressive with my own children so that I can cry if they’re sad or if with tears of joy?”

TTL 781 | Liberating Masculinity
Liberating Masculinity: If there is no space for people where they can feel like they aren’t going to be mocked for their ideas, you’re not going to create a powerful team and organization.


That courage piece is standing up to some of these norms. We have a great foundation of courage as men. It tends to be physical courage going to save someone in a burning building or financial courage. I’m going to bet the farm on a new venture. When it comes to that emotional courage or the self-awareness that reflecting on our own traits, our assumptions are going back to the privileged piece, that’s where we’re calling for the courage to evolve for men.

That’s important. When I train people to develop their fear levels, it was important to measure what was holding people back because once you realize it, it’s fear that’s holding people back, then you can figure out what they’re afraid of and develop a personal SWOT of those issues to overcome them. That’s critical. I want to get into the third one. What was the third one?

Compassion. Compassion and connection as we see it as the core of this new masculinity. That’s why we put that in our subtitle, The Liberating Power of Compassion and Connection. Men had compassion but a lot of it has been unspoken. The compassion that we love our families, we’re going out and work, toil hard to be breadwinners in many cases for many years, but we haven’t always identified the expressivity and sharing that we care about. We are getting more attuned to the emotional needs of people around us because we’re supposed to be stoic. We’re supposed to not show emotion. It also can be seen as feminine which is a taboo for many guys.

We’re going to show up as homosexuals, which is we’re told to stay way clear of that when you grow up. All these things are changing. That idea of being compassionate is vital to being happy as a man individually, with your personal relationships but also increasingly at work where the psychological safety piece is important. If you cannot be creating a space for people to be full human beings where they can feel like they aren’t going to be mocked for their ideas and their full selves, you’re not going to create a powerful team and organization.

I had Amy Edmondson on the show where we talk about psychological safety and she’s incredible. I’ve been fortunate to meet her at Thinkers50 and different things. She has such a strong message that ties into what you’re saying, and I agree with that. Number four, I want to go through your list because this is fascinating.

A connection is the fourth.

Number five was commitment, right?

The commitment and connection ties them all together. The connection piece goes back to that notion that men are supposed to be rugged individuals. That’s supposed to be self-made men. That is an American and a masculine myth of sorts that we aren’t interdependent. When we fail to see those connections and to nurture them again, our life is diminished and so as our power in the world increasingly. As men get older, they do not tend to nurture their friendships. There’s a crisis of isolation and loneliness. My father is, unfortunately, a case study. My mother died years ago and he hasn’t rebuilt these relationships with childhood friends or other friends. He’s got a couple of good business friends, but he’s even told me, “I somehow lost the art of friendship.” It’s tied, in his case, to feeling not financially successful and a shame around that. His provider role has reemerged as important now that my mother’s gone and who was more of the provider. That’s at a personal level.

[bctt tweet=”It takes courage to start asking questions to revive the curiosity that everyone is born with.” username=””]

If we think about the workplaces that we’re in, they are ones with cross-functional teams. They’re getting more flat with distributed power so that organizations can sense and respond to emerging threats and opportunities. That’s a place where you can’t be that barking boss to come back to where you’re used to giving orders. You’ve got to be available to have connections, relationships, and be able to be persuasive, willing to learn from people in your network of colleagues and even sometimes outside the organization. The sense of connection is important. The last element of that is it needs to happen in this global level because we’re dealing with global challenges that a confined masculinity only sees your circle of care to be your family, yourself, your community, or your nation. That’s not going to cut it when we have global warming and pandemics. These are things that require global response and men who don’t move forward to this liberating masculinity, where they see connectivity to everybody, they’re going to be unable to solve the problems effectively.

That’s important to note and this is a crazy time. You mentioned the relationships your father didn’t have but you seem to have built a relationship with a co-author, Dr. Ed Adams. I’m wanted to ask you about him because of his connection to the American Psychological Association. I’ve had a lot of psychology-based professionals on the show including Albert Bandura, the greatest psychologist alive. He was inspirational to me. How did you build a relationship with Dr. Adams?

It was through his wife. We were both authors in the same publishing company. He’s one that does nurture connections. A lot of publishing companies have a lot of authors that they don’t know each other. Our publishing company is called Berrett-Koehler Publishers and it actively creates an author community. We have an author retreat every year and there are a lot of other activities. I’ve met Marilee Adams through that. She also writes about a topic similar to curiosity. She has a book called Change Your Questions, Change Your Life. It’s all about how you inquire into life and it worked. Right about the time that Gillette ad came out, it’s when the American Psychological Association published a new set of guidelines for the treatment of men and boys.

That also was a lightning rod of controversy because it was saying that this conventional, what we ended up calling confined masculinity is associated with health problems like earlier deaths, heart and other stress issues. It’s an unhealthy version of masculinity. That was like the Gillette ad creating a lot of backlash or criticism. Ed, my co-author, used to be the past president of the division focused on men and boys. He was out there talking about this on the Michael Strahan show with Laura Ingraham from Fox News. He was a public face of this and it was a natural pairing for us to get together and combine these two windows into the new masculinity.

What you’re talking about is important for people to build these relationships. Some of this goes across male-female being who you are. This could be he-she discussion in different realms. Do you get a lot of those questions?

In terms of non-binary gender identities, we have a little bit but I will say that our book is targeted more toward that older generation. We are both middle-aged white guys. We acknowledge that. Our book is trying to help especially that group of men to say, “We can be happier, more successful, and creating a better environment for everyone around us.” We are mindful of these newer ways of thinking about sexuality and identity.

We’ve got a section on groups of gay men in San Francisco who are struggling with some of these questions of connection as well. As we talk about the book more, we are talking with younger people. Some of whom are challenging these traditional identifications. We speak in our intro chapters about in itself is one of the ways that liberating masculinity is important. It’s to acknowledge that there can be more than one way. That’s one of those challenges that the confined mindset is thinking that we are stuck in certain roles and it doesn’t have to be that way.

TTL 781 | Liberating Masculinity
Liberating Masculinity: When you fail to appreciate connections and nurture them, life will diminish, and so is the power in the world increasingly.


This is an interesting look at. You don’t get a lot of people talking about it in the show. A lot of people want to know how to get your book and follow you. Is there some information you want to share?

I’m on Twitter @EdFrauenheim. We have a book website at We will give away one of our chapters on confined masculinity there. I’m also on LinkedIn, @Ed-Frauenheim. I’m eager to connect with people and share more.

Thank you, Ed. This was an interesting conversation and it was fun to chat. I love that we are overlapping our interesting curiosity.

Likewise, Diane. It was a super conversation for me too.

Team Building Secrets With Dr. Charles Redd

I am here with Dr. Charles Redd, Jr. who is a nationally recognized Fortune 500 Business Leader, Adjunct Professor, speaker, and Ministry Founder with many years of exceptional performance in both business and ministry. Dr. Charles has a profound approach to developing successful leaders. He has worked with the transforming underperforming sales teams at Hershey, Pepsi, Frito-Lay, and Coca-Cola. He’s been so busy with retailers, Walmart, Kroger, Publix, and the list goes on and on. It’s so nice to have you here, Dr. Charles.

It is my pleasure to be here and thanks for having me.

I was looking forward to it. My co-author on my next book and my good friend, Dr. Maja Zelihic had great things to say about you. I know you have a podcast, you speak, and you do a lot of different things. What led to your level of success? Give me your backstory a little bit.

[bctt tweet=”No matter where you are on your life journey, don’t give up on your dreams because you always have something of value to offer.” username=””]

When I think back, my career has been with the Fortune 500 companies, I’ve had the opportunities to teach at the higher learning education at the college level, and I’ve been a participant in the church community as a teacher. In terms of my professional career, I have worked with some great companies as you mentioned. It has been mainly consisted of managing teams and developing teams, as well as getting involved with some key major customers and selling across the desk to a buyer. In addition to that, where I’ve found the most joy was having the opportunity to be a part of the human resources in sales, training, and development. I’ve had the opportunity to share with other executives and teaching them the concepts of salesmanship and consultative selling. That has been great.

When you add it all up, I’m passionate about adding life purpose through teaching, growing others, and uncovering people’s full potential through transformational leadership. All in the midst of that, going back to school to receive my degree and undergraduate school in business administration and communication, and then my Master’s in Management and Supervision, but I didn’t stop there. I went on and got an additional Master’s degree in Religious Studies and then finally attended Ashland Theological Seminary to receive my doctorate in Transformational Leadership. I have a strong belief in continuing to learn and educate yourself as well as pouring into people to help them uncover their life purpose, add value to society that they may live a life of significance, and leave a legacy for others to follow.

That’s inspirational. I could see why Maja would say that we would have a lot to chat about because we do have quite a bit in common and some of the stuff. I focus on behavioral ways to reach your full potential in sales development, HR, and all the things that you’re talking about. It’s right up my alley. I love to talk about some of this stuff because it ties into the human performance. A lot of it is about behaviors. You know how much we hear that people are hired for their knowledge and fired for their behaviors. I know that there’s a lot to sales professionals. You were talking about HR sales, training, development, and some of the stuff that you do. Is that what led to your book, Don’t Stop Now? Tell me a little bit about your book and what inspired you to write it and who’s it meant for.

When I think about the book, it ties in the professional experience as well as my personal experience, they go hand-in-hand. The message is about no matter where you’re at on your life journey, don’t stop. Don’t give up on your dreams and your passion for life because there’s something of value that you have to offer. It is a book about finding meaning and finding a way to move along this personal journey. It’s about listening to what God has to say as well as what the world is telling you and how to answer that call. When I wrote the book, it talks about a lot of the things that life events that I experienced. They weren’t all rosy and pretty. One of my mentors in leadership, John Maxwell, talked about in his book, Failing Forward.

That resonated with me because in the book, I talk about experiences of failing, but then at how we get through life, it’s what we learned from those experiences. I took the expression of living and learning, which you go along life and as life treats you, you deal with it. John Maxwell talks about turning that phrase around and looking at it from a perspective of learning and then living versus living and learning. I wrote a book that gets the things up and out of me that I failed, but then what I’ve learned from those failures, how to apply that, learn, live, make myself better, and then go and make others better. I reach up for the helpers and then I became a helper. On the journey of Don’t Stop Now, I don’t think in terms of retiring but following your passion all the way to the end of life.

There’s something about following your passion. It’s about coming to the point of being useful and being able to make some difference, not only in your own life, but in others as well. I truly believe that every person has a talent that will help him or her for better mankind, but in this, we all have something of value and what a contribution we can make to make the world and society even a better place. The book is about, how do we grow ourselves? How do we overcome failing? How do we uncover the thing that is within us to become better at what we do, turn around and help someone else receive that message and become better as well?

You’d covered a lot there. It ties into the work that Maja and I did on our books on perception and the value of understanding the impact of how IQ, EQ, CQ for Curiosity Quotient, and CQ for Cultural Quotient. It all comes together to this process of how we evaluate, predict, interpret, and come to these conclusions. When you were talking about uncovering what’s within us, not only do we have to do that for what’s within us, it helps us if we could understand from other people’s perspective. As you mentioned, looking at it from a different perspective of failing forward instead of failing as a bad thing. Perception is such an incredible thing to discuss because to put yourself in somebody else’s shoes, you have to develop your sense of curiosity and your questioning to develop a sense of empathy for somebody else. Do you deal with that thing in your training courses to develop emotional intelligence and behavioral issues?

TTL 781 | Liberating Masculinity
Don’t Stop Now: Finding Purpose and Passion in Your Career and Personal Journey

The key is being transparent with people, your experiences, and realizing that we can always reach up to learn more because there are people that are smarter than us that have been there and done that, but at the same time, from a horizontal perspective, there are people that can accompany us alongside of us along the journey to support and to hold us accountable. Reaching back to bring those that are inquiring and wanting to learn more to bring them up. There’s always this area of, “I can be a participant in being a person who is experienced in giving back. I could be a person who is learning along the way. I can reach back and bring somebody else along the journey.”

In the work that I do in Corporate America, even with the Hershey company, I lead a sales team and the goal is obviously to drive for results. We measure that through sales increases, profit, and market share, but what’s more important on the other side of that is how are we making others around us better. We all reach the destination of success together and leaving no one behind. That is the approach that is important in transformational leadership, as well as in servant leadership that we all arrive at a consensus, celebrate together, achieve together, and make everyone better along the way.

I know you’ve learned a lot from John Maxwell. You mentioned Hershey and some of the other companies that you’ve helped. How did you get to that level where you were able to work with such large organizations and help them with their sales teams and other areas?

The key is to love what you do. One of the things that I’ve heard is that, “Either you get to go or you got to go to work.” The difference is when you get to go is something about that passion that you don’t need an alarm clock to get up, you’re not watching time, and you are anticipating what’s the next thing to do. I found early on in my career that I enjoy leading, coaching, inspiring people, and that became the message for me to deliver to others, get other people inspired, motivate them, get unstuck in life, and realize their full potential. When I think about working with these great companies, I’ve learned a lot from people and that has been the key to my success in being a continuous learner.

That’s what I still am. That’s why all this going back to school and continuously learning. You never can stop growing. That has benefited me by getting exposed to different organizations. One thing that’s all in common in all of the company that I work for is the great people and the great leadership. Working for Coca-Cola, who hasn’t heard of them? Pepsi Cola as well as the Hershey company, has been around for many years. When I think about all of that and what I’ve been able to contribute, whether it’s leading a team, managing an account or training other executives in sales, it’s been a fantastic run. I don’t plan to stop. I plan to continue on along the journey until I blaze away versus wilting away.

Sales is a fun thing to deal with. I’ve worked decades in sales and it changed so much. It went a lot of way in focusing towards team sales than individual sales. Have you seen that?

Early on in my career, here’s the manual, go after it, and be the best you can be. We’re in an environment, at least I can say I am, I may have the answers to getting to the top of the hill but it is my expectation to share those answers with others and bring them along with me. The competition is still there because I’m still going to say to that individual like, “Here are the answers. Here’s how you can get there. I’m going to beat you to the top but we’re not going to leave anybody behind.” That’s the difference. When I think back before, it was about me versus us and we. Even our compensation, our bonus structures, and things of that nature tied back to we in a one Hershey perspective versus how individuals did.

[bctt tweet=”Leaders can always provide passion, but motivation cannot be taught.” username=””]

I’ve found that to be more appealing because what we hear is more diverse ideas, strategies, and tactics where we involve a lot of people in the discussion and we come up with a consensus to deliver on that action. It has been successful. We’re having one of our best years ever in spite of the times we live in where the pandemic is taken hold of the world. The fact is people are gravitating to our products. We have people on the front lines that are making the difference and that just doesn’t happen. It happens because of teamwork, clear vision, empathy, working with people, and being flexible. That’s the way leadership going forward that is making us all better. Everyone having some contribution of value that will make the difference.

It is a different time. I noticed a lot of changes when I was in pharmaceutical sales of how they would add more people to the teams that’s got bigger before I left. You and I both teach in associate faculty and different universities. Some of the team activities where you have people try to mimic what we see in the working world, and you’ll always have students on the teams who don’t do as much as others. I found a lot of that when I was a student as well. I ended up doing a lot of the work for the other members, but in the working world, if you have a weak link on a team, how do you go about helping people work with that situation? Not all people put in the same amount of effort.

I can relate to what you said. A group project is always someone or 1 or 2 people taking the horn and going after it where there are others, what I call wallflowers, not onto the dance floor but observing and getting credit for the A in the class. It’s on the coach and the leaders. I can speak to the group that I lead, we still have to hold people accountable, even though the vision is clear, the expectations are set, and then the touchpoints are at least once every four weeks. You always know where you stand and where the gap lies where you can improve. When you still have someone who is still not measuring up and not doing what all they could do to be successful then it is important that we identify the strengths that they do have, and we can steer them in a direction that’s going to be a win-win for the company and for sale.

In some cases, people come to the conclusion that the work is not for them and they self-select out. We do everything possible to identify the strength. I relate it to the baseball team. Not everybody can play infield, not everybody is an outfielder, a pitcher, or a catcher but it’s very important that the manager and the coach identify those strengths and put them in the best places where they can succeed. When that happens, you can have a team. Someone said it this way, “Players win games but the team wins championships.” That’s the goal of the coach and the leader. Another analogy would be standing on top of the box of an orchestra. You have the string, horn, and all these different sections so you’re trying to get all that music to come together.

When it’s not sounding right, you stop. You have what you call a huddle meeting, and you discuss what’s working, what’s not working, and how you make those adjustments. That’s still very critical to the success of leadership, getting everyone involved, tapping into what it is that they do well, and setting them up for success. Those tough conversations, we do have them where we help people see where they’re at in terms of their contribution and what they are lacking so we try to supply training.

I always say that in training, we can always provide but the passion, we can’t wake you up in the morning, get yourself out there, and get involved. That’s something that you got to have to bring in each and every day. In the training, we can. It comes down to that first. Get into training, get in the development there, and then if there’s no passion then it’s about the person’s valley of decision. They’re in that place where they are at a crossroad and we help them make the correct decision going forward.

You bring up some good points because when I talk about motivation and drive, a lot of that is struck by improved through curiosity. Developing curiosity is what I deal within an organization. I had Tom Rath on my show, the StrengthsFinders guy. It’s interesting to focus on strengths and developing that. Even when I talked to him, he doesn’t say avoid developing weaknesses. He’s focusing on strengths in general. I remember a conversation with Olin Oedekoven who is the leader of Peregrine. He said he would hire a person if he saw something great in them and then design a job around what he found out that they could do later. What tying into what you’re saying is find out what people are great at doing and then let them go in that direction. To develop people, do we focus on their strengths? Do we try to develop them in areas that they’re uncomfortable? Is there a value in that?

I think there’s a value because once you tap into someone’s passion or strength, they gain more confidence, energy level, engagement level, and all of these things improve because it’s something they’re very good at. Since they’re good at it then that opens up for an appetite for them to learn some things that they don’t necessarily do well. That’s important because they’re taking a leap to grow themselves. The initial starting point is when you have people engaged in something they enjoy, then they are open to learning more. We found that in many cases.

TTL 781 | Liberating Masculinity
Liberating Masculinity: Every person has a talent that will help him or her for a better mankind.


I remember talking to Rich Karlgaard, who also was on the show, about this. He had written about teams. It’s Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak’s combination, sometimes you have one person who compliments the other and then you get the synergistic result. When I work with Maja, for example, she and I were working on this perception and we were looking at it from a global perspective. She’s so international and she’s got all these strengths that I don’t have. When you have a CEO and COO combination, do you work with that alignment in the upper levels? Are you staying more in the sales teams? I’m curious about the whole development that you deal with.

You can apply it at a higher level because the CFO and CEO, they’re building a cast of people that brings diversity of experiences. They’re going to help support that leader by providing even more insights and support in that leader’s strength. When the leader feels not threatened, they feel that no one’s out to take their job. They give more responsibility and trust to those individuals to give them some additional learnings.

Once the leader feels that they’re being respected, the vision is being upheld by the cast that they’ve hired to be a part of their cabinet, then they are able to bring in some more insights. I tell people that come onto my team, “You have a great experience, but here’s the playbook, I want you to learn these plays. After you’ve demonstrate it, you could run these plays. I want to hear from you as to how we can even do it better.” The first phase is to gain trust and clarity of what it is that we’re trying to accomplish as a whole.

Once you are able to grasp that, we want to get your input and your value as to how we can do it better. When I came to the Hershey organization years ago, I didn’t say, “We do it this way over at Coke. We do it that way over at Frito-Lay.” I simply came in with the intent of understanding as I would use the expression of learning all I can, processing it, and distributing it out later as to what it is that I can add value to the whole team. I have been able to bring in some things that were beneficial that were taken from other experiences and have been incorporated by the company I work for. People will be open to learn and give when there’s more of a trust factor there and more of a common buying in on what it is that we’re trying to achieve.

I was looking at your speech topics. You cover a lot of things that are important in terms of transformational leadership, brand success, and different things like that. I also notice, in addition to your speeches, you have your own podcast as well. I want to know a little bit about Dr. Charles Speaks. What is that podcast about?

Each week, I do a fifteen-minute pre-recorded podcast. It’s a message of inspiration tied around leadership, get your week started with energy, and motivate you to take one day at a time, but to do something, do it well, and make a difference in the environment that you work. Particularly during this time where a lot of people are working at home, they’re missing the direct contact, but there is something that you can do. Look within yourself, examine what it is that you do well, what it is that you could do better, and how you can make that a contribution to your surroundings in your community or your job, wherever that might be. I’m excited each week to get other people excited about the week itself. That’s what it is. I’ve got about 120 something out there. You can take your pick and listen to any one of them. I guarantee you, you’ll walk away feeling energized.

I’m already energized just from speaking with you. A lot of people are going to want to follow you, learn more about your book, and everything that you do. How can they do that?

TTL 781 | Liberating Masculinity
Liberating Masculinity: People will be open to learn and give when there’s more of a trust factor present.


My book is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. You type in Dr. Charles or Don’t Stop Now, and it’s there. I’m excited about the book. I’m getting some good feedback from people who have read it already. They are motivated to don’t give up on their dreams and to continue on. You can reach and connect with me on LinkedIn if you like. You’ll find a lot of those social media whether it’s LinkedIn or Instagram and so forth. That’s how you can get ahold of me. I’m available to speak to organizations. I have had some success working, particularly doing this virtual meeting time. I’ve been able to speak to some juniors and seniors in the business administration of the field and talk to them about leadership principles.

The professors have allowed me to come in and share some insights from the corporate perspective, and then spend some perspective on career development. You’ll be amazed how many students graduated from college and they’re still trying to figure it out. They’re looking for jobs versus careers. I talk about the difference because when we hire people, we were looking at the potential of at least 2 to 3 moves down the road. When you’re thinking from a strategic perspective versus “I need to get a job to pay back my school loans.” That doesn’t get you through the door.

Everything that you work on is right up my alley. I could see how you would be successful. Thank you for being on the show, Dr. Charles. This was so much fun.

Thank you for having me on the show.

You’re welcome.

I’d like to thank both Ed and Dr. Charles for being my guests. We get so many great guests on this show. I enjoyed this episode and looking forward to the next episode of Take The Lead Radio.

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About Ed Frauenheim

TTL 781 | Liberating MasculinityI’m about reinventing masculinity and organizations. And about connecting the dots between the two.

My own experience as a man, as well as a faster, flatter, fairness-focused work world, convinces me that men are called today to break out of the “confined” masculinity that has dominated society for thousands of years. A “liberating” masculinity is emerging that frees men and those around them to live fuller lives at home, at play, at work and in the world.

This shift in how we show up as men is vital to the way many workplaces are changing for the better. They are becoming purpose-driven, egalitarian, human-centric–and even soulful.

As a writer, advocate and activist, I’m dedicated to studying and shepherding these interrelated movements of a better masculinity and more enlightened organizations.

My latest book, co-authored with Dr. Ed Adams, is Reinventing Masculinity: The Liberating Power of Compassion and Connection. It includes a chapter about Reinventing Masculinity at Work that synthesizes lessons I’ve learned from the world’s best workplaces, weaves in findings from other scholars and shares stories from captains of industry and everyday men.

I also work as Senior Director of Content at Great Place to Work–the research organization behind the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work list. I plan, collaborate on and produce a range of content designed to build Great Place to Work’s business, boost its brand and achieve its mission. Through Great Place to Work, I am a regular contributor to

I have co-written three other books, on work, technology and society. I’ve made more than 75 speaking appearances to live and online audiences. I also have organized and hosted events.

Earlier in my career, I spent roughly 20 years as a journalist, with stints at technology media firm CNET Networks, the Oakland Tribune chain of newspapers and Workforce magazine. I also have published freelance articles in publications including Wired magazine, and The Dallas Morning News.

I serve as a board member of the Berrett-Koehler Authors organization and as a board member of Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

I live in San Francisco with my teenage son and daughter and artist wife Rowena Richie. In my spare time you can find me doing Qi Gong with Rowena, dancing to Daft Punk and playing disc golf with a good friend.

About Dr. Charles Redd

TTL 781 | Liberating MasculinityDr. Charles Redd, Jr. is a nationally recognized Fortune 500 business leader, adjunct professor, speaker, and ministry founder. With more than 30 years of exceptional performance in both business and ministry, Dr. Redd has a profound approach to developing successful leaders.  His track record of transforming underperforming sales teams at The Hershey Company, PepsiCo – Frito-Lay, and Coca-Cola Enterprises has made him a national leader in operations, sales leadership, and sales revenue.  Dr. Redd’s approach to building exemplary leadership teams has resulted in record-breaking sales in major retailers including Wal-Mart, Kroger, Publix, and convenience stores, as well as high rates of retention and increased morale.

Committed to corporate and community leadership, Dr. Redd has been recognized by multiple organizations for his public service.  Through a partnership with Clark Atlanta University and Oakland Community College, Dr. Redd trained and prepared college students to become leaders in both the workplace and community.  Additionally, Dr. Redd was selected out of hundreds of executives to champion an initiative that aims to reduce recidivism rates. The initiative, Project 100, works to help ex-offenders integrate back into their communities and families through education and job placement assistance.  He has also served as a youth pastor and discipleship teacher providing God’s wisdom to hundreds of people each year.

In addition, Dr. Redd serves as an educational consultant with Time to Teach: Center for Teacher Effectiveness.  As a certified trainer, Dr. Redd works with K-12 education professionals to develop leadership strategies that improve classroom discipline.

With his expertise in building teams, inspiring excellence and generating results, Dr. Charles Redd also hosts a podcast, Dr. Charles Speaks.  Through his podcast, Dr. Redd delivers encouraging teachings and lessons from his ministry experience and professional career.  On this platform he shares his profound, yet practical approaches to developing successful leaders. The podcast is available on every major streaming platform including iTunes, iHeart Radio, Google Play Music, Spotify, Stitcher, andYouTube.

Dr. Charles Redd possesses a Doctorate of Ministry in Transformational Leadership; Master’s Degree in Religious Studies; Master’s Degree in Management & Supervision; and a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and Business Administration. He is a certified John Maxwell member, recognized as a mentor, teacher, trainer and speaker.

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