Maintaining The Velocity Mindset With Ron Karr And Building Connections For Excellent Leadership With Leah Diteljan

Identifying the right things for us is not easy. Join Dr. Diane Hamilton and Ron Karr as they delve into being team-oriented, making the right decisions, and taking the right path in your professional journey to become successful. Ron Karr is the author of the book Velocity Mindset. Ron shares how he started his career, his practice at the moment and the struggles he went through as well. This episode will talk about sales performance, leadership, success, engagement, and recognizing the right direction.

Entrepreneurs have to execute effective leadership to be successful in the long run. They also have to make sure that they are comfortable with who they are and are clear with their purpose. Joining Dr. Diane Hamilton, the founder of MindSpa Leah Diteljan talks about the importance of building connections, the techniques she has used in her journey, and how she found a way to get a more holistic approach to leadership. She talks about a sense of belonging, creating resolutions and ways to identify our purpose in this lifetime. She also emphasized how nature helps her get connected with herself.

TTL 862 | Excellent Leadership


I’m so glad you joined us because we have Ron Karr and Leah Diteljan here. Ron is the author of The Velocity Mindset® and he has done a lot of work with NSA and beyond. Leah is the Founder of MindSpa and she found a way to get to a more holistic approach to leadership. We are going to talk to both of them.

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Maintaining The Velocity Mindset With Ron Karr

I’m here with Ron Karr, who has worked with leaders on six continents to eliminate risk, gain buy-in and achieve better results faster with The Velocity Mindset®, which is something he has created. I’m very excited to hear about his latest book. He has got five books and this is his latest, The Velocity Mindset®. The bestselling Lead, Sell, or Get Out of the Way is the one you might have heard.

Welcome, Ron.

Diane, thank you. I hope you are doing well. Thanks for having me.

TTL 862 | Excellent Leadership
Excellent Leadership: The biggest challenge that everybody has is that they don’t have a clear goal in their minds for the result they want to achieve.


I was looking forward to this. I was watching some of your talks and I always loved being around salespeople. They are always the most fun. It’s an energy that you get and it’s a lot different since I’ve got into education. You have different kinds of mindsets. It’s a lot of fun to learn how to be successful in sales. I wrote my doctoral dissertation on sales performance and how it’s impacted by emotional intelligence. All of this is going to be interesting to me. I want to get a backstory on you because you have been successful with five books and I know that you have done these mastermind groups and so much more. Can you give people who have not heard of what you are working on your backstory?

I started in sales and on the school of hard knocks because I’m a copyist. We may get to a story about that in the interview. From there, I migrated to computers. I was a national value-added reseller manager for a computer company. I started with controlled data, which was one of the top hardware manufacturers before the laptops came out. In 1988, there were a lot of turmoil in the computer industry and I had a family tragedy that I had to navigate. It worked out okay but it proved to me that life is too short so you could do what you really want to do. I wanted to control my destiny. I quit my job and started the practice that I have now. I started as a sales trainer morphed into keynote speaking, advising the board of directors and doing retainers with clients that are looking to grow their businesses. That’s what I have been doing.

In 1987, I worked as a value-added reseller with IBM, a company that sold computers and software. We were selling software to school districts at that time with System/36 and System/38. It has been a while. It sounds like we were in the same space of doing similar things. It’s fun because people our age don’t love computers as much as we do, probably because we’ve got into it early and it does help. You have The Velocity Mindset®. You have registered that trademark. Is that your process, your book and everything that you are working on?

[bctt tweet=”You have to know what your direction is because that dictates your actions. ” via=”no”]

A career evolves and your thinking evolves. In 2009, we came out with Lead, Sell, or Get Out of the Way. The whole concept for that book was I was focusing mostly on sales but sales have changed since you and I took training in the ’80s. In the ’80s, it was more show and tell but with the advent of the internet, people already know about your plugs before you even get there. My whole point then was what you are going to do is puke, which is people who already knew everything. What you are going to do is puke your features out. They don’t need you. What they need is someone who can lead them through a process and then make the right decision. That was the concept of that book.

That’s still what I teach but my practice evolved. I became the President of the National Speakers Association. As I was doing that, my practice started evolving into more leadership, working with CEOs in C-Suite, and then I had my own life issues like everybody else has. After I was done with the presidency in June 2014, I had nine surgeries I did not expect in the next few years. Most of them were on my back but the bottom line is I have nine levels fused but I play golf now. While I was down-and-out on the pain pills and you are thinking about your life, at that time, I was about 57, you still are looking at your life like we all do with COVID. I started looking at my successes were still a lot but I was looking at the things that I didn’t do and I asked myself why. All of them come up but it wasn’t the external reason why I didn’t do it. I just didn’t do it because of my own fears and stories.

I started looking at all the work I have been doing with CEOs. When you start working with them in their companies, a lot of the issues in the companies, especially small to midsize companies, are the issues that the C-Suite face is how they look at things, the stories they tell themselves and the fears that they have as to what they think can and cannot happen. I started saying to myself, “If you want to get some things you haven’t done, time is getting short. Your runway is getting short.” Speed started coming to my mind. When we looked at velocity, the true definition of velocity is not just speed. If that’s all you have, you get burned out. The real definition of velocity is the speed with direction. That hit the light bulb because the biggest challenge that everybody has, whether I’m coaching a sales executive or a CEO, is they don’t have clear in their mind the result that they want to achieve.

TTL 862 | Excellent Leadership
Excellent Leadership: You don’t have to have a detailed plan for a direction. When we talk about direction, it is what you want to accomplish at the end of the day or after a task.


The direction is so important because that dictates your actions. If you don’t have it, don’t believe in it or don’t think you can do it, it’s not about direction. Many times, I will start with a company and retain them. I will say, “The person we are going to do, will get to C-Suite on the team on the same page are all we are.” They are not. I will have to find one that is. It’s because of the fears and the nonbelief that something could happen. When you work through that, you get a whole new plan to evolve that everybody buys into but they have a shared vision now and that’s what’s critical. That’s how The Velocity Mindset® came about. We now tested it with clients and it resonated. We broke it out from there.

You mentioned you were the President of the NSA. I have had so many of the hall-of-fame speakers on. Ford Saeks did my website and a lot of people from NSA. I actually spoke from NSA. Willie Jolley sang to me on the show. That must have been a very interesting job and the role they have. When Verne Harnish was on the show, he said one of the hardest speaking gigs he had to do was to speak to his fellow speakers. Do you find that that’s one of the harder ones to do because you know everybody knows how to speak so well?

Willie is a very good friend. We have known each other for 30 years. Ford is a good friend and he has done my websites in the past. When you are in front of them, it would be going up on the main stage to give a speech because you are a speaker and it’s your peers. That’s always tough when you are going in front of your peers but then when you are going in as the leader, you’ve got to have your act together. It was a great experience. I had to go around the world because all the other associates came out of NSA. The president was expected to go and keep up with their conventions. I made lifetime friends I would never have made. I learned a lot and also had to deal with a lot of trauma. We had something going on that year that tested the fabric of the association. We decided on a board that was not met with a positive favor. We had to do some conflict resolution there but it all worked out and it was a great experience. NSA is a great association that supports all those who want to speak professionally.

I’m thinking of so many people who have been on the show and it’s a wonderful group. I was watching something at the talks you gave. As you were talking about The Velocity Mindset®, you were saying a lot of people want to increase sales and they just think they need to hire five more people. You say, “That’s not how it works.” How does it work?

[bctt tweet=”Life’s too short not to know what you want. Focus on what you want and control your own destiny.” via=”no”]

In the book, The Velocity Mindset®, the one premise that we put there was, “Imagine what the world would be like if everybody acted like a leader and that was a victim of circumstance.” When someone is looking to increase business, the first thing I’m saying is, “How well are you doing in what you have now? Is it working? Can I work a little better?” That’s what I always thought. If you don’t understand what it takes to succeed, how can you hire? I ask everybody, whether you are a salesperson, parent, coach or executive in an organization, “If something doesn’t go the way you want it to, what’s the first thing you do? Do you start speaking to somebody else and ask them what happened or do you start asking yourself, ‘What could I do as a leader differently?'” That’s what I would do in the hiring process. Find out if you have the right process in place first for the people you’ve got there isn’t working and what you can do differently. When you want to attract good talent, they are looking for people who have their acts together.

What you said is resonating with me because you were talking about how velocity is the speed with direction. For a lot of people, I’m super speedy and you can tell by talking to me. Without direction, I would flounder. Some people are great at planning. All they do is a plan and then they get nowhere. What drags on your velocity?

First of all, you don’t have to have a detailed plan for a direction. When we talk about direction, all we are saying is what do you want to accomplish at the end of a period, after an interview with a customer or whatever you are doing. We have a sales precedence of five sales calls cycles. They went on the first call and I asked them, “What’s your goal for the call?” They said, “To close the deal.” I was going, “Seriously? That’s not the right direction because all you’ve got to do is close, puke and not getting anywhere.” The goal is to qualify them as valid prospects and identify a path for both of you to agree on. That’s going to lead to a different set of actions. That’s why it’s so important to have that direction figured out, whether you are going on a call with a customer and employee or you are looking at a bigger life span.

It’s like if you go to Newark Airport and you want to fly to Miami. You get to the airport and ask the pilot where we are going because I have no clue wherever the winds take us. Will you stay on that plane? The answer is no. That’s their answer. The pilot starts with the end in sight for us. They say, “We are going to Miami,” and then they work their way back. They took out the 3 or 4 waypoints that they know they pass over that are on the way. They factor in the perceived obstacles and windstorms. In the end, they have a course that gets them to the safest and fastest way. That’s what we are talking about, whether it’s a sales call, project or lifetime. Where do you want to go? What are the waypoints so you know as you get to certain places, you are measuring it, you know you are on the right way and you are going to get to where you want to be?

There’s a difference, though. Dr. Nido Qubein was the past President of NSA. He is the President of High Point University now. He has an amazing success story. He came from Lebanon as a teenager by himself with $50 in his pocket. I know the story very well. I had Nido on a live stream that we were doing and I said, “Nido, you had a vision. You knew what you are after.” He had a great distinction. He said, “I had a vision but the clarity of vision only comes with the journey.” My point is, you don’t have to have all the answers upfront. Exactly how you are going to get somewhere and figure it out will happen as you go along the journey. You have to have an idea of where you want to be, what the result is that you want to accomplish, how to get there and any tweaks you are going to do that come with the journey.

To go back to your question on what drags our velocity because a lot of things can drag our velocity, it’s the stories we tell ourselves, our fears and also not having that direction clear in front so we do the right actions. I think all your readers can appreciate how many times we are following our to-do lists. At the end of the day, we feel like we have accomplished nothing but yet we ran all day and we didn’t have a moment to have lunch. That’s where your actions don’t support the direction and you became more task-oriented versus purpose-oriented. We have to be purpose-oriented to ensure we are doing the right tasks so that’s not being a drag on our velocity. The biggest drags are all our fears and the stories we tell ourselves.

When you say that, my research in curiosity, the first two things that inhibit curiosity are fear and our assumptions. FATE is the acronym in my research that I came up with. It’s Fear, Assumptions, what you tell yourself, Technology, over and under-utilization of it, and Environment, everybody with who we have ever had contact. As I created my Curiosity Code Index, my goal was if you know what’s holding you back, you can move forward. I have had Tony Alessandra and others on the show who have done a lot of assessments and different things. How do you assess what’s holding back their velocity? Do you give them assessments or have interactions with people? How do you deal with that?

We have a website that has a five-question assessment on leadership that they can take. Let’s put it this way and construct it. What’s a story? A story is your perception. Somebody says something that does something to you. You now create a story as to what you think was meant by it. Every story is fueled with emotion. If it’s a story that’s pushing you forward, great. Keep doing it. For example, you are a young child. A teacher says you won’t amount to anything because you are a rowdy bully in school. You keep that in your mind. You tell these stories to what you think by it that you will never succeed. That story starts serving you well because that chip is pushing you forward because you have to succeed at all costs. If that’s getting you forward in business, that’s great but be careful because if it’s overused, it becomes a weakness. If it rubs you away from your family then you may have some other areas that are losing velocity.

TTL 862 | Excellent Leadership
Excellent Leadership: Inspiring and successful leaders build amazing organizations that foster a strong sense of belonging for their families, loved ones, and communities.


If the same person said that same thing to you when you were young but you interpret it differently and saying, “I will never succeed. Why I even try? No one is going to like it. They can see through it as she did,” that’s a story fueled with negative emotion. That’s not serving you well. Here is the good news about the stories. He or she who writes it can rewrite it. The one thing you want to do is recognize that whenever you have a thought in your mind, acknowledge it’s a story. I don’t care if it serves you well. It’s just a story. You made it up. If it’s not serving you well, then what would you like it to serve you as? When you do that one step, you are automatically reducing the emotion that’s fueling it.

When Dr. Maja Zelihic and I wrote a book on perception, we were looking at how people don’t recognize how you see things from your perspective. To do well in sales, you have to develop empathy, which is a big part of emotional intelligence but that requires curiosity. Where does curiosity fall into the mix of when you are in a presentation or talking to somebody else? How important is that?

You mentioned Tony Alessandra. Tony has a great assessment. We have a company I’m still aligned with. He was partners with the other bank. One of the traits that we look for in the assessments we use when we are looking to help clients identify the right leader or sales executive is a high empathy rate. We are looking for a score of 8 out of 10. We don’t want nine because if it’s too empathetic, they will discount the store away, always be there for the customer and not protect the company’s issues.

We need a high level of empathy. Why? If you have empathy, it means you are going to ask questions. If you don’t have empathy, you are not going to ask questions. What happens is for salespeople have to run the cortisol gambit, the fight-or-flight hormone because they have pressures to produce. They’ve got to make money for their lives. By the same token, they’ve got to satisfy a customer. The pressures are there. Unfortunately, if they don’t recognize what their job is and they let those pressures take over, then they become self-focused. All they do will be puking and they will not gain the interest of the customer.

If they understand that they have to be customer-focused and they have that mindset in their mind when they go into a meeting, it’s going to lead to different actions, like asking questions. If you are customer-focused, you will have to go. “What are you focused on? I’ve got to figure out what you are thinking about. What is important to you?” You have a good empathy trait that comes naturally to you. If your score is low on empathy, it’s okay. You could still do it as long as the mindset is there and you remind yourself what you have to do in that meeting.

Are you seeing more introverts now than when we were in the ’80s, selling back then when everybody was more puking, as you put it? Do you see more value in having introverted selling?

Number one, we do see more introverts because of technology. A lot of people came up from the technology ranks and software. Those people generally are more technically oriented, more process and detail-oriented. They are more introverted than the drivers and influencers. There are some sales jobs that, quite frankly, people do better with those types of profiles. For example, if you are selling high-tech medical sales, some other high-tech or even a key account, which is the sales cycle is a year and you’ve got to go through the steps, sometimes those introverts because they are more process-oriented and they can relate better to the people on the other side, they do pretty well. It doesn’t mean that a driver can’t do well but I’m just saying there are more and there are reasons why. There are some industries where they would shine well.

Having worked for AstraZeneca as a pharmaceutical rep for fifteen years, back in the day, the doctors were introverted often and many of the sales reps were extroverted. It was a different time. As sales changed, they started to become more team-oriented, where originally, in all my sales jobs, they would throw you a phone book, something you can dial for dollars or where you are it by yourself. Suddenly, you are on teams. Maybe you would have an introvert one time, talk to him and an extrovert another time. These teams got to be bigger. It seems like the sales job in the past is not what it seems like it is now. It’s much more a process. It’s interesting to me to see how everybody reaches their customers in new ways. When you were writing, speaking and doing things about velocity, I saw you wrote about the art of the pause. Is that an individual pause? What do you mean by the art of pause?

[bctt tweet=”If you don’t have it, or you don’t believe in it, or you don’t think you can do it, you’re going to lose focus in the right direction.” via=”no”]

Let’s start at the top and I will work my way down. Everybody thinks velocity is speed. When you think about that, the idea of a pause is not even in your vocabulary at that moment. Sometimes you have to pause a stop to go faster. Let me give you an example. We talked about copyist being my first sales job. I was hired in 1980. They had their first plain bond copy. It was a revolution because before, they had a liquid tone that spilled all over the clothes. Now, it’s a plain bond. They were seducing me, fifteen crisp copies a minute. I said, “Where’s the collator?” “Don’t worry about it. It will be here in six months.” “Where’s the duplicator?” “Six months.” They seduced me. I took the job. That stuff didn’t come for two years.

All of a sudden, I was knocking on doors, going to office managers and saying, “I like to tell you that I’m a copyist.” They said, “Can you do what we have on the third floor, the big Xerox?” I said, “What do you mean?” “Can it collate and duplicate?” “No.” “Come back when you have it.” That was my first four months on the job. I’m getting kicked out so many times. My butt hurt. I wasn’t making any money. I finally decided to pause and say, “This is not working. Maybe I should have figured out sooner.” I decided to have a board meeting, me, myself, and I. I went to a diner that we do in New Jersey. I sat down and said, “What’s not working?” “They are not buying a copier. Are you selling a copier?” I asked myself, “What does a copier do?” “It’s about communication. Every time they mentioned a copier, they can pay the third floor. You don’t have those things so having changed the conversation or maybe you can get and stay there for more than one minute.”

I went on my next call and met an office manager. I asked her, “Would you agree with me that a copier is nothing more than a communication vehicle?” She said, “Absolutely.” I said, “When it comes to a copier as a communication vehicle, what are your biggest challenges?” All of a sudden, the swat that she had up came down. It was a confession. She was saying to me, “Peter or Sally has to make one copy. They get up harnessing on the first floor. They chit-chat at the staircase. They go up and then it got to where there’s a big line behind with all these big jobs. They come back down. It could take them two hours sometimes to make one copy.”

I said, “How often does that happen?” “Try the equivalent of two full-time employees.” I said, “Really? I would like those two full-time employees back.” She said, “How?” I said, “I’m not competing with the third floor. That’s a great machine. I have a machine, though, that’s going to do your 1, 2, and 3 copies on the first floor and make it a five-minute trip versus a two-hour trip each and every time. In fact, you should be buying one for every floor.” I started selling three at a time. That’s an example where I had to pause and stop because I wasn’t getting the return. She asked what I was doing and what I could do differently. I started selling not just one at a time but three at a time. My sales escalated dramatically.

It’s fun to watch people like you who have been super successful in sales. After Tom Hopkins was on the show, I went to dinner with him and got to hear his backstory of, “Back in the day, the real estate market is how it was.” Things are changing because of COVID. We don’t know if people are going back to work and where they are going to be working. I have worked at home in pharmaceutical sales for fifteen years before I went into online education, which is at home. I’m used to working at home but most people don’t have that background. How are they maintaining that velocity?

The issue is not, whether you are working in an office, meeting someone face-to-face or meeting them on Zoom. The issue is how they are engaging people. Engagement is the name of the game. You are there and you are face-to-face, it doesn’t mean you are guaranteed engagement. It only guarantees you that the person is physically there, whether or not they listened to or not is a different story. It’s the same thing on Zoom, except now, we can tell when they are bored because they will do something else. When COVID hit, my consulting clients were ahead of the game because I pushed them on Zoom years ago because my thing was, “I don’t want you emailing a proposal.” The most valuable time when you present a proposal is where you can see the reaction.

If you can’t go there, set up a Zoom call and present the proposal the way you want to control it and then see the reaction so you will respond. Engagement is the key. How do you engage? It’s a big part of the book. It’s what we call we start getting into the Neuroscience of Engagement. I stumbled on this in about the year 2000 because I was working with major financial services. They knew their numbers. It took a financial advisor an average of five calls to get a new investor on board. They wanted to reduce that. They knew who their market was. It was even a subject of a Harvard Business Review. I’m not going to mention the name of the company. They want one-person offices throughout the whole country. They couldn’t get the clients who have traded a lot because it would consume that person. They wanted conservative investors, mostly retired, who would come in, discuss the portfolio and give it to the person coming every quarter to look at the results and tweak it.

I said, “Let me go work with someone.” They cold-called at that time some of the retirees. I went on with some cold calls. In the first cold call, they knocked on the door and there was an elderly couple who answered the door very politely. We walked them and I counted on my watch how long it took him to ask a question. He spent 12.5 minutes talking about the pictures on the wall, the grandkids, and the Bears who lost the game. I can see they were polite but I can see their eyes wandering like, “What are you doing here?” They’ve finally got to the question. The question they’ve got told even escalated their anger because they started asking about stocks and bonds, which we knew they probably had an advisor ready. The first thing the investor said, “No, I’m fine. Thank you very much. Have a good day,” and we get kicked out. I said to the guy, “Trim the chit-chat down to half a minute.”

I wanted to do this and said, “I know you probably have an advisor about stocks and processes. It’s not what I’m here for. I’m here for something more important. Do you mind if I ask you a question?” They said, “Sure.” “When it comes to your money, what are the three most important things you need to provide for in the future?” What a difference. I stumbled on that. That one question changes the brain chemistry of the person receiving it. I saw their eyes welled up. In fact, we brought in some of the top investors and they signed waivers because they knew they were going to be filmed. When you asked that question, “What are your three biggest challenges? What are the three things you want to provide?” Everybody’s eyes go up at left or right, depending on what hemisphere your brain is in but they all go up.

The reason it’s going up is that they are going into a thinking moment about them, not about you. Their guard comes down and the whole demeanor changes. The way I explained it to salespeople and even leaders who have to talk to employees, you have to accept the fact that you are a leader. As a leader, the first thing you have to do before you even have a conversation is you have to make the environment safe for someone to want to interact with you. What’s the environment? If you are calling somebody out on a blue, you are an interruption to their day. Automatically, you are behind the eight-ball. When someone calls you during the day, you are busy talking to people or you are thinking about someone, you pick up the phone and realize it’s a sales call, your cortisol gets spiked like, “Why are you interrupting me?”

TTL 862 | Excellent Leadership
Excellent Leadership: Supporting the newness is important. It is ideally slowing down and having time to create space for what we’re going to create next.


Even if they are expecting us or even if I made a point with you, I don’t know what happened to you that day. You could have had an emergency. You forgot the appointment when I showed up and you are going, “Do I deal with this person?” The bottom line is, usually, if you are going to an employee to correct their behavior, they already have their guard up. The point I’m saying is you have to anticipate that someone’s cortisol or fight-or-flight is going to be elevated. You don’t get rid of cortisol. It’s in us. The question is, “Is it at the right level?” Cortisol of 1 or 2 is not driving you a little bit. They are but they are not really engaged. You want to be a 4 or 5 where they are actively engaged. If they start getting 6 or 7, they start having some doubts. Eight is the intrusion. At 9 or 10, they don’t believe anything you are saying and dismiss themselves mentally or physically.

I will role-play this to audiences in Zoom or on stage. I will say, “Put yourself in a mindset of a buyer. Now, you interrupted him. Where’s your cortisol before you even start talking?” They will say it’s an eight. We will continue to role-play and I will say, “My next question to you was, I want to talk to you about stocks and bonds. Where did your cortisol go?” “Ten.” “Why?” “It’s because I’ve got it covered.” I said, “Great.” We replayed the role-play but this time, I just changed one question. I said, “I know that you’ve probably got someone advising you stocks and bonds. It’s not the reason we are here but if I can ask this important question, ‘What do you want the three things to do?’” All of a sudden, their eyes rolled up. They calmed down and started giving us information, the three things that are important to them. How simple could life be?

When I interviewed them, I said, “At that moment, something changed in your mind. What was it?” They said, “It’s a good question. My guard went down. There’s no long interruption. You made me think about where I wanted to go. That’s a subject that’s dear to my heart. You’ve got me emotionally engaged in that and I’m starting to think about it.” I said, “Would you give me those three answers if you didn’t trust me?” They said, “No.” “Why did you trust me? I didn’t do anything yet. I didn’t own it.” They said, “That’s a good question. I trusted you because you did what most people won’t. You asked me what was important to me.” I’ve got the cortisol down and then the second hormone we talked about in the book is the Hormone of Oxytocin, The Love and Trust Hormone.

As I said, trust is earned but I said in the interview, “Would you give me those three answers if you didn’t trust me?” They said, “No.” Some oxytocin got released. “What trusted you to give me those answers?” They said, “The fact that you asked about my future, that was important to me.” I said, “Are you feeling better about the conversation now that you’ve got that out?” “Absolutely.” That’s the dopamine effect. Dopamine travels with oxytocin. We don’t go into a deep analysis of the stuff because we will bore people to death but we explain in a level that they will get this is how it works. The intent is saying, whether you are going to an employee or a sales call, you better set up the environment first before you even start talking because if you don’t do that, you are sabotaging yourself.

I love that you brought up dopamine because you both are feeling probably better from the dopamine because if you are asking questions, that increases your dopamine level based on my curiosity research.

I was in a CEO’s office. I was attending a webinar. It was manufacturing. A supervisor comes in and he was all ticked off. I said, “What’s wrong?” He went, “A damn person on a cell phone and he’s holding everybody up.” I said, “He’s late. What did you do?” “I told him to get off the damn cell phone.” “What did he do?” He said, “Why? Everybody else is on a cell phone.'” “What happened?” “We both walked away.” I said, “How well did that serve you?” I role-played it with him. I just repeated what he said. He said to me and started laughing, “If I say that to myself, I would have hung up on me also.”

I said, “Let’s try it a different way. What’s important to that guy?” “He wants to be a master welder?” What does he need?” He said, “He needs that quality and to be timely.” “How is his quality?” “Perfect.” “He’s late on this one. I want you to go back and say to him, ‘You want to be a master welder here. You know you need quality and timeliness. Your quality is perfect. We love you. In this job, you are just twenty minutes behind. What do you think we can do to get you back up to speed so you don’t get derailed on your mission in becoming a master welder?'” All of a sudden, the same guy, we told this guy to go someplace, starts coming up with his own ideas of what he could do to speed it up.

The concept of the cell phone never reared its ugly head. The issue wasn’t the cell phone. The issue was, “How do we speed up the job to get there?” What happened the first time he goes there? Any employee, when a boss comes, is automatically going to say, “What did I do wrong? Is this a good or bad conversation?” What happens if the cortisol spikes? You’ve got to get it at a level, especially if you need to correct the behavior. The way you do that is to align the conversation to what’s important to that person. You become the conduit to help them figure out how to get there and they are going to participate with you.

It’s important to ask yourself that question, “What other way could have gotten the same result without attacking somebody?” A lot of people have learned to attack because that’s what their bosses have done. That’s the environmental aspect in my curiosity research. You don’t know what baggage they are coming in if a boss told them something that has led to their fear or has led to those assumptions and all the things that we talked about. This is a great tie-in to everything that we have talked about. This has been helpful for a lot of people. I love the idea of the velocity being the speed with direction. Many people are going to learn so much from you and would love to be able to find you. Is there some link or something you would like to share?

[bctt tweet=”Everything is interconnected because how we do one thing is how we do everything. ” via=”no”]

They go to They can take that free leadership assessment I talked about. The assessment is not just to ask you to rate yourself. You actually get best practices and tips on how you can move forward in each of those areas. It’s very valuable. You will get a link for the first chapter if you want. If you want to take the plunge, there’s a link to buy the book, and then you will see the other information about us.

This was so much fun, Ron. I was looking forward to this. I hope everybody checks out your site. Thank you so much for being on the show.

Thank you for having me, Diane. I appreciate what you are doing for the world.

You are welcome.

Building Connections For Excellent Leadership With Leah Diteljan

I’m here with Leah Diteljan, who is the Founder of MindSpa. For years, she collaborated with thousands of entrepreneurs across 6 of the 7 continents, helping them be better leaders, most of which were multimillion-dollar ventures. Through her travels, she noticed that people were very lonely and she did took that knowledge and created MindSpa, which helps reconnect leaders to themselves. I’m so excited to hear about this. Welcome, Leah.

Thanks so much for having me, Diane.

You are welcome. It’s nice of Justin Breen to introduce us. I know that we were talking and I remember he was saying that you have done some amazing things with MindSpa. Before we go into that, I would like to get a backstory on you for people who aren’t familiar with your work.

I have always been so curious about human connection, why people choose the words that they do and how we behave the way we do. That has inspired me a lot through entrepreneurship and the innate curiosity entrepreneur tab that creates this lifelong learning journey. As a little redhead, I was always connecting friends out in the backyard and ravine. I always wanted to go on these pointless walks. I’ve got made fun of for, “What’s our destination?” I’m like, “What are you talking about? Let’s just go for a walk and get to know each other.” I loved the recap of understanding how they would choose language, how self-aware they were and how they showed up in this world.

I was afforded an amazing career with the EO or the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, which was a playground for excellent, inspiring and successful leaders to play with these childhood dreams and build these amazing organizations that fostered such a strong sense of belonging for their families, loved ones and communities. That’s where I found all along I have been fascinated by the way people show up and how we need to belong. That’s what created MindSpa and the common thread in my whole journey.

I have seen some of these great groups, EO and some of the others where people felt a sense of belonging but MindSpa is different. You deal with retreats and different things. I want to know what kinds of things you do there.

What MindSpa does is deals with the personal and spiritual elements of being a physical human on this Earth plane. We do that through one-on-one coaching. There’s also group coaching and we also do retreats. Our content for anything group-oriented is inspired by the seasons because everything is cyclical and not linear in the way that we have learned it to be.

Give me an example. What happens in the fall?

Our theme in the fall is to let go. We are naturally letting go of everything that has grown over spring and summer, and letting go of relationships, beliefs, and things that no longer serve us that showed up to give us a lesson. We get to store that lesson and transmute the emotional attachment to it. Another example would be in the winter. Especially North Americans might say their favorite season is summer because we are expansive and dreamlike. Winter is equally as important because we need to go inward and be reflective. It’s a restorative and rejuvenating time for all of ourselves, our lessons and everything to create a pathway for the rebirth of us when we come out of winter and go into spring.

In the rebirth, what does that entail when you are dealing with coaching?

A very common thing people do in January is to create resolutions, new goals for the year, words or themes. A big part of that is because the energy is supporting the newness because we have ideally slowed down and had time to create space for what we are going to create next. Our rebirth might be a new business. Oftentimes, there’s a new intake period for new clients. It might be a new vertical within an existing business or taking on a new partnership. There are so many new things that might be a rebirth for us or a new trajectory for a business, content or relationship. That’s why there are commonalities with spring fling and other things because we have a surge of energy to create and foster new.

Everybody gets this sense of belonging. Why do you think that’s so important?

Belonging is such an inherent human need. We are taught to fit in. What the distinction I see between fitting in and belonging is, fitting in is allowing the needs and what we think others see us as to come before our own sense of authenticity and who we are because we don’t dare to be disliked. Belonging is something that doesn’t exist when we are bullied, treated like others and when differences aren’t seen as special and a unique voice. When we step up and lean into who we are, get to lead with our soul blueprint, get to lead with what we are creating, what we are meant to be and are connected to our purpose of why we are here, we naturally elevate the energy around us. We are infectious and contagious because we belong and other people want to be around us, too. If we are striving to fit in, people don’t have the same desire to be and share space around us and with us.

How do you get this connection? What techniques do you use?

I have found personally the three ways that I get the most connection to belonging. Belonging doesn’t exist outside of myself. It’s not some geographic location, in a relationship or a job. It’s very much accepting each piece of me and my story within myself. Belonging is a sensation within a state within me. The more I’m connected with myself, the more I feel like I belong and I’m living in that state. That is inner joy. We are continually evolving beings. When I have elements of these, I feel a state of belonging. I want to create and share a state of belonging for others, then I’m naturally creating authentic and dynamic relationships that are evolving and coming from a place of a healed person.

That creates a long and healthy relationship through myself, others, and then finally, nature. Nature is green, which is the same color as our heart chakra, which is where I feel the most unconditional love all the time. Being outside in nature, I’m naturally breathing in nature and taking my exhale as I inhale. It’s this symbiotic relationship of giving that when I feel more connected to it and draw the parallels from it, I see how much I’m a part of nature and how everything is connected instead of how we have built a world on top of a world.

How big are these retreats? Are they more men or women? How often do you have them? Are they four times a year with the seasons? I would like to know more about that.

TTL 862 | Excellent Leadership
Excellent Leadership: Belonging is such an inherent human need.


We do about four a year at this point. Once we grow and we have other people to lead the retreats, we can be doing them simultaneously, especially when we have the two hemispheres involved. It’s for men and women. Most oftentimes, people don’t know each other coming into it. It is all about psychological safety. A popular theme that we are doing a couple of times now is about Little You. Little You is like our inner children’s work. It usually takes place in the winter months. It’s a deep and reflective work to connect to past versions of ourselves so we can heal those trigger points, wounds, bullying and other things that we are ashamed of that we have a hard time telling people. We get to play, have a lot of fun, be out in nature and be out on the water. That one takes place out here in British Columbia.

Are you dealing with CEOs? What level of leadership comes to you?

Mostly CEOs and founders of companies. We have some mid-level management positions but oftentimes, people at the end of the retreats aren’t even sure what other people do. They are all brought together because they are very lighthearted, dedicated to doing this work and curious about bettering themselves. What they do is more of a tertiary piece of the journey rather than a primary piece of the journey.

How many days is this? Are they staying in hotels? I’m trying to envision this.

It’s a big, beautiful house. Everybody has their own room. We have a private chef. It’s for 3 days and 3 nights.

Is there a maximum number of people you have at these? You can’t have too many people, right?

We are having ten people in the fall. We have had anywhere from about 5 to 10 people. That might grow depending on space but the properties that we have had are beautiful places for this type of work. We usually bring in somebody to support with movement. There are mindfulness and meditation experiences. We get out in nature. We have nourishing and incredible food by a private chef as well.

Are you talking about how to deal with issues at work or is it all about getting energy and feeling better?

It depends. Everything is interconnected because how we do one thing is how we do everything. If there is a challenge that’s showing up at work, it’s often showing up in our personal lives. We might just not see the connection yet. Somebody might lead with work initially and then they realize, “It’s a belief that I have that is blocking me from what I desire. It’s showing up in the workplace more strongly than it’s showing up in my relationship at this point.” We literally will pull on a thread and find out where that leads, and then hopefully alchemize and replace that limiting belief with something more powerful to help them grow and become more expansive. It can be professional and personal.

How much did you learn from being an EO that led to this?

EO is a springboard for these experiences because I had the privilege of learning about the entrepreneurial mind and how curious it is to solve problems and help people based on how anchored these leaders are to their purpose. What I saw there was the problem I wanted to solve. They are leaning in so much to helping, serving others, creating this belonging for others, and who is creating this sense of belonging to help them connect even more deeply to themselves. Others in a more personal way, not just about business and then to nature as well.

Are they all US people who do this or do any global? I know you have done traveling from Bangkok. I was looking at your list. It was impressive.

Now, I have been doing it in Canada. As the world opens up, I will be able to do it more around in North America and I will be moving to Australia as soon as I can. We will have some Down Under, too.

Are you having US people come up to Vancouver or is it Canadians now?

It’s Canadians now with the borders but I cannot wait to invite our American friends as well to join.

It sounds like you are doing some fascinating things. Is there anything else that you are doing that I don’t know enough about? This is something so new. I want to make sure we cover everything that we want to cover before the show ends. What else can you tell us about MindSpa that I might not think to ask you?

It’s something that we are doing that’s unique is because I find that doing this work can be daunting. “Where do we start?” It’s a scary, fearful thing. It’s also daunting to invest in ourselves. We are taught that that’s selfish. I have created a MindSpa Membership, which is making this work more accessible and in more bite-sized pieces. If you think of a group fitness program, we are doing group mindset classes online. Every single month, you will get to meet with different people for a three-month journey where you are diving in and learning about certain topics. For example, “What’s the difference between self-confidence and self-compassion? How can you leverage that in your life?”

[bctt tweet=”We have to be purpose-oriented to ensure we’re doing the right tasks.” via=”no”]

We also do nature calls where you dial in from any sacred part of the forest that you live near or a park and there’s guided mindfulness. We draw parallels from nature to create more stillness in your life so that you can be who you are meant to be. Every month, we have members joining us and it’s for a three-month commitment. It has been beautiful to see how people understand that we all heal and grow at different paces.

I had Daniel Goleman on the show. He was known for his work in emotional intelligence but he is doing more mindfulness work now. I happened to have the mother of mindfulness Ellen Langer and so many others that if people are reading, they can get so much out of some of those past shows. I like to mention them for people who want to read the show because sometimes, it’s nice to follow up on some of the things that we are talking about. What you are working on is also fascinating. A lot of people are going to want to find you, reach out to you and learn more. Is there something you would like to share a link or something else?

You can reach out to me directly at via email or is the web address. If you wanted to reach out on Instagram, it’s @MindSpa.Movement. I will be happy to connect with you and share a conversation.

It was so nice of you to be on the show, Leah. I hope everybody takes some time to check out your site. I enjoyed our conversation.

Thank you. Me, too.

You are welcome.

I would like to thank both Ron and Leah for being my guests. We get so many great guests on this show. If you have missed any past episodes, you can catch them at I hope you enjoyed this episode and join us for the next episode of the show.

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About Ron Karr

TTL 862 | Excellent Leadership

Ron Karr has worked with leaders on six continents to eliminate risk, gain buy-in and achieve better results faster with the Velocity Mindset®. His presentations and advisory services have generated over a billion dollars in incremental revenues for his clients.

Ron is the author of five books including his latest, The Velocity Mindset® and the bestselling Lead, Sell or Get Out of the Way. Ron facilitates the Chief Revenue Officer Mastermind Group made up of CEO’s and VP’s building high-performance sales cultures

About Leah Diteljan

TTL 862 | Excellent Leadership

Leah Diteljan is the Founder of Mindspa. For fourteen years Leah has collaborated with thousands of entrepreneurs across six of the seven continents, helping them become better leaders in their companies, families, and communities – most of which are multi-million-dollar ventures.

Throughout her travels Leah noticed how lonely it is at the top and felt pulled to solve loneliness by creating MindSpa. MindSpa endeavors to reconnect leaders to themselves, other like-hearted humans and nature through Coaching, Facilitation & Retreats. MindSpa’s content is inspired by the natural energy of the seasons to create a sense of belonging from within.

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