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The Champion Forum Podcast

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TCFP180: Passionate Performance with Lee Colan

Thank you for listening to The Champion Forum Podcast! Are the labor trends we’re seeing temporary, or are they just magnifying problems businesses have already been facing? The reality is that while challenges change, people don’t! If you know how to lead people well, you will be successful regardless of the current labor market. This week, I’m excited to talk to Lee Colan about the trends we’re seeing in business, what employees really want, and how to motivate people. Lee also talks about his personal journey and how he became the leader he is today.

About Lee Colan

Lee worked as a consultant and leader for various successful businesses, including American airlines. He has authored 16 books, which have been translated into ten languages. Growing leaders and companies alike request his services, and as a result, he was recognized as a John C. Maxwell Leadership Award finalist.

How to be successful in a remote environment

Covid didn’t change people’s preferences; it magnified them. When people went remote, managers intended to call their employees more but didn’t. They kept managing the way they used to. In a remote environment, you must be even more intentional and creative to engage their emotional needs of connection, purpose, and appreciation. Pick up the phone and call them! You have to be able to see the human behind the employee.

How to be competitive in a challenging hiring environment

Be competitive on the salary side, but the magnet and the glue to a business is making people feel loved and appreciated. The culture matters! When people know they are loved and appreciated, they are more willing to be held accountable and grow. Our job as leaders is not to put in what god left out but to draw out what god put in.

How to Motivate People

No matter the job level, you must ensure that people understand the connection between what they are doing and how it will make a difference for your business, coworkers, and customers. You can’t just assume people are there for a paycheck. People aren’t here for a paycheck anymore. They are here for a purpose, and the data supports that.

Balancing the Older and Younger Generations

Don’t paint any generation with a broad brush. Think about how to create an environment that will get the best out of them.

Application Activities

  1. Developing strong relationships is key to creating a strong culture and meeting people’s needs. Take a moment to evaluate what you currently do to invest in your team members. Are you keeping track of birthdays? Are you making sure you have conversations that do not involve work or deadlines? What do your team members know about each other? What systems did you start using to get to know your team and stop using? If you need suggestions for how to work on these relationships, check out some of the earlier episodes of the podcast.

  2. Is your team multi-generational? It’s good to include people from all stages of life, but it can be challenging to create a cohesive culture and bridge the generation gap. Consider whether your structures and systems benefit people from one generation or another. For example, do you rely heavily on slack or other technologies that older employees may be unfamiliar with? Ensure you continue using email and phone calls among your entire team as needed to be sure nothing falls through the cracks. Also, watch how you engage with your employees. Do you value one generation’s feedback more than another? Do you hesitate to promote an employee you believe to be “too old” or “too young” even though they are fully qualified and ready for the task? Answering these questions will help you identify areas you need to work on to have a cohesive team.

  3. Creating a positive culture starts with hiring well, and hiring begins with recruiting. To build your culture, focus on having your team members generate recruitment. If they love where they work, they will be natural ambassadors for your business! Plus, they know their friends, colleagues, and former classmates well enough to know who would be a good fit. If you can, consider a recruitment incentive, like a bonus for every referral that turns into an employee.

Resources Referenced

Passionate Performance by Lee Colan

Connect with Lee Colan


LinkedIn: Lee Colan

Facebook: The L Group

Twitter: @LeeColan


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