Founder of Excellius Leadership Development, leadership and team coach, and host of the Be Brave @Work podcast, Ed Evarts is a go-to resource for anyone who wants to elevate their career and professional relationships. He is the author of Raise Your Visibility & Value: Uncover the Lost Art of Connecting on the Job, written for business leaders, folks in job transition, and independent consultants, as well as a forthcoming book, Drive Your Career: 9 High Impact Ways to Take Responsibility for Your Own Success. We discuss the nuances of communicating to your boss versus peers and direct reports to ensure your message lands as intended with each target audience. And you’ll even get to hear me sing some off- tune lyrics to Kenny Rodgers’ hit song, “The Gambler,” as we play with the analogy of how work is like a poker hand – deciding when to fold, bluff, or take action.


Episode 54: Playing Your Best Hand at Work with Leadership and Career Coach, Ed Evarts

Shani Magosky: Is your team not performing well? Is morale low and turnover high? Are you falling further behind the competition? I’m here to help. I’m your host Shani and this is The LeaderShift Show, where business strategy and culture finally meet and we make the long-awaited shift from rhetoric to results. I promise, I’m not your typical boring leadership consultant and I will help you get your shift together. Let’s do this.

Hello Leadershifters, and welcome to another episode of The LeaderShift Show with yours truly, Shani. My guest today is Ed Evarts, who is a, like I am, leadership development professional, team coach, and all-around specialist in trying to make the workplace work a little bit better. Some of you may be surprised that I have invited someone from Boston to be on my podcast, [chuckles] seeing as how I have a little bit of a predilection away from anything New England Patriots related, but I feel so strongly about all the otherwise great things that Ed’s going to have to share with us today, that I am overlooking the Patriots fandom. [laughs]

Ed Evarts: I’ve taken down all my Patriots paraphernalia just for you, Shani.

Shani: Thank you. Folks, Ed is also an author. He has a book already out called Raise Your Visibility & Value and is working on his second book which is called Drive Your Career. He’s also a podcast host, Be Brave at Work. I can’t wait to talk to Ed today and compare experiences and hope that you take away some important information from Ed’s work about how you and your team can shift in general and, of course, during this continued pandemic oddness. Welcome to the show, Ed.

Ed: Thank you, Shani. It’s great to be here.

Shani: Wonderful. Tell us a little bit about how you got into our field.

Ed: Sure. Well, I was a lifelong corporate employee and I spent a number of years in retailing, and then a number of years in a business services company called Iron Mountain, which is based in Boston.

Shani: I know Iron Mountain well. Actually, when I was at Goldman, we did numerous high-yield bond deals for Iron Mountain.

Ed: Oh, there you go. I was there through 2008, and then due to a new footprint in the marketplace as they like to call it, a lot of jobs got rearranged and my position was eliminated. I left Iron Mountain as part of a layoff in 2008. I knew I did not want to get back into Corporate America because I felt I had saturated my experience and love for working for large organizations, and decided to do something on my own. There are worse times to be laid off than June 1st of any year so I took the summer to think about what I wanted to do next.

My wife’s a teacher so we took nice, little three-day weekends and through conversations and networking, which I had not done much of at all, I came to a quick conclusion that I wanted to not be a generalist anymore but a specialist, and the area that I wanted to be a specialist in was leadership development and coaching. I started my practice really from scratch. I do consider myself to be a classic case study of going from corporate to consulting. I started from scratch and got training and it’s a much longer story but have been working for the last 12 years to build a practice as an independent consultant in the marketplace.

Shani: Fantastic. You are an honorary leadershifter if for no other reason then you shifted out of one arena into another one successfully. It’s actually I think a topic on a lot of people’s minds right now, either because they were furloughed or permanently laid off because of COVID, or even if they haven’t yet, people have anxiety depending on what industry they’re in that things are going to take a long time to return to normal and it’s just a matter of time before their job might hit the chopping block, not to mention the fact that I think a lot of people are a bit self-reflective during this time.

“What’s important to me? What fulfills me?” You know what, maybe this 12-hour, 14-hour day job I’ve been slogging at for decades ain’t it, and even voluntarily looking to shift. As a coach what advice would you give those people right now who are looking to shift and as someone who’s done it?

Ed: Well, as to reflect to that observation on my experience, when I did shift from a corporate employee to consulting, there were two huge negatives impacting me. One, 2008 was the last year of an economic collapse-

Shani: Yes. [laughs]

Ed: -and so companies were not hiring business professionals like myself, nor were they hiring consultants. Doors were slammed in all directions. That alone was a very, very hard time to do it. Secondly, I had never planned to start my own practice, so when I lost my job at Iron Mountain, I was shocked. I still remember the day my boss called me in and my performance review was due and she said, “Ed, I just want to let you know I haven’t completed your performance appraisal and I’m here to tell you today that your position has been eliminated.”

I had no preparation, no clients, no business model, no website, nothing to start with and that’s why I took that summer to do it. For those out there that are either in that position or thinking about it, it’s definitely possible if you have the commitment and patience to make it work. A lot of people think that success comes overnight, and certainly for some people it might, but they’re really– On the bell curve of life, that little part on the right side where they invented post-it notes and suddenly became a triple billionaire–

Shani: Exactly, we call that the long tail on Wall Street.

Ed: Yes. Most people are in the middle or to the end and some people don’t make it and they may have to go back to work because they can’t make it as an independent. If you have patience, you can make it work. My advice to folks would be, certainly have a very good understanding of your financial status. One of the reasons I was able to make it work is because I got a severance package from Iron Mountain. I did declare unemployment so I collected unemployment for a short while, first time ever but I figured I’ve been paying into it all these years, I might as well get something out of it.

Shani: Absolutely.

Ed: I had a great spouse who said, “Ed, if you are confident that this will work, I’m willing to enjoy the ride with you but I just reserve the right to tell you at some point that it’s not working.” She was great in being patient. It took us several years to make the turn. Shani, I would just tell you that I think of income in three levels. Level one is just any money to show that you can earn a living, two is break-even, where your expenses and your revenue mirror, and three is savings, where you make enough money you can finally save. It took me several years to get to that third level but again, with patience and persistence, we were able to get there.

Shani: Absolutely. I think that’s great advice like, “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” as the old cliché goes. You’re right, very few people are instant success stories. In fact, some of the biggest success stories in history actually are people who failed repeatedly before becoming a huge success or have had multiple obstacles or stumbling along the way.

Ed: We’ve seen-

Shani: I’d be remiss if I didn’t comment on the little detail you shared about coming in to get your performance review and being told that your job had been eliminated. Bad form, you should still get a performance review, I mean for Christ’s sake. [laughs]

Ed: [laughs] That’s a whole another long story and it was late as well. It wasn’t even on time and I had asked a couple of times, “Hey, am I going to be getting my performance review?” “I’m working on it, I’ll schedule some time.” I think, in reality, the time was being spent on assessing what my role would be at the organization more than my performance review. This is a classic example, this is where you and I do a lot of work at organizations because I’ve got a number of clients who either have never gotten or once, three years ago got a performance review.

The company talks about the importance of people and career development and feedback and yet that’s what they say, but then what they do doesn’t mirror it. This arena of providing feedback, whether it’s conversational or numerical based, whatever it might be, it doesn’t exist in the world to the degree that experts like you and I might want people to believe.

Shani: Absolutely, feedback is a hill I will die on. I preach about it all the time because I think it’s such a fundamentally important type of communication in the workplace that doesn’t get executed well, if at all, and always errs– Oh wait. I tell people don’t use absolutes and I just use the word always.

Ed: [laughs] Most times.

Shani: It regularly errs on the constructive side as opposed to the positive side, and of course positive feedback is just as important if not more important so that people know what they’re doing well and continue doing it, et cetera, than the constructive feedback, so I share your passion for that and sorry to hear that that’s the situation you were in, but onward and upward, right?

Ed: Onward and upward, but I would tell you and I tell people this today that on the day it happened, it was the worst day of my professional career. When I tell you I was surprised, I was completely surprised that that happened. Twelve years later, I look back on it and it was the best day of my professional career and I mean that sincerely because sometimes I worry that if I hadn’t been kicked out, I’d still be there.

Shani: [laughs]

Ed: The past 12 years as an independent, helping different people with different situations and different challenges, and working through all of that, has been fantastic. I regret that they didn’t kick me out sooner versus when they did.

Shani: Right. Folks, what you just heard is a mindset shift by the way. [laughs]

Ed: It is. It’s significant.

Shani: The worst day of my professional career to the best day of my professional career, and all it took was a little hindsight, right?

Ed: Yes.

Shani: Cool. I am wanting to delve in on behalf of Leadershifters to a few of the topics that you specialize in when you give keynotes or other trainings or what have you, and I know some of these are also chapters in either the existing book or the forthcoming book. The first one I want to ask you about is, work is like a poker hand so you need to play it well. If you would, before you talk about the nuggets of wisdom in that, share with the viewers and listeners what you shared with me pre-show about why poker was prominent in your mind to frame the discussion.

Ed: Sure, and I think prominent is a really good word because I have been participating in and every other week, so twice a month poker game with six friends for 23 years.

Shani: That’s so good.

Ed: If you had told me in 1998 that I’d still be playing poker in 2020, I would have laughed and said no, nothing ever lasts that long. That’s not possible, but the same seven people including myself have been playing in this poker game for 23 years. It’s just been a phenomenal experience.

Shani: So great.

Ed: Like a lot of ideas, I was experiencing something with my clients, and then I was sitting there one night playing poker and the two came together and the thing I was experiencing with my clients was this lack of recognition on their part about what they were experiencing in the workplace. They were always trying to churn it and make it work or figure it out and what I share with clients today is that first, you have to recognize what kind of hand you’ve been dealt. Some people in a poker game get dealt a really good hand, some people get dealt a really poor hand, but regardless of the hand you’re dealt all of us have three options.

Option number one is to fold, and in a poker hand, you just put your cards down and bailout. In work, it might be recognizing the choice you’ve made for a company or a role is not right and you need to move on, and that’s where the drive in your career come from. That you have to not be a passenger, but move on if it’s not a good fit. You can bluff, and I do not encourage anyone to ever bluff anything more than a couple of days, because at some point your hand’s going to get called, and you’re not going to have anything and nobody wants to be in that situation but the vast majority of my clients are bluffing.

They’re pretending that things are better than they are, and they just write it off to well that’s the way work is, or that’s how things are, and they continue to bluff and that erodes their confidence and abilities to the point where at some point things just crumble.

Shani: Not just erodes the confidence, gosh, it erodes our morale and our sense of well-being and purpose and erodes relationships. It’s toxic. Yes, I agree, and I see a lot of my clients as well bluffing, just trying to get through day-to-day, week to week. [laughs]

Ed: Yes, and they say things like– I’ve had clients who don’t get along with their boss, and they’ll talk and tell me stories about how they avoid their boss, and I’m like, if you’re in a situation where you’re avoiding your boss, that’s something that you need to take a look at because that’s not a good situation to be in. So folding, bluffing, and then the last act a person could take is action, which is, turning in some cards and getting some more cards with an effort to make things better. That’s where I spend time with people and that’s where I encourage people who read the book to think about am I bluffing, should I fold, or should I take some action in order to try to make things better.

Now, you might try and it may not work, and then you go back to whether I bluff and fold, but at least you tried. A lot of people will feel better if they look back a few years from now and say, I found myself in a situation that wasn’t great but here’s what I tried to do about it and it didn’t work so I moved on, or here’s what I tried to do about it and it worked. That’s a better story to tell than well I bluffed and pretended things were better than they were until I decided it was time to move on.

Shani: Yes, exactly. It’s like because there’s something about staying in the game versus bluffing which is cheating your way through the game. You’re cheating yourself and your colleagues and your clients potentially, and of course folding is just, well it’s giving up if you haven’t tried other things first and sometimes it is the right way to play the game is to say you know what, this game isn’t for me anymore.

Ed: Right, and for some people, that’s a good decision. Trust me, there are times where poker players need to fold. They can’t turn a bad hand into a winning hand. It’s just not going to happen so I’m going to sit this one out and I’ll be back, but I’m not going to be in this particular hand, and that’s sometimes, not always, but sometimes what people need to do professionally is to recognize that whatever they are doing is not a good fit.

Shani: Yes. I will say I think one of the reasons I was so drawn to that particular topic out of the litany of things in your wheelhouse was, I have always been a big Kenny Rogers fan, may he rest in peace because he passed away this year.

Ed: He did.

Shani: The Gambler, far and away my favorite Kenny Rogers song. Legit, I know every single word to that song.

Ed: What’s the phrase from that song that everybody knows? You’ve got to know?

Shani: [singing] You’ve got to know when to hold them, know when to fold them, know when to walk away, know when to run. You never count your own money, while you’re sitting at the table. Okay, I know singing not my specialty, but love that song.

Ed: Well, musical interlude on your podcast. What’s better than that? That’s the statement everybody knows from that song. If you were to say hey, repeat as a phrase from the Kenny Rogers, The Gambler, most people would say you got to know when to hold, and know when to fold, and that’s true for business professionals, that you have to know when you’ve got something good, and that’s a whole career development experience. Or, you know what, this place just isn’t a good fit, or I don’t like the culture, or things aren’t what people told me it would be like and I’ve got to either change it or move on, but I’m not going to sit here year after year as a passenger and have a bad experience.

Shani: Absolutely. Let’s shift to talking about working with teams, which is another area that you and I align on and both enjoy. I’m curious what shifts you’re seeing among the teams with whom you work either coaching or consulting as a result of either COVID or the George Floyd situation that is just in the atmosphere of the entire country right now, and anything else that you might be seeing that is causing shifts in the way your teams are showing up and what they need from you.

Ed: Most teams are going through significant changes that they could never have anticipated ever in their lifetimes. In my mind, the big three of the coronavirus, the racism, George Floyd type situation, and the economy, the layoff number, those three things. People are either worried about can I go back to work or will I have a work to go back to, is significant. Most people have shifted I think fairly organically to a Zoom-based world, and I know there’s multiple platforms but everybody likes the Z word, so Zoom-type platform, and work that I’ve been doing with clients is how to facilitate conversations both technically.

Zoom has little features you can use. Microsoft Team has features you can use. Google chat, I think it’s called [unintelligible 00:19:20]. They all have little features you can use because you want to ensure that if you’re hosting a meeting, that you’re not delayed due to technical disruptions, because that can lower energy and people get distracted, et cetera. How can you facilitate the meeting in a way that’s technically excellent? Then also how can you ensure that the topics you’re talking about fit and that you are ensuring more than ever that you’re listening to people.

This is one of the challenges many leaders have because if I said to a leader six months ago, I think it’s important that you listen to people more. Let’s come up with a strategy on how you can walk the floor, and let’s say you talk with two people a day, et cetera. Now it’s, “Ed, how do I do that? I don’t even know everybody’s phone number. We’re attempting to figure out how they can stay connected, but more importantly, is how they can listen to people more because people have a lot to say right now probably more than ever about what either they are experiencing or what their perceptions are of what’s going on. I think and I know you think that, even though we haven’t worked together before, that listening is a huge leadership trait. Now you have to listen more than ever.

Shani: Absolutely. I always say listening is a full-body experience. It’s not just the ears. We’re listening with our eyes, we’re listening with our hearts, we’re listening with our guts, we’re listening with our brains and I think not a lot of people listen that holistically. They hear maybe, [laughs] but they’re not listening, and which is why it is so important to do some of these meetings over Zoom. I get Zoom fatigue and all that. Of course, I encourage people to do walk and talks and so forth to get outside and all that. People have to be able to pick up on the nonverbals, the body language and the other cues in the environment to really be listening because not everybody is a verbal communicator.

Ed: Yes, some people don’t like this new environment because now when we look at Zoom, if I had 25 people on the screen who are part of my team, I can see them all. If we were sitting at a big table, I might not see people on the far right corner because I have to turn and look at them, but now I can see everyone and what they’re doing. You can even see their eyes if their eyes are looking or going down, those types of things.

Shani: Right. The Brady Bunch style.

Ed: Yes, yes. It creates discomfort for a lot of people who don’t want to be in the spotlight. The other thing I just want to add about listening, and especially as it pertains to Zoom and working virtually, is brevity. I encourage people all the time to say, especially when you’re talking with people via electronics, you have to be briefer because we all, and this is true I think for me, it’s true for people I know, once you start talking, your interest level starts to diminish.

Unless you’re telling me something that I’ve asked you about and I’m right, but if I say, “Hey, can I talk to you about something?” I’ll say, “Sure,” but as soon as you start talking, I am getting less and less interested in what you’re saying. You have to be brief and pause, ask for feedback, ask for steps or action items, et cetera, but you want to make sure that you’re moving it along in a very brief but effective way.

Shani: Absolutely. The perfect topic to dovetail with that is, I know a chapter in your old book is called the three conversation styles for your workplace. You had shared with me before the show that you’re actually either reworking that chapter or doing an addendum or a whole nother chapter on how that translates to virtual. Tell us, what are the three conversation styles, what’s important for each one, and what your initial thinking is, at least on how to adapt it for Zoom land?

Ed: Right. For Zoom mania. My first book is called Raise Your Visibility & Value. I think as I had mentioned to you earlier that a colleague of mine had suggested that I go and do a second edition where I add a chapter called virtual, visibility and value, really overused the Vs, but virtual, visibility and value, that’s not something I ever even thought of when I was first writing the book. You talked earlier about a mind shift change, I think back and I’m like, “How did I miss that? How did I even not think that all visibility and all value is in person?” But even then, a few years ago, people were using Zoom and it’s not like it was just created yesterday.

Looking at virtual, visibility, and value and in that book, I’ve identified seven visibility indicators. The chapter is going to be how do you take those visibility indicators and transition them to a virtual type world. In the book also, I talk a little bit about the three conversations and essentially, that’s just a reminder to folks that anytime that you have news you need to share, updates about the organization, some type of announcement, some type of request, or favor, et cetera that the way you structure your conversation to your boss, to peers, and to subordinates needs to be different.

That the way that you’d share with your boss an update that impacts the business may be different than how you share it with peers and may be different than how you share it with subordinates. Too often, people think of one message and they tell everyone. Of course, it doesn’t sit correctly with all of them because they needed to hear it a little bit different, their priorities and needs are different.

For example, I have a client company that does insurance for towns and it’s a privately held company, the company is owned by one man. Well, I can guarantee you the conversations I have with him are significantly different than the conversations that I have with subordinates that report to him. Now, I’m not suggesting you lie and or not be honest and transparent about stuff, but how you frame it, how you enter it, how you share it just needs to be thought through effectively and done just a little bit differently.

Shani: Absolutely. Really, it’s no different than a marketing strategy because you’re sharing a message to influence even if what you’re trying to influence is awareness. Someone who’s running the business and has his or her eye on bottom-line profitability let’s say, or sales metrics or whatever, has a different come from than the peers versus team members who report to you. I think that’s really important and I agree a lot of people miss that. It can just be a shift in nuance, with the messaging, but taking the time to do it is very well worth it, I agree.

In terms of the virtuality of those three messages, we talked just a minute ago about gravity being important, what else are you simmering with as you write the new chapter?

Ed: [laughs] I like that word simmering because I am in the middle of writing it so I haven’t fully thought through candidly all of the aspects as it relates to the seven visibility accelerators, although, I will tell you and some of it is very, very simple, which is if you have a message that you need to share with all those audiences, share it with each audience but separately. Like you and I– Hey there, a guest on our show.

Shani: Yes, this is Teejay, he likes to be a guest on the show from time to time. He doesn’t realize that we’re recording and he just climbs up. [laughs]

Ed: Why do cats love computers? Every time someone has a cat, it crawls across the screen right in front of everyone.

Shani: Totally, because it’s like they want to be the center of attention when you’re ignoring them, that’s why.

Ed: Right.

Shani: Then when you’re looking to play, they’re like, “Speak to the paw, lady.” [laughs]

Ed: Got to love it, got to love it. Going back to just the simplicity of it, one-on-one with your boss, not with others there. With peers it’s either one-on-one or the group of them altogether because also, a common message is critical, you don’t want to have a message you need to share with people, but you inadvertently change it every time you talk a peer. Then two peers are talking and they’re like, “Well, that’s not what I heard.” You want to ensure that your message is very common and then, of course, with subordinates, typically, all at the same time because those folks need to hear it, unless, and this is a general statement.

There may be announcements or things that need to happen that you need to talk to subordinates individually, but the vast majority of conversations in organizations probably would be heard by everyone at the same time. It’s using the technology, not much different than probably how you would use it in person. It requires a little bit more administrative work, but having the conversation either one-on-one, one to many, or one to the whole group.

Shani: Right. Got it. Tell us about the new book, which I believe is called Drive Your Career. What was the impetus and what are you most excited about?

Ed: It is called Drive Your Career and the impetus was really my 12 years as a leadership and team coach working in the market. I began to notice, as I’m sure you do, that there are messages or topics that come up again and again and again. I had one of those shower moments where I’m like, “Why do these same things keep coming up and I’m not bringing them up?” I’m not saying oh my God, there’s things that I want to say to everybody that I talk to, but just based on their situation and what they’re experiencing, one of them or two of them or three of them would always pop up.

I decided to write them down and then once I wrote them down, I said, you know what, I need to get the word out and share with others these nine things that people need to do to really take responsibility for their own success, and that’s where drive in your career comes from. You may have a driver but most people don’t have a driver. Most people drive themselves and if you’re not thinking about what you want to do, where you want to go, what your next steps are, and how you get there, the likelihood is that you’ll be a passenger and someday, you’re going to just end someplace that you never intended, doing something you never wanted or doing it for too long, and it may be too late to do something about it.

Essentially, the impetus was nine topics, ideas, suggestions that I’ve shared with clients over the last 12 years, one of which, of course, is that your workplace is a lot like a poker hand, to help them take more ownership for their success.

Shani: Good. What’s your other favorite of the nine tips in the book?

Ed: My number one, the chapters are not in any order of precedence or importance. They’re just nine ideas. You could read the ninth one and have the same experience as somebody who’s read the first eight. However, the first one I think resonates with most of my clients because while I’m not a statistician, I would say 85% of my clients wish they had a better relationship with their boss than they have. The first chapter is that you have to have a positive relationship with your boss.

If you have a positive relationship with your boss, anything is possible. If you don’t have a positive relationship with your boss there’s always that third thing in the room, you, your boss, and this thing that’s between you that complicates progress because your boss is always feeling like something’s missing or something’s not right. This thing is getting in the way.

Ensuring that you have a positive relationship with your boss and for folks who don’t or wish it was better, the book includes some tips and ideas on how to manage the future. You can’t change the past, but if you say, “You know what? I could have a better relationship with my boss and I need to do something about it.” Here are some things, here are some ways to make progress.

Shani: Absolutely. What do you say to a client who says to you my boss is just an asshole and there’s no way to have a good relationship with him or her?


Ed: I can’t imagine that anyone ever saying that.

Shani: I told you I curse in my show.

Ed: Oh no. It’s not that. I just can’t believe anyone would ever say that. No, I mean that’s what a lot of my client– Not a lot, but many of my clients would say about their experience. The first thing we would talk about is well, what have you done to manage that relationship. Oftentimes, both parties are guilty to some degree. People tend to set themselves up as the one that does everything right and their boss is the evil cruel person who never does anything right and I think the two can be a little bit mixed.

What have you done, make sure there’s a clear understanding about that. Most of my clients would say they’ve done little. Then, what can you do? This goes back to the three choices you have because your workplace is a lot like a poker hand. It’s not bluffing that you like your boss and don’t, it’s not leaving because you have a good employment experience, it’s taking steps in order to make good progress. One of the things I tell clients they should always do is– There’s our sponsor, is to ask their boss what I call the million-dollar question which is what’s one or two things I could do differently to be more effective.

Shani: Love that. What’s one or two things I can do differently to be more effective. Yes, I love that because I think a lot of times if people don’t get off on the right foot, it just declines from there. Then, people are making up stories about each other and assumptions. I think Brené Brown says it really well in one of her books. I don’t know if it’s a chapter title or just a phrase that always stands out in my mind, “Lean in. It’s hard to hate people close up.”

Ed: [chuckles]

Shani: Get to know them. Unless a boss- and I have had one of these- is a textbook narcissist. They’re in a different book.

Ed: Yes. That’s where you have to decide if you’re at the right company because if the organization’s going to hire somebody who is a textbook narcissist, then that might tell you something about the organization and it may no longer be a good fit for you. I think most people could improve the relationship if they found time to say to their boss. “I don’t think our relationship is as good as it could be. I’d love to work on it. Are you willing to work on it as well?”

If that boss says, “Absolutely, let’s work on it,” then, I think anything is possible.

Shani: Absolutely. It’s funny. It sounds so simple, yet, for some people, that’s a hard conversation to have. To the extent someone gives pushback on that, it’s sort of like, “Well, try it. What do you have to lose?” Because if someone who reports to you said that to you, wouldn’t you say, “Oh, of course.”

Ed: Yes. Yes, I would. If they say, “No, I’m not interested,” then, again, that tells you something about your organization. Now, you have information that you didn’t have before, which was you are bold and brave enough to say something very polite. You weren’t disrespectful, but just saying, “Look, I think our relationship could be a little bit better. I think it’s good but it could be great. Are you open to working on it with me?”

If that person says no or I’m not interested or I don’t have time for that, then, I think that tells you a lot about what step you should take in order to make progress. That’s where Drive Your Career comes in, to encourage people to get greater clarity on the road they’re on, so they can ensure that they’re “taking the right exits”.

Shani: That’s right. Good. When is the book coming out?

Ed: Thanks, the book is coming out September of 2020, this coming September.

Shani: Okay, September 2020. Is there a way people can get notified when it’s available? I’m assuming some sort of opt-in for you. How can people follow you, reach you, and become aware when your book has been published?

Ed: Great. You could go to, E-X-C-E-L-L-I-U-S. There are a couple of links for Drive Your Career. One is a one-pager that just talks about the book. The other is a Facebook group that we’ve created where we put postings on a regular basis of snippets from the book. You could join that as well. Trust me there will be plenty of advertisements as to when the book is available.

Shani: Nice, okay. You’re going to get a sneak preview on the Facebook page of some of the content.

Ed: You got it.

Shani: That’s terrific. Great, Ed, thank you so much for joining us today. This has been a really fun conversation. I always enjoy when people use metaphor and sports and games because there are metaphors for lots of things in life. This was a lot of fun. Of course, I got to demonstrate my excellent singing skills.

Ed: [laughs] They were excellent, Shani. Thank you for allowing me to be on your show with you today. I really enjoyed it.

Shani: My pleasure. Leadershifters, thank you for joining us today. As always, hope you took away some learning from this conversation with Ed.

All the points about driving your career and the different ways you can play your poker hand, depending on what’s happening for you at this stage in your career, some of the tips around communicating differently whether depending on whether you’re communicating to your boss, to your colleagues and peers or to the folks who report to you and some of the shifts that you need to make for doing it all online. I think it was a nice well-rounded conversation today. Thanks for joining us. You know how to reach me, and all the various and sundry social media. Until next time.

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