Dr. Randy Ross is a compelling communicator, craftsman of culture and bestselling author of multiple books, including his latest book entitled, Hope Rises: Make Your Life, Love & Leadership Soar.
Working with brands like GE Appliances, McDonald’s, Panasonic, Cox Communications, Compass Group, Chick-fil-A, Keller Williams and the Intercontinental Hotel Group, he has inspired and enabled countless people to find new passion and purpose in their work, work better together in teams and have greater influence and impact.
Listen to this informative Publish. Promote. Profit. episode with Randy Ross about helping leaders inspire teams.
Here are some of the beneficial topics covered on this week’s show:
– How business owners crafting a compelling culture will lead to the right employees.
– Why hope is one of the most powerful and impactful tools you can use.
– How employees quit when the culture is not conducive for their growth.
– Why you must believe that something will happen to achieve your goal.
– How having your own book is like having the best business card.
Connect with Randy:
Guest Contact Info:
Hey, welcome everybody. Rob here with our Publish. Promote. Profit podcast. Got a great guest for you as always and excited to talk to Dr. Randy Ross. I think you’re going to love Randy. He’s a compelling communicator. He’s the best-selling author of multiple books. His most recent one, Hope Rises: Make Your Life, Love and Leadership Soar. Randy works with and has worked with brands like GE, McDonald’s, Panasonic, Cox communications, Chick-fil-A, Keller Williams, Intercontinental Hotel Group. I must say several of these I am intimately familiar with. Both from the standpoint of, I worked for the Intercontinental Hotel Group when I was a bellman as a teenager. And of course, Chick-fil-A, I get to as much as possible. Randy works, helping people, these groups find a new passion and a purpose in their work, work better together as teams, and have greater influence and impact. Randy, welcome. Thanks so much for being on the podcast and great to have you on my friend.
Well, thank you, Rob. It’s a pleasure to be with you and I’m looking forward to sharing with your audience.
Well excited about that. My audience is primarily business owners, experts, coaches, consultants, that kind of thing. You have worked with very, very large organizations, but you work with individuals. So, talk to me a little bit about your magic, your expertise, who, for example, your last book, who’s it for and what your… That’s a lot of questions in one, isn’t it? Kind of what your process is. We’ll get to that at some point, but talk to me about who you serve, what you do.
Yeah, sure. So Remarkable is a leadership development content concierge group. We pride ourselves on being able to help organizations address some of the most critical challenges that they face. Those being of course, crafting and compelling culture where the environments inspire people to bring their best to work every day. We talk about culture, we talk about employee engagement. We talk about leadership dynamics and team collaboration. We talk about conflict resolution, all those things that help to create a relationally rich environment. Because you and I know we know that people flourish, they do their best work when they love what they do. And they enjoy doing it with the people they enjoy doing it with.
We help organizations, craft relationally, rich environments, and the whole journey began. I eventually want to talk about this last book, but the journey began for me.
I’ve always enjoyed helping people sort of gain a sense of their purpose in life. Find more meaning and fulfillment in their work. I kind of pride myself on being a person who brings practical wisdom and needed hope to help organizations solve the biggest challenges that leadership faces, the marketplace experiences and help them find some solutions to the people side of the business.
Several years ago, I wrote a book entitled Remarkable and a friend of mine was the vice president of marketing at small little chicken sandwich group called Chick-fil-A. And the funny part about it, 37 years ago, he graduated from the University of Georgia on a Saturday morning and started working for Chick-fil-A on Saturday afternoon.
Well, they’re closed on Sunday.
He worked a half a day. But David just recently retired from Chick-fil-A, but a long illustrious career, he helped them come up with the cow campaign and all that sort of stuff. But he was the second person hired in Chick-fil-A’s marketing department, if you could imagine that.
And so, David was a friend, he lived in our neighborhood, we attended the same church, and I coached his sons in basketball. And I had this idea for the book and I’ve written most of the storyline. And I went to him and said, “Hey, David, I’m, I’m in the process of writing this book. I think it’s going to be profoundly helpful for a lot of organizations, but here’s my challenge: I don’t know how to market it.” And I said, “Would you like to co-author this, his book together?” He goes, “That’s a great idea. I’ve always wanted to write a book, but I’m not an author. I don’t know how to write.” I said, “Look, I got that side of it covered. We can collaborate. I’ll write it, and then we can collaborate and you market it.” And that’s exactly what we did.
We wrote the book together. It is just one of those things where you say, “All right, I know what I know and I know what I don’t know,” and I didn’t know market. And so I sought a friend out just to say, “Hey, would you like to do this together?” And the fun part about it was we self-published initially, but it sold so well that a major publishing house picked it up. And so we went with a big boy to help get the message out little bit further. And they also used it extensively and still do internally at Chick-fil-A.
Because you may know for a while, their motto, their mission statement, so to speak was “Be Remarkable.” And so, our message of remarkable fit perfectly into that.
The name of our organization is Remarkable. And so that’s what we want to help organizations do is encourage their people to choose to be remarkable in all that they do and leave a mark and an indelible impression on others through stellar customer service and just making someone’s day.
That’s how we started. We had a manual that went along with that, and that was great. And then we wrote a follow-up book, or I wrote a follow-up book, entitled Relationomics, and the same major publishing house picked that up and they distributed it globally and we had it translated into several different languages, and that was a fun experience. But then all of a sudden COVID hit and a friend of mine came to me and he challenged me and he said, “Randy, I really think you need to write a book on hope.” And I thought, “Okay, that’s a really interesting prospect.”
You know, basically his challenge was, “We don’t know how long trench is going to be and how serious, and I think people need hope.” Well, you know, Rob, for you and for me, faith is a big part of our background.
But every book I have ever read on hope had a strong foundation in faith. And I knew because my audience is corporate America, that I really couldn’t write a book leading with chapter and verse.
So, I had to adapt the message to a corporate audience. And so I played with this idea: would it be possible to prove, validate scientifically the power and the impact of hope? And so I combed through over about 200 research papers that were scientifically validated and peer reviewed. And I was not only encouraged, I was astounded at what I discovered. And so Hope Rises is a book that takes all that information and distills it in a simple layman’s language that anybody can understand and they can embrace and they can apply to their life to elevate their hope quotient. A lot of people don’t know how to define hope. They would agree that hope is absolutely essential for emotional health and wellbeing, but they don’t know how to define it.
They certainly don’t know what to do with it. And they don’t know how to increase it. So, we’d break it down. We’d define it, we’d deconstruct it, we’d put it back together again. And then we give people some practical ideas on how they can elevate their hope. And that’s what this last book was about. But here’s how it ties into you and your group, because I wanted to get it to market quickly.
I wanted to get it to market quickly, that was number one. And the regular publishing route takes, a good 18 months, two years. And I didn’t want to miss the window of opportunity because it was the way to get critically into the market and two, because I wanted to retain the rights. And you talk a lot about that.
And publish, promote and profit. And I’m so glad it did. I’m so glad that I retained the rights to the content because now as you know, we’re getting ready to re-release the book.
And that would’ve been a nightmare to have to try to negotiate that with a major publisher. So, we can pivot, we can do what we want to do. The content is ours.
And we’ve developed a lot of programs that surround that. And so it’s just been a great experience working with you and your team and I appreciate the support that you provided.
Connect the dots for me On Hope rises to Remarkable. And how your organization works. Sometimes people write a book that isn’t always directly connected with what they do, but I sense that hope rises is just as much connected to what you do as Remarkable. So connect those dots. What does that look like when it comes to you serving your ideal client?
Our ideal client is anything from a local mom and pop shop that just wants to improve their services and improve their culture to some multinational groups, that we’ve had the privilege of being able to work with. And it’s all about helping to grow leaders. That’s what we do because those in the corporate world, they know that people don’t quit jobs, they quit on leadership.
Or to say it more specifically, they quit on cultures. When an environment is not conducive for their personal growth and development. When a company doesn’t spend time trying to understand how can we connect everyone’s personal passion to the corporate objectives. Then what happens is you created a toxic environment. And a lot of times you’ll see leaders who are elevated to positions of leadership, because either A, they were an individual contributor that was stellar or a subject matter expert. Or they’ve had the experience and they’ve had the success. Doesn’t necessarily mean that they know how to lead people well.
So, what we do is we go in and we provide leadership content that encourages and equips people to become leaders worth following. In other words, how do they position themselves beyond just the service and the product? How do they position themselves to create a relationally rich environment where people can thrive and Excel and be connected? And man, there’s no message that’s more important right now because we are in the midst of what many have called the great resignation.
It’s the great disconnect. But from my standpoint, it’s the great awakening. Here’s the thing, corporate America is waking up to the fact that if they don’t take care of their people, they won’t stay.
And people are waking up to the fact that, hey, I don’t have to work in an environment that I don’t like. I can either work for myself, or I can go to an organization whose values and purpose more completely align with my own, a place where I can enjoy life more.
So, it is a great awakening. And what we are trying to do is to provide content, leadership development material that organizations can use. So we do a lot of keynote addresses for corporate events. Be that a national meeting, or a sales meeting, or even a small executive leadership retreat. We do a lot of live engagements. During COVID we pivoted like everyone else. And we tried to become masters of a virtual presentation and then both because of your encouragement, but also because of some things that I was thinking about, and our team was thinking about.
We also put a lot of our content on a digital platform. And so now we have the capacity to deliver content live. We got the capacity to deliver it virtually.
We have basic training. So, we have the opportunity to manage all that available, but all the messages are consistent. So, Remarkable talks about corporate culture. And we’ve had the opportunity to work with some wonderful organizations that understand being able to put words to that. Relationomics is kind of the follow on, how-to book. Still very practical ideas, not only the principles, but the practices that organizations can put into place to craft a remarkable culture, and then Hope Rises comes behind that. And it layers in on top of that. How do you build optimistic, positive, creative, hopeful teams?
Here’s the fun part. A lot of leaders have been probably unwittingly taken into this concept that hope is not a strategy. Everybody’s heard that, right? But I would contend that hope is your best strategy.
That’s contrary. I like it.
Well, and here’s the thought, is that what endeavor or worthy pursuit is ever going to be successful if the people who are involved in it are hopeless?
Sure, sure. Of course.
So, any strategy, no matter what you do, if it’s not infused with hope, it’s not going to work. If you don’t believe it can happen, if you don’t have a means to get there. So that’s the message of hope. Now, here’s what’s curious to me. I think when we missed the mark on the first title. Hope Rises, I love, and you teach this, and I think it’s brilliant. And you want a short, captivating, catchy title, and you teach that in your workshop. And I agree with that, but as much as I like the metaphor of rising with hope, people kept coming back and going, what kind of book is this?
Is it a fiction book? Is it a nonfiction book?
Is it self-help?
What is it? And even though it says, make your life love and leadership, soar. It just wasn’t specific enough. So that’s one of the things, if people are listening, I would challenge them. Man, just don’t short circuit that process.
Of really thinking through your messaging and you’re marketing. So, with your help, with your teams help, we went back to the drawing board and we’re going to re-release this one with a new title.
And the new title is going to be Fireproof Happiness. Fireproof Happiness: Extinguishing Anxiety, and Igniting Hope.
Ooh, I love that. That’s fantastic. Very descriptive subtitle and honestly, you’re not going to be as confused about the quality of the content and what the focus is. I love it. Great.
We’re going to throw it back out into the marketplace and see if we can get a little bit more mileage at it. We massaged a little bit of the content. But it’s basically the same message.
That’s probably a good segue. As I mentioned to you, our listeners, our business owners, coaches, consultants, experts that want to write a book and ultimately use that book in some way to grow their business, grow their authority in the marketplace, that sort of thing. Talk to me about how you’ve used your books from Remarkable all the way to Hope Rises. And, and now the rebrand of it. How are you using your books? Any specific stories? Like, what is your focus as far as the book helping you to get more of what it is you want in your business?
Well, great question. The first thing I would say is if you’re considering writing a book, do it. I wish that I had started a long time ago. I wish I understood the impact of it. Many years ago, we thought that we could get our message out there through social media and video. So we created a massive library of videos, which we still use today. And it’s a great resource, but it’s hard to really explain how much credibility is brought to your brand, how much credibility is brought to you as the speaker, or coach, or consultant, as you said over and over again. And I want to make this clear to your audience. Don’t expect to make money off the book. You’re not going to sell that many books, but it’s a calling card extraordinaire.
And it’s a calling card that if you put in the hands of the right people, will open doors of opportunity. And that’s what happened with us. One of the things you want to do is quite distinctly and clearly identify your target audience. And I’m not going to take people through your course, because that’s what your course is about. But you have to know who your audience is and then craft your message specifically for them. But when you do that, and you make it specific, and it’s helpful in its’ content, for us, being able to place Remarkable in Chick-fil-A as a training tool, now they’ve got tons of training tools.
And ours is only one of a wide variety, but all the owner operators, they warehouse books at Chick-fil-A that their owner operators can get access to for themselves and for their teams. So just to have that stamp of approval on it is tremendous. And we were fortunate to get Truett Cathy, the founder Chick-fil-A, to write the foreword to the book.
Which obviously, you talked about a lot as well. And then with Relationomics, many of your readers or your listeners may know Ken Blanchard. Ken Blanchard wrote the forward to Relationomics, and we were grateful for that as well. But, we use the book as a calling card. It gets us in the door, that within gives us the opportunity to get speaking engagements. And again, sending the book out free.
Yeah. Give me some specifics, Randy, if you could. So, when you say we use it as a calling card, what specifically… Are you sending the book to conferences that may need a speaker or, like give me the lay of land, the specifics, if you could.
Yeah. So one of the things that we do is we send out, if we’re targeting a group or we think that we may have an interest in trying to get in their mix when it comes to an event, we’ll send a copy of a book to the decision maker or several decision makers within the organization saying, Hey, we know you get an event coming up, please consider us. And I can’t tell you how many times people call back, even though they have event planners and they’ve got their internal teams.
Pulling it together. Send a book to a key leader. And sometimes it doesn’t pay off immediately. It may be a year or two years later.
As a matter of fact, I booked an engagement last week, a major engagement coming up in September with an individual who got a copy of my book three years ago from one of his colleagues. But it gets passed around. Somebody reads it. They go, wow, that’s a great message.
No one throws it away. You send it cold, no one throws it away. It will sit on their desk. I love that.
Or maybe on their bookshelf. And it may not produce immediate results. Bang for the buck is one of the best things that you can do. And so, to send a copy of the book, but then when we get an engagement, we try to encourage at each one of those engagements for them to purchase a copy of the book for everyone in attendance. And that, I’d say probably 90% of the time, they agree to do so.
Aa a takeaway, as a give away from the event. I had, a long time ago, kind of moved away from tables at the back of the room. I don’t like that. If people decide to do that’s great, but I don’t want to ship books. Have to be responsible for selling then, then pack it up whatever we don’t sell and ship back. So if they don’t purchase them for everybody in attendance, we just tell them they can get them online and a lot of people will do that. Anybody who’s going to buy a book at the back of the room typically is going to buy it online as well.
Can I give you a suggestion there? What you could do is you could set up, and you may already do this, but you mentioned buying it online, but what you could do is you could set up your own personal funnel webpage. Give them a discount code on that and say if you set up one of those text things where you can say, text hope to 353535, you’ll get a discount code where you’ll get 50% off the book. Do it right now. Now you collect all their information and they buy directly from you. So you don’t have to share any profits with Amazon. Amy [Dix 00:22:19] just spoke in Nebraska. She had three speaking engagements. I talked to her this morning. She does that. She sold a ton of books without having to bring 500 copies of her books to travel with her. Anyway, just the thought there.
Yeah, absolutely. That’s a great thought. And then, from there, in this latest book, one of the tidbits that I picked up from you through your training, at the end of each section, there are three sections in the book. At the end of the first section, we encourage people to go to our website and download some free worksheets where they can create their own life purpose statement.
That’s one thing. And then it gives them an opportunity in the second section to take an assessment that we created, which is called the Hope Rises Assessment, which is a very interesting and unique view at what their current hope quotient is.
And then they can go and order that online through our website. And then lastly, in the very end, at the end of the book altogether, if they want to go through, we’ve got over seven hours of content. It’s a lot of content. Available that we’ve created through our digital program. We’ve just now rebranded all that for the new book launch. It’s called Fireproof Happiness.
And they can go online and get a discount to get access to all that content. Because if they’ve read the book, they get a 20% discount on that content if they want to enroll in that online program. All that just ties together, and it’s worked out well for us.
Well, you’re using the book in some fantastic ways. I love what you said, not just the end, which is about taking people from the book back to you, where they get some free resources. I love the assessment by the way. A fantastic idea. People that will fill that out will be quite a ways down the path to buying into your methodology and all of that, so I love that. But even what you stated about how the book got you a major speaking engagement three years after the book had been passed along. Having a system set up to where you’re sending books out on a regular basis for speaking, for median PR, for lead generation, will always pay off. You will reap what you sow, and if you sow your best credibility tool, you’ll reap rewards. Even maybe three years later as you expressed, so that’s beautiful. Thank you for sharing that.
Absolutely. Absolutely. Writing is a discipline, but it’s a lot of fun. When you have something to tell the world. Then it’s a powerful medium to do for that.
Yeah. Totally agree. Awesome. Well, let’s give some links to our listeners. Where can they go to learn a little bit more about you? Where can they go maybe to take this assessment or, let’s give them the website and let them connect.
Well, probably two. I have an individual spike for my own speaking, which just doctor, just D-R, no period drrandyross.com is my personal speaking website. But then our corporate website is createremarkable.com. And that tell us a little bit more about what we do as an organization and how we can provide a lot of that leadership development content for teams who may be interested in growing to have a better culture, a more relationally rich environment.
Well, the companies that you have worked with and certainly from Remarkable on, have some of the best cultures I have ever seen, not the least of which is, Chick-fil-A. Just amazing stuff. So, thanks for that. Obviously people know where they can get the books. They can always get the books on Amazon, but certainly go to the websites first and check that out. But Randy, thanks for being on with us. Great to have you on my friend. Congratulations on all your success with your books.
Thanks Rob. And thank you for your support and kudos to your team, because y’all done a great job for me.
Thank you. Thank you.