Archives For emotional intelligence

The Hot Seat

Steve Gutzler —  February 27, 2014 — Leave a comment

“I am very pleased to say that your presentation exceeded everyone’s expectations and was an absolute home run. Not only were you engaging and attention getting, but most importantly, the material has already made an impact. You certainly “Unleashed the Leaders” within all of us!”

Testimonial from: David Jobe, President, Leadership Conferences

I’ve been a part of dozens of corporate and business events and retreats. After a while they kind of blur together. It is the same hotel conference rooms. The same curiously similar buffet tables. Always the ridiculously poor lighting at the podium. But the people, they are who make it special. Yes the people!

Recently I was presenting at a corporate leadership retreat on Emotional Intelligence for Extraordinary Leadership. It was a really great morning of dynamic interaction. The CEO of the organization was truly exceptional; he had stunning leadership execution. But honestly, he captivates you with his people skills. His smile, his wit, and his unique ability to involve each person. You feel yourself elevating in thought and conversation just by being in his presence. Plus, my personal favorite, he had a contagious laugh that you just couldn’t get enough of.

The Defining Moment of the Retreat

On the second day of our retreat (the CEO actually called them “Advances” because his company never retreats) the CEO came up to the front to address everyone in the room. The previous morning I had described an example of a company where they take time each month to place a team member in the “Hot Seat.” When the team member is sitting in the Hot Seat, everyone goes around the room and talks about how that person contributes, shines, makes a difference and works hard to put skin on their goals as a company. It is a “your special. Thank you” Moment.

Sometimes when I share that story I can almost feel people rolling their eyes, sometimes I even see them. Tough minded types don’t like warm and fuzzy moments. Business and leadership is not for the weak of heart. It is a jungle out there and if you can’t step up and perform then you will find yourself in the junk yard!

So here was this CEO in front of his team. He stood and addressed the room stating that he would like to do the Hot Seat activity, but with a little twist. Then he walked around the room, stopping at each person. He literally placed his hand on each team member’s shoulder and talked about the stunning success contributions that each person had made. I kept thinking, “Where are his cheat sheets?” But he didn’t have any. I watched in wonder as the faces of each person lit up at his words. Each person looked newly inspired. I was witnessing the power of communicating personal value. Its transforming power, just those two or three minutes of recognition healed, emboldened, and filled hearts with a renewed courage to continue on!

Emotional Intelligence 401 in action! What a leader. What a magical moment.

And then the Surprise!

If that moment wasn’t enough, he turned to me. Yes, little ol’ me, in the corner taking it all in. He actually said, and I won’t forget the words, “And now I left the best at the end, Steve Gutzler.”

As he walked toward me, my heart started pounding. My eyes moistened. When he placed his hand on my shoulder and spoke glowingly, I melted. I faked a cool demeanor and a soft smile. But inside, I was a puddle. I have those words recorded in my mind. I return to them often because in my world, as I am sure it is in yours, I have many small voices. Sometimes even my own voice is speaking small to me.

But on that day I found myself driving to live up to those words of greatness. Emotional Intelligence can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. For me it is something you experience and I attempt to deliver to one person at a time. One conversation, one smile, one handshake, one leadership moment at a time.

“Leaders understand emotions drive behaviors, performance, and greatness!”

You matter to me!

Partnering in your emotionally intelligent success,

Steve Gutzler

For information on keynote presentations, team workshops, and one on one coaching, contact Steve at:



Originally posted November 6th, 2012


Often when I speak, I tell of the time when I was unemployed for four months. In that short window of time, I became depressed and observed my once confident self… lack purpose and direction.

In a rare moment of clarity upon reading Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly effective People… I took his mentoring advice and crafted my first purpose statement. I still have that wrinkled sheet of paper where I first penned “my purpose.”

I simply had no idea how that purpose statement would lay the foundation for my new life ~ leadership ~ and company vision.

Your Foundational Purpose is:

  • Your core motivation for thought and action in every area of your leadership

  • Your deepest inspiration for getting great work done.

  • Your critical filter for choices… a built in accountability system.

Without a Foundation of Purpose:

  • You experience a divided mind

  • Suffer bouts of burnout

  • Are pulled in opposite directions

  • Suffer defeat by constant comparison

  • Feel hurried

  • Feel like you are missing out on life and influence

Nine Extraordinary Benefits of Having a Foundation of Purpose:

  1. Passion – enthusiasm and energy

  2. Power – motivation and self-discipline

  3. Possibility – clarity of opportunities

  4. Probability – increase in daily successes dramatic

  5. Productivity – seizing the right opportunities

  6. Predictability –  more and more consistency in your success

  7. Profitability – higher earnings

  8. Persistence – greater determination

  9. Perseverance – ability to finish strong

Determining your purpose starts with defining the word success. What does it look like for: family relationships ~ professional life ~ health and balance ~ spiritual peace ~ and lasting legacy.

*Take some time to craft your purpose or revisit it for renewal, clarity and success in 2014!

Your partner in living a purposeful life,

~Steve Gutzler

Build your purpose driven team in 2014 through team workshops in Emotional Intelligence, Sales Mastery, and Time Mastery. For information on keynote presentations, team workshops, and one on one coaching, contact Steve at:


Photo credit:

Emotional Leadership

Steve Gutzler —  January 21, 2014 — 1 Comment

Space Needle 12th Man

I was recently privileged to be invited by a close friend to a Seahawk game. We were taken in style by a town car with a distinguished driver. My friend John greeted me with an enthusiastic smile and contagious attitude… “It’s going to be great Steve!” I couldn’t help but to “jump on” the good feelings and be swept in with the fun awaiting us.

How easily we catch a leader’s emotional state, has to do with how expressively their faces, voices, and gestures convey their feelings.

It’s not just Seahawk games ~its the game of leadership. The greater a leader’s skills at transmitting emotions, the more forcefully the emotions will spread.


  • People pay close attention to a leader, even subtle expressions of emotions can have a big impact.

  • How well you express your enthusiasm ~ the more readily others feel that same contagious passion.

Leadership is a skill, a craft that is learned. Leaders who display the right emotional leadership become magnets; people naturally gravitate to them. When you think about the leaders with whom people most want to work in organizations, they probably have the ability to exude upbeat feelings.

Research has proven it: optimistic, enthusiastic leaders more easily retain their people and build effective teams.

How can you display the right kind of emotional exchange today? Be a great emotional influence this week?

2014 Can be a great year to take your team through an Emotional Intelligence training! For information on keynote presentations, team workshops, and one on one coaching, contact Steve at:


Steve at Game

Go Hawks!


Space Needle photo credit: