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Prepare For Impact: Crucial Steps To Sales Success And Leadership With Ryan And Chad Estis

Updated: Apr 22

Chad Estis and Ryan Estis Photo
Prepare For Impact: Crucial Steps To Sales Success And Leadership With Ryan And Chad Estis

Are you looking to separate yourself from the pack? Then you have to start preparing for impact as leadership opportunities come your way. In this first episode of Season 3 of Against the Sales Odds, Lance Tyson talks with Ryan Estis and Chad Estis about growing into their current roles along with their leadership philosophies. Ryan and Chad recently released Prepare for Impact: Driving Growth and Serving Others through the Principles of Human-Centered Leadership, where they guide us through the thirty steps that have helped them (and many others) throughout their careers. Along with these thirty steps, Ryan and Chad also have nine additional steps that help leaders show up for their teams. If you are a young business professional, a seasoned sales vet, or a leader, this is a must-listen and must-read!


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Prepare For Impact: Crucial Steps To Sales Success And Leadership With Ryan And Chad Estis

Are You Looking To Separate Yourself From The Pack?

I'm excited about this episode. I have a good partner and friend on this show, Chad Estis, the EVP of the Dallas Cowboys, and his brother Ryan Estis, who's the Founder of ImpactEleven and a keynote speaker. Guys, I'm excited you're here. I appreciate it.

Thanks for having us.

Why we're here, Chad, this is your second round of the show. You were on the very inaugural episode of this thing. This is the second time you're back. Ryan, this is your first time. I'm probably as excited about this episode as any because why we're here is you both put together a book called Prepare for Impact: Driving Growth And Serving Others Through Principles And Human-Centered Leadership. I have the book in front of me here. Thinking about your careers at this point and you both are in very different businesses, why together and why this book?

We're in different businesses but our careers have run a pretty parallel track. We both started in entry-level sales positions, struggled mightily at first, defied the odds, and began to have some success. I went first. I'm a couple of years older than Chad. When you have some success in selling, what does a company do? They promoted you into management and leadership. We had to figure out an entirely new job. That journey that we took in separate industries, but we very much took it together. There was a lot of intersection, which I'm sure we'll talk about as we get into the discussion, but that precipitated the why. Part of it too was I gave Chad a little hand at the onset of his career a little boost. That kicked off I think why we ended up working on the project.

Before we hop over to Chad, your struggles in sales. We talked a little bit early in both of our careers, what industry did you start selling in and what did you go up against right away?

I worked in advertising. It was an entry-level position. I was covering Minnesota, North and South Dakota. I literally went 9 or 10 months and hadn't made a sale. I received very little training and development. It was a couple of days at corporate. I sat through one demo with my manager and was given a list of leads and said it was good luck. I was 22 years old. I wanted to succeed, but I had no skill, no competency. I caught a break. I ended up by accident at a Jim Rohn seminar. He exposed me to ideas, insight, wisdom, and sales best practices that I hadn't previously been exposed to.

That started my learning journey. From Jim Rohn, I bought every book on tape and on professional selling that I could get my hands on. I became a student of the craft. That was the unlock for me. I started to have some success. Two or three years later, when Chad hit the same brick wall out of the gate, I was able to offer some support and counsel to get him started.

I want to quote Chad's interview from when he first came on this. He said he's working for the Cavs. He told his whole world that he was going to succeed in sales with the Cleveland Cavaliers. This is Cleveland Cavaliers, pre-LeBron blue seats. I asked him, “Where were you on the board?” He goes, “I was a solid 5, 6, or 7 on the board at one point.” What was your struggle on sales, Chad, coming off of that comment from your last interview?

I got into sales only because people suggested that was a path to get into the industry, which happens to a lot of people in sports. I didn't know what I was getting into. I had no idea if I'd be good at it or if I had the skills. I came to find out I was very uncomfortable with it. I was completely out of my comfort zone. I didn't like picking up the phone. I wasn't comfortable talking to people. I didn't think I was saying the right things. I was second-guessing myself. Quite honestly, I created some anxiety and then that led to a lack of success, which led to fear of my job, career, and the whole thing. Anybody starting out in their career can get into a quick downward spiral if it's not going well and you don't have the proper support around you.

I had nothing against the people there when I started, but back then in ticket sales and sports, it was how it went. They throw you on the phones and sink or swim. I reached out to Ryan and the story he shared with you was to my benefit, his struggles, then him finding a route and some learning and one of the 30 steps, which is self-education, which we both preach to people now in a big way. He shared his wisdom with me in the form of a written document called 30 Steps, which is the first half of the book we put together, which is a valuable guide to life, but certainly sales, early-level sales, and early-level career. It framed up some things for me. It's not the ultimate solution, but it gave me a mindset to approach my day. That was really helpful.

That's a bit of the story of why we did a book together because I thought those 30 steps were valuable. I then used them when I got into leadership with all the people I was hiring into the industry. It became, in the group of people that have worked at the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Pistons, the Lightning, the Calves, and the Cowboys and Legends, a pretty familiar document that we've often trained around. It's helped a lot of people. Certainly, that's something he gifted to me 30 years ago. The thought to put it in a book and gift it now to others was something that we thought would be pretty cool to do together.

As I know you both, and Ryan, listening to you speak and your messaging, I'm going to flip it back to you. Anytime I listen to your messaging about leadership, sales, and how you market, there's always a human factor to it. It never comes off of that. There's always that human connection inside it. Whether it's people skills or understanding people, it never comes out of the message. Chad, what I know about you as a leader, and you both alluded to it, and Ryan you have this too, is this complete candor like, “I'm human.”

I think that creates loyalty. I know that's created my connection with both of you and Chad, all the business we do together is this human-centered piece of it. Talk about that for a minute because I think you both have zero issues. I do a lot of these interviews where people posture. They do a rags-to-riches thing. You guys don't play that card. You play like, “I'm human. The people I work with are human.” As I read the book and went through it, the human was never disconnected. Ryan, talk to that a little bit about your side of the business and your view of the world.

My core philosophy is people first and humans at the center of everything you do. The second half of the book is a thesis on what we're calling Human-Centered Leadership, which is my perspective, certainly the most effective way to lead in a host pandemic, constantly changing world. Candor is part of that. We unpack nine tactics in the second half of the book that I did a good job of describing human-centered leadership.

Honestly, even from a sales perspective, you have to put the customer at the center of everything you do. From my perspective, the best salespeople in the world are simply helping customers make the best decisions. That's what we do for a living. We help people and we help them make decisions that are good for them and their business.

If you think of it that way, and then in terms of leadership, you think about your role to serve and to guide others and to help others become the best they're capable of being. It's all about the people. I know that's counter to a thesis. I'm not anti-technology, automation, machine learning, or artificial intelligence. In fact, I think those are wonderful tools that can make us more effective and efficient, but at the end of the day, I think the best leaders in the world have great connections and relationships with people.

The best leaders in the world have great connections and relationships with people.

I want to bring that a step further because I think it's interesting. With that EQ, Emotional Intelligence, I think Stephen Covey took his first three principles in The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People, I would say those last nine line up well, it's all dealing with you as a human, but first things first be proactive. Begin with the end of mind, that's all inner centered. Chad, if we flip it over to your leadership, and when I ask people and I build models out and I say, “Who knows Chad and what is he known for?” It's an immense loyalty thing. When you look at the people that work for you, they work for years, people have a lot of opportunities. Talk about your human-centered philosophy around how you lead and create that loyalty factor.

First of all, it's born out of my own experiences. A lot of our philosophies are born out of the experience we have. When I was younger in my career, I had people mentoring me and helping me. It stood out to me. Those people are willing to spend some time, show personal interest, and invest in me. How much that meant to me created loyalty. Those are the people that I admired and wanted to follow and emulate. When I got an opportunity to have my own team, one of my first thoughts was, “If I genuinely show these people I'm going to help them with things that are important to them, 1) Being successful in the job, investing time in that and 2) Their career development, which when I was young, figuring out how to navigate a career was important to me,” I thought I had something to offer and give back around that.

That became the real foundation for the philosophy. It was to spend enough time with someone to understand what their goals and objectives are to then use my resources to help guide them to those objectives. I'm talking about career objectives beyond the task of generating revenue, selling tickets, or whatever it was at the time, a couple of things would happen.

I could hire more talented people because people would want to be a part of something like that. I could develop incredible loyalty because people appreciated what I was investing back in them. It would help with the culture overall of the office, which means we'd be more successful at the goals and objectives that were set out for us. The last thing would be, which I don't know if I knew at the early stage but I certainly know now, it would be by far the most rewarding part of my career. It gave me a sense of purpose.

Generating revenue, making owners money, or achieving results in business is nice. That'll go away someday when you're not doing it anymore. You move on to something else, but the relationships and the friendships that have developed by putting that philosophy first gave me a lot of purpose and reward. It all adds up. I don't find it to be that difficult. I think it's natural. As we know, unfortunately, in business it's not as prevalent as we'd like it to be.

You work for owners as if you take the fandom out of sports. My family is from Philly. They always get agitated when I post anything about the Dallas Cowboys. I have changed colors or something. You don't know their business very well because I think of how many people have stayed there for decades and the loyalty that's created. I think you're in an environment of that. This is a weird thing I have when I read books. I always go to chapter seven. Every book I ever read, I go there. Most books have a chapter seven.

I've done this before. I give these value cards out and I have people do a deduction exercise and there are about 35 values. For about 10 minutes, I stress a group and they have to eliminate with these cards and these definitions what their values, who they are, and not who they want to be. Every time I do it for myself, I land on legacy. Leave a legacy. I open up to your chapter seven, Leaving A Legacy.

I'm curious since you and I are probably almost the same age, I'm going to ask you first, Ryan. I have three brothers. I had a hard relationship with one of my brothers and your brother challenged me to fix it. I did and he got at me. I have three brothers. We're in very different spots and we have very different philosophies. It doesn't come by accident that you guys are on the same page with certain things and eerily have philosophies that came from somewhere. Ryan, speak to that.

The truth is we went on this journey together. Chad and I had an inflection point when we grew up. We shared a bedroom. We didn't get along great. We unpacked some of this in the book, but we ended up at the same college together and became friends. Ultimately, when I left and moved on with my career when he reached out for support, I dropped everything. I said, “I got you.

I got through my first year where I was struggling and thought I was going to get fired and I know what you need to do. The truth is, when I sat down to offer support to Chad, I never thought beyond that. I was just trying to help my brother. The fact that these ideas came through to support him and he thought enough of them to take him and use him throughout his career ultimately became the foundation of the book. We've made a commitment to support each other.

Since we graduated from college, we've never lived in the same city, but we've remained incredibly close. If I ever needed anything or I was struggling, he'd be my first phone call and I hope I'd be his. We went on these parallel career tracks. We were both sales guys, who got promoted into management, different industries, but we constantly were talking about what worked, and what didn't, and ultimately I think we got to a place where it was fun to put that leadership philosophy together.

It's necessary. Employee satisfaction is plummeting. It's worse today than it was in the pandemic. Many people are overwhelmed, burned out, stressed, and unhappy in their jobs. People talked about The Great Resignation and the pandemic. I said, “That's a leadership crisis. That's the problem.” The second half of the book integrates our shared philosophy to solve for that.

The great resignation in the pandemic is a leadership crisis.

I'm curious. I never asked either of you this, but now you made me think of it. There's something that you both were taught by somebody. I got to meet your mom. Ryan, you posted some pictures on Facebook that you were back home in Aurora. I saw that. There was something you guys were taught by the time you got to middle school that you just got to share it. I need to know who was it, what was it, and what was the lesson. I'm not a psychologist by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm curious because you don't get on parallel success paths like this without an underlying foundation somewhere. Go Ryan and I'll come back to Chad because something wrote this book and it's deep.

If it was something all the way back then, it was very high expectations were placed on us. Our parents were school teachers. They didn't know a thing about business. Neither did we until we got into it.

It is interesting. When I heard both your parents were school teachers, I was like, “Something went on there,” so expectations.

In terms of the expectation, the bar kept moving up. In some ways, you could never meet or fulfill them. At times, that was hard. Growing up in our house wasn't easy. Our father was hard on both of us, but there probably is something about what you talked about. You had something to prove and you could never quite get to that place of acceptance. That instilled a drive in both of us that was pretty relentless.

You can feel that in the book. I read it from end to end. The expectations of self are there, “I expect more from you and the people we work with.” It's the underlying principle, but you can feel it moves from principle to principle.

The other thing around that is as much as I love Chad and he's my brother and I do everything for him, there's a competitive energy between us too. I don't think he was content with watching me go off and have some successful business career when he sat over there and struggled. in his mind, “If he could figure it out, I could figure it out.” There was something about that with both of us. We celebrate the hell out of each other, root for each other, and support each other, but there's also a little bit of competitive sibling energy there that is healthy in that way.

Expectations and competitiveness. Chad, talk to that question.

Our dad was part of that. I had to put it in a quick story. I remember I became the VP of sales at the Cavs. I called my parents to tell them. My dad's first comment was, “What's the step above that?” I said, “I'm reporting to the president.” He goes, “How do you become that?” It was a congrats first or I mean it could be that aggressive and biting. There's no doubt we talked about this at Christmas after a bunch of wine, the pros and cons of father that you could never appease. There's something there. There's always feeling like you have to prove yourself. It is an energy that can lead to some success. That's there.

When I think about our mom and her dedication to giving, being a teacher, education, and watching that from a front-row seat gives me a desire. In some ways, we're both teachers in a certain way. Ryan is doing it on a big stage. I'm doing it a little more one-on-one with people that work for me. You're trying to help people grow. Being around what I think is one of the greatest teachers that I have ever seen, which is our mom, Phyllis has to have something to do with a little bit of the desire to give back and be a teacher in some form.

Maybe a little combo of both then I'll second Ryan's comments about competition. We wrote about it in the book a little bit. It's interesting how naive we were in our twenties. With the internet, anybody can look some stuff up and have a lot more information about what's going on in the world. I laughed because this is a true story. I had a Master's degree graduating from college. Someone said, “Do you want to work in business?” At that point, it was the sports business. If someone had then said what does that mean and what do people do when they go into that office building, I would have been in trouble.

I didn't understand the functions of business. I thought I wanted to put a suit on, have a briefcase, and walk into an office building. Unfortunately, college, and we could talk about curriculum, it didn't get you much further. To then be in the world growing up in a medium-income to public teacher household and not traveling much. I mean we didn't get out of Ohio much at all and you didn't know what was going on. We'd drive around to another town and see some big houses and I'd be like, “I wonder what those people do.” We were very naive but with a competitive desire to figure it out. That is a big part of it.

There's no doubt. I even think back to when Ryan, I first met you, I remember the office I was sitting in and you peppered me with questions. You were going to figure out that business like you were ready to go. I think about that preparedness. As much in people as I interview and inside sports, outside sports speakers, and things like that, I've never taken from either of you an unrealistic expectation with a raising of expectations.

I can't speak to anybody's pressure they put on themselves. Dr. Seuss said, “You'll play lonely games to games you can't win because they'll be against you.” I can't speak to that. I don't like to let myself down very often. That's a different game. I don't think when people listen to either of you, it's unrealistic. I go back to that legacy thing. Chad, I'm going to start with you and Ryan coming to you and I want to tie this back to the book. What is your core leadership philosophy? Without quoting the book at this point, I have a reason I want to do it this way. What's that core leadership philosophy in two sentences for yourself?

I want to serve the people that are on my team. I want to help them achieve their goals, objectives, and dreams.

That requires you to get to know people. You have to spend too much time.

You cannot have surface relationships with people and accomplish that. Obviously, this is written in the book, but I'm a big believer that a significant percentage of your time should be spent talking to your people about those things. That's part of the job. Some of the demands that we place on leaders of work product take them far away from that.

Against The Sales Odds | Chad Estis | Prepare For Impact
Prepare For Impact: As a leader, a significant percentage of your time should be spent talking to your people.

The last thing they're doing is spending time with their people. If you have it set up right and you have to be in an organization that can support that, I am here with the Jones family and the way they've set this up, but I'm in a position where I can spend a significant amount of time with my people on understanding what their issues are, what they're dealing with, and how they can best achieve what they're trying to do both personally and professionally. I wouldn't want to do it any other way than to develop personal relationships with the people on my team to the extent that they're willing and interested in that as well.

Don't shortchange yourself there. I don't think you behave any differently than you did when you were running the Cavs. I don't see a difference there. You always spend time with people.

I'll tell you one thing. I don't think I'd worked very long at a place that had such demands on me and I did not have the ability to do that. That's probably became, at some point, a principled aspect of how I want to operate. By the way, there have been times when I've had very tough demands on my time. I've often said, “If you want to do it this way, then be prepared to have early morning coffees, use your lunches with people, and meet people after work.” Some of this stuff can happen on the off hours. If you're that committed to that, then you're willing to do that. That's something I've always done.

You're the person who taught me, “How many people are going to be at your funeral? That's the key to success.” That's that piece. Ryan, how about you?

Leadership philosophy in 1 or 2 sentences. We have an operating principle at ImpactEleven. It's leave it better than you found it. It's one of my favorites. For me, it applies to people. If you could sum up a philosophy, leave people better than you found them. That's part and parcel of human-centered leadership. People are going to invest their time and talent with you. Hopefully, they become more of who they're capable of being.

Against The Sales Odds | Chad Estis | Prepare For Impact
Prepare For Impact: Leave people better than you found them.

It is that investment. I echo Chad's sentiment about time. I was reading this statistic that over 70% of managers and leaders identify with being burned out. When I've talked to teams or management teams about human-centered investment that takes, the pushback I immediately get is why I don't have time for that. That's a real thing. That's not realistic in my world. I wouldn't have time to do that one.

You got done hearing Chad say something I agree with, but that's the job. When you look at where we are nowadays in terms of engagement, employee satisfaction, and quit rates, I mean leaders have to orient themselves toward that investment of time. Some of it is leadership development. Not every job is leadership job structured the right way. Not every leader is oriented or developed. That might come naturally to Chad, but it doesn't for everybody. Certainly, the candor part that you mentioned earlier doesn't come naturally for most people. It's something that you have to cultivate.

People don't air to constructive tension. They air to some level of backing off. They don't like the Candor at all. The other thing is what you said about taking time with people, that's a heavy investment. If you want to understand what motivates people, you have to spend a lot of time with them. That's not urgent but important. Most people are caught up in deadlines. You got to see your job for what it is. It's to get results and develop people or develop people and get results. It's literally both.

I'm going to bring this back and Ryan, let's start with you here. When you look at these 31 principles, what's the hardest one? There's a human theme to it. If you had to pick one that says, “I think this is hard,” or maybe it's a combination of a couple of “This one's hard. This takes a lot of time. This takes blueprinting. This does not come naturally,” what is it? If you need time to think about that, Chad, flip it over.

My answer is the combo. I'm glad you gave me room for that because it's the balancing of the effort that's required to get results and the education that's required to continue to stay relevant, develop yourself, and advance your skill and competency. Balancing those two things, putting forth the energy, effort, and commitment that's required to drive a real result, but also to continue learning, growing, and advancing.

The world is changing so fast. if you're not investing in yourself, you're going to fall behind. I think balancing those two things, given the demands that we're under and the pressure of life. That's why you see people burned out, exhausted, and overwhelmed. I'm going to ask people, “You got to invest five hours a week and continued growth and self-development.” That seems like a lot and it's a challenge, but managing that challenge is ultimately what's required.

If you're not investing in yourself today, you're going to fall behind.

I think so much information comes easily to people. They don't know the difference between learning something and training it, teaching yourself a skill, and dealing with that. I would say the way you even talk about that balance of getting a result, most people struggle with even the process of how to plan. They plan differently every single time. they don't blueprint and have that vision. Chad, how about you?

I won't point to one because of the 30 steps, some are overarching life type of things. Some are focused on skills and focal points. What I like to think about them is once you read them and adjust them the first time, then it's a document that would be good to go back to occasionally, once a quarter, maybe once a month. You don't have to read through them all. You could go down the list of the 30 steps and you do a self-check. Your own mind will tell yourself, “I haven't been doing much of that. I need to do better at this. I haven't sent any notes out, follow-up notes, or follow-through. I've been practicing my pitch enough. I haven't been working out enough. I started a relationship with a mentor but dropped off, maybe I should pick that back up.”

Your own motivated self is going to say, “I need to focus on a few of these things a little more.” That's it. It's a great overall all-encompassing like, “How am I approaching my work life?” That's the tool. If you're struggling, it can get you back on track. It can give you some things that immediately can put into play that help you start to approach your day differently.

Back when I was struggling, effort wasn't a problem. My skillset was a real problem. The step of self-education to learn the skills more and practice them, and then approaching the day a little differently became mentally a much better approach for me. It can turn around the struggle a little bit or if you're not struggling, if you're feeling very confident and having success, it can help you decide, “Do I have a few holes in my game that I need to brush up on?” That's what I think is a great self-check. That can be used for the longest time. Individually, they can be different for different people.

There's no doubt like chapter six and this is where I took most of the notes. Nine Tactics on being a more human-centered leader, which is a subtitle of the book. You guys are quoted saying that 20% of employees that their leader takes an active role in helping them develop their full potential. There's a culture of learning. Two-thirds of employees believe their management doesn't care about them at a personal level, then there's a theme and I have circles meet people where they are.

If I heard what both of you said, like Ryan and especially the burnout, and Chad you brought it up, if you're focused on getting a result and you don't see your people are there to get your result because you're going to work through them to get a result. If you only drive the result, you lose the people. It takes so much time to understand where they have to go. I think that whole middle piece that we keep referring to, and Ryan you said those last nine principles too, that's where you got to dive in. That's where what stood out to me is where the legacy comes out. You build the legacy through the people, not through yourself. It goes back to how many people are going to come. How many people are you going to have?

I talked about this, but I like to talk about it. The things that prevent you from being a human-centered leader are ego and low self-esteem. I would tend to think we're talking about the whole funeral analogy. People who have high egos and low self-esteem probably have fewer people showing up for them. I think you pointed out a couple of things. If you get to know people personally and you invest in the things that are important to them and they genuinely believe you have their best interests at heart, that gets the best result, in my opinion.

I feel like I've seen that plague right out in front of my eyes. By the way, it allows you to hire a more talented team because work gets out. People are like, “You know what, that's a good place to work. The culture's good, they're developing talent, encouraging people to grow their careers, whether it's in the company or out.” Once that becomes a known thing, you have people swarming to join the team. You have your pick. It all comes full circle. We see a lot of people with high ego and low self-esteem. Let those things interfere with everything that we're talking about.

It's a mirror as opposed to a window. As what you're saying, I'm looking out the window. You got to look and see the people and not see yourself. Ryan, go ahead.

When he gets into this idea of ego and low self-esteem, being an effective leader requires some measure of self-awareness. Doing some real internal self-inspection, holding the mirror up to yourself, and understanding where your ego, fear, protectionism, low self-esteem, or lack of confidence get in the way. Two of the principles in chapter six are vulnerability in creating psychological safety. You can't.

That starts with you. Leaders have to go first. You're not going to create safety with a leader who's not vulnerable, open, honest, and whom you can trust. Some of that starts inside of the manager or leader. I always say a great leader would be improving their confidence and their humility simultaneously. If you're doing that, you can get your ego and low self-esteem out of the way because it isn't about you. It's about helping other people become the best they're capable of being. That's leadership.

The things that prevent you from being a human-centered leader are ego and low self-esteem.

There's no doubt. It's that Greek mirror or ethos, pathos logo. You need to know what that is in yourself. I would sum this up and I'd like some final thoughts from both of you because I looked at the book and the things you're asking to do. I don't think they go as far as common sense because the combination that you put in these principles is a pathway.

Chad, you've always taught me about pathways. You've taught about launching and celebrating things. That's all critical. That's having a vision. Ryan, what you've done for me is you got to have that vision for yourself first. If you don't know where you're going and what you are all about. As you said, in order to have humility, candor, and vulnerability, you have to be okay, but then if you flip back to what you've been saying, Chad, you also have to have that much of a connection with people that you can show your vulnerability.

What I think about a lot of times is this motivation that you're talking about. In the word motivation, moti means from within. That's what it means. It's not outward, it's inward, and you never can motivate people if you can only understand it. The key with these principles, and this has been a blueprint for every successful company that I know you've been involved with, Chad since I have my original copy that you launched at the Cowboys. I have my binder downstairs, I saw it with a low black binder, then Ryan, everything I know that you've talked about, and then the connection here. Final thoughts. What is the biggest thing or message you'd like to send about this book as we send you both on your way? What's that message?

My perspective, when I was trying to figure things out and Ryan sent me the 30 steps, and that helped get me guided in a good direction, then I started reading books about sales and that helped me. Certainly, you've taught me more about sales than anybody. There's this constant learning, then there were books that influenced my approach to leadership. I didn't know what leader I would be or what the right approach was. I was experiencing leadership from other people. Frank Pacetta wrote Don't Fire Them, Fire Them Up with his quotes on the front of the book. It was a heavily influential moment for me when I read his book. It was all these learnings that helped mold how I wanted to be when I showed up in the office to get the result I wanted. Meaning the result of having it be a great place to show up every day.

I'm a firm believer that if you're going to spend 8 to 10 hours in a place around a bunch of people, that should be good, basic, and simple. Let's pair it right down to that. It'd be nice if that was a place where you felt comfortable and safe. You were around people you enjoy. You accomplished and celebrated goals and objectives together, where you were rewarded, and all those things. It can be phenomenal. It can be fun. I hope that the book is in the hands of some people who are trying to navigate those things, whether it's sales or leadership, they're self-educating. They've decided to invest their time in a book.

This gives them some thought about an approach that can be rewarding if implemented. That would be what I think. By the way, there's a brotherhood aspect to it. When I signed up to do the book with Ryan, I said, “There's one thing that we're going to make sure we do if we do this together. We're going to have fun doing it,” which we did and we are right now. It all goes hand in hand with my approach.

I love that. Ryan?

Final thought. We talked about the 30 steps and the 9 tactics of human-centered leadership. The last thing on the inside jacket is one book to make work better. I hope that's what the book does. I hope it's a tool that sellers, leaders, and managers can take and make the world of work a better place because it captures such a lion's share of our time, mind space, and heart space. It needs to change. It needs to improve.

You got an early reader testimonial or piece of feedback. A guy sent me an email who had the book and he said, “I had finished your book over the holiday break. I want you to know we're going to start using the 30 steps. Our new leadership philosophy is human-centered and we're going to start training on the nine tactics. Thank you.” That's my hope. I hope that people who get the book read it, get some ideas they can use, and everybody gets a little bit better.

Prepare for Impact: Driving Growth And Serving Others Through Principles And Human-Centered Leadership provides a pathway and guideposts to get there. Gentlemen, I appreciate you being on. Ryan, where can people get the book?

Everywhere books are sold. It's on Amazon and the website for the book is

Ryan, how can people get in touch with you? is the best way.

Chad, can people connect with you on LinkedIn?


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About Chad Estis

Chad Estis serves as the Executive Vice President of Business Operations for the Dallas Cowboys and AT&T Stadium and Executive Vice President for Legends, a global premium experiences company that specializes in delivering holistic solutions for sports and entertainment organizations and venues. Though he’s had much success growing teams’ bottom lines, the largest impact of Chad’s career has been on his people.

About Ryan Estis

Ryan Estis is a globally recognized sales and leadership expert, keynote speaker, and co-founder of ImpactEleven, a hyper-growth startup community of thought leaders. A former Fortune 500 Chief Revenue Officer, Ryan has spent his career in the trenches, leading high-performance teams and building a client roster of category-leading brands.


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