Thriving Culture – A Smart and Healthy Organization

Organizations and teams can only exist in one of two states. Either they are surviving or they are THRIVING.

The paradigms of how the leadership views the organization and how the team members view the organization is critical to the success of the team. When an organization is operating from a thriving mindset, there is an abundance of creativity, innovation and all the team members are fully empowered.

This coaching begins with the leadership and then involves training and education with the entire team.

When a Thriving Culture is developed, everybody wins!



Smart Organizations are excellent in:

  • Strategy
  • Marketing
  • Finance
  • Technology

These organizations are task-oriented and focus on getting things done.


Healthy Organizations demonstrate:

  • Cohesiveness
  • Clarity of purpose, direction and communication
  • High morale
  • High productivity
  • Low turnover

These organizations are people-oriented and focus on building better people and a better team.


Championship-level performing organizations are both Smart AND Healthy.


The primary goals of the Healthy Organization program are to:
1) Empower the leadership to become a cohesive team that trusts one another and can be genuinely vulnerable with each other, hold one another accountable to commitments and behaviors, and put the collective priorities and needs of the organization ahead of their own departments or individual work.

2) Empower the leadership team to achieve clarity and to align on the organizational purpose, values, strategy, focused initiatives, roles and responsibilities. These elements will be defined clearly and concisely, such that the rest of the organization is able to accurately articulate these organizational pillars.

3) Empower the leadership team and the entire organization to establish a foundation for developing a thriving organizational culture with effective communication that is open, honest and direct.

4) Empower the leadership team to master the four dimensions of leadership – self-leadership, situational leadership, team leadership and organizational culture.



  1. Leadership team’s complete participation and support.
  2. Consistency over the course of the program – critical to get practices established.
  3. Everyone’s willingness to be coachable.



The following is a sample approach.

  1. Conduct three to five sessions with the Leadership Team in order to build a cohesive team and to achieve clarity in answering the 7 Critical Questions.
  2. Conduct the six-session Communication Program for the entire organization.
  3. Provide leadership curriculum training for leadership team.





Preparatory reading: The Advantage, by Patrick Lencioni


Section One.

Leadership Team

This section will begin the process of building a cohesive team. We will address:

  • Creating breakthroughs in performance
  • 21 habits that hold us back and commonly used defense strategies
  • 5 powerful practices of extraordinary leaders
  • Surviving vs. Thriving
  • Seven Sufficiency Questions


Section Two.

Leadership Team

This section will continue the work of building a cohesive team. We will address:

  • Trust erosion
  • Integrity
  • Mechanism of survival-based subconscious communication
  • Expectation vs agreement vs alignment
  • Who will do what by when?
  • Lost on the moon exercise
  • HBDI and identifying strengths


Section Three.

Leadership Team

This section will focus on achieving clarity in answering the 7 Critical Questions.

  • Why do we exist? Purpose
  • How do we behave? Values
  • What do we do? Description
  • Who do we serve? Customer
  • How will we succeed? Plan
  • What is most important now? Focus
  • Who must do what? Playbook



Preparatory reading: Who Will Do What By When? By Tom & Birgit Hanson


Session One

Creating the foundation for a thriving organization

We establish the foundation for creating breakthrough results, reveal the barrier of scarcity for what it is, then build the foundation for sufficiency consciousness and a thriving organization.

  • The insanity of doing more of the same
  • Defining breakthroughs
  • Circle of knowledge and the Johari Window
  • The 4 levels of coachability
  • Thriving vs. Surviving
  • 3 myths of scarcity
  • 3 truths of sufficiency
  • Creating the lists for practicing sufficiency


Session Two

Active Listening

Operating from the 5th habit of highly effective people, we first reveal why our natural tendency is to not listen, then examine the 3 levels of listening and then develop practices for active listening.

  • 5th habit of highly effective people
  • Why we don’t listen
  • 3 levels of Active Listening
  • Participation exercises for listening – colors, replication
  • Reflection & recreation – role playing exercises


Session Three

Getting the Message Across

This session is about making sure that what we have to communicate is clearly understood and is effective in moving the organization forward.

  • Cutting corners exercise
  • 8 steps to making a powerful request
  • Negotiating effectively for the win-win-win


Session Four

Who Will Do What By When?

In this session, we explore the fundamental challenge with communication – clarity. Using specific tools, we develop a method of communicating that leads to clear, effective communication where we can answer “who will do what, by when?”

  • Defining integrity
  • The integrity tools
  • Developing accountability and trust


Session Five

Converting Conflict to Opportunity

In any organization, conflict is certain to emerge, because we are all human beings. If we deal with conflict from a place of understanding and a thriving mindset, conflict can actually present new possibilities for growth and development.

  • Understanding the fundamental nature of conflict
  • How our subconscious conditioning determines our perceptions and reactions
  • The subconscious “iceberg” and all its layers
  • Creating trust – The Trust Walk
  • Powerful completion and homework assignment


Session Six

Completion and Sharing

This is the “final test” for all the participants in the communication program. Everyone will share with the rest of the participants in a sacred and safe space, the results they produced from creating trust during the previous session. Be sure to bring your tissues – there won’t be a dry eye by the time it’s over. This session is inspiring!



The program will be custom-tailored to address your leadership team’s needs and goals. Following are major components that can be used. Other elements may be included.


1st Dimension – Self-leadership

The organization is always a reflection of its leadership.  Leadership of the team begins with the leader.

  • 21 habits that get in the way
  • 5 powerful practices
  • Integrity checklist
  • Personal Mission Statement

Readings: What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, Self-Leadership and the One Minute Manager, Yes-You Can Make a Difference.


2nd Dimension – Situational Leadership

Enhancing the ability of leaders to work effectively in managing individuals

  • 3 principles of One-Minute Management
  • The 2 leadership behaviors and the 4 leadership styles
  • Situational Leadership II matrix
  • Contracting for effective results

Readings: The One Minute Manager, Putting the One Minute Manager to Work, Leadership and the One Minute Manager


3rd Dimension – Team Leadership

Leading a team is far more complex than managing individuals and requires a different level of skills

  • 4 stages of a team’s growth
  • 5 elements of high performance teams
  • 5 skills needed to build a dream team
  • 5 stages of championship performance
  • Rules for brainstorming
  • Holding effective meetings

Readings: Fish, Gung Ho


 4th Dimension – Creating a Thriving Organizational Culture

  • Surviving vs. Thriving organization
  • Paradigm, principles, indicators, motivational forces
  • Putting structures in place to reinforce a thriving culture
  • Dealing with change
  • Communicating the vision to the team – being a leader that inspires – 4 steps
  • Expanding the context of sufficiency to the entire organization
  • Organizational mission statement

Readings: Our Iceberg is Melting, Who Moved My Cheese


Time and Project Management

Becoming a master of managing one’s time is key to effective leadership

  • Rocks exercise
  • 168 hours
  • Creating visual time blocks
  • 4 quadrants of time management
  • SMAART Goals, projects, tasks and 3 MIT’s

Readings: First Things First, The Power of Less


Marketing & Sales

Creating the effective mindset and behaviors to attract and have perfect customers

  • Creating a Strategic Attraction Plan
  • Unique Core Differentiators
  • Qualified referrals
  • Hi-level professional sales process

Readings: Attracting Perfect Customers, One Minute Sales Person


Wellness and Health

Your health and the health of your team is your most important asset

  • Cost of unhealthy employees
  • Importance of health in relation to productivity and profitability
  • Priorities to master in the areas of nutrition, cardiovascular exercise, strength, rest and stress management

Readings: Evolving Health, Forks Over Knives (video)



Testimonial from Michael Pankow, Senior Vice President, Big Valley Mortgage, Roseville, CA

What were some of your challenges, issues, concerns, etc. before you started working with Coach Ruben?

Before I met Coach Ruben, my thought was, “Here we go again…another consultant.”  Well, Ruben quickly turned that concern into a “non” issue. From our first meeting, I realized that he was clearly a step above any other consultant in terms of his mastery in connecting the dots between leadership, employees, and in how to move the “knobs” in making things happen in an efficient and collaborative way.

What have been some of the most important things you have learned or discovered from working with Coach Ruben?

Coach Ruben comes to the table with a whole host of tools that have empowered us – Situational Leadership, 5 Levels of Championship Performance, using a punchlist to manage my team, understanding human psychology, health and many other tools.  From working with Coach Ruben, I have learned that through deliberately and intentionally focusing on leadership development, we can have both a Healthy and Smart organization.  Having both is truly the only way to distinguish yourself from the competition.  Because of Coach Ruben, we have both attributes in “Spades”!

What new goals and actions have you taken on based on these new perspectives?

Because of working with Coach Ruben, we have completely revamped and adopted the mindset of a Thriving Organization.  This extends to every level of management and front line employee.  Our passion for personal and professional growth empowering our employees to act more autonomously has leveraged the organization to function at higher production and operational levels not possible historically.   I believe the most significant mark Coach Ruben has made on our company is his intense passion for the strategic planning process.  This has truly been a “Game Changer” for our management team.  Simply put, his approach is thorough, easy to implement, and most importantly, generates results.

What have been some of the results so far?

To date, we look to Coach Ruben for so much… His insights, intuitiveness, and positive perspectives on leadership and employee development have greatly impacted all facets of our business.   Ruben is involved in everything from Strategic Planning to lunch-n-learns with the staff.  If I had to narrow it down to just one result, it would be Coach Ruben’s effect on the management team.  We are aligned, connected, focused, deliberate in our actions, and on the path to accomplishing our collective goals.  Coach Ruben’s humble guidance in the areas of leadership, strategic planning, employee development and personal wellness, are all attributes of his core strengths my company has, and will continue to tap into! We are all HUGE advocates of Coach Ruben!  You will not find a better consultant in the area of developing a “Winning” leadership team!