When You Help Others, They Will Help You. Including Google Reviews!

Last week, I asked a question. The question was, “are you feeling overwhelmed?” And one of the solutions I talked about was walking. The reason this works well for me is that it gives my brain some space to work and it also crosses something important off my list… exercise.

The day after my post went live, I went for a walk at the Lenexa Rec center. I’m always looking for something interesting to listen to while I walk, whether it’s a new Spotify playlist or someone talking about an important topic. I’ve mentioned Simon Sinek in past blog posts… and I stumbled on one of his speeches that I hadn’t heard before.

That link will take you to YouTube, and the video is 39 minutes long. My hope is that you can listen to this next time you are walking, on a long drive or have some downtime. I think you will find it worth your while and maybe even inspirational.

When You Help Others, They Will Help You

Helping OthersOne of the things I took away from that presentation was the real world examples he used to prove that when you help others, they will help you. He goes into a story about how the military works. How the men and women in service are willing to give their lives for each other. He explains how this happens, and it’s compelling. (Here’s a direct link to that part of his speech.)

Basic training is where this begins. Many of the people joining elite branches of the military are incredibly fit and physically capable. And at first, the goal for some is to try to finish first, to prove how good they are. They want to impress their instructors.

But the military knows that the only way for these men and women to succeed and form a bond with their fellow recruits is to put them in situations that they can’t accomplish on their own. They make obstacles too wide to cross without the help of a teammate. The recruits that aren’t willing to help others get to the finish line, so that everyone can finish, end up being excluded from the group. They learn the hard way that they’re going to succeed as a team or not at all.

This story was part of a bigger idea… paraphrasing, “We have to feel safe with the people we live with and work with. If we don’t feel safe, we’re forced to spend time and energy protecting ourselves from each other. This makes the entire organization weaker and exposes us to external danger.” And the only way we’re going to feel safe with the people we live and work with is by supporting each other through many situations. Consistently.

It really does work… Google Reviews for Blue Gurus

Leaving a Positive ReviewAs I was thinking about the idea of helping others, I realized that this happened for me recently.

Blue Gurus only had two reviews on Google… because I’d never really focused on it. I decided to send out about thirty requests to people that I trust, respect and do business with. People that I’ve known for many years. People that I have strong relationships with because we’ve helped each other through many situations.

I asked them if they would be willing to give me a Google review. The shocking and humbling result is that every person went online and gave a 5-star review for Blue Gurus. I even got apologies from some… because it took them a week to get to it. This happened right on the heels of me listening to Simon Sinek talk about how far people will go to support you, when you’ve supported them. Cool.

So next week, I’m going to share how you can ask people that you trust for a Google review. There’s no easy way to send a link that they can click on to get to the place where they can leave a review. But I figured out how to create that URL and will give you step by step instructions.

Thanks for reading! Please let me know if you end up watching Simon’s presentation, and what you think about his content.

Thankful for a Culture of Appreciation

appreciationPost written by Mic Johnson

I was cleaning out some boxes recently and came across a card that Jason gave me (along with my year-end bonus) on Friday, December 13, 2013.

I read the card and it made me smile. It was a great little pick-me-up to start my day.

I took a picture of the card and sent it to Jason and said “Look what I came across this morning. I appreciate you too, brother.”

Take a look at what he wrote.

This experience got me thinking about something that has been woven into the fabric of the Blue Gurus company culture from the beginning.


Over the years, Jason and I have done, and said, countless things showing our appreciation for one another (and our clients).

It’s something we take great pride in and do our very best to be intentional and thoughtful about it.

Sometimes it’s an email saying “Love ya, brother. Thanks for being you.”

Sometimes it’s a quick text congratulating one another on a new client.

Sometimes it’s a phone call patting each other on the back for how we were able to help a client.

Sometimes we get together over lunch and tell each other in person as we catch up on business and life.

Not only is the culture of appreciation built into the fabric of the DNA of me, Jason and Blue Gurus, but I would argue it should be built into the fabric of EVERY company.

Who doesn’t like to be told they’re appreciated?

You can’t ever really say it enough.

People need to be reminded that they matter, that their opinions are valued, that their contributions are appreciated.

I’m very thankful and proud of the fact that we’ve had this type of relationship and culture from the start.

And we’re a two-person company.

If we can do it, every company can.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post. I APPRECIATE IT.

What do you do to show appreciation for those you work with? What kind of appreciation initiatives does your company do? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Culture is Breakfast if You Want a Healthy Company

Author: Mic Johnson, talking about company culture. 

Culture eats strategy for lunch” is a well-known saying that’s been attributed to management consultant Peter Drucker.

One morning I found myself thinking about that statement and I had an epiphany of my own (I’ve been recording these moments for years and affectionately call them #micnuggets). Moments later, I shared the following on Facebook and Linkedin:

Company culture is breakfast.

Strategy is lunch.

Execution is dinner.

Success is dessert.

And none of it happens consistently if you skip breakfast.


Shortly thereafter my friend David Pietrzak, Vice President, Supply Chain & Vendor Management, with National Seating & Mobility, said:

“Had to share this one internally and up the ladder. We have had a lot of conversations about how culture beats everything. Thanks.”

Here’s what happened next:

Thanks for sharing, David. You’re awesome.

I thought how awesome it was that David took the time to share his thoughts with me. Even more awesome is how people in his company routinely talk about the importance of their organization’s culture.

Company Culture Is Breakfast

I knew I wanted to write about it.

I added the #micnugget to the “Blog Ideas” list I keep on my Google Calendar and now here I am writing about it.

By the way, this is a perfect example of how I’ve trained myself to “Think Like a Blogger“. When you think of a blog topic, write it down.

I started to reflect on my own company culture experiences.

I started to think about the company cultures I’ve been involved in throughout my career, both as an employee and as a consultant with Blue Gurus. I’ve worked in companies of all sizes and have had my own office, sat in cubicle farms and worked virtually.

I’ve always believed that a great company starts every morning with a great company culture as it’s foundation. It takes hard work and a daily commitment from leadership and staff to make it happen.

Company Culture is cool again.

Talk about company culture virtually disappeared during the recession. But now it’s cool again. We’re seeing a lot more stories about it and organizations have made it a focus again. This is happening not only because the economy is doing better and the competition for talent is fierce, but also because the largest generation of people in the workforce are Millennials.

Millennials (who saw their parents suffer in poor company cultures) care deeply about company culture and won’t stay long at a company whose culture sucks. I’m a Gen X’er, but I’ve been preaching about company culture for virtually my entire career. Unfortunately I worked at several companies who didn’t listen and Gen X was too small to move the needle (fortunately, it didn’t stop me from moving).

Thankfully, Millennials are forcing the needle to move quickly, and the smartest companies are doing something about it.

Tell me what you think.

I want to know what you think. Take another minute or two to share your thoughts (leave a comment, email me, etc.) and experiences around company culture. Do you agree with my #micnugget? What would you add? What would you change?

As always, thanks for taking the time to read this post.

And, remember….don’t skip breakfast.