Kofi: 00:00 On this episode, we have Kyle DeFur, president of TrueU, you if you want to know the three things that made us successful professional switch careers, 25 years in, you need to check out this episode. [inaudible] 

Adam: 00:20 welcome back to another episode of these Skill Up Buildup Podcast powered by the Morales Group. I'm your host, Adam Scholtes with 

Kofi Darku. 

Awesome. We're excited today. We have Kyle DeFur, uh, president of TrueU. Kyle, welcome. 

Kyle: Thank you. It's great to be here. 

Adam: We want to just jump right in. Can you give us a little bit about your bio and kind of how, what you're, what path you took to get to TrueU? 

Kyle: 00:41 Sure. Yeah. So, uh, an interesting and unique, uh, bio background I think in terms of, I took a big twist and big turn in my career and I was in hospital administration healthcare for 25 plus years and really enjoyed it, loved it. And, uh, but about five years ago, I made a decision to transition from my healthcare career and to join this brand new organization, which is starting up, called TrueU and probably a year, year and a half prior to that, that move, I had a restlessness that I referred to. It was a somewhat, call it midlife crisis. I don't know. I, it was really, I'm thinking about, I've been doing this 25 years. I've been very blessed and thankful for the opportunities I've been given an healthcare. And I started asking the question, if I wasn't doing this, what would I do? And, um, and so I started asking those questions around what is it that I'm passionate about? What is it that gives me energy? What is it that I'm good at or that I feel like is my sweet spot and the work that I do? What is it that's, that's wrong in the world that I want to be a part of making right? Uh, what moves me? You know, all those, all those key questions that you ask when you're wanting to connect with your purpose and your life's work. And so I went through that process and I really landed on, I have a passion for building healthy cultures in organizations. I enjoy doing that. I, I have a passion around mentoring others, young leaders, uh, and then, and then connecting purpose to work. And those are really the three things I landed on that I said, you know what, this, any work that I do that would envelop those three things I'd want to be a part of. And I had the opportunity to do that and in my healthcare career. But it was, it was really taking a step back 

and saying, what if I could find something that was exclusively that? And so began praying about that and talk to my wife about it. And, and I brought a couple people into confidence and one of those people was Ray Hilbert and Ray is a CEO of [truth of work] here in Indianapolis. And I've known Ray for many, many years and I had a breakfast meeting with him one day and I said, Ray, this is what's going on, you know, and I shared that journey with him and he said, you know, Kyle, if he said, I don't know a lot about this new organization that I've heard about that Defenders is involved in getting up and going, but what I've heard them say about it and what you just told me, there's a lot of overlap there, and you probably would benefit from, and they would benefit from sitting down and talking to them. 

Adam: 03:17 At this point had you heard of True U? 

Kyle: I had not, I knew nothing about it. 

Adam: You had not either, Okay. 

Kofi: So you just knew that there was a, there are these three core things and I love how you articulated them, building healthy organizations, mentoring, and connecting work with purpose. Those were the things that you would like to spend more time doing. And that was pretty much that you're like, I'm ready to put my current career on pause to do more of these things. And he just happened to share this with this individual and he saw the overlap. 

Kyle: 03:42 Yeah, I was just, I knew I was on the search journey and, and uh, and, and shared with him, this is where my head's at, this is what I'm thinking about, and he had heard about the Defenders with, they were working to develop this new organization, a separate organization, but a nonprofit. He said, you know, you ought to at least get together and meet with them. So he was the one who made that connection. Uh, it's, uh, really a matter of a few weeks later, uh, I met with Mike Lance, who was a chief learning officer defenders at the time. It was really, um, putting the specifics together around the development of TrueU Dave Lindsay, the founder of Defenders, was the visionary of, of TrueU. And Dave and Mike came alongside and Mike and Dave, uh, decided together to put this together and it might became kind of the detail person uh the execution person. And I met with Mike and I remember walking away from that lunch meeting and you gotta be kidding me. This would be so awesome. So cool to be a part of those, you know? But they really- at that time. We're just kicking off and they weren't at a 

point to bring in a president of the organization. And, uh, but said, let's keep in contact, let's keep in touch. Um, and so we did over the next number of months. 

Adam: 04:50 Quick follow up question. So 25 years in the healthcare industry, all at the same organization? 

Kyle: No, I was with a three of an organization. 

Adam: Three different organizations. Okay. I thought it was with one different one organization. I was like, somebody who's with a company for 25 years, probably values stability. Right. And, and, and, and I know he's the word routine, but you're comfortable. Right. And in terms of what you do day in, day out, and to then jump out to go into the, to hear somebody say, Hey, there's this new nonprofit, which is completely the other side, and you're excited. I'll be vulnerable. I'd be so scared. So scared. So that's, that's fantastic. I love that. That you had the, the, the excitement there to, to go out. It's fantastic. 

Kofi: So you've, you had significant experience at Saint Vincent, correct? 

Kyle: Yes. 

Kofi: Um, was that, uh, your health care job that you had the longest time with? 

Kyle: 05:41 So I had been with saint visit for a number of years, so I was, I was at Saint John's health system in Anderson, Indiana. Uh, in 1994 I started with them. And then in 2003, Saint John's was purchased by Saint Vincent. 

Kofi: Okay. 

Kyle: And so in 2003, Saint Johns, we came part of Saint Vincent and, and in fact today, Saint Johns is referred to as Saint Vincent Anderson. They changed their name a few years ago and, but I was chief operating officer at the hospital at the time when we became part of Saint Vincent. And then the CEO, Jerry Bryant, retired just a few months after the acquisition in 2003. And then I became the president at Saint Vincent Anderson. From 2003 to 2007. And then in 2007, I became president of Saint Vincent Indianapolis Hospital. So same system, but a different hospital and a transition in 2007 To St. it's Indianapolis was there for seven years, almost seven years as president. 

Kofi: 06:36 I mean I love that you explained you were a teeth, uh, operating officer, then president, then president. So with that high level of leadership, you're in charge of a lot, but then I'm sure you had a other departments where people did things for you. Can you describe what your basic role was? Especially as president at Saint Vincent? 

Kyle: 06:55 Yeah so as President of St. Vincent Indianapolis hospital, You are responsible for the operations of all the hospitals. And there was four hospitals that were underneath, Payton Manning children's hospital, and Saint Vincent women's Hospital, Seton specialty hospital, all those were under the auspices of Saint Vincent, Indianapolis hospital. So yeah, we had 5500, employees and we had 1600 doctors and it was a very, very large organization. And so my role and it can had a senior team, really world class top notch, uh, nursing executives and physician executives and marketing leaders and you know, just to the whole team operational folks that were top, uh, top performers and in many ways. And so my role is at president of Saint Vincent Indianapolis Hospital is really working with that team and also working in the medical staff and medical staff leadership to, to, to continue on as a, as a fantastic hospital and health system. Uh, the, the St Vincent Indianapolis, has been for over a hundred years. And so I was just tell the story cause it's, it's, it was funny to me, there was a sister that had been part of, um, Saint Vincent being a Catholic system. There'd been a sister who'd been, uh, actually the president back in the late 1970s and early eighties, in every president that followed her, uh, she would, you know, give them a call or come to their, all of a sudden say, you know, you understand the long history of excellence here at Saint Vincent and, and a lot of a lot of blood, sweat and tears have gone into the success of this organization. And then she would pause and she would say, don't screw it up. And she would laugh, you know, and we would laugh. But she, she would always give you that. But, you know, it was, it was going into that role as president of St. Vincent Indianapolis hospital understanding that the reputation of the organization and, uh, the excellence that had been there really was built upon, um, excellent physicians and staff and the leaders and the sisters for many, many years. And your role was to continue to build upon that. And it was really a, it a gift I always felt was very blessed that I had the opportunity to serve, you know, in that way with Saint Vincent Indianapolis, but to continue to build and grow upon the great work that had been done. Uh, so that when I left to hands and we continue to grow and develop. 

Adam: So you're, so you're, um, you mentioned 5,500 employees, 1600 doctors, you know, they're just massive organization that you're 

helping lead and you're going through this reflection period, if I can call it that, and trying to understand what the next role is. And, and you're, you guys are staying in touch with TrueU, Cause they're kind of, they're kind of getting going, let's fast forward a little bit. You make, you make the decision to go to a team of… 

Kyle: 10:04 Four. I was the fourth employee. 

Adam: Fourth Employee. 

Kofi: That's a tight funnel had were very broad too…. 

Adam: Can you, can you share some insight as to maybe some challenges or kind of where your mind was that and going from, you know, the, the, the, the large organization to the team of four and what that looks like because for multiple years, again, you know, you're, you're in this space that you're, you're comfortable in and now your world's turned upside down. Can you share that with…? 

Kyle: 10:48 Huge. It was a huge transition for me and I knew that it would be, um, and because it required me to work very differently than I had in, in, in, in the past. And so as I said, you know, at Saint Vincent, head pf senior team of 11 other people that were, um, I hadn't, I say worldclass I don't say that lightly. I mean these were, these were subject matter experts, um, and they were fantastic to work with. And so as a president organization like that, your, your, your role really becomes engaging with those subject matter experts, understanding here's our initiatives as an organization and they're the ones who then take the ball and run with it and their teams, you know, and 

Adam: 30,000. 

Kyle: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And so going to a small nonprofit startup where you're the fourth employee, uh, and I remember, um, it just, just being aware that you don't have those, those resources around you. 

Kofi: 11:43 Right. 

Kyle: It's, it's funny, even today it's, people will come to me and say, oh, I bet it was such a relief not to have all that stress, you know, I mean, president of such a big organization be able to, to go to, you know, it's a TrueU. And I remember and I was kind of 

kind of grin and laugh to myself thinking this was stressful too, pal. And I knew what they mean. You know, the hospitals 24, seven and, and all the complexities of an organization, life and death kind of stuff. But, uh, working, um, and rolling up your sleeves and, and, um, I remember one Friday afternoon, I'd been there a couple months and I'm sitting in my cubicle, you know, and, and, and I was working on some, I don’t know, some process policy kind of thing and my cubicle's a Friday afternoon, it's like 5:30 and I finish writing this and I stopped and I reread it back to myself and I think that's not very good, you know, and before I would have turned that over to somebody else who had done it, who was really good at it, you know, and, and it just, it, it brought to light, you know, um, that we all have different skills and the importance of having subject matter experts, you know, and working together with them and, and, and you may be really well suited for one particular task, but maybe not another. And so, uh, the business development was another piece that I really jumped into with both feet and I hadn't done before. And, you know, educating people about TrueU and what it was and how it works and thinking at all because of this, it'll be fine. You know, I'll be like, I'll be able to get you after about six months, I'm thinking of, I'm not very good at this, you know, and I got a, I got to coach, you know, I think I need, I need to get a coach. 

Adam: Sure, sure. 

Kyle: And so I reached out to CJ McClanahan who was a wonderful resource and, and it really helped me, you know, um, just understanding the sales process and this is the process because I hadn't done that before… 

Adam: 13:28 because in your mind, you're probably thinking, I, I've, I've contacts, I've been here in Indianapolis, I know this should be, just get a meeting at lunch. We're good. Yeah, 

Kyle: 13:36 yeah. But there's, there's a, uh, a very defined process and identifying what people's needs are and when their pain is and how you transition and make sure the process doesn't get drug out and all those, those things that are important to, to doing a good job of representing your organization and how you can help meet their needs. Um, so yeah, it was, it was a challenging, challenging, there was a real challenges in that process, but it was all part of my growth too. And so it was, uh, it was stimulating and difficult at the same time. 

Kofi: 14:04 Well, coming from a workforce development background and based on your experience, I was curious if you could help us 

understand from your perspective, how can a company build a culture that employees want to be a part of? 

Kyle: 14:17 Yeah, that's, uh, that's really an interesting question and one that, um, you know, when you think of organizational culture and it's, it's, it's kind of a buzzword today. There's a lot of talk about it, you know, and so what is, what is culture, and the word… There's a definition that I like for culture is the way things work around here. You know, the way things work around here is the culture. So every organization has a culture. Uh, it's just trying to articulate and define the way that things work around here. And then you look at that once you define it and say, well, how do we want to change this? How do we want it to feel differently? You know? And, and, um, I think that, uh, it's, it's important to be very clear about, what are the values in the organization. How do you want the organization to function and you want it to work? And then you can identify what are the kinds of people that we want? What kind of people can be successful in this organization? What kind of attributes do they have? And so you identify the values, your organization, then you can say, what are the kinds of values we're looking for people who will be a good fit in this organization. So I think it really starts with, uh, being real clear about what are our values? What is our mission, uh, and then what kinds of people, what attributes are we looking for to come and join our organization that will be a good fit and make and bringing these core values and bringing this mission to life. 

Adam: 15:43 Is this stuff that you're seeing in your working TrueU specifically and what TrueU does to help help companies build those cultures? 

Kyle: 15:52 Yeah, so, True U, our tagline is great companies make their people better, and the companies that joined TrueU, they want to hear their employees say I'm a better person because I work in this company. And so the companies that are part of TrueU want to be profitable, they want to be growing companies. Additionally, they also want a legacy of their business is that they want their people to be growing personally as well as professionally. And they went to people to feel like they're a better person because they've worked within their organization, within their company. And so the question then for the, the company that we're, that that mindset resonates with them, How do we do this? How to, how do we create a culture where people want to work, where people want to grow and TrueU is a learning community of companies who embrace this philosophy and then they come and they share their best practices, the way they approach growing their people in 

growing their culture with others. Um, we say when you join TrueU, you come as a teacher and you come as a student. So you're, you're vulnerable in here. You're sharing your teaching. You know, this is how we think about our people is the kinds of things that we do to form the, our desired culture. And then you also come as a student, meaning that you have the humility to realize, you know what? I can learn a lot from these others. I'm going to show up at these meetings. I'm going to learn from these other folks. So we really are a learning community of companies who embrace this philosophy. Not only do they want to be profitable and they want to be growing, they also want, as a legacy of their business, that they want their people to be growing personally as well as, as well as professionally. And they believe that's good for their business as well. That if you grow your people and your people who are growing, you create this culture where people grilling, uh, that's fantastic for your business. 

Adam: 17:30 What trends have you seen with companies that are coming into a TrueU around training and Skilling up the workforce? Is there a, is there a, is there a baseline a need that, that you're seeing or is it kind of all over the board? 

Kyle: 17:46 You know, I think that that, um, some of the trends that we're seeing from our companies that joined are you, is there sharing their experiences with things that they're doing to grow their culture and grow their people within their organizations, You know, one of the things is there's, there's a real understanding amongst the CEOs and the business owners, the presence of these organizations that their health, good or bad, cascades within the organization. You know, their personal health, their, their, um, relational health, their financial health, all these different things that cascade within an organization. Um, there's also, um, you know, there's a number of our companies that are talking about; our CEOs that are talking about join me, join me on this journey. I'm growing, I'm learning. And that can have great value to the workforce, is wanting to grow and to skill up, right is when the CEO stands in front of them, says, let me tell you what I'm working on.This is why I'm wanting to get better. This is how I'm wanting to grow. And I invite you to join me in this journey. Join me in this journey. Drew Smith at American specialty insurance up in Fort Wayne, they’re a TrueU member. And he has embraced that in a big way. And he's, you know, I was talking to him recently and he said, I'm just, I'm, I'm, I'm enjoying being vulnerable. We'd say, this is what I'm working on. This is what I'm wanting you to grow in. Um, and I invite you to join me in your own journeys. You know, growing and 

developing a, it's about personal growth. It's about professional growth. You really can't separate those two. 

Kofi: 19:18 What was lacking in the market that either you saw or you believe that pushed the creation of TrueU? 

Kyle: 19:24 Yeah. So Dave Lindsay, uh, who had the original vision for TrueU really based upon your own experience. Uh, and Defenders and Defenders as a company. Uh, they, uh, are, uh, an ADT dealer, the home security system, uh, they're a dealer for them, um, but they, um, have grown over the last 18 years from, you know Dave started this business out of his house and today they install between 15 to 20,000 home security systems per month. So they have 140 plus offices around the country. And really in Dave's reflection upon this unbelievable growth is phenomenal growth within his organization. He really believed that as his people grew personally as well as professionally, his business grew; and they have a saying within Defenders is that businesses don't grow. People do. And their secret sauce within their company, they say, you know, are we grow our people faster than our competitors do. Right. And they're all about growing their people, not just professionally but professionally, certainly, but also personally and giving them the tools and resources to grow and to develop them, and the belief is that, you know, if, if you have some facet of your life that isn't moving in the right direction, let's say financially, financially or upside down, you've creditors calling you, you can't pay your bills. Um, what that does to your ability to focus at work is significant. And you may have that employee may have 30% of their focus at work cause they're worrying about the dynamics with their spouse or their family or having to pay this bill. And, but it's also true financially, but it's also true physically. It's also true relationally, spiritually and all these different facets of our lives. And if as an employer, if you can say, you know what, I care about your growth and development and I want to provide tools and resources to help you to grow personally as well as professionally, give you experiences and opportunities to grow personally as well as professionally.That's great for the employee, but it's also great for your business as well. It's, and I want to make an important point here. Um, people are not a means to an end. People are a means unto themselves. And as a leader, as a business owner, if you're looking at your people and saying, I want to help them to grow because I'll be able to make more money and my company will do better because of that, your people will see through that. They will feel as if they're a means to an end and that you genuinely don't care about them as a person. You're only doing this so that there's some benefit for you. Now, I also want to say that making money is good. 

Being profitable as good. The more money, the better, right argument from this, right? The more money, the better bet. But the truth is, and this is where it gets to the heart of the leader where we have to, we'd have to do our own gut checks, right? Let's care about our people because we care about our people, right there are means unto themselves, are created in God's image. They have great value. Let's invest in them. Let's help them to grow, and develop and be all that they were intended to be. And what a wonderful legacy that is for our company to have that. The truth is if you do that right and you do it well, uh, watch your business take off and it will, but don't do it for that reason. Right. 

Adam: 22:45 Yeah. I'm going to jump back to something you said. Um, the gentleman in Fort Wayne, I forget… 

Kyle: Drew Smith, 

Adam: Drew Smith. You said, he's, he's being vulnerable and going out to his team and saying, here's what I'm working on because I'm not good in these areas. Then you mentioned as well, you know, TrueU has a culture of taking companies that are going, you know, here, here's, here's what we all are. You come into the TrueU program as a teacher and as a participant if you will. Right. The student. Yeah. And so I think, I think that's really neat for the leaders out there listening that you know, to, to be vulnerable and say, you know, cause I think, I think you can fall into Kofi, you need to work on this Kyle you need to continue working on this. Here's your review, right? Here's, here's what I need to work on. Oh, and by the way, and is Kofi’s reporting Kofi what do I need to work on in your eyes? You know? And so I love the fact that you guys have organizations and companies that are, that are doing that. 

Kyle: 23:41 There's a lot of talk about employee engagement today and just slightly. So it's, it's really, really important. And the truth is people are only going to engage if they trust. And you can't have a level of connection, a level of, uh, of intimacy. Um, and I mean intimacy in an HR appropriate way, but a sense of connection and, uh, without there being vulnerability without, through sharing, this is what I, this is where I am in my journey. And if you want to create an environment where people want to grow, you as the leader, have to be growing and you have to be, you have to be willing to say, hey, here's something that I wish I did better than I'm working on people. People will say, you know what? That leader is real. You know? And it's just like when you think of getting engaged to be married, right. What you're really saying is I'm going to be all in at the exclusion of 

others, right. I'm going to be all in at the exclusion of others. I'm going to get engaged. I'm going to marry you. Right. That's what you say. Um, and in a similar way, when you talk about employee engagement, if you want employees to be all in at the exclusion of others, I want to come and work here and I'm not going to go anywhere else. There's gotta be a level of trust and vulnerability there. 

Adam: I never thought of it that way. That’s awesome. 

Kofi: Yeah. 

Kyle: For that, for that to be, you know, to, to, to achieve that, to achieve that and, and trust as it come about. Without vulnerability, it doesn't come, come about without being willing to say, hey, this is, this is what I'm working on, this is what I want to do better. And, uh, and, and if, if a leader is just going to tell people you need to work on this, that's okay, but don't expect them, your employees to be fully involved. And fully engaged. 

Adam: So, so would you agree that we have a culture right now from a sus, from a society standpoint, that that employees think that they are just a means to an end? 

Kyle: That they are what? 

Adam: They are a means to an end? That they, they, they, they don't, they're not buying into this, everything you just said right there, like there's no company out there that does that. 

Kyle: Well, you know, the research would show in Gallup's been doing this for years, it's 70% of the workforce is not engaged, which in essence means I'm not willing to be all in. I'm not willing to commit to you because I don't trust you. Right? And so 30% is set, but I think 68% is the actual percentage, but close to 70% is not. And so I would say yes, that is the predominant belief and for a variety of reasons that they just don't trust where there were the motives of where they're working. So I'm not going to go all in because I don't think I can trust them. 

Adam: Do you guys track engagement stats with your TrueU companies? 

Kyle: You know, we, we don't track engagement stats. That's not um, uh, in the scope of what we do within TrueU. Other great companies out there that, that the track and levels of 

engagement. Uh, we do track, uh, growth of our participants like in our leader in training program to track the percentage of improvement in terms of their perception of their competence and their confidence before they start the six month long program, and when they finish it, which we're seeing 30% plus growth both in competency and confidence. And you know, those are the six month long program. And then we also, you know, we track uh, feedback we get from our members when they've had breakthrough ideas that come through being participating in one of our events are engaging, they've had with our other members. And of course we look at our renewal rates and we look at referrals. Most of our referrals come from our existing members saying, hey, you want to you to be a part of this; we're getting great value. I think you would too. We grew over 40% last year and so now we're seeing, those are the kinds of things that we track in terms of where people are getting value out of, participating as in this community, this TrueU community, uh, around growing a culture of growing their people and in growing their business. 

Kofi: Love this growth focus here, Um, through your story already, you've shared that you started at TrueU roughly five years ago, you were the fourth member. Can you do a compare and contrast on where TrueU was when you started and where you are today? 

Kyle: 27:49 Yeah, good question. You know, we have, uh, have evolved a lot, a lot with any startup, you kind of say, hey, here's, here's what we think we're going to do. We're going to start, you know, you got to start. And so yeah, you throw out and you know, there was probably 20, 25 things that when true, you first rolled out, here's the 20 to 25 things we'll provide, you know, and that was too many things. There's no way. There was no way. 

Adam: Here’s a booklet… 

Kyle: there was a business model for that. And you know, it was, it was too many things. They were all good things. But you know, over time we have whittled down to what are the things are really adding value. What are the things our members really one experiences that they want that's really gonna add value. We also, geographically we starting Indianapolis but we also started in Phoenix and so we had two different locations and after about a year and a half we said, you know, this is crazy to be trying to start to startups in two different cities with one organization. And so we discontinued the, the, the, the Phoenix startup location and really focused on Indiana. And so we've, 

and we've also, uh created new offerings that we didn't have initially. And so it's evolved a lot. You know, it looks very different today than it did in the first, probably the first year, 18 months or so as a part of TrueU. Um, and we've, we've run some great staff a, the part of, TrueU as well. They're doing some fantastic work. And our board and our members; with each member of the joints TrueU, they come with their own ideas, you know, and so every time somebody joins within our, the TrueU team, we said… 

Adam: The teacher piece… 

Kyle: We just got better. It just got better because they're going to bring their own experiences, their own ideas and stuff. That's been a very stimulating for us. And I think for the TrueU community. 

Adam: Um, one of those offerings LIT… I want to talk a little bit about LIT, and what it is and what you guys provide in that program. Um, admittedly I, I've gone through the program, loved it, I was very lucky to be nominated here by, by my company. So if you could share a little bit what that program is, size of it, the whole experience. 

Kyle: 29:51 Well, LIT is the Leader In Training program. LIT stands for Leader In Training, and it's a six month long, two day a month focus program designed for high potential emerging leaders. And so there'll be a cohort of typically 30 to 35 people that participate in the program that will go through that six month program together and it's two days a month for six months. And they start with the DISC profile to learn about the personality style and personality styles of others. And then we have all these different modules on the areas that as a leader you need to be competent in, and confident and to be an effective leader. And so we have modules on building trust, a module on coaching module on crucial conversations, on strategic thinking, on servant leadership, whole variety of different kinds of topics that we cover. And then at the end of the program, we break the class into groups of four and five and they do a capstone presentation. So they take learnings that they had over that six month period of time, and then they do a presentation, an hour and a half long presentation. And we invite their supervisors from those four or five employees to come and participate and listen to that, that presentation. And they're sharing learnings that they had, uh, and, and they apply them to their company and how their company could benefit from our learnings that they had. So it's very practical and they actually graduate from the program, uh, as well. So it's a combination of classroom 

learning and experiential learning. Uh, for the servant leadership piece, we actually spend two days, we go out and we serve together in the community and they're serving the partner, whichever community center and they do fantastic work. Um, and so we've [gotten to remodel] a house together and… 

Adam: That’s awesome! 

Kyle: So, um, it's been our flagship program. I will say it has continued to grow and to develop, um, over, over, over time. Uh, and I said, you know, we track the competence and confidence improvement from those who go through the program that feel like there's a 30% increase in both their competency and confidence as leaders. 

Adam: How many cohorts a year? 

Kyle: Uh, we'll start five new core cohorts this year. So we'll have 150 people go through the program. We have 73 plus companies now, a 70 plus companies that are a part of, uh, part of the shoe community. 

Kofi: 32:02 Yeah. I thank you for offering that. I wanted to dig in a little bit. That's a good, that's a good piece of info right there. 

Adam: Kyle, how do you measure, you, you, you touched on it a little bit about how you measure success. How do you personally measure success? 

Kyle: Yeah, that's a great question. So I, um, I started a practice a number of years ago, uh, taking the annual retreat and one day a year in the fall, I go usually to, um, Fatima Retreat House here in Indianapolis off 56th Street next to Cathedral high school. And I take day and, uh, I take a journal with me and I take, uh, a book and I take the Bible and um, couple of apples, couple bottles of water. I'll get there at eight o'clock, and I'll leave about 4:30 or so. Um, uh, I leave my cell phone in the car, I turn it off. But am I locked in my glove box as there's no technology. And it's a time for me to reflect on my life. And, uh, you know, I have my own mission statement and I have, um, you know, goals that I want to accomplish over the course of my life and I reflect on those things, I reflect on the last year, I reflect on where I am today. I think about the next year that's coming up. And, um, we all live, you know, different seasons of our life, right? And, and so, uh, it's a great opportunity for me to take that time and just really be quiet and to reflect. And I made that 

a discipline to do that every year for a full day. And I've been doing it for years. Um, but that's, you know, to your point, that's, that's the time that I stop and I know once a year I'm going to have that reflection time and to look back on you know, who am I? What am I about? How have I lived at this last year? What's changed was in the past year was going to change in the next year; and life is constant change. It's just constant change in and am I resisting it or my embracing it? 

Kofi: That’s right. 

Kyle: 34:03 So I read this book, uh, about a year ago called Necessary Endings by Henry Cloud. And he talks about life is this series of cycles, you know, uh, beginnings and endings. And that's the way life is every facet of our life. And it's true, um, in jobs, it's true in relationships, it's true in all different areas. And um expecting that anticipating that in the focus on the book was most people get stuck in the ending. They don't want the ending to happen. And so they delay it or they don't see it coming and they get blindsided by it. And he said to, to live a really rich life, it's, it's identifying where are you in your life, where are you and your seasons of your life and what are the endings that are coming up and how do you anticipate that ending coming? And then how do you end well? And, and if you can end well then you can start a new beginning. But if you drag out the ending or don't end well, it actually becomes an impediment to a new beginning. And so it’s so so good, so I encourage anyone to read Henry Cloud, Necessary Endings. 

Adam: 35:07 real quick. Sorry if if I could I, well, a few years ago I was meeting with a mentor to that point. It's like a real life example. I meet with one of my mentors who's a pastor, our church at the time. And we, we made the decision, we were going to switch churches. I had this feeling in my mind that our time was over. It was over there, and I had this angst in my stomach for this meeting, and we were down in broad ripple. I met, I met him. Uh, I think we were at, um, Scotty's, um, the, the, the pizza place when we got a pizza. And I sit down and I said, hey man. I said, I think, I think we're going to be switching churches. He's just like, awesome. Which is what you don't expect to hear. Right, from your pastor. And he said, but he said exactly what you did. He goes, he says, he goes, you know Adam, he goes, everybody has, everybody has seasons and your season's done here at this place. And that's fine. He goes, that's awesome. Like you're going to have a new season somewhere else. And, and it is, I remember, I remember having the sense of relief and I've always taken that advice and every aspect of my life now, and I'm not as worried about, you know, friendships. I mean, think 

about your high school friends or your old coworkers that maybe you still keep in touch with. Maybe you don't anymore, because that season's over. And so that's, that's good. 

Kyle: 36:17 And I think just embracing it and saying it's all, it's all good. So last, last weekend my oldest son got married. 

Adam: Oh, Congrats! 

Kyle: And so we were at the wedding, and, and, and just reflecting on that, and you know, last fall I was thinking that I knew he was getting married, you know, so here's, here's a, this is a big thing next year, so how am I going to transition this well, right. Welcoming a new daughter in law and the family, but also just acknowledging that your relationship with your son changes right when it gets married. It does. And that's okay. That's good. You know? And uh, as my wife says, you know, she, she, she, she, the week before the wedding I came home and said, hey, are you doing? She goes, oh, I just spent a good part of the morning crying. And then as you said, you know, because I wouldn't want it any other way. I'm happy for this. I love my new daughter-in-law, I'm happy for him this exactly what I want to see happen, but I'm grieving this transition. 

Kofi: Of course! 

Kyle: And that's okay. You know, so, so you just acknowledging that you're not surprised by it, you embrace it and you move on. 

Kofi: 37:11 So as you have your annual day of reflection, could you in general tell us what year 2019 mission statement is? 

Kyle: 37:19 Yeah. So my, my mission statement is I created a mission statement, you know, 20 years ago when I started this process. And it's evolved over time, you know, um, sometimes you think of mission statement is: it'll never change. Well, mine has, you know, it has over time, um, my mission statement, it identifies different roles that I play, you know, as, as a father, as a spouse, as a son, as a friend. Um, and, um, and I make a little statement outside of each one of those, you know? So, um, and then I reflect upon that and then, you know, sometimes, so I've, I've also, you know last couple of years I started doing a lot more mentoring. And so I've added that into my mission statement that if this season of my life, I'm 56 years old, you know, I've, I've gotten to the point where I'm, you know, I'm spending really a lot more of my time now focusing on how do I mentor others? How do I encourage others in their journey, you know? 

And so that's become a bigger piece of who I am and what I'm about. And how I spend my time. Whereas when I was in my thirties and I was just, you know, it was with my kids as my job and growing and, and, and that was where my attention, my focus was as was appropriate to right. But as you go into these different seasons, your roles kind of change and how I spend my time and what I think is important changes as well. 

Adam: 38:34 Kyle, before we end here, can you, can you give our listeners a more info on where they can learn more about [inaudible] true you? 

Kyle: Sure. Uh, best place to go to find out about tree. It is our website, true u.com. That's t r u e and the letter u, .com. And if anyone wanted to reach out to me, I'm on LinkedIn. Be happy to connect with you or you can send me an email, Kyle.differ@trueu.com. 

Kofi: 39:00 It's been a pleasure talking with you about not only, um, your, um, very insightful career change from healthcare to personal development with TrueU, but then also this focus on reflection. I think it's been extremely helpful. Thank you so much for being on this, this episode. Yeah. From this episode with Kyle differ, I'm really taken what his focus on what engagement is and how he knows the majority of us are not engaged at the workplace. In fact, he cited the Gallup data of 68% of the US workforce not engaged. If that's the case, why aren't more companies building trust to help engage their employees more? And then also the fact that he, uh, routinely takes time to reflect. I would, I would, I wish I would have asked more about how much of this reflection did he do prior to making the decision to leave this health care sector job and go to TrueU. Maybe that was kind of the, the genesis of how powerful reflection is. So, great episode. Really happy that I can contribute to this. 

Adam: 40:06 Yeah. I really liked what Kyle said about engaged employees. He said employees are only engaged if they trust. And what TrueU does is it helps bring leaders. Um, you know, you mentioned CEOs who raise their hand to their employees and say, hey guys, here's what I'm working on right now. Here's what I'm, here's what I'm trying to work on for myself. And I think when, when employees see that in their leadership, it creates a really strong trust factor, which in turn creates better engaged employees and TrueU is really doing a good job of helping foster that. Thank you for listening to this week's show. If you want to continue listening to the show, I'll please go ahead and subscribe on your favorite podcast App. Until next time.