top of page

"The Power of Engagement" with Kelly Jones-Waller


In this episode, Kelly Jones-Waller has mic drop after mic drop as she breaks down how companies can have happy employees and turn the Great Resignation into the Great Retention. Did you know that 85% of people within organizations are actively disengaged? And then another 73% are actively looking for new employment. That could cost businesses millions in turnover costs!

In This Episode:

  • The cost of disengaged employees

  • What a coaching culture actually is

  • What to ask in an interview

  • What to look for during your interview process

  • What you can do as an individual to find your own sweet spot in an organization

  • The importance of asking for what you want/need

  • Being able to listen to understand rather than listening to put in your 10 cents

  • The benefits of having everyone at every level approach with a coaching mindset

  • The ROI of creating a coaching culture

Quotations to Share:

"85% of people within organizations are actively disengaged. And then another 73% are actively looking for new employment." ~Kelly Jones-Waller

"They're [employees] wanting to contribute more because they feel seen and heard. They're wanting to show up and do their best because they feel like the place that they work can be an expression of who they are." ~Kelly Jones-Waller

"And I think in the pandemic, it's truly been a life and death situation. So many of us are really looking at what does matter most." ~Kelly Jones-Waller

"Organizations lose up to $500 billion because of lack of engagement." ~Kelly Jones-Waller

"People don't leave organizations. They leave their manager." ~Kelly Jones-Waller

"Every employee has a role to play in making sure that they're getting the most out of their work." ~Kelly Jones-Waller

"When you have a sense of who you are, it actually increases your capacity to be able to be with the difference of somebody else." ~Kelly Jones-Waller

"We all needed to sit back and reflect and reconsider how things are going, and to reconnect with what's most important for the sake of the evolution of humanity." ~Kelly Jones-Waller

"What we know is that when we feel good about ourselves, when our mental health is intact, we are so willing to contribute and to give our best, not to burn out, but to give our best for the sake of everyone moving forward." ~Kelly Jones-Waller

"We're all leaders. We all have a place, to step up and say, even to our huge billion-dollar corporations, no, that doesn't work. And here's why." ~Kelly Jones-Waller


Kelly Jones-Waller is co-founder of ENGAGE Leadership Solutions, a Human Development company committed to maximizing the potential of an organization’s most valuable resource: its people. ENGAGE delivers customized, experiential, & interactive programs to grow leaders stemming from the belief that everyone is a leader.

As a dedicated executive coach, masterful trainer, facilitator, and nimble team strategist, Kelly combines twelve plus years of sales, marketing, and strategic planning expertise with more than twenty years of co-active® coaching expertise to lead organizations in increasing leadership effectiveness by cultivating a workforce of engagement. Kelly has specific expertise in leadership development, team effectiveness, inclusion and equity, women’s leadership, and coaching culture formation.

With her agile, personable, and direct style, she creates a safe yet courageous space for her clients to pause in a constantly evolving environment, connect to what matters most, and bring forth their authentic wisdom to stretch into their full leadership potential individually and collectively.




Welcome to Uplevel productions, creating a coaching culture. This is our second session, and we will be inviting Kelly Jones-Waller. And there she is.


Thank you, Christie. So good to be with you.


So wonderful to be with you and to be having this conversation with one of mine and Rachel's very most favorite. And we have so much respect for you and the work that you do in the world and creating coaching cultures. I'm going to read your bio, but I just wanted to just start off say thank you. We just adore you and admire you so much as a human and the work that you do. Well, I thank you.


And right back at both of you, I'm so happy to be with you.


This particular series is all about creating a coaching culture.

And we're going to talk today with Kelly about why it's so important to be doing that at this moment in time. And Kelly's going to help us get into the sweet spot of engagement, the power of engagement, and how that connects to creating a coaching culture. So let me just formally introduce Kelly by reading her bio, and then you'll really understand all the hard work she's done to get here and to do this good work in the world.

So Kelly Jones-Waller is the co-founder of Engage Leadership Solutions, a human development company committed to maximizing the potential of an organization's most valuable resource–its people. Engaged delivers customized experiential and interactive programs to grow leaders stemming from the belief that everyone is a leader.

Yeah. As a dedicated executive coach, a masterful trainer, and a facilitator, I've had the pleasure of sitting beside Kelly. I've been in her classrooms. This is so true. She's also a nimble team. Kelly combines 12 plus years of sales, marketing, and strategic planning. With more than 20 years of coactive coaching expertise to lead organizations in increasing leadership effectiveness by cultivating a workforce of engagement.

Kelly has specific expertise in leadership development, team effectiveness, inclusion, and equity. Women's leadership and coaching culture formation. My friends, this among many reasons is why Kelly is with us today. So thank you, Kelly.


Thank you, Christie. I appreciate that.


Do you want to say just a little bit about Engage Leadership Solutions and what the two of you are up to?


I would love to. So, my partner in crime is Randy Brennaman, and we run Engage Leadership Solutions and it's very similar to what Christie just said.

It's a human engagement company really focused on helping people bring out their best. And Randy and I have been leading and coaching now for about 20 years, but Engage was birthed about four years ago. Randy, coming out of the corporate environment, as well as myself, and both of us coming together and realizing, “you know what, there's a time it happened to each of us where within an organization, you get to a point and you realize, “Wait a minute; we start to see some of the twinkle go out of people's eyes.”

And that's the last thing we want to see–the twinkle leave someone's eyes, and then in the course of their work, because we spend so much time at work, it's a huge contribution. It's a huge reflection of the gifts that we bring to the world. And we thought, “How do we help organizations reignite that spark back in people's eyes? How do we help them engage people so that people do their best work and actually grow and evolve to be the wonderful people that they are through their experiences at work?” And that's where Engage came from. And so our focus is very much on helping organizations do a couple of things.

One, we help them create coaching cultures. We also help them create an inclusive culture. So that leaders understand what it takes to create a more inclusive environment where everybody can show up and bring their full authenticity to the table. We help them understand how to support leaders in being really adaptive to all the changes coming at us these days.

How do you respond? How are you nimble and agile with everything coming at us today? So that's another really key component of what we do. And we also help them create an engaged workforce and sometimes that's coaching cultures, but sometimes it's also getting leaders in touch with what engagement looks like.


Yeah. And that's why it's called what it's called and that's why you are the queen and the spokesperson on the power of engagement. Right. And that's what we're going to dive into today. And so towards the end of our conversation, we'll tell people how to find you and Randy. I know a lot of people are lining up to work with you. And so we'll just keep them coming to the Engaged doorstep because you offer such beautiful work and your co-leadership is so key to the engagement that you create with your clients. So, Kelly, let's start with defining a coaching culture. Because for some folks, it can sound jargony.

And so I know because you've been so steeped in doing this kind of work, what is your definition of coaching culture? What do we mean by it?


Good, good question. It's a really good question because you hear that word thrown around quite a bit. And so, first of all, it's about the coaching component, and coaching is actually a way of being with people that brings out and champions their best, right? And so creating a coaching culture, that culture piece is the environment and environment of growth and in an environment of evolution and stretching and leadership within any organization, creating that environment that is dedicated to learning, to growing, and to evolving, because when we do that, Individuals are in a position to really contribute their best and to want to give their best–like their discretionary effort to what they're doing.

They're wanting to contribute more because they feel seen and heard. They're wanting to show up and do their best because they feel like the place where they work can be an expression of who they are. That's what it means to create a coaching culture. Coaching within itself. I have to say it's just a methodology.

It's just a way of doing things. The important piece though is the being–how we ended up being with people. It's like when we create a coaching culture, we're seeing beyond what someone does and we're actually looking at who they are in the world and how we can champion that greatness and full potential.

It's not just doing the things, the skills of coaching, but it's about helping people really as a whole person to impact a culture that creates safety, inclusivity, and a sense of belonging so that people can show up and do their best work.


Exactly. Yes.

So at this moment in time on planet earth, we've got a lot going on. There is a lot going on. And so in your opinion, why now? Why do organizations, why should they be exploring investing in this, at this moment in time?


Yeah. You know, I want to say pandemic. Of course, everyone has said that before, but it's a really big driver even before the pandemic. Research shows that engagement was lacking. I want to say before the pandemic, the numbers from Gallup would show that the number of disengaged employees was about 69%.

Now it's up to 85%, 85% of people within organizations are actively disengaged! Isn't that huge? And then another 73% are actively looking for new employment. And I have seen that right now with the Great Resignation. And there's just been so much turnover.

And, I'm thinking right now about my client roster of individual clients; several of them are in that position right now. How do I retool and how do I find something that is more meaningful? With this Great Resignation has come for a lot of people, a great realization. And a great realization is what I'm doing.

And I think in the pandemic, it's truly been a life-and-death situation. So many of us, many, many of us are really looking at what does matter most. And our tolerance for putting up with any little lack of a blind man that you know, that we were okay with when we were constantly moving, that's going away.

That is absolutely gone away. And we're thinking about what really matters most. And organizations, I mean, so we know from an individual standpoint for the employee, wow. Things are changing to such a degree that we get to ask that question if you're an individual in the workplace, but organizations they're losing out.

I mean, organizations lose up to $500 billion because of a lack of engagement.


I'm just, I've got like shivers up and down from these stats and what you're saying, it is so hugely significant. It's why we're having these conversations because we want to bring greater awareness to the importance of creating a coaching culture.

We really believe that if organizations aren't making this type of investment, they will go extinct. And there won't be a way forward.


Yeah. Yeah. And you are so right. They will go extinct because a lot of people are jumping ship. And why are they jumping ship? They're jumping ship for more engagement.

Right. Like, you got a lot of individuals saying, you know what, I'm leaving now is a time for me to start my own business. I've seen that tremendously, like, “Okay, I've got the courage. Now I can do it.” And they're looking for expression of themselves where they get to bring all of themselves in a way that they didn't necessarily within, their regular employment.

And so this is why now is more important than ever that people in organizations realize instead of getting so caught up in just seeing the great resignation come before us. Let's capitalize on it and actually look at how can we turn this into the Great Retention in a way we haven't before.


The Great Retention in a way we haven't before. I love that. And my sense is you've got some good nuggets around the sweet spot of engagement that would help organizations break the great retention. So talk to us about the sweet spot of engagement and how if I'm inside an organization and I'm responsible to create this…How do I go about it?


So, I'd love to talk about that. The sweet spot of engagement really involves four key points and involves number one, engaging with myself.

So as an employee, let's say it's important that I actually take the time to stop and pause and figure out what matters to me. And I know from my days, way back in my history of being in an organization, and part of what I realized as I got towards the end of my tenure, was no one ever took the time to stop and reflect and really think about how to do things smarter versus harder.

And that's what coaching ended up being–an opportunity to stop and reflect, to figure out who am I, what really matters to me? Like what lights me up? What do I get excited about? What do I absolutely hate? And please do not ask me to do that.

Because that was equally important. And then what am I just good at and separating what I'm good at, from what I like, because sometimes I can be good at things and it drained me. Yes. So just really getting clear on who am I. Engaging inward is the first step toward that sweet spot.

My interests, my passions, my motivations. Those sorts of things, but then another piece of it is now I have to engage and look at the organization. So this place that I'm in, how does it fit me? What are the values of this organization? What's the mission of this organization? What are some of those unwritten rules that you don't really see anywhere, but you can sort of feel in the, in the energy, in the environment?

Paying attention to those things helps me understand, is this a place where I can thrive? Is this a place where I can find alignment? And a lot of times we don't pay attention to that. We see the shiny things from the exterior. I was talking to a woman the other day and she's with a huge technology company that has, I won't even mention the name.

Yeah, but she says, “You know what? From the outside, looking in, everybody would be so excited to work here. Like, it just looks like prestige,” but she says, “When I got in the door and I realized how fast things move and how little depth people actually want to go to, I realized something about this culture isn't aligned with me.”


The truth is a lot of people can't find out that last piece of what is the environment like until they're on the inside. Or do you have tips when people are pursuing new roles or new organizations that they can feel out?


Yeah. Part of it is engaging with others who are. So, first of all, it's knowing that what you want does matter, and then engaging with others to ask. And we, as coaches, know those powerful questions to help you sort that sort of thing out. How is innovation actually handled?

Right? Is it only relegated to a group at the top or at any level, are you free to innovate? How do they handle autonomy? Do you get to do things on your own? Are you able to share your own ideas and thoughts? When was an opportunity when you had an idea and thought, and you put it out there and your boss ran with it?

So yeah, sometimes it's a different set of questions to ask of people who are already in those environments and of the hiring managers and HR. And that's another important piece is that today it used to be that organizations have the employee between a rock and a hard place. The employee is in a greater position of power these days to be able to ask some of those hard questions; they just have to know to ask them.

So you figure it out, you engage with yourself, you engage with the organization to figure out what's, what's the fabric of the organization? Then you have to actually pay attention to what's the what is the role want? What does the role require of you? Does the role maximize the things that you're really good at, the things that you like, does the role stretch you, and does the role give you enough opportunity to be in relationships and collaborate with other colleagues if that's important to you?

Yes. Right. And then there's one little fact. We've heard this for quite a while that people don't leave organizations. They leave their manager. Haven't we heard that a lot, Christie?


We hear that all the time. And it's true. I mean, I've been through it. And I'm sure you have. I mean, it's really, really true.


Yeah. And so that's the fourth thing we really want you to look at for this sweet spot that we're getting to. What are the expectations of the leader that I'm working with? Right. How do they operate? How do they feel about growing and developing people? What's their level of interest in growing and developing me.

And if they're not the one that's capable of it, who else in this organization might be so that I still get that feeling of some degree of mentorship and guidance? It doesn't always have to come directly from your manager. It really doesn't.


But it's so key though. It's so key that when an individual is interviewing, they're in that process of what Kelly's coined from the Great Resignation to the Great Retention as an individual interview, that manager, right.

And if you're being interviewed and there's not an opportunity to sit down with that person for more than 45 minutes…you want to make sure you have a couple of interactions with this person, or maybe even an opportunity to go to a team meeting. So, what Kelly's speaking to you, you can get the vibe, like what is the, what we say in a coaching vernacular, the Level Three, what is not being said, but you can feel it.

You can, you know, you can sense it. This is, so this is so key. So step one is self-awareness.


Step two's, organization. Step three is role. Step four is leader, that manager. Okay. You take those four and you look for where they overlap, where there's alignment. That's the sweet spot. That's the sweet spot of engagement where you can find that they align.

And here's what I noticed. What I noticed is a lot of times people get very disenchanted at work. Not because there isn't alignment, but because they haven't taken the time to look for it. Right.


What I really like about what you just said is there's a responsibility back to the individual. It's not always your leader, your manager, or the organization, but what have you done as the individual to find your sweet spot and to heighten your own self-awareness, that this is an important step for you to be engaged?


Exactly exactly. And it's such a huge point. And it's why, you know, as we say, and I know you understand this too, everyone is a leader. We can't simply think that our title is what makes us a leader. Every employee has a role to play in making sure that they're getting the most out of their work.

And sometimes that means like I've seen a lot of people have a hard time with the alignment with the manager. of course, because they expect the manager to read their mind. It's like, wait a minute, have you asked for what you want? Have you at least let this person know what you need from them to be your best?

Well, no. Well, then there's a little problem. Right? So, so again, it doesn't mean that the sweet spot isn't there. It's just, that we actually have to look for it. You've got to put priority around our own satisfaction is important enough for us to find it.


I love that. And it's making me think about the development of coaching skills, not just for people managers, but for individual contributors as well, because if the whole organization is being trained in this type of competency, they're going to have greater self-awareness, and they're going to have the ability to ask those powerful questions at those different steps that you spoke of or in those different moments. We have this concept we call Designed Alliance in coaching, which in other language would be working agreements.

And we take it at a deeper step. When we talk about the person-to-person component, how do we want to be with each other when things are going well, how do we want to be with each other when stuff goes off the rails? How do you like to receive feedback? This is where we talk about our social identities and power dynamics.


So having everybody at every level trained in coaching is so key in order to find the sweet spot of engagement and in order to create a coaching culture. That's exactly why I say that a coaching culture is a culture of learning growth and empowerment. I think sometimes we get so locked into, oh, I have to have these one-on-one 30 to 60-minute conversations with someone to have a coaching session.

Part of what I tend to prefer is a coach approach. How do you listen beyond yourself? You know, how do you recognize when you're getting in your own way? Because you're coming up with all of your ideas and you're shutting down your team members over there. That's what I mean by the culture.

It's a way of being with people that I'm listening differently. I'm moving out of the way. The other thing that is so important is that when you do create that coaching culture that you talked about, you create a space to be more inclusive of others. And that's something else that we just take a huge stand for.

And you get inclusive of others. One because you get in touch with yourself. And when, you know, as you said, when you are clear and aware of your own social identities, then you're in a position to understand how they can impact your worldview and what some of your expectations might actually be in the work environment.

And how that could actually rub someone else the wrong way. But when you have a sense of who you are, it actually increases your capacity to be able to be with the differences of somebody else.


This is such an important part. And I'd love if you'd expand a bit on the work that Engaged Leadership Solutions is doing around inclusivity and equity and the crossover into coaching culture.


Yeah. Yeah. Good question. Yes. I’d love to. We have a program in Engage Leader called Inclusive Leader. And what we find if I just really make it real simple; an inclusive leader operates from a coaching mindset. They do. And an inclusive leader does that because they do a couple of things similar to an engaged leader.

They engage with themselves, but this time they're not just understanding their likes and dislikes their passions, and their interests. They're actually becoming aware of: What are my biases? What are my beliefs? What are some things that I have made up? What are my privileges and what's the impact of those privileges on how I show up?

And we all have privilege to some degree. And we’re helping people understand, oh, here's the privilege that I have maybe. I want to say, even though sometimes we think those African-American women have very little privilege. We are privileged too, right. To understand our privilege, to navigate, to deal with adversity, and how that can position you in an organization is huge.

Especially compared to someone else who might not have come from that same experience and therefore, approach problem solving quite differently. So helping leaders first understand: what are my privileges? What are my biases? What of my beliefs are part of what it means to be an effective inclusive leader.

But then I actually have to learn about the other. And that's where the intersection of coaching comes in. How do I sit back and be present to someone else in their experience? How do I listen to them and not try to debate what they're saying, but truly be curious from a place of listening to understand versus feeling like I have to get my 10 cents in?

It's not what it's about. And for leaders, that's a big deal because leaders feel like, “I've gotten to this position because of my expertise. And therefore I should share all my wisdom and knowledge with you.” And we're like, no, no, no, no, no. Just sit back. You know, listen, learn. Randy and I just completed, and are still working with, an organization, doing an allyship program, a male allyship program.

And ultimately it's helping men in the organization work with people who identify as women, and understand, “How do I check my thoughts and ideas at the door in order to really center someone else?” Right? And in that centering, “I begin to learn what's important to them.” So that step of learning is key to being an inclusive leader and the essence of that is coaching skills.

Yeah. Then beyond that, the other thing that's really important is that we understand the terrain, and by terrain, we mean, we have to know the context in which we're operating. We can't just go into an environment and think it's just like, you know, our environment, whatever that is, but to pay attention to, for example, what's going on right now in our world, the history of racism.

I have to know something about that. If I'm operating and I'm working in the United States, I have to know something about that. I was coaching a gentleman who is from Denmark with a global company. And he's in the US now as a leader. And he's like, well, you know, it's not like that in my country.

And I said, “I understand. And you need to learn about the tension that exists here.”


It's so important, what you're speaking to. And first of all, thank you for further defining what you mean by an inclusive leader and how that builds on being a leader who coaches and it's like the archetype for this moment in time.

What you're speaking to a people leader, it's a more complex and sensitive and aware environment that we're operating in. And so having these abilities to, one, do your history, do your homework, and two, do your anti-racism work. If you're not a person of color to really understand your own biases and where you might be using dominant culture and creating an impact that is not inclusive.

And, and three it's, it's really about an organization seeing that we can't just go on the way we've been going because that is not going to get their business ahead. Let alone humanity ahead. Companies will go extinct if they're not developing cultures of coaching.

Well, I'll just be blunt and say, humanity will go extinct. If we don't all cultivate more of this ability to have a greater awareness. Of who's around us. What is happening where we've come from, where others have come from to listen more deeply to acknowledge the whole person. Like it is, it is so essential.

And that's again, why we're having these conversations, Kelly because humanity needs this. It's a skill and a competency, but it's not, it's a way of being in the world.


It is. And I love that you say it that way because I think back to actually when the pandemic started and I would say to myself, “I knew I needed to slow down, but I didn't know that the world needed to slow down.”

And then I thought, “yeah, I knew the world needed to slow down.” And it's for that exact reason. Because we all needed to sit back and reflect and reconsider how things are going and reconnect with what's most important for the sake of the evolution of humanity. And that's where so much of this is coming from.

It's not just that it makes sense to do. It's just good business. Yes, it is good business, but it's good business for our survival. It's good business for our evolution. We're so used to looking at good business in terms of what's going to impact increasing that bottom line. And what I'm appreciating and feeling now, is organizations are not just looking at that financial bottom line.

They're starting to realize how we've regarded the health of our people. You know, our humanity, are we stewards of our world? That matters too.


Yes. Yes. It's good business for our souls, so we sleep better, and it is why I know many of our colleagues do this work. It is about evolving–what we're all doing here.


So I'm going to say, on the other side of that, you've worked inside so many organizations, and yet we're evolving from ROI, but what is the ROI, Kelly?

What is the return on investment for creating a coaching culture?


It might sound hokey, but it's happy, loyal employees. Right. That's it; it's loyal, dedicated employees because these days, it's hard to retain people, but when you create a coaching culture, you create an environment where people truly want to give their best, where they want to show up, where they want to contribute their innovation, and where they actually want to use their insight to keep their finger on the pulse of what's going on to help the business evolve.

So the ROI, the return on investment, is creating healthy people. And what we know is that when we feel good about ourselves, when our mental health is intact, we are so willing to contribute and to give our best, not to burn out, but to give our best for the sake of everyone moving forward.

And that becomes sustainable. Because if we don't do that and we just look at the bottom line again…I'm thinking of another, another client. Who was very much in the bottom line of everything, and the number of people that have left is just amazing.

I was coaching one leader and she says, “they've given me, you know, two other departments that I'm now responsible for.” And I said, “Did you gladly accept them?” And she says, “Well, you know,” and I'm like, “no, no, no, no. If we don't push back and let people know what does not work anymore, then they will continue to do things and we can't lose you because you're burned out and stressed cause that's what would be next.” Right. And so, again, we're all leaders. We all have a place to step up and say, even to our huge billion-dollar corporations, “no, that doesn't work. And here's why.” Yeah. So creating happy people is important. Creating people who feel like work is an expression of them is important.

It just makes good sense for humanity.


That's the bottom line. It makes good sense for humanity, and it will also support the financial health of a business. I know we both had experiences inside of organizations where you can correlate a healthy, engaged workforce with KPIs with those targets that were set.

And when you're talking about really this, the vision you're holding through Engage Leadership Solutions through your own heart, we all need to keep slowing down. Okay. We all need to keep listening more. And I know when we train in coactive coaching methodology…Kelly and I have done this together with a group of 23 leaders.

We’ll say, “The next two and a half, three days are going to feel excruciatingly painful because they're going to feel so slow from the pace that you're used to operating at. And it's intentional because in order to connect to what is important to you, where are you getting in your own way? What is your unconscious bias?... We have to slow down.”

Yup. And so what are your words of wisdom to folks who are in roles inside organizations that are still moving full steam ahead, but they have similar visions and views that we're holding for humanity for workplaces. What is your guidance to those folks?


Yeah, yeah, yeah. About slowing down?

So here's part of what my guidance is. Get a coach if you don't have one already. I know. I mean, it might sound simple, but get a coach. And here's why, because when you do have a coach, as I tell my clients, when I am on their calendar and when they're on mine, it's an opportunity for the rest of the world to stop and for you to slow down, pause and really become present and discover what matters.

And it's not as if I want to say it's not as if we don't do it otherwise, but there's something about the dialogue almost like we're having dialogue now. Let's say, you know, there's something about being in a relationship where you've got this supportive person interacting and working with you, wanting nothing more for you than what you truly want for yourself that helps pull you back when you get outside of yourself.

And that's the beauty of coaching, and that's why we need individuals who are in organizations, trying to make things happen right now. We need to help them slow down. The other thing that I would say is that sometimes coaching can be looked at as, okay, what's the program, what's the training I'm going to do today.

And we have to stop seeing it as a program and training. I know from a coactive standpoint, we're used to doing three-day, four,- and five-day training now online. But creating a coaching culture is a process. It does not just happen with a couple of three-day programs. It's not just the training of the leaders.

It's also, how are we integrating this in the day-to-day, right? How are we, number one, getting leadership to buy in and sponsor it from the top because what we know is that change happens. It evolves at the level of consciousness of our leaders, right? So we know that's the case. So then that means that if you've got an idea and you want this coaching to take off within your organization and to create this culture, you got to get buy-in from the top.

Right. You have to let them know why it's good business, and why it creates happy employees–what the return on investment will be. And research has shown that companies that have a full sense of engagement, their profits increased by 20/21%. Yeah, so it's significant. So you get the top of the house involved.

That's a key component, helping them understand it's not just a program, but it has to be integrated in how we do everything. Right. How often are we expecting our leaders to coach? Right. And what level of the organization are we coaching and how do we use these skills in our day-to-day where maybe there isn't a coachee/coach dynamic?

If we don't have the organization coming up with some of that, then it won't be as sustainable. And so back to my point about getting a coach, sometimes we've seen people/organizations are so bitten by the bug and they want this to happen and they're so eager for it. But again, it's a cycle. It takes some planning on the front end.

It takes some really looking at what's going on in my organization where this aligns with it. How does this support the mission of who we want to be as an organization? It takes some preparation and planning and even working with a coach to help you understand how to do that is essential to creating a coaching culture.


Yeah. Great, great guidance.

We always say the best way to learn how to coach is to be receiving coaching. That's why the work that we do is so highly experiential. So, Kelly, you've dropped so much wisdom. It's like mic drop, mic drop, mic drop.

We've got all these new ways to look at what is the sweet spot of engagement, and what is the connection of that with an inclusive leader and a coaching culture. What do you want to say to be complete with this conversation right now? And what is the like your final drop of wisdom from Kelly at this moment?


Ooh, that's a big one. I think the final drop… I know we're talking about what does it take for organizations to create coaching cultures and to be more engaged? But the first thing that it really takes is each individual leader looking at their own level of engagement and a lot of research shows, believe it or not, that people, if you're newer in your career, your engagement might be higher, but as you get to that middle management sort of area, engagement can actually wane. And it wanes because you're sandwiched; you're sandwiched between,” oh, I have to keep the top of the house, the C-suite, happy, and oh, then I've got to take care of these folks,” and you start to feel like you don't have much power and authority within your self.

And so I think one of the biggest pieces of wisdom that I want you to have no matter where you are in your organization is looking at your own level of engagement and really looking at what does it take for you? Are you aware of your own sweet spot? You know, what do you need to take inventory of and a sense for this, this age of great realization so that you can bring your best.

And then to your point that we've said before, knowing that you are a leader means you've got what it takes to affect change. And, you know, I heard a great quote the other day and I'm sure I will butcher it, but it was something to the effect of, “The whole idea that it might not be your fault, the situation or the circumstances that you're currently in or that you're experiencing, but a lot of times, it is your responsibility because you're the only one that can effect change for it.”

And that's something that, that I'm sensing now is that we're in a world and we're like, wow, we didn't, we didn't, we don't feel like we individually created this. You know, our systems are this way, but we're at a stage where it's up to us as individuals to come together and affect change for those systems because we notice it, because we feel the pain.

And so look at your own engagement because that will gear you up with the energy that you need and the purpose you need to figure out where you want to create change. Not just for the sake of your company, but as Christie has said constantly for the sake of humanity. Yeah.


Mic drop, Kelly Jones-Waller, Engaged Leadership Solutions, such a pleasure to have you join us in the Uplevel Productions living room on this really important topic.

Kelly, where can people find you and find Engaged Leadership Solutions?


They can find me on LinkedIn @ KellyJonesWaller. They can also find Engage Leadership Solutions on our website, which is

Those are the best ways to find us right now. And you can always look for Randy Brennaman on LinkedIn, as well. Yeah, but we love the work that we do. We're passionate about it. And we also are so appreciative of you, Christie, and your energy and the way that you show up and elevate the conversation for people.

So thank you for the contributions you make. And I think about you and can I just say to people, she is such a great example of someone who's living an engaged life–of looking at what matters, of moving around the world to make sure she finds it, having fun conversations… because as you can see, she, Christie, is just so fantastic at bringing out the best in people and having us reconsider things and at the same time to learn and using her platform to do that.

So beautiful example of engagement and I just love being with you, Christie and Rachel, very much–very much appreciative of both.


I'm receiving that. I'm in a full-body tingle. Thank you for that lovely nourishment and acknowledgment. And like I said, when we opened up Rachel, my business partner through Uplevel Productions, we adore you and Randy.

And the work that you're doing is so important. You are both bringing such a unique lens to it as well. It's another reason why we want to have you as part of these conversations because people need to access this good, good, good knowledge and experience that you're supporting humanity grow and you're helping create organizations that are going to be healthy and thriving.

So love you and thank you. Thanks for jumping on for this Kelly.


My pleasure.


All right, we'll talk to you all soon.


bottom of page