Tag Archives: push

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exercising control

Exercising Control, or Abusing It?

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Are you or other team members exercising control? Is someone abusing it?

A popular small business job title is, Controller. Typically, an accounting or finance person who skillfully provides accounting and operational expertise.

Climate of Leadership

In today’s business climate leadership is often not about authority, it is about skillful navigation that creates a compelling call-to-action.

Forcing people to follow is about pushing. People are pushed to do more work, have better quality, and exceed customer expectations. Push is often a, “do it, or die” approach. It’s about formal control.

A different method, a better method, involves pull. Pull is about people following with an interest and a goal. They are motivated and engaged because they believe as much in the cause as you do.

Passion is an emotion. People follow their passion.

Great leaders help stimulate this kind of environment. It’s in their tone, their body language, and the words they choose.

Their actions speak even louder.

Does the culture of your organization require control? Are people pushed or are they pulled? Are they following at will, or are they fearful of the consequences?

Exercising Control

Yes, many business ventures can benefit from a controller. It is wise to have this type of person in place. The right person in this role can demonstrate their value and worth.

Can things go too far?

Absolutely they can.

Can the wrong cultural attributes create more negative and unwanted results?

Absolutely they can.

People like to decide for themselves. When they decide to follow, it is a choice. A choice they make.

It is a powerful form of pull.

Every leader, regardless of job title, salary, or office size, should demonstrate a style that encourages and embraces a compelling call-to-action.

Nobody really likes to be pushed. Worse yet, nobody wants a shove.

Don’t confuse job titles or authority with leadership competence.

People with organizational authority need to lead. Attempting to control others through fear, intimidation, or bullying is an abusive state.

It’s not leadership.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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pull customer service

Pull Customer Service Matters More

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Get the work done. Push it out the door. Sell more, ship more, and grow the business. These all matter but are they push or pull? Pull customer service may be what makes a bigger difference.

What Is Your Plan?

Plenty of businesses and organizations have a decent plan. Plenty of them execute according to the plan and have some success.

It certainly is not always about reinventing the wheel. Sometimes it is about how we care for the wheel.

If you are already bought-in that care is important, especially for the customer experience, does your culture push or pull?

We often talk about push. Push through the day. Push through the comfort zone. Make greater things happen even in the face of adversity.

Have grit, grind through the emotional labor.

These concepts are not necessarily bad, but they are all about the push. And yes, the push can be motivational.

Plan to Pull

What about pull though? What about having a culture of customer service that is so strong the organizational culture creates a pull?

Imagine the outcomes when the service experience is so good that internal and external customers are pulled in. Imagine they are so attracted to the good vibes that they simply want more.

Organizations with pull customer service are not bickering over who does the work. You don’t hear, “That’s not my job.”

Pull Customer Service

In a pull culture, growth begets growth. It is attraction that builds community. Community builds connection. Connections build more pull. Nobody internal or external feels pushed. Push isn’t a motivator, it is all pull.

They sell more, ship more, and grow more without pushing.

The grind isn’t really a grind because it pulls people in. Sure, there may be moments here and there, but the overall feeling is pull.

Wouldn’t it be nice to push less?


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten RespectNavigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

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3 Tips to Pull You Towards Your Goal

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Push or pull, which is the best? Recently I wrote about the concept of push or pull and decided it may be important to explore several tips for how to create less push and more pull when moving towards your goals.

business woman with her staff in background at office

While it is often easy to consider strategies and describe tactics that can help you or your team to stay motivated and move closer towards your goal, the biggest challenge comes from the execution. In short, it is easy to talk the talk, but more difficult to walk the walk. Here are three tips to help keep you or your team navigating a path that is less push and more pull:

  1. Count past wins. Too often individuals and teams get caught up in reliving past failures. If you’re taking risks to move forward you’ll most likely encounter some circumstances or situations that could result in failure. Of course the good news is that we can learn from our mistakes or failures and that will better position us for new growth. What is important here is to examine past wins, count those, keep track of them, and relive them. What you focus on is often what you get and the most important tactic will be to keep reliving wins. After all, you are a winner!
  2. Make roadblock images smaller. We all form images in our minds. When we are listening, thinking, and even observing we store images that are connected to our thoughts. Those images can be of success, or they can be of roadblocks, hurdles, or past failures. If all that you think about (or “see” in your mind) is the disastrous and painful disappointments that are unfolding for your future, you’ll have to continue to have more push and less of the more desirable pull. Make any of those unfavorable images smaller or replace them all together with images of goal attainment and success. Athletes sometimes refer to this as visualizing the win, getting the trophy, or having a record breaking performance. The same is true for personal or business goals.
  3. Get excited. When you start focusing on past wins and visualize yourself positioned in future success you’ll be more excited about what is happening. Remember that push is hard and pull is easy. When you allow the excitement to pull you closer to the goal everything will start to click and you’ll have more energy for momentum and less wasted effort (mental or physical, or both) spent on things that don’t really matter.

I often tell people that there is no rocket science involved, but knowing and understanding the concepts is very much different when compared with implementing them. Your challenge is not to know them, that is the easy part, your challenge is to implement them and do it over and over again until you’re completely programmed for pull, instead of push.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and coach that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is the author of the newly released book, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

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Are You Pushing or Being Pulled?

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There are a lot of people working really hard. There is a good chance you are one of them. There are also a lot of cliché’ phrases, idiom’s, and meme’s floating around social media channels about working smarter and not harder or how if you love what you do you’ll never work another day in your life. There is certainly some value to those, but have you considered the aspect of push or pull? Marketers will quickly associate with the concept of push versus pull marketing, but we’re not talking about marketing here, at least not specifically.


Some time ago, and unfortunately I cannot recall who to credit with this idea, I heard an analogy that really stuck with me related to push or pull.

Imagine a twelve inch long piece of string on a flat open space such as a desktop or table. Now imagine that you want to move that piece of string across this space. If you place your index finger on one end of the string and attempt to push it across the string will likely bunch up, twist up, or otherwise not cooperate. Instead imagine if you place your index finger on one end of the string and pull the string across, the string would likely straighten out and follow the path of your finger pulling it. So what is better, push or pull?

I believe in hard work, I believe it is a testament to achieving something greater, something worthwhile, and something you can be proud to have accomplished. While not everyone agrees with this philosophically, I’m a believer. If you’re with me on this, you’re working hard too, but what about this push or pull concept?

It’s really exciting and quite simple. We may often push so hard that we become frustrated, burnt out, or worse, we start to disengage. We may begin to focus on the short-comings and develop self-limiting beliefs that stifle our opportunities and short change our success. Push often makes you feel tired, worn out, and unexcited. That is why I believe pull is so much better. When you become so compelled, energized, and excited about achieving your next goal, it draws you in and pulls you to your destination.

Both approaches have some value, but most likely one of them has more advantages.

Which approach will you use?


See also: 3 Tips to Pull You Towards Your Goal

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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Push or Shove

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Easy feels safe, comfortable, and desirable, but most people who have it easy aren’t accomplishing much. It is easy to grab an ice cream cone, zip through a drive through restaurant, or simply hang out at a job that doesn’t challenge you.

Giant red metal push-pin leaning against tree

People who push for nothing typically stand for little, because that would be too hard. When you are at a job that feels easy, you’ve peaked. You may ride that peaked position for a while, or a career. You may slip back, slip up, or slip away, but you’ll never beat that peak unless you push for more. 

Moving forward isn’t always easy, coasting seems more logical, but you’ll only coast one way, downhill. At the bottom your momentum will stop. No more coasting and nowhere to go. It’s harder going uphill, you have to push a little more, care a little more, and desire a little more.

If you are coasting, stopped, or stuck, and no one is pushing you, give yourself a hard shove.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a keynote speaker, corporate trainer, and consultant that specializes in helping businesses accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. Reach him through his website at http://DennisEGilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Photo Credit: Horia Varlan (Flickr)

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