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How to engage employees in strategic planning

In this episode of Toughest Call, Mark Bowden, world-renowned body language expert and communications coach, walks us through the process he uses with leaders to guide them to present ideas effectively.

We're doing a role-play: Toughest Call host Chaz Thorne is playing the role of CEO of a fictional company called Terrific Toboggan Co. With a fresh new one page strategic plan in hand, Chaz has come to Mark seeking advice on communicating the new plan to his wider team.

Chaz Thorne: Welcome back, or welcome to Toughest Call, a podcast for organizational leaders where we hear stories from your leadership colleagues about career-defining decisions. I'm your host, Chaz Thorne.

In this very special and fun episode, I'm talking with my good friend, Mark Bowden, one of the world's top experts in body language and communication. Mark is a sought after keynote speaker and Communication Coach. His clients include politicians, presidents and CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, and prime ministers of G7 powers.

In addition, he's a best-selling author of four books on body language and human behaviour.

Mark and I became friends years ago after I received presentation skills training from him as part of my Executive MBA Program. We bonded over our shared backgrounds in live theatre, and have kept in touch ever since. That shared background leads me to explain the uniqueness of this episode of Toughest Call.

Instead of a standard interview, we're doing a roleplay to provide you with a sampling of Mark's private work with his esteemed clients. I'm playing the role of CEO of a fictional company called Terrific Toboggan Co. With a fresh new one page strategic plan in hand, I've come to Mark seeking advice on communicating our new plan to my wider team. This challenge represents my tough call.

If you'd like to follow along, you can download a copy of Terrific Toboggan Co.’s one page plan. Go to and under the sample one page strategic plans section, select the company's strategic plan for Terrific Toboggan Co.

This is a rare opportunity for you to peek behind the curtain at how an elite communications coach guides clients to present ideas effectively.

Chaz Thorne: All right, so I guess we should just jump into it. How do you normally start these sessions, Mark?

Mark Bowden: Well, just like this, I mean, look, you know, let's assume that for you, it is not super obvious as the CEO just how you're going to get this message out to your organization, or you know, there have been issues in the past, you've had a plan before, it's probably stayed on a shelf somewhere and never came down because it was too big and too heavy.

You're a very lucky man because you've now got this one page plan. But even still, you know, it's got to be distilled down into something that you can kind of propagate throughout the organization they're going to get, but also, they're going to be able to pass it on to each other. You Chaz, CEO of Terrific Toboggans.

It'll be too much work for you if you're trying to tell everybody about this. We want something that will propagate throughout the organization because it's easy for other people to tell other people about the plan. Does that make sense to you as CEO of Terrific Toboggan?

Chaz Thorne: It does, Coach Mark.

Mark Bowden: That's lovely. Just to say Chaz of One Page Plans, I mean it was great to see that plan, because, you know part of what we're going to do today is really distilled down an idea to something of the real kind of poetry of it. But having said that, Chaz, I didn't really need to read it, because all of this is going to come out of your head.

So I know, you know, the plan really well. And it's so important, I think, from my point of view, that whoever is going to deliver the message is the person who's kind of inventing the message and coming up with the poetry of the message. Because it's got to have the heart to it. You know, does that make sense? So I'm not being rude when I say hey, Chaz, I didn't really read your plan.

Chaz Thorne: I know that is quite okay. Well, and it's really what, you know, what I hired you for as my communication adviser, in terms of how I communicate to my larger organization as the CEO of Terrific Toboggan Co. I'm really hiring you for your expertise in the process. It has nothing to do with the content. You're kind of assuming that I know the content, and you're showing me the best way to make that known, and make that message known to my organization.

Mark Bowden: Perfect. So it absolutely is a process and let's hammer through it super quick. And anybody listening to this can kind of play along at home as well and thinks about their own organization, or think about their own issues that they're going through.

So Chaz, when delivering this message about the plan, what's the real goal here? What's the big goal? What do you want to happen at the end of this?

Chaz Thorne: Well, the whole reason why I even undertook to do this strategic planning exercise is I'm trying to, well, for lack of a better way to put it, I'm trying to get everyone in the organization aligned and on the same page.

So we've had a lot of challenges as, as most large organizations do, with people feeling also just aligned in their work, like understanding, alright, well, I do this thing you know, every day, I've got these tasks that I have to do, how does that connect to some larger picture of who we are, and what we're trying to achieve as an organization.

So I really would like everyone in the organization of all levels, not just in the boardroom, everyone, no matter what they do, to feel that they understand how they're contributing to our overall success.

Mark Bowden: Yeah. So we need the support of everybody.

Chaz Thorne: Yes.

Mark Bowden: Everybody, because my guess is that Terrific Toboggans, you have no surplus of staff. There is no like, well, you know, we could kind of fire them and the organization wouldn't suffer.

My guess is you're a pretty lean organization. Everybody has a real function and a real job to do. Everybody's got to be aligned.

Chaz Thorne: Yeah, for sure.

Mark Bowden: Perfect, perfect. And what do they need to get aligned behind? What is the big goal of the plan? What if the plan succeeds? What will happen?

Chaz Thorne: Well if the plan succeeds, we'll really achieve the three sort of focus areas that we identified in the strategic plan. And those are, we're looking for aggressive, profitable growth, we're looking to be really entrenched and seen as a modern manufacturer, and we're also looking for those that work with us to see us as a top place to work. Those are our three strategic imperatives that we're hyper-focused on for the next 12 to 24 months.

Mark Bowden: So look Chaz, feeling that what you just said that if your people were to think at the end of this message, man, it's going to be great to work at a modern company that's growing. Would that be good with you?

Chaz Thorne: Yeah, yeah, that really does combine all three.

Mark Bowden: Right. Okay. So look, look at all the ideas that we're going to come up with together over this time. They're our best guess right now. Okay, we're going to make great guesses right now, because a good guess right now is better than a better guess tomorrow. Okay? Because, because we want to get going with this plan. We want to get you to communicate this plan. And we can iterate and change over time. But I reckon our best guesses today are going to be more than good enough that we don't have to sit around and wait for something better to show up tomorrow.

Okay, so if we say anything where you go, no Mark, absolutely not. Don't let me pressure you into accepting ideas, but if they feel you know, good enough today like that one did, let's just, let's just move forward. So, look, it feels great to work in a modern growing company. How do you feel saying that it feels great to work in a modern growing company?

Chaz Thorne: I think it really aligns with our aspirations as an organization. Another part of that plan that we did on our one page plan, the top of it, our guiding light, was to craft the world's best premium toboggans. Like that's who we want to be seen as, who we want to feel like internally, who we want to be perceived as externally.

It makes me feel, as the founder and the person with whom the buck stops at the moment as the CEO, it makes me feel very excited. And, I just love that...I would love for everyone in the organization to have that same feeling of excitement and aspiration.

Mark Bowden: So I get that and I think and I loved reading that in the plan that it's about crafting the world's best toboggans. But in my mind, that's really something for your customers. Okay. And, let's not leave that behind. But I want to align a little bit more with what the customer experiences, and what everybody who works with the company experiences.

So, look, if somebody is having that moment on the world's best-crafted toboggan, what are they feeling? Like? Why? Why would anybody even want that? What is the what, you know why?

Chaz Thorne: You mean, like when they're going down the hill on one of our toboggans?

Mark Bowden: Yes, why is that better than any other experience they have? And what is that experience?

Chaz Thorne: Do you know what it is? Like, the whole reason for even founding this company at the beginning is it's that pure joy of being brought back to childhood. It's, you know in some ways, it's funny, I've heard people that drive motorcycles describe that freedom of being like, you know, cruising along, you're going fast, you're out in the open air.

And that's kind of what it's like to ride down on one of our toboggans down a hill you build speed. I mean, they're crafted for speed, but you also feel safe because they're sturdy. But instead of it being like a motorcycle, there's something about it that's even more pure, because it relates back to our childhood.

Mark Bowden: So I get that and I love this idea of pure joy. Let's hold on to that pure joy. Okay, because would you like to work somewhere where there are these moments of pure joy every day? Yeah. I mean, I would buy into that. Okay, if we can get that not only in the…well, it's in the product, that's in the product, but if that can be in the work that you do, and that's part of the plan, that is amazing. Go back to that childhood moment. Okay. Why as a child, is this so important?

Chaz Thorne: Well, I guess, when I think back to my own experience of it, that moment in childhood, it was, I don't know, it was the first time speeding down that hill, especially when I was alone, right? Like when my dad was no longer, you know, on the back of the toboggan behind me holding on to the rope. And when I was speeding down that hill and I was alone, it was one of the first times that I kind of remember feeling independent, I guess, and sort of in charge of my own destiny, for better or for worse.

Mark Bowden: So here's what I'm getting Chaz. The buyer of these is not the kids, the buyer is the parent.

Chaz Thorne: Yeah.

Mark Bowden: Yeah. And so here is the opportunity if this plan succeeds, here is the opportunity to give parents the pure joy of freedom to their kids. That moment of pure joy, of first being really free. You know, in charge of a vehicle on their own.

Here’s the opportunity for this plan to succeed, that so many more parents can give that moment to their kids, and so many more kids experience that moment. Because my guess is that if you have that great experience, it has ramifications for the rest of your life?

Chaz Thorne: I think so. I'm a parent and I'm aware of how parenting has changed over the years and so on. And some of the criticisms of it, like helicopter parenting, for example. I think, as parents too, we always struggle with that bit of kind of letting go a little bit. Letting go so that our kids can safely experiment with risk and teasing out in the world on their own.

Mark Bowden: Yeah, yeah. So there's an element there of look, working at a modern company that's growing. This modern company. By working at this modern company that's growing, there's the opportunity to give that gift of pure freedom, that pure joy of freedom to kids.

Chaz Thorne: Yeah, in a sense.

Mark Bowden: I know, it's jagged at the moment, but I just want you to think about it, Chaz, kind of step out now out of the CEO role and back to the Chaz that I know. Give me some feedback on this process as it's going. Where are you now in your thinking about communication?

Chaz Thorne: Well, what I really like about this is that, so often in organizational culture right, there's all the reading, and the analysis in the data, and you immediately, for the CEO, tied it into this quite intense emotional experience.

And, and even got him slash me into this role of storyteller. So it no longer has that kind of coldness, with which strategic initiatives are oftentimes communicated from the boardroom, right. And, you know I was genuinely like, within me, while you were taking me through this, I was genuinely getting excited. So when that came out of my mouth, that was actually how I was feeling in the moment, because I could see how I, as the CEO, could affect the rest of my team no matter what position they fill within this organization, with that same excitement.

And also what I really liked is you tied it into the experience that we're ultimately trying to create for our customers. And you made it even more interesting by talking about, to use a more technical term, the economic buyer.

So in a very short period of time, an incredibly short period of time, I, as the CEO of Terrific Toboggan Co. better understood the job to be done, that people were looking for emotionally of both the child who would be riding the toboggan, as well as the parent who is buying it for their child. That's incredibly powerful in an extremely short period of time.

Chaz Thorne: I hope you're enjoying this episode of Toughest Call. At, my team and I get organizations aligned in just two days with strategic plans that fit on a single page. And since strategy is all about making decisions, we created a suite of free decision-making tools for organizational leaders like you. So to get some assistance with your next tough call access these complimentary resources at

Mark Bowden: Yeah, thanks. Thanks for that feedback. And it's really important that you shared that with everybody that's listening here because I need them to know that though you're role-playing, what we got to was a real feeling.

And you said as a CEO at the start, look, I want to get all my people aligned behind this thing. And it's about aligning people. And they align as groups. Groups align around helping each other and helping those like them. That it's a social thing. Alignment is a social thing. It's not an individual thing.

And when we treat people, often quite rightly as jobs to be done, and we said, you know, look, nobody's superfluous here, they’ve got a job to be done. But then we've got to convert them in your mind to people with feelings. And we've got to get you feeling so that you can.

If I said to Chaz, CEO of the company, hey we've got five we've got 20 of the people or 500 of the people, or we've got 2000 of your employees out there right now. Do you feel like you could just go and tell them about that feeling? Yeah, how would you? What would happen in your mind? Would you, I mean, you’re nodding your head at me right now. And it seems a big ask, but how, what would you say back to me?

Chaz Thorne: I would say yes, that I think we could get you to know, immediately in my mind I start to go to ideas of like an internal communications campaign, or something like that, that's built around that feeling to really show the impact of the workers work at Terrific Toboggan Co. on these parents and on these children and have it again, really being about the emotion of it, telling that story, I think that'd be incredible.

Mark Bowden: Look, we're not even finished it, you know, a 10th into a potential process here, and within our time together, my guess is we won't get fully through it, because normally, this would take an hour and a half or something like that, to get a fuller message out there.

But already you're starting to feel like if I said to you, hey, how about we go and make a video tomorrow, and we get a parent, we interview a parent about that feeling of giving their kids that moment of going down the hill. And then somehow I don't know how we do it right now, but we'd be able to do it pretty quick, we tied that back to some of the roles that people have in the organization, and how they've contributed to that parent being able to say, wow, look at that kid's face. This is the first time they've been in charge of look how they're looking at that. Look what you've done. You know, look what you've done for me, without being that explicit. Would you be behind that campaign?

Chaz Thorne: Absolutely. And it doesn't even feel like it needs any of the slickness. Right, shot on an iPhone. As well as showing that to individuals in different departments, and also videoing their reactions to watching.

You can just imagine someone who's in the manufacturing, right? Their main job is, let's say quality control at the end of the production line. And them seeing that video, and the smile, and the pure joy that they're experiencing, watching the end result of their, the tangible impact of their work. That seems absolutely joyous to me.

Mark Bowden: Yeah, pure joy. If we can capture it, it'd be easy to do that pure joy on a kid's face. That moment of freedom. Yeah. And then the parent, or parents or whoever, you know, grandma or granddad, whoever it is, whatever the caregiver is, that moment on their face, that's why you make what you make. And that's why you control the quality.

Let me take you on to another part of this process, which I think will be interesting to people now, we're skipping a whole bunch of stuff. But, I think this will interest people a lot. This is what we call the common the common enemy.

Okay, Chaz, what's the biggest thing that's going to stop this from happening for parents and kids across the world or North America? I can't remember where your target is at the moment whether it's world sales or North American sales, or what is the enemy that gets in the way of this moment?

Chaz Thorne: God, that's a good question. And it's funny because again, my mind goes to all these like business answers, right?

Mark Bowden: And it could be that, if that's where your mind goes, go there, go where your instinct takes you.

Chaz Thorne: So some of the things that come up, what could get in the way is cheap knockoffs of ours that have our product coming out of China. I mean the more successful that we become, the more that there will be cheap imitators, and we make the world's best premium toboggan. So there's a cost that goes along with that, but I also go to some of the emotional places again because of where you already took me in the first part of the journey. Another big barrier is fear.

Again, I mentioned helicopter parenting before. This over coddling of children that we can get into. And you know some of it can be warranted. I mean, interestingly, when I was in high school, I had a friend that was massively injured in a tobogganing accident. He went down a side of the hill, a major hill in my city that he shouldn't have. And he ended up getting actually skewered, literally skewered on a metal fence. And he was in rehabilitation for several years as a result.

Mark Bowden: My wife broke her back going down a hill in Montreal, well, you know, the hill in Montreal. But on some kind of metal plate. Not on a well-made, well-designed machine. On a tray.

So here's something that comes to mind here, and coming out of what you're saying. And again, what I do in this work is just take what you're saying and try and create some piece of poetry with it. But I just think to be fearless.

You know, that moment of is that an idea that we could take out of the whole organization is what holds us back? Is that fear? That fear, both as the buyer of this great equipment, this great product, but also as an organization, that we get this fear that we won't really want to put in the work?

Do we really want to expand as we do we really want to grow like that? Do we really want to experience joy every day? Like, can we hand off? Can we handle that? It's quite nice being…it's quite comfortable being a bit of a curmudgeon now, and again, nobody will buy these things. They'll go down to Canadian Tire and get plastic ones.

Chaz Thorne: It jumps out to me is you saying that what jumps out to me within that as well as it's, it's not only about being fearless as individuals for ourselves, so being fearless as you know, for example, employees of Terrific Toboggan Co. in terms of our work, or parents being fearless in terms of allowing their children to have these experiences. It's also about teaching fearlessness.

So for us as leaders of the organization, we need to empower that within all of the individuals working within Terrific Toboggan Co., but parents are also empowering that in their children, by allowing them to engage responsibly in this activity. They're letting go a little bit, encouraging that experimentation and encouraging that courage in their children.

And I really don't want to sound patriarchal about one's role as a leader in an organization, because it's not like being a parent. An organization is not a family. It's different but there is a similarity in terms of that role of what we have to do as leaders to encourage, to both demonstrate the fearlessness in ourselves, but support it in, in those that work with us, too.

Mark Bowden: I love this. I love this. Look, the words that jumped out to me around that is something about encouraging courageousness. Yeah so look, the process that we've gone through thereby trying to define the enemy brings up ways to defeat that enemy, which is to encourage courageousness.

And so as an organization, if I can go to work going, what am I trying to do here? What am I trying to do, if I'm coaching a colleague, or just advising the colleague at work, or I'm giving them advice, so they've come to me with a problem, or I'm in customer service, and I'm trying to deal with something? If I can always encourage courageousness? If I can always encourage people to be courageous across the organization, would that be a value? That would mean I'd go well that was an interesting day's work.

Chaz Thorne: You know, it's, it's interesting, I was having a conversation yesterday with a colleague of mine, that is just now moving on from being the CEO of a large public company, and is looking for his next thing. And he was talking about how in an organization that he worked at previously, they didn't have values, they had principles.

And what jumps out to me and what you said, is a defining principle of Terrific Toboggan Co., being: encourage courage.

Mark Bowden: Yeah. Love it.

Chaz Thorne: So encourage courage in yourself and others, in the buyer of our product, which is the parent, the grandparent, the caregiver, the uncle the aunt what have you. And the end-user, if you will, the child or maybe not even the child, we encourage adults to hop on as well.

Mark Bowden: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So look, I think you're absolutely right, what we've got to there is a guiding light, a principle, a star in the sky, somewhere to go when it's dark. Because as an organization, there are always moments where leaders or anybody is going: I don't know what to do here. I know what we're trying to get to, I understand that, a modern growing company. But we're trying to help people get these moments of pure joy and freedom, that experience, but what do in this particular situation? And if I keep that as my guiding light, I've got to encourage courage, either for myself or other people, for the customer? That's what I should do. Is it likely to go wrong?

Well, from a principle point of view? No. And if the interaction does go wrong in some way, you can always report that. Well, look, here's what I was doing. Here's why I did that. Here's why I said that to the customer. Here's why I said that to my colleague. Here's why I made that organizational choice. Here's why I made that speech. Why did you make that speech to people? I was trying to encourage courage, that was my best way of doing it. At the time you know, it'll be better tomorrow.

On a principle level, I think we're doing the right thing. What we do with this by having that as a communication principle, means it's easier to make decisions, it's easier to come up with content, and it's easier to connect with the audience.

You can tell them what you're doing because they look, the reason I'm saying this to you is I just want to encourage courage, in you in ourselves. So let me just say this, and now you've got a framework that you can put anything into which is a principled holding device, a framing device. And again it comes from truth, credibility, a heart, a relevance and it's clear.

For me the message has to be true, it has to be credible, it has to have heart, has to be relevant, and it has to be clear. Hopefully what you're experiencing here Chaz and everybody listening is that we're quickly getting there, we're quickly getting more poetic, universal, human ideas out there. Rather than, like, we haven't talked about the numbers that you're going to give people. My guess is there's a kind of already a burn inside you, that goes I feel like I could go out and tell some stories to people. I feel like I could get out a good enough message and I walk away going, you know what, at least I told them how it feels, you know, that feeling that I had as a kid.

Okay, so look, just before we kind of flip out of this roleplaying thing and just get a sense of your view of this process. And obviously, it's a much bigger process. But let me tell you a story that comes to mind that's very similar to what's happened here, in terms of coming up with these principles and these bigger ideas in communication.

I was working with Toby, who you might know is one of the founders of Shopify, which is obviously a very important big company in Canada, if not the world at the moment. And, the same kind of process; to pull out communication, to pull out stories, to pull out the poetry of what to tell an organization and users, as well as the market in general.

And he was telling me a story of when being, through this process, telling me a story of when being a snowboarder, though he was writing code and language at the same time, snowboarder, started making his own snowboards because he loved snowboarding and thought he’d make some snowboards. And then he thought I'd like to sell some of these snowboards. I'd quite like other people to have a snowboard that I've made, then realized there was no software to be able to have done that, it all got kind of shelved during the dot com crash.

Apparently, his take on it was the institutions that had invested in some of those dot coms, which were getting closer and closer to being able to create the infrastructure for shopping online. When the dot com crash happened, all that software went into the bottom drawers of banks. And so the industry was like 10, 20 years behind where it should be.

So he decided he would build some software in order to sell his own surfboards or top-notch surfboard snowboards. And he built in the software, if he ever made a sale, there would be a little bell that would go ding when he made a sale. And he said the moment he first heard that bell go ding, and he'd made a sale, the feeling for him was so overwhelming that somebody had been able to buy something that he had made, that he thought I want anybody who wants to experience that moment, I'm going to lower the barriers to them experiencing that. I'm going to make it as easy as they possibly can for them to experience that moment.

Now think about what you think about shopping at what is Shopify? It's a bunch of software, essentially, software infrastructure, in my mind. But what's the outcome? Why does it exist? So that human beings can have that moment of going somebody just bought something that I made.

His idea that came out of this is that commerce, the ability to buy or sell something that you've made, or buy something that somebody else another human being has made, is a human need is like air and water, and eating. It's a human need. And that you do a good job if you help people get closer to that moment, create less friction at that moment.

So Shopify is a bunch of software, ultimately, that helps human beings have that moment of breathing essentially, now, that's a big story. Yeah, that's big. It's air. It's so fundamental to human beings. But that's the kind of poetry that I'm trying to get to for a company like this how can you make it so fundamentally relevant to people but still is utterly truthful and credible? Which is, I think, where we were getting there, so what do you think, Chaz, give me your feedback on your experience of going through a bit of this process.

Chaz Thorne: What amazes me about it is, you know, I talk a lot about when I'm working with clients, I talk a lot about you know, conciseness and clarity of communication that when it comes to communication, more is not more.

What really struck me going through this with you and obviously I've done other work with you in the past so I've experienced six-hour-long processes, eight-hour-long processes with you, but it was you getting to that emotional clarity.

Yes, you need to, and I love that you also clarify that it needs to be real, it needs to be true. This is not an exercise in manipulation. And I think that's something that people need to hear really clearly: this isn't spinning. This is getting to a core emotional truth that is deeply held and felt that will allow a leader to then communicate that very clearly, to give other people a taste of that emotional truth. And I love that you gave the example of Toby's initial kind of impetus around Shopify because that makes sense to me.

And I think the more noise that happens out there, and not just in the marketplace, in the world, the more that we're all competing for attention, not just from customers, but the attention of even our own employees, leaders that share their attention and mind. And hopefully, if you're doing it with the right heart, going about things in the way that you do your work, is incredible, it's more important now than it ever has been, and will only get more important as the world becomes even more cluttered.

Mark Bowden: Yeah, I agree. And if you think about all the companies that have landed on that emotional heart and the ability to try to communicate it, to some extent, they tend to do relatively well. It tends to work.

But in my experience, a lot of companies will get a great plan, we get groups to create great plans, and it was lovely to see the plan you created because it was so well distilled, anything on a page is a piece of poetry. And so I mean it has an economy to it. And it begs to have an economy of heart to be able to then deliver that message.

But it's so hard to do that on your own. It's so hard to convert the plan to a message with heart and emotion on your own. And it won't just kind of show up, you have to have somebody there to drive you. And go tell me about it, as I did. Tell me about that moment. Get to the feeling. Name the feeling.

So that somebody like yourself in that situation says the words “pure joy”, and I can see on your face that you are truly accessing that moment. And it is absolutely true for you, that if I put you in front of a crowd and say tell them about the pure joy, you would go in front of them and it would emote from you in a very true way they would tangibly be able to get.

They would go this guy's not making it up. This is absolutely real and true. Very hard to do that on your own super hard you need somebody there to direct you and tease it out of you or, or hammer that out of you. And you know you're somebody you have good access to those emotional feelings. You have a good way of being able to go okay, I'll tell you about that and some people out there might go: I don't know whether I've got access to that.

Well, that's why you need somebody to go: hey, tell me about that, don't go and put another shiny thing over here so we'll get obsessed with the numbers, or say I want to know about the feeling, I want to stay there until you name its name. You're gonna name that devil, you're gonna name that demon there, and name the devil and the demon of the common enemy as well. And you're courageous about that. So I think in this process we got excited. I'm excited about it. It's kind of a shame that this is not an actual real company.

Chaz Thorne: I'm gonna run out and start talking to a fictional organization of 2000. And you're gonna run out and try and buy a toboggan that doesn't actually exist.

Mark Bowden: Straight away I know somebody who owned a couple of Canadian tires. I want to be like, straight up, listen, you've got to get this on your shelves for next year. This is about pure joy. You’ve got to encourage parents. You’re a parent. You’ve got to encourage everybody to be courageous. And those plastic machines, you can't be courageous in one of those. That’s not courage, come on!

Chaz Thorne: If you'd like to learn more about Mark, you can check out his website at or on LinkedIn.

And if you'd like some assistance with your own tough calls, we've compiled a collection of free tools just for you. Go to to check them out. If you're not yet a subscriber to Toughest Call, please add us wherever you listen to your podcasts. Thanks for listening. I hope this conversation helps you when faced with your next tough call.

Mark Bowden

Mark Bowden is a world-renowned body language expert, keynote speaker, and best-selling author. Founder of communication training company TRUTHPLANE®, Mark’s live and virtual keynote speeches and training prove invaluable to business leaders and teams from influential companies across the world. Mark is also a go-to media commentator on the body language of politicians, celebrities, and public figures.

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