TTLS S1 19 | Costs Of Toxic Leadership


Herb Escher is the President of Dale Carnegie Training of Western New York.

Herb has developed a reputation as a catalyst for positive change in many organizations across the country.

This episode is important to me because not only are we exploring the source of toxic leadership, we also are discussing the various costs and misconceptions many people have related to feedback and conflict.

I had a great time exploring this topic through Herb’s experience with organizations of various sizes.

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Dr. Kevin Sansberry II is a behavioral scientist and executive coach with expertise in toxic leadership, human capital strategy, and creating inclusive cultures of belonging to enhance organization performance. Over the years, Kevin has focused on providing research-informed solutions in various settings such as higher education, nonprofit, sales, and corporate environments.

Follow KEVRA: The Culture Company on Linkedin to keep up with your favorite behavioral scientist, Dr. Sansberry. At KEVRA: The Culture Company, we partner to effectively evolve your organizational culture by focusing on competency development, best practices, and leading research to deliver systemic and innovative solutions for company success.

Have a question for Dr. Sansberry? Visit to send your leadership and organizational-related questions.

Listen to the podcast here


Exploring The Source And Costs Of Toxic Leadership With Herb Escher

Herb Escher is the President of Dale Carnegie Training of Western New York. Herb has developed a reputation as a catalyst for positive change in many organizations across the country. This episode is important to me because not only are we exploring the source of toxic leadership, we’re also discussing the various costs and misconceptions that many people have related to feedback and conflict. I had a great time exploring this topic with Herb. Let’s get to it.

We have Herb Escher and I’m excited to talk to you about various scenarios in toxic leadership, various costs, and how to transform relationships through leadership. Before we get into that, how are you?

I am doing fantastic. It’s 40 degrees in Rochester, New York. It’s something we appreciate around here. I’m doing very well. How about yourself?

I’m doing great. I haven’t gone outside yet. I see the sun. That’s always a good sign. Before we jump into the fun stuff and toxic leadership, I want to dive back a little bit and hear about you, what you’ve been working on and who you are.

I appreciate that opportunity. I am an individual that’s been in Dale Carnegie for many years. I started the world of Dale Carnegie out of nepotism. My father was the Dale Carnegie franchise for the Rochester, New York Region. I saw an opportunity. I wanted to open up my own carwash in the beginning. My father’s like, “What do you want to do? How are you going to raise the money?”

I said, “I have no clue.” He says, “Have you finished the Dale Carnegie course?” I said, “Yes.” He says, “Do you feel that other people should take that program?” I said, “Yes. When I was in high school, I always wanted to be involved with it.” He says, “I’ll give you an opportunity.” At that time, it was Dale Carnegie’s 90th anniversary. We had a program called Dale Day.

Dale Day was a free workshop to be able to celebrate it. He had me go in a bunch of office parks, office buildings and cold call them to promote the event but also find out who the decision-makers were. My training was a book called Good to Great. He told me I had to learn how to speak and learn the business. I reread the Dale Carnegie How to Win Friends & Influence People and How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.

At Dale Carnegie, every year, we have conventions. In our conventions, they talk about best practices. I had to listen to those tapes because they didn’t have CDs. I would listen to them and I’d bring that in. That’s when I discovered that I was a lifelong learner. There was nothing else I wanted but to continue to listen to those. The music went aside to me. It’s been a journey of continuously developing myself.

That passion has also translated into the work that we do at Dale Carnegie. I am so excited about developing. We’re so passionate about being able to create the best leaders and going through our transformational experiences to be able to help those leaders and to help those organizations achieve their dreams. It’s what keeps us going every single day.

TTLS S1 19 | Costs Of Toxic Leadership

Costs Of Toxic Leadership: Microlearning is fantastic when learning skillsets and tasks, but it doesn’t work too well in leadership.


I liked the emphasis on transformation. In part of this show, we talk about toxic leadership but the point is to get to transformation. That’s on the continuum that we talk about here. Going to the other end of that spectrum, which is all the juicy, fun stories and experiences that we’ve all experienced, I’m sure. As we dip our toe into this, talk to me about your experience in toxic leadership. When you think about that, what is your foray into that area?

We’re in the business to be able to untapped human potential. It’s our belief that everybody has an inherent ability to want to be great. They have to create a better belief themselves to be able to start taking calculated risks around relationships. Toxic leaderships are all over the place. Toxic leadership is a lack of talent management systems within organizations.

What ends up happening is what we would call the Peter Principle. The top performer gets promoted and you go ahead. That top performer is like, “How did I become a top performer? I became a top performer by beating my competition.” We’ve got to realize my people are not my competition. I got to realize that I got to change my mind into, “I’m developing people.”

Typically, in organizations, you don’t see that type of thing happen. What you start seeing is microlearning. Microlearning is fantastic learning for when we’re learning skillsets and tasks. We’re not learning skillsets and tasks, we’re learning leadership. We’re learning behaviors and changing behaviors. I might watch a great Ted Talks and create good reflection but how sustainable is that behavior? That’s where consistency has to come in around experiences that we’re able to be creative for leaders to become successful.

Especially the notion of consistency because one of the things that come to mind with consistency and how leadership shows up is leaders that are not consistent have decreased psychological safety with those that they lead.

“I don’t know who I’m going to get. Am I a Jekyll or a Hyde?”

I’m glad you lifted up the fact that plenty of people in the workplace are very perfectionistic and driven. It gets them into that leadership position. What tends to happen is they ratchet up the perfectionism and the driving behaviors to other people and not necessarily focus on, “Those aren’t the skills that are actually needed. I need to increase my emotional intelligence and influence.” I appreciate you lifting that up because the Peter Principle is very common.

They want to be stars. That’s the thing. What we have to realize is everybody has a big, shiny sign on their forehead saying, “How do I become successful? How do you guide me to become successful?” Who’s taking the time to be able to make sure that happens? What ends up happening is each layer within an organization is tough. That’s why a talent management strategy is extremely important.

Passive aggression comes from the fear of conflict. It is one of the biggest cancers in an organization. Click To Tweet

We talk about the world of COVID, we talk about disruption in the workplace. The disruption in the workplace is, “How many offices are going to happen?” When we look at the balance sheets, assets, and liabilities, having an office is a complete liability. People invest in liabilities as long as they churn assets. What are we going to do?

We’re going to be able to have an ability to be able to work virtually. We’re going to be working virtually for a few years as these variants, vaccines and everything. We have to plan for the worst and then go slow to where it was before. If that’s the case, it’s so much more important that organizations double down on leaders so that they don’t lose their best talent.

It’s to double down on the right leaders with the right skills. We’re not making morality statements here. What we do know is doubling down on those with people skills will be beneficial.

I had a conversation with an organization. Fortune 100 companies employ lots of engineers. Let’s be honest, in working in our industries, when we hear engineers a certain filter happens. A filter happens around relationships and soft skills. The thing is engineers end up being some of the best graduates in our programs. Engineers understand the logic.

They don’t like emotion as much but they understand the logic. When you put logic into relationships, process into people to how people want to be treated, and how you can be able to coach people, they spawn for it. You’ve got to be able to look at how do we broaden our pipeline of leaders. We might be impressed with what comes out of it.

I love that approach because a lot of people tend to make those assumptions like, “You’re too logical. You won’t be a great leader.” First of all, that’s a constant erroneous assumption that people make. That means you might need to explain it in a different way. That means you may need to put these in different terms and things like that. Everybody has the capacity to do anything. We have to be able to communicate with people.

I’m a sports fan. There’s one name that everybody knows, whether you’re a sports fan or not a sports fan. That name is Tom Brady. Everybody knows who that guy is. That guy is going to be 50 years old and winning Super Bowls. That guy who was the sixth-rounder. There are so many other people and if you’re going to be able to look at what a good backup is drafted, it’s going to be that sixth round. Joe Montana, third round.

As we look at talent and even look from that context of people like Victor Cruz, undrafted, there are those outliers that if we give them an opportunity, they’re going to impress us. If we think about the level of return on investment Tom Brady was for the Patriots, you might have him in your organization as a leader. Imagine what would happen if you unleashed that. That’s my thought on it.

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t

With that effect of talent management processes, you probably wouldn’t ever find your Tom Bradys. You wouldn’t find the diamonds in the roughs or whatever you want to call them. We tend to create these false assumptions about performance that translates from task to people orientation. We tend to equate the two when in reality, we’ve got to look at the people orientation. To your point, that’s how we got a whole bunch of toxic leaders. That’s why they exist.

That’s a great point. The one thing about toxic leadership that you and I agree on is when we talk about toxic leadership, it’s behavior. When you think about behaviors, how do you think these toxic behaviors manifest with leaders? They could be micromanagement. They could be yelling and anger and a whole bunch of things. How do you think they manifest ultimately with people?

A few things happened. When I’m looking at leaders and toxic leaders, the first thing you have to do is look at the organizational culture. Everything rolls downhill. I won’t say the four-letter word but we already know what that is. Fill in the blanks. Is that coming down from another place? A lot of times, good leaders, what they know how to do within that toxic culture, they know how to be able to block that.

A lot of times, I say middle management is the most important and forgotten. They have it from the top, and then they have it from the bottom. That’s where the diamonds are created. You got that pressure. What you got to do is you got to invest in that pressure. Toxicity starts coming from the first thing is the organizational culture. The second thing is what’s going on in that person’s life. Sometimes, that person might have other things that are going on in their life.

As leaders, we have to be vulnerable. It’s the same thing. To go back to your point around consistency, we have to be consistent. If there’s something happening, how do we become vulnerable with our teams, to be able to let them know, to release that? I’m not saying, don’t break any HR Laws or anything. What I’m saying is to be vulnerable. People inherently want to help each other. People don’t want to go in there and get destroyed.

The other thing too is passive aggression. It’s one of the number one cancer in an organization. Passive aggression comes from the fear of conflict. The number one fear of the American adult is public speaking, where Dale Carnegie got started. What Dale Carnegie has mastered is conflict. Through our hundred friends and people how to be able to handle and have those processes. The thing about conflict is a very fast-growing fear of the American adult.

When we have that conflict and we hold back, the next thing that happens is if I’m holding back that conflict into that room, I’m calling the next person to tell them how I feel. What we do is we start creating tribes within our organization, and then those suckers get cemented. That then starts creating internal politics.

It’s the point that you said. As a leader, first of all, it’s the psychological safety for that environment to happen. Also, the skillsets for individual contributors and people within the organization, to be able to voice their opinion in a meaningful and non-constructive way but in a conflict that creates great collaboration and innovation.

Diverse opinions create the best products. Without conflict and communication, toxicity is bound to happen. Click To Tweet

The best products and the best things ever created are by diverse opinions. If we can’t have conflict and communication, then we’re going to have toxicity. We’re going to have tribes, politics and all those things. We’ve all seen it. Here’s a quick assessment that I used to take when we used to be in person. I remember when I got one of my first leadership jobs. It was at a major market.

I’m sitting in the office and I noticed one employee. That one employee, anytime someone had a tough conversation with me, that person will take that person out to lunch. Those lunches will get longer than an hour and a half. I came to a conclusion, “Herb, they’re not talking about what a great leader you are. That’s not the discussion that’s happening.” That’s when I had to try vulnerability and say, “What do I need to do to get better? What’s wrong with me?” I start hitting that head-on, asking those questions, gaining the respect and the relationship, and seeing my team members as stakeholders that are my coaches to make me better.

You had to build that trust. You couldn’t have said, “Tell me anything,” especially if you weren’t consistent in your behavior. A lot of leaders don’t recognize the unspoken power or that implicit power that exists because you’re somebody’s boss automatically. It doesn’t matter what you say. It’s the actions that speak a lot louder.

You have a sign on your body that says all the time, “I could change your life.”

It’s for better or for worse.

You have to have trust and trust has to have a crystal clear vision of where you want to be as a leader. If you say, “I want to be an engaging leader.” What does an engaging leader mean? An engaging leader means, “I listen. I take your feedback. I’m not arguing back and forth with you. If you tell me something, I’m going to listen.”

When people give us feedback, what we do is forget that it’s a gift and we should say thank you. We should appreciate, look, and think about that gift that was given to us, and then we can act. That’s what starts creating trust. You’re the two cornerstones like what Dr. Covey says around trust, “Character and competence.” If you show good character, especially if you’re A performer at a role before and you already know. They know that you have the competence for it but they want to know, “Do you have the character?”

To be honest, we can find competence all over the place. Character is the rare one. I’m a mediator. I do cover resolutions all the time. One of the things I want to know with people is, there’s a difference between a conflict and a disagreement. As you stated, in these psychologically safe environments, you’re going to have more disagreement. In those environments that are more toxic, you tend to don’t think you have a disagreement but you have groupthink. I appreciate you being able to highlight that the fact of the diversity of opinions is what creates the innovation you want.

TTLS S1 19 | Costs Of Toxic Leadership

Costs Of Toxic Leadership: When people give feedback, leaders often forget that it is a gift for which they should be grateful. It must be appreciated and acted upon.


My cousin, her name is Roselinde Torres. She’s a former Management Consultant for one of the very large firms. She has a TED Talk if you ever want to look it up. It has tons of views. It was transformational. She talked about leaders. She took a year’s sabbatical studying leadership. She said three things around the conversations you’re having. It’s the people you surround yourself with and making sure they’re not all like you, that you have diversity in all your conversations to be able to challenge your thinking.

The second thing she talked about was travel experiences. Where do you travel? Why are you traveling? What are you experiencing with that travel, the art that’s happening, and all those different things that you can be able to do? The third one is, what are you reading? What are you learning? What are you filling your brain with? Those three key areas, if you’re ever looking for, “What’s the self thing I can start doing in my journey as a leader?” Start having diverse conversations.

The second thing is to plan some trips. They could not be driving. It could be a town over. Who knows? You’ll find out things. The third thing is to pick up a book. Not Audibles but a regular book. I love books and the reason why is because I mark those suckers up. I’m not in a contest of how fast I could read it. I’m in a contest of how much I could absorb it.

I love those tips because, as you know, there are going to be plenty of toxic people reading this. Toxic leaders, people are wondering like, “Is that me?” Probably, maybe and maybe not. With that being said, plenty of people are like, “Reading? Cool. Travel? Cool.” I guarantee you, some people might not have the self-esteem for the first one, which is surrounding yourself with a diversity of opinions and thoughts. As people introspect, as we look internally, we sometimes have esteem issues. If unchecked, that may shift on how we lead and how we influence people. What do you think about that perspective? What would you say about that?

That’s definitely a case. The number one thing we always worry about is ourselves. We’re afraid to look like a fool. “How are people going to judge me? What are all these things?” That’s what happens. Maybe not everybody’s that way but it’s been my experience. One of the things is you have to look at your identity. When you’re looking at your identity, you want to look at what it is and what’s your aspirational.

We’ve talked about it earlier. Dr. Marshall Goldsmith wrote a great book, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There. That’s one of the best titles ever. Your identity, things have to shift because what got you to the point where you are is not going to get you to the next point. That changes the systems, the structures and everything about how you’re living. Once you get that promotion, it’s like that dog chasing the car. What’s it doing? It catches it.

You got leadership, the promotion, you’re very excited but then you find out no one gives a crap what the boss says. In fact, they’ll undermine you. After they undermine you, you’re gone. They’ll know how to rig those engagement scores and all kinds of things. You see it all. That’s when you have to say, “What is the leader I want to be?” That comes from experience. Sometimes, you experience great leaders that you want to emulate. Sometimes, you experience bad leaders that you say, “I never want to do this to my people.” You get it from all.

You and I both agree that leadership is not a title. As we think about how we lead internally, first, I love the fact that you’re talking about having the right influencers and thinking about who you are influenced by as a leader. We can pick up toxic traits. Secondly, I like how you framed it out earlier because it connects to the talent management process. Our organizations to all our HR frames need to create environments that are affirming to people. I see too many frames or systems where the mistake is the person, not the task or whatever.

Self-leaderships is the first kind of leadership, and by far the hardest one. Click To Tweet

I got a story about that right there. We were talking about this earlier. I was coaching somebody and we were talking about something that person did. It wasn’t done exactly how we want. The two questions that we have to look at leaders, “Is it a system or is it a talent? Do they have the system? Have they been put to the system?” “No, they haven’t.” That’s my fault. Now, if it doesn’t get corrected, it’s your fault.

We have to look at the systems and affirmation. I’m going to guarantee you that a lot of times, within people where they’re underperforming will have some awareness because a lot of times, we are our worst critics. The one thing I loved about Mr. Carnegie when he built our processes is we build on strengths. We grow the heck out of strengths. We leverage those strengths throughout the areas of opportunity.

You don’t need a title to be a leader. The first leadership is probably one of the toughest leadership. That’s self-leadership. How am I leading myself because then I can be the example? We’re creating examples for ourselves in many different ways. We get to choose the examples that we get to make for people. Dwight D Eisenhower said, “A leader is anybody with a follower.”

One of the things that come up a lot, especially with clients that I work with like CEOs is explaining what the costs are to toxic leadership. One may assume, “We’re getting all this stuff done.” The soft skills don’t matter. Talk me through what your thoughts are around various costs that may exist.

There are so many organizations that you’ll see out there become ultra-profitable and ultra-successful. People hate working there. You’re like, “How the heck does this happen?” They hate it and they have a certain culture. As Jim Collins said, “Good is the enemy of great.” Sometimes, organizations think they’re great but they’re not great. They’re good. What ends up having to happen is when you’re at that point, how do you get organizations to understand what is the cost?

Walking through a scenario, as people are reading this, the question that we’re going to ask is, “Have you ever worked for a boss you hated?” You hated going to work there every day. What are the outcomes that you see? How do those leaders that you’re working with need help? What are you hearing from their people?

Through consulting work, working in HR, and all that stuff, you tend to see it in any employee population, to be honest. What you tend to see is your point, exactly. Are you going to have this fragmented culture? You have the subculture that everybody loves to work in, and they achieve their outcomes and all that. You have a culture that everybody doesn’t want to work in, and they may achieve their outcomes. To go back to your sports analogy, it’s like a Bobby Knight versus a Coach K.

It’s like the coach that’s yelling and throwing chairs, and they won a few games or it’s the coach that’s affirming and being supportive. My question always is, “Do you want to lead from a place of coercion or do you want to leave from a place of influence and trust?” That’s a false dichotomy but I use that as an example of what I’ve seen differences.

TTLS S1 19 | Costs Of Toxic Leadership

What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful

The thing is when we have these bad bosses, and you’re working with these tough leaders, and I don’t want to say the bad bosses. It’s not about being bad. These are the negative and tough behaviors that we have that the Johari Window would say, “Tons of blind spots.” There are tons of blind spots all over the place.

That’s a very diplomatic way to say it.

That’s an opportunity. How can we take this Johari Window to people nicely in showing and creating different experiences to allow them to see those blind spots? They could even perform as a leader. No one goes into work and says, “I want everybody to hate my guts. I’m dying for them to hate my guts. I can’t wait to tick them off.” The leader is frustrated. The leaders probably say, “These people, blah, blah, blah.” They don’t have the mindset of how to be able to think. As an employer, it’s your job to do that. What drives me the most nuts is when somebody tells me, “That person seems great.”

I believe in the motto, “Hire slow. Fire fast.” Why did you hire that person? What’s the difference between hiring that person in your A-player? When you hired that person, did you sign off to making sure that you’re going to ensure their success? How did you fail that person? What we have to go down to is about we as leaders, if we have bad performers, how are we as leaders failing them? Is it our system’s problem? We might’ve failed them by hiring them, too. Always remember that. The thing is maybe they’re not interested in what you’re doing.

I’ve got many years of experience. I have more experience in driving a car than doing what I do for work. I don’t drive Uber and I don’t drive a taxi. I’m very well qualified. I have all the years but I have no interest in it. It’s one of the things that we set them up to fail. There’s what you call a tour of duty people. “I’m going to go work here to do my tour of duty and get my expertise, and then I’m going to look for a job here and do my tour of duty.” It’s like, “Do we need that tour of duty? Good for them.”

Again, what’s your interest level? Have we created the systems? Is our hiring system straight? Is our engagement system straight? Is our Telemanagement system straight? What are those things that are straight? Every single day, employees and team members are talking to your customers, and the customer is a very big asset or they’re working together to create the product. This could be the better mousetrap for your competitor. Are they going to do it faster? Is it going to be better? They’ve got a lot of things in control.

I always see talent developments and insurance businesses, they have to mitigate the risk by investing in people to make sure, “We’re going to talk to customers. We’re coming up with the best products. We’re going to have the best mousetraps. You’re going to see us flourish.” It all underlines what the organizational purpose is, how the organization is driving the purpose for their company, and what kind of excitement level.

One of our clients is a huge grocery store. Look it up. It’s usually 1, 2 and 3 in the best companies to work for by Fortune Magazine. They’re hyper about being intentional in their culture. They get these great results. Through those great results that they get, they do it through teenagers. We forget that grocery stores employ teenagers of the majority.

In any relationship, if you don't get to trust, you don't get anywhere. Click To Tweet

Imagine having to be a leader and getting your first leadership role, and your leaders are a bunch of 16-year-olds and 15-year-olds. If I’m going to judge that based upon how I was 15, 16, then I was pretty darn confused. They’re able to do that because they’re top-of-mind in how they’re developing leaders. They run the organization through purpose. They create great meals through great ingredients to be able to serve our communities. That’s so much better than saying, “It’s over there at Frozen Section.”

One of the things that I want to lift up that you said earlier that connects to this is you talked about Collins’ work on Good to Great. I feel like a lot of people, maybe these toxic leaders have these behaviors. They like creating that system where they’re settling for people to do just their job, the good. You won’t get to a point of people creating a better mousetrap than competitors because nobody’s going to want to go above and beyond. They’re going to do the bare minimum. To your point, I would argue that some people might not be a tour of duty person if they were in the right environment either.

If they have an interest in what they’re doing, it’s a good match. If it’s like, “I love technology. I don’t want to deal with people all the time,” you might not want to work at Dale Carnegie.

I want to hear about your process of transforming relationships through leadership.

The first thing is I want to talk about our transformational formula. Our transformational formula starts with the outcome. What is it that the organization wants as an outcome? I want great engagement numbers. I want people to get along, and create great products and services that could be able to help and service our clients. I want to be able to help us by doing that capture market share. I want our clients to feel special. These are the outcomes that organizations are looking at. They want to look at my cashflow, my market position and my market share.

Based on those outcomes, people have to behave a certain way. They have to work as a team. They have to do things and those behaviors. “I talked to many clients. I’m crushing these leading indicators. I’m doing so many leading indicators. I might be doing all these great leading indicators, having all these meetings, and having all the scrum sessions in the world in the agile environment but if my attitude stinks, it’s who I am.”

Who am I? What are my values? What’s my attitude? What’s my confidence level? When I have that started to go, that’s when we coach people. It’s in that who we are. That thing gets people to do and do properly, which then gets the results for the organization of the market share and all the great things. It’s all people systems. That’s how we look at things.

When people are going through our programs and processes, the Dale Carnegie Principles are always a fabric in everything we do. The principles are in a process. Kevin, send me your address. I’ll send you this thing called the golden book that we have. The golden books are How to Win Friends & Influence People and How to Stop Worrying and Start Living over Reader’s Digest version of bullet point.

TTLS S1 19 | Costs Of Toxic Leadership

Costs Of Toxic Leadership: Teach people lots of processes. Not just the principles, but also tactics and techniques to make the business about them.


The first one says, “Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.” The second one is, “Give honest, sincere appreciation.” The third one is, “Arouse in the other person an eager want.” Those are all about things that not only do I have to do for other people but also who’s the biggest person we criticize. It’s me, myself. Every time I say, “Give honest, sincere appreciation,” I ask people, “Please raise your hand if you get too much appreciation.” I never had anybody raise their hand before. I’m still waiting. I’ve been doing it for many years, except for my father. He gets all kinds of appreciation because I’m always appreciating him.

If I’m not getting appreciation, I’m not giving it. The third is an eager want. It’s not about me. It’s about them. What’s in it for them? Those principles are about trust. How am I building trust? In any relationship, if we don’t get to trust, we don’t get anywhere. You don’t go pass go. If you go pass Go after trust, then you just go to jail.

If you do a good job at that, take your time with it, and that’s what we do. We teach people lots of processes. Not just the principles but also tactics and techniques to be able to make it about them. We can start getting cooperation. We can win people. We can influence, and the influence comes from, “How do I listen? Am I willing to be wrong?” You don’t always have to be freaking right. “If I’m going to be right, what’s that costing me? If I’m right all the time, no one likes me.” There it is.

The last set of this process is you got permission to lead. One of our team members was telling me he used to run a plant for a large appliance organization. There are about 6,000 employees in this plant. He says he spent so much time on the trust that they said to him, “Pat, we know you’re a great guy. We know you’re smart. Tell us what to do. Lead us for God’s sake.” It works. After that, he’s had a very successful career. He did a great job running that facility.

I love the formula. That resonates with me. You’ve dropped a lot of gems. I hope people will rewind some of this and read these things. I do want to isolate a point and be able to open the room up a little bit for both of us. I want to hear what are some words of wisdom that you’re thinking about.

Here’s what we do. Usually, my father gives me something. It was a book. I was like, “I’ll read it later,” but this was so easy. It’s a Mother Teresa devotional book. If you ever want to look at the opposite of toxic, it’s got a picture of Mother Teresa, cleanliness and caring. She said, “Charity begins today. Today someone is suffering. Today someone is in the street. Today someone is hungry. Our work is for today. Yesterday has gone. Tomorrow is yet to come. Do not wait for tomorrow.” If you’re looking at leadership and you’re looking at how you can be able to get better, it’s not, “I’m going to or I wish I did.” It’s who I am now. Let’s be present. Let’s create that identity. We’re all work in progress.

As we wrap up, I want to give you the opportunity to share any initiatives you’re working on or further help people reach you and hear more about Dale Carnegie programs and systems. Tell us more.

You can email me at I always leave that open to people. If they want to have a conversation, get inspired, I send them a fifteen-minute Calendly. Our whole thing is about how many relationships we can build. If you’re more than willing to hit us up,, are two websites that go right to our franchise. We have the rights for Western New York and one more coming soon. We’ll let you know. It’s a cool city. It’s got a lot of colleges and universities and one Ivy League in that region. That’s it.

Herb, I want to thank you for sharing your time and the space with me. I hope we get to cross paths again in the future.

It’s my honor and my pleasure. Thank you so much. Let’s do this again.

Thank you for our talk and thanks to everybody for reading. Until next time.


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About Herb Escher

Herb Escher is a consummate professional with exceptional leadership skills. As a native of Rochester, New York, Mr. Escher has developed a reputation as a catalyst for positive change. In this context, Herb has championed creative marketing campaigns and established a gold standard of excellence in the customer care processes that Dale Carnegie of Rochester employs to retain client relationships. He encourages entrepreneurial thinking at all levels within his business and leads a culture of empowerment and success in which individuals pursue their full potential.

Herb has served on the following boards/committees: Junior Achievement, Rochester Area Community Foundation, and the Democratic Chronicle board of contributors/YP Blogger, We Live New York. He currently serves on the following boards: American Heart Association, Leadership Rochester, and the Latino Leadership Development Committee for the United Way.

Herb joined the Dale Carnegie organization in 2003 and has been a major driver of business development and sales. As a result of his leadership in these areas, Dale Carnegie of Rochester, NY has grown more 70% since 2003.

Mr. Escher has received recognition as the Rookie of the Year and is in the $300,000 club in 2005, 2006 and is currently ranked in the top 60 of all Dale Carnegie Training Consultants. Under Herb’s sales leadership, Dale Carnegie Training of Rochester N.Y. grew 110% in the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

Mr. Escher maintains a robust client list that includes reputable companies such as Xerox, Dixon Schwabl, City of Rochester, Pike Construction Company, ConServe-ARM and many more.

Mr. Escher is an excellent communicator and enjoys favorable relationships throughout the business and political community in Rochester, NY.