TOUGH TALKS: Creating Safety (and Success) with the Tribe Culture with Garry Ridge - The Mental Toughness Coach - Chris Dorris

TOUGH TALKS: Creating Safety (and Success) with the Tribe Culture with Garry Ridge

“If we’re out on the ocean in rough seas and you’re leaning over the rail getting seasick and I come over to you and put my arm around you and say, ‘I’m so sorry you’re feeling so crappy’ – that’s sympathy. If I start puking with you, THAT’S empathy!”

That was what the CEO of The WD-40 Company, Garry Ridge, said in response to my question, “How do you define empathy?”

Garry relies heavily upon empathy as one of the most powerful skills that great leaders use to create a work environment characterized by emotional safety. And he refers to his leaders as coaches. In fact, he refers to ALL of his employees as coaches.

The employees at The WD-40 Company aren’t a “team” – they’re a TRIBE. Garry’s leadership approach is based upon his deep research on Tribal cultures and the 7 characteristics that show up in any tribal group you can name. And that approach works! The company is killing it and the employees are pretty pumped to be there. In fact, 99% of employees say that they love to tell people that they work for WD-40 Company.

The company doesn’t sell oil in a can. That’s boring. They don’t stop squeaking. That’s boring. They create positive, lasting memories. That’s amazing. And I can attest to that. I share my own amazing WD-40 memory at the end of the interview.

If at all possible, be ready to take notes. Garry drops a lot of wisdom here.


More about Garry:


Personal LinkedIn: Https://

Company LinkedIn:


Here’s the audio only version, which you can also download as an MP3 file to listen to on the go.

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