‘Tis the Season for Managing Stress Levels

Year-end budget deadlines are looming, your company’s 2016 goals still need to be finalized, and the holiday frenzy is on the horizon. It’s that time of the year when everyone can benefit from reminders about how to manage stress levels at home and in the workplace.

Amy Gross with Dale Carnegie Training provided pointers for identifying and managing stress during the Sunrise Scrambler.

Amy Gross with Dale Carnegie Training provided pointers for identifying and managing stress during the Sunrise Scrambler.

Gordon Hibbard and Amy Gross from Dale Carnegie Training provided an interactive presentation during this week’s Sunrise Scrambler that included a 15-question stress management assessment for attendees. Several group exercises provided coping suggestions to help gain perspective on the temporary and even positive aspects of stressful situations.

One of the ten top stress principles recommends asking yourself, “What is the worst that can happen?” in this situation and refusing to assign the source of your anxiety more value than it’s worth. Resiliency is also a powerful tool for addressing stress and a Mayo Clinic study found that resilient people rely on humor to deal with stressful situations. They also maintain an optimistic outlook and accept change.

As we begin the countdown to what can be the most stressful time of the year, be sure to take time to breathe deeply and focus on the fact that many of your daily stress points are only temporary. Don’t let anxiety consume your day and deplete the supply of humor and goodwill you’ll need to enjoy your holiday gatherings and greet the new year. Above all, remember this Dale Carnegie quote, “Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.”

Check our Facebook album for photos from this week’s event. Our thanks to our sponsors for this month’s event:  Legacy Bank, Holiday Inn, and Davis-Moore.

Be sure to register to attend the December 9 Sunrise Scrambler. Damon Young from Mahaney Roofing Company will present his thoughts on “The Joy of Giving Back” through corporate citizenship.

Bossing, Managing and Leading: is there a difference?

Wichita-native Aaron Bushell dropped some leadership insight at this morning’s Sunrise Scrambler when he presented “Are You a Boss, a Manager, or a Leader?” While many may quickly think, “Is there really a difference in those titles?”, the 150 Scrambler attendees learned there is a difference and were asked to assess where they fall on the spectrum. Here is a quick recap of some of Aaron’s main points.

Bushell presented to a sold-out Sunrise Scrambler crowd at Wesley Medical Center.

Bushell presented to a sold-out Sunrise Scrambler crowd at Wesley Medical Center.


  • This title typically has a negative connotation. Hollywood is filled with depictions of bad bosses.
  • They tend to lead with force.
  • They inspire fear.
  • They take credit for team success.



  • This title has a more positive connotation.
  • These are the people who get things done and make things happen.
  • They lead with authority.
  • They inspire goodwill.
  • They are included in the credit for team success.



  • These are the people who drive and create the vision for an organization.
  • They lead through engagement.
  • They inspire passionate followers.
  • They communicate a vision.
  • They defer credit for success to their team.


In other words? Don’t be a boss. Be a manager or a leader. Leaders set the vision and managers make it happen, and it takes both kinds of people to have a successful organization. As Emily Millspaugh of Susan G. Komen tweeted, “No leader is an island. Find your perfect partner, the yin to your yang. If you’re a doer, find a dreamer, & vice versa.”

See all of the conversation from the event on Twitter using #ChamberICT, and find photos from the event on our Facebook page. Thank you to our wonderful sponsors, Emprise Bank and Wesley Medical Center.

Join us for the next Sunrise Scrambler on Sept. 24, then head down to the 2015 Exposure show floor! This Scrambler sells out every year, so be sure to register in advance because we will not be taking walk ups. Register here!

Are you the Top Dog?

Photo Jun 17, 7 47 39 AM (1)

Speaker Maurice Evans reminded Chamber members that leadership is highly relational.

You don’t have to be appointed the top dog in your organization to lead the pack. People will follow you and embrace your ideas if you are adding value to their lives and their work. Real leadership is the result of influence rather than position.

Maurice Evans of iGROWyourBiz, Inc. reminded 115 Chamber members at this week’s Sunrise Scrambler that influence is an essential leadership skill. Evans says developing and maintaining influence requires a commitment to making good things happen for others. You need to identify and seek moments each day where you can make a difference and perform value-added acts for those around you.

Your influence will grow with the value you add. But you’ll also need to embrace accountability and integrity. Real influence is the result of living what you believe. Borrowed beliefs have no power and influence can’t be bought.

You can view the slides from Maurice’s presentation here.

Our thanks to Maurice for sharing his presentation and to this month’s sponsors:  Legacy Bank, Eberly Farm and Davis-Moore. Check Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for photos, video and more information from the program.

Register for next month’s Sunrise Scrambler on Wednesday, July 15,  when Dr. Atha McNay discusses The Power of Potential & Growth.

The Measurement of Success

A recap of the May 2015 Sunrise Scrambler

Todd Rams

Todd Ramsey

It seems like more often than not, the world of social media is changing , thus requiring businesses to change their social media practices to keep up. And with the plethora of tools and tactics to choose from, it can be overwhelming to determine whether or not your social media efforts are effective. Todd Ramsey, Chief Strategist at Apples & Arrows, broke down social media measurement at our May Sunrise Scrambler when he presented “Measuring the Effects of Your Social Media.” Below is a short recap of his many great tips.

To Formulate a Social Media Strategy:

  1. Start with your objective. Do you want to sell more product, increase event attendance, increase brand awareness, protect brand reputation, build community, etc.? You cannot form a plan to achieve a goal unless you are clear on what your goal is.
  2. Know your audience. Todd used the example of selling running shoes. If you are targeting 65-year-old men, your plan will be different than if you are targeting 18-year-old women.
  3. Understand your resources. The thought that “social media is free” is a myth. Executing a social media strategy requires people, technology and time – none of which are free.
  4. Your objective, audience and resources will inform the tactics (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, SnapChat, etc.) you choose.

Five Things to Measure:

  1. Awareness – How many people saw the content?
  2. Engagement – Did people share, comment or like?
  3. Consideration* – How many responses were generated?
  4. Conversion* – Did we generate a sale/goal?
  5. Advocacy – Did we get people talking?

*Two most important factors to note because they can impact a company’s bottom line and create ROI.

Suggested Measurement Tools:

Questions from the Audience:

Q: With Facebook’s algorithm, is it almost necessary to pay to promote your posts?
A: Yes, Facebook’s shareholders want to make money. Therefore, an organic post (one that has not been paid to be boosted) will typically only reach 1-3% of a business page’s followers. So if your page has 100,000 likes, only 1,000-3,000 of those people will see your post. Even businesses with small budgets can benefit from paying to boost their posts. One attendee indicated that her business page sees a drastic difference when devoting $10-20 to boosting a post.

Q: How often should a business revisit their social media strategy?
A: Todd suggests developing plans on a quarterly timeline. This ensure agility in the changing social media world, but is also a long enough timeframe to capture trends.

See photos from the event on Facebook, view conversation from the event on Twitter using #ChamberICT, and check out Todd’s presentation here. You can also follow Todd and Apples & Arrows on Twitter @ToddRamsey and @ApplesArrows.

Thank you to our sponsors for making programming like this possible: Emprise Bank, Friends University and Davis-Moore Autogroup.

Next month’s Sunrise Scrambler will be held on June 17 at Eberly Farm, where Maurice W. Evans with iGROWyourBiz, Inc. will discuss “Becoming a Person of Influence.” Register here.

Stop making plans & thrive in the chaos

A recap of the March Sunrise Scrambler

Many would be hard pressed to find a leadership model that exceeds that of the United States Marine Corps. And many of the USMC leadership principles can also be applied in business and in life. Richard Rierson, ten-year USMC vet and founder of Dose of Leadership, spoke about this concept at our March Sunrise Scrambler when he presented “Closing the Gap Between Strategic Development & Strategic Execution.” We have outlined some of his main points below.

Richard Rierson

           Richard Rierson

  • USMC Philosophies – train everyone to act as a leader, make decisions from the bottom up, ask for forgiveness instead of permission, and learn to thrive within chaos. These are also good philosophies for business leaders to adopt.
  • There is no such thing as a perfect plan. Focusing on detail and control is not the answer. Instead, we should focus on aligning our teams on working toward clear outcomes. It is not about working on a plan; it is working toward the desired outcome.
  • Focusing on clarity and alignment leads to an intelligent organization with engaged and high-performing teams.
  • You cannot over communicate your organization’s desired outcomes.
  • Give your people the tools, time and support they need to succeed. Define boundaries then get out of the way.
  • You can have a decent strategy and a great culture and succeed every time. But if you have a great strategy and a negative culture, failure is inevitable. “Culture eats strategy for lunch every single day.”

You can follow Richard on Twitter @DoseofLeader, and you view his full presentation here.

See photos from the Sunrise Scrambler on our Facebook page, and see conversation from the event on Twitter using #chamberict.

Special thanks to our Sunrise Scrambler sponsors: Legacy Bank, Holiday Inn Wichita East, and Davis-Moore Autogroup.

Registration is now open for our next Sunrise Scrambler on April 16, when a panelist of our 2015 Small Business Awards finalists will share what has made their organizations unique and successful. Please join us to support small business!

Solving the Mystery of Employee Engagement

Sunrise Scrambler 039_cropEmployee Engagement: what does that really mean? This month’s Sunrise Scrambler tackled this important topic when Carrie Wiegand of AGH Employer Solutions presented “Destroying Employee Engagement Myths: What Really Matters in Engaging Employees.” Attendees learned that 1 out of 3 employees are disengaged from the organization they work for. Her presentation offered ideas and examples to continually re-engage those working with, around and for you. We have recapped some of her main points below.

Mistakes organizations make in attempting to engage employees

  • Programs like “Employee of the Month” – While it is nice to recognize employees, it does not often drive engagement because criteria for choosing the star employee is often unclear.
  • Free food and drinks – This can promote a sense of comradery but does not inspire engagement.
  • Employee surveys – More often than not, little action comes as a result of these kinds of surveys, which can leave employees feeling even more disengaged than before.

What does engagement look like?

  • Organizations with a clear mission and whose employees can tie what they do to advancing that mission tend to have more engaged employees.
  • People who are passionate about their work are more committed and more engaged.

Other Main Points

  • Only 37% of 23,000 surveyed employees understand their organization’s goals, and only 15% feel empowered to execute their goals
  • Gallup research indicates that companies with engaged employees have better attendance, less turnover, fewer accidents, and are 12% more profitable.
  • Tips to improve engagement: establish open communication between employees and supervisors, know your brand, and hire people who fit that brand.
  • Managers have to be able to distinguish characteristics vs. behavior. Example: the term “customer service” can mean several different things to different people. Managers must clearly define the expectations and how that looks.
  • Positive feedback and recognition is cited as the #1 reason employees are high performers.
  • Newton’s 1st law of motion applies to employees as well. Employees will continue doing what they typically do unless corrected. When you need to give negative feedback to an employee: give specific examples of undesired behavior, explain impact & consequences, then follow up.

Our thanks to Carrie for sharing her expertise with us yesterday morning. You can see her full presentation via SlideShare.

A huge thank you goes to our event sponsors as well: Emprise Bank, Davis-Moore Automotive, Inc., Kansas Sports Hall of Fame, and Truffles Catering!

See photos from the Sunrise Scrambler on our Facebook page, and remember to follow us on Twitter (@ventureboldly) and tweet the reasons that you love living and working in Wichita using #ILoveWichita to be entered win a ticket on Southwest Airlines.

Self-Care Stress Management

Shelley Smith and Don Cantwell from Commercial Mechanical Inc. learned more about the Chamber's January Sunrise Scrambler.

Shelley Smith and Don Cantwell from Commercial Mechanical Inc. learned more about coping with stress during the Chamber’s January Sunrise Scrambler.

How do you avoid burnout at work and in your personal life? Suzie DeVaughn, LMSW, provided members who attended this month’s Sunrise Scrambler with valuable guidance on how to raise your resiliency while reducing your stress level.

Suzie has personally experienced the physical, psychological, spiritual and social benefits of self-care. Other benefits include increasing your efficiency, productivity and satisfaction at work and home. Building your own de-stress toolbox will ensure that you’re ready to deal with stressful situations. Meditation, physical exercise, humor, and journaling are just some of the relaxation tools and techniques you can explore to determine what works best for you and your situation.

The Self-Care Stress Management presentation was a powerful reminder that we need to extend the same compassion to ourselves that we extend to our friends and family. Committing to taking better care of ourselves in 2015 will ultimately benefit those we care about most since we’ll be strong enough to assist them in their time of need.

Check out the complimentary guided meditation downloads at selfcarespecialists.com. The site also includes information about self-assessment tools, inspirational quotes, and other resources.

Event photos are posted on the Chamber’s Facebook page and you can pick up more tips from members who tweeted during the event. Our thanks to event sponsors: Legacy Bank, Venue 332, Convergys, and Kent Audio Visual.

Plan to join us for the next Sunrise Scrambler on Wednesday, February 18 at 7:30 a.m. when Carrie Wiegand, PHR with AGH Employer Solutions will discuss Destroying Employee Engagement Myths: What Really Matters in Engaging Employees?


Leadership quotes that motivate WSU Shockers

Holly Landon and Sheryl Wohlford greeted Sunrise Scrambler presenter Steve Dickie.

Holly Landon of the Chamber and Sheryl Wohlford of Automation Plus greeted Sunrise Scrambler presenter Steve Dickie before this month’s event.

The members of Wichita State University’s (WSU) men’s basketball team have gained national attention for their leadership both on and off the court during Coach Gregg Marshall’s tenure.

Yesterday’s blog recapped the five character-building pillars that Steve Dickie, Character Coach for WSU’s Shockers, shared with Chamber members during this week’s Sunrise Scrambler. Today we’ve posted more motivational thoughts from  Dickie’s presentation. We’re confident that you’ll find a few to inspire you.

  • You were born to fly. Don’t settle for less.
  • Character is what sustains us. Like an iceberg, the 10% at the top is our leadership ability. Character makes up the 90% below the water line. It’s who we are.
  • The critical area of character development is self-management. You must invest in your character so you can become a better leader among your family, friends, and colleagues.
  • “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are.” A quote from legendary basketball coach John Wooden.
  • “Fame is vapor, popularity an accident, and riches take wings. Only one thing endures and that is character.” A quote from American newspaper editor Horace Greeley.
  • “You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one.” A quote attributed to both James Anthony Froude and Henry D. Thoreau.

Our thanks to our November Sunrise Scrambler sponsors:
–Presenting Sponsor, Legacy Bank
–Host and Breakfast Sponsor, Petroleum Club of Wichita
–Showcase Sponsor – Davis-Moore Automotive, Inc.

See photos of the November Sunrise Scrambler on the Chamber’s Facebook page and Instagram account. Follow the conversation about Steve’s presentation at #ictchamber and @ventureboldly. Follow Steve @sdickie56.

Be sure to register for next month’s Sunrise Scrambler on Wednesday, December 17, by following this link. December’s speaker is Wichitan Jared Estes, who will share his story of triumph over tragedy and how he learned to FIRE BACK.

Good, better, best. Never let it rest.

Steve Dickie is the Character Coach for Wichita State University's Men's Basketball Team

Steve Dickie is the Character Coach for Wichita State University’s men’s basketball team.

Every Wichita State University (WSU) men’s basketball player knows how to finish the rhyme that serves as the headline for today’s blog post. It’s the Shocker mantra:

“Good, better, best. Never let it rest.
Let your good be better and your better best.”

Steve Dickie, Character Coach for WSU’s men’s basketball team, attributes the Shockers’ success to Coach Gregg Marshall’s emphasis on developing leadership and character in each of his players. Dickie shared his presentation on the value of both of these attributes with Chamber members at this morning’s Sunrise Scrambler. Here is a recap of how he motivates athletes to improve their personal and professional lives by continually improving their character.

You’re going to have to dig deep to get through life’s rough spots. Preparing in advance for these curves in the road helps you develop the stamina you’ll need to get through them.

True service to each other and to your community raises your own value and can actually be fun. Embody servant leadership and seek to serve those who aren’t typically  recognized for their efforts.

Thankfulness is contagious and shapes your perception of situations and the people around you. You’ll always find what you are looking for, so use your selective perception to find and focus on the positive.

Celebrate the gifts you see in each other and all the victories in each day. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt to have a catchy victory tune to celebrate with…Ay-Oh here we go! (Click here for a video clip of Steve leading the Shockers’ locker-room victory chant at today’s event.)

Ask yourself these three questions:
– What do I need most?
– What is standing in my way?
– What do I eliminate to get there?
Then sum it all up in one word that you can visualize when you’re feeling extreme pressure. Sample words from some of your favorite Shocker players: Perspective (Fred Van Vleet), Benefit (Ron Baker), Humble (Tekele Cotton), and Love (Cleanthony Early).

Steve had more words of wisdom to share with the group and we’ll post some of his favorite leadership quotes tomorrow. See photos of today’s events on the Chamber’s Facebook page and Instagram account. Follow the conversation about Steve’s presentation at #ictchamber and @ventureboldly. Follow Steve @sdickie56. You can read more about Steve Dickie’s work with the Shockers in this Kansas Leadership Center profile and this Wichita Eagle story.

A Recap of “Understanding How We Learn”

By Courtney Sendall, Communications Coordinator

Last week’s Sunrise Scrambler had attendees on their feet and tapping into their artistic side as Steve Dunn, Associate Dean of the School of Education at Newman University, presented “Understanding How We Learn.” Steve used several activities to demonstrate different learning styles, and we have summarized his main points below.

  • Learning occurs when teachers create safe, active and collaborative environments (in a classroom or the workplace), as well as employ a variety of learning activities to engage learners of all types.
  • Effective teachers love their subject, their students, and are always reflecting and striving to become better.
  • In the process of learning, taking time to reflect on what you are studying is critical to improving. In fact, a study revealed that we need to spend about 50% of our learning time reflecting upon and evaluating the information we have gathered.

You can view Steve’s PowerPoint here and visit our Facebook page to see photos of the interactive presentation. Thank you to our sponsors Legacy Bank, Best Western Wichita North Hotel & Suites, and Davis-Moore Automotive, Inc. for making this program possible.

Next month’s Sunrise Scrambler is scheduled for September 25 at the Hyatt and will feature Eric Fisher, Founder and President of Eric Fisher Salon and Eric Fisher Academy. After the September Scrambler, plan to head down to Expo Hall in Century II for Exposure, the area’s largest business-to-business networking event. Register here for the Scrambler.

Steve Dunn

Steve Dunn