How Tony Robbins Changed the Way We Think About Business Processes and HR

How Tony Robbins Changed the Way We Think About Business Processes and HR

Anthony Robbins: Entrepreneur, philanthropist, best-selling author, humanitarian, and world authority on leadership, psychology & business strategies. Most people pay a lot of money and eagerly attend Tony’s workshops, but not me. I reluctantly attended after being told that it was already paid for and to show up at this date and time to be inspired. So, with that I sat through three days of information completely closed off to what was being told to me, because let’s be honest, I was already successful in business and believed I didn’t need this guy’s advice.

Now fast forward about 10 months. I found myself scrolling through some TED talks one night and came across Tony Robbins talk from 2006. There he was talking about all the same things, throwing in the same strategic swear words which presumably makes him more human, believable and inspiring. I don’t know why I clicked to listen, but I did. I thought maybe the information would be different this time? Maybe he’d give me some inspiration I didn’t already get at his event? Maybe I just wanted to figure out what it was he was really saying that was helping so many people and businesses. As I listened to the talk, I was amazed at how I was hearing the information in a completely different way than I had 10 months before. Why? What had changed?

As I listened to what Tony was talking about, I recognized that what had changed was that in the last 10 months I had come to the realization that in business and HR, you just cannot be all things to all people all the time. What was different was that I was talking to more and more business owners and HR professionals who were just completely overwhelmed. At some point you need to ask yourself, “how can I be the best and contribute the most to those around me in a more positive way?” At what point do I make the transition away from being the person who goes to an office, pounds a keyboard, gets the same thing for lunch every day, deals with situations the same way every day and works almost completely robotically just because it’s how I/we’ve always done things?

Being in a human resources focused business, I’m always wanting to gain greater understanding of people and make sure that my organization is the very best it can be. Isn’t that what we all want in HR and as business owners? Isn’t that what it was before it became endless paperwork and putting out fires? At what point did things transition from starting a bakery because you love to bake, for example, to filling out forms all day?  Let’s face it… the numbers are not in our favor when it comes to running a business!  Just check out these stats:


So, what did Tony say this time that impacted the way I think about HR and business processes? What he said are two VERY important things:

First, he said, “DECISION IS THE ULTIMATE POWER!” What did that even mean? What he really went on to talk about was excuses. We all make them, and use them daily to navigate things that we don’t actually want to deal with for one reason or another. As humans, we fear change. We fear the idea of doing things differently, especially if it means giving up control of something. In my experience, the excuse generally appears in the form of:

1. “If I want something done right, I’m going to do it myself. I can’t trust anyone else”
2. “It’s cheaper when I do it” Which begs to question, is it really cheaper? How do you know if you’ve never tried it any other way?
3. “I will not outsource because then I give up control of X function which is why I’m relevant and here in the first place!”
4. “I don’t have time to listen to this idea, because I’m too busy.”
5. “It’s not in our budget, so I won’t even consider it.”
6. “We already do this function well enough. We don’t need help.”

We all know that the list could go on for miles. It was refreshing to learn that if you really wanted something done, you could just drop the limiting beliefs (aka excuses) and make it happen. Wouldn’t you be more valuable to a company anyway if you improved processes and made it more profitable? It got me thinking… what opportunities have you missed because you didn’t make a decision to think about something differently?

The second thing Tony said that was simple, yet eye-opening was, “THE DEFINING FACTOR IN WHY/HOW SOMETHING IS ACHIEVED ISN’T RESOURCES. IT’S RESOURCEFULNESS!” How many times have we said as business owners or HR professionals, “I can’t do this because I don’t have X,Y and Z.” Ask yourself, are you being the most resourceful you can be in your business? In your HR department? Ultimately, what makes us valuable to an organization isn’t that we do a great job counting widgets, for example. It’s that we do a great job being resourceful about how that widget counting is getting done.

According to a recent article on, “As companies reorganize to gain competitive edge, human resources plays a key role in helping companies deal with a fast-changing competitive environment and the greater demand for quality employees. Research conducted by The Conference Board has found six key people-related activities that human resources completes to add value to a company:

1. Effectively managing and utilizing people.
2. Trying performance appraisal and compensation to competencies.
3. Developing competencies that enhance individual and organizational performance.
4. Increasing the innovation, creativity and flexibility necessary to enhance competitiveness.
5. Applying new approaches to work process design, succession planning, career development and inter-organizational mobility.
6. Managing the implementation and integration of technology through improved staffing, training and communication with employees.”

The main phrases that stuck out to me in that article were “key people-related activities,” “gain competitive edge,” “human resources plays a key role,” and “fast-changing competitive environment.”

SO, WHY DO WE ENGAGE IN ACTIVITIES THAT DO NOT FALL INTO THESE CATEGORIES? The answer is because it’s comfortable. It’s comfortable and we make excuses and have limiting beliefs. It’s not about resources. It’s about resourcefulness just as Tony mentions. Human Resources is about “applying new approaches to work process design,” “developing competencies,” “effectively managing” and “managing the implementation and integration of technology.” How can you do those things if you aren’t open to approaching employee & business processes in a different and more effective way?

Personally, I want to be ahead of the curve in business and in HR, and I know the people I speak to daily do as well. If our impact is going to be huge in the rapidly changing business environment, then it’s time to stop making excuses and make a DECISION to be RESOURCEFUL. As humans, we tend to resist change. There are reasons for that which Tony talks about as well. We will discuss that in a future blog post, but in the meantime, you owe it to yourself to give your business or your role in HR some thought. The future is no longer about doing everything yourself. It’s about delegation, systems, efficiency and most importantly, your openness to doing things differently than you ever have before to achieve great results. Those who can do that are invaluable to organizations.

If you’d like to see Tony’s TED talk and be inspired to think differently, you can view it here:

Written By: Ciana Alexander
Ciana is a seasoned veteran in the execution of effective business strategies. She has over a decade of experience working with business owners to enhance processes and increase profitability.


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