Do you EXCITE your employees?


Hi there. Russell Stratton Leadership Champion of Bluegem Learning. I work with organizations just like yours to transform average bosses into exceptional leaders, and help improve individual and team performance within your organization.

So, I was having a conversation the other day with a new leader who had just taken up post in their organization, and they were talking a little bit about, “Well what tips would you give me, if you had a leadership model that you’d share with me, what would it be?”

And I said to him, “Well basically I work around the Vision EXCITE model, and if you follow that you’re not going to go too far wrong.”

So he said, “Go on, enlighten me. What is it?”

Vision EXCITE is basically this. First of all, do you have a vision for your team? Whether this is your immediate team or the wider organization, do you have a vision about what you want that team to achieve? And be really clear about what success looks like.

What’s the EXCITE part? Well, really first of all, are you able to engage your team? Do you get them involved with what your vision is so they understand it, and they know how to put it into practice?

The second part there, do you challenge people? So are you setting the bar for them high, so they can achieve it but they have to stretch to achieve it. People like a challenge as long as they know they’ve got a reasonable opportunity to actually be successful.

Are you going to inspire people? So are you somebody who could inspire people around your vision that they’re going to want to buy into it? Does it make it something that’s exciting for them?

Do you trust them? Some managers work on the basis that I don’t trust you until you’ve earned my trust. I try and flip that on its head. I’m going to trust you until you give me reason not to. There’s a powerful difference when you say to somebody that you trust them as against you tell them that you don’t trust them.

And finally, do you empower people? Do you empower people to try things that are new, to look to bring their ideas to the table, and to give things a go?

Now, those of you who have been following along with the EXCITE acronym will say, “Well Russ, where’s the x?” Well, that to me is always the x-factor that you bring to the table. What is it about you and your personality that makes you different to other managers, that makes you human, that gives that empathy that people can relate to?

So if anyone talk about the EXCITE model, that’s what I’m talking about. He thought that was quite interesting and has taken it away, and I’m interested to see how he gets on with his new team.

Again, give me your thoughts. Do you like that? Do you agree, disagree? Put your comments below. And if you’re interested in some of the work that I do, connect with me on

#Leadership #Engagement

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"Bluegem Learning & Development and Corporate Culture Shift have presented two very effective and interactive workshops with our organization. Their comedic and engaging presentation style in the ‘Managing the Unmanageable’ workshop has left a lasting impression on our staff. I highly recommend this workshop if you are looking for a valuable, cost effective customer service training option."

- Jeff Gerestein, City of Brooks

"Russell produced a highly engaging HR programme that reflected our organisational issues. He is without doubt an outstanding training deliverer, challenging managers to address what can be difficult HR issues. I highly recommend Russell, and would always seek to engage Russell on future learning development opportunities."

- Sharon Gartland, DSG Consultancy Services

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Russell Stratton

Leadership Champion

RUSSELL STRATTON is an international Leadership Expert, Professionally Certified Trainer and Coach, with a Masters Degree in Human Resource Management. He is co-author of the book 'I Need to F@#king Talk To You - The Art Of Navigating Difficult Workplace Conversations'.


He is a Master Facilitator for Bluegem Learning's ground breaking "Leadership Success" workshop series - providing a practical toolkit for building engagement and improving individual and team performance. Using live actors in a stop/start forum theatre approach and a combination of dynamic experiential learning techniques, participants come away with a greater ability to actually perform better as employees and leaders in your organization.


He is an accomplished management education, learning & development professional with a proven track record of working with clients in the public, voluntary and private sectors to achieve lasting, measurable step changes in business performance.


Russell works internationally with a wide range of organizational cultures and with all levels from front line customer facing staff to executive management boards. Having worked as both a Personnel Manager and Operational Manager he works at both strategic and tactical levels.

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