Holiday Closure: All Easton Schools Closed Dec.14 & morning classes cancelled Dec.15

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February 5, 2023

Easton All-Staff: Lead with empathy, check your motives + take a breath

Tatyana Grechina

Easton All-Staff: Lead with empathy, check your motives + take a breath

In a company like Easton where we have our vision — where we’re headed, our mission — what we want to accomplish which helps us get there, core values which decide who fits on the team, and principles which help keep us on the right track, the biggest and most critical component to success comes down to the people who make it all happen.

Last Monday, January 30th, Easton held its first monthly Easton Leadership All-Staff Meeting of the year, and we’ve got the breakdown.

30-Second Glance

  • Wellness Living — seeing the light at the end of the tunnel for the transition
  • Winter Belt Promotion — over 100 students promoted and 6 new black belts!
  • Lead with empathy, check your motives + take a breath.
  • Our Easton BJJ Open is February 18th, we’re currently at 292 Kids competitors and 215 Adult competitors.
  • Easton Muay Thai Smoker is February 19th, with 100 competitors total combined with kids. Still looking for volunteers!
  • Upcoming: Prime Fight Promotions, Referee and Judge Training, CO State Muay Thai Championships and the [Muay Thai] Team USA Qualifier where the top pros and amateurs in the US compete for spots on the world team. *details at the bottom
  • Martial Arts Moves – Helping kids remove barriers to martial arts!

In other news, Van prepares to travel to Japan, Sarah inspires us with her walking treadmill at her standing desk, Ian confirms that being a human is hard and Mike Tousignant loves our attorney.

Mike Phipps steps into the role of Director of Marketing to keep telling our story and Longmont’s GM Jordan Shipman becomes Easton’s new Kids Program Director. This means all of Easton’s HQ roles are officially filled, with Martial Arts buzzing under the leadership of Alex Huddleston, Sean Madden and Matt Bloss.

Muay Thai also plans to add new short heavy bags to each location! (“Wrist-breakers,” Mike T calls them, so make sure you ask your coach on proper instruction on how to use them.)

To follow along, join us on Apple Podcast or Spotify for the whole session!

Lead with empathy, check your motives + take a breath

Easton’s VP Ian Lieberman takes the lead on Mike T’s opening topic which gets right to it — how does one approach management?

For Ian, whose words denote principles all of Easton seeks to mirror, good leadership comes from a space of humility. Remaining humble will ensure that our egos don’t cloud our judgement, especially when you have others looking up to you.

Rather than getting results through fear or weaponizing leadership, a leader should inspire others to do their jobs because they understand the why behind them.  Motivating others to be excited about not just their job, but their role in this whole creation can help people see where they fit in, and why their involvement is so critical. 

Even the best leaders need to keep their motives in check. It’s easy to know you’re the good guy, and that other person is being unreasonable. However, a good leader will always reassess him or herself. Are you taking the time to sit for a moment before you respond to a heated comment? Are you leaving your ego out of the office?

When presented with a tense situation — you overhear someone talking smack, or somebody brings a complaint to you — it can be easy to get upset if you don’t agree, but our ability to maintain our calm becomes even more crucial.

“As a manager, you’re going to make a lot of mistakes,” says Ian. “People are always looking at everything you do, and the spotlight is on you. It goes back to remaining humble.”

The more emotionally charged we are, the harder it is to see clearly. If possible, wait a little while before responding, but you can’t:

Take a breath before you respond when we’re angry, and ask yourself why you feel this way. Don’t criticize and don’t fight. Find out why they’re upset, and figure out how we can reach them. Most times, people just want to be heard, and most things aren’t a personal attack.

Four of Ian’s favorite books on leadership:

Learning to work with a team

When bringing together a group of highly motivated individuals, keep in mind that everyone learns and is motivated in different ways. Sarah Rochniak, Easton’s Regional Director, recalls learning how to let go of expectations when she moved into her leadership role.

She remembers getting feedback and immediately feeling defensive, getting caught in the trap where it felt like a personal attack before recognizing, “oh this has nothing to do with me- this is about trying to make our team the best team possible.”

Sometimes when we’re used to doing things ourselves, it can be hard to let go and delegate, but ultimately you’re not just helping yourself save valuable time and mental space –you’re empowering the people on your team to step up and add their own value to the company.

People respond to different leadership types, as Sarah learned, and empowering others to be their best meant letting go of certain ideas she had. “Not expecting everyone to do something the way I did it,” says Sarah, “because I thought it was the best way and learning to let go of that was a big step.”

Sarah also offers some suggestions for First Impressions Specialists, from using tools like Grammarly to learning to use your Google Calendar and software like Trello to keep your to-do lists and projects organized.

Dates to keep an eye on:

  • Saturday, 02/04: Prime Fight Promotions, Hammond, IN. Allie Readmond from Boulder and Devon Scott from Denver will be fighting on this event! 
  • Saturday, 02/11: Referee and Judge Training at Easton Denver! Time TBA. This will be for anyone interested in reffing and judging at our in-house event. 
  • Sunday, 02/26: CO State Muay Thai Championships in Aurora, CO
  • Friday, 03/10 – Sunday, 03/12: Team USA Qualifier, Foothills Fieldhouse, Lakewood CO

New promotions

    • Mikkel Buhl-Madsen Kids DH in Arvada
    • Bojan Velickovic Kids DH in Denver
    • Sebastian Berti BJJ DH in Centennial
    • River Mayfield Kids DH in Longmont
    • Payden Thanner BJJ DH in Littleton
    • Jordan Shipman Kids PD for Easton
    • Mike Phipps Director of Marketing for Easton

Core Values

Excellence: We set and surpass the highest standards through constant improvement.

Trust: We authentically earn and grant trust.

Compassion: We honor the dignity of all.

Stewardship: We empower others.

Be nice and work hard.



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