Meet Fred Stawitz, the visionary founder of Storymakers, Inc., a company dedicated to empowering individuals and businesses through education and knowledge.
With a diverse background that spans from aerospace engineering to cross-country cargo transport, Fred has an unrivaled understanding of both human behavior and business operations.
Storymakers, Inc. focuses on helping businesses create high-performing organizations by developing a supportive workplace environment.
By incorporating the SOAR Factors (Support, Opportunity, Acceptance, and Resources) into their operations, companies can address employee motivation, engagement, and overall performance.
Fred’s unique approach has led him to develop easy-to-implement processes that can be scaled to suit any business size.
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Table of Contents
We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Fred Stawitz: Storymakers, Inc. is powered by the believe that education and knowledge equate to the ability for individuals to track their own paths to success in this world.
We produce and publish content that provides an understanding of how various elements of the business community and world function. Through this process we also provide the opportunity for other professionals to increase their visibility by sharing their expertise on a broader scale.
My wife and I started Storymakers in collaboration with our pursuit of the creative arts and have steadily expanded its reach to where we have a major focus on the business community and the impact of the employee experience on performance and sustainable profitability.
If you were in an elevator with Warren Buffet, how would you describe your company, your services or products? What makes your company different from others? What is your company’s biggest strength?
Fred Stawitz: Warren, you might be interested in the fact that Storymakers has developed an easy to understand and scientifically sound process for mapping management behavior directly to high levels of performance.
Plus, it provides an effective means to track problematic and costly symptoms to actual root causes that management has the ability to rectify. Any company can easily adopt this process and scale it as desired.
We are different than any other company because of my varied background of experiences which has given me insight into human behaviors as well as business operations at all levels of the organization.
I was invited to a special briefing at The White House and have spent an evening chatting with gang members on a street corner in East Los Angeles. I was recruited to develop the first technical training program for the aerospace engineers who design U.S. space shuttle flights following the Challenger explosion, and I have transported cargo cross country in a semi. How many people you know have that wide range of experiences?
We have developed a way to view business operations that brings the ability for creating a high-performing organization within reach of any business executive. Let’s trade cards. We should talk in more detail about this, Warren!
Quiet quitting, The Great Resignation, are an ongoing trend causing many businesses to struggle keeping talent engaged and motivated. Most are leaving because of their boss or their company culture. 82% of people feel unheard, undervalued and misunderstood in the workplace. In your experience, what keeps employees happy? And how are adapting to the current shift we see?
Fred Stawitz: Whether you call it “quiet quitting,” “disengagement,” “checking out” or anything else it equates to low levels of motivation and the result is the same. It costs the business community billions of dollars each year.
The bottom line is why would a company hire employees to do a job, then not fully support them in being successful in those roles? It doesn’t make sense! But far to many companies foster this approach by not focusing enough attention on the creation of a supportive workplace environment.
Behavior science reinforces the critical connection between how employees experience the workplace environment and their behavior. With this in mind, we have developed the SOAR Factors (Support, Opportunity, Acceptance, and Resources) which represent the key factors that influence how employees interpret their experience in the workplace and power their motivation to achieve high levels of performance.
Employees who feel supported by the entire organization, have opportunities for professional growth, feel accepted as a valued member of the team, and are provided the resources they need to perform the work successfully are much more likely to remain engaged even to the point of contributing discretionary levels of performance.
Here is a two fold question: What is the book that influenced you the most and how? Please share some life lessons you learned. Now what book have you gifted the most and why?
Fred Stawitz: My life has been full of lessons, far too many to innumerate here. Let me just note a couple useful ones.
First, the world offers lots of opportunities, but very few invitations. If you’re not watching for the opportunities and step forward when you see one, then you will likely miss the chance to benefit.
Second, consider the source. Lots of people will offer their suggestions and advice on important subjects that may impact your professional development. Thank them and consider their words, but also consider the source. Place the most weight on a judgment that comes from inside of you.
The two books that have had the greatest influence on me are my first business book, “Don’t Run Naked Through The Office” which helps employees in all areas of business navigate a path to success in each of the four types of workplace environments, and the book I am currently writing that addresses how to create a high-performing organization as mentioned in my responses to the previous questions in this interview.
Writing books of this caliber on this subject matter require a level of research that forces the learning process into high gear. Yes, I certainly learn a lot from reading other books, but the question was what books influenced me most. My books certainly do that because they introduce new and effective processes!
Business is all about overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities for growth. What do you see as THE real challenge right now?
Fred Stawitz: The biggest challenge most business executives have to overcome is being honest with themselves, employees, and the public. They must ask themselves if their agenda fully aligns with that of the organization. And, are they really modeling the behaviors they ask of employees, sharing the rewards of success in an equitable manner, and fostering a genuine team spirit.
Identifying problems and tracking the symptoms to root causes is a top-down process. Implementing effective solutions cannot be accomplished by fiat. Solutions are implemented by making improvements to the workplace environment that enhance the ability of employees to perform their work successfully.
Shortcuts like mandating values and behaviors without the groundwork to model them at all levels within the organization represents an aspirational culture. The functional culture is what the employees experience everyday in the workplace environment. The greater the gap between the functional and aspirational cultures, the more dysfunctional the operation.
Beginning with an honest assessment of how the SOAR Factors are being addressed in the workplace environment is a good starting point for identifying and overcoming obstacles to organizational growth.
In your experience, what tends to be the most underestimated part of running a company? Can you share an example?
Fred Stawitz: The challenge of guiding management into the role of solving problems and removing obstacles that are out of the scope of employees to address, but have a significant impact on the success of the work performed by employees, is key.
Too often management settles into the role of authoritarian which tends to create an adversarial work environment that is clearly counterproductive to the goals of the organization. The role that human factors play in running a business operation that tend to be the most challenging.
For multiple examples, simply look to the innumerable issues that confront HR representatives on a daily basis.
What does “success” in the year to come mean to you? It could be on a personal or business level, please share your vision.
Fred Stawitz: Success in 2023 will involve the roll out of the fundamental elements involved in creating a high-performing organization.
Our intention is to make available an initial set of training modules that introduce key elements of this process including a full understanding of how to implement the SOAR Factors.
We welcome inquiries and look forward to working with an initial group of companies with an interest in pursuing effective means of elevating performance levels.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Fred Stawitz for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Fred Stawitz or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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