Workplace Therapist Brandon Smith Stayed in a Comfortable Teaching Job Too Long

Workplace Therapist Brandon Smith Stayed in a Comfortable Teaching Job Too Long


Check out all episodes on the My Favorite Mistake main page.

My guest for Episode #131 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Brandon Smith, an executive coach, author, speaker, and podcaster. His podcast (and his label for himself) is “The Workplace Therapist” and he's had me as a guest there. As a “therapist,” he has an MS in Clinical Counseling.

Some of his jobs and roles include:

He’s the author of books including his latest, The Hot Sauce Principle: How to Live and Lead in a World Where Everything Is Urgent All of the Time.

In today's episode, Brandon shares his “favorite mistake” story about staying in a “comfortable” executive education teaching job too long — why was that a “bad relationship” and what did he learn from the experience?

We talk about that story and other topics including:

  • What triggered this realization?
  • Was it a pattern?
  • Why did you come to call yourself “the workplace therapist”?
  • What reasons do people come to you for workplace therapy?
  • Choosing to come vs. being told they have to?
  • Resisting expertise?
  • Tell us about the book… what is the “hot sauce principle”??
  • Why do we need “focused energy”?
  • Using “hot sauce” or urgency appropriately 

Find Brandon on Social Media:

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Watch the Episode:


" I kicked myself that I didn't [leave that teaching job] about three or four years earlier."
"The issue is we need focused urgency because we live in a world where time is our most precious resource, not money."
 "So the concept is urgency is just like hot sauce... I hear that from every person I talk to, they feel like everything that's being put, pushed onto them is covered in hot sauce."

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Automated Transcript (Likely Contains Mistakes)

Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus. He is also a Senior Advisor and Director of Strategic Marketing with the healthcare advisory firm, Value Capture.