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Home » Podcast » Mike Grogan – Creating Habits and Success in Employees

Mike Grogan – Creating Habits and Success in Employees

Ep 017 Mike Grogan
Ep 017 Mike Grogan

Derek is joined by Mike Grogan and they will talk about unlocking the habits and habit formation within people in order to get the best out of them.


  • No change happens unless a behavioral change occurs.
  • The principles of behavioral change are universal, it doesn’t matter what country or the background the same principles apply to all.
  • It’s all about group learning, for example, it’s ten percent (10%) or fifteen percent (15%), of talking. One of the best advice Mike received from his mentors is that the more he speaks the fewer people learn. So, he designs a thinking environment for them to realize the behaviors they must change and how they need to change those behaviors. You can have groups, one team from a department, you can mix it up from different departments but the most important element is that it’s a group dynamic
  • Most business owners in the Philippines are encountering these problems; they want to help Filipinos become more proactive, more disciplined and more productive. To move away from their follower mentality.
  • The greatest way to influence someone is to model the way. So, if you can get models of excellence within your business, that will become your showcase area for the rest of the organization.
  • Choose employees that you want to mentor, give them the opportunity to grow.

Key Points

  • The extreme importance of working together in groups.
  • People should move out of their follower mentality which is hugely mainstream in the Philippines, very traditional businesses, very top-down and become a thinker.
  • How managers can optimize their day and how they can spread that to their team.


  • mikegrogan.ph
  • outsourceaccelerator.com/podcast/episode17



Derek: Hi, and welcome to another episode of the Outsource Accelerator podcast, my name is Derek Gallimore and today we have Mike Grogan back with us.

Mike, we interviewed him initially in episode 6 and that’s more of his origin story, so, if you haven’t listened to episode 6, please go back and have a listen. He has got a great story, he is an Irish guy, he has been living in the Philippines for about three years now, he is a bestselling author, he is a speaker and he is a coach, and he has spoken to over a hundred thousand people and live audiences across the Philippines.

And he is visiting the far less-fortunate, he is visiting schools, he is visiting people out in the provinces, and he is really having a huge impact to making a big change.

He is about celebrating the Philippines and the Filipinos, and the potential of the Filipinos, and he is about building a strong country for the Philippines, so, he is a great guy, all around great guy.

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And in this episode, we talk about unlocking the habits, and so, habit formation within people. Now, we discuss it generally, in that everyone can do with better habits and everyone can do with better routines and things like that. And then we bring that back to the Philippines and how that relates to the Philippines. So, without further ado, enjoy this podcast with Mike.

If you want any further information on Mike, if you wanna get in touch with him or if you want any of the transcripts, then please go to our website, that’s outsourceaccelerator.com/podcast/episode17. Enjoy.

Derek: We are here again with Mike Grogan of mikegrogan.ph, hi Mike.

Mike: Hey Derek.

Derek: And today we are taking about how to get the best out of people. Now, Mike is the guy to talk to in terms of this because he is the author of three books, nearly a fourth book coming out, he has a podcast as well, and it’s all about celebrating the strengths of Filipinos.

And obviously, that translates fantastically into… If you are managing people over here, and people management generally, it requires consideration of getting the best out of people but there are certain cultural differences, so, I think mike can shed a lot of light on that for us today.

So, your course is about getting the best out of people; is that right?

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Mike: If I were to summarize it in one sentence in terms of the programs we offer, it’s really about behavioral change, about creating habits and success in employees, both at front line level, but also at the supervision, very important at the team leader, supervisor and management position. I really believe no change happens unless behavioral change occurs.

When I look back in my career, when I started teaching, I was just so terrible, so, terrible. And I guess through learning, through failure, realizing that behavioral change really is the key, if you can get that, everything else will follow.

Derek: And you are developing a fantastic following here and your course is being iterated and you are getting fantastic results but how are the principles because we are gonna have business owners coming over here and transferring their principles directly.

Behavioral change, probably, every human could benefit from behavioral change but what are the similarities and what are the differences that you have found between the Philippines and your heritage, other countries that you have been to?

Mike: In terms of behavioral change.

Derek: Yeah, in terms of the key points and things that business owners might need to be more mindful or aware of.

Mike: Obviously, the principles of behavioral change are universal, it doesn’t matter what country or the background the same principles apply to all, around the world. So, that’s the most important point.

I guess the second point here in the Philippines that I think your listeners would really value from learning is, the extreme importance of working together in groups. And where I have seen behavioral change happen faster here is, more so than the west, is when the group decide to do it together.

So, when we take work with companies or even individuals, Last Saturday I was working with nineteen individuals, the power of the group going together in the same direction, it creates this, almost gamification, if you will. And almost a sense of positive social pressure. And if there is any country in the world where social pressure are a great source and influence, it’s here in the Philippines.

So, I believe that’s the importance of getting your teams, getting everyone together and going on this journey of behavioral change together. And it’s one of the most unique things about doing trainings, behavioral change here in the Philippines.

Derek: And so, if that’s to be translated to the work place then how would you organize the work place to take advantage from that; is a workplace a group, is a department a group, do you need to exchange groups or are there social groups? Because as well, there is potential for there to be negative aspects towards tight grouping…

Mike: Well, its group learning, so for example, when I do a workshop, it’s actually for maybe ten percent (10%) or fifteen percent (15%), I am talking. One of the best advice my mentors gave me is, Mike, the more you talk, the less they learn. So, it took me a long time to figure that out.

So, I really design an environment for them to create a thinking environment for them realize what are the behaviors they must change and how they need to change those behaviors. So, I could write the principle but it’s really the group dynamics that happen.

Yes, you can have groups, one team from a department, you can mix it up from different departments but the most important element is that it’s a group dynamic. I really believe that any type of learning that you do in the Philippines, use the power of the small group. It is far more effective group, thinking group, sharing, than a classic death by PowerPoint and rules And if traditional teaching that have been in our schools and in our businesses, is so ineffective, and…

Derek: Yeah. And I think here in this is universal, they have shown that people absorb throughout the first five, ten minutes and then the rest is just going. And even if you read the book, they say you retain, probably, one or two percent, actually what you have spoken.

Mike: That’s where I believe less is more, so, it’s not overwhelming people with things they need to change but less is more and the power of circles, small groups, maybe four to six people. You can even just do this for thirty minutes, it doesn’t have to be all day training sessions.

Derek: Right.

Mike: Just thirty minutes, focus on one thing, small groups and just the power of learning.

Derek: An aspect of services are corporate training to BPOs and to corporates, to exactly that; what are you in those instances seeking to change, is it a behavioral change in terms of a discipline or turning up on time or being more mindful of KPIs, or is it more specific to that environment, they want a certain result?

Mike: Well, when I speak to business owners here in the Philippines and I think our listeners will relate to this, when I ask them what problem they are trying to solve, common words that I hear from them are, helping Filipinos become more proactive and more disciplined and more productive.

So, to move them out of their follower mentality which is hugely mainstream here, very autocratic traditional businesses here in the Philippines, very top-down, moving into a thinker. Now where, they are proactive, they are seeing problems before they happen, they are problem solving.

Every single and I have been here for almost three years, every single expat that owns a business here, if I ask them their number one frustration, I believe that’s what they would say. It’s their employees, especially, their management not thinking, and in a reactive build poor accountability the system.

So, I really try and help just build the foundation layer my background is in lean management, so, I have got a lot of experience in systems. And systems are great because they can really create the environment for people to think better, it all goes back to thinking, it all goes back to behaviors. So, it’s really getting managers on it; how can you on a daily basis optimize your day? And how you can spread that to your team.

So, I really believe that when we do these changes for their organization, it’s the power of leadership as well, getting the leader to… Like, the greatest way to influence someone is modeling the way, so, if you can get models of excellence within your business, that will become your show case area for the rest of the organization.

Derek: What are your thoughts then in contrast, a lot of our listeners will have pretty small organizations, pretty flexed structures as a result of them being small, and over here, people struggle to work without very structured environment, very hierarchical environment, very sort of overseen processes and very defined processes. So, are you saying with the lean management system and things like that frameworks are good or what are your general thoughts on an organization within framework, should they be free flowing or should they be structured and process driven?

Mike: Well, there is no right or wrong answer here, it all depends on the needs of the business. For some business, you absolutely need the structure, you need the clear roles and responsibilities defined, and it really depends on the nature of the business.

I guess what I am focusing on and I tell this to the business owners, you don’t have to send all your people to training, that’s not realistic or possible for a lot of organizations, it’s really finding who the high potential people in your organization, as to grow… That you are in a circle, you need to have a small group, maybe just one or two Filipinos that you really pour into, give them the opportunity to grow, so that they can become your trusted and foot soldier, your trusted leader here on the ground and they can deal with the day to day management.

So, I really believe that there is… Yes, for some, I am not saying that everyone needs to be specially developed but some of your leaders, especially high potential ones, the ones that you see can do amazing things, they are the ones you need to pour in your time. But you as their mentor but also to give them opportunities where they can grow.

Derek: That’s interesting, over here there is a concept of the pioneer as well and that’s often referred to as the first person that is hired for a particular project or… So, if the business owners coming over here, their first employee is typically called the pioneer, it’s typically a mid-level management person and then under that that person would then develop the processes and find the other staffing. So, that might be one of the key people to pour your energies into.

Mike: Yeah. Will use the Pareto principle, find that twenty percent of people or that one person and pour eighty percent of your mentoring in that one person.

Derek: Sure. And that’s good tips. Thank you, Mike.

Mike: You are welcome.

Derek: Thanks for joining.

Derek: So, that was Mike Grogan; hope you enjoyed that? He is doing some really exciting, interesting stuff. If you wanna get in touch with Mike or wanna know anything more about this episode, go to our show notes at outsourceaccelerator.com/podcast/episode17.

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About Derek Gallimore

Derek Gallimore has been in business for 20 years, outsourcing for over eight years, and has been living in Manila (the heart of global outsourcing) since 2014. Derek is the founder and CEO of Outsource Accelerator, and is regarded as a leading expert on all things outsourcing.

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