How To Get Executives Out of their Comfort Zones

team management

What happens when a corporation’s leadership is engaged, talented, and competent but so stuck in their ways that they can’t grasp the importance of acting as a strategic, forward-thinking team? It could be time for drastic measures. “Shake them up,” says Frank Granara, CEO of General Insulation Co. and co-author with Lorraine Grubbs of Beyond the Executive Comfort Zone: Outrageous Tactics to Ignite Individual Performance. “Don’t be afraid to get their attention in an over-the-top way, even if it means pretending you’re Zeus.” Granara once dressed as the top Greek god at a company training session, complete with blaring music and swirling clouds and required his vice presidents to dress as gods too. “I would have called it outside the box thinking, but I’m not even sure Frank has a box,” says Grubbs.

The Zeus appearance was one of six imaginative sessions that Grubbs and Granara designed to reinvigorate his company and inspire executives to view daily decisions from a different perspective. “Not every company CEO will go to the extremes Frank did,” says Grubbs. “But they still can think creatively and even outrageously in figuring out ways to help their company leaders evolve into a high-performing team.” Here are helpful lessons the co-authors learned from their innovative team management sessions.

Place people in the right roles. Sometimes a job just isn’t the right fit for the individual. Rather than fire them, place them in a role that capitalizes on their strengths. For example, at the conclusion of his company’s training sessions, Granara assigned 40 percent of his vice presidents to new positions that better matched their abilities and potential. 


Calling All Female Leaders!

Women in Wellness West | October 28, 2019

Calling all female leaders and women who aspire to leadership in the wellness industry! American Spa has a curated conference designed just for you. Join us in Huntington Beach, CA, October 28, 2019, for the debut West Coast Women in Wellness Conference. This powerful, all-day event will address some of the most pressing issues facing women leaders and leaders-to-be with compelling keynote speakers, breakout sessions, workshops, networking opportunities, and more!

Train first, then promote. Often, high-performing employees are rewarded with promotions, but are unprepared for their new duties. “Promoting people and then training them afterward is not the best way to develop leaders,” says Granara. 


There is little growth without discomfort. Most people prefer to keep everything as is once they become comfortable. That may get the job done, but improvement won’t happen unless people are confronted with situations that throw them off balance. “Be proactive,” says Grubbs. “Companies that can get its leadership teams thinking strategically are rewarded with greater teamwork and a better bottom line.”

Read more on

Suggested Articles

Created by Julie Pankey, founder of Spa Hive, in memory of Danielle Knerr, the award honors leaders who exemplify four critical traits.

What's your skincare goal? Researchers at Lycored found that regular skincare users say a natural appearance is their number one goal.

Discover some of the most common spa marketing mistakes, and a few ideas on how to circumvent them.