Chris Dyer is a keynote speaker, consultant, bestselling author, and remote work leader and advocate. He is the CEO of PeopleG2, a human capital risk management firm that offers background checks, drug testing, employment screening, client screening, and other similar services to clients for better hires. Dyer is the host of the podcast Talent Talk and the author of the bestselling book The Power of Company Culture.
Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?
Orange County, CA
I grew up with my parents and two brothers, playing sports and all the normal kid stuff.
However, growing up I was incredibly lucky to spend a lot of time with grandparents and great uncles and aunts. We have a large family that loved to take us for adventures from riding horses to running around a machine shop. These mentors taught me so much about life, business, cooking, animals, and love.
What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?
Procrastination is actually a good thing.
If you do not like to read, you can always listen to books. Learn however you learn best.
What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
You should work on your weaknesses. Successful people do what they do best and focus on that only. They get talented people around them to do the things they are weak at doing or dislike doing. So many people spend energy trying to be better at something they do not like to do or not ever going to master.
Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?
For a period of 5 years, my wife had some serious health issues, almost died several times, and had groundbreaking surgeries performed to save her life. The time in the hospital, recovery at home, attempting to keep the family healthy and sane, and running a business…to be honest, it feels like a blur. It was the hardest time of my life. Only through her recovery was I able to exit that moment in life. But, I did learn many things. Advocating for a patient in a complex medical field, dealing with doctors and overworked nurses, and of course a very grumpy patient. But, I also learned how to delegate more, trust more in my employees and friends to pick up the slack, and how to work strange hours despite an unpredictable schedule and lofty goals.
What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?
Saying Yes! Whenever I found ways to say yes and be open to new ideas and experiences, I was rewarded. Luck is often about hard work and just showing up.
What is your morning routine?
7 am – An hour of emails, coffee, and breakfast. Then get ready for the day, and begin my tasks. The morning is for tasks, the afternoon for meetings and brainstorming.
What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?
“mise en place”- This process known by every chef in the world, is the practice of setting up, preparing, and being ready to do your work in the most efficient way possible. For work, that means setting up your to-do list the night before, arranging your office in such a way that you can reach everything quickly, and keeping your workplace clean and clutter free. For a lifelong messy person, that is a real struggle. But it makes all the difference in the world.
What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?
Sprint and Rest. Go hard for 45 minutes, then get up and do something else for 15 min.
Schedule time for what you want on your calendar. That means booking time to reflect, meditate, read, exercise, etc.
Always write out your tasks and prioritize them. A-B-C, or Rocks, Stones, Pebbles. Successful people do the big tasks first. Everyone else starts with the easy stuff, and then regret not getting more done. If possible, get someone else to take your small tasks off your desk!
What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?
I love The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker.
This book explains why curating meetings, gatherings, events, and interactions are so important. Often companies that struggle with culture, struggle with meetings. This book will help anyone have better meetings from zoom to in person.
I also had my entire leadership team read Thinking in Bets by Annie Duke. It was an incredibly accessible book that really helped everyone understand decision making in much better terms. This book has something for everyone.
Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?
“Our greatest strengths are our greatest weaknesses” – Gordon Livingston
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela