How to Have Influence

Each month, we email you tools and resources to help sharpen your leadership skills and grow your organization. We’re not perfect – we struggle with these things too! Today we take a look at how to influence others in order to produce substantial and sustainable change. 

The difference between effective and ineffective change-makers is that the effective ones don’t rely on a single source of influence. They marshal several sources at once to get superior results.

The authors of the book, Influencer: The Power to Change Anythingfound that for successful behavior change, you must apply at least 4 out of the 6 sources of influence:
1. Personal Motivation
2.Personal Ability
3. Harness Peer Pressure
4. Find Strength in Numbers
5. Design Rewards & Demand Accountability
6. Change the Environment

In this short video, Kinzler’s Chief Operating Officer Brian Schwartze explains the six “sources of influence” a leader needs to tap if they want
to change a person’s behavior. 

How to Optimize Your Marketing Spend

by Jason Mortvedt
Kinzler Construction Services Marketing Director


Today we look at your choices for where to spend your marketing dollars. The options are more complex than ever.

Check out the chart below. There are a couple very interesting takeaways:

  • U.S. consumers spent the most time watching TV and using mobile devices, which is also where the lion’s share of advertising dollars went.
  • The one area which receives more ad dollars than it should is print, based on how much (or little for that matter) time people spend reading newspapers and magazines.

Optimizing your marketing and advertising spend for 2019 probably means more mobile. Better targeting makes mobile ads more accurate and more effective.


VIDEO: The Sunset Rule

The Sunset Rule was a rule I imposed on myself many years ago after a call from a good customer. He called me out of frustration, agitated that he had not been called back by my salesman for a couple of days. The customer was a long-time relationship of mine and asked if he could work directly with me since his assigned salesman didn’t seem to care about him. I had a conversation with this salesman in our organization asking why he hadn’t called the customer back. The salesman had two or three reasons important to him for why he was too busy to make this call. The salesman’s first excuse was that he “didn’t have an answer for him yet,” so communication was suspended.

When a customer, co-worker, friend, or family member contacts you, make time by the end of each day to respond before the sun sets. You may need to prioritize your responses. Friends and family will understand that your response on a work day will need to be during a break or after work. Customers and co-workers deserve and expect a more immediate response by text, email or call, even if that response is simply to let them know you’re working on an answer. I have always done my best to stick to this rule and to advocate company-wide that we all adopt the Sunset Rule.

The Sunset Rule is an act of respect and diligence and is a key component to having great relationships. This simple discipline of getting back to people has truly been a key to success in my personal life and at Kinzler.

Kinzler Congratulations Second Class of Bell Leadership Graduates

18 Kinzler employees graduated from the most recent Bell Leadership training, pictured with certified in-house facilitator Brian Schwartze.

A class of 18 Kinzler Construction Services employees recently completed the Bell Leadership Institute’s Achievers program, led in-house by Certified Facilitator Brian Schwartze, Kinzler’s Chief Talent Officer. The leaders and aspiring leaders from Kinzler’s branch locations in Iowa, Minnesota and Texas participated in the three-day program at the company’s Training Center in Ankeny, IA.

Described by graduates as “life-changing,” Achievers is the cornerstone program of Bell Leadership Institute, designed to provide a unique framework to understand exceptional leadership in a personal context.

“I tell people all the time that Kinzler is a company where all people, programs, processes, and systems are focused on helping employees grow and advance their careers. The Bell Leadership Achievers program delivers on that promise,” said Angie Cramer, a Kinzler Recruiter and recent Bell Leadership graduate.

“This class of Kinzler employees were engaged and eager to grow their leadership skills,” said Schwartze. “Without a doubt, this training translates to industry-leading service to our customers!”

Kinzler’s EntreLeadership Event Equips Leaders

Kinzler Construction Services recently invited customers, employees and friends to attend a one-day event designed for leaders and their teams. The EntreLeadership 1-Day Live Stream Event, held at Kinzler’s Ankeny, IA office, equipped attendees to master the art of influence, delegation, conflict resolution, team unification and other common issues all leaders face.

In addition to a great lineup of speakers on the EntreLeadership stream, the event also featured local experts tackling leadership issues facing the construction industry specifically.

Executive Chair & Founder Kevin Kinzler presented at the Spring EntreLeadership 1-Day Event at Kinzler Construction Services April 27, 2018. Kevin shares short stories and lessons learned growing his business from his garage to a 30+ year old company with locations across the country.

Brian Schwartze, Chief Talent Officer, presented at the Spring EntreLeadership 1-Day Event at Kinzler Construction Services April 27, 2018. Brian gives a brief overview of Crucial Conversations including tools and tips for talking when stakes are high.

“Kinzler Construction Services is committed to growing and advancing our employees and our business partners,” said Tanner Kinzler, President & CEO of Kinzler Construction Services. “We’re pleased to host events like this one which provide actionable steps to sharpen leadership skills and grow our organizations.”

Kinzler plans to offer more leadership and learning opportunities in the future. Those interested in participating in upcoming events should contact us.

Kinzler Construction Services Brings Bell Leadership’s Achievers Program In-house

15 leaders from Kinzler’s branch locations in Iowa, Minnesota and Texas participated in the three-day program at the company’s Training Center in Ankeny, IA.

Kinzler Construction Services congratulates its first class of graduates from the Bell Leadership Institute’s Achievers program, led in-house by Certified Facilitator Brian Schwartze, Kinzler’s VP of Sales & Marketing.

“Our team-focused approach means our company grows at the rate our people grow,” said Schwartze. “What could be more beneficial than bringing the Bell Leadership program to our leaders? This program allows us to have an exponential impact on the lives of our team members.”

15 leaders from Kinzler’s branch locations in Iowa, Minnesota and Texas participated in the three-day program at the company’s Training Center in Ankeny, IA. With guidance from Schwartze and their 360-degree feedback, graduates learned how to develop their skill sets to better lead themselves, others, and their teams.

“The Bell Leadership program was life-changing for me,” said Kinzler Construction Services President & CEO Tanner Kinzler.  “We’ve been sending our Senior Leadership team members to Bell’s programs for years. I’m so happy to now have this training in-house, available to even more of our leaders. When we infuse a culture of leadership and Achieving Forward throughout the company, our team members win, our customers win, and our company wins.”

Kinzler participants learn how to develop their skill sets to better lead themselves, others, and their teams.

Based on a half century of research and consulting with thousands of leaders across the world, Bell Leadership’s Achievers program provides a unique framework to understand exceptional leadership in a personal context. While other leadership programs give participants an assessment of how you behave, Achievers™ goes deeper, leaving graduates with key understandings of why you behave as you do. Knowing yourself deeply and how your behaviors affect others enables you to develop your unique leadership style.

Kinzler Construction Services is an employee-owned construction subcontractor with a proven process for hassle-free installation and delivery of building materials. Kinzler has a positive, team member-focused environment, dedicated to helping employees grow and advance their careers. If you’re interested in joining the Kinzler team, please visit

The Jackass Factor

By Brian Schwartze, Kinzler Construction Services V.P. of Sales & Marketing
(Used with permission from “The Intersection: Brian’s Schwartze Blog”

Use this equation to measure the impact of an individual’s attitude on your entire team. (Talent + Intellect) x (Leadership) x (Attitude) =

First, the back story:

When searching for a winning formula, football coaches know the sum of the parts does not equal the whole.  In other words, 2 + 2 does not equal 4.  Creating a winning formula is much more difficult than just assembling talented individual pieces.  The most talented team does not always win the game.  Why?

Recently, we had a leadership training event at Kinzler Construction Services (my team).   The theme of the training was accountability.  We have several team members who were new to leadership roles.  I spent time thinking about how to best explain the impact of an individual team members’ attitude on the entire team. 

I asked our leaders to think about a few key members of their teams and rate them on a 1-10 scale as we worked through an exercise.  To see a portion of that video click below.

(Talent + Intellect) x (Leadership) x (Attitude) =

Next, a few questions:

I asked our team, is it possible that any of our team members have less than zero talent?  What about intellect? How about leadership?  They quickly agreed every team member rated higher than zero in all these areas.

But what about attitude?  Is it possible to have a negative attitude?  The answer, of course, was a resounding YES!

What is the impact to the equation if we use a scale of negative 10 to positive 10 to rank attitude?  We all agree an attitude can be negative, correct?  They quickly agreed it was logical to use a negative number measure the impact of attitude.

Now, the mathematical facts:

Any positive number multiplied by a positive number results in a positive number.  Any positive number multiplied by a negative number results in a negative number.

Any member of our team that has a positive attitude produces a positive result or what I refer to as a Net Contribution (NC).

Any member of our team that has a negative attitude produces a negative result, or what I refer to as a Jackass Factor (JF).

(T + I) x (L) x (A) = NC or JF

Finally, the call to action:

People who combine high Talent and Intellect with a negative Attitude produce a Jackass Factor.  Even worse is the cancerous impact of someone with high Leadership ability and a negative attitude.  The absolute worst is the person who is talented, smart and a great leader with a negative attitude.  Do the math!  These are the most dangerous people on your team.  The larger the Jackass Factor the greater the risk to your team health.

This is a very common leadership mistake.  Too often leaders think they “need” people with talent, intellect or leadership abilities, ignoring or tolerating a negative attitude.  Instead, they choose to spend their time and energy “fixing” people with low talent, intellect or leadership abilities.  After all, these options are easier then dealing with the 300 pound gorilla that is a negative attitude, but they won’t produce optimal results.

As the leader, take a long hard look at your team.  Then, chart the accountability path for turning your people with Jackass Factors into Net Contributors, or get them out of your locker room.  Not, when you can “afford to” or when you hit your next sales goal, get rid of them tomorrow!

In football we say, “you are either coaching it; or allowing  it to happen.”  If you have people with a negative attitude are you coaching it or allowing it to happen?  Is it time for you to step up and lead?  Or will you continue to allow people with Jackass Factors to erode your culture?

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