021 – Leading Culture as a Player-Coach | Brent Oakley

Brent Oakley is the CEO of Vibenomics, providing location-based businesses with an easy and effective multimedia app that works to create and control the cultural environment they want to convey within their space. He founded Vibenomics as a response to a common small business pain point: the struggle to find a way to effectively market to customers once they are on-site.

As an avid sports fan, Brent believes in being a “player-coach” to his workforce, acting as a guiding force in addition to leading by example. He reads countless books and converses often with other leaders to gain perspective. This priority of personal development acts as a display for the power of continuous education. It’s fueled his growth as an industry thought leader.

Empowerment is a central theme in Brent’s world. He advocates for building an empowered company culture, starting with fostering the success of individuals. Obtaining emotional buy-in from employees often reveals their true strengths. Brent breaks it down into a simple idea: culture stems from individuals who are passionate about their work – in their soul, they love what they’re doing.

Truth You Can Act On:

  1. Be A Players’ Coach: For your employees to want to better themselves, they have to be empowered to learn about their role, their business, and their industry. Instill this desire for personal development by emphasizing the importance of continuing education, every single day.
  2. Set The Tone: We all know that meetings are a necessity, but they often last too long and become unfocused. Try forming shorter, more frequent informal sessions to complement your weekly updates. These various tones of conversations will promote greater productivity and accountability.
  3. Make Yourself Great(er): As a leader in your business, your walk is just as important as your talk. Are you a living example of the culture you want to create? Don’t let your title stand as your lone credibility. Whether it be hiring a business coach, reading books, or soliciting feedback, put the energy into furthering your abilities as a leader.
  4. Foster The Big Picture: Feeling connected – It’s the basic need of every human, and it drives our daily ambitions. Create a workplace environment that embraces connectivity and encouragement to grow the emotional ownership of your employees to the business and one another.

Nikki’s Book Recommendation:


  • Emplify – Are you still using pulse surveys? How about annual questionnaires? If your organization relies on either of these, it’s time to discover Emplify. Emplify has created a new way to measure employee engagement. It’s where CEOs who want to know what’s really happening within a workforce go… to get honest feedback… and to understand what needs to change for people to love their work using simple and trustworthy data.
  • Custom Concrete – has been creating foundations for the finest homes, commercial buildings and industrial facilities throughout Central Indiana since 1969. Builders, contractor, and homeowners rely on our expertise because so much depends on getting it right. Our knowledge and control of all aspects of the job, from excavation to waterproofing to backfill, means that extra value is built into every project. Codes don’t drive our business, excellence does.

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