007 – Fostering Internal Fans for Long-term Wins | Casey Wright

Casey Wright is an entrepreneur and founder of NinjaZone, a fusion of gymnastics, martial arts, obstacle training, and parkour, for kids. Committed to changing the face of youth athletics, Wright created a curriculum focused on character and movement pillars designed to build confidence in young children. With over 80,000 Ninjas in 270 locations, in 42 states, on four continents, it’s one of the fastest growing youth sport this decade, and it doesn’t show any signs of stopping.

Some keys to her organization’s success have been her focus on outcomes and establishing the why. By articulating the reasons why something needs, or why a project should get started allows her team to buy-in to the effort. For Casey, employee engagement is creating a fan club. If her employees are engaged, they are the organization’s biggest cheerleaders. When she sees them engaged she knows efforts are aligned, they understand how and why they’re moving forward, and they are excited about the mission.

A turning point for Casey’s was realizing it was okay to be completely vulnerable. In allowing herself to be authentic, her people embraced her in new ways, and she gained their respect. In her leadership position, Casey has found the more she can connect and create whether it’s project or people related the more significant the outcomes.

Truth You Can Act On:

  1. Regular Communication: Having the one-on-one cadence is great but tailor it to what that specific person needs. For some it might be every week for others it could be every other. Then keep track of what you discuss with your team through a shared document. This document keeps you both on track with development and communication.
  2. Be a Role Model: Share your personal development journey with your team. The more they see you taking action, the more inspired they will be to take action on their own.
  3. Show Weakness: Many leaders don’t do this for fear of losing their employees respect. In reality, showing this vulnerability elicits more respect and buy-in. When you show you’re human, you become more relatable as a leader generating a deeper level of understanding.
  4. Write Notes: Acknowledge the wins either through a shared channel or take the time to write handwritten notes to your employees. Recognizing the effort and the outcome they created develops a layer of trust and appreciation between your employees and your leaders.

Nikki’s Book Recommendations:


  • LHD Benefits – LHD is a full-service employee benefits firm, that empowers their clients to make the best possible decisions for their employees — to define optimal objectives, monitor outcomes, improve health, and engage and advocate for employees and their loved ones.
  • PurpleInk – Purple Ink’s customized HR services will help you make your workspace JoyPowered. Whether you’re looking for help with recruiting, compliance, or leadership training, they listen to what you need and tailor their solutions to you.  

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