56: Leaders With Heart Ask The Right Questions To Understand The People They Lead.


In this episode, Heather speaks with Peter Melby, CEO of Greystone Technology, about his leadership style, the reason he likes to lead, and his unique way of ensuring consistent communication and conversation among the team and the manager. You will learn a ton from this one!

Key Takeaways:

  • Growth comes from insisting on learning and adapting.
  • It’s important to be able to bring mistakes forward to be able to bring great things to the market.
  • Leaders need to connect with people to get to the problem they need to solve.
  • Human nature is our common thread.
  • In order to find out where people really are, leaders must ask the right questions.
  • Remember, you don’t have to do it alone. You have a team.
  • Setting up consistent, objective practices that produce positive emotions in those you lead.
  • Don’t miss the opportunity to have camaraderie in your leadership. It’s easier to do it together.

Peter Melby’s Full BIO

For Peter Melby, he already got his dream job.

Peter currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Greystone Technology and he is passionate to drive the movement for new strategies to provide deeper impact in any way possible rather than  traditional service structures. 

Under his direction, Greystone Technology has been recognized for growth and quality by numerous organizations and institutions. Because of that, he has been awarded as one of the Denver Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2016 along with ColoradoBiz Magazine’s Top 25 Most Influential Young Professionals.

Create with a Purpose

I want to create something that isn’t there. I was always encouraged to create with a purpose. Growing up, I love the idea of construction. But as I look at where my strengths were, building organizationally and doing something in a market that was very foreign became very exciting for me. I’m not necessarily building something I can physically see, but I am building something that no one else has ever done in a space that we fill.

Seeing how the art of creating connects to the science of being methodically successful and bringing those together is a unique trait that most people who grow up without that dichotomy would probably skip over.

There's no arrival point when it comes to leadership. #leadershipwithheart Share on X

The Common Thread

It easy to see humans as very conflicted and challenging. But the more that we dig down, we realize we have a common thread that runs between all of us. Seeing the same humanity in each of them shows that the lessons I learned at home can help me be a better leader at work. I think it’s just whether or not we recognize where we are at and how intentional we are about it.

I’ve always had good intentions about wanting to lead the team well and to build a culture. I think everybody does have good intentions.  But if I am going into conversations as ‘the boss,’ and tell everybody how I feel about everything rather than trying to understand first how my people see and criticize themselves, I am missing a huge leadership opportunity.

Leaders just want to see success in things. #leadershipwithheart Share on X

I am still impatient. I still have high standards. I still definitely slip into a self-focused view of trying to assign blame to make myself feel better because I am human and that’s very natural. But the things that I’ve been able to work on in myself to recognize those at times and correct them before they cause damage for so many of us over time is probably the most important lesson that I have learned.

Some people project confidence when they feel insecure. Insecurity breeds an appearance of confidence and arrogance. I hate seeing that. But if I am truly going to take the best approach, it’s not about removing the arrogance. It’s about getting to the bottom of those things.

Psychological Safety

We’ve seen the value in really systemizing our communication within our teams and not around specific projects. In order to build a culture where there’s psychological safety or the ability to share real information, to admit that you don’t know something, to ask for help, to celebrate together, and to show up as a real person and not someone whose defensive or just trying to show the best side of what’s happening — that doesn’t happen overnight. It only happens when there’s consistent practice.

As a technology company, we’ve worked to put a black-and-white system in place for the nuances and all the gray areas of people.

It allows us to practice engaging into the reality of where we’re at and where we and our team can meet. We’ve really worked to bring some of the structure of the conversations that don’t happen naturally, those that we often avoid because we don’t want to create discomfort. 

By doing that consistently, we have practiced it to a point that humanity becomes normal and psychological safety becomes something that is significantly more possible to achieve than if we just left everybody to their own devices. 

No one knows everything. #leadershipwithheart Share on X
A good IT person solves problems, but a great IT person knows what problems he is solving. #leadershipwithheart Share on X
I found most of my learning when I was willing to let down that guard and not pretend to be something I’m not. #leadershipwithheart Share on X


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Leadership With Heart With Heather R Younger

“Heather’s courage and vulnerability to share her authentic self are truly inspiring. She shares the most cutting-edge leadership strategies on topics like emotional intelligence and employee experience. If you’re looking to sharpen your leadership skills, this podcast is for you.”

Heather is a Workplace Culture Expert


CEO of Employee Fanatix

A leading workplace culture and employee engagement consulting & training firm.

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Bringing the best insights from over 25,000 employee stories to the stage.

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A trusted expert for stories on workplace culture, customer and employee engagement, and employee retention.


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