It’s Not About Being The Best In The World… It’s About Being The Best FOR The World With Clint Pulver

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LYP 24 | People Retention


A leader who creates a healthy workspace for their team already leads them towards living a happy and purposeful life. Darrin Tulley is joined by Clint Puliver, who talks about improving people retention by building a work environment that prioritizes and takes care of its team. He explains how leaders can become the best for the world by unlocking their superpower through small, consistent efforts, understanding their worth and potential, and associating themselves with like-minded people. Clint also shares how we can be like Mr. Jensen, who helped him unlock his unique talent, and how he turns every keynote into a transformative experience.

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It’s Not About Being The Best In The World… It’s About Being The Best FOR The World With Clint Pulver

I’m excited to welcome our guest, Clint Pulver. He’s an Emmy Award-winning keynote speaker, best-selling author, professional drummer, masterclass instructor, and workforce expert. He’s super fun, energizing, dynamic, and entertaining. Not only has Clint been on America’s Got Talent, he has been in the movies. He is also known as the leading authority on employee retention in the workspace. Clint helps organizations retain, engage, and inspire their team members from the front desk to the boardrooms and everyone in between. He expertly helps audiences navigate generational complexities, communication challenges, leadership missteps, and cultural cues.

For over a decade, he has been a self-motivated entrepreneur who is well-versed in business startups, leadership, change, sales management, management training, and helping teams grow multi-million-dollar accounts. He uses that experience to create teachable relationship and business strategies based on trust, service, support, connection, and consistent follow-through.

Clint shares his story as living proof of his belief that a single moment in time can change a person’s life. He’s actively traveling the world speaking to a wide spectrum of diverse audiences and challenging them to dream, excel, connect, and believe both in themselves and in the power of others. His mantra is, “It’s not about being the best in the world. It’s about being the best FOR the world.” Enjoy the show.


LYP 24 | People Retention


Welcome, Clint, to the show. I’m so excited to catch up with you. How are you doing?

Life is amazing. I’m very blessed and grateful to be here.

I’m glad you’re here. I’m honored you took the time to join us. I got to jump right in. I’d love to know one of those life moments that changed your life.

I’m a big proponent of moments. I’m a fan of moments. If you look at your life and really what makes it a great story, it’s the moments. That’s what we remember. One moment that changed my life forever when I was a little kid was I always had a hard time sitting still. I had a hard time focusing. Everybody saw the issue. They saw the annoyance, but I had one teacher who said, “I need you to stay after class.” I thought I was getting kicked out because I was constantly in trouble for tapping and moving.

He pulled me to the back of the class and he said, “I don’t think you’re a problem. I think you’re a drummer.” He reached into the back of his desk and opened up the top drawer. He reached inside and took out my very first pair of drumsticks. He put them in my hands and said, “Give it a shot. I don’t think you’re a problem. I think you’re a drummer.” He created a moment that changed my life forever. I’ve been a professional touring drummer and have been all over the world. I have played in various groups, bands, and organizations. I’ve had this amazing adventure and been able to write a better story because somebody created a moment for me.

How did you feel when you first touched those drumsticks?

To be honest with you, it was a moment that I didn’t understand was going to be so epic. I was very young at the time. I do remember the identity that gave me that, “I could be a drummer. That’s cool. That’s something that seems rad, fun, interesting, and unique.” It gave me a sense of purpose and gave me something to run with. Over time, little by little, it became a hidden talent that became a part of me.

I love how it was your teacher, Mr. Jensen, who saw this problem truly as an opportunity for you. It was something that was different. Defined by our teachers or society that you’re tapping or your inability to stay still was an issue, yet he saw this as a huge advantage for you. How do we see that differently in the world? How can we welcome more differences as strengths?

You’ll get more traction out of accentuating your strengths in your life. If you look at the specific things that you’re good at, the things that you innately love, and the things that, at the end of the day, if you were to do this, you wouldn’t be so much tired as you are fulfilled, the more we lean into that, the easier life becomes and the more passion-filled life becomes. That fuels energy, inspiration, hope, and more smiles. We need that now more than ever in our world.

We need more Mr. Jensens. How do we do that?

Everybody, for the most part, has had Mr. Jensens. Some may have had more Mr. Jensens in their lives than others. First off, if you’ve had a Mr. Jensen, I would recommend taking the opportunity to thank the Mr. Jensens in your life. Who are the people who believed in you? Who are the people in your young life who communicated your potential and your worth so well to the point that you saw it within yourself? Are we taking the opportunity to thank them or to go back and say, “That moment and those things that you did, they mattered. It made the difference for me.” That’s, first and foremost, a cool opportunity.

LYP 24 | People Retention
People Retention: Know the people in your life who communicated your worth and take the opportunity to thank them.


Second, who are the people that if you had the opportunity to meet them, connect with them, the people that you’re able to say like, “I like myself best ’cause I’m with you. I feel like you connect me to something more,” we should do whatever it takes to associate with those astonishing people. If we do that, strive for that, look for that, and try to create that more in our lives, then the likelihood of finding more Mr. Jensens in our lives increases. We all need that. Do whatever it takes to find the people who are doing the things that you want to do. Do whatever it takes to associate with them so that they have the opportunity to believe in you, teach you, and mentor you.

Do whatever it takes to find people who are doing things you want to do and associate with them. This way, they can have the opportunity to believe in you and mentor you. Share on X

That’s great. Have you had additional Mr. Jensens along the way to fuel your passion and get to where you are?

It was not just Mr. Jensen. It was from my mother, my father, my aviation career in piloting, specific drum mentors in my life, and speaking mentors as a professional speaker. There have been many people who have come along the journey that has propelled me and allowed me to see further than I could on my own.

I was wondering if you were the actual pilot in some of your videos online. That was pretty cool. I’m impressed.

I am the pilot in those videos. Aviation has always been a major part of my life. I love it.

You smile at everything you do. You’re so energizing, gravitating to what’s good in the world. Thanks for all of that. I also thank Mr. Jensen and all the mentors who have tapped into your superpower. I wonder if you’ve ever thought about it that way or if you think about what your superpower is.

We all have unique different gifts, traits, and abilities. I didn’t really know that drumming was a superpower. There are even times when I look at drumming where it is easy to compare yourself to other drummers whom you’d look at and say, “Their superpower is a lot more super than my power. They’re a lot greater drummer than I am.” I’m grateful that I found it. I’m grateful that I found those unique things, but it wasn’t an innate gift. I had to develop it.

It took me years of practice. That’s what I love about drumming. It’s like the game of golf. You’ll never master it, but it’s so fun to try. For me, that’s what drumming is. That’s how it ultimately becomes a superpower. Over time, it is doing small things consistently over a long period of time to the point where other people would look at that and say, “That’s your gift. That’s your superpower.” In reality, it’s a lot of little things done consistently over a long period of time.

Do small things consistently over a long period of time until people recognize it as your superpower. Share on X

That’s fair. One of the ironies as I was thinking about your drumming is the fact that you encourage not only yourself but all of us to live to our own beat. We all have a little bit of a different way. I know I have a little bit of a waddle as I walk, but it’s unique. We have to embrace it. We have to step into what we have and what our strengths are. We have to continue to foster that and believe in it because it’s there for us to share with the world.

We need to lean into that. We need to express that more.

One of the things I’ve heard about you is that you’re an expert in employee retention in the workplace. What are you doing there?

I started a research project several years ago called the Undercover Millennial Program. I’m a Millennial. That’s the generation I was born in. I was young enough to where I would be able to go into organizations as a young person looking for a job. I’d walk into a store and say, “I am thinking about applying here. What’s it like to work at this company?” The employees would look around, like an illegal drug exchange, and then they would tell me everything. They would tell me what they loved and what they hated because I wasn’t an employee survey. It wasn’t a one-on-one manager meeting. I was a potential hire.

LYP 24 | People Retention
I Love It Here: How Great Leaders Create Organizations Their People Never Want to Leave

We’ve done that with 287 organizations. I’ve interviewed over 11,000 employees undercover. It’s one of the largest studies that’s ever been done in its kind. It’s done in a unique way that I believe captured the truth. It captured authentic viewpoints in a way that has benefited and helped the leaders to see, “Maybe there are a few things that we can change. Maybe there are a few things that I’m missing. Maybe there are a few things that I’m doing really well that I need to be doing more of.” That led to the book. We wrote a book called I Love It Here. It became a number one national best-seller and still continues to do really well because I believe in the uniqueness of how the book did.

That’s great! Are there a couple of highlights that you learned? It’s pretty cool. You went undercover. You got your hat on backward. You’re going in and digging into some surprise elements and some learnings.

When employees hated their jobs, they always talked about managers. When employees loved their jobs, they always talked about mentors or mentorship. How do you become the Mr. Jensen in the story? How do you become the individual that when people are working for you, they like themselves best? We create a work environment where people don’t just love the job, but they love who they are while they’re at the job because of you as the leader.

Leadership is key. It’s the number one reason why people stay in a workplace. It is also the number one reason why people choose to leave a workplace. Mentorship is really key. When we found a leader who possessed the ability to become a mentor and not just a boss, that leader possessed what we call the five Cs of mentorship, which are Confidence, Credibility, Competence, Candidness, and the ability to Care. It’s unique.

LYP 24 | People Retention
People Retention: Leadership is the number one reason why people stay or leave a workplace.


If you’ve ever had a mentor in your life, you chose them. You chose that individual because when you looked at them, you saw those things. You said, “They’re someone who’s very confident. They’re credible. They’re also competent. I bet they’re going to be someone who’s going to share the truth with me. They’re going to give me real, relevant, honest conversations. They care about me.” You chose them. How do we help managers to become that? The book talks a lot about the key strategies as well in the realms of what leaders were saying no to so that they could say yes to their people more. That was a very fascinating piece of research.

Of the 11,000 interviews that we’ve done, I’ve never once had an employee come up to me and say, “I really love my job because as a company, we’re so good at time management. We crush it. We run the best meetings ever.” Nobody ever says that. That’s not what they talk about. They talk about the moments when a leader said no to a few things so that they could say yes to them more.


LYP 24 | People Retention


There was one thing that was very surprising but also clear. As basic as it might seem, it is an incredible piece that all leaders need to understand. Every employee is always asking you, as a leader, the question, “Let me know when you and this business get to the part about me. Let me know when I can raise a better family because I work for you. Let me know when I can advance and live a better story because of you. Let me know when this gets to the part about me.”

Sometimes, we hear that as leaders and think, “Those entitled little shining stars in my life.” In reality, it’s not so much about entitlement as it is about good mentorship and good business principles. How do we get to the part about people? How do we say no to a few things that for us, as the leader, matter? We can become very entity-driven versus people-driven. When a leader was able to flip that switch and get to the part about their people, it was a powerful thing to watch.

I love that. It’s so spot on. When we really care and take a genuine interest in our people, they light up. Their eyes get bigger. Maybe their mouths open in awe, like, “I can do this? I can do something I’m passionate about?”


LYP 24 | People Retention


How do you create a framework that allows people to see that or see the possibilities? I look at what Mr. Jensen did. He really did two things for me. He communicated my worth and communicated my potential. It was those two things. How do we do that for our employee base? How do we do that for a workplace? How do we recognize people consistently, like, “What you do matters. I see what you do.” We’re thanking them for what they do. It’s good recognition.

The potential side is growth possibilities. It is, “What can I become? What happens for me, my life, my family, and the things that matter to me because I work for you?” Things like a growth development plan is sitting down and creating status interviews where people could check in and say, “What can I do to keep you here? How do we help write the story of what’s possible when you work here?” It’s a powerful combination.

It’s cool. Do you feel folks are opening their minds a bit differently? We talked a little bit earlier about life-long learning and the ability to open up our imaginations and be more creative. What’s your take on how that’s connected?

The economy has really forced a lot of leaders to take a good, deep look into themselves and into their leadership. We are still in an economic time in this world where you could throw a stone and you could hit a business or a building that’s dying to find good talent or that’s dying to find good employees and learn how to retain them.

Too many organizations are learning how to do that really well. They are learning how to create a lifestyle for people. They are learning how to create life-long learning, growth, opportunity, potential, and recognition. It is the ability to thrive at work and not just survive. How do you, as a business leader, help to grow people, not only employees?

If you’re not thinking in that realm or you’re not thinking with that mentality as a leader, have fun being a solo entrepreneur, or be okay with the revolving door of turnover that’s costing your organization thousands of dollars every time somebody leaves. It has opened up a lot of leaders’ minds to the need for change and adaptation in a good way, which is awesome.

That is great. I read a story about empathy and how when it’s shared with employees, something like 93% of folks want to stay because they’re feeling it. They get it. They know it is about them. Back to your point, it is like, “When’s it going to be about me?” It’s real. The outside of that is when we’re focused on results. It used to be customers and results all day long, but it has to be our people and how we go about our world and develop. They get those results, which is fabulous. I love what you’re doing. When you think about mentorship, do you think of that as a two-way relationship or do you think as a one-way? Do you think folks can benefit mutually?

100%. To earn the right of being a mentor, you have to truly care. There are many people in my research as the undercover Millennial that I met in management that have no business being in management. They are the manager because they choose to be the manager and not the mentor. They lack the ability to care. They don’t want to connect with people. They got moved into management because they killed it as an employee. The company had nothing else to do to get more money so they promoted them into management. It’s not because you have the title of a manager that it makes you a mentor. There’s a big difference between those two things.

LYP 24 | People Retention
People Retention: You have to truly care to earn the right to be a mentor.


I know you’re killing it, too, on the speaker front. I saw one of your posts that years ago, you went to do this full-time. It was in October. You met Kelly in October. I believe you became a top ten trend as far as speaking talent in October. October’s a good month, it seems like, for you. Congrats on all that. It’s pretty exciting.

Thank you. I appreciate it. It’s been a lot of hard work. I’ve had a series of good mentorship and good people who have believed in me. There’s what aligns your heart in the realms of the three Ps. I want to talk about this. This is really important. It is the day I quit my job. You brought up that post. Years ago, I was working in a completely different industry. I was burnt out. I was tired. I was not doing what I felt like I was truly put on this earth to do.

Mark Twain famously coined the phrase saying, “There are two important days in a person’s life. It is the day you’re born and then the day you figure out why.” For me, in that life that I was living, I was not fulfilled. There was not a level of significance. I was successful. I had the 401(k) and a really great-paying salary that benefits the workers, but there wasn’t that sense of real significance and fulfillment.

I sat down with two of my buddies and posed this question. I said, “Wouldn’t it be crazy if you could find a job or a career that allowed you to do three things? I call them the three Ps, which are Passion, Purpose, and the ability to Provide. What if you could find a job that allowed you to do what you love? It’s something that pulls on your heartstrings. You’re passionate about it. The second purpose is not so much about you as it is about doing something bigger than you. You are doing something that has a sense of fulfillment. It wasn’t about being the best in the world but about being the best for the world, doing something bigger than you.

LYP 24 | People Retention
People Retention: Find a career that will allow you to enjoy your passion, purpose, and ability to provide.


The third is the realities of life when it comes to a mortgage, food, taxes, and life. It’s expensive. You want to live as a responsible human being. How can you provide in a way that’s sufficient for you? Meaning, you’re not worried about money constantly. You have this sense of the ability to provide for you and your family and live a lifestyle that works for you. What if you could have one job that allowed you to do all three?”

Both my buddies were like, “I don’t know if that exists. You have to rob one to accomplish the other, to some degree. Look at a teacher. They are full of passion and purpose, but every summer, they’re looking for extra jobs so they can make, make ends meet. Look at a doctor. They are making good money but they’re stressed and are away from their family. Burnout is real. I don’t know if what you are looking for can be found. It’s so rare.”

There was a quote that was shared with me in college by a mentor. The quote was by Oscar Wilde. The quote says, “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” For me, at that specific point in my life, I was existing. Two weeks after that conversation, I quit my job. I burnt all the ships and said, “I’m out.” The day I quit my job was the day I started living. It was in the pursuit and the chasing of the dream within those three Ps to find something that I was passionate about, had a sense of purpose, and could provide for me and my family in a way that was sufficient for me. Here we are seven years later. It was one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made in my life.

Congrats. You are living and are making a huge impact. You’re getting people to do things that I haven’t seen. You’re energizing. You got other people banging buckets altogether on your guidance. They’re all bought in. Share a little bit about what you love to speak about, like what you love about that event. You are on fire. People have to check this out. How would you describe it in your own words?

It’s not a keynote. It’s an experience. That’s what I deliver from the stage. It is unlike anything that you will ever see from any keynote speaker in the world because it’s not so much a speech as it is a transformative experience. You strap up for a ride. It has elements of a rock concert. It has elements that make you cry and laugh. It’s a journey. It’s good craftsmanship from the stage when you can really take people on that ride with you. That’s what it is. It’s immersive. We transform the whole audience into this live interactive drumline experience.

It’s one thing to listen to something and another thing to experience it. Learning by doing is a key way to help the message be retained. That’s the focus for me. How do we not just have fun, but how do we create a transformative experience where people go and do something with it? They make a change. They make a difference.

LYP 24 | People Retention
People Retention: It is one thing to listen and another thing to experience. Learning by doing something is a key way to retain the intended message.


The thing that lights me up is that these managers and leaders will go back to their organization and help people to be better not just employees but better moms and better dads. In that, we create better families and raise better children. The simple fact of if we can change the dynamic of work and create a place where people say, “I love it here,” then that always translates to the home. That always translates to marriages. Ultimately, over time, we can change the world.

You’re changing the world. You’re creating better communities. People go home with a smile on their faces. How do you make that connection from the stage to folks taking action, to your point, and then bringing that back into work or their communities? How are you doing that? That’s fabulous.

You learn this as a leader. There is only so much you can do to some extent because people have their agency. That’s one thing in the realm of leadership. We influence. We strive to influence, but at the end of the day, people get to choose. They have to choose. You can’t change anybody. All you can change is yourself. It’s been unique and very beautiful when people go and they actively decide to change. They tell me the stories and we see the impact. We see the retention rates grow. We see the fulfillment. We see engagement go up. It has been one of the thrills of my life.

You can't change anybody. All you can change is yourself. Share on X

Have you overcome other challenges in your life that’s helped you grow and get to where you are?

For sure. We could talk for hours about that. We talked about aviation. I was diagnosed with an eye disease at the age of 21 that ended my career in aviation. I wasn’t able to fly anymore. I was diagnosed with a disease. I was going to go blind. I was losing my eyesight. One lesson I’ve learned in my life is that sometimes, good things fall apart so that better things can fit together. As cheesy, trite, and fluffy as that might sound, it’s very real for me because aviation fell apart. That was my dream. I went into this lost, depressed state of like, “I don’t know what else I’m going to do with my life.”

LYP 24 | People Retention
People Retention: Sometimes, good things fall apart so that better things can fit together.


Six years after college, they came out with this new procedure called cross-linking. I was one of the very first human trials to have that procedure done. They did it on my left eye and then they did it on my right eye. It 100% stopped the progression of my eye disease, but I still couldn’t see well enough to have my first-class medical to be able to fly as a commercial pilot.

A few years ago, they came out with a new technology called scleral lenses. I went in for a routine eye exam. The doctor was looking at my disease. He was looking at the surgery, the notes, my charts, and my history and said, “I bet we could get you to see 20/20.” I looked at him and said, “I’ve lived through this my whole life. I’ve had my hopes really increased at times. I can’t go through this again. You can’t mess with me on this.” He goes, “Let’s give it a shot.”

We went through fit after fit. This 2023, for the very first time in 18 years, I was able to see 20/20. I got my first-class medical certificate and have jumped back into the realm of aviation. As a man of faith who believes in God, I do believe that there are times, chapters, and seasons in our lives. At once what I felt like was a devastation ultimately was the best thing that happened to me that allowed me to do something that I was never going to do.

The research, drumming, and all of these things transpired. Sometimes, good things fall apart so that better things can fit together. It has really become that full circle moment where aviation’s been able to come back into my life. I failed my way to success. It was failure after failure. Over time, little by little, those failures taught lessons that have made me into who I am.

You continue to persevere. You are resilient. You could see your passion and how you wanted to march forward. You weren’t giving up and explored other opportunities. I agree with you, too. You’ve opened up different avenues and you’re impacting millions every day. I’m so thankful for that. Your audience members, I’ve seen their faces. I see how energized they are. I know we only have a couple more minutes. I’m curious. What else did you do for fun? I know you were on America’s Got Talent. You started a whole group called The Green Man Group. You talk about your flying. Do you have time for any other fun? It seems like you have an amazing life.

As I’m jumping back into the aviation world, that’s been exciting. To be honest, I’ve got three little kids that are at home. That’s my life. I travel a lot so when I’m home, I really try to be home. That’s my biggest focus. All of the success that you have in your life will never add up to anything that’s in comparison to failure in the home.

All of the success that you have in your life will never add up to anything compared to your failure in home. Share on X

For me, my biggest priority is being a good dad and being the man that I give my kids a good last name. They’re proud to have that last name. They’re proud to see their dad striving to do something bigger than himself and see their mother do something bigger than herself. I do it in the hopes that they see that as well and they live the story that they’re meant to live. That’s my priority. That’s what I love.

I have one last question. If you could let our audience think about any tips from you about how they can live their possible.

It’s by associating with other people who are living their possible. We find purpose in this life through the association and connection with other purposeful people. It is doing whatever it takes to associate yourself with the people that are doing that. I grew up on a farm. I’ve always said if you put a hard-to-catch horse in the field with an easy-to-catch horse, you usually end up with two hard-to-catch horses. If you put a sick child in the room with a healthy child, you end up with two sick children. It’s the same thing in your life. Who are you hanging with? Are you willing to go and associate with the people who are living their possible so that you can do the same? In doing so, that changes the narrative. Find your Mr. Jensen.

I’m energized. I’m lit. I’m excited to be here with you. I’m honored. Thanks for joining us.

You’re welcome.

I hope to hope to see you on our travels. I wish you well. Keep doing what you’re doing. You’re kicking butt.

I really appreciate it. Thanks for letting me be on the show.


Clint is a special human being. Check him out at his speaking events and on his website. His energy and passion to live life and not just exist contagiously lights up others to do the same. I am lit now, thanks to him. He closed the show perfectly to inspire each of us to associate ourselves with others living their possible and to find our own Mr. Jensen. I believe we can do both by taking steps to be a Mr. or Ms. Jensen for others. Watch the video of his story when Mr. Jensen told him he wasn’t a problem and that he was a drummer. I love this message. It reminds me to keep an open mind to see differences as potential opportunities and strengths.

Are you willing to try and experiment with me? Commit a full day in making a concerted effort to see what is possible by noticing other people’s differences. In every interaction in a day to be truly present and to seek it out, have a goal to not judge and define the good and untapped potential in everyone you meet. Identify at least one person to vulnerably share with them directly about the potential you see in them that they might not see in themselves yet.

You might become that Mr. or Ms. Jensen creating a moment that changes the person’s life forever and helps them live out their possible, too. That is my personal goal every single day, resulting in enlightenment and joy when people begin down the path of possibilities. Thank you, Clint, for your courage to overcome failures and live your best life with purpose and passion. His story shows us anything is possible. It is your turn to realize what is possible for you. His story shows us anything is possible. It is your turn to realize what is possible for you.


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About Clint Pulver

LYP 24 | People RetentionKnown as the leading authority on employee retention, Clint helps organizations retain, engage, and inspire their team members from the front desk to the board rooms and everyone in between. He expertly helps audiences navigate generational complexities, communication challenges, leadership missteps, and culture cues.

As the president and founder of The Center for Retention, Clint has transformed how corporations like Keller Williams, AT&T, and Hewlett Packard create lasting loyalty through his research and work as “The Undercover Millennial”. A self-motivated entrepreneur, he is well versed in business start-up, leadership, sales management, management training, and helping teams grow multi-million-dollar accounts. He uses that experience to create teachable relationship and business strategies based on trust, service, support, connection, and consistent follow-through.

Clint strongly believes that a single moment in time can change a person’s life. He has traveled the world speaking to a wide spectrum of diverse audiences, challenging them to dream, excel, connect, and believe–both in themselves and in the power of others. His mantra? “It’s not about being the best in the world…it’s about being the best FOR the world.”

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