XY Theory of Motivation and Management

xy theory

Douglas McGregor, an American social psychologist, proposed his famous X-Y theory in his 1960 book “The Human Side Of Enterprise.” Theory X and Theory Y are still referred to commonly in the field of management and motivation, and while more recent studies have questioned the rigidity of the model, McGregor’s XY Theory remains a valid basic principle from which to develop positive management style and techniques. The XY Theory also remains central to organization design, and to improving organizational culture.

At Y Scouts, we find this especially interesting when examining how we connect people and companies to work that matters. Management can be done in several ways — but when done right, it moves the company forward.

The XY Theory proves a simple reminder of the natural rules for managing people, which (under the pressure of day-to-day business) may end up easily forgotten.

McGregor’s ideas suggest that there are two fundamental approaches to managing people. Many managers gravitate toward Theory X, and usually obtain poor results. Enlightened managers, on the other hand, use Theory Y, which produces better performance and results. Furthermore, it allows people to grow and develop.

Take a closer look at the XY Theory. Which type of manager are you — and which type of management do you prefer?

Theory X (‘Authoritarian Management’ Style)

  • The average person dislikes work and will avoid it in various ways.
  • Thus, most people must be forced with the threat of punishment to work toward organizational objectives.
  • The average person prefers to be directed, to avoid responsibility, is relatively unambitious, and wants security above all else.

Theory Y (‘Participative Management’ Style)

  • Effort in work is as natural as work and play.
  • People will apply self-control and self-direction in the pursuit of organizational objectives, without external control or the threat of punishment.
  • Commitment to objectives is a function of rewards associated with their achievement.
  • People usually accept and often seek responsibility.
  • The capacity to use a high degree of imagination, ingenuity and creativity in solving organizational problems is widely, not narrowly, distributed in the population.
  • In industry the intellectual potential of the average person is only partly utilized.

Characteristics of the X Theory Manager

Perhaps the most noticeable aspects of XY Theory present themselves in the behaviors of autocratic managers and organizations which use autocratic management styles.

What are the characteristics of a Theory X manager? Typically some, most or all of these:

  • results-driven and deadline-driven, to the exclusion of everything else
  • intolerant
  • issues deadlines and ultimatums
  • distant and detached
  • aloof and arrogant
  • elitist
  • short temper
  • shouts
  • issues instructions, directions, edicts
  • issues threats to make people follow instructions
  • demands, never asks
  • does not participate
  • does not team-build
  • unconcerned about staff welfare, or morale
  • proud, sometimes to the point of self-destruction
  • one-way communicator
  • poor listener
  • fundamentally insecure and possibly neurotic
  • anti-social
  • vengeful and recriminatory
  • does not thank or praise
  • withholds rewards, and suppresses pay and remunerations levels
  • scrutinises expenditure to the point of false economy
  • seeks culprits for failures or shortfalls
  • seeks to apportion blame instead of focusing on learning from the experience and preventing recurrence
  • does not invite or welcome suggestions
  • takes criticism badly and likely to retaliate if from below or peer group
  • poor at proper delegating — but believes they delegate well
  • thinks giving orders is delegating
  • holds on to responsibility but shifts accountability to subordinates
  • relatively unconcerned with investing in anything to gain future improvements
  • unhappy

How to Manage Upwards: Managing Your X Theory Boss

Working for an X theory boss isn’t easy – some extreme X theory managers make extremely unpleasant ones, but there are ways of managing them upwards. Avoid confrontation (unless you genuinely feel bullied, which presents a different matter) and deliver results.

  • Theory X managers (or indeed theory Y managers displaying theory X behavior) primarily remain results-oriented. So orientate your your own discussions and dealings with them around results – i.e. what you can deliver and when.
  • Also, Theory X managers prove facts and figures oriented. So, cut out the incidentals, and measure and substantiate anything you say and do for them, especially reporting on results and activities.
  • Theory X managers generally don’t understand or have an interest in the human issues, so don’t try to appeal to their sense of humanity or morality. Set your own objectives to meet their organizational aims and agree these with the managers. Their traits include: self-starting, self-motivating, self-disciplined and well-organized. The more the X theory manager sees you are managing yourself and producing results, the less they’ll feel the need to do it for you.
  • Always deliver your commitments as well as promises. If you have an unrealistic task and/or deadline, state the reasons why it’s not realistic. But remain sure of your ground, don’t be negative; stay constructive as to how the overall aim can happen in a way that you know you can deliver.
  • Stand up for yourself, but constructively — so avoid confrontation. Never threaten or go over their heads if you feel dissatisfied. Otherwise, you’ll end up in trouble.
  • If an X theory boss tells you how to do things in ways that do not feel comfortable or right for you, then don’t question the process. Instead, simply confirm the required end-result, and check if you can do things more efficiently if the chance arises. They’ll normally agree to this, which effectively gives you control over the ‘how’, provided you deliver the ‘what’ and ‘when’.

The essence of managing upwards X theory managers? Focus and get agreement on the results as well as deadlines. If you consistently deliver, you’ll increasingly receive more leeway on how you go about the tasks, which amounts to more freedom. Many X theory managers end up forced into it by the short-term demands of the organization and their own superiors. An X theory manager usually categorizes someone with their own problems, so try not to give them any more.

Theory Z – William Ouchi

The Theory Z was developed by William Ouchi, a professor of management at UCLA, Los Angeles, and a board member of several large US organizations.

Theory Z is also often referred to as the ‘Japanese’ management style. Nevertheless, Theory Z essentially advocates a combination of all that’s best about theory Y and modern Japanese management, which places a large amount of freedom and trust with workers, and assumes that workers have a strong loyalty and interest in team-working and the organization.

Theory Z also places more reliance on the attitude and responsibilities of the workers, whereas Mcgregor’s XY theory mainly focuses on management and motivation from the manager’s and organization’s perspective. There is no doubt that Ouchi’s Theory Z model offers excellent ideas, albeit it lacking the simple elegance of Mcgregor’s model, which let’s face it, thousands of organizations and managers around the world have still yet to embrace. For this reason, Theory Z may for some be like trying to manage the kitchen at the Ritz before mastering the ability to cook a decent fried breakfast.

Y Scouts, a leadership search firm, finds purpose-aligned and performance-proven leaders to help organizations achieve their missions faster. Ready to supercharge your leadership search and get the right person in your organization? Contact Y Scouts.

Team Building Today

team building

Y Scouts Co-Founder & CEO Max Hansen was recently featured in the Arizona Journal of Real Estate & Business in an article about team building. What does it take to build a solid, successful, sustainable team in today’s world? Here, he answers that question — so enjoy his deep-diving insight on team building today.

Team Building Today

With baby boomers retiring and millennials entering the workforce, the concept of work constantly changes shape. Now, younger generations refuse to view work as an exchange of time for pay. And with research showing that by 2030 millennials will make up nearly 75 percent of the global workforce, it’s more important than ever to pay attention to the evolving concept of work.

Three events altered how people perceived being part of a team. Parents asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” With millennials, that question became, “What do you want to be a part of?”


The September 11 attacks signaled a wake-up call: our lives could be snuffed out at any moment. We spend three-quarters of our lives in the workplace — so building great teams in a positive environment rose in importance.

Crash of 2008

Many millennials watched their parents work tirelessly at jobs they didn’t enjoy just to bring money home — no matter how miserable work was. Fast-forward: in the 2015 Deloitte Millennial Survey, six in 10 respondents said “sense of purpose” is part of the reason they chose their current employer.

Evolution of Technology

Technology has also changed team building. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, millennials are 2.5 times more likely to be early adopters of technology than are older generations. Those in Generation Z are also adept researchers, based on the tools they’re exposed to. They know how to find information. Up to 30 percent watch lessons online, 20 percent read textbooks on tablets, and 32 percent work with classmates online. As technology changes, so does the idea of incorporating it into team building and fostering an innovative culture.

Building great teams is at the crux of today’s workforce. The end result of placing leaders into better cultures? More productive employees who feel like they provide value. Since the employment rate is so low, employment agencies are seeing executive-level leaders negotiate right when they walk in the door. These executives are focused on salaries at $300k and require to be channeled to understand the role, the impact and what the company does first. A perfect culture fit ceases negotiations. Choosing culture over cash has changed today’s concept of team building.

The low employment rate has also pushed companies and individuals to evaluate each other during the hiring process. Instead of opening the interview by discussing hard skills or role specifics, employers must ask about the candidate. Then, open up about the company and culture. What does everyone do outside the office? What team-building exercises does the company engage in? Today, these seemingly small factors help match a perfect fit for the purpose of culture.

Team building used to be done: post jobs and pray. But neither party ended up happy.

Candidates enter interviews wearing a mask. When asked more deep-diving questions, it proves you care about the candidate on a personal level. Jumping into hard skills — “Describe what you did at your last job” — never reveals the candidate’s authentic side. The mask remains, and the candidate won’t buy into your culture unless you start with personality and move on to purpose, values, leadership philosophy and culture.

It’s a premier method to build teams today, particularly with younger generations shifting how we approach work.

Original story here.

Y Scouts, Inc. is highly respected as pioneers of a Purpose Based Leadership Search Firm on a global scale with a focus on U.S. based companies headquartered out of Scottsdale, AZ. Max and his team have had the privilege of working with some of the most purpose and values-driven companies in the U.S. www.yscouts.com.

The Purpose Of Purpose


Here at Y Scouts, we employ purpose as a leading factor in everything we do. Even our podcast is titled “Built On Purpose” — and we interview leaders, CEOs, and other high-level folks who share engaging stories of embracing a purpose-driven life. In this article, we spoke to a variety of business leaders who do the same — and their industries range from a coding bootcamp to an Uber for lawn mowing.

Question: What’s power of purpose at your organization? How does purpose drive what you do and how does it also play into your company culture?

The Purpose Of Purpose

Walking With Meaning

VEERAH is a women-led company crafting luxury footwear that is made responsibly with cruelty-free materials and mindfully designed for the modern woman. This purpose — basing our goals based on positive impacts on society, community and the environment — is the entire driving force behind our company. That’s why we are proud to also be a Benefit Corporation.

– Melinda Richardson, VEERAH

Infusing Purpose Into Multiple Businesses

Purpose becomes more of a factor in my business all the time. That’s been somewhat true since I started my business in 1981, but in the past two decades or so, it’s become central. And not by coincidence, with each leap toward higher purpose and domination by purpose, my business gets stronger.

These days, I’m a profitability consultant for green and social entrepreneurship businesses — and author of 10 books (endorsed by Seth Godin and others). I show businesses how they can go beyond mere “sustainability” (keeping things the same) to develop and market profitable products and services that turn hunger and poverty into sufficiency, war into peace, and catastrophic climate change into planetary balance.

This has been a gradual evolution, starting as a term paper typing service, then moving into marketing for individuals (resumes), marketing for small business/nonprofits/book authors, marketing for green businesses, and now working with businesses attempting to achieve sweeping social change.

– Shel Horowitz, Green/Transformative Business Profitability Expert

Promoting The Purpose In Family

My husband and I own a company called Homegrown Traditions. We share inspiring family tradition ideas and tips on how to create a happy as well as functional home.

Research has shown that strong family connections lead to increased health, less mental illness, lower stress, a happier life, and good habits, among other things.

I owned a women’s swimwear business for seven years, but my husband and I were looking to start a business related to something we could both be passionate about. The idea arose to use our biggest passion, promoting families, as a starting point. We’ve since launched holiday pillowcases for kids, birthday plates, birthday shirts, and chore charts on our website. We also offer a lot of free content, like parent-child date cards, birthday and thank you cards, etc. Although we do need to make money to support our business, or primary driving force in all our decisions is to make sure we’re promoting the importance of families and enforcing the idea that they are the most important thing in life.

– Brittney Hanks, Homegrown Traditions

Empowering Women

Hey There Beautiful Inc. is a New York-based 501(c)(3) not for profit organization whose mission is to empower women and young girls to live their dream through education, motivation, self-awareness and self-development.

The power of purpose of our organization design drives the passion behind Board of Directors.  The power of our purpose allows others to believe deeply in the mission which drives the mindset to do whatever it takes to make things happen. We are all philanthropists at heart.  Giving back to our communities gives us a sense of purpose and in turn then motivates us with power to give back tremendously.

Being able to change lives for young girls, women, mothers, fathers and the world motivates us every day. This creates a culture of empathy, love and support that allows us to thrive in out daily lives. Personally, I like to see the Board of Directors flourish and live their own dreams. We have created a system together to support, build and grow both personally and professional. This creates the teamwork attitude and “I will never give up on you” stance we have for each other.

It is about ensuring that your company is empowered and inspired so much so that they in turn can naturally affect others in a seamless way that is part of their everyday life.

Like my father who recently passed once said, “When you do everything with love and from a place of love, everything will fall into place.”

– Dailisha Eve Rodriguez, President & Founder of Hey There Beautiful, Inc.

A Mission In The Sports Arena

Sport Graphics, the firm behind the décor and experience at many of the country’s largest sporting events, works hard to ensure that each of our 120+ employees feel a sense of purpose. No, we aren’t solving world hunger, eradicating homelessness or bringing about world peace, but we are serving a mission. Like most, it’s easy to lose sight of the objective and then focus solely on the deliverable (some really incredible graphics, a killer design package or the installation of the world’s largest tournament bracket).

We take on the mindset that we’re part of the client’s organization. We aim to feel what they feel, see what they see (and more) as well as challenge ourselves to deliver something worthy of their reputation. At the same time, our staff — at every level – has a sense of intrinsic pride in the quality of work we put out. Our gut check: Would you show your parents, friends and professional peers what you just created? The answer has to be ‘yes.’

In order for purpose to become part of our culture, we each had to commit to being driven by it. We also had to challenging one another to do the same.

“Work with purpose” isn’t something scrawled on the wall. Rather, it’s something we re-commit to and bring with us each time we step through the door.

– Trena Roudebush, Marketing Director of Sport Graphics

Coding Bootcamp Gives People Purpose

I work at Wyncode Academy, a coding bootcamp in Miami. In a community with high unemployment, particularly for the large number of discriminated-against groups and minorities in our city, teaching adults to code is entirely purpose-driven.

Coding proves one of the most in-demand and highest paid skills in the job market. We have helped hundreds of individuals gain this skill. We also pay special attention to women and minorities through targeted scholarships. These groups typically end up left out of this lucrative career. This is especially fulfilling as most of our students choose to attend in order to leave lackluster careers that were not setting them up for a bright future. We have helped these individuals, anywhere from age 18-55, turn their life around to create better opportunities for themselves.

Our co-founder actually attended a coding bootcamp himself in Toronto, and then saw the world of opportunities that was opened up to him professionally and personally by learning this skill. It prompted him to start Wyncode. This purpose drives our company culture because it creates a community where making space to learn is key, and people are super supportive of those around them, even when they are in direct competition.

– Jocelyn Caster, Coordinator at Wyncode Academy

Purpose: The Daily Roadmap For Employees

GPS Trackit is a telematics provider supported by a dedicated community of employees. We’ve been in business for over 17 years.

People are the lifeblood of any organization. Thus, without a strongly communicated and perpetually reinforced company purpose, those people are left without direction and a sense of fulfillment with the work they produce. This can lead to work produced without passion and dedication — something no customer will stick around for.

Basically, a company’s purpose should act as a daily roadmap for all employees, driving everything they do throughout the workday. This fosters a community of devoted, satisfied employees who feel confident in both their work and their employer.

– Hannah Steffensen, Media Relations Manager at GPS Trackit

Helping Veterans Pursuing Entrepreneurship

I retired as a consultant from the Chicago office of the McGladrey accounting firm in 2006. Then, I started my own firm in Chicago, which helps veterans who want to start their own business. I bootstrapped this business from my own savings. I am also a former U.S. Army Reserve 1st Lieutenant, who fought in the Vietnam War. I created the concept for an incubator for veterans who want to start their own businesses, now called Bunker Labs.

Later, I worked with an organization to start a support program for aspiring veteran entrepreneurs in North Carolina, VetStart.

I was raised and educated to be of service to others. Now, I have channeled that effort into helping veterans who want to start their own businesses. While my business didn’t start out with that in mind, I found that helping veterans was my true calling.

– Paul Dillon, Bunker Labs

Immigrant Employees Delivering Meaning

GreenPal is best described as Uber for lawn mowing.

I’ve been in the landscaping industry for 15 years. I started cutting grass in high school. Over the 15 years I grew that business to over 100 people and sold that company last year.

What has worked for me and my best advice to leaders on building a strong team of loyalists is to rally everyone around the central “Why.”

Why does our company exist?

When I was running an organization of that size proved it was daunting, however, creating something bigger than myself was a fulfilling experience. Our company created prosperity for our people and that’s why we did what we did. Much of our operating core was comprised of Guatemalan immigrants and these were the finest people I have ever known. Typically, they would come to the United States for several consecutive lawn mowing seasons. They would save as much money as they could to improve the lives of their families back home by building homes, ranches, and setting up farms stocked with cattle.

This became our company’s purpose, our Why. In weekly meetings, we would get progress reports from our men on how projects “back home” were coming along. In the halls of our office and in the shop we displayed picture collages of all the homes, farms, and business that had been established by our people in Guatemala. Celebrating these victories gave us fuel to get through the tough times, particularly when economic recession that began in 2009.

– Bryan Clayton, CEO & Co-Founder of GreenPal

Doing Well Through Doing Good

GoodWorks Insurance, an independent insurance agency founded in 2006, uniquely gives half of its profits to local nonprofits throughout the Northeast. It’s the firm’s recipe for success, driving everything it does.

“We do well because we do good,” says CEO Chad Yonker. “Deserving local charities get much-needed funds. We reap goodwill that helps drive our growth.”

“We believe in a purpose beyond profit. Communities profit as our business grows. Our socially responsible business model and commitment to community truly distance us from the competition. We give at least 50% of our operating profits each year to nonprofits supporting local education, health, and safety programs.”

GoodWorks Community Grants go to nonprofits that support education, healthcare, public safety as well as community development in the places GoodWorks does business.

– Chad Yonker, CEO of GoodWorks Insurance

So, what’s your purpose? We’re curious — let us know!

Y Scouts is a leadership search firm that finds purpose-aligned and performance-proven leaders to help organizations achieve their missions faster. Ready to supercharge your leadership search and get the right person in your organization? Contact Y Scouts.

How To Hire Better Conscious Job Candidates


We’re proud to be featured in Conscious Company Magazine! Y Scouts Co-Founder & CEO Max Hansen offers some important insight on recruiting.

Hiring the right people is essential to helping your conscious business thrive. Here are 4 expert tips for getting it right, from the start.

The saying, “If you build it, they will come” does not apply to finding conscious candidates. You have to put the work in during the hiring process, or you’ll struggle to find the right people.

Here are my four best tips for getting conscious candidates in the door.


Before you consider professional skills, focus on culture and purpose in your job descriptions. This will help attract like-minded people and repel those who don’t fit in. At the interview, look for cultural, purpose, and values alignment by talking about the uniqueness of your organization. Then, listen and watch for cues to see if the candidate relates. Caveat: Be aware of how your job advertising terms might appeal to different populations, and make sure to switch them up to attract values-aligned candidates with varied backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives.


Let’s be real: No one likes a know-it-all. And if you’re a conscious company, everyone around you is always learning. Seek out relentless learners by asking questions like, “What are you learning right now?” or “When was the last time you did something for the first time?” Candidates’ answers (or the lack thereof) will tell you right away if they love learning or think they know it all already.


Speed kills during the hiring process. The challenge is that you’re itching to check it off the to-do list, so you end up dealing with the pain later. Making a bad hire means you’ll not only have to undo the mistake and redo the recruitment, you’ll also have to repair the cultural damage from a mis-hire. Slow, thoughtful hiring ensures that you find the best possible candidate.


Hiring the best of the applicants is different from hiring the best possible person. In today’s market, the best talent is already employed. Relying solely on job postings and the candidates who apply is risky. Ask yourself, “If I could hire the best possible person for the role, who would I hire?” Chances are it’s not the best resumé you received from your online posting.

Instead, create a target list of potential candidates or companies where they might be found and pursue them proactively. When you’ve identified someone as a possible fit and started the conversation, you control the initial dialogue and get to dig in on the cultural and mission-fit topics that matter to you. Proactively talking with a potential candidate before they know the needs of the role and company also allows you to better match up professional competencies. If you focus on what the best possible outcome looks like both in terms of culture and ability to perform, you should reap the benefits of a diverse, high-performing team.

Max Hansen is CEO at Y Scouts, which is in the business of finding purpose-aligned and performance-proven leaders who help organizations achieve their missions faster.

Y Scouts is a leadership search firm that finds purpose-aligned and performance-proven leaders to help organizations achieve their missions faster. Ready to supercharge your leadership search and get the right person in your organization? Contact Y Scouts.

A Meaningful Gift For An Exemplary Leader

A Meaningful Gift For An Exemplary CEO-3

From time to time, Y Scouts wants to highlight companies and cultures that are doing great things and operating with purpose. We also believe that great leaders develop people — so here is an incredible, heartwarming story that exemplifies just that.

A Meaningful Gift For An Outstanding Leader

It’s difficult to find gifts for David Sellers, President & CEO of LGE Design Build. But this past holiday season, his team knocked it out of the park.

Carrie Garcia, Chief Administrative Officer at LGE, has been working with David for 14 years. They started there in their twenties and, she says, “literally grew up here together.”

“Every year for the last 14 years, I struggle — and so does everyone else — trying to find David a gift for anything. That includes his wife,” Carrie said.

LGE Design Build recently started the process of defining values, setting a vision and establishing a mission statement. As Christmas approached, Carrie mulled over what to get for David with that in mind.

“One night, I had just finished reading Built On Values by Ann Rhoades, and this idea came to my mind: I should make a massive photo picture and put on there why everyone in the office thinks David is an amazing leader.”

Fast-forward a few days after that, and an employee came to me and said, “OK, we’ve got to figure out what to do for David.” I told her my idea, and she was ecstatic.

FullSizeRender 4She walked around to every single employee in the company and asked, “Why do you think David is a good leader?” Then, each employee wrote down their answer.

Carrie typed up everyone’s quote — and from there, the team collaboration continued.

“Our rendering guy along with our photographer — we all joined forces and designed a graphic that included every single quote as to why all his employees think he’s a good leader,” she added.

Carrie had it professionally printed on a steel mount, and then LGE’s photographer (who welds on the side) crafted a custom frame for the artwork.

Presenting The Gift

Carrie met with the photographer at the LGE Design Build office two hours early one morning. It was still dark outside — but Carrie wanted to hang it on David’s wall before he came into work.

“I wrapped it after it was hung,” she said. “When David came in, I walked into his office with him and shut the door; I know him very well, and he’s a very private person who doesn’t like a lot of attention. I wanted him to have a private moment when he opened it.”

Before he opened the gift, Carrie explained to him how their current process of establishing LGE’s values resonated with her and the rest of the team. She described how important it is for leadership to tell their employees that they’re appreciated — but how we sometimes forget to let our leadership know how much we appreciate them.

“He opened it and was overwhelmed with emotion,” Carrie said. “We were both wiping away tears, and he read some of the stuff people said, and I read some. He said it was the most thoughtful gift he’s ever received.”

The board — filled with 48 different messages — hangs on the wall directly across from David’s desk. That way, if he’s facing a tough day, as Carrie puts it: “All he needs to do is look up and focus for two seconds, and he’s got four dozen reminders of how amazing he is to everybody here.”

lge design build

The Impact The Gift Has Had

Recently, David was working until midnight and was feeling overwhelmed — and he paused. He began to read the board. Immediately, his attitude changed, and the board helped “reset” him.

“He means so much more to me than just a boss,” Carrie said. “I wanted him to really understand just how amazing he is outside of what I think. I don’t think he realized I’m not the only one in the building who feels that way.”

As the LGE Design Build team moves forward with establishing their values, Carrie noted that the gift helped continue to guide their leader in that constructive direction.

“This board was really meant as a reinforcement to David that the hard work and dedication it will take to implement our values, all the time that our committee is putting into it to make our company a better place — is for something,” she said. “We care about him, and we support him. That board was something to give him the reassurance he needed to keep going down a positive path.”

Ready to supercharge your culture with a purpose-driven, people-focused leader? Contact us!

Y Scouts is a leadership search firm that finds purpose-aligned and performance-proven leaders to help organizations achieve their missions faster.

Why Work At Y Scouts?

why work at y scouts

Why work at Y Scouts? Take a look at some perks of working with our small but growing team in Scottsdale, Arizona. From our purpose-based mission to our camaraderie in the office, here’s why working at Y Scouts is a wonderful thing.

Why Work At Y Scouts?

Working With A Purpose-Driven Organization

It all starts with our purpose at Y Scouts and why we exist as an organization. You will love working at Y Scouts if the idea of transforming how people and companies are connecting to work that really matters is something that would matter to you. That’s at the most fundamental level. If the idea of changing the way people and companies are connecting in the employment space fails to excite you, then it doesn’t matter what we offer you—what job, salary, stock, bonus, etc. It starts with that firm foundation.

The “Hiring Laboratory” Of Y Scouts

The second thing is, do you enjoy being a part of a nimble, small, startup-minded entrepreneurial organization that’s constantly testing, experimenting and trying new things? Some people need structure. They need resources. They need clarity. We might say that we’re none of that. We know what our purpose is and what our mission is, but beyond that, we’re in a constant laboratory. Y Scouts is a hiring lab of sorts. And we’re constantly figuring out how to continue to do what we’re doing better.

Thus, some of the top benefits of working at Y Scouts include: the opportunity to create impact, to see the fruits of your work immediately, to have your voice heard from day one, to contribute right away, and to feel like you’re part of a family—a team.

Our Five Values

At Y Scouts, our mission is to transform how leaders and companies connect to work that matters. Branching off of that focus are our five core values: Authenticity, Gratitude, Perseverance, Relentless Learner, and Teamwork. Take a look at how our team approaches and embraces each of these Y Scouts values:

Our Office!

We’re right in the heart of sunny Old Town Scottsdale, which draws visitors from all over the world. Earlier in 2016, Y Scouts moved into our new office—”a home that can accommodate our growing team. We also wanted a new home that would foster a walkable environment. With our new office at Y Scouts, we want to encourage our team members to get outside, to be active, and to be able to walk to and from lunch and not have to get into a car every time you need to go somewhere. Old Town Scottsdale afforded us that opportunity,” according to Co-Founder & Managing Partner Brian Mohr. Since he and Max Hansen started Y Scouts in 2012, the team has grown and everyone loves the new digs in Scottsdale! Take a look at some photos of our beautiful office.

Do you have more questions regarding “Why work at Y Scouts?” Let us know!

Y Scouts is a leadership search firm that finds purpose-aligned and performance-proven leaders to help organizations achieve their missions faster. Ready to supercharge your leadership search and get the right person in your organization? Contact Y Scouts.

Y Scouts Goes RED To Support The Troops

On Tuesday, the Y Scouts team “went RED” (Remember Everyone Deployed) and boxed up treats to support the troops. Leadership Search Director Christie McPherson shared two quotes that resonated with her from the Y Scouts team’s “RED day” contributions:

“You can’t fix the world’s problems but you should do what you can, where you can, to make a difference in this world.”


“The positive impact we make, no matter how small, is still great.”

Christie’s take on the event:

On Tuesday, the Y Scouts team wanted to find a way to make an impact on a cause that is important to all of us here in America. In the weeks leading up to Veterans Day, supporting our deployed military personnel was a cause that we could focus on as a team. Y Scouts went “RED,” and also wore red to visibly show our support of deployed military. We purchased snacks, treats, games and activities to pack and ship to deployed military men and women at Al Udeid Air Force Base in Qatar who are a part of the in-air refueling unit. Al-Udeid is the largest base in the middle east with over 10,000 troops stationed there in 2015. The unit we shipped our care package to, the Phoenix-based 161st Air Refueling Wing, will be deployed and away from home during the majority of the holiday season this year.

Y Scouts has committed to a mission of transforming how people and companies connect to work that matters. What better work to honor than the mission that our brave military men and women have committed to completing at home and abroad. Their mission matters, to all of us, and this was our way of staying connected to the troops who sacrifice so much. Their mission is to ensure freedom is protected and our hope is that a small piece of home, a few goodies that taste like home, and knowing our team was thinking about them especially on that day, was a small impact we wanted to make.

We encourage others to join the mission of going “RED” by wearing a red article of clothing one day a week to show your support of those who are deployed. Any impact, any support, any gratitude shown, no matter how small, has a greater impact than you can imagine.

On Tuesday, we were able to do something great for even just a few people overseas. A small moment of joy, a taste of home, a reminder that they are appreciated, and something to occupy their time while they are thousands of miles away from the home they so sacrificially protect without question is an impact that I’m proud we chose to make as a team.

Y Scouts, a leadership search firm, finds purpose-aligned and performance-proven leaders to help organizations achieve their missions faster. Ready to supercharge your leadership search and get the right person in your organization? Contact Y Scouts.

Great workspaces fuel productivity. Check out the new office at Y Scouts!

new office at y scouts

Y Scouts has moved into a new home in Old Town Scottsdale—a home that can accommodate our growing team. We also wanted a new home that would foster a walkable environment. With our new office at Y Scouts, we want to encourage our team members to get outside, to be active, and to be able to walk to and from lunch and not have to get into a car every time you need to go somewhere. Old Town Scottsdale afforded us that opportunity. Since Brian Mohr and Max Hansen started Y Scouts in 2012, the team has grown and everyone loves the new digs in Scottsdale!

Check out our new office at Y Scouts!

new office at y scouts

We’re a very purpose-driven organization, so we wanted to create an environment in which our team members can be the best versions of themselves and live a relatively healthy lifestyle. So having a new office at Y Scouts that fosters a walkable environment wherever you go is a cool thing. – Brian

new office at y scouts

I don’t know what I’d do had I not started Y Scouts. For me, the journey started in recruiting years ago. Those first thoughts of purpose and meaningful work started to come from, what could I sell that I believe in and that other people would believe in? It was the tagline, “What’s your why?” – Max

new office at y scouts

The one agreement Brian and I always have is that, whatever we do, we’re going to disrupt the staffing business forever. So right away, we got on the purpose-based recruiting. We were on the same page and still are, as far as the impact we want to have. – Max

new office at y scouts

There are really only two types of purpose-based companies in our minds. They either have a purpose in their culture and how they develop their people, and/or, they have a product or service that provides a positive impact in the world. We focus on either one or both of those. – Max

new office at y scouts

The goal is to help companies transform and continue to drive their culture in a positive direction. We want to transform how people and companies connect to work that matters. And leaving them better off than when they started, as far as how to recruit and how to find and align people to their culture. – Max

How does the new office at Y Scouts look? Let us know what you think!

[[ Photos by Emily Harding ]]

Y Scouts is a leadership search firm that finds purpose-aligned and performance-proven leaders to help organizations achieve their missions faster. Ready to supercharge your leadership search and get the right person in your organization? Contact Y Scouts.

What you do outside of work matters. Here’s what we do.

what you do outside of work

What you do outside of work translates into a more fulfilling life. At Y Scouts, we believe what you do outside of work is important to being a productive and happy team member.

Here’s what we do in our free time.

Brian Mohr, Co-Founder & Managing Partner

what you do outside of workI’m on four boards: Conscious Capitalism Inc., Conscious Capitalism Arizona, SEED SPOT, and the Better Business Bureau of Central, Northern and Western Arizona. This will also be the third year in a row of me being the emcee of the Arizona SHRM Conference. I just served as the emcee of the New Mexico conference for the first time. I’m hosting this year’s Ethics Awards for the Better Business Bureau. I’m carving out a little bit of a niche in being a host or an emcee of events. If the mission of the organization is a mission I can believe in, heart body and soul, and if I have the time, then I’ll volunteer to do it. I love helping people. It’s kind of a no-brainer for me. It’s natural from being in the workforce for a little while. I also spend time on the Y Scouts Built On Purpose Podcast.

Max Hansen, Co-Founder & CEO

what you do outside of workRight now, I’m the YPO (Young Presidents Organization) chairman, which is really fun for me. I love to socialize. It mixes in to what I do for a living. We interview people, and we do leadership search too. It puts me in the position to be able to interview people to make sure they’re right for YPO Arizona and for our chapter. These people are the most successful entrepreneurs… most big business owners are in YPO. I’ve been involved in EO (Entrepreneurs Organization) and YPO for (YPO for the last 3 years and EO before that I was involved for 10 years). The purpose of those is learning from your peers, and mixing and socializing with leaders.

I also play golf when I can. My grandpa taught me, so it’s something in the family. It’s something my dad and I do, and hopefully my son and I will one day. It gets you out of the zone, completely into a different thought process and pattern. I think it increases awareness. I’ve been going to yoga more now than ever. I work out religiously. It makes me feel like I’m in control and mentally gives me kind of a resting place. I grew up playing lots of sports, and I think the better shape I am in physically, it reflects the better shape I’m in mentally.

I also coached at least 10 of my son’s teams. Once I decided not to coach my son, I spent a lot of time watching him play sports. You have to commit time to watch the amount of sports he plays. I travel quite a bit, too, whenever I can. The last couple years, I’ve been lucky enough to be involved in the Gumball 3000, which is kind of a road rally. It’s only once a year and takes up about 10 days. They’re the most insane 10 days. Last year we went from Stockholm to Vegas. It’s a full-out race in a car. This past year, it went from Dublin to Bucharest. The thing I love and how it ties back to work is how I get to meet all these people and all these different cultures.

Ken Butler, Leadership Search Director

what you do outside of workI have four kids, so family is pretty primary in terms of what I spend my time doing. Playing with them, teaching them, reading with them—and that’s really probably the bulk of my life outside of work. My wife and I have been partners in that. I do play a little bit of music—not as much as I used to. I’ll do a record here and there with some producers I know here in town, but not a lot anymore. I play at my church once a month, and my six-year-old sings in the choir with me, which is pretty cool. Anything outdoors really inspires me. So when I have major decisions to make, or I just need to unwind, setting aside time to go explore in the wild is a big deal for me.

One of my dreams for the future: I want to walk across the country when I retire. There’s a trail called the Pacific Crest Trail I’d like to do. I don’t necessarily care for fancy hotels; I’d rather sleep under the “billion-star hotel.” It’s very spiritual and fulfilling, and I can take my family. So spending the day at a lake, or in the mountains, or something that just resets our perspective a little bit. I would love for other people who don’t have the ability to experience that to do it, so I’ll get other people to come out and do a shorter, 5- or 6-mile hike. So outside of family and religious activities, it’s outdoor activities that allow me to go and do things.

Christie McPherson, Leadership Search Director

what you do outside of workFirst and foremost for me, what’s fundamental is that there is no in-work and out-of-work persona for people. My work and personal life flow and intermingle very closely. Something that I learned about through work was Year Up, so that now is part of my personal life. I’m mentoring a young adult who’s part of their underprivileged youth education and employment program, and that’s a 9-month process. While he goes through his 6-month internship and then for three months after his graduation date, I help guide him through navigating the professional world.

Something really important to me has been becoming a voice and advocate for women in the workplace, especially single parents. Obviously, single parents is either male or female, but especially trying to find a way to change the perception of single mothers and their impact to the workforce. When I became a single mother, immediately I was looked at in a different light as far as my career. Others’ perception of me was, I would no longer be reliable or responsible; I would be flighty. It changed the dynamic of who they thought I was, and the reality was nothing about me specifically changed. I’ve networked with really powerful women in the workplace who are also dedicated to changing the culture of single parents, especially single mothers, in the workplace and the dynamics of what they can bring to the table for an organization.

I try to be an ally and an advocate for single parents in the workplace. I found an organization here called Fresh Start Women, and they are a nonprofit that helps prepare women for the workforce. They even provide them with business-professional clothing. They’re a cool organization started by two sisters that owned a salon, who used to give free haircuts on Thursdays to women trying to get back to work that were perhaps homeless or underemployed. That’s one where I can go and feel like I’m making an impact. But I think the quiet impact is just as important—of retweeting articles, finding quotes that resonate with an audience. It’s pretty much marketing a new perception of who we are, and breaking through boundaries that they’ve given us as single mothers in the workplace.

I think we highlight all the things that define us. We feel more comfortable labeling a person: male, female, black, white, college-educated, high school educated. We can’t just use people’s names anymore, which to me is also part of our issue in our culture and our world. I aim to change that. Whether it’s for women, for race inequality, income inequality, ZIP code inequality—we can’t label people anymore. I think everybody needs to find a label that is impactful to them and attempt to remove it.

Marc Ruter, Leadership Search Director

what you do outside of workI’m a big golfer, and a big tennis player. I also enjoy skiing. I’ve done some things like Ronald McDonald House. My daughter’s in the Girl Scouts, so I volunteer and help with those kinds of things.

Paul Eisenstein, Leadership Search Director

what you do outside of workI have two young kids, so I spend the vast majority of my time with them. My life is not a ton outside of work right now except for family. Really what I’m doing is camping in the backyard, or building slides for my son’s toy cars.

Adam DiBiase, Research Manager

what you do outside of workI don’t really have organizations going at the moment. The primary reason for that is I have a 4-year-old and an 18-month-old. So I have two young kids I get to chase after. One of my goals is getting more involved, especially with my church. One of my passions is politics; I’ve worked on political campaigns in the state.

Rae Johnson, Accounting & Office Administration

what you do outside of workIf I don’t exercise, I’m not happy. I’ll do a weight-training class for an hour, three times a week. And cardio every day. Sometimes, other classes might include yoga. I’m not a sitter. I like to read—but I can only sit for so long. I usually read before I go to bed.

Nicole Spracale, Leadership Search Director

what you do outside of workI spend part of my time being “Mom” to my almost 16-year-old. Family is really important to me. From a volunteer standpoint, I’m wrapping up my first year on a board for a charter school called SySTEM Phoenix. They focus on serving a somewhat underserved community in the STEM subjects to help show that college and STEM careers are a destination. I’m the vice chair this year. I’m also finishing up my last year on the alumni board for my high school. I was also volunteering with SparXX at ASU. It’s through the entrepreneurial program at ASU, and they do mentoring programs and startup competitions for different community and student programs that are looking to launch their concepts. They have an offshoot program for women, too. I spoke three times to different groups around the concept of what to think about when launching your business.

Jason Gabler, Leadership Consultant

what you do outside of workWhen I was still in school and shortly after, I was in an improv club. I only did a few actual shows for people. It was mostly getting together as a club and doing improv together. It helped develop me and it also translates into the work environment. Working together—saying, “Yes, and.” Instead of backtracking and saying, “No, this doesn’t feel right,” you have to keep moving forward. It first and foremost helped me work together with other people, whether it was a game we were playing, or just a scene that we were doing off-the-cuff. And then being comfortable with my own communication. I took acting classes for about a year so between those two. In improv, you’re pretty much going with whatever comes to your mind. The idea is first of all to have fun with it, but also to work together in that fun.

What you do outside of work matters. What do you do? Let us know!

Y Scouts is a leadership search firm that finds purpose-aligned and performance-proven leaders to help organizations achieve their missions faster. Ready to supercharge your leadership search and get the right person in your organization? Contact Y Scouts.

What Gratitude Means To The Y Scouts Team: Our Values


Gratitude means appreciating the good, the bad and the in-between. Here’s how each of our team members practices gratitude.

Christie McPherson, Leadership Search Director

gratitudeMy history with gratitude starts with my mom, who’s a registered nurse. Characteristically, most nurses are very servant-hearted. They’re nurturers. It’s a hard, physically demanding job. And it’s probably one of the most thankless jobs. When I was young, my mom was the queen of “say thank you.” Somebody gave you something—what do you say? My mom was also the queen of handwritten thank-you cards. Even today, I have an ungodly addiction to stationery because I send thank-you cards so much. I think it is the act of thankfulness versus just the words. I read a quote once—“Right now, somebody is praying for the things that you have.” Be thankful for everything, even the bad. And it’s not an easy thing to do when you’re knee-deep in the struggle. Changing your perception, changing how you see things is not easy, but I think it is the definition of happiness.

I’m thankful that Y Scouts exists. There’s a whole company now that believes I don’t have to fight “the man”—of just fill the seat, get the fee, send a heartbeat, I don’t care who it is, just get the fee. I don’t have to do it that way anymore. I don’t have to look at a manager and say, “I don’t want to do it this way.” I have a manager looking at me saying, “Don’t do it any other way.” It was an adventure to get here—1,500 mile move, selling a house, pulling a kid. Moving schools, moving a 170-lb dog. Sometimes adventures are catastrophic and lead to the wrong places, but it doesn’t mean you should stop. I couldn’t be happier here, even on 120-degree days.

Marc Ruter, Leadership Search Director

gratitudeI’m grateful when I get to help people. When I first got here, I took a personality test—one thing is I tend to put other people’s interests in front of mine. I’m always most grateful when I can help other people, more so than helping myself.

Nicole Spracale, Leadership Search Director

gratitudeI always write out my gratitudes every morning—my current gratitudes and my future gratitudes. We are so incredibly fortunate for everything we have. I think about what I want to eat for lunch, not, “Do I get to eat lunch?” That is amazing. I am so fortunate. I’m very lucky and very grateful and I always have to stop and remember that.

Gratitude is about those small things. I have relative health—do I have some aches and pains? Yes. But at the end of the day, I have family and I have friends. Could everything be better? Absolutely, but everything could be a hell of a lot worse. Even if it was worse, it could always be worse. At the end of the day—my father used to always have this expression when he was alive that used to drive me crazy—two things he always said—whenever I’d call him, he’d say, “Well, I’m on this side of the grass.” And before he hung up, I’d say, “Bye, Dad, talk to you tomorrow,” and he’d always say, “God willing.” The perspective of it was, no matter where you are, there’s always something to be grateful for.

Brian Mohr, Co-Founder & Managing Partner

gratitudeThis one is probably the most philosophical of them all. I mean, we’re here. We’re sitting here talking. We don’t think about it as human beings nearly enough, but what a gift just to be alive. Recognize that every day you have and every breath you take is a gift. You don’t know when life’s going to end. None of us do. There’s no guarantee. The only guarantee is, you’re going die at some point. So recognize the little things and be grateful for just the smallest gifts we’re given every day. That doesn’t mean you can’t aspire to whatever greatness looks like—but don’t forget about the small things.

Adam DiBiase, Research Manager

gratitudeEveryone on this team sees life as more than work. We’re trying to do great things in this industry, and trying to connect people to work that matters. But we all have more than that in our lives, and everyone on this team is great at recognizing that you only have one life. Every day is a new opportunity. So we’re all trying to give everything our best because we’re thankful for what we have. And Max and Brian believe in the way they put their families first and encourage us to do the same—because they recognize we all have a lot to be thankful for. We’re not just here to be cogs in a machine.


Ken Butler, Leadership Search Director

gratitudeIn general, I feel like I won the lottery in my life. And I feel bad for other people who don’t feel that way about their lives. We all have had difficult circumstances that have shaped us, but at the end of the day—I have an incredible family, I have a job that I love. I worked really hard to find a passion—I didn’t have a passion after I left the music industry. But I worked really hard to develop a passion, and work somewhere that supports that and allows that creativity and energy.

I feel like with gratitude comes a huge responsibility to help other people, because my outlook on life has really helped me live a better life. It comes down to gratitude, as opposed to blame. I’m grateful that I’m here. I’m grateful for the people on this team. Together, we’re on the same page. Everyone’s striving for something better—accepting where we are, but saying that we can get better. I’m grateful to be a part of that. When I can help somebody with a job, that’s pretty cool.

Jason Gabler, Leadership Consultant

gratitudeI think gratitude is sorely missing in the world now. Gratitude toward yourself is necessary. It’s one thing to be grateful for the things in your life, for achievements, for beauty, for money—whatever it is that you end up being grateful for. That’s one thing most people forget—the most important thing at the end of the day—is to be grateful for who you are. That’s why so many people who have everything really have nothing. It’s because, yes, they’re grateful that they’re so successful, they have all these things—but what does that mean?

Something that contributed to a lot of personal growth on my end is being grateful for people that you really don’t get along with, that just rub you the wrong way. I’ve become very grateful for those types of people because I think that they’re just as important as those you share love for and never butt heads with. Because they challenge you and show you things about yourself that you don’t like. Being able to have an appreciation for the bad as much as the good is probably the best impact that gratefulness has had on me.

Rae Johnson, Accounting & Office Administration

gratitudeIn my view, we’re all one. So whatever I’m grateful for, it’s for everyone, not just for myself. Whether it be health or family or anything. I believe there’s a mass consciousness. So the more I stay in what I like to call either “right-mindedness” or “higher consciousness,” it helps everyone as a whole. I’m grateful for every day, and always appreciative of what I have and what lessons are brought to me to learn.

Max Hansen, Co-Founder & CEO

gratitudeIt’s just an overall way that you carry yourself. There’s a term that I think describes the best leaders: confident but not cocky. And I think it all relates to how they’re grateful. They have this perfect balance, and they’re humble. I think there’s a lot of humility in being grateful for what you have. What you learn—whether it be the good or bad lessons—it’s being grateful to have learned through that experience.

Paul Eisenstein, Leadership Search Director

gratitudeY Scouts has really, really good people. We all look out for each other. It’s really emphasizing team over self, and being thankful that we’re all here doing really cool work.

How do you practice gratitude? Let us know!

Y Scouts is a leadership search firm that finds purpose-aligned and performance-proven leaders to help organizations achieve their missions faster. Ready to supercharge your leadership search and get the right person in your organization? Contact Y Scouts.

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