• Greg York

Episode 2: Broad Leaf Local Beer / Getting to Know Your Weird Cousin

Updated: Feb 17, 2020

Broad Leaf Local Beer is an oasis in an area otherwise dominated by strip malls and chain stores. The color, energy and community focus that Kris and Jason Spaulding bring to Kentwood, Michigan, is amazing, and the beer is exceptional.

This post is a companion to Episode 2 of Appreciation Nation, which you can find in our archive or your favorite podcast app.

One of the themes that spoke most to us was the family-like atmosphere they've developed with their staff. Kris and Jason really care about the people they work with, and they take actions regularly to not only help them to grow as professionals but also to grow in self-awareness and to become better at understanding each other working as a team.

Collage of images inside and outside of Broad Leaf Local Beer
Broad Leaf Local Beer is creative, clever, colorful and delicious

In this episode, Kris shared the experience of meeting friends and colleagues who own beer-serving businesses that don't carry the Spaulding's beers, and how that can sometimes feel like a personal affront. Instead of taking it personally, Kris challenges herself to get curious. Maybe there's a really good reason why the beers aren't on tap at an event or at a friend's establishment. If you just take it personally, you'll be upset and you won't get an opportunity to learn and grow. Instead of staying quiet and brooding, look at the situation as an opportunity to learn more.

Appreciation Nation Challenge (ANC) #2: Ask for Feedback

The rules:

  1. Identify. Consider a relationship or situation which has challenged you recently. It could be personal or professional. Try to identify one that is likely to challenge you again in the future.

  2. Ask. Talk with a person who is involved in the situation, particularly someone who might have caused you to feel an uncomfortable reaction to a situation. Ask them for some genuine feedback.

  3. Accept. As the the person delivers the feedback, do your best to simply accept it. It doesn't have to be right, fair or accurate. Your objective is just to understand what the other person is saying.

  4. Follow Up. Get curious about the feedback, and ask at least one question that will just help you better understand the other person's perspective. If you're stymied, just ask, "Can you tell me more about ... ?" You don't have to defend yourself or your position - you are just taking in information.

  5. Appreciate. Thank the person for the feedback in a genuine way. Let them know you will consider it and that you appreciate that they've taken the time to share the feedback. You still don't have to like it.

  6. Let Go. As you leave the conversation, recognize and then let go of any emotions you might be feeling. You don't have to carry these with you.

  7. Consider. When you have a few minutes to reflect, consider the feedback, and decide if there's anything you want to pursue or change for the future in order to improve your business or yourself.

As always, please share your Challenge experience with the kula by joining the Facebook group at


  • Broad Leaf Local Beer - don't miss a chance to visit if you're in Grand Rapids!

  • Local First - in their words, "We lead the development of an economy grounded in local ownership that meets the basic needs of people, builds local wealth and social capital, functions in harmony with our ecosystem, and encourages joyful community."

  • Rube Goldberg - the world of hilarious invention

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