Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Workplace Stress and it’s Costs

The effects of stress in the workplace can be costly. Executive Operations Manager, Ivan Lasater discusses the costs of workplace stress and how to improve productivity.

Workplace stress can be a real problem when it comes to the bottom line. The costs according to the American Institute of Stress are around $300 billion a year. This includes the costs incurred through health insurance and worker’s compensation, lost days of work, lost productivity while at work, employee assistance programs, and even law suits stemming from illness attributed to stress. The estimated $300 billion in costs aren’t coming out of the company’s pockets alone, they are actually passed on to the consumer and create poor economic conditions for the entire country to bear.

Identifying Common Workplace Stressors

There are a number of stressors in the workplace and identifying them is important. Identifying workplace stressors is the first step in addressing them. Here are some common examples.

Common workplace stressors:

·         Boredom and monotonous work loads
·         Feeling powerless over decision making
·         Excessive hours and burn out
·         Relationships in the workplace, both social and intimate
·         Inequality such as racism or sexism
·         Poor workplace conditions
·         Accidents and injuries on the job
·         Poor management
·         No upward mobility

The physical and psychological effects of these common stressors can create problems for a business and the people who make it work. Fortunately, there are several ways in which these stressors can be addressed. Management must take a clear and effective role in addressing issues of workplace stress. It’s always in the company’s better interests to invest time and money into the health and wellbeing of their employees. It costs more money to hire and train new employees than it does to address the needs of the employees currently employed. Here are some steps that management and employees can take to address these issues.

Addressing workplace stressors:

·         Relax stringent company policies to accommodate priority needs of employees
·         Develop inclusive strategies for planning and work related goals
·         Create open door policies
·         Foster an employee friendly Human Resources Department
·         Implement Employee Assistance Programs (EAP’s) for individuals to cope with stress and addiction, in and out of the workplace
·         Evaluate and lighten the workloads if need be
·         Offer incentives and rewards
·         Give praise and recognition
·         Make healthy options available in the workplace. (i.e.) exercise areas, healthy food, break areas with pleasant scenery and plenty of room
·         Companywide monthly meetings and the freedom to air grievances


The symptoms of workplace stress can directly affect workplace productivity if not addressed and dealt with appropriately. Employees who experience stress are not always capable of dealing with it in a productive way, (For tips on a healthy balance visit Ivan's blog by clicking this link) and are often times powerless to change the conditions which create it. Management has a role and a responsibility to address the issues that affect productivity and morale in the workplace. Creating strategies to deal with workplace stress can boost the bottom line and enhance the morale of the workplace at the same time. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Sustainable Energy, An Oil Man’s Perspective

Oil and Gas Executive, Ivan Lasater gives us his perspective and insight into sustainable and alternative energy resources.


My name is Ivan Lasater and I’m an Executive Operations Manager for the Petroleum Industry. I am a Production Recovery Enhancement Specialist and I engineer systems that recover up to 99% of the oil vapors found in oil storage tanks. I am also an environmentally conscious individual who lives in Moab, Utah and loves the outdoors.


For over a century now, Fossil Fuels have been the backbone of energy resources in the United States and around the world. Alternative energy supplies are being sought out and developed at alarming rates at the behest of environmentally conscious consumers bent on wiping fossil fuels from the grid. The only problem is the development and efficiency of these alternative resources are still in their infancy and though technology and research into sustainable energy resources has been growing, the cost of implementing alternative energy coupled with the environmental impact are still lending fossil fuels relevance in today’s energy market.

Renewable Energy

By renewable energy, I mean resources like hydroelectric dams, wind turbines, and solar power. These are referred to as renewable energy because we are using the Earth’s natural resources to create energy and they have very little environmental waist as a result. Also, renewable energy doesn’t deplete the resource from which it is derived, (i.e.) sun, water, and wind. But just because something doesn’t necessarily produce a significant amount of waste doesn’t mean it has an insignificant impact on the environment.  

A Shining Example

Let’s take solar energy for example. Harnessing the power of the sun is a great idea. There are normally two ways in which we do this. They involve storing the sun’s energy in cells that will produce electricity and harnessing the sun’s energy to heat water. This can have many useful applications on a small-scale level like individual homes and tracks of land. However, in order for it to be efficient on a large scale it would require vast expanses of land which would have an adverse effect on animal habitats. A great many consumers aren’t aware of the negative impacts that renewable energy resources could have on animal habitats and their pocket book at this point in their stage of development. This leaves fossil fuels as the industry leader in energy, simply by default. To condemn fossil fuels and their development now would be the equivalent of cutting off our nose despite our face. Here are a list of pros and cons concerning renewable and sustainable energy resources.


·         Renewable energy has proven to have a less harmful impact on the environment than fossil energy
·         Renewable energy is sustainable and doesn’t deplete it source
·         Organic garbage can be employed as biomass to create sustainable energy
·         Solar and wind energy can potentially create much more energy than fossil fuels to meet the worlds demands
·         Green energy could potentially create jobs and boost the economy


·         Large tracks of land required for solar and wind energy
·         Toxic heat transfer fluids required
·         Toxic chemicals used in the manufacture of technology and batteries
·         Erosion caused by wind farms
·         Roads and facilities built on public lands to access solar and wind farms
·         The building of dams for hydroelectric power disrupts natural habitats and migration patterns
·         Dams flood rich farm land and displace inhabitants
·         Damns change the chemical and biological makeup of water downstream
·         Alternative energy is expensive to install and maintain
·         Consumers won’t see a cost return on their renewable energy for an average of 20 years
·         Alternative sources to renewable energy may be required for winter months and unpredictable weather patterns


Now this is just one man’s observation. I have nothing against renewable and sustainable energy. I believe that with the proper amount of research and development we can harness several alternatives to fossil fuels and make them environmentally safe as well as cost effective. I also believe that the jobs we can create in this area will strengthen the economy and provide opportunity for education in cutting edge technology.  But I don’t think we’re there quite yet. In the meantime, investing money into the technological development and environmental impact of fossil fuels may prove to be the most inexpensive and practical way of providing energy to the nation as a whole.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Achieve Success through Compassion

The path to success has many avenues. Grand County Oil and Gas Executive, Ivan Lasater discusses how to achieve success through compassion.

What is Success

When someone mentions the word success, what do you think of? I imagine a lot of people would regard success as buying a home, having a family, getting promoted at work, amassing great amounts of money, or even buying that dream car they've always wanted. These of course are all good examples of success depending on who it is you ask. But when you ask someone how it is they plan on achieving that success, the answer you’ll probably get is, “Work hard and save money”.
Taking a different approach to success or integrating techniques you otherwise may not be familiar with can be challenging. Any time we do something new, there is an element of fear or uncertainty that may follow as a result. The mind is a funny thing in that respect but the truth is we as humans would never have evolved to this point without trying something new. The idea of achieving success through compassion is not a new idea, though it may be new to some. People have been doing it for thousands of years.

Elements of Compassion:


Compassion is comprised of many elements. One of which is self-awareness. This means becoming familiar with your current state. In order to pursue any path in life, a person must be aware of what they are capable of. You wouldn't try to be a rock climber if you weren't physically capable of pulling it off would you? There would have to be a starting point at which you began to exercise and practice and work towards being capable, otherwise you could be in great peril. Having a realistic grasp on who you are in this moment is the first step in building your potential.


Being aware of who you are can open the opportunity for self-discipline. Once you have recognized those parts of yourself that you’d like to begin to exercise, then you can begin the work of focusing your time and energy into practicing. Practice is how to develop the discipline. When someone says they are adept at a particular discipline, it means they have committed themselves to practicing something over and over again until it becomes second nature.

Do away with distraction

Focus in any area can be hard if our mind stands in the way. Negative thoughts, resentments, and self-doubt can deter even the strongest of people from progressing in the direction they truly desire to go. Also, getting caught up in the unforgiving nature of self-doubt can cause one to make excuses or shirk responsibility in pivotal situations where accepting responsibility may be difficult but absolutely necessary for progress. Anger and resentment offer up plenty of opportunity for shirking responsibility because casting blame is what causes anger and resentment. So ridding the mind of these thoughts is the best way to develop self-discipline.


The next element of compassion is the ability to see others as equal to yourself. Every day in society we see and experience the effects of inequality. It feels oppressive and cumbersome like a weight that holds people down and keeps them in their imaginary place. Envision a world where everybody viewed each other as equally deserving of love and appreciation. It would be hard to judge others when seeing them as equal with yourself, right? This leads us to the final element of unconditional love.

Unconditional Love

Unconditional love means to love without placing conditions on someone in order to receive or be deserving of that love. The power of the heart can carry with it unlimited amounts of positive energy. Think about it. Who do you profess to love the most in life? Would you tell that person that in order for you to feel that way about them, they would have to be a certain way? It kind of spoils the mood don’t you think? Picture them in your head and just allow yourself to feel that energy of the heart emanate throughout your body. It’s a beautiful feeling and believe it or not, as you’re doing it, your entire body is making a sensational transformation. Now imagine feeling that for everybody in the world. That is the feeling of true compassion.

No Substitutions

You may be asking yourself, “What does this have to do with success?” In any endeavor where success is the goal, compassion will enable you to lift those around you to the level you hope to achieve. The sacrifices you’ll make will be small because the rewards will be greater than you’d hope to achieve. The world carries itself on its shoulders when compassion comes into play. All the material possessions in the world could never equal the success a person could achieve within themselves by generating compassion. Material possessions are not the source of happiness. How could they be? They don’t feel compassion. But generate compassion for those around you and you’ll find yourself rising with the tide you create.  

Friday, February 27, 2015

Workplace Substance Abuse with Ivan Lasater

Substance abuse can have a dramatic effect on workplace productivity. Ivan Lasater discusses ways to address this issue and find solutions. 

Ivan is a Grand County Native and Moab, Utah local, who has managed projects and people in the Oil and Gas Industry since 2004.

The Challenge of Management

Ivan is revered for his management style, and every business he’s had a hand in has seen production increases as well as increases in employee morale. But Ivan Lasater’s job presents a set of challenges that a lot of people just aren’t cut out for. The most challenging aspect of Ivan's job is building people.

“The challenges I face as a manager of people are many. People are people. They are not always going to meet the expectations I have laid out for them. I have to take into consideration what it is I can do to help them meet those expectations. I have to be perceptive, intuitive, empathetic, patient and thorough when dealing with a member of my team that’s struggling. The most difficult of problems to address with employees is always drug and alcohol abuse and how it affects the workplace.”

A Policy for Productivity

According to the Whitehouse Office of National Drug controlPolicy, a survey was conducted in 2001 that reflected a $121 billion dollar loss in the year 2000 due to drug use in this country, with a whopping 60% of that loss attributed to loss of workplace productivity. Ivan believes this is clearly a problem.

To address this problem, programs have been implemented to combat workplace substance abuse and policies have been developed to address the issue. Ivan believes that policies and programs are certainly necessary, but how affective they will be remains in the hands of the employees and their management. Management could stand to benefit substantially from theproper training and the support of policies to help recognize and address substance abuse in the workplace. Policies that require regular drug testing and help to identify issues with employees, hopefully before they spiral out of control. But what does Ivan Lasater believe is the most effective approach to this problem?

“I believe the most effective tool I have against substance abuse in the workplace are EAP’s.”

Employee Assistance Programs

Employee Assistance Programs (EAP’s) are a way of identifying the underlying issues our employees are dealing with and designing a specific set of options for that employee to improve not only the quality of their life, but as a result, improve their productivity. Most EAP’s are offered up to employees on a voluntary basis and are not required for an employee to keep their job or position within the company. However, an employee who is offered an EAP may be warned that unless their condition and productivity improve, termination or demotion may result. EAP’s can address a number of issues which include substance abuse, alcohol abuse, depression, problems at home, financial and legal problems, health concerns, or any number of personal problems an employee may be experiencing. To learn more about EAP’s, click on this link.(EAP’s)

So how do we identify when an employee is having an ongoing issue or if an employee is just having a bad day or three? The preferred method for Ivan Lasater is to develop a keen sense of who his employees are as people.

“The workplace is a place for professionalism. But within that parameter is always an element of interpersonal relationships. If I pay attention to my employee’s behaviors, their demeanors, their health, and the things they like to talk about on a personal level, it gives me the opportunity to get to know them in a way that goes beyond professionalism. That makes it easier to identify when a problem is occurring that might have lasting effects on their productivity.”

An Approach to People

It’s fairly obvious that Ivan Lasater cares about the productivity of his team. But he also cares about the wellbeing of his team. It takes a manager with a sense of compassion to address an issue like substance abuse in the workplace. Many employees struggling with drug and alcohol abuse are still stuck in a stage of denial and won’t admit to having a problem in the first place. Trust needs to be built and employees need to feel like addressing the issue of their substance abuse is safe. They need to feel that their jobs won’t be at stake by simply admitting they might have a problem. The approach that Ivan takes is to empathize with an employee and offer up solutions for the employee to consider. Of course there comes a point where an employee may need to be terminated or demoted for lack of being effective at their job should they not opt for help.

To sum this up, we’ll take some guidance from Ivan. His approach to substance abuse in the workplace seems not only reasonable but compassionate and productive as well.

  • Protect productivity
  • Implement policies for identifying and addressing the personal issues employees face on and off the job.
  • Get to know your employees interests, habits, routines, and other behavior.
  • Build trust
  • If a problem is identified, offer up options without reinforcing the element of fear.
  • Protect productivity

Ivan Lasater lives in Moab, Utah. He is Owner/CEO/Founder of ICL Enterprises.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Ethics, with Ivan Lasater

Our Grand County native and Moab, Utah local Ivan Lasater, discusses ethics in business.

What are Ethics in Business

The code of conduct within an industry or culture, or the standards by which they run are referred to as ethics. What is Ivan's view on ethics? Let’s examine that.

Ivan lasater is a professional in the Oil and Gas Industry. He is also an emerging executive, an entrepreneur, and a specialist in his field. Ivan places a great deal of emphasis on forming relationships inside the Oil and Gas Industry. His upward mobility depends on it. Ivan knows that in order to get ahead in that industry, it helps to know who you’re dealing with, and forming a network of reliable relationships within the industry gives him a greater understanding of that.

This is where ethics comes in. Since ethics differ from morals in a sense that ethics cover a particular set of agreed upon standards within a culture or industry, instead of a broadly agreed upon, generally conformed to paradigm of what is right and wrong, we won’t discuss morality.

Why are Ethics Important in Business

Ivan believes ethics are an important part of business. For the people who practice good business ethics, reputation and credibility within the industry are sure to materialize. There is no doubt that this country was founded on industry and the development of business ideas unique to our resources. As business became more and more a valuable part of our growing society, standards had to be implemented to help protect the good business from the bad. These standards supply the most valuable resource business has, a confident consumer. Ivan explained that consumer confidence in any product or service is what drives sales.

Left to Interpretation

Because ethics doesn't often coincide with legality or even morality at times, it can be hard to determine the right and wrong ethical decision to make at times. Consequences for bad ethical decisions are rarely punishable by law and don’t necessarily qualify as a moral breach of etiquette. They are more a breach of the agreed upon standards.  Often times, a breach of ethical standards can be avoided by simply compromising and communicating a clearer set of standards that might include gray areas. Flexibility is important when faced with something like a moral or ethical dilemma, but law differs in a sense that law is discussed, written, and those who breach it are held accountable within specific parameters.

The Role of Integrity

There are a number of examples Ivan can give when asked about unethical business practice in any industry. That is why so many businesses are beginning to adopt strict codes of ethics that they impart to their employees during the first stages of their training. Having a clear set of ethical guidelines sets the tone for a successful and credible business. Ivan trains his team to respect good business and avoid shady business at all costs. He implements a code of ethics that is meant to protect his consumers, his clientele, the current laws and regulations, and ultimately his business.
Here’s are some of Ivan's ethical requirements:

·         Be consistent.
·         Make fact based decisions
·         Support decisions that help the most amount of people
·         Respect the individual rights and beliefs of others
·         Think long term
·         Tell the truth and uphold a standard of integrity. (do the right thing even when nobody’s looking)
·         Create the atmosphere you wish you worked in.
·         Avoid double standards


These are good corner stones of a strong foundation. Developing relationships in business is the single most important aspect of growth. Ivan relies heavily on his reputation in the field to build credibility among his peers. The best way to protect your reputation would be to observe the ethical manifestations of your industry, whilst observing the moral and legal aspects on which they may be based.

Ivan Lasater lives in Moab, Utah. He is the Owner/CEO/Founder of ICL Enterprises.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Ivan Lasater Finds a Healthy Balance

 A Grand county native, and current Moab, Utah local Ivan Lasater, finds a healthy balance when it comes to his lifestyle choices.

Get the Advantage

Ivan knows in these modern times, lifestyle choices seem to be more critical than ever. He knows there are advantages to finding a healthy balance if he wants to continue with the momentum he's worked so hard for over the past two decades.


Knowing what to eat and what not to eat is an important step in finding that healthy balance. Ivan always begins his day with a healthy breakfast.

"Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I plan my breakfast meals on a week by week basis because often times, in the morning, I have so much to do before work that planning a meal can take too much time. This can lead to hastily finding something at the last moment before I head out the door and those choices can compromise my ability to eat a healthy meal."

Don't Settle

How many times have we settled for a doughnut or a muffin in the morning on the way to work because we didn't have a plan in place for breakfast? Ivan develops a breakfast plan because he knows finding a healthy balance requires planning. He plans time in the mornings for a work out, shower, breakfast,and meditation because he knows that the tone for a day is usually set within moments of waking. He avoids watching the news in the morning because he knows that the mind can receive negative messages and the attitude could suffer as a result.

"I'm a leader in my industry and I have a responsibility to my clientele and to the people that I work with to optimize my mind frame."

The Big Three

Ivan also avoids engaging in what he refers to as the "big three". That would be excessive drinking of alcohol, narcotics of any kind, and tobacco products. Knowing what to avoid is just as important as knowing what to engage in.

"Too much of anything could be harmful in one way or another so I try to moderate my behavior. Being vigilant helps to develop will power and character. But there are things out there that really shouldn't even be engaged in if you want balance in your life. Smoking, chewing, using drugs....all of these can disrupt a healthy lifestyle."


Its pretty obvious when you see Ivan, that he cares about his physicality. It's also obvious upon meeting him that he keeps his mind as clean and strong as his body. How many times throughout the day do we feel pretty optimal, physically, yet we're suffering on an emotional level? Ivan can feel when his mind and body aren't in harmony. That is why an important part of his healthy balance is the 45 minutes he sets aside each day for meditation.

"I like to meditate in the mornings before I exercise. If I wake up early, my mind is at its most vulnerable, so I choose to focus on positive and constructive goals. Generating a attitude of gratitude helps me to put things into perspective. It filters out all the distractions."


Exercise is a substantial part of Ivan's life. Ivan lives in Moab, UT. Moab is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts and four wheel - off road enthusiasts. Moab and its surrounding areas boast a plethora of National and State Parks as well. He takes full advantage of the geography in the area by implementing his workout routine and leisure time into a positive and beautiful environment.

"I found that an exercise routine and leisure activities are much more enjoyable in a beautiful environment. If I'm away from home and I need a run, I go to a park instead of running around the block. If I go on vacation or just want to spend some time doing something on the weekend, I'll most likely be climbing a mountain or running a river. Beauty inspires".


Balance can be difficult for some people to find in our busy and distracted lifestyles. People like Ivan can offer us all some insight into how we can do it with just a little planning and a desire to feel good. Sure, there's some sacrifice and discipline involved but what healthy aspect of our lives doesn't involve some of that?

Ivan Lasater lives on Huntridge Dr. in the beautiful city of Moab, UT. He is Owner/Founder/CEO of ICL Enterprises.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Ivan Lasater is Building People

The extensive research that Ivan Lasater has implemented into his Direct Tank-Vapor Recovery project has paid off big for our Moab local.

Ivan's resume now boasts a network of executive contacts and experience in the research, management, and marketing of his profitable enterprise. Ivan puts an emphasis on team building. He values honest and fair business practice. He expects integrity out of the business he represents and loves, and he isn't willing to compromise his values. Ivan doesn't approach business with an unsustainable and hasty nearsightedness. He looks to the future and builds accordingly.

When building anything, we must start with a foundation, a solid base of fundamentals on which an idea can become a reality. This idea applies not only to physical structures, but relationships as well. That is why Ivan realizes that Empires are built on people. People in general need to trust in the validity of what they do. A good team has a clear set of goals and objectives. They have a shared interest and homogeneous motivation. 

The team leader should be the example and not just delegate. Leadership isn't just about building a project, it’s also about building people. A clear vision is needed for this, most would agree. Taking into consideration the “big picture” is probably the greatest challenge bestowed upon a team leader. I say bestowed, because a challenge is a privilege that comes with great responsibility. Ivan views his adversity and challenges as the greatest opportunity he has for growth and success. 

Ivan Lasater lives on Huntridge Dr. in Moab, Utah. He is currently the Founder/Owner/CEO of ICL Enterprises