Rise Leaders Radio
49 You‘ve Defined Your Values:  Have You Operationalized Them?

49 You‘ve Defined Your Values: Have You Operationalized Them?

November 23, 2021

Don’t tell me what you value; show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.” –Joe Biden

Put your values into action

A lot of energy goes into defining an organization's Vision, Mission and Values. It's an exciting time and an inspiring exercise. Usually, steps are taken to put this Core Ideology into action but it often remains separate from the hard core center of the business. It doesn't have to be that way. MaryBeth Hyland dedicates the second half of her book, "Permission to be Human: The Conscious Leader's Guide to Creating a Values-Driven Culture" to this topic.

During our previous conversation (Episode 48), MaryBeth and I discussed wellbeing and mental health in the workplace. Today, we focus on integrating values into cultural norms and operations, top to bottom.

Put simply, MaryBeth shares how to “walk the talk.” She shows how to catapult your values into action throughout your organization – and explains the consequences of failing to do so. Operationalizing your values is the pivotal next step for seeing your values leap off the conference room posters to make a tangible impact.

Be clear about expectations concerning values when hiring

[08:09] “You need to have your values as a part of your process for hiring. Because it is not fair, it is not kind to hire somebody without clear expectations of how they're going to be showing up every day.

Your values guide your actions

[08:28] “Your vision is your ‘why’ and your mission is what your values are - your ‘how.’ If you have clearly stated values of how you're going to go about accomplishing your ‘what’ and your ‘why,’ but you don't hold anyone accountable to them, then you're basically telling people, they don't matter, and they're not real.”

Tracking alignment to your values

[16:28] “You can look at a budget, let's say, for an organization overall, and start connecting line items to values. You could say, ‘Oh, wow, 70% of our budget is skewed towards 'excellence', whereas we really need to beef up our areas of 'people first'."

[16:51] “And that's the same for our schedules – being able to color-code your schedule based on the values you're activating. When you visually look at your time, you can see, 'how much am I really investing in these values that I'm here to embody? And how can I start to balance those out?'”

[15:20] “If you really want change, and depth and width in what you're trying to create with operationalizing your values, you need to invest in them financially as well.”

Connect with MaryBeth Hyland on LinkedIn
https://www.linkedin.com/in/marybethhyland

Get support as an organization or individual at https://sparkvisionnow.com 

"Permission to Be Human: The Conscious Leader's Guide to Creating a Values-Driven Culture"
https://www.amazon.com/Permission-Be-Human-Conscious-Values-Driven-ebook/dp/B0965XWV49

Rise Leaders Radio Episode 45: 7 Elements of a Winning Culture www.rise-leaders.com/podcast

To discuss executive coaching, leadership development program design, and workshop facilitation, please visit:
https://rise-leaders.com/contact-info/

#45: 7 Elements of a Winning Culture: Foosball isn‘t one of them

#45: 7 Elements of a Winning Culture: Foosball isn‘t one of them

September 28, 2021

“There’s 10.1 million positions open [in the post-COVID workforce], there is this great resignation, a great reconsideration: What am I doing? Do I feel attached to my company? Do I feel like I have purpose?” – Mike Sullivan, CEO of the LOOMIS Agency

The 7 Elements of Great Culture
The pandemic changed the landscape of the working world as we know it. Team members’ priorities have shifted into focus, and in much of the workforce, there has been a mass exodus as they search for companies that align with their purpose or values.

One element that can provide stability and longevity against this backdrop of rapid change is culture. As the CEO of The LOOMIS Agency, Mike Sullivan knows this firshand. Culture is a hallmark of strength in an organization that team members overwhelmingly respond well to. The proof is in the pudding: LOOMIS retained all team members during and after the pandemic.

My previous discussion with Mike Sullivan established why a strong culture matters. Now we’re delving into what it looks like with his 7 elements of a great culture, pulled from his and Michael Tuggle’s book, The Voice of the Underdog: How Challenger Brands Achieve Success through Culture.

Culture Starts with Safety
[05:23] “Until people feel like they are safe, and they can bring their full selves to their employment situation, they're not going to be as concerned about tapping into a purpose at work, for example, which is the second [element of culture] – what is it that I'm here to do?”

Don’t forget clients also attract (or detract from) security:

[17:53] “One of the things that I focus on is, again, the kind of clients that you bring into an organization. What I was trying to do when I built my culture was create stability, first and foremost. So if a situation is stable, if your work environment is stable, now you feel safer, now you feel more connected, now you feel like you belong.”

Connection is Founded on Communication
[07:20] “Communication is leadership … if you’ll slow it down, and let folks know, ‘I don't have all the answers. Nobody seems to have all the answers. But give me your feedback, help me set our policy.’ And inviting them into that discussion, I think is really powerful.”

Creativity Changes the Game
[15:56] “There is no problem that can't be solved with creativity. But all the other things need to be in place to be on top of your game from a creative standpoint. You really do need to feel like you belong, you have a sense of purpose like, ‘This is going in the right direction. I feel good about the people I work with – now I’m able to bring my full self.’ And that's when creativity catches fire.”

For further exploration:
 
Mike Sullivan:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikesullivanatloomis/
The LOOMIS Agency: https://theloomisagency.com
The Voice of the Underdog: How Challenger Brands Create Distinction by thinking Culture First https://theloomisagency.com/challengerbook
https://theloomisagency.com/blog/getting-company-culture-right-post-covid/
The Voice of the Underdog Podcast:
https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-voice-of-the-underdog/id1567247656
HOW THE PANDEMIC NOW ENDS:
https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2021/08/delta-has-changed-pandemic-endgame/619726/

To discuss executive coaching, leadership development program design, and workshop facilitation, please visit:
https://rise-leaders.com/contact-info/

#42 What if Sales IS the Center of the Universe?

#42 What if Sales IS the Center of the Universe?

August 17, 2021

Look at sales in a very simple definition - that is delivering value for what someone needs. If you look at sales in that light, that’s a very noble profession. It starts with helping make sure that companies have the right people in their organization and Sales[people] who have the right knowledge, mindset, approach, cultural fit for the business, but also work with other areas of business.” - Chris Goade

Aligning Sales and company culture

Sales is arguably the face of the business – and foundational to an organization's success. It’s intrinsically connected to each function of the business, interfaces directly with customers, and delivers the revenue and profits necessary for growth. This is why it’s critical to develop solid sales processes and talent.

Chris Goade is the co-founder of 360 Consulting and saw an untapped market to build, rebuild, and restructure sales organizations while developing its people. He discusses the importance of a sales culture and that it aligns with company culture. This happens by finding the right people, building the right processes, and nurturing cross-functional relationships.

When done well, this creates a win-win relationship for the business and the customer.

People, Mindset, Process

 [11:09] “Work to make sure you have the right people, the right mindset, a clear understanding from everyone in the organization of what you do in sales: How do we develop leads? How do we articulate our value proposition? How do we create winning relationships?...It's a process like accounting, production, operations.”

About CRMs

[17:26] “If you start off with, 'do we have the right tool configured correctly? Do we have the right processes in there? And always keep an eye on what the ultimate goal is - this changes the whole belief system around what a CRM can mean for your business.”

Change driven by Goals and supported with Accountability

[18:54] “Get participation from everyone on the team…And now it's not just someone saying, ‘Hey, you're gonna do this,’ or ‘This is policy’… that's a whole different kind of mindset and position to come from when you start to hold people accountable…
“We don’t change for the sake of change, but change to get to the goals. … [When] they have some ownership in that in that change, then it's not so scary.”

 

For further exploration:

360 Consulting DFW : https://www.360consultingdfw.com/
Chris Goade Linked In https://www.linkedin.com/in/chris-goade-535b2831/
 
To discuss executive coaching, leadership development program design, and workshop facilitation, please visit:
https://rise-leaders.com/contact-info/

#41  How to Be Free

#41 How to Be Free

August 3, 2021

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”  - Viktor Frankl

Unlocking our freedom from within

When we think of independence, we often think of it as an external event, like Juneteenth or the Fourth of July. But freedom and independence, including personal freedom, is actually a process and practice that requires ongoing effort.
Internal freedom is our ability and willingness to live into our own creative potential. It's a mindset and comes from within. To achieve internal freedom, spend time reflecting on your values, motivations and authentic desires. Double-check that the dreams you're chasing are yours and not someone else’s. We unlock greater personal power when we recognize self-limiting beliefs and behaviors that inhibit our internal freedom.
The benefits are great: when we gain internal freedom, we live from a creative and empowered mindset.

 

What Internal Freedom looks like:

[07:46]“It looks like creating visions for our own life and then taking steps toward those visions. We’re honest and clear about what we want, not what someone else wants of us, or what we feel obligated to do.”
“Using discretion and intention for where we place our focus and attention…Know where you want to spend your time and attention and create boundaries and practices so that you find that sweet spot.”

How we hold ourselves captive:

[12:35] “Complying, staying small, and not rocking the boat. Staying quiet in meetings and agreeing.”
[14:47]“Not recognizing and valuing our own worth, expertise, contribution, impact - a feeling of not belonging.” For example, “’Everyone at my company has specific expertise…I run customer support so don’t have much to contribute.’”  One way this belief impacts someone is in feeling unable to say no in an attempt to prove one’s worth. Burnout and resentment follow.

For further exploration:

Journal Prompts for Freedom pdf https://mailchi.mp/rise-leaders/journal-prompts-for-freedom

Rise Leaders Radio Episode #13 with David Emerald: Three Vital Questions for Transformative Results and #33 with Jerry Magar: Putting Your Values Into Action (www.rise-leaders.com/podcast)

CliftonStrengths assessment
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
 
Books by David Emerald:  The Power of TED* The Empowerment Dynamic + Three Vital Questions:Transforming Workplace Drama
 
Mastering Leadership by Robert J. Anderson and William A. Adams (socialized/self-authoring, creative/reactive)
 
Reboot:  Leadership and the Art of Growing Up by Jerry Colonna
Cassandra Speaks: When Women are the Storytellers, the Human Story Changes by Elizabeth Lesser
Owning Your Own Shadow by Robert A. Johnson
Loving What Is by Byron Katie
To discuss executive coaching, leadership development program design, and workshop facilitation, please visit:
https://rise-leaders.com/contact-info/

#40 Try the ‘blend’ : A practice to build stronger relationships and deeper trust

#40 Try the ‘blend’ : A practice to build stronger relationships and deeper trust

July 13, 2021

“When we’re blending, we felt in lockstep, we were in flow. Perhaps we even felt like the conversation was a nice dance. We felt open, connected with, 'gotten'…When we are able to blend, we have stronger relationships that are based on deeper trust.”

 

'Blend' to build stronger relationships

In a society that seems to value being right and accomplishing tasks quickly, a willingness to engage in the difficult work of connecting with what others care about is a game-changing mindset. Blending is one means of accomplishing this: an authentic willingness to be open to another person’s concerns, move with them, to hear and understand their perspective.

This week we’re looking at what blending is (and isn’t); how to sense it; and how to observe, reflect, and practice it.

What Blending Isn't:

[3:42] “When we're having an experience of not blending or not being blended with, we may say that we feel pushed into something. We might feel stiff-armed or kept at a distance. We feel like we had the rug pulled out from underneath us.”

Observation Before Action

[6:07] “The magic in all of this is in raising our self-awareness so that we can catch ourselves when we're blending well, and not so much.”

[8:38] “Observe yourself. Notice the situations where you blend well. And when you don't, I've given you clues already to look for: when you jump in to fix, advise or shut something down, or when you move into complying and pleasing.”

 

Center, Calibrate and Connect

 [10:57] “When you're actually in the blending conversation, connect to what you care about. Center yourself physically, release tension, calibrate your nervous system. Now connect with the other person and engage by asking questions and attempting to expand your own perspective.”

For further exploration:

Rise Leaders Radio Episodes focused on embodiment: #32 Speak Up Stand Up:  Chris Johnson on Becoming Fierce; #25 The Leadership Pause with Chris Johnson (www.rise-leaders.com/podcast)

Pushing Hands - An embodied exercise:  Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pushing_hands

"Embodied Leadership: The Somatic Approach to Developing Your Leadership" – Pete Hamill https://bookshop.org/a/16835/9780749465643

"The Leadership Dojo: Build Your Foundation as an Exemplary Leader" – Richard Strozzi-Heckler https://bookshop.org/a/16835/9781583942017

To discuss executive coaching, leadership development program design, and workshop facilitation, please visit:
https://rise-leaders.com/contact-info/

 

#39 Your Body’s Role in Being an Effective + Resilient Leader

#39 Your Body’s Role in Being an Effective + Resilient Leader

June 29, 2021

“Our embodiment is our extraordinary ability to put complex actions and interactions on autopilot. So that what comes next, or how to respond, becomes second nature... I'm talking about the body as a reflection of the person who lives within it.”

-Amanda Blake, Your Body is Your Brain

Embodiment, Learning and Leadership

Amanda Blake is the author of Your Body is Your Brain, a Ph.D. candidate in Leadership and Management, and an expert in experiential leadership learning and the art and science of embodiment.

Today we explore the positive impact that embodied self-awareness has on our resilience, our effectiveness in leading, and ultimately in living a more fulfilling life.

What is embodiment?

[06:55] “Embodiment is a felt sense way of knowing about ourselves about others and about the world…non-judgmental attention to what our interior state is to our sensations or movements…A way of being, a way of knowing, and a way of paying attention.”

A pathway to resilience

[18:39] “When we start to develop our embodied self-awareness, part of what happens is we get better at noticing the red flags, and stress.”
[19:57] “It's like this secret superpower where you can go, ‘I'm just going to soften my shoulders a little bit here, I'm just going to relax my jaw or feel myself sitting in my seat.’ All of a sudden, that starts to change the constellation of stress hormones in my body.”
Recognizing when you carry stress in your body is the first step to overcoming and bouncing back. This can help us return to the path we need.

Embodiment is personal and pragmatic

[24:10] “It's very unique and individual what we might need or want to do to counteract the tendencies we might have that can be totally unconscious.”
[25:55] “Prime people to think about, okay, for this meeting, this conversation, this activity, how do you need to bring yourself to it? What way of being will best serve the outcome that you're aiming for? Then how do you embody that..whatever that may be?”
Do you need to open your shoulders and lean forward to better engage? Do you need to soften anywhere to relax and appear approachable? It’s up to you to determine what’s best for the situation and what to do physically to bring your best self.

For more conversations on embodied leadership, try out Rise Leaders Radio episodes #25 & #32.

Free download mentioned in this episode: Stress to Serenity Guide:  https://embright.org/centering-challenge/

To connect with Mandy:
Website:  https://embright.org/
About Mandy: https://embright.org/mandy/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amanda-blake-892195/

Order the book through Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/a/16835/9780999368107

#32. Speak Up, Stand Up | Dr. Chris Johnson on Becoming Fierce

#32. Speak Up, Stand Up | Dr. Chris Johnson on Becoming Fierce

December 22, 2020

Can your voice be heard?  Is your value being recognized?

Dr. Chris Johnson has joined me again in this episode to discuss a foundational leadership capability:  the ability to speak up about the value we personally bring to our work.  Our conviction is contagious and compelling, inspiring others to trust and believe in us as well.

 

You need to be able to take a stand. Extend your voice. Be pointedly focused on what you offer and the vision that you have, in order to impact the people that you say you want to impact.” - Dr. Chris Johnson

Confidence and the mind-body connection

Dr. Chris Johnson has joined me again in this episode to discuss a foundational leadership capability:  the ability to speak up about the value we personally bring to our work.  Our conviction is contagious and compelling, inspiring others to trust and believe in us as well.

Earlier, in episode #21, I reviewed the importance of recognizing and owning the value we bring to our work. This value will remain hidden if we're not able to confidently give voice to it.  And the way we carry ourselves is inextricably linked to it all. Chris draws from her years of embodied leadership and martial arts practice to create a commanding presence while also staying calm and centered. She shares her insights on how to expand your presence and self-awareness to ultimately project your inner strength and achieve your goals.

The tangible impact:  missed opportunities

[1:30] “The challenge about speaking up shows up in multiple ways…The most common are not sharing good ideas or opinions during meetings, not being able to promote themselves and their team. In avoiding conflict, staying silent or small leads to being undervalued and overlooked, and ultimately, to a lack of fulfillment, and possibly frustration.”

[32:44] “I'd get pulled in to take on leadership roles, and yet never fully owned them. And that was because I didn't know if I knew enough, I didn't want to hurt anybody's feelings. I didn't want anybody else to feel bad if I happen to do something really well. And all of that was a story that I told myself, and then it took residence in my body. I was very narrow, and small, my energy was very constrained.”

Centering in our body, our vision, and in action

[23:00] ] “We can either close in and hunker down…Or we can choose to learn a very simple skill and practice of centering. And by that, we mean centering in the body, relaxed…and then centering in something bigger than us, even if we don't know what that is. And lastly, centering in an action that we can then take. And once we can learn that simple practice (because you have to practice it). Pretty soon that practice starts to reshape us…

“What matters is that we’re intentional. It’s based on what we care about, and that we’re consistently in deliberate practice.”

 

[29:00] “I like to say it's tolerating the discomfort at the edges because it's at the edges that literally, our neurobiology gets rewired. Hang out there in the discomfort for at least a little bit longer. Every time we do it, we're growing new pathways that allow us to expand our capacity.”

Speaking about our accomplishments or sharing our thoughts in a meeting may bring physical sensations. We have to practice tolerating this discomfort though it feels unnatural. With time we grow accustomed to it.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

The Power of Pause in the Mindful Leader magazine:

https://bit.ly/3ixw9wV

Episode 21: Owning Your Value | Key Elements for Authenticity and Personal Power:

https://bit.ly/3sGO0pT

A Guide to Owning Your Value:

https://bit.ly/3sJajLn

To connect to Dr. Chris Johnson please follow:

https://bit.ly/3sN2lkj

https://bit.ly/3qL3s2r

Dr. Chris on Resilience: https://bit.ly/3sOiiXs

To discuss executive coaching, leadership development program design, and workshop facilitation, please visit:

https://rise-leaders.com/contact-info/

#31. What’s Your Cathedral Story?

#31. What’s Your Cathedral Story?

December 8, 2020

Are you completing a task or working towards a bigger vision?  If you have a Cathedral Story, your work, your goals – your life will have more meaning.

As the co-founder of Intrizen, Jonathan Haberkorn specializes in making sense of complex processes and organizing them in a way that emphasizes human interactions first.  By prioritizing the people who will be using the system and through promoting connections, Jonathan’s purpose fuels his craft.

 

If we're going to spend the majority of our time doing work, there's got to be a good reason and meaning behind it. That’s where the shift is. When you do land on where you feel like you're in line with your purpose, it is easier to see the impacts, and you become a servant of that.”
- Jonathan Haberkorn

Start with purpose

Charging you work with purpose endows you with a greater sense of congruence between your professional and personal lives. Work then goes beyond the transactional aspects; supporting a life of intention and of fulfilling the promise of your potential.

As the cofounder of Intrizen, Jonathan Haberkorn specializes in making sense of complex HR processes and organizing them in a way that emphasizes human interaction first. By prioritizing the people using the system and the process of promoting connections, he relies on purpose to fuel his craft.

The Cornerstone of The Cathedral Story is our Orientation

[13:41] “The bricklayer said, ‘I’m a bricklayer, I’m working hard to make money so I can feed my family.’ The second bricklayer said, ‘I’m a builder, I’m building a wall.’ And then the third guy says, ‘I’m a cathedral builder, I’m building a cathedral where people will worship.’ … Basically, they’re doing the same job, but the context and the orientation that they’re doing it with changes everything.
“When we see how the work that we’re doing is going to be used, what’s the long term and even the multiplier impact it can have, it really changes. It changes the quality of our work.”

We can approach our work as a series of tasks or as a meaningful part of a greater vision with many ripples.

Purpose keeps us centered and whole

[24:35] “So knowing that things don't always go to plan more times than not, and there're deviations that happen, what's our response to that? How are we going to react to it? We have the different ways we can react to it, we can be conscious about the way we're thinking and kind of deal with it and handle it and give perspective around it.”

[28:45] “I used to think, okay, this is work, and then there's home life…there's definitely different aspects of life. But once I've really found my purpose, and have completely aligned to that, it all seems like one life to me. It's all intertwining with each other.”
Purpose gives a perspective that transcends the silos of life.

Links to Intrizen and Jonathan Haberkorn:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonathanhaberkorn/
www.intrizen.com
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/weareintrizen
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WeAreIntrizen/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/weareintrizen/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/WeAreIntrizen

To subscribe to the Rise Leaders newsletter for more resources: https://mailchi.mp/426e78bc9538/subscribe

To discuss executive coaching, leadership development program design, and workshop facilitation, please visit:
https://rise-leaders.com/contact-info/

I specialize in helping leaders and organizations thrive.  Reach out if there’s a way I can support you.

#29. How to Own Your Attention | Seth Braun

#29. How to Own Your Attention | Seth Braun

November 24, 2020

Our attention is in demand.  It’s up to us to know how to keep it focused on what matters most so that we spend more time enjoying what’s in front of us:  other humans, nature, pets, art, etc.  Managing our attention also provides a pathway for bringing our unique gifts to the world. Join me and Seth Braun as we explore the grander implications of Attention Management and a few strategies for living and working with intention.

 

“This isn't just about squeezing more productivity out of the machine…we get discouraged, disheartened, and we give up on the things that are important to us. So one of the most important things that I see in this is to come back to what's important to me.”

– Seth Braun 
Stagen Leadership Academy

Mindful Life, Better Living

Today we have more distractions than perhaps at any time in history, with our attention bought and sold as a commodity; our electronic devices tempting us with the promise of instant gratification. With so much vying for our attention, the question becomes: How can we navigate life in a way that’s meaningful, purposeful, and creative?

Attention management is a set of practices and habits that helps us increase the time we’re present, minimize distractions, and find flow. There are 4 zones to engage in: proactive, reactive, distraction, and waste. This week Seth Braun discusses Stagen's Attention Zones model and how being mindful of these states can help us plan for and allocate time effectively. Ultimately it can help us bring our unique gifts to the world by engaging in life in a satisfying and productive way. 

Beware the Distraction and Waste Zones

[9:59] “I'm not going to tell you that Netflix is a distraction. Consider: what in your life is a distraction - and what's rejuvenating? There are certain things that I do in my family, like watching Netflix, where we laugh, and we have endorphins, and it’s rejuvenating, and it's family time. It's great. But then, where I start binge-watching and it's 11. Then it's 12…now I'm in a waste zone.”
A “lazy” activity isn’t always considered wasteful by default. Sometimes it’s what we need. However, there’s a point of diminishing returns, and we must consider the balance.

[19:20] “Most of us don’t come into the world highly disciplined, able to sit down and do the work. We need structures and practices to help us do that, including your 10-minute waste time.”
Even “wasteful” time has its place in preparing you to be proactive.

Be Guided by Your Ideals

Generally, anything in the proactive zone (with focused work) doesn’t come naturally and requires an act of volition.
[19:50] “Any act of creation or volition, whether it involves anything involving exercise or starting a business. Anything that's…creative is going to have resistance.”
[33:30] “The most important thing we can do to live a fulfilling, satisfying life is (to) have an ideal. Keep track of it each week, when we're planning our week, say, here's what's important to me, and I'm willing to go forward again.”

To learn more about Seth Braun and the Stagen Leadership Institute please visit:
https://stagen.com/
https://www.linkedin.com/in/sethdbraun/

Stagen's Attention Management Core Practice Sheet
https://rise-leaders.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Stagen-Attention-Management-Core-Practice-Sheet.pdf

Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography:
https://amzn.to/396UaaS

“In Over Our Heads” - Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey
https://amzn.to/2M792wV

To subscribe to the Rise Leaders newsletter for more resources: https://mailchi.mp/426e78bc9538/subscribe

To discuss executive coaching, leadership development program design, and workshop facilitation, please visit: https://rise-leaders.com/contact-info/

I specialize in helping leaders and organizations thrive.  Reach out if there’s a way I can support you.

#26. A Vaccine Against Closed-Mindedness | Jay G. Cone PhD

#26. A Vaccine Against Closed-Mindedness | Jay G. Cone PhD

October 27, 2020

Jay Gordon Cone Ph.D. has decades under his belt working with leadership teams to build successful strategies and navigate challenging times. These days he is also focusing his considerable intellectual horsepower and passion on creating a “vaccine against mind traps and closed-mindedness”.

Jay believes if we can boost our immunity to chaos, we can respond with creativity and compassion rather than paralysis and tribalism.  Join us as we talk about bias, quicksand questions, and four disciplines for getting unstuck.

“If we were able to have a more productive approach to uncertainty and ambiguity, we actually might find responses that make things better. But we want the easy answer. And it's our fascination with the easy answer, actually, that prolongs the chaos.”
- Jay G. Cone

Overcoming thinking traps

We often find ourselves stuck - both individually and collectively - as a result of chaos, uncertainty, and unpredictability. In such times, it’s common to gravitate toward the easy answer, regardless if it’s the best way forward. When we fall into these thinking traps, we may oversimplify the problem to create a simple solution. This need for closure creates hasty action plans that can entrench you further into the problem - getting your mind “stuck.”

Today Jay outlines tips for avoiding thinking traps and nurturing an “unstuck” mind that’s open to new possibilities. Much of it begins with knowing the right questions to ask (avoiding “What should I do?”) to forge a new way forward. Being able to adaptively respond to uncertainty is helpful, because expertise and learning from the past doesn’t necessarily provide a fail-proof roadmap for the future.

The importance of building mental stamina

[10:10] “[In chaos] the only responses that we have are based in the limbic system in the amygdala, and we want to fight or we want to flee. But if we can develop our stamina for thinking, when things are complicated or uncertain or ambiguous, then we're not as susceptible to the same ideas and…closed mindedness and tribalism, that tends to paralyze us.”
[21:04] “And when you start focusing on simplistic answers, then you tend to hang out with people who have gravitated towards those same simplistic responses. And it gets to the point where it's just too difficult to be open to new information, different perspectives, or to continue processing things.”

How to know you’re stuck

[12:06] “One very common experience … you're really not clear on why it is that you can't achieve this goal. You make up all these reasons for why this attempt failed…So if a pattern emerges, there's a good chance that there's something more to be uncovered.”
[16:44] “If someone expressed a point of view…and all of a sudden [you] have horrible judgments…if that’s a feeling you’re having, and it’s one you’re not particularly proud of or that doesn’t make sense to you, that might be a leading indicator of stuckness as well.”

Identify quicksand questions

[25:00] “One of the things that you can look at is the way people pose questions because the way people frame a question about a situation they want to change reveals a lot about how they're thinking and feeling.”
[28:16] “All these things that we want other people to do, we just frame a question around them and we work toward altering the behavior - rather than trying to understand whether we as leaders, organizations, are complicit and whether there’s something other than their behavior that needs to change.”

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