Rise Leaders Radio
#20. Silicon Mountain: Finding Multi-Stakeholder Wins in the eWaste industry

#20. Silicon Mountain: Finding Multi-Stakeholder Wins in the eWaste industry

September 15, 2020

Hillary and Joel Patterson transformed a business opportunity into a passion project.  After designing ERP solutions for clients in the electronic waste recycling industry, they jumped into the fascinating world of recycling, repair and redistribution of the electronics we regularly toss in our trash. They became SO passionate that they privately funded and produced a documentary, Silicon Mountain.

 

“It’s the ultimate win-win-win situation where we help the environment, we help businesses, we help people – the products that are sent off to other countries can help with education. There’s just such a big benefit. I wanted to show what all the opportunities are, and how individuals and companies can make a difference.” - Hillary Patterson, The Vested Group

The Unintended Impact of Constant Innovation

Today we use more electronics and gadgets than at any point in history. Electronics are used in everyday life, with people upgrading their phones to the latest model, buying new technology for their companies, homes and more. This raises the question: What happens to the waste? How can we recycle and safely dispose of it? And what does this process look like?

What is electronic waste recycling?

Joel and Hillary's education began when they started working with an electronic waste recycling business. The goal was to help them improve their effectiveness by implementing software to manage the journey of the recyclable items they received in their facility. In the end, though, they gained a new awareness of an industry with untapped potential for doing good in the world.

The creation of a business solution turned into a learning opportunity and greater purpose as they realized the impact of electronic waste and the potential for each of us to do collective good. The way we tend to our electronics’ upkeep and disposal creates a ripple effect with huge environmental, economic, and social implications.

[17:05] “Only 20% of any of the waste in the world gets recycled. So that shows you the potential of growth and the amount that can be gained by just recycling our own devices… “Such a small percentage of what’s out there that can be recycled is actually being recycled... Approximately 400,000 smartphones are thrown away every day in the United States.”

[18:14] There’s $343 million worth of gold in those phones, $46 million worth of silver. If we don't recycle that, then we have to dig that out of the earth again. The environmental ramifications are obviously ongoing and large – something that we can easily take a big chunk out of.”

On electronic recycling

[33:31] “They have almost unlimited demand for their products when they recycle and repair these items that come in. Their struggle as [an eWaste company] is getting this stuff.”

Data security

[20:58] “As long as you're going to a certified recycler, they have the process in place…as long as you're using somebody reputable, they're going to take care of it … because their reputation is on the line as well; they're going to make sure that that that it's secure before it’s actually sent to anyone.”

Circular economy and its value

[22:47] “It’s taking something that one person has stopped using. And a lot of times people will buy the new iPhone because they want a new iPhone, not because there's anything wrong with the last one that they have. Instead of leaving it in a drawer, they’re giving it to somebody that can either sell it, refurbish it, and putting it back into the economy.”

To learn more about Joel and Hillary Patterson and The Vested Group please visit:

http://www.thevested.com/netsuite-provider-the-vested-group

About the Documentary:
Premiere Information:
Date: Thursday, September 17th, 2020
Time: 7pm CST
Streamed through: http://www.siliconmountainmovie.com/

 

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

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

#18. Using Poetry to Expand Perspective | Start Close In

#18. Using Poetry to Expand Perspective | Start Close In

September 1, 2020

Poetry can be a powerful developmental tool to help high-achieving personalities transcend the linear and analytical world of business in order to integrate a world of beauty and whole-system thinking.  Rick Voirin has incorporated poetry in his coaching and leadership for years and has seen firsthand the profound impact that it can have in professional growth and self-development. In this special episode, LeeAnn and Rick discuss the work of author and poet David Whyte, and how the poem “Start Close In” directs us to take the first step that leads to change.

 

We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race.  And the human race is filled with passion.  And medicine, law, engineering, business, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. 

But poetry, beauty, romance, love, this is what we stay alive for.

John Keating
Dead Poets Society

 

Leadership Beyond ‘Just the Facts’

Good literature has the power to help us better understand the human condition. Poetry and other creative writing evokes something deep in us, it widens our perspective and helps us connect with parts of ourselves (and others) that otherwise we wouldn't have easy access to.

Poetry can also be a powerful developmental tool to help leaders and 'Type A' personalities transcend the linear and analytical world of business. Rick Voirin has incorporated poetry in his coaching and leadership work since the '90s and has seen firsthand the profound impact that it can have on professional growth and self-development. 

Start Close In

2020 has been a year of big, complex challenges. Racial tensions have been high and organizational leaders are expected to meaningfully respond. This pressure, and the fear of ‘cancel culture’ has caused many to pause; to defer doing anything until they have it all figured out.   David Whyte’s poem, Start Close In admonishes us to, “… don’t take the second step or the third, start with the first thing close in, the step you don’t want to take.

Links to the poem, A Guide for Reading Poetry and additional resources can be found at the end of these notes.

24:53 - " If we really engage something, whether it's a poem or a piece of art or a piece of literature or something that's happening on a screen In front of us in a movie, the first approximation is just the way that the information lands in our senses. And then what starts to show up as we relate with that, that happens, like in a back and forth conversation."

27:25 - "Poetry or good literature is an invitation into a deeper relationship with life, a deeper reflection on the meaning of one's life. And what one is caring about (...) and what one might intend to do with one's wild and precious life." 

29:24 - "When I try to start big, it's probably because I'm seeking an excuse to get out of doing anything. The big stuff is beyond my reach, at least at the moment. But if I start close in, I'll find things I can do right now." 

Resources:

A Guide for Reading Poetry:

https://mailchi.mp/rise-leaders.com/a-guide-for-reading-poetry

The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America, by David Whyte
https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Aroused-Preservation-Corporate-America/dp/0385484186
Interview with Bonnie Pittman:
https://rise-leaders.com/awe_art_observation_bonnie_pitman/

Connect to Rick Voirin:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/rick-voirin-a43413/
David Whyte's work:
https://www.davidwhyte.com/
David Whyte reading Start Close In:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=030YqrN4SFc
How to Talk about Race at work:
https://rise-leaders.com/how-to-talk-about-race-at-work
Start Close In - The On Being Project
https://onbeing.org/blog/start-close-in/

 

Start Close In – The On Being Project
https://onbeing.org/blog/start-close-in/

Dead Poet’s Society – John Keating:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aS1esgRV4Rc

Sign up for Rise Leaders newsletter:

https://mailchi.mp/426e78bc9538/subscribe

#16. High Fidelity Conversations: Nine elements to launch culture change

#16. High Fidelity Conversations: Nine elements to launch culture change

August 18, 2020

These types of conversations are High Fidelity because they provide strength and resonance for the people who engage in them.  They’re designed to support the Core Ideology of the organization and especially support the people experiencing the change. LeeAnn describes nine elements important for launching these conversations.

 

“Waiting until you have created the perfect, most elegant solution keeps you out of today’s game. Launch it!” 

High Fidelity Conversations Support Culture Change

Organizations are constantly changing due to both internal and external events.

Mergers and acquisitions, disruptive technology, and various economic pressures, like those brought on by the Covid pandemic are prime examples. This year, in addition to facing a pandemic, the US had to deal with hard truths on racial injustice, and the need to address the topic in the workplace was no longer avoidable.

On a previous Podcast episode, How to Talk About Race at Work, Drew Clancy and Lori Bishop shared how they tackled the topic head-on at PCI.  They explained why they didn’t wait for the perfect long-term solution to address concerns about race and how they tied the conversations to their values and focus on increasing trust throughout the organization.

Whether your goal is to step fully into conversations about race, or to committing to the successful adaptation of a critical change to your culture, it’s important to provide strength, alignment, and resonance, – or fidelity – for the people who engage in them.

Do you know how to provide the proper framework for these delicate conversations?

This entire episode has been created to guide leaders on how to begin culture change in their organization by following these nine actionable concepts for designing high fidelity conversations.

A Few Elements from the Guide Described in the Episode

05:52 - "Create a vision that everyone can see themselves in. And what that means is, create a compelling future that matters for people. People need to see how the change is going to benefit them and the organization long term." 

07:26 - "And with conversations, that means listening and learning and being open to other points of view."

10:36 - "Waiting will keep you out of the game today. And you want to balance this immediate action with the longer-term creation of policies and structures that provide resistance-free solutions."

11:43 - "Naming the effort gives people language for how to refer to the change".

For more resources highlighted in this audio episode please follow the links below:

Episode 15: How to Talk About Race at Work
https://rise-leaders.com/how-to-talk-about-race-at-work/

Launching Culture Change through Hi-Fidelity Conversations guide:

https://rise-leaders.com/hi-fi-conversations-icons/

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

 

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

#15. How to Talk About Race at Work

#15. How to Talk About Race at Work

August 11, 2020

Publishing Concepts (PCI) didn’t wait for the perfect long-term solution to address concerns about race.  Drew Clancy, President, and Lori Bishop, CPO, saw people hurting and they responded. They thoughtfully organized Meaningful Conversations as a way to talk about race.  This is their first step for improving long term trust and for healing throughout the entire workplace.

 

“What we’re creating here is, first and foremost, just living our values. Just being who we say we are and digging deeper as it relates to the structural racism that we have all been forced to live in here in the United States...” 

Lori Bishop, CPO, Publishing Concepts – PCI
 

“I think this calls for leadership and leaning into it… I think it’s a tremendous opportunity to ultimately strengthen the culture of the organization and have better conversations, better relationships, a stronger organization.”  

Drew Clancy, President, Publishing Concepts – PCI

 

Where do you even start?

Conversations in this domain can be delicate and deserve to be handled with care. It takes courage, commitment, and humility to open oneself to hear the experiences of those who have been marginalized. It can be uncomfortable. 

Start By Listening to Experiences

[06:28] Drew: …what I said to them that afternoon was, I’m really just here to listen and I'm interested in your perspective. Many of these guys [African American male leaders at PCI], we’ve worked together for many years but we’d never had a conversation about race or these types of issues, and it was, I will say, for me, very eye-opening and just the level of frustration, the level of discouragement, the hopelessness in certain cases around what was going on.

Each of the men told some version of a story of growing up and a parent or maybe a grandparent saying, “When you leave this house, you need to be very careful what you say, how you act, especially around law enforcement.” After that conversation, it really struck me that the advice they were getting was you essentially have to be invisible. Again, good advice but what a message to hear.

I'm just fed up, and we've reached a moment in time when action is required here. As businesses, as a for-profit business, perhaps businesses – We can be part of the solution.

Vulnerability + Courage

[10:21] Lori: I was afraid. I have learned that I’m going to have to take off some masks... There's a level of safety and caution that I wasn't sure I can let go of and really embrace from a trust perspective. I had to tell myself, as a black person, all the things that I've heard from growing up and how my safety depended on me never trusting in white people. I had to admit that to myself before I could help Drew on this journey.

Structure Your Conversations About Race

[19:04] Lori: … the original conversations had breakout sessions … and people are very unvarnished and open … people are embracing it. They’re asking questions. They’re doing their homework. They’re sharing stories. They’re coming into levels of self-awareness that they never thought that they would have as people, and they’re doing it at work. To be able to experience this with people has been incredibly fulfilling.

… and people are answering with real-life experiences. We’ve made that a rule because we don’t want to start debating, as Drew says, politics and a bunch of whataboutisms and frankly just ways to stay stuck on either side of this issue. …We decided that trust was the only way to get there…

Links:

Transcript:

https://bit.ly/39256Xb

Drew Clancy:

https://bit.ly/3p4CkL8

Lori Bishop:

https://bit.ly/3p4KMtN

Eric Mosley:

https://bit.ly/3o1ODqu

PCI:

https://bit.ly/2XXKLvV

White Fragility:

https://amzn.to/2LTxh1I

Robin DiAngelo:

https://bit.ly/39VJ5IL

Servant Leadership:

https://bit.ly/2M6h1u8

Bob Kegan:

https://bit.ly/3p3gU14

Immunity to Change:

https://amzn.to/2LGviOv

An Everyone Culture: 

https://amzn.to/3qDnqMh

Visit Rise Leaders:

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

#04. Christian Chernock: Designing a Life | Building for the Future

#04. Christian Chernock: Designing a Life | Building for the Future

August 21, 2019

Christian’s success in residential development is built on lessons he learned while training as a professional golfer.  From mentors like Hank Haney and ‘Psycho Dave’ Esterbrook, he learned how to set and achieve goals, practice with intention and how to work hard.  His professional golf plans were shattered due to a back injury when he was 28 years old.  In this interview, Christian shares his journey to his current and very fulfilling life.

 

Passion is the result of a good life design, not the cause.

Bill Burnett & Dave Evans, Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life

 

I knew that Christian’s story would be interesting because while he was building his residential development business he also finished a Masters degree in Transpersonal Psychology at Naropa University in Boulder, CO. This all came on the heels of an existential exit as a professional golfer as a result of a career-ending back injury. Let all that sink in!

He now owns and operates Christian Chernock Properties, a design + build firm in Dallas that focuses on the revitalization of historic and conservation districts. His intellect and focus on sustainable and future-focused design pushes the edges – and some local residents’ buttons, too!

Christian’s background as a high performing athlete and his ongoing commitment to ‘leave it all on the field’ have been instrumental to his success.

The Details

Designing a Life: 

Unbeknownst to me, there is a term for putting intentional thought and then creating a strategy for realizing it:  Lifestyle Design. Tim Ferris coined the term in his book, The Four-Hour Work Week. I have always called it ‘visioning’ and do ‘visioning’ work with individual clients and with teams and organizations. In fact, clarity around what one is expending time and resources towards is important, especially as it evolves.

Stanford professors Bill Burnett and Dave Evans have written a fantastic book that applies design thinking principles to life and career:  Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life. 

Self-Awareness

Self-awareness means that you are conscious of various aspects of yourself: your thoughts, your feelings and emotions – including emotional and physical responses; your moods; your capabilities; your beliefs and biases; and the impact your behaviors and actions have on others, and more.

Self-awareness is a foundational skill in development and change.

Finding Flow, or Timeless Awareness

When faced with the rest of his life ahead of him and previous plans shattered, Christian asked himself where he found passion. Since childhood, he would get lost in designing and building things, first with Legos and then through architecture classes in high school.

Breaking Down Goals

Christian’s description and examples of breaking down a vision into smaller goals may be the best I’ve heard.

Luck and wishful thinking don’t make extraordinary achievements happen. We’ve heard of the saying, An overnight success that took 10 years.  Look at any level of sustainable achievement and a process like his goal-breakdown and some semblance of deliberate practice underlies it.

 

Links:

https://fourhourworkweek.com/

http://www.christianchernock.com/

http://hankhaney.com/

Rise Leaders newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/426e78bc9538/subscribe

  

#01. Jennifer Touchet’s Visionary Leadership and Creating A Win-Win-Win

#01. Jennifer Touchet’s Visionary Leadership and Creating A Win-Win-Win

June 26, 2019

Season 1 of Rise Leaders Radio is focused on a unique type of entrepreneurial leadership that happens in Oak Cliff (Dallas, TX) at the community, business and civic levels. Jennifer Touchet kicks off the storytelling by sharing how Twelve Hills Nature Center was envisioned, fought for and created by the community. It’s a story of win-win-win with a variety of stakeholders, shared vision, positive politics and power.

 

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

– Margaret Mead

 

I begin Season 1 by interviewing Jennifer Touchet.  She played a pivotal role in saving a parcel of land that was slated for re-development at the end of the street where I now live. I was not expecting to learn such deep and transferable lessons from her. I knew by reading the donor names and invocation inscribed in a rock at the entrance of Twelve Hills Nature Center that a significant effort had been undertaken and that someone(s) had been in charge. Jennifer shares wisdom that is useful for anyone, anywhere, leading change.

EASTER EGG ALERT!  Stay tuned to the end of this episode to hear my visit to Seedschool, a small school that convenes weekly at Twelve Hills in a converted bus named Matilda. The owner, Jennifer Stuart, is another Oak Cliff Hero.  You’ll be delighted by sounds of children learning!

Takeaways from our conversation:

  • Use a communication style that invites other perspectives. 
  • Acknowledge that there are multiple stakeholders.  Understand where the power and influence are and who has it through Power Mapping when you’re leading change. 
  • Start with a shared vision and let it evolve. 
  • Use inclusive strategies to widen the circle and increase engagement.
  • Adopt a ‘win≠ winner take all’ core belief. 
  • Consider that there are no permanent enemies and no permanent allies.
  • Commit for the long term. 

Links:

Power-mapping:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_mapping

Follow Twelve Hills Nature Center:

https://twelvehills.org/

Follow Seedschool:

http://www.seedpreschool.org/

Connect to Jennifer:

https://bit.ly/2M92Q7E

 

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/

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