Rise Leaders Radio
#58 A Fool’s Choice: Achievement or Evolution with Donna Zajonc

#58 A Fool’s Choice: Achievement or Evolution with Donna Zajonc

April 26, 2022

If we focus on goals alone, without being tethered into this beingness, [it] can activate and trigger us, and we see those goals as our persecutor…‘Was the goal big enough? Did I do it fast enough?’ So the goal-setting can actually become a persecutor. And in our own mind, we feel victim to that.” – Donna Zajonc

 

Are your goals also your persecutor?

Working toward a goal or vision is important - but how often do we pay as much attention to the person that we're being while in that pursuit, as the pursuit itself?

 

It’s easy to get caught up in the goal without placing attention on who we are along the way. However, without tending to ourselves we can feel trapped by our own goals and wonder if we’re living up to the standards we’ve set. Distress and reactive behaviors follow.

 

Donna Zajonc covers this topic in her new book, Who Do You Want to Be on the Way to What You Want.

 

Alongside her partner, David Emerald, they’ve developed a framework for recognizing and responding more intentionally when life throws us a curve ball. We learn to move out of the toxicity of the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT), and how to reorient ourselves with the The Empowerment Dynamic (TED).

 

We’ll discuss her new book, along with 3 powerful practices for you to use to look inward, spur creativity and conquer stress.

 

Tangled up in your emotions? Notice and name

[00:28:21] “When we notice and name something, we are now able to see it and hold it in our hand and go, ‘Oh, look at that.’ We're not as enmeshed into it, so we're not subject to it. It’s really a powerful psychodynamic thing that's going on, that allows us to have it and not be it…when we can do that, our body starts calming down.”

 

Stuck? Tell 3 stories

[00:30:50] “When we're really stuck and attached to a particular point of view, we’re constricted in our bodies, our minds are constricted - and we are totally lost to the creativity of any other possibility. So we literally must broaden our perspective. That's really hard to do when we're stuck in one perspective. The practice of the possibility of telling three stories [helps you realize] there's even more going on here than I realized.”

 

Create space and see what space creates

[00:39:24] “[Leaders often feel they] need to be able to tell people more ideas about how to fix this or be that. And it's actually the opposite - to let go of needing to have the answers and to create a safe space for others to step into their genius, their creator, their sense of who do they want to be. … Let's take a timeout let's breathe, let's calm ourselves, and trust that our wisdom is going to rise if we can calm ourselves.”

 

Resources:

Donna Zajonc donna@theempowermentdynamic.com,

Who do You Want to Be on the Way to What You Want? https://bookshop.org/a/16835/9781733678100

Center for the Empowerment Dynamic:  https://www.theempowermentdynamic.com/

Link to coach training in May 2022:  https://www.theempowermentdynamic.com/coaching-2/

Episode 51 Focus 2022: From Surviving to Thriving with 3 Vital Questions (Replay from February 2020):  https://rise-leaders.com/podcast/

Rise Leaders YouTube channel:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKZAhRU1iLsXYwpvCECVreg

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

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

#57 5 Practices to Ground and Elevate Your Authenticity

#57 5 Practices to Ground and Elevate Your Authenticity

April 12, 2022

 “Imagine if we could all show up in more, if not all, places in life fully ourselves - that we could fully open ourselves to learning, making mistakes, taking feedback, taking risks, and be being fully seen for our humanity and our potential without the fear of embarrassment or retribution.”

Move from socially defined to self-authored

Have you ever felt that internal tug-of-war where you yearn to bring your whole self to a situation - but you hold yourself back? Perhaps you self-impose guidelines for how you “should” speak and act in your organization?

Endeavoring to live with authenticity often causes internal conflict. We suffer when we constantly try to become what (we assume) others expect of us. As a result, we have less energy to innovate, improve and positively impact stakeholders. We end up with a decreased sense of well-being and satisfaction with work and life.

Ultimately, we want to live and lead in a way that exemplifies what’s most important to us.

To help you ground and elevate your authenticity, I share:
-What it means to live and lead with authenticity and be “self-authored”
-The cost incurred when we don’t fully show up as ourselves
-5 practices to help create more authenticity

Image management hogs organizational resources

[03:05] "In an ordinary organization, most people are doing a second job no one is paying them for ... spending time and energy covering up their weaknesses, managing other people's impressions of them, showing themselves to their best advantage, playing politics, hiding their inadequacies, hiding their uncertainties, hiding their limitations.  We regard this as the single biggest loss of resources that organizations suffer every day.”  
– From An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization by Harvard Professors Bog Kegan and Lisa Lahey

When we’re inauthentic, we suffer

[04:55] “Jesus said, ‘If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.’” – From the Gospel of Thomas


The result of authenticity? Vitality

[16:13] “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” - Howard Thurman, author, philosopher and theologian".

“An Everyone Culture:  Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization”  by Harvard Professors Bob Kegan and Lisa Lahey:  https://bookshop.org/a/16835/9781625278623

Self-Authoring mind: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2017/01/27/what-having-a-self-authoring-mind-means/?sh=51a3a1953b77
The Gospel of Thomas: 

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/story/thomas.html

Howard Thurman:
https://www.bu.edu/thurman/about-us/who-is-howard-thurman/

StrengthsFinder; CliftonStrengths: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2017/01/27/what-having-a-self-authoring-mind-means/?sh=51a3a1953b77

Owning Your Value | Key Elements for Authenticity & Personal Power:  www.rise-leaders.com/podcast Episode 21

A Guide for Owning Your Value: https://mailchi.mp/d37649fa5f04/own-your-value
Article:  Authentic Leadership:  https://www.wgu.edu/blog/what-is-authentic-leadership2004.html#close
Rise Leaders YouTube channel:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKZAhRU1iLsXYwpvCECVreg
Insight Meditation App (search for body scans that work for you) https://insighttimer.com/
 
To discuss executive coaching, leadership development program design, and workshop facilitation, please visit:
https://rise-leaders.com/contact-info/

#56 Pause and Reflect:  Q1 2022

#56 Pause and Reflect: Q1 2022

March 22, 2022

“Can you discern between resistance and fear and strategic changes in direction? …not giving up and changing direction because something is hard or scary, yet being willing to change your mind even when something you really wanted to pursue is no longer a good investment of your precious resources?”

Reflect, refresh, and recalibrate

The change in seasons reminds us that it's time to pause and reflect on what's behind and what's ahead of us. In organizational life we do quarterly reviews to assess progress and determine what we might need to stop, start and keep doing. Where do we need to step on the gas? Where should we apply brakes?

Spring (our current season in the Northern Hemisphere) is symbolic of new beginnings. Can you find this feeling of a fresh start and new growth in yourself?

Respond with Agility

In a constantly changing world, it’s not a problem to adjust our approach or our vision – it’s a strategic response. We reflect on our commitments in order to respond with agility.

In this discussion, we’re going to:

  • Pause in a deliberate way to connect with what’s important to us and our work in the world
  • Locate ourselves in a broader context, beyond our goals
  • Take the opportunity to apply discernment to our earlier planning: do our original commitments still make good strategic sense? Are we placing our efforts on the right priorities?

 
This is a worthwhile practice to do individually and with your team. You can do this activity anywhere, anytime you have a spare moment, mentally or with a journal.
 
Answer these questions quarterly:

  • Who is the person (or team) you are committed to becoming?
  • What is the impact you want to make?
  • How are you doing on your goals? What adjustments do you want to make?
  • How are your systems, processes, and practices supporting your intended impact?

 
Links & resources:

Beginning Again 2022 https://mailchi.mp/68e183fd18bf/beginningagain2022

Podcast (source of Locate Yourself) Tami Simon & Lynne Twist on Sounds True:  An Evolutionary Leap https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yV3BwmYkOCU

Article: How Regular Rhythms Unlock Powerful Growth https://www.monkhouseandcompany.com/blog/how-regular-rhythms-unlock-powerful-growth/

Origin of Easter:  https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-15/the-origins-of-easter-from-pagan-roots-to-chocolate-eggs/8440134

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

#55:  Paradoxical Thinking + Wellbeing | Vital for 21st Century Leaders

#55: Paradoxical Thinking + Wellbeing | Vital for 21st Century Leaders

March 8, 2022

[In contrast to] the ‘either/or’, ‘right/wrong’ mindset where there's nothing in between - paradoxical thinking would say, ‘What if it's both? What if there’s value in understanding the first path, and value in equally understanding the other path, and even the third?’ … It’s about being able to hold that tension between paths.” – Renee Moorefield

Finding comfort in the contradiction
When we experience a paradox, we feel pulled in separate directions, without a clear or simple solution.

Most of us find sitting with that paradox uncomfortable, which is why we tend to look for a quick and easy solution - something we can rally around as well as defend. Our brains to do not like open loops, which makes tolerating paradox uncomfortable and why we avoid the feeling of being stuck in the middle!

Renee Moorefield’s Be Well Lead Well Pulse assessment measures the wellbeing of leaders across 19 dimensions. Research conducted by external experts shows that when leaders have a strong sense of wellbeing, they're more able to thrive amidst paradoxical situations. They can more easily navigate opposing ideas, extract important elements from each, and propose integrated solutions.

So when we expand our minds beyond the binary, we can avoid oversimplification and transcend it to create new, richer and more sustainable paths.

Be Well Lead Well Pulse overview
[04:12] “The Be Well Lead Well Pulse assessment is built on a framework of thriving, and the framework of thriving has 19 dimensions of wellbeing and stress resilience [that] feed into six dimensions…the framework was built to support leaders and all of us in having a sense of internal resourcefulness, and meet our complex demands.”

Wellbeing and paradoxical leadership
[24:06] “[You have] the ability to transcend the situation, because you’re looking for other perspectives, so you're not stuck in the conflict. You're really looking at it like, ‘I wonder how this could be true,’ almost with a sense of play and experimentation and looking for value - and then looking for another perspective that transcends what you feel you're in.”
[23:25] “We found that leaders reporting high levels of well-being were 38% (so close to 40%) more apt to report scoring high in their ability to lead paradoxes.”

Our brainstorm of practices
[27:22] “A paradox is not a problem that can be solved easily…To understand, usually have to slow down and start asking questions and start seeking a new perspective that maybe you weren't taking on the situation.”

[43:29] “As a daily routine, [start] a very basic mindfulness practice…the heart of mindfulness is about being present in the moment without judging it as good or bad, right or wrong, either/or…that alone can create insight, and possibly some movement, just becoming aware without judgment.”

Previous episodes with Renee Moorefield:
Episode 6: An Essential Link: Wellbeing and Leader Effectiveness
https://rise-leaders.com/podcast?ppplayer=2166354b3000fc311ad1272907939efb&ppepisode=1bc82973e146e48e32750026acef538d
Episode 24: Leadership, Ethnicity + Wellbeing | Renee Moorefield & Jane Cocking
https://rise-leaders.com/podcast?ppplayer=2166354b3000fc311ad1272907939efb&ppepisode=56f067defda899999cbb06f0e8d904d6
 
Resources:
Be Well Lead Well Pulse Insights:  Effectively Leading Through Paradox:  A Pivotal Role for Wellbeing https://www.bewellleadwell.com/effectively-leading-through-paradox/
Renee Moorefield https://www.linkedin.com/in/reneemoorefield/
Be Well Lead Well Pulse https://www.bewellleadwell.com/
Be Well Lead Well Pulse certification program in May 2022:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/be-well-lead-well-pulse-certification-a-remote-learning-experience-registration-258172730587
Thinking Hats - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_Thinking_Hats
EDS:  Electronic Data Systems:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_Data_Systems
Newsletter sign up: https://mailchi.mp/426e78bc9538/subscribe
To discuss executive coaching, leadership development program design, and workshop facilitation, please visit:
https://rise-leaders.com/contact-info/

#53 Letting Your Life Speak | An Homage to Betty

#53 Letting Your Life Speak | An Homage to Betty

February 8, 2022

Is our life an illustration of the ideals that we hold dear? Are we a living example of our personal philosophies for how to live meaningfully?”

Letting your life speak

As Maya Angelou famously said, "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

 

As conscious and conscientious leaders, we not only strive for business results - we want to leave organizations, families and communities better than we found them. To gauge our impact, it’s helpful to look at it from the lens of our actions. What do they say about us?

 

The informal leaders in our lives are often unsung heroes, shaping families and communities for generations. They leave the world a better place by 'letting their life speak', as Parker Palmer famously wrote. They live in alignment with their often unspoken, yet embodied values.

 

This episode is about a very special woman in my life. Without ever explaining them, I knew Betty Mallory's values. She always made me feel special, welcomed, trusted and loved.  

 

Reflections:  Are you Walking Your Talk?

  1. For you, what makes for a full and meaningful life?

  2. What is most important to you (aka your values)

  3. After several observations and interactions with you, could someone reflect back to you your values? Can you describe why or why not?

  4. What does embodying your values look like? What actions and behaviors would I observe?

 

 

Links & Resources:

 

Episode #43: Pay Attention, Stay Curious | Hokusai Says - www.rise-leaders.com/podcast

 

Episode #33: Putting Your Values Into Action | Jerry Magar - www.rise-leaders.com/podcast

 

"Let Your Life Speak" by Parker Palmer: ( via my Bookshop affiliate link) https://bookshop.org/a/16835/9780787947354

 

Maya Angelou: https://www.mayaangelou.com/

 

Never miss an episode! https://mailchi.mp/426e78bc9538/subscribe

Subscribe to Rise Leaders on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKZAhRU1iLsXYwpvCECVreg

 

Reach out to LeeAnn: https://rise-leaders.com/contact-info/

 

#51 Focus 2022: From Surviving to Thriving with 3VQ

#51 Focus 2022: From Surviving to Thriving with 3VQ

January 11, 2022

“When we focus on outcomes and take creative steps to go after that, we solve problems in service to those. It’s not that the Outcome Orientation is all goodness and light and problem free, but that we can tackle the problems that stand in the way of we really want and really care about.” – David Emerald Womeldorff

A 2022 Mindset Goal: An Outcome Orientation

As we dive into a new year, David Emerald Womeldorff’s discussion of problem mindset versus outcome mindset and the 3 Vital Questions is more relevant than ever. It’s why I’ve recapped this popular episode from 2020, especially as we prepare to tackle fresh challenges.

David discusses how all leadership begins with self-leadership, and how our mindset paves the way to a desired path. When we approach situations with a problem orientation, it drives anxious, reactive behavior and causes drama. In contrast, an outcome orientation keeps us focused on our passion: what we want to create and what’s supporting and aligning with our desired outcome.

As the author of The Power of TED and 3 Vital Questions: Transforming Workplace Drama, David makes complex topics easier to understand through his story-telling superpower.

Revisiting this conversation reminds me of the power of resilience in the face of organizational challenges and refreshes me as I plan my 2022.

Be the Victor, Not the Victim

[24:36] “There are two major components to our stepping into and developing our capability as creators. One is to create outcomes. The second is that we as Creators own our capacity to choose our response to whatever is going on in our lives."

Create and Generate

[33:32] “What actions are you taking? Are you merely reacting to the problems of the moment, or are you taking creative and generative action, including the solving of problems in service to outcomes?”

[35:03] “The three basic steps of dynamic tension are first and foremost, focus on the outcome and to be as clear as we can on the outcome, that the outcome can sometimes be clear and concrete – other times it may be more vague and directional.”
 

Resources mentioned in this episode:
3 Vital Questions website:
https://bit.ly/2Nsz927
The Power of TED: The Empowerment Dynamic:
https://bit.ly/3sM9eCE
3 Vital Questions:Transforming Workplace Drama
David Emerald
Donna Zajonc
Stephen Karpman's Drama Triangle
Bob Anderson's episode on Rise Leaders Radio
The Leadership Circle Profile
Robert Fritz:  Structural Tension
Rise Leaders' newsletter:  https://mailchi.mp/426e78bc9538/subscribe

#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/

#48 Permission to Be Human:  Caring Deeply About People  & Their Wellbeing at Work

#48 Permission to Be Human: Caring Deeply About People & Their Wellbeing at Work

November 9, 2021

“This book is a love letter to any fellow humans who have felt like they were the underdogs for deeply caring about people and their wellbeing at work.” – MaryBeth Hyland, Permission to Be Human: A Conscious Leader’s Guide to Creating a Values-Driven Culture

Wellbeing at work

Just as we go to a doctor if we break an arm, we should treat ourselves with the same level of respect when it comes to our mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing – even at work. While we might not think of spirituality at work, I put it in the domain of wisdom and purpose, vision or values – important guiding pillars for showing up as your best self. It all plays a role.

This is the groundwork for my conversation with MaryBeth Hyland. She’s the founder of SparkVision, a firm committed to creating environments where people thrive. Especially in the past year and a half, our mental health may have taken a hit – and it’s important to recognize it’s likely the same with those we interact with each day.

From our discussion, you’ll learn:
- What’s included in the term “wellbeing”?
- How do you approach someone if you notice they’re having difficulty with their mental health?
- How do you address the fact you were hurt by someone who's in a tough place mentally?

Invest in your relationships at work

[10:43] “So much of it has to do with your relationship … It's a short- and long-term relationship that involves a lot of investments in each other to feel like it's coming from a place of caring and wanting to help people in their wellbeing instead of maybe wanting to call them out, or stigmatize, or make them feel like something's even more wrong.”
[15:48] “The more you're willing to share of yourself, the more willing other people are to share.”

Establishing boundaries

[20:05] “There's a big misconception with boundaries that boundaries are about controlling other people. But boundaries are actually about creating an environment that’s good for you, that's going to take care of your wellbeing.”

Taking ownership for your part

[24:30] “To truly be sorry, you have to be willing to sit with what the other person experienced and hold space for that just like they did for you, when you were on the other side of it.”

 

Connect with Mary Beth Hyland on LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/marybethhyland/

Learn More about Spark Vision:

https://www.sparkvisionnow.com/

Work Life with Adam Grant https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/we-should-allow-sad-days-not-just-sick-days/id1346314086?i=1000530163973

Be Well Lead Well Pulse  www.bewellleadwellpulse.com

WellBeing at Work, from Gallup:

https://www.gallup.com/workplace/336935/wellbeing-at-work.aspx

 

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

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

#47 Shaken & Stirred | Calming a Frayed Nervous System

#47 Shaken & Stirred | Calming a Frayed Nervous System

October 26, 2021

We will all grapple with trauma in some form. If you haven’t experienced it yet personally, then as a leader, mentor, friend, or loved one, you’ll be with someone who has.

Drawing from my own recent experience, I want to share what I’ve learned from an event that rattled my nervous system. We'll all get shaken by life, and whether it’s a heated argument, natural disaster, or a dog attack (like mine), it’s important to work through that experience so that unprocessed trauma doesn't get lodged in our system, only to make a surprise appearance when we least expect or want it. Not coping with trauma can have significant consequences.

I'm sharing my own response to a recent experience. I’m not a trauma therapist or coach. I took on a few practices to move past a jarring event and as of now, they seem to be working. I do give coaching clients contemplative, grounding and journalizing practices like the ones I describe in this episode. I hope it helps you like it has for me.

If you or someone you know have experience trauma, please reach out to a professional.

Here are a few of my insights:

Help often appears where you’re not looking

During the attack, I thought I was powerless and alone. I looked in one direction for help but it came from another. We all have our blind spots, assumptions and ways of seeing reality. We often need others to help us past our limitations. I was not alone.

Trust in Others Who Care About You

It takes time for the fight-or-flight chemicals to leave our bodies.  Until then we may function 'just fine'.  Yet our decision-making post trauma is compromised because our nervous system takes a while to settle.  Having someone in your corner that sees reality more clearly and who is willing be straight with you is priceless. And you have to be open to listening.

Make time to recuperate and reflect

Take the time you need to heal and process the event. It’s likely you won't be on your game, so go light on work or take a complete break in order to give yourself the space to recover. While I didn't take days completely off, I went easy enough on myself to get my energy back and clear my head. Bodywork therapies like NetworkSpinal and Polarity Therapy helped me immensely, and journaling has been incredible as well.  Breathwork, mindfulness and movement were also part of my healing.  I also spent the evenings with a good novel!  

For further exploration:
Network Spinal – search for a practitioner near you
Polarity Therapy:  https://polaritytherapy.org/
Calm breath exercise – extended exhale https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNXKjGFUlMs&t=5s
Calm breath exercise – bubble/box breathing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxayUBd6T7M
Third-person journaling https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/dg/#:~:text=In%20the%20case%20of%20third,referring%20to%20ourselves%20by%20name.
Telling Your Story May Be Good for Your Health https://h-i-v.net/spotlight/mental-health-month-2021

 
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/

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