Rise Leaders Radio
#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
Episode 24: Leadership, Ethnicity + Wellbeing | Renee Moorefield & Jane Cocking
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
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To discuss executive coaching, leadership development program design, and workshop facilitation, please visit:

#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/


#38 Ecosomatics |Connect to your body to connect to your world

#38 Ecosomatics |Connect to your body to connect to your world

April 20, 2021

“When we connect to our own energy and life force, we're actually connecting to the big energy out there in the world…And this is the venue, the entry point into connecting with all the rest of life around us.” - Mark Mooney

Connect with your body, connect with the world
According to Mark Mooney, the embodied or self-actuated self includes a deep connection to all the rest of life on the planet. Achieving this requires an understanding of somatics and ecosomatics.

Somatics is a body-centered approach to learning and transformation; we learn through our body to reach our potential. Ecosomatics integrates deep ecology, which acknowledges the inherent value and interconnection of all living things. Tapping into our senses and sensations lays groundwork for both.

This week Mark explains how our bodies and our “ historical shaping” inform our strategies for navigating the world. He also explains how connecting with nature enhances our wellbeing - and how to connect with nature even when it’s not easily accessible.

Be fully in the experience of life
[15:36] “We might as well be in the experience of life as opposed to thinking of life. Joseph Campbell suggested that we're not looking for the secret of the meaning of life. He suggests that we're looking for the experience of life, which means experiencing all of our emotions fully.  Being fully aware in the moment and to the things going on around me. [Then the] experience of life just gets better.”

Our shape suggests our mood
[22:15] “That's an interesting part about shaping. You look at people’s shape, a ‘resigned shape’ is one of the things that people can see the most: kind of collapsed - looks like there's a weight around the neck…it’s part of the defense of ‘let's make myself smaller.’ I'll bring my energy and I'll condense my musculature. I'll actually bring my head down. Now I'm going to be smaller.”

Connect to your senses to become present and alive
[50:21] “Cultivate your connection to your senses. Go for a walk (and nature is probably going to give you the easiest time to do this) and spend 10 minutes strictly in one sense…so I could walk slowly and just pay attention to what I hear. What's the furthest away thing I can hear? What's the closest thing? What's high pitch, what's low and bass? And just pay attention and listen to the quality of sound.”
[54:28] “It opens a world getting connected to our senses on this level, it opens a world that we're just not usually paying any attention to.”

Resources mentioned in the episode:
Mark Mooney:
Strozzi Institute:
Richard Strozzi-Heckler, PhD:
Deep Ecology + George Sessions: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_ecology#:~:text=Deep%20ecology%20is%20an%20environmental,in%20accordance%20with%20such%20ideas.
Arne Naess:

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

#14. Re-goal and Reframe for Resilience:  Gloria Park PhD

#14. Re-goal and Reframe for Resilience: Gloria Park PhD

July 14, 2020

As an applied positive psychology and sport and performance psychology practitioner, Gloria Park, PhD is uniquely qualified to speak about how we continue to learn, grow, evolve, and even thrive in the face of challenge. And we are certainly being challenged in 2020! Gloria shares transformative skills and strategies during the interview.  


“I’m often navigating the tension between helping people do better at whatever craft they’ve chosen for themselves…and balancing that with how [they] do that AND maintain some degree of wellbeing.  It’s my fervent belief that you can have both; that you can do well and be well.” 

Gloria Park, PhD

Regoaling vs Reacting

It’s easy to get overwhelmed these days while we’re in the middle of the Covid-19 crisis and also trying to thoughtfully enter and positively impact the domain of racial injustice.   

In April, I attended a webinar co-lead by Gloria.  It was very timely given the newness and shock concerning Covid-19. When I first heard the term, ‘re-goaling’, I thought, YES!, this is how I would describe the thoughtful and intentional shift I see some people making.  It’s different from simply reacting. Re-goaling means that I consciously disengage from the old goal and thoughtfully create a new goal. It also means that I feel and acknowledge the continuum of emotions and engage in hope.   In this interview, we explore ways to our own resilience.

A few quotes that stand out for me:

Covid’s Impact on the Human Psyche

11:31 - "…everyone is dealing with this very deep sense of grief about things that matter deeply to them and now look no longer like they used to…the second place where people are really struggling is the uncertainty." 

The Important Role of Hope and Goals

13:43 - "…what gives me hope is that people are finding things to be hopeful about despite all of the uncertainty and despite all of the grief…"

26:36 – "But if you think about the average person and the goals we set for ourselves, we set those goals because they’re a reflection of things that are really valuable to us and they’re often tied, especially in the performance domain, deeply to our sense of self-worth and our identities, and you wouldn’t have set those goals if they didn’t mean a lot to you."

C.R. Snyder’s Hope Theory:  "People feel hope whey they have three things:  they have a goal that they’re focused on; they have beliefs that they have the capacity within them to strive towards that goal; and that there are avenues available for them to be able to pursue those goals."

29:38 – "A lot of the foundation of resiliency training, as well as a lot of the foundation for performance psychology, is about understanding the connections between those three things:  your thoughts, your emotions, and your behaviors."

43:51 – "But the accomplishments will always be there.  The world will be there to await you to show up and be able to strive towards those things again.  I think, right now, we really need to be paying attention to our wellbeing and figure out how we can support our families and support our employees in an organizational context to really help them navigate this crisis successfully."

We’ve all heard of SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-driven); Gloria is also an advocate for DUMB goals! (42:05)

Find resources on resilience at Eudaimonic by Design, especially Choosing Optimism:  The Art of the Reframe. Also, find Embodied Resilience and Hope.

Register for this FREE course on resilience: Resilience Skills in a Time of Uncertainty offered by the University of Pennsylvania.  Gloria is one of the instructors and her mentor, Karen Reivich is the primary instructor.   

Sign up for my newsletter to receive more links and resources:




C.R. Snyder’s Hope Theory:


#13. 3 Vital Questions for Transformative Results:  David Emerald

#13. 3 Vital Questions for Transformative Results: David Emerald

May 11, 2020

David has followed up his wildly popular and super sticky book, The Power of TED: The Empowerment Dynamic with 3 Vital Questions: Transforming Workplace Drama.  When we answer these questions and re-orient our perspective, we become more resilient and more likely to create the results we desire.


“All leadership really starts with self-leadership and the way that we lead our own lives has everything to do with the quality of leadership that we bring to our organizations, frankly our families, our communities, our school system, etc.”

David Emerald Womeldorff

Ask these 3 Powerful Questions

... when facing change, feeling stuck or dealing with workplace drama.  They'll help you level up the results you get.

  1. Where are you placing your focus?
  2. How are you relating?
  3. What actions are you taking?

David has followed up his wildly popular and super sticky book, TED: The Empowerment Dynamic with 3 Vital Questions: Transforming Workplace Drama.  When we answer these questions and upshift our perspective, we become more resilient and more likely to create the results we desire. 

Highlights from the Interview

[07:10]  ...The first vital question is, Where are you putting your focus? The subtext to that is, are you focusing on problems, or are you focusing on outcomes? What informs that question is an organizing framework that I call FISBE. FISBE is an acronym that stands for Focus, Inner State and BEhavior. The idea is that what we focus on engages some emotional response. That inner state that then drives our behavior. 

[17:16] ...Vital Question Two is, How are you relating? How are you relating to others? How are you relating to your experience? And how are you relating to yourself? Are you relating in ways that produce, or perpetuate drama? Or are you relating in ways that empower others and yourself to be more resourceful, resilient and innovative?

If our orientation is problem-focused, fear-based and reactive in nature, that creates the environment and the conditions for the Dreaded Drama Triangle, or DDT, which I'll explain in more detail in just a moment. I also want to say that if we can consciously choose to operate as much as possible out of that Outcome Orientation, where we're focused on what we care about, that our inner state is more passion-based and we're taking creative action, that creates the conditions for a different set of relationship roles and dynamics that we call TED or The Empowerment Dynamic.

[31:29]: 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? Dynamic tension informs the Third Vital Question.

[32:42]: 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.

Then the second step is to step back and tell the truth about, what's my current reality in relation to the outcome? That engages a tension between what we want and what we're currently experiencing.

The third piece of dynamic tension is to then determine and take baby steps that move from our current reality toward our envisioned outcome. Baby steps to me are things that as an individual, or team, we can choose to do that tend to be short-term and in organizational terms. LeeAnn, it could be as simple as, ‘I need to have a conversation’, or ‘we need to go gather this information’. 




3 Vital Questions website:


The Power of TED: The Empowerment Dynamic:


3 Vital Questions:Transforming Workplace Drama

David Emerald

Donna Zajonc

Stephen Karpman's Drama Triangle

Bob Anderson

The Leadership Circle Profile

Robert Fritz:  Structural Tension

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#12. Bob Anderson: Boot Up Your Inner Game

#12. Bob Anderson: Boot Up Your Inner Game

April 7, 2020

Bob Anderson has dedicated his career to exploring the intersections between leadership and personal mastery, and between competence and consciousness. Over the past 35 years, he has helped leaders gain deep, personal insight into their creative competencies that promote effective leadership, and their reactive tendencies that limit it. He is the creator of The Leadership Circle Profile, a 360 leadership assessment tool that provides integrated feedback in multiple domains across the Creative and Reactive categories.


"A Creative style of leadership is driven by passion, purpose and vision and is about bringing into being what I care about and becoming who I most desire to be as a leader.  Reactive leadership is about responding to problems, fears and threats.

You can't create the kind of agile, adaptive innovative and engaged workplaces that we are trying to construct in order to thrive in a VUCA world. You literally can't create those cultures and systems and structures from a Reactive leadership mindset."

- Bob Anderson

The Times Call for Exemplary Leadership

Bob and I spoke on February 21, 2020.  The date is significant because the first case of community-spread novel coronavirus had not yet been detected in the U.S. Today the U.S., as well as much of the globe, is in some sort of lockdown to prevent its spread. The lack of mention of Covid-19 seems tone-deaf today, as managing the spread and responding to the health and economic crises are all-consuming for many.

Bob has spent the past few decades understanding what characteristics indicate a leaders’ ability to deal effectively with the increasingly complex situations they’re presented with.  Our current, unfortunate predicament illustrates, even more, the need for agile, innovative and visionary leadership.

Creative Leadership

[17:26]: The highly effective, and Creative leaders had a very different set of strengths. They had all the other strengths in equal measure: technical strengths, domain knowledge, etc., but they excelled at people, ... people, teams, developing people, listening, approachable. Six out of the top 10 most commented-on strengths for the highly effective Creative leader group had to do with people and teams and their ability to develop people and lead them well.

The next set of strengths was purpose, vision and authenticity, and that rounded out the top 10 list of the most effective leaders. Yes, they have their technical skills and their intellect and brilliance. You have to have that to play. That’s table stakes. It doesn’t define leadership, and it doesn’t scale if you’re trying to run your leadership through your own creative brilliance. It scales when you can develop that in others.

The top 10 Creative competencies, according to write-in comments on the Leadership Circle Profile 360:

[20:48]: Number one: Strong People Skills. 79% of leaders had three or more comments from their raters on good with people – 79%. Reactive leaders rated only 28% good with people. That just sums it up. If you look at the list, Strong People Skills, Visionary, Team Builder, Personable/Approachable, Leads by Example. That’s authenticity and integrity, right? Passion & Drive, that’s purpose. Good Listener, Develops People, Empowers People, Positive Attitude. That’s the top 10 list.




Creative and Reactive dimensions of the model:


Leadership Circle Profile:


Full Circle Group:


Bob Kegan:


Socialized and Self-Authoring mindsets:


Stephen Covey:


Mastering Leadership:


Download Practices to Boot Up Your Inner Game:


Subscribe to the Rise Leaders newsletter:



#11. Conscious Capitalism: An Idea Whose Time Has Come with Alexander McCobin

#11. Conscious Capitalism: An Idea Whose Time Has Come with Alexander McCobin

March 3, 2020

Conscious capitalism is a term, a movement and the name of the non-profit organization, Conscious Capitalism, Inc. (CCI), whose role it is to be the foundation of the movement. CCI brings business leaders together to share best practices for implementing the ideals of conscious capitalism.

“By delivering a genuine, no-baloney product for our guests and environment for our employees to work in, we then could deliver for our shareholders…  Starting from that place of authenticity and caring profoundly about the lives of other people leads to better financial results because of the way the economy and capitalism works.”

Ron Shaich

CEO and Founder, Panera Bread

Can We Make Conscious Capitalism Redundant?

That’s the long term goal.

The general opinion of capitalism and of the for-profit business world is one of greed and scarcity, a winner-take-all mindset,  and overpaid executives at the expense of underpaid and under-insured employees (just listen to the 2020 election rhetoric!).  While that opinion has been earned, there is a movement underway that is gaining support from capitalist business leaders across the globe to change that.

Alexander McCobin is CEO of Conscious Capitalism, Inc., an organization founded by successful corporate CEOs and founders who are committed to shepherding in a new way of running businesses.  As Alexander says in the interview, it’s a Copernican Revolution, putting humans at the center of business rather than profits.  And the good news is that it’s not an either-or choice.


[10:29]“It’s about creating a foundation for people to build the movement the way they want to… We need to let a thousand flowers bloom if we’re going to achieve our long term goal, which is for Conscious Capitalism to become redundant.” 

[00:11:17] “The times are changing. This is an idea whose time has come, finally. A decade ago, when this idea was being kicked around and introduced to conferences and boardrooms, it was being laughed out of those spaces. It wasn’t taken seriously. The initial job of Conscious Capitalism Inc. and even the reason for writing the book was to make the case for this, to change people’s minds, because everyone thought business is just about maximizing profit, serving the shareholders, and everyone and everything else is serving that end.”

[00:12:35] “The Business Roundtable is a group of 190, 200 or so CEOs of the largest companies in the United States. We’re talking everyone from J.P. Morgan, to Amazon, and if you know the name of the company and it’s a Fortune 100, it’s probably in there. In 1997, they adopted a statement on the purpose of the corporation being to serve shareholder interests. That this is the reason they exist.

Last year they changed that. They said that the purpose of the corporation is to serve a higher purpose and to take care of all their stakeholders. They basically took the conscious capitalist’s credo, reworded and adopted themselves, and that is tremendously exciting because it shows these principles and ideas are becoming well-accepted and these are CEOs making a commitment that this is how they’re going to run their businesses going forward that they can now be held accountable to.”

[00:22:29]: “That is part of the stakeholder model. We need businesses to be at the forefront of addressing the challenges of climate change and environmental degradation conservation. Business has the greatest impact in these areas and it has the greatest opportunity to innovate and figure out what the solution is, because we’re not there yet and it’s not going to come from committee.”




Larry Fink’s 2020 Letter:


Conscious Capitalism Philosophy:


Annual Conference (April each year):


CEO Summit (October each year):



 About Rise Leaders:


#10. The Power of Awe, Art and Observation:  Bonnie Pitman

#10. The Power of Awe, Art and Observation: Bonnie Pitman

February 11, 2020

Bonnie Pitman shares how Doing Something New inspires us to make each day extraordinary.  Her Power of Observation Framework instructs us on the critical steps for moving from the first glance to making new meaning of our observations. She is both delightful and incredibly grounded in her approach to appreciating the banal and sublime.


Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.

Albert Szen-Gyorgi

1937 Nobel Laureate


Make Everyday Extraordinary

Awe and wonder are getting a lot of attention these days because of what happens in our brain when we’re in these states of mind. Inspiration and generosity spike and we feel more connected to the world around us.  And as a result, stress and rumination decrease*.  Overall wellbeing is amplified. The great news is that we can experience awe and wonder as part of our daily life – we just have to become more aware of what is already in our midst.

Bonnie Pitman, with her long and distinguished history in the world of art, developed two foundational practices that support the onboarding of these states in response to a life-changing illness that she continues to navigate.  

*Source:  What Awe Looks Like in Your Brain (https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/what_awe_looks_like_in_the_brain)

Stand-out Quotes from My Interview With Bonnie

[14:04]“Do Something New is about having the courage to take a moment and really celebrate it. And finding a way … to move beyond simply seeing and looking to really deep observation, or deep listening. It’s about going further than I normally would.” 

[16:06] “I’ve discovered that one of the really important things, which we’ve been talking about, comes from my meditation practice:  the power of staying in the moment and just seeing things in new ways, or seeing the world in new ways.  To slow down and really invest in those moments and to – just like when you’re meditating – focus on your breathing, focus on the people or the place”

[22:33] “…80% of the way you acquire information is through visual images. Particularly important for physicians is that ability to see if a patient over the days that they are seeing them in the hospital, or in their clinics is evolving in a positive way, or a negative way. That need to be able to look quickly and observe quickly and get solid information, to be able to remember it is something that’s very important for them.”

[ 25:56 ] “Those tangible, experiential moments transform a two-dimensional experience into memory in your brain.  Now your hippocampus – your whole limbic system – is working in a different way and at a higher level to codify this memory as one you’re going to hold on to.”

The Do Something New™ practice

Take a few minutes of an ordinary day and make it extraordinary through:

  1. New places
  2. New people
  3. New experiences
  4. New experiences with old friends in new ways
  5. New big things & new little things
  6. New flavors of ice cream are ok!
  7. Cannot be work or medical
  8. Cannot carry forward to the next day

The Power of Observation Framework™

Scanning – Taking a first look

Attending – Focusing intentionally over time

Connecting – Seeking and processing information to make new connections

Transforming – Engaging deeply and creating a personal response

Note:  Download the full Power of Observation Framework here

More Links



Bonnie Pitman Instagram:


DMA – Speechless:  Different by Design:


What Awe Looks Like in Your Brain – Greater Good Magazine:


Videos: Art and Medicine:


Nasher Sculpture Center talks on Art and Health:


Can You Train Your Brain to Work Better? Verify – WFAA:


Be Well Lead Well® Pulse Assessment:


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#09. The Rhythm of a Great Place to Work

#09. The Rhythm of a Great Place to Work

November 12, 2019

Drew Clancy, President of Publishing Concepts (PCI), is a self-proclaimed ‘cultural enthusiast’.  His commitment to the core elements of culture has resulted in year-over-year growth and consistent recognition as a Best Place to Work.  As a third-generation leader, he has brought this near 100year-old family business solidly into the 21st Century through innovation and servant leadership. 


We Inspire Dreams and Transform Lives 

- PCI’s Purpose  

A Successful Third-Generation Family Business

Drew Clancy is President of PCI, a midsize, third-generation family business headquartered in Dallas, Texas. In 2021, they will celebrate 100 years in operation, and like any company that has weathered that much time, they’ve experienced iterations and evolutions. In 1982, Jack Clancy, Drew’s father, breathed new life into the company and gave it a new name: Publishing Concepts, now best known as PCI.  They’re in the business of “helping college, university, and association clients engage their alumni and membership and raise money in order to fulfill their mission of educating our nation’s future leaders”.

Drew entered the picture in 1995 after his father suffered a heart attack and could no longer bring his  energy and presence to the business. Drew navigated the company past the ‘founder’s trap’ as described by Dr. Ichak Adizes, creator of the Adizes Corporate Lifecycle, and steered PCI toward sustainability.  And it’s working – PCI continues excellent financial performance, targeting $50M in revenue this year, doubling 2016’s performance. 

Organizational Culture as a Business Strategy

We spent the bulk of our time discussing Drew’s passion: workplace culture. He is a strong believer in Servant Leadership and sees creating a thriving workplace as a foundational business strategy.  His orientation is paying off: PCI has appeared on both Dallas Morning News 100 Best Places to Work and Best Companies to Work for in Texas, nabbing first place in 2015 & 2016.  Even with these accolades, he doesn’t take culture for granted, claiming “you have to work for it every day”.

They have a term for the central elements of their culture, theFIVE:

  • 5 Elements of the core ideology: Purpose, Values, Vision, Goals, Commitment
  • 5 Values: Excellence, Unlock Human Potential, Act with Integrity, Innovate a Culture of Relationships & Fun, Lead with a Servant’s Heart

Structure Will Set You Free

A best-place-to-work culture will not happen by wishing for it. It won’t even happen if you articulate your core ideology (Jim Collins’ term for Purpose, Vision and Values) and hang posters throughout the workspace.  You have to take action.

Drew is keen on the idea that “structure sets you free”. Liberating structures are created to channel individual or group energy toward a specific goal.  James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits, guides individuals to make tiny shifts in daily behaviors that will lead to big results.

PCI’s Organizational Rhythm:

“Try a lot of things and keep what works”.  This is the advice Drew gleaned from Jim Collins’ epic book, Built to Last.  Here’s what is working for PCI now:

  • Annual Planning – Yearly
  • Monthly Extended Leadership Meeting – Trail Blazers meeting for anyone leading a team, project, product, client relationship, etc. This meeting is focused on growth and learning.
  • Weekly – CEO Council. This is an L-10 meeting (Level 10 from EOS)
  • Daily Huddle – 10 minutes at 8:30a, called the 10@8:30. 

These meetings share critical information such as metrics (transparency is key), updates, and progress and also keep team members focused on ‘theFIVE’

Best Companies to Work for in Texas:


Atomic Habits:




Publishing Concepts:


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#08. Doing Good + Doing Well:  Lauren Clarke and Turn Compost

#08. Doing Good + Doing Well: Lauren Clarke and Turn Compost

October 24, 2019

Lauren Clarke is the founder of Turn Compost, a wildly successful social enterprise focused on reducing food waste and improving how we utilize our urban environment. She shares alarming and exciting statistics about food waste and the blooming food waste industry. She also gives essential advice to anyone with the vision of starting a social enterprise.


My passion for gardening may strike some as selfish, or merely an act of resignation in the face of overwhelming problems that beset the world. It is neither. I have found that each garden is just what Voltaire proposed in Candide: a microcosm of a just and beautiful society. ”

Andrew Weil


On Earth Day 2018 Lauren Clarke launched Turn Compost, Dallas’ first subscription composting service. Turn has experienced phenomenal growth, proving that it’s possible to run a profitable company that truly and clearly does good. 

In 18 months, Turn’s subscription service has grown to 17 zip codes in Dallas and 8 drop-off locations in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area.  Revenues are up 648% comparing Q3 2018 to Q32019.  Any start-up would love these numbers! 

A Social Enterprise Model

[10:43] Turn Compost is a Social Enterprise, or Social Impact business.  In short, it’s a business that does good by addressing a social or environmental problem AND it does well by being financially self-sustaining. Social Enterprises and Social Impact businesses may be non- or for-profit. Turn is a for profit business.  

The Business of Food Waste

Food Waste is a big problem in the U.S. It makes up about 40% of our landfills and if it were a country, would be the third-largest emitter of methane gas behind the U.S. and China. [02:38]  

Tackling food wastage can be a 2.5 trillion market opportunity for business according to an article by CNBC .

[05:35] Turn is a private, organic waste pickup subscription service with both doorstep and drop off services. It’s a very innovate model! 

Organic waste is processed three different ways:  it’s donated to local farms and gardens, turned into small amounts of compost and delivered back to members, and finally they partner with commercial composting facilities for other post-consumer waste. [07:51]

Bonton Farms and Farmers Assisting Returning Military (F.A.R.M.) are examples of two local farms that receive Turn donations.

The City of Dallas does not currently compost (yet!); you can learn more about Dallas’ Comprehensive Environmental Climate Action Plan and give input at their website.  [11.56]

The Vision:  Getting Reconnected With Food

There’s a cost for us with all the innovations in food delivery: it’s getting us further disconnected from the source.  We aren’t experiencing the growth cycles, the work that goes into food production and the satisfaction of providing for ourselves.  [15:05]

Horticultural Therapy is a term being used for the therapeutic effects of gardening.  [18:25]  Bonton Farms, mentioned above, sees farming as a way to “redefine a community”.  

Lauren gives some advice on starting a social impact business:  [20:33]

  • make sure it’s financially sustainable now and has future growth potential
  • assemble an advisory council of experts from various industries who will “get in your face” and tell you the truth
  • be open to listening to the advice

A Deeper Purpose

Lauren’s big WHY –  the ultimate reason she started Turn:

[25:08] You know I care about my children, but I care about other children and children in all sorts of communities, wealthy and poor, and their connection with food and their understanding of it…it’s very concerning that there are children and families who are struggling to put food on their tables.



CNBC's article on Food Waste:


Dallas Climate in Action:


Lauren Clarke:


Turn Compost:


For more about Rise Leaders:


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