Rise Leaders Radio
#23. Taking a Collective Stand | Achieving a Bold Stakeholder Vision

#23. Taking a Collective Stand | Achieving a Bold Stakeholder Vision

October 6, 2020

This episode is being re-published because the content feels incredibly relevant given our political and social environment.  In the late-1990s Jennifer Touchet and a group of committed citizens took a clear and unified stand against a powerful and complex system and won!  They used positive political strategies based on a win-win-win approach and intentional inclusivity.

 

“In the beginning, the vision was something for the community, and truly nothing more than that. That's what held us together. We wanted to bring the community together.”
- Jennifer Touchet

The power of your ‘why’

In #21 I discussed owning your value and the key elements to unlocking authenticity and personal power. This week we take a deep dive into the first element, “Know what you stand for,” as embodied by my guest, Jennifer Touchet.

Holding true to the vision and the “why” of the community was indispensable during her bid to establish a nature center in the urban neighborhood of Oak Cliff in Dallas.

While some wanted to erect a high-end, gated community on that beloved spot of land, much of the neighborhood knew and loved it for the nature and recreation it provided. What followed was a years-long project requiring passion and persistence. Enjoy learning some key pointers from our conversation.

[3:12] ...BeBe spoke so passionately and it was clear that she had a bigger vision for who should benefit from ... this jewel that was in our community. So afterwards, I connected with her and ... asked her if she wanted to work together to try and bring the community voice to what's really going to happen. And she wanted to...

Be Empowered by Your Beliefs

 [9:32] “One of my core beliefs is that local communities that are closest to problems are also closest to solutions…”
“I firmly believe that the community can come up with what's best for itself. I kind of believe that in general, that the communities that live and work in play where they are, that are closest to things know also how to make it better.”

Know the Stakeholder Environment

“If you want to get anything done, you have to look at all the different factors that will affect your ability as a person or as a group to get that done.”

Know When to Relent and Know When to Relax

Knowing your stand is important. But there often comes a time when compromise needs to occur.  Originally Twelve Hills was 20 acres of land. To achieve their purpose, they had to scale back and negotiate. As Jennifer said, “To win doesn’t mean winner take all.”
[16:08] “We had to go back and change our plan, and negotiate with our city government, the school district developers to come up with a different vision. Twelve Hills today is just over five acres…But there were some people that felt like we gave up too much. But at that point, it felt like it was going to be if we fought for all, we were going to get nothing.”

Resources:

Jennifer Touchet’s Visionary Leadership & Creating A Win-Win-Win
https://rise-leaders.com/jennifer-touchet-visionary-leadership/

A Guide For Owning Your Value:
https://mailchi.mp/d37649fa5f04/own-your-value

To learn more about Twelve Hills please visit:
https://twelvehills.org/

To connect to Jennifer please visit:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennifer-touchet-0437571/

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.

#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/

#06. An Essential Link:  Wellbeing and Leader Effectiveness

#06. An Essential Link: Wellbeing and Leader Effectiveness

September 17, 2019

What does wellbeing mean to you?  Are you thriving?  How would you know?

Renee Moorefield is a dear friend, a spectacular creator and a wise woman. She and business- and life- partner, David, have developed a groundbreaking assessment for wellbeing. Be Well Lead Well Pulse® is based on over thirty years of experience in the areas of wellness, change management and leadership transformation. In this conversation, we follow the thread that began in exercise physiology, winds through Renee’s own experience as a leader and has evolved into a very integrated way to assess wellbeing.

 

At the center of the Universe dwells the Great Spirit. And that center is really everywhere. It is within each of us.  

- Black Elk 

 

Without a global revolution in the sphere of human consciousness, nothing will change for the better in the sphere of our being as human. 

-  Vaclav Havel

Following A Thread

Early in the interview, Renee tells us about a thread that has run through her life – ” a deep belief in our capacity to be well and to thrive”.  Her thread runs like this:

  • The journey begins with pursuing a degree in Exercise Physiology.

We all have threads, how would you trace yours?  In my view, a thread is closely tied to our life’s purpose.

Wellness or Wellbeing?

Wellness – as it is typically used in the U.S., refers to lifestyle behaviors such as nutrition, sleep, exercise, and even breath.  But early on, as Renee shares in the interview, forward thinkers such as Halbert Dunn, M.D., Ph.D. were describing wellness in ways that included the ‘spirit of man’.  I found an absolutely fascinating article written by Dr. Dunn; in it he says this about Knowing Thyself:

“Psychology tells us through laboratory demonstrations that our perceptions of the outer world are indissolubly linked with the concepts and emotions fixed in our minds and body tissues. Without a knowledge of one’s inner self, understanding of the outer world cannot have breadth and depth. A mind tortured with prejudice, hate, and fear projects itself in distorted human relationships.”

In reading about Dunn and the impact he had on the holistic wellness movement I’m reminded of all the shoulders we stand on.

It’s easy to draw a line from High-Level Wellness, as he describes, to the effectiveness and impact of a person who is leading others.

My favorite definition of wellbeing, a la Renee, is “our internal resourcefulness to meet the demands of our external world”.  She adds another aspect to include how we are in relationship with others – that we exist in relationship.   These are both in line with how Dr. Dunn considered wellness in the 1950’s!

Here’s what the Be Well Lead Well Pulse® measures.  You can see how the aspects of wellbeing we discussed, plus more, are reflected:

  • Thriving – your evaluation of your own wellbeing now, plus the optimism you hold for your future.
  • Fuel – how you energize yourself physically, mentally and emotionally; this includes diet, movement, rest + breath.
  • Flow – aka being in ‘the zone’; engagement, presence, mindfulness and the feeling of bringing value to your work.
  • Wonder – continuously evolving your worldviews and perspectives with appreciation and awe; learning and growing.
  • Wisdom – tapping into and integrating your purpose, vision, and innate genius and bringing equanimity and lightness to life.
  • Thriving Amplified – creating the conditions where others thrive; energizing and maximizing their impact and growth.

You can tell by reading the descriptors of the dimensions of the Be Well Lead Well Pulse® that this is a thorough and generous assessment

Wellbeing and the Role of a Leader:  Thriving Amplified

I can’t help but make ties to Servant Leadership in this category of wellbeing. Can you imagine the world if we all supported each other in such a fundamental, life-enhancing way?

Like the ability to empathize requires us to be aware of our own emotions, supporting others’ wellbeing requires that we are connected to our own.  We begin with ourself.

I wrote a few blog posts several years ago that sprouted from my experience cycling.  One post links engagement, a cycling team’s paceline and the concept of distributed leadership as outlined in this article by Nick Petrie of CCL (Center for Creative Leadership).  In short, employee engagement requires the effort of leaders and members of the team.

Renee speaks passionately and often about creative vs. reactive leadership:

“The Be Well Lead Well Pulse dimensions promote a generative, open, present and connected stance to leadership, rather than leading from reactivity and fear.”

The creative orientation is a characteristic of leaders who achieve sustainable results. You can learn more about this in earlier show notes from my interview with Jacqui and Renee, owners of Anytime Fitness Bishop Arts.

The Value of the Be Well Lead Well Pulse® Assessment

I’m a believer in a good assessment and this certainly is one.  Seeing my collective answers to their well-crafted questions reflected back to me gave me a perspective I could not have arrived at on my own.  The combination of elements are unique to anything I have ever encountered and I was able to make connections that I would not have otherwise made.

Based on the report, I was able to see that although I was feeling a bit shaky and unsure in my current situation, I did have an optimistic view of my future.  Life can be challenging and some days I feel swallowed by uncertainty and even fear.  But when asked, I honestly feel optimistic that I am evolving and that something good is cooking within me.  I lean on this feedback when my energy and mood are low.

I’ll close with a quote by Warren Buffett that sums up the link between wellbeing and leadership:

The process of becoming a leader is much the same as the process of becoming an integrated human being

 

Rennee Moorefield, PhD:

https://www.bewellleadwell.com/about-us/

 

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