Rise Leaders Radio
#34 A Platform for Placemaking at Work: More Than A Cool Piece of Tech

#34 A Platform for Placemaking at Work: More Than A Cool Piece of Tech

February 22, 2021

“We have virtual real estate that makes you look and feel and act and behave as if you were in a real office. So it's not virtual reality, it's reality…the way my brain reacts and creates by changing the environment I’m in…my persona changes [while being] connected to colleagues around the world.” - Toni Portmann

Using Technology to Reduce Isolation and Build Trust
The corporate landscape in a global and post-COVID-19 world has presented many questions. One of the most important has been: How can we replicate company culture when almost no one is co-located? Though being able to work from home during a pandemic has helped boost productivity and open the talent pool beyond traditionally tight geographical lines, the issues of building culture has seen a less obvious solution.

Toni Portmann addresses this in the ingenuity that is Walkabout Workplace, a virtual reality platform encouraging positive work cultures based on human connections and place-making. It transports mind and body into the workplace through virtual real estate, simulating real-life – running into people in the hallway and having off-the-cuff banter, joining different rooms to chime in to conversations, and connecting to people in ways other than the constant Zoom meeting that reigns today.

In a world that’s moving away from commutes and increasingly going green, Toni explains how Walkabout Workplace addresses known challenges and offers additional benefits to the workplace and even to our communities.

[] “we’re not feeling connected to the world of work, or the world of community or the world of colleagues. In Walkabout, you can literally walk down the hall and drop in and have that five-minute conversation, get a question answered, say hi, have a cup of coffee, and literally feel like you're building a team.”

[18:40] "It brings us to a place ... I can log on in the morning and I and I see my colleagues... And, and who's like having stand ups...There are these times when people have either brainstorming meetings, or they're having stand ups. And that's one of the things that we're missing out on right now... unless you're invited to that conversation via a calendar, you don't even know what's going on. But from what I can tell... what I what I think will happen with Walkabout is that I can see where people are gathered. And I can just ask to join and that's part of the spontaneity of it... or someone that's in a brainstorming meeting might say, I think LeeAnn has the answer to this, let's see if we can pull her in here real quick. And they can just pull me in and release me instead of having to invite me to a meeting for 30 minutes to two hours or however that that's going to be. So for me, those are some of my favorite attributes is that it really does give a way for that spontaneity to happen."

[19:15] “It's also wicked secure. …we’ve got to be really careful of privacy of protection. We do unbelievable encryption inside the video. We also emit unbelievable encryption inside the chat channels, so that when we're having this conversation, we're encrypting within the video channel itself.”

[30:08] “Talent acquisition will change dramatically with this new accessibility…I'm no longer relegated to what my zip code is, what school I went to, or what transit I can get on. So now I can be a candidate for hire, or I can be a productive contributing employee.”

Connect to Toni Portmann:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/toni-portmann-53b454/

Walkabout Workplace
https://walkaboutworkplace.com/

The Power of Virtual Distance:
https://bookshop.org/a/16835/9781119608592

Hooked on Code:
https://hookedoncode.com/about

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/

#31. What’s Your Cathedral Story?

#31. What’s Your Cathedral Story?

December 8, 2020

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

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

 

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

Start with purpose

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

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

The Cornerstone of The Cathedral Story is our Orientation

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

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

Purpose keeps us centered and whole

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

October 27, 2020

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

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

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

Overcoming thinking traps

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

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

The importance of building mental stamina

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

How to know you’re stuck

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

Identify quicksand questions

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

Get in touch with Jay Cone:
https://bit.ly/35ZVSZE

Resources:
Blog: https://bit.ly/2NivMuo
Free Assessment:

https://bit.ly/2LWZRzg
https://unstuckminds.com/

Blindspots (book) Hidden Biases of Good People:

https://amzn.to/3642S7T

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/

#25. The Leadership Pause | Dr. Chris Johnson

#25. The Leadership Pause | Dr. Chris Johnson

October 20, 2020

Dr. Chris Johnson’s background combines psychology, Aikido (she’s a 3rd degree Black Belt!) and mindfulness training.  The result is a powerful and pragmatic approach for moving wisdom into action.  We talk about Embodied Leadership and the importance of creating a Leadership Pause habit.

 

“Embodied leadership has an edge over anything conventional, because it allows us to access all of who we are…rationally, cognitively, analytically, our capacity for empathy, and to take effective action based on sound decisions that we tune into that are congruent with our values.” – Dr. Chris Johnson

Physical awareness leads to authenticity and better decision-making

The world is becoming more Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous. For today’s leaders to stay ahead of the accelerated pace of change, it’s important to inspire trust and confidence in those with whom they work. Embodied Leadership practices help us achieve this.

Leadership is often approached in a cognitive-first or “top-down” manner: first working to understand the skill, infusing emotional intelligence, and then acting in accordance with that knowledge. Conversely, embodied leadership draws from bodily awareness. In other words, shifting focus to the physical being to open up, relax, and in turn, create space mentally. Tuning into physical sensations and sensory experiences can center us. This nurtures a connection between body and mind that enables congruence and authenticity between mind and actions.

It starts with a pause

[13:16] “It might be a momentary pause, where I step back, take a breath, and in that breath, I can see and observe what's going on between you and I, and I can feel into myself, like what's congruent with my own values here, I can actually look at the broader horizon of work.

[13:46] “A pause could be momentary, it could be short pause to create a deliberate practice of mindfulness. It could be a weekend pause… Those are the things we often think we don’t have time for, and we hit that point of diminishing returns.
“Reminding ourselves and taking that pause to say, ‘What’s the bigger commitment, what’s the bigger vision?’ Align around that instead of getting sucked into the details.”
 

Clear mind, clear path forward

 [22:16] “This is where mindfulness also comes in to help. When there's a lot of chatter [in the mind], it's really difficult to be clear-headed, clear-eyed, and clear-hearted about what's the most important. There’s a quote by Lao Tzu – ‘Can you be patient enough to let the mud settle so the right answer can arise?’…
“If we intentionally create the space, and if we commit to it, as a part of the leadership pause, it can allow all of that mud to settle. So that whatever shows up in this moment, as the next right action is the one we see and can move toward.”

Take care of yourself - and see a ripple effect

[10:33] “Organizations and businesses of all sizes reflect their leaders. When your energy is high, and your actions are congruent with your words, your presence produces trust…While you can't erase the uncertainty your organization and people are facing, you do have the power to respond to their challenges with intention, integrity, and honesty.”
[30:15] “Awareness is key for all leaders who are aspiring to lead in this VUCA world and be really present to the craziness and how to stay present in it - and maybe even enjoy the ride.”

Resources:
The Power of Pause in the Mindful Leader:
https://bit.ly/3ixw9wV

Episode 21: Owning Your Value:
https://bit.ly/3sGO0pT

A Guide to Owning Your Value
https://bit.ly/3sJajLn

To connect to Dr. Chris Johnson please follow:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/drchrisljohnson/
https://q4-consulting.com/

To subscribe to the Rise Leaders newsletter for more resources:

https://bit.ly/2LTNxzV

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

#24. Leadership, Ethnicity + Wellbeing | Renee Moorefield &  Jane Cocking

#24. Leadership, Ethnicity + Wellbeing | Renee Moorefield & Jane Cocking

October 13, 2020

Renee Moorefield and Jane Cocking share important findings from research they conducted on the relationships between leadership, ethnicity, and thriving. Based on data from 900+ leaders in the BWLW database, Black and Hispanic leaders who completed surveys about their well-being scored significantly higher than leaders who identify as white or Asian. To gain a better understanding, Jane and Renee interviewed 20+ leaders across a wide swathe of industries and ethnic identifications to unpack the data. 

 

“I succeed when we succeed, so part of my job is to amplify the well-being, the effectiveness, the success of the people around me, and in particular, to help lift up my ethnicity.’”

– Interviewee's feedback from Be Well Lead Well Pulse research

Race and the science of thriving

In the Be Well Lead Well (BWLW) Pulse model, thriving is defined as 'having the internal resourcefulness to meet external complexities and demands'. Renee Moorefield, the creator of the Be Well Lead Well Pulse wellbeing assessment, and Jane Cocking an executive coach and BWLW certified guide share important findings from research they conducted on the relationships between leadership, ethnicity, and thriving.

Certain themes emerged…

Resilience

The respondents gave striking insights on inner strengths were built naturally – a byproduct of not living in the dominant culture:

[19:18] “We heard that a lifetime of challenges for leaders who identify as Black or Hispanic have enabled them through the hardships they've had in this dominant culture, whether that's a door shut in their face, whether that's discrimination, or whether that's microaggressions. You can think of all the things we're hearing about in society that have enabled them to build a level of resilience within themselves, coping mechanisms to just live in this culture. It's also enabled them to build a sense of identity beyond that white dominant culture of success.

“So it’s a way of seeing themselves that goes beyond this culture. And it's also built within them a connection to their internal capacities.”

 

[25:43] “… Under stress, growth occurs. In the situation of these people we were talking to, they would say, ‘The reason I got to where I am as an executive, is because I drew from all of those experiences – me knowing who I am and what creates well-being for me enabled me to become and grow as a leader'."

 

Not everyone’s version of success is the same

[17:19] “Overwhelmingly, we heard, no matter the race of the person, that we are all living in a white model of success…

“The white model is you have to be productive, you have to achieve, in order to be successful. If you're not productive and successful, then maybe you're lazy. Acquiring wealth is important, the status of your job title or where you live or what car you drive – the status and very much a ‘me’ culture.”

 

These individuals have a story

[34:43] “’What I would love everyone to know what I believe about myself is that I'm fully human and humane. And as a black executive, when I operate in the world, I often don't get treated as fully human, I get treated as an asset or sort of marginalized voice.’”

[38:33] “The people I talked to who identified as black or Hispanic knew a lot about their own history, their story, they had a connection for hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years back.”

 

Resources:

Be Well Lead Well Pulse Well-being assessment:

https://bit.ly/2LT7wPg

#6: An Essential Link: Wellbeing and Leader Effectiveness

https://bit.ly/362O7SS

 

Renee on Star Coach Show, Episode 141 Be Well, Lead Well

https://bit.ly/3qJqZRo

Connect to Renee and Jane:

Renee Moorefield https://bit.ly/3qABI0a

Jane Cocking https://bit.ly/3cdCDjt

 

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

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

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

#21. Owning Your Value | Key Elements for Authenticity and Personal Power

#21. Owning Your Value | Key Elements for Authenticity and Personal Power

September 22, 2020
There are times in our professional lives where we need to advocate for ourselves. – to take a stand. Recognizing our worth and being able to communicate it isn’t rude, nor is it bragging.  But it can be uncomfortable.  Owning our value supports our authenticity, which liberates our spirit and launches excellent performance. 
 
“When we're able to own our value, we're more likely to bring positive contributions to work, life, our communities, to whatever we care about.” 
 

Benefit from knowing who you are

There are times in our professional lives where we need to advocate for ourselves. – to take a stand. Recognizing our worth and being able to communicate it isn’t rude, nor is it bragging.  But it can be uncomfortable.  Owning our value supports our authenticity, which liberates our spirit and launches excellent performance. Communicating our value is necessary to get a seat at the table. We make the value we bring apparent when we confidently acknowledge and demonstrate it each day – and it also helps us bring our unique advantage to the workplace.
 

Explore the Eight Elements of Knowing Your Value

This week’s episode is an efficient 13 minutes as I outline 8 elements to help you own and speak your value. These are actions you can take to increase your feelings of power and authenticity in all aspects of life. I’ve created an in-depth, integrated guide for your reflection and to help you develop new habits.   Whether you’re mentoring someone or need strategies for realizing your own impact, you will achieve greater awareness of what you offer and how to communicate it.
 

Highlights from this episode

[2:30] “Know what you stand for…what you care about and what you're committed to. These values guide your decisions, your actions and your priorities. Have clarity around your vision.”
 
[3:30] “Knowing what we stand for keeps us in our lane, focused on what we care about rather than pursuing what others are striving for.”
 
[6:53] “Track your contributions. These are quote receipts of your good work. I do this daily in my journal to remind myself that I spent my time well, and so I can articulate the deliverables that I'm working on with clients.”
 
[8:51] “To go along with speaking your value is to practice embodying your value. Embodying your value means that you feel it at your core, and others also feel it and see it in your presence.”
 
 
A Guide to Owning Your Value:  
 
Episode 19: Trudy Bourgeois about workforce excellence: https://rise-leaders.com/achieving-workforce-excellence-trudy-bourgeois/
 
Clifton Strengths Assessment: 
 
Tilt 365:
 
To discuss executive coaching, leadership development program design and workshop facilitation, please visit:
#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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