Friday, February 2, 2018

Radio Show Transcript - How Leaders Improve - John Gates, Jeff Grady, and Sasha Lindekens - Recorded January 12, 2018

How Leaders Improve - John Gates, Jeff Grady, and Sasha Lindekens - Recorded January 12, 2018

To get to the web page of the radio show, click here.

To download the mp3 file, click here.

To subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, click here.

Please remember this is a transcript of a radio show that airs live every Friday and is also podcasted.  Spelling and punctuation may be affected.

00:00:27;12 - 00:00:34;04
Rick A. Morris: And welcome to another edition of the the we're so happy to have everybody along on this wonderful week.

00:00:34;04 - 00:03:26;04
Rick A. Morris: It has been a fantastic week for us. We were in Louisville early on I got to see the national championship game there in Louisville with some new clients some new friends of course if you don't get a chance to see that game it was a fun game to watch but we got to celebrate that in Louisville but we get to be back home here now in lovely Birmingham Alabama which of course is still going nuts after that game. But we are relaxing back at home and enjoying our own Work/Life Balance. I wanted to do a quick shout out to Cinepear which is the organization has been producing all of our video for our social media over the last three or four months and the latest video which is brand new to our Web site We did a new video which was kind of about me in a lot of things that we're doing and that has gone viral in the context of business. So you know last two weeks I believe we have gotten over 25000 views of that video across the different social media platforms Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn YouTube all those different areas so we certainly appreciate the engagement of the audience and that it still is amazing me how that's continuing to grow through tweets and everything else so we appreciate if you've been one of those people that have seen the video tweeted and commented on it. We appreciate it. But a lot of hard work went into that. We appreciate Cinepear, their partnership with us and that's a partnership we see continuing to grow. They are the ones that help us with the #PMMinutes which is a new web series that we had launched this year and we're also going to be working with them to launch the PM inspiration's series that we're going to be working on which will be a branding through Alexa where you're going to be able to ask Alexa to help with PM inspiration and you'll hear our voice in several of the speakers that have been here on the Work/Life Balance. And as well if you're an Alexa user you can now hear this podcast directly through Alexa by asking Anypod to play the Work/Life Balance and she will oblige. So let's get right into our show. We're very very excited. We have a return guestt. We believe it was a pre-launch of this book. Prior I think we had them on September 2nd of the previous year but we are going to do a panel interview with three different authors today starting to save a lot of the general introductions that I do. Because we have three different people here so we did have John Gates on the show with us September 2nd of last year but we're now also joined by Jeff Grady and Sasha Lindekens who all have helped write how leaders improve and now that book is launched. We're so we we extended the invitation to John and his team back in September to come back and join us. And here they are as I'd like to say Welcome to everybody. How are you guys doing.

00:03:26;04 - 00:03:29;09
John Gates: Doing great work. Thank you. Doing great. Thanks Rick.

00:03:30;13 - 00:03:49;15
Rick A. Morris: So you know John we had talked before about the book right how leaders improve and you know we've gotten into some of the research and stuff so I'm so excited to have Jeff and Sasha here. But if you could recap for the audience you know and just give us a general boke overview and you know why did you and your team here that with us write this book.

00:03:51;03 - 00:05:14;06
John Gates: Yeah well first of all Rick thanks again for having me back and for having Jeff and Sasha. I think maybe the best way I can answer that question is with an analogy hopefully sort of a timely analogy. So we're into the new year. And of course lots of people make New Year's resolutions. And a pretty popular one is to lose weight. And you know there are many books out there that suggest that people try different diets for losing weight. Some of them are probably really good books with good advice. But we all know that not everybody who makes that sort of resolution and buys and maybe even reads one of those boats is actually going to lose weight and some of those people who do lose weight probably won't keep it off. So the analogy here is there are lots of books out there on leadership lots of great books with you know lots of great advice. But we all know that not everybody who buys and leads one of those books on leadership is actually going to get better as a leader. So one of the reasons we wrote this book was we we really wanted to sort of add to the literature in the field of leadership by tackling the question how do leaders actually get better. And we hope that through our study we got to answer that question. And the reason is we wanted to write a particular kind of book. I was in a conversation recently with somebody who's who's read the book.

00:05:14;09 - 00:05:55;06
John Gates: And he used the term Pracademic to get at a sort of a combination of something that's practical and at the same time academic so the book is based on research. But we've also tried to offer up some too. You know anybody who reads that book gets very practical. So we've identified a total of 10 insights into how leaders improve based on a research and after each insight we offer some practical recommendations for leaders seeking to improve for leadership development professionals who are working with such leaders and for decision makers and organizations who are trying to just get the best possible return on investment from their leadership development efforts.

00:05:55;07 - 00:06:08;18
John Gates: So we really wrote the book in order to really contribute something to the field of leadership development that we hope is really really practical and helps people to actually have success when it comes to helping leaders and group.

00:06:09;04 - 00:07:23;08
Rick A. Morris: Yeah I think you brought up something interesting there. The fact that you know people buy books they read books doesn't necessarily mean that they're going to make that commitment to get better. I think the analogies I use on the show quite a bit is you know they can grow rich. And if it's a de facto guide step by step guide on how to become a millionaire and if you look right on the cover you know it will tell you how many millions of copies that book is sold but we don't know. You know millions and millions of millionaires and so there's the different styles of people that are going to be the ones that buy the book and never even cracked open and read it. There's going to be the ones that buy the book and try to read the first chapter but never finish it and then those that are going to you know go cover to cover and truly absorb it. And so that you know that's a big thing. People buy it with the intentions. And so what we hope to do and we hope to get across on the show here is not only do they need to go buy this book but why do they need to really consume this information. What's really going to make them better. And so one of the things I found really interesting when we talked the last time John is you know there was there's this term that we used which was right next right. We were talking about that and Sasha could you describe that you know what is right. What are we talking about when we talk about ripeness.

00:07:23;09 - 00:07:34;07
Sasha Lindekens: Sure yeah. So that is the way we think about ripeness is it's a general level of motivation or readiness to make a specific change.

00:07:34;09 - 00:07:55;20
Sasha Lindekens: And maybe to make it more tangible for folks who want to share a story about one of my daughters who when she was in kindergarten first grade second grade she had absolutely no interest or desire to read which was as a doctoral level graduate.

00:07:55;20 - 00:09:48;29
Sasha Lindekens: It was mortifying and reading to me that my daughter was struggling in second grade with Dick and Jane books. And then one day she comes home from school and she's in tears and she says Mommy Daddy I'm the worst student in the class. And we saw this as it finally an opportunity for her to take some take some action on an essay written for her to be open to becoming a better reader. So we asked her if she would be interested in getting a tutor and she said Yeah absolutely. And we did tutoring with her for like a six months or so and all of a sudden her reading scores started jumping up on I think that really captures the idea of ripeness really nicely because early on no matter what we did we couldn't get any internal interest desire or appetite to read. But once it became important to her once she became ripe and she was really open to efforts to help her read. And a lot of our work in executive coaching or leadership development is similar to that you know people get 360 feedback assessments that say they need to work on X Y or Z and that those who are right to make those changes make significant changes and those who aren't. It's like pulling teeth. So ripeness is that desire and motivation to make a specific change and as we were interviewing our most improved leaders for our leaders improved book started to see some patterns around what enabled people to be right. And that caused us to come up with what we're calling the ripening model.

00:09:48;29 - 00:10:10;18
Sasha Lindekens: It's an acronym and we think there's five components to someone being right. The first is that there's a realization there's some sort of insight that something needs to change and that the person who is the one who needs to make the change in other words if not the boss it's not the organization it's them.

00:10:10;18 - 00:10:24;27
Sasha Lindekens: There's a sense of personal accountability there. So that's where it starts if there's not a realization and some personal ownership someone absolutely can't be ripe to make a change.

00:10:24;27 - 00:13:08;27
Sasha Lindekens: The second piece is calling inspiration and inspiration is around someone having a motivation or an incentive to make a change. So think of my daughter she probably had the realization that she wasn't a great reader but there wasn't really a compelling incentive readings. Boring she likes to go outside and play or or do other things she's very social and reading probably turned her off because it was so introspective. But then as she started to put putting the lowest reading group and maybe I can only imagine a kid at school made fun of her or something. All of a sudden there was an incentive there and it was a personally meaningful incentive. So that's the idea in our right model then our P is around pressure. In other words there's some urgency driver and if you speak with any salesperson they will tell you it's critical to have an urgency driver y make a change now. And I think John raised the analogy of the time example of of New Year's resolutions New Year's resolutions does provide some sort of a urgency driver it's not a huge urgency driver but there is a why make that change. And when we look at our most improved leaders we saw lots of examples where something was creating pressure maybe a job opportunity in particular was one of the most common that we saw. In other words they got promoted into a new job and they needed to up their game or there was a future opportunity. And if they were able to demonstrate broader skills then they would be the one to two to move into that new opportunity. That's the P and the type of model the is around expectation and this is around someone's confidence in their ability to make the change and the knowledge of how to make the change that we have the motivation and ability to make this specific change. And I think a lot of times newer executive coaches or managers are well intended to significant others dive right in on this. You know they say I believe in you I know you can do it and let me tell you how to do it. So they're really trying to help someone's expectation without looking at the preceding steps in the model. And that has a predictably bad outcomes because they haven't. What that does the person think they need to change is there any degree of motivation to do that. The last piece of our right model is natural inclination.

00:13:08;29 - 00:13:40;18
Sasha Lindekens: And what this gets at Rick is some people are more open to acting on feedback to growing to developing to changing themselves than others. And this natural inclination serves as a headwind or a tailwind to someone actually being able to make a particular change. So we talk about ripeness that's really a bit of an overview of what we're talking about there and we certainly appreciate that.

00:13:40;18 - 00:14:02;29
Rick A. Morris: So I'm going to dive in a little bit further in that model. And I got a couple of challenges but a couple of things that I've observed since I've heard that the first time so we're going to dive into that when we come right back after this break at least until the Work/Life Balance with Rick Borris.

00:16:53;09 - 00:17:02;10
Rick A. Morris: And we're back to the Work/Life Balance we're interviewing the authors of how leaders improve a playbook for leaders who want to get better now.

00:17:02;11 - 00:17:25;23
Rick A. Morris: And we were just talking through a couple of their model points and in my mind was was going to actually it was at a client site a brand new client site for us this week and we were I was talking to their leadership team and I was like you know by the way if you think that you know everything's perfect in your team in your world then you're the problem.

00:17:25;23 - 00:17:54;06
Rick A. Morris: I was kind of giving that speech to the leaders that everybody needs to improve. Everybody needs to be pulling the string. And if if you're if you can't see that right then you're the person that has the issue. You've got to be a leader who's constantly looking and searching for ways to improve. But if you think a man might seems perfect then that's an issue. And that's a maturity thing that has come with growth in my world in my early 20s.

00:17:54;08 - 00:18:12;19
Rick A. Morris: I remember managing restaurants and thinking that you know I was I was I was the hardest working manager I really was. But I didn't have to be because I wasn't empowering my team and I thought I was trying to lead by example and I didn't recognize that I was actually squashing my team and in being a poor example of a leader.

00:18:12;24 - 00:18:24;02
Rick A. Morris: I was really just a manager and so there's this point on the low side we'll call it the blind spot as you guys said and we were talking on break.

00:18:24;05 - 00:18:40;22
Rick A. Morris: On the high side it's the Dunning Kruger effect of where there's a cognitive bias where people just don't know they're are that bad. So how do we address that and get people open to an environment where they can start to look at this and model and start to recognize that.

00:18:40;23 - 00:18:54;29
John Gates: First I have to improve before I can start to make improvements and I don't let any one of you answer that cyclings from three guys that you've sent around to this 360 feedback Rick.

00:18:55;02 - 00:19:10;23
John Gates: I'm not sure how much experience you've had. Using or receiving 360 feedback. But that's a great dose of reality and perspective on what other people think of you.

00:19:10;23 - 00:20:30;03
John Gates: You know I tend to think of 360 feedback as being looking in the mirror as a leader. And the numbers don't lie. Right. And there's anonymity involved and there's a people will be a bit more courageous and direct in raising concerns. Now certainly I'm confident that all three of us have worked with leaders who have said in the past oh that's just a perception that's not real that's just their perception they don't understand or they're biased and they're giving that feedback because of their biases or something along those lines. Our mentor Paul aski had a phrase that he was fond of saying. Perception is reality doesn't. You know if people believe it then it's true. So I think that's one of the things that we we discussed when we were talking about this dunning kruger effect or a blind spot is if people have the perception and they're the ones who determine if you're an effective leader you need to listen to it and it doesn't matter if you don't think it's true.

00:20:30;03 - 00:21:33;21
John Gates: If they think it's true then then it's impacting your credibility so that's one of the places that we start with and the other that came out in the book and that the three of us have I think regularly utilized or found to be helpful as often and in one of these 360 feedback reports there's something that's a penetrating message a message that sticks with people and if you were to ask them for months six months a year after receiving a 360 feedback report would have a remember it probably comes back to one short phrase that sticks out in their mind and bugs them. We certainly saw that with our with our most improved leaders that they could all point back to a penetrating message and get to that you know that Rick you probably along your career as you mentioned at some point you kind of realized there was something about how you were doing it you could improve.

00:21:33;21 - 00:21:57;15
John Gates: There probably was a penetrating method right. There was a wake up call at some point I don't know if it came from within or from someone else. But we tend to find that there was a wakeup call usually delivered by someone else but sometimes it comes from the person themselves through experience and maturation as you as you mentioned yeah there's definitely yeah.

00:21:57;15 - 00:22:43;25
Rick A. Morris: Almost losing a job or you know a poor review or things like that. Yeah. And you know the interesting thing about a natural maturation is it's almost like if you haven't seen somebody in five or six years and then all of a sudden their appearance has changed drastically. I think people can mature in their business you know life and the way that they lead people the same way. So I came across some e-mails that I had written you know six or seven years prior in didn't even recognize who that person was who was writing those e-mails. You know I wouldn't let anybody who worked for me write e-mails in that tone with that kind of ego. And then when I looked who wrote them I was like Dude that was me. No kidding. You. You you.

00:22:43;27 - 00:24:17;12
John Gates: Your reaction to that kind of having the so-called embarrassment of like who who wrote that e-mail oh my god that was me penetrating messages all always have an emotional component. So you know Sasha mentions you know there's a phrase or a moment that happens but that phrase or that moment always has emotions related to it. If someone's not feeling a strong emotion based on you know something somebody wrote in a 360 feedback or something their boss says you a in a performance review if they don't feel it they're less likely to make the next necessary change. And you know you know that emotion can be positive or negative. You know we tend to find coaches that there are plenty of negative messages that are getting delivered. If you only do improve things and their boss or their colleagues in a 360 are saying hey you know you know you are you know you're a micromanager radiant the best looking your micromanager and you need to kind of empower us more than people can feel either guilty or embarrassed or maybe angry that people would say that about them. But that emotion actually stirs energy that people. They use it the right way or get help or support or coach and they go on skill development or whatnot. They can use that energy that negative energy transform into positive action and kind of do something about it. You know if there's a lack of all logic and no emotion and the reaction the improvement probably won't take or might not stick.

00:24:17;13 - 00:24:27;22
Rick A. Morris: So Jeff is that then the penetrating message kind of linking them to the incentive and the right model is that essentially what's happening there.

00:24:29;02 - 00:25:48;14
Jeff Grady: Yeah that's right. And there's a motivating factor that people have to avoid cognitive dissonance. Right. So you know we have had leaders who see themselves as good people and as caring human beings and then get really tough messages in a feedback report from their team from their colleagues saying you know you're a jerk and I can think of a leader right now. I think a lot. I get to good one pretty recent where they got feedback and says basically you know you're not treating people well you're acting like a jerk you're dominating airtime. You're not listening to people you're not being inclusive of others ideas. It's all about you know when people get that penetrating message right you're being a jerk or oh my god am I being a jerk. It doesn't sit right with leaders most of the time and they want to do something about it. There's a different feeling you have that if someone tells them you're not a very good listener then if someone tells them hey you're being a jerk but in some cases really that's what's being said and people feedback and the messages they're getting. And you know how they take it or how a coach or boss kind of friends that can really impact whether or not they are the kind of quote unquote get it. Is it penetrating or not.

00:25:48;26 - 00:28:10;02
Jeff Grady: The message better have some emotionality to it. And I don't mean emotionality like yelling screaming and pounding the table but like that the result is some emotions get stirred in the person. I'll give you one quick story on one that sticks out to me when I think about penetrating messages. That was a leader not too long ago who was a great guy just a funny guy never met a stranger. I like the guy I love the guy. He was great to deal with. Great to work with. He had moved up and his organization was a fairly senior level this point that I was dealing with him and he you know had been what most people would consider successful but he was kind of worried about his credibility and legitimacy. Now that was that kind of a more senior level of books being added fungibility bigger team multiple teams et cetera et cetera and his feedback said a lot of other things hey you're a great guy and we love you and you're great to work with. And kind of you know you don't like a traditional boss you know you're more casual. You joke around you tension when there's tension by telling jokes or kind of like being self-deprecating kind of all things that were good. On the one hand however he was still kind of overdoing it with the humor and the funny stuff. And one of the things that he and I talked about his feedback I said to him you know it's all well and good to be funny and humorous and kind of not be overly serious and he kind of interrupting and he said to me he got it before he even said it. He said yeah but I don't want to be the class clown. And right then. He had his own penetrating message which is there's a lot of upside to being kind of a nice funny humorous guy but it a senior level if you kind of overdo it it has a consequence there's a downside. You don't take you seriously. And for him that was the penetrating message that really stuck with him and he keeps that in mind quite unforgettable for him. Right. I don't want to clash Mansel I'm going to button up a little bit when it's appropriate that Maugham's executive presence. I'm not going to joke around as much as I have been you know especially with senior audiences and therefore I'll be a better leader and more credible yeah I'm a little upset right now because Jeff you and I promise we we're going to share that personal coaching message you gave to me.

00:28:10;02 - 00:28:40;14
Rick A. Morris: So I appreciate you sharing that with the audience. No no but that's that's absolutely true. And I do appreciate the story and I think those stories are what connects that message. It's it's you know it's great feedback. But once you connected that to and he connected that right to that personal feeling the moment he felt that that joke coming on in that meeting is when that that connection would happen the way he would stave that off.

00:28:41;14 - 00:29:43;11
Sasha Lindekens: Yup. And it's unfortunate one of the things that I would say surprised this but was this illuminated a little bit in the research that we did with our most readers is one or more of us that kind of thought well penetrating messages come from the coach to say you know that's what we do and you know we think delivering penetrating messages is a good kind of technique or tool. What we what we discovered is sometimes it comes from a coach like after the 360 sometimes it comes from the boss or a colleague or a direct report. And sometimes and this was kind of the small surprise a fair number of times. It comes kind of from within the person. Like it doesn't have to come from the outside it can come from within although kind of helping the person get they are still can be pretty useful. So it can be positive or negative or can come from multiple sources. As long as it kind of hits home on a nerve and drives the motion we would consider it a useful kind of penetrating message a good wake up call.

00:29:43;12 - 00:29:59;21
Rick A. Morris: I had an interesting example. And if we can take one if we can I think if we can do that interesting example when we come back we're against the hard break here we're going to go ahead and let the sponsors pay us here for a second we'll be right back here in the Work/Life Balance with Rick Morris.

00:33:03;08 - 00:33:11;20
Rick A. Morris: And we're back to the Work/Life Balance we're discussing how leaders improve and this is a book by Sasha Lindekens.

00:33:11;20 - 00:33:29;23
Rick A. Morris: Jeff Grady, John Gates they are with Avion Consulting and you can reach them a And right before we went to break Sasha was about to share a story on penetrating messages as well so Sasha please continue that.

00:33:29;23 - 00:33:48;18
Sasha Lindekens: Okay great. So I was working with a leader a year or two ago and really talented individual seen as a high potential but tended to consume a lot of the the airtime in meetings.

00:33:48;20 - 00:34:00;11
Sasha Lindekens: You know probably spoke over 50 percent of the time and the feedback was seemed to be pretty ego driven like you just wanted to hear himself speak and wasn't adding substantive value etc..

00:34:00;11 - 00:35:05;10
Sasha Lindekens: So we're going through that feedback and it came back. It came back to me he said to me I think it was the next day. Wow this was really shocking to me and bothersome not necessarily due to the the business impact of it but I'm trying to be a good Christian and this is not the behavior of a good Christian. So as Jeff was talking about sometimes the the penetrating message is from what you know it's the words of the coach or the feedback provider is using and sometimes it's how the person internalize it and it's based on their their their value system and that sort of thing. So that was an interesting example of a penetrating message and I think it also served as a bit of a guiding metaphor for the individual which is one of our other or other findings. So John do you want to jump in and talk about.

00:35:05;12 - 00:35:12;26
Rick A. Morris: Yeah. Yeah. You had talked about guiding metaphors before when we talked back in September so why are those so powerful.

00:35:14;12 - 00:38:36;03
John Gates: Yeah I think they're powerful because they they do a couple of things to help leaders who are trying to improve just focus and recall what they're working on. I come back to not only sort the example just now but just example from a few minutes ago and he referred to the guy and came up with the term class clown. He's not literally a clown but that two word description will probably stick with him and help him to stay focused on what it is he's trying to improve at. Another example something I experienced very recently is kind of in the same vein just a few days ago I got a very nice thank you card from a leader that was in one of our leader development programs last year and very seasoned guy pretty senior leader. But he been passed over for promotion for a couple of years now and in this thank you card he informed me that actually he just got promoted to the executive vice president level. And very kindly said hey I think the program I went through with you and your colleagues was very hopeful toward that end it helped him to you know improve in some areas that he was focusing on and I think that translated into a promotion. And I think I can probably guess what part of the program he found most impactful. So this guy played sports at a very high level and in one of our coaching conversations something dawned on me I thought about a particular team that I knew that he'd be familiar with given his background and in fact two particular players on that team and so I offered up I said you know it strikes me that maybe you see yourself a little bit more like I'll just call it player a win maybe to accomplish what you're trying to accomplish. You really need to see yourself more like Player B. And that really seems to resonate with him. Soon after that he shot me an email saying I cannot play here. I am player B. And it had something to do with really what it means to be a leader as opposed to just a great team player and so to use that as an example I think this idea that I am player be you know insert player name but I am player B. It helped him to stay focused on what he was working on. He and I referred back to that sort of analogy a number of times in our coaching conversation. So it sort of helped with recall. It sort of guided his behaviors so it would be one thing to say hey here the three or four behaviors that maybe you need to think about changing to be the kind of leader that you want to be. And we did some of that and I think the metaphor the analogy that hey this is the kind of player I want to be like I think really helped the guy as he did more than some list of action steps. But getting back to something just said earlier I think maybe the most powerful thing that this comparison or this metaphor did for this leader was that it really sort of struck him on a visceral level. It was really clear that he no longer wanted to be perceived as a player a good team player. But the guy who's really not you know a leader and he really wanted to be seen more as player be the guy who was the team captain and the obvious leader on the team. And so I think because really it was something he related to on such a visceral level. I think it caused him to really take a small team effort seriously.

00:38:36;04 - 00:38:54;29
John Gates: So I think those are a few reasons why the guiding metaphor is is something that we heard in our research as as really a powerful tool to help readers to get better and then some of the things that John mentioned they are that tends to happen when you don't have a guiding metaphor.

00:38:54;29 - 00:40:07;22
John Gates: So we know cutting metaphors helps people focus and remember and kind of guide themselves one way. If you don't have a guiding metaphor what we've noticed in our other work in our leaders that don't improve as much or kind of coaching engagements where it's been less sticky and they've kind of fallen off the wagon more often or kind of backslid is that people sometimes can't really tell you what the specific things that they should be working on are like six months or a year later. Fast forward six or nine months and it's like hey what are you working on. And they can't. Or we you. What are you trying to change specifically in your behaviors as a leader and like they can remember kind of one of the behaviors but not the other story that they originally had committed to. And it's much easier more memorable to kind of remember the metaphor and therefore then remember the children being kind of go with the metaphor so it both kind of unifies things in some ways in people's mind kind of a vision of it and it kind of tends to stick better out kind of individual behavioral action items. You know don't always end up being sticky. All right. People forget them over time.

00:40:08;23 - 00:41:23;29
Rick A. Morris: Yeah it certainly brings it to life for me. You know I come up with one an auditory thinker. So what's great about having a radio show like this is I work a lot of my junk out right here on the show. It had done a show several several months ago and during that had come up with the analogy for myself. Sysiphus and you know so I have a great team around me. But but being a small business owner and doing that stuff. It's it's the analogy for me with having massive ADD and having to focus on so many different aspects of my business at all times was pushing the rock up the mountain and hoping that the mountain was bigger every day so that you know I would have work. But if you take that breath and get distracted that the mountain the rocks are going to slide down. And I just have to keep pushing and trying to keep pushing. And so I had come up with that analogy but that has stuck with me and I'll even kind of smack myself on the rest when I'm you know have lost five minutes or ten minutes down some YouTube spiral or something going. All right Sysiphus let's rock. Right. But it works. Ever since I did that show and ever since I made that analogy that that has become the standing joke for me but it absolutely 100 percent works. I'm a living testament of that.

00:41:24;03 - 00:42:07;05
John Gates: Ever since that occurred we've so so many examples Rick very much like that as we were doing our research. You know things like I need to be careful not to give people answers to the test or I need to be careful not to pile on or I need to be careful not to get too far into the weeds. It just seems like there's something about creating a mental shortcut I want to you know stop trying to roll this rock or this rock up this hill. There's something about that that just really causes people to you know focus and take more seriously than maybe they have in the past some here that they know they need to work on.

00:42:07;05 - 00:42:22;13
Rick A. Morris: I couldn't agree more. And so Sasha you know we talked also really quickly and we're about three minutes away from a break here but we do want to talk to as well. Why do you think critical conversations were one of the findings of your study.

00:42:25;02 - 00:43:01;28
Sasha Lindekens: Right. So so what we've found is our most improved leaders cited a series of conversations that they had gotten involved in after receiving 360 feedback or after being part of a development program and they thought that was very instrumental in enhancing their effectiveness. I think there's probably three reasons why these conversations are so important. Number one leadership is it's an interactive sort of event it involves influencing others and communication is how that happens.

00:43:01;29 - 00:43:11;02
Sasha Lindekens: And if you're looking to become more effective it's around engaging in new sorts of discussions or changing existing conversation patterns.

00:43:11;02 - 00:43:46;20
Sasha Lindekens: So I think the first reason why these critical conversations were important is because leadership is about human interaction. A second reason I think these are important is around these critical conversations that people were engaging in often lead to perception change so people perceive you in a certain way and then you're going back and saying Hey thanks for the feedback I just saw a leader do this yesterday. Thanks so much for the feedback. Here's what I'm working on with really value your feedback and input going forward.

00:43:46;20 - 00:43:53;23
Sasha Lindekens: And oh by the way do you think I'm working on the right sorts of things. Well that part's people's ears up when they hear something like that.

00:43:53;28 - 00:44:55;17
Sasha Lindekens: Maybe leader x actually is going to change that takes some guts to do that to admit foibles in front of others. Let me pay attention and see if there are specific sorts of changes. I think the second reason these critical conversations are so important is because they facilitate perception change. And the third reason is a lot of times these sorts of feedback people were receiving were related to conversations so this individual isn't engaging in team development or this individual isn't providing enough direction or setting a vision and then to act on that feedback he would need to have some of these critical conversations. Three reasons I think why critical conversations stood out as an important message are most proofreaders and again.

00:44:55;17 - 00:45:33;17
Rick A. Morris: So all of this that we talked about so ripe as we talked about penetrating message is guiding metaphors critical conversations. All this can be found in how leaders improve a playbook for leaders who want to get better now. These are the authors right here Jeff Grady John Gates Sasha Lindekens who we've been talking about all segmental we've got one more segment for them but while we're on break you can go and get your own copy on or you can research them at  We're going to take our final break right here of the show we'll be right back after two minutes you're listening into the Work/Life Balance right.

00:48:35;17 - 00:48:38;23
Rick A. Morris: And we are back to the final segment of the Work/Life Balance.

00:48:38;25 - 00:49:06;15
Rick A. Morris: Quick but a trivia as most of you know the music the lead in music can lead our music to the Work/Life Balance was created by a group called the Party originally formed by five members of the Mickey Mouse Club from the show in the 90s. It's a group that I am a business manager and manager too and the one of the only members that was on all seven seasons of the Mickey Mouse Club was Jason Hampton who's appeared on the show with us a couple of times in today's Chasen's birthday.

00:49:06;15 - 00:49:21;19
Rick A. Morris: So the redhead ace on the dance floor. We wanted to say happy birthday to you brother. We wanted to do a very popular segment on this radio show which is ask our guests what is some of the best advice they've ever received and we'll start with Sasha.

00:49:21;19 - 00:49:47;02
Sasha Lindekens: Great question. I would have to say that some of the best advice I've ever received is don't be a victim being a victim. If you're choosing to be a victim and instead choose to take personal accountability and ownership that's served me well. Many many times in my life.

00:49:47;14 - 00:50:09;05
Rick A. Morris: It's amazing said that there's an incredible app called peptalk that I use in the mornings to kind of get my engine running and Les Brown says don't be a. Says be a victor don't be a victim. I love it. I love it. Yeah the victim goes it. Go for it have it. All right Jeff you're up.

00:50:10;21 - 00:51:52;04
Jeff Grady: Yeah I think that some of the best advice for a long list from a lot of smart people wise people give me good advice over the years but one that stands out for me is kind of a way to the idea of like getting better as a guy who's always trying to get better myself and help others get better try and you know take my own medicine. How can I be better as a coach as a leader or as you know as a father as a husband as a whatever you know always trying to improve them. I've gotten great advice about focus on the stuff that really matters. I have a bad habit of trying to focus on everything and prove everything that I touch and see and come across. And it's been really useful advice I've gotten at a number of times from colleagues and in my personal life that I've gotten that feedback from from my partners and friends here. Sasha and John to reinforce that message of not everything is equally important what you're trying to help a leader get better or whether you're personally trying to improve and is stuck with me and I can continuously trying to kind of get better at getting better at the right things and putting my energy into the big bucket and not trying to kind of solve for everything so that's one of the best advice that I continue to try and take advantage of you

00:51:52;19 - 00:51:59;05
Rick A. Morris: I love it I actually was reviewing it today the love priorities from John Maxwell and yeah it and talks about the three Rs what is required. What gives the greatest return. And you know what brings me the greatest reward in prioritizing.

00:51:59;05 - 00:52:06;23
Rick A. Morris: You know based on those three it's of things. Yeah it gets things in perspective. John what about you sir.

00:52:08;08 - 00:53:10;16
John Gates: Well of course you've posed this question to me on air one other time. I recall my answer from last time it was actually from my father and it was you know a pretty profound piece of advice related to the importance of judgment in the area of leadership and I want to give a different answer this time and actually get a shout out to our fourth partner Steve Williams who's a great leadership development professional and actually even though he's not one of the coauthors of this book he was heavily involved in the writing of the book. So I shouted to Steve and he gave me some advice. Not too long ago which was essentially in a range of contexts. Just be careful the sort of moderate pace not feel like I got you know get through all of my talking points in a given given context and interestingly something happened in the last few months that I think really happened to me in that area and has caused me to really focus on that more. And so it was good advice and I feel like it's made me a better professional outstanding.

00:53:10;24 - 00:53:13;26
Rick A. Morris: So John any closing comments for the group?

00:53:14;08 - 00:54:17;21
John Gates: You know my only closing comment is this at the outset of the program today Rick you made reference to the book Think and Grow Rich and I recall that book from when I was a young adult. And I guess what struck me when you use that example is that as you pointed out you know it's a good book full of lots of good advice for how to get rich but of course not everybody who's read the book is actually rich. And I think that that gets at our whole approach to this study. We didn't want this just to be a book where we say you know as leadership professional leadership development professionals Here's our advice on how to get better. We wanted to do a comparison of you know to go back to the thinking rich analogy. Who were the people who actually did get rich. And when we compare them to the people who didn't. What's the difference. And so you know really we tried to tackle the question when you compare leaders who actually have gotten better over time to those who have tried but haven't. What are the trends that we see and we hope in the last hour that we've been able to share a few examples of the insights that came out of that research.

00:54:17;23 - 00:54:38;11
Rick A. Morris: I think he did. And again the book is called How leaders improve a playbook for leaders who want to get better. Now you can find that on Please go get a copy and support the authors that support the show. And again Sasha Jeff John I had a fantastic time the hour flew by. I really enjoyed it. We'll hope that you guys are return to the show soon.

00:54:41;28 - 00:55:30;05
Rick A. Morris: Coming up next week we're going to be interviewing Paul Cummings. He's written a book called it all matters. A hundred and twenty five strategies to achieve maximum confidence clarity certainty and creativity 125 strategies. That's a lot. So we've only got an hour we'll see how many of those we can get through. As always we love you guys for joining the show. We enjoy our listeners again. We we've got numbers at the end of the year there 91 countries are listening to the Work/Life Balance so if you're in one of those 91 countries we love each and every one of you as we continue to grow this show. Lots and lots and lots of exciting things are coming. So stick with us right here on the Voice of America business network. We enjoy. We love you and we hope you'll tune in next week right here on the Work/Life Balance. You've been listening to Rick Morris.

No comments: