Seeing Your Blind Spots with Marisa Murray
Professional Development

Seeing Your Blind Spots with Marisa Murray

Share:

Blind spots—easy to see in others, but how do we recognize our own? Marisa Murray joins Kevin to explore strategies for uncovering and addressing blind spots. Murray outlines seven types of blind spots and shares examples. These include false assumptions, unhealthy detachment, differing views of success, outdated core beliefs, unconscious habits, triggers from past pain, and mismatched mindsets. She highlights the importance of recognizing how others perceive our actions versus our intentions. Murray suggests we move from feedback to impact statements to address blind spots.

Listen For

00:00 Introduction
02:19 Marisa Murray's Latest Book on Leadership
06:50 The Concept of Blind Spots in Leadership and Life
08:22 Misinterpretation of Intentions and Impact
11:23 Types of Blind Spots: False Assumptions
13:04 Types of Blind Spots: Unhealthy Detachment
14:16 Types of Blind Spots: Different Views of Success
14:55 Types of Blind Spots: Outdated Core Beliefs
16:27 Types of Blind Spots: Unconscious Habits
17:16 Types of Blind Spots: Triggers from Past Pain
24:04 Gathering Feedback and Insights from Others
29:13 Small Changes for Big Impacts 

View Full Transcript

00:00:08:04 - 00:00:36:12
Kevin Eikenberry
Blind spots. They're easy to see and others. But how do we see our own? And that's what we're talking about today. You'll get some clues, some insights and some steps that you can take now if you're willing to look. Welcome to another episode of the Remarkable Leadership podcast, where we are helping leaders grow personally and professionally to lead more effectively and make a bigger positive difference for their teams, organizations and the world.

00:00:36:17 - 00:00:55:02
Kevin Eikenberry
If you're listening to this podcast, I'm glad you're here. You could have been with us live. Well, for future episodes, you could be with us live. Hope that you will do that. The way to do that, though, is to join one of our online groups so you know, when they're coming in where they'll be. So you can join us on Facebook or LinkedIn.

00:00:55:04 - 00:01:24:16
Kevin Eikenberry
Go to remarkable podcast dot com slash Facebook or remarkable podcast dot com slash LinkedIn to join the groups there where we announce when the livestreams will be happening so you can join us in the future and get this information valuable information sooner. Today's episode is brought to you by a remarkable masterclasses pick from 13 important life and leadership skills to help you become more effective, productive and confident while overcoming some of a leader's toughest challenges.

00:01:24:22 - 00:01:52:19
Kevin Eikenberry
Learn more and sign up at Remarkable Masterclass dot com. And with that, I'm going to bring in my guest. Marisa Murray has joined us. And if you're with us live, you can now see her. Let me tell you a little bit about Marisa and we'll get started. Marisa Murray is a leadership development expert and the CEO of literally International Organization dedicated to helping executives become better leaders in today's rapidly changing, highly complex world.

00:01:53:01 - 00:02:19:01
Kevin Eikenberry
She leaves, leveraging her over two decades of executive experience as a former partner with Accenture and as a VP at Bell Canada in providing executive coaching leadership development services for organizations including Molson Coors, Pratt and Whitney and Queen's University. She's the coauthor of the USA Today bestseller The Younger Self Letters How Successful Leaders and Entrepreneurs Turned Trials into Triumph and How to Use Them To Your Advantage.

00:02:19:05 - 00:02:34:00
Kevin Eikenberry
She's also the author of three other books herself, including her latest Blind Spots How Great Leaders Uncover Problems and Unleash Performance. And that's what we're going to largely talk about today. Marisa, welcome. Glad you're here.

00:02:34:01 - 00:02:36:09
Marisa Murray
Thank you so much, Kevin. It's such a pleasure to be here.

00:02:36:14 - 00:02:56:14
Kevin Eikenberry
It is my pleasure. And so we got the chance to chat for the last 10 minutes or so. I got to know you a little bit from reading your book, but others don't really know much about you except what they see right this minute. So I think even though I've given a bit of your bio, I'm curious, I like to ask people this.

00:02:56:16 - 00:03:10:04
Kevin Eikenberry
Tell us about your journey. Like when you were ten or eight, you didn't think you'd be doing what you're doing now. Just kind of give us a little bit about that, the way you end up where you are now.

00:03:10:05 - 00:03:17:05
Marisa Murray
Yeah, absolutely. I just had to think of what I wanted to be when I was ten, and I'm pretty sure it was a veterinarian because I.

00:03:17:05 - 00:03:20:18
Kevin Eikenberry
Love every doctor. Astronaut. Fireman.

00:03:21:00 - 00:03:42:00
Marisa Murray
Yeah, absolutely. And so, you know, maybe there was insight in that in terms of my desire to help others. My desire to help at that time would have been my cat and my dog and any other bird I tried to rescue. And and, you know, actually, I have really a train wreck of experiences of tried to rescue animals.

00:03:42:00 - 00:04:16:02
Marisa Murray
So. So perhaps that was foreshadowing of that of that journey. But yeah, no. So I mean I, I fell in love with the sciences during high school. I was very analytical. I loved math, I loved chemistry and physics. I think I really loved these things because they always were there were right answers and wrong answers. Mastery was straightforward and and that led me to do my engineering degree and to take on roles as an engineer before I did my MBA.

00:04:16:02 - 00:04:39:17
Marisa Murray
And then as I joined Accenture, Andersen Consulting, when I joined it, but I joined Accenture, I worked with a large number of manufacturers, utilities, industrial kind of organizations, and I ended up spending a lot of time supporting clients in aerospace and defense. So very technical. And I like to sort of just live in that world of black and white.

00:04:39:17 - 00:05:20:01
Marisa Murray
And then over time, as you as you grow in these careers, you realize that like as much as the right answer or wrong answer theoretically matters. It's all about people, right? Your your journey in terms of being able to drive outcomes is all about people. Followership, leadership, engagement, influence. And so I kind of found myself pivoting around what, what, what I spend my time thinking about and it was kind of interesting because when I look back, it's it's like I really didn't want to become I didn't really want to specialize in this.

00:05:20:01 - 00:05:41:21
Marisa Murray
I want to specialize in things that there's more clarity around. There's the part of me that doesn't like the art associated with the leadership, but the more I advanced, I wanted to figure it out because I knew how important it was, and I also knew how much I struggled with it myself. And I think a lot of leaders struggle with it.

00:05:41:21 - 00:06:07:01
Marisa Murray
I mean, I just think that it's it's not straightforward. So long story short, I had had some executive coaches during my tenure, and I was up for partner when I made partner, different of thing. And I always thought they had really cool jobs, but I didn't really understand the mechanisms that they were bringing to me. And I sometimes misunderstood them in terms of what I or questioned them.

00:06:07:03 - 00:06:23:18
Marisa Murray
So that that made me curious enough to want to do my executive coaching certification. And when I did that, this world opened up to me. I just like, this is what they were trying to bring to me. And I was like, But I was in my own way. I was so in my own way at so many different points.

00:06:23:18 - 00:06:49:23
Marisa Murray
And so then I just sort of started to want to just bring this to my time, to my people, to my kind of people, my, my technical, skeptical audiences. And so that's where I started. So nine years ago, I found it literally and ever since then I've just been trying to learn and master and articulate and teach and accompany people on their journey to their best leader.

00:06:50:01 - 00:07:09:08
Kevin Eikenberry
Perfect. And so part of that journey led you to recognize in working with other leaders that all of us not just as leaders, but as human beings, have blind spots. We've got blind spots. And so all of us sort of know that phrase. But since you wrote the book with that title, tell us what you mean by that.

00:07:09:08 - 00:07:11:11
Kevin Eikenberry
Define blind spots for us.

00:07:11:13 - 00:07:22:12
Marisa Murray
Yeah, absolutely. So I define blind spots very specifically as the gap between our intention and our impact. The gap And what does that mean?

00:07:22:14 - 00:07:26:03
Kevin Eikenberry
If you look at me, I've already got it up there.

00:07:26:05 - 00:07:50:13
Marisa Murray
Yes, that's what that means, is typically we are all very focused on our intention. So we have an intention to drive an outcome. We have an intention to develop our people. We have an intention and we are blinded by that intention. That is, all our brain is focused on is our intention. And then we take action in the world and we take these actions in the world, some perfect, some imperfectly.

00:07:50:15 - 00:08:01:12
Marisa Murray
And that has an impact in the world. And oftentimes there's a gap between the impact that we had and our original intention. And that's what.

00:08:01:12 - 00:08:03:15
Kevin Eikenberry
I meant.

00:08:03:17 - 00:08:04:06
Marisa Murray
Was.

00:08:04:08 - 00:08:05:16
Kevin Eikenberry
Here's what I meant.

00:08:05:18 - 00:08:22:09
Marisa Murray
Exactly that you hear people all the time say, I did not say that. And like literally you play back the video. I mean, the good news is a lot of the meetings were recorded during the pandemic. So you could literally go back and you're like, okay, I said that, but I didn't mean it, you know, like, it's fine.

00:08:22:11 - 00:08:31:02
Kevin Eikenberry
There's a good I mean, you're in Canada, so there's a commercial. There's some curses in the U.S. right now where they're doing that, like you want to play the replay and then they go back. I didn't say that. Well, yeah, exactly.

00:08:31:02 - 00:08:51:13
Marisa Murray
Exactly. And it's not that people are lying. It's because their brain just understands that they had an intention and then they hear what gets played back to them and they they hear the impact and they say, Well, that can't be what I said, because that was not my intention. Right. And so this so all and it's like, well, it is what you said and it had this impact on me, which is.

00:08:51:15 - 00:09:09:08
Marisa Murray
Right. Which is causing me to not be able to collaborate with you in the way that is optimal for our collective performance. Right. So there's just there's a myriad of these different things. And so when I say, is that the intention that the blind spots live in that gap between intention and impact and all?

00:09:09:09 - 00:09:35:02
Kevin Eikenberry
Yes. Everybody she's trying to do with her hands, she has she's an engineer. She has a graph with her hands only with graph with her genes. Three lines. She's only got two hands. But the gap is is this this, this between what we intend and how people and how it shows up in the world is the blind spot and we can't see it is what your is your point.

00:09:35:08 - 00:09:43:16
Marisa Murray
Absolutely. It's really interesting if you think about we are blind to our impact and others are blind to our intention.

00:09:43:18 - 00:09:52:06
Kevin Eikenberry
So it's wrong, by the way, we judge ourselves based on our intentions. we're judges based on what they actually saw due to two different things. And.

00:09:52:06 - 00:10:21:19
Marisa Murray
Exactly. Exactly. And so that's why this idea of demystifying like this idea of being like, I have blind spots radio on blind, like, that's impossible. We all have blind spots. And not only that, it helps the other way around, too. When we start to understand that the other person that we are blind to their intention, then we can see that we are interpreting the impact that they're having on us in a pretty crude way, rather than considering potentially, you know, what was intended.

00:10:21:21 - 00:10:48:04
Kevin Eikenberry
We are literally everybody, the blind leading, leading the blind, that that is true. So but you know, the other way to look at this idea of, you know, the fact that we all have blind spots as humans is that all of the research on self-awareness is says that most people think they're very highly self-aware and they're we're not good at I mean, it's another way of saying exactly what you're saying, Like there's all this stuff that's going on around us that we're not aware of, we're blind to.

00:10:48:04 - 00:11:23:12
Kevin Eikenberry
So in the book, you basically outlined seven types of blind spots and we don't have time to talk about them all in depth, obviously. But for everyone we are. If you just joined us, we are talking with Marisa Murray, the author of this book, Blind Spots How Great Leaders Uncover Problems and Unleashed Performance. And so, Marisa, what I thought we'd do is just have you sort of walk through the seven and then I think we'll talk about just a couple, but just give us each of and for those watching, I'll put them on the screen, but just tell us about each of the seven in just like one or two sentences.

00:11:23:14 - 00:11:27:00
Kevin Eikenberry
What what what do you mean by this type of blind spot?

00:11:27:02 - 00:11:53:17
Marisa Murray
Absolutely. Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. So the first one is false assumptions and false assumptions. We typically we all know that we run assumptions in our mind, and false assumptions are the category of blind spots where we're acting as if something is true and we have not validated that assumption and that category that probably could encompass, you know, all the other seven, all the other six.

00:11:53:19 - 00:11:55:05
Kevin Eikenberry
It's sort of the overarching.

00:11:55:07 - 00:12:21:21
Marisa Murray
It's the overarching one. But I think that the idea of really thinking about what assumptions am I running with on a regular basis and asking people and validating like that's why it's nice to it's a nice one to sort of start with. You just think about what assumptions might be running in an exhibit. An example might be. And it's usually I mean, the one thing that I want to say about all of them is they're typically the shadow side of our strength.

00:12:21:23 - 00:12:46:03
Marisa Murray
So one of the examples for false assumptions is David, the difference maker. So David is a difference maker. He's that he's an amazing, amazing salesperson that closes deals and makes the difference and all that kind of thing. But his assumption is that he always has to do it like no one else can do it. And it's, you know, in part it's been said by this unbelievable standout strength.

00:12:46:05 - 00:13:01:07
Marisa Murray
The challenge is that it makes it impossible for him to scale it possible for him to do the work he needs to do, impossible for him to develop this team. So he's running a false assumption. The false assumption is I got to do this because I'm the only one. I'm the difference maker. I'm the only one that can make a difference as opposed to building difference maker.

00:13:01:07 - 00:13:03:13
Marisa Murray
So there's an example of false assumptions.

00:13:03:15 - 00:13:04:19
Kevin Eikenberry
Number two.

00:13:04:21 - 00:13:34:09
Marisa Murray
Number two is unhealthy detachment. And you could also kind of think about healthy, you know, unhealthy attachment and unhealthy detachment. This is just this idea of sometimes we're really attached to something or we're really detached from something that's not important. That's that's not so unhealthy detachment just to stick to that. This example, because I saw that it was the most common is say something's very important to your team.

00:13:34:12 - 00:14:01:05
Marisa Murray
There's just something sacred. There's something sacred in the culture, there's something there's something very, very motivating to your team. And you don't think it really makes sense, Like you don't really care about it, you don't listen to it, you don't spend time. So you have an unhealthy detachment to something that's very, very important and so unhealthy detachment when we just decide to sort of stay detached from something that's actually quite critical to our environment.

00:14:01:07 - 00:14:10:12
Kevin Eikenberry
Or what are the things I think I want to think about this one is I think about how especially as a front line leader, we feel like we can't be friends with people anymore. So like we detach too. And I.

00:14:10:12 - 00:14:11:11
Marisa Murray
Think another great.

00:14:11:11 - 00:14:13:16
Kevin Eikenberry
Example, another example I think of that particular.

00:14:13:16 - 00:14:14:13
Marisa Murray
One other example.

00:14:14:13 - 00:14:16:06
Kevin Eikenberry
That's the third one.

00:14:16:08 - 00:14:35:01
Marisa Murray
Different views of success. So this happens because we all kind of have our our view of what success looks like in a role or a success looks like in a in a project. And sometimes we don't sit down and sort of figure out what other people think successes. And we just we start running these parallel tracks of where we're headed.

00:14:35:01 - 00:14:53:09
Marisa Murray
So it's really important that we sync up right? We all have our reticular activating system, our part of our brain that's telling every day, figuring out where we're headed. And if it's all different now, it ends up creating a lot of blind spots.

00:14:53:11 - 00:14:55:06
Kevin Eikenberry
Number four.

00:14:55:08 - 00:15:23:16
Marisa Murray
Outdated core beliefs. Yeah. So this is, you know, I think we have to think about our brain as software. It's software that's been programed with experiences and beliefs and thoughts over our lives. And some of those things get outdated. Some of the software needs sort of upgrading and debugging. So an outdated core belief, you know, it could be, well, I'll talk about Xavier, the extra miler.

00:15:23:16 - 00:15:47:22
Marisa Murray
So Xavier, the extra miler had incredible work ethic, incredible work ethic, but literally an end sort of from his his youth. You just sort of this whole his whole life was about like delivering the extra mile, even if it kills him. And that's a core that was a core belief. Like, I can work hard, I can work on religiously, I don't need to sleep, I don't need to eat, I don't need to any of these things.

00:15:47:22 - 00:16:10:10
Marisa Murray
And it was starting to it was starting to seriously sneak up on him to the point where his organization was very, very worried about his health. Stanley was worried about his health. So he needed he needed a new belief. He needed a new belief, which was I can be extremely effective, I can deliver outstanding results. But I have to do it in new ways.

00:16:10:12 - 00:16:26:23
Kevin Eikenberry
Yeah, yeah. The next one and I think this next one I think is probably the one that people probably will immediately say, okay, I get this one. Yeah, almost without you saying anything. But I do want you to say a little bit more about unconscious habits.

00:16:27:00 - 00:16:53:09
Marisa Murray
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, these are the more classical types of blind spots where we just do something that we're not conscious of. It's just in our behaviors, in our know. Sometimes it can be something like using the word AI, using the word AI all the time. It's an unconscious habit. People will it will annoy people because they do feel like they're being excluded and you're taking all the credit and all this kind of stuff.

00:16:53:14 - 00:17:16:03
Marisa Murray
But I've met a lot of people who that's not their intention. They're just have a they just have a vocabulary habit. They can be very team oriented and very proud of their team, but they have a vocabulary habit that really creates a negative impact on other people. So that's an example where there's an unconscious habit that they need to form a new habit around because it's causing problems for them.

00:17:16:05 - 00:17:44:08
Marisa Murray
Number six triggers from past pain. So this is just, you know, we have a we have an alarm system in our mind that doesn't want bad things to happen again. So it's always and we have a very, very strong pattern recognition engine. So what happens is we're in a situation, we're in a meeting, we're in a project, we're in a sales pursuit, and something feel to the brain goes, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding.

00:17:44:10 - 00:18:05:13
Marisa Murray
Yeah, this is happening again. History is repeating itself. And it's and so it believes that the past pain is recreating itself. And that creates a whole bunch of behaviors. And so it takes in leadership. I think it takes a lot of discipline to realize, to understand your past pain and understand that you're going to remember your past pain like you can't forget it.

00:18:05:13 - 00:18:32:09
Marisa Murray
Your brain is wired to remember it, but you have to realize when that is what's driving your thinking habit, that that's that's what's happening. And because what that does is it just it just clouds your thinking. You just can't see what's actually going on in the present moment. You're you're clouded by that. So triggers from past pain is, is just your behavior is is being it's kind of you're on autopilot because of some past experience.

00:18:32:11 - 00:18:51:03
Kevin Eikenberry
And if we become aware of that, like it's like it's the idea of if you know that someone pushes your button or if that button is you can tell when that button is being pushed, then you can get a sight beside it and manage it. But if you never noticed it, then you're you're absolutely being triggered by it.

00:18:51:05 - 00:18:54:05
Kevin Eikenberry
Absolutely. And then you're going down and we all know what that looks like.

00:18:54:07 - 00:19:00:16
Marisa Murray
Absolutely. And very confusing to your teens because you sound like you have all this information that doesn't even exist.

00:19:00:17 - 00:19:05:00
Kevin Eikenberry
Who is this crazy person? Yeah.

00:19:05:02 - 00:19:05:12
Marisa Murray
Yeah.

00:19:05:14 - 00:19:07:17
Kevin Eikenberry
And the and the last of the seven.

00:19:07:19 - 00:19:31:10
Marisa Murray
Yeah. Mismatch mindset. So this is a little bit of like understanding that your mind it's in leadership really evolve over time. And sometimes what happens is you know I always I define leadership in some ways that break it down between leading self leading others in leading change. And there's different mindsets associated with that. And sometimes what happens is we get sort of stuck in one of them.

00:19:31:10 - 00:19:49:10
Marisa Murray
So we're so we all have to master leading self. And it's not that it becomes unimportant, it's always important, but when we're in a leading self energy, we're not always as attentive to the leading others aspects. What does the team need from us rather than What do I need to do my best work? What does the team need to do my best work?

00:19:49:16 - 00:20:13:01
Marisa Murray
And then even like leading change, you know, maybe it's actually quite maybe we have to we are out of our comfort zone. We're not kind of like maybe it's actually also like the ways we have to show up is going to be different and so mismatched match. That is when a leader is kind of stuck in a leadership mindset and it's it's incongruent with the role that they need to play in that moment or the circumstances that they're trying to deal with.

00:20:13:01 - 00:20:30:21
Marisa Murray
So trying to be very cognizant. And one of the things that I think is very important that makes it a bit more tangible is to think about the underlying values for each of these mindsets. What we all have these beautiful values in terms of leadership, but which ones are most important in different mindsets is a way to kind of attune a little bit to that.

00:20:30:23 - 00:20:56:03
Kevin Eikenberry
So the unfair question and maybe, maybe even not perfectly helpful, but I'm going to ask it anyway. Is there seven of them? And in all of the leaders that you work with, is there one that you think, generally speaking, ends up being the biggest problem in biggest source or perhaps the most damaging source?

00:20:56:05 - 00:21:23:15
Marisa Murray
Yeah. Well, there's only one example in the book that isn't sort of a hero's journey, which is where a leader actually ended up being let go or replaced. And that was in unhealthy detachments. And in that case, it was again, like some I think unhealthy detachments can be kind of a scary one because you're discounting your repeatedly discounting something that's important to other people.

00:21:23:15 - 00:21:46:21
Marisa Murray
So you're not even factoring it in. You know, you're not you're not allowing it's almost like you can almost describe it as you're not allowing very important co-creators to influence you like people that are just critical to your capability to succeed. And and you think you're letting them out like you think you've heard what they said. That's the detachment piece.

00:21:46:21 - 00:22:12:02
Marisa Murray
Like you think you've heard it, but you don't think it matters. And so so if you don't think it matters, you're almost like this rationally, rationally, rationally irrational version of yourself because you're like, I've heard it all or whatever. And so I think that one's a little bit more dangerous, I would say. And, and it's it's again, you're trying to get to kind of get to that healthy.

00:22:12:02 - 00:22:23:23
Marisa Murray
Like there's a reason why unhealthy and healthy doesn't mean you have to like totally 100% buy in but you have to have a healthy enough interest to understand how to factor that in.

00:22:24:01 - 00:22:33:03
Kevin Eikenberry
And I think understand be aware of the interests of others, recognizing that they're not necessarily the same as your own. Yeah, I think there's a critical piece of this as well.

00:22:33:04 - 00:23:09:22
Marisa Murray
Yeah, You talk about self-aware, you've mentioned self-awareness. And I also late a little bit in the book between talking about self-awareness and others awareness. I feel like self-awareness is an insufficient term for leadership. I think I think we mean when we say self-awareness. I think we mean awareness of everything. But I almost have to overemphasize others awareness because I find like when I say, if you turn on your others awareness, what was going on in the room, all of a sudden they will start getting data points from, you know, the mothership of information that they didn't have access to.

00:23:09:22 - 00:23:15:20
Marisa Murray
When they I would say, What what did you feel you're self-aware about? You see, there's there's something powerful about those.

00:23:15:21 - 00:23:37:19
Kevin Eikenberry
Because there's the difference of what's going on here versus what's going on out there for sure. That's for sure. So I promised at the open that we wouldn't just talk about what they are like. This is an ironic conversation. Everybody we're talking about seeing the things that we can't see. And so we have to figure out how we get there and what we're just talking about.

00:23:37:21 - 00:24:03:20
Kevin Eikenberry
You know, is it creating a bit of others awareness? Having an other focus may help us see some things from a different perspective. Putting ourselves into perspective may help us, and yet we still have these blindspots what's it's a one word answer, but like, what's how do we how do we become unblinded? How do we become aware? How do we get that first step so we can start to move past these things?

00:24:04:01 - 00:24:31:21
Marisa Murray
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, the first thing to know is that the information absolutely exists. The challenge is that it is in other people's heads. So you, you know, you can you can sort of re reflect on a meeting and get some theories on what might have been going on with other people. And those theories are worthy hypotheses, but they're not they're not the end game.

00:24:31:23 - 00:24:50:13
Marisa Murray
The data is in other people's heads and that's why feedback is so important. So many leaders say that they don't you know, they don't it's not easy to get feedback. It's not easy to get to it. That's I mean, that's true. But I also think that it's not easy to hear feedback. It's not easy to take in feedback.

00:24:50:15 - 00:25:06:16
Marisa Murray
So, you know, we have we have that same problem of the blind leading the blind. You know, we have you know, we need feedback, but we don't really like it and we don't really want it and we want to reject it. So, I mean, a lot of this is, is is in that notion. I typically try to refer to things as impact statements.

00:25:06:16 - 00:25:11:20
Marisa Murray
I try to get impact statements more than I try to get feedback, the feedback from everybody.

00:25:11:20 - 00:25:13:21
Kevin Eikenberry
What you mean by an impact statement.

00:25:13:21 - 00:25:48:12
Marisa Murray
Yeah. So feedback implies that it's like the right answer like that. Somehow I'm going to tell you. I'm going to tell you back what you maybe should have done. Impact statements is this is just simply like when you said this, I felt this It's it's just very first person. It's your classic like first person. So impact statements the questions can be very similar but you could you know it's it's I find that the hearing of it is easier when you're thinking about an impact statement because it's more it's more depersonalized.

00:25:48:14 - 00:26:11:22
Marisa Murray
It's about you, but it's about them. Right. Because our behavior goes through someone else's brain, which has which of all these are blind spots, too, Right. So so there I mean, what I might say might trigger past pain for them, which will create a different response. But is it important for me to understand, like when when you said that, it reminded me of that deal we lost together five years ago.

00:26:11:22 - 00:26:35:15
Marisa Murray
And I feel like you're still judging me. I feel still judged. Now would be a better way to say it right by that experience. And then I get the opportunity to say, that's so insightful. And yet that wasn't what was on my mind at all, you know? And we get to kind of come closer together. We can sort of say, my intention was not and I wasn't even there, but I totally understand that impact on you.

00:26:35:20 - 00:26:51:09
Marisa Murray
And really when when I narrow the gap. So this is intention and this is impact words and the blind spots create this wedge. We're narrowing the gap through those conversations. We're trying to get the intention and the impact aligned.

00:26:51:11 - 00:27:30:06
Kevin Eikenberry
So what you just described, Marisa, is hard, right? And then we for people in many cases to talk about or to share or even to just put words around, make it more challenging when we're the leader, asking our team member to give feedback to us as the boss. So like, we don't have time to go into this deeply, But do you have any specific thoughts about how to how to encourage people to share their feedback, impact statements, whatever language you want to use, they're like, because there's a barrier, because we're the boss?

00:27:30:11 - 00:27:48:15
Marisa Murray
Absolutely. Absolutely. I think it's just habit and practice. It's really so there's you know, it's it's it gets familiar and it gets possible, but it doesn't the very first time you try and if you try, you try and then you're like, I got nothing, you know, And then you're like, I have to.

00:27:48:15 - 00:28:09:00
Kevin Eikenberry
Keep asking that part of what I want you to hear is like, This is important for us as leaders to get this information, get this perspective and say, Well, I actually didn't get it. You have to you have to keep going after it. You have to ask in different ways. You have to ask in different situations. You have to ask when maybe they won't perceive the pressure as being as high, like you have to keep going after it.

00:28:09:00 - 00:28:11:08
Kevin Eikenberry
If you don't, you probably won't get it.

00:28:11:10 - 00:28:29:01
Marisa Murray
Yeah, and I think you have to be like honestly curious and you have to be really transparent in the fact that you are an imperfect human, always trying to get better. Like I just I love it when we can I can sit with the leadership team and we can all just be like, I am an imperfect human. Like, let's all try and get each make each other better.

00:28:29:01 - 00:28:56:11
Marisa Murray
Like it's, you know, it's a little kindergarten, but it's really, really important, right? Because I think there's so much energy in a room sometimes with people that want to make a difference but are getting entangled in kinds of all kinds of suboptimal behaviors. And so we can just sort of say, okay, like, like so I think part of it is just that humility around being like, you know, we're all imperfect that that drive live to get better at just even it's 1% better or half a point better.

00:28:56:11 - 00:29:13:12
Marisa Murray
Like even if it's just half a point better at being able to receive the feedback without defending yourself, which is trying to understand it and having to see it from that person's perspective and trying to find it really fascinating. Like I try to tell people, like people will be like, Wow, that's really upsetting. I'm like, No, it's fascinating, isn't it?

00:29:13:12 - 00:29:46:14
Marisa Murray
Isn't it fascinating? It's fascinating how that how many ways other people can interpret your behavior and not in a paralyzing way, but in a in a fascinating kind of puzzle kind of way. And I also have to remind people that every in the book, there's 21 client stories of a sort of transformation in every single instant. The thing they had to change was minuscule, tiny, tiny, tiny, the tiniest little tweaks like people at some point I think they'll receive a 360 and they'll be like, you know, I'll just speak for me.

00:29:46:14 - 00:30:03:02
Marisa Murray
I remember one time I received a 360 and I thought I needed a lobotomy to rejig this thing because there was all kinds of stuff that I was like, I don't even know how to be right. So but it's not that it's it's very, very small, intentional moments that make the biggest difference.

00:30:03:04 - 00:30:17:19
Kevin Eikenberry
Little hinges. Everybody swing big doors. So, Marisa, I am going to shift the gears. We're going to start to wrap this up and I've got a couple of other questions for you. Three more to be specific. The first one is what do you do for fun?

00:30:17:21 - 00:30:28:23
Marisa Murray
so much. But mostly I try to spend as much time with my boys who are getting big and don't want to play with me as much as before. So they're 19 and 16.

00:30:29:00 - 00:30:32:23
Kevin Eikenberry
Yeah. Yeah. You're not cool anymore.

00:30:33:01 - 00:30:53:03
Marisa Murray
So I try to do everything I can to play, whether it's that shooting hoops or skiing or chatting or if they wake me up in the middle of the night like, I do not care. I will, I will do I have a little puppy dog for a time with my boys. I, I made these two babies. I've loved every minute of them.

00:30:53:03 - 00:30:59:00
Marisa Murray
And I didn't get the memo that they they don't have their own life.

00:30:59:02 - 00:31:05:18
Kevin Eikenberry
Yeah. You didn't get that memo. There's your blindspot mirrors. So we have identified in this conversation.

00:31:05:20 - 00:31:08:11
Marisa Murray
So, yeah, I have everything that they have something.

00:31:08:12 - 00:31:22:17
Kevin Eikenberry
That we talking about. Okay, So trust me, it'll change again. It's changed. It'll change again, I promise you. So I just read your book clearly. What? Tell us what you're reading these days.

00:31:22:19 - 00:31:44:13
Marisa Murray
Yeah, So I was. I'm reading right now. I'm. I'm digging through senior leadership teams. What it takes to make them great. I like this book a lot because it, it, it's building blocks of teams and frameworks. And I'm reading it again and I'm also reading your book. I told you the long distance team and I reread it. I just reread the five dysfunctions for the team.

00:31:44:13 - 00:32:14:20
Marisa Murray
So you'll notice the theme. I'm reading a lot about teams right now because I do feel that we're rebuilding teams. I believe that 2024 is is going to get a lot of our work is going to be rebuilding teams as if, you know, as if the pandemic hasn't really been okay for a while. We're still figuring out, I think, the composition of that and the new culture and the dynamics of change that continue and perpetually challenge these teams.

00:32:15:02 - 00:32:24:16
Marisa Murray
So I'm going back to some of these fundamental principles. And I love I love the things that you bring in your book to this as well. Kevin So I'm really enjoying that.

00:32:24:18 - 00:32:38:12
Kevin Eikenberry
All right. So we'll have all those in the show notes for you as we do every week as well as, of course, Bruce's book Blind Spots. But where can people reach out to you? Where do you where can they get learn more information? Where do you want to point people? Before we wrap up?

00:32:38:18 - 00:33:00:03
Marisa Murray
Yeah, absolutely. So Leader Lidcombe is my website and so you can reach out to me directly there. And in terms of social media, I am on all platforms, but I hang out the most on LinkedIn. So please connect with me on LinkedIn and let me know what you're thinking about and all things leadership. I I'm fascinated and love to talk about.

00:33:00:05 - 00:33:23:14
Kevin Eikenberry
That's literally Elliot, Elliot l e y dot com everybody eataly dot com. And so now everybody before we go is a question I ask you every single episode. It's the question of application. Now what what are you going to do with what you just got. Maybe what you've gotten is an insight into maybe where you think your blind spots might be.

00:33:23:18 - 00:33:52:12
Kevin Eikenberry
Maybe one of the examples that Marisa shared with you gives you insight into something that you need to go like she helps you see one of yours already, in which case now you can go take action. What action would that be? Or maybe the action you need to take is to work on getting some feedback from your teams, being patient and persistent and curious and humble and asking for feedback from your team on a specific situation or in general to help you become more effective, whatever that might be.

00:33:52:17 - 00:34:11:22
Kevin Eikenberry
Those are just a couple of things that I wrote. Now, maybe you need to remind yourself every day I am an imperfect human. I don't know what the thing is for you, but what I know is if you don't take any action from this time, it will have had limited impact for you. And so it has been our intention that this would become impactful for you.

00:34:11:22 - 00:34:18:07
Kevin Eikenberry
And it will mostly do that if you take action. Marisa, thank you for being here. It's such a pleasure to have you.

00:34:18:08 - 00:34:19:09
Marisa Murray
Thank you very much.

00:34:19:14 - 00:34:37:15
Kevin Eikenberry
And if you enjoyed this, invite someone to come watch or listen to this, but come back next week because next week on the podcast, I'll be here again. I've been here for 400 and some weeks. I stopping now. I will see you next week on the next episode of the Remarkable Leadership Podcast.

Meet Marisa

Marisa's Story: Marisa Murray P. Eng., MBA, PCC is the author of three Amazon Best Selling leadership development books: Work Smart: Your Formula for Unprecedented Professional Success, Iterate! How Turbulent Times Are Changing Leadership and How to Pivot, and her latest, Blind Spots: How Great Leaders Uncover Problems and Unlock Performance. She is also the co-author of the USA Today Bestseller: The Younger Self Letters: How Successful Leaders & Entrepreneurs Turned Trials Into Triumph (And How to Use Them to Your Advantage). Marisa is a leadership development expert and the CEO of Leaderley International, an organization dedicated to helping executives become better leaders in today’s rapidly changing, highly complex world. Marisa leverages her over two decades of executive experience as a former Partner with Accenture and VP at Bell Canada in providing executive coaching, and leadership development services for organizations including Molson-Coors, Pratt & Whitney, and Queen’s University.

Follow The Remarkable Leadership Podcast

This Episode is brought to you by...

The Long-Distance Team. Remote leadership experts, Kevin Eikenberry and Wayne Turmel, help leaders navigate the new world of remote and hybrid teams to design the culture they desire for their teams and organizations in their new book!

Book Recommendations

Like this?

Join Our Community

If you want to view our live podcast episodes, hear about new releases, or chat with others who enjoy this podcast join one of our communities below.

Leave a Review

If you liked this conversation, we’d be thrilled if you’d let others know by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts. Here’s a quick guide for posting a review.

Share:
Read More
The Power of Co-Creation with Chris Deaver and Ian Clawson
Creativity and Innovation, Leading a Team

The Power of Co-Creation with Chris Deaver and Ian Clawson

Share:

What approach leads to greater creativity in leadership teams? Chris Deaver and Ian Clawson argue that co-creation is the solution for turbulent times, leading through empowerment. They share six principles that enable co-creation: Lead with a Question (Wisdom), Turn Pain into Power (Passion), Make Others the Mission (Compassion), Define the Situation (Action), Create Context (Purpose), and Follow True North (Alignment). Chris and Ian also touch on the individual journey towards embracing co-creation and share real-world examples of the principles.

Listen For

00:00 Introduction
03:47 Co-creation in Book Writing
05:08 Concept of 'Brave' in Leadership
06:57 Co-creation in the Workplace
10:34 Implementing Co-creation in Meetings
13:28 Six Principles of Co-creation
18:33 Alignment and Action in Co-creation
22:59 Role of Ego in Leadership and Co-creation
26:11 Creativity in Business and Leadership

View Full Transcript

00:00:08:03 - 00:00:30:21
Kevin Eikenberry
Even if we think we can't or wants to. In a turbulent and changing world, we can't achieve success alone. Most of us would agree with this. And yet all too often we don't collaborate or still try to take the lead and make things happen largely alone. I guess to say our excuse me, our guests today say the solution and the future is co-creation.

00:00:30:21 - 00:00:55:16
Kevin Eikenberry
I'm confident you'll be inspired by our conversation. Welcome to another episode of the Remarkable Leadership podcast, where we are helping leaders grow personally and professionally to lead more effectively and make a bigger difference for their teams, organizations and the world. If you're listening to this podcast in the future, you could join us live because these are all created in a live stream event.

00:00:55:18 - 00:01:17:09
Kevin Eikenberry
And so if you wanted to know about how you could join us in the future, we do it on your favorite social media channel. And so you can get access to all that. Find out when these are taking place and more by joining our Facebook or LinkedIn groups. Just go to the remarkable podcast dot com slash Facebook or remarkable podcast dot com slash LinkedIn to do that.

00:01:17:15 - 00:01:39:01
Kevin Eikenberry
Today's episode was brought to you by our remarkable master classes pick from 13 important life and leadership skills to help you become more effective, productive and confident while overcoming some of the leader's toughest challenges. You can learn more and sign up at Remarkable Masterclass dot com. Now I'm going to bring in our guests and yes, its guests today.

00:01:39:01 - 00:02:00:23
Kevin Eikenberry
For those of you listening and then I'm going to after I have them join us, here they are. I'm going to introduce them and we're going to dive in. Our guest today are Chris Dever and Ian Clawson. Chris is the co-founder of Brave Core and co-host of the Lead with a Question podcast. He has coached C-level executives and influenced Fortune 500 from the inside out.

00:02:01:01 - 00:02:26:06
Kevin Eikenberry
He's worked at both Apple and Disney, working with inspiring teams that shaped I products and Star Wars experiences. He's a regular contributor to Fast Company, has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and entrepreneur. He earned his MBA and continues to be a guest lecturer at the Marriott School at BYU in. Clawson is the co-founder of Brave Core with Chris and the co founder of that same podcast Lead with a question.

00:02:26:08 - 00:02:52:21
Kevin Eikenberry
He is a regular contributor, Fast Company as well, whose work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal. Forbes Inc, USA Today and more. He is also the co-founder of Story Circle, a development studio focused on co-creation, worldbuilding and original storytelling, acting as a lead writer and story architect. He earned his degree at BYU, Hawaii and International Cultural Studies, and where he developed a high interest in world philosophy and communication theory.

00:02:52:22 - 00:03:08:18
Kevin Eikenberry
Together, they have authored and co-created the book Brave Together, lead by Design, Spark Creativity and Shape the Future with the power of Co-creation. And after all of that. Welcome, guys. Glad to have you.

00:03:08:20 - 00:03:09:12
Ian Clawson
Thank you for having us.

00:03:09:13 - 00:03:30:05
Kevin Eikenberry
Kevin It is my pleasure. So let's start with this. We have this in common, among other things. Actually, we have a lot in common. A number of the folks in the in the that talked about your book in the blurbs have been on this show or. I know. So we have a lot in common. But one thing we have in common is we're writers of books.

00:03:30:05 - 00:03:47:04
Kevin Eikenberry
And so there's always a journey to a book. And so maybe as a way to sort of finalize a little bit more about yourselves, but also to talk a little bit about the book. What's the journey toward this book? One of you want to take a shot at that?

00:03:47:06 - 00:04:10:14
Ian Clawson
Cheryl Yeah, so it's really interesting. I never set out to write a nonfiction book. I lean more on the creative side of things, but I have a fascination for leadership and thought leader material. I enjoy those kind of books, and that's how Chris and I connected. Was this overlap of creativity and timeless principles that we find in these books.

00:04:10:16 - 00:04:37:11
Ian Clawson
So coming together, we didn't set out to, you know, tell people what to do, but it was more of this openness of of discovery. How can we find this next book that is an ecosystem of principles? You know, both Chris and I, we have history with Stephen Covey's work. We really enjoyed his material. We truly haven't seen any book since that has an ecosystem of principles.

00:04:37:11 - 00:04:58:23
Ian Clawson
A lot of the books that are out now, you know, publishers, they go that they go the safe route where it's like, just go on one thing only do a deep dive. It could be all about productivity. And there's a lot of merit to those books. There's value to be found. But what we were looking for is how could there be an ecosystem of principles for the day and age that we live in now?

00:04:59:01 - 00:05:07:23
Ian Clawson
And that was kind of the the the for me nature of how we pursued this book and the material thereof.

00:05:08:01 - 00:05:27:15
Kevin Eikenberry
So so, Chris, I'll address this one to you then. And you can, of course, change anything that Ian just said if you want to. But in reality, you know, if that's what you attempted to do, you used a very interesting word in the title. That word is brave. So. So, Chris, Why brave?

00:05:27:17 - 00:05:53:22
Chris Deaver
Yeah. Most of us, how we experience fear in some big or small way every day, you know, conscious or subconscious at work, at home, and things that are unknowns or or things that we are just worried about or stressed out about. And, you know, we can stay in that space and just live in fear. And it's it's you know, it kind of we hear, you know, toxic bosses.

00:05:53:22 - 00:06:32:23
Chris Deaver
We hear those stories about cultures people don't love or they struggle in. And that's that's fear based. And the way out is by being brave. And, you know, it empowers us to just have a different mindset. And as we are brave, we can, you know, explore things together. We can, you know, live ego free, collaborate and, you know, build things that, you know, not you know, none of us may have been able to have imagined before coming into a meeting together or having the kind of conversations that that we can have together.

00:06:33:01 - 00:06:57:13
Kevin Eikenberry
So the first word in the title is brave, brave together, and the last word or word in the title is co-creation. So what do you mean? I mean, I think a lot of times we hear a word like we all sort of know what you mean by co-creation or we have an idea. But I don't know that until you read or dive into the book or listen to this show, will you really know what you two mean?

00:06:57:13 - 00:07:04:18
Kevin Eikenberry
So when you use that word intentionally, what are you meaning by it?

00:07:04:20 - 00:07:28:14
Ian Clawson
Right. So back to writing the book, Right? You know, if I set out to write this book by myself, it wouldn't have ended up the way it was at all. So it's it's great to have a coauthor, but it's messy, right? Co-creation is messy. And so but I think, you know, like, for example, we had the intro of the book that was written.

00:07:28:17 - 00:07:50:19
Ian Clawson
And in reviewing, you know, the quality check of our book, you know, we challenge each other to improve the intro the way it started out. And there's a little bit of heartburn at first, right? When someone challenges because you put everything on the table, you're like, Hey, it's great. And to too many degrees, it is good work that we do individually.

00:07:50:21 - 00:08:18:14
Ian Clawson
But if, if there's principles at the base, you know, principles like respect, you know, good communication, candor, radical candor, things like that, then there's an openness to co-creation. And I think the traditional sense of teamwork or collaboration, it's it's kind of assignment. It's project based. You know, like if you work with an employer, you don't necessarily choose the people that you have to work as a team with.

00:08:18:16 - 00:08:38:20
Ian Clawson
Co-creation is more intentional and it's being open to and even desiring to work with other people, right? So knowing that there's a there's a sense of humility, knowing that you don't have all the answers and your skill set and gifts could take you so far. And that's what the power of co-creation really is.

00:08:38:22 - 00:09:01:16
Kevin Eikenberry
Okay, so that sounds really good, right? I'm going to play the cynic here, which is not my best suit, but that sounds really good. And people might be listening saying, Well, that's easy. If two of us have decided to write a book together, but I'm in the workplace or I've got a team. How do I create code? How do I get co-creation to happen when there is a project, when there are tasks, when when I may not have picked all the people on the team?

00:09:01:21 - 00:09:13:10
Kevin Eikenberry
So all of those things being true. Expand on that a little bit more as it relates to what most people would see as their current workplace.

00:09:13:12 - 00:09:52:20
Chris Deaver
Yeah, a lot of times, you know, we we talk about flow, right? This state of being where you're step outside of time, right. In art or in sports where we love and that that happens individually. At times it feels a little rare. But how often does that happen at work or in conversations? And that's something we can amplify that has it's a it's a kind of perpetual source of energy, like perpetual motion that can power projects.

00:09:52:20 - 00:10:12:18
Chris Deaver
It can power builds, it can power, you know, shaping products, new products and different services that, you know, weren't didn't exist before that are that are, you know, truly kind of leading edge or that that that, you know, I'm going to bring this into the future.

00:10:12:20 - 00:10:34:16
Kevin Eikenberry
So one of the things that you do relatively early in the book is give us some examples of what co-creation could look like in one of the most common experiences we all have at work, which is meetings. So let's just get really, really practical for a second. Like I'm guessing, Chris, everyone listening to you and they're saying that all sounds awesome.

00:10:34:21 - 00:10:47:23
Kevin Eikenberry
I love that big picture thinking I'm going to five meetings in the next 4 hours. So like what? What does what does co-creation look like? Give us a couple of specific examples of what that would look like in meetings.

00:10:48:01 - 00:11:12:07
Chris Deaver
Yeah. So you start with reimagining the meeting as a brief conversation, right? So it's an exchange, you know, not just transactional, but transformative. And so you have a different way, a different outlook of being open to changing your mind. And that's a kind of the groundwork is Ian said about the power of leading with questions. They do this at Pixar.

00:11:12:09 - 00:11:31:15
Chris Deaver
So the plan to question, you know, week in advance, or at least before a meeting and let people marinate on that question. And so it just emerges as something that they've had some time to an intention to be thoughtful about and to explore. So there's that there's a couple of things you can start with.

00:11:31:17 - 00:11:55:02
Kevin Eikenberry
I always want to add to that point of leading with questions, and we can talk more about that principle in general in a second. But as it relates to meetings, I think that the idea of giving people something to think about ahead of time is incredibly valuable for a whole bunch of reasons. We don't have time to unpack all of them, but the thing I just want to say is it isn't leading with a question, it's leading with questions.

00:11:55:02 - 00:12:19:20
Kevin Eikenberry
And so I'm thinking about a meeting that that I led last Friday that everyone on the team had the questions and it was like five of them several days before, the intention being that I didn't necessarily need the answers to any one of those questions specifically, but as a group, they set the framework for what we were going to talk about and I think made it a far more productive sort of setting.

00:12:20:01 - 00:12:20:12
Ian Clawson
Awesome.

00:12:20:13 - 00:12:22:00
Kevin Eikenberry
And you're nodding. You're nodding your head.

00:12:22:02 - 00:12:51:22
Ian Clawson
Yeah. Yeah. I think it just automatically creates an invitation to others to add, you know, creativity, to add ideas, because many times meetings that we are part of, it's very agenda driven. You know, like the the employers or a leader wants to control the outcomes. And so it's very top down agenda driven download session almost people show up to meetings checked out at the start of it.

00:12:51:22 - 00:13:04:07
Ian Clawson
They know what to expect. It's very predictable. So doing this with questions really open things up to, I can help shape this. And it's there's a sense of empowerment there.

00:13:04:09 - 00:13:28:05
Kevin Eikenberry
So in use you said that you've you both have learned a lot from the work of of Dr. Covey. And of course, the seven habits is what everyone thinks of in this book. You guys have six principles. And the first one we've just been talking about, which is to lead with a question. What I appreciate about each of the six is that that you talk about the idea lead with a question or lead with questions.

00:13:28:07 - 00:13:48:00
Kevin Eikenberry
And then then you say, well, this is about wisdom. And then each of the six there's a principle inside of the task or the behavior, if you will, anything else we've talked about this one in as it relates relates to meetings, but anything else you guys want to add on this one before we move on? Either of you?

00:13:48:00 - 00:14:07:23
Chris Deaver
I think it's one, yeah. When you look at yeah, and we talk about this later in the book, but it's it's one of the components of what we call the building blocks of culture, right? So you kind of Legos, you want to build something and you want to build something meaningful in a culture. Shared wisdom is a great place to start.

00:14:08:01 - 00:14:15:11
Chris Deaver
There's and there's others deep empathy being powered by principles as well. Yeah.

00:14:15:13 - 00:14:34:22
Kevin Eikenberry
Okay. So the next of the principles and we don't have time to go in all that deeply on any of them, obviously everybody. So we are talking to Chris Dever and Ian Clawson, the authors of the new book Brave Together. If you're watching, you can see it in front of my face, bring together by design, spark creativity, Shape the Future with the power of co-creation.

00:14:35:03 - 00:14:57:20
Kevin Eikenberry
Six principles is I just want to sort of highlight a couple more of them and and let you guys sort of talk about them as you wish. So. The second one, though, is has an interesting description to me, which is turn pain into power. Like, that doesn't sound really fun to me. And most of us don't love that idea of pain.

00:14:57:23 - 00:15:04:00
Kevin Eikenberry
And you're saying, no, we need to turn that into something powerful. What do you mean by that?

00:15:04:02 - 00:15:22:05
Ian Clawson
Right. Well, it follows up nicely with lead with the question. Right. So if you were to look in the mirror as a leader and you have struggles with your team or at work or outcomes in results. First thing you're going to do is you're going to lead with the question. You're going to ask yourself, what can I do differently?

00:15:22:07 - 00:15:49:00
Ian Clawson
Right? And so this next principle is actually taking those steps with the intention of starting to show up differently. Right. And so that can be scary. A lot of times we think we need to do more. So this principle challenges us to maybe consider shaving things down a bit, maybe giving up some negative attributes or habits that, you know, are no longer serving our future and get real about that.

00:15:49:02 - 00:16:07:20
Ian Clawson
And so that's one way you could turn pain into power is just switch switching your thinking or flipping the script, rather, instead of focusing on the losses, which is just suffering and pain, focusing on the gains, what can you do today? Just baby steps to to start to pivot towards that future.

00:16:07:22 - 00:16:26:21
Kevin Eikenberry
And if this one is about passion, the next one is about compassion, which you guys describe as which I love, by the way, making others the mission. Make others the mission. So, Chris, what do you what do you mean by this? How does how does this one play out for us as a leader?

00:16:26:23 - 00:16:51:18
Chris Deaver
Yeah, this sounds big for well, give an example. You know, Satya Nadella, Microsoft, which they're just nipping at the tails of Apple right now for the most valuable company in the world. And, you know, it wasn't long ago that that Steve Ballmer was was kind of running the company into the ground, let's say, culturally, you know, sweating on on the stage.

00:16:51:20 - 00:17:14:03
Chris Deaver
But, you know, he had some a fair amount of success. But there's a lot of execution orientation stack ranking, you know, and you just had a culture of what was it? Well, it wasn't optimized. It wasn't it wasn't as great as it could be. And so Satya takes over. But what's the real difference? It's deep empathy and how did he develop that empathy he had?

00:17:14:05 - 00:17:41:09
Chris Deaver
He and his wife had a son named Zane who had had cerebral palsy. And so he spent a lot of time taking care of his son and learned from the example of his wife as to make that kind of hear a sacrifice and just spend that time and really be present. And that that deep empathy, you know, led him has led him to bring that to the culture of Microsoft.

00:17:41:11 - 00:18:04:06
Chris Deaver
And people feel it and you feel it in the products. They don't feel as clinical. You know, it feels much more intuitive and, you know, it has made some great decisions. But he's out. He's probably also doing a lot of brain trusting and listening and connecting with his, you know, kind of key constituencies. You know, I mean, just few examples, open eye, you know, some brilliant moves that they've made.

00:18:04:06 - 00:18:06:05
Chris Deaver
So it's good stuff.

00:18:06:07 - 00:18:31:19
Kevin Eikenberry
All right. So the next two principles are about action and purpose. And I'm curious why you put the action. One, define the situation ahead of the context one or purpose. So I'm just curious. I think those are two things we pretty much all can understand, Right. But I'm also confident you had a reason or rationale for listing action before purpose.

00:18:31:19 - 00:18:33:00
Kevin Eikenberry
Why?

00:18:33:02 - 00:19:01:19
Ian Clawson
So I think people's notion with purpose is they feel like they got to find their purpose. They're always searching externally. Right. And we believe that, you know, prior to really understanding and embracing your purpose, knowing it on a deep level, it's taking action. It's it's being brave. Back to the theme of the book and brave with others. Taking action with others is where you're going to really learn more about your purpose.

00:19:02:00 - 00:19:22:22
Ian Clawson
And I think people feel like they got to have it all written down there. Why? And it's got to mean something for their actions to land. Really. It's we have a phrase that we use experiment with experience, which just means just just get your hands dirty. Just go and do the work. You want to write a book, Don't just research and read tons of books for years.

00:19:23:04 - 00:19:38:03
Ian Clawson
Start writing, and you're going to refine your practice. You're going to you're going to get sharper with your messaging. You're going to have clearer words in, and that's how you really come to find your purpose. So I think that ordering matters to us.

00:19:38:05 - 00:19:55:19
Kevin Eikenberry
I think that example and obviously as a as an author as well, maybe it resonates for me more, but I will I've told hundreds of people. That's right. That as you write, you find your voice. And so finding your voice is sort of like finding that purpose. So I love this idea.

00:19:55:20 - 00:19:57:06
Ian Clawson
Use your voice.

00:19:57:08 - 00:20:27:18
Kevin Eikenberry
Right? I love this idea of don't wait to figure that out. Figure it out in the process, Right? Experiment with experience. I love that a lot. So the last of the six principles is follow true North and the principle being alignment. So talk to us about that one. I think this is again, something that people people know that alignment matters, but I don't think that we do it very well.

00:20:27:20 - 00:20:35:19
Kevin Eikenberry
So what would be some advice about how to create better alignment within our team and with our team to the rest of the organization?

00:20:35:21 - 00:21:06:01
Chris Deaver
Yeah. So as as we've been setting context or building the story of, let's say, the future culture, right, what we want to have, right, that culture that we love, we can get better at working as a collective, as a team, and we see this kind of movement and rhythm in sports teams when they play well together. And the difference between when they do or don't and, you know, prime example, Golden State Warriors right now, that's so much sometimes.

00:21:06:02 - 00:21:48:17
Chris Deaver
Draymond Green, he's the outlier here there. But there have been times when they've been fully aligned and dialed in and they're following their true North to be successful as a team. And so there's examples like that in sport. And then, you know, in the workplace, it's, you know, seeing how we can, you know, and there may be moments of disagree and commit there may be rock tumbling debates best ideas win but then you align around you know and just really stay focused on that and that North star you know throughout And you know, another example is teams at Apple.

00:21:48:19 - 00:22:10:11
Chris Deaver
You know, they would always go back to in times of wrestle or struggle or debate, hey, we're out and we're out to make the best product in this category. Fill in the blank. Right. So if it was the Beats Pro, that's what we're here for. So you have your ideas. I got mine. We disagree on this or that, but ultimately that's what we're after.

00:22:10:16 - 00:22:18:01
Chris Deaver
And so if people can stay focused on their main intention, there's there's power in that.

00:22:18:03 - 00:22:59:20
Kevin Eikenberry
That's the word that I was just thinking of was intention fact. I just was writing about organizational creating organizational intention. And it requires alignment is a key piece of that very that very thing. So I'm curious about one other thing. One of you mentioned it at the start. And, you know, those of us who are listening to this podcast are watching us live, have leader in our title or leader as a part of our role and whether we want to acknowledge that or not as humans and as leaders, there's ego involved in that.

00:22:59:22 - 00:23:23:04
Kevin Eikenberry
And when we talk about co-creating so much of what we've talked about for the last 20 plus minutes has been about sort of the collective and not about the individual. And so what is that? What advice would you have about the role of ego in what we're talking about today?

00:23:23:06 - 00:23:52:08
Chris Deaver
Yeah, I think one quick thought on that is, you know, in in the year 2020, we just passed through 2023. So here we are, 24. Gotta remember we, you know, the Western Webster, the top word was in the dictionary was authenticity. And a lot of people use this word, you know and Brené Brown's popularized it's it's very talked about and that's that's good.

00:23:52:10 - 00:24:16:07
Chris Deaver
But you know one of the dangers or risks is we call it toxic authenticity. Right? So if it's if it's about propping up ourselves to, you know, or just focusing on what we need over others, you know, it's not it's not going to have the effect or the power or staying power, you know, that that we need for the future.

00:24:16:09 - 00:24:27:22
Chris Deaver
And so we think about it as true authenticity. And, you know, going back to the empathic conversation we were having earlier, it's more and more tied to that. Yeah.

00:24:28:00 - 00:24:28:21
Kevin Eikenberry
Anyone and that.

00:24:28:21 - 00:24:42:05
Ian Clawson
Ian Yeah, I think there's this self-made pressure that people, individuals, leaders even have to have all the answers to to be that that rock star right?

00:24:42:07 - 00:24:44:10
Kevin Eikenberry
And you talk about that a lot in.

00:24:44:10 - 00:25:10:20
Ian Clawson
The book is to be the expert. Right? And I think those around us are disempowered if we are acting in that way. But you can go farther with the collective. And I think there's a learning curve for people that really start to understand that it's a journey, it's an individual journey for people to embrace that notion. And so part a part of a leader's, I guess, stewardship is to help others along that path.

00:25:10:22 - 00:25:18:18
Ian Clawson
How can we help people, you know, shift towards that collective leaning and be brave together?

00:25:18:20 - 00:25:40:15
Kevin Eikenberry
Yeah, I think it's it's so true for so many of us that we got into the leader seat because we were expert, because we were really good at something. Right. And so for us to be able to make that shift out of that ego is not a bad thing. As long as we keep it in the right perspective.

00:25:40:15 - 00:26:00:16
Kevin Eikenberry
And in fact, if we have a really strong ego, we have the ability to really, I think, lead and be a part of co-creation before we go round the final turn into the final part of our conversation, if I said to each of you, what's one thing we didn't talk about that you wished I would have asked, What would that be?

00:26:00:16 - 00:26:11:16
Kevin Eikenberry
Chris, you first. Well, I don't have anything and I did a fine job. Awesome. But what's one thing we didn't talk about that you kind of wish we would have?

00:26:11:18 - 00:26:35:21
Chris Deaver
One that we talk about as well as what? Why do companies kill creativity and, you know, just unlocking the power of creativity in this context of team and working together is is a powerful thing. You know, the Sir Ken Robinson question right. Was it was time to schools. Right. So Ted, you know, but we think about it in terms of business too and work.

00:26:35:21 - 00:26:53:07
Chris Deaver
And, you know, there's just so much focus on results and performance and kind of squeezing creativity out that that voice, the true identity of people can get lost. And there's top and there's power in that. So we need to ensure that that's part of, you know, part of everything.

00:26:53:09 - 00:27:16:17
Ian Clawson
Ian You know, I'd like to maybe dive a little bit further with, with the concept of leadership. I think there's a lot of people that may come across our articles or book and and they may say, I don't have a formal title as a leader. How does this apply to me? And that's a beautiful idea around this framework, is anyone can be a co-creator.

00:27:16:19 - 00:27:36:11
Ian Clawson
It's a mindset. You could be a co-creator as an employee and make a difference in your team dynamics by by shifting the way you practice and approach work. Co-created fully, right? And and with this foundation of principles, I think is is is the key here.

00:27:36:13 - 00:27:47:17
Kevin Eikenberry
So Ian, the question actually, Chris, you're going to get it too, but here you go. Ian I'm shifting gears before we finish up. What do you do? Ian For fun.

00:27:47:19 - 00:28:14:19
Ian Clawson
Wow. You know, a lot of it is writing. I love creative work and so you know that the nonfiction writing is a lot of fun too, because if you can get clarity around these concepts and it's there's different iterations, right? I really enjoy writing and helping others kind of see what you envision yourself as a as an author, a writer.

00:28:14:21 - 00:28:17:19
Ian Clawson
It's hard to it's hard to pull off.

00:28:17:21 - 00:28:19:22
Kevin Eikenberry
Chris, what about you?

00:28:20:00 - 00:28:31:00
Chris Deaver
I enjoy spending time with my kids, you know, co-creating paintings, playing sports together. You know, board games. All those things are really fun.

00:28:31:02 - 00:28:34:08
Kevin Eikenberry
Apparently watching the Warriors or maybe this season that's not quite.

00:28:34:08 - 00:28:37:14
Ian Clawson
Is not not so much fun, better years.

00:28:37:16 - 00:28:45:17
Kevin Eikenberry
So the only thing you knew I was going to ask, which I told you just before we went live and Chris, you can go first with this one. What are you reading these days?

00:28:45:19 - 00:29:04:05
Chris Deaver
I'm actually listening to well, it's the star book that counts, but our audio book is out. So it's you know, it's interesting to hear your say our own voices, but it's actually we have a narrator and and then Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel. Yeah.

00:29:04:07 - 00:29:07:11
Kevin Eikenberry
All right. And Ian.

00:29:07:13 - 00:29:39:01
Ian Clawson
I'm currently revisiting an end to end 2023, and I'm carrying it over to 24. Malcolm Gladwell's books. And so the 1021 particular, the one that talks about the 10,000 our world, I'm really fascinated revisiting that because I've read other books like Range with David Epstein, which he kind of challenges that some I'm contrasting because I think Malcolm Gladwell is a great storyteller and it really helps me with my writing.

00:29:39:01 - 00:29:42:10
Ian Clawson
So I'm just revisiting these concepts.

00:29:42:12 - 00:30:10:06
Kevin Eikenberry
I am Miss, I am. I'm forgetting in this moment and I don't want to look away as we're doing this live, but that the researcher from Florida State, that was his research was underneath the 10,000 rule. His coauthor was on this show and I will put that in the show notes for everybody. If you're listening, as long as we always do, we'll put that in the show notes that the other books that have been mentioned here, as well as, of course, Brave Together.

00:30:10:06 - 00:30:20:09
Kevin Eikenberry
So how where do you want to point people so that they can learn more about you guys, your work and this book, Brave Together.

00:30:20:11 - 00:30:38:09
Chris Deaver
Yeah, Brave caught CEO. So with that brave that CEO as the best way to connect with us, you know, get the book, get other free artifacts and resources connects, you know, connect with links and articles that we have. Yeah.

00:30:38:11 - 00:30:53:09
Kevin Eikenberry
All right. Well, listen, before we go, everybody, and first of all, I want to thank both of you for being here. It was worth the wait to do this. I had the chance to read the book a while back and we were able to put this together, and I'm excited that we were able to do that. So thank you both for being here.

00:30:53:09 - 00:31:13:12
Kevin Eikenberry
But I have a question and I'm going to ask all of you as viewers and listeners. It's the question I ask every single episode, which is now what? Okay, so you heard all of this. What are you going to do with it? What action are you going to take? Maybe action is your answer. Maybe you're going to experiment with experience.

00:31:13:14 - 00:31:37:01
Kevin Eikenberry
Maybe you're going to take any of the other ideas that you heard today and say, I'm going to put that into action for myself or with my team. Maybe it's getting a copy of this book, but whatever it is, ideas are wonderful action. Turn them into something far more powerful. So I hope that you will take some action on what you heard today.

00:31:37:01 - 00:31:41:15
Kevin Eikenberry
And again, guys, thanks to both of you for being here. It was a pleasure to have you.

00:31:41:17 - 00:31:43:11
Ian Clawson
Thank you Again.

00:31:43:13 - 00:31:59:20
Kevin Eikenberry
And with that, I will let you all go. But we'll be back. So I hope you'll be back if you're with us live. We'll be back tomorrow, but we'll be back next week, as always, with another episode of the Remarkable Leadership podcast. I hope you'll join me. I look forward to it then. Thanks.

Meet Chris & Ian

Chris Deaver and Ian Clawson are the co-authors of Brave Together – Lead by Design, Spark Creativity, and Shape the Future with the Power of Co-Creation. They are the co-founders of BraveCore, and co-hosts of the Lead with a Question podcast.

Chris' Story: Chris has coached C Level Executives & influenced Fortune 500s from the inside out. He has had the dream career at Apple and Disney, working with inspiring teams that shaped iProducts and Star Wars experiences. He’s a regular contributor to Fast Company, featured in The Wall Street Journal & Entrepreneur. He’s developed landmark studies of the most innovative teams, partnering with Stanford and Harvard professors. Chris continues to advise startups and coach leaders contributing to 10x growth. He earned his MBA and is also continues to be a guest lecturer at the Marriott School at BYU.

Ian's Story: Ian Clawson helps leaders build cultures people love. He is a regular contributor to Fast Company who's had work featured in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, INC, USA Today, Influencive, & Disrupt Magazine. Over the past decade Ian has led culture transformation initiatives in the healthcare industry. Overseeing a multi-million-dollar skilled nursing facility operation in Silicon Valley, CA. He is also co-founder of StoryCircle, a development studio focused on co-creation, world building & original storytelling acting as a lead writer and story architect. Ian earned a degree at BYU-Hawaii in International Cultural Studies where he developed a high interest in World Philosophy and Communication Theory.

The way out is by being brave and it powers us to just have a different mindset and as we are brave, we can explore things together, we can live ego-free, collaborate, and build things that none of us may have been able to have imagined before coming into a meeting together. – Chris Deavers

Follow The Remarkable Leadership Podcast

This Episode is brought to you by...

The Long-Distance Team. Remote leadership experts, Kevin Eikenberry and Wayne Turmel, help leaders navigate the new world of remote and hybrid teams to design the culture they desire for their teams and organizations in their new book!

Book Recommendations

Like this?

Join Our Community

If you want to view our live podcast episodes, hear about new releases, or chat with others who enjoy this podcast join one of our communities below.

Leave a Review

If you liked this conversation, we’d be thrilled if you’d let others know by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts. Here’s a quick guide for posting a review.

Share:
Read More
Creating Team and Organizational Culture, Leading a Team

Wiring the Winning Organization with Gene Kim

Share:

How can leaders wire their organizations to win? Gene Kim explains that work consists of three layers - the objects we work on, the tools we use, and the social connections between people. Successful leaders focus on this third "social circuitry" layer to integrate functions, remove barriers, create independence between teams, amplify weak signals of failure, and practice "slowification" - strategically slowing down to speed up long-term results. He also introduces two other principles - "simplification" and "amplification." Simplification involves breaking down complex problems into manageable parts, while amplification focuses on creating a management system that ensures even the weakest signals of failure are detected and addressed early.

View Full Transcript

00:00:08:10 - 00:00:35:00
Kevin Eikenberry
If I can give you three ideas, just three ideas that would help you rewire your organization and your culture to value the collective intelligence of your team. Would you be interested? Well, if your answer is yes, you're in the right place. Welcome to another episode of The Remarkable Leadership Podcast, where we are helping leaders grow both personally and professionally so they can lead more effectively and make a bigger difference for their teams.

00:00:35:02 - 00:00:54:03
Kevin Eikenberry
Organization, fans in the world. If you're listening to this podcast, you could join us in the future Lives so that on your favorite social media channels so that you can get the information and that we have here earlier, you can't do that for this one, but you can in the future. The way to find out when those are happening so you can join us live.

00:00:54:05 - 00:01:16:22
Kevin Eikenberry
Ask your questions and get even more value would be to join our Facebook or LinkedIn groups where all of that information is shared and and are a couple of the places where they're actually streamed. So you can join our Facebook group at remarkable podcast dot com slash Facebook or Arlington group at remarkable podcast dot com slash LinkedIn. Pretty straightforward.

00:01:17:00 - 00:01:38:16
Kevin Eikenberry
So today's episode is brought to you by our remarkable masterclasses pick from 13 important life and leadership skills to help you become more effective, productive and confident while overcoming some of the leader's toughest challenges. Learn more and sign up at Remarkable Masterclass Dotcom. And now it's time for me to bring in our guest. Let me bring him in.

00:01:38:18 - 00:02:00:17
Kevin Eikenberry
And there he is. Let me introduce him and then we will dive in. You now see in front of you are about ready to hear from Gene Kim. He was the founder and CTO of Tripwire Inc for 13 years, an enterprise security software company. In 2014, he launched DevOps Enterprise Summit, an annual event that attracted over 10,000 technology leaders.

00:02:00:19 - 00:02:31:04
Kevin Eikenberry
To date, he has spoken at over 100 companies and conferences, including Apple, Target, IBM, Nike, Principal, Financial, Lululemon and Microsoft. His books have sold over. Get this, everybody. 1 million copies. It puts him in rare and rare in a rare company. He has authored the widely acclaimed book The Unicorn Project, coauthored several influential works, including the Phenix Project, The DevOps Handbook, and the award winning Accelerate, which Excel excuse me, which received the prestigious Shingo Publication Award.

00:02:31:04 - 00:02:44:15
Kevin Eikenberry
His latest book is that he's the coauthor of Winning the Wired excuse me Wiring the winning organization. Yeah, I'll say it again so I get it right again, wiring the winning organization. Gene, welcome to the Remarkable Leadership Podcast.

00:02:44:17 - 00:02:49:15
Gene Kim
Kevin I'm so delighted to be here and congratulations on the 418th episode. You've had such an.

00:02:49:15 - 00:03:18:01
Kevin Eikenberry
Amazing career number. 118 That is correct. Well, before we started, Gene asked me hard questions and I said, Wait a minute, the hard questions need to be for you, Joe. I'm just teasing. So. So listen up. We'll get into the book in a second. But I'm always interested to learn a little bit more about the journey. Obviously, I read a bit of your bio for everybody, but my question is a little different.

00:03:18:06 - 00:03:36:21
Kevin Eikenberry
Like how do you end up here? Like you didn't probably expect that when you were a ten year old that you were going to be a million copies book author or anything along those lines or doing the work that you're doing? Probably couldn't even describe the work that you're doing when you were ten. Like, how do you end up here?

00:03:36:21 - 00:03:40:07
Kevin Eikenberry
Tell us just a little bit about the journey outside of the bio.

00:03:40:09 - 00:04:16:05
Gene Kim
Yeah, you know, I grew up as a privileged enough to, you know, I was with computers and so that was in the late seventies, early eighties, and I ended up working at a half time at a software company. I was actually acquired by Sun Microsystems, and I was doing that half time while I was in high school. And around then around November 2nd, 1988 was the first massive computer virus worm where essentially 10% of all the servers on the Internet were taken down because of, you know, a rogue piece of code that escaped the, you know, Bell Labs and by Robert Morris Jr.

00:04:16:07 - 00:04:27:22
Gene Kim
Anyway, so the person that was doing the most work and really understanding computer security at the time was Dr. Gene Spafford at Purdue University. And so I like you. Yes.

00:04:27:23 - 00:04:31:14
Kevin Eikenberry
Happy to hear the Boilermakers wrapped in this on the show, in fact.

00:04:31:14 - 00:04:39:12
Gene Kim
And so that actually led me to apply and not get into Purdue University in the middle of the cornfields of Indiana. So had I.

00:04:39:12 - 00:04:41:21
Kevin Eikenberry
Known, I didn't know that we're both boilermakers.

00:04:41:23 - 00:05:17:19
Gene Kim
Right? Yeah. So so that actually led to an independent study project where I got to work on, you know, what would it take for, you know, computer systems operators to be able to get early detection, you know, enable them to recover, ideally, prevention. And so I spent the first ten years of my life in computer security, but I guess I was something was bothering me was that, you know, when I later founded a company to commercialize that technology, the best companies that had the best, you know, security and posture compliance, it wasn't actually doesn't seem to determine on how good the security leader was.

00:05:17:19 - 00:05:42:08
Gene Kim
In fact, it was like how good the operation leader was. You know, it's and so my the kind of dawning realization was that, you know, the best operations, the best uptime and availability and, you know, people who ran websites like the New York Stock Exchange or Akamai or the people who came, the tech giants, you know, that their success at it depended on how good was a working relationship with the information security function.

00:05:42:10 - 00:06:14:00
Gene Kim
It turns out, you know what I learned ten years after that we were marching into the 20 tens was that, the best technology organizations Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google, Microsoft, they were what was most important was how good was the developers working relationship with operations and the information security function. And so, you know, that really kind of launched me into my 25 year journey studying high performing technology organizations where, you know, you ask a question, what makes a great organizations great, where, you know, they can ship products and features on time.

00:06:14:00 - 00:06:29:15
Gene Kim
They have they can actually run an operations scalable without crashing. And, you know, the not being mowed down by hackers or, you know, malicious code, which is, you know, we see all too often the news And so so was really, really not to spend.

00:06:29:15 - 00:06:50:10
Kevin Eikenberry
Money so was not everybody. This is not going to be an episode just if you happen to be in a technology company, even though that's where Gene grew up and where Genius has been talking about this conversation, I'm confident because I know from the book that while that's Gene's background, that's not the real focus of this book. They're absolutely.

00:06:50:16 - 00:07:08:13
Gene Kim
Right. But there is this common theme that it is around crossing boundaries and functional silos that, you know, I think when you look at, you know, the Navy SEALs, it's not just about how good the Navy SEALs are, How good and effective are they operating with the other divisions, you know, inside of special operations. So com you see is within hospitals, Right.

00:07:08:15 - 00:07:22:04
Gene Kim
It's not about how good the doctors are. It's how good are they at interacting across nursing, pharmacy, supply chain and so forth. And so I think that is a really the universal truth of great leaders. They can integrate those functions. Well, how am I doing?

00:07:22:06 - 00:07:43:13
Kevin Eikenberry
You know, that's fantastic. So I want us to talk this is I will tell everybody that of the books that I've read for the show this year, I've read probably thicker ones, but I don't know that I've read any denser ones. I don't mean that in a negative way. There's a tremendous amount of depth in this book, and there's no way, Gene, that we can talk about everything in it.

00:07:43:15 - 00:08:04:23
Kevin Eikenberry
That would be true for every episode, I realize. But that's really true here for me today. So what I want to do is pull out some things for us to talk about that I think are some of the key ideas that that any of us could start to apply. And in some cases, what you can do is help people see some things in ways they may not have seen them before.

00:08:05:02 - 00:08:22:22
Kevin Eikenberry
You were just hinting at a second ago what I think is one of the most useful things in the book. It provides a way to think about this that maybe many people have it. You talk about there being three layers to where, but there's three kinds of parts to the work. You were hinting at this a second ago.

00:08:22:23 - 00:08:30:08
Kevin Eikenberry
So as you talk about those three layers a little bit and and help us understand why they're useful for us to think about the work that way.

00:08:30:14 - 00:08:53:07
Gene Kim
Absolutely. So the first layers around, you know, well, whenever someone's working, you know, there's an object that we're trying to expose or, you know, direct our skills and knowledge on. So that could be the code that we're working on or the system in production or the material in front of us that we need to transform. There's a second layer, which is something that we're doing that through tools, right, and technologies, and so that there's a second layer.

00:08:53:09 - 00:09:15:03
Gene Kim
And so that's the that's a technical part of the socio technical system. Layer three is what we call the social circuitry. This is, you know, this is the social part of the socio technical system. It turns out that in my research and that research of Dr. Steven Speer at the MIT Sloan School of Business, who studied the Toyota production system, he wrote one of the seminal papers in 1999.

00:09:15:04 - 00:09:41:04
Gene Kim
He studied aerospace safety culture and at Alcoa and helped build it and are common. So it's a really good at that. I come from software, he comes from everything but software. Our common area of Marvel is that what makes great organizations has nothing to do with technology, is it's part of it. But the real common part of great organization and great leaders is that they focus on the layer three, the social parts of the socioeconomic systems.

00:09:41:04 - 00:10:16:11
Gene Kim
What are the things required to integrate all those separate functional specialties towards a common purpose? And if I can share one example is that absolutely. Here's a great example of like when you have a layer three system that is failing and let's I'll be blunt, right? This is the responsibility and the failure of leadership. Suppose you have a large telco, all they want to do is put a a checkbox in front of their 20 million customers and you know, so they can subscribe to, you know, email services, movies and this will take $28 million.

00:10:16:13 - 00:10:31:17
Gene Kim
It will take one year to complete. It requires CEO minus one level support of daily war room meetings just because it has to transmit across 40 different teams. And when you ask those people, you know, what's the likelihood of a succeeding, they'll say one and one in five, right? 20%.

00:10:31:19 - 00:10:32:08
Kevin Eikenberry
Best.

00:10:32:13 - 00:10:51:08
Gene Kim
Because it didn't work the first two times. And there's the point is, this is not a technically challenging problem. There's not a layer one layer to daunting problem. This is all because the coordination function of the organization is the opposite of what is needed. This is the that the responsible the leaders to help people do their work easily and well.

00:10:51:10 - 00:10:53:01
Gene Kim
And so.

00:10:53:03 - 00:11:12:22
Kevin Eikenberry
Well. So, so so I and lots of other people like me. You may have said the same thing say that one of the jobs of the leaders to remove the barriers from people to get their work done. So is you're nodding with me. So that that's true. Is that is that a lot of what you're saying here, or is that just a small part of what you're saying here?

00:11:13:00 - 00:11:41:05
Gene Kim
Yeah, I think it's I mean, I think that's by one of those fundamental principles. And it sounds like a platitude, right? The job of leadership is to allow people to do the work easily and well and it has profound implications. And so when people say that they're fighting bureaucracies or they have hardships or they're working in places of genuine danger or they don't have time to improve, I mean, those are all things that leaders are doing wrong, you know, that is preventing people from doing their work easy and well, in fact, maybe I should add another one safely, right.

00:11:41:05 - 00:11:46:11
Gene Kim
To be able to do their work and not get hurt and not damage equipment themselves and so forth.

00:11:46:13 - 00:12:07:14
Kevin Eikenberry
Yeah, I love that. So so one of the early things that you talk about in the book and and it goes throughout is this idea of these three layers. And in many ways, if we're talking about a book called Wiring, the winning organization is probably not surprising that we're going to spend the book, spends its time talking mostly about that third layer, that social socio socio lit layer, if you will.

00:12:07:16 - 00:12:36:21
Kevin Eikenberry
And one of the things that we find ourselves dealing with in organizations all of the time are problems. And you talk about problems and problem solving as taking place in one of kind of two zones. And I think this will be an idea again, putting some language on things that maybe help people see things better or differently. You talk about there being two problem solving zones, so why don't you lay those out, maybe give us an example?

00:12:36:23 - 00:12:37:08
Kevin Eikenberry
Yeah, for.

00:12:37:08 - 00:12:59:12
Gene Kim
Sure. And I would just say a lead up to this one by saying kind of imagine the conditions, the worst case conditions to solve an important problem for the organization and the customer. But how can we make it like really, really difficult for ourselves? One is like you don't have time to think. You can't undo right now any error is magnified and causes, you know, global catastrophe.

00:12:59:13 - 00:13:18:18
Gene Kim
You can make the problem so that you really can't solve by yourselves, but you have to solve it with, you know, 20,000 of your best friends in parallel. And any mistake they make will impact you and vice versa. So I would say those are. and make it not obvious when something goes wrong, Right. You don't learn until 6 hours later.

00:13:18:20 - 00:13:20:05
Gene Kim
So let's say kind of.

00:13:20:09 - 00:13:22:04
Kevin Eikenberry
5 minutes before, right? for.

00:13:22:04 - 00:13:23:06
Gene Kim
Sure. Right, exactly.

00:13:23:06 - 00:13:28:11
Kevin Eikenberry
Thinking about your example of our fellow boilermaker, when he's getting ready to like, you're out.

00:13:28:16 - 00:13:48:13
Gene Kim
Yeah, right, exactly. And so those are what we're calling danger zone characteristics. And so, yeah, let's go into, you know, what can leaders do to make sure that, you know, problem solving that we're learning can actually happen because learning is experiential, experimental. So one thing leaders can do is make sure that we can do things in planning and practice.

00:13:48:17 - 00:14:13:13
Gene Kim
When you're doing the things that are highly consequential, like let's make sure the first time we tried to rescue the hostages, that is not in the performance environment. Let's be able to do drills, you know, be able to, you know, learn our mistakes in the nonperformance environment. Let's be able to successfully slowing things down. We can divide up the problem so that we can work out just our parts of the problem.

00:14:13:13 - 00:14:47:18
Gene Kim
And mistakes stay local as opposed to causing everyone else hardship and grief. And now another thing that we can do is like make it super, super obvious, you know, when things are going wrong so that we can either, you know, call a timeout that could have been useful for our boilermaker friends. Yeah. You know, so we could change plays and we want to make it super obvious, you know, that you want as many shots on goal as possible so that by the time we are, it really matters that we've made all the mistakes we have the muscle memories, you know, that we can bring that to bear and ideally win.

00:14:47:19 - 00:15:11:20
Kevin Eikenberry
You know, it's interesting you use the phrase timeout, because one of the things I mean, in the book, you use a lot of a lot of important, useful business examples. You hinted at a couple. But I think that one of the things listen, I know that some people that are listening are sports fans and stuff, and so I'm always careful with sports analogies because I don't want to alienate people for whom it doesn't matter much.

00:15:12:01 - 00:15:30:12
Kevin Eikenberry
But I will say this, that if you are a sports fan, one of the things that you will note is that you are rooting for or against people that are doing a tremendous amount of practicing, way more than we are doing in most cases. Most of us find ourselves going in and now we're going to figure it out.

00:15:30:17 - 00:15:55:06
Kevin Eikenberry
Now we're going to wing it, or we think we've got some idea, like there's a difference between having some experience and having truly practiced it. AT Yeah, in significant ways. Again, I don't I won't go any further down the sports rabbit hole even though I could. I think that's a really important point and two things we can take from sports in sports.

00:15:55:06 - 00:16:09:09
Kevin Eikenberry
Number one is that even the very best players have coaches and they all practice. So yeah, you want to say any more? Yeah. Yeah. In fact, talking about the further the sports analogy, you know, the destroying the danger zone and the winning zone. Right. Absolutely.

00:16:09:11 - 00:16:39:17
Gene Kim
So go ahead. And that's the issue here. Here's more of a sports fan than I am. But I mean, he one of the things that I actually was really interested in is that if you look at the the most remarkable sports teams, not only do they do a lot of what looks like a miracle, you know, at the, you know, the end zone, you know, with only minutes to go in general, those were rehearsed and often rehearsed and fast in smaller areas of play in faster tempo operation, so that when it really matters, you know, they had those muscle memory and routines.

00:16:39:17 - 00:16:59:13
Gene Kim
It turns out that's exactly what happened in the Apollo space program, where by the time, you know, Apollo 11 is, you know, they're executing, they're landing, you know, all the things that went wrong. And there were many all of those were actually rehearsed in simulations. Simulations serves as such a crucial mechanism to make sure that, in fact, a similar simulation supervised a group.

00:16:59:18 - 00:17:24:11
Gene Kim
Their job was to make sure the astronauts were ready. They challenge the astronauts at Mission Control to handle scenarios that they never thought of, to make sure that their mistakes were made long before there were, say, 6000 feet above the lunar surface. And just to jump ahead a little bit, yeah, we call that slow vacation. Now, we had to make up a word because it was no one word in English that said that captured that notion of you have to slow down to speed up.

00:17:24:13 - 00:17:39:13
Gene Kim
And there were many adages like, you know, stop saying the sharp in the South, the slowest moves to move the fast. But there was not one word. And we felt it was so important because if you can't say it, then you might not be able to think it. And so we thought that let's give it a name and it will be very familiar.

00:17:39:19 - 00:17:55:13
Gene Kim
But we're hoping that this new verb might be able to help people trigger kind of slow, efficacious actions where we say, All right, let's pause. Let's this is something that we don't want to learn in production. We need to hone our skills in planning and practice.

00:17:55:14 - 00:18:19:06
Kevin Eikenberry
So, yeah, I love that. And I think you're exactly right that having a word changes everything, right? Like if so often the light bulb goes off for us when we hear a word in another language that we don't quite have a word for. And that's what you've done is you've labeled something that we can sort of see, but it becomes far more concrete once you've given it so.

00:18:19:08 - 00:18:45:04
Kevin Eikenberry
So at the top of the show, Jean, I suggested that I would give people three specific things that they could do. And this is the first of those three things, which is slow ification. So we've talked about this as it relates to planning and practice. But what what specific ideas can a leader leave this conversation with while they're clicking on Amazon to order their copy of the requiring the winning organization?

00:18:45:08 - 00:18:55:02
Kevin Eikenberry
Like what can they do now for themselves or with their team? And maybe you want to answer those separately. no, I do a better job of certifying.

00:18:55:04 - 00:19:19:03
Gene Kim
Yeah. In fact, I would say for the team, in fact, what leaders can do for the team is say, Hey, look, whenever you run into difficulties, hardships, when the other you are working around a problem in production and performance, we should call a flag on the play. Right. And if we we have to develop the to proceed we have to know what the right thing to do is and there was a study that I found very heartbreaking.

00:19:19:03 - 00:19:43:00
Gene Kim
There's a case study of this Morris versus Mawson in the hospital where the wrong patient got a surgical procedure done despite 14 piece of evidence that included the patient saying, you've got the wrong person. I was laughing, but this is not funny. Is this is tragic. Where in a better world, each one of those should have been a signal that said, all right, we have lost track of what's going around us.

00:19:43:00 - 00:20:06:02
Gene Kim
We don't know what to do. And the worst thing to do is plow forward. So what you know, what what leaders should do is say, all right, you know, ideally, while it's happening, what should happen so that we can clarify what's happening? You know, let's make sure there's another procedure, a sentinel, so that we can detect ideally correct, better yet prevent.

00:20:06:04 - 00:20:26:14
Gene Kim
And if we can't do it in the performance environment, well then at the end of shift and the week. Right. Let's figure out how we can create a deflection so these horrendous things don't happen again. And so obviously part of that is the leader has to make it safe expected so that, you know, when problems come up, we don't suppress those signals.

00:20:26:18 - 00:20:37:23
Gene Kim
We have to amplify those signals. And, you know, we can be able to do that all the time out. Something's wrong. Something's not what I expect. You know, and this is a team sport. How do we change our play?

00:20:38:01 - 00:21:04:14
Kevin Eikenberry
I love so so first of all, detect, correct and prevent really useful language. But the thing that I want to make sure people are highlighting in their mind, if they're you know, while you're listening to this podcast, whatever you might be doing is the idea of that in order for us to create this slowing down step, we have to, as leaders, make it safe for people to slow it down.

00:21:04:19 - 00:21:28:04
Kevin Eikenberry
We have to say that this is the expectation, not go, go, go, go, go, not accelerator to the floor, but rather to say that we'll be more productive sometimes if we will slow down. Less is more, slow as fast. All those all those other Ajit adages. But I love you connecting this to the idea of we as leaders must make it safe for people to do that.

00:21:28:04 - 00:21:48:21
Kevin Eikenberry
And and many of us, I will say our leaders in part because we have a sense of urgency and have become successful because of our sense of urgency. And we must recognize the value of what you're saying and over start to overcome it for ourselves, but help our teams do it as well.

00:21:49:03 - 00:22:07:19
Gene Kim
Absolutely right. And they may seem mutually contradictory, but yet, I mean, we all know as leaders who have to live with our decisions, that sometimes you have to make a short term investment to make a longer term gain. And if our job is to enable our people to do their work easily, well, well, then we also have to be listening for these signals that say, Hey, look, something is wrong.

00:22:07:21 - 00:22:21:06
Gene Kim
I want to help make this better in the long term and I think we just need to. I'm hoping that this word slow, we need to slow, if I will, so trigger sometimes a better response from from from our leaders.

00:22:21:08 - 00:22:45:06
Kevin Eikenberry
Now, I love that. And, you know, I always having done, as you said, now 418 of these. Yeah. I always try to take one thing that I can really lock into my brain from an episode. And sometimes I have that figured out before we start from having read the book and do my preparation. Sometimes not. I think that will be the one, this idea of solidifying.

00:22:45:08 - 00:22:55:23
Kevin Eikenberry
Because while it was clear to me, while I read, it's become more clear to me as we've talked about. So I appreciate that. But there are two more besides glorification. The next one is simplification. What do you mean there?

00:22:56:01 - 00:23:19:13
Gene Kim
Yeah. So, you know, suffocation all about moving or problem solving from places are more amenable to solving difficult problems. So not in performance, but in planning and practice. Simplification is all about making the problems easier to solve. So some problems are super difficult to solve when they're highly intertwined so that, you know, if you have a hundred people working on a problem, every person's actions can impact everyone else.

00:23:19:18 - 00:23:41:17
Gene Kim
It's probably a super hard hard when we try to do everything all at once. And things are super hard when, you know, we don't understand kind of how our work fits into the greater whole. And so simplification really, there's really three ways we can sort of do things in a more incremental way now. So solve it in small little batches and a lot of software development, you know, is now hinged on that.

00:23:41:19 - 00:24:02:22
Gene Kim
There's then there's two kind of really special ways that you can do things. You can modularized them. In other words, you know, the checkbox project that I described before, where wouldn't it be great if teams work more independently? The problem with that $28 million put a checkbox in front of 40 different teams is that everyone's work is entangled together and no one can work independently.

00:24:03:04 - 00:24:31:11
Gene Kim
So we've lost our ability to have independence of action. And so in software and hardware systems, there's ways to divide up the work where we say, All right, here are the interfaces between teams. And once we agree on the interfaces now, we can now work independently. And so a famous example is the Amazon art architecture in the early 2000s where they could not ship features fast enough and they went from hundreds of features and feature shipments per year to maybe tens.

00:24:31:13 - 00:24:42:17
Gene Kim
And I create a more modular system. They were able to eventually do 136,000 per day, which is this astonishing in ability. Yeah.

00:24:42:22 - 00:24:48:03
Kevin Eikenberry
When I read that, I had to read it again like a day, right? Yeah.

00:24:48:05 - 00:25:14:04
Gene Kim
So it just shows how good the difference being good and great is vast. And then so this all about liberating and creating independence of action between teams so they can work in parallel. And I'll just there's a separate technique where you do that for sequential processes like the Toyota production system, where astonishingly, what makes the total production system so remarkable is that, you know, they can do scores of line side changes per day.

00:25:14:04 - 00:25:43:17
Gene Kim
They can, you know, ship multiple model years, you know, within the same shift is because that by creating these boundaries between people who are working in sequence, in sequence, you create independent of action for them. And so one of the most famous examples is this kind of astonishing fact that in a typical Toyota plant for decades, they have this and on board, and when something goes wrong, they pull the end cord that halts that line, the line segment.

00:25:43:19 - 00:26:11:09
Gene Kim
And, you know, most people would be shocked to learn that in a typical plant, the and on court is pulled 5000 times a day, which is so counterintuitive because, like, why are you doing something so disruptive so frequently? And it's because, one, they're able to do it because you can actually halt one segment without affecting everybody else. But if you need to halt a whole line, you do because, you know, simplification is better to fix a problem early and often than wait till the end of the model year.

00:26:11:15 - 00:26:14:14
Gene Kim
And now you have potentially millions of cars that are all defective.

00:26:14:16 - 00:26:16:15
Kevin Eikenberry
Now you got a recall right now you have recalls.

00:26:16:15 - 00:26:17:01
Gene Kim
Exactly.

00:26:17:07 - 00:26:23:01
Kevin Eikenberry
So slow ification, simplification. And then lastly, amplification.

00:26:23:06 - 00:26:58:01
Gene Kim
Yeah, amplification. So definition amplification is we have to create the management system. By the way, let's be clear, Layer three is all about the management system that leaders create within their part of the system. And some of you might be you're the manager system is entire organization. The manager system in on you. Amplify is that small? Even the weakest signals of failure are amplified so that we can act upon them decisively to better prevent, detect, correct early and often, as opposed to creating a management system where we signals a failure are suppressed or even extinguished entirely.

00:26:58:03 - 00:27:11:02
Gene Kim
And sources are, you know, maybe I'll say I've been part of my career, I've been systems like that, and they're horrible. And as leaders, we are responsible for the norms within the systems that we create.

00:27:11:04 - 00:27:25:01
Kevin Eikenberry
I love that. So we've covered a lot of ground in a short time. Jean, is there is there anything that we didn't touch on, anything that you think we should talk about that we haven't yet?

00:27:25:02 - 00:27:46:09
Gene Kim
You know, my favorite case study for amplification was one of the biggest moments, and that was the Southwest Airlines holiday crisis where, you know, winter storm comes in and, you know, every airlines canceling thousands of flights. But something odd happens around day three, which is every other airline, every airline starts with coming to normal operations except for Southwest Airlines.

00:27:46:11 - 00:28:08:05
Gene Kim
And the reason is that the crew scheduling system where at the end of each year, at the end of the day, every pilot that's in the wrong place has to call the crew scheduling office and tell them where they are. The problem is they can't get through whole times of hours, even scores of hours. And in my mind, this was such an it took them a week to basically travel.

00:28:08:05 - 00:28:08:20
Kevin Eikenberry
Yeah.

00:28:09:02 - 00:28:34:21
Gene Kim
And to me, this was such an incredible metaphor of what happens when the managers system cannot keep up with the environment they're operating in. In other words, they had to stop, you know, basically stopped operations, right, to get planes and replace. And I think there are many situations where we as leaders and we as teams find ourselves where the the the management system cannot keep up with the world around us and the Southwest Airlines.

00:28:34:22 - 00:28:54:10
Gene Kim
One is not a great example. Signals couldn't get to where they need to go and they couldn't get, you know, the pieces to go where they should go. And I think I think as for everyone, I'm hoping that serves as the kind of vivid example that is like a typical leadership story, but is should trigger some memories of like, here's what's happening.

00:28:54:10 - 00:29:04:15
Gene Kim
It's like the communication coordination function is not adequate to what it was tasked to do, and that's a layer three function. And as leaders, we're responsible.

00:29:04:16 - 00:29:20:15
Kevin Eikenberry
That is true. So we've been talking about the layers and solving problems and simplification and simplification amplification. But I want to talk about you before we finish. So my question is, Jean, what do you do for fun?

00:29:20:17 - 00:29:39:19
Gene Kim
What I do for fun, you know, I'm coming off writing a book. I find myself doing a lot of reading. I love coding Just because you can solve so many problems now that you struggle with without help from anyone else. And so that is my guilty pleasure. I'm trying to get my kids to write a game over the holidays.

00:29:39:21 - 00:29:52:06
Gene Kim
We've been talking about it for years and I really want to take the time to spend the three days. Let's see if we can write a game together. And so that's something I'm just super excited to do now.

00:29:52:08 - 00:30:14:17
Kevin Eikenberry
That is the first time I've ever had someone on the show tell me that for fun and my kids and I are going to write a game now. There you have it. Everybody. So we've got slow ification, simplification, amplification, and now gamification. How about that? Absolutely. So you did mention reading and you and I talked about this before we went before we started the show.

00:30:14:19 - 00:30:17:18
Kevin Eikenberry
So what's something that you're reading or have read recently?

00:30:17:19 - 00:30:49:00
Gene Kim
You know, I'm actually reading this academic paper from Dr. Verne Vernon Richardson. He's the head of the accounting department at the Wharton School of Accounting at the University of Arkansas. And he wrote this paper 20 years ago that basically studied CEOs who had, you know, clean finance reports, material weaknesses and mature weaknesses within i.t component. And what's so remarkable is that he compared those firms with clean financial reports versus those that had material weaknesses within i.t.

00:30:49:00 - 00:31:09:10
Gene Kim
Component. And the punchline is that the ceos in that third category were fired at a rate eight times higher than the clean firms. The CFOs are fired at a rate four times higher. And you know, so what's remarkable is that you don't read the Wall street journal hear about ceos being fired for, you know, these i.t. Issues. And yet that's what is evident in his research.

00:31:09:10 - 00:31:43:22
Gene Kim
And i guess the reason why I bring it up is that he actually studied what for the CEOs who were fired what was the next job and he found that the CEOs their next job was often in smaller firms or at a more less senior role. Just for me, it just really caught my attention. I just always do that paper because it says leadership matters not just to the organization that we're currently serving, but if you screw it up, you know, this actually affects your own career because, you know, you'll find that your job is not that tackling bigger problems with less foresight.

00:31:43:22 - 00:32:00:18
Gene Kim
Your next job is going to be tackling smaller problems with more oversight and I think there's a just that shows that there is, I guess, a just the world. It works in just ways, but leaders matter. Leadership matters, right? As a company concludes that we both come due in our careers.

00:32:00:20 - 00:32:16:03
Kevin Eikenberry
I love that. So I'm going to ask you, when we get done here, to give me the link to that so we can put that in the show notes and we'll have that for all of you there. So one last question for you, Gene. The one you probably most wanted me to ask from the very beginning, where can people learn more?

00:32:16:06 - 00:32:23:20
Kevin Eikenberry
Where do you want to point them to for the book? Anything at all about connecting with you, getting linked up with your your work?

00:32:23:22 - 00:32:41:19
Gene Kim
Absolutely. Just go to you know, books are available wearing the winning organization at your favorite book retailer. And if you want to learn about more about the work I'm doing, just go to it revolution I. Com so that's it revolution dot com it can certainly hit me up on LinkedIn and your favorite social media of choice.

00:32:41:21 - 00:33:08:03
Kevin Eikenberry
There you go I t revolution dot com so now everybody before we go I have a question for all of you that I ask you every single episode and it is this now what what action are you going to take as a result of listening to Jane and I's conversation? What idea will you go implement? Maybe your idea is to think about what do I what's the system that we need to work to slow?

00:33:08:03 - 00:33:32:06
Kevin Eikenberry
Ify Maybe you've gotten some insights about thinking about the role of planning and practice for your team or for yourself. Maybe you're taking from this idea is for you personally or for you as a leader? Maybe for both. I don't know what your actions are, but I do know that if you take action, you'll get far more from this last 30 minutes than you would have otherwise.

00:33:32:08 - 00:33:43:01
Kevin Eikenberry
So with that, I will say thank you, Jane, for joining me. It was it was a pleasure to have you. And thanks again for your good work and for joining us today.

00:33:43:07 - 00:33:46:03
Gene Kim
Kevin, thank you so much. Right back at you. Keep up the amazing work.

00:33:46:05 - 00:34:04:01
Kevin Eikenberry
All right, everybody. That's the last of this episode. But, you know, we'll be back next week with another episode of the Remarkable Leadership Podcast. Join us then and make sure you like, subscribe, share. You know what to do wherever you happen to be watching or listening to this podcast. Do that and we'll see you next week. Thanks, everybody.

Meet Gene

Gene's Story: Gene Kim is the co-author of several influential books, including The Unicorn Project, The Phoenix Project, and The DevOps Handbook. His latest book is Wiring the Winning Organization. Gene was the founder and CTO of Tripwire, Inc for 13 years, an enterprise security software company. In 2014, he launched DevOps Enterprise Summit, an annual event that has attracted over 10,000 technology leaders to date. He has spoken at over 100 companies and conferences, including Apple, Target, IBM, Nike, Principal Financial, lululemon, and Microsoft. His books have sold over 1 million copies.

Follow The Remarkable Leadership Podcast

This Episode is brought to you by...

The Long-Distance Team. Remote leadership experts, Kevin Eikenberry and Wayne Turmel, help leaders navigate the new world of remote and hybrid teams to design the culture they desire for their teams and organizations in their new book!

Book Recommendations

Like this?

Join Our Community

If you want to view our live podcast episodes, hear about new releases, or chat with others who enjoy this podcast join one of our communities below.

Leave a Review

If you liked this conversation, we’d be thrilled if you’d let others know by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts. Here’s a quick guide for posting a review.

Share:
Read More
How Leaders Unleash Greatness in Others with Stephen MR Covey
Personal Leadership Development

How Leaders Unleash Greatness in Others with Stephen MR Covey

Share:

You have probably heard of the “command and control” style of leadership. Stephen M.R. Covey joins Kevin to discuss the alternative – “trust and inspire”. Stephen says we underestimate the importance of trust by at least a factor of 10 if not 100 and highlights the high cost of low trust. Covey outlines five mindset shifts that form a more accurate and complete leadership paradigm (people have greatness in them, people are whole people, there is enough for everyone, leadership is stewardship, and influence is created from the inside out). He also touches on the evolving nature of work and the multitude of choices available to individuals.

Listen For

00:00 Introduction
02:35 Covey's Journey and Focus on Trust
08:08 Command and Control vs. Trust and Inspire
12:34 Five Fundamental Beliefs of Leadership
17:53 Shifting Leadership Paradigms
24:41 Personal Anecdotes and Application of Principles
29:44 Closing

View Full Transcript

00:00:08:10 - 00:00:38:12
Kevin Eikenberry
Few people would say that they want to be led by a command and control leader. Yet we see them everywhere and some say they don't want to be one. But the question is what is my option? Today, we will give you language and ideas for that other option. With the help of a multi-time bestselling author, welcome to another episode of the Remarkable Leadership Podcast, where we are helping leaders grow personally and professionally to lead more effectively make a bigger difference for their teams, organizations and the world.

00:00:38:14 - 00:01:01:14
Kevin Eikenberry
If you are listening to this podcast, you could be with us live for future episodes like I am right now. And you can do that by joining us on your favorite social channel. And the way to do that is to get connected with one of our groups so that you can find all that out. You can do that on our Facebook group or our LinkedIn group, although you don't have to only watch in those locations.

00:01:01:19 - 00:01:25:23
Kevin Eikenberry
You can learn more by joining those groups at either remarkable podcast dot com slash Facebook or remarkable podcast dot com slash LinkedIn. Hope you will do those things. Today's episode is brought to you by our remarkable master classes pick from 13 important life and leadership skills to help you become more effective, productive and confident while overcoming some of the leader's toughest challenges.

00:01:26:00 - 00:01:47:07
Kevin Eikenberry
Learn more and sign up at Remarkable Masterclass dot com. Our guest today is Steven m r Covey. I'm going to bring him in then let me introduce him. I see some comments have come in. I'll get those up in a second. Let me introduce him to you. He's probably one of the people that's here that you've heard of before.

00:01:47:11 - 00:02:11:00
Kevin Eikenberry
He maybe he doesn't need any introduction. I'm going to give you one anyway. Stephen Moore is the New York Times, Best New York Times and Wall Street Journal, best selling author of The Speed of Trust, a phenomenal book which has been translated into 26 languages and sold over 2 million copies worldwide. He's also the author of another bestseller, Trust and Inspire How to Excuse Me, How truly Great Leaders Inspire Greatness in Others.

00:02:11:02 - 00:02:35:16
Kevin Eikenberry
And that's what we're talking about today. He brings to his writings the perspective of a practitioner as he is a former president and CEO, CEO of the Covey Leadership Center, where he increase shareholder value 67 times and grew the company to become the largest leadership development firm in the world. A Harvard MBA he co-founded and currently leads Franklin Covey Global Speed of trust Practice.

00:02:35:18 - 00:03:08:02
Kevin Eikenberry
He serves on numerous boards, including the Government Leadership Advisory Council, and he's been recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award for top thought leaders and trust from trust across America, trust around the world. And I'm going to tell you right now that if you're watching the podcast, excuse me, listen to podcast and you respond to me by the end of February 2024, you have a chance to win this copy of this new book, hardcover copy, not the one that I worked from, but one that I'm going to send to someone the way you get entered.

00:03:08:02 - 00:03:26:21
Kevin Eikenberry
And you can do that, whether you're watching this live now or listening to podcast is to send me a note on LinkedIn and say, Kevin Enemy in the drawing for a copy of Trust and Inspire. I hope you'll do that. Going to my LinkedIn, you see my name, that's how you find me on LinkedIn. Go ahead and do that.

00:03:26:21 - 00:03:32:03
Kevin Eikenberry
So without any further ado, Stephen, welcome.

00:03:32:05 - 00:03:41:17
Stephen MR Covey
Hey, thank you so much, Kevin. I'm really excited to be with you and with all of our guest today who had this conversation. So thank you for inviting me to be part of this.

00:03:41:21 - 00:04:09:15
Kevin Eikenberry
All right. We've got Boston and New Hampshire and Texas and who knows who else. Let's see what else we got here. This topic couldn't come at a better time. That's a good that's a good way to lead us in that. Daniel, thank you for for reading my notes. So, Stephen, before we get I want to talk about why this book, but before we get there, just really quickly, we all know knew who your dad was.

00:04:09:17 - 00:04:20:05
Kevin Eikenberry
That's that's a part of your life. I know. But tell us a little bit about your journey, how you end up doing this work, and specifically how your work ends up being focused around trust.

00:04:20:07 - 00:04:50:07
Stephen MR Covey
Yeah, Great. Great. Well, thank you. Yes. Well, so I am the son of Dr. Stephen Covey, who wrote the Seven Habits. And I'll just let me just say this, if I could, upfront about about my father, because a lot of people have read that book and been influenced by the book or by him. And what I would say this, it's as good as my father was in in public, as a speaker, as an author, and he was very good.

00:04:50:09 - 00:04:51:22
Kevin Eikenberry
He was very good as.

00:04:51:22 - 00:05:11:18
Stephen MR Covey
Good as he was in public. He was even better in private, as it has been to my mother as a father, to his kids. He was the real deal. He was who you thought he was. And that's maybe the kindest and most accurate tribute I can give to him. Is that as good as he was in public, he was even better in private.

00:05:11:20 - 00:05:37:16
Stephen MR Covey
And so I feel very blessed and grateful to have been raised by him and by my mother. And so that's part of my journey is is having having mentors like that. And what a blessing that was for me. And so my my path took me. How I ended up getting into trust is that, you know, I became the CEO of the Cavendish Ship Center and we went all around the world.

00:05:37:18 - 00:06:05:06
Stephen MR Covey
Then we did a merger with our arch competitor at the time, at the time, Franklin Quest to form Franklin Covey. And these were great people with, you know, coming from both both companies, great values and everything. But we've been competitors. And so we were kind of had different views of the world. And now we're together and there's little trust, not so much that we done things to each other, but we just saw the world differently.

00:06:05:06 - 00:06:31:07
Stephen MR Covey
We'd been competing for years, sat there was low trust, and I saw how with this low trust, everything slowed down, Everything cost more. Everything got kind of got interpreted and politicized and the like. And suddenly we were not as creative and in as collaborative, we became internally focused and I began to see firsthand and witness the high cost of low trust.

00:06:31:09 - 00:06:52:21
Stephen MR Covey
And the value of the merger was not going to achieve what it was capable of achieving. If that stayed that way. So we began began to become intentional and deliberate about saying, you know what, We can't just assume trust. We have to work on building it explicitly, intentionally, on purpose with each other. And we began to do that.

00:06:52:22 - 00:07:25:23
Stephen MR Covey
And when we when we began to behave away and a greater trust, the trust did in fact, grow. And once we increased the trust and suddenly our collaboration went up dramatically, our creativity, our innovation, we could move fast. We were far more valuable added value adding to clients and customers. Everything changed, and I kind of came away from that whole experience just with some observations as having witnessed kind of the high cost of low trust and the great returns and and benefits that dividends of high trust.

00:07:26:01 - 00:07:46:12
Stephen MR Covey
And I came away saying, you know, trust matters and we all know that. But I think we're underestimating how much it matters by a factor of ten, maybe by a factor of a hundred. Trust matters. Trust is learnable. You can move the needle on trust. You can build it intentionally. And there's nothing more high leverage that we can do today.

00:07:46:14 - 00:08:08:03
Stephen MR Covey
And I looked around and I felt like most of the stuff on trust was either too soft, you know? You know, you know, like trust everyone or too academic and not practical and tangible enough. And suddenly I felt like, this is what I want to say. I found my voice because I was a little reluctant to follow in my father's footsteps.

00:08:08:05 - 00:08:11:22
Kevin Eikenberry
That just says, Put your father's name, for heaven's sakes.

00:08:12:02 - 00:08:37:16
Stephen MR Covey
That got his name. And, you know, no matter what I write, it's not going to be the seven habits. It's just the reality. And and so I was a little reluctant. But once I found my voice around trust that this is a big idea that we can get so much better at, Then suddenly the fear dissipated and I felt emboldened and really inspired to proceed down that path.

00:08:37:16 - 00:09:04:22
Stephen MR Covey
So I wrote the speed of trust, which is really reflecting these learnings and insights and then Smart trust and now this new book, Trust and Inspire, which is a leadership book. So that's kind of my journey. And it came about from my own crucible of being in the middle of this merger and experiencing firsthand the high cost of low trust, but then turning around and seeing the great return of high trust and saying, Well, what if we could get really good at this on purpose?

00:09:05:04 - 00:09:06:05
Stephen MR Covey
That was the idea.

00:09:06:07 - 00:09:36:00
Kevin Eikenberry
And in and I love that. And, you know, when I introduced you, I said, you come at your writing from the perspective of a practitioner, which is exactly what you just said again. And I think that's why speed one of the reasons why Speed of Trust resonated so well and why I believe this new book also a best seller, Trust and Inspire, is so valuable, is because it comes at it from a very practical perspective, although it does help us lift our eyes to see something that perhaps we aren't thinking about or thinking about in the best way.

00:09:36:02 - 00:09:59:17
Kevin Eikenberry
I opened by using this phrase command and control. And it's one of the pieces of this book, right? Like we've been leading by some version of command and control, at least not everyone, but societally by this model for a very long time. And so let's start there before we offer the alternative by saying, What do you mean when you say that?

00:09:59:17 - 00:10:02:18
Kevin Eikenberry
I don't make sure we're all on the same page before we go on.

00:10:02:20 - 00:10:29:16
Stephen MR Covey
Yeah, it's just kind of the more traditional style of leadership, the more top down hierarchical kind of what we've grown up with. And and I'm just kind of putting it in those three words, command and control to capture it. But I'm acknowledging that we've made a lot of progress within that command and control paradigm. And, you know, there was the authoritarian command and control kind of flown out of the industrial age.

00:10:29:16 - 00:10:58:07
Stephen MR Covey
That's the real focus on efficiency and and scientific management and all these things. And that was helpful in its time. But there was not enough focus on people. So it began to be focused more on people and added things like emotional intelligence and strengths and mission and trustworthiness. And that was all really good. And the problem is for for most, we didn't shift the paradigm, the mindset of how we view people, how we view leadership.

00:10:58:09 - 00:11:04:16
Stephen MR Covey
So it just became a more enlightened command and control, which is a far better version of it, right?

00:11:04:22 - 00:11:27:17
Kevin Eikenberry
For sure. But part of what you're suggesting here, and I think the first piece of big value is to give us the alternative, like more than just sort of and you use this idea in the book of a continuum, like instead of just sort of moving in a direction which is what you've just described, you're saying if command and control is on this end, we've got to describe what's on the other end.

00:11:27:17 - 00:11:39:02
Kevin Eikenberry
So the title sort of gives it away. But what's the alternative then? The true alternative, not just the incremental improvement, What's the true alternative to command and control?

00:11:39:04 - 00:12:08:05
Stephen MR Covey
It's trust and inspire. Again, three words and trying to drive parallel command and control, trust and inspire. And that starts from the premise of a partnership and in is moving into the whole realm of inspiration as opposed to motivation. You know, command and control tends to be motivation, external, extrinsic, So heavy carrot and stick motivation rewards, nothing wrong with it, just incomplete and just insufficient.

00:12:08:07 - 00:12:34:04
Stephen MR Covey
Whereas inspirations, internal, intrinsic, it's inside of people. We're trying to light the fire within. And that fire once that we can burn on for months, if not years, without the need for constant external stimuli. So yes, I believe that the future of leadership is moving from some form of command and control, even the enlightened version of it, depression Inspire, which I believe is different in kind, not just different in degree.

00:12:34:06 - 00:12:59:06
Stephen MR Covey
You know, you move within the paradigm of command and control, and enlightened is different in degree. Much better version, but we need to kind of cross the chasm, if you will, take the leap in a sense, different and contrasting is fire, which really views people as whole, people with greatness inside of them. And our job as a leader is not to try to control them, to unleash them and see the potential in their talent and so forth.

00:12:59:11 - 00:13:24:02
Kevin Eikenberry
Yeah, I love that idea, the idea of unleashing potential, which we can't unleash potential if we don't if we don't see it and people can't unleash it if they don't see it. And so I was going to go there later, but you just sort of led us there. So underneath of this alternative of trust and inspire are some beliefs.

00:13:24:04 - 00:13:48:04
Kevin Eikenberry
And and I and you hinted at a couple of them and I'm going to I'm going to give you the chance to just sort of lay them out. I'll put it across the screen and then then we'll talk about them a little bit. So here we go. The five beliefs that you think are needed, or we could call them at least one called mindsets that we need in order to really make this shift.

00:13:48:06 - 00:13:49:20
Kevin Eikenberry
Right. So what are they?

00:13:49:22 - 00:14:15:12
Stephen MR Covey
Starts and starts with this mindset, these beliefs. Collectively, this comprises a paradigm, and a paradigm came from the Greek right that paradigmatic which means a mental map or model. So it's trying to be a map that describes the territory. But you could have an inaccurate map. Think of the early cartographers and their maps of the world. You know, they kind of got parts of it, but it's incomplete, inaccurate map.

00:14:15:14 - 00:14:37:16
Stephen MR Covey
So we've often operated with an incomplete or inaccurate map of people and of leadership. These five fundamental beliefs collectively comprise a more complete, more accurate map of both people and a leadership. So here's what they are. First, I believe that people have greatness inside of them. I know this is one of the things that you talk about right, About Kevin.

00:14:37:18 - 00:14:47:07
Stephen MR Covey
The people have greatness inside of them. So if I buy that belief, my job as a leader is to unleash their potential, not to control them.

00:14:47:09 - 00:14:53:23
Kevin Eikenberry
Right. And if I believe that I don't need to command them, I can trust.

00:14:54:01 - 00:15:22:23
Stephen MR Covey
I can trust them because they have greatness inside them. I'm trying to I try to I start by trying to see the greatness because, like it was Emerson who said no, Thoreau is not what you look at. That matters. It's what you see. You see the greatness of people and and such that you can then communicate the greatness to them so that they come to see it in themselves and develop it genuinely.

00:15:23:01 - 00:15:24:16
Stephen MR Covey
And you can trust them.

00:15:24:18 - 00:15:46:23
Kevin Eikenberry
The alternative is if we don't see it, we won't. We will lead people toward it. Right? And if we don't see it, then then the whole idea of trust and inspire rings hollow. Because how can we trust them if we don't see the greatness in them? So the second of the five is I love that, by the way.

00:15:47:00 - 00:16:17:06
Stephen MR Covey
Yes, wonderful. I believe that people are whole people, meaning body, heart, mind, spirit. So if I buy that belief, then my job as a leader is to inspire, not merely motivate. Now, look at people. We're just economic beings only, you know, just the body. Then motivation would be sufficient. You know, just pay him. That's enough. But in addition to a body.

00:16:17:08 - 00:16:37:22
Stephen MR Covey
So they want to be paid. That's inappropriate. You need to do it. But they also have a heart. So they want to connect and to care and to belong. They have a mind. So they want to grow and develop and and improve. And they have a spirit. So they want to contribute and make a difference and matter and have significance.

00:16:38:00 - 00:17:02:23
Stephen MR Covey
So inspiring can take you to a whole different place beyond mere motivating. Only because they're whole people and they bring their whole steps to work. So that's how I view people as whole, people with greatness inside of them. So that's a more complete and expansive view, and I believe accurate view of people, then a more limited view that says, hey, maybe a few people have greatness inside of them.

00:17:02:23 - 00:17:19:08
Stephen MR Covey
They're called high potentials, but nobody else has, you know, or very few do. So I got to control everybody else. And, you know, and, you know, and others might say, you know what, at the end of the day, people are just economic being. So just pay. It's all about pay. No, that's a factor.

00:17:19:10 - 00:17:23:19
Kevin Eikenberry
But it's not the whole it's not the whole it's not the whole matter.

00:17:23:21 - 00:17:53:13
Stephen MR Covey
Right. Exactly. So that's a more complete view of people hope people with greatness inside of them. Everyone believes the next three or how I view leadership. So number three, I believe that there is enough for everyone that's in a abundance mentality as opposed to a scarcity mentality. So if I buy that belief, then my job as a leader is to elevate caring above competing.

00:17:53:15 - 00:18:34:17
Stephen MR Covey
Yes, let's compete in the marketplace, but let us care and collaborate in the workplace. But oftentimes, rather than abundance, people are scripted with scarcity. They have to compete with each other inside the workforce itself, and it flows out of a scarcity mindset. So I think, yes, scarcity might be good economic theory, but I believe that scarcity is lousy leadership theory because I think there's an abundance of everything that is good that we're seeking, of respect, of empathy, of compassion, of commitment, of creativity, of innovation, of trust, of inspiration.

00:18:34:19 - 00:19:02:12
Kevin Eikenberry
If you take all of that list of things you just said, we would all agree that the more caring there is, the more caring there will be and the more trust there is, the more trust there will be. And the more innovation there is, the more innovation there will be. So like by definition, we know this if we stop and really think about it, but if we look at the world like someone's going to win and someone's going to lose, like on the football field, much as we might enjoy watching that, or in my case, basketball.

00:19:02:14 - 00:19:14:19
Kevin Eikenberry
The reality is it isn't. That isn't the way the world is if we see the world in this way. So the second of the three beliefs about leadership is what.

00:19:14:21 - 00:19:55:00
Stephen MR Covey
I believe that leadership is stewardship, meaning is about responsibility, not rights, influence, not position. So if I buy that belief, then my job as a leader is to put service above self-interest. And here's the irony, Kevin, in the process of doing so. Self-interest is usually served, but it put service above self-interest. Why? Because I'm a steward, and I believe that this idea that we are stewards as leaders and that leadership is about stewardship, responsible, that's implicit, inherent with being a leader as opposed to rights that come with being a leader.

00:19:55:02 - 00:20:30:18
Stephen MR Covey
So I see myself as a steward and have a stewardship for those that I am serving. And then finally, the fifth one, I believe that enduring influence is created from the inside out. So if I buy that belief, then my job as a leader is to go first. Someone needs to go first. Leaders go first. So if they want more respect, they're the first to demonstrate and show the respect They want more openness, more transparency, more vulnerable, more vulnerable.

00:20:30:20 - 00:20:40:06
Stephen MR Covey
Vulnerability are the first to be open, transparent and vulnerable. They go first. They want more trust. They're the first to give trust.

00:20:40:08 - 00:20:45:14
Kevin Eikenberry
If they want the group. If they want the organization to be more positive, they've got to go. We could go right on down.

00:20:45:16 - 00:21:04:22
Stephen MR Covey
Go on. They go first. There. They work inside out, meaning they always look in the mirror. They start with themselves versus outsider in which is pointing the finger. As soon as they change, he changes, he changes. Then we can do this soon as a CEO is changes the board, you know, the market. Those are all factors. They're all real.

00:21:05:00 - 00:21:34:04
Stephen MR Covey
But an outside in is not how that's how we diagnose, but how we change, develop and transform is always inside out. And it's certainly true for us as leaders. So those five fundamental beliefs collectively comprise a more accurate and more complete, a more relevant and expansive paradigm of people and of leadership that tell you shift the paradigm, you're still in incremental improvement within a flawed, limited paradigm, you know, of command and control of some version of it.

00:21:34:06 - 00:21:41:16
Stephen MR Covey
But this is a more expansive paradigm of trust and inspires viewing people in a whole different in kind way. It's a sea change.

00:21:41:18 - 00:22:19:03
Kevin Eikenberry
It's a sea change. And and I really wanted to focus on the beliefs. And I'm going to ask a couple more questions here before we start to wrap up, because that the the value in this book, Trust and Inspire, starts with those beliefs. And so if you're listening or watching and and and you're nodding, if you're saying, yeah, I'm with you on that, or maybe I don't always live it, but I believe those things, then the book gives you the roadmap on what to do, but it has to start with those beliefs.

00:22:19:07 - 00:22:34:00
Kevin Eikenberry
And that's why I wanted to, to, to lead with the beliefs, because that sets the table. Ultimately, if you don't buy those beliefs that Stephen just shared, this book is going to be of limited value to. You agree?

00:22:34:02 - 00:22:35:02
Stephen MR Covey
Yes.

00:22:35:04 - 00:22:39:08
Kevin Eikenberry
And that's not what you wanted me to say. I know you're talking.

00:22:39:10 - 00:23:16:07
Stephen MR Covey
Yeah, ultimately it does, saying that this is a more complete and relevant and expensive way of looking at people in the leadership. And and here's what I would say is that, you know, if I could paraphrase my friend Marshall Goldsmith, you know, what got us here won't get us there. So the kind of leadership that might have got us to where we are today might have been a version of command and control is not going to be the kind of leadership that's going to need to take us to where we need to go tomorrow with all the change and disruption going on with these younger generations.

00:23:16:09 - 00:23:43:08
Stephen MR Covey
And, you know, Gen Z and this upcoming alpha generation, which is completely different expectations with, you know, work from home hybrid, remote options that didn't exist a few years ago. With all these choices, we've got to lead in a new way. A new world of work requires a new way to lead. So we need to shift to stay relevant because the old command and control model, even the enlightened version, is becoming increasingly less and less relevant.

00:23:43:10 - 00:23:49:17
Stephen MR Covey
So hopefully that if maybe someone could buy that, then they could say, So let me take a look at these beliefs.

00:23:49:17 - 00:23:50:13
Kevin Eikenberry
Exactly.

00:23:50:15 - 00:24:11:10
Stephen MR Covey
Yeah, but here's what I would say this on the beliefs. Like, you know, my guess is most of your viewers and listeners, because of the nature of this, you know, this is the Remarkable leadership podcast. So you're talking about remarkable leadership, which I think is trust inspire leadership. So the listeners are kind of attuned to this and they're hearing this from you and from your guests.

00:24:11:12 - 00:24:41:05
Stephen MR Covey
And so my guess is most people would say, I buy I buy those beliefs. But here's what happens sometimes. Sometimes our style can get in the way of our intent. So we might buy the belief that sometimes when the pressures on is very easy for us down to get in the way of our intent. You know, we've got to close the quarters, drop, the pressure's on to get the results, get the numbers, and suddenly we move into command and control because we it's our native tongue.

00:24:41:07 - 00:24:58:21
Stephen MR Covey
We know it. We're good at it. It's what we're raised in and the pressures on, we revert to it. You know, if I if I'm learning a new language and practicing the language every day, but then I take a hammer and I miss the nail and I hit my thumb, I'm going to curse out in my native tongue language.

00:24:59:02 - 00:25:01:00
Kevin Eikenberry
We're going to curse out in Korean, right? Or whatever.

00:25:01:00 - 00:25:27:08
Stephen MR Covey
That's right. That's right. Because because of the thrashes on and oftentimes our style gets in the way of our intent. And a personal note on this, I learned this from my kids later and where my style gets in the way of my intent. We go on a family vacation. You know, I got five kids. They got all these kids running around and and said, I get nervous around airports because I know everything that can go wrong and you got to be there on time.

00:25:27:08 - 00:25:44:07
Stephen MR Covey
The plane's going to leave with or without you. And so we go to the airport and here I believe in the greatness of my children, that they're capable of responsible. But you wouldn't know it to watch me in an airport because suddenly we go there and I turn into this command and control. Dad, that's just barking out orders.

00:25:44:11 - 00:26:06:17
Stephen MR Covey
No, no, no, no, no. No one's going to go eat. You're going to stay here at the gate. And you know, you can't go shopping and I'm just controlling their every move. What I learned later, Kevin, is that my kids came up with the name, their nickname for this, and they would say, Hey, everyone, Dad's got airport face, and airport face means I'm all freaked out.

00:26:06:19 - 00:26:26:04
Stephen MR Covey
I'm just barking out orders and commands everyone and here we are going on vacation and nobody is having any fun but that. You know, my style is getting in the way of my intent. My intent is I do believe in my kids, but the pressure's on and I revert to this heavy handed style. And you have a home.

00:26:26:04 - 00:26:46:09
Kevin Eikenberry
Alone moment right now. So so, you know, you hinted at this. You went back to say you answered part of the question of why is this so important now? And you talked about this. And in the book you talk about five factors. You talk and you hinted at them in the first four of them, I think pretty much everyone would say, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, right.

00:26:46:09 - 00:27:09:22
Kevin Eikenberry
The world's changing, the work's changing, the workplace is changing, the nature of the workforce is changing. But the last one of those five is the one I want you to say a little bit more about, because it, it fascinated me and it and it illuminated to me in a new way, I think something important. And you said so the the last of those sort of reasons why we have to lead differently is because of the nature.

00:27:10:01 - 00:27:17:19
Kevin Eikenberry
The nature of choice is changing. Say a little bit more about that because I don't think that's something people have thought about in this way.

00:27:17:22 - 00:27:47:21
Stephen MR Covey
Yeah, well, if you think about it, with all of the advances in technology and everything else and the workplace changing, we've gone from what we might call multiple choice to infinite choice. There's just all kinds of options and possibilities, the advent of the gig economy and all these things where suddenly I can live here and work there. I have options and choices and I can do all these different things in a way I didn't have even a few years ago.

00:27:47:23 - 00:28:16:00
Stephen MR Covey
So before I might have had a number of choices. Now it's infinite for people, and so people get to choose where they want to be, who they want to work with and why, and they're going to choose to work with people where they feel trusted, where they feel inspired, and if they feel like they're just being commanded and controlled, they'll they'll go find a place where they feel trusted and where, you know, they because they have choices and options in a way they didn't have before.

00:28:16:02 - 00:28:36:02
Stephen MR Covey
I like to put it this way People don't want to be managed. People want to be led. They want to be trusted and inspired. And when they're just being managed and being commanded and controlled, they have too many choices and options today to stay there forever. That to say, you know what, I don't need this. I can go elsewhere and they will.

00:28:36:07 - 00:28:47:23
Stephen MR Covey
And we won't retain talent, especially the best talent, and we won't bring out the best in talent. We try to command and control our way. So it's got to be a new way to lead trust, inspire.

00:28:48:01 - 00:29:15:04
Kevin Eikenberry
I love that. So as we start to wrap up, I want to remind you all that you are listening to my conversation with Stephen McCubbin, the author of a number of books, including the newest Trust in Inspire, has been the focus of this conversation. If you missed it earlier, if before now, between now and the end of February 2024, you send me a LinkedIn note and say, I want a copy of the book, you'll be entered in a drawing to win a copy of this book.

00:29:15:04 - 00:29:34:21
Kevin Eikenberry
I hope you'll do that and connect with me on LinkedIn while you're there. Stephen A couple of things before we go. I'm going to shift the you and I know like we were chatting before we went live and I suddenly realized it was time to go live like I know you and I can have very long conversation. We you go a long way, but I want to get to a couple of things that maybe you don't always get asked before we finish.

00:29:34:21 - 00:29:44:15
Kevin Eikenberry
And one of those is other than maybe not at the airport, but maybe after you leave the airport. But like, what do you do for fun?

00:29:44:17 - 00:30:09:12
Stephen MR Covey
Well, I love to go to sporting events as well as cultural events. So I love it. I'm I have a son right now, Kevin, that plays in the NFL for the Philadelphia Eagles. So I go to a lot of pro football games, which is fun. I so I love sporting events, but I also love cultural events. I love to go to plays on Broadway in the West End in London.

00:30:09:14 - 00:30:32:12
Stephen MR Covey
And and then I love to go to concerts and so that's fun for me, kind of events, cultural events, sporting events and concerts, things like that. That's I find fun and I love to do it with my family and with my wife, with my children. I mean, I started with when I was this was clear back in 2007.

00:30:32:12 - 00:30:42:06
Stephen MR Covey
I took my young seven year old daughter to Taylor Swift in 2007. And I was I was a swifty before there were Swifties.

00:30:42:06 - 00:30:44:03
Kevin Eikenberry
Before the restrictive seven.

00:30:44:03 - 00:31:03:03
Stephen MR Covey
And so and I taking her to the three Taylor Swift concerts, you know, so now you're, you know, this huge thing going on today. And I feel like I was there before. This was so, so big and so things like that. I do I try to do it with my my children. You know, my kids are my hobbies in a sense.

00:31:03:05 - 00:31:08:20
Stephen MR Covey
And and I just love to spend time with my family. But doing activities, doing events are fun for me.

00:31:09:01 - 00:31:20:09
Kevin Eikenberry
I love that. One of the things I know we have in common is that we're both readers, and that's the only thing you knew I was going to ask you, but what are you reading, Steven, these days, or what's something you've read recently?

00:31:20:11 - 00:31:49:06
Stephen MR Covey
Yeah, well, you know, I really love some of the works of of Francis Frye and Ann Morris, and their earlier book Unleashed is terrific. They have a brand new book out called Move Fast and Fix Things. And and Francis invited me to endorse it, which I did. I really love the book. And the whole premise is bringing speed back into the equation.

00:31:49:07 - 00:32:11:01
Stephen MR Covey
It's and it's speed can get a bad name, you know, because you can move fast and break things in there. Their whole point is no novel is rethink speed, move fast and fix things. SAMILTON Eastley And that three, that resonates because my whole thing is on the speed and speed of trust. And so I really believe that that once you build this trust, you move fast.

00:32:11:03 - 00:32:18:06
Stephen MR Covey
And when you fix things as well, then you have a greater impact. So that's a great new book that's out there by and Morris and Francis Fry.

00:32:18:08 - 00:32:37:12
Kevin Eikenberry
We will have that in the show Notes has always and Daniel on LinkedIn says The Speed of Trust was workshop during his master's program at the University of Texas in Dallas. He loves the book he uses in his practice in Brazil, so that's probably a good place to take us now. Stephen, where do you want to point people?

00:32:37:17 - 00:32:46:03
Kevin Eikenberry
Where do you want to send people? How do you want to connect with people? What do you want them to know? Before we wrap up an hour for those who are watching, I'll hold the book up while you do that.

00:32:46:05 - 00:33:09:05
Stephen MR Covey
Well, thank you. I would say this that I got go to trust and inspire icon trust inspired icon, the name of the book. We have a website there with a variety of tools and things you can do and including how to connect with me via social media on an X on on Instagram and and LinkedIn and the like.

00:33:09:05 - 00:33:32:16
Stephen MR Covey
Facebook. So variety of ways you can connect that way and some different tools. And I think that again you know we hit today the fundamental beliefs, which I'm really glad that we did Kevin because it's easy to kind of skip the basic paradigm and kind of move right into the the stewardship ships and, and but those beliefs matter enormously.

00:33:32:18 - 00:34:05:22
Stephen MR Covey
And so I'll just give one little quick illustration if I could have a great example of trust in Inspire in Action of adopting beliefs like this and then doing this, the stewardship that followed that follow the stewardship of the model to trust and to inspire, which is all part of the trust inspire approach. But I think of what Satya Nadella has done at Microsoft, along with Kathleen Hogan, who is the the head of the Chief People officer, Chief human resource officer, a brilliant leader as well.

00:34:06:00 - 00:34:30:03
Stephen MR Covey
And how, you know, they came in and through a different approach of leadership and they started with a growth mindset for everyone. This idea there's greatness inside of people, growth mindset for everyone. And this idea of I've seen that and then trying to unleash it and and in their words, it was a model coach care approach, which is really modeling, trusting, inspiring.

00:34:30:05 - 00:34:58:14
Stephen MR Covey
And they and through this process, you know, at the time when Nadella came in, they the culture had become cutthroat, competitive internally. They were losing talent. They were not innovating anymore. They still were. Microsoft still big. But he came in and through his leadership style, his and and Kathleen's literally revitalized the culture. He modeled he trusted he inspired Kathleen model and inspired.

00:34:58:16 - 00:35:23:13
Stephen MR Covey
And they they began to win in the workplace, built a high trust culture that inspires. And they're throwing focus and thriving today. They began to win in the marketplace through collaboration, innovation, their cloud powerhouse completely reinvented themselves. And today they're one of only two companies in the world valued over at over $2 trillion. They've unleashed the greatness of the organization by first unleashing the greatness of their own people.

00:35:23:15 - 00:35:45:21
Stephen MR Covey
And that's the sequence matters the way that we sustain winning in the marketplace with customers and partners is because we first win in the workplace with our own people and track and inspire this kind of leadership. It starts with those beliefs. But then where you model, you trust and you inspire, that will be what unleashes the greatness. The talent is inside of people.

00:35:46:00 - 00:36:00:23
Stephen MR Covey
We need this in our world today. We need it in our not only in our organizations. We need it in our neighborhoods, in our communities, in our society at large. And we can become presence by our leaders to be a model for all the world.

00:36:01:01 - 00:36:20:14
Kevin Eikenberry
You came here to learn how to unleash greatness in others. And we've talked about beliefs, we've talked about approaches, we've talked about ideas. And now I leave all of you with a question. It's the question I ask you. Every single episode of question is, Now what? Okay, now what are you going to do with what you've just learned?

00:36:20:14 - 00:36:41:23
Kevin Eikenberry
There's plenty here to think about. There's plenty of here to consider. And obviously both of us would hope that you'd buy a copy of Trust and Inspire. But beyond that, what ideas did you take from this that you will act on? Having an idea? Being inspired is wonderful. Taking action on the inspiration is what will start to make a difference.

00:36:41:23 - 00:37:04:18
Kevin Eikenberry
I hope that you will think about that and use this as more than just a useful way to spend your time on the treadmill or your drive to work, but rather to think about how how can this conversation and the outcomes that you choose change your work, change your results, change your organization. Steven, thanks so much for being here.

00:37:04:19 - 00:37:10:07
Kevin Eikenberry
It's such a pleasure to be with you. I've been looking forward to this. We finally got the chance to do it. Thank you.

00:37:10:09 - 00:37:18:11
Stephen MR Covey
You are welcome. Kevin Thank you. Love being part of this remarkable leadership podcast. And my response to that go first segment is.

00:37:18:11 - 00:37:38:15
Kevin Eikenberry
That leader focused leaders go first. And so if this is not your first time listening, what how you can go first is you can go write a write up review of this podcast. You can invite someone else to join you in listening to the one we just listen to or listen with us next week for the next episode of the Remarkable Leadership Podcast.

00:37:38:16 - 00:37:39:06
Kevin Eikenberry
Thanks, everybody.

00:37:39:12 - 00:37:39:23
Stephen MR Covey
Thanks.

Meet Stephen

Stephen's Story: Stephen M. R. Covey is The New York Times and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Speed of Trust, which has been translated into 26 languages and sold over 2 million copies worldwide and the newly released bestseller, Trust & Inspire: How Truly Great Leaders Unleash Greatness in Others, which was named as the #1 Leadership Book of 2022 by the Outstanding Works of Literature Awards. Stephen brings to his writings the perspective of a practitioner, as he is the former President & CEO of the Covey Leadership Center, where he increased shareholder value by 67 times and grew the company to become the largest leadership development firm in the world. A Harvard MBA, Stephen co-founded and currently leads FranklinCovey’s Global Speed of Trust Practice. He serves on numerous boards, including the Government Leadership Advisory Council, and he’s been recognized with the lifetime Achievement Award for “Top Thought Leaders in Trust” from Trust Across America-Trust Around the World.

Follow The Remarkable Leadership Podcast

This Episode is brought to you by...

The Long-Distance Team. Remote leadership experts, Kevin Eikenberry and Wayne Turmel, help leaders navigate the new world of remote and hybrid teams to design the culture they desire for their teams and organizations in their new book!

Book Recommendations

Like this?

Join Our Community

If you want to view our live podcast episodes, hear about new releases, or chat with others who enjoy this podcast join one of our communities below.

Leave a Review

If you liked this conversation, we’d be thrilled if you’d let others know by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts. Here’s a quick guide for posting a review.

Share:
Read More
Personal Leadership Development

The Art of Modern Leadership with Kirstin Ferguson

Share:

How can we balance our technical expertise with emotional intelligence and empathy to lead with impact? Dr. Kirstin Ferguson joins Kevin to discuss the evolving nature of leadership. Leadership with the head involves four key attributes – curiosity, wisdom, perspective, and capability. Leading with the head is tangible, it is the things we are good at, and it is what we have been rewarded for. While these attributes are necessary, we also need to lead with the heart. Dr. Ferguson shares heart-based attributes, which include humility, self-awareness, courage, and empathy. Combining both our head and our heart makes us better leaders and sets our team up for success. She also shares insights into leading in a remote/hybrid workplace.

Listen For

00:08 Kevin Eikenberry on the evolving nature of leadership.
02:31 Discussion on Kirstin Ferguson's book about modern leadership.
03:41 Kirstin Ferguson's career journey and leadership experiences.
05:39 Evolution and concept of modern leadership.
07:01 Challenges in adapting to modern leadership expectations.
09:09 Leading with the head: curiosity, wisdom, perspective, capability.
14:34 Heart-based attributes of leadership: humility, self-awareness, courage, empathy.
18:36 Evaluation of modern leaders in contemporary settings.
23:25 Role of wisdom in leadership in the information age.
26:45 Challenges and strategies of remote leadership.

View Full Transcript

00:00:08:07 - 00:00:30:18
Kevin Eikenberry
Leadership in some ways hasn't changed ever. But context and expectations and the world in general has changed a lot. And so, you know, you know that that's why you're here and you want to get better. You want to make sense of the world. That's likely why you're here. You're listening. You're watching because you want to be a more effective leader.

00:00:30:20 - 00:00:54:23
Kevin Eikenberry
That's why this is created for you. And today, we're going to talk about the modern art or excuse me, the art of modern leadership. Welcome to another episode of the Remarkable Leadership podcast, where we are helping leaders grow personally and professionally. To lead more effectively and make a bigger difference for their teams, organizations and the world. If you're listening to this podcast, you could be with us in the future.

00:00:54:23 - 00:01:20:06
Kevin Eikenberry
Live like some people are right now. And to find out about how to do that and join a future live stream, you can join one of our social media groups which will give you all that information, give you some other inside scoops as well. You can do that on Facebook or LinkedIn to join us, Just go to remarkable podcast e-commerce, Facebook or remarkable podcast dot com slash LinkedIn.

00:01:20:08 - 00:01:40:00
Kevin Eikenberry
And if you do that, then you'll have the chance to find out when these are happening in the future and choose to join us then. Today's episode is brought to you by our remarkable Masterclasses pick from 13 important life and leadership skills to help you become a more effective, productive and confident leader while overcoming some of your toughest challenges.

00:01:40:05 - 00:02:05:01
Kevin Eikenberry
You can learn more and sign up at Remarkable Masterclass dot com and that's my cue to bring in our guest. And here she is, her smiling face. At 7:30 a.m. for her in Australia, her name is Kirstin Ferguson. Let me introduce her to you now and then we will dive in. She is a globally recognized leadership expert and one of the top 50 management thinkers in the world.

00:02:05:02 - 00:02:31:11
Kevin Eikenberry
Her career spans an impressive range of roles, from spending 15 years as a board chair and company director, including a significant appointment by the Australian Prime Minister as Acting chair of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Her executive experience includes being the CEO of a global consulting firm and a senior role in a corporate law firm. And she started her career as an officer in the Royal Australian Air Force.

00:02:31:13 - 00:02:53:17
Kevin Eikenberry
Kirsten, I believe you're the first person I've had on on the show who was in the Royal Australian Air Force in 2013. She was awarded as a member of the Royal Order of Australia, recognizing her significant contributions to business and gender equality. She holds a Ph.D. in leadership and culture and is an adjunct professor at the CU U t School of Business with honors degrees in law and history.

00:02:53:19 - 00:03:11:05
Kevin Eikenberry
She's smart, she's accomplished, and her latest book is Right Here Head and Heart The Art of Modern Leadership. It's been acclaimed globally and won many awards, and that's why she's here. And that's why I'm excited to have her join us. Kirsten, welcome.

00:03:11:07 - 00:03:14:09
Kirsten Ferguson
Kevin, what an introduction. Thank you so very much.

00:03:14:10 - 00:03:41:06
Kevin Eikenberry
Well, I called your mom. Listen, I'm so glad that you're here. And and obviously, when when I share a little bit about your background, it probably leaves people wondering with lots of sort of open loops in their mind about what might be true about you. I don't really want you to go back into that as much as answer this question, sort of what sort of led you to this point?

00:03:41:11 - 00:03:57:01
Kevin Eikenberry
Like, you didn't wake up when you were ten and say, I think I'm going to be a leadership expert, write books about leadership, and yet here you are. So tell us just a little bit about about what gets you to this place, a little bit about the journey from that perspective.

00:03:57:03 - 00:04:21:18
Kirsten Ferguson
That's a really interesting question. Look, at any point in my life, I don't think it would be one that my ten year old self would have thought was particularly interesting. But it's funny. I feel like I've come full circle. So you mentioned my Air Force career. I was 1917 when I went to our academy. Similar to your Air Force Academy, and I'd come straight from a private girls school, so it was quite a culture shock.

00:04:21:23 - 00:04:25:05
Kevin Eikenberry
I listen that word. A culture shock?

00:04:25:10 - 00:04:53:12
Kirsten Ferguson
Yeah, exactly. But I did my first university degree there, and I end of studying history, which for anyone out there, you know, isn't the path to career glory. But it was particularly interesting and I did an honors year and a research thesis in leadership. Now, I didn't know then that I was going to be continuing to do that 30 years later, but obviously I had an interest in it from way back when.

00:04:53:14 - 00:05:15:07
Kirsten Ferguson
I think I've always been someone that says yes to opportunities, and so I've never had a linear career or even linear goals. I, you know, reinvent myself all the time based on what I'm passionate about and what I want to be doing. And as you mentioned in your intro, for more than a decade, I've been a professional company director sitting on boards.

00:05:15:08 - 00:05:24:04
Kirsten Ferguson
Then I started writing a book or two and now into my third. And I thought, okay, well, that's the next phase for me, and I'm loving it.

00:05:24:06 - 00:05:39:02
Kevin Eikenberry
So, okay, so the title of the podcast at the end of the live stream and the subtitle of the book is The Art of Modern Leadership. So we should probably start there. What do you mean? Ms.. Historian, what do you mean by modern leadership?

00:05:39:04 - 00:05:47:01
Kirsten Ferguson
Well, I can see you've got the book there, so you would have seen the first chapter. I couldn't resist a little bit of history looking at how we got definitely there.

00:05:47:02 - 00:05:48:13
Kevin Eikenberry
You've got a whole chapter on here.

00:05:48:14 - 00:06:15:10
Kirsten Ferguson
Yeah, well, why it is that, you know, we've had this great man theory from the 18th century that's told us that leaders have to be all knowing. And, you know, the people at the top of the organizational chart, whereas modern leaders are around this every day. I truly believe that every single one of us is a leader, whether in our homes or in our community or in our roles, whether or not we're formal leaders and all of us have the ability to lead with our head and their heart.

00:06:15:10 - 00:06:40:00
Kirsten Ferguson
And I really believe that leadership is simply a series of moments and that every moment is an opportunity to lead a positive legacy and to lead with impact. And that doesn't matter what kind of formal position you're in. And all of us can think of leaders around us who don't have those formal titles but who leave positive influences on us every day.

00:06:40:02 - 00:07:01:11
Kevin Eikenberry
I often say leadership is a verb, not a noun. It's things that we do, not a title that we hold. You said something earlier as you with your history hat on, about sort of the great man theory of leadership. And and, and while I think that generally speaking, we have passed we've passed that chasm for pretty much everyone.

00:07:01:11 - 00:07:33:18
Kevin Eikenberry
But there's something in what you said that I think still leaders today at all levels struggle with, which is I'm supposed to have the answers. I'm supposed to know all the stuff. Like, I got promoted because I was good at it and now I feel like I don't have all the answers. And it leads to all sorts of issues and at least some counterproductive behaviors, but not necessarily with not necessarily with bad intent, but often perceived by their team with as massively bad intent.

00:07:33:20 - 00:07:34:00
Kevin Eikenberry
Right.

00:07:34:00 - 00:07:35:13
Kirsten Ferguson
Yeah.

00:07:35:15 - 00:07:37:04
Kevin Eikenberry
I'm not about that at all.

00:07:37:06 - 00:08:01:22
Kirsten Ferguson
Yeah. I mean, it has lifted the great man theory wall. You know, it in of itself has fortunately disappeared over the centuries. The legacy it's left is still very much with us and even if you think about the people we learn about in school, you know, the kind of leaders that we learn about, they're always the titans of industrial, the presidents or the kings and the queens of the explorers.

00:08:02:00 - 00:08:24:15
Kirsten Ferguson
You know, those individuals that stand out at the top of the tree because of their formal authority and control and command. And that's just not the kind of leader that we have around us anymore. And as you said, one of the other legacies of it is this idea that leaders are infallible, that we somehow know what we're doing.

00:08:24:15 - 00:08:30:04
Kirsten Ferguson
And every leader will tell you that is far from the case, but that any.

00:08:30:04 - 00:08:34:21
Kevin Eikenberry
Leader that has any amount of self-awareness is actually right.

00:08:34:23 - 00:08:58:18
Kirsten Ferguson
But what it leads to is, you know, this idea of needing to be the smartest person in the room and that robs the people you're leading of the opportunities to learn for themselves. It means as a leader, you're not using questions to really enhance the ability for people to make their own decisions. There's just so many things that go wrong, but it's still probably the most prevalent form of leadership we have.

00:08:58:18 - 00:09:08:22
Kirsten Ferguson
And so we've still got a lot of work to do around undoing and rethinking what it means to be a leader and rethinking how we define who our leaders are.

00:09:09:00 - 00:09:38:07
Kevin Eikenberry
And so what you've done with this book is create a simple but not simplistic way of thinking about it, head and heart. And so I want to dive into all of it a little bit. But but first of all, when you say leading with our head, we've really sort of been talking about that a little bit, but say a little bit more when what's the what's the the the good side and the dark side of.

00:09:38:12 - 00:09:39:17
Kevin Eikenberry
Yeah.

00:09:39:19 - 00:10:05:08
Kirsten Ferguson
Well, first of all, I mean, it's obviously a metaphor and it is just an easy way, a simple way, as you said, of really capturing that idea because I think we all understand what that means. Leading with our heads is all the things that we're technically brilliant at. It's actually where we're most comfortable because it's tangible, measurable. You can put it in a policy, you can give a KPI on it.

00:10:05:08 - 00:10:32:12
Kirsten Ferguson
It's where we like to sit and that's what we've been rewarded for at school generally through promotions. And you know, it's just something that where we live. And you mentioned before, often leaders have been promoted on their ability to be technically brilliant or leaders in their industry, but that doesn't mean they're particularly effective leaders. And I will talk about that because that's what this ad of modern leadership is, balancing it with the heart.

00:10:32:14 - 00:10:38:09
Kirsten Ferguson
But the hits covers for attributes. And did you want me to just talk about what those are? Well.

00:10:38:11 - 00:10:43:16
Kevin Eikenberry
Shockingly, I have them to put down below you, as you say, That's the.

00:10:43:18 - 00:10:45:01
Kirsten Ferguson
Plan that Kevin.

00:10:45:05 - 00:10:53:15
Kevin Eikenberry
Had based afterwards. You were with me earlier when I was multitasking and typing them in. So, yes, that's what I was. When you were not having my full attention.

00:10:53:17 - 00:11:09:11
Kirsten Ferguson
And I know that we're going to talk about where people can go and test this for themselves. And we might have a look at yours. But just for anyone who's listening that wants to go to head heart leader dot com and then I'll explain what you can do there. But the first attribute of leaving with the head is curiosity.

00:11:09:11 - 00:11:33:03
Kirsten Ferguson
And it's not just being curious for something, it's truly being curious for anything and being willing to fill gaps in your knowledge and just accepting that you don't know everything. That's a big challenge. As we talked about before. The second is wisdom, and this is all around decision making, and that's being able to assess what's known and unknown, where risk and reward search for data and evidence.

00:11:33:04 - 00:11:38:04
Kirsten Ferguson
This is my worst thing to activate, Kevin, I can admit.

00:11:38:06 - 00:11:48:21
Kevin Eikenberry
So you go through the other two that I want to come back and ask you a question about wisdom, but to make it easier for everyone following along so far, the fact that we had based we've talked about curiosity and wisdom.

00:11:48:23 - 00:12:12:15
Kirsten Ferguson
Number three is perspective. And that's going to be the most important of the eight. And that's all about reading the room. And it's not just noticing what's going on in the room, but noticing who's missing from the room as well. And the fourth is capability. And that's all about having a growth mindset and not just being capable of whatever it is you do, but believe in your capable as well.

00:12:12:16 - 00:12:23:12
Kirsten Ferguson
And capable leaders also build our leaders behind them. You build a whole family tree of leaders. So therefore, head based, most people are pretty comfortable in this.

00:12:23:14 - 00:12:42:20
Kevin Eikenberry
But I have a couple of questions about that because even as you described them just now, there was there was an emotional component to them. Right. And we're going to get to the heart based piece in a second. But the way you described the example you gave for perspective was about reading the room, who's in the room, who's not in the room.

00:12:42:20 - 00:12:48:15
Kevin Eikenberry
So it was more than just observational action.

00:12:48:17 - 00:13:12:14
Kirsten Ferguson
Right. So in in my research, 20,000 people of 19,000 people or so, I've done it since January. Perspective relates most highly of correlates, most highly with empathy. All of these are not so binary as to be just I mean, remembering. It's a metaphor. So of course there it's a spectrum. You need everything. But we had to make a neat metaphor.

00:13:12:19 - 00:13:22:12
Kirsten Ferguson
And so that's now we've sort of divided a lot. But you're absolutely right. Curiosity and humility. The two that really balance with each other as well.

00:13:22:12 - 00:13:24:06
Kevin Eikenberry
And it to those other.

00:13:24:06 - 00:13:26:12
Kirsten Ferguson
Three, I don't want to know spoilers.

00:13:26:16 - 00:13:38:12
Kevin Eikenberry
I'm just trying to help. I'm just trying to help people who are, you know, doing listening while they're on the treadmill. Right. I have to. I recognize that now, if you're listening while you're on the treadmill or whatever else, you're multiple.

00:13:38:13 - 00:13:40:09
Kirsten Ferguson
I'm impressed. If you are.

00:13:40:11 - 00:13:58:01
Kevin Eikenberry
You should stop doing that and just listen. But then you should also just make sure you go to get a copy of Head and Heart by Kirsten Ferguson. So I've been telling myself all day, make sure I don't mispronounce your first name because I know it's been mispronounced a million times in your life with the R and with the R in the eye at the beginning being true.

00:13:58:01 - 00:14:00:03
Kirsten Ferguson
This is definitely not Christian, but it's also I.

00:14:00:03 - 00:14:02:14
Kevin Eikenberry
Know and I've been working hard.

00:14:02:16 - 00:14:14:04
Kirsten Ferguson
Americans that you I get a very different accent on my first name from you guys so we're very blunt. We just call it's just Kirsten whereas I get a kiss with an American undergraduate.

00:14:14:04 - 00:14:17:15
Kevin Eikenberry
Kirsten I'm just trying to make sure I don't try to and I.

00:14:17:17 - 00:14:20:04
Kirsten Ferguson
Haven't done that. You have not done that.

00:14:20:07 - 00:14:34:09
Kevin Eikenberry
So maybe that means that I have at least a little of this heart based stuff. So let's talk about the for heart based attributes. So thinking about the balancing out of the Yeah, of the head side. So what are these and.

00:14:34:11 - 00:14:34:15
Kirsten Ferguson
This.

00:14:34:19 - 00:14:36:22
Kevin Eikenberry
What do you mean by these? And then let's talk about the fourth. Yeah.

00:14:37:03 - 00:14:57:07
Kirsten Ferguson
And they are just as important as the head base, but they're much harder to see and feel and quantify and measure. But it's all about our emotions and how we view and are viewed by the world. The first is humility. And this means we're basically willing to seek out the views of others. We understand things are beyond our control.

00:14:57:07 - 00:15:25:03
Kirsten Ferguson
We're open, grateful for new ideas. So it's all about intellectual humility, self-awareness, which is really understanding the impact that we're having on others. Third is courage, and that's the courage to speak up for what we believe in, even in the face of pressure from others not to do so. And then finally, empathy, which is all about putting ourselves in the shoes of people with very different lived experiences to our own.

00:15:25:05 - 00:15:49:15
Kirsten Ferguson
So in a nutshell, they're the four and all eight are important. We have all eight. It's not a matter of people not having these attributes, but I do believe that when we talk about the heart based attributes, some of them haven't been encouraged to be used at work. So some people might think that empathy, for example, doesn't have a place putting together budgets and spreadsheets, and you leave that at home.

00:15:49:15 - 00:15:57:00
Kirsten Ferguson
Whereas in fact, all eight of these attributes combine to be what it means to be a modern leader.

00:15:57:02 - 00:16:30:10
Kevin Eikenberry
So I'm curious because because I've written a lot and thought about a lot about the empathy component in the time during and then since the pandemic. And so one of my observations so I want to share this and you tell me what you think and maybe what your research says about it. One of my observations is that one of the one of the many good things that came from the pandemic, of which there are many as awful as it was, and I don't know and don't anyone misunderstand what I'm saying here.

00:16:30:10 - 00:16:31:12
Kirsten Ferguson
I understand.

00:16:31:14 - 00:16:51:19
Kevin Eikenberry
But the one of the great things I think came from it is that many leaders suddenly realized that they needed to be empathetic. And I think whether they came to a cognitive realization or they just leaned into it as a human. But I think it happened. And one of the things I said was we got better at it for a while.

00:16:51:21 - 00:17:04:18
Kevin Eikenberry
Let's hope we don't lose it. So, I mean, that's sort of a societal comment or, you know, a global comment, not an individual leader comment. What are your thoughts about that? And maybe what is your research told you about that point?

00:17:04:20 - 00:17:27:10
Kirsten Ferguson
Yeah, look, the pandemic was interesting because there were leaders who emerged from that you would never previously have thought were going to be brilliant in such an event. And that's because they're okay with uncertainty and they could lead with empathy. There were other leaders who clearly had relied on their position and their authority and their command and control who failed dismally and.

00:17:27:10 - 00:17:32:03
Kevin Eikenberry
Are still trying to bring people, everyone, exactly the old way. Right.

00:17:32:07 - 00:17:53:14
Kirsten Ferguson
I mean, it's sad that you need such an extreme situation for people to realize that empathy could perhaps know, play a part in being a good leader. But the reality is, yeah, there was some uncomfortable situations that leaders sort of confronted with the point that actually I have to check in on my people and check that they're okay and are they safe and well.

00:17:53:14 - 00:18:15:03
Kirsten Ferguson
Now that's what we would hope is an everyday occurrence for a modern leader and whether you're in a pandemic or not. But I do think and we spoke about I've sat on boards, I've chaired our nominations committees and remuneration committees hiring CEOs. We are certainly looking for leaders now who can do both, who can lead with the head in their heart.

00:18:15:03 - 00:18:36:02
Kirsten Ferguson
It is no longer sufficient to simply be technically or an industry leader. You must be able to lead with both your head and your heart, because otherwise every reputational crisis you ever see unfold, every scandal that emerges generally happens from leaders who can't get both right.

00:18:36:04 - 00:19:04:21
Kevin Eikenberry
So you mentioned it earlier that you have this assessment. And and I took the assessment today in preparation for our conversation, and you had a chance to look at it very briefly. And so I'm going to put it up on the screen for everyone to see. And I just got you comment on it and share and then maybe continue this conversation with mine on the screen.

00:19:04:21 - 00:19:11:10
Kevin Eikenberry
I know for all of you that are listening to this that you can't see it. I'm aware of this.

00:19:11:12 - 00:19:12:01
Kirsten Ferguson
I will.

00:19:12:06 - 00:19:31:19
Kevin Eikenberry
What Kirsten will will say a little bit about it. So here's the result. I'll let Kirsten let you talk. I'm going to put the I'm going to put the website for this up here on the bottom. And again, if you're if you're listening, it's you can take this for yourself at head heart leader dot com.

00:19:31:19 - 00:19:55:12
Kirsten Ferguson
So that's great and it's completely free. It'll take you maybe 5 minutes at most and you'll get this personalized report. Now Kevin has over excelled in every one of the eight attributes. No not at all. Surprise Kevin but what it's showing is you'll see a what do you call that? A smirk a second place I think is a name and a dark star.

00:19:55:12 - 00:20:19:16
Kirsten Ferguson
And you are the dark star and the light shading and the there are the average scores of events, thousand leaders I used with the university to create the scale. And so what we can see there is that the points of Kevin Star exceeding that shading on everything but self-awareness, you're right on the highest average on average they Kevin for self-awareness.

00:20:19:18 - 00:20:39:00
Kirsten Ferguson
But what it's showing is that if you scroll down a little bit, it'll tell us what your top eight are. And I think I saw really it your highest attribute is curiosity, which is not at all surprising when I think about the line of work that you are in. But what I'm really interested to see is perspective is number two.

00:20:39:01 - 00:21:03:22
Kirsten Ferguson
So I mentioned perspective briefly about being able to read the right in the research, which now, as I said, is tens of thousands of pieces of data that we've been able to look at. Perspective correlates the most highly with being a modern head heart leader. And that means that if you score high in perspective, you are most likely to have scored highly in everything else, which is exactly what you've done.

00:21:03:22 - 00:21:14:10
Kirsten Ferguson
Kevin And it's so important because what it shows is that you are reading the room and of course it could be a literal room, but more likely to be.

00:21:14:12 - 00:21:16:04
Kevin Eikenberry
Offered a virtual.

00:21:16:06 - 00:21:35:19
Kirsten Ferguson
You know, or it's more likely to again be a metaphor for your team or your organization or your industry, whatever it is that you're working in and you're weighing up all those signals in the environment and the context that you're leading in to make sure that you can take the best possible path. And you've seen a few steps ahead as well.

00:21:35:21 - 00:21:59:19
Kirsten Ferguson
And all of that is incredibly important for us to disseminate that information that's coming through. But as I said, you're also noticing who's missing from the room. And if you've got people in the room but they're not speaking up, you'll noticing that as well. So it's just an incredibly important skill for modern leaders to have. And I don't think it's one that's necessarily always been value.

00:21:59:21 - 00:22:21:15
Kirsten Ferguson
I think we've had leaders who've relied, as we've spoken earlier about, on their position and their authority, and you're either in the room or you're not in, you know, listen up and this is what we're doing. Yeah, that's not what a modern leader is all about. They're really trying to use those signals to adjust leadership style to be the most effective they can be.

00:22:21:19 - 00:22:28:10
Kirsten Ferguson
So it's a great report, Kevin, that anyone can go and get their own personalized report. And I'd love to hear how you go.

00:22:28:12 - 00:23:03:02
Kevin Eikenberry
Head heart leader dot com. I said earlier when we were going through them that I wanted to talk a little bit more about wisdom because I think that we've moved from an information age to a wisdom age and that while I'm not by any means am I disputing your your research? I'm not saying that at all. I do think that wisdom, though, is a really important piece, because we are we are we are inundated.

00:23:03:04 - 00:23:25:16
Kevin Eikenberry
We are deluged. You can we are diluted by all of the information available to us. And so wisdom and discernment, I think, is so very important. And so what else would you say about that One specific likely. Yeah, that would help anyone who's here think about what they might need to do differently.

00:23:25:18 - 00:23:48:15
Kirsten Ferguson
And we're not disagreeing at all. I mean, it made the top eight. I started with 54. So wisdom is definitely important. My challenge is it's my least effective. And perhaps I'll start with why I know I'm terrible at wisdom and it might resonate with others and it'll help explain why it's so important. So I'm really good at making decisions.

00:23:48:15 - 00:24:10:15
Kirsten Ferguson
I can make decisions very quickly and you know, I have no challenge around that. But about 80% work out, 20% I think. I probably should have thought that through a little bit better. Probably should have got a bit more information, a bit more data, wait up risk and reward, all of that sort of thing. And luckily they're generally never too significant.

00:24:10:15 - 00:24:49:07
Kirsten Ferguson
But I think everyone would understand what I mean about that. My husband, on the other hand, his scale he scores is number one for wisdom. So we're obviously a good partnership. But wisdom is all about assessing what's known and unknown, looking for that data and evidence and using reason and logic. And I think at the moment when we've got so much disinformation around that ability to use critical thinking and those skills to really be making the best decisions we can on information that's going to meet the needs of the situation or the context that we find ourselves in is incredibly important.

00:24:49:11 - 00:25:27:00
Kevin Eikenberry
I think that word context is so important because again, we may have a lots of logic. To me, wisdom means more Then and again, I don't think we're disagreeing. Wisdom is more than just the logic and more than just the rational. Right. And so even though it's one of the head based attributes, yeah, that the piece that is often missing is that is that you being able to decide without complete information or being able to decide in that in those moments of uncertainty and not being able to rely on a best practice because there's no such thing as a best practice for going someplace we've never been.

00:25:27:02 - 00:25:53:18
Kirsten Ferguson
And the pandemic was another fabulous example of that. We had very little information at the beginning, and yet we were having a making incredibly significant decisions in the face of no information. And I think some leaders did that very well. Other leaders really struggled really, you know, could not deal with the fact they weren't able to prepare a position paper and put all of the data and evidence together.

00:25:53:20 - 00:26:03:15
Kevin Eikenberry
Yeah. So we've got we had a comment that came in and said the the biggest concern for any organization or community or I would say or leader should be when their most passionate people become quiet and useful.

00:26:03:15 - 00:26:18:10
Kirsten Ferguson
And that's a great comment and anyone who reads the room well will notice that. And that's why it's linked to empathy. If you're not reading the room, you don't even notice who's quiet. And that's the challenge for modern leaders.

00:26:18:12 - 00:26:45:04
Kevin Eikenberry
So we're going to talk about modern leadership. We've we've we've we've hopped around this topic a bit, but the idea of all of the people might not actually be in the actual room. And some of the people on my team, I don't see hardly ever once a year maybe. So what would you add based on your research and based on this work of head and heart leadership about doing it at a distance?

00:26:45:04 - 00:26:48:02
Kevin Eikenberry
Anything you want to specifically in the conversation.

00:26:48:04 - 00:27:12:15
Kirsten Ferguson
I spent the last sort of third of the book is all about how we lead in a remote workplace, and to me it is no different. So I, you know, it's I'm like you myself. I don't see my team face to face at all yet. We've still got a culture as a team. We're still curious. I'm still working with them on making great decisions and reading the room, even though I'm not physically seeing them.

00:27:12:16 - 00:27:34:13
Kirsten Ferguson
I think the heart vice attributes of having humility and self-awareness and courage and all of that still applies as leaders who aren't seeing physically the people we're leaving. We obviously need to make a lot more effort to find those moments to check in, and you need to consciously make time for that to happen. But you should be doing that anyway.

00:27:34:13 - 00:27:55:03
Kirsten Ferguson
So, I mean, I struggle even the big multinationals, for example, they will have CEOs and leaders who didn't see everyone in their organization of tens of thousands of people, therefore different. I mean, it might not even be in a different country. It could just be on a different floor in the building. It's still not seeing the role.

00:27:55:09 - 00:28:01:22
Kevin Eikenberry
And if you were if you've ever worked in that sort of situation, you know that every floor is almost like a different country, like it is.

00:28:01:23 - 00:28:22:18
Kirsten Ferguson
Right? Exactly. And then you ask any person who's had a toxic boss going into the office is a really challenging issue. So it's not as though there's a magic panacea if we're all physically together. So I don't see that thing. A modern leader has any physical versus hybrid differentiation at all.

00:28:22:20 - 00:28:41:21
Kevin Eikenberry
So in our book, The Long Distance Leader, which I'm working on the second edition of at this very night, we said rule number one is think leadership first, location second is really very much in alignment with what you're saying. There are differences, but they're nuanced differences. It's a small percentage of the total right?

00:28:41:23 - 00:28:55:22
Kirsten Ferguson
So hundred percent. And all these watercooler moments, it is a small percentage of the workforce that actually catches up with their boss at the WaterCooler or, you know, say it's just not how life is.

00:28:56:00 - 00:29:22:19
Kevin Eikenberry
And that's why on our our Slack channels include the watercooler channel that is not a lot. We are watercooler channel which today included people showing pictures of their Christmas trees, as it turns out. So a couple of other things before we finish up. Sort of shifting gears, we've talked a lot about your work and your research and it's clear that you're passionate about it.

00:29:22:21 - 00:29:29:14
Kevin Eikenberry
And yet I'm curious, what do you do outside of all of that? What for fun?

00:29:29:16 - 00:29:54:16
Kirsten Ferguson
Well, yeah, that's a good question because I'm now working on my next book as well. But I live on I live on the beach. I live in Australia, as you can probably tell in Queensland, on the Sunshine Coast, just south of the Barrier Reef. And I love living on the beach. So I'm down there all of the time and yeah, I've got a dog, it keeps me occupied and my husband and yeah, I've got a wonderful life.

00:29:54:18 - 00:30:01:04
Kevin Eikenberry
So know that everybody, she talked about the dog before, the husband just saying, listen, my husband.

00:30:01:04 - 00:30:04:18
Kirsten Ferguson
Often mentions that happens. Yeah.

00:30:04:20 - 00:30:07:17
Kevin Eikenberry
Well maybe that's feedback.

00:30:07:19 - 00:30:16:21
Kirsten Ferguson
Yeah, exactly. You can just see the head of my dog there Hughie. he's asleep. Yeah, that's.

00:30:16:23 - 00:30:18:12
Kevin Eikenberry
That's what it was. But now I can see.

00:30:18:16 - 00:30:19:20
Kirsten Ferguson
So he is.

00:30:19:20 - 00:30:25:21
Kevin Eikenberry
The only question I knew I told you I was going to ask you is this one. And that is So what are you reading.

00:30:25:23 - 00:30:42:10
Kirsten Ferguson
Yeah, I'm currently reading Amy Edmonton's new book. Right Kind of Wrong. I met Amy last month in London at the Think has 50 gala and I think she's fabulous. I loved the fearless organization and I'm now loving right kind of wrong.

00:30:42:12 - 00:31:03:05
Kevin Eikenberry
It is on my stack. So doing this show obviously I'm reading books three this week for this podcast, but that is on my list to read. I have the copy and the time is hopefully coming soon where I can do that as well. So now the question you you've really wanted me to ask from the very beginning, Where can we learn more about you?

00:31:03:07 - 00:31:06:03
Kevin Eikenberry
Where can we get your book? Where do you want to point us?

00:31:06:05 - 00:31:17:10
Kirsten Ferguson
Well, you can visit my website, which is Kirsten Ferguson dot com. And as you heard, and that's the spelling, I'm not even going to say the wrong spelling, although that I'm confused everyone it's on the I didn't actually.

00:31:17:10 - 00:31:20:04
Kevin Eikenberry
Say it either I just into that it is.

00:31:20:06 - 00:31:21:16
Kirsten Ferguson
My.

00:31:21:18 - 00:31:23:02
Kevin Eikenberry
Dot com.

00:31:23:04 - 00:31:44:21
Kirsten Ferguson
That's it k iris t i n r and yeah. Go there or you can go to head hat later dot com. Pick up a copy of Hid Hat The Art of Modern Leadership on Amazon and everywhere. It's all over the world. And I love hearing from people that listen to podcasts and listen. So events like this get in touch.

00:31:44:23 - 00:32:06:02
Kevin Eikenberry
All right. So I want to thank you, Kirsten. But before we finish, I've got a question I ask all of you every single time we gather. If you've been here before, you know what it is. And the question is now what? What are you going to do as a result of this? Hopefully, one of the things you'll do is, of course, get a copy of the book, but go take the assessment.

00:32:06:04 - 00:32:29:23
Kevin Eikenberry
Go go to Head Heart leader AECOM and take the assessment. Guys, courage to do that. But beyond that, there are all a number of things that we talked about over the last 30 minutes or so that the value that you will get will be from thinking that through. What action will I take as a result of this, not just sort of, hey, they were fun and it was interesting, but what am I going to do?

00:32:30:00 - 00:32:52:17
Kevin Eikenberry
That is what will make the difference for you and for ultimately for your team. So I thank you, Kirsten, for being here. It was such, such a pleasure. I've been looking forward to our conversation and and it did not disappoint. And so for all of you who are listening or watching, I hope that you come back again for another episode.

00:32:52:17 - 00:33:12:06
Kevin Eikenberry
If it's on the podcast that you're listening, you know how to do this. Like give us a recommended version, give us a referral, tell somebody else to come join us, maybe go back in the archive. But don't worry about that. No guilt. Just go forward because every week we'll be back and I hope that you'll be back with us next week for another episode of The Remarkable Leadership Podcast.

00:33:12:11 - 00:33:13:16
Kevin Eikenberry
Thanks, everyone.

00:33:13:18 - 00:33:14:06
Kirsten Ferguson
Thank you.

Meet Kirstin

Kirstin's Story: Dr. Kirstin Ferguson is the author of two books. Her latest book, Head & Heart: The Art of Modern Leadership debuted in the top 10 non-fiction bestseller list on release and has won numerous awards including being named one of the top 10 best new management books in the world (2023), Royal Society of Arts Career Book Award (2023), Australian Business Book Awards leadership category shortlist (2023), and North American Porchlight Business Book Awards leadership category shortlist (2023). She is one of the world's most recognized leadership experts and has been ranked as one of the top 50 management thinkers in the world. Kirstin spent fifteen years as a board chair and company director, sitting on a wide range of private company, large publicly listed and government boards. These roles also included an appointment by the Australian Prime Minister as Acting Chair and Deputy Chair of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Kirstin’s executive career included roles as CEO of a global consulting firm and a senior executive at a leading corporate law firm. Kirstin began her career as an Officer in the Royal Australian Air Force. In 2023, Kirstin was recognized as a Member of the Order of Australia for her significant contributions to business and gender equality. Kirstin also has a PhD in leadership and culture and is an Adjunct Professor at the QUT School of Business. Kirstin also has honors degrees in Law and History.

Follow The Remarkable Leadership Podcast

This Episode is brought to you by...

The Long-Distance Team. Remote leadership experts, Kevin Eikenberry and Wayne Turmel, help leaders navigate the new world of remote and hybrid teams to design the culture they desire for their teams and organizations in their new book!

Book Recommendations

Like this?

Join Our Community

If you want to view our live podcast episodes, hear about new releases, or chat with others who enjoy this podcast join one of our communities below.

Leave a Review

If you liked this conversation, we’d be thrilled if you’d let others know by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts. Here’s a quick guide for posting a review.

Share:
Read More