017: Dorie Clark, Conversation 1, Make Yourself Known
Talk about a generous conversation!
Dorie Clark shares about how to make yourself known, to become a leader, and to connect with others.
She shares her personal experiences, since she didn't start with any advantages, and some of what she shares in her books. We talked about one of my big questions: do you need to go through a major life challenge---a crucible---to achieve greatness or to become a leader.
When we got to talking about the environment and her personal challenge, you can hear in how she takes on hers that she's taken on many challenges before. If you want to improve your skills in taking on challenges and succeeding at them, her perspective reveals a lot to learn from.
Her challenge is, I think, the longest challenge someone committed to as her first. Listen to hear it.
016: Daniel Gefen, Conversation 1, Vulnerability and Openness
Not often when two men chat on the internet do tears well up and they get choked up.
I loved this conversation for its being unscripted and unguarded. Daniel allowed himself to be vulnerable. He asked about posting this interview on his podcast because of the rawness of the emotion that came up.
We laughed a lot too.
I recorded this conversation early and I dropped the ball on leading Daniel.
If you listen to this podcast in part to learn to lead, when we reach talking about the environment, you'll hear me make big mistakes that provoked resistance. I led him to do the opposite of committing to a personal challenge---he lectured me on what I should and shouldn't do.
Someone you're trying to influence lecturing at you means you didn't lead effectively. See if you can listen to where and how I lost him. Learn from my mistake.
Notice how I lead others differently. For example, listen to my interview with John Lee Dumas to hear how I led someone who said he didn't care about the environment to identify something he cared about, create a big task to act on that care, and to commit to it with public accountability.
You will not forget this conversation. Dov brings his full self intellectually and emotionally, especially starting 20 minutes in from the start.
I guarantee you will hear a person speaking a way you want to---unfiltered yet thoughtful, enthusiastic yet measured.
Dov shares details of his life, authentically and raw, even when it hurts. He shares how he developed his authenticity, radically so because he wasn't always.
He shares examples and stories most of us wish we could emulate in our lives. I don't know about you, but hearing someone living it leads me to raise my standards for myself.
In regular life I talk a lot but Dov left me speechless several times, full of thought.
He also thought of his personal environmental challenge before we spoke. Not all guests do, but doing so suggests the underlying values, enthusiasm, or both mean more to the guest. I'd say both with Dov. You'll enjoy hearing his challenge and look forward to his results in his second conversation.
This conversation was fun and engaging since Judith is charismatic, experienced, and cheerful, even though it started solemnly, owing to a terrorist attack in Manhattan the day before. We covered politics a bit -- now that I think of it, one of this podcast's few forays there.
We talked about leadership from many perspectives, including her storied experience, given her experience with globally known leaders (Donna Karan, etc) and top organizations (Harvard, Apple, etc). Most of us rarely get to talk to people with such connections and history.
I continued to follow Judith's lead from our first conversation to use her definition of "environment," which wasn't my usual one, roughly meaning the air, land, and water we share. Her definition is more about people and relationships.
I treated the conversation as somewhat challenging, to enter someone else's world. I went into this podcast as much to learn as to influence, expecting everyone to have unique views on the environment, leadership, community, and other subjects, so I welcomed it.
By challenging, I don't mean the conversation was unpleasant or uncomfortable. Just that given my experimental physics background, we were far from my touch points like measurables like concentrations of molecules and concepts like conservation of energy.
I presume listeners with backgrounds different than mine and more like Judith's will resonate with the conversation. My goal is to make the podcast as much for you as for me. I'd love feedback to help guide future conversations.
Tanner's third conversation continues his project beyond just polluting less himself to influencing a store, in fact a whole grocery store chain. You can hear his growing enthusiasm, that the more he works on his project, the more he finds parts of it to love and act on.
Do you think because he's a gold medal winner things come easier for him?
On the contrary, things don't go his way. But he doesn't give up.
If you try projects and they don't work out, which describes me, I think it will help to see that people as successful as Tanner don't succeed on their first tries either. I don't know about you, but when I read their books or see them on TV, their success seems more given. Here Tanner reveals that he had to regroup and restart.
From my perspective, he sounds like he holds himself overly accountable, including for things outside of his control, but I also read that he found ways that work for him. Some may look for the positive. Tanner seems to look for the accountable.
But listen to how his perspective turns into enthusiasm. I look forward to the next time I feel like giving up on a project that's not going my way. I'm listening to this episode.
I hope you can also hear how much fun we have together.
I introduce my wet socks analogy for not living by your values in this episode, which is:
Say you step in a puddle and get your socks wet in the morning. You can still go about your day. If you're busy, you might not notice them.
It's still a relief when you get home and take them off at the end of the day. Finally you feel fresh, clean air against your skin instead of wet sock. You look back and realize they've been annoying you all day. Making yourself busy distracted you from noticing them, but never made them go away. You wish you had taken them off earlier.
Living by your values after ignoring them feels like taking off wet socks. As with wet socks, you look back and realize that abandoning your values has annoyed you your whole life. Making yourself busy distracted you from noticing that you weren't living by them, but never made it go away. You wish you had chosen to live by them earlier.
Denying that you're abandoning minor values, prevents you from noticing big ones. On the other hand, fixing the little ones opens your eyes to others, which motivates you to fix them, then to fix bigger ones, and so on.
You may consider small denial not that big a deal, but once you take off those socks, you realize you could have long before. Living in conflict with your values means living without integrity. It eats you up inside.
Take off your wet socks. Enjoy the freedom of living by your values. The environment is a great place to start.
Do you want to improve your life?
... and enjoy doing it?
I usually don't laugh out loud at people talking about the environment, but Tanner made me.
Listen to Tanner's second conversation to hear how a master approaches a modest challenge, makes it fun, makes it bigger (if it's fun, why wouldn't you), involves others, and keeps building.
He shares what makes him a top athlete, husband, and all-around fun guy. He's no more or less human than anyone.
We talk about challenges, successes, Navy SEALS, and what makes a person and life great. It all starts from plastic bags, the awareness that comes from paying attention to how you affect others, and acting with integrity.
Where to improve your life
If you want to improve your life, you have to act and experiment. Part of the deal is sometimes you mess up. You can't escape messing up. No one can.
So practicing in your relationships, your work, or with family can lead to greater repercussions than you can handle.
Acting on the environment is a safe place to experiment. You can try changing your diet, using public transportation, bringing bags with you to the store, buying less stuff, and so on without much risk.
You still develop integrity, discipline, and so on, which you can then apply everywhere in life.
And you still clean the air, land, and water we share.
I will recommend this episode a lot. You’ll hear an accomplished man struggle with a goal he expected to be easy.
You’ll also hear him triumph, bringing his wife and children to the triumph—creating it with them.
I’m releasing it on a holiday because it’s as heartwarming a story of a father bringing his family and community together as any—despite, or because of, adversity and the skills he’s learned to handle it. Skills you can learn, starting by listening to his story.
This episode is a real-time update from someone implementing a change in his life, facing resistance, figuring out how to handle it, and succeeding through failure where most people give up.
I scheduled this conversation because Jim wrote me that he was struggling to meet the personal challenge he came up with. Between that email and scheduling the conversation, he figured out a solution better for him than the original challenge.
Many people decide to change their lives then face unexpected challenges. Most give up or let their standards slide.
With the plan fresh in his mind, Jim shares
How he understood the situation
What he did to solve it
How he involved others
He he built community
If you’ve struggled making commitments, Jim’s story will help you.
Leading without authority
Beyond personal change, the episode also reveals the leadership techniques I’m finding work in leading people when you don’t have authority over them. For full depth, read and do the exercises in my book, Leadership Step by Step. You can hear me practice them in my first conversation and their results here:
In conversation 1, I didn’t tell him what to do, I asked him what he cared about, then invited him to act on those values
As a result
In conversation 1.5, he saw doing this challenge as for himself, acting on his values
In conversation 1, I set up future conversations, creating accountability
As a result
In conversation 1.5, he described motivation to meet those expectations
See if you can find other techniques in how I framed and led starting the challenge and the resulting behavior.
Judith co-founded the Harvard Coaching Institute as well as her own consulting and coaching firms Benchmark Communications and Creating WE through which she has worked with culture-setting companies such as
Judith co-founded the Harvard Coaching Institute as well as her own consulting and coaching firms—Benchmark Communications and Creating WE—through which she has worked with culture-setting companies such as Apple, Burberry, and Donna Karan. She's written seven books, including multiple bestsellers. She's on the board of Expeditionary Learning. And more, so if credentials are important to you, she has them.
Yet she's almost counter-cultural in her way of going against the mainstream grain when it holds her or her clients back.
Yet she's friendly and approachable. Since she lives a subway ride away from me, I met her in person, which made our conversation more friendly and behind-the scenes.
I'm nerdy and look at the world more conventionally than she does, so we'll see a different way of looking at the environment, science, and nature than my usual way.
She talks about her big breaks, making mistakes and rolling with them. She walks through how to use her books and materials.
You can see how she's gotten great clients and speaks to such prominent organizations
I expect to refer to Jim's episodes more than most, maybe most because how he approaches changing himself is so effective for himself and people around him. It comes from his attitude, the questions he asks himself, how he involves others, and more, all of which he shares.
We get to know him in this episode---a regular guy who happens to have been an All-American Wrestling champion and now coaches people to potentials beyond their dreams.
We also hear his challenge, which sounds simple, but its unexpected twists will prompt him to show what makes him a leader for whom hardship just prompts him to grow more---skills we can all learn from him.
If you want a role model for taking on challenges that you know will improve your life but you aren't sure how, listen and learn from Tanner.
Tanner Gers has been through more than you have, almost surely.
I wanted his conversation early because whatever most of us have been through, materially speaking, he's had it harder than most of us. I say materially speaking because emotionally and purposefully, the car accident that left him blind doesn't register as a problem.
Tanner will help you grab life by the reins and forget your problems, or use them to advance.
His personal challenge starts modest in this conversation but grows in later ones, so listen on.
Michael is a coach's coach. Our conversation became a two-way interview on leadership, values, and acting on them. He both shared openly and got me to share a lot of why I created this podcast.
I was pleasantly surprised that though he wasn't sure what to do specifically, he had thought about acting on the environment. I think a lot of people feel the same way. If that fits you---that you want to act but don't know how---our conversation may give you direction.
He took an a personal challenge for himself and his wife that most people would probably enjoy. Listen on.
Reading Elizabeth Kolbert's haunting The Sixth Extinction was difficult but enlightening. She presents what most people fear facing but is happening around us. We are causing the loss of almost unbelievably large parts of the natural world on which we rely without realizing it---sleepwalking, I would say.
Her writing in the New Yorker covers more issues most people are too uncomfortable to learn about: overpopulation, the limits of technology to solve the problems most people think technology will solve, and the like.
She presents the issues simply and directly, forcing you to draw your conclusions.
I considered it critical to bring a guest so thoughtful and knowledgeable about relevant issues she saw firsthand. Her perspective is difficult to face, but the alternative of putting your head in the sand prevents you from solving the problems.
I first heard of Marshall Goldsmith when business school leadership class assigned reading the New Yorker article about him in 2005. He became one of my most influential mentors since I met him in person shortly after. His insight and advice have been insightful and incisive---what best friends tell you because casual acquaintances are too nervous to---but simple and actionable.
This podcast's practice of leading and influencing people through simple (not always easy) action, not by authority or expecting giving facts to influence behavior, owes a lot to Marshall.
We talked about leadership, influence, values, and more. Marshall's advice and views merit listening multiple times to learn from and implement.
Everyone in leadership knows Dan Pink, his books and his TED talks.
If you want to lead, influence, or motivate people, it's a matter of time until you read or watch something of his. I started with Drive: the Surprising Truth of What Motivates Us, which led me to contact him (and criticize his work, listen to the podcast for the story).
Since then, he's supported my work and was enthusiastic about his personal challenge. As a writer and educator, I indulged in asking him about his technique, so if you're interested in improving your technique and style, you'll hear some great tips from him.
He also talks about his new book, When: the Scientific Secrets of Perfect Planning, so if it's before January 9, 2018, you get a sneak preview.