—Systemic change begins with personal transformation—

(Formerly Leadership and the Environment)

Community, support, vision, stories, role Models, experience.

Leadership turns feeling alone and complacent into action.

We bring leaders to the environment to share what works. Less facts, figures, and gloom. More stories, reflection, self-awareness, connection, support, and community.

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510: Jonathan Hardesty, part 6: "This method of doing things is making me become a better husband and parent"

September 21, 2021
Born in Dallas, TX in 1980, Jonathan's first artistic endeavor began at the University of Pennsylvania where he started basic drawing and figure drawing courses. On September of 2002, Jon embarked on his journey to pursue a career in art. Having no prior experience making art, he set off towards his goal of becoming a professional artist. Jon's journey was unique in that he began logging every step of his process, much of it you can see on this video. On an art blog website he posted every single drawing or painting he created without fail. Nine years later, individuals logging on to his thread could see all the struggle, frustration, and success that came with along the journey. His drive for more rigorous and traditional training led him to apply to the classical realist atelier, Pantura Studios, to study under masters Hans-Peter Szameit and Sanna Tomac. After studying for nearly three years, Jonathan and his wife moved to Dallas, Texas where he began building his body of work and honing his skill set. In addition, for nearly ten years, he has been teaching traditional atelier methods to a small group of committed and talented students. Jonathan has sold many paintings and his work is included in various collections throughout the United States. Jonathan has also been exhibited in invitational shows both nationally and in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. Jonathan currently lives in York, Pennsylvania with his wife, two children, and his parrot.
Jonathan Hardesty

510: Jonathan Hardesty, part 6: "This method of doing things is making me become a better husband and parent"

Jonathan and I continue practicing the Spodek Method. Since last recording, he practiced it with his wife. This time he shares how it went. I picked up on a nuance, that she picked a commitment disconnected from her intrinsic motivation and ended up not finding the task meaningful.

What we covered relates to leadership and relationships in general. The major theme we covered is uncovering people's intrinsic motivations. People often suppress them, sometimes consciously often unconsciously. They make us vulnerable.

We also talked about art. I find Jonathan's explanations and insights fascinating for revealing what artists do and how they represent more than what we see, to what we feel.

If you want to motivate yourself and others to act more sustainably, this episode reveals a lot. I can't think of anything more valuable for humanity this lifetime.

509: Joe Romm: From science to working with James Cameron, leading through story

September 19, 2021

Coming from a background in science but realizing that sharing numbers and data didn't influence, Joe had to unlearn a lifetime of mainstream science education. He recognized that the best known scientists, like Darwin and Einstein, were great writers. He followed in their footsteps to learn what works while maintaining scientific integrity, which he shares in this episode.

In a world of storytellers and would-be leaders who don't know science and scientists who don't know how to influence, I found talking to Joe relieving. The job ahead is hard, but he shares with us the basics and it's not just avoiding plastic, however important.

He's written books on effective communication. He's worked in government and more to see the communication devoid of science we have to face. He's worked with James Cameron, David Letterman, Harrison Ford, and more.

If you're unsure about how to communicate keeping emotion in mind, staying consistent with scientific results, listen.

508: Eric Orts, part 2: To the U.S. Senate, living the values he leads

September 14, 2021

Since Eric's last time here, he formally declared he is running for office. Now he's reporting back months into his campaign.

Did Trump not being in office slow him down? Or did our environmental problems motivate him even more?

How about his commitment to avoid flying? Surely he gave it up to campaign, right? Or did he? Whichever way he went on that commitment, the decision must have been difficult, so we'll get to hear about his values.

We talked about half about running for office, the challenge of choosing, consulting with people from President Biden to his wife, raising funds, handling his job as a tenured professor, considering travel across a large state and to Washington DC, and more.

This podcast was one of Eric's first public statements of considering to run. Now he returns to share the experience, with an election looming.

507: Behind the Mic: Teamwork Versus Leadership

September 13, 2021

Today's episode explores a subtle but potentially meaningful and large shift, considering focusing on sustainability teamwork more than sustainability leadership.

The main difference is that I think people feel taking a leadership role makes them vulnerable and means lots of work. Joining a team is fun. If enough people join it feels natural and odd not to.

You're hearing me develop an idea in real time.

Here are the notes I read from:

Switch to team?

  • Leadership stick neck out
  • Sports, business, military, music, drama, family, indigenous tribes, small communities
  • Playing Beethoven: no one but everyone
  • Everyone matters, bench player, fans, home court advantage
  • Improv exercise
  • Everyone can join team. Not to messes it up for everyone. Imagine fan blocking. Some can lead, many leadership roles: coach, outstanding player, biggest fan
  • Internet search: nothing relevant
  • Kicks in tribalism
  • Competition two meanings: winning versus finding and reaching their potential
  • Opponent is the old values and complacency
  • Difference between parent and babysitter
  • Chamber quartet with tuba or clown horn is SUV

506: I lost $10 million on September 11, 2001. Here is what I learned from those who sacrificed and served.

September 11, 2021

Sorry for the slow pace of this episode, but just before recording I looked at the firehouse across the street from my apartment, the small plaque naming the firemen who died trying to help others, and the flowers people put there for them, which led me to lose it as I started recording.

I've never considered the changes to my life meaningful in comparison, despite my losses being greater than anyone I know who didn't die or was related to someone who died for the obvious reason that no material loss compares. Not even close.

But twenty years later, it occurs to me that not communicating about the loss and what I learned from it doesn't help either, because when faced with a huge material loss---I lost about ten million dollars and the future I'd sacrificed other dreams for---we can choose to give up or we can choose to find our values and live by them, if not the fleeting material stuff.

In this episode I share what I live for, what in part I learned from the firefighters who served that day, the servicemembers who enlisted for years to come, as well as from others who lost. We can prevent far greater losses than September 11, than the Holocaust, than the Atlantic slave trade in conserving and protecting our environment.

I choose to devote my life to the greatest cause of our time, in helping the most number of people from the greatest amount of suffering of any time.

If you'd like to help, we who choose to serve, could use your help. But we don't have to enter towering infernos. We eat vegetables instead of takeout, live closer to family instead of flying to and from them, have one child, and learn to lead others to enjoy the same. Contact me if you'd like to join.

505: Michael Carlino, part 1: From the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

September 9, 2021

Michael begins by describing himself as a Protestant evangelical conservative PhD candidate at one of the largest and oldest Baptist seminaries, what that description means, and what experience and choices brought him there. These experiences were meaningful and his choices deliberate and considered.

We talk about scripture, family, faith, hope, the environment, modern culture, sin, gluttony, and more. In my experience people who work on the environment disengage or oppose conservative religious views. My experience in engaging with them keeps making me want to learn more about their views. Some I expect and know, others surprise me.

Michael also asks about my views and why I choose as I do around sustainability and stewardship. His question are basic ones I think people would like to know, but slightly different than I'm used to hearing. He then interprets them from a Christian perspective, which I can learn from.

504: Dar-Lon Chang, part 2: Activists on Exxon's Board (and fighting a real estate developer who lied about sustainability)

September 6, 2021

Reading front-page headlines about activist investors gaining some control of Exxon's Board of Directors reminded me of past guest Dar-Lon Chang, who worked at Exxon for sixteen years. I asked if he had inside information on it.

He told me he did, which he shared. He also shared his personal experience living in a community striving to live sustainably in Colorado. Living more sustainably is why he left Exxon. Now a real estate developer is undoing their work after apparently lying about his intent to honor the community's interests.

You'll feel outrage, though also, I hope, motivation, that he and his neighbors aren't just accepting gas lines being fed to houses in this community. They're fighting back.

503: Jonathan Hardesty, part 5: Facing and overcoming gluttony

September 2, 2021

I hope you hear Jonathan and I sharing a great rapport---on art, stewardship, Christianity, and enjoying life.

If you've reached this conversation, you know what we're covering in this episode: his results doing the Spodek Method, partly doing it, partly learning how to do it.

He's an artist and family man. He started picking up trash, which naturally became a family activity and point of personal growth. He then did more. Why? Because he enjoys acting on his values. We all do.

I also describe the Spodek Method for you, the listener, so you can do it too, and bring joy or other rewarding, intrinsic motivations to people in your life.

502: Cassiano Laureano, part 1: The world record for most burpees in an hour

August 30, 2021

When I read about Cassiano setting the world record for most burpees in an hour--951---I knew I had to meet him.

Though I've maxed out at a mere 370 in a day, I did most of them in under three hours. Still dramatically slower than Cassiano, but I've kept my streak unbroken for about ten years.

I had to learn his motivation, his obstacles, how he overcame the obstacles, his training, how the event felt, and all of what goes into setting that record. He wasn't doing it for the money and even the motivation to raise funds for his niece's health wouldn't necessarily keep him motivated.

He shares his motivation, perspective, beliefs, and how he handled injury. Anyone can challenge themselves as much to live by their values.

Then you'll hear his environmental values stemming from growing up poor in Brazil, coming to America and struggling, then making it here. How he acts on his values is so simple, affordable, and rewarding, anyone can do it. I predict hearing him will make his actions sound attractive. I recommend listening and emulating.

I can't wait to hear how his commitment goes and I bet you won't be able to either.

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