What Is Audacious Leadership with Dan Leahy – Episode 10

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Originally posted at http://www.avivconsulting.com/cnf10

My guest for this conversation is Dan Leahy. Dan is an educator with over 30 years of teaching and consulting experience with a special focus on the emergent capacities of complex adaptive systems.

Dan was the president of LIOS (Leadership Institute Of Seattle) for more than a decade and he is currently the Director of the Seattle campus of Saybrook University where he provides strategic and operational leadership for the campus.

In this conversation with Dan, we explore his calling and his journey with LEOS, why in order to change the world you must begin by changing the conversation, and that moment when a student’s eyes light up with a clarity about his or her sense of purpose.

Essential Learning Points From This Episode

  • Codify the patterns of emergent growth: find the global in the local, identify the universal inside the personal.
  • To change the world, change the conversation. If you are unhappy with the situation, work to reframe it.
  • What is solution focused therapy?
  • How did Dan find his calling of working with people?
  • “The moment when the student eyes light up with a clarity about his sense of purpose felt like connecting with the heart and soul of the work.”
  • “Delivering content became the opportunity to discover the learning in the moment in the room.”
  • “If you are not willing and able to lead this organization whole heartedly, get the hell out of the way so that somebody who is can.”
  • Leadership is finding the courage to take stance and voice your conviction.
  • As a leader, can I confront the issue of the heart? Am I wholehearted?
  • Management helps to maintain the integrity of the DNA of the system and the leadership works to connect to and engage with the larger environment, where the evolution of the system can be found.
  • What kind of leadership is needed now? What is audacious leadership?
  • Tapping into the potential to evolve is audacious.
  • What is fiberglass syndrome in complex systems?
  • Courageous collaboration requires that the individuals involved are courageous.
  • Generative conversations are intentional conversations.
Codify the patterns of emergent growth, find the global in the local. Click To Tweet To change the world, change the conversation. If you are unhappy with the situation, work to reframe it. Click To Tweet The moment when the student eyes light up with a clarity about his sense of purpose… Click To Tweet If you are not willing and able to lead wholeheartedly, get the hell out of the way so that somebody who is can. Click To Tweet Leadership is finding the courage to take stance and voice your conviction Click To Tweet As a leader, can I confront the issue of the heart? Click To Tweet What kind of leadership is needed now? What is audacious leadership? Click To Tweet Tapping into the potential to evolve is audacious. Click To Tweet Generative conversations are intentional conversations. Click To Tweet
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A Tale of Two Lifeguards – Episode 9

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Originally posted at http://www.avivconsulting.com/cnf9

Each of us harbors two characters within. The dedicated part of us goes above and beyond what is required, while the expedient part opts for cutting corners. Every day we get to choose which aspect of our character will show up. That choice can determine our success or failure — and even, in some cases, life or death.

One morning as Sara and I arrived at the beach, we noticed that Mikey, a long-time lifeguard, was collecting the dry seaweed along the water’s edge. He told us the seaweed would be used to shore up a sand dune at the edge of the beach that had been destroyed earlier in the season.
“Why do you do this, Mikey?” asked Sara. “Clearly this task is not part of the lifeguard job description.”

Mikey replied, “I love the beach; it gives me sustenance. I want to protect it and keep its ecosystem healthy so that others can enjoy it too. A couple of mornings each week I engage in a task that contributes to the welfare of the place that I love and that provides me with both livelihood and the love of life.”

The following morning was stormy and windy. The lifeguards had taken refuge in their tower, leaving two fishermen and me alone on the beach. After I dove into the water, I discovered that the yellow flags that define the swimming area and serve as my markers were missing.

I dashed out of the water to the lifeguard tower. “Where are the yellow flags?” I asked.

“No one is here today, so they serve no purpose,” was the dismissive reply from Parker, a new lifeguard.

As I returned to the stormy ocean to continue my swim, Parker’s comment bothered me. I could have dismissed it and moved on. However, a part of my mind is wired to capture the odd moments in life that provide learning and teachable value, then slowly make sense of them until I decipher the picture. This process is similar to the one required to develop pictures in the days when cameras had film. To extract the pictures, the film had to be treated with a chemical that gradually converted the latent images into visible ones (photographs). The process took a little time.

Did you know that we all have a part of our mind that works like the “old time” development process? In my book Create New Futures, I describe the three speeds of the mind. I call the middle speed the “pondering” mind, because it develops the “pictures” that gradually become clear as the brain connects the dots among the data that constantly flood our brains.

Your pondering mind knows your interests and helps you solve problems. In my case, my fascination and inquiry relate to the human story at the convergence of learning, discovery, innovation breakthrough, and the human spirit. Thus when I observe successes and failures (my own as well as others’), I forensically decode them to identify what enables people to produce remarkable outcomes, or what blocks them from producing breakthrough results.

Parker’s comment activated my pondering mind. What gradually came into focus was a stark contrast between Mikey’s way of being on the job versus Parker’s. We all have seen the manifestation of these opposing attitudes of dedication and expediency in corporate offices, in hotels and in restaurants. The difference between these two attitudes determines the outcomes you can achieve. Your choice even can be the decisive factor in life or death situations.

Mikey exemplified his dedication character by taking on tasks that are beyond the call of duty. Why? Because he cares. He understands deeply that his actions can shape the ecosystem. Mikey represents the people who show up each day ready to contribute by making a difference in their ecosystems.

Parker, on the other hand, demonstrated his expediency character when he chose to slide by with the minimal amount of work. He showed no respect for the protocols and rituals that are part of his job. It seems that it did not occur to Parker that putting up the yellow flags is about much more than the utilitarian value of the moment.

What caused Parker’s attitude? The absence of attentive care that inspires people to take on extra work. What does it look like when such care is present?

We see it in the rituals of our jobs. For example, a farmer walks the perimeters of the farm to find out what needs fixing. A police officer who walks the street and greets people demonstrates his presence and reassures the neighborhood. A pilot who walks around the aircraft to run his visual checklist does so not because he distrusts the ground crew, but because the ritual itself puts him in the mental frame of attention to details. And we see the care in the nurse who provides comfort to her patients.

These rituals alert people that they are connected to the great traditions of their fellow professionals. They activate the desire to perform at the highest possible standard. People like Mikey choose dedication over expediency, and continual improvement over the erosion of standards.

We all have both lifeguards in us. Every day we get to choose who, and how, we will be. Creating a new future for you and your family, for your team and your business, begins by choosing to go beyond the call of duty, to bring forward your focused presence, love, and dedication to your work and your life. After all, that’s what we are here for: to create new futures by bringing forward care, dedication and love.

Mikey or Parker: who do you choose to be today?

What I’m going to address is a live or die factor. Click To Tweet I never miss my ocean visit. Calm or storm, warm or cold, I have to visit Dr. Ocean. Click To Tweet The pondering mind knows what you’re interested in. Click To Tweet Mikey represents the people that show up for work to make a difference and to create a contribution. Click To Tweet
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What Successful Leaders Do with Paul Werner – Episode 8

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Originally posted at http://www.avivconsulting.com/cnf8

My guest for this conversation is Paul Werner. Paul is a 25-year veteran of the tech industry with successful and proven leadership experience in large and mid-cap technology companies serving global customers. Currently Paul serves as the Vice President of Sales for the Western U.S. at F5 Networks — a security and application delivery company.

In this conversation, Paul shares the essential focus that enables him to produce sustained success. We explore how to create holistic balance when you are leading a competitive Career, and Paul reflects on the attributes of great salespeople, and the leadership philosophy he applies to promote the best in people.

Essential Learning Points From This Episode

  • How do you create sustained success? Carving time to rejuvenate is critical to achieving high performance. One way to rejuvenate is to focus on a singular activity that shuts out the noise.
  • “My development came from immersive experience with strong leaders.” Finding strong leaders as mentors can make a huge difference.
  • “Getting to know each member on my team, and connecting at a human level, is how I succeed.”
  • The clues for career development are often right in front of you. In Paul’s case the clue was: “I was doing most of the selling, and the salespeople were making most of the money, and so I realized I should try sales.
  • The most successful salespeople are truly curious, are disciplined and organized. These attributes make great salespeople:
  • ○ Curiosity: inquire deeply to understand
    ○ Discipline: show up organized consistently
    ○ Engagement: Pull on all organizational assets
    ○ Drive: demonstrate innate desire to be successful

  • If you embrace the fractal idea, where the atomic structure reflects and mirrors the galaxies around, framed in the scripture with the idea that man and woman are made in the image of God, and that As Above, So Below — then if the universe is made of three quarters of unrealized potential then you and I too are only accessing a small part of our potential.
Focus on a singular activity to reset and rejuvenate. Click To Tweet Find your mentors in strong leaders you want to emulate. Click To Tweet To succeed, get to know each member on your team, and connect with them at a human level. Click To Tweet The value is in the relationships. We all need to feel connected. Click To Tweet The most successful sales people are curious, disciplined, organized, and engage all available resources. Click To Tweet A universe made of 3/4 of unrealized potential proposes we too are only expressing a small part of our potential. Click To Tweet
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Curiosity Is a Muscle That Fuels Innovation with Ann-Marie Archer – Episode 7

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Originally posted at http://www.avivconsulting.com/cnf7

Ann-Marie Archer is the Founder and CEO of Archer & Associates, an Executive Search, Leadership Development, and Coaching Services firm that delivers best-in-class, talented candidates for its clients, and helps individuals and organizations achieve their potential.

After 20 years in corporate America, observing and experiencing the tedious and unpredictable hiring process, and gaps in effective leadership, Ann-Marie chose to launch a firm dedicated to potent leadership development, and an authentic and holistic, right fit philosophy.

In this conversation, you will learn why questions are an important part of the discovery process, in both business and with people, why curiosity plays a critical role in candidates going through a company hiring process, and how we as people and leaders can quickly adapt to our rapidly changing world.

Essential Learning Points From This Episode

  • How both Ann-Marie and Aviv use conversations as a discovery tool to understanding the strength and weaknesses of others.
  • Why curiosity is critical, and whether it’s a natural talent or a developed skill.
  • What is the ‘not knowing’ zone, and why we need to learn to embrace it.
  • What are the skills Ann-Marie observes with leaders that successfully navigate this rapidly changing world.
  • What are simple questions that get big and meaningful answers.
  • How good questions look towards the future and then lead back into the present.
  • A CV can never show you how someone thinks or shows up when under pressure, but smart questions can bring you important data on how someone will react.
I have made it my life to follow and watch highly curious people. Click To Tweet Curiosity is what fuels innovation. Click To Tweet Find the sense of courage and fearlessness in uncovering what’s going to serve the conversation. Click To Tweet The key for a leader now is knowing the right question. Click To Tweet The future pulls us out of the past, and pulls toward the dream, and what’s possible. Click To Tweet The practical walk and the inner walk go hand in hand. Click To Tweet If we don't start to listen, it eventually gets very quiet. Click To Tweet
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How to Accelerate Your Transformation – Episode 6

How to Accelerate Your Transformation

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Originally posted at http://www.avivconsulting.com/cnf6

In this episode we focus on how to accelerate your transformation by significantly elevating your innovation and creativity. Learn how successful leaders achieve dramatic results while compressing months of work into just a few days. Here are some of the key points I discuss during this 9-minute podcast:

Essential Learning Points From This Episode

  • How you and your team can save six months of precious time and tons of organizational calories.
  • Why it is imperative for you and your team to shift from merely learning new information to internalizing, applying, and teaching it.
  • How miracles occur when you give people an opportunity to shape their own destiny and future.
  • How to avoid the catastrophic impact on your ROI, that breaking the learning cycle triggers.

By applying the insights I discuss to your life, you will achieve dramatically better results and a greater return on your strategy and innovation efforts. What are you waiting for? Accelerate your growth by putting the four stages of learning to work for you today!

Even in the greatest companies ... leaders unnecessarily impede desired results by breaking the learning cycle every… Click To Tweet Accelerate your transformation by achieving results in days rather than in months. Click To Tweet Inspire innovation while compressing months of work into just a few days. Click To Tweet The key to creating breakthroughs is sustained team learning. Click To Tweet Giving people an opportunity to shape their own destiny and future is a game-changer for the business. Click To Tweet The four stages of learning: Receive – Validate – Apply – Share. Click To Tweet
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There’s No Such Thing as a Bad Team with Mark Dodds – Episode 5

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Originally posted at http://www.avivconsulting.com/cnf5

Mark Dodds is the Vice President of Global Solutions Sales for Dell EMC. Mark and I were sitting on the same flight together, and had such an interesting conversation that I asked if Mark would like to share some of his insights to my podcast audience. In this week’s episode, we discuss leadership, and how to bring together very smart people to create super-results. I explore with Mark his experiences in elite environments in the army, in extreme sport, and in business, and we also discuss the beliefs and behaviors of enlightened parenting.

Essential Learning Points From This Episode

  • To build elite teams make the selection process meaningful. Resist expediency, wait to find the right fit. Mediocre hire is the fastest way to slow and even derail your organization. Be disciplined and uncompromising when it comes to building your team.
  • Your role as a leader is to clarify, simplify, and energize. Clarifying and simplifying the complex requires focus and work. To bring super energy consistently you need to work at it and build your energy.
  • Your first experience in an elite environment builds successive ripples into the rest of life.
  • Discover the exhilarating challenge of going beyond what you think you can do… when you are together with people that believe there are no limits.
How do you bring very smart people to create super-results? Click To Tweet What can you learn from the navy seals about leading teams? Click To Tweet There is no limit to how much you can learn from other people. Click To Tweet You have to have people who can think differently. Click To Tweet In order to get to the best solution, people have to challenge you. Click To Tweet
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From Adventure Racing To Growth Mindset with Doug Gray – Episode 4

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Originally posted at http://www.avivconsulting.com/cnf4

My guest in this episode is Doug Gray, the president of Action Learning associates, executive coach and the author of Passionate Action: 5 Steps to Extraordinary Success in Life and Work. Our dialogue reflects on how coaching change and evolved into a new kind of art, and how having a suite of models to choose from is vitally important. You will learn how to apply a series of strategies to accelerate growth and unleash the power of exponential learning.

Here are some of the key points I discussed with Doug during this 63-minute podcast:

Essential Learning Points From This Episode

  • Why you are better off investing in somebody who is very good as opposed to trying to move a poor performer to a mediocre level of performance.
  • What is the important question every coach should be asking at the close of each call.
  • What are the two types of mindsets people use and why Doug only works with the second group.
  • The problem with the 40,000 people who identify themselves as coaches.
  • How can lessons learned in a Quaker school help us in business and in life.
  • Why psychological capital is infinite and what can you do with yours.
  • How to be mindful and intentional about your conversations.
We've always gone to the wilderness and sought perspective in the less familiar places. Click To Tweet We can choose to embrace growth mindset instead of fixed mindset. Click To Tweet Apply the three A’s model: Assessment; Action; Accountability. Click To Tweet Senior leaders need objective external perspective. Click To Tweet The moment I look for is the moment of silence, when the gestalt breaks. Click To Tweet
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Instigating Breakthrough Learning and the 90/10 Rule – Episode 3

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Originally posted at http://www.avivconsulting.com/cnf3

In this episode we discuss how to instigate and agitate learning to make sure your team is renewed and to prevent the organizational brain from atrophying because it is locked in “repeat” mode. You will learn why the most successful transformation efforts are designed with the 90/10 rule of adult learning in mind. Here are some of the key points I discuss during this 12-minute podcast:

Essential Learning Points From This Episode

  • To thrive requires leaders to become life-long, passionate learners propelled by insatiable curiosity. The day you stop learning is the day you begin to die.
  • You enable development, progress, and growth when you demonstrate leadership by facilitating learning for yourself and for your team. We become fully alive when we connect vital ideas, create meaning, apply new practices, and act on possibilities and insights.
  • We experience the highest impact learning by applying the 90/10 rule of adult learning. Internalizing and integrating transformative nuggets of knowledge, (the “10” in the rule) have the power to update and rearrange what we already know (the “90”).

By applying the 90/10 rule to your leadership transformation efforts, you will dramatically accelerate the development of your team and the results you hope to create.

Agitate learning to make sure your team is renewed and to prevent the organizational brain from atrophying. Click To Tweet Successful transformation efforts are designed with the 90/10 rule of adult learning in mind. Click To Tweet We become fully alive when we connect ideas, create meaning, apply new practices, and act on possibilities and… Click To Tweet The day you stop learning is the day you begin to die. Click To Tweet To dramatically accelerate results, apply the 90/10 rule to your leadership work. Click To Tweet
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Guide Leaders to New Horizons Through Poetry with Libby Wagner – Episode 2

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Originally posted at http://www.avivconsulting.com/cnf2

My guest for this 57-minute conversation is Libby Wagner, poet, author and sought-after speaker. To my knowledge, Libby is the only former poetry professor who is invited and welcomed warmly into boardrooms across the country. A trusted advisor for presidents, CEOs and executive directors, her work with numerous Fortune 500 companies has influenced the cultures of organizations such as The Boeing Company, Nike, Philips, and Costco. She is the author of the Amazon best seller The Influencing Option: The Art of Building a Profit Culture in Business. You can find her inspiring Ted talk Own Your Voice on YouTube. Libby’s unique approach enables executives to create dramatic, memorable impact by leading their organizations more confidently toward innovative horizons.

Essential Learning Points:

  • Why poetry both requires courage and how it inspires courage in leaders.
  • How to apply the four levels of listening within the context of building a practice of reflection.
  • How adopting a poet’s perspective can help you develop outcome-based thinking and communication.
  • Why leaders must resist the commoditization of language and ideas.
  • How to avoid a common problem with teams that quickly creates misunderstandings and breakdowns.
Things that require courage matter to us. Click To Tweet Development is when you are working on new and more interesting problems. Click To Tweet Development is not in solving all the contradiction of life but rather in learning to hold and contain the greater… Click To Tweet We have to build a practice in becoming champion learners in times of tremendous change Click To Tweet 'Poetry is saying the unsayable' - Donald Hall Click To Tweet
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Challenge the Mental Models and Reframe Conversations with Alice Latino – Episode 1

CNF001-Alice Latino-YouTube-v2

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Originally posted at http://www.avivconsulting.com/cnf1

In this episode, I have the pleasure of speaking with Alice Latino. We initially met fourteen years ago when she was the Regional Director at Emeritus Assisted Living; we collaborated together and led several workshops for the team, as well as other teams at Emeritus.

Even as a very small child, Alice has always had an incredible love for the elderly. Her relationship with her grandparents is something she has always cherished and it truly shaped her life into one of gratitude and a desire to help. She brought this passion with her throughout her life and launched it into a career to make a difference in the lives of Seniors. With an MBA from the University of Alabama and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Montevallo, her love and dedication to the lives of Seniors brought her to work with Emeritus Senior Living. Serving in various capacities for over seventeen years, including Vice President of Operations, she positively impacted both the quality of care delivered and the profit metrics within her Division’s sixty properties and over 5,000 units.

In 2004 she cofounded with her husband Heavenly Care Home Health and Heavenly Care Moving. With twenty years experience in healthcare management and leadership roles, Alice has a very unique background. Listen on as Alice shares some insight from her vast leadership experience and together we exchange some ideas that you can begin implementing right away

Essential Learning Points From This Episode

  • The inspiration and AHA moment that got Alice’s attention as she started reading Create New Futures.
  • A unique structure of the book that appeals to today’s approaches to learning: read, be inspired and immediately implement into action.
  • The “debriefing” concept explained in the book that Alice immediately implemented with her team.
  • The state of mind that Aviv calls the “purgatory of anxious preoccupation of the next” — what it is and how a slight tweak in your schedule can make you more present in the here and now.
  • Some of the guided principles that Alice operated by when she led large teams, and took with her when she launched her current company with her husband.
  • What does Alice miss the most after transitioning from working many years with a large company to now running a small company?
  • Lessons and insights about running a family business.
  • How being around older people has fueled Alice’s drive
  • Initial discussions around the mental model of the 3-story house.
  • Why Alice believes in the importance of working closely with the caregivers.
As a leader, you are known for the conversations you create. Click To Tweet If you show up with clarity you will already stand out. Click To Tweet The reflection vs. the action, I value that so much more. Click To Tweet It's very critical to have active listening with your partner. Click To Tweet
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