As a business owner, it’s difficult to do the right work AND guide your company toward its next big initiative.
With Red Direction Business Base Camp, learn how to implement and handle processes to meet your business’s specific needs and better understand your market.
Starting the conversation:
Formalized or not, we all seek points of view (maybe even validation) with which to check ourselves. Being on the right track, getting results, and making the best decisions — these are weighty responsibilities. By default it is commonly thought that confidence comes from knowledge. In actuality, confidence comes from being tuned in. Catherine Morgan, Transition Expert at Point A to Point B Transitions; Christie Garcia, Founder & Ego Management Expert at Mindful Choice; and Dave Newell, President at Evolve Leadership Consulting, talk about the importance of having an outside set of eyes on your business.
How do you make the right decision at the right time? Have an outside set of eyes. This could be coaches and consultants who are asking the hard questions that enable you to develop yourself, and your approach … as well as your confidence in making decisions to propel you toward your biggest goals. The more we can separate ourselves from the influences of people, situations, and tasks that seem urgent — the more we can assess to prioritize the right work.
In this program, you will hear three ways to measure success (and choose the metrics to measure), how to change the point of view to find the real problems, and that even when it doesn’t feel like it — you can choose what work to prioritize. Jess Dewell hosts Catherine Morgan, Transition Expert at Point A to Point B Transitions; Christie Garcia, Founder & Ego Management Expert at Mindful Choice; and Dave Newell, President at Evolve Leadership Consulting, to discuss why it is bold to bring in external perspectives to shape your business strategy.
Host: Jess Dewell
Guest: Catherine Morgan, Christie Garcia, Dave Newell
What You Will Hear:
OK to not know everything.
Do your own work to become open-minded.
Try to look at the problem from a different point of view.
3 ways to measure success (and choose the metrics to measure).
Know where you are in the month and quarter with your goals.
Real-life examples where resistance shows up — with our guest experts.
Better questions! Poke around and test the current validity of the questions you ask to assess strategically where you are going.
Either/or is limited thinking.
2 prompts to record your learnings from intentional reflection.
3 books to help you grow personally and professionally.
It is BOLD to bring in external perspectives to enhance your decision-making process to shape business strategy.
- Driving Solutions Intensive
- Understand the Four Pillars of Business Success and Reach Your Goals
- 116 Strategic Questions to Ask Senior Leaders – With Sample Answers
- 8 Questions Strategic CEOs Ask Themselves
Welcome. This is the Bold Business Podcast. Your business has many directions it can travel. The one true direction of your company creates the journey for you to move toward a new, exciting level. We call this the Red Direction. In today’s program, we delve into one idea. The idea will support you as you work on ever-present situations, including how to stay competitive in a changing market, how to break through the business plateau, and how to anticipate the changing expectations of your stakeholders. Jess Dewell is your guide. Jess brings you a 20-year track record of business excellence, where strategy and operations overlap. Your Path comes from consistently working from the special place. Your unique True North. Now, here’s Jess.
Jess Dewell 00:51
Welcome to the Bold Business Podcast. Here we are answering our biggest questions which are probably different than yesterday’s and will definitely be different than tomorrow’s. The thing is whether we’re seeking inspiration, a new way to approach a problem we’re facing, just looking for inspiration. That is what the Bold Business Podcast is here. So if you are part of the audience that is going to be listening to the outside set of eyes, today you are in the right place, you are in the right place to have some fun to laugh and to learn. I am super excited to have on our panel today, three experts that understand the value of an outside set of eyes. And you will hear me talk about this all the time when I found Catherine, Christie, and Dave, whom I will introduce you to in just a moment. I knew bringing them together to discuss strategy and the importance of this makes sense. And it makes sense all the time. It makes the most sense at that third-quarter range where we have to start thinking about the next year where we start thinking about what are we doing in our businesses 24 and 36 and 60 months from now, which feels so far away yet in few blink of the eye. Here we are. Okay, so you don’t have to listen to me anymore. Let me get started. First, I would like to introduce you to Catherine Altman Morgan, she is the President at Point A to Point B Transitions Inc. She’s the author of business networking. This is evolving the way work to decrease stress, anxiety and depression. She comes from an award-winning career as a transition expert, business consultant, and the founder of Point A to Point B Transitions Inc. This company is a virtual partner of coaching services to professionals and careers that want to be transitions that are forced to transition that are curious about transition. She also supports solo consultants. She speaks on topics related to career transitions, workplace mental health, and small businesses and entrepreneurship. Never bland or boring. I’d like to introduce you to Catherine Altman Morgan, welcome to the program.
Catherine Altman Morgan 03:08
Thank you so much. Just hearing you read that made me start giggling.
Jess Dewell 03:13
Good. That’s exactly what we should have on this show. And lots of laughter and fun along the way. I’m so glad you’re here. Next, I would like to introduce you to Christie Garcia. She is the founder and ego management expert at mindful-choice. She’s a seasoned leadership coach speaker skillful facilitator and distinguished contributor to Forbes Coaches Council. She has a notable career that spans two decades, bringing a wealth of expertise in sales, talent acquisition, leadership, development and ego management. For over a decade, she has worked with leaders from prominent companies and fast-growing startups including Airbnb, Twitter movement for life just to name a few have a big awesome credentialed list. She’s the visionary founder at mindful-choice Leadership Academy, crafting innovative programs to empower individuals and teens to master the art of taming the inner ego. I’m so excited to have you here. Christy.
Christie Garcia 04:09
Thank you very much. I’m really excited to be here as well.
Jess Dewell 04:12
Dave Newell president at Evolve Leadership Consulting is on a mission to align the misaligned, connecting leaders and systems, fostering outstanding work and personal fulfillment. That’s hard to do today. And he’s doing this through collaboration with small businesses and leaders to implement the five facets of business. It’s an operating system to optimize team alignment around culture, strategy, process, finances, operations, story, and anything else I forgot. This framework provides leaders with the necessary clarity and alignment, crushing those short-term and long-term goals. He’s coached hundreds of leaders nationally and internationally and has implemented this framework for over 11 years. Welcome to the show, Dave.
David Newell 05:00
Thanks so much for having me. It’s great to be here.
Jess Dewell 05:03
I haven’t even really heard you say anything except for Hello. And I giggled. And I’m just like, I can’t wait to get started. What’s going on in your world today? How are you in this space, when we’re thinking about outside set of eyes,
Christie Garcia 05:16
I am fell into this really because of the need, we need to interact and really bring the humans back to business. I think there’s so often we get so busy and focused on tasks we forget the human component that really makes us great that helps us collaborate helps us seek that outside external eyes and really be able to be open-minded, which is where I got really interested in the ego to bring ego management into the picture to where people can actually collaborate, successfully open up their hearts, their minds and their curiosity. Because if your ego is running your show, it’s really hard to stay curious.
Catherine Altman Morgan 05:50
I love that. I absolutely love the ego management because nobody would accuse CEOs of having egos, especially the billionaire CEOs, we hear in the news, I am a huge proponent of outside consulting, I’ve been pitching it for 20 years, I’ve worked for the big consulting firms and been a contractor for the meet here firms and had my own business for 13 years. And I think an outside set of eyes is critical to support the CEO themself. They need to have somebody who is on their side and making sure that they are in a situation where they can have optimal decision-making. Because they aren’t burned out frantic shatter, nobody makes a good decision. From that point of view. I think they need to have somebody on their team and also connect with other CEOs in roundtable, or mentoring events, people in their industry or outside of their industry, because we can all get all spun up that we’re the only one thinking about these things or having these experiences. And that’s just not the truth. But I think it’s useful to distinguish between a CEO coming into an existing situation, where they’re going to have an outside perspective, and they need to be brought up speed by people internally account management, sales, other leaders. But there’s the founders CEOs, and I’ve had the opportunity to coach a lot of them over the last year who build these businesses, the businesses take on a life of their own, and then start crushing the founders who don’t realize that they can make different choices, they can change the business, they can restructure it, they can have a better criteria for accepting clients. So to your point, just an outside set of eyes is critical.
David Newell 07:50
Want to pick up on the dynamic between what the two of you were talking about? I love the ego conversation as an organizational development person, right, I started coming in and I look at systems and I look at how things flow through the business. But those systems are run by people. And those people are run by the systems in many ways. Right? So the interaction between the two. And if someone were to ask me, What’s the biggest obstacle I faced in bringing systems to businesses? It’s ego, it’s, we got this, we don’t need your help, or no, it’s I don’t need your support, or I think I’ve, I can understand this fully on my own. And that’s just generally speaking, not very true. And I’m guilty of that at times myself. It’s not like I don’t have outsiders looking at my own business, right? So if I’m not getting coached, then it doesn’t make sense for me to then offer that to somebody else. So I really appreciate the conversation around ego. And it is difficult when you’re running your business because you need to have one in order to feel like you can run the business. So it is that balance between, I need to actually believe that I can do this, I need to be able to push on it. And at the same time, I need to be able to scale that back at times to say, hey, I don’t know everything, I don’t know all the pieces. I’m not in a position where I can see everything. When you’re in the weeds, it’s really hard to see the business as a whole.
Jess Dewell 09:04
Totally true. And I’m going to ask each of you a question now. And I’m gonna ask you the same question because now that we know where you stand, why you’re here, and what makes you the most excited, we’re going to start pulling out this information that we’re going to have a conversation around. And I’m going to start with you, Catherine. Catherine, how can external perspectives enhance the CEOs decision-making process in shaping business strategy?
Catherine Altman Morgan 09:29
How could it not would be might be the place to start? But we talked about the outside perspective of setting the CEO for success. somebody walking into an organization would be well served to figure out the lay of the land, the pecking order the politics and to have an objective outsider to mirror back What they’re saying because the fish can’t tell you the water is swimming in once the CEO gets steeped in their culture, I think it’s hard for them to really see it in a way that they can make decisions that have an impact. The outside perspective of business consultants or coaches can be super helpful. You need to guard against confirmation bias and people who are inside the organization telling you exactly what you might want to hear for decreased friction or to improve their career trajectory. And I think it’s important to have 365-degree feedback so that you’re getting feedback from all levels within an organization. And maybe you want to employ an outside survey organization to do a pulse track of what’s going on. I’m not confident that this can be done by internal HR cause there are often trust issues between employees and HR. And I think you’d be better served with an outside survey organization. And to recap, the and the frontlines, of course, listen to what sales is saying, listen to what customer support is saying. And tying into this ego piece, which I also love making, located and not never be answered, and, and give yourself as the CEO permission to not know everything and to give people the oxygen to tell you that your baby’s ugly, because that’s one of the problems as a consultant you come in, and you have a point of view that might not be popular. But that is actually the reason they hired you,
Jess Dewell 11:51
Christine, how can external perspectives, enhance the CEOs decision-making process and shaping business strategy?
Christie Garcia 11:59
I love this question. I think there’s a couple different ways I look at it having someone that is that direct feedback to the CEO itself. Where is the CEO blocked? Where are they having that tunnel vision, through ego management, majority of the conversations I have CEO couple come to me bring up a struggle. They’re having a decision they’re trying to make, and we’ll dig into it. And they’ll realize they’re either the roadblock or they’ve created that bias opinion around which way they think they need to go. Phase one is make sure they’re doing the work themselves to seek out where their ego is unconsciously blocking them to see or be open-minded to different options. And then I think there is that external viewpoint of seeking out advice from other founders or CEOs, their board members, their investors. Now, with that being said, I think depending on which ego type the CEO is, if they are the complier, ego, they might look for too much feedback. And they are so paralyzed by all the feedback because they just don’t trust their own decision-making process. If they’re the protector, they’re right. So they’re stubborn black-and-white vision. And they’re going to maybe be like, Hey, I got the right answer. I don’t need any feedback, which they really need to seek it out more and be open-minded and listen, and then you got the controller, I’ve got the best ideas, I can make the options work. And they are pretty quick to judge or shut down ideas. And so making sure that they stay open and stay curious and collaborate more with their internal forces to hear all perspectives before they make a decision when you absolutely need those external perspectives and understand your own ego type that may block you from moving forward in making those really good decisions that you can trust and feel competent in that aren’t ego driven days.
Jess Dewell 13:38
How can external perspectives enhance a CEOs decision-making process in shaping business strategy?
David Newell 13:45
I think it’s helpful to think about this from a problem perspective, right? So again, I come from a systems perspective. So I love hearing the pieces around, hey, here’s how an individual can be enhanced. And I think when I think about what gets in the way, I think of three things. Number one is it’s really hard to work on the business when you’re in the business. I have a client who says it’s hard to read the label when you’re in the bottle. And really what that means is everybody else is looking at you from the outside. And it’s hard for you to see it in the same way that they’re seeing thing. So it is hard to see it. And that shows up in two other ways. One is often business leaders are dealing with symptoms, right? What they get on their plate is the output right? So hey, this person is a problem person and we need to deal with that, hey, we’re not closing business at the rate we need to be closing business leads are coming in, etc, etc, etc. Right? So they see the outputs down the line. And so this starts to feel like fires it starts to feel like that piece of which is number three, the tyranny of the urgent, right so much stuff starts to show up, that you get wrapped up in the weeds. You get wrapped up in dealing with all the things that are happening, that being able to pause and step out and say okay, what’s actually going on here? We talked a lot about the difference between leading and lagging indicators, right? And business leaders often get the lagging indicator, which is, hey, this is the thing as it rolled all the way down the hill, now you can see it where an outsider can really help is to say, alright, let’s pull that rock back up the hill, let’s see what are some of the inputs that we can ship that will then change those outputs. And I will say maybe just lastly, to tie into my colleagues here, on the personal side, is it is really lonely, like it is lonely to lead a company, it is lonely, even if you’re on a leadership team of very competent, capable people, it still feels lonely because all eyes are looking at you sometimes. And so I’d say the last piece of this is not only are you dealing with your trouble floats, you’re dealing with all the problems, but at the same time, it feels isolating. And so it’s, I find it beneficial for myself right to have somebody who I can say, hey, I’m dealing with this right now just helped me see this helped me understand this differently, I need to clear that clutter. So those are a couple different perspectives to think about.
You are listening to the Bold Business Podcast. This program was created to develop your capacity on demand by sharing insights, tips, as well as lessons learned by business leaders, unedited and uncut. Now, back to Jess.
Jess Dewell 16:16
And I’m gonna start right there, Dave, because one of the things I heard from all three of you is, you’re like me, and I’m nosy. I want you to tell me everything that’s going on, I want you to tell me what’s worked, what’s not worked. I want to know what you think is important, then I want to see what actually is important. And I’m hearing this from all of you in different ways. And to the point of what kind of person are we in terms of the ego that we have? What are the things that we are looking to actually be willing to see when the reflected back to us? Are we seeing the forest through the trees? I want to know from each of you. What actually drew you to this me I’m nosy and limelight. Oh, I can solve more problems, the more I know. How about you? Is it that easy for you? Or was it like a journey are at now I’m just curious, because it’s always interesting to hear some of these things.
Catherine Altman Morgan 17:12
I have a fun origin story. I was let go of my job and in Korea transition. And I read a book that I found called the mind of the strategist written by some guy who worked for McKinsey. And my brain exploded. I’m like, Oh, my God, this is a career people can do that. My boyfriend at the time said, Yeah, but you need to go back and get an MBA and like that ain’t happening. So I just shelved it. And former colleague called me knowing that I was looking for a job and said, Hey, I need you to come work for me at KPMG. And I started laughing. I’m like, I can’t balance my checkbook. You want me to work for an accounting firm. And he’s I don’t need that I need someone who can manage projects who can write and who can cover my back because they’re a bunch of sharks here. So a side doored my way in consulting, and it has been my dream job for over 20 years.
Jess Dewell 18:05
Christie Garcia 18:06
Yeah, I had a life-changing fall. That happened in my world. So I fell about 30 feet about 29 when it happened, and I thought I was living the best life. I was happy. I was successful. I was living the dream in San Francisco, traveling the world doing my thing. And it’s amazing. When you fall, I learned about my ego and realized how much of a controller I was I had this image I had to keep up I was put together I was happy. It was fun. I had all these people in my life. On paper, everything seemed great. What I realized when I did stop, and I couldn’t to work, and I couldn’t hang out with my friends and I couldn’t do the things I enjoyed. I had a really hard time relying on people asking for help. I realized how emotionally available I was. And everybody came to me with their problems. But no one knew mine. Being able to recognize that. Luckily, I had already started my coaching journey as a life coach. At first, it was like, Oh, that’s a pretty good thing. Not really my thing. But ironically, I needed it more than I had imagined. So you know, the woo-woo side of it is definitely what I needed to soften my sharp elbows. But I was able to translate it. I’m not the life coach, he won that I’m going to really help solve your life problem. Even though that comes into work. I really needed to translate it to that business language get more of that tactical. So I love being able to help CEOs soften their elbows, find that human side because business takes it out of us. It’s a tough business and the higher up and leadership you get the more you have to consciously try to build an intentional life and intentional path and work at Digital relationships. And I realized I was in medical cells, I realized that the people I feared to become which were the 60-year-old sitting in the hospital room dying or ill by themselves was a terrifying reality for me. But I was turning 30 And I wasn’t dating I wasn’t doing anything those wow, I am just as ambitious as these at the time, mostly men and, and it’s like they lost their families because they worked so hard. And I just swore to that day that I will never ever put to work before relationships. But I believe that you could have a successful career and a successful life. And so that’s really what created mindful choice and the awareness around you,
David Newell 20:16
I would love to have your stories in some ways, mine is less interesting, in many ways, in the sense that I just fell into it, it’s probably the best way to say it, I know you’d had a fall that was tragic than this one that was working in community organizing, and higher education had nothing to do with business to start with. And I got invited in so I was in kind of the teaching and training space, essentially, I got invited by a few consultants who I just happen to have a relationship with they were looking for an additional facilitator, to do some training and development around kind of sales, training and sales leadership, which I wasn’t in. I don’t honestly know why they asked me to do it, but I did it. And within 30 seconds, I was like, Oh, this is it. This is the thing I really enjoyed doing. I love that the challenge of it, I loved the puzzles, I loved the human concept and connecting that to the organization side of things, right? Like I love the relationship between behavior and systems. And I think in small businesses, being able to manage that dynamic is really the difference between businesses that crush it and businesses that don’t. You mentioned at the outset, our mission is essentially to align them misaligned. And what we mean by that isn’t misalignment isn’t a tragedy, it doesn’t have to be tragic, it just means that all the systems aren’t swimming in the same direction, or all the people are moving in the same direction. And so it’s not about managing conflict, it’s about managing alignment, meaning we’re not looking for consensus, we’re looking for alignment we’re looking for, are people moving in the same direction or not? And are the systems supporting that movement. And if you can get those systems aligned, things take off. And so the real joy for me in this work is the puzzle of alignment.
Jess Dewell 21:57
You are listening to the Bold Business Podcast, I’m your host just duel. And now you know why. Now, you know why Katherine Altman Morgan, the president to point A to point B transitions, Christie Garcia, the founder and ego management expert at mindful-choice. And Dave Newell president at Evolve leadership consulting, is here with me in this room should have been are here with me in this room. And that’s fine, that’s going to just go in the way that it is. And here’s what I like that I’m hearing. We all have things that we have natural strengths that we all have things that when somebody is looking for that not only did we build new skills to do what we do, not only are we continuously ever-evolving, so that we can be of the most support to the companies that we are serving, we tend to also lean into our own strengths. And I’m very curious for you how that relates to when you’re working with a client. And this doesn’t necessarily have to be something that you show them. I want to talk about our success metrics, how are we measuring our work and our progress as we’re working with things. So people may or may not get to see this. But everybody doesn’t always realize how much work it goes into, to prepare to show up to hold space to think about some of these things. And this is a way we get to pull back the curtain. So what are some of the things that you use internally, to determine success for the clients and the companies that you are working with?
Catherine Altman Morgan 23:25
For my career, transitioning clients, the metric is pretty simple. They get a job, they don’t get a job. That’s good. For my fellow consultants, or founders that I’ve been coaching lately, they come to me, oddly enough, because search indicates that I’m the ranking expert in the entrepreneur-to-employee transition. So at 1030, at night, when they’re doing an online search, can entrepreneurs get corporate jobs? They find me and jump on my calendar, and we have a conversation about it during regular business hours. I’ve been listening for, do you want to get a job? Is there a compelling reason for you to get a job? Or are you just exhausted? What do we need to prove that the business like I’m listening for all of those things? So one of the things I have to bring into every conversation is not have a set point of view walking in, I don’t want to look at their LinkedIn profile before I want to know as little bit about them as possible to hear what they’re saying and match it to the energy. Do they actually believe what they saying? Is it the knee-jerk response to their wife, just say you’ve got to get a real job because I want to stay on with the kids like what’s really going on here. So I have to bring objectivity, neutrality, and all the tools in my tool bag of all the people I’ve helped for the last 13 years. So that’s how I’d have to show up to get my clients the results
David Newell 24:52
First issues, should we break the pattern.
Jess Dewell 24:54
Yeah, let’s do a break it up.
David Newell 24:57
Here. Thanks for letting me jump in. It, it’s an interesting question because when we deal with organizations like they’re complex operating systems, and so we always start with a baseline assessment. So it’s the five facets of business assessment. And it looks at five different aspects of your organization. It looks at culture strategy, operations story, which is sales and marketing, and finances, what we often find is in small business, at least, most organizations are good at two or three of those things. And then the other two or three of the things, drag them down to they might be crushing it from a leads, and sales and marketing perspective, they have an awesome culture, it’s a great place to work in, they’re not actually executing on anything, and the processes are a nightmare. And people get frustrated internally. So for us, it is establishing a baseline of, Okay, which of those five aspects are you satisfactory or above? And then underneath that, where do we need to really put our intention at the outset to elevate the other aspects your business, and when you bring up the other aspects of the business that are failing? All five starts to thrive a little bit more, right? Like you start to actually see the benefit of those long answers to a shorter question is, we essentially establish a baseline, but we look at those five categories to say, alright, what’s working and what’s not, in each of those five categories, or five things that we look at those 25 things total, it is then setting metrics and plans and pathways around that. And maybe just a quick story of why I think the assessment is important, is folks often talk about where are you going? And they look at maps. And when you look at a map, and you say, Alright, where are we going? What’s the first thing you need to know? Where are we on the map, so you can know where you’re going if you don’t know where you are? And I think that is a core problem. I see some nodding heads to you, he might be on the same page here. But I think a lot of folks just don’t know where they are. And so they just start driving around on the map, so to speak. So getting clear about where are we and then establishing from there. What are some of those metrics? And what are some of those places that we can go to me is really the foundation. So a vague answer and not specific what we measure, but establishing that baseline and then creating the metrics that measurables for there.
Christie Garcia 27:11
I love that I think, you know, Dave, you hit on the head when you cannot start anything until you know where you’re at, you do the system side, I’ve got the the human side. And so often when someone calls it, a coach or leadership development program, they’re like, hey, we need to fix this problem. And it’s usually someone else’s problem. My team’s not communicating effectively, or we’re not doing this fast, all the symptoms that you’ve used, just, and the reality is, you can’t fix anything until you know what your own stuff is. So I am self-awareness and ownership. Those are phase one of everything I do, we have an assessment tool as well, when it points out the egos and eventually, but really what it is my favorite part is just a perception tool. It shows the gaps of self-awareness. So where are you currently at? Where do you think you’re currently at? What’s your current impact? How are you showing up with your strengths and your weaknesses? And then how does the world around you see you showing up? So gain, set 360 awareness, what are the gaps of your awareness, once we know where you’re at, we can fast forward our relationship three, four months, and now we can jump right in and we don’t sugarcoat your mindful choice. So we get straight into that ownership. What my favorite thing to do is to work with teams, you know, I work a lot with founders on partnerships, there’s so much stress, it’s basically a marriage. So let’s do some marriage counseling within your founders partnership. And really, the only way to fix a marriage is to identify what each person’s part is in the problem. And you can even do that within your leadership team as well. If you’ve got multiple managers, and different levels of levels of leadership, you have to identify where everyone’s at, once we know all the ego types, and how we can actually have a really productive conversation. And that’s my favorite part is once we get the individual self-awareness and ownership, now we can go into ego management of the organization. Because it’s not just one individuals problem, we have to manage every ego on the team. So from the top down. And if we don’t know what our own ego is, it’s really hard to identify the egos that we are teaching, coaching and mentoring, or that we are in business partnerships with whether we’re talking in their clients, whether we’re talking by direct employee, the end of the day, the clearer you are on who you’re talking to, it’s so much easier to show up and use a language that works for everyone. That very high level is where we like to start as well. Self-awareness and ownership.
David Newell 29:25
I know just that you’re the podcast host Stop me if I’m jumping into your book and ask a question.
Jess Dewell 29:30
You know what, this is my favorite part when I no longer am in control? Yeah.
David Newell 29:36
Because I’m curious. I have some thoughts in my own head about what this might be. But I’m curious for the two of you because you deal more with people than I do. When you talk about ownership or you get to that discovery point. Where does the resistance show up? Most often, of course, it’s nuanced across all sorts of different people. But I’m curious where you see that resistance the most of Yeah, I hear you, but I’m curious kind of what, what that story sounds like for you.
Catherine Altman Morgan 30:02
It shows up for me front and center. When I ask the question, is that true? Picture me sitting, leaning back saying, really, and just poking at their assertions people get. So grasping and bringing about the things they believe to be true and could not be changed, that it’s really funny to just poke it and say, Is it true, and sometimes the balloon just goes.
Christie Garcia 30:31
Just to piggyback on that, once I know which ego I’m dealing with, it’s really easy to identify, because most of the time, the egos show up differently, you know, you’ve got the complier, who they communicate by being liked, they want to be validated and have approval and permission to move forward. When you know that about someone, it’s much easier to say, is that really what you want? Or is that what you think everybody else who wants from you? And asking the hard direct questions, the ego cannot? It doesn’t function in curiosity, it doesn’t function in truth. And so when you can ask that hard question that actually makes me have to stop and think you no longer need, you automatically just turned to conscious brain, the protector brain, it has to be right. And that’s the only way we have worth in value is if we’re right. And if you’re actually challenging someone to say, is that really the right path, their ego wants to get defensive, it wants to get aggressive, it wants to question you and tell you why they’re right, just to justify their own worth and value. And so when you start to feel that resistance, being able to step back and say, Why is this important? So again, that, that disrupted question that makes someone have to stop and question their own purpose of saying the words they said, because the ego is unconscious, it’s reactive, it doesn’t stop and think it just speaks, it’s emotionally driven. And so usually, when you can stop that emotion and start to bring in the rational thought process that brings truth, people’s inner self, that authentic, courageous value-driven purpose starts to come out when you can just call it out. The controller ego is one that has to be the best. And they have the right answers. They’re the best they get to the finish line. First, I already know what we need to do, don’t question me. So when you can actually get them to stop and slow down, they start to realize they’re at the finish line by themselves. And so asking those questions, how do we get people there with you? Because they know they’re by themselves. They know they can be over-controlling, they know they can be micromanaging. But if someone doesn’t call them out, which most people don’t, because they’re intense, and they’re directed, they’re forced to reckon with, which is amazing. But having a coach to be courageous enough to say, Whoa, what’s your part? This other person’s not just lazy? What’s your part in making them lazy? Now you’ve got truth to talk about.
In every program, we share stories, tips and concepts that benefit short-term goals and increase confidence in long-term positioning. For additional perspectives on your growth strategy, Jess Dewell is your business advisor and consultant. Now back to Jess.
Jess Dewell 33:01
I have an answer to this question to jump in Jeff, I know that these and I’m super excited. And it’s funny because I work in the realm of where the rubber meets the road. So for mine, it’s how long has it been like that? How long have you not liked it? Because it’s a question of boundaries, every single time we find a boundary problem, it could be coveting a shared roll. Somebody wants to wear a hat too much. It could be what Christie was just talking about, leaving everybody behind, it could be being a little too generous. It’s the way we’ve always done it here. So people don’t change because change is hard. And the people part of change is the hardest. Everybody talks about all this buy-in and doing all of these things for change management, it starts with one action at a time. And when somebody shows up and there’s resistance, it’s identify the resistance, are you scared? Do you think they’re gonna leave? Is it because you’re doing something against the grain? Is it because people just don’t understand the path that you’re on as a company, it could be the tiniest step. But it’s one action that can build on the other for momentum to make that lasting change. And I’ve also found, the biggest resistance is they don’t want to wait six or seven months to see it before it becomes part of who they are an integrated into their culture. And that’s my favorite thing to do. Look what you do. Did you remember this problem you had you showed up and prevented it today? This is amazing. And that’s cool approach to so the resistance I see is always about. I don’t want to make big change. But you don’t have to you just have to have the courage to take one tiny step.
David Newell 34:35
In a really cool way. I think we just collectively came up with a really good answer for the first question. How can an external perspective enhance the CEOs decision-making process? Or what I heard in what all of you said is poking at assertions? Right? And that questions are actually more transforming than answers. And I think what a lot of folks want Is it from an outsider is just give me the answer. Thank you. The answer is The question, sit in the question for a little bit, that’s the answer. Right. So I do think the poking good assertions is a really powerful thing. And I’ll share one assertion that I think I see a lot of organizations have is what I call kind of binary thinking. Either we go left or we go right, it is a common way to think about an issue or a problem or way of operating how you show up in a meeting. You name it, it’s a common way to think so not judging the commonality of the thinking. But it is limited thinking, I call them tension lines, like we talked about tension line. So just a really basic one, do we focus on the individual? Or do we focus on the team? Yes? Do we focus on ideation or execution? Yes. It’s understanding where are we on that line? Are we a 10 out of 10? And focusing on the tedium and a zero out of 10? And on focusing on the individual? What would it look like if we were a six? Or a seven or a five? Like, how do we just create movement and start to shift that narrative away from binary towards, hey, this is about the choices that we make, and the moments that need us to make a different choice? Do we have the capability to make new ones? I think, as outsiders looking in, we can call attention to where are you on those tension lines, and those tension lines exist? Let’s just acknowledge that they exist. And now we can poke and we can ask those questions, we can challenge those assertions. And I often say, Leadership isn’t choice. And one of my favorite quotes is by an author named Chris Loney. And he says, We’re all leading all the time, either Well, or poorly, I love that quote, what a great thing. But what it to me is when you get to insight, it’s when you have new choices available to you. So like our jobs, is to say, here’s insight. Now, we can walk with you as you start to make those new choices. And we can help you make those new choices, but we can’t make them for you. Our job is to just get you some insight. And we do that through poking insertions. So like all that’s going on here.
Christie Garcia 36:55
That really brings up for me is one of the most common things I deal with specially when doing conflict management or collaboration is people get stuck on the options, right, those choices, there’s usually two options, we either have this blank option or this white option. And we forget that there’s a lot of gray when you mix the two colors together. And I think that’s what you’re referring to, right? It’s like being able to dance in the options, I tell my clients, if you don’t have at least five to seven options, your ego is telling you, you have to and now we’re trapped, someone has to be right someone has to be wrong in order to make someone else valuable. And when we can take that ego out of that discussion and just make all options open, no matter how ridiculous they are, throw him out there and now weed through them and you have a collaborative option that will surface that will be bigger than any of those black and white options that came up. And that’s really about how our attention line to be able to balance it out and let everybody, everybody bring their value to the table,
Catherine Altman Morgan 37:49
we’re going to net out at one or two things. And that is the value of an outside set of eyes is to say, Okay, those are two options, what are three or four more in the middle? What makes the most sense for your current budget, your current goals, your current staffing your current what like, and then you come up with the optimal choice.
Jess Dewell 38:09
Which sometimes is loose feels like totally left field. But it looks good five years from now. And that is the hardest thing to do by yourself. And with a leadership team, and to stay true to it with all the time in between. And that’s what I am enjoying hearing from each and every single one of you is what you’re sharing is what is necessary. So that today we can, it could be a reset today, we can reset for me it’s more of I’m hearing it’s today, we can show up today we can show up. And each day that we show up just creates a better understanding of the necessary work and then to do all the work possible. And that truly is the key. And leadership then of course is all around that. Because it does seem like we’re all working with individuals and departments and teams, which I think is cool to have this type of conversation with this type of vocabulary. Because often, when we’re working typically with just one type of person, or one group of people, that it becomes a little more difficult and a little more narrow. And all of us see all of these options here, which I’m impressed with. I want to know real this is a lightning round. And I’m gonna put you on the spot and it’s going to shake up our dynamic just a little bit. And this question is this if you had to pick one book based off of the conversation we’ve had today to further it along, what would it be? And I’m gonna keep talking now you know the question because all I’m going to do is fill space. I see books behind Dave and unlike I have at least five of the same books on my shelf here or over here. And I’m looking and I’ve got I have at least one that I can see behind Christie. So I’m like, it looks like we’re all book read errs, or book listeners. There’s the purpose for my question. Okay, Christy.
Christie Garcia 40:05
External perspectives are amazing. But you have to have some level of internal perspective before you can seek out quality feedback, right? And one book that I just started learning about and reading is The Origins of You by Vienna McFerrin I think, is her last name. She’s amazing if you don’t know her, but she’s actually a marriage and family therapist. And what I love about her is this stuff applies. It’s talking about your ego is talking about where your story came from. And this stuff shows up in your business, whether you’re making decisions, whether you’re making business partnerships, conversations, whether you are delegating, if you don’t know your origin story, if you don’t know this shit from your past, it is surfacing and you are unconsciously aware of it. And that’s really the story of the ego. I think it’s really fun book. That’s not your typical business book that I would normally recommend. But it’s a good one that everyone should read.
Jess Dewell 40:56
Catherine Altman Morgan 40:57
I have to do to the most helpful business book I’ve ever read, and I would recommend it in this situation is Predictable Success by Les McCune, hey, MC Keow, and I think is how you spell his last name. It literally worked with my brain when I was in a situation that I didn’t understand. And I had the opportunity to meet him and thank him and explain that particular situation where it’s making me nuts. And now I knew what it was called and why it happened. And that it was predictable part of the startup growth process. So that’s one more in line with what we’ve been talking about now would be the radical leap by Steve Farber. The Fabulous quote from him is do what you love in the service of people who love what you do, which might be the golden rule of leadership. Dave.
David Newell 41:50
Funny, I thought it was going to be easier because I went last and I would have the opportunity. I’m thinking of 30 books like I would recommend any all of that I know that. But I’m gonna pick one that I think is probably a little bit more obscure in my mind, which is it’s called liminal thinking. It’s by a guy named David Gray, or Dave Gray, Kimber, but liminal. Thinking liminal is essentially the space between right is essentially a liminal means, right? And it’s all these different approaches, practices for how to transition from one space to another space and kind of give some practical methodologies or tools for how to do that. And I found that book to be just really useful in terms of understanding even our own obstacles of what gets in the way of that transition, or moving from one space to another space.
Jess Dewell 42:35
So that’s another thing for the outside set of eyes, how many more ideas or approaches or facets could be explored because sometimes the plan is just to know what not to do. And that’s the other thing I like about this particular conversation that we’re having today. As we are wrapping up, which I really don’t want to, I want to just have this, and we can have this be three hours long. Unfortunately, we did not plan for that, knowing this, everybody, you want to make sure to check in and connect with each of our panelists today. And you’ve listened to this, engage with them, tell them what you like, also, you know, somebody who would benefit from this, so please pass it on to them from your favorite listening platform. Now, our last question, here goes, Katherine. Well, it makes a bold to seek external perspectives and enhance the CEOs decision-making process to execute their business strategy.
Catherine Altman Morgan 43:33
Remembering that help, was a four-letter word, but not that kind.
Jess Dewell 43:41
But Christie, what makes it bold to seek external perspectives and enhance the CEOs decision-making process in executing their business strategy?
Christie Garcia 43:52
You have to be courageous, and you have to be confident to see his perspectives. But you also have to trust yourself, and then wisdom that you hold as the CEO of the organization and know what that balance is, when you say thank you for your feedback, and your thoughts and your perspective. And when do you say, Wow, I never thought of that. And I really need to adopter. So I think it’s a balance and it’s a dance. And the only way to do that is be very conscious and intentional with your curiosity and honest with yourself, is my ego telling me I have to be right, and I need to be the one that makes this decision because otherwise I have no worth of value as a CEO and it’s my job. Or do you have the confidence to say, You know what, I don’t know everything. And right now, I have a big support system that is more valuable than the wisdom that I have already.
Jess Dewell 44:39
Dave, what makes it bold to seek external perspectives to enhance the CEOs decision-making process in executing their business strategy?
David Newell 44:47
I agree with the others as well. And I maybe just piggyback on what they’re saying or take a different angle at it is that it is a tough choice, in part because you’re inviting someone into your house but I think The objection that I often get is, I don’t know if we have the time right now. And to me, it’s of the good fortune of being a husband and a father of three. And people are like, when did you know that you wanted to have like, when’s the right time to have kids? There isn’t one, do it and figure it out. And I think that’s what this is. It’s like when’s the right time to bring in a consultant? when’s the right time to bring in a coach? People often think about it too far down the line when stuffs on fire. The best time is when you just get going. There’s no right time to do it. It’s just do it because it actually will add a lot of value to your business quickly, when you get that outside perspective in different scopes and scales, but there’s no right time. There’s just now what makes it bold is committing to the commitment of time to say hey, you know what, I know that this is harder to do this now, but it’s better in the long run.
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