Habits of Successful Business Leaders

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Habits of Successful Business Leaders


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Starting the conversation:

Our values begin and drive self-leadership. The importance of knowing ourselves ensures we say no (and yes) intentionally. That includes the tasks we might be avoiding and maybe even dreading. Jess Dewell and Dr. Benjamin Ritter discuss how good leadership habits allow you to do more have a more fun and fulfilling life.

Host: Jess Dewell

Guests: Dr. Benjamin Ritter

What You Will Hear:




Announcer 00:03
Welcome. This is the Bold Business Podcast. Your business has many directions that 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 the will 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 00:52
It’s here, it’s time we get to live stream for the Bold Business Podcast today, you’re in the right place for conversations about how to increase the capacity of not only yourself, not only your team but your entire company at the same time. This program is about the skills that we need to lead a resilient business and to be a resilient leader. I am super excited today to have Dr. Benjamin Ritter with me today. Now, you know, not only is he a leadership coach and a career coach, he likes values just like I do. And I have to tell you, this is going to be one of the things that I know we’re probably going to spend some time with today because we share other things in common too. But I’m gonna just start with that and just give him a couple more accolades, which is he’s an international speaker. He’s a podcaster, author, mentor. And most importantly, he’s passionate about guiding others to find, create and sustain a career they love. Notice he didn’t say job that you love. He said career that you love. Hey, Dr. Benjamin Raider, welcome.

Benjamin Ritter 01:54
Hey, welcome, welcome, welcome. Happy to be here. And you know, I think a job, there’s like jobs in the career. So hopefully, we love the jobs along the way. But if we can keep our mind in perspective, on the career, things get a little easier.

Jess Dewell 02:08
Okay, we’re going to start right there. Because I was thinking about that this morning, you know, we all have these growth goals, whatever they are, and whether it’s ourselves, whether it’s our teams, whether it’s personal or professional. And I was looking at mine, and I was like, oh, there’s some stuff in there that I’m not gonna like. But you know what, it’s good. Not only do I like what I’m doing right now, the stuff that I don’t like kind of just gets wrapped up. But it also was necessary to remind, remind myself, well, that isn’t what I want to be doing, or that is actually something I wanted to be doing. And I had been holding myself back. And so those things that we don’t like, actually make a difference.

Benjamin Ritter 02:43
Do this in all areas of our life and don’t realize it, it’s, you know, we don’t exactly like putting the dishes away, sometimes maybe some people do, but we don’t. But we like having a happy household or a clean home and like maybe pleasing our partner at the same time. We may with languages, we don’t really probably like practicing language at times, especially the basics, but we appreciate the ability to have a conversation in the future. And so for some reason, when it comes to work, I mean, I know why it’s because we a lot of times we are overworked and we tend to have negative experiences that cloud our, our lenses that we’re looking through to see our job each and every single day. But we get to this point where we’re so bogged down, that we forget the bigger picture that we’re so often using to keep happy your normal life, we just forget that within the work itself.

Jess Dewell 03:32
I’m still working on those.

Benjamin Ritter 03:34
Yes. Oh, god. That was such a tough thought to swallow that now. You’re just choking on it. He’s like, you know, I have nothing to say that then? Well, I think you know, so I mentor a lot too, with like high school students and college students and stuff. And it is I wish these, like when I was in university, that they have these programs because to have someone approach you and I would hope this becomes a more of a conversation from parents as well. Maybe it won’t be as effective. But I think it’s, I think it’s still important that you’re not supposed to know exactly what you want to do. I guess in even if you’re 30, or 40, or 50, you’re not supposed to know exactly what you want to do. But you should have some clarity what you enjoy doing, what you feel drawn to the, you know, what you’re passionate about. And then what you are supposed to do comes up along the way, if you show up intentionally and consistent, consistently within those values, it may mean you know, you may have to make copies, you may have to send emails and schedule appointments. But if you’re doing it in a way where you feel good about your organization, the career path you’re on, it changes the game.

Jess Dewell 04:40
It is all in perspective. And one of the things that I have really recognized is if I show up with a bad mood, everything’s going to be bad. And if I show up with a hopeful mood, everything is hopeful. And when I show up determined, everything gets done. And so I think that you’re You know, what you’re talking about is so true how, how we show up is going to be everything. And I think part of how we show up, I’m going to totally geek out with values. And you right now, because I have to tell you, Ben, this is something that’s really important to me. I want to know what your values are.

Benjamin Ritter 05:17
That’s a really good, that’s a really good question. It’s a very good question. So my number one value is health. Yeah, but when I go through, so what explore to find an align clients values when they do values, workshops a lot. But that health can be broken down into mental, spiritual, emotional, physical, etc. And those can be ranked as well. And then defining health as also confidence is something that I believe in pretty deeply, it’s based on my own personal journey. And I think often people get held up with my value is adventure. And they don’t spend enough time actually breaking that down and personalizing that value to themselves. So they get lost. They don’t know what adventure means at work. So for example, health at work also includes psychological safety. And does my, does my work give me the freedom to take care of these areas of health that I deem so important? So that I mean, health is a really, really big one for me. And then if we were to go down the line, we would have openness and learning. Those are my top three now.

Jess Dewell 06:17
Are they the same for your business?

Benjamin Ritter 06:22
Yes, so I actually, in my dissertation for my doctoral program, did a bunch of research on you know, other work values or personal values, are they different are they aligned, and my whole goal was to review person job value congruent, so the values that someone perceives from their job and the values they have at their job, and the jobs that they have, personally do those align that does that lead to greater levels of job satisfaction. So I’m of the opinion that the values are the same. But the components that we attach to those values are different. Like, for example, I may want more money from work, but I attached that money to my value for freedom or to my value of health even. And so I think it’s important to understand what we attach our values to, despite just wanting some of the extrinsic, the, the extrinsic factors or intrinsic factors that come from our, from our jobs.

Jess Dewell 07:13
Oh, so true. And it’s interesting because there are nine values that I work with my values, my family values. Okay, and I’m, I’m going to share some of them. But I, I’m setting this up, because what I heard you say is something I say just using different words. And so I’m going to throw this out there to see if my if I just actually accidentally put you in the same boat as me and you’re in a different boat, or we’re actually rowing in the same way. And that is that for me to be able to show up to my work, and make sure that everybody else in my company feels comfortable showing up to their work. I didn’t want my personal values as the leader of the company, for my bigger vision to be my personal values because I didn’t want to accidentally erode trust or over control, or disempower the people around me to your point about my value is going to show up differently when I assign certain labels to it. Which is why I think we really are close on this and we’re in the same boat. My number one personal value is elegance. That’s painful, elegant. Yeah.

Benjamin Ritter 08:22
What does elegance mean to you?

Jess Dewell 08:24
Well, it’s definitely not graceful. Because I fall off all the time. And I’m very clumsy. It’s definitely not. Actually, so what it is, it’s what you how you pick yourself back up on the other end. Right, Grace, it’s not making sure that everything looks beautiful, which is actually really important. But it is actually the experience that is felt by all of the different pieces put together. There’s also a simplicity in that. So it’s not complex. A lot of people think that elegance is all of this stuff that layers together. And it’s not, for me, elegance is in this most simple, most straightforward path that we can have. Because I can assure we’re on the same page or not, I can assure that I know I’m fully showing up or not. I can kind of gauge and see if you are to, from that perspective. So elegance, number one everything to everything. And it’s kind of a neat one and number one for Red Direction is bold, right? How do we be bold, and there’s a boldness and taking the time to get to an elegant solution, or to an experience that is elegant and has that feeling in it as well.

Benjamin Ritter 09:36
And I like how you also identified the organizational value, is that maybe different than the personal value. And I, you know, leaders tend to mistake these are my values. This is what’s important to me, this is how I’m going to lead, but sometimes that’s not in alignment with the organization. And so then there’s that dissonance like you mentioned. And you know, so often I see that kind of that gap between You know, this is what we state our values are, this is what we’re communicating. This is what we think everyone believes our values are. And then leaders lead in accordance to their own definition of values when their employees have their own definition of values, and that the leader is not spending time to actually figure out what their employees are passionate about what gets them excited, what they love to do, etc, like what their true values are at their core. And that mean, I believe, personally, it sounds like you would also get on this boat with me and we’re rowing in the same direction, that that should be. That should be the foundation of a leader of leadership styles. It’s, and it’s that it’s personalizing and providing that human touch-based on values and specific desires for work and the career path region visual employee, that leads to a engaging workforce. Now, some organizations don’t care about that, you know, it’s, it’s do or do or die, you know, you either do what we do and hit our quotas or get out.

Jess Dewell 10:56
And that’s actually a really hard thing, because what you’re talking about a shared meaning, and that is so important.

Announcer 11:02
You are listening to the Bold Business Podcast, we will return to the show soon. But first, I want to take a moment and give you a peek into what additional services and solutions you could access to Fast Track Your Business. 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. And we don’t just stop there, there are three additional benefits to help you reach your growth goals. You’ll also have unlimited access to one hearing tips and insights to develop yourself as a leader to get better results more often, to experiencing viewpoints from many different business leaders in three receiving frameworks to build core competencies. And to more effectively focus on business growth and leadership. Altogether, the Fast Track Your Business program will allow you to face uncertainty, anytime, anywhere, you can access what will become your most versatile tool in your toolkit by going to Fast Track Your Business today.com. Now, back to Jess,

Jess Dewell 12:05
One of the things I heard you say, and if I were to reflect it, in my own word to also expand the conversation is what we do and what we say are great. The experience that we create is also great. And each one of us is going to show up like integrity. I mean, integrity is a super common business value. And we all ascribe integrity differently. How would integrity show up for you and your definition based off of your values? What would that What does integrity mean to you that way?

Benjamin Ritter 12:35
Doing what you say? Yeah, thing during period. It’s I think that’s just in general a really good trait for an organization to have. You know, it’s so often it these are, these are our action plans, and then No, or this is what I’m going to do on the project. And then nothing happens. Create greatest, easiest way to lose trust.

Jess Dewell 12:53
Yeah, truth. And see, for me, integrity is doing the right thing. And so I can’t even see now if we were both bringing integrity, and we found a point of contention and resistance, we’d have to have a fairly honest and open conversation to find the point where, well if we’re not doing what we say we’re going to do because it’s actually not the right thing or vice versa. How do we work through that together creating shared meaning of what already works for the work that we’re doing?

Benjamin Ritter 13:23
You would envision potentially, that I would automatically do something because it’s the right thing to do. And I’m sitting there saying, Well, I didn’t say I was going to do that. And then you know, we agree we’re going to do something and then nothing happens. And I didn’t there was no communication of well, just didn’t think it was the right thing to do. So we just, you know, we assumed we weren’t going to do it. I’m like, Well, I’m already three months in on this project.

Jess Dewell 13:44
Exactly. And that’s a work style. And that’s where that shared meeting can really be leveraged. There’s a book called the messy middle that I like, and I’ve always liked to play in the messy middle. And then this wonderful person wrote this book with that title, whose name I also cannot remember, but at least I can attribute it is a book and we can you can go search for it on Amazon if you like it. But that’s that, that’s that place where I think all of our values really get to flourish as we’re moving into what makes a good career path. What makes a good choice what makes it worth doing the I don’t like it work, and sometimes even the hard work to get to where we want to go and I know that’s a place that you really love. Where do you want to go next with this conversation with that said I could choose but I want you to choose lead this Armada, Ben.

Benjamin Ritter 14:33
I was going to do something that I don’t normally do and is talk about the findings of my research that were pretty surprising in regards to value congruent. I don’t think I think maybe I can count on one hand how many times I’ve, I’ve spoken about this. So the findings were unhealthy. It was the investigation was on healthcare senior leaders. And so, you know, the research generally shows that healthcare senior leaders are pretty value aligned with their work. You know, health care workers tend to be attracted to the profession, because they have certain levels of burnout, like benevolence, and etc. So they were very high in their, in their in regards to value congruence, they were very high in regards to intrinsic job satisfaction, but they were low in regards to extrinsic job satisfaction. And so what blew me away by this was, it does make sense, if you are value-aligned within your work, you may find meaning behind it. But you still can be unhappy if the job isn’t providing recognition, the amount of compensation you believe you deserve, and a variety of other extrinsic factors. And so I think, you know, we’re sitting here right now, I think there’s one sector of, of leadership development, really pushing this humanistic touch, you know, value, alignment, intrinsic motivation. And I don’t want to lose sight, though, of the fact that you still need to know if your employee employees feel that they’re fairly paid. If they have, if you have a great if you have a good performance management system to ensure that they know that there’s gonna be professional growth, that they’re getting recognized for the work that like, these things are still very important. It’s not one or the other, it needs to be both.

Jess Dewell 16:15
I like that a lot. And why was it surprising to you?

Benjamin Ritter 16:21
At the time, I believed that if an employee felt that they were aligned with their work, and were passionate and ready to go, that they would not they would discount the other aspects of job satisfaction. That it was more it was overwhelmingly important. And I think, you know, the more studies need to be done in terms of like, well, how would you wait, wait these in terms of, you know, engagement and productivity and retention and such like, right, in terms of motivating factors to leave. But if someone comes in, so this got me thinking, well, if someone comes up to an employee that’s really value aligned with their work, but is offered more money, or greater position? How does the organization that is, you know, that employee works at going to retain them? I guess that was where my question started coming up for leaders. And, you know, my initial answer was, if there’s enough trust within the organization, that employee will go to the leader and have a conversation and try to find a way to stay. But it’s, that’s not always the case.

Jess Dewell 17:29
No, and that’s remind me these were, these were senior leaders.

Benjamin Ritter 17:34
Yes. And so I mentioned that study, and then I kind of pulled off into another direction and path on retention. But no, that’s those were senior leaders in healthcare. So they were the executive team, including the CEO.

Jess Dewell 17:45
Yep. And that’s actually one of the things that I think is really important to notice. Because I actually wonder if I’m, age was a factor in some of those findings.

Benjamin Ritter 17:57
That mean, a very much well, could be.

Jess Dewell 17:59
And because there are different parts, I mean, Scott, who will take this and do other stuff with it past our live stream he on, on my team, he, um, he talks about the fact that I’m, he always talks about the fact that I’m like, in this building mode, and there’s this middle building mode, and I didn’t get that, right. But he also talks about empire building. That’s what he calls it. And then he talks about the fact that there’s legacy setting. And so if we’re in different stages of our career, and if we’re at different places on the career ladder, regardless of the stage of our career, does that influence those things that you’re talking about? Because I’m like, Okay, I wanted to anchor in and go, that wasn’t I find it interesting for that age group. But I also am curious, I’m like, Well, what about my age group? What about your age group? What about age groups that aren’t represented in this conversation yet?

Benjamin Ritter 18:50
Oh, and I think when you’re when you’re going to our age group, just what is the smart professional career move? If you can find something that is value-aligned? I would recommend you know, that extra five or 10 grand probably isn’t that important right now? And can you get that experience under your belt? Can you find an organization that allows you to craft your job to include a lot of the things that you want to do in the future? Can you find those mentors? Can you find an organization as well that has like gig-oriented so it can move you around internally if you need to? I think that would be more important. And I think, you know, almost we need like a little playbook of in these first five years of your career. This is what you should be looking at these next five years. I never got that.

Jess Dewell 19:27
And you know what, the only way you get it is from the people who you choose who you like, latch on to as mentors or somehow go, I can actually help this person and you’re getting mentored whether you want to or not. That’s the time that those pieces of knowledge are imparted.

Announcer 19:45
You were listening to the Bold Business Podcast. We will return to the show soon. But first, I want to take a moment and give you a peek into what additional services and solutions you could access to Fast Track Your Business. 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. And we don’t just stop there, there are three additional benefits to help you reach your growth goals. You’ll also have unlimited access to one, hearing tips and insights to develop yourself as a leader to get better results more often, to experiencing viewpoints from many different business leaders. Three, receiving frameworks to build core competencies and to more effectively focus on business growth and leadership. Altogether, the Fast Track Your Business program will allow you to face uncertainty, anytime, anywhere, you can access what will become your most versatile tool in your toolkit by going to Fast Track Your Business today.com. Now, back to Jess.

Jess Dewell 20:47
You know, I’m thinking about my dad, if my dad was telling me what to expect versus what actually happened in the first five years of his career versus the first five years of my career, there is no congruent, none at all. Um, the only thing we have in common is that neither one of us finished college the first time around. I’ll be real about that. But other than that things took off. He, you know, was a dad with young kids when he was starting out in his career. And I wasn’t and I was traveling the world. And so some of it is opportunity-based, too. And so I don’t think we can look to the people we would necessarily think that would naturally come from and who and so do you have? Do you have mentors that like are involved in your life that you’re looking up to right now? And are you do you have mentors that they don’t know your mentors, like super famous people or dead people, right, I’m just curious now how that fits into your realm of showing up and developing yourself and finding inspiration outside of ourselves when we need it when times get tough.

Benjamin Ritter 21:52
As I mentioned that I’m mentoring right now for youth. And I think one of the things that I try to push is that you’re not looking for one mentor, you’re at least for how I perceive mentorship is you’re looking for subject matter experts with opinions in different areas, and you shouldn’t one person’s opinion and then allow it to create, you know, your decision for you, you should actually go get a bunch. And so when it comes to who I have as mentors, I actually don’t have someone that is, I think above that is like Sensei and guiding me in my life, my career. But I have built a network based on my business and my values, people that are either below me in terms of professional growth at my level or above me that I would now consider friends based on the amount of time and investment we spent having conversations. And I built that through like at first the initial core group was built off of I was offering them something so I hosted in-person events. And then I also have a podcast. So I would bring people in that I thought were impressive to me. And then we would, we would vibe and we would align and then I would keep them closer and then give them more value. And then we’d have more conversations and it would grow from there. It was very much a process. And then the there are a few people that I’ve met through LinkedIn or through recommendations that have very impressive careers and have done some really impressive things that I know, I could go to and ask a question with because they are work, they work in a specific industry if I ever need it. And I haven’t really needed that right at the moment, because the people that I have in my inner circle, as I guess my friends, slash mentors, are there. We’re more like a mastermind.

Jess Dewell 23:29
Yes. Okay. Okay, you know, I’m listening to you. And something that seems very important to the basis of all your work and how you show up is this concept of a two-way street, I find a way to connect, and then I add more value. And then I’m getting what I need, and I get to add more value. And so you’re recognizing that that is there is a two-way street there. And you’re always making sure that you’re on that path of giving as receiving, I think that sometimes is overlooked in mentorship, whether it’s a mentor or a mentee, specifically around the fact that we have this concept of well, I’ve decided you’re that. So this is what I get without thinking it and the willingness to take it a little bit further and to actually develop a relationship that lasts beyond that interaction. So that interaction might come to an end. I’m a big believer in beginning, middle and ends of things. And so knowing when that is but still being able to be in relationship and serve and support.

Benjamin Ritter 24:35
There’s a really good book that came out not too long ago by Adam Grant called I think it’s like give and take Have you heard of Yeah, I’ve heard of

Jess Dewell 24:42
I like Adam Grant. So I have a couple of his books around. But I don’t have that one. What was the premise of it?

Benjamin Ritter 24:50
What labels people as a giver? I mean, you could be both I believe that a giver or a taker or a matcher. And his, his research was looking at well are givers more successful or takers more successful? or matcher is more successful. And it was interesting. His research showed that they were very successful givers and very successful takers. And they’re very unsuccessful givers and very unsuccessful takers. And it’s very much a balance of how much are you giving, you know, or and takers also succeed, but they tend to have some consequences and stuff. But sometimes, sometimes they don’t care about it, I would, I would label myself as a giver without expectation. Because, you know, I understand that not a lot of people, there’s a less of percent of people that are going to want to engage and have a conversation with me, and a lesser percent of that are going to become, you know, longer-term relationships or potential, not resources, but I think friendships or acquaintances in my life that I’m going to want to sustain and a very small percentage of that, that is actually going to sustain probably for longer than a couple of years. And that is also going to be relevant because my career path might change, my interests might change where I’m operating might change. And, you know, I lead those relationships with curiosity, I lead with trying to figure out how I can connect others together. And, you know, one of the biggest issues I have right now, is I do like to connect, but I have nothing to ask for. And, you know, when you are connecting with people, it is good to have something to ask for. Because, you know, it gives the other person something to, to do or look for. And it also gives a little bit more of a goal and purpose for the meeting itself. You know you don’t want to lead with that. But it’s good to at least have it in the back of your mind. I don’t know what you think about that?

Jess Dewell 26:36
Well, I’ll tell you right after this, because we have to remind people who are tuning in just now that I’m just dual your hosts the Bold Business, Podcast, podcast, strategic business advisor, and provide and what we’re doing at Red Direction is providing unique and customizable frameworks to fail faster and bounce higher as individuals and as leadership teams. Now, I’ve been talking with Dr. Benjamin Ritter, and some of the things that we really dug into were actually the results of his work around values, which is why he did his dissertation on. It’s also how he’s leveraged and built great things that are sustaining and fulfilling to him now that are going to launch him as he shifts and changes. And by the way, all of this is based off of being a giver, and having a two-way street. What can I ask for? What can I connect to? How can I provide value, even if all three are not present? At the same time, understanding that those elements are important is key and making sure that two of the three at least are there. So I want to make sure that you know this is Dr. Benjamin Ritter, you better be connecting with him on LinkedIn, you better be following his podcast. What’s the name of your podcast Ben.

Benjamin Ritter 27:48
The live for yourself revolution.

Jess Dewell 27:51
The live for yourself, revolution, revolution.

Benjamin Ritter 27:58
Gave a little energy. I tend to have a little meditative right now a little calm. It’s Friday had a good run.

Jess Dewell 28:04
Good. That’s all okay, we got to put we’ll put some energy back in that.

Benjamin Ritter 28:08
You know, it’s helpful to have something to ask for. Even though you don’t want to lead with that. I don’t know what your I want to know your opinion on that.

Announcer 28:16
It’s time to take a brief break from our show. Fast Track Your Business will improve your business results. This high-value program is an unbeatable value to make it easy for you to act now. With your subscription, you have access to Ask Jess Your Business Questions and exclusive resources on key leadership topics. Subscribe now. Visit Fast Track Your Business today.com And know that you are moving forward in the right direction. And now let’s return to the Bold Business Podcast.

Jess Dewell 28:46
Curiosity is my number two, is my number two personal value. And it’s built into what we’re doing at Red Direction which another one of their values, the company values, his resourcefulness. Pretty cool, huh? All of that ties together. So coming back to this, this asking. I do believe it’s important. And this is something that I’ve only started practicing in the last 24 months or so. And I’m still like I said, I’m not good at it. Because it’s easy to give. It’s easy to connect. It’s easy to hear, it’s easy to offer. But it’s really hard to say thank you, you know, thank you for asking. So I know you’re in this place of need, but now I’m going to impose my need on you. And by the way, that’s a thing right between my ears and I get that and so um, so that’s some mental Mental Floss if you will, that I’m working on to change and say well okay, maybe it’s not today but I must circle back and say Hey, can you now and have something in mind and so I look for ways to shamelessly plug because I feel like that’s a little easier, which I don’t know what you think about that band but like, well, if I can shamelessly plug somewhere or support in some way that’s going to advocate for what I can do. My asks end up being Through the work that I do, so if somebody invites me to emcee an event, and it happens to be an unpaid one, that’s fine. So what kind of exposure can I get and what kind of promotion can be done to support right? So there’s there is an exchange. But I do believe that that exchange needs to happen. So there’s not an imbalance, because people don’t want to keep asking from you, if they can’t help you out, too. And that’s what I’ve learned the hard way.

Benjamin Ritter 30:27
And especially if you’re meeting with, so I, you know, assist with LinkedIn networking, because prospecting on LinkedIn has been crucial to my business. And if he if someone’s responding to your outreach, and they’re not looking to be a client, but they are worthwhile for a conversation, that person is a connector, if I was to label that, you know, so they, they want to connect, they live off of that. And so you need to have something to offer them or else they’re not going to actually feel, they’re, they’re not going to have a reason to think about you. Right, which is, which is what we want to do when we’re connecting and networking. We want to give people reasons to remember us.

Jess Dewell 31:06
Yep. You mean, not just because we’re cool.

Benjamin Ritter 31:10
You know, there’s, I, I feel your coolness, I will remember it, I am actually turning up the heat right now. But there are a lot of cool people in the world. There’s a lot of stuff going on, I even sat down and thought about this with podcasts, like I’m like, wow, I’ve listened to a lot of really good podcasts, and I’ve recommended them. But if I sat back, and I tried to remember the guests on those podcasts, I will, I will be you know, three names maybe. Right, which is, which is like incredible, because I’ve learned so much from podcasts over the years. So think about this when you’re networking or when you’re trying to build relationships, right? How many times you need to get in front of somebody.

Jess Dewell 31:52
That’s right to your point. And, and not only being cool as memorable but actually being able to recognize, oh, there’s some there can be an exchange here. And I think that’s really where, what you’re getting at. And like if I were to sum it up, I need to get better at the exchange a lot. And that’s okay because that’s just an error. I’m like, alright, well, so if I want to break through, this is my hard work. This is the thing I don’t like to do. But it’s imperative for the path that I am on to stay on that path because I want to be on it.

Benjamin Ritter 32:25
Oh, well, this is, this is, just happened to me last night. So I was it was a late-night closing my computer at like 11 o’clock. And I always update my, my connection spreadsheet that I have. And I was like, I can’t it’s 11 o’clock, I can’t do this anymore. If you don’t a lot of times people save the things they don’t want to do for the last minute of the day or you know, to they’re like, I’m just gonna squeeze this in. That’s the worst time to do the things that you don’t want to do. Because you don’t know you have no energy to do it like you are so, you are so drained. Right? It’s like this idea of eating the frog in the morning. You know, what is the most important thing you need to do immediately that you don’t enjoy doing and just pop that in?

Jess Dewell 33:03
Right? Oh, I tell you what, you know, although something I am getting better at is not working at 11 o’clock at night. My family loves me. That was also a long learning. So recovering one of those and every once in a while stuff happens. Deadlines occur. commitments have been made. And that has to happen. And, and I’m all about that. But where do you so if working late because that’s what happens. Where are the boundaries in your life? Coming back to your main value of health?

Benjamin Ritter 33:35
Yeah, well, with, with yesterday, there was just some late-night work that had to get done. I actually, I actually had some nice space during the day to relax and do the things I wanted to do. But as a business owner, if I need to send client recaps, they get out you know, they, they go and if I need to respond to some messages then I respond to them. Could they wait to the next day? Yes, I have the opportunity though to do it yesterday but overall with boundaries, it’s when you are with friends when I am with my relationship when I antiquing personal time my phone’s on Do Not Disturb I don’t have my computer in front of me. So there’s, there’s work time and there’s nonwork time. There’s you know there are compromises and sacrifices you make at times but then you also then have to say well where am I going to say no to something based on the sacrifice and compromise so you try to create a balance as well.

Jess Dewell 34:35
And when you decide what to say no or when you decide what to say yes to do you really like what you’re saying no to at the same time.

Benjamin Ritter 34:43
And everything is everything is value-driven? Yeah. Every reactions really honor well I mean I it’s a lot of clients I work with their, their actions are not value-driven, which is one of the biggest issues why do they feel stuck? Why do they feel unsure about what decision to make in their life? It’s because they’re not. Yeah, you look like going.

Jess Dewell 35:03
Oh, you see my face? You’re like,

Benjamin Ritter 35:08
Yeah, I know you’re …

Jess Dewell 35:09
Um, well, and that that’s actually interesting because what they say they value isn’t what they really value, the premise of the work that we’ve been doing for over 20 years is you prioritize what you value period. And so if it, if you’re not getting the results you’re wanting, you’re stuck. Do you really like what you’re prioritizing? Do you really like what that means for your values? And if not, how do you change your priorities, so that you can be more value-driven.

Benjamin Ritter 35:36
A caveat to that, though, because that is sometimes the case, that is sometimes the case for sure. But there, there can be things impacting their ability to be intentional towards their values, the environment that they’re in, yet social pressure, you know, familial pressure, a lack of, a lack of confidence. So there’s, with those, those can actually restrict someone’s ability to be more intentional. Usually, if you give someone clarity, as in what they’re actually doing, and what they actually care about. And then they actually realize this is what I care about. Because usually the people that are stuck, don’t have clarity on who they are. They if I asked you to find yourself, they’ll say, I have no idea how to, and I don’t know what I stand for, if they have that piece, that usually builds more confidence. You know, a lot of times I work with someone, love work with clients, they have issues with networking, they go into a room when we used to be able to go into bathrooms. And when they’re having conversations, all they’re thinking about is what is this person thinking about me? Am I saying the right thing? And really fun thing happens when you get clear on your values? You stop thinking that, right? And so that level of confidence that comes and self-assuredness usually leads, leads to greater intention of someone’s actions and greater alignment.

Jess Dewell 37:05
I agree with all that. And then you know, so I’m okay, so I’m thinking about, let’s say feeling pressure, whatever that might be. It could be, I’m not getting grocery shopping, right? All the way to not really feeling heard all the way to still being at home. And I’m feeling incredibly like everything is out of control, right? So and so many more that we can’t even name, but I’m thinking about that. And I’m wondering, so can’t you still be intentional, even with those pressures or constraints, it just might not be all of the intention, because the all because all of the desire can’t be realized. But we can still be intentional. Even if it’s 1%.

Benjamin Ritter 37:54
In there comes the question of who are you putting as more important in your life? Can you how are you leading yourself? His concept of self-leadership. So your each and every single day, you are putting the priorities of everyone around you higher than yourself? And potentially if it’s relatives or parents that maybe have expectations of you putting their expectations of you above yourself? And, and that’s where …

Jess Dewell 38:21
Wait, wait, wait, pause? Did you hear that? Everybody? That That doesn’t matter how old we are? Are we putting other people’s expectations on ourselves? About us? We, I didn’t say it as good as you say it again, Ben? I didn’t You said it much better than I just did.

Benjamin Ritter 38:35
Rewind and listen to you know, basically, are we are, we allowing other people’s expectations of us make our own decisions and drive our life forward? Yes. And, and that’s, that comes again, from not knowing who we truly are, when we don’t know who we truly are, and where we want to spend our time, it’s a lot easier to give our time away. And so a lot of times when someone says I’m too busy for this, I have too many things to do. I can’t say no to this work. I can’t say no to my family. I can’t say no to these commitments, because they haven’t figured out what’s important to them. And or what’s important to them, is pulling them in different directions, because they actually haven’t figured out what really is important to them. They just like what you said, the values they think are important aren’t actually the values that they actually hold as important, but they feel it needs to be for whatever reason. Ah, what a, what a cluster.

Jess Dewell 39:24
I know. It’s huge. And I’m thinking I’m just thinking and I’m like, Okay, so now where does this fit in? Because this is another thing. Okay, I am typically I don’t share this much typically. But this is kind of great. As far as because I’m like, Look, I’m a girl scout leader. I run a business full time. I’m a wife and a mother of a little boy. And I have great friendships. But none of those things really intersect girl scouts doesn’t help my business nor does it help my family. It’s just something I love to do because that’s what it is. So get to commitment. Volunteer work, isn’t it? credibly important to me, that may or may not align to my work or my family. But there will be a section of that in my life outside of girl scouts, because of the fact that it’s important to me. And then career stuff, everything I do in the world, and every conversation I have helps me get better at my craft and come up with new ways, exciting ways to show up and be curious and resourceful, and bold for all of our clients and what we’re producing. So there is alignment. But as far as time goes, none of my friends really want to hang out with my girl scouts and vice versa, right. So there are avenues and, and sometimes you have to choose. And I guess maybe to your point, if I were to bring this all the way home is, if I’m not getting what I want to do, I still have to choose and let something go. So that I can have as much as I can. And as much as I want with all of that diversity, even so not being pulled in many directions. And feeling pretty confident in myself too. Because I’m thinking about people out there. And I’m like, You’re confident and you’re still busy. So there’s still a way I think it comes down to making a choice, eh?

Benjamin Ritter 41:05
Your level of busy is a, it’s all subjective, because right? You, we all have the same amount of time. But how you perceive time and manage time is different than how somebody else manages and perceives time. And so I think I’m on your page where I know what time it is without looking at a clock. Yeah, I know how long a task is going to take before I started. I know when I have to stop something I know how to you know what I can do in a day, things always get done. And that’s, that’s a unique trait that you know that not everybody has. And so your schedule may be very daunting to other people and very exhausting to other people to think about. But for you, it might be invigorating, and a good fit. Now, if you were coming to me and say saying, Ben, I feel exhausted, I feel like I’m not making progress in certain areas, I’d go, Well, let’s look at all the areas that you’re spending your time. And then let’s also look at what you care about, which you know, do these all fit into those values. Wonderful. Is there a way to alter these or change these based on how much time you’re investing in them to give yourself more time? Or are there things that you can change to become more in alignment, like, can you like, for example, I am a mentor for entrepreneurial organizations in the CPG space, and in the package group space because I have a passion for health, wellness and food. And I want to network within that space as well. And I also mentor for future founders because I enjoy young entrepreneurs. And also I’m a business owner. So that helps them that assists with my own interest in my own business. But then I made a conscious choice to broaden my experiences and then door for the universities that I’ve gone to. So I also mentor for Pepperdine, UIC and Loyola. And that was a conscious choice that is more of a drain on my time. And my mind because it isn’t as aligned. And so I’ve made that commitment consciously, that it is not going to be as great of a fit. And other things like volunteering, you know, volunteering at the Sustainable Food Center in Austin, it’s that, again, is a conscious choice to say I want to expand my network within a space of interest. But still, it might not be perfect. And those are good conscious decisions to make if you feel like you have the bandwidth to make them. But there when I was like I had this one idea for a new business. And when I launched that business, which was a supplement, it was not in alignment with my current brand. And so I had to, I put, I put my foot down to myself and said, then I know you want to launch this will launch it. But then that’s it, you’re not, you’re not going to direct your energies towards growing this product, this product either grows organically, or it doesn’t grow. And that was important to me. And it was smart that I did that because the business that I’m in now would not have has not have grown exponentially as much as it has. If I didn’t make that decision, you know, other decision I could have made was I need to hire someone to go do this. I just didn’t want to do that at the time.

Jess Dewell 43:58
One of the things I am sensing in that and by the way, I love that we’re having these open conversations because we all have to do this all the time, regardless of what our schedule is and what it looks like to each other. And I think it’s incredible that you’re bringing it back to time and I’m going to add a layer that you’re talking about, but it hasn’t been said yet, which is the time it takes to do a task versus the time that you give it because you also need extra headspace for it matters. And if I am taking up too much headspace on something that shouldn’t be taking a lot of time, I am accidentally eroding my value set and getting myself stuck. Because that headspace isn’t as clear as it could be, which is going to end up being like a foggy mirror.

Benjamin Ritter 44:49
Work with a lot of soon-to-be entrepreneurs that are growing their professional careers want to launch a business. And I think I’ve said this with every client. You know, let’s just get started because it’s You’re an entrepreneur because you’re an entrepreneur, this is not going to be your only business. And, and they don’t seem to get it. But then they start actually doing the things that we talk about such as listening to podcasts about entrepreneurship, reading books, but entrepreneurship surrounding their life intentionally with entrepreneurship in, you know, putting their mind within that space. And all of a sudden, their brain starts thinking differently. And when we are investing in things, just like you said, they all it all takes mental energy capacity, we have a limited amount of that per day. So if we’re doing things in eight different spaces, how productive are we going to be? How creative are we going to be? How much are we going to actually be able to make progress? Maybe doing something? But are we actually embedding it within ourselves?

Jess Dewell 45:44
That was a really good last word. If we were recording, I’d been like, that’s the last word. But we’re not recording we’re live. So …

Benjamin Ritter 45:52
Let’s just stop that. And let’s, I think I’m gonna get a snack.

Jess Dewell 45:57
I know, right? All done. We could cheer I saw you had a bottle of water, I’ve got my cup of tea, we can have cheer, we’d call it good. So knowing that that’s a great place to end, I do want to throw in a little bonus, if there’s a bonus to be had, is there something that you thought you were gonna say? Or something that showed up that didn’t have a way to get worked into the conversation that you wanted to say? Because this would be the time to say at Penn.

Benjamin Ritter 46:23
A lot of times people tie in this idea of values, and purpose. And so when I’m talking about values, we’re talking about self-leadership, how are you leading yourself in alignment with who you are at your core? And then people go, Well, that’s about purpose. And then if you notice, we didn’t really talk about purpose that much today. I think purpose is one of the, one of the worst things I’ve ever, ever learned in my youth was, you know, find your purpose because it led me down a path that wasn’t true to me. And so I think we have to be very, very careful about what we attribute and how much power we give to this idea of purpose. You know, purpose is just like your values are just a source of motivation, energy and fulfillment. If it does not become that, if it is not that, then it is not where you should be spending your time, or we need to redefine our expectations about purpose. Because purpose is less the last thing I say, I’ll say a promise. Your purpose is something that you’ve decided to believe in. It’s not something that is just there, like you had your experiences, and it became something that you then said, this is important. So if you’ve decided it, you, you are in control of it, you are greater than it. So please, if your purpose is bringing you down, go take a break from your purpose.

Jess Dewell 47:42
I couldn’t have said it better myself. We are in Armada,

Benjamin Ritter 47:46
The army rowing in the same direction.

Jess Dewell 47:49
That’s exactly right. Ah, okay. Listeners, watchers. wherever you happen to be getting this information today.

Benjamin Ritter 47:59
Astral projectors.

Jess Dewell 48:00
Yes, exactly. As your experiences, we want to know what your take of this conversation is. We want to know what you’ve done that we could learn from as well more than our conversation here today. Because as a leader of yourself, potentially as a leader of your business, definitely the leader of the role you’re in every role in your life. You can benefit from other people’s experiences, and learn from them if you choose. So tell us what your biggest learning about this topic is. And tell us what you would add to this conversation as well. And don’t forget, connect with Dr. Benjamin Ritter. Don’t forget, stay tuned because even though we livestream this today, it will end up in our podcast feed. So no worries, you’ll get to hear it again, which is great. And until next time.

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