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Starting the conversation:
The ability of your company to engage in rapid change comes from the capacity to be prepared, adaptable, and agile.
Host: Jess Dewell
Guests: Kathy Atkins, Paul D. Casey, Tom Libelt
What You Will Hear:
Every situation has constrained resources, it’s how you view them.
Know what drives you day-to-day and combine that with your strengths.
What adaptability is and how it looks and sounds.
Adaptability is comprised of several types of flexibility.
Relationships during rapid change.
What you do under pressure relates to your success navigating through change.
Know what frameworks you can rely on, like time management, when facing change and are under pressure.
Adaptability includes assessing quickly and correctly.
Use your time wisely, especially during times of rapid change.
Stack the right skills together to build your frameworks to do the right work at the right time.
Protect a block of time each week to ensure you have space to prepare and plan.
Notice, and act, when you find yourself inflexible or too committed to a path.
It is BOLD to build your capacity to adapt to rapid change.
Notable and Quotable:
Kathy Atkins: If you tell me you can’t do something, you can’t do it because you’ve told yourself you can’t do it.
Paul D. Casey: So there’s change happens to you. Transition is what happens in you.
Tom Libelt: Waiting things out solves 90% of the problem."
ANNOUNCER: Welcome. This is the Bold Business Podcast. We want to thank our listener supporters who keep this podcast ad-free. Find out more at Red Direction dot com forward slash listener supported. Your business has many directions you 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. This idea is for you to apply to the opportunities and challenges you face. 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. This podcast will provoke ideas and will give you insights to be inspired Jess Dewell is your guide. Jess brings you a 20-year track record of business excellence with strategy and operations overlap. Your path comes from consistently working from the special place, your unique True North. Now, here’s Jess.
Jess Dewell: Mm hmm. I’m telling you this is it. Program 249, “Rapid Change and Adaptability," rapid change, we are in. Adaptability, we are building. And are we doing it well? Do we like what we see? Are we finding bigger holes in our nets than we thought possible? Well, maybe, and maybe not. Some of us have blinders on. Some of us are doing great, and some of us are recognizing we are in it to win it. And there are places that we can expand. As we’re talking with our three guests today, Kathy Atkins, Tom Lee Libelt, and Paul Casey. You’re going to hear information about what adaptability is. You’re going to hear three questions that company are starting to ask today. And we’re going to be talking about time management. Because you know it, I know it. Let’s say it out loud. Each one of us has 24 hours in a day. And what we do with that time is going to make or break our success. So the first thing that we can always do when we’re asking ourselves questions, when we’re assessing where we’re at, when we’re deciding what to do next is to include something about time. And starting off the show today is Kathy Atkins:. She delivers real world experience. She recognizes key pain points and partners with business leaders to keep an eye on results together. She provides sound advice, concrete plans, and processes that are actionable. When Kathy and I started to talk, there were so many things that I knew I could learn from her that I couldn’t stop asking her questions. And then she said this.
Kathy Atkins: Sometimes we have a situation where we do have constrained resources, we only have the resource Is that we have, we don’t have the ability to get other resources. So in that case, we need to use the resources that we have, and find a way to leverage those.
Jess Dewell: Resources are finite. How we look at them, what we harness, what we consider to be those resources, are all going to be part of the elements that we use to make decisions. And to be able to make those decisions to be able to question and think about what’s important to our business right now, in the situation that we’re in. And when I was talking to Tom Libelt:, who launched Smart Brand Marketing in 2010, which is a boutique small business consultancy, he brought smart strategies to businesses and organizations working within a tight budget. Well, aren’t we all working in with a tight budget, or some other kind of constraint just like Kathy was talking about? I’m telling you, and this is something that I enjoyed listening and learning from Tom. He tells us what is driving him, and how do we find what drives us?
Tom Libelt: We all have certain things that drive us from day one. Some of us don’t know what that is, you know, we’re a bit lost. Some of us do. For me, it was always business and music. First I was doing business stuff not gonna say music world because I knew that’s kind of quicker expiration date. wanted to do I wanted to do finish that got back into the business world. But I was stacking and building skills the whole time legal things, I was always learning about that sales a lot about sales, because business is all about sales, if you can sell, you know, in business, marketing, some customer service that’s easy to delegate the different parts of it. Overall, I knew what I’m going towards. So I was always building certain skills to kind of stack them and eventually build up on those.
Paul D. Casey: We can’t just bury our head in the sand like the old ostrich and then say, Alright, we’re gonna go back to normal when we’re done. No, it’s gonna be totally different. I’m choosing optimism. You know, it’s realism slash optimism. I was listening to a speaker, all the professional speakers, you know, lost all of their clients. They’re having to either go online or reinvent themselves during this time. And he’s saying when we come back, there’s going to be this flood, flood back in the market. If people wanting to gather and get together and develop. And, you know, I’m like, that’s really cool. I choose to think that way. But maybe not. Maybe it’s gonna be a long time and coming. But having that growth versus fixed mindset is really critical during this time.
Jess Dewell: It is critical during this time, this time right now with what you are facing in your business. And you’ve heard me talk about mindset before. I’ve interviewed people and brought expertise to the podcast about the growth mindset. And really, it shows up how much of a growth mindset do we have when everything starts to go crazy? And where do you start when everything is crazy, or maybe when everything is so slow, you don’t even know what to do? By the way both have equal pressures, in terms of the intensity of that pressure. It’s important to recognize that the pressure is there and that we must do something about it. So how do we show up and face that? What can we ask with curiosity? When what can we be open to receiving, even if we don’t like the answer?
Tom Libelt: When things can hits the fan, you simplify every single time, stop thinking about all these other things in the blow in the company, and you’re just getting like, Well, what do I need to do I need to open which is good clients interested and I need to close them. And what is the fastest easiest way to do that? Often, when you think of it that way? You start throwing out a lot of things which were unnecessary and you get back to the basics. Because if you are not getting interest, then it’s like well, I gotta change my positioning. And I know some people Yeah, it’s been working so great for 10 years. Yeah, well, everything was working great for 10 years. It wasn’t anything you did. It was just a lucky thing. But now maybe actually got to put in some time and figure it out.
Jess Dewell: Yep, figure it out. So let’s pause for a second. Let’s consider adaptability. We’re talking about the problem here. Problem is, we feel the pressure of too much to do with too little time. And by the way, we’re feeling that in good times and in bad times. So that pressure is constant. What’s different is our awareness of how certain must we be to be able like to think that we can keep moving. How fast or slow do we go? Those are just some of the things that I’m thinking of when I’m thinking about mindset. And you know, that makes me think about this concept of leading effectively, and what adaptability really means. And there are three types of flexibility that go into adaptability. And this was an article from CCL that reminded me about cognitive flexibility, emotional flexibility, and dispositional flexibility. So cognitive ability, the ability to use different thinking strategies and mental frameworks, Emotional flexibility, the ability to vary ones approach to dealing with emotions, and those of others. Oh, my three levels of awareness come into play in that one. And the third one, dispositional flexibility, which is the ability to remain optimistic at the same time realistic. Here’s the interesting thing about those, I’m not sure without being reminded of this, that this was in my conscious brain anywhere, this concept of cognitive, emotional and dispositional flexibility. If you think of people as black and white, or gray, [inaudible] and the stuff that’s in the gray is always where the biggest opportunities are. But it’s also where the most uncertainty is. That area, that area of unknown is where we get to play. And there are some ways that we get in trouble with that. The first is, sometimes we get too attached to a thing or an idea. And that’s something to be aware of that if we’re going to dig our heels in, can we recognize where we’re digging our heels in and the reasons for it? And then sometimes it’s about our own self awareness. Are we aware of how the change around us actually impacts us? And how do we show up to it? We know how we think we show up. We may or may not know how others say we show up. And in both of those, is it the way we need to show up at that time? That impacts communication, by the way. And so the more attention you put on building your own awareness, about how you show up to change will help you move forward. And I’m talking about always try new things. You listen to this podcast, and every single person that comes on that I interview and bring to you in this conversation, and all the conversations we’ve had to date, are sharing something that you could question that you could consider in relationship to your current state of being, your company’s current state of being, and the problems that you are really chewing on right now. And that concept of being introduced to new environments, different situations, will help immensely in terms of working the flexibility muscles. The cognitive flexibility. The emotional flexibility, and the dispositional flexibility that is been shared with us. Oh, and by the way, I’m going to link to that article in the show notes, of course.
Paul D. Casey: You can’t grow if you don’t change. Now growth is one of my top three values and named my business Growing Forward Services. So it’s all about growth and self growth for me and leadership growth. I’m a little bit of a nerd when it comes to this. But I really do believe that you can’t grow without some change. You can’t stay where you’re a. There is this necessity all the time, crisis or not, you have to keep stretching yourself to new limits in order to get to a better version of yourself or your business.
Kathy Atkins: So 100% success rate on hardly anything in my experience, but it’s been my experience that more often than not, and when I did that, that I found time that those that just really aren’t so sure. And once we start getting to know one another, or work in certain area, we learn things and our perceptions were wrong, and their perceptions were wrong. And we learned to work together.
Jess Dewell: Being flexible, being adaptable, about your communication and your communication with others, is the quickest way to destroy or to build relationships. I want you to keep that in mind. Where are you strengthening relationships? And where are you eroding relationships? And how does that impact the SWOT of your business? How does that impact your strengths and your weaknesses, which are internal? And how do the threats and opportunities show up and the reality of those which are external factors based off of how you communicate?
Kathy Atkins: I was an executive in a defense contract company, and we hired retired admirals, generals, etc. Okay. And that was part of my job. What made a lot of those people successful in the military is not what translates to success in the corporate world. And so part of that was to help them to make that transition to be successful. And I remember particularly we heart this one gentleman and boy, he just you talk about sharp edges. I mean, he thought I had the sharpest edges he’d ever seen and vice versa. It was pretty rough at first. But you know, I just made up my mind, I got to know him, he was very successful. He and his wife became very close friends. And he was just a great guy, but I just decided to let it be and you know, to coexist, we never would have done that.
Jess Dewell: Hmm. Coexist versus thrive in a relationship. Usually coexisting, we think it’s neutral. Sometimes though it’s not neutral. It’s a negative drain on our interaction with each other. It shows up a lot of different ways. I have to talk to this person now. Maybe even something like, I dread being around this person. So that’s really not neutral, is it? That’s actually not coexisting, that’s a negative piece. And we associate coexisting with those things, just like Kathy was describing. One of the things that she says that is incredibly important here is that it’s a choice to have a relationship. And it’s a choice to decide what kind of relationship. And so why not go for the positive when you can? And in my opinion, it comes down to the way that we face an interface with pressure.
Paul D. Casey: One of the questions I asked this last two weeks was, what do you do when you’re under pressure? And the number one answer this is fascinating. The number one answer is they say I try to get control of the situation by getting something done, crossing something off my list, feeling like I’m making progress on something. They don’t take a break. They don’t take a walk, they don’t clear their mind. They actually get more busy.
Jess Dewell: Yeah, and the more busy we are, the less productive we are. We know through neuroscience research, through productivity research, that zero breaks pushing through working too hard for too long, has detrimental effects on our output. That’s something to really consider. How busy are you versus how productive are you? And sometimes thinking time takes a lot of time. And so we try and compensate with work that we can check off and quantify. And I’d like to challenge for a minute when we’re talking about rapid change and adaptability, I’d like to challenge you. And that challenge is, take a look. Do you yourself fall into the category of, I thought too long, and now I have too much actual work to do. Well guess what. The thing that I need you to face, to make positive change in your business right now, is that your thinking time is more powerful than the task deliverable, documentable, action item list time. Tom shared with me and now I’m going to share with you some frameworks that might help you as you face this challenge that I just posed to you.
Tom Libelt: I have different frameworks that I work with, when times are great. I always think that’s something horrible could happen just around the corner. When things are horrible. I always think something great could happen right around the corner. And it often does in both ways. For a lot of businesses that I’ve seen, they became too comfortable, too lazy, things were great, and now they’re kind of stuck. Like with me, I’ve been booked up in my business for I don’t know how long And I’ve never stopped marketing. And people always like, why are you marketing if you booked and you can’t take on clients, that’s not the point. The point is that when things do slow down, I can quickly go to this extra capacity and fill the pipeline again and be like, Well, look, I have a few spots open now. And part of this is due to laziness and just a comfort levels and not doing things you should be doing. because things are easy. You can’t really blame anyone.
ANNOUNCER: You were listening to the ad free listener supported Bold Business Podcast. We will return to the show soon. Right now, Jess is going to tell you about why we are ad free and listener supported.
Jess Dewell: I’d like to take a few minutes and tell you why we do not run ads on the Bold Business Podcast. We’ve chosen to rely solely on you, our listeners, for support. If you’re listening to this, you probably already know what I care about most. I care about the space between you and me, and you and your colleagues. And I care about the work that you do together and the impact that it makes for your business and for your community. The work I do comes from a deep curiosity about what makes businesses work, what makes high functioning teams and what elements truly shapes success. I’ve seen firsthand how information can help people make better decisions and change their results. Curating and presenting this information though is not easy. The vast amounts of information out there, and the overwhelming amount of stuff that demands our attention and time, makes finding useful information, firsthand experience that is actually inspiring, that can help you with the big problems that you’re grappling with, it’s really hard. We do the due diligence for you. I am fortunate to have a great team to help me research and to share this information. And one example is the preparation that it’s done for each program. We choose a question to explore, we look for people with the relevant information and experience. We do research for what the current trends are. And then we put it all together into a well produced program. And then we repeat, and then we repeat. The production of the show notes and supporting information is also comprehensive. This shows in the positive response that we’ve received. People like to see are notable and quotables. They like to see the links that we have to the transcripts, and they like to have links and research to resources and we bet I bet you do too.
ANNOUNCER: So far we’ve talked about how we put into the production of the Bold Business Podcast. And why Jess feels it is so important to be ad free and listener supported. And now let’s return to the Bold Business Podcast.
Jess Dewell: All right, so we’ve had our introduction, we’ve set up and talked about the problem and we are going to keep building on that. We’re going to stack them. And in the stacking, it’s now time to talk about the skills. What skills do we have? What do we bring to the table? And how does it benefit us right now. Now one of the skills you’re going to hear about is time management. You’re also going to hear about some others as well. And here we go.
Kathy Atkins: Practicing adaptability is the first thing they must is assessing the situation correctly.
Jess Dewell: When we are able to assess a situation, we know what action to take. When we are a deer in the headlights, or we don’t know or we’re unsure or we second guess ourselves, or we lack confidence, we wait. Taking the time to learn how to assess just means over time assessing your situation gets faster. Not taking the time and being unsure typically results in having to backtrack, to take a turn, to pivot. You all know about me and that word, but still, sometimes, you find like that’s the only way to go., is to pivot. We went down a path we weren’t quite prepared for it. We went down a path that we thought was right, but we were gonna dig another shot in the dark. And we were hoping, well, there’s some accountability there for you. So to set up the skills that you need to be able to assess situations correctly, start with time management. Time management allows us to make sure we have the space to take the time we need to do the thinking and to do the assessing. And then the faster we get at those, the more efficiently we get to use our time on other things, maybe even more time for other things. Time management is key, and there’s freedom in that structure.
Paul D. Casey: I like to say it’s my number one time management principle is you’ve got to manage your time around your values and your vision. So yeah, keep going there.
Jess Dewell: Okay, I’m gonna follow Paul. Keep going there. Well, guess what? You have a vision, you have a mission and you have values You also have a set number of hours you wish to work. And maybe it’s the same as what you work. And maybe it’s different than what you are working right now. Either way, recognizing that time management principles actually move into other categories of priorities, does the work I’m doing right now match up to my values and vision, or does it not? And then you can make a decision. Do I work on this? Or do I set this aside? Or do I just take it off the table all together? That’s also part of adaptability. Because we’re changing in the moment, we think we’ve had it set up, we’ve done the setup, now we’re doing the work. And in the work we find or notice or see something different. And Kathy’s gonna tell us it’s adaptability and why that’s so cool.
Kathy Atkins: I love adaptability. I think it’s a very apt word. And I think it’s absolutely essential for any leader to be successful. If you’re not adaptable, again, long range, you’re not gonna be successful.
Jess Dewell: Okay, I said, when you’re adaptable, you’re just cool. And I really like the language that Kathy put around it, because it’s true. When you’re adaptable, you’re successful (and cool). And when you’re not adaptable, you are more likely to end up unsuccessful and less cool.
Tom Libelt: Surely I found waiting things out solves 90% of the problems.
Jess Dewell: Okay, so this is a second thing we’re hearing about time management. That’s actually a little contrary. We use time management to make sure we’re aligned to our vision and values. We use time management by waiting. Interesting. I’m just going to notice that right now.
Tom Libelt: Well, the key skill is sales experience, because if you’ve sold to hundreds or thousands of people, that’s a transfer of emotion without emoting or trying to tell people how to feel. And through that you need to be able to kind of meet them where they’re thinking, show some empathy, sympathy, get them to understand what you’re selling in a way, like, yeah, we can show hopes, desires, fears, whatever you trigger those emotions, and then you kind of bring them in to that pitch. And it’s the same thing I feel with anything else, whether it’s a sales pitch, but it’s just easier by practicing these in person. Because if someone’s smiling and smiling, you can very quickly pivot based on their feedback.
Jess Dewell: And so time management does not mean micromanagement of how many emails we answer, how many clients, we talked to how many outreaches occurred. By the way, those are all really important, and need time blocks on your calendar. That’s the thing. They don’t have to be so itemized that there’s this really long checklist or that there’s an incredibly full calendar. Because without space to be able to adapt and to experience, we’re not quite sure how to move forward. We’re moving forward in the dark. And that’s not what we want to do. We at least want a headlamp on our head as we’re walking through the dark, maybe even better than that, we are not even in the dark at all. And that’s something that Paul shares about strategies and strategies about how we can show up around time and time management.
Paul D. Casey: Absolutely, and to help people come up with their strategies is going to make them feel a whole lot more confident when the ground underneath them is shaking. And that’s this whole concept of change, right? Change can happen to us like a punch in the mouth. Change happens often, suddenly, sometimes slowly, but often suddenly. But I think what I’ve learned most about change in the last two years is transition is totally different. So there’s change happens to you. Transition is what happens in you. And this is what I help with my clients is that dealing with that emotional processing of what I’m going to do with the change,
Jess Dewell: Okay, change happens to you, transition is what happens in you. Thanks Paul for sharing that and anything we can do to reinforce, to draw on, to pull up and out our confidence when we need it during difficult situations, during times of change, or during a time when we have to act fast. Everything that we practice day to day, what we focus on as time goes by, is what we fall back on. And so the strategy that we have to fall back on is directly related to what we do day to day. And that’s where time management really becomes essential. And are you spending the right amount of time on your business, in your role and in the business as a whole, developing your teams and the people around you and the relationships with your customers? So here’s the thing. We know time management is important. We know that the skills we need around adaptability and what goes into adaptability is important because both of those things help ground us and anchor us during rapid change. And Kathy is going to share with us what we can do about.
Kathy Atkins: I think there has to be a willingness or effort on one person’s part. And that effort has to be sincere and authentic. All I wanted to do was make friends with him just so it would make life easier, and I could get my way probably wouldn’t have worked. But if my real desire was to really get to know that and to leverage that into take the sum of the parts to be greater, which it was, he appreciated authenticity, my authenticity, sometimes it’s rough, but it is authentic. That word and that’s true. usually the case.
Jess Dewell: You know, I was inspired when Kathy said that, because when we recognize where we are our truest self, and we can bring that out, and we can rely on it, and people can see us for who we are because we are being true to ourselves? That’s really when relationships blossom. And sometimes we try and put too much pressure on relationships too soon, or we don’t do due diligence and we try and build relationships, and we find out they’re the wrong relationships. Even another thing is, you might not even want to build a relationship with this person that is edgy, or causes stress, or is always mucking stuff up in your mind. And all of those things are valid, and how you can show up to them and communicate your way in your voice with respect and awareness for the other person’s feelings, makes the way for us to be able to talk better together. Allows you to be able to talk better to the people that you’re with. And I’m using the word better. And I’m not sure that’s grammatically correct, but it’s true. It’s an iterative way forward that is more positive than what came before. You’re going to hear Tom say it too. It’s all about people.
Tom Libelt: The two main things in sales is always the opening and the closing because if you can get those to figure it out, you’re okay. get people interested. And then you get them to buy only things that matter ever, with confidence. And you know that some of these things that you mentioned, I actually think people overall, especially in the West have been overconfident for no reason. You have the skills, but something happened someone threw a wrench in your plans, which is normal, it’s a part of life so one of it is grow up, take a step back, relax a bit. Sometimes you need to retreat and observe before you attack again and that’s a normal thing like for me that is a big problem always like I always wanted to go forward fast as possible, but I’ve learned that something read the room reiterate, we pivot, create new ads, create new messaging, you positioning testing, because the only thing that confidence will come from is action that brings results. So you cannot stop the action, and then expect the continents to return. The couple different steps here but retreat, replan act, see what happens. That’s fine. If it didn’t work out, retreat plan happen until it happens to the way you want and you’re confident again, it’s not that complicated.
Jess Dewell: But it takes time. And we think it takes too much time, and maybe we don’t have the time. Well guess what? If we keep building and stacking things on things that aren’t working, we’re wasting more time. There’s a bigger expense to fix it. It’s harder to unravel. Bad habits are ingrained that have to be unlearned. Oh, those things are expensive when we only have 24 hours in a day. That’s the same amount of time that every other single person on this planet has. And so to stop, retreat, assess. Stop, retreat, assess is great because retreating isn’t giving up. It’s not admitting defeat. It is pausing and recognizing what resources do we have right now, as we go back out into the world and things happen, stuff changes our constraints and our opportunities and our resources change, we pause, we retreat, not because we’re in fear, but because we want to understand exactly where we’re at so we can go back out and go forward and make movement forward. And that concept is a slowing down. It’s something many of us don’t like to do. And this is the change from keeping the lights on in your business, to actually creating what’s next for your business, the type of growth you want, the way you want to show up in the world, what you can actually truly go above and beyond to deliver and increase your unique selling proposition. Paul’s going to tell you he takes retreat time as well.
Paul D. Casey: I too, like you have regular retreat time. One author says, depart daily, withdraw weekly and adjourn annually, you know this I like those DD WW and AA, and so by doing that I can keep recalibrating my visions. every year annually to come up with an annual vision but of course, now But I look at that in my monthly checkup or my weekly check out. It’s like, oh, my goodness, everything is just sort of been blown to smithereens time to recalibrate, I still need to find some firm footing, even when the ground is shaking around me. And so vision for me is that thing that anchors me and gives me hope for the future, or I could start putting some action plans together.
Jess Dewell: All right, Paul uses a different process than the present retreat. The elements are similar. There’s an assessment, there’s a dreaming, there’s an alignment, and there’s how do we get there? All of those things happen. I have to say, the one thing that will help you out is to carve out four hours a week to do just that. Not four separate hours, and not for hours and 15 minute increments anywhere. Oh, no, no, no, no, no, four consecutive hours. Conduct your own present retreat. It’s a present because it’s in the moment you’re taking stock exactly where you are. And it’s where we get to evaluate and you get to see what are the opportunities where those gifts, something you could wrap up with a bow. And where do we want there to be a bow and make some decisions, adjust priorities, and then you go back out into the world, and you keep on working in your business to make those things happen. And then you pause and you retreat into your four hour time and do it all again. And in fact, part of the CEO and future mastermind is facilitated present retreat time. So if you want that. If you’re not quite sure how to do it, or you’re not having success in your own retreat time right now, it may be something for you to consider down the road so that you can be learning it and have it facilitate about things that you could do in there and practices that you may like to try so that you can find your own unique rhythm for what makes your business as unique as it is and built on principles we know bring us success.
Kathy Atkins: Everybody’s planning is different. There’s certain building blocks to get a plan, there’s certain questions that one needs to ask. I’m here, this is the reality now. And so with this reality, we want to get here. You know, we want to want to get out here somewhere. And so there’s a gap in between. So then we start asking the questions, what resources do we have? What resources do we need? What’s our ability to get those resources? That could be people, that could be capital, that could be systems, that could be processes. And then we look at that and we look at, okay, I want to get here. But are the markets there? Is that business there? What is the competition doing? What do I have to do to get there? And you say, okay, so out of that, we’re going to have to do this, this, this and this, these are the four most important things that we need to do over the next period of time. And I’m saying four. It might not be for but I can tell you what, it’s not 40. It’s a small number, and we flesh those out very much. And then what’s really important, you can still do that and not get to your end result.
Jess Dewell: Oh, isn’t that true? There’s more. And I wanted to pause here to acknowledge that going through the motions is not enough. Understanding what’s going on is not enough. Kathy’s gonna tell you what makes the biggest difference to move towards success.
Kathy Atkins: Then you’ve got to practice change management and accountability. So those are those big nice buzz phrases and words, but what it really means is continuing to work it and check on it. Is it working is what we’re doing working? Are we not working on it because something else is getting in the way of it? What adjustments Do we need to make to make sure we get there? Or are you just not working on it because Hey, I let all of these other things get in the way. And they really aren’t as important. They aren’t the priorities. How do I help you shifts that priority?
Jess Dewell: And then comes leadership. Time management is all about having space. And this is where leading and doing can get confused. Because many of you listening are in roles where you are a founder seller, or you’re responsible for some sort of deliverable or client interaction. Those are all trackable. What’s not trackable, and what tends to get left aside, is all the people around us that need to have our same mission and vision. All the people around us that are having their own autonomy and their own accountability to get work and move the team toward a goal. And if we’re not talking to each other, and we’re not asking each other, what are your priorities, and agreeing that they’re all the priority, there will be communication breakdown. And there will be fallout, which takes up more time, which is the opposite of time management. So I’ve been listening to Kathy along with you, and that assessing in the moment can become more honed from taking the time to regularly think about what’s important. What is the opportunity, what’s the plan that gets us to move toward our goal and we check in regularly with that. It’s not about the change. What it is about is how we show up to it. And Kathy says that and more. Here listen in.
Kathy Atkins: It’s not about the change. It’s about what we do with it, how we respond to it, how we leverage it. It really is. I’ve worked with all different kinds of clients. This whole Coronavirus thing started It’s hard to thin there is anything great about it. But one thing that I am seeing, I have certain clients and certain leaders that no matter what challenge gets thrown at them, they’re like, Okay, all right, we can do this. Let’s see, what do we need to do? And then there are other things, oh, my God, this guy’s falling. Well, it’s coming, and we’re done, etc, etc. And that that’s really the difference. It’s what we do with it. It’s not about sitting back and saying, Oh, I don’t have any control. The good news. And the bad news is we are in control. We might not have been in control of the change that happened always. But we’re clearly in control with how we respond to it and what we do. And so take that control, you have that control. I always say when someone says to me, and of course I hear this, well, I can’t do that. Well, in my head. I know they can correct I know, they have the capacity and the capability to do that. But if you tell me you can’t do something, you can’t do it. Because you’ve told yourself you can’t do it. Now there are ways to coach people around that. But nonetheless, to me to sum up change, it’s how you respond to it.
ANNOUNCER: Earlier, we talked about some of the work that goes into producing the Bold Business Podcast. But why? Why is it so important to Jess and the rest of the team to make these podcasts ad free and listener supported? Once again, here’s Jess.
Jess Dewell: So this brings me to the question that’s been contemplated. How do we fund the necessary work to support our effort and continue this work? Well, paid advertising and sponsorship thoughts are common. It doesn’t fit our model here. And here are just a few reasons why. The first, quality programs are important to us. I want you to know to really know that I’m telling you the whole story. When money is exchanged to talk about a product or service, I feel there may be some miscommunication and the quality of our content could be diluted. The second reason is being an advocate is who I am. I’m an advocate for your success, for your team success and for your business’s success. If I’m focused on numbers and listeners and ways to generate more views that generate ad income, my attention is split between you and great content, and tactics to increase our ad revenue. And then I would not be doing my job as an advocate. The third reason is to fuel my own curiosity continuously. My eagerness to do this work is here, it’s ready. Yet, it is dulled when I’m doing something that I don’t like as much or really, that I’m not excited about and that I don’t think is exciting for you to know about. So this led me to choose the path less traveled. Listener supported programming has been proven to work overtime, and it allows me to keep my focus on the content. And it allows me to have a relationship with you that is direct and straightforward. Listener supported is a clear answer to the question we’ve been pondering. How do we fund the necessary work to support our effort and continue providing quality content to you? The simplicity of a listener supported model ensures clarity for you and for me. I value honesty, and honesty is a two way street. So if you get something out of what I’m doing, you can become a supporter and contribute at whatever level works best for you. In exchange, you’ll get benefits above and beyond what is available for free right now. It’s my goal to ensure that you get more than you give, no matter what level you support at.
ANNOUNCER: And now, let’s return to the Bold Business Podcast for the rest of the show.
Jess Dewell: We’re talking about what adaptability is and what makes it up. We’re talking about time management. And we’re talking about the skills and the strategies that we may use to show up and respond to change. Another piece that’s contrary to what we think of when we think of time management is going into solitude, taking time to bow out, and just be because it’s in those rests, whether that’s playing the guitar or a flute or a cello or being in a band, or running, training, taking adventure trips, or even go into the spa and getting your nails done, and maybe getting a facial. That time is really important throughout each and every single day. Taking a break, actually enjoying and noticing the food that you’re eating while you’re working. Pausing. And the higher the pressure, the more the pause becomes necessary. And Paul is going to tell us why.
Paul D. Casey: I think you’ve got to get to some solitude time during this. Because if you don’t, you’re just going to be in this reactive mode. It’s going to feel scatterbrained the whole time. By getting into some solitude, that’s where breakthroughs really happen to solitude, is that’s where you can start scoping out the vision in various areas of your life. You can do it in your relationships, you can do it in your wellness, you can do it in your business or your leadership. Sets the course becomes my North Star.
Jess Dewell: I didn’t tell him to say anything about North Star. It did make my day when that came out of his mouth. I have to say, it’s true. When we know where we’re going and what we’re doing and we have a vision and something we’re working toward. Not only is that our own North Star, it becomes something other people can follow us toward. Paul actually talks about this concept of the six elements of change.
Paul D. Casey: Six essential elements of change. I got this It’s called the change puzzle. I want to give credit to VISTA Associates. So if you picture across the top, the six elements of change are trust, vision, skills, resources, payoff, and action plan. And if you black out one of those boxes, the people around you or maybe even yourself, you experience this kind of emotion. So let’s say you don’t have trust because everything starts with trust. If you don’t believe in the leader, if you don’t believe in the messenger, you’re not going to believe the message. So if you take out that what you’re going to get on the opposite of that is you’re going to get sabotage, people are actually going to try to make sure your change effort doesn’t succeed. They’re going to try to take you out, they might do it subtly by not answering your emails, or just delaying their action plans, but they’re just not going to do it.
Jess Dewell: We all have those times we dig our feet in and we are inflexible. And when we recognize what those are, not only can we navigate with them, we might even be able to navigate in spite of them. And here’s a reflection piece that Kathy goes on to share with us that is incredibly important to our overall awareness and accountability towards showing up to change.
Paul D. Casey: As a leader, you can read it backwards and say, Oh, I’m experiencing some confusion on my team. Let me see what do I need to give them Oh, I need to give them more vision because they’ve lost the vision and where we’re going. So it’s a really cool tool.
Jess Dewell: So whether you read it forward in terms of a planning and a goal setting and charting the course towards your North Star, or you read it backwards, because you’re in a situation there is a problem and you got to figure out, how to start making a shift in the environment right there. That is also adaptability. There is more than one way to achieve the goal. You want to achieve the result you want to achieve the way that you work together to deliver on your mission. And that’s a little bit more about the tool that Paul was sharing. And then comes the consideration of how we go.
Kathy Atkins: I might be getting ready to do the right thing, but I’m doing it for the wrong reason.
Jess Dewell: We all have those times we dig our feet in and we are inflexible. And when we recognize what those are, not only can we navigate with them, we might even be able to navigate in spite of them. And here’s a reflection piece that Kathy goes on to share with us that is incredibly important to our overall awareness and accountability towards showing up to change.
Kathy Atkins: I’m coming about it the wrong way. I tell people this all the time, something I’m so glad that I learned pretty early in my career, about keeping people whole, I don’t have problems holding people accountable, but holding people accountable goes both ways. Holding them accountable for all the good stuff they do, which is usually far more than things that don’t go well, but also holding them accountable for that but whichever the situation is, we should keep people whole, we should respect people, we should treat them like human beings. People should not become objects. It’s very easy for that to happen. The further we climb whatever ladder it is, we’re climbing to get further away. And that’s such a mistake. I have plenty of people that I’ve walked out the door through the years. I’m not saying that in any keeping metals or whatever kind of thing. But I have plenty of people like that, that still send me Christmas cards and I go to lunch with and stuff like that, because walking them out the door was the right thing for everybody. If you can’t get there, you have the problem.
Jess Dewell: How do we even know how to get there? Well, there have been questions posed throughout this entire program in relationship to specific ideas and situations and approaches. Now I did some research and HBR back in 2011, believe it or not, they were talking about adaptability and the new competitive advantage. Well, as I was reading this article from 2011, I was like, Hmm, this is actually timeless information. And Huh, you’d think that they predicted that we would all , every single one of us in every single industry was facing something unique and new and different in trying to figure out how do we work together? How do we deliver together? How do we add value to our greater good together? There are many questions that they were starting to ask. The thing is, there were three that caught my eye that directly relate to what we’ve been talking about today. The first question that this article referenced that applies to what we’re talking about is, how can we adapt frameworks that are based on scale or position when we can go from market leader one year to follow the next year? Oh, that’s huge to think about, because that means we’re stuck. Alright, the second question, when it’s unclear where one industry ends and another begins, how do we even measure position and that’s happening more and more as we’re seeing overlaps and more full service and different kinds of service and the things that could consumers want, whether our consumer is a business or an end user, whatever they want is changing. And that’s changing based off of technology. And all of those things are based off of what we’re experiencing some other part of our life that we’re bringing into wanting in every experience in our life. And the third question, when the environment is so unpredictable, how can we apply their traditional forecasting and analysis that are at the heart of strategic planning? I really love this question, because maybe the answer is we don’t, but maybe the answer is we do. And what does that look like? Because what is measured can change. And the need for a strategic plan for a longer term growth five and 10 years out, positioning five and 10 years out, is as important today if not more than ever before, especially because of how fast things change. And that means we have to be more adaptable to match the change and know how to answer that type of question. Now, there are people out there who are saying we don’t need strategic plans anymore. We don’t need annual plans anymore. Things move too fast. Well, I agree things move too fast. I also think at the same time, that knowing where you’re going is an incredibly important thing. Because how do you know if you’re on a hamster wheel instead of charting a course and following it into new and exciting destination, if you don’t have strategic plan? That’s just my question for you. So maybe it’s really four questions, but I’m gonna stick with the three in the show notes. And now and now and now. It’s bold. It is bold to embrace rapid change and adaptability. And Tom is going to tell us why.
Tom Libelt: Not caring what people think, is the big one. I think that the times when people mess this up, when they think the grass is greener on the other side, alright, so my friend told me about this analogy that you’re we’re all on a bus, different bus or we’re on the bus and we have different steps that we go on. Step three are on time. Step five, they’re on step four. And sometimes when you’re on Step three, you look at the other bus, which is on step eight. And you’ll be like, Oh, that looks so much better. He’s so much farther ahead than me. I’m going to switch buses, but you don’t realize that now you’re on step one, and his bus. You don’t ride things out. You don’t push through yourself. You think something’s better on the next bus. Often it’s better just stick it through. just just just stay on the damn bus and don’t get off.
Jess Dewell: And that’s the key. With rapid change means we think or assume that we need to change what we’re doing quickly too. And when really we can stop and assess and find out is what we’re doing going to work during this rapid change. What do we need to look out for? How can we show up to it without getting off our bus and getting on somebody else’s bus earlier in the process? Kathy tells us why it’s bold to recognize and embrace rapid change and adaptability.
Kathy Atkins: I think boldness is courage and strength. Boldness is about being willing to be vulnerable, being willing to question yourself being willing to say, Gee, I thought that was the right answer, but it wasn’t. I don’t know the answer to that, but we’ll go find out. And strength is about that too. Strength is not about being the loudest. And this, you know. Bold to me is doing whatever it takes. And sometimes that’s uncomfortable even for oneself to doing what it takes and what is the right thing. The raw honesty in that that says, in any situation, we ought to be able to do the right thing, and that shouldn’t be countered to anything else. And I believe that that’s what really good long term successfully Do in change or whatever the situation is.
Jess Dewell: Kathy’s right. Everything that we’re talking about here can be applied in good times, and stressful times, and hard times, and easy times, and not only periods of time but times during the day. Rapid change comes down to our adaptability and how adaptable are we willing to be? The more adaptable, the more ready we are for change. Time management is the way in to understanding how to give more time to the things that need it. And by taking a little more time, by doing more thinking, by doing more conversing, being able to speed up other actions and knowing that they are the right actions, and then questions that we can consider for ourselves all throughout. And most importantly, the three questions that I pulled that companies have started to look at and are really embracing and grappling with and working with them over long periods of time to make sure that they are adaptable, because the thing is problem solution, problem solution, problem solution is not always that quick. Sometimes it’s a problem. And the solution takes a while, and it avoids based off of another problem because we find out more information. So in the grand scheme of things, slowing down allows us to go fast.
ANNOUNCER: The Bold Business Podcast is brought to you by Red Direction. Jess Dewell dug into one idea in this program. Her goal is to ignite your creativity and spark different thinking with the presented material. How you apply this to your current priorities is up to you. We want to know what actions you take. Use hashtag #boldbusinesspodcast and add your voice to this important conversation. Jess Dewell can bring the missing voice back into your company. With you, Jess will solidify your company’s true north, your unique Red Direction. Provided you are ready to work with Jess, email her at Radio at Red direction dot com. Special thanks to the SCOTT Treatment for technical production.
Scott Scowcroft: Hi, Scott here. Following his interview with Jess, Paul remembered something that he had wanted to share with the Bold Business Podcast audience. As a bonus therefore, here is Paul Casey speaking with Jess about one of his favorite topics, the Change Puzzle.
Paul D. Casey: That’s why I think how boldness attaches to facing change.
Jess Dewell: Now is the end of the interview.
Paul D. Casey: Wow.
Jess Dewell: On it.
Paul D. Casey: I didn’t get to say my Change Puzzle
Jess Dewell: Just because it’s the end of interview doesn’t mean we have to stop recording.
Paul D. Casey: Cool
Jess Dewell: Scott, this is our outtake and we want this included. So, I’m ready. Change Puzzle.
Paul D. Casey: Six essential elements of change. I got this, called the Change Puzzle, I want to give credit to VISTA Associates. So if you picture across the top, the six elements of change are trust, vision, skills, resources, payoff and action plan. And if you black out one of those boxes, the people around you, maybe even yourself, you experience this kind of emotion. So let’s say you don’t have trust, because everything starts with trust. If you don’t believe in the leader, you don’t believe in the messenger, you’re not going to believe the message. So if you take out that what you’re going to get on the opposite of that is you’re going to get sabotage. People are actually going to try to make sure your change effort doesn’t succeed. They’re gonna try to take you out. They might do it suddenly, by not answering your emails, or just delaying their action plans, but they’re just not going to do it. If you believe in a leader, though, you’ve got trust, but you don’t have vision. If we don’t really know this brighter tomorrow, there’s confusion. People bump into each other, they bump into walls, they’re like, that’s not my job description. That’s your job description. And it really gets messy. If you have trust and vision, but you don’t think you have the skills to pull off this new change. you get anxiety. And people don’t raise their hand in meetings going, “I’ve got anxiety today." Just sort of oozes ou. People procrastinate more, things happen and bring out their worst self. If you do have trust. You do have vision. You do have skills, but you don’t have the resources. You’re like boss, give me money. Give me people. Give me extra time. Tell me what I don’t have to do. And they get angry. They’re just like, “Come on, I am with you. Please help me help you to get this thing done." If they do have trust, vision, skills and resources, but they don’t think they know what the payoff is like, “What’s the Why here?" Why should be like preeminent. People lose their way when they lose their why. Simon Sinek said, which is a really great quote, then they’re probably going to get sporadic change. They’re gonna be like, “Oh, the bosses around? Okay, I’ll do this new thing. Oh, not around. Okay, I’m gonna go back to my default thing, which is way more comfortable for me." And then finally, if you’ve got trust, vision skills, resources. pay off, but you don’t have an action plan, then the change hasn’t been broken into small enough bite sized pieces. And there’s false start. “Are we starting this on Monday? Oh, this is a mate. This is July 1 thing?" And they just don’t actually get started because there’s not clear milestones along the way. I love the Change Puzzle. As a leader, you can read it backwards and say, “Oh, I’m experiencing some confusion on my team. Let me see what do I need to give them Oh, I need to give them more vision, because they’ve lost the vision and where we’re going." So it’s a really cool tool.
Jess Dewell: For those of you listening, Supported Listeners, this is available to you in your supporter listener dashboard. So, go get to your True North, which I love that when you said, your “North Star," Paul, because ours is the True North Dashboard. We’re also all this stuff will be. and I’ll put a PDF in this program as well, so that they have that, because I think this is really important. And I may pull parts of this for the public one as well, which is great. So I have a question for you. “How did things change from before crazy COVID, to right now, in the middle of all of this, where do you seeyour clients?
Paul D. Casey: I am seeing the lack of payoff, probably number one cuz they’re not, they’re not as connected to their leader in person as they used to. They’re losing their why which makes them lose their way and they’re losing some of that motivation that they have inside. And then the second one I probably see is the anxiety piece of the lack of skills because it’s like, “Oh, I’ve never known on video conferencing before," or “Now I got to do this work remotely. I don’t really get that."
Jess Dewell: And that’s interesting, because I’m seeing more anxiety and confusion. So the lack of vision and the lack of skills, which is interesting to see. And Scott, you know where this will be. See this is uncut. So even the listeners get to see, “Oh, we didn’t talk about that." And then the listener gets to you. So we have a PS at the end, and then the listeners get to see, “Hey, Scott." They know how we work.
Paul D. Casey: Poor Scott.
Jess Dewell: I love Scott. He is actually a magic worker. He does great stuff. So this is fantastic. Yeah. And I’ve got this associated with the program. This has been amazing, Paul.
Paul D. Casey: It was fun. Very, very fun.
Jess Dewell: Good. I’m glad to hear it.
ANNOUNCER: The Bold Business Podcast is brought to you by Red Direction.