Episode 91: Agile Leadership With Jonathan Reams

Agile Leadership.

The word “agility” has many meanings. As kids, we prided ourselves on being physically agile at sports–or disappointed by our lack of agility. In software, agile is a methodology and set of principles for producing products and engaging teams. What about in leadership?

This week’s guest, Jonathan Reams, joins me to explore agile leadership.

Over 15 years ago, Jonathan and I met when matched together to organize “integral gatherings” in San Francisco involving several hundred people. He soon moved east to Norway, and I moved north to Portland. His move was much farther!

Jonathan once drove a dump truck. Now he teaches at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, edits the online journal, Integral Review (which I’ve read for years), and is co-founder of the European Center for Leadership Practice. I’m not sure whether his first career or his current one require more agility, but clearly the forms of agility are very different.

What is agile leadership? How can we use Ken Wilber’s four quadrants, developmental stages, and the Goldilocks Zone to understand it? How is elegantly simple different from simplistic? What happens when great cognitive agility causes harm?

Please share with friends and let me know what you think.

Highlights

As the saying goes, “this space intentionally left blank.”

This week. As an experiment.

Do you wish this included time-stamped topics? Then shoot me an email at amiel@amielhandelsman.com and tell me why. I love feedback!

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Episode 90: Practice Leadership Like Athletes And Chess Masters (3-Minute Thursday)

Practice leadership

Practice leadership like athletes and chess masters!

Welcome to 3-minute Thursday. Today’s episode is about four ways you can improve your leadership by emulating top performers in sports, chess, and the arts.

Let’s say you want to become more skillful at having rigorous and respectful conversations with others. In my first book, Practice Greatness, I call this Arguing Better. How would you use the following four methods of direct practice to argue better?

  1. The music approach
  2. The chess approach
  3. The sports conditioning approach
  4. The sports simulation approach

Listen in as I walk you through all four options.

All in 3-minutes. OK, this time it’s 5 minutes!

So you can stop listening—and start practicing.

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Episode 89: GTD And Promise-Based Management With Michael Dolan

In this week’s episode, Michael Dolan and I show you how to bring about the results you want in life by combining two powerful action frameworks: Getting Things Done (GTD) and promise-based management.

GTD, also known as workflow coaching, helps you manage agreements with yourself. David Allen, my guest on episode 13, outlined this model in his mega bestselling book, Getting Things Done. Michael has been bringing this approach to executives and senior professionals for many years.

Promise-based management helps you manage commitments with others. I heard about it 20 years ago, gave my first talk about it in 2003, and enjoy introducing it to clients. It has been one of the principal themes of this podcast. Many of you heard the integral mashup I did on this topic several months ago.

The question Michael and I explore today is this: what happens when you integrate both frameworks into your day-to-day work life? What becomes possible when you become adept at managing agreements with yourself using GTD and skilled at managing commitments with others using promise-based management?

Neither of us promises you will become superhuman or super-happy.

Then again, nor do we claim these are out of reach!

But seriously, I enjoyed rolling up my sleeves with Michael. Join us as we dig in below the level of concepts to explore specific behaviors you can start practicing today when you combine these powerful frameworks.

Highlights

  • 12:00 How can promises from a 1-on-1 meeting end up in your inbox?
  • 18:00 Processing items at your desk when you’re confused about who promised what
  • 24:00 It’s easier to process (“What is this?”) when you’ve already discussed this with others
  • 30:00 Check your “delegated project” list at the end of a meeting
  • 37:00 Asking the other person to promise to bring up a topic in three months
  • 41:00 You saying “no” to me could help me renegotiate agreements with myself!
  • 47:00 You thought they were going to produce a brochure. They thought they agreed to get it approved.
  • 52:00 What if you don’t trust others to manage their promises?
  • 59:00 Why Michael is in awe of the volume of work his clients manage

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Episode 88: Do You Know Your People? (3-Minute Thursday)


Photo Credit: davidmoore326 Flickr via Compfight cc

Do you know your people?

Welcome to 3-minute Thursday. Today, I give you four questions to ask yourself about the people on your team so you can know them better tomorrow than you do today.

Why is it important to get to know your people?

  1. To retain them.
  2. To keep them happy, engaged, and performing at a high level.

I also offer four ways you can find answers to these questions.

All in 3-minutes. So you can stop listening—and start practicing.

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Episode 87: Visualize It First (3-Minute Thursday)

Visualize.

Welcome to 3-minute Thursday. Today’s episode is about visualizing something before you do it.

I tell a story that inspired me to integrate visualizing into my day-to-day life.

And I invite you to start using this practice.

All in 3-minutes. So you can stop listening—and start practicing.

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Episode 86: Protecting Liberal Democracy & Living Virtuously With Theo Horesh

protecting liberal democracy

Protecting liberal democracy from fascism isn’t just important to the world, however imperfect, that we take for granted. It’s also a path to the virtuous life.

I’ve had this intuition for some time. But sometimes it helps to have another person with clear thinking to shape that intuition into a framework for making sense of the world. That’s why I reached out to Theo Horesh, this week’s guest on the podcast.

A seasoned entrepreneur, writer and author, Theo bring lucidity to any conversation he is in. Whether the topic is personal growth, spirituality, politics, or the state of the world, Theo is a fountain of wisdom and moral clarity.

As I discussed in last week’s episode, this podcast is entering brave new waters. Nearly every podcast about organizational leadership and personal development avoids politics like the plague. That’s certainly their prerogative. I’m making a different choice for two reasons.

First, I know how many of you are, like me, struggling to make sense of our political life and the world in which we live. The perspectives and stories we explore will light a candle where now there is darkness.

Second, I think that the life we take for granted in the developed West is up for grabs. The health of your company or college or not-for-profit depends on a form of government known as liberal democracy. It depends on protecting liberal democracy. The freedoms you and I have to make life choices, pick jobs and careers, choose partners, and speak freely in public exist because we live in liberal democracies.

Protecting liberal democracy is important because they are relatively new and uncommon. They didn’t exist in the Garden of Eden, hunter-and-gather societies, agriculture-based civilizations, or even most of the early industrialized world. They are a new invention. We take them for granted, but they are precious, and they can go away.

Theo Horesh has thought deeply about this. How is liberal democracy different from fascism, dictatorship and autocracy? How is it that the most classic and deadly example of a fascist government took root in what was then the world’s most advanced society, 1930’s Germany? What signs do we see of something similar happening today in the United States and parts of Europe? Why do so many of us still have our heads in the sand while, at the same time, so many others believe we’re already practically fascist, so what’s the point anyhow? Why does choosing the virtuous life—one that inevitably must involve politics—make sense no matter what happens in the future? How can we protect liberal democracy?

In this conversation, I invite Theo to help me wrestle with these questions and many more.

As I said, we’re breaking new ground into edgier topics. I this hope feels to you like we are breaking bread together. The most troubling and perplexing political questions can coexist with rigorous and respectful conversation. Indeed, why would we want it any other way?

As always, when you share with friends, we all win.

Highlights

  • 9:30 What is fascism?
  • 20:30 Germany before Nazi rule was the most advanced society in the world
  • 26:30 Fascism is not at all conservative
  • 35:30 We have a fascist President and movement but not a fascist government
  • 53:30 The benefits of living a virtuous life
  • 58:30 Why many on the Left felt glee about Trump’s election
  • 63:30 The importance of conserving democratic institutions
  • 1:08:30 The extraordinary freedoms we take for granted

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