Episode 44: Carolyn Coughlin on Growing, Getting “Grabbed”, And Women’s Leadership [The Amiel Show]

The era of the one-trick pony in leadership development has ended.

Excellence takes many forms and comes through a myriad of paths. That’s because leaders are human beings, and humans are complex.

Really complex.

That’s why conversations about leadership are more practical when they cover more territory.

Let me be clear. This is an argument not for eclecticism but for integration.

Not mismash, but mesh. For example:

  • What happens when we look at adult development through the particular experiences of women (or men)?
  • How do we think differently about women’s leadership when we consider the power and challenge of self-authorship?
  • How do we answer both of these questions differently when we look at the human body and how it can get “grabbed” or triggered?

To explore these questions, I had a great conversation recently with Carolyn Coughlin, cofounder of Cultivating Leadership, teacher of Growth Edge Coaching, and business partner with my guest in episodes 3 and 14, Jennifer Garvey-Berger.

Take a listen and enjoy!

Carolyn Coughlin

Highlights

  • 9:30 Making the body “object”
  • 13:00 Carolyn dodges requests with her body
  • 20:30 Getting confronted with a very different way to coach
  • 23:00 Reducing stress using a centering exercise
  • 25:30 Practicing getting “grabbed”
  • 28:30 A leader who gets grabbed, then anxious, then crazy with her team
  • 35:30 Women’s leadership through the lens of adult development
  • 37:00 Where everybody speaks male
  • 51:30 Carolyn’s biggest growth arena: her three teenagers

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Women growing into self-authorship is a way to grow out of the pain they feel

–Carolyn Coughlin  Tweet this quote

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Carolyn’s articles on developmental coaching and leading in complexity

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Episode 39: Elizabeth Doty On Making Only Promises You Can Keep [The Amiel Show]

Elizabeth Doty is on a mission to focus leaders on their most critical commitments. In Episode 39 of the podcast, this seasoned consultant, author, and frequent contributor to Strategy + Business joins me to ask:

  • What if we were to take our commitments to each other so seriously that we made only the ones we knew we could keep?
  • What if companies recognized that the reliability of their promises to customers and society was central to their success?
  • What if teams stopped waiting around for new leaders to define direction and instead said, “Here’s a proposal for the next three months. Can you support this?”

I think you’ll get great value from this invigorating, high impact conversation. Please share with your friends!

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Highlights

  • 5:00 “The company made me a liar.”
  • 7:20 When businesses drift from their promises
  • 13:30 Why scapegoating CEOs or “rogue employees” doesn’t improve outcomes
  • 16:30 Creating shared maps of different parts of the system
  • 18:00 The peril of new leaders ignoring existing commitments
  • 27:00 The measurable benefits of companies keeping commitments
  • 33:00 A “no harm” diamond company commits to a simple rule
  • 41:00 What teams can do during leadership changes instead of waiting for direction
  • 46:30 Why keeping your head down is risky
  • 48:00 The power of “irrational generosity” during downward spirals
  • 52:30 A hopeful story about promises, money, and career trajectories

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There is an art in crafting commitments and being clear what we’re committing to.

–Elizabeth Doty   Tweet this quote

A recipe for stalling: change your leaders often or put your strategy into question.

–Elizabeth Doty   Tweet this quote

Explore Additional Resources

Liberating structures, a concept introduced by Bill Torbert
Strategy maps—articles by Robert Kaplan and David Norton in Strategic Finance and HBR

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Episode 37: Susanne Cook-Greuter On Leadership Maturity, Part 2 [The Amiel Show]

In Part 1 of my interview with Dr. Susanne Cook-Greuter, she gave an overview of the stages of adult development and what they mean for our capacity to handle life’s complexity.

This week, in Part 2, we explore how her model of Leadership Maturity reframes two everyday leadership challenges:

  • How do you approach your job or career?
  • What is it like to be in a pivotal or difficult conversation?

Susanne pic

Highlights

  • 6:00 How three conventional stages of adult development (Socialized Self, Specialist Self, and Independent Self) experience work and career
  • 20:30 Why people at the Relative stage often step outside of the rat race
  • 27:00 At the Interdependent stage, you make sense of historical patterns and construct integrated strategies
  • 31:00 Susanne and I disagree about membership criteria for the Denial of Death club
  • 32:30 How development stages approach pivotal conversations differently
  • 34:00 Why someone may interpret even the most skillful feedback as disapproval of him
  • 44:00 Helping leaders at the Independent stage see how they are not fully responsible when something goes awry
  • 45:30 At the Relative stage, you realize what you can gain by understanding others’ perspectives
  • 48:00 Why Millennials may seek out difference as part of conforming to the emerging culture’s norms
  • 50:00 When paradox becomes the norm–and then the main source of juice

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The depth and capacity of what a person can notice can expand throughout life.

–Susanne Cook-Greuter  Tweet this quote

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Episode 36: Susanne Cook-Greuter On Leadership Maturity, Part 1 [The Amiel Show]

Often when things go haywire, we blame others or ourselves.

  • “If only I was smarter.”
  • “If only my boss gave me the right responsibilities.”
  • “If only I picked a better boss.”

Susanne pic

What if the source of our troubles wasn’t something wrong with us–or others–but the fact that we haven’t yet developed to our full potential?

When I first came across this concept 15 years ago, I felt a breath of fresh air. What an amazing idea that as adults, we haven’t yet reached the end of the line.

This is the theory of adult development. You can’t look far in this field without running across the name Susanne Cook-Greuter. She is one of the world’s leading researchers, consultants, and coaches in adult development. In fact, many of the world’s leading experts in this area consider her their mentor.

Recently, I had the privilege of spending two hours with Susanne talking about how and why adults develop and what this means for leadership and organizations. This week, join me in enjoying part 1 of that conversation.

Highlights

  • 5:30 What Piaget taught us about child development
  • 13:00 Vertical development becomes mainstream
  • 16:30 The three waves of development: preconventional, conventional, and postconventional. See the chart we discuss here.
  • 24:00 The three stages where 80% of adults in the West live
  • 31:30 The impact of a CEO’s level of development on her organization
  • 33:00 Susanne’s advice for parents of teenagers
  • 43:30 What all adult development models have in common
  • 52:00 How stage models different outside of western culture

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At each developmental stage, there are capacities that weren’t imaginable before

–Susanne Cook-Greuter  Tweet this quote

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Episode 34: Disown Others’ Emotions, A Jedi Leadership Trick [The Amiel Show]

Just as other people are not responsible for your emotions, you are not responsible for theirs.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that you likely act as though you are.

It happens every day. Someone on your team is angry they were passed over for a promotion. Your peer glares at you when you don’t have their back in a meeting. Your spouse gives you that “look” because you’re late for dinner again.

About one tenth of a second later, you feel the impact in your body. “Oh crap,” you think to yourself. “I just pissed her off.”

Nice thought. But you’re wrong.

You can’t piss someone off. It’s not in your power. The person who is angry generated that emotion herself. She is responsible for the emotion. Not you.

And once you embody this understanding, your life will never be the same again.

So it’s time to stop taking responsibility for what is not rightly yours. It’s time to disown others’ emotions.

That’s the name of this Jedi Leadership Trick and the theme of this 10-minute. Listen in.

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Episode 33: Own Your Own Emotions, A Jedi Leadership Trick [The Amiel Show]

In this 15 minute episode, you will learn one of the keys to emotional mastery: taking responsibility for your own emotions.

Why is it unhelpful to you and others to blame them for how you are feeling?

What changes when you start taking responsibility for your emotions?

Listen in as I answer these questions and describe the five levels of competence of owning your own emotions.

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