Episode 93: Unlocking Leadership Mindtraps With Jennifer Garvey Berger

Unlocking leadership mindtraps. Up for it?

I am.

This week I’m excited to share another mind-stretching conversation with adult development expert Jennifer Garvey Berger.

We discuss her new, shorter, faster, and easier book Unlocking Leadership Mindtraps: How To Thrive In Complexity. Once again, Jennifer helps me unpack, unlock and uncover some of the biggest questions in the field of leadership development. Our intent, as always, is to find simplicity on the other side of complexity, a.k.a. grow a little bit today so we can grow even a little bit more tomorrow.

My favorite part is our discussion of what Jennifer calls “simple stories,” something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, particularly in the context of global climate change. (No, snow and cold temperatures don’t mean the overall temperature of the planet isn’t increasing. Yes, it makes a devilishly simple story. No, people who swear by this story are not bad people. Yes, you can learn to see them as heroes in their own story. No, your doing this won’t magically reduce carbon emissions. Yes, it’s still a healthy act for you and the rest of us. But I digress…)

Join me for this invigorating conversation.

Highlights

  • 8:00 Jennifer gets asked, “How can I do this faster?”
  • 12:00 The five most dangerous and most escapable mindtraps
  • 17:00 “This is who I am. Don’t mess with me.”
  • 20:30 A simple story about Brexit involving bananas
  • 29:00 We soothe ourselves by knowing the odds
  • 34:00 Ask “How is this person [I’m aggravated by] a hero?”
  • 41:30 Jennifer plays a game with clients: let’s create three simple stories
  • 52:30 Simple stories Jennifer has told herself about her experiences with her kids
  • 1:02:00 Mindtraps in the transition from socialized mind to self-authored mind
  • 1:08:00 Simple stories about the amazing leader who must have been born that way

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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 83: Sexual Polarity In Marriage With Keith Witt [The Amiel Show]

I’ve finally done it.

I’ve recorded an interview that should not be played in the workplace.

It’s perfect for the car ride home or a weekend getaway with your partner.

But do not listen to this with your coworkers over lunch or in a leadership team retreat.

This episode is about sex, specifically in the context of a committed long-term relationship.

More specifically, it’s about sexual polarity between partners: what it is, why it matters, why so often it’s missing, and what you can do to restore or sustain it in your relationship.

Our guide is integral psychotherapist Keith Witt, author of the brand new book Loving Completely: A Five Star Practice For Creating Great Relationships. Keith joined me twice before to discuss the marital love affair and men’s sexual shadow at work.

In those earlier interviews, we discussed sex, but just a bit. And if there’s one thing you and I know about sex, a bit just isn’t enough.

So this time we give it our full attention—with candor, sensitivity, and humor.

If you’ve heard Keith discuss Loving Completely elsewhere, you’ll want to listen to this in its entirely. In no other interview does he discuss sexual polarity in as much depth. This Keith has assured me.

I thank you for listening and hope you enjoy the conversation.

Highlights

  • 5:00 You have many marriages with your spouse
  • 16:00 Five questions to ask yourself when selecting a partner
  • 28:00 Polarity creates the spark in a relationship
  • 36:00 Making love as feminine and masculine
  • 40:00 Having conversations about sex with your partner
  • 47:00 When a woman is nursing
  • 57:30 Moral codes affect your sexual relationship
  • 1:09:00 Partners who also work together
  • 1:16:00 Mad Men and why being clueless isn’t cool
  • 1:20:00 Talking with kids about sex
  • 1:25:00 Exit affairs, opportunistic affairs, and “please, can we love again” affairs
  • 1:34:00 Keith is not Ashley Madison

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Episode 81: How Couples Grow Together Into “First Love” With Tom Habib [The Amiel Show]

This episode is for people in relatively healthy relationships who are wondering: what else is possible for us?

Couples go through stages of growth. Over the past several decades, a new stage has broadly emerged that was barely visible before. Its features include:

  • Balance between giving and receiving
  • Successful patterns for managing tasks, sharing responsibilities, and practicing reciprocity
  • A shared narrative about the relationship
  • Reflection and introspection
  • Reasonable capacity to regulate nervous systems before and during conflict

Sounds pretty good, huh?

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It is. If your relationship looks like this, it means you’ve grown more as a couple than most couples alive today and 99.99% of couples in human history.

Millions of people are buying books and attending workshops to achieve what you experience.

This week’s guest, Tom Habib, calls this the “Relational Stage.”

It’s quite healthy.

However, once you’ve spent substantial time here, you realize that some important stuff is missing:

  • Your partner doesn’t fully appreciate what you do or who you are. When you’re honest with yourself, you realize that the inverse is true.
  • You miss the intensity and frequency of romance in your relationship’s past, and this distracts you from the love and person in front of you
  • On some level, you fear you have chosen the wrong partner. Otherwise, why aren’t things as great as they used to be?

This is an amazing opportunity: to grow, as a couple, into the next stage of relationship, which Dr. Habib calls “First Love.” It is the first time you are both present with each other to actually love the other person in their entirety. Rather than being distracted by the mirage of an ideal partner, you feel gratitude for the person you are with today.

In our conversation, Dr. Habib briefly walks through the five stages in his integral Couples Line of Development. Then we focus like a laser beam on the transition from the Relational stage to First Love.

Are you up for the challenge?

Highlights

  • 5:00 When Tom viewed marriage as a “bourgeois conspiracy by the Church”
  • 11:00 The five stages of the couples line
  • 13:00 Pre-trans fallacy
  • 26:30 What if you treated your partner like a great neighbor?
  • 39:00 A practice to do at home with your partner
  • 51:00 Most couples in therapy are trying to get to the Relational stage
  • 53:00 “Pixie dust” helps you wake up and grow up
  • 1:05:30 How your kids are affected
  • 1:08:30 Thanksgiving with your parents when you’re at First Love

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Episode 79: Integral Mashup On Managing Promises [The Amiel Show]

Introducing… the first integral mashup on managing promises.

I’ve pulled short audio clips from five past interviews and added my own commentary—all on the topic of how we get things done in life through conversation.

This is my favorite topic in leadership development, particularly when meshed with other valuable frames, like the idea that we are all in over our heads in complexity, so why not grow a little bit?

Joining us on this journey are Bob Dunham, Lisa Marshall, Chris Chittenden, Elizabeth Doty, and Susanne Cook-Greuter.

All together in one place for the first time…sort of!

This episode is an experiment. It was both fun and challenging to unpack different guests’ ideas and then place them in a slightly larger context. This stretched my brain!

I’d love your help. Please shoot me a 1-2 line email and let me know what you think.

  • What worked for you?
  • What was missing?
  • Any topics you suggest for future Integral Mashups? Looking at the podcast archives gives me ideas…

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Episode 75: Stomping the Blues, Reimagining American Identity with Greg Thomas [The Amiel Show]

Fasten your seatbelts. This week, we’re going on a rollicking, rhythmic, high-minded, and heartfelt ride through the core of the American experience.

Greg Thomas, our guide through the True but Partial Challenge on race, joins me again to steer us through this week’s journey.

Or should I say: journeys?

That’s how much territory we cover. Greg even coaxes me to steer out of my “interviewer lane” and riff on my own experience stomping the blues.

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The focus of our conversation is Albert Murray, the great 20th century American writer and close colleague of Ralph Ellison.

Haven’t heard of him? Neither had I until a few months ago.

But since when did lack of fame mean anything about a person’s wisdom?

Like me, you will learn to take Albert Murray seriously. Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Toni Morrison does. She wrote, “Murray’s perceptions are firmly based in the blues idiom, and it is black music no less than literary criticism and historical analysis that gives his work its authenticity, its emotional vigor, and its tenacious hold on the intellect.”

Like me, you will get mesmerized by the ideas in Murray’s first book, The Omni-Americans. Harvard’s Henry Louis Gates wrote in his New Yorker profile of Murray (“The King of Cats”) that the book was “so pissed-off, jaw-jutting, and unapologetic that it demanded to be taken seriously.”

Highlights

  • 6:00 Albert Murray’s influence on American culture and art
  • 13:30 American identity synthesizes multiple roots
  • 20:00 Murray’s devastating critique of “ghettoologists” and “safari technicians”
  • 35:00 Decoding ancient fairy tales and applying them to life today
  • 39:00 The blues idiom as life compass
  • 43:00 The hero’s journey in American cultures, e.g. Harriet Tubman
  • 46:00 Hero’s journey is an alternative orientation from Ta-Nehisi Coates and James Baldwin
  • 55:30 We fear difference and are attracted to it. Can we integrate this into ourselves?
  • 59:00 The Jazz Leadership Project
  • 1:10:00 Apprentice, journeyman, and master

 

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