Episode 54: Geoff Bellman on The Consultant’s Calling, Money, And Power [The Amiel Show]

Geoff Bellman pic

This week I speak with Geoff Bellman, author of The Consultants Calling: Bringing Who You Are To What You Do.

This was the first book that told me — when I read it in 1993 — that it was OK to be myself while working. What a novel idea!

Geoff has seen a lot and has a folksy reflective manner I think you’ll enjoy.

Join us for this conversation about consulting, money, friendship, and power

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Episode 52: The Rise And Fall Of Blackberry With Jacquie McNish [The Amiel Show]

Jackie McNish

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On Tuesday Blackberry announced it was discontinuing the Blackberry Classic smartphone.

I never owned a Blackberry, but my wife did when I first met her 13 years ago. Although she never treated it as a Crackberry, it did seem to follow her everywhere.

The Blackberry ruled the universe for many years. And then one day Apple released the iPhone. The world hasn’t been the same since.

But what really happened at this upstart Canadian company based in the small town of Waterloo, Ontario? Who were the people behind the company’s atmospheric rise and ultimate fall? What choices did they make? How did they relate as leaders and human beings?

This is the subject of last year’s highly touted book, Losing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Extraordinary Rise and Spectacular Fall of Blackberry.

Jacquie McNish, one of the book’s coauthors and an award-winning Wall Street Journal reporter, joins me this week to talk about the amazing human story behind Blackberry.

Highlights

  • 7:00  Who were the two CEOs–and how did they come together?
  • 14:15 Inspired by the Art of War
  • 19:30 A revelation about technology while holding a screaming baby
  • 22:45 Refusing to play the Wall Street and Silicon Valley games
  • 28:30  Dinner with Palm’s CEO, “Topper”
  • 32:45 A patent battle stresses the CEO’s relationship
  • 36:20 A devastating trauma and betrayal
  • 42:45 The Apple/AT&T agreement changes the rules of the game
  • 53:45 Waterloo, Ontario: a tech startup ecosystem

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Blackberry’s CEOs were connected at the hip in business dealings.

–Jacquie McNish Tweet this quote

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Episode 51: The Manly Apology, A Jedi Leadership Trick [The Amiel Show]

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Women apologize too often. Men apologize too little. Not just at home, but in the workplace. Maybe even more so in the workplace.

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In this episode, I challenge men to give more apologies, to do it in a real way, and to stop making lame excuses for not apologizing. I also weave in clips from my interview last year with Robert Augustus Masters, author of To Be A Man: A Guide to True Masculine Power. Robert spoke movingly and compassionately about the power of apologies, and how apologizing requires power. I riff off of his comments.

This is a Jedi Leadership Trick, so you’ll also get the Five Steps to a Manly Apology.

This episode is 15 minutes long.

Highlights

  • 5:30  Five lame excuses for not apologizing
  • 10:20 Five steps to a manly apology: Get Clear, Get Still, Get In Touch, Get Real, Get It Done

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“I’m sorry if this made you angry” is not an apology. It’s the opposite of an apology.

–Amiel Handelsman  Tweet this quote

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Episode 50: Chris Chittenden on Real Accountability [The Amiel Show]

Think that accountability is just about the organizational structure–about who reports to whom?

Think again.

CCBW

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This is a key message of Chris Chittenden, my guest this week on the podcast.

When you look at how work actually gets done, it lives in the conversations between people.

  • If you’re upset at someone for not carrying out a promise, consider this: did they make a promise in the first place?
  • If somebody asks you to do something, are you aware that a negotiation has just begun–even if that person is your boss?
  • Have you ever noticed that the reason breakdowns happen is that others see the world differently from you?

Chris is a master ontological coach based in Australia. I’ve admired his writings for years and enjoyed this opportunity to dig in and ask: what does true accountability look like?

I think you’ll find this interview to have immediate practical impact. Please share with your friends.

Highlights

  • 15:30 What’s missing in traditional leadership programs
  • 20:00 Accountability is about the interactions between people
  • 24:00 What kind of conversation are you in?
  • 29:00 Amiel’s confusion in high school about fuzzy promises
  • 32:00 The ways we respond to requests–most are unclear!
  • 39:30 Making effective offers in the workplace
  • 42:30 Why people give feedback
  • 46:30 Other people have different interests and interpretations from you!
  • 56:00 People send email requests with the assumption they’ve been accepted
  • 1:00:00 It’s also about managing risks
  • 1:04:00 Four ways you can respond to a request
  • 1:07:30 Managing promises is about creating points of choice
  • 1:13:30 How to create a proactive day

 

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“People send email requests assuming they’ve been accepted.”

–Chris Chittenden   Tweet this quote

“Promises underpin the relationships we have with others.”

–Chris Chittenden  Tweet this quote

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Episode 49: Ed Schein On Humble Consulting [The Amiel Show]

How do you help employees become more engaged? How do you retain your best people? How, on any organizational challenge, do you provide real help faster?

Ed Schein answers this question in his brand new book, Humble Consulting.

Ed Schein

One thing you don’t do, he says, is conduct six-month assessments of an organization’s problems or culture. That takes too long. Instead, have a real conversation with the person you’re trying to help. Don’t just give them what they ask for. Find out what really matters to them. Sometimes it’s simpler than you think.

And Ed Schein has a pretty cool resume. An Emeritus Professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, he invented the notion of organizational culture. Yeah, that was him! He also was the first person to describe what process consultation looks like. That was him, too!

So if you work in and around organizations, you’ve been influenced by his work–whether you know it or not.

To understand what he means by “humble consulting” and how it can add value to your work, listen in to this week’s episode.

It was an honor to talk with Dr. Schein. I hope you enjoy it!

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Highlights

  • 6:30 Why do we need humble consulting?
  • 12:00 In a professional relationship, the client often mistrusts you initially
  • 15:00 Evolution from process consultation to humble consulting
  • 21:00 The most extraordinary gift a consultant could be given
  • 27:00 Trying to fix an unruly group at Digital Equipment Corporation
  • 33:00 Staying overnight with the Ciba-Geigy CEO and his family
  • 41:30 Are you a track team or a soccer team?
  • 46:00 A company dies but its culture survives–is that success?
  • 50:00 Ed is described as a “terrible failure” for overpersonalizing a committee
  • 54:30 Ed’s new partnership with his son

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Doing an organizational diagnosis & making recommendations is much too slow

–Ed Schein  Tweet this quote

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Episode 48: Ba Luvmour On Parenting Teens [The Amiel Show]

Ba Luvmour

Parents of teenagers, this episode is for you.

Ba Luvmour, pioneering educator and Headmaster of Summa Academy in Portland, is back.

A year ago, Ba and I talked about the unique challenges of parenting kids between 8 and 12 years of age.

This week, he describes how around age 13, the rug gets pulled out from under kids. Everything they understood to be true about themselves and the world suddenly changes. The new way that they make meaning of their experience is utterly foreign to them–and their families.

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You probably already understand this.

But do you know how to adapt your parenting to this new stage of development–and the dislocating transition that precedes it? What big mistakes might you be making by not doing so?

If you don’t have good answers to these questions, join the club. Nobody teachers this stuff. If our son wasn’t a student at Ba’s school–and if we hadn’t gone through an intensive parenting curriculum there–we we would be clueless.

For example, are you aware of the ways that you may be pushing your teen away under the false assumption that they want to be left alone? And do you realize that by shifting your approach–like engaging them in inquiry when your instinct is to judge–you can create more loyalty to you?

Yes, I said loyalty.

Ba guides us through these questions with a wise and loving hand. And he is the real deal–street smart in the best sense of the phrase. I know this because our older son has spent three years at the school he cofounded and has been nurtured daily by the teachers that Ba trained.

Enjoy and share widely.

Highlights

  • 5:00 Nature rips the rug out from teens
  • 9:00 The giant mistake parents make with teens
  • 12:00 Playing with identity – sports, zombie movies, academics
  • 14:00 “My child is in my face or in my lap” and taking it personally
  • 19:00 When Ba’s daughter dyed her hair
  • 22:30 Buddies vs friends vs peers
  • 26:00 Helping kids through loss of friendships
  • 35:00 If we didn’t get it, it’s hard to give it
  • 36:15 Boys versus girls
  • 39:45 Teen romance and sexuality
  • 47:45 Alcohol and other drugs
  • 49:30 “Going to the edge” through rites of passage
  • 54:30 When teen identities are no longer sufficient

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“Your teenager isn’t rejecting you. She’s rejecting the former way of relating.”

–Ba Luvmour    Tweet this quote

 

“See through the child’s eyes. Feel through the child’s heart.”

–Ba Luvmour  Tweet this quote

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  • Body Being 0-7 years
  • Feeling Being 8-12 years **focus of this interview
  • Ideal Being 13-18 years
  • Reasonable Being 18-23 years

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