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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Episode 47: Alan Sieler On The 6 Moods Leaders Create [The Amiel Show]

Powerful leaders know how to shift the moods of teams, organizations, and countries.

But first, they need to observe their own moods.

But what exactly is a mood? And why is it so central to action?

To explore these questions, I spoke recently with Alan Sieler, founder of the Newfield Institute and author of the brilliant three-part book series, Coaching to the Human Soul.

Our conversation was both serious and lighthearted–often at the same time. By the end, I felt so in synch with Alan and his message that I was ready to get named an honorary Aussie.

Check it out–and share with your friends.

Alan_Sieler2

Highlights

news_moods

  • 11:00 Why leaders’ moods matter for taking action
  • 16:30 Alan’s “six pack” of moods
  • 22:00 The moods of resentment and peace
  • 25:30 Why a mood of acceptance can help change agents
  • 30:30 The sneaky mood of resignation
  • 38:00 Ambition, the go-for-it mood
  • 44:00 The physical postures of acceptance and ambition
  • 49:00 The mood of anxiety
  • 54:00 The mood of wonder
  • 58:30 Alan reveals his personal experience with moods

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“What makes resignation sneaky is it dresses itself up in disguise as stories & justifications.”

–Alan Sieler  Tweet this quote

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Episode 42: Lisa Marshall On Exiting, Firing, and Burnout Nation [The Amiel Show]

Sometimes it takes a wise voice unperturbed by convention to make us radically rethink everyday acts. Consider these questions:

  • How do you lay someone off?
  • How can you exit an organization gracefully?
  • What does it take to make meetings juicier?

Lisa Marshall wants you to consider these questions with greater maturity, clarity, and thoughtfulness. That way, in the very act of doing what you’re paid to do, you can grow into a leader others want to hire, partner with, and follow.

Listen in as this seasoned leadership coach and author breathes new life into old questions.

Lisa Photo 2

Highlights

  • 5:00  We still live in Burnout Nation
  • 13:30 Why Lisa insists on putting her coachee’s interests first
  • 16:15 Meaningless meetings vs environments rich in stories of helping customers
  • 22:30 Why the juiciest subjects belong at the start of meetings
  • 25:30 Body language tells you whether a “yes” is genuine
  • 32:30 How to tell someone they’ve been laid off
  • 38:00 Leaders hold the walls of the container
  • 49:30 How to leave an organization gracefully
  • 1:00:00 Saying “I’m sorry” before you leave the organization
  • 1:07:30 Why maturity matters
  • 1:11:30 Why Lisa gardens

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Any meeting without an agenda is almost by definition a waste of time.

–Lisa Marshall  Tweet this quote

‘Thank you’ and ‘I’m sorry’ are the two key elements of completion.

–Lisa Marshall  Tweet this quote

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Episode 41: Peter Block On Ambition, Authenticity, And Community [The Amiel Show]

One of my favorites interviews of all time!

In the consulting field Peter Block is a giant. His book Flawless Consulting–now in its third edition–taught us how to show up in client relationships with authenticity, rigor, and an eye for potential pitfalls.

Peter also influenced a generation of managers with his book The Empowered Manager. Today, he brings his passion to building local community around people’s assets.

In this interview, Peter and I walk through the trajectory of his career–his earlier years as an ambitious internal consultant, the decision (unusual at the time) to start an external consultancy, how he learned to build relationships with others despite being a self-described “loner,” and the questions and commitments that have pulled him in and shifted how he works.

For a serious conversation about big ideas and a full life, this was a heck of a lot of fun.  Enjoy–and share widely!

1PBlock color 05

 

Highlights

  • 5:00 Getting into the field by accident & influence of Chris Argyris
  • 12:30 A loner finds connection in Gestalt and T-groups
  • 16:30 Early years of restless ambition and almost getting fired
  • 22:30 The risks of being authentic
  • 25:30 Influence of Werner Erhard, language, and speech acts
  • 31:30 The Philippines—working with citizens and loving it
  • 37:00 Taking two years off to raise kids
  • 42:00 Peter tells me, “You’re amazing. You frighten me.”
  • 47:30 Why focus on gifts rather than deficiencies
  • 50:30 John McKnight’s work on asset-base community development
  • 58:30 Contracting in place-based communities

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Authenticity–putting into words what you see happening–is risky.

–Peter Block   Tweet this quote

As soon as you acknowledge your gifts, you become accountable.

–Peter Block   Tweet this quote

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