My Journey With Sustainable Business (Episode 107)

This week, we turn the tables.

Chris Chittenden, senior ontological coach and past podcast guest, interviews me about my journey with sustainable business.

I found the experience liberating.

We discuss why I started a series on climate change, clean technology and sustainable business, the people and ideas who have influenced me, how I work with regret, and how I express these commitments in the life I was given.

I hope that this taste of my journey gives you insight and courage on your own journey.

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Climate Change—Walking On A Knife’s Edge With Theo Horesh (Episode 106)

climate change

Thinking about climate change can feel like walking on a knife’s edge.

This week, Theo Horesh brings this perspective and many other fresh insights to my series on sustainable business, climate change, and clean technology.

Theo and I discuss what it is about human brains and human evolution that makes climate change such an elusive topic, how fascism relates to climate change (hey, why stop at one foreboding topic?), why apocalyptic thinking exists and how it looks different on the political left and right, the gifts and limitations of the Go Local movement, and practical tips for expanding our hearts and minds. In the middle of all this, I jump in to explain why today’s progressive is yesterday’s Eisenhower Republican.

Theo is great at explaining complex topics without either squashing their complexity or confusing the listener. And I always end conversations with him feeling wiser and more engaged than when we started.

Highlights

  • 6:00 How do fascist leaders affect climate change?
  • 12:00 How Amiel’s computer programming ineptitude prevented nuclear war
  • 17:00 Different ways to interpret big storms
  • 23:00 How facing climate change became the structure of Theo’s life
  • 27:30 It’s easy to be vague and apocalyptic
  • 35:00 Varieties of conservative apocalyptic thinking
  • 39:00 True But Partial Challenge—the Go Local movement
  • 41:30 You have to get your inspiration from somewhere
  • 50:00 Amiel redefines the political center
  • 57:30 Reading The Economist gives Theo the “wows”

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Climate Change & No-Matter-What Commitment With Terry Patten (Episode 105)

Climate Change

What if we reframed climate change as an invitation to live a full and meaningful life? For business leaders, what if it provided the catalyzing purpose that so many of us seek? For my colleagues in the field of leadership development, why not us, and why not now?

The first question is the theme of Terry Patten’s extraordinary book, A New Republic of the Heart: An Ethos for Revolutionaries.

This week, Terry joins me to discuss the book and its relevance for leaders, coaches, and all of us. It is the third episode in my new series on climate change, sustainable business, and clean technology.

Find a quiet environment. Pull up a seat. Grab a cup of tea. Have a listen.

And if you like it, please share with people who would enjoy it, too.

Highlights

  • 7:00 When we point at a problem, three of our fingers are pointing back at ourselves
  • 22:00 We have more to metabolize than we ever have before
  • 28:30 How insane it is to become unhappy
  • 35:30 Noticing that I’ve always been doing the best I can
  • 40:00 The “consensus trance”
  • 46:00 Terry takes the True But Partial Challenge
  • 56:00 This is all improv
  • 1:02:00 No-matter-what commitment

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Sustainable Business Goes Mainstream With Kevin Wilhelm (Episode 104)

Sustainable Business

This week I launch a new series about climate change, sustainable business, and clean technology. My goal is to explore these big, complex topics from multiple perspectives, with an open heart, and for the purpose of generating positive action. Multiple perspective-taking matters because each way we frame these topics is both useful and limiting—in the terminology of integral thinking, both “true” and “partial.” An open heart matters because what’s at stake is momentous, and without it, all that’s left is a big mushy bowl of anxiety. And positive action—well, heck, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?

To launch this series (my interview with Ron Pernick of Clean Edge about clean tech was a prequel), I reached out to Kevin Wilhelm. Kevin is the founding leader of Sustainable Business Consulting, author of several books including Return on Sustainability, and a convincing thought leader.

In this conversation, we discuss how Kevin cut his teeth in a field that didn’t yet exist, the people who told him “that won’t happen,” how his company’s work boosts client employee engagement, his role as organizational translator, the forefathers and foremothers of the field, and how he makes sense of recent alarming reports about climate change.

One more thing. In the past two years, I’ve had the opportunity to partner with more organizations in clean tech, energy efficiency and climate change than in the previous decade before that. Growing leaders and teams in these organizations is a total joy. As I tell Kevin, if I spent 98% of my time doing this, that wouldn’t be too much. People like Kevin give me inspiration to continue reaching out and making new offers.

If you like this conversation, please share with friends.

Highlights

  • 7:00 Creating a new market niche
  • 20:00 From “do the right thing” to “investors are demanding this”
  • 25:00 Translating and meeting people where they are at
  • 29:00 Sustainability increases employee engagement, attraction, and retention
  • 33:00 Stock analysts have finally caught on
  • 41:00 What’s missing in the public conversation about climate change
  • 45:00 Amiel’s riff on time horizons, climate change, and adult development
  • 49:00 Why spend $300K watering a lawn in a forest fire region?

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Learning While Sprinting With Teresa Woodland (Episode 101)

Teri-Woodland-NVW

Teresa Woodland spent three decades working and living in China during its extraordinary economic and cultural transformation. Now back in the United States, she joins me to discuss what the West can learn from China. We discuss the Chinese ability to learn while sprinting, the virtues of systems thinking and embrace of paradox, how to have a light touch with “back-of-mind” stakeholders, conversations for exploring disappointments, why it’s unwise to “wait until things so down”, and how she wins the right to be on a journey with companies.

Highlights

  • 8:30 Why the Chinese chew on western models of adult development, but don’t swallow them whole
  • 18:00 The talent story in China beneath the economic and policy headlines
  • 26:00 Western action learning works—but is there an even more pragmatic way to learn?
  • 31:00 Lessons from adopting a child and working with an orphanage
  • 37:00 Creating light touches sooner with “back-of-mind” stakeholders
  • 46:00 A Chinese company that looks ahead even while it’s sprinting
  • 52:00 Teresa always starts with the business issues and intersperses the learning in between
  • 57:00 Getting grounded by cuddling with your kids

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You can download a complete, word-for-word transcript of this episode here.

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Humble Leadership With Ed Schein & Peter Schein (Episode 100)

Humble Leadership

Humble Leadership. Yes, those two words belong together.

This week on the podcast, Ed and Peter Schein join me to discuss their book Humble Leadership. We talk about leadership as a verb, the relationships behind the Singapore economic miracle, innovation through psychological safety, script-based modes of adult relating, the costs of maintaining professional distance, giving up the absurd obsession with eye contact, antibodies that protect the core business, and how Ed’s curiosity landed his first big contract with Digital Equipment Corporation.

Ed Schein is Emeritus Professor at MIT where he taught in the School of Management for fifty years. Peter Schein has had a 30 year career in Silicon Valley in corporate development and business development. They are a father-son team with a powerful message for you and me.

Please share with others.

Highlights

  • 4:30 It’s about the quality of the team, not you
  • 17:00 Getting curious about the person behind the role
  • 27:00 Opening the door to more than transactional relationships
  • 36:00 Using check-ins and check-outs to improve group meetings
  • 50:00 Bringing the water cooler conversation into the meeting itself
  • 57:00 When relationships are asymmetrical
  • 1:03:00 When company executives get threatened by genuine relating

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