Episode 102: Two Feet, Five Breaths (3-Minute Thursday)

more ease in your day

Welcome to 3-minute Thursday. This week I introduce a way to bring more ease into your day.

The practice is called Two Feet, Five Breaths. It takes one minute and requires no equipment. All you need is a place to sit and some form of breathing apparatus. (I recommend the lungs.)

The other great thing about this practice? You prove once and for all that what happens in Vagus does not stay in Vagus.

That’s Vagus, the nerve, which is the best instrument for shifting your body from “fight, flight or freeze” mode to “rest and digest.”

So you can find the ease and inner calm that brings you into the current moment.

All in 3-minutes. So you can stop listening—and start practicing.

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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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Episode 99: Resilience And Racialized Body Trauma With Diane Woods

First, let’s get one thing out of the way. Understanding trauma and how it functions is scientifically sound, empirically useful, and one of the most effective ways to develop to your full potential.

The great challenge of adulthood is embracing complexity. We do this by taking on multiple perspectives in our minds and building this capacity into our hearts and bodies.

Nowhere is this challenge more evident to me in the United States than in the area of cultural and racial conflict. Even those of us who are doing our best to create a better future have a lot of growing up to do.

You know what’s great about growing up? When we do it, the benefits accrue in all areas of life.

That’s why I think that reframing how we approach race and culture isn’t only about black and white. It also yields benefits in whatever context we choose to lead.

Sure, you could use what you learn about leadership from organizational life to make a contribution to our societal struggle with race, but this also works in reverse. The cauldron of racial relations can foster skills and qualities you need to show up at your best in organizations—and in your family and community.

I’ve had several guides in this journey. One is leadership coach and retired executive, Diane Woods. Last year, we discussed why it’s important to talk about racist ideas rather than racist people and how combatting racism is in whites’ self-interest. My mind is still stretching from that conversation.

This week, Diane asks us all to try on a very different, albeit compatible, lens for understanding our experiences in this area. Drawing upon Resmaa Menakem’s book My Grandmother’s Hands:Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies, Diane invites us to place the body—its trauma and its resilience—at the center of this story.

What if we set aside the patterned roles of victim, persecutor and rescuer in favor of a more complex body-centered understanding? What if, instead of either rationalizing racist behavior or demonizing each other, we did the following:

  • Set clear boundaries around racist words and behaviors
  • Understood racism as multigenerational trauma—black body trauma, white body trauma, and police officer body trauma?

As she did before, Diane speaks from her own experience, informed by her extensive reading, and in a way that invites us all to take a second look at our own lives and family’s experiences.

Highlights

  • 7:50 We’re in love with our minds & stop at the chin or neck
  • 15:00 Black and white bodies carry unresolved trauma between generations
  • 22:00 When people we love tell their stories, our anxiety and pain has meaning
  • 25:30 Dirty pain versus clean pain
  • 30:00 Indigestion leads to self-soothing—healthy or harmful
  • 32:20 “When the ouch in my body stayed three months”
  • 34:00 When I know my value, my capacity to bounce back is deeper
  • 39:30 We don’t have to condone racist behaviors to have a compassionate stance

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Episode 98: Why Enneagram Types Matter With Roxanne Howe-Murphy

Roxanne Howe-Murphy

The first time Roxanne Howe-Murphy and I planned to discuss the Enneagram, we were interrupted by an election. So we explored how to heal from Trump Shock (for those needing such healing).

Life gives second chances.

This week Roxanne and I took one such opportunity and ran with it.

The Enneagram is a system for personal and professional development I’ve been using for twenty years. It informs my coaching and, increasingly, my work with leadership teams.

There are nine Enneagram styles or types. Each provides a different answer to the question: What makes me tick?

Walking through all nine types is a big task. Roxanne and I chose instead to explore what is both the most practical and existential question about the Enneagram: why does it matter? What difference does it make when growing yourself to understand your Enneagram type? What difference does it make when coaching or managing someone else to understand theirs? And for those involved in parenting or mentoring kids, how can you shoot yourself in the foot by treating all kids the same, rather than personalizing to what makes each child tick?

Roxanne is a wise and warm presence. I invite you to grab a cup of tea and listen in.

Highlights

  • 4:30 That time Roxanne mis-typed herself
  • 14:00 Enneagram versus Myers-Briggs
  • 22:00 Learning your type makes your goals more true for you
  • 28:00 You share this way of being with 800 million other people
  • 33:00 A leader who didn’t trust herself
  • 44:00 What if you coached a Type Six as if they were you, a Type Nine?
  • 49:30 “I don’t recognize this child. He is so unlike me!”
  • 1:02:00 Our degree of presence matters

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Episode 97: Spiral Dynamics With Jon Freeman

Spiral Dynamics

Waiting four years to discuss Spiral Dynamics on my podcast is like waiting that long on a show about desserts before bringing up chocolate.

Yes, Cindy Wigglesworth used Spiral Dynamics to help us make sense of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, but this week is our first in-depth exploration.

And I’m excited to share it.

Spiral Dynamics is my go-to framework for understanding politics, global events, cultural evolution, and the many big challenges we face as a people and planet. It also explains what happens inside of large organizations, a place where I do most of my coaching and consulting. Whether the topic is global climate change, right wing nationalism, competing economic theories, or race and culture, Spiral Dynamics gives me a way to understand the core worldviews that animate everyday conversations.

That’s why Spiral Dynamics is called the “master code” or code of all codes.

To illuminate this framework, I spoke with Jon Freeman, who, after a long business career, discovered Spiral Dynamics and became one of its leading teachers.

Highlights

  • 9:30 Small bands roaming the savannah to warlord gangs to rule-bound towns—and beyond
  • 14:30 The worldviews dominant within big companies and organizations
  • 25:30 Why you want all worldviews present in organizations
  • 31:00 Reinterpreting the 2008 financial crisis through the Spiral
  • 39:00 The dangers of ignoring the virtues of Blue rules
  • 50:00 Why the U.S. underestimated China
  • 56:30 Humanity prepares for a momentous leap—the shift to second tier
  • 1:03:00 Reinventing Blue order in big corporations
  • 1:08:00 The rise of mafia enterprises and right wing nationalism
  • 1:15:00 Brexit, immigration, and complexity
  • 1:19:00 Climate change, clean tech, and Spiral Wizards in a time of catastrophe

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Overview of Spiral Dynamics

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