The Leadership Pause | Dr. Chris Johnson

The Leadership Pause | Dr. Chris Johnson

The Leadership Pause | Dr. Chris Johnson

Dr. Chris Johnson’s background combines psychology, Aikido (she’s a 3rd degree Black Belt!) and mindfulness training.  The result is a powerful and pragmatic approach for moving wisdom into action.  We talk about Embodied Leadership and the importance of creating a Leadership Pause habit.

Show Notes

“Embodied leadership has an edge over anything conventional, because it allows us to access all of who we are…rationally, cognitively, analytically, our capacity for empathy, and to take effective action based on sound decisions that we tune into that are congruent with our values.”

– Dr. Chris Johnson

Physical awareness leads to authenticity and better decision-making

The world is becoming more volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA). For today’s leaders to stay ahead of the accelerated pace of change, it’s important to inspire trust and confidence in those with whom they work. Embodied Leadership practices help us achieve this.

Leading is often approached in a cognition-first or “top-down” manner: first working to analyze a topic, sprinkling in some emotional intelligence, and then taking action in accordance with that understanding. Conversely, embodied leadership draws from bodily awareness. In other words, we begin with a physical opening, calming and connecting with what we say is important, and then can take a broader perspective with more mental space. Tuning into physical sensations and sensory experiences can center us. This nurtures a connection between body and mind that enables congruence and authenticity between mind and actions.

My conversation with Dr. Chris Johnson today examines what embodied leadership is and how it can enable smarter decision-making, helping both the individual and the organization.

It starts with a pause

[13:16] “It might be a momentary pause, where I step back, take a breath, and in that breath, I can see and observe what’s going on between you and me, and I can feel into myself – like what’s congruent with my own values here? I can actually look at the broader horizon of work.

[13:46] “A pause could be momentary. It could be a short pause to create a deliberate practice of mindfulness. It could be a weekend pause… Those are the things we often think we don’t have time for, and we hit that point of diminishing returns.
“Reminding ourselves and taking that pause to say, ‘What’s the bigger commitment? What’s the bigger vision?’ Align around that instead of getting sucked into the details.”

Clear mind, clear path forward

[22:16] “This is where mindfulness also comes in to help. When there’s a lot of chatter [in the mind], it’s really difficult to be clear-headed, clear-eyed, and clear-hearted about what’s the most important. There’s a quote by Lao Tzu – ‘Can you be patient enough to let the mud settle so the right answer can arise?’…
“If we intentionally create the space, and if we commit to it, as a part of the leadership pause, it can allow all of that mud to settle. So that whatever shows up in this moment, as the next right action is the one we see and can move toward.”

 

Take care of yourself – and see a ripple effect

[10:33] “Organizations and businesses of all sizes reflect their leaders. When your energy is high, and your actions are congruent with your words, your presence produces trust…While you can’t erase the uncertainty your organization and people are facing, you do have the power to respond to their challenges with intention, integrity, and honesty.”
[30:15] “Awareness is key for all leaders who are aspiring to lead in this VUCA world and be really present to the craziness and how to stay present in it – and maybe even enjoy the ride.”

Resources mentioned in this episode:

The Power of Pause in the Mindful Leader magazine:
https://www.mindfulleader.org/blog/44061-the-power-of-a-pause

Episode 21: Owning Your Value | Key Elements for Authenticity and Personal Power:
https://rise-leaders.com/owning-your-value/

A Guide to Owning Your Value
Download Guide

To connect to Dr. Chris Johnson please follow:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/drchrisljohnson/
https://q4-consulting.com/

Dr. Chris on Resilience:  https://q4-consulting.com/resilience/

To subscribe to the Rise Leaders newsletter for more resources: https://mailchi.mp/426e78bc9538/subscribe

To discuss executive coaching, leadership development program design, and workshop facilitation, please visit:

https://rise-leaders.com/contact-info/

I specialize in helping leaders and organizations thrive.  Reach out if there’s a way I can support you.

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The Leadership Pause | Dr. Chris Johnson

Social Impact | From Idea to Enterprise with Suzanne Smith

Social Impact | From Idea to Enterprise with Suzanne Smith

Organizations committed to sustainable change bake it into their business model.  There are a host of labels and designations for those that “do good”: conscious capitalism, social impact, social entrepreneurship, BCorp, etc. In this episode, we explore the differences and how they function. Suzanne Smith, founder & CEO of Social Impact Architects and adjunct professor at Pepperdine University and the University of Texas at Arlington unpacks it for us.

Show Notes

“[As a social entrepreneur] You don’t always do things (directly) connected to your bottom line, you don’t always have to get an immediate benefit out of something, because it’s part of who you are and your ethos – baked into your DNA.”

– Suzanne Smith

The nuances of doing good

We hear a lot of labels today around “doing good” in business: conscious capitalism, social impact, social entrepreneurship and more. But what are the differences and how do they function in the business world?

Today Suzanne Smith – an expert in social impact who works with nonprofits, foundations, socially responsible businesses and individuals – unpacks it all. She founded Social Impact Architects back in 2009 with a goal to reshape the business of social change, and she teaches on these topics as an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University and University of Texas at Arlington.

Looking differently at social change

We discuss how social change exists in a middle space between the business world and government where neither has entirely tackled it head-on. Historically, the business sector hasn’t created enough of a market for social change, but in recent years brands look differently at how they engage. Creating change has become much deeper than charity donations and volunteering. With such a surge, it’s important for brands and individuals to rely on research-backed methods and best practices without reinventing the wheel. But it’s also important to not lose sight of what you can uniquely bring to the table.

Social entrepreneurship, charity, conscious capitalism

[8:40] “So the traditional notion of charity is the whole idea of ‘I’ll give a man a fish,’ if we want to use that analogy. Social entrepreneurship changes that narrative and says, ‘You know what, let’s teach a man to fish. Let’s figure out how to do that to scale.’

“We leverage the toolkit that businesses established to create market-based solutions.”

[12:22] “Social innovation is about the idea, social entrepreneurship is about the mindset, and social enterprise is about the business model.”

[21:55] “That’s where I would put the conscious capitalists, those are the people who are hardwired around the idea of, we want to, we want to do a better job of creating social change. But typically, they’re looking at it more from a business practice perspective, it’s part of their ethos.”

The difficulty of effecting social change on a grand scale

[10:58] The danger of starting from scratch: “Leapfrog innovation, which is yes, we want to create change, but we want to give ourselves the best chance at creating impact. So we want to build it on a solid foundation of best practice research, problem, ideation, etc. So that way, we get as much impact as we possibly can from that innovation.”

People are drawn to social change

[30:15] “I consistently look at what I purchase, and I vote with my dollar…if you look at some of the research that’s been done, those companies who perform better time after time, are the ones that are socially conscious. People running those organizations are making more thoughtful decisions, they’re making less decisions that are in the short run, the better decision versus the long run being the better decision.

“Companies have to start thinking about these issues. It’s not just about them creating the product or service anymore… Do their employees have appropriate daycare? Are they moving their employees up in a career pathway?”

Her recommendation to students

[37:40] “Find that thing that they’re uniquely passionate about, marry that with the thing that they are uniquely God-given from a talent point of view,”

Resources mentioned in this episode:

https://socialimpactarchitects.com/

https://www.linkedin.com/company/social-impact-architects/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/suzannesmithtx/

https://twitter.com/socialtrendspot

https://www.instagram.com/socialtrendspot/

https://www.facebook.com/SocialImpactArchitects

Sign up for Social TrendSpotter blog:

https://socialimpactarchitects.com/newsletter-signup/

Sign up for Rise Leaders newsletter:

https://mailchi.mp/426e78bc9538/subscribe

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The Leadership Pause | Dr. Chris Johnson

High Fidelity Conversations: Nine Elements for Launching Culture Change

High Fidelity Conversations:  Nine Elements for Launching Culture Change

These types of conversations are High Fidelity because they provide strength and resonance for the people who engage in them.  They’re designed to support the Core Ideology of the organization and especially support the people experiencing the change.  LeeAnn describes nine elements important for launching these conversations.

Show Notes

 

“Waiting until you have created the perfect, most elegant solution keeps you out of today’s game. Launch it!” 

 

High Fidelity Conversations Support Culture Change

 

Organizations are constantly changing and responding to both external and internal events.

Mergers and acquisitions, disruptive technology, and various economic pressures, like those brought on by the Covid pandemic are prime examples. This year, in addition to facing a pandemic, the US had to deal with hard truths on racial injustice, and the need to address the topic in the workplace was no longer avoidable.

On a previous Podcast episode, How to Talk About Race at Work, Drew Clancy and Lori Bishop shared how they tackled the topic head-on at PCI.  They explained why they didn’t wait for the perfect long-term solution to address concerns about race and how they tied the conversations to their values and focus on increasing trust throughout the organization.

Whether your goal is to step fully into conversations about race, or to committing to the successful adaptation of a critical change to your culture, it’s important to provide strength, alignment, and resonance, – or fidelity – for the people who engage in them.

Do you know how to provide the proper framework for these delicate conversations?

This entire episode has been created to guide leaders on how to begin culture change in their organization by following these nine actionable concepts for designing high fidelity conversations.

A Few Elements from the Guide Described in the Episode

 

05:52 – “Create a vision that everyone can see themselves in. And what that means is, create a compelling future that matters for people. People need to see how the change is going to benefit them and the organization long term.”

07:26 – “And with conversations, that means listening and learning and being open to other points of view.”

10:36 – “Waiting will keep you out of the game today. And you want to balance this immediate action with the longer-term creation of policies and structures that provide resistance-free solutions.”

11:43 – “Naming the effort gives people language for how to refer to the change”.

For more resources highlighted in this audio episode please follow the links below:

Episode 15: How to Talk About Race at Work

A Guide to High Fidelity Conversations

 

I specialize in helping leaders and organizations thrive.  Reach out if there’s a way I can support you.

 

 

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The Leadership Pause | Dr. Chris Johnson

How to Talk About Race at Work

How to Talk About Race at Work

Publishing Concepts (PCI) didn’t wait for the perfect long-term solution to address concerns about race.  Drew Clancy, President, and Lori Bishop, CPO, saw people hurting and they responded. They thoughtfully organized Meaningful Conversations as a way to talk about race.  This is their first step for improving long term trust and for healing throughout the entire workplace.

Episode 15   | August 11, 2020

Show Notes

 

“What we’re creating here is, first and foremost, just living our values. Just being who we say we are and digging deeper as it relates to the structural racism that we have all been forced to live in here in the United States...” 

Lori Bishop, CPO, Publishing Concepts – PCI

“I think this calls for leadership and leaning into it… I think it’s a tremendous opportunity to ultimately strengthen the culture of the organization and have better conversations, better relationships, a stronger organization. ”  

Drew Clancy, President, Publishing Concepts – PCI

 

Are You Having Meaningful Conversations About Race?

Organizations are all over the map in terms of how they’re addressing the issue of racial and social justice within their own companies. I can empathize with the feelings of uncertainty and fear of doing or saying the wrong thing.

Where do you even start?

Conversations in this domain can be delicate and deserve to be handled with care.  It takes courage, commitment, and humility to open oneself to hear the experiences of those who have been marginalized. It can be uncomfortable.

It can also be transformational – on all levels.

Following are a few quotes and several links.  I will be following up with more podcasts and tools to help you along your journey.  Stay tuned.

I specialize in helping leaders and organizations thrive.  Reach out if there’s a way I can support you.

 

Start By Listening to Experiences

[06:28] Drew:  …what I said to them that afternoon was, Im really just here to listen and I’m interested in your perspective. Many of these guys, weve worked together for many years but wed never had a conversation about race or these types of issues, and it was, I will say, for me, very eye-opening and just the level of frustration, the level of discouragement, the hopelessness in certain cases around what was going on.

Each of the men told some version of a story of growing up and a parent or maybe a grandparent saying, “When you leave this house, you need to be very careful what you say, how you act, especially around law enforcement.” After that conversation, it really struck me that the advice they were getting was you essentially have to be invisible. Again, good advice, but what a message to hear.

I’m just fed up, and we’ve reached a moment in time when action is required here. As businesses, as a for-profit business, perhaps businesses can be on the – We can be part of the solution.

Vulnerability + Courage

[10:21] Lori: I was afraid.  I have learned that Im going to have to take off some masks. …. There was a level of safety and caution that I wasn’t sure I can let go of and really embrace from a trust perspective. I had to tell myself, as a black person, all the things that I’ve heard from growing up and how my safety depended on me never trusting in white people. I had to admit that to myself before I could help Drew on this journey.

Structure Your Conversations About Race

[19:04] Lori: … the original conversations had breakout sessions … and people are very unvarnished and open …  people are embracing it. Theyre asking questions. They’re doing their homework. Theyre sharing stories. Theyre coming into levels of self-awareness that they never thought that they would have as people, and theyre doing it at work. To be able to experience this with people has been incredibly fulfilling.

… and people are answering with real-life experiences. We’ve made that a rule because we don’t want to start debating, as Drew says, politics and a bunch of whataboutisms and frankly just ways to stay stuck on either side of this issue. … We decided that trust was the only way to get there…

 

More Links from this Episode:

Transcript

Drew Clancy

Lori Bishop

Eric Mosley

PCI

White Fragility

Robin DiAngelo

Servant Leadership

Bob Kegan

Immunity to Change

An Everyone Culture

Additional Guides and Articles

Storycorps Guide to Talking About George Floyd’s Murder and Black Lives Matter Demonstrations

Forbes: Yes, You Must Talk About Race At Work

Wharton: How to Begin Talking About Race at Work

Wharton: Leading Diversity: Why Listening and Learning Come Before Strategy

 

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