Welcome to this week's edition of Freedom Fridays. I'm speaking to a new contact of mine who we contacted one of the benefits of the internet on the other side of the world. Her name is Sharon Seivert, and she's based in Boston. She is an author. She is a business consultant and helps startups, particularly the C-suite and startups become who they want to be whilst building and transforming their business. So Sharon, good afternoon, good morning to wherever you are. I think you're in Boston.
In Boston, on the North Shore of Boston. Yes, where the sun is shining.Yeah.
Spring for you?
It was Spring is finally sprung here in Boston after after a long, long, but not hard winter.
Okay, cool. So Sharon, I start with a question. And today I'm thinking, given your background, given some of the books you've written and some of the positions you have on those things. In the work that you do around the world, with organisations large and small, what are what are some of the things that you think leaders are seeking freedom from?
Yes. This is a very pivotal question right now. Especially as we come out of COVID. I think that what I would like to see is that we don't return to normal. I don't want us to try to put the toothpaste back in the tube. I think that this is the moment where we could really change things. And so leaders that I've met are kind of scratching their heads about what do we do now? What do we do next? How do we do things differently? Can I get it back to be the way it was when everyone was doing what I told them to do and things like that? I'm going I'm not so sure it's going to work that way anymore. And the thing that I've read recently, is that we could possibly be historically if we look at where we could possibly be right now, it could be similar to what happened when the Renaissance happened. When we moved from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. And that was in like in Florence, that was from 1348 to 1350. and other countries, it was probably mostly at later times, like England, everything. But what happened was that we had the Middle Ages, and then we had the plague, we had the Black Death of the Bionic Plague. And then, does it sound familiar? And then we moved on to a renaissance where things were, the old structures were exploded in the end, we had to do things differently. And so this is the question. I think that a lot of leaders are inching towards, that they I think people feel that there is something afoot. And to which I want to say yes, yes, yes.
This is the moment where we can be called to greatness. And one of the things that I've noticed about your podcast and I wanted to reflect back to you is, you mentioned, I think was when you were with Richard Oakes, you mentioned that, that you had the impression that sometimes people wanted to be free from all this busyness and all this noise. But they were slowed down on doing that, because that busyness gave them their definition of value and how important they were. And I thought that was spot on. I think that that is what a lot of people are struggling with. I want to do things differently. But if I'm not busy, busy, busy, busy, are they going to pay me as much that sort of thing where as my sense is that this is the moment where we can go to more quiet, more stillness, reduce the noise, change, how we work, change the quality of how we use time, many cultures do time very differently from we Western culture. So I would like to see how we would actually think completely differently about how we are creative, how we are innovative how we let people do that. So I think that their their people want the freedom to become who they really are to become great. And and I think this there, there's an opening that is starting to happen where we might do that, it seems to me, the people who you come on your show and you and the people who are listening to this now later want freedom not just for themselves, but for others. That's the sense I get. So those people are the what is it the head of the spear, the people who may be taking us into this new era where where we ask these questions, and we find different answers than we had in the past. If that makes sense? And then of course, we have the whole first world third world kind of problems about what, what freedom is for people and who has freedom? I mean, you know, I'm incredibly blessed. I'm one of the most fortunate people on the planet, to live where I live and to have the freedoms that I do as a woman, you know, this is this a lot of parts of the world where that would not I would never have been able to bring my greatness to the table. So that's, that's one way of looking at this question about freedom and what leaders are looking to. I think, they need to start asking different questions, I guess, about what freedom is.
Sharon, thank you, you've, you've prompted me, I'm going to say it again, this is the first time we've spoken. Because over the years, it sometimes, you know, tickles my cheek, or it kind of smacks me around a little bit. When I reference the word freedom. And for me, it means something very different to probably many, many people in the world. And and I've just been reminded, again, of the privilege and the benefits I have, when I'm talking about freedom, your you might, and I might talk about leaders freedom from a previous identity to a new identity. That freedom from the chains of, you know, the corporate organisation to the freedom of running your own business, when you have just very elegantly reminded me, for a large percentage of people in the world freedom could simply be physical freedom. It could be Freedom from hunger, it could be freedom from oppression, it could be freedom from all sorts of other far more basic and needy things than perhaps the conversation that you and I have. So thank you for raising that. And that's probably important for me, as I, we have this conversation, we have to remember that the very different definitions and freedoms very loaded word.
Right, and, and when each one of the people who listens to you or who you coach or consult with when those leaders take steps to have more freedom, they are bringing the world with them. In the in the US or in you know, Native Americans, the Iroquois tribes specifically believe that when you heal yourself, you heal seven generations backwards and forwards, backwards and forwards because their idea of time was very different from ours. And to me, this is my mantra, this is when my clients heal themselves. They are healing their families, their world, their, you know, the environment, they are healing everything. So it is really important, even though we are, you know, in this highly privileged situation in our lives that we grab it with both hands, because when we move, we can move the rest of the world forward. Yeah. So it's not a small question. It's not insignificant, it's not irrelevant, but they do that. It's like we're helping everybody.
I'm going dive straight in there, Sharon, because, one it's a fascinating thread for us to pick up on. I'm really interested in this because, you know, most people who know me know I'm, I'm a collector of books, I'm a reader of books,
I can see that behind you, I can see all those books.
The work I think I've done to, you know, in some way contribute to that and heal myself is pretty significant over the years. And yet, there's just so much for me to work on. Compared to others who perhaps might not do any, and live a far more engaging, fruitful, contributing life. Anyway, separate separate, separate public conversation. I'm really interested in given that example of the tribe who if you heal yourself, you heal set up and seven generations forward and back. What do you think the leader post COVID, who's running a business trying to solve a societal or generational community problem, what do you think it is they're trying to heal from?
I think we have are coming away from old systems that are profoundly outdated that we're that we're not really working particularly well before COVID. Okay, so there's a I have had it explained to me that one of the reasons after World War Two that Germany and Japan rose so quickly, was that their infrastructure was destroyed. So they had to build from scratch. And, and, you know, I'm not encouraging us to build from scratch but I think we can take some of that attitude of let's look at everything from the beginning. So I would encourage leaders to look at everything from the beginning. The other thing is the leaders have to take their responsibility, the freedom and responsibility to heal themselves and their families. Because, then they show up the next day at work, full people, and when they're full, and, and, and quiet and intuitive people, they can work miracles in their organisation. It's sort of like, you know, when you when you meet people, and they're comfortable to be around, or you meet people, and it's like, Ah, I don't want to spend any time with this guy. That's what they bring to the table, they we really want leaders to bring their full selves to the table. And that has always been considered, you know, touchy, feely, wishy washy kind of stuff. And it's sort of like, you know, we want the guys to just man up and run the damn company we're going, it's not that simple. So the image that I use in the bounce leadership thing that we'll talk about in this important at this particular moment, is, it's the centre in the four direction. So if we look at that image of the centre in the four directions, we see these two vectors, the up and down and the sideways. Okay, so it's like this cross kind of thing right in the centre. So this is very interesting, because this symbol represents male and female balance in every human being, isn't that cool? So we need at that soul point at that centre point of our deep humanity. And then the, the, the, the, the mission and the fire and the getting things done, and the money in the bank is, is this up down vector. And it is, it's typically the way male management, quote, male management works. And the more female management is more planning, and listening to people in the emotional health. But we need it, we need, we need our leaders now to have that balance in order to rebalance the world. So all of that stuff that was contemptuously referred to as female needs to be integrated. And then everybody's healthier. I mean, you know, everybody's healthier if we do that. So, you know, we still need to get the money, and have the things taken care of and the goals. But we need a balance between, yeah, we don't, we can't chew people up anymore. We can't discard them. We can't, you know, we just can't do that kind of damage to human beings to their families, as we've done in the past.
I'm going to pick up and ask you a question that has been asked of me, and I'm interested in how you answer it. When you say that, you know, businesses will be better leaders with better families, communities would be better if people brought their full selves to bear. What does that actually mean? So if I'm a sceptic, I might be thinking, What do you mean my full self? I'm already thought, do you mean physically? Do you mean emotionally? Do you mean mentally? What What are you talking about Sharon, when you say, bring your full self? So I'm only bringing 90%? What does that actually be practical. Help me understand what that actually means. And those questions have been levelled at me. So I'm really interested in how do you, how would you answer that to the sceptic that what do you mean your full self? What does that actually mean?
You're very good. So when I talk about this, the superpower of balance and the superpower of balanced leadership, I am talking about six distinct powers that make up your full self. So the first is your core. So again, we look at that image at the centre in the four directions. It's just, this is an archetype that people have, and it's real easy to teach, it's really easy for people to go, I get that, that I understand. I've seen a compass before I've seen a baseball diamond, I've seen a Native American Medicine Wheel, I've seen it all right. So we have the centre, and that's where we start, what is the the core of the person their, their, their essence, their presence, their their values. All of those things are articulated in the core. The next on the second power is vision or inspiration. So we go to the east where the sun rises. And that inspiration is needs to be tied to the core. So you can't say, ah, I'd like to do that. Or I'd like to have it's got to be tied to the core of you as a human being or the core of your organisation. Why is the core? Why are we doing this? Why are we doing this job? Why? When you answer that, it's one of the first things I do with people, we really delve into why am I doing this work? And what's the point? What's the purpose here? Once you have that and you tie your vision to it, we're in good shape. And then we move on from there to to articulate, okay, so the first thing we're going to do to get to that mountaintop get to that vision we want to go to this mission that's the fire on that's like okay, and then but the things are aligned all if the powers are aligned and we have so much more oomph, we are really operating differently than if we do this and that separated from that. But this alignment is the glue that holds everything together. And then after we have this mission really clear, and the fire in us, we're really motivated, we're ready to go out of my way I have things to do, then we tie it, align it with the people with whom we're working. So that then if we agree on the mission, and we are aligned on where we're going, then that is, you know, it's it's not so herky jerky. We're not in conflict, we have agreed on where we're going and why and who's doing what. So that is aligned. And then we have the structure, which is the you know, of the body, the earth element, this, this is getting the results, getting the money in the door, all those things. Taking care of your physical health as an individual. You know, caring for this, caring for your finances, all of that is earth bound stuff. That is an outcome of why, where we want to go, who we want to travel with. This is like this, now we have the feet on the ground to do the work. When those elements are aligned, when those powers are aligned, then we get synergy. And that's the magic. Synergy then is when we have liftoff, this is when we're moving into greatness. And, and it is always wonderful to see, you know, clients or organisations get to that point, it's like, Zeee! All this stuff is happening. We are in flow, it's smooth, you're not making all this effort, all this pushing effort that has you we have had to use in the past to get anything done. So that's the those are the powers when I talk about fullness, this is your innate, you know, powers. You have these, we just need to activate them. We need to tie them together. And then you are gold.
So just remind me, Sharon, core vision mission, people?
The interactions, yeah, interactions, okay.
Structure, and then synergy.
Yeah. Yeah. So synergy is the context, the you know, that holds everything together. So those powers when I talk about fullness, that's what I'm talking about, is that you really grab these was both your hands. This is yours.
Yeah, I get that. And so in your experience, which is the one or the can a couple of usual suspects that aren't present, when someone isn't bringing their full selves to bare.
Well, we have we have assessments, my organisation has assessments to help answer those questions in terms of you have them all you have preferences, so you some may do some to a fairly well, and ignore others. It's more likely that it's like tires on a car, that some are flat, and some are extra full. And that's kind of how most people operate. So we want it to be more integrated and better balanced for a smoother ride for everybody. So everyone that gets in, because I get in has has a different deficits that I would say, you know, I mean, so so some people really, you know, have a lot of my engineers my IT people come in, it may be a little deficient in terms of the the the emotional stuff going on. That's BS, I don't want to deal with that at all right? And, and people who have been really, really, really successful financially. So I deal in Boston with all these financial services people are, they don't have time for that, that emotional stuff. And of course, meanwhile, their health is deteriorating, because these are all connected. So if you ignore one, it can show up as symptoms or problems and other areas. My Dutch colleague, Alka van Keulen, talks about ease and dis-ease in each of the elements and that he helps his people understand that that way. So this element, if you bring it up, if you use it a little bit more, you're going to have more ease overall. And if we do it, you know, too little, then it could be a disease a lack. So I think that that helps. He finds that people respond really well to that description of ease and dis-ease.
Yeah. I like that. Referencing back to the healing comment, does that mean that the deficit has been caused by some sort of trauma that I need to heal from?
Sometimes. Yeah, sometimes it's surprising how many people have reached heights in business and academia when they were raised by wolves, and they still haven't gotten over that stuff.
I'm assuming you mean metaphorically?
Yeah, nah, sort of, yeah. So for people I you know, I I have, it's amazing to me how people manage to go on with their lives with some of the things they've suffered. And, you know, I've dealt with people from all different parts of the world, but it is extraordinary to me to see the testament to, to what, how how people go on. Just saying, I mean, it's always humbling to me to see what this person has brought to the table and you go, whoa. You know, what did I, what was I complaining about? This person has shown up, they've brought themselves to where they are. And they often land with me when they're ready for a next level of healing, of self-healing. You know, so I give them the tools for that. But to circle back, you go ahead. Yeah, go ahead.
Well, you made me think about, I'm going be really judgmental on the rest of the world here. In comparison to myself, which is obviously a huge, ridiculous thing to say. But my experience in the clients I work with, and this is a little bit personal to, maybe it's because I have deeper levels of healing required. I'm not sure. But I do, I guess like you some pretty significant work on myself pretty constantly. Does that mean, I need more healing, because some people appear to do none. I'm sure that's not true. They appear to be very little, and ease their way through life anyway. Yeah. Without currently seeming to do the healing, do the work, because it's not required. Have you found that?
Yes, yes, there. And those are not the people who come to me for help. Right? Because they don't need any help right there. They're just fine. Leave me alone. So I what I would say is there is often an unconsciousness, or an emptiness. And when people who listen to what you're talking about, do so it's because they themselves are called to do something for themselves to move on to do more work, because they want to evolve. So the dividing line might be, I'm just fine where I am right now, leave me alone, go away to I would like to evolve, I would like to move on, I have heights I've not yet reached, can you help me do that? So I so you know, I'm like an ongoing project myself about the things that I want to learn, I want to improve, I want to do more, because I'm so convinced that we have this opening now. And I want to do everything I can to facilitate that and help the people who I work with, get there. So the more I know, the more I can help them. So for me it is as what you're saying. It's not that we're bad people so we had to do a lot of work. It's not penance. I come from a Catholic background, it's not penance. So we're not making true confessions here. It's that there is this call this yearning to grow.
And it's interesting you say that, because I would imagine, you know, if you and I were having a conversation with any of our clients, and bear in mind, this is I'm immediately reminded this is the freedom from some of this in a corporate business. Rather than the first conversation we had around perhaps it's just freedom from oppression, freedom from freedom from war, freedom from... Of course isn't obviously far more significant or as significant as things going on. But I'm interested if you ask, I think most leaders that certainly I know. Do you like to learn? The answer would be yes. Are you maxed out on your potential? The answer would be no. Are you trying to get better every day? The answer would probably be yes. And yet still, there are massive blind spots. Yes. Massive shadows that they're not aware of. So you, how do you make that transition from, I guess the intellectualisation of, Yes, I want to get better and heal and grow. Of course I do. Right. Every human probably would. I think we're born with a self fulfilling tendency. Yeah, yeah, totally. And yet, it gets squashed or hidden or, you know, we lose it for a little bit. How do you make that transition from, you know, rationally go, yes, I want to grow and learn and be my full self. How, how do I do that, Sharon?
Well, sometimes people come in and they have that agitation, that they've hit some kind of limit, and that they just can't get their hands around how to get past that. And that's one group of people. Some people come when they're an absolute crushing pain. And that's very good moment, moment to move forward because all the strategies that they had in the past, not working so well right now. And sometimes people come because of a personal disruption. You know, not a business disruption, but personal disruption. You know, they, they really, they're at the top of their organisation and their spouse just left them and sort of like, you know, or, or, you know, their, their children are estranged, or whatever it is. So sometimes you have people come in from that. So, so I don't know if that answered your question. Those are the things that I see in terms of what moves people who are very self satisfied a few months ago, to wanting to do something different.
Yeah. Yying into what you said, sharing my experiences. Usually, it's some sort of crisis.
Yeah, yeah, some sort of pain.
Emotionally relationship, kids, spouse, business, health. It's almost like, you know, nothing better for change than a good crisis. Than I wonder if, you know, as humans and with the human condition, we just destined for that, anyway. I don't know, if you have not met many strong people that have had an easy past.
Right. Yeah, I think that it's, I once heard, people describe that we live on a planet of atonement, and, you know, and reparation. And we hopefully, as I mentioned, are moving to one of regeneration. One where we are actually moving up as a species, I do think that that is part of what we're doing. And that the work you and I and your listeners are doing is, is facilitating, helping with that process, wherever we're called to do it. So I do see, you know, people who, who are, who are very self satisfied, are not going to want to work with us, until they hit that wall, and then we just have to be very, very compassionate, instead of saying, I told you so, it's like, you might think it but you can't, you can't go there. You know, and sometimes, I've also seen people who are been so like, oppressed for so long, that they can not even see their way out of it. And that's the one that that bothers me the most, they can't even feel the way to lift themselves out. Often it's a friend or, you know, family member who brings them in, because they're just so beat up.
Yeah. Something I was reminded recently was a statement that in an ideal world, it would be better if we lived and worked and lead from our imagination, not our memories.
Oh, yes. Yeah.
I see many, many people, you know, tickling and, you know, speculating with imagination, but still referring and relying on memory.
Do you observe that? And how would you help someone, you know, have whatever is required more confidence, more energy, whatever it is to stay a little more while in the imagination space?
Right. Well, that's something I go after tooth and tong. I mean, that that is that's where I really go into that. Because we have lots of tools, we have evolved many tools that people can use with their own hands, they don't have to go into psychiatrists anymore. I mean, it's great if they do, but but it's it, there is a lot that they can do themselves to heal the old memories. So we have so much trauma that they brought, and there's a lot of workplace trauma. I mean, there's all this gaslighting that goes on. And there's this in it when people just stop trusting their minds. And so sometimes that has to be healed. Sometimes people were just disrespected and they were bounced out, and they were treated like crap. And, and we can't have them move on anywhere, until that is healed. But there's lots of tools to do that, really. And, and, and a lot of these tools have only developed in the last couple of decades. So that people just, you know, people can just, I can teach them, they can use them, they can come back and do another session. They've done the work. They're, you know, they're they're doing, you know, they're they're improving things themselves. So they have a power in their own hands to do this. And I think it's absolutely vital. They to the degree they live in the memories, they're going to repeat the past. Which hasn't worked out really well for them. So we do want to really switch that up. Absolutely.
Sharon, one of the books that you've written the new book The Superpower of Balanced Leadership in Unbalanced Times. I'm guessing like many authors, you've I think this is pre chat GPT so Okay, we're assuming that you did much of the writing. Many, many authors that I know, they've kind of do a little bit of work on the topic themselves. And so it's a sensitive question. So feel free to plead the fifth on this one, are you as full a person as you could be right now?
No way. No! And I'm a work in progress. Did I mentioned that? And I owe it to everyone to be a work in progress. Now, I can look to where I was the identity I had previously. And I can see that I can see my progress, I can see the steps, I can see that it was worth the effort I got to be here, I learned this. And I've made things different for myself, and the people who entrust themselves to me. So it is an infinite journey, you know, we are on this hero's journey, it doesn't stop at, you know, point, H. It's going to go on and, and, and, you know, depending on your belief system is going to go on beyond here. So, so, I, you know, if you embrace the journey, as I have done, then you'll see that it is that balance, for example, is not a teeter totter. When I talk about balanced leadership. It's not good or bad. It's not, you know, work or life, it's not any of those things. It's these, this fullness of you these six powers that you continue to develop. So I developed my, you know, motivation, how do I stay motivated? I develop more on my structure element. I need a lot of work on that I need a lot of work to continue to do that. So I consider myself and the people I work with, and probably all of your listeners to be in process. And what a blessing to actually think of yourself in more of a verb, of becoming of being, rather than having arrived at some destination that is elusive. And then what do you do? Right? Does that make sense?
It does. I'm just pondering it just the use of, you know, it's probably we're all on a journey anyway. I don't I don't know whether it's pre determined or predestined. I guess that depends on your belief systems. And maybe that we're all just on whatever path we're on, anyway. And in this lifetime, if that's your belief, we'll get to the end of that journey anyway. Why do I have to do work on it?
Because there is joy in the labour. There is joy in the learning there is satisfaction in the little marks along the way, there is fulfilment in the service, there is love in the connection. That's why. We have all of these rewards. With every step we take we, we you know, which makes which gives us more energy to take the next step.
Give me permission to be a sceptic, here on behalf of and I'm speculating, because I'm only reading the news like most people, you may have more insight. Elon Musk was recently interviewed on the BBC, that there are many people that would aspire to be like him for whatever perception they have of what he's like, whether it's the material or the external, or the internal trappings or whatever it is. And here's, again, reading the news. Here's a guy who bought a company, Twitter, and looked at the very simple the revenue line and the cost line, and apparently they were incongruent. And has done and, you know, possibly really shaken up, shooken up the people side, the structure side, to rebalance the economics of the business. So is he, again, I know we're speculating, because we might not know, but you do believe that someone like that, who goes in and some would argue rescues a business turns a business round changes a business from the direction it's heading. Are they expressing them full selves? Or is there still something missing? And in the imperfection was to push and be a bit unreasonable with things?
Yeah. Well, I'm not a big fan. Let's put it that way, and actually never have been. So I guess I would say that, that we don't need the Genghis Khan approach to business anymore. I think that there are I think there ways to do this to be very sober, to look at the numbers to decide what can be done, it does not have to be ruthless. I was once a consulting with a law firm in the Boston area. And we started work on this process, the same work that I do here. So we work, we're working on the core, then we were going to the vision, the mission, we were going through all of those steps to help them reform the organisation. Well, typically, I'm sure you've seen this, they call you in kind of late when they're already having problems, right. And you're starting, you're starting behind the eight ball, right? So of course, you know, I was only a couple of sessions in and and all of a sudden they need to have a layoff. Fortunately, we had done the value statement, the the, you know, the purpose audit dah dah dah da. Then some of the people in the room, so we'd already done some of this work, the core work, and the some of the people in the room said, Well, we just need to, we have to lay off these many people. And this is where we're going to do it. And I said, Whoa, stop, stop the train here. Let's look back to what you just said about what this law firm is, what its values are, how it wants to conduct itself, what its purpose is, and how would you do layoffs with that in mind? Layoffs are necessary, we got the economics of it, you know, we're we're kind of late to the party here. But how would you do this differently? And so they did it differently. As a result of that conversation. They didn't do the throwing the people out on the street kind of thing by email, you get your notice. You know, we talked them into having some kind of severance, which they weren't planning on doing. The partners of the firm went and talked to every individual about what was happening and why. And the feedback they got was phenomenal. They didn't wind up with lawsuits, they didn't wind up with drama. They treated everyone respectfully. So here's an example. You know, that we can compare in a small scale to what we're seeing with the with the Twitter shakeup. It doesn't have to be the hordes coming through and killing all the villagers. We don't need that process. I think that's old world, I hope as we move forward. Does that answer your question?
Yeah, I think it did. And how I've interpreted that, in a practical sense is it's not necessary the 'what' that's different. It's the 'how'.
Yes, the how, the how, the how. The numbers are there, we got to face them, we have to be sober. And this is all part of this full dimension, that we look at organisations with the same elements. We got a real weakness here, we got a real problem here, how do we fix it? We don't have to fix it by savaging another aspect of it, because that's not likely to, it's like you have one tire that's leaking, you don't go and slash the other tire. There's other ways to build, there's other ways to correct the situation in this more holistic healing approach.
For someone starting out on their leadership journey, and that may be an identity question, they may have the position but don't feel like they deserve or they're ready, whatever. Or maybe someone who is moving into different organisation or, you know, moving from peer to boss, that the starting a new leadership chapter. Given some of the insights from your book, what insights if any, would you have for someone who is beginning a new their leadership journey?
Right. So the this is a great time for emerging leaders to try to do things differently. What would it mean, if you, you know, if you could be George, and really George and do things the way George wants to do it and build that with this template, this holistic template. So you're not out on your own, you're not making it up as you go along. You are really strategically integrating yourself, your team and your organisation and thinking of it in that, you know, that that whole fabric kind of way. So that's one of the things that I would like people to do is to think of themselves as circles within circles, that it's all moving along together. And I think it's a great a great approach. And and I think that some, you know, the new generation may be more receptive to that. So we don't need to be we don't need the Genghis Khan anymore. I keep saying. We can do it differently, and have, I think, better lasting results, you know, yeah, yeah.
There was. You were talking in another one of your podcasts about change. Yeah. And this is something that I'd like the leaders, the new leaders to look at is that there was a man by the name of Alan Deutschmann, who wrote he wrote a book called 'Change or Die'. Do you know that book? You would love it? Oh, yeah. Alan Deutschmann wrote a book called 'Change or Die'. And he did research in four different areas. And I'll just talk about one of them, which was in the health area. What he found was that people would, would not change, only one in nine people would change. Even if they were told that if they didn't change, they could die. Okay, only one in nine, it was just like, horrible and then you multiply that across organisations, you can see what you're up against on change efforts. So he found that what did not work and this is for the new leaders was to was fear, facts and force. Fear, facts and force did not result in lasting changes. So you just had your bypass surgery. And your doctor says, Okay, we really have to cut down on the you know, all of these foods that you've been eating to excess, and you're really good for a couple of weeks, you have the facts, your spouse's making meals that are better for you, and all this stuff, and but you just can't keep it up. So within weeks, people are back to their old habits. Fear doesn't work. Facts don't work. And I mean, look what's happened in our political divide around with COVID. I mean, facts just aren't working. Pure facts and Force don't work. What he found did work. Was the three R's. This is great stuff. Reframe the problem. Yeah. It's like what AA does, you know, if I'm an alcoholic vandetta, so I reframe the problem. The relate, so you're going to either relate to different people or relate differently to the people, you know, so you relate, okay? And then, so you're not going to the bar with your buddies anymore. You're relating to different people. And then repeat the pattern, repeat the behaviour. So when I read his research, I just was ecstatic. Because the balancing act process that I talked to you about Amir's has those three steps in it. And so we did a change formula, which is, first we reset, so we added one at the very beginning, we reset, and that's the core. Then we have you reframe things, which is, of course, the vision and rethinking. Then we added another one in the circle, which is we reprioritize, because that's where people go south a lot, they don't prioritise. They don't have different priorities. So that was part of our process. Then you relate again, to hopefully different people, then you repeat the process, and then you have reformed the situation. You you have now reformed yourself, you have made this change. And this process works. So for emerging leaders, I would suggest they embrace that they want to make the changes, they want to change themselves and want to change your team's this works. So 90% of the time you change your odds to better than 90% is what Deutschmann dead. So people are going to make the change, they're bought in, they see the sense of it, they have thought about the whole issue differently. And that is how you rebalance. That is how you change the situation, which is why I think there is hope, in doing it differently. You know, when we have this kind of a different approach, this is very solid, great research behind it. And what if we acted differently likethis.
Yeah, one of the things you've mentioned, you've mentioned two or three times now and I'm interested in your view about the different way of using time. On many occasions, you and I will have had people say I'm really time poor. I usually push back and it's it's not that your time poor, you're probably space poor. Or it's the management or your use of time is poor. Because you have no more or less time than anyone else. So something's different with you at this particular state. So you have any views on how we should be using time differently?
Yes, absolutely. And a lot of that is from cultural influences. Okay. So one of the first things I'm going to say is something that I designed that helps people manage their time better. And I designed a an hour structure that uses all of these powers that I talked about. It's like in a box, okay, you just have one hour you can go from start to finish on this and get yourself into flow. So the Department of Labour in the US says that we work around three hours really effective hours every day in organisations, I mean, that's really all the work you get done. And this if you work this way, if you do this, you know what I call the Core Zone Productivity Process. You'll get like an really intense work done you. You start with, you know what it is you're going to be doing you think about the way you want it to be you prioritise out of my 500 tasks, I'm going to do this one this hour, that's all I'm going to do. And then you turn off all your freaking devices, and you close the door. And you just do that one thing for that 45-50 minute period. That's all you do. So you go into the flow, and it is amazing how much you can get done. So time seems to expand. You know, when you're in flow, when you're in that state, time has changed for you. What happens? So creative people know this from you and inventors know this, it's time stops, it shifts and moves around. And it's a, it's an exhilarating experience. And when I first started designing this, of course, I don't do anything that I haven't tested myself many, many, many times. So I have to eat the berries before I give them to the king, right? So I have, so I did this myself, my all my colleagues do it. And it's sort of like about 23 minutes, I'm going and I look at the clock that I've timed myself on my you know, my iPhone is clicking away. I can't believe it's only been that long. And I just got this thing done, or you know, so but but it's time limited, and so disciplined. And people get a lot done with that. So it's an example I've experienced about how to change time, we are totally focused on one frigging thing at a time, as opposed to pretending to do many things and being so busy, right. So that's, that's something that I've done and my colleagues have done. But I when I go to other cultures, they have completely, you know this, completely different ideas about what time means. And and when you say you're going to show up at eight, what does that really mean? Which day and, and the sense of time is moving backwards and forwards is something that other cultures have. And I think we have a lot to learn from, you know, from our super clock orientation that kind of has exhausted us and depleted our intelligence in some ways and depleted our sense of self. We kind of run dry on this. And it it has a lot of benefits, but it shouldn't be the only model of time that we're working with.
Yeah. When I'm working with leaders and groups, I often tell them that my role as the facilitator is to help them bounce clock time with compass time.
Oh, wow. That's beautiful. Yes. Tell me more. How do you define compass time?
Well clock time - the reality is we're not at a particular time and the clock gives us an orinentation to be at we're all here, we're present, we're in it. And you know, there's probably a bathroom stop and a food stop. And you might you might be having, you know, an important personal call, or whatever it might be. But I'm trying to help them navigate. Compass time is when you have meaningful, insightful, often breakthrough conversations not necessary a lot of time. Now, we can have a whole week's conversation about that, because we've got families and things to go to so then clock time comes back and we go right, we've come to the end of the day for today. You know that I'm trying to help them balance, and navigate the clock time and the compass time.
Yeah, I think that's beautiful. And I think that that's that's a very workable conversation. I think people will go with you there. Right? Yeah. Yeah. And and then that, that also helps them understand that there's more than this hammering of yourself in terms of the time that you're doing. So that I think that's a really good way to talk about it. It's a great balance, isn't it? You know, moving into this zone or this flow, when you need to, and when you need your creativity to be protected from the other aspects of time. Yeah, yeah. And then just, when you've got to catch the subway at a certain time, or you're not going to catch it.
I'm conscious of our time, Sharon, it's almost coming to an end. But I do have a couple of things. Well, first of all a couple of questions about your book. I'm fascinated by The Superpower of Balanced Leadership in Unbalanced Times. What part of the book are you most proud of?
What am I most proud of? One of the things I'm most proud of is that I had one of these, do you know the cartoon series that Homer Simpson, you know, that whole thing where he had where he would always go Do'h? Okay, and I had one of those moments. When I realised that for years, what I had been writing about was that this is a superpower. There are these six distinct powers that makes it a superpower. I can claim that, but it took me so long to kind of get that lightning bolt down and to reframe the work in the way that I think people can understand it. I guess the other thing is that I have worked a really long time to take these very abstract concepts and make them useful in daily life. Yeah, that is, you know, to bring that in like this so that someone can take it and use it. That makes me happy.
Yeah, I feel the same Sharon. I feel sometimes we're curators of all of the knowledge and experience in the articles, the books, the seminars, and we've kind of you know, almost, here's where maybe I get a little bit sceptical handing things to people on a plate. If they haven't done the work, there are some times it's sometimes perceived to be less valuable. And you and I know the work that goes into taking a complex or complicated subject and making it simple and practical and usable on a daily basis.
So I consider this all part of the service towards evolution. If someone else can get this fast, I mean, look at all the people came before me and made things easy. So to the degree that I can make things easier for them and faster for them. God bless it, you know, I'm, I'm all over that. Yeah. And and they're still going to have to do their work, you know, that.
No, I think we're at a really a point of privilege, where we have the time to to write, and the time to take these ideas. that are just percolating inside us that want to be born. And we're getting them out. And and it's so satisfying to see that happen.
And the other question I have about your book is, is that a part of your book that you wrote that you're, that you sense people don't get? They don't get it quite in the way that you'd hope they would. It's, they've kind of skimmed over it. It's, it's a blind spot for people you go oh, I wish they'd gotten that message. Is there any part that they don't quite get?
I think what I've tried to hammer in which people find very difficult to get is the holistic nature of what I'm talking about. Right? That is, indeed you connect these things, every one of them multipliers, every one of them is augmented, every one of them is is healthier. That's, I think, a very hard concept because we we live in such a segmented siloed world and we were expected to be you know, in America, I think also Australia we're expected to be like cowboys who go out there and do things and get things done. But I hope in this new or emerging phase in the emerging leaders, you spoke about that they're going to get this holistic aspect, it is easier for them. If they do if everything fits together, it is way easier than this hard work ethic that they've been raised on.
Yeah. Why would we do the easy thing, Sharon, when if I work hard, then I might deserve it more?
Yes, well, we're back to this, I'm more worthy if I work more hours and harder than you do. Right? I'm more valuable, and deserve more money. So I'm saying we got a flip that, that is I don't think that that has I think that that's been a very diseased approach.
Yeah. And, look, Sharon, I'll close off our conversation with I'm grateful for the work that you and I and many of our colleagues do on the ground on a daily basis, without perhaps the recognition or acknowledgement that maybe, I don't mean we deserve, but the impact that it's having, and we continue to do the work. Not only on ourselves, to heal ourselves, seven generations ahead and seven generations behind, but the work that we do to help others leaders, organisations, families, communities, bring their best selves to the days.
Right and have the support and courage and joy in continuing to move forward. The ripple effects are extraordinary. I think we just need to remember that every time we act in this positive way. It has ripple effects that we don't even often see. One of my clients just received a letter from a judge that he helped place. He's an attorney. And he helped place this judge it because he had he has a pool of people that he recommends other lawyers for possible judgeships in the US. So this man wrote him a letter not too long ago saying, I just wanted to thank you for all you did for me on this. And together we helped make history. This is the judge who voted for Saturday voting in Georgia. And that changed the election in Georgia, and that changed the election in the US. And that election in the US has brought, you know, freedom for Ukraine, has bought how their health things in the ripple ripple ripple effects that we have, we often don't even recognise. So I just encourage everyone to just keep doing it. Because it is, it's happening.
Yeah, and that's a really, for me, a poignant message to close on. And a reminder that, you know, the freedom that we're talking about, can be very different from the freedom that many of the listeners who are listening are referring to. And each, each perception of our own freedom is probably relevant for us.
And it helps everybody, when we continue to go towards our freedom, it helps everyone.
Yeah, so we'll put in the show notes the links to your website, the links to your book, and books, and anything else that you send us that you think people will find useful.
I do like to perhaps lighten the conversation a little bit towards the end. And I might just ask you two or three questions if I can? You said, you live in Boston? Are you more, do you prefer the country or the city?
I have turned out to be a city woman even though I was raised in the country.
Okay. Right. Okay. And what's your, do you follow sport in the US?
I do follow sports in the US, not as closely as I used to. But of course, we're big, big sports fans. I used to be a cheerleader. Can you tell? For everything. I grew up in a small town, in the middle of the country. And so I was a cheerleader for everything. Yes.
Which team do you support?
Well, I have to support all of the Boston team. So you just go through all of the Boston teams I do. All of them.
Knowing that you're an author, what's, what's a book that's changed your life?
Wow. I don't, I almost don't know where to start on that question.
This was meant to be a light question to finish. Yeah.
I'm going really, really, really, really deep on that. Yeah. I would say for me, the the I would say I have an answer. I once took care of a number of Brazilian clients. And when I was done with them, they sent me books in the Spiritist tradition, which is Brazil, France, you know, and those books changed my life in terms of my attitude towards evolution and my attitude towards what we're here to do. So those are some of the I think, the most recent books that that were like lightning rods, in terms of looking at a world changing my worldview, in terms of what was what is and what can be.
Sharon, I think that's a perfect place to pause. Thank you so much, not just for your time, but for your insight and the ways that you've expressed how people can bring their full selves to bear for the benefit of others. I'm really grateful and thankful for your for your conversation.
And I'm thankful that you asked me to talk here and I'm thankful to the listeners. And I once had a music teacher telling me that there are three people who make a composition. There is the the musician who writes the music, there's performer of the music and there are the listeners. And that is what's necessary for every musical composition. Isn't that beautiful?
That is a beautiful way to finish.
Thank you Sharon.
Thank you. Excellent.