How to Recover When Fear Hi-Jacks the Brain

In this episode, Jennifer and Danny talk about “Conversational Intelligence” and the 7 Deadly Sins of Leadership.  We discuss how to avoid these pitfalls and how to recover if you have gone astray.  We also take a short dive into neuroscience and talk about how fear hi-jacks the brain.

0:00:00.1 S1: What’s up, guys? This is Danny Langloss, and you’re listening to The Leadership Excellence Podcast, please hit that subscribe button so you never miss another episode. Consider giving us a rating, a review, so we can keep growing and help more people. Thank you. There are so many things that impact our ability to achieve success, but none are more important than leadership, individuals and organizations rise and fall with leadership, we are here to… You rise. Thank you for joining us. This is The Leadership Excellence Podcast, the leaders and walking to Leadership Excellence. My name is Danny Langloss, and today I’m joined by Jennifer Thornton, and we’re gonna talk about Conversational Intelligence, the seven deadly sins of leadership. Jennifer has developed her expertise in talent strategy and leadership professional development over her exciting 20-plus year career as an HR professional, she’s led international teams, international teams across Greater China, Mexico, the UK and the US to expand into new markets, managing franchise retailers and developing key strategic partnerships, all while exceeding business objectives and financial results, the rapid growth of a consulting firm, 304 Coaching has been largely due to Jennifer’s unconventional approach to building innovative workforce development solutions for companies who are facing breakthrough growth and accelerated hiring patterns.

0:01:22.2 S1: She is a sought after business strategist, specializing in startups and large biobus organizations, she is Sister clients and building talent strategies that complement their business strategies to ensure exponential growth. Jennifer, welcome to the Leadership Excellence Podcast.

0:01:36.7 S2: Thank you so much for having me, it’s a joy to be here. You know, when we first met and talked, I was just blown away by your insights by your experience… Talk to me just a little bit, you’ve led international teams across China, Mexico, the UK, the US, talk to us a little bit about your journey. So my journey is probably not traditional that most people would think of how I ended up and all these wonderful foreign countries working… I actually worked in retail entire career as a young girl, wanted to work at the mall, and dreams do come true, guess what? I got to work at the mall, and I worked my way up through the operation side of a large global retailer, and that was the first part of my career in that first half. And then the second half of my career, I jumped into HR and did all different types of practices with net HR portfolio, and then one day I get this call out of nowhere, and it’s my chief HR chief HR officer, and he says, Hey, you wanted to go to Hong Kong for a while. I’m like, Why? We’re not real sure we’re gonna buy back our stores there, and we don’t really know what we’re getting into, and we don’t know what’s gonna happen, so can you just go over there and figure it out? I was like, Sure.

0:02:50.9 S2: And so off I went, I always say Yes, you never know what Enos on the other side of that, and that started an incredible third career of mine, and that was international HR, and so I assisted our organization and opening stores in Hong Kong, Greater China, Mexico, London, I then put our HR groups in those markets and then continue to manage them once we were up and running, and so that was most of my adult life, and then a few years ago, I kind of woke up and thought, You know what, it’s time to try something new, it’s been an incredible ride, and I always had a passion for talent strategies, ’cause I know businesses succeed and fail on talent, and so I came up the concept with… 304 Coaching, which is what I do today, is the CEO and founder, and we help organizations with talent strategy. So that their business is successful.

0:03:49.1 S1: Wow, incredible. What a journey. How exciting. I’m fine, I’ve been to Mexico on vacation, I can code or cobble once… I don’t even do that very often, but here you are over in the UK and China, doing things in Hong Kong, the experiences you’ve had, and it makes sense, ’cause when… When you talk, like I said, I was just so blown away by you.

0:04:11.5 S2: So we’re gonna focus on today on conversational intelligence to Seven Deadly Sins of leadership. So what is conversational intelligence? So conversation intelligence is a practice and it really helps leaders start to tell the truth, and in our business world, we don’t tell the truth enough, and when we do tell the truth, we do it out of fear, so it doesn’t come out quite so great. And so, conversation intelligence helps us understand the neuroscience of the mind and how our chemical reactions start to fire off when we’re engaging in conversations with people in the workplace, and I studied under an amazing woman, due to Glacier, and she spent 40 years setting the neuroscience of the mind in the workplace and how it impacted business results and with conversation intelligence, we teach executives how to create psychological safety in the workplace by TE… Still telling the truth, you know this isn’t about squishy, feely, making sure we’re one sings Kobayashi is about being honest. This is about doing it in a way that creates trust and really learning how to work with the mind versus against it, because a lot of the ways we were taught to lead actually creates fear in people and changing the way we talk and changing the way we ask questions, all of that gets better business results, but…

0:05:36.7 S2: And we do it, right? It also creates trust in safety within our teams, wear

0:05:43.6 S1: Psychological safety, it’s such a big concept. You’re seeing so much more on it these days, we’ve created a framework called Employee Engagement, 10 to seven pillars of ownership, and pillar one is psychological safety, and if people don’t feel safe, if they don’t feel comfortable, if they’re worried that people are gonna be judging them or shaming them, or if there’s fear, they’re gonna stay in that little box and that small cage, and they’re never gonna really get out, spread their wings and bring everything it is to have to bring to the organization, they’re definitely not gonna become an owner, somebody who’s a purpose driven person that is doing things that’s important to them, or they’re always trying to make things at least 1% better every day. Awesome, awesome, awesome, that sounds great. So let’s to talk about this addiction to being right and how it negatively influences relationships and results.

0:06:43.2 S2: So what’s interesting when you start to study the neuro signs of the mind and how the chemicals start to respond and react, one thing that we know through research is we can get addicted to being right, and so when we’re right and we make a great decision or we do something and our boss says, Great job, it feels good, right? And who doesn’t wanna feel good, you get a fantastic little dopamine hit, but what we know about addiction as it is a dopamine hit, and so if you’re addicted to sugar or alcohol or any addiction, shopping, one of my favorite dopamine hits a little retail shopping or retail therapy, my wife as well. It’s a great one. And you get this dopamine hit, and we know that with addictions, the more you get that dopamine hit, the more you need it to get that same level of high… Being right is the exact same thing. In fact, if you attach all the little neuro things to someone’s brain and you looked at the screen and you gave someone who is addicted to sugar or alcohol or being right, and you gave them their drug of choice, their brain fires off in the exact same way you wouldn’t be able to tell what addiction they have, the brain fires off the same way, and so what happens is when we have people who…

0:08:02.9 S2: Oftentimes, these people who are addicted to write, they were really successful earlier in their career, they were kind of that superstar, that kind of shot up quickly because they were… Right, a lot. And that was fantastic. They didn’t do really good things for their career, but over time, they got addicted to that, and that doesn’t look great in today’s world when you’re trying to manage and you’re addicted to your own views and your team’s not able to tell you the truth.

0:08:31.3 S1: Wow. Yeah, 100%. It is funny how when you come into an organization, I think about when I came into the police department here in Dixon, and you look at the Sergeant, a supervisor, and early on, before you really understand what leadership is or what it’s about, it’s like one day I’ll be in that position. All gonna tell people what to do. And one day everybody will just listen to what it is I have to say. Boy, is it not like that at all. Not at all. And I could see, I could see how this pattern is addicted to being right, is you want that feedback and the way that feels in that dopamine hit, but really, when you become a leader, everything shifts that might set… Everything shifts from me to we, it’s all about service and sacrifice, and many times being misunderstood and maybe taking shots that don’t belong to come your way, but people don’t have all the information, so people… It would seem to me like the people addicted to being right are gonna be very me-focused and are gonna be based in a lot of power in control, so is this idea and concept that’s really tied in to the seven deadly sins of leadership.

0:09:45.8 S2: Yeah, absolutely. So I think we all… If you’re listening, you probably kind of imagine that person that you worked with really early in your career, and they are collaborative and really open-minded and they were amazing, and you loved working with them, and then over time you’re like, I don’t even recognize this person anymore, and they will fight over the color of a carrion, and that’s really kind of when you start to know there are some issues when someone will just go to the ground and fight over there just because they wanna be… Right, even in their gut, when they know they’re not right. And what happens is, it starts to change how they interact with people, and so the fun play one of the seven deadly sins. You think about pride. And when you are addicted to being right, you’re so prideful of your own ideas that right or wrong, you’ll sink that ship because your ideas are right, and when someone comes to you in your life and says, Hey, I think that might not be the best direction or Here’s what our customers are saying, and I think that we’ve missed something here, let’s look at this again, and they’re like, Nope, and they’re so prideful of their own ideas that they can’t see the truth.

0:11:04.9 S1: That’s a really tough thing and that’s a… You just don’t wanna work for somebody like that, and taking pride in the work you do is one thing, but when you become a leader, you take pride in the way you serve others… Right. The shift is completely different. Dr. Charlie cart, right, hit him on the podcast about a month ago, maybe a couple of months ago, and he also talked about… He talked about this concept. He said, Do you wanna be right, or do you wanna be effective? And so I think a couple of things for leaders listening to this one is, if we’re addicted to being right and we’ve always gotta be right, that we’re gonna shut down our entire organization, we’re just gonna shut it down, however, when you actually are right, and maybe you aren’t addicted to being right? You’ve also gotta ask that question, would I rather be right or what I rather be effective? And that was a really powerful statement that he shared as we were talking about it, because when we’re looking at what’s best for the organization, most of the time, that isn’t you being right and showing everybody how smart you are…

0:12:06.7 S2: Yeah, and a lot of time it shows up in greed, which is another one of those seven deadly scent, and that greed is like, I need more and more, maybe that’s more money, more accolades more of whatever. And oftentimes, when people are really deep in that addiction to being right, they will make some financial decisions that aren’t great, but it protects their addiction, and when the financial decisions come to fruition and they’re not positive and they are damaging, they’ll never take credit for it because their decision was right, it wasn’t wrong, someone else messed it up, someone else made a bad decision, and they get very greedy oftentimes around just that financial decision, and they maybe sometimes make really bold and risky decisions, but when it goes south, because they’re so addicted to their own views, it’s never their problem, always someone else on their team, and I’ve seen leaders who are truly addicted to being right, make some really risky financial decisions, and when they don’t go their way, all of a sudden it’s like some random person and finances problem. They did something wrong or they didn’t negotiate the right contract, or they didn’t get the vendor pricing, and I’m like, No, this is a bigger decision that I’m under pricing, but they will find a way to make sure that they were right and everyone else was wrong.

0:13:31.4 S1: Hey, one of the things that really intrigued me about this conversation is that a lot of times we talk about what are the right ways to do things, right? What does great leadership look like, and sometimes when we see those things, they’re hard to replicate, how do they do that? But when we talk about… What I really enjoy about this conversation, what I’ve really been looking forward to is when you look at the negative qualities of leaders, those things, once we identify them and we’re honest with ourselves, we have the honest conversation that look in the mirror, we can eliminate the negative qualities of bad leaders, and they’re not in people that do these things are not leaders, their bosses, right. And it’s so much easier to eliminate the bad stuff come up to my career, I had a lot of good leaders, but I had a lot of bad bosses, and I remember saying to myself, If I ever get promoted, I’m never gonna do that, and I’m never gonna do that, I’m never gonna do that. And early in my career, when I became a sergeant, just eliminating those things that were destroying the organization that we’re putting people in boxes, what was left was pretty decent, and then there was so much to learn and grow since that point, so I really love that.

0:14:38.7 S1: The other thing about what you were saying, it’s just… It’s the opposite of humility. Of vulnerability, it’s the opposite of the concept that when something goes right, it’s always the credit of the team, or when something goes wrong, it’s always owned by the leader. So we’ve talked about pride. Greed, where do you wanna go next?

0:14:59.5 S2: One of my favorite is wrath, and so one of the things that when I’m working with an executive… And we’re trying to test the theory. Do you like being… Right. Maybe a little too often. So one of the things I have the executive do is I have them ask their team a really difficult question and we watch the response, and oftentimes, you see everyone in the room get this horrible, like panic-stricken look on their face, they’re all looking at each other, and they do this, then they just stare at the boss, not leader of the boss, and they’re waiting to be told how to think, and when that happens, we’ve lost all hope for that organization, people who are experts in their field no longer are thinking. And the reason why is because of the wrath. When you tell the truth, but it jeopardize the boss’s views, or we’ve all been there where we didn’t wanna tell the truth, ’cause we didn’t wanna get in trouble for the truth. And when you get in trouble for being honest in the workplace about what really is going on with a business that’s critical, that will really shut things down, and that’s one of the ones that…

0:16:14.6 S2: When I see that coming, and you know you’re being told how to think, no matter who you are or what position you have… I know we’re in trouble.

0:16:23.2 S1: Wow. Yeah, in a lot of trouble, right? The idea, you can save a ton on payroll if you leave like this, because you don’t need anybody else because you’re not utilizing their potential at all, you talk about psychological safety, which you… About right away, this will destroy psychological safety, when all these things really will destroy psychological safety in a hurry, the jeopardizing the boss’s views, an area where everybody’s just gonna agree and be a yes man or a yes woman and go with the flow and put in their time and get out of there as soon as they can.

0:17:02.6 S2: Yeah, or that asking the question… One of the things that we teach in conversation intelligence is asking questions you don’t have the answer to, and that is really simple to say and hard to do, and that’s one of the things that we talk about, if you’re asking questions and you’re expecting a specific answer, then you’re telling people how to think.

0:17:27.4 S1: Okay, yeah, there’s so much and asking questions, it’s listening and asking questions, or two of our most powerful communication tools, ’cause when we ask people questions like we generally want their feedback and input, we say to them, I trust you, I respect you. You’re important, you have value. You belong. All things that are really, really powerful, such a powerful communication tool. Love that, what’s next?

0:17:54.5 S2: So envy vis a fun one to talk about, and that person we all have in our mind now that we’re like, Oh my gosh, I know this person, right, so chances are this person has status, chances are this person wanted to look like the smartest person in the room, chances are that they wanted people to envy them, Look at me, look what I’ve done, and look at all this stuff, and that again, starts to validate their addiction because I’ve been so right that I have at this status or I’ve collected these big fancy toys or whatever that person wants to say status is, and they want people to envy them and kind of validate their addiction to being right.

0:18:48.9 S1: So this one has to do about wanting people to envy them, not being envious of other people…

0:18:53.8 S2: Yeah, so it’s kind of the flip side of how you typically think about it, but they definitely usually Chase status.

0:19:01.7 S1: Wow. Yeah, that’s so dangerous to

0:19:04.7 S2: It, but if you think about those people that you’ve worked with and you’re wondering about those people, they like their title on their desk, they like to drive that big car, fancy car, the person that I always… That comes to mind for me. And when I think about this that I worked with for years, she always had the flash is vintage, bright colored, yellow and red, vintage race, really fancy core vets and cars, and that was one of his pieces. And he loved to speed around town in those fancy cars. Wow.

0:19:42.2 S1: Yeah, I mean, it makes sense when you talk about this addiction to being right and to be the center of all the attention and to have everybody looking at you and falling and bowing to your feet and being envious of everything that you have, such a dangerous dangerous quality of any boss. Any boss, for sure. At number five. And

0:20:02.3 S2: So the less kind falls off of that, and so again, it’s the lust for recognition and that need to be recognized, and you kind of spoke a little bit about it earlier, it’s those people who take credit for when it goes well, it takes everyone’s credit for when it goes well, but they have this lust for recognition because again, that recognition is the dopamine head when we get recognized, because typically are being recognized for something good, then that feeds that dopamine hit, and so if you need a heavy amount of that, then you need a lot of recognition. A lot of good job and a great idea. And how many times have we said to someone, Just make your boss think it’s their idea… Oh yeah. You get it through. Right. Well, you’re basically kind of feeding into this whole concept, you’re taking it instead of having an upfront conversation, you’re being kind of passive aggressive about it, because you’re working within their problems, you’re not being honest about where the business needs to go or what you need to tell the truth about… With the business.

0:21:16.7 S1: No, absolutely. So when I hear this being talked about, I think two things, so what’s the difference, beside, between somebody who suffers from lust and somebody just because of their personality needs affirmation, you know.

0:21:34.6 S2: I think that it depends on where it comes from and why that person needs affirmation and they are, they can be, they can be together and be in the same situation, but they can also be separate, and if you are an individual, you know an individual that needs a lot of recognition, there’s a reason why, and oftentimes it’s because of… That’s how you counteract fear, and so if I need a lot of recognition, it’s because my fear mechanism, the fear, your permanent brain says If I get recognized, then I’m safe, and so it’s a way for that person to turn fear off, and that’s dangerous. You wanna be able to turn the fear that happens, fear is just a chemical reaction, that is all it is, and your brain doesn’t really know the difference between a snake on your leg and my boss is mad at me, it’s just the same chemical. And so when we find ways that aren’t healthy to counteract that fear chemical, it can be dangerous, and so one of the things I work with, with executives is we just have to get really comfortable with fear, recognizing what that is, only a chemical reaction, and then how do we wanna move forward? Because when your primitive brain is turned on, your pre-pre-frontal cortex actually shuts down because your body is in survival mode, and your prefrontal cortex is where ideas come from, collaboration, innovation, everything that you want to happen in the workplace gets turned off as soon as…

0:23:16.5 S2: If your chemical kicks in…

0:23:19.3 S1: Wow. As I do, anybody list of the podcast knows they take a lot of notes as we’re talking, so when I can come back ’cause so many different great exchanges happen and dive deeper into them, and to then at the end, being able to recap everything. So we talk about just so many incredible things, everybody’s adding so much value, and I’m really enjoying our conversation today, Jennifer. One of the things I think about is I hear you talking about this list, and so I’m gonna not say lust, my comments are more towards affirmation or some people’s confidence and their self-worth comes from that external validation, and so I think as leaders… As we work with our team members, we need to understand the difference in what it is, and we’re talking about the seven deadly sins of leadership, so by the time you’re in that love an organization, hopefully you do have some confidence and you become more grounded and you have some more internal validation mechanisms going, some healthier things in the external, but it is important when you look at this one, to try to understand where it’s coming from, is it somebody that wants to drive the nicest car, everybody’s looking at them in U in and on and those guys, is it something that’s always doing things just for recognition, or is it somebody that legitimately struggling with confidence and he’s a lot of external validation, and then how do we help them re-shift that and get a little healthier in that regard.

0:24:50.7 S2: So just really interesting, just different thoughts that are popping into my mind as I’m thinking about leading each team member individually and really understanding… Just before we got on this interview, I was talking with an executive and there’s been some changes personally being in a person reporting to that person, she was saying He’s really timid and he’s not that person I interviewed, and I’m really concerned he’s just always at showing up and she’s getting upset about his performance, and my question was, it sounds like he’s in fear, where do you think that fear is coming from, and she was like, Oh, well, I guess it’s because he’s now reporting to the CEO and there’s not a layer in between… And his Boston and train them on the stuff I thought he was doing and he doesn’t know how to do it, I’m like, Okay. That’s pretty fearful. Kat’s kind of fear, What if you backed down and said, Hey, I understand you didn’t get what you wanted or needed, I wanna provide that to you, and gave him the space to learn what you need him to know so that he can then show up and be the person without fear.

0:26:04.3 S2: But if you’re gonna punish him for not knowing what his Boston teach him, then you’re right, he’s gonna be acting in fear and he’ll never be the employee you want.

0:26:13.7 S1: So this just opened the door to a whole another side, I was just working with somebody on this idea and concept, a couple of weeks ago, something, we train a leadership team, whenever there’s a problem… Whenever there’s a performance issue, the first question we have to ask is, what part of the problem am I… Everybody is so quick to talk about punishment or I need to have this come to Jesus conversation, or Hey, I mean people that really kinda know their stuff like, Hey, let’s use a performance improvement plan, which I’m off for um… When people aren’t getting it, but very few people look at a situation and a problem and start with what part of the problem am I, and then I think it’ll caring and compassion or two of my values that guide my leadership, you know saying, Jennifer, I’ve noticed this lately, is there something going on at home? Is there something happening here at work, do you feel like you’re equipped with the right tools, have noticed that, and seek first to understand before being understood, like Coby talks about, and eliminate ourselves, make sure that we are fully giving the tools and giving the support that our team members need…

0:27:25.2 S1: ’cause a lot of times, honestly, more often than that, when I tell people through these situations, the problems lie with the supervisor or the leader, very little lied with the team member once we gave them the tools and support they needed and turn him loose. And how build that confidence to them, now we had their back and there was high levels of psychological safety… It changes everything.

0:27:46.7 S2: Yeah, and it’s because they move, when there’s that safety, your permanent brain starts to turn off and your pre-frontal cortex turns on, and that is the key, and where we learn is also in the pre-frontal cortex, so you don’t want it as a leader, your only goal every day was to keep people out of fear and to keep them in a place where they can collaborate, learn and be innovative through your language and the way that you… And this is exactly what conversation intelligence all about, it’s about keeping people using the piece of their brain that drives the business, it… Makes people happy too, so it’s a win-win. Everyone wins in the situation, but that’s one of the pieces of it, is asking What do I own in this situation, and I think it’s really important, and sometimes it’s our language. Simple things make a difference. One of my things I always watch people, they hire some new person and they want him to come in and do all this, and I want you to come in and mix things up, and then after 30 days, they walk into your office… They have all these ideas.

0:28:52.7 S2: And you go, Yeah. We’ve tried those before. We don’t really wanna do them. And you basically just told this person, I do not call with ideas, I’m not cool with change, I just need you to go to your desk and be quiet and do what I tell you to do that… And how many times… If someone said, Yeah, we’ve tried that. We don’t wanna do it. But what if we said, You know what? We’ve tried that in the past. It didn’t work. But it’s a new time. It’s a new day. You’re a new person, how do you see this happening?

0:29:22.8 S1: Absolutely, if you want people to be creative, have ideas, if you want to be innovative, bring those ideas to life, you’ve gotta create that environment, and we really didn’t have that environment when I became the Police Chief, we really change and the culture, we created a great leadership team, I started speaking with one voice, but one of the strategies we had was, Let’s find a way to say yes, when people come with ideas, we’ve gotta find a way to say yes, you’ve gotta give people at least some minor wins, and even if it isn’t a full yes, like how can we do a partial yes, or how can they work through it with us with that idea and spend that extra time, so if there’s a no, they’re the one that says, You know what, maybe this isn’t a good idea, as I thought and they come to the now, that’s how you create inclusive and environments full creativity, innovation, people, ownership, and so love this conversation and where it’s kind of gone to because there’s so many different incredible strategies that are coming from it.

0:30:20.9 S2: Yeah, and if someone comes to you with a really crazy idea, all you have to say is, You know what, that’s pretty out there and I don’t see it, but sell me on it. And as they sell you on it, you either… Well, they can either show up and go, You know what, this might be a little crazy, or you may learn something new, they may change your mind and opening up and being honest and saying, I don’t see it, but I’m open to you changing my mind. Sell me on it. That’s when you start to learn, and that’s when people learn how to really think through their concepts and think through their ideas, because they know they’re going to have to have a plan and explain them to you, they just can’t come in with, you know, some crazy idea but how fun is it to have someone change your minds and open up that conversation and just good stuff comes out of it, and

0:31:08.3 S1: At the other day, as long as you don’t just say no, right. And keep shutting people down, the fact that somebody was heard, their voice was heard. Their idea was heard. That means so much. That means so much to me, ’cause it says you care about them, you respect them, you trust them, they belong… They’re an important part of the team. You took that time. I think as leaders, we don’t understand, and I struggled with this for a while because I’m just doing my thing as a leader… Right, I didn’t become the police chief for not the city manager to be in charge. And so I don’t ever look at myself as the police chief for the city manager. And I never took a step back until it was kind of pointed out to me like, Hey, when somebody from the street comes in, one of the officers or one of the line workers within Public Works, and you spend that 10 minutes of time with them and you truly care like they’re not used to that. And I know you don’t understand that ’cause you don’t look at yourself that way, but this is how it is, and so keep doing that, and as the leaders…

0:32:04.1 S1: I think the very best leaders don’t see themselves like that, so we gotta point that thing out, because it does… It just means so much.

0:32:10.8 S2: It means the world, and every time you have an exchange with someone on your team, their brain and yours are imprinting experiences, and your brain’s only job… It’s got one job. Keep you safe. Keep you alive. That’s all it does. So it’s collecting knowledge and evidence of how you… To interact with someone? To stay safe. And so if you have someone come to you, Nope, and you tell them no. And the next time they come to you and you tell them no again, and the third time you come to them and you tell them No, their imprint is this person doesn’t ever say, Yes, I give up, because your history… And so when we get within about 10 feet of someone, our subconscious starts firing off chemicals, is this a safe person, is not a safe person? Is this person gonna threaten my… Judge me, like all of that history, whether we know it or not, we don’t know, it’s that subconscious, our brain’s firing off, so we have to think about how have we imprinted a relationship with the people around us because they are responding to us because of how we responded to them and how we created that imprint.

0:33:24.7 S1: Yeah, I love how you’re bringing science into this conversation ’cause this is science, this is back, right. You have an incredible background in this area, which actually in another time, if you’re up for it, I’d love to dig deeper just in that, because I think that’s something that would begin to understand and Oh, we’re good with people, but when you truly know what it is, and you truly understand the science, then the way you’re able to effectively help people reach their full potential, it changes everything. So we’re talking about Jennifer, Thor, and we’re talking about the seven deadly sins of leadership right now in this part of the conversation. So we talked about pride. Greed, wrath, NV, and lust. What’s number six?

0:34:07.7 S2: So gluttony, and so you know gluttony is when we get like a lot of it, right? And so our gluttony is that dopamine heat, we’re a glutton for it, we will do whatever it takes to get more of our drug of choice, and we all have known someone in our life with addiction and we know they’re willing to go to the ends of the earth for it. And so that gluttony is just all that dopamine hit that they want…

0:34:34.6 S1: Wow. And how does it work in this situation, because with addiction, which one of my passions is helping people with substance use disorder, and what I’ve noticed with people, whether it’s heroin or whether it’s math or whether it’s cocaine, like the amount that got them there last time or last week. Doesn’t get him there now, does that ramp up like that… I absolutely did manifest. Yeah.

0:35:00.5 S2: And it’s you and so… And especially if you worked with someone a long period of time and you’ve watched them change and if I was right and I kinda skated on the edges, but I still got it through and I still was started myself and I told everyone how to think and it came out good, then yeah, the next time, I’m gonna be that much more forceful and it’s heartbreaking to watch leaders and I’ve seen people just… I mean, really crash and burn their careers over this, crash companies put their company out of business because they couldn’t see the truth, and I think code is a great example of that code… They had the first digital camera, and when the digital camera was brought to them, the board was all the bosses were like, That’s silly, like would people wanna print their pictures… No one would ever wanna look at their pictures on their TV said That’s weird… No, no one would want that, and then marketing said, You know what, we could probably figure out how to sell this to consumers, but we don’t wanna hurt our film cells, so they got a patent for it.

0:36:13.3 S2: And kodama, a ton of money off that patent until 2012 when they’re patent ran out, they file bankruptcy right after that, but they could… But they could not see the truth, when the team who created that came to them and said, Here’s where we think the cameras are going… They were like, Nope, you’re wrong, we’re right. And we all know what happened with COD act after that, but what if they had listened… What if they had been the first digital camera… And that was in the 70s that it was brought to them.

0:36:44.7 S1: Wow, what a story. Yeah, we all know what the result of that was. Yeah, we all see what the result of other companies are and they have taken full advantage of that space, my powerful story was number seven.

0:36:58.3 S2: So the last one I love to talk about is sloth, and sloth means are being pretty lazy, but when you’re addicted to write, what you typically do is you’re not willing to learn everyone’s job in the office, but by gosh, you’re willing to tell them how to do it… And it’s like, I’m just gonna sit in my desk and I’m gonna judge all day… I’m not gonna do any of the work because I’m so smart and I’m so right, but I’m gonna judge you. I’m gonna tell you how to do it, and I’m really excited to tell you when you did it wrong, if you didn’t do it the way I thought you should, even though I have no experience in that area, and I hired you as a expert, I still want you to do it my life, but I’m not gonna physically do it, and

0:37:36.7 S1: So I think we all know that person who seems to have an opinion about how everyone should do their job even though I have no idea how to do it. Yeah, that is terrible. You talk about some of knowing things and you know what’s funny is you talk… And I’m not gonna blurt any names out…

0:37:52.3 S2: I know it’s hard sometimes. Right, ’cause you’ve got a one… People in your brain right now. You know who you’re thinking about.

0:37:56.9 S1: Yeah. They’re just fire it all. And you think to yourself, When I time, when’s the last time you actually did the job… And a lot of times, people get to this level of arrogance, this addiction to being right, the seven deadly sins, and they get so out of touch with it that as they get farther and farther out of touch with it, they get farther and finer of touch with what’s going on? And then it’s obvious even to brand new people who haven’t even been around very long that they got no idea what they’re talking about, the whole idea, and we no longer operate in a day where people respect titles, where people give just trust and respect because you’re in a position of authority. A matter of fact, I think we’re in a day where when you get in those positions, you gotta earn it even more, I think you’re absolutely right, and I started to see the shift and transition because the Boomers… And maybe one of the greatest… One of the greatest generations, so many incredible accomplishments, but the respect that they had for position for title, for authority, they would go with the flow, they wouldn’t like it, maybe get their full potential out of them, but with Gen X that they’re not going to…

0:39:12.1 S1: With the millennials and with Gen Z, they’re definitely not going to. And I hear so much from leaders struggling with the millennials and now Gen Z, and I’m like, You gotta take a look in the mirror, you can’t lead lazy. They’re not gonna walk in and be like, Oh, Dan’s here. You know what I mean? No, you will earn their trust and respect just like the co-worker, and they expect to have to earn yours, and it’s a major, major difference. I remember talking about how the millennials can be a major sales, a lot of the problems in policing, we’re talking about substance use disorder, and it kinda went on about it and some different things, and I got off the stage and I walked down and this police captain from a major metropolitan city, walked up to me, he said, You really believe that shit you were saying on the stage, that was like… Yeah, I do. So we had a great conversation and I shared a bunch of things with them, and I don’t know what they do is 100% convinced, but he was at least willing to look at it, look at it a different way, and the other thing by judgment, just destroys…

0:40:25.6 S1: What a great story. So let me ask you this. Okay, so we’ve walked through the seven deadly sins of leadership. How often do you find that you get to a point, like if somebody’s got three of these… They’ve probably got six or seven of them. Like how hard is it to go in and work with people and make some of these changes? What’s that look like?

0:40:48.5 S2: So I think all of us have been guilty of something on this list at one time or another, in some degree, we’re all human, but then when I work with people who really truly are knee deep in this, it is damaging their organization, damaging the relationships, and I’m brought in to work with them, they’re usually not real excited, to be honest, because they’re… Right, so why would they need any help? Oftentimes, I find, though, that these individuals as every addiction, they hit bottom, and that’s either a financial crisis, a relationship, correct, there’s a crisis, and they’re done and they recognize that how they’re leading and what they’re doing, they may not have this language and understand what’s going on they may not understand this addiction, they just know that they’re angry and they’re mad at everyone, and they think Everyone’s stupid and they hate everyone, they just know all of these feelings, and so when someone truly is starting to hit bottom, and I come in and work with them and I start to show them, Here’s what’s going on chemically with you, there’s a relief in them because now they know what to do with this, and they start to be able to take it apart and start to repair the relationships and change who they are and if you have these tendencies at work, let’s face it, you probably act this way at home, and if we can’t…

0:42:15.6 S2: I always say leadership doesn’t end at the door when someone leaves to go home to their family, how you made them feel that day impacts their relationships at dinner, then if that’s a lot of fun at home at dinner, then the sun’s be more excited to do the homework and do this and that. But man, if your dad or mom comes home and they’re beaten and they’re just tired and they hate it, their day, you’re gonna feel bad. We impact communities through leadership, and it just doesn’t stop at the door, and we have to think about how we impact society.

0:42:51.7 S1: There’s a whole another podcast conversation, you talk about the great responsibility of leadership and our impact on people’s lives, and the research out there about if you get a bad boss that displays these things we’re talking about, the significant increase in health-related problems, the quality of life issues, divorces, their own substance use problems, we are setting the tone for the quality of life and the life experience, not just our team member, but of everybody close to them, and that’s an incredible responsibility that I don’t think that… I know many leaders don’t even look at me now, we’re starting to talk a lot about this concept of leading the whole person, right? And when you understand that concept and it’s only other podcast again, you really start to get that impact because you just don’t walk out the door and all that falls off your back, no more than when you’re having issues in your marriage or financial troubles or something went wrong with your kid. No more that. Can you just walk into the door, your organization and act like that hasn’t happened, and so there’s the… Wow, powerful, powerful. How about we start wrapping up on this question now, if there’s anything else that I a get to that you wanted to get out, you just throw it out there because I’ve been taking a ton of notes…

0:44:10.7 S1: Learning so much, Jennifer, thank you so much, I really appreciate that. What’s a common power play that keeps teams from realizing their business goals?

0:44:19.2 S2: Oh, so one of the things that I find… And it’s all fear-based. And so it’s interesting, I think early in our career, we think we’re gonna become an executive, I’m gonna be the AVP or I’m gonna be the chief this or that, and I’m gonna just wake up every day and I’m never gonna worry about my job or whatever, I find that the fear level and executives is typically higher, the stakes are higher, the risk… Or higher, you have to play at a different level. And one of the things that I think is really dangerous is that because we’re in fear and we start to protect ourselves, and we protect our team because our teams results are our results at that level, we start to fight for our own needs and our own team over the greater good of the organization. And so you put all of those executives around a table and you say, Okay, here is the problem, our cells are down 10%, no one says, let’s all talk about how we own that. Everyone starts to say, Well, you know marketing, they didn’t do that well, you know what? My fault that we didn’t get that.

0:45:27.8 S2: Logistics didn’t get the product. Everyone starts to finger blame and that power play is so dangerous, but what if it was… We’re down, we own this, everyone talk about what your team, how your team owns this, because we all own a piece of it and what your team is gonna do and what our ideas you have for other teams, and you actually worked out. But instead, it’s just fear and ego all day long.

0:45:54.9 S1: For an ego all day long, for people who really wanna dive more of that, so when I talk about ownership and the Seven Pillars of ownership, I’m talking about somebody coming to work, set on fire, committed to an organization and a purpose. In doing what they do because they love it. They do it for them. This kind of ownership is an accountability type of ownership, I just wanna make the distinction for the listeners, if you wanna dive more into that, most of you’ve probably heard about it, but Jackie and one of his Navy SEAL partners wrote Extreme Ownership, an incredible, incredible book that’s all about this last part of the conversation, so if you haven’t already checked that out, check it out, I know Walmart corporate bought the book and gave it to all their vice presidents and all their building managers and issued it as mandatory reading like that. So that’s how good this thing is, I don’t have a chance to check it out yet, anything else? Any call to action? Any final thoughts as we begin to move on our way out of this…

0:46:55.7 S2: Yeah, so I think the call to action is when you walk into your place of employment, the next time after you’ve listened to this show, what I want you to do is I want you to start watching your people’s responses and start to play with your language, start to play with questions, start to ask questions you truly do not know the answer to, and just see how things start to change for you, start to see the creative ideas that come out, and we have several free resources on our website at 304 Coaching , one of my favorite resources is how to create innovation in a meeting, and so we have an entire process that we have that you can download there and learn how to set up a meeting where we’re focusing on the pre-frontal cortex and removing fears, we really can innovate and drive the business in a great way.

0:47:50.9 S1: Love that. So, so powerful. So where is the best place or you post in daily on LinkedIn, I know that we become friends fairly recently, where is the best place for somebody to follow you if they wanna see some daily or multiple times a week inspirations or is the best place to go to the website.

0:48:07.0 S2: So you definitely can go to the website, there’s a ton of free resources there, but yes, I’d love to continue the conversation live on LinkedIn, that’s where we post all of our tips and ideas and questions… The questions, I don’t know the answers to. There a lot of questions out, I don’t know the answers to you on social media, and I learn from you guys, but… Yeah, to connect with me on LinkedIn, you can find me at Jen Thornton ACC.

0:48:32.9 S1: Awesome, awesome, awesome. And so for people who can find the podcast, I already know this, but if you don’t, and the details in the description of the podcast, I will have direct links to Jen’s website, to her LinkedIn, anything else that she provides me with. So that way you can stay in contact with her. Jennifer, thank you so much for joining me today.

0:48:52.9 S2: Oh my gosh, thank you for having me. It was so much fun and… Yeah. Let’s do more shows.

0:48:56.8 S1: Let’s do more shows. Yeah, I got a couple of different ideas that I wanna talk to you about, so I think that could be a ton of fun, so Jennifer Thornton and I have been talking about conversational intelligence, the seven deadly sins of leadership, pride, greed, wrath, envy, lust, clutter, sloth, a-couple, I wanna add. Jealousy, retaliation and revenge. And retaliation happens immediately. Revenge is one of those things people talk about is a dish best served cold, and these things destroy leaders. If you’re doing these things, you’re not leading, you’re a boss, you’re not who you wanna be, especially if you’re listening to this podcast, and if you see somebody who’s struggling another leader within your organization, and you know they’re a good person and reach out to him, talk to him, you give him some how follow Jen reach out because she’s really helping people and do an incredible, incredible work. Again, 304 Coaching. And it was through our coaching dot com, right? Correct? Yes. Alright, to our listeners, thank you for joining us today. We really appreciate you tuning in. Please hit the subscribe button, give us a rating, give us a review. So we can reach people or organically, we have started a mailing list is something new, we promise not to overwhelm you with information, but in the podcast description, if you go to the website, you can sign up for that, we’re around the holidays, this release, just after the holidays, so we hope everybody had a great holiday and remember, always be committed to excellence.

Scroll to Top