Episode 53 – Ambition with Cheryl Johnson

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You’ve got high intelligence, a lot of knowledge, and many years of experience. But, do you have ambition?

Cheryl Johnson recently published a book about ambition and we discuss the concept in this interview.

After listening, and reading, the examples Cheryl shares, I realize that I have an opportunity to learn how to become ambitious at a deeper level toward offering up my best work.

This skill is more necessary than ever in a world of constant change and surprises.

Tune in to get started.

Episode 53 Show Notes

Episode 53 Transcript

This is Rebecca Clark. Episode 53. Ambition was Cheryl Johnson. This podcast is for anyone that knows they haven’t yet found and offered up their best work but are compelled to seek it out and do it. Are you ready to move your dust? It’s always a pleasure to interview people that I’ve worked with over the years, and so I’m glad that I’m able to introduce you to Cheryl Johnson and her new book, Ambition Now Full disclosure. I did not have time to read the book before I interviewed Cheryl, except for scanning the first few pages. But I have since read the book because I wanted to make sure I did so before I had this podcast go life, and I think the goodness in that is that I didn’t give away a lot of what was in the book, but we were able to honestly talk through some of the topics, like failure in this interview that I didn’t already read about. What I most appreciate about Cheryl is that she is a living example of her book. She is extremely ambitious, and it was really insightful and humbling to hear her stories in both the interview and the book and realize that she was an example of what I need to become, to be persistent and tenacious and to keep working and moving forward despite challenges. And she has a lot of experience in the learning space and learning professionals are constantly challenging themselves to figure out what learners need so that they can experience what is necessary to perform whatever it is they’re seeking to accomplish. And so Cheryl definitely comes from the perspective of a person that’s been in the world of training and development and technology over the past few years, And I think that this would be a valuable book for you to read if you are in the learning space as a professional or if you’re a person that knows that you want to offer up your best work because we can bring a lot of intelligence and knowledge to whatever we dio. But we also have this whole slew of other attributes and qualities that we bring to that work. I think Cheryl touches on a lot of those in this book and is encouraging us to have more grit and resilience and to keep pushing forward and figuring things out. So take a listen to our interview. I think you and I are kind of in the same boat we’ve been doing learning and development for probably as long as we’ve been adults, Right? Right. I always joke and tell people, you know, they said, Where did where did you get your education from? I said, Honestly, from having kids, I’ve learned more about learning and development from having four kids than I ever did in school, you know, even though I have a master’s degree. By the time I went back to school, I was one of one later in life, and I had already had four kids, and I had started a business working with people who had disabilities and helping them set up their assistive technology. And at the time, assistive technology was really new to the market, and there was a lot of challenges in getting the software and the hardware, too. Talk to each other effectively. I should say they generally would talk. I knew nothing about computers. When I first got started in this industry. I was married into my first husband, who was blind, and that’s kind of what started us down this road and he was like, You know, this is a real good niche market. We both want to be self employed. He knew how to use the technology, but obviously he needed somebody who could help him set things up and get things going. And I can’t even tell you that was probably one of the biggest challenges I’ve ever had in my life was I am not a technical person, but I had to learn to be technical in a hurry. In addition to that, I also had to learn the software side of things. And so there was two types of assistive technology that we’re working with. One where you talk to the computer. The others were the computer talk to you while my husband had this side down where you know, the computer talk to you because he was blind and that worked out well for him. But my job was to do you know the voice recognition part of thing as part of my learning journey? Another tremendous learning experience, and I talked about it in my book. I remember we were four kids lined husband. We were poor. That’s an understatement. I mean, like, really poor. We somehow managed to come up with $10,000 to become a reseller and to go to this training that was gonna take place. We lived in Wyoming at the time it was in Boston, Got to the training site. I was exhausted. Frustrated, wasn’t in a good frame of mind to be learning, especially something that learning something that I was absolutely not good at. And so I’m not exaggerating when I say the whole five days I was there, nothing went right. Absolutely nothing worked. Everybody else in the class is moving along and doing really good and get through two pages and I get stuck. And then we have to fix the computer and then they bring in a new computer and then we try this and I was just like by the time I got home, I literally was in tears. I threw my laptop and manuals in the closet. Is that I’m done? We’ve wasted $10,000 plus all of our travel expenses. This is it. I This was the biggest mistake I’ve ever made in my life. But wow, I’m too persistent. My husband tend my new husband now. He called me a pit bull once. Once I latch on to something, I have a hard time but and go. So a few weeks later, I finally pulled the man you allow, pulled my laptop out, and I started going through a piece by piece. Thank goodness my brother had gotten into computers and he was accessible by phone. This was in the days before cell phones, even and living in Wyoming. It special in your in remote areas, connect with people all the time. That was probably one of the most eye opening learning experiences I ever had because all those things that went wrong, I now knew how to fit. Oh, and that was gonna be the next five years of my life just going around, helping people set up their computers and all the things all the, you know, things that I learned just by watching somebody else during those five days fix all the problems that we encountered, I would encounter as I was going out, and I’d be at some remote place in Wyoming and not have access to good phone service or whatever. And so I was on my own, you know, I had to figure things out. There was no Internet. Yeah, how long ago? This was right. Remember the days when there was no Internet, right? The encyclopedias we’d learn from and hope they had the information of anything. They had computers, Huh? So I was just amazing to me. And as I started going through my tutorials and stuff, I always just a joke. I’d stay one lesson ahead of the people I was teaching. They had one lesson ahead of him. I felt okay, charging them for my stuff. And they did pay you. It sounds like if they did, and it actually turned out to be one of the more profitable ventures of my life. Wow. But the greatest challenge to write the greatest challenge turned into something that was giving you the best return. Yes, so interesting. And that’s what I tell people. When we take people to training classes, we set everything up so that people everything will work right. We’re so focused on everything being perfect. And I’m like, you are denying your people the most profound learning opportunities they will ever have. Yes. And people would they pay for training. It’s like and I was the same way. I wouldn’t pay $10,000 plus and I was like, This was the biggest waste of my money. But it was. And then, as I got out into, you know, started marketing my services a little bit. I people with disabilities, like all of us, but come in really a wide variety. I mean, I’ve had people who had vision impairments. I had people who had mobility impairments. I had people who had learning disabilities. I had people who had Well, actually, I actually had doctors and lawyers also cause they wanted to use the voice recognition side of things. So I had people across the spectrum, and the tutorials that I were given just were written for one size fits all kind of thing, and it just didn’t work. But I started writing a lot of my own training was customizing it to each individual. You know, we talked about learning styles. I’m not talking about learning styles. I’m just talking about different people with different needs. And in addition to that, you know, if I would go in, I work for the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation. And so my job was to get these people who were disabled employment. And to do that, they also needed to learn software, not just the assistive technology, but they needed to learn whatever software was the company they were going to work for had so I also had to learn all that software. So I was just in this constant state of just learning all kinds of new things. In addition to that, I had four kids, and each of them still had their own unique way of approaching things. And so it was just like, Wow, why do we think that learning is Should be one size fits all right, you know? So that’s kind of where I got started. And then I you know, when I went back to school later on, it was probably 10 years after all of this. I honestly, you know, maybe it’s rather arrogant, but it’s like I could teach these classes and yet I’m paying somebody for this, and I needed that little piece of paper. For some reason, people thought that that little piece of paper was really important. So yeah, that’s kind of where I got started. And then I started working for, you know, various companies, and each of them had their own unique approach to things. But one of the things I found that was really missing and that kind of leads into the whole book idea is I was just amazed because from the time I was young, I realize not all people, because all people are different. I was born with this insatiable need to learn, and I just thought everybody else was, too. And so that’s kind of where my informal research I haven’t done, you know, a bunch of studies that air been validated by anybody. But just my informal research into all of this is like once this revelation came that Wow, I’m kind of weird. Not everybody likes to learn like I do. And a lot of that honestly came from my youngest son, who had learning disability and you can imagine with him in school he had what they called auditory processing challenges, which doesn’t mean that he couldn’t hear terms of his ability. If you give him a hearing test IQ test just fine. But he couldn’t process sounds correctly, and it wasn’t till many years later actually took an auditory processing test myself and found that I had some of that and like, Wow, if you’re especially when you’re young and in those formative years when you’re trying to learn to read, if you can’t process sounds or hear sounds correctly, if your brain doesn’t process that information correctly, could you imagine how hard it is to learn to read and write? And probably you sit there when people are saying, Yeah, we’re fine. We understand and realize that you’re the only one perhaps in the little group urine for saying, Oh, I don’t think I quite heard it, but I’m not gonna say anything. You just sit here, too. Didn’t hear it correctly. Oh, that’s the bigger challenge, you know. And so obviously he struggled. And thank goodness he wasn’t really a troublemaker. A lot of kids that air have learning difficulties tend to be troublemakers. He wasn’t, but he was definitely one that just kind of sat in the corner and got ignored. And so, through the tremendous amount of intervention that we took with him, I learned so much about what motivates people to learn. And how do you take somebody who really struggles? Toe learn isn’t like me, doesn’t just get excited every morning when you wake up like what could I learn today is like, Oh, please, do I have to learn something new today? Do I really have to do this? This is no joke. For those of you out west, it’s a lot different than it is here in the east. But we lived kind of out in a area on the outskirts way on the outskirts of town, and his school was literally out in the middle of the desert. There was no fences around. This kid was in fourth grade when he started skipping school. Oh, now and he would rather sit out in the middle of the desert by himself, then go to school just because it would. He was so unsure of what was being said. If he was processing it correctly or just, he just liked being alone. No, it’s just that school was such a struggle for him, and he just wasn’t learning. He wasn’t progressing and he was having to go to summer school because he just wasn’t passing the tests. And and it’s hard when you don’t understand why you’re not. And even we didn’t understand why. I think I’m just barely understanding in the last few years why I didn’t like part of school, right to realize that I actually was a very motivated learner. But some of the social situations were too intimidating for me, and so I’d pull back or try to hide or worry about different things that had nothing to do with the subject matter is actually interested in. And so I think, you know, that being multiplied across all the different people in a classroom, you wonder there’s probably a very small group of people that actually enjoy the way it’s set up and kid to perform their best in that environment. There’s so many things that go into learning and what motivates people to learn. Like you said, you know, going to school. My son’s challenges were academic, if you want to call it that. Years were more social, but all of it is is relevant. All of it plays into your ability to have success, and success is what kind of motivates people. If you’re a really adept at social situations and you’re really smart, you probably do real well in school. You probably think things are great, But even with that you’ll find comes challenges another business in 2008 and that’s the business I’ve been working out right now. The majority of the time that I’ve been doing that I have worked with college students, you know, some of them came really motivated and excited and others weren’t. And once again I’m going back to OK, why is this one so motivated? And this one’s not. I learned a lot about myself, and I learned that my style. I asked lots of questions. I always want to know what’s going on. I’m not afraid to admit I don’t know something. So I’ll be like a You don’t know how do that? Can you show me how to do that? And some of these kids were just like, no, they would never, never, never ask questions. And then they turn in work and I’m like, You clearly didn’t understand. Think a lot of us learned through the education system that you know you’re supposed to do things right. Vs like you were saying before, like allow for error, allow for challenging moments and that kind of thing. So we learned that it’s OK to ask questions and to fail it’s something Yes, and see that leads me into the whole other section of my book. And it I don’t talks about failure, and I’ve had multiple multiple multiple failures in my life. And you would think I would just give up and lay down and die. At some point, I’m done. I’m going to take the easy route and I, like, goes back to the pit bull, right? Everything I’ve been learning lately, I’m glad that people are talking about it more is that you’re failing forward so you can get to success. But you can’t get to what you want unless you fail and try. Otherwise, you just give up and don’t even completely pursue it. So being a pitbull serves you well, it doesn’t. It doesn’t. I’m okay, Go. But this is interesting, too, because when I first started bringing up the concept of failure, people were like, Oh, that’s a bad word. Don’t say that. I know what it’s like. We have to reframe it into another falling forward. Or, you know, all these words we come up with for failure. And I was like, No, no failure hurt. I don’t care how tenacious you are. I don’t care how persistent you are. People, I think get the misguided conception that if you’re a person like me that you don’t ever get discouraged and that failure doesn’t hurt. And I said no. I’m intentionally using the word failure because it hurt right. It evokes a certain feeling inside of you, which lends itself to self reflection. What went wrong? You’ve got to be careful how you manage it so that it isn’t a devastating. You know, I’m never gonna try again kind of experience, but those that’s a motivating factor. Failure can be a real motivator if you let us. But you have to let it hurt, right? You have to learn how to manage and allow that kind of emotion and kind of honor it. Yes, and two weeks ago, I have been in the process of how many years of trying to build this learning platform to support this learning process. This action learning process that I’ve been action learning isn’t new, but there’s never been technology to support it, and I just I’ve been for years and years trying to do it. And for all the technology experience I’ve had, I’m still not a software developer. I haven’t come up with that one yet on. I don’t want to. I’d rather pay somebody, right. But I just You know, I sat and cried and cried. I was just like, I’ve tried so hard for so many years, and this just isn’t working. And my husband’s like, you know, at some point you just have to give up. You have to say, you know, cut your losses, move on, open yourself up to another solution that maybe is better for you to spend the time on. Yeah. And it just literally. And then I got came across this life coach or business coach, and even she was like, You just need to let go. I’m giving you permission. Let go. And that lasted about two days. Did you come up with a different idea toe? Accomplish it or you just you’re still kind of pecking away at it. Okay, But I mean, it still hurts. I still cried. People think that if you’re this kind of person that for some reason your immune and my husband especially he’s lived with me for 20 years and he like, I didn’t think you got discouraged. I’m like, OK, where have you been? Well, but you know, P, people assume that you get to a certain level of success, that you’re no longer going to have those feelings. And yet, if you’re continuing to reach, you’re probably gonna have those feelings Justus much arm or because the risk taking increases or the desire to create above and beyond what you’ve created tends to increase. And there tend to be more critics and more things coming your way, like the more daring moves you make. So that’s been I’ve been experiencing that recently as I make a lot of changes and interact with coaches and people who have take and big leaps. And they’re like, people think we don’t experience pain. We have to get coached all the time. You know, they’re making millions of dollars, and they’re like, we have to get coached. All that like Okay, at least that’s an expectation that I have now, like, Oh, this will never end. This is part of the deal. Yeah, it comes with the territory and and I’m also a certified coach and I have a hard time because that’s kind of one area that I don’t really develop because part of me is like you think I just be a real optimist to get through all of this and to keep. But there’s still a very jaded part of me. And as I’m coaching people, I’m like, you know, you have to expect that life is going to be challenging. You have to expect that these storms are going to come. You have to expect that. And I’m like, Oh, I’m painting this out to be so bad nobody would ever wanted in the process of that painting the picture that the difficulties worse, the price that will be paid. And I think it’s interesting. Like I I’m just looking at how you started your book, you know, with the intelligence quotient in emotional intelligence quotient, which air to kind of things. You hear about emotional intelligence, especially the last years. But this ambition quotient and realizing I’ve thought a lot about this not in these terms, maybe, but the last few years, especially going Wow, if you want someone to have something, what would you want them to have? High intelligence or emotional intelligence or ambition, even though you don’t typically have to make a choice right. Everybody has a little bit of it, but that ambition and emotional intelligence is huge in being able to work through failure and to keep going, keep learning and contributing. Yeah, and that’s kind of why I say it’s the missing piece. Certainly, for years and years we hired for pure intelligence. We assumed that if you were really smart in school, you were going to be successful in the workplace. We found out in a hurry that really wasn’t the case. We learned people needed be able to have these emotional intelligence skills, communication, empathy. You know those kind of things. Yeah, that’s great. And I think that’s important. But if people aren’t ambitious, if they don’t have the natural inclination and it’s doesn’t have to be, naturally can be taught, you know? And that’s what I won’t give away all the all the secrets secrets. But believe me, the very short book, and when you read it, you’ll have this be like This is so such common sense. This is so simple. Why, yeah, A lot of common sense isn’t common, as they say, but it’s also good to have a reminder of common sense sometimes because We’re so enamored with big, complex solutions or processes, at least in corporations and large organizations. Right? And that’s been one of the challenges I faced. As I have tried to market myself in the corporate arena is that they like all this six Sigmund, you know, all these process driven, which are great. I’m not discounting those right, but they get so complex sometimes that we forget how simple it is to do things sometimes and yes, once again, you know, one of the stories I tell in my book of this about my youngest son is he’s working for my brother in an electrical apprenticeship program and one of the challenges my brother was having his hiring a bunch of these 20 year old that Sorry, but they all came from the world of We go to school and we go home and play video games. This idea of work just and we all we’re so used to being told what to do that we don’t know how toe think for ourselves and actually at proactively. And I were order takers. Yes, I think I’ll get side tracked her for just a second. But they did a study and they went around. They ask all of these high performing students at a school. What is it that makes you successful? And you’d expect them all the So I worked hard. I did my homework. I studied, you know, extra hours. I participated in all these extra curricular activities across the board. Overwhelmingly, like 80 90% of them said I learned to give the teacher what they wanted. Ah, yeah, yeah, that’s so interesting than you to send out all of these people into the world that air sinking that way. Trained to think that way. Yeah, and so we’re producing all of these kids and that comes, comes back to Josh. Pearson calls them power skills, and he defines them a little bit differently than I do. But I don’t. I just call them my ambition quotient skills. Air employers across the board for years now for the last 10 15 years have been saying the key attributes that are missing in their employees or creativity, problem solving, communication, team building and resilience. I agree with that. Yeah, and that, to me, is the ambition quotient. If you can teach these kind of things. So my brother back to this story was you know, he’s like, How do I teach these kids to be creative problem solvers? You know, whatever. And I said, Well, you have to give them the opportunity to fail And he’s like, Oh, no, no, no, no, no. These air electrical apprentices. I can’t, you know. If they fail, you know they’re gonna shock themselves and die or burn the bill. That’s motivation to learn it. ISS So one of the ideas We talked about a lot of different things, but one of the ideas I gave him, he says, You know, we talked. We have these safety meetings every Friday and these kids just sleep through them. They’re seven o’clock in the morning on Fridays. I’m like, Well, number one, it’s seven o’clock on a Friday morning. Probably be sleeping, too, if you weren’t conducting it right nonetheless will live with that. You can. You can still keep it at seven o’clock on a Friday morning, I said. But instead of standing up there teaching, I said, Why don’t you have them teach it? Because oh, no, no, no. This guy’s no nothing. I can’t have them up there teaching this. They’ll teach everybody all wrong. And I said, No, no, no, no, no. This X, let’s step back a little bit. I said start. Since he’s your nephew, start with him. First bend a week, preparing him for it. Yes, he knows he has to get up there and deliver this on Friday morning at seven o’clock, he’ll bring some donuts and some coffee or whatever it is, you know, he’s not gonna wanna look dumb, right? That that lights of fire right off underneath you. And guess, Huh? Look, he’s gonna be learning all this information and preparing for it. And it was just amazing. It was He tried it. And his like, this really works. These people are. They’re finally getting it there finally had time to absorb it. You need to give people the opportunity to not that’s not necessarily failing, but give them the opportunity to learn something and then teach It creates a safe space for them to experiment and to know that, you know Oh, I’ve given been given approval ahead of time to do this imperfectly. But even so, I’m going to try to learn everything I can about it and do my best which is not the motivation they had the week before. Well, and the other interesting part was, you know, I’m like, OK, first of all, you’re not gonna put, you know, my son up there teaching a bunch of other, you know, novices and have no one in the room. Who knows what they’re talking about, right? Right. You are the guide on the side kind of thing. Yeah, And if if he says anything wrong, you can very gently, you know, point out that maybe there’s a different way of doing things or if something comes up that he can’t, you know, fast questions and he can address them. Then together, you kind of figure things out instead of just giving them the answer. They look on page such and such of your manual. Who cares? Nobody’s gonna look, you know? Yeah, let’s talk about this. And I mean, sorry, there’s no six Sigma process for this. It’s just common right And And when you have learned about six Sigma to you realize that that’s applicable and very few environments, really. Most need about half that sigma like a so long as we streamline a little and get lessons learned and best practices. We can stop getting down into the minutia, and we can actually use our minds to come up with some solutions. In fact, I really like I talked about it a lot, actually. The blank piece of paper, like having people get used to having a blank piece of paper and learning to just think and come up with a solution instead of being an order taker, saying, Well, what should I do? What I do and saying No, here’s a blank piece of paper. You go think about it, figure it out. Then you can go do your searches online or compared other stuff, but start being okay, having a blank piece of paper to start working from versus having a step by step. This is how you do it, because it forces you into thinking of things, and you always come up with more than you thought you would, you know at the beginning of the process. And but it’s interesting when you’re talking about this, looking at this book on how in organizations, especially it’s amazing to see how many people are very smart but somehow fought somewhere in the process of getting hired. I got hired because I’m smart. And then don’t ESP apply some of the same principles that got them to where they are at in doing the job? It’s kind of like, Oh, I got what I wanted. Now I’m just gonna be an order taker versus oh, This is a chance to keep contributing and to keep trying to add value in different ways and try to not just show up 8 to 5, but to really become someone that’s helping make great changes or contributions or whatever is necessary in the organization. And it’s been really interesting to discover that over the years, even a high salary levels, and to see the difference between someone who’s willing to roll up their sleeves and learn, no matter how much education or experience they have, and others that may have mawr experience in education than others but aren’t seeking to be that ambitious person. They just want to collect the paycheck. And I think you know, um and this is one area where you know, I wish I wish I wasn’t this way. But you know, I’ll be vulnerable. Can’t even say the word vulnerable. It support. I don’t like Like I would say, But, um, one of the things that’s been really challenging for me is that I am very like super creative, my love problem solving and those those things all kind of come natural to me. But it’s interesting that a lot of times employers are looking for that, but yet they don’t really want it. They want it in the way that right, that fits their mold. And as a contractor, being a contractor for all these years, You know, when I first started contracting, I’d go in and I’d have all these ideas. And, you know, this is great. We can do this and all man hears all these wonderful ideas, and they’re like no one. Ah, no. OK. Can you give me a reason? No, it’s almost like it was too far beyond their understanding or they didn’t know how to manage that. Yeah, And in addition, I’ll take full responsibility for my at end of it. I wasn’t really good at making my case. I wasn’t really good at presenting, you know, the communication part of something I really had to work on. And I’ve come a long ways but still have a long way to go. But, you know, it would be a couple days later they as a contractor, you know, they could fire you because they don’t like the fact that you have blue eyes. You know, I don’t have any reason, you know, they’d come in and they’d be like, a sorry. Yeah, I have a need for you anymore And talk about failure. This this would happen time and time again. And it wasn’t always for the same reasons. And many times it was, you know, because as a contractor, you also learned now come in and say See you later, but they won’t tell you They just cut the budget the day before And really, the only reason you’re out the door because of the budget or somebody else came along and wanted that position or there could be all kinds of things. So many things to do. You write so many factors. Yeah. After years and years of this, I just got really discouraged. I just got to the point where I’m just gonna go in and be an order taker. And unfortunately, that started working for me. I was like, I’m not gonna go in and you know yes, they saw my portfolio. They saw my resume. They were all excited. That’s why they hired me. But really, all they wanted was somebody to sit down in front of the computer and create online marketing or online reading is what I call it half the time. Yeah, and so I just I got to the point where I was just like Okay, this is This is how it if I want to keep getting paid This is what I have to do I’ve heard this story before, right many times of people that are very ambitious, wanting to, like, push the limits, help the creativity and getting pushback and going back to that order taker mentality because that’s what the system rewards. And it’s sad because it’s squashing like real talent and riel creativity that could come out into the world. And I think some of the organizations die when times get tough, because they haven’t allowed that in their environments that you see other environments where they’re allowed to thrive. But you know when you’re sharing how 90% of the people said they just gave the teacher what they wanted, and then you realize, Well, if you have large groups of people leading and managing that, think that way. Still, they are not going to know what to do with someone like you coming in because you are not going to just follow what the teacher wanted and then they don’t know what to do with it. But they can understand. Yeah, you challenge the status quo. And so then when you drop in line, like even though they see all your capabilities, you drop in line. They’re like, Okay, this is gonna be easy. I can handle this. She can go do the work. I understand these things coming in that I’m looking at, but But it’s sad to see a whole group of people that I guess when you’re talking made me realize that there are some people that are probably very ambitious but just decided to play by the rules and are hiding it and are just waiting for someone in the organization or to get into organization where someone will allow them to be free to demonstrate their full capability or capacity in this area, which I guess is part of your book as well. I hate to diagnose. And you shared an example even of your brother, was it? Yeah. You’re allowing him to have the students teach on Fridays and to have those kinds of ways of designing an ambitious workplace. There another example that you wanted to share it. What organizations conduce to design more opportunities to be ambitious, I guess in the workplace that would be giving away my whole oh, the whole deal. But on that note, it’s interesting because you did bring up something is I really believe, because of this whole cove in 19 thing organizations need people that are creative problem solvers that are resilient, totally agree. Yeah, they’re having to rethink their whole business model. I mean, we’re no longer just tweaking things around the edges if you want to survive, and in this world, you need to have people who are like this. And if you want these types of people that, uh, read my book, no. But the beauty of it is it’s so simple. It’s not like you’re gonna have to implement these very complex processes and do a lot of documentation. And a lot of, you know, work. It’s just a might, not even a minor shift in the way you think It’s reminding yourself of what you already know. And this is really interesting because I’ve been working at the University California here for about a year and I just adore my boss. He is just awesome. He does. He respects me. He kind of lets me do what I want to do. But I’ve been mentoring these interns that we’ve had five interns working for us. Some days I’ll come to him and I’m just like, Oh, I’m just so discouraged. Help, Please, I am I going to get them Pass this hurdle and he goes, Well, remember in your book, sometimes you have to learn from our own words. I’m like, Oh, yes, and I feel sheepish. I’m like, Ok, yes, yes, I really promise. I did write the book. Yeah, but like you said, you have Teoh. You might feel some of these ways naturally. But then, in order to do certain work, you have to fall into line with another method, and you can sometimes forget your own wise advice. So I’ve been really fortunate and I have told my boss numerous times over. I mean, in all the years There’s only been two bosses I’ve ever had that I can honestly say. I just absolutely respected them and would work for them forever if I could. One of them retired when I was working for her many, many years ago, and she since passed away. But I’ve told him that the only reason I met this job in California when I live in Virginia is because of him. I said, You let me be me and you go to bat for me when the boss comes in and says I just want you to go do things the way we’ve always done things and he’s like That’s not why you hired her It’s interesting that you said you’ve only had a couple of bosses that you feel like they’ve allowed you to be you and yet you’re sharing stories that predate the Internet, right? It’s kind of a sad Yeah, I think that over that period of time, so few bosses have allowed this to be a factor in your work. And what’s more interesting to me is when I interview, that’s why they say they hire me, right and then I don’t know how to support that. Yeah, I really think you’ve hit the nail right on the head there is that they don’t know how to support it, and and they’re so afraid of letting people off their leash for fear. You know, that they might run in the street and get hit by a car, you know, or that their organization might be something devastating will happen. My cousin called me the other day and she’s they own their own business and they build cabinets and they wanted she wanted toe. But this leadership program together where they promote from within. And so they’re taking all these people who are typically your assembly line type workers who are building these cabinets and wanting to put them into managerial on leadership type positions. And she she was asking me, You know what kind of qualities, what I be looking for, what kind of qualities would I want to be training these people to develop in order to move into these types of positions? She started with skills kind of skills, and I’m like, No, no, no, no, no, no. Managers do not need technical. I mean, I’m not sure they don’t be technical skills because that’s not true. But what they really need is to understand what motivates and inspires the people under them. And everybody knows the answer to that question. Because if you ask somebody what motivates and inspires you, that’s going to be what motivates and inspires the next person. There’s not. There’s very few things that are so generic across the board, and that’s why my book is so short and so simple is because these apply across the board. They’re so easy. Yeah, well, we make it so hard, like I know that’s one of the things. In fact, I’m going to share this in a different episode with more stories. But like when I was in the middle of a chief learning officer certification and I’m reading this book and it has this very complex pages, I’m taking notes on about motivation structure in an organization like how to motivate incentivize and all this stuff for people. And it was so detailed, and I remember that was the moment when I was trying to absorb it all was, I don’t want any business on trying to expend all this energy on motivating someone. I want someone who’s motivated, and then the key for me was like, If they’re motivated, that how do I support them and what they’re already motivated it or how not to de motivate them, at least right? Cause a lot of times these organization structures and policies de motivate motivated people. It iss. But apparently it’s very easy to Dio. So, um, that was like a turning point from your eyes. Like, you know, I was thinking about who do I want to work with? Who do I want to spend time with? And I I worked with a lot of very motivated people, but it was amazing how those that weren’t motivated or didn’t have the ambition. You know that you’re talking about how that could impact the whole bunch of people if they were allowed to operate from that space of not having that ambition or not caring about what others were motivated by. And it was kind of a big ah ha to me. And of course, we’re working on some very large implementations of systems, and you start to see the ripple effect of that. And it’s just a very interesting It is interesting. And what I find interesting is that misery loves company. Mm, all heard that. So the person who’s not motivated the person with a bad attitude, the person who just shows up every day, that’s very contagious. But yes, on the flip side, what’s odd to me is people who are really, really motivated. That can be very contagious, but people don’t know how to mimic it. You know what I mean? Yes, if you’re optimistic and really perky, people are like do and people make fun. Sometimes of people who are really perky and optimistic. You can’t win anyway. Yeah, so you find this nice little balance between the two. But when you find people that are motivated that are ambitious, rarely do you find people criticizing them or saying, You know, I don’t want to be like that. I don’t want to be little Miss Sunshine, or I don’t want to be You know, Mr Grumpy, whoever e. I do want to be that person. I just don’t know how right you’re making me think of some experiences and realize that as long as that person that’s motivated has a very central goal of performing and helping everyone around them perform, they can be someone that people feel like, Hey, can I talk to you? Can you tell me how you did that? Once in a while, you get those that air doing a good job. But they refused to share information with others because they perceive them as a threat or something. And no one wants to work with these people, even though they know they’re getting stuff done. But when it’s that balance of person where they’re motivated, their ambitious in there, they’re not overly perky. Like you said, They’re just generally positive and trying to work hard to do the right thing. If they can combine that with being open to sharing how they think and how they do that with others, it can be a very valuable experience for everyone involved. There’s a big difference between a person who’s motivated and ambitious in terms off. I want to succeed, but I want to take people with me or very motivated and ambitious, and I’m going to step on whoever I need to to get where I want to go and news travels fast in whichever direction IHS. Of course, I come to this from my perspective, leading and managing primarily from the end where we’re hiring contractors and I look back at those things that I did successfully or that others have told me were successful. I realized it was common sense and you’re saying your book is full of this common sense. But some of it was very basic. Just decisions I made and you couldn’t point toe one theory or blessed business process, re engineering, process, approach or change management approach. But they ended up working very well. And then there’s other times where you tried to do something very prescribed or buy the book or whatever and ruffled feathers or didn’t quite accomplish it because you were so overly concerned with following a particular method or process. And so I appreciate that it’s filled with common sense that people can apply, even just taking one principle or one idea from the book and making a slight change. And even that that story. I love the story you shared about your brother and having those students take that action because that kind of switch is a really huge change in outcomes, and the students actually learned to enjoy it is like a I want to see how my classmates performing up there. Oh, I better do more next week because look at the great job they did this Friday, and I’m up next week in the bar has been raised through Good, right. Going back to church. A young man because we also have youth speakers. And a young man got up and started to give his talk. And he was about 15 to 20 seconds in, and he hadn’t said anything. 30 seconds. 30 seconds is a long time, You know, when it and he, like, mumbled a few words and finally, he was like, I didn’t prepare this talk, but my parents made me get up here and give it anyway. And he’s down. That’s a step. And you know what? I’m give talks after that. And he was always prepared, right? And to allow that experience. Yeah, that failure. Yeah. And you know, what’s funny is the people in the congregation weren’t critical. Everybody I talked to was like, I am so glad his parents made him do that. And and then they said we are. So we’re pleased that he did that, That he s that he still was willing to get up there and admit that and they respected him for that. But still it never happened begin. But that’s a wonderful story to share, and I know that that’s something I’ve been taught. In fact, I was gonna make the list today. Make a list of your mistakes. Have a failure list plan to fail because the more you fail, the more you learn and the more you learn about what not to do, what you can do, what you can tweak and to realize that is the path to getting to the answers to getting to the next big thing. So I I do love that story. I think every manager and every parent I should get a coaching certification. Yes, I agree, because it changes the person getting the certification so much. And then they interact with others so differently as a result. And they allow people to fail and, yes, coach them through to success. Yes, that’s a great plug for coaches there. Okay, every parents always asking, Where’s this manual to teach me how to be a parent? I said, If you want to go take a coaching certificate, OK, that’s good advice. I hadn’t I hadn’t thought I got to start telling people that it puts you face to face with yourself and are able to then show people their own mind and thinking. Thing is, there can’t be too many coaches in the world because we all need a coach. That’s something that I have learned that if I stop getting coached, I’m not. My coaching skills go down, and I’m just building my coaching skills in different environments. You use them in different ways, right? And I’ve meant toward over the years, or trained or given advice or been the guide on the side, whatever you want to call it. But then, too, learn. There’s another way of helping people through thinking about things and moving toward their goals and to allow all these failures that I’m making. I feel like your failures as I progress on this journey, realizing I have chosen to be an amateur in a new area, which means I’m gonna have more failures up front, and I have to allow that because I allowed that back when I was a kid, and then in college and in every new job, and to still allow it. You’re never too old to keep pursuing. That’s why I’m excited to share the book. I’ll put the link in the notes for everyone to go. It’s available on Amazon. I know that. But thank you for sharing just some little tidbits from your book and some stories. And I know that I’m excited to share this with others and glad that you came on the show. Thank you. I really appreciate it. Thanks for listening to the show today. If you enjoyed it, I’d love If you write a review and share the show with your friends, sign up for a weekly nudge at move your desk dot com. See you next Monday.

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