Deeper Into Conscious Capitalism
San Francisco, Bay Area Chapter

  • 7 Jul 2020 11:21 AM | Anonymous

    Leading by Going LastDo you have a different mindset about your leadership now? Are you ready to step back to allow your team members to flourish, to call out their genius, and to elicit the excellence that is inside of them?

    Are you ready to change what you do to bring forth the best in your people? One way to multiply your team’s talent is to lead by going last.

    In this second part of the blog, we describe how to be a Multiplier.

    Becoming a Multiplier.

    Sports is one place where we can find examples of leadership. There’s a job to be done. A finite time-frame. Ground rules. Talented players. And a measurable outcome at the end of play. Each team has its own playbook; the winning team adjusts its plays on the fly.

    Perhaps we could learn something about leadership by watching how coaches lead. But leadership in sports takes place more than from the sidelines. There’s training. And then there’s the locker room.

    Here’s an example of Multiplier leadership in the locker room.

    Steve Kerr, coach of the Golden State Warriors, is a leader. His half times were part of the secret of his leadership genius. He’d deliberately be the last person to get back to the locker room at halftime. The players had already rushed back. Kerr and the coaching staff would take their time reviewing clips from the first half of the game and generating ideas about the adjustments they might need to make.

    When the coaching staff finally got to the locker room, Kerr would ask his players, “What do you think?” The players would debrief, with their ideas of what they needed to do to adjust. Usually, the players suggested most of what the coaches would advise, and even had some ideas that the coaches hadn’t considered.

    The players were coaching themselves. They were encouraged to see what the other team was doing and how to adjust. The faster and better they made the small fixes, the bigger the lead they would amass.

    What are some of the leadership lessons?

    • Kerr hired great talent that had high “basketball IQ.”
    • Kerr never was the best player; he hired players who were better than he was.
    • He counted on his players to make smart adjustments while they were on the court.
    • He reached out to the players on his bench who didn’t get many minutes on the floor, engaging them by asking for their ideas.

    Steve Kerr is a Multiplier. The answers to the team’s winning ways come from his process. He let his players observe, adjust, and perform. Instead of being the smartest guy, he made everyone else around him smarter.

    You can be a Multiplier.

    Multiplier leadership is a mindset and a way of operating. In order to navigate these massive challenges and societal shifts, think differently about yourself and the people around you.

    Re-consider your leadership role. Could you lead with less ego and authority; with more humility and service?

    Redefine success. Do you attract smart talent who wants to work for you because you make them better and shine the light on them? Do you believe that your people have an inner genius ready to emerge? Do you have confidence in their ability to figure things out; that you don’t need to do the thinking for them? Do you believe that human beings are naturally creative, resourceful, and whole?

    Reflect on how your team can be more creative. Do you believe that your team’s performance is better with more ideas, coming from your team so that they have more understanding and acceptance of the plan? Innovation comes from an environment of psychological safety, excitement, multiple inputs, trial and error, acceptance of mistakes, and moving on with the valuable lessons learned. Are you willing to foster the safety so that your team is willing to make mistakes and tell you about them?

    Release yourself from solo decision-making. Are you willing to have your team work with you on the Purpose and Guidelines? And then, once the Why is understood, let them work out the Hows? For example, your company has a raft of COVID-19 Ground Rules. Could you involve your team in creating new social rituals while still being socially distanced?

    Re-sequence your leadership input. Why not wait for others to provide their ideas first? Why not allow others to provide their own critique and up their game? Ask yourself whether you have created the safe container for your team to come to work not only with their heads and hands, but also their hearts and souls. Have you? Listening is a tool for simply witnessing, acknowledging and honoring another human being’s lived experiences. Do you realize that we need not add more to what is being said?

    As a Multiplier, your leadership will be recognized as a generous mentor, a courageous, thoughtful, and caring human being.  

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Donnie Hill loves rigor and excellence. In college, he was a championship pole vaulter. Professionally, he is a business and marketing strategist, facilitator, and thought leadership advisor. Purpose-driven entrepreneurs, community and business leaders work with him to amplify their reach, build their thought leadership platform and stand out in their field so they can maximize their revenue, impact and legacy.

    Kris Schaeffer says that everything she’s learned about learning, she learned trying to play tennis. When she is not playing her mediocre tennis, she works with clients to create stronger connections between customers and employees with her CARE framework. She enables organizations to become more resilient and innovative by giving them the tools for their own discovery and continued learning.

  • 7 Jul 2020 10:58 AM | Anonymous

    Leading by Gpoing LastLeaders are mightily challenged today with the ever-shifting changes brought on by the global pandemic, civil unrest, and the business landscape now officially called a recession. Leaders are feeling overwhelmed by these constant changes and the responsibilities to produce. How can you, as a leader, be on top of all that is happening and plan what to do?

    Is this even the right question to ask?

    Rather than ask – “How can I get this all done?” – the better question might be – “How can I unleash the potential in my team so that we get all of this done?

    In this two-part blog, we lay out a framework for reflecting on your assumptions about how to lead and provide you with some perspective for leading into the new future.

    What does it mean to be a leader?

    Think about it. How did you learn to lead? Did you have a leadership position when you were growing up – a class officer, a team captain? Or did you learn to lead by being led? Your early jobs. Working through school. And what did you learn from them– how to inspire and train others to do their best, or how to demand and demean?  Another way to learn to lead – books and classes. What formal leadership education have you had and how have you applied that to the challenging, ever changing work you have to do?

    Leaders have a jumble of ways to learn how to lead. They watch others and reach their own conclusions about what it takes to be a leader. Some learn from the experience of being “bossed” by managers and vow to reverse the negative modeling. Companies have their own ethic about what leadership means and expect leaders to conform to their norms. Some provide leadership classes. Others have a strong leadership ethic. You can imagine that if you worked for a company whose motto is “we run on a few good men,” the company prides itself on the Marines’ toughness, tribalism, and strictness. Models of leadership commonly come from the military, sports, structured religious groups and parenting.

    Are you conscious of your own mindset about leadership? Do you have a set of guiding principles that show you the way to get work done through your people?

    Leaders need to have an underlying philosophy about the role and outcomes of a leader. It is not only about the results, it is also about the process. You make your numbers. You build your team. These are not negotiable. They are not tradeoffs. Your job as a leader is to achieve both.

    It’s time to change the way we view leadership and take on new role models. In this article, we’re first going to have you check out your leadership style, and then we’ll give you an example of leadership qualities you can emulate.

    What is your leadership style? Consider whether each question reflects – “Is this like me?” “Somewhat like me?” “Not at all like me?”

    • You’re passionate, energetic, and articulate.
    • You lead by example by setting a fast pace and high bar.
    • You continuously toss out new ideas to your team to stimulate their thinking.
    • You’re a big thinker and lay out the vision for others to follow.

    (Questions adapted from the Accidental Diminisher Quiz, TheWisemanGroup.com)

    Did you feel that you should be like all of these? Most of these? Do you believe that this is how you should behave to be a true leader?

    Actually, none of these behaviors make you a great leader.

    Liz Wiseman author of Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter says that these are the behaviors of a leader with the wrong assumption of what it takes to lead. This leader is well-intentioned but not successful in getting others involved and growing.

    Wiseman says that the work could be better and others could become smarter with less “management” and more “leadership.” A person who does too much doing and thinking, but not enough asking and listening is a “Diminisher.” A person who assumes the genius of others, helps them to flourish, and elicits their input is a “Multiplier.”

    Take some time to review your own leadership assumptions. Are you willing to make others look good? Are you stepping back to allow others to step forward? Are you creating a container for a helpful, healing discussion?

    One way of defining leadership is to look at your results. How much better is the performance, innovation, and personal growth of your team members? They become better; they grow; their careers flourish – these are signs of a good leader.

    Another measure of leadership is the team’s ability to have deeper discussions, to be able to disclose and delve into personal contours. Impactful leaders provide safety and belonging among their team members so that each can count on the other for a discrete opportunity for reflection. Communication is shared among the team and flows laterally as well as upward.

    The mindset of the leader who is a Multiplier is one who gets the tough job done while unleashing the inherent genius in others.

    Would you like to lead your people so that they flourish? In the second part of the blog, we’ll give you some ideas about how to do that.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Donnie Hill loves rigor and excellence. In college, he was a championship pole vaulter. Professionally, he is a business and marketing strategist, facilitator, and thought leadership advisor. Purpose-driven entrepreneurs, community and business leaders work with him to amplify their reach, build their thought leadership platform and stand out in their field so they can maximize their revenue, impact and legacy.

    Kris Schaeffer says that everything she’s learned about learning, she learned trying to play tennis. When she is not playing her mediocre tennis, she works with clients to create stronger connections between customers and employees with her CARE framework. She enables organizations to become more resilient and innovative by giving them the tools for their own discovery and continued learning.

  • 9 Apr 2020 4:59 PM | Anonymous

    Work at HomeSuddenly having to work at home has taken away some of our private space and created challenges for employees. In our second blog, we spoke about the need that we all have for psychological safety, belonging, and mattering. We also gave conscious leaders some suggestions for ramping up ways to create that needed safety. In this blog, we give the conscious leader some suggestions that we have learned from others.

    Get creative with solutions.

    • Have task mentors train and explain on Zoom. Here’s a personal example from one of the authors. Kris watched while her mentor showed her how to record on YouTube. “I could have been sitting right next to him as he shared his screens and moved the camera around to show his set up.”
    • I attended a Zoom workshop that had a Zoom coach; she helped participants break into smaller groups, brainstorm, etc.
    • Have work-at-home mentors, not just the IT department with the technical help. The work-at-home mentors can help with the new at home realities of homeschooling, childcare, and private space. Of course, employees need technical coaching so that they don’t have to stand next to the front window to get enough bandwidth.
    • Larger companies have enlisted stress management and psychology professionals to be available confidentially for employees. They have set up Listening Posts –a better way of describing Mental Health.

    Build community.

    • Continue the rituals. Convert them from in person work to a virtual world. One company still has Pizza Friday. What employee doesn’t love free food? To make it possible that everyone could afford to join, the company sent each employee $15.
    • When you have informal time together, have employees share resilience stories. A resilience story recounts a time when someone overcame adversity. Theirs or someone else’s. Resilience stories are personal, so Kris offered one of hers: “My father went bankrupt during the Depression. The only job he could get was digging ditches. The only entertainment he had was spending one nickel for a night of poker.” Stories about overcoming hardship inspire others to have the belief that they can make it through.
    • Now that you are working from your private space, conduct a Getting to Know You exercise. Prepare employees so they are not surprised. Ask them to share something from their personal space that they would not have brought to the office. Their pet fish. Favorite poster. The stuffed animal on their bed. Let them pass if they don’t want to play the game.

    Leaders, don’t waste a good crisis. Make this an opportunity where your values shine. Show employees that they are safe; they belong; they matter. You will have a tighter and more resilient team.

    The authors -- Donnie Hill and Kris Schaeffer – have never worked together before. Heck, they’ve never even met in person. They hope to be models of how to thrive while working virtually.

    Donnie recently resigned from his full-time tech job as a Marketing & Sales Enablement Specialist to build his own coaching and consulting company, Life Maximizer, LLC.  Now he’s taking his 15 years of experience to advise senior executives and leaders on increasing resilience and rebuilding so they can grow post-COVID. Donnie is really starting to love his new 15-second commute and the freedom to bounce between his garden, his home office and his kitchen table.

    Kris has always worked from her office where she is surrounded by binders full of 35 years of work. And books. Her only personal “homeschooling” has been the current year when she studied for the certification as a conscious consultant. Now she is a work gypsy who finally settled on the kitchen table where she’s able to get bandwidth. Kris Schaeffer & Associates helps companies engage their employees and astound their customers by building conscious cultures.

  • 9 Apr 2020 4:54 PM | Anonymous

    Work at Home, Blurring the PersonalIn the previous blog, we unveiled some of the deeper, personal trials with the new world of working from home. This sudden change in venue may open up some difficult feelings for employees -- a lack of privacy, embarrassment, no boundaries and no control. In this blog, we offer the conscious leader a way to achieve high performance.

    Brain-based science says that we each need psychological safety, belonging, and mattering to perform at our best. Abraham Maslow provided us with this description of the hierarchy of needs. And indeed, when one level is disjointed, it’s difficult to move on and up to better performance. This model of safety, belonging, and mattering are with us all the time. For example, when we come into a new team, we want to know that our egos will be OK; that we fit in; and that we will make a difference to the team.

    In this blog, let’s look at how the conscious leader can help to create that psychological safety when our home becomes our workplace. Emotional intelligence says that empathy is one of the finest, enduring skills of leadership. Leaders, here’s what you can do:

    Keep your finger on the beating pulse of heart-felt feelings.

    • Ask employees directly how they are feeling about working virtually at home. Gensler says that employees without their own personal space are 3 times as unhappy as those with a dedicated space.
    • Salesforce surveyed their employees to find that 36% of them were stressed. If employees are not telling you how they feel, no news is not good news. Reach out directly, one-on-one, to hear how they are coping. Of course, ensure that the employee is in a private space to be able to answer that question.
    • You can cut through the boss-employee distance by disclosing your own feelings first. This primes the pump and demonstrates that Feelings-First is the new normal. A CEO revealed his own fear for his grandson in the hospital for cancer treatment; he cried. The team was gripped by the sincere tears of this former Marine.
    • Continue allowing for feelings. You might start a meeting by going around the group with a one word check-in. Jeff Marcous, a former CCBA board member, uses a technique called “clearing” to start meetings with his staff. This Emotional Exhale brings everyone closer.
    • Go beyond emojis. At toy-maker Mattel each employee has a stuffed animal that tells others how their day is going. Head down or up. Back or butt to you. Mr. Rogers isn’t the only one to use puppets to make expressing feelings OK.

    In the next blog, we’ll give you suggestions from other conscious leaders on how to develop belonging.

    The authors -- Donnie Hill and Kris Schaeffer – have never worked together before. Heck, they’ve never even met in person. They hope to be models of how to thrive while working virtually.

    Donnie recently resigned from his full-time tech job as a Marketing & Sales Enablement Specialist to build his own coaching and consulting company, Life Maximizer, LLC.  Now he’s taking his 15 years of experience to advise senior executives and leaders on increasing resilience and rebuilding so they can grow post-COVID. Donnie is really starting to love his new 15-second commute and the freedom to bounce between his garden, his home office and his kitchen table.

    Kris has always worked from her office where she is surrounded by binders full of 35 years of work. And books. Her only personal “homeschooling” has been the current year when she studied for the certification as a conscious consultant. Now she is a work gypsy who finally settled on the kitchen table where she’s able to get bandwidth. Kris Schaeffer & Associates helps companies engage their employees and astound their customers by building conscious cultures.

  • 9 Apr 2020 4:26 PM | Anonymous

    Many of us have no choice about working from home. The new reality of virtual connection fell upon us suddenly. Leaders need to help employees deal with this sudden work-life blend. The authors draw upon neuroscience, change management, emotional intelligence, and examples from others to provide you with some conscious ways to lead.

    We didn’t have even 24 hours to get ready. When we left the office on Monday afternoon, most of us would not be able to go back until April 7. At the soonest. Working at home is one thing. Having virtual meetings at home is another. Now those who used to have a place to work, at work, now have to let everyone enter what has been our private space, at home.

    Leaders – all of you who influence the work of others – had no ramp up for this change. No time for announcements to explain the purpose. No time for inspirational slogans or a name for this initiative. No time to prepare the “readiness to change” efforts. Leaders and employees were plunked into this at the same time.

    Personal space has become our professional space. There are as many individual reactions to this as there are individuals. As with any, sudden imposed change, negative feelings emerge. Leaders, in case you haven’t heard them already, here are some reactions:

    • Embarrassment – my place is a mess. The only room with a door is the bathroom. I can’t get enough bandwidth unless I sit on the washing machine.
    • Comparing brain -- my place isn’t as neat/large/attractive as others.’ My boss has a big private space at home; she has no idea of what it’s like to share an apartment with 3 roommates.
    • Invasion of privacy – it’s not your business to know that I have kids/out-of-work partner/an impaired spouse/ noisy toddlers and pets. Where’s my headset? It doesn’t matter because everyone around me can hear what I say to you.
    • Lack of control – I’m a gypsy in my own home without a dedicated place to work. I have to keep moving around. Even if the door is closed, it doesn’t mean that someone won’t knock or barge in.
    • Loss of boundaries – now I have teammates and my boss in my personal space. Getting the job done requires almost 24/7. I may not have shaved/ showered/ dressed before our call. Whatever “professional” image I had is gone.

    So what can leaders do to help build the resilience that we all need to handle the feelings about moving our work into our formerly private space? And how can we do this so that we build better relationships, get the work done, and emerge as a better team on the other side of this crisis?

    Stay tuned for the next installment of this blog.

    The authors -- Donnie Hill and Kris Schaeffer – have never worked together before. Heck, they’ve never even met in person. They hope to be models of how to thrive while working virtually.

    Donnie recently resigned from his full-time tech job as a Marketing & Sales Enablement Specialist to build his own coaching and consulting company, Life Maximizer, LLC.  Now he’s taking his 15 years of experience to advise senior executives and leaders on increasing resilience and rebuilding so they can grow post-COVID. Donnie is really starting to love his new 15-second commute and the freedom to bounce between his garden, his home office and his kitchen table.

    Kris has always worked from her office where she is surrounded by binders full of 35 years of work. And books. Her only personal “homeschooling” has been the current year when she studied for the certification as a conscious consultant. Now she is a work gypsy who finally settled on the kitchen table where she’s able to get bandwidth. Kris Schaeffer & Associates helps companies engage their employees and astound their customers by building conscious cultures.




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