Ana Dutra: How To Detox The Workplace From Its LeadershiT, Episode 16

Every person pursuing a career has run into a work environment that was less than ideal, you might even say they were toxic. Ana Dutra Has put together her observations about toxic workplaces in her new book, Lessons in LeadershiT – no, that’s not a typo. the lessons she has learned and her incredible ability to communicate them provide tremendous insight to those of us who are looking to create healthier environments for ourselves in the teams we lead. I invite you to listen to this conversation I was able to have with her about her book and the many the lessons it contains. You won’t regret making the time to listen.

Every workplace has its archetypical team members. In view of the archetypes, what can be done to make a toxic workplace more healthy? Ana Dutra explains

One of the things I love about Ana’s new book, Lessons in LeadershiT: Detoxing the Workplace is that she describes a series of archetypes that represent the various types of team members that typically exist in any organization. The way she uses language to express the variety of difficulties every team of professionals experiences it’s helpful in pulling back the curtain on our own tendencies so that we can take a long hard look at what is beneath the surface and make the adjustments needed to contribute to a healthier work environment. You will enjoy hearing her descriptions of those archetypes as well as the opportunity to consider which one might represent you. Please take the time to listen to this great episode.

Being a leader is about knowing how to deal with the LeadershiT that happens in a toxic workplace

There is always going to be toxicity and problems in any environment where people are working together. It is the leader’s job to address those issues effectively so that the environment can become healthy and the team can work together successfully. Ana Dutra points out that being a leader is about knowing how to deal with those kinds of situations, not run away from them. She gives some great advice on how leaders can do that as wellas gives tips about the kinds of things they need to be aware of as they address the contributors to a toxic work environment. It’s all on this episode.

Ana Dutra’s perspective on why 2017 was a year full of LeadershiT issues, and what she thinks is coming in 2018

It seems that 2017 was a year filled with scandals surrounding leadership both in politics and in companies across the globe. I was curious how Ana Dutra perceives what happened in 2017 and how she thinks leadership is changing in light of those things. Her honest answer was surprising; she doesn’t think the things that happened in 2017 are anything new, the only thing that was new was that they were dragged out into the light and people were able to stand up and say “no more.” You can hear the advice Ana provides regarding how to undo the damage of poor leadership and steer a work team in a different direction, on this episode.

Ana Dutra gives advice on how leaders can reduce their LeadershiT behaviors and become truly empowering leaders

Leaders need to understand that their approach to ridding their team culture of toxic elements begins with them. They first need to look inside and be sure to put themselves under the magnifying glass to make improvements where they are needed. But they also need to demonstrate a willingness to be in uncomfortable places for the sake of their personal growth. Toxic workplaces don’t improve accidentally, leaders have to pave the way, partly by their own example. Ana Dutra explains how to take steps in that direction, on this episode of the podcast.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:47] Ana’s thoughts about what it means to be a leader
  • [3:00] The reason Ana wrote her book and why she gave it such a provocative title
  • [12:06] The LeadershiT of 2017 – is it new or the same old thing?
  • [14:21] How Leadership has changed in view of technology
  • [16:58] Ana’s tips for reducing our potential LeadershiT behaviors

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Erica

Liz Wiseman: The Power of Multiplication In Leadership, Episode 15

The Power of Multiplication is something most leaders are not even aware of, but my guest on this episode – Liz Wiseman – has literally written the book on the subject. Her work introduces the concept of multipliers VS diminishers, particularly as they relate to leadership roles in organizations. Her belief is that the leaders who learn how to maximize the power of multiplication are the leaders who lead happy, successful, energized teams. Listen to our conversation to hear the subtle but powerful differences leaders who are multipliers make.

Diminishers tend to give directions whereas multipliers tend to define possibilities. Which kind of leader do you want to be?

There is so much literature that exists about leadership and everyone who takes their role as a leader seriously tends to be a student of it. Liz Wiseman’s work about leaders who are multipliers is revolutionary in that it helps leaders adapt to the technological and cultural changes that are impacting the way leadership happens. You don’t want to forge ahead based on your old concepts of leadership without seriously considering what Liz has discovered. Your leadership and your teams will be exponentially better as you apply what she shares.

Leaders who are multipliers get more performance out of those who they lead – up to 95% more. That’s why wise leaders learn to be multipliers

When Liz Wiseman talks about leaders being multipliers – what is she really saying? It’s the idea that leaders in the modern age need to effectively draw out the insights and talents of the people on their teams to multiply the resources and potential the organization can experience. This leads to greater achievement all around. The opposite type of leader is what she calls a diminisher, a leader who actually decreases the amount of contribution and impact the individual members of the team have in the organization. It’s clear which one you want to be, but do you know how? Liz explains and gives some of the most practical tips you could ask for, on this episode.

Leaders who insist on being the superstar cause their teams to be apathetic and turn the culture toxic. Here’s how to ensure you do exactly the opposite

We’ve all known leaders who can’t share credit, have to be the ones to come up with all the ideas, and make those who attempt to contribute feel sorry that they did. Liz Wiseman calls that kind of leader a diminisher, a person who keeps themselves at the top of the pecking order despite the skills and expertise of their team members. The results of that kind of leadership are truly toxic. Find out how Liz suggests any leader can become a multiplier and adapt their leadership style to produce a healthy team environment and productive working relationships, on this episode.

Gone are the days when a single leader can know what it takes to lead a team successfully. Collaboration is needed and leaders have to ask the right questions

Due to the faster pace of business spawned by technological advances no leader can expect to be the source of all wisdom and answers for a working team. Collaboration is the word of the day, and good leaders need to know how to ask the right questions to bring out the insight and skill their team brings to the table. In this episode of Masters of Leadership, my guest Liz Wiseman shares three powerful and practical tips any leader can use to improve their team’s collaboration and set them up for greater success. You can’t help but benefit from suggestions as great as these.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:11] The definition of leadership Liz has adopted (from Jim Collins)
  • [4:38] The difference between leaders who multiply VS those who diminish
  • [15:15] Why it’s harder to be a multiplying leader in a virtual work world
  • [21:58] Liz’ tips for leaders who want to become better multipliers

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Erica

Michael Bungay Stanier: Leadership Growth Through Becoming More Coachlike, Episode 14

Everyone who is in a management or leadership position within a company is interested in maximizing their leadership growth. Michael Bungay Stanier says that one of the fastest and most effective ways to do that is by becoming more coachlike. It’s his belief that if leaders can learn to deal with their team members and subordinates from the perspective of a coach they will be able to lead them more effectively, motivate them more powerfully, and keep the team dynamics healthy and strong. This conversation is full of insight that I hope you will take time to here.

A much-needed leadership behavior: Stay curious longer and give advice and coaching more slowly

Leadership growth is not something that happens by accident. Those in positions of leadership need to be intentional about modifying their thinking and behavior when it comes to the way they lead. Michael Bungay Stanier says that there are many behaviors that leaders need to modify for greater results and one of the most important is that they need to learn how to stay curious longer and give their advice and answers more slowly. This allows time for team members to think on their own and respond with possible solutions and benefits that would otherwise be missed if the leader kept talking. This simple tip alone and the way Michael explains it is worth the time it will take you to listen.

Most leaders think they don’t have time to add coaching to their present role – and they are right

Most leaders believe they don’t have time to add coaching to their already busy roles, and they are right. Michael Bungay Stanier says they don’t need to add coaching to the role, they just need to learn to be more coachlike. He and the team at Box of Crayons aim to help business leaders ensure that the activities they are already engaged in are infused with a coach like attitude and approach. The simple, moment by moment interactions that happen every day are the places that good coaching occurs. Michael has tremendous insight about this and I enjoyed hearing him expand on what he’s learned. I’m confident you will too.

Leaders should not be the ones to solve all the problems and provide all the solutions. They should be developing the problem-solving skills of their team

No leader in her right mind should be creating a team that is dependent on her for all of the answers. That sets up the team for failure and creates a culture that breeds frustration. Great leaders are all about equipping, empowering the people on the team to think and problem-solve on their own, which elevates the success of the entire team. Michael Bungay Stanier works with business leaders to teach them the coaching skills that will enable exactly that. His insights are valuable and he shares plenty of them on this episode, so make sure you listen.

When leaders truly get the gist of what it means to be more coachlike in how they lead, the natural question that comes up is “What’s in it for me?”

Being more coachlike as a leader is both about the way you think and the way you interact with the people on your team. One of the greatest benefits of learning these methods of leadership is that they enable you to work less but have more impact through the work you do. You are able to see your interactions with your team pay off to a greater degree and watch their success levels rise. It’s what every leader wants to see, but not everyone understands that the way to do it is to interact with the team in the way a good coach would. Find out more from my guest on this episode, Michael Bungay Stanier.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:34] Why Michael doesn’t have a snappy definition of leadership
  • [7:45] The work Michael’s team is doing at Box of Crayons
  • [11:05] The greatest challenges for leaders and managers who are learning to coach
  • [14:06] Changes that have happened in coaching and how it’s impacting leadership
  • [19:23] Does coaching within a team work at a distance when team is distributed?
  • [22:10] Michael’s tips to help listeners do more great work

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Erica


Cy Wakeman: Ditching Drama At Work Through Great Leadership, Episode 13

Drama at work is one of the most deflating and demoralizing things most of us deal with in our careers. Hurtful words and implications combined with outright misunderstandings are enough to scar anyone if we let them. My guest on this episode, Cy Wakeman is an expert at destroying drama in the workplace and she has learned to do so by teaching leaders to empower their teams to practice self-reflection and improve their own mental processes. This conversation is far-ranging and very insightful so make sure you take the time to listen.

Good leadership is about eliminating emotional waste (drama) from the workplace through good mental processes

I love to discover how my guests define the idea of leadership and every one of them has a slightly different take on it. But my guest on this episode, Cy Wakeman has an entirely different definition than most people. She says that good leadership is about eliminating emotional waste, which is what she calls drama, through good mental processes. That means leaders have the job of teaching their teams how to think about situations in an objective, nonassuming way that empowers everyone on the team to deal with reality rather than making up stories about it based on what they feel or presume. This episode is sure to give you the insights you need to improve your leadership and create a healthier environment for your team.

The average person spends 2 ½ hours per day engaged in drama at their workplace. There’s no greater potential for ROI on leadership

It’s hard to believe but modern research demonstrates that the average person spends two and a half hours per day engaged in some kind of drama at the workplace. That is a tremendous loss of creative and intellectual energy – energy that leaders are on the hook to redeem. There is no greater potential for return on investment when it comes to leadership. Cy Wakeman has become a drama researcher almost by accident, learning what it takes to dispel drama in the workplace and put teams on a more productive and collaborative footing. Every leader needs to hear what she has to share about this important topic.

Leaders need to stop encouraging venting and start encouraging greatness through questions aimed at self-reflection

As Cy Wakeman and I talked about the issue of drama in the workplace she pointed out that company spending for learning and training has increased while the level of actual engagement between employees has decreased. She concludes that what we are teaching our teams and leaders is not working, in fact, it’s making the problem of drama at work even worse. She says that leaders need to stop encouraging their employees to vent, which only amplifies their already skewed perspectives, and start encouraging them to aim for greatness through doing the self-reflection required to come to interactions ready to hear and speak the truth. You don’t want to miss the insights that Cy has to share with us on this episode.

Drama and suffering happen because of the story we tell ourselves about reality, not because of reality itself

There is a great deal of suffering in the world, but only a small portion of it is outside our control. That is what my guest, Cy Wakeman would say because she believes that most suffering and pain comes from our interpretation of reality, from the story we tell ourselves, rather than from the facts of reality itself. She believes if we can establish good mental processes that enable us to see reality as it is and stop making up stories about it, we will find that our suffering and pain decrease proportionally. I invite you to learn more about ditching drama at work from my expert on this episode, Cy Wakeman.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:48] Who is Cy Wakeman and how does she help people ditch the drama and turn excuses into results?
  • [1:43] Cy’s definition of leadership: Eliminating emotional waste from the workplace with good mental processes
  • [2:34] The research and insights that prompted Cy to write her newest book
  • [4:30] Examples of how drama shows up in the workplace and how leaders can ditch it to get to better results
  • [9:09] How drama plays out in the 21st century team context and how leaders can address it
  • [12:59] It’s more important than ever that each team member come to relationships with few assumptions and conclusions
  • [17:09] Modern leadership is teaching people to engage in drama instead of how to avoid it
  • [19:21] Cy’s tips for those who want to become a Masters of Leadership

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Erica

Peter Bregman: Emotional Courage As The Key To Leadership, Episode #12

Emotional courage is one of the key strengths that effective leaders must have. That is from Peter Bregman, my guest on this episode of Masters of Leadership. Peter is one of those people you meet in life who blows you away with both his competence and his depth of insight. He is eager to learn and eager to pass on what he learns, and in this episode does a great job of explaining why emotional courage is such an important characteristic for leaders. You will hear what it takes to truly connect with the people around you, why being willing to feel anything is what enables you to accomplish anything, and the importance of killing distractions in order to get the important things done.

The mindset you bring to what you care about is the foundation of connecting with the people around you

What do you truly care about in life? Knowing the answer to that question is foundational to everything you do. But going a step further, understanding the mindset that you bring to those things that you care the most about, is key to truly connecting with people. Peter Bregman says it is this passion and the mindset behind it that enables you to not only truly care about the most important things in your life, but also the people that are related to those things and the accomplishment of them. Don’t miss this conversation, Peter shares a wealth of insight from his research and writing that you won’t hear anywhere else.

When you don’t act, it’s usually because there’s something you don’t want to feel. But if you’re willing to feel anything, you can do anything

When it comes to developing emotional courage, certain mindsets have to be in place in order to make headway. Peter Bregman says one of those things is the willingness to feel anything. He points out that when we don’t act it is usually because we are afraid of what we will feel if we do take the action in question. But if you have already resolved that you are willing to feel anything you have to feel in order to accomplish the things that you care about most, then you will press through the difficult emotions with courage and ultimately reach your goal. If you are like me, his words resonate with you deeply because you know that they are true. Take the time to listen to what Peter has to share. It is 22 minutes well spent.

If everyone on your team is moving toward multiple priorities, you can’t productively move forward together

In today’s world, most people allow themselves to take on too many things that they consider priorities and dilute their ability to care as deeply as they need to care about the things that truly matter. When this happens in the context of a team there is no way the organization can move toward the most important things on their radar because the members of the team are focusing on a myriad of things. In this conversation, Peter Bregman highlights the importance of getting everyone on the same page and headed in the same direction. It’s the only thing that will enable us to get big things done through effective collaboration.

Emotional courage is required in order to choose to shut off distractions and do what is truly important to you

Peter Bregman doubts that there has ever been a time in the history of the world when distractions were so prevalent. He notes that in order for us to have our conversation, he had to turn off a number of notifications so that we would not be interrupted. That is just one example of the kinds of things we battle to maintain focus and productivity in the digital age. Peter says it requires emotional courage to make the decision to shut off the distractions and do what is truly important. We have to ignore the feeling of insecurity that arises when we consider that we might miss an important email or not be the first to respond to an issue. It’s not easy, which is why it requires courage. Find out how Peter describes emotional courage and the way leaders can facilitate it within their teams, on this episode.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:35] Peter’s definition of leadership: When you are moving in a direction that is different than everybody around you
  • [3:38] Why Peter works to help leaders become more powerful and courageous
  • [8:05] Peter’s advice for those who are leading while trying to move to the next level
  • [11:33] What Peter has learned about the importance of focus and avoiding distraction
  • [14:51] Tips or tools to block out distractions
  • [18:48] What do you care most about and how do you address that care with your greatest competency?
  • [19:30] Peter’s tip for becoming a master of leadership: practice and take risks

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Erica


Lisa Shalett: Tips For Effective Collaboration For Both Small and Large Companies, Episode 11

We have moved into an age when both the speed at which things progress and the technologies which are available to us have made it possible that effective collaborations, even outside of company teams, are not only possible but preferable. On this episode of the podcast, I’ve invited Lisa Shalett to talk with me about what it takes to create effective collaborations. Lisa is a former Goldman Sachs Partner, an advisor to startups, and angel investor, mentor, Brand Builder, and so much more. Her experience with both large and small companies makes her uniquely qualified to speak to this issue with authority and insight. Take the time to listen, you will learn many practical things that you can apply to your situation immediately.

When you’re a small team you have no choice except to collaborate

In a small, fast-growing company one of the biggest challenges is to sort through the chaos that often accompanies the rapid success being experienced. Things are coming at you all the time and it’s hard to know when to focus on one area or at what point you should switch to another. In Lisa Shalett’s opinion, small companies have no choice but to collaborate because they have limited resources and must depend on their colleagues to get things done. When I asked Lisa for her advice for smaller companies she provided some incredible insights about the mindsets and approaches to collaboration that can help startups move forward successfully and more rapidly than before. You will enjoy what she has to share, so be sure you listen.

The key pieces of successful collaborations between companies

One of the most beneficial ways to collaborate is with other companies that are complementary to what your company is doing. Lisa Shalett recommends that entrepreneurs and founders do everything they can to get warm introductions to those in positions of leadership at the companies with which they would like to collaborate. Warm introductions are much easier ways into the sphere of influence of successful people than just going in cold – so it is worth your time to find the right people to make those introductions for you. She also says it is important to do your homework. Make sure you understand the values and direction of the company you want to collaborate with and can articulate why you value the same things and how it would be beneficial for your teams to work together. That is just one example of the kinds of wisdom Lisa shares on this episode.

We face unique new challenges in our digital age. In this conversation, Lisa Shalett suggests some of the first things to address when addressing the challenges

The digital age in which we live is brought a myriad of challenges that no one could have predicted. What are some of the ways we can effectively approach those challenges and come out on the other side wiser and more effective? Lisa Shalett says that we have to first learn to question why we do things the way that we do them. A close examination of our current practices and the reasons behind them can reveal inefficiencies and areas where new ideas could bring about an entirely different result. We should also be curious as to whether there are ways technology can make our processes simpler, or smarter. These are the kinds of things Lisa has learned in her long and successful career and she shares them generously on this episode.

Always try to be learning. Recognize that you may learn your best lessons from entirely different contexts

When I asked Lisa Shalett to share her best tips for those who are leading new companies, she advised a certain mindset before anything else: Always be learning. She has discovered that learning comes in all shapes and sizes and often from sources you wouldn’t expect. It’s been her experience that you often learn your best lessons from a myriad of seemingly unrelated contexts. She also emphasized that it is important to notice the similarities that exist between various options. This provides a window of insight into the possibilities of collaboration, new approaches, and more. I truly enjoyed this conversation with Lisa. She continues to be an inspiration and example for me as I pursue greater success in my journey. I hope you find her to be an inspiring mentor as well.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:14] Lisa’s definition of collaboration: a mindset and an activity
  • [2:54] The most successful collaborations Lisa has engaged in
  • [6:39] The similarities and differences between large and small businesses
  • [11:28] Key factors to make good collaborations happen between organizations
  • [19:27] Tips for becoming a better master of collaboration

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Erica


Daniel Pink: Become A Master of Perfect Timing, Episode 10

Looking back over your life, how many things would you say happened due to perfect timing? It’s a very interesting question and one that Dan Pink has concluded is not so much a matter of random things coming together, but is actually something we can have a great deal of influence over. I’m so thankful I had the opportunity to talk with Dan about his newest book, “When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing.” In our conversation, Dan shared a wealth of great information about how we can become masters of the daily timing inherent in our lives. You won’t want to miss the insights Dan shares.

We tend to think that timing is random – but timing is really an art form that we can cultivate and systematize for our advantage

It’s quite ironic that among the many things we try to take control of in order to be productive and effective, one of the most influential pieces of what enables both productivity and success is often completely ignored. That influential piece is timing. Dan Pink has spent the last few years scouring volumes of research that demonstrate the timing is not a random chance thing that we should hope and pray for, it is something we should take control of. In Dan’s words, “The use of timing is an art form and we can cultivate and systematize it for our advantage.”

The story of 500 million Tweets and a predictable pattern of mood in the course of a day shows that we can make systematically better decisions about when we do things

Can you imagine what it would be like to analyze 500 million tweets in a research study? One of the studies Dan Pink devoured in his examination of timing was a deep dive into just that. What was discovered through the study was amazing! The research shows that there is a predictable pattern of mood that cycles up and down throughout the course of a day. When you understand that and that you have your own cycle of moods, you can begin to systematically make better decisions about the types of things you do at certain times of the day. That’s one of the things that Dan says the average person can add to their toolbox to help them become more productive in the work they do.

Dan Pink shares how digital tools can disrupt our ability to fuel creativity and productivity

Digital tools are a wonderful addition to the resources we have that enable us to be productive. But they can also be a powerful distraction to becoming a master of perfect timing. Those who are mindful of the need to be focus on and attuned to the present moment will take control of their devices instead of letting their devices take control of them. Dan demonstrated that kind of wisdom during our conversation by keeping his phone away from him while he was having a conversation with me. He said he’s convinced that the absence of distraction that comes from the notifications and lights on his smartphone, enabled him to concentrate more, give greater value to you, the listener, and recall information he needed for our talk in a much more effective manner. Dan has a handful of suggestions just like this that you can apply to your daily life, so be sure you take the time to listen.

How can you manage the timing of your day to be more creative and productive? Dan Pink has practical advice you can apply immediately

For the end of this conversation with Dan Pink, I was very curious how he would suggest the average person could take control of the timing issues of their day and thereby enhance their creativity and productivity. True to form, Dan did not disappoint. His advice centered around the diligent planning of breaks throughout the day, wise use of the different time cycles of the day, and much more. If you would like to learn how you can become a master a perfect timing in your own life, you need to listen to this episode and read Dan’s new book.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:09] What does leadership mean to Dan Pink? – Creating new leaders
  • [1:58] Why Dan wrote his newest book, “When”
  • [3:05] Timing is not focused on nearly as much as other factors, and it should be
  • [5:12] The story of 500 million Tweets and a predictable pattern of mood throughout the day
  • [9:16] How organizations frustrate the cycle of productivity most people naturally fall into
  • [13:01] How have lessons about timing changed in the digital era?
  • [18:08] Is the timing of the major events of 2017 an example of punctuated equilibrium?
  • [22:25] Dan’s tips on how to become a better master of timing in daily life

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Erica


The Mark of Good Leadership is Success in Collaborative Efforts, with Major General Tammy Smith, Episode #7

It may not sound intuitive to say that one of the most collaborative organizations in existence is the military, but it’s true. In spite of the top-down authority structures and chains of command, collaborative efforts are how the military gets things done. Major General Tammy Smith is my guest on this episode and her unique perspective through the lens of a long and highly decorated military career gives her the kind of authority and expertise from which to speak about the goals and impact of collaboration. In this conversation, we chat about the way collaboration works in a bureaucratic system, why authority is still important in collaborative efforts, and why collaboration is ultimately about the results you achieve. You’ll enjoy Tammy’s frank, clear thinking approach to the subject, so don’t miss this conversation.

Clarity of intent is essential for powerful collaboration

One of the ways Major General Tammy Smith has seen collaboration in action is through the overriding commitment the military culture has to achieve certain outcomes. In her mind, when the intent of any action or effort is clear, everyone involved is better able to bring their specific skills and approaches to the task in order to bring about that end result. In this conversation, she stresses the importance of leaders keeping the end goal in full view in any collaborative effort, championing that cause to those involved, and stresses how the hallmark of good leadership is successful collaboration.

Collaboration is a human activity that is built on trust

What does it take to truly collaborate with effectiveness? Major General Tammy Smith says that on a fundamental level, trust is the most important thing. Her experience in the U.S. Army has taught her that authority structures and titles never trump the importance of trust and that savvy leaders will work to establish and maintain trust in every interaction. Join us for this stimulating conversation as we discuss the need for trust in every collaborative effort and how you can apply what she’s learned as part of the U.S. Armed Forces to your civilian pursuits.

Leaders: Get rid of the belief that collaboration erodes your authority

In this conversation, Major General Tammy Smith reminisces about a time early in her military career when she was full of the collaborative spirit, but as she rose to higher positions of authority she got the idea that allowing for collaboration somehow threatened her authority. Being more experienced and wiser now, she says that’s an immature perspective that leaders need to jettison. Successful collaboration is at the very heart of what a good leader is trying to accomplish. You can hear more of Tammy’s insights from her many years of military service and leadership and how she applies those lessons to the civilian realm of business, on this episode of Masters of Leadership.

When collaboration is done right, people want to become a part of it

How do you know if your collaborative efforts have had the impact you desire? The main way is in the results you see coming from it, but there is another clue as well. Major General Tammy Smith says that successful collaborations always attract others who want to be a part of the team that brought about those results. If you want to become the kind of leader who’s known for your success at building and leading great teams, focus on the synergy collaboration provides. You can her Tammy’s insights in this conversation, so be sure to listen.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:25] Tammy’s definition of collaboration and why it feels natural to her
  • [2:40] What has made Tammy’s collaboration efforts so successful?
  • [5:35] What is collaboration in the military like and how could civilians learn from it?
  • [10:16] How is civilian collaboration different than what’s done in the military?
  • [13:30] Questions leaders need to be asking about collaboration in the digital world
  • [16:25] Why the older generations need to stop being afraid of Millennials
  • [18:50] Tips for becoming a master of collaboration
  • [22:20] Why leadership and collaboration are so important to Tammy

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect With Erica


Teamwork and Collaboration as the Keys to Mastery and Impact, with Pam Slim, Episode #6

My guest on this episode is a true master of collaboration and a dynamic woman I’m honored to have as my guest on the podcast. Pam Slim is an award-winning author, speaker, and business consultant and she’s been actively working as an entrepreneur for twenty years. She’s helped hundreds of people start and grow successful businesses over the years, and what I particularly love is that she’s got a history of successful collaborations in a variety of areas. That’s why I wanted to chat with her during this first season about what it takes to become a true master of collaboration. I hope you’ll take the time to hear what she shares about teamwork and collaboration on this episode.

Great collaboration happens when people are fully present and interested in the humans around them

When I asked Pam about a collaboration she was part of that didn’t go according to plan, she referenced an experience she had where many high-level creators were involved. They were all experts in their fields and found it difficult to engage in the kind of interaction necessary to make the collaboration a pleasure for everyone involved. Though it was a successful collaboration in terms of outcomes, Pam said it is a situation she feels she could have facilitated better through ensuring everyone understood the need to be fully present and genuinely interested in the people involved and what they could bring to the table. Find out how Pam recommends facilitating great collaborations within your team, on this episode of Masters of Leadership.

The rise of the digital age makes collaborations both exciting and challenging

Pam Slim is a staunch advocate of all things digital and the opportunity technology provides for people to learn new skills, develop their existing expertise, and branch out into new opportunities. But she also acknowledges that the digital ages brings its share of challenges as well. In this conversation, Pam and I spend a good deal of time discussing the ins and outs of collaboration and social connection in the digital age – and we did so with the reality of introverts and extroverts in mind. We determined that people need to use the tools available in ways that are aligned with their personal bent. This is a very practical portion of our conversation I think many people could be helped by, so be sure you listen and share.

A great collaboration requires strong opinions, weakly held

One of the people Pam Slim respects and quotes often is Bob Sutton, Professor of Organizational Behavior at Stanford University. Bob is known for quoting another Bob, Bob Johansen of Palo Alto’s Institute for the Future, who said, “People should have strong opinions, which are weakly held.” In this conversation, Pam points out that this advice is particularly helpful when it comes to taking part in any collaboration. You need to bring your best to the table, which means strongly advocating for your point of view. But you also need to hold those opinions weakly in deference to the wisdom of the group as a whole – because you know the synergy that comes from your collaborative efforts will bring about a greater result than you could on your own. You can glean more great wisdom like this from Pam on this episode, so be sure you take the time to listen.

Get clear about your area of expertise: you’ll be better able to identify collaborative partners

When I spoke with Pam Slim for this interview, one of the things I wanted to know was what advice she’d give to those who want to find partners with whom they can successfully collaborate. Pam said one of the most important things is that you need to be clear about your particular area of expertise first of all. When you are, you’ll be able to see the areas where you need the most help, have blind spots, or could use a different perspective, which will show you the types of people you need to reach out to when you want to form collaborations. I loved this conversation because Pam gave such relevant advice like this, so I encourage you to listen and learn how you can foster teamwork and collaboration as a key to your own mastery.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:10] What you should know about Pam, her books, and her business milestones
  • [4:06] What’s similar or different about making successful collaboration happen in small and large businesses?
  • [7:51] An example of making collaboration happen in a large organization
  • [10:18] The most successful collaborations Pam has experienced and the common elements in them
  • [13:30] Characteristics of ineffective collaborations
  • [17:03] How the rise of the digital age impacts the ability to collaborate
  • [22:24] Tips for becoming a better master of collaboration

Resources & People Mentioned

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Considering Inclusion and Exclusion in Building Collaborative Teams, with Laura Liswood, Episode #5

My guest today is Laura Liswood – she serves as Secretary General of the Council of Women World Leaders, and I’m so honored to have such an accomplished and amazing woman leader on the show. Through the course of her career, Laura has also served as the former Managing Director and Senior Advisor of Goldman Sachs and was named Managing Director for Global Leadership and Diversity for Goldman Sachs as well. She has a wonderful perspective on diversity and inclusion and in her latest book, The Loudest Duck she uses parables to examine the challenges to traditional workplace diversity efforts, including the issues of inclusion and exclusion. You’ll find her insights and tips for creating inclusive workplace teams insightful and practical, so I hope you’ll take the time to listen.

Is your organization healthy when it comes to inclusion and exclusion?

You may not have given much thought to issues of inclusion and exclusion, but if you’re the leader of a company or organization you owe it not only to your team members but to the success of the company itself to bone up on the subject. More and more statistics and studies demonstrate that a diverse workforce is integral to a strong economy and that a diverse workplace can capture a greater share of the consumer market in any niche or industry. My guest today, Laura Liswood shares from her wealth of experience how you can practically move your organization toward a greater sense of inclusion, resulting in the diversity that leads to greater profitability and success for your company.

For better inclusion, pay attention to who is being heard and who is being excluded.

It’s easy in any work or organizational environment for certain personalities or people in certain roles to have the floor most of the time when it comes to meetings and interactions. Today’s savvy leaders have learned to pay attention to who’s talking the most, who’s not sharing much, and who’s being left out of the discussion altogether. Why? Because they understand something my guest on this episode, Laura Liswood stresses: The more voices that can be heard within an organization, the better that organization will reflect the diverse attitudes and opinions within their company and market, leading to greater success in almost every area. You’ll enjoy hearing Laura’s practical advice for leaders of all types of organizations, so be sure you listen.

Be vigilant when it comes to the “pools” you fish from when looking for team members.

A recent post on the Salesforce website states that “Inclusion in the workplace is recognizing, valuing and fully leveraging the diversity of others to create a positive work atmosphere that promotes equality and delivers results. It is the very act of celebrating and utilizing people’s differences to the benefit of the organization, not merely tolerating them.” The post highlights what the research has proven, companies that are more gender diverse and more ethnically diverse outperform others. And one of the key components of making that diversity work in a powerful way is inclusion. On this episode of Masters of Leadership, Laura Liswood shares how the issues of inclusion and exclusion should be taken seriously by those in the leadership roles of companies big and small.

Take time to truly understand the feelings people have about the issue of inclusion and exclusion.

Many of the responses the ideas of inclusion and diversity illicit in the workplace are confusing. Smart leaders will take the time to get beneath the surface, to seek a genuine understanding of the feelings behind those responses. It’s the only way they’ll be able to bring cohesion to a diverse team and move everyone toward true productivity and effectiveness. Laura Liswood ends this episode of Masters of leadership with insight into that very issue, so if you want to know how to both build a diverse company and set it up for greater success by doing so, you need to hear what Laura has to share.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:20] The definition of collaboration Laura subscribes to in her work.
  • [4:54] The importance of inclusion when it comes to collaboration.
  • [8:16] Technologies that help and hurt collaboration and inclusion.
  • [13:57] Laura’s advice to leaders who are concerned about issues of inclusion and exclusion.
  • [18:45] Tips for becoming a master of inclusive collaboration.
  • [21:33] Consider that you need to understand the feelings people have about exclusion and inclusion.

Resources & People Mentioned

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