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Nov 17, 2020
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6. Principal, Catalytic Consulting
6. Principal, Catalytic Consulting
Jeff and Brian discuss incorporating family systems psychology and emotional intelligence into the realm of leadership. Brian shares insightful stories from his coaching work with senior leadership teams, including questions like “What part of ourselves are we leading from? Are we leading from a place of self-leadership which includes openness, curiosity, and compassion, or one of fear or anger?” Jeff and Brian discuss how a lack of self-awareness creates an adaptation of behavior that is not in the best interest of individuals or organizations. Brian shares how healthy leaders start from an unburdened place of curiosity and compassion toward themselves and others.

Transcript

Intro: Duration: (1:18)

Opening music jingle & sound effects

Jeff Hunt:

Hello listeners! This is Human Capital a GoalSpan podcast and I'm Jeff Hunt. Human Capital is the place where I interview top business thought leaders to uncover the deeply human aspect of work. My guest today is Brian Jaudon who for the past 10 years has run catalytic consulting. Brian incorporates family system, psychology, emotional intelligence work, and mediation into his transformative work with his clients.
He's co-author of two leadership trainings The Power of Self-Leadership and The Leader as Coach. Brian incorporates internal family systems into his work, which will hear about today. Earlier this year Brian founded an organization called Living Gift Consciousness, which is designed to inspire conversation and community around the question of how we can see all aspects of life as a gift.

So many guests on Human Capital are influencers and Brian is no exception. Welcome Brian!

Brian Jaudon:

Thank you, Jeff. It's a pleasure.

Topic 1. Guest’s background and philosophy. How did you get into business? (1:18)

Jeff Hunt:

Well, it's great to have you here today and I'm very excited about this topic. It's something new and different and so I'd love to just jump right in and maybe start with you sharing with our listening audience a little bit about yourself and what you do.

Brian Jaudon:

Sure. Well, I am an organizational coach, and I work primarily with senior management teams or depending on the size of the company if it's smaller, I might work with the entire team. Essentially, I do what I call strategy cohesion and alignment work.

You know, the strategy work we're most of us are familiar with you know, it's you know, who do we want to be when we grow up? As a company and how we're going to get there? And then how do we know whether we're on the right path or not? Those kinds of questions. The cohesion is really the quality of your relationships, particularly as a management team, are you able to tell each other the truth, are you able to have real conversations, to be vulnerable, to be real, to be genuine, and you know, one of the models that I'm trained in Patrick Lencioni’s five behaviors of a cohesive team, which I'm sure a lot of your listeners are familiar with you know trust, it all begins with trust so, a lot of the work I end up doing is about building trust between those individuals, and then the alignment work is are we all really committed to where we say we want to go and who we want to become, and so those are the three aspects that I often work with.

Jeff Hunt:

Great. Yeah, actually, I'll put a quick plug in for Patrick Lencioni, I believe has a new model the six types of working genius, and one of our guests on an upcoming episode is going to be Jeff Gibson who is one of Pat's co-founders at the table group. So we're excited to hear about that. I love that model and I'm sure that you've been able to probably incorporate that into this self-leadership model that you use with your clients is that correct?

Brian Jaudon:

Absolutely. Yeah. I've synthesized probably three or four models and in the Lencioni work and the internal family systems are two of the primary models for sure.

Jeff Hunt:

Uh-huh. Okay, great. Brian share with our listeners what inspired you to go into business?

Brian Jaudon:

Well, I'll start with what inspired me to leave business. That's probably the best place to start. My parents really wanted me probably particularly my dad at the time when I was you know, a teenager, wanted me to go into business school because that's what boys did. So, I enrolled at the University of Georgia where my dad went, and my mom went. and I rolled in the business school and I think I maybe took two business classes and I, went to the business school admin office and said, I'd like to leave, and said they said, you know, how many people are trying to get in this school? And you're trying to leave, and I said yes.

But I really wanted to be a journalist, and so I switched over to journalism, fortunately university of Georgia had one of the best journalism schools in the country. So, I worked as a journalist for during my 20s and I thought I was going to do that the rest of my life, and burned out about age 30 and moved to the North Carolina mountains and lived on top of a mountain on a dead-end gravel road with a black lab and contemplated the rest of my life, and then trained to be a therapist.

That's how I partly how I found internal family systems because it's primarily, has originated in the therapeutic community, but I've really always been fascinated with groups and human behavior, and psychology, and so I just over time discovered that there was a real need to draw on some of these tools and methods for business. So, I gravitated back to business after a couple decades I guess and that's how I sort of came in the back door I guess you'd say. And now I'm fascinated with business and more from really an outsider on some level, but I've just I'm fascinated with human systems, and why people do what they do, and how people get stuck and unstuck, and so I I'm really been having a good time working with business from a totally different angle.

Topic 2. Self-leadership and adaptation of behavior (6:10)

Jeff Hunt:

Great. So, one of the things I mentioned in our opener was this whole concept of self-leadership and I think that our listeners are not going to be familiar with this. So, walk us through what self-leadership is and why it matters to organizations.

Brian Jaudon:

Well self-leadership is the central tenant, or principal, or really it's an experience, and an practice, it's almost a spiritual practice in some ways, but it's really for, it in any given moment, on any given day, and any in any given situation, where are we leading ourselves from, are we leading from a place of curiosity, and compassion, and calm, as you know Jeff, you know the model they're these eight seas that I'm not going to remember all of them but those are a few of them, and you know, are we engaging every interaction in every moment from that place of curiosity common compassion? And without really a heavy agenda, or are we and you know in our good moments and our good days we're able to do that but I think self-leadership really makes it a practice, it makes it a daily practice. And to do that we have to unblend, is another big word in the IFS community, we have to unblend from parts of us that carry burdens, and perhaps have concerns, and even fears about what has happened to us. or what might happen to us in the future, all of us get stuck in what we might call the or what often is called the survival response. The fight, flight, or freeze, our nervous system goes into the sympathetic rather than the parasympathetic if you want to use the Neurobiology language so you know, it's really are we essentially are we in survival mode or are we in a different mode where we can be more creative and innovative and spacious and self that really requires self-leadership to be in that space.

Jeff Hunt:

It's almost like you're sharing the difference between scarcity and abundance

Brian Jaudon:

Yeah on some level. You know we won't go too deep into IFS those who yeah I'm sure some listeners are familiar with it and some not but you know, if you dig a little deeper into the model you find out that there are parts of all of us, or aspects of all of us, that are really concerned with making sure that we don't experience pain and suffering, and then there are other aspects and parts of us that react when we do experience pain and suffering, and then they're parts of us that carry the experience of pain and suffering so they're sort of these three primary categories of parts. Self-leadership is the ability to know what those parts are. And to begin to work with them in a compassionate way, compassionate curious way, and to help them on burden and to evolve and to get to the wisdom all parts of us, whether we like them or not, carry within them great wisdom and gifts for us, and so self-leadership is also that practice, it's the practice of being able to know, where we're leading from in any given moment and then to be able to use emotional intelligence language to be able to regulate or manage, self-regulators self-manage, so that we are not always leading from those parts that may or not serve us and the people that we care about and the people that we work with every day.

Jeff Hunt:

Ok. how do these parts show up in the workplace? Like how do you see them show up? And are they always negative? Can they be positive? tell me a little bit more about that.

Brian Jaudon:

They can be positive, you know, I think that there's so many ways they show up in the workplace. So, one way is that let's say that someone is conflict avoiding. I'm sure neither one of us have that right? So, someone who's contact will conflict avoidance just again, that's the part of us that wants to avoid pain and suffering or wants to avoid maybe causing someone else pain and suffering so that to adapt so what do we do? We compensate.

Or someone compensates or adapts around a situation or an individual or an entire group of individuals to avoid or minimize conflict, and so that creates adaptation upon adaptation, and often what happens is that the root issue that really needs to be addressed and spoken to, really doesn't happen and so you have this perpetuating cycle of adaptation, which is usually not in the best interest and in service of the mission of the organization.

Topic 3. Underperformance caused by internal/external misalignment (11:32)

Jeff Hunt:

Okay. So, would an example of that be a manager perhaps tolerating underperformance of an employee?

Brian Jaudon:

That's one example. Doesn't really want to have a hard conversation as we call, you know, all the different names we have for the hard conversation, the fierce conversation, the central conversation. Yeah because one we may fear a reaction sure, you know, one of my mantras is always allow people to have a reaction. I often will share that, I have I think seemingly hundreds of mantras and that's one of them. Allow people to ever reaction. Because that doesn't mean that what you're saying is untrue or not important to say it just means that, we don't know how other human beings are gonna respond to what we say or do. But yes, that is one example. I'm working with a manager and have been around this very topic where, you know, she has a strong value around harmony and wants harmony on the team, and so I basically said so you're valuing harmony more than performance is that accurate? So, that kind of you know, sort of hits you between the eyes a little bit in a bit of tough love there, but yeah, so what happens is that we end up you know, to use the immunity to change model another model that some folks are familiar with Keegan and Leahy at a Harvard. We have competing commitments, we have to really evaluate what we're committed to, and of course, those are all parts so, there's a part of us that's committed to this, part of us that's committed to that, and they're all valid usually. So, we often have to get much more aware and conscious about what those commitments are, which are all parts driven by the way, and then find out you know, how can we, well first of all in the case of this manager.

I spoke about a moment ago that she doesn't actually have harmony on the team, she has a false harmony, so some of that is just the awareness and the recognition that what we think we're creating or promoting actually isn't happening.

Jeff Hunt:

It's really a lack of alignment it sounds like. Internal alignment, so she's feeling or internally feeling one way but she's behaving in a different way which is creating that internal conflict. I guess is that right?

Brian Jaudon:

Which creates external conflict, so all internal alignment then ripples out into misalignment all around us at all levels, so, you know the classic thing is if the management team the senior management team in an organization is misaligned which many of them are not all then that misalignment ripples out throughout the entire enterprise at all levels, whether it's verbal or not it's felt, you know, it's that idea that you know,

Another influence of mine, I mentioned emotional intelligence the folks who wrote the book resonant leadership, which the idea that you know, all leaders are creating either resonance or dissonance any given moment of the day, and so, you know, and true alignment really feeds and fuels resonance rather than dissonance.

Topic 4. The impact of self-awareness on organizational culture (11:32)

Jeff Hunt:¨

It sounds like you're saying that the way we respond individually and our self-awareness, can have an impact culturally within an organization so, it can actually shape the entire sort of feeling and it is that a good way of putting it?

Brian Jaudon:

Absolutely yeah, I'm working with another manager right now. It's fascinating she's not from the US she's from another country and culture completely. And so, she really learned that to be successful in a man's world, she's an engineer, to be successful in that world there were no room for emotions or feelings, and so again that would be a part of her, that has a very specific strategy conscious or unconscious about how to be successful, in a male-dominated engineering world.

So, her either on her own, or coaching from others, or her family, or combination really kind of shut off from her emotions and feelings and really didn't show a lot of vulnerability and so what we just completed a series of small conversations with peers and colleagues of her, that I was participated in and what really came through is that that was the missing component. People don't trust her because there's no vulnerability they don't see her as a human being they don't get a sense that she actually cares about them, and what they deal with every day and they're part of the enterprise so, that was a real case where she had kind of gotten hijacked by a part of her that had a specific strategy for how to be in the work world particularly engineering, that was supremely unsuccessful so, to her credit she said, you know, I got to do something different.

And so she was really showed a lot of courage I thought, and self-leadership I would add, to say yes I'm willing to hear from my peers what their experience is with me so, that's you just really powerful to have you know, we had three separate conversations small group with peers, and to have the truth be spoken in love, so to speak to her, and so that was you know, that was really powerful so that's just one example.

Of how parts can really take over you know, and we're not really in the practice of self-leadership in a way that really serves not only us, but serves the team and the company as a whole and then by extension they're clients or customers so it ripples all the way out to you know who to the consumers of their product or services. So, really it's a very powerful endeavor this whole idea of self-leadership can be very transformational is often overused maybe it's the right amount of usage, I don't know but, let's just say it could be quite profound when we really practice self-leadership and all the ways that it can move throughout a system.

Jeff Hunt:

And for her so, if we stay with her as an example for a second so, obviously she did the work with you, but what did it look like to have her sort of evolve to a place that system because you were talking about systems earlier it's not as stuck or burden what how did that transformation take place with her?

Brian Jaudon:

Still a work in progress, you know. We’re actually going to meet with her CEO today, because she reports the CEO and just kind of debrief on what she's heard, and learned, and the insides that have come, and then now it's a question of well what is she going to put into practice? Because you know as someone said I to me a long time ago I don't remember who was.

Awareness without action is empty, just as action without awareness is empty. So, now it's time for her to convert or translate her awareness, into action, and into practice. so that's what she's doing now she's identifying daily habits and practices that she's actually gonna demonstrate and then her CEO will be able to hear what those are and reinforce and coach and provide support and accountability, so she's already identified three or four things that she's gonna start doing differently with her colleagues.

Jeff Hunt:

That sounds profound and like she can have a ripple effect on the entire organization.

Brian Jaudon:

Yes and I think it actually be much less exhausting for her because she gets to show up as a whole person, obviously, they're things you don't share in the workplace, but you know, I think she'll be able to share up in a way at work that.

Because she said to me early on in the process, she said, I'm not like this outside work she said people are you know, I really have a strong connection with people gravitate to me and they trust me and so I said okay, well we just got to figure out, what's not happening at work and so again there was a level of real openness and receptivity and vulnerability that she demonstrated right out of the gate, I just have a utmost respect for her willingness to take this on and to learn.

How to be in the world differently which we're all doing on some level every single day, especially now in 2020, we're all learning how to be in the world in ways that are more loving to our self and others and more effective and maybe less exhausting

Jeff Hunt:

Yeah, 2020's been an exhausting year, hasn't it?

Brian Jaudon:

Exhausting and also truly eye-opening and profound.

Jeff Hunt:

For sure so yeah and it what you really were referring to earlier with her is actually her being able to be in alignment both, in work and away from work so it sounds like she was an alignment outside the workplace you're helping her become an alignment inside the workplace. The other thing I was gonna say the other thing I'm I was reflecting on was the Patrick going back to Patrick Lencioni because his whole model begins with trust, right? So, you're helping her embodied greater levels of trust among her peers her, you know, her subordinate her ordinance or manager, and that foundation goes from trust to a healthy conflict, right?

So that's the other thing that you were sharing about her as her ability to actually speak her truth and be vulnerable and have allow others to have that healthy conflict. And then the commitment accountability and results. I think if I remember those correctly those are the 5 Lencioni.

Brian Jaudon:

Yes, those are the right ones and you know, just a quick note on the trust, she has to trust herself initially.

Jeff Hunt:

Oh, okay. That's huge.

Brian Jaudon:

So, she has to trust, and trust that she'll be received with her peers, that if she shows up in a more full vulnerable way that, she will be received and accepted, as a member of the tribe so to speak, and so you know it I think it's going to requires a level of internal trust to really begin to develop those trusting relationships, externally.

Topic 5. Translating self-awareness into action: a case study (23:50)

Jeff Hunt:

Are there any other examples that come to mind for you on success stories of leaders, you've worked with, teams, or organizations and how you've helped these systems sort of breakthrough.

Brian Jaudon:

Yeah, I'm thinking about one particular CEO business owner that I worked with over the years who's actually in the process of retiring now after a 40-year career, but we worked. I think it was. You know, there been several, there were several sort of turning points or moments, mile markers, you might say in our work together, my coaching with him that were really important. One of the ones was a recognition of bringing in people around him to support him in his business that were not always either trustworthy.

Or who they said they were maybe even sabotage the business in some way. So caused great harm and so. You know one of the things we worked with is, I talk a lot in my coaching with leaders around aspirational leadership versus reality-based leadership. And so, I sometimes say, you know, have you ever been in relationship with someone and then they didn't become who you either thought they were or who you wanted them to become and most of us can say we've done that right?

And so it's been a point where like hey it's not who you said you were, or not who I thought you were, or not, you're not becoming the person that I, you know, I thought you might become. Some version of those and it's true in business as well, you know, so I think we it's great to have aspiration as a leader but it's also, we see what we want to see sometimes and we sometimes have real blinders on and don't see things about people or situations and, we might see something we don't want to see so, you know at one point this particular client was reflecting on that. He had some buyers remorse or more you might say about bringing a certain person on to his team and I said well just tell me all the things that you assumed were true when you made that decision and he listed like 12 things and I said well what if none of those are true?

None of those 12 things and he just pause for money he just said well he said I'm screwed he used more colorful language than that. I said well let's just is it possible that none of those things were true when you brought this person on, he said yeah it is possible. So, I think that's sort of you know, that's also back to IFS and parts language and self-leadership that so there's a part of us that can be very aspirational.

And not look at the reality of a situation or an individual and see what we want to see and that's that part of us looks through a particular lens that's not always real and so that's one example with that particular individual another quick example is that I would say underneath that is a what we would call in IFS world an exiled part of him that carried a belief that other people knew more than he did. So, we got to a really important piece of information, which is there's been an old part of him or very young part of him say, probably with him since he was a kid that just always that never trusted his own wisdom, never entrusted his own instinct, and so I think he carried that with him through his entire life and that led him to acquiesce his own personal authority or what some call sovereignty.

So, and that that pattern of acquiescing his own internal personal authority and sovereignty really set him up for a lot of pain and disappointment, and so that issue with the person that we just you know, I just discussed this is the pieces that was underneath that so really that part really the part that did the acquiescing and didn't trust his own instincts isn't a wisdom that's the one that really requires an element of healing and what we sometimes call in the IFS world unburdening.

So that's really important piece is that we all have parts of us that carry beliefs and/or narratives about ourselves in the world around us that cause us to make decisions and to show up in the world in ways that will create suffering for us. And so that's a big piece of what this is about, is discovering all the ways we create our own suffering.

Jeff Hunt:

Okay. Yeah, it sounds like a very powerful model an opportunity to unburden can lead to transformed behavior and a much more effective culture organizationally that will not only be less urgent but be more enjoyable to work in if we're all able to do this with trusting relationships and a clear and compelling vision that we all can speak openly, and honestly, and truthfully, about so.

Brian Jaudon:

Yeah, exactly and it begins with you know, it's a bit cliche but it really does begin with each of us, we have to own that process in that journey for each of us.

Topic: 6 Lighting round questions (30:11)

Jeff Hunt:

Yes, for sure. So, I'm gonna shift us to some quick lightning round questions. We're close to Thanksgiving, so I'm gonna start with a question for you Brian about what you're most grateful for? In this challenging year that we just mentioned.

Brian Jaudon:

Wow, yeah, and what a year, it's been right? We just mentioned so. I would say, I've called the pandemic the great disruption because it's disrupted all the things that used to be true. I would say for me I have met the love of my life and in the middle of the pandemic and so I'm grateful for that, her name is Megan and I'm gonna be relocating to California at the first year, so lots of big changes. I'm grateful to myself for being open and willing to allow more joy to come into my life, to be really honest, and that's been a journey I've been on is to really make more room for joy to be in my life and in my world. So that's part of the best answer I have.

Jeff Hunt:

We could all use a little more joy, I think. And if you think about all the books that you've read, what's your top recommendation for our listeners?

Brian Jaudon:

Oh gosh. I'm actually not a huge reader myself, I tend to use books more as resource books, but I have a ton of books that I do use for that purpose. We already mentioned the book resonant leadership, and I think the same author also wrote how the way we talk and change the way we work. I use that. Gosh others, that immunity to change book. I think is good also.

I think you know, I'm a big Margaret Wheatley fan. Some of your listeners may know her work. I think she's got several books out. I think she may have written one leadership and something I can't remember. Anyway, Margaret Wheatley, go check her out if you have you don't know her work. You know, I love her stuff. I could go on and on but that a couple of those are a couple of ideas.

Jeff Hunt:

And what's the best piece of advice you've ever received?

Brian Jaudon:

Oh gosh. That is a tough one. I would say, I really love this quote some of your listeners may know which, I guess I'll see I will take this quote as advice that from Howard Thurman is don't ask what the world needs ask what makes you fully come alive because that's what the world needs, as people who have come alive. So, I've kind of taken that as a piece of advice I guess over the years and really that's one of the ideas that I try to follow in my own life.

Jeff Hunt:

Really like that. So, as we wrap up, tell me one thing you're hoping our listeners will take away from our talk today.

Brian Jaudon:

Wow. So I would just say to begin to notice that a different level how you show up in the world every day both in your work life and in your personal life and just to begin to get curious. Another mantra when in doubt be curious, I'll leave with your listeners. Just to begin to get curious about how you're showing up and then why you might be showing up that way. Is there a part or parts of you that are trying to, what's behind that? So what are the parts that might be influencing how you're showing up in any given situation, interaction, relationship, or role that you have in your life in a beginning to get curious about why that is? That's their homework assignment.

Jeff Hunt:

Yeah, that's the homework assignment.

Brian Jaudon:

And then does it create suffering or joy?

Jeff Hunt:

Oh, that's a great extension to that.

Brian Jaudon:

So really know so does it tend to create suffering in your and other people's life or does it tend to create the conditions for joy in your and other people's lives?

Jeff Hunt:

And if people want to learn more about self-leadership and this model where can they find you? How can they get additional information?

Brian Jaudon:

The best way is to email me just email brian@brianjaudon.com, that's probably the best way. I do have a couple of websites that they're welcome to go take a look at. It's BrianJaudon.com and then as you mentioned the gift consciousness work also have livinggiftconsciousness.org, so those are a couple of ways to find my work.

Jeff Hunt:

Fantastic thanks much for your time and for joining us today, this was a great conversation.

Brian Jaudon:

My pleasure Jeff great to be with you.


Outro: (36:00)

Closing music jingle & sound effects

Jeff Hunt:

Thanks for listening to the show this week. We release a new episode of Human Capital on the first and third Tuesday of each month, I would really like to know what you thought of this episode, send your comments to humancapital@goalspan.com. Human Capital is produced by GoalSpan, subscribe wherever you get your podcasts and please share this podcast with your colleagues, team, or friends, thanks for being human kind.

Human Capital — 6. Principal, Catalytic Consulting
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