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Apr 2, 2024
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Being True at Work (Replay)

Being True at Work (Replay)
Join Jeff Hunt in an engaging replay of a previous episode of the Human Capital podcast, featuring Cassandra Goodman, a distinguished figure in the world of business and leadership. Cassandra is known for her impactful roles in companies like GE, Adobe, and Mastercard, bringing a refreshing perspective to leadership with her latest book "Being True." In this conversation, Jeff and Cassandra delve into the "True Leadership" concept, encouraging us to move away from conventional leadership paradigms. Cassandra discusses the profound impact of understanding our inner nature, embracing all aspects of ourselves, and leading with empathy and effectiveness. They share insights on how cultivating self-awareness and authenticity can lead to not only personal fulfillment but also create a positive ripple effect in organizational culture.


Intro: Duration: (02:56)

Opening music jingle & sound effects

Jeff Hunt:

Hey everyone, Jeff here, and for this replay episode, I'm bringing back one of my favorites from 2023. In this episode, I revisit my chat with Cassandra Goodman, who's an extraordinary leader and author from Australia, and she joined me to talk about her book, Being True. Cassie's not just accomplished, she's on a mission to help leaders be their authentic selves, embracing all of their quirks.

In this episode, I dive into true leadership, shedding old norms for a deeper connection with our true selves. Making leadership more empathic and effective. It's a powerful reminder that the best leaders are real, approachable, and above all, authentic. So whether you're listening for the first time or coming back for seconds, this conversation with Cassie is a must listen for anyone aiming to lead with more heart and authenticity.

Let's jump in!

Jeff Hunt:

Welcome to the Human Capital Podcast, I'm Jeff Hunt. Leadership is one of my favorite topics because good leaders can create great company culture. The business world is filled with both exceptional and inadequate leaders. Poor leaders do things like micromanage, under communicate, play favorites, and they can lack compassion toward others.

Conversely, the best leaders are often big hearted, but they expect top performance. They're courageous, and they stay connected to employees even when times are tough. Today we're gonna talk about the various parts of us and how they can bring out the best or worst in us as leaders. We're also gonna discuss what it means to be able to be true to yourself at work.

Cassie Goodman is joining me today to explore her new book “Being True”. Cassie has deep business acumen, extensive experience as a senior leader and outside consultant, and she's left her mark on companies like GE, Adobe, and MasterCard. Cassie helps empower leaders to be authentic and imperfectly themselves, and she's not just a thought leader, but a great role model for what it looks like to be true. Welcome, Cassie.

Cassandra Goodman:

Hi, Jeff. It's really wonderful to be here.

Jeff Hunt:

I'm excited to have our conversation today, especially because as you know, I recently read your new book Being True, and I'm officially a fan, so I want you to know that.

Cassandra Goodman:

That's so, so wonderful.

Topic 1. Who or what inspired you the most? (02:57)

Jeff Hunt:

I've put a link to the book in our show notes and also on the podcast website. So, if you go to the books list on the Human Capital Podcast website, you'll see a link there. Cassie, before we dive into the book, let's get to know you a little bit. When you look back on your career, who is one person that really inspired you? And it doesn't have to be one, but who has inspired you?

Cassandra Goodman:

I know this is a question you asked Jeff, and I think it's such a great question. So, I have been reflecting and it was quite tricky to think about just one or even a handful of people. But you know, the person I kept coming back to actually is my dad. I think my, my dad has inspired and influenced my work in so many ways, and perhaps in not the traditional sense of, you know, him perhaps being a cheerleader or even a role model.

My father worked for the government throughout my formative years. Dad suffered a lot from work-related stress. And that had a big impact on me as it does to any child that grows up in a household where there's kind of pressure or you know, this sense of, you know, that things are not quite right. And what that meant for me is that I became a very high achieving, low maintenance little girl, and it really propelled me some to some great heights.

It allowed me to do very well in my schooling, to get a scholarship to university and to really climb the corporate ladder very, very quickly at a young age, being propelled. What I now know was a part of me that was so desperate to feel like she was enough, so desperate to feel like she was creating value in the world through her achievements.

And so, you know, it's not the traditional story I suppose of, of an inspiring person, but I know for sure if it hadn't been for my dad's struggles. That experience I had growing up, I know for sure I wouldn't be doing the work I do today. I know for sure I wouldn't have had that kind of really accelerated pathway through the corporate world, and I wouldn't have learned all the things I've learned about how tricky it is to stay true to ourselves when we have parts of ourselves that are driven for maybe unhealthy, striving, proving, perfectionism, pleasing, you know, all the things we do.

I wouldn't have had any of those insights if it wasn't for my dad.

Jeff Hunt:

Well, that's such a great story and it also makes me just reflect on the fact that how often we can be doing these things like pursuing and trying to achieve without being super self-conscious about it, sort of a background process that we can be on autopilot with.

Cassandra Goodman:

Right. Most of us are on autopilot most of the time. And when I see some of these big founders, you know, making the mega bucks, I often think, what are you trying to prove and who are you trying to prove it to? And so we know that our experiences in our formative years have a huge impact up on us, and they can kind of be like, I think of it for myself as, as kind of rocket fuel that is powerful, but in no way sustainable and, and that rocket fuel that drove the early part of my corporate career with depriving the strip that's driving the, proving that the desperate kind of, I suppose, quest to prove to the world that I was enough to prove to myself that I was enough to feel like I had value in the world.

It was a powerful force, but it was no way sustainable. It was a very individualistic pursuit and in many ways, anti leadership. You know, it's all, it was all about me. And it took me many years of leading people to realize, oh, okay, this way of being, this way of thinking about having to prove myself is really not conducive to wholehearted, compassionate, inspiring, inclusive leadership. And you know, there were many moments where I realized I have to find a different way of being as a leader. Yeah, but all roads for me lead back to those formative years and, and this kind of, I suppose, uh, formative experience, which made me come to believe that there was something wrong with me. That in somehow I was not enough of something, uh, in order to be worthy of love and acceptance.

You know, it's a usual story, right? This is what we do as kids. We make it all about us. Exactly. And it was that experience that that's really been such a huge factor in the work I do today. Really helping people to come back to who they really are at their core, and to tap into that energy source is something that's renewable, sustainable, and that naturally embodies these true qualities of leadership. The compassion, the connectedness, the creativity, the patience, the calm, the inclusion. All the things we know we need in leaders in the world today.

Topic 2. The attributes of a leader (07:37)

Jeff Hunt:

And all those attributes you just described are attributes that people really want to follow and they want to be a part of. And, and they might not even know that, but you can sense it.

So if a leader is exhibiting these traits, you really want to get behind them. And so we're gonna have an opportunity to unpack this and get into your book. Just for listening audience, some of what is in Cassie's book follows the Internal Family Systems or the IFSs framework, and so you may not be familiar with that.

Some of you may be familiar with that. If you really want a deep dive, you can take a look at the Internal Family Systems, uh, website and the, the model was originally founded by, Dr. Richard Schwartz. And so Cassie and I are gonna refer to some of these topics in our conversation around internal family systems.

And Cassie, the way to kind of explain this to our listeners is really what you started with, which is parts. There's these various parts of us in our personalities, and often this is a misunderstood concept, this whole concept of multiplicity of personality. Can you explain a little bit about that and also why it's important at work?

Cassandra Goodman:

Yeah, Jeff, this is such an important conversation about the truth, about how the human mind works. That we're not singular in our psychology, that we're all multiples. We all have many parts, and beneath those many parts, we have a core self and. It's within our core self where their qualities of true leadership reside, and which it talks about the eight seeds of leadership, and they include things like compassion, courage, creativity, calm, confidence.

You know, all these attributes of true leadership are innate in all of us. They're natural and innate, they're indestructible, but often they're clouded, or we have our access to these qualities blocked. Or somehow kind of corrupted almost by these parts of ourselves. And again, these parts are a normal, natural, adaptive response to a challenging world.

And, and we form these parts to kind of protect us, to distract us, to numb us, to really survive life for all sorts of important, legitimate, natural reasons. And so, Yeah. This is a challenge for lots of leaders who we are kind of conditioned to believe that if we talk about this idea that we're multiple, that like those thoughts are actually the dialogue of many different parts or aspects of ourselves.

For some people that's really difficult. We tend to associate it with things like multiple personality disorder, now known as dissociative identity disorder. But of course this is, that was one end of of the spectrum where our parts are blown about apart through extreme trauma and have no knowledge of each other.

But all of us exist on this spectrum. We all have many parts. And this idea that our thinking is actually the inner dialogue of our many parts can be a life-changing realization. And that we are the natural leader. Our core selves are the natural leader of these different parts. And, and that we can have a dialogue, we can take care of our parts.

And if you could glimpse into my inner world, you would hear a lot of dialogue between me and my many parts. A lot of reassurance, caring, checking in. It really becomes a lifelong practice of establishing ourselves as a trusted leader to our many parts.

Jeff Hunt:

Maybe one of the ways that listeners could understand how this comes about is oftentimes you'll hear people say something like, let's say you've been in in a business meeting and the person who is making a presentation does an exceptional presentation, but they take credit for something that you did like they take a hundred percent credit for something that was a hundred percent your role and contribution.

So inside that dialogue might be something like, a part of me really wants to rip this guy's head off because I'm so angry and another part of me is flattered that now my idea has made it and we're gonna transform this company as a result of that idea. Is that sort of an example of how this might play out at work?

Cassandra Goodman:

Exactly, and off. If that was me in that scenario, there'd be another part deep, deep down who believes that she's not worthy and, and that she should never have been in the spotlight and who would be questioning her enoughness. So, mm-hmm. For me, there'd be a third part that would be activated in that sort of scenario.

So, so absolutely brings what I sometimes describe as self-awareness 2.0. We t typically think about, you know, I'm self-aware, you know, I know my strengths, I kind of have a sense of my values tick, you know, I'm a self-aware leader, but to me this takes self-awareness to a whole new level. So yeah, I understand these different parts of myself in that sort of scenario.

The parts of myself that might be activated. While staying tethered to my core in that scenario, that's gonna feel compassion and curiosity. I wonder why he did that. Ah, that might be a part of him that's so desperate to impress the bosses because he may be this part of him that's attached to his self-worth to looking like the hero here.

And so we hold compassion and curiosity towards the inner workings of our colleagues who do these things that don't really reflect. They really are. So it also gives this kind of capacity and curiosity not to wipe that person off as another corporate, a-hole that's just gone around Exactly. Getting kicks from taking credit for other people's work. No, it's not that simple.

Topic 3. Anger at work and how to respond in a healthy way (13:21)

Jeff Hunt:

Of course. Yes. Yeah, that's right. And I really appreciate what you just shared because the one, the other thing that I took out of it is that we all may experience that person who takes credit for our contribution, but all of us have parts that will respond in different ways. You know, I presented the concept of anger.

Somebody else may have the concept of not feeling worthy or something else, so we're completely wired differently from one another.

Cassandra Goodman:

Absolutely. And for me, maybe there'd be anger in the moment. There'd probably be a flare up of like, what? What the heck? Like, but I know for sure that evening, about five o'clock, that part of me, which likes to drink red wine after a tough day would be saying, Cassie, that really sucked.

You should have a big glass of red wine and just tap the edge off. That hurt. So that there would be a whole domino effect of parts. And I've learned with that part, I need to have my fridge stocked with Heineken zero so I can drink a nice, refreshing beverage. One is the alcohol.

Jeff Hunt:

Exactly. Exactly.

Now in your book, Cassie, you have some great examples of parts and how, and how we might experience them, just sort of descriptions of them. Can you share some of those? Cassandra Goodman:

Yeah, absolutely. So the work of Dr. Rich Richard Schwartz that you mentioned, Jeff has done a really fabulous job at kind of giving us a map of the territory.

And the way I think about these different descriptions of parts is they're kind of job descriptions of the different categories of work, these and jobs that our parts do in order to keep us safe and connected. And this is kind of a broad map of the territory. You know, there's very much the case that.

Inside each of us is a very unique map that only makes sense to us, a very unique clustering and formational system of parts that is as unique as we are. And so these categories are really offered by Dr. Richard Schwartz and interpreted by me in my book as a way to give us a general map of the territory.

But generally speaking, there's kind of three main categories of parts. The first main category parts are, are protector parts, and within protector parts there's two categories. One that are managers and these are proactive parts that perhaps this is a part that's a, a perfectionistic part, a part, like in that example that the part that took credit would be a manager part.

You know, we've gotta establish our credibility. Whatever it takes, we are gonna position ourselves as the most credible. Person in the room. That would be an example of a manager part that uses strategies to really proactively give us a sense of value in the world to protect us as well. The second category of protectors is what Richard Schwartz calls firefighters and I call tractors.

These are. Protect us by distracting us, numbing us. So if we have a part that tends to, you know, feel like a glass of red wine after a difficult day, or we find ourselves scrolling through social media just to kind of numb out, or online shopping or gambling or other sorts of addictions or even just the distraction of one. We're trying to do something hard at work. We find ourselves, oh really? Must like check my email inbox.

So they can, you know, they can be subtle or not so subtle in the distractor or, or what Richard calls firefighter parts. And then beneath those two categories of protective parts, we have these younger layers of self that carry the injuries from our past. What, what the I f S model describes as burdens from our past experience.

That might be capital T trauma or little T trauma, but you know, things that have hurt. And those parts can be known as exiled parts. I just simply call them injured parts, and these are the parts that kind of get pushed down below our level of conscious awareness. So the jobs of the distractor or the manager parts is really to keep these parts like kinda locked down.

I'm sure you've had the experience that I've had as a coach. When people start doing the inner work of leadership, often they'll say something like, oh, it feels like we're opening a lid on a can of worms, you know? I worked so hard to keep the lid on this can of worms. I'm feeling a little bit afraid here and that can of worms is really these parts that we kind of lock down.

So that's the broad three categories. And I provide a tool in my book that kind of gives that map. And over time we can create what I describe as an inner alliance of these parts and bring all of them into, you know, a healthy functioning. So there's no such thing as bad parts. All parts come with good intentions, but sometimes they can be misguided in their strategies to keep us safe and connected.

Jeff Hunt:

I mean, sometimes you hear about people saying, well, you know, I have that strong inner critic and it just beats me up all the time and it's telling me that I'm never good enough and I, it fuels my perfectionistic tendencies. And there, there are concepts that people will sometimes discuss about trying to.

Kick that part out and slam the door on it, and it ends up being like whack-a-mole. You know, you're at the carnival and you're playing the whack-a-Mole game and you whack them all down and you know, you can't, it's just not possible. That part of you or that inner critic's gonna continue to come back up again and again and again.

So isn't that sort of a pragmatic way for people to think about how these parts can end up in their system?

Cassandra Goodman:

It is so pragmatic. It's so helpful. And I love that description of the Whack-a-Mole. I hadn't thought of it like that, but it's exactly like that. And so this whole idea of the ego is the enemy too, I think is not congruent with this model of self.

And I, I think it leads to this kind of, yeah, pushing down parts, rejecting parts, and not giving our parts a role to play. That's helpful. So when we try to push the parts down, it's like trying to hold a beach ball underwater, right? It, it's actually impossible, and they're going to pop up in exaggerated ways.

And, and on top of that challenge, who wants to be at war with themselves? I mean, exactly. It's exhausting this combative model that I have to be at war with myself, that I have to be on guard against myself. Mm-hmm. My gosh, that's exhausting. My gosh. That's corrosive to wellbeing. That's why so many people are, are burning out.

I think this is a big factor of that. We're at war with ourselves and so. With the right sort of inner dialogue and the right sort of mindset and the genuine curiosity about the harsh inner critic to, to get curious about its story. Why is it criticizing us so harshly? What is it afraid of? What is it afraid would happen if it didn't criticize us?

So harshly and there's these beautiful processes that we can draw on through the i f s model that allows us to have dialogue and to do what's called witnessing, where we would actually offer, um, space for that part of us to harsh in a critic, to tell us its story, to tell us about all the burdens it carries, what it's petrified of if it didn't criticize us so harshly.

Through those processes and other processes that wrap around that, what happens as these parts transform? And I've seen coaching clients with really harsh inner critics have this experience where these parts transform perhaps into the inner integrity or the inner cheerleader.

Topic 4. Inner diologue with the various parts of ourselves (19:16)

Jeff Hunt:

I want to continue to bring this back to the workplace, and some people may feel like, oh, this sounds really woo woo, Jeff and Cassie, I don't know if I can track with you on this, but the reality is we've all been around extreme behaviors in the workplace.

So for instance, you have somebody in the boardroom who is so angry that it's just they're blowing their top, and that's how they've gotten results in the past. Well, that's really just an exaggerated part of them that's jumped into the driver's seat of that bus. Right? And, and it's just taken over.

Cassandra Goodman:

Absolutely, and this is an evidence-based modality that has been used for 40 years in therapeutic set settings with incredible results. But this is not, this is the opposite of right. This is a really robust model of therapy that many of us are now bringing into the realm of authentic leadership. Has described I F S as the most transformative, most innovative therapeutic model to come out of psychology in recent decades.

So this is a really powerful model that works and we can play with some of these practices of dialogue with our inner parts, those deeper processes of described about the dialogue and the unburdening and the reestablishment of roles. This is something you might wanna consider down the path. But even just bringing awareness to, oh, part of me, or if we see someone explode with anger in the boardroom, this is the angry part of him that's exploding and bringing curiosity and compassion.

One to our colleagues and to ourselves. I actually coached a male leader who had a part he, he experienced as a volcano that was erupting in boardrooms to the point where he was dropping the F-bomb and slamming doors and walking outta the room in board meetings. It was really serious and through going within and getting a sense for this angry part and what it was trying to protect him from.

And it, this part was terrified of feeling weak. Sheer terror. The possibility of being exposed as weak was the trigger. And so we worked with this part and we gave this particular leader a really strong anchors and self-leadership practices that as he was noticing the volcano beginning to activate, he was able to calm himself down, come with a few key phrases that was able to reassure that he was safe, that he was strong.

And that he could stay grounded in his core. And since our coaching, he hasn't had an episode of that kind of explosive anger. So it's been a game changer for him. And we didn't have to do that whole, you know, gorillas in the jungle thing. It was really a very pragmatic approach of getting to know the part, getting to know the job it's doing, the fear it had, and figuring out what are those key.

Phrases or parts of the dialogue that he could have with this part in order to deescalate.

Topic 5. Understanding your inner nature (24:12)

Jeff Hunt:

What a great testimony. And it sort of leads me to my next question, which is really about why it's so important for leaders especially, but for everybody to reconnect with our inner nature. You know, we're talking a lot about our inner system and the contrast of being on autopilot where there's really no awareness about what's going on.

To really reconnecting and understanding our inner nature. Why is all of this so important, Cassie?

Cassandra Goodman:

Well, I think it's important and essential because in my view now, more than ever, we need to restore faith in who we are as a human race. We need to restore faith in our goodness, our potential, our creativity, our connectedness, our compassion, our courage, like these qualities that really are the qualities that are going to, you know, save the human race.

You've got two young sons and I think this summer in particular in the us, we are seeing it all over the news, like this tipping point is real. We are in real dire straits, not only from an environmental perspective, from a look at business, government. All of the big institutions I think, are struggling and in some ways have, we've lost our way.

We've, I think, through the machine paradigm of work spent so long treating ourselves and each other like. Interchangeable cogs in money making machines that, that we do need to restore faith in our humanity, faith in these qualities that make us good and make us human. And when we look at the AI and what's happening in, in that arena as well, just another data point to say, now more than ever, we need to come back to our empathy, our connectedness, our creativity, our humanity.

Just from a job protection perspective as well. So I think there's so many reasons why this is such important work. Why I've really dedicated the last almost five years, stepping away from my corporate executive roles to really do deep thinking and write two books and to begin to have conversations like this with like-minded leaders to play some role in this.

Reconnection of more leaders back to their core qualities, this restoration of faith and trust in who they are and, and these qualities that are innate in all of us, uh, indestructible. And one of those qualities is playfulness, of course. And that is one quality. I think that's also essential. And many of the leaders I work with have lost faith or connection to their innate playfulness when we know that.

We learn through play, we connect through play, we create through play. So there's lots of reasons why I personally believe that this work is essential at this time.

Jeff Hunt:

I'm connecting the dots as well to our ability to reconnect with our inner nature and how that can be the pathway to cultural transformation for an organization.

Because if you have people that are connected internally and they have these. Skills of compassion and connection and curiosity, and they're able to bring that to work and still expect high performance. So none of this is actually compromising our expectations and none of it is like putting aside the need to hold peop people accountable. It's just doing it in a much more human way, isn't it?

Cassandra Goodman:

Absolutely. It's conducive to high performance. It's conducive to wellbeing and. Absolutely the two go hand in glove. And as you were talking then, Jeff, I realized I, I failed to mention the obvious wellbeing and performance benefits of this work because we know that so much of burnout is attributed to what psychologists would call surface acting when we're pretending to be someone or something that we're not.

That we kind of carry this burden of a second job. We've got our day job, which is really hard. Then we've got the second job of pretending to be someone or something that we're not, or suppressing or hiding feelings or thoughts that would be inconvenient in the systems in which we work. That's a whole second job.

So that's a huge benefit. And so as we cultivate also, This sense of owning a false whole selves. There was that big report I'm sure you saw from McKenzie that showed that 50% of people who've left their jobs say that they didn't feel like they belonged in their workplace. And so there's this other strong connection into belonging because we know from the work.

Of Dr. Brene Brown, that unless we belong to ourselves, unless we own and connect with and embrace all aspects of ourselves and all aspects of our past, we don't actually belong to ourselves, which means that we don't belong anywhere. We don't feel like we belong anywhere. Mm-hmm. And, you know, I do a lot of work in, in corporate, and I do think this aspect of belonging is not often discussed.

When we think about cultivating cultures of belonging in the workplace, we automatically think about connecting people more, perhaps getting alignment around values or other things, other initiatives such as that. But I haven't yet seen an organization understand that the first step in creating a culture of belonging is to support and empower people to embrace all aspects of themselves at work, to belong to themselves first before they can belong to the organization.

Jeff Hunt:

That's great. So when, when we think about your book and being a true leader, I know one of the things you mentioned is that it's can be more about unlearning than it is learning. Can you talk a little bit about why that's true?

Cassandra Goodman:

Yeah. I, I believe this work is way more unlearning than it is learning.

I think we are conditioned from a young age to believe that we have to be something different from ourselves. That there's some perfect mold or list of attributes that we must acquire in order to be good leaders. You know, there's so many leadership models, which is just say, you know, learn these 12 capabilities and you will be a good leader.

And of course, there's some technical skills that we need to acquire. We need to deal with feedback. We need to have financial acumen, all the things that we need as leaders. Of course, there's technical skills, but more important than that, I think the work of leadership is coming back to who we are, understanding who we are at our core.

Restoring faith in those qualities and figuring out what is a very unique blend of these qualities. So, The very unique blend or the very best of human nature, how does that express itself through me in a one of a kind way? And how do I really tune into that and embody that in a really vibrant way? And you mentioned earlier, Jeff, that when we work with leaders, we just get this sense.

We get the sense of leaders who are grounded in who they are, who have nothing to prove to anyone. And there's an energetic feeling we get that's hard to describe when we are in the presence of these leaders who are comfortable in their own skin and who come from this, you know, really strong, grounded place of this is who I am and I'm curious to know who you are and together, how can we bring out the best in ourselves and the, those we work with to do some really fabulous work here.

This is the sort of spirit of, I think, authentic leadership that, that we need more of.

Jeff Hunt:

You have a quote in your book, Cassie, from one of your clients, and the quote reads, when I'm being myself, I have enough energy to do anything. When I'm not being myself, everything feels hard. Can you explain why this is the case?

Cassandra Goodman:

It's such a common experience, isn't it? That came from a leader who did my program with me, and that was the feedback I got at the end of my program. And for many of us, I think we don't question this belief that we have to fit the mold, that we've gotta fit in. We've gotta behave in certain ways. And often the first step is to bring awareness.

Now actually there there is no mold. Well, there is a mold perhaps someone wants us to get into, but we don't have to finish that mold. Actually the best way to bring and activate our unique, most positively powerful ways of leading is to become more and more ourselves to shed these layers of conditioning.

You could describe it, that you are the seed and not the husk, and we build up all these layers of husk, but we start to identify ourselves as the husk when we were always the sea. Mm. And so it's really this inner work of figuring out who am I beneath all of these roles. I've been conditioned to play all these beliefs that have acquired about how or who I need to be in order to be a good leader.

So yes, and that's the first step to bring awareness to our leadership is not about changing who I am, it's about being more myself. And that's a long journey, right? And it just begins with finding the courage to look within and start to sift things out. Me, not me, me, not me, me, not me. And it's a long journey.

Like when I wrote my first book, self Fidelity. I pitched to a publisher here in Australia. I'll never forget the phone call, they, they called me and they said, you know, this whole idea of self fidelity practice of being true to yourself kind of feels like a lifelong practice and people really just want like five 80 eightish steps. So when you write a book, 5 80, 80 steps to being true to yourself, give us a call. But we're gonna pass on this, like, okay, self publish. Thanks. It's the consideration.

Topic 6. What it takes to be a TRUE leader acronym (34:13)

Jeff Hunt:

Exactly. Although, I must say, you know, you have, you have the, the True Leader acronym in your book, which is very short and easy to remember. Can you share what that is?

Cassandra Goodman:

So that was my second book that was published with Hardy Grant. That's right. So I, so I did take something away from that experience. So my, my True leadership, uh, acronym is being a true leader means that you trust in your innate leadership potential. That's the t. B R is you know how to reassure yourself in moments that matter.

The U is you deeply understand yourself. And the last one is E. You can empower yourself in moments that matter. And of course, in the natural outcome of these practices is that true leaders trust in the innate leadership potential of others. Know how to reassure others, deeply, understand others, and can empower others in moments that matter.

So yeah, I did, I did bend a little there and try to create something that are catchy and memorable. But it's still a lifelong practice. Yeah.

Topic 7. Lighting round questions (35:27)

Jeff Hunt:

I love acronyms and I love that one because it's so simple and easy to just think about at work. If you can do these things well, so many other things will go well for you.

So I appreciate that a lot. Okay, Cassie, are you ready to switch into the lightning round questions? Oh yeah, they hit me. Alright, well, they're very easy. So the first one is, what are you most grateful for?

Cassandra Goodman:

I am grateful for my ability to work here in Australia. There was a thing called the Marriage Act and my grandmother had to retire from her job at the age of 21 when she got married.

And I think about grandma every day and I'm grateful that when I got married and had my two beautiful kids and I didn't have to retire 'cause I love working. So I'm grateful for my ability to be able to do work.

Jeff Hunt:

I love that. What's the most difficult leadership lesson you've learned over your career?

Cassandra Goodman:

I think the most difficult leadership lesson was having to switch fuel sources, as I described.

You know, I was so attached to this idea that I was a high achieving low maintenance machine, and that's, that was the core of my identity. That was the core of my self worth, and so, It was a really difficult thing to realize that that energy source, that way of being and leading was not sustainable. It wasn't conducive to wellbeing.

That was tricky because that went to the core of who I was. You know, it was an identity crisis. So that was a tricky thing to realize that, and I realized that when I met a doctor in an emergency ward who was literally saving lives. And she told me she felt like she had no value in the world. And I, that was the moment I was like, oh no.

Yeah, you're saving lives and you are not there. No fancy corner office or promotion's gonna get me. So that was a moment that I realized had to change, but that was a difficult, um, period to go through.

Jeff Hunt:

Who's one person you would interview if you could living or not?

Cassandra Goodman:

Dr. Richard Schwartz. He is. He's endorsed my book, but we've not yet spoken. We have gone back and forth on email. He's been a wonderful supporter and a huge inspiration. So, yeah. Dick, if you're listening, love to chat.

Jeff Hunt:

So, Cassie, do you have a book recommendation for our listeners?

Cassandra Goodman:

Oh gosh, so many books. You know the book that at the moment is just blowing My Tiny Mind is the latest book by Nancy Klein, which is called The Promise That Changes Everything.

I will not interrupt you. I've recently done some training in Nancy Klein's work around what, what we need to be present for us to think. Well, I've been weaving Nancy's work throughout my work as a facilitator, as a coach, and it's absolutely changed my life. So the book is a promise that changes everything.

I won't interrupt you by Nancy Klein and the audio book is particularly spectacular 'cause it's narrated by Nancy. Uh, I highly recommend that book.

Jeff Hunt:

Great. What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?

Cassandra Goodman:

I think it was a kind older colleague. He pulled me aside when I was at the height of my corporate career.

So I worked for General Electric for eight years here in Australia and in Europe. I had these big senior executive roles. You know, I was a quality leader across Europe, middle East, and Africa, in my thirties, these big jobs. And one day Jeff pulled me aside into a conference room. He said, Cassie stopped trying to prove yourself.

You've already made it. Wow. Yeah. And at the time in my, in my head, little miss achiever's like, what are you talking about? I am just warming up here. Get outta my way. You ain't seen nothing yet. That was my inner reaction at the time. 'cause I was really, you know, in full little mis achiever mode. But that he, that, that advice really planted a seed and I came back to it many times and it took me probably another five years to understand what he was trying to say to me.

And I'm very, very grateful that he pointed out that there was a different way I could be being at work.

Jeff Hunt:

Isn't it great when there's people along our path to put little flags on, on the way and we can. We have the opportunity to rethink things in new ways, right?

Cassandra Goodman:

Yes. And whether we do it at the time or it takes us five years, I'm very grateful for those. Didn't flagged.

Jeff Hunt:

No question. No question. So Cassie, you've really brought some amazing wisdom to the show today, and if you had to distill down some of the most important takeaways for our listeners, what would you leave them with?

Cassandra Goodman:

I would say find the courage to look within. It doesn't have to be like opening a can of worms.

It can be a very gentle, very empowering process of self-discovery. Tune into those thoughts that you have and be can begin to be curious about if this thought was coming from a part of me, what part of me might that be and what sort of intentionality are they bringing or what might their job be? I think the key message is get curious about your inner worlds, because there's so much there to explore.

And by exploring our inner worlds and getting to know ourselves in this whole new way, the sky really is the limit in terms of our capacity to activate our potential, the difference we can make in the world, and the difference in how we can feel within ourselves as leaders. It's really extraordinary, the sort of groundedness, the calm, the satisfaction, the joy and the playfulness that comes when we restore trust in who we really, really are at our call.

Jeff Hunt:

That's wonderful. Before we say goodbye, how can people find you?

Cassandra Goodman:

So my website is self fidelity.com. I'm also very active on LinkedIn. My podcast is called True Power. I'm really just beginning my podcast journey, but you can find True Power on link. Um, Spotify and on Apple and my book, yeah, being true, it, it's available for Amazon.

I know you've kindly put it on your website and I am on Instagram, but not, not as frequent. So if you're gonna connect with me on any social media platform, I'd love for you to reach out on LinkedIn and it's Cassandra, Cassandra Goodman on LinkedIn.

Jeff Hunt:

Cassie, thank you so much for coming on the show today.

Cassandra Goodman:

Thank you so much, Jeff. I've absolutely loved our conversation today.

Outro (41:57)

Closing music jingle/sound effects

Jeff Hunt:

Thanks for listening to Human Capital, if you like this show please tell your friends and also take the time to go rate and review us. Human Capital is a production of GoalSpan, your integrated source for performance management. Now go out and be the inspiration to other humans, and thank you for being human kind.

Human Capital — Being True at Work (Replay)
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