Positive Talk Radio → on Judy Ryan and LifeWork Systems

Share this...

In this interview on Positive Talk radio, show host Kevin McDonald and Judy Ryan discuss LifeWork Systems and why and how people need to think and act to bring out the best in members of the work community. Kevin and Judy are like-minded, like-hearted people who understand and discuss the common barriers and challenges transformative leaders face in educating others on an effective win/win culture model and influence them to adopt the kind of implementation needed so improvements occur and stick.

Interview Transcript

welcome to positive talk radio we’re glad you’re here I’m Kevin McDonald your host for this Grand Adventure and I thank you for joining us you see our mission is to create a positive personal connection to all things with courage and love we invite terrific guests interesting topics and great conversation all in a fun entertaining way and we always manage to learn something too so I hope you you will stay right where you are for this episode of positive talk


radio and welcome everybody to another episode of uh positive talk radio my name is Kevin McDonald I’m your host and how are you Miss Judy Ryan she is our guest for the hour and she’s a person of note so we have to pay attention because she’s very very talented at what she does and we’re g to talk all about that today this hour how are you I’m doing well Kevin thank you so much for such nice words and I’m I’m excited to be here well we’re excited to have you because we are going to learn all about the system that you created um and it’s a way living life a little bit differently and it’s a way of getting your business which I’m really excited to talk about is getting people’s businesses to operate in uh in a more Progressive uh positive way than they have in the past um which would would you concur with that that is that your gain your 100% it’s interesting because in your intro you talk about love and I always think of this work is how do you bring practical applications of love into the workplace because that’s really what’s needed and so it is about that and it’s also um our mission is to create a world where people love their lives and that means at work too which a lot of them are not well sadly at least in uh the United States we spend more time at work than we do doing anything else right and if we spend that time being unhappy then it’s really difficult to re reather happiness for our the rest of our lives when it’s such a big part of it is a pain in the butt it can be especially if we’re not doing the right work or we’re not being the the person that we actually want to be in that work so it’s it’s a kind of a combination and I don’t even like to think of it as being two separate things um the way that the evolution of culture is going is such that you should be able to be the same person at work as you are at home as you are in the in the community and that’s almost a new way of thinking as well how so well a lot of people think they have to put on a certain kind of game face at work oh yeah that they have to be very careful about what they say at work and and there’s always going to be some truth to that but in all reality if we’re really authentic and we are really free to be who we are we’re going to show up the same in both places and um it makes me think when we first came on together before the show started you said you know I love doing live because where I’m imperfect and it’s blindingly clear that I’m imperfect you know and I think our world is better off if we’re not trying to hide what we don’t know and we’re just jumping into help not worried about being perfect not worried about hiding anything so I I really feel like the closer we can get to being who we really are in all settings I think that’s a more holistic way to live our lives well one affects the other affects the other yes um so if you if you are having a really bad time at work then it it does bleed over it can’t help but bleed over to your your home life I would agree with that and I would also say having a bad time at work is often more about what’s going on inside of us than what we think is about the people outside of us and and that’s also sometimes a new way of thinking because most of us think we our feelings and our reactions are dependent upon what everyone around us is doing and while they can have an influence we’re really the greatest influence on how we’re feeling and what we’re going to do with what we’re dealt that day so um I just see that all over the place I see people saying I’ll wait and trust someone when they prove that they’re trustworthy when in reality you just have to be trustworthy to yourself and true to what you know is the most trustworthy thing to do in each moment and then let other people do what they’re going to do um so it’s it’s different than the way most of us see it most of us see it as we have to have other people around us to make us feel safe and I I would disagree with that I would say be safe yourself and you create an environment where others join you in that I think that’s beautifully said I wish I have said that that’s really good you’re welcome to borrow it if you ever want to I’m I’m famous for plagiarism so I may I I may take that from you but uh you you know it’s interesting that you say that because I am a firm believer that and some sometimes it gets me into trouble I’ll be honest with you um but I’m a firm believer in trust I’m going to trust you until you prove me otherwise right and I’m going to trust me no matter what you do you know because that can often draw another person into more honesty more um real real ways of showing up and a lot of times I see a situation where there’s a decision point where you could say something in a trustworthy and open Manner and when you don’t you’re not actually trusting yourself to course correct right there in that moment with someone so maybe somebody’s doing something and I’ll you know and I’m feeling like you’re not hearing me but I don’t say anything well that’s me not trusting me and it’s me not trusting in the goodness of the other person so if in that moment I can say can you slow down a little bit I’m really not feeling heard by you would you you know do something to indicate that you’re getting what I’m saying like that’s just one example um but what most people do is they just ignore those little things that start clouding up the relationship and right when they’re first happening they’re the smallest and easiest to overcome and yet we avoid doing anything in that moment yeah I I have a quick I have a quick story for you if I may that just happened really recently that uh involves trust um I put out there that I needed some Landscaping done and one of the gentleman that called me also has a book out that uh um that he recently put out and it’s about the 10 years he’s spent in prison that he was originally was uh sentenced to like 200 years but and and but then through good behavior and stuff like that he ended up spending 10 years in prison and um so he came over to my house and uh and I gave him $1,500 for half of the project now half of the project when it’s done and I told a friend about this and he goes hold on wait wait a minute wait a minute wait a you gave a convicted felon $1,500 you’re never gonna see that money again and you’ll never going to see him again and I said no he seemed like a nice guy and I trust that my inner um my inner knowing was was accurate and that he would do a good job well two weeks go by I heard nothing another week goes by I hear nothing I call him and he says uh he actually responds and says I I’m sorry man but I’ve I’ve i’ have a fever he had caught covid in in the meantime and so um I said well get better first and then we’ll we’ll deal with we’ll deal with the uh Landscaping later he showed up on Friday that that following Friday he worked until dark they stayed overnight didn’t charge me any extra for him having to stay in a hotel because it was too far to go home he came by the next day it was raining all day and they did the a masterful job and got it done and uh and and I was real pleased with how it was be and and so you can if you trust more often than not it’s been my experience that if you trust people if you trust an employee as an example since we’ll put it into the workplace if you’re the boss and you give the employee an assignment and and they say that they’re going to get that done you trust that they’re going to get that done and you let them do it I would say yes to that most of the time I think most of the time if we hold a positive intention it’s usually um a self-fulfilling prophecy I would also say this though there’s no hard- fast rule about always giving um that level of trust because let’s say you were thinking about whether you wanted to pay the 1500 up front and there was a part of you that really didn’t feel willing to accept the consequences if something were to happen and you had a concern that it could so so part of being trustworthy means we’re always checking in with ourselves we’re always saying what am I feeling about this particular situation and if I make this decision am I thinking through both the positive and the negative consequences of my choice so I think what a lot of people want is some sort of certainty in an answer that everyone can just apply evenly and I don’t think it’s that simple I think a lot of times trust is really going inside and going do I really want to give this person that money upfront um is that you know is there what are the benefits of me doing that for them and for me and what are the possible negative side effects that I could experience and that really helps you to be trustworthy which calls forth from the other person a higher level of trust because you’ve already stepped into your own responsibility so I I think your story is beautiful because you had a feeling that this was a good guy and that he had been so open with you that you felt willing to give him that trust but you might not have too and and so it kind of depends on who the person is that you’re dealing with and what your own circumstances are as well you’re exactly right if if if if uh the little hairs on the back of your neck started to go up when you start talking about giving him you know and you felt um uh apprehensive about it or it wasn’t the right decision to make you have to trust that too exactly exactly that’s what I’m really saying about the most important person to trust is ourselves and then we we tend to call forth in other people a deeper level of trustworthiness from them I I think that’s that’s beautifully done now how do you put that into your system into the uh into the folks that you work with and this is uh by the way we’re talking with Judy Ryan she is the CEO I do believe of of Life work systems how does your system work well first of all most people somewhat know that we operate by systems if you think about our satellite systems we wouldn’t have cell phones if we didn’t have them if we didn’t have transportation systems we’d be running into each other all the time more than we do so we we have all kinds of systems well most people don’t realize how important and how evolving are human systems so when we started out we started talking about trust well trust is just one component within a larger human system that we promote and everybody has a different version of a system whether they’re consciously aware of it or not like if you were to talk to 10 parents and ask them what is good parenting you’d have 10 probably 10 different ideas of what a good parenting system is and all kinds of sub subsets within that system of each person so in our model our model is called a responsibility based culture model or culture system and the foundation we have a little house image that we have and on the bottom of the house image there’s this foundational component and it’s trustworthiness and so what we tell people is that if you don’t have trustworthiness between people as the foundation for your organization you could have the most skilled workers you could have the most innovative ideas the best equipment the you know greatest opportunities in the Marketplace but you’re really likely to still not be successful and it’s kind of like saying I have the most expensive car in the market with all the bells and whistles but I have a check engine light on and if I’m going to ignore that I’m probably going to be in big trouble at some point and you can’t find a mechanic to work on it yeah or you just damage something you know that’s really costly and and that’s what I see with trustworthiness most people it sounds nice to make Trust worthiness important but in actuality they’re very uncomfortable with making it a top priority so um can I I think I might have mentioned this when we first talked that I had written an article recently called um your greatest barrier is your pain tolerance and it was a story about two Consultants who were very high- paid very intelligent Consultants who were working in a big multinational company and they were in so much a with each other that the customer that they were both working for started to complain to the consulting company so the consulting company brought me in and I said to both of them we’re going to go I’m going to send you these eight behaviors that build trust and I want you to tell me before you even look at those what score would you give your relationship if if 10 is oh my gosh our relationship is very good and there’s no unresolved issues we might not be best friends but we have no unresolved issues that’s a 10 and if we’re about ready to give up on each other that’s a one I said I want you to judge this relationship according to that scale and one of them gave the relationship a one and the other one gave the relationship a two and I said to them both and you both wanted to skip over this part you know it’s like your car is driving down the highway and it’s inflamed and you just want to ignore that and so um they did they did um reluctantly agree to start looking at that and what was so fascinating to me is when when a relationship is in crisis like that what usually happens is when they look at these eight behaviors and they say which ones are you neglecting and violating and which one is the other person neglecting and violating they’re always going to cross a whole bunch more off for the other person by the time it’s gotten down to that level it’s all about I did one thing wrong they did six things wrong you know and that’s when you can really see how damaging whereas if they had looked at their Rel relationship when it slipped from a 10 to a nine it would have been much easier for them to address whatever happened that caused that little glitch and they were uh a one and a two yes were were they their primary uh working a partner at work um in this scenario these were two highlevel Consultants that were brought in in a particular methodology called agile and they were both Consulting on an agile transformation within this very large company and they were there to help support and guide the company in that methodology and they couldn’t even treat each other well like there was a lot of disrespect a lot of um negative behavior between them and they didn’t they didn’t want to deal with that they just kept wanting to push through about what was happening on the level of customer decisions but the customers could even feel how hostile they were now were they were they being competitive with one another they well they were but they weren’t supposed to be so whenever we’re in a a a place of distrust with other people there is always some level of win- lose competition going on even if it’s simply I’m right you’re wrong I know better than you I know you know I know more than you I want to win I want my way that’s always part of what’s going on when trust is broken it’s some level of I’m not being straight about something or I’m not um I’m not being open about something straightforwardness is different than being open straightforwardness is saying Hey Kevin what I want is this this and this are you willing to give it to me where disclosing is more like I’m just telling you what I’m thinking and feeling and going through what I don’t mean psychologically I just mean around the project or whatever and I’m open so sometimes people will say to me uh I don’t like this other person but they don’t know I don’t like them they think everything’s great between us because when I’m with that person I just I just put it out there that I’m very empathetic and I said do you see how dishonest that is is because you are empathetic but you’re way more than empathetic you’re also frustrated you’re also disappointed you’re also discouraged and you’re also going through some things that you’re not admitting to that person so they’re thinking it’s a 10 and you’re thinking it’s a five and that’s part of you not being disclosing which is breaking trust how do how do you teach Executives because there’s there’s a point in time when when the executives have to get involved how do you how do you teach them to have direct convers ations with people that that can be Progressive and uplifting rather than dictatorial well great question first of all and you can even see with these two Consultants they were the authority figures they were the experts coming in the high paid leaders in this effort even if they were working with Executives or those under Executives the the real issue is do people know how to manage relationships with authority figures and do authority figures know how to recogniz ize when they’re being autocratic and dictatorial and do they realize how to not be that way right so so it’s it’s kind of a a two-way streak let’s say I’m uh the janitor and I see something that’s being done that’s not fair or right I also have the ability to be taught how to approach an authority figure in a responsible trustworthy way so that’s I think maybe Kevin I mentioned to you that we almost always open our national and international conferences with a story about an e an eighth grade student who was being bullied by a teacher That’s a classic example of a person that’s a more like a direct report in a relationship dealing with an authority figure whether it’s a kid or whether it’s a subordinate in an organization I don’t even like that word but you know what I mean somebody that’s reporting up right so what we teach is how do you help everyone in the environment whether they’re the CEO or the janitor to know how to manage the relationships they have with everyone at every level because that person that’s just the janitor could be the one that is the better more emotionally intelligent and courageous person that will repair that relationship first it it is important the executives are bought into the whole system because they hold the greatest amount of power and they can also be the train wreck when you’re bringing in a different kind of model if they’re unaware of what’s going on I think maybe you’re you’re talking a little bit about that I well I am because I’m I’m thinking that the be the the greatest amount of positive change can happen if you get Buy in from the executive I think that’s very important and that’s why in the beginning of our projects we survey the highest level of the organization around their culture practices and around um their their ability to have all these different behaviors going on and to recognize out of all these challenges we give you which ones are you experiencing and out of those which ones are your top three worst and what and here’s 40 Workforce behaviors which ones do you wish you had but you don’t have oh I want an environment where there’s no gossip don’t have that check that box right so a lot of it is it’s kind of like when we take inventory of our body sometimes we’re like okay I’m overweight I haven’t been exercising you know my my cholesterol is high or whatever like all of those things make us wake up to what we might need to take care of so what happens with our organization is we bring survey in a survey in that is the highest we can get by in to even do the survey and when they do that survey they have a lot of ahas they’re ready to talk they’re ready to sit down and talk with us about oh my gosh this report card I got back on my culture really woke me up I’d like to know more about what we can do about some of this in in in your uh line of work and in your experience experience how many companies midsize to large actually work on culture work on creating the culture that they want or is it something that just ends up being based upon the personalities of the people that are involved I think it’s a whole range of things I think that there are more thought leaders writing about and talking about certain types of culture Evolution like if I talk about mine what I would be saying is the characteristics of the model we do are that we combine the individual’s rights with the collective both both are needed we we we share about the importance of freedom and responsibility co- coexisting we talk about shared power and shared responsibility we talk about helping people to be leaders and followers both in the same human beings and we really help them to understand what does it mean to become an inductive Reasoner so that you can create things on the Fly because the way the world is moving the speed of change the complexity you cannot stand around waiting for other people to tell you what to think and what to say and what to do you have to be able to be um a heuristic responder not an algorithm just give me the rule right that’s not going to make it and and people need to come to a place where they are committed to being holistic within themselves and between the the community of the workplace so those are the characteristics of the kind of model we have but some organizations are learning about that kind of model but they have no idea how to implement and maybe they’re just reading a book and trying to put a tool in place or they’re reading a book and they’re trying to bring in some sort of a workshop and maybe they’re only doing it for the top leaders they’re not doing it all the way down to the front line and so so it’s both what kind of model and how is it best adopted so that it really sticks and it really shifts the whole paradigm it’s just an old phrase but it really is about Shifting the whole Paradigm and being sure that people don’t just say that was interesting um and let me fall back into what I always do I always got a kick out of the comp I’ve worked at several companies that have had uh what are called team building exercises and um so they they hire somebody to come in and we’d play games and we would play you know about we team up amongst each other and that kind of stuff and then we’d go back to work and uh the same things the same problems would be there that we had before that because they were never addressed they were that’s exactly right Kevin you are so right because it is helpful to have those moments where there’s encouragement and there’s joy and there’s fun together and and there’s appreciation together and all those things are good but you also need people that know how to how do I discuss a frustration how do I eliminate gossip how do I help myself go get healthy venting instead of unhealthy venting which is Gossip how do I manage negative behavior without reacting in a harsh punitive or bribing or permissive way most people if you even ask them those questions they’re like what else is there so so I really believe that team building is one little bitty piece I even say tools are one little bitty piece we have over 30 Tools in our work and I I always caution people don’t be overly eager about the tools because a fool with a tool is still a fool and that’s really really true I write that down yeah I know I I actually took that from somebody that said that to me and I was like I’m writing an article about that and and I had a really good um I think I might have told you this story so I’ll if if you want me to stop you can stop me but um I think I told you that when we go into a larger company like a company that has 600 people or more you know or even less we’ll usually come in and we’ll just do what we call internally we call it a skim project it’s called The Leader review it’s where the leaders just go through all of the content and tools in the whole system which is about 24 hours of training and you know a little bit of Engagement it’s not what we normally do on a client site normally when we go on a client site everybody’s doing individual online module reviews and and doing a workbook and then filling out a post-training survey and then leading small groups and participating every month in small group reviews and then they’re practicing what they learned in their mentoring so it’s a very immersive process we call that the Deep the Deep dive projects but when we first come into a large organization the most important first step is that the senior team the CEO the senior team and everyone in the management levels understands what is this thing we’re transforming into so they go through this review well there were 10 leaders out of of about 52 leaders who that the one of the SE Suite Executives called me and she said we’re having this problem in this little Department of eight leaders and I don’t you know I don’t know for sure what we should do we’re all in your review program like as if that would be enough and I said what’s going on and she said the top leader of these eight said something bad about me in a meeting and two of the people from his team came to me and told on him and then I went and told on him to his boss it was like and and I stopped her and I said do you remember that you all learned and actually did a mind trust which is a tool to stop gossip and the mind trust goes like this Kevin I promise you I won’t say bad things about you behind your back Kevin if I have a problem with you I will go directly to you to talk to you about it Kevin if someone says anything bad about you I promise I’ll stop them and I’ll just say I’m sorry I don’t listen to people say bad things about Kevin because we have a mind trust and I’ll also try really hard to get that person to go to you instead of taking that Grudge to other people or holding it in and I and and she knew this tool and they all knew this tool they had all practiced it like you would in a team building session right it felt really good I said when these two people came to town did you think to ask them why didn’t they go directly to the guy because they have a mind trust with him and she said no I didn’t even think about it and I said did you ask those two people if they stopped him when he was saying bad things she goes no I didn’t think about that and I said did you think about going directly to the guy when you found out he was saying bad things instead of his boss and she said no I didn’t think about it in fact his boss was in the meeting and he didn’t stop the guy either and then she she goes what is wrong with all of us we’re not doing it you know and she was actually really kind of harsh on herself like why are we not remembering to do this and I said the reason you’re not remembering is because in the very beginning you’re so unconscious about gossip and triangulation that when you finally learn about it now you gotten to a level where you went from unconsciously incompetent ENT to consciously incompetent and I said in that situation you weren’t even consciously incompetent until right in this moment she goes I can see that and I said you know remember that’s the stage at which we feel the most uncomfortable because we feel like for God’s sake I know better why wouldn’t I do better but as human beings it takes time for us to build up our conviction and our courage and our commitment and it doesn’t have to take a lot of time but there’s a grace period that we need and and it’s so funny Kevin I was raised Catholic and there was no grace period like once you knew better if you didn’t do better off to hell with you you know and and I I just don’t subscribe to that I believe as human beings we need to have that compassion and mercy and lighten up about ourselves so that when we’re learning we okay that oh my gosh there I went again consciously incompetent at least I’m not unconsciously incompetent in this moment right and so um I told her I said really until you really absorb something fully you’re all going to be a little bit like a fool with a tool because you have the tool but you didn’t remember to even reference it and that’s what that means uh and part of it is that we rush to try to stop something like gossip with a tool when the first step is just understanding why do I like to gossip so much why is it hard for me to give that up why is it scary for me to go to somebody directly instead of uh you know like just holding all that in all those questions are very deeply personal and reflective and most people um they just don’t like to even go inside and ask themselves that kind of stuff why is that I think it’s because we’ve all been raised with so much punishment and reward uh belief systems when we teach this one class called redirecting negative behavior people go very deep into realizing wow I have been part of contributing to the negative behavior when it shows up like my reaction is definitely making it worse and I didn’t even see how it was happening and they and I remember I was just recently in that group of 52 leaders and one of the leaders afterwards came on in the after we call it the party after the party it’s like people that want to stay and just ask extra questions and she said well what do I do if I’m the leader and I’m seeing all these negative behaviors and I’m the one doing all of them you know and and she was like her her CEO was sitting in that call and she didn’t even care she was just like help me you know and and I said all that means is right now you’re just woken up you woke up to the fact that you’ve been doing these negative behaviors but it doesn’t mean you were trying to or that you had any evil intent you just were never taught how to look at it from a different perspective and and she was kind of um discouraged about that and I said you know just remember you’re in that stage of competently or uh consciously incompetent and you get to practice Mercy right here you know it’s interesting that do you have to have bi from the top executive to even come in to to work on this or they have to recognize that there’s a problem it you have to have some level of buying from the top but it doesn’t it isn’t always all of the people from the top like we had uh we’ve had clients where maybe the c or the COO has the Buy in it’s high enough that they have they have authority over budget they have authority over how the the department is run or the area is run we’ve had companies where the CEO and the CF were so opposite of our culture model but they saw the results in the Departments that were using it so they would um they would support it and they would financially support it and even when there was an area that would have a problem they would say well you might want to go get that life work stuff but they themselves would not do the life work stuff you know like they had not said I’m going to be the one to lead this charge so what’s really important with executive buying isn’t so much that every single executive has to buy and that’s ideal that’s ideal with these 52 leiters we’ve already got four or five of them asking for deep dive projects in their departments and that’s what and they’re aware why they need that um but not everyone in that group of 52 is all that bought in because people say yes to things at different Paces you always have a certain amount of people who are the early adapters and the innovators and then you have kind of the moderate adapters well I’m a little cynical but I it sounds like there could be some good stuff in this and you kind of just have to have the balance of the entirety to give you some successes um but some of those companies that don’t have the buyin from every senior leader as long as they’re not disrupting the culture model where it’s existing that’s good enough for us gotcha gotcha well you know it it seems to me that it’s an enlightened way of doing business it’s a better way of doing business and so consequently doesn’t uh don’t the numbers improve with a company that is uh operating well and is using your system and there’s not a lot of backbiting and there’s not a lot of trouble within don’t don’t don’t they find that uh their uh productivity improves their absenteeism goes down turnover goes down all that kind of thing it it is true but I will tell you this is kind of a weird analogy but it’s pretty fitting right now you know we have the war between Russia and Ukraine and part of that is because there’s a A system that believes in win- lose and a system that’s trying to go for win-win and they’re not perfect at it by any means but they’re trying to and and so what’s really happening in that whole dynamic is the same thing that’s happening within companies the old school way of operating with hey it’s just more efficient more effective and more profitable to be top down that is a belief system that’s been there for for centuries and so now you have people starting to kind of question that and saying well what if we tried this representative way of operating and we got really good at it but it doesn’t happen overnight so there’s a lot of fear like a lot of people that have risen to thep top in an organization they’re kind of fat and happy that way they got there they might even stepped on a bunch of knacks to get there but they know that world so what I always say about leaders is the the reason it’s not most companies yet is because most companies are comfortable with win lose and in order to say I’m going to get out of my own comfort zone and try something that I believe is a higher uh priority way of operating in a company it takes a very powerful posit postive ego to do that and most people think of an ego as a bad thing but a p a powerful positive loving ego is an incredible Force for anything and so the leaders who are willing to change an entire culture system are usually those who can see the bigger picture vision of what’s possible and they can hold that enough to hang in there through their own fear or whatever but there’s a whole bunch of people out there that I don’t care if the Titanic is sinking we’ve always done it this way and I just want to do it the way I know even if it’s not working and that’s really kind of sad well since you brought it up that way it does make a lot of sense that a CEO or an executive a high level guy he’s been doing it this way his entire life and it’s been successful for him but not probably successful for a lot of people around him but I would even say that if he looked closely or she looked closely it has hasn’t been for him or her because often there’s a huge price tag that comes with not making people important not making the the wellness of the entirety important you know even um we do one of our tools is called appreciative inquiry and it’s a pretty complex system for an individual and a whole Collective so that you’re creating things out of the the greatest strengths and successes within an organization and what sort of gifts do we all have and what sort of things do we want to have happen in the future and having a collective around that well that’s that creates this amazing uplifting powerful energy that everything gets created from but what most of us do is we’re used to creating even a change through a problem orientation and a problem energy and so when we do that um like a good example of this would be Kevin I don’t know if you’re married but let’s say you were married and you had a problem with your wife if you went to a traditional problem solving therapist they would say okay what’s the problems what are the problems and maybe your wife says well Kevin never helps around the house and then the the therapist might say well why do you think that’s happening and then she might say well I know why his mother spoiled him and he never had to do anything and now he thinks he should be spoiled in this marriage you know and imagine that kind of conversation is creating all kinds of defensiveness and arguments and and negativity but if you were with an appreciative inquiry and this is not about therapy this is about just an example so you were with a a person who was a a believer in appreciative inquiry the first thing they would say to you is I know you guys are here because you have a problem but before we get into that tell me the stories about when you were most in love what were you saying about each other what were you thinking about each other how did you feel about each other what were some of the fun things you did together when you were first in love and then he might or she might say um I know you have some problems but what works in your relationship oh you’re great you both agree pretty strongly in the same way of handling your finances or oh you’re really really aligned when it comes to Parenting or you know so now you’re looking at all these things you do well together and maybe the next question would be futuristic so Kevin if you could describe the story of your marriage the way you could see it at its best what would you be telling people about your marriage what would you be telling each other what would you be thinking in feeling and what would be happening and by the time you get done with all of those kinds of questions now you can pay paint a picture of a vision that you want to build toward as a as a um very different than um focusing on what you don’t want so like even with this War I see the ukrainians saying we don’t want to be attackers we don’t want to be on the offense we will defend ourselves because we want freedom more than anything and we will even be willing to die for it so that’s a a country that’s holding a very high vision of itself its people and its future and what the reason a lot of the strong men are winning in some parts of the world is because people will get discouraged when there’s democracies that are fraught with problem conversations all the time they’re slow they’re painful they cause dissension so there’s people that would say well democracy just doesn’t work well it doesn’t work if we’re coming at it from the problem orientation just like that kind of old school marriage therapy probably doesn’t work most of the time exactly well and I’ll I’ll tell you the uh the Ukraine situation you know with with Russia if I were Russia I would be very very concerned right now because they the right and the and well the right and the and and the and the people that are really most engaged are the ones that that that are trying to save their own lands and want to be free and don’t want to be told what you know within their borders what they can do not do I would even say it’s bigger than that Kevin I would say that because of the success even though it’s imperfect of so many of the democratic countries Russian people are also dissatisfied with the autocracy and that’s the greatest threat to an autocrat and that’s the greatest threat in our business workplaces is um when somebody’s holding on to rule by intimidation and that’s all they think of as their superpower it’s very hard for them to give that up so I always say what’s happening in the bigger World between Russia and Ukraine as an example and what’s happening in wor workplace culture is that people hold a very high expectation of perfection which takes time and they also hold a lot of fear around um what what is this going to mean about me like what if I’m no longer what if I’m outdated or they they have a fear of losing some kind of relevancy and in reality if they actually can create the next level of evolution they are more relevant more admired more loved more respected more influential that’s what’s happening right now with zalinsky and I know that I’m pulling it back and forth from company to uh politics but it’s the same dynamics of it it is and and zalinski is is has really energized as people and a good executive has the ability to energize his entire organization by how he behaves it’s it’s the intention and the commitment that he has and you can feel it in every everything he says yep it’s a Humane um we’re all brothers and sisters we all deserve to be treated a certain way I mean you can feel intention is everything and and he would be in my opinion some people would say oh he’s just a good actor I don’t think a person can act in a way that’s that influential and maintain that and I I think he has shown himself to be a sincere person at least well time will tell I guess but that’s what he appears to be and that’s why he pulls at all of us because he holds a high intention and a vision for his people and even for himself and does not operate from limitation and fear and and uh the and uh the guy on the other side Putin has been trying to get the admiration of his people for his entire career hasn’t been able to do it because you can’t do it from an auto from a dictatorship like that well that’s the that’s the rub Kevin there are some people that still admire the dictators not the ones that are under the their boot only yes probably true the the vast masses are not for it but there are a lot of people in high positions of power Even in our country that love the strong man and they want to um they don’t care who is hurt in that process because they admire what they consider to be power in my view is actually pseudo power real power comes from this intention of um we care about the whole we don’t just care about the people at the top we care about everyone right and you you know leaders like that and they’re uh but you also see how they disrupt the old way and they’re often crucified for it so being a person to uplevel your evolution in your workplace culture is not for the faint of heart oh no no you you it can cause it can cause you and your career lots of problems you can get back it can and I think the biggest problem though is if you don’t believe it yourself correct but once you know it and you’re clear about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it other people will start raising their own level of responsibility right next to you yes indeed yes indeed you know I could talk to you about this stuff for hours you I know you are very very gifted of what you do and uh and it’s it’s pretty awesome and I would really like and implore if you are a an executive look at your own culture if it’s if it’s lacking if if it’s not getting you where you if you say you want to go to Seattle but you’re on a road to go to San Jose you might want to think about changing directions and trying something you haven’t done before and I would I would Advocate that you uh uh talk to Judy at life work systems and see what uh what what they can do for you because it’s they’ve got a complete program I’ve been looking at your website it’s it’s it’s really is you can you can help somebody actually change the entire culture of their of their environment we can and we do it’s just that it’s people are so used to fast food mentality you know like we should be able to just do a workshop and be done with it you know and and that’s the that’s the biggest challenge we have is not only what kind of culture you might want to really consider because that’s a big deal right in itself but how you immerse your people in the process is crucial to whether it takes and and that’s the hardest part and and a lot of people they don’t even know that there are implementations out there so I appreciate you saying that you’ve taken a look and that you think I have something meaningful here um that’s the part that we get challenged by is is we have to have a little bit of time to educate people on why this implementation why does it take this much time well you take you take it’s like hurting cats you take a 100 Executives put them in a room and you’re going to get 99 different viewpoints uh because everybody’s got a different life experience and it’s done that but the reality is what you’ve got is you got numbers behind what you do and you’ve got a a track record of success we do and I would say um even your mentality and I I don’t mean this is an insult is 100 Executives I would say put a bunch of Executives in a group of a hundred that includes their mid-level managers their receptionists their Frontline people then you have a whole different Dynamic when my children I have five children when they were growing up by the time each one of them was five years old they knew how to run a family meeting because we taught them how to both lead and follow from the time they were five we taught them how to do things that most families weren’t teaching and I say this because in workplaces we still have this inequal idea about where the people need to be developed that they need to be developed at the top well the top needs to be bought in because they’re the one that holds the purse strings and the greatest you know uh responsibility and Authority but the um it’s equally important that the levels are broken down so when we do a project other than this leader review where they’re just learning at the leadership level what this even is we say when you go into a deep dive project do not make it all Executives make it Executives with mid-levels with you know a mixture and really cross function that way because there’s nothing more powerful than being led by the executive and the next month you’re the one leading and the executive is following you there’s huge breakage of um of those levels unnecessary barriers between the levels like a CEO is still going to be the CEO with a different set of responsibilities but on a human level we all showed up on equal footing and that is what is often missing in an organization is is the um the separation between the levels is so great that there’s not a feeling of We Are One exactly and and when you talk about you know the pyramid which is the executive at the top and then you got the vice presidents and all that stuff it’s not until you get down to the to the level of the people and it always astounded me that the the the people who are in direct contact with your customers which are considered to be at the lower end or the lower level of the pyramid they’re the ones that by and large is going to make your um um companies succeed or fail 100% agree 100% And they’re often um treated as though they’re lower not really lower but that’s the mentality and that’s why people get away with like I don’t know if you’ve studied Dan price Dan price is the have you heard of him do you know who who he is I have heard of him so he’s the guy who has a company where he won’t like let anyone make less than $70,000 that’s the guy yeah and he won’t let his top paid people including himself he won’t let them make more than four times the lowest person so by the time you get to $280,000 in his company if you want to make more than that you have to go somewhere else because he believes in equity he doesn’t believe in the kind of disparity where the CEO makes 380 times more than the lowest paid person and that can only come when we stop thinking of people on those levels and that only happens when we’re in the same room with them more often and we get to see who they actually are instead of us having this puffed up idea of I’m this and they’re down here and vice versa they do the same thing to you A lot of people are in a negative situation with somebody because they’re holding themselves as less so you know even as a woman like we don’t make as much money sometimes as as men are making in the same job but sometimes we are also participating in in allowing that and I don’t mean there should be a fight but I think that there’s almost a feeling of I don’t deserve it because I’m a woman I mean I don’t think that’s a conscious thing I just believe it’s it wouldn’t wouldn’t be happening if we weren’t still a little bit there no I agree I agree and uh and we’re need to wrap up this hour but I wanted to ask you before we go have you have you heard of the great uh uh resignation the Great Awakening or the great um what what is your concept what are you thinking about are are companies going to have to start to wake up that if their culture isn’t right and people feel like their life is too short that they’re regardless of how much money they make they’re going to go somewhere else yeah I actually wrote an article it’s called seize opportunities within the great resignation because the great resignation is the great reset that’s often what it’s called as well and I like it being called the Great reset because what it’s forcing people to do and the reason I think it’s occurring is that more and more people are saying this Win Loose stuff stinks and I don’t want to do I don’t want to be part of that anymore and there’s and it’s so visible because of everybody living in a fishbowl so what used to be kind of Hidden Away where we were taking advantage of people and it’s more public now and so it’s really an opportunity there are a lot of holdouts there are a lot of people that say all I care about is the bottom line they may not say it out loud but that’s really what they’re thinking and they don’t want to give a darn about the happiness of their people but they’re eventually going to see that they’re going to be left in the D in the dust you know and it’s becoming more apparent so even the co the people that don’t want to do that they’re they’re starting to realize it’s really going to cost me if I don’t do that well isn’t it true that um um companies get reputations and if a company gets a reputation amongst the the general uh uh population of who they’re trying to go after as an employee and they get this reputation of being a less than desirable place to work get the good people it’s really pretty horrible I was um I don’t want to go on and on because I know you want to wrap this up but I was just talking to somebody who was lost from a company uh she was pursued and probably if her company had come to her and said are we at a 10 she and and how is your feeling of productivity and how’s your sense of Engagement with us she would have been able to answer those questions in a way where they would have had an opportunity to change their behavior and made it a 10 because she wasn’t at a six or a five or a four she was at an eight with them and another company was able to steal her away and they were so shocked and disappointed and they and they handled it really well but to me it was a sad loss because companies not realizing where their people are are like and and another company they said they lost they’re going to lose 14 people in one day because nobody is checking in at certain levels to know what’s going on and that’s happening all over the place where people are finding out too late that they should have fixed something three months ago and that’s very very expensive expensive yeah in hiring the right people I I have a h philosophy that that if you lose a key employee it’s going to take you five hires to replace that employee I would agree and I think it it’s also very bewildering to the the senior people because they don’t see it coming a lot of the time no and then they’re like oh my gosh what are we going to do now we’re going to be short-handed and so it it takes a a toll on everybody that um something that could have been prevented and I just can’t tell you how many stories I see of that all over the place and it’s simply because we have such a pain tolerance for tolerating things until all of a sudden they just blow up and it’s unfortunate it it it really is and and I applaud your work and I hope more people uh will will get involved and get involved with you in their companies because it’s it’s we deserve as human beings we deserve to have a nice life and when you’re we would even go a little further and say you deserve a life you love

hey yeah and Kevin I really hope I I hope I really say from your mouth God’s ears because I really sometimes it it hurts me to see how many people are suffering and they don’t know how to find a solution like ours and and I wish I wish there was a simpler way to get the word out so I really thank you for even speaking it into hopefully into reality and and for giving me this platform to talk about it well you you’re you you have a disciple in me you can go back anytime you like well gosh we don’t have any trouble I can’t believe an hour is up already I know it’s it goes really fast yeah it goes really fast because you know you are um I firmly believe that we have to change how we treat each other in business and not only that they’ll what they’ll find is that they make that it’s a better-run business they’re happier everybody’s happier when when everything is running properly and positively and and everybody feels like they’re contributing and and everybody’s excited about the future of the company and stuff those are agree and and you know even you and I having this conversation Kevin is what should be happening in all companies it it it takes men and women raising each other up together and building something together it’s not just it’s the old and the young it’s the it’s the men and the women it’s just all of us having the kind of respect I feel with you today that’s missing in a lot of places because there’s no attention to that and so it means a lot to me that you are a man in the world out there trying to bring positivity to the world and you you care enough about me as a woman to say I want to give you that platform and that that’s like that’s like part of the um secret sauce of the world is what you’ve done with me and and I’m I’m super grateful for you having the willingness to do that well of course and one last thing before we go is that I can’t believe in this day and age I’ve I’ve met some incredibly talented people um a lot of them are women and uh for somebody to offer a woman 25% less or whatever it is 18% or because they can is to me a moral failing because they it should be it should be equal based upon what they can bring to the table well there’s a saying and and in fact there was a um I I’ll try to say it really fast there was a a Twilight Zone that I never forgot and it was about this guy he dies and he sees these pearly gates and all these people are there and they’re like we’re here to give you whatever you want you know and every day he asks for something bigger and Bolder you know like want a I want a you know fancy sports car and I want a mansion and all this by the end of the week he’s kind of bored and restless and he says I thought Heaven would be more fun and the guy says to him who says you’re in heaven you know isn’t that amazing and so I think the reason it’s a moral failing is because we’ve taught people to think that’s the end all be all that’s why we have gorgeous talented celebrities who commit suicide because it’s not the right wall that the ladder is up against can you can you can you imagine somebody like in in my lifetime Freddy Prince I didn’t he was like 23 years old he was uh he was a budding Superstar and he took his own life at 23 such a waste such a waste because there’s this belief that if I get more and get more and get more and I am more that I’m gonna be happy and all of a sudden it’s just empty and so it is sad um but yeah so hopefully people will think about that too exactly right Judy Ryan has been our guest go to LifeWorks Lifeworks systems.com find out more about her you can contact her at Judy Lifeworks systems.com and they got a a bunch of great stuff thank you for being here I hope we thank you so much and I would love to speak to anybody who wants to reach out to me I would absolutely love to meet your audience so thank you absolutely now and in the future somebody’s going to reach out to you I promise if you stay right there I’ll be right back okay thanks for enjoying this episode all the way to the end please give us a like And subscribe to this channel this has been a production of KM media. proo please visit our website oddly enough named km media. proo for more details about us and our mission which is to provide great positive programming designed to inspire us all I’m Kevin McDonald and I’m proud of these shows and I truly hope that you’ll like them and share them with friends and family so on behalf of our entire team remember be kind to each other because each other is all we’ve got we’ll see you next [Music] time

LifeWork Systems Logo white with transparent background

Join Our Mailing List