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4 Ways to Improve Your Self-Leadership - With Guest, Jeremy Bedenbaugh [Podcast]

Episode 126: Michael and Kathryn talk to Jeremy Bedenbaugh, Leadership consultant and entrepreneur, about the art of self-leadership. You can't lead others well if you can't lead yourself well. Find out what questions you should be asking yourself and what practical next steps you can take to become a better leader.

Jeremy Bedenbaugh episode graphic


In This Episode You Will...

  • Discover what self-leadership really means and why you shouldn't overlook it.
  • Find out what Michael and Kathryn wrestle with when it comes to their own self-leadership.
  • Learn the best questions to ask yourself so you can take ownership of your leadership failings.
  • Get Jeremy's favorite practical tips for becoming a better leader (Sneak peak: One is breathing exercises!).
“Sadly, it's easier to manage your image than it is your life."
- Jeremy Bedenbaugh

Resiliency Quiz

References:

Recreate-solutions.com

Find Jeremy on Facebook and LinkedIn

Two Circles to Save Your Life (Resource)

 

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Michael:
              Hello, and welcome to the HaBO Village Podcast. I'm Michael Redman.


Kathryn:
               And I'm Kathryn Redman.


Michael:
              And today we are glad to have you with us. This is the podcast for leaders of small businesses, encouraging you and helping you and equipping you to build companies full of passion and provision so that you can have more profit, more purpose and leave a legacy that you want to leave. Today, we've got a great guest with us. Kathryn, do the honors, introduce our fantabulous guest today.


Kathryn:
               A fantabulous guest. I want to introduce you to the one and only Jeremy Bedenbaugh. Okay. Let me tell you a little bit about Jeremy. After reaching the pinnacle in his career and finding it hollow, Jeremy found a new mission, helping leaders learn to lead themselves. I really liked that. Jeremy completed a doctorate in executive leadership, so he's smarter than you. Okay.


Michael:
              There we go.


Kathryn:
               And combined expert wisdom from a variety of disciplines to form Recreate, a transformation company, focused on optimizing business and leader performance. Jeremy's worked in a variety of fields from being the CEO of a large nonprofit to launching new organizations. He's designed alternative investment funds, to CFO of a technology company and has been a visiting professor or multiple schools. Busy, busy guy.


Michael:
              He's got a rap sheet there.


Kathryn:
               He's got a rap sheet. Over the past 18 years, he's helped hundreds of leaders across dozens of fields gain self-Awareness build world-class teams and create thriving cultures in their organizations.


Michael:
              Jeremy, welcome.


Kathryn:
               Jeremy, welcome.


Jeremy:
                Thank you so much, guys. It really is a pleasure to be here. And that introduction was amazing.


Kathryn:
               You liked the part where I said you were smarter than Michael. Huh? That was your favorite part. You might add that in here.


Jeremy:
                Oh, well you said you, I thought you just meant the whole audience, not just Michael.


Michael:
              The generic, everybody, you. The royal you.


Jeremy:
                The plural, you.


Kathryn:
               That's right. Whatever. All right.


Michael:
              All right. So folks, we brought Jeremy on today because we met Jeremy and started having some great conversations with him. I believe a mutual friend recommended us and just said, "Hey, you guys got to get on the phone and talk or on Zoom and talk. And we love this guy. This guy, he's part of our tribe. He's definitely a part of our ilk. And I think you're going to find out why. So there's a lot of good things we're going to do as we talk about leadership and we're going to hit on multiple subjects today that we will be tangents, I guarantee it, I know it's going to happen.


Kathryn:
               [inaudible 00:02:32] details?


Michael:
              And we're probably not going to get to everything that we want to get to, which means we may have to have another conversation down the road.


Kathryn:
               But if all y'all are following us any like the time you're used to that, like "Okay, we're not done. We're having you back again."


Michael:
              We bring the good people back, and we say, thank you to the people that were just okay.


Kathryn:
               That's right.


Michael:
              All right. So, okay, Jeremy, let's jump in. Let's talk about, putting some definitions on a couple of things to start with. Let's talk about what do you mean by leaders leading themselves? How do you define that?


Jeremy:
                That's a great question. What I say is like the hardest kind of leadership there is, is leading yourself. And what I mean by that is, the best way to summarize it is to say that you should be your own best client. Meaning that all the things that you're telling your clients to do or all the things you wish your customers would do, those are the things you should be doing. That's the life that you should be leading. And so leading yourself means am I self aware? Do I know if my motivators, my drivers, do I understand my story and how it relates, it connects to my leadership today? Do I have a vision for my life and clearly articulated values and sort of priorities that I'm intentionally living out?


Jeremy:
                Like, I understand what identity and what future I am trying to create and then I'm pursuing that every day. And not that you're perfect, not that you're not going to have failures and problems all the time as I do, but we all want to run in and lead other people. Because if you're a leader of any kind, you're like, "I'll tell you what to do. Follow me, look at me, we'll do this. We're going to do that. We're going to achieve that. We're going to take that mountain. We're going to go up that hill." But if you haven't led yourself, if you are not in a place where, where you're coming from is a place of health and clarity and beauty, then you might get a lot of people to follow you, but where you end up is not a likely to be a very good place. Or it's going to be one of those hard learning lessons.


Jeremy:
                And so once you learn to lead yourself, you can lead anyone. Because then your biases your judgments what giant voices are in your ears all the time in your head. There's a lot of those things going on. And truthfully, somebody else said this is true. Like success for a leader is it's 80% psychology and 20% methodology. You can have all the best methods, but not have your mindset, your emotions, your priorities in life set up. And then, that won't work.


Kathryn:
               It's funny. Because when you say that, I think about one of the things that Michael and I think struggled with because we have such a desire to walk with and follow and learn from people who have both competence and character, is that sense of how many people are writing books or leading seminars or doing whatever to tell you how to run your life, but their own is a wreck. And for me, it's really, really difficult to learn from somebody whose home life or relationships are a wreck, no matter how successful they look on the outside. Right?


Kathryn:
               So that's one of the things that I think we're really passionate about is what does it look like to have authentic leadership? And even as we talk about passion and provision, it's part of why we love you, is that sense of what you've got to create a place where your people who are working with you see a leader who's owning their stuff and walking forward and growing and changing and pursuing and pressing in. So I love that.


Jeremy:
                Yeah. I think it's really important because like how many times we've seen a leader sort of fall from grace in some type of way, in the very area of the very thing that was like their expertise, the thing they were always talking about? And the truth is, it's way easier to manage your image than it is to manage your life.


Kathryn:
               So true.


Jeremy:
                Because we are complicated and we've got a lot of difficult things happening.


Michael:
              I'm going to write that one down. That was a good one.


Kathryn:
               It's easier to manage your image than your... That's a quotable quote.


Michael:
              That's a take away. [crosstalk 00:06:28] that'll end the podcast today.


Kathryn:
               Just ponder that one phrase. It's easier to manage your image, then your life. [crosstalk 00:06:36].


Michael:
              Well done, you. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to interrupt that train of thought. That was just good.


Jeremy:
                But you're right too. That one thing I coach myself on, again, try to be my best [inaudible 00:06:49] and my clients on, is to be what I call a universal man or woman. Which means I'm showing up as the same person, whether I'm in front of my boss, my family, my shareholders, my clients, my customers. It doesn't mean that every dirty detail of your life you're sharing. I mean, nobody wants to hear that from the person they just met on the street, but it just means that I'm a centered person with my value structure in place. And I tell the truth. I show up in the same way as the same person. I'm not having to do the internal machinations of managing my speech and my image all the time in order to do that.


Jeremy:
                And one of the things I try to actively do is share my own inauthenticity or mistakes with my clients. Just a quick example, I was with a one the other day and we're working through a really big issue and he's building a really big company and we were working on this and he asked me a question and I started answering the question just like pretty quickly. Then I just paused and said, "I'm going to be honest with you, right now, the voice going on in my head that I'm really listening to is one saying, I really want to impress Josh. And I'm answering your question with more certainty than I actually have, because I want you to think that I am uber competent, uber smart. And I just need to tell you that because we're going to pull that back and I want to reveal that to you and let that."


Jeremy:
                And that's hard to say, because he's going to be like, "Wait, what are you doing?" But it's not. Actually, it builds unbelievable trust because you've been vulnerable. And it also models the idea of self-leadership again, going like what I call multidirectional listening. I'm listening to you and I'm listening to me what it's doing inside of me. So if I'm all jammed up about, "Oh my gosh, is he going to think I'm an idiot if I don't know the answer to the question?"


Jeremy:
                I'm actually to give my client a bad leadership or bad advice because it's coming from a place of self promotion or self protection. And so being able to listen in multiple directions is one of the keys to that leadership piece, no matter what you're leading. From leading yourself to your family, to your civic organization, to your company or whatever that is.


Kathryn:
               That's great.


Michael:
              Okay. So let's just make sure that we articulate this real quick. You, for a large organization, I mean your experience, even though we talked about in the bio, but somebody could be listening and kind of, sort of heard that and sort of listened to that amazing bio and said, "Yeah, yeah, yeah." But you've actually gone through, I don't want to gloss over the fact that you've led a large organization, that you watched an organization grow. You were at the helm of it. And there was 6,000 rough people with multiple locations, correct?


Jeremy:
                Yeah.


Michael:
              Yeah. And folks, let's just call it what it is, Jeremy was a pastor, ran a very large church and then chose to transition and step away from that. But there were so many things. The reason I think that's important to talk about is because like, if you don't know how to lead volunteers, if you've never had to lead volunteers, you don't understand leadership at a level that is just insane. Because you don't have a paycheck to hold over people. You can't fire them.


Kathryn:
               Well, you can.


Michael:
              You can technically campus, but in my experience, it's harder to fire a volunteer-


Kathryn:
               It's hard.


Michael:
              ... than it is somebody with a paycheck. So you have a paid staff and you have a volunteer and you have people who are willing to come and there's all kinds of unique challenges. What are some of the things that were really like some of the giant lessons that you had is that organization grew when you were running a large organization, because this advice you give and the coaching you give is hard earned experience on top of a lot of earned knowledge. It's not just knowledge.


Kathryn:
               It's not just the doctorate.


Michael:
              And the reason I'm saying this is we're going to have people listening who are going to go, "He's got a doctorate, which means he has no experience." We live in a university town, and unfortunately that comes up a lot. It's like, "Well, you've never done it before you just passed the test and became a college professor." So talk to me about that. What were some of those core lessons in those core awakenings that you had as you were leading an organization and watching it grow?


Jeremy:
                Yeah. You want me to focus more on the personal leadership side or more on the organizational scale and structure side?


Michael:
              I want to talk about, let's stay with the personal leadership side right now. Because that's our theme at the moment. Let's just stay with that. Because I can tangent way too easily and I'm going to try and be disciplined.


Kathryn:
               Well done.


Michael:
              Thank you.


Jeremy:
                Yeah, that there are so many, and I'm going to just lead with some that were, like you said, very difficult because they're very hard. And we were we experienced a lot of explosive growth. So we had just things growing and going all the time and it was chaotic. We had all kinds of issues going on. I'll give you a couple of things that I learned just on the personal leadership side and about myself. One is that burnout does not come from overworking, usually. If you're a coal miner, getting shoved into a coal mine every day, that's a different story, working 18 hours a day in the coal mine.


Jeremy:
                But generally speaking burnout actually doesn't come from overworking. So, I would fool myself with the idea that because I did get burned out at one point because I was going so hard. But I fooled myself with the idea that, "Oh my gosh, look, my schedule is together. I'm home by 6:00 every night for dinner, I'm not out every night. I take all my vacation days, all that kind of stuff. And so I'm in a good place." And those are all great boundaries to have, but I didn't understand that actually burnout doesn't come from overworking, it comes from overbearing and bearing burdens that are not yours to bear.


Jeremy:
                I talk about self-leadership and then connecting your story, using the first two sessions with the leadership coaching client, we make a connection to his or her leadership from their past story that is a revelational transform. And it's like one of those like chill bump moments, where it's just like silence as that sets in on them. And one of those for me was understanding that all my life, what I had learned is to be the guy who's handling it, the guy who can take on all the burden, just put it on my back, I'll carry it. There's a big fire? I'll throw myself on it and put it out. And you can only do that so many times before you get burned in a way that is rough.


Jeremy:
                So because that had been my pattern, that's how I kept doing it. And guess what? That actually leads to a lot of success early on. And what I always tell leaders is the very things that created your success to this point are the things that will sabotage your success at the next level. So then once I got into a place where it went so long, so complex, so many people, so many problems, eventually your mind, it puts so much strain that when you're trying to bear everyone's burdens...


Jeremy:
                I'm not talking about caring, I'm not talking about doing a good job, I'm not talking about working hard. I'm talking about taking on the emotional weight and burden going like, "I have to make this right. I have to hold this together. I have to fix this." And you see it in your relationships. It's classic overfunctioning right? It's, "Hey, I don't have time to wait for you to do it. I'll do it. My teenager never cleans their room. I don't understand why they do it." And then you'd go and clean the room up for them. Because you're enabling. You're overfunctioning because you can't bear your own stress of not seeing it done in certain a certain way. And so, because I was living in lots of ways out of that identity that I didn't really have a handle on, I pushed myself pass all those limits.


Michael:
              Obviously you've gone through a lot of personal work in processing and everything else, but what are at least one or two of the things that caused you to do that? What was motivating you and pushing you to actually overbear and even over function as the term you were using, which I like?


Jeremy:
So there's positive and negative. On the positive side, I really did care about people and I really do. I really do care about people and I really do care and did care about just about anything I've ever led and the organization. I wanted it to do well, I wanted us to be successful. I wanted people to be cared for and love and lives would be changed and all those things. So there was a positive thing to that. And then there was the negative side of that, where I felt like I wanted to be seen as the person who could do all those things. I wanted to be seen as the person who was competent across multiple areas and disciplines. And I think what most leaders don't realize is how addicted they are to being needed. You'll complain about it all day long. "My email, all of the phones blowing up all day long, people always ask me for things." But secretly like it.


Kathryn:
               It's so true. Myself. Yeah.


Jeremy:
Here's a question I ask people, in fact I could try it out on you guys and see if you want to do a little test case, we can try it out on you and see if it works. You guys want to do a little test? You can edit if you don't like it.


Michael:
              We're totally up for it.


Kathryn:
               We can actually, just not even publish the podcast. Just like, nope. That one's not going.


Michael:
              We no longer like Jeremy. Okay, go.


Jeremy:
If you've been coaching me and I would've been saying I've got all these demands, people want to meet with me all the time. I'm always being asked to move money over here and do this, fix that intervene in this crisis, fix this personnel problem. My phone email never stopped, blah, blah, blah. Right? All right. So what's some troubling or difficult issue right now in your life that could be some of that? It could be personal, family, marriage, it could be business. Anything like that.


Michael:
              For me, it has been a very full year starting. And we were finishing our book up at the beginning of the year and then going into all the prep for publishing and all of that kind of stuff. There was a lot of withdrawals from my own personal, emotional account. Both of us. I won't speak for us, I'll just speak for me for the moment.


Kathryn:
               Do it. It's much safer for me.


Michael:
              Right? We published the book on May 5th. We also launched, did a course launch in the first quarter of the, to try and get ready for the book lunch. So that was a very large thing. Lots of good things. But there was all these things in the first four months of the year, that were lots of really good things that were really exhausting and required a lot of time and pull a lot of energy. Then COVID happened. And we lost our staff. I mean, everybody went virtual-


Kathryn:
               When COVID happened, like before we even publish the book. So we were trying to figure out how to publish a book during like the full eight weeks prior to publishing, our team was not here.


Michael:
              Oh yeah. That added to it too. So there were those details and probably two or three others, they weren't bad things, but they took a lot of fuel out of the tank. Then when COVID hit and everything happened, we had a vacation planned, the two of us for an anniversary. We were going to get away, that was taken away. Lots of places to rest. So the exhaustion for me was just, my tank was half empty. And it's been really hard for me, even though I've been talking about it. And I've been talking about with my leadership coach, because I've been kind of pretending that it was less of a deal than it is.


Michael:
              But I started pulling that stuff out and realizing I'm exhausted and it's hard to keep right now. It's hard for me to keep my focus, what it used to be like. I'm not even at 80% right now. I'm not 80% with my focus, my ability to give detail to attention, to all kinds of stuff when clients happen. Or some of those things happen. I find myself more often than not just pulling myself up and bucking myself up to be everything I need to be for the next two hours. And then going back to, I can't grab all my thoughts all the time.


Michael:
              So there's where I'm at. I'm not one of those leaders that's... I'm probably in a pretty classic place. I would imagine I'm in a place where I'm not dysfunctional, but I'm not even near my peak. I still think I'm about 65%. That's a real challenge for me right now. It's been really hard to come to the place of gripping, what do I do for that? And how do I fix some of those things? How did I do coach?


Jeremy:
                I remember being in that very place where you just felt like you had to just rise to the occasion every time. I wrote one time that I felt like a boxer in a never ending match that I had been able to answer the bell, every round for like 1,000 rounds and just questioning, "When am I not going to be able to answer the bell? What's going to happen?"


Kathryn:
               That's a great illustration.


Jeremy:
                So Michael, the question to you is, you're in that place and pleaded and running pretty hard and trying to rise to the occasion. So what are you doing to create that situation and that reality? How have you created that situation, that reality, or allowed it?


Michael:
              The first thing that comes to mind is I put too many things on the plate. I've put too many projects on the plate because there's always a sense that either I internally have, or as a team, because it happens. I run multiple teams, even at our church, I run a team and it's amazing how often when you're trying to throttle it back, everybody is not used to going at a normal pace. So they're always thinking that we're like taking forever and things should be going faster.


Michael:
              I have that internal thing that I applied to, I think, and I also let myself get pulled by other people going, "This isn't going fast enough." As opposed to going, "There is a pace that is sane and we need to hold it." One of the things that I'm realizing as harder and harder as a leader, is since we're all as a society, we want to move faster, we think things are supposed to happen faster. We can get online and do anything we want quickly, results should be coming faster, COVID should be over by now. Even though in March, we all said, "This is going to take 18 months. It's probably gonna take that long to get a vaccine. We're probably going to have a rebound in the fall." And now that we're living in, it's like, "Why are we still doing this? What is going on? This is crazy."


Michael:
              I think I fall into, and I allow all of those voices to cause a lot of tension in me because it's really hard to hold them back and continue to say, "We're on the right pace, it's just not fast." When everything in me wants to go, "It's the same thing. This isn't going fast." I now know at this point that this is smart, but it doesn't feel good. Does that make sense?


Jeremy:
                I would guess that's a pattern throughout your life at some level?


Michael:
              Totally. When I'm continuing to try and improve and amazingly enough have to keep coming to moments like this and continue to re-acknowledge that even though I've got a lot of good work done on them, they still keep coming back. Different levels, it's not the same thing, but sometimes I'm surprised that it keeps coming back. Okay folks. I know we're in a podcast mode and you're listening to this go on, but what is really crazy and hard, and I'll just say this is, I'm embarrassed at some level to say these things out loud on this podcast.


Michael:
              Not embarrassed enough to not say them, but embarrassed enough, that I'm uncomfortable a level because I teach this, I do leadership coaching. And we sat in a conference room yesterday with a client who was dealing with these on level 11, on a scale of one to 10 and we were coaching them. And the hardest part for me was I'm thinking that internal voice is going, "And you're struggling with all of these things also. And you're telling them everything you need to hear, but you're not able to fully implement them."


Kathryn:
               Well, and interestingly enough, and I'll just contribute because I might as well own my stuff, as long as we're doing counseling on this podcast. We've been married 27 years. We've been in business together 18 years. I contribute to this because I want things to go faster. So even as we were working with this couple yesterday, I saw that. Like, she's pushing him. She wants it to go faster. She wants him to chill out, but she still wants things to go faster.


Jeremy:
                Do you feel that Michael, like what she says? She's not literally saying everyday go faster, but she's saying it. Do you hear that voice or feel that pressure?


Michael:
              Sure. Yeah. And the good news is-


Kathryn:
               We talk about it.


Michael:
              ... we communicate enough that it's a known issue in our relationship. Kathryn is your classic, Myers-Briggs SP. Spontaneous individual, [crosstalk 00:24:58] let's do now. When Kathryn is in her weak spot, when she's in her healthy white spot, this isn't true, but when she's in her weak spot, any action is better than waiting for the right action.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. I'll just answer and respond to something without thinking it through, because I just want it off my plate. I just want to check it off the list and keep moving forward. So yeah, that's my dilemma.


Michael:
              This is one of those things that we... Good thing is we talk about it, so this isn't the first time that admitting it out loud.


Kathryn:
               Otherwise, we'd both be in tears and this podcast would really be over.


Michael:
              Oh, my God. Thank goodness. We'd be editing this. But yeah, it's one of those tensions. And some days it's really good and some days it's really hard. This year, it's harder because-


Kathryn:
               Just so many moving parts and so much unknown.


Michael:
              Then on top of it, and we've talked about this on the podcast a little bit, but the getting deeper, we say COVID is a problem. COVID was one of the challenges. That really almost like does it a disservice because everything we were going to do, a huge percentage of our promotion and business building stuff and everything over the next 18 months, was going to be on stages around the country. We traveled a lot before and the traveling is zero now. Which is weird and great.


Michael:
              I went through the, "I just want this to be over so we can get back on the road," two weeks ago. I don't ever want to go back on the road again, emotion. Because I like this. I'm starting to downshift. And, "Wow, this is nice." And yet I miss my friends around the country that I only to see at events because we all travel to events. I struggle with, as a leader, hearing a voice that says, "Are we ever going to really get there?"


Jeremy:
                And where is there?


Michael:
              There moves. There's a moving target. There is that place that I can imagine, that when we get to the place where we have this level of revenue in the company, this level of net profit in the company, this level of freedom, this level of staff that frees us up to work on this project-


Kathryn:
               And a growing level of influence in terms of the things that we really care about, which is impacting leaders lives. All those things.


Jeremy:
                You guys just revealed a lot. And I appreciate just your vulnerability and you guys might choose to cut this out later. That's totally fine.


Michael:
              Probably not.


Jeremy:
                But if we had more time, I could ask you three or four more questions and we would really be in a spot where we weren't listening and that kind of thing, like you really get to some serious stuff. But you did a couple of things there and it's like, okay, it feels embarrassing. Why does it feel embarrassing? Because there are voices going, "Oh my gosh, we have customers and clients listening and they're going to think X, Y, or Z about me." And I would just tell you that they're going to appreciate your vulnerability, number one. Number two, you are aware of it. You're not lost in it.


Jeremy:
                I had a period of time, I would just refuse to even notice that about myself. I was so sort of like caught in the cycle. I want you to exercise some self compassion and say the truth as leaders, all of us what we teach is actually what we ourselves most need. And so, it is very difficult. And you guys have said, we talk about this a lot. So what I call, not just the angel and devil on your shoulder, you have the giants on your shoulder. And it's sort of like, if you don't know what those voices are like your spouse is always going to be one of them. You show up in a situation and something conflictual is happening.


Jeremy:
                All of a sudden, you hear your wife and your you're going like, "You better be strong. You better protect us?" And you kind of amp up, because you're like... She's not saying, you just feel it. It may not even be her. And then you said you feel the anxiety of other people. Right? We're pushing the gas and I feel this anxiety from other people going, "Faster, faster, faster." And that's where it's a slow down, to speed up time. Because in the space of slowing down is where the miracles happen. And that's where you go as a leader from being busy, to being productive. And that's the place we all love to be.


Jeremy:
                And the reason I asked you, the original question was, what most people don't do is take responsibility and ownership. So that's why I asked you, what... For a lot of people, it's a very offensive question right off the bat is like, "Okay, all these bad things are happening, these difficult situation going on. What did do to create the situation?" You want to see somebody blow up? Especially if it's a thing like, "I'm right and they're wrong," or whatever's happening.


Jeremy:
                But the truth is, we can talk about our lives, our company, the growth, workers are not experiencing the things that we wish we were doing or not doing. And part of what I help people do, is go like, "Hey, let's stop and say, stop blaming." I call it, we have to learn our EBCs, excuses, blaming and complaining. Where am I making excuses, where am I blaming, where am I complaining? None of it will merit you anything. None of it will do any good, except to soothe the little internal part of you that wants to feel like, you don't have to take responsibility.


Jeremy:
                It doesn't mean nobody ever does anything wrong or nobody ever hurts you, but it just means-


Michael:
              Right, absolutely.


Jeremy:
                ... how can I take responsibility? And what I realized in my whole stage is like, yes, there were a lot of people putting a lot of pressure on me. Yes, there were a lot of people who had unrealistic expectations of me. But the person who had the most unrealistic expectations of me was me. And the person who was living out of everyone else's anxiety was me. And that's why the greatest gift you can give an organization or your family is the gift of a non anxious presence.


Jeremy:
                You ever been in the presence of someone who's not... And by anxious, I don't mean this technical worry. I just mean that raised energy. That sense that you have of like, something's not right, "They're wanting me to do this or that or whatever that is." And when the leader has that, a leader is differentiated, a leader knows and leads him or herself well, and then they can really lead others well. And that kind of begins with that responsibility.


Jeremy:
                Like I said, I was in the spot and one of the hardest realizations was, it wasn't just everyone else doing, it was the fact that I created the system. I created the terms on which we were all operating. Namely, I will handle it and I will fix it and I will be responsible for it. And I did. And so it was confusing when suddenly I said, "I'm not going to be anymore." And that's hard.


Kathryn:
               Yeah.


Michael:
              Was it confusing for you or was it confusing for other people or both?


Jeremy:
                Well, first it was confusing for me because I wanted it to be the fact that, there so many demands, such a big thing. And there were crises happen all the time. So I wanted it to be everyone else's fault. And they do have some responsibility for whatever. The hard reality was facing, I created these things. And then it's confusing when you do differentiate, and make that adaptation to help. You have to be prepared for, this is at Friedman, but there will always be sabotage. So his book, Failure Of Nerve, is like, what leaders do is they have a failure of nerve to understand themselves and differentiate themselves. Or when they do, any change management, anything like that, it happens.


Jeremy:
                The reason it usually fails is because, the leader gives into the sabotage. And it's not like nefarious people going, "How do we get him or her?" That could happen. But it's usually because the system is being changed, homeostasis is being disrupted. "I'm not making his bed for him anymore, but here's the thing that hasn't happened." And they have to adapt to that. Right. So what happens is, day one, two and three, your teenager pitches a fit, right? Because they want you to handle that for them. That feels stressful. "What do you mean? This is not how life is supposed to work."


Jeremy:
                Or, you used to be the answer guy as the boss. Because great leaders aren't the answer, man or woman, they're the question guy. When I'm at my best coaching and consulting, it's not because I know more have more answers, because I don't. I don't know your situation as well as you do. Nobody does. But I have better questions. Or I'm able to ask them from a different vantage point. That all of a sudden brings insight and revelation and then action. So those are the things that in a lot of ways really drive that piece.


Jeremy:
                When you go from being the answer guy to being the question guy, people are going to be like, "No, no, no, no. I can't make a decision.


Kathryn:
               You tell me what to do.


Jeremy:
                Yeah, just tell me what... Because they've been living in that thing where you handle it, right? And you have to work with them through, don't just like throw them to the wolves.


Kathryn:
               Nope.


Jeremy:
                But you're not just making a whimsical or on a whim decision, you're going, "I've differentiated and I've understood now that I am not going to live life like, I'm not going to respond to every text message that comes like this, or every email is not urgent." That's why Napoleon used to not read his mail for three weeks because he realized that by the time you read it, almost 95% were those things would be resolved or they figure out how to handle it. We use that as [inaudible 00:34:21] right. Like, "Give me the answer."


Kathryn:
               It would have taken two weeks to get to him, to begin with. And then if you waited another three weeks, yeah, really irrelevant.


Jeremy:
                That's right. So I tell leaders like, "My inbox is blowing up. I never get..." I said, "Well, you have the power to change it actually." So you can actually say, "Hey guys, here's the deal. If you send me an email, I'm assuming it's not urgent. I will get back to you within a week. If it's urgent, you really need me, pick up the phone and call me, I'll take your call every time." Everybody has to have their own boundaries and standards. But once you differentiate and stop, because the more you respond to that, like fervent, "We got to know what you think. You've got to have your answer," the more you just feed that beast.


Jeremy:
                And it's kind of what you said, that when we get there, one of the warning signs of personal burnout or organizational dysfunction magical thinking. It's the, once this happens or once we get here or in six months or after the COVID passes, or after the election passes, or after the financial deal, once we get the loan secured, once you've got a strategic plan in place. That's magical thinking and you can't grow your organization like that, you can't [inaudible 00:35:23] like that.


Michael:
              It's good.


Kathryn:
               [crosstalk 00:35:27] That was really good.


Jeremy:
                I you were asking questions and then I went on a-


Kathryn:
               But we're interviewing you. That was supposed to be what happened here.


Michael:
              You were actually supposed to talk.


Kathryn:
               As it turned out, you got us talking more than you were supposed to, but that's okay.


Michael:
              No, that was really good. And there's a lot of just solid truth in the midst of that. Okay. Let's try in the next few minutes as we kind of wrap today, folks, can you see why we like him and we want to keep him around a little bit? For today. All right, so this is good. But what are some practical steps that a leader who is right now listening, who is going, "Yeah, I think I need this. Yeah, I think this is important. I'm ready to start doing some work on something like this." But they're saying, "I don't know how to get there." What are two or three things that they can do that are real practical that are going to move them towards being this more self aware, self led leader and work through some of these, "I have these symptoms." And yet they may have a fair amount of knowledge. We haven't told them anything that they don't know or haven't read before, but they're not doing it. Speak to that.


Jeremy:
                Okay. A couple of things. One, I love what I heard a previous guest of yours that I listened to your podcast is John Dwoskin. I don't remember-


Kathryn:
               Oh, Yeah, Dwoskin.


Jeremy:
                I loved what he said about meeting with a guy or a client or something like, "Just give me a few minutes of your time," or whatever. And he said, "If you're not willing to invest in you, why would I invest in you?" So that should be your beginning attitude is going like, "Okay, if I'm not willing to invest something in this process, then why should my customers, clients, follower or whatever, be willing to invest their time and resources to make this happen?" Consider it a personal investment in yourself, whatever it is you're going to do. Not like some, well, if I get around to the other thing.


Jeremy:
                Number two, take some easy tests online. Take the Enneagram, take the DISC, the Myers-Brigg. You can take the Strength Finders, you guys will be familiar with all those. Take those online, get some knowledge yourself. Three would be start practicing breathing exercises at least twice a day, at least five minutes a day. Maybe 10. I tell people, especially like big, tough guys, wherever it might be, "Look, this is what Navy seals do. This is how they prepare. They call it tactical breathing."


Kathryn:
               Makes it feel better.


Jeremy:
                It's really very simple, you'll be surprised, literally breathing in through your nose, into your stomach, not your chest, use your diaphragm and then an exhaling. You can do six in, eight out. You can do the four by four box, which is breathe in four, hold four, breathe out four, hold four. Super simple. And you're like, "That sounds ridiculous." Do it for a month and see what you think.


Michael:
              Okay. Can we stop on that for a second? I've been doing the four by four for, gosh, 30 years now.


Jeremy:
                Oh, wow.


Michael:
              I was fortunate. I was taught it when I was like 19 or 20 years old.


Kathryn:
               You never taught it to me.


Michael:
              I never did?


Kathryn:
               Rude.


Michael:
              That's interesting.


Jeremy:
                30 year, huh?


Kathryn:
               He has not taught me how to breathe. And I've been with him 27 of those 30 years. I don't know.


Michael:
              We've got secrets in our marriage.


Kathryn:
               Now I'm holding my breath.


Michael:
              Don't hold your breath. Okay. I do four by four and I've fiddled around with different ratios and numbers and stuff like that. But I personally never connected it to more self awareness and growing as a leader. Help me connect the dots there. Because I do it, but nobody ever told me that it had any connection and I never made the connection.


Jeremy:
                Yeah. Interesting. Well, several connections. Just neurophysiologically. When you do that, you slow your heart rate down. And you tap into, and actually this can get very like amazingly beautifully, complex. Your left and right nostrils breathe differently. You actually do one nostril, breathing is different because one connects your sympathetic nervous system, the other to your parasympathetic nervous system.


Michael:
              Oh, really?


Jeremy:
                Right. So so one gets you focused and stimulated, one gets you relaxed and chill. When I said the best gift is a non anxious presence, one very clear way to manage your anxiety is to notice it, accept it and intervene. One way to do it is by breathing. Those breathing brings your heart rate down, brings everything down. And suddenly that means you're going to have now more access to your prefrontal cortex, which is where your creative and rational logical thinking happens versus your lower brain, like your amygdala, which is your fight, flight, freeze responses and things like that. And so where do we make our worst personal and business decisions? We always make them out of fear, anxiety or anger. Every single time.


Jeremy:
                And so if you can move yourself into a state, that's not a state of fear, anxiety, and anger. And then when you breathe, you start to hear those voices and detach from them. The voice is going, like they're saying, "Hurry. Go faster. You're not good enough. You're not our guy. You're not this." You start to see them and realize that they're actually, that's actually not really coming from you. You can let those thoughts pass by like cars on the street and you don't have to get in the car and ride with them. And that's where we spent a lot of our bandwidth and our energy and five or 10 minutes of that every day goes, "Oh, I just saved myself a couple hours of going down these rabbit trails, going down the energy drains of thinking this about myself or worrying about that and that thing."


Jeremy:
                So it puts you in a place. Because I say, goals are not really a place to get to. Because you're always living in [inaudible 00:41:31] you're always dissatisfied with everything, but there are place to come from. So yes, like in a sense it is you're going to get somewhere, but it's really slowing down enough to say not like, "I'm going to double my income in the next year." But what if you don't really get any income, but in then the last day of the year, you finally double it. One thing pops, and it's like, "Wow." 364 days, you were like terrible miserable person. Instead you go, like, "Who would I have to be today to be the kind of man who doubles his income this year?" And then you live out of that peace and out of that joy. So all that breathing and prayer, meditation, mindfulness, all those things have the propensity to do that for you.


Michael:
              Cool. Okay. So, if I've got these first things, first is start with an acknowledgement that you're going to invest in yourself and have a mindset that you want to do this and you're going to do this. Take some easy tests, learn some core breathing exercises and do them twice a day. The four by four is great or some version of that.


Jeremy:
                Determine and make a mindful decision that, "I care about truth and growth more than I care about being right or being seen as managing my image." And use that to go seek feedback and ask your spouse, "Rate me from one to 10 on what it's been like to be my spouse this week." Ask your kids that, ask your employees that, and don't talk back to them. Don't tell them all the reasons why they don't understand you, pressures. Just listen and accept that feedback and do that regularly. And frankly, you should invest in yourself in the sense of having, get a leadership coach or get a mentor. Nobody can do all that by themselves. You cannot do it. You can only create the conditions.


Jeremy:
                I have two coaches and a mentor and a counselor. You guys are like, "Oh my God, does he do anything else all day?" One of those guys I see once, two of those, I see once a month or whatever. But I'm just saying, know that the investment will be worth it, but get someone that can help you walk through these things. You can't look into the windows of your own heart in life, the way someone else can.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. That's really, really good.


Michael:
              Totally agree.


Kathryn:
               Well, and maybe we wrap with the quote that I think you said it before we ever started recording. So that quote about truth and tolerance, how much you can tolerate, what was that quote? Because that was a really, really great quote and probably a good place to land.


Jeremy:
                Great. Yep. And I didn't create this. It's a great quote that I've been wrestling with. I just want to make it clear that it's like not [crosstalk 00:44:05].


Kathryn:
               Jeremy did not say this. Somebody said this, but he liked it. Go.


Jeremy:
                It said that a person's character can be determined by the amount of truth he or she is able to tolerate.


Michael:
              Okay. Think about that folks. That's a big one. It's interesting. We started this conversation in the pre-show conversation and talked about that quote. The amount of truth you're willing to tolerate is going to be the measure of your leadership. I want you to walk away from today, hopefully you got a one or two little nuggets out of today that are going to help you just be more thoughtful and mindful about where you are as a leader, what you're doing right now.


Michael:
              Because, the bottom line is, you are creating an organization. You wouldn't be listening to this podcast, if you didn't care. You wouldn't be on this podcast, if you didn't care about relationships and you didn't care about leadership, and you want to make sure that you're doing this thing well. Wherever your skill level or your accomplishments are, you want to grow. You want to be better and you care about these things. And we're bringing you stuff that's going to be helpful. And what Jeremy shared today, is going to be extremely helpful. And hopefully even walking through the stuff with Kathryn and I, or mainly me, I hope that-


Kathryn:
               I was just the person contributing to your pain.


Michael:
              I hope that will be helpful. You were a thorn in my side.


Kathryn:
               Right.


Michael:
              There's another side to that coin folks that we didn't talk about today, where I'm a thorn too. But I wanted you to just take away, think about this, ponder this. When this is over, you go to the next meeting, some point today, you're going to go to the next thing and the next thing. And there's going to be a moment where you're going to just have some quiet, and I'd like you to come back to this, whether it's tonight, tomorrow, and give some thought about your own leadership and where you are and how you can actually make a step or two in the right direction of becoming a better self leader. So that you, your family and the people you lead can benefit from that. And you'll eventually see more of your dreams, those visions that you have actually come true, and I believe at a faster rate. I'm a guy who says hurry up, but I realize that you have to go slow to go fast, as we talked about today.


Kathryn:
               Jeremy, if somebody wants to connect with you, what is the best way to do that?


Jeremy:
                Yeah. Thank you. Best way to do that would be through my website at recreate-solutions.com or on Facebook or LinkedIn, either through my name or through Recreate Solutions. Also maybe I've got a few resources that I've created that surround some of the things we've talked about today that I can give you guys something. If it's helpful, you can attach them or make them available through your stuff to them.


Michael:
              Absolutely.


Kathryn:
               That'd be great.


Michael:
              We'll have a link to Jeremy, his contact points and some of those free resources that you can download on our show notes page for the podcast. So go there to habovillage.com for that, or halfabubbleout.com. You'll be able to find your way there, either one of those websites. Jeremy, thanks a lot for taking the time today. We really appreciate it.


Kathryn:
               It's been quite a pleasure.


Jeremy:
                Thanks for having me.


Kathryn:
               Yeah, absolutely. We might have to do it again. There might be a couple of other conversations that are worth having.


Jeremy:
                Yeah, I would love to.


Michael:
              All right. So on that note, ladies and gentlemen, this is the HaBO Village, I'm Michael Redman.


Kathryn:
               And I'm Kathryn Redman.


Michael:
              And we hope you have a great week. Take care.


Kathryn:
               Bye-Bye.