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Leadership Development (Part 2) with Guest, Terry Walling [Podcast]

Episode 54: In this episode, Michael and Kathryn continue their interview with long-time friend and mentor, Terry Walling, who has worked in the field of Leadership Development for over 30 years. Discover why most business leaders struggle to transform themselves and their companies by giving this episode a listen. And be sure to check out Part 1 to get the full scope of Terry's wisdom when it comes to leadership transformation, coaching, and company culture.

leader assembling HR puzzle

In This Episode You Will Learn:

  • The definition of 'Renewal' and how it affects those around you.

  • Why leaders have a difficult time opening the 'personal transformation' box.

  • How a leader's development affects employees and turnover rates.

  • What passion has to do with successful company growth.

 

"Most of us build our identity around our knowledge and competence in employing certain known techniques or abilities. Making a deep change involves imagining both and walking naked into the land of uncertainty."

– Robert E. Quinn

  

References:

Deep Change: Discovering the Leader Within (by Robert E. Quinn)

A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix (by Edwin H. Friedman)

HaBO Village

 

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Michael:         Hi there. Welcome back to HaBO Village. This is Michael Redman.


Kathryn:
      And this is Kathryn Redman.


Michael:
      And we are so glad to have you back. This is a special part two episode of an interview we've been doing with Terry Walling, master, leader, coach, author, trainer. He has been doing this type of work for a few decades now, but he's still very, very young and restful even though he has eight grandchildren, eight. And we're excited to have him in the studio for part two of a continuing conversation on the power of leadership development and how the change in a leader can change an organization for the better.


Michael:
      Welcome back Terry.


Terry:
         Thank you. Good to be back.


Michael:
      All right, so part two-


Kathryn:
      Can I read this quote? Because this quote is amazing.


Michael:
      Okay. So well, absolutely read a quote. You want to tell everybody where the quote comes from?


Kathryn:
      Yeah. So, when we were talking about doing this podcast, Terry sent us this quote, and it's out of a book called Deep Change, subtitled, Discovering the Leader Within by Robert E. Quinn. And he has a chapter, but I'll tell you the chapter in a second. So here's the quote.


Kathryn:
      "Most of us build our identity around our knowledge and competence in employing certain known techniques or abilities. Making a deep change involves abandoning both and walking naked into the land of uncertainty."


Terry:
         Come on.


Kathryn:
      Come on. So the chapter title is, Walking Naked Into The Land of Uncertainty. So welcome to this episode of Half a Bubble Out, where we're going to invite you, I don't know maybe, to walk naked into the land of uncertainty.


Terry:
         Where are we going in this episode? We'll see.


Michael:
      We are all clothed in the studio, just so you know.


Terry:
         Yes, we are.


Kathryn:
      Yes, we are.


Michael:
      Nothing funky going on here. Yeah, that book right there. Terry, what's the significance of that book?


Terry:
         Well I, what happened for me was, kind of a 30 year journey to discover that the person is the key to the change. We've got so many management books, we've got so many things out there that offer incredibly great stuff to help the organization get better. But what Quinn did, and by the way, he's professor at University of Michigan. What he did in a study with different organizations that he was working with, what he did was link the person back into the change.


Terry:
         So all of a sudden, the person isn't forgotten, the person now is incredibly important. And what happens in the individual, he discovered, actually is the key to what can happen in the organization. And what that did is, that backed up about 30 years of my coaching, resourcing, training and working with leaders because one of the things that happened, I spent five years down under, in Australia. And we were trying hard, I was working in the church sector during that time and we were trying hard to help churches actually revive themselves, help renew them, help get them, in some sense, back into people's lives. And-


Michael:
      To become relevant.


Terry:
Yeah. They had become stagnant like even organizations can. And what we discovered after just kind of working hard with our head down for about four years is, we were having mixed results. And the reason we were having mixed results is because we were working on the structure and the organization-


Michael:
      Come on-


Terry:
         And not-


Michael:
      Yeah, this is good.


Terry:
         Working on the person. And what we, what I began to discover, and I had done some training in the area of leadership development, but I did about four years of research, Dr. Jay Robert Clinton, the making of a leader. What he had pointed out, now was vividly being played out right in front of me.


Michael:
      Okay. So-


Terry:
         That the person, themselves, needs renewal in order to renew, revitalize, and actually lead an organization forward.


Michael:
      So let's talk about renewal for a moment. Define that and tie that back to me with the internal operating system metaphor you and I have been using.


Terry:
         Yeah, yeah. Renewal essentially, at its very core, is being who you are and getting a chance to express that. And renewal itself, is something that has components that help that to happen. But when you discover who you are and then you're given the chance to express that to others, that all of a sudden brings meaning, it ignites something inside of you that wants more and actually changes all of us in the process of it.


Terry:
         So when I say personal renewal, it's that person discovering, uniquely, who they are and how they've been put together and what it is that, in some sense, they're on this planet to do and to be. And when that gets lived out, something happens to that person, that all of a sudden changes the organizations that they serve.


Michael:
      It's a beautiful thing too, to watch it happen.


Terry:
         Yeah, it is.


Michael:
      It's quite a privilege. I mean, all three of us have experienced it. It's quite a privilege to be in working, walking that journey with folks and then to watch them be able to take a step into a new place where they become more alive.


Terry:
         But the problem is it's organic. And what I mean by organic is, it actually happens in the context of doing it. It grows and emerges.


Michael:
      So it's not easy to just leave and go, "I'm going to go do renewal stuff."


Terry:
         Right.


Michael:
      "And then I'll come back here and I'll be renewed and it will all work."


Terry:
         Yeah, it happens through the discovery process.


Michael:
      But it's an intentional, it's an intentional part of being involved in the discovery process, right?


Terry:
         Absolutely. And as we're in that process, we discover those things. Oftentimes, the needs of the organization start to actually get layered on top of those things. So then we have people actually fulfilling a job and not experiencing, in some sense, who they're really wired to be. And if that gets too much, then we start moving into things like burnout and we start actually using up our people and actually, in some sense, guilting them to think, "Yeah, but the organization is growing." The problem is though, they're dying and when that happens, that's how complacency sets in. That's how toxic cultures end up being the result.


Michael:
      Well, I find out that, I think a long time ago, I think I believed that there were a lot of leaders knew that they were consuming people and they didn't care. But now, I've come to the conclusion that a lot of small business leaders, specifically, and even probably, larger organizations, they don't, they, it's not a conscious thing that they're doing. They just kind of have been raised around a whole environment, a business environment, where this is just part of what's going on and it doesn't, they have no ability to conceive of something different because nobody's offered them, really, a different model of what it could be.


Terry:
         And that's why it is, without quoting our opening quote too far, that's why it is moving into a land of uncertainty. Because we never been, a lot of people have never been in an organization that values its people. A lot of people have not been in an organization that actually tries to juxtapose the organizational goals with the personal development goals of the person. They've not been in that kind of place and so consequently, they're walking into an unknown. They're walking into a lot of uncertainty.


Kathryn:
      'Cause as leaders, they haven't actually experienced that kind of a place, so to try and become that person who leads a place like that, that's a very-


Michael:
      It's foreign.


Kathryn:
      Uncertain, foreign-


Terry:
         Foreign, scary, chaotic.


Michael:
      How can you even do something that's-


Terry:
         Organic.


Michael:
      Never been bottled for you? It's very challenging.


Terry:
         Yeah, very hard. So that's why I say, if you're going to take an organization to a place like this, you as a leader, have got to go to a place like this. And if you can go to a place like this, then you'll have, I think, a certainty that not everything itself has an answer, but we'll get to the answers as we continue to value our people.


Kathryn:
      Yeah.


Michael:
      Okay. So there's a thought coming to my mind right now that might be happening in some of our listeners thoughts, is it's easy to listen to a conversation like this. I know I did a long time ago and go, this sounds lovely and woo woo, but it sounds like I'm sacrificing the results of a company for this La La land of personal development of myself or my employees. And where the heck? It also sounds like accountability gets thrown out the window. My experience is that it actually does the opposite on both of those accounts.


Terry:
         Right.


Michael:
      You want to speak to that a second?


Terry:
         Well I think that's a very real thing and in fact, some people I've worked with are afraid to open up the personal development box because what's inside of it might not be something our company is really designed to deal with or whatever. But what I have found is that, when the leaders themselves go to this new place, now all of a sudden they have a wiring that says, I'm going to add the person to it. And what I mean by that is, the organization still has its goals. The organization still has its demands. The organization still has its bottom lines it's got to worry about. But with that, I'm going to add with that, a thought process that goes like this, but who do we have that's wired and gifted to help us?


Michael:
      Yup, absolutely, right there.


Terry:
         And what is it that we can do in terms of even thinking outside the box, in terms of how we organize our people to accomplish our goals? And therefore now, we've kind of pulled more people into ability to come up with a solution as opposed to putting all that weight just simply, on a few.


Kathryn:
      The cool part about that too, is that when you do that, people begin, they begin to get to live into the things that they're gifted to do.


Terry:
         Exactly.


Kathryn:
      And ultimately, assuming what they're gifted to do aligns with some of the goals of your company, then you're going to be more profitable as a result of that, because they're going to be working in their strengths and anyone working in their strengths has a much better contribution and everybody else around them is impacted by that in a really powerful way. So clients are happier, vendors are happier, because I'm living into my role, I'm doing what I'm supposed to do. And it changes everyone.


Terry:
         And I think this goes back to Michael, your original deal, they're more accountable too.


Michael:
      Yes.


Terry:
         You mean I get to do what I'm wired to do? And it's making a difference in us? I'm in. How can I do more? So the very opposite happens as opposed to going into, who knows where we're going? And what it does, is ignites the people and they want to participate all the more, to see the corporate goals and the organization move forward.


Michael:
      And this whole process brings more clarity.


Terry:
         Absolutely.


Michael:
      Way more clarity.


Terry:
         Absolutely.


Michael:
      And when we talk about, folks, when we talk about Passion & Provision companies, we're talking about really, so often we're having this idea of, "Okay, well how do I get to more passion? How do I get to more profit? How do I get to more joy? How do I do those things?" And we've been talking regularly in the podcast, there are skills and there are things that you can do to shape and change the way you do your marketing and sales, management, your own leadership tasks that you have to accomplish and all that. But what we're talking about is literally, a shift in a frame of reference.


Michael:
      I hate to say this and yet I don't have a better term. This is really a paradigm shift.


Terry:
         Totally.


Michael:
      You are actually looking at, how do I understand and interpret the way businesses work and operate? How the organization of people come together? How I fulfill this objective of creating a profit, so that there's sustainability in the organization? But now we're looking at it, like flipping it from a totally different perspective, and it's like everything lines up differently with the same objectives and yet what we have found, what you found Terry, what we've experienced personally, in Half a Bubble Out in creating a culture like this, and what probably 30 to 40 years of research and leadership development and organizational development is out there, strong research, even though it's not popular knowledge says, that if you come at it from this angle and learn to master these skill sets of understanding of the way this works, you're going to have a company that accomplishes more work, more value for customers, brings in more profit in a more complex and sophisticated world, as our world gets more complicated, with the same or less energy and stress.


Michael:
      It's like you get a win, win, win when you flip it like this. But if you don't start with thinking about that personal renewal development and others, well you miss out a whole level. 'Cause you start hiring differently, right? We hire differently at Half a Bubble Out because of these models. We're looking for, what's that job? And not just who needs to do finances, but do they fit our culture? Do they, do we, 'cause we hire, train and fire to our core values. And this frame of reference, this mindset, sits within our core values also.


Michael:
      And folks, it works. This works immensely well. And it gets to the place where, when Terry in our last episode, was mentioning one of the guys he's been coaching in an organization. And he said, "I love what I'm doing. I love the results we're getting, but I'm more impressed with who I'm becoming and how I've changed." And let me tell you what I know about that organization more than he's told in the story, is that organization has come alive. It has been around a really long time and life has been breathed back into it and they're killing it, in some pretty amazing ways, at all different levels of the organization.


Terry:
         And it's happening in the leader and it's happening in everyone else who's involved in leadership. And that's the cool thing.


Michael:
      That's powerful.


Terry:
         It's happening in them and it's interesting. I've noticed the culture issue is been floating around a lot of literature for about 20 years or so.


Michael:
      Yeah, yeah it has.


Terry:
         But culture, I think, is a byproduct of behavior.


Michael:
      Come on.


Terry:
         And as behavior actually changes-


Michael:
      I'm getting excited here.


Terry:
         And gets consistent, all of a sudden, people can look at an organization now and say, "I see who they are. I see what's going on. I want to be a part." And it's interesting that once culture gets defined, culture starts actually being the attractive force for the new labor. And the people are drawn to it saying, "Wow, they develop their people and that's the key to their success. I wonder would it be like to be a part of that team?" And that culture starts to recruit the future culture.


Michael:
      And there's a lot of companies out there, right now, in the fortune 500 world, maybe even fortune 1000 and stuff, that are talking about that in the HR. But here's, let's, but I want to make sure-


Kathryn:
      You're talking about culture in the HR world?


Michael:
      Culture exists and creating an amazing culture and-


Kathryn:
      Having ping pong tables and stuff.


Michael:
      And they're saying things like developing, yes, ping pong tables, and developing. But they're talking about developing their people and all of this kind of stuff, and I'm hearing a lot of good things in these statements. But what is missing, is those HR departments are creating a marketing slant themselves. They're doing a lot of good things in the company, but in some of those companies, what we're seeing and hearing is, that senior leadership, they're not changing.


Terry:
         Exactly.


Michael:
      They don't want to change. So you have people, even if you have people in the HR department that want this and believe in this, when you don't have the organization, the leader doesn't want to change, it changes the culture. There's a, we won't name the company, but there's a very, very, very successful company based here in northern California. It's in the high tech world and has been financially incredibly successful. And the founder was, in my opinion, somebody who was really, really, really struggling to go through any personal renewal growth. And that was challenging for his leadership, but his reputation filtered throughout the city and throughout the company and it made things difficult.


Michael:
      And here's this company that you go, they're making hundreds of millions of dollars a year and there's this person at the top, that won't, refuses to change. Refuses to go through this development process because his, he said to me several, in an interview one time, there was basically, he inferred a lot of, "I've got it all figured out. I've got it all done. Look what I did, look at how much money I made and look at how many jobs I made. I must, there must be nowhere else for me to grow. I must be at my top." He didn't say it exactly like that, but he inferred that quite a bit, in this same room, when I interviewed him.


Terry:
         Well, and that's the idea of too, it's not just personal renewal procedures, but ongoing.


Michael:
      Yes.


Terry:
         Ongoing personal renewal.


Michael:
      Well, and he-


Terry:
         And the most effective leaders are lifelong learners and because we stop growing as leaders, it's almost an obvious, if we stop growing, in the end, it will have residual effect in the organization that we're leading.


Kathryn:
      Well and in his case, it didn't affect the bottom line as much obvious, as obviously. But there was a lot of tension in the company, a lot of unhappy employees, a lot of turnover, a lot of just, so they could have been far more profitable, actually. And had a lot less tumultuous history had he been somebody who was willing to have some growth and-


Michael:
      Well and Passion & Provision, because of this, this is a funky thing because we see in some companies, Passion & Provision isn't easily as closely tied. They are both things that are significant in a company. You want the company to be profitable, but what about turnover? What about that, or the golden handcuffs exist in some of these companies in corporate America. Where you're making so much money, it's like, "I don't really, it's not great. I don't like it a lot"-


Kathryn:
      I hate my job but.


Michael:
      But I make, where else am I going to go? And I make really good money.


Terry:
         How can I walk away from this?


Michael:
      I've got a friend right now is 30 years old and he makes six figures and he's told me over the last two years how much he doesn't like his job. Different company, but he goes, I go, "Well, what are you going to do because?" He goes, "Well, I make a lot of money. I don't know where else I can go to make this kind of money."


Michael:
      I'm like, "I don't know where you are. Can't either, but what are you going to do about your soul because you can only do this so long." And what happens is, these folks become disengaged.


Terry:
         Totally.


Michael:
      Now you have, you potentially have a company full of disengaged employees.


Terry:
         And I think I can use this word. That's when all of a sudden I start seeing leaders, medicate. So they medicate on toys. They medicate on distractions, they medicate on-


Kathryn:
      Alcohol.


Terry:
         Alcohol. They medicate on relationships. They just, they begin to medicate and the medication, we all of a sudden go, "Oh, how could they do that?" Well, I can tell you how they did that. They stopped growing. They stopped living and all of a sudden they, even that person that you're talking about, who is trapped, has a choice that they need to make at that point in time. But that choice needs to be in line with their development, how they've been shaped over time.


Terry:
         So when I work with leaders, it's actually key to help them get a big picture view of their life. It's not just ongoing renewal, but it's how do they get a big picture view? How do they then take that and weave that back into their best understanding to date, of who they really are and their unique contribution. And then how do they find mentors and coaches to help them move into the next phase of their development? And what is it that actually is happening, in terms of their clarity, related to who they are and who they're not?


Terry:
         You know, another great book, the Failure of Nerve written by a guy named Edwin Friedman.


Michael:
      I don't know that one.


Terry:
         Yeah. He's actually, in the whole area of, he took family systems and applied it to leadership.


Michael:
      Really? No kidding.


Terry:
         Yeah. And he's written a couple books, but he, his great deal is that, he says a leader is a self-defined person with a non anxious presence.


Michael:
      Self-defined person-


Terry:
         Non anxious presence.


Michael:
      With a non-anxious presence.


Terry:
         So what typically happens is, by not knowing who you are, you bring anxiety to the systems that you lead. By knowing who you are, you create peace within the system that you're leading. And Katheryn was talking about this, that yeah, they were pulling in some good profits as a company, but there was turmoil within that company. And that was really because that leader refused to define and understand who they really were and keep growing and make their contribution based upon that. No, his goal was make a buck. And that in and of itself has a short shelf life. When people are working with a company, they want to work with a company that does make a profit, but they want to work with a company actually, that develops them as a person.


Michael:
      Well, you look at all that research that's going on in the 90's and the early aughts that is still touted and talked about a lot, that says that when people in middle class cultures get to a place where they earn a certain amount of money that allows them to have the basic needs met and everything else, actually offering them more money is not an incentive.


Terry:
         Right.


Michael:
      And it actually becomes a disincentive. They actually performed worse and their performance trended down because the only motivation was cash. And it's like, once we have basic needs met and we're able to save for our dreams for tomorrow and those kinds of things, it doesn't take a lot more than standard wages. But so many companies have gone, well, I'll offer you x, y, and z and they don't offer you anything else. There's nothing there in that culture and people just, people are craving it. They really are, even if they don't know they're craving it.


Terry:
         And you guys know this, this is not my field, this is yours. But in the days ahead, with the labor market and everything shrinking and going through all sorts of contortions, we need companies that actually, in some sense, are more about not just making a widget, but it's developing people who will make the better widget. And part of our, I think our big challenge, is to understand that personal development needs to be integrated into the organizational culture. And that in and of itself can be, actually, a factor that'll draw people to that organization and want to participate in that organization.


Michael:
      It's a gutsy move because a lot of companies are afraid to put in because people were like, "Hey, this is work and you're talking about my personal development. I don't want to mix the two."


Terry:
         Exactly.


Michael:
      And so there's some weird places to navigate through.


Terry:
         And I think it is a culture. So that's why over time, you create a culture that does that.


Michael:
      A culture that says, we don't do this.


Terry:
         We don't do this and instead, what we do is we value you, as we seek to produce this.


Kathryn:
      I mean, we've talked about in the past, how kind of our philosophy is, that a lot of people are, they're like, "You know what? This is work. You leave your personal life at home." And I've always said I bring my whole person to work, I can't help it. 'Cause I am with me and everything that's happening in my world actually impacts my work. So I've never wanted people to leave their personal life at home. Obviously there's limits to that and there's boundaries and, but that reality of, "Yeah! Gosh, I want to know who you are as a human. I want to know what motivates you and excites you." And in doing so, I can be better equipped to help you be successful at work.


Terry:
                   Exactly, exactly. And that, 'cause we talked about linking it back to coaching a little bit. That, to me, is what coaching does. Tell me about what it is that lights you up. Tell me about the things that you dream of. Tell me about your journey to date and where are we in that. Tell me about those moments when, all of a sudden, it has come alive and let's figure out what that means and how you can best express it to other people.


Terry:
And so that's why just understanding concepts of personal development is not enough. It needs to be paired with a culture where those questions are being asked and those people have a chance to explore those things. And I have found, because like we talked about, we've done it here at Half a Bubble Out. I have found few organizations and few companies that aren't actually delighted what happens to their employees, when they're given a chance to express the deeper things inside.


Terry:
         And I'm not talking about therapy, I'm talking about passion. And that's why, in some sense, I'm so excited what you guys are doing with the village and the ability to offer this, in training to people. Because the passion side is really, in my book 'cause I listen to you guys, bringing the person back into the equation.


Kathryn:
      I like it. I like it.


Michael:
      Amen to that. Well, that's probably a good place for us to draw a line today. Will you come back and talk with us again sometime on the podcast?


Terry:
         I'd love it.


Michael:
      This has been a lot of fun.


Kathryn:
      So much fun.


Terry:
         Good.


Michael:
      This is good. This is what, this is really, honestly, what I was hoping for, for a long time. And I, and it's good to have-


Terry:
         Well, I'm sorry it took us so long, but once I got convinced, you know.


Michael:
      Timing is everything.


Terry:
         Absolutely.


Michael:
      Everything. Timing's everything. Folks, one of the things that happens, and you see this with us, Kathryn and I on the HaBO Village Podcast, and you'll see it in the HaBO, on habovillage.com, in the membership site, is the ability to start talking about these things. And Katheryn and I, we've studied with Terry, under Terry. We actually teach one of Terry's courses that talks about leadership development, later on, called Apex and have gone through and dealt with the coaching stuff that he does and through his coaching classes.


Michael:
      And we have, we continue to partner together, personally, on a personal note, and professionally, trying to figure out, what does this look like, so that we can provide this kind of stuff? 'Cause I've, if you're anything like Katheryn and I have been, if you're hearing this stuff for the first, second, third time, maybe you've heard things like this before. There's something inside of some of you right now that's just screaming, "Yes, I want this. I want to do it from my employees. But quite frankly, I want it for me. I want".


Michael:
      There's a certain selfishness in it that's really positive and healthy, that you want to become more of who you were created, intended to be and more of your authentic self so that you can come alive and that can impact your business and your personal life, your relationships around you. And we want to try and figure out how we can help you do that.


Michael:
      So if you are looking for anything like that right now, feel free to contact us at Half a Bubble Out. Also go to habovillage.com and sign up on the wait list there. Put your name there, so that you can be on the email, finding out what's coming up and how you can potentially get involved, find out more information about Habovillage.com as it gets launched in September of 2018. And then over at Half a Bubble Out, it's halfabubbleout.com.


Michael:
      And if it's not us, find somebody to help. Fuel that desire, that thing that's inside your heart right now, that's inside your chest going, "I want more. Yes, I want that. That resonates with me." If that's you, find somebody to help you grow in that place, the fruit will be amazing. We've just seen it over and over again. So thank you so much for coming today and joining us and spending time with us and Terry Walling.


Kathryn:
      Thanks for being here, Ter.


Terry:
         You Bet. You Bet. My honor.


Kathryn:
      By the way, this is the guy who we quote often when we say things like, "You don't get to clarity alone."


Terry:
         That's right.


Michael:
      Okay, well we have to come back and have more-


Terry:
         I've heard that somewhere before.


Michael:
      More conversations about that. I'm Michael Redman.


Kathryn:
      And I'm Kathryn Redman.


Michael:
      And thank you again from all of us at Half a Bubble Out and habovillage.com. Have a great day.


Kathryn:
      Bye.