Relationships at Work - Your Guide to Building Workplace Connections and Avoiding Leadership Blindspots.

What It Takes To Light the Spark in Leadership for Meaningful Change with Gregg Brown

August 29, 2023 Russel Lolacher Episode 90
What It Takes To Light the Spark in Leadership for Meaningful Change with Gregg Brown
Relationships at Work - Your Guide to Building Workplace Connections and Avoiding Leadership Blindspots.
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Relationships at Work - Your Guide to Building Workplace Connections and Avoiding Leadership Blindspots.
What It Takes To Light the Spark in Leadership for Meaningful Change with Gregg Brown
Aug 29, 2023 Episode 90
Russel Lolacher

In this episode of Relationships at Work, Russel chats with author, consultant and keynote speaker Gregg Brown on what it takes to spark action and lead change that matters in the workplace.

Gregg shares his insights and experience with...

  • Why someone at work would need to "spark" action.
  • The importance of understanding ourself before sparking change.
  • What to do with naysayers to change.
  • How to approach an organization that is risk adverse.
  • When the best time to spark action in your organization may be.
  • How storytelling is key to influencing change.

If you enjoy the podcast, please subscribe and share with others.
For more, go to relationshipsatwork.ca 

And connect with me for more great content!

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode of Relationships at Work, Russel chats with author, consultant and keynote speaker Gregg Brown on what it takes to spark action and lead change that matters in the workplace.

Gregg shares his insights and experience with...

  • Why someone at work would need to "spark" action.
  • The importance of understanding ourself before sparking change.
  • What to do with naysayers to change.
  • How to approach an organization that is risk adverse.
  • When the best time to spark action in your organization may be.
  • How storytelling is key to influencing change.

If you enjoy the podcast, please subscribe and share with others.
For more, go to relationshipsatwork.ca 

And connect with me for more great content!

Russel Lolacher
And on the show today we have Gregg Brown. And here is why he is awesome. He is the founder of change, ready leadership, a consultancy that provides training, advising, coaching and thought leadership to small and large organizations. He's a keynote speaker on change leadership. He holds a master's degree of science, social science with a focus on organizational psychology, leadership, and performance. He's an associate member of the American Psychological Association, and he's the author of a book we're gonna dig into today, which is Spark Action - How to Lead Change that Matters. I'm excited. Hello, Gregg.

Gregg Brown
Hey, so good to see you today.

Russel Lolacher
You as well, sir. So I'm a big fan of change, because I do a lot of change in my own work. And the idea of sparking it and influencing it. Interesting, super interesting, especially in this book in the language of it. I don't want to say anything more, Gregg, because I'm ruining things. So before we get into such things, how about to ask the question, I asked all of my guests, which is, what's your best or worst employee experience?

Gregg Brown
Well, I have a ton of worst. But let me give you a few of the best said more of the best. Yeah, I really learned I was lucky when I was younger, I learned in my 20s, that I really thrive in an environment where I'm allowed to be as entrepreneurial as I can. And I worked in the nonprofit at that point. And what was so great was I was really allowed to work in my skills, and was allowed to, you know, be entrepreneurial, in terms of, you know, run an area with someone else, and really focus and do the work that I wanted to do. And I had to obviously stay within the guidelines of the organization, but it really set the stage for me to learn that when we work, you know, in our natural abilities and have our, and we're allowed to really build those strengths and continue down that groove that that's where I thrive, I didn't thrive. And I knew by that point, and I learned later, I didn't thrive in environments that were cubicles where I sat all day, I'm, you know, raging extrovert, I need to get out, I need to be able to do the work I need to do. And I was so lucky to have a boss and organization that allowed me to do that. And I stayed with him for a very long time in various capacities, as a result. So I have a question about that as an intrapreneur, did you work for that in an organization? Or did your boss notice that in you, and just gives you more and more freedom? You know, I think I learned, I think I'd sort of gotten around from job to job, you know, probably that probably at 10 jobs at the time was 26. Because I just wasn't sure what I wanted to do. And I think it was a combination of things where I was hired into a role, I really thrived in that. And then another role came up, and they took a chance on me. So I think they really gave me that opportunity. And, and yet, once I had it, I think as long as I could demonstrate that I was continuing to contribute in a way that was meaningful and do the goals and objectives of my department. You know, I was that intrapreneur at that time, and and so I think it was a competence, I had to advocate for it. And they were able to give me the space for it as well. And I had a really good boss who, you know, of course, we all know what the research says around that, that, you know, we tend to, if we're unhappy, it's we tend to leave because of our bosses, I don't believe that that's true 100% of the time. But you know, for me, people have always been really important who I report to. So that's not true for everyone. But for me, let's get into this new book.

Russel Lolacher
Sparking change is interesting. So most books that I've read on change management is all about navigating change, especially nowadays, where change seems to be happening every 15 minutes. Since COVID happened, it's like we are constantly in a flux. But you took a different stance on this, which is very much the influence of change, which is leading change. So I guess the first question I have to ask is, why would someone need to spark change? Like why would they need to pick up a book like this? Because not everybody might see themselves in that role?

Gregg Brown
Well, I believe that all of us on the planet and all of us in organizations, you know, we're required to influence and lead others to get things done. So, you know, in an organization with your frontline admin, professional receptionist, an IT person, a project manager, you know, a leader, a policy analyst, you know, whatever your role, we have to engage others in our ideas so they can take action. And I think, you know, all of us are required to do that. And then you know, also outside of work, whether it's, you know, people doing things on the side, if they're entrepreneurs and whatever that may be, or they have hobbies that they want sell something, you know, at a farmers market. You know, I hear that a lot. You know, it's not about trying to sell and convince people. And I think, you know, we put our pressure on ourselves that our job is to sell and convince, especially in organizations, and I really talked in the book about, you know, take that pressure off, it's not about having to sell and convince, and good salespeople know that selling is not a one way didactic throwing out the benefits to everybody, and everybody's going to buy your product. So I think it's relevant, you know, whether you're an entrepreneur or a sales rep, or someone in an organization, whatever level that we all of us are required to engage other people in our ideas, so they can take action, all of us, I don't know anybody that works in a silo anymore, or ever did anyway.

Russel Lolacher
What are we doing wrong when it comes to change leadership? Because obviously, you wrote the book for a reason to fix the problem. So what were you seeing out there that you're like, oh, I need a book on this?

Gregg Brown
Well, I think, you know, one of the things that I've really found from my experience, you know, in the research that I've done, is that there's so much change going on that we're reacting to, you know, especially with COVID, we're running on the treadmill constantly trying to keep up. And then you know, about a year ago, we started to have to start thinking strategically, again, whether COVID was here or not, we had to start thinking, what are we going to do? How are we going to do it? How are we going to, it doesn't matter if you're a government or private sector Association, wherever that we had to think about, Okay, we have to start planning for the future, we have to start doing this, start doing that. And I think, you know, a few pieces came out of that, that I put into the book. One was, if we influence and lead change, well, it builds people's resilience, it builds our capability to handle change. And I think that that's a key intersection in the book about those two pieces is that navigating the future, navigating change, resilience is also built upon how I influence and lead change for you or for someone else, or for my team. So I think there was that piece that I wanted to highlight. And the other piece that, you know, I've heard from leaders over the years and did hundreds of virtual sessions or COVID. And then of course, before that, I've done hundreds and hundreds of workshops and keynote speeches and stuff with audiences. And you know, people use this word selling, convinced constantly, it doesn't matter where they work, or what role they're in whether the CEO in a private sector organization, or, you know, a chief administrative officer in a public sector, you know, right on down, I gotta get people to buy in, I've got to get sell people on this, I gotta get people to do that, you know. And I really felt that that is the big sort of pain point that we all tend to feel. And I really wanted to write a book that was about, you know, how do we engage others in our ideas, so that they can actually take action. And it's not about selling and convincing, it's about remembering the change happens in the mind of the other person, the buy in happens in the mind of the other person, the agreement to do something happens in the mind of the other person. So what do they need to be do know? Or have to say yes, and that's sort of been the holistic view I took with the button.

Russel Lolacher
How do you know that you're the right person for change leadership, because I've been in organizations, I've seen organizations where they have this person is leading change, I'm like, Oh, that is the last person I'm listening to. Like, it's not as much about the message as about the messenger. So how do you know?

Gregg Brown
Yeah, you know what, that is such a great point. Because I believe that, you know, I can teach anybody to do a change management pant plan or a project plan or a strategic plan, you know, budgets, frameworks, those are the easy things to teach. And yet, you know, how we are able to lead our teams and by leader teams, I mean, again, the frontline admin professional has to do an event, the, you know, the, the person who's a project manager has to influence others who has no authority. And many of us, most of us have no authority in an organization itself to lead and influence. And it's really about, you know, what are those interpersonal power skills that I bring to the table as a leader? And I think, you know, it's about figuring out what is our character around this and what is our what are the things that ticks us off? How do we build trust in the process? I believe those are the couple of pieces that make or break our success as a change leader because our character development and our our abilities to lead people regardless of our job title. That's what makes or breaks our success in any role. I believe in any role.

Russel Lolacher
You start the book off talking about having a PhD for yourself, which I love that he would listen to the podcast, I'm a self awareness nerd. Like, I absolutely think that is the strongest superpower any leader can have.

Gregg Brown
And that's self leadership, that's any leadership role, whether it's changed leadership or strategically, whatever leader role, it starts with self leadership and getting a PhD and yourself, you need to know just like you say, what ticks you off what makes you happy, what you're good at what you're not good at?

Russel Lolacher
Whether you are the person to be pushing this particular type of change or not, or you're a better face for something else. But what I found really interesting is that you took half the book to focus. I mean, even though the first chapter is PhD, you even mentioned external change influence until about halfway through the book. So what is that tipping point of, I think I'm ready as an individual, I know myself well enough, I know the situation and how I would react and react in these situations to get to that influence level of pushing on the ecosystem. So what is that tipping point?

Gregg Brown
Well, I think there's a few things there, you know, the first part of the book is about getting a PhD in yourself. And it's about understanding other people and how they respond to change and how, you know, even you know, people I've worked with for years, I love change, and I'm really good at change and really change ready. And you know, no one, no one on the planet is ready for a change that has a negative impact on them, you know, you have a very different response. You know, if I say to you, hey, you're leaving your job, you're not working here anymore, you have a very different response to if you choose to leave the job on your own. So it's, you know, where does that and most of us that work, most changes is disruptive, it's imposed upon us that comes from above, it's legislative, its regulatory, it's driven by, you know, someone's vision inside the organization that may be higher up than us. And, you know, I think the piece is is is about when we're influencing change is knowing how to frame things, knowing how to say things, knowing how to structure things, in a way that keeps people engaged. Because, as you mentioned, at the beginning, we don't have more time, we're running faster changes happening faster than ever, even 50. Maximize changes happening on a minute by minute basis, depending on what's going on where you set. And your only way to really keep up and to dive into these waves of change. And to you know, tread water in the waves of James is to, you know, be more efficient, and how we communicate and how we help people in how we structure our ideas, and how we want to lead people down that path.

Russel Lolacher
Is there a bridge too far when it comes to naysayers? Because as much as we talk to the early adopters, and those tipping point, people, there will always be naysayers. And I love that you talk in the book about embracing the negative under using it as learning moments, but can we get too far and go, You know what, I'm not going to waste any more of my energy on those.

Gregg Brown
I would often think, you know, if I was looking at, say, 100% of my time, and where I'm gonna focus, I might spend 10% at the begin, you know, somewhere with those, and I want to hear the people that are the naysayers, I want to hear what's going on for them, I might not be able to problem solve that, you know, I talked a lot in the book about not having to solve people's problems, but listening in the knowledge and can move people down that path of change as much as problem solving. And if they still there, I'm just going to ignore them at some point. Now, if they report it to me, we might have we're not gonna have an influence discussion might have more authoritative discussion where I put my authority hat on and say, I need you to get on this. But you thought would only happen after we'd had some other dialogues. But I will not focus on my energy on it be like if I was doing a keynote, you know, I can see two people, which would be rare because I'm joking, but two people out of 1000 not interested in what I'm saying. And guess what there will be. And if I spent all my energy on those two or three people try to convert them a bit ignoring the other 998 people that are interested. I mean, the ratio may be a bit lower than that maybe 10 people out of 1000 but.... I'm kidding.

Russel Lolacher
But that's the thing. We focus on the negative not the trend.

Gregg Brown
And I think we want to follow, you know, we always, as people that are leading change, again, leadership is not about a job title. I believe every single one of the people listening here as a leader, regardless of your job title. I've worked with, you know, frontline and men, receptionists and been professionals who can rope people in to do anything. And I've worked with senior leaders who can't get anybody to do a darn thing. So it's not about the job title. But what it is about is about the mindset that we have to get people involved and engaged. And that is switching from that sales mindset to what I call an educator mindset. It's a two way process. And good salespeople know that and Good leaders know that good policy analysts, good project managers, whatever your job title, we know that we have to figure out what do they need to know to say, yes?

Russel Lolacher
Well, it goes back to also the communications 101 idea that it's everything's two way, it's not only what you say, but how it's received. And you have to know your audience to know that. Now, speaking of that, you talk about innovation and taking risks and thinking differently, but there are so many organizations who have culture that do not and are not interested in change. So what do you bring as a sparking chain sparking action to an organization that is risk adverse?

Gregg Brown
So I think when you know, I work with organizations that might be more risk averse. What I like to do is do some scenario planning with them and go you Okay, so if this happens, what is this? If this happens, what could happen here? And I also think it's about grading risks, asking, what's the likelihood of this happening? Low, medium, high? If it does happen, what's the impact? Because, you know, we can't run around putting out every fire, and not everything's going to be as bad as we think it is. And I think, you know, if people when we talked about risk management, immediately jump into, here's my contingency plan, here's what I'm gonna do, or we're just not going to do it. And I like to look at what are the causes of something happening? And how can we prevent these from happening? Because if we can put a plan in place, and we do risk management all the time, as human beings, we wear seatbelts in the car, when we look at both ways, when we cross the street, where you get to the airport three hours early, that's all risk management. So we do it. And I think, you know, I'm not saying for organizations to be jumping off cliffs all the time. But if you don't embrace innovation, and risk management is tied into innovation shift to manage that stuff. As you go through the process. If you don't embrace that, I think it'll become obsolete.

Russel Lolacher
What is the role and you do touch on it a little bit near the end of the book, which is psychological safety. So it's not only knowing yourself, it's knowing and building trust, externally to build change. So how is psychological safety such a big part of sparking action?

Gregg Brown
Well, I think let's just define psychological safety first. So psychologists to me doesn't mean, you know, let's hold hands and saying and hugging each other and all that stuff. You know, that's not what we're referring to in this context. psychological safety really means, you know, do I have engagement? Do I have commitment? Do I have trust with my employees and colleagues and co workers? And do I feel safe? So as I find that word, hard to use at work, because it just means so many different things to different people? But I really like, you know, does it feel okay for me to bring up my ideas? Am I gonna be shamed for them? Am I gonna be told them silly, am I? You know, what is that? And one of the things we know is, is that all of us, you know, people will blame their managers all the time and get what I really believe. I mean, someone once asked me this at a keynote, they tried to get me on this, like, Well, what do we do if, if the managers don't create the culture change? You know, and I'm like, every single one of us that shows up at work every day has an opportunity to create the culture, it's not about the job title. Yes, there's power and authority here that will trickle down and show what's safe for us and politically, okay for us to do. Because, of course, it's politics in any organization and what's okay, what's not, okay, those cultural beliefs that are intangible. And yet, I think how we show up and how we model behavior, whatever our role is, what's integral to that piece around that? And, and, you know, when we're in meetings, how are we, you know, it says, we respect everybody, and blah, blah, blah, on the wall. And then, you know, the culture in the organization is everybody just shows up 15 minutes late, you'll be we know from the research is that if you're, if your meetings run over time, then your projects will run over time, your initiatives will run over time your budgets won't run over, because there's no concept of managing time properly. You know, so those are those cultural elements that impact innovation risk, and that psychological safety of can I bring up this idea and not be shut down?

Russel Lolacher
Not to oversimplify it but from the research and from your book, which, like I said, spokes very much internal and then it gets a little bit more in external. What you feel is the greatest catalyst for change. Is it is it the communication is it just knowing yourself well enough?

Gregg Brown
I think the greatest catalyst for change will be our mindset shift. And I said this in the beginning, we have to get under the mindset that we have to sell and convince people like stop that. It's about weighing, what are the benefits? And what is the impact because when we don't talk about the impact of you know, this is the benefits to our customer or to our clients, and it's going to create an extra 20 hours of work for us. We don't weigh it out like that we look insincere, we look out of touch with reality, we look like that we're not, you know, what I said, that educator mindset, having a two way dialogue led just by throwing benefits at the wall, you know, like throwing spaghetti on the wall hoping something sticks? You know, like No, and I would say that, for me is is real catalyst because I think everything and you're talking about this in my keynotes a lot, everything starts with our mindset. And your mindset is not a woowoo term out there. It's a collection of neurons in your prefrontal cortex that just determines how you're going to problem solve and decision make throughout the day. So we have a choice, how am I going to engage with people? I believe that is, that's the key. And I know, I know, it's the geek is at home, I forget to do that. And then I get into trouble.

Russel Lolacher
I love that you bring that up, too, because a lot of people look at Oh, building trust at work. How do you do that? I'm like, do you have friends? Do you have family, there is the exact same muscles, you can look at any psychological book about trust, and they are easily the exact same damn thing. But at the same time, people think it's a different world as soon as they crossed that threshold.

Gregg Brown
Charles Feldman has done some great research on trust, and he's broken it down to four areas. Which are you going to? Do you say? Do you do what you say you're going to do? Do you mean what you say? Do you care about what I have to say? And are you capable to do the work that you say you're going to do? You know? And and, you know, because competence is knowing what you're good at and knowing what you're not good at? And I love his four levels of trust, because you can you can just go well, I trust you, when I'm trying to work with people, you know, trust them for this, but don't trust them for this. So how can we build up that aspect of trust, because trust is I find easier to get. And then once it's broken, good luck getting it back.

Russel Lolacher
As you're progressing through the book, and learning into leaning into learning the environment in which you're getting into, are there any red flags that you should really be looking for your book does a great job at laying out what to say what really not to say, and understanding your environment. But are there some canaries in a coal mine that maybe you should be looking for this might not be the right time for change?

Gregg Brown
Well, I think a few things about that. It's I love that you mentioned the timing for change, I don't think we have a lot of control over that most of the time, like even CEOs and a large 50,000 person organization. Sometimes, you know, changes driven externally or by stakeholders or by board members or so I don't know if we have a lot of control over the timing, because I get asked that a lot. And I don't think we have a lot of control over the timing for most of us. Now, when it comes to granular time, like the example I gave you about the the you know, head person saying telling you don't play reorganization on a Friday afternoon, that timing is a red flag for me. I'm like, you don't know what were you weren't thinking about when to just kind of wait until Monday? Or it could have been done the Monday before or you know, doesn't need to usually happen on Friday at three o'clock. So. So those sorts of individual control over timing, I would say if you have control over that, be smart about it. And you know, if you got into the head of the other person and thought about why are they going to react to this you probably figured out Friday in the afternoon is not the best. So I think I you know, other red flags are things like and again, again, I don't think you have control over this, but it's things you need to build into what's going on, in terms of you're having high staff turnover. Obviously, if you're having young people feeling completely overwhelmed with change, which so many people are today, that's a red flag that I might not be able to control the time but we might need to have some conversations about this. So you don't think I'm just out of touch with reality. Because then we can build trust if I'm if I show you that I'm not at a touch with reality. I also think you know, another red flag is this is one of my biggest Sunday I talk about this in the book somewhere where people say oh, it's gonna be alright, everything's gonna be fine. So someone says to me, my alarm bells start going off and like they probably haven't done it. Risk Management around this and then anticipated what could go wrong and plan for it. So those would be my top three.

Russel Lolacher
You mentioned in the book a few times that you're a raging extrovert. So I want to ask the question for the raging introverts out there. How did they handle a book like this? That is giving them a roadmap, but they may not be so prepared? Whether it's a neurodivergent C, mindset, whether introvert, as I said, how do they navigate?

Gregg Brown
Well, so this is the thing, right? Like, and it's more, I think, because you know, more than extraversion and introversion, and the book isn't for raging extroverts, you know, the big chunk of the book is all about understanding who you are, how you like to receive information, how you like to send that, blah, blah, blah. And so it is about knowing yourself. And one of the things we know, as some of the best leaders, some of the best speakers are raging introverts. You don't need to be a raging extrovert to be a great speaker, or, you know, some. So it doesn't matter about that. I think it's about knowing where you set where you reside, what are your strengths? What do you need to improve upon, and being able to dial up and dial down those strengths as you go throughout the process of developing change or leading it or initiating it or talking about it? So yeah, I don't believe I believe your personalities impact how we talk, how we communicate, how we plan, how we think, I believe, if you have a depth of knowledge of that, as you mentioned earlier, that we're able to dial app down down, we're able to, you know, figure out how do I need to say this, either person can hear what's a value to them? versus what's my role? We want to get into the head of our of our target audience or, or change targets and go, What does this group need to noted to get on board with this? What does this group need to get it? What is this and it might be different, and you got to take the time to plan that out.

Russel Lolacher
One of the best and most effective tools that you highlight in the book, which I am a huge fan of his storytelling, it is really understanding the story, you're not only telling yourself, but also the one you're trying to tell the organization and those you're trying to change. But you'll still get that same person standing in front of a PowerPoint presentation with 37 million words at nine font right there just reading back. So what does a great presented story as an example, look like to spark?

Gregg Brown
So you know, a few things I don't talk in the book about, you know how to do presentations, in terms of, you know, using PowerPoint and stuff that's not, I don't delve into it, there's plenty of books on that sort of stuff, as you just mentioned. I really think, you know, the, the storytelling and change. And we have to create stories. And by stories, it means I don't mean making a nurse or making up, you know, fairy tales, or writing a book. But creating a story around the change of how am I going to make this relatable to the people I'm trying to engage in this idea. And it might look different for people. And I think a story needs to, you know, include things, you know, how am I going to bridge in my ideas, build the bridge, so other people can hear me and why they should listen to me. And that's more than just the rationale. It's it's, you know, figuring out, what do they need to hear to start engaging in this? What are my intentions of the session? How am I going to get them thinking about it, and also being able to have a few different versions of this story. And my story, again, not meaning a novel, meaning like a structured way to communicate the change, you might just have a one minute version of it a five minute version, and 15 minute version, depending where you go, because the stories that we tell it organizations create the culture. And, you know, we want to be clear what those are. So I do give a framework on that. And then after that, I really, you know, also talking about what do we have to do when we speak on tricky topics, and when we have to engage others and topics that you know, might create job loss or make at least fear of job loss, which may not create job loss, and everybody starts to fear that stuff normally because it hits on our core. Can I pay my rent? Can I pay my mortgage coming from my kids from school, or whatever people's issues are. And anything that hits core like that we have to be prepared for in the story is going to look a little different.

Russel Lolacher
Can you share a story whether it's big or small, a level of change, you sort of follow this path and it it it tipped the needle in the direction they were trying to go.

Gregg Brown
Yeah you know, one of the ones you know tell a story that's in the book that I used to do workshops and in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver which you What is what's the poorest postal code in Canada, it's still one of the poorest postal codes. And I was working with a group of Catholic Sisters who wanted to do so they just started working with people living on the street. And one of the things about these sisters, these nuns, you know, they weren't trying to convert anybody to their religion or anything like that, they were just what I call The Sound of Music, then, so if he knows the sound of music, and then just wanted to get on the planet, and these women, I was teaching them about drug use sexual health, a whole bunch of stuff. And, you know, these women, you know, have a lot of cultural beliefs, religious beliefs. And, you know, we were doing a bit of a workshop together where they had to learn some street terms, some different language that people used on the street, so they wouldn't be shocked. When street involved, people came up and sort of talking about various body parts and things that were going on. So we had a picture, you know, we're in a REM 25, women, there's 25, flip charts on the wall with, with clinical names at the top of flip charts between your body parts and your between your neck and your knees, those types of ones. And all the practices that go with those. And I asked them to write down all the street terms that they'd heard. And initially, they were so tense. So it took a step out, wrote down something innocuous. And then eventually, they all stepped out and started laughing. And soon enough, 25 pieces of paper were filled with words, some of them, I'd never heard of dirty words, these words, whoever you weren't labeling, and we took a step back and analyze them, and so on and look for the differences men's and women's, and all that stuff. And, you know, what really stood out for me was they were willing to step through their own belief systems, or religious beliefs, or cultural beliefs or backgrounds, all that stuff we all bring to work because that's the similarity. We all bring this stuff to work to our backgrounds, what we believe is right or wrong, good or bad. But in their situation was extreme, right, because they're going from being very, I would say, very religious beliefs to having to learn this sort of stuff. And as a result of them going through this change process. And that was the change process that we did on the second day, I didn't Don't do it on the first stakes it to build trust, first, as you mentioned, they were able to serve a whole new population of people in a way that was non judgmental, that was in a way that was really helpful and good. And I think they're still in the Downtown Eastside doing that work. And how that relates to us in the workplace is this is that if those sisters can break through their own self imposed limitations to learn something new, so they can serve a whole new group of people, we take that to the workplace, what can we do? You know, because if they can do it, we can do that stuff, too, like we're talking about at work, we're not talking about that stuff on flip chart papers, like I was, we're talking about changes in workplace change, or even if it's in our personal life, starting businesses, and volunteering, or whatever our work is, or what we want to do to create change that matters on the planet. Our self imposed limitations are our greatest barrier to change. And, you know, one of the things I've learned with COVID is that if we can do that for three years, what can we do? We are all way more change ready than we think we are all of us. And I use that example from those minutes 30 years ago, but I could anybody that's listening to this podcast, by setting the mute on what is a new quality skill or practice that you built over the last three years, people could identify a bunch of different things they learn to do, I don't mean learning how to do zoom. But like other types of things, you know, how they handled the changes, how they rolled with the punches of COVID. All of those muscles that we built change muscles will serve us going forward. And we're way more change ready than we think we are, especially after having gone through COVID. What can we do we have to do in a way that also manages our mental health manages our resilience, and allows us to respond to that rapid pace of change.

Russel Lolacher
So Gregg, I got asked you the question, I asked all of my guests, which is what's one simple action people can do right now to improve those relationships at work?

Gregg Brown
I think the biggest thing people can do is to before they start to try to talk to people about change, or talk to their boss, or go to other people about something is to really get into their head and go, what do they need to be doing? Or have to say yes, and it's hard to pause. You know, I would go in to my boss going, Hey, I really want to go to this conference. I really want to do this, et cetera, et cetera. And he'd say to me, Gregg, stop just for a sec. Take a step back. What do I need to know about this to say yes, go back to my office. Who's going to who's going to cover your time? How's it gonna get paid for? What are the optics, you know, really start to ask those questions. So they get to take two minutes in the hallway, before you go talk to someone to try to get them to do something or to try to sign something or to take your idea forward or to lead whatever it is to stop just for what do they need to be doing or have because remember, the change happens in the mind of the other person if you remember that principle. That's that one thing I believe if you get that, everything will unfold from there.

Russel Lolacher
That is Gregg Brown. He is the founder, founder of the consultancy change ready leadership, and I could not recommend his book enough if you're a leader if you're a communications nerd, and if you're a mindset nerd, highly recommend spark action, how to lead change that matters. Thanks so much for being here, Gregg.

Gregg Brown
Thank you so much for having me.