Be a Leader Worth Following with Tim Spiker

Reading Time: 24 Minutes

In this interview with Tim Spiker, we discuss what makes a great leader and leading effectively in the midst of significant uncertainty.

After the Interview

About Tim Spiker

Tim is the founder of The Aperio and the Who* Not What Principle, a profound research-based truth that has powered 15 years of leadership development success. Tim’s book, The Only Leaders Worth* Following, reveals that 77% of leadership effectiveness comes from who a leader is and not what they do. Using this principle, Tim helps people become, be, and stay leaders who are actually worth following. He currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife and four children.

Tim is the founder of The Aperio and the Who* Not What Principle, a profound research-based truth that has powered 15 years of leadership development success.

Read the Transcript

This transcript was auto-generated from the original video recording using Otter Voice Meeting Notes. While the transcript has not been human edited, we hope it will still help you to quickly find or reference useful information from the interview.


Deliberate Leaders, I am your host, Allison Dunn, Executive Coach and founder of the Deliberate Leaders podcast dedicated to helping leaders build strong, thriving businesses. Each episode, we feature inspiring interviews to help you on your leadership journey. And I’m super excited to introduce our guest. Today, we have with us Tim Spiker, and he is the founder of the Aperio. And the who not what principle, a profound research based truth that helps, that has helped power 15 years of leadership development success. In Tim’s book, which is The Only Leaders Worth Following: Why Some Leaders Succeed, Others Fail and How the Quality of our Lives Hangs in the Balance and reveals 77% of leadership effectiveness comes from who leaders are, not what they do. Tim, thank you so much for joining us here on Deliberate Leaders.


Happy to be with you looking forward to the conversation.


Fantastic. I always love to kick these off with a quick deliberate conversation. And I have to admit your book is filled with wonderful tips. But what would be your number one leadership tip that you would want our audience to walk away with today?


Well, you could call it a tip, it may run a little deeper than that. But it would be have the courage to look in the mirror. I mean, it’s hard. I don’t think any of us want to do a self analysis and find something other than, you know, glowing positives. But I find that the most effective leaders are willing to courageously look in the mirror, see some of those rough spots that they maybe weren’t what they wished, weren’t so rough, and sometimes, frankly, find stuff even worse than that. But a willingness to see that so that you can work on whatever it is, I think is perhaps, the greatest tip, if you want to call it that, that any leader can take on.


I appreciate that tip. And I also feel like often too often leaders are trying to put on this image that they’re perfect in some way. Yeah. And I just I love the sincerity of someone who’s willing to say like, I’m just not good at this. And I’m working on this. So that’s a beautiful tip.


Another podcaster he talks about the fact that followers admire leaders accomplishments, but they relate to their failings. And so you know, you just find that people want to follow other human beings. And when we try to play that game, and maybe it’s even out of well intentioned, maybe it’s not about ego, but we want people to feel good about who they’re following. If we never have any flaws. It’s hard for people to see us as human beings, and they really do want to follow other human beings. So I love the way that he puts that.


Yeah, thank you. And you will you consistently use, it’s on the on the footer of all of your pages, Twitter’s of your effectiveness as a leader comes from who you are, and not what you do. And the book talks a lot about that. But I’d love for you to kind of highlight what that means to you.


Well, it sounds when you say three quarters of your effectiveness as a leader comes from who you are not what you do. It sounds a little like, you know, somebody sat at a table one day and said, Well, I bet it’s about this. But your opening line is actually you know, you let in 77% of the actual number. We just rounded to three quarters. And now it starts to sound like research, which is which is in fact what it is. So I was working for a boutique consulting firm, we had people up to the west side of Pikes Peak for a week at a time. So heading towards those beautiful rocky mountains that you are a part of. And we did a series of assessments and people would ask us what’s the magic mix? Is there a magic personality style plus natural abilities, that leads to a more effective leader and we had the data to write so my colleague, Vanessa Kiley, she put her expertise to work with the SPSS software. And here’s what we found. Nothing we found no correlations in between personality, natural building and leadership performance. But as I turn the lever office that night, she said but we did find something elsewhere that we weren’t looking for it. So I kind of turned back in what you find. She said, Well, we have eight aspects of leadership that we’re measuring. And just two of them are driving almost 70% of the variability on the assessment. And if you think about a pizza, any two pieces split into eight pieces only two should only be worth 25% years later, as the data multiplied by 10, she ran the analysis again. And that number went from just under 70% to 77%. So it was verified even more with more data points. And so years later, as because sometimes, I mean, sometimes stuffs right in front of us, but we can’t see it until later on. But it was literally Three years later, I kind of stepped back and said, What were these two areas that were driving the results, 77% of the results, two out of eight, it’s just really out of whack. They’re not all equal. And the light bulb came on one day that those two areas were about who the leader is as a person, the other six were about what a leader does. And that’s where the who not what principle was born that three quarters is driven by who?


Awesome, so I just, I love the two qualities that you’ve highlighted that are so critical. So can you share what the two qualities are?


Sure. So what were those two, it was inwardly sound, and others focused. So you we think about the concept of inwardly sound, we can go through a laundry list of things that make that up, and there are some key elements there. But if you just take that idea, I think just at the surface level, you know, what does it mean to be sound like think of a boat, what does it mean to have a vessel that is sound, it’s trustworthy, it’s not going to break apart with a few bumps, you can you can put your security and your safety in it. Now just think about those same terms and put in a leaders name. This is somebody who’s safe to be around, they don’t get thrown off by a few bumps, they have integrity to them, like the hull of a ship would. So we think about being inwardly sound, it’s somebody who’s really rock solid internally, doesn’t easily get thrown off and create some of that psychological safety that people have been talking quite a bit about over the last number of years. That’s inwardly sound. Others focus is, you know, perhaps is blatant at its at its title, it means that as a leader, this whole thing isn’t about me, I might be, I might be the person who’s responsible for our outcomes. But this is very much about the team. This is very much about In fact, not even just with me, it’s about others. I’m showing up for the sake of the people that I’m leading, and not just the enterprise, but literally for those people. I am an others focused person. And that comes with all of the, the low ego, the attentiveness, the empathy, all of those type of things come in to make an others focus leader. And so those are the two big categories inwardly sound, and others focused when people show up, well developed when leaders are inwardly sound and others focused, that takes our trust in them through the roof. And that ultimately drives Performance and Results.


Fantastic. And in your book, you talk about how one has to almost proceed before the other one can take place. So can you talk about that from the test trust element you just spoke about?


Yeah, so if we think about kind of building up, we want to be able to give out of a reservoir. And sometimes we haven’t built our own reservoir in order, it’s almost that that classic story about put your own oxygen mask on first. And so ultimately being inwardly sound really is the foundation through which leaders are going to be able to be others focused. I’ve been around some leaders who really latched on to the idea of being others focused, but hadn’t done their own work to be inwardly sound yet. And it all goes sideways, it becomes I’m trying to care for and serve others who I’m leading, but I’m showing up as a really insecure leader. And so what’s ultimately happening is, I’m dealing with those, the team is dealing with my insecurity. Even as I’m trying to be another focus leader, and it gets it gets sideways pretty quickly. So you want to foundationally build off of inwardly sound into being others focused.


In your experience, those that you’ve kind of shared stories from and those that you’ve trained, how, what are some of the things that someone who might feel like they need to look in the mirror and work on the inwardly inward part? What are some of the things that people should consider doing?


Well, gosh, let’s see. There’s a few different places to start there. Um, for a moment, we’ll talk about some stuff and this is not going to be rocket science, but it’s a part of the equation. One of the things we talked about in terms of being in really sound is what does it mean to be holistically healthy? That is I if I were to break my life into eight different parts, physical, financial, intellectual, vocational, emotional, relational, mental and spiritual, and say, where’s my level of health? Almost Think about that. As the gas gauges, and where’s my energy level, we need to be investing, whether you want to call it in habits, practices, rituals, disciplines, there’s a lot of different words for it. But what are those things that are regularly a part of our of our weeks and our days that help bring energy into those areas? What are those things that create health and margin, it’s really important that we care for those different areas, because ultimately, that’s what gives leaders resilience and capacity. And there isn’t a leader on the planet that doesn’t need resilience and capacity, because the challenges are going to come and so will the opportunities. And so that’s an example of one area that people end up doing a lot of work in around helping them take steps towards being more inwardly sound.


Awesome. And I appreciate that we do kind of an assessment each year, and I don’t even know who originally created like the Wheel of Life concept, like, you know, the circle, when you kind of look at all the different pieces of the pie are the hubs on this note, but that’s a really cool exercise. So if any, anyone who’s listening hasn’t done that I’ve got it’s probably copyrighted somewhere, but I have a and I think I did it for the proper sources.


It came from an amazing source who I would love to give credit. I don’t know it was.




Um, so can you just dive a little bit deeper into the who not? What principle? And how should people think about that your stories really resonate with me? In the book? And maybe, maybe that’s a good way to do it. But um, you know, can you dive into that a little bit further?


Sure. Sure.


Um, oh, gosh, which story to pick from? So many. You know, I’ll pick a story that a lot of people like some of the book and it’s about my former basketball coach, a guy named Jean Katie. Now, I, my first two years in college, I played basketball at Purdue University and Jean Katie’s a Hall of Fame coach and kind of, he is in many ways, like the epitome of Purdue basketball, and he’s seen from the external. He’s this very rough and gruff guy. And he is definitely one of the most competitive people I’ve ever been around in my life. But there’s something very interesting about playing for Coach Katie is, there just was a deep care for the person, for the individual, not necessarily the athlete, but the person. And you get a sense for that he was there, he was there for you. He wasn’t there for his ego. He wasn’t there for his bank account that he, he was there for you. And so, you know, one example of that is every day in practice, we would have had, we would have an emphasis of the day. And once in a while, it would be about basketball. But most of the time, it was about life. And you just saw somebody who was investing you investing in you as a human being. And you got a sense that you had value that went beyond your ability to put a leather ball in. And so that made an impression over time. And so one of the things that Purdue basketball is known for is how hard we played. In fact, on the back of everybody’s practice, shorts was play hard. And that’s kind of, you know, famously a Purdue basketball thing. And he was able, it wasn’t just that coach expected that of this, I would say, as a group, we wanted to give that because here was a person that was not next that others focused idea. He wasn’t showing up just for the sake of his own, his own ego and his own, we know what he could get out of. And so that caused us to trust more that caused us to, you know, really, really reach into that, that, that want to instead of just giving the hat, we want to use that extra mile that you talked about, you want that discretionary effort that anybody’s able to give. And in the long run for 25 years, was a believe national Coach of the Year seven times. I mean, we had a tremendous amount of success while he was at Purdue, but one of the very interesting notes over the top over time, is that Purdue wasn’t always seen as the most athletically gifted team. It wasn’t necessarily a team with the best player, but it routinely finished higher in the standings. And it was predicted too. And one of those reasons is because of that kind of play hard mentality that was fueled by somebody that wasn’t there for his own self. And you just saw, you know, maybe a lot of people from a media standpoint, didn’t get to see it, but I got to see a real human being. And the story that kept us off is when I left Purdue A few years later, I started got a letter in the mail one day, Purdue had won three big 10 championships in a row right after I left and I’m hoping there’s no correlation between those two things, but that was the time. And it was a letter from the assistant coach Bruce Weber, and he said the recent success of the battle basketball program has been rooted in the people who have invested in the program in the past. And so coach Katie, in his latest contract with Nike, required that once a year, Nike was going to be sending a piece of Purdue basketball gear, you know, a sweatshirt or hoodie, a nice polo shirt, whatever, once a year sent it out to all the former players, you know, most of us had nothing to be able to get back to Purdue at that point. It was Hey, there, you know, we they had no reason to necessarily invest in us or care about or include us in what was going on yet. That’s how coach saw it, even to the point where he negotiated that type of thing into his contract. And I think that it’s a small gesture, but he thought about that he thought about past players and said, and by the way, the kicker part of this story, I was a non scholarship walk on who played in 27 minutes over two years. In other words, I never got to play, I even transferred to finish school elsewhere. And I was still included. So that gives you a little bit of a flavor about who Jean Katy was, and why he was able to outperform predictions for 25 years.


Thank you for sharing that story. That’s, I think coaches have such a huge impact on our world sports and all different types of coaches, that you draw really great correlation, which you talked about in the book and your research about results of, of different types of leaders. So can you just share those statistics?


Well, let’s, let’s back up one second, which is there’s a lot of statistics. So let me let me make sure I’m hitting it on the head for what yeah.


That’s okay. So when leaders have those two top qualities of results that they get from their teams, where they don’t necessarily have to be the number one in their industry or the top notch, but that they’ve created a team that gets results?


Yes. Okay. Gotcha. All right. So, um, let’s, let’s build what we call the ark of leadership here. So the why this is one of the things the research showed that who not what existed as a principle, but it didn’t explain why. So let me I’ll quickly explain why. And then kind of look at some of the statistics there. So we talked about these two ideas and really sound another stroke. When leaders show up with those two things, we trust them more. And there’s nothing really complicated about that when somebody is not crazy it to put it in, in different terms. Or as one person I did an interview with said, so you’re saying they’re not a dumpster fire as a person? Well, yeah. Okay, that’s one way to look at. So when somebody is inwardly sound, they bring that stance, that sense of stability, we trust them more, when they’re others focused, we don’t question their motives as much and more should we because they’re about others. That increases trust, when trust goes up. And this is the thing that’s not talked about enough, I don’t think when trust goes up, engagement goes up. When trust goes up, engagement goes up. And there’s over 300 studies worldwide that show the connection between engagement and performance. And so that’s the connection point, when we become more trustworthy. By becoming inwardly sound, and others focused, we get greater engagement from the people that we’re leading, and that greater engagement produces a better result. So you started with, you’re asking about statistics, I’m gonna there’s a few different places to go. But want to reference, W is a consulting firm based out of Minneapolis, here in the United States. And they had established a study published in HBr, a number of years ago, and they were rating, they were rating executive teams on a number of qualities around who which doesn’t happen very often. So that research study definitely got my attention. And so they took the top 10 executives and executive teams, as rated on who base qualities, and then they took the bottom 10 and they compare them and those that rated in the top 10 had a return on assets during the course of the study, that was 4.8 times as great as those in the bottom 10. So you’re talking about a bottom line result with the connection to those who based qualities and, and care W’s a good organization, which is to say they don’t attribute everything to leadership, they understand that their cycles and markets and industries and so they’re smart enough to not say not all variabilities about leadership, they pare it back to say what’s the portion that’s just attributable to those qualities and so, so that’s that, that’s one example of data that shows up from the Harvard Business Review through Debbie.


And when you when you speak on this, what are the biggest objections that you hear around the principle itself?


Well, I’m sure this is going to invite an email from somebody but that’s fine. That’s great. Don’t run into a lot of objections about the principle. Because here’s, here’s the question that we love to ask. And I ask this over and over again. And feel free to take this as far as you like. But the question is, who’s the who’s the best leader you’ve ever personally followed? And when I asked people that question, the room gets pretty loud pretty quickly, like, pair up with a partner, and talk about that person. And then I’ll pull some people out of the audience and say, tell me a little bit about the person that you selected. And it’s just fascinating to listen to what people talk about, because they don’t talk about skills. They don’t even talk about quarterly profit. I’ve never had, I’ve never pulled somebody up on stage, and said, So tell me about the best leader you’ve ever followed. Nobody starts off by Let me tell you how great she was at Microsoft Excel, or Microsoft Project, or anything related to business or planning or strategy. They talk about who the person is as an individual. And they really dig into that as the source of what got the what got the very best out of it. So that’s, that’s an example of, you know, ultimately, when you when you start to bring it closer to home, people begin to see that it’s not only true in the research, but it’s been true in their own lives. And so there aren’t a lot of objections to the concept. Now, the number one question, maybe we could switch over that. What’s the question? I don’t get a lot of Jensen. But here’s the question. The question is, Can people who are not spring chickens actually grow and develop and who they are? Or is this just a, you know, is this just a losing battle? Ultimately, because like the EBU true but useless, find him this is true, but I can’t do anything about it. Because isn’t it true, that I’m ultimately settled in who I am by the age of 30? And I think I think we get to that conclusion, or that idea, pretty honestly, it’s just that it’s not true. So the question is, Can people grow and develop at the core of who they are? research by Cheryl Armaan. And Theo Dawson has proven that over a longitudinal study, 14 years, in fact, they found the people who reach the pinnacle of moral development never reach it before the age of 35. And in their study, they had people making progression, who started the study when they were at the age of 55. And so there is research data, that show that we can grow and develop later on in life, I just think it’s harder, it’s tougher, we are a little more bait. So it’s not that it’s easy. It’s tougher. And so ultimately, it’s not a matter, it’s not a question of can or can’t, it is a question of will or won’t. And we have seen older leaders who are unwilling to do the hard work of continuing to grow and who they are later on. And we understandably but erroneously conclude that you can’t grow and develop later on in life. And it’s and it’s simply not true. I’ll share one anecdote to back this up. So there’s research to show one of my favorite stories with a client that we had the privilege of working with, or about, we tend to do longer term development, because this is harder work. And we were 18 months into the engagement. And a senior executive of a multinational said, I gotta tell you this story, Tim, in credit to him, because he did the work. He worked hard on what we were doing about who he was. He said, I just had one of my folks come to me and say, 18 months ago, I was leaving this organization, and you were the reason. Now I’m staying. And you are the reason. That’s 18 months of really digging in, and being willing to do that hard work that courage to look in the mirror that we talked about at the beginning. So anecdotally, I have seen it. I’ve seen it across organizations where we worked with leaders who were almost exclusively in the age range of 40, and 50, and 60. And we watched their organizational health index number from McKinsey, we watched it go up by 21% of the course of five years. Not all because of the work in who not what but, but that that played a big contributing factor. And again, I’ll go back to credit to the people who are willing. I mean, that’s the thing. I can talk all day long about stats and data and research and I give people exercises and practices, if they’re not willing. Guess what happens? Absolutely nothing. So credit to the people who are willing to do the hard work, but it is possible if you’re willing.


Um, I love that I feel like I’m on a mission to you know, be the very best person that can possibly be. And it is. It’s an it’s a constant journey, right? Sure. Yes. And I promise it, all of it, almost all of it happened after it was 30. For sure.


But yeah, it’s still it goes, right?


Yeah, never ending. Um, I, I know that in at least in some of the circles that I work in as an executive coach that I have individuals who I, at least from all of the interaction that I’ve had, they appear to be very inwardly sound and struggle to be others focused. And so they’ve got the right mix of what’s needed. What is the some of the techniques or perceptions that a coach might help someone else to amplify their others focused lens and be less self centered?


great. And I love the frankness with what you say that, like, let’s not beat around the bush here. Now let’s dance around the issue that has to do is I’m going to be a self absorbed person or not, am I going to be a person who’s selfish or not? And so these are things that’s for some reason, we’re relatively uncomfortable talking about in the marketplace, but we have to, we have to organizations are made up of people. These are the people problems, myself included, I could bring in witnesses. So you know, it’s not like, because I talk about this, that I somehow have an answer. Yeah. So there’s two things. One is a big overarching question that I like to share with people and just let it sit. And another one is a bit more of a here, let’s do this do this repeatedly. So the bigger overarching question is, to what extent are people worthy of my focus? To what extent are others worthy of my focus? It’s essentially a worldview question. Right? Because if I show up at work every day thinking, you know, this is basically about me. I’m awesome. Other people are trying to catch up to that fact, hopefully, someday, they’ll figure it out. There’s a pretty low chance that I’m going to interact with others as if they’re worth my time and energy. And I can become a leader through which, hey, every here’s the thing is people who are following leaders in any position, they’re generally going to play into this story. Because they want to do well, they want to advance they want to help create success. And so you really have to work hard against being self centered as a leader, because the followers around you will largely participate. They’ll say, Yes, in fact, the world does revolve around you leader. So let’s get going. Now, they may not be feeling awesome about it on the inside, but they want to remain employed. They want to do well, and so they can participate. You really have to work hard and that question, to what extent are others worth my focus is a place to start as a big broad question. And for us to again, try to be really honest with ourselves. Is that a little tiny portion of people? Or is it a bigger portion that I could be more excited about? so challenging yourself with that question is one thing. The other thing to do? I’ll pause there anything you wanted to follow up on that? Before we get to?


I honestly, I feel like that’s a really powerful question. Um, and, and it’s almost striking of like, I almost have to go, Well, what do you mean? Um, and yet? I don’t I don’t think I’ve ever looked at anything that way, like, you are not worthy, or you are worthy. But that’s a, that’s a really powerful question.


Here’s one way to think about our people who can’t give me anything in return. Are they worth my time? And it’s like the true test. If I can’t receive something from you, are you still worth my energy? Are you still worth my attention? That’s probably a really good litmus test to start. For sure. Because, you know, maybe I give my time to all the superstars or the up and comers, I’m investing in them. But what about the people that don’t show up with maybe quite that same? That same set of talents? Then maybe you say, well, they’re never going to run anything around here. And sothey’re not worth I literally have heard people say, like, you know, that team, they’re useless to me.


Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So it’s really a commentary on what’s your view on humans at a certain level? I mean, I know that sounds really esoteric and big, but we have worldviews and they help drive our behavior. So that’s kind of a secondary question to say, you know, you know, would I be willing to invest time and energy in somebody that I couldn’t just get an immediate return from On the on, the more like, Okay, so how does that show up in behavior? How does that show up in action? One of the things we talked about in terms of being and other spoke as leader is being curious, being curious and not just curious about facts. There are 100 articles out there about intellectual curiosity. And that’s important, not against intellectual curiosity. But if we don’t add curiosity about other people, about their ideas, about their emotions, about their perspectives, then we are losing an enormous part of what is the curious equation. And so ultimately, when we begin to operate as leaders who are curious, we’re looking at the whole of the story, not just the facts, ma’am. You know, we’re not we’re not doing that thing. We’re saying no, not just the facts, the facts, plus the rest of the story to cook party from, from days long ago. And so one of the ways that we work with leaders around that is very, very simple. I mean, again, some of this is not complicated at all. But it’s just saying, hey, in the next 90 days, I’d like to challenge you to use the following phrase, 100 times. And that phrase is, tell me more about that. Now, that phrase was taught to me by Dr. Mary Shippi. So shout out to Dr. Mary Shippi. She, she actually was working with me personally, on who I am. When she taught me that phrase, and it changed my life, absolutely changed my life, I began to see how judgmental I was of other people, I began to see how sure I was of things that Tim, you really can’t be sure about that because you don’t actually know. And as I began to use that phrase, alley, I would say 95 to maybe 98% of the time, when I say to somebody tell me more about that. I hear at least a nugget of something that was not what I expected. A little bit more. I mean, it’s not usually 180 degrees off. But it’s five degrees more information, either about them or the situation. And you really build into this habit of being curious. It really starts to get a hold of you. And it can be like, almost like you’re opening a Christmas present every time you ask the question, because what am I going to hear that I wouldn’t have expected or that might be just a little bit different than what I expected. So simply using a phrase like Tell me more about that, on a regular basis, does two things, it brings us more information, which leaders are always looking for more information to make better decisions. But it also builds better relationships, when people begin to see us genuinely taking an interest in them. And it has to be genuine, it can’t be fake. But when they begin to see that, we’re now opening the door to the flow of information much wider than it was before. And if we make that about food, if that becomes a that’s a part of who I am. It’s not just me on I just threw it in here on a Tuesday, but every day, it becomes who I am. those doors of information and relationship get wider and wider open and we get a chance to become better leaders.


It’s awesome. As a coaching practice, it’s one of my favorite questions to ask. It really is. So it’s super powerful. Yeah. Right. In. So we’re in a very unique time in our world right now. And for four people who maybe are leading through this time, and leading in a totally different way than they have, you know, all in office spaces. And so we’re more separate, what are some of the what would be a few things that you would want to impart on anyone who might be struggling with their own leadership, either their leader that they’re looking up to, or the leader that they’re trying to bring out in themselves right now, during this time.


So can I ask a clarifying question?


Are we speaking specifically about kind of the remote leadership reality that so many people are in right now? Regarding COVID? Yes, okay. Um, well, I think the connection between people is never going to be unimportant when it comes to leadership. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re doing something remotely like we are today, or whether you’re in the same room, that connection is important. And it’s a lot more natural. When you think about when you think about showing up for a meeting. Let’s go, let’s go all the way back nine months into this totally different world than we’re in now. And you know, you show up to the meeting five minutes early, and people would be filtering in the room, and the person happens to be there next to you and like, Hey, how you doing? Been like there’s a little bit of personal interaction. And that rarely happens with zoom. That rarely happens on WebEx that rarely happens in these electronic interactions. And so I’ve talked with some leaders that during this time, who have been intentionally setting aside time for interaction, that’s not about the business. Because we don’t have those natural, we’re not bumping into each other in at the watercooler. Literally. That’s, that’s not happening now. And so some leaders are saying, Hey, can I schedule a meeting with you? And I just want to catch up? No, I don’t want to talk about what I want to say, how are you doing? How’s your family doing? Let’s invest a little time because we get to do this naturally, when we’re in the office to be better, but we’re not in the office together right now. And so there’s some ways I think that leaders from a relational standpoint, in order to be connected with their people, they might have to do some things that almost feel awkward, like this is like forced relationship. But we have to, I actually haven’t heard any reports of people saying, Oh, please don’t ask me how I please stop caring about me, please don’t do whatever you do, like, stop checking in about my family, I just don’t let you know, I don’t want people to care about how this is affecting us. I’m not hearing that if I’m hearing the opposite. I’m hearing some great connection. So it brings up another thing is that sometimes as leaders, we have to be willing to do some things that might feel a little bit awkward. We have to be willing to do something and we can’t be so concerned about being prim and proper, or we can’t be so concerned about how will they think of me. We have to be willing to put ourselves out there, take that risk go first initially, that’s your job as a leader is for you to take that risk and create a space for the people that you’re leading. So I would say in these remote times, it probably requires a more intentional effort on our part, to stay relationally connected with the people that we’re leading.


Yes. Excellent, excellent advice. I’m Tim, I have thoroughly enjoyed this conversation. And I definitely don’t want to wrap it up without asking if there’s something I didn’t think to ask you or bring up that you were hoping to touch on today.


Oh, goodness. Um, gosh, you do such a good job kind of opening these big wide doors. So no, I mean, I don’t know if I’ve ever said no, that question before. So congratulations. Today first, but no, I can’t think of anything specific, we got a chance to touch on a lot of those big bucket issues. So thank you.


Absolutely. I just, I want to compliment you. I mean, I do a lot of reading. And this was a really fun book to read with the balance of research and stories and concepts. So thank you very much for that I encourage listeners to pick up their copy, which I will link to in our show notes. What is the best way for people to follow what you are doing?


Okay. Best way to connect with us is only if you get there, you’ll have a chance we’re actually working on a discussion for the guide for the book there. So if you’re interested in that you could sign up and, and probably get something free whenever that becomes available. And you can also check out there we do something called journeys, where we take people on an extended investigation into who they are over a period of time so they can really unpack inwardly sad, another stroke is for themselves. And if you check out our website there, you get a chance to learn a little bit about what journeys look like as well.


Awesome. Tim, such a pleasure. Thank you so much for your time today. And I look forward to seeing what you’re up to next.


Alli, thank you so much for the opportunities, a lot of fun. Thank you.

I'm Allison Dunn,

Your Business Executive Coach

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