Nonprofit Radio for August 2, 2021: The Surprising Gift Of Doubt

My Guest:

Marc Pitman: The Surprising Gift Of Doubt

That’s Marc Pitman’s new book. It’s stuffed with strategies to help leaders—and future leaders—lead better. Marc is founder of Concord Leadership Group.



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[00:00:10.84] spk_2:
Hello and welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio

[00:02:01.74] spk_0:
Big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast and oh I’m glad you’re with me, I’d suffer with elia tibial band syndrome if you irritated me with the idea that you missed this week’s show the surprising gift of doubt. That’s Mark Pittman’s new book, it’s stuffed with strategies to help leaders and future leaders lead better. Mark is founder of Concord Leadership Group on tony state too, sharing is caring, we’re sponsored by turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot C O and by sending blue the only all in one digital marketing platform empowering non profits to grow. tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant end in blue. Mhm It’s my pleasure to welcome marc Pittman to the show. He is founder of Concord Leadership Group, he helps leaders lead their teams with more effectiveness and less stress. His latest book is the surprising gift of doubt. Use uncertainty to become the exceptional leader you are meant to be. You may know him also as the bow tie guy, Mark has caught the attention of media organizations as diverse as the chronicle of philanthropy, Al Jazeera Fox News, Success magazine and Real simple the book and the company are at concord leadership group dot com and he’s at Mark eh pittman, Mark Pittman an overdue Welcome to nonprofit radio

[00:02:05.44] spk_1:
It is an honor to be here. Thanks tony

[00:02:07.85] spk_0:
I’m not sure why you haven’t been on years ago and and many times before. So I, I feel bad about that because you’re a smart guy and you have lots of good, you have lots of good content, lots of good ideas and uh, that’s why I say long overdue.

[00:02:20.44] spk_1:
Well thank you. My head may not fit out of the office after this kind words don’t

[00:02:44.34] spk_0:
get carried away. Okay. But you do, you do have a lot of good ideas, including the ideas that are in your new book. And I want to start with having you explain how agonizing doubt can be a gift. Please help us understand

[00:04:06.44] spk_1:
That. Uh, it’s I’ve been executive coach for 18 years now and it’s one of the things that really surprises people the most is the fact that high performers, first of all don’t tend to know how to ask for help and then they get derailed when they start feeling doubt because they start feeling like there, they’re faking it, that they’re the, you know, the Wizard of Oz, the man behind the curtain there, look at him. Um, because they’re they’re producing results, but they’re not sure how uh and that doubt can be very destabilizing. But the gift is, it can force us to look internally for our own cues. Look to look to look in areas where we’ve been told are soft or you know, they’re they’re woo. Um look at things that make us unique and it actually clarifies our leadership because it’s very much about the the grain of our wood, the way that we put a spin on things as opposed to just doing all the best benchmarked activities that are out there. Um Yeah, so the surprising gift of that is that it can make it to me. What I’ve seen to do is instead of having that inner critic saying I must be broken, I must be just must I probably shouldn’t even be in this position. It shifts the conversation to why might I be perfect for this role? Why might my organization be exactly the voice that the sector needs to have right now?

[00:04:17.64] spk_0:
And there is a lot of introspection involved in the I guess the overall work that you’re describing and we’ll go into some detail about about. But you need to be reflective introspective,

[00:05:15.04] spk_1:
right? Which often is something that a lot of leaders don’t, there’s not a lot of there’s so much need in and organizations that there’s not often a lot of time given for professional development or leadership growth and so people don’t think of at the time as doing reflection as legit leadership work. They feel like when we’re in early in careers, were or even in school we get graded on what we accomplish. We take tests, we do tasks, we complete tasks and that becomes how we are promoted as we move into management and leadership. It’s taking that time to reflect is so incredibly important. But we haven’t seen it modeled that much. Um so there is, you’re right, Absolutely right. There’s a lot of introspection but there’s also that’s what leaders do. They no longer they provide, they no longer just making sure things get done. But they’re also looking forward to see where should we be going, where should we skating to where the puck is I guess even though I’m not a sports guy, I grew up in Maine. So there’s a lot of hockey there. Uh

[00:05:50.04] spk_0:
Thank you. Yeah. Any any sports analogy will be largely lost on me. Oh sports ball. I’m not familiar with basketball. So I wouldn’t know that skating uh metaphor now. And I want to reassure folks that this is not only material for current leaders but future emerging leaders.

[00:06:56.84] spk_1:
Absolutely. When part of what what we when we’re going through our leaders journey. If we can identify the earlier, we can identify what makes us different, what makes us unique? Where our limits, where where are we really good uh Where can we excel? It can help us position our leadership roles so that we’re not being squeezed into somebody else’s box as much as possible. The organizations are clear our artificial, they’re they’re not uh they’re not perfect. So we’re always going to have to do things that we don’t enjoy or we don’t like. But we can definitely there are things we can do in our environment and our our schedules and the people that are around us that can help us or can really hinder us. So the earlier we know, even as people are going through their own personal growth journey, uh the more that they can identify these, the uniqueness is uh that they that they bring to the table the better somebody was asking a previous podcast, can you throw these conversations? Can you throw some of the, if you’re being interviewed for something, can you just answer the questions the way that you think they want them to be answered? And you could, but you may get the job that you don’t want,

[00:07:22.64] spk_0:
right? That may not be in your best self interest or your own self interest, right. Um, you know, I can see how you, would you be soothing as a coach? Just your voice. Great. See I have that. I have that new york. I grew up in New Jersey, but close enough to new york city. Don’t throw. I got that east coast, But you have a, I mean, you’re northern. You said you grew up in Maine. Now you’re in south Carolina. You have a, have a soothing way about your voice.

[00:07:29.21] spk_1:
Well, thank you. Mark, After Dark was going to be my, uh, my DJ handle Mark

[00:07:34.67] spk_0:
after dark. Uh doing Alison steal the night bird.

[00:07:38.66] spk_1:
Then it turns out there was already a Mark after dark. So I’d have to spell dark with the C.

[00:07:42.23] spk_0:
Uh Okay, we’ll do it. Here we go. All right, claim it. Uh Just your your voice has a softening calming quality to it.

[00:08:21.24] spk_1:
I’ve been told that I’ve had some people come to me and one um they kind of want me to be there, boss. Some business owners and some non profit executives are well, I want to coach is going to tell me exactly what to do and make it, you know, make it hurt to not do it. That’s not who I am. I’m sure there are those coaches out there that are drill sergeants. But um, I believe most leaders are really hard pressed and doing the best they can. And so I like to be able to encourage them and kind of blow on the coals the fire that’s almost going out and rekindle their passion to do it themselves,

[00:08:25.30] spk_0:
coaching with compassion.

[00:08:26.94] spk_1:
Nice, wow dot com. I’ll get that coaching

[00:09:02.74] spk_0:
with compassion, the compassionate coach, the bow tie guy in the compassionate coach. I want to dive into something that very interesting to me, but you have it buried, It’s buried on page 98, Okay, it’s the Pittman family homework that you used to do. Tell me about that you you covered in just a couple of sentences. To me, it was a little bit of a gloss over because I’m very interested in what got you to where you are and what informs your coaching. And and I got to believe that the Pittman family homework is integral in

[00:10:17.04] spk_1:
here. Absolutely. As I look at my bookshelf, they many of the books are things that I grew up reading. So my family, we had schoolwork because we were students at school, but my sister and I also had homework for being pigments, so we had to read positive mental attitude books, had to listen to motivational speakers, um and we had to go to events seminars, rallies, those sort of things where people were talking about goal setting and uh living your dream and at all. Um my parents were just amazed that they hadn’t been taught this, they were learning it with us and they were shocked that they had never been taught goal setting or dreaming or leadership or people skills and they didn’t want us to be inflicted with missing that before we left the house. So um I didn’t know other people might, I thought everybody had homework because they’re in their family, but I was starting to read is I I have been reading dale Carnegie, how to, when friends and influence people, uh frank Becker’s high raised myself from failure to success in selling charlie, tremendous jones life is tremendous listening to his executor of Florence, the Tower Les Brown growing up, that part of the, part of the way you, one of our kind of traditions too was having a motivational speaker on what were in the shower, So we would always have a stack of tapes next to the next to a kind of boom box and uh, we would just put them on what we’re doing our thing and then, you know, the person is done when the tape goes off,

[00:10:35.44] spk_0:
that’s when you know your showers done. So yeah, I mean this is the days before, waterproof, uh, phones and ipods. So

[00:11:02.64] spk_1:
my wife knew that she, she said she knew she was when we were dating, she knew she was dating an entrepreneur because I had a whole bunch of tapes, she had to clear off to the passenger seat of the car. It was just so used to listening to you different tape series and uh, you know, Kiyosaki reached that port ad and all sorts of different. Yeah, always learning, trying to always the

[00:11:04.18] spk_0:
one after after Kurosawa, what did you say

[00:11:49.84] spk_1:
your sake robert? Kiyosaki wrote a book called Rich Dad, Poor Dad in a series after that Dad, Poor Dad. Yeah, just different ways. People, different mindsets. People have about money and security and, and it’s really helpful and going into fundraising was really helpful to have this kind of being able to speak the language of your donors is one of the most important things um, in fundraising and having been exposed to this literature, that the other leaders were being exposed to make it a lot easier to talk to them. In fact, my first talks in, uh, first professional talks were translating marketing things in sales for fundraisers Because sales was the s word 25 years ago. And uh, so I would take like Seth Godin’s idea, virus information, marketing and make it so I fully attribute it, but I’d make it so that it was understandable to how this could work in a non profit.

[00:13:00.54] spk_0:
It’s time for a break. Turn to communications, The Chronicle of philanthropy, The new york Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today stanford Social Innovation Review, the Washington Post, The Hill Cranes, nonprofit quarterly Forbes Market Watch. That’s where turned to clients have gotten recent exposure. You want that kind of exposure for yourself, for your expertise turn to has the relationships that can make it happen. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c o. Now, let’s go back to the surprising gift of doubt. So this Pittman family homework, which obviously as you’re describing, you know, evolved through the, through the decades, you’re continually continually learning even today, you say that the book a couple of places. Um, but this was an elementary school. You mean, there are, there are really considered this doctrine nation?

[00:13:43.14] spk_1:
Oh, absolutely, yeah. Looking back on it. It totally was. And when charlie, totally, well, my uh, charlie, tremendous jones became a mentor of mine, which he had been a hero of my universe because I love this book. Um, and he said, when I was looking with our kids, he said, oh, I would never do it that way with, as your parents said, I would teach, have them do stories, I’d have them, uh, have your kids read biographies and be inspired by stories as opposed to reading how to literature. But okay. I probably because of my upbringing, I love I love nonfiction. I love reading a good how to book on leadership are in goal setting or vision casting storytelling. Yeah.

[00:13:46.65] spk_0:
Credit credit department parents. Well

[00:14:08.74] spk_1:
one time Sandy Reese was interviewing me And she uh years ago and she came up with a, she catalogued all the books that I referenced in the talk uh just in a conversation because I still read 50-75 books a year. Um to and and I had to set a goal years ago to read nonfiction because that’ll make me a better storyteller. But I had to set it as a goal. Now I can fully enjoy reading nonfiction. I mean, reading fiction. Sorry. Really? Sorry. Yeah. Reading the fiction books that are enjoyable. I always thought was cheating, but now it’s a goal. So I’m okay said a certain number of goals for fiction books I want to read in the year

[00:14:27.00] spk_0:
And 50-75 a year. You still read?

[00:15:04.14] spk_1:
Yeah, I’m cranking through books this year to I don’t know why, but I love what part of it is. There’s just I want to keep fresh when I’m writing a book. I tried not to not read in the genre that I’m writing it. So I didn’t read a lot of leadership books. I was doing surprising gift of doubt because I didn’t want to um mistakenly like take over somebody else’s thoughts that should be attributed to them because I really do think crediting the source is really important um which this book even get more more to the point. The editors were even more insistent that I double and triple checked my references, which I thought was wonderful.

[00:15:04.86] spk_0:
Yes, there’s a bunch of endnotes haven’t

[00:15:07.42] spk_1:
been pushed this hard in a while, so I’m really, really pleased with the team that helped me with this one.

[00:15:18.74] spk_0:
Something you say early on is that the motivation is within you expand on that for us.

[00:15:24.84] spk_1:
Well the part of the I don’t remember exactly, I know that was part of the chapter. Sorry, you don’t have to flip through the pages, you know you write a book and then you know quiz on

[00:15:38.64] spk_0:
Page 16 or something but you talk about the motivation, motivation for leadership and and good and just good intentions is within you.

[00:17:06.04] spk_1:
Yeah, I think part of what we uh we spent so much of our life and another part of the book. I I do this map of the leaders journey where it’s a four quadrant section where we start off on the confidence scale, which is the vertical scale and we go down to ensure we’re gonna talk about the leaders journey. Okay, well that’s part of it is that we are so used to looking externally for are accused that the we forget to look internally and find out what what what what do we value? What are we passionate about? What are two things we forget. We forget to to actually give them air. And often we don’t really permit ourselves to define what we value or we hold onto because we’re looking for others uh for cues either the culture or systems. But the other thing that we somehow don’t do is we don’t credit them as being unique traits. We think everybody must be like us, you and I both wear glasses and it’s almost like we forget that we’re wearing glasses at times. I don’t know if you’ve ever had the experience of trying to find your glasses and they’re right there on your face. They’re not even on your head, right on your face. You uh get fingerprints all over my glasses when I do that. But we often this stuff that’s within us is often the stuff that makes us unique, makes us a valued part of the team. And we just kind of write it off as a weird quirk of our own, not something that’s worth giving attention to.

[00:17:22.44] spk_0:
It’s it’s some it’s among those natural strengths. You talk about natural strengths for versus learned skills. Yeah, our natural strengths, you’re right. We I guess we we be minimized. I’m thinking of everybody, Everybody is that smart or everybody thinks about

[00:18:49.24] spk_1:
that or if I can do it quickly, then I must not be work. I remember being in a early job. I loved was fundraising for prep school and I loved it. I just loved the traveling. I loved the, you know, when I was home at the boarding school, being at the table with the 10 other students, 10 students and my, my wife and I were the faculty parents. And um, I love the kind of matching school’s mission with donors values and trying to see if there was a fit and being okay if there wasn’t, but being excited if there were that all excited me. But I didn’t think I could enjoy work that much. So I was talking with the faculty colleague and I tried to make it sound really hard, you know, because there’s a lot of stuff that is hard. The travel isn’t that inspiring, There’s delays. And also I tried to really accentuate the bad stuff and he looked over at me, he said, you love your work, don’t you? And I felt so guilty because I totally did. And then I found out he didn’t, he would never want to do what I was doing because every day was different every day I had to come up on the spot with different answers and um, and I didn’t know what, I had no idea who was going to call, what I was going to, who I was gonna see what opportunities are going to rise. He liked being in his classroom and knowing this is the curriculum and this is where I can adjust if we go too long in one area, if we go too fast on another. He, he loved that stability. Uh, and that’s where I started realizing that the stuff that I thought was just kind of, everybody would want to do this. And I, yeah, I kind of got lucky is, no, not everybody wants to do this. And any fundraisers listening to those knows that because we’re usually the oddballs out of the nonprofit, we’re the ones that are outward focused in ways that others aren’t.

[00:19:06.34] spk_0:
What do we talk about the four quadrants of your journey? Um, you have some self assessments that folks are just gonna have to buy the book to do. We’re not gonna be able to talk through the details of Okay, health assessments, but, but the leaders journey through the four, the four quadrants, I think that’s valuable. And especially moving from quadrant 2-3.

[00:21:36.94] spk_1:
Sure. So the, uh, what I loved about creating part of, I’ve been trying for 18 years to explain what I do with with as a coach. And this was the first time when I created this four quadrant methodology was the first time people repeated it back to me, they understood it, and my wife looked at and said, well this is me is learning, this isn’t just leadership, but the the axes again our confidence vertically and then inputs horizontally. Quadrant one is where your high confidence and you’re looking externally. So most leaders only get half the map, we don’t get the whole map, we only get the external half. So we we started a quadrant where we’ve seen other people lead and so we start copying them. Somebody gives us the ability to run a project or to lead a team. Um some sort of leadership and either we’re super excited because we’ve known where a leader finally somebody else sees it or were scared, but we have the confidence from the other people that they’re going to do it, that’s and that’s where we just try to do what they’ve done. Um, some of the people that I listened to growing up, some of the motivational speakers would say if, if you’re leading a team and you turn around and there’s no one behind you, you’re just out for a walk. That’s when your confidence starts going down, which I dipping into the quadrant two, which is the experiment quadrant where you start trying to figure out, okay, what worked for tony didn’t work for me. Like tony has his own way of doing things and it’s not clearly not working for me. When I say jump, people don’t say how high, what do I need, where the deficiencies and how do I fix them? And that’s where you start taking courses, you start getting certifications, reading books, going to seminars, going to conferences, listening to podcasts, so it’s people skills or um, closing on sales or fundraising, uh, anything and met most leaders kind of stay in quadrant two lurching from success to success. They have so much success that the people around them, I feel like, oh yeah, this is, they’re going to pull the rabbit out of the hat again. We know that whatever she does, she’s an amazing leader. Um, but she, the leader herself is wondering, is seeing all the deficits, all the deficiencies, all the stuff that they don’t have measured up. And that’s where the doubt builds up inside them to think, well maybe I’m not the right person if they have the opportunity, sometimes it’s just through strain and stress, Sometimes it’s through coaching to see that there’s a whole map and the other half of the map is all the internal cues. So the external cues are great because it tells us how we learn and there are good systems that we can learn from. But when we moved

[00:22:15.74] spk_0:
before, I want to just make sure folks are clear about what the, what the horizontal and please, these are labeled. So the so the vertical is confident and unsure, so confident on top, unsure at the bottom. And then the horizontal is external and internal. So when you’re in quadrant, when you’re in quadrant one, you’re observing and you’re you’re confident and that’s the confident external quadrant

[00:22:21.64] spk_1:

[00:22:22.76] spk_0:
two. That’s the unsure external

[00:22:27.40] spk_1:
and you’re trying to fix what’s wrong? Yes, we’re talking about

[00:22:29.65] spk_0:
right now. I just wanna make sure everybody’s clear

[00:22:43.34] spk_1:
and that’s the cost. So I find the magic happens at the when people are moved from quadrant, the quadrant three, which is the they’re still on the unsure half of the map, but you’re moving internally to figure out. So let me illustrate like this. Have you read getting things done by David Allen?

[00:22:48.64] spk_0:
Uh No, I haven’t.

[00:22:49.96] spk_1:
Okay, well it’s 13,000 listeners. They’ve heard of it. Okay. They’ve heard of it. Great.

[00:22:53.69] spk_0:
The audiences better red than the host. I. Sure.

[00:24:17.84] spk_1:
So the if you if you read a book, like getting things done is valentine management and you only implement 10% of it in quadrant two, you’re going to think, wow, I failed it. Another thing, I can only get 10% of this. The book says it changed people’s lives. It’s not changing my lives. I just write lists. That’s all I got out of this Quadrant three is where you shift the question too. Huh? I wonder what either. I wonder why that didn’t work for me. What is it, what is it about the book or? It’s shifting the focus to, wow, I got 10% that 10% is really helpful. This writing list things with the next action item really actually is really helpful. And as one of my mentors said years ago, eat the chicken, spit out the bones. All right. The chicken for me and getting things done is writing lists. I don’t have to do the whole reviews and the files cabinets and all this other stuff that has helped other people. It’s not gonna help me. And as you start building in quadrant three, we’re looking at your hard wiring, looking at your stories, you tell yourself, looking at your goal, setting your mission, your your values, your personal style. It starts building up your confidence again because we’re in quadrant two, you’re just seeing all your what you lack in that you’re afraid somebody’s going to figure out that you’re really just faking it In quadrant three. You start seeing why some of the things work the way they do for you, um why your organization doesn’t necessarily do whatever all the other organizations are doing, but you don’t have it just a it’s not just a whim or feeling, it’s you start being able to have the language to be able to express what why you do what you do and that builds your confidence back up to Quadrant four, which is a focused leader. Quadrant

[00:24:39.24] spk_0:
Okay, Before you go to four, Yeah, A lot of people get stuck in in the second quadrant. absolutely. And the transition from 2-3, you find a lot of people in your practice and generalized beyond that stuck in that second quadrant what we’re working, we’re working with external systems that are not not being rewarded or

[00:24:48.50] spk_1:
not looking for the next guru, looking for the next framework.

[00:24:51.29] spk_0:
Why is it why is why are so many people stuck into looking for this external help? That’s it’s routinely not not fulfilling for them.

[00:26:11.14] spk_1:
I think part of it is because we were raised that way. We look for parents for cues, we look for coaches for cues, we look forward to look to externally to teachers, to grade our work bosses, to give us uh you know, performance reviews, and I think we’re taught probably at least in the cultures that I work into not really trust ourselves, do not trust the inner voice, the nudges that we’re getting, because those are soft, we should look for hard data, we should look for benchmarking, we should we should see what others are doing. Um There there are good things with looking at others, but it’s just not the complete picture, I think it really needs, it’s like an introvert that is trying to copy of extroverts boss. So the extroverts uh mentor walks around the office, talks to people, gets energized by doing that, has a high level of energy with the personal relationships. Um, an introvert boss, this introvert that’s trying to be, you know, an emerging leader, maybe we’ll get drained from that. It’s not that they can’t be social and be engaging, but it’s it’s not energizing for them. So they’ll need to take a lot of time to recharge their batteries, but they won’t necessarily give them the, if they don’t look internally to realize, oh, I’m wired differently. They’ll try to keep forcing themselves into somebody else’s mold. Um, you know, the, the, the proverbial square peg in a round hole,

[00:26:14.64] spk_0:
Okay, somebody else’s mold being based on the way we grew up, Like you’re saying

[00:26:18.87] spk_1:
the external, Yeah. Teachers,

[00:26:20.19] spk_0:
parents, bosses trying to fit into. We’re accustomed to trying to fit their molds

[00:26:58.04] spk_1:
well and think about it. Non profits to, yeah, boards, Every board member seems to come in with their own kind of mold for how a nonprofit should work or how leaders should work or how something should get done. And what is incumbent on us as bored as nonprofits to help with the boards is to onboard them to train them to. This is how our, our nonprofit works. These are our values as a non profit. This is how we do things. The communication styles will have, we will not go back behind each other’s back in gossip. That is not how we operate here. Um, but that often dad on boarding and board, uh, board orientation often doesn’t happen. So you’re stuck with a bunch of people that have these external moles that they want to try to force the leaders and the staff and the nonprofit into that aren’t necessarily helpful or in line with what the nonprofits therefore

[00:30:19.54] spk_0:
or even worse than not helpful. Yeah, thank you. Detrimental, hazardous oxygen you know, It’s time for Tony’s take two, sharing is caring who do you know that you can share? non profit radio with please. I know you’ve got lots of folks, But let’s just focus on one out of all your circles, all your spheres of influence your networks, your friends, lovers loved ones, hope lovers, our loved ones. Well not necessarily right. No, I take that back. That’s not necessary. I mean eventually, but maybe not necessarily now husbands, wives, Children, grandchildren, ex husbands, ex wives, ex partners, ex boyfriend’s ex girlfriends. Maybe maybe among all these exes, maybe you’re trying to get back together. non profit radio could be the conduit, the method that opens that door. Look, I’ve been thinking about you in very, very special ways. You need to start listening to nonprofit radio Mhm I realize now you’re the light and the love of my life. Please start listening to nonprofit radio it’ll help your career and then when we get back together it’ll bring you and us to retirement security, what better what better way to get back together than income and retirement security? non profit radio is the conduit for your long term security as you’re getting back with your ex non profit radio Look please who can you share? non profit radio with who’s going to benefit? They don’t have to work for a nonprofit, you know, board members, board members are great listeners to nonprofit radio so give it some thought among all your spheres and all your contacts and and okay influence. Who could you share? non profit radio with I’d be grateful. Let them know about the show. I’m not gonna pitch it to you. You you already know what the show is That is Tony’s take two now back to the surprising gift of doubt. So they’re moving from 2-3. I know you I know you already did this, but because you are ready to go from 3-4. But uh, you know, for it, this is great. You’re suffering a lackluster host. So I’m just processing and you’ve been thinking about this for decades. Yeah, but I’m still, I’m still processing. So The moving from 2-3, I kind of saw that as as a synthesis of

[00:30:21.85] spk_1:

[00:30:22.37] spk_0:
these different systems that you don’t call it. Synthesis.

[00:30:24.91] spk_1:
No, I know that

[00:30:59.24] spk_0:
you’re doing all your work. You can think about it for decades. You call it analyzed, I call it synthesis. I like it. You’re free to call it analyzed Of course. I I thought of it as a synthesis of all the things that you attempted in, in these external systems, the books, the webinars, the weeklong leadership conferences, whatever they were that were only partially or maybe not at all helping you, but you extract out what does, what does have value you and and you make sense of it and you emerge in a better place. And that’s to me that was the synthesis of I

[00:31:42.84] spk_1:
like that you’re the next quadrant and you also learn some of the some of the patterns that you fall fall into. You start reflecting enough to say, oh wait, I’m doing that again. Does that mean I’m stressed or? Um there’s one of the assessments of Hollande’s ability battery, uh which tests you on how you actually perform on things. It’s not how do you feel about, would you rather read a book or go to a movie? It’s not questions like that, but it’s do this task under time pressure and it shows what comes quickly to you. One of the things that came out for me early in my career was rhythm memory, which is a kinesthetic type of learning. Um it’s and it’s also tied to a desire to move around. So I’ve always looked for jobs that involved moving around because I knew that that would be more life giving and energizing for me. What that meant was that I never liked your

[00:31:45.89] spk_0:
work at the, at the prep school. Right. Exactly,

[00:32:35.84] spk_1:
Absolutely right. But that also changed my career trajectory because I realized many of the major gift fundraisers that I’d seen that went into management became very frustrated because they had to manage other people that were doing the work and they actually wanted to do the work. So I I took some ownership of my own career path and moved into positions that um allowed me to still have that kind of external. I’m an extrovert, you know, movement. So that kind of synthesis is also the internal synthesis of this is my way of operating in the world. And I want to try to put myself as much as possible in ways that work with that. Um not that I don’t want to grow, not that I don’t want to be stretched or challenged, but I also don’t want to put myself in a position where I’m just going to languish, although that’s sometimes what the right career path should be when the headhunters call, they want to see a paper career path of associate to manager to director to senior VP or something. Which may not be the way that is realistic for for people.

[00:32:53.24] spk_0:
Alright, so now

[00:32:54.72] spk_1:
move talking from

[00:33:35.24] spk_0:
experience. Well you at least you at least have you at least would would be uh would look good on paper and do look good on paper. I I would I would never be, I can’t be an employee. I would I would fail the, I would fail the screening interview with With the headhunter assistant assistant. I won’t even get to the associate level. I remember the managing director, I don’t know how I get the headhunter cause I’d be 20 minutes late just because II felt like why should I be on time for you? And then if I ever made it to the, if I ever made it to the interview, which I never would. But if I met, if I met a principal in the organization, I’d be sure I’d show up late, I’d be in sneakers. No, I just, I was unemployable. Everything I could because I know I’d be, I’d be a shitty employee. I just don’t fit them up. So I would I be doing them a favor by wasting their time.

[00:33:52.14] spk_1:
That’s awesome. Yeah.

[00:33:54.04] spk_0:
So move us into the fourth for those, for those who are more suited to, uh, working in organization, you’re moving to a level of you mentioned at one point, Grace, you’re leading with grace and finesse. I think you say

[00:34:34.94] spk_1:
right? And, and there’s a, it’s because you’ve got the kind of confidence in the peace of mind of knowing why you’re doing things differently. So instead of just thinking about, I must be so bad because I can’t get energized. I don’t like going all the social events night after night. Um you start realizing why what fills you up and what fills your organization, your team, your whatever your organization is. Uh and that grows your confidence to that fourth quadrant, which I called focused, but I don’t want to make it sound like it’s nirvana, it’s not all blissful because we’re still dealing with human beings and we’re one ourselves. Um Leadership

[00:34:45.12] spk_0:
is still a challenge and Absolutely yeah,

[00:35:39.54] spk_1:
but you now have a much, you have the full map, you can look at and look at, do I need to find somebody to copy? Do I need to learn skills from people? Do I need to uh go to a class or get a podcast or read a book or do I need to actually figure out what, what the synthesizing? Do I need to analyze what I’ve consumed already or are organisations consume to figure out why are we doing it differently? Um One of the things I also want to be clear on is that the data can be helpful, so I don’t want to discredit external stuff uh with fundraising in particular, uh, when fundraising letters, we know if they’re chatty er and they use you, they get better response than if there uh, boring things that essays that would get a high school, a grade A from high school teacher, um, we know that we know that and there are some non profits that might be tempted to say we don’t we want to be more business like. Um and so it’s not just throwing out all the data that’s out there, but synthesizing it. I’m really stuck on that word. Thank you for that.

[00:36:27.53] spk_0:
Third quadrant synthesis. Yeah, that’s the way I’m one reader. Just one reader. That’s that’s the way I conceived of it. All right, So All right. So we got these quadrants of sort of progression out of the four corners. Sound like something out of the Matrix, but I didn’t watch much of that series so I can’t go beyond that. Uh, so let’s leave it there, analogy. Um, you talk about, you mentioned earlier earlier storytelling and you talk a good bit about different stories. Stories that we tell ourselves stories about the organization. Talk talk some about the stories we tell ourselves.

[00:37:49.53] spk_1:
That’s one of the things that I think a lot of us don’t reflect on is the kind of self talk that’s going on in our head all the time. Um, the two that I talked about that are the comstock stories there either the ones that you tell people when you’re meeting them for the first time. So we often have kind of go to stories where it helps position, helps people position us in their mind. Um, so maybe some people like laugh lines, some people like uh you know what their education history is or their career history. There’s certain things we go to because we start paying attention to those, we can start seeing if they really reflect what we’re trying to do. Often we get stuck in these from a different time in our life and we just kind of tell the same stories because we think we’re gonna get the same response. The one that the other type of stock story that that happens is um with Jessica Sharp here in Greenville is really cattle. It has her clients whose catalogue the self talk going through and just for a day or a couple of days listing all the different things that enter your head and that takes some discipline, especially doing non judgmentally, but things like I always fail, I always mess that up, but I can’t, I’m never good at that. Um, writing them down on a piece of paper and then after your time holding that paper up and just asking a little reviewing them and then she asks her clients to say, would you talk to a friend like this? And oftentimes our thoughts are so toxic, were actually filling and polluting our heads because we’re so hard on ourselves.

[00:37:56.74] spk_0:
We’re saying to ourselves that we wouldn’t even say to others right? Or placing ourselves with them,

[00:38:07.92] spk_1:
right? Exactly. So her invitations, why don’t you become a better friend of yourself? Which I think it’s really, I don’t know if you’ve experienced to tell you, but it’s very hard sometimes when, when you’re used to being hard on yourself to loosen up, lighten up because it feels like you might just, I, I feel like I might just go off the rails if I’m too kind to myself. I need to be really hard, you know, and just like

[00:38:30.72] spk_0:
you need to be a little stricter, otherwise I’m gonna get reckless, right? You know, if, if I, if I loosen up and you know, something, something, something careless, I’ll do something careless or something along those lines.

[00:38:38.96] spk_1:
I’m self employed. But I often joke that my boss is kind of a jerk.

[00:38:43.82] spk_0:
Uh, I am too, but I, I don’t have a good joke like that. My wife had the lackluster host.

[00:38:48.97] spk_1:
You stand there you go. My wife, my wife reminds me that I am the boss is so I can,

[00:39:30.92] spk_0:
you know, you listened as a coach, you listen to a lot of, a lot of people who are stuck in quadrant two, uh beating themselves up and whatever they are and they might even be in there might even be in the grace and finesse quadrant quadrant four, but they’re still, they’re still hard on themselves or the, or the work is hard on them. How does it, how do you not generalize all coaches? How do you as a coach keep uh stay positive? Like go from one coaching session to the next to the next to the next in a day or even if there’s a couple of days, I mean how do you continue to relate as a positive human being when you’re hearing tough story after tough story after, you know, maybe insurmountable challenge? Uh

[00:40:54.41] spk_1:
people incredibly, that’s a great question. I find people incredibly fascinating and um I am a glass is always full kind of guy, not half full or half empty, it’s always full of water or air. So uh there’s a strong, strong sense of optimism that I, I bring to the table and resiliency I guess because even people that are going through hard things, it’s one of one of the postcards I carry in my bag when I trapped when I used to travel and hopefully start again uh says just when the caterpillar thought his life was over, he became a beautiful butterfly. Um and so there’s that sense of, even the ends are often beginnings for people. Uh there’s definitely times where I have to do some, some of my own stuff like um center, you know, some meditation practices and other things just exercise to keep the headset. But um I’ve seen so many people transform themselves into people that they wanted to be, but they weren’t really sure they could be. That gives me the hope as I keep going from call to call. And sometimes it doesn’t seem like the calls gang up time when toxicity to another toxicity. Um,

[00:40:55.18] spk_0:
I mean you need your own, you need self care. Well,

[00:41:53.21] spk_1:
yeah. And I also, one of the things the privilege of being a coach is that you get to not be in the hiring and firing space with these people. So you get to be with them. And it’s, it’s almost, I’ve heard this, I haven’t experienced this, but I’ve heard in the midwest they used to have blizzards where you couldn’t back in the day when you needed to walk to the barn and milk the cows that you could get lost on the way back to the house because the blizzard was so, so, um, so cover, you know, covering or uh severe maybe. Okay, great. So you needed a rope between the two buildings And sometimes I feel like as a coach, I’m the one that’s either the rope or I’m able to connect between calls say, hey, but remember just three calls ago, you you already talked about that and this is what you’re gonna do. Oh, that’s right. I forget, I forgot I did that. That’s super okay. And just kind of get pointing the way pointing some of the rocks on the path for people to take. And that’s that’s incredibly uh life giving. For sure,

[00:42:11.70] spk_0:
blinding, blinding. The blizzard was blinding. Thank you. That’s what we wanted. Uh We’re both 50 plus are blinding. Yes, that’s what you want. Um Yeah, right. I said you’re you’re the you’re the red back. That’s I like that quite a metaphor. Good one.

[00:43:12.90] spk_1:
And it’s because yeah, the demands of life can really be blinding to this. That uh people were there. So the Center for Creative Leadership tried to figure out like the one thing was for business leaders that would be the most stressful. And it turns out there are four. And they’re all as when somebody else pointed out to me, there are people, peers, colleagues, customers and supervisors or bosses. Uh, and the nonprofits, it’s often boards, donors, staff and, and uh, and the clients, those are all pulling people apart. So it’s really easy to lose our way and to have somebody that’s, that’s sole job. Is there to be there to help you be better? Um, that I became a coach because in my experience, I grew more through talking to coaches, uh, than I did, consultants are great. They have a, they have a blueprint that they were hired them to to put onto the organization. But talking to a coach that didn’t even know my work, helped me to grow as an individual and I could figure out how to do be a better individual in my job when I understood a little bit more about myself

[00:43:15.80] spk_0:
and I love you also have the voice so well

[00:43:18.71] spk_1:
there we go because it is mostly by phones.

[00:44:29.99] spk_0:
Yeah, you were destined. It’s time for a break. Send in blue. It’s an all in one digital marketing platform with tools to help build end, end digital campaigns that look professional are affordable and keep you organized. They do digital campaign marketing. Most marketing software designed for big companies has the enterprise level price tag, not so sending blue priced for nonprofits, it’s an easy to use marketing platform that walks you through the steps of building a campaign. You want to try out to send him blue and get the free month, go to the listener landing page at tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant in blue. We’ve got boo koo but loads more time for the surprising gift of doubt some more. A little more about stories made a little bit. But you talk about the future eulogy, this is this is other stories that other people would say would tell about you. How do you, you know, influence your future history and talk about the future eulogy and that kind of storytelling.

[00:46:50.88] spk_1:
Sure, Well and stories because our phones may have an android or IOS operating system, some people may sell blackberry, I don’t know, but are as human beings. It’s uh, story is our operating system and one of the ways we can program that is by figuring out what’s the story we want to be living uh, for me and for many people because if you google your eulogy, you’ll find this as a coaching practice that’s been well used is too think about at your funeral, what will people say about you is what will your closest people, maybe your family, uh community members, colleagues, what are they gonna say? Um and some of us that’s a little bit too hypothetical. So it’s uh the other way to look at it is if you were to die today, what would they say about you today? And writing it down, even in bullet points doesn’t have to be complete sentences. Can bring some clarity to how they perceive you or how you think you’re being perceived versus how you want to be. Had one leader that was we before the pandemic had quadrant three leadership days where we do, people would fly into Greenville and we’d hold the whole day and we’d kind of work together as a group through some of these exercises and when the uh um, the kind of the story that she wanted for her department and she realized, terrified that her stuff never know that she wanted it to be a joyful place because she was so focused on policies and procedures and tightening, you know, routines that had been really lax and not non existent. Um, but she said now I have an opportunity to live into this story that I’ve written. And it was sort of like for her, it was a history of the future, It wasn’t a eulogy, but thinking about that kind of final beginning with the end in mind, franklin Covey’s habit too can be very helpful for us. Uh my example was when I did this in my twenties, I realized I want my kids to know I love them, but going away to work didn’t necessarily communicate that love. So it allowed me to be, I wasn’t gonna stop going away to work because that providing for my family was something that was pretty important to me. But I was able to then figure out what are other ways that we can, I can communicate that love so that they know that I love them despite my going away.

[00:46:53.48] spk_0:
Just buy them things when you go away. Sense

[00:46:55.54] spk_1:
that could definitely be part of it. Yeah. Until my wife said palpable items, No more stuffed animals. I used to get one and every place I was going and she’s like that’s enough. They have enough stuffed animals.

[00:47:13.48] spk_0:
I would just, I just reduce it to the tangible goods. Just send, just send presents. We know love is equivalent to tangible tangible items. The more

[00:47:16.53] spk_1:
and the shot glasses in the airport stores were a little bit confusing to kids like why are this is a doll cup? What is this? Shot

[00:47:23.00] spk_0:
glasses? Yeah, I heart new york shot glasses. Right. Just send things, sending things that’s equivalent to love if you’re going to be away, replace yourself with items with items gift.

[00:47:35.71] spk_1:

[00:47:41.78] spk_0:
I thought that was very interesting. The future eulogy. Uh

[00:47:42.55] spk_1:
have you ever done an exercise like that?

[00:47:47.28] spk_0:
No, no, I haven’t. Or or what even even making it simpler what folks would say about you now?

[00:47:54.68] spk_1:
Yeah, it’s very clarifying and a little chilling for some

[00:48:41.67] spk_0:
people. Uh huh. Let’s talk a little bit. Uh so just the listeners know, see we’re bouncing around on different things that that I think are interesting because you know, you we can’t really do the self assessments that are that are part of Mark’s book. You just gotta you gotta get the damn book surprising gift of doubt. Mark eh Pittman, you gotta get the book to do the self assessments to move yourself from the quadrant to you may be stuck in or to move yourself from whatever quadrant urine to advance your current leadership effectiveness or your future leadership. We’re all potentially future leaders, even those of us who don’t work in an organization. We’re still leading. I lied. I lied folks. Absolutely. I just they’re not on my payroll, but they were not an organization payroll that I that I am leading, but I’m leading them. So leadership still applies even if you’re an entrepreneur solo preneurs, however you want to call yourself.

[00:49:02.57] spk_1:
Well, I’m really glad you said that because I think a lot of people think leaders, uh, is a title which that is a form of leadership. Like you’re saying it’s influencing others and as human beings, we’re always influencing other people and that is a form of leadership. And so I try to take the broadest view. Absolutely,

[00:50:05.86] spk_0:
and I find it, you know, all right, my synesthesia is kicked in. I just got a chill, because I’m thinking about times when I’ve been able to influence someone, I’m not gonna can’t divulge any details, but influence someone through a way of thinking that I’m that I’m that I saw that they didn’t and I’ve moved there, you can move people thinking, and it’s not it’s not conniving or anything, it’s just it’s moving, it’s just consensus building. But so and I’m not saying I’m successful at every time, you know? But when you when you when you’re successful at helping people see things in a different way, you know, whether it’s, I don’t know, uh it’s a concept or it’s money, or it’s a it’s a path forward to in a relationship to bring it to fundraising. Um, it’s very, very gratifying, I mean, it’s giving the Children a couple of instances where, where it’s happened. So that’s all to me. That’s all leadership.

[00:50:09.06] spk_1:
Yes, absolutely. I firmly agree. Yes.

[00:50:37.76] spk_0:
Okay. Otherwise we’re shutting you off 46 minutes, that’s the end. That’s the end of the show. I figured you would, of course. Um, so, you know, we’re moving around to different things that we can help you help you understand the self assessments, help you move your leadership forward. And another one that Mark talks about in the book is is goal setting, different types of goals. Very important goal setting. Yes. Well,

[00:51:15.56] spk_1:
So one of the things that we do with, there’s a lot of books written on goal setting. So this was the third of the three major areas that I focused on. But what I did was I took about 18 years ago, 17 years ago, I took all the different goal setting things. Not only did I study as a kid growing up in my family, but I also have a program in college that actually required me to get a lower grade because I was supposed to take leadership and learned goal setting as an extracurricular, not just as part of my course of study, but I also my masters in organizational leadership. So I’ve had these all sorts of formal education on goal setting as well. As you just

[00:51:18.36] spk_0:
said something of course required you to get a lower grade. What?

[00:51:49.76] spk_1:
Yeah, there was a there was a scholarship at the Underground college I went to that required me to get, I had a lower not required. I shouldn’t say that that there was a lower great expectation because there was an expectation that you’re gonna be all in on the leadership in student activities. And part of that was having a mentor with the staff member and having regular meetings with them, teaching you goal setting and teaching you how to do mission statements and how to create strategic plans and that sort of thing. And that was all sort of extra curricular.

[00:51:53.54] spk_0:
You got to higher grade. Is that what happened?

[00:51:55.78] spk_1:
No no no. Unfortunately they let my high grade still stands okay. But there are other some of my other friends who had a different scholarship had to keep a higher G. P. A. I didn’t have the pressure of having to keep it G. P. A. To keep the scholarship I had.

[00:52:09.75] spk_0:
So. Okay. Yeah. Alright so goal setting

[00:52:45.85] spk_1:
anyway so so what I did was I tried to take a bunch of the parts that I didn’t realize I was doing quadrant three work at the time, but I tried to take a bunch of different parts that I liked and this, this system that I use, um, I submit to, it’s in the book. I used my clients. Uh, it isn’t the end all be all, but it’s a good one To try. The first step you do is write a list of 100 things to accomplish in the next year or in your life. Um, it’s, uh, and why 100 for me is because it forces you to get silly and it forces you to think creatively because at some point you’re just trying to fill lions. Um, What most people that I’ve done this with, they get 10 pretty quickly because it’s job-related. Probably things that are going to be on the performance review, 10

[00:52:53.25] spk_0:
goals in a lifetime or even in a year. Yeah, I

[00:55:13.74] spk_1:
Know. But then the next 10 become really hard. And when we were doing these uh intensive zero in Greenville, people would call me over to the table said, Mark, can I, huh? This, can I put this this goal on my list? It’s like plenty of garden. I want to plant a garden. Can I put that on my list? Check? Of course. Again, it’s your list and that’s the point. Um, it gets the personal and the professional together. And what I have found with so many leaders is that they get so fragmented in their life. They have the professional side, they have their family side. They have different sides that when they’re looking at their goals comprehensively and they’re listening at 100 forces you to do that in some way. Um it, the amount of um centering that, that brings to human beings, the energy in the room invariably goes up because people see themselves their full selves represented there. And it’s not like you’re gonna necessarily share your board or your boss that you’re doing a garden goal, but it’s your life. So you get to set the goals for that you want to have. Um, So the first step is that is writing the 100. The second step is then the history of the future, which is you read through all of them and it will take days usually to do the 100 read through the read through them and then just project forward. What does it look like? 12 months from now? If you’ve accomplished everything on that list, even the most far out crazy ones, what are people saying about you, what awards you have, what degrees you have? What, how are you feeling about yourself and then let that sit. Um, If you did nothing else, you’d be shocked in 12 months. How many of those things you get accomplished? I’ve tested this with groups and it’s fascinating. But then you then you can map them out, you go back over the list and um, look for two different types of goals. Either the ones that make sense, like planting a garden that if you’ve also to fill in 100 lines, you also to plant carrots, plant cabbage, playing potatoes, planting a garden well kind of scoop up a bunch of those others, other goals, the smaller goals in it. So you could use that one type of magnet goal, the other ones or something that just kind of pop off the page or you kind of get a little kind of jolts of joy. There’s, there’s, it’s not really rational why some of those are there. But paying attention to those and and trying to call the list down to about 3-5 of the rational goals in the irrational goals. Um, and then plotting those out and focusing on those. Um, some people get it done in a quarter. I usually have to take the full year for each of those goals, but

[00:55:25.74] spk_0:
and one of your bookshelves behind you, you have a license plate that says gold guy. And

[00:55:29.82] spk_1:
that’s because of this process to

[00:55:31.58] spk_0:
basketball again.

[00:56:24.93] spk_1:
No, it’s not. It was my, my first ever training was with equine vet. And my second training was because of his referral was with physical therapy practice who was but they were owned by physicians and they wanted to prove that they needed an admin help To do the building so they could keep doing more care of patients. So we set up, we broke down their goals over the course of a year, what their revenue had to be with, how they were going to communicate it to the people that are on the practice, all the different things. 12 months of them we worked also how they can operate, operationalize their their strength. So the people, what did people like doing, what they like doing? They’ve never asked them, they just did the work that was in front of them. They found that one person who loves knees, somebody else loved ankles and they started shifting the workloads. They could do better at a higher quality. Um Within four months of that training they’d hit their annual goals With the 12-month goals they had accomplished in four months. And so I saw this uh Pippi, I saw her at a store and she said that’s the goal guy, that’s the guy I was telling you about pointing at me. So I got a license plate. This big old guy. That

[00:56:46.13] spk_0:
was pretty cool. The equine veterinary practice. You could have been the full guy. Hey, that’s cons are always the worst unless you think of them first.

[00:56:49.93] spk_1:
Alright. Getting a in there, but it wasn’t working.

[00:57:03.93] spk_0:
All right. All right. Mark, leave us with some some market. Pittman, surprising gift of doubt wisdom. And uh and and we’ll leave it there please. Yeah.

[00:58:04.02] spk_1:
Well, thanks so much for having me on the show. And one of the things that I think is really important. But there’s two things I’d like to end with. One is is that we’ve hinted that assessments if you’re doing assessments as part of your team work, part of your own personal growth. I love them. Don’t let them confine you, they’re not they’re meant to help you grow in grace and understanding of other people. Not to slap labels on people and pigeonholed them. So I’ll just, that’s one thing that’s a big, big acts. I like to grind. But I think going forward just people leaving, you know, listening this. Um, as you work through the whatever the days are ahead of you and you find yourself asking, you know, criticizing yourself being really hard on yourself. Try to pause and just say, well, what if this is exactly the gift that I have for the sector? What if what if this limitation is actually the strength and the unique bend that I give because I feel like when you’re, I feel like you’re broken, you may be, but you could be on the verge of greatness.

[00:58:24.42] spk_0:
The gold guy. The book is the surprising gift of doubt. Use uncertainty to become the exceptional leader. You are meant to be get the book, do the assessments, don’t let them pigeonholed you, Mark Bittman, you’ll find him and his company at concord leadership group dot com and he’s at Mark eh Pittman, Thank you again. Mark Real pleasure.

[00:58:36.22] spk_1:
Thank you

[00:59:06.22] spk_0:
next week, heather burr right with performance improvement. If you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at tony-martignetti dot com. We’re sponsored by turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c o. And by sending blue the only all in one digital marketing platform empowering non profits to grow. tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant send in Blue.

[00:59:26.82] spk_2:
Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff shows social media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our web guy and this music is by scott Stein, thank you for that information scotty you with me next week for nonprofit radio Big non profit ideas for the Other 95%. Go out and be great.

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