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Episode 61: From the War Room to Board Room: How to Flourish as a Family Business

In this episode of the Family Business Show, host Michael Palumbos, from Family Wealth and Legacy in Rochester, New York, introduces Rachel Yiannis, a leadership development coach with a rich background in working with military leadership teams and family businesses. Rachel shares her insights on the science of leadership and its application to family businesses, focusing on flourishing and thriving in this unique environment.

Rachel, who has a master's in marriage and family therapy, transitioned from working as a family therapist to coaching leadership teams in the military and later in corporate settings. She emphasizes the universal principles that enable both families and teams to flourish—trust, motivation, enjoyment, and connectedness.

The episode delves into three basic psychological needs identified by self-determination theory: autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Autonomy involves feeling in control and making one's own decisions. Competence is about facing challenges that match one's skills, promoting growth and learning. Relatedness is the need to feel connected and valued by others.

Rachel discusses practical ways to cultivate these needs within a family business context. She stresses the importance of clear goals, effective feedback, psychological safety, and creating an environment where team members feel empowered, competent, and connected. The conversation highlights how these principles apply not only to business but also to personal relationships and parenting, offering insights into how leaders can foster a supportive and motivating environment for everyone involved.

Listeners are encouraged to reflect on how they can implement these concepts in their family businesses to promote a culture of trust, growth, and collaboration, ultimately leading to a more flourishing and successful enterprise.

Episode 61 Transcript


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Michael Palumbos: Welcome everybody to the family business show I am your host Michael Columbus from family wealth and legacy in Rochester New York.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And we've got a heck of a show for you today Rachel Yiannis is joining us, and she is an incredible leadership training leadership development coach.

 

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Michael Palumbos: used to do a lot of work with the armed forces military i'm gonna let her talk about her journey and has been working with family businesses, the last bunch of years, and when I heard her speak about.

 

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Michael Palumbos: The science of leadership, I was like Rachel we've got to talk i've got to have you on the show because.

 

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Michael Palumbos: What you're talking about i've been talking about these this exact topic in a different way in the language that you use around this and the.

 

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Michael Palumbos: ability to apply it and teach some applicable things that we're going to be talking about today is awesome so we hang on to your hats folks we're going to be talking about how to flourish as a family business Rachel welcome to the shelf.

 

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ALC Leadership: Michael Thank you so much for having me i'm really excited to be here today, and I hope to add value to your listeners starting today.

 

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Michael Palumbos: perfect and i'm positive that you will just in the time that we spent together, do you mind walk people through.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Where did you get your training, where does it Where does this, you know the the science of leadership, what do you, you know this is like brand new to you you've been doing this for years.

 

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Michael Palumbos: where's this coming from and how have you applied in the past.

 

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ALC Leadership: So I have my masters in marriage family therapy.

 

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ALC Leadership: Actual Okay, and I began as a family therapist working with families handling conflict handling difficulties.

 

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ALC Leadership: And through a series of fortunate events, I met my now husband in San Diego and we moved out to Hawaii where I started working with the US armed forces.

 

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ALC Leadership: And I found myself moving from the family room into the war room, if you will, and and working with leadership teams and what I found was the same principles.

 

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ALC Leadership: That require that are required for families to flourish, to be connected to be motivated to enjoy one another's company to have trust.

 

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ALC Leadership: Or the same principles required in the war room and since I began working for organizations like this message through my company llc advanced leadership concepts.

 

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ALC Leadership: I found that the same principles apply in the boardroom as well, and so, when I met you Michael and and learn more about what family wealth legacy is doing.

 

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ALC Leadership: I was really excited because talk about full circle my background is in marriage family therapy you speak to family businesses and that's my story in a nutshell.

 

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Michael Palumbos: awesome well thanks I appreciate that what look before we dive into the meat of what we're talking about today.

 

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Michael Palumbos: You may I just get this picture armed forces, you get in this room.

 

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Michael Palumbos: You know, they do not want to be talking about you know self determination theory and autonomy and confidence and trust.

 

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Michael Palumbos: But yet that's at the core of all this stuff.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Can you just kind of paint a picture of what it's like when you go into a room for a first time first time with a you know, a team that's in the armed forces and just kind of paint that picture for us a little bit.

 

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ALC Leadership: Oh yeah Well now, you have that movie playing over in my head on repeat it was definitely interesting you know I walked into the room i'd be the only woman in the room.

 

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ALC Leadership: i'd be the junior by you know at least a decade and i'd walk in and start talking about things like flourishing and psychological safety and communication and trust.

 

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ALC Leadership: And that is where I really honed my skills, when it came to application right, how do we execute that because that's what all the military leaders wanted to know they understood.

 

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ALC Leadership: Most leaders at the Senior Level understand that in order for an organization to thrive, there needs to be trust there needs to be a team of motivated people and so they're a big question to me was Rachel this is really interesting, but what do I do with it.

 

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Michael Palumbos: got it.

 

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ALC Leadership: Okay that's where the conversation really shifted to implementation, and so that's kind of.

 

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ALC Leadership: Where I honed in my skills and not only talking about self determination theory which I know will be getting into today.

 

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ALC Leadership: But how can we communicate on a daily basis on the phone and an email texting with a spouse or a kid.

 

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ALC Leadership: or on a zoom call with a family member traveling to Asia, for an important business meeting in a way that builds trust rapport and motivation within the culture of the company and the family itself because, like you said you know you want thanksgiving dinners to be plus.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Right alright so we're going to dive into this and again the, the focus is how to flourish as a family business because we're going to give you some skills.

 

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Michael Palumbos: At throughout this you know conversation that Rachel and I are having so you can you know utilize this and make it worthwhile today.

 

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Michael Palumbos: What you introduced me to as that there was three basic psychological needs and they they ring, for me, because I, you know immediately went and thought about maslow's, which is a little.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Different but it's but you broke them down, I think, even when we're talking about teams and leadership and the family it's really these three to make the team flourish the family.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Or you know the.

 

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Michael Palumbos: In the war room, you know, to get them working together walk us through those and kind of set that up for us a little bit.

 

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ALC Leadership: yeah i'd be happy to so you know, everybody knows that the body has basic needs to survive, we need water, we need food, we need rest we need shelter, especially in Rochester in the winter my right.

 

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ALC Leadership: But not enough people know that there are basic psychological needs needs of the mind that when satisfied, people are able to flourish when they're.

 

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ALC Leadership: When they're not satisfied, we struggle to thrive and we struggle to find internal motivation now those three needs, as you said, our autonomy.

 

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ALC Leadership: Which is essentially a sense of having volition over our lives feeling like we're in charge we're our own decision maker.

 

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ALC Leadership: The second is our need for competence to feel like we are able to face optimal challenge in our work and the third is our need for relatedness, which is all about connection, which is all about feeling cared for and valued as a human being.

 

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ALC Leadership: Okay, so what what the founders of self determination theory Dr Edward DC and Richard Ryan, who are actually based in Rochester New York, by the way, found is that you know those three needs are something that every leader needs to know.

 

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ALC Leadership: Every parent needs to know if you want to make sure you're cultivating an environment at work and at home, where people can thrive.

 

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Michael Palumbos: So i'm going to dive into autonomy real quick.

 

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Michael Palumbos: So one of the conversations that we had when with our small group when we were working through this was.

 

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Michael Palumbos: kids need to be autonomous, they need to start especially you know, somewhere, and I know there's probably an age every kid's different but somewhere between.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Three, which was my step, you know my step daughter she needed to make every decision on our own, from the time she was three.

 

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Michael Palumbos: All the way you know in some kids that they're happy and it's like 13 before they start to say oh yeah I guess I don't need to you know I need to make some of my own decisions and.

 

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Michael Palumbos: What rang true when you started talking about that for me was the example of one of the Members in the Group, who said that their son was acting out.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And going through some difficult times and kind of taking control.

 

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Michael Palumbos: of his life and, though, even though mom and dad didn't like the decisions that kid was making when they sat the kid down because they had created a place where it was safe for their kid to talk in the kid trusted them, he said, I just wanted some place where I was making my own decisions.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Even though you didn't like them, this was these remind and so that was interesting for me to be able to say ah, it just fits with what you are talking about here, and I think we forget that.

 

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ALC Leadership: I think we do, especially as business owners, especially if we are our own bosses we forget what it feels like to be micro managed, have you ever been micromanage Michael.

 

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ALC Leadership: 100% what what emotions do that trigger in you, when you felt controlled by somebody else.

 

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Michael Palumbos: get me out that, for me it was like it's Ram i'm you I work for myself i've been working for myself for years if I wasn't I was in sales I would had a very hard time working for somebody else and being micromanaged yeah.

 

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ALC Leadership: yeah that's how most people are wired to feel like get me out of here, I do not want to be controlled, I do not want to be micromanaged and to you know, to give your listeners an emotion, we tend to feel frustrated angry resentful.

 

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ALC Leadership: We might even have contempt for the individual, that is trying to control us because, again we have this basic need to feel like we have volition.

 

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ALC Leadership: over our own actions over our own choices and so i'm you and and the leader in the room that was speaking about his son.

 

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ALC Leadership: are the same, and I am the same and your listeners are the same and what's what's difficult is.

 

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ALC Leadership: When you're a leader, which you are, which I am which you know your listeners, are we tend to fear giving autonomy, because we're worried if we give up control something bad could happen, am I right.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Right I 100%.

 

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ALC Leadership: And so that's why you know, trust and the cultivation of trust is so important because we tend to control and to micromanage when we're worried that something bad might happen.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Right that's great I.

 

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Michael Palumbos: I think about this often and then it's like, how can I give more autonomy to the team.

 

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Michael Palumbos: You know, one of the things that i've done recently is we had our first team Member.

 

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Michael Palumbos: she's got she's pregnant and so maternity leave and we're such a small team i've never had this happen in 20 years of doing this, so you know it's like Okay, we didn't really have a plan for it, and so I asked him I said, if you're me what you want.

 

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Michael Palumbos: I said, you know and and as we make decisions about you know.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Pay bonuses and and those kinds of things I said I need your help, because i'm a business owner and as a business owner.

 

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Michael Palumbos: My initial reaction is to take control everything and to you know, keep as much as you can, as the business owner because you're trying to you know top line revenue bottom line profit.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Is it.

 

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Michael Palumbos: just remind me that the the first word in the name of our business is family.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And so, if ever i'm only thinking like a business owner and not thinking of you as one of my family members, please remind me and that I think was helpful we ended up coming up with a nice maternity leave, you know package for this person that they were very thankful for.

 

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ALC Leadership: Well, that is a great example of how leaders can have a collaborative conversation.

 

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ALC Leadership: Where the employee the family member that's going on maternity leave, whatever it is feels like they're able to participate in the decision making process, like their voice has value.

 

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ALC Leadership: And so what what i'm assuming is happening within this employee of yours is she's feeling cared for she's feeling respected, and you know we have a huge crisis of talent retention in this country right now.

 

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ALC Leadership: And I put my money pun intended on the fact that you're cultivating loyalty and advocacy within her as a member of your company and that's really powerful and that's the potential of being autonomy supportive as a leader yeah.

 

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Michael Palumbos: What are some other ways, you know as you're talking about autonomy, what are some other ways that you have seen leaders cultivate that in their teams.

 

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ALC Leadership: hmm you know anytime I talk about autonomy, I think about the general Jamie girard at the time when I met him, he was the commanding general of 25th infantry division out here in a wall who and he was really, really good at two things naming clear goals, this is our vision.

 

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ALC Leadership: Right, this is the mountain I want you to take, and these are the guard rails, these are our left and right limits about how to take the mountain and anything in between those guardrails.

 

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ALC Leadership: Is free rein take ownership over how you execute all I care about is that you take that mountain, I am here for you, for support, I am here to be a sounding board i'm here to offer you any information that you maybe don't have now that you believe would be valuable.

 

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ALC Leadership: And I can't wait to celebrate the win with you, once you get there.

 

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Michael Palumbos: that's awesome.

 

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Michael Palumbos: So super powerful, if you think about that flip that to a business owner.

 

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Michael Palumbos: and say here's the mountain the mountain the here's the goal here's the vision here's what we're trying to accomplish in the next year 235 whatever the you're trying to do.

 

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Michael Palumbos: here's the budget for doing those things and here's the non negotiable, but everything else go at it and giving you know getting some thought and getting some feedback and helping that letting them design it same idea right.

 

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ALC Leadership: same exact idea, you know, again, it applies whether the conversation is happening in the war room the boardroom or the family room.

 

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ALC Leadership: We are all human beings, even if our work is different, we are you know the principles apply, regardless of the environment and so that's one strategy to support and autonomy, making sure you have very clear goals and guardrails.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Right.

 

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ALC Leadership: A second strategy that supports autonomy is listening.

 

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ALC Leadership: And it sounds so trite and so cliche to say listening to your people helps them feel good but there's a reason for that there's a psychological reason for that and the master need for autonomy, when we don't feel heard we feel frustrated.

 

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ALC Leadership: When we're frustrated our motivation is undercut and a fascinating thing that I have found in speaking to you know hundreds of leaders and possibly thousands of followers if you will.

 

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ALC Leadership: Is i've learned something we must first feel heard.

 

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ALC Leadership: In order to hear.

 

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Michael Palumbos: um so true.

 

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ALC Leadership: isn't it, I mean it's worth.

 

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ALC Leadership: it's worth repeating fair listeners, we must first feel hurt.

 

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ALC Leadership: In order to hear.

 

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ALC Leadership: And if you ever been in a fight with your spouse, with a parent with a child, with a partner and employee and you're not feeling heard.

 

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ALC Leadership: You have tacit knowledge of how consuming, that is, it literally blocks your ability to hear their perspective, where they're coming from their logic their evidence, all things that you need to consider and are unable to because you're not feeling nervous.

 

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ALC Leadership: Yes, the basic tenet of human nature.

 

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Michael Palumbos: The what just popped into my head is that D type personality, will always has to be the first one to answer, and then the arrows taken out of the room and nobody has anything else to say because.

 

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Michael Palumbos: it's already been done and there's the real quick yeah I learned this one, through our coaching and facilitating of family businesses is.

 

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Michael Palumbos: When I have that leadership group in the room, rather than soliciting opinions and asking a question and asking them for answers make them write it down.

 

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Michael Palumbos: That way, everyone.

 

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Michael Palumbos: has to write it down and it's already written down so they can say oh what he said or what she said.

 

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ALC Leadership: Yes.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And so, and so now you take those answers and you put them up on the whiteboard or on the chalk, you know, and now you can discuss them and go in and say oh.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Rachel that's really interesting that you said a B and C about that strategy, why do you say that what does that mean to you, and now as a leader, if you facilitate that that so much more clearly.

 

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ALC Leadership: yeah you know i'm most of your listeners, if not all of them have heard of Simon cynics talk and book leaders eat last.

 

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ALC Leadership: Right well a phrase, I like to use is leaders speak last.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Love oh that's great I have not heard that one definitely in my arsenal now, thank you.

 

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ALC Leadership: Absolutely and it's really important, you know, because a little moment of vulnerability here i'm i'm i'm a D right i'm a D i'm a driver and I am i'm very zesty and motivated and so the shadow side of my personality as a leader is, I have a bravado, if you will, if I don't keep.

 

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ALC Leadership: taint I eliminate the opportunity for others on my team to feel like they're being heard to have the opportunity for them to develop their own ability to come up with vision mission values, because i'm taking up all the space in the room.

 

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ALC Leadership: The best leaders, I have found are not the loudest they're the best at listening and they're the best at asking questions not giving answers which is difficult because we live in a culture that tells us leaders know the answer right.

 

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ALC Leadership: You know our job.

 

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ALC Leadership: To tell people what to do, and you know with voices like Simon snack and voices like Adam grant and voices like i'm you know yours and mine I think we're challenging that narrative leaders are listeners curious and they create a space for other people to share their thoughts first.

 

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Michael Palumbos: it's that it's that American it's that rugged individualist, and so I have to be able to do it myself and do all these things right, and I can show you I can go from the east coast to the west coast, no problem.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And that's not you know it's not as productive that's fine if it's you and your family going across the prairie and you've got all these challenges to get to somebody better lead and you just have to make decisions and get there in a team that's not going to be real productive.

 

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ALC Leadership: Very well, said that's a great analogy i'm picturing my family traveling across the the United States down a wagon so thank you for that show Michael but um you know what came to mind, for me, as the last word behind you as legacy.

 

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ALC Leadership: legacy and leaders leave a legacy, whether they're leaving whether they're leading well or not.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Right right.

 

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ALC Leadership: And the question is, for me.

 

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ALC Leadership: Am I leaving a team of followers as a team of leaders.

 

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ALC Leadership: That have learned to think for themselves to problem solve to innovate, to speak up to to do all of the things that i've modeled to them, because I really do believe that the best leaders create more leaders.

 

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Michael Palumbos: thousand percent and then take that break back because we're talking about family business and family business begins in the family room.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Right and so.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Especially for dads.

 

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Michael Palumbos: I think that masculine side of things we're supposed to be right we're supposed to lead our family, we are the Patriarch it's just kind of embedded for years generations, and we were really needed time for for fathers to become transformational.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And and give that space.

 

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Michael Palumbos: For their young men and daughters to think differently, and to think for themselves and to not let them see that you don't always have the answers um it's it's a Columbus trait, at least in my family it's often wrong, but never in doubt.

 

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ALC Leadership: um.

 

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ALC Leadership: So my mom would never do that, and I think there's a lot of leaders like that right and that's a problem for a family and the company.

 

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Right.

 

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ALC Leadership: And you know, so I just I just want to for a moment, acknowledge your self awareness and like poking at yourself for a moment, but I think i'm assuming all the dads listening to us right now, or relating.

 

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ALC Leadership: To what you just said, and you know I think a lot about gender differences, a lot my aunt wrote a couple New York Times bestselling books, the female brain and the male brain.

 

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ALC Leadership: The way in prison dying and so i've grown up understanding that we have fundamentally you know similar yet different brains.

 

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ALC Leadership: And our culture sends dad's.

 

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ALC Leadership: a ton of messages about what they should do as fathers yeah.

 

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ALC Leadership: And you know what's really powerful to me the best families that i've worked with in business, the father's exude a kind of humble confidence.

 

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ALC Leadership: Where they want to see their next generation step into that leadership skin for a moment and share their perspective, the dads kind of like poke holes in their theory well have you thought about this son and.

 

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ALC Leadership: Well Have you considered this daughter, and what will that look like, for your home life and so they're truly i'm like the yoda, if you will, to the Luke skywalker helping cultivate that inner knowing, so that when they leave they're leaving a legacy of leaders in their trail.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And that's that just helped me paint that picture, a little better it's that helping our children transform.

 

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Michael Palumbos: it's not so much that the father's that that's the transformation into your helping is a father or a mother helping your children to transform to be ready, you know, capable and willing adults out there.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And I will tell you I mean you know I wish I could have done better, I was not as self aware, I did not do the work that we're talking about, and you know granted, I was a good dad but there was a whole lot of things that men and go back to wish I could have just done them differently.

 

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ALC Leadership: Well that's the power of what you're doing here with this podcast.

 

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ALC Leadership: That 100%.

 

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ALC Leadership: because that means that your listeners don't have to make the same mistakes with their family with their children that you did and and my hope is you know humanity is is evolving towards greater and greater empathy and connection.

 

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ALC Leadership: And concepts like self determination theory is the science of how we can lead and love and live and parent more powerfully so our children, our future the generations to come, have the environment within which they can flourish and achieve their full human potential.

 

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Michael Palumbos: yeah and it is bringing us back to the boardroom.

 

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Michael Palumbos: The business.

 

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Michael Palumbos: it's basically when we're working through autonomy and competence and relatedness and we know we need to move on to competence, but as we, as we move through those things, basically, what we're doing is we're creating.

 

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Michael Palumbos: That, and you, you wrote this, so this is not not not inventing this, but you can create a condition with conditions within which the people on the team will motivate themselves.

 

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ALC Leadership: Yes, and what a relief for leaders anytime I speak to young vistage why PO yo you know groups of of leaders they're relieved to learn that their job is not to motivate every individual on their team.

 

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ALC Leadership: Their job is to create the conditions, the environment within which each individual team Member will be internally motivated.

 

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ALC Leadership: And so the first question for everyone listening right now in terms of like application is what is the current thermometer if you will.

 

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ALC Leadership: In the autonomy in my company in the boardroom in the family room, if you will.

 

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ALC Leadership: What is the and I know we got any want to competence know what is the thermometer reading on competence and what is the thermometer reading on relatedness because that'll tell you that will give you a plan of action and a focal point to improve.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Great alright so we've got them were autonomy, we we've done, and you know here's just so that people understand, we could probably do five hours on autonomy.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And so, so you know.

 

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Michael Palumbos: don't stop learning the Rachel and I are just sharing some ideas and putting some things out there, and now you know really go back and say where else can I figure out how I can bring autonomy to my children to.

 

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Michael Palumbos: My relationship with my spouse to my you know inside of my business and my my top employees, but we're we're going to move on to competence, which is the other, the second.

 

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Michael Palumbos: tool, the second you know piece that somebody needs to have that's What would you say psychological it's a basic psychological need is the second basic psychological need so that we can start to create that environment of motivation of self motivation, so I talked about confidence.

 

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ALC Leadership: Okay i've loved this topic of confidence so much i'm a lot of it a lot of it can be boiled down to one sentence, here it is.

 

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ALC Leadership: We are designed to desire a certain degree of difficulty.

 

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ALC Leadership: Now.

 

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Michael Palumbos: I gotta say that one more time, because I think it's really important.

 

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ALC Leadership: We are designed to desire a certain degree of difficulty.

 

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ALC Leadership: And when we are faced with a challenge, a task, a project at work, where the challenge the degree of difficulty exceeds our current perceived skill level.

 

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ALC Leadership: Our need for competence is forbidden, so when all your listeners to imagine the last time they had to do something that they felt was too challenging for their current skill level for me.

 

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ALC Leadership: It was a school but i've recently that I did with my husband i'm a new scuba diver i'm still learning the fundamentals and he took me on a highly technical dive that I just wasn't ready for yet and and he'll tell you, he learned his lesson, as the leader.

 

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Michael Palumbos: you'll see.

 

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ALC Leadership: I was so full of anxiety, I was so cold anxiety, when I was trying to do that task that I just wasn't competent enough yet to excel in the degree of difficulty was too great, and I was miserable.

 

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Michael Palumbos: yeah.

 

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ALC Leadership: And you know it's important for leaders to start thinking about you know what are the job responsibilities of this person in my company.

 

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ALC Leadership: And do they have the the knowledge, the skills, the abilities that are aligned that are proportionate to those those tasks those difficulties, and if the answer is is too great well, let me tell you some you're going to have an anxious stressed out overwhelmed employee.

 

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Michael Palumbos: what's the opposite of that done.

 

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ALC Leadership: Oh great question i'm going to use the Socratic method with you now if I, if I may, and I want your listeners to do the same.

 

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ALC Leadership: If the degree of difficulty we're facing.

 

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ALC Leadership: is much lower than our current skill level.

 

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ALC Leadership: When we're not being challenged by a task, what do you think that feels like for us, Michael.

 

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Michael Palumbos: I wouldn't think i'm bored.

 

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ALC Leadership: You nailed it beautiful well done boredom we feel bored we feel apathy we're not being challenged we're not um you know to to to use a phrase, I really enjoy we're not operating at the top of our credentials.

 

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Michael Palumbos: yeah Oh, I like that okay.

 

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ALC Leadership: And what's interesting about you know both both ways we can fall outside that desire degree of difficulty with anxiety and boredom is they both can lead to burnout.

 

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ALC Leadership: And they can both lead to disengagement.

 

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ALC Leadership: And that is costing business owners literally trillions of dollars a year globally.

 

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Michael Palumbos: You know it's there's a.

 

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Michael Palumbos: gym come on.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Call Jim Collins.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Right people right seats right things, and you so so when you hear that from Jim Collins that's one thing to hear it, but when you now line up competence with it.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Now it really makes sense, do I have the right person that that they're up to that challenge, they want to face that challenge, they have the.

 

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Michael Palumbos: competence to be able to do it and their core values aligned with the business, you know, to keep you going in the right direction, now, you have the right person in their.

 

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Michael Palumbos: assets super helpful and I hope everybody heard what I just you know rambled there because it was it's we talked about this that Jim Collins concept all the time, but I think how to put that in there, the competence factor matters.

 

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ALC Leadership: yeah and that's the power of this framework, so you know if your leaders could see me right now, I would draw for them.

 

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ALC Leadership: A visual where you have challenge on the horizontal or challenge on the vertical axis, if you will, and perceived skill on the horizontal axis.

 

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ALC Leadership: And the goal of any leader is to be aware, where do your people fall on the graph do they have high challenge low skill.

 

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ALC Leadership: Do they have high skill and low challenge, are they in that sweet spot that degree of difficulty where they can do their best work for you and, more importantly, if I may be so bold, to say for themselves.

 

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Michael Palumbos: which goes back to the first thing right, because if they're not feeling autonomous so now, I have to have the competence in order to be autonomous.

 

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ALC Leadership: yep they're very synergistic concept, so you know autonomy is all about empowering your people making sure that they feel respected competence is all about making sure your people, including yourself, by the way.

 

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ALC Leadership: are able to achieve that desired degree of difficulty.

 

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ALC Leadership: And when you have autonomy and competence you got two out of the three critical ingredients for an environment where family businesses can flourish.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Talk about some ways that let's start with leaders of the business and inside the family business, how can I, ensure the.

 

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Michael Palumbos: I have people that and the position that they're in they're feeling and in your word for that that space that's between challenge and skill is flow right that's where they're where they're in their zone their you know their Michael Jordan at that spot right.

 

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ALC Leadership: Excellent memory.

 

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Michael Palumbos: As as leaders that we can make sure that that's happening.

 

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ALC Leadership: I love that question the single most important thing that leaders can do to cultivate greater competence in themselves and their people is give better feedback.

 

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ALC Leadership: feedback and we tend to fear feedback, but I really want your listeners to picture feedback as a tree with two branches one branch in the tree is effective criticism.

 

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ALC Leadership: This is what you did poorly or sub optimally or and effectively naming the specifics, and this is what you can do next time to improve.

 

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ALC Leadership: The results, the outcome, so you know feedback really should be about feed forward right because we're not going back we're growing through it not going through it.

 

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ALC Leadership: So back to the tree of feedback one branch is effective criticism naming the specifics of what they did, that was an effective facts objective not subjective and then the second branch and the feedback tree is effective praise.

 

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ALC Leadership: And leaders, you know leaders need to understand is a difference between way to go, good job I am so impressed with how hard you're working, which is more like accolades or kudos or affirmations if you will.

 

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ALC Leadership: which have their place in the workspace and in the family space, but when i'm saying effective praise i'm talking about naming the specific behavior.

 

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ALC Leadership: outcome strategy or skill that they used that led to the positive outcome, and if your leaders are interested in learning more Carol dweck has done an amazing amount of research and work in this space, and when you praise well.

 

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ALC Leadership: Praise pace, because you're going to promote a growth mindset in your team and a growth mindset really is the lifeblood of a company and a family.

 

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Michael Palumbos: yep so it things like when you when you're.

 

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Michael Palumbos: The research that you did to pull this project together was fantastic well done i'm really shocked at how deeply you went into this research, it was fantastic.

 

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ALC Leadership: Exactly yes and and and you know that is just an extra sentence or two right most leaders stop it good job, all you need to do is add one or two more sentences like you did to highlight the behavior and what that does is three things one, it demonstrates your authenticity.

 

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ALC Leadership: It says, I mean this and if you've ever received an authentic praise you know that does not build trust with that person that builds suspicion.

 

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ALC Leadership: Second thing effective praise does is it shows that you were really paying attention.

 

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ALC Leadership: yeah and as a leader, you know, I have to tell you one of the greatest presidents, you can offer your people.

 

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ALC Leadership: Is the gift of your presence.

 

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ALC Leadership: be present be with them that's where connection is built that's where report is built and that's where you're able to see their strengths and what they're doing well, because.

 

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ALC Leadership: When a worker or a family member and employee is just pouring their best selves into your company and they feel unseen they don't feel appreciated that can really affect their morale and their motivation in the long run.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And you said, it is the same thing works for our kids.

 

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ALC Leadership: Oh.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Big town in, and so I in something just ring in my head when the child fails at something helping them to determine the part that they did well inside of the failure and what they learned.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And they specific about it.

 

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Michael Palumbos: would be so incredibly powerful.

 

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ALC Leadership: Oh, my gosh I have, I have goosebumps right now, as you said that i'm so glad you brought that up because we can offer effective praise.

 

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ALC Leadership: When someone fails.

 

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ALC Leadership: When your kid brings home a you know, a C plus let's say and you watch them study for days and days before that exam and they come home and they're holding their test.

 

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ALC Leadership: And and they're heavy hearted and they're sad and maybe a little shy and embarrassed to show you that C minus because they know you expect tonight.

 

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ALC Leadership: And they wanted an A for themselves, when you can look at them and say something like sweetie i'm so proud of you, because I watched you work hard, I watched you study and study and prepare for this test.

 

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ALC Leadership: And I know that this isn't the outcome, you wanted, but what's more important to me than the grade is watching you work hard.

 

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Michael Palumbos: yeah that will pay dividends beyond imagination, you know just you couldn't even fathom what that would do Those are the kinds of things that I say that I wish I was better at when I was parenting you know.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And it's Okay, again, I can be transferred, you can just because I may not have been transforming transformational then doesn't mean I can't change and be transformational now.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And, and I have these conversations with my kids of.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Things that I would have liked to have done better, so that when they're having children have their own they can say oh Okay, at least I can drop you know put a little good some goodies out there.

 

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ALC Leadership: That is exactly why i'm so passionate about what I do Michael because the social sciences have broken the code on on how to parent and lead powerfully.

 

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ALC Leadership: In a way, that allow people to be happy and motivated and wake up in the morning, saying tg I am Thank God it's Monday.

 

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ALC Leadership: Not TV if and and it's unfortunate that you know, most people don't have access to these concepts.

 

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ALC Leadership: And I know that this is my life's mission to give people access to these ideas and that's why i'm so happy we're talking about this and I want to tell your listeners The third thing that effective praise does before we move on.

 

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ALC Leadership: Okay, so effective praise us three things it demonstrates authenticity, it shows that you were really paying attention and third it enables winning streaks.

 

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ALC Leadership: because sometimes people have no idea, the specifics of what led to their win.

 

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ALC Leadership: right there you know you know, to use a public speaking example i'm on stage i'm present and I can just totally blacked out I don't remember the stories I tell.

 

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ALC Leadership: I don't remember the jokes I tell I don't remember the points I make because i'm fully in flow, which means that i'm not assessing myself in that moment.

 

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ALC Leadership: So when a leader says something like Anna great job on the sales call today, you asked a couple of questions that really clarified for me, and I think our customer what they want.

 

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ALC Leadership: That was powerful and so what you do for Anna is you shine a light on what she did, which was asked questions and model curiosity so she's more likely to replicate that behavior next time.

 

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ALC Leadership: And if you want an added benefit if you praise Anna and public.

 

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ALC Leadership: you're shining a spotlight on the behaviors you want to be the lifeblood of your business so others in the room, are likely going to start implementing it more intentionally as well.

 

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Michael Palumbos: yeah that would stink for the whole sales team to hear the formula for success.

 

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ALC Leadership: I know, nobody nobody on a sales team wants to be successful when it comes to sales right.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Right right um and I think you know you talk about it in you know the cultivation of confidence, this is one of those areas that it really helps to put that together and continue that cultivation.

 

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Michael Palumbos: This is great alright so then there's is there one more example, maybe let's do that one more example of.

 

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ALC Leadership: How to cultivate more competence.

 

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ALC Leadership: yeah i'm glad you asked, because one of the best things leaders can do is model, a growth mindset themselves.

 

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ALC Leadership: And what do I mean by a growth mindset somebody that has a growth mindset embraces challenges they embrace the tough stuff because they know that the toiling is where they cultivate excellence, they persist in the face of setbacks.

 

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ALC Leadership: They see effort as the key to mastery they don't expect to be good, the first time they know that the first time of anything is hard.

 

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Right.

 

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ALC Leadership: They learn from criticism, so in the leaders listening, if you just started seeking out feedback.

 

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ALC Leadership: How, how did that land with you, how do you think I did, how can I make improvements, when you start creating an environment for other people to give you feedback.

 

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ALC Leadership: And you show them that not only can you handle it right, because the ego triggers defensiveness and most people when they're being criticized.

 

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ALC Leadership: When you show them that you're open to criticism and learning from it and growing from it, you make it Okay, for them to start self evaluating themselves.

 

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ALC Leadership: And they're more likely to receive from you, when you first received from them.

 

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Michael Palumbos: yeah and that's really easy to see in the boardroom it's easy to see in the business how that would play out, I think, where that might be difficult, is in the family room.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And then, but it's just as important, if not more important there, how do you show your children a model of growth mindset without losing the parents role.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And and tell me if this rings, for you, but I wrote about this in in my book.

 

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Michael Palumbos: That we talked about the parent transition and so there's a time when a kid needs a parent and you must be the parent and the answers are pretty much yes or no.

 

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Michael Palumbos: there's also a time that the parent needs to transition to the coach.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And there's the coach you're not always right you're looking you're you know when the kids about to cross the street without looking both ways and Graham and parenting guy.

 

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Michael Palumbos: But when now, when we, you know as soon as you can move into that coach mode and give choices and ask those questions and tell them Oh, you know I made a mistake once and be transparent with them and and real with them is huge.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And then I my wife doesn't like this one, but I believe then there's a time in every child's life that they really they never want to lose their parents obviously always want the parent there but they really want you to be a colleague.

 

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Michael Palumbos: They don't even need you to coach them anymore, and if they want the coaching they'll ask for it, they just want you to listen to their ad you know what their world is like and and be there for them so there's my transition.

 

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Michael Palumbos: That, I think it's so important that I messed up and then i'm working really hard to get back to.

 

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ALC Leadership: Well, you know what I love about this this analogy of the coach is the coach isn't on the field.

 

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ALC Leadership: Right like your kids have to enter into the arena of their own life they're playing on the field, you may be the coach you may be the mentor you want to offer them encouragement, but ultimately they're on the field.

 

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ALC Leadership: And what you're talking about when you say coaching.

 

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ALC Leadership: Is you know basically being autonomy supportive like they're the ones going out onto the field, and you can bestow upon them, you know your perspective, your wisdom your hard earned lessons, but ultimately you're so right they have to be the ones out there, you know.

 

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Michael Palumbos: What one of the things that i've learned that I get so excited about now that I understand it is there's no successful sports team, or are you know armed forces or anything without a good coach.

 

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Michael Palumbos: you've never had there's never been a world series team that went to the world series without a coach there's never been a super bowl winner or an Olympic team winner without a coach.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And the coaches there to help them, you know, see the blind spots and maybe ask the right questions that they didn't think about thinking it's not always about telling them what to do.

 

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Michael Palumbos: love this this is super super helpful, I can see this both the business and at work and at home, so I appreciate that.

 

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ALC Leadership: it's huge you, I want to before we move on, I want to give in you're so right about the best sports teams they've always had good coaches.

 

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ALC Leadership: The all blacks in in New Zealand are great example of that there is a book written about them, ironically called legacy all about how they've been able to be the best consistently.

 

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ALC Leadership: And they have always had excellent coaches that are autonomy supportive and that cultivate confidence in their members and it's powerful but let's talk about the the family room for a moment when it comes to criticism.

 

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ALC Leadership: You know the best relationships are good at communicating what they do want not what they don't want and here's what I mean by that when I work with with couples spouses families, I introduce them to this concept of the eyes of intimacy.

 

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ALC Leadership: I want, I need I feel.

 

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ALC Leadership: And when you can more powerfully and clearly communicate what it is you do want skip what you don't want right, that is, that is not where you want to spend your energy, what do we want.

 

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ALC Leadership: What do you need, what do you feel that creates an environment for conversation and collaboration, because you're talking about yourself right and they're less likely to respond adversely to that criticism.

 

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Michael Palumbos: love it Thank you.

 

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Michael Palumbos: yeah all right we're running out of time here but let's get into relatedness and talk to me about relatedness because if i'm not mistaken, based on our previous conversations it's, this is what ties it all together.

 

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ALC Leadership: Yes, relatedness really is the the glue of it all, if you will, because we are social creatures, we are wired to connect and we must feel like we belong.

 

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ALC Leadership: With that is a fundamental need to me, that is the foundation of any business, but especially a family owned business and relatedness you can think of as I feel cared for and valued.

 

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ALC Leadership: When we feel cared for and valued our need for relatedness is matt and the fundamental topic that I want to talk with your listeners about today in order to cultivate more relatedness more belonging, if you will, is this idea of psychological safety.

 

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ALC Leadership: Which is based off of amy edmundson research and psychological safety in a nutshell, is just someone sense that they can be candid in a group that they can speak up with concerns with disagreements of criticism, without worrying about being punished or humiliated.

 

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ALC Leadership: and

 

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Michael Palumbos: Then i'm going to jump right in real.

 

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Michael Palumbos: The moment the Leader says well that's a dumb idea you just took everything away they're ready, there needs to be space for those things.

 

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ALC Leadership: yeah when a leader does that when a leader says no things like that it just sucks out you I mean i'm sure you've been in the room and seen happen, I know I have hundreds of times it sucks the oxygen out of the room quite viscerally you can feel it.

 

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Michael Palumbos: yeah.

 

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And it.

 

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ALC Leadership: It shuts people down.

 

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Michael Palumbos: it's it's that it's trust right, I mean at the end of the day is that the word that.

 

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ALC Leadership: it's all about trust yes it's all about trust and really you know there's there's a there's a trust threshold that happens between two people, so you and I are just getting to know each other, you know, this is our.

 

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ALC Leadership: This is our second conversation our second interaction and the more positive experiences we share together the more trust that we built together and, eventually, will you know will trust that will pass that trust threshold.

 

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ALC Leadership: Everybody has a trust thresholds, some people are more trusting by nature, like myself, some people are more suspicious, by nature, like my husband, but we all have a trust threshold and order to reach it, people must feel psychologically safe with you.

 

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ALC Leadership: Okay, he must feel psychologically safe with you, I want to offer your listeners a way to evaluate the psychological safety of their family business right here, and right now, if I may.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Please do.

 

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ALC Leadership: So I want you to think about how often you see the following things happening in your business How often do you see people disagree with you, and each other how often do you see people offering criticism to one another to you.

 

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ALC Leadership: How often do you see others holding each other accountable.

 

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ALC Leadership: When they fail to execute on their commitments are performed to the standard the vision, the mission of your company How often do you see them admitting their own mistakes and failures.

 

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ALC Leadership: How often do you see them taking risk experimenting innovating.

 

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ALC Leadership: How often do you see them cross pollinate and share ideas and share information.

 

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Michael Palumbos: I love that one because he's just everybody's in their own silo and you can't get them out of the silo.

 

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ALC Leadership: Yes, and the silos are really.

 

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ALC Leadership: Cutting back on the potential of the company like innovating and just thriving the last two is how often do you see people ask for help.

 

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ALC Leadership: You know, Michael i'm Sorry, I know that you signed this meet a lot last week, but I tried to sit down and get it done and up against a wall, I have no idea what i'm doing Can you help me.

 

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Michael Palumbos: yeah love it.

 

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Michael Palumbos: yeah and.

 

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ALC Leadership: So.

 

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ALC Leadership: So those are those are all descriptors of what people members of safe teams safe families safe family businesses exhibit and if you're listening and you're thinking wow Rachel.

 

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ALC Leadership: Actually I don't see people disagree lot I don't see criticism happening accountability is not happening, people are committing their mistakes.

 

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ALC Leadership: And in fact people are gossiping about one another they're talking behind each other's backs, you know Bernie brown author of dare to lead one of my all time heroes has a powerful phrase and her company, here we talk to people, not about people.

 

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Michael Palumbos: ooh great one.

 

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Michael Palumbos: isn't that that is i'd read there to lead and I missed it is so funny you can you know the that's why it's worth going back sometimes because you need the one word I got out of dare to lead rumble it's okay to rumble we love to rumble.

 

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ALC Leadership: Oh, I love that you know, Michael I missed that when I.

 

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ALC Leadership: read it, so thank you.

 

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ALC Leadership: rumble and you know rumble is a perfect word for you to bring up right here, and right now, because people that have psychological safety.

 

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ALC Leadership: Are comfortable with the rumble they're willing to rumble they're willing to shake the boat because they know that that's just the process of a business of relationships you got to be willing to rumble together, you know.

 

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Michael Palumbos: it's still being respectful when that's not what we're talking about you're talking about it's.

 

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Michael Palumbos: it's doing it with respect you still you trust this person you even might even say you love this person enough to be able to say I can I can handle this but i'm passionate and look, you know I love this this vision and the vision is real simple um you've never watched any good movie.

 

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Michael Palumbos: That didn't have conflict in it.

 

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ALC Leadership: You can go.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And so you need conflict around your business and around what you're doing, and that you know when you have that conflict.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Now it's okay to know you know all right now let's move on and let's commit to one another, that doesn't matter that this was joe's idea or sell sally's idea.

 

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Michael Palumbos: we're going with sally's.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And we're all on board, this is the way we're going and Joe will never say I told you so.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Because he.

 

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Michael Palumbos: bought in to the team.

 

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ALC Leadership: you've got a rumble to commit to to quote Patrick Flynn sione who I know is a thought leader, and this is a huge fan of his work, you know he talks about how conflict is something that we must have in order to commit.

 

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ALC Leadership: And in order to dare greatly if you will, in order to be willing to rumble and to get into conflict with somebody you must have trust you must have trust.

 

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ALC Leadership: And you know this is so important for your listeners, especially because.

 

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ALC Leadership: you're your partners are your family members.

 

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ALC Leadership: And you know family is everything that the more the older, I get the more I realized that at the end of the day.

 

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ALC Leadership: family.

 

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ALC Leadership: is all about family, and you know, Adam grant recently said, a company is not a family and further accompany shouldn't be a family and he talks about how you can't fire a family member when they don't perform.

 

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ALC Leadership: Right well you know no disrespect to Adam grant, but a lot of companies are made up of family members, your listeners included, so it behooves them.

 

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ALC Leadership: To understand what is required for them to thrive in the family business and their family members to thrive in the business, and those are the three basic needs, we talked about today.

 

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ALC Leadership: Autonomy competence and relatedness if you want to support the autonomy of your family have clear goals and clear guardrails and let them rock on in between those parameters, if you want to grow their competence.

 

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ALC Leadership: Be more powerful with how you give feedback give effective criticism and effective praise and, last but not least, when it comes to relatedness.

 

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ALC Leadership: You know, remember that people need to feel safe with you so constantly be monitoring for safety if people are getting defensive if they're defaulting to silence or violence.

 

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ALC Leadership: that's an indication to you that they're feeling unsafe and you need to restore that safety first, before anything else about the business can resume.

 

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Michael Palumbos: of it that I was just gonna ask you would you do me a favor and just summarize this for us and you just did it so.

 

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ALC Leadership: I read your mind.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Rachel Yiannis i'm.

 

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Michael Palumbos: acl what is that again.

 

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Michael Palumbos: lc lc.

 

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ALC Leadership: yeah it stands for advanced leadership science.

 

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ALC Leadership: i'm sorry I know you got me all twisted up as.

 

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ALC Leadership: It advanced leadership concepts.

 

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ALC Leadership: And really passionate over there about unlocking the tools of leadership science.

 

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ALC Leadership: In a way, that transforms teams.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And if people wanted to reach you how do they reach you.

 

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ALC Leadership: I would love to connect with your listeners on linkedin please send your request, I would love to hear the one thing that stood out for you messaged me, I will respond i'd love to connect with you.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Great Thank you, thank you for everything that you just shared today appreciate it Rachel my name is Michael Columbus you've been listening to the family business show.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Our company's family wealth and legacy in Rochester New York Thank you all so much, and we cannot wait for you to turn in to the next episode have a great day, everybody.

If you’re a family business or a family business consultant and want to be on the show, share your story and help other family businesses, send us an email to producer@thefamilybizshow.com or fill out a contact form here!

*not affiliated with Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp.

Michael Palumbos is a registered representative of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. Securities and investment advisory services offered through Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp., a broker/dealer (member SIPC) and registered investment advisor. Insurance offered through Lincoln affiliates and other fine companies. Family Wealth & Legacy, LLC is not an affiliate of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. and its representatives do not provide legal or tax advice. You may want to consult a legal or tax advisor regarding any legal or tax information as it relates to your personal circumstances.

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