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Al Gonzalez

Al Gonzalez

Founding Partner - GIVE Leadership Institute, LLC


To start my new podcast #HealthyLeadership, I wanted to focus on a topic that can truly enhance anyone’s ability to lead at work, home or at the gym.  


This topic is STRENGTHS



I completely believe that life is about creating ourselves and my strengths are helping me create the leader I want to be!


Life is about creating signed



After years of intentionally using my strengths, I find that knowing AND leveraging my strengths is critical to improving the quality of my leadership. During the show I shared two critical lessons that can help anyone leverage their strengths to develop their leadership skills anywhere.


  • The first lesson is about CONFIDENCE; something we can all use. 

  • The second lesson is about keeping our strengths in BALANCE!  Otherwise our strengths can become our biggest weaknesses.


Let’s start with CONFIDENCE.  


One constant reality that I encounter at home, at work and at the gym is that there is no shortage of challenging situations and obstacles.  For example, we may be tackling a difficult project with challenging co-workers or a “hard to please” supervisor at work, going through a difficult financial time period at home, or trying to get the next level of a workout at the gym.  

In any of these typical situations, we can leverage our confidence to help us lead through them.  Remembering what we are good at and leveraging those strengths is a great way to stay positive, stay the course, AND improve our performance when we are dealing with any kind of challenge. 


The more challenging the situation, the more confidence we need to lead through it and we can be confident because we know how to leverage our strengths, those things we do well naturally.


Keeping them in BALANCE!


Keeping our strengths in balance is a bit more complicated. It requires a good understanding of our tendencies and constant monitoring of our behaviors. If we focus too much on one or a few of our strengths, they can become our biggest weaknesses. In the podcast I share an example of an interview candidate that, when asked what she would like to improve upon, expectedly answered the question based on her strengths.  


This candidate had the following strengths in her top 5:

~ Achiever

~ Activator

~ Competition


She explained how these strengths could cause her to be overbearing and too strong with her colleagues.  She showed a lot of wisdom by explaining that she needed to keep those strengths in check in order to maintain good working relationships with her colleagues.  


This was a wonderful way to answer a question about her weaknesses from a perspective of strengths and the wisdom of why they must be kept in balance. 


How do you identify your top 5?


Two resources anyone can use to identify their top 5 strengths are Now discover your strengths, by Marcus Buckingham, and Strengthsfinder 2.0, by Gallup. In the show, I explain why I like them both for different reasons.  



This week on the Fitness Minute


Every week I will connect leadership to fitness in 60 seconds or less on the Fitness Minute.  This week, I showcased the following 3 step process that anyone can use to apply strengths at the gym. In the show I share an example of how many of my heavy set friends start this process by doing leg exercises.  Typically, those of us who cary a lot of weight over the years develop very strong legs.  Starting their gym experience by focusing on their legs is a great way to show them they are strong.


This builds confidence and motivation!

Strengths at the gym


In the picture above, I included my tricep pose during my first competition.  For some reason, my triceps and upper back are two of my strong areas at the gym.  So, I focus on them and showcase them during my competitions.  


We all have strengths at the gym. 


Identifying them can give us confidence and motivation. Once the process of confidence and motivation has begun, it is easier to target areas of weakness. Like with any strength-based model, I find it easier to start with an area of strength, instead of starting with an area of weakness. 


Hope you enjoy the show and remember; 


Self-reflection can be painful, but, as they say, no pain, no gain!  


Thank you for sharing everyone!!!


According to HBR.Org, quoting research from Zenger and Folkman, on average, managers first get their leadership training at age 42.  

10 years after they begin supervising people! 

Can you imagine waiting 10 years to send sales personnel to training on how to improve their ability to close a deal? Or would you wait 10 years to send customer service representatives to training on how to deal with frustrated customers?  


10 years we wait!


And when we send them to leadership training, chances are we don’t want to hear or care about what they learned!


This is just crazy. 


This week on Leading Beyond the Status Quo, Gillian Davis, author of the book First Time Leader joined us to share information on how her book can help anyone make the transition from manager to leader.  During the interview, Gillian and I discussed the concept of “first fame” for new managers.  “First fame” was something I heard the Bee Gees talk about many years ago when they were interviewed about the death of their younger brother Andy Gibb.  The older brothers explained how they had warned Andy about the dangers of “first fame” and how it could cloud one’s judgement. 


While my first managerial experience was nowhere near what Andy Gibb experienced, I always remembered the concept of first fame because, while at a much lesser extent, I was definitely affected by “first fame”.


First Time Leader First Pic


I felt popular when I was promoted as the team’s supervisor while being the youngest member of our team.  More importantly, because of my new authority, I started feeling superior to my teammates and became self-deceived in thinking I was a leader.  In reality I was just an inexperienced and overconfident young manager making mistakes and alienating my team. 



During our interview, Gillian shared the fact that she had the opposite experience as a first time manager. While I was over confident and my ego was driving many of my actions, her issue as a first time manager was lack of confidence.  So, she sought the assistance of George Bradt, a trusted colleague and eventual co-author.  


They worked together to address Gillian’s lack of self confidence and, in the process, developed the BRAVE model; a model that can assist any first time manager. The BRAVE model eventually became the backbone for their book First Time Leader.


Gillian explained that the BRAVE model not only stands for the courage thatnew managers need to successfully lead their team; BRAVE also stands forthe following principles:








These are principles that any manager, whether new or experienced, should consider in the context of the quality of their leadership!

Considering that the average supervisor starts their leadership development process after 10 years of supervising people, this book and all its tools can help any supervisor, not just first time managers.


First Time Leaders Second Pic


Our conversation about behavior, values and relationships reminded me of a number of things I would change about my first management job.   While many people say that they would not change a thing, as I reflected on my first time as a manager, I have to admit, I would do a lot of things differently.    


Gillian said it best when she explained that our first experience as managers is a career defining moment.  As we struggle through our leadership journey, we need all the help we can get. 


If you work for an organization that can’t afford personal leadership development or if you happen to work with one of the thousands of bosses who don’t think that investing in your leadership development is of any value, I urge you to read the First Time Leader.


First Time Leader last pic


Towards the end of the interview, Gillian and I offer the chance to win a free copy of First Time Leader via Twitter.  Find out how on the podcast!


Sunday, 16 March 2014 20:25

On Serving, Leadership and Inclusion

A few years back, I was asked to lunch by an older executive who was not happy about an opportunity I had given to one of my associates. Even though the associate did a good job and was improving, the executive had a strong objection to the assignment and explained that “people like that” are not the “type of employee” who should be allowed to work on the project I had assigned to her.

It took every ounce of self-control to respond in a peaceful manner to this person and respectfully disagree. I have never forgotten that conversation because I was being told to exclude someone.

understand inclusion

We need to understand inclusion by exploring our exclusion tendencies. (Tweet This)

The reason I encourage my clients to seek to understand inclusion by exploring exclusion is because of conversations like the one I had with the executive. There are times when we all feel entitled to exclude others.   It takes a very strong leader to look within, reflect on how they may be justifying her or his excluding tendencies, and change those behaviors.

The executive that took me to lunch is a very nice person and highly respected.  He was articulating a feeling shared by others in the company.  This is the reason I wanted to share this story.

This week on Leading Beyond the Status Quo, I had the pleasure of speaking to Tal Shnall, a training and development expert who trains his staff members from a completely different perspective.  After years of training leaders who lead by serving in the hospitality business, Tal knows that the key for his business to succeed is to engage everyone in the team and include them in the process of serving their constituencies.

Tal quote

Tal’s tutelage enables every employee in the property to to lead by serving.  When they do this, all employees are engaged in communicating the value proposition of their brand and play a critical role in the success of their business.

During the interview, we also discussed the importance of feedback to the process of serving others and delivering a superior experience.  When we shared our thoughts on the difficulties of delivering and receiving feedback, Tal stressed the importance of listening as a way to learn from the other person’s perspective, and how it helps us to let the other person know that their opinion matters.  

 “Listening is key to making sure others feel appreciated and validated in their opinion” @tshnall (Tweet This)

Towards the end of the interview, Tal and I shared how we met on the social web via Lead With Giants, a community where hundreds of us are sharing tools and techniques that can help anyone improve the quality of their leadership.

As I say in many of my shows, developing inclusive cultures, listening, forgiveness, and other leadership techniques are easy to talk about, but very hard to execute.  Lead With Giants is much more than a social space where we share our blog posts.  It is a relevant source of information that helps its members address leadership challenges, share lessons and learn by doing! 


Our goal is to grow the community to 10,000 plus leaders who are leading positive change around the world.  Tal and I would love to have you join us!

Sunday, 09 March 2014 12:45

On Leadership & Forgiveness

This week on #HealthyLeadership we explored a critical and very difficult leadership trait to master; forgiveness.

It was truly an honor to have been joined by Professor Kim Cameron, an academic expert on the area of forgiveness and leadership.  Professor Cameron serves as associate dean and professor of Management and Organizations in the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.  He is a true advocate for the power of forgiveness and its relevance to good leadership.

If you are like me, forgiveness is not something that comes easy, especially when we are dealing with people who insult, exclude, or seek to harm our reputation in one way or another.   During the show, Professor Cameron and I explored what forgiveness is and what it is not.


Professor Cameron explained that to be a strong and mature leader, we need to have the courage to face those who may have done us wrong and present an objective description of the issue. Strong leaders overcome the desire to get even and are able to list the negative consequences because of the action taken against them.  Unbeknown to me, Professor Cameron researched the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Hearings in South Africa and has actually visited the prison cell where Nelson Mandela was held.  

Perhaps the most moving portion of our discussion was when Professor Cameron shared the horrid stories of the cruelty and horror that the people in South Africa and Nelson Mandela forgave.  If the story Professor Cameron shares during the show are not the best examples of the strength and leadership it takes to forgive, I don’t know what is.

Strong leaders lead towards a positive outcome by partnering with the other party in preventing the issue from happening again. This way, both parties create a collaborative partnership and a positive future for them AND the organization.  


Easy to say, but very hard to do…

Good leadership requires us to avoid our initial reactions when someone does us wrong.  To lead positive change when dealing with someone who has insulted, excluded or belittled us, we need to drum up the courage to rise above the other action and explain to that person why their behavior is detrimental to the success of the team.  Then, we need to lead the process of leading a negotiation of terms in which we will operate in a positive way.  


Strong leaders don’t hold grudges and set out to get the other person. They develop terms to establish and maintain a good partnership. (Tweet This)

Bullying should never be tolerated

One important item is that forgiveness does not mean we need to tolerate any type of bullying by coworkers or superiors.  If we make the effort to establish a positive relationship with someone who has done us wrong, and that person continues his or her actions, it is time to elevate the issue to HR, the school’s administration, or the authorities in cases of familial or domestic bullying.  

The show concludes with 4 levels of personal maturity that map to our ability to forgive others.  The levels are:

Level 1: I will forgive you only if I or someone else gets you back.  I can forgive you as long as you are punished.

Level 2: I will “forgive” you because it is expected of me.  I will "forgive" because those are the norms.

Level 3. I will forgive if you admit you did wrong and apologize.  Only then will I forgive you.
Level 4. My forgiveness is absent of conditions. I will forgive you because I feel compassion towards you. While I don’t like what you did, I can authentically forgive you, regardless of any circumstance.    

If you are like me, the process of forgiveness is one of the most challenging when it comes to the quality of my leadership.  At what level of personal maturity do you find yourself most often?


Sunday, 02 March 2014 15:52

From Lebanon to Puerto Rico

Leading through adversity and the atrocities of war


This week's podcast  is all about adversity, and we explored two completely different types.  In my case, a lot of the adversity I experienced was self-induced. Our guest, on the other hand, had to overcome adversities that she had nothing to do with; these are the atrocities of war.

As you will learn, Professor Hoda Maalouf, is a walking, breathing example of leading through adversity with courage, resilience and the fortitude to never look back. 

Hers is an amazing and emotional story of leadership.

The show starts with my own story.  As you may know from my previous shows and blogs that growing up on the island of Puerto Rico, I had it pretty good. I was a good athlete, always with the “in” crowd and, what we call in the states, a rebel without a cause.

Growing up, I had a difficult relationship with my father.  He was from a different generation and endured a challenging childhood.  This made him strong, but very tough and stern.   While he did everything he could to provide us with the life he never had, I mostly perceived him as being a harsh and critical father.  It didn’t help that I was a competitive tennis player and he was my coach. So, we experienced lots of conflict that stemmed from hours of training and doing something I really didn’t want to do.

As I grew older, I started growing my hair, hanging with the wrong crowd and doing things that, as I look back now, I am embarrassed about.  

Al - quote


You can hear the rest of my story on the show.

Throughout my journey I have failed a number of times and made many mistakes, which have inspired me to produce and host Leading Beyond the Status Quo and pursue my passion to help anyone who wants to lead positive change in life.  

Through the magic of the social web, I have met amazing leaders from around the world.  As I was planning the show on leading through adversity, I knew that Professor Hoda Maalouf was the perfect guest because of her lifetime of achievement and leadership through circumstances that most of us could not begin to imagine.

Unlike many of us, who are brought up in times of peace and deal with simple situations, like deciding what sport to play in fall or what college we want to attend, Hoda had to lead through a completely different reality. Like having to decide which road to take and survive the unavoidable shelling. Or, whether she should go to class after a long night of bombing.

During the preparation for the show, Hoda shared a vivid story of a quiet night at their country home when heavy shelling woke them up violently, scouring the quiet area with hundreds of heavy bombs. Two years earlier, their home had been directly hit by a shell, destroying the bedroom she shared with her sister.  With a mind full of horrid memories, her sister jumped out of bed and started to scream, urging Hoda for them to run to their aunt’s house, about 100 meters away.

Seeing her sister’s desperation and evaluating the danger of going out into the night, Hoda became strangely calm and ordered her sister to stay inside the house. Hoda, remained peaceful and calm and explained that it was very unlikely that their bedroom would get hit again and that the showering of debris outside was less dangerous to them if they remained inside.

At that moment, Hoda was no longer the sweet 17-year-old teen everybody knew her to be; she was now a fearless leader, strong and in total control, able to lead through any situation.

Perhaps the most moving part of our conversation was when she articulated her parents' debate about Hoda taking a dangerous journey abroad to pursue her education in the UK.  Just the process of obtaining her visa was filled with life threatening conditions and her father was initially opposed to the idea.  Her mother then articulated some of the most difficult words for a parent to ever say; “let her go”.

Hoda - quote

While Hoda and I have a completely different life experience, we have both leveraged the following leadership traits to lead through adversity:

•    Remaining calm
•    Never looking back
•    Acting with courage
•    Never despairing
•    Surrounding ourselves with people we love

It’s your turn, I would love to know how you have lead through the adversity in your life!

To subscribe to Leading Beyond The Status Quo on iTunes, go to:


This week on Leading Beyond the Status Quo we continue our exploration of the Benefit Corporation model, or “B Corps”; a model that can help you take care of your profit while taking care of your people and the planet.  This is what has become known as the Triple Bottom Line.

Dirk Sampselle, founder of B Revolution, Inc., joined us on the show to share how the B Corps model can help business owners take care of their profit by taking care of their people, their communities and our planet.

Dirk is a nationally-recognized expert in the Benefit Corporation legal entity and B Corporation certification.  He served as an author of the legislative memorandum used to advocate for the benefit corporation legal entity; it was passed in one state when he wrote it; it is legal now in twenty states!


During the interview I wanted to highlight the very important concept of adding socially and environmentally benevolent behaviors to the competitive proposition of a business. This is a huge shift from the traditional model that focuses on increasing profit and justifying all efforts as means to create more profit!

Let's face it, many efforts required to behave in socially and environmentally benevolent ways may negatively impact the bottom line in the short term.   

In the traditional approach, social and environmental behaviors are nice to talk about, but if they get in the way of the quarterly goals, they tend to be put on the back burner.  

This is why I believe so strongly in the B Corps movement as it relates to the concept of my show Leading Beyond the Status Quo.

B Corps are setting the stage for a new generation of corporate leadership!  (Tweet This)

Investors and employees want more than profits!

Investors no longer want just a profit return, they want to know that the business they are investing in is making an impact.  In addition, employees want to work for companies that can do more than just generate revenue.   Employees want to be engaged and motivated.  Serving their communities and themselves as a way to help a company succeed is a very attractive proposition.  


Becoming a B Corp can help business owners and executives leverage their societal and environmental efforts to showcase their overall positive impact as a business.  As Dirk explained during the interview, there are two parts that business owners and executives need to understand; the B Corp Legal Transition and the B Corp Certification.

The B Corp Certification provides a legitimate scoring model that documents and showcases the company societal and environmental impact!   This is a wonderful opportunity to help promote the company as a premium brand that can foster trust with its customers, its employees, and the communities where the business operates.

The B Corp legal entity on the other hand, makes the company legally accountable for environmental and social impact.  The traditional model for organizations focuses almost exclusively on generating profit.  The company can do anything they can to help society and the planet, but the organization has to rationalize every effort back to profit. Profit is THE bottom line.   

The B Crop legal entity provides an alternative by providing shareholders and investors with a way to hold the company accountable for pursuing the public good. In addition, the legal entity allows the corporation to specify what that public good is!

Is this good for business?  Absolutely!

During the interview, Dirk shares research findings that show B Corps are 60% more likely to survive an economic recession!

In addition, companies have an authentic marketing message.  B Corp owners, like Elisa Miller-Out, CEO of the software company Singlebrook, are reducing their marketing budgets because their community efforts are spreading the word about their business!

Interested in becoming a B Corp?

To find out more about becoming a B Corp, tweet me at @algonzalezinfo or email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  I will personally connect you with an expert at B Revolution that can help answer any question and get you started in your way to becoming a company that helps our people, our planet and your profit. 


Sunday, 09 February 2014 22:16

Are You A Failure Detective?

A couple of weeks ago, Angela Maiers joined me on Leading Beyond the Status Quo to talk about how to make the contribution that only we can make in life. In that show, we covered how important it is for us to connect and collaborate with others in order to provide the service and assistance that we were meant to deliver.

Speaking from my own experience, it takes a lot of focus to figure out our true purpose and the goals we want to pursue.  It then takes an awful lot of courage to take the risks that come along when we start taking definite actions to achieve


our goals. Personal empowerment is definitely NOT an easy undertaking.

This week, we are being joined by clinical psychologist and author, Guy Winch, to cover a 4 step process that anyone can use to become empowered in the pursuit of our goals and, most importantly, how to investigate our failures for clues on how we can learn from our mistakes to improve our results.

While there are countless people advising us to take risks and be willing to fail, there are not many advisors that tell us HOW to learn from our failures.  

The reason I wanted to have Guy join us on the show is because he provides a set of steps that can help us learn from our mistakes and improve our efforts.  

Guy Winch

In the interview, Guy advises us to assess our impact by becoming failure detectives.  We need to investigate our failures for clues that can help us learn.  We must then REPEAT our efforts and apply our newly gained knowledge as we pursue success!  

It is not enough to just learn from our mistakes, we have to repeat our efforts.   Success is something we find through trial and error. (Tweet This)

Guy feels that the secret to personal empowerment includes four steps. These are:

1. Define the goal.

Whether we are seeking a promotion, starting a new company, or becoming healthy, whatever the goal is, we have to define our goal! (Tweet This)

2. Taking action!  

This is where risks and courage become important.   At this stage we have to be willing to fail and muster up real courage to face the fear of failure. Like Pink asks in her song, ‘Glitter in the Air’;

“Have you ever looked fear in the face and said, I just don’t care?” (Tweet This)

3. Assessing our impact.

We should think of failure as part of the process; a critical component that will teach us what to do different. 

We need to become failure detectives in order to gain the knowledge we need to succeed.  (Tweet This)

4. Repeating Our Efforts.

Now that we are armed with all our knowledge and have momentum, we go for it again.  

Success is something we learn through trial and error.   (Tweet This)

It’s your turn.

Are you applying lessons from failure as you pursue your goals?

Or, have you yet defined your goals?

To subscribe to Leading Beyond The Status Quo on iTunes, go to:

Saturday, 01 February 2014 13:12

Can Leadership be Learned?

This week I had the honor of hosting General John E. Michel in my podcast Leading Beyond the Status Quo to tackle the question;

Can leadership be learned?

As the General explains, in the Military, their goal is to help individuals activate the latent talent that is within them to accomplish extremely complicated assignments.

General John E Michel

I completely agree with the General in his view that no one is born with all the necessary traits not only to lead, but to lead well.

During the interview, the General and I discussed a very honest article, posted by a student at K-State Collegian on her negative experience with a leadership program and her sincere opinion that leadership is something that can NOT be learned.   

While we understand the student’s perspective after she saw many of her peers struggling to lead through projects, we both feel that this is exactly the purpose of these leadership programs.  

Leadership is not something that comes easy.  It takes practice and courage to take the lead during difficult or chaotic situations.  The fact that the student and her peers struggled to lead is no surprise, and, in no way does their struggle mean that leadership programs are a waste of time.  

The main reason students go to college is to learn and learning often includes struggling and failing.  Good leaders learn from their struggle and failures,

General John E. Michel quote

instead of giving up and dismissing the experience as a waste of time.

During the interview, the General also debunks the myth that leadership in the military is about commanding others and barking orders.  Instead, he shares how military leadership is about creating inclusive cultures that involve people and use their strengths in the co-creation of a better tomorrow.

In his current assignment, the General leads men and women from 15 nations towards the collective goal of building a self-sustaining and independent Afghan Air Force.  This is the third global multibillion dollar assignment for the General.

Without the ability of all the amazing women and men that have worked with the General to learn how to lead through adversity, they would not have a chance of reaching their goal.  The General himself is a model of how someone can become a superior leader by learning from difficult experiences and careful reflection.  

He is an inspiration and a walking, breathing example that leadership can indeed be learned.  

To subscribe to Leading Beyond The Status Quo on iTunes, go to:

It’s your turn.

~Do you feel that if a subject matter is difficult, it should not be taught?

~Should we do away with college courses because some students fail at times?

~Do you have any examples that show how leadership can be learned?

You were born to make an impact.  

It may not always be clear to you, but there is a reason why you are here.   At some point, the opportunity will appear for you to provide something that ONLY YOU can provide, to someone that needs exactly what ONLY YOU can provide.   

Angela Maiers

The challenge is that you don’t know when that moment is.  If you are someone who is disengaged at work or struggling to find your calling, you could be stuck in the middle of your career, 10 to15 years in.  

Or, you could be struggling to find a job out of college.  

Not an easy place to be, after investing tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in your education.

This is why believing in yourself is so critical!

This last week, Huffington Post columnist and learning expert, Angela Maiers, joined me on my podcast Leading Beyond the Status Quo to discuss why we should never consider ourselves;

“Faking it till we make it”.  

Instead, we should pursue our passion in life with a clear understanding that we will be;

“Learning it while we make it”!

As Angela explained during the interview, the act of doing enables the process of learning. Whatever action you pursue, you’ll get to do better the next time because you will be able to reflect on it.  

I have worked with many clients that need to develop the courage to follow their passion and purpose.  This is very difficult, and pursuing our passion can be filled with obstacles, self-doubt, and fear.

Angela Maiers

Knowing how difficult it is to lead through those fears, I simply can’t advise my clients to go fake it til they make it.  Who wants to fake anything?  Not me, and certainly not my clients.  

During the interview with Angela, we not only talked about why we need to believe in ourselves and trust that the opportunity will come for us to serve others, we discussed three specific steps that she outlines on her Huffington Post article titled Tactical Serendipity.   

These steps are:

~ Getting out there

~ Connecting with others

~ Collaborating with others

In the interview, we talk in detail about these three steps, their importance to our leadership journey and, we discuss how to use the social web to expand our ability to reach others.  In addition, Angela and I dive into why you should trust the universe!


To subscribe to Leading Beyond The Status Quo on iTunes, go to:

It’s your turn:

Are you engaged at work and passionate about what you do for a living?

If not, how can you use the three steps above to create the future you want to live?

Are we slaves to a Negative Operating System that we don't even know we have?

Are our assumptions and belief systems leading us into conflict situations by blinding us to the truth of a situation?

I had the honor of interviewing best-selling author Bob Burg for my podcast, Leading Beyond the Status Quo.  Bob recently released his latest book Adversaries into Allies; Win People without Manipulation or Coercion, which I consider to be a leadership guidebook for any one of us.  The book helps us understand and control our own emotions while providing specific tools that can help us understand others and do the best we can to help others understand us.  

During the interview, Bob explained that we are the slaves of an operating system that we are not even aware that we have!  This operating system influences us to believe our own assumptions about specific situations, while in the process justifying our beliefs and missing critical information.  


Bob on OS


Under the guidance of our unknown operating system, we are likely to distort reality based on what this operating system is making us think! (Tweet This)

This is a great example of why I feel so passionate about leadership tools.  In order to lead past our assumptions AND reset our Operating System, we have to be willing to look in the mirror and learn about ourselves.  This belief system is a pretty dangerous thing and it is definitely a huge reason behind all the conflict we experience, and why it is so tricky and difficult to lead effectively through conflict situations.

In order to become better leaders, we need specific tools.   During the interview, Bob and I talked about two specific tools he outlines in his book, Adversaries into Allies.  The first tool is:

~ Setting our default setting of our OS to calm.

As Bob explained, in order to lead through conflict, we can’t let our emotions take control of our reactions.  We have to understand this and ensure we remain calm during stressful situations.  Many of us have a default setting of frustration and, in order to lead through conflict, we must remain calm and ensure that we consider that we are more than likely believing our own assumptions about what is frustrating us.

As with all the tools we share on Leading Beyond the Status Quo, these tools are easy to talk about, but hard to use.  To help us set our default setting to calm, Bob also provides a simple list of 4 questions, which any one of us can use to ensure we are not believing our own assumptions and letting them frustrate us or worse, infuriate us.  

~ 4 questions to help us maintain our default setting on calm:

  1. How is my personal belief system distorting the actual truth of the situation?
  2. How is his or her personal belief system distorting the actual truth of the situation?
  3. What questions can I ask this person that will clarify my understanding of his/her version of the truth?
  4. What information can I give that will help him/her clarify his/her understanding of my version of the truth?

To subscribe to Leading Beyond The Status Quo on iTunes, go to:

Contact us to find out more about how GIVE can help you.

It’s your turn!

What is your default setting?

How can these questions help us improve the quality of our leadership?

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