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Leading Beyond Your Circumstances

Download Amy Balog’s guide: Leading from the Center, Not Your Circumstances.

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About This Episode

Today’s business leaders are pulled in lots of different directions as they lead organizations navigating rapid change, meet the demands of home, and experience pressure to be all things to all people. Transformative leaders lead from their center instead of their circumstances so they can work from a place of calm, clarity, and conviction. 

 

In today’s episode, we’re joined by Amy Balog, the CEO of Connextion Point, who has worked with Fortune 500 executives and their teams to help these highly talented folks find a clear pathway for higher return leadership behaviors that directly impact business performance. She’s here to help us understand how we can have those same results.

1. If you don’t understand why you are motivated the way you are, it’s more difficult to succeed as a leader.

 In that situation, circumstances start ruling us because we’re pulling from external things to define us. When you’re centered a a leader, you are more prepared for the day-to-day curveballs that come your way and you can make much more of an impact.

2. So many people use busyness to hide who they are.

Amy Balog calls this “busy asleep.” They are sleeping through life, using busyness as a way to mask everything else about themselves. Eventually, this can have a negative toll both emotionally and physically. Sure, it’s okay to love your work, but are you working so much that you’re losing yourself in the process?

3. We’re always evolving.

As you become more centered as a leader, make sure you’re always revisiting the questions that helped you reach that point. Don’t ask yourself these questions just once and think that you’re good. You’re always asking and thinking through the questions that helped you find yourself in the first place.

 

How would you describe being “centered” as a leader?
You don’t need to answer this out loud, but over the next few days think about what motivates you as a leader. What drives you? What is healthy and unhealthy about those motivations?
What type of questions can you ask yourself to become more centered?
As a leader, how could you help your team find their center?

We underestimate the power of how much we will actually change our future selves.

Amy Balog

Questions are the vehicle to learning what we need to understand about ourselves.

Amy Balog

To operate from your center you have to have a powerful relationship with your job, your talent, and who you are.

Amy Balog

Leaders hold the energy of the organization.

Amy Balog

(02:15) Amy Balog answers the question, “If you could audition for a talent show, what would the talent be?”

(06:25) Amy explains what it means to “lead from the center,” and how that looks during the day-to-day realities of running a business. 

(08:29) How does one find their center?

(12:10) “What do I choose to center myself around?”

(12:28) All of our decisions come from us understanding what’s valued most in us and having the words to describe that. 

(13:43) Can your center ever be in conflict with the organization or the team they are leading?

(18:38) Leaders hold the energy of the organization. 

(21:01) What advice for people who feel like they’ve found their center but are concerned about falling back on their old habits?

(23:16) Questions are vehicles. You can find yourself through amazing questions. 

(24:08) Do we tend to lose our center as we age and as we go further into our career?

(29:04) As a leader, how can you help your team find and understand their center?

(33:53) So many people use busyness to hide who they are.

(35:20) We’re always evolving.

(36:32) This week’s one next step: Download our guide from Amy Balog titled “Leading from the Center, Not Your Circumstances.” 

Amy Balog:

There’s been a lot over those years, we’ve written about executive presence and, you know your mojo, you’ve got a strong, solid voice. You come in, articulate, but there’s relational presence to be able to go in and be aware that I have to be calm and at peace with myself with I’m going to introduce tension in this room. I’m going to pull somebody in the conversation that might not want to be pulled in all of those things. You have to be in your center.

Speaker 2:

Welcome to One Next Step. The most practical business podcast in the world, helping you get more done, grow your business and lead your team with confidence, with tips and tools you didn’t get in business school. Here are your hosts, Tricia Sciortino and Lisa Zeeveld.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Welcome to one next step. The practical business podcast that helps you run your business. So it stops running you I’m Lisa Zeeveld.

Tricia Sciortino:

I’m Tricia. Today, we’re talking about how to become a leader who is no longer having your schedule, focus, energy or mood dictated to you. So the question really is, how do we maintain control of ourselves regardless of what’s going on in our business?

Lisa Zeeveld:

That’s why Amy Balog is joining us on the podcast today as an executive coach and facilitator, Amy has worked with fortune 500 executives and their teams to find a clear pathway to leadership behaviors with a high return and a direct impact on business performance. She’s known for her coaching process that’s helped leaders transcend their circumstances to develop greater adaptability and deeper authenticity.

Tricia Sciortino:

Let’s be real here, guys. It’s time to lead beyond our circumstances. Here’s our conversation with Amy Balog.

Tricia Sciortino:

Hey, Amy, welcome to the one next step podcast.

Amy Balog:

I am so delighted to be here with you guys. I am totally delighted.

Tricia Sciortino:

We are too. We are kind of fans of yours. So we’re excited to have you on, of course, excited to have you on the podcast today.

Lisa Zeeveld:

I’m going to say more than a fan, right? We’re clients.

Tricia Sciortino:

True, very true. Yes.

Lisa Zeeveld:

We’re so much of a fan that we’re a client. So welcome.

Tricia Sciortino:

That’s right. That’s right. And we were not paid to say that everybody. It’s just we believe in Amy and what she’s doing. Well before we get started, we’d like to start off with some fun, fun as a core value of ours. So here’s a fun question for you. If you could audition for a talent show, what would the talent be and why?

Amy Balog:

Oh, well, I know that if I could remake myself, I would actually be able to sing a tune. I can’t, that’s not possible. And I won’t even try here to scare anyone, but I won’t try. But I would be a singer and the song I would actually sing, cause I’m a big Coldplay, is a sky full of stars because it is song about it is a beautiful lyric about unconditional love and it’s really powerful. And every time that comes on I’m taken somewhere, right. So I would love to be able to stand on a stage with stars all around and sing that out to the universe. That would be what I would do.

Tricia Sciortino:

I feel like the link to that song has to go in the show notes episode of this podcast.

Amy Balog:

It’s incredible. I love it. I love it.

Lisa Zeeveld:

But you know, I have to say I’m quite surprised because you, I feel like you’re a natural performer. So outside of maybe not having the voice you want, were you a performer? Did you play in the band? Were you on stage?

Amy Balog:

I was always volunteered in all my corporate career for a number of improv, stage acting, stuff.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Oh, I’m not the only one who sees that.

Amy Balog:

Yeah. I did an entire Monty Python skit with co-workers down in Plano, Texas when I worked for EDS. And it was one of the highlights of my year at that company.

Tricia Sciortino:

Oh, I love that! I love that!

Lisa Zeeveld:

I feel that you’re a fellow thespian. You missed an opportunity there, Amy.

Amy Balog:

Yeah. I kind of dangerous that way.

Tricia Sciortino:

I love it. Well, before we move on now we have to know LZ. What would your talent be? What would you do for a talent show?

Lisa Zeeveld:

Yeah. Oh goodness. You know, I’ve always wanted to play an instrument. So I did dab. I don’t think I have the voice anymore, but I, myself was a thespian, and I sang and danced and performed in theater. But I can’t read music, and so I’ve never learned how to play an instrument. And I think that is quite a super power in and of itself. The piano.

Tricia Sciortino:

You guys could have a band. And I would actually like to be a dancer so I can be behind you. I could be the sideline girl.

Amy Balog:

It’s one of those things. When I was in high school, I wanted to be Pat Benatar too.

Tricia Sciortino:

Oh, she’s pretty bad. Yeah.

Amy Balog:

I cut my hair like hers back then. Yeah.

Tricia Sciortino:

Yeah, I mean, I can see it now. Just get a little gel in there, you could spike it real good.

Amy Balog:

Absolutely.

Lisa Zeeveld:

I mean, she is so cool. Yeah. I mean, who would not want to be Pat Benatar?

Tricia Sciortino:

Yeah, she was pretty cool cat.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Yeah, she is. All right. So Tricia, you’re a dancer.

Tricia Sciortino:

Yeah. So I, that would be what I would love to do.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Is there a particular style?

Tricia Sciortino:

Well. Yeah. I mean, crunk or some hip hop. That was just my arm brandeis.

Lisa Zeeveld:

While playing the piano, I have to make sure that it’s a hip hop version. It’s like a hip hop, my perogative dance.

Amy Balog:

I would take my back out trying to do that. Right.

Tricia Sciortino:

I would too, that’s why it’s a dream in another life in another body. Maybe I’d be a really cool dancer. Not in this body. I mean, the electric slide is all I got. So I’ll stick with that.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Cupid shuffle, maybe.

Tricia Sciortino:

Yeah, some wobble. I can do all those things. Those are fun.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Oh, that’s awesome. Well, hey, I think this is a good transition then, right? Because we’re talking about what our deepest, darkest desires are maybe not deepest darkest, but if we had a special talent, all right, let’s transition into this. Amy, you talk about a concept. We love it. And Tricia and I were both saying before the interview, we were so looking forward to this. Can you explain, what does it mean to lead from the center and what does it look like within the day to day realities of running a business?

Amy Balog:

Sure. Well, it is a term that became missional to me in my practice over the last 13 years, many years ago, working with leaders that literally are at full pitch of life, leading the largest endeavor in their business, in their careers ever have the greatest responsibility and a lot of family. And, we talk about wellness and mindfulness and all these things. This is a deep, deep knowingness and a peace with it. It’s a peace with the knowingness. And so it’s a place where you’re so rooted down. You’re so aware to wake. And so rooted down that you, as we’ll talk about further in our time together, you are able to choose from wholeness and being in that place, in center, allows you an extraordinary strength to go through things that are unknown and highly volatile.

Amy Balog:

And in circumstances, as we now have just experienced, look at what we all just went through. Something that every corner of the world has experienced with COVID and all of the fundamental changes that have happened to so many systems, organizations around the world. This place of center, I didn’t realize how much meaning it would take on right now. And it was meaningful before all of this even started. But to me in the work I do with my clients that are in the throws of very big, big roles in their life, I came to understand it as an essential thing, to help people guide themselves into, as a fundamental thing that you just can’t walk forward without it being from center.

Tricia Sciortino:

So how does one find their center? Is it different for every person? Right. So is it uniquely you?

Amy Balog:

Yes, it is uniquely you. So one of the ways, and that’s a fantastic question by the way, because doesn’t it sound like I’m asking someone to go up on some hill or go into a monastery for a while or do something like, where you have to really like, do these kinds things. Yeah. Meditation, and actually, I had to break it down into really practical, almost an anatomy of how to get to it. And that’s what’s nice about the format of this show that you have in this dialogue that you’ve created for everyone, because they’ll have a takeaway to help them with this. So I want you to imagine that you have a relationship with three very powerful things. You have a relationship with the job you do, which is your vocation right now, what it is that you’re leading, going to, you’re guiding and leading others, making money, putting this into the world, the vocation, the job.

Amy Balog:

And that’s what we know we do. And of course a great amount of society is we’ve placed our entire identity in just that thing, right? It’s like it takes 80,000 hours of our life, plus. It’s where we spend a lot of time. So the job.

Amy Balog:

But then behind that is talent. And talent, this is really one of the most extraordinary findings of my 13 years. Talent is the vessel upon which you, no matter what you’re doing, no matter what vocation, it is truly what you trust in yourself by way of skill, gifts, experiences that all convolute that you can put into anything. It literally transcends. And in a way, no matter how big your job is your talents always bigger because it’s this multidimensional thing. It is this what you deeply trust. And one of the interesting findings for me is, when I work in leaders who have seen a lot of rodeos, and meaning that they have decades of impressive experience, we all can get to a place where we have trouble articulating what our talent truly is. And to get to center is you have to know, you have to be able to find that voice of your agency.

Amy Balog:

And I have to really go into a place where I do reflective exercises with my clients to help them get to that place. And once you have a vernacular for it, it’s incredibly powerful. And then there’s person. So there’s job, talent, person. And person is forget your career, forget your achievements, forget the next thing you’re knocking out of the park, all of that stuff. And just being who you are and how you understand and experience the source of the quality of your life by being loved, loving others, just being present to life and being present to the arc of life. Like, I’m 55, right? So it’s like where I am in the arc of life, in the story of my life, that isn’t dependent upon me being an executive coach with these clients. It’s really just me being Amy. And so to do the work of getting to center and you think, Oh my gosh, that’s massive.

Amy Balog:

But really what’s interesting is through some really powerful reflection, and we actually give a little bit of foothold by the end of this program with some of the work we leave behind, is even the simplest, most powerful questions can start leading you to a place where you can start to begin to see your center. And I know that’s kind of a long answer, but it’s really your wholeness. And that’s how to get in there is through really powerful questions. Like for instance, even this question, what do I choose to center my life around? You think, wow, well, what is that? That’s a big question, but we can break it down and really get to the bottom of what that is. Questions are our vehicle to what we need to understand about ourselves.

Lisa Zeeveld:

So what I think that you’re getting to, and again, I expect you to correct me if I’m wrong here is that all of our decisions and the main one here being, talking about being a leader comes from us really understanding what is valued and important most in us and having the words to also describe that.

Amy Balog:

That’s absolutely right. And it’s so dangerous to go into situations where so much is demanded from you. And you know what, in every season of our life and in different situations, new things are demanded. And if you don’t know what you are doing within, if you don’t have a sense of what really, why, you’re motivated the way you are or what you really want and need and how you would articulate and understand it, how you would trust yourself. And how you would trust yourself when you’re learning something you’ve never done before, right? All those things. If you don’t have that, it’s all that more difficult. And that’s when circumstances become the thing. The circumstances start ruling us because we’re pulling a lot of what we think we’re about from exterior things.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Yeah. Can that ever become, can your center, when you find it, ever be in conflict? Have you coached leaders who their center is in conflict with maybe the organization or the thing that they’re leading?

Amy Balog:

Absolutely.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Because I would imagine they come to you and want to do work, and then they find it and they’re like, Oh, wow.

Amy Balog:

Yeah, I don’t belong here anymore.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Right. I mean, it can be dangerous. That’s what I’m thinking is it can be dangerous for some people. Yeah.

Amy Balog:

It’s ultimately liberating. But at first it’s pretty scary. Right? I’ve had all kinds of outcomes based on what you just set up in that exploratory thought there. Right. Because I’ve had some beautiful, beautiful stories where, I had a client that was so not connected to himself. And I call it busy asleep. A busy asleep is when you’re really, really, really busy, but you’re disconnected to yourself. And you could even be achieving a crazy amount of stuff. So I had a client who was literally lauded as one of the top leaders of his company. He was viewed as a future of his company. I mean, he couldn’t have more monetary positional success in every way possible. And he had so much deep disconnection that he was literally losing his integrity of his physical jaw.

Amy Balog:

He was gnawing himself to sleep with such powerful TMJ, that he was almost going to have his jaw shut. Because he was in such discord with what was going on around him and who he was. And he was just going full blast and he wasn’t slowing down and he didn’t know how to. And that’s a real thing for us. We don’t even know how to, we need someone to help us do that. And what that story ended up being though, is we did all the work, and, at first he was like, the natural reaction to that is I need to hit the eject button, I need to get parachuted out of here. I need to pull the rip cord, like, I need to get out. Right. And that’s not a good thing to do when you haven’t done this work yet. You don’t want to not be connected to yourself and go to the next big thing.

Tricia Sciortino:

So finding yourself where you are

Amy Balog:

Stay right where you are, even though it feels like hell, and let’s really work on this and let’s get you clear. And what was beautiful about that situation, and this has been a pretty larger percentage of clients I’ve had, is they end up staying. And finding fulfillment because they experienced with the circumstance. Once you’re in your center, you experience your circumstances different and they let go of things they didn’t think they could let go of, they set boundaries they didn’t think they could set boundaries. Because they become very clear on what they deeply value what they want in their life. And they learn to have the conversations they didn’t think they could ever touch to have. And so a lot of amazing and beautiful things happens. I’ve had other clients though, that come out of this journey and say, wow, I don’t belong here anymore. I literally don’t even belong in this career anymore. I literally must change. But that’s great though, because the clarity is so liberating. It really is.

Tricia Sciortino:

You are working too many hours. And it’s bleeding over into your evenings and weekends. You are missing valuable family time. And honestly, life is zipping by you. Sound familiar? Let’s get uncomfortably honest here. How long has it been since you were fully present and felt peace? It’s probably too long. You know how I know? Because I’ve been there.

Lisa Zeeveld:

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Tricia Sciortino:

I’ve seen so many people who just grind, grind and grind and grind and grind, right? And they’re suppressing just everything like machines. Some of us just machine work and don’t even stop for a second to know ourselves or know our families or our children or real life that is being sacrificed. So I find it so profoundly, personally effective.

Amy Balog:

It’s profoundly personally there, but it’s also highly organizationally impactful because leaders hold the energy of the organization. They hold the energy. And if you have the gentleman I described, what happened with his teams is they started being very careful around him all the time. So there was no candor. There was a sense of really he was limiting his territory in where he could be present to in the organization because he couldn’t be present to himself. So there’s been a lot over these years we’ve written about executive presence and it’s cool. I like executive presence. I think it’s great. You know your mojo, you’ve got a strong, solid voice. You come in articulate. But there’s relational presence. There’s relational presence. It’s I can come into the room and be totally aware of what other people need to do to experience themselves in this room meaningfully, and to be a part of this.

Amy Balog:

And it’s a whole different kind of presence. And I train on that and I coach on that. It’s very different for me. To have a powerful relational presence, to be able to go in and be aware that I have to be calm and at peace with myself, with I’m going to introduce tension in this room, I’m going to pull somebody in the conversation that might not want to be pulled in. All of those things you have to be in your center. You have to have peace in there because otherwise, without it, you can’t. They, themselves, when a leader hits a shelf life of something they’ve done, they hit the very top of what they can do with that. The organization’s right there, that’s it. Like your organization can’t go any further either, right? It’s just kind of all connected, right? It sort of starts to have that impact. And that’s why it’s so important for leaders, no matter how much experience they have, to constantly come back to these same questions and maybe get help to come back to them because the questions will be very different at different seasons of our life.

Tricia Sciortino:

Well, yeah. And I imagine it’s very easy to just swing back to where you were before. Right? So you might learn habitually, I mean, we’re all guilty maybe of this, for different things. We learn a new focus or a new skill or a new way of living. And then, two months later we’re back to our old habits, so any counselor advice you have for people to, maybe they found this and how do we not drift backwards? How do we not fall back on our old dirty habits?

Amy Balog:

Well, the leave behind would be very helpful for your audience, because we got to go. Because they’re going to go, I’m not going to remember this cause we forget more than half of what we hear in like, in five minutes. So the good thing is they can download these questions, but the counter agent to being busy sleep is remaining wasteful way of being staying awake. And so first it’s two things. It’s choosing from wholeness, which you have to at least say, okay, what do I really want in my life, and what do I need? Which are different things. We have to diligently and trust to do this work is understand what our talent footprint is, and then be able to have a compassionate objective view of what we’re really leading and how other people see it as well. And then to not fall back asleep and go back to dangerous patterns is, there’s a whole list I give.

Amy Balog:

The interesting thing about going back to patterns is it’s really unconscious. And so you have to actually kind of fight to stay awake. This is why I would like leaders that I work with to make dedicated rituals of getting away from every single thing, your family, your business, all the stuff, all the noise and take, maybe some of the questions we leave about how you are with the optimism, how you are, whether you’re really having the conversations, or if you’re crossing red lines, you didn’t mean to cross get away and really reflect on the most powerful questions to see what comes out of you. And I always believe the answers are in us. We just have to be able to give ourselves the space to ask the most powerful questions to let them emerge.

Tricia Sciortino:

It sounds like the show notes, it sounds like the takeaway from this one’s going to be a big, golden ticket.

Amy Balog:

Questions are vehicles, right. And, and this is the funnest part about being an executive coach and being a good coaching executive leader, the same thing, is the fun we can have to help people find their way with themselves, just through amazing questions. Right, that’s what you’ve got to do, but it has to be a discipline. It has to be like, gosh, every week or every month, or, whatever I do. You heard the stories about what was it like? Your Microsoft Bill Gates did it, and Steve Jobs, all of those guys go out and they take their go away from the world sabbaticals, which is what they, can do. But we all need to do that. We all need to do it.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Do you find, I’ve been digesting some of the things that you’ve thrown out here, and just like you said, that you really have to learn and revisit what your center is and these questions. Do you think that we end up losing what our center is as we age and as we go through our career? I’m kind of going back to some of that, like you talked about that executive presence or authenticity, do we think that over time we kind of lose our center and we’re going back to it with this exercise? Or is it something that’s sort of never maybe been talked about so we never knew what it was in the beginning.

Amy Balog:

Yeah. Well, you bring up too, another really great perspective and the answer is yes and yes. So some people have gone into their life. There was a old, old, old classic book called The Lemming Effect written years and years and years ago where it was a research story where they researched people who launched into their life, like right out of high school, into college and their life, and always did what everybody else expected them to do. Like they just became the doctor their parents wanted them to become or whatever. And they never really became, they never discovered themselves. And that’s a dangerous thing. Then all of a sudden, they were like, Oh my gosh, what am I doing with my life? I don’t belong here. So there is that scenario where we’ve never learned to ask these questions.

Amy Balog:

There is another scenario though, and it is a scenario upon which, it’s interesting, have you ever heard this saying that success is, it could be the greatest killer of innovation because sometimes we have success in our life. Let’s say we get in a job and we do great. And we’re very comfortable and now we’ve earned big income. Then we have this house that goes with it and we have all the people at work that think we’re great. And we just stay in that place, because, and then we, all of a sudden, it’s everything else that’s telling us what we are so we can lose ourselves from that standpoint. One interesting piece of research that I want to give to your audience, that I use a ton all the time is called the end-of-history illusion. And it is one of the largest studies that was ever done on how people experience themselves in the entire arc of life.

Amy Balog:

They researched people over decades from 18 to 80 some years old. And the point of the research was to help people understand what they thought of themselves as they age and went through the entire seasons of life. And what was interesting, the reason why it’s called an end-of-history illusion is the most fascinating part of that study is we all end up thinking at some point that you are the way you are right now, and that’s where you’re going to be for the rest of your life. Like in other words, the future self you is going to be the same as you are now. That’s what we can think. Like, I’ll still have this house. I’ll still have this thing I like to do.

Amy Balog:

And you think about yourself now and you go back. What was I like 10 years ago? What was I like 10 years before that? And what they say in this study, that’s so true, is we underestimate the power of how much we will actually change the future self. Like we will actually change. Like here I am like, literally, I mean, it me, in the last year, I was like, wow. So you won’t want the same things and you will, your body ages, and you want different things and different things. And so the reason why it’s potentially coming to center is just like life purpose. Our center is evolving. Like, what your life purpose is right now could actually take on an different thing, because you’re at a different place in life. The same thing with your center it’s evolving. It’s like, Oh, that’s why we just need to revisit it. It’s not so much I get this thing and I have it for the rest of my life. It’s just that I honor that I can get to my center all the time.

Tricia Sciortino:

Yeah. I love how you use the word evolving because as you’re talking, I’m sitting here thinking evolution, we are an evolution of ourselves and we evolve and we change. And we have, I mean, to your point, I can look back and see over the decades, how, what I who I was and what I desired, or what was important to me has evolved. It has changed. And so I have no doubt in 10 years from now what’s important to me will be different than what it is today as we sit here having this conversation. And I think knowing that is so important, there are so many people out there today. I know this is going off a little bit of a rabbit trail. I know so many people my age people in their forties or whatnot, they think like, this is it. You know, life’s over, this is the life I made. I’m done. And I’m like, no, you are not, you are just getting started. Let’s go. I love that, I love that so much. Thank you.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Yeah. I think I’m on the opposite end of that study Amy. Cause I’m like, I’m going to change next year, I’m going to probably change next week. That’s the military kid in me. Right. I always had the opportunity to change because we were always moving. But I do think there’s something about going back to the center and checking in of what has changed. And I love the free resource that you’re going to give to our listeners out there. To kind of wrap this up here, how, as a leader, how can I help my team with finding their center? Because I think, I’m a giver, you know, I don’t want to keep it all to myself. I want to give some of my secrets away. So how can I help them understand that? Cause I feel like way they would be better employees.

Amy Balog:

Yeah, well, I can’t tell you. This is where the guy, what you all have built in the companies and the work you’ve done is just so incredible because you really, this is if there’s any case for why you need a really good culture around people and talent is this because, if you have an environment where it’s just, I only know you by what job you’re getting done and that’s it and what target you’re hitting and that’s it. And that kind of culture, to broach these conversations, because to get a team there, there’s two things that have to happen. One is you have to be living it and talking about it. And you can’t be like a, you have to be a little vulnerable in a very powerful way. This is really why I’m here, what I need in my life. And what am I about, and what I trust in what I’m learning right now. All those things that I put into the takeaway to be able to live and model it and be at peace with yourself and have this deep self compassion with yourself.

Amy Balog:

So that, okay. Then the second thing is to really just open the space for these conversations to happen with people around you. And, you remember the Zappos, they did the thing where they were like, Hey, you know what, if you want to leave the company, that’s great, you can come back, but you know what I mean? We want you to really focus on your career and not just staying at Zappos forever. It’s this idea that we don’t want people to just be housed in trying to house our whole identity and just the work they’re doing for us. We want their identity to be expansive.

Amy Balog:

And I mean, I see crazy things years ago where I had one company where there was a guy that wanted to make a domain change and the company you wanted to literally get out of project management IT in the company and go into HR. Which was like, wow, and they were like, “oh, he can’t do that.” I’m like, why not? Wait a minute, hold the phone. There’s some things that he probably could do. And he was even willing to step down and start his career over again. I’m like, let him do it. Like, this is great, you know?

Amy Balog:

So we have to make room for that and your culture in the way you operate in what you have to say, this is the way we operate here, to allow people to do this. And I think ultimately that’s, especially now, in the generations and, whatever, I’m sure you have plenty of generational experts that you can talk. I mean, it’s critical now, nobody in, unfortunately in some ways, the zoom COVID thing for some companies has made it even worse, like more transactional because everybody’s coming in and out of meetings. And we’re going to have to learn to remember our humanity and remember the wholeness that everybody has. We’re not just clocking in and clocking out. Like Tricia said machines, we’re not machines. So we got to really make, and it takes time.

Amy Balog:

And the biggest thing is to slow down, like not being ludicrous speed in everything that has to get done, to be able to make room. It’s like, how are we having these conversations and not be attached to this has to have a target or an outcome. This just has to be, I have to honor the power of the talent of the whole person.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Yeah. I love that. Wow. Well, this has been such an amazing conversation, Amy. Thank you. Thank you for coaching our leaders over the years and just being in such an important part of Belay. You know, you have definitely have your fingerprint. We have your fingerprints on Belay. So thank you for sharing with us and for being part of the podcast today, I know all of our listeners are going to be super excited for that download, which is a guide titled Leading From the Center, Not Your Circumstances. So we’ll give our leaders the information on how to access that here in just a few moments. But thank you so much, Amy. It’s been a pleasure.

Tricia Sciortino:

Thank you, Amy.

Amy Balog:

Thank you for having me on.

Lisa Zeeveld:

So much goodness today with Amy. As I said, she has been instrumental for our leadership team. And so it was just a blessing to really have her on the podcast and share some of what she’s been working on.

Tricia Sciortino:

I know I’ve been sitting here mulling over, what are my favorite points? Right? One is my compelling takeaway from the conversation? I just felt there were so many things that she hit on that really resonate with leaders. And with me, even as a person that I have a hard time kind of singling it out to one thing that I would take away from this conversation. Aside from really looking forward to the download, everybody, but personally. But also the fact that so many people are busy asleep. What is the word she used, right? That, that so many people use busy-ness and it hides who they are. It covers the up what’s at the core. I love how she gave that example. And she talked about that one executive that she had been working with who really was just sleeping through life, just worked and worked and worked.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Oh and how it had physical manifestations for him too.

Tricia Sciortino:

Yeah. Yes, absolutely. So there’s so much there that it’s so much truth, so much unfortunate truth. You know, we as Americans, we love our work, but are we losing ourselves in the process? Right. And so what’s it going to bring us back to awakening, to not be busy asleep and realize there’s a whole life out there.

Lisa Zeeveld:

I mean, and she kind of talked about those three pillars, right? So like we have our job and that’s one part of who we are and we have our skillset. That’s another part. And then we have who we are, what’s important to us at our core. And it’s finding a way, you finding your center is finding a way that all of those are in harmony with each other.

Tricia Sciortino:

Co-exist right. Like one’s not beating up the other.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Yeah. It’s that, it’s like a three-legged stool. It all has to be equal so you’re not like rocking back and forth. You can’t have too much of your job and not enough of who you are. In with that I think it’s important to note that, as she said, we’re evolving. So this is not a set of questions you asked yourself once, this is a set of questions that you revisit often. And maybe you can be like some of the more well-known CEOs or entrepreneurs, I won’t do any name dropping, but you know, who are able to get away. Or maybe it’s just a lunch where you’re able to get away and think through these, because it’s way easier to go back to what we know and what comes the easiest. Right. Because I’m sure that finding your center is probably a little uncomfortable for people.

Lisa Zeeveld:

So you need to revisit it often. And then as your life changes and your seasons of life change. So could your center too.

Tricia Sciortino:

Absolutely.

Lisa Zeeveld:

I know we’re both, I mean, we’re both in seasons right now, personally. Yeah. I mean, we have children who are graduating and to be young adult children. And what does that look like in our lives? And as we continue to grow this phenomenal company and what our roles look like here, and I think it’s just a really great message.

Tricia Sciortino:

Yeah. I could not agree more.

Lisa Zeeveld:

So I’m with you. I’m going to get in that download. So, all right. You guys are saying, you’re talking about the download LZ, what about the download? How do I find it? Okay. So as I said, the download is a guide from Amy Balog titled Leading From the Center, Not Your Circumstances. So T how are they going to find it? Yeah.

Tricia Sciortino:

So text the phrase one next step to 31996 or visit onenextsteppodcast.com so that you can get access to today’s resource to help you keep moving forward. Thank you guys for joining us. As you navigate the uncertainty of the market, we encourage you to become more in tune with yourself so you can lead from your center and lead beyond your circumstance.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Absolutely guys. So start by making today count.

Lisa Zeeveld:

Be sure to check out next week’s episode when married couple and business partners O.L. and Sway Buckley will come on the podcast to discuss marriage, entrepreneurship, and how to properly involve your spouse in your business even if they don’t work in the business. Check out this sneak peek….

O.L. Buckley:

One of the things that we often talk about as a best practice is, is that wherever there’s weigh-in, there’s buy-in. And so while the spouse may not work the business or work in the business, it’s okay to bring home certain aspects, opportunities, or challenges and say, “Hey, here’s something that I’m dealing with within the business, and I wanted to get your perspective.

Speaker 2:

Thanks for listening to one next step. Be sure to subscribe on Apple podcasts or follow us on Spotify, then join us next time for more practical business tips and tools to help you get more done, grow your business and lead your team with confidence. For more episodes, show notes and helpful resources, visit one next step podcast.com.

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