Fearless Leaders: Sharpen Your Focus – The New Science of Mindfulness

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Dr. Relly Nadler: This week we are going to be talking with Cathy, my co-host, about her book, Fearless Leaders: Sharpen Your Focus. You’ve heard Cathy and I talk about emotional intelligence, we’ve talked about fearless leaders, and we have talked about positive psychology. Cathy has brought all of that together in her newest book. On October 24th, it reached #1 bestseller in three different categories:

        1. Leadership and Management
        2. Small business and entrepreneurs
        3. Business Life

We’ll talk about her book and we are going to tap into Cathy’s expertise. You can also get a fully integrated webpage platform to maximize learning for coaching and human performance expertise.

Cathy is a 25-year veteran of the consulting and coaching industry. She began her career as a physical anthropologist, with a degree in behavioral sciences. She started with studying monkeys and apes for over a decade, focusing on the evolution of brain and behavior. She has been instrumental in developing human performance and organizational change methodology for global Fortune 500 companies where she was one of the top consultants for both Computer Sciences Corporation and Accenture. She actually co-founded Accenture’s Institute for Strategic Change, where she completed one of the most comprehensive research projects to date on leaders of the future with luminaries in the industry such as Marshall Goldsmith, Noel Tichy, Warren Bennis, and The Drucker Foundation.

She has supported professional coaching, one of the fastest growing industries that we have today with her insights on emotional and social intelligence and the science of happiness. Cathy has also been on countless media appearances across industries and national and global networks like NBC, CBC, PBS, CNN, Fox, and BBC. She is going to be traveling worldwide to promote Fearless Leaders: Sharpen Your Focus. Cathy also has an iApp. Can you tell us about that?

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: It’s called Your Happiness Now. It’s an iApp on the books that we wrote on the science of happiness, so that would be What Happy Companies Know, What Happy Women Know, and What Happy Working Mothers Know, as well as What Happy Coaches Know, which was a series that we did on great coaching and great coaches and all the tips and tools for those four related subjects on the science of happiness are all compiled into Your Happiness Now at the iTunes Store.

Dr. Relly Nadler: Let’s talk a little bit about your book. You’ve got to be really excited because I know this has been a process and hard work for a while now. Tell us a little bit about the excitement that you may have and what is going on with the book, then we’ll get in to some of the basic questions; maybe a little bit about your background and then some of the specific things about the book as a platform.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: It’s very exciting to see a birth, you know? Whether you are birthing an idea, birthing a child, birthing some kind of innovation inside of your organization, and in this case it was birthing a book. It is very exciting, but of course there are a lot of labor pains. Most of us in life that have the joy of creating something, also know that no good deed goes unpunished. There are always the late nights, the rewrites, then the book gets printed and of course it has little glitches in it; the universe made erasers for a good reason!

We are very excited that the book is finally not only out there with the Amazon White Glove campaign that was lead by Michael Drew and Promote A Book and also Bill Gladstone at Waterside Publishing, but Amazon really got behind the book as did eleven alliance partners, including Viki Winterton and Daniel Marcos. There have been many, many wonderful people who have inspired us to move forward and do our best and to be courageous ourselves and model the way, using our principles. Of course, having you as my business partner in this endeavor has been a saving grace for me, and I want to thank you publicly for that. In fact, as we get to who have been the people that have been most influential in my career, you are now added to my list, Relly, for sure.

Dr. Relly Nadler: I’m glad to be on that list. Talk a little bit about who has been influential. I know you have an intriguing background with your parents, and then we’ll get back to this white glove campaign with Amazon. Let’s start out on the personal level. When you go back and look at the people who have been most influential; we always like to ask that question of folks to get that inside look at Cathy Greenberg.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: It’s funny. A lot of people have asked me this question in the past couple of years in particular, because the work that I have done with Navy Special Warfare and the work leading up to that over the years includes over 50 sky dives, being able to keep up with working warriors in light of what they do and the challenges that they face; they often would say to me, if you can’t experience what we experience, how can you possibly help us as a coach? Over the past decade I have learned from real working warriors what that means. Unfortunately, it also comes with some physical consequences.

Looking at who has been most influential in my career; two of the people who I talk about in my book as well, is my mother and father. Essentially, my mother was, as we know them, a burlesque dancer. You can make any interpretation of that that you would like. But my mother was a very sophisticated woman with many street smarts; by real I mean what we would call emotional intelligence. She dropped out of school when she was about 15, she really was not formally educated after that, and she became a professional dancer and was very good at her craft. I’ve had founders of the Navy Seal community say to me, what gives you your daring? Where did that spirit come from? I say it comes from my mother, God bless her and God rest her soul. She was a daring individual and she certainly instilled that in me.

My dad, who was a lieutenant commander during the Korean War, also in the Navy, he was UDT which means Underwater Demolition Team. My dad did not become a career professional in the military. He left his military behind, but we did have his ship’s bell in our dining room for many yeasr. Growing up my mother used it to call us to order, to call us to dinner, breakfast, or when we needed to be reprimanded; we heard that bell. The bottom line was Dad left that military community and became a singer, actor, a comedian and a TVN movie personality.

I had a very extraordinary childhood. It was filled with actors, singers, dancers, comedians, people who many of you would know if I named them by name. Growing up in that environment certainly creates courage, it creates confidence and it creates a will to continue to be successful.

Dr. Relly Nadler: Say a little bit about how the 50 sky dives started and I know you also want to follow up on some of the key people that have been influences for you.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Sure. I was very fortunate about a decade ago, probably a little longer, to be invited to participate at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle as an outside observer. What happens is during that decade, the group of individuals who were in education programs at the War College were what we call bird and half-birds; lieutenants and colonels who were in line for succession to general. Three hundred and sixty of these folks show up for a program and you do your best to support them by making behavioral observations about how they work in teams, how they make decisions, a lot of the things that you and I know now as emotional intelligence. When we were going through these what are called strategic crises exercises, which were then strategic decision making exercises which have now been basically, totally eliminated from that education process; they don’t do this program anymore. It was very expensive and we would bring ambassadors, representatives from different arms of the military and officials to the program. You would fit in a U-shaped table and in a crises situation room setting. It was an extraordinary high-pressure scenario for these very courageous individuals to participate in. While many people have the fortunate experience of being a part of that, it was something that the War College has decided to change.

They are still doing exercises just not the big group exercise anymore. In supporting that exercise, I was exposed to many great leaders and many great national figures who wanted to repay me for my contribution as a volunteer, because you do this out of the goodness of your heart and you do this because you are also picked by the War College for your skills and competencies.

I was fortunate enough to be invited to participate if I chose to, in something called a tandem jump by a group of individuals who specialize in that, which would be our Army Golden Knights, that’s the official jump team of the Army. Then the Leapfrogs which are the official team of the Navy Seal community. I was very, very fortunate to jump with those individuals. When you do it tandem, which I did early in my career with these individuals, you are hooked to them so you jump in a twosome. When you jump they are in control of pretty much everything including your life and how you choose to land and you pay attention and follow instructions. So talking about Fearless Leaders: Sharpen Your Focus, you also have to become very mindful of what another individual is trying to share with you which is an experience that could be life or death if you don’t choose to follow their direction.

After doing that five or six times, I realized that I really enjoyed the experience of basically, saving my own life, over and over and over again, and building the confidence it takes to make a jump and take the risks necessary to be successful. So I pursued getting my “A” license which allowed me to jump by myself. I think in total when I quit, I’ll have to go back and look in my log book so forgive me if I’m inaccurate, but the five or six tandem jumps in addition to the 50 jumps I did by myself, I have about 55 or 56 jumps total.

The last three jumps were not good jumps. In the last three jumps I had a bad landing and broke my toe. I tore the meniscus in my knee in another, and then the third bad jump was a jump that we had done called a halo jump—high altitude/low opening—and unfortunately I hadn’t been heat inoculated for a while meaning I hadn’t been jumping, and it was in May. It was about 40-50 some degrees when we jumped. It was nice and cool. By the time I hit the warm air at 110 degrees down there in Tucson, Arizona in the open desert, it hit me like a big heat wave and it knocked me unconscious.

So, I went unconscious under the canopy. Luckily I had a cypress. A cypress is an automatic opening mechanism. When I hit 4,000 ft in the air it opened for me. Then I regained consciousness when the hard opening pulled me up and I was conscious long enough to get myself set up for a dogleg, which is how you come into you landing. There’s always a big yellow “X” somewhere below you and you just aim for that “X.” I did, but unfortunately, I was landing very quickly and not in control as I should have been had I been fully conscious. I hit the ground very hard and wound up breaking my coccyx into four pieces and my L1 and L5 were fractured.

So, it was one of those situations where you make choices and you have to live with those choices the rest of your life, and I’m still living with those choices. Those things create physical anomalies that follow you through life. I was very fortunate to be able to jump with some of these professionals and as well with many civilians and I relish those days. I don’t think I would ever go back and do it any more.

I’d like to mention a couple of people who you had talked about that influenced my career besides my mother and father.

I have to tell you, Relly, you have been a great influence on my career for the last 8 or 9 years. Knowing you and working with you, being trained by you and being a part of your coaching cadre and working alongside of you and training the EQi, and so forth, I cannot thank you enough for everything that you have done to help influence me in my career, and my positive outlook on some things that are truly fearless, and we’ll just leave it at that.

Dr. Relly Nadler: Well, thank you so much. Why don’t you say something about Warren Bennis. I know he just passed away and you had a close relationship with him.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Well you know, it’s very hard for me to talk about Warren. He was a very special person in my life along with Noel Tichy, who, thank God, is still kicking and breathing and out there leading the charge. I am very, very grateful for the experiences I’ve had with some our truly wonderful thought leaders in the world of leadership development.

We forget that in the 1950s when people started talking about leadership, that it was not a science, it wasn’t even a subject that people could understand. Anybody who has been following the TV show, Masters of Sex, which is the story of Masters and Johnson, knows that in the 1950s we were discovering a lot of things and a lot of information was coming to the surface, and one of those was leadership. Certainly Warren and Noel have led that charge along with Ken Blanchard and some very well-known individuals today that I cannot thank enough for their contributions to my work and I’m still working with Noel.

Noel and I were just together a couple of weeks ago in New York with his 30-some MBA students from Asia. We were at IBM, Pepsico, Morgan Stanley, The New York Stock Exchange, Fortune, Business Week, and Bloomberg, all in two days. If that’s any indication of how Noel is doing with his MBAs at the University of Michigan, it will tell you that he is certainly a man on the go. He actually went to Morgan Stanley one evening, in addition to the day, and introduced his new book called, Succession. It comes on the heels of Judgment on the Frontline.

I’m still inspired by these folks. Frances Hesselbein came to the reception and of course many of you know Frances. She was one of the founders of the Drucker Foundation. She was also President of the Girl Scouts of America and is one of our true leaders in leadership development and she still runs Leader to Leaders.

It’s fascinating being in this day and age that those people who have most influenced my career are still leading the charge.

Dr. Relly Nadler: Well, and you are continuing to lead the charge. Let’s talk about how on some of the shoulders of people that you have talked about, you are reaching new heights with your book, Fearless Leaders: Sharpen Your Focus. I’m sure it’s available on Amazon, plus your website, www.drcathygreenberg.com. Tell us a little bit about this book and how it taps into you being a fearless leader, because it’s just from the experiences you have shared. I was thinking and I imagine our audience was; what do you do to deal with your fear and I’m sure that got transferred into some of the key tools that we will talk about.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: That’s a great observation, Relly. One of the things that I have learned about myself is when you truly understand your skills and your talents and the experiences that you have had in life and you can help others with that knowledge, and continue to move that discipline ahead, right, and that is what you and I do with every one of these shows, we move a discipline ahead. We start to recognize that we are truly capable of being fearless or facing fear and being fearless. That is what I’m all about in this book with Dr. T.C. North. I think that as we go through the show today, if I could share some of these qualities of fearless leaders and why we have chosen them for the book, and as we move forward we will talk about the platform; what the associated, integrated platform contains and how people can get access to all of this wonderful material.

Dr. Relly Nadler: You have the four quadrants that things are organized by and then maybe we will talk about some of your success principles. Why don’t you tell us about how the book is organized?

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Sure. When TC and I sat down and embarked on this publication, we started with TC’s success secrets. I want to make sure everyone understands that TC has been using many of his success secrets in his career for probably close to 30 years. He is a consummate professional who has been a very well respected provider of coaching and performance coaching in particular with Olympic and Sports athletes as well as CEOs and entrepreneurs. He is most recently been a very big part of the Western Union Global Learning and Development program.

One of the things that we did was we began to compliment each other in many ways. One of the ways that I complimented TC’s success secrets, which you’ll find in the book and there are 12 of them, is through what we call the ARTE of fearless leading. What I started to see was a pattern. The pattern reads like this—the ARTE, we cheated on the spelling of ART, of fearless leading goes like this:

A stands for Act with Inspiring Courage

R stands for Respond with Resilience

T stands for Think from a Higher Level of Consciousness

E stands for Engage with a Mindset for Success. A passion in your belly, a spirit that is undying.

When you approach life, any challenge that you have, with this ARTE of Fearless Leading, we believe from our experience from teaching others how to use these principles and there are certainly years that TC has been teaching and transferring his success secrets, that we really can help people build tomorrow courage which is very hard to teach and its one of the things that many of our Fortune 500 companies and our military and paramilitary try to instill in people.

It’s the quality of what we know as a Warrior Ethos. It’s the quality of people being ethical. It’s the quality of people teaming and understanding the difference between “we” and “me.” Fearless Leaders really endeavored with the ARTE of Fearless Leading, these principles to show us how success can be achieved once we allow our minds as Joe Thiesmann says so beautifully as one of our endorsers on the book, “if we allow our minds to flow free and live in the moment, as opposed to living in a state of conscious fear of what we have done in the past that didn’t work, we can truly be successful.”

Amy Edmundson, for those of you who don’t know Amy, she’s the Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at Harvard Business School, said, “Fearless Leaders tackles and teaches one of the most complex attributes of outstanding leaders throughout history, and that is moral courage.”

We are trying very hard to give people an opportunity to instill in themselves some masterful techniques that help them sharpen their focus. By doing so they get really clear on what they are trying to achieve, why they are trying to achieve it, what they want to be experiencing during this achievement and what they will be doing as a result of having done so.

In many ways, Relly, it resonates with your emotional intelligence. You write how you are feeling, how it went, what are you thinking, what is the other person trying to achieve. This is where you and I have always dovetailed in our work. There is a spiritual meaning to some of the things that we do that give people, if you will, intrinsic value in being motivated. We know that extrinsic motivators can do so much, but if you don’t really feel moral courage around what you are doing then why do it?

Find out more about Dr. Cathy Greenberg and Fearless Leaders: Sharpen Your Focus. How can you apply the principles and learn about the four quadrants to achieve success in your work and home life. Listen to the complete recording above, without commercials.




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