Fearless Leaders — We need more of them

Today we are going to talk about this book series that both Cathy and Dr. T.C. North are doing, called Fearless Leaders. Let me tell you a little bit about TC and Cathy and then we will talk about Fearless Leaders; you’ll get the inside story.

Dr. T.C. North is a high-performance executive coach and speaker who accelerates individuals and organizations in obtaining their visions and dreams by becoming high performers. Dr. North has also trained professional sports teams, Olympic teams and numerous elite, world-class athletes in the art of creating thoughts and emotions that maximize success. Additionally, he’s a professional speaker on topics of Fearless Leaders and Blast Through Fear. He’s been featured on TV and radio and in business and scientific journals. His website is www.tcnorth.com.

Cathy red 125 pxDr. Cathy Greenberg is the co-founder of the program she and I do together Xcel Institute, as well as an author, speaker, consultant and International Coaching Federation certified coach who has been named a world-wide authority on leadership and human behavior by all major business and financial news organizations. She’s also a popular media spokesperson on outlets such as Fortune, Oprah Magazine, and Working Mother. She has also been named one of the Top 100 Leadership Coaches by the Executive Excellence Magazine. She’s an engaging speaker, business and talk show host with me right here on Voice America-Leadership Development News.

Dr. Relly Nadler: TC welcome to the show.

Dr. TC North: Thank you Relly, great to be here and “hi” Cathy.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Hey TC, I can’t believe we are all in the same place.

Dr. Relly Nadler: Yes, we are really excited to have you. I know, TC, you and Cathy have been talking about  Fearless Leaders and there’s a lot of books in the making, and I think I’ll partake or help in one of them, but let me ask you a few questions and TC, we’ll kind of bounce back and forth and feel free both TC and Cathy to chime in because I know you both have a wealth of information.

You and Cathy are writing a book, and speaking and training on the Fearless Leader. So, can you just say a little bit TC? You’ve been working with this concept for a while. What is a Fearless Leader and how long have you been focusing on it?

Dr. TC North: I’ve been focusing on this for 25 years. My background was originally sports psychology and then I started working with business leaders about 22 years ago and really translating what I learned in high-performance psychology with athletes into business. So then, joining with Cathy, what we have come up with is really four basic pieces to what is a Fearless Leader. Let me say, this is the leader of the future. There are leaders today like this, but what we need is more. The four pieces are:

  1. Act with Inspiring Courage.
  2. React with Resilience which is the focus of the EI work that you and Cathy do.
  3. Think from a Higher Consciousness.
  4. Excel with an Unrelenting Fire.

It’s interesting that you’ve said previously that only 20% of folks in business these days have passion. I think that people crave leaders like this that they can not only bring in business and good financial return, but they do it with morals, they do it with ethics, and they do it with a consciousness of how does it impact the whole world, not just their organization.

Dr. Relly Nadler: That’s great. We’ll get more into each of those four areas. Maybe Cathy you could say a little bit about your interest and what is important now for leaders to be fearless.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: You know about 10 or so years ago when I was still very actively engaged in the consulting world, we often were interested in the ability of leaders to truly be fearless in the face of adversity, in the face of what we called growing economic challenges, both as individuals and certainly as leaders. Over the years I have been fortunate enough to work with you Relly, and learn about Emotional Intelligence, and I’ve been fortunate to meet TC a couple of years ago. He did a program called, “Blast Your Fear” and interviewed me as one of his role models for how we do that. I’m sure there are a lot of people out there who could give you there story about blasting through fear every day, but I was one of the fortunate people that TC chose to record for his program.

Based on that, we started talking about the idea that leaders need to continually feed their fearless mental model just like they feed energy in the science of happiness. So, thinking about how we could take these concepts and build them into something that would be usable and applicable for folks, we actually have a Fearless series of books and the Fearless branded series will be coming out for the first time this year under the title Fearless Leaders. We have many, many, more titles behind that.

Dr. Relly Nadler: So to just kind of back-track a bit, and then we can hear from each of you; TC you said, Act to inspire, react with resilience, think from a higher level, and the fourth one was Excel with…

Dr. TC North: Unrelenting fire; I think of passion.

Dr. Relly Nadler: Maybe we can talk just a little bit about Thinking from a Higher Consciousness, this one seems to be more out of the ordinary. Can you and Cathy say a little bit about what that looks like?

Dr. TC North: Let me give you a couple of examples. In our work with leaders we are not limiting ourselves just to business leaders, what we’ve done is we are pulling from leaders from all areas; business, government, humanitarian, sports and spiritual leaders. One of the interesting things, Relly, is the way leadership has changed over the last couple of decades; it’s becoming more and more what I would call psychologically feminine centered. It’s collaborative, it’s communicative, it’s not the hard driving punch in between the eyes kind of style that we had decades ago that served us well then, but it’s really morphed into psychologically what I call more of a feminine style that fits the psychology of women leaders very well.

Some of the women leaders that have emerged in the last couple of years have just blown my mind with what they have done. The woman who essentially liberated Liberia – she started out with $10 and 7 women. She won a Nobel Prize because she took this group of 7 women who were all Christian and then another group of Muslims and they joined forces and they literally ended a 14-year war by creating a protest with some very unusual tactics, like they all stripped naked in front of a building and wouldn’t leave until the men settled the war.

That’s such an act of courage. Of course they were beaten down in the process and they were beaten up, and they were actually laughed at initially. How can 7 women change a country—stop a war? But they did. That’s the phenomenal acts of courage that we are seeing in the humanitarian world right now, a lot of them in Africa. That takes an amazing amount of courage and it takes an amazing amount of resilience because they are constantly running into resistance for what they are doing.

Dr. Relly Nadler: Cathy, it would be great to get your comments on that. This idea of thinking from a higher consciousness really is very strategic, different and unique—I’m sure it caught people really off-guard about how to respond to it.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: I take a similar view to my obviously esteemed co-author on the book, TC North. However, my view comes from a much more what I might call practical place in working with Working Warriors. So I’m working with military and paramilitary forces—much different than the women that TC just described. But, the passion for their peace keeping mission is just as strong. The distinction I would make with our Working Warriors is that they have training that specifically addresses both the conscious and the unconscious. As all three of us know, when we talk about leadership and we talk about behavior, we have a tendency to react to something in our environment even when our unconscious is giving us information about it to override that with conscious behavior and conscious action. One of the ways that we see successful working warriors, whether they are policemen, special ops, or a military professional in the theater of war, is the distinction they are able to make with concerted effort, focus and practice on the unconscious and the conscious and then being able to determine which behaviors they will choose—most likely choose and emotional intelligence to react with and respond to because they are always the thermostat of their environment and have to be very careful about how others view them and their behavior.

While we both see the powerful results of the behaviors both described by TC North and these women in Africa and in government humanitarian movements, we see the same behaviors, however, handled extremely differently in our military and paramilitary forces.

Dr. Relly Nadler: That’s just fascinating and looking at what TC, you said earlier, just think from a higher level, acting with inspiring courage, reacting with resilience, and this unrelenting fire. Cathy is there one strategy to help people go from what is unconscious to more conscious that you’ve seen?

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Yes. One of the things that we train many of our working warriors in is threat assessment. The winners in that consciousness/unconsciousness battle understand all potential threats and scan for them realistically, effectively and then respond in kind. So, if you are in a situation where the threat is low, you are not going to be overwhelming someone and overpowering someone with all of your knowledge about how to quell a threat with tactics that you have at your fingertips, right? You could make choices about whether you want to use your voice, whether you want to use physical action or whether you want to use lethal action. A threat assessment and recognizing the potential threats and scanning for them helps you prepare for them better without overreacting and doing something that could cause you or someone else harm.

Dr. Relly Nadler: That’s fascinating. It’s really that whole self-awareness; being aware of everything in your environment that could really be a threat.TC, let me ask you a question in regards to this. There are a variety of leaders, leadership styles and managers who lead, executives in leadership positions, CEOs, Board Members—from your perspective, does it make sense for all leaders to be a Fearless Leader or it a subset—someone more at the top of the organization?

Dr. TC North: Nice question Relly, and I’ll ask you a question in return. Whether you’re following the CEO or you’re on a project team, would you rather work with somebody who has these Fearless Leader characteristics or not?

Dr. Relly Nadler: I think just as you are describing it—to me it’s someone who is highly evolved, very effective, high emotional intelligence, and so I would certainly want to work for them and then even from Cathy’s comments, I’d feel safer, whether it’s an organization or out on the battlefield with someone like that.

Dr. TC North: That’s exactly right. That’s why we originally were just going to absolutely focus on business leaders, then it became very apparent that this is really about any leader. It doesn’t matter what kind of leader you are, these are the kinds of leaders everybody wants to follow.

Learn more about how to become a Fearless Leader. Listen to the complete recording above, without commercials.




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