I See What You Mean

"I See What You Mean" is a weekly podcast about how and why we get on the same page with ea ... more

Latest Episodes

June 22, 2022 00:36:09
Changing Conversations To Change Behavior - Finding Ways To Connect

Changing Conversations To Change Behavior - Finding Ways To Connect

I've known this week's guest for 25 years. Terry Leberfinger has been a client, a fellow New Orleans Jazz Fest krewe member, a friend and now a podcast guest with uncommon insight into organizational change. Terry's an executive with a long background in transformational change. He's held positions in human resources, environment, health and safety, in settings ranging from offices to global manufacturing operations. He's equally comfortable on shop floors and in executive board rooms  - both places where he has a knack for changing conversations which change organizations. We cover a lot of ground in two episodes, and here are some of my favorite ahh-ha! moments from Part 1: 1:46 - What are people on the same page about as the pandemic winds down 5:57 - A different safety mindset following the pandemic 9:22 - Employees are taking ownership of their own well-being 20:20 - As executives our job is basically to remove variances 22:01 - A great perspective shift: Some small number of injuries seems acceptable until you ask leadership to name the people to be injured 23:23 - Some costs of injury are easy to add up. But one man documented costs we don't usually hear about - to his mental health, marriage and family. ...

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June 06, 2022 00:23:55
Can Better Governance Deliver Better Government? And Early In A Career, Can You Contribute?

Can Better Governance Deliver Better Government? And Early In A Career, Can You Contribute?

In Part 2 of our discussion, Richard Spires talks about the subject of his upcoming book - running government programs effectively and efficiently. We discuss the importance of governance not only for delivering program results, but also for building relationships and problem solving capability, generally. Richard also explains how cultivating mentor relationships and expertise - two of the 12 traits he wrote about in his first book - can help young professionals make valuable contributions to how programs are run.    Visit Richard-Spires.com to check out his first book, "Success in the Technology Field - A Guide For Advancing Your Career," and watch for his second later this year. Here are a few of my favorite ahh-ha! moments for Part 2 of our conversation. And please forgive the occasional audio "scratches" I couldn't edit out.    1:58 - Open and honest governance conversations lead to a better informed team with more options to solve problems 5:42 - How a senior governance team prepared the Internal Revenue Service to take electronic returns in a much shorter time than anyone thought possible. 9:35 - The trusted environment - even people who want to be open and honest will become guarded if they're not sure then can trust others in the room. 12:31 - The value of mentorship for young professionals learning project and program management ropes. 14:27 - The value of cultivating expertise ...

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June 01, 2022 00:40:20
Organizations Might Benefit By Zero Trust For IT Security, But They Need A Trusted Environment For IT Projects. Part 1 Of My Conversation With Richard Spires.

Organizations Might Benefit By Zero Trust For IT Security, But They Need A Trusted Environment For IT Projects. Part 1 Of My Conversation With Richard Spires.

If you're not a technologist (I'm not), you might think success in a technology field hinges on technical knowledge. Technologists know exactly which technical knowledge and skill is required for success, and they know there's more. Working with people? Check. Understanding business needs? Check. Listening, negotiating, problem solving? Checks all around. And my guest this week will tell you that's not all.  Richard Spires is an accomplished technologist who will tell you that in every leadership position he's held, getting people on the same page was key to success. It wasn't the only key. But team and stakeholder misalignment will sink a small technology project or a major modernization, just the same. As happens in great conversations, Richard and I lost track of time and ran long, so I'm publishing it as two episodes. Part 1 examines the people skills organizations need in their technologists. Part 2 will focus on what it takes for government to operate effectively and efficiently. Please forgive the occasional audio "scratch" I couldn't edit out.  Listen in and be sure to visit Richard-Spires.com to check out his first book, "Success in the Technology Field - A Guide For Advancing Your Career." Here are a few of my favorite ahh-ah! moments from Part 1: 2:45 and on - Technology is delivered through projects, and one's ability to manage projects effectively is critical to technology's success. And that requires the leadership of people. 5:55 - A definition of "technologist" that might surprise you - but makes perfect sense. 10:03 - When very senior people see very large technology projects… very differently. 12:15 - Constant communication is critical in part because project plans change the moment a project is kicked-off 19:34 - Why creating a trusted ...

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May 25, 2022 00:48:35
Can A "Same Page" Emerge If We Manifest It With Others? Susan Parente Says, "Yes."

Can A "Same Page" Emerge If We Manifest It With Others? Susan Parente Says, "Yes."

When I teased Susan Parente about the eight designations behind her name - eight! - her response said a lot about her. She laughed and said she not only loves learning, but she teaches subjects which lead to certifications. So all the letters are a selling point for students who would think it fun to take a class from someone who loves certifications. And that about sums it up. Astute. Insightful. Self-aware. Passionate. Susan's sees black and white with an engineer's mind, while helping students find their way through their own gray areas, with a lot of heart. She creates an environment for students to discover things about themselves, while teaching them the rights and wrongs of project management and cybersecurity to pass certification exams. She loves working independently to produce a deliverable, and loves extra time with students who seek her assistance. I had a lot of fun talking to Susan, and I learned a lot. Here are some of my favorite ahh-ha! moments: 1:00 - 4:00 - How I switched from "I don't want to be a teacher," to "teaching is my passion." 5:28 - When I started my business but before I made any money, I did pro bono work to literally speak my future into being. 9:53 - "Students say, "What I'd really like to do is…..but…." And it's the "but" that stops them. 17:05 - To teach is to create a safe space for learning not just a topic, but to learn about oneself. 19:54 - Maintaining a beginner's mind to facilitate learning 24:13 - We can't learn if we're afraid of failing 36:14 - I grade for class participation but never grade someone down for saying something wrong. Discussion is when ...

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May 05, 2022 00:33:22
Another Admirable Bundle of Contradictions - Part 2

Another Admirable Bundle of Contradictions - Part 2

This episode begins with Lola Stith and I recounting a time when, as a company exec, I turned down an offer of help from her in a way that made her wonder if being a woman of color was one of the reasons. We talk about how she sorted that out for herself at the time, and what we learned discussing it years later. We discuss key attributes of misunderstandings between people, and how those attributes take on different nuances in different situations. We discuss respect for oneself and others, and how getting on the same page in situations can strengthen trust in relationships. Here are some of my favorite ahh-ha! moments from Part 2: 1:29 - "You didn't do anything that made me think gender bias....but....there was one time...." 6:11 - How getting on the same page builds trust and strengthens relationships 12:25 - "How did you maintain composure when you felt attacked, and keep asking for more information?" 16:56 - Your feelings in a situation are also legit, so what's a good way to work them into the conversation? 23:10 - Showing children respect so they respect themselves 26:21 - Disrespectful behavior toward others begins when you stop respecting yourself ...

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April 27, 2022 00:26:07
Another Admirable Bundle Of Contradictions - Part 1

Another Admirable Bundle Of Contradictions - Part 1

Meet Lola Stith and she's quiet, unassuming, cooperative, hard to read. Know Lola and she's focused, determined, uncannily perceptive, catch-you-off guard funny, and perceptive. Said that twice, didn't I. Because she is, twice.   I had the privilege of working with Lola 10 years ago. We caught up recently when I called to ask if I ever exhibited gender bias toward her. That question came up in preparation for an episode with Karen Newnam, and I reached out to ask women who'd worked for me. Lola's answer surprised me and we had a great conversation about it (we get into this in Part 2). We also discussed gender in the workplace, implicit bias, difficult conversations and a few more getting on the same page challenges - and decided to keep the conversation going and record it. So here are a few of my favorite ahh-ha! moments from Part 1:   5:41 - Letting my team know I hear them is the most foundational thing I can communicate. Getting on the same page as alignment. 7:46 - Managing reactions to change ranging from personal to business issues. 10:05 - Leading change and listening to my team - because I don't know everything! 14:33 - Opening the door to getting on the same page. Opening the door to see what's there. 20:40 - Differences are opportunities - if you know how to discuss them. ...

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