Leo Bottary is the founder of Peernovation, a company and community which embraces a simple central theme: “The Power of We Begins With You.” He is an award-winning author of three books, and his latest one is called Peernovation: What Peer Groups Can Teach Us About Building High Performing Teams. He is also a keynote speaker, podcaster, adjunct professor, columnist for 'CEOworld' magazine, and a thought leader in Peer Group Learning.
* The power and importance of peer group learning
* Leadership is balancing challenge and support
* In school we learned collaboration is cheating
* Building a positive culture of accountability
* Re-evaluating our beliefs, confirmation bias, and the ladder of inference
"I continue to be a student of what I do. You'll never see me call myself an expert in anything. I remain a student, and it keeps me hungry, it keeps me current."
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I am Agi Keramidas, a knowledge broker and zealous podcaster. I am a firm believer in the power of self-education and personal development in radically improving one's life.
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Welcome to the personal development mastery podcast. I'm Agi Keramidas. And my mission is to inspire you to rise up, grow, stand out and take action towards the next level of your life. I interview leaders influencers, entrepreneurs, authors, exceptional people who can and will inspire you to improve your life, Jr for two episodes each week, and make sure you subscribe to the podcast to get the episodes as soon as they are released. In today's show, I am delighted to speak with Leo butare, Leo, you are the founder of of peer innovation, a company and community which embraces a simple central theme. The power of way begins with you. You are an award winning author of three books and your latest one is called pay innovation. What peer groups can teach us about building high performing teams. You are also a keynote speaker podcaster adjunct professor, columnist for SEO World Magazine and a thought leader in peer group learning. Leo, welcome to the show. It's a real pleasure to speak with you today.
It's wonderful to be here. Thank you so much for having me.
Leo, I would like to start with some background, some elements of your story. And I read somewhere you were talking about your road from me to we. So would you like to share a little bit of background and show that the conversation is more relevant? Sure. One
of the things you're talking about there. I know the context of that from the book is I talked about the fact that when I went to graduate school, and I went to graduate school a little later, I graduated from college in 1983, and didn't go back to graduate school until 2006. In my early years of being in high school and college, the idea of collaborative learning would have been called cheating, right decide to hit people working together in groups and teams and all this kind of stuff just wasn't really done. To the extent it's done today. So when I was in graduate school, and had to work as part of a learning team, that was a real learning experience for me in and of itself. So it was a place where I really understood really how to work with others in that kind of setting how to appreciate the gifts that other people brought to the table, and how to collaborate in a way that I think really set me up for a job I would eventually take with Vistage in 2010. Vistage assembles and facilitates peer advisory groups for CEOs and business leaders in about 20 countries around the world. So it's interesting because I remember joining that company, and people think, well, it kind of takes a long time to kind of see what peer groups are all about and how they work and what the concepts like. And I thought to myself, I got this like right away, because it was so similar to what my experience was in graduate school and how these teams work together and how groups work together and how powerful they are. The difference between being groups and teams being a group tends to come together so that people leave that experience, or participate in that experience for the purpose of individual benefit, right. So CEO peers come together so they can help themselves be better leaders, and you know, and help their organisations as well. Teams however, tend to contribute to a shared work product or work together to like win a sports championship or something like that, that only a team can do together. And I think so my journey from me to we really began with that graduate school experience and has since, you know, evolved over time between being part of Vistage between 2010 2016. And since leaving the company in late 2016. Working now, as of just this week, with over 200 CEO peer groups where I've delivered workshops that help them try to maximise the value of the experience.
That's great. Leo, do you want I would like to take a little step back now. And I would like to ask you, for someone who's have heard the word, peer group and there is obviously they have, they might have a vague idea of what it means Can you give your own simple explanations of the peer group and the peer group learning as definitions just for you know, to sit?
Absolutely. So let's talk about a CEO peer group, right? What does that look like and why do they come together? So let's say in the case of a Vistage group or are different, you know, organisations run different peer groups from around the world, right? CEOs come together and the first thing is they share Share this common challenge of sitting in that chair and making decisions for the entire organisation. So to be around a table with people who share that common challenge is number one, right? So they can kind of share ideas and experiences and learn from one another. Second, they want to have shared values about what it means to be part of a group, you know that they're not just there, it's not a spectator sport, you know, you don't just sit back and take in everyone else's ideas you contribute as well. And it's a very, you know, mutual process in that regard. And third of the diversity of experiences around the table. And those experiences come from the fact that people just, you know, are different, you know, different gender, different race, different industry backgrounds, different sectors and experiences and practice areas, specialties and all of that. So the idea of here are these peers, kind of people like me, who come together with the idea, as I mentioned, of how did they leave that meeting, or leave that interaction with one another over the course of months and years, and help them and their organisations grow? So that's essentially what peer groups do. And peer groups can take all forms, right. But in the business sense, that tends to be what it would look like.
So if I were to compare your description with a mastermind group, it sounds very similar either any do very much the same.
In fact, in in the book pure innovation, I use peer advisory groups and mastermind groups and peer groups interchangeably. In terms of the conversation. Absolutely. So mastermind groups are very much that
so that the learning if I will just say it, in my own words to say how I understood what you said that the peer group learning is the learning you get from the collective of the group by both contributing and getting answers yourself.
Absolutely. We talked about this in the book in terms of the learning achieving cycle that high performing groups tend to have a robust learning achieving cycle. What we know from social learning theory is that we learn better when we learn together, right? Josh Burson did a study in 2019. They talked about the fact and by the way, this study squares with many other studies in this area, where when we review a piece of material one time, we're likely to remember about 28% of it for 24 to 48 hours, and then it goes down from there. If we reviewed a second time, the number goes to 46%. However, if we engage one another in conversation and share experiences and ideas and kind of grapple with that content a bit, the number goes to 69%. The good news about groups is that they not only help us understand concepts better, and give us a higher comfort level with it. But peer group members tend to encourage and give one another the courage to apply that learning. And when they do and when they apply it and actually achieve positive results from it. It's a cycle they want to repeat. So this is what peer groups are particularly effective at. Because oftentimes, you know, you or I may read a concept in a book and think, Wow, what a great idea. But most of us are not wired necessarily to say, Oh, I'm gonna go implement that in my company tomorrow. That's just not typically how that's done. So this is where peer groups actually allow for taking what we learned in really, you know, you know, really, as a practical matter, just operationalizing it and you turn looing learning to doing.
Question, as a side note, you will mentioned in that study that shown how much retention there isn't the memory does. I think that taking notes as well, or writing things down at that time increases that retention of the memory, isn't it?
Sure. Yep. Because you're engaging a whole other part of your brain when you are doing that. Absolutely. You know, there's Oh, there's another aspect of this I talked about. There's research around when people go to conferences, they basically forget 70% of what they learned in just a matter of days, and then it goes away from there. However, if people go to a conference and recognise that their greatest learning asset of the conference isn't the workshop facilitator or the keynote speaker or whatever, but it's the other attendees, right? It's engaging them in conversations about, you know, the shared experiences you're having, that's what's going to drive up the learning experience as well. So again, we really learn best when we learn together, and when we put ourselves in a position where we can commit to doing that we can grow, you know, really, really quickly and really effectively.
I bet reading a quote, in your book, it's we'll see none of us is as smart as all of us and it's so it's so simple, but yet he describes I think perfectly with with it. To what we're seeing right now.
Yeah, it was attributed in the book to Ken Blanchard it but I know it's a it's a Jap old Japanese proverb. And yeah, there's there's pretty much no question about that I've been on so many teams where, you know, I mentioned in the book, I worked for a team called mullenlowe. And it was an advertising agency. And we would put together advertising campaigns. I don't care how smart all of the individuals were in the room, the campaigns we came up with, were a product of that collective intelligence, right? It was, and it was not a product of what any individual could have done, if they sat in an office and did it by themselves just wouldn't happen. So what we're capable of doing together is truly magical.
Let me ask you something slightly different, which I'm sure you know very well that some people are hesitant to ask for help from others. And they, they decline, or they they don't have this over, they don't give themselves this opportunity. Because somehow, and I can relate to that, because until a few years back, I used to think that asking for help is a sign of weakness. I mean, I can't do it myself. That's how I grew up. So what are your thoughts about, you know, being able to ask for help, without having any, any thoughts like that?
I think it's a sign of strength and a sign of resourcefulness. I think when we have assets around us in terms of other people, or whatever, and, and we're making no excuse me a conscious decision not to use those assets, that, you know, I don't think is a very effective way to approach much of what we do, right. We work hard to building relationships and building trust. And there are times where, you know, here's my rule of thumb in terms of asking for help, at least from from people, is, basically, I would ask them for help. Knowing that if they asked me for help, I would, I would have no problem reciprocating, right. So the idea of I have a trusted relationship that is close enough with that person that I will reach out to them and say, Hey, would you mind helping me with this? Because I know if they asked me, I would absolutely be right there for him to do the same. And this is how, you know, you know, just think of the whole, you know, Rise of human civilization. We did it in tribes, we did it together, we did it. You know, we weren't fighting the forces of nature alone, but we wouldn't be here. So I think it's essential that we look at asking for help, as a real sign of strength and resourcefulness and not think about it as weakness at all.
What are your thoughts on competition competition in terms of, you know, the way of thinking that the pie is limited, and you will take of Mine? If you if we're in the same field?
The Great question, I think, we need to think about how we work together to make the pie bigger, versus fighting for our individual slice of it. Right, if we have a finite understanding of what we think the pie is, then we're going to, you know, take this kind of, you know, viewpoint where we're going to be, you know, again, just fighting for this kind of limited, you know, piece here, where if we think more in terms of abundance, you know, how do we grow the pie? How do we work together? I think a great example of this is sales teams. You know, for many companies, the idea of sales teams is an oxymoron. You know, they don't work together, they just happen to be in the same field. And they're working in the same area. So they call them a sales team. But when you actually have sales teams, where you have people who somebody is really good at, you know, explaining a particular product or service, somebody is really good at closing, someone else is really good at prospecting, how they can help one each other be better overall at what they do, and how they can work together again, to grow their potential client base, you know, becomes a far more effective way. And by the way, you're not asking salespeople to help one another because they need to do it out of the goodness of their heart and help their buddy, you're doing it because every one of you is going to make a lot more money, if you're smart about how you work together and make that happen. And you know, I think that's really what it's about.
If I were to take it down a notch, you were mentioning earlier organisations and CEO so tell me how much or how little of this applies to a smaller business, which is, you know, a business owner and a team of people that work under chemo heard,
I think it's absolutely applicable. And I think for smaller companies, growing companies, companies that are looking to scale, making sure that you've got a really great set of core values, and you're hiring the right people who enjoy psychological safety, who were the focus on productivity, where people accept personal responsibility for bringing their very best, and leadership that really serves that right, who provides that wonderful combination of challenge and support for people, I don't think it's, you know, more important than at a time when companies are just getting started to smaller companies and looking to grow. And you need that level of commitment, and you need that incredible foundation that's only going to serve you better, as you grow as an organisation over time.
And I think it's very important. And it reflects in some ways, other things, how one operates in a team, whether they are the leader, or whether they're just a member of the of the group. So I would like you to share some thoughts on maybe the difference in a group of a leader besides the obvious, of course, and someone who is just, you know, a member, shall we say, of the day, that does not lead? Well, what's
interesting is, I think everyone can be called upon sometimes, there are certain people that are leaders of the team. But there are also leaders in the team, if you think about it. So it may not be that I'm the former leader of the team. But it may be that depending on what project we're working on, at the time, that my particular special area, specialty area becomes centre stage where I have to take a leadership role in driving certain activities for the team. So I think everyone oftentimes gets practice at being able to do that and participate in that. And I think it's essential, you know, as you know, in the book, it's the idea of the power of we begins with me. And it's recognising that as a team member, how much I matter, right, this idea that I'm not there to fill a chair, or just to, you know, fill a role, I'm there to make a difference, and how do I go about doing that. So sometimes I will be a leader of others, but I will always be a leader in terms of my own growth, my own contribution, and being effective, you know, for the team as an individual contributor, and to try to serve an example to make others better. And this is where we can lead as well. You know, when you think about it, you back to your last question, too, when it comes to the quote, competition. It's a bit of competition, but in a positive way. We're, we modelled behaviours. For others, that set a great example that, you know, when you see all the people around, you really stepping up and really being prepared, then I want to do that, I want to make sure that I show up in that same way. So that I'm right there with everybody, you know, because otherwise, I'm going to be left behind. And I don't want to do that. So in some respects, it's a bit competitive, you know, but it's competitive, I think, in a very positive, powerful way. And I think that modelling can help us all be just a little bit better.
Yeah, like in a peer group. It's like the tide rises all boats, everyone You bet it is.
No question about it. And, you know, yeah, it's, it's absolutely true. And I see it in groups all the time. You know, I when I see real high performing peer groups, and I see people really bringing their, you know, their best for every meeting, you know, recognising that they may get together once a month, and maybe it's an eight hour day. And for people who recognise that this is the only time they're ever going to have that eight hours together, that it's going to come and go, they're either going to make the most out of it and squeeze the most valuable possible out of their time together. Or they're going to come in and kind of go through the motions and the next thing you know, they're going to be wondering why she that meeting wasn't as good as it could have been. Why Because again, meetings like this and not spectator sports you get to dive in you roll up your sleeves you get involved in when you do and when everyone does that together. Now you've got something going on now you've got a really powerful experience.
It brings me nicely to there is another topic when you describe the the framework of innovation that was one of the factors was the the positive culture of accountability built in a positive culture of accountability in a team and that is something that I really would like your thoughts about. Because you you know very well how important it isn't, we have the tendency not to keep ourselves accountable, we need someone else so but on the other hand, it can be for some people intimidating so please share with us your your thoughts on
I think what sets the stage for this is the idea about whether you as the leader, consider yourself a part of the team or apart from it. So if you are a part of the team, that you're all in it together, and you're all winning, and you're all doing what you need to do, now you have the role as the leader, again, to challenge other team members to provide them support to be successful, but you're not on one side of the desk with them on the other, playing the blame game, and having people feel like they're playing defence when they're reporting out in their KPIs or, or what they're doing, right. Yeah. So I think that's the essential difference, what you want to do is create a culture where people accept personal responsibility for being your best, and that you have those behaviours being modelled around the table, just like we talked about a moment ago. So on the team, and again, this goes back to the team that I talked about, that I was part of, at mullenlowe is an advertising agency in Boston, where, you know, everybody, accountability was high, but not in a way where someone was trying to impress their boss or to or was concerned about KPIs so much as they were committed to one another. Everyone came to that agency, and made the commitment to join molen, because they wanted to be part of an ensemble that they believed could create the best advertising in the world. To do that. However, it isn't just that you're part of that team. And it just happens by accident, you know, when you join us, a great sports team, just because you're wearing the jersey doesn't mean you're going to automatically win a championship, you are now called upon to make the kind of contribution that allows for that to happen. And so again, when you have that kind of culture, that's really what drives that. And if you accept personal responsibility for bringing your best, and you are all in it together, it becomes a very healthy, inspiring way. And again, to learn and grow and constantly set a new standard of excellence for yourself. This is where the learning achieving cycle comes into play. It's where the leadership model of the Triad which is the idea of the leader, the team, and the individual member of share responsibility for the outcome, whatever that may happen to be. It could be how profitable you are, how productive you are, how much fun you have, whatever it is, all of you play a role in it. And I think when you can set up a culture that allows for that to happen. I think that particular accountability model that I see happening in the very best peer groups all the time, also is possible in high performing teams, I've experienced it and been part of it. And I think it's rather extraordinary.
I like to use the couple of times the phrase, taking personal responsibility, which it's a great phrase, and there is a big difference between responsibility and blame. Some people use them interchangeably, but it's completely, it is completely different.
And and by the way, this idea of accepting personal responsibility, as you know, came from an article that I read for an interview. Pasi sahlberg, was the former Director General of the school system in Finland, one of the top secondary school systems in the world. And he was being asked a lot of questions about accountability and actually said that as accountability was being discussed in that interview, he said, there is actually no direct translation for it in the Finnish language. He said for them, they view it culturally speaking, from the perspective that when, you know, accountability is kind of what you're stuck with, after someone's sense of personal responsibility gives way. So the preferable idea is that we all accept that we matter, right? And that we are there to make a difference. And that we are going to commit to ourselves to being the very best and when, and if we are surrounded by people doing the same, you know, most of us if we want to stay there, and if we also want to be successful, and we share the reason that we are there, right, whether it's to you know, potentially win that championship, or to be creating the best advertising in the world, then that's what you're going to do. And, you know, I just think that it's a very healthy way to think about it. And most CEOs that I talked to about that model of thinking, wow, I would love that on my team. Boy, you know, and, and there's no question, you know, and it certainly exists out there. No question about it. But in all too many companies, it's very much kind of like you describe, it's about blame. It's about somebody on one side of the desk, just hammering away at somebody and at the end of the day, employees don't love to play defence every single day. It gets tiring. It gets exhausting, it gets debilitating, you know, so
100% and there was something you were saying earlier about the the Finnish word that, that it's not doesn't they don't have to have that word and I believe it was Aristotle that said that what he learned by philosophy was that to do what's right not because of fear of judgement, either human judgement or divine judgement, but because it is the right thing to do. So you do that internally, not what they say it's what you do when no one is watching. So really the putting your best self towards the result, regardless of you know, whether you will be rewarded or not, I think it's a striving as a person to be the best you can. And I'm just saying that in relationship with being in a team as well. So if you're striving to be the best you can in the team, then you don't want to let anyone down, you will do really your best. I see it like that as well tell me if I'm right.
Oh, totally. And Aristotle, by the way, also said that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, which is why project Aristotle from Google was named that. And, and they essentially identified as part of their research as well, psychological safety is being so foundational to high performing teams. You know, we basically came to the same conclusion through very different avenues, right, because we were looking at peer groups and how they function and we were looking at that very independently. And obviously, it makes perfect sense, if you think about it, that so much of what we learned about high performing peer groups, applies to high performing teams. And this is why, you know, I wrote pure innovation, because after, as I mentioned, what's now having done 200 workshops, this work has been pressure tested six ways to Sunday, you know, by by 1000s of people at this point. And I've also worked with cross functional work teams on this as well. And if you think about our cross functional work teams, and the peer advisory groups I described, are very similar, right, they're there for the same purpose. They actually come they have shared values around their culture, but they also have different perspectives about how they approach the work, right? Somebody comes from sales and marketing, or finance, or HR illegal, so they have different perspectives on it. The difference with a cross functional work team that really functions at a high level, though, is that when they come together for meetings, it's not as if, if I'm head of marketing, for example, that I'm coming in there is like the king of marketing, and I'm there to protect my people and my budget, my pet programmes and whatever I'm supposed to do, I actually show up to a meeting with my cross functional work team members with my enterprise hat on, I'm think I look at the world, no doubt, with a bias through marketing, just as others have their biases through their various specialty areas. However, our intent, and our goal is to do what's best for the enterprise. And that means, hey, maybe my department takes a hit this quarter, or this year, in order to advance the overall cause. And this is kind of what we do for one another, because we're really there to do what's best for the organisation. And so that I think, is when we start really thinking about the whole. And, and not, and not just kind of fighting for our little slice of the pie, like we talked about earlier, it can make a big, big difference. You know, it's it is that difference between thinking in terms of scarcity versus abundance.
And so we'll talk a little bit, I'm going to go a bit sideways, and we're about before we start recording, and I would like your thoughts on the way that we learn in the way that we think and the way that we filter information. I'm asking this by I think it was the first or the second chapter of your book that has the ladder of inference. And personally, I find it very fascinating topic. Would you like to explain that? In simple words, for for the listener who might not be familiar with with aldolase?
Sure. The ladder of inference, as you know, and I thought it was interesting when you talked about it, that it was something that you became familiar with in graduate school, as well. And it's Chris ardrey, is who came up with it. And basically what he said, and it basically looks at how two people can look at the same event, the same person or whatever, and come to entirely different conclusions about it, right? Think about how, you know, you and I might walk into a room and you're going to notice certain things about that room, and you're going to come back and someone's going to ask you to describe that room and you say well, there was a great fireplace and it was this, that and the other and then someone's going to ask me and I'm saying wow, the windows were amazing. And I loved some of the furniture I saw whatever because my I went to those places because of it. You know, things that are kind of part of how I grew up kind of thinking and looking, how I might look at a room and what is important to me. same holds true for people, the same holds true for events, we tend to pay attention to kind of what we pay attention to. And without being often open to everything else, which is why getting other people's perspectives becomes more powerful. So the ladder of inference talks about kind of the data we select, but also the conclusions that we draw upon that data. Actually, in the book, use an example of how this two different people may have you heard Barack Obama, in his first run for the presidency in 2008. And even when they look at the same data points, they can come to very conclude different conclusions about what those data points mean, and how they translate into beliefs about whether you believe he would be a good president or not. And it's a fascinating kind of look at things from that perspective. This is why, and I talk about, imagine if we could widen our ladder of inference. Imagine if we could climb that ladder of inference with our friends and colleagues and kind of understand how they see the world and why they do and being open to that, you know, since we're doing quotes today, let's talk about, you know, Mark Twain's quote, where he talks about the fact that we have one mouth and two ears for a reason, you know, and we need to do a whole lot more listening and not just listening, in a way where we're biding time to make our own comments, you know, in a given conversation, but truly and deeply listening to others, and asking questions and trying to understand where people are coming from, you may come to a place where you don't agree with them. And that's all well and good, but at least you're going to understand the position you're going to be open to we're what's happening. You know, we talked a little bit, as you know, before the show about echo chambers and confirmation bias, and some of the things that are, are driving real division in the world, quite frankly, somehow we were even managed to politicise a pandemic, which is like really, you know, rather remarkable, right? Unlike many decades ago, when it was very clear, what was news versus what was opinion, today, those are very much conflated. So people will watch different programmes, could be radio could be television could be what they see in social media. And because the lines are so blurred in that regard, and because there's such a, you know, hunger for ratings and dollars, and all those kinds of things for who says the most outrageous things and you know what's going on, then we start getting a lot of things thrown at us that, you know, people, I think, have a hard time figuring out what's true, and what isn't, and what's going on and what. And now, we've come to a point where we're not trusting a lot of sources out there, the Edelman trust barometer came out in 2021. And introduced, at least to me a concept called information hygiene, this idea that we hear information, but we're not always really good about vetting that information before we spread it to others. We don't do it to be destructive, we just are passing on information, because we hear it. Yet at the same time, we also admit that we're not always sure which sources to trust and, and whatever.
You know, and as you know, in the book, I actually speak to a letter that I wrote to cable news about how divisive and how things have been. And of course, the reveal on that letter, even though you think it may have been written last week was actually written in 2011. And it shows you how long this has been going on. This is not new, this is not something that's a product of the last four or eight years, this is something that is very, very different. And I think at some point in time, we've got to figure out how we can be more open how we can listen for understanding how we can be truly curious again, and and be open to trying to get a broader perspective on what's going on in the world. And, you know, I'm just I've remained hopeful that we will get back there. But yeah, it's it's been discouraging to say the least over the past decade.
You know, you were saying earlier that it's difficult to find the truth and of course, it is we no one can say with certainty and 100%, which The truth is, so at the very end, I think all of us have to make a choice to decide on this opinion. And I think and the problem there lies that we already have a pre formed opinion or some biases show. Sure when we look at new information, we will either completely disregarded because it goes it's the on the opposite direction, right? Or we want you know, We want to filter it carefully because of already pre existing biases and prejudices. So I think that is the challenge sometimes to be cute. You said to be curious and see the other side, what if I'm way too much absorbed, in my own opinion of things that I won't allow the opposite opinion to come through, then there's not much chance I will get more and more of what I already believe. To that extent that you see how polarised some people are amidst it's, you said, discouraging. Sometimes it looks scary to me, when I see there is hatred that comes out. And that's wrong. I mean, no matter what else, hatred is completely not going to make anything better.
Now, you make a great point, too, because this is how, how insidious and how effective actually, ad hominem attacks are against individuals or organisations, because what will happen is, we will immediately dismiss something that comes from a certain individual or come from a certain organisation, because we believe that the bias is so heavy in that direction, that we just shut it down. I'm not going to suggest to that. I mean, there are certain, you know, when you talk about hate you talk about I think there are certain, you know, sectors out there that we don't need to be listening to that I wish there were a lot less of that out there. I think it's really about how do we be open? How do we be collaborative? How do we work together? You know, when we look here in the US, and you look at the gridlock in Washington, and here, we elect these people to actually serve the American people, when the reality is that, you know, it's really all about doing what they need to do to get reelected. And my confusion about that is, I don't know how anyone would want a job that they're not even allowed to do. You know, if you really think about it, like if you're there truly not for your own ego, but to serve the American people, then then go and actually do it and make that happen, and not be more concerned about your reelection than you are you constituents. So I think these things, you know, there has to be some shift in mindset, in many respects around them.
I think that way, things are in in humanity, right now. We don't have a choice. But to shift. This, everything is shifting away, you can't let this is all true. When
I would be remiss, however, to say that, you know, I think a lot of what we see in the media is a lot of the device and missing a lot of the fight and all of that, because that's kind of what drives ratings. I will say however, though, think about what we went through globally, in terms of the pandemic, and think about the number of people the incredible kindness, the incredible generosity, the the amazing acts of community, that happens throughout the world, things on social media, people being creative people lifting each other spirits, people, you know, delivering food to people's houses, people, you know, consoling one another when they were worried about, you know, elderly parents or helping each other homeschool children or whatever. I think that's what gives me optimism. That squat gives me real hope, that we're going to make the shift eventually back to a world where we will be more understanding of one another. And, and it's, you know, and really create a sense of belonging for one another in this world, I think it's very much within us. And I want to make sure that, you know, as we're talking about this, that this isn't all, you know, bad. We live in an amazing world with some incredible people. So I think that's something that we can kind of hold on to a bit and give us that little sense of optimism. We get up every morning that there's a lot of kindness that surrounds us,
optimism and 100%. Leo, I would like to also ask you some quickfire questions to start wrapping things up. So the first one I always ask is, what does personal development mean to you?
Oh, it's about making sure that I read and listen more than I write and try to push content. You know, when I see that getting out of balance, I started you know, shifting back to making sure that you know, I continue to be a student of what I do, and that's what personal development is all about. I You'll never see me call myself an expert in anything. I remain a student and it keeps me hungry. It keeps me current. And I think that's what my definition Personal Development is
thank you for that. That's so that's wonderful. And I like very much the term student. And it's it embodies very much expertise. Yes, thank you. It's, it's a great a great definition. And, Leo, let's say you could go back in time and meet your 18 year old self, what's one, what one piece of advice you would give him?
To be more of the learner that I just talked about? And I would have done that earlier? Yeah.
And let's say that you could wave a magic wand and change something in the world as it is today. What would you change?
Wow. I would change? Well, it's easy, I'm just not, I'm just trying to figure out a way to articulate it.
I think the idea of violence in the world, whether it's between countries, or whether it's within our societies, that we have healthy disagreements, have honest disagreements, but can deal with those in a non violent way. Thank you.
And Leo, emerging from this conversation that we had, if you were to give to the listener, an actionable item, something that they can take away from what we discussed and start implementing straight away? What would you tell them?
I think it's to embrace the idea that the power of we begins with you. Try to reflect on the gifts that you have, and the special ways that you can contribute to your team contribute to the world and know how much you matter. And take ownership of that and just do the very best you can each and every day. That's what I would say.
It's great. It's great.
Where would you direct peoples who want to know more about you and in the book, and that will blow the race in the notes?
Yes, thank you. Yeah, pretty much. Pure innovation is available wherever books are sold. My website also not only has books, but it has everything from posters to infographics to several hundreds of articles, podcasts, and all of that, you can find that at Leo, butare.com, Elio, Bo, tt, ar y calm, or at pure innovation.co. And please, yeah, come come visit come dive into the content, you can spend a lot of time there because there's, there's a lot there. But you know, hope you find something that is helpful for you.
Thank you. And, Leo, is there something that you were really hoping we will discuss about today, and we completely missed it.
He completely missed it. I would only say that part of the work that I'm doing right now, I do a lot of work with peer advisory groups. And I'm doing more work with teams, particularly cross functional work teams, I would love to do even more work with cross functional work teams, because I think that it is so powerful and so applicable, it can make such a difference in your organisation to have your cross functional work team, especially now coming out of the pandemic where people are trying to shift and go from maybe they're 100% remote right now, or maybe they're moving toward more of a hybrid model, and maybe they're heading back to the office, whatever that may happen to be. But as we kind of hit the reset button and kind of prepare for this, you know, continuing uncertain future that we have to be ready to pivot and adapt and somehow thrive through. I think our cross functional work teams and our lens in the organisation to the whole needs to widen. And I think a lot of this work, you know, is very powerful in that regard. So, you know, think about employing that. And whether that's with me personally or just or just getting the book or sharing it with your team. And trying a lot of these, you know, ideas yourself. I think the more people that engage in it, I think the more successful you're going to be.
Leo, thank you very much for your time with us today and for sharing your wisdom and your expertise. I want to wish you all the very best in your ongoing mission. And please share any last parting words you might
Hey, just thank you very much for having me. Well, I'm going to do a shout out to Alexander cannon who introduced us so I want to do that. He is very busy running this incredible new community. They've created called Gaia net. And so Alex has got Alexander's got to pay attention to. And I'm certainly glad we both did, because I'm glad we got together today and really appreciate you having me on the show.
And I will conclude with that since you mentioned guy and it's a it is something that for the listener who might be wondering, I'm preparing a big feature very soon with all the founders and Alexander Keenan, of course was the first one for med. So very exciting. So Leo, thank you very much again, and I wish you all the very best.
Thank you for listening. If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe and rate it on Apple podcasts. And also share this episode with someone who you think will benefit from it. If you want to find out more about what I do and gain access to exclusive content, join my facebook group but for development mastery. The link is in the show notes or you can simply type beat dot L y slash PDM group and until next time, stand out don't fit in
Transcribed by https://otter.ai