Leading from the Roots: Guest Dr. Kathleen Allen
Ooh. Hi book James Miller life algae relearn to simplify and transform your spirit mind and body. My name is James Miller. I'm a licensed therapist. A composer, thank you so much for tuning in today. Let's get started. I wanted to take just a quick moment to thank you, all who continually support and listen to James Miller folly I have been so blessed and honored by your continuous support. I wanted to make sure that you don't miss out on anything citing happy over here. So make sure you sign up for my newsletter. James Miller, life, Olivetti dot com. I have a great show for you today. I'm going to remind you that there is life lessons. All around us, also be interviewing Dr Kathleen Allen who uses nature as a model mentor and muse to rethink how leadership is practiced today. She reviews book leading from the roots nature inspired leadership lessons for today's world, which takes nature as a source of inspiration to help organization. See a new way of leading an designing workplace structure. For more information about Dr Alan, please, visit Kathleen Allen dot net. Also purchase your book on Amazon or in the previous guests sections. Both stores James Miller, follow dot com or dot TV. I've some exciting news. Did you know that the radio three times a week? You may hear me on the same station on Tuesdays at one thirty pm. Friday's nine thirty AM and Saturdays at twelve thirty pm you may also hear me anytime on iheartradio as well as all the other major podcasting platforms, including itunes, Google play Stitcher, and many others. Simply search for the show name James Miller. Life algae. Are you struggling state to find your purpose has mediocrity set in and you cannot manage you in the same thing for the rest of your life? Are your relationships struggling aren't sure how to make long lasting changes in your life? Then today, contact me James Miller, I will help you recognize the areas your life that are going really well. And then we'll look at the areas in which you were struggling. We will create actionable solutions to help you create long lasting changes in your life. You don't have to do this alone. Go to website James Miller, I follow dot com and click on the page work with James fill out the form, and it will be sent directly to me, don't let another day go by without finding your way your change. Because start today, once again, goodbye website, James Miller, follow dot com and click on the page work with James filled up for him to get started today. Lessons all around us often life. We become so immersed in our thoughts that we forget that there's a whole world around us are electron IX are so important to us. Does we walked on the streets were busy answering emails or sending text messages other people as you've all heard many don't live in the moment, and what that essentially means is not giving a hundred percent attention to what is happening around you. If you find that you're struggling in your thoughts and your emotions, one of the best things to do is to literally look around, you, you'll be surprised at all the amazing lessons that you will. Learn today, for example, if you're struggling with depression, if you see the joy that apparent has for their baby. They look into their eyes. It brings you a sense of joy or if you have a pet and you come home, and that is so ecstatic to see you get it brings a smile to your face. Or if you're looking for spiritual awakening, you have to quiet, down your mind to be able to see what's around you. I remember one time I was blessed to be in Ireland and I was just outside of the cliffs of Moher, which on the far side of Ireland and for some. I was struggling with something even though I was in a beautiful kitchen. And I was staying at a hostel, which is a form of a hotel and I happen to see that there was this old Hauer off in the distance. So I walked over there, and I had a jump over a couple of fences and I stood next to this amazing tower that how thousands of years old. But as I sat next to it, I happened to look up and didn't realize that I was sitting next to a cliff and in that cliff I looked over into this bay and I saw the sunset in horizon. The windows blown in my face to Siegel's were diving all around me, and it was one of the most spiritual times of ever had in my life. I often reflected that memory because I felt so connected to something greater than myself. My point sharing that is this when we get so inundated with our thoughts and our emotions and all the things that we feel are important to us, and they are important to us. We lose sight of the lessons that are all around us, if we literally slow down and once again, live in the moment, and I don't mean to use that as cliche. But if we do live in the moment to be a part of every single thing we do when we walked down the streets feel the concrete. Eat as shoes strike the surface look at the people in the situations around you. And when you're aware of that, you'll find that you learn so many amazing things about your life, or anecdotes, that you can apply to your life. Those are the most important lessons you will learn unfortunately, if we're not aware of our surroundings or aware, what's happening around us. We will not have those opportunities to grow and develop. Yes, it's wonderful to listen to a show like this to read a book and to speak with our friends, but the greatest lessons, we will learn are all around us. But we're doing our self disservice if we're not paying attention to offend tastic yesterday. Dr capping Allen, who's gonna talk about that. She has a phenomenal way, which she likens businesses and organizations with nature, you can use this same analogy or example, in your own life to remember today, their lessons all around us. But unfortunately, if you're not paying attention, you won't learn them. Did you know I have a YouTube channel that's actually followed? You started. I have well over one hundred fifty five episodes, and I've created specifically for you. I do know that many people struggle with listening to a full thirty minute show. So these episodes are bound three minutes long each episode. We'll give you practical tool or technique that you can practice daily to help you simplify, and transform your spirit mind and body, simply go to my website, James Miller, life dot com, or go to YouTube, and search for my name, James Miller life algae. Dutta. Kathleen is the author of leading from the roots nature inspired leadership lessons for today's world and president of Alan associates, a consulting firm that specializes in leadership innovation and organizational change, and our consulting practice. She specializes in leadership coaching, and organizational change and nonprofit organizations foundations small to mid sized businesses community development healthcare, higher educational institutions and clever of networks. Welcome to my show, Dr. Allan, thank you. Glad to be your that was a mouthful for me to read. Yeah. You could probably cut. But it doesn't even describe while the things that you do really excited to show today. So from where are you calling today? Saint Cloud, Minnesota. I'm sure it's very cold up there. It is colder. That's beautiful from a distance from a picture for me. That is great. I can't wait to talk with you today. Because your book leading from the roots nature inspired leadership lessons for today's world. There's nothing that I've ever heard before, historically. I hear more about interpersonal, -ffective nece, all different ways in which leaders can grow. But I've actually never heard it bridge with nature before we're definitely going to talk about that in a minute. But before that I want to get a little bit of your origin story. How old were you when you discover that you had a national clearly or natural gift for leadership? That's a great question. I think that I've always had a predisposition to look at the world and be responsible for more than myself and I think that I've also my parents were very big on leaving the world better than you found. So that between those two things I kind of showed up in the world in a different way, I showed up as, if I could make a difference, and I could make things better and that goes back to being really small when three four five years old. That's great. I think the difference is well for many individuals when you truly believe something that you can achieve it doesn't really matter what anybody else says, because your belief system is so so concrete. In other words, it's factual doesn't matter what anybody says it's truth to. And so, I think when you're when someone is that young really believe that the natural course. It is going to happen in here. You are today as amazing expert. Yes. Who knew? We look at the whole thing transitioning from today. What was the pivotal moment for you to say you know what I'm going to create my own practice and I have this amazing gift and I'm going to change all these organizations. Was there a pivotal moment in your life when that happened? Yes. Yes, I had been working my previous career was working in higher education. And I was a vice president and I just got burnt out on administration. But even in those contexts I all I love to create environments that created opportunities for people to achieve their highest possibility. So that was what I was really good at. And but as I got burnt out on the administration portion of it. I just decided to take a leap of faith. I thought that maybe I'd gone through about five years of reflection on what my life purpose was before that. And that included trying to figure out what were you my unique gifts? And, and then what was I really supposed to do here? You know what was what, what am I meant to do? And I believe at the end of that kind of discernment five years of it, that I needed to reach out and do. This not just for the organization that I was getting paid for, but for a variety of organizations that I work that I could work with. And so I took a leap and it is worked beautifully form. It's amazing. Congratulations grant. So you said when you were a child that you have this natural understanding of the world in your place in the world, and how you wanted to leave a legacy or change change the world for the better. And so you have that, natural, those are my words and using that concept of, of your life. And then all of a sudden, having this ability organizational change wanting to help individuals, and then you, you merge, those two things together and my sumptious. And that's where this book came from once again, from the roots. I mean, not sounds like it's an amazing correlation of connection between that why don't we jump into that as far as when you look around? What was some things that you're like, oh, my gosh, just really make sense to me in a natural world in the world and organization. Well, the if nature were said to have a purpose nature would purpose would be to create conditions conducive to the life of future generations, and how beautiful is that conditions to conducive to the life of future generations, and it has three point eight? Billion years of development, just pretty good. It has something to teach. So the whole concept so nature when you we're at a time in our world, where we can look more deeply into nature. Nature's design and there is a group called bio mimicry, who literally has been looking deeper into nature and trying to understand, how is it fundamentally designed? And that work of bio, mimicry, literally using natures meant as a mentor a'model, and a measure for how we think about stuff, just really attracted me. And I've always lived and worked and lead in social environments. But most of mimicry is really looking at. Engineering and taking lessons from nature to create better products like the shape of a windmill. Or the, you know, I have new windows, my house, and there's a little insect that exerts an enzyme that now coach windows so that real sloughs off the window more and you don't have to wash them as much. Violin? But for me, I was struck by what would happen to our organizations if we created conditions conducive to the life of the people in it, what would happen to our organizations, if we could have places where both the organization and the people fried what would happen if that extended to our customers and to our supply line. And I just thought there is something here. That's very powerful. The way I'm hearing this as well for the first part, you said, essentially, creating a legacy when your business or your nature can create a legacy, it's means it's gonna be a long standing. It's going to be able to sustain itself, and from that sustainability allows for offspring if you will progeny or whatever it may be. And so, when you think of that as well that means the culture has to thrive that means that the individuals each limb or each part of the organization. So, in other words, the limbs or the extended appendages of whatever nature has. That is just like the different organizational parts of you know, you can have like HR you can have your sales. Development so many different elements of that. So when it does work this, what I'm hearing, you say, when it works in concert like that, it is going to be viable is going to be sustainable. It's going to be able to move along with the trends, or other words, what, what Evelyn is of the of the environment needs. For example, you know what was it was it blockbuster? They did not thrive and grow with the trend of streaming streaming video. And unfortunately they went out of business, where flicks was able to do that and kind of took it over. So the understanding of how can you involve as opposed to become stagnant, and that's kind of what I'm hearing? Yeah. So, for example, in nature nature, always fits form to function. That's part of its fundamental design. It has adapted cycles releasing is part of an adaptive cycle, if you get attached to a form in your work of life, Allah. Gee, if people get attached to a certain identity of who they are, and they don't notice, what else is happening and showing up in their life, and they become rigid in the way. They think that becomes they get stuck and then eventually something happens. And it creates a significant disruption in their life nature, just keeps adapting it if you think of a stream that starts at the melting of ice and snow in the mountain it comes down as a trickle. But then it turns into backwaters, Eddie's and waterfalls and Rapids and slow winding rivers all of. Moves form very easily literally like water. If you strip does not hold onto stuff in the way that human being. So one of the interesting things about what's the difference in nature and human beings is that we have consciousness and we have emotions and. Earn a blessing and a burden consciousness. Our mindsets can cause us to stop our own evolution and development. And our fears can do that, or or motions, but nature doesn't have that. So it, it fits formed a function, so had has caused me to ask questions. Like how can I listen better? How can I create or help organizations? Learn to listen better to what is happening around them, and then actively choose to adapt instead of actively choose, or unconsciously, choose to resist. And when you make that shift, a whole bunch of things change, and I was going to ask you ask you this, as well as with all of your work that you've done, what is one of the key factors that you've noticed where a lot of organizations, just don't do that. They don't learn this. They don't learn to, to really adapt to the trends. Well, two things. One is that most of our organizations are not considered living systems. They aren't they're considered objects. And when we objectify organization, we also objectify, the people in them and objects, don't grow evolve. They're not like human beings, but human beings. We do grow involve. So if somebody says you're replaceable, you leave, and we'll get someone that obviously minimizes ones one's one's self minimize position. I mean, it's it doesn't feel good at all right? And objects are confined. If you think of copy coffee Cup, it's confined bounded existence. It doesn't connect to its larger environment, but nature and life is all about connection. It's all about relationship. We are in an interdependent system. So when you're in an interdependent system, you're going to be looking outside of yourself to see what's coming your way and what's changing the external environment. But if you're an object, you just try to use power resources to power and not change to muscle. Muscle it through kind of. And so that's one of the reasons and then the others, I've just been enjoying reflecting on what I call where how feedback and dysfunction shows up in organizations. And when you go into teams or divisions or overall whole organizations, and there's lots of rich and diverse feedback loops information that people are paying attention to listening to their they tend to be really healthy and high performance places. And if you go into a department where somebody just doesn't wanna listen. And they are there. People are trying to give them feedback. That says, you know, you're not being very effective here. And you're blocking the work or whatever I call those kind of feedback dead zones, and they almost always are associated with this function and lower productivity in. They create real problems for organizations to move forward. And one of the things about living systems is that living systems scale. So if you have a problem individually, you also have a problem in the team, you have a similar problem and you have a similar problem in a community or an organization. So it's, it's really interesting to just notice how the how the power of feedback can an its presence or absence. And how we listen or we don't listen, we respond or how we don't respond can shape the pain or the joy in our lives. Yeah. That's, that's beautifully said, I was just kind of thinking about that as well as you were saying, this is a splinter in a human. Splinter in my finger something. That's all I think about. That's all I feel. So I can get it up because it's be this pervasive this I don't hurt. But it's knowing what would be some of the things that you would say, for an internal audit, if you will of for organizations to be able to really say, let me let's check the pulse of this. Let's see what's going really, well, let's see where some of these stopgaps our, some of these individuals may be stopping from growing development developing, what would be some ways in which they could do that. So one of my consulting parts practices is to go in and help organizations. Think about lick transform their cultures in one of my two of my favorite questions in those culture culture audits are what drains your energy at work, and what generates positive energy at work, and those two answers are very revealing. So when you ask people, what is draining their energy, they almost always talk about a process, a team sometimes it's a person. That is somehow or other interfering with their ability to bring their best most authentic self to work and all of their talents as well. And what creates positive energy, when you listen to them, they believe that they're doing work that matters. They have shared for purpose. They are able to build relationships that are offended, and they have relationships built on reciprocity. So it's not a kind of rank order one person matters more than another. And when you have those things in an organization and a culture it changes how we work. But when I think about leadership and leading from the roots. There's two kind of fundamental principles here. One is what can we learn from nature's design and can, we design our organizations to reward cooperation to fit form to function to running on sunlight of free Renault resource, which I? I think is human energy to reward cooperation and Bank on diversity to tap, the power of limits. That's one section. But then you also have to kind of shift your mental model of your organization from an object to a living system. And when you start leading from a living system, mindset, you start acknowledging that the system already is moving. It's a static thing. Look at those and it changes that people only support what they helped to create they only pay attention to what matters, they are interdependent, they grow with information and knowledge. And when you start leading from that framework at changes the way you lead literally, it means that top down decision making isn't going to get bottom up. Support and viit. So the once you start treating people as living system and you start leading with a different way in a different way than a whole bunch of things, become possible, your leadership questions change instead of how do I create change? How do I transform the energy? That's. Sure, you know, instead of who's going to make this happen. You say, well, what connections and interactions will make this work. Instead of what do I need to control? You're asking. What do I need to unleash? I really like those reframe different. I really liked the non objectification in other words, just some feel any spot position. You really valuing the work value in your employees, because each one of them have say you think about the assembly line for Ford Motors when it was first created, if every if one person didn't do this in the props, there were only supposed to do one little bolt that was their lifelong mission if they didn't do that. Well, the car couldn't run it all. So I think somebody times organizations, we forget about the assembly line approach, and the sense of everybody has so much value. I love how you're able to take this from a nature inspired concept because you have to go outside or look outside, and you can immediately have understanding while I want my business to be able to thrive just whereas nature because. Like you said, billions of years of this is. Been proven already works. And one of the things I love about nature is that as nature involves into old growth forest and more mature in colleges like prairies and. Coral reefs. They become much more diverse. And one of the things that happens is that the diversity of species begin to create these relationships, cooperative relationships where the nutrient that one's BC's needs is actually something that another species has in abundance. And so they create these relationships of imagine the clown fish hanging out in help, and the clown fish generates. More oxygen that the Celts need in the kelp has more protection for fish from predators. Right. So that this, so what I love is the idea the possibility that we could actually create generous systems in our organizations instead of systems that seem to be driven on self interest and financial measures of success. Zach metrics of successor, be completely different. And those metrics of those people who have not yet involved. They're not going to be sustainable. And when you see that they're so high turnover rate, or you see that, that businesses struggling significantly probably because just like you said, they have not created a symbiotic relationship, or just really understood that the value of each of their of their employees is so significant because as you grow organism then you grow and develop for what the changes in the world around you. Yes. Absolutely. It has been affluent. Pleasure. Have you on my show today? Dr Alan if I find him or Frisian about you all the amazing things are doing and purchases book leading from the roots nature inspired leadership lessons for today's world. Where would they find this information online? You can follow me on my website, WWW Kathleen Alan with a K Kathleen, Alan dot net. And if you're interested, I write a weekly blog on lessons from nature that you can apply to your own leadership, or your own work in organizations, and you can sign up for that on my website as well. Wonderful and so people would like to purchase your book as well. Where would they find that purchase it from your favorite bookstore, or Amazon, or Barnes and noble or wherever actually, my listeners know else do this as well? If my listeners are able to find your book, once again, leading from the roots nature, inspire leadership license for today's world. They may find it in the previous guests sections in the store at both of my websites James Miller, life dot com and followed dot TV doctor Allen was such a pleasure, getting with each day. Thank you so much. Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate the time. I also want to thank you, the listener for tuning in today. Please subscribe at this radio show ever. Portia joined with us today, or please, go to my website, we may sign up for my free newsletter. Watch my YouTube episodes, read the articles, I've written specifically for you, or you may enroll in a life algae academy where you can take self directed courses which will help you simplify and transform. Spirit mind and body if you'd like to personally work with me, be a guest on or advertising, the show, simply visit James Miller, follow dot com. Be sure to follow me and also media platforms under the name James Miller life, except for Twitter, which is James m folly once again. Thank you so much for your support. And I'll talk to you soon.