Is your team struggling with trust, accountability, alignment, and focus?
Discover how developing grit can help your team build trust, overcome tough times, and achieve the extraordinary...
Today's guest, Jan Rutherford, is an executive coach, TEDx speaker, and senior instructor at the University of Colorado's School of Business.
A former Green Beret, Jan founded and leads "The Crucible Wilderness Expeditions" with executives and veterans, designed to develop the grit, character, purpose and trust that underpins all extraordinary teams and results.
Jan also teaches leadership in the US and Ireland. He's the co host of "The Leadership Podcast" and author of "The Littlest Green Beret: On Self Reliant Leadership."
In today's episode, Jan unpacks the topic "The Crucible"
Check out these episode highlights:
02:17 – Jan ’s ideal client: “Most of the folks I work with are senior executives, and Fortune 500 companies and even midsize businesses grappling with organizational issues.…”
02:53 – His client's biggest challenge: “If I were to group it into the two things I work with people the most, one is their Busyness and the other thing is what I would categorize is Misaligned Expectations...”
05:33– Jan ’s #1 insight to help you: "They've got to stop being so busy and look around and say, What is essential? What decision do I need to make, that will matter for a long time?..."
08:29– What concept, book, program, or talk impacted you the most: "People support what they helped create. You might not get a vote, but you get a voice. What we're really after is not compliance. What we're after is commitment.."
09:16 – Jan ’s valuable free resource: "If you go to my website selfreliantleadership.com, there's a coaching course out there on the power of journaling, if you sign up for my newsletter, you can get that free...."
12:07 – Jan ’s last thoughts: "My little way of trying to make the world a little bit better place is helping leaders be more effective...."
(Note, this was transcribed using a transcription software and may not reflect the exact words used in the podcast)
Narrator 0:00 Welcome to the Destiny Awakening Interviews, a podcast with Andrew Wayfinder and his guests, bringing you powerful insights, inspiration and ways to break free, live life your way and make a difference in our changing and challenging world.
Andrew Hryniewicz 0:18 So hello, everyone and a very warm welcome to another edition of the Destiny Awakening Interviews. I'm Andrew Wayfinder Hryniewicz.
And I'm joined today by Jan Rutherford, executive coach, TEDx speaker, author podcaster and wilderness expedition leader. A very warm welcome to you Jan and where are you hanging out today?
Jan Rutherford 0:39 Hey, thank you. Thanks for having me. I'm in Oregon, and it's actually a nice sunny day here in the Pacific Northwest.
Andrew Hryniewicz 0:46 Oh, good for you. What part of Oregon?
Jan Rutherford 0:48 Just south of Portland. An hour and a half from Mount Hood and an hour and a half from the coast.
Andrew Hryniewicz 0:54 Well, that sounds pretty perfect.
Jan Rutherford 0:56 Yeah, it's pretty nice.
Andrew Hryniewicz 0:58 Okay well, now on to the work that you're doing. So, a former Green Beret, Jan founded "Self Reliant Leadership" at selfreliantleadership.com and leads "The Crucible Wilderness Expeditions" with executives and veterans, to develop the grit, character, purpose and trust that underpins all extraordinary teams and results.
And as a senior instructor at the University of Colorado's, Denver School of Business, Jan also teaches leadership in the US and Ireland. He's the co host of "The Leadership Podcast" and author of "The Littlest Green Beret: On Self Reliant Leadership".
So thank you again, for your time today.
Jan Rutherford 1:40 Yeah, it's a pleasure.
Andrew Hryniewicz 1:44 And we're going to be speaking about "The Crucible". And Jan is gonna unpack that idea and his work for us in six questions.
Jan Rutherford 1:53 There we go.
Andrew Hryniewicz 1:55 So the first question, Who is your ideal client? And what's the transformation you help them achieve?
Jan Rutherford 2:01 Yeah, most of the folks I work with are senior executives, and Fortune 500 companies and even midsize businesses. And by mid size, anywhere from 30 million to 200 million or 200 million to 1 billion.
But it's senior executives grappling with organizational issues.
And also, part of the crucible expeditions I lead involve those same people... and we pair them with military veterans who are transitioning from active duty service to the business world.
So both those folks, I consider my constituents
Andrew Hryniewicz 2:39 Okay great.
Jan Rutherford 2:40 Yeah.
Andrew Hryniewicz 2:40 And it sounds like they, I mean, the next question would be what's the biggest challenge they face? But I'm guessing that they might have very different challenges, or they might surprisingly have the same challenges.
Jan Rutherford 2:53 Yeah, it would be the latter. If I were to group it into the two things I work with people the most.
One is "Their Busyness". Just the fact that they wrestle with just managing their own time.
Every single person I work with wants to spend more time in more strategic area that they know is going to move themselves, other people and the business.
The other thing that I spend a lot of time with people on is what I would categorize is "Misaligned Expectations".
And by that, whether people are managing up, down, sideways, there's a difficult conversation that needs to be had. And the reason that difficult conversation needs to be had is somebody is not doing what somebody else thinks they should be doing, or behaving the way that they think they should behaving.
And normally, or usually, I should say, it's gone on way too long. So now it's really a difficult conversation.
And part of it is, the ground rules weren't established at the very beginning of how the two people or the groups were going to communicate, and resolve conflict, and use healthy debate to actually produce better outcomes.
Andrew Hryniewicz 4:16 And I think that touches on all the work around trust in teams, and creating a safe place where you can actually make mistakes, and explore, and figure stuff out?
Jan Rutherford 4:29 Yeah, well exactly. And part of that is not just the interpersonal skills required, but like you said, shaping an environment that's safe and where trust can flourish. And that's difficult.
And that's the transition that leaders make when they go from leading teams, to leading an organization... basically senior executive roles, starting to look at the system and cause and effect.
And what are the things that we need to do to shape the culture? That will change, you know, behaviors overall? And that's difficult. It's hard.
Andrew Hryniewicz 5:07 Okay, so that ties in with question number three: What's the number one insight you would share with people in that situation to help?
Jan Rutherford 5:16 Yeah. Well, it's the same insight that we gain on "The Crucible Expeditions"... no matter what every, you know, we've had hundreds of people go through. And the takeaway is always, "I need to slow down to speed up."
It is as simple as that. They've got to stop being so busy and look around and say, "What is essential? What decision do I need to make, that will matter for a long time?" And, that's difficult. You know, we're just so wrapped up in activity and busyness.
And we lose sight of what the results are and the outcomes we're after--instead of just the busyness in the activity. It's... we've got to replace our reward system, you know. We're rewarded by being busy and needed, and making quick decisions.
You know, the thing, the long term thinking is much more difficult. And short term wise, it's a lot less rewarding. You know, you might have to wait weeks or months to see the fruits of your labor, as you will.
Andrew Hryniewicz 6:28 Reminds me of the number one regret people have in hospice is I never really did what I wanted to do with my life.
Jan Rutherford 6:36 Right? Yeah.
Andrew Hryniewicz 6:38 And then to add insult to injury, the number two regret is I didn't spend enough time with the people I loved.
Jan Rutherford 6:44 Yep. It's the same, I mean, that I remember Marshall Goldsmith, who is a well known coach in the United States, you know, saying to a small group of us one time... He said, "I can read your mind. I know it, all of you are thinking right this second."
And we're thinking "What?" He goes, "Here's what you're thinking. In three weeks, when everything slows down, I'm going to blank."
And he's right. I mean, that's the lie we tell ourselves that, you know, this crazy busyness will be over soon.
And it won't be unless we change, unless we start saying no to things. And that's hard. Because many of us are pleasers at heart. You know, we don't want to say no, we want to be needed.
We want that short term fix. And a lot of it really, if you think about it, is delayed gratification. That's the transition we have to make as leaders.
Andrew Hryniewicz 7:42 It's the marshmallow test all over again.
Jan Rutherford 7:44 Exactly. Yep.
Andrew Hryniewicz 7:49 Okay, So question number four: What concept book program talk or possibly experience has been most impactful in your own development?
Jan Rutherford 7:59 I had a mentor, who was a retired two star general from the Air Force. And he went on to be vice chair of a major engineering consulting firm, and he was just the greatest.
And, what he taught me is that... the advice... if I had to give one piece of advice to a CEO, this is it: people support what they helped create. Period.
And it's so simple, but that's it. And that doesn't mean, you know, work as a do-ocracy. But it does mean, you know, you might not get a vote, but you get a voice.
That what we're really after, as we lead, is not compliance. What we're after is commitment. And the way to get commitment is people support what they help create.
And, Simon Sinek evangelizes the 'why'. It's the same principle. You know, people support what they help create, they got to get behind, get their shoulder into it. So, that would be it.
Andrew Hryniewicz 9:11 Okay, great. So question five: What free resource would you like to share with the audience to help them?
Jan Rutherford 9:17 Well, if you go to my website selfreliantleadership.com, there's a coaching course out there on the power of journaling, and you can, if you sign up for my newsletter, you can get that free.
And I've got a ton of resources out there, you know, almost 200 videos, we've recorded over 250 podcast, all that you can find at selfreliantleadership.com.
Andrew Hryniewicz 9:44 Okay. That will be also in the show notes. So our last question number six. What should I have asked you that I didn't?
Jan Rutherford 9:54 Well, I think you know, I thought about this. I think the question to ask is, well, why do you do what you do? You know, I mean, you outlined what I do. And there's a lot of people that do that. But if we go back to a little bit of Simon Sinek, why do you do it?
You know, early on as a teenager, I became a green beret. And I was around Medal of Honor recipients and people that had survived to being prisoners of war. And I was around these great leaders.
And I saw some of them, because of their experiences, were great. Some of them were great, because of the position they held. But I also notice there's a lot of great leaders that didn't have rank, they didn't have those experience.
And I was fascinated by what made them effective, why I would just follow them to do anything. And what I started to realize, as great as leaders that I experienced, I was starting to experience as a young man, you know, some really bad leadership.
And I realized that unlike physicians, as leaders we don't take a Hippocratic oath. We don't say do no harm, but we should. Every time someone's promoted into a leadership role, they should have to take an oath that says, Do no harm.
Because we can affect people's physical, emotional and mental health for the good or, for more, for the not so good. And so, I've just been fascinated my entire life, and been a student of leadership.
And I am on this quest to figure out what makes people more effective, because when they're great leaders, they're gonna have great teams, and there's a ripple effect throughout partners and associates and families in the community.
And I think, that's my little way of trying to make the world a little bit better place is helping leaders be more effective. And, I just love what I do.
And I honestly feel like if you're lucky enough that you don't have a job or a career, but you get to pursue a calling. And that's what I feel like the last 10 years have been for me, and I'm very grateful.
Andrew Hryniewicz 12:23 That's a perfect place to end on a really beautiful vision. So thank you, Jan so much for your time today.
Jan Rutherford 12:30 Thanks. It was a pleasure being on your show.
Narrator 12:34 Thanks for listening to the destiny awakening interviews. If you have a friend who would benefit please share, and subscribe to the show on iTunes and leave a review. We really appreciate it. And remember, always use your power for good
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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WHAT WE'RE ABOUT
For executives, professionals, leaders seeking careers and lives of fulfilment, purpose and impact.
Each week you get a short (7-9 min) chat with an expert in peak performance, optimal health, inner growth and real purpose.
The interviews are designed to help you do meaningful work, feel vital and alive again, and be respected and rewarded for your vision and values.
‘Diversity Equity & inclusion’ J. Israel Green, June 2
‘Lead With Confidence’ Cristina Holloway, June 9
‘Executive Presence’ Nikki Williams, June 16
‘The Superstar Paradox’ Karen Eldad, June 23
‘Individuation’ Anthony Metten, June 30
Andrew Wayfinder is on a mission to make everyone's career and life more fulfilling, rewarding and meaningful in our changing, and challenging world.
Since 2011, he has used his unique background (architect, psycho-therapist, shamanic healer) to help 175+ executives and leaders (in corporate, creative, academic and scientific settings) create lives and careers they love.
Author of Free your Soul, founder of Destiny Awakening and the Wayfinder Path, Andrew has spoken at MindValley U, been on BBC Radio and interviewed in OmYoga Magazine.
Andrew lives in London, UK (where he enjoys cooking, cycling, art museums and galleries) and he works with clients in the US, Europe, UK and Asia.