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BTOES in Financial Services Live - SPEAKER SPOTLIGHT: Head, Heart and Hands of Influencing Change

Courtesy of Libro Credit Union's Rhonda Choja below is a transcript of his speaking session on 'Head, Heart and Hands of Influencing Change' to Build a Thriving Enterprise that took place at the Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Summit in Financial Services Live.

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Session Information:

Head, Heart and Hands of Influencing Change

Inspiring and leading change in any organization can be hard. This message strives to share practical strategies for how to influence change, engage stakeholders and drive win/win solutions. People who effectively appeal to logical, emotional, and cooperative interests of others are able to achieve their objectives more successfully. No matter where they sit in an organization!

These proven techniques, if practiced consistently over time, help build the relationships and credibility needed to gain buy-in and support for new and potentially disruptive ideas.

  • Connect with people’s intellect by building trust, applying logic, focusing on mutual goals, and demonstrating reliability 
  • Effectively manage emotions in yourself and others by being resilient, anticipating reactions, validating strengths, and practicing empathy
  • Get stakeholder input and refine solutions through networking, directly observing, collaborating, and connecting dots

Session Transcript:

So, fortunately, Rhonda Choja, who's going to pronounce it or who's going to present to us in just a moment. She's the Executive Vice President of Operations of Libra Credit Union. Thank you, Rhonda, for joining us, but before I let her speak, I just want to give everyone a little bit of background.

Her career in financial services goes more than 30 years. She.

That means she started working when she was 10 with diverse leadership experience across both international banks and community-focused credit unions.

Rhonda, is a true generalist, generalist and then the world of change. In my opinion, a generalist is essential because the only thing general in an organization is people.

She's best known for her ability to collaborate, build relationships, and influence organizational culture through leading, effective change. She's a dedicated coach and mentor who truly finds, truly cares about empowering others and drive the success with a passion for lifelong learning. Of course, she's got a Master's degree in business administration answered with Certificates in Human Resources, lean and Agile. Now, there's an interesting combination, HR and lean and agile, fantastic. For this session, we're talking about leading change and innovation management.

Rhonda, without further ado, I give you the stage and I will be here and enthralled by your presentation.

Wonderful, thank you. So just make sure that I can you can see my screen there. OK Chris, you are good, you are good.

Wonderful, thank you. And Jolla is a unique name. My, my maiden name was Woodburn, just as it sounds, and I'm married an amazing man with a Polish heritage and so that is actually a Polish last name.

So I always have to say Rhonda Hoya, C H O J. It's never just the name.

But today, what was really cool about the session today is, we keep hearing, like Chris mentioned, technology solutions, Automation Solutions, How can we accelerate or transform our business?

And when you think about all those things we're learning about at the conference today, none of that can be achieved successfully without the ability to influence that type of change in an organization. So, today, I'm really excited to, to help everybody, you know, high performance and influencing change. It, we really need to tap into those logical, emotional, and co-operative interests of the people around us.

In other words, we need to engage the head, the heart, and the hands.

Rhonda Choja ImgSo, my goal today is to offer you some practical tips and tools to help you consistently practice some of these things in order to build relationships, credibility, and over time, When you bring a new idea or disruptive idea forward, you're easy to gain buy in from your teammates and the people and the leaders in your organization.

So one of the things I always like to ask my audience is, what percentage of change do you think fails as a result of not having management support or support within your organization, tend to get a lot of different answers.

Some people think it's low, 40%, some people think it's really high, 90%, The truth is, about 70% of change initiatives fail as a result of staff and management not supporting the idea.

So what I want to share with you today, if none of you have ever heard of trent hunter dot com, I encourage you to go take a look.

There one of the world's largest and most popular trend communities, and they leverage data.

Too many screens moving around here, everybody.

They leverage big data, human researchers, and AI to identify consumer insights that companies can leverage from. But one of the services that they offer is they offer a free innovation assessment.

And what that does is it gives you your innovation arc type, and how you can leverage this, from strengths perspective and from blind spots.

So I share this with you, is because I wanna share your boat me. So my innovation archetype is a roche's adventurer.

What that means is that I'm insatiable and I have a strong desire to push new ideas and projects forward quickly in an organization.

I'm also very curious, and I'm always looking for new information or inspiration around me. I take an analytical and thoughtful approach, and I'm pretty good at spotting those new opportunities.

So what do I know?

from being in the industry for 30 years, as Chris indicated, and threw a lot of diverse and unique functions within that?

What I know for sure is That influencing change is hard.

It's like climbing this mountain.

It takes time and effort and hard work to bring ideas to life.

So I want to start with a quote and I'm not going to tell you specifically about what this quarter's about, but you may recognize it.

We choose to pursue this idea and do other things.

Not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because the goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because the challenge is one we are willing to accept.

And one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win: Sibal pursuing a vision and pursuing an idea.

This is John F Kennedy talking about going to the moon in the next decade.

Btog CTAAnd what we know about this, is that innovation and change journey is not and should not be easy. We need to find that motivation to keep at it. We need to know our purpose, what inspires us, and where our own individual strengths can add value.

And sometimes it takes a long time to make those shifts in a team or in an organization.

For myself, what I know for sure is seeds that I plant today, or that you plant today, they may not grow for months.

And I've had, in my past experience, sometimes those seeds don't actually grow for years.

That's why it's important for us to build relationships, share information, and work together with people to solve problems, and by consciously and consistently tapping into people's logical, emotional, and co-operative interests.

We're able to gain that support along the way for new ideas.

So let's start. Let's start with what the logical appeals are.

This is where we need to tap into people's rational and intellectual positions. We need to offer a clear why the change is needed, and create that catalyst and urgency for change.

It fundamentally starts with building trust.

And the low spectrum of trust is, I, it's protect mode, but then you move to the high spectrum of trust. And that's where we get to we and successful partnerships and co creating.

And our, what happens in the low spectrum of trust is that people don't believe that we have their best interests in mind.

And they're afraid of the unknown, and it's their instinct, human instinct, to resist change.

This is neuroscience 101, and I'm fascinated.

Our goal is the pre-frontal cortex.

We want people there where they can actually digest and move forward with complex information. And that's where we process that.

The other parts of our brain, unfortunately, fire a lot more quickly.

And that's when we're under threat, or when we're under. No, under the unknown is presented to us.

And we get the amygdala, the amygdala kicking in, and it moves into fight or flight.

And right there, we get defensive, and we act protective.

So we do need to move people along this spectrum to help people get to operating within that pre-frontal cortex, where they can digest the information more successfully.

A little story about this, and when I joined a specific division within the organization, I was asked to actually mature the culture in a specific way.

And, I had enough knowledge and experience that I could ask really good questions and sometimes, technical questions of my partners.

And, I'll never forget sending my first, very technical question over to one of my partners, and I got a very cheeky response, but it was very telling to me.

And that response was, You shouldn't be asking questions like that.

And what that said to me is that that individual was fully in protect mode.

They didn't want to let me in on information that was happening within their team or within their group.

And over a period of a year, time, we were able to build that trust, And I did that through constantly showing up, being reliable, which we'll talk about.

Making sure that I was advocating for the good work that their team was doing, seeking his expertise, and his knowledge on the history of the team, respecting that knowledge and expertise.

And by doing that, and constantly coming to the table, and being an advocate, an a partner, for him, for his team, now we're fully in that co create.

We partnership, where we can actually develop and bring ideas back and forth, And we actually come together as, uh, guided coalition, when we bring ideas forward together, super important.

The next one is Apply logic.

This one seems pretty simple, you need to come with objective and logical, fact based, detailed evidence.

I like to think that both this and the terms, if anybody's familiar with human centered design, there's three elements you need to look at.

And I like to bring evidence forward that aligns with this theory.

So first of all, you need to assess the desirability, which is prove that people want it, give examples of why people want this particular idea or change to happen, then adress feasibility, can we do it? Do we have the skills? Do we have the knowledge?

Do we have the people assess that, bring that forward?

And then lastly, the viability, is it financially sound? Is it sustainable? Is it something that we have that we can actually invest in from a financial perspective?

And by bringing that logical buckets forward, you help people think about it in a real way.

Then we move on to reliability and being reliable, so people need to believe that you'll do what you said you were going to do.

So we need clear structures and methodologies in place, so people know what's coming next, and they're not surprised by it, or they don't go into the unknown.

So by following a change management practice or a project management methodology, something that people fundamentally know and understand, what this does is it increases the confidence and you gain the support to move through each next step because they know what's coming next and they understand how and when, they're going to be engaged along that change journey.

And last, I'd like to think of building trust and pursuing mutual goals as bookends for how we tap into logical appeals.

You need to drive interest based conversations with the people around you who are part of the problem and solution.

You need to generate those win-win solutions. With everybody, it can't just be single one person's interests to move something forward.

You get to co create a great example, or a really easy methodology to move people through getting to mutual goals.

Start with the current state, bring your stakeholders together, and give everyone a voice.

It's always important to give everyone a voice, start with the current state, what's working, what's not working, what challenges exist in the current state.

Then, ask the group, if I could wave a magic wand, and you could have any desired end state that you want, what would that look like?

And, again, go round table. Give everyone a voice to understand what that ideal state might look like.

Now, you have some work ahead of you.

You take that information away and you can draft what you heard into a co-created vision of the future and present that back to them and said, Here's what I think I heard, And here's what it might look like.

If people gain consensus on that, they might tweak it, give feedback, but now you have a future.

So now, you also know what the current status, you just need to close the gaps now.

So that's how we get to mutually inclusive outcomes.

Let's get to emotional appeals.

Believe it or not, these are the strongest and most attractive.

And because they overpower logic a lot of time, the human brain is wired to connect more deeply with emotions than facts.

And most executive decisions are based on emotion. When I heard that, it blew my mind, because I was always the type of person who played to logical appeals and brought evidence and data to the table.

28And a real key learning for me was when, Again, I was asked to come in, I was asked to make changes, and I started going on the journey and moving through the changes.

And I forgot a critical piece. I forgot to ask about the history, the culture, and the deep rooted values of the teams that I was supporting.

And by not doing that, I lost how to tap into their emotional support.

So emotions aren't just about other people's emotions, are also about ours.

And being resilient as we go through and lead change is so critically important.

So as innovators, we cannot fear complex. We actually need to recognize that a certain amount of friction is actually helpful.

And the innovators must be comfortable navigating that uncomfortable in a constructive way. So I was really excited that Chris was chairing the event because I was able to join one of his keynotes recently where he introduced the hero's journey.

Now, kristopher writing the book, Novel Automation Now, he puts a segment in there to help staff be heroes.

And why I think this is important is because all hiro journeys are very similar.

So I want you to think about re in the force, awakens or Neo in the matrix.

Or my personal favorite Wonder Woman.

These heroes.

When you start with act one, everybody's in their ordinary world, they're in, they're known, it's your comfort zone, but then what happens is you get a call to an adventure and in the second act, when you're in the adventure, this is where you get tested.

This is where you identify who your enemies are. You also gain allies during the adventure.

And this is where you gain resistance, but you also have revelations and you gain rewards.

And what I like about what Chris says is this is where you face your dragons, and this is part of the change journey.

The third Act is where you get a chance to make it right.

Now, you realize the transformation. There's a feeling of accomplishment, and you've added value.

So, I want you to just pause for a minute.

And think about when you were leading change, when you were trying to move one of your ideas forward that you're really passionate about, and you kept hitting barriers, think of the word, the feeling that you felt.

And, again, when I survey audiences about this, some of the words that come forward are frustrating, disheartening.

Exhausting hard.

This is true, but you have to remember that if you persist and you keep moving forward, you will gain success as the protagonist in your own story.

If you're resilient and you're tenacious, you can move forward.

So, on that note, then, what about the emotions of other people? We do need to anticipate those.

When you think about a strong management practice, anticipating and Motion's, doing a stakeholder analysis, to understand the mindsets for the change, the level of resistance, or support you're going to get from various stakeholders, we need to know our audience, and what I would encourage you to find out is what is their motivation, what's core to them, So they like winning.

Do they like being right, understand those nuances about your audience.

And one of the things that is very interesting here is, one of the gifts I'll give you is, sometimes, when you frame something for someone as something that they might lose, if this change doesn't go forward, versus all the benefits they might gain, If we do do the change, you actually trigger a stronger appeal.

Because people are more likely to respond to the loss of something versus the benefit or the gain of something.

Validating strengths is all about listening to people, respecting their expertise and their knowledge as part of the process.

And I'm a big advocate that no matter where people sit in an organization, no matter what level in the hierarchy they are. Everybody has something of value to add.

And knowledge that they have, that others don't have.

So let's call that out, and let's appreciate that.

And if you have ever add your ideas, stolen, or someone else, taking credit for one of your ideas.

You know what it feels like to not give credit where credit is due.

And when you do give people credit for their contributions to the change, you gain their support.

And lastly, we need to practice empathy.

We need to meet people where they are on their change journey, whether it's through change adoption, or the acceptance or support of an idea, and people need to know that you're there to look after them and that you've got their back.

So, it's a very simple strategy.

Ag knowledge, people where they are, don't try to solve their problem, but acknowledge where they are, paraphrase it, say it back to them. So they truly believe, believe that they've been heard, then emphasize empathize with them.

What is that feeling that they're feeling?

and why do they, why do you think that they're feeling that?

And lastly, we need to stop telling people, We need to ask great questions. We need to remove judgement from all of the activities that we're pursuing. And simply be genuinely curious about where people are in their journey, and what their perspectives are, and what their feedback might be.

So let's move on to co-operative appeals.

We need collaboration.

So how can we do this together?

Consultation because someone might have a better idea to build on your solution or your idea.

And of course, we need alliances so who is going to support us or has the credibility you need to help move it forward?

So here we start with networking.

Networking is critical.

We should always be building relationships within our organization internally and externally with our partners because this is where, when you think of kotter's eight Stages of Change, this is where you need to get your powerful coalition.

Think about that hero's journey.

In act two, you need to gain allies, people with positive energy and the power to shape the outcomes.

And be strategic. Don't just network with anyone.

You had your stakeholder analysis. Now you had to have conversations with individuals.

Who are those individuals who you believe can give you ideas, that consultation to test ideas on?

Perhaps add elements to the idea that you've already thought of?

Then you what happens by building this network and gaining the support? You build political capital within the organization and you're more likely to get people to move forward and support ideas that you bring forward.

Directly Observe.

So, for anyone who has leeann or continuous improvement, practice or experience, this is what we call, going to the Gemba.

Screenshot (4)Go see, Ask why, show respect.

It means going to where the work really happens.

You need to break down assumptions that you might have about processes or but what's happening in the organization.

You need to observe what the actual work is, and engage with the people who actually do the work to gain knowledge.

And the benefit of this is, you get really valuable insights, and you get data that will support the strategic direction you're trying to drive.

It also brings the stakeholders closer together, because you're helping to find solutions for those end users, or those people who are moving through that area.

And we're improving communication by going to where the work done. You automatically improve communication at all levels of the organization.

So, let's talk about collaboration.

This, again, is fundamental to any change initiative. We know this.

We need to create opportunities, though, where we work across teams and functions, and encourage people to break down their silos.

I'm sure you've all run into this challenge where one or top piece of the business, or one stage of the organization moves in a direction, and they forgot to engage someone along the way, and they're also doing work like that.

Or they actually fundamentally don't agree with what's going on and there's conflict happening.

So you need to break down those silos, bring people to the table early, and let them opt out if they're not the right partner to be engaged.

But we need to include people early in the decision making because that strengthens the commitment to the change.

And again, through collaborations, what you can do is you can put pilots in paid place with those willing participants where you gain evidence and learning along the way.

The last tactic I want to offer you around head heart and hands, is connecting dots.

And I have to give you two ways to connect dots here.

So, first is a very innovative way to connect dots.

And it's about connecting multiple unrelated solutions or problems and fit them together in a new way. So I want to give you, again, a financial industry, a success story in this space.

I used to lead the Internal Audit function and we needed to revamp the Internal Audit program for our branches or our locations.

And so what we did, is, we hired a consultant, but we also engaged a small, core team of branch employees to help us build what would be the most value add. That was, the key audits aren't fun. We wanted it to be value add.

So, we asked them about the rating structure. We asked them about how we, they wanted to be engaged, what they wanted, the communication back and forth between the audit team and their branch staff to look like, and we built a program. And it was pretty good.

And we tested it, and we ran a branch through it, and they gave feedback, and they were like, Yeah, it's OK.

But then, what we did is we stood back, and we said, the organization at the time was going through their lean continuous improvement journey as well, and maturing that culture.

So what we said is, What if we came into your branch, and we tested your controls, like every audit does?

And we gave you findings that you had to action.

But what we also did is, because we're objective observers coming into your branch will also give you some process improvements, and some ideas around how to gain efficiencies, or how to improve things in your branch.

And we'll put those in the report as well. You don't have to action them, but they're a gift to you.

So we reframed a new program. We tested that one.

I kid you not.

By providing the branch's with audit findings as well as business process improvements as part of that final report.

We had branch's raising their hand, and lining up to say, Please, audit us. Next.

This was so fun, because who wants to be audited, but we literally had a lineup of people who wanted to be audited.

So think differently. Lift your head.

Look around for the opportunities that might connect.

And last, Connecting the Dots is around.

When you come to present your big, exciting idea, you're ready to pitch it.

What typically happens is you have to remember, when you push people outside their comfort zone, what might happen is they go into the unknown, and the amygdala kicks in, fear, rejection, resistance, because they're like, wow, that's way different than we've ever done anything before.

What you need to do is connect the dots.

So, when you bring a new idea forward, you've already done all these things, we've talked about, you've networked, you've researched, you've tested your idea.

You know, it's solid, but nobody in your audience does.

So what happens is based on knowledge, time, and knowledge, your way up here.

But your audience is down here, and you have to find a way in that first presentation or that first meeting when you're pitching your idea, to connect that knowledge in time as quickly as possible.

So give the background, give the timing of what you've moved forward with.

And that provides the last of our items.

But I want to leave you with, one last story. This is a quote from Glennon Doyle.

So these things will be hard.

But we can do hard things. We can practice, We can push our ourselves outside, our comfort zone to practice some of these tactics.

I want to leave you with one final story before we close off.

And it's a story about building a wall.

So a 12 year old boy, and his little brother are giving this seemingly impossible task.

Their dad decides that he wants a new wall up front of his shop.

So the father goes out and tears down the existing wall. That is 16 feet high and 30 feet long.

And he asked the two brothers to build a new one by hand.

So the boys start coming after school every day and continue to build a wall, laying brick after brick every single day.

And at one point, the older brother stands back, and he looks at the project, and he says, there is no way, This is ever going to be a wall. I'm never gonna make we're never gonna get to the finish line.

And a year and a half later, they laid their final brick in a brand-new wall.

And when the father came out, when they were all done, all he said to them was, Don't ever tell me you can't do something, and he walked back in the shop.

So, when you have a new vision or a new idea to bring to your organization, it is super important, because it gives you that true north of that direction to head towards.

Rhonda Choja ImgAnd it's important, however, we don't usually start with that perfect vision, instead, we start by taking action, collecting feedback, course correcting on the path.

And you start by laying one brick at a time, and soon, your vision comes to life.

So, I always like to give my audiences an ask.

So, today's ask is, when you think about the learnings, and there is an handout there available for you and infographic with all the key learnings from today.

When you have that, what is the single action that you can take tomorrow to help move your vision or idea forward?

It's all about taking that one step at a time.

So, I want to thank you so much for your time today, and I truly appreciate your engagement, and I will turn it over to Chris.

I don't want you to turn it over to me. I want you to stay with me, if that would be OK. Yeah, absolutely. I, I've got some questions, you, and I have got a lot of say this, you know, I got so lucky to be asked to chair this event because it just so happens, people like you are on it. To learn from all these journeys what people are doing, It's been great, you said something.

That, I change is a fascinating subject, but you said something that I wanted to ask you about.

And that is, the auditors go into no one ever says, bring on the IRS send me. That just. Does that happen?


The experience they had with the auditors made them feel.


And so, I, if you switch the word auditor, and you said, know, I'm in the IT department and in my bank, Nobody cares about the IT department or I'm in the finance department and in my company, nobody cares about the famous, you know, whatever, pick the thing. Right?

Can you talk a little bit more about what you think that magic formula was, to get them to actually say pleased? They weren't really saying, please audit me. What were they really say?

So, what they wanted to say is, they wanted, what they saw in the program that we developed, Is there was value add for them.

So, this is the key: What is in it for me, and what that And not just what's in it for me, because we think about that from change perspective all the time.

But, where's the value add?

And I think anytime we're leading any kind of change, the root of it is, is what value are you bringing to the table? What value are you adding to the organization?

Or What benefit is that team going to have as a result of this change?

So, Rhonda, I want to ask you that person. So, let's just, we'll just make up a person, hypothetical person from the organization you were talking about. You said you brought value to them.

It sounds to me like they felt valued, or you wouldn't be doing it, right? I mean, to me, yes.

I just know, I make this analogy that for, for the great leaders I've had in my life, I would crawl through broken glass for them and for the bad ones, I would hide under the bed and hope to never get a phone.

Alright. Let's see, I've got a couple other questions for you. Let me see if I can go through these. Well, I mean, the obvious point, all right, your talk, and this is, I'm glad that this has brought up. The obvious point in your talk is you, you bring up three different things, You say, Head, heart and hands, and then you walk through the methodology.

How do you think, how do you think you prioritize or figure out the right tactic for the group? How do you figure out the right tactic for the right group? But what what are the indicators, and then, what do you do with it?

Millimeter, Hm. I think that, That's a great question. And I'll tie it back to the networking piece.

So networking isn't only about when you're leading a change, are introducing a change.

It's fundamentally about building relationships, and learning about people, and learning about their teens, and learning about what's important to them.

And as a practice, what I talk about is it's that consistent practice being conscious about always doing those activities.

Because, by doing that, like I'll give you, for example, So because I do that, when I go to lead a change, I already know my audience.

I already know what they care about and what's important to them.

So, when I do that, then I can actually appeal to them, specifically. So I know one of my leaders always wants data, prove it to me, randa, Where's the data? If I give them something anecdotal? They're not interested.

So I know, always, in my toolkit, with that particular individual or that particular team, that's what I need to bring to the table.

But it's because of the continuous practice of engaging in one-on-one.

The water cooler conversations, intentional coffee dates, all those things, you learn about people.

And then you know what they're looking for.

That's so true. It's so powerful.

And, you know, we, we all get, well, I had a client come speak in front of, I think, there were 200 managing directors from Accenture.

And I was one of them, 200 managing directors, and we had our client who we thought was a great client, we'd done this great work for.

And we asked him to come and talk, it was like, Hit me on the left, and, And praise me on the right.

He still stands up, and he says, this is a really successful project, but what other things you wanted him to say, right?

And then he pauses, and he says, But you guys are very transactional, Where were you after the project was done, I didn't have you, you didn't weren't coming over for coffee, you don't know what's going on next student and they'll hold a whole team, We were just looking at him going, He is so right.

Oh, my God.

I think This is the Truth, is we had done this great project, and we'd walked away and What he wanted and I think what you're saying hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm, People want to know. It's not that we didn't care about them. We were just trying to chase the next deal and pay the bills, right, but that's the wrong thing to do.

You don't maintain that relationship.

Everything is a transaction, it wasn't a relationship. So, when I heard you say this.

I just thought, Where was Rhonda? when I needed her back at? This meeting took place. That was going to ask you, OK. So, here's another one right?

And I think this relates, I mean, it's just kind of a personal question.

So if you think about, you have your ups and downs in life, you know your highs and lows of ever given day. You know, you're feeling respected or not respected in the work environment, whatever.

What is kinda that north star that you think motivates you, and keeps you going forward?

What is that thing that, you know?

No, I, I, actually, I recently wrote a blog about this, because it was so impactful to me.

So, as a leader, who is passionate about driving change, like we mention, I also have people on my team who are also passionate about driving change.

And, sometimes, they get into this place of, it's really hard, and I don't know what to do next, and I can't gain buy in in all of these things, right?

And so, as a leader, my job is to reduce barriers, empower people, and eliminate barriers. That's my job.

And I actually, and I, in that moment, I was like, you know what, I'm tired, too.

Maybe we should just give up Maybe we should just give up, I'm going to even get an emotional.

But what she said to me, as she said, Please don't take your hands off the wheel on this one, Rhonda: Please keep going, and that was my motivation.

My inspiration is because I care about the people in my organization.

I care about the trying the change, positive change they're trying to make in the organization, and that means I need to do all of these things as well, at my level, in the organization, to help influence the change that they're trying to bring to life.

28I would call that a purpose that you, you have this incredibly strong purpose and what you're doing and what's so obvious is if you have that purpose or anyone, anyone on this call or who watches this later, there is no substitute for a purpose.

You can't bullshit your way through it. You can't come up with a slide. You can't go to go get a degree. Nothing replaces a purpose. Purpose or you don't, and I'm not talking about the Steve Martin joke from that movie, which is that if anyone's old enough to remember, that's not what I'm talking about. You have to have a purpose. And it's so transparent when you don't have it, Right. And leadership role. Right Times are tough. They know, if you're gonna crack, they're gonna see it.

Yeah, to go home, and feel that way. All right, now I don't want to end on this, but I do want to ask you this, because we've got a few more minutes, so I want to ask you this, this question, that, potentially, it goes negative before we can end on a positive note.

I don't know about you, my biggest lessons have been, that looked like this: know, some stupid thing I did, which, of course, taught me an enormous amount about something, but at the time, it didn't feel like that, it just felt, like, you know, hand in hand and forehead, So I'm gonna ask, if you don't have to pick the number one, but can you think of something that really stands out as a career mistake involved in leading change.

Where you really went home at night, or maybe it took a week. It said, that was a big lesson.


So, I think I go back to knowing your audience.

Knowing your organization, knowing the people because I tent as I've talked about, right, this whole ferocious adventure, peace that I know about myself.

I have a very strong bias to action.

I just want to go, I have an idea, and I want to make it happen and bring it to life.

And what I've, what's hit me is, every time I come on strong, every time I come too fast out of the gate, I lose people.


And it's, it's harder, I coach to this as well.

You need to go slow to go fast.

So you need to do the work and some of those things that we've talked about, or else you lose people along the way.

So I've had multiple scenarios in my career, I've come out of the gate way too strong, the resistance happens, because the recuperation from the resistance takes even longer then doing the work upfront.

And so, that's my biggest mistake. And I still trip on it sometimes.

And so, I always have to coach myself to say, wait a minute. What conversations do I need to have before I come out of the gate?

Yep. I know I would pair and not, not above, not below, I would pair.

Another thing that I see happen a lot, which is, there's only so much enthusiasm that can be in a room about an idea.

And if you come on, you said, come on too strong. If you both come on too strong and are super, incredibly enthusiastic about what the thing is. There's nothing.

No, no one in the room can add their own enthusiasm if you're already at 10, Right?

But if you can't, even though you're feeling 10, you think it's an incredibly great thing, right?

But if you come in at a four, someone else in the room is going to take it to a six, and you can go, Hey, that's fantastic, that's a six.

Right, but if you come in at a 10, that people, like, they feel like a subconscious need to go down from that.

Which, yeah, Great framing, that's such great framing, 'cause I always like to say, if we get too excited about our own ideas, we also don't leave space, right?

or rather to enhance the idea.

Right. I always go in and say, here's a, here's a straw person, or, here's something that I'm thinking about and I test it on people.

When you test it on people, they get a chance to say, that's really cool, and what does he added this? Or what if you did this?

And then you get their enthusiasm to totally, I know, you know, not to be political, but a president who was popular at the time Ronald Reagan, was famous for saying, you can get anything done as long as it's somebody else's idea. Hundred percent.


OK, so I'll give you a minute.

Here's your, here's your opportunity to say, what would you like to thank you, by the way, for the, the, the handout for everyone. Everyone should get that, either now or after the fact.

But if you're gonna say, what's your big takeaway before you go grab a cup of coffee, or a glass of water, or whatever you need to do, What would what would be one takeaway you'd like them to think about?

I think the takeaway is, push yourself outside your comfort zone to practice some of these tactics.

Sometimes what I find is people are afraid to book the meeting, or afraid to book the call, or whatever, or to face the resistance.

Jump in.

Go for it.

Have the conversation, go test some ideas.

Don't hesitate in that space.

So, that would be my first piece of advice.

And then, the second piece of it is, we started with the conversation about building trust.

And I would say, for any, any success in any organization, any success in any relationship, it's the foundation, It's the foundation. People need to trust you and believe your credibility. So, I think those would be the things to work on.

Well, those are two great takeaways.

I have nothing to top that, So I will leave you and your sparkling moments at the end of that session. Rhonda, thank you so much for joining us today, Offering this great information for people to absorb either now or after the fact, and of course, a great, You put a summary, so people don't have to take the detailed notes.

Hopefully they took notes anyway, though, That would be good. All right, everybody, join us back in 15 minutes. We have a presentation from Dell. It's an artificial intelligence, Rhonda. I'm going to see you again around. I can see that we're going to cross paths and multiple ways. I don't know whether and how it's going to happen. Yes, everybody else in about 15 minutes. Thank you very much, take care. See soon, Everybody.


About the Author

more-Apr-07-2022-08-43-44-89-AMRhonda Choja,
Executive Vice President, Operations,
Libro Credit Union.



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