Executive Coach | Author
Nuggets from the
Stages of human development
Jennifer speaks about the 5 stages of Human Development. Stage 1 – Magical mind: When we are a young child. Stage 2 – Self-sovereign mind: When we are the king or queen of the kingdom of 1 (teenage years). Stage 3 – Socialized mind: When we take our cues from the people around us. Stage 4 – Self-authoring mind: when we take charge of our narrative. Stage 5 – Self-transforming mind: Seeing every interaction as an opportunity for co-creation and growth
Transitions in mid-life
Jennifer speaks at length about Stage 3 (Socialized mind) and Stage 4 (Self-authored mind) as these two account for ~90% of the adults in the world. She also speaks about the notion of liminality and the connection with transitioning across these two stages. Suffice it to say that this is not easy but this transition requires years of commitment to firmly move from one space to the other.
Humans - an outdated OS
Jennifer speaks about the fundamental disconnect between the human operating system that has evolved over thousands of years and the current world we find ourselves in. She says that in order to survive in the jungles, we had to cut out complexity, make quick decisions and not over-finesse our responses. But that approach is not going to cut it in the world we are in given the number of moving parts. She also speaks about how our home life has evolved over time and that has led to additional complexity in our lives.
5 traps that leaders fall into
Jennifer speaks about 5 traps that leaders often find themselves in as a result of the disconnect between the operating systems they have and the way the world works. 1) Our preference for simple stories 2) Perceived rightness 3) Need for agreement 4) Desire for control 5) Shackled by who we are now than who we could be.
Trap1 - Looking for simple stories
Jennifer speaks about how we grow up listening to linear stories that have a beginning, a middle and an end and there is often a very clear chain of causality. She mentions that this leads us to “making sense” of the world through simplistic stories and often that can be really far from the truth. She speaks about how we can recognize this trap and avoid it.
Trap 2 - Feeling right does not mean it is right
Jennifer speaks about the distinction between feeling something is right versus thinking that something is right. She mentions that the feeling of rightness often arrives a few milliseconds before the actual process of cognitive certainty around a problem and this could lead to us forming an opinion first and then back-filling the data to suit the answer we end up feeling right about.
Trap 3 - Desire to agree
Jennifer speaks about the risk of us going for a compromise and ending up in a “one size fits nobody” situation, as Late Prof Clay Christensen would say. She speaks about why it is important for us to think about disagreement as a means to expanding the solution set and getting to a better place in a complex world.
Trap 4 - Controlling instead of influencing
Jennifer speaks about how the desire for control is an essential part of human-ness but unfortunately in complex situations, going after control often leads us on a wild-goose chase of chasing superficial metrics while missing out on the bigger picture. She suggests that we focusing more on direction than outcomes and mentions that outcomes are an emergent property of a complex system and it is hard for us to control them given the number of variables that are outside our purview.
Trap 5 - Shackled by the past
Jennifer speaks about the tendency we all have to over-estimate the evolution we have had till date and underestimate the evolution that is possible from here on in our lives. She says that a 30 year old will think that 20-30 was a period of tumultuous change and 30s is likely to be smoother. The same person 10 years later is likely to say that 30-40 was transformative but 40s would be a cake walk. She speaks about why this might be the case.
Actively listening to your body
Jennifer speaks about how we end up giving a lot of importance to our mind and brains and don’t listen enough to our bodies. She speaks about how bodily signals around hunger, sleep and anxiety can fundamentally determine the choices we make and the quality of judgments. She speaks about an example where judges were known to be more generous after a meal than before one.
Leadership in a post COVID world
Jennifer speaks about the need for a new leadership paradigm in the new normal that we are headed to. She speaks about how leaders need to respond with their whole selves (their body, their mind, their emotions) to the whole selves of other people. She also speaks about the leaders having to proactively think about the physical health, economic health and emotional health of the people that work with them.