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(VIDEO) Human Leadership is The Future with Jan Mühlfeit and Lisa Christen

AI, blockchain, cloud… all the tech buzzwords that fill our newsfeed will never replace the most essential element of a company’s success: the human element.

Without great leadership, tech will fail.

But why do we humans keep trying to act like computers? Working 24/7, trying to know all the answers.

Any work that can easily be replaced by a computer already has or will be. Instead, we need to tap into and use our unique human abilities – like creativity and collaboration – to thrive in the digital era.

How do we stop trying to be computers and start living our best potential: the human skills?

Join retired Chairman of Microsoft Europe / Olympic mental coach Jan Mühlfeit and top-rated CEO / Executive Coach Lisa Christen as we share best practices for how to be a successful human leader in the digital era.

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For the full transcript:

Jan Muhlfeit 00:06
So ladies and gentlemen, good evening. Hi, everyone. Good evening. We, you know, we are live and we are on LinkedIn and YouTube. So if you be so guys and put in your comments, then you can see us and hear us. I will, you know, check on my LinkedIn on the phone that everything is okay. It looks like it is. Yeah, it looks like it’s, it’s okay. I was posting some. So if you can put in the in the comments that you can see us and hear as I will be great. On LinkedIn and on YouTube, so we can start okay, we go. Yeah,

Lisa Christen 00:48
we’ve got some friends. All right.

Jan Muhlfeit 00:51
It’s Thursday. Good evening, Finland. There’s some sunshine in Prague today. I will say in Bernal in the other city. So there was a more sunshine there. Yes. Okay.

Lisa Christen 01:05
New York is a little bit rainy. I’m still here.

Jan Muhlfeit 01:09
Yeah, New York this time of the year it can be you know, rainy. I was what, like four years ago in Boston, and it was at the end of March. And it was still like fucking freezing by minus 10. During the day, it was okay. But during the night, it was really like freezing, you know, right. So that is huge difference between day and night, you know? Okay, ladies, ladies and gentlemen, we have a team human leadership and human development, maybe Lisa can kick it off. And you know, I will say a few words and then we will discuss the topic as I

Lisa Christen 01:47
love to discuss this topic. This is my absolute favorite topic to discuss because we are talking about what does leadership look like in the future? Right? Sometimes we nicknamed it 21st century leadership, because we know what was in the past is we looked for efficiency. And what does that mean? We have someone who was the boss and the boss said, Here, we need someone to do this, this, this, this and this, we need to produce our widgets, and we had the hierarchy. Now everything is absolutely ambiguous, absolutely uncertain, absolutely volatile, people are coming in and disrupting industries, constantly changing, constantly shifting. We’ve never seen challenges like this before. And somehow because we’re humans, we want to stick to what we already knew. So so many leaders are going but I need to micromanage and hold tight to the all of the concepts that worked for us in the 80s. And in the 90s. It doesn’t work in the future. And I perfect example, I was just on a call today I’m using I’m working with an r&d team at a large fortune 100. They are really trying to learn what are these future leadership skills? And they said, Yeah, we really want to learn we want to be a learning organization learn how to learn right, all these buzzwords, but in reality, they said, okay, but we’re not making enough progress. Can you just tell us what to do? And why isn’t our boss just giving us the clarity of how we can move forward? And then, you know, we’ll work together to figure out how to roll it out. I said, Hold on, hold on. The number one leadership skill in the future of work is how to create clarity, how to create from yourself, there’s an ambiguous challenge going on. How do we create the clarity to make a way forward? Not how does the boss tell us what to do, and we learn how to execute it? Well, this is a huge mindset shift. This is where people are struggling. So even today, people who here logically say we want every 21st century leadership skill, they still down here in the rest of body don’t are afraid, uncertain, don’t know what to do. And so they want to go back to the old ways of working. So what John and I are going to talk about today is what are the skills that are so important for the 21st century leaders? And then we’re going to talk a little bit about what you know, even if we know them intellectually in our head, oh, be innovative, great. How do we get break past that? How do we have mental strength? How do we learn how to fail? How do we get past the things that stop us from taking advantage and using those human skills? So yeah, and I leave it for you. I don’t know what you want to share on that topic.

Jan Muhlfeit 04:29
Yeah, let’s, let’s look into the history of management and you know, leadership, right. On one hand, it was much easier when people were like hunting you they were getters, you know, and others, right? It was it was tougher, because they did not have any, you know, huge technology advancement and the machines and tools and so on. On the other hand, the war was not complicated as today. Okay, you know, and in a nutshell, I Our brains are first of all our brains are not devices to succeed our brains our devices to survive first of all, why people are very often afraid to take leadership roles because you know, if you are leader if you are on the top and things go to the south things are not going very well you are the first guy will be you know, basically fire if you is the same industry, whether you are sports coach or running, you know, large company doesn’t matter. In the past, you know, let’s distinguish you know, how the war is the difference between manager and leader and how leaders appear in the history Okay. To be to have like gender diversity, let’s call there was a Mary and Mary was the leader of that, you know, group, okay, and Mary was managing when there was some big animal, you know, they’re so they need to divide, who will do you know what, to basically get some food Okay, so Mary was like managing who will do what, okay, so there was kind of the division of the labor okay, but at some point, they were like no animals in that forest anymore. And then Joe appear, and Joe said, Well, you know, what, I think I know that there are much more animals in the in the forest over there, it will take some efforts from us to go there and to move there but then we will secure food for next three generation or whatever. And that’s when the leader was you know, born leader leader is not defined by the businesscar leader is defined by the people who are following him or her Okay, people will follow you and it doesn’t matter whether it’s sport our eye coach even you know, people in our like the people who are like debate you know, in the big data’s you know, playing some some you know, plays whatever, you know, right, sport and so on, but leader is not defined by the business card reader is defined by a number of the people, people will follow you, if they will believe in what you believe. So you need to bring some vision, vision is the picture of the world which does not exist yet. But you believe in that picture and that picture is usually it is much better over there, but it will cost you you know, some efforts. That’s why if you want your people to change, it is about combination of pain and pleasure those two okay, you need to tell them it will be painful because if you want to win Olympic Games, it’s a lot of effort a lot of training, but then you win Olympic Games and you will be like the champion Cassius Clay You know, Muhammad Elia after afterwards you know, he was saying I hate training you know, I hate you know, practice, but I know if I will practice and I will you know, when I will be champion forever for my whole life. And this is it, you know, right. So that’s that’s the difference between leader and you know, manager both are very important. And you as a person, sometimes you are more manager you are managing and sometimes you are more leading right, this is it right. Now, let me touch a bit what Lisa said about quite complicated work and creating the sense in the in the overcomplicated work. Okay. Our predecessors, everything was quite clear. Hey, we will go for you know, hon, we will do that today, you have so many choices, your people are getting so much distracted during the day, your brain needs to basically in in one week, needs to process as much as information as the brains of our predecessors 100 years ago for the whole life. Okay. And 100 years ago, it’s over one generation is generation of my grandfather. It was born 1910. Okay, so there’s a huge pressure on you know, our brands, that’s number one. Number two, people in general are afraid it’s called FOMO fear of other people’s opinion, what if, okay, I’m happy to be leader, but what if I will not succeed? What the other people will say, Okay. And yet, like the social media is full of the hatred and so on. So it is, it is really not, not easy. And then last but not least, our brains we have something which is called negative bias, our brains tend to be like 510 times more attractive to negativity as opposed to the positivity that’s why we are like demonizing mistakes. We are afraid to make mistakes. That’s why people less and less people want to take leadership roles. Really, you know, right? It is like that. Right? Even in board I was like partnering with the guy who is the you know coach for the Czech soccer team football right up call it in Europe football. And he told me that, you know, Yaroslav, she’ll have he said, like, well, I have always like one max two people out of the 22 who can play the be captains, okay? I have like, I in my coaching practice, I have like the captain of the national team in handball, the other guy who is like, captain of the best polish, you know, is a Czech guy, the best Polish team in you know, soccer, then I have somebody you know, in, in basketball, I have somebody in you know, it’s okay. Like for different, you know, sports, right? And I’m hearing the same thing that, you know, it’s very rare, so people don’t want necessarily to be leaders because they are afraid if I will not succeed, what people will, you know, say so, it is it is not, it is not easy, right? So, at this point, I’ll hand over to Lisa and, and then let’s talk about what makes you know, leader successful, okay. And it’s interesting because you need to start from yourself, you need to be good leader for you first, then if you lead very well yourself you have a discipline you have you know, mental toughness, stuff like that, then you can you know, lead very well the other people because our emotions, it once you are leading some people in a different areas, our emotions are contagious, you know, so everybody is so watching you even though you don’t feel it, you are watching, but everybody is watching you what you do, okay? And you are literally the best thing in the leadership is leading by example, if you want your people to behave in certain way you need to behave in such way is the same with your kids. If you want your kids to work, you know, hard to really learn a lot. Do it on your own. I’m not the best father, or the best husband or whatever. But for sure, my daughter, she always saw me because I’m learning I still earn a lot of you know, I’m like 60 years old, I learned a lot of new things. Okay, so

Lisa Christen 12:09
Well, yeah, I mean, here’s the thing. So first of all, for anyone who’s watching, I want to, I’m curious to know what it is that you think are the skills that leaders need in the future. Because we talked about this, a lot of it is about being a human managing your human side. So we need to make sure our brains don’t get overloaded. We need to make sure we’re taking care of ourselves physically, we need to take care of our emotional side. So a lot of it is human skills, how do we collaborate with each other? But I want to know from anyone who’s here, what is it that you think because my experience, so I, obviously Jana, and I read all the research that goes on, we’re also academically minded, I can show you the McKinsey reports. What’s the future of work? What skills do we need, right? Digital Skills? Of course, we need communication skills, innovation skills, decision making, like, this is a standard list. All true. I’m sure all the research on that is correct. The thing is, it’s missing the heart of what’s really the most important and Yun started getting to some of it. And I want to make sure that we’re also really clear here, what are the key skills we need to work on. And then we’re going to talk about I would love to spend the rest of the time talking about the roadblocks that stop us from using it because I’m going to give you a hint. Most of the roadblocks are emotional. And but most people don’t want to talk about emotions at work. We want to say no, we’re met, we’re rational, we put emotion to the side, we focus on the you know, but really most of the roadblocks to making 21st century leadership skills work are emotional. So we’re gonna get there. But what are the skills you need? I don’t yet see anything in the comments. So I’m just gonna jump in. And of course yawn. You can also add as I’m going through. For me, I think the number one leadership skill, if you can do this, one thing you will be, I would say of the top 1% of leadership, which is create clarity. I call it actually CCC constantly creating clarity. In every situation you’re in, if you’re in the middle of a meeting, we’ve gone off track checking in everyone. Hey, what’s the objective that we’re trying to get out? What’s the outcome that we’re trying to get to? Hey, what is going on with this landscape of competitors that are happening? Knowing how to create clarity, not knowing the answers. You don’t as a leader have to know the answers, but you have to be really good about knowing how to ask the right questions. What clarity do we need? You can even ask that at the beginning of a session? What do we even need to get clear on in order to make next steps happen for us? So many people just want to jump into let’s have a plan. Let’s solve it. We think it’s really clear. We need a new product that’s going to beat the competition. That’s not clarity. That’s I mean, you know, that’s a that’s a fundamental All, but there’s much more clarity that we need what’s working well about what we’re doing what’s not working? Well, what’s the word, the competition? Where’s the future landscape? What are the changing trends? Right? So what clarity do we need? In order to start making sense of everything? There’s a million pieces of data about everything. As Jung said it gets really complicated gets really frustrating. How do you cut the noise? You constantly create clarity that’s in scope that’s out of scope? How do we prioritize if you can do that one thing so that people don’t have to spend all their time and energy feeling uncertain feeling chaotic, feeling overwhelmed feeling unclear where to go, if you can create that clarity, you will move faster, you will be more innovative, and you will add the most value you can possibly add as a leader to the organization. So I love that

Jan Muhlfeit 16:01
go up your nails next time I need to get you know some rings ring now. Yes. Also Perfect. Okay, so

Lisa Christen 16:18
that was all that was needed to get everyone’s attention got capital

Jan Muhlfeit 16:21
off but guy guys and feel free to really put like what in your you know, cents, in your view are most important traits for for the leader I for me, it’s really like you know, self awareness understanding who I am because then and only then I can understand other people because if you understand other people, you know, where they are, you know, go where they are, you know, we can put them together. So there’s a lot of synergy. One guy talents are covering the other guy weaknesses and the other way around, okay? So there is you are using what is best in each and every person. So there’s a, there’s an individual for people, you like what you do, okay? Then there is a synergy, okay, if you create synergy, then it’s important to really create clarity and that clarity you can create through the vision envision is the picture of the world, which does not exist yet. And you believe in that picture if you if you have communication skills, so that people will start to believe in what you believe then they will follow you and they are inspired, you know, they are inspired means in spirit in your soul, you know, and it’s like long term thing they really like what a what they do and this is the way how you can create sustainable positive performance sustainable positive results in my view, they said that you know, emotions, I think this is key because energy and emotions are contagious. So if you as a leader, even though maybe the things are not going you know very well but you are still positive and you are still a saying we will you know change the situation it will go you know, well then those emotions are contagious and your team can really play or you know, have a good results after all, because if if you’re like in the in the middle of the fiscal year, for example, right, it’s like a halftime in, in football, right? And you are behind the plan, you can say, hey, economy’s not doing very well, or our competitors introduce new products, all of that bullshit, okay? Or you can say it’s halftime, we cannot change the past, we need to do a better job in the second half and create much better like, you know, environment and those emotions. So people they feel Hey, we can you know, change it right? Because it doesn’t mean that in the first half of your fiscal year, you were below the plan, you can still you know, catch up like it’s in the same in the spot, but a lot of people are giving up you know, soon, even like the coaches or or, or the leaders, right? That’s why I think emotions are really key in leadership. Okay. Emotions, that’s number one. Number two, create a story because I mean, if you will say hey, we just need to be the budget, that’s fine. But what is the story behind it people are really inspired by the story if you have a storyline hey, if we will be able to do that then this will you know happen right? We can you know, change the the life so a lot of you know people right then and because the story is the way how we were like handing over information for many 1000 years and are our brains is set up for the stories and we are inspired by the stories and you can even use the story from some different area of your you know, like it can be from the sport or it can be somebody who is like this able that did something fantastic. Whatever, you know, write it that’s what is inspiring, you know, people okay, Okay, so Yanis matching Liz’s nail polish with this watch. I can change those, you know, I have like three different colors, you know, if you’re, if you’re the more

Lisa Christen 20:14
I’m gonna have to color coordinate with you Yeah, next time you change the watch color, I’ll get the nail polish.

Jan Muhlfeit 20:21
And I have I think blue, blue, maybe blues next.

Lisa Christen 20:25
Okay, we’re like an old married couple. So, I mean, I think you’re spot on, we have to know ourselves, we have to have self awareness. So many times, obviously Jana and I are coaches. So the majority of what we do, yes, we can train people on to I can tell you, here’s the best practice, and here’s what you should do. But actually, the best thing that we can really do is with coaching with questions where people realize stuff about themselves. And all, most of the time, the biggest impact that I make in my one to one coaching sessions, is by pointing out the patterns that I see in people because guess what, we are all just patterns. We are just habits and patterns,

Jan Muhlfeit 21:07
and rejuvenation machine.

Lisa Christen 21:09
That’s it. So if you get to realize, oh, this is my pattern, oh, this is when I start to get triggered. Oh, this is when I start to defend myself, Oh, this is when I feel unsafe taking risks, oh, this is when I backup from whatever the pattern is. That’s the chance you have to disrupt the patterns. If you don’t have a self awareness on your pattern, and you don’t know how to disrupt it. All the knowledge in the world about what you should be doing is completely irrelevant, because you don’t know how to apply it. This is where most people get lost on emotional intelligence or really in any leadership development. They learn cognitively what they should be doing. And they have no idea how to actually change their behavior to make it happen. Emotions are one self awareness is one. I want to share something I’d like to share things that are a bit counterintuitive. I don’t I don’t. I don’t know if I’m a little bit of a rebel.

Jan Muhlfeit 22:06
Go ahead. Go ahead. Because I was sorry, guys, I struggled because I wonder on my phone on the that. I can’t see like the video, I can see how many people are there. But I cannot see the video, you know, right. And I wonder if the people if somebody who is on the LinkedIn can put in the comments that it’s working, because on my phone, unfortunately, the video does not work. So I’m a little bit afraid that people cannot see us on the LinkedIn. If you can put on the comments. That all is fine. It will be great. Okay, let’s go with the contradictory.

Lisa Christen 22:40
Yeah, here’s my rebel side. I don’t like to be contradictory. I just like to think in new ways, which by the way, is a 21st century skill. I recommend that leaders don’t focus on outcomes, although, oh, LinkedIn is not working for me, as well. So how do we fix that? Yeah.

Jan Muhlfeit 23:02
I don’t know it because which it’s connected through the

Lisa Christen 23:09
chat a bit and you see if you can, if there are any settings can be our tech support. Or if anyone here on YouTube knows.

Jan Muhlfeit 23:17
It was definitely working. And here it’s showing, but for for some reason on the phone, I can’t see. So guys, if your LinkedIn is not working, you may you may want to go go just on YouTube. No, we can’t see you. We cannot okay. Yeah, it was it was visible in the beginning. But now there’s some problems. So if you can go from the LinkedIn just on on YouTube, there is a young we’ll find my name basically channel and you click there and you should see the because YouTube is

Lisa Christen 23:50
working. live there.

Jan Muhlfeit 23:53
Okay, just if you can, you know, listen to it, right. YouTube is okay. I don’t know what is it because it here it’s showing on stream yard and everything should be okay. Sorry for that. That’s why I was distracted because I was afraid. Exactly.

Lisa Christen 24:07
I thought I was just boring you Yeah.

Jan Muhlfeit 24:13
No, what’s your opinion on the outcomes? Yes,

Lisa Christen 24:16
we’ve built this up. Don’t focus on the outcomes. Why is that I’ll take even in sports, right? Let’s say you want to win a gold medal and you want to be the best swimmer. What you focus on is not how do I win the gold. That’s of course, the objective you have in mind are the outcome that you want. But you really focus on the process, because focusing consistently on the process is what’s the most likely thing to get you to your outcome. We can’t control outcomes, but we can control refining the process in such a way that it consistently leads to great results. This is what Amazon has done. This is why Amazon, they don’t rely on one product and then it was great, but now someone else came and disrupted them. They have an innovation process where they’re consistently innovating and disrupting themselves and then other industries and then the industries they’re already in and the newest

Jan Muhlfeit 25:06
should be okay now guys LinkedIn workday video, I

Lisa Christen 25:10
look, I think it was my nail polish blinded?

Jan Muhlfeit 25:14
Absolutely, it can be.

Lisa Christen 25:17
So I feel like what’s most important for people is when you put up pressure on the outcome, we feel a stress, we feel a nervousness we have it has to go, well we protect we hunker down we, we try to control. But rather we focus on what is within our control, what can we do, and we focus on the process as a leader. So instead of focusing on the outcome, be clear on the outcome, set the vision for the outcome, and then be really focused on refining the process learning getting better on the process, you will be so much better off because you’ll have less pressure, and you’ll find better results.

Jan Muhlfeit 25:54
Yeah, right.

Lisa Christen 25:56
I just wanted to say this is one of the ways I’m sorry, and YouTube and LinkedIn and for in and out of video, apologies. I don’t

Jan Muhlfeit 26:04
know, I don’t know. Yeah.

Lisa Christen 26:08
This is this is what it means to thrive in ambiguity and uncertainty, we don’t know, we don’t yet know the tech to how to survive and know how to change it. But we can keep going, we know the video will come up later on your LinkedIn, we know it’s on YouTube, so we can always find a way to get it to you. If, if you’re if you’re looking

Jan Muhlfeit 26:27
to comment or Lisa just said what do we know from the neuro science standpoint, okay, if you are totally like dependent on the outcomes, whether you are like leader or maybe some performer like artists, or maybe you know, tennis player or whoever, you know, write it can be, you know, right, that always whenever you like, scored a goal, or you have some good results, like the peaks of dopamine are released, okay? And you are like dependent on those peaks by the baseline of dopamine, which is like the reward hormone goes down, okay. And it’s not good because you if you basically are not, you know, able to be successful, then you are you are giving up and it’s not the, it’s not that great and you are still under depression and so on, okay. If, you know, you are concentrating on the process, like step by step, because our, you know, our brain likes progress, like step by step, then the peaks are no generated by the whole baseline goes, you know, up, it’s called sometimes growth mindset, okay, that you really concentrate much more on the process, what what you can control, because if you take the results, from results, what you can control on is your performance, you cannot control market conditions, you cannot control performance of your, you know, competitors, you cannot control media, whatever, or you can control use your own performance. And, and that’s why this is a good you know, recommendation if you concentrate on the process, and not on the outcome because then the outcome can be really very good, because that’s the way you know, there is a less pressure as you rightly said, if you go like step by step is the same, like when you are setting up like New Year’s resolution, I wanted to lose 10 kilos, okay. It’s not enough to put there like 10 kilos, you need to have what we call process goals, okay, which 10 kilos means, like, every day, 1600 calories, so 2000 calories, like three times, you know, around every week to go to the gym, stuff like that, okay? And whenever you are able to do that, you know, small step by dopamine is released. And it’s and dopamine is like, you know, praising you that you did some progress. But But dopamine is giving you energy to stay in the game. Basically, this is it. That’s why we really like like small steps, small goals. That’s what our brain our brain likes very much progress. Okay. And if you see the progress, this is the this is the way that’s because otherwise, people like you know, they’re like training for Olympic Games for years, every day every day. If they brains would not be set up on the process goes they will not survive, basically, right away. There’s no way.

Lisa Christen 29:28
Yeah, so we’re still having buffering issues. So I will tell a story that requires no visuals, which is, so I told you, I think if you’ve followed my journey, I’m a big fan of shaking things up a bit. Because I think when you are in habits for too long and you’re doing the same thing over and over, that’s when you it’s too easy to slip into a comfort zone. Also a problem for 21st century folks, we’re looking so hard because there’s so much chaos going around. We look for something to cling to that safe, and we actually click in the wrong places. So after COVID, I decided with my family, hey, you know what, leaving Switzerland for 10 weeks, five weeks I was in Dubai. Now I’m in New York five weeks. So I wanted to shake things up, I took my two young daughters out of school, and made me It forced me to think what’s the education that I want to give my daughters? They’re eight and six years old. Right? So I thought, what are the skills I know that leaders need for the future with AI? Right. I’m an expert in 21st century skills. And I said, How do you teach these two kids. And what I did yesterday is I took the day off, I took my kids to the Museum of Modern Art MoMA in New York. And I took them to start to see art in a different way. So there’s one exhibit where someone has taken women’s pantyhose, sort of put them upside down, stretched the legs, put them up here filled them with sand, so they’re kind of waited, and there’s all sorts of like spidery, peacocking things going on where and they’re looking at it like Mom, what is that? And I’m like, this is someone who saw the same thing as you saw women’s pantyhose, and they turned it into something different. And now you think twice, and you start to rethink Oh, i only ever knew pantyhose could do this stock a women’s stockings. thought they could do this. But actually, they could be repurposed in this way. Yeah. What leaders don’t do enough of is pausing, stopping to let go of everything they think they already know, how you think the world works. How do you think you know, businesses need to be run, finding new creative inputs where you say, oh, it could be different. And then finding ways to be open and curious to unlearning what you know, and relearning or applying something in a different way. This is the education that enough of that an almost no adults do looking for more creative inputs, actively seeking ways to stretch what you know. And then coming in applying that back to your everyday life. If you can do this, if you can be creative, if you can connect dots that no one else can, you will never be fired. Because nobody else can replace you know, everybody else can go to a consultancy and learn how to think like someone from BCG. Everybody can get an MBA from Harvard and learn this. If you are the only person in the world who’s put together this dot this dot this dot this that had this experience, but this over here, this over here, You’re irreplaceable. There’s no one else in the world who can do what you do. That’s what a 21st century leader needs.

Jan Muhlfeit 32:36
Yeah, I, I’ve read somewhere that in this century, it’s important to learn to unlearn what you learn basically, right and, and that’s a and it’s not a disease, it sounds like crazy, but it’s not easy. Because our brain we don’t like change, our brain is basically stuck to it, what we, it’s called homeostasis, we learn something and then we are on in our comfort zone, then we need to learn again, and it go like that. Right. So and it’s not that it’s not that easy, but it is clear that you know, in this century, like the learning new thing, and Leah, relearning and like forgetting what we learn is really you know, important, there is an interesting study from Shell. And they asked, you know, big question Are those universities like Stanford and Harvard, now, they have, you know, some semesters they are asking like, big question, what is what is the meaning of ROI? For example, that can be one big question like, but they shall ask big question like, What does it take to be for 200 years among top five companies in your specific industry, and the only long term competitive advantage they could find? Is your ability to learn fast, okay, faster than your competitors. And and this is it that’s why I’m saying there are those organizations which will be able to unlock human potential to figure out what are the talents of each and every individual because we are learning mostly and in a very fast way through our talents, you know, right, if you are like visual visual type, you will learn more from the pictures if you are more logical person, you will learn more from the words and so on, you know, what I we all learn from, from the story. So, I think the the learning is key. Now, again, what I see big issue is our inability to concentrate because compared to our predecessors, we can concentrate today, like 12 minutes in a row, okay? If look, if I were very like 100%, concentrated on some activity, somebody will call me and I’ll take a call. It takes 14 minutes to get the same level of attention. It’s called switching costs. Okay. So you are losing a lot of you know that When you think like, hey, my brain is like multitasking, it’s not your brain can control you can concentrate on one thing, subconsciously, you can always you can tell me, hey, I can drive, I can listen to music, it’s true, but consciously like you can concentrate on one thing, that’s why I think attention will be an ability to pay attention will be more and more important, you know, right will be more and more important. And this is it, you know, right. So and the issue is that we are so much distracted, distracted by the environment right? So that’s why in this arena we talk relays I read on the same page about things I mindfulness, yoga, meditation, those are all techniques, you know, from Asia, basically from the ease and don’t believe me, those techniques will be very heavily used in what I call Western Hemisphere to get you know, more attention and to get better results. It is because you’re you know, what, I called some finest you know, athletes like Patrick she is one of the best in Bundesliga, you know, I the other like handball, you know, Veronica Ma, she has won a bid and both players in Germany, whatever, you know, right? And I’m telling them, Hey, guys, your mental energy is finite for the day. Okay? So you need to be very careful. And as the same media executives, what do you do with your mental energy, you need to be very careful. So you need to it is for me, it’s quite normal. I tell you what, today, for example, other like speech for two hours, okay. And that was before that speech, somebody was, like driving me to Burnham, which is like 200 kilometers from Prague. And before that speech, I was meditating for, sorry, for 20 minutes in the car. I was like meditating to set me up. And after that, when I came, you know, home, I went, you know, to sound because I was like, relatively exhausted, because it was a short two hours, but very intensive, you know, right. So you need to have those techniques, like I call it, somebody asked me in the audience today, how can we survive this executive, they were like, you know, managers and mix up the people how we can set up I did a huge pressure, and I said, You need to have like, every hour of five minute mini vacation, okay? Go out, do go like horizontally with your, you know, eyes. Because if you are concentrated on one place, especially now you do like 70% of the time you do like zoom Microsoft teams where you know what I mean? Right? Online. So it is important, and it’s exhausting. You know, it is important to go out and go like, it’s called panorama, typical view, you know, right to make sure that you know, your eyes are having summers take up off, you know, breathing, and then you can, you know, continue, right, you can continue. But this is really important. In the past, our predecessors were very smart. They were like hunting, having arrest, hunting, heaviness. Now we are like hunting, hunting, hunting, notice. And we are like dropping a lot of people with burnout or depressions and stuff like that. Okay, this is what, that’s why I think performance is important. But also recovery, we should, you know, prioritize, recover. And not only like physical recovery, but also mentally recover. Because majority of you guys, you’re you know, you have all of muscles on your body, but your muscles are also here, and you need to add value train your muscles, you know, and now you have Olympic Games, almost like every day, you need to make sure that you have a good recovery, you know, right. So that’s the that’s another point.

Lisa Christen 38:42
And this is the biggest thing that I don’t see leaders doing enough of right, because we feel so much pressure so much coming in. So we’re taking in so much, we’re almost exhausted by it. And we forget that we’re actually active creators of our schedules our lives. You know, I think Ashton Kutcher sort of made it famous when he said, emails are just everyone else’s to do list for me, like they’re creating a to do list for me. But why am I letting other people create my to do list, I’m gonna create my to do list right? And it may or may not be when their needs are. So for example, I have a client, you know, imagine I run my own business. I have a client who asked me, Can you get back to me on this day? And of course, I knew why they needed they didn’t need it for another week. So I as a creator said to them, Hey, would you mind if I actually got it? You, you know, next Monday? response back, of course, no problem. So we forget that we don’t have to just accept everything that’s being thrown at us. Actually. We’re the creators of how we use our time how we use our energy. And so exactly as Yan said, I have clients who I’ve said to them, hey, you need a morning concentration time that would work for them, spend an hour, nobody calls you, you don’t check your emails, you tell the team, you design it with your team, you’re not available at that time. And everybody in the beginning says, no, no, can’t do it not possible, then you do it and you’re like, Oh, my God, first of all, got all my most important work done. Second of all, it was zero problem for my team, some of them are starting to do the same as well, right. And third of all, I have my energy for the rest of the day, because my most pressing pressing issues aren’t constantly on my mind, in every meeting in the back for the rest of the day thinking when do I get to wonder I get it, cuz it’s done. So this is the one way this is not unnecessarily leadership for how you’re going to lead, you know, a new way of thinking for the company. But it’s a new way of being, because you will burn out, you will never be able to give your best. If you don’t figure out I’m I’m sort of empowered, I’m in control, I create the meetings, I need to be in decline, if you don’t need to be there, write the emails that I receive, you don’t always have to respond. Inbox Zero should not be a goal. You know, the textbook, whatever it is that people are creating, I’ll give you a perfect example. I have a colleague who on my team, and I said, Hey, I need a five minute summary video of a training we’re doing for a larger organization. And she said, Okay, you know, that’s gonna take me four hours. And I have to think this through and I have to edit it. And I’m gonna have to take several takes, and I had need to make sure I’m in the studio. And I was like, whoa, whoa, don’t overdo. I said, I’m gonna give you a challenge. See what you can create in 15 minutes. So she went from I need half a day. And I said, Hold on 80% is good enough here. What can you do in 15 minutes? And for her that was a click, oh, my God, I could do this in 15 minutes. She thought huge production. And I challenge every leader How often are you are your teams taking on so much to make it perfect or big or like so unnecessarily complicated? When simple is good enough? And that is a skill in the 21st century if you can say no simplify, get rid of the excess unnecessary stuff. So you have the time and the headspace to relax, recover, then you can give your best.

Jan Muhlfeit 42:28
Yeah, guys on the on the technical issue with the LinkedIn, as you can see, it doesn’t work on the phone, it doesn’t work on the on my,

Lisa Christen 42:38
let’s try another tab.

Jan Muhlfeit 42:41
I just check it with the stream. Yeah, that’s the two we are broadcasting from, it’s definitely issue with, you know, with with LinkedIn, so I speak actually on Monday to like 800, Microsoft folks, so I will, you know, raise this issue. And don’t worry, you know, you will, what I will do, I will basically post link on LinkedIn from YouTube. So you will see, if you want to rewatch it or send it to somebody else, you will you will get an apology for that. But you know, it happened anyway. So what Lisa said, this is very often the question like, we are overwhelmed how we can prioritize the things Okay, so couple of you know, tips. And again, it’s not like silver bullet, you’re right. Number one, try to do because I tell you, your amygdala, the monkey will tell you everything, what you do is important and everything is urgent. That’s how amygdala works. Okay? Because first of all, amygdala is making you know, sure, you are gonna survive, okay, which means like, everything is you know, important, right? But it’s not first of all, so, people usually if people are effective and efficient, they are doing two things, things which are you know, are urgent and important and things which are not urgent and important. So, once you will be able to do majority of the time things which are not urgent, but are important, this is the way this is the way if you read like seven habits of the most effective people from Stephen Covey, here is exactly on the point because if you do things give me one example, I do a lot of speeches, a lot of presentations, right? I mean, majority I would say like 80% I like kind of I you know, repurpose stuff, whatever, but when the person has, it’s like built from the scratch, okay, so if I want to build something from scratch, I can do it more or less because I have so much materials from all of those years, so much experience, I can do it like this evening before the speech, but in that case, it is important and urgent and I’m under the pressure a little bit which means that I will not fully use my brain this is it, you know, right. But if I will do it a little bit differently, like thank you weeks before presentation I do like strawman, okay? For Czech people osnova. Right? The strong and basically, hey, this is what should be there. Next week, I do couple of slides and I put some, you know, information I do, I look for I research some stuff, then in three weeks, I’m ready and ready and I use like 100% of you know, me, and then you are not under the stress, obviously, there are things which are, you know, urgent and important, you will not avoid it. Okay. But you can, once you will have this philosophy, it can be, you know, good. Number two, the most, you know, least the least efficient, you know, way to communicate with the people. It’s one on one, that’s easy as it is, okay. It’s, it sounds a little bit contradictory. But this is it, right? Obviously, if you’re coaching somebody, or you have a one on one with your direct reports, that’s you, that’s fine. And it’s very valuable time, okay. But if you are like executive, or you have some, you know, boss, there are a lot of people who just want to show up with you, maybe even to make some photo, they’ll never buy something from you, or, you know, like, order some speeches or whatever, you just lose half an hour or one hour with, you know, somebody who just it’s like, you know, kind of nice to have, right? So you need to cut, it’s like eating your time, and you need to tell those kinds of meetings, no, basically, right, then I think majority of the meetings can be kept on like, 30 minutes. So that’s my belief after many, many years in the global economy, okay. If it’s like longer strategic sessions, or whatever, that’s fine, but a majority of the meetings, you know, think about it usually take like, one hour, so you do something for 20 minutes. And then you go say, play for 40 minutes, like, oh, you know, Liverpool was playing, that’s fine. But it should not be like, it’s fine. It’s like kitchen, you know, discussion, right? Because you are losing so much. by, by, by the, by those things. And once you like, you go, like, step by step, right? You you will, you will add some more time. And then you need to be smart with your energy to figure out like, I’m the guy, I’m like, morning person, I need to go sleep like 1010 30 Max 11, okay, then I need to sleep like till seven, but I tried to sleep like eight hours, okay. But in the morning, I have a lot of energy. They like before, like till the lunch, I have a lot of energy, then for two hours. If I’m at home, I have a good sleep, like 45 minutes, if I’m somewhere I do like meditation, or I do some routines. And then I can again, be quiet, you know, creative and it’s, you know, fine, right? Or you need to figure out what kind of the person you are and how to allocate your energy to those time slots. Because a lot of people say, Okay, I do that. And don’t think about yourself because it’s about you and using what is best in you and apply it to the time everybody is, you know, a little bit different. Unlike most creative if I start to do something nine o’clock, it’s kind of okay, I’m you know, like getting there between 10 to 11am usually having some aha moments, you know, you’d have probably the same you know, stuff right? So this is it and if you like if you learn step by step and it’s good also to keep your journal right like hey, this is what I did my journal so is it basically my calendar and I have my journal in my you know, brain, but everything what I do for example, when I was doing preparation when Lisa said what it will be on the agenda, I have like one a four and I’m putting there you know, couple of points always if I learn something, and I do it like by my own hand because this is the way how you’ll neuroplasticity the way you capture that information works the best, you know, right? Those are those are a couple of tips. And again don’t try I mean it’s good to manage your time but try to manage your energy and allocate your energy to different time slots you know that’s this is it

Lisa Christen 49:17
and yeah, and you said it perfectly design it for what’s best for you don’t just design it based on what other people need. I do want to apologize we had a question much earlier from Marek, Slavic and we didn’t get to it.

Jan Muhlfeit 49:33
So get your books to be better either. Okay, perfect.

Lisa Christen 49:37
And I think this ties exactly to what we’re talking about because Mark what I would share and then I’d love to hear your thoughts as well. For me the biggest thing is you can’t change someone right so like let go of that expectation for anyone who’s married you know that already. You can’t make someone change I do sometimes joke you know, drop a good leadership book on their desk. score leave my business card on as a you know, a friendly reminder. But the reality is the best way for you to influence anyone, whether it’s your boss you want something different out of your colleagues, your peers, your employees, your spouse, your kids, the best way to influence it is to get really clear what it is you want and I don’t just mean you know, I I’m making this up but there is a executive that I worked with recently and he said my wife wants me to come home more is she says I’m too much at work well, you just coming home more doesn’t really solve the problem because there’s something deeper so figure out what it is you really need. Someone said to me today I’m someone who gets lost in the details we had a little coaching she said oh my god, I get lost in the details. I need a boss who pulls me out of the details when I’m feeling overwhelmed I just need a boss who can you know zoom me out then once you know what it is you need from your boss I need quality time I need clarity on vision I need you to zoom me out of the details I need whatever it is you need then you ask for it. Don’t play games don’t you know wander around be really clear explain what you need how you need it, why you need it. And that is how you actually can get your boss to be a better leader. Because what better means for them is different than what it means for you but to meet your

Jan Muhlfeit 51:26
perception your perception is different from bosses perception

Lisa Christen 51:29
right so ask for what you need and then your boss has the right to say yes or no but likely will start to change some behaviors and then you get more of what you need.

Jan Muhlfeit 51:40
Yeah, he is here it is after like 30 years in the global economy where I learned how to handle people like Bill Gates. Steve Ballmer very quiet the I mean challenging bosses you know right John Philip good two hours Microsoft president he was my boss for 15 years I was I think I was the you know latest I was for the I was the longest like serving his direct report in his career probably you know, it’s never the same guy now let me let me talk about it you need to be very smart about amygdala of your boss okay because every boss like me when I was both you’re a little bit ego you know what I mean? Come on. All right. But you need to be smart right? Because if you will go and if for example I’ll I’ll be I’ll be like Lisa will be my boss Okay, and then I’ll go down and I’ll say Lisa, you know dead dead dead and I feel really like a shed you should you know change it leaves us monkey amygdala will immediately jump up and she’ll be like, you know, pushing back absolutely okay. But if I will go and say Hey, Lisa, you are absolutely you know, great leader and I want to give you some feedback which can you know, move and within a hair’s this you know? So, I can you know, give you some feedback which can move you ahead even you know, more and you will say Lisa, you should definitely continue continue ABC there are means that in Lisa’s brain, serotonin is created and Lisa feels good, hey, I feel good because I was you know, praise okay. So, which means that you give her like, oh, you should continue to do then you go and you will say there are a couple of things, which I think you should do less or maybe even you know, stop and you will you know, swallow it because I’ve you know praise you before whatever and and because I said it will move you my feedback I think will move you ahead you will think about it right. And the third point is basically what you should start to do this is something I may bring you something you don’t see yet you know and you and you may be good because I see hey, you are good strategic thinker, why you would not help us with some you know, pro just and so on. So and this this is nice, you know, way how you can basically quote quote, coach, little bit your boss, okay, because I think future is like coaching top down, but also bottom up, especially the young people, they understand I had a lot of you know, co cheese, they coached me on the other hand, how to use technologies, you know, right? I go there, how to do business, how to use the brain, whatever, but he coached me what to do with Instagram. Yeah, I don’t know, Facebook, LinkedIn, and so on. So top down and bottom up. A lot of people are saying there’s a lot of tension between generations. No, no, I think there is a conversion of generation basically because of that, okay. You cannot like wisdom is wisdom. You cannot learn wisdom through like posting stuff on Instagram, right? You need to know I mean, it’s fine. I don’t I don’t challenge it. But it is though is basically experience sometimes whatever, you know, right, this is it. And on the other hand, we can learn a lot of things how to post on Instagram from the from the young generation. So those are a couple of things what, what you can do with your boss And even if that boss is like big ego, if you’re telling him, hey, you are gonna to be even, you know better, right? But you need to start with this positive, because that means like, we are on the same page, and I really trust you, okay? And I want to make you, you know better. Because to be honest, if I coach somebody, I’ll still tell that person. Oh, you are great. It’s so good, why you should pay me so much money, you know, right? To improve you, which means like to, you know, put a lot of efforts on your strengths, but also look, what are your weaknesses and develop those, you know, parts? Right? They This isn’t, you know, right. And, but bring some, you know, more energy also. Right. So this is it, because otherwise, if you paying some, you know, coaches or some advisors, just to tell you how you are, you know, great lord is as it is, I mean, my view, if two people are in the same room, as they agree with each other all the time, then at least one person is redundant. Maybe both of them. Yes, man. Yes. Yeah. And you are great. You are great, absolutely great. I mean, if somebody was sending me like, yawn, you are great. I was deleting it immediately. If somebody was, will say, me, hey, yeah, you are great, because you did that they’re dead. But maybe you can, you know, think also about that, that that, that was the guy was maybe you know, talking to him by phone or whatever. Because I, you know, seen it immediately, hey, there’s something in it, they really thought about it. It’s not only to please you to get better performance review rating, you know, right.

Lisa Christen 56:36
And you hit it on the nail, because we’re almost up with our time today. And we’ve talked about so many different skills for what is the 21st century need? Why is it human leadership, and the very last one that we’ve talked about, but I really want to make sure hits home. In the beginning, I said, you need to always constantly be creating clarity. That’s what you need to do for others. To be a successful leader. What you need to do for yourself is get past these emotional roadblocks. And the biggest emotional roadblock we have is ego. You said it perfectly. As soon as we feel I’m going to look stupid in front of other people, I’m not going to be the expert, I’m I’m going to look wrong, oh my god, you know, people are going to make fun of me, oh, my God. You know, someone’s saying something bad about me, the minute that you shut down because of that, where you can’t control your emotions, and you may be mascot with anger, or you may be mascot with going cold, whatever it is, the minute you close to that feedback, your ability to be an excellent leader is gone. If you want to be a fantastic Future of Work leader in the 21st century, you have to be continuously learning, you have to have that growth mindset. And the way you do that is finding a way to remove the ego and always be open to learning.

Jan Muhlfeit 57:56
I absolutely agree. And guys, if you are a boss, and you want your people to be very open and honest with you, it needs to start with you. So you need to show your vulnerability. You need to tell you need to admit your own mistakes like publicly, you know, a lot of bosses and it’s again, ego will tell you no, don’t do it. Don’t show anything stupid. Now, if you’re like Boston, you say, Hey, this is what I fucked up, you know, right? And I’m telling you, because I don’t want to you to fuck it up again, you know, to repeat the same mistakes I did you know, right? It’s just very strong. You know, I a lot of people, they admire me because I started to talk very openly about my depression where I fucked up that I didn’t have enough, you know, mental recovery. But I really do it because I want other people to avoid this bad experience. This is it. There’s nothing I don’t I don’t think I’m brave, I’m just sharing with them. And a lot of people think oh, it’s like showing, you know, weakness is that you really you were not that successful because you ended up in the mental hospital. This is if you break your leg, you know, you end up in the hospital. I did not break the leg, but I got an issue with my brain, you know, and I recover and I learned a lot of things that were I’m not proud that I was for three months in the middle hospital. But what I’m proud of that I really was very public about it and this is this is the same with whatever mistakes you know, you as a boss do and once you are like open your people will tell you openly what they think about your performance about the performance, but they will also talk about the mistakes openly. And this is the this is the culture this is the learning culture. Learning Culture is not like to send your people to some funny web pages or you know, online courses. It’s all you need to do it. The learning culture starts in the company by admitting own mistakes. That’s where we When was the last time we talked about fuckup night? Yeah,

Lisa Christen 59:54
yeah, we did. This is it.

Jan Muhlfeit 59:57
This because you will learn mostly from you or own mistakes, because they like they will release it just saying like, Hey, this is really important. I need to remember that. Right. So this is it.

Lisa Christen 1:00:11
That’s it. And with that we’ve already had our our, it’s always so fun having these conversations, this session we had postponed from last week. So actually, we already have another session coming up next week. And we have a special guest. His name is Simon. And he writes all about the same topics that Yan and I are discussing how to optimize your energy for your body, he has a new book coming out. So we’re going to have lots of fun talking with him.

Jan Muhlfeit 1:00:37
He’s absolutely is a great guy. He lives in UK, and he’s like, Chinese English Chinese guy, you’ll really enjoy it. So if you have a time, you know, and it’ll be captured again. Hopefully, LinkedIn will work next.

Lisa Christen 1:00:50
Yes, and people who are reading his book are like Simon Sinek Marie Forleo. I mean, like the best of the best have said, this is a must read. So we’re gonna talk all about

Jan Muhlfeit 1:01:00
if you if you want to watch like our previous sessions, it’s on YouTube, or you know, on LinkedIn, YouTube is probably easier navigation on that channel. Okay. Thanks very much. You know, have a good week and see you next week. Take care

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