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Leading Change From the Inside Out Part III

This video explores five transformative questions that, despite changing various aspects of life, emphasize the importance of one constant: the need to come home to oneself. The author argues against the notion of changing oneself or the community directly but suggests that change happens when individuals reconnect with their true selves. Using the metaphor of facing a tiger in the jungle, the video emphasizes the significance of confronting challenges rather than running away from them. It delves into the complexity of personal histories, fears, and tendencies that shape one’s approach to change. The piece encourages a balanced perspective on self, others, and mission in navigating life’s challenges.


These are five questions that change everything except the one thing that never needs to change. I’m going to give you the whole book in three sentences, so you don’t have to buy the book. All right. These are five questions that change everything except the one thing it never needs to change. You don’t need to change yourself. You need to come home to yourself. You don’t need to change your community. The community needs to come home to itself. And then change happens. You don’t pursue change. You pursue helping people come home to themselves. People want to have a community that works. They want to feel safe on the streets. They want their children to be educated at some deep level. Everybody, even the people that we can’t stand, that we think are the enemy down underneath they want it to. The world doesn’t need to change. The world needs to come home to itself, come back to itself, come back to what it was intended and create it to be. Am I right or am I right? Can I get an amen here? Can I? All right, all right. I thought maybe I could. I thought maybe I could. And then the last thing is. And that changes everything. Okay, so here we go. Five questions. First question. What confronts me. All right. And we use this example of the tiger. What tigers do I need to face. If you were out in the jungles.

Of what? Tibet or India. And a tiger came up on you all of a sudden, what would the human instinct be to do? Run! Okay, so here we go. We’re running now. All right. I hate to break the news to you, but here’s what happens next. 6 million years of evolutionary wisdom kicks in, and the tiger sees that small, slow figure running away. The yummy one with the crunchy center. And the tiger’s brain says what? Lunch. Exactly. Exactly. Are you kidding? This is. This is a no brainer. Okay, this is like an hors d’oeuvre for the tiger. It’s like getting a free meal at McDonald’s or something, and he will chase you and knock you down and kill you and either eat you now or later. He cannot stop himself. Or she. Because they do a lot of hunting too. They’re in the cat family. If you have a kitten and you take a string and move it ten times in front of that kitten, how many times will it kitten go like that? Ten times. The cat is the tiger in the cat family is hardwired to chase a small, slow figure running away. So if you run, what are your chances of survival? Zero. Now the people live there, say. However, if you turn and face the tiger now, he may still eat you. Okay, this is all right.

This is not this is not a magic story here, okay? This is not a magic story. He may he may still eat you, but but he’s going to stop and think about it. All right. Now, that may seem like a trivial thing, but it is not, because the simple act of facing the tiger has created not a guarantee of a different outcome, but a chance, a possibility. So what are the tigers in your life that you need to face? See if you’re not already facing it, it’s already eating you. I’m sorry, but it’s true. Otherwise you wouldn’t be calling it a tiger, so it’s already chewing on you. So think about turning and facing the tiger with no guarantee except a chance. The simple act of turning toward something you’re afraid of creates the possibility of a different outcome. All right. So I’m going to ask you to do this several times during this. By the way, I used to call what I did workshops until I went to one as a participant a few months ago in Poland. This guy had a great line. He said, I don’t do workshops anymore. So I said, why? He said, because I work in the audience shops, so I don’t want you shopping. I want us all to be in this together. So if you would find a strange person sitting next to you, that’s a joke. Just pair off with the person sitting next to you. Form a pair if you would, and just take just take two minutes quickly.

You don’t have to name the person. You know what I mean by tigers, a decision you need to make, or a conversation you’re putting off that you know you need to have. Just talk for about 30 seconds or a minute with your partner about that tiger. You don’t have to name it. Please don’t. But say, “Yeah, I got one and it’s like this,” and talk with your partner. I’m going to ring a bell and then introduce you. All right, go for it. Now, you understand that these five questions are not questions that have definitive answers, right? I mean, they have answers, but the purpose of these questions is not to come up with an answer, because as soon as you have an answer, what do you do? You stop asking. You stop looking. These are lifetime questions. I mean, “What confronts me” is this moment. I don’t just have to worry about a big decision like whether to stay in Poland or not; I’m here with you in this room. That’s what confronts me right now. It’s a tiger, but it’s a friendly tiger, you know, so far, like the guy jumping off the Empire State Building, whistling by the 50th floor. He said, “So far, so good.” Or like Woody Allen said, “I want to live forever.” He said, “So far, so good.” So, here we are.

Okay, so these are questions that don’t have easy answers. They’re designed to pull you into them, much like parables. They’re not supposed to answer questions; they’re supposed to raise bigger and deeper questions. All right. I just started with Ingrid. I just started with the deep one. Like, why are you here? I didn’t fool around with the easy ones. Second question. What am I bringing if I turn and face this tiger? What am I bringing with me to this encounter with the tiger? So, I’m not tabula rasa. I’m not a blank slate. I have a history. I have a history with this person or a history with this kind of situation. And that history starts running through my mind. I have hopes and fears. I really would like this to happen, but I sure don’t want that to happen. All of that is running through our minds. We have tendencies and strategies that have become habits for us. This is how we act. I just want to take a minute to take a look at some of those tendencies. You’re getting the three and a half-day workshop in about an hour and a half here, so I’m going to go fast. Just go really fast here. Okay, here we go.

There are three pulls on you if you’re a leader of change; it’s true anywhere in life, but here, think about it. If you’re leading change, there are three things pulling on you all the time: needs. The first is, what do you need? Every conversation, every situation, you have needs. You have a need to be respected, heard, understood, or to communicate something. You need to get a decision. You need something in that exchange. The other person has a need. What do they need? Then the third thing is, what does the mission need, or the project, or the country? What does my country need me to be doing right now? Now, that’s when it’ll change your life. You might never be scared again. When I was in the military, well, you’re always afraid in tough situations. I was a combat officer on a destroyer. One of my jobs was to go ashore with Marines and call in naval gunfire and stuff like that, and they told me my life expectancy was like minutes. So that’ll wake you up pretty fast. Fortunately, I never had to shoot anybody or get shot at. That was on the East Coast, so that probably saved my life. But the point is, there were many times when the mission came first, and I knew I might lose some guys, I might lose myself.

But we had a job to do and we were just going to do it. Sometimes you have to do that. But what happens if you start leaning in one of these three directions all the time? Because in a given day, you’ll go all around here. Sometimes you’re in a meeting, you say, “I’m just going to take care of myself in this meeting.” Sometimes you’re in a meeting, you say, “I’m thinking I’m going to take care of these other people.” And sometimes you just work on the mission. So during the day, you move around. But if you get stuck and always look after yourself or always look after other people or always look after the mission, you can get in trouble. Here’s me, you, and we. Here’s the deal. We’re going to show you how to exist later and what I call the sweet spot where all three are working together. But if you only focus on yourself, what’s an upside? People who always take care of themselves get what they want. Sometimes you’re putting your needs out there. You look good, and fewer people get too close and figure out what you’re doing. You know what I’m saying? So there’s an upside. What’s the downside of always putting yourself first? Jealousy. People are going to say, “Wait a second, why am I helping this person?” So on and so forth. This is the narcissistic leader.

Now, the opposite of that is, “I’m just here for you. I just want to take care of you.” That’s what we’re after here. If you’re in a relationship with somebody who is in this position and you say, “Let’s go to dinner tonight. Where would you like to go?” What do they say? “Wherever you want to go, sweetheart.” After a while, you just want to say, “Please have an opinion.” Right? I mean, please. Now, Mother Teresa, think of the people that take care of others. But I’ll tell you a story. Apparently, it’s a true one; some of my stories are not true. I just want you to know that. I do know this. Like a Native American storyteller would say, “I don’t know if it happened exactly this way, but the story is true.” I’m sure you’ve heard that. But apparently, this one is true. A magazine reporter was in India working with Mother Teresa at her center, where they took care of people that needed health care from the streets. They were at supper, and one of the sisters ran in and said, “Mother Teresa, come to the front gate.” So she got up, she’s about four feet something, or she was. And she walks out toward the front gate with this magazine reporter, and there were people trying to get in from the street. The sisters were trying to close the doors. The magazine reporter helped, and they shut the door and walked back across the courtyard.

He asked, “I can’t believe I saw this. I thought you were here to help those people.” She said, “If my sisters and I don’t come in here every night to rest and pray, this place will be closed in three days.” You get on an airplane, I’ll give you the one from United, and the flight attendant will say, “In the unlikely event of loss of cabin pressure, an oxygen mask will fall from the compartment above you. Place a mask firmly over the nose and mouth and breathe normally. Even though the bag is not inflating, oxygen is flowing.” I fly way too much. The next line says, “If you’re traveling with a small child or someone who needs assistance, then what? Secure your own mask and then render assistance.” I mean, duh. If you’re dying from lack of oxygen, how can you help anybody? If you’re in a public service role and you’re constantly taking care of other people and not nurturing yourself, you’re not long for this job. Can I get an amen on that one? Amen. Thought maybe there was a couple out there. All right. I may be Lutheran, but I know how to do this.

Now, what about the fanatic leader? The one that always puts the mission first and sacrifices everything else? My tendency is to care only about the goal. I don’t care about you. I don’t care about me. It’s only the goal. Now, remember, I had to do this in the military sometimes. But if you always go for the goal and you become a fanatic, you lose touch with yourself and you lose touch with your people. Okay, great. All right. With your partner, take 2 or 3 minutes. Which way do you lean? Which one of these three do you naturally lean toward, and which one do you need to maybe more consciously lean into to bring yourself back into greater balance? Mhm. Now he’s quit preaching. Gone to Medellin. All right. Ready to go. All right. So we’re bringing that. Also, the most important thing we’re bringing is a prediction. We’re making some prediction. That’s why we’re not talking to this person. That’s why we’re not making this decision. There’s some kind of dire consequences that we’re afraid would happen if we were to face the tiger. Okay, good. Now, remember, if you’re not facing it, it’s already eating you, so you’re not getting away with anything. All right. Question two. What am I bringing? Good.


This insightful video delves into essential survival skills for navigating today’s workplace challenges. Covering skills seven to ten, it emphasizes the importance of developing courage to face challenges (symbolized by “tigers”), mastering cross-functional teamwork, adapting to rapid change, and finding purpose beyond routine tasks. The author encourages readers to view their work as contributing to a larger purpose, urging them to quit a mundane job and discover work that aligns with personal passions and makes a meaningful impact. With a focus on personal development, organizational growth, and effective teamwork, the video provides practical advice for thriving in the dynamic modern workplace.

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