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Season 3, Ep. 7: Balancing Humility

How do you find the balance between thinking enough of yourself to leverage your talents and abilities, but not too much that you become arrogant? In leadership, finding the balance in humility is key.

Timberline Lodge ski and ride school director, Steve Muise, teaches those new to skiing and snowboarding how to achieve and maintain balance. Strength and flexibility are needed to keep you from tumbling down the mountain when hitting rough terrain. Learn how you can apply Steve’s balance tips to your own journey toward becoming a humble leader—leverage your strengths with confidence and you will positively impact those around you.

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(We use an audio transcription service so please disregard any errors below.)

Daniel Harkavy (00:00):

Humility the best leaders are it. It’s not just something they have, it’s who they are. And it starts at a heart level just as we discussed in an earlier podcast episode Beliefs Before Behaviors, our beliefs drive our actions. And if we believe we don’t have it all figured out, we remain curious. The overly humble leader can be perceived as weak, unknowingly giving up their capacity to lead because they don’t seem confident in their decision-making. And because of this, there are people will lack confidence in them. And then there’s the opposite problem. The leader who demonstrates to little or no humility, they’re overly confident, always decisive and most often authoritative, but their people don’t want to follow them because they’re never wrong and always have all the answers. Humility is a bit like a sliding scale, slide too far one direction, and you allow fear, doubt, and indecision to limit you and keep you from leveraging your gifts. Slide too far the other direction, and you allow arrogance to push people away and inhibit you from hearing other perspectives. It’s your way or the highway. The key is finding balance in true humility. As leaders, it’s part of who we are, but it’s a constant balance. How do we stay confident without holding ourselves back? Balance is key. Just like in snowboarding.

Daniel Harkavy (01:42):

I’m Daniel Harkavy and this is The Building Champions Podcast for the past 25 plus years, I and my team here at Building Champions have been helping top business leaders to improve the way they live and lead. Our goal for this podcast is to share stories and insights that will help you to become a better leader. In this episode, we’ll discuss humility, how to find the balance between thinking enough of yourself to leverage your talents and abilities, but not too much so that you become arrogant and possibly dismissive of others viewpoints.

Steve Muise (02:23):

People have a tendency to ride overextended in their joints, meaning their knees are kind of straight and their center mass is high. If you’re completely locked out, if you’re straight legged, you only have one way to go and that’s down. So, your stance should be with the ankles, knees and hips slightly flexed that allows you to move up or down, left or right, and adjust to the terrain that’s going to cause you to become imbalanced. In snowboarding, you’re not always going to be perfect balance, but you need to be in a position where you can get back into balance.

Daniel Harkavy:

That’s Steve Muise.

 

Steve Muise:

I’m the ski and ride school director at Timberline in Oregon.

Daniel Harkavy (03:00):

Steve, and his team of ski and snowboard instructors at a beautiful and popular ski lodge on Mount Hood, my home mountain, know all about the importance of balance and how to achieve it. While my first boarding passion is still surfing, I also love boarding down the mountains and have spent plenty of days here at Mount Hood with my kids and with my friends. That flexibility Steve mentioned is key. With skiing and snowboarding, you can get used to a mountain, but you need to be prepared for the unpredictable terrain and conditions. And the same is true in leadership. It’s unpredictable. It’s always changing. Leadership requires us to adapt to new conditions and a new reality. If you become overly confident, you can lack the ability to receive inputs and remain flexible in your thinking. But if you slide to the other side and lack confidence, fear can paralyze you and the need to avoid pain or failure will cause your demise. As you can see, there’s danger in both. The terrain and conditions can change. You must, as a leader, stay flexible, which requires the right balance of humility.

Steve Muise (04:16):

If you lacked flexibility, that’s going to be a problem. When people get scared of the situation that they’re in, there’s a tendency for them to kind of lock up and kind of lock their joints, and then they’re unable to move. As you experience a different terrain, if you’re not able to move, you won’t be able to adjust as the terrain changes.

Daniel Harkavy (04:36):

It’ll change. If we want to survive the inevitable bumps along our leadership journey, we need to be ready to rethink and re-engineer the way we do things. The same is true for balancing our view of ourselves, sometimes it needs an adjustment. My team and I have an ongoing virtual book club here at Building Champions. And we’re currently reading through Adam Grant’s book, Think Again. In it, he explains how there is a confidence sweet spot. If you believe in your tools, which are your abilities, thinking and resources, but are uncertain of yourself, you may exude obsessive inferiority. If you are secure in yourself and your tools, you might be blindly arrogant. And if you’re uncertain of your tools and yourself, you will have debilitating doubt. But if you securely believe in yourself, uncertain that you have the best set of abilities, resources, and thinking to solve the problem, that’s the sweet spot where you find confident humility.

Steve Muise (05:42):

As the intensity of the terrain increases, then you have to be able to absorb the pressures that will, that will come at you. For instance, you get the bumps, there’ll be spots where you’re, you’re going up, the bump where the pressure builds, you need to be able to flex and absorb. As you come down the other side of the bump, you need to actually add pressure, extend your legs, which also sets you up for the next bump where you’ll have to flex over again. So, it’s just kind of a series of up and down with your legs.

Daniel Harkavy (06:10):

As uncomfortable as those pressures can be, they are what we need to continue growing in our leadership when we get too comfortable, too confident, that’s when we lose sight of the importance of humility and can become a bit too arrogant, hurting our leadership effectiveness. Research has shown that CEOs who demonstrate humility actually lead higher performing teams. Why is that so? Because they listen well. The biggest part of listening is what we call, here at Building Champions, intentional curiosity. If you carve out time to connect with your team and then think about what you need to hear from them, as well as what they might need to hear from you, you will ask better questions and then get better answers. This is a huge point as the result of how so many of us now in today’s times are engaging or not engaging with our teams.

Daniel Harkavy (07:10):

This virtual reality makes it challenging. So, we leaders, we need to have the systems in place to set time aside to do this in this virtual space that we find ourselves in. We must believe that hearing from our teammates is of critical importance. In my most recent book, The 7 Perspectives of Effective Leaders, this perspective, the perspective of the team is the fourth perspective. If your team doesn’t think that you care, or if they believe that they don’t have a voice, then they’ll stop telling you things, even the things that you as a leader need to know in order to make the best decisions and have the healthy levels of influence that leadership effectiveness requires. But all of that can change with humility. There’s this balance, you can’t only look inward.

Steve Muise (08:05):

At high levels, you’ll see that when people are working on higher end tricks, that they’re uncomfortable with, there’ll be a tendency to look down. It’s just, it’s just the nature of humans. So, it’s absolutely imperative to get their eyes up. If you are out on the hill and you watched instructors teaching you, you would probably hear a lot of keep your eyes up, look where you’re going. Which of course look where you’re going, sounds like only common sense, but no beginners do it. And you have to constantly try to get them to look up and where they’re going. When their eyes are on the horizon, that definitely allows you to balance better. When you’re looking down, it throws off your balance.

Daniel Harkavy (08:41):

Isn’t that the truth? Self-focus throws us off balance. If you overcompensate or under leverage your humility, you can negatively impact your ability to make good decisions and you can hurt your capacity to influence. There will be moments when we feel super confident in ourselves, in our ability to lead the team through whatever this new project or challenge that’s coming our way. And we can then face this challenge where we just move on that without getting the perspective of our teammates. Those that will actually do the work. And if we don’t seek out their viewpoint or their perspective, or if we actually dismiss it entirely, then we’ll run the risk of losing our leadership credibility and influence. And we might lose our teammates. You fight over confidence by surrounding yourself with really smart people who you trust, who have different viewpoints and different experiences than you do. And if you find yourself sliding to the other side of the humility scale and becoming too deferential, you combat it by taking risks and leveraging your strengths. You fight for balance.

Steve Muise (09:54):

Ultimately that’s what we’re dealing with in snowboarding is we’re trying to be in a position where we’re strong and balanced and are able to move.

Daniel Harkavy (10:04):

A well-known study found that executives who possessed both humility and strong professional-will, are often leaders who help to transform companies from good to great. And if you’re growing in confidence and working towards a healthy balance of assuredness, then it might feel like a pendulum swing making that shift from second guessing to decisive leadership. And that’s okay. You’ll get there, if you keep at it. Achieving balance takes time, strength and flexibility.

Steve Muise (10:34):

There’s a saying in snowboard instruction, old skills, new terrain, new skills, old terrain, meaning you take things that they know and you put it on new terrain, so more advanced terrain. And then when you’re teaching them something new, new skills, then you’ve put that on old terrain, terrain that they’re comfortable with so that they’re actually able to try it.

Daniel Harkavy (10:54):

And that’s exactly how we build confidence. We try something new, even if it’s scary or doesn’t make much sense yet, we go for it.

Steve Muise (11:02):

Snowboarding is counterintuitive, attaching yourself to a slick object and then sliding down another slick object is not logical. It’s a lot of fun though. So, if you have somebody who’s, who’s really intimidated, then you find an area with less intense forces. So, you find a pitch that’s not as steep. And then you get them comfortable with that pitch. And as they gain confidence in that, then you start to slowly work them up to a steeper pitches.

Daniel Harkavy (11:28):

As Steve helped us understand in order to achieve balance, we need to remain flexible, gain strength and allow ourselves room for growth. To build up our confidence to a healthy level of humility, we need to practice on the next stretch of unpredictable terrain we encounter. We can’t be too sure of ourselves, but we can’t be timid either. To humbly or effectively lead others, we’ve got to give them the space to grow, to learn, to make mistakes, to even fail. If you always have the answer and you’re that superhero leader, you teach your team learned helplessness, and this shuts down their creativity and their engagement. So, the next time you lead your team through an unknown season or unfamiliar terrain or conditions, be honest with them, let them know that it’s new terrain for you as well, but you’re curious, you’re willing to learn and you’re going to lead the team through it.

Daniel Harkavy (12:31):

That sort of humility is what fosters healthy, authentic cultures. If you’re confident enough to let your people know when you don’t know, they’ll likely give you more grace during the times you mess up because hey, truthfully, we’re all human. So, leaders, we need to own this goodness, we need to do all we can to remain intentionally curious. We need to know that we’re not the one source for all of the best answers that our teammates, they themselves, those closest to the work, they’ve got what we need. This is birthed out of this humility, knowing that you are in the right place as a leader, and you’ve surrounded yourself with the right team. You’ve cast a vision for the future. And now it’s time to let the team ride. And if you do this, you’ll find that right balance required to lead your team effectively.

 

Coming up Vice-President and Executive Coach Todd Mosetter sits down with one of our Building Champions executive coaches to discuss some practical steps you can take to apply this concept of balancing humility to yourself, teams and organization.

Todd Mosetter (13:48):

Hi, my name is Todd Mosetter. I’m a Vice-President and Executive Coach here at Building Champions. And for the second half of today’s episode, I’m excited to sit down with Brett Barriage. Brett is not just a coach for us, he’s a CEO mentor. And in addition to being our team member, he was a client for many years, living out what we do day in and day out with his team. We’re excited to have him join us, Brett, thanks for stopping by.

Brett Barriage (14:10):

Hey, thanks for having me, Todd. Happy to be here.

Todd Mosetter (14:13):

Yeah. And for those of you that don’t know, Brett made an extra-long trip to be here today. He’s one of our Northern neighbors from Canada. So, thanks for crossing the border today.

Brett Barriage (14:21):

I’m happy to be here.

Todd Mosetter (14:24):

So, today’s episode is all about this idea of balancing humility. How do we, as leaders help both ourselves and our teammates lean into all of our gifts and goodness, but not lean so far that we might become overconfident or arrogant. But on the other side, we don’t want to be overly timid. We don’t want to let those voices in our head, stop us from taking chances, from taking risks, from stepping out. You have had a long career as an executive, as a CEO, a leader. How have you kind of balanced humility over your career?

Brett Barriage (14:55):

That’s a great question. And I think it would, it’s a funny question, from a standpoint of telling me how you’ve been humble or how you’ve balanced humility in some ways. But I think, I think really for me, probably the biggest couple of the biggest ways were just being aware of my own missteps and mistakes, and being okay with that, being okay with the fact that as a human you’re not perfect and being vulnerable to those around you, that you’re not perfect and they make mistakes, certainly keeps you balanced and humble. I’ve often used the term, the ability to self-assess accurately with leaders. And so, when we talked with leaders and look at potential new hires for leadership, we would say, does the person have the ability to really self-assess? Do they know themselves well? And are they okay with that?

Or are they okay with what they’re good at? Are the okay with what they’re not good at? And I think that’s really critical in terms of leadership. And I think just as recognition that you can’t be all things to all people. And, and I never could be a, never will be, never have been. And we need a team with different gifts and different strengths that can be celebrated, used, enjoyed. And I think that that kind of approach for me at least I think has kept me in a decent balance in terms of the humility aspect.

Todd Mosetter (16:11):

So, if we stay focused on that, maybe being too arrogant, right on the other side, we’ll, we’ll come back to the first side a moment. You had this concept, which I love about being able to accurately self-assess, but unfortunately, both science and experience tells us that we as humans are horrible at assessing ourselves, right? We’re just, it’s just not, it’s not one of our strongest suits. Where have you helped your leaders get better at that ability to self-assess?

Brett Barriage (16:37):

One of the tools that we used kind of extensively in our organization was the Ideal Team Player, by Patrick Lencioni, the hungry, humble, smart, small book, great book to read a really highly recommended on this whole topic of humility. It’s just one component of it, but there’s also assessment in there. And so, we instituted this self-assessment around being hungry, humble, and smart. And it really helped us just to engage in discussions, the tool, just the tool, but the tool will help lead to good discussion about humility and where someone sees themselves. And then we could say, if someone wasn’t maybe as humble as we thought we could be, but they scored themselves really well. Then you could, then you’ve got a gap of their leader and you can have a good discussion, but why that gap exists. And it would allow you to kind of have some of those deeper conversations with someone about that helpful idea of humility and kind of how they’re coming across, how others perceive them. So

Todd Mosetter (17:28):

Sometimes when we talk about inaccuracies and self-assessment it’s because many of us struggle with this humility thing, right? We often think that we may be a little more capable than we are sometimes. But then sometimes there’s just blind spots. We don’t see things that we miss. How did you guys effectively use kind of feedback and outside perspective to help your leaders kind of uncover those blind spots?

Brett Barriage (17:52):

Yeah. And actually, it’s funny because I think you were involved in the first draft of this, that at our organization, we actually developed a, an internal 360 performance review. So, every leader had one done, all their direct reports and their peers would completed on them, Building Champions, actually, we, we used your portal. So, it was all anonymous, all that data coming back to the supervisor of the leader being assessed and rolled up. And then the conversation happens with that leader around what the feedback is from their people. And that’s really, that’s really the telltale of a leader and how they’re coming across is how do their people see them and how do those around them, see them, and then they would also self-assess. And so, you could see the gaps that, how others saw them and how they saw themselves. And I think beyond that, let’s kind of organizationally what we did.

Brett Barriage (18:42):

I think the tool that does this as easy as that, or probably simpler from a standpoint of this is what I, this is what it’s designed for is the 360, the Leadership Circle. It’s such a powerful tool. I’m using it with clients obviously, every time I’m working with them and even right now, I’ve got a couple of clients where they’ve scored themselves way differently than how others see them in all these different categories. And it just leads to some amazing conversations around why does that gap exist? Why do they see you this way? And you see yourself that way. And if they’re open to growth and development and the conversations can be really powerful about kind of what the next steps might be for them to grow in certain areas.

Todd Mosetter (19:21):

So, for this topic, that gap is key often when reviewing those 360s, which is a phenomenal tool, you’ll see a gap in both ways. Sometimes the participants will self-assess themselves really high, which has maybe tipping over to one side of the humility. But very often when I’m reviewing with clients that they under value their own contribution, right. They self-assess themselves really low. And their team’s like, no, you’re actually doing a great job here. So, the second half of that balancing humility is you can’t think too much of yourself, but you can’t think too little of yourself. Where have you seen that play out in your career, Brett?

Brett Barriage (19:59):

Yeah. And it’s funny, cause I’ve seen it in my history as a CEO or leader. I also see it with clients right now. And I think that that whole under confidence is an interesting one. Cause there’s, there’s this balance, it’s like you said, it, is it humility or is it almost this I’m afraid to lead or I don’t want to take those bold steps? And there’s a, there’s a real tricky balance there, of that humility, but not thinking less of yourself than you should in terms of the role you’re in. I think that under competence can really lead to others trying to fill the gaps that you maybe should be filling, which then confuses the structure of the organization. It can cause frustration, I think for those that maybe want you to lead a bit more or make some decisions, which ultimately can lead to some team dysfunction.

It’s not knowing how decision-making needs to happen, with proper input and all that, but that under-confidence, I’ve seen it. And I think there’s just this lack of lack of competency in the fact that yeah, I can do these things and my people need me to do these things with the right input and feedback and then move forward. But yeah, it can, it can lead to some, I would almost say debilitating kind of organizational systems and teams systems, if, if just too extreme from under-confident standpoint on the overconfidence side, I think it’s, and again, they can just look like arrogance. People may feel not valued in the organization. This person doesn’t really want my input. They have all the answers, they’re going to do what they want anyways. It’s kind of that Maverick approach. And then that can lead to disengagement.

Brett Barriage (21:32):

I think people can come into work and just do a job rather than bringing their best every day. Uh, and I’ve seen that too many times to say, but it’s just, that can lead to some negative thing and again, on the team as well. So, it’s funny how both can lead to some negative things. But so it is, it is tricky finding that balance. But I think back to our earlier point, Todd, is that the whole, the whole 360 process, whether it’s the Leadership Circle or a different system, I think the circles often, that really centers the leader because it it’s such honest open feedback that you’d get a sense of where you stand in terms of leading your people, how they see you, how you can be creative rather than reactive, and then how I can lead more effectively in a way that they feel is best for the organization, if that’s how they’re evaluating you..

Todd Mosetter (22:20):

Yeah, when we think about, how we show up as leaders, the narratives, if you will, the, the stories that run in our own head, they determine so much of how we show up and how we act. And I think, especially with humility, like you’re talking about Brett, it comes through. So, if you think about the balance, you know, we often think about it as a, the humility hump is what we’ll often refer to it because there’s this kind of spot in the middle that much, like when you’re balancing, you’re kind of always going back and forth because if you lean too far, one way, you know, you’ll, you’ll fall off. The narrative on the under-confident side can often come from a, um, maybe a, a lack of confidence, if you will, maybe some self-deprecation right. We often don’t, don’t recognize some of the goodness that we bring.

Todd Mosetter (23:05):

So, I would think as a leader, one of our opportunities is to encourage employees to accurately self-assess. As managers, we need to accurately give feedback, to let folks know where they really do stand, affirm, where we see them strong, encourage them, where we see that they can grow. But too often, as managers, as leaders, I think we miss the opportunity. We’re often quick to want to sharpen I’m guilty of this myself sometimes. It comes from a place of wanting to improve, wanting to get better continuous improvement. And I miss the opportunity to just call out sometimes where people are really strong. How did you guys build a culture where you were really able to call out those strengths? So, folks didn’t let those negative narratives, maybe I’m not good enough, I’m not experienced enough, I’m not old enough. I’m not fill in the blank enough. How did you give feedback in your organization? So, folks knew where they stood.

Brett Barriage (23:57):

Yeah. I kind of a two-fold approach. First and foremost, just the, just the regular performance review process is so critical, and often overlooked or, or done in case because it’s like that time of year again, I got to get these done, but we had a pretty robust system that everyone got to review obviously every year, but the tools, just the tool, it, it’s just a, it’s a way to, it’s a way to guide a conversation. It’s the conversation with the leader and their direct report that is so critical that you have to know what’s happening. So, the feedback is being given so that the celebration is there. What do I appreciate about you? And we just really push for, um, appreciation of people, what they’re strong at and what they’re good at. Hey, we’re all, we’re all human. So, there’s always things to work on.

Brett Barriage (24:43):

But really celebrating those things. And then obviously identifying, hey, we think you’re great at this. Here’s some areas I think that you could gain some traction. This would be really helpful for you and your career in the organization. Um, so that was kind of the formal process for all employees, but for most of our leadership group, we also did one-on-ones, monthly one-on-ones. I call them PMs, performance management meetings, coaching sessions. We had one-on-one they took about 45 minutes to an hour. So, all the people I was responsible for, I met with them monthly, formally, there was three sections of the meeting. It was business from previous meetings. So, was I supposed to do something where you have employees, the leaders section that they’re their section with next? What do you want to talk about?

Brett Barriage (25:26):

Here’s some things I want to talk about. There might be some standing items like financials in there, and there was always a section about how you’re doing personally, what what’s going on. Like, how can I support you? What’s going on personally. And then we set our meeting dates for the next meeting. And so, um, and what was interesting about that was those that I was responsible for, did the same thing with their direct reports and I saw the meeting minutes. And so, it creates this linkage of communications. So, I know what my HR manager was working on with the people that reported to her. I would see those minutes and those notes, I get a sense of what’s going on with these layers, kind of, not just the ones that I’m responsible for, but you know, kind of, kind of one’s next down as well. And so I think that whole regular monthly coaching is just critical, um, in this whole area as well, in terms of giving feedback for people.

Todd Mosetter (26:14):

I love that you guys had that built in not just from an annual, because as we know, annual reviews are, um, they’re helpful. Um, but there need to be the word you used was so key there, it gets conversations. It needs to be ongoing development. Isn’t a once-a-year thing, feedback is a once-a-year thing. They’re, they’re ongoing. When we think about that, that balance of narrative, um, sometimes the narrative on the, on the left side of the hump, if you will, keeping you from leaning in is that I’m not good enough, but so many leaders, I think overconfidence has real damaging effects. We’ve all heard about the, and have experienced the leaders that are too overconfident, too arrogant, too demeaning, like you said. So, I feel like there’s this almost, I don’t even want to take one step closer that way cause I’m afraid I’m going to get too close to it.

Todd Mosetter (27:04):

So, I feel like leaders almost hold back too much, but on the same token, you need to your point, it can cause a lot of dysfunction, this confident humility as Adam Grant refers to it. This ability to be confident in your abilities, but question maybe the way that you do it. So, I think there’s this mix of understanding where you are, you always have room to improve, but not being afraid to just own it, for lack of a better word of where you are, how would you help leaders, maybe even yourself? How did you, how did you help them better find that sweet spot?

Brett Barriage (27:41):

I think one of the keys in that area is you have to truly value your people. You have to really value those that are around you and what they bring to the table, their opinions, their thoughts, what they’re good at. And if you, it has to be genuine, it can’t be fake, but it’s still, if it’s fake and they’ll figure it out, it becomes pretty apparent. If you genuinely value what they bring, you’re going to give them time. You’re going to, you’re going to give time to them in whatever you’re trying to work out or figure out. Um, cause you want to hear what they have to say. Cause you truly think that together, we’re going to make a better decision than I can by myself. And so, I’m not going to run ahead and be bold. And I want to gather facts and data and input and thoughts and opinions and, and the process of doing that tells them that you value them greatly. And then that keeps you, I think, I think as a leader, the more you do that with genuineness, you can’t, you can’t run ahead too far. You can’t get over arrogant. You can’t get overconfident because you’re, you’re constantly using those around you before you’re making decisions, before you’re running ahead and just doing that keeps you in a space of valuing them. And also, then I think you put a good balance of this kind of confidence in that, like you said, in that hump in the middle where, where it’s best suited probably.

Todd Mosetter (29:03):

That’s a good perspective. This is an area that I continue to struggle with myself. One area that I’ve really been focusing on is the difference between being very confident in my skills and ability to do things, but extremely humble and curious that I may not know how to do it. So to your point, relying on others to, to set direction, to answer questions, to be intentionally curious, but knowing that once we get to a direction, not being confident enough to know that I, I feel like I’m skilled enough and experienced enough to do it, but not getting so over my skis, if you will, that I assume that my way has to be the right way. There is that tricky kind of balance there that you need to find.

Brett Barriage (29:46):

Yeah, yeah. For sure. Yeah. It is a, it’s almost, I wouldn’t know what the daily, but it’s a pretty regular struggle. I think it’s one of those things that you kind of got to constantly be asking yourself, how am I coming across? How are others perceiving me? And just ask your people that, how do you perceive me if you know, and, and, and if there’s a decent relationship, because really leadership is about influence, this doesn’t happen without connection, that we all know that statement, but if you have a decent relationship with those, they should be willing to speak honestly to you. And having those discussions with your people can be really humbling at times as well.

Todd Mosetter (30:22):

And I think as a leader that type of constant focus on how am I coming across is so key because I think we often, when we get busy, we want to focus on what are we doing? What are our intentions, what are we trying to do? But to your point, that doesn’t always come across the same way to our people. Uh, when we do a, you know, DISC is another tool that we use a lot with our people. And one of the pieces that I love about it is that perceptions piece. So, you know, I can think that I’m being decisive, man, I’m, I’m showing up for my people today. I’m really being decisive, but then you ask people, well, how is it being perceived? Well, he’s being a little demanding and driving and possibly even arrogant. So, it’s always to your point, I think important to not just think about how we think we’re coming across, but getting that feedback to say, how was it actually being treated?

Brett Barriage (31:13):

Yup, yup. A hundred percent. And, uh, and again, I think, well, again, you can have a couple conversations for that. You can go through a full-blown process of a 360, and that’s where the Leadership Circle doesn’t require maybe the same magnitude of effort from everybody. It’s, it’s not as simple process, but it’s pretty straight forward. And that 360 Circle, it tells you a lot about how I see myself, how others see me, and then how do I deal with those gaps that exist? And I’ve seen just recently, I’ve seen both extremes where someone is so under confidence that it’s probably hurting their leadership, but I’ve also seen someone who’s way over-confident based on how others perceive this person. And there’s no way that’s helping them in their team as well. And so I’ve seen both extremes, and, but at least, at least now the leaders can be aware and can grow in the areas that will help them lead your teams more effectively.

Brett Barriage (32:02):

And the conversation is always interesting because it’s like always asking, so what impact do you think the gaps are having on your team’s performance or on your organization? Think about it from that, not just for you, but think about the impact on your team in your organization, because these massive gaps exist between how they see you and how you see yourself. What can have a big impact on your organization. If we can tighten that up, it just gets you get to come even more smoothly as a leadership group, um, in terms of getting results.

Todd Mosetter (32:30):

Which is why I think this topic is so important for leaders to understand, you know, as I mentioned, we were often referred to it as the hump, because there is this one kind of a spot at the peak, if you will, where you’re not too over-confident and you’re not too under-confident but much like the analogy with the snowboarding that Daniel covered in the first half, it’s rare that you find that perfect place of balance. And you’re constantly adjusting because you’ll have a season where maybe you’re getting a little too overconfident and you’ve got to get that honest feedback and pull back and remember where you are, but on the same token, you don’t want to overreact to that and then be timid as well. So it is, I think an area that none of us will probably ever truly master, because like you started with the, the oxymoron of it is, if you will, is that the more you accomplish, the more you have to stay humble, which is then the more, you often have all the right reasons in the world to value yourself and your ability, but then you got to stay humble and it always goes back and forth.

Brett Barriage (33:31):

Yeah. And I think it’s, that’s a really good way to put it. Do you ever really, do you ever really arrive? Probably not, right? But I think, but I think just the awareness as a leader, having the awareness of the topic and where you are, you know, as accurately as possible getting feedback, if you need it, without awareness will make leaders so much more effective just knowing that maybe they shifted this way or that way. And trying to maintain that balance again, accurately self-assessing, but also getting some external feedback where appropriate as well. I think that’ll just help leaders immensely.

Todd Mosetter (34:06):

So, we mentioned at the start that, and you may have picked it up, listening to the podcast, Brett is north of the border for us. So, Brett, my last question to you, and then I would love for you to add anything that we didn’t cover, um, would be that we use this analogy of snowboarding is balanced, but you’re a guy who spends a lot of time on skates. So, if we were to try and apply this concept to hockey, does it still hold water?

Brett Barriage (34:29):

Yeah. Well hockey. Yeah. I mean, hockey is great, right? Team sport. You gotta be humble. There’s some superstars, but you still gotta play with a team. Otherwise, you can’t win. Right. Not one person can win a hockey game. So, and I do snowboard too. I get that analogy too.

Todd Mosetter (34:40):

Well, I would assume again, not being a hockey expert, that there is that moment of, to be really good on the ice, you have to be fluid. You have to be constantly in motion growing, but to, to balance in hockey to have that speed and that agility, you can’t go too far to the left and get stuck or go too far for the right. You’ve got to kind of be able to constantly move forward. We grow as leaders while not getting too far left or right, which is what we’ve talked about.

Brett Barriage (35:05):

And what, and what’s funny, it just came to my mind when, when you start skating as a kid, like public starts at four or five years old, or sometimes even younger, um, it’s all about balance is almost not there, right? Until they’re, you’re holding them, you’re helping them, they get the balance. And then you, you progress through your years. And at my age, now my balance isn’t as good as it was 10 years ago. So, it’s like, you work hard to get it. So, you have it for a while and then you start to lose some of that balance. So maybe it’s a bit of that leadership too, is like, it’s like always being aware, right? You’ve got to grow, you’ve got to get there. You gotta make sure, stay there in that balanced area in terms of leadership and humility. And, um, but again, I think if we truly can look at ourselves as leaders and say, you know what, I ain’t perfect. Okay. And I know I’m good at this, and I know I can deliver here, but I also know, you know, what, I’m probably not great here. Just that mentality of knowing what you’re good at, what you’re not good, and being okay with it that can get you in a good place in terms of humility and trying to keep that balanced.

Todd Mosetter (36:08):

Great words of wisdom, Brett. Thanks for joining us.

Brett Barriage:

Hey, my pleasure. Thanks for having me.

Daniel Harkavy (36:14):

Thanks so much to my fellow boarder, Steve, for sharing his expertise and helping us better understand the importance and how to of balance. As a reminder, you can listen to other episodes and access relevant tools by visiting buildingchampions.com forward slash podcast. And we’d love it if you could share the podcast and leave us a rating and a review in your Apple podcasts app, doing so helps people to find us. And it helps us to learn what we’re doing well and how we can continue to grow and provide you our listeners with content that will truly transform your lives and your leadership. Thank you so very much.