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A team guide understands the mindset skill set of everybody in their team, continually tries to provide them with the most effective tool set, is continually trying to help them to develop the skills that they need to be able to solve problems, and is empowering others to solve problems as much as possible.

In this episode

What’s the difference between a “guide” and a “manager”?

Gary Bolles shares why he prefers calling all people leaders team guides and how this simple reframe is revolutionizing leadership in a world of exponential change. 

He also explains how different organizations are adopting unique approaches to their organizational structures, such as leaderless organizations and improving synchronicity within teams. 

Gary Bolles is a world-renowned specialist on disruption and the future of work. He is the Chair for the Future of Work at Singularity University and a partner in Charrette LLC, where he advises on digital economy adaptation. He also co-founded eParachute.com, a website that provides assistance for job seekers and career changers, and he wrote the best-selling book “What Color Is Your Parachute?” His diversified background includes positions in technology journalism, strategic innovation, and consulting for companies such as Google and Nokia. His work focuses on lifelong learning, adaptation, and the mechanics of disruptive change.

In episode #175, Gary Bolles breaks down how to future-proof your leadership and shares examples to help you transform your organizational culture, guide your team, and adapt to constant change.

Tune in to hear all about Gary’s leadership journey and the lessons learned along the way!


Like this episode? Be sure to leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review and share the podcast with your colleagues.


03:06

LinkedIn Learning

10:00

The difference between a guide and a manager

19:40

Modern approaches to management

24:37

Culture transformation strategies

27:47

Benefits of leaderless organizations

32:36

4 questions to determine if your organization is in “synchrony”


Resources mentioned in this episode:


Transcript

Gary, welcome to the show. 

Gary Bolles  02:15

Thanks for the invitation. 

Aydin Mirzaee  02:20

Yeah, super excited to do this. So when we first connected, one of the things that I was super impressed about was what you’re doing on LinkedIn. So you have 10 courses on LinkedIn, 1.4 million learners that have interacted with you and your courses. And maybe let’s start there the conversation for people that didn’t know you can use LinkedIn for learning how about we start there, and maybe tell us about some of the things that you’ve worked on and posted there. There used

Gary Bolles  03:22

to be a company called lynda.com, and it was one of the first ones to really build a library of online courses, video courses, not real time, but ones you could watch anytime. years ago, they asked me to do a series of courses focused on learning, learning mindset, learning agility, and then one on leading change. And then lynda.com was bought by LinkedIn and LinkedIn was bought by Microsoft. And so now it’s a huge platform, and LinkedIn learning. Typically, big companies license the library, and then people in the companies can watch any of the videos that they want. But they tend to have courses bundled into learning paths. So my courses on learning mindset learning agility have been bundled into these learning paths, for a wide variety of different roles for managers, different courses, different certificates that they can take. And then I’ve continued to update the list of courses and I just recently recorded one called Skills for leading the future of work, because I believe we are at a very unique inflection time where people who lead teams need to have a very different skill set what I think of as the next skills that people lead teams need to continually develop to be able to lead in a time of exponential change. You’ve

Aydin Mirzaee  04:41

really focused on the future of work. I know you’re also the Chair for the future work at Singularity University. And I’ve had some friends who participated and gone to Singularity University but also I have been to just Peter Diamandis is abundance 360 conference. Yeah. kinda familiar with some of the work that he’s done there. It’s an awesome organization. I know you’re also a partner at Charrette. And many more things. You’re an author, we’re going to talk about the book. So wanted to maybe start by asking you, How did you decide to write the book. 

Gary Bolles  05:19

So the book is called The Next Rules of Work. Our Managing Partner, Heidi Kleinmaus, and I have a small but mighty consulting firm, Charrette. And we focused on what we call initiatives with impact. And we’ve done often strategic conferences and building consortiums around issues ranging from the future of education, the growing gap between haves and have nots, especially in the United States, how we can get more broadband connectivity throughout the United States. And then we produced a conference on the future of work in Detroit, Michigan, in late 2019. And our managing partner who is also my wife, she said two brilliant things at the beginning of 2020. She said, first, let’s not do an in person conference, which was probably pretty prescient, given this COVID thing that took over the world. And the other thing she said is, I rented an Airbnb for you down in Monterey, California, and you’re going to spend a month writing the book that I know is in your head. And so because I’ve been lecturing so much around the future of work, future of education and learning and the future of organizations, it was a chance to really synthesize a lot of those ideas. And as the pandemic was taking hold, it was really clear that so many of the different trends and threads that I’ve been talking about, about the disruption of work and the ways that work was changing, and especially for people who lead teams, that the timing couldn’t have been better. So many of the ideas that were probably theory to a lot of people before the pandemic suddenly became practice, as we all experimented with this new thing called flexible work.

Aydin Mirzaee  06:51

Yeah. And so what is the main theme of the book for people who are going to pick it up? What will they learn in the process, there’s probably

Gary Bolles  06:59

two contexts that are most relevant to your listeners. The first is that for each of us as individuals, the ways that we work, what I often say are the six W’s what we do for work, where we do it, when we do it, how we do it with whom we do it. And then why, as individuals, those roles are continually changing. And it’s a combination of the ways that different organizations function, and then what we care the most about each of us as individuals. So the first set of takeaways is that you actually have a lot of control over those decisions. And you can either find or create meaningful, well paid work that matches as much as possible, what you believe are the ways you can be most motivated in your work. second set of insights is for people who lead teams, as I’m fond of saying, I don’t often use words like manager, supervisor, or even leader, because I think that we’ve gone through a reset. As a matter of fact, I wrote an article in early 2020, called Welcome to the great reset, where I said, I really think we are completely changing a lot of the rules of work. And one of the major areas where that’s been critical is what that role of the person I would normally have called the manager, I call them the team guide. And I believe that there’s a completely new set of there’s a new mindset, there’s a new skill set. And there’s a new toolset, that the person who leads teams needs to be able to constantly leverage, but for both as individuals, and as people lead teams, I think one of the main takeaways is we are co creating the next rules of work in real time. That’s why you see all these different headlines and all these attempts to try and to understand these trends ranging from quiet quitting to what it’s like to manage distributed teams. It’s because we’re co creating these rules at a time where some organizations are trying to bungee cord back to the old rules of hierarchy and in the office, and traditional managers, and other organizations are experimenting with the next rules and trying to redefine what all of those different characteristics are. And that’s why we see so much uncertainty in the headlines and why it’s such a challenging time for so many people who lead teams. But I also believe it’s an inspirational time, I believe there’s a tremendous amount of opportunity for those who can embrace those next roles. It

Aydin Mirzaee  09:24

is a super interesting time. And you’re right that it seems like people choose different paths. And my view is that the genies been left out of the bottle people have experienced a new way of working and I don’t think we can ever really revert back to the way that things were. And so thinking about that, what you said was that there is a great reset. And in this book, even though you refer to what all of us here call as managers or leaders, you don’t really use those words, and you use the word team guide. And so that’s a just conceptually is very interesting. But what is the difference between a guide and a manager and your point of view, I’m sometimes

Gary Bolles  10:06

accused of being the word police. The reason I use different words for some of these different characteristics of work and learning in organizations is not because I’m I’m trying to tell people what they need to labels they need to use, it’s to listen with new ears and see with new eyes is to be thinking differently and examine, go back and really think about why do we do these things? So think about the role of the traditional manager, how was that role created, it was actually developed, as I talked about in the book in a series of phases. But a lot of the shift comes from the industrial era, it’s when the manager was typically somebody that was managing a production line in a factory, and what did you need in a factory, you needed repetitive processes, you needed to break up work so that people focused on different parts and did it over and over. And then we built hierarchy hierarchy actually goes all the way back to the time of Alexander the Great. And so we use these old rules to structure the work environment. There are amazing people like Peter Drucker, who was an old friend of my father’s, who talked about what some of the opportunities for that role might be. The challenge is that for many organizations being so mired and anchored in those industrial era rules of hierarchy and structure, are not actually sufficient to build nimble and adaptive organizations. They’re often the organizations that were the most traditional, the most structured, were the ones that had the hardest time during COVID. They’re the ones that are the most at risk when there are disruptive technologies that are changing their businesses. So think of the role of the old the old role of the manager, which was often you needed to be the one in charge, you need to be the one with all the answers, you need to be the one that was continually in control. And you needed to see everybody, you didn’t trust them, because you didn’t see them actually performing their work. There was no guarantee they were actually doing it. And then I said, Well, wait a minute, we’ve got this next year of flexible work. And then we’ve got this AI tsunami of these tools that are transforming work. The mindset shift, I believe, is to go from the one with all the answers. What my friend has to address, he calls the sage on the stage in her book moonshots in education. And what she talks about is that the teacher needs to go from that one that has all the answers to the guide on the side, the one with the best question. And so I’ve used that mindset and said, Well, that’s really what a team guide is Team guide, understands the mindset skill set of everybody in their team continually tries to provide them with the most effective tool set is continually trying to help them to develop the skills that they need to be able to solve problems is empowering others to solve problems as much as possible. And rather than the command and control, you know, walk into a meeting, and I’m the one in charge, how can you leverage the collective capacity of a team to be able to continually solve problems, the way that that the old rules manager used to judge themselves often why was by the number of decisions that they made, and the number of directions that they gave. And I believe that one of the ways that that team guide will be continually judging their own work is by how many problems never even reached their desk. It’s by how many problems you have empowered the team to solve. So that you are continually in the role of removing barriers for them, of helping to solve problems when they can’t agree on the best approach of continually helping them to be able to develop the skills that they need. But the model needs to be where you are guiding the work of others, as opposed to feeling that you have to control them. If you want a great example, one of my clients is Novartis, the 100,000 person, pharma company, and Novartis has some really marvelous cultural anchors that they use, and one of them is called unboxing. So you’re the highest title in the room, you walk into the meeting. And what you were supposed to say is, how can we unbossed this meeting? And what that means is, how can I not be the one that makes the decision? What is the problem that we’re trying to solve? Who in the room has the best capacity to be able to help figure out how we can solve that problem? If there isn’t the right person in the room then do we need to reconvene and get the right people so that we can solve this problem? And then tell me what you need? Do you need resources? Do you need roadblocks removed? Do you need to collaborate with people in other teams around the organization? That’s what my role as a team guide is designed to do?

Aydin Mirzaee  14:40

That super interesting. The unboxing concept just sounds such an interesting phrase. And the thing that I wanted to highlight in what you said was you said that it’s almost a role shift where the guide is not the person with the best answers or with the answers. It’s the person with the best questions. And that’s just like a very refreshing way to look on things. But it also reminds me of how similar I think there’s a quote. And I actually don’t know who it’s attributed to exactly. But something along the lines of computers are not really that smart, they only have the answers. The question is a really important one. And these days in now, using AI tools that are available, again, it’s all about the questions and the prompting. And so the person with the best questions, it’s a hard role to have. And there’s a lot of skill in mastering it.

Gary Bolles  15:31

But if we look at the old rules of work, and we think of the role of the person formerly known as the manager, they work their way up to a level of position in power by following a certain set of rules. And that was often referring to people with higher titles, that was often doing what you were told, so that you could eventually get into the position of being the one to tell others what to do. Instead, what we’re suggesting is, well, if you’re the one with the best questions, then you need to be transparent, you need to admit that you don’t have all the answers. But you want to empower the team to figure out what the answers are. And that takes a different approach from an ego standpoint, which is trainable, which is teachable, which is learnable. That’s one of the things that I talked about in the LinkedIn course on leading change. The challenge for many people, is if you follow the old rules of work, and now you’re trying to develop this sort of next rules approach, and to be more transparent, be more supportive of others and so on, is what are the incentives? What are the reinforcements in organizations and in cultures that will continually encourage us to do that. And it turns out, that can be really, really difficult. And especially in large organizations, you need the people who lead the organizations to exhibit those behaviors to reinforce those behaviors. And if instead, what they’re doing is they’re walking into the meeting. And even though you’re trying to be the team guide, you see others that are using the old rules of work, very, very difficult to feel that you’re reinforced in this new mindset around transparency, and around empowering others. So it needs to be a team sport, it needs to be where organizations are committing to these kinds of cultural transformation.

Aydin Mirzaee  17:14

Hey, everyone, just a quick pause on today’s episode to tell you about something that we’ve been working on that we’re super excited about. It’s no secret that, you know, meetings have been on the rise since the pandemic, there are studies that showed that in some organizations, people are spending as much as 250% more time in meetings. And there hasn’t been a solution out there to really tackle this problem. At its heart, some companies are doing interesting things. Shopify, for example, is now incorporating a meeting cost calculator into all of the meetings that are booked. And so whenever someone’s trying to book a meeting, they get to see the cost of that meeting. And what we’ve decided to do at Fellow is take this idea of a meeting cost calculator, and make it available for everyone for free. And we’re calling it our meeting cost calculator, it integrates with your Google Calendar. So if you’re on a Google Calendar, what you can do is go to Fellow.app/calculator. And what it’s going to do is it’s this extension, you install it super easy. And when you do, you’ll be able to see the cost of every meeting that you’re attending. And so what this does at an organizational level, and it’s very easy to install organization wide, your IT administrator can very easily do this. And when you do this, every person in your company, when they’re about to book a meeting, they’ll be able to see the cost of that particular meeting. And really, the intention here is to make it easy for people to really think carefully about the people that the invite to the meeting how large the meeting is going to be. And really the purpose and make sure that time that is organized through this meeting is actually going to be time well spent. And so we’re very excited to announce this, it’s easy to get, you can go to Fellow.app/calculator, get the extension and get it for your team. It’s free to use. And if you like what you see there, we have a series of other things that we built along these lines with that extension. We’re calling them meeting guidelines. And it’s a series of other things that help change organizational behavior around meetings in your company. But start with a calculator. It’s really cool. And when you try it, let us know what you think. And with that said, let’s go back to the episode. I wonder if you have any other anecdotes I know you work with a ton of different organizations. The Novartis example was super interesting. Are there other ones where you’ve seen just a more modern approach to the way people manage their teams? So

Gary Bolles  19:52

it’s really important first off to see this as a journey, not a destination. I often don’t use the word culture either. I talked to about mindset a lot, because people use the word culture and cultural transformation a lot. I’ll give you a couple of examples. So first off, you need to have the mindset that there is a set of behaviors that you want to encourage. We’ve done projects with companies like Google since 2005. And Tim Armstrong, who used to be the head of North American sales, was our client, and he wants to run America Online. And what Tim did was AOL at the time was considered to be just an also ran, it was a company that was basically just gutted. And Tim said, Okay, here’s the new behaviors I want, I want to be able to have many of the characteristics we’re talking about. They didn’t use the word team guide. But I want to empower the people who lead teams to be able to lead them more dynamically, I want us all to be able to create tremendous value for the organization stakeholders. And he offered people the opportunity to opt out. And 40% of the company opted out. So he set this new goal. And the rest is history. AOL did very, very well and ultimately was sold to Verizon. And so I can give you an example after example, a lot of it just depends upon two things for your listeners. The first is what do you find? That’s inspirational? What are examples that help you to be able to see what the possibilities are? And the second is, what are the steps to do that kind of mindset transformation, culture transformation. So the first one, if it’s inspirational to you, there are a variety of organizations that you can point to that they call themselves leaderless. If you look at Gore Industries, a company that makes Gore Tex, they have essentially been a leaderless company since 1976. And so they think of themselves as basically being a set of dynamic teams that continually bind around new problems. And there’s tons of other organizations if you want really inspirational examples. Look at decentralized autonomous organizations in the book, exponential organizations by my friend Salim Ismail and Peter Diamandis, they just wrote a new version of it. So your listeners can see a bunch of inspirational examples of companies that have used this much more flexible approaches, very, very different alternative structures, often empowered by technology. But then for the process, the steps to go through what I point to is the work by the Institute for corporate performance AI for CP. And if you look at Kevin Oates book, the CEOs book look for culture transformation. So I forced CP did a study of organizations that are going through the kind of transformation that I’m talking about, and bad news 85% Fail 85%. So would you take on a job if you had an 85% likelihood of not succeeding? You know, most people probably would. But anyway, organizations continually try. So that’s the bad news. Good news is I for CPE, looked at the 15% that were successful. And they walk through 17 steps in the book as to how to do that. And so I would urge your listeners to be thinking about whether you lead an entire organization or you lead a single team, you actually have a tremendous amount of influence, to be able to try to encourage these kinds of next behaviors to try to encourage much more of this mindset and developing the skill set of the team guide. And I can give you an example, after example of people who have started relatively small in small parts of the organization that have had transformational impact throughout the organization over time, I don’t want the takeaway to ever be Oh, you don’t want to just one person leading one team. And there’s How could I possibly influenced by organization? No, you actually have a tremendous amount of agency, if you believe that this is the way that your organization needs to function in the future.

Aydin Mirzaee  23:49

It’s very interesting, like the 85% fail number, but the 15%, I guess, like if the outcome is worth it, then it’s worth taking the risk. And so it’s very interesting, as you were mentioning, Tim Armstrong coming in and saying, here are all of the behaviors that I want to see. And you can opt in or you can opt out. And it sounds like a precursor to what drew a lot of attention on Elon doing something similar. When he acquired Twitter and sending an email and saying Click here if you’re hardcore, or whatever the terminology was that he used.

Gary Bolles  24:23

Yeah, I don’t know. I don’t use that example very much myself.

Aydin Mirzaee  24:27

This is almost like when you’re trying to do a cultural transformation you might need to pinpoint at basically the, you know, allow people to opt in or allow people to opt out.

Gary Bolles  24:37

There’s two completely different mindsets about how you do this kind of shift, especially with the role of the team guide. And these are typically called core and edge strategies. So core strategies are what I was talking about in the book cultural transformation, where the people who lead an organization are trying to change the behaviors across the organization. Now, there’s a school of thought that says that’s not the way to do it. The way to do it is edge strategies. And so I point to the work of a great friend John Hagel, who used to run the white center for the edge, and now has his own institute called Beyond our edge, and encourage people to read John Hagos work because he talks about how it’s so hard to change the core. But he has example, after example, in his work of organizations that went to change something at the edge, a new company, they had just acquired a single division that was more nimble than others, focused on the transformation in that arena, and then infected the rest of the organization. With those opportunities. I’ll just give you one example. One of my clients is a bank in Fargo, North Dakota, which if your international listeners know, at our heartland that went to go to do a lecture series of talks, in consulting at a bank, first international bank, and I thought I was in the wrong address, because I was at a startup, like it was outside this building, and it looks exactly like a startup. And so I called my client and I said, Am I at the right place, and she walks out the door. Yes, you’re at the right place. So what had happened was first international bank had bought a Fintech startup, a small financial technology firm, but had this very nimble culture. And the people who lead the bank, move their offices into that startup, to send the message to everybody else in the company, this is the way we’re going to function as a company going forward. So that’s a tremendous example of both the core and an edge strategy. You’ve got this really nimble new way of doing things. And then the people who leave the organization jumped in with both feet and said, Yes, we’re all in, we’re going to be doing it that way, too. It’s

Aydin Mirzaee  26:53

a super interesting approach also reminds me of just ideas around skunkworks projects, or just companies forming a lab section of their company to be able to experiment outside of those sorts of norms. The other thing I wanted to ask you about is you kind of mentioned the company that was experimenting with or had almost a leaderless organization. And that’s just an interesting concept. To me, I know that there are some companies that operate in that way. I know, for example, Valve is a company that they they have a leader, but people largely choose their own projects, and they kind of figure out what things everybody should work on in a more decentralized way. Is that the future? And do you think that there will be I know, you call them guides and not managers? But do you feel that in that kind of a world, people will, organizations will need less guides,

Gary Bolles  27:47

my phrasing is, organizations will always need people to lead. The reason I don’t use the word leader is that I believe everybody can lead I talked about leading as a verb. So in the LinkedIn course, skills for leading the future of work, I talked about how so many of the behaviors that we’re discussing the mindset, and the skill set of the team guide, can be exhibited by people throughout the organization. And so what happens, I think, more and more organizations, there’s several things that are inevitably occurring in a post pandemic world. The first is that many are likely to be more distributed. So that requires a new mindset and skill set for the team guide. Because you can’t use the standard command and control process of seeing everybody in the cubicles and doing the management by walking around thing, and you have to have a different approach. So organizations are going to be more distributed. Secondly, you’re going to find the walls of organizations are increasingly softening. So in the past, you can think of the organization almost like a box. It was binary, you’re either an employee or you’re not. There’s scarcity. As Peter Diamandis would say, inside the box, there’s hierarchy to manage scarcity, and there’s abundance outside the box, lots of people that want jobs. Well, that’s an old mindset that goes from again, industrial era kind of mindset, there’s a factory, you’re either working in the factory, or you’re not working at all. And so instead, I believe that the future is not just a workforce. And it’s not just a network of people, but it’s a work net. It functions more with the characteristics of a community, where people are continually coming together in teams, to dynamically bind around problems, solve them and go on to the next problem. So you will always need people to guide teams, the opportunity is to have people throughout the organization to be those people who lead. So if you just picture much more of a networked organization, where individuals are continually binding into teams, but you might be part of multiple teams, and that context switching is going to be be continuous, then that is very likely to be the operating system for organizations in the future. And what that takes, of course, is a very different mindset by the people who lead teams because you’ve got to be able to continually lead through change. In the past, many organizations would approach change with the traditional mindset, the old rules mindset of change management, you would say, here’s the current state of things, that’s a, here’s the future state of things I want it to be in two years, that’s B, and then the delta between them is C. Oh, okay. That’s our change management process. Let’s go do everything in C. And then until the years we’ll be there, in the course leading change, I say, no change management is dead. All that’s left is leading change. If you keep thinking about these waves of disruptive change from a global recession, and then a global pandemic, and then this AI tsunami, and then these ripple effects of conflicts from around the world. Well Peter Diamandis will certainly tell you is these waves of change are likely to continue. And so what we need is a different mindset about how we can build organizations, we can structure organizations, we can have them powered by a community operating system, where people can continually come together to create value for the organization stakeholders. And some people think that’s amazing, that’s tremendous to be able to have this flow of human talent that can continually create value for the organization. And others freak out because it looks so completely distributed. And without the traditional hierarchy and structure of organizations that people trained in the old rules feel like they’re rudderless. Like they don’t know how to be able to lead in that kind of environment. It

Aydin Mirzaee  31:51

just seemed like it’s never ending. And so if you have the right mindset, as you said, and it’s a mindset of leading through change, then you’re going to be much better off. One question I have for you is that for organizations that say your CEO, your founder, you’re listening, and some of these ideas are very thought provoking. And you may have a little bit of an old culture, maybe people are so called managers, is there a way like, Are you saying that maybe there’s a way to organize your teams where depending on the project, you organize around the project, and a different person takes on the role of the lead of that project. And then maybe there’s another one and then the best person there. It’s not like there’s this one person who’s the leader, who every time there’s a project, it’s that person that gets anointed to, yeah,

Gary Bolles  32:36

so organizations have had PMOs, project management offices for a long time, large organizations. And what they’re trying to do is they’re trying to basically have a process that they follow, there’s a new problem to be solved. And they can break down the problem, they can decide how it’s going to be run as a project, how have the resources that it needs, including people and that sort of thing. And I’m not saying throw all that stuff out. What I’m saying instead is that just needs to be dynamic and flexible. And you need to push out a lot of the decision making about problem solving to people at the team level is, the more you try to aggregate and control from a central location, which is often top down, the less nimble you can be because you’re asking the organization to have a almost perfect knowledge about all the problems to be solved from a central location. And that just doesn’t happen in an organization of any size. So instead, what I’m encouraging is much more of a flexible process where you’ve trained everybody to be able to lead or as many people as possible, be able to lead. And then you continually help them to be able to figure out how to assemble the right kind of people to be able to solve problems and have the resources they need to be able to do that. Now. What’s critical if you’re going to focus you’re going to try to develop that kind of operating system is that you focus on what I call synchrony, and what’s often called alignment in many organizations. So the poster child for alignment is Asana, which was founded by Dustin Moskovitz, one of the co-founders of Facebook, and Dustin and his co founders spent two years designing the mindset, the culture of the organization before they hired a single person, because they wanted to be in synchrony. They wanted everybody to be aligned. And so they actually have, I’ve got something in my book called The strategic arrow. And Asana has something similar to it. The basic premise is that everybody in the organization should know the organization’s vision, its mission, its strategy, and then everything that’s related to objectives and key results are all geared towards helping the organization to achieve that strategy. So how do you know if you have an organization that’s in synchrony? You ask every person on the Zoom call or in the hallway? To answer four questions? What are the top three strategic roles in the organization? What are the top three strategic goals of your team or teams? What are your top three strategic goals in your work role? And how are all of those aligned. And if you have that kind of synchrony those kinds of connections, where every single person knows how they’re contributing to the value that’s created for the organization stakeholders, then as the organization strategy changes, if you need to pivot, everybody can pivot along because they understand where they fit. And that’s critical for the team guide, it’s absolutely essential that the team guide is the one that’s empowering that process of helping people to see how they are connected to the strategic goals of the organization. It’s

Aydin Mirzaee  35:44

super interesting. I love how because a lot of people will use things like OKRs. But But I love that the OKRs are also still in service to the things that are hired the strategy and the mission and everything else. Gary, this has been a super interesting conversation, we’ve talked about a number of different topics. I love some of the key phrases for me from this conversation was I love that notion of unboxing. This meeting, I thought that was super interesting. Guys are the ones with the best questions and not necessarily people with the answers, differentiating between focusing on mindset versus culture, and a bunch of different examples of even leaderless organizations. So all in all super interesting conversation, the question we always like to end on for all the managers and leaders constantly looking to get better at their craft. Are there any final tips, tricks or words of wisdom you would leave them with?

Gary Bolles  36:36

So first off, I have tremendous compassion for people in to work roles in this post pandemic era. And that’s teachers and team guides. They’re the ones in the trenches that are having the greatest impact in their work, not just the post pandemic world, but with these artificial intelligence tools that are transforming so much of work. I just want to say how much compassion I have for people who are in those roles of leading teams, because we keep changing the rules, the rules are continually adapting because the underpinning technologies are changing. We’ve got all these macro trends that are changing, the very nature of many organizations are changing. Many industries are becoming disrupted by new players. And so all of those create this constant landscape of change. And so I just first off on this just to have tremendous compassion for people in those roles. But I also want to say this tremendous opportunity. And so I would encourage a couple of things. The first is to be able to focus on your own. Continuing developing the mindset and skill set, you’ve got my sort of three legs of the stool over and over again, mindset skill set and toolset. The mindset of the person who is empowering others to be able to solve problems is absolutely critical. That’s what we do as humans. That’s what we do as teams is we solve problems. And so the first is for you to be able to as the person who leads a team to develop your own mindset that you are empowering others to be able to solve problems. The second is skill set, there’s a bunch of new skills, the skills for doing active listening, the skills for asking the right questions, the skills for helping to develop each human being, and help them to understand their superpowers, their best skills, those are all skills that you can learn. And then finally, the toolset. These artificial intelligence tools are actually a tremendous empowering agent for many people is the role of Team guides, who have the capacity to be able to treat it as treat some of these software tools as coaches to be able to workshop question, especially some thorny challenges that you’ve got in your interaction with some of your team members, you can actually treat them as sort of impartial advisors and it doesn’t mean they’re always right. They do have an answer, but at least it could open the aperture for some of the kinds of problem solving that you need to do as a team guide.

Aydin Mirzaee  38:54

That’s great advice and a great place to end it. Gary, thanks so much for doing this. All right. 

Gary Bolles  38:59

Thanks so much. Great conversation, take care.

Aydin Mirzaee  39:01

And that’s it for today. Thank you so much for tuning into this episode of the Supermanagers podcast. You can find the show notes and transcript at WWW.Fellow.app/Supermanagers. If you liked the content, be sure to rate review and subscribe so you can get notified when we post the next episode. And please tell your friends and Fellow managers about it. It’d be awesome if you can help us spread the word about the show. See you next time.

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