My guest on today’s episode of The Courage of a Leader podcast is Tom Rosenak. Tom has a unique talent to bottom-line concepts and get to the heart of the matter, and express that in powerful descriptive ways.
Glad you’re joining us to hear Tom discuss the #1 key to be the powerful leader your team deserves.
About the Guest:
Tom Rosenak is a senior consultant with over twenty-five years’ experience in leadership communication with a focus on the persuasive arts of sales, presentation, executive presence, and influence without authority. He works with clients to expand business performance through relationship, influence, and communication strategies. Tom’s coaching style is engaging, constructive and encouraging while ever challenging the participant to improve. Broad client experience, from small not-for-profit, to Fortune 500 firms.
About the Host:
Amy L. Riley is an internationally renowned speaker, author and consultant. She has over 2 decades of experience developing leaders at all levels. Her clients include Cisco Systems, Deloitte and Barclays.
As a trusted leadership coach and consultant, Amy has worked with hundreds of leaders one-on-one, and thousands more as part of a group, to fully step into their leadership, create amazing teams and achieve extraordinary results.
Amy’s most popular keynote speeches are:
The Courage of a Leader: The Power of a Leadership Legacy
The Courage of a Leader: Create a Competitive Advantage with Sustainable, Results-Producing Cross-System Collaboration
The Courage of a Leader: Accelerate Trust with Your Team, Customers and Community
The Courage of a Leader: How to Build a Happy and Successful Hybrid Team
Her new book is a #1 international best-seller and is entitled, The Courage of a Leader: How to Inspire, Engage and Get Extraordinary Results.
Links mentioned in the episode
The Momentum Playbook: https://www.digdiamondmind.com/product/give-get-the-gift-of-momentum/
Diamond Mind: https://www.digdiamondmind.com/
90 Day Momentum Process: https://www.digdiamondmind.com/blog/your-ninety-day-momentum-challenge/
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Teaser for next episode
Tune in next for “How to Use What we Know about Neuroscience to be Exponentially More Influential” with Laura Berger the founder and CEO of Berdéo Group, a global leadership development consultancy.
My guest on today's episode of the courage of a leader podcast is Tom Rosenak. Tom has a unique talent to bottom line concepts and get to the heart of the matter. And then to express that in powerfully descriptive ways. Glad you're joining in to hear Tom discuss the number one key to be the powerful leader your team deserves.Amy Riley:
Welcome to the Courage of a Leader podcast. This is where you hear real life stories of top leaders achieving extraordinary results. And you get practical advice and techniques, you can immediately apply for your own success. This is where you will get inspired. And take bold, courageous action. I am so glad you can join us. I'm your host, Amy Riley. Now, are you ready to step into the full power of your leadership and achieve the results you care about most? Let's ignite the courage of a leader.Amy Riley:
Tom, I know you and I have talked about how leading others starts with self leadership. Why do you say that that's important?Tom Rosenak:
Well, if we don't know where we're going, it's not a good idea to ask other people to come on the journey. Very true. And just being a little facetious. But why it's important to me more than ever, is leaders are pulled in so many directions, as are all the people we're traveling with. And so self awareness was always important. But with all the distractions today, we are just pulled so many ways. And we need to get centered on where we're going. God dealership is inviting other people to go along in the journey and bring their strengths and their blind spots along to go someplace better.Amy Riley:
Yeah, so I think I hear you talking about a few different aspects of self leadership are self awareness, which you said directly knowing who we are, and then also where we're going. So that we are centered and we're not. Oh, taken by every shiny object and opportunity that comes our way. Yeah,Tom Rosenak:
I put it this way, we can be swept up in a river of reactivity,Amy Riley:
oh, river reactivity. And we need to anchor ourselvesTom Rosenak:
to our values. Yeah. And I would only add one thing you to what you said, which is to know what we're becoming. Okay. Not just where we're going, and what we're trying to accomplish, but what we're becoming in the process. And of course, that is very clear in the courage of a leader. So I'm just underlining something. That's a key theme of theAmy Riley:
book. Yes, yes. The courage to be authentically you. Yeah, thereTom Rosenak:
it is. And it shows up in all the pillars, but it's right in number one. And your Iron Man example is perfect for that is just to say, in a sense, it doesn't matter if you complete an Ironman or you don't. Right, that's what you did. But it's who you became in the process, the the what you learn, and then we know something else about you. It wasn't just enough to learn that you have to share it with others so that they can use. I don't have to do an Ironman to goAmy Riley:
no, no, please, if that's not your thing,Tom Rosenak:
is that we sometimes forget that what we're becoming is as important as what we're accomplishing.Amy Riley:
Lovely. I like that. Yes, it's about what's going to motivate and inspire us. Who are we becoming? So not only what are we doing, but who are we being and who do we want to be? Yes. So if someone were to say someone listening, Tom says, okay, yeah, I get this. I need to work on myself leadership. What would you suggest that they do? I loveTom Rosenak:
that question. And it's a core of my philosophy. You've probably heard it said, Well, I'll just ask you, what's the definition AMI of insanity?Amy Riley:
Oh, um, I say beating your head against the same wall like right, trying to make the same mistakes over and overTom Rosenak:
repeatedly and expecting different results. Yeah. So we've all heard that. Well, let's riff a little off that and say insanity is having this same conversation repeatedly and expecting different results. And we all know we do this with our boss, our co workers, our spouses our children, is we think if we just say it louder, say it more often. If we want newness, we need a new conversation. Yeah. So let's talk about self leadership. We have conversations with ourselves that are aspirational that you had in order to do the Ironman. But if we're honest, and we pay attention, we have conversations that are dead end. And we have a tendency to repeat it. And then we say, I keep trying this and failing. And then we ask a dead end question. Why do I keep trying and failing? And the answer is, I don't know. You're just the kind of person that keeps trying and failing. So what I say is, what question would most likely bring us forward to get out of that rut? Something more resourceful? Like, how can I be a little bit more disciplined in this area? And what gets in my way and tell the truth about the barriers? We were very reluctant sometimes to admit, the language of doubt, is part of courage. Courage isn't the absence of fear, it's doing your best in the face of fear. And so what is my best? What's a little better today? Yeah. So I So the short answer to your question is, examine your conversations and ask, are they likely to lead me to be that leadership legacy that I set out to be? And if the answer's no, don't beat yourself up? Just ask yourself, How can I change shift the conversation? Yes, empower myself to take the next step?Amy Riley:
Yes, Tom, you are so insightful, and beautiful and clever with words you say? You say so much in a concise way. I love this insanity is having the same conversation. Sometimes it's with other people. Lots of times, it's with ourselves. And that really straightforward advice to examine the conversations, the thoughts that are repeating in our heads over and over. And not to try to play the game of having all of our thoughts be powerful and inspiring and insightful, but just noticing when they're not.Tom Rosenak:
And by the way, what you just described as what we can't pretend classical positive thinking. It's just, everything's great. Everything's wonderful, I could do that. And the problem is, is if you don't really believe it, repeating, it doesn't help. So that's a challenge. Yeah, instead of that, positive psychology is starting to recognize, we need to acknowledge it's about positivity ratio, we want to be positive. But we don't want to pretend that we don't have doubts and fears, because that's not human. But we want to take this whole package of doubts and fears. And my mother was right about me and all that stuff. And we want to move in a direction. Yes, higher and better. Yes, leadership, we want to go somewhere. I spent so much of my life waiting till everything changed. And thenAmy Riley:
yes, yeah, really powerful. We want to be real. And I love that you've given us access to shift that thinking, because Step one is to notice, I've got this disempowering thoughts running through my head. Step two is how can I shift away from that? And I And you gave us a great tool? You ask a question to bring us forward? How do I want to be?Tom Rosenak:
Are the key to new conversation? Yes. And not the same question. But maybe the same question phrased differently, because the question begs and the answer, whether it's to ourselves, or our colleagues, how can we work better together? I suggest to my clients have one meeting, where we're not just throwing all the issues around and who's to do what by when, but we just say, Gosh, Amy, you know, I notice that we work well together. How can we work better together? And give space for Amy to say every time you say x i do y and we can do better than that. And then we can discover a pee we didn't even know was there.Amy Riley:
We co create in conversation. Don't wait.Tom Rosenak:
I have to tell the truth, that it isn't always smooth. I respect you Do you respect me? We're different. And sometimes we're not working our best together. That's okay. Keep the respect and ask. That's really true feedback. But it's leadership and starts with self leadership. And sometimes the best way to start is I noticed you roll your eyes when I say this.Amy Riley:
Yeah. Can we talk aboutTom Rosenak:
coaching styles? Bottom line at Tom, that was helpful feedback. She said that all the time, I need a little more leash in that I'm not just about why. But sometimes you need a bottom line. So when she says bottom line at time, I say,Amy Riley:
yes, my mind is swirling on the words, curiosity, and courage, having the courage to say what needs to be sad having the curiosity to ask a question that maybe we don't know what the answer might be from ourselves or from a person we're dialoguing with.Tom Rosenak:
Very well. SoAmy Riley:
what can get in our way of powerful self leadership? We've already talked about the doubting thoughts that can come up in our minds, because our minds are designed to protect us. So they're going to do that thing. So we're going to have those those doubts in our head. What other barriers get in our way? Why don't we all have this mastered?Tom Rosenak:
Well, I love the question because we are not monolithic. So So you're talking about an authentic self, we could call it our highest self, our vision, our legacy, lots of different terms. But let's stick with the term incorruptible leader, you have the legacy itself. So in my case, that's diamond mind, Thomas, and diamond mind, Thomas is my inner CEO. He is always aligned to the vision of who I am, why I'm on the planet, what I'm trying to accomplish. But let's talk about some other enter brats. They're slippery time. And slippery time says how can I get out of this? I don't want to work that hard. And then there's the voice of security. If you call her up, she may say, No, you're going to invite me to your podcast. Look at her. She's accomplished all this, she's not going to come. Don't waste your time. So diamond mine Thomas's job is to give those voices space, but not let them drive the rocket ship. Okay? The inner brats, if you try to get rid of them, you repress them. They're like snipers are gonna get you. There they belong. And by the way, the voice of security is very important. We don't want to kick it off. There might be a tiger, in which case, I'm not coming to the podcast today. I'm sorry,Amy Riley:
tiger in my ear need to run? Yes, yeah.Tom Rosenak:
And so. But that voice thinks that there's a tiger everywhere. Yeah, ask yourself what will the neighbors think of? So the tool that I use in coaching is called processing the ballot box. The processing,Amy Riley:
but box Yeah, beauty implies.Tom Rosenak:
So you're, you're thinking of doing an Ironman, Ironman. Now it's past tense. But let's go back to when it was when you were thinking of it, I would. But go ahead and give me some of those.Amy Riley:
Oh, but it's gonna take a lot of time. It's all of my time away from my family, what's gonna be on my business?Tom Rosenak:
There you go. And it's longer than that. Yes. So you could ignore the ballot box. Or you could call forth the inner CEO who's aligned with the courage of a leader. And you could call those voices forward and enter into constructive dialogue.Amy Riley:
I love it, Tom, and I got it. You'reTom Rosenak:
gonna give up time with your family. And you say thank you for that. It is a huge investment of time. And part of the reason I'm doing this is for my family. And I can imagine that hug at the finish line. And they're also proud of me. So you're borrowing from a brighter future, and you're talking to the bots as this doesn't get rid of them. It takes away their power. Yes, but they stay on theAmy Riley:
bus that you give them space.Tom Rosenak:
Good idea. Yeah. Buckle your seatbelt. We're doing this rat's nest. Okay. And then the only advice I give is never, never, never tried to convert those voices. because their job is not to protect your goals. Their job is they seek to protect you, but they seek to protect you in a way that doesn't even look at the goal. So you're writing this Book, and they're like, You need to get some sleep. Well, getting sleep is important in life. And she's not wrong about that. The inner CEO has to say, Now is not the time to sleep, we have a vacation scheduled, and we're going to catch up on her sleep. You can't expect her to think of that. The owner CEO, now let's say, let's point out why we're calling it a CEO. You think about a CEO, their job is to connect to the vision of the organization to have some goals, and to use the resources wisely. And that's what the inner CEO has to do. Yeah, our inner resources and wisdom has short term and long term and intermediary like a good CEO would have. And sometimes you give him and say, you know, write some restaurant, now's a good idea. But that's why she's gonna tell you that rest is the reason you're on the planet. Oh, Amy, you're working too hard. You need to get ready. She not totally wrong. She just doesn't have perspective.Amy Riley:
Right? Right. I love this. Talking to the bus, talking to the butts, letting them be on the bus. They provide some value, but really let the inner co facilitating guide the conversation and decide where the bus is going.Tom Rosenak:
Yeah. And that's my version of trusting legacy builders. Yes. Hi. My name Thomas knows. Yeah, but some of the other voices either forget or don't know, or don't care. And that's okay.Amy Riley:
Tom, I got so into this conversation, I forgot to tell our leaders who are our listeners, who you are. Let me tell you more about our guests today. Tom rose knack is the founder of diamond mind. And he is a senior and amazing consultant with over 25 years experience in leadership communication with a focus on the persuasive arts of sales, presentation, executive presence, and influence without authority. You've heard it from him already. He works with clients to expand business performance through relationship, influence and communication strategies. Tom's coaching styles engaging, constructive and encouraging, while ever challenging the participant to improve, how to move forward. He has broad client experience from small to nonprofit to Fortune 500 firms. Thank you for being here. Tom, you've already provided us with so much great content, food for thought.Tom Rosenak:
Well, it's an honor to be here and courage of a leader is a great book, highly recommend it. And my teaching is very well aligned. So delighted to share anything I can that would help your listeners be more courageous and be better leaders. And that's almost redundant, because courage is having the heart to go somewhere. Even though we have these bots now. I'm back to my language. Yes. Yeah.Amy Riley:
So yes, yes. Yeah, I talked about the empowering thoughts, the disempowering thoughts that Yeah, we don't sweep the disempowering thoughts under the rug, but we take a look at them. Right. What are they? What are they telling us? Is there any value here? And I love your analogy of the process, the butt box, leave them on the bus, give them space, because what we resist persists. Yes, it does. So let the voice be there. Can you talk to us, either about yourself or a client that you've worked with about how they've really done this work of processing the butTom Rosenak:
yeah, I'd be delighted to. So the the core of this is the momentum process. And the momentum process is a way to gain traction on what matters most. And I wrote a book called the momentum playbook. It's a simple process. But not to be too cliche. Simple doesn't mean easy, and it takes practice. But first, let me give you the definition of processing. And processing is holding love and you can understand an underlying love, conscious, active and present when anything other than love surfaces. And the reason I said underlying love, and that's the highest principle you could say health, conscious active and present, abundance, conscious active in presence, success, conscious, active and present. So whatever is in the under line is what we're focused on now. Okay, and so in my executive coaching, what I would do is, I would encourage you to call forth some of those voices. But first we get centered in the inner CEO is very, very practical because you bring your content, we're talking abstractly now. And we bring them forward. And we just lead a conversation, facilitate a conversation, where your inner CEO, or your authentic self would say, thank you for that. And take it into consideration and come back with an executive decision. Nice. Yeah. And so it's very practical. But many times, this is the key word for me. Especially because I work with such brilliant successful people, is give yourself permission. And I'm thinking of your your your chapter on weakness and how we think about fixing things. No, I told you is complete and Hall, you're not broken, you don't need to be fixed. And this isn't working. You're the one that told me this isn't working. So let's look at it. And let's get the energy that has made you successful, more traction here. Because in the area, we're stuck, and I work only with resourceful people, but in the area, we're stuck. We're not being resourceful. Otherwise, we wouldn't need to invest in a coach. I mean, it's not. It's that true. And 100% of the people I have met, have areas of their life where they're less than resourceful. Yeah, so this process helps get the resources flowing in the area that you're stuck in the resourcesAmy Riley:
fine, okay. And conjuring that voice of the inner CEO for each of us, whatever we want to call that, right, you call your diamond mind CEO, I really love the term inner CEO, right? The one with the big picture vision was no oneTom Rosenak:
who is responsible, I use the word CEO, because the CEO has to go to the board. And they don't get to have all the excuses, even though some of them really happen. COVID happen or whatever it is, instead of excuses. It's responsible. But I interrupted your question. It's why did you know the why I use the word CEO. Yeah, ultimately in charge of what you decide to do with your resources, physical, emotional and spiritual, in any given period.Amy Riley:
Yes, CEO holds the vision, is that responsible, so we're making sure that we are interjecting that voice in our head and that that voice is leading the conversation?Tom Rosenak:
As much as possible, not all the time. So I will consult them and mine Thomas, I forget to do it. That's what had said, forget to teach African all the time. Who's driving this bus? It certainly wasn't on my mind, Thomas, to begin again. And I have a truth statement around that, which is think big. And then in parentheses, even bigger. Start small, in parentheses even smaller, and keep moving. The word momentum simply means to move. And then to ask, Am I moving from the energy of the highest vision? And if the answer's no, is there a step up?Amy Riley:
Oh, I love this. I'm seeing post it notes being put on computers around the land, right, who is driving the bus? We need reminders. Yeah, who's driving the bus right now? What would the inner CEO say? Because this, this idea of think big, think bigger, right? Just we're keeping the momentum, we're increasing our influence. Because if we have a big vision, if it's big, we can't see exactly how to get from where we are to get to there. We might see the next couple of steps. But then it gets murky, or we've got to take those next couple of steps. And that builds momentum that builds influence, then the next couple of steps become more clear, right? And we start to patch together that path to the vision, you knowTom Rosenak:
it? Well, that's it. And we don't want to do that. We say when I have a blueprint, then I'll begin. And that's not leadership. And by the way, there are people that will give you that blueprint. And that's not satisfying either. It's not wrong. So if you go to work for McDonald's, they have all that but Ray Kroc didn't have any of that mapped out. And that's why he gets the beliefs and people say, it's not fair. I wear the hat and I whistled. Why don't I get the billions? Well, because you had someone else set up all the processes and it's still valuable. I don't want to be demeaning it, but it's to say that If you want to lead, you have to go somewhere before the word lead means go before. And first you go envision. And then you go in steps. And the vision doesn't give you the how to. And I have read a lot of bios, biographies. And they've all said that I knew I wanted to do it. I believed I could do it. I didn't really know how. But I had a good picture of what that would look like and then created.Amy Riley:
Yes, this is really great. Know where we're headed, have a picture of what that looks like. But if we're dreaming big, we don't have the full Blueprint.Tom Rosenak:
You don't get to have it. That's and that's why not many people do it.Amy Riley:
Because, yes, I see leaders all the time playing the waiting game, waiting to have another credential waiting to have all their colleagues on board, waiting to have the full plan mapped outTom Rosenak:
25 years of that, so I don't have to look further than my own time. Just to say that, that, you know, entrepreneurial, all those things sound really sexy, until you realize that it's vulnerable. Yes, you're creating something that doesn't exist. Yes.Amy Riley:
When you said that word vulnerable time, I pictured myself on one of those little rickety rope bridges that goes over the canyon. Right. And you can see the next two wooden planks. But the next one's not in place yet. Yeah, yeah. And you know, I joke about that. But I mean, that shows up as real anxiety concern, right? We've really got to ground ourselves in that vision is using me using your language, what that inner CEO sees as possible. When I say leadership legacy, right, the purpose of our leadership, what we are, we're bringing to every project and relationship,Tom Rosenak:
May I May I use your language and just add one piece, absolutely permission to do that work emerged to be bold and create the extraordinary and do just a little bit better with the so called ordinary. So it's holding it conscious, active and present, as we said, in processing, when the ordinary shows up, and it will. Yes. So you have an awakening, you expect everything to be different. My experiences, in one sense, everything is different. And in the other is everything is the same. So we need a new practice to get roots for the bold and extraordinary. And then what happens is, it looks like it shoots up at once everybody tells me this guess when you have this breakthrough, it just seemed like it happened at once. But you've been putting those roots down for a long period of time.Amy Riley:
Yes, yes. Day by day. Tom, you've shared so many great things with us know what we're becoming. So first of all the focus on self leadership, if we want to be powerful in leading others, know who we're becoming, right, examine the conversations that are going on in our heads. So we get ourselves out of that river of reactivity. Questions are the key to new conversations inside of our heads, and new conversations with those we're creating with. Create your inner CEO voice in your head, right, that person, nurture it,Tom Rosenak:
nurture it, it's not hard to get in touch with it, it is hard to put it in charge needs nurturing, because school didn't teach you to do that.Amy Riley:
Yes. How do we nurture the inner CEO?Tom Rosenak:
We take, we create space in your own way. So for me walking is a big part of it for some is meditating. We take space journaling. But we have conversations with our world from the voice, that it already has a voice but it's not used to being lead. So practice, I added earlier, which was really good. What would the CEO say? Best way to find out is give time and right. This is what the owner CEO says,Amy Riley:
Do you have good time in the space? Oh, Tom, I'm working with so many leaders right now who are just doing the river of reactivity, and there's so much coming their way and they're not having the space for the strategic visionary thinking. That's whyTom Rosenak:
my little self serving here, the 90 day jumpstart momentum process is about that. It's about successful people investing in themselves, and I should still To take the conversation, because it's hard to facilitate a conversation with yourself when the inner brats are screaming. And so we create space to envision a shift. And at the end of 90 days, it's not like you get a whole bunch of results. But there's a person in charge that wasn't in charge at the beginning. And it's a nice period, if you look at companies, they do quarters, it's a nice little chunk of time to say, Yeah, during this time, every two weeks, we're going to have a conversation with the owner, CEO. And we're going to look at the budgets. And we're going to tell the truth. And by the way, your summary was so powerful, I'm going to clip that and use it because as I said, I'm not good at bottom lining. And the only thing I would add to that is tell the truth about what is good. I hesitate to do that. Because I'm high inspiration. And I had to learn so much over time, I would go to a meeting and tell her, we can do this, I'll do this. And I'd get back to my desk and say what did I commit to. And it comes from a place it's like I believe all this is possible. But we need to tell the truth about what is there is a reality in gravity, friction and immortality, that there is a limited bandwidth. And if you try to do all things at once, you're going to short circuit, the emotional ecosystem. So tell the truth about what is surveyed the land, like the art of war, is search, look at the landscape, and then choose a practice which makes it likely that that voice is going to gain rather than lose. And still you have to make the axe and take up the garbage and all that. Taxes and all that you got to live in two worlds at the same time. Only 100% of us do.Amy Riley:
Yes. Tell the truth. AboutTom Rosenak:
About, about what is that what is it isn't so much about your lying. It's just that your inspiration has flirted with delusion. Yes, a year ago not looking at you. And so telling the truth about what it is, is back to processing the backbox. And some of those thoughts are legitimate. And if you make a decision to wait a year before you write the book, that's fine. But just make sure it was an executive decision. What happens is we don't really make the decision today, tomorrow is going to be the DAG and a year goes by and the book isn't here. So hiding the truth is a big part of that.Amy Riley:
Yes, yes. And have your inner CEO make that decision? Yes, I love this gift of have a real practices to nurture that inner CEO voice. And I just I just feel like all of us should write a post it note right now and put it somewhere where we see it. Who is driving the bus? Yes. So we just bring awareness to that throughout our days.Tom Rosenak:
Responsibilities means the ability to respond. And the driver of the bus should be responding in new ways. Wherever the patterns are stagnant, and some of them are not. So then bring that voice forward at that moment.Amy Riley:
Yes. So powerful. Tom, thank you for everything that you've shared. You've made this concept of self leadership, more accessible, more practical, more tangible for us today.Tom Rosenak:
Well, thank you so much for having.Amy Riley:
Yes. Our pleasure. Thanks, Tom.