Doug Hensch

Episode 52 – Shannon Polly – Character Strengths Matter

Shannon Polly, MAPP, PCC, joins us this week to talk about one of my favorite topics…strengths! Shannon is super qualified to do this as a graduate of the Master’s in Applied Positive Psychology program at the University of Pennsylvania. And, she co-authored Character Strengths Matter – How To Live A Full Life – an excellent source of tips, research and tools for putting your strengths to work.

In this episode, we talk about applying our strengths in these difficult times, what they mean for parents and which strengths we may want to target, right now.

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Episode 51 – Alain Hunkins – Cracking The Leadership Code

Did you know that a recent survey revealed that only 23% of employees think their leaders are doing well? Alain Hunkins, author of Cracking The Leadership Code – Three Secrets to Building Strong Leaders, has made it his mission to increase that number.

On the podcast, we talk about how yesterday’s leaders have passed down some bad habits, why empathy is so important, why it’s critical to be present, how being authentic makes us more effective and what chimpanzees can teach us during a pandemic.

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Episode 50 – Roger Firestien – Creativity

In these difficult times, I thought it would be helpful and uplifting to bring Roger Firestien back to the podcast. The Godfather of creativity and I talk about how we can be more creative as we all manage through this crisis. We spend some time talking about how people are already being more creative. We talk about Nutella brownies and how creativity gives us hope!

Roger talks about his latest article regarding being creative while working from home and he shares 5 concrete tips:

1 – Find your creative space
2 – Identifying your creative time of day
3 – Why taking breaks & naps are so important
4 – How incubation can surface your best ideas
5 – How to ‘force’ connections to come up with new ideas

Roger’s most recent book, Create In A Flash – A Leader’s Recipe For Breakthrough Innovation, is practical, fun to look at and inspiring!.

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Episode 49 – Bob Kulhan – Business Improv

Bob Kulhan, CEO of Business Improv is back! This week’s episode is a second look at how using improv techniques can help us at home and work. We explore the roots of “Yes, AND…” while applying them to being resilient and adaptable. We also explore some of the misconceptions of “Yes, AND…” and when “Yes, but…” might be appropriate. Bob puts me on the spot to teach an improv activity we can all use at the dinner table and offers a host of resources to help you bring “Yes, AND…” into your life!

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Episode 48 – Ryan Niemiec – Using Your Strengths To Be Resilient

We liked Ryan Niemiec, PhD (author of “The Power of Character Strengths: Appreciate and Ignite Your Positive Personality“) so much that we decided to bring him back for another interview. This time, we’re focused on what the science tells us about being resilient and using our strengths. We talk about why it might be best to start with what’s going right before you jump into fixing a problem, how painful emotions are more powerful than the comfortable ones (like joy, hope, awe, gratitude, etc), how an over-use of our strengths can negatively affect our physical health and a 3-step process for applying our strengths to an adversity.

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Episode 47 – Ryan Carson – Treehouse

What happens when the CEO of a company embraces the power of AND? You get Treehouse – A company dedicated to teaching people how to design & code online. And, what’s so great about that? CEO and co-founder Ryan Carson was driven to build this company because he felt that a career in coding should not require an expensive college degree.

Ryan leads by a number of core values and a dream to making a lucrative career in coding accessible to the masses, not just the privileged. We talk about trust, accountability, living a balanced life, false dichotomies and the movie he watches a little too often…The Matrix!

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Episode 46 – Amy Fish – I Wanted Fries With That

What prevents us for asking for what we want? Why do we hold back from complaining when the situation does not meet our standards? How can we do a better job of listening to complaints and acting upon them?

Amy Fish, author of “I Wanted Fries with That: How to Ask for What You Want and Get What You Need,” helps us answer these questions along with a couple of parenting tips that many of us will appreciate! And, if you stick around until the end of the episode, she will teach you how to get that travel refund you wanted…

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Episode 45 – Danielle Grant – Leading Beyond The Ego

How do our egos get in the way of being great leaders? When our primary motivators are power, prestige, reward and recognition, it is almost impossible to lead effectively in today’s world where employees are increasingly looking for meaning, autonomy, authenticity and a higher purpose for the work that they and their organizations do every day.

Danielle Grant, Director LeaderShape Global, joins us this week to talk about “transpersonal” leadership where leaders understand that there is more to life than just their self interests. Transpersonal leaders have found the sweetspot between emotional intelligence, spiritual intelligence and general IQ. They get better results and they reject the old way of leading with command and control. Please join us for a spirited discussion as we talk about Danielle’s new book, Leading Beyond The Ego – How To Become A Transpersonal Leader.

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Episode 44 – Michael Bungay Stanier – The Advice Trap

Think about the last time someone came to you with a problem. Chances are you gave them some advice. And, it felt good. This is usually our default reaction as giving advice can be a sign of power and prestige. According to best-selling author and coaching guru, Michael Bungay Stanier, we are better off resisting this very normal urge.

In his new book, The Advice Trap – Be Humble, Stay Curious & Change the Way You Lead Forever, you will learn the simple, powerful tools that the most effective leaders, parents and people employ to help others. In this episode, Michael talks about staying curious “just a little longer,” how we can all be more “coach-like,” and how asking more questions empowers those we lead and love. And, he has some interesting thoughts on the future of coaching…

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Episode 43 – Chang Liu – Director, Loudoun County Public Library

This week’s guest has not only embraced AND-like thinking in her own life, she has brought it to her organization. Chang Liu, Director of the Loudoun County Public Library was born in China and emigrated to the US 32 years ago. With a passion for learning and a set of encouraging parents, Chang has set about to make learning accessible, interesting and engaging.

Chang’s leadership has helped her staff to create an award-winning system of 10 libraries and over 300 employees that serve a population of 400,000+ residents in Northern VA. And, why do libraries even exist when we have smart phones and the internet? As Chang says, “Libraries may be one of the most important forms of democracy we have, today.” They offer accessible, free learning for all who enter. By tapping the creativity of her staff and creating a psychologically safe workplace, her organization recently won the American Library Association Excellence in Programming Award – the most prestigious award for a library system.

Now, go get a library card and learn about what you have been missing!

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