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Social Media links for Mary Pat!!
Mary Pat’s Resources!!!
I have a really fun quiz. It's an emotional intelligence quiz. Then I'll send a little bit of side coaching along to support you to develop a higher level of EQ.
Offer: Do You Lead With Emotional Intelligence Quiz
Daniella: Hi everyone. This is the cavnessHR Culture Podcast, I'm your host, Daniella Young. Our guest today is Mary Pat Knight. Mary Pat, are you ready to be great today?
Mary Pat: I am ready to be great today.
Daniella: Mary Pat is a leadership transformation and emotional intelligence expert. Her 30 year career has spanned executive leadership positions in marketing, operations, strategic planning, human resources, development and executive coaching. Drawing on her C-level experience, she has developed a simple yet powerful system for creating emotional intelligence that creates healthy teams, inspires leaders and transforms culture. Thousands of clients have experienced powerful life and business transformation by committing to this system. Mary Pat is the Founder and CEO of Leaders Inspired, helping leaders lead from the heart while creating phenomenal business results. Mary Pat is going to share some amazing value with us here today, listeners. So Mary Pat, can you tell me a little bit about something that you're working on these days that is super-exciting?
Mary Pat: Yes, I actually can. The body of work Leadership Mastery is our signature program for Leaders Inspired, and I've been doing it for 15 years and we've had phenomenal results with thousands of people. Real work and life transformation, and total impact on company cultures. What I noticed, however, in the last several months is an offering that we used to do on the back end is really something that has to happen on the front end. So I'm working on a program called From Boss to Coach. Because I believe that the skills of coaching, which includes listening and asking great questions, are really ... those skills are going to be what transforms everything as we move forward. I'm working on getting it completely up front in all the work that we do, and I'll be rolling out that program in the summer and into the fall. I'm especially excited about that.
Daniella: That sounds so great. Isn't it interesting how a lot of times young leaders, think that they need to charge forward, right? Young or new leaders. But I really liked what you mentioned about listening. Listening as leadership is so important.
Mary Pat: I posted something recently, I can't believe the amount of comments and traction that it got, and it really was, be quiet, listen and really an admonition almost, "Be quiet." Slow down enough to listen. We're missing so much when we just move forward with what's our agenda is or what we think we need to say or the next question we need to ask. Instead of simply listening and listening gets us all the leadership knowledge and information that we need to be successful and help our teams be successful. It's the seminal skill.
Daniella: Yeah, and leadership is not so much about you knowing all the answers. Right? It's about getting your team to those answers, and letting your team aggregate all of their knowledge and come up with the best solution.
Mary Pat: That's really true. I'm really glad you said it because I always say to my groups that the answer is in the room. By that I mean exactly what you just said, is that I by myself, I'll contribute. I may have some life experience and some business wisdom that I could contribute, but at the end of the day. It's really the combination of all of the people in the room that will come up with the answer that is the best for the company, for the team, maybe for the world. All of us quiet it down enough to hear what the other person is saying, and then contributing our wisdom. I mean just that would be a culture I would want to work in.
Daniella: Absolutely and to that point, I just had the opportunity to eavesdrop on some psychologists research the other week, and they had this really sort of breakthrough stuff. That they're going to publish soon. But about how an idea person is useful even if all of their ideas are terrible. This sharing, these people that are super-open about just sharing all of their random ideas gets everyone else to share more ideas, and then they come to a better idea together. They're proving that now, which is super-exciting.
Mary Pat: Oh, I can't wait to read that research. I think about for me, and this is probably true for you as well, is some of my best ideas didn't come out of my first idea. It came out of an idea that I may have shared with someone and they added something to my idea. I thought some more about the idea and somebody else added something to my idea when all of a sudden I had the idea that I actually didn't have in the first place. I can't wait to see that research.
Daniella: Everything's so connected. You hear all the time in the business world like, "Oh, I had that idea. I had the idea for Facebook way before it was a thing." They go all the way back and research and they're like, "If Newton hadn't invented gravity or realized gravity, the next guy down the street would have done it." Because the world, everything is a conversation and the world is sort of happening at the same time. It's so true I think as leaders, we build on the experience. That's what I love about this podcast is I get to talk to as many diverse leaders as possible, and our listeners get to just aggregate all of your knowledge. Every time they hear something, they're going to think of something else, and we all got to be part of this leadership and culture conversation.
Mary Pat: Yeah, and I really like what you just shared. I have a very dear friend of mine and she's a little more mystical than I am. I'm a bit more pragmatic and logical than she. But in her mystical way she says that universe or God or spirit or whatever, whispers in your ear an idea and it's your job to germinate that idea and evolve the idea. If you don't, guess what? The door closes and they do go to the next person who's willing to hear the idea and act on the idea. So part of it is then how, as leaders, do we get out of our comfort zone enough to take those types of risks that might, maybe it will lead to the next great thing. Or maybe it will just lead to immense personal satisfaction.
Daniella: Absolutely. The process is important and less heard. If you're interested in hearing my story, which is exactly what Mary Pat just talked about. How idea development kind of goes through fruition over years and years. Listen to episode zero of the cavnessHR Culture Podcast for that. On that note, Mary Pat, as we're talking about everything is connected. You shared with me when we chatted earlier about how your past experience has led you to all of the insights you have today. Which I think is really important because as leaders, all of our experience matters. I read out your bio, which was very professional sounding. Tell us about the other stuff that you bring to the table.
Mary Pat: Well, you know, I believe we're holistic beings. So whatever we're doing and wherever we're showing up in our lives right now is a direct reflection of everything that has gone before and that what we wish for in the future. With that being said, don't rest too much on your past laurels. Let that be information for where we are today. In a convoluted way, let me just tell you, I started out in the theater. You cannot be good on the stage unless you study human nature. I was fascinated with what made human beings tick, especially in terms of being in leadership positions. What made you tick? What made you effective and ineffective? I studied, studied, studied. I also ended up in a corporate career where I really was really in every functional leadership area except for finance.
Mary Pat: So does my curiosity and my love of leadership win out? Or does my ego and my need to be right win out? Most times, nine times out of 10, I was really on the side of curiosity. It allowed me to expand. Then I think the final piece of the puzzle for me in learning all of this and bringing this together. Especially in light of understanding and executing emotional intelligence, is the fact that I'm a parent. I was a single parent of three kids. Now they're not kids anymore, they're young adults. I watched them as my greatest teachers in terms of what works and what doesn't work for leadership. I'm then able to bring that back to my clients and to my company. So you see, it's very holistic. I know you've had the same experience. I know you have a military background and a business background and you're an idea person. My guess is that however your past choices in your current situation, and what your future aspirations are, also is going to create that for you. Even for your listeners. I mean we all have to take a look at past, present, future and all of the roles that we've played along the way that they all feed into what we're doing today, and how grateful, satisfied and appreciative we might be.
Daniella: No, I love that you said that. I love hearing strong women bring up their children in a professional setting as advice or lessons that they've learned. I actually just had the opportunity last week to be a guest on a podcast with a psychologist who was specifically interviewing me on parenting and leadership, and what parenting teaches you about leadership. Which is, yes. I've had very similar experiences to you. I think for our listeners just know that you don't just wake up one day suddenly interested or an expert at something. It develops throughout your life. Once you finally get to that place, like Mary Pat is now. Where you know who you are, you know who you're supposed to be, what your value is to the world and to your clients. You're then able to look back over 30 years, 50 years, whatever it might be, and again. Aggregate all of that experience into kind of your mission and your passion today. It sounds like you not only do that very well, but you also help your clients do that with their own leadership.
Mary Pat: I'm happy that you said that because it's okay if we have this experience. But if we're hoarding it or keeping it all to ourselves, then what impact are we having in the world? Even in the smallest way. It could be at your church or synagogue or mosque. Could be at the community center, could be at the little league team that you coach. What of you, hopefully, all of you, are you bringing to the situation? It's what I help my clients see. Yeah.
Daniella: I think that too, we talk a lot in the leadership space about vulnerability, and we're all so scared that if we share these personal things about ourselves, and especially for women, right? We need to be so professional. We need to have our strong face on all the time. However, sometimes I ask people, "Well, if you flip it around, and you think about a time someone shared a story with you of a hardship that they've been through and what they learned from it, does that make you think worse of them?" Almost never. Right?
Mary Pat: Almost never.
Daniella: I think we can kind of use that as a way, you know? So on the flip side, if I share something about myself that makes me feel vulnerable. That's probably going to make the person I'm talking to have a realization of their own or relate to me in a different way. But thinking of me as weak is probably not the outcome that they're going to have.
Mary Pat: Yeah, no I agree. Well, you are not weak. You are not weak girlfriend, that's for sure.
Daniella: Any of us. Any of us leaders, right? So yeah, we've always got to push ourselves, push ourselves into vulnerability, for sure.
Mary Pat: Well, and I think you're really onto something. Which is why Brené Brown is going to have a platform forever. Because her work on trust and vulnerability and easing shame and the like. When I'm working with my corporate teams, there's sometimes a preconceived notion of what leadership is, and that's really why I'm doing this from Boss to Coach Program that I mentioned at the top of our interview. Because we bring this kind of boss mentality, this dictatorial, parental style of leadership into our companies, and it doesn't work. Maybe it used to work back in the '70s or '60s, it doesn't work anymore. It especially doesn't work with our youthful leaders right now who we're cultivating and developing. It does not work. It's really, really important that we embrace some level of transparency and vulnerability. I think it can only do that when someone is willing to show the way, and in showing the way it's the stories really do it. I mean, I laugh. My youngest son is Riley, and all of my students know who Riley is because I teach the chronicles of Riley. Everything that they need to learn as leaders has happened because of the mistakes I've made parenting Riley. I think it's really, really important to make yourself approachable and accessible and stories do that.
Daniella: Everything's a story and to what you said, I read this really interesting article once about how management worked fine for the industrial age. That's solving kind of a lot of easy questions and easy problems. Now in the information age, all the easy problems have been solved. We're solving really complicated problems, and we have to move to leadership versus management. As you've mentioned, that is about guiding, that is about reflecting, that it's about being a coach to your people which I just love. So Mary Pat's program from Boss to Coach. If you are interested, you should you should check that out. Mary Pat, you mentioned emotionally intelligent teams. It talks about that in your bio. Can you say a little bit more about that?
Mary Pat: I think we've started talking about it just now. But the vulnerability and the transparency that we were talking about, because emotionally intelligent teams require a level of trust, vulnerability and transparency. The whole notion of emotional intelligence, I think sometimes people get scared of it. It's like a big term. To demystify it and to make it applicable to teams, it's simply, "I have emotions, I've learned how to manage them. I identify them and I manage them. Now I know you have emotions because so do I, and I support the relationship by supporting you to manage an appropriate expression of your emotions." And it's really it. Then, in the center of all this is compassion, and compassion means that I hold a space for you to have your experience. I'm not going to judge you or criticize you. I may offer you feedback in order to get us into relationship, but I have a choice. I think emotionally intelligent teams know this, and they respect this. So they are self and other aware. They have high level communication skills, they listen to each other, they navigate conflict because it's never personal. It's about what's best for the team. They know how to make and keep incredible agreements. They listen, they listen, they listen some more. I think you probably have experienced this, especially in your military career. Because high emotional intelligent teams, there's a high level of respect and I've got your back. I'm not going to leave you behind, and we're going to go together as a team because we have a mission together as a team. When I think about your military background I think, Wow, you've really had the full expression of this yourself."
Daniella: I think for sure that is true, and I was actually going to hone right in on where you said navigating conflict. Because so often there seems to be this focus in the corporate world on conflict mitigation or conflict avoidance, or solving conflict. Whereas from the military perspective, it's like, "Well, we're not going to train to just avoid bullets. We're going to go out and actually train what we are going to do if somebody starts when somebody starts shooting at us." Right?
Mary Pat: Right, right, right.
Daniella: That's how you at least get the closest to how you're attacked. You never know what the conflict is going to be, but in the military, we call it war gaming and you go through what you would do if, what you would do if this happened. What you would do if that happened, and how I really think the emotionally intelligent teams plays into that is you develop trust through essentially practicing, right?
Mary Pat: Right.
Daniella: You have to develop trust through going through conflict together, and you can do that in a practice world and then you go out and do it in real life. The more you realize that your experiences are different, your worldviews are different, even like you mentioned, your different personalities are different. Instead of criticizing that or trying to fit into one mode, you say, "Okay, you're different so you're in this area, you're in this area, you're in this area. These are everyone's different responsibilities and together we can solve the whole problem." We had to trust in each other. And that's, you know, now you have a really great team.
Mary Pat: I think you're true. I think actually really early on in the work that I do with my clients. We take a look at how do you customize communication to people's behavioral styles? We use DISC because I like that. But other people use Myers-Briggs, and other people use Predictive Index. I mean there's a whole lot of wonderful, wonderful tools out there. But at the end of the day, if it's a teaching and a coaching skill that you're teaching at that point. Using an assessment like this you're able to let people know that the beauty of it is that all people are different. They're going to express and receive conflict differently, and they're going to express and receive different levels of communication differently. The fun part of it is to put all the puzzle pieces together so that it works.
Daniella: Absolutely. There's a great CEO mentor of mine who, when his company needs to fill a position, he has his DISC chart like on a wheel and so they can see where there's a hole, where there's a gap, and not only does he hire the skills for that position. But he also hires the type of personality that fills that gap, which I think is just genius.
Mary Pat: Yeah, I think it is too. I think actually the next iteration above that, and the real test of emotional intelligence is can you work and coach with your leaders that they can begin, not in a manipulative way. But in a smart way to adjust their styles to meet the needs of the people who are around them. So if I'm a high dominant person, then I know I'm driving for results all the time. But I'm working with a bunch of people who really prefer a team-oriented environment. Am I going to drive so hard? I don't think so. I'm going to adjust my style so that I'm effective with that team. I think that's where the EQ comes in. That's really fun.
Daniella: I love your perspective, Mary Pat, on sort of coaching leaders and this entire idea that leadership is a skill that you develop over time. Because, as you were talking about that last thing, you know a lot of people that are high personality, hard charging these days are almost considered to be not good leadership material. But and this is my opinion and I'm hoping you have something to say on this. That I think a lot of times new leaders tend to be very hard charging because they're A-type personality people and they have to learn, through time and experience and coaching. That letting your team shine, letting other people shine. Making room for other people to succeed, that sort of what you're here for. That makes you a great leader.
Mary Pat: Yeah, no, I totally agree with you. think the younger leaders ... Think about yourself, I think about myself. I'm a little bit older than you. My early leadership was very different than who I am today. I have eons of years of wisdom right now. But at first you show up and you need to prove yourself, and now you have the position and the title. So you get positional power rather than personal power. I know the work that I do with my groups is I want you to access your personal leadership power. It's very individual. Then it comes out into the collective, rather than me trying to slap over the top of the fact that I am now the manager and you have to listen to me because I have the title. That doesn't work. It just doesn't work. I think the younger leaders can sometimes push and/or recede, depending on really how they're wired. But that early, early leadership is frightening, I think it's sometimes it's frightening.
Daniella: I feel you there. I remember the time I was 22-years-old, right out of college, and I was handed a commission in the Army and said, "Congratulations, you're now a leader." On that note, let's jump right into just talking about young leaders. There's this idea that some folks have that we're facing a leadership shortage, which I don't think you agree with. I certainly don't agree with. I think one of the problems is that because folks move around so much these days, there's not as much of a focus on developing leaders when they're 22 and 23 and having them grow. Even if it's not with your company if it's with someone else. What do you have to say about, "Oh, we can develop young people to be leaders of tomorrow?"
Mary Pat: Yeah, well you're right. I do not believe there's the leadership's shortage at all. I believe that there's more of a hoarding mentality or a hero mentality. I make myself worthy by being able to solve all of the problems and swoop in to save the day. We don't all do that, but there is a part of it that says, "I have to hoard my position and my leadership." When I think a real transformational leader and the people that I would like to work with, are really taking a look at opportunities to develop on the spot, in the job. In the moment opportunities for people to stretch their leadership. One of the things that I think is interesting is that Chip Conley, who was the founder of Joie de Vivre Hotels. He's actually got a whole movement right now, and he wrote a book called Wisdom at Work. It's called The Making of the Modern Elder, is the subtitle. He talks about these wisdom exchanges, and that's not the terminology he uses, that's the terminology I'm using. Which is as an older worker, you're 50-55, you're in and you're working with a younger workforce developing their leadership. How do you trade wisdom for wisdom so there's mutuality, so that leadership can be cultivated?
Mary Pat: I love what he's talking about and what he's doing. Practically, here's what it looks like. I have years and years of wisdom and business experience that I'm willing to share with you and mentor you, and you will co-mentor me digitally. Because you're much stronger from a digital perspective than I ever will be. That sort of mutual exchange of mentoring creates an incredible platform, I think, for developing leaders. It's the work I do in a different way. I just love the way he's describing it. I wanted to make sure that we talked about Chip because he's doing such an incredible job. But I think it's again, are we willing to listen? Are we willing to take a look at the person 20 years younger or across the table and know that they also are wise, and they've got a new view of leadership? Which could be very different than mine? They have a new view of how to cultivate relationships, which could be very different than mine. It's okay because guess what? The world is changing. It's not always going to look the way it looked in the '80s or the '90s. It looks really different today. My job is to make sure you have an opportunity to develop, to make mistakes, and to learn from the mistakes so that your leadership muscles are strengthened.
Daniella: Fail fast and fail forward, as they say.
Mary Pat: Fail fast, I love that.
Daniella: Yeah, I also think there's somewhat of a trade-off between energy and experience.
Mary Pat: Yeah.
Daniella: I think that when young people come into a new job, or they're new in leadership. They have so much energy, they want to change everything up all the time. I described this from my own experience as sometimes leaders respond with, "Shut up and sit down Lieutenant." But what happens by the time you are a Captain and you're more experienced, your energy has also sometimes settled down. Your passion, your drive, and that idea that you can change the world gets tempered by reality. I think it's such an important point of view for experienced leaders to harness the energy of those brand new people. Of course, they don't have the experience. Of course, they're going to make crazy suggestions. Sometimes you do need to tell them to just sit down. But you should also be, I think, incorporating that energy and questioning your processes when they question.
Mary Pat: I agree. I'm so grateful for the leaders in my life who did that for me. Who allowed curiosity to be the rule of the day rather than being a know-it-all. They cultivated a way of thinking in me that I now can impart to other people, and I'm so for those leaders who said, "No, don't sit down, speak up. Let's hear what you have to say."
Daniella: Don't sit down, speak up.
Mary Pat: There we go.
Daniella: Well, this has been such a great conversation, Mary Pat. Are you providing a gift or discount today our listeners?
Mary Pat: Well, you know I have a really fun quiz out there, and I know quizzes got a bad rap a couple of months ago or last year. But this is a fun one. It is called ... it's an emotional intelligence quiz, so if you want to go to emotionallysmartleader.com, emotionallysmartleader.com and click on ... It's a 10 question survey. See where you stand in the EQ. Then I'll send a little bit of side coaching along to support you to develop a higher level of EQ. I think that's going to be in your podcast notes as well, correct?
Daniella: Yes ma'am. What is the best way to connect with you on social media?
Mary Pat: I think probably LinkedIn. That's where I'm the most active, and so at LinkedIn, you can find me as MPKNIGHT. M-P-K-N-I-G-H-T. MPKNIGHT.
Daniella: All right, so connect with her on LinkedIn. Mary Pat is phenomenal, she is super-high energy, and for someone who has eons of experience, she looks like she's been through a time machine.
Mary Pat: Oh, I love you.
Daniella: She looks phenomenal, and I'm feeling energized from this conversation. All of our notes will be available on the show notes at www.cavnessHRblog.com. That will have the links to Mary Pat's website, that well have the links to her quiz, which sounds super-fun. LinkedIn and her other social media information as well. So Mary Pat, last 20 second piece of advice that you can share with our listeners.
Mary Pat: Alright, so hands down, listen, we are all screaming. The social media is screaming, the White House is screaming, the press is screaming and we are screaming, and nobody is fully listening. I think if we stopped and listened and asked really great questions, the world would change. That's my advice.
Daniella: Listen and the world would change. Thank you so much. And listeners, remember to be great every day.