078: Bob Anderson: It meant bigger changes than I was up for

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078: Bob Anderson: It meant bigger changes than I was up for

Bob Anderson Show Notes

Bob Anderson started his career in the family business making hog food and dog food. One evening, while cleaning out a rail car full of feed ingredients, Bob said something out loud that sent him on a life long journey. Listen to Bob tell his story of how he got over the hump.

Bob was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio where he was born into a leadership context.  His grandfather, uncles, one aunt, and father started a business—The Andersons (now a Fortune 500 company) with interests in grain, plant nutrients, ethanol, rail, and retail.

On Bob’s other side of the family, his maternal grandfather was President of the American Medical Association and his uncle was a renowned Jesuit Moral Theologian.  Bob often reflects and marvels at the perfection of the family into which he was born.

Throughout his life, Bob has been passionate about one thing—the deep ground of being from which human greatness springs and from which great leadership emerges.  This passion led him to study leadership, and his book Mastering Leadership is an integration and summary of his life’s work.

For Bob, authenticity is the most influential human quality.  He believes that the hardest thing to do is to tell the truth blamelessly and compassionately. This same challenge is one that he also knows can be very rewarding.

Bob is the Founder, Chairman, and Chief Development Officer of The Leadership Circle. He is also the Co-founder and Chairman of Full Circle Group. Additionally, he is the creator of The Leadership Circle Profile, an integrated and innovative leadership assessment tool.

Bob also serves as adjunct faculty for the Executive Education Center at the University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business. There he assists diverse groups of leaders in navigating their own leadership transformations. In 2005, Bob received the Partner in Innovation faculty award.

Bob still resides in Toledo with his wife of 33 years, with whom he loves to travel the globe. He has three grown children.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @LeadershipCir and get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet

“The inner game runs the outer game.” -Bob Anderson Click to Tweet

“We tend to ignore the inner work that’s required to mature into great leadership.” -Bob Anderson Click to Tweet 

“Go into yourself and search for the reason that bids you right.” -Bob Anderson Click to Tweet 

“What must I be about with my life in order for it to be the life I came to live.” -Bob Anderson Click to Tweet 

“If you’re on purpose, all of the doors will open.” -Bob Anderson Click to Tweet 

“There’s no safe way to be great.” -Bob Anderson Click to Tweet 

“Our natural tendency is we want to find a safe path and there isn’t one.” -Bob Anderson Click to Tweet 

“Do you love more than you fear?” -Bob Anderson Click to Tweet 

“The basic hidden deal we make when we go to work is patriarchal.” -Bob Anderson Click to Tweet 

“Fear and caution in organizations is very high.” -Bob Anderson Click to Tweet 

“Greatness isn’t great unless you’re rowing against the stream.” -Bob Anderson Click to Tweet 

“If we’re waiting for circumstances to line up to be great, it’s a long wait.” -Bob Anderson Click to Tweet 

“What matters enough to risk for, you have to be clear about that.” -Bob Anderson Click to Tweet 

“You have to get under the illusion underneath your fear.” -Bob Anderson Click to Tweet 

“I’m making up most of the fear I feel.” -Bob Anderson Click to Tweet 

“It’s a house of cards when you’re in a play not to lose game.” -Bob Anderson Click to Tweet 

“What’s underneath how I get in my own way?” -Bob Anderson Click to Tweet 

“How do I engage with both challenge and support?” -Bob Anderson Click to Tweet 

“Leadership and development is at every level.” -Bob Anderson Click to Tweet 

“This question of purpose and vision never let’s go of you.” -Bob Anderson Click to Tweet 

“The leadership challenges in the world are going to take highly conscious leaders.” -Bob Anderson Click to Tweet 

“How do we evolve conscious leadership to steward the planet?” -Bob Anderson Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Bob Anderson started his career in the family business making hog food and dog food. One evening, while cleaning out a rail car full of feed ingredients, Bob said something out loud that sent him on a life long journey. Listen to Bob tell his story of how he got over the hump.

Advice for others

See through the illusion of trying to be liked and thought highly of.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

My own fear.

Best Leadership Advice Received

Jump

Secret to Success

Courage to move forward in the face of not knowing how.

Best tools that helps in business or Life

Heart

Recommended Reading

The Empowered Manager: Positive Political Skills at Work

Contacting Bob

Website: https://leadershipcircle.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bob-anderson-a6b1673

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LeadershipCir

Resources

Empathy Mapping

54 Emotional Intelligence (EQ) Competencies List: Emotional Intelligence has proven to be the right kind of intelligence to have if you want to move onward and upward faster. Get your free list today.

Show Transcript: 

Click to access edited transcript

Intro: Welcome to the Fast Leader Podcast, where we explore convenient yet effective shortcuts that will help you get ahead and move forward faster by becoming a better leader. And now here’s your host, customer and employee engagement expert and certified emotional intelligence practitioner, Jim Rembach.

 

Need a powerful and entertaining way to ignite your next conference, retreat or team-building session? My keynote don’t include magic but they do have the power to help your attendees take a leap forward by putting emotional intelligence into their employee engagement, customer engagement and customer centric leadership practices. So bring the infotainment creativity the Fast Leader show to your next event and I’ll help your attendees get over the hump now. Go to beyondmorale.com/speaking to learn more.

 

Okay, Fast Leader Legion today I have excitement and anxiety for the guest that I have on the show today because their skill and knowledge about leadership is so wide and deep that I almost feel like I’m not worthy, but I’m ready to get over that hump. Robert Anderson was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio where he was born into a leadership context. His grandfather, uncles, one aunt, and father started the business, the Anderson’s, now Fortune 500 companies with interesting grain, plant nutrients, ethanol, rail and retail. On Bob’s other side of the family his maternal grandfather was the president of the American Medical Association and his uncle was a renowned Jesuit Moral Theologian. Bob often reflects and marvels at the perfection of the family into which he was born. Throughout his life Bob has been passionate about one thing, the deep ground of being from which human greatness springs and from which great leadership emerges. 

 

This passion led him to study leadership and his book Mastering Leadership is an integration and summary of his life’s work. For Bob authenticity is the most influential human quality, he believes that the hardest thing to do is to tell the truth blamelessly and compassionately this same challenge is one that he also knows can be very rewarding. Bob is the founder chairman and chief development officer of the Leadership Circle. He is also the co-founder and chairman of full Circle group. Additionally he is the creator of the leadership circle profile and integrated and innovative leadership assessment tool. Bob also serves as adjunct faculty for the Executive Education Center at the University Of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business. 

 

In 2005, Bob received the partner in innovation faculty award. Bob’s still reside in Toledo, Ohio with his wife of 33 years with whom he loves to travel the globe and has three grown children. Bob Anderson are you ready to help us get over the hump?

 

Bob Anderson:    Gladly. 

 

Jim Rembach:    I’m glad you’re here. I’ve given our listeners a little bit about you, but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better.

 

Bob Anderson:    Well, my current passion is helping leaders develop from the inside out. The book we just wrote is really about the tendency—when we think about developing leaders to focus on the outer game, skills, competencies, knowledge, experience and so that’s all very important and it’s only half the game or maybe even less  than half the game. So the inner game runs the outer game and we tend to ignore the inner work that’s required to really mature into great leadership. So, my passion is helping people with that.

 

Jim Rembach:    You bring up some very interesting points for me. As I was going through and I can tell you that—the book Mastering Leadership that we’re talking about mostly today is that—man, the depth, the knowledge I started going through and I was like, whoa this is heavy material. When it’s mastery in the cover, mastery is absolutely inside. But there’s something that stood out very much for me and it was called the predictable stages of consciousness. What does that mean?

 

Jim Rembach:    First of all, the book is dense it’s just the way building that right. Somebody wants, just like this week said, “It’s all meat no fat” and he put that away. The field of adult development were started with childhood development, PIJ you said, here the various stages. And when we see children we watch them just more from one level of mind to the next level of mind to the next level of mind, turns out adults can do the same thing and they do so if they evolve, and that’s a big if, predictably. They move out of adolescence into what Bob Kegan at Harvard called socialized mind, where you take on the surround and the surrounding expectations and so on and you’ve make yourself successful within them. And then most of the adults would live then you can move into what we call creative mind or self-authoring mind which is where leadership, all the big descriptions of great leadership or what it takes to be effective leader describing creative mind not very many adults are operating from that operating system. 

 

Creative minds is focused on your own vision, your own values, your own deep sense of purpose and you’re about trying to create your life and your leadership as an expression of that. And then it can go further on and very few are operating from what we call integral or self-transforming minds but Kegan call it (inaudible 5:12). And these stages develop progressively, you can’t skip steps and you’ll develop in one and then if you evolve further you differentiate from that and develop into the next stage and our data suggest that development is highly correlated to effectiveness in leadership. 

 

Jim Rembach:   One of the  things that we talk about on the fast leader show is really learning from others so that we can do some of that next stage development faster. Somebody once said that the experiences that we have are much greater teachers than anything we may read or sessions or training that we may take, it’s those experiences, now the beauty about stories that we can use the experience of others to help with our development. So, if you think about today and that many organizations, they’re running so lean and when you look at even the peripherian, and outer bands of an organizations we need everybody to improve their leadership skills regardless of their age and we don’t have entire lifetime to get these people to move up to that next level. So, when I start thinking about predictable stages of consciousness I needed to move faster, how can I do that?

 

Bob Anderson:    Well, it’s very interesting. We’ve outlined the book 6 practices that we think will reliably boot up creative mind from reactive mind. One of them is discerned purpose. You talk about getting over the hump as focus that was getting over the hump experience. For me, when I started my career I was working in a family business I was on a feed manufacturing plant. So I started my career making some hog food and dog food and one night the plant was down, it was a new plant so we’re in start-ups which means nothing works, so the plant was down and we needed to get it back on that means customers to fill in the morning and so in the middle of the night I’m out there unloading railroad cars full of feed ingredients and I get inside the car to sweep it out at one point about 2:30 in the morning when I’m exhausted and I just prop my feet up inside the half bottom of that car when I’m done catch my breath and I got my dust mask on and I’m just sitting there for just a few seconds and out of my mouth out loud said, I’m not becoming  who I am, out loud. And literally I’ll be shock, I’m like who said that word? Where did that came from? I knew it was true and I knew I had to pay attention to it. And so I just noticed that and then within a couple of week somebody gave me a book called, Letters to a Young Poet, by Rilke a great poet German poet, and in that the aspiring poet is saying to Rilke, “Hey take a look at my work what do you think should I be a poet? Am I good enough? And Rilke writes back and says wrong questions, you’re looking outward and above all you should not do that now, go in to yourself and search for the reason that bids you right find out if it’s spreading out the truth in the deepest places of your heart. And then at one point he says, ask you yourselves in the stillest out of the night, must I write? Ahhh, that’s the question. What must I be about with my life in order for it to be the life I came here to live and not someone else’s.

 

And I took that really seriously. I went home that night, working late and started a list, not a bucket list, a must list, this is who I think I am and what I’m here to do with this life. And I wrote about 30 pages progressively over a period of time on that and then I put it away and I realized, six months later, I hadn’t done anything with it and when I drop into that I realized I was scared. Has it meant bigger change than I felt I was up for at that time? And I didn’t know how to do it I have no idea where this is going to take me. So I went on made a retreat, made an eight day retreat, silent retreat, I came back and started making notes. Fifteen years later I pull that journal that I’d written, that must journal out of the closet I read it and I wept because everything I’d written there, which I had no idea how to do was actually happening in ways that I never could’ve imagined. I didn’t even know about this profession that I’m in at the time wrote that stuff, I was running a feed plant just come out of business school, so, that was a hump getting over and really taking seriously. Who am I? What am I here for? And moving through the fear of stepping out not knowing how not having a clue, actually. And things have unfolded in ways that Joseph Campbell says, follow your bliss, and then he says, “If you do that all the doors open, if you’re un-purpose all the doors open, if you’re not they all remain close. So, my experience of life was spend a lot of opening doors that looking back it’s kind of (inaudible 10:40) 

 

Jim Rembach:    Definitely is, and  thanks for sharing that story. When you start thinking about the Fast Leader show, I think you just summed up a lot of the things that we try to have come out with the guest that we interview and hopefully that when people are done listening they have now had the opportunity to reflect and hopefully make some adjustments and changes so that they can move onward and upward faster. And looking through Mastering Leadership book I see there’s just so much research that’s been done on the different principles, philosophies, it just runs this huge gambit and I know that you had some very significant influences in a lot of different ways throughout the course of your life including your own family. And we look at leadership quotes as one of the things that causes us to do some mindfulness, some energy building and the whole reflection. So, is there a quote or two that you can share with us that helps ground you, energize you that you can share?

 

Bob Anderson:    One of my early mentors was Peter Black. Peter had written a number of books, he’s an astounding human being, and I got this from him I’m not sure he originated it but—there’s  no say for you’ll be great, and that actually is a huge quote, because it gets that tension between the desire for greatness or the desire to really live into who you are or what’s really matters to you, create what matters and a natural the tendency in all us as we want to find the safe path and there isn’t one.  So, the search for safety is always in tension with the search for purpose, vision, creating what matters. Fear comes up and so, no say for you to be great and do you love more than you fear. 

 

Jim Rembach:    As you been talking there’s something that has come to my mind especially in today’s society when you start talking about how we view others, it could be perceived that—and people decide that that word greatness is something that were trying to get other people to bestow upon us. But listening to you talk it doesn’t sound like that’s really the meaning of it. 

 

Bob Anderson:    That’s part of the wish for safety. And in some ways and that what we call reactive or structured mind where most adults are, the basic deal we make when we go to work, hidden deal is patriarchal. So, I’ll submit if you take care of me and provide me a future. And as soon as we make that exchange were into a play not to lose game or trying to not fall from grace with higher-ups because they hold the key to our future and so on and so on. And so you see fear and caution in organizations very, very high. If you start to talk you mention my favorite value is authenticity. If you start to really work with people in the middle of the pyramid around telling the truth, especially telling the truth to the power, if I do that I get shot. That’s the first, there’s no way I can do that and survive, and so you run right into caution. So much of the work of really becoming great, I’m not sure I really the word ‘great’ in a sense of that can be a very egotistical thing I’m trying to talk about it in a different way. The thing about greatness is it isn’t great unless you’re rowing against the stream.

 

And so, if waiting for circumstances to line up, right boss, right organizational culture, mixed messages to go away, political risk and so on, if we’re waiting for that to line up to give us permission to be great, it’s a long way and the courage required is to do it anyway and run the inherent risk that is leadership. There’s no safe way to be great and so what matters enough to risk for you have to be clear about that and then that’s your work and then you have to get underneath your fear. Generally,q more often than not the illusion that’s underneath my fear, I’m making up most of the fear that I feel and it’s a house of cards and until you see that you act as if it’s true when you’re playing not to lose game. So, that work, what do I want? And what’s underneath how I get in my own way? Is actually how you create the life you came here to live, I think that is the kind of transformative term that evolves us, and nobody can do that for you, you can’t be bestowed. 

 

Jim Rembach:    As you were talking, I started thinking about many people may take what we’re talking about here and flip it into that, “Hey, I need to be a rebel.” And I don’t think that that’s the positive path that we would want people to take.

 

Bob Anderson:    No it isn’t rebellion at all.  The rebel is a childlike response it’s counter dependent I’m angry at you because of not generally my own lack of power and so I rebel. And so, there’s two options, you can play the victim or you can play the rebel, neither one work neither was constructed but they come out of the same powerlessness they’re just different reactions. So, the more mature responses, how do I engage with both challenge and support? How do I support what’s trying to happen here and the value of what’s in the current culture? And how do I stay and dialogue to evolve it. 

 

Jim Rembach:    That’s one thing that I read in a book and it was talking about how—and it really referred to senior leaders, how senior leaders need to invest in themselves to improve their skills and knowledge associated with leading and I really talked about that being a commitment from the top. But for me I see that really needing would be a commitment regardless of where you are in the organization. 

 

Bob Anderson:    Yes. Leadership at every level and development is at every level, and frankly to be an empowered follower you need everything we’ve just been talking about, you need (inaudible 17:48). I don’t distinguish it by level, argument we’re making in the book is, if your strength could create a cultural transformation in the organization and it’s not and leadership is at the core of that, how you individually and collectively especially collectively are showing up as a leadership team in the organization that defines a culture, that defines a lot, everything really. And so our book is written to create an argument for here’s the kind of depth, strategic and systemic focus it takes to really develop leadership in the organization and if you don’t do that your change efforts are in jeopardy. So we are making a very specific argument but not to suggest that this kind of leadership isn’t needed all the way through in the development agenda is the same at every level. 

 

Jim Rembach:    And I think from a an individual perspective, and even if you start looking at how much companies or organizations will invest in their folks in regards to developing them as leaders I don’t think you can rely or wait on that to happen, nor going back that rebellion and complain and whine about is that you need to build your own pathway to doing it.

 

Bob Anderson:    Yes. Nobody is going to do it for you. And waiting is a long way so get on with it. 

 

Jim Rembach:    When you start looking at a lot of things that you’re doing, of course writing, speaking, assessments, wife traveling, grown kids—we didn’t talk about any grandkids there, not yet? I know that’s a joy for many, but when you start thinking about all these things, what are some of your goals?

 

Bob Anderson:    That’s a very interesting question, I’m  60 now , just worse of your goals but that’s a very interesting question at 16 now just published a book 30 years of lifework poured into that book so  worth of lifework so I’m actually in a transition and it’s a, what do I want to do with my career life? When you’re 60 you start to go, okay if not now when? And so, I’m actually working that right now. This question of purpose and vision never lets go of you. What would I say is my personal goals? This work is a passion for me and it’s my creative response to what a world I think in need. Our world is in pretty serious trouble, you look at some of the population trends, climate trends, and water and so on and so on, oceans and we don’t have a lot of time to really make a difference on the trajectory or some of those trends. 

 

So, the leadership challenges not only in corporate that where it’s becoming more and more complex but especially when you look at the leadership challenges in the world, our going to take very highly conscious leaders if not enlightened leadership, servant leadership and so on, various names we put on. And so our work on how we evolve conscious leadership to steward the planet that’s our mission statement. We exist to evolve, the conscious practice of leadership to steward the planet and to awaken us all to our inherent unity. So, what happens if leader starts to function from the truth of we are all one family, there’s an inherent unity here and our job is to steward the planet. That kind of conscious leadership that’s going to take to do that is what we as an organization are trying impact. My goal for the next 10 years would be how to make consciousness best practice in business. 

 

Jim Rembach:    And the Fast Leader legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on let’s get a quick word from our sponsor.

 

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All right, here we go Fast Leader legion it’s time for the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay, Bob, the Hump Day Hoedown is the part of our show where you give us good insights fast. I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Bob Anderson, are you ready to hoedown? 

 

Bob Anderson:    I didn’t know this was coming, here we go. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Okay, Bob, what you think is@ holding you back from being even better leader today?

 

Bob Anderson:    My own fear.

 

Jim Rembach:    What is the best leadership advice you have ever received?

 

Bob Anderson:    Jump.

 

Jim Rembach:    What is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?

 

Bob Anderson:    Courage. Courage to move forward in the face of not knowing how and fear.

 

Jim Rembach:    What you feel is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business or life?

 

Bob Anderson:    Heart.

 

Jim Rembach:    What would be one book that you’d recommend to our listeners, it could be from any genre?

 

Bob Anderson:    Peter Black wrote a book called, The Empowered Manager, it’s one of my all-time favorites.

 

Jim Rembach:    Okay Fast Leader listeners you can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going to fastleader.net/Bob Anderson. Okay, Bob this my last Hump Day Hoedown question: Imagine you were given the opportunity go back to the age of 25 and you’ve been given the opportunity to take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you but you can’t take everything you can only choose one, so what skills or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

 

Bob Anderson:    At 25 I didn’t know that much of me was run on autopilot. My need to be liked, to be always thought highly of was running me in ways I didn’t know and it cost me a lot, I’d like to take that back and see what would unfold, saw through the through the illusion of that fear.

 

Jim Rembach:    Bob was an honor to spend time with you today, can you please share with Fast Leader listeners how they can connect with you?

 

Bob Anderson:    theleadershipcircle.com all, one word. 

 

Jim Rembach:    Bob Anderson, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom, Fast Leader Legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump. Woot! Woot! 

 

Thank you for joining me on the Fast Leader show today. For recaps, links from every show, special offers and access to download and subscribe, if you haven’t already, head on over the fastleader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster.

 

END OF AUDIO 

 

 

 

2019-11-27T23:35:55-05:00July 20th, 2016|Podcasts|0 Comments

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