On a recent 710 WOR “Mind Your Business” broadcast, Yitzchok Saftlas (YS) spoke with guest Jeanne Statfford (JS), a leadership advisor, collaboration specialist, and a keynote speaker as well as the New York chapter president of the NSA (National Speakers Association).
YS: What can you tell us about collaboration and actually making it happen?
JS: You make it happen by realizing we’re not here to understand each other, at first. We’re here to understand ourselves, and we’re here to understand what goals we have in common with the people we’re working with. The joy we receive by getting to understand and know people along the ride of achieving success together is greater than anything you could get at “hello.” What we learn by working together on a common goal is invaluable. That’s what true collaboration is. It’s trusting that our end game is the best thing to focus on together.
YS: Is it really possible for one person to change another person?
JS: It’s definitely the number one thing everybody wants to do. It’s top of mind for most people that I need to work with. We energetically desire to change another person. To get someone to do something. And I advise clients and audiences all the time that if you’d like to use your energy for that, go for it, but it is the worst use of your energy, talents and ability to make things happen. The best focus of our energy is on ourselves, to become so knowledgeable about what is it we stand for, in a way that others are moved toward our goals. But putting our energy toward changing another person is a terrible use of our resources.
YS: What is your suggestion when someone does need to work with someone else and there isn’t a meeting of the minds? How do you get them closer to each other?
JS: As always reframe every conversation to what you’re going to accomplish, in what timeframe you’re going to get it done, and who it is going to be done with. Repeat that over and over and over again.
When I start working with clients, they feel it’s very disingenuous to repeat something; to repeat a platform, a mantra goal, over and over again. But it really helps to center people, opinions, agendas, and desires. If you’re leading something, it is the absolute best way to keep people on course. Messages need to be repeated to be understood. Every single person you meet with every single day has arrived at that space with a whole lot of things that went wrong and a few things that went right. So, their mind is scattered, and they need to be refocused in their time and energy. Our energy either helps us to shine and receive things, or it gives us an opportunity to block anything coming our way.
YS: In 2022, what’s your take on what makes a leader impactful?
JS: There are a lot of great leaders out there right now, who have risen to the occasion and will be the S.T.A.R.s of the future.
S.T.A.R. is the acronym I would use to describe them. “S” means they are setting parameters for everything for every meeting they hold and every communication they have. “T” means they are taking time with the employees who are servicing the clients to find out where their strengths being highlighted and how they can help them more. It’s not about micromanaging; it’s about saying to an employee, “What can I do to help you? What is it you need that I don’t know you need?” The “A” stands for “advocate.” Advocate for that employee, for their professional development going forward. There are a lot of things people working for us don’t know about their next step forward. The greatest leaders in 2022 are realizing that the exhaustive process of turnover is not worth it and the extra thoughtful steps we can all take to advocate for employees who are worth it is a much better use of our time. Finally, “R” stands for “reflect on that process.” Take it in. See where it works. There’s a lot of noise out there about what doesn’t work. But the most powerful people out there right now are reflecting on what does work, and they’re taking the time to develop that in themselves to become stronger and ready for the nest great things coming their way.
YS: What are the best leaders doing to advance their vision and effect change in society?
JS: They’re learning that reinventing themselves isn’t just done a special occasion. They’re learning that reinventing themselves is woven into the thread of their ascension in life, in work, and in the way they serve people. Reinvention happens routinely. Impactful leaders are breaking systems, starting things over, killing initiatives, breathing life to things that feed their passion, and help them to feel like they’re serving the world with all of their capacity for conflict and their ability to work through it.
Reinvention is a broad scale concept that I work very deeply on my clients now. We cannot make reinvention a special occasion. We have to have the mindset of it every single day. That’s what top leaders are doing now.
YS: Is there any type of trick that would enable a leader to really self-evaluate their capacity in certain areas?
JS: I have had a number of CEOs and general counsels for major corporations complain to me about the same thing over and over again. They have one too many urgent requests for their time throughout the day. What can they do so that they’re not spending 80% of their time putting out fires and answering problems and miscommunication? That is really on the individual leader, to figure out who they’re going to enlist to take that journey with them to reinvent their time and to refocus their capacity for growth.
Every single one of us is under utilizing our capacity for sharing our vision. We’re all getting sucked into conflict. We’re getting sucked into inefficiency. And so, what I mean when I use the word “capacity” is that it’s on us to evaluate our own capacity for growth. It’s on us to take a closer look at what we want our time to go to when we’re in that space. It’s all on us. That’s why “capacity” is very exciting word for me. I’m moved by it.
What is the Devotion Factor?
The Devotion Factor is the platform on which I am training individuals and running retreats now. It’s basically the concept that rather than simply living, we’re living for something. We are living in the world in the name of principle, an idea, or a person. It’s being in the world and being of use and making this a mainframe for your existence. For a long time, we haven’t been focusing on what we’re for. It’s not enough to say, “This is what I’m for.” What you’re for needs to be serviced throughout your day. It’s beyond self-help. It’s self-discovery.
As we’ve discussed regarding the word “capacity,” there’s so much to learn about the body, the mind, and the heart we’ve been given that we don’t take enough time to learn about. Routinely structuring that into your day, to build what you’re for into the communication you have everywhere you go, is integral to your impact on this planet. The inly person who can improve that is you. So, that’s what the Devotion Factor is about. It’s giving people a platform, a training, a focus to realize this can be done and here are the simple steps to get it done.
YS: How does multitasking affect some one’s productivity?
JS: Science has proven that we cannot multitask. We are not built for it. We are built for more focus and reflection than ever we use. And our phones do not allow for a lot of reflection. Right now, my phone is on airplane mode and my computer has zero notifications on it. When my phone goes back on, it only has text notifications when I feel like it and then they’re off. All my clients are advised to do the exact same thing. And when my clients are advised to do the exact same thing. And when my clients do it, their level of efficiency quadruples. It’s absolutely extraordinary.
I work with a lot of financial advisors, and they have all these dings and pings and updates and charts coming through their phones and their computers constantly. And to be present for a client is essential to their growth and paying attention to numbers is very important. So, I know firsthand that those clients in particular have learned that when they’re on with a customer, or when they’re looking at numbers that have to do with a particular client, they turn everything off and they take a moment. Our phones are taking away from our ability to reflect, be quiet, sit still, and take a few breaths.
I was the keynote speaker last month for Invesco, and I’ve coached a few clients from that event since. A couple of people have told me in those calls that they never thought of breathing as something they could do to reset their minds, to get themselves focused again, and to combat this idea of multitasking. To catch themselves, take a moment, take a breath, and be present for what they are in front of.
YS: What are some of the secrets that you have in navigating chaos?
I talked about earlier how important it I for every leader to be able to reinvent themselves on a regular basis. We have learned in the past two years that chaos isn’t going anywhere. It’s here to stay. There’s no such thing as going back to the way we were. I won’t ever refer to it as normal. We are here to live with disruption and chaos. And what I’ve learned over 20 years of politics is that chaos is the presence of multiple orders. And when you are aware of your own strengths and your Devotions Factor, you can function, find the multiple orders, and move people forward with them to get things done. That is how you cross finish lines and be the visionary that the people who are working for you and with you need.
Those who know how to grow through chaos are still here. Those who don’t know how to grow through chaos are not here. It would be highly unintelligent to think that you want to design a company that can move forward when things are good. It’s impossible to think that way and be productive now. We have to learn how to function within timeframes and things going wrong to get things done. This happens with nonprofit boards. It happens with corporate teams. There are a lot of opinions out there and agendas. People need to be directed toward what the common goals are. When people are directed toward what the common goals are, collaboration is inevitable.
Sign-up for our monthly emails!
We promise your inbox won’t regret this! Sign-up for engaging and informative business content to help your business scale and thrive!