As we look back on conversations around leadership commitments, building and maintaining trust and executive presence from Season 1, we’re excited to kick off Season 2 of Leading With Insight. In future episodes, we’ll discuss the challenges associated with being a new leader, including tips and tricks for thriving as a mentor and key decision-maker. Stay tuned for fresh insights on confidence, communication and clarity for today’s leaders.
What happened in season one of leading with inside and what should you expect for season two? For that and much more, stay tuned to. Hello, my name is Zeke and I'm Rich. See, the holiday season is upon us. Are you getting excited? I'm always excited, but I'm never ready. That's the thing, man. You know, again, you know, there's some who I envy who are very good at buying presents early.
They buy them throughout the year very savvy, super smart. And to learn from them the harmony. I just, you know, as it gets closer, I didn't realize, oh, my gosh, it's November. Here it is. You know, and oh, it's December. You know, it's December 24th. Great. You know, it's it's one of those things I have to stay on top of it, But I'm excited.
I love decorations. I love just setting up and getting that holiday spirit. My Halloween decorations are going down, unfortunately. But then, you know, you got more decorations coming up, so I'm excited. How about you? Yeah, absolutely. Like, you not ready for it, but, you know, right after Thanksgiving is probably the time. You know, I'll shop all those cyber deals and, you know, make the most of it.
Hopefully by all the president's men, so. Yeah, I take it they do it all at once, right? You know, it's like over with. They get enjoy it. I do that. But my wife gets a little upset at me. She's like, I want to be in the experience. I'm like, But we're finished with the problem solver and problem solver.
Let's enjoy the rest of the season. But speaking of season, man, we just ended season one of leading with insight. That's right. That's right. Excited. Excited to roll into season two and to be back with everybody here. Definitely going to recap a little bit about our favorite episodes and some of what we touched on in season one. Yeah, Yeah, for sure.
And that's really what today is all about, is just getting you excited for what's to come in this season. Continue, right? This is basically our conversation between mentor mentee about leadership. While you are listening to this podcast learning as well and kind of being that fly on the wall, taking those bits of information, those leadership, you know, tools and tricks that we'll talk about and apply them to your leadership as well.
So yeah, I'm excited that we get to talk about our favorite favorite parts of season one and then talk about what should we expect for season two. So with that is going to start off before we start that, Rich does a couple updates. So last time or we're leading off with season one, you are getting prepared for our program Aspire Leaders.
You're now coming to the final end or you're coming to the finale of it. How has your experience been so far with the aspiring leadership program here at INSIGHT? It's actually been pretty eventful. I've worked together nicely with my cohort. Thankfully, I've got paired luckily with the nice cohort that, you know, we're all super active in it. I learned a lot throughout the journey, which is great.
You know, definitely excited to implement some of these things that I've learned inside the class. And, you know, maybe not even wait until the class is over to go ahead and start implementing these things and changes and, you know, really start to try and build my team from a leadership aspect. Yeah. And for those who don't know about what this program is or, you know, externally we have several programs, leadership programs, great insight to how we run the the first one is aspiring leaders, which, you know, in the beginning when Rich, you know, started and work with us as a stretch assignment and, you know, everything started as our as our relationship started.
That's one of the things that I highly recommend they go through. Aspiring leadership. You will learn a lot. And it's a series of five courses or Pertusaria courses that you do every two weeks. There are about two and a half hours, roughly every two weeks. Yeah. So upfront and topics vary, but starting off with, you know, setting the stage of what is leadership, right?
You know, say is it servant leadership versus reward centric? Going into it with the right reasons, you know, getting you some best practices from peer to leader, you know, how can I build trust, emotional intelligence, feedback, topics that hopefully and I can't wait to hear from you that will set you up for success when you you know officially because our you're already a leader in my books, my friend.
But when you officially start having the responsibility of actually running a team and having direct reports, um, you know, interesting to know what are some of the topics that you learn that that also is it going to set you up for success that day one day? The last thing is there is a capstone which, you know, your team, you and your team are about to present on pretty soon, which we take a case study.
We say, hey, there's or, you know, here's an organization, a case study, research it and then apply what you've learned from the concepts and come back and let us know, hey, what were the connections there? So with that, how has what have you taken away? Do you feel equipped? What has been your experience? Yeah, I do feel actually very equipped.
I believe a lot of the classes in a lot of the topics that we touched on, you know, kind of set the foundational element of leadership. Right? And so some of those things where we may overlook these things going into leadership and say, okay, you know, just execute X, Y and Z, this and that. But a lot of this leadership course kind of brings it back down to, you know, these are the basics.
These are really the foundational elements that we need to instill and to to set the to set the tone, you know, so you can build, you know, your trust within your teams and you can set the stage with that consistency and just always coming to the table and being consistent, building trust, you know, and just developing your team.
Yeah, and that's a big part of it. We does a lot that we talked about season one too, but regarding the topics and we learned a lot of times when you do, these are very theoretical. Like, you know, you read about it or you talk about it, but what we try to do is make it more practical too.
And actually you put it into practice. So I guess a question for you from what you've learned, what have you already started putting into practice and instilling in your day to day? Yeah, I think a lot of it is, you know, just looking at things from a different perspective. Red teaming, obviously, you know, challenging people's ideas and trying to make ideas stronger.
Right. That's the whole concept behind Red Teaming is, you know, when they bring an idea, you kind of challenge that status quo and say, well, these are the holes that I can see in this. And, you know, how can we resolve for this and all in a respectful manner, you know, obviously keeping your emotional intelligence in check as well, you know, kind of catering to the styles of each individualistic personality that's on the team and, you know, just kind of navigating as you go.
That's why that dude, I'm impressed. Good job, man. Yeah, the red teaming part. I mean, if your team can feel comfortable and then you feel empowered to do so, that's such a powerful tool as a leader to have your teammate challenge you, you know, and go, Hey, this isn't working or, you know, can we look at this differently?
I see something different than what you're seeing. It just we're going to be better for it. And you keep you know, when you were saying earlier, you talking about trust a lot. How important that is. That's a that's a good temperature gauge of how, you know, how you develop that trust with your team of they're coming in. They're actually doing that in a healthy way.
You talked about emotional intelligence, too. That's awesome. So I'm glad to hear that. I'm glad that you're putting into practice. I can't wait to see how your final presentation goes. Maybe in episode two, we'll talk about it. But with that, let's transition into our biggest takeaways from season one. So if you miss season one, go back. There's a lot of good episodes there, but we're going to give you some of our favorites.
Why was it a favorite? And then we'll go into what to expect for season two. So I want to start with you first. What was what was your favorite episode and why? Well, obviously after that, I mean, building and maintaining trust was first and foremost my favorite episode. You know, I have three. So building and maintaining trust, leadership commitments and also executive presence.
And these three kind of fold nicely together, but I'll unpack them one each individually as as we go. So for me, you know, building and maintaining trust, I think it's, you know, first and foremost so huge for a leader to do right. You want to your team to feel comfortable and confident with you in order for you to be able to for them to be able to share things with you, you know, stuff that may not be going right or problems within the, you know, the the group or, you know, things that they're seeing that aren't working as effectively as they should be.
And you want them to be able to voice that without feeling like they're going to get their hand slapped or, you know, something along those lines. Right. You want them to feel comfortable and open so they can bring those things to the table. And that's a lot of, you know, where the foundation sets with, you know, leadership. Right.
You know, building and maintaining that trust. And then it rolls into those leadership commitments where, you know, I'll I won't touch on all of it just now. But essentially, once you do those the four commitments, right, you inspire people, you develop building and maintaining trust, things like that. You know, maybe like even, um, you know, we talked about.
Yeah, definitely encouraging your team, right, getting them excited for that. But also I think is that thought leadership, right, Because in thought leadership is all about your team being a part of the decision making is how about innovation. Right. And in the red team and all that comes in but that's that's awesome Yeah and creating clarity as well just like you know it kind of all fits together.
But once you do those things as the commitments that we have laid out, it just kind of sets the stage and it shows your team that you are building that foundation and then they begin to trust you more. You come to the table consistently and, you know, show them, you know, I think that that sets that's so important.
So what a great way right that that right there is so key and season one was really what it was about that it was about, hey, what is leadership? Am I a leader? You know how to develop my team, how to create trust, all these foundational things. And I think for me kind of piggyback on that is developing Your team was my one of my favorite episodes that we talked about and in order to build that trust, you have to develop your team, you have to pay attention.
And we know that that episode came right after, you know, when I came back from Thayer with those executives that we talked about, and I interviewed a few of them. And what I found what I love about that episode is that their responses are all very consistent across across the board, right? These are executive directors and above that know the value of developing themselves, of keeping fresh, of making sure that their leadership skills are, you know, at the top of the game because they're responsible for their team and they're responding.
One, the responsibility of their team is to develop them. Right? Because as we know, a lot of us that maybe have been in different work environments or experienced various different organizations, you know, once we stop growing, you know, things become stagnant, become boring, and that's the last thing you want your team to do. You want, of course, a challenge costly looking for, you know, new ways to excite them, you know, when they come in.
I mean, I can't wait to share this with you. Can't wait to demonstrate or tell you something new that I learned. And I thought that was an awesome episode, which, again, if you want to develop trust, start developing your team. Right? Right. Yeah, exactly. And it helps out everybody, right? When you develop your team, you develop a stronger team and then you go from there Who who doesn't want to be on an all star team, right?
You just perform that efficiently and you knock it out of the park. Everybody wants to play with that team, right? Like, Hey, let's bring this team into the project. We know they're going to do great work and that's that's what it's all about. Do it. Well said. Well said. I like it. All right, well, is your second one.
So building and maintaining trust was the second. And that, you know, obviously was you kind of excuse me. So building maintained trust with my first leadership commitments was my second. And that just kind of flows through. As I mentioned, those those four commitments inspire people, you know, create clarity, you know, demonstrate thought leadership, all all of those four foundational elements that you touch on in the leadership commitments.
Yeah. Once you consistently come to the table and you do those and you consistently execute those, I think that helps develop and solidify that trust piece. So that's just kind of my take on it and that's what I've seen. That's just kind of how I feel from a reverse perspective of being on a team and seeing a leader do that.
So I sort of tend to like to lead by example, and that's how I would like to, you know, illustrate that through my leadership, is bringing that to the table and demonstrating that, yeah, Now I think again, it's one of those things that you can have somebody tell you that, you know, they can tell you that they can say the best things, they can tell you all these wonderful things.
But if they're not following through or they're not doing what they say they're going to do, then I consistently doing these things. All right. Then people are going to start to lose that trust immediately, right? Yeah. Yeah. So you make a great call out. Yeah. It's like, hey, if I'm if I'm saying I'm going to do this, if I'm saying I'm going to instill these things, if I'm going to create clarity, if I'm going to inspire you and you're not doing it right.
Yeah, like, that's fine. I'll talk, right? It's like, whatever, you know, But if you are following through with that, do it. It's just going to listen to really build that strong bond with that person long term. So one of things I was talking about, so I had the opportunity to do a leadership summit for our leaders in India this this last week and this week.
And it's really cool to, you know, talk about the commitments and talk about these things. We're talking about the commitments. And one of the good discussions that came up, as I said, hey, they're all like connected, right? Like, you can't yes, you can deliver results, but if you don't create clarity, inspire people and implement thought leadership in that in their in your results, it's short term like you'll deliver results for that little bit of time.
But your team is burnt out, they're drained, they're not inspired, they're done. So if you want to continue to deliver the same results, you're going to either have to rotate a bunch of new people because a lot of them have left right. You need to retrain them and you're drilling again and you're trying to deliver results. Your solid results focus.
They forget about the other pieces. It's short term. Do it. It's not sustainable. So you have to have all these elements. Are you paid good at one to the other? Some are natural for us, but you have to make you have to be good enough for man. You have to in order to have that long, longstanding results. So that was cool conversation to have.
Again, shout out to all my my leaders in India. That was has been a it's been a fun experience and they were they're very committed man. It was it was it was a good session. Awesome. Yeah that's that's amazing. And not to mention, I believe or you know, from my perspective, a lot of these build upon each other, right?
When you're inspiring people, you know, you demonstrate the thought leadership maybe you're doing, maybe it's not in this order, but once you do the three key components, then you deliver those results. And obviously, as you mentioned, you know, you want to do it the right way for longevity, right? Yeah. So you keep producing. Yeah. And then think about it too.
If you're able to provide clarity and your team knows what to do and they're self-sufficient, that opens you up to do other things right, to innovate, to think of what, uh, what to plan next, be more strategic. And then it just doesn't become, you know, tiring at the end. So it is, it's so cool when it works all together.
Yeah. So for me, another episode that stood out to me was we had we were Alive in Mastery. That was pretty cool. So you were there. We had three of our leaders of, I thought leaders at that event. And the topic was, you know, how do we mentor or develop the next level of it professional was that that was really cool because we got to hear from different perspectives, different experiences.
One of them, like Morgan from a PAC, he's, you know, our VP, our senior vice president, their free PAC, really, really cool feedback. We had Brooke Munir, who gave us, you know, her her thoughts around development. And ironically enough, I did a team build there for her and will continue to develop her team, which again, makes total sense.
What everything she said just complemented it nicely. And then John engage right as well. Who gave us her perspective? I love her. Her story too, of how her her, her parents, her dad was her mentor and eventually and how interesting enough she posted later on on LinkedIn that she's mentor some of the, you know, up and coming teammates here at Insight and put you know put it under her wing to then develop and see their growth.
So yeah super impactful I think was that who said no Was that our first time? Was that your first live or is that your second life? I know you did something with Allies in Action or alumni group. Yes. So second, the executive presence was the first and actually that was my third and a favorite episode. I was the executive presence.
And again, it kind of all builds upon it, right? You know, when you're doing these things, when you're continuously showing up, when you exude that presence, you know, people people understand that you you have that gravitas, you have that whether you have the title or not, you know, people respect. You know what you're saying. They really listen to you.
They value your opinions and your thoughts. So yeah, and as was Chaitra, right? Yeah, yeah, yeah. I was going and we you know, we didn't have her live. But you had her live? Yes. We were able to take some of those clips of her conversation with you. Right. And we talked about in that episode, which was really cool.
But again, that's when we started kind of seeing the evolution of us starting. Okay, we'll take some clips now. We had some gas in. Well, it's going to be cool, but season two is that we're trying to get more more different stories, different perspectives and views in season two. Yeah, fresh perspectives. You know, enjoying that. You know, obviously, you guys will have to check that out at the end of season one.
Go back and look. We had a couple of features there. So yeah, excited. So that was your third. So my third was around developing a diversity leader, diversity inclusion leader, inclusive leadership with Sarah Penza, a colleague of mine, good friend. You know, we go way back, you know, we you know, we both started about the same time roughly, and just seen her passion about, you know, what she's doing here at INSIGHT.
But not only here, you know, you're starting to see her starting to really make an impact outside of inside and really building good networks and connections with various organizations. So it was cool to have her on. What was fun about that episode is that we recorded in the same weekend or same week as Mastery, and it was just, you know, so it was a busy, fun week for us, man.
We were back to back. Yes, but we got to learn amazing, you know, not only from the mentors and the leaders, but then we got to see come have Sarah come in saying, hey, like I know that this is a hot topic. A lot of organizations are implementing strategies around diversity and inclusion, equity and inclusion, but it's the ones that really are doing it because they want to and they see a benefit and a value.
Those are the ones that are seeing the more results, the ones that are doing this, check the box, We have to do this. They said we want to do this, are not thriving as much. So that's that's the biggest takeaway for me is like, hey, if you really want to dive into this, if you see the value, then go all in, like go into it with that.
They really, truly believe and if you don't, you know, don't, don't, don't. You're doing your team and your organization a disservice because you're not going to really put the effort, the time, the energy and the passion that it deserves because it it totally shows, you know, the results. Yeah, there was a lot of great, you know, nuggets that she shared with us.
You know, a lot of a lot of great knowledge, especially around, you know, not not only the diversity piece, which obviously, you know, we want to be diverse because that's how we bring in different ideas, different, you know, points of view, different perspectives and fresh perspectives as well. But they inclusivity as well. That's a big key piece, Right.
And I believe she shared something, a quote directly from Sarah. Don't just invite them to the dance. Invite them to dance, which was amazing. I the way that was phrased it was you know, it definitely blew me away when I heard that, I was like, huh? The light bulb just clicked. It plays so close to home because this takes me back when I was a kid and going to school dances, how awkward it was.
First of all, I just go there and then to just be on the dance floor and let loose was a rarity. Like I always feel like I'm being judged. Yeah. Do I belong here? I don't know how to dance like everybody else. Right? But when you have the best fun, when you just let loose and just be yourself and everybody around you do.
Those are the best parties, the best gatherings, when everybody's just able to be themselves. Yeah, exactly. And that's kind of what it's all about, right? That inclusivity is you invite them to the table and then not only just to be sitting at the table with you, but you say, Hey, I want to know more from your perspective. I want to know more about what you have to offer.
How do you see this? That way you can, you know, build upon that and truly make your organization stronger. Yeah. Yeah. And you have fun at this at the same time. Yeah. Yeah. It's funny because we're talking about the holiday season, how many organizations are already planning their holiday parties and then thinking about it, you know, this typical like, Hey, there's dinner, you grab this and then you go home.
Oh, great. Like, do I want to go next year? But I bet those are really awesome holiday parties when everybody just let loose, have fun, be themselves, enjoy the music, just enjoy each other's company and just get away from worrying about being in charge, worrying about not being yourself and being self, you know? So like, I don't know, you know, rigid or something, I don't know.
But yeah, I have this great that's a part that's a party that we want to be a part of. So if you have a holiday party and one plus one or two Rich and I are all of us hundred percent available, we are going to take with the wives. All right. So the whole season one. So a lot of good stuff, man.
You know, I look forward to continue to have these conversations with you regarding season two, because now our focus is on saying, hey, as a leader, you're going to be you're going to come across a lot of challenges, especially as a new leader, whether a new leader to that, to leadership in general, a new leader to an organization or a new leader to a new team.
Right. There's a lot of different like when you're building that first, you know, those first encounters. So we're going to start off with a lot of topics around that. Hey, what are the challenges that I'm dealing with as a leader when I'm doing when I'm starting a new something new, right? So so I'm excited for that. I'm excited to tap into some of those.
One of the ones topics that I'm looking forward to is around decision making because as a new leader in a team, an organization and, you know, decision making can be very difficult and it's a lot of pressure. So that's the one I'm looking forward to. What about you? Which, you know, you're looking forward to mine for obvious reasons, is probably transitioning from peer to leader, you know, whatever that looks like.
You know, maybe it's in your first role or maybe you're jumping from organization to organization and you newly became a leader. You know what that looks like and how you can overcome challenges and obstacles and, you know, really make headway. Yeah. Yeah. So kick starting your new leadership from year to year. I love that. I'm looking forward to that one, too.
And I think we're going to have a guest for that one to kind of get her story and her journey. But then at the same time, you're going to take a lot out of it, right? Because I think that's the best part is that we learn from our leaders and learn from good or bad leaders to then come up with our own, you know, our own style, our own leadership.
Sure, absolutely. Develop your own flavor. Just kind of mix and match. And you know what works best for you, right? It's not a one size fits all. As we you know, we've kind of delved into that, you know, last season and. Yeah, and that's the thing the thing I love about leadership is that, yes, there are formulas, tools and things that you can implement, but do it.
It's really, you know, kind of make it your own. But at the same time, I love that we just we were talking about the commitments, right? While you're doing that, are you creating clarity for your team to make it easy, make it less chaotic, less stressful? Are you inspiring them when when times are tough, you know, wind up you know, when you have peaks and valleys of the organization of the economy, of all these things that are out of your control.
Are you keeping them inspired throughout? Yeah. And in thought leadership, you know, you always innovating. Are you always challenging the status quo? Are you always looking for better ways and things to improve? Right. And and empowering them to to be a part of that process and in the results will follow them and deliver results will become fun. But like I said, they're sustainable for the long run, man.
They're going to be there. You don't have to like it's not a battle. It's more like, Dude, we keep winning. These awards will keep being amazing. All my teammates are getting promoted, they're doing amazing things and now it's spreading out. And that's the world I want to live in, man. Yeah, So, yeah, absolutely. I'm looking forward to it and should be an exciting season.
Definitely excited for episode two. Yeah, me too. And with that, you know, we're going to, you know, again challenge all of you and remind all of you too to go back, catch up if you haven't yet. And if you have, be ready for this season as we come to you. Our goal is to bring you content around every two weeks.
Be ready for that. We invite you to interact with us. Give us some, give us some questions. Ask some questions. Let us know what is it that you want to know about what's work for you? And we'll be happy to share that in future episodes. And that's all it is. Man. Start, start building that that that fan base and that community that, you know, that we can we can help.
We can inspire. Yeah, absolutely. And as I mentioned before, you can catch us on any of the streaming podcast streaming platforms. Also, if you want to check out our recorded episodes, you can check us out at YouTube. So be sure to like and subscribe to that for our newest content as well. Definitely excited and maybe we'll show some bloopers at some point so you guys will get a good laugh at that.
All right. So next time.
Z Tinoco is a diversity, leadership & organization development manager who believes in building teams, inspiring minds and creating authentic connections. He helps people reach their goals and find success through humor, leadership and a diverse mindset.
Richard is an experienced paid media specialist with a proven track record of creating and executing successful campaigns across various platforms. Richard has a passion for tackling new challenges, connecting with people and loves all things tech.