354: Easily finding the stepping stones to change once you are curious with guest expert Erika Andersen


Erika Andersen, author of Change from the Inside Out: Making You, Your Team, and Your Organization Change-Capable

Bill Ringle and Erika Andersen discuss what it really takes to change at the personal, team, and organizational levels for small business leaders.

>>> Visit MyQuestforTheBest.com for complete show notes and more expert advice and inspiring stories to propel your small business growth. My Quest for the Best is a top-rated small business podcast with over 300 episodes of thought-provoking and insightful interviews with today’s top thought leaders and business experts. Host Bill Ringle’s mission with this show is to provide the strategies, insights, and resources that will unlock the growth potential of your business through these powerful conversations.

Interview Insights

Top 3 Takeaways from this Interview

  • Head to a conversation assuming that people’s words and actions are done because they believe what they are doing is right. Listening with curiosity and an open mind not only makes for a effective and healthy interaction but also makes us more understanding of the other person.
  • Change should be meaningful for both the leaders and the people in the organization. So when considering to make changes, leaders should also think why this change will be beneficial and compelling to their people.
  • Before executing change, leaders should find out which internal group will be the most affected by this change, how it will affect them, what kinds of problem will arise once it is implemented, and what they need to let go and start. Considering these factors help form solutions that help these group transition through this process from having a difficult time, to feeling rewarded, and finally seeing the changes as something normal.

Read the Show Notes from this Episode

  • “Assume positive intent.” This quote guides Erika in her life and in her work. [01:24]
  • The importance of going into a conversation having in mind that the people are doing what they do because of positive intent. [01:59]
  • Erika talks about her friend and business partner Jeff, and how assuming he has positive intent despite doing something he knows she does not like, made her listen with an open mind which allowed her to know the reason behind his action. [02:53]
  • Why change is hard for most people. [04:36]
  • The concept of homeostasis and why it could be in our nature to resist change. [05:01]
  • The first stage of change is called the proposed change. It is when change comes to us. [06:23]
  • In the second stage of change, we ask why this change is happening. [06:41]
  • When change comes to us, we want to know what happens after it. [07:34]
  • In her concept of change, Erika defines normal as something that our peers, leaders, or people we admire do or are doing openly. [09:10]
  • Erika shares when and why she got into podcasting. [09:53]
  • The true story of 1850s physician Ignaz Semmelweis and his proposal to wash hands and disinfect pre-surgery makes for a great example that change can be so easy and simple yet very hard to do. [11:30]
  • Leaders influence change. Erika shares how their county leader was able to use this privilege to help people resisting vaccination understand that it is not only easy but also rewarding and normal to get vaccinated. [14:42]
  • Clarify the change you want to do or implement and why it is needed. [16:38]
  • After getting clear about changing, weigh in the rewards and risks of doing so. [17:37]
  • When leaders are contemplating change, they must not only think of what value this change can give them but also consider why it would be meaningful to their employees. [18:12]
  • An advice on what managers should do if they are having trouble creating an elevator pitch for change. [19:02]
  • Erika answers what makes a good employee stay? [19:58]
  • David the president of Spectrum Reach Media Sales, is undergoing a big change in how they do business from rating-based, which has been the way of media companies for 50 years, to impression-based. David and his senior management team answered important what, why, and hows before deciding to move in this direction. [22:06]
  • My Quest for the Best lightning round begins. [28:55]

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Expert Bio

Erika is the founding partner of Proteus, a coaching, consulting, and training firm that focuses on leader readiness. She and her colleagues at Proteus support leaders at all levels to get ready and stay ready to meet whatever the future might bring.

Erika advises leading executives in companies like NBCUniversal, Tory Burch, GE, Madison Square Garden, HULU and Viacom, focusing with them on organizational visioning and strategy, team development, and their own management and leadership evolution.

She also shares her insights about leading people, staying ready for the future, and creating successful businesses through her books and speaking engagements, and via social media. Erika is one of the most popular leadership bloggers at Forbes.com, and is the author of Leading So People Will Follow, Being Strategic, and Growing Great Employees, and the author and host of the Proteus Leader Show, a regular podcast that offers quick, practical support for leaders and managers.

Contact Info and Social Media for Erika Anderson

Resources Mentioned During the Interview

Below are key people, places, books, quotes, websites and other resources that we discussed so you can explore further.

Books Authored by Erika Anderson

Change from the Inside Out: Making You, Your Team, and Your Organization Change-Capable Be Bad First: Get Good at Things Fast to Stay Ready for the Future Leading So People Will Follow Being Strategic: Plan for Success; Out-think Your Competitors; Stay Ahead of Change Growing Great Employees: Turning Ordinary People into Extraordinary Performers
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