265: Ryan Gottfredson: I shifted from my negative mindsets
Learn about success mindsets with Ryan.
Ryan Gottfredson Show Notes Page
Ryan Gottfredson came to appreciate his deep learning about mindsets because it’s much more fulfilling and rewarding than learning about them due to being in crisis. Now he’s spreading the word about mindsets to help enlighten others.
Ryan was raised in North Ogden, Utah, nestled on the bench of one of the most picturesque mountains in the Rocky Mountains, Ben Lomond. He was mainly raised as an only child, although he has three older half-siblings. Playing sports, particularly dominated his youth.
In high school, he took a sports psychology class, where he read several leadership books written by basketball coaches. At that time, he thought, “If I could find a career where I could write about and teach leadership, I will have found the right career for me.”
But, not knowing that there was a field of study that focused on leadership, he went to college seeking to become a medical doctor. Shortly after that, while living in Boston for a couple of years, he met a Harvard Business School professor who taught organizational behavior. Ryan came to learn that organizational behavior is a field of study that focuses on leadership. From that moment, he positioned himself to become a professor that writes about and teaches leadership.
Ryan graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and immediately after pursued a doctoral degree in organizational behavior and human resources at Indiana University. Upon graduation, he took a position at the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics at California State University, Fullerton, where he currently works.
In addition to this experience, he has worked in human resources at Stryker, as a consultant for Gallup, Inc., and now as a leadership and organizational development consultant. He has written a book entitled, “Success Mindsets: Your Keys to Unlocking Greater Success in Your Life, Work, and Leadership.”
Ryan’s purpose is to positively influence millions by helping and empowering them to better live up to their innate greatness. He hopes that through his research, writing, speaking, and consulting, he can do this.
Ryan currently lives in Anaheim Hills, California, with his wife and two children, Hailey and Spencer, where they enjoy great Southern California weather, the beaches, and Disneyland.
Tweetable Quotes and Mentions
“How I think, learn, and behave is dictated by my mindsets.” – Click to Tweet
“Our mindsets are our mental lenses that shape how we view and interpret the world around us.” – Click to Tweet
“Depending on how we see and interpret the world affects everything that we do.” – Click to Tweet
“Mindsets dictate our thinking, our learning, and our behavior.” – Click to Tweet
“There are negative mindsets and positive mindsets that span a continuum.” – Click to Tweet
“The mindset neuroconnections that we come to rely upon are based upon our past life experience and our current situation.” – Click to Tweet
“If our current situation at work is making us exercise the negative mindset neuroconnections, those are going to become more dominant.” – Click to Tweet
“Leadership and having a positive influence on others is so much more than just doing something; it’s about being somebody.” – Click to Tweet
“We’ve got to have the right behaviors and the right motives, or else we’re not going to be effective.” – Click to Tweet
“Leaders have great intentions, but oftentimes they have low awareness.” – Click to Tweet
“Most of us are essentially lying to ourselves about ourselves.” – Click to Tweet
“It’s difficult for us to be self-aware because were just not conscious of what’s driving everything that we do.” – Click to Tweet
“If the leader sees his or her employees as objects, those employees are going to see their customers as objects.” – Click to Tweet
“We can always have a stiff back, the critical thing is that we always have a soft front.” – Click to Tweet
“When we’re in urgency mode, that immediately puts us in self-protection mode.” – Click to Tweet
“I’ve got to continually invest in myself and not get complacent.” – Click to Tweet
Hump to Get Over
Ryan Gottfredson came to appreciate his deep learning about mindsets because it’s much more fulfilling and rewarding than learning about them due to being in crisis. Now he’s spreading the word about mindsets to help enlighten others.
Advice for others
Gain self-awareness into buld skills in being opn to others thoughts and ideas.
Holding him back from being an even better leader
My schedule. It’s getting more and more demanding.
Best Leadership Advice
Be the person that other people want to follow.
Secret to Success
Have a growth, open, promotion, and outward mindsets. Seek to learn and grow.
Best tools in business or life
The full focus planner.
Contacting Ryan Gottfredson
Mindset Assessment – https://ryangottfredson.com/
Full focus Planner – https://fullfocusplanner.com/
Show TranscriptClick to access edited transcript
Jim Rembach (00:00):
Okay. Fast leader Legion today. I’m excited because we have somebody on the show today who is going to expand your mind with a little bit of sex. Ryan [inaudible] was raised in North Ogden, Utah, nestled on the bench of one of the most picturesque mountains in the Rocky mountains. Ben Lowman. He was mainly raised as an only child, although he has three older half siblings playing sports, particularly dominated his youth in high school. He took a sports psychology class where he read several leadership books written by basketball coaches and at the time he thought, if I could have a career where I could ride and teach leadership, he goes, I would have found the right career for me, but not knowing. There was a field of study that focused on leadership. He went to college seeking to become a medical doctor. Shortly thereafter, while living in Boston for a couple of years, he met a Harvard business school professor who taught organizational behavior.
Jim Rembach (00:54):
Ryan came to learn that organizational behavior is a field of study that focuses on leadership. From that moment. He positioned himself to become a professor that writes about and teaches leadership. Ryan graduated with a bachelor degree from Brigham young university and immediately after pursued a doctoral degree in organizational behavior, uh, human resources at Indiana university. Upon graduation, he took a position at the Mahalo college of business and economics at California state university, Fullerton, where he currently works. In addition to this experience, he has worked in human resources at Stryker as a consultant for Gallop and now as a leadership and organizational development consultant. He has written a book and titled success mindsets. Your keys to unlock greater success in your life, work, and leadership. Ryan’s purpose is to possibly influence millions by helping and empowering them to better live up to their innate greatness. He hopes that through his research, writing, speaking and consulting, he can do this. Ryan currently lives in Anaheim Hills, California with his wife and two children, Haley and Spencer, where they enjoy great Southern California weather, the beaches and Disneyland. Ryan [inaudible], are you ready to help us get over the hump? Let’s do it, man. I’m glad you’re here. Now I’ve given my Legion a little bit about you, but can you share what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better?
Ryan Gottfredson (02:09):
Yeah. My current passion is mindsets and I love focusing on mindsets because I’ve been on my own mindset journey and one of the things that I’ve learned on my journey is that how I think and learn and behave is dictated by my mindsets, XE, our mindsets, our mental lenses that shape how we view and interpret the world around us. And depending upon how we see and interpret the world affects everything that we do. And so if we can improve our lenses, we can improve our life, our work in our leadership.
Jim Rembach (02:41):
Well, and in the book you really talk about four of those lenses or mindsets that we often look through. And, and for me, you know, reading the book and I also went through the self assessment, which by the way, we’ll link on your show notes page as well was, was very, very helpful. Uh, from a perspective, uh, so that I can see that you really look at things more on a continuum. Mercy, more so than an if versus that. I mean it’s not as black and white. Um, so tell us a little bit about these four different mindsets.
Ryan Gottfredson (03:10):
Yeah, so in my academic research, one of the things that I stumbled upon was mindset research. And there’s different pockets of research going on in psychology, education, marketing and management. And each of these pockets have got their own unique mindsets that had been studying for 30 plus years and they’re largely not talking to each other. But what they’re all finding together is that mindsets dictate our thinking, our learning and our behavior. And and also simultaneously and all on their own, they’re identifying that there are negative mindsets and there are positive mindsets that span a continuum. And so with regards to my assessment and my book, what I’m doing is I’m just pulling these mindsets together into one framework and I think to my knowledge is the most comprehensive and research backed framework of mindsets to date. If you were to go online and just Google about what mindsets do I need to have to be successful, you’re going to get, most of the hits are actually not talking about mindsets, they’re talking about behaviors and also they’re not clearly defining mindsets. And so I think that there’s a lot of power of putting some really clear labels on our mindsets because until we have those labels, we really can’t focus on them and improve them for ourselves. And so hopefully what my framework is done, it helps these mindsets come alive for people. And because of the research backing, they have confidence that if they focus on these, it will lead to greater success.
Jim Rembach (04:43):
And from my perspective, and what I see is that this work in mindsets, it affects both the internal aspects, meaning they hold employee engagement piece as well as the customer engagement piece. The more we can understand all of this, the better we can connect, whether they’re inside or outside organization. And these four mindsets that you talk about, F and I and it’s not a versus, again, it’s a continuum and we’ll talk about that in a second. It’s fixed to growth, closed to open prevention to promotion and then inward to outward. Well, and before we get into that, you also mentioned something I think is critically important. Um, and then for me it started, I started thinking about influence and how we’re influenced because I, it seems to me, especially in today’s society with just the explosion of the ability to get information and be, you know, persuaded in a lot of different ways or be given perspectives that we otherwise wouldn’t have.
Jim Rembach (05:36):
It’s, this is quite dangerous research too. So I mean I may have potentially had a growth mindset because of bump because I get bombarded by certain things. It now falls into the fixed end of the continuum. So when you’re looking at the fixed and growth and how you look at it from a continuum perspective, talk a little bit about how that works. Because for me, my introduction, many I would dare to say if they’ve even heard of mindsets was through the body of Carol Dweck work on mindset, I guess you’d say a seminal piece that a lot of things had been founded upon and grown upon. But tell us a little bit about the continuum of fixed to grow.
Ryan Gottfredson (06:12):
Yeah. So, and even before we jump into that, I’m going to give you the neuroscience behind mindsets. And it’s, and it’s not as, you know, challenging as that might seem, but are our mindsets, I described them as mental lenses, but in reality what they are is they’re specific neuro connections within our prefrontal cortex. So when we encounter a situation, our senses are sending all of this information to our prefrontal cortex and we’ve got a digest that somehow we’ve got to weed it down to the most, or at least what we think to be the most important cues within those situations. And the factor that weeds these down is our mindsets and our mindsets. So what gets filtered through our mindset goes on to fuel our thinking, learning, and behavior. So when to speak to the idea of this continuum nature is we’ve got a negative mindset, neural connection in our brain, and we’ve got a positive mindset, neural connection with an appraisal.
Ryan Gottfredson (07:12):
So let’s play this off using the fixed and growth examples. So a fixed mindset is when we believe that we and others cannot change our talents, abilities and intelligence. A growth mindset is when we believe that we and others can change our talents, abilities and intelligence. And the reason why this affects how we operate is it affects how we view kind of ourself and our self worth. Because naturally we don’t like to fail. But if we have a fixed mindset and we fail and we don’t believe that we can improve, we’re left to interpret that as though we are failures. So those that rely more strongly upon their fixed mindset neuroconnections basically failure as as an internalize that as though they are a failure. So that’s the way that that negative mindset, neuro connection processes failure, that isn’t to say that they can’t see failure.
Ryan Gottfredson (08:15):
We were a growth mindset, which would suggest that when I fail, this is only something to learn from. In fact, I, I’ve got to usually ask your guests about quotes. And so I pulled some up. One of the quotes that I like is from Nelson Mandela. He says, I never lose. I either win or learn. I mean, that’s just such a growth mindset perspective. And so let’s just say, uh, so these are neuroconnections. The, their strength is dictated by how frequently we use those. It’s just like these neural connections are just like muscles. The more we work them out, the stronger they are. And so let’s just say our dominant neuro connection is of a fixed mindset. That isn’t to say that we can’t approach failure and kind of just step back and say, how can I learn from this? We can do that. It just doesn’t come as naturally to us. And so we’ve got this, we’ve got this continuum from negative deposit we can pull from it. But, but the one that readily gets activated is which neuroconnections are just stronger within our prefrontal cortex because we rely upon those more heavily. Does that make sense? Does that help us kind of figure out the continuum there?
Jim Rembach (09:27):
Well, it does. And then it also throws in a whole big old monkey wrench into this because when you start talking about prefrontal cortex development, uh, you know, for men, young men, that’s, you know, mid, mid, late twenties, you know, for young women, that’s, you know, early, mid twenties. I mean, and so when you start looking at this, the sheer proliferation and numbers in that population, and going back to what I mentioned a moment ago, how they’re getting influenced, this whole mindset thing can be quite frightening.
Ryan Gottfredson (09:56):
But I think that that’s, that was my thought actually when I first started working with mindsets because as I started learning about these different mindsets, I came to the realization that I actually was on the negative side on each of these continuums. And so the prospect of changing your world views seems really frightening and really daunting. But as I made personal efforts to shift from the negative side to more of the positive side, I, I’ve actually found it to be much less daunting and much less scary than I anticipated. It actually has been really fun and exhilarating it because what I’ve found for myself is when I had the negative mindsets, I was getting in my own way all the time. I was the one that was preventing things from happening that I wanted them happen. As I’ve shifted the positive, it’s almost like everything’s just falling into place. And that’s, that’s been a really fun journey.
Jim Rembach (10:52):
Okay. So, I mean, I think for me, you opening up that doorway is very beneficial and I think it would be helpful for all of us because again, we’re talking about from, from my, my, my, you know, Legion and where I come from is that we’re impacting the internal culture and the customer experience is so we need to know how to get out and, well, I mean, before I even go to this, unfortunately, when we start talking about working in organizations, we become quite fixed quite fast. Um, and cause we’re always getting this information about whether it’s performance, whether it’s driving, whether it’s PR. I mean it’s, it’s constant reinforcement of the whole fixed mindset component. Um, so how do we get ourselves out of that rut? Now it’s a
Ryan Gottfredson (11:37):
great question because the, the mindset neuroconnections that we come to rely upon are based upon kind of largely two factors, our past life experience and our current situation, right? And so if our current situation at work is essentially make making us exercise the negative mindset, neuro connections, those are going to become more dominant. But not every workplace incentivizes the negative mindset, neuro connections, right? There’s fantastic workplaces that allow us to exercise those more positive mindset, neural connections. And let me, let me just kind of span the scope of these different mindsets in a way that I think will, will help listen as resume. So I’m going to give you four desires that an employee can have. And I want you to tell me if these are bad desires. Okay. So the first one is a desire to look good. A does Ziar to be right. The desire to avoid problems and a desire to get ahead.
Jim Rembach (12:41):
How many much like I was talking about the continuum thing, I’m like, all those could be good and all those can be bad. I mean, situations can dictate it and drive it. How they actually go through and execute it is critically important because I mean, I can start getting into the whole competitive versus achievement based. Um, you know, positioning and say, well, if I’m an achiever and I want to win, but I want to win by focusing in on making everybody else successful and we do it collectively, that’s a good thing. If I look at it as, Hey, it’s all about me. It’s not for myself. And you don’t get none. Well that’s, that’s a bad thing. So, I mean, I’m flipping all over the place, but again, maybe I’m not the right person to ask because I’ve been for five years has been focused to a lot of people with great insights. Like, yeah,
Ryan Gottfredson (13:21):
no, you’re great. Right? So, so let me just repeat those again. Desire to look good, be right, avoid problems and get ahead. I mean, at the surface, these seem like good desires. I mean, who wants to look bad, be wrong, have problems and get passed up? Well, nobody. So these desires are really easy to justify when we have these desires. We’re thinking, yeah, I’m doing the best that I can. But the reality is is that these desires are fueled by the negative mindsets that I focus on. And the reason why these are negative and you pointed it out and there can be circumstance, certain circumstances in which they’re better than others. But for the most part, the reason why these are negative is because they’re self focused. When we have these desires, we’re in self protection mode. And so when I go in and I work with organizations and we’ll do a collective mindset assessment, have everybody assessed their mindsets, I’ll aggregate the results of the collective and we could see where they are along these continuums.
Ryan Gottfredson (14:25):
And well, what I find with most of the organizations that I work with is they’re predominantly on the negative side. And that’s because they’ve created a culture where people don’t feel like they can be wrong, look bad, have problems and get passed up there. There’s this competitive environment and culture that is causing them to want to self-protect but there. And I think sometimes we don’t recognize that there’s more positive desires that we have. And so is it all right if I just kind of share the flip? Oh desires. Absolutely. Okay. So instead of wanting to look good, the flip desire is to learn and grow. Instead of wanting to be right, we want to find truth and think optimally. Instead of wanting to avoid problems, we want to reach goals instead of wanting to getting passed up, we want to help everybody Excel. And when we can have a culture where we’re focused on learning and growing, finding truth, reaching goals and helping other people succeed. Like just imagine going into that work environment, we would anticipate that, that that will cultivate those positive mindsets and allow people to naturally make that shift from self protection mode to what I call organization advancement.
Jim Rembach (15:45):
Well in addition, when you were saying that, I started thinking about is what do I focus in on first? You know, so think about this is that if I’m focusing in on everybody being successful, well what ultimately what happened for me, I’d get ahead and then that’s what happens. So it’s like, what do I focus in on first? You know, kind of like, you know, the forest through the trees scenario, right? If I focus on helping everybody else, I will get the reward. However, if that’s my intent, that’s where it could get problematic if I don’t just purely try to help you know, other people with, you know, with Hey, I’m doing this because I want some type of reciprocation. Um, you know, that that’s when it starts turning negative really fast because then you have remorse, regret a revenge. I mean, all of these things that we know are the dark side. It wouldn’t that be true? Oh, for sure. And,
Ryan Gottfredson (16:35):
and that’s why I stumbled across mindsets in the first place because when I did my dissertation on leadership, uh, I had to review the last 70 years of leadership research. And what I found was that about 70% of all of leadership research focus primarily focuses primarily on leadership behaviors. In other words, what do leaders need to do to be effective? And while I think that’s helpful, it’s great to have, here’s, you know, here’s a bullet point list of what you need to do to be an effective leader. But it didn’t sit well with me because, and my guess is you would agree with me is that leadership and having a positive influence on others is so much more than just doing something. It’s about being somebody, somebody that others want to follow. And so that, that’s kinda been my mission from last six years was how do we tap into this being element?
Ryan Gottfredson (17:25):
And it’s led me to mindsets because of that. These are foundational to our being. So you’re so right in that sense. We’ve got to have the right behaviors and the right motives or else we’re not going to be effective. And so when I work with leaders and as I understand leadership statistics, I mean let me give you this example is I read the other day 60% of leaders or 60% of employees report that their leaders damaged their self esteem. Right? I just don’t think that leaders are going to work everyday saying or at any time saying, I want to hurt my employees self esteem. I just don’t think that happens. But why does that happen? Well, it’s because leaders have great intentions, but oftentimes they have low awareness, right? We’re not aware of these foundational role that these self-focus desires and mindsets are having on how we think, learn and behave when we interact with our employees.
Jim Rembach (18:23):
So before we get into something that you mentioned, cause it was on my list to discuss, um, is I want to talk about a few of those statistics that you kind of opened the doorway to. Okay. So you, in the book you talk about, um, you know, dismal leadership statistics and how 44% of employees report that their current manager do not help them be more productive. You know, 60% of employees report that their managers damned her stuff. It seemed like you mentioned, and then 65% of employees would prefer to have a different manager compared to more pay. It’s not a money thing. Right? Um, and then 82% of employees do not trust their manager to tell the truth. And then there’s also that, um, you know, also to me and I had this discussion with somebody a moment ago is, you know, the also myths or fallacies associated with transparency.
Jim Rembach (19:08):
You know, like I could unfortunately many of us, uh, who are in a leadership or management role will see that while I was just telling them the truth about their performance. But yeah, you did what you just said, talking about eroding their self esteem. Know there’s, there’s a fallacy of transparency. It’s not, you know, it’s not everything that you should tell. It’s, you know, oftentimes the delivery and you know, looking at all of their mindsets. Uh, and then, um, it’s talking about, uh, for me is the connection to your values and your values or their values and whether or not you’re putting your values in the place for theirs. Cause I think to me, you’re talking about mindsets, but there has to be a connection to the person. Uh, and oftentimes people haven’t gone through that type of discovery to say really watermark. What are my mode is what are my values and what’s important to me? Where does that come in? And all this.
Ryan Gottfredson (20:05):
Yeah, that’s a great question. So our, our mindsets, um, play this really interesting role that I think we’ve largely overlooked as kind of leadership and organizational developers. And because for kind of the historical context, we’ve largely taken a trait approach to leadership. So the train approaches is essentially the idea is if I have a certain trait, I will manifest that trait across the situations that I encountered. So for example, if I’m an introvert, I will be introverted across the situations that I encounter. But is that accurate? I mean, if, if you are an introvert or if you are an extrovert, do does level of introversion or extroversion change across situations? Well, yeah. So that’s a much more accurate perspective. And so what we’ve got to take into consideration is not just ourselves, our traits, our goals and our values, but also the situation that’s going on, right?
Ryan Gottfredson (21:04):
Because the situation, what ends up happening is because we, we read the situation and it’s our mindsets that determine how do we interpret this situation. And then depending on upon how our mindsets interpret that situation, it will activate different elements about who we are, including our personality, our goals and values, our self-regulatory processing, uh, whatever it might be. And so our mind, this is why I say mindsets are foundational to everything that we do because they are the thing that activates who we are and how we present ourselves in any, in any circumstance. Does that make sense?
Jim Rembach (21:45):
Absolutely it does. And, and, and also I start thinking about, and you hit it without us really focusing in on it specifically, but throughout our dialogue and discussion and discovery of all of this is that oftentimes this comes down to a whole emotional intelligence, aptitude elements. Yup. Um, yeah, and you kinda hit on it, but really to be more succinct, that’s what we’re talking about is am I aware of how I am impacting others? Am I aware of, you know, being able to, you know, interpret things appropriately without, you know, some type of, you know, twist to it because of, you know, my, my aptitudes and emotional intelligence, my past experiences and all of those other things. So how, how important is that in all of this?
Ryan Gottfredson (22:30):
Oh, it’s critical. Critical. Let me give you some statistics and maybe I’ll, I’ll ask you and you can, you can answer what you think is the right answer. So, um, this research was done by Tasha or rich and uh, what percentage of people would you say are self-aware or sorry, what percentage of people think that they are self-aware? Oh, it’s over 80%. 90% yeah. 95% is what she reports. So then what percentage of people are actually self-aware? That’s the reverse of 2025. That’s pretty optimistic cause she says 12 to 15%. Oh my goodness. Yeah. So she goes on to say that we’re, as most of us are essentially lying to ourselves about ourselves. And because what we’re, what we’re talking about when we’re talking about mindsets is something that generally follows below the level of our consciousness that our mindsets had exist. We just haven’t been conscious of them and we haven’t been conscious of the fact that they are shaping our thinking or learning in our behavior.
Ryan Gottfredson (23:35):
Let me give you an example of this. So when I was a freshman in college, uh, and I, I was thinking I wanted to be a medical doctor and I signed up for the weeder chemistry class and I promptly got the lowest grade I’d ever received in my life. So I got a C grade, I passed the class. But to me this was a failure because it was the lowest grade that I have ever received in my life and I had a fixed mindset and what my fixed mindset neuro connection told me was, well, this didn’t come naturally to you. You better change your major. Right. That’s, that just seems so logical to me. That seems so right to me. But now that I know the difference between the two, if I would have had a growth mindset, I imagine my growth mindset would have told me, Hey, if, if you really want to become a medical doctor, that’s going to be difficult.
Ryan Gottfredson (24:29):
Maybe you underestimated how difficult that would be and you’re going to have to reevaluate your study habits. I that, that’s what my growth mindset would’ve said. But because I’m not aware of this, this is falls below the level of my consciousness. My decision making is limited to my mindset is to just kind of do something different. And at the end of the day, you know, who knows what would’ve happened if I would’ve become a medical doctor. But at the end of the day I was essentially limiting myself from my original goal. And, and, and I was not conscious that I was the one that was limiting myself. And so this is where it’s, it’s really, you know, it’s, it’s difficult for us to be self aware because we’re just not conscious of what’s driving everything that we do. And so when we can have conversations like this and, and that’s where, why I develop my mindset assessment is to help people to become conscious of something that they’ve never been conscious of.
Jim Rembach (25:32):
And, and the, and again, I’m bringing this back full circle for the space that I work in. I see what we’re talking about here play out so often is that when we start thinking about serving customers and the customer experience and even the employee experience for that matter, I oftentimes hear people say something that goes along the lines of this, well I know that’s what I wouldn’t like and I’m like, you’re not your customer. You know, you’re not your employee. I mean you’re, you’re one of those, you’re then you also have all these different perspectives and I socially, I seriously believe that, you know, having a, an emotional intelligence, you know, engineer and these types of people who can understand, you know, the entire spectrum and ecosystem of all of this is really going to be a key differentiator for organizations in the future.
Ryan Gottfredson (26:17):
Oh yeah. Let me give you an another example of this that, that I think people who are particularly dealing with customers, but really everybody could, can, can value this, but how do we see individuals that we work with or a customer that we are working with now, we can see them in, in somewhat one of two ways. And again, we’re really talking about a continuum, but I’m going to kind of phrase this in terms of a, but we can see people in one and two weights. We can see them as an object or we can see them as a person. See, and this is the difference between an inward mindset and an outward mindset. When we have an inward mindset, we see ourselves as being more important than others. Our needs and wants matter more than their needs and wants. And when that’s the case, we’re likely to treat, see and treat other people as objects.
Ryan Gottfredson (27:09):
When we have an outward mindset, their needs and wants matter just as much as our own and we’re able to see them as people. So, so an example to kind of point this out is how do you see a homeless person who is asking for assistance? And I’m kind of ashamed to admit this, but for most of my adult life I S I would see homeless people and think that they weren’t doing their best. And when I would see them as not doing their best, I was quick to be critical, I would think. What are you doing with your time? Why don’t you do something more productive? Maybe go get a job. So what’s my likelihood of serving them in the way that is best for them? Well, it’s really low, but what if I see them differently? What if I see them as doing the best that they can?
Ryan Gottfredson (28:00):
Then it leads me to ask the question, what in the world has happened in their life that has led them to believe that this is the best way to live? And by asking that question, I grow incredibly empathetic and I’m much more likely to serve them in the way that it’s best for them and for the situation. And so how we see those that we work with shapes, how we think about them, whether we’re critical or empathetic, and then how we correspondingly behave towards them. And so that’s the role that these mindsets are playing. And so if we can help really all of us, but in particular those people who are serving others as customers, we’ve got to see them as people and not as a number or as an object helping me to reach my goals. Right. We’ve got to see them as a person and I’m helping them achieve their goals.
Jim Rembach (28:50):
Yeah. And it’s um, you know, it’s also something that they’ll transfer on, right? So I mean, I know someone who feels like they’re an object will therefore treat others that they’re supposed to be serving as objects as well. I mean, it just, it just, it creates that downward spiral and they kind of going back to what you full circle creating this culture, right. And now you have an organization where you’re coming in and you know, the entire organization’s fixed. Yup.
Ryan Gottfredson (29:15):
Because if the leader sees his or her employees as objects, those employees are gonna see their customers as objects. So you know, that just filters right through
Jim Rembach (29:26):
for both. Definitely a cascading effect. Now you did do a great job of go ahead and leading us on a couple of quotes. However, I know you have more. So give me one or two that you like that you can share so that we can focus properly. Yeah. That first one from Nelson is really focused
Ryan Gottfredson (29:42):
on this growth mindset and I, it just, that’s, that’s the thing about quotes that I love is because quotes serve the role of actually helping us exercise our more positive mindset, neural connections. And, and the more that we can do that, the more we’re going to be in kind of positive mode. This organization advanced mode as opposed to self protection mode. Another one is by George Bernard Shaw. And this is a quote that focuses primarily on the open mindset, um, which we have to really talk too much about. But he says those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. And I think there was a point in time in my life where I felt like it was so important to know it all, to be the experts. Um, but the more that I’ve kind of had life experience, the more that I’ve realized that if, if I want others to change, I’ve got to be just as willing to change as I’m wanting them to be. I’ve got to be open and receptive to new ideas. And so this quote inspires me to do that.
Jim Rembach (30:44):
You know, as you are talking too, I started thinking about, um, you know, the way that we go about, you know, creation and decision making and all of that. And I started really looking at the difference between divergent and convergent thinking. And cause you mentioned a word that’s I think important here when you start talking about expert, right? Is there are times when we start talking about creative thinking, coming up with ideas and trying to be innovative and all that stuff where it’s appropriate, right? So we have this divergent thinking going on. And then there’s other times where, you know what, that’s just not the right platform. It’s not the right venue. It’s, you know, we have to really think about how this is going to fit within our system. And that’s our convergent thinking. And unfortunately when we start thinking about our education system, we’ve slammed those two things together.
Jim Rembach (31:29):
And so when you look at the research that’s associated with creative thinking, we’re essentially sucking out the creative thinking of our society and our young people. So much so that when we become adults, it’s like our ability to really do the whole divergent convergent thinking is just all messed up. So I, you know, even when I was thinking about interpreting, you know, this continuum of mindsets, I start thinking about the whole divergent and convergent thinking component because if I’m brought in or if I’m seen or as a VA, if I’m viewed as as an expert and we’re talking about something specifically that we need to apply within the organization, it’s not time to do the whole divergent convert into the divergent thinking thing. It’s time to be convergent. So how does that come in play with interpreting these results?
Ryan Gottfredson (32:14):
Yeah, and you bring up a really interesting phenomenon, and I’m going to play off the word expert here, right? Um, so when we have a closed mindset, we’re close to the ideas and suggestions of others. And oftentimes the reason why we’re closed is because I’m going to just use a little bit different language than you did is we are in implementation mode. Like we are getting it done mode. Like we can’t take in new ideas. Um, and, and at least that’s the way that we justify when we have an open mindset, we’re open to the ideas and suggestions of others and it’s not, that doesn’t mean that we’re running with whatever other people say. You see, we can always have a stiff back. The critical thing is is that we always need to have a soft front. So even when we are in implementation mode, we can be an implementation mode while still having a soft front like, Oh you have an idea for improvement.
Ryan Gottfredson (33:10):
At least let me take it in, rattle it around my brain a little bit and then let’s talk it through now. Now that will take a little bit of time, but the consequence of not doing that is really profound because if people don’t feel like they can express their opinions at work, they are not engaged. And so we’ve got to create an environment where people have this open mindsets where we could bring forward ideas and what we call that broadly is psychological safety or peoples have the ability to speak up and take risks without fear of negative repercussion. And that’s what Google has found to be the number one factor of their top performing teams. And that requires that open mindset. So I think even when we are in implementation mode, we can’t have that soft front.
Jim Rembach (33:58):
Well I think you just threw in another dynamic though when you start talking about that whole time crisis piece, it’s like, Hey, we have limited resources, we have limited time. Okay, we got five minutes, let’s get to it.
Ryan Gottfredson (34:08):
Well, right. So as soon as you see that when we’re in urgency mode, that that immediately puts us into self protection mode as opposed to organization, organization advancement. And that’s why it’s so important to, to create balance in our lives and in our schedules. Because if we’re always running up against the deadline, we are activating those negative mindset neural connections and we’re not having the positive influence that we want to have. And it’s us that’s getting in their own way.
Jim Rembach (34:38):
Oh man, I think this is fabulous point being is that it’s not simple. No, not at all. No. And even talk about your home, your own learning journey and Hey, the reality is, is when I start thinking about some of the things that have not a hard front, you know, because of my, you know, need to have a, a soft soft front and I an a hard one instead. Um, I like, do I make that mistake? Yeah. Often. Absolutely. Um, do I try not to do that? Um, exactly. I don’t try to do that. Um, and so it’s something that I need to continually work on.
Ryan Gottfredson (35:12):
Yeah. And here’s why we do it. And it’s, it’s, there’s different reasons why, but for people like you who have great expertise, we have a tendency to be most close-minded when it’s dealing within our area of expertise. And, and here’s what’s going on is if we kind of think about our mind as a bucket and if we see ourselves as the expert and I know what is best, then that means my bucket is full. So what happens when we try to pour something into a full bucket, which just runs off the side and, and so when we have this closed mindset, we see our bucket is full. As an expert, we put ourselves in a position where we want to be seen as being right, right? We want to have our ideas supported. We want to be the one providing the answers because we’re not asking questions.
Ryan Gottfredson (36:03):
We’re largely out of touch and we’re, we’re, we’re close to kind of feedback and new perspectives. But the key is for effective leadership. And really for those of us who have expertise is, it’s not that, it’s terrible to think that what we know is great, we’ve just got to leave at least a little bit of room in our bucket for the idea that we can be wrong. Because as soon as we leave that space, we, we no longer concerned about being seen as being right. We become concerned about thinking optimally and finding truth. And when we’re in that mode, we’re asking questions, we’re inviting feedback. And that’s what brings about this engagement in the workplace. And so for the, this is my, my essentially telling you my self talk is I’ve got, I see myself as an expert, but at the same time I’ve got to also say, look, there’s a lot of stuff that I don’t know, be open to those ideas and these other perspectives and even if I know that I’m wrong, even if I know that their perspectives are wrong, I’ve got a lot of them come in and let’s talk it through.
Ryan Gottfredson (37:08):
We got to validate those ideas.
Jim Rembach (37:11):
Definitely an investment in time and effort for certain so that when you do have those moments, when you have the implementation mode and you have the crisis mode, you can fall back on that foundation you’ve already built. So I talk about, you know, all of these learnings, your things that you’re working on, things that I’m working on. It is a continuous journey, but you know, there’s humps that we have to get over that actually causes us to hopefully self reflect and make an adjustment. Is there a time where you’ve gotten over the hump that you can share?
Ryan Gottfredson (37:38):
Yeah. And the way that you phrase that question brought up a memory of mine. So there’s a researcher at university of Michigan, his name is Bob Quinn. He, he’s written several fantastic books. And one of the things that he says, and I forget which book this is in, but he says, people transform for one of two reasons, a crisis or deep learning. And out of those, and I would I agree with him. Out of those two, it’s simplified. But out of those two things, there’s one of those things that we have control over. And there’s one of those things that we don’t have control, right? So we don’t have control over the crisis. We do have control over the money. And so when I look at my life and the hunts that I’ve kind of gotten over, I could see that I’ve gotten over some because I’ve gone through a crisis and I’ve had to, and then there’s other humps where I’ve gotten through them. And it’s because I invested in some really deep learning. Um, and, and when I compare two experiences, that deep learning piece is so much more fulfilling and rewarding than going through that going over those crisis pieces. Um, and, and so it just, that’s another reminder to me is I’ve got to continually invest in myself and not get complacent because when you get complacent, inevitably you’re going to run up against a crisis. And if I could have less crisis, but at the same time continued transformation that I feel like I’m on the path to success.
Jim Rembach (39:07):
Okay. Well when I started looking at this work, you’re teaching, you know, you’re continuing to develop, um, you know, this in this area to help other folks and you’ve got the kids all, I mean, all these things going on. When I start thinking about one of your goals, what is one that you would share,
Ryan Gottfredson (39:23):
um, at the moment is to get kind of this message out there? Um, I, I’m, I focus on this message cause I probably need it as just as much as anybody else. I also focus on this message because it’s changed my life and I want to help people and empower people to change their lives by becoming conscious to their foundational elements that are driving their lives. And, and uh, so that’s why I wrote my book. That’s why I try to get on podcasts like this is just a way to help people awaken, improve their awareness, uh, so that they can unlock the success that they are seeking.
Jim Rembach (40:03):
And the fast leader Legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on, let’s get a quick word from our sponsor.
Speaker 3 (40:10):
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Jim Rembach (40:29):
four slash better. Alright, here we go. Fastly Legion.
Speaker 3 (40:32):
It’s time for the home. Oh, Dow. Okay Ryan. The hump day hoedown is the part of our show where you give us good insights fast, sorry to ask you several questions. And your job is to give us robust and get rapid responses are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Ryan, God person. Are you ready to hoedown I’m ready for the quick draw. Let’s do it. Alright. So what is holding you back from being an even better leader today? I think that
Ryan Gottfredson (40:59):
this is for me is my schedule is increasingly, my schedule is getting more and more demanding and that’s causing me to have to make decisions that may limit my influence in some spheres, uh, while also increasing influence and others and figuring out how to best juggle that is proving to be challenging, but part of the process.
Jim Rembach (41:20):
And what is the best leadership advice you have ever received?
Ryan Gottfredson (41:24):
Be the person that other people want to follow.
Jim Rembach (41:28):
And what is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success? All of
Ryan Gottfredson (41:33):
my secrets. I think you’re tied into the mindsets. So have a growth, open promotion and outward mindsets. And in terms of the desires that we’ve talked about, seek to learn and grow, seek to find truth, seek to reach goals and seek to lift others.
Jim Rembach (41:48):
And what do you feel is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business or life?
Ryan Gottfredson (41:54):
I think um, probably my best thing is actually my, I use what’s called the full focus planner. It’s produced by Michael Hyatt and it allows me to set longterm goals, break those down into bite sized chunks in terms of annual, quarterly, monthly, weekly, daily, and then also in that same time what that allows me to do is set my, my priorities and make sure my priorities in the right place. Because if my priorities aren’t right to begin with, it’s going to be hard for me to have an influence on those that I want to.
Jim Rembach (42:26):
And what would be one book that you’d recommend to our Legion? It can be for an Emory, any genre. Of course, we’re going to put a link to success mindsets on your show notes page as well.
Ryan Gottfredson (42:34):
All right, look, can I give you three? Go right ahead. All right, so one is uh, bonds that may make you free. It’s maybe the most life-changing book I’ve ever read and it focuses on inward and outward mindsets. A second book is the best business book I’ve ever read. It’s called creativity inc. It’s written by ed Catmull, who’s the founder of Pixar. And then when Disney took over Pixar, he was also the president of Disney animation. Uh, and then I had three. Um, so now I have to give you three. Oh the other one is called, I hear you by Michael Sorenson and it’s only like $5 on Audible, but it is all about validating others. And I would say as we’ve been talking a lot about emotional intelligence and self-awareness, that book has done more for improving my emotional intelligence than any other book that I’ve read.
Jim Rembach (43:25):
Okay. Pass. Literally Jen, you can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going to fast leader.net/ryan Godfrey [inaudible] and we’ll also put a link to the self-assessment that I was referring to that I took, which will actually show you where you are on the continuum for these four key mindset constructs. Okay. Now this is my last hump day. Hoedown question for you, Ryan. All right. Now you’ve given, you have the opportunity to take all the knowledge of skills that you have now and take them back with you, but you can actually can’t take them every single one them. You can only take one. So what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?
Ryan Gottfredson (44:01):
I think it’s because this is the one that I’ve added. These mindsets is the one that I’ve struggled with the most historically and it’s that difference between the inward, inward mindset and the outward mindset. I wish I could go back in time if, if I have regrets. It’s connected to having an inward mindset of me seeing myself as more important than others because it caused me to treat people in ways that I now regret. So I wish I could go back and do a better job of seeing others as people and as they truly are.
Jim Rembach (44:30):
Ryan, I had a fun time with you today. Can you please share with the fast leader Legion how they can connect with you? Yeah. The best place is my website, [inaudible] dot com and if you want to also connect on LinkedIn, that’s probably the second-best place. Ryan Godwinson, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom. The fast leader Legion honors you, and thanks you for helping us get over the hump.