285: Amy Posey – Why Weirdness Works in Leadership


Amy Posey Show Notes Page

Amy Posey had an opportunity to talk and meet with a tech startup team. In order to spark them up and make them think, Amy experimented working with weird cutouts and novel items that left the people stunned and confused. Coming in with these weird and ridiculous items, the items became memory triggers and anchor points for the listeners. Because of how different and weird it was, it made her more memorable than anyone else and her talk stuck into her listener’s minds.

Amy Posey was born and raised in Oak Lawn, Illinois, six blocks from the south side of Chicago’s city limits.  Her most vivid memories include stuffing the family into a very tiny hatchback and taking road trips east of the Mississippi, which inspired her love of travel and adventure.

The youngest of four children, she has an older brother and sister, and her oldest sister died due to complications from Leukemia when Amy was 17, one month after she started college. It had an undeniable impact on her outlook on life and realization to live life to its fullest.

She was the first in her family to attend college at Purdue University, where she started out as an aviation technology major with hopes of entering an aviation career but shifted gears during her first year to eventually graduate as an English major with a focus on poetry.

While at Purdue, she met her husband of 22 years, Bob, who happens to be a pilot, peripherally fulfilling her interest in aviation and giving her the chance to travel to over 70 countries.

After university, Amy pursued work in teaching high school English, and after 3 years of teaching, transitioned to management consulting for public sector clients, which sparked her interest in business.

After September 11, 2001, a downturn in the aviation market sent her and Bob packing for the middle east, where she spent three years living and working in the Kingdom of Bahrain while pursuing her MBA, making her also the first in her family to attend graduate school.

When she returned from the middle east, she resumed her consulting career, but based in Silicon Valley and focused on technology companies, which has been her focus for the last 15 years of her career.

A decade ago, she transitioned from a large management consulting firm to working for a boutique firm called The AIP Group (adventures inspiring performance), where she facilitated adventure-based leadership sessions and earned her Executive Masters in the Neuroscience of Leadership.

Her last year with AIP was spent leading the company as CEO before she left to launch her own neuroscience-based manager development startup called SUPER*MEGA*BOSS in 2019 and co-wrote Wild Success: 7 Key Lessons Business Leaders Can Learn from Extreme Adventurers with Kevin Vallely.

Amy lives in San Jose, California, with her husband, Bob, and their 22-year-old cat.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @BrainyLeaders get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShowClick to Tweet

“Innovation is all about being uncomfortable.” – Click to Tweet

“The brain loves novelty. We love looking at new stuff.” – Click to Tweet

“When you apply weirdness in different domains, it gives it a fresh light and makes people pay attention to it more.” – Click to Tweet

“If you’re serving up content that’s boring and not memorable, then there’s no way someone’s going to remember how to apply what they’ve been taught.” – Click to Tweet

“Humans like to see something different. Novelty works to get people’s attention.” – Click to Tweet

“Real, intentional development takes time.” – Click to Tweet

“Exposing yourself to things that are different from what you normally do gives opportunity for reflection and innovation.” – Click to Tweet

“It takes time to come up with good ideas and you have to give yourself that time and reflection space to do it.” – Click to Tweet

“A good leader will continuously learn through life.” – Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

Amy Posey had an opportunity to talk and meet with a tech startup team. In order to spark them up and make them think, Amy experimented working with weird cutouts and novel items that left the people stunned and confused. Coming in with these weird and ridiculous items, the items became memory triggers and anchor points for the listeners. Because of how different and weird it was, it made her more memorable than anyone else and her talk stuck into her listener’s minds.

Advice for others

Be very interested in science.

Holding her back from being an even better leader

The negative voice in my head.

Best Leadership Advice

Be more emotionally intelligent.

Secret to Success

I’m a weirdo.

Best tools in business or life

Microsoft To Do

Recommended Reading

Song of Myself Poem by Walt Whitman‎

Contacting Amy Posey

Amy’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/brainyleaders

Amy’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amyposey/

SUPER MEGA BOSS website: https://supermegaboss.com/

SUPER MEGA BOSS LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/supermegaboss/

SUPER MEGA BOSS Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/super.mega.boss/


Kevin Vallely episode: https://www.fastleader.net/kevin-vallely/

Show Transcript

Click to access unedited transcript

Unedited Transcript

Jim Rembach (00:00):

Okay, fast leader Legion today. I’m excited because we have somebody on the show today. Who’s going to tap into your weirdness and get you something we’re going to help you to be more innovative, creative, and a better leader. Amy Posey was born and raised in Oaklawn, Illinois, six blocks from the South side of Chicago city limits her most vivid memories include stuffing the family into a very tiny hatchback back and taking tiny and taking road trips East of the Mississippi, which inspired her love of travel and adventure. The youngest of four children. She has an older brother and sister and her oldest sister died due to complications from leukemia. When Amy was 17, one month after starting college, it had an undeniable impact on her outlook on life and realization to live life to its fullest. She was the first in her family to attend college at Purdue university, where she started out as an aviation technology major with hopes of entering an aviation career, but shifted gears after her first year to eventually graduate as an English major with a focus on poetry while it produced.

Jim Rembach (01:08):

She met her husband of 22 years. Bob who happens to be a pilot peripherally, fulfilling her interest in aviation and giving her the chance to travel to over 70 countries after university Amy pursued work in teaching high school English, and after three years of teaching transition to management consulting for public sector clients, which sparked her interest in business after September 11th, 2001, the downturn in the aviation market sent her and Bob packing for the middle East, where she spent three years living and working in the kingdom of Bahrain while pursuing her MBA, making her also the first in her family to attend graduate school. When she returned from the middle East, she resumed her consulting career, but based in Silicon Valley and focused on technology companies, which has been her focus for the last 15 years of her career, a decade ago, she transitioned from a large management consulting firm to working for a boutique firm called AIP group adventures, inspiring performance, where she facilitated and venture based leadership sessions and earn her executive masters in the neuroscience of leadership.

Jim Rembach (02:16):

Her last year with a VIP was spent leading the company as CEO, before she left launch her own neuroscience based management management development startup called super mega boss in 2019. And co-wrote wild success, seven key business leaders, seven key lessons, business leaders can learn from extreme adventures with Kevin validly. Who’s been on the fast leader show and who’s an episode two 79. And we’ll talk about that here in a moment. Amy currently lives in San Jose, California with her husband, Bob and their 22 year old cat, Amy Posey. Are you ready to help us get over the hump? I’m ready. I am ready. Let’s do this. Oh, I’m glad you’re here. And I’ve my Legion a little bit about you, but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better?

Amy Posey (03:04):

Yeah, I, that, that last piece around manager training. So just dealing with and thinking about how leaders learn, develop, and grow has been. I I’ve been working in it and with leaders for a long time. And so I noticed a space where particularly new leaders and managers, um, they’re not learning in the way that you and I may have learned who to lead other humans. And I feel like there’s a shift in what they’re consuming outside of work. And so what I’m doing is kind of this grand experiment. So super mega boss, which is the company I’m running now essentially looks at the weirdness of learning to lead others because that in and of itself is really weird sometimes. And so I’m taking a lot of the science that I’ve thought about and developed a way to have people learn in kind of more interesting and weird ways.

Amy Posey (04:01):

Cause we remember it better when it’s weird. We remember things that spark our emotions, um, and weirdness and novelty is one of those things that can miss sticks in her brain. And so I’m developing a new way for people to think about how do they manage others? How do they manage themselves as a boss and a leader? So I’m spending a lot of time creating a really fun content, doing different experiments based in the science then based in frankly, I’m a bit of a weirdo myself. And so I’m combining those things and it’s a, it’s a cool experiment that seems to be sticking. So, um, I’ve been doing that for the last, uh, 18 months, almost two years now, which is, which has been a lot of fun.

Jim Rembach (04:38):

Well, I know it’s listening to you talk about that. I start thinking about the book wild success that you co-wrote with Kevin Valley. And I think it’s really important to talk in regards to foundational elements and the awareness foundational elements, and then where you’re going with all of this in regards to the neuroscience. So in the book you talk about seven key lessons that leaders can learn from extreme adventurers and they are cognitive reappraisal, grit, growth, mindset, purpose, innovation, resilience, and personal sustainability. So once we understand those foundational elements and again, Kevin does an excellent job of explaining that on his episode of the fascinator show. Again, it was episode two 79 and we’ll put a link to that on your show notes page, but what we’re talking about is, okay, now how do we take all of these foundational components and elements, these ingredients, and then now really using it for that, you know, big, bad, you know, you know, that hyper extraordinary, you know, type of scenario so that we can separate ourselves from everyone else. Cause that’s really what’s required today. Uh, well, I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Go ahead.

Amy Posey (05:46):

Oh, no. Well, and it’s interesting cause I think about, uh, you know, those fundamental elements that came out in the book, um, the, the science is there behind all of them too. So it’s a cool adventure story. The it’s the science behind it, and this is just kind of taking the science and double clicking on it in a more tactical way. So wild success. I mean, I’m passionate about travel and adventure and the stories that come from that. Um, I want it to even go a little bit deeper and further in, you know, thinking about those are, those are sort of the emotional components of being a leader. I wanted to look at. Okay. There’s also tactics around being a manager and those tactics are things that also require, um, some understanding some of the science and how we operate and how to build habits around all of those sort of tactics.

Amy Posey (06:32):

Cause they’re sort of the highfalutin, like how do I approach leadership in that big sort of capital L um, space and that’s where wild success, I think excels, cause it kinda gets you thinking above your day to day. I also wanted to look at what’s what is the day to day and for a manager and how are they learning and growing. And so, um, particularly around the space of innovation cause, um, you know, you’re supposed to listen to not play favorites, but I gotta say like that part of the book is my favorite. Cause innovation is like my baby. And I’ve been thinking about it for so long. And, and part of it was double clicking and seeing like, how do I, how do I take these leadership and management concepts and boil them down even further to the tactics and make those tactics stickier for people because you just, unless you build those good habits in the foundation, all the research shows that that most managers in the first two years, like 60% of them are so don’t don’t do well because they don’t develop those habits.

Amy Posey (07:28):

And so it’s like, how do you, how do you get into that? How do you unlock the potential to develop those habits? One is talking about it. But number two, I think is talking about it, not in sort of the capital L leaders sort of way, but talking about it in a real tactical habit, forming, um, scientific experiment sort of way to make it a little bit more accessible. Cause that I always remember the new manager, I was sort of terrified like, Oh, kind of a leader now. Oh yikes. So part of it is thinking about it in a more practical way,

Jim Rembach (07:56):

You know, and as you were say that, I start thinking about the differentiation between as a manager, what I have to do, tactically, you know, so Hey, we have to execute, we have to do these things. We have to follow these processes and procedures and workflows and you know, that’s one component, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. What we’re talking about is, you know, how do we now apply the finesse to all of that and figure out maybe better ways of doing it, uh, better ways of, you know, leading the people in the process, not just managing all of the resources and all of that. And so you actually talk about, um, in a, in a previous, um, presentation that I saw of yours, five ingredients that we need to implement. And in order to engineer, better days, part of this goes into being a better leader. It goes into serving the customers better and providing a better customer experience employee experience that men are several different ways that you can do it. And you talk about pausing and revisiting quiet, reframing positivity, and then an extended revisit kind of walk us through what that means.

Amy Posey (08:58):

Yeah. I mean, I, I spent a lot of time with tech companies. I live in Silicon Valley. I, I just, um, I’m a geek. I love to think about how to new ideas happen and you know, what’s, what’s the secret sauce? How are people learning to create these new ideas? Like why are we all coming to this one place and looking at Silicon Valley news, like the heart of it. And I started to uncover like, there’s some elements here that are working, but are they working in the way that were sort of designed to come up with these ideas? So I went deep on research around the space and that’s where I came up with these ingredients because what the science is saying that in order to really come up with these ideas, you’ve got to be deliberate and intentional on how you work. If you expect to come up with these new ideas and there’s tons of good, there’s, there’s more and more good literature out than there was probably five years ago when I started studying it.

Amy Posey (09:52):

But you know, part of it is thinking about the, those elements and how do you infuse every day with more of them because we get into the sort of the control network in the brain. And we’re always just sort of what’s next the tactics of our day getting managed by calendars. And this is an effort to get back into our default network, which is really where the brewery network, where we do more of our innovative thinking. It’s the daydreamy sort of floaty space. And I always ask people like how much time do you actually schedule the daydream during the day? And people are like zero to negative. I’m like, yeah, I know. And part of it is you actually need that. And so the insight ingredients were things that I came up with to just remind people, you actually have to engineer your day a little bit better if you expect to come up with the aha moments because your brain needs that time and space.

Amy Posey (10:40):

So pause, being able to walk away from things and I’ve used these experiments, even in writing wild success, I had to walk away to come up with like, how do I tie all these different ideas together from science, from business, from adventure? Like that’s a weird combination. How do you, how do you do that? And I, it required me to take pause. And so I’d go out and I’d take a walk in the Hills, I’d go out and, you know, even do a run around the block, but taking that pause and stepping away from the challenge that you have. I know so many people were trying to force fit it, get in a room, brainstorm for an hour, come up with the best idea like spoiler, very rarely will that accomplish the best idea. And the next item was quite,

Jim Rembach (11:20):

I’d actually like to add on that to a second, because what I have started implementing when I am having discussion and dialogue with somebody and we do have to figure out, you know, something different, um, what’s, what’s, we’re doing right now, isn’t working. People automatically want to go to start, you know, actually solving the problem right away. So we talk about, um, the different types of thinking that are needed, right? So we have the congruent, you know, type of thinking, you know, and then we have, you know, the creative type of thinking. And so I have been more intentional to say, I don’t want your answer right now. I just want you to think about it and come back to me tomorrow or whatever the case may be, because I want them to, I want them to do what you’re referring to, but you have to, you can’t, it’s not just doing it for yourself. You now have to do it for others, for you to get there better perspectives and ideas.

Amy Posey (12:16):

And, and that’s a really key bit of it is to, to recognize that because people have been very, very habituated into like, Oh, we need a solution immediately. We’re going so fast. And innovation doesn’t have to happen in that speed. And often the best innovations take time and failure. And I’ll be like any, anything you look at in terms of the most innovative things that are out there, it wasn’t, it wasn’t an immediacy. And so I love the idea of just sending someone away, say think about it. And I do that so often, um, and, and have trained myself to, because it’s, it’s, you want to sell people problems. You want to be helpful. You like, there’s a deep desire and the most helpful thing you can do, it’d be like, okay, I’ve got my information. I’m going to take a day or two to think about this.

Amy Posey (13:01):

And then I’m going to get back to you with some ideas so that I can properly give this the attention it deserves. And, and I think the more people can do that and make the time and space to do that. It requires planning, which, you know, I know a lot of people are not great at. And so it requires like you’ve got to build that time back in, if you really do need to do that. And so pause, I think is a really key piece of it. You’ve got to slow down if you really want those answers to come. Um, another kind of interesting it space in these ingredients is the idea of quiet, which is tough for a lot of people. You know, the idea that your brain actually needs to not have as many sensory inputs when you’re in the default sort of thinking time.

Amy Posey (13:46):

And so, um, the open floor plan that most people work in, in a lot of the corporations, especially here in Silicon Valley, people always come to me after I tell them they need quiet or like, but I work here and how am I supposed to do that? I’m like, well, you can’t do all of your work in the same space and that’s kind of a shocker for folks, but it’s like you, these workplaces that we’ve designed and right now it’s all our homes. So it’s actually really difficult if you’re a homeschool parent and you’re trying to get work done. And the leaf blowers are out there. Like it’s hard to innovate unless you can turn off some of those sensory input. And one of the biggest sensory inputs is sound. And so in order to think deeply and do that deep work, you actually need quiet, but the tricky pieces, you can actually also listen to nature sounds and trick your brain by, you know, getting a pastoral like birds chirping, maybe strainful ocean, your brain works better outside sort of in motion thinking about complicated things.

Amy Posey (14:45):

But our workplaces are noisy. You’re thinking about a thousand things at once. Um, you’re usually stationary. And so part of it is that quiet space, like going off for a walk in nature, exposing yourself to greens and blues, that’s, that’s where the magic is. That’s where your brain is going to do its best because that’s sort of the natural soundtrack that your brain can kind of deal with. Um, the mechanical soundtrack of always sort of having a playlist going, or it’s, it’s really tough, um, for your brain to come up with great ideas, so quiet and that, that reflection time to give yourself and, and just like stop some of that sensory input, um, is also really important for your brain to start to combine all these ideas into the aha moments, um, really reframing. So w the book actually talks about cognitive reappraisal, which is a kind of reframing, and that kind of talks about it from more emotional standpoint.

Amy Posey (15:41):

This is more from a, how do I look at my challenge or problem differently? And what I tell people is you have to expose yourself to information and things that aren’t in your domain in order to reframe. And that’s hard for people. So when I tell people, okay, if you are a software engineer, go to an art museum, they could go, wait, what? Like, that’s not my thing. Like, I don’t, I’m like, that’s why you need to go do something, read things that are not in your domain, exposure yourself, and have conversations even. And this is the smallest space that I think people can just sort of step out, go talk to somebody in another business function and ask them how they would solve your problem, make friends across the organization. And you’ll actually get way more innovative responses and approaches to your challenges. But we get stuck in our silos.

Amy Posey (16:29):

We wait to see what’s comfortable innovations all about getting uncomfortable. So like reaching out, talking to people who are not in your domain, talking to them about your challenge in a way that they can understand it and get like brainstorm with them. Um, that’s, I think a really important piece and trying to apply different solutions and different approaches to how you want to think about that challenge. Um, and I’m, I’m trying to do that myself in bringing in, um, the people that I’m working with and super mega boss. I’m, you know, I’m talking to people who create music, videos for artists and, and tick tock videos to infuse into very, what would traditionally be considered dry business learning. Like I’ve got to think about it in a different way. I’ve got artists, I’ve got people who aren’t educators, it’s a different lens. And so they can help you solve your problem in a very different way.

Amy Posey (17:20):

So reframing it, getting different input and insight, I think is huge. Um, positivity. So we naturally are negatively, uh, wired. We, we, and that’s a survival mechanism of our sort of four key emotions. Three are negative. And so you’ve got to bring a spirit of positivity of challenges can be solved and, and be optimistic, realistic, but optimistic when you face the challenge that you can, that you can find an interesting, innovative solution. And that sort of hope, um, kind of outweighs the immediacy of shutting down that voice in her head. But before we even say what our crazy new idea is, like, shuts it down. Like, no, that’s not good enough. That’s never gonna work. You gotta shut that voice down. Um, and I, I think a lot of people don’t do that when they’re trying to be truly innovative, but they’re like, Oh, it’s not going to work.

Amy Posey (18:10):

I’m not even gonna say it. I feel stupid. Like, no, no, no, shut that guy down. Like, get it down on paper, get it out on the whiteboard. Um, that’s huge. And then lastly, uh, revisiting, so stepping away for a while, not just sort of like a pause and reconnect, but a longer term revisit of your challenge and the solution that you’ve come up with because you’ve got a lot of cognitive bias. Once you come up with that great idea, you think it is the best idea in the history of humanity. And it’s really important to come back and say, how might this fail? How, how else could I look at this? Like, is this the best solution possible and trying to be objective and not biased and revisiting it again, um, I think is a great way to kind of relocate your ideas and it’s hard to put in practice.

Amy Posey (19:00):

Cause sometimes you have to get reminded like, Hey, that was a great idea for point in time X, like how have things changed materially that makes me need to look at this differently. And, and even if it just is an exercise and reaffirming your great idea, great, but it’s always good to poke holes at it and continue to enhance, right? Like everything’s always in beta, that’s a real geeky way to look at it, but like everything can be improved ourselves, our products, our ideas, and, and part of it is taking that as a growth growth opportunity to take a look at it. So those are the ingredients I feel like from a science standpoint, help us realize, Oh, okay, I can, I can take the process of coming up with new ways of doing things and apply a little bit of science and probably come up with a better idea than going at it and sort of my automatic, like getting a room, brainstorm it with some people off, we go with an idea.

Jim Rembach (19:50):

Okay. So then we have to do a better job of separating out our divergent and convergent thinking. We have to make sure that we don’t fall victim to biases of ourselves and other hers. Um, and, and there’s, so there’s a whole cacophony of things that are just flying at us. Right. But then you throw in this element with some of the work that you’re doing in regards to weirdness and leadership development and why weirdness works. And I think that’s why you talked about the tick tock, you know, people and all this coming to where you’re going.

Amy Posey (20:22):

Yeah. So, so when I thought about, and I’ve been thinking about innovation for awhile and, and about a year and a half ago, when I was sort of like, okay, I need to pivot like time for me to take a fresh approach on something. I started to dig into the, the land of the manager development space. And I just got really, I mean, personally bored, I kind of empathized. And I put myself in the shoes of if I’m a emerging leader and I’ve never been a boss before, what, what, how do I learn how to do this? And so that sort of design thinking approach to let me, let me empathize with these, this group of humans in the world that we’re in and whatever, whatever space they might be in, I might be as software engineer, new, fresh market here, and someone in manufacturing, like, doesn’t matter, like, let me just put myself and I’ve got to lead a small team and I got to figure out how I’m going to do that.

Amy Posey (21:10):

You know, are the things that are out there right now are going to help me and help me in a way that I’m going to take my very limited attention span and it shrinking. Um, is it as exciting and fun and interesting and useful as the stuff I’m looking at outside of work? And my answer was no, I’m going to go Google how to do my job because the stuff I’m seeing just wasn’t there. And so I started to think about, okay, I’ve been talking to leaders and humans for a long time about some of these things like, well, how does learning need to change and adapt? Like our, our media consumption is changing and adapting and the way people are creating content and doing sort of honestly like weird, ridiculous things of humanity, which I think is it’s fun to scroll through Instagram and find all the weirdness, but then it’s like, Oh, there’s something here.

Amy Posey (21:58):

Like, if this is so compelling, why can’t the way we learn how to do our jobs, have an element of this to make it more engaging and new and different because the brain loves novelty. We love looking at new stuff, it’s it sparks our dopamine receptors. It gets us kind of like, Oh, what is this? And this is weird. And, and so I’m in the process of really establishing, like why does weirdness work and how does it work? And so, um, Superman your boss, if you go on the website, I mean, it’s funny. Cause I, I, I bring it into people and I’m like, here’s what I’m doing. And I, the looks on people’s faces. They’re like, what the heck is this? I’m like, perfect. But that’s the response I want. So I have those going in hypothesis that some weirdness is going to work is going to stand out, is going to be people go, Oh, okay, I’m going to pay attention to this.

Amy Posey (22:47):

I’m going to figure out we’re still having those deep leadership conversations and manage our conversations around what I like to call power skills, not soft skills, but power skills. Like how do I communicate? How do I be emotionally intelligent situations? How do I help people grow and develop? But we’re doing it with this layer on top of it. That makes it much more memorable. And so I’m, I’m essentially going off and doing an experiment, just like I would tell people from an innovation standpoint, like I’ve, I’ve given it some time to marinate to think about it. And it’s, it’s in beta, like it’s in a permanent set of beta and I’m getting feedback from people like, Oh, I like this piece of it. This piece is a little too weird for me. Cause I tell people like, it’s not for everybody if you’re not ready for it.

Amy Posey (23:30):

That’s okay. And I know from cultural, like some of the different corporate cultures I work with, like, it’s not going to be where you want to go. Like, it’s just not your vibe. And that’s cool. But part of me is like, where might this work? Because I think weirdness is sticky. And when you can apply weirdness in different domains, it just gives it a fresh light and makes people pay attention to it more. And so I’m, I’m basically experimenting with ways to create content that is based in science, based in creating great manager habits, but is something that’s stickier for people to pay more attention to because we’ve got, I mean, at this point we’ve got maybe five to 10 minutes of people’s attention. Like eight minutes is the sweet spot. You can’t put somebody in a one day training session and just be hammer content at them anymore. It just isn’t gonna work. And then how to have a long tail behind it. It’s, it’s something that I think has to shift and, and people are not, I mean, that’s why micro learning works. Like people want to customize and personalize. And so I’m going to add that layer of weirdness and see how it goes from a, from a disrupting the space, um, perspective.

Jim Rembach (24:38):

Well, as you’re talking, as I start thinking about, uh, the differences that we need to point out, we’re not talking about T people learning how to, you know, better use, you know, um, uh, you know, an application. That’s not what we’re talking about. What we’re talking about here is developing a competency. That’s a foundational component to them being able to have a skill. Okay. So that’s a journey. I mean, that is something that requires what, what you’re referring to, which is more of that neuroscience habit, forming, you know, bias, re re dejecting separating of the whole, the Virgin convergent, thinking that this is more complex to something that is going to be transformational in nature, not a practice or a T or a tactical activity.

Amy Posey (25:28):

Absolutely. And that’s, that was a conscious choice, um, on my effort, because I do feel like these are the competencies, um, that people need for the longterm and those that you can, you can develop a competency better over time with habit formation, reminders, um, triggers that allow you to respond in certain ways and identifying the process and trigger it’s, it’s a nuanced art and science versus how to learn application, right? Like the brain learns differently. It’s remembering how to behave in certain ways. And those behavior based learnings are much harder to do. And so if you’re serving up content that’s boring and not memorable, there’s no way someone’s going to remember how to do those behaviors. Like they haven’t even caught it the first time because it’s, you know, same old, same old. And, and I see people sort of wanting this, this change in this different way of thinking.

Amy Posey (26:23):

Um, and, and it’s, and it’s sticking in certain places. I mean, I, it was funny because I served up something very different and contrary to one of my customers. And it was, it was very much not there. They’re pretty buttoned up even for a tech company they’re reasonably buttoned up. And then I created kind of this funny sound in class that had a pink with it. And it was, it was kind of goofy, but it definitely drew their attention. It was, uh, the course basically filled up in less than 20 minutes. It had a 50 person waiting list and it was like the fastest they’d ever seen people sign up for things. So I think like if you build it, they’ll come. And if you make it weird, they’re like, what is this? I’ve got to check this out and it’s that, you know, but some of the weird stuff rubs off and then you can still have really deep conversations.

Amy Posey (27:11):

And, and just remember, and, and it’s funny, cause even though I thought like, okay, this is where the emerging manager and leader, and they might be, you know, a millennial, whatever. Maybe they’re in this age bracket, they’ve never managed others before I had someone who was a very experienced leader, say like, Hey, will you come talk to my team of, you know, very much experienced, you know, they each had 25 and above years of service and a tech company. And they’re like, we’re having a meeting and we need some stuff to sort of spark us and to make us think. And I went in with the cardboard, cutouts and weird stuff that I bring to all my sessions. And these guys looked at me like, and it was just, it was a room full of like tech guys who had, I think had seen it all and were looking in and all of them just sort of turned and looked at me.

Amy Posey (27:59):

They’re like, what is going on here? And I’m like, we’re going to get weird. But I explained why I’m like, we’re going to get weird. Cause you’re going to remember this. And like, uh, me coming in with like this, these cardboard cutouts of like lips in business suits and giant pineapple heads, like real weird stuff, but it’s, they were memory triggers. And we walk in, I put all this stuff up. They’re like, God, what is happening? But then I explained, like, here’s the thing, you’re going to remember this. And we’re going to have some good conversations today and I’m going to anchor it with these wacky visuals and sure enough, they’re like at first we thought you were nuts. And then we’re like, okay, no, we’ll give her a chance. And so part of it is then also bringing, like it’s not weirdness for weirdness thing.

Amy Posey (28:40):

It’s weirdness with a purpose to make you remember and to grow and develop. And so, um, it was, it was a funny experiment. Cause one of the people I was with my team, we were just laughing to each other like, all right, well, let’s see how this goes. Like this is, this is a big bet. And we just sort of snickered afterward for like, that was better than expected. They got it. Like we even had like this funny head and one of the guys put the head on and I was like, this is amazing because people, I mean, humans just like to see something different and, and novelty works to kind of get people’s attention. So it was, it was pretty entertaining. And if nothing else, I’m having a good time with this experiment, which I think is, um, where I want to be right now.

Jim Rembach (29:19):

Yeah. Well, I mean, to me, the anchoring that you’re creating as a result of that, it’s pretty powerful and that’s what you and I were chatting off Mike. And I said, that’s why on the call center, coach virtual leadership Academy that we have to develop those frontline leaders. I started mentioning something about senior leaders coming in and how it’s kind of transformed and changed. And that’s what we try to do is do we try to switch it up, try to do things, although I think we need to get a little bit more wacky, so we’re going to have some thoughts. All right. So

Amy Posey (29:51):

Love him. I love those anchors and that’s a, it makes a big difference.

Jim Rembach (29:55):

Yeah, sure does. And I think one of the things, when you start talking about neuroscience, that’s critically important and you kind of have to think about it is what I’m trying to grow. Right. So I think, I think about of it as, you know, plant, um, you know, uh, you know, turning up the soil, you know, I’m planting a seed, you know, the whole cultivation and then the whole nurturing piece. And that you kind of have to think about that from a neuroscience perspective. You can’t just get right into it and say, Hey, this is the fully grown thing. I mean, you have to actually bake things

Amy Posey (30:26):

You do. And I think realizing that this full takes time and a time investment and taking the time and space to do this, and whether you’re developing yourself, developing a team of people who are going to lead others, whether it’s, you know, it’s, it takes time. And, and I think that we’re all in a rush all the time. And I, myself included like, I’m, I’m a fast mover. I’m kind of hyper. I, I like to get things done. I’m accomplished or admin oriented, like a lot of people, you know, but part of it is that real intentional taking a step back and giving things time to marinate, to think about things, your brain needs it. And I feel like right now I’ve been trying to encourage a lot of people with COVID and we’ve got some extra time here and there to like, just take that time to reflect and to do things that like hobbies, you know, like even if it’s a hobby that you have never tried before, like I’m doing a lot of drama lately, but exposing yourself and doing things that are creative, that are tactical with your hands that are different from what you normally do, stepping away from screens, doing puzzles, like just stuff to kind of get the juices, flowing, to get yourself thinking and more reflective and innovative.

Amy Posey (31:45):

Um, it’s, it’s a great time to do that. And, and to make that space to do that. I know, um, I’ve been working at home. I’m either in front of clients or I’m at home. And so I’ve been working at home for a decade plus, and I noticed in that shift, people were literally filling their entire day with work and feeling more tired and more exhausted. And I’m like, Oh, you haven’t figured this out yet. You know, those of us who’ve been working from home, don’t actually work all day. Like we go for a walk, we run an errand, we mix it up during the day we exercise. Like I am unabashed. And I tell anybody like, I’m going out for a hike two hours a day. I have since, since COBIT for sure. But like, I used to sort of hide that like ongoing for a hike from noon to two.

Amy Posey (32:28):

And people were like, what? I’m like, I know it’s terrible. It’s just, wow. How am I not lock to a desk and a computer all day? And I don’t know, like to be really innovative, that balance is absolutely necessary. So I’ve been telling people like, please don’t work from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM straight in front of your computer. You’re going to Wilton die. Part of that to be innovative is to realize that we have all tradie and rhythms and you’ve got to follow those and be really realistic in the fact that it takes time to come up with these good ideas and you have to give yourself that time and that reflection space to do it.

Jim Rembach (33:01):

You know, as we spend time together, I started thinking about something I probably should have done when we first started chatting when we approached, you know, the topic of neuroscience and that is, you know, a lot of people may have misunderstandings about what neuroscience is or isn’t. And so I would love to get your definition and perspective on what is neuroscience.

Amy Posey (33:24):

I mean, it’s, it’s fundamental, right? It’s the study of the nervous system. And at the central part of it is your brain. And so I see a lot of people throw it around like neuroscience, Hey, we all know neuroscience, it’s getting real popular, which is great. Um, but also dangerous. Cause there’s a lot of BS out there too. And so I aren’t like somebody made the mistake of saying I was a neuroscientist the other day. And I’m like, Whoa, Whoa, no, no, no, no, no, no. I like the scientific community. I think like wood poopoo deck. I’m not, I read articles. I curate, I understand the science behind it. And I look at neuroscience research in the context of leadership and I think it’s really helpful, but I also believe that it’s, it’s not, everything can be solved through it. And so it’s essentially looking at it not to get scared by it.

Amy Posey (34:16):

It’s, I’m reading articles about rat brains. Like it’s not like there’s no mystery behind it. It’s experiments. It’s looking at the scientific method. It’s looking for things that we can learn from replicated experiments, whether it’s human, human brains, rat brains, behavioral experiments, and like trying to pull that, that science and to say, what does this mean for us? What does this mean for a leader in their behaviors and how they operate? And that’s really it. And like the, the razzle dazzle, the twinkle, the neuroscience word is all over the place, which kind of cracked me up. And I’m excited that people are learning about their brains and all these fun facts. Like I could go for days and read fun facts about books and fun things about our brains because the science sciences improved the machinery to actually measure what’s happening in our brains is improved.

Amy Posey (35:00):

Drastically. Scientists are asking much more interesting questions. They’re using different contexts. Cause it used to just be like for health and for disease prevention. And now it’s like, Oh, how can we use the science to apply it to different contexts? Whether it’s learning, whether it’s business, whether it’s education, those are wonderful things in my book, but I also don’t want people to get like either super turned off cause I’ve had people go like, Oh, you’re a science chick. Like I don’t want to talk to you. Like that sounds, um, I like, I didn’t grow up thinking like, Oh, I’m going to really be, science-minded like, I’m a nerd. And I took a path and now this stuff really interesting. And it sounds really interesting in the context of work. And so if you can take some additional information from a space that you know is not your usual and apply it in a new way that it’s innovation.

Amy Posey (35:48):

So I’m really interested in it and wanted to go deep because I was like, okay, how is this useful for us day to day? Um, so I want to caution people like learning how to read science is actually super helpful because you can debunk stuff that doesn’t doesn’t work. Doesn’t it mean things or like a sample size and that’s 12 people or 12 rat brains that people are then using to say, Oh, this is, you know, the new awesome thing. And this is how we should all react. And it’s like, no, it’s actually not. It’s a small study. It doesn’t matter. But I also hate the fact that scientists all just slice each other down. And like, if you can’t replicate their studies, like they build a fight each other. It’s kind of a weird space, but I’m glad I’m not in. Um, because as they kind of eat their young and it’s weird, it’s like, no, no, no, no, I get it.

Amy Posey (36:33):

Like we need to have high standards, but like we don’t need to be inhuman about it. And so I’ve just really enjoyed sort of the opportunity to look and learn. Um, and, and a good leader will kind of continuously learn through your life and I’ve just been passionate about it. Cause I think w and I can go deep in it. And it’s funny cause Kevin, when we’re writing the book, he’s like, I think you need to pull it up a layer two. Cause I’ve no idea what you’re talking about. Like you got full geek on that. And I was like, okay, alright, that’s cool. He’s like, people are not going to understand your, you know, superior gyrus and all that. I’m like, okay, maybe I will kind of raise it up a level. So we don’t have to get too technical, but like it’s, it’s useful. It’s useful to know how we operate and how we work because brain’s most complicated thing in our universe. We all have one lucky us, like why not figure out how it works and how to use it better?

Jim Rembach (37:25):

Well, as, as you know, the talking about debunking, a lot of this stuff is, um, you know, the whole social perspective of, uh, rocket science being extremely complicated. And I always tell this story about a colleague that was actually having a conversation with a rocket scientist and said, um, you know, Mack, my job is significantly more difficult than yours. And he was like, what do you mean I’m a rocket scientist. And then she says, well, let me ask you this. Um, if I know the wind and I know my thrust, if I know the gravitational pole, if I know all these things I know within an inch or two, where that rocket’s going to land, he goes, that’s exactly right. And she looks at him and says, try to do that with people.

Amy Posey (38:15):

That’s true. That’s totally true. Um, yeah. And people are weird and hard to figure out and do unexpected things. So you a hundred percent correct. It is, it is much harder. I think that rocket science and I, I think that’s, um, profound, cause it’s realizing that we can then always get better and always get better in how we work with people, communicate, uh, innovate and that’s, to me that’s exciting and the whole world of neuroplasticity and knowing that our brains can kind of grow and grow and grow and we can make new connections like that. That was one of the most exciting things that I had ever heard in my life. And then I tested it. I was like, okay, all right, brain, if you’re so smart, I’m a Japanese, one of the Japanese alphabets and then learn enough. They’re one like, it’s like now I’m like, all right, I’m going to just learn stuff to test it, to see if I can remember this stuff. And it’s, it’s, I mean, I can entertain myself with that, uh, until the cows come home. So that’s, I mean, and I think that’s kind of a core competency of a nerd, like, Oh, I’m going to go deep on this and see if it really works. So, uh, yeah, it’s fun and complicated.

Jim Rembach (39:20):

Well, and talk about that fun and complication piece in order to help us to persevere through that. We need some inspiration. And one of the things that we look at on the show or quotes to help us do that. So is there a quote or two that you like that you can share?

Amy Posey (39:34):

Um, so, so it’s really funny cause I, I think about, um, when we were finishing the book, uh, Kevin and I, I, I thought it was really important and, and we both get to end with sort of a good quote that would talk about sort of the fact that, you know, life. So really creative venture. I mean, when you’re thinking about science, whether you’re thinking about your, your leadership it’s, you should make it into it and venture and just tired of having adventures mindset. And, and one of the, to go back to my, my roots in, um, learning how to teach English and poetry, um, I, and, and my love of nature and transcendental sort of being out in the wilderness, which kind of comes full circle for me, like studying the transcendentals in universities and undergrad. Like I got, I got real hippy and just wanted to be outside all day and just nature was art teacher.

Amy Posey (40:28):

And then coming back to it and realizing from a scientific lens, like yes, nature is our teacher and they were all onto something. So I kind of love the throw quote around, you know, going to going into the woods. And so, um, I’m gonna read it from the book cause we finished with it. I went into the woods because I wished to live deliberately to front only the essential facts of life and see if I could not learn what it had to teach and not when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. So that’s, that’s one that, that sticks here. Kevin, I argued which one and I went out on that one cause I was like, this is, this is the quote that I think defines both of us, for sure. Like going out into the woods to learn and to grow into develop whether that’s from a scientific standpoint or what nature has to offer us and learning through tough, um, tough, extreme adventures or even not so extreme adventures.

Jim Rembach (41:22):

Thanks for sharing that. And you also, we oftentimes ask about a time where you’ve gotten over the hump, but in order to learn something, and I think you’ve already shared that when you talked about going and doing that training session with those tech executives, so you for doing that well, so what I want to know now is when you start looking at, you know, your own expectations, you know, experimentation and where you’re going and, you know, having this book with Kevin and is that you probably have a lot of goals that are sitting in front of you, but could you share one of them with us?

Amy Posey (41:52):

I, um, it was interesting cause I, I just sort of made a decision somewhat recently about super Megabus. Cause it, it, not that it was a hobby, but it was, it was something that I wasn’t sure where I wanted to take it. Like how, how big do I want it to be? And I think that’s a foundational question and understanding purpose for any leader. And I, I sort of had to revisit that and say like, okay, here’s where I’m at right now. Here’s the stage of life that I’m at? Um, what do I want to do here? Like, do I, do I want to just sort of agreement into something that’s lifestyle and niche and interesting, or do I want to grow it? And I made a decision to grow it, which, you know, comes with all kinds of scary entrepreneurial, like, Oh, okay, I’ve made that decision and you have to sort of make that anchor, um, and understand, okay that I need that purpose.

Amy Posey (42:39):

I need that vision to be able to execute against that and, and track my goals on it. And so it was, it was kind of a funny conversation, cause I actually had talked to a couple of people and I said, um, you know, I’m kind of in the midst of making this decision and they’re like, Hmm, no, I think we know what you’re going to do. I was like, yeah, pro probably, but I still need to like explore the potential and the possibility of like, I can go many different directions here. What do I want to do? It’s like, no, I think, I think that there’s a lot to offer here. And I think that it’s a fun experiment to run. Let’s see how it goes. And so I was like, all right, let’s blow it up. Let’s make it, let’s make it cool and big and see where we can take it. So that’s, that’s one of the things that, you know, you have to check in with yourself and what you want. And I think it’s an important thing, um, for, for everyone to think about their purpose. And so I was like, okay, I think right now in my, in my face of life, in my career, like my purpose is to help people who are growing and developing in the world, weird world and managing others.

Jim Rembach (43:36):

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 (43:42):

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Amy Posey (44:32):

The negative voice in our head. We got to shut that person up. Cause they’re not really our friend. We wouldn’t say the things that come out of our head to other people, but when we say it to ourselves and that’s a bad thing. So you gotta turn that voice. And as corny as it sounds like you got to start being positive with yourself first. Um, cause naturally that bad thing wants to keep you alive. It’s well-intended but you don’t have to listen to it all the time.

Jim Rembach (44:54):

What is the best leadership advice you’ve ever received?

Amy Posey (44:59):

Um, be more emotionally intelligent and, and I think that’s a, that’s a good one. And it’s, if you can capture and harness your emotions for positive outcome, you’re going to be a better leader.

Jim Rembach (45:12):

And what is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?

Amy Posey (45:17):

I’m a weirdo. Um, and that’s it like I I’ve been a weirdo and I’ve been, I have worked really hard to be my authentic self. After many years ago, being told I shouldn’t be my authentic self and I threw that advice out the window and it seems to serve me well and I’m having a good time.

Jim Rembach (45:34):

And what is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business online

Amy Posey (45:40):

As tools? Um, I keep a very detailed to do list and checklist and I use, uh, Microsoft to do believe it or not. And it’s, it’s one of the things that just keeps me on track day to day. Cause that’s the thing that I think I need the most help then. So just tracking, tracking, but to do.

Jim Rembach (46:00):

And what would be one book that you’d recommend to our Legion? It could be from any genre.

Amy Posey (46:10):

Uh, I’m gonna, I’m gonna say, uh, get back to get back to looking at, I mean, other than my book, uh, outside,

Speaker 4 (46:19):


Amy Posey (46:21):

Read some poetry, read yourself to Walt Whitman, get yourself into nature, kind of expose yourself to something you maybe haven’t read since high school. Give it another try because there’s some good stuff in, uh, in song of myself. That’s a good one.

Jim Rembach (46:37):

Okay. Fast leader, Legion. You’ll find links to that. And other bonus information and a link to Amy’s book that she co authored with Kevin validly called wild success. Seven key lessons, a business leaders can learn from extreme adventures on her show notes pages as well as well, which you can find@fastleader.net slash Amy Posey. Okay, Amy, this is my last hump. They hold on question. Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age 25. You can take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you, but you can’t take it all. You can only choose one. So what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

Speaker 4 (47:10):


Amy Posey (47:11):

Um, honestly it’d be the inner science. I mean, I learned it a little later in life and I wish I had it in the beginning of my career to be able to work with people even more effectively and be able to give them reasons why they behave the way they they do. Um, versus just saying like do it this way. Cause I told you so, and that’s what that’s, what a good habit is. It gives people and a reason to try something and experiment with how they operate. So I think that’s, I would definitely put that in my tool kit as a 25 year old.

Jim Rembach (47:37):

Hey Amy, I had fun with you today. Can you, can you please share it the fast leader leads and how they can connect with you?

Amy Posey (47:43):

Um, absolutely. So, uh, super mega boss.com is where I’m doing fun and weird stuff today. Uh, and Amy posey.com. They can also follow me on Instagram at super mega boss. There’s some good stuff there or hit me up on LinkedIn and we can connect

Jim Rembach (47:59):

Amy Posey. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom, the passing of the Legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump.