The Happy Engineer Podcast

100: Top 10 Tips Every Engineer Needs to Know | Episode 100 Celebration with Zach White

In this special 100th episode, I bring you the 10 most powerful moments of the podcast since it began.

The most downloaded episodes.

The most commented and shared tips.

The most impactful action steps.

The most powerful stories.

And my personal favorite moments that I’ll never forget.

So press play and let’s chat… because this is the ultimate buffet of wisdom if you want to be a Happy Engineer!

Join us in a live webinar for deeper training, career Q&A, and FREE stuff!  HAPPY HOUR! Live with Zach

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The Happy Engineer Podcast




Previous Episode 099: The 4 Mandatory Mindsets of Peak Performance with Dr. Ruth Gotian | #1 Emerging Thinker in Management Worldwide by Thinkers 50




I hope you really enjoyed all 10 of those powerful clips. 

The top 10 moments from 99 episodes of the Happy Engineer Podcast. 

But here’s what I really want you to know. You and I would not be here at all today if it weren’t for my coach. 

Yes, coaches have coaches, and I remember vividly sitting down with my coach before this podcast existed, and I was talking about what we needed to do as an organization to spread our message.

The message of building your career, balancing your life, and being happy as an engineering leader to more people, to get the word out and really make the impact that I felt called to make. 

We had a bigger vision than we were living into at that time. And my coach challenged me right then and there and said, Zack, what are you waiting for?

Why have you not started doing the work that you know you need to do? 

I had a podcast on my to-do list for six months and hadn’t even begun considering it because I didn’t have time. I was too busy. I didn’t know how it was gonna be too expensive. 

I had all these excuses. 

And my coach really called me out and said, Zack, if this is something that’s aligned with your vision and you already know it’s what you need to do and what you want to do, what is holding you back?

My coach helped me to make a commitment that day that I would launch the podcast immediately and that I would commit to 100 episodes. 

100 episodes or bust. That was the commitment, and I put skin in the game, a financial commitment to my peers and my mastermind that if I didn’t make it to episode 100 and I quit that I would owe them a significant sum of money for not following through on that commitment I was all in.

And I wanna say thank you to my coach. And I also want to say to you that none of these tips. None of these episodes of the Happy Engineer Podcast matter at all if you don’t take action. 

And the truth is you can know what to do for a long time and not do it. Coaching is so powerful. It’s what makes the difference in my life.

Ever since I went through my divorce and depression and rock bottom moment in my own career as an engineering leader, and I want to help you to experience the breakthrough and the growth that I see in my clients every single week, every single day, transforming their careers, but also designing the lifestyle that they love, experiencing deep fulfillment and happiness right here.

Right now, even in the midst of difficult times in the world and everything going on, and every excuse we can come up with, They’re creating clarity in their career blueprint, what they want, how to get there. They’ve got the courage and confidence to take action with coaching and accountability to follow through.

And that’s what I want for you too. Don’t just listen to this podcast, take action, and I want to help you get there. So, I’m encouraging you right now. If you’re still here, if you’re still listening, something about this episode resonates for you, then let’s take action together to get you to the career and life of your dreams.

Use this link grab time with my team. 

We’ll get some simple details from you on where you’re at and where you want to get to, and then they’ll help you get on my calendar and we’re gonna do coaching together, and we’re gonna help you accelerate getting exactly what you want and getting there faster than you ever thought possible.

Let’s do this.



Zach White is known around the world for changing the game in career coaching for engineering leaders.  He has worked with hundreds of leaders at all levels from top technology companies worldwide including Facebook (Meta), Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google, to industry leaders like General Motors, Nike, Lockheed Martin, Whirlpool, and many more to escape burnout and achieve breakthrough results.

Zach is the Founder and CEO of Oasis of Courage, known as OACO, a fast-growing company with unique and proven coaching programs exclusively for engineers.  He also hosts a top rated show, The Happy Engineer Podcast, where listeners discover the steps to engineering success through expert interviews and Zach’s own transformational framework, the Lifestyle Engineering Blueprint.  

As a coach for engineering leaders, Zach understands the journey first hand, holding a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University, and a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan.  With over a decade of experience and top performance in a $20B organization, he is now a sought-after coach by engineering leaders around the world.  

Zach is affectionately known as the World’s Best Lifestyle Engineer, and your coach. 

Connect with him online and schedule a call to build your career, balance your life, and BE HAPPY!





Please note the full transcript is 90-95% accuracy. Reference the podcast audio to confirm exact quotations.

[00:00:00] Zach White: Welcome back. Happy engineer, and congrats we made it. You and I have waited for two years for this moment, and it’s time for the best of best celebrating episode 100. 

Expand to Read Full Transcript

[00:00:00] Zach White: Welcome back. Happy engineer, and congrats we made it. You and I have waited for two years for this moment, and it’s time for the best of best celebrating episode 100. 

[00:00:12] How many hours does it take to listen to 99 episodes of the Happy Engineer Podcast? Pick the 10 most powerful lessons learned from all of these amazing guests, and then condense it down to bite-size chunks for us to celebrate Episode 100. Well, the answer is that I lost count, but it doesn’t matter because I’m so excited to share this with you.

[00:00:39] What we’re bringing here are the most loved moments of the Happy Engineer Podcast from two years ago when we launched up to now at episode 100. And if you don’t hear your favorite moment, I’m just gonna. You gotta speak up, just tell me, share it on social and tag me so I know which episodes you love.

[00:00:59] Email me anytime. My address is z oasis of, Z A C H, oasis of I would love to hear from you, but let’s get into these top 10 clips and here’s what you can expect. I’m gonna introduce each clip, what episode number, and what guest you’re gonna hear from, and a little bit about why that clip was chosen.

[00:01:20] Then you’ll hear a short snippet from the original episode, and I would encourage you to grab notes and go back to the full episode of any of these that really stand out for you. Now, before we get started, last thing I want to say. Truly from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for, for being a listener, for being out there and loving on the Happy Engineer Podcast.

[00:01:42] We’re now in the top 1.5% as a global rank among all podcasts, and when you listen and share this, you’re helping me. to reach more lives. To be able to give this message to as many engineering leaders as I possibly can, and doing that as the. 

[00:01:59] Best feeling in the world. I truly can’t thank you enough for your support and being here through 100 episodes. And hey, if this is your very first episode to listen to the Happy Engineer Podcast, welcome. I’m glad you’re here. And I just want you to know thank you for your time today.

[00:02:16] So are you ready for the Happy Engineer? Top 10 tips. Let’s do this. 

[00:02:24] Top tip number. Is going to help you in every single area of your life, not just your career. Now, odds are good as you are listening to this podcast that you’re doing something else, you’re driving, you’re working out. Maybe you’re doing chores or yard work, something like that. And you might even be among the many people who pride yourself at being great.

[00:02:50] At multitasking, whether it’s listening and doing chores or doing multiple tasks at the same time at work, maybe you’re even someone who prides yourself as being really great at multitasking. Well, when I was a senior manager at Whirlpool Corporation, I remember the moment that I discovered I was not good at multitasking.

[00:03:13] I was a senior manager in a meeting that probably had too many people in the room, to be honest, but I was sitting against the wall really not engaging too much. It was a vice president leading the meeting, and most of the directors were at the table. A few of us had been. At the senior manager level to contribute for a couple of the agenda topics.

[00:03:33] So I’m against the wall sitting in my chair doing email and multitasking during this meeting, taking a few notes here and there, listening to the conversation, but focusing on cleaning out my inbox at the same time. Well, right in the middle of the meeting, the VP turns to the wall and points to the leader next to me and asks a question about where they were at in the meeting topic.

[00:03:57] And this guy who will remain nameless for the sake of his own reputation, had no idea what they were talking about, the VP made a comment right then and there in the meeting, something to the effect of, if you’re in this room and you’re not in this room, then feel free to step out.

[00:04:17] Woo. It was a tough moment, and let’s just say that this engineering leader next to me put his laptop away and was fully engaged for the rest of the meeting, and so was i. I want you to take that to heart as you listen to this next segment. The man who wrote the book, the Myth of Multitasking, Dave Crenshaw, all the way back in episode three.

[00:04:40] I asked him to give us the truth once and for all about the myth of multitasking. So pay attention.

[00:04:47] Dave Crenshaw: Okay. The easiest way to get out of this argument is to sidestep it completely multitasking the word itself. Is the problem because it’s one word that’s trying to describe multiple complex processes that might be taking place in your brain.

[00:05:06] Stop thinking in terms of multitasking. And instead think in terms of these two words, switch tasking or back tasking switch tasking is when you’re trying to perform multiple attention requiring tasks at the same time, that would be like listening to this. Well answering email. And if you’re switch tasking, you are paying switching costs or that if you have any background in economics, that’s a loaded phrase because switching costs means you have to pay a cost greater than just what you did.

[00:05:37] Meaning every time you switch attention, there’s a cognitive load. There’s a drop in time. There’s an increase in mistakes is an increase stress levels that you experience. So switch tasks. Is always counterproductive or at least it always has a cost associated with this. Now back tasking is where something mindless, mundane or automatic occurs in the background.

[00:05:59] For instance, you’re jogging while listening to this podcast that can be produced. Because one of the things is automatic. It requires no attention. Therefore you are getting more productive. So really the question that I would ask if someone came to you, Zack, and they said, I’m a great multi-tasker I would say, do you mean you’re a great switch test?

[00:06:23] Or do you mean you’re a great back task because back tasking is, is important. That’s delegating a project to someone else while they’re working on one thread of an engineering project while you’re working on something else that is good. That is productive. But if they’re talking about trying to have multiple things happening, they’re requiring attention, they’re getting them.

[00:06:43] The evidence is absolutely overwhelming. My, so what you held in your hand is the second edition. The myth of multitasking, the first edition came out in 2008. At that time, there were a lot of studies, maybe, I don’t know, 10 to 20 studies that exist. We’re now in 2021, there are hundreds of studies. There are, there’s a preponderance of evidence that says when you try to accomplish multiple attention requiring tasks at the same time, You are being less productive.

[00:07:14] Zach White: So for the person who believes. If you’re listening to this and you believe that you are somehow special or unique in switch tasking, that you can actively respond to an important email while you’re listening to Dave.

[00:07:29] And I talk about why you should not be doing that. The evidence is clear. That is not. The way that our brain is intended to operate for ultimate productivity. I see you. You’ve got something on the topic. 

[00:07:43] Dave Crenshaw: I have one thing to that too. Interesting. My own backyard, university of Utah, there’s a research place.

[00:07:48] They’ve done lots of studies. Here’s the funny thing about. The more someone thinks that they are excellent at multitasking. There is a correlation between them being more likely to be terrible at it. So the more proud you are thinking you’re a multitasker, I can pretty much guarantee you’re probably one of the worst there is at it.

[00:08:07] Zach White: Top tip number two for your career and for your life is one that I deeply resonate with and I saw it come to life in one of my clients named Andy. When Andy and I first talked, he was in a place where he told me for years, He had a dream of launching his own business. He knew what idea he wanted to pursue.

[00:08:30] He had the skill and capability, but he kept backing down and staying in his W2 career even though he didn’t feel like that was what he was called to do. And we approached this question from a new lens and said, what’s going on in your mindset that’s holding you back? Let’s create an inspiring vision of the future that is so motivating that you must take action and strengthen the courage and confidence to walk away from your comfort zone and go after your.

[00:09:01] And in just months, Andy was able to launch that business, land his first big contract, and take that guaranteed income to get things off the ground, to leave his W two nine to five role. He is on fire. He’s excited and he’s stepping fully into his purpose. And in episode 72, James Reed, an incredible leader and coach, talks about this paradigm.

[00:09:30] He. The runner up mindset.


[00:09:34] Zach White: I remember the days. In my career vividly where success on paper success externally, making sure my family and friends and everybody else saw the version of Zach that I wanted them to see, that they believed was true as my career was growing and I was happy and happily married and all this, and dying on the inside.

[00:09:57] Yeah. And. I think sometimes we think like how is that possible to stay in that situation so long? And I’m just curious if you were to go back for yourself, like how did you justify or what was going on, if anything, that kept you in that job, even though you were aware this isn’t what I was called to do.

[00:10:18] It’s ruining my life, but I keep doing it. Yeah. Is there anything for you that you remember about? It went on as long as it 

[00:10:27] James Reid: did. Yes, the wrong paradigm. And here it is, and you’ll appreciate this as an athlete, whoever else is listening who was an athlete or just competes in any way, which all of us are competitors in our own way.

[00:10:41] I call it the runner up mindset. It was when, when I make it, when I get the big bonus check, when I reach a certain level in the company. Then I’ll be able to take care of my family. So the intentions were, great, Zach, which I’m assuming yours were too, and everyone else listening, our intentions are great.

[00:11:07] I wanna take care of my family. I wanna be able to bless people. Like, but how are we getting there? And who is the person executing that and who are we putting our faith? And who’s surrounding us to put that in place and keep us accountable to it. Like, see, all those things weren’t in place. It was just me thinking I had to get some external thing in order to really fulfill those intentions.

[00:11:34] And it was like a drug I swallowed every single day. I was so blind to my wife’s frustration and her anger like, How could you be that numb to someone who you’ve been married to for 10 plus years at the time just being angry at you every day? that’s what kept me going down that cycle.

[00:11:59] Zach White: Top tip number three is one that I had to share because it combines two of my favorite things. Number one is stepping out of your comfort zone, and number two, fighter jets. Okay, if you didn’t know this little fun fact about Zach White, my stepdad is a retired vice admiral from the Navy call Signs Smiles, and he was an aviator.

[00:12:22] He flew F 14 Tom Katz back when the Tomcat first rolled out into the United States Navy. So the movie Top Gun is one of my absolute favorites, and if you want an experience that will change your. Watch the movie Top Gun with my stepdad. I could listen to Navy Fighter pilot stories all Christmas long, but in episode 39, Waldo Waldman, a Hall of Fame public speaker who also flew F sixteens in the United States Air Force shared a story that blew my mind about getting out of the comfort zone and building resilience through his fighter pilot career.

[00:13:02] Check this one out.

[00:13:07] Waldo Waldman: here’s another thing that another point that forces me to step out of my comfort zone and help me accomplish my missions. In theory, I talked about having that compelling goal, that vision of what you want to become, but also the feeling that you get when you’re done going through the trial, when you’re done lifting the.

[00:13:25] It’s when you’re done going through the diet and you look at your body and you’re like, I lost six pounds and my body fat’s leaner. the feeling, the juice, the energy, the mindset shift that happens when, you know, deep down that you accomplished the goal. And one that feeling, the endorphins that you create, that’s that inner juice that builds a confidence.

[00:13:48] So I have the same pain leads to peace. And peace, in my opinion is, just being good at where you’re at. You’re comfortable where you’re at this disquiet competence that says I’m at peace now, because I know I did all the work, no one seen it. No one knows the study, the sweat, the sacrifice, the insight, then neglect that I had to put in my life in order to get gained something.

[00:14:13] So that piece is what we’re seeking and that joy that’s incumbent in that piece, knowing that you did the work. So when I would do these seven or eight hour night combat missions facing a attacks and a fear of Heights, I almost died in a scuba diving accident. Long story short folks. I developed claustrophobia three years into my flying career.

[00:14:33] few days after the scuba diving incident, I was flying along in terrible weather and had a panic attack. Develop claustrophobia. Like I got to get the heck out of this plane and soap for the next eight years of my 11 year flying career. Every time I strapped into that plane to do what I love more than anything else, I had to deal with dismissal, this, demon that threatened to paralyze me and keep me in the hanger of fear instead of airborne facing my fears, courageous, potentially getting shot at, but living, being in the car.

[00:15:03] but after I did one mission after having a panic attack and landed freaked out, you know, and said, I can’t do this anymore. Put the wings back on, it said one more mission, one more flight, just stay one more step forward.

[00:15:15] It got easier and easier. So eight hour missions in Iraq or Kosovo, the missiles were bothering me, but the claustrophobia, that was the real fear. And when I land Zack I’d land in taxi and I’m like, man, no one knew the chaos that just ensued. No one knew that. Anxiety and craziness, this combat mission I had up here in my head and I’m taxing in San another victory over the most important enemy.

[00:15:43] A friend there is, which is ourselves. And I said, I did it. No one took that away from me. It was my own personal victory. And that’s what built up the resilience and my, courage and my ability to build credibility in coaching people and doing my programs now. That’s the, the real juice. It’s not a full fee.

[00:16:01] Like, oh, it’s afraid of being rejected. I was afraid of being, you know, uh, yeah, you know, I was Jewish fighter pilot. Right. You know, there was a little bit of, uh, No anti-Semitism growing up. I don’t live it as a victim. Right. I never looked at, 

[00:16:13] but I’m talking about 30,000 feet with missiles being launched, saying I got to bail out of this plane because I’m going to jump through my skin. I’m facing true. Not simulated or psychological PS.

[00:16:28] But when we, we overcome ourselves, yes, that builds competence and it often, uh, caused a scar. But it builds up this sense of compassion and empathy that we need as leaders mostly with ourselves.

[00:16:42] When we do fail slash learn that we’re going to get back in the cop and say, I’m doing it again. I’ve got that true north. I want to get at that feeling again of overcoming myself. And that’s something that no other person can give you. 

[00:16:55] Zach White: Top tip number four might be the most important mindset shift that you can possibly make as a leader of people in your engineering career. At any level, think about this situation with my client Aaron. Aaron was a senior manager when we were talking about what’s next for his career and little context.

[00:17:16] His career had been. Great five promotions in five years. He enrolled in our coaching program to continue his development, and now he was being recruited for a director role at a startup in the automotive space with a huge opportunity to expand the size of his team, expand his leadership scope, and increase his income and compensation as a result.

[00:17:37] Great opportunity. But Aaron was afraid of one thing, was taking on that director role, going to force. To compromise his values as a husband, as a father. You see Aaron really valued balance. He valued that time to be able to go home and be with his growing daughters. While they were young, he wanted to be present to support his spouse, and he had a lot of fear behind this mindset that if I take on a director role, will I have to work so many hours that I won’t be able to be home in those really important times for my growing.

[00:18:15] Aaron had the mindset that so many engineering leaders do that. When you take on more work and more scope, that it means you’re going to work harder. That to move up the org chart means longer hours. That every bigger opportunity as a leader means you need to give up a bigger chunk of your life. And in episode 57, Aaron Hot Acosta brings the truth, the hard truth, the tough love truth about leadership, that harder work is the lazy way out.

[00:18:49] Don’t miss this one. It is so, so important. Here we go.


[00:18:55] Erin Hatzikostas: first of all, I didn’t work in Storyland or some, fanciful place. In fact, my, my leader cuz I, I was CEO, but I still reported up to an EBP of the parent company was not authentic was a sort of corporate, like she had been doing it, the way forever and.

[00:19:13] What I’ll say is that there is a period of time where it’s going to feel uncomfortable if you, for example, say, okay, normally, we, we do these projects and we always do a steering committee and we report it up and we fill out 17 templates and da, da, da.

[00:19:31] And you say, we’re not going to do that anymore. I’m just picking an example for you. Say, we’re gonna do our own way. We’re gonna do it. we’re gonna cut out the BS, we’re gonna do it our own way. There is gonna be a period of time of re. But here’s when your leadership doesn’t. when you get results.

[00:19:48] Yeah. So there was a period of time for a couple of months where my boss thought I was not. So like, just some of the ways I was negotiating things or doing things, I’m sure she was like, she had no idea what she’s doing and let’s, hurry up this executive search. But once you start showing results, which you will, because guess what everybody is craving you to be that leader that cuts out the crop and, and.

[00:20:12] You more human and all the, principles that I talk about around authenticity, you are gonna get better results. Once you start getting those better results, they aren’t gonna get two hoots what you’re doing, because that’s all your leadership cares about. first of all, if you’re wor I have a quote, my book, I think it’s something like if you’re working harder, you’re leading worse.

[00:20:29] you know, some of that, I’m just gonna be tough love, like you’re addicted to the ho and the buzz and the fact that you,think that you’re gonna take on an executive role and work more hours is probably cuz you’re lazy and you’re not leading enough. And I, I know that’s really tough love and trust me.

[00:20:44] I’ve been there. I am not perfect, but, um, yeah, everybody has those constraints, but once you can get the results, doing it a different way and you can get the best. I mean, really it’s about getting the best team. Let’s be honest. at the end of the day I used to laugh. I’m like, it’s one big popularity contest within the halls of Aetna, 50,000 people.

[00:21:03] I was constantly stealing the best talent. You know, how easy your job. When you have the best talent. Yeah. You know how much less you work less, you stress if you have the best talent. So there is an investment period where you might look weird. You might be working harder, but if you have the guts to say, well, it’s either that, or I just keep running on the same treadmill and that might not work out either.

[00:21:24] If you have the guts to say I’m gonna do it different, it will pay off, but you’ve gotta get 

[00:21:28] Zach White: it’s. So B. I wanna put a giant exclamation point on this idea that if you simply solve the problem that you’re facing by working harder, longer hours, that’s actually the lazy way out because you’re not. Doing what it takes to lead and become that authentic leader who can then enable and equip and delegate and all the things it takes to let the organization improve.

[00:21:51] the ego in me even curls up right now, as we talk about it, I still want to go down that path, cuz it feels good for Zach to know that I carried the banner and I’m the one who got us across the finish line. And I know better in my conscious mind, but even today there’s this little ah, voice in the back.

[00:22:10] That’s like I wanna go crush it and working hard makes me feel good. And so woo Aaron that’s like we could do a whole nother episode just on that point. 

[00:22:20] I have some great news for you before I go on to tip number five. Remember my client who was considering that director level position? Well, he took the job and here’s what’s so exciting. By choosing this mindset that there is always a way to lead at a higher level rather than work harder and give up your life, he has been able to create the balance that he desires in this director opportunity was every week perfect.

[00:22:49] Of course. There were some long, hard weeks, but on the whole, he is happy and grateful that he has been able to take on this big challenge to live into his purpose at work and live into his purpose. At home, you can do it too, so don’t underestimate and don’t buy in to the lie that moving up, the only way to succeed is to give up your whole.

[00:23:13] All right. Top tip number five. This one is fun because it combines learning from two sources where we can find so many powerful parallels between our careers. First is the arena of sports, and second is the childlike nature of young people, just kids. Watching kids who don’t have the filters who are in such a rapid phase of learning and growth, the kind of growth that we need to continue to evolve and become the best leaders and best engineers that we can be.

[00:23:46] In episode nine, coach Kahn who. Works with Olympic Track girls soccer when they’re still young. These are the top athletes in the nation on track for making the Olympic team one day. He shared the differences between the comfort zone and everything outside of that, which we might think is simply binary.

[00:24:07] There’s in the comfort zone and outside the comfort zone, but coach. Shows us that there is more to the story and talks about the importance of these different zones in maximizing your performance. I found this so important because I talk about getting out of the comfort zone all the time with my clients, and this is a key insight to how you need to structure your time and focus to get the most out of your own growth.

[00:24:35] Check it out.

[00:24:37] Coach Kon: soccer is, is a wonderful example of working with the kiddos, uh, has given me an opportunity to take all of these complex concepts that I apply in my coaching and my teaching and simplify them down or work with the kids at the most basic level.

[00:24:51] And then take the example of the kids and bringing it up to my executives. So they understand the basic truth of what we’re talking about. So let me give you an example. If I’m trying to balance things out and I’m trying to apply a new skill. When I work with the kids during the week, I will challenge them.

[00:25:07] I will push them to the point of failures. I will challenge them with questions. I will ask all that stuff. That’s the learning zone. That’s the learning zone in our process where. If I’m progressing from this piece, I’m in my comfort zone. I need to get beyond my fear zone, where my hesitation is now I’m entering into the learning zone where it’s okay for me to fail, but I have to try and figure out this new thing.

[00:25:31] And I practice it in a safe place, in a safe environment. Before I get to the performance zone, which is our games on the weekend, where there. I’m not going to sit there and yell at my kids. Like a lot of coaches do out there. We’ll try like a joystick coach to move them around. I allow them to express themselves in that real time environment because all the work’s been done during the week.

[00:25:52] Well, let’s take a look at what, how that translates to the engineer out there. The engineer that’s working with youth Zack in that safe environment to role play, to practice, test the scenarios of what, of what he or she is doing with you in a safe place. How can I express this? What does this sound like?

[00:26:09] Where am I going with this? You’re going to ask them the, as we coaches call it the dumb questions, because those are the decisions, questions that are going to lead them to make those realizations. And then they’re going to go out into the performance zone. Is it going to be perfect? No, but it’s important for them to reach out to their people and say, you know what, Hey, I want to be able to support you.

[00:26:27] I’m trying something new. Let me know how this is working for you. Engage the other person in the process to be able to get to that next level. Right. Keep doing it, keep doing it. Those moments of micro excellence and micro habits add up. 

[00:26:42] Zach White: when I played high school baseball.

[00:26:44] we practice. 80% of the time. And we were in games 20% of the time, maybe even 90 10, right? The time and performance was very small in comparison to the time in practice. Then we go get our engineering degree and we show up on day one to do our jobs. And we’re 100% of the time in this performance mindset.

[00:27:08] Like you, you just have to do the job, show up and start doing it. When do you actually practice the skills? What are you doing to create space for that? And it completely flip-flops, you’re lucky if you have any time to actually practice and what you just described there, you’re role-playing with a coach.

[00:27:25] If you’re a manager, if you’re a director, a VP and you want to improve at how do I perform in holding a leadership paradox effectively as a, engineering leader here, what have you been. Practicing. And do you have those systems and, and things set up in your life to actually be present with that and get the repetition before game day before performance time.

[00:27:48] it’s so easy to understand in the context of sports and I love connecting it to career because 

[00:27:54] That’s so easy to forget that world-class athletes practice a lot and world-class leaders do too, whether it’s with a coach or by yourself and visualization or meditation, journaling, all of these skills and practices that are simple. But neglected. 

[00:28:10] Top tip number six comes at a point in your career where so many engineering leaders get really stuck and frustrated. See if you can picture this situation. My client, Giovan was running around putting out every single fire in the organization that her team was involved in as a frontline manager. She was involved in so many projects and didn’t realize that her behavior in showing up to every meeting and every challenge acting like the superstar individual contributor was.

[00:28:47] De-motivating her team instead of helping them to feel supported and cared for, and it was actually causing even more work to fall on her because her team became used to the fact that, don’t worry, boss will get here soon and tell us what to do. Well, we started making shifts, showing her that you need to begin building trust with your team by letting them use their zones of genius and their strengths to solve these problems.

[00:29:13] Start coaching your team instead of doing the work and begin breaking these old habits from being an ic. And the team began to put out the fires and giovan began to lead at a higher level. Well, in episode 50. Vice President of Engineering, Donna Sherrill, talked about her experience as a first line manager.

[00:29:35] The challenge of making that leap and the shift that needs to happen to do it well, to do it with grace, and to become the kind of leader who enables your team to be at their best. As well as continuing to grow. Then if you aspire to higher levels of leadership beyond that first line manager, second line, if director, if C-suite level roles like Donna is something you want, then pay close attention because overcoming this first big hurdle, becoming a great manager and not just a great individual contributor is one of the steps we all must take on that journey to the top.

[00:30:11] Enjoy this quick tip from Donna Cheryl.


[00:30:16] Dana Sherrell: I think there’s. There’s a switch that needs to go off. where you have to realize how you support and enable your teams, your participation.

[00:30:24] It’s different, as a manager than it is as a individual contributor. And so it’s less about your hands on keyboard and it’s more about how are you empowering and enabling your team to achieve the things that they need to achieve. So they need your support in different way. There’s still obviously technical mentorship.

[00:30:42] There’s still obviously, you know, rolling up your sleeves and digging in and helping troubleshoot when the team needs it and asks for it. But, a lot of what you’re doing is figuring. Hey, these are the individuals that are on my team. this is each individual’s particular, genius or, strength areas and you know, how they help kind of level up others on the team, in that area.

[00:31:02] And everybody’s got that mix of, I’ve got some growth areas and I’ve got some areas that are, you know, more subject matter expertise. Right. And so you, you really need to understand that. And also understand what kind of motivates each individual on your team. And, you know, those are tools that you gain to help you figure out, okay, how do we best work with each other as a group and make sure people are getting the right opportunities.

[00:31:27] make sure people are being challenged in the right ways and you know, together we’re going to achieve the outcomes we’re looking for. it took me some bad experiences to, to realize that. And as I said, we didn’t really have other like engineering leaders in the company. So it’s not like there’s somebody there that’s mentoring me and saying like, Hey, this is how you should be thinking about this.

[00:31:46] Right. So, figured it out. when I did, it became a much more enjoyable experience. And then I just realized I really, really enjoy. The feeling that I get, like, I get so proud of individuals when I see the journey that we’re all going through together. And I see the outcome on the other side and what we’ve all been able to accomplish together.

[00:32:05] And it just makes me so proud. I didn’t realize this was a thing that I valued years and years ago, but then when I experienced it, it’s, it’s, it’s a joy for sure. 

[00:32:15] Zach White: So Donna, tell us about your worst mistake and that first manager job. Ah, just one, um, one or two or however many. What were your mistakes?

[00:32:27] Dana Sherrell: I think I just was, so I was still so focused and in the, in the mode of, you know, I’m in the, board, I’m in the JIRA board, I’m picking up a ticket, you know, I’m looking at people’s code and doing code reviews and, you know, it’s D book it’s different. The way you’ve set up the relationship and trust with the team is that like, the team would like your input and wants you to get some feedback versus.

[00:32:50] You’re doing it and you’re giving people feedback and they’re like, does Donna not trust us that we know how to code? And we can have quality code reviews amongst ourselves. And it wasn’t that I was like, I don’t have that trust. And I’m, I’m checking on what everybody’s doing. It was more like I’m helping the team out, because this is the stuff that I was doing already, you know, as being, an IC on the team.

[00:33:12] it wasn’t one huge thing, but it was more of being involved at that level still versus being involved in a different way where I was trying to understand like, Hey, where, where do you need help? How can I help you? What are your challenges? What’s going well, what’s not going well.

[00:33:28] instead of just inserting myself and thinking I’m helping, but really it’s creating this trust factor with the team or the team is feeling like, okay, Donna doesn’t trust that we know what we’re doing

[00:33:38] Zach White: This next one, top tip number seven, you might not care about because it only matters if you really want to be one of the most respected, admired, and impactful leaders that people will ever know. Oh, nevermind. That’s absolutely you. So let’s talk about this, and there’s two parts to this incredible tip from Anton Gunn, who in episode 34, shares wisdom from one of the broadest and most incredible backgrounds of any of my guests.

[00:34:07] College football player at the highest level, working with the Obama administration on healthcare, and now one of the most impactful public speakers in the world on the topic of injustice in the workplace, among other things, Anton is a rockstar, but he talks about his uniqueness and how important it is for you to embody your uniqueness at work.

[00:34:32] And I think the reason this really stood out to me is because if I’m being. I struggled with this. I’ll just use the Happy Engineer Podcast as an example. I spent a lot of time looking at other podcasters and listening to my favorite podcasts, looking for the things that I wanted to emulate. You see, I’ve always been really good at being like a chameleon.

[00:34:55] Taking on the style, the voice, the tone, the energy, the techniques of other people, and modeling great success. And even Tony Robbins says that modeling is one of the most important strategies to success. Don’t reinvent the wheel, but at the end of the day, You must find that place inside yourself. That is your uniqueness.

[00:35:19] And Anton Gunn brings that to the surface and shares how important uniqueness is. And for me, this was a defining moment. When I began to own my own voice, began to step powerfully into the things that make me unique and letting the Happy Engineer Podcast, as well as all the work I do, even in domains outside of my career and my my business.

[00:35:44] Thinking about my uniqueness as a husband, as a son, as a brother, as a friend. So enjoy this really powerful tip that’s gonna help you become the leader You want to be aligned with the leader who you are. 

[00:36:00] Anton Gunn: 

[00:36:00] the more you. Lean into your uniqueness, the happier you’ll be in your workplace, the happier, happy, your being your life. Because we all get told to suppress who we are. I mean, you know, you ever heard in a job interview, someone say to you, leave your personal life at home. Or when you come to work, don’t bring your personal life.

[00:36:20] How do you really divorce yourself? From yourself to do a job I’ve never been successful at that because I know the things that I deal with at home going to be with me everywhere. I mean, my wife is always going to text me, my daughter’s going to call me, I’m going to be thinking about my mom.

[00:36:36] So I can’t divorce myself. from my life when I show up in any kind of business setting. But, if I get the opportunity to share that in the, be myself at work, it makes me happier. It makes me healthier, less stress. And I really do feel like that the people I work with here. 

[00:36:52] Zach White: and as a leader, these are the three questions that every employee that you lead, every person in your household that looks up to you as a leader, they ask these three questions.

[00:37:05] Anton Gunn: Every. They ask them over and over again. And you may never hear them verbalize these questions, but there does this say they’re tattooed on their foreheads and how you answered these questions. As a leader will determine your success or your failure here. The three questions, question number one is, do you care about me?

[00:37:28] Question number two, is, will you help me in question number three? Is, can I trust you? And they don’t want to hear the word yes. To any of those three questions they want to see in your actions, that you actually care about them, that you’re willing to help them and that they can trust you. So whether it’s your children, whether it’s your spouse, whether it’s the team that you lead at work.

[00:38:00] Uh, whether it’s the community in which you serve in a leadership role, it doesn’t matter what you do. Just know that every person that is in a subordinate position or in a, situational position where they’re looking to you for leadership, they’re asking those three questions. Does he care about me? Is she willing to help me?

[00:38:23] And can I trust her? If you can answer yes to those three questions with your actions, then you put yourself in a position to be one of the most respected, admired, and impactful leaders that people will ever know.

[00:38:44] Zach White: For top tip number eight, I want you to go back and remember the moment that you fell in love with engineering. What were you? Was it something that your parents introduced you to? You’ve loved it since before you can remember, maybe you had a teacher who really helped you to open your eyes and wake up to your passion for science and technology, and maybe your guidance counselor in high school said engineering was a path aligned with your strengths, and you didn’t discover it until college.

[00:39:15] When was the moment for you that you fell in love with engineering? Well, my passionate plea for top tip number. Is that you would reconnect with that passion and do it through this story from my guest back in episode 35, Myra Nobi Myra’s an aeronautical engineer with a master’s in leadership from Cal State.

[00:39:37] But when you hear what she came through to get to this success and how her passion, the. Of passion and enthusiasm and connection to aeronautical engineering. How that pulled her through trials so severe, I can’t even imagine it. It inspired me. It’s one of the moments of this podcast that absolutely gripped me as much as any other conversation I’ve ever had.

[00:40:03] I will never forget it, and I hope that you’ll never. That moment for yourself because when you connect deeply to why you became an engineer in the first place, it will help you get through so many of the toughest moments of your career and life in getting to that place where you feel the deep, fulfilling happiness that you long for, 

[00:40:26] So Myra tell us, why did you want to be an engineer in the first.

[00:40:32] Myra Nawabi: Well, at the age of six, I fell in love with the night sky. to me, I would look at the stars every night and I would wonder what else was up there. I wondered if there was another little girl living in the moon and what did she wear? What did she eat? Did she have parents? And I would ask people what’s on the moon and they would say, oh, well, a bunch of rocks.

[00:40:53] And I didn’t accept that. And the six year old that I was, I believed that maybe there was, these humans that not humans, but, Entities and other planets that were invisible and they were just not showing themselves to DC humans that they couldn’t trust. So if I went there, then they would show themselves to me, you know, of course I’m a six year old.

[00:41:14] What do I know? Right. that’s where my love for aerospace came is that as a child, I just loved the night sky. I wanted to learn more about it. I wanted to explore it. I wanted to go to outer space and see for myself all the different stars out there. I wanted to see the art from outer space. so that was that’s where this love of engineering came for 

[00:41:37] Zach White: me.

[00:41:38] When you look at the night sky now, Myra, do you still feel that same part of you that was a six year old with that wild imagination? Yes. 

[00:41:49] Myra Nawabi: Every 

[00:41:49] Zach White: day, every day. I love that. I love that. So six year old, Myra falls in love with the night sky. Just tell us really briefly, what was that journey like to entering engineering school from age six to.

[00:42:05] You know, fourth year and dropping out what happened in that time in between 

[00:42:11] Myra Nawabi: a lot happened at the age of six, Afghanistan, which is the country of my birth was invaded by the Russians. At the age of 10, I ended up being a refugee. I lived for two years as a refugee in Pakistan. Then at the age of 12, I came to United States as a refugee.

[00:42:27] So. a lot to happen. There’s a lot to unpack there. but it was, it was great for me because when I came to United States, I, I read about Sally ride and I was like, oh, well, if she can go to outer space, look it up. and so the one thing. That became solid for me was this dream of becoming a aeronautical engineer.

[00:42:46] That was a pat, if you know, in a country like Afghanistan, the space program didn’t exist. So I, that I chose to go to Russia or came to America. So that part was taken care of. but there was a lot that happened. And when I enrolled in, engineering, you know, like I was once wait-listed for a class, I had taken calculus one and two and I was waiting to take three.

[00:43:10] When I talked to the professor, he said I should be home bare feet and pregnant. And ironically, I ended up taking the class with his sister-in-law. 

[00:43:17] Zach White: okay, hold on. I got we just need to pause for a moment and acknowledge that the last like 30 seconds, there’s so much gravity behind what you’re describing.

[00:43:31] And first of all, that’s just disgusting that that ever happened to you. And I’m so sorry about that. Let me back up just a moment and I can maybe even speak for myself, Myra it’s really, I want to say impossible to even imagine that journey from age six to entering engineering school, with the background I come from and by no means, will we get me into your world fully today, but for someone who who’s not yet.

[00:43:59] In the same stratosphere, what was the biggest thing that shifted or changed in you during that time? If you are going to say like, here’s how that made me, who I am today. what’s that big takeaway. 

[00:44:15] Myra Nawabi: it’s going, it’s staying connected to that dream of that six year old that fell in love with the night sky.

[00:44:21] Right. as I went through my journey and things got more and more difficult, I had to keep reminding of myself that, that even when the war broke out the, the night sky was my solace. Right. I. The rockets were flying, as bombs were exploding all around me at the, that was the one place that I could just look up to and they give me comfort.

[00:44:43] It gives me, it gives me the strength that I needed to keep going. the hardest part was that the two weeks that it took to, to flee Afghanistan on foot it’s one of the most difficult journey that you could go through and it’s fraught. dangerous everywhere. cause you’re going through at night during two difficult terrain, it’s hard to see.


[00:45:05] Myra Nawabi: if you did it during the day, you would probably, it would freak out the living daylights, other view, crawling through mountains Mount it that most mountaineers would have gear for you yet. You don’t have any of that. You’re just crawling through the mountain, hands and feet.

[00:45:20] , And you’re doing it at night. So, To me it, the night sky, I would, I just kept looking at it and it hadn’t changed while my life had changed completely drastically. And it was filled with all kinds of horrors. The night sky was still just as comforting and it was still the same. And, and I could look at the stars and they would twinkle at me and I just.

[00:45:43] That comfort belonging. 

[00:45:46] Zach White: Wow. I mean, it’s like brings tears to my eyes, Myra, just imagining you as a child going through that. And I’m so honored that you’re here with us today to tell that story 

[00:45:57] Some of the most challenging parts of being an engineering leader have nothing to do with engineering. One of those is facing business conditions, in other words, facing layoffs. And my client, who we’ll call Mark, was someone impacted by a layoff when we first met. He was telling me about his situation, how long he’d been looking for a new job, and I asked him the question, you know, why do you think that your company laid.

[00:46:25] As opposed to someone else. And the initial response was common for a lot of people pointing the finger, blaming the economy, blaming the decisions of leaders above him, outside of his control. And once we were done venting all of those external things, I asked him again, you know, let’s take a second look here, and I want you to tell me how did you contribute to this result?

[00:46:50] How did you allow this to happen? And that’s a hard question. It really causes the ego to flare up. But the truth came out. He had stopped showing up at his best. He had gotten complacent. He had really reached a place of being bored and was just getting by at work. He wasn’t doing his best. The fact is that Mark was showing up as an amateur, not.

[00:47:14] What’s the difference? Amateurs do their best when they feel like it. When the work is exciting or engaging. A pro does their best because it’s their job. Amateurs blame other people for their problems. And pros take full responsibility. And there’s no one who can explain being a professional better than Jim Cathcart here for top tip number nine.

[00:47:36] Jim Cathcart back in episode 88, shared. What it means to be a true professional, and Jim is the kind of leader who speaks in perfect sentences of golden nuggets and wisdom for your career. Everything he says is a top tip. He’s one of the most rewarded and recognized. Public speakers in the world. Top five.

[00:47:58] He’s in the public speaking hall of fame and has spoken on more stages than you and I will ever even imagine. Being on Jim is the epitome of professionalism, and in this little clip, you’re going to hear a story that explains what it really means to be a pro.

[00:48:18] Zach White: 

[00:48:18] Did you ever have those, the dreams that we joke about where you’re at the front of the classroom and you forgot to put your clothes on that day, or the, the embarrassing or the fear fearful? Did you ever have those kind 

[00:48:30] Jim Cathcart: of dreams?

[00:48:30] No. There, there’s one dream that was a recurring dream. I hadn’t had it in years now, but I had it easily half a dozen times over an extended period. The dream was, there was a meeting scheduled. I was the keynote speaker. , the person who was introducing me was in the process of introducing me, and I was two blocks away, down a steep hill on foot, so I wasn’t gonna be there when the introduction finished.

[00:48:58] So that was my fear. Interesting. See, one of the things I take great pride in is being truly professional in my role as a, as a, an outside expert or a professional speaker. I genuinely know who my audience is in advance. I’ve done all the study, you know, I’ve read every. Inch of their website, including the copyrights at the bottom.

[00:49:22] And the disclaimers literally, I over over prepare like that because they’re, who knows when something random’s gonna pop into my head that makes a perfect illustration and they go, how did he know that? Wow. Right. And in the old days, I would read the company’s orientation manual and their annual report, but since websites, thank you Lord

[00:49:45] You know, I get it all in advance, but I show up early. I meet my introducer, I give them a, a prepared introduction. that’s short and easy to do, and it’s not just a curriculum vita that would put ’em all to sleep. Mm-hmm. , it ends with, you know, our speakers, da, da da da da da. But there’s another side that’s more interesting.

[00:50:04] He’s also been a nightclub singer, a bartender, bill collector, insurance salesman, uh, motorcycle salesman, and an internet business owner. And then it says he may not be able to hold a job, but I understand he can really hold an audience. Let’s welcome Jim Kahar. So, uh, you know, I do things like that. But if I’ve given Zach that introduction and he’s the introducer, when he gets up to do the introduction, he might say, where did I put that?

[00:50:34] So I always have another copy of it in my pocket. and just before he gets up on the platform, I say, you need an extra copy. Thank you. I left that in my room. Oh my goodness. Brilliant. So things like that. And if the lights go out, which I’ve had happen, and if there’s a medical emergency in the audience, which I’ve had happen, if the building catches on fire and we have to evacuate, which I’ve had happen multiple times, , if the president is shot while you’re in the meeting and you hear the news, you know, someone comes in, which I’ve had happen, all of these things, you know, if, if those things happen, if it’s too hot, it’s too cold.

[00:51:12] If there’s loud noises, if, whatever, I know how to handle that. Mm-hmm. . And so I’m never rude to an audience member. I’m never outta control. Because if you’ve got the mic, you’re the guy. Yes. Yes. You know, if the place catches on fire, who else can evacuate them more efficiently than you?

[00:51:31] Zach White: This is so interesting, Jim, because the spirit of professionalism, the, the mindset of being a professional, I, I don’t wanna judge too harshly, but I feel like it’s different or more rare to have somebody who takes their profession as seriously as what you just described today as, and maybe I’m wrong, maybe it’s always been rare, I’m thinking back to my engineering days, you know, when I was in my career and no one came alongside me and described what it really meant to be a professional.

[00:52:00] The way that you just articulated that in your zone of genius. So how would you articulate, what does it mean to be a professional? What is the mindset of a true 

[00:52:10] Jim Cathcart: professional? You’re walking into my wheelhouse. A professional. 

[00:52:15] They’re five qualifiers a professional is highly educated for what they do. , their education’s considered never ending. So it’s lifelong education renewed constantly. Right? it’s done for pay. Okay. It’s done according to a set of ethical standards. Hmm. And it’s done as a service to the recipient.

[00:52:37] I can’t believe we’re already at our last one, but it’s time for top tip number 10, and I’ll be completely honest. This tip is just as much a reminder for me as it is for you. I have always been a sucker for a great tactic or a great new tool. For years, all the way back into my early career days, I would read every book I could get my hands on, listen to every podcast I had, time to consume and work on mastering a new tactic, a new tool, figure out a new framework from the hot new book on the shelves at Barnes and Noble.

[00:53:12] I have always loved that, but I remember vividly working with my coach back in my career days on the importance of not just focusing on learning new. But to get the strategy right, to become a more strategic thinker, having conversations, you know, Zach, if you don’t get the strategy aligned, then it won’t matter what tool you use.

[00:53:31] You might apply a great framework, but it’s not moving in the direction that you want to go. And if the needle isn’t moving in the right way, if the strategy is wrong, then the tactics and tools don’t matter. Get the strategy right before you apply the tactics, tools, and frameworks. I thought, yes, that’s really, really.

[00:53:49] But I know now that there’s something that comes before strategy. The thing that comes before strategy is your energy. You see, if you don’t have your energy right, if you don’t have the energy of the team, right, then it won’t matter what your strategy is because you will not consistently take action aligned with that strategy.

[00:54:10] Or even worse, if there is no energy. If you’re burned out, if your team is burned out and there’s no energy in the tank, then it doesn’t matter what strategy you have, you’re not going to make forward progress. So getting the energy right is something that precedes your strategy, which precedes your tactics and tools.

[00:54:31] So, In episode 23, 1 of my favorite authors, anise Kavanaugh, shares the importance of what she calls i e P intentional energetic presence. We go through all of the reasons why energy comes before strategy, specific examples and powerful tools that you can then apply once you get that piece correct. So as you leave this amazing buffet line of delicious career, I can’t think of a better place to end this conversation than you getting your energy, right?

[00:55:08] So let’s do this.

[00:55:12] Anese Cavanaugh: If you are making people feel bad, being around you or you’re so burnt out that you’re not healthy and you’re feeling resentful and your health is falling apart and your relationships are falling apart.

[00:55:24] I don’t care how good your skills are. It doesn’t matter because now you’re having a negative impact on other human beings and you’re not feeling great yourself. So, I think that’s really important. And then from a company standpoint, I think one of the biggest things that feedback we get from companies is after we do the IEP work, they’ll say they wish they would’ve had it sooner because they’ve just spent millions of dollars on other training issues, DNI, leadership, training, conflict management, like all this stuff, but those people are doing the skills, but they’re not actually embodying the intentionality behind it and they’re not actually present and they’re still burnout.

[00:55:57] Zach White: I love this reality. You just pointed out that there is no. Developed to even the, could perfectly memorize the script, the model, master the skill, whatever that can overcome really bad intention, energy and presence. It doesn’t matter. And maybe a blunt example. I had a client one time who truly expressed to me that they hated their boss.

[00:56:21] And they wanted to see their boss fail because of how they’d been treated by that person. and then there was a one-on-one conversation coming up and had to very bluntly tell my clients, listen, if you enter that room with an intention and energy of, I hate you and I want to see you fail, it will not matter what you say.

[00:56:40] there is no coaching. I can give you on what to say in a situation that will make it work in your benefit. And so. But a really bold, extreme . Example out there of what this means. 

[00:56:53] Anese Cavanaugh: the other piece of that is, so for your client, I love that you gave him that coaching your client then has to be able to find an authentic way to shift his or her state because pretending.

[00:57:05] Pretending doesn’t . Work either. Pretending might be better than the original, but there is a way to shift that and the way to shift that, the quick cheat sheet for shifting that and to really shift your state. And I do talk about this more in the books, but the quick cheat sheet is if you can shift from, I want this person to fail, I hate them to curiosity.

[00:57:26] I wonder what’s happening here. I wonder why we keep having this conversation. I wonder what’s going on for them. I wonder why, I wonder why we have this dynamic. here’s, here’s the one that always sobers me up when I am so sure that I am just so right. And when I’m feeling really self-righteous, this is what I really need to pull in.

[00:57:43] I go, huh? I wonder what my bosses experience of me is right now. I wonder how he or she is experiencing me, this person I am so sure is such a jerk and that I am so determined to like butt heads with, how are they experiencing me? That one is sobering. And then the other thing to look at is can you access gratitude or any kind of appreciation for them authentically?

[00:58:12] So the gratitude might be you and Isaac are in a major. Resistance. And we’ve got major conflict going into that conversation. If I come in with all that energy, like with you, we’re going, you’re going to actually go, oh, if I got the and then we’re going to be contained, it’s all contagious. Right? Of course.

[00:58:31] So you’re going to catch my, you’re going to catch my vibe. You’re going to then turn around and give it back to me. I’m going to be like seeing he’s a jerk and then we’ve got this huge collusion going on. So instead, if before I go into that conversation, I can take a deep breath and go, what can I be grateful about Zack?

[00:58:46] And maybe I’m like nothing, but I’ll go well, you know what? I’m grateful that he’s willing to have the conversation. If I can shift. the tiniest thing. I’m grateful that this conversation I’m gonna learn something in it. It’s going to make me be a better leader. So I’m gonna have to learn how to do this dynamic differently.

[00:59:03] If I can authentically find gratitude, curiosity of the state of contribution, like how can I be helpful here? If I can simply decide, you know what? I know that Zach and I are really having a hard time right now, but I really want to have a good relationship with him. Just the energy of deciding that that’s what I want changes.

[00:59:20] my state . And when you have that conversation, it’s going to be easier authentically. 

[00:59:26] Zach White: I love, don’t want to call it a hack, but this quick shift to say, you don’t have to go from hating them to loving them. If you can simply go from that really intense negative emotion to something that is curious.

[00:59:41] A neutral curiosity, a genuine curiosity that is by itself, a significant step forward to having a fruitful conversation.