Join us today for the Saturday Night Special with Personal and Organizational Change specialist Alyssa Cox...

In this episode, Alyssa Cox talks with you about resilience, failure, and ...

In tonight’s Saturday Night Special I interview Alyssa Cox about her journey to becoming a change specialist.  Alyssa shares with you how organizations and individuals need to view failure to navigate change well.  We also share with you how you can build resilience by learning to deal with change better.

Join in on the Chat below.

SNS 175: Saturday Night Special - Interview with Personal and Organizational Change Specialist Alyssa Cox

[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: Welcome to tonight's Saturday Night special episode 175.

[00:00:06] Alyssa Cox: I'm Alyssa Cox, and I challenge you to invest in yourself, invest in others, develop your influence and impact the world by using your time, your talent, and your treasure to live out your calling. Having the ability to learn from failure and navigate change is key, and one way to be inspired to do that is to listen to.

[00:00:26] The Inspired Stewardship podcast with my friend Scott Maderer.

[00:00:36] I

[00:00:37] think it comes down to a couple of things. One is confidence, right? And it's not necessarily like confidence that I'm always right, but confidence that the worst thing that can happen. It's actually not catastrophic. Whatever I do, it might not be exactly right, but there's gonna be an opportunity to course correct and that speaks as well to some of the culture of your [00:01:00] organization.

[00:01:01] Scott Maderer: Welcome and thank you for joining us on the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time your. And your treasures for your true calling. In the Inspired Stewardship podcast, you will learn to invest in yourself, invest in others, and develop your influence so that you can impact the world.

[00:01:33] In tonight's Saturday Night special, I interview Alyssa Cox about her journey to becoming a change specialist. Alyssa shares with you how organizations and individuals need to view failure to navigate change. We also share with you how you can build resilience by learning to deal with change better.

[00:01:51] One area that a lot of folks need some help with is around the area of productivity. [00:02:00] Getting not just more things done, but actually getting the right things done can be really tough. I've got a course called Productivity for Your Passion that's designed to help you do this and then to hold you accountable and walk with you so that you can tailor productivity, not just to be getting more done, but actually getting the right things done.

[00:02:26] What's more, we take the approach of looking at your personality and how you actually look at things in the world and tailor the productivity system to your person. Because the truth is, a lot of the systems that are out there are written really well for somebody with a particular personality type. But if you have a different approach to things, they just don't work.

[00:02:48] But there's tools and techniques and approaches that you can take that will work for anyone, and we help you do that and productivity for your passion. Check it out [00:03:00] slash launch. Alyssa specializes in organizational effectiveness in helping individuals and organizations successfully execute change.

[00:03:11] Alyssa is focused on not just helping folks execute, but helping them thrive during those moments of transition. Alyssa has over 14 years of business transformation experience with Fortune 100 companies across a wide range of industries, including the automotive industry, pharmaceuticals, software, and consumer products.

[00:03:32] Welcome to the show, Alyssa.

[00:03:34] Alyssa Cox: Thank you, Scott. I'm so excited to be

[00:03:36] Scott Maderer: here. Absolutely. So I talked a little bit about your journey in the intro and talked a little bit about how you've moved into this world of helping people and helping companies, helping organizations. Move through change, but can you talk a little bit more about what led you to do this?

[00:03:58] What brought you to this is [00:04:00] the thing that you wanted to work on?

[00:04:02] Alyssa Cox: Sure. So I spent my career and for anyone that's connected to man LinkedIn, you can see where I've worked. But like I spent a lot of part of my career in consulting with a major consultancy and. I left because I didn't wanna be on the road anymore.

[00:04:18] But once I left, I found that what I really missed was being in front of clients. What I really missed was that direct interaction, working on problems, crunchy problems, and helping people see bigger possibilities than they had in front of them at the moment. And that is the potential for change, right?

[00:04:41] That is what change can deliver. And so I started Blue Swift Consulting as a way to get back into that work.

[00:04:53] So

[00:04:54] Scott Maderer: what happened? Why if folks. It change is such a good thing, [00:05:00] and it has that potential for possibility like you're talking about. And yet, usually if I talk to people about change, it's always a negative feeling, a negative connotation that change is bad. Why do you think there's that kind of dichotomy between how you just described change and how probably many of us have as a visceral gut feeling when someone talks about change ,

[00:05:23] Alyssa Cox: because both of these things are true at the same time.

[00:05:27] Change. If we are not changing, then we are stuck. Are the limits of our possibilities are restricted to what we can see today because we've explored this space. Change is the way we break out of the space we've explored to achieve things that we haven't achieved yet and perhaps that we haven't imagined yet, but that we want change is also scary.

[00:05:53] Being in a space, you understand what's happening. You understand how you're supposed to behave. [00:06:00] There is some predictability of outcome, and that predictability of outcome reduces people's stress levels. I no longer have to be fully intellectually engaged with how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, because I've done it a million times.

[00:06:14] Now if my kids show up and they're like, actually, I don't like peanut butter and jelly anymore, and I need something different now, my mind is blown because I'm like, no, I have a routine. I've shopped for peanut butter and jelly. I'm in my peanut butter and jelly making mode. It's 10 minutes before we need to walk out the door, and you're telling me changes upon.

[00:06:33] I'm not cool with that. You've thrown all kinds of things out of whack for me. And so the other thing that we talk about and I talk about with my clients, is about change, resiliency. How do we, when these curve balls come at us and change is coming, how do we adapt and respond in the moment to lead to the best outcomes?

[00:06:53] And so in my peanut butter and jelly example, it is, I'm not gonna freak out, but you need to understand that today is a peanut butter and jelly. [00:07:00] Tomorrow can be a whatever you want day. But now we need to talk. What I need to effect change. For you is more runway. And so being open to change as opposed to just shutting the conversation down and saying, no, we are a peanut butter and jelly house.

[00:07:17] saying, I'm open to change. But there are some guardrails to effective change that we're going to need to observe to get you the lunch that you. And in the near term, in the next 10 minutes, I'm not going to the store and getting you Turkey.

[00:07:33] So

[00:07:34] Scott Maderer: two things were flashing through my mind as you use that example of the peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

[00:07:39] And one is so I was a school teacher for 16 years and I taught middle school for about six of those years. And in middle school, in science class one, Assignments. One of the things I first did with the students, like early in the year, is I literally would show up with the makings for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

[00:07:57] Just four loaves of breads, [00:08:00] three things of peanut butter a lot of it. And they all had to write out the direction, step by step for making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. But then they would sit with their back to me and read the directions. My job was to follow the directions literal.

[00:08:18] Exactly the way they say. And of course, no, very few people ended up with an animal sandwich at the end, . But it was part, it's that example of the comfort zone of, because you're so close you just make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. You don't have to think about it. So they'd leave things out like opening the peanut butter.

[00:08:38] So I've been known to pick up a knife and drive it all the way through the container through the lids, smash it through. And of course the kid hears this loud smash and is whoa, what's happening? What's he doing behind me? Cuz they can't see but everyone else can.

[00:08:52] Anyway, it's that idea of sometimes when we're in our comfort zone, we feel like we know what we're doing and. [00:09:00] Do we because we're on autopilot, is it really, is comfortable necessarily as good as we think it is.

[00:09:08] Alyssa Cox: I think there's also a lesson here for change drivers. It's very easy as a change driver to say, actually we're gonna do this process in a new way.

[00:09:19] Here's high level what the outcomes are gonna look like. Here's high level what you're gonna do. Go for it. And you walk away and people are like, I don't know what to do with my hands right now. You've asked me to do things differently. The only thing I actually know at a tactical level is how I've done things in the past, and you haven't given me enough direction to confidently move in the direction of your change.

[00:09:44] So I am almost guaranteed to screw it up. And so as change leaders, I think it's really important for us to make sure. To lower folks, anxiety levels, to make people more open to change. That we provide them with [00:10:00] instruction, with direction, with the guidance that they need at the tactical level that they need to actually envision success in the new world.

[00:10:10] Scott Maderer: And yeah. And to that point, the students that actually ended up with an edible peanut butter and jelly sandwich, their directions would usually go on for four to five pages. It. A lot of steps to making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, which seems like it's a simple task. The other thing I was thinking of is that idea of improv.

[00:10:30] You know when you work in a field where you do improvisation and you work in coaching and consulting, and I actually think. That improv and coaching and consulting has some if you're good at one, you might be okay at the other one because there's some connections there. How as, as individuals, when you're thinking about change and dealing with change, how does that energy flow?

[00:10:49] Cuz that's how you talk about improv is never stop the energy, keep the energy moving. So you have to be accepting and yet also able to adapt [00:11:00] and change as things go. How do you think that idea of energy and improv ties into change management? I

[00:11:08] Alyssa Cox: think it comes down to a couple of things.

[00:11:11] One is confidence, right? And it's not necessarily like confidence that I'm always right, but confidence that the worst thing that can happen here is actually not catastrophic. Whatever I do, it might not be exactly right, but there's gonna be an opportunity to course correct and that speaks as well to some of the culture of your organization.

[00:11:32] The other thing that I think is really important and an important lesson from improv is to listen . If you are observing an improv troop and people have ahead of time, they know what the game. They've come up with their script and what they're doing is just running through the script that makes them happy, irrespective of what their partners are doing on a stage.

[00:11:55] You can see it, it's disjointed. You're not looking at an [00:12:00] integrated improv. You're looking at a cascade of monologues. True improv means I'm observing the situation, I'm listening, I'm seeing, I'm responding to what I see and what I hear in a way that others can then see and respond to, and in a change context.

[00:12:20] This is all about. Hearing what people are saying, taking time. If I'm a change driver, taking time to pause and listen and truly listen to people who are change resistors. They have good points. You disregard them at your peril. And as a change, not a change resistor, but as a change follower, my job is to make sure that I'm truly listening to people who are driving change and then listening to myself.

[00:12:48] I have questions I have. What are those questions and concerns, and it is on me to express those and give my change drivers something to listen to from me. Right? Change, effective [00:13:00] change happens in the context of a conversation, very much like improv. So when you think about it other thing that kind of came to mind as you were talking is, I know for me, whenever I was in, or organizations and I've been both a changed driver as well as somebody who was Nope, this is what we're doing now and okay, great.

[00:13:20] Scott Maderer: This is the new flavor of the month, right? Okay, let's figure this out. And that idea of needing more information or knowing what to do, I, I think a lot of times in a lot of organizations, There's at least a feeling or a perception of here, implement the change. Oh, by the way, if you get it wrong, you're in trouble.

[00:13:41] And yet we haven't actually told you what getting it right. Looks like. But don't get it wrong. That idea of failure and how that's treated in the organization. So how, what is that connection between the culture around failure and the adaptability of change within an organization? [00:14:00]

[00:14:00] Alyssa Cox: I like to think.

[00:14:03] Having an open and productive relationship with failure, because if you haven't failed at something today, if you haven't experienced one thing that could have gone better, it's either very early in the morning or you've figured out like what the right relationship is with failure and like how to think about this constructively and forward.

[00:14:24] A lot of times that's associated with our appetite for risk. When you find yourself in an organization that. Risk averse people are both implicitly and explicitly encouraged to stay in their lanes. Success may be celebrated, but failure, anything, any deviation ends up being criminalized. And what in those organizations is status reports that go green, flaming red.

[00:14:52] No one wants to talk about we're getting off track and I need help. And when things start to go off, Conversations [00:15:00] you'll find the majority of that conversation is spent understanding whose fault it is. Who can we blame? ? Yeah. And not talking about what comes next, what help do you need?

[00:15:12] What do we need to do to fix the situation? What can I, as a leader in the organization, due to unlock resources to get you back on track? Where are your roadblocks? And so when we see, when I see that, that risk aversion in an organization, this is not a productive environment for learning from failure, right?

[00:15:33] This is an environment. People are gonna take things that didn't go well, and they're gonna hide them. Never hide a dead fish in your desk. Everyone can smell it. Everyone knows it's there. You're just spending all of your time trying to obfuscate this thing that's not going so, We should be spending people's productive energy resolving the issue.

[00:15:52] So get the dead fish out. Let's all actually talk about it and get it out of your office. And those [00:16:00] organizations that do that well, I like to think of as risk inclined organizations. These are organizations where they are open to new idea. They understand that not every new idea, not every risk you take is gonna pan out.

[00:16:16] And things do go wrong in these organizations all the time. But because we're able to surface things that are going off track early and often, we can course correct before things get catastrophic or we can say, Hey, we're on the wrong path entirely. It's time for us to. The hero is the person that can stand up and say, I think we're on the wrong track and we need to do something different.

[00:16:43] And the organization then stands up and says, I understand where you're coming from. Let's now mobilize in a different direction.

[00:16:48] Scott Maderer: And you know that because you mentioned the, I've been part of 'em. The after actions where it's green, red, and [00:17:00] then, okay, now we have to do an after action and we all get in a room together.

[00:17:04] There's two different kinds of after actions. There's one where it's, what are we going to do to fix it? And then I've also been in one where it's, and whose fault is it? ? And they're very different meetings so to speak. Or conversations, so to speak. What is it about leadership in those organizations that kind of leads to the more what are we gonna do about this conversation as opposed to.

[00:17:34] Who are we gonna blame? Because sometimes part of the, what are we gonna do about it may be changing people or may be legit, somebody's not doing their job or there, there are that can be part of the problem. So how do you keep that from being the kind of witch hunt and more of the No, let's legit dig in and figure out what we need to fix and what we need to change.

[00:17:55] Alyssa Cox: It's double edged sword. A lot of times when you see risk averse behavior and [00:18:00] when you see some of this like criminalization. Of failure. It's coming from the top down. Nobody wants to tell the CEO that something's wrong. Cause the CEO could go off their rocker on it and they, so that just, it trickles all the way down to the individual contributor level.

[00:18:18] The challenge is we are not all sitting in the CEO seat to drive that kind of change. The vast majority of the organization sits below the ceo and so in your. Think about what are the ways that you can make learning from failure part of the way you work? And so there are a few things that I like to coach people to do.

[00:18:41] One is bring up failure early and often create a practice of retrospection. What happened in this meeting when? How could it have gone better? What happened in this discussion? How could it have gone better? And it's not a question of who was at. But start this [00:19:00] practice of talking about things that didn't go so hot and what we should do differently next time on small things, individual meetings, individual conversations, individual presentations, whatever it is.

[00:19:13] But you've got small things that happen every day where you could do quick little perspectives. The other thing that I would say is, as a team leader, you have the opportunity to shape the convers. And so when things do start going wrong and you hear people retrenching in retrospective take the power that you have to say, Hey, can we pause here?

[00:19:38] Let's now shift gears to what happens next. And saying that really explicitly, oftentimes helps people get out of that conversation. It helps people shift gears because oftentimes when we're in that swirl of retrospection, it's very hard to get. Somebody needs to stand up and say, we have to stop this and pivot.

[00:19:58] You can do that [00:20:00] even in peer conversations by saying, Hey, I hear you. This is a problem, but I don't know that this helps us fix it for tomorrow. What do we have to do to fix it for tomorrow? So using that kind of language. And then the last thing is, as a leader, encourage your folks when they have work, they're.

[00:20:21] To reach out to others, to their peers who are also doing the same kind of work or have done the same kind of work, and encourage them to ask the question, what do you wish had gone differently? What would you do differently if you were to do it again? Now you're encouraging people and creating an environment among your subordinates where talking about things that could have gone better.

[00:20:46] This is an opportunity for each other to learn. So encourage your folks and then ask them follow up. What did Sally, I understand you went and talked to Bob about when he did this last year. What did he say in terms of things we should be [00:21:00] watching out for? Ask those follow up questions to make sure that your folks are asking, what were the lessons learned?

[00:21:06] Because those lessons learned, that's another way to normalize talking about things that you wish could have gone better. You're not saying that the what Bob did. , you're just asking him to think about and asking him for his insight and lessons learned so that you can have similar success. And that's a very different conversation from what did you screw up on Bob and how did you avoid the acts?

[00:21:29] Scott Maderer: So let's move it out of the organizational structure for a minute of a larger organiz. And think about a solopreneur or maybe a smaller organization maybe somebody who's talking about this even in their family environment or that kind of solo look.

[00:21:50] What are some of the things that we can focus on as individuals whether that's in our business or our home life that can help us build on that [00:22:00] resilience. Direction of looking at these things, looking at change and failure in a more healthy way.

[00:22:07] Alyssa Cox: A big part of this, I think, is not going it solo.

[00:22:11] You may be a solopreneur, you may be a single parent, you may be doing a lot of things on your own, but there are other people around you who you can tap on for. Support, whether it's actually help getting the work done, or it's just, Hey, I wanna bounce some ideas off of you. I'm having this challenge with my kids.

[00:22:30] Do you experience that? What do you recommend? I talk to my kids' teachers about I'm observing this at home. Are you observing this at school? What are the ways that you tackle this at school? I'd love to tackle it the same way but find your trusted advisors. Find the people that you trust around you so that you can bounce idea.

[00:22:51] And you can take advantage of somebody else's unique perspective when it comes to understanding what's happened and [00:23:00] understanding how you might have responded differently, and they don't even have to have necessarily been there, right? You can bring them into the situation. You can read them in.

[00:23:10] So when I call my mother and ask her for advice on who knows? She wasn't there. If I'm asking her for advice on like how to present something, she's not in the presentation. She hasn't been in all the meetings, but I can give her the broad strokes on what I'm trying to accomplish, where I feel like I'm stuck, and then just listen, hear what she's got to say.

[00:23:34] I do this with my husband too. I'm like, Hey, I'm having a hard time. I've got a lot of work, and having a hard time organizing it. What are the ways that you think about that in your job? And we just bounce not every piece of advice is good. Not every piece of advice is workable, but. Finding ways to interact with others.

[00:23:54] People are gonna get you thinking outside of your box, thinking outside of the limited things that you [00:24:00] know, and they're giving you other insights so that you can come at things from a different angle. And that can be really powerful. And so I definitely encourage you to think about who are those trusted people within your circle of acquaintances?

[00:24:14] And they don't have to be your best friend. They don't, you don't have to be married to them or related to. They may just be good at this. But who can you talk to who helps you think differently, and bringing those people help, having conversations with those people. Even the exercise of articulating what it is you're asking and what it is you're struggling with can be really helpful.

[00:24:38] Scott Maderer: Yeah, I've actually had that experience of both ways. Both as the speaker, as well as the listener, where somebody's come, let's say to me for advice, or I've gone to them for advice and say, okay, let me explain the situation to you. And they spend 10 minutes explaining the situation and they go, thanks so much, you helped.

[00:24:56] And they off and off and it. I didn't do [00:25:00] anything. I just sat here and listened for 10 minutes. But sometimes just that act of speaking it through even can bring new juices to the thinking as well. What are some of the ways when folks are stuck in the mud, so to speak they know they need to change.

[00:25:23] They know. Something in their life is not working the way that they want it to, and yet they don't even yet believe that change is possible. What are some of the things beyond just networking or plugging in or talking to others, what are some of the other practical things that they can do to begin moving them forward?

[00:25:45] Alyssa Cox: A big thing, so I've had this experience when I was working for another consultancy, I was on a big project. The project had moved beyond what I was able to effectively deliver, but I was stuck on the project and it was deteriorating, right? [00:26:00] My quality of life was deteriorating. My stress levels are deteriorating.

[00:26:03] My work product was deteriorating, and I didn't know what to do. I didn't think I was in a position to get off the project. I didn't think there was a way for me to fix the work or change the way I was interacting with the work. I had tried reaching out to an, to some of the leadership on the project and I was getting nowhere, and I really felt like I was stuck and I didn't know where to go or what to do, and so I reached out to another leader in the firm who was not on the same project, and the conversation I, I opened with.

[00:26:37] At some point, I'm gonna be off this project. I'm thinking about what's next. Give me some advice about what's next. We got down to what was actually happening, which was like, this project is a problem. And her question to me was, what can I do to help? And I was stymied. I was so stuck in all of the things that were going wrong.

[00:26:56] I had not taken a moment to ask myself, what is it that [00:27:00] I want? Anytime we're asking people for. We need to know what it is, what help we want, what it is we want to change, and what we think it's gonna take to get there. And you may not even be asking others for help. You may just be asking yourself like, why am I still stuck in this environment?

[00:27:22] Why am I still stuck in this particular dysfunction? Change needs to happen, but I don't know how to get outta here. And part of the question, Where do you think you're going? Where do you want to go? So what? What do you want the future to look like? What does unstuck look like? And what is the help that you need?

[00:27:46] What are the things you don't know? What are the things, the resources you don't have? If you know how you wanna get there, but you're missing some key pieces, you're missing some knowledge, you're missing time, you're missing skills. What are your. [00:28:00] And then who in your network can help you with that?

[00:28:05] Right? So where are you trying to go? What are your gaps in getting there? And who in your network either has resources they can help with or has knowledge they can share with you to try to help you get those, get the resources that you need? Break it down and articulate it. Ken.

[00:28:25] Scott Maderer: I think a lot of times what keeps us in that stuck mode is all, like you said at the beginning, all you were focused on was, this is bad you weren't yet thinking about and what would be better. It was all this is bad. Yeah.

[00:28:38] Alyssa Cox: Yeah. It's a deceptive trap and we have so much of ourselves built into, The thing that we're doing right now, we didn't just wake up one morning and find ourselves here.

[00:28:50] There are, we put a lot of energy into accomplishing something and we feel like we're not, we feel like we're stuck. [00:29:00] What does that say? Like there, there is a self-esteem element here. What does that say about me that I can't accomplish this? And that's, I think, very challenging. You get into a lot of negative self-talk and then there's also.

[00:29:13] How do I separate me and who I am from this situation and this thing that I'm doing, so that I can actually have the clarity of vision to think about where I would like to be based on who I am in the future? That gets back to the failure idea too, because I think one of the things that begins to make us more accepting of failure is when we can separate.

[00:29:41] Scott Maderer: I am a failure from, I have failed at something. You know that those are not equivalent statements, if that makes sense. And yet in our mind, oftentimes if I have failed at something, that means I'm a failure when that's not necessarily the truth of the situation, but it sure feels like it. [00:30:00] Yeah.

[00:30:01] Alyssa Cox: And in reality there are certainly people in occupations and situations where failure is catastrophic.

[00:30:07] Sure. And there is absolutely no recovery, and I don't wanna minimize any of that, but the majority of us are not in those environments. The majority of us don't do those jobs. We're not faced with those challenges. And so also give yourself a little grace. Try when you try something new, when you make a small change or a big change, if it doesn't land exactly the way you thought it was gonna land, it's okay.

[00:30:36] You have the ability to recover from that as well.

[00:30:40] Scott Maderer: It's separating. There is such a thing as catastrophic failure that's quote fatal. It, it's one of the reasons like when I'm working with people in business and finances and that sort of thing, One of the, my expressions is the only person that goes all in with everything is James Bond in the movies, you know it, that's not that, because that [00:31:00] creates a fatal failure situation there.

[00:31:01] You're, you either 100% succeed or you 100% fail. It's I prefer to cheat , I wanna make sure that the situation is either I win or I at least don't lose, and so how can we create that situation? And by don't lose, I don't mean that there's not failure, I just mean the failure's not fatal.

[00:31:20] It hasn't shut me down and put me out of business forever. What can we do to create the situation where it's non-fatal failure? Because I think a lot of times it's out of our pursuit of success that we. Those extreme failure situations at times

[00:31:39] Alyssa Cox: and sometimes we get bogged down in the language, right?

[00:31:42] Failure, the word failure can be a very emotionally laden word for folks. And so there's a whole other vocabulary that you can use that helps us think about things that didn't go so hot, things that we wish had gone differently, opportunities for improvement. [00:32:00] These kind that. Gives us the opportunity to see what went well and what didn't go well in the exact same situation, and then think proactively about what am I gonna do differently next time.

[00:32:10] Scott Maderer: Yeah. What am I, since I have a background in science and science education, I talk about writing experiments all the time. I'm like let's just run an experiment and gather some data and, because here's the thing, if the data comes back that this doesn't work. That's great. . We just found out something that doesn't work.

[00:32:27] That's a good thing. That's not a bad thing. And I've found for a lot of folks in part cuz I probably attract like-minded people that language helps because it's not failure, it's just, Data gathering. Sometimes again, if you've moved it out of a fatal fatal failure where it truly is a hundred percent win or a hundred percent lose which most of us don't operate in most of the time.

[00:32:50] Most of us are not Brain surgeons right? I do want my brain surgeon to not fail. That's if I need ever need brain surgery I hope [00:33:00] that they don't fail. But most of us aren't dealing with that kind of situation.

[00:33:04] Alyssa Cox: I think the other thing is these attitudes that we're talking about are a hundred percent contagious.

[00:33:09] If I'm working with somebody who feels like every little thing that goes a little bit off is basically the end of the world, it's very hard to maintain a positive attitude and a constructive relationship with those interactions. Right? And with those outcomes. So bringing a positive attitude, doing what you need to do for.

[00:33:29] To bring a positive attitude and a constructive relation. Have a constructive relationship with failure. Have a constructive relationship with areas for opportunities for improve. You have the potential to change other people's outcomes as well because it gives other people permission to think constructively and behave constructively in that environment.

[00:33:49] Scott Maderer: Yeah. The negative is catching, but so is the positive, so That's right. Yeah. So I've got a few questions I like to ask everybody, but before I go there, is there anything else you'd like to share about the work you do [00:34:00] around change and failure? Sure. I,

[00:34:03] Alyssa Cox: I think the biggest thing for me, and if people walk away from this conversation with one thing, it is get smaller with your thinking.

[00:34:14] Change can be big, it can be overwhelming, but there is always where you put your foot next to take the next step, and that's actually very small. And so if you're feeling overwhelmed by. Break it down to something much, much smaller. What's the next right thing for you to be doing? And if you can't figure it out by yourself, that's okay because other people can help you figure out, can suggest things and help you understand where to go next.

[00:34:45] Not on a cosmic scale, but what are some idea. For things my kids might like in their lunch, because I'm not gonna do seared fo gra over ham and bear and burgers, right? They're gonna get something [00:35:00] much more similar to

[00:35:02] Scott Maderer: peanut butter and jelly. That's gonna be closer to the peanut butter and jelly

[00:35:05] But

[00:35:06] Alyssa Cox: the next right step here isn't. Anything in the grocery store goes, there is a consideration set and it, there are ways to chunk up the change so that it is more digestible. So make sure that you're taking the time to reframe change in terms of those next right steps and get really clear, really tactical about what it takes to succeed in those next right steps.

[00:35:34] And don't be afraid to talk to people about it.

[00:35:39] Scott Maderer: And that also helps with the momentum idea of because again, when go back to the stuck feeling, if you can begin to take some small steps, it's easier to believe that you can take more small steps and begin to make that change as well.

[00:35:55] That's right. So my brand is inspired [00:36:00] stewardship, and I run things through that lens of stewardship, and yet that's one of those words kinda like leadership and for that matter of change, where we all use the word, but we don't necessarily all always mean the same thing by it. So what does the word stewardship mean to you when you hear that word and what, how does that play out in your life?

[00:36:21] Alyssa Cox: For me, stewardship is all. The ways that we are connecting to communities, whether it's the community in your neighborhood, the community in your workplace, groups that you're a part of that are all trying to achieve something very similar. Stewardship is about how I show up for those communities and how I make things better in those communities as a part of those communities.

[00:36:46] Whether I'm an official leader or I'm a. In those communities. Stewardship is all about the care we take of the mission and the care we take of each other in pursuit of that mission. I like that. [00:37:00] So this is of my favorite question. Let's say I could invent this magic machine and I could pluck you from.

[00:37:08] Scott Maderer: Where you stand today and transport you into the far future, maybe 150, 200 years, and through the power of this machine, you were able to look back and see your entire life and see all of the connections, all of the relationships, all of the impacts that you've left behind. What impact do you hope you've left behind in the world?

[00:37:29] Alyssa Cox: So this is an interesting question because I think a lot, it's very tempting to think about our impact in the world on a world scale. I don't think I'm gonna have an impact on a world scale and I don't aspire to one question that sometimes I ask folks is what is the difference for you between having a small impact on a large group versus having a large impact on a small group?

[00:37:51] And for me, what really gets me going is having a material impact on a small group of folks. So who are the folks that [00:38:00] I'm working with, that I'm coaching, that I'm mentor? What are the organizations and who are the people in those organizations that I'm working with on building change, resiliency, building connection, building, this sense of stewardship so that we're all marching in the same direction in a supported way?

[00:38:18] What are the ways that I can impact those people and empower those people to then take those, that message and deliver it to others and coach and mentor others in a similar way? And If I were to look back, the legacy that I want to make sure that I'm leaving is that the people that I'm taking care of, the people that I'm coaching are able to turn around and coach others, right?

[00:38:42] That I'm in a sense paying it forward and they're paying it forward. And so a hundred years from now, 200 years from now, people still know they should not hide a dead fish in their desk. .

[00:38:55] Scott Maderer: Yeah, that's a good mental image . So what's coming next as we wrap up the [00:39:00] year what's coming next for you as you continue on this journey?

[00:39:03] Alyssa Cox: I am really excited about the return of in-person events. I love the sort of the national and global reach that I get out of Zoom from the comfort of my Stepp pants and my living room. But there is nothing like being in person with folks. And so as I see conferences, so I do coaching, I work with indivi, with organizations and do professional development with organizations.

[00:39:31] I do keynote speaking and so the ability to do these things in person, Drives a lot of energy for me, and so I'm so excited to be getting on stage here in the coming months, in the coming year, and to start doing the work that I do, but with actual in-person people. You can follow Alyssa on LinkedIn as Alyssa Cox, that's a L Y S A C O X, or find out more about her work and [00:40:00] bring her in for one of these events that she's talking about. You can find out more Of course, I'll have links to all of that in the show notes as well. Alyssa, is there anything else you'd like to share with the.

[00:40:14] I would say if any of this resonates with you, let's start a conversation. Starting a conversation doesn't cost any money, so let's start a conversation and talk about what it is that you're trying to accomplish, what it is that you're trying to achieve. Absolutely connect with me on LinkedIn. Absolutely grab time.

[00:40:32] You can grab time on my calendar through the website. Go ahead and do that, and let's start a conversation about where it is that you're trying to go, what it is that you're trying to provide for your audiences or your. And let's make sure that we have the resources to do that. I am really happy to help folks, and so really looking forward to having some of those intro calls.

[00:40:51] Awesome.

[00:40:57] Scott Maderer: Thanks so much for listening to the Inspired [00:41:00] Stewardship Podcast. As a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively listen, but act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoyed this, Please. Please do us a favor. Go over to inspired

[00:41:24] Rate all one word iTunes rate. It'll take you through how to leave a rating and review, and how to make sure you're subscribed to the podcast so that you can get every episode as it comes out in your feed. Until next time, invest your. Your talent and your treasures. Develop your influence and impact the world.

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One is confidence and it’s not necessarily confidence that I’m always right but confidence that the worst thing that can happen here is actually not catastrophic.  – Alyssa Cox

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About the Author Scott

Helping people to be better Stewards of God's gifts. Because Stewardship is about more than money.

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