Change Seekers Make a Difference! – Part 1

–Listen How With Change Facilitator and Writer Leanne Gordon

Episode Summary

Guaranteed to change you as the power of reading, writing, self-discovery, and reclaiming (almost) forgotten dreams comes alive in Part 1 of this conversation with Perth, Australia-based change facilitator, and writer, Leanne Gordon!

Episode Notes

Coming to you from Whidbey Island, Washington this is Stories From Women Who Walk. You’ll recognize yourself in these true-life stories from women who are walking their lives while their lives walk them and the lasting difference these journeys have made. I’m your host, Diane Wyzga.

Today my guest is Leanne Gordon, founder of the consulting practice Changing Futures and the author of the newly published book, Change Seekers – making a difference, and co-author of The Book of Java: Together We Write, who’s joining us from Perth, Australia. To her clients, Leanne is a change facilitator and coach who guides individuals and teams in making successful change happen in their work and lives, through writing, speaking, coaching and workshops. To me, Leanne is a thoughtful, generous listener who intuitively gets to the heart of a problem and gently points you in the direction of a solution as if you discovered it yourself. But there’s even more to the story. I’ve invited Leanne to talk with us about the unexpected changes Life created for her as she changes futures for others, claiming her Page as a writer and author, challenging herself on a long-distance trek, and walking her life with guidelines instead of rules. Welcome to the podcast, Leanne!

Minutes 40:34

00 to 2:48     Intro

2:48 to 10:11     Start From Where You Are

Australia is on my hiking bucket list. If I met up with you on one of your favorite walks, what’s the first thing I’d notice about you?

  • Leanne welcomes the host to Perth, one of the remotest parts of the earth.
  • The luxury of where Leanne lives is near the Swan River
  • Would see Leanne’s thoughtfulness, where she goes to get clarity, sorting her many millions of thoughts into order
  • This river walk is fairly flat walk with a few hills, take a deep breath, would feel the breath being taken, the thoughts clearing, and the conversation becoming clearer and deeper

And if we had some time to walk along together what might I get to know about you?

  • Diversity of influences on Leanne’s life.
  • Leanne brings a natural curiosity to just about everything
  • Eyes and ears are always open
  • 15 years ago read
  • The Winter of Our Disconnect by Susan Maushart
  • Taking away technology for 6 months
  • Since then Leanne learned to let go of her concerns and instead observed, noticed, listened while stepping out for a walk
  • This profound experience influences Leanne’s work and life
  • Host created Device Free Zone on weekends for the opportunity to be one with whatever is in the world can be a rare and fleeting things

And when we parted ways what would I remember about you?

  • Leanne’s energy and enthusiasm for life which she inherited attitude from father
  • Always been a morning family
  • The sound of dad welcoming the morning with “Good Morning, Morning!
  • Many people reflect back to Leanne her positive outlook on life, optimistic, hopeful, upbeat
  • Host acknowledges Leanne’s true gratitude of being alive
  • Not Pollyanna-ish but truly grateful for the opportunity to be alive and share Life with others
  • Leanne can hear the voice of the Imposter when it’s not happy for the sake of being happy
  • Leanne has a natural ability to see what if, the possibility

10:11 to 15:55     A Bit of Back Story

Before we get to your consulting practice, Changing Futures and your book, I’d like to know a bit about how your love of reading prepared you for your current work. Perhaps you could share a brief time line of young reader to university writer to corporate writer and what you discovered about yourself along the way.

  • Leanne was always been able to find herself in a book
  • Books have always held special place in Leanne’s life
  • Gets excited at the concept of a book
  • Recalls a visit to a relatives’ Melbourne farm and diving into a big suitcase of old books, some of which belonged to Leanne’s mother
  • That was the best week of her life
  • From a young age Leanne declared she would be a writer
  • Senior years of schooling and university changed the style of creative, storytelling narrative style writing to focus on writing papers, thesis, and functional writing
  • Leanne naively thought she would carry academic writing into workplace but found there was no time for anything more than doing, fighting fires, spending time in meetings
  • Everything sped up exponentially!
  • Leanne continued to read but more business-related and non-fiction which was still engaging and fascinating
  • Leanne unexpectedly fell into human resources and organizational change instead of accounting and law
  • Leanne knew she had something to offer here
  • Loved knowledge, always been a knowledge-seeker while harboring the desire to one day write her own book
  • That story will go in the book one day!

15:55 to 22:25     Braiding Reading, Vision, Akimbo altMBA and The Book of Java: Together We Write

Let’s try to braid together this love of books, love of reading, the vision or intuition that you would one day write something and bring in Seth Godin’s Akimbo altMBA which will bring you to the Book of Java: Together We Write. Of all the things you could have chosen to do in your life, why this intensive 4-week program?

  • Leanne followed Seth’s writing for a number of years
  • Living in a very remote part of the world, albeit a special place
  • Perth has a strong hold, albeit remote
  • Leanne has always had an outward looking focus
  • In pre-Internet world books were the ships that sailed beyond the shore where Leanne lived
  • Seth Godin is a thought-leader, diverse writer, marketing guru, and his work resonated strongly
  • Leanne felt: I’m not alone! People like us/me think like this
  • The Akimbo altMBA was floating past Leanne’s radar as a means of further study
  • Maybe Leanne’s Inner Rebel didn’t want a standard path of master’s or PhD
  • Learning in a different way appealed to Leanne
  • One day –
  • Early on in 2018, this is it! The day is here and Leanne signed up!
  • Host agrees that timing and location is not only about real estate. We can’t push the river or rush what can’t be rushed. Learning patience and timing is an exquisite lesson – the time was right and Leanne was right for the time
  • Leanne connects the dots looking back to understand flow of life
  • Is not a planner, scheduler, detail-er of Life which to her unfolds as it’s meant to be
  • Tip: Keep eyes and ears open for opportunities, for what’s right for you – listen internally and externally
  • When it’s time for a new path, cut it and walk it

22:25 to 26:45     The Book of Java: Together We Write and 2 Key Take-Aways

You wrote in The Book of Java: Together We Write (a collective opportunity)shortly thereafter Akimbo altMBA that you took away 2 long-lasting features of that experience: (1) Relationship with time, and (2) Sense of  Community.  Tell us more about that.

  • Akimbo altMBA turned the writing back on
  • Leanne chose book writing as her Akimbo altMBA project/cause to explore
  • Intensive 4 weeks:  writing and shipping with her Akimbo altMBA cohort
  • Deadlines and little time to think got Leanne to just ship her work without a sense of fear or consequence about how it would land or be successful
  • Akimbo altMBA was a safe place to play and practice her writing
  • Afterwards (with this built-in sense of lasting community) having found people like her who wanted to write, kept up with group writing, the Java Group
  • Leanne put her work into communal place, gave generous feedback, and then shipped based on intention
  • Idea: Let’s write a book about writing
  • The Book of Java: Together We Write is a multi-chapter book about writing and what it means to write and what writing together taught us

26:45 to 30:20     Fear and Perceptions

In your chapter (beginning on Page 51) in the Book of Java: Together We Write you mention the fear that came up when you were first writing and how that affected the flow of your words. Two questions: Did you perceive yourself as a writer? And, if not, what changed it?

  • No, Leanne saw herself as other things with other labels, but not ‘writer’
  • Through writing, Leanne realized that because she writes she’s a writer
  • Leanne retrained her brain to believe she’s a writer by using those words
  • The more you build new habits, thoughts, beliefs, narratives the better you create neural pathways and tell a different story to yourself
  • The more you talk about it, write, put your work out there the more you come to realize you really do write
  • The world will not fall apart – it doesn’t matter
  • Reinforcement loop works: I’m putting this out into the world, the world’s not falling apart, and some folks like this!   Good on me and my writing! Well done!
  • The more you write the more you write and then you claim your Page and then you find yourself telling someone, “I’m a writer”
  • Now I see myself as a writer and I’m much more confident saying that

30:20 to 37:34     Daily Blogging

You are prolific as a daily blogger with deeply thoughtful topics, details, questions, calls to action, and the like. How many posts are you up to and what inspires you to create these posts day in and day out?

  • Has posted 562 consecutive blog posts (as of this recording on 12th July 2021)
  • Leanne is amazed to say that
  • An old story: Leanne believed she was not disciplined because she was not a left-brained, planning, structured person
  • Leanne is a flowing meander-er who “wasn’t disciplined enough”; but with writing felt a call to write daily to build a muscle like any exercise or practice like meditation which feeds the entire process
  • For a time the daily blog was a desire; but towards the end of 2019 Leanne started to feel the need to write (an idea waiting for the time to happen)  and fortunately there was a community trigger into daily writing
  • After the first 30 days of the writer’s group activity it continued month-to-month and became Leanne’s habit: Write quickly: 15 minutes; think less; ship it!
  • LinkedIn is Leanne’s posting platform
  • Now her daily blog posts are part of how Leanne lives
  • Ideas come from everything – a source of potential themes, patterns, ideas, sparks of something, directly and indirectly, leading to a deeper question or thought to ponder
  • Host recalls a question and answer: How do you become a storyteller? Tell stories. How do you become a better storyteller? Tell more stories. The take-away: if you want to write, you write. You sit down and write. You don’t know where it will go but it will be something

37:34 to 40:34     Changing Futures 

Which brings us to your consulting practice: Changing Futures because our workplaces have shifted and do not look like they did nor will they going forward. In your work, I understand that you help people and businesses navigate uncertainty, and embed change into the way they work and live so that there are meaningful work cultures that can be created, and work and workplaces more human. What’s important to know about uncertainty and change being embedded in the workplace?

Here we are, at the end of the road but not the journey. Thank you for listening to Part 1 of this episode of Stories From Women Who Walk with your host Diane Wyzga and my guest Leanne Gordon, founder of the consulting practice Changing Futures, the author of the newly published book, Change Seekers – Making a Difference, and co-author of The Book of Java: Together We Write, who’s joined us from Perth, Australia. We hope you enjoyed and are inspired by our conversation about the power of reading, writing and self-discovery. We’ll be back in a week with Part 2!

Meanwhile, you’re invited to check out over 400 episodes of this podcast Stories From Women Who Walk found on Simplecast, your favorite podcast platform, including Android, and my website, Quarter Moon Story Arts. This is the place to thrive together. Come for the stories – stay for the magic. Speaking of magic, I hope you’ll subscribe, follow, share a nice shout-out on your social media or podcast channel of choice, and join us next time! You will have wonderful company as we walk our lives together.

Leanne Gordon BIO/ABOUT  

Leanne Gordon is a change facilitator and coach who guides individuals and teams in making change happen in their work and lives, through writing, speaking, coaching and workshops.

With qualifications and a background in organisation development and human resources, Leanne has over 25 years experience working with people and teams as they navigate change. Leanne has worked with small, medium, and large organisations, and individual leaders and professionals. She has experience in senior corporate roles, consulting and as a Director on not-for-profit and industry boards and committees.

Leanne currently leads the consulting practice, Changing Futures, helping people and businesses to:

• embed change into the way they work and live;

• introduce new thinking and ideas;

• create meaningful workplace cultures; and

• make work, and workplaces, more human.

In 2018, Leanne completed Seth Godin’s Akimbo altMBA and has since had global coaching roles in various Akimbo workshops. Leanne is the author of Change Seekers: making a difference and co-author of The Book of Java: Together we write.

How to Stay in Touch With Leanne Gordon:

Website: [email protected]
Linked In:
Medium: @leannegordon-changingfutures

Change Seekers: making a difference 

Change Seekers:: Making a difference Kindle Edition


Diane F. Wyzga
Diane F. Wyzga
Remember the first time you rode a bike and took your hands off the handlebars? And then because it felt fun and daring you did it again - and again - riding down a hill with the wind in your face, arms up over your head screaming, “Look, ma! No hands!” You showed up. You did it. The arc of my professional career stretches from serving as a US Navy officer and nurse, corporate businesswoman, lawyer, platform storyteller, and professor before shifting into a solopreneur as a litigation consultant, wordsmith-er/editor, noted podcaster, and story consultant who was lucky enough to scuba dive the Continental Shelf, become a pilot, hike the Rocky Mountains with Outward Bound, kayak off the coast of Mexico, parachute out of a perfectly good plane, walk the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, and so much more. Over my lifetime I've been letting go of the handlebars but - just as often - having my fingers pried off when I’ve been most afraid. At some of the darkest moments in my life where the true way was wholly lost to me, a person or opportunity beckoned and I said "Yes!" That’s the place where the story changed. This is my life purpose: Helping women identify, sort out and transform unclear messages into confident, connection-making stories, and those stories into powerful sequels. How? 30 years of story work in courtrooms, boardrooms, universities, retreat settings and more has taught me that story principles are key to conscious connection. Together we distill hazy ideas into easily understood metaphors and direct emotional language using words with power, passion, and precision so your message, your story rings true and achieves desired outcomes. My media company has three interlocking components: Quarter Moon Story Arts: "Shaping stories into sequels." Stories From Women Who Walk (podcast): "Like magic, the sorcery of stories is this: they help each of us to be seen and heard, to understand and be understood." My Life As Compost (blog): "What matters in our life is not what happens to us but how we respond, transform the difficulty into advantage, and tell *that* story."

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