Guaranteed to change you as the power of reading, writing, self-discovery, trekking, deep-diving into change with intention, and reclaiming (almost) forgotten dreams comes alive in Part 2 of this conversation with Perth, Australia-based change facilitator, and writer, Leanne Gordon!
Coming to you from Whidbey Island, Washington this is Stories From Women Who Walk. You’ll recognize yourself in these true-life stories of adversity, challenge, fear, discovery, adventure, expression, and more from women who are walking their lives while their lives walk them and the lasting difference their journeys have made. I’m your host, Diane Wyzga.
Welcome back to Part 2 of the podcast interview with 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 joined us from Perth, Australia. I 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. We were talking about Leanne’s consulting practice, Changing Futures when I asked Leanne: “What’s important to know about uncertainty and change in the workplace?” Let’s hear what she has to say about this, writing and publishing a book, and so much more on all things Change.
00:00 to 2:12 Intro
2:12 to 8:28 Consulting Practice: Changing Futures
I understand that you help people and businesses navigate uncertainty, embed change into the way they work and live so that there are meaningful work cultures that can be created, work and workplaces can be made more human. What’s important to know about uncertainty and change being embedded in the workplace?
- COVID has been a shock to the world in terms of work and its place in our lives
- This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for those who have lived and breathed the concept of work
- Pre-COVID Leanne has always argued that uncertainty and change is part and parcel of who we are
- Leanne specializes in change as a result of her own entire working life (and personal life)
- Nothing is certain; life is not in our control
- The last 18 months has amplified the basic concept that the world and the world of work is uncertain
- Leanne would argue that there are some levels of certainty (the sun is expected to rise) but overall not in the way we can control it or know it
- COVID has handed us layers of change
- People have told themselves this fairy tale and now are finding out that the story (we can control things) is wrong
- People really do need assistance to navigate their way through next and not feel the fear
- Any step we take to the new is feeling fearful, uncomfortable
- Leanne is abnormal in feeling comfortable with change space
- You can control what you do, your actions, your questions; but not others or what might happen; otherwise, the anxiety and worry is wasted
- Wait, be patient, see the lay of the land, and then decide how to move and change
- It’s an interesting time to the extent of how we will do even the everyday things
- What we’ve taken for granted cannot be anymore – Leanne recognizing the impact of all of that on people
8:28 to 12:08 Meaningful Workplace Culture
Q: Given all that you’ve mentioned, the fear uncertainty, COVID, because we have a chance to begin anew, what makes a meaningful workplace culture? And how does one create it?
- Creating it is creating it together
- Myth: some one person or senior team in an organization has the big idea and puts that out and people will follow suit is false
- The reality is that in all workplaces, overall time people have their own thoughts, their own ideas, so it must be created together
- The culture the leaders are creating versus the culture they actually have in the organization
- The culture (what we do) is there already in our actions every day
- The way to create something different is to come together, collaborate
- What is meaningful? Meaningful is different for different people
- Fundamentally we need to be working for a purpose
- We need to be working for something that means something to us, that is allowing us to achieve, have a sense of achievement, being part of something, connectedness, collective
- Organizations with success will see collaboration, flow, energy, excitement, satisfaction, and vision which make for meaning in our lives and in the workspace
- This is meaning in the workplace
- Otherwise, people find meaning in other parts of their lives
12:08 to 16:13 Change Seekers – making a difference
Q: So it’s no accident that you recently published a book called Change Seekers – Making a Difference. If we were to look back on this conversation there is almost a yellow brick road leading through our conversation to this book. Would you tell us about what gave rise to the idea of a book like this? And what was it like to write it?
- For Leanne to let go of the idea that was THE BOOK and flipped to the idea that this would be A Book or the First Book
- No longer necessary to take every single idea she ever had and put it in one place
- This doesn’t need to be A Book for the Ages
- All Leanne’s expectations evaporated and began to write a book
- Leanne has lots of ideas and many years and many books to be written
- Let’s write the first one, see what’s involved, and put it out into the world
- Whether this first go is brilliant or not isn’t the point; it is so exciting to have a published book
- Writing the book was great to do it in community
- A key to discover the joy of writing with others on similar mission
- Leanne’s goal was to publish on time and it got done!
- Not the book Leanne envisioned as “the real book” but is a collection of her thoughts she hopes will resonate with others who are making things happen
16:13 to 23:45 Change Seekers Attributes
Q: You say, “If you are the type of person who has ideas for change, can see things differently and where improvements can be made, you are a change seeker. This book is for you.” Do change seekers have certain attributes? And, if so, what might those be?
- A change seeker does have certain attributes
- Leanne’s book is a “find the others” book
- Change seeker is much like Leanne was (prior to becoming a solopreneur) working within organization, knowing things could be better, and wanting to do something to make change
- It’s often a lonely place; feel like being the only one or one of a few
- If you are the one who says, What about this? Or what if we were to do that? Have we thought about X
- Leanne’s book speaks to those folks: question askers, why, when, how, always seeing things differently, curious, pulling ideas and thoughts from different directions, disciplines, synthesizing all of it to be better
- Change Seekers seeing what is possible and what is different
- If you see yourself in these pages: Don’t give up – there is hope – there is many a way of persisting, asking questions, making change in the workplace
- A lasting legacy of change takes patience, calmness, persistence, a quiet confidence that you will get there
- Some of Leanne’s biggest satisfactions are being surprised that the “unchangeable” person changed!
- The acceptance of a different way, a better way
- Leanne wrote her book to help give people confidence
Q: This book isn’t a how-to or a self-help book. It is a find-yourself and find-the-others book. Which takes us right back to you sense of community which is where we were talking earlier on with the Akimbo and altMBA to Book of Java experiences. What do you hope will come about because your words are out in the world?
- Leanne would like to know that her book helped one person to have the confidence to back themselves, to give themselves permission to do something they might have not done or held back
- This book is a collection of little words that will stick forever; that would be happy
- What would make her ecstatic: the book becomes an opportunity to organize as change-seekers, find the others, provide community in the organizational lonely places, gain strength
23:45 to 28:45 CAPE TO CAPE TREK: Zero2Hero
Q: On this theme of “stronger together” you recently took part in a fund raiser to bring awareness to and support suicide prevention, mental health and well-being called The Cape to Cape Trek – Zero2Hero. As a walker I love the experience of walking, what was the experience of walking 135 KM (almost 85 miles) for you?
- Leanne is proponent of step out of comfort zone, take the first step, do something different no matter how small (walk a different pathway, wear a different color, etc. )
- Signing up for this Trek was a big jump out of comfort zone
- Leanne had been unwell in 2018 and lost confidence in own physical capabilities; was concerned could not do the distance Leanne knew she would enjoy the purposeful-ness and community and for a cause
- Signed up and then Life got in the way of training
- Leanne was concerned about being able to finish because she didn’t train as she had planned
- Then away we went!
- The fear dissipated as soon as Leanne began walking; she had more strength, capability and resilience than she had given herself credit for
- The story Leanne told herself was no true
- Fully enjoyed the experience of being away, out in nature the entire day daylight to dark
- Climbed hills and sandy dunes and more
- Day-by-day proving to yourself that when you want to do something you can and you should
- Physical challenge, mental challenge – you can do it – because you can and you should
28:45 to 32:39 Living Life With Guidelines Instead of Rules
Q: As we sit here today how has walking Life with guidelines vs rules shifted your world view?
- For Leanne definitely connects the dots looking back on them
- Leanne thought she was more rule-based than actually is
- Carried her Inner Rebel and Inner Questioner along the way Questioned: is it a hard and fast rule? Is it somebody else’s story, made up rule?
- In a very compliant and traditional way has followed rules but more of a confident question-er, curious, what if, how come
- Constant questioning is the way Leanne roles
- Leanne having children saw her qualities in them and thought Ah ha! That’s what other people see in me
- Leanne decided that it’s okay to take a left turn here and it will work out
- You don’t ‘feel lost’ is the key
- I think I’m headed North and since I want to go North I’ll be okay with the overview
- We’ll get there
Host: There’s a great deal of confidence in your statement: Somehow or other we will get there whether we’re being flown or flying ourselves
32:39 to 37:22 Legacy
Q: One last question of you: What would you like to see happen in the world as a result of your work as we sit here today?
- We have work spaces that respect and treat everybody as humans and in Leanne’s lifetime
- Would like to know many people are change-seekers to whom Leanne can pass along her batons, knowing her work will continue
- If we come back to this: work is a human endeavor and we are all about humans doing that work it will be a better place for all of us
- All about the humans, about the humans, no ‘bots.
Before I say thank you to you, Leanne I want to mention that all social media links and connections to Leanne Gordon and her work Changing Futures, as well as her book, Change Seekers – making a difference, and a link to Zero2Hero if you’re interested in donating to the 2022 trek will be posted in the Episode Notes. Please make sure you drop by Leanne’s her website and consider consulting with her and purchasing the book.
Thank you very much, Leanne, for walking along with us and sharing your story of seeking change and creating change so that the future becomes more meaningful, more human, and more adaptable for the good of the world. Of all the humans
Thank you, Diane. It’s been a lovely meandering walk along the river
I’m glad for that and wishing you a Buen Camino as we both walk on our lives.
Here we are, at the end of the road but not the journey. Thank you for listening to Part 2 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 joined us from Perth, Australia. We hope you are informed, inspired and illuminated by our conversation.
You’re also invited to check out over 400 episodes of this podcast Stories From Women Who Walk found on Simplecast, or 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: Linkedin.com/in/leannegordon-changingfutures/