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48 | Building Your Tribe

If you don't think you need one I would truly evaluate how could a tribe like this add value or add to your fulfillment for your life? And then on the flip side if your trying to get one and you feel like you can't find these relationships and you're getting dead ends. What assumptions are you making? 

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The Transcript

Hello, hello. You are listening to The Heart of It. The official plog as I'm calling it which is basically a blog via podcast episodes because that is my medium of choice as an artist to share all my thoughts and insights with you and who is this person? My name is Samm Smeltzer and I am the founder of a company called Leadership Arts Associates who is responsible for the production of this podcast. And this podcast has gone through a lot of changes, we're settling into this new brand, talking about things that are truly resonating with the heart of what empowers me to do what I do every single day, which is working with people and helping them find their purpose, their potential and keeping an optimistic point of view on the idea of possibility.

Today I want to talk to you a little bit about tribes. This is a big buzzword out there. I've read it on several different blogs and people like to talk about having a tribe, the importance of having that support around you. And if you haven't heard about this tribe kind of concept, really what it comes down to is having this support group, knowing that you can go back to. And this is materialized in several different kinds of ways for people. Some of it which is very popular is Facebook groups. So when I first found out about Facebook groups or how to use them as a tool I was really excited now I'm a part of probably, my gosh, it has to be like 30 or 40 of these groups where tribes exist. And I actively can't engage in all of them and I have pick and choose.

LinkedIn has something similar with their groups where you find the support system. There are websites that have memberships. So this online kind of tribe. My spiritual mentor Gabby Bernstein has one called, The Miracle Membership. Way back in the day, Carrie Green has, The Female Entrepreneur Association which I absolutely love and I'm a huge fan of. So if you're just starting as a female entrepreneur you want to check that out with Carrie Green. And there's, she was one of my very first podcast episodes in series I like to do in November called The Grateful Showcase. So that's one avenue.

Then you have just your powerhouse of girlfriends and that's really popular. You're hearing girls talk about their tribe which is all their core group of friends who support them. And lately I've been making jokes about how I for the first time have a tribe that's around me. And when I was using it it was actually in the terms of having girlfriends 'cause I've, except for way back when when I was first growing up I had a core group of best friends which was three other lovely ladies who all live out in California, have their lives. Incredible women, nowadays. But between that time and then when I moved here when I was 16 in Pennsylvania until about now, so we're talking about another 16 to 20 years difference here, I haven't really had a lot of girlfriends that I could just call on. And if I ever did have one it was one. It was a girl friend that I had a very close relationship on.

One of which is very public to most of you who listen to the show is MaryRose Ritter who is my business partner at Leadership Arts Associates. She is also my best friend and the godmother to my beautiful little children. My little girls and her son is my godson. So obviously that relationship has been in the making, we've known each other for eight to 10 years now. And that relationship was typical. Like I used to have a girl friend it was never as long as I have been friends with MaryRose so that's actually been a really strong relationship for me. But beyond that I never really had this core group of friends. And now I actually have recently. I have a group of girlfriends that I can call when I want to go have lunch with somebody, if I want to get coffee. I have a couple options on my phone which is new for me. Its very new for me, it's a great feeling.

But I want to talk about tribes on a much larger scale. So yesterday we had our LA premier picnic 'cause Leadership Arts Associates just launches a brand new brand. So new logo, new feel and to celebrate we did, basically a company picnic that we opened up to all the people who love and support us, that surround the company because our company is all about people. It's not just the people who are working for the organization but those that surround it. And so we had our picnic yesterday and it flew by. It was three hours, it was incredible. We had about 35 people that stopped out to say hello, hang out, bring their families, do some fun arts and crafts like squirt gun art and salad spin art and we did some tie dye which I've never done that before so it was all new experiences. Squirt gun art too. It was a lot of fun. It was about as close as you could get to feeling like you were at a family event.

And I think that was a big realization for me. There was a couple moments yesterday where I stopped to look around at this picnic and realize that I'm surrounded by this fantastic support group that is in all different shapes and sizes. From people who are staff, people who are coming on as part time creative collaborators and building their service lines. Their loved ones that support them. We have people who I've met at conferences briefly who have now started to get more involved in our organization. We have our creative partners. I talked about him in the last episode and Tony Hernandez was there at this current, at the picnic yesterday. And that relationship. Huge, huge supporter for me personally but also for the organization.

And then just so many peers and colleagues that have just been there throughout the entire time and really it is because of them that the organization has grown the way that it has. And it's because the people who love and support them empowers them too, it all works together. And I was just really touched by the fact that I have this amazing support system. That I, if we went back five years I don't think I ever envisioned that. I can be brutally honest and say that I felt very alone even though I had an amazing husband, I was married, I had a pretty much, I was very social at work. At the end of the day when I was by myself I felt very isolated. And I don't feel like that anymore and that's because I believe I've really surrounded myself with people who truly not to sound cheesy, but complete me.

And so obviously today I'm full of tons of gratitude which is kind of what inspired this. But I also think that I want to share with you how I think that this happened. It's one thing to talk about how appreciative I am and how blessed I am that these people are surrounding me and supporting me and supporting my organization but how do you get there? And I think that's something that a lot of people ask me. Whether directly or indirectly. And originally I would respond, I don't know. It just kind of happened. But that's not true. There are some things that I put into place at the very beginning which really empowered this to all happen and I want to take a few minutes and share that with you.

First and foremost when I first started Leadership Arts Associates and I was in a place that was better but not best. One of the things that, a rule that I set for myself is that I wasn't going to say no to any opportunity especially because it was uncomfortable. So I did some really strange things. I don't know, I don't think they're strange. But for example the phone was not ringing very much so answering them and there's a lot of advertisers cold calls that are happening. Most of us don't answer our phones anymore because we see caller ID and we just kind of ignore it. Well I answered them and if somebody wanted to meet with me I said yes. So even though they wanted to sell me something, I took that as an opportunity to meet with somebody, to interact with them because it was something I was not very good at.

And my husband would be taken aback by why are meeting with that vendor and this vendor 'cause I met with a lot at the beginning even though I didn't really have an organization, didn't really have a need for any of those things. So like payroll companies, I was upfront with them, I told them exactly where I was, I told them about my vision. But I met with these people and some of those turned into relationships others not so much. But I never said no. So anytime somebody called me and had an idea, asked me if I wanted to come visit a group, if I wanted to meet with somebody, I said yes. I said yes, I said yes, I said yes. And that really made a difference.

The other piece that I think is even more important is not only did I have this rule about not saying no as opportunities presented itself no matter how irrelevant they seemed to me is that I didn't judge them. And I think that we have this really good automatic almost filter that we all built in and I talk about this a lot with some of the staff here at Leadership Arts Associates is that we think that we know people almost automatically. And if there's anything that I've learned from working at Leadership Arts Associates and trying to figure out who is my target audience, who is my client, is that you can't assume. You can't assume who these people are, where they are, what they're open to. Because it's just it's not that easy.

When I was in my first year of business I did a presentation for the bi-local coalition here in York Pennsylvania and I was doing it on diversity, talking a little bit about privilege and perceptions and that's where I met Audrey Gregis who is an amazing very wealth of knowledge when it comes to the world of nutrition. And when she listened to my presentation and was touched, one of the things that she shared and you may have seen this on the website in her testimonial is that she says that I taught her that it's like everybody, the world looking at people is like a walking library and you're only seeing the cover and what do we do to take a couple steps to actually look inside the book and understand really what its contents are.

I think that's a really good analogy 'cause for most of us we are books. But we're just covers. There's not even for a lot of us, there's not even a fancy summary or testimonials in the back. Every once in a while you get that. You get friends who will recommend somebody, tell you a little bit about that person. Sometimes if you live in an area like where I live in York PA you can find almost the six degrees of Kevin Bacon of who's connected and put some things together. Others maybe you're introduced to them at a conference where you actually get a bio or they have a really nice LinkedIn profile so you kind of get a summary. But for most of us we're going into a space and we're strictly looking at the cover. We're strictly looking at how somebody is acting in the space or the limited information that we get for most. If you go into a networking event it's my name and my title. Which is no different than a title of a book and the author. And then we're making quick assumptions.

When I started, I removed that. I fought that. And even if it was a mechanic who wanted to meet with me, I went out and had a conversation with him. And I can tell you that in that situation I went out and met with an auto mechanic who I guess would you call that my ideal client? Would you think in grand perspective when they're asking you to vision and say who is your ideal client, I don't know if that industry or that description would ever come into mind. But that was one of the most engaging and thought provoking conversations that I've ever had in the three years of my networking experience and I never saw it coming and I could've said no.

The other thing is I have a client today who's been around for almost two years and he owns a moving company. When I met with him I never thought that a moving company, a family owned company would have any use for our services and was I wrong. From sharing he asks questions and sharing about our business I remember it was one lunch and by the end of it he was asking how he can sign up and do something and try something with us. You just don't know. You have no idea and the more that we assume, the more that we judge the covers of the book without really truly giving a genuine effort to find out what's inside of them and understanding them, we're doing ourselves a really big disservice.

And going back looking at my past I can tell that I did that for years and years and years. Even in my professional career and maybe that's why I had so many blocks and hit so many dead ends because I would go into these spaces and automatically assume and create who was worthy to be for me to engage with versus who was not. Or who I thought would be willing to engage with me and who I thought would not.

'Cause I totally did that and there's another episode if you go back, the Grateful Showcase from this past year with Becky Stauffer I talk a little bit about that in that episode because she had so much wealth and experience as a tenured HR professional that I thought that I wasn't at that level where somebody like that would be able to affirm me or see the value in what I could provide and she totally changed that for me which was a huge game changer for me and my business. For me as a professional and now she's a huge promoter, supporter for me and my business and it's been, not even in my business, for me as a person, she's taken time to care about me and mentor me in certain situations. Look for opportunities for me that I am so grateful for. But that all comes from removing those assumptions initially. And how long have I been in her circle and not really engaged with her, we could've had a relationship a lot longer if I had gotten over those assumptions way back in the day.

So I guess my biggest challenge to you is if you're looking to have tribe, if you don't, I ask you to really evaluate what do you think that would add to your life? And if you're thinking I'm not a social butterfly, I like to be alone. Hey, totally get you. I know everyone calls me a liar, I'm introverted by nature. I have to be extroverted for my job so I step out of the box and I do that. But people truly do drain me and I have to spend a large amount of time by myself to rejuvenate myself and get my energy back up. And so it's really is a, it's like a dance that I do with myself to make sure that I stay healthy and mindful to be at the top of my game. And that something that I'm still working on and maybe that's a whole another topic for a different day.

Even I have now learned the value of the tribe and the supporters. And when you build those genuine relationships, know that people will learn about you and know and respect your boundaries. 'Cause your true tribe and supporters will understand that. And so these are not fake relationships, these are truly authentic relationships which are the only true ones when you're talking about having the kind of relationships where you feel like you can reach out to anybody whenever you truly need them.

Number one, if you don't think you need one I would truly evaluate how could a tribe like this add value or add to your fulfillment for your life? And then on the flip side if your trying to get one and you feel like you can't find these relationships and you're getting dead ends. What assumptions are you making? I interact with one individual on a regular basis that I've tried to reach out to on a couple of occasions and they routinely are putting up walls. And it pains me inside just because I know what that's like 'cause I've been there before where I put up those walls.

And I try to hit the wall every once in a while to see if I can get it to crumble a little bit and bring that person along. But I truly believe that at some point she will embrace it as well and be coming onboard and finding that tribe that she is actually desperately seeking. And she puts it out there but yet she doesn't realize the walls that she's putting or the blocks and obstacles which a lot of us put in place which are basically populated I really believe by assumptions and judgements that we're making and we don't even know.

If you want a tribe and you're struggling with that, what assumptions are you making? If you are struggling with not understanding what obstacles you may be putting up and you can't see it, phone a friend. Phone me, that's a lot of what I do, that's what I love to do. That's truly at the core and the heart of the work that I do with clients and my favorite kind. So with that I'm going to leave you. I'm in a great place today of gratitude, I'm so appreciative. Anybody who's listening that came to the premier picnic yesterday, thank you so, so much you have no idea how much you impact my world and how grateful I am for all of you because you truly, if you had an influence, if you're questioning if you have an influence on anyone's life, that doubt should be put to rest because you've had an impact and an influence on mine.

With that I will talk to you soon when I cover the latest and greatest of what's oozing and pouring from my heart. Have a great day, bye.

47 | The Influence of Others

I was the girl that cried all the time as a reaction to anything, because almost everything was just so overwhelming in regards to emotions that all I could do was cry. That was the only way I could process it, especially as a little girl. And then, as life went on, I taught myself that it was a sign of weakness and so I needed to toughen up, and pretty much my goal for majority of my life was don't cry. And if you do you gotta go hide somewhere so no one ever sees you crying because that means you're weak and incapable of handling life. That was the story that I told myself.

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The Transcript

Hello there and thank you so much for tuning in and hitting the play button on The HRart of It, the official Leadership Arts Associates podcast. I am Samm Smeltzer, your host. Let's talk about this podcast, because this podcast is new to me. We're kind of in this transition phase and change is ... I think it's safe to say that change is never easy. It always has its hurdles, and most of us don't even know what those hurdles or obstacles are until they hit. Even something as small as rebranding the podcast, I mean, something that I knew that I wanted to do.

For those of you that don't know, this podcast used to be called Random Ramblings, so if you go back into the archives you'll hear the Random Ramblings podcast episodes. The reason for the rebranding is I finally found my, I guess what you could call, podcast voice. I finally found what I wanted to talk about. I finally found the purpose of this show, and really what resonated with me and what made this podcast important to me. What really resonated with me is the things that were at the heart or at the core of who I am. Those mostly really relate to people and finding other people's purposes, helping them find their purpose, helping me find my purpose. And then also just talking about the realm of possibility, being able to keep that optimistic point of view of positivity.

And so, I launched this new brand - I was so excited to share it and where it was going to go - without really thinking through what do the shows look like? What do they feel like? What do they sound like? What am I talking about? And then I jumped right into programming, just like Random Ramblings. What I found was I kept procrastinating. I didn't want to record the episodes. What a backwards thought process when you put out there that you're going to put this podcast show together that's about your passion and things that you really want to share with the world, and then you can't find time to record the show. So it was quite a wake up call.

Now, after lots of reflection, which is what I want to talk to you about today in today's episode, I've come to the conclusion that The HRart of It really, truly is as close as you can get to a podcast journal. Like you have the video blogs, you have the blogs, you have the vlogs, and now this is the plog. Yeah, you're listening to my plog. But yeah, talking about those things that are really important to me, resonate to the core. One of the main purposes of this podcast is I wanted to use it as a resource and a tool for myself to keep me aligned and keep me on that path, because there's so many things that impact us on a regular basis, some things that we have no idea about, and that is what I want to talk to you about today. I thought it was a perfect beginning.

I know one of the things that I've learned very quickly as interacting specifically with my coaching clients or those who are showing up for my workshops is that the people who feel called to come and learn from me want to learn the lessons that I am slowly learning myself. And so, I believe life is teaching me the things that I'm supposed to be passing on and helping in this realm that I am helping in. So, with all that being said, we're going to talk about the most recent lesson that I have been going through and I hope it served you. We're just going to jump right in here.

I've been going through a lot of personal searching, trying to stay in alignment. I'm very fortunate that I can see the big picture of my purpose, or at least recognize that I have a purpose. I'm pretty good at knowing the arena that it's in. I've kind of gone all over the place as to what it looks like, what it feels like, what it sounds like. And really over the last six to seven months, I have been really diving in and getting deeper.

It's very interesting because just the other day my really good friend and colleague Tony Hernandez of Reflective Wisdom, who utilizes a tool called Points of View and he's ... not Points of View, Points of You. I don't know why I keep calling it the wrong thing lately. But Points of You, which is an amazing tool, an incredible tool for coaching. But I was just chatting with him and we have a really good relationship of trying to help keep each other in tune and on task with what we have already determined that we want out of life, and trying to help each other limit the distractions or shiny objects that would easily send us on detours or derail us from what we have already discovered for sure and for certainty.

It was really funny because I was talking to him and he threw out there, he was like, "You need to do this work. You need to go back to finding your why." My initial gut reaction was almost like an insult, like, "After all this work, after three to four years of really deep searching and understanding of myself, I have to go back to my beginning and my why?" I was like, "And I did that at the very beginning and I articulated that and I knew that, and I know it." I know you can probably hear Ally in the back. This is why I need to soundproof this room, because Ally likes to add her commentary throughout my podcast. My apologies, Miss Ally Chacha likes to add her tone into my podcast.

Anyways, what I'm talking about is I felt so insulted to go back to what potentially is stage one of what I need to figure out because I thought I was so advanced. But then, as I look at it and take a step back even further, I've been working with another coach who's helping me figure out and sort through, just like people come to me for. She challenged me with some homework that said basically if I had all the money and resources I ever needed, what would I do in regards to my health and career, which is going back to visioning activities, dreaming big.

It's funny because I don't usually ask my clients this question because I don't know how I would answer it, and so I never in any kind of coaching space or workshop space, even when I'm doing leadership or team development in a corporate environment, I will never put out there anything that I would not want to answer myself. It's just an internal rule that I have. And so this is a popular question that's out there, just like the other one that I heard the other day about in terms of legacy. So, when you die, what would you want put on your tombstone? I don't ever ask that either. I don't know if it's my perception of it going to a negative place or putting me in a dark place, but I don't even want to explore it so I don't even know how I would answer it, so I don't put that out there either.

But this question, once again, is very basic. It's visioning and it's why purpose, it's that foundational piece. When she told me about it, I didn't see it in that insult because it's one of those questions that I couldn't answer. Now, when Tony brought it up, I had found a why-seeking process that I was comfortable with and I was able to articulate that.

Now, also, the person that I was three or four years ago is probably not the same person talking to you now. The whole podcast change kind of resembles that. I mean, three or four years ago, even though I could articulate that why, there's no way I would be talking like this on a podcast, no way I would be putting out an episode talking about this topic or putting out as much vulnerability as I have been doing on these podcast episodes. I started to think why would my why be so distorted from the last time to now? Why wouldn't it be as clear as what I thought it should be?

One of the things that I have been uncovering a lot is ... not uncovering this about myself, it's probably something that I have been in denial and hiding from the world, is that I'm a very sensitive person. Super sensitive, highly sensitive. I was the girl that cried all the time as a reaction to anything, because almost everything was just so overwhelming in regards to emotions that all I could do was cry. That was the only way I could process it, especially as a little girl. And then, as life went on, I taught myself that it was a sign of weakness and so I needed to toughen up, and pretty much my goal for majority of my life was don't cry. And if you do you gotta go hide somewhere so no one ever sees you crying because that means you're weak and incapable of handling life. That was the story that I told myself.

And so, what I didn't realize was happening as life was going on is that as I was trying to, in my mind, make myself stronger, I was actually allowing myself to be heavily impacted by other's thoughts and opinions and feelings of me. Because the story that I started with was it's a sign of weakness. That's not a sign of weakness or a story that came internally. It's not something that I was born with, that, "Oh my gosh, you cry. That's because you're a weak person." It's because of things that are out there in our culture and our society and my family structure, how they were raised. Things that are passed down through generations are things that cause me to have that story. That's basically the influence of others that initiate that story.

As time goes on, and I'm trying to be what I believe I'm supposed to be or what the narrative that is being told to me should be, I realize that my path of going astray started much earlier on that I assumed. I go back to when my professional career started, and that's probably not the case. It's probably when I first started hiding who my true, authentic self was, which was tears, yes. But why did the tears exist? Did they exist because I couldn't speak up about a feeling that I was getting that was so strong in the moment? Whether it was being afraid, being hurt, having anxiety, which all could be funneled by fear and that category.

But even as a girl I can remember fear that somebody doesn't want to be my friend, fear that somebody's talking about me, fear that my homework's not good enough, fear that I forgot my homework and my teacher's going to be upset with me, fear that something as simple as I need to go to the restroom but it's not recess and I didn't go when I was supposed to go and so now the teacher is going to be upset with me if I have to ask. And so, those built up emotions that are very strong to me as a little girl would just materialize in tears. And then a lot of the time when people would ask what was wrong, the responses were, "Nothing." "I don't know." "I just have to cry." That was really the starting point of me starting to adjust myself, modify myself to be what I believed was satisfactory or appealing to others.

Now, jumping forward and being challenged to answer this question that's a very basic question about visioning, or even Tony telling me that I need to go do some why work, I haven't done it yet, so now you guys can hold me accountable to it. And I actually, right now, we should be doing this on video because right now I actually have a journal out with a post-it note from the coach about this question that I'm going to journal. Actually, I've been putting it off, but I've been thinking that I need to journal because she told me do that journal and get it out and answer this question.

But, I also want to go and pull the work that Tony recommended to do it and see what comes up, because my speculation right now is that my why from three to four years ago is heavily influenced by others. That there is a chance that my authentic voice speaking, even though the way that I designed it, and there's even a workbook that I use today with clients to do it, was meant to start uncovering. But sometimes I uncover to a level, and I talk about this, it goes five-deep to finding out your simplistic why. But, at the same time, going five-deep maybe is not deep enough. I'm thinking five-deep is fine because I'm thinking about my professional career that started a dozen years ago. But now I'm telling you that I think that modification and things started to happen for me and I started to adapt who I was, my true, authentic self when I was like five or six. And what a powerful statement.

And then, even taking that and now ... and you've heard me say this time and time again, but now looking at my children. My oldest is six-years-old, going into first grade, and watching her, and she definitely has an emotional side to her, as well. I don't know how to process it. I don't really know how to handle it. I know I ask questions and she looks at me very perplexed ,and just trying to be there and be supportive. But I even find myself routinely wanting to go to that place of the story that I've told myself for so long of sometimes you gotta suck it up. Sometimes you just gotta hold it together. But am I slowly now adding to that story that I think now is instrumental in my life?

I know that it's instrumental because it keeps coming up, and that's been a lot in the last six to seven months that I've really been digging deep and working with some individuals to do some really hardcore heart work, is finding out that that moment, that side of me, really represents an authentic voice that I have hidden for a long time, and almost turned it into an internal voice that I thought was not worthy to see the light of day.

So yeah. That's my thoughts for today. That's how I really want to do these episodes, is talk about what's really happening, what I'm really feeling. Hopefully it resonates with you. Hopefully, if you feel called to listen to whatever the episode title is, I don't even know what I will call this one yet, that you feel what I'm feeling because I know I'm not alone in that. If there's anything that I have learned is that I'm not the only one experiencing certain things. There's so many of us that are. It's just like with the tears and the overwhelming feeling and being super sensitive in all those situations is that I don't ... I hid it from the world and I didn't think anybody else was in that same bucket, and I know that others are.

I've done episodes that I've been more vulnerable and the emails, text messages, the people who stop me and talk to me after listening to the episode, is so incredibly powerful because it does a lot to assure me that I'm not alone and that I'm not the only one that feels these things and it is reaching somebody.

One of the things that I always love to do, it's actually rooted in a journaling technique, but I love to hear any thoughts, feelings, wants or needs that come out of this episode. So as you were listening to it, any random thoughts that you had, how did it make you feel? Did it make you feel like you needed something and what was that? Or wanted something? When we're doing work on ourselves, those are things that kind of bubble up to the surface that we want to pay attention to. And so, I would love if you would share those with me, if you feel comfortable, doing it as a comment. If not, send it in a email to me. My email is samm@leadershipisart.com.

But yeah, other than that, if you love what you're listening to this podcast and you think that it could benefit others, please feel free to share it on any social media channel that you'd like. Also, the best way to get us out there on iTunes and really get some traction is to leave us a review. So if you have a few moments and you are listening on iTunes, if you could go ahead and leave a quick review and even share something that you're thinking, feeling, wanting or needing as a result of this episode. It's a great kind of review to leave out there.

Other than that, I will talk to you next week, and the next episode, as I hit whatever is really resonating in my heart at that moment. Thank you and have a great day. See ya!

46 | Meet in the Middle

There's always about 50% that we have to own. That 50% could be a very creative 50%. It may not be the most blatant. I'm not saying it's the most loud, but there are chunks that we could own in every scenario.

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The Transcript

Well, hello there. You're listening to The HRart of It, the official Leadership Arts Associates podcast where we talk people, potential and purpose. I am so excited and thrilled and honored to be your host. My name is Samm Smeltzer. Let's just get a couple things out of the way. (1) This is the first podcast I am recording since coming back from vacation. Even though I only took two weeks of vacation in June, it felt like much longer because I think I checked out, probably, June 1st, which is probably why I have so much work coming back. That's also why there was no podcast episodes for June. I had every intention in the world to do that, and then at the last minute, decided "No, I'm going to disconnect myself completely". I wholeheartedly hope that you're doing the same thing.

I know summer is not technically summer break for all of us who are in the working world, but it is still, at least, where I live on the East Coast where we start to see the glimpses of sunshine, and the warmth that allow us to get outside in some ways that we can't during the winter. I hope that you are taking some time to enjoy that and take care of yourself and disconnect. You should do it on a regular basis because I know that I want to because it was incredible. I went for two weeks. I did not bring a laptop. That prevented me from doing any marketing graphic design, any major website overhaul or anything like that that I could get sucked into because I can't do my design work on my iPad Pro. I probably could, but I don't want to. I don't know. I'm weird like that. I took my iPad Pro.

Really unlimited to me is, basically, writing and checking email. That was about it for me. I could go on to Facebook but really, really truly limited. It was wonderful. It was fantastic. I had enough activity that I didn't feel like I was abandoning the business, but I was still away. It felt so great I didn't want to come back. Yeah, let's put that out there. That's really what inspired this whole month's series of episodes. If you saw in the newsletter that went out this morning or yesterday, I don't ... Yes, because today is Tuesday. Yesterday. That said, "Are you ready for a podcation?" (Laugh). No. The podcast isn't going on hiatus again, but we're going to be talking about things that inspired, when typically people take vacations or daycations or staycations because there's a source of inspiration in us there.

Today is no different. It actually was inspired a couple months ago when I took a trip out to Cape May in the off season. You can go there in the off season. It really has this beautiful solitude to it. If you ever get the opportunity, please go. If you want to know where I stayed, I love to utilize Airbnb. It's like a dream come true for me because I can imagine that I have homes in all these fantastic places. If you're looking for a great place to stay, and you want to go in the off season, message me, email me, I will be happy to share that with you. We went to stay in this Airbnb. We happen to be a mile, if that, from the Cape May Zoo. Zoos have a very special place in my heart because I absolutely love animals. I love them. I find them fascinating. I think I'm somebody who could probably just watch videos of them all the time. I have artwork of animals all over my home so much so that people have referred to my house as a zoo.

On the flip side, I'm not really an outdoorsy individual. I'm not one that is going to want to go out and get up close and personal. The whole idea of a safari while it is very enticing, also scares me a little bit. I like the idea of the zoo because it's a controlled environment where I can still appreciate their beauty. Now, as I have gotten older, definitely when I was little, zoos were just exciting because I was close to the animals. As I've gotten older, I really started to pay attention to (1) I guess this is like zoo culture 101. This is not what we're talking about today, but how are the animals looking.

Last week, I guess, two weeks ago, I went to a different zoo. I went to the Santa Barbara Zoo when I was on vacation in California and I was with my aunt. She routinely would make comments about asking if the animals looked happy in their habitats and in their exhibits and was commenting on this like that. I couldn't help but agree with her that something that has become more aware to me when I am traveling to places of what the animals are like in their habitats and their environments. Also, the mission that's behind the facility. Whether I go to a facility, because I see one there and then I leave and I check it out, maybe this is because I'm an organizational development professional now where my interest comes. I go see the back story behind it like is it just a for profit zoo that they put in place to make some money, or is there a thought process to it, or are they rehabilitating to release the animals back out into the wild, or are they a safe haven for animals because they can't be released back out into the wild, or are they protecting those that are on the endangered list to make sure that they don't go extinct entirely. Paying attention to those things.

That was a completely super tangent but the whole zoo dynamic for me has been morphing and changing as my personal professional growth and I get older and having an awareness of things that have been happening. Probably one of the main ways that happens for me is social media, primarily, Facebook of people sharing all things. You have to filter what is out there. You have to make judgment calls as to quality versus quantity versus entertainment, but there is a wealth of things that people share that really start to make you think about things differently even if they're not wholeheartedly true, but that could be a completely different episode for another day.

Today, the inspiration comes from, actually, listening to commentary that people say when they are at the exhibits or habitats looking at the animals. There was one comment that really struck me because I thought, even though it was a sarcastic remark, a joking remark, it opens up a whole can of worms of things to think about when you start putting it in a broader context. This actually happened in front of the lion's habitat. The family was walking by and there was two lions in this habitat, a male and a female lion. Somebody said, I don't remember ... Well, I shouldn't say I don't remember. I didn't hear the context before it. I heard the last remark because they yelled it because they are walking past, but said, "How would you feel if you were trapped with one man for the rest of your life?" That really struck something within me. Not like a nerve. It wasn't like a trigger but was just like "Huh, that's interesting". We talk about animals in that capacity, but what if that were true for all relationships whether romantic or not romantically based.

Think about, if I trap you with your friend or best friend for the rest of your life or if I trap you with your romantic relationship. Whether it's your boy friend, your husband for the rest of your life. I think that when we talk about relationships, and I've talked about this before, there is a wide spectrum of when compromise is appropriate when there's something that we could do or our own accountability and their accountability and meeting somewhere in the middle versus unhealthy relationships, toxic relationships. There's a whole spectrum that's out there. However, with that being said, I truly believe that the extreme scenarios where people are in truly toxic relationships, unhealthy relationships where it is necessary to remove them from your life or put boundaries in place if you can't remove them for one reason or another. Those are not as common as people think.

I think that most of us play in the relationship realm of things that we could choose to repair. We could choose to compromise. We could choose to meet in the middle and make a productive relationship. This is employment wise as well, but we don't want to see it that way. We don't. That's our ego getting in the way. That's fear getting in the way. None of us want to be the first one to be vulnerable because none of us want to be the one that's left out in the cold when that other person chooses not to meet us in the middle. As I've grown personally, professionally, spiritually, I've really gotten to a place in my life where I want to make sure that I came to the middle and if you chose not to meet me there that that's your call.

I'm not going to go over the line because I'm not going to give completely of myself where I could lose myself and really truly damage or hurt myself because that's almost like a self sabotaging behavior when we give way too much when we're trying to make something happen. At least, if I know I owned what I needed to own and came to the middle, came to the middle ground, even chose to be the first one to be vulnerable and you chose not to meet me there, I did what I could. I did what I could to try to have a relationship and you non-verbally chose that it's a relationship that you do not want. That's a powerful statement for someone to make to you, but they can only make it if those parameters are put into place.

There's a very powerful exercise in Gabrielle Bernstein's book. I slowed down saying that because I'm trying to remember the title. I think it's Miracles Now. It's either May Cause Miracles or Miracles Now. I totally can find that if you're interested in it. It's a powerful exercise that I put a lot of ... I don't put them through, but I encourage them to take it on, which is cleaning up your side of the street. Before we have any relationship and we get to choose, what we're going to blame them for or what they should be accountable for, we've got to clean up what we need to own. There's always about 50% that we have to own. That 50% could be a very creative 50%. It may not be the most blatant. I'm not saying it's the most loud, but there is chunks that we could own in every scenario. Whether it's the stories that we make up or not even make up but the stories that we tell ourselves that feed into our emotion that make them so stronger and reactive. Whether we become so defensive that we don't even let the other party talk. Even if they're trying to heal and they're trying to make things better, they were not letting that happen.

I think that there's a lot of things that we can own. I think we have to accept that first. I would like to think ... I shouldn't say I would like to think. That is my target client that I use for coaching. If you are a coaching client that comes to me, does not want to own what you can own and take action in the things that you can take action but wants to routinely vent or blame another party and say "Because those things are in place, that's why that you can't be happy". If you don't want to take control, if you don't want to own it and do it and live it, we don't really mesh well together. I have a very strong belief that there's always something that we can own. We always have decisions. Even going back to that thought process of meeting there in the middle, if you are in the middle and those people don't show up, you can choose to stay there and wait or you can choose to leave. When it comes to my friendships, when it comes to even professional relationships, I can tell you where I've partnered with people and I've gone to the middle and they have not met me there and that has damaged our relationships.

The next question, which is a whole another topic is if you want to repair them or not. When we establish relationships, it's all about creating a connection. It's establishing trust and feeling safe. If you have a relationship, I would hope that there is some level of trust, there's some level of safety and some level of connection that justifies and makes it okay to go to that place and meet people in the middle. What I found so interesting about this zoo comment in front of the lions was that in that statement, that is making that middle ground area not optional. It's a physical parameter. These two animals are placed into a cage and they have to be there their entire life per se. I don't know. I didn't look into it that much. I should've done that. I'll probably going to do that after this, after I record this while I finish my coffee is to read about these lines. If you had to stay there, would that encourage you to start looking at things differently? Because if you had no other options and you had to spend the rest of your life with that person, if it turned it into a relationship that you had to have or you would have none, would the need for human connection challenge you to be open-minded and talk to that person?

My purpose for today is a little blip and when we get to the challenge is not so much for those of you because I know so many of you are living in toxic and unhealthy relationships like legitimate unhealthy and toxic relationships. I do not want you to listen to this episode and believe that I am watering it down or get the impression that you should water it down. I don't want this to anybody back who's gotten to a place where they know that they're in a place that is not healthy for them. You'll know. The purpose of today is for those of us who want to quickly jump to that because of fear of getting hurt. Not physically hurt because once again, I'm not talking about toxic relationships but talking about the fear that we all have that when we're vulnerable, that someone is going to tell me that "I'm not good enough for them, I'm not worth it for them, that they don't want me and what that pain and that hurt is going to do to us". This is, essentially, the beginning stages of heartbreak.

As they've happen more and more, maybe you've put more walls and more blocks up that has basically made it so that you don't want to let it come down. You don't want to take the chance anymore, but why connect? That is my challenge to you this week, is why connect? Why do you even have to do that if you don't want to meet in the middle, you don't want to have compromise, you don't want to take self accountability in certain circumstances. In all circumstances, we should all own what we need to own. If you don't want to do that, then why do you want to connect with individuals, anyways. If you don't want to have the truly healthy, deep-rooted, powerful relationships. That's truly what they become. They become this powerful relationships.

When we choose to own what we want to own, not want to own but need to own and you find somebody, you connect with somebody who's going to own all their stuff crap too, it becomes a very powerful relationship. I think that's something that I've seen transform in my life in the last three years. The people that I have that surround me when we come together and even if there is a conflict of any sort when we talk about, it always comes down as "Oh, I will totally own that I did X, Y, Z, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I'm so sorry". The other person will say "No, no, no. This is what I did. We both own what we could've brought to the table, how we could've made this work and where it had gone wrong".

I usually know very quickly when I approach something like that and I own it and the other person brings up "Well, yeah, you should've if it turns into a blame". It's not going to get to that powerful place, that powerful resonating relationship, the connection that I'm looking for because they're not willing to own it. They're not willing to be invested and accountable for the relationship whether it's romantic or not, professional or personal, family or not family. This happens every single day in all of our relationships. Depending on the relationship and how big it is to us, that sometimes magnifies it quite a bit. I'm not going to discount at all that marriage, if this is something that's resonating with you thinking about your marriage, that's a tough one to tackle, especially because you think that you've been vulnerable in your marriage, you think that you've put yourself out there and then there's a chance that you're going to approach this and find out that your lifetime partner, the one that has committed to you doesn't want to meet you in the middle.

If you want to talk about therapy, marriage therapy, counseling, anything, family therapy, a lot of that is trying to get groups to get to the middle. Typically, they are dealing with, sometimes, some of the really toxic and unhealthy relationships and people still wanting and having a strong desire to mend them. In fact, I think it's incredible how many are in the situations and they can't walk away versus those of us who find ourselves on the lower end of the spectrum and we can so easily walk away. My challenge to you is to really think and spend some time and get very clear as to why you have a desire to connect with people. You said, as your source of motivation when you're really truly evaluating if it's worth it to go to the middle with someone rather than walk away. This is how relationships work, relationships take work, and really great powerful relationships. It will take a lot of hard work. They will require you to be vulnerable. They will require you to be afraid of how someone is going to react.

In that moment, a lot of people to surprise you will further affirm that you're on the right path to get to where you want to be as far as human connection goes, which is something that we all crave. It's just built into our DNA. We all crave it. Depending on where we are in our lives, changes why we crave it and what, specifically, we're craving at that time. Yeah, that is my zoo inspired episode for today. I thank you as random individuals and their intriguing conversation as they were watching the lions. I hope that this served you and resonated with you in some way. As always, we strongly encourage you to utilize one of our popular journaling techniques as some practice as you finish listening to these episodes. If you're driving, do not try to write and drive, but you can ponder this mentally. After you're done listening to this episode, capture a thought, feeling, want, or need. What are you thinking in this moment? What are you feeling in this moment? What are you wanting in this moment or needing?

In relation to talking about connection, what started to think about? I guarantee, there were relationships that came to mind as I start describing some of them. Those that came to mind, that came to mind for a very real reason. You want to process and explore that further. How are you feeling? If what I was saying made you angry, that's something very important and significant as well. What are you wanting? The answer to the challenge question of why are you seeking connection or why is it so important to you could've came very clear by just answering the question of what do you want right now or even more so, what do you need right now, but use those or process as further. Because as always, my hope is that this is helpful and serves you and moving you forward in your journey and your aspirations.

Next week, we are going to talk about cars. Yes, they are vroom-vroom cars but it is going to be Disney inspired because I was on vacation, got to go watch a movie, which is something I rarely get to do at the movie theater. I went with my whole family and we saw Cars 3. There was a very powerful message in there, which should not surprise you because Disney delivers all kinds of very powerful messages but learn next week about this message from Cars 3 that will inspire our episode for next week. Until then, have a great day. 

45 | Leadership is Art because of Vision

Part of being a leader, and this is one of the things that I believe is so different between a manager and a leader, is that a leader has to have the ability to see the vision, the vision for the organization, the vision for the team, and if they can't, it affects their ability to lead, so not only do you have to be able to know and understand the vision, you have to be able to understand it at a level that you can align with it and know at your core if you believe that you can align with it. 

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The Transcript

Hello and thank you for joining me for The heART of It, the place where we talk people and possibilities. My name is Samm Smeltzer, and I am so excited to be your host for this lovely podcast, and this week, if you don't know, you should know that we are basically sharing with you the five reasons why leadership is an art, and this is all happening in conjunction with Leadership Arts Associates getting ready to make some pretty incredible announcements about the future of Leadership Arts Associates happening today at 10am on Facebook Live, so you want to make sure that you have liked our Facebook page at facebook.com/leadershipisart, and at 10am we'll be going live, and even if you can't make the live announcement, you will then have the video readily available in your News Feed.

We have already gone through reasons one through four this week, and just a little bit of a recap, reason number one is you. You are the artist. As a leader, you're a leadership artist having to know you and who you are and the legacy that you want to leave behind, and then masterfully mastering the skillset of leadership is truly an art. Reason number two is them, so what we value about who we lead is that they're people not widgets, which means they have individuality and the beauty that that brings to our organization and also brings some challenges, and that is where the art gets involved. 

Reason number three is the lines, so talking about the political, organizational lines and boundaries for yourself and for your team, all necessary to know if you're going to create an effective people strategy to create that organizational masterpiece, and then yesterday, I shared with you the realistic, very real trend that is happening right now that I still believe is a huge root cause to most miscommunication in the workplace is assumptions versus expectations, because reason number four is expectations, which establishing expectations, setting expectations, and holding people accountable to them is truly an art, and so yesterday, we explored the concept of what we assume versus what we expect and that basically, long story short, we assume way too much, and now today I'm here to close it all out with reason number five, which is vision.

Part of being a leader, and this is one of the things that I believe is so different between a manager and a leader, is that a leader has to have the ability to see the vision, the vision for the organization, the vision for the team, and if they can't, it affects their ability to lead, so not only do you have to be able to know and understand the vision, you have to be able to understand it at a level that you can align with it and know at your core if you believe that you can align with it. 

All of the other reasons one through four kind of feed into this, knowing who you are, knowing who they are, knowing the lines and the boundaries that are set, knowing what are expectations and the culture's ability to hold accountable to those expectations or if they're just embracing assumptions, that all rolls into them when you are delivered the vision, not only the vision that they are articulating, but the one that you're truly seeing at the end of this path if you can get onboard with, because really when we're talking about leadership, it's your ability to influence and impact the others around you to get them onboard and align with that vision and making that happen. That's why you get to know your people and connect with your people. That's why you get to know and connect with yourself. That's why you set expectations in the first place, and that is why you would even have any interest in navigating the lines of people's boundaries, your boundaries, and of the organization. The reason why we strategize and put all that together is to obtain this vision, and you want to make sure that the vision that you're going after aligns with the vision for yourself.

On Leadership Arts Associates, all the work that we have been doing and this announcement that we're doing at 10am, is all about us getting crystal clear on our vision and who we are. We've kind of gone through these cycles, and I know I have personally, of trying to figure out who I am as a leader, who they are, who are the clients, the people that I am serving, the people that I'm leading, what are the lines. Politically, I assumed when you started your own organization that you didn't have to deal with that anymore, and that's not true. You deal with it in the community. You deal with it in the other organizations that I'm working with, the people that I partner with, the employees, the new hires, the applicants, all that kind of stuff, there's lines everywhere that you have to become aware of and navigate, clients, customers, non-customers, prospective customers, all of that is all things that are taken into account.

Then assumptions versus expectations, man, did I have a rude awakening with that, and that's why I said even I am guilty of it, the assumptions that I made when I started hiring people about what I needed to provide versus not as a small business, and I'm sure that that struggle is not different than anyone else. I guess I assumed that I would have a little bit of an easier time with an HR background, but instead, it just reinforced that at the core, you have to have policies and procedures and some sort of structure there, and that's why I'm so grateful for our associate Gina Nobile, who has a specialty in process and performance improvement, but her routinely asking for structure pushed me down that avenue, which is what we should have had all along, and I feel ... I'm a little bit saddened at the fact that people had to function with that lack of structure, which I think is something that has to happen for every small business, but I feel bad that I wasn't giving people what they needed to truly thrive in this organization. That's because I just didn't know any better. 

Talk about an entrepreneurial lesson that I had to go through, and I've had to go through several of them. I never dreamed about owning my own business. It was daunting and terrifying at the idea of starting it, and then on top of that, hiring people and bringing other people involved into it as well, and so I did get a reality check on things that I assumed versus expect and how to establish expectations and how do I do that, and we're still trying to build those processes in place and knowing that to achieve my vision, I have to have that in place.

This entire journey I've been going through for the last three years has been necessary for me to get here so I can articulate the true vision of Leadership Arts Associates, what we want it to be versus not getting over the hump of what I believed I had to be doing to be successful versus what I feel called to do or what our organization truly, the purpose that we serve and just owning it, knowing that that is our niche and that is our specialty, and that's why leadership is an art for those reasons. Really being able to articulate it is going through each of those journeys or paths, mastering them is what makes leadership truly an art. Yes, there's some creative outlets to achieve those things, but really, it's the outcomes that make it an art, that makes you an artist. Being able to lead, inspire, and impact people, influence people, does not happen without some hard work, without mastering a skillset, without having a style to yourself, without being able to express yourself in a way that is aligned with all these pieces.

Those are the five reasons that I wanted to share with you how leadership is an art, and this is just the preview and also a little bit of the back story to tell you what's coming at 10am and what we will be sharing, and I am so excited to just share with you what the future of Leadership Arts Associates, so I hope that you will join me live, and if not, that you'll at least cycle back through and watch it. I'm sure I'll probably end up downloading the video and adding it to our YouTube channel so that you can check it out there as well, so thanks again for listening to The heART of It, the place where we talk people and possibilities.

Next week, we're going to get into our regularly scheduled broadcasted series episodes. We'll be going back to once a week. My goal is to keep them to about 15, 20 minutes. We'll see if I'm good at that goal, and next week, we're going to try a new kind of type of specialty show. It is called Questions From the People, so we're talking people and possibilities, and I pride myself on being a people watcher. I like to observe behavior. I also like to be very aware of my surroundings, and in doing so, I get to hear some really interesting questions that people are asking each other, and so next week, I'm going to kick it off with a question, and it has to deal with relationships. Our relationships episodes seem to do really well. People ... Think every one of us is struggling with trying to have better relationships, whether they're romantically or not, but it has to deal with relationships. The question came from an observer at the zoo looking at a lion exhibit, so if that intrigues you to join us next week.

Our episodes are going to be debuting every week on Tuesdays at 3pm, so that's the new time that you can expect all these episodes to launch, so if you're watching them from a subscription standpoint, and I'm so thankful to all of our loyal listeners who are always all over those episodes as soon as they hit on iTunes and Stitcher, but yes, so next week, we'll be kicking off our first episode of Questions From the People, and then we'll be kicking into our, getting into our normal shindig of The heART of It, where you will have goodness, and this will be the place to be to talk about people and possibilities, but until next week, I'm Samm Smeltzer, and thanks for listening. Bye.  

44 | Leadership is Art because of Expectations

There is nothing out there that people just know unless you have some sort of certification and governing licensing body that's providing that information. If it's not taught in orientation, if it's not established by the organization, you can't just assume that people know. Reason number four is very real and alive. It's something that we're all dealing with every day.

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The Transcript

Hello and welcome to The Heart of It, the place where we talk people and possibilities. My name is Samm Smeltzer and I am your host for this fun, loving podcast. This week, we are sharing the five reasons why leadership is an art as we celebrate and count down to an incredible live Facebook announcement from Leadership Arts Associates happening on Friday at 10:00 am, Facebook Live. Make sure if you haven't already that you like our Facebook page www.facebook.com/leadershipisart. It's going to be awesome, it's going to be epic, it's going to be Friday at 10:00 am. 

Happy Thursday. The weekend is one day closer. The announcement is one day closer and we are sharing reason number four. Just a little bit of a recap that reason number one was you. You as the artist, you as the leader are the number one reason for why leadership is an art. Reason number two was them, the individuals that we lead. We lead people, not widgets, and that individuality sometimes creates some challenges for us as leaders. 

Reason number three was the lines. Getting to know the political organizational lines, boundaries for individuals and ourselves and how do we navigate all of that to have the awesome people strategy to create that organizational masterpiece? Now, we are to reason number four. I have to be honest that I hesitated putting reason number four on this list because it is something that is very relevant. 

I've talked about it for the last three years that we've seen it as the source for a lot of the epidemics impacting the work environments for miscommunication, however it's just not as sexy as the other reasons. It's not as magical or popular or fun to talk about. It's something that doesn't sit too well with a lot of people. I've had clients who have actually gotten confrontational with me over their disagreements in regards to this whole concept of this reason number four.

I guess I should tell you what it is so that you know what I'm talking about. Reason number four is that we assume rather than expect. Assumptions is the reason why leadership is an art. Actually, expectations is the reason why leadership is an art. Really what's happening out in the workplace right now and all of us are guilty, myself included, is that we through our years of experience have come to just assume that people should know certain things. This can lead to the common misconception of common sense. 

This is something that I had a mentor I started in the training industry, Ms. Tracey Aust, illuminate for me that common sense really doesn't exist. Common sense is basically what we assume that most people should know. We quickly turn those assumptions into expectations as leaders or managers and then we become very frustrated when someone doesn't meet those expectations, yet we've never really set those expectations. We have just assumed that they should know what our expectations are. 

That sounds like a complete tongue twister. For example, let's talk about office etiquette. If you have an individual who works in an office by themselves and they routinely close the door, maybe that's for them to concentrate. Maybe in your work environment, you assume that when they close their door, they don't want to be part of the team, that they're doing things that they're not supposed to be doing. They're being unproductive. Those are all assumptions that you have.

Then you reprimand them and tell them to not close their door anymore. There's no real conversation and the person who sits in that office is bewildered by the fact that they got reprimanded because their door was closed when that's really how they concentrate best. There's a lot of things at play, but for this reason, what we're really talking about is the fact that, for the most part, leadership, it is our job to set the expectations and then give people the opportunity to either meet it or not meet it or sometimes even exceed it.

For most of us, there's a lot of things that we just assume. Dress code is another perfect example of what we assume. We assume that people will know that certain attire is not appropriate for the workplace. You're also assuming that they've had an upbringing where somebody told them this somewhere along their life before they get to your workplace. There's one story which is from my personal experience which I think lays this out very nicely. 

It comes from a job, my last one before I had started Leadership Arts Associates where I was in the process of building my relationship with my new supervisor. What she did not know was prior, my job prior to when she hired me, my supervisor never really wanted us to say goodbye at the end of the day. They found it very disruptive. When the work days were over, we would just leave. You wouldn't go out of your way to give a farewell greeting to this individual. 

When I moved into this other organization and I was going through the process of my orientation, I can remember this very clearly that I got up from my workstation and I was getting ready to leave at the end of the day at the time that I'm supposed to leave. I saw my boss's light on. I thought I should go and say goodbye and then I thought, well, no. She has to deal with me all the time. That's probably not the best scenario. She probably is trying to get work done and be productive. 

I know in the past that when I've worked with executives, my experience was that they don't want to be disturbed. I assumed that this would be no different, so I left. Now the next day, I was brought in for a conversation with my boss asking me why I would just take off without saying goodbye. She was very transparent with me and this is the person who taught me that common sense doesn't exist and we make assumptions rather than expectations. 

She said to me that the story she was telling herself was that I was trying to get away with being unproductive or I was trying to get away with doing something or I didn't like her, so all these things that she was telling herself. Kudos to her for being a great leader, for sitting down with me and sharing this with me and allowing me to set the record straight. We both learned something about the story I was telling myself and the story she was telling herself and then setting an expectation so moving forward when the light was on, I always said goodbye. That's just the relationship that we had. 

These happen all the time. In fact, if you're in a work environment right now, I really challenge you to think about what are things that we just assume? Sometimes ... I shouldn't even say sometimes. Most of the times the ones that really should be expectations are the things that we really truly believe are stupid and that people should just know. 

There is nothing out there that people just know unless you have some sort of certification and governing licensing body that's providing that information. If it's not taught in orientation, if it's not established by the organization, you can't just assume that people know. Reason number four is very real and alive. It's something that we're all dealing with every day. 

I'm telling you it's at the root cause of so many frustrations that you probably have as a leader, but it's also one of the hardest hurdles to get over because you don't want to accept what you really have to set expectations for. Expectation setting truly is an art. It's always amazing to me when you do exercises where you have people set expectations and how easy you can just tear them apart by twisting the story or interpreting it from the story that I tell myself, which is our perceptions. 

It's an art to do and to follow up on and help it come alive and hold people accountable to it. Not really a fun reason, but truly is a reason why leadership is an art. That is number four and I am super excited to share with you tomorrow reason number five as we close it out and then I get to leave you so that you can build up anticipation for the 10:00 am live announcement from Leadership Arts Associates. Have a great Thursday and I will talk to you tomorrow. Thanks.