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E11 Where CEOs Often Get Stuck (& How To Succeed)

May 2024

104 minutes

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Episode Notes

Being a CEO is a very difficult position. Often caught between the Board, the organization and the public, the CEO role fraught with pressure and isolation. As is often said, it's lonely at the top. Across CEOs, some common themes emerge about the difficulties in being effective and succeeding. In this episode we look at the psychology of being a CEO, some of the common difficulties experienced in the position, and some guidance on how to emerge happy, healthy and effective.

is a global, leadership-strategy consulting company. 3Peak creates the roadmap that aligns behaviours, relationships and Functional Human-Systems™ to achieve your business strategy.

Co-Founder holds a Ph.D. in Neuroscience, and did extensive research in Consciousness, Trauma and Physical, Emotional & Mental Health in various Institutes and Research Centers around Europe.

Co-Founder is one of the most sought after therapists in the world, mastering diverse modalities and opening wellness centers in Istanbul, Santiago, New York and Berlin. Her approaches bridges transpersonal psychology, meditation, bioenergetics, family- and business-constellations and more.

Co-Founder has extensive experience advising Fortune 50 and FTSE 100 C-Suite Executives in leadership, strategy, team dynamics, and organizational change. Before coaching, Mino worked in finance, management consulting, and mergers and acquisitions (M&A).


Mino: Hello and welcome to the 3Peak master leadership experience. My name is Mino Vlachos and I'm joined by doctor Mazen Harb and Krisana Locke. We are the co founders of 3Peak coaching and solutions where master leaders build healthy systems. Our company provides coaching and workshops to executive leaders and leadership and well being workshops to employees. Today's topic is part of a three part series all about CEO's. So this is part one of our CEO series. Today we're going to be really talking about the experience of being a CEO. Some of the dilemmas and challenges and felt experience that CEO's have and how they navigate through those challenges. In part two, which we'll be publishing after this one, it'll be really about how CEO's make decisions and how we can train the mind to deal with the complexities of the role. And finally, in part three, we're going to talk about how CEO's can start thinking about systems and how systems operate within organizations and how they really govern how we work. But today we really look at how it is to be a CEO, what it feels like to be a CEO and what are the challenges a CEO may face. To begin, I'm going to look at a little bit of well, what is a CEO? And we're going to define some things and then we're going to move into some of the discussion about CEO's. I'll begin by saying CEO's occupy a very interesting and unique place within organizations. They're really the nexus of different forces, different systems within an organization. So there is investors, owners aboard. And so I visualize that as kind of being the governing body at the top. There's also the internal organization. So there's all the folks that are inside the company that are under a CEO and a hierarchy. And then there's the external world which is made up of customers, suppliers, consultants, society, government. And the CEO is at the precipice, the nexus of all of these different bodies, all these different systems that come together. So if I think about the roles and responsibilities just to kind of define them a little bit, and it's not as clean on paper as in reality. It's more complicated than what I'm going to mention. But the board or the investors owners, they're really there for oversight. So they're just making sure that it's basically a risk management kind of body. They want to make sure that nothing's going wrong in the organization. So typically on a quarterly basis, sometimes if it's a smaller company, a monthly basis, they get together to figure out, hey, are things going all right? Are they going in the right direction? It's the CEO that really acts as the person that often creates the vision and often the strategy of where this organization is going to go over time. And I feel like they occupy again this unique spot of being. I call it, it's like, almost like the osmosis. They're the filter between the inner and the outer, because they're outside talking to people and they're inside talking to people. And when an issue happens, and let's say the government wants to question the company, who do they call? They call the CEO. The CEO gets questioned. When people have problems inside the organization, who do they go to? The CEO. The CEO is really this kind of filter between these different systems. They're the only one in the organization that has no peer. If you think about even the team they manage, the C suite, the C level, those folks are peers to each other. They can go and create collegiate friendships. They can talk to people. The CEO bifunction has no peer, no one they can go to. There's responsibilities to everyone. They're the person that the tough dilemmas come to. If something could be solved in the organization, it already would have been. It doesn't get to their desk unless there's a cascade of problems or dilemmas that lead it getting to the top position. As a result, what we often see is that CEO's tend to feel this constant sense of demand, pressure and isolation, even when they bring in advisors, and I've seen this firsthand. You bring in consultants to help you. Some consultants, they really want to be near the seat of power. And so they do a lot of politics to be able to use insider information to get more work. So even when you bring in a consultant, if it's not someone you know you can trust, they can actually create more new dynamics for the organization rather than help solve the dynamics that already exist within it. In my humble experience, like a lot of CEO's I've met, they care about people. They want to do a good job. They know that they have many families that are being fed from the work that are kind of happening within the organization. There's a weight to the decisions that they make. It can feel heavy at times. All of this leads to the first dynamic I want us to chat about today, which is this feeling of pressure. My impression is that CEO's often feel a lot of chronic pressure. And so I'm going to first ask.

Mino: Mazen to share with us both in.

Mino: Your experience, because you work with a lot of CEO's, you talk to a lot of CEO's, you are the founder of a company, an ngo yourself. There's sometimes this feeling of pressure. What are the effects of chronic pressure on a human being?

Mazen: The first thing actually that comes to mind where it's really aligned with this.

Mazen: Topic, it's how pressure affects decisions.

Mazen: And then when we start to connect.

Mazen: That actually running on pressure on reserve.

Mazen: And really always pushing it really will.

Mazen: Have an influence on strategy making, on.

Mazen: Decision, very fast decisions. For the simple reason is that pressure is not just a word, it's a feeling and it's just accumulation of emotions that has to do with taking responsibility.

Mazen: Having a lot of responsibility toward the.

Mazen: Task at hand, toward the company, toward the departments, toward the leaders, toward the employees, toward the board. And actually that translates within the body.

Mazen: It's a high amount of stress and.

Mazen: The feeling like I don't have much.

Mazen: Space and that changes.

Mazen: So the emotional component under stress, under pressure is different. And we know very well that decision.

Mazen: Making are influenced about, are influenced with our state of being.

Mazen: The state of being mainly is how we feel, what emotion is very present. And this influenced the way, how we think and subsequent subsequently it affects the way how we speak, how we act.

Mazen: And how we behave.

Mazen: So for a simple, very scientific understanding.

Mazen: Of it, pressure understanding all of the body brain system leads to effect on strategy making and decision making and how.

Mazen: We behave with our environment.

Mazen: It will be different than when we are out, where at least pressure is a bit controlled.

Mino: And can you share with me a little bit, mazen, what is the impact on an organism, a human, when they're under this chronic stress?

Mazen: So chronic stress, like stress in general is the adaptation, physiological and psychological mechanism, coping mechanism that has been really within evolution of the species, every single species, animal, everything have one thing in common is stress response. And it's a very physiological component and it has of course a psychological component. It's really our key for adaptation.

Mazen: So when we have something that creates.

Mazen: A trigger that brings out stress within our system, stress is something positive, it's.

Mazen: Telling us, makes us more alert, right?

Mazen: So we become very alert to the environment to try to seek something to get out of that feeling, because that feeling just telling us to be alert, something is not going well. Either there's danger, so in the jungle, or like there is danger move. But if we don't have a stress.

Mazen: Feedback, we would not survive.

Mazen: I would cross the street without even.

Mazen: Noticing and then I'll be hit by a car.

Mazen: So stress is the main coping mechanism. So it's mainly designed, designed, engineered through by nature, the one and only one. And to really make us evolve in a way that's very healthy and find way, like kids finding way toward adulthood and then a species find way to.

Mazen: Reproduce and then goes on.

Mazen: So stress is mainly a way coping mechanism to make us deal accurately in.

Mazen: The moment with, with what is needed.

Mazen: Because everything that's happening is happening to the body right now. So we're always reacting to the environment. Animals very little cognate, you know, start to think about the future and worry and stress about the future. They really deal with their environment. So they don't in that sense live.

Mazen: In the same time forward time.

Mazen: And as we really live in this forward time. I didn't finish the task. I didn't finish this. So the constant thinking about I am late, I didn't finish this task. I have responsibility start to create certain stress, but it's self imposed beyond what's only the environment is imposing. And sometimes of course the environment is imposing all those things that has to be taken care of. So in a sense that's really create a chronic way of stress.

Mazen: Unfortunately, 95% of physical, emotional, mental diseases are triggered by chronic stress.

Mazen: Chronic stress really influences the immune system, the digestive system and everything. It really brings the body to havoc like you really have, really make everything the body very susceptible to pathogen, to diseases. And then it really challenges on a mental level. So chronic stress is, we're used to it the way in the western world how we are. It's, we feel it's normal, but it's not.

Mazen: It really taxate a lot. The body, the well being, the mental health and emotional well being.

Mino: So Krisana, imagine a leader, top leader, CEO is coming to you and they really need some support. Just in the last week we've had a handful of CEO's we've talked to that are feeling a lot of pressure. And they feel this sense of kind of like there's so much demand on me. What would you do to support an individual who's coming and saying, I just feel so much pressure right now. There's so much demand upon me.

Krisana: When you have a lot of pressure, it means you have a lot of accumulation inhaled in your body and mind. So I would support them to find ways to release some of the pressure. Accumulation of stress, when you accumulate and you accumulate a lot of buildup and it's stress, it then in the end becomes chronic. As Mazen was talking about, then it's chronic.

Krisana: So some people may even say, oh.

Krisana: But I'm not, I don't have chronic stress, I'm just stressed. But I have this accumulation that will then build up more and more pressure. So I support them. First of all, I look at what.

Krisana: There'S lifestyle choices and I ask them.

Krisana: Are they exercising, how is their diet? Are they eating well, are they drinking.

Krisana: Excess coffee or, you know, to take.

Krisana: Off the pressure, take off the stress. Just a few, couple of drinks in the night time and then some self medicating in the evenings, taking sleeping pills, or self medicating with a bit of.

Krisana: Cannabis or a little bit of cocaine. These are all ways to.

Krisana: One part is to release pressure, but it's not, it's just masking the pressure. And so I support them by supporting them to look at their emotional health and their mental health and their physical health, and also to do time management with them where.

Krisana: Time at work ends and where time, or when space at.

Krisana: Home or outside of work, and try to bring them a bit more into a balance for them, or at least.

Krisana: Get them to see that in themselves.

Krisana: That's more of a mapping for them.

Mino: In the beginning, you describe to me.

Mino: A little bit from a body level, if you were almost to embody it, someone who's really under a lot of pressure and worry and how it might be different once an opening starts to happen, a relaxation. What is the difference between a and b on a kind of more somatic level?

Krisana: Well, first of all, people, when they.

Krisana: Get under pressure, some people, some body somatics, body types, experience the pressure in different ways. For example, if I sense myself going under pressure, I tend to have more.

Krisana: Of an anger response.

Krisana: I tend to like, want to release the pressure. Some other people, when they're under pressure, there's more of a, I can't deal.

Krisana: With this, and there's more of an inward disintegration inside.

Krisana: So you have to first understand where you notice that that's indicating that you're.

Krisana: Under pressure and how you can support yourself to release. Some of the pressure for me is.

Krisana: Getting space from what is pressuring me.

Krisana: Exercise, going for walks, movement, eating well, being creative, but also setting in proper.

Krisana: Time management to complete tasks that are the priority.

Krisana: And then so, for other people who are under pressure, and it affects them.

Krisana: In different ways, somatically is to also support them to get in contact with their body so they can feel more.

Krisana: Grounded in the body, so that they.

Krisana: Can find ways to support themselves to.

Krisana: Actively, through the body, release some of the pressure. So pressure is affected in people different ways. You have to first feel in your body and discover when you feel pressure.

Krisana: How do you experience pressure in the body?

Mino: I'll just share personally, as one of the three co founders of three peaks, I at times go into the feeling of pressure. And what supports me is having just time and space and allowing myself to really kind of allow a creative spirit or energy to emerge. So when I kind of allow myself to just, wow, what do I really feel like doing right now? What can I create in this moment? And not from a should, but just really like what is alive in me right now that wants to be expressed? That is really one of the biggest supports for me. To just bring some levity, some creativity, some just ease and enjoyment and just to enjoy myself even for a few moments, has been a really big resource. What I've, I've kind of seen a little bit in this past week or two. Mazen, as we've talked with some CEO's, coached some, advised, some, I'm going to take it to depression. So what I've, yeah, just to gear you up. So what I've noticed is that, and not that I'm quite qualified to diagnose depression or, but if I had a checklist and some of the things that people are telling me kind of going down that checklist, it seems like there's some overlap, at least in some of the ways that we traditionally understand depression. I also, from what I understand is that depression can look very different in each individual. So instead of us saying like, oh, it always looks like one way for every person, you're on a couch or whatever, different people might feel that level of disconnect in different ways. But I do wonder so, because I don't know, and I don't think there's any studies on this that I've seen, and I'm not qualified to make the characterization. But I do wonder. So I have a hypothesis, and I would love our scientist Mazen, to weigh in anecdotally, based on what you've seen, if a lot of CEO's who, even though are active and do their jobs, if there are some signals or signs of depression. So, Mazen, what have you observed? You're a doctor in neuroscience. You've studied biology, physiology. So you have much more of a prior angle on this than I do. More qualified perception. What have you noticed?

Mazen: First, I would like to define it. The word depression is, it can go into the semantic of a concept like any other mental health, anxiety, depression, depression, psychosis. We tend to say I am depressed.

Mazen: I have anxious, like we use the.

Mazen: Word I am and then use those of mental health thing in front. We start to identify with them. So first I really. Mental and emotional disorder or that really bring certain. Yeah, we're uncomfortable with something. They are not who we are, they are only an episode. So this is, first of all, I.

Mazen: Like to call a depressive episode or depressive phase.

Mazen: And there's something called depressive mood that we all might go through. A small depressive mood, or blues, which is very, the word blues is one of the words, like have a small blues. It might stay for some hours or a day. So this is not a full depressive episode, but depressive episode, normally it goes around two weeks and then it fades away, and then it might repeat. And it fades away. It might repeat under one reaches a certain point of major depression. It's like going often into phases and episodes of depression.

Mazen: And then, so nothing is generalized in that sense.

Mazen: What we see, what we notice with some folks, with some people we work.

Mazen: With and some acquaintances, it's, yeah, it's.

Mazen: It'S kind of like this gambling in the emotions. We. It's the cocktails of emotions that really might like lead to a different outcome. Emotional, emotional entanglement within ourselves that will look like. Yes, depressive episode. That was the obvious one we have noticed recently.

Mazen: And it's really, they're still focused on the work, but everything around their life.

Mazen: Gives them zero joy.

Mazen: They cannot connect to their family, they don't have anything that gives them pleasure, fun.

Mazen: So all what they see is the work you want. One would say, oh my God, he's a very performant CEO, which is lots.

Mazen: Of CEO are performing because this is.

Mazen: What they were built, this is why they're trusted. They're very, very good leader. They're very good executive beings, executive leaders. But then it comes on, spite of the health. And this is where we like, we, they get used to it so much, then they like, I do my job good and they are actually rewarded by that from the outside. And the board is happy, the investors.

Mazen: Is happy, the clients are happy, but in them actually.

Mazen: And this is really a red flag to, as a leader, executive leader of any sort, not only co, but of also any sort of department. When we start to see ourselves, we do not have any more joy being on ourselves. We don't know when we're on ourselves, we don't have joy meeting with people, with family, with kids, with spouses. Sport doesn't have a meaning. Food is. Yeah, doesn't have a meaning.

Mazen: This is enough red flag to stop.

Mazen: And try to regulate ask for support. And I would have said take a small break. But then sometimes there's not space to take small break.

Mazen: Then all what's needed. Reach out for help.

Mazen: Reach out for your HR department. If they can connect you with an.

Mazen: Outside practitioner, someone who can help, a.

Mazen: Consultant, a coach or you find someone on the outside who can come and support, you know that you do not have to travel this road alone and on top. And that's where comes responsibility. It's really a little bit irresponsible. That's where it won't. Probably, you know, CEO's don't like to see it because they are super responsible. They forgot themselves to really give everything for the company. They forgot to nurture themselves. They become what they hate the most. Very irresponsible because they gambling with their.

Mazen: Own health and things will start to.

Mazen: Be affected and seen and they will.

Mazen: Try to hide it, but they will start to really struggle and things will show up sooner or later the outside.

Mazen: So responsibility is to start to nurture oneself while being in that position.

Mazen: When nurturing is missed is very, very, very risky for the company.

Mino: And so Krisana, imagine we have someone we're supporting. It's probably not an imagination because we actually do this and support people all the time. But let's imagine a hypothetical CEO and they're struggling with many things Mazen mentioned. They have this feeling of, I mean, I am doing my job, I'm executing, I'm working hard and I feel very disconnected from people around me. I feel very alone. I don't feel like I have connection with my family. Things feel very joyless. There's no joy in my life. Hopeless, meaningless. I'm doing the job because it's my responsibility. But outside of that I really. I just don't feel a lot or I feel very disconnected. How would you approach working with someone like that? What might support them?

Krisana: I feel that these CEO's or someone like this, they've had to listen to so many stakeholders, so many people. And people are ready, are there ready to take advice. And I don't think there is someone.

Krisana: That is there just to be totally.

Krisana: First of all, listening to them, not analyzing them, just to be there in.

Krisana: The space so they can be themselves.

Krisana: And to see the humanness in them. So when I have. I have had CEO's come to work with me.

Krisana: But it's more because they already in the past, they know that they need.

Krisana: Support because they feel on the physical.

Krisana: Level or something on an emotional level is not imbalance. First of all, it's about creating a space of rapport and trust and confidentiality that you know, just to be listened.

Krisana: To and then also to discover with them what in the past gave them a sense of joy, a sense of freedom. So in the beginning I hold a space for them just to share.

Krisana: And they feel quite seen and heard for the first time and that's the first step.

Krisana: And then once they're open to also start to have a program or support, to support them to get on track.

Krisana: With having better lifestyle work, lifestyle balance.

Krisana: Then I can support them with that.

Krisana: But basically it's lonely at the top, it's lonely.

Krisana: And if you find good mentors or other people in startups that have CEO's, you want to have a confidentiality. So just listening to them and then not suggesting much because being as a.

Krisana: Leader there's a certain pride in this, certain status they hold, but just a rapport and holding space really supports.

Mazen: I would add on that like it's really the golden rules that I will share it now. I hope the ones will be hearing and those has really really to be respected within oneself. It's really to watch out for the five things. Having enough, not enough, but be able.

Mazen: To sleep, having a routine of sleeping.

Mazen: Catching on sleep, you know, they don't have to sleep, I don't know how.

Mazen: Much, but like because I know CEO's and executive leaders, they reduce it. Having sleep is that's the time where the body deals with chronic stress and then react, goes into this healing default mode and then really to exercise a few times a week, go for a walk, go for a jog and go for the gym. You're like yeah, but I don't have time. I'm like if we do not have time to take care of the body, the whole body will start to accumulate toxins, will start to accumulate stress, it will start to fail. So it's not a question of options here. And third is nutrition. You're like, but I don't have time to eat good. I'm like but all of this will influence the physiology, it will influence emotion, it will influence decision and the way.

Mazen: How we deal when we need to solve issues.

Mazen: And then most certainly, but I think CEO's are good in that, but not when they come to their own well.

Mazen: Being to have a certain structure.

Mazen: I'm like they're very good in structure, but actually even more when it comes to boundary. Boundary of their sleep, exercise, nutrition, boundary about their meetings. Boundary is like when do they end working on their phone? Do they bring their phone to bed. This is a red flag. So really understand the influence of bringing the phone to bed. That means they're constantly on emergency, they're constantly on survival, and they were never gonna rest. And it's very stressful for the system.

Mazen: And lastly, no man is an island.

Mazen: No human is an island in the sense of social engagement. Like, we need outside of work to have at least one being where we can have a call and just chat for 510 minutes just to feel presence, but at least keep something slightly alive where it's not everything transactional. So SEO is like transactional planning, mapping, leading, probably going for a walk and then speak with random people, something Kristana enjoys doing. She goes in busy weeks where we have a lot to do, creating, and I'm like, she wakes before all of us. She goes to dining cafe, and then where people, you know, the work didn't start yet. She's doing her work and randomly she has chats with people and that's her resource and she's indexed.

Mazen: Bring her balance. I don't have time to do that because I'm not probably structured in the same way.

Mazen: And then I miss on that. And the problem is when I miss on that, at certain point I feel fed up and I, you know, I take bigger break of like a few hours or an afternoon, and I'm like, just go strolling around the city, but there's a missing. And I'm like, I missed something, I.

Mazen: Don'T know what it is. And today I was like, going like.

Mazen: This and I randomly bumped into a.

Mazen: Friend and then we just chatted. I was like, oh, my goodness, that's it.

Mazen: Like, we chatted for half an hour and it was very resourcing.

Mazen: And I was like, it really gave.

Mazen: Me all the energy to go back.

Mazen: And then jump to work and do an amazing day. Amazing.

Mazen: Yeah.

Mazen: Finishing tasks.

Krisana: I do remember just bringing this up.

Krisana: I worked with a CEO once, but.

Krisana: At the time I was living on.

Krisana: A boat in Sydney, and I said.

Krisana: If we'd like to meet, we can.

Krisana: Meet on the boat was moored the harbor.

Krisana: And I think the fact that he had come on the boat, it was only ten minutes away from his work, stepped down on the boat and we sat on the boat, blew his mind away. And it was just way out of a structured session that I think that was the greatest resource he had. It opened him up and it was just something very resourceful to be in.

Krisana: A situation like this where there was.

Krisana: No control, but it was in nature and there was the boat and there.

Krisana: Was a session there. But I do remember that was quite.

Krisana: A resourceful session for the person.

Mino: Yes. I have to say one of the biggest learnings for me in working with CEO's and I guess even senior leaders in general, is the style of quote unquote, coaching I do. When I do executive coaching changes radically. So usually what I see is more in the kind of early stages of the career we're doing more like skill building. So learning how to do different, let's call them soft skills, whether it is decision making, relationship management, self management, emotional regulation. There comes a point about mid career that I find for me it's one of the most fun is when people tend to go through both a midlife crisis and a career crisis simultaneously. I think it's one in the same, but for some reason there's this idea that they're different. But there's this kind of crisis moment of rethinking my values and how I do things. And it opens this very kind of like fertile moment where like a lot of transformation is possible. There's so much openness to kind of change the self and the life. And as we move into the more senior roles and these tend to correlate, I think also with age, like typically there's folks who are more in the, especially in like the big organizations, more in their fifties and sixties by the time you get to this executive level. By that point, what I find is it's really just that space to talk and the school of coaching that I went to, which I love, by the way, but the three kind of pillars of, kind of what you tend to do with a client is you help them tap into their intrinsic motivation, you help them process emotion, and you help them get a new perspective if they have dilemmas and problem solving. And then I'm sitting there with like a CEO and I'm like, all right, so like, I'm going to whatever, you know, if I'm in a very analytical, I'm going to do one of these three things. I'm going to help them. And honestly, they just want to talk for an hour, 2 hours, I don't say a word. And at the end of the session I'm like, I didn't do anything, so what the hell did I just get paid to do? And yet the person in front of me saying that was the best thing ever. Thank you so much. This is one of the best sessions. And it took me a while as a coach to realize that the gift for someone in that position is really just holding space, being very present, being non judgmental, having compassion, listening, so that the other person feels like they can just relieve some of the pent up stuff that's going on.

Mino: Again, imagine there's someone who has no.

Mino: Peer, there's no outlet for them because their boss is the board, who is always looking for risk and could fire them. The people under them tend to project all this stuff about authority and the mother and the father and all this, like, whatever dynamics, and it's the boss that could fire them. And then everyone in the external world is people that, in theory, are in service of your clients, etcetera. Who does this person have to turn to? So just by just really sitting there and being present and listening, it really can support someone. And so that's one of the things that's been a big shift for me, is just as a coach over the last few years is just, yeah, enjoying that. That's my role at times, and not needing to push something else, because then it becomes actually about me and what I think should happen versus what's going to help and resource this person. And so, Krisana, you mentioned two words, which, funny enough, lead us to a bit of the next section. You mentioned control and boats. So that's exactly where we're going to go. I'm going to start by talking about one of my favorite. It's a famous. One of my favorite kind of studies done it is by the United States Navy. And they were looking at how to staff people on a submarine so that the teams would get along really well, because if you're under the ocean for long periods of time in a sealed vessel, the chances of conflict go up very high. And so what can you do to put together folks on the boat, on the submarine so that they don't kill each other? They found three elements, and today we're going to talk about one of those three. So as a little bit of a dangling the carrot in another episode, we'll probably talk about the other two. Today we're going to talk about one of the three, which is our need for control. And it's a natural human part of being who we are. On one end of, there's two components, really, to control to think about. And it's, again, I'm going to reemphasize it again and again and again, because there can be this thing of, like, control is bad. Certain kinds of control might not serve us, it might not be adaptive, but control is truly a human part of being human. There's two facets to control. The first is how much we exercise control. So how much do I direct things, do I seek to lead things? And it's a spectrum. So on the low end of the spectrum, I'm really hands off. I'm really only going to be very selective of what I pick and choose to take on. And on the other end is much more of that full kind of micro management. I have my hands on everything, doing everything, and there's people can be anywhere between that spectrum from I'm totally hands off, I don't want to touch this to, I have to hold on to absolutely everything. And the reason I say it's, it's, it depends on the situation is because in different businesses, different kinds of control are needed. So if I take for instance a startup, when you first start a company, what we've typically seen is that you need to exercise higher levels of control because there's no one there to do the job. So the founder is doing 20 jobs on their own, so they need to know what's happening in those 20 jobs and to execute them. So you need to exercise direction, setting and handling things. If you're super hands off in a startup, it's going to be a very tough thing to basically put it into orbit as the organization matures and you hire people, that same behavior is typically one of the huge sticking points that gets founders and CEO's in trouble, because the more you hire people, if you continue to micromanage and control things, you're disempowering your people, you're creating cultural clashes, people quit, it becomes its own kind of problem. There's another kind of control, which is the one we don't talk about as much, which is basically how much control I want to be exerted on me from other people is one way of looking at it. So on the very low end, it's basically, back off. Do not tell me what to do. I am fully independent. I follow no one. And on the other side of the spectrum, which is the I want a high level of, I want high level of control. It is tell me what to do. I need you to tell me what to do. Literally step by step by step by step. And that's another spectrum of control, is how much I let the external world into me. So again, I'm either super independent or on the other spectrum, it's super dependent. Of course, there's a sweet middle ground at some point where you can take input from your environment and at times be a follower, but at times be a leader. So these are the two kinds of control. How much I exert control and direct things, how hands on, hands off I am. And the other is how much I am open to direction from others. And so we're going to talk about these kind of different kinds of control and how they kind of impact us. And one of the kind of fun ways to do that is sometimes these form little profiles. So there's whatever I think like ten different profiles when it comes to control. Different archetypes, let's call it. But we're going to focus on three today. The first is the type of leader which is very hands off. You know, I don't want to take ownership for things. I don't want to take responsibility for things, but don't tell me what to do. So very independent, but also I don't want to really take control of stuff. And we call this the rebel profile. And so I'd like to start with Mazen. In your perspective, if you have a CEO and they're exhibiting this rebel profile, what do you believe the impact of that is on the organization and the people around them?

Mazen: I will start with this. When we decide as an executive leader of any sort to be really hands off and not take and not really controlling, it really shows up that really we don't want to take responsibility. And then it might also be a.

Mazen: Fear of commitment because I'm in that position for a reason.

Mazen: So if I do not interfere probably of to deal with the communication like I let them do whatever they want. The issue with that which is. I know it clearly, I've been through that myself. It just. It feels off. Very cool actually. Like very cool person. Yeah, do whatever it's needed. But deep down there is control. There is a different form of control. And it really shows up. And when people like it shows up, it's really a lot independent people. Very. I am independent. It's people mainly who did everything on their own in their life. They had to rely only on themselves. So become this kind of teacher, which is good. And one it's very positive. They like, they want to show the.

Mazen: People that everyone should start to find.

Mazen: Their own leadership within and then start working together. But it's a bit risky because that.

Mazen: Person, it cannot take feedback.

Mazen: So it will block feedback from the outside because nobody can tell that person what to do or what happened. So in a sense they will be from that person control over the communication. So you have to become on top of it. And you will be always funneling in a way that you will always hear what you want and then control what you don't. So you cannot see reality as it is.

Mazen: So the risk for is like, you.

Mazen: Won'T see reality of the company, of.

Mazen: The employees, of the department in the proper way. And it's too loose that the departments and division might, you know, be too loose, actually. So it won't be as fast a progress.

Mino: Krisana, we have a hypothetical leader in front of us who is. I'm independent. I don't take feedback from the world. Don't tell me what to do. I don't need support. What are some of the potential downsides when you have a kind of conditioning like that as a CEO?

Mino: Yes.

Krisana: Well, the whole company is alerted that.

Krisana: You cannot go to this CEO because.

Krisana: There'S not going to be any clear communication. There'll be a lot of fears set up in the other teams and they will try to. Try to work it out themselves and there'll be a lot of chaos and confusion.

Krisana: Someone like that is, well, I do.

Krisana: Work a lot with relating dynamics, but someone who's like that is very independent, don't tell me what to do, but very low on intimacy. So again, like Mazen said, like communication or truly being able to be vulnerable to what they're feeling or what they. What's going on for them. So, yeah, that's quite a devastating space to have someone in that position for a long time in a company, because then a company culture is built around.

Krisana: Going to somebody else who is going.

Krisana: To support them, to lead and give direction.

Krisana: So there'll be kind of different, there'll.

Krisana: Be this leader and there'll be other.

Krisana: Sub leaders taking the helm and they're.

Krisana: Not in that position. And there'll be a lot of walking.

Krisana: On eggshells and then others who will.

Krisana: Want to mirror the same and say, I want to be like that person who will think that this is how a leader should be, but it's not healthy mirroring of what leadership is, if you like that.

Mino: Yeah. So I'll kind of spill the beans a little bit on us too. So we have a test that measures these things, by the way. So if anyone's interested, reach out to us. But we measure ourselves. We measure ourselves on occasion to see where we're at. We came from a more freelancer background, the three of us, at a certain point as we were forming three peak and in that role, and when we measured ourselves, we all came out in the rebel profile. And there's some beauty to the rebel profile, which is I pick and choose what I want to do when I want to do it. And I'm really good with ambiguity because I have this kind of independence thing that's developed. And then as we moved into running a company, what we very consciously and intentionally realized communicate with each other and then made behavioral changes is that we needed to exert more control, which is we needed to take more ownership and responsibility of the different functions of our company. It's a startup, so we have to be on top of stuff. And we all each opened up to taking more feedback from each other over time. So we loosened up on both sides. We are able to get more in our hands and we're able to relax into sometimes being a leader and sometimes being a follower of each other. We do that, I think, quite beautifully at this point in time. What I noticed in myself is that it took me more energy to exert more control. So kind of being the more cool guy, the rebel, like running around, it's like it didn't require as much self management because I wasn't doing as much. Now when I have my hands and stuff and I'm running stuff and I'm running the company, I feel that I need to expend more energy. So I need to almost build more energy and take care of myself in a different way. Mazen, have you noticed, because I know you're, we're all in this, but as a fellow former rebel who is now really in a very more mature leadership role in a company, what have you noticed about the differences in you as you have changed your relationship to control?

Mazen: I would really say from a psychological.

Mazen: Perspective is that was running the show.

Mazen: Deep down, to make me in that profile is fully not fully committing in a sense of yes. I said yes to all of that, but not total totality in my commitment because I found, you know, like the glitch in the matrix, when you do not commit 100%, you, there's an illusion.

Mazen: I'm not that responsible.

Mazen: So I wait until the other also rise to power with me so I.

Mazen: Don'T have to take the full blame.

Mazen: Or the full thing. Like, it's too much for me. I don't, I don't want to deal with that.

Mazen: It's more of a kind of, yeah.

Mazen: Like kind of a escapism strategy in the rebel.

Mazen: And now actually what I see very, very clear is commitment.

Mazen: Like the amount of commitment. But I cannot separate the word commitment and responsibility. I start to see them interchanging and it start to be empowering in a sense. Oh my goodness, if I do not.

Mazen: Do it, I cannot expect them to do it.

Mazen: And then, and then from there comes communication. So once I worked with commitment. So with me fully not be hands off, but hands on. I slowly went in naturally go to the other thing which is communicating it. So they are very one and the same similar profile, like this very aloof, relaxed leader that also independent, doesn't want to hear feedback, actually it has to do with commitment and responsibilities. But the more commitment and responsibility is taken, the more easy will be to communicate and the more easy to start asking for the communication back to understand what's happening.

Mazen: So that's what I can say for now.

Mino: I'll share with me before asking Krisana, her experience is for me, one of the underpinning motivations for being a rebel, rebel profile leader is, I mean, this is a whole probably other podcast episode, but I have a lot of complicated relationships with control and other people and control and my upbringing and what I, I perceive control as something that hurts people. And that was the, that was the mindset I had, the belief system. So my belief system was if I exert control, then I'm gonna hurt someone else. Ironically, the only people who I would be, quote unquote, stepping on their toes are probably other fellow rebels who are also rejecting the but anyone else outside of the rebel profile. If you as a leader, show direction, you're doing, you're doing your job. And I've started to come to realize with my clients, with our teams, our people, when I show direction, people relax. It's actually a huge benefit to the individual who's part of the mission, who's part of the organization. And so that was a big belief system I had to unwind. For me is that actually people feel safe. When you show direction and leadership, you're not harming people by saying, we're going in this direction. The only people who are going to freak out are people like younger versions of me who are rebels. And they have a, I kindly would suggest to my younger self, you have some processing to do to unwind some of those things. Krisana, you're also someone that, at least when we measured it when we first started three peak, had a more of a rebel profile. We've remeasured it now. We can say that we've killed off our inner rebels for now, at least. What has the transition looked like for you as you now are the founder of this company, you're running things. What has it felt like for you to kind of change your relationship with the amount of control that we exert?

Krisana: First of all, I think when I did that, the rebel profile and I was high rebel, is because I had.

Krisana: Had a company before and I had.

Krisana: Come from like, okay, I need to have very clear boundaries. So I kept myself in my rebel space with, like, I don't want people.

Krisana: Too close into my boundaries.

Krisana: So I create a rebel. I was really good at directing and leading, and then I know when I did it, I was more hands off.

Krisana: Like, okay, I've got to bring in.

Krisana: Other people to, they're going to lead to. I'm not going to direct all the time. For me, what changed was stepping into the space.

Krisana: To be in my role and in.

Krisana: My position, where we're taking on many roles and tasks at the moment, is to, again, meet people, because I know I have quite a good talent of rapport with people. And I took that step again to give, not give myself, open myself up. I was a bit more like, you know, that's been touched, a lot of vulnerability. So I was protecting the lion's heart. So the lion's heart is open. So it was more of letting go.

Krisana: Of any fear that might happen, but.

Krisana: Also having flexible boundaries and also making an organization around myself and direction. So that's where I see and I do know it's for the benefit of this company for us to move forward, to take on these roles. And this is part of the position I'm in at this moment.

Krisana: And I love to do this and meet people.

Mino: Beautiful. So now I want to move us to a second archetype, which is called Mission Impossible. So we bid thank you and farewell to the rebels. So now mission impossible is someone that wants to exert high levels of express control. So they want to micromanage everything, but they don't want anyone to tell them what to do. Not open for follower, for following, not open for feedback. So it's, I know what I'm doing. I'm going to handle everything. I'm going to have my hands in everything and micromanage everything. But don't you dare tell me I'm independent. Mister Mazan, if you experience a leader like this, what is the impact on the organization and people around them?

Mazen: This is pressure. This is burnout.

Mazen: This is exhaustion, this is fatigue. This is actually what we start to speak about it, those depressive moods. Because to exert control and micromanage every single thing without being open for feedback back as if we're saying, I want to be the whole company, I want to be processing everything that's in the company. It's an organism, a body. I want to do all of those, but I want, I will not gonna receive any feedback loop to what's really happening. It creates so much pressure. Imagine, imagine a normal mechanistic machine, a.

Mazen: Vessel that is, doesn't have a feedback.

Mazen: Loop, that does everything constantly and doesn't like, even a car has a, has a, you know, has temperature, and you know what's happening. It brings the temperature so high because you cut from the feedback, the resources, the understanding, the signals, telling you where.

Mazen: You will be going. Having said that, all those profiles are not wrong and are not bad.

Mazen: All those profile are needed in different scenarios. Sometimes it's super important to be in that mission impossible. Literally look at the name mission impossible, and you need those executive leaders to do the impossible mission. And that's why lots of boards, sometimes you see them changing SEO, bringing one for a while, solving the mission, and tell the CEO, thank you.

Mazen: So again, those archetypes are useful, but.

Mazen: The beauty is we can change our archetype based on our environment. So if we cannot adapt, these types will be used for a different stage and evolution of a company.

Mazen: But if we adapt, we can remain with that company.

Mazen: So again, those archetype, this are specific archetype is very, very, very good in times of crisis, in times of there's mistrust in the system, something is shaky, something has happened. So you bring a person like this, it will micromanage a little bit, see where the issue open. It dissected not trusting because, and then not receiving feedback because the board tell them go full on. But once the mission became possible and.

Mazen: Has been solved, this archetype, which is.

Mazen: Nothing but a pattern or behavior, has to be changed. And most of the time when those very efficient people don't change, funnily enough.

Mazen: The same board that brought them will make them leave.

Mino: And that absolutely coincides with everything I've seen and studied is actually when we look at against startups, these are tend to be the, actually the more successful archetypes or profiles. Rebel leaders and mission impossible tend to be pretty good startup founders because again, the rebel is more really good with ambiguity. And yeah, they're more selective in what they do, but if they do choose to do something, they can do it, but it's a little bit more of the fluid profile, very empowering. The mission impossible get stuff done. But exactly what you said is the moment they fulfill their function, if they cannot adapt to a different style, it becomes very difficult to work with those individuals. So typically what you'd like to see in a bigger corporate setting is more adaptive behavior, or more just moderate behavior. You're kind of in the middle and middle. So you're both okay handling some things, being a bit hands off at times and delegating at times, being in there again, doing this oscillation right between delegation and managing. And then on the flip side, you're okay sometimes being a follower, sometimes being okay with ambiguity. So finding that middle space, that sweet spot in a kind of more bigger corporate setting. But startups are unique and I think a little bit of a pressure kind of container by its virtue. So it takes a little bit because it's an extreme environment at times. It takes some extreme behaviors to make them successful. And so that's the question for each one is, am I basically like a functional player, like a role player, you bring me in for a situation, or am I a situational leader that can be around for a longer period of time? So either you're there for the situation or your situational and can be there for a long period of time. Krisana, if we talk about that kind of mission impossible kind of archetype, so tons of micromanaging control behavior, and then there's also the flip side of control, which is like, don't tell me what to do. I do not follow, I do not take input. What is your perception of a kind of a leader like that and their impact?

Krisana: Well, if you have to take control of the whole company and micromanage is because inside of you is, if I don't do this, oh my God, the company will fall apart. I am responsible. It's all on me. So on the deep root of it, they have had to be probably highly responsible when they were young.

Krisana: And I can't trust what happens if I fall apart.

Krisana: Oh, my God, I have to trust. I have to let go and allow.

Krisana: Somebody else to do it with all.

Krisana: The fears that it may not be your way and it may not, it will be a different way it's done. So learning how to let go, learning to delegate, learning to give people other space to do it their way as well. So it's a lot to do with high, high stress to keep all that together. And, okay, there's adaptation. One needs to adapt, but also one needs to look at how identified are you if you've been in the mission.

Krisana: Impossible type and how are you still attached.

Krisana: So we need, okay, we must adapt, but we still got to look inside. Oh, I really enjoy it. I'm really identified when I'm in the mission impossible space or I'm still attached to it, can I let go of it and allow myself to delegate and come into other multi dimensions of leading and being in this role, because it's always changing.

Mino: Yeah. I'm going to return to a bit of what Mazen shared is when the research was done in the US Navy, each one of these kind of facets is underpinned by some psychological driver and some psychological fear. So under control is the desire to be seen as competent. So I have competence. And the fear is I am afraid of being humiliated or embarrassed. And what I find is that people who have high levels of control, again, I almost say that both ends of the spectrum are high levels of control in different ways. Because if you are someone who's totally independent, you're still exerting a lot of control. If you're micromanaging, you're exerting a lot of control. Like you're.

Mino: There's.

Mino: There's this game that's being played out. If you are kind of more the rebel, then you kind of reject the world before the world has a chance to reject you. It is I don't want to be humiliated. So I'm not going to try. The mission impossible is I'm so afraid of being humiliated that I'm going to manage the shit out of everything and make sure there's no mistakes. But both are playing the same game, which is I don't want to feel vulnerable. I don't want to feel Mazen. We've talked a lot about in the last, even just week or so, when we've interacted with some of the CEO's that we're working with, there's this kind of not asking for support or fear of asking for support. There's almost a fear sometimes of getting work started that will support them and prevent crisis from happening. What's your message to CEO's that are afraid to receive some support?

Mazen: They are playing a game with high risk.

Mazen: They have responsibility and only if they know that the moment, just the moment.

Mazen: They seek for support, just the act of doing it. This is the solution.

Mazen: Not even, even before even the session starts.

Mazen: But it shows really something is opening.

Mazen: Willing to receive it will release something.

Mazen: Change something in their behavior, in their brain, in their body. And they will feel a small letting.

Mazen: Go that a little bit pressure is off.

Mazen: They are not supposed to be alone on the path. And then somebody else can really be there.

Mazen: And this someone else is not gonna be known.

Mazen: It's someone they bring people don't know. Like they will still be the one who's running the show. But really everyone need to have someone beside them.

Mazen: Because we are humans and then we.

Mazen: Have so much to do, so much.

Mazen: To take care of.

Mazen: And we say, but I don't need anyone. I know about leading. I did a coaching session. I am a coach myself.

Mazen: I'm like, that's good, but we always need someone to go to, whoever we are.

Mazen: Practitioners, coach, therapists, healers, leaders. We always need to know where to.

Mazen: Go somewhere because we always need to.

Mazen: Rely a little bit on something that's outside of us when it comes to bouncing. And just to say, actually there is a place where I ask for support. And as you said, mino, most of.

Mazen: The time the support is given by someone's presence. As simple as that.

Mazen: And this is where the leader should not think that they failed. And that's issue. Sometimes they don't ask, ah, but if I ask support, I failed.

Mazen: Like, no, actually this is soon.

Mazen: In the years to come, this is.

Mazen: Will be the sign of success to.

Mazen: Know how to ask. And actually I think more and more the board and investors will start and some companies are doing that oblige. Make it mandatory if you want to.

Mazen: Take a CEO role, will have you.

Mazen: Something that will support you along the way. Otherwise you're trying to play a superman role, very godly role that you're untouchable and you know it all.

Mazen: I'm like, yes, you know it all. But it's not about knowing. It's about having someone that you can.

Mazen: Vent off, you can share a bit.

Mazen: And that someone have a certain experience.

Mazen: To hold space and even to guide.

Mazen: When it's time is needed to do so.

Mino: And can you for us, because we've talked a lot about the kind of independent to dependent kind of axis. So I'm either super independent or I'm super dependent on someone else. Can you define for us, in your opinion, what is interdependence?

Mazen: Interdependence is the way of nature.

Mazen: And interdependence is how our body functions.

Mazen: It's how nature works with all the elements and it's how human societies, when they really function, it works actually. And this is how the cosmos and the galaxy and the solar system to think we're not interdependent, it's to be.

Mazen: Living in illusion and the denial and.

Mazen: Actually not understand the science of existence. Interdependency is nothing more than to know for me existing. I need to be interdependent to the outside as much the outside need to be interdependent to me. So it's more of a common thing. You know, I'm now speaking with you.

Mazen: Through a phone, a microphone, a computer.

Mazen: I am interdependent of another company, somewhere designed in the states, manufactured in China, to be able to do this broadcast, to come out and reassure it. If I say I'm independent, I don't need anyone, I'm like, the moment I have an issue with my computer, I definitely need someone. So the illusion of I don't need anyone, it's just really big and it's really not true. Imagine one of the organs would say, oh, actually, I don't need to communicate with this organ. I don't need that amount of blood flow. Like the whole body is interdependent.

Mazen: So, and that's a fact.

Mazen: It's a very, very scientific fact. The thing is, and this is where people need to start to be aware of it, definitions are so important. We check nature and then our body, and then we understand how to improve in our society. It is the word autonomous. What people are seeking behaviors and skids is not independency, is seeking their becoming autonomous. Being the body is autonomous, that it has its own power to regulate itself. And suddenly, then it starts to seek energy from outside and love from outside. But by itself, each organ is autonomous.

Mazen: It knows what it needs to do.

Mazen: But then it's independent with the organs around. So a healthy person, I'm not going to say leader, every single person, it's a journey from being codependent to the parents, then going to teenagers, becoming independent, asking for independence, financial independency, emotional independency, but then loving it, because it was a super reaction from when we were kids. And I don't want to feel that feeling. And then we are so proud, we become independent. But independence is nothing than the reaction of being dependent. So dependent and independence are the same.

Mazen: Thing, the same coin from both sides. And the goal is not independency.

Mazen: The goal is autonomous, yet independent. And this is empowerment.

Mino: Krisana, from your angle, what does that look like, being interdependent, autonomous? What have you observed with people when they kind of reach that kind of healthy relating.

Krisana: You'Re clear of your personal.

Krisana: Boundaries and interacting with other people. So your boundaries are flexible, so you.

Krisana: Understand what's healthy for you with others. Also, you're autonomous. But you can also understand that you're.

Krisana: Relating with another person. So there's, there has to be.

Krisana: A flow.

Krisana: So it's not rigid, it's not rigid.

Krisana: Borders, but understanding how to receive the other person, also to be able to express yourself and also to understand the person has their way of seeing life.

Krisana: And it may be different to you. And you have to respect that. So it's a lot to do with respect, but also respecting yourself and respecting the other and finding a dance between that. So a lot with boundaries and finding your autonomy, but being also available to the other person.

Mazen: I would like to add the play of. Of words and then the construct. What happens when we are in a very independent position? We're like, I don't need anyone.

Mazen: Right?

Mazen: So it's a way of feeling empowered. I don't need anyone. I don't need anything. Again, so it's a statement, right? And when in a very codependent, it's like, I need someone. I need someone, otherwise I wouldn't be able to survive. So as you see, it's a really parallel. And then actually the reality is this is based on what we have lived. It's just a reaction on it.

Mazen: But when we are independent, is really.

Mazen: Being in the present moment, like nature, like our body. It's like I need someone or something.

Mazen: When it's time to need something and.

Mazen: I don't need something when it's not time to need something. So interdependent and autonomous is being in the present moment to what is needed and one with our environment. So leaders who become in the. Who arrive in the present moment and stop playing out their personal healing, their personal journey and then using their companies and their career to heal the wound with the mother and with the father and with the codependency and with authority and with the, you know, with the religion and with school system, there is another place, and this is where. Seek out support. Seek out support. Stop playing those games. Because everything when we are a leader is magnified. If I'm going through that to know where I am, it's magnified. So I'm not living in the present. So when we become independent is I'm aware I'm a good leader, I have a vision, and based on what's there, I'll ask support or not. So it's very flexible and that does not make me lesser.

Mino: A couple more notes on these kind of two archetypes and then we're going to actually introduce a third archetype, is we've talked about with the rebel profile, it's allowing yourself to take on a little bit more commitmEnt. So learning how to commit to things, processing the fear of feeling exposed, of being vulnerable, of making mistakes, trying. Giving yourself the gift of trying things right, the fear of greatness, like allowing yourself to move beyond sort of, sort these sorts of conditionings. One thing is that I often, if I work with someone who's more mission impossible. I've tried out, and there's, I mean, there's usually tremendous resistance, but I find it fun is I asked them to play out the fool archetype. What would it look like to be the fool?

Mino: And there's usually a lot of resistance.

Mino: To like, I don't want to be seen as foolish or stupid, but it's the more you can just play, act as a fool and let go, the more that it can be a fun game. So I leave that for folks who might identify more with that archetype. That's one of the things you could play with in your own time and space, is allow yourself to be foolish and to enjoy that archetype. There can be tremendous wisdom in the fool. So now we introduce our third archetype, which is called the loyal lieutenant. And in the the loyal lieutenant, what they exhibit is I don't want to exert any control. I'm hands off. I don't want to take on any new project. I don't want to be the leader. But tell of me what to do. The you have to tell me everything. I need to know exactly. Tell me what to do. Tell me everything. And so they, the loyal lieutenant, because they don't want to take on things, but they want to be told exactly what to do. And believe it or not, there are many senior leaders who have this profile.

Mino: And we've worked with some.

Mino: And so as an employee, you might look at that and be like, how is that possible? But people get put in roles and they have conditioning. They have their kind of learned characteristics, and this can be one of them. So, Mazen, imagine that there's a senior leader who is more in this kind of, like, loyal lieutenant. I don't want to take anything on, but tell me what to do and I'll go do it. What is the impact on the organization and people around when you have that kind of archetype in a leadership position?

Mazen: Imagine we are in the ocean, and.

Mazen: Then this is the captain of the.

Mazen: Of the, of the ship.

Mazen: I'm like, it's a disaster. I don't know who will be running.

Mazen: The ship, and I don't know how.

Mazen: To deal with the outside, how to.

Mazen: Deal with the inside.

Mazen: It is very risky. Control is needed here. Control, because actually this archetype, as I feel it, and mino, you worked more deeply in the tests and you've been applying it. But now when I hear it first, it's like, interesting. This is a very, very, very deep.

Mazen: Rooted fear of failure that they tried.

Mazen: Something in the past, and they're like, oh, my goodness. I'm afraid of failure.

Mazen: I'm afraid of trying. I'm afraid of, you know, starting to.

Mazen: Be a little bit independent in my way of thinking and doing, because I may be judged.

Mazen: There is lots of guilt. And then it comes with, I am.

Mazen: Afraid of taking responsibility. Then if I do not take control and you tell me what to do.

Mazen: Whatever happens, it's not my issue, then.

Mazen: I don't have fear, shame. I don't want feel guilt, I won't feel responsible.

Mazen: And I'm like, oh, it didn't work.

Mazen: So it's very tricky. I'm a bit like this because I come initially from a rebel archetype. So.

Mazen: It'S kind of the opposite spectrum, right?

Mazen: So again, like, it's the opposite spectrum.

Mazen: And now I'm finding balance playing, playing.

Mazen: In those, and to be honest, and I think mino probably were guiding us.

Mazen: In the show, actually, even here, I always start to say what's really why this archetype is not helpful, but why also it's helpful.

Mazen: So now I showed how it's not helpful and what's the deep seated fear. But actually, it is also very helpful, because nothing is negative or positive alone.

Mazen: It's bad. It combines both.

Mazen: I love to be the loyal lieutenant. Sometimes it depends on what I'm working with. I'm not the head of few departments and someone else, you know, sometimes you're heading certain departments. So I would like to know that.

Mazen: Really you're in control of it, and I like to know to execute.

Mazen: So if you tell me suddenly, I know, but it's for you. And I'm like, okay, I'm lost. So either I fully on top of it or not so loyal lieutenant. It's again. But I play it in different projects. So imagine if I'm going to CEO in a big company. If I allocate someone, delegate a certain position to run something, and they have full control. Yeah, it's good to see where they are. But actually, I create a structure to it that sometimes I check in. So if this archetype have a checking.

Mazen: In, supervising those people who are put.

Mazen: Delegated to be leaders, this is very good. So that means I come back, I hear where they are, and they're in control.

Mazen: If they don't need me, and I.

Mazen: Check if they're doing well, if they're doing well, I'm like, good. I will ask, do you need something from me? No, thank you. But I still have the responsibility in being the loyal lieutenant to check that it's going well. If it's not going well, I have.

Mazen: To change this archetype immediately and exert another power I have.

Mazen: So again, it's good when we delegate, when things are running.

Mazen: You have good leaders around you. It's good.

Mazen: But plus you need to add some.

Mazen: Supervision to check that everything is going well.

Mino: And so I really associate this archetype with something we've talked about on this podcast before, which is learned helplessness. I don't want to take anything on and I need you to tell me what to do or I can't function. And again, believe it or not, every human is pause is capable of going into learned helplessness, including senior leaders and the CEO of the company, Krisana. What's the impact if you have a CEO that's in learned helplessness and what could they possibly do to get out of learned helplessness?

Krisana: It's very detrimental because there's a lot of.

Krisana: No self worth.

Krisana: There is, I'm wrong. Have I made mistakes? Oh my God, am I guiding everyone the right way so it can start to spiral down into this victimhood of learning? There's no way out.

Krisana: And then it's really a full sense.

Krisana: And there can also be what comes up, imposter syndrome. And also, I'm wrong. I might make a mistake and someone's going to tell me I'm wrong.

Krisana: You're bad. You did it, you know, so I don't come out with my healthy expressions.

Krisana: My healthy emotional states, and I get trapped into this learned helplessness, but there are ways out of it.

Krisana: And then if the emotional intelligence to.

Krisana: See this is intact, then what you would do is then seek support outside with mentors or people have seeked support with us just to get back on track. It's also to give guidelines and a.

Krisana: Healthy approach to come back online, to.

Krisana: Come back into their resources, to be able to come out of these habits and learn patterns and to see in their life what they have created that gives them a sense of healthy pride and worth and things that they have achieved and then to keep them back.

Krisana: On track of that. But it's very awful if that starts.

Krisana: To happen in a leader because they lose sense of themselves and it's a lot to do also with the mental and emotional states that they're in when they've been for a long time in.

Krisana: Accumulated stress and not taking themselves.

Krisana: This psychological aspect can drop in like.

Krisana: A trapdoor, like, oh my God, who am I? What am I doing?

Krisana: But then that's to know, to check.

Krisana: In that there's states in your emotional.

Krisana: States and physical body that you need.

Krisana: To get in contact with and put.

Krisana: Back in balance and order so you're natural, balanced and healthy again. So you can move through this into.

Krisana: A state of being healthy and balanced and grounded and present.

Mino: Yes, as we kind of, we will soon start to a bit transition, but as we kind of talk about control, there's a few things that I'll kind of really highlight as really roots. We've already mentioned several times, but I'm going to re highlight them. Is really sitting and processing fear. Fear drives up control and in a way that is not easy to adapt or change the level of control that we fear. So fear, fear, fear. Tackle the roots of fear. Sit with fear. Befriend fear, digest fear. Really enjoy having fear and understand its impact on the physical, emotional and mental layers of the body. Learning how to not identify so much with ourselves, our actions, our mistakes, our reputation. Having a healthy distance to say, I can try something and see what the result is. And it's, if it's not perfect, it's okay if I fail, but I need to try something. I want to be creative. I want to be in this different energy. It's tough to have such a rigid control of who I am and what I'm about because that is a form of control. It's a mechanism of control. And again, control in and of itself is not bad. But if we can't adapt it to the situation, then we're hitting everything with the hammer. Everything's the nail. So learning how to use different types of control in different moments, in different forms, that's really the art form, that's the mastery, that's the beauty of being a leader. For folks that are really, really, really independent, there's such a fear of something is going to come and shatter me. So how do I move beyond that and open myself up to the world and to feedback? And so that's exactly where I kind of want to go next, which is I don't think this is like a perfect heuristic, but one of the little sayings is that CEO's have the most power in the organization, but the lowest amount of information. And the employee at the bottom of the organization who's out there and doing the job has the most information and the lowest level of power. Because the employee is working in the company every day they're talking to customers, every day they see the dysfunction, every day they see what's working. So if you talk to almost any employee they can tell you exactly what's wrong with this company. And if you talk to a CEO, they probably don't know, but they're the ones who actually have the authority to do something. There's also a lot of interesting research about when you increase power, and it's called power differential, the amount of difference of power between levels in the organization. Self awareness tends to go down and it's a variety of things. One is many people when they get more power and authority, there's also a proportionate increase of ego, and I know what I'm doing, but there's also a proportionate increase in other people projecting authority onto the CEO and saying, I don't want to share stuff because I'm afraid to share with the boss. If I share honestly with the boss, maybe they'll kick me out, or maybe they'll judge me, or maybe this or maybe that. So even if the CEO has no ego, if the other people in the organization bring their own kind of authority issues into the organization, then you're still going to have the same outcome, which is that the CEO doesn't have the information they need. And what we see to with the CEO is if they're really getting good quality information within two years of running a company, they start to feel it like an extension of themselves. So humans have this incredible capability of bonding with their tools. So if you drive a car, think about when you're driving a car, when something happens, you don't really think about, I have to then the steering wheel, I have to do this. You instinctively feel the car as an extension of yourself and you can maneuver the car very quickly without thinking it becomes a part of your body. And research has found that CEO's, if they're in a kind of intuitive space within two years and they're getting good information, they feel the organization in the same way. So when something happens, they instinctively, intuitively feel like something is wrong in sales.

Mino: Or something just happened in marketing.

Mino: And that's the very cool thing about kind of being in that position, is you get to feel the organization as part of you. But to do that you need information, you need feedback loops, you need to understand what's happening around you. And so we've talked about one of the things is not being open to feedback. I want to protect myself so much. I want to remove every almost feedback stressor. It's a personal attack on me. But I'm going to ask first, Mazen, if you have a CEO, and for whatever reason they're like, I don't want.

Mino: To look at something, I'm avoiding it.

Mino: Like if I just use us as a personal example, you know, at times we're not always the best at looking at our finances, right? There's a lot of things that we've gravitated towards. So what happens when you don't look at something head on in an organization?

Mazen: So you're not facing something and that would create momentum. It create unconscious, like an explained in the body, in the psychology, whenever we have something, we don't want to look.

Mazen: At it create fear more than what.

Mazen: Really this thing is. Normally, this thing probably is not fearful, but to know that there is something there, we start to give it power.

Mazen: By not facing it, and hence it creates fear. It's the same thing with us that.

Mazen: The problem of fear of something is not. It's not the emotion we're having is that we ignore it and start to. The fear starts to create more power over us. So when this happens, we. There is something we feel within us. Something is not well, but we don't know where it is. So that's why it's good sometimes to.

Mazen: Do, to go to check in, like.

Mazen: Check in where are things? And if something has been missed.

Mazen: But whatever is missed will create a.

Mazen: Momentum of fear and start to generate its own power until it goes so big that we have really to face.

Mazen: It and then it blocks the energy from flowing forward.

Mino: Actually, I'd like to hear your opinion. So what happens when we don't face things in a company, in life, when we don't look at something head on.

Krisana: When we don't face it, we already know we don't want to face it. Because in the unconscious, we've decided.

Krisana: In the conscious mind, we've decided, I.

Krisana: Don'T want to see that anymore. But it's there in the unconscious, nagging, but it's not going to do something until you bring your conscious mind to.

Krisana: It, to face it. So generally it's uncomfortable to feel it. And it's much easier to go with the things that are already happening or in action.

Krisana: And it's really important to look at.

Krisana: The things that are in the field.

Krisana: Of the organization of your company. How can I say? I don't know how I do it, but I do know what are the aspects, what is the aspects in our organization and our company. And they have a certain vibrational field. And even I know that some are.

Krisana: Not even getting much energy or being.

Krisana: Faced if they're not looked at, there's going to create an imbalance and there's going to be things that are going to be upset. So is to face everything and to also say, okay, you know, what have we neglected? What are we giving too much attention?

Krisana: You know, why are we too much.

Krisana: Into research and development when research and development phase needs to be over and now we need to move into action. So it's coming together and having no fear to face it and to be also able to see. Like when we do this, we actually manifest a more balanced, in harmony direction for the company to grow and for.

Krisana: All of us to also have our place, have our position and feel respected and feel full and happy with what we're doing.

Mino: So I'll add that when we don't look at things, they manifest into crisis. And we'll have a whole episode coming up soon about crisis. It's one of our favorite topics, something we do love to support in, but even more so, we love to prevent them so we can have fun in the cleanup, but we love to prevent crisis. And with our clients, we try to do that as much as possible. And then we go to our clients, we go to CEO's or senior leaders and we say, we need to look at this. We need to look at that. Let's turn over this rock. Let's turn over that rock. And part of that very tangibly means we want to do surveys, interviews, collect data, see how the employees are doing, how do they feel about leadership? How is their health and wellness? Are they prepared for change? And we've had a few instances in the last, whatever, several clients where, oh, no, no, we're good, we're good, we're good. Or, yeah, we did that, like, whatever, seven, eight years ago. And then a senior person, a critical person, quits your organization and it's a complete blindside. You had no clue. Or you interview someone that left and they say, actually, there's this other person I have a huge conflict with or whatever was not a good leader or this thing and that thing. And it comes as a huge shock, as a surprise. Or people, I keep putting people in the same role over and over again. They keep failing and failing and failing, and we're losing clients and we still are not going to invest in looking at what's happening. And so my kind of cautionary note is that's a choice. And I in some way respect it because it is your leadership position.

Mino: And in a confidential, safe space, we.

Mino: Can look at these things. We can bring some data. We can bring qualitative information. We can bring some very cool tools that we've developed so that you have an opportunity in kind of confidentiality and safety to look at what's happening. And once you have the information, you have the power. So you can make amazing changes. You can really impact things without as much chaos as you might be anticipating. The fear outweighs in reality, what it will take to remedy the situation. So with that, we're going to turn a little bit of a different page. And what I'm going to say is, of course, we've said it many times, but every CEO is different, every role is different, every person is different. The sizes of the companies are different, the life stages of the company are different. So there's no one CEO, good CEO profile. But just for a moment, I'm going to pretend that we have the archetype, the embodiment, the representative of CEO energy in front of us. And I'd like each one of us just to give, if there's one invitation, one piece of advice, one suggestion that you have for this CEO archetype. So I'm going to ask Mazen just to kind of kick us off. So in front of you, you have the archetype, the representative of all CEO's. It's an average emerging of all CEO's possible. What is one message that you have for CEO's?

Mazen: To be in tune with oneself and to be in tune with the environment. So not to go on a conditioned pattern of behavior.

Mazen: Because in the past it has worked a coping mechanism and really open the.

Mazen: Ears, the mind, the heart, to understand, feel. Be a full fledged human. Use emotions, use the creative thinking, use the critical thinking, but not stick to one. Don't be only visionary. Don't be only pioneer. Don't be only.

Mazen: I want to develop small things.

Mazen: Don't be only a builder. Be all of them at once.

Mazen: So.

Mazen: And I will end up with that. Create this ability within you to be autonomous yet interdependent, so you can rely on the outer environment while still relying on yourself.

Mino: And I feel called to share a piece of research that's quite interesting, which backs up everything you just said, of course, which is when we look at experienced CEO's who become a CEO a second time, a third time, versus CEO's that are there for the first time. So they just got promoted and they're the CEO for the very first time. Surprisingly, first time CEO's outperform second time or third time CEO's. And what the research has found is that when you're a CEO the first time, you have to adapt to what is. There's no playbook, you have no clue what you're doing. And so you have to figure out what works in this given situation. And they tend to have, I think, on average, eight years of tenure as a new CEO. When you come in a second time or a third time, many CEO's, what they end up doing is they want to repeat what they did the first time. They said, this is what I did the first time. This is what works. I'm going to do it again. But by that time, the situation has completely changed. Most of them are coming into different companies altogether, so it's a different environment altogether. But even in cases where a CEO returns to the same company, the situation has changed. You never step in the same river twice. And so their tenures are much shorter. I think it's like three years, four years or something. And they tend to actually underperform new CEO's. So for boards, investors out there thinking about appointing a CEO, take a chance on a new CEO, because they might surprise you by being as human as mazen just mentioned. Krisana, in front of you, you have the archetype, the representative for all CEO's. What's one message you'd like to share with them?

Krisana: What I would like to share with them. As they probably already know, very good.

Krisana: Leaders have healthy daily habits and lifestyle.

Krisana: They take care of themselves. So you can read in magazines about.

Krisana: The lifestyles of leaders who have found the balance.

Krisana: And so I would say, get your house. You know the saying, get your house in order first. So when you're outside, you lead from that. So if you're not in order and have healthy habits and healthy lifestyle approaches, meditation, mindfulness, healthy eating, balance, there is no way that you can be functioning or a situational leader or a strategic leader.

Krisana: So awareness.

Krisana: Self awareness in awareness, and.

Krisana: This will shine through in the environment.

Mino: You'Re in for me. And this is, I guess, a bit of a segue because we have two more episodes in the series coming up. In my experience, what I have found.

Mino: Is that when you go to a.

Mino: CEO and you say you're doing a bad job or you need to work on this, you need to work on that. There is very little receptivity when you say, hey, there's some things that can, you can do for your organization or your people. So really, like, we can help the company as a whole. They tend to be way more receptive and way more like, oh, yeah, yeah. I want to make sure the organization's working well. So within those parameters, my just invitation to anyone listening who is in an executive position is the world is changing and changing very fast. And what worked yesterday didn't work today and will probably not work tomorrow. And it's okay to not know. It's okay to not have had this experience before. It's okay to admit that the pace of change and complexity and volatility is unprecedented and that you are not expected to have all the answers and to be the one to save everyone. That it's okay to admit that I have certain strengths, but I might need some support. And of course I'm biased because that's what I do for a living, is support. But I really see it. It's a need for each one of us, as humans, as inner leaders of ourselves, to find that ability to reach out to someone else. It doesn't have to be reaching out to me. Chrisanamozen just reach out to someone else and let them know that you're looking for a little bit of support, because I think it'll go a pretty long way. And so we're going to start to wrap up the podcast for today. So I'm going to ask each person for their closing thoughts, and then I'm going to do a little recap of where we're going next in the series, and we're going to bring it to a conclusion. And so, Krishna, if you think about the kind of totality of the conversation we've had today, we started by talking about some of the pressure and chronic stress that many CEO's experience in combination with kind of social isolation and being the nexus of these kind of different systems, the board, the external world, the internal company. You talked about even depression and how depression sometimes can manifest as episodes and be something that folks experience in these positions, even if they're still working hard and doing their job. We talked about different kinds of control that can manifest and how different archetypes might exert different kinds of control. We talked about interdependence, and we talked about kind of feedback loops and getting information from the environment. So as we kind of wrap it all up, Krisana, what are your closing thoughts for us today?

Krisana: To be a friend to yourself and.

Krisana: Don'T do what you wouldn't do to a friend. So start befriending yourself, befriending your body, befriending your mind, and befriending your emotions.

Krisana: And yeah, become a friend to yourself first.

Mino: Mazen, any closing thoughts for you?

Mazen: It's we have only one life, and life is a journey, and it's meant.

Mazen: Not to be lived in the future.

Mazen: Nor in the past. The journey is always now we have responsibility for ourselves, for the people around.

Mazen: Us, in our family, for the people.

Mazen: We work with, that at least we enjoy the journey regardless of the weather. So to attend to ourselves and know how to adapt to everything around and not postpone the joy of life to after retirement or to past memories that once everything was fine, knowing that in.

Mazen: The moment there will be always a.

Mazen: Chance within, in the midst of all the chaos, is really to find regulation, find peace, and then really tackle what is needed in harmony and in awareness, bringing awareness, taking care of the self, and then really take full responsibility of our feelings, emotions and be the good inner leader first. And then that by itself will show up to really support other people around and also accept support.

Mino: And what I close with is when we take an honest look at the performance of leaders and CEO's in the world today, what to me becomes quite obvious is there are more leadership positions and more CEO positions than there are people ready to do the job. There is a tremendous demand for CEO's and because of the nature of the role, the complexity, the just vast amount of different skills it takes to do it successfully, the amount of experience you need to be able to do it successfully. There are not enough people in the world right now who are equipped to successfully take on a CEO role. So in that there can be tremendous freedom, I believe, because we're all in this together and we all have stuff to learn from one another. And if we just admit that this is a hard thing to do, it's a tough thing to be a CEO and that we can open ourselves up a little bit to, well, if it is tough and most people are not equipped to do this, what can we do to increase the odds in our collective favor? Because when you have a good leader at the top, everyone benefits. The investors who put money in the company benefit. The employees that show up every day to work benefit. The clients and the customers that get the service or the product benefit, society can benefit. So we want great leaders at the top of companies because then they'll make really good decisions and it'll be something that benefits everyone. So my invitation, it's not really just to CEO's, it's really to anyone and everyone is to go on this journey of leadership development, to go on this journey of learning how to really master the self, the physicality of the self, the emotions of the self, how to understand the mind and how it works, to be able to regulate and toggle and adapt the self. And to investors out there, take a chance on someone new and take a chance on people who have a non traditional background, because you'd be surprised how well new people can do in those roles if they're willing to adapt, if they're willing to learn, if they're willing to take feedback. Look for some of those intangibles, and you might be surprised how well your organization can be run. And so this was episode one of this kind of CEO series, where we looked at some of the, again, some of the experiential feelings. What is it like to be a CEO? What are some of the challenges that come up in episode two? We will get much more into the complexity that CEO's must manage and the decisions that come across their desks and how they can really train their minds, their bodies to be able to deal with the complexities of those roles. And in episode three, we open a topic that I think is starting to emerge in the world today, but is one of our favorite topics, but is not very understood by most folks yet. It's one of the biggest areas of growth I think we have as a society. It's to look at systems, to look at the human systems that actually govern how we operate. Why is it sometimes that marketing and sales hate each other and at war? And if you're at CEO, it's not just sometimes about, oh, I sit two people down and do conflict resolution. No, you can actually have systems that are not operating in good relation to one another. You can have whole functions that are not in good relationship to one another. And so we're going to have a really fun episode starting to open up how to look at the systems that govern organizations. And so with that, we thank you for listening today, and we'll talk to you very soon. Thank you.