Jess Hunt

Today, I’m speaking with Jess Hunt. Jess is an experienced entrepreneurial executive who builds and runs high growth businesses. She has held executive positions at Axiom Law and Gerson Lehman Group, and currently is president and COO of Andela. We’ll talk about the emotional tolls of seeking self-awareness, remaining goal-oriented as a guide for seeking that awareness, and finding the difference between incorrect expectations and poorly defined ones.


Jess Hunt:


Because what you want, you want progress to be the idea of the person you're managing. You want them to drive the bus. And so you want to elicit, you want to pull from them the best ideas and to do so you have to start with understanding.


Jeff Hunter:


Hi and welcome. I'm Jeff Hunter, and you were listening to coaching in the clear, the podcast committed to help you learn about coaching. Coaching is more popular than ever, and we believe that sharing in-depth personal conversations about coaching experiences is the best way for you to learn whether coaching is for you and how you can get the most out of your coaching practice. We are especially interested in how people use coaching to unleash their potential while creating market leading big change businesses. Coaching in the clear is a production of Talentism, a business dedicated to helping the world's most ambitious leaders achieve their ultimate goals by systematically turning confusion into clarity. We send out a weekly newsletter called the sensemaker where we offer our latest thinking about issues affecting big change companies and their leaders, as well as provide other helpful content to enable you to unleash your potential, learn more and sign up at Talentism.com. Jess, thank you so much for joining me on Coaching in the Clear. I'm very grateful for your time and for your participation. Thank you so much for joining the conversation. 


Jess Hunt:


Thanks Jeff. Delighted to be here. 


Jeff Hunter:


Okay. So let's start at the beginning. As I love to know how people come to the world of coaching, when you first hear about it, what you think about it, the first coach you have, can be in an athletic or an executive setting or any other setting. And just generally how you think about coaching.


Jess Hunt:


Well, I remember when I had my first professional coach, my CEO at the time was at a tech enabled startup, New York City, early odds. And my CEO at the time recommended that I get a coach and it was a cohort coaching. And so there were a number of, sort of up and comer managers that I think there were six of us in a group with a coach. And I did the first coaching session with, you know a framework, very thoughtful framework. I now realize, and I went through the first coaching session and we were sharing our challenges, learning more about her framework. And I walked out of the room and I walked down to my CEO, who I was close with, and I said, well, that was a bunch of bullshit. And I really, really wasn't comfortable with what I now know, coaching can ask of you to get a lot out of it, which is vulnerability and self-awareness. And then if you're lucky, self-acceptance and there was a lot of learning involved for me in that first coaching experience, I think, which lasted almost two years and to a coach that I'm still close to.


Jeff Hunter:


Okay. So I love that. I love that you have that experience and goes, that's a load of bullshit. Two reasons I love that. First of all, because I think in the first minute, the audience just got to know you really well. I've had the good fortune of knowing you for a while, but that was awesome. And then the second thing is I believe a lot of people who are suggested into coaching are recommended like a, should get a coach, sort of have that. Like there are the people who are, I think they sort of fall into three camps. There's the people who say no, I'm not going to do that because I don't need a psychologist and that's bologna. Two is like, sure, I'll do it. But in their mind, like no way. I think it's sorta like Matt Damon and Goodwill hunting. It's like, sure, I'll just go mess with them. Or the third is like, they go and they're like, oh, this sort of surprises me. So tell me about going from, Hey, this is really bullshit to, I remember when you and I first met, you're like, well, how does your coaching work? Cause I'm sort of used to this way. How do you go from one coach to another, because you obviously had a profound experience with that first coach.


Jess Hunt:


Yeah, well, she was, I think coaching, that was earlier in my career, coaching at that stage became useful quickly because coaching is highly applicable, at least at that stage in my career, coaching that was highly applicable to my work every day, the content of my work and everyday my interpersonal relationships at work became useful very quickly. And I, in retrospect, I believe that was because I was probably within my first five years of any major management responsibilities and becoming a really good manager, which my coach helped me do, I hope, just made me a lot more effective at work. So I think that coaching experience was earlier in my career and it was management coaching. And management’s a skill as I've moved along and certainly most recently with Talentism, I mean, that's, you balance the management, whether you're managing an executive team or managing a board or investors executive management with executive leadership. So certainly the kind of coaching that I think I've probably required has evolved and what that coaching has asked of me, hopefully it's stayed the same, which is I get as much out of it as I put into it. 


Jeff Hunter:


Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. And one of the things we talk about is different forms of coaching, and this is just sort of our language around it, nothing that's, I think, widely accepted in the industry and probably derives from the fact that we came to coaching sort of as outsiders as executives ourselves. So we were, we were executives and then had never, I'd never coached anybody before and people asked me to do it. I thought, well sure, but I wonder if I, what it is and if I could even be good at it. And through that research a lot and try to understand and simplify this incredibly complex world of all these, you know, career coaches and life coaches and executive coaches, business coaches, yada, yada, there's just a ton of them. And so we came with this thing like there's times when you just need a safe space to talk, there are times where you need someone to show you the way, like, you know, help you train in a specific skill or craft. And there are times people actually need to help you get to clarity, which is obviously where we're trying to operate, but just take me through that a little bit in the nature of our engagement and the nature of how you think about coaching. If you were recommending coaching to somebody, how would you help them think through other than just really in their career later in their career, how would you help them think through when they need someone who helps them sort of hone a particular skill and when they need someone who's identifying for them, how they're standing in the way of their overall success, given their cognitive profile and how they're thinking and behaving?


Jess Hunt:


Yeah, well, you've seen much, much, much more than I have, but I've certainly managed lots of people. And tried to be cognizant and incur, cognizant of when someone needs coaching or could really benefit from coaching and proactive in helping them get coaching or becoming open to coaching. When that is true. The two times I can see coaching being or feel easy to me as a manager, a leader of executives is when someone really does need a space to work through challenges at work that are yes, practical, but may have something to do with their emotions or psychology or their understanding of themselves. But they need a space that more than I can give them. And that often will allow them to really focus on a certain relationship or a certain skill that they need to develop. The other place that I, it’s a sense that you get, is when, especially when someone's in a new environment and a new role, but not always. It's when you can see someone really benefit from self awareness and that's kind of a hard thing to describe, I'm sure you, Jeff, you can describe it much more, but once you've really worked with a coach on self-awareness and self-acceptance, it's something you can appreciate. And it's hard to have that ladder conversation with someone who could benefit from coaching, but I think if you can get someone into coaching, they can begin to understand what that's like. It's really knowing yourself. And so in knowing yourself, you can often become more effective. And in many cases happier, I don't know, what are the other, those are two things that stand out to me as places where I can help when I can see where coaching would really be applicable or help someone unleash their potential.


Jeff Hunter:


Yeah. I think that makes a lot of sense. The way we talk about it is ultimately, your ultimate competitive advantage, both as a business and as a leader or manager, is your speed of productive learning. The world changes really rapidly, and the people who stay ahead of that and lead that change, then do well. The people who can keep up with it and sort of adapt to it, do okay. And the people who are flummoxed by it or put into threat by it really struggle. So where you try to focus on is the speed of productive learning along the path of every individual, finding their own individual excellence. I mean, you said coaching, sorry, management is a skill. The reality is most people aren't good managers. You're a very good manager. Most people aren't. So your particular path to excellence may be down the route of management, but in order to become good at something truly, truly good at something and to stay ahead of change and to be leading that change, you really need four elements and you've identified two of the most critical you need self-awareness, you need self skepticism, you need self-acceptance and you need the ability and courage to experiment because your mind is always in a constant state of fooling you. That's what our minds do. It’s like they're literally designed to fool you because fooling you helps you survive. Believing that I know you have some background in primatology. You know, I geek out on that. I have loved dark conversations about that, but to have that monkey brain, that mistakes, a moving branch, because of the wind, as a potential predator, you know, millions of years, that's a real benefit. That's a positive. And now when you're an executive, not so good. And so we're, we've got, you know, 99.6% monkey brain, and we're dealing with some other stuff called rationality. And so just being able to train yourself in the skill and craft of managing your brain and managing yourself, I think is one of the greatest tools you can have to help yourself achieve your potential and to unleash that inner excellence and to train yourself towards it and to stay ahead of changes that could be disruptive and instead be leading those. So I completely agree with self-awareness, self-skepticism is often underappreciated.  


Jess Hunt:


I went from self, I went right to self-acceptance without the skepticism. 


Jeff Hunter:


That's right. Yeah. Right. Because the reason I love self skepticism is self-awareness can be a trick in and of itself like, Oh, I'm self-aware, I'm not good at this. I call it the, what was the name of it? The American idol test, right? American idol test is, you got three groups of people. Well, there's four groups. One group is I'm bad at singing and I know it so they don't ever show up. But the three groups that show up are I'm bad at singing and I don't know it. I'm good at singing and I don't know it. I'm good at singing and I know it. And so two of the three groups actually have no clue what they're talking about. So even when you're in that place of like, Oh, I'm a bad singer, you could be wrong. And so the self-skepticism is a critical part of trying to figure out what is true before you get to the self-acceptance, but it's really just a loop, right? It's just a, you're just learning all the time. And so being purposeful about how you design your experiences and your interactions and your work and all those things so that you get good data back so you can keep learning, is I think what's what is really crucial, but of all of those, just to be clear, human beings are not wired for self-awareness. It's a difficult thing for human beings to do, especially if they're at all under any sort of threat. And so whenever I run into anybody who's even attempting self-awareness I just have to honor that courage because it's not a natural act for a human being.


Jess Hunt:


Well, it certainly feels like it takes courage. I do feel like I bounce back and forth between confusion and clarity all the time. So I don't, it's certainly not by design. It's almost that you have to suffer through that. You have a new insight, you have new awareness and then you, you somehow environs your situation or your brain takes you back to confusion sooner or later, usually sooner. 


Jeff Hunter:


Yes. I don't think you can learn without confusion. So I think a lot of what I just said is common and commonly known, or, I mean, you can read a lot of people much smarter than me who can tell you a lot about what I just talked about, but what we try to be different at is celebrating the confusion, because I just don't think there's any productive learning or meaningful learning without confusion. Otherwise it's mostly blind. It's reinforcement of blindness, right? It's like, Oh, I was right. I was right- is you're either not correct about being right or where you are right, but you need to get better. It's just a constant process of trying to really just trying to get into the flow of being okay with continually putting yourself into confusion to form the learning. And the confusion, we're all physiologically wired for confusion to not be pleasant, so I'd love that, you know, Hey, love your mistakes. I've never met anybody that loves their mistakes. Like it's, I think you can habitually have a sort of internal trigger of like, Oh, I feel awful. Oh, that means I should feel good, but it feels bad to be in confusion. And that's why so many people want to back out of it and just sort of lock themselves down and not open themselves to the learning experience. And one of the things I love in the coaching I do, and I have seen this from you many, many times is really just that like sitting with the confusion and recognizing it, and again, having the courage to try to push through to clarity. So, I have found, I've found that the leaders I work with who are, I think are just truly extraordinary, have a lot of that courage. They'll have the courage of self-acceptance, which are self-awareness and self-acceptance, which is incredibly difficult to have the courage, to have the conversations, to get to clarity, which is incredibly difficult. I think you exhibit a ton of that courage. And I'm curious about how that happens. If you were coaching you, what would we be looking for, with regards to what are the attributes that lead you to have that courage. And then how do you think about that as a leader and manager and finding other people who are like that?


Jess Hunt:


You know, as you asked, I'm thinking, when have I experienced confusion? Like, surely it doesn't happen very often, but of course it's on the regular. I think first the concept of confusion is difficult to grasp. And so making space for it as a part of it is the first thing, like acknowledgement of confusion, you know, is a little bit of a skill, but I think making space to sit with it, which requires time and I would say a significant amount of emotional energy, emotional energy you'd like to spend somewhere else. You'd like to spend it outside of work, or you'd like to spend it getting work done, but the work, but it's work to sit with confusion. I do think it requires some ability to reflect on one's thoughts, which I don't know, I'm certainly better at it than when I was in my twenties, but that in itself is a skill. And then I would find it really hard to do by myself. I think this is why coaching can be so important and it doesn't have to be a coach. Of course it could be a manager or a confidant or an advisor, but the space plus the ability to self reflect and look at one's own thoughts. And then frameworks and/or some figure that's a coach to help you self reflect on those thoughts and ask hard questions are probably the things that make it possible for me.


Jeff Hunter:


Yeah. That makes sense. I like to think of the term personal responsibility. I think there are and we can talk more later about some of the tricks and downfalls of the personal responsibility mantra. But if people start with the basic concept of I'm missing something, or what am I missing, or I want to start the investigation with me, it will lead to good places. And almost inevitably, if they start from a place of, it feels terrible, therefore it must be somebody else's fault. It leads to bad places. And so...


Jess Hunt:


That is an interesting, pointing at oneself for a moment is really interesting thing, because if you tend to be kind of an egoist that might feel comfortable because you'd like to focus on yourself, but uncomfortable, because you're going to have to kind of examine yourself or even point the finger at yourself a little bit, like does the challenge I'm having is the confusion I'm having start with me. If you are another focus person, which sometimes I am, that's uncomfortable for different reasons because in general I'm much more comfortable solving other people's challenges in certain contexts, than my own. And so focusing on one's self can be, for different people, can be really uncomfortable, but that is exactly who it starts with. It can even start with, what do you want? Questions that aren't like, what's the problem? But what's the goal for you? 


Jeff Hunter:


Yeah. I love that. Yeah. I think the reflexive, what am I missing? Which while it does start with our “I” and therefore it smacks of egoism, is the very opposite of what a narcissist would do. And so the thing that egoism does involve sort of internalization of self and focus on self, but that can be a good thing if you're using it to improve, get better and take personal responsibility. It's a bad thing if you're using it to defend yourself against the perceived sense of others and, you know, sort of justifying yourself through arrogance or through close-mindedness. So I make that differentiation, but the ability to sit there and say, hey, listen, what am I missing? But immediately when you get to self skepticism or you get to any form of evaluation, you have to do it against the goal. And I love that you brought that up because so many people don't start at the goal level. It's very difficult. It's like, self-awareness, it's just not a human attribute. It's crazy to me because we spend our lives fulfilling goals. Now, if we want to eat, it is goal achievement. It's like I have a state of hungriness. I want to make a change in that state. The state is relatively measurable. I'm going to go from being hungry, to not being hungry. It's all, we're human beings are goal achievement machines. Like most biological entities are like you pursue goals in the further ends of survival and further into growth and relationship and all those things. But somehow when we get into corporate settings or commercial settings, the concept of starting with the goal and talking about the goal and say, as a reflection point or an evaluation point for a behavior or for a outcome, or whatever, really becomes incredibly difficult. And so I love the fact that you start with the gold question because you have to evaluate against what you want and what you aspire to. Not just against some internal feeling.


Jess Hunt:


Right. I find the goal part pretty hard.


Jeff Hunter:


Yeah. It's very difficult. So I want to connect a couple of points. You said something earlier about it doesn't have to be a coach. It can be a manager. And I agree with you so much. I think if, well, first of all, you know, the data's pretty clear. Most managers aren't good at their jobs. And that's, to me, one of the root causes that most businesses don't achieve their potential. But I think really good managers are adept at when confronted with a situation at picking one of three hats to work on right then, or to take on this role. Like sometimes they have to be doers. Sometimes you just have to dive in and get something done. And sometimes you have to be a driver. You have to actually get more into the weeds and link arms with somebody and say, no, this has got to happen. It's got to happen now, we got to go. But so much of the time, excellent managers are excellent coaches. You're helping somebody get to clarity. Because I tell this story a lot. You know, if you go through and you say, okay, a manager is somebody who designs an organization, they go hire people to be in that design and to populate that design. That design and those people start creating work outcomes. As the outcomes come in, you take a look, some of them aren’t great. Mistakes happen all the time. You have to clarify, go in and say, okay, let's just take a step back. This is what good looks like. This is how things should work. And then when mistakes persist, you gotta dig in and figure out why. And often those diagnoses create change. You gotta change the design, gotta change a person. And that's just a big learning loop that happens all the time. And if you were to talk to anybody who's ever made a bad hire and we all have done it, did you talk to him about it? He's made a bad hire, and you said, which of those four steps do you think you failed at? Cause obviously, when you hired the person you thought they're going to be great. It didn't turn out that way. What do you think happened? And since I used to have this conversation hundreds upon hundreds of time; I can tell you over 90% of the respondents will tell you they failed at the employee step. I just picked the wrong person. But when you actually dig in and examine, it's not. It's either at the clarifier design step. It's either they actually didn't know what they wanted when they designed or even more so that when things started going wrong, the manager didn't take the beat to step back and reorient and help the person get to clarity. Instead, the manager themselves panics and drops in and goes to the doer mode, not the coach mode. One of the things I've seen from you is again, being an excellent manager is you will typically go to that coach mode. How do you, when you're working with, you know, managers report to you, cause you're a senior executive, how do you coach them to help them understand the value of coaching for themselves, not to get a coach, but to be a good coach to their people?


Jess Hunt:


Yes. First of all, I just want to agree with you. What's the hardest part of hiring the JD? So it's all about design and the clarification of the role and what good looks like before you hire. And if I've made a bad hire it's because I didn't get the design of the role and the person who would be most successful in the role, right? So how do you get managers to be great coaches? I think coaching has a lot to do, coaching with, a manager with a coaching hat on has a lot to do with context setting, being pretty, usually my style is to be pretty socratic. So really I'm sitting on the same side of the table with someone and looking at the design and the goals of the organization, the process and saying, what are we trying to accomplish here? What needs to happen? So that basically whatever's going to happen next is the idea of the person you're coaching. I suspect that, you know, your excellent coaches at Talentism ask many, well I know you guys asked many more questions than you answer questions. I think good coaches, especially with like, really high potential people. Managers should ask lots more questions than answer questions because what you want, you want progress to be the idea of the person you're managing. You want them to drive the bus. And so you want to elicit, you want to pull from them the best ideas and to do so you have to start with understanding. I think that's the first step. What do you think?


Jeff Hunter:


Yeah I love the fact that you're talking about a socratic, because I do believe, well, first of all, asking a question is assuming it's not a pointed leading question. Like you're getting cross-examined, but asking a question, creates an open space for inquiry. And I think good managers have a certain sense of humility about the fact, like maybe they don't know the right answer either. And no matter what, even if they do have a better answer, the reality is, as you just said, what you want is this person to be excellent at their job, them being excellent in their job is a huge win for you as a manager, a lot less work for you over the long run. That's somebody who's incredible and then not. And so I think just too much time is spent with managers, the typical loop you see is a manager gets confused. They expected one thing they experienced or received another. They are feeling overwhelmed and busy. They go into sort of an anxiety slash panic state. They spin up all sorts of stories in their head about, oh my god, I thought this person was good at their work. They're bad at their work. Those stories start to form a model of how to interact with that employee. So all of a sudden the manager who is sort of out at a distance and happy and gregarious, all of a sudden is really close and intense and asking like, where's this and driving a lot and that’s just confusing, right? Because when most of the time when the employee makes a mistake, well, first of all, they may not have made a mistake that the manager could be misinterpreting it. But when they make the mistake, they don't know they did that. They just don't know. And so they thought they did something great. The manager freaks out, doesn't have a good forum of inquiry to figure out what is true instead starts micromanaging. And then the employee is like, oh my gosh, I'm in trouble. Even if they inform that, informed those words in their mind, that's the feeling. And then when that feeling hits really starts to, you know, suck up your resources, your internal, cognitive resources, your creativity, your judgment, your perspective. You're just all of a sudden getting worse at your job. And it all comes from this thing where the manager isn't, as you just said, forming this forum for inquiry to figure out what's really going on. And what did I miss? And you know, how could we do this better? And were you clear on what the standard was? I probably didn't tell you and those kinds of things. And I think those are all coaching attributes. I think those that, as you said, the form that place to ask those questions are coaching attributes. 


Jess Hunt:


Yeah. You just used expectation and reality at least once. And when you first described what confusion was and you should tell me exactly how you define it. But I think it's when reality isn't meeting your expectations and you experienced the discomfort of that, or the dissonance, is that right? When I first heard that description, my challenge was like, what are my expectations? I don't think I said anything. In other words there's lots of pieces of reality that show up in your life, you experience it and you take for granted that you had expectations around them. And the reason I point that out is because I don't think, at first blush, the definition of confusion when reality doesn't meet your expectations is really easy to understand without some practice. However, the manager managing interaction we've just been talking about is basically if done well, is being in the practice of setting up expectations and then together inspecting reality. So you have to work together to constantly set expectations. Is this the goal? Is this, what is the deliverable? What is the timeframe, whatever work you're doing through others as a manager, what are the expectations of the outcomes of that work? Okay. Is that a shared understanding? Got it. And so then the management part is iterating on the reality. Is what's going on today going to deliver those expectations. And so I find that I would never have applied the concept of confusion to management, but I very much think that that it's highly applicable and it's something I use regularly now since you've tattooed it in my brain.


Jeff Hunter:


Well I just, I mean, obviously I'm a partisan for this particular concept and I just want to acknowledge that upfront, but here's the thing about human beings, all of us, by the way, anybody who ever tells you, hey, listen, I have no expectations. They're full of it. Your brain is an expectation machine. It sets up models to future, for it to forecast the future. That's what it does, right? How would you know that it's bad that a tiger is coming at you and could eat you? Well, you'd have to have a sense of like what a tiger at 50 feet means for you in five seconds. It's constantly trying to like set expectations about the future and then have you react to those expectations. So to me, personal mastery, which is the ultimate goal of clarity coaching is to help you find that thing within you that's that route to excellence and your own personal greatness through this act of helping you become a craftsman of your own mind is just constantly being in confusion. And then making sense of that to figure out what the expectation was, because it's not accessible to you. It's just not. And so you actually have to do stuff and then watch your reaction and go, oh, that's what I expected. And in leaders, this is so difficult for leaders because leaders think they have to act like they know stuff. Like they have the answer, right? Like I know exactly what I'm doing. No you don't, the only way it's true that you know what you're doing is three conditions have to have been met, one, the environment is completely stable. Two, you have a long history of success and three, you knew exactly how to get that success and just repeated the same pattern again and again. If you meet those three conditions, you probably know what you're doing. Otherwise, what you're trying to do is learn faster to stay ahead of everybody else's confusion. So to me, this thing of like, oh, I'm confused. I wonder why I am confused. Well, it's because your model, the model that drives that confusion, that thing in your head probably doesn't work, or you don't know.


Jess Hunt:


So would you say when you, when you're coaching then with your, you know, the senior most folks, experienced folks that you're coaching, do you see the confusion, you know, to the extent that you, the people you're coaching understand their own confusion. Is the confusion born of poor expectation setting, or in other words inaccurate expectations setting? You set expectations, they were just wrong, or the fact that maybe folks, I certainly have been in this position before, where I'm not purposeful, deliberate enough about the goals I'm setting and the outcomes I'm driving for. And so my expectations were there. They were just inadequately set.


Jeff Hunter:


Well, both. But the most common is the first, so both exist. I work with people. We work with people who actually know what they want and can articulate it fairly well. But they suffer from the basic cognitive problem of they believe because it's obvious to them, it is obvious to others. This is something we all suffer from, right? In any relationship we have, there will be a moment in that relationship where we are dumbfounded that somebody else doesn't get it, but how could they not see that? And that's one of the biggest forms of human arrogance is like, it's obvious to me, so it's gotta be obvious to you. No, just to be clear, just because you're a leader doesn't mean that everything that is obvious is right, is one point. But the other is, if you are on a level playing field and there wasn't a power dynamic involved, that other person who you're like, how could you not get it? They're having the same reaction with you about other stuff. So they're looking at you and going, how can you miss that? And so you're just constantly looking across the table at each other, like what an idiot, what a dummy. It's all a myth, right? Even if you really are crystal clear in your mind, and by the way, most people aren't, most people think they are because when they start having conversations about it, their mind tricks them into believing the things they're saying have been in their mind for a long period of time. That's another classic cognitive confusion, this sort of rationalization in the moment like, oh, I've always thought this, but that's actually usually not true. Let's just say, no, I wrote it down before I've referred to it. I know the goals. I just didn't talk to the person about it. That's fine. You would discover that because that person would make a mistake, right? And then you would refer it and say, you know what, starting with me, I actually didn't tell you that. That's so, I'm confused. But then I immediately get to clarity by having personal responsibility and saying, that's interesting. I didn't tell you. So I can't reasonably expect you to know


Jess Hunt:


Certainly most of your, much, much, much of good coaching has to do with the mindset of others or communication. Once you understand, that's essentially what you're pointing to, it's once you understand yourself a little bit, what are you playing for? What are your goals? What are your expectations? What's the reality? What is reality that you're experiencing? Then you have to unpack it with all the people you are working with, working for, and who are working for you.


Jeff Hunter:


Yes. And not just unpack it once, but unpack. It constantly


Jess Hunt:


Sounds like a lot of work.


Jeff Hunter:


It is. So first of all you are an excellent manager. And so you've habituated these, you both, have in talent, and you've habituated a lot of this stuff. So, but for most people it's terrible. It's terrible to try to learn these things because of what you said earlier, like you're working, you got a ton of stuff on your plate. The last thing you want to do is say, huh? I'm self-aware, I'm confused. I wonder what triggered that confusion. You know what I bet upon reflection. I didn't tell that person. So I want to have a good conversation with that person. So I'm going to make the time, and then I'm going to invest in that conversation. I'm going to make sure that I do that well. And then once I do that, well, I'm going to document that so I can come back to it again so we can keep growing and learning together. When I describe that to people, it looks like they're going to, you know, like they're going to embolize and just fall over. And I'm like, I know it sounds terrible, but here, let me describe something that's even more durable. Like I'm expecting greatness. Oh my god, this is awful. Now I'm scared to talk to you, but I have to deal with you. Oh my god, I don't want to deal with this crap anymore. I just want to go home, but I have to fire you. They don't want to fire you because I'm probably a bad boss. Like it just, so you're going to be on one of those baths. You can pick your poison, but if you want to manage other people, you're going to have to deal with one of those two things.


Jess Hunt:


That's right. That's right. There are worse things like a whole company that's confused. 


Jeff Hunter:


Yes, exactly right. So listen, I had so many more things I want to talk to you about. I always love our conversations. Could I have you back at some future time and yeah, I'd love to talk to you about so many things. I know that you are so deeply passionate about creating extraordinary workplaces about the current environment for especially the me too movement, black lives matter, etcetera. There's so much to examine there. We've run out of time, but I would love it if you'd come back and talk with me some more.


Jess Hunt:


I would be delighted. For all of those topics and also early hominid evolution and the basis for our behavior today is always exciting too. So thank you Jeff, for having me. I really enjoyed it.


Jeff Hunter:


It's my pleasure. And bless you for saying hominid on my podcast. That was a highlight right there. All right, thank you very much Jess. Coaching in the clear has been a production of Talentism. It was recorded, mixed and edited by 46 ad studios, original music by John Hunter. If you found this podcast valuable, please share on social media and make sure to leave a review. To support this podcast please sign up at Talentism.com. There you will find important content and up-to-date insights about how to unleash your potential. Thank you so much for listening.



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