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Revolutionizing Productivity with 5 Dynamics | Karen Wright Gordon

Revolutionizing Productivity with 5 Dynamics | Karen Wright Gordon | 579


How Personal Preferences Enhance Organizational Success

A conversation with Karen Wright Gordon on developing 5 Dynamics and helping people identify their work preferences.

In this episode of the Thought Leadership Leverage podcast, host Bill Sherman chats with Karen Wright Gordon, CEO of 5 Dynamics, about revolutionizing organizational performance. Karen explains their unique assessment, a product of Mike Sturm’s pioneering research. This tool, while not the company’s sole focus, is integral to their methodology. It reveals individual preferences in project phases, enhancing productivity by aligning tasks with personal strengths.

Karen elaborates on the five phases: Ideation, Alignment, Planning, Execution, and Evaluation. Each person has phases where they excel and others that drain them. Their assessment helps identify these preferences, fostering a more efficient and satisfying workflow.

Karen’s journey with 5 Dynamics began when she encountered Mike Sturm at a Women’s Presidents Organization meeting. Despite her company’s success, she felt unfulfilled. Mike’s insights resonated with her, leading her to acquire and further develop his IP, making it accessible and practical for businesses.

Karen’s vision transcends merely improving performance; she aims to democratize coaching and transform organizational cultures. By focusing on creating a unique lane rather than competing with others, she emphasizes the importance of having Champions—advocates who believe in and spread the methodology.

Karen also shares how their methodology has surprised them with its versatile applications, from the corporate world to academia and healthcare. Studies have shown improvements in teamwork, satisfaction, and overall performance when using the 5 Dynamics framework.

To keep the work fresh and vital, Karen collaborates with a diverse team, including a young neuroscientist and a seasoned chief revenue officer. This diversity ensures a broad reach and rich perspectives in their thought leadership efforts.

Karen feels a profound responsibility to honor Mike Sturm’s legacy. Continuing his work and seeing its impact on people’s lives keeps her inspired and driven.

Three Key Takeaways:

Leveraging Personal Preferences: The 5 Dynamics assessment identifies individual preferences in project phases, enhancing productivity by aligning tasks with personal strengths.

Creating a Unique Path: Karen emphasizes the importance of not just competing but creating a new lane, focusing on democratizing coaching and transforming organizational cultures.

Honoring Legacy and Innovation: Karen’s dedication to Mike Sturm’s legacy drives her to keep the work impactful and fresh, collaborating with a diverse team to reach wider audiences and bring new perspectives.

 


Transcript

Bill Sherman When thought leadership is successful, it puts relevant ideas into the hands of people who need them, such as in the hands of a struggling leader. Occasionally, that insight lends so strongly and so powerfully that it changes a recipient’s entire career trajectory. First, they use the idea for themselves, then for their organization, and then rarely but magically, they become a champion for the idea. Today I speak with Karen Wright Gordon. Karen is the CEO of Five Dynamics, and as you’ll soon hear, she encountered a researcher’s framework when she needed it most. She started using it for herself, for her organization, and then she made that choice to build a business around the framework. Karen is now in the business of thought leadership, taking these ideas forward into an era of neuroscience. Thought leadership requires more than just an idea. It often requires a whole team to bring an idea to scale into the larger world. I, Bill Sherman. And you’re listening. To leveraging thought leadership. Ready? Let’s begin. Welcome to the show, Karen.

Karen Wright Gordon Thank you. Happy to be here. Thank you for inviting me.

Bill Sherman So I want to begin with a little bit of a level set here. You’re leading an organization that has an assessment that is pretty unique out in the world. And I want to start with what is that assessment. And then we’ll go into the leadership story behind that.

Karen Wright Gordon Absolutely. So yes, our organization, we do have a proprietary assessment that is the cornerstone of our methodology. And so we’re not an assessment company, but we do have this assessment that was developed through original research by a gentleman named Mike Durham. And Mike spent his life trying to understand why people do what they do. And what he found is that as we move through any project or process, that we all have preferences as to where we focus our time and our energy. And that’s what that assessment measures is our preferred ways of being, doing, acting and thinking.

Bill Sherman And can you sense there’s a framework associated not only with the assessment then, as you said, the whole methodology behind it for an organization. Can you just quickly explain the five pieces of that framework?

Karen Wright Gordon Sure. Absolutely. So do you think about the way that we move through projects or processes together? There are common phases. Someone has an idea. Someone gets people on board, aligned and engaged with that idea. Someone creates a detailed plan and someone execute on that plan. And we all have preferences as to where we want to spend our time and our energy. So if you think about the things that you do throughout the day, there are things that give you energy that you enjoy doing that you could do all day long without tiring. And there are things that are draining to you. And so that’s what we’re measuring, is where are the days of the work that you really like leaning into that are easier for you? Not about competency. It’s not about what you can and can’t do, but it’s about where do you prefer to focus. And then there are five dynamic that one that I haven’t mentioned yet. It’s a critical dynamic and it’s called evaluate. And so what we tend to do without awareness is we evaluate from our highest energy. But what we teach people to do is to evaluate from all four of the previous dynamic.

Bill Sherman Thank you. Thank you. So as we talk about this, I just wanted to be clear that when we’re talking about energy, we’re talking about that work that you do that recharges you versus the work that you do where you like. Yeah, I can do it, but it drains me. And I’m going to go home tired. And I don’t want to do it every day. Right.

Karen Wright Gordon Exactly. So what it measuring is your ability to focus on something over time without tiring.

Bill Sherman So that’s an answer. That’s a beautiful way to frame that. Now I want to go into you alluded to Mike stern, his work and his research. And but I want to go into your word, gin and how you encountered this work. So because this is not your research to begin with. Tell me the origin story of how you discovered this and how you first applied it.

Karen Wright Gordon Well, I’m a serial entrepreneur. I’ve created businesses over the years. Everything from a karate and aerobics studio to, telecommunications in it with. When I had my telecommunication company that we were a member of a group called WTO Women President Organization. And Mike was one of our speakers. And within that telecommunications company called TCI, we had 1,100% growth over three years. And so phenomenal picks that. But I would not satisfied. I was a very young leader. I really didn’t know what I was doing. I’d never been a first line manager and within 12 months I had 50 people working for me. And so when I met Mike as a speaker at this WTO event, he and I just had this instant bond and instant connection. And I saw how his methodology, how if I had had that when I started that company, TCI, how I would have been so much more successful in working with others. And so again, we had that outward success. But the people on the team weren’t necessarily satisfied. They didn’t love working there. We had high turnover, and it was because in my entrepreneurial mind, it was all about idea to action without barely getting others on board, without helping them having a detailed plan. And so we met all of our deliverables and we met them on time and within budget. But people were pretty miserable in the process, and I didn’t know how to fix it. So I in turn was miserable. Well, the when I came across this methodology and I had tried other things out there before, you know, a lot of the things and we won’t name them, but you know where they are. And they did it make a difference. But when I met Mike and I understood his methodology, which is so quick, so easy to apply, it literally changed my world.

Bill Sherman So you’re there listening to the presentation at. What happens next? You wind up going up to Mike after the presentation. Or do you connect with them afterwards? Tell me the story of you. Say, okay, I like what you’ve got help. Right?

Karen Wright Gordon Yeah, absolutely. So the next step for me with that, I brought him in to work with my executive leadership team. And after that session where he had worked with the team, he and I were sitting in my office and he said, I want you to run my company. And I said, well, Mike, I’m running a company locked up occasionally running your company right now. But, three years later, I bought the intellectual property and developed the company.

Bill Sherman So let’s fill in a few of those details. Okay. When Mike came in to work with you, had he had the model, obviously. But did he have the digital assessment that you had and the product that you have in terms of helping scale an idea out on this framework, or what state was it in when he came up to work with you?

Karen Wright Gordon He had an assessment. He did not have the platform that we have today. He did not have the business around that. I remember when he presented at the WTO that I his ideas were very intriguing. But having, you know, my background also within education, I’ve been everything from an English teacher to a friend, teacher. But training has kind of been a cornerstone of what I’ve done. And I remember thinking at the time, well, he could really use some help packaging there, trying to figure out how to predict death, because I would say on the dozen or so women in the room, maybe two of that understood what they’re trying to say. And so there was still a lot of that because Mike wasn’t a businessman. He wasn’t interested in business.

Bill Sherman He was he was a psychologist by training, correct?

Karen Wright Gordon Yes, yes. What he cared about with people. Why do people do what they do? And how do I help them get unstuck when they get stuck in whatever they’re doing, whether it’s academics, which was his core focus or whether it, you know, business or personal life.

Bill Sherman Yeah. So this is something that we see often from the. Academic practitioner gap right, and the academic can spend the time constructing the framework, testing it, refining it, etc. but then understanding what does it take to go to market? How do I go to market? How do I package, how do I position, how do I sell? Those are an entirely different skill set and set of questions then. Is this framework valid, reliable and useful?

Karen Wright Gordon Yeah, I’m thinking about that in terms of thought leadership earlier today as well. And the fact that many of the people that we see as thought leaders, they’re just charismatic speakers. They’re great at taking it and packaging it, as you said, and they’re looking at kind of best practices, what’s being talked about, what’s out there, and then how do I package it and how to present it. And, you know, I’m talking about, you know, the guys on stage in the all black outfit and, you know, the lights are perfect and the music comes on and, you know, everybody’s just wowed by their presentation. But to me, a white person, the introspective person, the person who is seeing something, someone like Mike, who is doing something that others have missed or that is taking different concepts to create something new that builds off of that platform. To me, those are the thought leaders.

Bill Sherman I absolutely agree. And I think we’re also well. In a situation where thoughtful leadership which is evidence based, data based and carefully worked through with the eyes dotted TS crossed, are much more. Essential to the problems that we’re trying to solve, right? And so if you’re looking for charisma and sizzle, you can certainly find that on stage. But the question is are you are you able to back that up rather than just the sugar high of a great team? Right.

Karen Wright Gordon Right. And I knew with Mike, even though he didn’t have it packed in, he wasn’t polished. When I see people like Doug Engelbart, who was an early contributor in the 1960s to computer science and the internet, if you can imagine that in the 1960s, when I see Doug speaking about how Mike changed his life because God was truly a thought leader, he’s off the charts. If you’ve ever done any research on if you haven’t, I highly recommend it. He’s most famously known for the mother of all demos, but his issue was that he had so many great ideas, he only wanted to surround himself with other thought leaders. So in our terminology, if you weren’t hired before, he didn’t want to work with you. But the talent came in, and where Mike got in on Doug was by making him realize, look, you need those people who can package it. You need those people who can plan it. You need those people who can replicate it.

Bill Sherman Because if you have a dozen people who were all explorer in the room, congratulations, you’re going on an adventure. But good luck ever trying to bring that back to anyone else.

Karen Wright Gordon Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, you’ve heard the thing up in here. And I thought that was the situation when I came into the work that Mike with doing, there were three people sitting around the table that were on his leadership team, and they were all three absolutely brilliant, but they were all three very high and explore, and none of them had the dynamic would call execute. And so and they didn’t have examined either. And so they had tremendous ideas. And I remember after about the third meeting, they if you have something amazing here, what are you waiting for? What if I could do that up? Let’s take it out to the world.

Bill Sherman Okay. So let’s take the next step. You carry the torch and the ideas forward into the world. And some of that has been on the business side. But also you’ve been the advocate for the ideas, practicing thought leadership yourself. How are you doing that? And how was the organization today practicing thought leadership now?

Karen Wright Gordon Yeah, I mean, so we are definitely, you know, I get an accused oftentimes or condemned maybe of not looking at what everyone else is doing. That is not my concern. My concern is not wanting to be a little bit better than what everyone else is. My concern is in creating a whole new line. That’s what I’m focused on. I’m focused on. I know what’s out there today, but let’s look at what this could be. Let’s look at how we could democratize coaching. Let’s look at how we can bring this to the masses. Let’s look at how we can change cultures and change organization. And so technology has been a big part of that. And so the third thing is, you know, always looking at what could be and how we can take that methodology and apply it on a much grander stage than what we’ve seen in the past. But then you have to get that out there and you have to have champion, which we’ve been very fortunate in that what you know, you know, and so what we see is people who have utilized our methodology within organizations. These are people who’ve worked at Google for ten years, at idle for ten years, and they say things like, are these the everything else that’s out there? And I will never use anything else again. And so they carry us forward. So they certainly share that message. And we bring those people together through our customer advisory board meetings that we get together once a year, and we connect with them and they share best practices. We host a leader summit annually, where we invite everyone to come and participate, where we bring thought leaders to the conversation and we let them share best practices. We certainly have the training, the trainer model, where we are teaching organization to bring the methodology out, not just for the initial kind of the initial wow moment. This is great to know this about me and you. And let’s help with that for team collaboration. But when they’re ready to go that next step, we also teach them how to use this in onboarding and conflict resolution and leadership development in so many other ways. Because it’s the moment is wonderful and we love all the positive feedback, but it’s what are you going to do with it after that moment? We want to change the way that people connect with one another, and to do that it needs to be systemic, not a one and done situation.

Bill Sherman Well. And one of the things that I look for when I evaluate a framework in the thought leadership perspective is, can I explain it in 60 to 90s with a pen in the back of a napkin if I need prop, right? Simple enough that you can explain. And you were talking about how early on at the telecommunications company, you really hadn’t had any first line manager experience. Right. And I’m looking for the ideas that you can explain to a first time front line manager. At the same time, explain the same idea to a senior leader and get the senior leader to go, okay, as he was saying. But that’s going to take a lifetime to master. And there’s a lot of wisdom packed into that simple little diagram or that simple little drawing. Help me understand how to apply it across my organization and weave it into culture. That’s an entirely different conversation. From the same diagram.

Karen Wright Gordon Yeah. And I think it’s been a blessing and a curse for us because it does not value in three minutes or less. Right. There’s that. Right. Yeah. Well, just this is amazing I love it. And then that first experience of training and coming together with your team. But what the true value is much deeper than that. And third, yes, it can be explained very quickly, but you can also study it over a long period of time and continue to find additional wisdom in application and methodology.

Bill Sherman Well, and going back to the karate studio that I think you mentioned earlier, one can study karate, one can study meditation, one can practice yoga. And it’s not that you read, reach an end destination and say, I’ve learned everything there is to learn. It is an ongoing practice. And for the mindset and the skills that are identified in the framework, I think that’s exactly what’s happening here is not only understanding where I am, where my colleagues are, what the situation requires, and then if we have to form a different team, where are we and how do we adapt to that situation?

Karen Wright Gordon Right. And it’s not just the understanding, but it’s the applying. And even within our own organization, we are all experts in this methodology, but we still sometimes have to step back and say, okay, you know, there’s some friction here. Let’s look at what’s going on. Let’s unpack this. Let’s figure out, you know, where the rub is coming in. And oftentimes it has nothing to do with personality. It’s just an energetic conflict. It’s the fact that, you know, someone is wanting to stay in ideation for too long. Someone else is ready to move to execution. Maybe someone is going to the planning piece and ruling out too many ideas too quickly, but giving you that language to use it and apply it in the moment. And it’s a practice. Like you said, it’s something that you have to be disciplined and utilizing that methodology in an ongoing way.

Bill Sherman And if you and I and perhaps a couple colleagues share a common language, we can call each other out. Hey, let’s move from explore. You know, because it seems like we’ve spent two thirds of our conversation here. Let’s getting it in to the next step. Right?

Karen Wright Gordon Not only can we call each other out that we can use the model to gate our meeting. We can define within our meeting like this topic ten minutes. We’re going to be an explore. We’ve got 30 minutes here where we’re moving into examine so we can be specific and call out what phase of the project or the meeting that we’re on. We can use it in our project management, where we start with our explore document, but ultimately we get to the detailed plan. And so again, you’re being very explicit utilizing the methodology. And it’s not about personality, which is great because if you start projecting someone personality they take offense to that. What we’re looking at is not personality, it’s just a way of getting work done.

Bill Sherman Well, and I might describe it as preference rather than personality, right. In the sense of if something you enjoy and you can go into a flow state easily and you can be working on that style of work all day. Then that’s your preference rather than. Yeah, I can do it, but it feels like me filling out my taxes each year. I hate it. When does it end, right?

Karen Wright Gordon Yeah, and it’s deeper. Deeply rooted on what you did early in life where you received recognition. Though truly what were measuring or your most difficult narrow pathway in your brain? What is pride and truth for you? And so for me, you know, executed with one of my higher energy. So explore and execute. And so I was always the first. I always wanted to be the first to finish an assignment. And I graded papers for teachers after that because I wanted to be first. But I got recognized for being fast, for getting things done quickly. So that became something that I trusted. Other people, they were recognized for how detailed they were, how thorough, how logical they were. And so that got deeply embedded. So if we think of our brain like back country roads and superhighways, that these neural pathways we have done that are more directed and those are the one that have been embedded. We can we go there quickly, we go there easily, and it doesn’t require much energy. We have others that are like back country road. And for me, one of that country roads honestly is exciting. It is, doing a presentation like this. I can do this. And having a conversation like this, I can do that. But afterward, I am going to want to go be alone for a little while. I need to recharge because it’s much more energetically draining for me. And so again, it’s not about whether I can or can’t do it. It’s just saying this particular path, it’s a little bit tougher for me from an energetic perspective. It takes a little more out of me.

Bill Sherman Absolutely. And if I were to state back. When you’re driving home from wherever you are, and if you’re driving home from somewhere you know the route, you can be almost on autopilot. Pull into the driveway and say, wait a minute, how did I get here? Right? You don’t recall the individual steps, but if you’re having to consciously put in effort step by step because it’s either it’s an unfamiliar path or as you said, it’s a task where there’s a heavier cognitive load on you. Yeah, you’re going to want time to recharge. And so being aware of where is this easy for me and where is it hard. Absolutely valuable work context.

Karen Wright Gordon Right, right. And so when you think about kind of that route that you go even before that, it what route did you choose. What were you optimizing to? That’s for me I’m optimizing for low Strat. So I want the least amount of traffic possible by optimizing for something that’s interesting. So I want to see different things, you know. And that’s because of that explore dynamic. I like to just kind of see what’s out there. And I want to do it in a low stress way. Whereas my husband, as an example, have what we call abundant examine. So very detail oriented logical engineer. And so he’s optimizing for efficiency. He’s going to take the quickest path. He’s going to he figured out every angle he figured out. You know, how close can I get before I have to quickly.

Bill Sherman I have fewer left turns if I go this way. And I wait at fewer lights. Yeah.

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Bill Sherman So I want to ask a question around the thought leadership, specifically on the ongoing work, because this is not a museum piece from everything that I’ve heard from you. There’s ongoing layers of research that’s being done with customers and clients as well as internally. Could you speak to that?

Karen Wright Gordon Sure. Well, we love it when our customers surprise us with research that they’ve done around our methodology. We’ve had that happen in a few different instant instances. Our methodology can be applied in the corporate world, but it’s also has a very valuable application, again, where it started in the academic world. And so we saw that the Joyce Proprio Foundation, they brought about a six year longitudinal study with students who had gone through a program called the Academy for College Excellence, or a for short. And Mike Sturm was actually a co-creator of the program. And it’s very heavily it has a very heavy five dynamic influence throughout the program. And so what they did is they looked at the six-year longitudinal study to look at where the student for today, as compared to the control group of students who had not had the benefit of going through this particular program. And what they found was that the students who had gone through the program, they were just not financial perspective, were making 155 to 644% higher than those that were in the control group. And the number one thing that they recalled was the five dynamic methodology. They, we spoke with the person who interviewed them after everything was done and the studies were published, and they said they could still tell you on height law exam. And, and they talked about how they utilized that in their work life. And so that was amazing for us to actually see that from, you know, a study that was conducted that we had nothing to do with. We’ve also had health care client who have done some baseline surveys within health care to look at teamwork and teen satisfaction and physician satisfaction and, and patient satisfaction as well. And then they rolled out the methodology, the five dynamic methodology, not only, just from a training perspective, but from, you know, constantly pulling teams of teams, which they would use the methodology again, they created lapel pins that showed the scores that you could quickly identify with focus where. And it changed the conversation, and it made people feel more empowered to share something that they might not otherwise want to share. Though, for example, you know, it’s very hierarchical after death and comes into the world feeling like they need to know it all. They need to, you know, see it all and they need to have all the answers. And so it freed them up to say, well, I have Katie over here on my team and you might see something that I’m missing. So even though she the PA let me see what she thinks about this. And so it just kind of gives you that voice and makes you feel empowered to share. And so what we thought with healthcare organization, and again, we didn’t even know about it until after the fact, was that all of the satisfaction levels went up. Employees at the different that and patient satisfaction.

Bill Sherman That’s fantastic when you can tie it to outcomes. Now, I know that the initial research you’ve also been layering behavioral neuroscience onto this. So where does that the next wave of research fit in within the organization and the work that you’re doing?

Karen Wright Gordon Yeah. So when Mike did his work we didn’t have things like Fnirs. And that’s actually where we’re going to next. We’re in conversation now. We’ve been working with, Stanford for Group and Stanford for quite some time on trying to get this study lined out. And as you can imagine, an organization like Stanford, it takes a while and you get to where you want to be, but that’s kind of the next layer or the next frontier is being able to present different issues or different challenges to people that we know have various cures, and then see what happens in their brain and then see what neural pathways are being illuminated.

Bill Sherman Right. Because there’s a couple different layers there. One, if you recognize patterns of preferences, which really the framework in some ways is based on, and you’re saying, hey, some people have superhighways, some people have back country roads, great. What lights up when different people are presented with tasks? And does that match you right? Can we actually see now with the lens inside the brain of someone presented with the task and how they respond? What does that fatigue look like? I mean, even from my perspective, I can see some of the research question, some hypotheses that would be fascinating to be able to take from framework, which is based on observation and experience, and then test it into, I would assume, like stir would have loved to see how people’s brains like, light up.

Karen Wright Gordon Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. He was definitely a scientist that wanted to study and understand everything. And, you know, really, when I think about the methodology that we have, none of us have high energy and all dynamic, none of it. And so to me, what’s really important from any leader is that you recognize where you go naturally, but you also recognize where you have those blind spot. And. To me, a leader is only a collaborative leader. That is the only type of leader that I want to have leading me in anything that I do. Because again, none of us be everything. We all have blind spot. But that leader is the one who can then say, I see, Bill, that you see something that I don’t. What do you think about this? And then they take that in and they incorporate that into what they do. That a leader to me is not someone who just act on impulse and does it with force, but instead they’re being collaborative and listening to people who know more than they do. I intentionally surround myself with people who know more than I do because, you know, I want to empower them. I want to step back and I want to see what they can do, because I know I’m not the one in the room. You know, I’ve done well over my career, but I’m there’s always somebody smarter. It’s always someone I can learn from.

Bill Sherman Someone smarter, someone who’s built. Better pathways for thinking in different areas. Ranked. And so the things that I may spend my time looking at and thinking about, there will be things that I see instantly respond to and say, oh, obviously X. But someone else may look an entirely different area and say, well, what about Y? And as you said, you have to look for those unseen areas that you’re not even thinking of asking questions on, which. Yeah. It has to be collaborative leadership. So one big question that’s going my head through my head now is the approach for thought leadership within the organization. Obviously you’re practicing bold leadership, but you’ve also got several other people who are practicing the leadership in different areas. Could you speak to how the team shares the workload? Because as you said, there are certain parts of thought leadership for you which are tiring right now.

Karen Wright Gordon Yeah, definitely. And so we do have other who we are supporting in their thought leadership approaches. One we have someone on staff who has a degree in behavioral neuroscience. She’s in her 20. This is very young. But she also has a lot of great ideas about what that work in life should look like. And so we’re really promoting her being able to share those ideas, and especially as people are trying to figure out how do we work with this next generation, how do we. Yeah. To me, it’s not a balance of work life. It’s a blend of work life. So how do you blend, work, live and how do you how do you have work that supports your life and, you know, not just your whole life around work, which honestly, for me, for many years, that’s what it was about. It was about this is what you do. You work, you work hard and you do the best you can with your family. But it wasn’t as blended as it is today. Even though I can say that with, my organizations, even with the first one, we started as a virtual organization in 2000. And so, you know, we have we are doing some things on the cutting edge of that, but they’ll ninth, you kind of have this voice from this next generation that is able to speak to it.

Bill Sherman Absolutely. And so. I like this layering of how do you find different audiences? How do you speak to different audiences? Because. A behavioral neuroscientist is going to speak in a different language and approach than someone who has an entrepreneurial background, who’s been, you know, a business leader making decisions. And so being able to speak with different voices around the same idea becomes an asset in being able to expand your reach.

Karen Wright Gordon Right. And then another individual, our chief revenue officer, he actually is doing quite a bit of thought leadership as well. And he has perspective. That’s first of all he like I execute. So he has a lot of external energy. He’s a great conversationalist. You can put him in a room and he can talk to anyone. But he also with a customer. And so he experienced things as a customer first and then became a part of our team.

Bill Sherman But that’s your story too.

Karen Wright Gordon Yeah. It’s true, it’s true. But.

Bill Sherman I see sort of a pathway of all but, you know. Yeah. You know. Yeah.

Karen Wright Gordon We get quite a few emails from people who have been exposed to it in other places, and I’ve just stepped back from this, and I would love to work with you. But.

Bill Sherman Yeah.

Karen Wright Gordon Right. Well, and to let.

Bill Sherman Those that’s a different layer. So there’s the people like you mentioned earlier, the people who will evangelize the idea and help you spread the idea. People who say, hey, wherever I go, I bring this idea with me because this is the only way I want to work. And then the people who say. I love this way of working. Let me help you actively spread this idea as part of your organization. Those are some wonderful responses from people who touch an idea.

Karen Wright Gordon Yeah. And you never know when they’re going to come back either. We’re working with someone now who is the boarding up on the product side. And he been an executive in product at some of the largest companies in Silicon Valley. But he just kind of happened to be between gigs. And we’re looking at doing some things which I can’t really announce yet, but we’re doing some pretty cool things from a technology standpoint. And he’s been working with us, trying to help us bring that about our.

Bill Sherman Very cool. So, Karen, as we begin to wrap up. I want to ask you a question. You took on someone else’s ideas and thought leadership. And Mike’s been the. Third guest in this conversation, if you will. Right. How has it felt being the advocate for someone else’s work, and how can you keep it fresh for you? So that it stays vital.

Karen Wright Gordon Well, you know, I feel a huge responsibility around being the. I see it as the caretaker of Mike and the evangelist of Mike Ford. Again. His legacy is important to me, and he gave everything. You know, he’s got kind of that typical and bitter story of. Died without much means at all, never really made money off of what he was doing, devoted his whole life to it, jeopardized his relationship to the family. I mean, was just 100% dedicated to it. But he created this amazing thing. And so I’m very passionate about wanting to expand his legacy, because I think what he did, I see the work that he did and I see how it changes people’s lives. And that’s what keeps it brief for me, is that sometimes I still go out and I would engage with if it’s someone that I know and they’re like, hey, can you come and do this training session? And so I’ll go in and do that. And every time that I do, I just think, oh my gosh, this is just changed lives. I saw the light bulb go on. I saw people talking together and working together where they’ve had donuts. Right. And now they’re figuring out ways to be collaborative. And I did see the effect that it had and that how it keeps it fresh for me.

Bill Sherman So I will point out something. We’re recording on zoom and I want to share it with the audience who’s listening in. So earlier I asked you about the first time you heard Mike share these ideas. I saw the spark in your eye at that point as you were reconnecting with that moment, and the same spark in your eye materialized when you were talking about being the presenter. And that seems to be a connective point that I want to call out. You seemed to flash back to the same facial feature and that same energy right there on the moment.

Karen Wright Gordon That? Definitely. Definitely. I mean, again, I’ve been passionate about this now. I guess at this point, it’s been about 17 years that I’ve been committed to it. And, you know, and I really what I went into it, I thought I did, you know, but this would be like kind of my last maybe 5 to 7 year, the working year. But, you know, I started officially started the company 14 years ago. I’m still passionate about it. I still love the work that we’re doing. I’m excited about the future. I’m excited about the possibilities. And, you know, some of the new technologies that are out there and how can we use those to further our objectives around creating this place where we, the others we respect the gifts that they bring, we value. Then we listen to them and we figure out how to get more done, in for the good of humanity by working together collaboratively.

Bill Sherman Here. And thank you very much for joining us today. And if someone wants to poke around or understand a little bit more about the framework or the things we’ve been talking about, where would they go?

Karen Wright Gordon Yeah. So definitely our website amplify.com. That’s simply and the number five the simplify.com is a great place to start. we always are happy to connect with individuals who are just curious and want to learn more about the methodology, email to sale that simplify.com is a good place to start, and we’ll definitely and be happy to have the conversation with you and show you more about the methodology. And you can also, follow me on LinkedIn. I am Karen Wright Gordon. And, you know, always putting out new articles and, sharing things that I find valuable there.

Bill Sherman Well. Fantastic. Thank you for taking time today, Karen. This has been a wonderful conversation.

Karen Wright Gordon Thank you Bill. I appreciate you giving me the time as well.

Bill Sherman Okay. You’ve made it to the end of the episode, and that means you’re probably someone deeply interested in thought leadership. Want to learn even more? Here are three recommendations. First, check out the back catalog of our podcast episodes. There are a lot of great conversations with people at the top of their game, and thought leadership, as well as just starting out. Second, subscribe to our newsletter that talks about the business of thought leadership. And finally, feel free to reach out to me. My day job is helping people with big insights. Take them to scale through the practice of thought leadership. Maybe you’re looking for strategy, or maybe you want to polish up your ideas or even create new products and offerings. I’d love to chat with you. Thanks for listening.

Bill Sherman works with thought leaders to launch big ideas within well-known brands. He is the COO of Thought Leadership Leverage. Visit Bill on Twitter

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