Roberto Che Espinoza, PhD is a non-binary trans guy. This episode was recorded before Roberto changed his name. Please use his current name Roberto Che Espinoza moving forward, thank you!
How you lead yourself impacts how you lead others.
And how you lead yourself and others has a ripple effect in all the spaces you live and work.
It really is that simple. And that important.
Unaddressed pain from difficult life experiences and traumas rob us of our capacity for connection.
Unaddressed burdens of trauma impact how you make decisions on everything from parenting to public policy.
Both individual and collective traumas perpetuate disconnection in all the spaces we live and work in.
The ripple effect of disconnection takes us out of our innate ability to genuinely care about the well being of others. We become hyper focused on our own safety - sometimes at extreme costs to others.
When we make decisions based on fear and self-protection, we end up generating more fear and dehumanize...
The commitment to being an engaged citizen is a commitment to being an engaged leader.
When you make the choice to invest your energy into staying informed about social and political issues, you are investing in your leadership.
I’m hearing more and more from leaders who are prioritizing leading with justice, equity, and community care in mind. So if the kind of leader you truly want to be means being an engaged citizen, one who is informed about the social and political issues facing the people they lead, you’re in good company.
But in today’s deeply polarized culture, that’s hard work.
It can feel like resting in the midst of that work is like tapping out of the biggest fight of your life.
But being an engaged citizen requires rest. Rest is not tapping out.
Without rest, you won’t have the energy to question the people & institutions in power. You won’t have the capacity to extend care to those who are often forgotten or...
Everybody’s carrying a burden that’s weighing them down.
If you dare to care, it is inevitable you will end up carrying the burdens from grief, betrayal, and rejection.
And these burdens are often unseen.
These invisible struggles fuel loneliness, shame, and despair. Eventually, the unaddressed burdens we carry start to impact our ability to live and lead in ways that are important to us. They take their toll on the quality of our work, our relationships, and our well-being.
Yet, instead of transforming the pains from abuse, betrayal, loss, shame, poverty, chronic health struggles, and so on, we see them as a poor reflection on our ability to lead, succeed, and provide.
We have breathed in the clear and emphatic message: Hide your pain.
These toxic messages around struggle take a dangerous toll on how we care for ourselves and others.
To engage our teams, support wellbeing, and lead through change, we must model and explore real and honest emotions.
Toxic cultures–at home, school, work, in faith communities–make it incredibly hard to do the right thing.
Choosing to risk your reputation or livelihood when you want to move from being a bystander to standing up for what is right is a bind too many face when they want to say ‘no more’ to abuses of power.
Yes, we need to move beyond being passive bystanders and be better allies. Yet I want to acknowledge that the stakes are high in moving from bystander into the spotlight.
It is challenging to speak up when the safety and livelihood of a bystander are pitted against standing up to abuses of power.
The fear of retaliation or becoming a target of abuse is real. So is lack of trust that speaking up will impact change.
Being a bystander and watching harm being done to someone takes its own toll on your health and your confidence when the culture you are in supports secrecy and silence.
My guest today is deeply committed to changing the impact of the...
We watch leaders crash & burn all the time.
We watch with morbid fascination as leaders fall out of grace because their unaddressed pain led them on an unsustainable path of poor choices–even dangerous and deadly choices–to avoid feeling the vulnerability of rejection.
Those times when you experienced the pain of rejection leave their mark because rejection hurts. Like, physically hurts. Neuroscience teaches that this kind of emotional pain is processed similarly to physical pain.
The burdens of social rejection of any kind can become all-consuming in an effort to do whatever it takes to never go through that kind of pain again.
But stepping into leadership means stepping into rejection and being misunderstood. It is just a part of the physics of leading and putting yourself out there in any capacity.
If you are stepping into the title, the power, and the access of leadership as a way to bypass the pain of rejection, it will not go well.
My guest today is an...
Our workplaces need more laughter.
Our homes need more laughter.
The world needs more laughter.
And I don’t know about you, but I too need more laughter.
There have been times of late when the smallest thing sets my family into a laugh-fest - usually triggered by something we were watching on TV or something one of us said that just tickled the proverbial funny bone.
This communal laughter always feels like a welcomed exhale when I didn't even know I was holding my breath. Every time, I feel lighter and clearer after I wipe the tears of joy away from my face.
Growing up, I got the message that humor and comedy were for those who were not serious. I was always equal parts annoyed and envious of the class-clowns and those that seemed at ease using humor as they lead. I wanted to focus on work but I also appreciated their ability to lighten the mood and not take themselves too seriously while building a sense of connection.
Comedy and humor can...
Avoiding controversy for the sake of comfort is not an option for you as you lead, do life, and rumble with all the big and little decisions before you.
Sure, you do not want to contribute to the noise.
You are not looking for a fight (or, like me, you try not to get scrappy just to offload some stress), or to be right just for the sake of being right.
No. You value the big picture. You value the mission. You value the greater impact.
These days, people try to shock us just so they can manipulate our feelings. They use hyperbole to exercise power over us. The polarization we are living with internally and in our culture leads to many having serious controversy fatigue.
Unburdened leaders get the nuance of standing up. They also understand the sacrifices. They would rather step up for what is true than play it safe.
We all need to do a better job of respecting this kind of leadership by supporting those who are willing to and able to take the heat...