Phronesis: Practical Wisdom for Leaders with Scott Allen

Meghan Pickett & Dr. Bruce DeRuntz - Coaching a Leadership Team (Online)

April 03, 2021 Scott J. Allen Season 1 Episode 57
Phronesis: Practical Wisdom for Leaders with Scott Allen
Meghan Pickett & Dr. Bruce DeRuntz - Coaching a Leadership Team (Online)
Show Notes Transcript

About Meghan Pickett  & Dr. Bruce DeRuntz

Meghan Pickett is the Leadership Academy Program Manager in the Center for Leadership Studies at Illinois Institute of Technology. She is also a Ph.D. candidate and a Scientific Advisor at Happy SpectacularBruce DeRuntz is the founding Director of Southern Illinois University's Leadership Development Program. His mission is to prepare the next generation of technical leaders for our country. He's a professor with skills in leadership development, professional coaching, instructional design, quality management, and continuous improvement. Both serve as coaches for their university's Collegiate Leadership Competition team.

What is the Collegiate Leadership Competiton?

  • Collegiate Leadership Competition (CLC), a nonprofit founded in 2015, creates a digital practice field where students can actively apply what they learn via CLC’s global virtual competition. 
  • Colleges and universities identify a coach and recruit teams of six students. Any student interested in practicing leadership is welcome. Throughout the experience, each team member leads one challenge and receives extensive feedback based on their performance.
  • The competition begins in January. Competition activities occur via Zoom. The top 25 teams with the highest cumulative point total after the first four challenges compete in the global head-to-head in April.
  • CLC’s curriculum explores the attributes of effective leaders, leadership/followership styles, creative problem solving, influencing others, navigating difficult conversations, conflict resolution, delegation, stressors, and effective teaming.

Academic Articles About the Collegiate Leadership Competition

  • Rosch, D. M., & Headrick, J. (2020). Competition as leadership pedagogy: An Initial Analysis of the Collegiate Leadership Competition. Journal of Leadership Education, 19(2).
  • Allen, S. J., Jenkins, D. M., & Buller, E. (2018). Reflections on how learning in other domains inform our approach to coaching leadership. Journal of Leadership Studies, 11(4), 58-64.
  • Allen, S. J. (2018). Deliberate practice: A new frontier in leadership education. Journal of Leadership Studies, 11(4), 41-43.
  • Allen, S. J., Jenkins, D. M., Krizanovic, B. (2017). Exploring Deliberate Practice & the Use of Skill Sheets in the Collegiate Leadership Competition. Journal of Leadership Education, 17(1), 28-34.
  • Allen, S. J., Schwartz, A. J., & Jenkins, D. M. (2017). Collegiate leadership competition: An opportunity for deliberate practice on the road to expertise. In S. Kempster, A. F. Turner, & G. Edwards (Eds.) Field guide to leadership development (29-43). Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Resource Mentioned In This Episode

Note: Voice-to-text transcriptions are about 90% accurate. 

Scott Allen  0:01  
Okay, welcome, everybody. Today on the program, we have two special guests. These are coaches, leadership coaches, not the leadership coaching you're thinking about, but these are coaches for the collegiate leadership competition. They've been involved in this organization for probably about four years. And to remind some of our listeners or share with some of our listeners, really, the collegiate leadership competition is trying to create a practice field for leader development. There's a lot of sitting in a room talking about leadership. There's a lot of people out in the world doing leadership, how do we create a middle ground where people can learn and get some coaching in the process? So today, we have Meghan picket, she is a Ph.D. candidate in IO psychology. She is at Illinois Tech, and she is the Leadership Academy program manager in Illinois Tech's Center for Leadership Studies. So Megan, welcome. Thank you for being here.

Meghan Pickett  0:58  
Thank you for having me, Scott. I'm excited for this conversation.

Scott Allen  1:01  
Yes, yes. And then we also have Bruce DeRuntz. And Bruce is at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois. And he is a leadership development program director. And he's a professor in the Department of Technology at SIU. Bruce, did I get that correct? 

Bruce DeRuntz  1:19  
Yeah. Yeah. Perfect. Awesome.

Scott Allen  1:21  
Awesome. What tell us a little bit about each one of you, maybe, Megan, we can start with you a little bit, maybe fill in some of the gaps. And then Bruce will go to you and then we'll jump into our chat.

Meghan Pickett  1:31  
Sure. So I got my BA from North Central College, so liberal arts school in Naperville, and then moved to Illinois Tech for my master's. And now my Ph.D., like you said, and a lot of my research has focused on cross-cultural stress perceptions and work-family conflict, particularly with immigrants. But I've moved in recent years to leadership research and leadership development. As you mentioned, I also work as a program manager for the Academy. And I also do some consulting on the side for a fantastic company called Happy, Spectacular. But beyond that, I spent a lot of my free time reading, especially now, previously, I used to enjoy traveling as well. But that's an on halt for the foreseeable future.

Scott Allen  2:15  
Tell us really quickly about Happy Spectacular, that's a cool name.

Meghan Pickett  2:20  
Yeah. So the longer name is Happy Work Spectacular Life. And they're really sort of trying to change the philosophy of work and trying to make sure that this place that you spend most of your time, which is work, isn't the place you dread going to on Mondays and is instead something you find fulfilling. So I've done a lot of statistical work for them some 360 analysis with some leaders, focusing on that area of helping people reorient and create the work-life that they want.

Scott Allen  2:48  
Awesome. Awesome. Wonderful. And Bruce, you are an engineer. Yeah. And you're teaching leadership, I love it.

Bruce DeRuntz  2:58  
Well, you know, one of the best parts of life is when serendipity strikes. And I've been a very Professor since guess about 1998. And after going through and getting, you know, advancing through the ranks to fall, I had gotten this opportunity. My Dean came to me and said, one of our largest alums is wanting to invest in the college, he doesn't want to give any money he wants to invest in what he's saying, is the most valuable need out there in the workforce today, and that is leadership, a future technical leaders. 

Scott Allen  5:56  
The fact that the two of you have jumped in and really decided to be a part of this experiment. And really, in some ways, that's kind of what it is, is we're learning, we're learning quickly. And we're learning rapidly. And especially in this last year, we've had to take what was something that was a live experience, obviously, with, you know, 300 people in a room, so to speak, and move that online. So I'd love to have kind of two conversations. One is, and this is where we'll start in this whole activity of coaching leaders. And again, we're not using coaching in the sense of executive coaching. We're using coaching as in soccer, or football, or chess, or some other activity where we're actively coaching leaders, and students, in this case, to build skills around problem-solving, have difficult conversations, and act a certain leadership style, because that's what's appropriate for this context at this moment, and coaching towards that. So Megan, maybe we start with you, what's maybe one or two observations you've heard about that work? Because it's different. It's not most again, most leadership development is people sitting in a room talking one way, maybe we do a little activity, we debrief it, and then we're done. But if that was football, you would not have a football player at the end of that you'd have someone who knows about football.

Meghan Pickett  8:02  
Yeah, that's a really great point. I think one of my biggest observations with coaching recently has been really that it's all about creating the space. Right? So especially for us, we spent years learning and either in the classroom or through practical experiences, Bruce is mentioning, like, what leadership should look like. And I think the default setting would be to kind of lecture in that space, especially when we're virtual like this, to just sit down and tell people what to do. But effective coaching, for me, has been all about kind of creating to use some of your words, creating the playing field, creating the space for people, to explore, to practice, and most importantly, to fail. So one of the things that I do with the CLC curriculum is I actually create an activity at the very beginning, that forces my students to fail, we call it the impossible activity. And essentially, it comes down to no matter what route they take from this escape room, basically, they will fail. And I do that so that we can have the first conversation about how do you respond when you are faced with failure because it's going to happen. And, and sometimes that failure comes down to the person who's subjectively deciding if you succeed or not, and other times it comes down to, you know, your competence or experience and in an area. But I think that we can still do it virtually. And I think that's essential. And then the other one which fits beautifully with your curriculum is really that coaching comes down to experiential learning. So I think that the leadership industry is something like 40 billion US dollars annually. And most of that money goes towards really structured one-time events and coaching and development how has to be sustained. It has to be long-term. So, yes, we have this one semester, but I really like students to come back for a couple of years or to continue the development and I use some of your curriculum terms, even outside of CLC, to reinforce that. Because if you're going to grow, if you're going to learn, it has to be intentional, and it has to be sustained. So trying to find ways for them to weave it into their life outside of the curriculum is essential. We spend a lot of that time, a lot of our time together, debriefing. How can you connect this? How are you going to use this? And I think that that, that's probably the crux of the way that I approach coaching.

Scott Allen  10:40  
I love it. I love it. And I liked how you started, I want to get that activity. In Star Trek, there's a scene, the Kobayashi Maru, right, where they...

Meghan Pickett  10:50  
This is what inspired it! this is it!

Scott Allen  10:53  
We're kind of geeking out a little bit because we all know what that is. But I love it. Because I think you're exactly right. There's, there's a quote, I'm not going to get it perfectly, but it's John Wooden, and it says something to the effect of Look, a doer makes mistakes. And if you're a doer, you're going to make mistakes. And failure is inherent, whether it's engineering, whether it's in science, in any of these domains, it's baked in, as we learn. And so I love that. And I also love the whole notion because it kind of made me start to think about K. Anders Ericsson, and his work around expertise. Because a major gap we have in this leadership education space is that we don't always necessarily have mental representations or models of what "good" (quote-unquote), looks like, of what we're shooting for. So it's kind of interesting because we're exploring that space.

Meghan Pickett  11:52  
Yeah. And you know, one of the things that I, when I talk about intentionality and practice, we usually talk about, you know, practice until something becomes procedural. That's expertise, right? You do it so many times, you don't have to think about it. And in so many ways, that is essential. It's important. But I think it only works when it is paired with that intention. Because otherwise, something procedural allows for complacency. So are you taking the time and doing to use like an army term and an after-action review? Are you sitting down and looking at Okay, what could I have done better? How could I have improved? And if you allow that debrief element to be pushed to the side and to think, okay, I've reached leadership, whatever that is, I've reached this title. X person has told me I am a leader, therefore I can stop practicing. At that point, I think you've given up leadership is a lifelong learning experience. And if you ever forget that you have, you've cut yourself off at the foot.

Scott Allen  12:54  
Yeah. Yeah. Well, both of you stem from an I've interacted with a number of leadership educators from across North America primarily, especially on collegiate campuses. And both of the programs that you are a part of are just incredible programs they are. And Bruce, I know that that, again, you have 10 major sponsors of this work. It's there's a whole apparatus and kind of infrastructure built around what's been built at SIU. Talk a little bit about how the coaching of leadership, what are some of the observations you've had in exploring that space? That's what we're gonna call this episode.

Bruce DeRuntz  13:44  
Scott, if we had another hour to ask you about your failures and getting the CLC launched, right there, there had to be some that you can't you say, well, let's, let's take 10 steps back, cuz that sure isn't working. And that's where we were in our first few years. Also, I haven't had formal I/O training or od training either. But I learned leadership through a lot of failures. But fortunately, I had some good mentors along the way, who are outside the university who are people from industry and military and seeing things such as the A RS and the military, so world's greatest training organization there ever was, and ever will be. So it's literally life and death. But we took a lot of those same models, and we applied them to the LDP and started getting more comfortable in fail failing and teaching them that it's okay to fail. And actually, it's the most valuable thing you do because you learn what you do. And for myself, personally, I had to be all in. it's it's nearly impossible to be this person who's the Do as I say, not as I do, you know, whether you like it or not young, old, tenured, untenured, whatever, you have got to be in there shoulder to shoulder, with the students modeling the way, if you're going to expect to get the results, I love what Megan said about creating the space. Similarly, we created a culture, right? a culture of accountability, they hold me accountable, I hold them accountable. And it's all based upon safety and mutual respect for one another. And they know that, that whatever, whatever they do to hold people accountable, is going to make the program better and stronger. And we have just continued to build on top of students from the past and their contributions. And I'd like to use introduce another term that we have used to create, I think, a very strong program. And that is social interdependency. Right? These students are, none of them want to do what we asked them to do independently. They don't, if you and I wouldn't do it, look how many new year's resolutions are failed. But when you show up as a group, and you know, everybody else is going to be there. 5:30 a.m. And they're gonna say, you know, we're Scott at, Scott's gonna show up because he knows, there are 15 people looking farm. And, and so suddenly, Scott said, Well, this is really hard, it's unusual. But after week four, it's not so bad, it's getting better. I see, everybody else is excited about this. And before, you know, you move the whole organization together, and you start, you start loving it, you start seeing the results that are making in your own personal life. And then the experiential side, we ask them to, to apply to, to social, our community service, project, service learning, service leadership, which is nice and good. And it's a soft, easy place to fail. But then I asked them to apply it to their registered student organizations, the robotics team, the greenhouse sustainability, green roof sustainability team. And these are things that, that they're really passionate about. And we're other teams have failed, because they don't, they don't have any leadership training, or they haven't applied it. We have gone through the experiences like CLC, and they take it with them. And they're using the SOLVE model on day one. Our team was high-fiving each other last week, Scott, when you gave us a social impact challenge, and said, do this in a half-hour. I want five SMART goals. And have everyone's like, What, are you kidding me? that normally takes a semester? Right? Like, and you have the same experience?

Meghan Pickett  17:48  
Oh, definitely.

Bruce DeRuntz  17:50  
Yeah. And they love the fact that at the end of 30 minutes, like, by golly, we did it. Five SMART goals, we are off to a faster start than ever before. It gives them that sense of self-confidence and self-esteem, that they are really truly learning something they're going to apply to their life. And we have the good fortune of being in the program or having the program around long enough to major NSF awards. And we've shown that that early leadership training, such as what we give results in a 30%, higher and faster time to graduation.

Scott Allen  18:29  
Interesting. Very cool.

Bruce DeRuntz  18:33  
Leadership works.

Meghan Pickett  18:35  
This especially Oh, sorry, Scott, I know, the beautiful thing, too, about the leadership programs that you and I are both running is that it is early intervention, because Scott, we were talking about this a little bit offline. But there is a humility in college students and young people who are still willing to learn and to really engage in this curriculum that I think especially as I started working with CEOs and people who are in the C suite or executive suite, they don't have quite the same humility. So I think if we can, if we can get them early and get them used to this idea that failure is not only acceptable but also desirable as a learning opportunity, then the long-term impact on leadership culture is going to be massive.

Scott Allen  19:25  
Yeah, yeah. Well, and I think we, we started this whole thing, all of us in this world where it was all face to face. And then in the last year, this whole experience has been digitized. And what are some observations you've had about that transition? Is it working? Is it not working is what is and what quite can't get there yet. I mean, I think that's a really, really fun conversation. Because I think there's a lot of rules in our head that it can't work. I don't necessarily believe that. I think it can. I don't know that we have the recipe yet. But what have you been seeing on that front? Megan?

Meghan Pickett  20:05  
Well, I think the most important thing is his attitude, right? The climate that you're building with your team. And so starting day one with does this suck that we're all forced to be apart right now? Yeah, it's not great, we don't love it. But if we approach every day, in every meeting with that negative attitude, then this becomes an energy suck, it becomes a negative experience in and of itself. So instead, making sure that we build time to joke with one another to, you know, lift up our pets and show that what our pet is doing. And just letting, letting laughter be a part of it, letting joy be a part of it, which changes it's a little more informal. Now, I think, then when we were in person, but I'm not, I'm not mad at that. I think it allows for a sense of community when you're looking through a screen. So I think that's the first step that I've noticed between my group for CLC and other spaces that I've noticed even some of the other classes I'm teaching if you're not dedicating that time to still developing those relationships, everything else after it feels kind of stunted. So I think that's the key for me and my experience. But the other thing is really just making sure that you're still creating, Bruce talked about culture, right. And CLC really emphasizes a culture of feedback. I think that trying to make an established culture is even more essential, or culture of feedback, sorry, is more essential in a virtual space, because people can be muted. Because you are able to turn your screen off and sort of have these reactions hidden. That if you don't set up the norms, like Okay, everyone has to have their cameras on or audio should be on to allow for more natural conversation, we have to build in a time to really talk about things that we might have not even spent time talking about. If you don't set that time aside for how are we doing? How can we improve on this? Again, I think that you leave room for people to feel isolated, which is going to be the worst thing if you're trying to lead right that that requires relationship building. So making sure that you're setting up a foundation for leadership, or sorry, for relationships is going to be an, in my opinion, baseline. I love it for success.

Scott Allen  22:35  
Yep. Yep. It's still all about relationships. It's all about that connectivity, and having space for that to occur. And then from there, we haven't failed right off the bat.

Meghan Pickett  22:48  
That's a bonding thing, right? You don't you don't bond quicker than when you fail together.

Bruce DeRuntz  22:54  
Shared Adversity, right? You got to create it.

Meghan Pickett  22:59  
And I'm okay being the bad guy. In that case, when they find out that I'm the one who just gets to decide that they fail. Oh, they are livid.

Bruce DeRuntz  23:07  
Yeah, there's a lot of literature and studies that show that sometimes bringing the group together to hate the leader is a way to bond them...I've had a couple of students in the past who are navy seals, as watching an episode of their Hell Week. This is more of an updated version recently, and the instructor for talking about how there be more instructional about how we consider just completely trying to wash everybody out there giving them the why. And they're saying you think we're just making this stuff up. We're not this is all been planned and calculated. Everything we have you do is for a purpose and a reason, you know, to test you. And they're really coaching them through that week. Certainly sorting out the weaker ones. And we've very much do the same thing. Because there are some people who are willing to who get it, why are we doing this? And there are others who don't get it, and they just want the normal college experience. I can tell you that being in the College of Engineering, you know, our students, sometimes, you know, lack hubris and say, you know, I'm already in the toughest major, I can't possibly do anything else. Well, actually, you know, the people who are leaders actually get more stuff done than anybody else. They achieve academic excellence, they lead their student organizations, and they're a member of the leadership development program and probably have a side job on top of it all. And what they do is they become very disciplined with their time and their intentionality to learn leadership and what it what it's all about, and the more they learn about it, the more that they are committed to it. Going back, Scott to what you originally asked with this transition. We're, we're just about at our one-year anniversary, maybe next week might be the one-year anniversary when we didn't come back from spring break. And it was, it was almost, you know, make a poor comparison to 911 or something. You know, it was like, What is this really happening? We're really not coming back. Now, what do we do? What is very disjointed. And so I called together, you know, my executive team, and to have this conversation. And, you know, we all know that leadership during good times, is really hard. Right? There are no opportunities, but leadership during bad times offers infinite opportunities. And so we say, well, what's the right thing to do? The right thing is to, you know, suck it up. And let's figure out how do we keep going. And a lot of most of the other student organizations, just closed up shop still have not reopened. And we have figured out perhaps many different ways to do things better online than in person. And so it has been a wonderful baptism in the deep end, you will have how to use a crisis and make the most out of it.

Meghan Pickett  26:28  
Yet my students put some of my senior students put on a seminar for their peers earlier this month, I think, and they identified what I thought was really a cool concept that in a time of tragedy, they use 911, actually, as well. You see sustained behaviors, those things that are habits that will come back when the tragedy is over, that we still find ways to kind of engage in, then behaviors that are transformed in some way, they'll never, they'll never look the same. And then those ones that are sort of critical, or collapsed behavior sorry, that will just never come back. And so they started looking at for leadership, what are the things that will come back no matter what, and I think that to the point we talked about earlier, this whole idea that relationships are essential, it looks a little different, but it stays the same. And then what behaviors are transforming and will stay different. One that I hope stays different is an appreciation for mistakes and accepting that we are all human failures happens again, but also that we're all bringing a lot of baggage to the table, being able to talk about that, have that open, accept that. And then move forward from there. I hope that continues. I think that's been a really beautiful space that's been created. And then what are the things that are not just not going to come back for us as leaders? And so having to work through that, I think, is going to be another challenge. But to your point, Bruce, about, you have a lot of opportunities in challenging times. I think that's deciding what behaviors are collapsing, and what is going to transform and sustain. I think that really is that opportunity to sort of getting ahead and create a new kind of leadership.

Scott Allen  28:13  
Yeah, it's really been interesting, as I reflect, and my wife and I were walking yesterday, and we were talking about it because, on many fronts, it's been a really wonderful year for us. And, and on one end, I feel bad about that. And I know that that's been incredibly difficult for a number of people. And I feel privileged that we were in a position to have the income to so we were incredibly privileged in this space, the baseline needs were met. And it was also an opportunity for us to clarify what we want as a couple down the road. I mean, we spent October in Utah, kind of just were digital nomads for the month, our kids were virtual, we were virtual. And so we said, hey, let's go to Utah and shelter in place there and go to Zion on the weekend and go to Bryce on the weekend and go to Death Valley on the weekend and, you know, exist there versus Ohio. So all of a sudden, I was like, wow, there's an opportunity here. If I could digitize myself in the next 12 years. Maybe I'll be in Portugal, Megan, and Bruce, you can meet me in Greece for three months. And we'll teach leadership from there virtually I don't know. But it's interesting because there's and so Bruce, I can identify with what you said. Because whether it was the leadership competition, and you all the both of you were involved, thankfully, in some of the early conversations of Okay, how do we pivot? What does that look like? But there is there's opportunity in this, there's an opportunity, and there's an opportunity to explore a different domain. Because if you said to me a year ago, can this be done online? I would have said, No, no way. And I had a conceptual block about that. I don't know that I'm completely convinced at this point, but You know, my, my mind has shifted for sure.

Bruce DeRuntz  30:07  
We've all shifted, and our students as well. And you know, something that's, that's really cool. It's another plug for the CLC is. It's shown to us because we've been teaching online classes for a while now. But I don't know that we've done them exceptionally well. And so people to kind of get used to is like, Okay, so how do we, how do we transition classroom to online? Well, they did that. But the CLC, whether it be an experiential like activity-based, raise the bar or use your turn, raise the heat for online learning, and it's shown us that there is a better way to do it. And in many ways, I feel like my, my students have gotten a little bit spoiled. Now that they've seen, like, the great ways you can learn, and you can do, you know, dynamic breakout rooms and team collaborations and chats and online surveys. And it's forcing me to be a better teacher in the regular classroom as well.

Scott Allen  31:26  
What's missing? What? Have you not found the recipe yet? What are you, even though we have the mindset of we're gonna make it work, and we have that mindset that the possibilities exist...What have you struggled with each one of you, as your coach?

Meghan Pickett  31:47  
I think I still have a bit of a block. And I don't know if it's, I feel like it shared, most people share this, and that I still look for tangible things to convey leadership. So some of the activities that we've done, and we've talked about this before, as well, that when there's a tangible object in front of you, you feel more engaged and whatever the activity is, and, and even when it seems to stack Oreos, right, yeah, yep. still, something that is the focal point for what you're thinking about for the challenge itself. And when you lack that, and some of the activities have lacked a tangible component, you're just talking discussing or you're typing online, there are so many distractions, that I find people unable to focus in the same direction. And that's not even to say they have Facebook open on another tab, or that I have my email open on another tab, I might only have the activity in front of me. But that same degree of focus, I think, is, is not there. And I'm still trying to figure out how to how to get that back. And like I said, activities that do have an object. There's a difference. Yeah, people are more even though they're in different rooms in different cities. They're more focused on this shared object.

Scott Allen  33:17  
Yeah. That's so interesting. And I think it was, Lori (a coach) from Christopher Newport said that same thing, that there's a tactile element to all of this of focus, and having, you know, Pringles, or Oreos, or tennis balls. And I know that sounds crazy to many, many listeners who are focused in but again, we're, it's an experientially oriented organization. And when we're live, we have a lot of experiences and puzzles that these teams are working together to...and oftentimes, it might be manipulating something or working together. But you're exactly right, Megan, I'd never thought of it that way. How easy if we aren't. And I think we still could put that in front of them in an online simulation, or I think that also is a version of that, right? It's just a digital version. But if that object isn't there, it's easy to go elsewhere. Right? Bruce, have you experienced that as well? Yeah.

Bruce DeRuntz  34:16  
So a couple of thoughts. Is that on a bigger, broader, more macro scale, some criticisms that I've heard are, okay, well, you've taught leadership at the university community service projects, maybe through their technical RSLS, robotics teams, etc. How does this translate to getting them to lead out in the real world? Right? How does the Pringle Ringle translate to them stepping up into the workplace because this goes back to the social interdependency, they've all been through the same thing together? You see, they're all bought in but what's going to happen is that the team of five is going to go to work for five different employers, and they're gonna be thrown into a culture that's totally different. I've, I've had graduates who said, Oh my gosh, I want to work for company X. Are they ever upside-down?! You know, no culture, it's awful. And they tried, they tried their influencing skills, and it just, you know, pushing a rope. So, how do we, how do we, you know, we're CLC 2.0, after graduation, right to create a community to be more influential, so that people will say, their success stories, and where did you learn this? Did you learn this in CLC? Okay, so there'll be my first point would be, let's, let's take it another step down the road, and really see how meaningful it is. Right? It's not enough to lead at the university, they had to be lead in their careers. That's where the rubber really meets the road. And the other challenge that this isn't on you, Scott at all, but it's, as we said earlier, everything happens through relationships. And when, just like this podcast right now, we're meeting with specific intentionality and a goal of completing a 60-minute podcast, right? We're not really sharing and caring all that much like we would, at a conference over a beer, dinner, whatever. Right? And so our students have also, they've actually become somewhat more protective of their time. Because they spend so much time online. They don't really want to visit more online. And so we're, we're missing that relationship building that just can't be done unless it's in person.

Scott Allen  36:46  
Yeah. Yeah. Megan, same, same thing.

Meghan Pickett  36:50  
Yeah, I've actually had students talk about it's the five minutes before and after a meeting in person where you find out that so and so is watching the same movie as you or they say, Hey, I'm going to walk to Starbucks you want to come with and where you really develop a relationship outside of the task. And start to trust one another on a deeper level that has been really difficult, to establish. But again, I think that that we have to be better, it feels kind of silly and Goofy, but building that in, in some way. However, that's going to look, I think is going to be important. The other thing that you said that resonated with me, Bruce, about what's the relationship between a Pringles, wrangle and, and work? I think it all comes down to the debrief. That's my favorite part of coaching. It's where I spend most of my time thinking about, like, what questions Can I ask again? How can I build a space for them to think about these things? And with any kind of experiential learning? I think the value is derived from the debrief, because you say like, here, you are doing this activity. That doesn't feel like leadership. So we almost get to see what your leadership looks like when you're not thinking about it. Which is your default in the workspace, right. And if they make that connection, then they really start to see why this matters. And so I think we can still build that in and we can, to your point, really make it clear how this connects to the next step and the value that an activity like CLC can really bring to a university or a student or a community. 

Bruce DeRuntz  38:32  
That's, that's, that's perfect. And you're absolutely right, in the value of the debrief, when we went to the D-TEAMS (attribute of effective teams) exercise last week. We were 15 minutes into it. Then we Olivia and I entered the check chatbox. You know what, remember, this is about D-TEAMS. You guys jumped into the project already? Oh, yeah, that's right. You know, and they've made that mistake, practically and every exercise we've done this semester, and it came back to bite them once again and but there we learn the most of our failures, and they're, they're coming back and going you know what, every time we get lost is because we didn't follow the process. Yep.

Scott Allen  39:19  
Yep. Well and I always love it's almost my version of a Mr. Miyagi moment. Because to your point about, and we'll put some notes in the show notes for listeners about the Pringles Ringle. Or we did one this year called Oreoeo. I can't even say it. But it was interesting with people all over the world literally trying to accomplish this. But it's interesting once a good faction of them Yes, they're like, "well, what did that have to do with anything?" That was I don't get it. And you say, Okay, what were some of the stressors present in that activity? Oh, rapid change when everything fell. Tough working conditions, because I'm piling Oreos on top of each other. And it should be simple and it's not. And all of that. So okay. What followership styles did we see? Oh, I guess I kind of gave up about halfway, and Yes. What leadership style did we see none because the leader forgot they were leading anything. And then you were just building a tower.

Bruce DeRuntz  40:22  
So, Scott, I got a question for you. Yeah. Did you come up with all these acronyms yourself?

Scott Allen  40:29  
Yes, yeah. But they were integrated. They were integrated from a number of different theories. Right? So they were...if you look at the leadership acronym, it's an integration of Burns and Komives and any number of other scholars that some of the big pieces by no means is it all of them, or is it....even there's probably some major pieces missing from that acronym. I just couldn't figure out how to make it work, right. But yeah, yeah.

Bruce DeRuntz  41:01  
Kudos to you. It's, it's, it is so pedagogically appropriate for our students. They love learning these types of acronyms and learn in this fashion. And I don't know if you remember, two years ago, when we met, met in person last time. My students even developed a song to rehearse all the acronyms. Do you remember that? Yeah. We share it. We shared it with you guys. It was to the lady who sings feels like a woman.

Shania Twain?

Meghan Pickett  41:53  
Oh, man. I feel like a woman and I feel like Well, yeah,

Bruce DeRuntz  42:02  
They go, they go through all the acronyms to that in the background

Scott Allen  42:07  
That's amazing. That reminds me of Dan Jenkins, traveling to the first, the first conference from Maine to Cleveland, the first one that he participated in, he was driving a van. And they had post-it notes all over the windows of the van with all of the terms and concepts as they were trying to learn them. Yeah. And I and I do need to say, look, it's a group effort. Because again, the two of you were instrumental in helping us think through how we shift how we move forward. People have been very, very instrumental in suggesting shifts to some of the acronyms, and former board members and current board members, we go over those. And is this still relevant? So we added, you know, diversity matters to teams because that's something that we didn't originally have in there. And it's critical. We added in the values for the organization, and this last summer, because that's critical leadership for what? So? Well, as we close down today, maybe the two of you could share something that is caught your eye recently, there's something you're streaming something you're reading something you're listening to, what's caught your attention recently. What do you think? And it could be anything it doesn't have to do with leadership. Megan, I know you're, you're almost are you? Are you almost done with all of your coursework for the Ph.D.? So you've been

Meghan Pickett  43:35  
Oh, yeah, I'm done with my coursework. I'm working on the dissertation at this point. Trying,

Scott Allen  43:40  
you're all consumed with that, but I have to imagine you're streaming something.

Meghan Pickett  43:44  
Oh, well, I you know, I'm not a big movie TV person. I'm very much a podcast person. This is exciting to be on a podcast. But um, yeah, I've been listening to a lot to through line and good ancestor podcast you're wrong about is another one. I love to learn what I know wrong. So you're wrong about It's fantastic. And then Adam grants work life to have something relevant to my field as well. I really enjoy his work.

Scott Allen  44:15  
He's great. He's great. Awesome. And Bruce, how about you, sir?

Bruce DeRuntz  44:19  
Yeah, I recently came across a really good book. I was listening to a podcast by those I can't remember. But it was the author. His name is Dan Sullivan. Right. And his most recent book is called who not how, and the crux of it is that all of us are trying to get somewhere in life. And we look at this very, very long path ahead of us and all these things that we need to do. Megan, you're on that path right now. All these things you feel like you have to learn, but we make a huge mistake. And many times the things that are holding us back are the things that were simply are not a strength of ours we're not good at and we don't want to do, right? And we make the mistake of not asking who is good at this? And how could they teach us how to do it? or How could they help us achieve it. And Scott, I'm sure in your journey to build the CLC, you have had immense help from people who knew how to do something, as opposed to you having to learn and do everything on your own. And it's really changed in my way of thinking, and being a lot less bashful of asking for help from people who actually love doing these things.

Scott Allen  45:38  
Yeah. Things that you have no interest in doing. But for some reason, that's the thing that fires them up.

Bruce DeRuntz  45:44  
Yeah. A great example is a podcast, podcasting. Right. I don't have, any interest whatsoever in the technicalities of how to set up a microphone, headphones are our problems before this, but I would love to love doing podcasts. And we transitioned our newsletter from that we've had for seven years now. we transitioned the semester to a podcast. 

Scott Allen  46:16  
Well, to the two of you, thank you very, very much for the work that you do. It's awesome. And thank you so much for your time today. I really, really appreciate it and have an awesome one. I think we have about 20 days until the actual event. Maybe it's a little less than 20 days. I don't know, maybe it's 24 days till the actual competition. I'm not doing math well. April 10. 

Bruce DeRuntz  46:46  
Scott, thank you, thank you for all you do. I truly, truly believe in the system and the mission that you have created. We were bought in the and we believe and live every day to make the next generation of leaders who are gonna change this world for the better and your, your interval integral piece of that. So thank you.

Scott Allen  47:05  
Thank you, sir. Thank you, sir. Okay, you will be well

Meghan Pickett  47:10  
See you later guys. Bye.

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