#002: Jonathan Raymond

Lawyer Turned Founder & Coach | Accountability Dial, Culture, & More

In today’s episode, Deepa welcomes Jonathan Raymond, a former corporate lawyer turned innovator in business strategy and coaching. Deepa explores Jonathan’s transformative journey from the legal world to authoring “Good Authority” and creating his program centered around Authority, Alignment, and Accountability. This conversation is not just about stories; it’s a deep dive into practical tools for transformation. As you listen, you’ll learn about the “Accountability Dial,” how to use it in leadership conversations, and the importance of adopting a “More Yoda, Less Superhero” approach in leadership. Jonathan and Deepa also emphasize the significance of teaching what you learn to others, a practice that helps deepen understanding and application of these tools.

Interactive Video Transcript


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Jonathan Raymond

Grace is the perfect word because I can't tell you how many times I've advised on this conversation and had it myself where this magical thing happens where when you are honest with someone and you've followed this process and you were to say to me, you're Deepa, you were to say to me, hey Jonathan, you know, we've been working together for the last couple months on this.

Jonathan Raymond

We've had a lot of, you know, we kind of recap at a lot of feedback and I just get the feeling that, you know, you know, whatever it is, it's, you know, it's not that you're not trying, there's good intent there, but something isn't working and I just wonder, like, maybe this isn't the right role for you. Maybe this isn't the right time in your career for this type of a thing or whatever. Like, can you take the weekend and just think about it and come back to me? Like, what, where do we go from here, right?

Jonathan Raymond

And what will happen is one of two things and one of two things only. That was a false start.

Deepa Pulipati

Harin, you have developed a self-awareness of who you are and where you want to go, but now what? Sound familiar? In my 20 years of practice as a superior court mediator, clinician, executive coach, and parent, I've noticed one thing above all. No meaningful transformation can happen unless you find and apply the tools and skills that are right for you. See, the thing is, without tools, without a recipe, you might as well flip a coin and hope it works.

Deepa Pulipati

Or you get burnt out listening to bad advice and following tips that may not be necessarily useful in your situation. I have been there and I've seen thousands of clients right there as well. My name is Deepa and Recipes for Life is my show where you and I learn the ingredients of high-performing, well-adjusted humans in how they get through their own life, all to create a recipe for life of our own. Today's guest is Jonathan Raymond. Jonathan is the founder and CEO of Refound.

Deepa Pulipati

He works with executive teams to help them create a shared leadership language based on ownership, accountability, and personal growth. Refound's clients range from the Fortune 10 to startups looking for a fresh and sustainable approach to both leadership development and manager training. Over a 20-year career, Jonathan has thrown his heart, mind, and soul into corporate change projects in technology, clean energy, and business coaching. He's madly in love with his wife, tries not to spoil his daughters, and will never give up on the New York Knicks.

Deepa Pulipati

By the end of today's conversation, you'll have new ingredients to manage your accountability, values, boundaries, and consequences. You will also hear about the biggest risks Jonathan took in his life by really listening to his inner voice, why he wrote a book called Good Authority, and created a program around authority, alignment, and accountability. You'll also be given an accountability dial, and will learn directly from Jonathan on how to use it in leadership conversations.

Deepa Pulipati

Jonathan also talks about why it's important to be more Yoda and less superhero. I know, I know, sounds like a lot, but just trust me. Before we jump into the episode, make a note that I want you to teach what you've learned to someone you care about within 48 hours. Research shows that it'll help you internalize the tools beyond just listening to them. Without further ado, I give you Jonathan from ReFound. You know, I really, before we get into like the heavy conversation, I do want to ask you about this cold plunge thing that you do.

Deepa Pulipati

Tell me more, like what is it? Yeah, tell me more about that.

Jonathan Raymond

I, I like to think that, uh, I was on the bleeding edge of things, uh, like 25 years ago, where so many of the things when I lived in the Bay Area in the early 2000s that were sort of trendy and cool are now like mainstream. And, uh, so when I was like, you know, 2000, 2001, when I first moved to the Bay Area, I used to go up to Harbin Hot Springs and they, they had, you know, hot, hot pools and all different kinds of things, something Lake County. And they also had a cold plunge. And I thought this is the coolest thing ever.

Jonathan Raymond

Like you go into a hot plunge, then you go into a cold plunge. I loved it. I felt so refreshed. And so every chance I get, you know, over the years, I've always, I love jumping into cold water. And, um, somehow I missed the boat during the pandemic. It became a thing again during the pandemic. And I was a little bit late to the party. It was like bread making. Like I was like really late to the bread baking sourdough party.

Jonathan Raymond

But I was a little bit late to the cold plunge party, but I, about a year ago, I restocked my passion for cold plunging and I bought one and I was stuck it on the back patio and I use it every day. I go in for about five minutes and, um, yeah, I love it. Just helps with sleep, helps with inflammation, helps with stress, mental acuity and focus, all the things.

Deepa Pulipati

So you're telling me that you are this super cool person way before the Wim Hof method because that's what happened to it.

Jonathan Raymond

Totally. Technically, Wim Hof was following us. No, I'm just kidding. He's great. I don't, I'm not a particular like, he's a, he's a, he's an out there dude. Um, I like listening to him sometimes. I don't particularly follow, uh, his methodology, although I think it's, I think it's fine. I mean, definitely he should get the credit for like popularizing this thing. Uh, but it's like, you know, when there's a really popular yoga teacher, it's like, well, the practice has kind of been around for a while.

Jonathan Raymond

Um, so, but yeah, I love, just a few thousand years. I know you want to take credit for it, but it's been around a while. Um, but yeah, I love cold plunging and all that.

Deepa Pulipati

Um, you, you recently bought a big cold plunge equipment. Tell me about that. What brand is it? You love it.

Jonathan Raymond

Um, I bought the, uh, it's the one that was from Shark Tank. I think it's just called plunge. It looks like a big, like, like angular bathtub. Um, some of them are crazy expensive. Uh, this one's only, only moderately insanely expensive. Um, but yeah, that's where I bought.

Deepa Pulipati

And it's called plunge and you love it.

Jonathan Raymond

I love it. It's great. It just works. That's all it's, it's all it has to do is work. But it saves me, you know, like trying to fill bathtubs with ice and converting my freezer in the garage. I know you can do that too. There's a lot of like, if I was a better plumber, I'd probably make my own, but in my case, it was just easier to buy one.

Deepa Pulipati

A friend the other day talked to me about just buying like a food freezer and just sitting in it. I'm like, I don't know. That doesn't work.

Jonathan Raymond

Yeah, it works. A lot of people did like, you know, if you have one of those, like those freezers where you can with the top loading freezers and you can set it up. I don't know. There's, there's all kinds of DIY videos on YouTube. You can light it a certain way, set it to a certain temperature, but, uh, we use it for frozen foods. If we're old school, uh, we use our freezer for, for food.

Deepa Pulipati

Okay.

Jonathan Raymond

Gotcha.

Deepa Pulipati

All right. So really quick before, before, um, we get into again, the meat of things, uh, what's your favorite food? Do you cook?

Jonathan Raymond

Do you cook?

Deepa Pulipati

Wait, before that, before that, I have to ask a bigger question.

Deepa Pulipati

Do you cook?

Jonathan Raymond

I love, I love to cook.

Jonathan Raymond

I would say I'm a decent, a decent cook. What was that? We can be friends?

Deepa Pulipati

I said that we'll be great friends.

Jonathan Raymond

Yeah. I love to cook. I would say I'm the primary, I'm the primary person who thinks about food in my family. My wife likes to eat, uh, but I like to cook. Um.

Deepa Pulipati

Sounds like my husband, Jonathan.

Jonathan Raymond

Oh, nice. Um, but, uh, yeah, I love to cook. I mean, I would say my favorite food, which I do actually do sometimes at home is I love Japanese food. Um, not only sushi, but I love, you know, all of the, just the, the umami flavors and the way they think about seasoning and the, the simplicity of it. I love Japanese food. That would be my favorite cuisine.

Deepa Pulipati

Um, is there any particular like rice or like soy sauce or that you buy that's like a common condiment around Japanese food?

Jonathan Raymond

I mean, I do a lot of things with like the mirin and, uh, um, the, uh, you know, just kind of the combination of the rice wine, sorry, the rice vinegar seasoning and became halfway decent at making sushi rice. Um, so things like that, you know, that I throw in there. Of course I love wasabi, but you know, who doesn't love wasabi?

Deepa Pulipati

Right. It's too spicy for me. Well, as an Indian, I probably shouldn't say that, but it is spicy for me. So, but Trader Joe's is my place to go for all of these things. Where do you buy most of your product or food?

Jonathan Raymond

We've got a, there's a small chain down here called Jimbo's. Uh, I don't know if it's outside of San Diego County, but there's three or four of them around here and that's usually where we go. And then, uh, we've been, we've amazing farmer's markets, you know, that's the one of the lot of people like to, uh, you know, make fun of California, but you know, farmer's markets pretty cool.

Deepa Pulipati

Yeah. So buy local, support local. Yeah.

Jonathan Raymond

Yes. Every chance I get. All right. All right.

Deepa Pulipati

So I am so excited that they're having this conversation that I've read it twice now, and I want to just kind of deep dive into it because am I correct in making the assumption that you wrote this book and most of the methodology that you use in this book is part of your launch that you did years ago for Refound, your company?

Jonathan Raymond

It is.

Jonathan Raymond

Yeah.

Deepa Pulipati

Okay. Okay. I just wanted to make sure. So, you know, when I first read the book last year, I didn't mark this, but when I read it this year, I was marking this, you talked about your, uh, this whole epiphany that you had, that you knew something was wrong and, but you just didn't know what was, you were at this high paying job, attorney in Manhattan, and then you decided that you're going to quit and then you told your boss you'll quit and then you went for a silent retreat, right?

Jonathan Raymond

Yes. Yeah.

Deepa Pulipati

Okay. And you said, you said something happened and it was an experience of myself. Can you speak a little bit to that?

Jonathan Raymond

Yeah. You know, I had, um, I was living in New York city, uh, grew up on Long Island. So it was a very sort of New York creature. Uh, I didn't grow up in a particularly spiritual family, uh, very loving family, but you know, the, the concept of a, of a power or a force greater than one's own brain was not really a concept that we spend a lot of time, uh, thinking about other than, you know, my family sort of thinking that anyone who felt that way was kind of nuts.

Jonathan Raymond

And, uh, so, so my background was very sort of literal scientific academic, uh, growing up, uh, but when I was in, you know, it's kind of started in college and I started experimenting with, you know, with meditation practices of various forms, uh, and psychedelics in other forms. And, uh, it was later on when I was in New York and I was, uh, just about to become a lawyer where I picked up the practice of meditation for real. And I became serious about it.

Jonathan Raymond

And I started working with actually a therapist who taught me how to meditate and it was kind of part of our therapeutic practice. So I started meditating, you know, half hour every morning, 45 minutes every morning, and then, you know, anyone who's ever lived in New York city can relate.

Jonathan Raymond

You know, I would meditate in the morning and whatever peacefulness I had accomplished, uh, I would step out of my apartment, walk, go down the elevator, enter onto the sidewalk, and then, you know, within a couple of minutes, I've like completely lost my mind and I, and any semblance of like mindfulness has gone out the window, let alone by the time that I went to work and, you know, kind of was doing the things that I was making money. Uh, but, uh, I, you know, it was just really unhappy. I was single at the time.

Jonathan Raymond

I didn't have a meaningful relationship. I felt like I was just really lost, uh, relative to who I was and what I wanted to be and feel it and basically just feeling like I wasn't on track to a future that felt right in my bones. I just knew that something was off and I had started this practice of meditation. You know, I was going to classes at night, you know, like when I find something that I think works, I'm like, I'm all in, I don't like mess around. I'm not like a dilettante about it.

Jonathan Raymond

I like go for it, but it doesn't matter if it's meditation or cold plunging or being married. Like I'm, if I'm in, I'm in, otherwise I'm out. And so, um, I decided to go on a meditation retreat to, uh, see what would happen to me if I extended my 45 minute sessions to like seven days. And, uh, I remember vividly, you know, I got a ride from someone, I didn't have a car and I got a ride from someone else who was going to this retreat and driving up, I think it was highway 91, just panic. Like, what am I doing? Like, this is a terrible idea.

Jonathan Raymond

You're going to spend seven days in silence. Like, look at yourself. You love to talk. You want to be, you're very social. Like, are you nuts? Uh, but the person didn't let me out of the car. Uh, and so I ended up in, uh, West Barnett, Vermont. Uh, this would have been probably the fall of 1999, I guess. And, you know, the first couple of days of that meditation retreat was, you know, utter misery. You know, it's like people think about, I know you know this, but people think about, you know, meditation must be so peaceful.

Jonathan Raymond

It was like, are you kidding me? It's horrible. Like sitting alone with my thoughts, it's horrible. So, uh, so I did that for a couple of days, but I was, you know, fairly earnest practitioner and I, and I knew there was something to it. And I had read a lot and I was, you know, I was on board with the philosophy that I had learned. And so I just stuck with it.

Jonathan Raymond

And then at some point, and this is going to sound a little bit out there, maybe a lot out there, but there was a valley. We were on the side of this hill and there was a valley, and on the other side of this valley there were these dogs that were barking at some other property, it was probably five miles away. And we would hear these dogs barking every day, and from a certain perspective you would be like, oh, this is so annoying, why don't they just be quiet so that I can meditate?

Jonathan Raymond

And you know, I probably had some of those thoughts for a while, and I honestly don't know what triggered it, but there was a moment, a specific moment where my consciousness shifted and I was the sound of the dogs barking, I was that. And there was this moment of transcendence where I was no longer Jonathan Raymond sitting in a room in a meditation center having a set of experiences and struggling with them. I was all of those experiences, and I could travel to all of those different places.

Jonathan Raymond

I could travel to the other hillside, I could be in the space in between, I could come back to my body, and I was literally in this rolling epiphany of, oh my god, this is what I've been wondering about, hoping for, for years, but I had no ability to articulate, right?

Jonathan Raymond

If somebody would have asked me, what is the experience that you want to have, I could have made something up, but I never would have had the words to articulate that experience of, you know, some people would call it a oneness experience or a transcendent experience, doesn't really matter for the purpose of our conversation at the moment, maybe we'll later. But it was a moment of peace, deep abiding peace that I had never experienced in my life up to that point.

Jonathan Raymond

So at that point, I was in my late 20s, I was probably 27, 28 years old, I was a pretty restless kid, as you know me a bit, I'm a very active mind, I'm always into new ideas and trying new things. And I just felt real to myself. And I felt like I could be with my life, I could be with my emotions, I could be with my mind, and I didn't need to change anything. And even the act of trying to change something was utterly ridiculous in that moment. It was like, well, what would be the point?

Jonathan Raymond

And so that moment was really the beginning of the rest of my life. I mean, it's a peak experience, right? Peak experiences don't last. But it informed really every moment of my life since then, I'm 51. And I look back on that retreat and that moment as the start of the rest of my life.

Deepa Pulipati

As I'm hearing you speak, I can almost feel as if we were back in that moment, almost about 25 years ago. I can almost feel that because you have the same energy around it that you probably did in that moment, but I can feel like the fact that it was so profound. And I think at some level, what I've heard you say earlier is that I wasn't feeling myself. I knew something was not working. I knew I was unhappy about something. It almost felt like that instinct that you sort of let yourself go and dive into it.

Deepa Pulipati

You found something because you really stepped into that experience fully.

Jonathan Raymond

Yeah, and I think that was the, there's really something that, you know, I've had a few times in my life where I had that type of discipline and focus to really go deep on something. And I find that it's advice that I give to a lot of people, almost like, it doesn't matter which practice you choose, but practice it and follow it through to its conclusion. And so few people do that, it seems. It seems like we're all stuck at the buffet trying all these different types of things.

Jonathan Raymond

There's no right way to, there are many ways, let's say, there are many right ways, but it was this process, the discipline of saying, hey, no matter what happens, I'm going to come back to the feeling of the air coming in and out of my nose. That's it. And I'm going to come back and it's so boring. It's so not sexy that you essentially, you wear out your crazy mind, but you have to stick with it long enough to wear out your mind jumping back and forth to have a new experience.

Deepa Pulipati

Yeah, and this is very true in the therapist world, um, is that when we tell our clients when they're ready and we tell them to just sit with it, sit with the experience, sit with the emotion, sit with the thought, sit with nothing. When there's that moment and we want people to like really deeply consistently sit with it, this is exactly what I'm, what we're talking about. Like you have to be able to give yourself completely in to know what's out there.

Jonathan Raymond

Yeah. And we're, you know, our culture is the exact opposite of that, where it's so, we have so much based in speed, uh, you know, we could geek out on the, you know, sort of the, our addiction to dopamine, but we're, we are constantly in forward motion solution mode and then at work, which I'm sure we'll talk a bit about it's on steroids, right? And we're, we're in this divided mind, speed addicted, task addicted, solution addicted mindset.

Jonathan Raymond

And the irony is we think we're going to actually make progress in some way and feeling better about ourselves and we're just perpetuating the stuckness.

Jonathan Raymond

Yeah.

Deepa Pulipati

And we don't even realize it, but we are perpetuating the stuckness. Wow. All right. So we went in deep right away. I love this. So a quick, a quick follow-up question on this. So let's say for someone else without quitting their job, how can they get this experience? How can they get that? I, I'm not my job, but there are parts of it that I don't like, or maybe there's something here that I don't know, but I can't quit it. But I want to do something like find myself. How do they get to that experience?

Jonathan Raymond

The way to do that, you know, a lot of the, let's say it this way. Being able to quit your job is a luxury for, for most people in the world, right? Having a job is a luxury for a lot of people. So I don't want to set it up with the idea that you have to quit your job or drop out on some way in order to have these experiences, because it's just not the case. But there is something that you do have to do. And it's counterintuitive, which is you have to stay in a place of discomfort long enough in order to learn something new about yourself.

Jonathan Raymond

And so when you're at work and you're in an uncomfortable environment, which is almost always the case, you have to pick something about that environment and say, you know, I'm here to learn something about myself. The company has whatever it has. The toxicity here is whatever it is. My manager is whoever they are with whatever flaws they have and whatever imperfections, but I'm going to use this experience of this job at this time in my life to learn something about myself. Now what is that thing that I'm going to learn?

Jonathan Raymond

All right.

Jonathan Raymond

That's an interesting question, right? That it's, you know, you have to, you have to investigate that, but you've got to stay in and that takes a strength that often takes another person to help, right? Because we're, we all want to be comfortable, right? We all have amazon.com, right? We can get any product we want. You know, I ordered something last night at 11 PM and it showed up on my door at three 30 in the morning, right?

Jonathan Raymond

We live in a ridiculous world where we can have whatever comforts we want, like within minutes, no matter what it is seemingly. And yet the secret to happiness is to be in discomfort in the right ways. So we're 180 degrees away from that in our normal waking consciousness if we don't do something about it. So we're at work and we can do something about it and managers can help people do something about it, not by being jerks or by being micromanaging, but helping people, Hey, what's something that I can help you work on?

Jonathan Raymond

What's an element of your personal growth that you can lean into here for as long as you're here, if you're here for a year, if you're for 10 years, it doesn't matter. How can I help you do something that's outside of your comfort zone? Not 80% out of your comfort zone, because that doesn't work. That blows past, tries to blows past the defenses, doesn't work. People fail. Then they get disillusioned, feel shame, everybody loses, but 10 or 20% out of your comfort zone. What's that look like? That's the interesting question.

Jonathan Raymond

And we need to create frameworks and places where that's not only possible, but encouraged and supported.

Deepa Pulipati

Either as a person who is going through discomfort or as a manager who's seeing that their team members are going through discomfort. How do we get people to create that level of awareness that what you're feeling right now is a whole lot of discomfort? Because trust and believe me when I tell you over the years of work, everybody wants to escape from it and they want to put the blame on somebody else or they want to deflect it, right? Nobody wants to stay with it. So how do we get people to say, this is where the learning happens?

Jonathan Raymond

Yeah. You know, I'll give you an example. I was talking with somebody yesterday or maybe the day before, and he said, you know, he's an individual contributor in a kind of a midsize company. And he said, you know, I don't know what to do. This sucks. I hate my job.

Jonathan Raymond

Great.

Jonathan Raymond

Well, tell me what you hate. And he's like, well, you know, I feel like us as frontline employees, we have all of the information and none of the authority to make any of the decisions. And the executives have none of the information and all of the authority to make the decisions. And I feel like we make really bad decisions as a result. And I said, great. And he's like, well, what do we do to solve that?

Speaker 4

And there was like a bunch of other people in the conversation and everybody offered a suggestion and I, and I asked him, I said, can I ask just like a kind of an initial question? Have you ever said that, what you just said to me, have you ever said that to anyone at the company? Hell no. Oh, I've never, like, and I said, okay, that's where we're going to start. Right. So how do we start? We start by starting. Right.

Speaker 4

But we always go three, seven, 25 steps past what you just described before is like, well, if I'm a manager or employee or an executive doesn't matter and I see somebody who is in discomfort of some kind, I'm going to name that. I'm going to say, hey, my sense is that this is a bit out of your comfort zone. Is that right? Just that, just that act brings humanity, brings oxygen, brings curiosity, brings empathy, brings motivation. Cause someone says, oh, thank God. Somebody actually is paying attention, sees me and wants to help.

Speaker 4

We haven't solved anything yet. Other than we've created the conditions for something new to happen. So that's what has to happen first, almost always. And it's almost always the step that everybody misses because they see that place of discomfort and they go and they start giving advice, right? Like, hey, what you need to do is act like stop. Shut up. Stop. Stop.

Deepa Pulipati

I don't know if I'll ever use it in a client setting, but I love it.

Speaker 4

No, you got a really good relationship with your clients to be like, just please stop talking. Please stop talking.

Speaker 5

But I, I, it's just so simple, isn't it?

Deepa Pulipati

Just the naming of what our primary emotion it is or feeling or behavior that we are feeling in this instance. It's just naming it, acknowledging it, it's validating it. Any of those things.

Speaker 4

Yeah, and because what will happen, sometimes that will be, that will take its own sort of organic evolution from there in a moment. But a lot of times what will happen is the person will immediately apologize for how they're feeling. Okay. Now, hey, wait a second. Why are you apologizing? Like, that's okay. I've been in situations like that. I know there's things that, hey, here's something I'm working on right now that's uncomfortable for me. Really? Oh my God. Wow. I've, what an amazing manager. What an amazing leader I have.

Speaker 4

They're willing to be a little bit vulnerable with me. Like this is not rocket science. It's really not rocket science. But it's incredible and depressing how rare it is. It's, it's literally a different language, right? We don't know how to speak with each other, especially in the context of work, but it happens in parenting and relationships and it's the same phenomenon everywhere. We're so quick. We were so, we are so conditioned to believe that emotions are a problem that we have to get over them. We have to get past them.

Speaker 4

We have to get through it, through them instead of seeing actually just be with them and everything will be solved from there. Everything will be solved from there.

Deepa Pulipati

Don't be vicious. We're at that sample that everybody could just do that one thing to start a conversation, right? And like you said, it's not rocket science, but it's just something that's so doable, but for some reason it's culture condition. We just don't find ourselves doing that. And we find ourselves doing everything else to resolve it, which won't help.

Speaker 4

Well, and that's why I, by accident, I created the accountability dial because I saw how difficult it is for people to do that. I said, okay, well, how do I make it simpler? How do I give a framework to essentially keep people from speaking too much about too many things with too much authority too early in a moment? Like I wanted to break down the moment. And that's where that idea came from is, you know, how do we actually create a new language for conversations at work? That's that's just deescalated where we can actually do this.

Speaker 4

So that's where that tool came from.

Deepa Pulipati

And I love the segue into this because honestly, my next question was around accountability and I would just tell us a little bit about everything, not literally, but everything about accountability dial.

Speaker 4

Well, so I'll tell you, I'll tell you its origin story. So I was, uh, so before I had created it, it's before Refound really existed in its current form, I had a small bunch of clients. I was basically broke trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life. And I had this idea, like very, very loose idea around Refound and good authority, but didn't have any tools or frameworks, just kind of winging it. And I was talking with this one CEO, really sweet guy, and he was having an issue with his general manager.

Jonathan Raymond

And, you know, we were just in a, you know, coaching call and, and I said, well, you know, have you had, have you talked with him about that, you know, what you were saying to us? Have you, have you had that conversation? And he said, no, I haven't had that conversation. I'm going to go, I'm going to, you know where this is going. I'm going to go have the conversation, right? And I didn't, I wasn't, I just, you know, I wasn't lucid enough as a coach at that moment. I thought, oh, great. Good job. You know, good. Go for it. He did.

Jonathan Raymond

And then, uh, he came back like a week later, two weeks later, and he's like, oh, I had the conversation and it didn't go well. And I was like, wait, wait, wait, wait, what happened? What'd you, and I said, I told him his performance was unacceptable and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Speaker 6

And I was like, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, slow down.

Jonathan Raymond

What happened? And so I said, ah, okay, so you went to 11 on the volume now. I wanted you to go to one, right? And he was able to fix it. Like we went back and he owned it and took care of it. He was great. He was very vulnerable with it. He was like, wow, I got some, I got some good coaching, but I took it a little too far. And so that was really the origin of it was seeing that, you know, what happens for managers, it's natural, it's inevitable.

Jonathan Raymond

We observe people behaving in ways that are self stagnating or team stagnating or organizationally not what we want. We observe those behaviors. They look small. We don't really feel the urgency of intervening. The ROI of like sort of making a big deal of it seems low. So we let it go. Then we get a little bit more frustrated. Then we talk about the person behind their back. Then we have a bunch of conversations with HR. Then HR says, well, you need to give them feedback. We don't do that.

Jonathan Raymond

Then we may try to manage around them and we make a whole bunch of compromises and work arounds. And then at some point we get frustrated enough. We think it hasn't bled through into that moment, but it has, and they know we're frustrated. We have zero appreciation for the fact that the only reason we can see the problem is because we have the authority and they don't. We have context that they don't. So we're actually behaving with incredible arrogance. And then at some point we get enough frustration in the mix that it boils over.

Jonathan Raymond

And then we do what this leader did. We have the conversation. I need to give you some feedback. Or we go to HR and we put them on a performance review or whatever the thing is. And I haven't said this phrase in a while, but I used to call it spontaneous management combustion where it's like, it just happens in a flash. And then the person's like, what the heck? Where did that come from? Like, you've never said anything before. I don't know what, what is the context for this feedback from the manager's perspective? It's like, what do you mean?

Jonathan Raymond

I never said it before. We've had this conversation 10 times. No, you haven't. Feels like you have. No, you haven't. And so that was where we created the accountability. That's okay. We need to create a common language where managers and employees can get to a shared reality of like, where are we? Like are we actually in the same reality? What is the pattern? What are the impacts of that behavior? What's the boundary? What does growth look like? What's my responsibility? What's your responsibility? What does it mean to take in feedback?

Jonathan Raymond

What does it mean to give feedback? What responsibility do you have as a manager? So we basically took, you know, all of those algorithms, let's say, and tried to make it really simple for people to find a way to talk with each other in a human or humane way in the context of a fast-moving, high-pressure situation so that the conversations lead to greater humanity instead of less.

Deepa Pulipati

And what does that, first of all, everything that you said, I just want to acknowledge that most of the leaders that I work with can completely resonate with that. Like this is just how it all happens, right? So how does the accountability look like? What is the first step on the dial?

Jonathan Raymond

The first step of the dial is what we call the mention. And it's essentially just what we were talking about before, which is the naming of or the asking of a simple question that's not loaded, right? So it could be, you know, Hey, I noticed something about the last few proposals that we sent out. You know, maybe I miss reading it, but I just, you know, I got an impression. I wanted to check it out with you or, you know, I heard something.

Jonathan Raymond

I was trying to like reading between the lines in the team meeting this morning and I heard something that you said, and I wasn't sure if you meant this, like, did you mean that? Right? It's that it's literally just raising something that hit your awareness, hit your consciousness in some way. And you're, and you're thinking about it. You noticed it, you're observing it. It's just an attempt to get to a shared reality with another human being that you care about. That's on your team. Could be a direct report.

Jonathan Raymond

It doesn't have to be, could be a peer, could be someone more senior in the organization. And it's, it's really just trying to create.

Jonathan Raymond

more closeness and greater intimacy on your team by naming what you see or asking a question about something that you didn't understand to try to create more connection with the people around you.

Deepa Pulipati

I love that framing because most people, like when I just think of the people that I usually have been working with, some amazing people by the way, immediately there'll be some level of skepticism around it and they may think that it's micromanaging. So how do we differentiate it from micromanaging?

Jonathan Raymond

You know, I think it was Google did a huge study. This was probably coming on 10 years ago now. And they were trying to understand this internally at Google. And what they said was, you know, everybody hates micromanagement, but everybody loves microdevelopment.

Deepa Pulipati

Oh, okay.

Jonathan Raymond

And that's the really important distinction. Like nobody wants to be micromanaged about the work. But if it's about me and my growth and coaching, I want that every day and twice on Sunday. Right. And, you know, when we go into organizations and we say like, how many people are getting feedback on a regular basis? Everybody raises their hand. And I say, okay, wait a second. How many people are getting developmental feedback? All those hands go down. So we're getting feedback all the time. I don't like this. I don't like that. Where are we with this?

Jonathan Raymond

Go faster, do more, blah, blah, blah, blah. Disconnected from the human being who's actually doing the work. Nobody wants that. But if it's about me and my relationship to the work and my relationship to myself and my relationship to the development of my career, bring it on. But again, we don't have a great language for making a distinction between those two things.

Deepa Pulipati

So if somebody says, hey, listen, you're kind of micromanaging me. That's what I'm kind of feeling. They're like, wait, that's not what the experience should be. It's actually microdevelopment.

Jonathan Raymond

Yeah.

Jonathan Raymond

If somebody said to me, right, hey, I feel like you're micromanaging me, right? I'll be like, oh, tell me more about that. Can you give me some examples of where you feel like I was micromanaging? Oh, well, we were in this meeting and blah, blah, blah. I'm like, oh, OK, great. Yeah, I could see how you would feel it that way. Let me reframe it. The reason why I raised it is because in our one-on-ones, you've been talking about, you know, wanting to take on this greater responsibility.

Jonathan Raymond

And I think actually that type of task is actually key to being able to do that. And I wasn't clear about it in the moment. Sorry, my bad. I was moving too quickly. But so if I reframe it in that way, does it make sense? Oh, yeah. Wow. When you say it that way, I get it. Thanks. That's super cool. You mean you could help me with that? Yeah, I can help you with that. Yeah.

Deepa Pulipati

So even as a leader, when somebody comes and says this to you, what I'm hearing you say is that rather than getting defensive and say, I'm not micromanaging you, you're like, wait, I'm curious about why you feel that way. And just I want to understand more and I'm not going to get angry or defensive about it or pissed off that you said I'm micromanaging. Amazing. So tell me something. If the mention doesn't work as well, what's the next step?

Jonathan Raymond

So if we think about the architecture of it, like if you had a friend in your life and you thought that they had a problem with drinking, right? Or if you thought that there was something about the way they showed up in their relationship with their partner that you didn't like. And let's say you were sitting at dinner and you made a passing comment, right? Like a, maybe we could call that a mention and it didn't work. What would likely happen?

Jonathan Raymond

You would time, some more time would go by and you would start to see other instances of that behavior, right? So the next step in the dial is exactly that. What we call the invitation is to come back to that person. The mention, they didn't, they didn't pick up on your hint, so to speak. They didn't take ownership of it and accountability. We'll come back to that in a moment. And so you're raising a pattern. So you're saying, Hey, you know what?

Jonathan Raymond

Actually I said something at dinner the other day, but there's actually been a couple of other moments where I saw something similar, maybe not exactly the same, but it seems like a pattern. And I think it's worth thinking about. Like, I don't think that's your best you. Or I think, you know, in some way, it depends on the nature of your relationship with that person. Or, you know, maybe they've said to you, Hey, something I want to work on is X. You know, you've said you, this is something you want to work on.

Jonathan Raymond

And I think this is actually counter to that. What do you think? And in the context of work as a manager, the key to all of these steps as we go through, is that none of them are punitive. None of them.

Speaker 4

They are all from the perspective of, Hey, I'm somebody who happens to be at this point in your life in a position of authority, however that came to be, that's what, that's what is today. And part of my job is to help you see opportunities for growth.

Jonathan Raymond

It's part of my job.

Speaker 4

It's not just to manage the work. It's to help you find opportunities for growth and how I'm going to do that. I always recommend leaders like just be transparent, tell, though it's not secret, it's not some like secret playbook that you keep in your back pocket is, Hey, if I see something that I think is you being less than your best self, I'm going to name it.

Jonathan Raymond

That's called a mention. If I see that pattern continuing, I'm going to name that. It's called the invitation.

Speaker 4

If I see you not thinking about the impacts of your behaviors, I'm going to name that. It's called the conversation, et cetera, et cetera, as we go through. And so that architecture is, it's simply, you know, somebody said to me once, he said, Jonathan, I feel like I didn't, I wasn't insulted by this. They said, it looks like what you would do with somebody that you love. And I said, yeah, that's what, that's how you would treat a conversation or a set of conversations with somebody that you love.

Deepa Pulipati

Yeah. And you know, that I was just thinking at, when you brought up the example of a friend before, right, before we translated to word, I was thinking I would do this with somebody that I really, really love or care about. So what we're actually saying is that at work also, we want to care about all the people that we, that work for us, that work with us.

Jonathan Raymond

Yeah.

Speaker 4

You don't have to like them.

Jonathan Raymond

You're, you're, you're not getting married. You don't, they're not, they're not necessarily going to be lifelong friends.

Speaker 4

That's not required, but you do have to care. And if you don't care, that's what it is.

Jonathan Raymond

Yeah.

Jonathan Raymond

If you don't care about someone who's on your team, well, you should go talk to somebody about that.

Jonathan Raymond

Yeah.

Jonathan Raymond

Because maybe they're not on the right team.

Speaker 4

And guess what? If you don't care about them, guess what?

Jonathan Raymond

They can feel it. And nobody wants to be on a team for very long for a manager that they know doesn't care about them. And there's a very high likelihood.

Speaker 4

It's like, you know, Gallup puts out this data every single year. The numbers don't change.

Jonathan Raymond

80% of employees or whatever it is are disengaged or undermining the company.

Speaker 4

Like, how do you think that happens? It's not rocket science, right?

Jonathan Raymond

It's because they don't have a manager who cares about them. So if you don't care about your employees at all, you shouldn't be a manager. Go do something else.

Speaker 4

It's cool.

Jonathan Raymond

Like there's lots of things, good things you can do in the world besides being a manager, if you don't care about people, but if you care about most people, but you don't care about one person, like do some self-reflection, maybe there's something about them, spoiler alert, maybe there's something about them that you're judging that you actually don't like about yourself and that's why you have a hard time working with them.

Deepa Pulipati

Yeah. Or somebody that, you know, this is the word I'm going to use may not be the word that people want to hear, but, um, certain people, you know, they'll trigger you because they remind you of somebody else in your life, you know? And it's important to create some self-awareness around it and different shade between the person that's actually annoying to you and your workers. Anyway, the whole nother conversation. Conversation brings me to, so I feel like the third step in the accountability dial, the conversation is kind of a pivotal piece.

Deepa Pulipati

It's a, it's a big piece.

Speaker 4

It is.

Jonathan Raymond

You know, we, uh, we have this reflexive tendency in our culture to try to escape accountability with empty apologies, right?

Speaker 4

So we say, oh, well, I'm sorry.

Jonathan Raymond

That's not what I meant.

Deepa Pulipati

Who cares?

Speaker 4

Like since when does that actually, like, it's like, you know, we have a lot of very high profile criminal cases and I don't know when, uh, this goes live, but you know, Sam Bankman Freed was just convicted, uh, today, you know, yesterday of seven counts of fraud and it's 110 years. Imagine if he went to the jury and said, oops, I'm sorry. It's not what I meant. Like, that's not how it works, people. I don't care what you meant. I care the impact that it had.

Deepa Pulipati

Yes.

Jonathan Raymond

Nice that you feel bad about it.

Speaker 4

That's good. That's a, that's a good first step, but accountability isn't, I'm sorry. Ooh, that's part of accountability, but the rest of accountability is taking ownership of the impact of what you did.

Speaker 4

which doesn't make you a bad or an evil person. Well, maybe in Sam Bankman Freed's it does. But for most of us, most of the time, we have negative impacts on people around us. We do. We're imperfect. We make mistakes. We have negative impacts. And when we apologize without owning those impacts, we make it worse. It's worse. It's just hollow. Because when somebody does something to hurt you and they go, oops, I'm sorry, then you go, oh, wow, now they n- they n- not- before I wasn't even sure that they know what they did.

Speaker 4

Now I know what they did and I don't care. And they're not going to do anything to fix it, right? So, it's like, you know, be careful what you ask for like with a manager and they say, well, I'm really, I really want feedback, right? And then you give it to them and they don't do anything with it. You're better off not asking. If you're not going to do anything with the feedback, don't ask. So, so the conversation step a lot of times, and again, we have to remember power dynamics.

Speaker 4

So, if Deepa, you're my manager, and you're using the accountability doll with me, and you've called out something, mentioned invitation, something that I need to work on, there's a very high likelihood that I'm going to be coming from a place of fear or at least anxiety that your estimation of me is going down and I'm going to try to get my way out of that feeling because that feeling is uncomfortable. So, you've got to be really mindful of the power of that moment as my manager. And you've got to say to the, in effect, look, we all do it.

Speaker 4

It happens to all of us. But what I'm really interested in is not so much your intentions. I assumed your intentions were good. You were trying to get something done or you were trying to get some information out of this team. But let's talk about the impact that it had. And shifting that conversation from the intent to the impact, not because I want to rub your nose in it because I think you're a terrible person, but because when you understand the impact, now you have something you can work with to actually make a change.

Speaker 4

When it's generic, I can't do anything with it.

Jonathan Raymond

It's not actionable.

Speaker 4

So, I need to understand the impact. And a lot of times, I don't see that impact myself. I need you to point it out to me. I need you to help me. Well, I don't know what the impact was. I need you to ask me some questions. So, that's why that third step of that conversation, again, it's not punitive. It's discovery. It's curiosity. It's trying to help somebody gain insight into themselves and something that if they knew that they were doing it, they would want to change.

Deepa Pulipati

Yes. Yes. Oh, gosh, Jonathan. There's so much here. I'm so glad one of the important key things that you brought up is intention versus impact. And when I do a lot of inclusion work, this is exactly what I'm talking about. I'm talking about you have great intentions, but really you need to understand the impact of your words, the language, the tone, everything that you're doing. And I feel like it's just probably one of the most valuable things for managers to really understand that. And when they understand that, then everything gets better.

Deepa Pulipati

The conversations get better. How they do things get better. Now, let me ask you this. Conversation also hasn't worked. Then what?

Speaker 4

So, if you think about... I think it's really important to remember to not let ourselves get split between work and life in the following way. So, if we have a financial goal or a health goal or a fitness goal or a relationship goal or a development goal, self-development goal, what works? Well, we know what works are boundaries, right? That's how human motivation works. We need to know one of two things. It's either a goal that I want to get to, that if I don't do this thing, I'm not going to reach, or a pain that I'm trying to avoid.

Speaker 4

So, a good financial advisor is going to tell you, well, if you don't put this much money in the market or do these things, then when you get to this age, you're going to be broke. There's a boundary. There's a consequence. A relationship coach or therapist is going to say, well, if you don't listen to your partner, at some point, your partner is going to stop sharing with you, and then that's going to have these things, and it's going to continue to degrade.

Speaker 4

If you don't quit smoking, if you don't stop eating sugar 10 times, whatever the thing is, we know this from our personal lives that boundaries matter. They work. And it's really, really helpful when someone we trust helps us either create or reinforce a boundary. If you have somebody in your life who's an addict, it doesn't help to not confront them for 50 years. It doesn't help. At some point, if you love them, if you care about them, you have to say, hey, look, I can't do this anymore.

Speaker 4

So, that's what a boundary is like, and it's a critical element not only to the growth of that other person, but to your own sanity. And so many people, especially coaches, we never set boundaries. We're willing to let this person bleed out on the floor for years. Why? Why do we do that?

Speaker 4

And if the answer is, well, because they're paying their monthly fee, that's really sad. Right, then you got to find some other way to make money in your life. If you've created codependencies with your clients or with your patients- and unfortunately this is a very common phenomenon, right, where helpers and healers create these codependencies because they're getting something out of it, they're getting their emotional needs met- and you got to be honest with yourself as a coach or a counselor or a therapist in life and work relationships.

Speaker 4

Who's this really for? And if you don't ever set boundaries and take a risk where you say to a client: hey look, if you don't do X or if you don't take this seriously, I can't work with you anymore, if you never find yourself in those types of conversations, I'm telling you you're in a codependent relationship with your clients.

Deepa Pulipati

I 100% agree. I've seen this happen over and over again. But coming back to post-conversation, what's the next step? Nothing's working.

Speaker 4

Like, boundaries are important, but nothing's working, yeah, so let's talk a little bit more about the boundary first, before we wrap up that which is boundaries. And it's not just for negative things, right, it's positive things. Hey, this person's doing great and, uh, I think that they might be eligible for a promotion to this next role, but there's a couple of things about their approach that need to get a little bit better. Right, but it needs to get better. But as a certain set of things need to get better by a certain time, that's a boundary.

Speaker 4

So a boundary is not just: Hey, you're messing up and you've got to stop messing up. It's, you're doing great, but in order to get to this next place, here's what needs to change. So what needs to change by when? And specifically, like, what does winning look like for someone to feel that they've made this change, whether it's building on a positive or removing a negative and making that explicit? So, if you're a manager, it's not a performance review, right. This is a conversation.

Speaker 4

This is a human relationship with someone that you're trying to help them grow past something where they're stuck, to get to that, you know, 10, 20% past their comfort zone because you care. So that's the boundary, right, and it's, again, not punitive. It's. You could ask, Hey, what would a boundary look like that would be helpful to help you make this change?

Speaker 4

Right, we've been having this conversation, so the next we go, the last step in the dial, is what we call the limit and- and we actually just gave an example, two examples of Hey, I've given you all the feedback that I that I can think of. We've had a bunch of conversations about it. I've given you all the advice that I know that that makes sense to me. It's really up to you at this point. And it doesn't mean I hate you. It doesn't mean you're a terrible person. It doesn't mean you're fired. It doesn't mean I'm never going to talk to you again.

Speaker 4

It just means I,