Second Crack — The Leadership Podcast

Leadership in Complex Times — with Anu Rathninde, APAC President, Johnson Controls

July 28, 2023 Gerrit Pelzer, Martin Aldergard, Anu Rathninde Episode 24
Second Crack — The Leadership Podcast
Leadership in Complex Times — with Anu Rathninde, APAC President, Johnson Controls
Show Notes Transcript

Join our conversation with Anu Rathninde, the APAC President of Johnson Controls, and take-away an easy-to-remember guide for how to tackle complexity as a leader. Apply the steps in the “SIILA”-model and directly understand what you need to address, and create positive transformation in your organization.


As a leader, you are expected to deliver predictable results and you are held accountable. It might be tempting to base your decision-making on control and assumed certainty. Yet, an organisation, with its people and stakeholders, is a complex adaptive system that doesn’t operate like a machine, outcomes really can’t be controlled. This is where the steps in the SIILA-model becomes an important guide.

Anu Rathninde is the APAC  President of Johnson Controls. With 30,000 employees across more than 20 sites in Asia, and previously many years as an executive also in North America and Europe, Anu truly combines the best of  both Western and Eastern leadership styles.

Key moments

05:30Introducing the 5-step SIILA model (= Systems thinking, Internalise, Interact, Learn, Adapt).

09:14 Step 1: Systems thinking helps leaders to understand and consider the inter-connectedness inside and outside the organisation, and that change emerges with or without a leader trying to control things.

17:44 Step 2: Internalise. The hardest step in being an effective leader is to personally internalise the purpose and values of the organisation as well as what drives you as a leader, bringing the right mindset and motivation to change.

22:26 Step 3: Interact reminds leaders to interact with everyone in the organisation to gain a true understanding of what is actually going on. Input for decision-making and the trust to implement decisions, can’t be created in the boardroom.

32:13 Step 4: Learn and Step: 5 Adapt are the ‘easy’ ones if you have done steps 1-3, but of course not less important to drive change and results in a complex environment.

33:39 Reflection questions


Reflection Questions

  • How do I use my time as a leader to truly understand the system, align with my values, my mindset, and interact with the right people to understand what's actually happening, before making decisions?
  • How valuable is it for me to spend that extra effort and make the right decision versus making a quick decision?
  • Where might I not understand the system well enough? Where might I oversimplify and what might I overlook in the interactions that people are having, which then impacts outcomes?
  • To help yourself with Step 2 internalise, you can ask yourself from 3 perspectives:
      1) Where am I today? What am I doing? Why? How am I doing?
      2) From where I started: How did I get to where I am today? What did I do? Why?
      3) Based on where I want to be in the future: Why do I want to be there? How am I going there? What am I going to do there?


About Anu and his book “Tackling Complexity”

Find more information about Amu and his book at www.anu-rathninde.com or on LinkedIn Anu Rathninde

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More info about us and our work is  on our website secondcrackleadership.com
To explore how we can help you to drive results in your organisations, contact us at hello@secondcrackleadership.com

To connect on LinkedIn:
Gerrit Pelzer
Martin Aldergård

Second Crack – The Leadership Podcast
with guest Anu Rathninde  (Episode 24)

This transcript is AI-generated and may contain typos and errors.

[00:00:00] Anu: I always say the details is knowledge. Knowledge is power. So you need to have the knowledge about what is really going on, To do that you got to interact. You cannot run sitting in the boardroom and looking at PowerPoints all day long. You do not know the truth. because the people around you, your senior leadership team always want to tell everything is great because they don't want to tell, the bad problem, or they will say, don't worry, I'll take care of it. But you got to break those walls. 

[00:00:41] Gerrit: A warm welcome to Second Crack The Leadership Podcast. If you are new to the show, this is where we explore everyday leadership dilemmas and paradoxes, and where we invite you as our listener to self-reflect. I am Gerrit Pelzer, I work as an executive coach and I bring to my coaching a combination of Western science and Asian wisdom. I'm joined today as usual by my dear friend and business partner, Martin Aldergard. Martin is a leadership consultant who focuses on change and transformation in organizations, and what we both have in common is that we always put people at the center of our work. So, hi Martin, good to be recording with you again today.

[00:01:25] Martin: Hi, Gerrit, nice to be recording indeed. And today we have a very complex topic to discuss again. We are going to talk about complexity, again.

[00:01:35] Gerrit: Indeed, it's one of our favorite topics, and we discussed in previous episodes how complexity can be extremely challenging for leaders these days. So on the one hand, as a leader, you are expected to get results and you are held accountable. On the other hand, you cannot really control outcomes. An organization does not operate like a machine, and we do not have simple linear cause and effect scenarios here. And what we suggested in earlier episodes was to focus on what leaders can do to, for instance, influence the organization to have genuine dialogue with people. But today we want to dive a little bit deeper into this subject and come up with some very specific suggestions. And to do so, we have another expert joining us today, Anu Rathninde. He's not only a senior executive, but also the author of the book Tackling Complexity. Anu, welcome to Second Crack and thanks for joining us today.

[00:02:43] Anu: Thank you for having me, Gerrit and Martin. It's great to be with you.

[00:02:46] Martin: And Annu, you are the Asia Pacific President of a very large industrial technology company, right? And you're leading actually multi-billion dollar business. You have more than 30,000 employees and across 20 plus locations in Asia. So you are leading a really big organization with a lot of complexity of course. And even more interesting, you have a very long career managing operations, not only in Asia, but also a long experience from North America and Europe. So I think it's so fantastic because you understand both the Western style of management and the more Eastern style of corporate culture and leadership combining these two together. So it's super interesting to have you here. And I think there's a lot that our leaders can learn and we will get into the very practical model that you have, that is called the SIILA model, very soon. But first, why do you take the time to write the book?

[00:03:52] Anu: If you look at some leaders today, they're extremely successful. They're doing a great job, but they look like leadership is an easy place to be and looks like it's an easy thing to do. But if you look at some leaders, Uh, they actually fail and some are doing leadership, but it's highly stressed and looks like it's a really dangerous and difficult place to be. So I was so curious to find out why some leaders are successful and, and are doing it again and again successfully, but why some leaders fail and, and really find it very stressful and difficult and find it a miserable place to be. With that curiosity, I actually did the research around it and the outcome turned into a book.

[00:04:32] Martin: So you were also then reflecting on the difference on how different leaders then are able to tackle complexity, but also how it reflects on their own quality of life, right, and how they're able to cope with it.

[00:04:46] Anu: I think ultimately every leader is under tremendous pressure to deliver on the commitments from the investors, from the boards, from the senior leaders, from the communities and governments and so on. Deliver on the commitments. But again, how do we, when you reflect on it, and how some leaders do it again and again, uh, in successfully, and some leaders fail. Not only they fail themselves and they make huge damage to the organizations and the communities as, as well. 

[00:05:17] Martin: Yeah, and, and then it all boils down basically to SIILA., What does that stand for briefly, and, and how can a leader then use the SIILA model?

[00:05:30] Anu: Well, I came up with this model where why leaders successful and why leaders fail and in the process. So if you look at this, uh, SIILA model that actually, uh, in, in the SIILA model itself, I draw it like, like a boundary. That S is the system's thinking. So if you can't cross this boundary, there is no business for you in leading any organization. So that S stands for systems thinking that's you, yourself, that you think that. And the I stands for Internalize. And then the second I stand for Interact, how you interact, and then L Stand for Learn and the A stands for Adapt. So it's Systems thinking, Internalize, Interact, Learn, and Adapt. The five steps for leader to tackle complexity.

[00:06:29] Martin: And how do you see a leader using this guide or this model?

[00:06:34] Anu:  One of the secrets in my leadership, as you mentioned, right, when I run large organizations and some are like, uh, like, like Gerrit mentioned earlier, seems like I don't have direct control over, and it's done by people maybe way down in the organization or external parties. But, but how do I reflect when something goes wrong? I mean, one of the things I do when I go home every day when something bad happened is like I asked myself what I could have done differently to avoid that situation. So what I'm doing with that magic question is that I'm taking accountability. It is me who could have prevented that. So that means I'm starting my reflection journey. So when we, when we start reflecting, I think that's when you can, can correlate all these things. Did I miss in the systems thinking? Did I miss in the internalized. Did I miss in the interact? Did I miss in the learn and adapt?  And that's how I think the real value is on, on, on getting these reflections. And ultimately, you, you are making SIILA a habit, uh, that unconsciously you end up doing the right thing and continuously learning and becoming better.

[00:07:48] Martin: Hmm. It's a, it's a reflection model because of course a lot of this, it seems like common sense but the difficult is actually to do it. And be accountable to do it. And knowing which of the S I I L A that I need to improve to take me to the next level. Yeah, I, I love it because it's all about reflection.

[00:08:09] And if we jumping into the first part and the systems thinking, right, and you mentioned it's the mindset of the leader more than anything else. 

[00:08:20] Gerrit: Yeah. I would be curious because as a coach in some parts of the world, every coach is now a systemic coach. But when you ask them people, what does that really mean, and what do people really know about systems thinking, sometimes there's not so much. And um, I once taught a leadership module in an executive MBA program where we also talk about systems thinking. And I have here in my bookshelf a big book, it's called Strategic Management and Organizational Dynamics, and it's I think, more than 500 pages. So on the one hand, we can't expect leaders to be experts in systems theory, but from the practical, uh, side, I would be curious. Anu, what is your experience, where do leaders maybe not know enough about systems?

[00:09:14] Anu:  When it comes to systems thinking, I want everyone to remember two words. One is I call the interconnectedness that two is emergence. Interconnectedness is that how everything is interconnected.  There's a old saying the, the, the one who opens a door to a school closes the door to a prison. So it looks like the two doors are interconnected. It's, it's not mechanically interconnected, but, but the fact that when you start school and educating the people, it, it reduces the crime rate and therefore less people are going to the prison. So it's the same thing when you cut in R&D funding, when you cut engineering funding, there is a chance that you're going to fall behind on innovation. And then as a result, uh, you are going to fall behind on competitors and they're going to take the next generation product market share. So at the same time, if you cut the team building budget, so people going to get less motivated and as a result you're going to get. But of course, what happen if you give too much team building budget and, and then, then you're going to be like probably everyone who is gonna be like a country club and not having the real, real work getting done.

[00:10:26] So that's the interconnected partners of parties. Understanding the how each and every decision you make, each and every step you make, each and every move you make, how does that influence the final outcome that you need to get into.

[00:10:44] Second thing, second word I said the emergence, the word emergence. just imagine like the, uh, the adult childhood. How, uh, uh, a boy or girl in a, in a late teens, how that person grow up when he become 30 years old to be a responsible, independent adult, because that's the age that you, you leave home, you find your first love, getting married, buying your first car, having, having children, getting married. But there's a lot of things happening. But the parents, maybe they think that they don't have, you know, control over because children want to do whatever they want to do, but PA parents are accountable for it. But you can influence in a positive way through that. Emergence organizations are the same.

[00:11:28] So organizations, quite frankly, can run with or without a leader. Can run with or without a leader. It's like how ants come to build the colonies. And it's, it's, it's how everything comes in. So then the leader job is to create a positive emergence. I have many leaders, for example, they come to meetings late. They suddenly, five minutes before the meeting, they cancel the meeting and as a result, nobody take meeting as serious. Nobody take meetings as serious people started coming late, people started not committing that they, that they keep saying other things. But imagine if a leader is always punctual to the meeting, always on time, always following up whatever the previous meeting agreed and all that. I guarantee everyone will do it. That's how a leader can create a positive emergence. So I think in, in, in short, it's an interconnectedness and emergence. Organization transform with or without a leader. How does a leader create a positive transformation? It all depends on the actions leaders take. To me, that's how I define the systems thinking. It's about leaders decisions, beha, and the behavior and the actions. How does that lead to transforming the organization.

[00:12:47] Martin: Let's say we're driving a change or transformation projects, and if we have the mindset of, okay, let's analyze and let's plan and seeing the organization as something static. But it's not the truth, it's the opposite. The organization, it, it continues, it emerges, it has its life of its own. Right, so while we are planning and thinking about setting up a change plan, the reality of the organization is moving further on.

[00:13:16] Anu: A a, absolutely. I think this is exactly what happened. I mean, I mean statistically they say about 70% of the transformations fail, 70% of the transformations. Why we look at these transformations, I mean, I mean, if you talk to any company, every company is going through a transformation one way or the other. Whether it's a culture, product, technology, uh, some transformation. But transformation is about you, you are in the current state A and you're trying to go to state B. So the state B is better than the current state. So companies are hiring very highly paid, uh, consultants and, uh, PMO and spending a lot of money and CEOs are making a lot of decisions and so on. And after a while, actually you, you know, when 70% transformation fail means 70% of the transformation is becoming, instead of going to state A to B is going A to C, where C is worse than the current state. So that is the emergence part because what happened is organizations naturally transform. We are forcing it to go to a stage, but that's not what organization, accept organization turning to be. So then the leader, the job is to influence that it emerged to the best, better state instead of forcing to get to that state.

[00:14:37] Martin: Hmm.

[00:14:37] Gerrit: Yeah. And when I listen, when I listen to you about, uh, these two key words, interconnectedness and emergence, with this example, we get, we go from state A to uh, desired state B. That is then often where I see people make the mistake and really thinking about, you also use this term in your book, operating the organization like a machine. So in order to get from A to B, these are the steps we need to to take. And it seems all logical, but what they forget is the human factor. And this links to human organiz, uh, to, to, um, emergence. And one thing that I liked the most in your book is your real organization chart. And unfortunately, obviously we can't show it on a podcast, but, uh, I can describe it. So we have the typical organization chart that everybody knows, but then what we usually don't have, uh, on, on the official chart is that we see here, oh, one person is afraid of a boss. Uh, two other people they may have a secret love affair. Uh, one person admires the other. Two are fans of the same football team. And these are exactly the things that we cannot know. We cannot know all the factors, but even though we are at work, all these aspects influence what people do and how they act. And I think that is a wonderful example for, um, the, the influence, the interconnectedness and the emergence, which often we cannot predict.

[00:16:16] Anu: A absolutely Gerrit. So, so when I flash that organization chart, I think a lot of people, I, I mean, know that is the real organization chart, but no one wants to talk about it. Right. But that's why I put it in the book. But, but the reality is you can never avoid that, right? I mean, you can think that, you know, we can draw these typical org charts where we have boxes and lines. Right. And we, we think that we can box people, but human being doesn't, we're social animals. We, we don't, we don't, we can't be boxed around, right? So we will always have these relationships. And my, my challenge is actually, my method and my way is that leaders actually can use this to benefit because you can never eliminate that.

[00:17:02] So my point is, imagine if the leader is good. If the leader is good. Don't you think all these relationships, we'll tell people leader is good, leader is right. Right. Imagine if a leader do something bad and trying to hide, that means the whole organization spread how bad this leader is. So it's about by, by, by leader, managing yourself and behaving, showing the right value system and integrity and a discipline, and the whole organization actually get that message much, much faster than any town hall meeting. So you can leverage these relationships instead of they're working against you.

[00:17:44] Martin:  Moving on to the next, uh, I internalize why it's so important that you as a leader need to know what is driving you, what motivates you? 

[00:17:56] Anu: I think if you look at many leaders today, and I mean there are, I mean, companies have these great value systems and this and that, and the nice, uh, uh, uh, you know, boards written there. But question is, are we really living these things? Are we really living these values, uh, are shown in, in, in what they do. So there is the, i I, I think there is a clear difference than someone say, Hey, this is my value system, this is what I believe in versus what they really do. That's what I call it internalize and, and really, you know, make yourself, that is who you are. So I, I spend a lot of time and, and realizing this, I think if you look at, even, even that's why I, I, I, I connect in this book with the ancient Asian wisdom and the modern science and try to get the, the best out of it. And if you look at some of the ancient wisdom leaders, whether it is, uh, uh, people like, Sun Tzu, and Confu Tzu and Lau Tzu in China. Or whether you were people like Buddha in, South Asia. So I think can see that, I mean, I mean these, these people, they spend so much time to debate and find out who they really are, what is driving them.

[00:19:07] So whatever it takes in a, in a busy life that we live today, we don't get time to reflect on ourself, question ourself, what we do, and truly find out who you are, what you want to do. So that's like question, like, why do you want to be a leader? I think many people, I mean, if you, if you do any research, I think they will go in the order that you want to be a leader, because number one is more money. Number two is, uh, more power. Number two is you're gonna be famous and, uh, and, and, and then after that, the other goals. But you realize when you become a leader, you actually have no time to use that money. It's true that you get paid.So the money is there, but you have no time to, to enjoy that money. 

[00:19:50] and then the power your leaders realize actually there is no power in leadership.

[00:19:54] Okay. Like if you look at on myself, I don't, I don't think I have power because real power is the people on the ground who's producing parts, delivering to the customer, taking care of customers, making those deliveries and other, I mean, if they don't do it right, I'm in deep trouble. So the fame, I don't think leaders enjoy fame either because they lose their privacy and I, I'm sure you know, you don't want to, you don't enjoy a dinner when 10 cameras are looking at you and a and a wearing suit. You, you probably will be better off going back home and on your own pajama and have a soup and salad at home. I think that'd be more relaxing after busy day. So it's really finding out why you want to be a leader, why you want to do this, what is the real purpose? 

[00:20:37] It's very, very hard to do. It requires lots of reflection, lot of confrontation with yourself to to get there.

[00:20:48] Martin: And it's many times when we are working with leaders and we are asking these same questions, they roll their eyes and say, you know, not again. Can't you just tell me what I have to do? Why asking me this tough question? Right. And it's, it's, it's this contradiction between the busy life, uh, of an executive and wanting to get the results and having the answers quick, versus this big question that is so fundamental, but takes a lot of soul searching.

[00:21:19] Anu: I think that's why you can see that any, any top business schools today, I mean, they're teaching mindfulness. They're teaching yoga and meditation. They're, they're trying to make leaders talk to themselves. Right. I think, I think, I think if, if for example, 30 years ago, b you know, business schools will laugh at, uh, when, when they start teaching mindfulness and meditations and so on. But, but today that, that many western business schools are learning these fundamentals, which is coming from the east. Which is coming from the ancient asian wisdom. So that's why I think that having the right mindset is such an, a powerful, powerful thing.

[00:22:00] Martin: It's so interesting to hear this from you as a, as a global executive that is really running a big, big business. And, and I'm thinking with having this,right mindset, it starts to be time to interact, like you said, also, that the power of the organization lies at the front lines. And, and that is we're starting to interact with the people in the organization, comes into play.

[00:22:26] Can you elaborate on this section, on Interact, and you're speaking, for instance, about tough love interaction.

[00:22:35] Anu: I think once you have the systems thinking, cause where you have the, you understand the interconnectedness, you understand the emergence, and then you have internalized the right value system and purpose, and then you are committed to make a change. You are committed to do the right thing, but you don't know what's the right thing. You don't know what's the right thing. You have to find out how to make the right decision. What is the right decision? So to do that, I always say the details is knowledge. Knowledge is power. So you need to have the knowledge about what is really going on, what is, where's really the problem or what is really. To do that you got to interact. You cannot run sitting in the boardroom and looking at PowerPoints all day long. You do not know the truth. You do not know the truth because the people around you, your senior leadership team always want to tell everything is great because they don't want to tell, give the bad problem, or they will say, don't worry, I'll take care of it. But you got to break those walls. It doesn't mean you're going to break the organizational hierarchy or you are bypassing your people. You don't trust your people. No, no, no, no. That's not the purpose of interact. Purpose of interact is all for you to know. 

[00:23:50] So to me, these interactions are extremely important. It starts with your security guard, with your most junior field technician, with your direct labor, with your senior managers, directors, customers, supplies. I think it's absolutely Im important we interact everywhere,

[00:24:07] 

[00:24:07] Gerrit: So Annu, um, I said in our introduction that we love to explore everyday leadership dilemmas. And one dilemma that I'm picking up here is that you say we need to spend time to, uh, internalize, to introspect and reflect, and now we need the time to interact with basically everybody in the organization and the customers and, and, and. I can imagine our listeners taking a deep breath and say, look when? And I wonder if you, as a, as a very busy executive yourself, do you have any tips, suggestions, how can people make time for that?

[00:24:48] Anu: Well, I think fundamentally for any leader, if you don't have time to do what you want to do, probably you have a broken organization. So when I first became the first level manager, I was 29 years old. And I had, uh, I had a leader, his name was Dominic Tan from in Singapore and, and a Chinese. And he told me, I knew now you are a manager, not an engineer. So you had to spend 20% time of doing strategy. But if you're just doing all the time on working, working, working, you're not a leader. So question is, how do I find that 20% time? So it's up to me to manage my day to do that and to leverage resources and to do that. So when you are a senior leader as well, I mean, if I had to chase every part and everything, I mean, I have a broken organization, so it's up to me to build that organization to deliver the performance that is required 

[00:25:41] And you, you need to force yourself to do that, right? And, and I spent time in doing skip level meetings like, uh, four, five, at least a month. And that is required.

[00:25:53] Martin: Hmm. In, in, in my experience in some organizations we also noticed a certain fear of getting out into the organization. It was, it was much more comfortable to sit in the meeting room and getting briefed on the status of the organization, let's say employee surveys, customer feedback surveys, rather than going out and sitting face to face 

[00:26:18] Anu: I think, I think there are two kinds of interactions, so. So one is like, let's say you go to a manufacturing plant and you talk to operators, you talk to the, the logistics warehouse team and all that. But typically, you know, when you go to a manufacturing plant as a senior executive, it's always ceremonial. Everything is rehearsed and practiced. You never know the truth actually. So, so you need to sometimes skip the arrange routine and you need to go to the tool room and, uh, and, and a warehouse and so on to really know the, the reality. But, but again, it's not just about this arrange formal ceremonial interactions. I mean, how difficult is it when you meet somebody on an elevator, when you meet somebody in a cafeteria, when you meet somebody on the hallway. There are more than one ways to interact. Even when you have a one-on-one meeting, even when you have an operations review, even when you have a, the business review, escalation review, strategy meeting. These are all opportunities for you to interact. How you behave in all these meetings, your level of how you're maintaining your purpose, right, how you maintain your consistency in your energy level, in your passion and your messaging so you don't have a confusing message from meeting to meeting. 

[00:27:40] Martin: Mm. Uh, um, I, and it's interesting when, when you talk about the consistency of your interactions because the message is spread, um, but also the interaction itself, how you do it, how, how would you say, what's your tips of creating a safe space? 

[00:27:58] Anu: I think it's not an, I mean opportunity for them to learn from me. It's an opportunity for me to learn from them. So the reason why I interact is for me to learn. For me to learn what is working, what is not working, and what I don't know. I mean, that's the whole purpose why I interact is it's not about communicating the message. I mean, yes, I do it, but, but in return I learn. For example, if I talk to them, if they talk about different strategy, different passion than the senior leadership I'm talking to, that means I learned that my senior leaders are not cascading down the message. So if I talk about importance of, of the, of a certain products and so on, if it's not cascaded down. So to me, the way that why people open up to genuinely talk to me is because they need to have this intimacy level relationship. You need to have that trust in the leaders. The people need to trust. Trust is the ultimate word, ultimate, that leaders need to want. I mean, to lead, people believe, is this person in this job as a president or or or manager, whatever the leadership position, is it for himself or is it there to protect us, to take care of us for our success and our organization's success. If people believe in this, believe me, they will open up. But if people believe that is a leader is selfish and ego and he's there, everything is about himself, people will not open up. 

[00:29:35] So it's always about the leader's behavior can create an organization with the positive emergence that people are opening up to the leader.

[00:29:45] Martin: Hmm. you had an example as well.  :when you talked about, uh, the sudden order from a customer, the sudden increase in the order volume, but it would come with a very high air freight expense as an example of how you built interaction between boundaries and organization.

[00:30:07] Anu: I think if you look at organizations, many organizations are struggling how this different functions, different views, different regions and and, and all that working together. So in the example Martin you just referred to, there was a situation where customers suddenly increased the orders overnight and then our, our factory has to deliver. And our sales team was pushing, Hey, customer need orders, and I got a big order, so it's good for the company. But then the operation team figuring out, yeah, that's good for the company, but we need to air freight, uh, uh, parts from our suppliers and paying more money than what is required. But, but doesn't matter, customer need parts. So, so now what is a situation where, hey, there's a customer demanding that you, it's an important customer, you need it, but we are gonna lose a lot of money with a certain order. So how do you manage the situation? 

[00:30:59] So Operation Team has to believe we create a positive emergence, they escalating, we're gonna lose money. And then that I had an opportunity to get the sales team operation and ask why set an order? Why? Why now? Why customer did it

[00:31:14] You keep asking questions and then until they find the truth and realize that customer gave half the order to a competitor and competitor failed to deliver, and then they want us to make it up and they call it a new order for us. No, it's not. So, so then we also talk to customers and say, we love you customer, but there is a cost to it. It's all about the boundary spanning interactions, not just within your team, within your organization, within your company, even with the customers supplies. Get into the data, get into the facts, and having that direct, uh, conversations with tough love of course, because our, our heart is always in the right place.

[00:31:53] Martin: Hmm mm. Gerrit, what are you thinking?

[00:31:57] Gerrit: I had to smile when I heard, uh, we love you, but there's a cost to it.

[00:32:02] Martin: Yes.

[00:32:04] Gerrit: But I'm, I'm also, uh, looking at the clock here and, uh, I wonder, should we briefly still touch on the other two elements, 

[00:32:13] 

[00:32:13] Anu: Well, I think, it's actually pretty straightforward. It, it, it does take very short time. System thinking is hard. Internalize is very hard. Interact is hard. But if you do this three step right, you learn in my, in my air freight example, I learn my sales team take orders without understanding the cost. So I need to some education there. So I learn. So that's what you learn mean you learn when you interact, you know what you didn't know before. So very easy. But then the adapt, when you learn something, I mean learning I call it useless. because like you said, you read a book and you learn something, but it's useless because it doesn't produce any value until you do something. So adapt is where you do something, you change. So what change? You change yourself, you change yourself. Because I found a gap how I work with my sales team, so I am going to change myself. So that's it. It's, it's a very easy, once you get through the difficult part of, uh, uh, systems thinking, uh, internalize and interact, and then you learn what you don't know because now you learn and now you need to change yourself. So, and then this cycle keep going nonstop. And that's why ultimately SIILA is a model when you start, and then after that it's a habit.

[00:33:39] Martin: Hmm. And I'm thinking about the reflection question, and from listening to the examples and learning deeper about the SIILA model, I'm thinking about how I use my time as a leader when I'm pressed to find solutions, quick solutions, deliver results, and then get back onto the next problem.  how do I use my time as a leader to really take a little bit extra time to understand the system, to align with my own values, my mindset, interact with the right people to understand what's actually really happening before I jump to conclusion and make decisions.

[00:34:28] So is it valuable for me to spend that extra time? To make the right decision versus making a quick decision, moving on to the next item on the agenda, and then perhaps a week later, a month later, a year later, having to clean up the mess. That would be my reflection question out of what I learned.

[00:34:50] Gerrit: Yes, Martin. And that's in a way, uh, it makes perfect sense, but it's also very mean because I wanted to go in the same direction.

[00:34:58] Martin: Oh,

[00:34:59] Gerrit: Maybe, maybe I just add one comment. Um, there were a number of things Anu that you said that resonated strongly with me. One is this combination of, um, the western approach, western science, and then the Asian wisdom. Uh, and you spoke a lot about mindfulness and, uh, I spent this morning before we started this recording, I spent my time with a 30 minute mindfulness meditation. And many people say, oh my goodness, you know, how, how can you spend 30 minutes just sitting doing nothing, i, I couldn't do this, I'm too busy for that. But I think it's really an investment in terms of making other parts of life more, whatever you wanna say, effective, efficient, meaningful, perhaps. Um, so that was one's thought, just to add, not a question. 

[00:35:51] So I'll then go back with my reflection questions on, um, the systems thinking. Again, as we said earlier, you don't need to become an expert in systems theory, but where might I not understand the system well enough? Where might I oversimplify and what might I overlook in the interactions that people are having, which then impacts outcomes?

[00:36:25] Anu, any reflection question that you would suggest.

[00:36:30] Anu: It's a great, great dialogue and really appreciate, uh, uh, the, the dialogue. And I think if you look at, um, every leader and they, they're trying to make a positive impact. So, uh, and, but if there is a manual for leadership, uh, it is going to be, be the first chapter, maybe the whole book is going to be about self leadership. And there is no businesses managing others if you can't manage yourself. So going along that path, that's why systems thinking, internalize, all these are, you know, your mindset, right? So going along that path, I think I like to ask, uh, three questions and um, I think you should ask: where are you today, where are you today? What are you doing? Why are you doing? How are you doing? And then ask a question from where you started, how did you get to where you are? What did you do? Why did you do,? What did you do? And then you have a good understanding of where you want to be in the future and ask yourself: why you want to be there? How are you going to get there? What are you going to do there?

[00:37:38] I think if we ask this question, how, why, what to where we started, to where we are today, to where we are going to do, that's going to get us a very good self leadership development plan, and I hope that's gonna be useful.

[00:37:53] Martin: Wow.

[00:37:54] Gerrit: Picking up on this how you get there, also maybe not being too attached to the outcome and leave room for whatever might emerge.

[00:38:04] Anu: Absolutely.

[00:38:05] Martin: Yeah, I, I know if any listeners are super excited here and want to get in touch with you, is there any any way to get in touch with you?

[00:38:17] Anu: Well, absolutely, I think through the LinkedIn profile and, and also my book is available on Amazon and other regular, uh, web media as well. I would love to have a dialogue and I think at this stage I would love to provide any guidance or further dialogue on the discussions we had.

[00:38:35] Martin: That is super, and we will put a link in the show note descriptions as, as always. Thank you Anu. It has been such a pleasure to listen to you and having a chance to have this conversation. Truly appreciated.

[00:38:50] Anu: Thank you very much Martin and Gerrit, it was great to be with you.

[00:38:53] Gerrit: Thank you indeed, and this concludes today's episode. If you like our podcast, remember to subscribe on your favorite platform so you don't miss out on the latest episodes. And if you would like to help us grow the show, we will really appreciate it if you tell a friend about it, post on social media, or leave a positive comment and rating.

[00:39:14] More info about Martin myself and our work is also on our website. That's Secondcrackleadership[dot]com. That's all in one word. And also, we would be very happy to hear your feedback, your questions or your comments. The address for that is Hello[at]Secondcrackleadership[dot]com

[00:39:35] Bye for now and until next time.