Ep. 90: Cassandra Worthy on The 3 Step Strategy For Change Enthusiasm
In this episode, we feature an exclusive clip from the 2022 Trusted Leader Summit where Cassandra Worthy, Founder & CEO of Change Enthusiasm Global, Keynote Speaker, Author, and Consultant, took to the stage to discuss the 3 step strategy for change enthusiasm.
2023 Trusted Leader Summit: http://trustedleadersummit.com
Buy David’s NEWEST Book “Trusted Leader”: https://amzn.to/3luyqf1
With contagious energy that radiates throughout every room she steps into, Cassandra Worthy is the world’s truly DISRUPTIVE thought-leader on CHANGE that companies need to build organizational resilience and adaptability. During times of major shift such as merger, acquisition, organizational restructure, new systems integration, and market disruption RARELY do businesses ever face the tumultuous emotional landscape of the organization head-on. Only 10% of successful change adoption is about know-how…the other 90% is squarely centered on an organization’s motivation and willingness to embrace the change. Without addressing the emotions standing in the way of motivation, any transformation journey is stopped in its tracks. This is where Cassandra steps in. She has created and cultivated the unique strategy of Change Enthusiasm® which is arming individuals around the world with the means to harness the power of emotion, a resource in infinite supply, to embrace and accelerate change and transformation journeys. Cassandra’s message nurtures highly resilient and adaptable organizations beginning at the heart of the individual.
Cassandra’s client base spans the Fortune 500 and larger all over the world including Procter & Gamble, Allstate, Jones Lang LaSalle, Centene Corporation, ConferenceDirect, and WeWork. Cassandra invigorates and inspires organizations, C-suite executives, and business associations alike going through significant change, disruption, and transformation. Cassandra’s customized keynote and workshop programs motivate the workforce to embrace Change Enthusiasm® and subsequently become self-actualized in working towards a change vision. In her leadership-centric presentations, she is not only sharing this unique strategy of Change Enthusiasm® but also 10+ years of M&A experience distilled down into the critical leadership traits required to lead with exception during high-stress times of change and transformation.
“Change Enthusiasm” by Cassandra Worthy: https://amzn.to/3akZif7
1. “We are living in an ever evolving hugely dynamic world.”
2. “Change is constant.”
3. “The emotions of change are real. They cannot be denied.”
4. “You have the power to control how you experience change and how you inspire trust through change.”
5. “You can either get bitter or get better. It’s your choice.”
6. “Make a conscious productive choice to inspire a better feeling and ultimately a better result.”
7. “The biggest disruptions never happen to you, they happen for you.”
Links Mentioned In The Episode:
2023 Trusted Leader Summit: http://trustedleadersummit.com
“Change Enthusiasm” by Cassandra Worthy: https://amzn.to/3akZif7
Buy David’s NEWEST Book “Trusted Leader”: https://amzn.to/3luyqf1
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Welcome to the trusted leader show I’m Kent Svenson producer of the trusted leader show. And for this week’s episode, we feature an exclusive clip from the 2022 trusted leader summit, where Cassandra Worthy, founder and CEO of change enthusiasm global, keynote speaker, author, and consultant, took to the stage to discuss her three steps strategy for change enthusiasm. So sit back, relax and enjoy the show.
Cool. So let’s start with the why, right? So why should you care? Why not just get into your phone? Why not just walk outside of the room? Right? Why is this much as relevant? So for me, I see your why to be threefold. Okay. The first part of your, why being that we are living in an ever evolving hugely dynamic world. If I were to ask you to raise your hand, if you could name at least one change that has impacted your business in the past year, who, who could do that? Who could gimme one change? Yeah, everyone, right? Everyone we’re living in such a highly evolved and ever dynamic world that will demand us to be agile and change ready. It’s the reality of no matter what business you’re in, what organization you are a part of change is constant. We’ve all heard that.
And it’s real. And I think it’s been made very real over these past couple years. Now, the second part of your Ry is a data point that I’ve experienced in my own personal life, as well as seen across my clients all over the world. And that is the emotions of change are real. That cannot be denied. Not only emotions like excitement and anticipation, but also those more difficult emotions like fear, like frustration, like anger. These emotions are real and cannot be denied in ourselves nor in those around us. Okay. Now the last part of your, why is what I feel to be the most compelling. And that is that you have the power to control how you experience change and how you inspire trust. When you’re going through and leading through change, it’s up to you. You have that power, it’s your choice and what you’re gonna be learning over the next 50 or so minutes are some tools, some skills that you can leverage when you’re in that seat of choice, in that seat of power to help you move forward, to grow through change and nurture that all important element of trust when you’re going through change.
Okay. So hopefully those reasons are relevant and I haven’t lost any of you. I didn’t hear any doors opening. So I think we’re good. We gonna keep rocking. All right. So let’s start with the mindset. Okay. This is a growth mindset and it’s a mindset that I’ve coined change enthusiasm, right? Change enthusiasm. So what is it right? I’m sure some of y’all looking up at the screen thinking, okay, how is this any different from being a change agent or a change optimist. She just put in that little cute word at the end of change with no real meat behind it. Well, if you’re thinking that you couldn’t be further from the truth, because this is actually a workable strategy and it’s a strategy that’s worked through the practice of three simple steps and those steps are the signal, the opportunity and the choice. All right.
Think of it like a traffic light, the red light being the signal, the yellow light being the opportunity and the green light being the choice, right? The signal, the opportunity and the choice. Thank you all so much. You’ve been amazing. I’m of course kidding. I joke with you. No, I’m actually gonna unpack this. I wanna share a story with you on how I came to cultivate it and put it in a practice in my own life. But before I do, I want y’all to engage with me. All right. So I already hear, I heard the yays. I hear a lot of energy out here, but I wanna keep that going. So by show of hands who in here has seen the movie cycle, either the original or the remake. Okay. A handful of y’all. Now, for those of y’all looking concerned and sideways at me, this is not where the presentation takes a horrible turn left. Okay. Everyone’s fine. Everyone’s safe. But for those of you who’ve seen that movie. You remember that one scene in the film, it’s probably the most memorable scene in the whole movie, the shower scene. Y’all remember that really chilling, stabbing music that they play.
Yes. Y’all remember this. I see you greeting. Yes. So listen, we’re gonna do whenever I point to you, when I’m telling the story, I want everyone to do their loudest and best rendition of that chilling, stabbing music. Okay. Now we all gonna practice this. I’m gonna count to three. We’re all gonna practice six. I don’t wanna be the only up here St. Standing here. Looking silly. Okay. So on the count of three everyone’s loudest and best. Okay. We ready? Here we go. 1, 2, 3. Love it. I get every time I love it. So remember when I point to you, that’s the energy, that’s the motion that I want you to give. Cool. Cool. All right. So my very first major change challenge in my professional life came after I’ve been working at Proctor and gamble for about three and a half, four years. And I transitioned into a recently acquired business.
Now this is a multi-billion dollar acquisition. So it was a really big deal. And upon transferring, I was told I was being brought in not only to help continue delivering breakthrough innovation, but also to help integrate parent company tools and processes into that technical community. Now, I was naive in thinking that this is gonna be something similar to work I’d done in the past. Right? I created tools. I brought them to life and other businesses in that parent company. But day one, I walked into a completely different business culture. The language was different. The behaviors were different. The cultural norms were different, right? Those common norms that I had grown so accustomed to, and that it served me so well up until that point just did not exist. And on top of that, despite my very best intentions, the use of those tools and processes that I was supposed to bring to life, and that business was met with what I’ll call great adversity. I was lost. I was frustrated and I felt like a fish outta water. And then to add insult to injury, I discovered one day that a colleague of mine had shared my results, my data, my conclusions, and recommendations with senior leadership. Not only without my not being in the room, but without even acknowledging that it was all my work. And upon hearing this, of course, I shared it with my immediate manager and they just simply brush it off, said, don’t worry about it. It’s not that big of a deal.
This is, he goes, boo. Yes. This is the signal, right? It’s these feelings, these emotions. I felt resentful towards my colleague. I felt so angry and frustrated with my manager because at Proctor and gamble day one, in that culture, you were taught the importance of your pie, pie, meeting, performance image, and exposure. And so here, someone was stealing slices of my pie. And with every passing day, I became more and more disengaged in my work, cuz my manager could care less. And I was looking for ways to escape. And that’s what this signal to notes. It’s these feelings, these emotions, the, the fear, the frustration, the anger, the anxiety, the feelings you just wanna run away from the feelings you just want to escape. In fact, as I think about all of you in your respective businesses and everything that you’ve been through over these past couple years and everything that lies ahead in the months and years to come, I’m certain, some of you have felt some of these emotions. And if you have, I want you to turn to your neighbor right now and tell ’em good. Gracious. Yes.
Talk too. Tell about it. Yeah. I see some of y’all starting to tell stories. Okay. All call yourselves. We don’t get through this, but we’ve all been there. Right? We’ve all felt these emotions. And if you have, if you are one of the ones who just shouted to your neighbor, good gracious. Yes. And then told the story, let me be the first to say, congratulations, you got the signal. And it means something very big is happening for you. Well, you know, for me back then, I was like, all of you in the room, I hadn’t yet created, let alone started to practice this whole mindset of change enthusiasm. So I was left to sink in that mental downward spiral. The brightest part of my day was lunch because I would sit with a handful of other parent company colleagues who had transitioned in and we would vent.
We would commiserate. We would talk about our horrible things were, I was very quickly reaching a breaking point and really looking for any opportunity to escape. Well in a last ditch effort, I decided to reach out to a mentor. Now she was a director at the time and she was heritage parent company. So in my mind, she was the solution to write every wrong in my work experience because not only was she in a position of influence, but she also would have the capacity to understand where I was coming from, unlike my line management. So, you know, I got on her calendar, got together, an agenda got together. What I felt to be three very actionable help requests, although y’all know hindsight’s 20, 20, right. Hindsight, 2020. So in hindsight, those help requests might have, well, have read number one, fire this dude. Number two, fire my manager and number three, promote me so I can fire these other eight people I’m struggling with y’all don’t judge me.
Don’t judge me. I was younger, was younger. Regardless. We met, you know, I’m going to the agenda talking to the help request and really by the end, I’m just venting to this woman. And as I’m wrapping up, she looks at me and she says, Cassandra, I wanna offer you some advice. You can either get bitter or you can get better. It’s your choice. Woo. You talk about signaling emotions. Now of course I responded in kind, thank you very much, but as I’m getting up and leaving her office, I’m fuming, I’m fuming. And I’m thinking to myself, my choice, it’s not my choice. I’m not the one in a position of influence. It’s her, not me. And she wasn’t listening to me. And so I made the decision that I was gonna keep looking for anyway to escape, but I was how she’s gonna quit. I was gonna quit the company, but then something happened, those words that she said bitter or better, they stayed with me. And over the next several days, I started to embrace this idea that I had power that I had control and say over my own work experience. And the more that I stepped into that idea, I stepped into a major moment of opportunity.
Step two, I had just reached step two of the strategy of change, enthusiasm, the yellow light. In fact, this is a good place for me to take a little quick aside and get to know you all a little bit better. All right. So I want, y’all do me a favor. I want you to think about yourselves and your car, your driving, and your approach, a traffic light. And it turns yellow. And in that moment I hear y’all laughing already. And in that moment, I want you to signal with your fingers, the behavior that you are doing when you’re behind that wheel. Okay? So I want you to gimme a number one. If you’re slowing down safety first, you got your seatbelt on. I got one, one in the room. I got two right here. Appreciate, gimme number two. If you’re flooring it, you, Veronica. Veronica was like, I know exactly what I’m doing.
I don’t need to know. Number three. I’m coming back to you, Veronica. All right. Give you a heads up you number two. Now gimme number three. If it depends, right? It depends. Okay. I see a lot of threes. Some of y’all staying committed to you. Twos like Veronica, Veronica. I gotta ask. What kind of car do you drive? Chevy tra a Chevy traverse. She thought about it too. A Chevy traverse. What color is it? It’s black, black, black on black. When y’all are leaving the conference, just slick out for a black Chevy traverse. We don’t know what Veronica’s about to do. I’m just kidding. Do you, but obviously, you know what we’re doing in this time, what we’re doing in this time, we’re in a decision making process, right? We’re weighing options, exploring what’s possible. How much distance do I have between me and the light?
Right? How fast am I going? Are there any children or squirrels that I don’t wanna run over? Right. And really, really, what are we thinking? I don’t know about Veronica, but what are we thinking? Are there cops are there like, are there cops, like, what’s really gonna be the consequence if I run this thing. Right. But ultimately, yes, ultimately this is a decision making process, right? Wayne options exploring what’s possible. And that’s exactly what step two of the strategy of change. Enthusiasm is all about, right? You’ve recognized these feelings as a signal you’ve accepted their invitation into your opportunity to learn, to grow and evolve. And then you weigh options, exploring what’s possible for you to milk that opportunity for all it’s worth. Yeah. So for me, for me back then having, let those words of wisdom resonate bitter or better, I saw a couple options.
All right. I could either remain resigned, despising going into the office, resenting the majority of my colleagues, basically in a state of misery looking for any opportunity to quit, or I could choose to trust that despite their behavior, they had my best interest at heart. The one that shared my results, cause that was really the behavior that was giving me the worst feelings, but I could choose to trust that they were not acting maliciously to put my trust in that. And the more that I leaned into making that decision, I started to get a different feeling, right? I started to feel intrigued because if not acting maliciously, then why, why would they have done the things that they did? But in that moment, intrigued felt better than resentment and intrigued successfully created a path for me to reengage in my work. So that’s what I did.
I made a conscious, productive choice to bring about a better feeling. That’s step three, the choice, right? You’ve recognized these feelings as a signal you’ve accepted their invitation into your moment of opportunity to learn, to grow and evolve Wayne options. And then from those options, you’re making a conscious, productive choice to inspire better feeling and ultimately a better result, right? The signal, the opportunity and the choice. So what right. I do like to share what happened as a result of me cultivating this mindset, practicing it on a daily basis, reaching for my better. Well, at first it just looked like me engaging with my colleagues in a different way, right. Seeking first to understand. But ultimately I was inspired. I was inspired to write a series of intercompany articles, articles that I called my diaries. And the intent was to share where I thought there was true strength in that business that needed to get reapplied and where I thought there were opportunities.
And for one of those articles, I decided to interview several of my working team colleagues, including the one that I thought wronged me. And I asked questions like, what are you most proud of? And how do you think your functional expertise cannot only explode results in this business unit, but also other businesses around the parent company. And in having these conversations, I unveiled discovered the fundamental differences in cultural norms, across the two different companies and come to find out that colleague wasn’t acting maliciously. They were just abiding by a different set of cultural norms. And in having these conversations, it was so eye-opening and healing for me. And when I published them out, I just wanted one person. I wanted one person to read them and feel the sense of healing that I felt, cuz it truly was tremendous. Y’all know what happened. It was nuts.
It was crazy what happens. So that article, the one in particular with the interviews became in the top three most widely read in the entire company for several weeks in a row. I think when it was all said and done, it had like over 6,000 reads. Now let me CA y’all so up until this point, I was lucky if I got like a hundred reads on a report. So this is a really big deal. I had colleagues stopping me in the hallway, thanking me for writing their reports, saying how my words had helped nurture much needed conversation between them and their working team colleagues. But you know what the best part was the best part of taking control of my work experience, working this mindset, looking for my better in the opportunities. I ended up going to a women’s networking event and we also invited a speaker in and it was the president of that business.
And in between or during his talk, he pointed me out in front of everybody. He was like, you’re Cassandra. Right? And of course I’m looking at this dude, like a deer in headlights. I had no idea. He knew who I was. He was like, you’re Cassandra. Right? He said, I wanna thank you for writing those reports. He said, although there were a couple points I didn’t necessarily agree with. I wanna thank you for the courage. It took to write them. And then he got really honest with me and the rest of the group. And he said their most glaring mistake in the acquisition and the integration was not recognizing and fully embracing the differences in cultural norms across the two different companies. But he said it was perspectives like mine that helped he and his senior leadership team understand where those tension points lied so that they could create plans to address them as a junior engineer in that company, I’d effectively influenced the culture of the organization from bottom to top, simply by taking control of my own work experience, reaching for that better and better feeling.
Now y’all please don’t get me wrong. I continued having challenges in that business. It wasn’t all sunflower seeds and Daisy pedals. It wasn’t all good. Right? I don’t quite know that. So you always make it up. It wasn’t all good. I continued having challenges. And at any given point in time, a better feeling might have looked like stress because stress felt better than depression. A better feeling might have looked like annoyance because annoyance felt better than rage. A better feeling might have looked like intrigue because intrigue felt better than resentment. Yeah. So by working these steps to signal the opportunity and the choice, I actually ended up getting myself top rated in that business landing, a growth opportunity I would not have had had I not transitioned into that business. So the more that you can work, these steps recognize your signal, emotions, stepping into your moment of opportunity, choosing that better feeling and ultimately a better result. You’re gonna come to find that the really big changes, the biggest disruptions, they never happen to you. They happen for you to serve you, to serve your evolution, to your absolute best self, enabling you to unleash that inner rock star that I know you all have within
That’s it for this week’s episode. Be sure to check out trusted leader, show.com for all the show notes and links and information from anything mentioned in today’s episode. And we are so excited to announce the trusted leader summit is happening again next year, November 7-9, 2023 at the jw marriott mall of america here in minnesota. To find out more information or to register head to trustedleadersummit.com. And if you haven’t already, we would greatly appreciate a review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, or wherever you get your podcast as this is a great way to help support the show and help others to discover it. But in the meantime, that’s it for this week’s episode, thank you so much for listening. And until next time stay trusted.