As a leader, how well do you know your people? Are you approachable to them? Are the lines of communication open so they feel comfortable coming to you for solutions to their problems? Great leaders know their employees and are available and present for them.

Dr. Benjamin Ritter, founder of Live for Yourself Consulting, is a leadership and career coach, Talent Development Executive, values geek, international speaker, and podcaster who’s passionate about guiding leaders to lead themselves to create a career they love.

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    1. What are the extrinsic job satisfaction indicators?
    2. What is the importance of self-leadership?
    3. What is the model of managing to motivate?
    4. What is the importance of understanding your people as leaders?
    5. Three keys of executive presence.

    “Are you leading yourself in a way that allows you to achieve what you want?”

    Dr. Benjamin Ritter


      [03.18] Dr. Benjamin’s career journey.

      [07.23] Extrinsic job satisfaction indicators.

      [12.43] Self-leadership and its importance.

      [16.16] Managing to motivate model.

      [16.53] Dr. Benjamin’s entry into the LATTOYG Playbook: The T E A M Model

      [23.50] Understanding, believing, and checking on the process of your goals.

      [28.15] As a leader, your responsibility is to understand your people.

      [30.27] Three keys of executive presence.

      [32.17] Dr. Benjamin’s one piece of advice that still resonates with him today.

      [33.16] Signature Segment: Karan’s Take


      Dr. Benjamin Ritter, founder of Live for Yourself Consulting, is a leadership and career coach, Talent Development Executive, values geek, international speaker, and podcaster who’s passionate about guiding leaders to be the leader of their own careers and create a career they love. With over ten years of experience working with clients from companies such as Amazon, Coursera, Doordash, Google, Fiserv, Northwestern, Pinterest, and Yelp, Ben understands how to navigate any career path you decide you want to travel.

      Since launching his coaching practice, he has guided hundreds of professionals toward creating the career they love and has impacted thousands through his events and media content. From empowering young professionals to get unstuck to guiding senior leadership on how to stand out from the competition, develop executive presence, and feel confident in being a leader, Ben is an expert in his field and will guide you toward truly living for yourself at work and in life.

      Ben received his Doctorate in Organizational Leadership with a focus on value congruence and job satisfaction and earned an MBA in entrepreneurial management and an MPH in health policy administration






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      This podcast episode is sponsored by Shockingly Different Leadership, the leader in on-demand People, Talent Development & Organizational Effectiveness professional services, all designed to up-level leader capability and optimize workforces to do their best work.

      Click the plus button on the tab to access the written transcript:

      Episode 32 | How to Use Self-Leadership to Accelerate Career Growth with Dr. Benjamin Ritter

      Dr. Benjamin Ritter  00:00

      If we want to attract the top talent, we have to pay top talent what they’re going to get in the market, because if not, they’re just going to go get higher paying jobs.


      Voiceover  00:11

      Welcome to the “Lead at the Top of Your Game” podcast, where we equip you to more effectively lead your seat at any employer, business, or industry in which you choose to play. Each week, we help you sharpen your leadership acumen by cracking open the playbooks of dynamic leaders who are doing big things in their professional endeavors. And now, your host, leadership tactics, and organizational development expert, Karan Ferrell-Rhodes.


      Karan Rhodes  00:46

      Hey there superstars. Thanks for joining in another episode designed to help you to better lead at the top of your game. You know what comes to mind when you think of the term self leadership? You know, self leadership describes how you lead your own personal and professional life. Right? It involves setting your course following it. And then also, course, correct and along the way. And on today’s show, I’m honored to have Dr. Benjamin Ritter, founder of Live for Yourself consulting. He’s also the former head of talent development, organizational culture and learning at Technova, which is a manufacturer that focuses on the life science, biopharma and healthcare industries. And I’ve got to tell you, he really brought the knowledge on this episode, there is absolutely no fluff here, all value bombs. We go deep into self leadership, how to use it to impact your career progression, and he even supplies a model to help you have critical influential conversations with decision makers that matter. So be sure to stay tuned for at least two minutes after the episode to listen to my closing segment called Karan’s take, where I share a tip on how to use insights from today’s episode to further sharpen your leadership acumen. And now enjoy the show. Hey there, superstars, this is Karan and welcome to today’s episode on the lead at the top of your game podcast. I am super pleased to have on today’s show Dr. Benjamin Ritter, who’s the founder of Live for Yourself consulting. And he’s also the former head of talent development, organizational culture and learning at Technova. And tecnova is a manufacturer that focuses on the life science, bio pharma and healthcare industry. So I’m sure that’s fascinating. I’m sure a bit of that’s probably going to come out on the show. And Dr. Ritter is also a leadership and career coach. He’s, of course a talent development executive, as I mentioned, values geek, international speaker and also podcasts or himself. So hopefully, I’ll get a few tips from him. But he’s very, very passionate about helping leaders to be at their best, and also to create a career that they love. So welcome to the show, Dr. Ben.


      Dr. Benjamin Ritter  03:08

      Thank you so much for having me. And I’ve been constantly wondering is because I hear my bio spoken a lot. And when I’m in these interviews, and I’m like, What is a career that I love? And I think it’s such a great reminder to be like, I’m gonna take a step back and go, Am I doing the things I love? Yes. Okay, great. I’m here. Good.


      Karan Rhodes  03:26

      There you go. There you go. It just, we had a chance to have a brief conversation before the podcast, listeners, and we were talking just on that. And one of the things that Dr. Ben and I share is a love of being practitioners and working in a different variety of industries and environments. We never like a boring day of as I know, you all don’t as well, and correct me if I’m wrong, Ben.


      Dr. Benjamin Ritter  03:50

      Yeah, boring is something I have to give. I’ve gotten used to, like I had to train myself to be like, “Okay, it’s good that I’m bored right now, because it means that things are going well.” But then I actually have I’ve made and this is something I literally have on my phone, a boring list. And so it’s it’s a list I pulled up when I’m bored to go, “These are all the things that you love to do, you can go do right now because you’re bored. That’s good!” And so I taken this little and put a little bit of process into it. And it’s helped me make use of those times.


      Karan Rhodes  04:19

      You know what, I’m gonna try that actually, I’m very rarely bored because I yeah, I feed off the energy and people energy, if you will, but I’m gonna have to try that because those times that do come up, I’m always looking for the next thing and that was be a quick reminder. “Okay, why don’t you try this? You haven’t done this in a while.” So that’s a great tip. Well, before we dive in today’s topic, then if you don’t mind, would you share it for as much as you feel comfortable, share just a little bit about kind of your personal background and professional background like where you grew up and kind of how did you get to where you are today.


      Dr. Benjamin Ritter  04:55

      And so as the lesson to the audience, if this does get kept in as a leader, it’s okay to do something you think might not be right, if it’s going to help things be right.


      Karan Rhodes  05:04

      That’s right.


      Dr. Benjamin Ritter  05:05

      So a lot of my journey has been putting my being basically putting myself in uncomfortable situations to figure out how I impact the people around me and outside of how I feel about what I’m doing. And I think that’s an incredible and important component of executive presence, because leadership really is how you impact the people around you. And too often we limit our ability to, to really impact others because we think we have to operate within a box right based on our own stories. And so my backgrounds in organizational talent, leadership development, and that all got started though, because I was unhappy at work, like I literally was just hated my job. But I was also a high achiever, I was promoted on to the executive team, but I went into work not to work, I went into work not to have conversations with people, because I didn’t see those people as important, which is one of the worst things that you can do is basically waste time in a job, because you think your job is a waste of time. And all you’re doing is just compounding the issue. And so luckily, I had kind of this epiphany moment that said, “Ben, you’re being the victim. You’re blaming your organization for something that’s your own fault. You’re unhappy, don’t let your work, don’t like blame it on other people, take control and do something about it, and choose to be happy, choose to make the best of the time that’s in front of you. And also be more intentional about what you’re what you’re doing with your time.” So that made me really stop and say, “Ben, what do you like to do?” And lo and behold, at that time, I actually was in an emerging leaders Program. And I was having, I received 16 months of leadership training. And the one person I looked up to in my career was the person that I got to meet with, he was my coach in the organization. He was managing the entire leadership program across all of our 13 sites. And we were having a conversation, I’m like, “This is a job, you have a job. Tell me about your job.” This seems so cool. Like this aligns with my desire for coaching. It aligns my personal development interests, it aligns with the fact that like, I’m a high achiever and super disengaged, and the organization is wasting me. And I’m stuck in this place. And the leadership around me, did not notice and also did not know how to manage me, as I don’t want this to happen to people like me ever again. And how can I impact this and your job seems like it’s doing that. And so I started figuring out how to get involved in those types of projects. I asked my boss to be involved with that department. And lo and behold, all as well, the story ends, and I have a beautiful career in talent development, not the case. And we got acquired again, my whole career has been just crazy turmoil. So that we got acquired again, I, by the way, in that in that position, I had three different bosses. And then we had two different CEOs. And then we got acquired two times, so three name changes. And then, so everyone I was working with lost their jobs. Everything I was working on is getting centralize and everything got stopped and paused. So I had to make a decision, stay unhappy with where I’m at, or go try to find a job in this space, or when that didn’t actually work. Because I don’t know what I know now how to brand myself, you know, in a way that is attractive to people when you’re transitioning careers. I went and became credible. So I went and got back went I did my doctorate, I studied the field, I became an academic. But I also then took that research and applied it into creating a new company and started building a brand while I also looked for ways to build my brand inside organizations.


      Karan Rhodes  08:14

      And if you don’t mind sharing, what was your dissertation on?


      Dr. Benjamin Ritter  08:16

      The relationship between person job value congruence and intrinsic and extrinsic job satisfaction of senior healthcare leaders.


      Karan Rhodes  08:26

      Wow. And what was one, I know there’s a ton of learnings out of that. But what was one big takeaway you mind sharing with us?


      Dr. Benjamin Ritter  08:33

      Individuals that are aligned with their work, their personal values are aligned with their job values, which is very much the truth in health care, at least in leadership, I would imagine actually, throughout health care overall, extrinsic job satisfaction indicators, such as salary benefits, recognition, are the most important, which was kind of a little mind blowing to me, because I’m like, it’s all about value alignment, all about being happy and motivated at work. And I’m like, okay, hold on a second reality check. Like, if you don’t feel you’re getting paid, right. If you don’t feel like you have a balance, I can go get a lunch if you don’t feel like you’re getting recognized for the job that you’re doing. It doesn’t matter how meaningful you think that work is, it’s actually gets worse, those indicators become more important, the more aligned you feel at work because then now you have the time to focus on those factors in comparison to the fact that, you know, that you feel like you have meaning instead of not having meaning. Super interesting. So it’s like it’s not this one sum. It’s not this like all in one kind of thing. It’s people feel meaning and happiness they’ll never work a day in their life. Right? And I that quote, like bothers me so much now because it’s like, no, that’s not the case. You always feel like it’s work. You always need the general factors and aspects that come with feeling recognized and being in a livelihood and savings and etc, that come with having a job and spending your time working for somebody else. And it’s so it’s important that employers understand that it’s all important, and it does it does actually increase the responsibility of an employer if they want to retain and engage their employees. But it’s good to know. Because I think the theme is a little bit different right now, or the what people are saying is like, let’s just give them all this lovey dovey feelings. And that’s not actually the case.


      Karan Rhodes  10:10

      And that’s good to know that they know they’re gonna have to be multifaceted, to truly be an employer of choice, right? That’s kind of the takeaway


      Dr. Benjamin Ritter  10:17

      Very much so. And then if you’re in an organization that you’re very much


      Karan Rhodes  10:21

      multifaceted, it focused, I should say, I’m sorry.


      Dr. Benjamin Ritter  10:24

      Yeah. And if you’re in an organization that’s very mission focused, very values focused, and you’re like, Well, everyone just works 80 hours a week here. And that’s the culture we have, because we love what we’re doing. Okay, that’s great. But you’re gonna lose the people, like, you’re not going to attract the people that care about balance, you’re not going to attract people, like if you’re underpaying them that care about financial wealth. And there’s a really great TED Talk that talks like, that goes over the fact that we severely underpaid non for profit executives. They’re severely underpaid. And it doesn’t make sense. Because if someone, if we want to attract the top talent, we have to pay top talent, what they’re going to get in the market, because if not, they’re just going to go get higher paying jobs, because these individuals care about getting paid a certain amount. And then they’re just going to donate it goes along, I think with just general common sense. But it goes against some of the conversations, I think that are happening around engagement and retention.


      Karan Rhodes  11:16

      Yeah, now that makes a ton of sense. I wanted to circle back really quickly to something that resonated with me. And this will lead into kind of our topic about self leadership, you may or may not know that my last big gig before starting up my own firm was to helping to lead the global high potential leadership program for Microsoft. And we had individuals at all career stages in the program, it was basically like the top three and a half percent of the company globally and about 4200 participants worldwide in the program. And one of the most common areas of concern that we would hear from our high potential employees were that they didn’t feel like they were maximum, being maximized for their knowledge, skills and abilities. Something that you mentioned, in the beginning, when you were kind of giving your background. And me and my team spent a lot of time speaking to them and letting them know, you know, the leaders wanted to see the best out of you. But sometimes they just don’t know how to pull it out to your point about, you know, how do you help them show up as their best selves and be open to, you know, what they’re truly bringing to the table and integrate that into the organization? So we talked a lot about how do you lead yourself to lead your others, whether it be your customers, clients, bosses, or what have you, in a way that pulls out some of those skills that aren’t being tapped into, so that you’re happy with how you’re making an impact on the job. And then they’re happy to see you know, what you’re being able to bring to the table as well. And that delves nicely into the whole self leadership topic, because I do you think that is a lens that a lot of super smart people really don’t spend that time on? And so I’m really curious for us to dig a little bit into that. So let’s start by letting you define in your terms what self leadership is, and why is that so important? From your perspective?


      Dr. Benjamin Ritter  13:19

      One disclaimer to say to all the leaders listening, before we dive into self leadership…


      Karan Rhodes  13:23



      Dr. Benjamin Ritter  13:24

      We think that people will bring to us the problems that they have. And we think that if something’s wrong, they’re telling us if they want to work on something new, they’ll tell us if there’s some issue in relationships, they’ll tell us if they don’t have the resources, they need to do the job. They’re telling us we just think as a leader, they will. That is not the case. They is absolutely I’m trying to I’m trying, it’s my mission, right mission is to get people out there to lead themselves to be more empowered and accountable for their own careers. But as a leader, please understand, you are not getting the information you need unless you ask for it. And you have to ask like three or four times. And if someone tells you something one time, one time, even in passing, and it’s like a blip. It’s like a five second comment. They think now that they’ve given you the truth, the commandment, the reality that like the thing that they need. And if you don’t follow up on that, then you’re a terrible leader. Like this is this is sad, but it’s what leaders have to deal with.


      Karan Rhodes  14:18

      That’s right.


      Dr. Benjamin Ritter  14:19

      Okay. I just disclaimer.


      Karan Rhodes  14:21

      That’s right.


      Dr. Benjamin Ritter  14:22

      They’re now going into self leadership. Playing off do you have anything to say on that before? We want to get on the soapbox with me?


      Karan Rhodes  14:29

      No. I’m just doing a Virtual High Five audience. He said it way more articulately than I could have ever been. He is 150%. Right.


      Dr. Benjamin Ritter  14:38

      Okay, I’m taking it. We’re on the soapbox together. So now. So now we’ll get into two leaders. And this is a good transition from what I just said, which is if someone tells you something once they think that now the leader, it’s their job to go make an happen. And this is a great example. This is even just like a promotion, I want to promotion. And too often people ask for promotions when they want the promotion you know, it takes like six months to get a promote like more than That’s six months, six to 12 months to get


      Karan Rhodes  15:02

      Or more. you got to set the stage.


      Dr. Benjamin Ritter  15:04

      Yeah, because there’s processes in an organization, there’s things that need to happen, you have to showcase your talent to skip level managers, like you have to get cross cross collaboration champion, or cross collaborative champions, like there’s a bunch of things that you need to have done for you to get a promotion. And so so often people are like, “I want it now.” And then they get angry at their leader for not being able to make it happen. Well, you didn’t give the leader the chance to make it happen. And so when we talk about self leadership, we’re really saying is, are you leading yourself in a way that is going to help you achieve the goals that you want? We can add another bit of that, which is, are you doing it in a way that aligns with your values? So you’re actually going to be fulfilled when you achieve it? And so do you? How do you feel empowered? Do you know that you are the one that has permission to take steps forward in your career to be proactive? And do you feel accountable. So after you tell your boss something, you don’t think your boss has it, you bring it up to your boss again, the next week, or in two weeks, and you bring it up again, with progress updates. And so there’s this facet of accountability, probably even more than the facet of empowerment, honestly, because it’s no one else is there to do this to help you accomplish your goals in your career, even if they’re hired to do that, like you ultimately are the person that needs to lead yourself. So that’s how I would define


      Karan Rhodes  16:14

      Love it. Absolutely. And what…can you share what kind of conversations you recommend when you’re having these one-on-one conversations, either with your boss or your skip level boss, like what should be some of the messages or bullet points or talking points that you need to ensure to include in those types of conversations with those influencers?


      Dr. Benjamin Ritter  16:34

      Yeah, so I have this model called the team model of managing to motivate and I actually go through it mainly with leaders. It’s, it’s a model that helps leaders crafted environment that is going to motivate and engage their employees to accomplish whatever goals that organization has.


      Karan Rhodes  16:49

      And you said, as a team model, t e a m?


      Dr. Benjamin Ritter  16:51

      T e a m. Now an individual can use it for themselves as well. Because you can curate the you want to curate an environment that’s going to help you make progress, and be engaged and be satisfied. And so the first pillar is trust. And so for you to be able to create anything that you want to create in an organization, you’re gonna have to build trust with your leader, you’re gonna have to build trust with your peers, that you really can’t do it alone. And that means that you’re gonna have to do things that create trust, such as, give positive feedback, manage up and give positive feedback to your peers on a regular basis. It’s that simple. Create open lines of communication. So make sure that you’re talking to them, support them with, with things that they need. So it’s kind of like the basis of like, “I’m there for you, I’m going to follow up, I’m going to be reliable, I’m going to show up consistently. So if I say something, I’m going to do it. And I’m going to help you understand how I’m feeling and be open and honest with you.” So you get so we have trust. Now all of a sudden, now, you have a lot more tools at your disposal than if you didn’t have trust. And so then we can move on to the other pillars. Pause for a second.


      Karan Rhodes  17:52

      Yeah, no, that makes sense. Let’s go with the E.


      Dr. Benjamin Ritter  17:55

      Okay, so E is environment. So for you to be successful in your role, you need to have to really be in touch with the relationships that are going to bring positivity and help you support you towards your goals in your role, you’re also gonna have to distance yourself or mediate relationships that bring negativity and that are draining or that are poisonous, you’re also going to need resources to help you do your job. So let’s say if you have a remote job, but you don’t have a webcam, and don’t have internet, I mean, it’s that simple. So I’m talking about resources, you’re gonna need training guides, or the right applications. And you’re also going to need potentially the empowerment to deal with difficult clients. If you’re a client facing like, there’s anything that you can think of that is a resource for you to do your job, you’re going to need those things. And so you need to feel empowered and accountable to go ask for those things. And to create that environment for yourself to be able to do your job. A is the actual work. And so for you to feel like you’re growing in your career, you have to do work that is potentially challenging, and that stretches you a little bit and leads you towards your career goals in terms of whatever title or projects you want to work on. So you have to know what that is, you have to be clear about that. And you need to have conversations with your leader about what those projects are, so that you can actually start working towards them. And you need to do that in advance. You also need to work on things that you feel align with your skills and your passions. Because you have to feel a little you have to feel confident in the work that you do. And you also have to feel like it sparks part of, you know, part of you and then not all of your work, but some of it. And you have to find ways to delegate to stop or to change the work that you don’t like, because what we’re doing is we’re creating an environment again, that is going to help propel us forward and help fill us up and create energy within us. And if we’re doing work that drains us where we think is stupid or no one cares about, it’s not going to happen. And very often I have leaders that are in meetings that are completely draining, and this is a meeting they think they have to be a part of or one they actually end up not going to the meeting anymore because they don’t actually have to be there but to what they can do is sandwich the meeting and put a little bit more buffer space before and after the meeting itself to find ways to fill them up. So it’s like being more conscious about the work that you’re doing on a day to day basis. And then M is just our perception around work very often. If we don’t like our job if we think it’s pointless we have a bad experience with a co worker or leader, we let that experience just like fester becomes like a leech. And the longer we let it fester, it just grows, right? It sucks and sucks. And it becomes this big beast of a thing that now we can’t get rid of become our program, it’s become a story it’s going to believe. And so if we can remind ourselves around the meaning of our work, why we went into this industry in the first place, why we work for the organization that we’re a part or the impact of the work that we have, the impact of the people that we have on the people around us, are so much more likely to be able to do the things we need to do to continuously make progress as well as be happy, you know, I wake up, I’m a leadership and Career Coach, I wake up, and sometimes I go, why am I doing this, and I have to stop. And I have to remember that I love the stuff that I do. And it’s like, it’s not just automatic, you know. So it’s all conscious, it’s conscious, if we, if we let ourselves roll with the waves of life, we’re gonna get, you know, swept away.


      Karan Rhodes  20:55

      That’s right.


      Dr. Benjamin Ritter  20:55

      So part of it is making sure that we have a big boat that we’re building in that we’re in.


      Karan Rhodes  20:59

      Now, you’re so spot on with that. And I love that. So we’re going to add your team model to our leadership playbook. So thank you so much for sharing that. And I want to take it one step further. And please disagree, if, if you don’t, with what I’m about to say, but the I think the conversations definitely should be centered around the trust environment, the actual work and the meaning of the work, right. But part of self leadership is also taking ownership of, of bringing it home for if you’re in the you know, employed for your boss and your skip level boss as well, in a way meaning. So after you all have these rich conversations, you as an individual should take the initiative to, you know, summarize what you all talked about. And you know, a few bullet points, talk about what you agreed upon, when you have those conversations of additional things your boss would love to see also document, you know, what needs to be taken off your plate kind of thing, you know, so that your work is meaningful, you’re having the right amount of time and and you can sequester the right amount of energy to get these kinds of things done, I’ve seen the most powerful impact on a person taking the ownership of summarizing it, sending it back in email to their boss or skip level boss, and say, “This is what I’ve heard. I really appreciate your time. This is what I’ve heard us talk about and agree upon, is that do you agree as well? Feel free to edit or what have you.” What this does is not so much is it being an email per se, but it puts your leader on notice that you’re very committed, you’re serious about what you’re doing, you’re following up. And you expect them to also keep you top of mind as well and be prepped for the next meeting that you have. It’s amazing. When someone that feels like they are on the line or on the spot for helping you to grow your career, and you’re so committed, and you’re showing that energy. It’s amazing how they keep you top of mind in those performance conversations and discussions. That’s what I have witnessed. But tell me have you seen that as well. Or if you don’t think that’s a great approach, and there’s a better one.


      Dr. Benjamin Ritter  23:24

      when I was the head of talent development and Technova, one of the projects I worked on was building, establishing and implementing a new performance management process. So quarterly reviews, there’s a lot of components of that one of them was goal setting. And we implemented an MIT process…Measurable, Important, and Time bound. And one of the issues that we had in the first quarter, which we made sure was solved in the second quarter was that people were surprised by the fact that they didn’t meet their goals. And


      Karan Rhodes  23:54

      You should never be surprised. Right?


      Dr. Benjamin Ritter  23:57

      So where there was training that had to happen with the managers, but more so there was training that needs to happen in the organization, as an employee, if you get assigned a goal, your responsibility for that goal is that you understand it, you believe in it. And you check in on the progress of that goal with your manager and leader and share anything that changes or anything that needs to change, and you take full ownership over it. And what I’ve seen in the last organization, and what I see in general, is that people don’t fully realize, this is a generalization, that when they’re given something or when they have a job, you own that and are responsible for every thing that’s a part of it. And so when you go into your performance review, it’s not “Oh, I forgot I have that goal.” Or “You know what we had some things changed during the quarter. Let me tell you what happened. I think we should still count that goal is achieved.” Know you’re going in with full a full understanding that you’ve either achieved that goal or you’ve already changed that goal or you know that you haven’t met that goal, and you’re gonna have to deal with it. And it’s this full accountability. So the accountability piece comes in that says, “You have to do your job, and you have to show you, their leader that you’re serious about your job. And if not, you deal with the consequences.” And to your point about showing up and like taking notes, and sending that over to your boss is incredible. I worked with a lot of individuals on managing up. And one of the things that we implemented was a shared document for one-on-ones, and it changed their game, it changed the game with their leader, because the leader now can reference it for information, it’s a good place to say like, “Look, we talked about this two weeks ago.” Because leaders forget stuff like it happens all the time. And then it’s just, it’s such a great opportunity for an individual to show that they are leading themselves and being serious and, most important, they’re making their boss’s job easier, which honestly, that’s why you’re hired you only reason you have your job is because you make your boss’s job easier. If you stopped doing that you should not have a job.


      Karan Rhodes  26:07

      That’s right. You were hired to take some of the…you know, some something off your boss’s plate to do so that they can, you know, focus on something else. So you’re right, if you’re not bringing value, you shouldn’t even be there at all. And that’s a wonderful tool. I don’t think I’ve ever been in an organization that’s had a shared tool. They’ve had shared, you know, feedback, but not a shear tool to work off of. But what I love about that is, and you know, there’s a lot of executives that are probably going to throw tomatoes at me in a minute. But you know, when we’re in these performance discussions, or succession planning meetings, quite honestly, it is the individuals that are in that room that are most prepared, that can justify their staff, why their staffer is ready for a move a major move. Those who are most prepared are the ones that usually went out. It’s not that Oh, Karan’s a good fit. It’s, you know, Karan has demonstrated this XYZ as evidenced by, you know, ABC, those are the ones that ended up winning the extra funds to allow Karan to move to something or another. Have you seen that as well?


      Dr. Benjamin Ritter  27:18

      I was incredibly disappointed in leadership before in an organization that was that I was helping, and I had conversations, I was not part of the calibration sessions or calibration session during, you know, performance reviews is basically making sure that there is an unbiased right within the ratings themselves, as well as trying to understand and looking at outliers, etc. And I wasn’t in there, but heard feedback from our Chief People Officer at the time, that there were individuals in the meeting, executive leadership when asked, so why are you giving this rating to this person? And they go well, because that’s what I was told. And how can you would I just it was almost mind boggling. Because it’s like, wait a second, hold on, your responsibility is your people, you are now submitting these ratings to help your people and you don’t understand them. And it is scary. Because yes, you’re right. If a leader, an Executive leader, or leader is looking to help someone get promoted, or even get someone out of the organization in a disciplinary issues, and they don’t have records or reasons behind what they’re trying to push forwards, then they’re not going to be successful. And so you as an individual, as an employee, if you want to make sure that you’re successful. give that information to your leader.


      Karan Rhodes  28:29

      That’s right. That is spot on. Wow, I believe that time is almost up. And I had two more quick questions for you before we wrap up this episode. The first one is, and you kind of mentioned it earlier. But as you know, I wrote a book on leadership execution. And there were seven tactics that really resonated, based on our research, that really definitely we had more than seven obviously, is part of the research. But there were seven that were really renowned across industries, and no matter your level of leadership, and so we decided to double down on understanding those. But I was just wondering if one of those seven tactics kind of jumped out and resonated with you by chance?


      Dr. Benjamin Ritter  29:11

      This is super relevant. I mean, giving a couple of different workshops and executive presence lately, and I’ve had some slight variations of how I described presence depending on the type of workshop. So one was in person though, and I got to have a lot of fun. And I got to like jump around and do a bunch of stuff. So in that workshop, we talked about executive presence and having three main kind of keys. And so one of them was mindset. The other one is vocal communication. The other one is energy. And as a leader, really your job is to be seen and perceived as a leader. So you can create file followers to help guide then those individuals towards the organization’s goals. And if you don’t have executive presence, so in other workshops, I define it as vision, credibility, reliability and presents itself. If you don’t have the trust of the people around you, if they don’t know what you stand for, if they don’t believe that you’re credible. or subject matter expert, and they don’t think that you show up consistently and are aligned and, and don’t really have a presence that you know shows confidence at all, then you’re not going to convince people or get them motivated or engaged or inspired. And so if I say there’s one thing that’s crucial and really important, that would be executive presence. And I’m really happy to see that on this list.


      Karan Rhodes  30:21

      Oh, thank you. Good. And let’s round out by sharing with our audience. What is one piece of advice or tip that someone in your life has given you, that still resonates with you today?


      Dr. Benjamin Ritter  30:38

      That one piece of advice, I feel like I want to just


      Karan Rhodes  30:41

      or something you’ve observed,


      Dr. Benjamin Ritter  30:43

      I almost want to talk about myself.


      Voiceover  30:44

      Putting you  on the spot, right?


      Dr. Benjamin Ritter  30:47

      There? Well, there are certain types of individuals, right, there’s individuals that maybe really kind of get behind somebody else, and they listen and follow them. And I’m more of a I’m kind of a sponge where I just surround myself with as many individuals as possible and try to learn from all of them at once. And then it just feels like it’s my information, which is probably


      Karan Rhodes  31:06

      Well let me change the question. What does it take for you to lead at the top of your game?


      Dr. Benjamin Ritter  31:10

      You know, it takes me the lead at the top of my game is presence. And I think it takes that for everybody, honestly. And we it’s very easy to be distracted. I mean, I’m sitting in front of a computer with two screens, I have people texting me right now about a home that we just closed on, I have a cat that’s lovely. Luckily, sleeping on the heating pad next to me, I have a dog that sometimes runs into this room of a partner not too far away, that knocked on the door during this, you know, during this interview itself, I myself have a bunch of other meetings today. And I was literally just talking to my, to my editor earlier about a book that I’m trying to publish this year. And one of the sections that we were going over was about presence. And so maybe this is why I’m bringing this up. But I do think it’s critical and important leaders. And if anyone is striving to grow as a leader, pay attention during your meetings and look at the executives, they are even virtually, you know, they are looking at you. They’re looking at everybody. They are not on their phones. They don’t. It’s amazing how focused they are. They at least seem and in a meeting itself, they also are focused, and they’re like they understand that their job is to be present period. And I think individuals that are striving to grow as leaders and maybe some leaders to try to do more because they think their job is more so doing the work. But when you are trying to exude executive presence and to lead you have to be present


      Karan Rhodes  32:35

      At all times. Well, that’s a perfect way to end our show. Thank you, Ben for sharing these great these great words of wisdom with our audience. We really appreciate you


      Dr. Benjamin Ritter  32:45

      Aww. It’s been a blast. This is so much fun. Thanks for having me.


      Karan Rhodes  32:50

      Thanks so much. Bye bye. I hope you enjoyed our conversation today with Dr. Benjamin Ritter, founder of Live for yourself consulting links through his bio is entered into our leadership playbook and additional resources can be found both in the show notes, on your favorite platform of choice, and on the website And now for Karan’s take on today’s topic of the role of self leadership. According to the World Economic Forum research shows that those who demonstrated advanced self leadership skills generally perform higher in roles have greater responsibility, are more effective at resolving interpersonal conflicts, are more likely to be seen as a true leader, and receive more promotions and recognition. So to jumpstart your planning of how to improve your self leadership skills, try answering these questions that I’m going to rattle off to you. Number one, ask yourself, can I describe the environment that brings out both my best self and my worst self? Number two, do I understand my strengths and how to leverage them? Three? To understand my weaknesses and how to mitigate them? Four, do I try to understand other situations before making judgments. Five, do I seek diverse perspectives when encountering complex situations. Six, am I capable of managing others when they have defensive reactions? Seven, do I regularly practice reflection to learn from my actions? Eight, do I have a social network that supports my learning and growth? And nine, do I create strategies for overcoming reoccurring challenges to my development? If there are any of these questions that you have not address, now’s the time to make a plan to do so. Take some time and think about how you can better use your time to sharpen your self leadership skills in order to better lead others and affect real change in your sliver of the world. Now if you’re listening to the show know that this podcast is not free. However, we don’t want any money, we’re probably one of the only podcast groups that don’t. However, our only price for admission is that you honor a pact among us friends. And the pack involves just subscribing to us on your favorite podcast platform of choice, and share a podcast with just one a friend that you think might be interested. We really appreciate it. It’ll help us grow our reach. I’m all about better leadership in the world. And I hope you are too. Well, thanks for listening and see you next week. And that’s our show for today. Thank you for listening to the lead at the top of your game podcast, where we help you lead your seat at any employer, business, or industry in which you choose to play. You can check out the show notes, additional episodes, and bonus resources, and also submit guest recommendations on our website at You can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn by searching for the name Karan Rhodes with Karan being spelled K a r a n. And if you like the show, the greatest gift you can give would be to subscribe and leave a rating on your podcast platform of choice. This podcast has been a production of Shockingly Different Leadership, a global consultancy which helps organizations execute their people, talent development, and organizational effectiveness initiatives on an on-demand, project, or contract basis. Huge thanks to our production and editing team for a job well done. Goodbye for now.

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