Catch Donna Peters on the #PirateBroadcast
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Welcome to the #PirateBroadcast, where we interview #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings. Where you can expand your connections, your community, #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree. Let’s get this party started.
Russ Johns 0:16
This is another beautiful day for the #piratebroadcast, where we bring you #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings. I'm just so excited today because, well, I'm excited for a lot of things because I kind of wake up that way on occasion. It's awesome to have you here. If you're watching live, drop some comments. If you're watching the replay, like, share, comment, and get engaged with community. The pirate community is a very active community that is very open and willing to make those connections and start the conversations because I believe that's what it's all about. Today we're going to have a conversation with Donna Peters. She's been an actress and a corporate, deep undercover, in the corporate universe. Also, she's part of the Me-Suite and we're gonna dive into what that actually means a little bit and discover a little thing that might help you out along your journey. So, Donna, welcome to the #piratebroadcast. You're now a pirate.
Donna Peters 1:25
Yes, thank you for having me. I'm thrilled that you might find me a little bit interesting. This is a great way to start the day.
Russ Johns 1:32
Every day, I start this show and it's like, I don't do the weekends. I started out thinking I might do the weekends. I probably need to pause on the weekend and take some time to recharge. I don't know, maybe some people do, but I love what I do. I appreciate the fact and the opportunity that we could actually come together. You started off as an actor in early days and the roaring 20's as some people say. The time of discovery and the creative process...talk a little bit about your journey to get to the Me-Suite. Let's dive into that.
Donna Peters 2:21
Yeah. So it sounds a little incongruous to have been a professional actor and then go into corporate America, where I was a partner at a consulting firm. I wasn't a partner for 20 years, but I was in consulting for 20 years, and then to now have my own business around career coaching, They sound incongruous on a sheet of paper, but if you really break it down, there's a common denominator that I reflected on and found in the journey. It's basically, I like to put myself in the shoes of other people and see things from their point of view. That's what actors do every day. Why is this character thinking as they do? Why are they using the words they're using? Why did they take that action at that moment? That's what I did all through client service in my consulting role. I put myself in the shoes of the client. Why are they seeing this problem? From this point of view? How do I need to communicate to influence them to help them think differently? Now, in my career, coaching and leadership development services, it's very, very similar of what are the person's self limiting beliefs that are keeping them from breaking through and having the future that they want? So, I see a common thread that I know on a sheet of paper doesn't look completely obvious.
Russ Johns 3:39
I have similar backgrounds, so it completely makes sense to me. The fact that what you're really doing is dealing with people. You're understanding what their desires and their requirements are and what they need. When you peel it back, it's really about this idea that we can understand what is keeping them up at night, what is challenging them in their thought process or blocking them from moving forward?
Donna Peters 4:10
Russ Johns 4:11
A challenge or a problem or something else. Sometimes it's just a few degrees of putting something out to somebody that says, hey, you can move here and everything will change. Being able to see that and help them move around the corner is sometimes just a perception. Sometimes they're so close to the problem, they can't see that. I'm sure you've experienced that many times in your career.
Donna Peters 4:38
Yeah and I always had this belief and then I found some science behind it. There is a new book by Kate Murphy. Kate, I think I have the first name right. I know I have the last name right. I think it's Kate Murphy and it's a book called, You're Not Listening. And it's science behind the facts that those that are closest to us are often not listening closely because they think they know us so well. They think they know what we're going to say. Or they think they already know why we're thinking the way we're thinking. So basically, the people that are closest to us aren't listening as closely as they should. That's what's proven in the science from the book, You're Not Listening. That's why people need the outsiders and the third parties like career coaches. What you do when you're advising your clients? That outside point of view, to help people really see the situation that they're struggling with. It's a real thing.
Russ Johns 5:36
It's a real thing. Science folks. Science. Kate Murphy, she did not write Murphy's Law either, did she?
Donna Peters 5:43
She did not. She's way too young for that. It could have been her grandfather. I don't know.
Russ Johns 5:49
It could be there's some connection there. If you pull the thread long enough, you'll always find a connection. That makes a lot of sense because there's been a lot of occasions where you're with somebody or you're around somebody that finishes your sentences. They have the ability and the opportunity to finish your sentences. And when you're stuck so close to the problem, a lot of times you can't see the solution. If we take that analogy and you have somebody that you're working with that sees the exact same thing you do, that doubles the problem.
Donna Peters 6:32
Russ Johns 6:33
It doesn't relieve the problem. So I want to shift gears a little bit because this is something that's been top of mind for me and I think that you could probably give me some new perspective on it is as a consultant. It's someone that is attempting to change behavior or remove a restriction or some friction in somebody's area of expertise where they can move forward in their process. Do you ever get the sensation? It's like an identity crisis or the imposter syndrome, where you're thinking, who am I to offer this information to this person that knows so much about this subject? How do I maneuver through that in an intelligent way that allows me to be the authority or give them the confidence that that's the decision they need to make?
Donna Peters 7:34
Oh, interesting. Yes, I do deal with change constantly. Even in my my corporate consulting world, everything is about change because companies can't stay relevant for the future. If they aren't changing and individuals can't either, obviously. At the soul of the Me-Suite mindset, I call it, Me-Suite mindset is we should be running our own personal lives like C Suites lead companies. So knowing an acronym doesn't make you smart, but not knowing it makes you feel silly, so let me describe that just for a moment. C Suite meaning Chief, Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, the C is chief. So that's C Suite. I am getting to your answer, but in a circuitous route, but I am getting there. In the Me-Suite mindset we want to be doing in our own personal lives, the things that C Suites do for the companies that we most admire. We want to be marshalling our own core values. We want to be keeping our day to day running smoothly. We need that now more than ever We want to stay fresh and relevant for the future that we want to have.That's what C Suites do for companies. It's what your Me-Suite mindset will do for you. The staying fresh and relevant for the future you want to have is all about change. This is me coming back to your question. It's all about change. Change is painful. There's neuroscience behind this, I can again recommend some other readings for listeners on this one, David Rock is a wonderful person to read around the neuroscience behind change and change is painful. Change is painful for most people because it almost always comes with a sense of loss.
Russ Johns 9:24
Donna Peters 9:25
If we can name what is the sense of loss that we're feeling from the change that's happening. I believe things are deal withable, they're copeable, if you can name what it is you're feeling that you're losing. Some of it is just conversation, it's self awareness. But I think it's if you can really...I'd like to make things simple, that are actionable on Monday rather than theoretical. A real simple approach of things we can do differently on Monday when we're facing change and it's causing negativity is to think about changes as a loss and name it. What is the loss that I am sensing that is causing me to resist the change? When I think that way, I don't feel like an imposter, advising someone who's been in an industry for 20 years that I don't know anything about, or I don't feel like an imposter, trying to tell someone how to lead their own life. I just asked the open ended question of what is the loss? Then help people have some self awareness around that.
Russ Johns 10:30
So the Me-Suite is more about inviting them to answer their own questions and asking, the right questions that lead them to the to the answers that they need. It's really one of those things that...it's almost like a trigger. I call it an anchor. It's like this anchor when you're resistant to change. You can't make moves and you can't really evolve. With that resistance, and being a pirate, I used the term anchor because it's like you're anchored on to this thing that's holding you back. In order to move forward, we have to allow ourselves to say, that was then, this is now, change is present. Also, there's a lot of emotion around that because a lot of people are comfortable with change, and we have to understand that. That feeling is just a feeling and if you step outside yourself, and you say, okay, what's the lesson here? Why is this a trigger for me? Just to evaluate it in a logical sense, it's kind of like a stoic mentality of how do I understand how I'm feeling unless I can step outside of that and feel it and observe it. So the Me-Suite is really about that transition into the personal side of life.
Well, thank you. I think you just asked the most powerful question. You made a comment about how important the question is that you're asking. And that's really at the core of this, isn't it? I'm certified in brain based coaching and in brain based coaching, you mentioned imposter syndrome. We anchor to this concept of what is your self limiting belief? The really smart question behind that is what evidence do I have that blank is true? So when you're stuck or you're having this self doubt about something or back to the change and the imposter syndrome feelings? What evidence do I have that this feeling should be true? It's my favorite go to question and it prompted me, when you were making the comments you were making. I think you said it better than I did.
It's interesting also that with brain based learning and brain based behavior, the brain doesn't know if it's Fact or Fiction. So, whatever we feed it, we will eventually believe it and that goes for positive as well as negative society. So remove the can't from your life and say, why not? How can I do this? How do I evolve to accomplish this goal or take steps to move forward in this area. Sometimes it's like finding somebody that can share their Me-Suite and ask better questions. I have thought about a concept called the G Suite, right? Do we need we need more than one person in there? Yes, well, sometimes there's more than one person talking. Just saying. So a lot of confused minds. Yes, should I? No. Yes. No. And back to reality is that the course that we have to take, especially right now, there's so many things that are chaotic, unforeseen circumstances are erupting every day, this whole evolution of COVID and the pandemic, this is my first pandemic, I don't know about you, but that's it. It's like the first experience a lot of people have gone through. So that really brings another dimension of the stress, not only is it business or personal life, it's the community life and so we also have to add that to the equation, so I have to imagine that you're working through that as well, with a lot of C leaders. Having them think through that and what does that mean? Yeah, it's a really, really hard time.
Donna Peters 14:59
My clients are career oriented people. They want a life and they're very worried, either about the stability of their current jobs, some have had job offers that were rescinded before they could even start. Some of them are worried about year end results coming up in December when companies are getting their fiscal year results. Maybe that leads to layoffs. It's a really, really uncertain time. There's a concept that I have in the Me-Suite, it's my mantra, and it's that options are power. Options are power. The reason people go into depressed places, I shouldn say a reason not the reason. A reason that people go into depressed thinking or they have anxiety is often because they feel trapped and out of control and this concept of options are powerful is, if I have choices, then I have a sense of being more in control. If I have choices, then I am not trapped. I work with clients. Some of these are just starting careers. Some of them are next generation, climbing up the ladder and some are up there in the C-Suite. I work with them on four things that I believe are necessary for building, surrounding yourself with options. They are the network that you build of the people around you, like Donna having a chance to meet Russ...
Russ Johns 16:40
Then become a pirate.
Donna Peters 16:41
and become a pirate. The second one is thinking fungibly about your skills. I'll focus on that one in a second. The third one is health. We cannot always control the circumstances around our health, but for the things you can control, take the reins. Then fourth is financial health. That doesn't mean go make a lot of money. It means be really, really smart about what's coming in and what's going out. Know things, like taxation, understand what is happening in your financial realm. So it's network of people fungible skills, the physical health and the financial health. If you surround yourself with those four things, you create options in the decisions that you can make, you filter those decisions through your core values. And it helps with anxiety, stress, depression, but on the positive side, let's talk about the positive benefits of it. It starts to hit on the cylinders that you preach in the pirate community around positivity, creativity and motivation. There's no better fuel for creativity, no better fuel for motivation than you feeling that you have options and that you're in control of your future.
Russ Johns 18:00
Absolutely. I've been very cynical about this idea that I have real security in my life with the decisions I've made and I've made some good decisions that turned out poorly. I made some bad decisions that gave me experience and education beyond wealth can ever achieve. Through this journey, I find myself understanding that it's not necessarily that I agree with everything you said. I do believe those are foundational principles that everybody needs to understand and appreciate and move forward with. I also imagine that there's two schools of thought. I want to kind of dive in and talk about this because it's important. There's the individual snd we all know these individuals that they're like chess players. They're very seldom present because they're playing five steps ahead. They're very calculating and everything they do, how they do it, why they do it and when they do it. Then there's another individual, which they tend to be more on the creative side where they're saying, I'm finding joy today. I'm in the moment. I know, tomorrow will be here. I don't have to deal with that today. Because today is what I'm focused on and I'm going to create what I can create today with the intent and anticipation that that will propel them into tomorrow.
Donna Peters 19:43
Russ Johns 19:45
Neither one I think is right or wrong. It's not about right or wrong. It's more about what fits your style and what brings you joy. Knowing what's next is something...I've had this conversation with my sister, it's like knowing what's next brings comfort. Having the unknown in front of you is a scary place. For me, it's not a scary place. It's like, a place of discovery I get to describe. Surprise! I get a prize. It's like, is it a good one, is a bad one? I don't know. We'll find out. Stay tuned at 5. And I just think that there's this...It's just a wide world of so many personalities and so many different options. If you take the four foundational areas that you work on and you build that as an anchor, so to speak and a foundation because then it gives you the opportunity to go either way and be who you really are. I think what we're born to do is be who we are. Bring the gift to the table and help each other out.
Donna Peters 21:04
I've tried to think, I'm not sure if I'm agreeing or disagreeing with what you said, Can I think out loud for a second? Something popped in my head and I can't decide if it's in agreement or not. You be the judge. There's a quotation that I love, some have attributed it to this early day famous dancer named Martha Graham. Anybody in the School of Dance would know her name, but not a common household name. They attribute a quote to her, that only through 20 years of rigorous training, can you be spontaneous as a dancer. It would apply to a musician, it would apply to an athlete and I think it just applies to humans that the more planful you are, the more you can have flexibility. So it's almost like the more thoughtful you are around where you may want to be in five years, the more flexible you are to the surprises that pop up in the bumps along the way. Maybe that's the middle of you and your sister. I'm not sure if that supports your way of thinking or was that the opposite? I'm not sure.
Russ Johns 22:19
No. It actually supports both out. Because, as as an actor, you know this, the best creative people are the ones that practice their craft to the point where it's invisible.
Donna Peters 22:34
There you go. That's it.
Russ Johns 22:36
It's consistency and tenacity in the craft. Life is an instrument and we have to learn how to play it. Some people play it five steps ahead. Some people play it in the now.
Donna Peters 22:51
Yeah, that's it. I love the way you said that. I think of Wayne Brady, the improv actor is a great example. People watch him on TV and think he's the most amazing genius. Probably people would have thought this of Robin Williams, as well. The most amazing improv, spur of the moment, spontaneous geniuses, and they are, and they are extremely well trained. That's what allows the improv.
Russ Johns 23:21
Yeah, practice until it's invisible.
Donna Peters 23:23
Yeah. I love that.
Russ Johns 23:26
I know that there's a lot of things that are going on in your world. Bfore we wrap up today, I want to make sure that we cover some of the things that are exciting for you. I know you're working on season 2 of your podcast. So if you haven't checked out the podcast, go check it out. Where's the best place that they can find you on your podcast?
Donna Peters 23:45
Yeah, so the podcast is also called the Me-Suite and it's available on all podcast platforms. It's also available at my website. It's the-Me-Suite.com, but it has dashes in it. So it's the dash me dash suite dot com but any podcast platform. Season one has 59 episodes where we interview C Suite leaders on what are the disciplines that they're applying in the corporate world that should be things that we bring into our own lives so that our own personal lives are... Can you imagine your personal brand? We need a chief marketing officer mindset to marshal our personal brand. We need a chief financial officer mindset to to be more deliberate in our personal financial planning, or the CEO mindset around what is the vision in the culture that we want to be building and creating in our own immediate family and core values. Every interview in season two will be this way as well. It's a core tenet that I did not change in season two. Everything is grounded in core values. Every interviewee is asked what are your core values and how do they drive key decisions in your life.
Russ Johns 24:59
We will have all the links in the post and you can find that at russjohns.com.
Donna Peters 25:05
That would be terrific.
Russ Johns 25:08
I want to highlight a couple of people in the room today. I kind of got away because I was really involved and engaged in the conversation. Wendy says, new time? No, I think you know, I'm in Arizona. Those that are not aware, Arizona does not adhere to daylight savings,
Donna Peters 25:32
Russ Johns 25:34
Sometimes, I have to do math on occasion. So Paula Goodman, Paula's here, she's a pirate. Thank you so much for being here. Awesome. Thank you. And then we got Philip. Hello, he says. Howard Kaufman, says great point. I have learned change is truly a rollercoaster. You go through all the stages and it will repeat. That's so true. Angie says, let me see if I can get to Angie. Tracie, says good morning, Angie. Then Angie says good morning. Supporter, Michael, yes to help them become aware of. I'm sure it was part of a conversation we we're having earlier. Yes, to live by faith and not controlled by fear.
Donna Peters 26:21
There we go. Yeah.
Russ Johns 26:23
Yes, absolutely. And servant leadership...
Donna Peters 26:29
Russ Johns 26:30
It's fantastic. And a lot of people, the best leaders I know are the...let me say the leaders I admire most are the ones that are givers, they're servant leaders. They're really involved in the community. Pirate for life, Nick Dorsey. He has a podcast as well. Thank you, Russ and Donna, thank you so much. I appreciate that.If you have any questions, and you want to connect, we'll have all the links in the conversation, everything that we've got here will be in the #piratebroadcast show notes. I love the fact that we can share this. I've almost been doing this a year now, Donna, so there's a huge volume of talented people that have contributed to this conversation. So what's next for Donna?You've got the second season? Anything else? A book? A movie?
Donna Peters 27:44
Oh, interesting. Yeah, I am planning a book. It's largely the learnings from all these interviews in the podcast and basically under the umbrella of, people are amazing if you give them a chance to tell their story. That's planned for 2021. I'll have to keep you posted.
Russ Johns 28:03
Yeah, and come back on and when you're ready to promote it. Get the pirate community. So, I want to ask you one last favor is, life lessons...what's the word of wisdom? Something that you can leave as a legacy here in digital media and the #piratebroadcast, to share and kind of inspire some people around us today.
Donna Peters 28:30
Okay, can I have, maybe a fun one and a serious one?
Russ Johns 28:35
Donna Peters 28:36
Do I have time for one of each?
Russ Johns 28:37
Whatever you need.
Donna Peters 28:40
So maybe this is under the servant leadership. I think it was Nick Dorsey had posted the servant leadership. It's ironic that I have a business called the Me-Suite because one of my main life lessons I like to impart on what I've learned in my years, we use the word I a lot, but we is almost always a better representation of how something got accomplished. On my more serious side, I say, on Monday, write someone a handwritten thank you note that you have been meaning to write. Don't text them, don't email, sit down and write it on paper and put it in the mail. And think about all those people that you could not have gotten something accomplished with without the We and write them a note. That's my more serious one. We instead of I. Then on a on a lighter note, there's a lot of talk in the world today about multitasking, and, oh, don't multitask and digital technology makes us all multitask and it's bad for our brains. If that's science, I believe it and I'd like to interject a different concept because time really is what nobody has enough of and in all of my career coaching, time is the limiting factor. Well, I don't have time to add that to my list, etc. So I want to leave people with a concept of combining. So instead of I'm not talking about multitasking, I'm talking about combining and try to find things that allow you to take the actions you wish you were doing. Find things that combine it into one. If you wanted to read more biographies, listen to audiobooks while you're walking, right? My big one is, I garden and it allows me to get exercise. You have no idea how high you can jump when you overturn a snake in a pile of leaves. So I get exercise while I'm gardening. I get friends to come and pick vegetables. So it's kind of a fun little thing with friends. You're outside, you're getting vitamin D and oxygen and all that other good stuff. So for me, my combining activity is gardening and it allows me to check off a lot of boxes, some may call it multitask, I call it combining. So I really love for people to give, even shoot me your fun ideas that you found for combining because I think it's really the only way that we can fit it all in. Because your time is always someone else's. And it's a way to make some time for yourself.
Russ Johns 31:20
Yeah, absolutely. Fantastic. I love that we had this conversation. I love the fact that we can actually understand and appreciate each other a little better through conversation and sharing this information, day after day, week after week, and hopefully year after year. I just really appreciate you, Donna, and thank you for the Me-Suite and keep us posted on when the next season of the podcast is coming out. If there's anything we can do to add value to your day, please let us know.
Donna Peters 31:51
Well, you've already done that. So thank you so much, Russ and to all the pirates in the community. It's really nice to have you in my sphere.
Russ Johns 32:00
Awesome, well thank you everyone for being here. And as always, please like, comment and share, and all that social stuff that keeps things moving forward. I know that it's a challenge at times, we're all busy, we all got something to do. So hopefully, you can take a moment and add some value to the community that you're working in, living in and dealing with. I just appreciate everyone here and thank you so much for being here and a part of the pirate pirate community. And also, #kindnessiscool, #smilesarefree, and you #enjoytheday. Take care everyone.
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