Win the Talent War – Kari Granger, Executive/Leadership Coach
A returning military veteran who served both in Kuwait and Iraq, Kari Granger was stationed at the USAF Academy, where she taught leadership. She interviewed, collaborated, and studied with experts around the world in the field of human performance. Granger is now an entrepreneur, Executive Coach, Leadership Development Educator, and Performance Consultant.
Time-Stamped Show Notes
[02:00] Introduction to Kari Granger, military vet, executive/leadership coach, and entrepreneur.
[04:30] How to manifest courage when what you feel is fear.
[05:50] The commitment-based approach versus the trait-based approach.
[08:21] The 5 domains, and why they are necessary for success.
- Recognition and Appreciation
- Balance Between Autonomy and Guidance
[21:44] Building a cohesive team and company culture through communication.
[26:05] Creating new spaces of possibility.
Kari Granger: New Spaces of Possibility in the Workplace
USAF veteran, Kari Granger, was deployed in 2005 to Kuwait and later, Iraq. The first time under enemy fire she noticed that there was a big difference between knowing a leader should be courageous, and a leader actually being courageous. She became curious about the best way to create leaders. Upon her return, she was stationed at the USAF Academy, where her job was to teach leadership. She had the opportunity to interview, collaborate and study with experts all over the world in the field of human performance. She learned how to build a commitment-based mindset in any organization. Granger, a mother to an active toddler, now lives in the mountains of Colorado. Although she works in a variety of industries, her clients are mostly military, healthcare, and higher education. Now a successful entrepreneur, Granger serves clients as an Executive Coach, Leadership Development Educator, and Performance Consultant.
The Gap Between Knowing and Being
“That initial inquiry about creating leaders had me developing programs on the study of being,” said Granger. “How do we manifest courage when what we feel is fear?” She found that a lot of leadership development programs in corporate America had a big gap between knowing something, and becoming something, and most programs utilized a trait-based approach. “The approach I take is not trait-based. I think it is one of the downsides to current training methods.” Granger uses a commitment-based approach, asking what the client’s commitment is, and what they want to accomplish. Looking at it from that vantage point, she asks what is the way of being they need to bring forth, and what is the strategy they need to take. She needs to get them clear on that first.
The 5 Domains
“There are 5 domains when working with others,” explains Granger. “You want them to find meaning in what they’re doing. What are we working towards, and how can I uniquely contribute to that? It addresses something that is fundamentally important to me, I care about what I’m doing. I can see my footprint on that. What kind of future are we creating together?”
When working with a hospice company, Granger noticed their original Salesforce dashboard used to have facts, figures, and contacts. Since they’ve humanized it, and workers have found more meaning in their work, they changed the categories from straight numbers to “potential partners” and “people who will be getting hospice care.” They made it reflect the meaning in their work.
The next domain is belonging. People want to feel a sense of belonging in their role within the organization and in their contribution. We want to be a part of something greater than ourselves.
“Another domain is recognition and appreciation of their unique contribution to that organization, and that higher purpose.” Everyone wants to feel like somebody sees them for who they really are.
Another domain is a balance between autonomy and guidance. “You tell me the commitment, and give me the guidance,” explains Granger. Too much autonomy or too much guidance can both be ineffective. There needs to be a good balance so that the person feels trusted and respected, but also mentored and supported.
“Another domain is status. People want to know they are important. Status sometimes comes with a title, or recognition, or changing job description, but people like to know they have standing in the world. Treating people with a high level of dignity is important.”
Granger has a nanny for her toddler, and this one, in particular, doesn’t make herself less than, as a nanny. “She holds herself in high regard, and it has me respect her in a different way. Her message is clear; My role is critical. I’m taking care of your child and there is no greater job than that. She comes from a place of dignity and she is confident in herself.” Now it’s more of a partnership than that of employer/employee. Granger has come to treat all of her babysitters and nannies that way, and can actually see them puff up a little bit. It made her realize that we have to treat everyone with dignity.
Building a Cohesive Team
Each team member needs to know what they are working towards, and accomplishing that requires a team effort. “Each individual has a unique role tied to the future that we’re creating together. I also want each team member to feel like their role is of fundamental importance to them,” Granger advises. “How does this future correlate with that? I want them to have a sense of belonging. I want them to be acknowledged for their individual role, and as a whole.” Each team member can’t just care about their own part of the deal. They have to care about the whole outcome too. Feeling that way, they will react with people differently. This is the basis of company culture, and what makes a culture are the individual conversations between people in the organization. Team members need to have conversations about how they see their individual role contributing to the whole, and to the overall outcome. Conversations are key to building a cohesive team. Granger is featured in a team leadership article in Entrepreneur Magazine.
What Really Matters
“What matters to me is creating new spaces of possibility for people. The thing that most lights me up is when I am working with somebody and they really want to see something happen, but they just don’t know how to make that happen. I see my job as executive coach to work with people, to expand space to make it possible for them. When they see no pathway, and at the end of the conversation a whole new world has opened up to them, with whole new passages to take and whole new futures to create.”
Learn more about Kari Granger.