Becoming an Unapologetic Leader with Bold Move Expert, Rick Clemons

49:59
 
Share
 

Manage episode 291966785 series 2633175
By Crestcom International. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Becoming an Unapologetic Leader with Bold Move Expert, Rick Clemons

Jenn DeWall:

Hi, everyone, it’s Jenn DeWall, and on this week’s episode of The Leadership Habit podcast, I sat down with unapologetic leader Rick Clemons. Rick is a culture disruptor. He shakes up the status quo. He’s a closet-buster. He’s shattered those silly beliefs and is a bold move expert like Superman without the muscles and cape. His superpower is guiding people to make bold moves so they can live life on their terms. Everything Rick’s discovered living his life this way, he learned from coming out of the closet at the age of 36, getting laid off from two sweet corporate jobs, and making the crazy decision to become an entrepreneur at the age of 43. Rick’s book, Frankly My Dear, I’m Gay, his podcast Life Uncloseted, coaching, speaking, and workshops that represent his no BS approach for making bold moves without a safety net to be found. He was put on this earth to remind people that closets are for clothes, not living. He is a husband and has one, surviving raising two girls, thus the reason he’s bald! And he will gladly work for wine but prefers money to pay for things like toilet paper and ice cream. Today Rick and I sat down to talk about how you can lead unapologetically.

Jenn DeWall:

Hi everyone. It’s Jenn DeWall. And in this week’s episode of The Leadership Habit podcast, I’m sitting down with Rick Clemons, who is a keynote speaker, facilitator, and let’s all talk about global, but he is the man that you go to if you want to make bold moves. And it’s only fitting then to talk to the expert that helps us understand how we can overcome our own obstacles, how we can actually live the life that we want to. And he is actually going to be helping us learn how to show up as an unapologetic leader. This is a voice that we all need as it’s a very important topic that many leaders struggle with. Rick, thank you so much for joining us on the podcast. It is so great to have you. Thank you.

Meet Rick Clemons, Unapologetic Leader, Coach, Speaker and Author

Rick Clemons:

I’m so excited to be here. I’m seriously excited. And I’m not just saying that, like the guest who’s like, oh, I’m so excited. I’m really excited to be here because I think leaders need to learn the importance of being unapologetic without being a jerk. So I’m just kind of sliding that in cause I know where we’re going, but listen, if you want to learn how to do that.

Jenn DeWall:

Oh my gosh. I love this topic because I think it’s what even some of you put an ear to the ground. This might be what your employees want. They just don’t have the courage to say, or that’s maybe how they want to show up. And so it’s someone else trying to determine their style, but Rick, before we dive into the content, cause I know you and I will have a great conversation. Can you just tell our audience a little bit about you?

Rick Clemons:

I was born. Yeah. Yeah. Very good. My mother went through absolute, you know, long, long labor for me because I was six foot four, so was like, wow. But I come from the corporate world. I was always. I was always the guy who never quite got to that next tier up. I’d come in. I work hard. I do the thing that I do. I’m really good at what I do most of the time. And I’m just the worker-bee guy. But as a leader, I never quite got to that next tier. And then I’d move on to the next job and then, the same thing. And then I’d not quite get there and not quite get there. And as that pattern repeated itself, I started getting burnt out, but I was always apologizing to myself. It’s okay. You know you didn’t quite do this.

So, you know, here are the excuses of why I didn’t get where I was going until the big day that I got laid off, and I literally got laid off. I came back to work on a Monday from a week-long vacation on Cape Cod. I’m like, okay, cool. And the company I was working for at that time, we were making some pretty big strides. I’d help them move from zero revenue to almost 5 million in revenue in about three years’ time. And I knew we were on some big projects, and I walk in, and okay, maybe I’m a little bit like jet lag coming from East Coast to West Coast. And then maybe I had a few too many drinks on the plane, and I’m like, cool, let’s get this thing going. And they literally like, Hey, can you come to have a chat with us? I’m like, sure. I figured we’re just going to start strategizing. Right. Rick’s got his vacation. So now, let’s start working him to death again. Right?

We’re letting you go. And I was like— I can’t believe this, this happened six years ago. So those you realize like, well then you must be a bad egg. I know I wasn’t a bad egg. I was the guy that projected that, Hey, I could just, you know, I can do anything. And that was literally what they said to me, Jenn. Like we really need to cut back, and we know you’re the guy that’s gonna bounce back. And that was the moment I was like, I’m not doing this anymore. If I’m going to be a leader and I’m going to lead anything, it’s going to be my own business. And I was scared to death. And I started having all the fears and the imposter syndrome showing up. And then I said, you know what? There’s no apologizing this time. You’re going for it. And that’s what launched everything. Now, when that happened, would I’ve seen that I would have created this beautiful brand with no fears, no excuses, no apologies. Oh no. There was so much going on in my head at that point, like— okay, Big Boy, so you’re going to do this. You’re going to put the, you know, you’re going to draw a line in the sand. You’re going to make your big, bold move. What the heck are you going to do?

And it was such an interesting journey to be in that space to walk away from corporate to go, okay, I’m going to go solo. I’m literally going solo. Luckily I had a spouse who had a good income, and I wasn’t needing to lean on them, but wow, what a journey. And without that journey, Jenn, I don’t think I would have learned some of the things that we’re going to talk about today, about what it really means to become that unapologetic leader, create unapologetic mindsets, help your teams get into space where they live, breathe and act from a place of no excuses and no fears.

What Does it Mean to Be an Unapologetic Leader?

Jenn DeWall:

Wow, it’s just a true story of resilience. And I love also given, you know, many people have likely just walked in on that Monday and had that very similar meeting over the last year of finding out that they were either furloughed or they were let go because of, you know, all, everything as a result of the pandemic. And I love that we’re starting from how you went from maybe being that person that, you know, apologized, apologized and apologized, just saying, you know what, I’m going to show up. I’m going to believe in myself, and I’m going to be resilient. I think this message is so essential for so many people to hear right now.

Rick Clemons:

Well, I think not only are people needing to hear it but here’s the interesting thing in the last year. I have seen so many people step into that because so many people got, whether they got laid off or they’re like, wow, I wasn’t really ready to be this work from home, teach kids from home, all that sort of stuff. I saw more people in my worlds, the couple that I play in, for sure. One being the speaking coach where you and I met. I saw so many people grab on to literally grab onto; if not now, when will I? And they took that mentality, and they unapologetically said, now’s the time to go do this? Now’s the time to go the, do that, whatever it was for them, whatever their, this or that was. And in my private coaching practice, along with the speaker lab coaching that I do, so many people stepped up to that plate. The key is you got to give yourself permission to go there. And I saw a lot of people giving themselves permission this year.

Jenn DeWall:

It’s so interesting. Do you feel like it was very intentional like the pandemic shook you to recognize your priorities? Or do you feel like, for many people, it was whoops, I guess I just have to do this? Like, do you think I guess the pandemic forced them to do it or created the awareness to do it?

Rick Clemons:

I think it did both. And I also think it not only did it force some people, others, but it also created the awareness, and for others, it was the big idea. It was like, wow, okay. I’ve, I’ve worked from home now for a month, two months, three months—I kind of like this. I guess I could do this. Do you know? And I think we’ll see, this is such the Petri dish, even now, you know, as companies are starting to like, well, let’s do we come back or do we come back hybrid? And half the workforce is here, and half the workforce is at home or whatever it might be. I think we’re in the midst of the revolution. I think the way we do business and the way we work, and how we show up in the world, we’re still in the Petri dish and for leaders, for leaders, especially.

And I, and I’m going to kind of redefine leaders. We all are leaders. We lead ourselves every day. We lead ourselves to get up out of bed, which is a real chore for me, trust me. But we lead ourselves every day. And when we realize that unapologetic leadership starts with ourselves, but as leaders, think about how much you could be apologizing for whatever has happened for the last year, but what is that going to get you? Pick up yourself, take that mindset of no excuses, no fears, step into it and go, okay. If I’m going to unapologetically lead this team that half of them may be from home, and half of them may be coming in the office or the hybrid where this week you’re in the office the next week you’re not. Think about the beautiful opportunities for you as a leader to unapologetically go, and we’re going to embrace. We are going to embrace this new way of being in the world. It’s huge.

Jenn DeWall:

Well, and it’s huge just for, we need that leader still. We need that leader that is going to confidently say in the face of uncertainty— we will figure this out. So let’s baseline it. What does it mean to show up as an unapologetic or unapologetic leader? What does that look like? Or I guess what would be the definition of an unapologetic leader?

Rick Clemons:

You know, Jenn, it’s interesting because it’s so personal yet it involves everybody else. So I could be an unapologetic leader and be like, Nope, no apologies for the way I act. No apologies for the way I show up at work. No apologies. I’m the King bee, and you all bow down to me. Okay. That could be an unapologetic leader. But I believe the real, unapologetic leaders are the ones that say, I’m going to unapologetically admit when I screw up, I am unapologetically going to admit when I’m saying, this is the way we’re going to do things. I’m unapologetically going to be empathetic. Be the listening ear. Even when some employees may say, you sure do spend a lot of time with Jenn. You sure do let her, you know, come to your office and talk about her woes a lot. Sometimes you have to unapologetically say, and if that’s what Jenn actually needs for Jenn to continue to be successful on our team, then I’m going to make room for that.

If I have to unapologetically say, here’s the cutback that we’re going to make, but I know this is in the best interest of everyone concerned. Otherwise, we’re not going to have a team to even need to bring to the office if we don’t make this happen. That, to me, is what unapologetic means. Realizing that you’re going to have tough decisions, but don’t apologize for those tough decisions, unapologetically embrace them. This is what we gotta do. This is how we got to show up. This is what’s got to get done and keep moving forward. But at the core of it, align it with your own personal values, as much as you can, because when you’re in core alignment with your personal values, then you can unapologetically do anything

Unapologetic Does Not Mean Uncaring

Jenn DeWall:

I love. Yes. I love the values talk, but I think it’s, you’re bringing up a really, I guess I would say a misstep that a lot of leaders make, which is that they bear the burden of the difficult news as if they are the one that personally decided it and wanted it. They hold onto that weight of the world. And boy, does that make leadership challenging if you’re apologizing for the fact that the organization needs to make layoffs. And there’s a difference I’m guessing too, like that you would say, then there’s a difference between, yeah, I’m sorry that we’re making this layoff, versus judging yourself for being the one that has to do the news. You can also apologize as a human, but understand that that’s just a way to lead. How do you kind of describe that? I guess delicate dichotomy that people have to play where I’m apologizing for the company, and you know, just, I loved working with you.

I guess the point that I’m trying to say is like, how do you even balance that as a leader to not burden yourself? Because I think a lot of people, especially if you’re tasked with layoffs, you initially go to judgment guilt. It’s not easy. I don’t know very many people that can just fire someone without any, even if there were a lot of wrongs like people are still we’re humans. Right? And so how do you differentiate that as being able to apologize and from a humane, caring, supportive perspective versus apologizing because I’m bearing the ownership of the difficult choice.

Rick Clemons:

I believe it comes down to how you view it. And I’m so glad you used the terms bearing that, you know, bearing that burden. It comes down to how you view bearing that burden. If you’re like, this sucks. I shouldn’t have to be the one that does this. It’s a whole different apologetic stance you’re taking versus you know what? This is a tough decision. And yes, I don’t like the fact that I’m the one being called to this, but I invite everyone listening, whether you’re the leader or somebody else in the room. So to speak, to realize if this is what you’re being called to do, this is what you’re being called to. Do you have the opportunity to do this? It all comes down to your own mindset. And if I enter into it like, Oh my God, this sucks. I really don’t want to do it.

Even if it was my best girlfriend, Jenn, that I’m going to have to let go, which is never going to happen because I’m never letting go of Jenn, just saying it. But if I know in my heart that what I’m about to do is because this is what’s going to be best in the situation. I’m not going to own it. Like you suck Rick, you really suck at this. I don’t like this situation. But to me, an unapologetic leader will say, I don’t like this situation, but I understand, and I own the fact that this is what needs to occur. Then there’s no real apology in my mind that needs to happen. Yes, Jenn, I’m really sorry. Yes, because I am, I’m really sorry, human to human, that this is what I have to do. But I do know at that moment, and this was a biggie for me, Jenn, because I was really ticked off when this happened to me at that point in time.

But then, of course, years later, when I’m like, cool, look at me, I’m an entrepreneur. I’m doing all these great things. I don’t have to go to the office. I get to sit in my underwear, and you know, yada, yada yada, right. It was such a big shift because then it suddenly became clear. What happened for me was the best thing that could ever happen. Whether it’s laying somebody off deciding to add a whole new team that’s going to maybe cause us not to be able to give raises, there are things that are happening because they’re meant to be happening. Now we can’t look in the crystal ball, of course, but if something’s happening, the situation is showing up because this is the next best move. And when we look at things through that scope, which is really hard because we’re humans, and we get in our little human heads, and we go, Oh my gosh, this is going to be so bad. We do not know that until it actually happens. And that’s the key, don’t overanalyze this stuff because the moment you start or over-analyzing it, what do you start hearing? I’m so sorry we have to do this. Think about it every time we overanalyze; we’re one step away from the excuse or the apology.

Jenn DeWall:

It’s you know this, and I know out of curiosity, from your perspective, I know you, you coach people, you, you know, have written a book about living bolder. How do you think that people initially, or why do we personalize so much as leaders? Why don’t we? I know I do it as a leader. I personalize every time I step in front of a classroom for Crestcom. I, you know, personalize that experience. I, if I get one bad review or if someone doesn’t like an exercise, I can, you know, personalize that even though it may not have anything to do with me. And I think it’s always just if I am really great at taking any negative and personalizing it, but I really great at not even looking at a positive and saying, but I did that, no, I’m much better at that personally assigning the ways that I am not adding up.

Rick Clemons:

Yeah. I know this because I know Jenn really well. And she has like this girl scout badge, that’s all her negative. She has a negative badge, which she just adds to the, to her little, you know, sash thing. But great question because here’s how I look at it. Why do we do this? Three letters- E G O. It’s our egos. Our egos are what causes this every freaking time. Okay. I’m going to do this. In fact, I’m going to do a training this evening, and I’m already in there. I am already in there. Okay. I just gotta be like this, and this is going to happen here. And I’ve already changed shirts three times trying to figure out, okay, which shirt is not going to show my sweat? Because I know I sweat. I know it’s going to happen. I’ve already determined. It’s going to happen tonight. And I got to make sure I wear the right shirt so that, you know, and I’m like, Rick, you’re causing the sweat already. Now, granted, it’s going to be outside, and it’s going to be, you know, low seventies, which is some people are like, that’s cool. Not when you’re a big boy, like me, that’s hot.

So, but it’s our ego. We need the stroke. We want to make sure we don’t screw up. We need to make sure we get the accolade. Oh wow. Rick, let me ask you this question. Do you know what you’re going to do tonight? Have you done this before? Do you love the industry? I’m doing something for the wine industry. Do you love the industry you’re doing it for? Do you enjoy being with those kinds of people? Oh, so far, there has been a checkmark to every question I just asked myself, then why are you letting your ego get in the way? Why don’t you just go do what you do, know that you know how to do it, and see what happens? Now that doesn’t mean chuck everything out the window, like, okay, let’s just show up and say, right. You know, don’t be prepared, no- be prepared, but it’s our ego that causes this, Jenn.

Jenn DeWall:

I wish I could, because for me, and I think that this could be the case for many leaders, whether they are new, whether they’re more established, I do feel and put a tremendous amount of pressure that if I am leading an organization, a training, whatever I am leading, then I want to be liked. And it’s just because I want to make everyone happy. And that is, I know at a baseline that’s impossible, but yet I still put this expectation out there. And so then that is my biggest obstacle and showing up unapologetically because, Oh gosh, I never ever want to, in some way, not meet someone’s expectations. Of course, or give them the wrong impression, but yet, where do we? How do I get that muscle every day? I’m going to work on it. And I know even work with people on this, but it’s, that is I think the biggest challenge for me if we’re just talking about what holds us back from showing up out apologetically, I still struggle. And I will always have to struggle with just that needing to be liked.

Moving out of Confusion into Curiosity

Rick Clemons:

But that’s part of what we, I think as humans, and I’m going to generalize here, which I don’t like to do too often, but I’m going to blatantly going to admit, I’m going to make a generalization here. I think we thrive in the confusion because if we start thriving in this confusion of, okay, am I going to be really good? Well, I’m probably not going to be really good. But well, you know what, if I don’t- guess what? Then we actually don’t have to do anything. All we get to do is sit here and spin most of the time when we’re in these spaces, even though we were marching towards that, I’m, you know, I’m marching, you know, and another three hours, I’m going to be walking into that winery, unable to drink out. Let’s just make that clear cause I’m training. So no drinking. Unfortunately, no, there probably will be some afterward, but it’s the confusion that I’m almost starting to thrive in because we need, we need other stuff to keep us kind of occupied from doing the thing we need to do.

And it’s such an interesting space when we realize we are creating the confusion, and we’re letting our ego be the master planner of all this. There is not one thing I can do tonight— unless I just really blatantly screw up— that isn’t going to be just as it should be. I’ve been. I’ve done this numerous times. I know my content really well. And why should I sit there and go, okay, but what if, what if, what if? What is that going to get me? I’m going to be so worked up by the time I get there that I probably will screw up. So instead, we step out of the confusion, and we start to talk about, Hmm, what else could I do?

Is that really possible? How can this be different? Because we’re now getting really curious. And I would love the listeners to think about this. And even, you know, Jenn, you don’t have to listen to this. This is now my show. So you just sit there. Okay. But I want you to think about the last time you started to like getting really antsy about something. And you started worrying about what you were going to do, and you kept thinking, okay, well, but you know, this is, I could do this, and that’s going to screw it up. And then I’m going to, you know, the podcast, isn’t going to be like, Rick and I are having this conversation, and I forgot to turn the record button on. All that stuff could have been going through your head until you did one thing. You asked yourself some questions. You got curious. Well, how can I make sure I turned the record button on? Hm. I put a little post-it note on my computer turn the record button on. How can I be really comfortable with the guest on the podcast? Let’s have a five-minute chat before we get on there. What can I do? Because we got curious.

Jenn DeWall:

Yeah. I think that’s a powerful thing that we thrive in that confusion and because it keeps us busy. Right? We, in some way, think that it’s probably maybe reducing our anxiety, making sure we’re as prepared as possible, even though it’s doing the opposite, it’s likely adding. I love the foundational trust that you’re talking about. The trust that I’m going to, you know, just as you had talked about with your training, I know tonight you’re going to deliver a training, you know, your content, you know, you’re going to do it great, but then sure. We can just, you know, add a little complexity by jumping into confusion with it. Instead of trusting yourself that you’ve done everything that you could to best position yourself. And I think that’s the true definition of being unapologetic is just saying I did my best. I guess what I’m thinking of now, as you’re talking, is really the four agreements and one of the agreements, which is always doing your best, and that’s all you can give.

Rick Clemons:

And the other interesting thing about being a leader, if you think about what starts to happen on teams. If you truly want to be unapologetic as a leader, you will quickly learn how to quit causing confusion. You will recognize when confusion is happening and get your team curious. Get yourself curious because you cannot be confused and be curious at the same time. Because when you get curious and you ask questions, you start getting answers. If you have answers, can you be confused? Not very often. The answers might cause you some more confusion, but the more curious you keep getting, and the more questions and the more things you keep doing, you’re going to get out of that confused state. But there are leaders, and there are leaders kind of raising my hand just a little bit, who at times can be really good at, let’s just confuse everybody.

Let’s just get you because this is how I’m going to. This is how I’m going to feel like I’m doing what I’m supposed to do. I had one of those bosses when I was in the hotel industry; I hated him. I absolutely hated the guy because he would literally like tell one side of us to do one thing and tell the other side to do that. And then like, so I don’t understand why nothing’s getting done right here, people. Because you told us both to do different things! You’re not going to be a good leader if you create confusion, and you can’t be an unapologetic leader if you’re constantly saying I’m sorry I got you so confused. I’m sorry I stirred up the crud at work. I’m sorry that the team’s not—Really? Who’s at the center of the team not working together. You, buddy boy. You, miss thing.

The Six C’s of Unapologetic Leadership

Jenn DeWall:

I love that. Okay. So let’s jump into your six C’s! Because you have six C’s to becoming an unapologetic leader, and I think this is important. And again, it may be you’re sitting there in my chair. You are someone that struggles with the need to be liked, or maybe you are creating confusion, which we can do again as a result of not having competence in ourselves. So let’s talk about how we can show up. I am all ears for this. Rick, what are the six C’s to becoming an unapologetic leader?

Confusion & Curiosity

Rick Clemons:

You touched on two of them. So that’s confusion and curiosity. Think about anything that’s going on with your team or anything. That’s going on with you personally. As a leader, if you are struggling, I can almost a hundred percent say if you are struggling, it’s because you are confused. And the more you sit in your confusion, the more you’re going to feel like you’re a victim. The more you’re going to feel like everybody’s got it out for you. The more you feel like you’re going to be a failure, that little voice, that that’s the imposter syndrome, who’s going for the Oscar nominee. They’re going to be playing full out because you’re allowing confusion to take you there. But the flip side of that is curiosity.

Because as soon as you start to get curious, guess what happens without confusion, and with curiosity, it’s really hard to make excuses for why things are going wrong because you’re getting the answers. You’re getting the input. And one of the quickest ways to get rid of excuses is to get into curiosity mode. It’s so simple. And if you, again, if people are sitting there thinking, God, I hope to God, they’re not falling asleep, but hopefully, they’re thinking about everything we’re saying here. It’s such an interesting space to play in. When you think about the last big explosion that may have happened in your personal life or in your work life or anything that you’ve been doing, why did it happen? Because there was some conflict, there was some confusion about what needed to be done or a direction to go. Confusion is the space you got to move out of. And into curiosity, because once you start asking the questions, good questions. Not yes or no. Do we like the boss? No, that’s not going to help. What is it we don’t like about the way our boss is leading? Now we’re going to get someplace. What is it he doesn’t like about the way the team is not collaborating? Now we’re going to get someplace. What is she doing when she says, I’m going to be listening to you when she closes the door and says, I don’t have time to listen to you. These are the things that are going to help you start to figure out how do we get curious to start solving the problem?

Because as soon as you start getting super curious, we step into the arena where we can do one thing, which is facing our fears because, with the answers, we can start looking at the fears. Well, I don’t know if this is going to work. I don’t think we should put Tom in that position. You know, Tom, all he wants to do is play video games in the afternoons, you know, whatever it is, the thing is, is the fears are sitting there. But the more curious you got, the more courage you’re going to have. So there’s number three C- the courage you’re going to have to start moving forward, to start facing a fear, to literally commit to I am going to do this. So courage and commitment go together.

How do I know this works? I want you to think back, Jenn, to maybe the first time you tried to do something, ride a bike, roller skate, do your own nails, whatever it was. There was probably a little bit of excitement, but also, I don’t know if I can do this. I don’t know if I can do this. It was scary, right? Yeah. I mean, I remember the first time I tried to do my own nails. I was scared to death to do them, you know, and I guess, you know, mom was gonna catch me doing my own nails or something like that, but it was kind of scary. But as soon as I started asking myself questions, well, but what would be really fun about being able to ride my bike down that hill with my buddies? Well, what will I really enjoy about being able to swim in the pool, you know, in the middle of the summer versus being scared? Or what might happen if I really do go off that high dive? Will I enjoy it or not? What will be the most fun thing about it? Suddenly once I started asking those questions, I’m like, yeah, let’s try. Because then I have the courage, and I have the ability to commit to doing something. So as a leader, what is something you, Jenn, have seen yourself curious about that I don’t have the courage to go do this as a leader?

Jenn DeWall:

Oh my gosh. I mean, the example is now outside of leadership that I keep thinking of, and maybe I’m thinking about how I did these in quick succession. I think about a vacation that I had taken pre-pandemic. I was hiking, and I am I’m terrified of heights. I don’t like heights at all. And the first part of this 12-mile hike that my lovely friends helped me go on was basically walking. You had a rope that you could hold on to, but it was just a drop-off. And before we got there, I, because it gave the warnings, which I didn’t know about. I had no idea until I got to the trailhead, and initially, it was confusion. I’m like, do I go back? We had just hiked up this mountain. Like we just, because that’s the way that you get to the trailhead. And then I don’t know if I went to curiosity, but my curiosity, went to, how will I make it through? Should I crawl on my hands and knees? What do I do?

Rick Clemons:

But that is curiosity. Those are questions you’re asking yourself because in those questions, what were you starting to realize?

Jenn DeWall:

That I can figure it out, it’s going to be a short moment. I can describe it. And then yes. I mean, tears down my face. I legitimately grabbed onto the rope, and I just walked. And I know to some people that if you’re not afraid of heights, it probably if I showed you this, you would say that’s nothing done. But when you were terrified of heights, that is something. And I think that I went to the courage and I’m like, okay, I’ve got to do this. Like I’m already seeing how I went through. Even these six things to show up in a more cause at again, the basis of unapologetic leaders, confidence and it’s yeah. I just, okay. Continue on. I’m just, that’s how I’m seeing that.

Courage and Commitment

Rick Clemons:

No, you, you went right through it because you got the courage, and you’re like, okay, I know, okay, here’s the rope. Okay. I can hold onto this. I can get through this. I asked myself, the question is, well, what if I do, what am I going to do? Walk back down the hill? What am I going to do? Sit here while they all go up? What, how much fun will that be? All those things were probably because you were curious. You were starting to ask all the right questions. And then finally, because you’re like, well, I could do this and I, you know, I’ll hold onto the rope and I’ll, I’ll pull myself up on my knees, like get scraped all the way up to the top if I have to, to get it done. Right? But then, with that courage, you committed. Because courage is where commitment shows up, and this is such an interesting little dynamic that I discovered as I was working on this process and thinking through everything and where this all came on in my own life. Suddenly in that drive home from the office, after getting laid off, you know, all this was happening really rapidly. And none of this was actually even on the forefront of like, oh, I’m coming up with this really great thing that’s going to make me super famous. Not that I am super famous, but this has become the backbone of my coaching. I’m sitting in that car. And now I can literally think about what happened on that drive from orange County, California, home to where I live. So a good 60-minute drive. I realized I was super confused. What’s going to happen next? But by God, I’m figuring it out. What can I do, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah? And the more I started asking the questions, the more courage I got. And by the time I got home, even when I walked in and said, honey, I got laid off, but I’m going to build a business. I was committed. I had no clue what I was going to do. But in that little hour, I worked through those first four steps.

I got rid of excuses for the time being they showed up. Like, you know, later that night when I had a glass of wine, then I’m going to be the, you know, all that was going down. Right. But I now can see how I went through this process, and suddenly I was committed. I’m like, I am not. I remember literally with a glass of wine in my hand, turned into my husband. I said I am never, I am never going to work for anybody else again, which isn’t true because now I am working for somebody else again, but I’m doing it out of a real love of what I do. But that was such commitment. And because of the courage and the commitment, the fears started to go away. That didn’t mean they went gone far. They were sitting over there in the shadows, watching me drink. The wine is waiting for me to like, get a little more glass of wine in me. So they come back roaring at me. But it’s such an interesting space when you see that courage and commitment can help you squash the fears. But you can’t stop there because, okay, great, we created this wonderful thing. It’s not quite the best seller like the four agreements, but Oh, look what I created. If you don’t act on it and the action is okay, I’m committed. I’ve got the courage, but do I actually believe I can do this? Do I actually have the confidence to go do what I want to go do? And I think for many leaders, they sit there, and they dream about being the guy in the corner office, or they dream about being the director or running the team, or I could do this better. All that’s great. They got the courage and the commitment to do it. And then suddenly, the opportunity shows up.

Now, I don’t know. Now I’m not going to go for it. Why? You’re right there. You’re standing on the cusp. Well, you know, I probably wouldn’t be really good. Oh, there’s the apology. Well, it probably isn’t the best time for me to do this in my life right now. Oh, there’s the apology. Well, you know, I’ve never really been good with people. Oh, there’s the apology. Then why the heck were you saying you wanted to do this for so long? If you don’t get the confidence to move it forward, you will never consistently show up doing what you want to do.

Confidence and Consistency

Rick Clemons:

If I had not said, Rick, you can become a coach. You can do the work. You can go through the— you can be that guy. You can go do all these things, but you’re going to have to consistently show up saying, this is what I do. This is who I am. This is who the people I help. This is how I do it. Suppose I don’t have the confidence to consistently show up. And if you’re listening and you’re dreaming, and you’re having those lovely little middle of the night dreams, like I’m going to have the corner office and you don’t have the confidence to have the corner office. And you can’t consistently see yourself sitting in the corner office, which isn’t all that defines you as a leader. But it’s a really good visual for most people. You won’t be there. Trust me, because you will find every excuse and apology in the world for not showing up there.

But in my mind, in the way, I think about this, and then my process and what will be in my new book someday is the confidence, and the consistency is what makes you a true leader. The confidence to say, okay, I screwed up. The confidence to say, I hear you. I understand what you’re saying. And based on everything that I know that’s going on for us as a company, I still think this is the best route for us to go. And I’m confident that it is. And I’m going to do everything in my power to consistently make that work. That, to me, is what an unapologetic leader does. They lean into their confidence, and they consistently show up supporting that. That doesn’t mean they’re stubborn. It doesn’t mean that they’re like, it’s my way or the highway, but they get really confident and consistent in how they’re going to do it. That means they’ll flex, too, like, Hey, that’s not working. So let’s kind of back up. Let’s go get curious again. Let’s make another run at this. Okay. Yeah. I got the courage. We’re going to try something new. Great. Now we’re going to commit to this. All right. Now, can I be committed to this and be confident that I can do this? Yep. Okay. Now that you’re saying, you’re confident you can do it. How do you consistently show up and do that day in, day out, day in, day out?

Jenn DeWall:

Where do you think- so the six C’s: confusion, curiosity, courage, commitment, confidence, and consistency. Where do you think if someone is approaching a challenge or that uncertainty, right? Where it all might begin for some people, what step do you think they just get stuck at? And that’s the kind of starting point for them showing up apologetically.

Rick Clemons:

I think there’s a couple; a lot of people get stuck right in confusion. It’s still— it’s all comfy. If I just keep saying, well, I don’t know how I would do it, or I don’t know if I’m capable, then they don’t have to move forward. They don’t have to move forward. The next critical one actually to me is between commitment and confidence. I can commit all day long. Yes. I believe I’m a great coach. And that’s like, but Oh, what do I have the confidence to go out there and get gigs to have the confidence to go out there and find clients? No, but I’m a really good coach. I am committed to being a really good coach. I don’t care how committed you are to be in a really good coach. I don’t care how committed you are to being a really good leader.

If you don’t go out there and take action on it and are confident in going and doing it, you’re going to fail. And that’s, that’s the bridge where I think a lot of people fall into. Some of this is really easy. You can, all, most of us can build up the courage to do anything. I mean, you got enough courage to walk up to that mountain and go, okay, here I am. But it took the commitment. But even as you got started with the commitment, you could have faltered right there, but you were confident that I’m going to do this. Jenn can do this even if it’s thread by thread of this rope that I’m shredding as I’m grabbing onto it, trying to get up that hill. It’s the confidence that you had in yourself to make it happen. That’s where the breakdowns happen. Now. Of course, it can happen for anybody in different places, but those are the two places I see for most people.

I have a guy I’m coaching right now—an amazing guy, very talented. And we’re right up to the brink. I’m clear where I want to go. I’m I know what I want to do. I’ve got the courage that I’m going to make this happen. He’s made some big moves about making it happen. He’s committed. And we are in imposter syndrome central right now because his confidence is not quite there. Good news for me, because I’m like, well, just keep paying me as a coach. But it is an interesting space, Jenn. Great question. By the way. I love that question.

Jenn DeWall:

No, cause I, I do see a lot of it. I think confusion can be. We genuinely don’t know. And so I can see that, you know, I think a popular expression and I’m sure you’ve heard this, that along the way, as well as the paralysis by analysis, that’s the piece of confusion. But then I also feel there is that opportunity to really be a victim. And I think that’s the piece of, are you also telling yourself that there’s no possible option or solution for you to get out of this or that the world is against you? Like, and maybe it doesn’t show up directly as confusion, but I think it’s confusion in understanding where we have responsibility. Yes. Like, and that’s, so I liked that one cause I’m like, I think there, I just think of basic examples. There are plenty of leaders that I work with that will stay in confusion. I don’t know how to get out of this. My team isn’t working together, but it all starts that they’re just confused that it actually starts with them, and they don’t want to take that ownership.

Rick Clemons:

And from the commitment to confidence means you’re taking responsibility. It’s an interesting little place right there where you’re like, okay, I’m going to be responsible for moving myself into that confidence space to go make this happen. Now it’s so interesting, and responsibility shows up every step of the way, but the higher the stakes get, the more your responsibility to yourself is going to show up, and it’s going to show up, and it’s going to stare you in the face every time, every time. In the last couple of times, I’ve had the opportunity show up in the last few years to step into something like higher roles; even though I was working for myself, but there was a couple of opportunities that presented themselves. I really had to stand in that space of commitment and confidence and realizing are you going to take responsibility if I decide to step up into this? Are you willing to be confident enough to go do this? Is this an exciting enough opportunity for you to consistently say, this is what I do? And I got really clear. I, I had two chairs set up, and I’d sit in one chair as a coach. And then I’d set my a little butt over there, and then I’d sit over here. And I was going back and forth, walking myself through my process. And both times, I got to the point where, you know what, I’m not quite ready to take the responsibility to step confidently into this and consistently go do what I’m being offered to do. It was not a match, not just because I was using the whole chair thing, but I also, I mean, I got tired, and I lost like five pounds doing the chair exercise that day, you know? But it’s, it’s one of those things where I dove into my own values too. And I think this six-step process, if you kind of couch it and I know I’ve thrown a lot at the listeners, but if you kind of couch it every step of the way by asking yourself, what do you value? What do you value? What do you value? You’re gonna find it really moves you through there pretty quickly.

Jenn DeWall:

I, I just lost my train of thought.

Rick Clemons:

Because you’re stuck in the chair, you’re like trying to visualize Rick jumping back and forth between chairs. And you’re like. He’s onto a new weight loss idea. You just jump from chair to chair.

Jenn DeWall:

That’s how we do our exercise. No, but I think that this is because the piece that we haven’t maybe touched on as much, but I think you brought up from your chair example. This is a great way to get confidence in your choices. Like if I, I think that again, many people leaders might say yes to something employees might say yes to something, even though they’re already working 60 hours a week and there’s not actually a way that they can do it because we don’t want to have to let someone down or not do that. And I love that you’re also saying apply these six steps to also find your no’s and get confidence in your no’s. That it’s not just to give you do these six steps because this is all about your success in whatever you’re going towards, but also reverse this, make sure to show up unapologetically in what is important to you, not what you feel like someone would want you to do, which I know is again, coming back to my own issue of wanting to be liked. I absolutely love saying yes to everything because I don’t want to let anyone down, but I love that this is a great tool to think. No, like you have to have the confidence in your no, and that’s the only, you’re going to be able to actually say that.

Rick Clemons:

I tried, I tried to say no to this podcast with you for weeks. And finally, I just had to give up. I had the confidence to finally say, yes, I’m going to do this, Jenn, if you will promise to leave me alone. But, no, I love that you, I love that you pulled that together because there is something interesting about giving yourself full permission to, without apologies, say no to something. It’s freeing, especially as a leader. You are going to come up against some things as a leader that you’re going to have to say no to. And it’s probably going to test you the most. But if you say no, without apologies, in a really healthy, strong way, you will grow so much as a leader.

Jenn DeWall:

Oh my gosh. And I think it also just like, I would add to that. If you follow the six C’s to becoming an unapologetic leader, I feel like you’re also going to be able to lead with more openness and transparency because you have done the work. You’ve got data to pull from. You have maybe points of view or considerations of why you can’t do something. So instead of even just saying to your employee, no. You can at least give a little bit more of an explanation, which is what people want because they just want to be heard. And so I love that too, that that comes out of this as, by giving yourself that framework. You’re then just getting more information that not only boosts your confidence, but also it can help you connect more with others that they don’t think it was some passive yes or no. Or, you know, you’re not transparent.

Advice for Aspiring Unapologetic Leaders

Jenn DeWall:

Rick, what would be, I want to ask two final questions, which is the thing would be what would be a final consideration that you would want to say to maybe a leader that is really struggling to show up apologetically or unapologetically? Like what would be one small piece of advice for them as they’re thinking about adopting these six C’s and then second, how can people get in touch with you?

Rick Clemons:

So this is the backbone of any time I have the opportunity to do something like this. And thank you, Jenn, for having me. It’s the backbone of my whole philosophy around unapologetic living. It’s the truth of who you are, is far more powerful than the false truth you’re pretending to be. So show people the truth of who you are as a leader. It will never fail you. It will never fail you. You may fail because somebody may not like the truth of who you are as a leader, but be grateful for that because that means you’re not supposed to be where you’re at. And the more I have learned to live that, embrace that in my own life, from everything, from who I am and coming out of the closet and starting a business and, and making decisions about where I was going with my business, the more truthful I was about who I was and who I was not going to pretend to be, the more successful I become. And that’s a really important piece of my whole puzzle of living that truth.

And as far as where you can find me, I hang out in Jenn’s closet in her house when she lets me out of it to come out, to play, so to speak. But RickClemons.com is my website, C L E M O N S. And I’d love to talk to anybody. Who’s like, okay, I’m really struggling with this. Yes. You’re going to land on my website, and it’s going to say it’s only for men. I’m not misogynistic. It’s just that’s where I concentrate my work. I love women. I love working with anybody. As long as you’re going to do the work, don’t come, don’t come calling on me. If you’re not going to do the work, because you can kind of tell I’m kind of a sassy guy. So I call you on the carpet.

Jenn DeWall:

I love you as my coach. And Rick, you just made me tear up, though, just reminding people because, at the end of the day, I know that this is a leadership podcast, but we do have a small amount of time here. And just reminding ourselves that we deserve to show up unapologetically as who we are. To be who you want. Not everyone’s going to love it, and that’s okay, but you always need to stand up and be you and I just get emotional because I think everyone, we always need that reminder to live our dash, to live the best life, to whatever you want to call it. So I just appreciate that. So they can head on over to I’ll stop crying now- which I’m sure some people are used to my emotional way, but if you want to connect with Rick, you can contact him. He’s an author. You can check out his book. It will help you live and be bolder in your life. He’s a trainer. He’s a coach. He’s my coach for speaking, which I love so much. Rick, thank you so much for sharing your gift with the world. Thank you for being you, and thank you for showing us how to show up unapologetically.

Rick Clemons:

You bet. Thanks, Jenn.

Jenn DeWall:

I hope you enjoyed this conversation between Rick and me. It’s a very important topic that many leaders struggle with today, how we can lead unapologetically. If you want to connect with Rick, you can head on over to his website. There you can book him for speaking and coaching, and you can also find his book at RickClemons.com. In addition, if you know someone that could benefit from hearing the message of leading unapologetically, don’t forget to share this podcast with them. And of course, please leave us a review on your favorite podcast streaming service podcasts. Aren’t the only thing that Crestcom does. If you want to connect with us, we offer complimentary two-hour leadership workshops where we can come into your team, virtual-live, or in-person to help you solve today’s leadership challenges.

The post Becoming an Unapologetic Leader with Bold Move Expert, Rick Clemons appeared first on Crestcom International.

90 episodes