The Physiology of Leadership

 

– The MOVEMENT Movement with Steven Sashen Episode 131 with Cody Wooten

 

Cody Dakota Wooten, C.B.C. is the founder of The Leadership Guide where he helps Entrepreneurs, C-Suit Executives and Business Owners unlock their Heroic Potential, Evolve into Legendary Leaders, Forge Ahead and Flourish! He does this through his Legendary Leadership Coaching, Speaking, and on his Top 1% Podcast. Cody also started a project called, “Journey to the 7” where he is building a team to take on the world’s toughest endurance races while raising money for good causes.

Cody began in Leadership Development where he discovered that it doesn’t work! With a 20% success rate, and the world falling into a leadership crisis, Cody knew he had to do something different. This led him to creating his Award-Winning Category, “Legendary Leadership”. It looks not only at skills, but also the Psychophysiology and the “Core” of Leadership. Cody has trained and certified with the greatest minds in Leadership and Psychophysiology, including Flow Psychology, Neurocardiology, Kinesiology, Eudaimonology, Nutrition, Respiration and More! Cody’s desire to be an Exemplar for Legendary Leadership also led him to starting his newest project, “Journey to the 7”.

Cody is a devout Christian, and lives happily with his wife in Austin, TX working with clients both in-person and online.

 

Listen to this episode of The MOVEMENT Movement with Cody Wooten about the physiology of leadership.

 

Here are some of the beneficial topics covered on this week’s show:

– Why leadership is not about skills, it’s about movement and physiology.

– How your stance influences how you communicate with people.

– Why small movements can help people move through depression.

– How we have neurons throughout our entire body, not only the brain.

– Why people are unconsciously sensitive to certain movement patterns.

 

Connect with Cody:

 

Links Mentioned:
theleadership.guide

 

Connect with Steven:

Website

Xeroshoes.com

Jointhemovementmovement.com

Twitter
@XeroShoes

Instagram
@xeroshoes

Facebook
facebook.com/xeroshoes

 

Steven Sashen:

As a CEO, I get approached all the time by people who want to help me with my leadership skills. What if they’re barking up the wrong leadership tree and it’s not about skills, but it’s about movement or physiology, or something else that’s not something you need to learn and some technique you do to do? Anyway, we’re going to dive into that on today’s episode of the Movement Movement, the podcast for people who want to know the truth about what it takes to have a happy, healthy, strong body starting feet first, because those things are typically your foundation. Usually they are.

 

We break down the propaganda, the mythology, and sometimes the outright lies, that you may have been told about what it takes to run or walk, or hike, or play, or do yoga, or CrossFitter, or dance, dance revolution, or e-sim racing, whatever it is you like to do and to do, and to do that enjoyably, and efficiently, and effectively.

 

Did I say enjoyably? Yes. It was a trick question, because I know I did. Look, if you’re not doing something that you enjoy, try something else. Because if it’s not fun, you’re not going to keep it up. I’m Steven Sashen, your host of the Movement Movement podcast, CEO of Xero Shoes, at xeroshoes.com. Those are the things that are behind me. And we call it the Movement Movement because we are creating a movement, more about that in a second, about natural movement. That’s really, really simple. In fact, if you want to be part of this, go to www.jointhemovementmovement.com.

 

Nothing you need to do to join, other than what you already do, which is check out the previous episodes and share, and like, and give us a thumbs up, or hit the bell icon on YouTube. All the drills about what you… Leave reviews in all the places you can leave reviews. In short, if you want to be part of the tribe, please subscribe.

 

Let’s just jump in. Cody, do me a favor, tell people who you are and what you do. And maybe a little bit about why you’re here and then we’re going to go in and have some fun.

Cody Wooten:

Yeah. My name is Cody Dakota Wooten, and I am the founder of The Leadership Guide, where I work with entrepreneurs, c-suite individuals, business owners. And I work with them to help them improve their businesses essentially.

Steven Sashen:

Will our conversation be relevant for people who are not in one of those situations?

Cody Wooten:

Absolutely. Because what works for leaders is going to work for everyone else. And really, we can all be leaders in different facets of life, whether it’s at home, in our community, or in a business, there’s lots of ways to be a leader.

Steven Sashen:

And just for transparency, Cody and I go back several years. We met in, was it a Turkish prison or Vietnamese?

Cody Wooten:

Probably Turkish.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah, it was a Turkish prison. I met Cody through Xero Shoes, and he’s been a big help for us at some events that we’ve done in Austin and I’ve always really appreciated his work, so I wanted to share it with you guys here. This little teaser that was inspired by something you said, that leadership is not about skills, but could be about movement and or physiology. Obviously the first question I have to ask is not actually a question, it’s a command. Say more, shall you? That was a question.

Cody Wooten:

Absolutely.

Steven Sashen:

If I stopped it say more it would’ve been a command, and I turned it into a question because my brain wouldn’t allow me to stop.

Cody Wooten:

It’s all good. I have those moments too. You say what you want to say and then it comes out differently.

Steven Sashen:

Wait, hold on. Here’s a weird movement exercise, when you’re having a conversation with someone, try to guess how you’re going to end what you’re going to say five words in advance, and you will find that you can’t do it. Your brain is moving in a different way than the rest of you is.

Cody Wooten:

I barely know what I’m going to say in about one word.

Steven Sashen:

All right. Diving into skills versus movement in physiology then.

Cody Wooten:

Yes. Basically I started doing leadership development about six years ago now, and things are going along pretty good, but then I came across what I found to be a really startling statistic and it’s that leadership development only has a 20% success rate.

Steven Sashen:

Wait, how are they measuring? Success meaning what?

Cody Wooten:

From my understanding, it’s they come in, do the leadership program, whatever that is, and it, one, lands with the clients, and two, sticks with the clients afterwards.

Steven Sashen:

They’re not measuring something about increased revenue?

Cody Wooten:

No.

Steven Sashen:

Are people still doing whatever they learn some period later?

Cody Wooten:

Exactly.

Steven Sashen:

Got it. Okay.

Cody Wooten:

And overwhelmingly it’s no, they’re not doing it. And so I thought that was really terrible, people are spending literally hundreds of billions of dollars. It’s a $325 billion market, plus or minus, in leadership development and you’re only getting a 20% return if you’re lucky. That just seems like a waste of money and a waste of my time and efforts. And so I wanted to figure out, how do I actually help people?

 

Because that’s why I got into the leadership world is I wanted to help people. And I started to notice this weird thing happened too, is that you have some people who are in the leadership positions who don’t have all those leadership skills that you’re supposed to have and yet they’re succeeding at really high levels. And then you have the opposite where you have people that have been through all the programs, they know all the things, they can say all the sayings and supposedly walk the walk, but they’re failing terribly as leaders. And what came to my mind is, what is this differentiator? How is it these people can succeed and these other people who should be succeeding just aren’t doing it? And as I researched more and more, I believe it really comes down to the physiology is what makes a huge difference in a lot of different facets.

Steven Sashen:

Before I ask you to describe what it is about physiology, I want to back up a little bit to the question about what some of these skills are. What are these things that people are learning, or not learning, I want to get the gap between what the skill seemingly is and to know what people may either be doing that isn’t working or not doing that is working.

Cody Wooten:

Yeah. Your typical types of skills that you’re going to be learning about in most leadership development programs, time management, people management, self-management, a lot of these different things. You might go into some mindfulness practices in general, but overwhelmingly they’re just not really working. Communication skills, how you should supposedly talk to people.

Steven Sashen:

Can you give me one specific example of any one of those categories?

Cody Wooten:

Let’s say communication as a classic one, there’s a program called disc, D-I-S-C, which is used overwhelmingly in the leadership world, which is designed to talk about how you communicate with other people, recognize their types of communication patterns so that you can speak to them in their quote unquote language and vice versa. Figure out how to get them to talk to you in your language, that’s the idea behind it.

Steven Sashen:

I’m going to ask you, if you can, and I know I’m putting you on the spot, but can we dive in a little deeper in just of that and give me one example of what that might look like in either how someone’s being taught what to do or what that’s supposed to look like in real life versus actual real life?

Cody Wooten:

Sure, absolutely. If I’m talking to you… Because I’ve trained in this method, that actually the CBC behind my name is certified behavioral consultant, which is revolved around the disc method. Sometimes those fun little acronyms behind names mean so much or so little, depending on what it is.

Steven Sashen:

I have an MFA, I do not put it at the end of my name, nor do I insist on people calling me master, although that would be fun. I mean, people-

Cody Wooten:

Teach me Master.

Steven Sashen:

I mean, they can be an MD or PhD, many other things and be doctors. I feel like some people should call me Master just because.

Cody Wooten:

You should. Just across your company tomorrow do a company-wide memo that says you will for now call me Master Steven.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah, that ain’t going to happen. Look, in my company if someone calls me boss, I smack them. We’re very non-hierarchical around here, but anyway, back to how to talk.

Cody Wooten:

For instance, if I’m speaking with you, you are somebody that’s very much what would typically be called a D, which you’re direct.

Steven Sashen:

Oh, I’m so glad you clarified that, because there’s other definitions for calling someone a D, that I’ve been called as well. I just didn’t know where we were going with that.

Cody Wooten:

Yeah.

Steven Sashen:

Direct, right?

Cody Wooten:

Yeah. Direct or dominant, depending on whose disc you’re speaking to.

Steven Sashen:

Okay.

Cody Wooten:

You tend to be very direct. You want answers. You’re like, I don’t understand that, redefine it for me. And you’re not afraid to say it. That’s very much along the D line of personality. Versus someone like me, I’m more closely into… Well, technically I’m an IS, which means I’m a mixture of liking to talk to a lot, talking to people, but I also like things to be stable. If things get chaotic, my goal is, how do we stabilize it?

Steven Sashen:

The game is when there’s apparently other types of language, or whatever, that you’re going to be talking to someone. Okay, I get it.

Cody Wooten:

Exactly.

Steven Sashen:

You’re certified in this, is this something that you’re still doing?

Cody Wooten:

I still do it. Yeah, because I do believe there is purpose to it, but the question of where it fits into the puzzle. And I think it’s something that should come much later in a leader’s life basically, that there’s other more important keys to understanding grasp first, before you really dive into those things.

Steven Sashen:

Got it. Now that brings us back to the physiology question. Say more about what you mean when you say it’s more about physiology than skills, like understanding this communication strategy.

Cody Wooten:

Absolutely. There’s a lot of components that go into it, especially because physiology itself is so dramatically influential in our lives. I mean, you’re all about shoes and feet. That’s what Xero Shoes is all about, is how the foot is supposed to actually naturally move, which I love your products all the way. Your shoes are the only shoes I ever wear. Shameless plug, definitely Xero Shoes are the way to go.

Steven Sashen:

Much appreciated.

Cody Wooten:

But the way you stand has an influence in how you communicate with people, just as one example. And if your feet have gotten weak over time, you’re not going to be able to stand as well. When you’re not able to stand as well, it has an impact on your nervous system. It has an impact on your own psychology as well. You start to begin to fear moving.

 

I know from your backstory; your father was someone who had used the thick shoes all the time. And I’m sure you noticed as he got older, movement was something he feared and he probably tried not to move.

Steven Sashen:

He shuffled because he just didn’t have good balance. He was basically keeping his feet low to the ground all the time and that led him to trip on a very small ledge. It was a not even an inch high, that led to him, tripping, falling, breaking his hip and dying two weeks later.

Cody Wooten:

Exactly. And all those components come together.

Steven Sashen:

Hold on, sorry. And PS, I’m only doing this because I had few comments. Some people are taken aback by how casually I tell that story and so I want to say, it happened over seven years ago. Time has passed and so it’s a story at this point. And besides, we didn’t get along that well, but the biggest thing is, it’s been seven years.

Cody Wooten:

Yeah.

Steven Sashen:

Anyway, sorry. Moving on.

Cody Wooten:

Yeah. If you could just fix your posture, right? There’s so many dramatic benefits you can get from that alone.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah.

Cody Wooten:

Or the ability to walk. There’s a study that shows, it’s like 5,850 steps per day.

Steven Sashen:

Yikes. Apparently background noise. I would do some singing while Cody waits for the noise to stop.

Cody Wooten:

There we go.

Steven Sashen:

Okay. There we go.

Cody Wooten:

When you are doing work out of the garage, crazy things happen out of the blue that you weren’t prepared for. Another thing, just like that.

Steven Sashen:

Your garage studio betrays you. That’s okay. All right, now I have to do some more singing. Waiting for noise in the background. I don’t even have a song to sing. Normally I have a song stuck in my head. I wake up in the morning and there’s one that’s just planted there and I don’t know where it came from, and I find those ear worms really weird because of how long they stick around and it’s impossible to get rid of them. But anyway, back to you for the win Cody.

Cody Wooten:

Yeah. There’s a study that shows it’s something like 5,800 steps is the difference between depression and not having depression.

Steven Sashen:

Interesting.

Cody Wooten:

And most of us live this sedentary lifestyle where we’re sitting all the time and we come back to, it impacts our health overall. And if you’re in a depressed mode, it’s very hard to lead people.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah.

Cody Wooten:

It’s very hard to have success in anything. And if walking is the difference, why wouldn’t you change that?

Steven Sashen:

Of course, it seems like, for some people, just that first step is the critical part. Or to retranslate the the line, which has often been translated, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. I asked a friend who had translated things, and translates from Chinese. I said, “I hear tenses don’t work the same way in Chinese, so couldn’t that be equally translated to the journey of a thousand miles is a single step? Because that’s the only one you can take is one.” And he said, “Yeah.” Yeah, that’s a good one.

Cody Wooten:

What’s the language? The dead language.

Steven Sashen:

Esperanto.

Cody Wooten:

That doctors still use.

Steven Sashen:

Latin.

Cody Wooten:

Latin. Thank you. Don’t you love when your brain doesn’t work? Latin, there’s a phrase-

Steven Sashen:

I don’t know which I find more disturbing when I can’t think of a word or when it pops into my brain hours later.

Cody Wooten:

Easily as bad.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah, so Latin. In Latin…

Cody Wooten:

Yeah. There’s a phrase that’s Carpe diem, seize the day, but I have a mentor that says, “You can’t really seize a day. It doesn’t really work.” Instead he says, seize the moment, because that’s really all you can do. Is this moment right here next right now. And then the next moment right here, right now. The next moment right here, right now. That’s really all you can do at any one time.

Steven Sashen:

I agree. Backing up, one of our physiological examples about leader… We went on this little detour about depression and walking, which is interesting. You reminded me actually, a friend of mine is a big deal therapist was working with someone over the phone, this was many years ago, and this is someone who was exhibiting signs of depression and talking about that.

 

And my therapist friend said, “Well, if you weren’t depressed, what’s the simplest thing you could do?” The simplest thing that you notice. He goes, “Oh, there’s a bunch of leaves on my front stoop. I’d get a broom and get rid of those.” He goes, “How long would that take?” He said, “I don’t know, 20 seconds.” He goes, “All right, go do it.” The guy says, “You mean like when we’re done with the call?” He goes, “No, right now. Go do it.” And he went out and used a broom and brushed the leaves off his stoop and came back and went, “I feel a whole lot better.” He goes, “All right, what’s the next thing?” And that’s how they kept working, it was just little movement based things to just deal with what was happening.

Cody Wooten:

Absolutely. And at the end of the day, it’s the smallest things that tend to make the biggest changes.

Steven Sashen:

How else do we want to chat about physiology and leadership?

Cody Wooten:

Here’s another fun one that I like to play out with people who are like, why physiology? When I say neuron, what is your first thought?

Steven Sashen:

Synapse.

Cody Wooten:

Synapse. Okay, second thought.

Steven Sashen:

More synapses.

Cody Wooten:

Okay. What most people tend to say-

Steven Sashen:

Brain.

Cody Wooten:

Is the brain. Yeah, most people say the brain. That’s their first thought. You’re a different kind of person, which I totally respect that about you. That’s one of my favorite things about you is that you’re very different. I appreciate you in all of the different ways, but most people say the brain because they immediately think neurons are in the brain. However, you have neurons all over your body.

Steven Sashen:

I will confess, after I said synapse and synapses, where I kept thinking was motor neurons and I was going for bicep and arm. Those were the images in my head.

Cody Wooten:

Absolutely. And you’re probably a lot better read than most people when it comes to that.

Steven Sashen:

Could be, but more important.

Cody Wooten:

Could be. Now, you might know this, outside of the brain, what are the next two body parts that have the highest density of neurons in the body?

Steven Sashen:

I’m thinking your gut is one.

Cody Wooten:

That’s one.

Steven Sashen:

And of course, your spinal cord’s a whole other story, I’m guessing heart.

Cody Wooten:

You are correct.

Steven Sashen:

Good night, ladies, and gentlemen.

Cody Wooten:

Steven is the winner. Everyone can go home now. Now here’s the fun thing with the heart specifically, your body is able to create electromagnetic waves. Now, the thing about the electromagnetic waves in the heart is they can actually be measured, scientifically, anywhere from three feet away from you up to potentially 15 feet away from you.

Steven Sashen:

That’s my quizzical face.

Cody Wooten:

Yeah.

Steven Sashen:

I know that what we’re measuring often with something like an EKG is that we are measuring electrical impulses or electrical signals, which is electromagnetics. It’s the electrical part of the magnetic part, although there’s a magnetic component to that. The distance part, that’s intriguing. I’m going to put my, okay, I’ll let that slide thing on now. Because I’d want to see that and dive into that and take a look.

Cody Wooten:

Yeah.

Steven Sashen:

Nonetheless, fascinating. But let’s assume for the sake of argument that’s true so we can continue with what that means.

Cody Wooten:

What that means is that our hearts can communicate back and forth with each other.

Steven Sashen:

Okay.

Cody Wooten:

Via the electromagnetic waves.

Steven Sashen:

All right. I’m putting my skeptical pause there as well.

Cody Wooten:

It’s okay.

Steven Sashen:

Because it’s one thing to be creating or having… What’s happening with your heart is there are electrical impulses that make it move. Those impulses are… Again, how far you can measure them from as one thing, but the idea that there’s a receiving thing that would be powerful enough to influence how your heart is functioning is where I’m going to, again, have my skeptical brain on.

Cody Wooten:

That’s okay. No worries. There’s always allowed to be skeptics, yeah.

Steven Sashen:

Let’s assume that’s true for the sake of continuing with where we’re going with this and see where it goes.

Cody Wooten:

Yeah. They have the ability to communicate back and forth with each other. They also have the ability to become what’s called entrained, which means…

Steven Sashen:

Go ahead.

Cody Wooten:

Go ahead.

Steven Sashen:

No go.

Cody Wooten:

Okay. That one person’s heart can, over a period of time, make someone else’s heart rhythms match theirs.

Steven Sashen:

Okay. All right. Again, I’m going with you here.

Cody Wooten:

The big way that you measure this is through heart rate variability, which is something you’ve probably heard of before. It’s a different way to look at heart rate variability.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah. The typical way of looking at heart rate variability is when you inhale versus exhale, your heart rate will change and it’s supposed to. And in fact, I’ve got a very interesting heart rate variability story. I have a friend whose part of a company that developed a technology that was the first product that was measuring real-time biometric data.

Cody Wooten:

Yeah.

Steven Sashen:

And so essentially it was a neoprene vest that had a PalmPilot in it.

Cody Wooten:

There we go.

Steven Sashen:

That was doing the real-time recording and it was recording heart rate, and respiratory rate, and various other things. If you have limited heart rate variability or none, that means you’re stressed out. And you can see this with endurance athletes after a long training session, where their heart rate variability, say the next morning, will be lower. Some people have the idea that what you want to do is wait until you have your next training session, when your heart rate variability gets back to what would otherwise be normal.

 

Well, anyway, the story about my friend and his company is they were testing this on one of the guys, I believe in one of the guys in their company, and just in the middle of the day, no variability at all, zero. And they said, now we’ve never been able to measure this in real time before, but we’re watching this and over the course of X amount of time that we’ve been together, no matter what’s going on, whether you seem to be excited, not excited, whatever, your heart rate’s staying the same. That’s a bad sign, we recommend very bad hospital right now. He gets to the hospital just in time for the heart attack that led to a quadruple bypass. Just in time. All right, that’s how heart rate variability is typically thought of.

Cody Wooten:

Yeah.

Steven Sashen:

But what you were describing is?

Cody Wooten:

Is the communication between the heart and brain.

Steven Sashen:

Okay.

Cody Wooten:

When the heart and brain are communicating back and forth well, as you’re tracking heart rate variability, you can watch these nice little sinusoidal waves going up and down. They’re really pretty, really smooth looking.

Steven Sashen:

You’re measuring those waves where? The heart?

Cody Wooten:

Usually on the ear, that’s the typical device that I’ve used.

Steven Sashen:

But I mean, you’re measuring pulse or are you measuring brain waves?

Cody Wooten:

Yeah. Through the pulse.

Steven Sashen:

Okay. Got it.

Cody Wooten:

Yeah.

Steven Sashen:

The up and down, just the inhale, exhale, you’re going to see your heart rate going up a little bit, down a little bit, up a little bit, down a little bit. Okay. Got it.

Cody Wooten:

And if the communication is going well, it’s smooth.

Steven Sashen:

Got it.

Cody Wooten:

However, if it’s not, well, it’s all chaotic looking. You’ll see really jagged lines all over the place. It’s kind of like the difference between driving a car and using your foot on the gas, and then on the brake, and then on the gas, then on the brake, versus having both feet on both of the pedals at the same time and trying to hit them at the same time.

Steven Sashen:

All right. What do we do with this information?

Cody Wooten:

What we do with this information is if you can get the communication into that sinusoidal pathway, which tends to be calm, where you’re able to think more clearly, all these nice things, you do have the potential to entrain other people into those same kind of patterns. And vice versa, if you have all sorts of chaotic things, you can entrain people into that.

Steven Sashen:

Can I throw out a possible alternative explanation?

Cody Wooten:

Sure.

Steven Sashen:

Let’s back up to what we were saying, even about standing, that there’s going to be things in our physiology that when they’re working well, allow things to function smoothly or the opposite. If you’re having that calmness, that sinusoidal wave that is indicative of some kind of calmness, I imagine there’s going to be other things happening in your body, other than just whatever’s going on with your heart rate, that are equally… I don’t want to just use the word calm, but I want to use some other word, not synchronized, something along those lines, something where basically not out of whack.

Cody Wooten:

You are right. You’re breathing is going to be more calm, that’s a perfect example.

Steven Sashen:

A little more organized or orchestrated. Again, can’t find the word. It’ll pop into my brain, I will find that disturbing, but in the meantime, I would then argue… Bad word, but I would then contend.

Cody Wooten:

Yeah.

Steven Sashen:

One of the things that humans are good at is we do to mirror other people in different ways, and we are very sensitive to certain kinds of movement patterns on a totally unconscious level. If we see someone being very hyperactive, then we’ll have a response to that. If we see someone just sitting very quietly, we’ll have a different response to that.

 

I’m going to just pause it, for the fun of it, that independent of this whole electromagnetic piece that what’s happening is a derivative. I don’t know where the cause of the heart rate variability change is, but whatever is, there’s going to be other effects that other people will pick up on non-consciously and respond to those.

 

It doesn’t need an electromagnetic thing. It can be literally just seeing somebody, or seeing a picture of somebody, or a film of somebody, or whatever, and you’re going to have a similar response. Now we’re still talking about physiology.

Cody Wooten:

Yeah.

Steven Sashen:

We’re still talking fundamentally about motor neurons and other ways that we perceive the world, which is all going to be through our nervous system, that have that effect. I can imagine a kind of entrainment for a different reason. Yeah. Anyway, I’m just playing with that for-

Cody Wooten:

No, absolutely. And you’re not wrong either. Like I said, the physiology is very complex.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah.

Cody Wooten:

There are those factors as well. We have a natural tendency that when we’re starting to get along with somebody, we mirror them, physically mirror them.

Steven Sashen:

Right.

Cody Wooten:

If someone has their arms crossed, you’ll cross your arms too. Or if they’re nice and open, you’ll get nice and open too. If they have one arm up, you’ll typically end up finding yourself with one arm up as well. Or if they cross their legs, you’ll cross your legs as well. There is that as well.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah.

Cody Wooten:

And it’s a crazy factor, but let’s take it from an experience standpoint. Have you ever had someone walk into a room and you didn’t really communicate with them yet, but they look like they’re all together, but you just got this feeling like something was not right.

Steven Sashen:

Oh yes. Yes is the easy answer, I’m not going to dive into a specific. I’ll give you a short version of a specific, this is actually not someone walking in a room, but someone teaching a class. And the first half hour everything he was talking about had to do with sort of oneness and spaciousness, and we’re all part of a big universal something. Don’t ask me what the class was. I was there because he was a friend of a friend, but the important part was that went on for like a half an hour. And during that whole half an hour, I was going, man, why do I want to punch this guy?

 

I mean, it was the weirdest, visceral experience I’ve ever had, because I’m not a violent person. I’ve never punched anybody. And I wanted to deck the guy. And then after a half an hour of, we’re all one, then it suddenly changed to, we’re all one, except for those elite Illuminati, whatever things, that are controlling the universe. And it’s like, oh, that’s it. The first half hour, he was just a lying sack of crap. It was all just a prelude to this and I was just responding to that. In retrospect, it occurred to me I was responding to that discontinuity, if you will.

Cody Wooten:

Absolutely.

Steven Sashen:

Yes, I have had that experience.

Cody Wooten:

And that’s one of the things that these electromagnetic waves can pick up on. That we don’t understand why we’re thinking that there’s something off, until we have that epiphany moment like, oh, that’s why. But that’s what’s happening, is that your heart is picking up on something that is coming off of this other individual and your logical mind hasn’t yet put the pieces together to say, that’s the reason why I’m feeling that way.

Steven Sashen:

I think there’s a lot of things that we evolved to respond to and never evolved a necessity for being more discriminatory. Our peripheral vision is very, very fuzzy, but if someone’s looking at us, if there’s two eyes pointing at us in our peripheral vision, we’re really aware of that. And some people say that’s energetic, but I go, look, we just evolved to know when there’s two eyes pointing at you, you could be lunch. And if you try to figure out if you’re lunch or not, you could be lunch, and we never had to get more clarity about that.

 

We never needed to develop peripheral vision that was clear. We developed the ability to respond really quickly and I think that’s a thing that saved us. I think what you’re describing could be one of those many things where we never needed to figure out consciously what’s going on, because what you really need to do in that moment is respond more quickly.

Cody Wooten:

Exactly.

Steven Sashen:

How does this then relate to… Let’s move this into the leadership game since that’s where we started.

Cody Wooten:

Yeah.

Steven Sashen:

What’s our segue into that part. And if there’s any other physiological things you want to jump into before we move into how this applies in some way to things like leadership.

Cody Wooten:

We could move into all the physiological things, but we wouldn’t have time to go all day to do that.

Steven Sashen:

Well, give me one more then. Just give me one.

Cody Wooten:

Another thing that’s simple to work on, this is stuff that comes from other individuals you’ve had on your podcast.

Steven Sashen:

Oh.

Cody Wooten:

Because I love listening to your podcast.

Steven Sashen:

Thank you.

Cody Wooten:

You have fascinating individuals that come on. Do you remember your interview with Tim Anderson?

Steven Sashen:

I don’t remember what I had for breakfast.

Cody Wooten:

Fair enough.

Steven Sashen:

I mean, I know Tim and I know what Tim does, and I’ve talked to Tim often, but I don’t remember what we talked about then.

Cody Wooten:

Absolutely. Tim Anderson, founder of Original Strength, his whole program is going through the basic developmental patterns that babies go through in order to get to a better movement pattern basically.

 

One of the other things that his work goes into is the effects of those movements on the nervous system.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah.

Cody Wooten:

And just as an example, if you get on your hands and knees and you just rock back and forth, this is a naturally calming thing to your body, which can calm the nervous system down. And we talk about all of these different programs that exist, that are designed to supposedly try and make you calmer, try and make you less stressed, and all you need to do is get on your hands and knees and rock.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah.

Cody Wooten:

And there’s other ways to do that too, using your right hand to your left knee and going back and forth with that is also another way that you can work on calming your nervous system down.

Steven Sashen:

I think a lot-

Cody Wooten:

As you align different parts of your brain.

Steven Sashen:

I think a lot of those are also that there’s pattern interrupts. You’re in a particular state, you do something that is either unusual or specifically calming in some way. But some of it is just the pattern interrupts to make you do something different, can sort of lead you or snap you out of the initial experience.

Cody Wooten:

Absolutely. But then we look at this from the leadership perspective, right?

Steven Sashen:

Here we go. Yes, let’s do that.

Cody Wooten:

If you’re stressed out all the time, and if we go back to the heart, right? And it’s that chaotic pattern, that can get influenced onto the people you lead, to where they’re stressed all the time. And then what happens? They bring that home and then they’re stressed with their wives and children all the time.

Steven Sashen:

Or husbands.

Cody Wooten:

Or husbands.

Steven Sashen:

Come on you sexist.

Cody Wooten:

Yeah. Well, okay. I’m not sexist.

Steven Sashen:

I know you’re not, it’s an easy one to do. But yes, you’re bring that home. Yeah, it becomes a vicious cycle.

Cody Wooten:

Exactly. Then they come back to work, happens again, they bring it home. Just back and forth. Or, you could be the leader that has that calm pattern. You use things like rocking, or tapping your right hand to your left knee and vice versa to help calm your nervous system down, and you have great interactions with your people. Are they perfect interactions? Maybe not, but physiologically, you guys are reading each other, whether it’s the heart, or the eyes, or the breathing. Really, it doesn’t matter at the end of the day, you can work on all of these and they’re all going to have beneficial aspects to your leadership.

Steven Sashen:

Interesting.

Cody Wooten:

And then they can take that home to their family and they can have a better experience at home, and then they come back and they’re ready for more. And when you look at statistics around people that aren’t having a good time at work, it’s something like 60% of people are disengaged at work and another 20% are actively disengaged at work, which means that those 20% of people are literally trying to make your life worse as their boss. That’s one in five people.

Steven Sashen:

Well, we are happily nothing close to that, but we have had one or two people who… Well, I’ll tell you this actually, it wasn’t that they were trying to make our life miserable, but they thought they could do a better job than what Elena and I were doing, and eventually that relationship ended. And I will give the fun story that this one person called me a year later saying, “I tried to start my own thing. And while I was doing that, I kept finding myself asking, what would Steven and Elena do in this situation? And then I realized that what I was doing when I was working for you was trying to impose my history onto what you were doing rather than seeing what you were doing, which had nothing to do with my history.” And this person wanted to apologize. I said, “Well, your apology is well taken.” Sadly it cost us a lot to extricate ourself from that relationship.

Cody Wooten:

Yeah, absolutely. But a lot of these things could be really avoided.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah.

Cody Wooten:

If we just start with our physiology.

Steven Sashen:

That’s interesting. I want to take it in a slightly from direction. In a way we’re talking about the physiological something starting from the quote, leader’s perspective, but what I never really did well enough, perhaps, in that relationship that I’m describing, was recognize the stress that I was experiencing from that other person as a result of whatever they were doing in such a way that allowed me to come back with… Not take it home, not come back with more, but to nip it in the butt, if you will, with some physiological change on my end.

 

Rather than thinking of this as everything starting from the leadership position, that part of the leadership position is also recognizing what’s happening coming towards you, coming towards me in this case, and using those same kinds of techniques, if you will. I almost used the word skills… to respond better or be more appropriately responsive, which is interesting.

 

Are there other things that we want to share with people just about other aspects, let’s use the leadership part rather than being the responsive part, that’s the physiological version of what we want to attend to and play with, rather than just learning some communication skill thing. Calming, great idea. And actually I’m really curious how you would ask people or recommend people play with that and apply that.

Cody Wooten:

Absolutely. Let’s take the scenario you’re talking about, right? You have this person that’s doing something that you don’t like and it’s having an impact on you, and vice versa, to the point where you’re not taking a moment to really analyze it and see, how can I change this, right? In the leadership skill world, what they would talk about is taking a pause before you react. Something happens, take a pause, react.

Steven Sashen:

Good luck.

Cody Wooten:

Good luck, right? Because most of us aren’t very good at that.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah.

Cody Wooten:

However, if you look at it from the physiological perspective, you can check in on your breath. Plus or minus, there are slight variations from person to person, and that applies to all parts of the physiology, but plus or minus about a four second breath in, with a one second pause, and a five second breath out, plus or minus is an ideal breath. For some people it’s a little bit more than that. For a couple people, it might be just a tad bit less than that. But if you hit that rhythm, you’re going to be good for most people.

 

If you wait and you focus on that breath, that four in, pause, five out, you allow your body, and you were talking about how the breath can impact the heart rate variability, right? Which gives you the time to actually think about it.

Steven Sashen:

Again, it seems like a pattern interrupt, which is a valuable thing.

Cody Wooten:

Yeah.

Steven Sashen:

People don’t think about that. I’m going to suggest actually even playing with that in a different order, because it’s really common that we don’t have the… I was going to say luxury, the ability, to take that pause. Even I like the idea of instead of just thinking pause, of giving yourself something to attend, to namely the breath, but I have a line which is you, you can’t be smart when you’re stupid.

Cody Wooten:

I love that line.

Steven Sashen:

You do find yourself reacting, you’re in stupid mode. And trying to make yourself breathe differently will be challenging. But as the dumb part of your brain calms down and the smart part starts coming back online, you can do it sort of after the fact, which still has value as well and might actually paradoxically short circuit the initial part if it happens again, because you’ve got this sort of new pattern in your brain for how to respond.

 

It just occurred to me, we have a dog, my wife and I just got a dog. It’s our first dog ever. And I find it very funny that one of the ways that we train the dog is by in part naming things that he’s already done, and then when we name them, he’ll then do them. He’s learning something after the fact and then starts applying it before the fact later, which is a fascinating bit of learning that I never watched in real time before.

Cody Wooten:

Absolutely. One of my favorite ones with the dog I used to have when I was younger was we would tell her circle and she would just do a little circle, almost like chasing the tail, but not quite as crazy.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah.

Cody Wooten:

And then she would look, and we would usually give her a treat for that. She really liked popcorn. But when you’re teaching the dog the trick, you take the popcorn and you’re around in a little circle and they follow it and then you say, circle, and they begin to associate, oh, if I do this little thing, I get something.

Steven Sashen:

Right. But it’s so funny the order of it. Anyway, it’s wild to see. Paying attention to our breathing is another way of altering our physiology. Do we want to pick one more for the fun of it?

Cody Wooten:

Walking is another great one. A big thing that has come up in different circles is walking meetings.

Steven Sashen:

Oh, interesting.

Cody Wooten:

Because when you’re walking, especially if you’re walking with correct form, which is with barefoot shoes or literally bare feet, depending on the type of office you work in, you can calm the mind down. It’s a movement pattern that is naturally calming. Which gives you the ability to think and be able to be creative, allows you to think of new possibilities as you’re having the conversation with people.

Steven Sashen:

I like it. I mean, in a way, just for the fun of it and to be something, I mean, these are in many ways skills, except that they’re so simple.

Cody Wooten:

They’re so simple.

Steven Sashen:

Not something like-

Cody Wooten:

They’re stupid simple.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah. It’s not something of trying to learn a new way of speaking to someone because they are a, fill in the blank.

Cody Wooten:

Exactly.

Steven Sashen:

And then filling a way to speak to a different person because they’re a different blank that needs to be filled in, et cetera, which I imagine could just be unbearable.

Cody Wooten:

It can be horribly infuriating, especially depending on the letter that most people find themselves to be. D’s in particular have a hard time doing that because they want things so direct so quickly, and so changing who they are or anyone else just seems ridiculous.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah, what’s your point? I imagine other people will have a similar response. This is very interesting. And when you are working with a client, how does someone find you to begin with and do you find that they’re interested in this idea and that’s why they find you or they find you and then you’re presenting this idea somewhat as a bit of a surprise? And I’m curious what that relationship is like and what the experiences you’re hearing are.

Cody Wooten:

Definitely. A lot of times it’s actually the latter, people are more interested in the leadership skill perspective.

Steven Sashen:

Right.

Cody Wooten:

Because they’ve been trained for the past 40, 50 years that that’s what they need.

Steven Sashen:

Right.

Cody Wooten:

And they go from program to program, coach to coach, thinking that’s what they need. And then it’s not working and they keep saying, “Why is this not working for me?” And then you come to them and a lot of it is just literally reading what’s going on with them. I’ve been through quite a few different certification programs to be able to read just how people stand, how people move. You can just watch them, and without having to teach them everything, you can see, what are some basic things you could go over with them to help them right now? Breathing for instance, it’s very easy to tell when someone’s breathing into their chest, which happens a lot these days.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah.

Cody Wooten:

Or if they’re walking with their arms the same as their legs, like a tin soldier, right? These are very easy things you can read. And if you can help them through these little things and give them what they want, the leadership skills, as you’re doing this, I find that you get dramatic increases in what they’re able to do.

 

I remember I was working with one individual who his entire team was terrified of him. And I remember sitting across from him the entire time he was like this. Leaning back, arms crossed, chest up. And I was like, “How do you think you come off right now?” He was like, “What do you mean?” I said, “Well, when I look at you, the air that you’re giving me is that you don’t care what I have to say. You have something you want to say and you’re not going to listen to anything I say. Why would I tell you anything?” He goes, “Okay.” It’s like, “I want you to try something. I want you to just put your arms down by your side and breathe a little bit.” His entire demeanor changed just on those two little things. And within the next three months, his communication with his team was completely different. People were opening up that he had never imagined would ever open up to him, by a very simple change in their physiology.

Steven Sashen:

I love it. Really interesting. Yeah, this is clearly a whole different way of thinking about… It’s really more relationships than… I mean, leadership is a word that I find is so fraught with peril anyway.

Cody Wooten:

You’re not wrong. In all fairness, I don’t even call what I do anymore leadership development. I call it legendary leadership, because when you talk about leadership development, the first thing you ask is what is leadership? And there’s literally over a hundred definitions of leadership. Which leadership are you talking about? And that’s another challenge in the leadership development world, is a lot of people aren’t even talking about the same leadership styles.

Steven Sashen:

Right.

Cody Wooten:

When they’re talking about what they believe is important. And that may be really important for the specific type of leadership that they’re looking at, but a different type of leadership could find no use for that.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah. Interesting. This is really fun Cody. Look, it’s no surprise, I love discovering and playing with these little simple things that almost seem impossible to make an effect because they are so simple and little, and yet those are the ones that make a big difference. I mean, I’m not going to talk about what we do about just letting your body do what’s natural. It’s very simple, very little really. I hope that people find this provocative, in a number of ways, frankly. And I’m dying here to the comments. If people want to find out more about what you’re up to and experience this more in a direct way, in a personal way, how would they do that?

Cody Wooten:

Yeah. The easiest way to find me is going to be going to my website, www.theleadership.guide. You can email me [email protected] Find me just about anywhere, Cody Wooten, that’s my name and that’s going to be the easiest way to find me.

Steven Sashen:

Awesome. Well, I hope people do reach out and I’m really looking forward to hearing what they experienced. Thank you.

Cody Wooten:

Absolutely.

Steven Sashen:

For everybody else again, thank you for being part of this. A reminder, just head over to our website, www.jointhemovementmovement.com. Leave reviews in all the places you can leave reviews for our podcast. Find the previous episodes, and like and share, and thumbs up, et cetera. And of course, if you have any questions, or comments, or people that you think should be on the show, or whatever else you want to share, drop me an email move, M-O-V-E, @jointhemovementmovement.com. But most importantly, as always, go out, have fun, and live life feet first.

 

 

 

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