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Leading Innovation

Lesson 12 of 15

Act Your Way into a New Way of Thinking

Shawn Hunter

Leading Innovation

Shawn Hunter

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Lesson Info

12. Act Your Way into a New Way of Thinking

Lesson Info

Act Your Way into a New Way of Thinking

This is where we rocket right now. We're going to take purpose and ecosystems and get them into motion, action, we're gonna do something with all this. This is about, like, over coming fears, getting out of your safe zone, taking chances, getting things done, and we have a super special secret guest for this segment that you'll meet in just a minute. But here's what I mean by taking chances and getting in motion. There's a place in Palo Alto, California called the Shyness Clinic, OK, the Shyness Clinic. Now shyness is not to be confused with introversion. Susan Cain famously wrote a wonderful book called "Quiet" about the unrealized potential of introverts and how we're in a world where extroverts make all the noise and talk the longest and the loudest and it doesn't mean they have the best ideas, right? Shyness is very different. If you are overcome with an acute sense of shyness, there's often a sense of guilt, shame, embarrassment associated with being very very shy. So if you volun...

tarily check yourself into the Shyness Clinic in Palo Alto, California you very much want to be there cause you don't like to talk on the phone, you don't like to go out in public, you haven't had a date in years, you alienate yourself from the world. It's a very difficult place to be. But here's the thing if you go to the Shyness Clinic, what they do not do is that they don't lie you down on the couch and say, tell me about your childhood, how many siblings do you have, we're you picked on, tell me about your teachers. They don't do that. The other thing they do not do is they don't dissect your day. When do you get up? What's your boss like? Do you have kids? Do you workout? Do you do yoga? They don't, what they do is they put these people into motion. They give them jobs. They give them tasks. They say OK this week here's what I need you to do, I need you to go to a busy shopping mall and I want you to ask three people the time of day. I want you to approach a stranger and I want you to engage in a conversation and ask about the weather and the time. Now to you and I this is nothing, alright. But if you suffer from an acute sense of shyness this is terrifying, this is a terrifying kind of thing. But then the next week I need you to go to a diner, a cafe, and I want you to special order something, a coke no ice. I want you to get the coleslaw not the fries. I want you to special order something and, you know, make a little deal about it. Like I need the mayonnaise on the side Okay? So over time interstitially creating new environments, new circumstances with new people in new places. They're ready for the final exam. Okay here's the final exam. I want you to walk into a crowded grocery store and go into the produce section and I want you to intentionally drop a watermelon on the floor. (audience laughs) Right? I mean if you had told them that they had to do this when they first came into the Shyness Clinic, I mean they would have run terrified. They would have just, they couldn't conceptualize of such just a horrifying moment. Alright, but over time building those social skills and that strength and that resilience. Well then they got to talk to the produce manager, smile politely at the other shoppers, you know and help clean it up, and can I pay for this? And you know and use the whole arsenal of skills in that moment. And they do it, they do it.

Class Description

For business leaders and managers, finding the key to creating a high-performing, innovative team can feel impossible. Most of the time, you’re too stressed, exhausted and depleted to do anything more than just get by. Or you might even secretly question your ability to ever be a great leader.

This course on leadership innovation provides you with a clear roadmap for creating an environment that inspires trust, cohesiveness, agility and innovation. You’ll learn the simple actions you can do every day to bring out the best in yourself and those around you.

Shawn Hunter, author of “Small Acts of Leadership: 12 Intentional Behaviors That Lead to Big Impact,” will show you how listening intently, acting with kindness, showing gratitude, embracing challenges and other actions can help you grow into a successful, impactful leader.

In this course, you’ll learn how to:

  • Build your self-confidence.
  • Create learning goals instead of performance goals.
  • Use social diversity and social risk to drive innovative thinking.
  • Get rid of fear among your team members.
  • Escape the trap of “arrested decay.”
  • Turn great ideas into concrete actions.
  • Develop your own leadership narrative.


Christian Röpke

Very inspiring class with great guest speakers. Shawn is a great storyteller and I really loved his story about the cycling trip! Overall the course is less "hands on" than I expected (if at all) but there was so much depth and fresh ideas that it was totally worth it!

Steven Seiller

These topics are profoundly impactful and are truly the magic of intentional change! I do wish this class is at least a half-day longer, because who doesn't need more magic to fuel your passions?!?

Manisha Dayal